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CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS
Walter Cronkite Dead at 92; Former NBA Guard Runs Basketball Camp for the Deaf; Swarm of Yellowstone Quakes Has Experts Buzzing
Aired July 18, 2009 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everybody. From the CNN Center right here in Atlanta, this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING. It is July 18. Good morning, everybody. I'm Betty Nguyen.
T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning to you all. I'm T.J. Holmes. Six o'clock here where we see it; 5:00 a.m. in Austin, Texas; 3:00 a.m. in Thousand Oaks, California. Wherever you are, thanks for starting your day right here.
And really some sad news, help us all kind of just remember a guy who kind of led the way. No matter generation of broadcaster you are, you know this guy. Before we were ever the most trusted name in news, he was the most trusted man ...
NGUYEN: In America.
HOLMES: ...in America. Walter Cronkite dead at the age of 92. We're certainly looking back and talking about this legendary newsman.
NGUYEN: Yes, what an illustrious career.
Also, we're going to be talking about this: a lot of you looking for jobs, or at least know people who are. Check this out: City Center in Las Vegas under construction right there. They are creating 40,000 jobs, 12,000 still available. We'll get you information on all of that.
HOLMES: Did I just see you in a hardhat?
HOLMES: OK. I'm just...
NGUYEN: And work boots.
HOLMES: I just thought it was early and I wasn't seeing the video correctly.
Let's show some other video here. Just some beautiful pictures. These are live now, I'm being told. Where is that coming to us from? That's coming to us from space. Well, here it is. NASA, the -- you know, they're going -- this is their live feed we're looking at. But some pictures here from space. You see the shuttle Endeavor up there on a 16-day mission. We'll be checking in with them. A spacewalk expected today. Kind of crowded up there in space right now. We'll explain what's going on up there.
But again, Walter Cronkite is what we're going to start with this morning. Twenty-eight years it's been now since Cronkite left the CBS anchor desk. But his impact on news and on the role of a news anchor in America still with us to this day.,
NGUYEN: Yes, he did die last night in New York with his family by his side. He was 92 years old.
Our Anderson Cooper has more on a fascinating life.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): For so long, for so many of us, he was the most trusted man in America.
WALTER CRONKITE, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: And that's the way it is.
COOPER: Walter Cronkite covered in the world, and, in an age of fewer channels and fewer newscasts, he changed the world as well.
CRONKITE: Looking back on it, I think I was so lucky. I just happened to fall into the right things at the right time. And it worked beautifully.
COOPER: He was born Walter Leland Cronkite Jr. in 1916. He was a beat reporter and football announcer before joining United Press in 1939.
When the first troops stormed Normandy, Walter Cronkite was there.
CRONKITE: It was Dwight Eisenhower who told me, sitting on this very wall over here, on the 20th anniversary of D-Day, that he thinks of the grandchildren that these young kids will never have. And that's something for all of us to think about.
COOPER: When we think about Walter Cronkite -- and generations of broadcast journalists have and will continue to -- we think about his tenure at CBS, a company he joined in 1950.
Twelve years later, he became the anchor of "The CBS Evening News."
In that chair, in that role, he came to define what an anchor was. He told America the way it was.
Who can forget November 22, 1963? Cronkite reported and reacted to the horror in Dallas.
CRONKITE: From Dallas, Texas, the flash, apparently official, President Kennedy died at 1:00 p.m. Central Standard Time, 2:00 Eastern Standard Time, some 38 minutes ago. COOPER: In 1968, after returning from a trip to Vietnam, his conclusions may have helped alter the course of history.
CRONKITE: It seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate.
COOPER: The opinion reached President Johnson, who reportedly said, "If I have lost. Cronkite, I have lost Middle America."
BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS JOURNALIST: His approach to news was, when news happens, get as close to the story as you possibly can, and then tell people about it in language that they can understand.
Walter spoke like the average person. It wasn't all literary, flowery kind of language. People don't talk that way. And Walter didn't either.
COOPER: Walter, it seemed, was always there.
For the moon landing...
CRONKITE: Man on the moon. Oh, boy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
CRONKITE: Whew. Boy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, we're going to be busy for a minute.
COOPER: ... for Watergate, for the Mideast peace breakthrough.
He was humble and honest and straightforward, and never made himself the story. Even on a winter day in 1981, when he sat in the anchor chair for the last time.
CRONKITE: Old anchormen, you see, don't fade away. They just keep coming back for more.
And that's the way it is, Friday, March 6, 1981. I will be away on assignment. And Dan Rather will be sitting in here for the next few years.
COOPER: Good night, Mr. Cronkite. Good night, and Godspeed.
Anderson Cooper, CNN, New York.
NGUYEN: And that's the way it is. I loved how he said, 'I'm going to be away on assignment.'
HOLMES: Yes. NGUYEN: Dan Rather will be in this seat for a few years.
HOLMES: For a few years. I'll be back. Meaning he was...
NGUYEN: He was always working though.
HOLMES: Yes, he didn't go too far. He was away from the anchor desk, but he kept working, doing other things, finding other ways to do -- documentaries and whatnot.
HOLMES: But kept working. You never get away from it once you (INAUDIBLE).
NGUYEN: No, you just don't.
You know, and a lot of people this morning are recalling their Cronkite moments, when, you know, he told us what was going on in the world in that voice that was so uniquely Walter Cronkite.
HOLMES: Yes, and President Obama among those who are talking about Cronkite.
Here's what he told CBS last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He was the first to share the devastating news of John F. Kennedy's assassination, crystallizing the grief of a nation while fighting back tears of his own. He cheered with every American when we went to the moon, boldly exploring a new frontier. And he brought all those stories, large and small, which would come to define the 20th century.
That's why we loved Walter, because in an era before blogs and e- mail, cell phones and cable, he was the news.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Well, we are inviting to share your memories of Walter Cronkite with us. All you have you to do is go to our Facebook and Twitter pages. You can also go to our blog at cnn.com/tj, or cnn.com/betty.
HOLMES: All right.
This morning, a lot going on in Washington. A live look at the Capitol this morning. A lot of lawmakers there getting a little gun shy over the cost of health-care reform. The House leadership as well as the president wants legislation on health-care reform passed before the August break. A lot of people think that just is not going to happen.
Yesterday, an influential group of Senate moderates -- three Democrats, two Republicans and an independent -- issued a letter urging a slower timetable.
Also, let's turn to Tennessee now, where a man there is accused of selling the gun that killed former NFL quarterback Steve McNair. That man you see there -- well, he's now facing charges. His name is Adrian Gilliam. He's charged with having a firearm. He's not supposed to have one because he's a convicted felon.
Police say Gilliam sold a gun to McNair's mistress, who then used it to kill McNair and herself earlier this month.
Also, he's already one of Indonesia's most wanted men. Now, state-run media reports that Noordin Top may be linked to yesterday suicide bombing at a Jakarta hotel. Now, this man is from Malaysia and part of an Islamist terrorist group also suspected of attacking the same hotel back in 2003.
Yesterday's bombings killed six people. We'll have a live report from our Dan Rivers, who is in Jakarta. That's coming up in the next half hour -- Betty.
NGUYEN: All right. Now, we are going to take you to outer space, kind of sort of. Astronauts are having a spacewalk a little bit later today -- there you go. There are some pictures. And what they're trying to do is attach the third section of a space lab on the international space station.
Want to let you know, these are indeed live pictures. So, I did not lie, we are taking you straight to outer space.
NGUYEN: These is going to be quite an adventure today for these astronauts, Reynolds.
REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Amazing stuff.
What do you think, T.J., when you see this stuff?
HOLMES: It's a -- I was just saying, I was just up here screaming, 'Let's keep this picture up.' That is a gorgeous, gorgeous live picture we can get this morning. It's amazing we can get that kind of clarity on a picture that's coming to us from...
HOLMES: How far up is that, Reynolds?
WOLF: It -- it's more than a few miles. Let's just put it that way. And they're going a lot faster than -- than, you know, 55...
