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Norway Mourns Deaths; New York's Same-Sex Marriages; Looming Debt Deadline; Strauss-Kahn Accuser Goes Public; The Mind of the Norway Suspect; 75 Retired Players Sue NFL

Aired July 24, 2011 - 19:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: All right, let's get back to Gracie Mansion now.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, MAYOR, NEW YORK: John and Jonathan, we wish for you all life's blessings, and in so much as you have consented to be united in the bonds of matrimony and you have exchanged your wedding vows before all of those present today, therefore, by the powers vested in me by the State of New York, I pronounce you both married.

And now, a great tradition: the breaking of the glass. This custom has many interpretations and since it is a Jewish custom it has even more. But one that seems to fit today perfectly is that the broken glass is a reminder. A reminder that although the couple came together as a single union, the world as a whole is broken and needs mending, and I can't think of two men who work harder to do that every single day.

As a matter of fact, they wanted to get tomorrow off, and I said, no. We have a budget crisis. They will be at their desks tomorrow morning. So those of you who work for them, and had thought you could dog it tomorrow, sorry.

Anyways, they work as hard as anybody can and I think that's why the groom will now break the glass. In fact, today you're in for a treat, because we have -- two glasses.

And now you're all welcome to come inside the tent, and I think it's time for a drink.

LEMON: We wish we could take all of you inside for a drink, inside the tent, wouldn't that be nice? But that's Michael Bloomberg. And now officially married in New York City, John Fineblatt and Jonathan Bradley Mintz, two long-time aides of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and guess what? It was a beautiful ceremony. You got to love a wedding if it's -- whether it's an opposite, couples of opposite -- opposite sex or same sex. Weddings are always beautiful and it's nice.

Congratulations to them. We hope they're together for a long time many happy years.

You heard the Mayor say you know what? They both have to show up at work tomorrow. They have to show up at work tomorrow. And before we get to that I want to thank our couples who were -- who got married today as well, Jo-Ann Shain and Dr. Mary Jo Kennedy, thank you. Go back to your ceremony and your guests now, for your reception.

SHAIN: Ok. Thank -- thank you very much.

LEMON: And have a great time. Congratulations to you.


LEMON: And then our couple standing by in New York, Doug Robinson and Michael Elsasser, joining us from our New York bureau, go back to your guests, and have a great reception and a great long and happy life together. Ok?

ROBINSON: Thank you so much. We certainly will.

ELSASSER: Thank you.

LEMON: Thank you.

And you heard the mayor say, Mayor Bloomberg, hey, guess what? These workers wanted to be away tomorrow but we have a budget crisis and they have to go to work.

So now we're going to go to Washington for you where the debt ceiling debate can be dry and sometimes hard to follow but there is a lot happening in Washington this hour with a deadline drawing closer by the minute.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner got things started with this remark on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION". Candy Crowley asked him if the latest plan offered by House Speaker John Boehner would be acceptable to the White House.


TIMOTHY GEITHNER, TREASURY SECRETARY: What we cannot do and this is very important, we cannot do because it will be irresponsible, is to leave the threat of default hanging over the American economy for a long period of time. Look, you know, back in January, more than seven months ago, we started this process of working with the Congress to get them to raise the debt limit so we could avoid default crisis. It's taken us seven months to get to the place we are at now.

And we're at -- almost at a runway -- we're not nowhere -- but we're almost at a runway and we cannot put the American economy through this periodic threat.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN HOST, "STATE OF THE UNION": Is that a no, -- I'm just --

GEITHNER: It's a no.


LEMON: Well in recent hours Republicans have been huddling at the Capitol and top Democrats met with the President. Our chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin standing by for us live and our congressional correspondent Kate Bolduan is on Capitol Hill as well. So Kate, I'm going to start with you. Do we know where things stand at the Capitol now?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In short I can tell you, Don no deal up here on Capitol Hill, as -- as this evening. It seems Republican and Democratic negotiators, congressional leaders, seem to be moving in different directions rather than towards a bipartisan agreement.

House Speaker John Boehner on a conference call with his -- with House Republicans earlier today seemed to be trying to give them a pep talk of sorts. Saying that they need to stick together and stick to their principles. At the same time he also said that they also do need to come -- come to agree together on a -- on a measure that can also pass both the House and the Senate.

