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When Will the Economy be Right Again?; Church Shooting; Saving Homes

Aired March 8, 2009 - 18:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight -- a reality check from the president on when or if you ever get back to work or when you'll have money again.

One iReporter wants to hear from the president. Things are so bad she is living in a closet and still can't make the rent.

A pastor gunned down on a pulpit right in front of worshippers. Why did this happen?

And a warning to Rihanna from Oprah -- this is a quote -- "He's going to hit you again."

All that and more -- right now.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Don Lemon.

We start tonight with deadly gunfire in a house of worship in Illinois. A pastor was gunned down in cold blood. We will get to that story in just a moment. But, first, we want to tell you about the question that everyone is raising here. How did all of this happen?

Fred Winters seen here on the church's Web site. He had been a senior pastor at the church of First Baptist Church of Maryville for more than 20 years. Maryville is near St. Louis. A lot of this information is just coming into us at the top of this newscast. We want to get you the very latest.

It was a Sunday service that ended with a very sad beginning. The alleged gunman walked down the aisle, to the pulpit, and police say some words were exchanged between him and the pastor, and then, Winters was shot -- that's the pastor -- three times by a .45-caliber handgun. This tragedy left church members shocked and shaken.


CLAUDIA BOHLEY, CHURCH MEMBER: I ran in to see if I could help, and I've seen all this paper stuff up on the pulpit. And later, I found out they said the bullet hit the pastor's Bible, and it just was like confetti, it just went everywhere. People are -- they were down on their knees and on the floor screaming and praying. It was just a terrible thing -- just terrible.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: It is a terrible thing. This information, a lot of it we are just getting, just coming in to the CNN NEWSROOM. Police say they don't know what relationship, if any, the alleged gunman had with pastor or if he was a member of that church. The man also produced a knife and ended up with a serious stab wound.

Two parishioners were slightly wounded as they subdued that man. The suspect is now in custody. Police are questioning him to try to figure out exactly what is going on.

Here's the other question that's on everyone's mind tonight: When will the economy turn around and how much more pain can any of us endure with all of this?

Millions had their savings evaporate in the stock market. But optimists say that when the markets open tomorrow, there's never been a better time for bargains. But with that unemployment rate nearly topping 8 percent, millions are saying, forget saving, I just want a job.

Let's talk impact now. Elaine Quijano and our senior political analyst are both in Washington tonight. Poppy Harlow of is standing by in New York. We will start with Elaine Quijano.

Elaine, lots of back-and-forth today over pork barrel spending. What's going on?

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, it's so interesting that the economic times, Don, as you know, are so tough that President Obama has issued a kind of "tough love" call for personal responsibility. But even as he's done so, his administration is facing mounting criticism for this massive $410 billion spending package that is full of billions of dollars in earmarks.

Now, today, his budget chief argued that pork would not happen in the future. Basically, he made the case that this bill was left over from the previous administration. Here he is, Peter Orszag, on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION WITH JOHN KING."


PETER ORSZAG, WHITE HOUSE BUDGET DIRECTOR: It's like we are stepping in in the ninth inning. You can't just redo the whole game.

JOHN KING, HOST, "STATE OF THE UNION": Sometimes, the pitcher comes in in the ninth inning and changes the game -- changes the game.

ORSZAG: We -- but you can't, you know, change the rules of the game and go back to the earlier --

KING: You can change the dynamics, though, Peter, you can.


QUIJANO: Now, Republicans, though, are rejecting that. They note that President Obama is someone who campaigned on the idea of transparency. And he vowed that earmarks would not happen on his watch. Today, on that same show, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor basically said there's no way that anyone could take what Mr. Orszag said with any amount of credibility. He said, people are expecting this administration to live up to the promises that it made.

So, the bottom line here, Don, is that the administration is basically saying -- look, we are ready to move on. We understand that people obviously are scratching their heads over this. They are not happy about it. But, they say, this will not happen in the future -- Don?

LEMON: All right, Elaine, thank you very much for that.

Republicans are sensing a political advantage in the earmarks debate. And they have plenty of examples to stoke public anger. The president insists he will sign the spending bill which includes more than $1 million for a pig odor research, $819,000 for catfish genetics research in Alabama, and $190,000 for the Buffalo Bill Historic Center in Wyoming. There's also $238,000 for a deep sea voyaging program in Hawaii, and another $209,000 for blueberry production in Georgia.

