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AMERICAN MORNING

Who is Private Bradley Manning?; Killing the Oil Well; Prop 8 is Far From Over; Lance Armstrong Doping; Shaq's A Celtic; Year of The Pitcher

Aired August 5, 2010 - 08:00   ET

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


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Thanks for joining us on the Most News in the Morning on this Thursday - Friday eve - the 5th of August.

I'm John Roberts.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Kiran Chetry.

We have a lot to talk about this morning. We get right to it. There is information about the private who allegedly leaked secret Military reports from the war in Afghanistan. Friends say the 22-year-old is smart but that he suffered a lot of abuse while in the military. We're live at the Pentagon with details.

ROBERTS: The end of a disaster drawing near. Right now BP is gearing up for the next to kill its ruptured well for good. But with so much optimism beneath the Gulf, hear why so many residents along the coast remain worried this morning.

CHETRY: Also it's a virtual strip search. We were told that those full-body scans security check points would not be stored. Well now come words that the Feds were doing just that. We have a live report with details emerging about the 22-year-old Army private who is accused of leaking a mountain of private intelligence from the Afghanistan war. Bradley Manning -- his friends tell CNN that he is opinionated and smart.

ROBERTS: We have also learned that the former hacker who tipped off the Pentagon about Manning had received a text message from the Army private back in May that read, quote, "I have been so isolated so long."

Barbara Starr is following the story. She's at the Pentagon this morning. She joins us now live.

What else have we learned, Barbara?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, Kiran, here's where things stand right now. Private First Class Bradley Manning in solitary confinement in a military detention facility. He is, according to Pentagon sources, the prime suspect in the leak of the Afghanistan documents, not charged yet.

But details are emerging. We know already from sources he was in at least one fight, had discipline problems, and now as you say, these instant messages are emerging that Manning allegedly sent to Adrian Lamo, that former computer hacker that eventually turned him in to federal authorities.

And let's look at some of these messages. They give you a window into who Manning may really be. You started it off, John.

It says, quote, "I've been isolated so long. I just wanted to be nice and live a normal life, but events kept forcing me to figure out ways to survive."

"Smart enough to know what's going on but helpless to do anything. No one took any notice of me."

"My family is non-supportive. I'm losing my job, losing career options. I don't have much more except for this laptop, some books, and a hell of a story."

These messages clearly giving some insight to someone in the U.S. military who had a sense of loneliness, who had a sense of problems.

Friends of his tell CNN that he was, indeed -- is, indeed, smart and opinionated. But that he had been teased in the military for being gay.

The investigation continues and military officials emphasize: innocent until proven guilty --- John, Kiran.

ROBERTS: As always, Barbara Starr -- thanks so much.

Well, that billowing black beast that held the entire Gulf region hostage for a long time may finally be history. This morning, BP has been given the green light to begin the next phase of its "static kill," pouring cement down into the ruptured wellbore to plug it for good.

CHETRY: And the positive news not only from below but from above the well. The Coast Guard says it's getting more difficult to find oil on the surface of the Gulf.

Our Jim Acosta is live in New Orleans.

And, Jim, welcomed news -- still a lot of concern, though, from Gulf Coast residents that, you know, this may the green light for these agencies to sort of pack up and leave.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. You have to excuse the folks down here in Louisiana for leaving the champagne bottles in the refrigerator for the moment. They know they're not out of the woods yet.

And yes, that news that Thad Allen, the national incident commander, has given BP the green light go ahead and start pumping cement down into that well, that should be viewed as terrific news.

But down here on the Gulf Coast, it's a question of who do you trust -- the government officials who say almost all of the oil is gone out in the Gulf of Mexico or the local residents who say it's still coming ashore?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA (voice-over): Yes, the people in Louisiana have seen the latest video of the mostly clear blue waters in the Gulf of Mexico. And, yes, they heard the latest government report, that all but roughly 25 percent of the oil spilled into the Gulf is gone. That doesn't mean people like Luis Valero (ph) are going to believe it.

(on camera): What do you think when you hear all of that?

LUIS VALERO (ph), FISHERMAN: Where is it? Where did it go?

ACOSTA (voice-over): A lifelong commercial, Valero now coordinates disaster response teams for St. Bernard Parish. And his response teams are made up of fishermen who are also skeptical.

JOHNNY NUNEZ, COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN: Where it went? Who picked it up? We didn't. I mean, you know, where it went? It's still there.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The long battle to stop the leak and contain the oil is finally close to coming to an end. And we are very, very pleased with that.

(APPLAUSE)

ACOSTA: The latest White House message, the president right down to the press secretary --

ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Many of the doomsday scenarios that were talked about and repeated a lot have not and will not come to fruition because of that.

