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Lockerbie Bomber Could Live Much Longer; Big Tanker's Big Promise; Hot Summer, Heated Political Ads

Aired July 5, 2010 - 14:00   ET


ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He will launch his own inquiry into what happened to the French team here in South Africa. FIFA has come out and said once again there will be no political interference.

So, you know, national-sized (ph) governments, they try. I think it's rare. I don't, in my memory, remember a country coming out saying they will ban the national team.

Just quickly, someone -- an analyst here in South Africa described it like this -- they said it's like having your kid in school, they fail an exam, and then what you do is decide to take them out of school for the next two years. How can that possibly help their development?

I'll leave it to our viewers to decide -- Drew.

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Isha. Thanks a lot. Enjoy this last week. We'll look forward to having you back here.

Well, it's a new hour, a new "Rundown."

A noted doctor said a Libyan terrorist would probably be dead in three months. That was 10 months ago. Abdelbaset Al Megrahi is still very much alive, and so is the outrage over his release.

Plus, he's the first veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to lose all four of his limbs in combat and survive. Does he consider himself disabled? Not at all. He's our "Mission Possible."

Also, how would you or your kids like to be part of the remaining space shuttle missions? Well, you can. I'm going to get to show you how you can have your face in space.

Well, plenty of people on both sides of the pond are pretty ticked off that the Lockerbie bomber is still alive and kicking, convicted in the plot that killed 270 people. Abdelbaset Al Megrahi was sentenced to live in Scotland. Well, then he was freed last summer on the grounds of compassionate release.

We were told he'd be executed by his own terminal cancer before the end of the year. That was last year.


KENNY MACASKILL, SCOTTISH JUSTICE SECRETARY: He is a dying man. He didn't show compassion to the victims, American or Scottish. That does not mean that we should lord (ph) ourselves, debase ourselves, or abandon our values. He was justly convicted, but we're allowing him some mercy to return home to die.


GRIFFIN: Only, of course, he didn't, still alive and with his family in his native Libya. There are reports this week that his prostate cancer spread throughout his body. Even so, he's far outlived the three-month prognosis that won his freedom. And now an investigation by the "Sunday Times of London" is calling into question exactly how the prognosis came about.

The guy you just heard from, Justice Secretary Macaskill, said there was firm consensus on Al Megrahi's condition. But the Sunday Times said it could only find one doctor who admits giving three months to live.

Dr. Karol Sikora was hired by Libyan officials, ,who asked him to assess the patient. He told the Times, "It was clear that three months was what they were aiming for," three months was the critical point. "On the balance of probabilities, I felt I could sort of justify that," he tells the Times. "There was a 50 percent chance that he would die in three months, there was a 50 percent chance that he would live longer." The doctor even admitting Al Megrahi could potentially live years longer, according to "The Sunday Times."

Clearly, the families of many victims of Pan Am 103 furious over all this. We did reach out to the Scottish government. They've issued us a statement standing by the decision to release this terrorist. "Mr. Al Megrahi has terminal prostate cancer. He was released on compassionate grounds and allowed home to die based on the medical report of the Scottish Prison Service director of health and the recommendations of the parole board and prison governor." The director of health at the Scottish Prison Service made the clinical assessment that three months was a reasonable prognosis based on the advice of a range of cancer specialists who had been treating Mr. Al Megrahi since he was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer."

Well, we've been working our phones trying to contact Dr. Sikora. According to his office at his cancer treatment center, he's traveling and he can't be reached.

Well, get ready to sweat if you're in the eastern U.S. Chad Myers tracking the triple-digit temperatures.



GRIFFIN: The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, just declared another 1,100 square miles of federal waters off Louisiana's Vermilion Bay off limits to fishing. More than 33 percent of the Gulf now closed to fishing.