Bill Schneider is our senior political analyst. And when you read all of those things, there's plenty of ammunition here for the Republicans and everybody else.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, that's true, because not all the critics are Republicans. We've heard some criticism from Democrats and we've heard some defense of these kinds of projects from Democrats as well. There's really two parts of this debate. It's Democrats or Republicans debating, but it's also the president versus Congress, because a lot of these projects have been put in by members of Congress.

The White House is correct. This bill was first devised last year before Obama became president by the preceding Congress. Some of these earmark projects that are in this measure were put in by members who have since died. Some of them were defeated; some of them retired. At least one of them has been indicted. But the earmarks are still there.

The White House and the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, claimed that the earmark spending is a lot less than it was before. She said it was reduced by 50 percent. The White House said that this is only 1 percent of a very big spending bill.

They want to move on. And they argued that they will move on to what they promised, which is to reform earmark spending, to slash the amount of money being spent, and to make it more transparent. And the White House says they're on their way to doing that.

But vetoing this bill would be a big step that could shut down the federal government.

LEMON: Let's talk about next week, and specifically tomorrow. There is some news about stem cell research and a stem cell bill.

SCHNEIDER: Yes, that's a very important measure. The president, we have known for some time, is likely to reverse the Bush administration's very early decision in the summer of 2001 to ban federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. That reversal -- that new executive order will be issued tomorrow.

A lot of scientists welcome this because they say that embryonic stem cell research has the potential to be a lot more productive. It has a lot of public support. The interesting question is: Why about did the White House wait until now? A lot of people suspect that this move is political, really, because the bad economic news is coming out and the White House thought this might be the time to do something that is very popular.

LEMON: All right, Bill, thank you very much for that.

Let's get back to the economy now and take a quick look behind the people in those numbers. African-Americans are taking the hit hardest here, more than 13 percent are unemployed, almost 11 percent of Hispanics unemployed as well, and more than 7 percent of whites, and the rate for Asians is 6.9 percent. Looking at it by age, 8 percent of adult men are unemployed and 6.7 percent of adult women. More than 21.6 percent of teenagers are out of work.

Poppy Harlow with joins us now from New York.

Poppy, the numbers are striking. And there are some industries that are hit much harder than others.

POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM: Yes, you know, Don, the February numbers that we got on Friday, total unemployment, 651,000 people lost their job in that month alone, but the same sectors are being hit month after month after month. Folks, we're talking about manufacturing and construction jobs.

Take a look at those numbers. One hundred sixty-eight thousand people that work in the manufacturing sector lost their job in February. Construction: 104,000 job losses. The retail sector as well. Obviously, people are not shopping. That means fewer and fewer jobs out there, 40,000 job losses there.

And, Don, what's interesting, especially when you look at manufacturing and construction is these are very, very -- pretty much considered to be well-paying jobs on average. So, it's sort of like a double whammy there, and also it's the middle of this country that's being hard hit month after month after month. And it's not just these manufacturing jobs in terms of automakers, it's across-the-board. It's Caterpillar ...

LEMON: Right.

HARLOW: ... heavy machinery makers. It's across-the-board, Don.

LEMON: And, Poppy, there are some economic reports that are supposed to hit next week.


LEMON: We get those jobless numbers on occasion. What do we expect next week?

HARLOW: Yes, Thursday and Friday, folks, those are the days you are going to want to look out for. We have two major reports coming on Thursday. One is a retail sales report. You can expect that to be just dismal. It is the February numbers.

We got the chain store numbers last week. And that gives us an indicator of just how grim this reading could be. Of course, Wal-Mart is the standout, the only one that seems to be doing well.

Also, Thursday morning, before the market opens, and this will move the market -- the weekly jobless claims. Until we see some sort of deceleration in those, you can expect the market to react negatively.

And also, on Friday, the consumer sentiment reading from March. This comes from the University of Michigan. And what we saw in February, Don, for consumer sentiment, we say it all the time, the market moves on how people feel. What they're saying is we could see the lowest reading since 1981 in terms of just how people feel about the economy.

That's all coming up a little bit later this week.

LEMON: All right, Poppy, thank you very much. We appreciate it.

HARLOW: You're welcome.

LEMON: Money, politics and everything else, it is the best "STATE OF THE UNION" -- best of "STATE OF THE UNION WITH JOHN KING" tonight. 8:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

Chris Brown and Rihanna, word is they're back together again. But many people, including Oprah, are wondering why. We'll hear what she has to say and what she doesn't hold back here. You won't believe it.

