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Utah Miner Update; Greek Wildfires

Aired August 26, 2007 - 17:00   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: A lawyer for the missing men's families, Collin King says the search will go on in the collapsed Crandall Canyon Mine. There was concern the rescue would end when a sixth hole drilled into the mine showed no signs of life. King says a robotic camera will now be used to look for the men and seventh hole may be drilled. Rescue officials are expected to hold a press conference this hour. We'll bring that to you as soon as it happens.
And now to the ravenous fires consuming southern Greece. Today the flames reached the ancient city of Olympia where the first Olympic Games took place. A massive effort is underway to save the city. Greece's worst fires in decades now are being blamed for at least 50 deaths with the death toll likely to rise. Authorities are making more arson arrests. And the government is hinting at dark political motives amid an ongoing state of emergency. Joining us by phone now, CNN's Frederik Pleitgen.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL REPORTER: Fredricka, you're absolutely right. The state of emergency here continues and really this country is still very much in shock. Now, one thing they're saying is that there are still over 170 blazes that are still burning out of control in this country and one of those, of course, was in the ancient city of Olympia, where the original Olympic Games happened. And one of the officials in the city there told us that the fire was really very, very close to destroying that ancient archaeological site and really what they did here is they just called in an armada of firefighters and also several planes, several helicopters, and just dozens of firefighters immediately to try and cope with that blaze, and they just barely managed to save that site. I'm there right now, actually, and really we can see around that site how the mountains are just scorched, and really you can see them glow in the dark, because some of the fires are still going. Luckily they're not near that site any more, but certainly this crisis, while the Greek government says that they are making some headway, this crisis certainly is not under control yet. Fredricka?

WHITFIELD: All right Frederik, thank you so much for that update out of Olympia, Greece.

Under growing pressure to demonstrate results, Iraq's quarrelling leaders announced progress today toward achieving several goals set by Washington. We just got this report from Baghdad from CNN's Arwa Damon.


ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): According to (INAUDIBLE) spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki, when parliament convenes on September 1st, they will have two key pieces of legislation to pass. Long awaited the debathification law and the law regarding provincial elections. (INAUDIBLE) said that this committee also agreed that the process of releasing detainees who were being held without proper evidence needed to be speeded up. However, this rare show does not mean that Iraq's government is unified. According to a spokesman, (INAUDIBLE) Iraq's Sunni vice president who was present at that press conference, the Iraqi Accordance Front has no intention of returning to the Iraqi government. He also said that these meetings were not that significant. (INAUDIBLE) reacting to those comments on behalf of the Iraqi government said, however, that the government hoped that these agreements would begin to lay down the building blocks to unify Iraq's government once again, and said that this would probably help build up the trust between the various political parties. Al Maliki is coming under increasing pressure, both inside and outside of Iraq with senior U.S. government and military officials expressing their growing frustration with the government's lack of political progress. Some U.S. officials taking it one step further, such as Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Carl Levin, going so far as to call for Al Maliki to be replaced. Al Maliki responded to those comments saying there are American officials who consider Iraq as if it were one of their villages.

NURI AL-MALIKI, IRAQI PRIME MINISTER: I disagree with Hillary but I say that Hillary and Carl have not gone through indifferences and political problems in their political life to the depth of that which is happening in Iraq. That's why when they make their judgments they do so without knowledge of what national interest requires. That's why I excuse them. It is true that the national reconciliation is slow but it is within the right path, compared with others, it could be regarded as quick.

DAMON: The prime minister is also demanding an apology from the French government after foreign minister (INAUDIBLE) trip to Baghdad, upon which he said that he also believed that Al Maliki should be replaced. Al Maliki saying that his comments do not fall under diplomatic courtesy. However, much of the criticism facing Al Maliki is an echo of what many Iraqis living the violence, the lack of water and lack of power are saying every day. Arwa Damon, CNN, Baghdad.


WHITFIELD: Meantime, Iraq's former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi has hired a Republican lobbying firm so he can, in his words, fight for his country. Allawi has criticized Iraq's current Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki, blaming him for the lack of progress in Iraq and accusing him of supporting Shiite militias to take the law into their own hands. On "CNN'S LATE EDITION" today, Allawi said he's pushing for change.