BP said today its cost of responding to this disaster, should you care, $3.21 billion so far. That includes containment, grants to Gulf states, claims paid, federal costs, and that relief well drilling they've been doing. BP says it's still on schedule to finish those relief wells in the next few weeks and hopefully stop the leak.

And today's biggest headline out of the Gulf, a progress report from that gigantic converted tanker that could potentially suck up 250 times as much oil every day as all those smaller boats on the job now combined.

CNN's Allan Chernoff joins us with the first test results.

And Allan, it sounds like it didn't work.

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SR. CORRESPONDENT: Inconclusive, those are the test results. And it didn't quite work because of exactly what you guys were just talking about, those high seas.

When I was above that tanker on Saturday, looking down at it from the air, the seas right by the gusher, seven feet high. And the problem for the A Whale, even this massive tanker, three-and-a-half football fields long, is it just makes it hard for it to do its skimming.

Now, as you were saying, it doesn't operate the way normal skimmers do, just going on the water and kind of splitting that oil from the water. It sucks everything in, and then there are a series of tanks inside of this massive vessel that separate the oil and the water. But when things are shifting all over the place, it's very hard for that to operate.

So, today, the seas are down to about four feet, a little bit of a better test. They're hoping that the seas continue to calm down. But for now, that A Whale is still being evaluated in terms of its success in skimming and its maneuverability.


DAVE FRENCH, U.S. COAST GUARD: And what we're really looking for on the A Whale is, you know, can it do what it's claimed to do? Because this is absolutely new technology that's never been tried before.

So, they're out there for the next 48 hours trying to test its oil-skimming capabilities and its ability to maneuver in tight quarters out there, because, as you know, we've got approximately 3,000 ships fighting oil here off the coast of Louisiana. And so they have to maneuver in tight quarters. And with a 1,100-foot ship, that can be a pretty challenging effort.


CHERNOFF: Now, while that fight has not been too successful in the past 24 hours -- in fact, only 1,100 barrels of oil were skimmed in the Gulf during the 24 hours, ending at 6:00 a.m. this morning -- that's less than the amount of oil spitting out from the gusher within one hour, using the most conservative estimates.

So, Drew, they really do need some help, and hopefully this A Whale can provide it.

GRIFFIN: Boy, they really sound like they're fighting a losing battle. I know you've been on this really since the get-go. If this does work, can it really make an impact when you're telling us that all this oil is leaking per hour out there?

CHERNOFF: You know, it can make an impact, but the fact is, until that gusher is killed, until it's actually clogged up, you're still battling against more and more oil coming out. And the rear admiral of the Coast Guard, Paul Zukunft, told me over the weekend, you know, our biggest enemy here, aside from the oil gushing out, is Mother Nature, is the weather.

They're really hoping a hurricane doesn't come here, because that would tremendously set back the effort. For now, the biggest hope is really killing that well, and then the cleanup can really make much more progress.

GRIFFIN: All right. I'm going to ask you one more question. I hope you can hear me over that train that's passing by in New Orleans.

But the closure of the fishing areas, the new fishing areas that have been closed, is that a huge deal? Were fishermen actually going out and fishing those waters?

CHERNOFF: You know, a lot of fishermen have been working for BP. They're just taking the jobs, moving that boom. I saw literally hundreds of boats from the sky working boom off the coast of Mississippi, off the coast of Louisiana.

There's about 550 miles of boom out there. And it's essentially the fishermen who are doing that job. So, the vast majority of fishermen, I think, are now on BP's payroll. Just not all that much fishing being done in a lot of areas that are usually extremely, extremely good for fishing.

GRIFFIN: All right. Allan Chernoff live in New Orleans with an update on that A Whale.

Which I guess right now, Allan, inconclusive. Just another kind of gloomy day there in New Orleans in this recovery.

Thanks so much, Allan. Thanks a lot.

Well, with the midterm elections ahead in November, it could be a long, hot summer. Some heated political commercials are already on the air.

