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North Korea: U.S. Drills Driving Situation to Nuclear War; Today: Trump Returns to White House Amid Charlottesville Fallout; Day Will Turn to Night Tomorrow for Total Eclipse; Another Charity Cancels Event at President's Resort; U.S. Spy Planes Keep An Eye on Possible Threats; NASA Planning to Use Plastic Surgeon's Eclipse App. Aired 7- 8a ET

Aired August 20, 2017 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:02] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: They don't make those anymore.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I was in a Ford. But, guys, in Wade's defense, I don't think he and Gabrielle Union have a lot of normal cars around for his son to drive.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, that's all I have.

Thank you, Andy.

SCHOLES: All right.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thousands of counterdemonstrators converging on Boston.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nothing is burning. Nothing is stolen. Nothing is looted. This is a victory today to stand together and drive away racism.

DEMONSTRATORS: Boston strong! Boston strong!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to choose the direction we need move as a nation and that should be one, again, of unity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All we can do is kind of sit here and hold our breaths for a minute.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Countdown to total eclipse coast-to-coast.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Like, I don't think you really should look at the sun --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, you shouldn't.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: -- it might burn your eyes.

JIMMY FALLON, LATE NIGHT HOST: Guys, Monday is the big solar eclipse. Experts have actually issued some warnings to say, you should prepare yourself ahead of time, don't look directly at it and try not to watch for too long. Wait! I'm sorry. They are talking about Trump's press conferences.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

PAUL: Good morning to you.

We start with some breaking news of another nuclear threat from North Korea this morning.

BLACKWELL: Pyongyang says it is ready to, quote, mercilessly strike at any time, blaming the U.S. for driving the two countries to the brink of nuclear war.

Let's get straight now to CNN international correspondent Paula Hancocks live in Seoul.

Paula, now, this threat comes just hours before the beginning of military drills by the U.S. and South Korea?


It is Monday when these U.S.-South Korean military drills start. Every single time there are military drills, North Korea reacts. They up the ante, they increase their rhetoric, because they are infuriated by these drills which they see as a dress rehearsal to an invasion of North Korea. So, we have heard them talk about the reckless provocation. We've heard them suggest that this is pushing Korea to a nuclear war.

We have heard this before, but, of course, we are starting from a much higher level of tensions than we have been in previous years. We also heard from -- this is an article in a North Korean state-run newspaper. They mentioned Vice President Pence by name as well, talking about when he was asking Latin American countries to stop their support or any dealings with North Korea and they call that a selfishness, arrogance, and outrageous interference. So a special mention for the U.S. vice president from North Korea, clearly not happy with what he is saying as well.

So, when you look at these drills that start tomorrow, start Monday, they carry on for ten days. We hear from the U.S., there will be about 17,500 U.S. military personnel alongside South Korean military and U.N. command. So, seven other countries will be represented as well.

And it's more of a computer simulation than actually live fire or massive amphibious landing as we've seen certainly in the springtime. So, potentially, there are less provocative pictures as far as North Korea is concerned, but we'll see how they react.

Victor, Christi, back to you.

BLACKWELL: Paula Hancocks in Seoul for us -- thank you so much.

PAUL: Now, as North Korea issues new threats against the U.S., President Trump is getting back to Washington today.

BLACKWELL: Yes, it's the end of what's been a really turbulent two weeks away from the White House. The West Wing is refreshed, renovated, ready for the president when he arrives this evening.

CNN White House reporter Jeremy Diamond joins me now.

Jeremy, the president was a lot more vocal on Twitter yesterday about a free speech rally and counterprotest in Boston. Tell us what he said.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right. Well, you remember last week when the president said that he needed to wait for the facts, which is why he didn't immediately condemn white supremacists and neo Nazis by name. But yesterday, we saw something a little bit different take place as the president took to Twitter, as the rally was still ongoing, to go ahead and slam, quote, anti-police agitators on Twitter, despite the fact the protests yesterday in Boston, many of them counterprotesting against a free speech rally that was protesting for the right for anti -- for white supremacists and Nazis to protest. Those protests were actually largely peaceful yesterday.