WOLF: ...in the HOV lane.
NGUYEN: Look at that.
WOLF: Yes. They are...
NGUYEN: Can you just imagine waking up to that view though?
WOLF: Yes. Yes. I mean, it would be -- it would be a cool thing. I mean, you know, I've got memories from back in college where you wake up, you know, after a football game or something, and you (INAUDIBLE) odd things.
WOLF: It's amazing where that line can go.
WOLF: But -- but seriously -- no, I mean, it is -- it is an amazing thing to see. And they're up there doing some serious work. I mean, we see this and we're just transfixed by these images.
WOLF: But it's hard work they're going to be doing up there, and I think noon time they've got something going on?
NGUYEN: Yes, a live spacewalk. We're going to be attaching that portion to the international space lab up there.
You know, there's a lot going on in space. And just to be able to capture these kind of pictures, it just shows you how amazing technology is these days.
WOLF: Absolutely fascinating. And -- and one thing that's great about them is, in the vacuum of space, they don't have to worry about things like thunderstorms or heat waves or anything like that.
NGUYEN: Thank goodness.
WOLF: Absolutely. The vacuum of space is fairly harsh, but certainly things have been pretty harsh down on the ground below.
Let's show you what's happening outside in Atlanta right now. We've got a few scattered clouds out there. It is going to be a spectacular day. And the reason why, we'll explain in a few moments. But high temperatures in Atlanta going up into the 80s, believe it or not. Nighttime lows back into the 60s. Unseasonably cool for this time of year.
Now, let's show you what's happening outside at this time. We're going to go right to the magic wall and give you an idea that we've got a frontal boundary that's been pushing down in parts of the Southeast. And what we have at this time, we see some raindrops that are forming right along parts of the Gulf Coast. Also, some along the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
That's just the faint line of your frontal boundary that's coming on through. When that boundary pushing farther to the south, the result is going to be an inflow of much cooler, drier air. And we're talking about 84 degrees for a high temperature in Atlanta on a day like today. That's normally what you'd get in October. So we're talking unseasonably cold weather.
Also in Chicago, 67 degrees; 77 in Kansas City; 73 in Minneapolis. Back into Denver, 82 degrees.
Now when you get back out to the desert Southwest, the cold air is long gone. We're looking at 115 degrees in Phoenix; 83 in Los Angeles. In Death Valley yesterday, 126 degrees.
Now let's talk about those nighttime lows. This is where it gets fun and interesting. Going to 56 degrees in Minneapolis; 58 in Chicago.
Guys, fast-forwarding into Monday morning, we might have temperatures into the 40s in the Twin Cities and Chicago. Here in Atlanta, possibly into the 50s. So let's enjoy it while we can, because we know we got the rest of August, September, even October we can right back in those high 90s, possibly near 100 before the year is out.
Let's send it right back to you.
NGUYEN: In the 40s? So that means folks are going to be busting out with the coats in summertime?
WOLF: Can you believe it? Oh, I know. It's going to be fantastic. I don't think we're going to hear too many complaints.
WOLF: So it's good news.
NGUYEN: A brief relief.
Can we get that NASA picture back...
HOLMES: Please, I was about to ask for it.
NGUYEN: ...just one more time?
WOLF: I know, I just need to shut up so we can look at this beautiful stuff.
NGUYEN: We have been watching this this morning, and it just simply fascinating.
WOLF: Isn't it awesome?
NGUYEN: And it just rolled just a minute ago.
HOLMES: This is this flip. And again, I -- I -- I'm no space correspondent here.
NGUYEN: We don't know the technical terms.
HOLMES: But I know they used to -- they did sometime to take a look at the underside of that -- of the shuttle, to check it for damage. I know they've been looking at the underside of it.
But it is -- this is a live picture. I'm just fascinated we could get this live picture. Sometimes we can't get live out of Atlanta this well.
NGUYEN: And the clarity on this.
HOLMES: Well, we're getting live from space. This is happening. It's doing this flip, this maneuver right now.
NGUYEN: Look at it. It's doing it right now ever so slowly. It just reminds you of just how magic things seem to be in space. And -- you know, and just how it just floats along so effortlessly. And -- look at that.
WOLF: Unbelievable. Just amazing.
HOLMES: Just fascinated by it. And a lot of -- the technical stuff we don't understand. But this is what the space program does to so many of us, it makes us kids and we get fascinated by this stuff. And it draws us all in, and it really sparks the imagination. And you know what? It just inspires us all when we see this stuff. So this is just wonderful to see.
WOLF: It never does get old, does it?
HOLMES: It really doesn't. All right. We're going to be talking about this a lot this morning.
HOLMES: I could sit and watch this picture all day.
NGUYEN: Well, and in fact, we're going to be showing you more today, too. Because there's going to be a spacewalk at noon Eastern. And so when that happens, we're going to try to bring you live pictures as well.
HOLMES: All right.
But coming up here, they can't speak, they can't hear. But these young people can play ball. Yes, and they're playing their hearts out on the court, and they're learning the game from that guy, a former NBA guard who can hear just fine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE GLENN, FORMER NBA GUARD: I felt as if I was a deaf kid, except that I could talk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: A deaf kid who could talk, and now for 30 years, Mike Glenn has organized a basketball camp for the deaf that doesn't cost the kids a thing.
You need to hear why he does what he does.
NGUYEN: And Walter Cronkite's greatest moments in his own words. You don't want to miss this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOICE OF BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: When Cronkite was on, in his years, at his height, in his heyday, he addressed the nation. When he said 'good evening,' it was tantamount to addressing the nation, not just anchoring the news.
We had three choices, three channels in this country. And you could almost feel the lights dim in New York when people tuned in to Cronkite's newscast.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: And that was "NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams last night on "LARRY KING LIVE" talking about the passing of Walter Cronkite.
You know, Cronkite died last night in his New York home with his family by his side. He was 92 years old. As you recall, he anchored "CBS Evening News" from 1962 to 1981, always signing off with, "And that's the way it is."
He brought us news, as you remember as well, from JFK's death, MLK assassination, the moon landing, the Iranian hostage situation -- so many stories. And today, he is being remembered.
We're looking right now at live pictures at the University of Texas at Austin. And this is significant because, as we look at the UT Tower, Walter Cronkite attended school there back in 1933. He spent a couple years there. Did not graduate, in fact, from the University of Texas at Austin because he became a full-time journalist. He went straight to work and was not able to graduate. But many of us Longhorns do consider him a Longhorn at heart.
And, of course, T.J., we are remembering today Walter Cronkite and just the impact he had on the nation.
HOLMES: Yes, of -- of course. And, you know, at 92, lived a long, a good life. You know, so -- so many times, people pass suddenly, and certainly people should be mourned, and there's to be some sadness. But you have to look back and really smile on the life he lived. He lived a long life surrounded by family there at the end.
So -- so really, a -- a day to remember and celebrate as well to mourn the passing of, like you said, one of your UT, one of your fellow Longhorns. I know how proud you all are of your -- your fellow Longhorns.
NGUYEN: And we were always so proud of Walter Cronkite. Even though, you know, people will say, 'Yes, but he didn't graduate; he didn't earn a degree from UT.' Look, as long as you've gone to UT, you are a Longhorn, and especially if you are Walter Cronkite.
HOLMES: Of course. All right. We'll certainly be looking back the rest of this morning.
But right now, I'll tell you about a former NBA guard who, for 30 years now, has been doing something you really won't find anywhere else in the country. He's teaching deaf kids how to play basketball and doesn't charge them a dime for it.
A lot of reasons why Mike Glenn's camp is special. I had to go check this one out for myself. And when you first step in, it looks like any other gym you've ever been to. But quickly you realize, something is different at this camp.
HOLMES (voice-over): A symphony of balls bouncing and shoes squeaking on a hardwood floor. Every basketball gym sounds the same.
Or at least, sounds the same to you and me. For many of these athletes, it sounds more like this.