We're going to take a look at them next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) GRIFFIN: November elections still four months away, but I've got to tell you, ,some of these candidates are going crazy trying to get your attention. Campaign advertising season is in full bloom.

Jim Acosta with some of the more odd election campaigns.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Drew, members of Congress are on break this week, but that doesn't mean Americans are getting a vacation from their politicians. With the midterm elections fast approaching, candidates are finding all sorts of new ways to target voters.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Meet Pamela Gorman.

ACOSTA (voice-over): If the campaign season is starting to feel like open season, it's because the ads are already locked and loaded.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rated 100 percent by the NRA, conservative Pamela Gorman is always right on target.

ACOSTA: Republican Pamela Gorman has racked up more than 100,000 views on YouTube with this spot showing the Arizona congressional candidate and her son taking target practice in the desert. That's Gorman sporting an old Tommy gun.

PAMELA GORMAN (R), AZ CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: We'd never imagined in a million years that it would go as far as it did.

ACOSTA: We caught up with Gorman between fund-raisers in California. She thanks left-leaning bloggers and talk show hosts for helping her ad go viral.

GORMAN: I think most of it is getting passed on by people that probably wouldn't agree with my conservative politics. And if they really stop and thought about how much they're helping me by doing so, they might stop.

ACOSTA (on camera): Are you packing heat right now?

GORMAN: I'm in California. I don't think anybody but criminals have guns in California.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You gentlemen revolted over a tea tax. A tea tax.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Tea party-backed Republican Rick Barber calls for revolution with this ad featuring actors playing the founding fathers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gather your armies.

LARRY SABATO, UVA CENTER FOR POLITICS: I know Thomas Jefferson. He's a friend of mine and the guy in his ad is no Thomas Jefferson. ACOSTA: Laugh all you want, Barber may be on to something. SABATO: It's the year of the Tea Party. It's actually a good visual way to connect with the kind of people who may very well vote in a Republican runoff. That's what he's in.

REP. TOM PERRIELLO (D), VIRGINIA: I know times have been tough for Virginia families.

ACOSTA: Even incumbents like Democrat Tom Perriello are trying to go viral with this ad showing the congressman getting more than just his hands dirty.

PERRIELLO: I fought that new job to dairy farms, to protect jobs here in law enforcement.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Warning. The following is a paid advertisement from J.D. Hayworth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Buyer beware (ph).

ACOSTA: In this ad, John McCain accuses his challenger, J.D. Hayworth, a former congressman who went on to host a late-night infomercial, of selling fringe ideas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or a Kenyan safari to find Obama's lost birth certificate. It would be great if people can confirm who they say they are.

ACOSTA: Duck and cover. Election year is only just beginning.

GORMAN: I'm Pamela Gorman, and I approve this message.


ACOSTA: And the ads will keep on coming. That's because candidates are expected to spend more money than ever before on the upcoming midterms after the Supreme Court opened the floodgates on political contributions from corporations and special interest groups right up until Election Day -- Drew.

GRIFFIN: Jim, it's going to be fun watching this all play out over the next few months. Thanks.

Now a look at our top stories.

Oil disaster, day 77. Authorities not sure yet if that massive oil skimmer ship that's being tried out is effective. Rough seas hampered test runs, so they're at it again today. The water is expected to be calmer. That should help.

Her Majesty, the queen of England, is going to be in New York tomorrow. Just for the day. She hasn't made that trip since the 1970s. Top on her schedule, visiting Ground Zero, and she will speak at the U.N.

And a heat wave of historic proportions to greet the queen. It's going to strike the northeastern states this week. Triple-digit temps could create a dangerous situation, according to weather officials. Tuesday is supposed to be the hottest of the week.

Well, if you've ever wanted to be an astronaut, there is a way you can go to space. Sort of. Right?

We'll tell you about it next, "Off the Radar."


GRIFFIN: Time to go "Off the Radar."

