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CNN NEWSROOM

President Meets on Syria Today; California Fire Doubles in Size; The March on Washington 50 Years Ago; School Shooting Hero Speaks Out; President Meets On Syria Today; California Fire Doubles In Size; Remembering The March On Washington; San Diego Mayor Resigns In Disgrace; Paula Deen's Lawsuit To Be Dismissed; Mike Tyson Returns To The Ring; Little Leaguer Comes Up Big; Busy Week On Wall Street; President's College Plan; Tracking You On The Internet; NASA: Arctic Ice Melting At Alarming Pace; Fisherman Treads Water For 24 Hours

Aired August 24, 2013 - 11:00   ET

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


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome, everyone to the CNN NEWSROOM.

A look at the "Top Stories" right now we're following for this hour.

President Obama discusses the Syria crisis with his national security team. That after reports the Syrian government allegedly used chemical weapons, killing hundreds of people.

In California a raging wildfire is exploding in size and spreading inside Yosemite National Park.

Plus, it has been 50 years since Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial, and thousands today are gathering on the Washington Mall to celebrate that historic event.

We start in Syria where the government is now accusing rebel forces of using chemical weapons. The claim comes as President Obama meets with his national security team at the White House to talk about the reports of chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian government. Syrian state TV says soldiers found chemical weapons in tunnels used by rebels.

CNN cannot confirm those claims or the authenticity of these images. The opposition claims government forces launched a nerve gas attack, killing hundreds of civilians. Meanwhile a top U.N. official is in Damascus today asking to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government.

President Obama sat down with our Chris Cuomo earlier and he said the U.S. is still gathering information on the attack.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What we've seen indicates that this is clearly a big event of grave concern. And you know we are already in communications with the entire international community. We're moving through the U.N. to try to prompt better action from them and we've called on the Syrian government to allow an investigation of the site because U.N. inspectors are on the ground right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: The U.S. says it is realigning its naval forces in the Mediterranean to keep the options open for an armed strike on Syria on the table.

In California now, a wildfire is tearing through parts of that state. The rim fire is burning so fast, it basically doubled in size in a day. At least 126,000 acres of forest have already been scorched. The fire has also spread inside the western edge of Yosemite National Park.

Nick Valencia is just outside the park following the developments for us. So Nick, how in control is it so far?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's still pretty bad out here, Fred. The fire is just about five percent contained.

Now the sun is now up and it's given us a fresh perspective of just what firefighters are dealing with here. It's still very soupy in this atmosphere, lots of smoke, though. It has lifted in the last few hour or so.

But take a look at this. We're at the edge of an area where the rim fire is completely devastated this crop of trees dozens of them charred. It goes back hundreds and hundreds of yards, and it's doing things like this to the leaves, just sort of singeing the edges of those leaves here. And it's quite impressive when you look at the pattern as well of the rim fire.

If you just pan over here with me here, Jim. The road jumped over the road, scorched that sign and if you're going to see off in the distance, still green trees. So it's sort of indiscriminate when -- when it comes to this fire. You never know exactly where it's going to go.

Just a short time ago, we saw about seven fire trucks from Cal Fire and other local agencies rushing towards the fire area. And this fire is fast moving, it's unforgiving.

And one of the concerns at this hour is that it's eating away at the fringes of Yosemite National Park. That's just the western edge of Yosemite National Park. Though fire officials do say that those tourists that may be concerned about traveling there, it's far away from the Yosemite Valley. When you think about Yosemite National Park you think about that area. It's still blue skies, no smoke, but in this area here in Stanislaw National Forest just a few miles outside the Yosemite, it is very smoky and a lot of that is still in the atmosphere -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: And so Nick you know how are they going about in trying to get some control or battle this blaze especially since it is a pretty good distance away from the tourist areas? VALENCIA: That's right. You've got -- you've got about 2,000 firefighters from local, federal and state agencies out here battling the flames. You also have air -- fixed-wing aircraft. Earlier the last update that we got from a federal agency InciWeb, they give updates regularly, it was about ten years ago, but in that update they did give credit for that five percent containment to the usage of those fixed wing aircraft.

So however miniscule this progress is, it's welcome news and good news for those who are fighting the flames -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right Nick Valencia thank you so much. We'll check back with you.

So dry conditions have been in deep ceding the fires -- is the weather going to offer any kind of relief for these firefighters?