These high-school students are deaf. But on the court, they're determined to be like any other athletes. And this camp gives them a chance to learn the game from former NBA guard Mike Glenn.
GLENN: Too many lazy (INAUDIBLE) on the defense are stealing the ball, OK?
HOLMES: And he can hear just fine.
GLENN: Let's go now. Let's go now.
HOLMES (on camera): You're not deaf, right?
HOLMES: Nobody in your family's deaf?
HOLMES: Close friends, maybe? A few friends, maybe? Grow up with anybody deaf (INAUDIBLE)?
GLENN: Not that I didn't develop from this (INAUDIBLE).
HOLMES: And you have been running a deaf basketball camp for 30 years?
GLENN: Yes, sir.
HOLMES: Now, how does that make sense?
HOLMES: How does that make sense?
GLENN: Well, it was very interesting, T.J.
It really came from my dad.
HOLMES (voice-over): His dad, Charles Glenn, took a teaching job in 1952 at the Georgia School for the Dead, and volunteered to start a basketball program for the students.
GLENN: So when I was born, I was born into that family. And I just would go with dad and hang around and fell in love with the game and with deaf culture. And it was taken off from there.
HOLMES: Glenn parlayed his love of basketball into a 10-year NBA career, and his love of the deaf into a lifetime of commitment.
GLENN: Given gifts and opportunities and a particular environment, I think you have to make the best of what you're given. And this is what I was given.
So I have to be true to it.
HOLMES: The camp gives deaf kids a chance to compete, but also the confident of learning the game around kids like them, and from coaches who know how to relate.
GLENN: It's easy to communicate, first thing. It's very easy to communicate. But it's very challenging. There's a lot physical players here. You -- sometimes you can't hear the referee, but they're still playing, don't know exactly when to stop. Can't hear the buzzer.
HOLMES: There are few camps out there like Glenn's. Yes, his is different. But part of its mission is the same as any other summer camp: Let kids be kids.
HOLMES: And it all goes back to what Glenn learned when he was just a kid.
GLENN: My dad gave me this heritage. So I think I'm honoring him by carrying it on. And so I keep doing that, too, you know? Because of my dad.
HOLMES: His dad was able -- his dad has passed. But his dad was able to see the camp -- worked at the camp for a little while, for a few years.
HOLMES: But he started this 30 years ago, just wanted to do it one summer. He didn't plan on making this an ongoing thing. But now, here he is 30 years later. And deaf kids, they don't have -- there have been some camps that show up here and there, every now and again. But it's hard for a deaf kid to find a camp to go to like this.
HOLMES: And his is there every year. He gets kids from all over the country.
NGUYEN: And it's free for them, right?
HOLMES: It's free for them. And a couple years back, they started bringing in some kids who could hear. And it was an interesting experiment to see how the deaf kids, who often times in school talk about how they're kind of -- you know, kids won't talk to them and kids won't bring them into their group -- to see the deaf kids, who are in the majority...
HOLMES: ...treat the hearing kids just like they're treating at school.
HOLMES: So it was an interesting social experiment.
NGUYEN: But did they eventually bring them in, yes?
HOLMES: Eventually. It just takes one person to bring the ice. The next thing you know, everybody's getting along and talking. But he's been doing that 30 years.
NGUYEN: And it's amazing, too. Because like you said, he was only going to do it one year.
But you know, a lot of people that do work like that, you know, in service to others, they realize...
HOLMES: Next thing you know, yes...
NGUYEN: This is a part of my calling.
NGUYEN: It's not just a job.
HOLMES: He would never give it up now. But he's carrying on something his dad gave him. Again, he thinks he is -- always was a kid -- a kid -- a kid who could hear, a deaf kid who could actually hear.
NGUYEN: Could hear. Yes, I love that saying.
HOLMES: That's what he calls himself.
NGUYEN: All right.
NGUYEN: Great story there.
HOLMES: Well, millions of people travel to Yellowstone Park for a lot of reasons.
NGUYEN: Oh yes.
HOLMES: And to bond with nature.
NGUYEN: I remember sitting and waiting on Old Faithful to blow her top.
HOLMES: How long did -- did -- tell us.
NGUYEN: It felt like an eternity...
NGUYEN: ...when you're, like, 11 or 12 years old. But it's a volcanic hotbed there as well at Yellowstone. And Reynolds Wolf actually took a trip out there to check it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF: Now the epicenter for all this seismic activity has been right up here in Yellowstone Lake, right out there towards the middle, where just this year they've had more than a thousand quakes recorded.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(MUSIC, GREEN DAY, "WELCOME TO PARADISE")
HOLMES: That is so Deanna (ph).
NGUYEN: That's our producer.
WOLF: Got a little Green Day. NGUYEN: Green Day! "Welcome to Paradise."
You know, a lot of people may think Yellowstone Park is paradise. I've been there; it's a beautiful place.
WOLF: Here, here. Absolutely.
HOLMES: And you've been there recently.
WOLF: Yes, recently.
You know, it's funny; I mean, this is -- some people consider this America's favorite park. But believe it or not, this is a very active place. When I mean active, we're talking geologically active. They've had over 1,000 earthquakes...
WOLF: ...just since the start of the year. Over 900 alone just from, say, January into -- December into January. And it is one of the most volatile places on the planet, in term -- geologically speaking.
Went out there, had a chance to speak to a couple of seismologists. And here is what they had to say. It's just some cool stuff.
WOLF (voice-over): From its majestic peaks to roaring waterfalls to wildlife, Yellowstone National Park draws millions of visitors.
(on camera): Now this incredible park is actually situated inside of a giant caldera, or a crater that was formed from a volcanic eruption some 640,000 years ago. And scientists say that another eruption is inevitable. The question is, when's it going to happen?
(voice-over): Park geologist Cheryl Jaworowski monitors the volcanic activity at Yellowstone, one of the most geologically unstable places on Earth. Magma flows as close as five miles underneath the surface, powering geysers, steam vents and even some earthquakes.
Recently, Yellowstone experienced a series of quakes over a short period. That is known as the swarm.
CHERYL JAWOROSKI, YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK GEOLOGIST: Yellowstone normally has lots of swarms. And that's -- that's being part of being in a volcanic system.
What was interesting about this swarm that happened between December 2008 and January 2009 is that it was one of the larger ones we've seen.
WOLF: So large in fact that a flurry of online discussions began, asking the question, is this swarm a sign of the next big volcanic eruption? Scientists believe there have been at least three tremendous volcanic eruptions art Yellowstone in the last 2.1 million years. The most recent occurred 640,000 years ago. It was massive.
And geologist Dan Dzurisin says that an event that large would have a global impact.
DAN DZURISIN, YELLOWSTONE GEOLOGIST: The amount of ash ejected into the atmosphere and into the stratosphere together with volcanic gases would encircle the globe. They would certainly affect airline traffic. They would affect the weather.
WOLF (on camera): Now the epicenter for all this seismic activity has been right out here in Yellowstone Lake, right out there towards the middle, where just this year they've had more than 1,000 quakes recorded.
DZURISIN: They migrated over a period of about a week to the north, toward us here, toward the outlet of Yellowstone Lake. And then eventually the swarm subsided.
WOLF (voice-over): But the questions continued. Is the volcano at Yellowstone on the verge of erupting?
JAWOROSKI: We don't know if there ever will be another big, catastrophic eruption like there was 640,000 years ago. We do think there will be eruptions. But it could be of something like a basalt, which people have flocked to Hawaii to see.
WOLF: So scientists will continue to monitor the volcanic activity with remote stations, like this one. They don't expect an eruption anytime soon, and they say the signs would be unmistakable, and much greater than the recent swarm.
DZURISIN: You'd see tremendous seismic activity, hundreds thousands of earthquakes. Probably hundreds per day. We would expect the ground surface to be swelling. Geysers might become much more activity. They might go entirely inactive. New geysers might open, new thermal pools.
So it would be very obvious that something big was in the offing.