AYAD ALLAWI, FMR. IRAQI PRIME MINISTER: I want to save Iraq. I want to save the mission of the United States. I am building a plan. I am trying to stop the deterioration and violence in Iraq, I'm trying to reverse the course in Iraq. And to less sectarian, non sectarian course.


WHITFIELD: Allawi plans to head to Iraq next week to press his new agenda.

Anti-war protesters clogged the street outside President Bush's family estate in Kennebunkport, Maine yesterday, even though the president wasn't there. Some 1200 demonstrators marched through Walker's Point, calling for congress to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq. Cindy Sheehan helped lead the march. Counter protests erupted with some shouting among demonstrators, but no violence was reported.

In India, security is tight today after 10 people were killed by an explosion at an outdoor auditorium in Hyderabad yesterday. Minutes after that blast, 34 others died when a gas cylinder exploded at a snack shop five miles away. More than 100 people were injured in the explosions and police are trying to determine if the incidents were coordinated attacks. Authorities say the carnage could have been much worse. More explosive devices were discovered at 16 different locations around the city.

And back here in the U.S., it's sunny skies after days of deluge in much of the Midwest. Ohio Governor Ted Strickland has began touring flooded areas of the bruised buckeye state. Strickland is expected to request federal disaster assistance. In Illinois, there is no rain in the forecast but more flooding is still possible with rain-swollen rivers that could still crest. Thousands of ComEd customers are still without power following Thursday's storms and the utility has brought in additional crews trying to restore electricity.

Some good news for victims of last week's flooding in Oklahoma. President Bush declaring a major disaster in three hard-hit counties. That means victims may apply for federal housing assistance.


WHITFIELD: Three hundred fourteen million dollars, that's how much a single lottery ticket is worth and it belongs to one lucky Hoosier. The story next.

Plus -- how about a surfboard as a symbol of peace? An Israeli uses a common love of the waves to reach out to the Palestinians. But there's a limit to his kindness.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the war starts I will get on the Israeli side and shoot these men, without batting an eye.


WHITFIELD: Oh, boy. All's fair in surf and war, right here in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WHITFIELD: We're going to take you straight to Huntington, Utah now, where we've been waiting for this press conference to begin. We already have heard that the attorneys representing the six trapped miners had said that the search will continue. Let's listen in right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- provide us additional details as to what may have happened to the miners. We are pleased that Mr. Murray has agreed to drill this additional hole. I will discuss yesterday's finding on bore hole number six. The hole went in a little after 4:00 in the afternoon. We -- the mine's entry was full of rubble. There was no void. We tried the listening devices, we beat on the steel. Tripped the steels out of the mine. Lowered the cameras to see if anything at all we could see. Nothing. But I have some additional information of what we're doing today. We've been -- the agency, mine safety and health, has been working with this since the beginning of this accident. It's robotics. We found a technology out of Canada. They built a robot, the only one of its kind, that's going to be used in this mine. It's a long shot, and I repeat again, it's a long shot. But we owe it to the families to do everything possible to locate their loved ones. We're currently in the process of evaluating the holes on top of the mountain. That's holes number four and number three to determine which one would provide the best access to the mine with the robot. MSHA has been working on this robot as they indicated earlier from day one, but we didn't want to give anybody some false hope until we were sure that we had something that could provide this valuable information, and we have it on site. It arrived Friday at 10:00-something at night. It has been put together. It's up on top of the mountain as we speak. I want to introduce you to Dr. Robin Murphy, from the center of robotic assistance, search and rescue at the University of South Florida. She is the foremost expert in this country, and that that's why she is here. Robin?