Alexandra Steele in the Severe Weather Center -- thunderstorms would be nice, but we also know oftentimes with that comes lightning. Not good for trying to fight a fire like this.

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: No, absolutely. I mean things couldn't be worse and you know, Fred, it's the ultimate irony. What we've got, A, this monsoonal moisture coming in and we actually have a tropical storm Evo off the Baja Coast which will bring flooding rain, but not as far north and West, unfortunately, you can see where Yosemite is. Vegas and Phoenix flooding rain so close, but certainly not going to be helpful.

So the function of this and kind of the exasperation of this fire is sort of twofold. One, it's the winds. Mostly they're coming from the southwest. When we talk about winds, we talk about the direction from which they're coming. Meaning coming from the southwest moving toward the northeast, and it's that easterly push that has taken it now into Yosemite.

Yesterday gusts about 25, 27 miles an hour. Here's where the sustained winds will be today, between about five and 15 miles an hour. Gusts will be higher than that.

What's also happening, you can see no rain at all, so it's also the winds in addition to this really rough terrain. The terrain here is channeling the winds. Like if you're in New York City and you may be walking between some buildings through a narrow pass passageway, you'll notice the wind accelerates. What happens that wind comes through or that air comes through, it compresses and accelerates the wind and so that's what we're seeing as well.

And in addition to the winds, kind of coming from multiple directions as well. So really, nothing is helping weather-wise, that's for sure. So there's the focus for today, there's the storms, and unfortunately, no relief in sight -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: Boy. That is not what they needed to hear.

STEELE: Yes. WHITFIELD: All right, thank you so much, Alexandra Steele. I appreciate that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST: I have a dream. Let freedom ring.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Meantime, in the Nation's capital it looks like clear skies, it's pretty sunny. Very nice day for thousands of people gathering on the National Mall to mark the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington. Fifty years ago, when Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his iconic "I Have a Dream" speech on the Lincoln Memorial.

Our Chris Lawrence is live for us from Washington. So Chris, give us an idea of what the crow is looking like this morning -- or midday almost.

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Yes pretty big Fred I mean and there's a lot of excitement too obviously. Let me just show you, just a beautiful day here on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. You can look out over the reflecting pool and just see the tens of thousands of people who are lining this waterway as far as you can see, stretching all the way back to the Washington Monument.

Following the speeches here, the marchers are going to be walking past the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial to the monument. And we just wanted to ask, you know what brought you down from New York? I know you were about ten years old when 50 years ago during the march. Do you think that the organizers then would have looked at the nation today and said, "success, failure, or a mix of both?"

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it would be a mix of both, because as we -- as they started out ten years ago, it was so that they could try to make things a little bit better. Going forward, we probably did make things better, but then now, as we're going with this situation that's going on now, things are trying to slip backwards. We need to all come together, step up together and work together to make sure that everyone is equal, equal for everyone. Equal means everyone has anything that they need to have. No -- now laws for the -- for the -- less laws for the rich and more laws for the poor. That's not what the march is about. The march is for equal equality for everyone.

And ten years ago and this morning, I remember when I was putting on my shoes that parents 10 years -- 50 years ago, when they were putting on their shoes, they did not have the cushions that we had to march in, so I was really full with trying to understand them marching, and I have some cushions marching 50 years ago, marching in their shoes, but God is good.

LAWRENCE: Thank you so much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. LAWRENCE: And thank and obviously, a lot of things on the table, Fred. Not only civil rights, which is the main focus and jobs 50 years ago, but now it's expanded to include not only that, but immigration, civil rights for gays and lesbians. So it's a broad spectrum of causes and issues that are being brought out here today -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right Chris Lawrence, keep us posted throughout the morning and afternoon. This will be a very long program. Included in today's program, Congressman John Lewis; he will be taking to the stage. The only living speaker from 50 years ago who will be there in Washington for this commemorative march -- we'll be taking his comments live as it happens.

After 34 years in politics, Bob Filner is out of a job. The mayor of San Diego announced he is stepping down; his last day -- August 30th. It comes after weeks of accusations that he sexually harassed 18 women. After resigning, Filner called himself a victim.

CNN's Casey Wian is live for us now in San Diego to explain all of this. So Filner didn't go quietly, did he?

