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Two Americans Abducted in Afghanistan; U.S.-South Korea Start Exercise; British Media Reporting Tony Hayward on the Verge of Resigning; Tensions with North Korea Escalate; Crews back at BP Oil Site; Update on Comic-Con

Aired July 25, 2010 - 16:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Fredricka Whitfield and you're in the CNN NEWSROOM. Coming up, a developing story out of Afghanistan. Afghan officials say one of two U.S. sailors abducted Friday is dead. The other may be wounded and in the hands of the Taliban. We'll have a live report.

Plus, preparing for the worst as Arizona's controversial immigration law kicks in next week. A tent city jail with triple-digit temperatures and an expanded section, 1070 name after the new legislation.

But first, let's go to some severe weather that's popping up. Bonnie Schneider in the weather center. Bonnie.

BONNIE SCHNEIDER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: That's right, Fredricka. We are tracking a tornado warning right now for Suffolk County on Long Island in New York. That's on eastern part of New York, as you can see here. A tornado possibly indicated on Doppler radar near Babylon on the south shore. So some of the communities affected will be Robert Moses State Park where a lot of people go to the beach certainly on a weekend day where it's so hot, as well as ISLIP (ph).

And you can see the line here where the tornado warning is in effect until 4:15 p.m., also as you head further out east towards East Patchogg also facing some very damaging winds. Now, yesterday, another part of New York state, we had very severe weather with an EF- 2 tornado touching down and causing damage and destruction in the area. You can see trees down. There was a lot of debris and a lot of damage.

And the survey crew really did a great job of determining this was an EF-2 rather quickly through aerial surveys as well as interviews with those that were witnesses on the ground. Look at the damage there.

All right. We talked about New York but there are many other locations affected by this large scale weather system, from Washington, D.C. through Philadelphia up towards Connecticut and even into Rhode Island and Massachusetts, this big cold front is what is going to make a big difference in the heat and humidity that we've been facing with all the heat advisories.

I'll have more later this hour on how this will affect the weather as we go into the work week tomorrow. But once again, just a reminder there's a tornado warning, eastern Suffolk County and that is until 4:15. I'll have more, coming up.

WHITFIELD: All right. We'll check back with you. Thanks so much, Bonnie.

Time to go back to another top story. One American service member believed dead, another still missing in Afghanistan. Afghan sources say the missing sailor was wounded in a firefight with the Taliban and is being held.

CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr joins me now. So Barbara, what is the Pentagon willing to say about the disappearance of these two sailors?

VOICE OF BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fredricka, I have to tell you at this hour, the U.S. military saying almost nothing about this for one simple reason, they are still trying to find the missing man by all accounts, of course, that is the top priority.

Two sailors apparently for some reason left their camp in Kabul Friday night, the capital of Afghanistan in a single vehicle, drove south into an area that is a known potential Taliban stronghold. Firefight ensued and by all accounts now, one of the men killed in the firefight. The other now captured. Full court press on to try to find the missing man.

So the U.S. is being very quiet about all of this, except for a brief public statement. Afghan government officials say that they believe the other person being held is safe. And they believe that they have potentially in fact potentially found the body of the person who was killed. Fredricka?

WHITFIELD: And why Barbara do they believe that one service member is safe.

STARR: Well, this is according to statements that have come from Taliban sources and Afghan government sources, when tragically these hostage incidents have happened in Afghanistan over the years, the first communications really do come through Afghan government officials, Taliban officials, if you will. Such as they are. And it's, it's important to monitor those communications and the U.S. tries to figure out exactly what is true in all of this. Fred?

WHITFIELD: And again, Barbara, it's believed that these two voluntary left their encampment or base and left in a military vehicle?

STARR: Well, we don't really know. I mean by all accounts an armored vehicle, such as an armored SUV, perhaps. Is, is what it is believed at this point. Stretching, these are first reports. But in a single vehicle, not in one of those heavily-armed multi-vehicle convoys that U.S. troops normally every day, move around in. And so one of the big questions is - what were they doing? Why were they by themselves out there?

WHITFIELD: Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr joining us from Washington. Thanks so much. And a little bit earlier today, we heard from joint chiefs of staff chairman, Admiral Mike Mullen, he discussed this incident at a briefing in Kabul.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ADM. MICHAEL MULLEN, JOINTS CHIEF CHAIRMAN: As a reminder of the care with which we must take in terms of executing the totality of the mission here. And we will do all we can, everything we can, we've got a large number of forces focused on the return of these two individuals.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: So far, this year, is shaping up to be the deadliest since the war in Afghanistan actually began. 52 service members have died there this month. The high was 60 last month. And we should also point out that the U.S. has more troops in Afghanistan than ever before. The death toll for the year so far is 253.