Plus, we'll have this --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Most of my life is now in this closet. Pretty much everything I own is here now. As you can see, it's not terribly big, but it's not the worst place in the world you could be.


LEMON: You heard her -- living in a closet. A CNN iReporter downsizes as much as she can and still has trouble making the rent. Could you live in a closet?

We want to know what's on your mind tonight. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, -- tell us what you're thinking. Your responses, we'll get on.


LEMON: All right. This is a story that people just keep talking about and some are saying it won't go away and they wish it would. Chris Brown and Rihanna -- that drama has become fodder for an upcoming "Oprah Winfrey Show." She's going to devote an hour to the issue on domestic violence against young women. She spoke out about the situation on Friday.



OPRAH WINFREY, TV TALK SHOW HOST: Chris Brown and Rihanna, if I were your friend, I would call you up and I would say, give it some time, get yourself some counseling.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Both of you, yes.

WINFREY: Take care of yourself. Heal yourself first.

And also, love doesn't hurt. I say, they'd been saying this to women for years -- love doesn't hurt. And if a man hits you once, he will hit you again.




WINFREY: He will hit you again. I don't care what his plea is. He will hit you again.


LEMON: So, by the time it gets to Oprah and she speaks out like that, you know it is more than water cooler. This story really has a lot of people talking, and talking about -- not only about reconciliation, but about what young women should do and women should do when it comes to abuse, spousal abuse, whoever may be abusing you or alleged to abuse you.

Chris Brown couldn't be happier about this reconciliation. Our Randi Kaye talks about that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you understand that, sir?


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Wearing a gray suit and showing little emotion, Chris Brown stood before a judge to hear his arraignment pushed back until April. The complaint against Brown charges the 19-year-old with assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and criminal threat. Both felonies are in an attack against his 21-year-old girlfriend, the singer Rihanna. The alleged attack happened the night before the Grammys, when the couple was riding in his Lamborghini. According to a detective sworn statement, Brown became enraged after Rihanna read a text message on his cell phone from a woman he had previous sexual relationship with. The affidavit says, Brown "took his right hand and shoved her head against the passenger window, punched her in the left eye, and continued to punch her in the face," causing "her mouth to fill with blood and blood to splatter all over her clothing."

The affidavit says Brown then told her, "I'm going to beat the blank out of you when we get home! You wait and see! Now, I'm really going to kill you."

This photograph obtained from the gossip and entertainment Web site, TMZ, shows the victim's battered face.


KAYE: Young, rich, and immensely popular, the pair are known as the "Prince and Princess of R&B."

TOURE, ACCESS HOLLYWOOD: He's the boy who you could bring home to mom. You know, at least he seemed so before all of this. She's become this top R&B sort of icon, definitely one of the top young female singers around. Chris and Rihanna together was like too good to be true at first. It was like -- this has got to be a publicist dream to put these two together.

KAYE: That clean-cut image landed Brown several endorsements, including one with Wrigley, but the company has since suspended him as a pitch man.

TOURE: You know, that just murders your image. And for a guy who had this really clean cut sort of image, this just s a cloud like this over his head. It's just devastating.

KAYE (on camera): Devastating, but it hasn't divided the pair, and that's what is so stunning. Weeks after the attack, the two are reported to have reconciled. A source tells "People" magazine, while Chris is reflective and saddened about what happened, he is really happy to be with the woman he loves.

(voice-over): Back together -- shocking to some, but not to everyone.

LISA BLOOM, HOST, "LISA BLOOM: OPEN COURT": I used to work in a battered women shelter, and two out of the three women ended up returning to their abusers. It's a very difficult sociological phenomenon that domestic violence survivors typically do go back.

KAYE: If convicted, Brown faces up to four years and eight months in prison.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


LEMON: The latest on Rihanna and Chris Brown saga. Let's talk now about news that affects you. Facing foreclosure, even though she's not a homeowner.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was in a situation of no fault of my own. I'm a single mom with three boys. I'm just trying to raise my three kids.


LEMON: Families becoming homeless and their landlords are to blame. No one is immune to this housing crisis. You want to stay tuned.


LEMON: We have a developing story to tell about you. It's from Massachusetts this hour. An Amtrak train carrying 109 passengers and five crew members has derailed near Russell. That's not far from Springfield.

Here's what we are being told: There are no injuries, and all of the cars are upright. The train, which included two locomotives and four cars, was traveling from Boston to Albany. The passengers are being bussed to Springfield. The accident, of course, is under investigation now. If we get new information, we'll bring it to you in this broadcast.