ACOSTA: Along with BP's newfound confidence that its damaged well is no longer a threat, sound like a political mop-up operation to St. Bernard Parish president, Craig Taffaro.

(on camera): Is it possible that people along the Gulf Coast are just so weary and so beaten up that it's difficult to believe their own eyes?

CRAIG TAFFARO, ST. BERNARD PARISH PRESIDENT: No, I don't think so. We believe what we see. And that's why we continue to have some concerns.

ACOSTA (voice-over): So, Taffaro's staff still goes out every day to capture images of the oil still rolling into his parish. In part to convince BP its cleanup operations are sorely needed.

(on camera): If BP says, well, guys, we don't need you anymore.

TAFFARO: That puts us -- that puts us in a position of having an entire part of our community in no man's land. ACOSTA (voice-over): No man's land because commercial fishermen could end up stuck with no cleanup work and no markets for their seafood. It's no wonder Luis Valero wears the fisherman's prayer around his neck.

VALERO: Continue to give us hope and courage to face the challenge that lie ahead, reminding us always that you're by our side. Amen.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA: And they still need those prayers down here, John and Kiran.

And the government may find out in the end that it's going to be harder to kill the skepticism down in the Gulf than it is to kill this well once and for all. Sometimes, taking the government's word down here is just as slippery as cleaning up all of the oil out there.

And just listen to what the parish president out in St. Bernard, Craig Taffaro, has to say about this oil spill when I asked him yesterday, the very first question, "Well, what do you think about this new report from NOAA that says 75 percent of it is basically all gone?" He said, "Well, 25 percent of the world's biggest oil spill in, you know, history of the planet is still a lot of oil." That's 15 million gallons of oil, that's five times the Exxon Valdez disaster and they want to know, where is all of that oil? I mean, that's still a big question down here -- John and Kiran.

ROBERTS: Yes. I think it's probably a legitimate one as well.

Jim Acosta for us in New Orleans this morning -- Jim, thanks.

Extreme heat, deadly triple-digit temperatures are hanging over the country again today. Rob Marciano, live outside. He's in Atlanta's Piedmont Park this morning.

And how steamy is it getting there, Rob?

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It's pretty soupy right now, John. And we expect temperatures to get to or exceed where they were yesterday. And we're not the only city who has been sweating it out. Records are falling across the board.

Even in Memphis, Tennessee, six months ago, I was standing in that very same city talking about the record breaking heat and how the power company was pretty much letting bills slide temporarily so that they didn't have to turn off the heat. Well, same deal is happening now with the record breaking heat in Memphis and they're actually -- the fire department yesterday was going door-to-door to check on people and make sure everyone was all right.

And that's great advice, especially if you have elderly neighbors. You definitely want to check on them from time to time during this heat because if the A.C. goes off, there's going to be -- there's going to be some problems. All right. Let's talk about what kind of numbers we saw yesterday across the Mid and Deep South, another day of record breaking highs, getting well up and over the century mark in many areas. Arkansas, this is -- this may go down as the warmest summer or July in Arkansas history. Certainly, it's been the warmest in Little Rock in well over a decade, 102 for a high there. Hot Springs is living up to its name, 108.

Now, you couple in the humidity and where we are right now for temperature-wise, it feels like 86 in Shreveport. It feels like 91 degrees in humidity. And it's the humidity that kills you because your body just can't cool down as well because things just don't evaporate as well.

Advisories, whole slew of them, 19 states. Actually, the pink is all heat warnings. The heat advisories extend northeastward. And now, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City into the mix, temperatures there in those cities will get into the mid-90s as well today before the cool-down begins to roll in over the weekend.

Yes. We'll see a bit of a cool-down, but it probably won't get to the deep, Deep South and never does in the month of August. All we can hope for is a little bit of moderation and that probably won't still come for a couple of days -- John, Kiran.

CHETRY: All right. Got to wait it out and try to stay cool if you can.

Rob, thanks so much.

Well, some peer pressure among the billionaires. But it's a good thing. They want to do some good in the world. A whole new group of billionaires is now taking that pledge to give away half of their worth to charity -- either during their lifetimes or after they die.

It's a challenge that was started by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates called the Giving Pledge. And the new additions now include New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as well as director George Lucas, T. Boone Pickens, and also, CNN founder, Ted Turner. ROBERTS: Well, California's gay marriage ban, Prop 8, overturned. But the debate is far from over -- so is the legal challenge. What's next, though?

It's 9 1/2 minutes after the hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Twelve minutes after the hour.

The celebrations went late into the night. Gay rights activists overjoyed after a federal judge declared California's ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8, unconstitutional.