The U.S. is taking part in war games. Right now in South Korea, it's 5:00 a.m. there and around 8,000 U.S. and South Korean military personnel are taking part in these drills. Among the U.S. contingent is the massive "USS George Washington," a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The drill dubbed invincible spirit is in direct response to the sinking of a South Korean military ship.

An investigation blamed North Korea, but they deny any responsibility. North Korea has threatened a nuclear response to these war games. The drills are scheduled to run 24/7 through Wednesday.

And back here on U.S. soil, the clean-up of the gulf and taking care of that ruptured oil well, how far along are we? We'll take look at that.

Plus, this disaster in Iowa, and who could benefit from a bit of all that rain.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right. We are more than three months into the gulf oil disaster and BP is still trying to plug the ruptured well. That and the clean-up delayed just a bit because of stormy seas, our Reynolds Wolf is tracking it all from the coast.

REYNOLDS WOLF, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I'm coming to you from Grand Isle, Louisiana, where remnants of Bonnie continue to move inland and boats moving out to the side of the former Deepwater Horizon continue their journey out to sea. That journey actually began yesterday for the developmental driller 3, one of the key vessels into the drilling operation of the relief wells, to stop this altogether.

Not it's one of those situations where they're going to be able to resume work immediately. They've got a little bit of set-up they have to do. They can take up the next 24, even 36 hours. But even at that point to get to the point of drilling the relief wells and of course, going through the top kill operation that could easily take one to two weeks and then we're definitely talking about getting into perhaps the middle or late half of August before they're able to finalize with the bottom kill.

Reynolds Wolf, CNN, Grand Isle, Louisiana.

WHITFIELD: So in the middle of all this, the head of BP may be getting ready to step aside. British media report that CEO Tony Hayward is on the verge of resigning. There is not confirmation from BP though. And for now, a company spokesman said Hayward has quote the full support of the board, which by the way, meets tomorrow.

And something you'll want to check out, Amber Lyon looking at the situation in the gulf from a rather unique angle.

AMBER LYON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Fredricka, coming up in the next hour, we had a unique opportunity to head down deep into the Gulf of Mexico in a manned submersible. It looks like a mini submarine. We surveyed deepwater coral reefs for any oil damage. Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks so much, Amber. We'll check with you later. We'll be going into the deep.

All right. First let's talk about this deep water right here in the Chicago area. Five inches of rain fell in some places and 10 towns issued disaster declarations. 50,000 power customers lost their electricity. That's miserable. And as of this morning, 3,000 customers were still waiting for crews to restore their service. Many roads were flooded and as you see right there, a lot of cars got stuck.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming down the street, the water was deeper than I thought and - car stalled, I'm stuck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I went through the water, it probably, I didn't expect it to ever run this high. Because I come through these areas all the time and it's never been this bad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: All right. Take it from me, if you don't know how deep the water is, just don't drive through it. You'll have to find another route. Bonnie Schneider is in the weather center. And gosh, it happens so often. Sometimes in flash floods, you just don't know how deep the water is, and then suddenly you find your car floating.

SCHNEIDER: Right. It only takes a few inches, even for an SUV to suddenly become dislodged. You know, what's happening now this time of year, this is going to be something we'll see for quite a while. We get these big thunderstorms and they drop a lot of rain, fast.

Look what's happening right now in Suffolk County, New York. That's on Long Island. This is a big summer weekend, Fire Island, the beaches of the south shore, a lot of people there looking for relief from the heat. But today, there's a tornado warning that's in effect for another three minutes for this part of Long Island, at this hour.

So I am concerned that there are a lot of beachgoers in places like Robert Moses State Park or Fire Island, that may really have to suddenly look for shelter because of this powerful thunderstorm. Certainly not just in New York, but look what's happening in D.C., Philadelphia, the Jersey shore, hammered by thunderstorms. These are powerful thunderstorms. Thunderstorms, severe watches, they're up right now from White Plains down to Philly, all the way to the South through D.C. and Richmond, Virginia.

Now, these storms will be beneficial, because they'll help to bring break some of the heat. But before that happens, we really are looking at a dangerous situation with frequent lightning strikes, Washington, D.C., for example getting hammered. We had a tornado warning earlier this afternoon for Rockville, Maryland. That has expired.

But these storms are now working their way across the Chesapeake, so I wouldn't be surprised if we get more warnings issued with these storms as we advance through the rest of the evening hours.

Here's what's happening in terms of the heat. We still have these heat advisories for much of the east, the south, stretching all the way into Alabama, into Georgia, where it feels like it's 110 degrees even. And there are a lot of places yesterday that actually soared to record highs. And you can see that here.