And you could head into space, sort of, if you've got a picture of your kid. That kid can go to space. That's a great idea.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: "Off the Radar" and off the planet.

GRIFFIN: I like it.

MYERS: All at the same time.

GRIFFIN: How, sir, do we do this?

MYERS: There you go,

And go over here to participate. And you hit "participate." And you -- that doesn't work. It doesn't work on my board. It works for real.

You can send a face of your spouse, of yourself, of someone you like or don't like. It doesn't matter, really. NASA doesn't care. But on the last two shuttle missions, your picture or your name or any information about you will be sent to the International Space Station.

How about that?

GRIFFIN: I like it.

MYERS: It blasts off -- there it is. "Sorry for the inconvenience, please try again," because our session expired. So that's why. But that's OK.

There you go. There is the picture going up. And it could be you.

Well, that could be a digital image JPEG of you. Is it really the same? I don't know. But it's OK.

GRIFFIN: Sailing into the heavens, your image.

And the idea, I think, is a good one, because you want to keep kids involved in the space program as long as you possibly can. We're on the last couple of missions.

MYERS: Correct.

GRIFFIN: And get them involved and get them interested in science and technology, et cetera. That's, I think, one of the big things we're going to lose when these things stop going up.

MYERS: Yes. And you can listen to the commander on Facebook. And he's tweeting. So, you can listen to the commander.

You can actually get your picture and all the information that you send him signed. I'm sure it's going to be a stamped signature, but whatever. And so it will confirm that your face was, in fact, in space.

Here's what the Web site looks like. So, you fill out your name, address, la, la, la, la, la.

It's good for families. Like, a little family picture rather than just one, because they really don't want a bunch of young kids up on this thing, because it's kind of -- you never know what happens to young kids' pictures on the Internet. So we don't want that.

This is all about NASA. It's all about being responsible to get your son, daughter, again, reinterested, because I think there's going to be a lull --

GRIFFIN: Oh, there has to be switching programs like this.

MYERS: -- between when we're switching programs. You know, there may be years, literally, when nothing is happening with NASA that gets kids involved, gets kids interested. And they need to make sure that they don't lose interest in that.

GRIFFIN: Should your face get up to space, this is what you would see.

MYERS: You would see this. From 22,000 miles in space, you'd see this.

Right now, that's the most interesting thing on the planet, other than that guy that only drinks Dos Equis. That right there could be the next system. That could be Bonnie, as Bonnie makes its way into the Gulf of Mexico, and then possibly on up toward Houston.

This is all possible. This is not all probable.

This is the one that had made so much hoopla this morning, is that little blowup of thunderstorm activity, because it made waves right where we don't want the waves, right over the oil area. Three- to-five-foot waves today, and the waves have been in this area for the past couple of days.

This could be much more sinister. This could have a much bigger impact on where everything else goes, including the oil.

We talked about this oil thing earlier and the potential for it. This is what's called a loop current. It affects hurricanes; it also affects the oil.

This is part of the -- this area here looping around, water comes out of the Caribbean. It tries to make a full loop up here toward -- this one, you can see, is cut off. But on a normal day, it would make a full loop and then head on out toward the Florida Keys.

And the Florida Keys, this is the area that we're keeping our eye on right now for any potential tar ball impact. It should be the next area of tar ball impact, if there is going to be such a thing, if we don't get this Whale and these scoopers (ph) and all this other stuff --


GRIFFIN: But is the loop current just going like this now?

MYERS: It is.

GRIFFIN: Well, that's good news.

MYERS: It's kind of cut off. And this is going around here, one way or the other, spinning, spinning. And the loop current is not picking up any oil right now. It's actually just traveling right up through the Florida Keys and then out into the Gulf Stream. The loop current turns into the Gulf Stream. It just depends on where it is.


MYERS: OK, buddy.

GRIFFIN: Thanks a lot.

Chad Myers, "Off the Radar. "

MYERS: Good to see you.

GRIFFIN: We'll see you around. Thanks a lot.

