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New Tropical Storm in the Gulf of Mexico; New Intriguing Evidence on Dr. Bruce Ivins; Skip Caray Dead at the Age of 68; Violent Death in a Small Town Turning Into Questions of Race and Hate; A Life- Changing and Controversial New Program for AIDS
Aired August 3, 2008 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What's going on in the Gulf? We've got our eye on Edouard and on land, the deadly heat wave.
He was an illegal immigrant but he built a family and a life here. Now, he's dead.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE).
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ROESGEN: Three white teenagers are charged with a hate crime.
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UNIDENTIFIED FATHER: My son was a great kid. And fell to a bad situation.
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ROESGEN: What really happened that night?
The veepstakes. Time is ticking. New word about who is in the running.
And the conversation always comes back to the war. Which candidate wins the support from our Legal of First-Time Voters? The news starts right now.
And good evening. I'm Susan Roesgen filling in for Rick Sanchez. You know there's something going on out there when you see that. We are tracking extreme weather tonight. A new tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico, and you better believe that everyone along the Gulf Coast is keeping an eye on Edouard.
Jacqui Jeras is tracking the storm right now in the CNN weather center.
Jacqui, what's the latest update?
JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, it's been strengthening, Susan. We've seen some real significant developments today. It just started out as a tropical disturbance, turn it into tropical depression, then a tropical storm. And the winds have steadily been increasing.
Maximum sustain winds now up to 50 miles per hour, but gusts are higher than that. This, Susan, continues to get itself better organize, and we think that that trend will continue so more strengthening, possibly as strong as a hurricane before it reaching the coastline.
So, this is a storm you need to take seriously. And has a lot of threats with it. There are tropical storm warnings in effect from the mouth of the Mississippi River, over to intercoastals city, and then watch as westward from there down towards Port O'Connor.
This may be changing even as early as the 11:00 Eastern Time advisory tonight. They may need to be upgraded to hurricane warnings and advisories. You just kind of see that blob out there in the middle of the ocean there into the Gulf of Mexico. All the shower and thundershower activity well-offshore. The center about 90 miles to the south and east Louisiana coastline.
But we do think we'll see showers and thunder showers moving to southern Louisiana tomorrow. And even by tonight and early in the morning tomorrow, we could see some significant wave action. In fact, waves about one to two feet, maybe a little more than that on the Eastern shores above normal tides.
There you can see the forecast bringing it right on off to the west. And our models have a very high level of confidence here that this is going to be heading towards Southeast Texas or Southwestern Louisiana. The timing on this, we could likely see landfall as early as Tuesday.
One little bit of good news with Edouard is that it will bring in some cloud cover and rainfall, and that will help to cool down the temperatures a little bit. Here we go. You know, more than ten days for many people seeing triple digit temperatures. And the heat index, still -- look at this, this is 9:00 at night. 102 in Dallas. 104 in Little Rock. 91, a little cooler for you in Memphis.
The heat expands for tomorrow, spreads out here into the Corn Belt states. We'll see that in parts of Michigan, and down into Indiana, and into the Deep South. Temperatures as much as 15 degrees above normal for Kansas City and St. Louis where extreme heat warnings have been put in place. So, dangerous heat. A lot of tropical action going on. We'll update you. Of course, we get another advisory into the National Hurricane Center before the end of the hour.
ROESGEN: OK. We'll be waiting for that. Thanks, Jackie.
And as Jacqui just mention, it is dangerously hot from the southwest all the way to Denver, and the worst of it is in Texas. At least three people now in the Dallas area have been killed by the heat.
And we have more intriguing evidence tonight in the case against the scientist who committed suicide last week. The chief suspect in the anthrax attacks back in 2001. CNN has learned that there is a DNA link between Dr. Bruce Ivins' laboratory and the anthrax that was sent out in the mail.
And even more compelling here, "The New York Times" has an audiotape in which you're going to hear Dr. Bruce Ivins' therapist say she was afraid for her life and for the lives of a lot of other people, too.
CNN's Brianna Keilar has the latest.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): CNN has learned there is DNA evidence linking the Anthrax used in the 2001 mailings to a flask used in Bruce Ivins' Army laboratory, according to a source familiar with the investigation.
As federal prosecutors grew closer to charging Bruce Ivins in connection with the Anthrax attacks, his therapist Jean Duley told a Maryland judge in late July that she was scared to death of Ivins and sought a temporary restraining order against him. In court tapes obtained by "The New York Times," Duley described a murder plot that troubled scientists laid out during a group therapy session.