And then at the very same time, the Senate Majority Leader, Democrat Harry Reid he's now pushing his own proposal and according to a Senate Democratic aide it's because of an impasse over this two-part process. This two-step process that Speaker Boehner has been proposing as a way to raise the debt ceiling for this proposal that Reid is pushing it could also come with a debt reduction of $2.5 trillion and raise the debt ceiling through 2013.

So the long and the short of it, really is that there's no deal up here tonight and it seems that Senate, Democratic and -- Democratic and Republican leaders in both the House and the Senate seem to be moving in different paths rather than walking down the same path together at this moment -- Don.

LEMON: Oh, boy. All right. Stand by, Kate.

Let's go to the White House now. Jessica Yellin, is this meeting still going on?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Last I check just moments ago, Don, it was still ongoing among the President, Senate Leader Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, and the goal, both to update the President on the discussions they have had with Republican leaders, and I'm also told by some Democrats to brief the President on their alternate plan to move forward.

The mood here, I'm told is concerns -- concern, frustration with the House, for not crafting a plan of its own to solve this problem in the coming days. And also some shifting attention as Kate mentioned to the Senate. As we've seen in these kinds of situations before, there's often a sense if the House can't get it done, the grown-ups on the other side of the building will.

And in this particular situation, with the Democrat in control of the White House, there's also some faith that the Democrat in control of the Senate could maybe do something for the White House in this instance, but with time running short, and so much deadlock in the last few weeks, what options remain are still very much unclear. So can Harry Reid pull a rabbit out of his hat? We don't know. That is no doubt what they are discussing in the Oval Office right now. We are told -- I do not -- at this time, expect any big statement out of the White House or any big announcement. But as we've seen these last few days anything can change at any moment. So I will keep you posted if it does -- Don.

LEMON: Yes, I think it's going to be a long evening for all of us. Because if they come out and say something, of course, we're going to bring it to you right here on CNN.

But listen and we -- we have to say this, Jessica, before we move on. The President and the leaders in Washington said that they wanted to get this fixed or at least some sort of agreement in the works before the Asian and European markets open tomorrow, and that's just in a few hours.

YELLIN: That is correct. And you know, as I sit there making calls and trying to find out exactly what movement is happening in Washington I'm also checking the S&P futures and the markets around the world, because there's already a lot of people in this town worried and seeing how things are moving.

There is a lot of anxiety that the markets are already reacting, because this has a ripple effect on every American. And one thing we do know, Don is that every leader, no matter which party, says that they want to get this debt ceiling raised and will find a way to do it in the next nine, ten days.


LEMON: Yes and Jessica here's the thing.


LEMON: So here's the thing, we keep talking about an August 2nd deadline. As if they're going to come to an agreement. So ok, the debt ceiling's raised, but there are a lot of things that go into it.


LEMON: There's a lot of legislation and writing --



LEMON: -- and procedure that has to take place before you can do that. And the markets, many say, the people in the markets are starting to get spooked, the longer that this goes on.

So really, the deadline now, when it comes to the financial markets, the deadline is now, I should say?

YELLIN: Great -- great question, and thank you for pointing it out. Yes. So the Asian markets open and then, tomorrow morning the American markets start to react. The Speaker's office, Speaker Boehner, has said that he would like to post legislation tomorrow so that they can start voting on it on Wednesday.

The House has to act this week. Then the Senate has to act. If they change it in any way, then the House has to go back and vote. All this takes time and it has to be done before next week.

So the sausage-making process has to start moving through the system by tomorrow for this thing to be done next week. There's no more time for back and forth, shuttle diplomacy, negotiation done.


YELLIN: They have to start taking action tomorrow.

LEMON: Thank you Jessica Yellin. There you go. Done and we are right in the middle of it now and hopefully we will see something this evening here on CNN so stay tuned.

Jessica Yellin, our chief White House correspondent standing by at the White House and also Kate Bolduan standing by at the Capitol as well. We appreciate both of your reporting.