Richmond, Virginia, for example, what a hot summer it's been for you, all the way up to 105 degrees yesterday. So some really hot numbers there. Baltimore, up to 100, Raleigh up to 100 as well. And in New York's Central Park, 97 degrees. It's been a stretch, a long stretch of hot weather and the storms have only been providing some relief, really. Because it tends to get hot once again.

Now, I can tell you that tomorrow you'll get an improvement and you will see a reduction in humidity but it's not going to be a dramatic change, it will take a couple of days. We're showing you some pictures out of the Chicago area. Now even though the weather is so much better today for Chicago, for Davenport, Iowa, for Grand Rapids in Michigan, we are going to be seeing still the risk for flooding.

Because when you have so much water it takes a while for that runoff to really continue to go down. So flood advisories are still in place. And finally we talked a lot about the storm, Bonnie. And it really wasn't as bad as it could have been. Still, though, those remnants are triggering showers and thunderstorms along the panhandle of Florida as well as Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.

So just be careful if you're driving on i-10, you may get a sudden downpour. The worst of the weather right now though in the mid- Atlantic, that tornado warning has about nine seconds to expire. But I really think we're going to see more throughout the evening as these storms roll through.

WHITFIELD: It seems like we've seen a lot of that activity over the weekend, haven't we? SCHNEIDER: It's always on the weekend.

WHITFIELD: It always happens, doesn't it. All right. Thanks so much, Bonnie. Appreciate that.

All right. Perhaps you are looking for a date online. Well be warned, the better-looking the photo, the older the photo probably is. That's just one of the lies apparently uncovered in a new survey and we've got more for you ahead in the chat room.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: A look at top stories right now.

A report from Afghanistan says one of two missing U.S. servicemen has been killed. Two U.S. sailors disappeared in Logar province. An provincial official said one of the bodies has been found. A Taliban spokesman said the dead man was killed in a firefight. And he says the other American is alive and in a safe location.

And the United States and South Korea began a joint military exercise off the Korean Peninsula today. It's intended to send a message to North Korea, accused of sinking a South Korean ship, back in March. North Korea calls the exercise a provocation. It says it is prepared to go to war, but Washington dismisses that as an empty threat.

And authorities blame lightning strikes for a series of wildfires in northeastern California. Almost 300 firefighters battled nine fires yesterday in Lassen County, northwest of Reno, Nevada. Well, they managed to put out seven of them, but the two biggest fires continue to burn. At least two homes have actually been destroyed.

All right. Bonnie Schneider back in the seated area with me now. Because we're calling this a chat room. We've got a lot of interesting things on our plate to talk about. Beginning with those wedding bells that will begin chiming for Miss Chelsea Clinton.

SCHNEIDER: That's right. This is really going to be the big social event of the summer for Chelsea and her banker beau, Mark Mezvinski. Well, it's not officially been confirmed but everyone in Rhinebeck, New York is or talking about this wedding. Unfortunately -

WHITFIELD: Because everybody is excited.

SCHNEIDER: Well, it's definitely going to cause some traffic jams. And that's what one young lady is really concerned with and (INAUDIBLE) spent the last two years getting ready to marry her college boyfriend, July 31st, in the same place, on the same day in the same neighborhood.

WHITFIELD: Yes, it kills me. She says, "you know what, Chelsea Clinton has taken what was supposed to be a special day for me and turned it into hell." Because they're not supposed to have a wedding on the same day, at least not the same weekend in her view. They've been planning this a long time and she says she's worried about the traffic and the security and "it's supposed to be my day," she says. "I'm not sharing this with Chelsea Clinton."

SCHNEIDER: Chelsea Clinton and some big guests that are rumored to come, like Oprah Winfrey. I mean, there's a lot of big people coming to town. And she says that she doesn't have a wedding planner. She has her mom. So the two of them have to coordinate.

WHITFIELD: Yes, she says her mom is already going nuts.

SCHNEIDER: I'm sure she is.

WHITFIELD: And not because of the planning of the wedding, but because of this new wrinkle. But you know what, it's going to be all right. Just calm down. Just enjoy your day and enjoy this last week before your nuptials. I'm sure everything will be worked out just fine.

SCHNEIDER: You know what, it always does work out fine. It always turns out like beautiful, all the weddings do.

WHITFIELD: Yes. If only some of the, you know, all of the on-line dates would work out beautifully and wonderfully, right? Because sometimes there are a few wrinkles and now we're finding out it's the result of not everyone being honest.

SCHNEIDER: That's right. They say that people are 20 percent poorer than they actually are.

(CROSSTALK)

WHITFIELD: Yes, there was a survey that, that the on-line dating site, okcupid conducted. And they surveyed over a million people and come to find out that people usually, I guess men, in general, apparently seem to say they're taller than they actually are.