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He certainly did not, Fredricka. You know he blamed his behavior on an effort to try to establish personal relationships, and he also talked about a combination of awkwardness and hubris.

Well, the speech he gave to the city council right after his resignation yesterday, you could use those same two words, awkwardness and hubris, to describe the sort of apology he first gave and then blaming other people for his troubles. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOB FILNER, OUTGOING MAYOR OF SAN DIEGO: I started my political career facing lynch mobs. And I think we have just faced one here in San Diego. And you're going to have to deal with that. In a lynch mob mentality, rumors become allegations, allegations become facts, facts become evidence of sexual harassment, which have led to demands for my resignation and recall.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIAN: Filner also said that despite those apologies for his behavior, he claims he never sexually harassed anyone. Nonetheless, the city council voted 7-0 to accept his resignation and help him fight the sexual harassment lawsuit, the one that he is facing so far.

We don't know if any of these other women, the other 17 that have come forward and publicly accused him of inappropriate behavior are going to file suits. We do know, that though, that his troubles are far from over. He's facing criminal investigations as well -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right just the tip of the iceberg. Casey Wian, thank you so much from San Diego. All right later, he is known as the "Dean of the Civil Rights Movement." I'll talk to the Reverend Joseph Lowry on the status of the movement since the march on Washington.

And next, she is a hero in an armed school standoff. CNN reunited Antoinette Tuff with the 911 dispatcher that she reached out to. Now they both tell us how they got through the ordeal.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: President Obama says he'll invite Antoinette Tuff to the White House. She is that bookkeeper at the Atlanta area elementary school that was stormed by a gunman Tuesday. She was able to talk the suspect into surrendering to police without injuring anyone.

And CNN was there when the President called Tuff when she was in the makeup room before an interview with CNN. And the President tells our Chris Cuomo in an interview later, Tuff is a hero.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When I heard the 911 call and, you know, read the sequence of events, I thought, here's somebody who has not just courage and not just cool under pressure, but also had enough heart that somehow she could convince somebody that was really troubled that she cared about them.

And, you know, I told her, I said that not only did she make Michelle and me proud, but she probably saved a lot of lives.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: And at the end of Antoinette's call to 911 was a dispatcher who also played a key role in keeping the students at McNair Discovery Learning Academy safe.

Martin Savidge takes a look at the incident and brings us the moment the two women met face to face.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Fredricka. Antoinette Tuff has become an inspiration for so many people because of what she went through, but she will tell you that she didn't act alone. There were other people involved. And one of those was another voice of another woman, the 911 operator, and for the first time those two got to meet.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SAVIDGE (voice-over): It was an amazing moment only on CNN. For the first time, Antoinette Tuff, the coolest, calmest hero you've ever heard meets the 911 operator who had been the other voice at the end of that emergency call.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We made it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We did.

SAVIDGE: Kendra McCray said, like everyone else, she was in awe of Tuff.

KENDRA MCCRAY, 911 OPERATOR: She is a true hero.

SAVIDGE: The two women recalling for Anderson Cooper the horror of that day.

MCCRAY: When she said he's right here at the door, and it's like I can see him through just her words.

SAVIDGE: But their fear was never evident in the 911 call that has riveted America.

ANTOINETTE TUFF, SCHOOL WORKER: Ooh, he just went outside and started shooting.

SAVIDGE: Tuff revealed the man's first shot was into the floor just a few feet away.

TUFF: He actually took the shot to allow me and the other person that was in there to know that this was not a game and that he was not playing. And that this was serious.

SAVIDGE: She also knew the lives of 800 students hung in the balance.

TUFF: You start seeing all this movement and he actually went to that door with the gun drawn to start shooting.

And then I started talking to him. I said "Come back in. Stay in here with me. Don't go anywhere. Stay in here."

SAVIDGE: And so began one of the most frightening and fascinating negotiations ever recorded.

TUFF: He said to tell them to back off. He don't want the kids. He wants the police. So, back off.

SAVIDGE: The scariest moment Tuff says was watching the man methodically load the gun.

TUFF: He had bullets everywhere on top of magazines. So, I knew when he made the last call that he was going to go because he had loaded up to go.

SAVIDGE: Yet instead of feeling fear or anger, Tuff says she felt compassion -- recalling her own personal heartaches, even contemplating suicide.