JEAN DULEY, THERAPIST: He proceeded to describe to the group a very long and detailed homicidal plan and intention to -- that he had bought a bulletproof vest, had obtained a gun, a very detailed plan to kill his co-workers. To that because he was about to be indicted on capital murder charges, he was going to go out in a blaze of glory. That he was going to take everybody out with him. That he had been roaming the streets of Frederick trying to pick a fight with somebody so that he could stab them.
KEILAR: After that therapy session, Duley started the process to have Ivins involuntarily committed to a high-security mental health facility. She told the court she had been subpoenaed to testify against Ivins before a federal grand jury. As she made her case for a restraining order, Duley also said Ivins had been "forensically diagnosed by several top psychiatrists as a sociopathic homicidal killer," though CNN has not been able to confirm those diagnoses.
Just days after this testimony, Ivins killed himself in Frederick, Maryland. Prosecutors were so sure they had their man, they had scheduled a meeting to discuss a possible plea bargain with Ivins' attorney last Tuesday, the day Ivins died. Officials planned to reveal some of their evidence at that meeting.
But many people are skeptical the FBI has got it right this time, especially after repeated mistakes throughout the seven-year investigation. Jeffrey Adamovicz, a former bacteriology chief who worked with Ivins for 12 years at Fort Detrick's biodefense lab says it would have been nearly impossible for Ivins to pull off the attacks.
JEFF ADAMOVICZ, FORMER COLLEAGUE OF IVINS: The labs were not equipped, for instance, with a lot of the equipment that would have been required to supposedly dry this material down and create the highly refined state that it was in. KEILAR (on camera): Sources familiar with the investigation say authorities may publicly release their evidence against Ivins as soon as this week and then go ahead and close the case. According to those sources, that would happen after a federal judge unseals grand jury evidence and officials brief the families of those who were killed and injured in the 2001 attacks.
Brianna Keilar, CNN, Washington.
ROESGEN: And tomorrow on CNN's "AMERICAN MORNING," one of Dr. Ivins' long-time co-workers will share what he knew about him. That's at 7:00 a.m. Eastern, tomorrow, on "AMERICAN MORNING."
In the latest political news tonight, Senator Barack Obama is reaching out to delegates in Florida and in Michigan. The two states that could have been spoilers in the primary season.
Obama has sent a letter to the Democratic Party's credentials committee asking that Florida and Michigan delegates get full voting rights at the national convention. It wouldn't change the outcome. Obama is still the nominee. But it's a gesture of party unity. Florida and Michigan lost their convention votes because they ignored party rules and moved their primaries before they were supposed to.
Barack Obama's former rival, Hillary Clinton, is applauding this letter, this reaching out by Obama. In a statement she says, "This is the right position for the Democratic Party and for the country." She says, "I urge the credentials committee to restore full votes to Florida and Michigan delegates."
Senator Clinton won both of those state primaries, though Obama's name did not even appear on the Michigan ballot.
And our political coverage is just getting started tonight. In a few minutes, we're going to talk to CNN political editor Mark Preston. We're going to ask him to cut through some of the speculation about who the running mates are going to be for Senator Barack Obama and John McCain. Some new names out there tonight.
And it was a deadly descent. Climbers conquered the world's second largest mountain but their victory was short-lived.
And a racially-charged encounter that turned deadly. It is forcing a small town to open up.
ROESGEN: This was a horror scene in northern India. More than 140 people trampled to death in a crowd of religious festival goers. They were all trying to get out of the temple at once. Many children are among the dead and the witnesses say the people panicked when some stones started sliding down the hillside. Witnesses say at one point even the police started hitting the fleeing worshipers, hitting them with canes to try to keep them moving. Well, mountain climbers call it the savage mountain. It is a mountain in Pakistan known as K2. And this week, a multinational group of climbers reached the summit but on their way down an avalanche broke their safety ropes and there was no way to keep going. 11 climbers now are missing and presumed to be dead.
K2 is the world's second tallest mountain behind Mt. Everest but climbers say it is even tougher to climb than Everest.
Jacqui Jeras is back now with some bird's eye views of K2 to show us why it's so dangerous -- Jacqui.
JERAS: Well, a number of reasons, Susan. It's just really extreme mountain overall based on its height, on its peak and the difficulty of the terrain. You know, this thing has been described as a cone of ice and limestone with slopes as steep as 45 degrees. So, it's almost impossible to climb this thing without being caught into some type of life-threatening weather.
The peak chucks into the upper atmosphere about 28,000 feet. That's five miles to you and me. It disturbs the flow of the winds. Those winds can be as strong as 100 plus miles per hour. That's a strong as a category three hurricane. Those winds will create blizzard conditions on one side of the mountain, and calm and sunny conditions on the other side, making things very, very difficult for these climbers.