Well, General David Petraeus, he is back in charge in Afghanistan. We're going to go "Globe Trotting" next to see if he can turn the tide in that country.


GRIFFIN: Time to "Globe Trekking" First stop Kabul, Afghanistan, General McChrystal says the wrong thing to the wrong magazine writer and low and behold, he ticks off the boss, President Obama, who kicks him out.

And General Petraeus is now back in the job that he had before Stanley McChrystal. Things are going badly in the U.S. -- for the U.S. in Afghanistan. Petraeus now charge of all U.S. and NATO forces in the country. It's a difficult mission. He's got to try to turn it around. He took over yesterday. This is what he said at his mission ceremony.


GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS, COMMANDER U.S. FORCES IN AFGHANISTAN: After years of war, we have arrived at a critical moment. We must demonstrate to the Afghan people and to the world that Al Qaeda and its network of extremist allies will not be allowed to once again establish sanctuaries in Afghanistan from which they can launch attacks on the Afghan people and on freedom-loving nations around the world.


GRIFFIN:: Tough job, he's now back in charge after the president gave him the nod and Congress approved him.

We move now "Globe Trekking" over to another place we've been to many times, Iraq and Baghdad, that is where the vice president is, urging Iraqi leaders toe put aside their differences and form a new government.

Joe Biden held talks with Ayad Allawi and Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki. Allawi's party did narrowly win most seats over al- Maliki's party in parliamentary elections four months ago. The two men are still bickering though over who should lead the new government.

Regardless of the outcome, the vice president says the U.S. draw down of 50,000 American troops by September 1 would not be effective. The message, get your act together, right? . Right now about 77, 500 troops are in Iraq. Suicide bombings and killings continue. While in Iraq, the vice president was speaking about America's war in Afghanistan. Here's part of what he said.


JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is not an endless encounter. We have to make sure what we're doing -- this is what I love about the president, man. He has no problem saying the policy, domestic or foreign, that he puts in place, if it's not working, it's not working, we change it.

This is the thing where we think this will work, we know it's working now in Iraq. We believe it's working. And we believe it will work in Afghanistan. But we are not going to engage in that book about George Bundy where about-- Vietnam where one of the principals in the Vietnam war says, I know we can't win the war, but as long as we're there, we will not lose it.

That is not this administration's policy. We believe we can succeed in dealing with our major objective in Afghanistan which everybody keeps forgetting. It is to defeat and eventually eliminate al Qaeda and provide enough time and space for the Afghan government to be able to generate enough force that they can thwart those in the Taliban they cannot reconcile with. That's the objective. We think we can accomplish both. (END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: All right, and there you have the vice president leaving Baghdad. That happened about 8:30 this morning our time, I'm told. And he's heading out of there after spending the fourth of July with the troops. Biden also issued a not-so-veiled warning to Afghan president, Hamid Karzai the Afghans must step up in the war he says in Biden's words they must get in the game. Because U.S. troops will not be in Afghanistan forever.

Well he is the victim of a roadside bomb in Iraq. The blast tore off both his arms and legs. Doctors don't know why he's still alive quite frankly. But he's not just surviving. He is thriving. An incredible soldier's story is straight ahead.


GRIFFIN: Every day at this time we do a segment called "Mission Possible". it's all about people coming up with solutions to seemingly impossible situations. Well today's focus is on an Army specialist. His name is brendan morocco. And his inspiring and determined effort to once again live a normal life.

As you see in this photo, Brendan has no arms or legs. His limbs were ripped off from his body when a roadside bomb exploded under his armored vehicle in Iraq. That was Easter Sunday, 2009. Brendan's story profiled in yesterday's New York Times. if any situation seems impossible, it's Brendan's.

But only to people who don't know this 22-year-old whom his mother describes as a very head-strong individual. According to The Times, Brendan lost 80 percent of his blood before he was rushed to the Army camp.

