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China's Earthquake Before Dust Settles; Do Metal Bats Give Balls too Much Punch for Kids?; Oregon and Kentucky Making Their Choices Today
Aired May 20, 2008 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: China's earthquake before the dust settles. See the new video and the latest rescues a full week after the quake.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Also, do metal bats give the balls too much punch for kids? A boy disabled, now the lawsuit, in the NEWSROOM.
All right. If it's Tuesday, there must be a primary somewhere. Oregon and Kentucky making their choices today. A split expected between the Democrats.
CNN's Jim Acosta is with the CNN Election Express in Frankfort, Kentucky this morning. And that looks like an area where Clinton has a considerable lead in the polls.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Betty, and we don't want to discourage people from voting, but according to these polls that are out, according to the latest CNN Poll of Polls in both Kentucky and Oregon, it's pretty clear which candidate is going to do well in either of these states.
Senator Clinton holds a sizable advantage over Barack Obama here in Kentucky, whereas Obama should do well up in Oregon. And the voting has begun here in Kentucky. We have some video to show you of voting that is under way at this hour in Louisville. That is just to the west of here.
Meanwhile, we should note that the real action is going to be tonight when both of these candidates take to the stages at their respective victory rallies. Barack Obama will probably have his well before the polls close in Oregon. He is holding his rally in Des Moines, Iowa, which is, of course, the state that really propelled him on to the national stage.
His campaign will claim that he has locked down a majority of the pledged delegates up for grabs so far.
But Hillary Clinton is also making a claim that she has also reached a mathematical milestone saying that she has taken the lead in the overall popular vote. It is a claim that is startling many Democrats.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There were a lot of people who wanted to end this election before you had a chance to vote. Well, it may surprise you to learn that I have more votes than my opponent, more people have voted for me to be your president, and I am proud of that. And I sure do want to add a bunch of votes from Kentucky to that total.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: And Hillary Clinton can only make that claim that she has that popular vote lead if you include the voting that occurred in Michigan and Florida. And of course, that is of much dispute within the Democratic Party.
As for Barack Obama, he is taking his eyes off of Hillary Clinton and is focusing ahead towards the general election and is spending much of his time these days talking about the presumptive Republican nominee, John McCain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I respect and honor John McCain's service to our country. He's a genuine war hero. But John McCain has decided to run for George Bush's third term. And we can't afford it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Now all three of these candidates, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain, are headed to Florida to campaign down there over the next several days. Hillary Clinton, look for her to keep pressing that case that the delegations from Michigan and Florida should be included and, of course, counted in her column.
And Betty, it's hard to believe it, but after tonight, we just have three contests left. And two of them are states -- one of them is Puerto Rico -- but just Puerto Rico, South Dakota and Montana coming up after tonight.
NGUYEN: And I'll guess you'll get the Puerto Rico assignment unfortunately. But let's get back to Florida and Michigan for a minute. Is that ever going to be decided? When are we going to know?
ACOSTA: Well, by the end of the month the Democratic National Committee, its rules committee is supposed to weigh in on this. And even though that committee is comprised mostly of Hillary Clinton supporters, people who have worked for her or her husband over the years, it is doubtful that they are going to essentially rule both of those states in her favor the way she would like to see it.
That would essentially overturn what has happened in all of these different states since all of this got started. Barack Obama holds a comfortable popular vote margin advantage if she doesn't have those states in her column. So it's going to be very difficult for her to make that case.
Doesn't mean she's not going to make the case. She's certainly going to do it.
NGUYEN: Well, we'll try to make the case for you to go to Puerto Rico to cover that primary. I'll do the best I can for you, Jim. (INAUDIBLE) how much. All right.
ACOSTA: Put in the good word for me.
NGUYEN: I will. Take care.
So let's take a look now at where things do stand in the Democratic delegate count. Barack Obama leads with 1,909. That's a combination of pledged delegates and 297 superdelegates. Hillary Clinton trails with 1,718 delegates overall.
It is unlikely Obama will reach the 2,026 needed to clinch before the end of the primary season, but he is just 15 away from clinching the majority of pledged delegates.
HARRIS: John McCain's new message. He is calling for greater accountability from the chief executive.
