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Tornado Warnings in the Midwest; South Dakota and Montana Closing out the Primary Season Today; Admiral William Fallon Breaks his Silence; Double Your Gas Mileage in the Same Car; More Rescues on the Sand Than in the Water at Daytona Beach; Bo Didley, The Originator Has Died

Aired June 03, 2008 - 09:00   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, everyone. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Tony Harris.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins.

See events come into the NEWSROOM live on Tuesday, June 3rd.

Here's what's on the rundown.

Voting underway now in the final two primaries. The Obama campaign hoping to clinch today.

HARRIS: Bill Clinton attacking the media over reports about his behavior and his wife's fading chances. He's even calling one reporter sleazy and slimy.

COLLINS: GM closing plants that make SUVs and trucks. Record fuel prices turning gas-thirsty rides into dinosaurs. "ISSUE #1" in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: On what could be a decisive day in the presidential race, there is good news affecting "Issue #1." Your money, jobs and what you drive.

Ali Velshi is standing by with that and we've got Jim Acosta, in South Dakota, where voting is underway on this last primary day of the campaign. But first, let's get to Ali in New York.

And Ali, you're talking about General Motors and plant closures.

ALI VELSHI, CNN SENIOR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Biggest company -- biggest automobile company in the world that is slashing jobs, closing plants, saying that Americans have made a decisive shift from trucks and SUVs into cars and more fuel-efficient vehicles.

The CEO of General Motors saying this is not a short-term thing. This is a big change and they don't see it changing. So they're shutting down four plants.

Let me tell them a little about those. Two of them -- are in the United States. There's the CEO Rick Wagner now speaking at the annual meeting in Oshawa, Canada. They are stopping production of the Silverado and the Sierra -- the GMC Sierra at a plant there. In Moraine, Ohio, they are ceasing production of the Trailblazer and the GMC Envoy. In Janesville, Wisconsin, the Chevy Suburban and the GMC Yukon are made there, they're stopping production. And in Toluca, Mexico, the Kodiak medium-duty truck is being stopped.

Now the other side of this, Tony, is that they are adding production to smaller, more fuel efficient cars. The Chevy Malibu has been very, very successful for General Motors. They are adding a third shift to the Lake Orion, Michigan plant where they make the Chevy Malibu starting this September, a third shift is being added.

They also make the G6 there and in Lordstown, Ohio, where they make the Cobalt and Pontiac G5. They are adding a shift there starting in September.


VELSHI: GM says that 18 of its next 19 product launches will be cars or crossover-overs, not SUVs or trucks, 18 out of next 19.


VELSHI: And the CEO also says they've got approval for their Volt, the electric car, from the board of directors. They hope to have those in showrooms before the end of 2010.

HARRIS: Ali, big, big news here.


HARRIS: You take this information, you factor in what Ford announced just a couple weeks ago...

VELSHI: Right. Similar announcement.

HARRIS: Yes, and it's a similar announcement, and aren't we really talking about something of the death mill for these big gas guzzling SUVs?

VELSHI: Absolutely. And by the way, we started to see that at $3.50 as the national average. We're now just about it, four or a couple cents away from that. Ford said it was at $3.50 that they saw those trucks fall off in terms of sales and little cars start selling.

Today at 1:45 Eastern, Tony, we're going to get the truck sales for May. And I think we're going to see exactly the same thing. Americans are abandoning -- they are running away from their gas guzzling vehicles.

HARRIS: Yes, you can. Tell them you can't trade, man. You just can't do it.

VELSHI: Yep, that's absolutely right.

HARRIS: All right, Ali Velshi in New York for us.

Ali, appreciate it. Thank you.


COLLINS: Quickly want to head over to the Severe Weather Center where Rob Marciano is standing by.

Rob, we're hearing that you have a tornado warning somewhere in the Midwest, I'm guessing?

ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, we are. In Illinois -- south central Illinois, northern Marion County now under a tornado warning until 8:45 local time. This includes the locations of Kinmundy, Stevens Port Park and Omega.

This storm -- this Doppler indicated tornado, which is moving off to the east at about 47 miles an hour. So pretty fast moving storm. There you see with that polygon that highlights exactly where it is. And that pink and purplish little dot in there, that's likely a hail core with some big time.

Yes, we've had a lot of problems with hail with the storm that really got rolling last night. We had upwards of four inch diameter hail, serious damage in Kansas, and all the way up towards Minnesota, as well.

This is all part of a larger system that had tornado watches in effect until noon just south of Indianapolis. You see most of the action is in the eastern part of that tornado watch. But more importantly right now, we have this tornado warning that's in effect until 8:45 local time for northern Marion County.