Actually, an hour or so after the president tweeted that initial statement slamming anti-police agitators, it sounds like somebody got in his ear perhaps and the president took to Twitter to applaud the protesters. He tweeted, quote, I want to applaud the many protesters in Boston who are speaking out against bigotry and hate. Our country will soon come together as one. The president also tweeted that he believes the country has been divided for decades and that perhaps sometimes protests may be necessary to help the country heal.

[07:05:00] BLACKWELL: All right. Jeremy Diamond, thank you so much.

PAUL: Lynn Sweet, Washington bureau chief of "The Chicago Sun-Times", and Errol Louis, CNN political commentator and political anchor for Spectrum News, both with us now.

Thank you both for being here.

Lynn, I want to start with you. What's the first thing the president tackles?


PAUL: Yes.

SWEET: Well, he -- what's on his to-do list include getting ready when Congress comes back to deal with tax reform, trying to see if he could rehabilitate some relations with the Republican senators who are alienated in this time to see if he can get 50 votes to pass this legislation. But also on his to-do list is thinking, what does he want to do now in structuring his White House in the wake of disbanding his counsels that he was going to count on very much, reaching out to corporate and business America?

And what is he going to do -- and this is something I think we should keep his eye on -- you know, there is a saying close -- that you keep your friends close and your enemies closer? I'm not saying that Steve Bannon is an enemy of the Trump White House, but with him on the outside, I think we are going to see some new story lines emerge here and there will be some new things to look at. Just think how extraordinary it is, a very senior adviser within hours of leaving the White House is running a big media corporation. I mean, you didn't see Sean Spicer jump back into the public eye so soon.

So, I think that it maybe a White House that is still struggling to be on the offensive and instead of reacting to events because as we know in the last few days, they haven't been able to push. But one other thing when you ask what's on his to-do list, it's to see if he can get this infrastructure plan off the ground and running and again built support the coalitions you need to get something done.

PAUL: Very good. I want to talk to you about the nuclear -- I'm sorry. Well, the North Korean nuclear threat they are pushing out this morning. We know these drills are an annual event. The U.S. and South Korea does this every year.

Last year -- so, I want to look what North Korea said last year about this. So, the spokesman for North Korean military in 2016, last year, said this: North Korea will turn the stronghold of provocation into a heap of ashes through Korean-style pre-emptive nuclear strike if the U.S. and South Korea show the slightest sign of aggression during the drill.

The threats seem to be the same. The military exercises, they are an annual thing. The only difference is that President Trump is in office. Is the unpredictability of that of concern?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, yes, certainly. What has changed, in fact, is that we have now got an American president who is answering in kind the sort of bombastic, sort of comic book talk, the boasts and empty threats and the ruin and raining down fire and all of this kind of stuff. So, it certainly doesn't help.

Some of the -- at the military level, some of the connections that were in place, however, tentative, just to make sure that accidents don't escalate and turn into a complete disaster, some of those connections needs to be restored and, if anything, strengthened. So, there is a little bit of concern there as well. And I guess, finally, you know, on his way out the door, Steve Bannon gave an interview in which he gave -- made some remarkable statements on the record to Bob Kuttner about what is and is not possible with all of the saber rattling. So, some of this we've really got to get some clarity from this White

House and with all of those generals who are running around, including the new chief of staff at the White House, I'm hoping that we'll hear something that's clear and coherent that sort of takes us a step or two back toward safety because nobody wants to hear the kind of talk that we are hearing from the American president and North Korean dictator while there are people in the field with real weapons and doing real drills.

PAUL: Yes. Well, we could hear something as early as Tuesday when the president is in Phoenix. is reporting this morning that before he makes it to that rally in Phoenix, the president is actually stopping in Yuma at the Marine Base there. What's interesting about this is, that is right now on the Mexican border. It plays right into his conversations about immigration.

Lynn, what do you make of that strategic move? It's most likely strategic

SWEET: I take it that this whole trip out west, one of the -- this is the furtherest west that Trump has gone since he's become president, I believe. And it is very rare for him to go west of the Mississippi. It is working to the base again.