Forty-four years ago, hundreds marched across the Edmond Pettus Bridge from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery. Now, the march is known as "Bloody Sunday," and the event ultimately caused lawmakers to pass the Voting Rights Act, which opened southern polling places to blacks.

Well, today, on the anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," Attorney General Eric Holder and a few hundred others made the 50-mile journey across that bridge.

Here's Attorney General Eric Holder.


ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Our unfinished work cannot be completed by the government or by the courts alone. To fulfill our nation's promise of equal opportunity, all of us -- parents, teachers, business leaders and community members -- must answer the call and take responsibility for ourselves, for our choices, and for the futures of our families, our communities, and our country.


LEMON: Peggy Wallace Kennedy, daughter of the segregationist Alabama governor of the 1960s, George Wallace, introduced Holder at today's ceremony. Wallace later apologized for his segregationist views.

Big storms are moving across the Midwest tonight. It was a busy day yesterday. And you know what? That could mean big travel headaches tomorrow, the start of the workweek. Jacqui, we thought we'd get some good news, but I guess not.

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Not so much today, Don. Atlanta has been, you know, rather beautiful. But we've had really rough weather all afternoon long. And this is going to be ongoing into the evening.

In fact, I was just glancing back at my map. You've got to love automatic updating systems, because we just got a brand-new severe thunderstorm watch that you can see includes central parts of Ohio, including you in the Columbus area and up towards Cleveland.

The big thing that we've been concerned about has been tornadoes. We've had a number of reports, including damage in some areas. The spot that we're most concerned about right here, this is in northwestern Ohio. This is for Defiance and Paulding counties.

Storm trackers as well as Doppler radar indicating a tornado near the Sherwood area and it's ripping off to the east very, very quickly. The storm has a history of producing funnel clouds as it moves through the Fort Wayne area and no damage with that one just yet. But we'll continue to track that one.

Also, just a few minutes ago, a tornado warning expired for Ripley County in Indiana. And now, that storm is moving towards Cincinnati. It's still severe, but no rotation at this time.

So, Cincinnati, watch out. You are going to get clocked pretty good with winds 70 miles per hour. And that can cause a very significant damage as well. So, stay inside. And if those warnings go up, you want to get down to the basement.

OK. Louisville, Kentucky. You guys are under a tornado watch right now. There you can see a little bit of sunshine, unstable condition, the watch in effect until 8:00 o'clock local time. Real breezy though in downtown Louisville. Wind gusts up to 33 miles per hour.

Rainfall has been pretty heavy along with the severe weather. We'll watch this continue to push eastward through tonight. It's going to make its way into the northeast late tonight and through tomorrow. We've had record rainfall across the Great Lakes -- Chicago 1.66 inches and you've got a lot of problems at the airport from those rains and low clouds. More than 2 1/2 hours at this time out of O'Hare.

We'll see those airport delays in the northeast corner, especially in the morning hours tomorrow. But I think by late day, that front is going to be out of there. You'll see improving conditions. So, the later you fly actually might be the better off you'll be tomorrow.

And our next system moves into the plains. So, watch out north of Dallas, Oklahoma City, and just south of Kansas City for another day of severe weather -- Don?

LEMON: Jacqui, and here, what is it, like 70-something degrees outside?

JERAS: Yes, like 74. You can't complain. You got to love it. I know.

LEMON: We are inside. I know.

JERAS: It's lovely.

LEMON: We'll get out after the show. Take a little walk. We'll go and get some coffee. Want to go?

JERAS: I'm in. Yes.

LEMON: All right. Thank you, Jacqui.

All right. Let's get some of your feedback now. It's always important on this broadcast.

Here's what Mw_photo says, "Why does it take a celebrity couple for people to care about this issue?" We're talking about spousal abuse or domestic abuse. "How many of us see violence every day and do nothing?"

But I do have to say to you, if it brings the issue to the forefront, we should talk about it. It could help a lot of people.

Here's what Gemini90 says, "I agree with Oprah. Once an abuser, always an abuser." Marcus says, "I think it's safe to say that we all second Oprah's comments and opinions." And ZBashir says, "I don't understand why Rihanna would do that to herself. I agree with Oprah, 'love does not hurt.'"

Twitter, Facebook, MySpace,, we'll get you on the air if you send your comments.

Meantime, top army brass are sharing their feelings and their experiences with post-traumatic stress in an effort to help other soldiers. We'll tell you about that.