I'll still never understand, Susan, why people do things like this. But apparently, about 280 people have done this on K2. And that's compared to about 2600 on Mt. Everest.
ROESGEN: Well, you know, what they say they do it because it's there, dangerous or otherwise. Thanks, Jacqui.
We have a remembrance tonight of a famous literary and political figure of the 20th century. Russian media report that Alexander Solzhenitsyn is dead at the age of 89. A Nobel Prize winner for literature in 1970. He is perhaps best known as a soviet dissident who was exiled to the west in 1974. He spent 20 years away from Russia. Most of those years here in the U.S.
His work, "The Gulag Archipelago," chronicled the abuses of the Soviet prison system. He finally returned to Russia in 1994 after the fall of the Soviet Union. Again, Alexander Solzhenitsyn dead at 89.
The link between HIV and AIDS. For years we have understood that that one leads inevitably to the other, does it?
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Six years ago he was told this would never be possible.
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ROESGEN: A life-changing and controversial new program. And then, see if you agree with our political editor who is really on the short list for McCain and Obama. We'll find out.
ROESGEN: Well, does the name Cantor ring a bell? It might not have before this weekend. But now, it's one of the names Senator John McCain's team is vetting in the search for his running mate.
In fact, you got to wonder who is going to be the number two on the ticket for both McCain and Senator Obama.
CNN political editor Mark Preston is here for a little "Preston on Politics."
OK, Mark, I know at least that Eric Cantor is a Virginia congressman.
What else do we know about him? And what's his chance really of being McCain's running mate?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Well, you know, it's just as good as anyone else is I think at this point -- I think John McCain is really weighing who is going to be the best balance, you know, as his running mate right now. Who is going to be able to appeal to social conservatives? Who is going to be able to balance out the fact that John McCain is 70 -- or will be 72 years old if he wins election in November.
Eric cantor is one of these fellows that you don't know nationally. But if you know anything about Republican politics, particularly in the House, you know that he is very powerful. He is the chief deputy. He's only been in Washington now for eight years, but he's very well-respected.
As I was talking to someone who is very close to the House Republican leadership just hours ago, the person tells me -- look, he is the most underappreciated person on the list.
And I will tell you this, he's got this other thing going for him. He is Jewish, which could very well help John McCain as they're trying to reach out and really promote his foreign policy threads, especially what he would do to protect Israel. Voters in Florida, voters in Pennsylvania, perhaps Ohio, particularly Jewish voters, would be looking at him.
ROESGEN: But you know, Mark, I just hate to hear that. I mean, we know that what goes into these decisions is not just who the candidate likes, but who can appeal to this section of the voters in this section. So, you say he's Jewish and he's young, white guy.
How about some women? I mean, is there a women on McCain's short list? Who else is out there?
PRESTON: Well, look, there's a woman by the name of Carly Fiorina who is very, very close to John McCain. She's a former CEO. She's one of his top surrogates. You know, I assume she is on the list, but I don't think that she is eventually going to be picked. ROESGEN: Yes, I don't see her in your list there. Those pictures, they are all white guys.
PRESTON: Well, I mean, unfortunately, that's kind of where we are at at this point, you know. Certainly on the Republican side, sure, they are looking at some other names. Maybe they are looking at Kay Bailey Hutchinson as another person as well. She's a Texas senator. But I don't think they're on the short list. You know, people who are on the short list would include someone like Mitt Romney, who John McCain ran against in the Republican primary.
ROESGEN: But I thought he didn't like him so it would just be, you know, politics makes strange bedfellows? You just have to take him.
PRESTON: But what Mitt Romney does give you is Mitt Romney gives you the fact that he was a governor. That Mitt Romney gives you the fact that he looks presidential.
PRESTON: That knows how to campaign.
ROESGEN: How he looks presidential? That counts? He wears nice ties? I mean...
PRESTON: No question, though. I mean, look -- I mean, the facts are the facts. Mitt Romney has been on the campaign trail and he knows what it's like.
PRESTON: Sure that he'd be on list. Another person to keep in mind now is Tom Ridge. He's a Pennsylvania governor. Social conservatives would not be happy if Tom Ridge was selected because of his stance on abortion, but there are a lot of votes in Pennsylvania.
PRESTON: He would give homeland security creds. Don't count him out.
ROESGEN: All right. Well, let's go on to Barack Obama. We don't have a lot of time left.
Who's on his short list? And you know, there are some people, Mark, who still think Hillary Clinton could be his VP choice, but you say no way?