CHETRY: People on both sides started speaking out immediately after the judge handed down his 136-page decision.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just a terrific moment today because now, we're a giant step closer to restoring that basic freedom to marry in California.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, it's a great tragedy. It's a fantastic attack upon our nation, our children, and our families. So, hopefully, we'll have to rely on the Supreme Court now to save the nation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really hard to talk because I'm so excited and so happy. Earlier today, I was shaking because I was cold. And now, I'm just shaking because of joy.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

CHETRY: For more now, our Ted Rowlands, he's up live early for us in Los Angeles this morning.

And as we've said all morning, both sides saying it's probably not over.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely not. The Prop 8 folks say that they are going to appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals before the ink dries on this decision. So, that process has already started.

The first order of business, though, is the stay, which was issued by this judge, Judge Vaughn Walker, basically saying that same- sex couples cannot get married here in the interim while he figures out how long this stay is going to be. And this week, they're going to hear -- he's going to hear arguments on that. He'll rule initially on the length of the stay and it's expected that he'll expand the stay at least until the 9th Circuit enters into the fray.

And at that point, he'll probably pass the baton in terms of the stay -- and the reason for that, of course, is that so there is no confusion. They don't want people going out to get married and then having this issue overturned and have Prop 8 reinstated in the state.

So, first off, the stay this week, and then we'll see the 9th Circuit take this case probably with a three-judge panel. And from there, obviously, a lot of people take it as destined to head to the U.S. Supreme Court. The loser at the 9th Circuit will take it up to the high court.

ROBERTS: Yes, that's probably assured, no question about it. But the timing is what's in question. We had our legal analyst, Paul Callan, earlier. He thought it would be two years before this got to the Supreme Court. Maybe some other state cases would be decided, and go through the appeals process.

So, it's such an emotional issue there in California. And with the judge issuing a stay on his order, until it goes through the appeals process, how are people going to be able to deal with the tensions with the emotions there? ROWLANDS: Well, you know, I got to tell, having covered this since 2004 when San Francisco first started granting marriage certificates, it has been such a seesaw for all of the stakeholders on both sides of this, that there is a sense that people are getting used to that, I think.

And talking to people last night at a rally in West Hollywood, a lot of elation, but also, it was tempered and they realized that they are in a long battle here. And I think that the emotions you saw early on four years ago, six years ago, of people with sheer joy and sheer anger, depending on if they won or lost a round -- that has really tempered. And I think that people are ready for sort of this long fight and expect it to end at the U.S. Supreme Court. And at that point, of course, there will be a final decision.

CHETRY: Right because the bottom line in all of this, people -- same-sex couples are not able to get married still in the state of California today. Right?

ROWLANDS: Yes that is correct. Now that will be a point that the -- folks will argue the anti-prop 8 folks will argue to Judge Walker this week in their brief, they will say listen, if you are going to put a stay on this, with such a forceful ruling, 138-point ruling and now you are going to put a stay on this that could last years.

Basically what you are doing is you are hand cuffing these couples that you have already ruled deserve this opportunity. So it would be very interesting to see what Judge Walker does in terms of extending this stay. How long it goes and most people do expect it will go at least to the 9th circuit level, which won't be two years from now. That's expected to happen - the process starting this year and then going into early next year.

ROBERTS: Ted Rowlands for us, live, in San Francisco. Ted thanks so much.

A lot of comments coming into our live blog this morning. A lot of people weighing in on this issue as you can imagine. Let's take a look at just a couple of them. They are running sort of -- I would say, about 75 percent pro the judges' ruling versus against. But here is one that's against. Comes in from Ronnie who writes the will of the people and majority of rule means nothing when some judge's opinion means more than the people.

CHETRY: Yes and couple other people writing in. We have Polly who said many of the same arguments being made against gay marriage were used when denying interracial marriages. The government can't deny any groups the rights that other citizens have. ROBERTS: Yes and one other -- against this ruling, I don't recall marriage even mentioned in the constitution and this is another liberal attempt to ruin the sanctity of marriage in the Church.

CHETRY: And we would like you guys to join the conversation as well. We are taking the comments at our live blog, cnn.com/amfix. ROBERTS: So A-Rod reaches 600 homers. Does his previous steroid use take away from the milestone? Should there be an asterisk, Max Kellerman's taking, coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: She was a guitar player for Michael Jackson.

CHETRY: She is good.

ROBERTS: Yes excellent, 20 minutes after the hour. Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. Federal prosecutors are reportedly stepping up a criminal investigation of seven time Tour de France champ, Lance Armstrong." The New York Times" says the former teammate has implicated Armstrong for a systematic blood doping and use of performance enhancing drugs. Armstrong, of course, has consistently denied any involvement in doping.