Now battered in the headlines, the woman who accused one of the world's most powerful men of rape is going public with her story. Nafissatou Diallo is speaking to media outlets including "Newsweek" about her alleged ordeal at the hands of the former International Monetary Fund Director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

His lawyers say this is a desperate ploy to turn public opinion against him.

Our Susan Candiotti joins me now from New York with more on this story; another interesting turn of events in this case -- Susan.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You're right. One more, Don. You're right about that. Yes, indeed, this woman is breaking her silence now about two months after the alleged attack at the Hotel Sofitel that happened in May. You remember that she accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn, then head of the International Monetary Fund, of sexually assaulting her.

These are charges that he has denied. He says he will plead not guilty to anything she says. However, as a reminder, we'll tell you that authorities have said that they found forensic evidence that a sexual encounter did happen in that room.

Now, it has been CNN's policy not to name alleged sexual assault victims but because this woman has gone public in granting interviews to "Newsweek" and to ABC News, CNN is now identifying her.

Now, we have a couple of quotes that she told ABC News about what happened after her description of it. She said, quote, "I want justice. I want him to go to jail." And then she also -- they provided this quote. She said, "I want him to know that there is some places you cannot use your money, you cannot use your power when you do something like this".

You will remember that Strauss-Kahn after these charges were made resigned his job as the head of the International Monetary Fund. Now, as you read the articles, there is not a whole lot new, but some interesting points that are made. For example, in an interview with "Newsweek" magazine -- they point out quoting some sources -- that what she told the hospital about what happened to her, she said that Strauss-Kahn made no comments to her during this alleged assault.

However, authorities have said consistently, publicly that he did talk with her during the alleged attack, although, again, Strauss-Kahn has denied that. So that might be a point the defense might challenge.

Now, her defense attorneys, Don, as you pointed out, are not happy at all that she has granted extensive interviews to these publications and they put out a statement right after it was announced that she had granted the interviews. In it they said, in part as they put it that Ms. Diallo is the first accuser in history as they put it to conduct a media campaign to persuade a prosecutor to pursuit charges against a person from whom she wants money.

Now, they are making an allegation there, and they're also calling her lawyers unprofessional for allowing her to talk to the news media.

Remember Don, we've heard a lot from the prosecutor saying that they are still investigating the case. However, they have pointed out some inconsistencies with some of the things she has told them about her past and so they are considering whether they will dismiss the charges, although, again, they insist that they have not made any decision about that yet.

The next time he's supposed to appear in court is just one week from tomorrow, and by then perhaps authorities will make up their mind.

Don, finally I wanted to point out that for some time the lawyer has said that she was talking about going public with what happened to her, because he said of her concern that the district attorney might not prosecute this case, and they continue to insist that she wants her day in court.

Back to you Don.

LEMON: Ok. Susan Candiotti, thank you very much.

Right now, in Norway, there's mourning, they are mourning the death of 93 people killed in two terror attacks. Most of the victims were teens attending a summer camp and coming up, hear what police are saying about the suspect.

Plus, the NFL is being sued over players' brain injuries; 75 former players are behind the suit. We'll hear from Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton on the suit and the status of the NFL lockout. There he is standing by.

And also, if you need information about us or from us, on social media, you can reach out on Twitter, on Facebook, on and on Foursquare.

And my book is called "Transparent" it's about my life and journeys as a journalist. It's available on, Barnes & Noble and anywhere books are sold.


LEMON: It's just really bizarre and it's a disturbing window into the mind of the man suspected of killing at least 93 people in apparent terrorist attacks in Norway; images from a 12-minute video purportedly created by Anders Behring Breivik, the man identified by local media as the suspect in the shooting spree at a Norwegian youth camp and a car bombing in Oslo. And the video is only part of it. There's also a rambling 1,500-page manifesto that authorities believe was published online the day of the attack.

Breivik is set to appear at a court hearing Monday; he's expected to plead not guilty.

Meanwhile, our Diana Magnay reports hundreds gather at an Oslo cathedral to mourn those lost so shockingly in these attacks.


DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Grieving Norwegians led by their ashen-faced king and queen remember their dead in a service in Oslo. The prime minister told mourners the past two days have felt like an eternity.