The first trauma surgeon to treat him says it was incredible Brendan wasn't already dead. About 90 hours after the blast, Brendan was being treated at Washington's Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Brendan who is from New York, is the first veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to lose his arms and legs at the same time in combat and survive.

His mother says that in the early days after the blast, she'd close her eyes and all she could see was a head and torso. Battling pain most of us can't even imagine, Brendan has learned to use his four prosthetics. He can walk for about 15 minutes, write, use a computer and text like crazy we're told.

Many have helped Brendan in his struggle to recovery but no one as much as his older brother. Michael quit his job with Citigroup and moved to Walter Reed Army Hospital to be with his brother. The two spend most of their time together, as soon as a donor is found, Brendan plans to undergo a rare and risky double arm transplant at the university of Pittsburgh Medical Center

The doctor who's going to perform the transplant says it will never be the same as before the blast but could be almost as good. Brendan admits he has down days, but through it all, he's been an inspiration to other patients at Walter Reed, in part because of his humor. On a flight last year to reunite with a unit in Hawaii, he turned to his brother and declared, look at all the leg room I got. Pretty good.

Well a famous veteran in our nation's history is now inspiring a new generation of wounded warriors. Former senator Bob Dole recovering from knee surgery at Walter Reed. And while he heals, he's showing other wounded soldiers that they, too, can aim for the White House. Here's CNN's Ed Henry,


ED HENRY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT(voice over): When Air Force Sergeant Christopher Curtis arrived at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, he was in desperate shape.

After his CV-22 Osprey crashed in Afghanistan,

SGT. CHRISTOPHER CURTIS U.S. ARMY: From a coma getting into rehab was a-really a long road but one that definitely kept my spirits up.

HENRY: That determination was sparked in part by another patient at Walter Reed who almost didn't make it off the battlefield himself during World War II.

CURTIS: From where he was back then to being you know-- possible president of the United States at one point, that gives me huge inspiration.

HENRY: 86-year-old Bob Dole is at Walter Reed for physical therapy connected to double knee replacement surgery . But a bout with pneumonia lengthened the stay for the former senate majority leader. He passes the time listening to Sinatra, watching cable news and just like the old days, wise-cracking with new friends like Curtis.

BOB DOLE, FORMER U.S. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: The first thing out of his mouth was, I voted for you in '96. You're a smart fellow.

HENRY (on camera): But you also told me there's not a lot of those around?

DOLE: No, I had to look for one.

HENRY (voice over): The pictures of Curtis now and Dole back then are striking.

(on camera) Does that remind you of what happened to you 65 years ago?

DOLE: Yes, a little bit. I couldn't move. I was in a body cast. That's all behind me, but it does give you pause. I think, was I ever as bad a shape Chris?.

HENRY (voice over) Army Sergeant Lee Langley, 26, was hit by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan and marvels at Dole's determination.

SGT, LEE LANGLEY, U.S.ARMY: He got hurt a long time ago. And now he's fighting another battle. He's at an older age and a lot of people would have give up but he didn't.

HENRY: Army Specialist: Levi Crawford, 23, was badly wounded in Afghanistan and has now bonded with Dole whose own right arm was paralyzed so long ago.

SPEC. LEVI CRAWFORD, U.S. ARMY: Same thing with mine. I'm trying to keep moving them.

DOLE: You're doing the right thing.

CRAWFORD: It's hard, though.

HENRY: Dole co-chaired a 2007 presidential commission that investigated shoddy conditions at Walter Reed. But he has nothing but praise for the medical care.

DOLE: Took me nine hours to get off the battlefield. Took me weeks to get home. These modern medical miracles, you see them every day here. And they're-- if they're wounded on one day, they can be at Walter Reed on the third day.

HENRY: He's eager to get back to work at the law and lobbying firm Austin-Berg (ph) . His failed bids for the White House a distant memory.