DR. ROBIN MURPHY, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA: Good afternoon, I'm Dr. Robin Murphy. I'm director at the center for robot assisted search and rescue at the University of South Florida. We've been working with Dr. Jeffrey Kravitz, chief of scientific development for MSHA's technical support group to come up with a solution that would get farther than the cameras were able to see into the mine. We've come up with a solution, I'm going to show you today, that's going to be fielded this afternoon. It's this robot. The idea is this robot is going to travel 2,000 feet through the holed three and four. It's going to land, then it's going to go, raise its camera up so we get a much better look and then it's going to travel up to 1,000 feet within the mine, going further than what we could see with the cameras that we've been putting down the bore holes at this time. The Crandall Canyon Mine is one of the most challenging situations I've ever seen. So, frankly, I give us less than a 50 percent chance of being able to come up with any additional information. There's certainly a chance we're all willing to take and the team is working on it. We have five technologists from (INAUDIBLE) services in Canada, which is the group who built the base robot. Hi-fi International, which is a group that has tremendous amount of experience, a very, very deep inspection through pipes. They are providing the controller and myself and Dr. Kravitz. So we'll be up there this afternoon running this system. I'll give you a little bit more about this. You're seeing how it would exit out of the pipe. Then it's going to lay flat. The silver thermos-looking thing at the back, that's actually a pan tilt zoom camera with about 200 watts of light that should get us at least 50 feet of viewing distance. We raise it up, because we have to keep it -- keep it in the back at the very beginning so they can get through the eight and seven-eighth inch hole. Very tight fit. Let me give you some more details about this. The crawler is about 70 pounds. It can pull 1,000 feet of tether, which means it's got to be able to pull about 200 feet and then it's connected to the surface by a mile of fiber optic cable as well. It's got two cameras. The major camera that we're going to be looking through is the silver thermos-looking one. The pan tilt zoom camera that raises up to about 10 inches above the platform, but we also have a camera in front that's going to help us drive the robot, especially when we come out of the bore hole and then have to get onto some ground and start moving forward. That's a pretty tricky part there. As can you see, it's a tight fit. This robot is only eight inches across but it's got to go into a bore hole that's 8 7/8 of an inch. So it's going to be a tight fit. That's one of the first problems that we have to overcome. But you have to do a trade-off between what's available in terms of the bore sizes and also how much power it takes to get down through the pipe and then to get into the mine more than you can see. So that requires a lot of weight, a lot of time. Frankly, it's a long shot.

Let's go through some of the reasons why this is hard. I've ranked them in order from one to nine. So I'll just kind of walk you through the steps of it. First off, we've got to lower the robot down the hole. When you lower the robot down the hole, it's got to fit. If it doesn't fit, it's stuck and there's no way to get it out. I mean you can pull on it as much as you want to. And we've already lost some equipment earlier in the mine disaster and have lost a hole from this. So we don't want to repeat that. That was one of the reasons why we didn't try to deploy earlier. Because if we had gone down, we would have blocked any other use of that hole. All right, so we go down, the next problem is, is this is an uncased hole, it's a hole that doesn't have anything around it. It's just raw dirt and water pouring out. So now we have the problem if we kick up any rocks, the rocks might jam into the threat. Those same rocks might cause the camera to get damaged. The good one on the very back. So we're pointing the camera's head down like this to protect it. When it gets out, as you know, under a mine, the roof is held up with basically chain-link fence. Now, the drill's gone through the chain- link fence but we can see the mesh is still out there. So there's a possibility that the robot will get tangled as it goes through the mesh to get down to the floor. We think that's the lowest of the possibilities. Since this is weighing about 70 pounds, it's got over 200 pounds of tether, it's got enough weight to push through. So it's probably not going to be our biggest one. Then it's got to get on the ground. If there's mud, there are rocks, there are things that make it unfavorable, we have to approach that very slowly so that we don't fall over. If the robot falls over it's going to be very hard to self-right.

Now the robot itself is very stable. People have looked and said, oh well you know with that camera on top like this, that means it's going to be likely to fall over. Well, this part, the camera only weighs about seven pounds, whereas the base weighs about 60. So we're not worried about falling over. The engineers say they can take about 45 degrees before it's going to roll. So we're confident that we can get over the types of rubble that we've seen so far. But again, with the camera systems that it employed, we haven't seen very much. So we can give it our best shot. Once we get on the ground, we go forward. The robot can turn in all directions, has a special tail on the tether that gives it a great deal of enhanced flexibility. So we can certainly go straight, but we can also make the turns to get further back in the mine, and work through the crosscuts and entryways. When we come back though, there's a good chance that that mesh that we were able to punch through will cause us not to be able to lift back up. While we're moving will not allow us will cause the tether to tangle. So those are some concerns we have and again why we think this is a long shot, but we're looking at giving this our best effort this afternoon. We'll be looking at holes four and three. We spent 11 hours yesterday testing this equipment and going through all the previous recorded videos to see what was the most likely to work and to practice and see what techniques we think will get us through to try to bring some more information to the families of the miners here at Crandall Creek.