CHETRY: Mean time, next stop is Boston for Shaquille O'Neal. The 15-time NBA all-star has signed a two-year deal with the Celtics. This would then be his sixth team. Shaq has won three NBA title with the L.A. Lakers and one with the Miami heat. And he played last season with LeBron James in Cleveland.

ROBERTS: And the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez is the newest member of baseball's exclusive 600 club. He hit his 600th home run yesterday. He is just the seventh major leaguer to reach that milestone. Number 600 came, believe it or not, exactly three years to the day after his 500th homer. And it took him 12 games between 599 and 600 as well.

CHETRY: Yes he was just waiting for that perfect moment.

ROBERTS: Push that ball over the top.

CHETRY: Well there are some questions though about whether the major league milestone is tainted by A-Rod's previous admission of steroid use. Our resident sports guy, CNN contributor, Max Kellerman joins us now. What do you think about the A-Rod situation? I mean, big celebration yesterday. Long standing ovation. He did it on his home field. But is it marred by the admission?

MAX KELLERMAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I just love the fact that we did a full sports report already. Unbelievable, a very good morning. Yes, of course. You know, there's no way that it didn't help. There's been a totally positive correlation between performance enhancing drugs and offensive output especially. But in A-Rod's case, it is not quite the same as in Sammy Sosa's case. Never been convicted of anything but -- went from being a guy in decline to smashing home run records. Because A-Rod came into the league as such a special player. And there was never really any one moment where you could peg it and say look at that, his stats jumped up and that's when he was juicing. I think it will affect him less so in terms of damaging his reputation than others. Specifically McGwire, SOSA, and Bonds.

ROBERTS: So but should there be an asterisk beside this accomplishment? And what about the prospects for the hall of fame?

KELLERMAN: Again, because A-Rod's all-around game before he was juicing extensively, was hall of fame caliber, much like Barry Bonds who -- there's clear lay moment where he became a fundamentally different kind of hitter late in his career.

CHETRY: Right.

KELLERMAN: But Bonds was already a hall of famer. Guys like Sosa and McGwire who clearly weren't hall of famers until that moment, alleged moment, probably -- I would -- wouldn't get my vote if I had one for the hall of fame.

CHETRY: I got you. Well you know, the interesting thing is we are even talking about batters today. Because it really has been a lot of people say the season of the pitcher. What do we have, five no-hitters this season, right, to date. The record is seven in a season back in 1991. And of course, one of your first segments on the show is how Galarraga got robbed. So it would have been six, right, if that had been called the right way, many said. But is this a fluky season? Or is the game sort of correcting itself?

KELLERMAN: It also helps pitchers, like, for instance, the controversy about Roger Clemens. But Clemens never got better than he ever was. He just got as good as he was in his youth. If he was on performance enhance enhancers, it certainly looks as if he was. There's such a positive correlation, again, between performance enhancement, and performance enhancement drugs, and offensive output. That sure, of course, that when you start weeding the cheaters out and when you start testing and making it more difficult for guys to cheat offense goes down. In another segment we once did, how -- six weeks, eight weeks ago, I mentioned the science times. That article about - I see you guys don't remember. I thought it was something memorable.

ROBERTS: I do. I was trying --

CHETRY: Was it the Aristotle one? Plato?

KELLERMAN: No, no. It is the gazelles. The scientist were looking at these gazelles who ran much faster than the predators they were out running. Usually prey runs just fast enough.

CHETRY: Were they juicing?

KELLERMAN: Exactly. They were. They figured out that they evolved along saber tooth tigers who were faster than modern predators. The saber tooth tigers die out, the gazelles are still running. You know these predators are thinking, wait - now this guy is gone. That's what's happening, I think, with pitchers. If you evolve alongside saber tooth tigers, and these monsters are coming at you, and suddenly they are not there anymore, and you have evolved in a way that you can coexist with them.

CHETRY: Right.

KELLERMAN: You are kind of way faster than you need to be. So we have five-no-hitters.

CHETRY: No I know John was talking about Lance Armstrong, but just one note on that -- it is so fluky to have a no-hitter. The difference between a no-hitter and a one hitter could just be an outfielder, you know, flubbing a catch.

KELLERMAN: That's right.

CHETRY: So how is it we have so many this season?

KELLERMAN: Exactly right. And there could be luck involved. In terms of the number of no-hitters specifically. Across the board, pitching is better and offense is down. But in terms of just the number of no-hitters. Absolutely right, it may have to do with adapting to those saber tooth tigers again.

ROBERTS: There you go yes.