SCHNEIDER: By at least two inches shorter.

(CROSSTALK)

WHITFIELD: And folks get to the dates and then they're a little upset.

SCHNEIDER: I'm sure they are. It's false advertising.

WHITFIELD: I know. So I guess - I don't know, what's the moral of the story?

SCHNEIDER: Just kind of always expect a little bit less, maybe than what you're going to get. They're 20 percent poorer and two inches shorter than whatever they say, then you'll be safe.

WHITFIELD: OK. We're getting a little ahead of ourselves. Because Hugh Hefner has something interesting for people being made available now right? "Playboy" but "Playboy" kind of light. "Playboy Light" that I guess gentlemen can now look at this web site while they're at work. I can't believe we're actually talking about this one.

SCHNEIDER: I don't know if we should encourage that, but maybe.

WHITFIELD: Yes. And it's called the smoking jacket.

SCHNEIDER: OK. Imagine walking by somebody's computer -

WHITFIELD: That apparently is OK.

SCHNEIDER: Oh, OK.

WHITFIELD: That's the sanitized version of what Hugh Hefner or "Playboy" has to offer. And so the site is called "The Smoking Jacket." We're giving him a little free advertisement here. Apparently, there will be some interesting articles that are written that will be office friendly.

SCHNEIDER: Right, for the articles. that's why people are going to the site, for the articles. Yes, not the pictures.

WHITFIELD: And those are some of the images. Interesting stuff. You think it's going to be pretty popular?

SCHNEIDER: I'm going do look by everyone's computer when I walk by. Just casually and see what -

WHITFIELD: You better hope they're not on there. (INAUDIBLE)

SCHNEIDER: True.

WHITFIELD: Even though it's suppose to be kind of "Playboy" light. We'll see. I don't know if all the offices out there will appreciate their employees going on this web site while they're at work.

SCHNEIDER: I'm sure they (INAUDIBLE) while they're at work.

WHITFIELD: You're right. All right. Bonnie Schneider, thanks so much. We'll check back with you a little bit later on.

SCHNEIDER: Yes, some nasty weather in different parts of the country.

WHITFIELD: Thanks so much.

SCHNEIDER: Sure.

WHITFIELD: All right. Al Franken - well, he is going for more than just laughs these days. The serious issues, the comic turned politician is pushing now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: It's shaping up to be a busy week for President Obama. Here are a few of the highlights.

Tomorrow, he hosts a White House event to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. On Wednesday, the president travels to the area of Edison, New Jersey. He'll focus there on the economy. And same theme, different state on Friday. President Obama will visit Chrysler and General Motors plants in Michigan.

All right. Al Franken earned his fame in comedy, right? Well as a U.S. senator, he says there are serious stakes in the upcoming mid- term elections. The Minnesota Democrat appeared before thousands of progressive activists in Nevada. He called on the net roots nation convention to continue supporting Democrats and prevent a Republican takeover in November.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. AL FRANKEN (D), MINNESOTA: If Republicans take back Congress they'll implement a truly dangerous agenda. Everything is on the table from repealing health care reform to privatizing social security. And we have seen what happens. When Republicans take control of Congress with the Democratic president and it isn't pretty.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Republican Congressman Darrell Issa fired back at Franken's comments, he said lawmakers need to look more closely at waste and corruption in the federal bureaucracy and he said only Republicans will help rein in the growing size of government.

Mid-term elections are just 100 days away. And in the next hour, we'll show you which party is leading in the polls. And - it's the last of a one of the biggest gatherings on the planet right now. Right, Josh?

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And it's going on. It is comic- con where the stars have packed in. We're actually going to tell you about an incident that led to an arrest. We'll also tell you about the huge amount of money that's at stake.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right. Bon appetit for birds rescued in the gulf. CNN's Rob Marciano shows us how wildlife rescue workers are nourishing nature's innocent victims of the oil disaster.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST (voice-over): On my visit, I met Lynne Englebert. She's become kind of a bird bartender, mixing up bird food slurries to nurse her patients back to health.

(on camera): This is packed with calories and other source of vitamins and nutrients.

LYNNE ENGLEBERT, BIRD WORKER: All sorts of good stuff for birds.

MARCIANO: All right. How about people? What if I were to drink it?

ENGLEBERT: You know, I'll get you a glass, if you'd like to try some.

MARCIANO: I'll pass on that.

(voice-over): Actually, I couldn't resist.

ENGLEBERT: There you go.

MARCIANO: All right. OK.

ENGLEBERT: There you go.

MARCIANO: It's delicious.