MURPHY: Its real time system. We see it as it's in the hole. So if we lose the robot we have all the data. It's automatically recorded to hard drive. We're recording from both the cameras at the same time, so we do have that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did I understand you to say that you think you'll have (INAUDIBLE). Does that mean that you're probably only going to get into one of those two holes or you have two of these devices or (INAUDIBLE).

MURPHY: I personally, based on a lot of experience, expect that's going to be our weakest link. If we get in and get the data that would be great, bringing it back out --

WHITFIELD: It's a long shot but we owe it to the families, the words of officials there out of Huntington, Utah who say that the search for the six trapped miners will resume and this time not only will they be boring now another hole but they will be lowering a robotic camera that they believe might be descended into holes three and four to about 2,000 feet. And they're hoping that this might give them the kind of visibility that they've been longing for, but there are obstacles, debris, water and even the mesh that's on the rooftop of those voids. We'll have much more in the NEWSROOM after this.


WHITFIELD: Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama touring New Orleans at a particularly painful time for that city. Hurricane Katrina slammed into the gulf coast exactly two years ago this week. Today Senator Obama listened as residents complained about the slow pace of the rebuilding efforts. He explained his ideas of what needs to be done during a speech at a Baptist church. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We need to make sure that the hardest hit areas get attention they need and that the jobs of the rebuilding go to the folks who have been displaced. You don't need to ship folks in to rebuild here in New Orleans! A lot of folks need work right here. We can train them. Take those young men on the street corners and give them a job! Give them a chance. Give them an opportunity. That's how we rebuild!


WHITFIELD: Other candidates are also marking the second anniversary of Katrina this week. Hillary Clinton and John Edwards are scheduled to attend a hurricane summit at the University of New Orleans. Republicans, Duncan Hunter and Mike Huckabee will also be in attendance and President Bush is expected to mark the occasion with a trip to New Orleans and the gulf coast.

And just 10 minutes from now, emotional interviews with three people who fled New Orleans as Katrina roared ashore. Among them a college student who has made a documentary about the tragedy, that's coming up at 5:30 eastern.

And Rudy Giuliani is promising to lower taxes if elected president. During a speech in New Hampshire this weekend, the Republican candidate promised to make President Bush's tax cuts permanent and get rid of inheritance taxes altogether.

A memorial to Princess Diana is set for later this week, but one member of the royal family will not be there. Ten years after Diana's death, the tension between her and Camilla Parker Bowles is still in the air. The story coming up in the NEWSROOM.

And next, it's been two years since hurricane Katrina wiped out parts of New Orleans. When we come back, we'll talk live with three people who have their own personal reasons for refusing to move back. You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Here's what's happening now. A new plan to reach the six missing miners in Utah. A short time ago, officials announced an effort to bore a seventh hole into the Crandall Canyon Coal Mine They'll also lower a high-tech robotic camera in to the hole already drill.

A forest fire in Greece nears the site of the first Olympics games. The fires plaguing the country are being blamed for 51 deaths.

A top Indian official is backing away from claims two deadly blasts were the work of Islamic militants. More than 40 people were killed in the twin explosions in Hyderabad.

New developments in the deaths of hospital patients in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. CNN has learned that the New Orleans grand jury, which refused to indict a memorial hospital doctor on murder charges, never heard testimony from independent medical experts. In written statements, those experts concluded nine patients had been killed with drug overdoses.

Right back to Utah, to Huntington, Utah, to hear from the owner of the mine, Bob Murray.

BOB MURRAY, PRESIDENT & CEO, MURRAY ENERGY: The location of that hole was after consultation with the families, and after discussion with the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. As I've said over the last three weeks that I've been here at the mine, all of our decisions have been in agreement with the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. And as Mr. Stickler, the assistant secretary of labor has said, we've been a team.

So we have agreed to drill a seventh hole in the vicinity of where the so-called dinner hole was of the miners that were trapped to see if there's any sign of life. The number six hole that just went down encountered no void at all. The outbreak -- the outbreak from the ribs completely filled the entry -- one-third of the top of the entry. There could be no sign of life, no indication of survival at all in such a condition. Similarly, the number five hole showed virtually the same thing. There was a little six-inch void at the top filled with rubble, and there was no indication of life, nor the atmosphere in either number five or six could support life. But we haven't given up hope, and now we're going to drill a seventh hole.