And I think nothing seems to jar or not jar the base staying with him loyally, no matter how much turmoil and tumult. But in the other side of it, I think if he goes to the border, it only shows that his central promise that he is going to build a wall and have Mexico pay for it shows no sign of being kept in Congress because the budget that Congress is going to be looking at and the approach that they are taking up has the U.S. paying for these first payments for the wall. But it does show that he is going back to a very core theme and the sense I have of this is that he wants to continue to play to the base at a time when he has also been stressing he and Attorney General Jeff Sessions stripping federal funding to cut crime in the so-called sanctuary cities.

[07:10:17] PAUL: OK. So, Errol, this was written in by Louis Roberts (ph). She said in asking why he is coming to Phoenix. Is he coming A, because he's in need of an adoring crowd to bolster his battered ego? B, to pardon ex-Maricopa sheriff Joe Arpaio? Or C, to endorse a Republican candidate to run against Senator Jeff Flake? My money is on C, she says.

What is your money on?

LOUIS: I say all of the above, actually. He certainly does rely on the rallies to sort of present a public image, if only for a few minutes or certainly for himself as well, but president who is in command at least of his base. If he can't be the president of a unified country, he can certainly be the president of his base. And so, he does that all the time.

The notion that he would pick that as the location to pardon or at least speak some nice word about the Maricopa County sheriff, that is very possible -- more likely than not I would say. And then, yes, he wants to weigh in the politics of it.

So, border politics, just as Lynn said, is really core to the Trump brand. If he can't pull this off in the right way, it will be one more political setback after a week in which he's had quite a few.

PAUL: All righty. Lynn Sweet and Errol Louis, always grateful to have you here, thank you.

SWEET: And thank you.

PAUL: And be sure to tune in Monday night, by the way, tomorrow night, of course, a special CNN event coming at you. After losing on health care, of course, what will House Speaker Paul Ryan say as he faces his Wisconsin voters? Don't miss our live town hall moderated by Jake Tapper. That's Monday night at 9:00 Eastern, only here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: Well, some of the biggest charities in America are backing away from President Trump. The list of charities is now growing as part of his backlash to the president's comments about the violence in Charlottesville. We'll ask former Trump campaign adviser if this can be stopped.

PAUL: Also, American planes carrying out spy missions just miles from North Korea. How U.S. troops are preparing for a possible nuclear attack.

BLACKWELL: And, it's the countdown to the total eclipse that will turn day into night. CNN's Miguel Marquez will join us with a look ahead of what to expect and exactly when.


[07:17:00] BLACKWELL: That's dramatic. Eclipse of the century.

PAUL: It is.

BLACKWELL: All right. So, the big day is tomorrow. Total eclipse. Moon passes in front of the sun.

We've got CNN crews all across the country where a lot of people are coming together to watch this event. This will be the only time in their lifetime they will be able to watch it.

Let's go to CNN's Miguel Marquez who is in Independence, Oregon.

I'm guessing this is your first visit where you are counting down to the eclipse. Miguel, I know folks are excited.


Look, this is going to be like the Super Bowl, the World Cup, the Olympics -- all of them put together. But the game in this case will only be about two and a half minutes long. Millions and millions of people pouring in to that path of totality.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): Countdown to total eclipse coast-to-coast.

ROYCE JOHNSON, CALIFORNIA RESIDENT: This is the sun and this is the eclipse. And this is the moon, and it goes directly at it and then makes it totally dark.

MARQUEZ: In its path -- an astronomical celebration from Oregon to South Carolina. The place to be -- the 70 mile swath of full eclipse or totality. The man's shadow racing across the country through 12 states, turning day into night.

(on camera): What do you think is going to happen?

BELLA LARSEN, OREGON RESIDENT: Like, I don't think you really should look at the sun.

MARQUEZ: No, you shouldn't.

LARSEN: It might burn your eyes.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Good advice, heeded everywhere. In Chicago, long lines, despite the rain for eclipse viewing glasses. Eclipse traffic is already heavy.

SUSAN MARTINEZ, OREGON RESIDENT: We are hearing a lot of information traffic is real heavy that day. We are going to be staying home.