Here's CNN's special correspondent Frank Sesno.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I'm very honored and...
FRANK SESNO, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): McCain knows he has a Bush problem, what to keep, what to reject, a challenge all along. On Iraq, keep soldier on. On taxes, he'd keep the cut. But on tone he suggests, he'd radically change the tune.
MCCAIN: When we make errors, I'll confess them readily and explain what we intend to do to correct them.
SESNO: Curbing secrecy and arrogance through openness, access and, as he suggested last week, a dramatic departure.
MCCAIN: I'll ask Congress to grant me the privilege of coming before both Houses to take questions and address criticism, much the same as the prime minister of Great Britain appears regularly before the House of Commons.
SESNO: Ever seen the way the British do that?
UNIDENTIFIED BRITISH OFFICIAL: Over a million of the poorest people in this country are still worse off. Don't they matter?
SESNO: But that's parliament. Here we have separation of powers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president of the United States.
SESNO: No-questions-asked State of the Union is about as close as they get. McCain's idea could change a lot. It'd be a big departure from Bush/Cheney. They beefed up the executive branch and angered Congress with a lot of secrets. It could weaken the president's bully pulpit by strengthening theirs, because they'll try to set the agenda, and it would beat the press.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thank you, Mr. President Bush, and good morning.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I like a friendly guy here in the Rose Garden.
SESNO: Because they won't be the only ones asking questions.
McCain knows he's got to stand for change because the Democrats are trying to run away with it. And given Bush's record-low approval ratings, the public seems to want it. McCain has concluded accountability sells.
HARRIS: And watch tonight for complete coverage and analysis of the Oregon and Kentucky primaries. Join the best political team on television live from the CNN election center. Our coverage kicks off tonight at 7:00 Eastern.
NGUYEN: More bodies, more anguish in China. Want to give you the latest right now. China state media is reporting another rise in the death toll today. It now stands at more than 40,000 with nearly 246,000 injured, and more than 32,000 missing.
Something positive in all this destruction? Rescuers pulled two more people from the rubble in Sichuan province. One was buried almost seven days, the other nearly seven and a half days. China state council says more than 5 million people have been left homeless. 280,000 tents have been allocated to survivors with another 700,000 being manufactured.
Also this morning a reason to be cautious. Chinese scientists warn there could be more dangerous aftershocks.
HARRIS: Boy, let's get more on the aftershock dangers quake survivors are now facing.
Here's CNN's John Vause in the disaster zone.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Since last week's earthquake, seismologists say they have recorded 7,000 aftershocks, some of them powerful, measuring magnitude 5.0 and above, causing death and destruction.
On Monday night, the government warned another big aftershock was on its way measuring between 6.0 and 7.0 that start panic across the quake zone. Thousands left their homes, grabbed what they could, (INAUDIBLE) traffic jams, says many left the big cities and headed to open spaces.
(Voice over): In one city a hospital was evacuated. The aftershocks have caused huge problem for rescue crews that in many of the hardest hit areas the search for survivors is now being scaled back.
But still, there have been some remarkable stories of survival. One man was rescued just after midnight Tuesday local time. He had been trapped in the rubble of his office for 179 hours. The rescue operation alone took 30 hours. And by the time he was pulled free, he was still able to talk to the men who saved him.
Just earlier than that, another man, a coal miner, was also freed. He'd had been trapped for 170 hours.
But now as China marks the second day of three days of mourning, the government is now dealing with the refugees, the living, the 5 million people who are now homeless.
(On camera): Government buildings have been opened and they're being encouraged to stay with relatives and friends. 280,000 tents have already been allocated. Another 700,000 are now being made.
John Vause, CNN, Chengdu, China.
HARRIS: So would you like to help? At CNN.com we have a special page on the devastation in China and in Myanmar, complete with links to aide agencies that are organizing help for the region. It is a chance for you to impact your world. Let us be your guide.
NGUYEN: The U.S. soldier in Iraq who's used a Koran for target practice may face criminal charges. The Iraqi prime's office says President Bush has apologized to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and promised to prosecute the soldier who shot 14 holes into the religious book.
That soldier, whose name has not been released, has already been taken out of Iraq, reprimanded and relieved of his duties.