DOLE: You have to move on. Life's short. Got to keep pushing and realize we live in a great country. One chapter ends, another chapter starts, you keep on going.

HENRY: Good advice now being passed on to a whole new generation of heroes.

DOLE: This is what America is all about right here.

HENRY: Reporter: Ed Henry, CNN, Washington.


GRIFFIN: Well senator, if you're passing the time watching CNN right now, thanks.

Top stories now beginning with the oil disaster, officials say they'll have to conduct new tests of the a whale, a large skimmer ship designed to collect 21 million gallons of oil a day . They say initial tests conducted over the weekend were inconclusive because of rough seas in the Gulf.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has scheduled to meet with President Obama at the White House. That will be tomorrow. It will be the first meeting for the two leaders since that controversial Israeli attack on the ships headed for Gaza.

International drug smugglers seem to be getting more and more sophisticated. Ecuadorian authorities working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency say they've seized 90 foot long-98 foot long ocean going sub built in the jungle to smuggle massive amounts of cocaine. One person has been taken into custody. The investigation of course continuing.

And, we've just gotten some new video of a deadly horse stampede in an eastern Iowa town. People in Bellevue were lined up along a neighborhood street for a fourth of July parade when a wagon driver, lost control of his two horses. You're about to see and hear what happened next. And we just want to give a little warning, this could be disturbing.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my goodness, oh, my goodness!


GRIFFIN: Very serious. A 60-year-old woman died from her injuries and nearly two dozen people were hurt there in Iowa.

Coming up, after adopting two children from Malawi, Madonna is returning to the African country to give back in a big way. Find out how after this break..


GRIFFIN: The material girl, Madonna, admits she's spent a lot of her life focusing on herself. But the superstar is now focusing on others, namely, the people in the impoverished nation of Malawi. Two of her adopted children are from there. And Madonna has vowed to help other kids too. She talked about that exclusively with our own Alina Cho.


ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): She's a woman who only needs one name.

(on camera) So you're Madonna.


CHO: Yes, you are.

(voice over) Madonna has spent most of her life being provocative. But these days, nothing is more important than her children, two of them adopted from Malawi, a small African nation where more than 500,000 children are orphaned by aids.

(on camera) All of those orphans I mean a million--

MADONNA: I would love to take them all home, yes. If I could.

CHO (voice over): Because she can't and because she's Madonna, she made a documentary about the country.

MADONNA: People always ask me why I chose Malawi. And I tell them, I didn't. It chose me.

CHO: She also founded the charity Raising Malawi to help the orphans she can't bring home.

MADONNA: We found and met a lot of people who were sick and dying of HIV and with no medical help. It felt like a death camp. It was astonishing. And so on the other hand, though, everybody that I met was also incredibly brave. So it's a very confusing paradox.

CHO: It's an interesting dichotomy because I know that Malawi is known as the warm heart of Africa. As much suffering as there is there, there's a certain spirit to the people.

MADONNA: Yes. There is because on the one hand, I went there and I thought, I have to help. I have to save these people. And then I thought, wait a minute, I think it's the other way around, I think they might be saving me.

CHO: Why do you say that?

MADONNA: Because they help you to get a sense of appreciation for life, for what you have.

CHO (voice over): :A new appreciation for life and a new sense of responsibility. Her latest project, breaking ground on a $15 million boarding school. The raising Malawi Academy for Girls, slated to open in 2012.

MADONNA: I never intended to go to Malawi and just sort of dumped a bunch of like aid on people and flee the country. It's always been about partnership.

CHO: And she's putting her money where her mouth is. Every dollar donated to, Madonna will match.

MADONNA: Match my dollar. Match my $100,000.

CHO: Make that $300,000 and counting.

MADONNA: My biggest asset as a human being is, I would say, my resiliency and my survival skills. I'm like a cockroach. You can't get rid of me.

CHO: But that's helpful in philanthropy. MADONNA: It is. You have to be pretty tireless.