PRESTON: Look. I will leave that one percent that she possibly could be. If Barack Obama thinks that he needs her, he will pick her. Let's keep her on the list. But there are certainly some other names out there right now that he is really looking at. Joe Biden, he is a Delaware senator. He is certainly on the list right now.
ROESGEN: Oh, we've heard his name a lot. Who else? Chet Edwards, that's -- Nancy Pelosi is pushing him, right?
PRESTON: Chet Edwards who is a Texas congressman. Not a lot of people know who he is. He's been in Congress for 18 years. He actually represents a district that not only includes President Bush's ranch down in Crawford, but also Fort Hood, which is the largest army installation in the world. So, he, himself, has some military credits.
But also look at Evan Bayh. Obama will be in Indiana later this week for a bus tour. Evan Bayh could be announced. We'll see.
ROESGEN: OK. I might put a bet on one of those with you. Thank you, Mark Preston. CNN's political editor.
PRESTON: Thanks so much.
ROESGEN: So, now, besides potential running mates, you really can't talk politics these days without talking about the war in Iraq, and about who would be the best commander-in-chief.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most of the public is still against this war. They may think that John McCain would be the better commander-in-chief for experience reasons. But I think as far as Iraq goes in general, most people still want us out.
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ROESGEN: You know, young voters don't sugar coat it. You're going to hear much more from them with Rick Sanchez in tonight's League of First Time Voters.
ROESGEN: So, the presidential election is not just a question of who will be the best president domestically. It's also a decision on who would be the best commander-in-chief.
Rick Sanchez sat down in Atlanta with a group of college students. Two Democrats, two Republicans, all political volunteers. They are part of our League of First Time Voters and they are talking about the war.
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: John McCain is hitching his wagon to the Iraq war. National security, Iraq war, is that going to be a winner for him, do you think?
JADE MOREY, GEORGIA STUDENTS FOR MCCAIN: I think it's absolutely -- I mean, it's a good thing to be campaigning on, considering that we are in a time of war. This is a man who's been overseas, who's been a prisoner of war. You know, he's experienced firsthand what it's like. And he's been in the Congress for years. He's been through, you know, matters of military conflict.
Now, this is the role that the president of the United States is going to have to play on military and foreign matters. We need that experience.
SANCHEZ: Everybody agree here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
SANCHEZ: It's a winner for John McCain, the Iraq war, national security?
MARU GONZALEZ, STUDENTS FOR BARACK OBAMA: He still doesn't know the difference between Sunni and Shiite, which I think, you know, is a little bit --
SANCHEZ: So, it sounds to me like you're saying no. I mean, yes, so what he's a prisoner of war but maybe he's not --
GONZALEZ: No, no, no. I mean, I think more than experience, it's judgment. And Barack Obama had the judgment to be against this war from the beginning.
MOREY: Who knows how Barack Obama would have voted when it was time to vote in the Senate. He wasn't even around then.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
CHANCE STRICKLAND, STUDENTS FOR BARACK OBAMA: Yes. But he did make a public speech about it. And he was very clear and unequivocal when he said that he was against this war. That he would never gone it because it would be a distraction from Afghanistan, same thing that he's saying now, and the same thing that appears to be true.
He said that it would diminish our standing in the world, which is true. I mean, he made a lot of these calls before, you know, anybody was willing to.
SANCHEZ: You want out of Iraq?
GONZALEZ: Yes, absolutely.
SANCHEZ: Do you want out of Afghanistan?
GONZALEZ: No. I think, I think we need to send more troops to Afghanistan.
SANCHEZ: Obama says he'll get out of Iraq in 16 months.
CHRISTOPHER ROBERTS, GEORGIA STUDENTS FOR MCCAIN: You can't just be a politician or Congress and sit down and say we're going to set up this timetable with when we're going to pull out. You have to talk to the commanders and the generals that are over there.
ROBERTS: When you talk to them, they say that they need to stay there a little bit longer. And those would be the people that are over there that know the issues, everything that they deal with every day.
SANCHEZ: Are you sure about that? Should we allow our generals to make the decisions for our country?
ROBERTS: I don't say that they should make the decisions for the country, but they should enlighten the people and say this is what --
GONZALEZ: Obama has said that he would work with commanders on the ground. He's made that very clear. And Al Maliki has said that it would be an enormous opportunity to begin a phase redeployment out of Iraqi. And I think Senator McCain should respect his wishes. I mean, they are a sovereign government.
MOREY: He has always said we will leave when the Iraqi government says that it's OK.
GONZALEZ: Right. But the Iraqi government has said that they are ready for us to leave. And John McCain has still, you know, is still refuses to set a timetable.