WOLF: And a very obvious warning of the next big, potentially Earth-changing event.
WOLF: Here's what I got from this -- bottom line is this: if you have plans to go to Yellowstone this summer, don't cancel. I don't think they're going to have the eruption this year. But ....
NGUYEN: You don't want to scare people.
WOLF: Exactly. I got the idea that these scientists are -- are -- that they know that there will be a big eruption. It's inevitable. It's going to happen again. But...
NGUYEN: They just don't know when.
WOLF: That's right. Our timeframe that we have in the life of a human being, say living 70 years or so, doesn't exactly synch up with a planet that's 4.6 billion years old. So for the planet, the blink of an eye could be 100 years, could be 1,000 years. But for us, I don't think it's going to happen next Tuesday if you're planning on going with the family, with the SUV. I don't think there's much to worry about.
But it is just an amazing thing to see. Because, obviously...
WOLF: ...so many changes in the Earth that are taking place just below the surface.
NGUYEN: Let me ask you this -- Yellowstone is quite large. I mean, we saw from that as well. If it does erupt -- I mean, will, it take most of the park out or...
WOLF: That's -- well, they -- that's -- it depends on what kind of eruption that -- that they have.
If they have the eruptions we had 640,000 years ago, it could alter the planet. It could change the climate all around the entire global.
NGUYEN: That's quite a statement. Yes.
WOLF: It really is. I mean, we're talking the -- the potential that it could wipe out life, all forms of life, within 1,000 -- 1,000 miles ....
NGUYEN: Oh my goodness.
WOLF: ...of that park itself. So yes, it's a -- it's a terrifying prospect in that regard, but...
NGUYEN: So make your plans now. Go to Yellowstone!
WOLF: But hopefully something that we're not going to have to worry about in our lifetimes or the lifetimes of our children.
NGUYEN: All right.
HOLMES: Thanks for the happy talk.
NGUYEN: Don't cancel your trip. WOLF: Dimples, exactly.
HOLMES: All right. Thanks, Renny.
NGUYEN: Check it out before it blows.
All right. There is much more to come right here on CNN SATURDAY MORNING.
HOLMES: Yes, hello to you all. I am T.J. Holmes sitting here alongside my partner, Betty. You just saw Reynolds Wolf there, as well. We've got a lot going on this morning. Start with the sad news this morning about Walter Cronkite.
NGUYEN: Absolutely. Got word last night the death of former CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite. He was surrounded by friends and family. He lived a long life, covered so many different stories, important stories to us as Americans, whether it be man walking on the moon, the Kennedy assassination, the Martin Luther King assassination, civil rights movement, the Vietnam war, I mean, the list goes on and on.
This is a man who we have known for so many years, the most trusted man in America, in fact. There was a 1972 poll that was taken and what did he get, like 73 percent of it, showing that he indeed was the most trusted person in America. Now, that says a lot, especially when it comes to being in journalism.
HOLMES: Yes, and people were actually and a lot of people will remember this. This is kind of before our time, that he was in his heyday, I guess. But when he was leaving the anchor desk, a lot of people were worried what are we going to do now? Who are we going to turn to, listen to? Of course the landscape of the news media has changed so much, in broadcast media, so much we don't know if we could ever have anything like a Walter Cronkite anymore. You've got so many channels out there and so many options.
NGUYEN: Before, cable news, the 24-hour news cycles.
HOLMES: It was before opinion, as well, came into a lot of news. Who do you trust out there it these days? There will probably never be anything like Walter Cronkite. But like Betty was just mentioning, so many of the big events, he was there and walked the country through.
Here are some of the highlights of his career.
(BEGIN VIDEO MONTAGE)
WALTER CRONKITE, FMR. CBS ANCHOR MAN: Good evening from the CBS News control center in New York, this is Walter Cronkite reporting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Eagle has landed.
CRONKITE: Oh, boy.
(LAUGHTER) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to be busy for a minute.
CRONKITE: Whew! Wally, say something, I'm speechless.
From Dallas, it Texas, the flash apparently official, President Kennedy died at 1:00 p.m. Central Standard Time, 2:00 Eastern Standard Time, some 38 minutes ago.
CRONKITE: Old anchormen, you see, don't fade away. They just keep coming back for more. And that's the way it is, Friday, March 6, 1981. I'll be away on assignment and Dan Rather will be sitting in here for the next few years. Good night.
NGUYEN: That's the way it is.
HOLMES: A lot of people have memories of Walter Cronkite. We'd like for you to share yours with us. You can go to our web pages. We've got plenty out there, Facebook, Twitter, also, cnn.com/tj or cnn.com/betty. Share your memories of the most trusted man in America.
NGUYEN: We have other news to tell you about this morning, including this. Investigators say they are making progress in the case of a Florida couple murdered during a home invasion. Eight people have been arrested. And they've recovered a safe believed to have been taken from the couple's home.
Meanwhile, though, a funeral was held for Byrd and Melanie Billings yesterday. The couple known for adopting special needs children, nine of their 16 children were home during the invasion.
HOLMES: Let the investigations begin. The House Intelligence Committee will try to determine if laws were broken when the CIA concealed a now-canceled counterterrorism program from Congress. Last month CIA Chief Leon Panetta says he was told former Vice President Dick Cheney ordered the intelligence agency to withhold information about the program from lawmakers. The CIA says it is cooperating with the review.
NGUYEN: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Mumbai, India, her first stop on a weeklong trip to Asia. Her goal is to strengthen the strategic partnership between the U.S. and India on issues like climate change. Pakistan is also expected to be on her agenda. After that she heads over to Thailand to meet with their prime minister and attend a summit for Southeast Asian nations.
HOLMES: We are starting to get more and more new details about the suicide bombers who attacked those American hotels in Jakarta.
NGUYEN: Ye, so who may be responsible for this? We want to take you live to Indonesia with the latest.
More on the life, as well, of newsman Walter Cronkite, one of our very own show writers was a CBS intern at the time. We'll hear his personal experience and share some of the stories that he has of Walter Cronkite.
HOLMES: Six people dead in yesterday's suicide attack at two Indonesian hotels. The bombers also died in those blasts, but authorities don't think they were with the only ones involved. Dan Rivers live for us in Jakarta.
Dan, hello to you, and where are we on this investigation?
DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, at the moment all leads look like they're pointing towards a group called Jamaah Islamiyah, and specifically, man who has been on the run here, a notorious terrorist figure called Noordin Top.
That's the thinking at the moment from the police. They say they're almost certain that this -- a double blast was the work of Noordin Top. He has also been implicated in a string of attacks in Indonesia over the past decade, including the devastating attacks in Bali in 2002 and 2005.
All of his attacks have focused on Western targets, trying to kill as many Westerners as possible. And certainly, in the blasts yesterday they seem to have succeeded.
Now getting a picture of the casualties of the six confirmed dead, three are thought to have been Australians, including an Australian diplomat. It's just been confirmed in the last few minutes. Also a New Zealand gentleman died and a man from Singapore and an Indonesian.
So, a business meeting was the target in the Marriott Hotel right behind me, here. It appears from the CCTV footage that has been recovered that the suicide bomber talked his way past the security guard, wheeled a suitcase in, and then detonated that suitcase with devastating results.
HOLMES: Dan, you mentioned there some of those who had been killed, but do we know about injuries as well? How many and are there Americans among those injured?
RIVERS: Yeah. More than 50 people injured, including eight Americans. None of the American injuries are thought to be life threatening, but people from all sorts of different countries, the UK, Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, and so on.
So, basically, both of these hotels, the Ritz-Carlton, which is just right here, and on the other side, the Marriott, just over the road, both were real hubs for business leaders to meet and talk. There was a regular business breakfast, a sort of power breakfast, that went on every Friday morning. It may well be that the terrorists knew that was taking place and they specifically targeted it.
One interesting point, they found an undetonated bomb on the 18th floor in a room which they think was being used as a sort of command and control center by the terrorists. They think the terrorists were checked in as guests and had been in the hotel for a couple of days.