(voice-over): It was time to put her drink to a better use. Feeding a young pelican.

ENGLEBERT: You're going to hold the upper bill like that. OK. The lower bill stretches, so does their pouch, OK. You see the glottis? That's their airway; you cannot get any foods in there.

MARCIANO (on camera): Am I doing OK?

ENGLEBERT: You'll want to go further.

MARCIANO: Oh, my goodness, that feels weird. Is that far enough?

ENGLEBERT: Yes.

MARCIANO: Now just squeeze it?

ENGLEBERT: Yes, you're good, go slow.

MARCIANO: All right, guy, you're getting your stuff.

ENGLEBERT: OK. So you want to pull it out. And then you want to grab those together. And you're going to grab her neck and push all the way down.

MARCIANO: That's not hurting her at all?

ENGLEBERT: No.

MARCIANO: She's not fighting her at all. Is that good enough?

ENGLEBERT: That's it.

MARCIANO: Oh, wow. That was incredible. I just fed her like, like a sick baby. I can't believe you get to do that every day. That's incredible. It's such an incredible feeling.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: So Rob Marciano is seeing firsthand some amazing stories of survival and resilience. You don't want to miss it, his special, "Rescue: Saving the Gulp" that is tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, it is something you only see right here on CNN. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: A look at our top stories right now. Crews are back at the BP oil disaster site. They moved out ahead of a tropical storm that later fizzled. Our Reynolds Wolf who is on the Gulf coast says it may take a few days to get everything set up before crews can resume drilling a relief well to permanently plug that leak.

And British media reporting that BP chief executive, Tony Hayward, is on the verge of resigning. No confirmation from BP. For now, a company spokesman says Hayward has quote, the full support of the board. Which by the way meets tomorrow.

And U.S. and South Korea military exercises are under way. As tensions with North Korea escalate. 8,000 military personnel are taking part in the three-day drill off the South Korean coast. U.S. officials say the exercises are in response to the deadly sinking of a South Korean ship blamed on the north. Pyongyang blasted the drill and said it is prepared for both dialogue and war.

It is huge, and for many people, including a lot of Hollywood stars, it's the only place to be right now. We're talking about comic-con. And Josh Levs has more.

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: 125,000 tickets completely sold out in few days. There's a group in San Diego that says it's worth $163 million to that city, it's absolutely astounding. We have all this coverage here at CNN.com, plus comic.com, but we actually have a little piece of news at the top, we have some pictures, this is an incident that got the police involved. And this is someone an attendee stabbed another one with a pen near the eye after they got into an argument over whether one was sitting too close to the other one.

The injured man was in his 20s. He was taken to a hospital with minor cut. He's OK. The attacker was arrested and booked for assault with a deadly weapon according to police. We don't want it to overshadow what's mostly been going on, which is a heck of a lot of fun at the convention. And even though I'm not there, we have tons of coverage.

Because we have an entire iReport of -- at the convention right now and Lila King, who is senior producer of iReport is joining us via Skype right now.

Hey there, Lila.

LILA KING, CNN IREPORT SENIOR PRODUCER (via Skype): Hi, how are you, Josh?

LEVS: I'm good. Can you take your Skype camera and kind of show us the scene, what's going on around you there?

KING: I would love to. I'm here at the iReport hub; I'm right next to the cartoon network Pizzeria. You can see cartoon reporters all behind me.

LEVS: It's been a crowd every step of the way. Talk to me about the highlights there are so many stars there, you had Tina Fey, and Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt. What are in the highlights so far?

KING: I can't believe it so many iReports all day long, all weekend long. We've seen iReports from Sylvester Stallone, Seth Roggin, it's just absolutely unbelievable. We've got an iReport about Angelina Jolie, talking to Pauley Shore actually walking into the comic-con convention the first day. And we've got a little army of iReporters here on the ground in San Diego. And they've got they're armed with flip cameras and are running around the convention center, meeting everyone they can and shooting as much incredible video. We're doing photo challenges.

LEVS: I want to go to one of these videos; we have a video of Stan Lee, and let's take a look at Stan Lee, who is a legend in the comic world. You can see him signing autographs, all of these people lining up; they wanted to get near him. I think one of your favorite videos, Lila is one of r2d2. Did he go green? Has he gone green?

KING: R2d2 has gone green. We've got, you're seeing the green lantern, the green hornet, and we asked our iReporters to shoot photos of things that are green for a fun photo essay on CNN.com. And what came back was that amazing video of the robot going green inside the convention center.

LEVS: Pretty cool. You've been handing out the microphone to some stars. Let's go to the Kevin Smith video for a second.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEVIN SMITH: The San Diego comic-con convention 2010 at the Kevin Smith happy hour party. Apparently now I'm going to be wearing myself, look at that dancer's arch.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEVS: Kevin Smith is always funny. He's a legend there, too. Let's see if we can bring Lila back in. Hopefully she hasn't gone away. Are you there, Lila?