Plus, renters are paying the price for their landlord's mistakes. Homeless through no fault of their own.


LEMON: OK. So maybe -- not really maybe -- you probably need a break from all the negative economic news. One man found a way to get away from it all at the bottom of the sea. Gary Tuchman dives into the story on the "Edge of Discovery."


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Astronaut or aquanaut. The concept of flying under water sounds crazy, right? But not to Engineer Graham Hawkes, who gave the submarine wings. Yes, wings.

GRAHAM HAWKES, HAWKES OCEAN TECHNOLOGIES: We just had to tear up everything we knew about submersibles and start again, on wing subs, underwater flying machines. The machines we built move under water should move like airplanes, not submarines. Airplanes don't look like balloons.

TUCHMAN: Hawkes says these so-called "underwater submersibles" are designed to be more agile than any creature living in the ocean, well, except for maybe dolphins. He's been building these crafts for over a decade.

HAWKES: We are the first to fly with big sharks. And it's a hell of a reward. I can tell you that.

TUCHMAN: But Hawkes isn't keeping all the fun for himself. You, too, may someday fly under water. He's now building submersibles for adventurers and private companies.

HAWKES: Do you want to stalk a shark? Do you want to go Great White and go woo-hoo? Do you want to do a barrel roll with a whale? Shall we go find some new territory humans have never seen before?

Now, on land, that's incredibly difficult. Under water, anywhere.

TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN.


LEMON: Beautiful pictures on the "Edge of Discovery" there.

She is subletting a sublet.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Most of my life is now in this closet. Pretty much everything I own is here now. As you can see, it's not terribly big, but it's not the worst place in the world you could be.


LEMON: So, New Yorkers are probably looking at this going -- well, you know, I live in a small apartment. This one is much smaller. We are going to take you inside of it. A CNN iReporter living in a space the size of a closet, and wait until you see the closet and what happened, and how she got there.

Also, it's a sign ...


DON LEMON, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: As a sign of the times, you have heard people downsizing their living space. But could you live in a closet? Really? Check out this iReport we just received from Maria Zambrana in Los Angeles.


MARIA ZAMBRANA, CNN IREPORTER: Most of my life is in this closet. Everything I own is here now. As you can see, it's want terribly big, but it's not the worst place in the world you could be.


LEMON: Zambrana is a military veteran and with ten years work experience as a civilian. The 38-year-old woman said she's been out of a job for two years, she's taken on roommates in her tiny apartment and taking only a walk-in closet for herself. Zambrana says she's worried she won't be able to pay next month's rent.

She joins us now by telephone to tell us about these drastic living arrangements.

How did you get to this point?

ZAMBRANA: That's a good question. Actually, you made an error. This isn't my apartment. I have been subletting here for several years.

LEMON: It says your apartment because you live there. That's why we're saying that. But go ahead. I'm glad you made the distinction. Go ahead.

ZAMBRANA: But no, it's not in my name. I got out of the military and I moved to Los Angeles in 2004 and things looked pretty good. I got some work and I was doing pretty well until a couple years ago.

LEMON: So you're in a sublet, as you said, not in your name. If you are in a sublet, it's your apartment. You're living there. I know you don't own it. So if you're there and you decide to sublet it to other people, how many roommates do you have? Just one?

ZAMBRAMA: Actually, my roommate sublet the other room and the room sharing their office equipment.

LEMON: So you are really living in a closet. You said you still can't make the rent at this point?

ZAMBRANA: No, no. At this point I do not have enough money for next month's rent. I don't know how my roommates feel about that at this point. I haven't really talked to them on it.

LEMON: Uncomfortable living arrangements?

ZAMBRANA: No. Actually, pretty comfortable, surprisingly. I finally warmed up enough here in L.A. I was sleeping in the closet because it was so cold. And now I'm out and half the main room in the bed, so that's a real improvement.

LEMON: Have you learned something from this that maybe you can downsize your life, even though it's bad and everyone would love to have enough money to be able to do what they want and not to have to share a small space, but is there a lesson in it for you and for people who are watching?

ZAMBRANA: Take what you have and enjoy it because it is usually better than what somebody else might have.

LEMON: Yeah. And we saw yesterday and all this week about the number of tent cities of people popping up becoming homeless in this economy. Do you have any bites on jobs?