HOLMES: All right. Dan Rivers for us in Jakarta. Dan, we appreciate you this morning.
Indonesia's deadliest terrorist attack, as he was just mentioning there, was back in 2002 on the Island of Bali. Bomb blast killed more than 200 people at nightclubs, most of the victims tourists. Several members of the militant group Jamaah Islamiyah were convicted for those attacks.
Then in 2003, the Al Qaeda-linked group launched a suicide car bombing at the Jakarta Marriott, killing 12 people. The same Marriott that was just hit on Thursday. In '04, terrorists struck the Australian embassy in Jakarta, nine people died there. Then, the following year, suicide bombers struck again in Bali, this time killing 20 people.
NGUYEN: An American fighter jet has crashed in eastern Afghanistan. Happened early this morning. Still, though, no word on the fate of the crew involved. July has been the deadliest month for international forces in Afghanistan since the war began almost eight years ago. We're going to take you live to Afghanistan in 15 minutes.
HOLMES: Also, we want you to take a look at something else here. It's what Walter Cronkite read the day Richard Nixon resigned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Susan, simply your thoughts on this sad night.
SUSAN ZIRINSKY, CBS NEWS PRODUCER: For me, I was 19 years old when I started in the Washington bureau, and it was weeks after Watergate. What Cronkite was, what Cronkite embodied, was the core values of any young journalist. It was an unbelievable time during Watergate. Walter was coming down and anchoring specials.
But what was so striking about the time was the impact a single voice could have. "The Washington Post", network television was on night after night, and I think those of us that grew up in that era saw the impact that this single man had. People were trusting this man like no one else that had come, we were in their living rooms. Walter came into your living room. And yet Walter was not about flash. Walter was about the story.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: That's Susan Zirinsky, she is a CBS news producer who worked with Walter Cronkite, of course, who passed away at the age of 92. Zirinsky, take a look at this now, says she kept a copy of the script that Cronkite read, to the nation, the day President Nixon resigned. Says she keeps it at her desk. Take a look at that.
He died last night -- again, at his home in Manhattan after a long illness. A CBS officials says that his family was, in fact, by his side. Again, Walter Cronkite, was 92 years old.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRONKITE: And that's the way it is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: That was his signature signoff. And that's the way it is. In fact, one of our news writers here on this show remembers those words very well.
Clint Deloatch, right here, was a college summer intern back at CBS when Walter Cronkite was working there. And you have a unique story as to how that signature came about.
CLINT DELOATCH, CNN WRITER: Yes, Betty.
This was 1978 when I was an intern there. The International Radio Television Society brought about 10 students from around the country to New York. Ed Bliss was Cronkite's chief writer. And Ed wrote the book "Writing News For Broadcast." Ed told us a story that "and that's the way it is" was a scripted line, because one day he forgot to write, "and that's the way it is" and Walter didn't say it.
NGUYEN: He didn't say it?
DELOATCH: When Walter went off, the phones went nuts. Because the people ...
NGUYEN: I imagine, because America said, wait, where is your signature signoff?
DELOATCH: Yes, they had no idea. So, after that, the policy was, the first script that Walter got was "and that's the way it is," June 27, 1973, or whatever date it was.
NGUYEN: From then on, we heard it every night. You also have a really unique story about Walter Cronkite, the journalist, who was so very particular about facts. We all have to be, in this business, but this was a man who went the extra mile.
DELOATCH: Yes. Cronkite was just unusual about it. I was a news researcher. And our job was to find facts. And he needed a name, somebody's name, whether they were in New York or South Africa, we would have to call them, ask them how they spelled their name, and how they pronounced their name, and then relate that information.
NGUYEN: No matter what time it was?
DELOATCH: No matter what time it was, or where they were. NGUYEN: Walter wants to know.
NGUYEN: How was he, Walter the man?
DELOATCH: He was a very friendly guy, an average-sized guy. I have to tell you, I've worked in the newsroom and as a researcher. At that time you had lots of these people who were known -- Douglas Edwards was in the newsroom. We just revered him. We all did. I was just blown away.
NGUYEN: And today we are remembering Walter Cronkite, the icon.
DELOATCH: Yes, yes indeed.
NGUYEN: What a great thing to have known him.
DELOATCH: Yes, indeed it was.
NGUYEN: Very lucky man.
DELOATCH: Quite an honor.
NGUYEN: Yes, indeed.
T.J., a lot of people around the nation today remembering Walter Cronkite and those little moments in their lives where they had the chance to meet him, the icon, the journalist we all looked to, and think of as an example.
HOLMES: It makes it more sense now, why Clint treats us the way he treats us. He went from working with Cronkite to working with us.
NGUYEN: To this, poor guy.
HOLMES: Sorry, Clint.
HOLMES: Thanks, buddy. I'll come over there and talk to you some more about some of those stories.
DELOATCH: All right. That would be fine.
HOLMES: All right. We'll turn to Sonia Sotomayor, now her nationally televised job interview is now out of the way. So, when will she find out if she got the job?
NGUYEN: Well, Supreme Court justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor was in the hot seat all week on Capitol Hill.
HOLMES: Yes. Seat was kind of on fire, wasn't it?
NGUYEN: It was, boy, day after day, too.
HOLMES: And what did we hear day after day, the same wise Latina.
NGUYEN: Latina woman.
HOLMES: It kept coming up, that comment just didn't go away. So, now the hearings are over. What happens next? Well, we hear that from our deputy political director Paul Steinhauser.
PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Good morning, Betty and T.J. Sonia Sotomayor's time in the hot seat is over. Now, it's up to the Senate Judiciary Committee to actually vote on her nomination to the Supreme Court. That could come as early as Tuesday, but Republicans may push that back a week, so it could be about a week and a half from now when that vote in the committee actually happens.
She's expected to pass committee. Remember, there are 12 Democrats and only seven Republicans on the committee. Then, the next step would be a vote in the overall Senate. Republicans have said they will not filibuster her vote, which means a confirmation vote on Sonia Sotomayor will most likely happen before the Senate breaks in early August for their summer recess. That's something President Barack Obama had asked, that she be confirmed to the Supreme Court before the Senate breaks for summer recess.
What should be interesting to see is how many Republicans in the end actually vote for Sonia Sotomayor. We've already seen a couple of them come out and say they will vote for her. Remember, it was four years ago that John Roberts, when he was confirmed as the Chief Justice, he had 78 votes overall, including a number of Democrats. But a few months later, Samuel Alito when he was confirmed as an associate justice to the Supreme Court, he only got 58 votes, not many Democrats voted for him.
It will be interesting to see how many Republicans in the end come out and vote yes in favor of Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation to the Supreme Court -- Betty, T.J.?
HOLMES: Thanks to our Paul Steinhauser.
Well, President Obama's weekly address, what could he possibly be talking about this weekend?
NGUYEN: Health care, you think?
HOLMES: You think? Yes. The debate continues on Capitol Hill and we saw that almost emergency press conference he had yesterday to try to calm everybody down. But it ...
NGUYEN: Well, it was an emergency but yet it was delayed.
HOLMES: It was delayed.
NGUYEN: And everyone was wondering, what's taking so long?
HOLMES: So, we finally heard that. But yes, he's talking about health care this weekend. We have his radio address just released. We'll let you hear it.
NGUYEN: And friends and colleagues say farewell to Walter Cronkite. We're going to have their memories of the TV news legend.
NGUYEN: Well, there is no word yet on the fate of the crew of an American fighter jet that has crashed in eastern Afghanistan early this morning. And this comes in the middle of what's already the deadliest month for U.S.-led forces in the Afghan War.
Let's go to Ivan Watson who joins us live on the phone from Afghanistan's Helmand province. He is with the marines at Camp Leatherhead. And Ivan, give us the latest on this crash investigation. What do you know?