KING: I'm here, sirens and iReporters and Comic--Con goers behind me, the whole awesome spectacle. This is probably the plummest assignment of my career at CNN.

LEVS: It's time for us to wrap. Let's end with this, compared to previous years; I know this is your first one. All the people who are there who are talking to you about this, how did this year compare; this is the 40th anniversary, the 40th time. How does it compare to the whole history?

KING: Oh, gosh. Everybody I've talked to has said this is bigger and better than ever. So you guys, tell Josh. How is this comic-con? [Cheers and applause]

LEVS: Thanks, everybody. Thank you. Lila King, senior producer, iReport, thanks so much for joining us.

Hey, Fred, I think next year I got to be there. That's it.

WHITFIELD: I think I'm going to go along with you; maybe I'll be your grip. I'll carry the equipment.

LEVS: I have a feeling when the bus is here it could very much be the other way. You and me next year on comic-con.

WHITFIELD: I'm there. Too much fun. All right. Thanks so much Josh.

LEVS: Thanks. Back to you.

WHITFIELD: All right. It is simply miserable in so many parts of the country weather wise, either there's too much rain or too much heat. Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider will be along to tell us if there will be any relief.

Plus next hour, some myths about raising an only child. Something more families are actually choosing to do, American families. The author of "Parenting an Only Child" live next hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: We're about to introduce you to someone who can truly be defined as a pioneer in protecting the world's oceans, he's an artist who documents marine life. Sort of a Kincaid of the sea world. He's a scientist whose recent project involves sharks endangered by the Gulf oil spill. Here now is CNN's Colleen McEdwards.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COLLEEN MCEDWARDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): At home in the ocean, Guy Harvey the scientist monitors the stingrays that gather off Grand Cayman.

GUY HARVEY, ARTIST/MARINE BIOLOGIST: Here we've got another young female. And the tag is going right there where my thumb is.

MCEDWARDS: At home in the studio, Guy Harvey, the artist paints every day.

HARVEY: I didn't go to art class or art school. Never took a lesson in my life. I learned everything from trial and error and it's this persistence, I suppose, with the illustrative content that got me to where I am.

MCEDWARDS: Raised in Jamaica, educated in Scotland, Harvey took an art hobby and a PhD in fisheries management and became one of the world's leading conservationists.

HARVEY: Hemingway lived the life.

MCEDWARDS: Inspired by Hemingway's "Old man and the sea" Harvey became obsessed with game fish, wanting to draw them with absolute precision, to study and to teach. To get even closer to his subjects, Harvey created a TV series, rare dramatic footage of the same rare game fish he paints.

HARVEY: Seeing them under water in their glowing, feeding and moving colors, their aggression colors is probably one of the most exciting things you can do as a diver.

MCEDWARDS: He pioneered techniques of recording billfish underwater and a tagging system to monitor them over long distances.

HARVEY: Fish are just stinking fish to most people. They're a fillet that comes on a plate or you buy them at the fish markets or it comes in a cellophane bag and it's dead and cold and smelly. These are beautiful, graceful ocean predators that need our respect.

MCEDWARDS: These videos play constantly in his stores and restaurants, where Harvey's art is on the walls and only sustainable fish species are on the menu. Guy Harvey Inc. is a multimillion-dollar business now. About 10 percent of everything sold goes back into one of his eco-organizations.

HARVEY: I always say, it takes cash to care. And that's why I'm; we formed the Guy Harvey Research Institute. We formed the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation two years ago to be better able to raise money and carry out ocean research and education.

MCEDWARDS: Most recently, he's taken on the plight of sharks. Hunted for their fins, the loss of these predators could affect the ocean's fragile balance. Harvey's recent ultimate shark challenge was catch and release. The sharks were tagged for study, not a single one strung up on the dock. Sharks are also in danger in the Gulf of Mexico because of the BP oil leak. And Harvey fears other fish are at risk, too. He's planning a new line of t-shirts to raise money.

HARVEY: We have no idea when this is going to stop or how far it's going to reach. And what the lifespan of this disaster is going to be.

MCEDWARDS: He's out on the water whenever possible. Every day a reminder that the ecosystem is precious.

HARVEY: Another young female.

MCEDWARDS: She's beautiful.

HARVEY: All different colors, every single one is unique.

MCEDWARDS: From the study of stingrays to the most pressing issues in the conservation, Guy Harvey the diver, the artist, the scientist and the business man is right at home in the thick of it.