ROBERTS: I think that when the government over there is stable, when the people feel as if, you know, that they can take a hold of everything that they are dealing with right now, then we should slowly start pulling out.
SANCHEZ: Looking at the polls right now, who wins that argument right now in America?
STRICKLAND: Probably Barack Obama because most of the public is still against this war. They may think that John McCain would be the better commander-in-chief for experience reasons, but I think as far as Iraq goes in general, most people still want us out.
MOREY: I think Senator John McCain wins because although and he's recognized it, it may not have been the best decision and the American public, the majority of them, are against the war currently, you know, and poll after poll has shown that, that they disapprove of what is going on, but I think the American people also realize that this is a responsibility that we committed to and we can't just cut and run.
ROESGEN: Those are some pretty smart young people. You can hear more of Rick's interviews with the League of First Time Voters. And if you haven't registered to vote, you can find out what each state requires to register. Go to cnn.com/league and make your voice heard.
Well, they are teenagers in the prime of life, but they went out partying on a summer night, and what happen next ended one life and forever changed three others.
ROESGEN: If you've ever been to an Atlanta Braves game you know the voice. The voice of the braves for more than three decades. Tonight, that voice is silent.
Just in, we've learn that long-time Atlanta Braves announcer Skip Caray died today in his sleep at home in Atlanta. He was 68 years old. Skip Caray was the son of legendary announcer Harry Caray. And like his dad, he gain a national following through cable broadcast which he peppered with his own unique sense of humor.
Caray had had multiple health problems in recent years and he had stopped travelling with the team to away games. Again, he died tonight. Skip Caray dead at the age of 68.
Well, a violent death in a small town is turning into a question of race and hate. It happened in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. The victim was a Mexican illegal immigrant whose girlfriend was a local white woman, and the suspects are three popular teenagers.
ROESGEN (voice-over): The police say it started as a chance encounter. A group of teenagers out drinking one night in July were heading back from a block party when they spotted Luis Ramirez walking down the street with the sister of his fiancee.
According to court documents, the young men challenged them saying, "isn't it a little late for you guys to be out" and "get your Mexican boyfriend out of here." Racial slurs, punches, Ramirez fell to the ground but he managed to call his friends, the Garcias, for help.
ARIELLE GARCIA, VICTIM'S FRIEND/WITNESS: My husband Victor tried to break up the fight between Luis and the kids, and people were trying to beat up my husband from trying to break it up.
ROESGEN: Court documents say Ramirez was knocked to the ground again and kicked in the head. A retired police woman, who lived nearby, heard the Garcias' cries to stop the beating. Then she says she heard the young men shout back at Mrs. Garcia.
EILEEN BURKE, WITNESS: They said, "you (EXPLETIVE) -- you tell your (EXPLETIVE) Mexican friends get the (EXPLETIVE) out of Shenandoah or you're going to be laying (EXPLETIVE) next to them.
ROESGEN: Witnesses say Ramirez was convulsing in the street.
CRYSTAL DILLMAN, VICTIM'S FIANCEE: Internally, he had a collapsed lung, he had two skull fractures, a blood clot on his brain and his brain swelled.
ROESGEN: The 25-year-old father of two and undocumented worker with two jobs had lived in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania for at least three years. He fell into a coma and died.
DILLMAN: His face swelled, afterwards his eyes actually swelled shut. They completely shut and you could see the bulging of his eyes. That's how bad the damage was on his eyes.
ROESGEN: Two of the suspects were good students and popular, too, on the high school football team -- 17-year-old Colin Walsh and 16-year-old Brandon Piekarsky. Both face charges of homicide as adults. 18-year-old Derrick Donchak is charged with aggravated assault, and all three are charged with ethnic intimidation, a hate crime.
MICHAEL WALSH, SUSPECT'S FATHER: My son was a great kid and fell into a bad situation or whatever became of it. I feel sorry for the families or anyone who cares for Mr. Ramirez.
DILLMAN: That's supposed to be the crown of thorns.
ROESGEN: The victim's fiancee showed CNN a religious charm Ramirez wore. She says an image of it was left imprinted on his chest after the beating. Crystal Dillman says for years she and Ramirez were harassed in the town in which she was born and raised.
DILLMAN: When me and him used to go to the store together, people would stare and say stuff under their breath. It's just the way they were.
ROESGEN: But attorneys for two of the teenagers say race may not have had anything to do with it. They say it was a drunken street fight that went too far and that racial taunts were heard on both sides.