ZAMBRANA: What happens is I will put out a lot of resumes through various websites for job searches and I have only had like maybe one out of every 20 respond to it and say no thank you. Couple weeks ago I had someone say well, this is a $10 an hour job and your last paycheck was $16.50 an hour so we can't give it to you.

LEMON: I've got to run though. Do you find other people in similar situations as you?

ZAMBRANA: Oh, yeah. Happy birthday, by the way.

LEMON: Thank you very much for that. Listen, I wish you the very best. Keep in touch because I want to share with our viewers what happens to you. Maria Zambrana, thank you.

That's a sign of the times. That's what's happening in this country right now. When you have searched everywhere for a job without success, sometimes the only place left to look is up.


DAWN WILSON, UNEMPLOYED? I have been, you downsizing my credit cards. They are pretty much still maxed right now. I'm worried about how am I going to pay for those. I pray a lot. When I'm scared, just to give me the courage to go on.


LEMON: Lot of praying going on in this country, really around the world with this global economic crisis. Dawn Wilson is one of the countless people who lost a good paying job in the banking industry. Now finding a new job means attending job fairs and at the end of every fruitless day turning to a higher power for the strength not to give up.

Well, hope can be the best really in the situation hope and prayer, because it's really a scary time right now. There he is, Gregory Dickow, the pastor of Life Changes International in Chicago. His church has made a mission out of helping people find work.

How are you doing?


LEMON: It's good to see you.

DICKOW: Thanks, so much, Don. You too.

LEMON: It seems like in this time more and more churches and organizations that did not have these kind of services are turning to helping people. The need is so great that you saw fit to do it even more so in your church. Tell me what you are doing.

DICKOW: You know, Don, like you said, hope is in great demand right now. We are providing hope in both the spiritual and a practical way. There has to be a combination of the two. You have to have the spiritual. You have to have the natural as well, so we basically are taking a three-prong attack to this thing. Number one, prayer, obviously prayer and trusting God, and then, number two, we have set up an economic recovery system, an economic recovery program where not only are we inviting people to come to our church, members, nonmembers come and receive prayer, come and receive encouragement, but also come and receive a list -- we have a list of jobs that we are putting together continually.

LEMON: And not to cut you off here, but we are seeing that from a lot of churches. Was it your idea? Did you say, you know what, I see a need here? We have to help. Or did people come to you and say, Pastor, I'm at my wit's end, I don't know what to do and you decided to help. Is it both?

DICKOW: I think a combination of both. I felt inspired. I began to see we can't just teach people. We can't just give them false hope and encouragement. We have got to give them something practical. I said let's put in our bulletin a list of all the jobs that we can find that are available and begin to match people up with job skills, with their jobs, give them the practical tools they need, put people together. What we have seen is when people come with the need, we set them up and we give them a list and we begin to pray and begin to make that a point.

LEMON: Can I stop you right there. When you say with a need, what's the greatest need among your parishioners, or among your people who attend your congregation?

DICKOW: I think the greatest need is confidence. I think what we have seen in the news, what we have seen going on. It's robbing people of confidence, all the negative things that are going on. We have got to repair that confidence, and I think confidence in there is a god that loves us. There is a god that cares. There is a god that cares about people's jobs, people's financial situation. God is a full-rounded god of hope that wants to give people practical tools, not just spiritual hope to really solve their problems.

LEMON: I appreciate what you are saying. I'm going to, if we can, I've I'm going to go on a little more than I wanted to because there's a lot of people interested. There's been a lot of prayer here.

I spoke with Bishop Eddie Long in the Atlanta area. I'm sure you know him.


LEMON: He had an altar call for people who were homeless or on the verge of becoming homeless in his church a couple weeks ago and was surprised by the number of people who came to the altar. Are you seeing that at your church and I know you travel around the country. Are you seeing in other places as well?

DICKOW: Absolutely. People are coming to the altar in tears. People are coming to the altar because there is a shift in where we have made of our priorities. People are finding that all the things they have trusted in, Don, whether it's their job, their business, other people coming through for them, the government, they are finding that all of those things that we have trusted in are crumbling and not being able to deliver, but God does deliver. So they are coming. We are praying and encouraging them, but we are seeing results, we are seeing people get jobs. In fact, in our church alone, we are not laying off anybody. We are hiring people. We are still looking for good people.

LEMON: Good. If you can hire people and you are in Illinois, in that area, should people send their information to you?

DICKOW: They certainly can. They can go to our website and they can send anything they want. Really what we are seeing is hope is being restored. There is good news. There is a god who cares.