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, we've spoken with the U.S. military in central (ph) al Qatar and they have confirmed that before dawn this morning, a F-15 strike eagle did go down and in fact in eastern Afghanistan. There were two crew members on board.
The military spokesman is insisting that this is not due to hostile fire and that an investigation is under way as to why this fighter jet went down. As far as we know, this may be the first time that an American warplane has gone down over Afghanistan since this war began some eight years ago.
There have been losses of helicopters, however, due to hostile fire and also a U.S. military cargo plane. But this is what we believe to be the first fighter jet to have gone down over this country, Betty.
NGUYEN: All right, Ivan, two-man fighter jet went down. We're hearing that no hostile fire. So, what do they think, possibly weather or just a malfunction with the plane?
WATSON: Again, I asked about that, and didn't really get a firm answer. They said there would be an investigation into that. And we have gotten reports from other media sources, from other U.S. military spokemen who have insist on not speaking about it. There have been the two servicemen on board that fighter jet are believed to have died, but we haven't been able to confirm that.
I'd like to bring your attention to another incident that took place today involving Afghan national army. We have just gotten confirmation that there was a suicide car bomb in Afghanistan in southern (INAUDIBLE) province that killed three Afghan national army soldiers and wounded three more. Just to give a sense as to the level of violence that is seen around this country, yesterday there was a roadside bomb near the border with Pakistan that killed at least seven Afghan civilians who were on their way to a shrine.
And as you mentioned, this has been the bloodiest month yet of this eight-year war for the foreign troops on the ground here. At least 47 people killed, 47 American and NATO forces this month alone, and the month is far from over. On Thursday, a British soldier was killed here in Helmand province. The British are operating out of this base that I'm at right now.
Also, eight American marines have been killed this month operating in this area, in Helmand province, as they now -- the largest -- what they're describing as the largest helaborne (ph) assault that the marines have conducted since the Vietnam War.
Sending some 4,000 marines out from here into areas of this province that have basically been green zones, free zones, for Taliban fighters moving into these areas and pledged to hold on to this territory to bring the Afghan government into pockets of Afghanistan that have not effectively had any Afghan central government in the last four to five years, Betty.
NGUYEN: All right, Ivan Watson joining us by phone, and as he noted, the deadliest month for U.S.-led forces in the Afghan War. And we are still waiting to hear word on the two crew members of that F-15 fighter jet that went down in Afghanistan. We're following this story very closely.
NGUYEN: Hello, everybody. From the CNN Center, this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING. It is July 18th. Good morning, everybody. I'm Betty Nguyen.
T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: And hello there. I'm T.J. Holmes. It's 7:00 here in Atlanta, Georgia, where with we sit. It is, what time is it, 6:00 in St. Louis; 4:00 a.m. in Phoenix. We're glad you could start your day right here with us.
We are remembering a man who meant so much to us in this business, meant so much to the country for so many years, Walter Cronkite dead at the age of 92. We're going to be looking back at his extraordinary career and also talking to his friends this morning.
NGUYEN: And senators, well, they tried to pin her down on race and discrimination, but Judge Sonia Sotomayor, she survived it all. Now, with the strong support from Democrats and even a few Republicans, the question is: what is next for her as she awaits the August vote?
HOLMES: Also, you can buy all kinds of stuff online these days, Amazon.com, and all that shopping that people do online. But would you want to buy a house online? You can get...
NGUYEN: Depends on the price.
HOLMES: You can get them cheap, baby. All you have to do is point and click. We'll show you how this is done.
NGUYEN: And right now, we want to turn to Walter Cronkite. So many across the nation are mourning his passing today. He did die at the age of 92, had a long and full life. And, you know, really took the nation through some of the most trying times -- the Kennedy assassination, the MLK assassination, civil rights movement, the war in Vietnam. But also some of its greatest moments like man walking on the moon.
HOLMES: That is the one people will remember to see. And he was so well-known for not showing emotion at all on the air, not putting his opinion out there. But there was one moment when you just -- you had to be a little giddy, just like a kid. And you could tell he just clasped his hands...
NGUYEN: He said, "Wow."
HOLMES: Wow. We're on the moon. But right now, we want to show you a look back here at the extraordinary life and career of Walter Cronkite.
WALTER CRONKITE, LEGENDARY JOURNALIST: Good evening from the CBS News control center in New York, this is Walter Cronkite reporting.
SUSAN ZIRINSKY, FORMER CRONKITE PRODUCER (via telephone): In the days when we were all kids and those of us who were starting under Walter, Walter embodied kind of the best of everything and the best you would aspire to. There were three networks at that point, and Walter was the most important man. You lived and died by what he said, how he wanted pieces to be told. You were answerable to Walter. When Walter picked up the phone you were scared to death.
But, on the other hand, there was a core value in what we did, and, you know, it was a time when one voice mattered.
CRONKITE: From Dallas, Texas, the flash, apparently official. President Kennedy died at 1:00 p.m. Central Standard Time, 2:00 Eastern Standard Time, some 38 minutes ago.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR (via telephone): I remember that moment where he took off his glasses and he looked at the clock and he said that President Kennedy has died. And I -- you know, that was one of the, you know, earliest moments that I can remember that I really wanted to pursue a career in news.
And I watched Walter all through the days of the Apollo space program. And I remember him saying on July 20th, 1969, that man has landed on the moon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The eagle has landed.
CRONKITE: Oh, boy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to be busy for a minute.
CRONKITE: Wally, say something -- I'm speechless.
ROBERTS: To think he was the most trusted man in America really was, I think, an understatement because at that time, any time anything ever of happened, any time anything bad ever happened, the world turned to Walter Cronkite not only for the news but for reassurance. And he was -- he was not just an icon but he was, you know, almost like a member of your family. And to think that he is gone now is just such a sad occasion.
DON HEWITT, CREATOR, "60 MINUTES" (via telephone): He was the consummate television newsman. He had all the credentials to be a writer, an editor, a broadcaster. There was only one Walter Cronkite, and there may never be another one. Being friends with Walter Cronkite was about as high as you could rise many our business; to be his colleague and his friend was a double blessing.
HOLMES: And a little later this morning, we'll get more reaction on the death of Walter Cronkite, including from CNN's president, our boss, Jon Klein; also from CBS News vice president, Linda Mason. Both will join us in the 10:00 hour.
NGUYEN: I love hearing those stories...
NGUYEN: ... because everyone has a different story of Walter Cronkite. But it all goes back to the same thing -- he was the epitome of journalist, you know, and journalism, and what we do as a craft. He just was so concentrated on the facts and getting it right.
HOLMES: And it's so different. Don't get me wrong. We still concentrate on those facts, but juts the whole landscape of the business has changed so much. It would be interesting to see him in this new environment, to see how -- I mean, he would certainly stand out, no doubt about that.
NGUYEN: And, you know, and he didn't just go away, either, when he was taken off of the "CBS Evening News." He still worked for many, many years. He also wrote several books. So, he continued to be that journalist that was the core of who he was as a man.
Well, share your memories of Walter Cronkite with us. Go to our Facebook pages, our Twitter pages. You can also our blog at CNN.com/TJ or CNN.com/Betty. HOLMES: Well, we have some live pictures for you this morning out of the nation's capital where the house speaker wants health care reform legislation passed before Congress adjourns next month. That live picture -- there it is, thank you guys for not making a liar out of me this morning. There is that live picture I promise.
But some lawmakers -- again, balking at the bottom line on all of this health care reform.
In his weekly address this morning, the president says the cost will not be as high as some are saying.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, WHITE HOUSE VIDEO)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The same folks who controlled the White House and Congress for the past eight years as we ran up record deficits will argue -- believe it or not -- that health reform will lead to record deficits. That's simply not true.
Our proposals cut hundreds of billions of dollars in unnecessary spending and unwarranted giveaways to insurance companies in Medicare and Medicaid. They change incentives so providers will give patients the best care, not just the most expensive care, which will mean big savings over time.