HARRIS: Philadelphia police officers busted. Remember this video at the end of a car chase? Police beating three men suspected in a shooting. It happened on May 5th. The beating caught by a TV news helicopter.
Now Philadelphia's police commissioner says four of the officers are being fired. Four others are being disciplined, and eight others will go through additional training on the use of force. The police commissioner said the decisions were made after a review of an enhanced version of the video.
NGUYEN: All right. We got to talk about the severe weather threat. Rob Marciano...
HARRIS: Is that that Rob Marciano? NGUYEN: Yes. He is back in action.
NGUYEN: And on what a day, southeast dealing with some rough stuff.
NGUYEN: And no excuse.
MARCIANO: Of course, in Oregon, they just, you know, stamp it, roll in.
NGUYEN: Yes. Mail it in.
HARRIS: That's right
NGUYEN: Thank you, Rob.
MARCIANO: All right, guys.
HARRIS: Mourning in Myanmar. Here's what we know. More than two weeks after deadly cyclone Nargis, flags are lowered as the country begins three days of official mourning of 78,000 victims. And the government says 56,000 are still missing. Some aid is arriving, but the U.N. says that for more than 1 million survivors, the situation remains urgent. Many are in remote areas and still haven't been reached.
Our correspondent on the ground in Myanmar is on the line with us right now. My first question -- I'm still trying to get a handle on some of these numbers and, you know, while it's sort of customary in these situations to talk about recovery missions and rescue operations, I suppose the focus remains on fighting off disease and starvation in the region.
UNIDENTIFIED CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you're absolutely right. I mean that should be the main mission at this point. Now the interesting thing is the government here, the local government said today that the immediate rescue mission is over. They say that they have met the immediate needs of the people in those devastated areas.
That, of course, is something very different than what we have been seeing in the past couple of days. We still seeing a lot of people who have not received food or water. We've also seen a lot of people who haven't received any form of medication.
And you know, one of the things that's going to be very pressing in the next couple of weeks is a lot of the food stocks in that area have been completely destroyed and the people there are in very bad need still of food, water and also of medication.
Now, one of the things that you mentioned today is the three-day mourning period that was going to effect today. We haven't seen anyone here in Myanmar actually mourn. It does not seem like a mourning society at all. And one of the reasons is that no one really knew about it in this country.
Here it seems as though the military junta announced this mourning period in the state media early this morning, they raised -- lowered some flags to half mast during the course of the day, but it doesn't appear to be something like a society in mourning here.
HARRIS: You know we're getting indications that the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is going to be in Myanmar this week. Do we know exactly when he will be there and what the mission entails?
UNIDENTIFIED CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Tony, that's interesting. You know we're expecting Ban Ki-moon to be here tomorrow in the morning hours. And really his most important mission that he will have here in this country is to try and get aid workers, professional aid workers from the U.N. but also from other international organizations into this country.
And just to give you indication of how pressing that mission is, the one thing that they really need in those disaster areas hardest hit by the storm is the professional distribution system of the aid that's getting in here.
There is some aid coming into that area, but it only goes to the larger towns in that area and is then just not -- simply not distributed to the people who really need it in those far-away, in those rural areas. So that's going to be a very pressing mission for Ban Ki-Moon when he comes in there.
And that's something that he's going to be press the military junta on as well. He's going to tell them, "Listen, you need these professionals in your country. You need them to help distribute this aid." And also it's very important to the people here in Myanmar.
You know, we've been hearing so many reports from people, so many rumors are flying around that the military itself is collecting some of this aid, is hoarding it, is keeping it for itself, and is not giving it to the people who are most badly in need of it.
And simply to dispel those rumors, Ban Ki-moon is going to tell the military junta it will be better to bring some sort of transparency into the distribution system of that aid because right now the people that we've been talking to in those hardest hit areas certainly don't seem to be trusting the efforts that their government is making in getting that aid to the people --Tony.
HARRIS: All right. Let's leave it there for now. Our correspondent on the ground in Myanmar, thank you.
NGUYEN: Well, listen to this. Held on for more than a week is what this guy did. And he survived 170 hours under the concrete wreckage of China's big quake.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) NGUYEN: Truth be told, our next story probably isn't a big surprise. These days who would be shocked by higher gas prices? Seems like it happens every day.