Doppler indicated. It's not reported on the ground at this hour, but we'll keep you posted if that changes.

Back to you guys.

COLLINS: OK, Rob. Thank you.

MARCIANO: You got it.

COLLINS: We'll check back later.

Meanwhile, we are down to the final two. Boy, already? Voters in Montana and South Dakota heading to the polls right now closing out a grueling six month primary season.

CNN's Jim Acosta is at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota once again for us this morning.

So, Jim, the Democrats are in post-primary mode already.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is right, Heidi. Barack Obama is doing everything he can to hold the door open for Hillary Clinton to make a graceful exit from this campaign. Both of these candidates are sounding less like bitter rivals and more like potential teammates for what could be a presidential ticket that would change the face of politics.


ACOSTA (voice over): Looking beyond South Dakota and Montana and on to the battle ground state of Michigan, Barack Obama is offering the kind of praise political analysts love to parse.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She is an outstanding public servant and she and I will be working together in November.

ACOSTA: No offers are being made both campaigns say, but the two senators will be talking, as Obama put it, at a time and place of her choosing.

OBAMA: But we still got two more contests to go and I'm sure that there'll be further conversations after Tuesday.

ACOSTA: It was another gesture, though with the olive branch he extended to Hillary Clinton in South Dakota.

OBAMA: She is going to be a great asset when we go into November to make sure that we defeat the Republicans. That I can promise you.

ACOSTA: While Clinton is still hammering home her contested claim to the popular vote edge...

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am now over 300,000 votes ahead in the popular vote.

ACOSTA: ... she is doing it with a velvet glove. She knows word is trickling out that her campaign is apparently telling some staffers they'll be out of a job once the curtain closes on the primaries.

CLINTON: Our maybe job at the end of this historic, closely contested primary season is to nominate the next president who must be a Democrat. That is our goal.

ACOSTA: Slightly less settled was the former president in South Dakota.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: This may be the last day I'll ever involved in a campaign of this kind. I thought I was out of politics until Hillary decided to run.

ACOSTA: Pondering the next step at the footsteps of Mount Rushmore, some Democrats welcome the thought of their party making presidential history.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I really hope that that means that they're going to combine forces and work together to win the Democrats.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ACOSTA: And the polls are now open here in South Dakota and in Montana, but there aren't enough delegates in both of these states to put Barack Obama over the top. He's going to need about a half dozen super delegates, Heidi, to get him that magic number of 2118.

COLLINS: Yes, we've heard that number an awful lot, haven't we? So what do you think it's going to take, Jim, for these two (INAUDIBLE) actually join forces? And I don't want to get ahead of ourselves here because who knows if that's really going to happen? But -- certainly interesting to talk about at this point.

ACOSTA: I think some time off at the beach might help. No, I think both of these sides -- no, I'm sorry. It's been a long strange trip.


ACOSTA: I think both of these sides -- that's right.

I think both of these sides have issues, but the party elders are definitely pushing both of these candidates towards each other. We heard Mario Cuomo float this idea. He's not the only one. And I think if both of these candidates can get over some of the negatives that have come up over the course of this campaign, particularly some of the comments that have come from the former president, Bill Clinton, it could happen.

It's just a matter of time and now we're in wait and see mode. Primary mode over, wait and see mode starts now.

COLLINS: Oh boy, how long does that last? I'm just kidding.

All right, Jim, thanks so much.

Jim Acosta, coming to us live from Mount Rushmore, South Dakota.

HARRIS: And here's a closer look at what's on the line in the final primaries.

Montana has 16 pledged delegates up for grabs. It's an open primary which means any registered voter can cast a ballot. South Dakota is also an open primary. That state offers 15 pledged delegates.

CNN, of course, your home for complete coverage of the Montana and South Dakota primaries. Join the best political team on television for results and analysis live from the "CNN ELECTION CENTER" beginning tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

COLLINS: Bill Clinton on the defensive, reacting to an article in "Vanity Fair" magazine. It says a former Clinton aide had raised questions about his personal behavior including one aide who believe Clinton had been, quote, "seeing a lot of women on the road."

The former president used strong language but a calm tone to respond when he was asked about it by the "Huffington Post." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Mr. President, what do you think about that hatchet job somebody did on you on "Vanity Fair" at the end of the race?

B. CLINTON: Sleazy. He's really a dishonest reporter. And one of our guys talked to him and she said (INAUDIBLE) -- I haven't read it, but the guy told me there's five or six blatant lies in there, but he's a real slimy guy.


COLLINS: Clinton also slammed the author for not naming sources. The author, Todd Purdum, talked about that in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.