And we've urged Congress to include a proposal for a standing commission of doctors and medical experts to oversee cost-saving measures.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Well, the president is vowing that health care reform will not add to the federal deficit, but this weekend, Republicans say the numbers just are not adding up.
NGUYEN: Nope. In their weekly address, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl talks about one of the GOP's central fears over the Democrats' plan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, RNC VIDEO)
SEN. JON KYL (R), MINORITY WHIP: They propose to pay for this new Washington-run health care system by dramatically raising taxes on small business owners. Small businesses create jobs, approximately two-thirds of new jobs in the last decade.
With a shaky economy and the need for new jobs being the last thing the president and the Congress should do is impose new taxes on America's small businesses. New taxes on small business would cripple job creation, especially jobs for low-wage earners.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: Well, Republicans would like to see small businesses bond together to buy insurance at a discounted group rate. HOLMES: We'll see how that works out. Again, that debate. And again, we're talking about that press conference yesterday. It's just -- so much as the CBO director came out last week and said, essentially, none of these plans out there are going to do what you're saying...
HOLMES: ... it's going to do. It's a non-partisan group. Yes.
NGUYEN: It's not as cost effective as you're saying it is.
HOLMES: It's going to cost a lot of money.
NGUYEN: More -- yes.
HOLMES: So that really heated things up.
NGUYEN: And it's kind of confusing, too, as we talk about all of this, because there are so many different plans out there. When you hear the administration's plan and then you've got the GOP plan, you've got other people weighing in. So, you're trying to figure out, "OK, what's on the table?"
HOLMES: I think there are actually five different committees considering forms of legislation up there on Capitol Hill. So, they'll all get together at some point, but the deadline is August. He wants them to have this done before they go and leave August for the recess. A lot of people are saying that's just not possible.
NGUYEN: Yes. How are we going to pay for it all? That's another big question.
Well, a massive new project -- speaking money -- taking place in Las Vegas. See how it's not only an oasis for the unemployment but it is really going to add to the skyline on the Vegas Strip.
HOLMES: Well, I just love you in the hard hat. Usually, when you go...
NGUYEN: It suits me, right?
HOLMES: Usually, when you go Vegas -- Reynolds, Betty goes to Vegas, I mean, she needs a hard hat usually because she's working. But it's usually from the casino floor.
NGUYEN: I am.
WOLF: That's true because all of the money just comes raining down, all you've got to do is pull that jackpot.
NGUYEN: Unfortunately, I wish that was the case but it is not. But, yes, the hard hat -- that should be my regular attire at work.
HOLMES: It should.
NGUYEN: Especially around here. Every now and then things come flying, don't they, Reynolds?
WOLF: Oh, they certainly do. Try 114 degrees -- easy for me to say.
WOLF: My mouth is melting for Vegas. And it is going to be hot out there, no question. But even though they are going to be sizzling in the parts of the desert southwest, a good part of the nation, too, is going to be experiencing a huge cool-down, possibly some record low temperatures as we get to this evening and into tomorrow morning.
We're going to talk about that massive cool-down coming up right here on CNN SATURDAY MORNING. Oh, yes.
NGUYEN: I love that song.
HOLMES: You know, you scare me how much you love Vegas.
NGUYEN: I love Vegas.
HOLMES: It makes me a little nervous. But...
NGUYEN: We're talking about it for a reason today.
HOLMES: For a reason here -- yes. In the middle of a recession, some are turning to Vegas for answers. They're not just at the craps table though.
HOLMES: They're betting on something called CityCenter.
NGUYEN: And here's what it is -- a mammoth MGM Mirage project that is expected to create some 40,000 jobs.
So, to find out how, I traveled to Vegas to meet the man behind the plan.
NGUYEN (on camera): How many buildings is it comprised of?
JIM MURREN, MGM-MIRAGE CEO: Well, you're on about 67 acres of land. There are over 20 different buildings here.
NGUYEN (voice-over): Welcome to CityCenter, the newest addition on the Vegas Strip. MGM-Mirage CEO Jim Murren came up with the idea for this $8.5 billion project.
(on camera): A lot of the casinos here will put the gaming right upfront.
NGUYEN: You decided to put it toward the back.
MURREN: We did.
MURREN: We don't think we need to put it in everyone's face. In the old days, the casino was front and center, and everything was designed semantically and from an egress perspective to force people into the casinos. That's insulting. People want to gamble, we'll have a wonderful casino there, but that is not the heart of CityCenter.
NGUYEN (voice-over): Instead, Murren is making art, architecture and culture the focus. He's hired some of the world's top designers to develop this urban metropolis and will fill it with $40 million worth of contemporary art.
But getting CityCenter funded in the midst of a recession has been a real challenge. It narrowly avoided bankruptcy earlier this year.
MURREN: We came very close to having to shut this project down.
NGUYEN: Now, back on track, work is under way on the center's casino, four hotels, high-rise condos, entertainment venues and retail shops.
(on camera): How important is CityCenter to the future of Las Vegas?
MURREN: Probably 20,000, 30,000 people in the environs that are working on projects that are related to CityCenter. Then when we open CityCenter, we're going to have about 12,000 new jobs. And there's nothing in the U.S. -- no auto company is creating any jobs, you know, no bank, no developer, no high-tech company -- nothing in the United States is creating more jobs than we are.
NGUYEN (on camera): How is that possible, given it's not the largest property on the Vegas Strip? It's called building up. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau says, because there are several high-rise hotels and condos in a small space, it's creating more jobs than the average Strip property.
So, while Murren says CityCenter is simply too big to fail, you can bet he is still feeling the pressure.
MURREN: Darn right I do. There's enormous pressure. This has to perform financially for our stakeholders. It has to perform economically for the community. It has to perform for the people that we're going to employ. It has to perform for the state, to increase the state's tax base.
And it has to I think perform to prove that we are more than a gaming company.
NGUYEN: So, how would you like that kind of pressure? You know, when CityCenter does open in December, we'll see if Murren's gamble was a good one. But they are facing a little bit of a problem when it comes to those high-rise condos, and people that bought in 2006 and 2007 they pre-purchased, right?
NGUYEN: Well, they're expecting, once that is done, the construction is finished, it may not be worth what they purchased for. So, they're asking them to, you know, change the terms a little bit and maybe give them a reduction on the price.
Now, it will be interesting to see what MGM-Mirage decides to do with that because those condos...
NGUYEN: ... range from $600,000 up to $9 million.
So, there's a lot invested in CityCenter, a lot of people betting on it to be a property that is going to make money in the future. And, you know, a lot of those people who bought those condos were betting on it to be a good investment for them as well.
HOLMES: Now, when -- what can we look at projected, that I miss it in there -- when will this all be done? Will this be up and running if...
NGUYEN: In December. So, we are just a few...
HOLMES: Wait a minute.
NGUYEN: ... months away. And...
HOLMES: That quick?
NGUYEN: That quick. Well, you know, it's been under construction for a while now.
HOLMES: But when I look at it, it look like there's still a lot to be done.
NGUYEN: Exactly. It really does. And there, for a minute, as we just heard, this thing almost came to a screeching halt because they faced bankruptcy on the project, $8.5 billion. But now, it's back on track and I will let you know -- for those of you looking for jobs, hey, Vegas may be a good place to go because they're still looking to fill some 12,000 jobs...
NGUYEN: ... at CityCenter once it opens in December. HOLMES: Well, I didn't think I was hearing that right. December, I thought I was missing something.
NGUYEN: No. December is when it's slated to open. It's going to be a big party and everything.
HOLMES: We know you'll be back.
NGUYEN: I love to.
HOLMES: All right. We'll picking up a house cheap. It sounds good. More people seem to be turning online, turning to auctions online, to get a home. But is that really the right way to go? We're going to check it out.
HOLMES: Yes, we are fascinated by these pictures today and I know you really -- and this is one time it's OK to be kind of a geek on this thing.