MARQUEZ: Cities and small towns along the path of totality preparing for massive crowds.

(on camera): You think you can literally double, triple, quadruple the size of this place overnight.

MAYOR JOHN MCARDLE, CITY OF INDEPENDENCE: Oh, yes, very much so. And the people will be spread out through town.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): In Idaho, all hands on deck for massive crowds across the country, friends staying with friend, families coming together. Millions on the move, even camping out for this once in a lifetime happening.

(on camera): You've been planning this trip for how long?

MARK JOHNSON, CALIFORNIA: At least seven years.

MARQUEZ: Seven years?

JOHNSON: Yes. We got two vehicles with truck campers and we just -- we left at 4:30 in the morning and got here at 3:30 in the afternoon.

MARQUEZ: In the path of totality? Total eclipse of the theme for everything, from dark of day wine in Nebraska to martinis in Oregon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We take the martini glass and rim it with a little bit of Oreo crust. MARQUEZ: And, of course, eclipsical doughnuts.

KENNETH "CAT DADDY" POGSON, COW-OWNER, VOODOO DOUGHNUTS: It's a chocolate top. It's got the sun ring around it. When you break it open, it's full of sunshine, orange creamsicle flavoring.

MARQUEZ: This eclipse unique for the U.S. The last time one went coast-to-coast here, 1918.

[07:20:03] Woodrow Wilson was president and the First World War was nearing its end.


MARQUEZ: Now, one other interesting thing about this eclipse. The path of this takes it only through the U.S. The last time that happened? 1257, King Henry III was on the throne in England and it was about 200 years before Columbus have been born. So, the U.S. wasn't even thought of as a country at that point. People are incredibly excited for this one.

Back to you, guys.

BLACKWELL: So, what you're saying is it's been a while? It's been a few years?

MARQUEZ: It's been a minute! A minute.

PAUL: A minute.

BLACKWELL: All right. Miguel Marquez in Independence, Oregon -- thanks so much.

PAUL: Have fun, Miguel.

BLACKWELL: You know, Allison Chinchar keeps bringing us these glasses and we are bitter. Can I just say that? Let's just say it. She brings us these glasses to show everybody and they are cool and everything.

PAUL: You look good in them.

BLACKWELL: I feel fashionable here.

However, we have to give them back after every shot. When I say give them back, we had these last hour. We had to return them before receiving them again for this shot! And now we have got to give them back immediately after this.

PAUL: Yes, she's got her guard.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, the sad part, they probably cost like $2 to make, but we have them under lock and key because so many people. A lot of places have run out, so, so many people are now asking. I think in the last 24 hours, guys, I've had at least a dozen people ask me if those could go missing the ones that the weather department are using, because, yes, this is a big event. Everybody wants to this. A very select few will be able to.

And again, that's going to start in Oregon around 1:15 Eastern Time. OK? So you have to change your time zone for this. It will eventually hit, say, around Kansas City at 2:00 Eastern Time. And then eventually cross just past Charleston, South Carolina, just shortly before 3:00 in the afternoon.

But the ultimate question that everybody wants to know is what is the weather going to be like? Because if you have rain, if you have cloud, you're not going to get the best view for that eclipse.

So, here is what we have. Out to the west, states like Oregon, Idaho, even into Wyoming, rain is not going to be a factor. However, especially in Oregon, you may have some haze from some of the wildfire smoke that's out there. Now, technically, that's not necessarily to ruin your eclipse viewing. If anything, it may actually kind of change the coloring a little bit, maybe to a bit more of red or an orange hue because of the smoke and haze's effect on that coloring.

Now, when you move further east, that changes entirely. We have not just some rain chances in the forecast for places like Kansas City and Des Moines and Lincoln, but also severe weather. We're talking damaging winds, the potential even for an isolated tornado or two and large hail. So, if you're in those regions, make sure you also have your weather alerts ready if you need to pack up the camping equipment and get to a safe place.

Further down to the south and east, places like Columbia, South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, we also have the potential for at least a few isolated showers and thunderstorms in the forecast here.