KELLERMAN: Because these smaller market teams -

ROBERTS: Running after those balls -

KELLERMAN: Who couldn't afford those huge money sluggers were forced to develop these -- oftentimes proprietary metrics to measure defense in order to compete. And so now in addition to the better pitching, you have better defense with a lot of the things. Maybe that has something to do with it.

ROBERTS: Let's get to Lance Armstrong because this case is taking a serious turn. Another former teammate of his dropped a dime in addition to Floyd Landis. We don't know who that might be. But we know Tyler Hamilton has testified before the grand jury. I mean what do you think about all of this? Is Lance in a difficult position now?

KELLERMAN: Well special agent Jeff Nowitzki is on its case. And this is the guy who brought down Barry Bonds at least in the public eye for those who it wasn't obvious to already.

But I think it boils down to how much trouble Lance Armstrong is in, is -- whether he did it or not. Ultimately because will it go to -- will it advance past this stage depends on if Lance Armstrong did it. People start rolling over on him. And I think it is more likely, if he did it, that they will now that Marion Jones had to do six months in jail in prison because she lied to prosecutors, to investigators. So it boils down -- how far does this advance? Do you think he did it or not?

CHETRY: The other question, though, he has continued to deny it and says he does not have any -- never got it and has nothing to do with him. And so -- the point is that even if he is innocent, is his reputation marred?

KELLERMAN: No, I think if it doesn't advance past this stage it helps him. People realize there's enough nervous enough anxiety about it, among that's that will be investigated that if no one rolls over on the guy, it suggests maybe he really didn't. ROBERTS: Yes about the most tested athlete in the history of the universe, too. So there wouldn't be any physical evidence out there.

KELLERMAN: As we were talking, you know, difficult to -- how do you get that physical evidence to begin with?

ROBERTS: All right, Max Kellerman, great to see you this morning.

KELLERMAN: Likewise.

CHETRY: Thanks Max.

ROBERTS: Thank you for coming in.

Inside the minds of animals. The saber tooth tigers. Can animals think? Jeff Kluger, science editor at "Time" magazine, coming up.

CHETRY: Also a full body scanner storing photos of you? The U.S. marshal service admits it did save thousands of images. The question is why and exactly how far did this go? Twenty seven minutes past the hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: Half past the hour right now. We are looking at the top stories this morning. We are learning more about the prime suspect behind the leaking of tens of thousands of secret Afghan war documents. Before private first class Bradley Manning's arrest in June, he allegedly sent a text message to the former computer hacker who tipped off authorities, writing quote, "I've been so isolated for so long." Friends tell Bradley was smart but also teased in military for being gay.

ROBERTS: Admiral Thad Allen giving BP the green light this morning to close its damaged the oil well. The decision comes after BP says the heavy drilling pumped into the well on Tuesday is holding back the oil. To make sure the well stays plugged BP is pushing ahead with its relief well which should be ready in the next two weeks.

CHETRY: Gay right advocates are celebrating a federal judge's decision to overturn a ban on same-sex marriage. Groups on the other side of the Prop 8 debate say the legal fight is not over.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RANDY THOMASSON, SAVECALIFORNIA.COM: The judge has dealt a terrible blow to natural marriage, the voters' rights, the constitution, and this republic we call the United States of America. You mark my words. If marriage can mean anything, then marriage will ultimately mean nothing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHETRY: Lawyers for the group Protect Marriage is promising to file an appeal.

ROBERTS: We're following developments in a story that is sure to have privacy advocates up in arms. The U.S. Marshal Service has admitted to storing full-body scan images of people entering the federal courthouse in Orlando, Florida. It is not just one or two we are talking about. Let's put the figure up on the jean. The federal agency has more than 35,000 images.

CHETRY: That's raising new questions about the government's standards that are being used at airport security checkpoints. Homeland Security Correspondent Jeanne Meserve joins us live from Washington. People are saying if the marshals could do it at a federal courthouse, then it can be done at the airports.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That's the big concern and the question that this raises. You have some samples of the images produced by the U.S. Marshal's millimeter machine in Orlando. They aren't particularly revealing, but what's disturbing to privacy advocates is that they were saved at all after so many assurances from government officials that the machine was not do that.

Here's Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in March.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JANET NAPOLITANO, U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: The machines are not set to store images. They are not set to transmit images. And they are objectively better at detecting liquids, powders, gels, other things that somebody may try to smuggle on the plane to blow up the plane.

We have really been working on the privacy side to make sure those concerns have been mitigated from the original iterations of the technology. We want to deal with those as we go through the implementation.

ROBERTS: Sure, but can you guarantee, Madam Secretary, again, we will never hear a story of somebody inappropriately storing or transmitting these images?

NAPOLITANO: Look, I'm going to tell you we are not retaining, we are not keeping. They are not designed for that at all.