Well, the national average today, yes, $3.80 a gallon for regular according to AAA. It is a new record. That is up more than a half cent from yesterday and more than 30 cents from just a month ago. Diesel, which is used for trucks that carry our food and just about everything else we use, also at another record, almost $4.54 a gallon.
And on a related note, this morning, oil briefly hit its highest level ever, $127.84 a barrel.
HARRIS: Are you...
NGUYEN: Not kidding. Unfortunately, it is what we do day in and day out, telling you about the new record prices.
HARRIS: You know, we're just helpless. It just feels like we're helpless to do anything about it.
NGUYEN: What can you do? Yes. Gees.
HARRIS: All right. Breathe, Tony.
Still to come in the NEWSROOM, Louisville Slugger lives up to its name. A boy suffers brain damage after he is hit with a ball off a metal bat. Now his parents are suing.
HARRIS: Unsafe at any bat speed. A family is suing over metal bats. Bats they say gives fielders dangerously little time to react. 12-year-old Steven Domalewski was pitching in a police athletic league game when he was hit in the chest by a line drive ball off a metal bat. His heart stopped for up to 20 minutes and he suffered brain damage.
Now his parents are suing the bat-maker, the store that sold it and Little League Baseball which approved the bat.
Here to shed some light o the case is CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin.
Sunny, good to see you.
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Good to see you.
HARRIS: Sunny is a former federal prosecutor in Washington and currently is a managing editor of an investigative unit at a risk consulting firm.
You know, Sunny, we heard a little bit of this. You're talking about this case on "AMERICAN MORNING" and we wanted to have you in the NEWSROOM. What is, in your view, the basis of this lawsuit? HOSTIN: Well, this lawsuit really is about the bat, Tony. It's about the aluminum bat. And what the family is claiming here, that the bottom line is that these bats are just fundamentally unsafe, because when the ball hits the bat, it makes the ball travel at a speed 25, 30 times the speed of that of a wooden bat.
HOSTIN: And so you're right, the family has sued the sports authority. The family has sued the maker of this bat. And the family has also sued Little League, because when you see these bats it says approved for play by children by the Little League.
And let's see here. The Little League stands by its endorsement of the bat and you'll see what the Little League has said is. "Since 2003 all bats are required to meet the 'Bat Exit Speed Ratio' performance limitation, which ensures that aluminum bats do not hit the ball any harder than the best wood bats."
And now of course, the attorney for the family completely disagrees. The family says that is just untrue. The bat is unsafe.
And I spoke with the attorney for the family yesterday. And let's take a listen to what he had to say.
HARRIS: Oh great.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERNEST FRONZUTO, DOMALEWSKI FAMILY ATTORNEY: There is a reasonable alternative design to this bat that would have made it safer. The bats that they were making in the 1980s that were made to wood level standards were acceptable. That was an acceptable level of risk.
To compare the bats -- the aluminum bats that were made in the 1980s to the aluminum bat that was used by the batter in which Steven Domalewski pitched was like comparing a match to a blow torch. They're simply not comparable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: Wow. A match to a blow torch.
HARRIS: That's pretty graphic.
HOSTIN: It is.
HARRIS: You can see that in the mind's eye.
Just wondering, all right, we've heard from the attorney working the case for the family. We've heard some of the claims from the bat manufacturers. And -- here's the question: what do you think of the case? HOSTIN: I have to tell you, you know, when I first heard it -- about the case I thought suing the sports authority that sold the bat? Suing a batmaker? How is this any different...
HOSTIN: ... from a hockey puck? I really do think they have a strong case...
HOSTIN: ... after reading the complaint, meeting with the attorney. It's really going to rise and fall -- this case in particular -- on whether or not the defendants knew, whether or not they knew that these bats were unsafe and were very different from wooden bats.
And by all accounts, in many accounts, they really did know. The maker of the bat actually issued a statement and you'll see they said, "We sympathize with Steven and his family but our bat is not to blame for his injury."
And that really is what is at the crux of the case. Were these bats to blame? But proving that the bat is to blame...
HOSTIN: ... is not going to be that difficult because the engineer, the engineer of the bat said, yes, yes, they are, and told the company about it and actually walked away from $1.7 million in a settlement from the company over a retirement agreement because he refused to keep quiet actually and so...