HARVEY: I feel like a bit of a pioneer in certain respects. In terms of turning my hobby into my profession and making it to the point where it pleases so many people. I want to leave a bunch of really nice art for people to look at for a long time. And I want to leave people feeling that we need to think more about how we use the ocean and everything that's in it. And if I would choose that, then I'll live for me.

MCEDWARDS: Colleen McEdwards, CNN, Grand Cayman.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: All right. Let's talk about some nasty weather particularly a tornado warning in effect for the Jersey shore, Bonnie Schneider is in the Weather Center. BONNIE SCHNEIDER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: That is right. You know it's interesting, a summer weekend; we had the south shore Fire Island and long island. Now the Jersey shore affected by the severe weather. The tornado warning actually as you were introducing me just expired, which is good. But there is severe weather rolling through Atlantic City, Pleasantville. It's really going to be Point Pleasant; we're going to see a lot of nasty weather through much of this part of New Jersey for the remainder of the afternoon.

Now this is also heading backward towards Pennsylvania and into Delaware. We're seeing widespread areas of strong thunderstorms rolling through. Here's D.C. the storms came through the Rockville, Maryland area earlier and just an hour ago, there was a tornado warning for Rockville, Maryland, that expired. Philadelphia also getting hammered, so now kind of the last stop is the shoreline, and you're seeing some very powerful storms also rolling through the Hampton's on Long Island. Up towards the north fork and the Long Island Sound into Connecticut some really rough weather.

Severe thunderstorm watches down through Philadelphia and into D.C. and then back to the west into Roanoke and Charlottesville, and in Virginia we still run the risk of severe weather. And you can see the intensity of those storms as they hammer areas into Maryland and Delaware right now. Frequent lightning strikes as well. There's also been a lot of rain and a lot of water this weekend in the Chicago land area. We had tremendous flooding. This is to let you know even when the weather looks nice outside, there's still a risk for flooding. So flood watches are still posted as runoff will exist as these storms kind of roll through.

Speaking of storms, we were tracking Bonnie and then it just dissipated. But still the enhancement of Gulf moisture, we've got some storms firing up along areas of the Panhandle of Florida. Driving along I-10, you're going to face some downpours. They'll be brief but they'll be strong where you have poor visibility. Watch out for that severe weather in the mid-Atlantic right now and on Long Island, it's really rough out there.

WHITFIELD: What a contrast. We've been talking about all the heat, the triple-digit temperatures and now they've got to worry about that, too.

SCHNEIDER: But at least they will get less humid weather on Monday thanks to the storms.

WHITFIELD: Really?

SCHNEIDER: Slightly, yes there's always the good with the bad.

WHITFIELD: Sometimes the stormy weather brings more humidity. All right. Thanks so much. We'll take your word for it. You're the expert. Bonnie, appreciate that.

Every Sunday we monitor what is said on the Sunday talk shows. We heard some bleak housing news from business leader, Mort Zuckerman who also happens to be a billionaire real estate mogul. Zuckerman appeared on CNN's "State of the Union" telling Candy Crowley that he doesn't see a turn-around any time soon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MORT ZUCKERMAN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT: Now you have a huge drop in prices and there are literally millions of homes where the home is worth less than the mortgage. The housing market has dropped by about 75 percent, there is a huge excess of supply. When you have supply that going up dramatically, both real supply and what we call the hidden inventory of people who are basically about ready to throw their homes on the market and you have very few buyers, you're bound to have a drop in prices and that's exactly why people aren't buying, they're afraid the prices are going to go down and by in large they have been right for the last 18 months, and they may be right for another 18 months, that's what they're worried about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Home prices dropping even further is not the kind of news that people who are underwater on their homes actually need to hear.

Next hour the story of home owners desperate to get their mortgages reduced, lining up for any kind of help that they can find.

Biloxi, Mississippi, hit hard by hurricane Katrina and it's still building back up five years after that devastating storm. An historic town is not forgetting its past in the process. Here now is CNN's Tom Forman.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The 150-year-old lighthouse is gleaming again in Biloxi, reopened just this year after a massive restoration. And other glimmers of hope are appearing all over town.

BILL RAYMOND: This is the Magnolia Hotel; it is the only surviving antebellum hotel along the Gulf coast.

FOREMAN: Bill Raymond historic administrator for Biloxi is overseeing the revival of more than a dozen landmarks hammered by Katrina.

How much damage did you have here?

RAYMOND: We had seven foot of water.

FOREMAN: And he's sharply aware that with so many jobs lost to the recession and so many in perils from the oil spill, many citizens are asking hard questions.

RAYMOND: Why would you spend money to save a historic structure? You need to help people get jobs.

FOREMAN: What did you tell them?