I'm now going to talk about an entirely different subject, and I have a press release that I'll pass out to you after I'm done. I had meetings with our Tower miners and our West Bridge miners yesterday and this morning. And I announced, as a result of the recent seismic events here at the Crandall Canyon Mine of Utah American, we would temporarily idle the tower mine near price, Utah. Our employees always have been, and will be, our totally foremost consideration in our mining activities and most especially, their safety. I've said to every one of these employees many times that we take our responsibility for them very seriously and that no pound of coal is worth ever getting hurt over.

Due to the depth of the operations at the Tower mine and the previously unforeseen nature of these seismic events at the Crandall Canyon Mine -- this has not been ever experienced before. Our miners and management engineer have thousands of years of mining experience and have never seen it before. I feel compelled to further...

WHITFIELD: We'll continue to monitor developments there at Huntington, Utah. The owner of the mine, Bob Murray there, reinforcing they are going to drill a seventh hole and also descend a robotic camera down two other existing holes to try to get a better view of what's taking place, if anything, down below in the search for those six trapped miners.

Meantime, when we come back, two years since Hurricane Katrina, why some Gulf Coast residents say they never want to go back. We'll talk to them when we come right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Two years after Hurricane Katrina, still some trepidation about going back and a lot of disappointment about the recovery efforts. We're joined now by three people who were in the Gulf Coast region at the time of Hurricane Katrina, and they've got their various reasons as to why they are disappointed about what's taking place in their former home towns.

Yasmin Gabriel is a New Orleans evacuee living in Washington, D.C. now. Laura Dailey will join us right here from Jacksonville, Florida. And Jerry Peel is an evacuee living in Little Rock.

Jerry, let me begin with you. As we look at this two-year anniversary this week, how do you go in to this week? Do you relive everything you experienced from living in a senior home in New Orleans to being evacuated from it, spending four days at the convention center before eventually being bussed to Arkansas? Do you relive all of these memories all over again?

JERRY PEEL, DISPLACED NEW ORLEANS RESIDENT: Well, my healing process, I guess it will continue the rest of my life, but the big part is over. I've settled in quite well here in Little Rock. The V.A. facilities are excellent, superb, and the veterans. I've gotten a house now, and the job prospects are excellent.

WHITFIELD: You really have rebuilt your life as a result?

PEEL: Yes, yes. Absolutely.

WHITFIELD: Well, Laura, let me start with you, then, on this issue of, has it been difficult for you to rebuild and kind of reclaim your life two years later?

PEEL: Go ahead.

LAURA DAILEY, DISPLACED NEW ORLEANS RESIDENT: I think it's difficult for everyone. We've all experienced a mass, en mass, an amazing event in the history of the country. Imagine anyone starting their lives over again. I'm really fortunate in that I have family in Jacksonville. I have a tremendous support network of friends, relatives, people I haven't met. Jacksonville itself has been incredibly welcoming and supportive, and helpful. And still you do have the moments, at least in my experience, where much as you want to hold it back, it's not possible. It's normal to have flashbacks and remembrances for many years.

And I can say that my experience with FEMA, having been -- having had someone tell me we all need to get over it down here, it's important that people understand, we'll never get over it, and, in fact, the country will never get over it. And the most important thing about knowing that is that we need to get it. There's no reason to have preventable losses of which there were many along the Gulf Coast, and we all have terrible experiences to share.

WHITFIELD: Yes. DAILEY: If want to hear those, let me know. People are tired of hearing of it. I'm tired of telling it. I'd like to tell people that you can move on. I personally can't go back to New Orleans. The New Orleans that I knew and loved doesn't exist anymore.

WHITFIELD: Do you feel like it never will exist again?

DAILEY: It will never. I am absolutely sure, it will never exist.

WHITFIELD: It can't be replaced?

DAILEY: It cannot be replaced. You hear it from people that lost everything. You can't replace your memories. You can't replace your photographs. The people who made New Orleans what it was and made me love it so much aren't there.

WHITFIELD: Yeah. So, Laura, you made your way to Jacksonville because that's where your twin brother is and that's now home for you.