TUFF: I had been in that situation. I had been in that devastating moment when all of the things happened to me. So, I knew that that could have been my story.

SAVIDGE: Just before her CNN interview, Tuff got another surprise, ironically, over the phone, from the President of the United States.

TUFF: He just wanted to let me know that him and his wife and his family was very proud of what I had did and everybody wanted to thank me.

SAVIDGE: Tuff gives all credit to her faith, believing her role was part of a heavenly plan.

TUFF: I feel like I helped somebody in need, that God was able to use me. It was an honor to be able to be used.

SAVIDGE: The suspect walked in with an assault rifle, ready to kill, but in the end was no match for a bookkeeper armed with love.

TUFF: I've never been so scared in all the days of my life.

MCCRAY: Me either, but you did great.

TUFF: Oh, Jesus.

MCCRAY: You did great.

TUFF: Oh God.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Will you just say to me one more time, "Baby everything is going to be ok.

TUFF: Baby, everything is going to be ok.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAVIDGE: Antoinette tells this very moving story about how it was actually a sermon that she heard at her church talking about how God was an anchor in terms of stress and difficulty. It turns out that sermon was delivered the Sunday before this all happened.

Talk about things happening for a reason -- Fredricka?

WHITFIELD: No kidding. She was an angel.

All right. Thanks so much, Martin Savidge. Appreciate that.

All right. Later, the cost of college; well, it keeps going up. We'll outline the President's plan to help students find the best value for their education dollar.

Also, who is watching what you click on and when you're online? How your privacy is being compromised for profit, and worst perhaps.

And next, the Reverend Joseph Lowery -- he helped organize the original march on Washington. I sat down with him to get his thoughts on the state of civil rights today and the future.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER: Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: You're looking at live pictures right now today of the reflecting pool there in the Washington Mall. You see the Washington Monument in the background.

And on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, people will be taking to the stage again this year, 50 years after the march on Washington, the historic march on Washington.

And one of the men who didn't speak on that day, but he was there and he was one who helped organize the 1963 march on Washington was the Reverend Joseph Lowery. He is known today as the dean of civil rights.

I got a chance to ask Lowery about his memories of the march and his thoughts on the movement 50 years later.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REV. JOSEPH LOWERY, 1963 MARCH ORGANIZER: It was a -- it was a beautiful experience, black and white. We estimated maybe a fourth or more were white people. Then we had brown people, red people, yellow people, and of course black people. And they came from all parts of the country.

WHITFIELD: Do you remember where you were in that crowd near that stage?

LOWERY: No, I've tried to find myself in several pictures, I haven't found myself yet. But I know I was there. We must not forget the message of the march. And that's why we're going back to not just repeat but to continue what we started in 1963.

The battle is not over. The song has not ended. We've come a long way. As a matter of fact, in the 1980s, I wrote a speech called "Everything has changed and nothing has changed". it's just as appropriate today.

We've got now, in 2013, we've got more black police officers than we ever had. Yet we've got more racial profiling. We have more black elected officials than we ever had, yet we have more (inaudible) by states to take away our vote. Everything is changed and nothing has changed.

WHITFIELD: You're one of a kind. Your fellow civil rights foot soldiers are one of a kind -- Congressman Lewis, Martin Luther King, Jr., Andy Young. But as you look at the landscape of today, is there anyone that you think, or are there any people that you think can kind of fill your shoes?

LOWERY: Oh, I think God always has a ram in the bush. And at the proper time, God will bring forth people. I'm confident that -- will we have another Martin Luther King? Doubtful. But we don't necessarily need another Martin Luther King. We have Martin. We have his speeches. We have his words. We have his spirit. But different people come. We didn't know there would be a Barack Obama until the last minute.

WHITFIELD: That makes me think of when you were participating on that inauguration day, and the shadows of the capitol are directly in line with the Lincoln Memorial and that reflecting pool. Did you think about all that's taken place in your lifetime within that 50-year span and your participation in it?

LOWERY: I have been told that when I got up there, I could see both the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. There was a little haze and it wasn't very clear, it was cold that day, and these old eyes had been straining for 88 years at the time.

And I didn't see it as clearly as I wanted to, but God moves in a mysterious way. He let me hear what I couldn't see. And I heard, as I was standing in the voice of a young preacher, 40 years earlier standing at the Lincoln Memorial, summoning the nation to come up out of the valley of race and color to the higher ground of content of character.