ROBERTS: That doesn't sound like an unequivocal no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MESERVE: The saved images we are talking about today were from a U.S. marshal's machine at a courthouse, not a transportation security administration machine at an airport checkpoint.

The TSA is reiterating today although its machines can store images when they are being tested, quote, "All functionality to store, export, print images is disabled before these machines are delivered to airport checkpoints." But the privacy group who obtained the images, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, says this bolsters its case for barring use of the machines at airports. John, Kiran, back to you.

ROBERTS: Jeanne Meserve for us this morning from Washington. Thanks.

CHETRY: Still ahead, inside the minds of animals -- can animals think? And which animals are smarter than others? Jeff Kluger is a science editor at "TIME" magazine. That's still ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: It's 37 minutes past the hour now. Cute animals seem to have it better. When you treat an animal differently if you thought it was more like you, meaning it could think and reason?

ROBERTS: "TIME's" cover story is taking a look at the great I did divide between man and beast and whether maybe we are not that far apart after all. "TIME" science editor Jeff Kluger joins us now.

So how determine through the research and story, how do you determine if an animal is intelligent or just able to learn?

JEFF KLUGER, SCIENCE EDITOR, "TIME": That's a very good question. It comes up a lot with these language studies. And what you can -- what helps you to determine this is if animals are being creative, if they're inventing terms. You can teach an animal to point to an icon for ball. That doesn't necessarily mean that that's -- that he really makes that connection.

But when Konzi, one of the bonobos that I met, had kale for the first time, he had no icon for kale. So he labeled it slow lettuce because it takes longer to choose. So not only is he working with a noun there, he is working with an abstraction, a quality. Slow is not something you can put your hands on. It is just a vague idea.

To be able to build something like that, that kind of creative thinking --

ROBERTS: They were here in the preamble conversation -- Konzi is one of the great apes in Iowa that. Apparently Konzi for an ape, anyway, is brilliant.

CHETRY: It is amazing. We start to learn more about the animals. We worked with a graphic to show where they fall on the intelligence scale. No offense to any other animals watching.

KLUGER: They have no consciousness.

ROBERTS: When you eat the oyster, don't feel bad.

CHETRY: You go to herd animals. They follow the pack. Not necessarily in any type of social structure, I guess. But when you talk about social carnivores like hyenas, it changes with these animals. What's the difference between the herding animals and social carnivores?

KLUGER: You are absolutely right. Simply because they lived together is an indication of intelligence. With social carnivores, there's structure, hierarchy, leadership. You knock out a leader of a wolf pack and you will have a real power struggle.

There's also elaborate cooperation. So the unglamorous hyena, for example, not among the most charismatic of animals, does incredibly cooperative things. They go out and plan a hunt. They will organize the size of their hunting party depending on kind of animals they want to bring down. They take fewer guys it is they are going over wildebeests and more if they are hunting zebra.

CHETRY: You talk about the birds, the tool makers. You don't always think of birds as the smartest.

KLUGER: Exactly. In fact, they lack a cerebral cortex, so a whole piece of brain is missing. Yet, jays, different kinds of crows, rooks, are capable of building tools and capable of figuring out that if they drop pebbles in a pitcher, they will raise the level of water, which by the way was a Aesop fable 2,500 years ago, and it turns out not to be fable.

ROBERTS: At the top of the intelligence food chain, as it were, are the great apes. You met Konzi. We have pictures. What was your experience like?

KLUGER: First of all, he invited me to have coffee with him, which I felt was very sociable. He pointing to the coffee icon and then pointed to me, and then indicated other folks, he wanted to join him for coffee. He takes his coffee with vanilla flavored milk and a little bit artificial sweetener.

He also -- he built a very interesting thought when I was there. He indicated that he wanted to play with his ball. I was sent out to get the ball. It took me a long time to find it. When I brought it back to him, sue the researcher working most closely with him, said Konzi, are you ready to play? He pointed to two icons on the board that said "past ready." This was almost baleful.

ROBERTS: Like "I'm waiting for it."

KLUGER: Exactly.

CHETRY: "What took you so long to get the ball"?

KLUGER: Exactly.

CHETRY: When you are dealing with animals this smart -- he is able to communicate and have you a picture of that elaborate symbols he uses to communicate.

KLUGER: This is one -- by the way, unfolds three times. These are 384 symbols that these apes learned. And that doesn't include the ones they picked up on their own that they just don't have been an icon for. CHETRY: What do we then take from this in terms of what we can learn from them and also how we deal with animals like this?

KLUGER: Well, this is -- I mean, this is one of the larger philosophical questions. Nobody believes that we are going to wake up in a vegan world tomorrow. Even the greatest animal champions don't believe there is no place for animal experimentation for the development of important drugs.