TODD PURDUM, VANITY FAIR: First of all, I reject the notion that I'm making an insinuation, but I'm very comfortable quoting the people I quote because I know who they are and I know that they're very senior people who've known President Clinton for a very long time and worked for him at very high levels.

Yes, I feel very confident about that.


COLLINS: Hillary Clinton's campaign apologized for the former president's, quote, "inappropriate language," but disputed much of the article including a passage about President Clinton's supposed failing health.

HARRIS: And once again, our Rob Marciano is keeping an eye on a tornado warning, parts of Illinois this morning. We will check in with Rob in just a couple of moments. That warning to expire at about 8:45 a.m. local time.

Also still to come in the NEWSROOM, Senator Kennedy, post-op, his surgery just one step in his cancer fighting journey. Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta with what may be next.


COLLINS: Welcome back, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins.

Run away gas prices. Is it the end of the road for gas guzzling SUVs? GM closing plants, cutting jobs.


HARRIS: Senator Ted Kennedy recovering after surgery to remove his brain tumor or as much of it as possible.

CNN's Rusty Dornin is outside the hospital in Durham, North Carolina.

Rusty, good to see you. How long will the senator actually be in the hospital?

RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Tony, he's expected to remain here at least through the end of the week before he'll be able to return home. Then it will be two to three weeks before they will begin the chemotherapy and radiation at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Of course, the operation was a success. He was awake during the operation. That chemotherapy and radiation is going to target the cells that they were not able to remove during the operation. Apparently it's impossible to get all of it at one time, so he has to undergo treatment over the next few weeks and months to the get those cells that were left behind.

In trademark bravado, Kennedy did tell his wife reportedly after the operation, "I feel like a million bucks. I could do it again tomorrow."

Now, apparently he will be here, as I said, over the next week. Things are pretty quiet here today and the hospital is not planning any kind of press conferences regarding the operation -- Tony?

HARRIS: Got you. Hey, Rusty, you mentioned the senator's wife on hand. Any other family members there, as well?

DORNIN: What we understand from the Kennedy spokespeople is that his wife Vicki is here, also his son, Patrick, and his daughter, Karen. Those are the only family members that they have mentioned that are here and were here during the surgery.

HARRIS: OK. The road to recovery begins.

Rusty Dornin for us in Durham, North Carolina.

Rusty, appreciate it. Thank you.

COLLINS: Let's go inside Senator Kennedy's surgery for a moment and look at his treatment options now. Our guide, of course, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, our resident neurosurgeon here.

Sanjay, Senator Kennedy was awake during the entire operation. You and I were talking about that yesterday. A lot of people are pretty fascinated by that.


COLLINS: Can you tell us a little bit about how that might feel for a patient?

GUPTA: Yes. Well, you know, I've never been through it myself.

COLLINS: Right. GUPTA: And I've had a lot of patients talk about this. And it's a pretty remarkable thing and just consider that the brain itself, that organ, which innervates the rest of your body, really has no innervation of its own, so there's no pain involved.

I mean, you have to put some anesthesia in the skin when you're cutting the skin, but there's no pain involved after that.

It is awkward, it is bizarre, I think people feel uncomfortable with the whole process of having a bone removed. But it's a thing where they can stay awake. They can carry on casual conversation. This is what the doctors from Duke told me yesterday. They can also do important things that provide feedback.

COLLINS: Right. Instantly.

GUPTA: You know, squeeze your hand, raise your arm. If that -- some of that starts to diminish in terms of capability by the patient, that's a clear warning to the doctors back off from that area. They show flash cards and say identify objects.


GUPTA: And so for them, after a while, after they get through the first part, I think that they're pretty comfortable.

Their head is immobilized with skull pins because you do not want somebody moving around, as you might imagine...


GUPTA: ... in the middle of an operation.

COLLINS: Yes. Well, he says he feels like a million bucks.

GUPTA: Yes...


GUPTA: I'm not sure most patients would say they feel like a million bucks, but good for him, you know. He also said he'd do it again tomorrow.

COLLINS: Yes. Might have a bit overzealous.

GUPTA: Right.

COLLINS: But anyway, another thing that we talked about yesterday which, I think, is really fascinating was this new brain cancer...


COLLINS: ...vaccine.

GUPTA: Right. COLLINS: A lot of people asking, well, how do you have a vaccine...

GUPTA: How do you create a vaccine?

COLLINS: ... for something like this? Yes.

GUPTA: It is amazing and, interestingly enough, it made news on the very day that Senator Kennedy had his operation.

COLLINS: You're right.

GUPTA: It is early yet. We don't even know that. For sure Senator Kennedy is a candidate for this, but this is essentially a vaccine that could double survival in patients who have the most malignant of brain tumors.