LEMON: Would you even consider this? I'm wondering if pastors will as well. Will you get to the point where you have to open up your church and have your own sort of family shelters for people who have lost their homes?

DICKOW: There are a lot of great churches in other cities I'm sure around the country as well. I believe we are going to recover from this before that need arises.

LEMON: Let's hope. Let's pray.

DICKOW: If it does, we will certainly do whatever it takes.

LEMON: Pastor Gregory Dickow, Life Changers International Church in Chicago. They are hiring.

Seriously, you gave some great information. A lot of people, sometimes hope is the only thing you have.

DICKOW: That's right. You have to hang onto that.

LEMON: And God is good. Thanks so much, Don.

DICKOW: Thank you.

LEMON: Thank you. Good to see you.

DICKOW: Bye-bye.

LEMON: Here's what you are saying about all of these stories we are putting on the air.

This person, malignant -- I don't make up these names, that's the name -- "God is a number one, a number on everyone's life line. Unfortunately, that line is busy at the moment. Now what?"

I don't know if the life line to God is ever busy. But keep trying. Keep calling.

Aaagothic says, "God should always be the center of one's life. It is always difficult for nonbelievers. Once in Christ, it does not matter with him."

BigM says, "Nothing wrong with holding on to your faith in this tough time but people must drop their pride and truly humble themselves."

Twitter, Facebook, MySpace,, tell you what you're thinking. I really appreciate those responses, Especially with Pastor Dickow there. Tell me what you're thinking about that. We'll get them on the air.

A top Army brass sharing their feelings and experiences with posttraumatic stress. It is a rare and extraordinary step in this. And renters paying the price for their landlords' mistakes. Homeless, through no fault of their own. We'll update you on that.


LEMON: Thousands of U.S. troops will soon leave Iraq. The U.S. military announced 12,000 troops will be redeployed over the next six months and will not be replaced. President Barack Obama's plan is to withdraw most U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of August 2010. And this is believed to be the first official reduction announcement since he revealed that plan. Right now there are 142,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. 4,000 British troops will also be transferred from that country.

A time for hugs and a time for goodbyes. That is Canton, Georgia, where they bid farewell to its National Guard, that unit, this weekend. Those troops are going on a year-long deployment to Afghanistan. Family and friends came out for that ceremony.

David Burris, Bravo troops chaplain, well, he promised to watch over the soldiers as they deploy to Afghanistan.


DAVID BURRIS, BRAVO TROOP CHAPLAIN: I want you all to know that as a chaplain, as their pastor, as their shepherd, I will do my best to take care of these guys, pray for them every night. I may get those late calls when things aren't going right at home when they come, pray with them, talk to them, get them through the hard times that's going to come.


LEMON: They have a specific mission in Afghanistan, and that mission is to train Afghan military and police forces. They are among the recent surge of 30,000 troops ordered to Afghanistan by President Barack Obama, and our husband of our own associate producer bonnie gas is one of those troops. We wish all of them well to come home safe. We appreciate your service.

Stand at attention, salute, march -- Army generals usually bark orders. They don't talk about their feelings. Now, in an extremely rare step, two of the highest ranking officers in America are doing just that, hoping they can get their troops to open up about posttraumatic stress. Here's our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr.


GEN. CARTER HAM, IRAQ WAR VETERAN: 21st of December, 2004, worst day of my life. I cannot imagine how a day could be worse than that.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 22 people under Ham's command killed by a suicide bomber.

BRIG. GEN. GARY PATTON, IRAQ WAR VETERAN: Specialist Robert Unru (ph) took a gunshot wound to the torso. I was involved in medivacing him off the battlefield and in a short period of time he died before my eyes.

STARR: Two generals, Carter Ham and Gary Patton, now taking the extraordinary step of speaking out about their emotional trauma from the Iraq war, hoping it will help other troubled soldiers.

Ham says he's learned to copy with the memories of that suicide bomb attack, but it's been a tough road.

HAM: I was withdrawn. I was -- I wanted to still be there. I felt like what I was doing was not important because I had surgicals who were killed. It's not a matter of letting go. I don't want to let go.

STARR: For Patton, a brigade commander, the loss of 69 of his men over a year-long tour of duty still wakes him up at night, believing he is under attack.

PATTON: Of course there is no IEDs or rockets going off in my bedroom but the brain has a funny way of remembering those things. Not only recreating the exact sound but also the smell of the battlefield and metallic taste you feel in your mouth.

STARR: They both sought counseling, knowing the stigma many attach to mental health patterns.