ROGER LAGUNA, COLIN WALSH'S ATTORNEY: A scene of chaos. Many people on both sides. Not just Colin, for sure. But many, many folks on both sides engaged in a violent confrontation. And I think it's extremely important to take some time and to figure out whose responsible for what. This was not a pre-planned event. This was a random chance encounter. There was no target based upon race or anything like that.
ROESGEN: Now, Roger Laguna, the attorney for one of the teenagers Colin Walsh whom you just saw there in that report is with us tonight, and also the attorney for the Ramirez family, Gladys Lemon. She's the founder of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
Now, Roger, your client allegedly beat a man to death while telling his girlfriend to get her Mexican boyfriend out of there. How is that not a hate crime? LAGUNA: Well, I don't think there's any allegations even been made that that was my client. As you saw in some of the other parts and if you look in the police report, see affidavit, there were quite a few people involved. And it's not even alleged that my client --
ROESGEN: Well, now, Roger, actually, Roger, the -- Donchak, the third boy who's only charged with aggravated assault, he has gone on the record. He says that that's what your client said.
LAGUNA: That my client said --
ROESGEN: Get your Mexican boyfriend out of here.
LAGUNA: Well, obviously, I wasn't there and I haven't heard what Mr. Donchak said. But...
ROESGEN: OK. Listen, let me ask --
LAGUNA: ...all I can respond to what you're telling me.
ROESGEN: Let me ask you something else, Roger. You said there that the racial slurs went both ways. If that's true, what kind of racial slur are you alleging that the victim said to your client and the other boys?
LAGUNA: Well, a lot of what was said was obscene, very obscene taunts.
ROESGEN: By whom?
LAGUNA: Well, by the victim, Mr. -- by the victim.
ROESGEN: The one who was kicked and beaten and left on the ground, right? Right. Let's pick up Gladys Limon here. Gladys, you represent the Ramirez family and Roger Laguna says the harassment went both ways. Did your client or his girlfriend say anything to provoke these teenagers?
GLADYS LIMON, RAMIREZ FAMILY'S ATTORNEY: Hello. And, yes, before I answer your question, first, I want to clarify a couple things that were said. I believe you said I was the founder of MALDEF. I'm the staff attorney with MALDEF. Our organization has been around for 40 years, long before I was born.
And also there have been four teenagers who have been charged with -- you know, in this crime -- the death of Mr. Ramirez after he was brutally beaten by these youth while they yelled racial insults at him.
ROESGEN: Well, Gladys, you know, Roger says, look, it was just some drunken teenagers. There was no premeditation. There was no intent. Some drunk kids got into a fight. If that's all it was, why would you really pursue this as a hate crime? It could have been just that, right?
LIMON: I understand that the defense attorney obviously will attempt to dismiss this and try to just sort of brush it under the rug and say that it was just a street fight. But what we do know is that the witnesses state that there were racial insults yelled before and after the fight, and at the end sending a strong message to the Latino community in Shenandoah, specifically, "tell your Mexican friends to get out of Shenandoah or they will be lying next to him."
ROESGEN: Yes. How widespread, how many reports of these sort of hate crimes, violent or otherwise, do you see now going against Mexican immigrants there in Shenandoah? The town has only about 5,000, some economic hard times. Is this becoming now an issue?
LIMON: Well, we know that in the last several years, there have been racial tensions in that town. That -- this is not an isolated incident. It's not isolated to Shenandoah.
We've seen an increase of hate crimes against Latinos across the United Sates of 35 percent. Not just again immigrants but also against long-time U.S. citizens, multi-generational U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents and not just against Mexicans. We have reports of Cubans, Ecuadorians, Salvadorians.
Anybody and everybody who looks Latino in this country is currently -- can be a victim of these hate crimes that we believe are the results of the anti-immigrant rhetoric that's completely out of control. It's loaded. It's inflammatory.
ROESGEN: Well, Gladys, yes, I know there's a lot of this going on. We're talking specifically about this case. Roger Laguna, again the attorney for Colin Walsh, we know that this is going to go to trial. Your client says he's innocent.
Gladys Limon, you say that this has been going on and this was a hate crime as you represent the Ramirez family. We'll be watching this case very closely. And I thank you both for joining us tonight.
LIMON: Thank you.
LAGUNA: Thank you.
ROESGEN: Well, their words, your vote. Tough talk on the economy from Senators John McCain and Barack Obama. The candidates in their own words.
ROESGEN: We know both Senators McCain and Obama say that they've got the right answers for America's ailing economy, and people desperately want to hear those answers. You're going to hear from both candidates now in their own words starting with Senator Obama. And it begins with a question he got at a town meeting in Florida. It's their words and your vote.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you continue to pay for the stimulus money that we keep getting? You know, aren't we borrowing this money from China? Where is the money coming from? We're borrowing money. Everybody's excited about it but that money has to be repaid.