But our treatment of animals has to be informed by our acceptance of the fact that these are sentient, coherent animals with subjective experience who in many respects enjoy their lives.

ROBERTS: Yes. If you are wondering whether or not they are really, take a look at the next piece of video where researcher is covered in a welder's mask so she can't give visual cues to Konzi. She gives him instructions for things to do. Watch this video.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Konzi, pour the Perrier water in the dairy. Thank you. That's good. That's good. You see the TV set? Could you take the TV outdoors? Could you carry the television outdoors, please?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: All right, on the surface, that looks pretty remarkable. But how different is that from "Fido, sit, rollover, fetch"?

KLUGER: That's a series of single-word commands that are followed by a learned behavior. There's no assembly of thought there. You don't say to Fido "sit and then please go into the kitchen, and while there, bring me an apple." You do assemble thoughts and you do assemble abstractions. You don't say to Fido quickly please or slowly, please, or put the -- take the apple from the red bowl.

When they are mastering from terms "from," "inside," "tomorrow," "be," "happy," "sad," all of these again are not simple nouns or verbs. Human babies are nouns and verbs first.

CHETRY: Is Konzi smartest than most bonobo monkeys? I mean, apes, rather, not monkeys. That's a very important distinction. In the wild, how do they compare?

KLUGER: The capacity to learn in the wild is always there. They are basically born with the same cerebral software. But in the case of what the trust is doing that's different is they are raising their bonobos in a language rich environment. In the same way you take a baby for a walk, baby is six months old, you say look at what we are seeing a dog, building. Look at that airplane. He doesn't understand everything you are saying or much. But there's this ambient language that enters through the baby's pores. Over time they recognize. And that's how they are being raised.

ROBERTS: Amazing stuff. The new issue of "TIME" magazine. Jeff, great to see you this morning.

KLUGER: Thank you.

CHETRY: Also still ahead, we are following the latest weather- wise, the heat wave across much of the south and Midwest of the country. Rob is following all of that for us from Atlanta. He will be joining us in just a moment.

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ROBERTS: A look at the hot-lanta steam bath this morning where right now fair and 79 degrees. It's pretty hazy, though, with all the temperatures and all of the humidity. Later on today it's going to get really humid. Some thunderstorms rolling in and the high will be a steamy 95 degrees.

CHETRY: Yes, the heat wave continues. Our Rob Marciano is live in Atlanta's Piedmont Park this morning. So, any relief in sight, Rob?

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know it depends on where you live guys. This time of year it is tough to get a cold front all the way down into the Deep South. But it will get -- about halfway there.

Atlanta may see a little bit of relief this weekend in the form of slightly lower levels of humidity. But the rest of the Deep South will stay in the thick of it for sure.

Let's check out some of these numbers as far as record highs go. And -- and many of the areas that we share -- share with you yesterday. Arkansas, this could go down as one of the warmest summers on record for you. And the -- temperatures yesterday, well, certainly hot in Hot Springs, 108; 107 in Pine Bluff; as far north as Louisville, Kentucky, 102.

All right, right now, it feels like 91 in Memphis in the shade but you couple in the humidity and that's the killer right there; 86 degrees in Shreveport. In some of the bigger cities, the problem you get at night and not only do you have the humidity but you've got all that concrete that it is -- that's holding on to that heat.

So what we call the urban heat island effect in full force in places like Houston, certainly places like Atlanta, where that cement just radiates as it absorbs throughout the day, it radiates at night and continues to keeps the heat locked in place.

All right, the heat advisories and heat warning is out for a good chunk of this lower U.S. and -- in the Northeast as well. And including New York and D.C. where the temperatures today will get into the mid 90s. But you guys should cool off over the weekend -- John, Kiran.

ROBERTS: All right, looking forward to that. Rob, thanks so much. Coming up next, our Dr. Sanjay Gupta answering your medical questions; it's Thursday that means he's got the mailbag open. Stay with us, he's coming right up. Ten minutes to the top of the hour.

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ROBERTS: You know, I don't know if -- if Phil is like where's Waldo or more like flat Stanley you know in every picture you've ever taken on your vacation its flat Stanley.

CHETRY: He's like that squirrel that popped up. Well --

ROBERTS: Time now for your "A.M. House Calls." I've got some stories about your health this morning. That's what we do every Thursday; it's time to get Dr. Sanjay Gupta's perspective on things. He is our resident doctor. And you've some questions to ask him.

CHETRY: And he joins us now, chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Hey Sanjay.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm here to serve you guys.

CHETRY: You will -- thank you very much. Well, what we want to know is how the heck do we stay cool right now? There's a heat wave going on. And we a question on our blog, Buzzman says, "It's easy to say stay out of the heat and stay indoors."