I heard those words while I stood there on that pinnacle (ph). America is going to one day let justice roll down like water. We've come a long way. Because everything has changed in spite of the fact that nothing has changed.

WHITFIELD: Reverend Lowery, thank you so much. What a pleasure.

LOWERY: You're welcome. Thank you, thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: And Joseph Lowery among -- one of the speakers today. And then of course, he'll be a special guest of the President of the United States on Wednesday in Washington.

Stay with us, next hour, I'll speak to D.C. delegate Eleanor Holmes- Norton, another person who actually helped organize the 1963 march on Washington.

And later, can you imagine treading water for 24 hours? You'll hear from a fisherman who had to do just that after his boat went down.

But first, boxer Mike Tyson is back in the ring, but he's not throwing any punches. Find out what he's up to, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Welcome back. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Here are five things crossing the desk right now in the NEWSROOM that you need to know. Number one, President Obama is meeting with his national security team to talk about Syria today. Syrian state TV says soldiers have found chemical weapons in tunnels used by rebels. It showed video of the alleged storage den. CNN cannot confirm the authenticity of the pictures. The opposition however claims the Syrian government launched a nerve gas attack this week, killing hundreds of civilians. In California, a raging wildfire is burning. It has scorched at least 126,000 acres of forest so far and has now started to burn inside Yosemite National Park. A state of emergency has been declared for the San Francisco area because the fire is threatening the city's power and water supplies.

And number three, 50 years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his iconic "I have a dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial, and thousands of people are gathered on the National Mall today to remember the march on Washington and how it changed U.S. history.

And number four, San Diego's mayor resigned in disgrace. Bob Filner agreed to step down as part of an agreement with the city council. Eighteen women have accused Filner of sexually harassing them. After resigning, Filner called himself a victim of a, quote, "lynch mob and political coup." Filner's last day is Friday.

And number five, one of Paula Deen's legal problems is apparently resolved. The lawsuit that led to revelations as the celebrity chef used racial slurs in the past is being dismissed with prejudice. That means it cannot be filed again. It is not clear if Deen will be paying a settlement to the former employee that filed that suit, but a federal court web site does label the filing a, quote, "settlement agreement."

All right, when you think of boxing, who can forget Mike Tyson? Well, guess what, the man who once ruled the ring is now getting back into boxing. CNN sports reporter Joe Carter has the inside story on that and other sports news in our "Bleacher Report."

JOE CARTER, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fredricka, the Mike Tyson of today really bears little resemblance to the one who is actually addicted to drugs and considering suicide just five years ago. Today, Tyson is clean. He is a vegan and a businessman. His latest venture, Iron Mike Productions kicked off last night with a nationally televised fight. In an addition to being a promoter, Tyson will soon continue his one-man traveling stage show.

He has a documentary airing on Fox, and his memoir is coming out in November. Trending this morning on bleacherreport.com, in Connecticut the little league will be playing in the championship today after a thrilling win yesterday. They were trailing by 7 runs, but in the fifth inning, Chad Nyte hit a home run and then he did it again. Those boys are going to play Tula Vista, California today. The winner of that game will then advance to the Little League World Series title game, which is on Sunday.

Great story to end on, Cody Clark, a 31-year-old rookie finally made it to the big leagues last night for the Astros. Clark has been in the minors for se 11 years now. His family came from Arkansas, certainly a great story of perseverance. Fredricka, back to you.

WHITFIELD: We love those stories of inspiration. Thanks so much, Joe. Appreciate that.

President Obama is taking action to make college more affordable. How he plans to do that, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Usually Wall Street in August is pretty quiet but not this week. Maribel Aber explains there were some big technical problems for traders and investors were in a negative mood.

MARIBEL ABER, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Wall Street's losing streak continues. The Dow posted its third straight weekly decline. Target, Staples, Abercrombie & Fitch and Aero Postal issued weak forecasts raising concerns about consumer spending. The Federal Reserve added insult to injury when the minutes from the last meeting provided little clarity on when the Central Bank will pull back on its stimulus program.

One of the biggest stories of the week was what didn't happen on Wall Street, and that's trading at least temporarily. Nasdaq was halted for three hours on Thursday. Investors couldn't trade shares of Apple, Google, Microsoft and other 2,700 Nasdaq-listed stocks anywhere in the world. Nasdaq officials blame a technical glitch.