The question is going to be, some place like Nashville, where it's not really supposed to rain until late at night, but you may have some cloud that develop ahead of time. Victor and Christi, we talked about this ahead of time. It's like the folks that say, I can't get sun burned. It's cloudy out. Even if it's cloudy, during the eclipse, you have to have the glasses.

So, make sure that you still have these on. If you are in totality, you can take these off once everything lines up perfectly for, say, about that one and a half to two-minute time frame. Until then, you have to keep glasses on. So, just make sure that you have a pair. If you don't, we talk about this last hour, check your local animal shelters. A lot of them are taking donations for local charities so that might be the best option to check out.

PAUL: You know who's got the view? Are going to be the people out in boats, on the coast. They don't have to worry about traffic, they don't have to worry about anything.

BLACKWELL: Good call, god call.

PAUL: Where can I get a boat? The question at this point.

BLACKWELL: I can't even get glasses. I certainly can't get a boat! PAUL: Allison Chinchar, thank you.

CHINCHAR: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's turn to a serious story here. North Korea issuing another nuclear threat. American troops are preparing for any possibility. We go inside the air base in South Korea where pilots say they are ready.

PAUL: Also, another charity has pulled the plug on an event at the president's Florida resort. We'll tell you what that means.


[07:28:40] PAUL: So good to have your company. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you.

President Trump returns to Washington today as North Korea renews its threats to the U.S.

PAUL: Yes. North Korea says it is ready to, quote, merciless strike and blames the U.S. for driving the two countries to the brink of nuclear war. Now, this marks the end to a turbulent working vacation for the president. It started after the president's widely criticized remarks in the wake of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville last weekend, remember. He blamed many side for the violence which included an act of domestic terror by a neo-Nazi.

Since then, there's been a growing list of charities and organizations that are cancelling events at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort. The exits continue this weekend. Yesterday, the Palm Beach Preservation Foundation became the latest customer to drop out. They say, quote: Given the current environmental surrounding Mar-a-Lago, we have made the decision to move our annual dinner dance.

CNN senior economics analyst and former Trump campaign economic adviser, Stephen Moore, is with us now.

Stephen, thank you so much for being with us. I appreciate it.


PAUL: Good morning to you.

Here is a look at the organizations that have cancelled at Mar-a-Lago. Some big names on here. Names that have gone to Mar-a-Lago for years to have their galas and fund-raisers, and now, they are pulling out. What can the president do, if anything, at this point?

[07:30:00] MOORE: Well, you know, the good news is that the economy is absolutely booming right now. And that is what this election was mostly about and if you look the latest forecast for what GDP is going to be in the third quarter, we're halfway through that. We're up to 3.8 percent. So, the core of Trump's mission, which was to get America working

again and to get growth up, he's certainly accomplishing big league as he would say.

These cancellations of things and the fallout from his comments last week are -- I mean, look, I don't want to get into that too much because I think it's been very unfortunate and I know Donald Trump very well. I know his supporters very well. They are not racist. He made some unfortunate comments that I think were taken a little bit out of context, but I think this will pass.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, here is what has to be tackled here. We know that health care did not pass.

MOORE: Right.

PAUL: The council on manufacturing jobs, that was dissolved after that mass exodus of business titans.

MOORE: Right.

PAUL: And those titans I think were people that the general public looked at and thought these are his people. These are the people that Trump associates with, that he relates to and they all broke away from him. What does this mean then for the president's economic plan, for tax reform, for job, for infrastructure?

MOORE: Great question. First of all, let me correct you to one thing. These business leaders, a lot of them actually -- the problem was they weren't his people. In fact, I had warned Donald Trump and the White House that I thought they were making a mistake and putting a lot of these business CEOs on these councils who were never for Trump in the first place. In fact, many of them actively opposed him.

And I warned that a lot of these people, as soon as there was controversy and let's face it, controversy certainly follows Donald Trump in terms of everywhere he goes and everything he says, that they would run for the high grass and that's exactly what's happened.