JENS STOLTENBERG, PRIME MINISTER OF NORWAY (through translator): I was in bed the past nights filled with shock, grief, fury and fear.

Today is a time for grief. Today we'll allow ourselves to stop up (INAUDIBLE) of it in memory of the dead, grieve over those who are not alive anymore.

MAGNAY: In the small parish of Roizen (ph), near Utoya as the families who had lost loved ones on the island racked with an inconsolable grief.

A smaller service, here the crown prince and princess and the foreign minister pay their respects.

JONAS GAHR STORE, NORWEGIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: I think we all have to climb down from our official positions, if we are ministers or anything else and be human beings. We have to hug, we have to listen and we have to cry with those who have suffered.

MAGNAY: A congregation in trauma, here from the hotel at Sundvolden which had acted as a crisis center since Friday's attacks. Some of them still waiting to hear the fate of the few still listed as missing, though as the hours and days pass hopes fade.

JAN PETER BERENTSEN, HEAD OF RED CROSS OPERATIONS: They have a thousand questions, as you know, and of course, it's very important that we find everybody, so the family can start the grieving process. MAGNAY: A day to comfort and to share in one another's pain.

(on camera): As the police and press slowly begin to piece together the assassin's motive, a picture emerges of a man driven by a hatred of multiculturalism and of the open tolerance of Norwegian society. But this day of mourning is uniting a people through compassion determined not to be divided by hate.

Diana Magnay, CNN, Roizen (ph), Norway.


LEMON: And after the rampage not everyone fled in a panic. Some ran to help unsure of what they might face, but ready to help. One man's courageous story is straight ahead here on cnn.

But first, did the NFL keep quiet about the long-term risk of concussions on its players? That's the question a lawsuit filed by 75 former players including Minnesota Vikings linebacker Fred McNeill. He gives us a closer look at impact of those hits.


FRED MCNEILL, FORMER NFL LINEBACKER: You people, you talk about the conversations that we had, you know, two weeks ago and three weeks ago or a month ago or whatever, and -- and I don't remember.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: If we saw each other again, would you remember me?


LEMON: His answer, right after the break.



MCNEILL: You talk about the conversation that we had you know, two weeks or three weeks or a month ago or whatever, and I don't remember.

GUPTA: If we saw each other again, would you remember me?

MCNEILL: Sanjay, I don't know.


LEMON: That was former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Fred McNeill talking with our Dr. Sanjay Gupta about how all the hits and concussions he endured in pro football have affected his brain.

Joining us now is McNeill's former teammate, one of his former teammates, NFL Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton, founder of the Web site, Fran, you and Fred played together on the Vikings. I have one more sound bite that I want you to hear; it's going to be really tough, but listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCNEILL: I was actually considering not living; actually considering it.

GUPTA: You wanted to end your life?



LEMON: Emotional stuff. Tell us about him as a player.

FRAN TARKENTON, NFL HALL OF FAME QUARTERBACK: I knew him when he came up as a rookie from Southern Cal. He was 23, 22 years old, great athlete, great linebacker. He got it. He's smart; went back to law school, graduated from law school and just a great citizen. Couldn't find a better human being than Fred McNeill and to see this -- but so many of my teammates, so many of my generation players this happened because we had concussions and we'd go back in the game.

LEMON: Do you worry about it for you? Do you ever think like you have a -- we're being funny, do you have a senior moment and you say I'm having a little moment here. I can't catch it. Did you ever think about it?

TARKENTON: Sure I do. And all of us do. I had two concussions in my pro football career where I was knocked crazy. They put me back in the game, third and fourth quarter when I could count to ten. But I was out. I was walking around; I was talking, but unaware of what I was doing. That was norm.

And the guys are real -- quarterbacks aren't real football players. The Fred McNeills, the linebackers, the defensive ends, the runningbacks, the centers who get their heads slapped, dementia, Alzheimer's.

We now find that ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease, is caused by brain trauma. Now up until two years ago, the National Football League was -- did not admit -- did not want to admit, did not want to come to the truth that all of us were in jeopardy in the years when they weren't careful. They sent us back in games. There was no treatment for us.

Today they're doing a much better job and now, just in the last two years, science is telling them there's a connection between trauma and the Alzheimer's and the mental disorders that we have.