HARRIS: So the family has a whistle-blower on their side?
HOSTIN: Absolutely. Absolutely And again, after speaking with the family's attorney, you'll see, he said that that proves, that proves his case for him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRONZUTO: Louisville Slugger did know at the time that they were manufacturing these bats that they were unsafe. The reason why they knew is that Jack McKay told them so in the 1990s.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOSTIN: And Jack McKay is the whistle-blower.
HARRIS: OK. So you'll be tracking this for us?
HOSTIN: Absolutely. Absolutely. HARRIS: Appreciate it, Sunny. Great to see you. Thank you.
HOSTIN: Thank you.
NGUYEN: A critical condition. A hotel explosion stuns San Diego. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thank God she's OK. You know this is dangerous. Look at this. Ridiculous, man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We heard this large noise, and all these security guards told us everybody out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: People and debris tossed by the powerful blast. The search for answers, that's ahead.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good morning, everybody. On this Tuesday, primary day for a couple states. We'll be talking more about that. I'm Betty Nguyen in for Heidi.
TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, everyone. I'm Tony Harris. Two more states making their presidential choices today. Polls are open right now in Kentucky. Mail-in ballots are being return in Oregon. Here's what's at stake. Kentucky has 51 pledged delegates. Hillary Clinton is expected to win the state by a wide margin. But Barack Obama has been the front-runner in Oregon.
Oregon has 52 pledged delegates. Clinton is still in Kentucky today, but Obama has moved on. He is holding a rally tonight in Iowa, site of his first win of the primary season.
NGUYEN: Well you know, Tony, it is far from the campaign trail. Stuck in the middle of hard times. There's a little enthusiasm for today's primary in Clay County, Kentucky. And CNN's Gary Tuchman shows us why.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Next door to a row of boarded up businesses is one of the more popular lunch spots in Clay County at Eastern Kentucky. The cigarette smoke at Pat's Snack Bar is often as thick as the burgers.
Do you come here for lunch a lot?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, honey, I was raised here.
TUCHMAN: Nothing on the menu is more than $3.50, which for many customers here is a very good thing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are below poverty, honey. I don't know how much lower we can go.
TUCHMAN: Clay County is the poorest county in the State of Kentucky and one of the poorest in the country. As this county gears up for the Kentucky presidential primary, there is a palpable lack of enthusiasm, because the residents, including the mayor of Manchester, the city that's the county seat, feel forgotten.
MAYOR CARMEN LEWIS, MANCHESTER, KENTUCKY: It's kind of like nobody cares. Nobody cares.
TUCHMAN: The mayor says most people here are unemployed or underemployed. Industry just does not want to move to this county in Appalachia. Per capita income is only about $9,700. Esther Curry's total income with federal assistance is $7,600 a year.
ESTHER CURRY, CLAY COUNTY RESIDENT: You're kind of scared to vote for anybody really.
TUCHMAN: How come?
CURRY: Because they ain't never done anything for us yet.
TUCHMAN: Her companion laughs off the consideration of voting.
JOHN JEWELL, CLAY COUNTY RESIDENT: It don't make no difference. That's why I won't vote. I never have.
TUCHMAN: Their nephew says he can't find work and can't afford the gas to try to find work.
JASON CARPENTER, CLAY COUNTY RESIDENT: I don't feel like none of them are good for real. Because, you know, this is like a small town America deal. You know, you see how we live and it's never going to change. No matter -- the only way it is going to change for us is a poor man getting in as president and that's never going to happen.
TUCHMAN (on camera): None of the presidential candidates has campaigned here in Clay County. As a matter of fact, old-timers tell us they don't remember a presidential candidate ever coming here. Among the people we have talked to, there's a consensus that Washington is not overly concerned about them.
(voice-over): Election officials here expect a low turnout for the primary. It's a heavily Republican county, but we don't see a lot of excitement about John McCain. That's more than matched though by skepticism of the Democrats.
PAM NAPIER, OWN, PAT'S SNACK BAR: I don't really know what I think about Obama. I don't. I'm kind of leery of him.
TUCHMAN: And regarding Hillary Clinton --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's bible. A woman's place is in the home.