And, Yasmin, you're now in Washington, D.C., but you had another set of challenges before you, because wanted to continue your education. Got pushed out of New Orleans just like Laura and Jerry as well, and have had a difficult time going back. But you found a different route in which to go back. You helped document the struggles, particularly of college students who were displaced from all of this. Was this kind of cathartic for you?

YASMIN GABRIEL, DISPLACED NEW ORLEANS RESIDENT: It was definitely therapy for me, because losing everything, you think about yourself a whole lot, but I knew there were so many people that were in worse situations than I was. So I'm going back home September 1, at Xavier, to bring young people together to discuss what we can do to make our city positive. But people still are down there and some want to make it as good as it used to be, but we can't do that without the average person being involved in the solutions. So I'm bringing kind of the voice of the young people together to say, hey, let's go home. Let's be accountable and improve our city. And we're upgrading New Orleans. I'm very, very excited about it. It's going to be really positive.

I'm in law school now at Howard. So Hurricane Katrina changed me totally. I was on my way to medical school. This is a total different shift for me. I want to fight for my people but I can't do that without knowing the law and without having my peers behind me.

WHITFIELD: On the right-hand side the screen, just so you know, Yasmin, we're showing images from your documentary "Picking Up the Pieces: College Life After Hurricane Katrina."

This is one of the ways in which you are helping to really kind of open the eyes of a lot of folks of what it was like going through this and what are you holding up now? This is your, Upgrade America campaign you're part of?

GABRIEL: Yeah. We're going to launch it in New Orleans. But I want to show young people they can be like me, and make a change and be a voice. We're doing everything from persuasive writing, how to read a bill, how to contact your Congressman. There are a lot of bills on housing issues, educational issues. I've been defaulted on a student loan and I can't even get a loan to go back to college. That's a problem. If I don't speak up for myself, no one will.

WHITFIELD: That explains why you changed your major now from medicine to law.

GABRIEL: Absolutely.

WHITFIELD: Jerry, you have been a part of the fabric of New Orleans just as all of the others, the other panelists here. Just like Laura was saying, if people, who made up that fabric of what New Orleans has always been, don't go back, then New Orleans will never come back. Do you at all feel badly about that?

PEEL: Well, there are tasks here is Little Rock. We still got to have hundreds of evacuees in Little Rock. I volunteer to do -- assist in every manner that I can. Also, I'm involved with ACORN, and not only uplifting the survivors of Katrina and Rita, but also the locals here. I volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, who provided me with a home. I am installing computers and training the families so that the children of these recipients will, in fact, be donors.

GABRIEL: And Jerry, you can make some gumbo in Little Rock, too?

PEEL: I have a freezer full right now. Come stop by

GABRIEL: Don't tell me that. I am -- I am a struggling student. Don't say that to me. I might be there.

PEEL: Come on. Come on. We'll charm you with love.

WHITFIELD: And Laura, perhaps you get the last word on, you know, do you miss New Orleans? And you said that you have no plans on going back there again, but you must miss it.

DAILEY: I have no plans to go back and live, but did want to say I think it's very important for people who want to go back to understand the commitment that is going to be required to rebuild a new city. Because we can't rebuild New Orleans as it was, in the sense of the people who either are no longer living or just no longer capable of coming back. I think it's important that the people who do go back are absolutely dedicated to the city and what its future is.

If you look at the long term, the future is a little frightening. If you look at any of the global warning maps, you'll see in 25 year, New Orleans will again be surrounded by water and it won't be because of the levees.

So I think forward thinking is really important. And most important is the fact that the problems that exist in Louisiana in particular are problems that have existed a long time.

WHITFIELD: Everywhere. DAILEY: Exactly. They exist everywhere, and it's important to understand that the same kind of thinking that created those problems will never solve them. So people have to find new ways of thinking about your neighbors, about your community, as your infrastructure. You have to see people as people, exactly, not people who are of a color or a social status. They are people who are human beings like us and the first mandate of all people ha to be to help others.

WHITFIELD: And, Laura, I think that's exactly underscores the kind of gumbo that Jerry has in this freezer, which really has forever made the tapestry of New Orleans.

DAILEY: Exactly.

WHITFIELD: You know what, guys.