LEMON: 75 players -- 75.


LEMON: And Fred among them, suing the NFL claiming that they knew about the effects of concussions on players' brains and they conceded that the information -- or they concealed, I should say, that info until just last year. Did you -- are you a part of this suit or -- you're not a part of it. TARKENTON: I'm not a part of this suit.

LEMON: Did it surprise you?

TARKENTON: It does not surprise me. And not only did they not admit to it but up until two years ago, Don, the doctors that were working for the NFL were in total denial. They have since fired those doctors.

But, you know, the ownership forever has been in denial of this and also the team doctors and the owners and the management of the NFL. I'm not surprised the lawsuit is out.

LEMON: This is -- you brought in your helmet.


LEMON: This is pretty -- I mean that's really what you wore.

TARKENTON: It's nothing. It's just a piece of tin. And this is the helmet I wore in my last game.

LEMON: And that's against the law now?


LEMON: And about (INAUDIBLE) protection -- that was your protection.


TARKENTON: There's no protection. And when I got knocked out it was by two defensive backs they just hit me on the head with their arm. They weren't 300 pound linemen. They were 185-pound defensive backs.

LEMON: Look at all this.

TARKENTON: Yes, look at all this.

LEMON: There's a cushion in there and all kinds of thing. This is a modern-day helmet. I want to point out this one -- that is the same type of helmet.

TARKENTON: It's the same type of helmet. And that weighs about four to five times more than this helmet, much study, much more protective. This one has no protection whatsoever.

So the real football players, the non-quarterbacks, I got hit in the head a lot and I got knocked out a lot, but the guys like Fred McNeill and the linebackers and the people who really play football -- quarterbacks don't play football -- they suffer from this, and we have so many of my generation of people who are suffering from dementia, suffering from Alzheimer's, suffering from ALS.

I lost a linebacker, teammate Wally Hilgenberg two years ago, ALS. They gave his brain to Boston University Hospital that's doing a lot of the research and it was -- they connected the dots between his head trauma and his concussions to ALS. First time they've ever done that.

LEMON: I've got to go. I wanted to talk to you about another subject. We have to take a break.

Real quickly, can you tell me, this new agreement they're signing is it going to help the folks who are dealing with this?

TARKENTON: They're putting away some money for health care for these people. Increase their pensions because my generation of people not only are sick but they're broke.

LEMON: Ok. We're going to talk lockout with Fran after the break. Don't go anywhere.

Thank you for talking with us.

TARKENTON: Thank you.

LEMON: Fran is going to be back.



MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK CITY: Therefore by the power vested in me by the state of New York, I pronounce you both married.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: (INAUDIBLE) to marry in New York state. Last hour, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg officiated a ceremony between two of his staffers. The law went into effect at midnight and hundreds jumped at the chance to wed. New York City had so many requests for licenses it had to hold a lottery. New York is the sixth state to allow same-sex marriage.

It's an unusually busy Sunday in Washington as lawmakers try to reach a deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling. So far there's not much progress to report to you. Earlier this hour, top House and Senate Democrats wrapped up a White House meeting with President Obama and on Capitol Hill House Speaker John Boehner held a long conference call with Republicans to consider their next move. Make sure to stay with CNN for the very latest on this developing story.

We're tracking reports from California tonight about at least 10 suspicious fires over the past two days. The fires were set in North Hollywood, mostly to cars in the early morning hour. L.A. police tell KTLA that many of the vehicles, the fires spread to nearby structures, but no one has been injured, luckily.

The autopsy of singer Amy Winehouse could be done as early as Monday. London police say they don't know how the Grammy-award winning singer died. Investigators found her in her apartment on Saturday and many are speculating her death is connected to her well chronicled substance abuse. Throngs of well-wishers are leaving condolences at her home. Winehouse was just 27 years old. The NFL lockout may soon be over. The owners have approved a new agreement. Now, will the players? Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton is back right after the break. Come on, Fran. Let's talk about it.



LEMON: I spent as much time with this guy, you know, he is an icon. We are joined once again by NFL Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton. Fran, the NFL owners have signed a new bargaining agreement to end the current players' lockout and it looks like they're going to sign in the next day or two. So what are you hearing?