TUCHMAN: She has faith in the bible. Not a lot of faith that a new president will help improve life here. Gary Tuchman, CNN, Clay County, Kentucky.
NGUYEN: All right. Well, you can tune in tonight for complete coverage. And now let's just add the Oregon and Kentucky primaries. Join the Best Political Team on Television live from the CNN Election Center. Our coverage kicks off tonight at 7:00 Eastern.
HARRIS: Five people remain in critical condition this morning, badly injured when a hotel under construction just blew up. The story now from Rekha Muddaraj of affiliate KFMB in San Diego.
ANTHONY DOUGLAS, WIFE WORKS AT CONSTRUCTION SITE: I love you, bye.
REKHA MUDDARAJ, KFMB REPORTER (voice-over): A phone call finally calms Anthony Douglas. His wife was working inside this downtown hotel construction site when just after 2:00 p.m. a gas leak inside the utility room caused an explosion seen and heard for miles.
DOUGLAS: I thank God she's OK. You know, this is dangerous. Look at this, it's ridiculous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We heard this explosion and all the security guards told us everybody out.
MUDDARAJ: But not everyone was as lucky. Emergency crews transported 14 workers to local hospitals. As of Monday night, three were in medically-induced comas with burns over 25 percent of their bodies. The others suffered from blast-related injuries.
DR. SUSAN LEWIS, SCRIPPS MERCY HOSPITAL: It pushes -- it often throws a person like my patients many feet into other things as this patient actually ended up hitting a truck.
MUDDARAJ: Emergency crews worked quickly to assess the damage, but across the street at PETCO Park, employees say the explosion felt like a seen right out of the movie.
DAVID TROOP, PETCO PARK EMPLOYEE: I actually felt my chest shake. It was, it was, it was intense. The floor and the ceiling and the doors rattled and the kitchen where I was at.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My truck shook and it was just -- kind of it was a shock at first because you just kind of look around to see where it was because it felt like it was right next to me.
HARRIS: Boy, investigators are still looking into the cause of the blast. They believe it was either a gas leak or some kind of mechanical failure. NGUYEN: Well, have you heard? Better stay indoors. That's the message in South Florida, and this is why. Smoke and fog advisories are in effect as wildfires spread across almost 40,000 acres of the Everglades. Inmates have been moved from a nearby state prison and federal detention center.
The fire is also in the only known habitat for an endangered sparrow. The birds, though, said to be OK so far. This fire is about one-third contained.
HARRIS: Rob Marciano standing by in the severe weather center.
Rob, what do you think? Another day of severe heat in the west? That could be one, two, three, four or fifth day, maybe?
NGUYEN: Let's take a look at that opening bell. Rang just a few minutes ago and so far, we can get the numbers up for you and show you where the markets are. Can we get that live look?
HARRIS: Sure. Yes, absolutely.
NGUYEN: Well, we will in a second.
Just so you know, Northwestern Corporation who was ringing the bell today, Wow, already straight out the gate. It's 103 points down according to DOW and NASDAQ. It's already down 18 points and we were kind of expecting it, Tony, because futures fell today ahead of inflation reading as well as a slew of earnings from retailers. So we'll see how the day shaped up.
HARRIS: Growing up in a cult. Sisters say they were put on a schedule for sex.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They called it the sharing schedule. But in fact, it was just having sex, you know, for two hours in the evening with the partners that the leaders chose.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: OK. Now, telling their stories to help others.
NGUYEN: Parents fighting to get their children back are returning to court this morning. Members of a Texas polygamist sect are attending the second day of hearings which could go on for three weeks.
460 children have been in state custody since a raid on the group's ranch last month. And state officials ordered the children's removal saying the sect pushes underage girls into marriage and sex. Members of the group insist there was no abuse. HARRIS: Lost childhood. Three sisters say they were systematically abused while growing up in a cult. Now they are going public. CNN's Paula Hancocks spoke to them.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Their carefree smiles hide a childhood that was anything but. Born into a religious cult, Children of God in the late 70s and early 80s Celeste, Kristina and Julianna tell me they were physically and sexually abused from a young age.
JULIANNA BUHRING, FORMER "CHILDREN OF GOD" MEMBER: They had a philosophy called -- doctrine called The One Wife where everybody was married to each other in spirit as well as physically. Everyone had sexual relations with everybody.