HOLMES: Everybody is kind of a geek when it comes to space. But some of these pictures we're showing, Endeavour, this is a flip it was doing. You know, they do this now to check out the belly of that shuttle. But they're up there on a mission. And like we were saying here, they're moving. It doesn't look like they're really moving, but they're moving.
WOLF: Between 17,000 and 18,000 miles per hour. The commander of this is Mark Polansky, he is Perdue graduate, graduated in '78. He's a bully maker. He's also a former Air Force guy. He's 53 years old. I don't know if Mark wants me to say that.
But, you know what? If he's up there and we're here, what's he's going to do about it anyway?
The pilot is Doug Hurley. He's a Marine Corps colonel. Over 3,000 hours flying 22 different aircrafts. And I guarantee you -- that is the fastest one he's ever managed.
HOLMES: And they've got a space walk coming up today, the first of five. But Endeavour up there, a 16-day mission. We just love those pictures and any excuse to show those pictures. We'll come back and hear about some weather in a little bit.
WOLF: OK, man.
HOLMES: All right.
WOLF: Good deal.
(MUSIC) NGUYEN: All right. So, point, click, and bid. It's pretty much that easy to buy a house these days if you have the money. But is the auction block really where you want to find your home? Lots of pluses and minuses here and we're going to talk about them.
Housing expert Clyde Anderson joins us to sort it all out.
OK. So, we're talking about buying a home at auction.
CLYDE ANDERSON, AUTHOR, "WHAT HAD HAPPENED WAS": Yes.
NGUYEN: It used to you'd have to go down to the courthouse steps to do this.
ANDERSON: Right. Exactly.
NGUYEN: Nowadays, you don't have to do that anymore.
ANDERSON: You don't. Things are changing drastically. You don't have to go down to the courthouse steps. Where you can buy everything else online, why not be able a house online?
ANDERSON: And you can now.
NGUYEN: But how smart is it to buy online? I mean, are there some real savings?
ANDERSON: Yes. I think you will find real savings. There are going to be steep discounts -- just like you see at the auction, but it's a lot easier, because you can go on, you can take a look at the properties online and decide if this house is for you.
NGUYEN: Now, you say take a look at the properties online. Are there lots of pictures? Can you go and see the property beforehand?
ANDERSON: Yes, a lot of pictures. You can go and get some stats on the property and make sure that the titles are clear. And that's definitely one of the pros -- to make sure that you have a free and clear title, but you can see the property as well online and see what it looks like.
NGUYEN: All right. So, what are the benefits of buying online?
ANDERSON: I think one of the things is the free and clear title. It's easy, ease of use. I mean, you point and click.
NGUYEN: They all have free and clear titles.
ANDERSON: Free and clear titles. You're going to make sure of that. Point and click. I mean, that's definitely a pro. And then also, the idea that you can have steep discounts and then there's no hassle. You can go on there.
You don't haggle back and forth. This is the price I'm willing to bid. This is what I want the property for. You get it or you don't get it.
NGUYEN: Oh, but at the same time, there are at least has to be some pitfalls to this, right?
ANDERSON: Oh, yes.
NGUYEN: Just like anything else.
ANDERSON: Just like anything.
NGUYEN: So, what are they?
ANDERSON: Of course. Well, I would say a couple of pitfalls was the property is as-is.
ANDERSON: So, what you see is what you get. That's one of the things.
NGUYEN: That's why it's so cheap.
ANDERSON: That's why it's so cheap. A lot of times, it's going to require that you pay a 5 percent deposit up-front.
ANDERSON: And some of them even require that you -- the deposit is nonrefundable. So, you want to make sure that you are certain that this is the property you want, because you won't be able get that 5 percent back.
ANDERSON: So, you want to be clear on that. Also, some of them charge premium. And you want to be clear, they could charge another 5 percent just as the convenience of buying this house online -- sort of a convenience charge. And so, you want to make sure of that. You want to make sure.
NGUYEN: I knew we're going to fall on some of those. OK, what's another one?
ANDERSON: You want to make sure. And I'd say the last one be that huge profits. It's definitely no huge profits for seller.
So, from a seller's standpoint, if they're selling their house online, they'll sell it quickly but they probably won't make huge profits. A lot of times, they'll going get the, you know, the minimum bid or they're going to take a little bit of a haircut, a little bit of a loss right there. So, definitely want to be sure.
NGUYEN: Well, it can be a buyer's paradise though if you go to auction because you can get those steep discounts.
ANDERSON: Exactly. NGUYEN: But like you say, you have to be a buyer who's ready to do this deal...
NGUYEN: ... because you may be charged that 5 percent.
ANDERSON: Exactly. So, you want to be sure -- you want to make sure that this is what you want to do, because you could lose some money there.
ANDERSON: So, you definitely want to make sure. On the seller's end, it's good for them to do something quick. If they want to get out of the house, take a look at auctions.
NGUYEN: All right. Online. It's a lot easier than having to go down to the courthouse.
ANDERSON: Oh, yes. Definitely.
NGUYEN: Technology, T.J., it's a wonderful thing.
HOLMES: Yes. A little scary, though.
NGUYEN: Can be.
HOLMES: Going to buy a house online there.
HOLMES: All right. Thanks, guys. Clyde, good to see you as always, my man.
ANDERSON: All right. Thank you.
HOLMES: Well, in this economy, starting your own business is a bit of a tall order there. But one young man is making it a sweet success.
NGUYEN: All right. So, what started out as a bizarre hobby now is a thriving family business.
HOLMES: Yes. For this, we'll turn to our Melissa Long who introduces us to a young man who didn't let his physical and mental challenges get in the way of pursuing his passion. It's this week's "How We Got Started".
MELISSA LONG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Around Lawrence, Kansas, 22-year-old Anthony Schwager is known as the bee man.
ANTHONY SCHWAGER, ANTHONY'S BEEHIVE: I have around 200 hives.
LONG: His fascination with insects began in third grade.
TONY SCHWAGER, ANTHONY'S FATHER: Anthony came to us after he saw a video at school and announced he wants to get some bees. And we said, "Well, no. No thank you." We really put that off. And he was just so persistent.
ANTHONY SCHWAGER: I just kept on asking.
LONG: His parents finally gave in.
TONY SCHWAGER: We got a couple of hives of bees and we kind of learned as we went. You know, we killed some bees and re-bought them and started them again and got it going.
LONG: Going so well that the Schwagers had more honey than they could use. Anthony suggested selling it and his hobby evolved into a family business.
Today, Anthony's Beehive products include honey straws, lip balm, lotion, jerky and barbecue sauce.
TONY SCHWAGER: We actually have one type or another in over 350 stores.
LONG: The company is also about securing a future for Anthony, who was born with developmental disabilities.
TERRI SCHWAGER, ANTHONY'S MOTHER: I want him to be able to live a dignified life, a respectable life. I would not put him in an institution. I don't want a group home for him. And I believe that this business is going to allow him to live independently.
NGUYEN: Well, today, we are remembering the icon when it comes to journalism, Walter Cronkite. He passed away last night at the age of 92. And many people are really reflecting on their memories of him.
You're sending comments into us. And keep them coming. You can reach us on Facebook and Twitter.
Let me read you just a few of the ones, the many ones that I've received so far this morning. Jose says, "Walter Cronkite is the epitome of what a news anchor should be. He will be missed."
And then Rob goes on to say, "Have so many memories of him when I was a child. He always had my respect. Rest in peace, Mr. Cronkite."
HOLMES: And one more here from Jean on my Facebook page, saying, "Cronkite was known all over the world for his integrity in reporting the news, not gossip, not innuendo. We all knew he checked every of fact at least twice." She went on to talk about she wished she saw more of the Cronkites on the air to this day, didn't like some of the opinion that's gotten into a lot of the news these days.
So, please, continue to share your memories of Walter Cronkite with us. Also, anything else you'd like to talk about this morning. You know how to reach out: Facebook, Twitter, and so and so forth.
NGUYEN: Yes. And right now, though, "HOUSE CALL" is coming up with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. We'll be back at the top of the hour.