And if our country is headed to a Third World country right now because we're not making the appropriate changes, how do we look to continue to get the money to say, yes, we get the money but nobody's thinking about where is it coming from.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, that's a good question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody wants to spin it, but nobody's thinking how are we going to replace that money that we owe that country?
OBAMA: It's a good question. Let me just talk about fiscal policy. When George Bush took office, we had surplus. And our national debt was about $5 trillion. That's a lot of money but it was manageable. And it was being paid down because we were in surplus.
Since George Bush took office, we are now over $9 trillion in debt. So, you know the first 42 presidents over 200 years added up to about $5 trillion. George Bush by himself, number 43, almost doubled it. Which is why when these folks call themselves fiscal conservatives, it's just a lie. It's just not true. They haven't been conservative at all when it comes to managing the federal government budget.
Now, in fairness, some of that had to do with 9/11. And the fact that that was a big blow to the economy and we had to go after the Taliban in Afghanistan. Iraq, though, was unnecessary and ended up -- has cost us -- it will have cost us well over a trillion dollars.
Not only that, but Bush cut taxes not only for ordinary people but for the wealthy at the same time as we were going into war. Never been done before. We've never cut taxes, particularly for the wealthy, at a time when we were at war.
So, you combine all of those things and it's made for a fiscal disaster. And we've got to -- we're in a hole now financially. We're going to have to dig ourselves out.
Now, the reason that it may make sense, and I believe it does make sense -- the first stimulus package made sense and I think a second stimulus package makes sense, is that if the economy goes into a complete tailspin, what happens is, so many jobs are lost, sales on businesses dropped so much that you actually start losing so much tax revenue that you get deeper into the hole.
So, if we can prime the pump a little bit, just to keep the economy from going down real far. The net, you end up probably better off that you would if you did nothing.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Senator Obama says he'll only raise taxes on the rich. But in the Senate, he voted for tax hikes that would have impacted those making just $32,000 a year. He's proposed tax increases on income taxes, capital gains taxes, dividends taxes, pretty much anything you can tax, he wants to tax more.
My friends, on social security, he wants to raise social security taxes. My position, and I am opposed to raising taxes, including social security taxes. Have no doubt about my opposition.
You know, and that's a debate we should have openly in good faith. I hope I can convince Senator Obama that it's not a good idea to raise taxes on American families who are hurting today, and we all know they're hurting today.
Raises taxes in a bad economy is about the worst thing, the worst thing you could do because that would kill more jobs than we are already losing. We are already losing too many.
I'm going to keep current tax rates low and not -- and cut others and not because I want to make the rich richer but because it keeps jobs in America and it creates new ones.
Senator Obama says that he wants energy independence. But he's opposed to new drilling at home. He's opposed to nuclear power. He's opposed to an innovation prize for electric cars. My friends, we must begin immediately in drilling off shore so we can get some of the oil that's off our own coast. We have to begin that drilling and Senator Obama opposes it.
He said that the high cost of gasoline doesn't bother him only that it rose too quickly. Yesterday, he suggested we put air in our tires to save on gas. My friends, let's do that. But do you think that's enough to break our dependence on Middle Eastern oil? I don't think so.
So, I believe, I believe that every energy source needs to be part of the solution. We need to develop new alternative energies like winds, solar, tide, biofuels. We also need to develop more existing energies like nuclear power and clean coal. Nuclear power is safe. Clean coal technology is vital.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROESGEN: And as you know, the energy crisis is part of issue number one, the economy. It's your money, your votes, and who do you trust when it comes to your wallet.
A new CNN opinion research survey gives the edge to Barack Obama on the big issues -- jobs, the economy, gas prices and taxes. John McCain was not as strong in any of those categories, but his strongest showing was in Texas. 45 percent say he would handle that issue the best. And remember, for the very latest on the presidential race, you can log on to our Web site, cnnpolitics.com. 24/7. It is the most politics on the Web
HIV and AIDS. The two go hand in hand, right? Well, wait until you hear why some patients have decided they don't need to take their prescription medicine anymore to treat the virus.
ROESGEN: You're looking at protesters lining the streets with their bodies in Mexico City. They're trying to draw attention to the continuing number of AIDS-related death. Mexico City is hosting the 17th Annual International AIDS Conference and this year's theme is universal action now.