GUPTA: Right.

CHETRY: And tell that to your boss if you work in construction. And there are a lot of people that have to work outside --

GUPTA: Right.

CHETRY: -- all day.

GUPTA: Yes.

CHETRY: What should they do if they are in these elements -- in what's feels like 115 degrees in some cases?

GUPTA: Yes Buzzman -- I mean, he brings up a point that -- that a lot of people have been asking about. Certainly I mean there are people who are going to have to be outside. And there are certain tips that really probably do make a difference.

First of all, you know when you wake up in the morning, on the day that you're going to have to go outside, keep in mind that you haven't had probably any fluids over the last several hours while you've been sleeping.

So people wake up dehydrated which is the exact wrong position you want to be in if you're going to be spending this day outside. So really be drinking water first thing in the morning and -- and be drinking water or even some sort of electrolyte drink. Just about every 15 to 20 minutes throughout the day. Even if it's a few sips on a bottle, and make sure that you're doing that. If you're starting to feel thirsty, Buzzman or anybody else, you want to make sure that -- that is sort of a sign that you've already started to become dehydrated. So you really have to sort to pay attention to that.

There are certain things in terms of paying attention to your body that make a difference. You can take a look at the list there: with the body temperature, getting over 104.

Starting to feel a little confused, you're disoriented. This may surprise you thinking I'm not sure exactly what's going on. That can be some of the first signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Even your sweating stops. People think well, it's a good thing. I'm not sweating anymore. I must not be as hot as I thought.

In fact, it's just the opposite. Your cooling mechanisms have shut down. And again, this is not paying attention to your body and obviously people can faint.

But I think the hydration, even electrolyte hydration, throughout the day is critical. And starting that first thing in the morning, getting out -- you know getting out of the elements as much as possible.

ROBERTS: Just a quick point on that Sanjay, this electrolyte rehydration. We talk about exercising unless people are really exercising intensely --

GUPTA: Yes.

ROBERTS: -- over a long period of time. They don't need, if there's electrolyte replacement, if you are working all day outside, you do?

GUPTA: Well, here's the difference. If you're -- if you're working out, you're exercising very hard, what happens is a few things. First of all, so much blood flow has diverted to your -- to your extremities, your legs and your arms. But you're not really absorbing electrolytes across your intestines.

It's because you're not getting enough blood flow to your intestines at that point. That's part of the reason people get nauseated and they may get sick. So despite the fact that you are drinking a lot of those drinks, it may not actually be doing you any good. It could in fact make you sick.

In fact, a lot of -- you know, physiologists in the world of exercise medicine will advocate just taking some food salt and putting it in your mouth and letting it absorb across your tongue. You do need the electrolytes to be clear. It is just more a question of how you get it.

ROBERTS: Second question this morning comes from Thespena in Indiana. She says, quote, "My son is 3 and he's outgrown the kiddie pool. I'm nervous about him swimming in deeper water. I heard toddlers can drown in water that's only a few inches deep. Is that true?"

GUPTA: I have three kids. I think about this issue all the time. We have a little pool at our house as well. And first of all, the answer is yes. A child can drown in a very small amount of water. Part of the issue is that children, especially at that age, tend to be -- top heavy. If they fall, their heads fall into the water. It is just hard for them to extricate themselves. That's part of the problem.

You look at the age group of drownings, children 4 and under doubled the number of drownings as compared to just about any other age group. Also these drownings aren't the Hollywood sort of drownings. There is not a lot of thrashing around and yelling out. It is often quick and quiet.

So keeping a constant eye on somebody in the pool is just -- it is paramount importance. You can't take your eyes off because you can miss something very quickly. Fencing in the pool on all four sides, I mean that's something that is required in many states. Obviously, that keeps the kids from getting into the pool. And finally, the drains, the pool drains. Make sure it is a safe drain that may not cause suction on the kid and make it hard for them to rise back up to the surface.

CHETRY: A lot of people say, try to teach them how to swim if they are around water as quickly as possible as well.

GUPTA: That's right. We did that. We did that. There were some special classes and really helps them sort of control themselves and get out of the water if they find themselves in that situation.

CHETRY: All right. Good advice, Sanjay. Always great to see you, thanks so much.

GUPTA: Good to see you guys.

CHETRY: we are going to take a quick break. It's now 3 minutes to the top of the hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Continue the conversation on today's stories. Go to our blog at CNN.com/amfix.

That will wrap it up for us. Thanks so much for joining us. We'll see you back here again bright and early tomorrow.

CHETRY: All right. The news continues. "CNN NEWSROOM" with Kyra Phillips starts right now. Good morning Kyra.