But I've got to tell you, you know, having been an adviser to Trump on the economy and being a part of a couple of his economic -- he has a number of these kind of economic panels, I get called every day from CEOs saying, look, I'll serve. I really love the kind of things that Trump is doing for the economy. So, I don't think there's any shortage of prominent Americans who are CEOs of companies who like what Trump is doing, who would serve on these if Trump were to reengage these.

One other quick, you know, these panels were really meant to -- for Trump to listen to the CEOs and hear about their concerns. How do you create jobs? What are the impediments to growing your businesses? So, there are more about listening than him dictating to these CEOs what he was going to do.

In terms of tax reform, I'll just say thing, I think Trump has to get this done. I really do. I think after striking out on health care, there's an imperative that tax reform get done this year. It may be a scaled back measure that basically cuts the tax rates for families and businesses, but, you know, I think a lot of the anticipation of this tax cut happening, which I believe will be very good for the economy, a lot of that is built in to the stock market right now.

We have seen record high on the stock markets. A lot of that is anticipation of these tax cuts coming. So if you don't get the tax cut done, you may get a sell-off in stocks.

PAUL: Well, let me ask you this, because there is one other thing looming on September and October several deadline driven issues but one must pass is a country's debt ceiling.

MOORE: Right. You got it.

PAUL: How does he tackle that that?

MOORE: Boy, that's going to be brutal. It always is. I've lived through a lot of these debt ceilings. I've been on this business, on budget policy for 30 years. And I will tell you, they are going to get a debt ceiling passed, how they're going to do it, I don't think anybody knows right now because one question as well, will Democrats in Congress vote for a debt ceiling increase?

A lot of them scolded Republicans for voting against debt ceilings when with Barack Obama was president. Let's see if Democrats now step up and vote for a debt ceiling. But how you put 218 votes together in the House and 51 in the Senate to get a debt ceiling passed, it's a very difficult thing because I got to tell you, nobody in Congress likes to vote for raise the debt ceiling. It's not a good vote.

PAUL: Yes. No doubt. Stephen Moore, it's been so good to have your voice here. Thank you.

MOORE: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Tens of thousands of feet above South Korea, American pilots say they are ready for North Korea. Next, we are going inside the U.S. air base just miles from the DMZ where troops are preparing.


[07:38:51] BLACKWELL: Breaking news on the Barcelona attacks. Police now say the remains of two bodies of people have been found. And at least 120 gas canisters inside that house that exploded on Wednesday in Alcanar. Authorities say explosives were being made in the house to be used in more terror attacks.

PAUL: And as North Korean threatens the U.S. with a, quote, merciless strike, that's our latest this morning, American troops in the region say, listen, they're busier than ever watching for possible threats. CNN international correspondent Alexandra Field traveled to Osan Air Base in South Korea where pilots tell her they are ready to fight at a moment's notice.


ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At Osan Air Base, a U.S. air base in South Korea, they are watching.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are up there. We are keeping eyes and ears on North Korea.

FIELD: And they are waiting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I can start to cue missiles, I can cue radars, I can cue targeting prop.

FIELD: The control tower coordinates a few dozen military flights a day, sending this spy plane dubbed "Dragon Lady" up over the Korean peninsula.

[07:40:03] LT. COL. JAMES BARTRAN, 5TH RECONNAISSANCE SQUADRON, U.S. AIR FORCE: We are busy here than probably the last ten years. We are very busy, but we -- you know, we are tasked every day to fly our mission so we do that.

FIELD: Pressurized suits allow pilots to soar at altitude of 70,000 feet. That's twice as high as a commercial jet. The one-seater spy planes are flown by eight specially trained officers. The job: To provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. A window for Washington into North Korea needed now as much as ever.

BARTRAN: Everything this aircraft is collecting is almost instantaneously sent down to people who can process, exploit and disseminate that information in minutes to our leadership.

MAJ. DANIEL TRUEBLOOD, 36TH FIGHTER SQUADRON, U.S. AIR FORCE: We would be ready to launch at both air bases at a moment's notice and be ready to fight tonight --

FIELD: Major Danny Trueblood is on a two-year tour to South Korea, taking up a job that U.S. troops had done for decades, since the end of the Korean War.