HANCOCKS: The Children of God was created in the late 1960s by David Berg, an apocalyptic cult which believed its members were God's select. The sisters were forced to make homemade videos to try and recruit more members and raise money by performing in the streets.
KRISTINA JONES, FORMER "CHILDREN OF GOD" MEMBER: We were out there saving souls, but we have to raise money. There was charts. You know, shiners and shamers. How much have you raised that day? How many posters? How many souls have you save?
HANCOCKS: Behind the fixed smiles on camera, the sisters talk of systematic abuse.
CELESTE JONES, FORMER "CHILDREN OF GOD" MEMBER: I was getting unwanted attention by adult men, men that old enough as my father. And then to top it off was put on a schedule twice a week to -- they called it the sharing schedule. But, in fact, it was just having sex, you know, for two hours in the evening with the partners that the leaders chose. And I -- I hated that.
BUHRING: That developed a lot of self-hatred and very low self- esteem as well. And you know, from the time I was a young teenager I started trying to commit suicide.
HANCOCKS: The sisters wrote a book about their experiences last year.
BUHRING: It was hugely lethargic to write. It was also a way of telling what happened, because the group had prevent in history and said that what happened to this whole generation of children didn't happen.
HANCOCKS: Children of God, now called Family International, declined an interview with CNN but in a statement released after the book was published said "The Family's policy for the protection of minors was adopted in 1986. We regret that prior to the adoption of this policy cases occurred where minors were exposed to sexually inappropriate behavior between 1978 and 1986. This was addressed in 1986 when any sexual contact between an adult and minor was officially banned. And subsequently in 1988 declared an excommunicable offense."
Family International says it officially apologized to seven members. The sisters claimed it was more widespread than that. Christina said she escaped the cult with her mother at the age of 12. Her two sisters only managed to leave in their 20s. A fourth sister, Davida (ph), committed suicide. They say unable to cope with her past.
C. JONES: She got into, you know, abusive relationships, and drugs, and stuff like that. And after that -- and it was also that cry for help that was never picked up.
HANCOCKS: In facing their past, the sisters are trying to help other children still living within groups like this through their charity, Rise International, they're calling for religious cults to be more transparent and offer support to former members.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have to learn trust and real love. And I think that's an important healer.
HANCOCKS: Paula Hancocks, CNN, London.
NGUYEN: What a story. And we want to take you live now to New York because something happening at this hour. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon speaking to the media today as he prepares to go to Myanmar and deal with what is happening there. Some 134,000 people dead from that cyclone. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BAN KI-MOON, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: In Myanmar's history. And I will have opportunities of meeting with the U.N. staff as well as NGOs and aide workers during my stay in Yangon. My role and the role of the United Nations, working closely with ASEAN and the government of Myanmar will be to ensure that all these efforts are well- coordinated and as effective as they can be under these difficult circumstances.
I will do my utmost for the people of Myanmar. I want to see the conditions under which relief teams are working and I intend to do all I can to reinforce their efforts in coordination with Myanmar authorities and international aide agencies.
I will discuss with everyone, Myanmar government officials, the leaders of neighboring countries, and relief coordinators and international donors the way forward and how best to save lives and prevent further hardship.
I welcome the government of Myanmar recent flexibility. Yesterday, they agreed to allow Asian relief workers under the own spaces of the ASEAN to oversee and begin distributing international aid and supplies. We have received government permission to operate nine WFP helicopters which will allow us to reach areas that have so far been largely unaccessible. I believe further similar move will follow, including expediting the visas of relief workers seeking to enter the country. I'm confident that emergency relief efforts can be scaled up quickly. Even as we tend to today's emergency, we must give thoughts to Myanmar's long-term reconstruction and rehabilitation.
(INAUDIBLE) has estimated losses and more than $10 billion. As you know, cyclone Nargis devastated Myanmar's agriculture heartland. It may already be too late for the farmers of Myanmar to plant the next harvest. And this will compound the present crisis.