TARKENTON: Don, this is such a surprise.

LEMON: That's incredible.

TARKENTON: Because you and I have been talking about this for months and they wait until the fourth quarter time running out and they make it happen. And the players will sign on Tuesday. The owners sign on Thursday and kumbayah and the billionaires are happy. And the millionaires are happy and the fans are ecstatic.

LEMON: All is right with the world. Nobody's going to be mad, because we have short memories. Add to the drama, right?

TARKENTON: Everybody wants football on Sunday afternoons. So when they got it, they weren't going to give up an exhibition game.


TARKENTON: Because the owners would lose $200 million.

LEMON: That's not going to happen.

TARKENTON: That won't happen. They'll lose the Hall of Fame game but they made no money on that.

LEMON: Any real effect on the game, on the teams, on free agents signing?

TARKENTON: Not really. They've had six months to work. They'll sign free agents. They lose free agents, they gain free agents and they'll talk about training camp. People will get hurt more because they haven't been working out as much. They'll work through that, have a great NFL season. And the Oakland Raiders will lose again.

LEMON: You had to get that in.

TARKENTON: I had to get that in.

LEMON: No backlash.


LEMON: (INAUDIBLE) billionaires.


LEMON: So how can you turn of the (INAUDIBLE) no one's going to do that.

TARKENTON: You can't. College football, pro football, you give up a lot in this country but we're not giving up football. And last year the NFL had 10 percent increase in revenues. Ten percent increase in television viewers. The largest television audience in the history of the world, from the Super Bowl - football is king. We love it. I like it. I'm a fan. I played a few years, I'm a fan. So it's great. I'm glad they got it settled and I just hope that the owners make another billion dollars.

LEMON: Fran, I like this. I could sit here and just talk to you the whole time. Tell me your Web site again.


LEMON: I saw you've been re-tweeting and tweeting me?

TARKENTON: Oh, I'm doing Twitter now. I'm a social media nut, man. I'm a zealot. Me, 71 years old. I'm there.

LEMON: So listen, for the kids who don't remember, you know, who are - that don't remember the '70s and '80s.

TARKENTON: And the '60s.

LEMON: Can you just say - That's incredible.

TARKENTON: That was the '80s. John Davidson.

LEMON: John Davidson.

TARKENTON: That's incredible.


LEMON: We're talking about it at the meeting yesterday, and I said we were going to talk to a fan about this, one of the older staffers. And that's incredible. And all the young people went - what are you talking about?

TARKENTON: And for you people that don't know, that was television show on ABC That we did on prime time.

LEMON: And it was fun, right?

TARKENTON: It was fun.

LEMON: And it's awesome. They know you from football but they don't remember -


LEMON: It was great. Fran, you're awesome. We're all going to be fine.

TARKENTON: We're all going to be OK, Don. Yes.

LEMON: The millionaires will be fine and you guys, hopefully, the old timers will be -

TARKENTON: I think they're going to do something responsible for the old timers, to help with the medical expenses, to help them with retirement pay. Increase that some. They got $9.3 billion to split up. They ought to give the old guys some money. They're going to do that.

LEMON: Because you're a young guy?

TARKENTON: I'm a young guy, I'm going.

LEMON: Thank you very much, Fran.

A man dressed as a policeman began shooting at a summer camp, one man sprang into action and save lives. His remarkable story in his own words, next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not going to be silenced, we're going to continue, we're going to continue to struggle and we're going to continue doing what we do. We want to make - now we want to make the world a better place and we want to continue with our politics. We want show them that they're not going to shoot us to silence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) I can't understand, really, what happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's important that we stay together and keep strong. We can't let a coward like that stop us.

Because going on up to an island, with only youth, and killing them and they have no way to escape, that's a cowardless act.


LEMON: The shooter may have been a coward, but that's not the case with the boater who dared to help rescue survivors on Norway's Utoya island.

CNN's Michael Holmes spoke with them about the self-less deed which made him a national hero.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kaspar Ilgaud was on vacation when the call came from a friend. There was a shooting on the nearby island of Utoya. He jumped into a boat and headed over, not knowing what he'd find.