GABRIEL: I want to jump in really, really quick. I know you have to go. The thing we're doing September 1, if you have a young person that's in high school or college and you that they feel direction, have them come to Xavier.

DAILEY: I'm going back October 7th through the 14th -- is the national women's building in Bernard's Parish.

WHITFIELD: All right, good. Well you all can get together and have that have that big pot of gumbo, folks.

DAILEY: I am happy to help.

WHITFIELD: I think this is a promise we'll all have to make to one another.

DAILEY: I might have to make a trip to Little Rock.

WHITFIELD: All right Laura Dailey, Jerry Peel and Yasmin Gabriel, thanks so much.

DAILEY: Thank you.

PEEL: Thank you

WHITFIELD: Good night.

GABRIEL: Good night.

WHITFIELD: This Wednesday, two years after Hurricane Katrina, the exact day in which it hit, the Gulf Coast, we'll bring you Soledad O'Brien's special "Children of the Storm." See what happened after Soledad and Spike Lee gave 11 students in the area cameras and asked them to film their lives. That's Wednesday night, 8:00 p.m. eastern, only on CNN.

Much more in the "NEWSROOM" right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WHITFIELD: A ticket to riches beyond imagination is out there somewhere today. Powerball officials announced the six lottery numbers drawn last night match the numbers on a single winning ticket sold in the Richmond, Indiana area. The pot had grown to more than $300 million. The immediate cash payout announced -- not exactly peanuts, either.


KATHRYN DENSBORN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HOOSIER STATE LOTTERY: The cash prize for -- put this down -- $145,985,099.64. Don't forget the 64 cents.


WHITFIELD: Every penny counts. We'll talk to our Jim Acosta live from Richmond, Indiana, at 7:00 eastern.

Not your typical surfer dude. Up next, in the "NEWSROOM," an Israeli uses as surfboard like an olive branch hoping to make waves, not war with Palestinians. You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.


WHITFIELD: Talk about a competition for people with a love-hate relationship for their cell phone, it's the phone throwing world championships in Finland. Yesterday, a Finnish contestant took gold for distance, pitching a cell phone nearly 90 yards, shy of the world record. And a 19-year-old circus performer took top honors in the freestyle competition using acrobatics and juggling to wow the judges. Too bad we didn't have the tape for that. Looks like a javelin but with a cell phone.

All right, a surfboard is hardly an olive branch but for an American surf legend, giving boards to the surfers is strife-torn Gaza is definitely promoting good vibrations.

Atika Shubert has the story.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz is an 86-year-old veteran of the waves in Hawaii and Israel. When he heard across the border in Gaza there were fellow surfers in distress, well he had to help.

DORIAN "DOC" PASKOWITZ, SURFER: When I heard that these guys wanted to surf and had no boards, that was the beginning.

You take the first one. You take the rest.

SHUBERT: Doc Paskowitz personally delivered 15 surfboards to Gaza, despite an international embargo, despite Gaza's sealed border, using his charm to get by Israel's notoriously tight security. On the other side, Gaza's surfers waited anxiously. With the gates finally open, the boards were wheeled out and handed over. A burst of color in Gaza's battle-scarred landscape, carried out past the barbed wire straight on to the beach. Gaza's handful of surfers couldn't resist taking them out for a ride, though a little unsteady on the new boards.

PALESTINIAN SURFER (through translation): I'd like to thank the people that gave us these surfboards. It makes me proud to use them.

SHUBERT: Doc Paskowitz came away victorious, and bare-chested after giving his brother surfers the shirt off his back. But he admits brothers who surf can still be enemies at war.

PASKOWITZ: This is one of the great daps of my life. I hate to the say this to you. But if war starts, I'll get on the Israeli side and shoot these men, without batting an eye.

SHUBERT: Catching waves may give good vibrations but probably won't bring peace in the Middle East just yet.

Atika Shubert, CNN, Jerusalem.


WHITFIELD: So much more to come on CNN. Next on "Lou Dobbs This Week," another major recall on contaminated toys from China posing new threats to our children.

And at 8:00 eastern, CNN "SIU: Growing up Diana" followed by an encore presentation of "God's Warriors" at 9:00 eastern. Erica Hill joins you live at 7:00. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. "Lou Dobbs This Week" starts right now.