Big changes for Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer will retire within a year. A successor hasn't been named yet, but Microsoft founder and chairman, Bill Gates will be involved in the hiring process. Microsoft has lost more than half its market value since Ballmer became CEO in 2000, but he's also had some good wins like Windows 7, Xbox and Kinnect.

And finally a win for Yahoo!, Yahoo sites were the most visited in the country last month. That puts it above Google for the first time in two years. There's 196 million people went to Yahoo sites in July compared to 192 million people visiting Google. It's a big win for Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer who has been making big changes since she took over a troubled company last year. That's the wrap-up of the week on Wall Street. Fredricka, back to you.

WHITFIELD: All right, thanks so much, Maribel. One of the big things investors will be looking for next week is the GDP number. That's the big measure of how the U.S. economy is doing overall. That's due out next Thursday.

President Barack Obama spent part of his week focusing on the high cost of a college education. During his interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo, he laid out three things the administration is doing to help students. First, he wants to develop a new rating system that shows which schools are graduating students on time and provide the best value for the money.

Second, he wants to work with schools to find ways to reduce cost. This may include developing more on-line options. And third, the president wants to expand a program that caps payments for student loans at 10 percent of a graduate's income. In the end, he wants to reward schools that are performing well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Once we develop the rating systems, part of what we're going to argue to Congress is that we should tie in some way the way federal financial aid flows to schools that are doing really well on this and not so much on schools that aren't. So if a school has a higher default rate than it does a graduation rate, then we should give them a chance to improve, but ultimately we don't want kids saddled with debt, we want them to actually get a degree and get a good job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: The president's interview with our Chris Cuomo.

OK, the internet holds information about you that you may not have shared with anyone. How you're being watched with every click, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: In San Diego, family and friends of 16-year-old Hannah Anderson are holding a memorial service for her mother and brother. It's been nearly three weeks since their charred remains were found. Police say Christina Anderson and her 8-year-old son were killed by family friend James DiMaggio. He then allegedly abducted Hannah before he was spotted and killed in Idaho by the FBI. The public memorial begins later on today.

Over the next three hours, we'll take a close look at security online, yours and your children's. We start with web tracking. Tom Foreman shows us how you're being watched with every click.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Worth more than the company that produced the Star Wars films, more than McDonald's makes in a year, even more than Ferrari. That is how valuable internet advertising has become, raking in well over $30 billion annually, spurring a gold rush among companies for information about you.

JUSTIN BROOKMAN, CENTER FOR DEMOCRACY AND TECHNOLOGY: Just in the last couple of years, we've seen a real explosion and sophistication in targeting technologies.

FOREMAN: Jason Brookman is with the Center for Democracy and Technology.

(on camera): So let's talk about how this works. Imagine there is a couple out there expecting a baby, and they go on line immediately to look up the word pregnancy. What happens?

BROOKMAN: Right away they've shared with Google that they're interested in pregnancy. So they can add that to the profile and then I start clicking on links.

FOREMAN (voice-over): With every click powerful marketing companies drop electronic cookies onto our couple's track to record their browsing history, what they looked at and for how long, and how much they spend. Some may even link to the couple's real world shopping habits, noting that they purchased a home pregnancy test. And suddenly in their e-mails, on their smartphones, on social media sites come an avalanche of ads for baby strollers, car seats, cribs and much more.

(on camera): And all of this could happen before the couple even tells their family that they're pregnant.

BROOKMAN: Yes, there are hundreds of companies in the advertising game, and they could drop a cookie saying this person is searching pregnancy.

FOREMAN (voice-over): If you search for something more delicate like sexually transmitted disease or escorts, those, too, would be tracked and all of this is drawing attention of the Federal Trade Commission.

JESSICA RICH, BUREAU OF CONSUMER PROTECTION, FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION: They may be very concerned if their children's information is tracked in this way, and there is also questions about who this information is given to. Can your employer get it, can your insurer get it and learn all about its habits.

FOREMAN: Still, the government is counting on the ad agency to control itself even as it gets steadily better at tracking your every move, purchase and click. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: What about your e-mail? Can you expect any privacy there? Tom Foreman looks at that question in the next hour of the CNN NEWSROOM.