KASPAR ILGAUD, RESCUED 15 PEOPLE FROM UTOYA ISLAND: The first thing I noticed was a lot of youngsters laying in the ocean, or nearby what do you call this, shore. The shore, yes, and they were very calm. They were sitting in groups, and I asked the strongest guy to go out in the water, and hold the boat, and (INAUDIBLE) and took one at a time. Asking them to name themselves.


ILGAUD: I thought that was kind of -


ILGAUD: Yes, our kind of connection. Because they are actually devastated. They were in shock. When one of the last trips, one of the girls starts crying. And she looked at me and asked "Are you police?" And I said, "No, I'm just a local resident." She got a little relief by that. She looked at me and said, "You know, it was a policeman with a uniform with a bald head who started shooting us."

I thought there might be one, two or three, but just onshore, I saw, at least 10 dead people and then after, you know, this situation started sinking in, we understood that the death toll would rise much more and at the rate of 84 or whatever. I can't imagine those scenes on that island.

We passed a group of three people who were looking like they found shelter behind the stone on the shore there. I tried to address them, on the first and second way, and I thought I, in my naivete, they were just in shock, and then I realized that they actually were later deceased, and after a while I tried to contact them on the third lap, but there were no reaction to that and then I invest the police corps and then went onshore, and it's quite a touching story because I realized that three of the young people laying there kind of together behind the stone, they actually got shot in the woods and they had transported themselves down to that place and gathered together and I believe they died there, three young people, holding around each other.

HOLMES: It's not a huge boat. How many people did you put in there?

ILGAUD: Well, in the first round I believe it was 14.


ILGAUD: Yes and then I have to address the oldest one of the four and said, you have to stay ashore. I promise I will come back and get you, and they respected that and said, sit down and wait. I went to the mainland, I went back again and there were, agreed upon, sitting there and then I just waved to them like this, and they waved back and made a contact and got them in the boat and there was another group further out. We picked up two or three more. Went to the mainland and on the third lap I think I picked up eight, maybe, further out. HOLMES (voice-over): As Kaspar recounts the horror of that day and the bravery of survivors, nearby the heartbreaking sight of searchers looking for several other children who leapt into the water on Friday and haven't been seen since.

(on camera): Police have set up a security zone, an exclusion zone around the island and no one is allowed any further around here. The police actually just came up to us and defined the line for us. We're trying to film the island from here, no closer. It is, after all, an active crime scene.

This is such a peaceful place. I mean, this is your weekend home, your vacation place. It is just so beautiful and peaceful for this to have happened there. It's almost unbelievable. Isn't it?

ILGAUD: It's as I see it, nature oriented area. We have been out there - I went to swim here actually when I was five, six years old, and it's kind of unreal, really. We could never imagine that this has happened.

HOLMES: Have you ever looked that island the same way again?

ILGAUD: It will always be a (INAUDIBLE) stories in the island but we also have to remember that during the last 45, 45 years, I looked upon that island as it is today. It's a pearl out there. And that's my life. This is an incident happening, we will, of course, relate to that, also for the rest of our lives. But I think that we will (INAUDIBLE) remember them, respect them, but life has to go on.


LEMON: CNN's Michael Holmes.

After surgery and chemotherapy, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez returns home. We'll have the latest on his battle against cancer.

Plus, famine grips the horn of Africa again. Food aid is waiting at the borders but something is keeping it from reaching those who need it.


LEMON: Venezuela's president has returned home after a week-long visit to Cuba for cancer treatment. Hugo Chavez says a thorough scan showed no cancer cells but he said he did undergo chemotherapy as part of his treatment. President Chavez has been reluctant to reveal details about his illness.

Really, you don't have to understand the words to hear our urgent the situation is. Rescuers scramble to this scene in China where a bullet train crashed killing at least 35 people. This leads our headlines from around the world and CNN's international desk editor Azadeh Ansari joins me with that and other stories as we go globe trekking.

Azadeh, the images are unbelievable. You see a man climbing a car that hangs - AZADEH ANSARI, CNN INTERNATIONAL DESK EDITOR: That's right, Don.

LEMON: On the side of the tracks. What happened here?