Now what does double survival mean? It mean that with the vaccine, the average survival's around 33 months. Without it, it's around 14 months. So you can see how difficult these numbers are to deal with.


GUPTA: There's 23 patients in this early trial.

Also something else, Heidi, that was important is that with the vaccine it took a lot longer for the tumors to come back. So while they did come back, it took longer. So you got patients more tumor free sort of survival. You basically are teaching the body's own immune system to fight cancer.


GUPTA: That's what the vaccine does. And it's early, but there's a lot of promise here.

COLLINS: It seems like such a huge step towards, and maybe I'm going out on a limb here, but towards curing cancer. I mean if you've got the possibility of a vaccine that teaches the body how to fight it...

GUPTA: Right.

COLLINS: ... is that not essentially...

GUPTA: A cure.

COLLINS: ... getting closer to a cure?

GUPTA: It's -- what you're talking about is fascinating. You know this idea that you'd give the vaccine before someone ever had cancer so that if they ever develop even a single cell of cancer, the vaccine would take care of it.

COLLINS: Yes, maybe given their medical history of the family. GUPTA: Right. Like you would for infectious disease or something like that.


GUPTA: We're not there yet, but that's exactly the way a lot of people are thinking. Right now it, obviously, is only approved for people who already have the diagnosis of cancer. In some cases only after they've had a recurrence. But at Duke, he may be a candidate for this sort of thing.

COLLINS: Yes. Really quickly, when are we going to know if the senator is, quote, "OK"?

GUPTA: Well, you know, he's talking. Obviously, you heard that he's doing well now.


GUPTA: He's going to have some hard days with the chemo and radiation in front of him. But I think over the next several weeks, he's going to have ups and downs for sure.

COLLINS: Yes. Well, of course, we'll follow his progress and hope...

GUPTA: All right.

COLLINS: ... the very best.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks.

GUPTA: Right. You got it. Thanks.

HARRIS: And Rob Marciano is following a tornado warning in part of Illinois. We'll check in with Rob shortly.

Plus this, caught on camera. This is what the tornado in Parkersburg, Iowa left behind. But wait until you see the new video of the storm as it hit.


ANNOUNCER: Covering the angles, uncovering the details. See for yourself in the CNN NEWSROOM.

COLLINS: In Texas, at least one girl in that polygamist case is not going home. Her lawyer has filed a motion for her to stay in state custody.

Meanwhile about 130 kids are back with their parents today. Three hundred others are waiting to be picked up.

Yesterday, a judge in the case signed an order letting them all be reunited with their parents. That came after a Texas Supreme Court ruling. As part of the agreement, the parents must stay in Texas, agree to unannounced visits from Child Protective Services, and take parenting classes.

The state will continue its abuse investigation.

Meanwhile, a church elder says there's a new policy. Marriages will now be allowed only for those who are of legal age.

HARRIS: Vice President Dick Cheney is apologizing for a joke about West Virginia that stirred anger from the state senior senator.

Cheney was talking about his family tree during a question-and- answer session at the National Press Club.


RICHARD CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We've always known about the Cheney family line on my father's side of the family back in Massachusetts in the 1630s. My grandmother was named Tyler, but it turned out she was descendant from a Richard Cheney, same last name who descended -- who landed in Maryland in the 1650s.

So we had Cheneys on both sides of the family. And we don't even live in West Virginia. But you can say those things when you're not running for re-election.


HARRIS: Senator Robert Byrd blasted Cheney's reference to inbreeding as an insult to all Americans. He said the remarks showed "contempt and astounding ignorance to his own countrymen."

A spokesman for Cheney said, it was, quote, "an inappropriate attempt at humor."

Senator Byrd spent the night at a hospital after coming down with a fever. Byrd's doctor recommended the overnight stay for observation. Byrd appeared lethargic and sluggish earlier yesterday.

The 90-year-old Democrat has had two previous hospitalizations this year, once after a fall and once after an apparent reaction to antibiotics.

COLLINS: Anguished parents dragged away from a police. Chinese authorities pulling away more than 100 parents whose children were killed in last month's earthquake. The parents were pro testing what they say was poorly constructed schools that collapsed during the quake.

This as the governments add 88 to the death toll. The official count now 69,107. More than 18,000 still missing.

And a plan to drain a lake created by the earthquake now on hold until Thursday. The state-run news agency says there isn't much rain in the forecast and that's easing fears of inland flooding. HARRIS: In China, schools struggling to bring normalcy to children living in a nightmare. They are barely making do.

CNN's Wilf Dinnick has more from Shifang.