RAYMOND: Think about the future. Think about a few years from now when you do have a house, you do have a place to work.

FOREMAN: You'll also want a town with an identity.

RAYMOND: Exactly.

FOREMAN: For three centuries this town, one of the oldest on the Gulf has had a deep identity rooted in fishing and tourism.

MAYOR A.J. HOLLOWAY, BILOXI, MISSISSIPPI: This is a, 103-year-old building right here.

FOREMAN: And in the newly-restored city hall, the mayor believes regaining a sense of that history is critical to convincing tourists to come back, business leaders to reinvest. Everyone to believe his town will fully return from all of its calamities. You lost a lot of history in the storm.

HOLLOWAY: We lost a tremendous amount of history. But we're going to bring it back as much as we can.

FOREMAN: Inside the lighthouse, the wall shows how high floodwaters have risen over many years. But sights all over show that this town has always built up, no matter how far it is beaten down.

RAYMOND: It is not our history, but it is reminders and markers of our history.

FOREMAN: Bill Raymond is convinced with each bit of history he can save, the future, too, grows brighter.

Tom Forman, CNN, Biloxi, Mississippi.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Inside a deadly stampede now, police still don't know what started it all, coming up, we'll hear from an eye witness to the tragedy at the love parade.

Also ahead, underwater in the Gulf, we're climbing aboard a submarine for a fish-eye view of the oil disaster.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Police are still trying to figure out what triggered a deadly stampede outside a concert in western Germany. Here's a video taken in the crowd of thousands jammed around a tunnel near the entrance to the event. The people were trying to get into the concert. An annual concert called the Love Parade. The ensuing stampede left 19 people dead and as many as 400 injured.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, (via translator): We were inside the tunnel as the accident happened. We helped the people. As many people fell down in there. I personally found it really horrible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: One German television network reported that there were 1.4 million people at the event. They were only expecting around half as many. Organizers of the Love Parade now say that they will end this annual event for good out of respect for the victims.

The U.S. Agriculture Department agreed to pay $1.25 billion to settle claims of racial bias against black farmers. But the farmers are having a hard time getting their money because of a lot of stalling and finger-pointing on Capitol Hill. CNN congressional correspondent Brianna Keilar looked into the delay.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): For years now, John Boyd has divided his time between growing soybeans and pressuring Congress. He fights for tens of thousands of black farmers like himself discriminated against by the Department of Agriculture in the 1980s and '90s.

JOHN BOYD, PRES. NATIONAL BLACK FARMERS ASSOCIATION: It takes on almost 380 some-odd days to process a black loan application. It takes less than 30 days to process a white loan application. They went through hell. They went through living hell. We lost land. We lost our livelihoods, our way of life.

KEILAR: The U.S. government still owes 70,000 farmers more than $1 billion in damages. Congress missed a March deadline to pay up. And now an August deadline is looming. Boyd says President Obama needs to break the logjam.

BOYD: I'll be calling on the president to step in, and take a look at this process.

KEILAR: So what's the hold-up? Let's start at the White House.

ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRES. SECRETARY: You should check with, with members on Capitol Hill that might have quite honestly better intelligence about the level at which or what's in different drafts of supplemental appropriations that need to go through.

KEILAR: The House of Representatives has already passed a bill that includes the so-called Pickford Farm Settlement. So we asked house speaker, Nancy Pelosi, where's the money. She pointed at the other side of the capital, the Senate.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D) HOUSE SPEAKER: It's a must-pass for us. That's not what is happening in the United States Senate. They have, the Republicans in the Senate have rejected over and over again any legislation that has had the Pickford Settlement in it.

KEILAR: We asked a number of Senate Republicans to talk to us on camera about this, but none would. Their aides insist they support paying the black farmers, but only if it doesn't add to the deficit and they blame Democrats for failing to pass a bill. So why not cut spending somewhere else? We asked the Senate's top Democrat. SEN. HARRY REID, (D) MAJORITY LEADER: You know, this is an interesting game we're playing around here. First of all, they want everything paid for. And then when we pay for it they don't like how we paid for it. This is just an effort for them to stall. KEILAR: Back and forth, the finger-pointing goes, and still, the black farmers don't have their money.

BOYD: These farmers are tired of waiting, they're dying, and they're older. I say now is the time to do this. And now is the time to make these farmers whole for the few that are left. Let's do the right thing and compensate them. So that we can move on with our lives.

KEILAR: Boyd is calling on Congress to pass a stand-alone measure before the August break. But the thing is time is running out. The House recesses after next week. The Senate a week later and there's still a number of big issues, including the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan that the Senate has to deal with.

Brianna Keilar, CNN, Capitol Hill.

(END VIDEOTAPE)