ANSARI: Well, this is a situation where you had a bullet train that was - they claimed that was struck by lightning, stopped on the track, had a power out animal, and then gets rear-ended by another train. And then what happens is four of these cars fall off of this elevated bridge as you can see here. Now the thing is these trains can go up to 155 miles an hour and China really prides itself on its rail system.

You know, it's one of the largest high-speed bullet trains rail systems in the world and as you can see, it raises a lot of questions here about how safe is this and it is kind of like a national blow to them. Because here they are saying look at our great transportation system and look, it has flaws.

LEMON: Yes. Nothing's perfect. But man, that is terrible. I'm sure people will be thinking about, as you said, the safety.

We have another gruesome story, if this one is worst, bad enough, I should say. It's an eight-year-old boy in Afghanistan, the hanging - he's been hanged.

ANSARI: It is so sad and so tragic. Just the thought of it. The fact is that in Helmand province there was a police officer and he was approached by insurgents and they asked him to hand over his police vehicle to supply them with the police vehicle. He said "You know what, I'm not going to do that." They said, "OK, we're going to go after your son." So they kidnapped his son and they hanged the eight- year-old, you know, and they killed him.

So the thing is that this raises again more questions in a country that's trying to establish its own autonomy. There still are these intimidation factors that are in place, which - there's fear tactics for the average citizen to kind of back off. And you know the thing is, Hamid Karzai came out, the president of Afghanistan today, and he said - he was really careful not to pin it on one group. He didn't say it was the Taliban. He just called the killers terrorists.

LEMON: OK. Can we move on? Because I want to talk about this, the drought in Africa. Horrific.

ANSARI: This is an ongoing story, Don. It's been on-going for over a month now. So imagine this - like let's take the entire city of New York, the entire population. The entire city is on the search for food and water. I mean we're talking over 11 million people have been affected by this.

LEMON: Oh my god.

ANSARI: It is the worst drought that East Africa has seen in 60 years. And they don't expect to have rain in at least over - in a year. They are saying it could not rain for a year. But and there's ways that you can help. I just want to bring this up as well. If you go to our Web site, impact your world, aid agencies are there. But I mean more than $1 million in money is needed to really address just the immediate needs of this.

LEMON: I mean it's sad. You see the images there. And I've been to East Africa. The people are so beautiful, such lovely people. It's terrible. If you can help, go to

Thank you very much, Azadeh.

And stay with us for your top stories, including not so good news at the gas pump.


LEMON: Let's check your headlines right now.

The suspect in the terrorist attack in Norway is due in court on Monday. Police say he claims to have acted alone. But he is expected to plead not guilty.

Local media have identified the suspect as Anders Behring Braevik. The death toll in the two attacks rose to at least 93 today. 86 of those victims were gunned down at a youth camp run by the ruling Labor Party. Before that seven people were killed in a car bombing in the capital of Oslo.

A busy day in Washington as lawmakers keep struggling to reach a deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling. But so far, there's not much progress to report to you. Earlier this hour top House and Senate Democrats wrapped up a White House meeting with President Obama. On Capitol Hill, House Speaker John Boehner held a long conference call with Republicans to consider their next move.

We're keeping an eye on the world markets as well. So make sure you stay with CNN for the very latest on this developing story.

Same-sex couples can now get married legally in New York state. The law went into effect at midnight and hundreds took advantage today. New York City has so many requests for licenses, it had to hold a lottery. Last hour Mayor Michael Bloomberg officiated a ceremony between two of his male staffers. New York is the sixth state to allow same-sex marriages.

If are you planning to fill up your car on the way to work tomorrow, well, you won't want to hear this. For the first time since May, gas prices are on the upswing. They jumped nearly nine cents a gallon over the last two weeks. The rising cost of crude oil is to blame. The average price of a gallon of gas is now $3.70. That's according to the Lindberg survey. A year ago the price was nearly a dollar cheaper.

I'm Don Lemon at the CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta. Make sure you stay tuned to us for talks on the debt ceiling that are going on in Washington. We don't know when or if they'll come to some consensus but we're watching them for you.

We'll see you back here at 10:00 p.m. Eastern if nothing happens between now and then. "CNN PRESENTS" starts right now.