Patton says learning to talk about the war helped him cope with depression, anger and grief.

PATTON: I think I'm a better general because I got some help.

STARR: But the pain may never go away.

HAM: At the end, when there were soldiers and civilians were killed, that's my responsibility.

STARR: Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.


LEMON: Facing foreclosure, even though she's not a homeowner.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MARIA STEPHENS, VICTIM OF FORECLOSURE: I was in a situation of no fault of my own. I'm a single mom with three boys. I'm just trying to raise my three kids.


LEMON: Families are becoming homeless because of their landlords problems. .


LEMON: Breaking weather news. Straight to Jacqui Jeras.

Jacqui, what do you have?

JACQUI JERAS: We've got a tornado warning on the south side of Cincinnati right now. This includes some suburbs like Florence and Independence and also includes the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport. This is a Doppler radar indicated tornado. It could touch down at any time, very near Interstate 75 moving east very quickly at 55 miles per hour. We'll continue to update and of course the airport under a ground stop so no traffic moving right now.

LEMON: Thank you very much, Jacqui. Keep us updated on that.

Right now, if you've got some bucks, you can get some bargains. That's what we're told. Hundreds of properties and homes are on the auction block in the Big Apple. Auction listings range from condos to duplexes, even family sized homes in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, typically big, expensive real estate markets.

But who's buying and why? And just how good are these deals? Next hour, CNN's Susan Candiotti joins us live with some play by play. She went to an auction in New York City and will tell us what she found out.

Also, you may be surprised to find out that more than one-third of those hit by foreclosure are not homeowners but tenants of landlords who don't pay the mortgage. The most prone renters are often those who can least afford it.

Here's CNN's Kate Bolduan.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Simply playing in a yard, Maria Stephens can call her own is a blessing.

STEPHENS: I was in a situation of no fault of my own. I'm a single mom with three boys. I'm just trying to raise my three kids.

BOLDUAN: Stephens was comfortably middle class making $80,000 a year when the housing crisis hit. She lost her job and ended up homeless living in a shelter with her sons for seven months.

STEPHENS: I promised my son, I promised him that I would do everything I could to get out of the shelter.

BOLDUAN: Stephens was a renter and was forced out of her home. Why? The lease dissolved because her landlord went into foreclosure leaving Stephens little notice or recourse.

(on camera): According to the national low income housing coalition about 40 percent of people facing eviction due to foreclosure don't even hold the mortgage. They're renters and often unwitting victims.

LINDA COUCH, NATINAL LOW INCOME HOUSING COALITION: People who have been paying rent on time, have been keeping up with their lease requirements, all of a sudden are served with foreclosure notices.

BOLDUAN (voice-over): Linda Couch says low-income renters are especially vulnerable because they don't have the money it takes to secure new housing in a pinch. Advocates like her want more protection for renters and more affordable housing options nationwide.

President Obama's 2010 budget proposal increases funding for the department of housing and urban development by $6 billion, puts $1 billion towards housing for the poorest families, and boosts funding for rental vouchers, measures Couch applauds but argues don't go far enough.

COUCH: If banks and new owners tomorrow were required to allow people to stay in those homes for 90 days through the term of their lease, we would see an immediate and dramatic impact on potentially millions of peoples' lives.

BOLDUAN: Maria Stephens is finally moving on with hers, renting another home but now saving a little more just in case.

STEPHENS: I can look back at this picture and say I might have been there but this is where I am now.

BOLDUAN: Kate Bolduan, CNN, Washington.


LEMON: How about this? You think you can't go on an exotic destination for a dollar? Think again. Now may be a perfect time to plan that special trip. You want to hear this.



LEMON: The first African-American super model opens up about breaking barriers. Remember this face? There it is -- Beverly Johnson. It was 1974 when she made history as the first African-American woman to grace the cover of "Vogue" magazine.


LEMON: You probably didn't know where it came from. It happened very quickly. Most models don't get on the cover of "Vogue" as quickly as you did.


LEMON: That was because of your chutzpah.

JOHNSON: Yes. Because the agency that I was with, this top agency, the owner said you'll never be on the cover. Who do you think you are? OK.


LEMON: She was determined to prove them wrong and she did, becoming one of the most successful models in history and 35 years later she's still going strong with her own TV show. More on my conversation with Beverly Johnson. It's one of our African-American firsts. And it is in the "NEWSROOM" next hour.

And the next hour of "CNN NEWSROOM" starts right now.