TRUEBLOOD: The F-16s are pivotal to the -- to basically the defense and any potential actions. So, with GPS or laser-guided weapons, we can strike a variety of different targets.

FIELD (on camera): This U.S. air base is fewer than 40 miles from the North Korean border. These super sonic jets can fly about 16 miles a minute. So, in the case of a conflict with North Korea, they could reach the DMZ in just two or three minute.

(voice-over): They practice daily and sometimes with mock battles. On this day, 12 of the Air Force's F-16 fighter jets take off.

BARTRAN: Because we don't know. With the unpredictability of thing, tonight may, in fact, the night. So, we train every night.

FIELD: Still, the same work they have done every day for decades -- now with the world watching what happens next. Alexandria Field, CNN, at Osan Air Base.


BLACKWELL: So, NASA wants to get their hands on an app invented by a plastic surgeon that can help people track the solar eclipse. You're going to want to watch this one. I know that seems like an unusual tease. That's why Dr. Gordon Telepun joins us next with a closer look at how his app works.


[07:46:25] PAUL: So, plastic surgeon has invented this app that has helps you time out a solar eclipse down to the second.

BLACKWELL: Yes. So, this app uses GPS coordinates to determine if you're in the path of the eclipse. Now, once you program your location, it counts down to the precise moment of the big event.

PAUL: So, Dr. Gordon Telepun is with us now.

We are looking at this app, Dr. Telepun. I'll be honest with you. We are both going, we don't know what we're looking at. Help us in layman's terms understand what this app does and how it works.


PAUL: Good morning.

TELEPUN: So, it's very simple. Mobile devices are extremely sophisticated with their ability to geo-locate and get your coordinates like for using navigation programs and things like that. So, my app takes that technology just to do your location and then in the app, itself, has the formula for calculating the contact times for the eclipse.

So, once your phone knows your location, the app can calculate the exact contact times for first contact, second contact, third, and fourth contact. And then it will audibly give you announcements to tell you when those events are going to happen.

So, it's actually quite simple for the first time observer. They tap one button to have their phone locate. They tap a second button to load those specific times into the timer, and then the timer will talk them through the entire eclipse. It's basically like having an astronomer next to you telling you what to look for.

BLACKWELL: Which is great, because we understand from Allison Chinchar in weather that this isn't just an event that happens at one moment. It happens over a period of time. And nobody wants to be there with the glasses saying, OK, what am I looking at now?

So, I understand that NASA has approached you about this app. How are they planning to utilize this? TELEPUN: Yes. This is an interesting story. You know, I'm very

fortunate because I love following the NASA program and I live next to Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. So I have, through time, been able to meet a lot of the NASA scientists, including the solar scientists, because I went to my first eclipse in 2001 and I've had contact with them.

So they knew about my app. They are going to be running two main observing sites, one in Kentucky and one in Tennessee, where they plan to play my app through the P.A. system, so that all of the basic announcements are taken care of for them and they don't have to worry about making the basic announcements about observation for the change in temperature or the change in lighting and counting down to the exact contact times.

And also, my app makes announcements for when it is safe to take your solar glasses off just after second contact, and a reminder to put them back on just before third contact. And that is very important. So, it just takes a little pressure off of the folks running those two observing sites to have that be automated.

PAUL: OK. We only have about 30 seconds left. But tell us about the solar bands, what are they? Why are they --

TELEPUN: Oh, shadow bands. Well, shadow bands happen just in the final 60 seconds before totality begins and the final 60 seconds right -- or right after totality ends. And you look on the ground, and you look for these very faint low contrast shadows that get created by that slit of light coming through the atmosphere.

[07:50:06] It's very exciting to see them. Not everybody will see them. But the app reminds them to look to the ground at 60 seconds before second contact, to look for these very faint shadows.

PAUL: My kids are going to love this.


PAUL: My little scientific girls are going to love this.

Dr. Telepun, thank you so much. We appreciate you walking through it.

TELEPUN: Well, thank you. This is an exciting time for the country.

PAUL: All righty. Take good care.