In this sense, the economic effect of the nation's (INAUDIBLE) that has struck Myanmar could be more severe and longer lasting than the 2004 tsunami. These issues will be the subject of the May 25th press conference in Yangon. Thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The ASEAN foreign ministers yesterday did make some progress, but in your eyes is that progress enough, is it sufficient and what more would you like specifically to see come out of your trip in terms of commitments to open up?
KI-MOON: I will discuss with ASEAN leaders how best we can coordinate. The coordination between United Nations and ASEAN will be crucially important in their regard. I am encouraged that ASEAN leaders have taken initiative and leadership role in addressing these issues. ASEAN foreign ministers yesterday in their statement made it quite clear.
This humanitarian assistance and campaign will be led by ASEAN mechanisms. At the same time, as you may remember, I have proposed to ASEAN to establish sort of a logistical hub near Myanmar, but outside the Myanmar, but near Myanmar. And one idea would be to nominate or point to joint the humanitarian coordinator between United Nations and the ASEAN.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: You have been listening to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon speaking today in New York as he prepares for his trip to Myanmar and is urging the military government there in that country to allow in international assistance. We'll continue to follow this for you.
And we know that many of you also want to help. So here at cnn.com we do have a special page on the devastation in both China and Myanmar, complete with links to aid agencies that are organizing help for that region. It's a chance for you to impact your world so let us be your guide.
HARRIS: Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer gets a delivery of three eggs. There, there. But he didn't order an omelet. Veronica De La Cruz will tell us why Ballmer was ducking, coming up.
NGUYEN: Well, Google is out with a new service that could be a medical breakthrough. But some people are worried about a computer break-in.
And Veronica De La Cruz joins us now with that story.
How does this work, Veronica?
VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN INTERNET CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Betty, good morning to you. It is called Google Health. And here's how it works. It allows people to upload and store their medical records from various sources online. Now Google says it is helpful if people get sick or hurt while far away from their primary doctors. The new service also includes, Betty, a link to find doctors by location and specialty. Also, a virtual pill box online which notifies patients when they need to take their medications.
So medical experts here believe that electronic records crucial for cutting costs, also for reducing medical errors, but like I was just saying, privacy experts here are worried that the information could be stolen. So that's the catch. But Google does say that each user is going to be given a private password. So we're going to have to see how the whole thing works.
NGUYEN: Yes. We'll see if that's enough. You know, I also hear there's a new piece out, viral video making its rounds on the Internet?
DE LA CRUZ: Yes. And the star of this viral video is Microsoft's CEO's Steve Ballmer. He was speaking at a university in Budapest, Hungry, when a student got up and instead of firing tough questions decided to throw some eggs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give that money back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: What was that all about?
DE LA CRUZ: I know.
You know, lucky for him he ducked there. The student was angry about a deal between Microsoft and Hungary's government. He runs down the stairs and -- take a look at the back of his shirt. It's Microsoft equals corruption.
So like we've been talking about the video becoming a pretty big hit on the web, but check this out, Betty. It's not the first time that Ballmer has been the star of viral video.
There's also this video back in 20001. You may have seen it, Betty. It shows a sweaty Ballmer showing a worrying amount of enthusiasm while giving a motivational speech.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE BALLMER, MICROSOFT CEO: Developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers. Yes!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: The guy is wringing wet with sweat.
DE LA CRUZ: Right. And if you think he is passionate there, take a look at this. This time he is speaking to employees and he's dancing to Gloria Estefan's "Get on Your Feet." Here you see him really rowdy. He's growling the troops there at Microsoft.
NGUYEN: Is that dancing, though? I'm not sure about that. That's kind of like jumping around. What is that?
DE LA CRUZ: Maybe. He is asking everybody to get on their feet. He's trying to rally the troop there's. So you know, an unbridled amount of passion, that's for sure. But he is the star once again of another viral video. It's all over the web. It's also all over the tech blogs. And that's the problem with these things, Betty. It's like once they're out there, they're out there.
NGUYEN: And there is no control.
DE LA CRUZ: And there is no coming back.
NGUYEN: And I'm sure we will see that egg video time and time again. All right, Veronica. Have a nice omelet today. It's still breakfast time. See you later.
HARRIS: He's ready for a steel cage match of some kind it seems. Oregon, Kentucky, your day to decide both Obama and Clinton laying claim to numerical milestones today. Does the math add up?