A lot of those protesters are trying to get prevention. Another group is questioning the disease and offering alternative treatment. One man even says that he is symptom-free because of an alternative treatment. Here's CNN's Harris Whitbeck in Mexico City.
HARRIS WHITBECK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Martin Canales looks and feels the pictures of health. He's running an easy five- kilometer jog in the morning after having celebrated his teenage son's birthday. Six years ago, he was told this would never be possible.
MARTIN CANALES, DIAGNOSED WITH HIV (through translator): Three doctors. Yes, three doctors told me that they were very sorry and suggested that I should get my affairs in order so as not to leave my family burdened with problems.
WHITBECK: Martin had tested positive for HIV. He'd gone to the doctors because of a cold that would never go away. His viral load was so high, he was immediately put on a regimen of powerful HIV medications.
CANALES (through translator): The doctor ordered me to buy all this medication and he threatened me with death. He told me I'd be taking two months off my life for every pill I neglected to take.
WHITBECK: Martin was on the medication for a year. He says he got sicker and sicker. But he says he never quite bought the idea he was infected with the AIDS virus. No risky behavior, no blood transfusion, nothing in his past, he says, to explain his infection.
So he decided to go off the medications after reading about an organization called Monarcas, a group of people who believe HIV does not cause AIDS, and it can be cured and even eradicated by natural methods. Five years after going off the medication, Martin says he's never felt better.
But others feel very differently about AIDS and its treatment. Silvia Carmona rarely visits the crypt where the ashes of her friend Arian (ph) Gomez are interred. She says it's too hard. They became friends when they joined the same support group for people living with AIDS.
Five years after Arian's death, she's still angry with them. He, too, had decided to go off his medication and was dead within six months. Silvia says groups that deny the benefit of medical therapies for AIDS are irresponsible.
SILVIA CARMONA, HIV-INFECTED AIDS ACTIVIST (through translator): They are lying and what they propose doesn't work. They are responsible for mass murder because people believe what they say.
WHITBECK: She says 30 people in her support group died after having gone off their medication.
(on camera): Mexican health officials agree. A little over a year ago, they threatened legal action against Monarcas, saying the group posed a public health risk by stating that HIV doesn't cause AIDS and that medicines don't work.
(voice-over): Silvia says medication is her lifeline. She's been positive for 15 years and started taking a drug cocktail four years ago.
CARMONA: This is what keeps me and my husband alive. I wouldn't be here talking about this if it weren't for this.
WHITBECK (voice-over): She's now pressuring the government to make AIDS medications cheaper and more accessible in Mexico. Martin Canales isn't interested. He says HIV is no longer a part of his life.
Harris Whitbeck, CNN, Mexico City.
ROESGEN: Well, in Beijing, it's five days and counting now. Olympic athletes are heading to Beijing. They're getting there and they are going for the gold. You'll go with them next.
ROESGEN: Well, you know the Olympic Games are close when the athletes are on their way. This is Team USA saying goodbye at the San Francisco airport on Saturday. They're heading to Beijing, which is a 13-hour flight away. Hope there are enough seats in first-class.
Then, here is their destination. This is the airport coming up in Beijing. Athletes all over the world have been arriving there. National teams representing Croatia, South Korea, Australia and the Netherlands are already there. And the opening ceremonies are Friday.
You can follow all the Olympic action on cnn.com in a special section we call the "Fan Zone." You'll have all of CNN's global resources right at your computer. Go to cnn.com/fanzone.
And this isn't exactly an Olympic competition but competitors from 22 countries travel to Orlando for the world yo-yo contest. Some fancy spin work. Several different divisions that they take very seriously -- the one-handed string trick division, the two-handed looping division, things that every 8-year-old child can do better than you.
We are keeping a close eye on Edouard, the tropical storm closing in on Texas. We'll have the latest update.
ROESGEN: We're watching a rapidly developing storm in the Gulf of Mexico tonight. And CNN's meteorologist Jacqui Jeras is here.
Jacqui, you said you'd have a late update. Do you have it yet on Edouard?
JERAS: Yes, and just a few minutes early before the 11:00 hour. It's about 80 miles now south of the coastline but it's going to be moving parallel to the Louisiana coast throughout the day tomorrow. Those maximum sustained winds, same as the 8:00 advisory, so still at 50 miles per hour but additional strengthening can be expected tomorrow.
Another change here that I want to mention for you, the tropical storm watch, which was in effect for the Texas coastline, has now changed and been upgraded to a hurricane watch showing more confidence in that strengthening down the line -- Susan
ROESGEN: OK. We'll keep watching it. Thank you, Jacqui.
I'm Susan Roesgen. Thanks for joining us. Rick Sanchez will be back next week.