Listen, you know, it's been since World War Two. Well, now, the USS Indianapolis has been found in 18,000 feet of water. Next, the chilling story behind the shipwreck.

BLACKWELL: And we look back at the life of pioneering comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory, who died Saturday at the age of 84.


BLACKWELL: So, if we're talking about stress, tai chi is known for its gentle, therapeutic movement could help?

BLACKWELL: Absolutely. Here's this week's "Staying Well".


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right foot out as you block.

DANIEL HOOVER, SCHOOL OF HEALING MARTIAL ARTS: Tai Chi is a moving meditation that allows us to move more smoothly in life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Strengthen your roots.

HOOVER: It takes the principles we've observed in nature and uses it as a martial art.

TANIELA IRIZARRY, TAI CHI STUDENT: I used to be really high energy, high strung all the time. Tai chi definitely helps with, you know, keeping me centered. First, it does seem a little difficult to slow yourself down. But once you do, I just feel everything just kind of release.

PATRICK YORK, TAI CHI STUDENT: Tai chi is a great way to disconnect from all the stimuli coming at us. I visualize pushing all the stress out. I do use tai chi as a form of physical fitness because each movement uses every muscle. Everything is engaged but not stressed.

HOOVER: Because it's practiced slowly, a lot of people have discovered the healing benefits.

DR. MICHAEL IRWIN, DIRECTOR, UCLA MINDFUL AWARENESS RESEARCH CENTER: Tai chi improves our psychological health. And if we have depression, anxiety, sleep problems, it improves all those problems. The practice of tai chi overtime alters the underlying physiology in such a way that we're more resilient and we're less likely to develop chronic diseases of aging.

HOOVER: We all need a practice, tai chi or something else, that allows us to slow down.



[07:56:51] PAUL: Well, the USS Indianapolis, lost since World War II, has been found in 18,000 feet of water. A team of civilian researchers led by Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen located the cruiser on Friday. Now, it was torpedoed by the Japanese in 1945 while returning from its secret mission delivering parts for the atom bomb. Nearly 1,200 men were stranded in the water.

Another story that might sound familiar from you, well, you might remember the ship from one of the most chilling scenes of the movie "Jaws" when shark hunter Quinn talks about his nightmare during World War II.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On Thursday morning, Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player. Boatswain's mate. I thought he was asleep. I reached over to wake him up. He bobbed up, down in the water just like a kind of top. Upended. Well, he'd been bitten in half below the waist.


PAUL: Now, the story was mostly true. Only 316 men survived but they survived dehydration, the threat of drowning and shark attacks. Allen's team is going to survey that site and tour the wreckage. It will be interesting to see what they find.

BLACKWELL: Well, he broke through a color barrier, became an iconic comedian and went on to fight for equal rights. This morning, we remember the life and works of Dick Gregory.


DICK GREGORY, COMEDIAN: I feel so sorry for Willie. I hate to see any baseball player having troubles. But that's a great sport for my people. That is the only sport in the world where Negro can shake a stick at a white man and it won't start no riot.


PAUL: In the '60s, Gregory was one of the early black performers to headline at white comedy clubs. He got his big break in 1961 when the prestigious Playboy Club in Chicago asked him to fill in one night. The club went on to offer him a three-year contract. And when he wasn't making people laugh, he was a voice for justice.


GREGORY: We black folks is the only people in the history of the planet that went through what we went through and offered education over liberation.


BLACKWELL: Well, Gregory marched for civil rights, wrote several books, including "Murder in Memphis," which analyzed the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. He also adamantly opposed the Vietnam War.

Now, Gregory recently had to reschedule an event in Atlanta after getting sick. His family says that he died at a hospital in Washington yesterday, last night, in fact. He was 84 years old.

Reverend Jesse Jackson memorialized him on Twitter, saying this: He taught us how to laugh. He taught us how to fight. He taught us how to live. Dick Gregory was committed to justice. I miss him already.

PAUL: And our thoughts and prayers certainly go to his family.

We thank you so much for keeping us company on Sunday mornings. We always appreciate having you here. BLACKWELL: "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts right now.