All right, we're also going to be talking about the man convicted of leaking classified government information to Wikileaks, Bradley Manning, guess what, he makes a big announcement. He says he wants a transition from being a man to a woman and plans to change his name to Chelsea. Our legal guys are here to preview and we're going to talk about this next hour.

But guys, you know, Manning is now serving time for leaking that information. So who is expected to pay for his treatment, Avery?

AVERY FRIEDMAN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, this is unprecedented, Fredricka, the question is legally, can Bradley Manning quit the army to make him Bradley Womanning? We've got the legal answers for you and more coming up.

WHITFIELD: Richard, how do you see this? An uphill battle and or will -- is there some precedence his change must be paid for?

RICHARD HERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: In one case in Massachusetts, some federal judge law's mine. I tell you, Fred, 35 years in Fort Leavenworth, wanting to go from Bradley to Chelsea, isn't that special. Not going to happen.

WHITFIELD: OK, comedy hour. We'll be taking it seriously. We've got great ideas on these legal cases, plus, the case of a woman accused of illegally assisting her dad's suicide because she handed him his prescription painkiller. We'll get into that coming up. We'll see you at the top of the hour.

Arctic ice is melting at an alarming rate. Next, we're looking at the science behind it and what means for people around the globe.

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WHITFIELD: Our segment the science behind where we hope to teach you the why behind the what, today, a public observation by NASA. Scientists say the icecap over the Arctic Ocean is melting at an alarming pace, but can we link this to global warming? Chad Myers has his take on the issue.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Fred, NASA scientists are on the front line of a major issue, Arctic sea ice. One lead researcher that I talked to said that the prognosis going forward isn't good.

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THOMAS P. WAGNER, NASA PROGRAM SCIENTIST: This year, there's a little more ice. The bad news is the ice isn't recovering and we're still on one of those years that is really low in terms of extent and the ice is really thin still.

MYERS: That's the one question I wanted to ask you. We can see the square footage, but can we see how thick it is?

WAGNER: We have a couple of ways. We have a mission that flies out with an airplane and bounces lasers and radars off the ice to actually measure its thickness. We even measure the thickness of the snow on top of the ice.

MYERS: You also measure the permafrost. I'm concerned about this permafrost and methane. What can you see with your equipment?

WAGNER: Also remember as the sea ice retreats, you start to transfer that water on to the land and increase the thawing rate and the methane. We study the permafrost in a couple of different ways. As it thaws, it releases water that causes rapid erosion. We measure the depth of the earth's surface. You get a density change.

MYERS: Can we put this together with global warming?

WAGNER: Sure. One of the things we try to do is understand the specific connections between the warming of the planet and the poles. Release the heat from global warming there and it gets cycled through the atmosphere and the poles are like the canary in the coal mine. They melt first. We're seeing more surface melting where literally the top layer of the ice is forming a pond. In addition to just melting the ice and losing it, that lets more sun light through to the ocean and changes the basic part of the food web.

MYERS: Your orbiting satellite, we're not just looking at the top of the world all the time. Have you seen anywhere where the ice is expanding?

WAGNER: There have been a couple of studies that have come out that have done planet wide surveys using multiple different techniques. Satellites like grace, which detect changes in mass loss. Satellites that use a laser to measure the height of the ice itself, satellites like Landsat that take pictures of the ice. When you put those studies together, we are losing ice from pretty much everywhere and I feel like it's our job to inform the public about the science that we're doing and help them plan better.

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MYERS: And now, we're just weeks away from a major climate report that may show us how stark the reality going forward may be. Back to you.

WHITFIELD: Thank you so much, Chad. And 50 years after the march on Washington, we're taking you to the nation's capitol. The reflecting pool right now with those live pictures. We're watching the developments there at the Lincoln Memorial when we come right back.

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WHITFIELD: A storm knocked a Florida fisherman out of his boat, but he was able to stay afloat without a life vest for 24 hours and now, he explains what that terrifying moment was like.

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EFSTATHIOS "STEVE" MOUMOURIS, RESCUED FISHERMAN: When it first happened, I said maybe a got a half an hour, 20 minutes without a life vest on or anything, made my mind up. I'm not going to give up and like I said, somebody's going to have to pull me down and drown me.

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WHITFIELD: Unbelievable. Thankfully for him, a family on a fishing trip saw him in the water and then pulled him on board.