CHO: Her tenacity was on display back in 2006 when many people both I Malawi, and around the world accused her of using her celebrity and her money to buy an adoption. She won. David, now 4, calls Madonna mom.

MADONNA: It seems a lot of the things I do end up being controversial even though I don't mean them to be.

CHO: Right. Does it hurt your feelings?

MADONNA: Hurt my feelings? I don't know if it hurts my feelings. I think sometimes--I'm pretty prepared often for some of the things I say and do. I go, I know this is going to freak some people out. But then other things I do, like adopting a child who's about to die, I don't think I'm going to get a hard time for it and I do.

CHO: Yet Madonna says she'll take the criticism if it means one more child in Malawi gets to go to school, survive and thrive.

(voice over): Do you ever get overwhelmed by all of the work that needs to be done because it seems like you help one kid and there's 1,000 more standing in line?


CHO: And it can be overwhelming.

MADONNA: Yes. It can. I man sometimes it stops you dead in your tracks and you think, oh, my God, I can't do this. But then I see that the success rate -- I talk to the people in Malawi whose lives have been changed and that just helps me and keeps me going.


GRIFFIN: Well, Madonna tells our Alina Cho that she travels to Malawi periodically to check on the progress of the school she's building. Most recently she went back in April laying the first brick of that school . And she looks forward to returning when the doors open in 2012.

"Wordplay" is next. We asked Chad and Dave in the weather center for help with this one. I think they confused it more, though. We'll going to sort it out all in about a second.


GRIFFIN: Time for "Wordplay" where we take a term that's bouncing around the headlines and break it down for you. Weather's a big story probably all this week, something that keeps popping up, heat index.

To be safe, we asked the guys in the weather center for their official definition. Here's what they sent. It's from the weather guys now As used by C.W. Thornthwaite in his 1948 climactic classification, a function of temperature designed to have low magnitude under cold conditions increasing exponentially with increasing temperature. What?

Well for everybody who doesn't have a meteorology degree, the heat index is a measure of how hot it really feels when the relative humidity is factored in. In other words air temp plus relative humidity equals heat index. Take Philly today, the temperature is 96, but it doesn't feel it. The heat index is a smidgen lower, 95 because the humidity is only 29 percent.

Meantime, Lake Charles, Louisiana, also feels just like Philly, 95. But the thermometer only reads 87. Why the difference? 63 percent humidity. Heat index.

Straight ahead, he was freed because he was not supposed to live much longer. That was ten months ago. And the Lockerbie bomber is still alive. Got some things to say about this in my "XYZ".


GRIFFIN: Now for my "XYZ" Abdelbaset Ali Al Megrahi is a terrorist who, in 1988 helped blow up a Pan Am jet, killing 270 people. It took a long time for Lybia to finally hand him over to the Scottish police, and he was finally sent to jail in 2001. Well then he got sick, cancer, we're told, supposedly terminal, supposedly he would die a painfully quick death in prison.

So what did the Scots do? They set him free last year to enjoy the final months Megrahi had with his family and friends back in Libya. And So the world was treated to this awful picture of a terrorist arriving in Libya, the triumphant pathetic killer, a national hero who would die within months or weeks, we were told.

Well he's still alive. And as we have heard now one of his own doctors says this murder who ended 270 lives in midair and in mid life will go on living for perhaps as long as ten more years. Terrorists who shed innocent blood across the world look at everything in terms of wins and losses in their thousand year struggle against the modern world to the terrorists struggle this be classified as yet another victory.

A sign their Allah has taken care of a murderous brother, a sign that they are on the right side of what seem to be a perverted history and once again a compassionate, supposedly progressive and humane country in Europe looks weak, silly and to the Islamic radicals, an easy mark Abdelbaset Ali Al Megrahi may or may not live another 10 years but there is one thing we do know. The 270 people he killed, have not been alive for more than 20. That's my "XYZ"