WILF DINNICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well, these are some of the smallest victims of this earthquake and you can hear them singing behind me and clapping. It's a child's birthday here and that's something these children really haven't had a chance to do and that's celebrate.

This is a makeshift school. And it's a scene repeating itself throughout the quake zone again and again. These tents donated. Some of the toys -- generous donations from other sister cities here in China. The teachers also volunteers and the job here is to create some sort of normalcy for these children. They haven't been able to go to school. Their schools have collapsed or they're too dangerous for them to return.

But it's a difficult journey for many of the children. We met one 4-year-old, very difficult, sad story. He was in a school when it collapsed. He was in a school just making it out. He watched it collapse and his mother says he hasn't been the same since. He can't go up to a second story of any building. In fact, he can't stand next to a tall building, and she tells us that he wakes up most nights screaming earthquake.

She's looking for psychological help for him, but she tells us that the resources really are strained there because there are so many orphans that need psychological counsels. Many people really didn't think that just children just involved in the earthquake who still have their parents would need such help, too.

So a good indication here of the hard journey for many of the children here affected would by the earthquake.

Wilf Dinnick, CNN, Shifang, China.


COLLINS: He was once described as a man between war and peace in Iran. The former head of the U.S. central command breaks his silence in an exclusive CNN interview in the NEWSROOM.


ANNOUNCER: Live in the CNN NEWSROOM, Tony Harris and Heidi Collins.

HARRIS: And welcome back, everyone, to the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Tony Harris.

COLLINS: Hi there, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins. Quickly we want to head over to the Weather Center now -- Severe Weather Center today at least because Rob Marciano is following a tornado warning.

Illinois, Rob?

MARCIANO: Yes, southern Illinois. It's been extended now to the county just to the east of Marion County out of southern Clay County. That's in south central Illinois. It's within this tornado watch that's in effect until noon and it's this particular cell which is taking a right turn.

We've got a decent amount of purple in there. There's probably some hail and there's a Doppler indicated tornado with this particular cell. And we're tracking it for you.

Also severe thunderstorm warning. But this pink or this purple, I should say, is the polygon where this storm that has some rotation is entering in to it. It's moving to the east anywhere from 40 to 47 -- 40 to 45 miles an hour. Xenia, Flora and Clay City in southern Clay County are the areas that are affected with this.

And the circulation looks -- doesn't look too shabby on the radar scope here. So -- and through -- there you go, Xenia, Flora, Clay City. These are the areas that are in the direct path of this particular storm and the entire watch is in effect until, again, noon Eastern.

We also have this severe thunderstorm watch that's in effect for the next couple of hours, includes parts of Iowa which is really getting clobbered with heavy rain, some gusty winds throughout the morning.

So Iowa, Indiana and Illinois, the three I's. Those are the states that really been getting pounded so far this morning.


MARCIANO: And southern Clay County, Illinois under a tornado warning for the next half an hour.

COLLINS: OK. All right, Rob. Let us know if we need to come back to you.

MARCIANO: All right.

COLLINS: Thank you.

MARCIANO: Thank you.

HARRIS: Hey, you know, just taking a look as we ring in the new business day. Ashanti and where's Smokey Robinson? He's supposed to be up there. Bringing in -- ringing in Black Music Month.

I see Ashanti but I don't see Smokey. Baby, let's cruise. OK. As we get the business day started, the Dow starts today at 12,503 after free falling for a while yesterday. The Dow down over 200 points at one point yesterday before rebounding. A close down 134 points. NASDAQ down, S&P futures indicating a sluggish start to the market today.

We're watching comments from Fed Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on the economy, as well. Susan Lisovicz handling market checks for us right hire throughout the morning in the NEWSROOM.

COLLINS: Well, it's the last primary day. Voters are going to the polls right now in Montana and South Dakota, closing out six months of contests. More than a year of campaigning.

Hillary Clinton made a final round of campaign stops in South Dakota. She's moved on to her home state of New York where she will hold her post-primary rally. Barack Obama had already moved on to a key November state, Michigan. But he'll be in Minneapolis tonight.

Today's primaries won't push either candidate over the 2118 delegates needed to clinch the nomination. But it sets up the next move by the super delegates. One of those is House Majority whip Jim Clyburn. He announced this morning he's backing Obama.

HARRIS: Breaking his silence. The former top U.S. military commander in Iraq and Afghanistan sits down for his first interview since stepping down in March. Media reports portrayed Admiral William Fallon, as being at odds with the White House. One article called him the man between war and peace with Iran. This morning Fallon talked with CNN's Kyra Phillips about his resignation.


WILLIAM FALLON, FORMER COMMANDER, U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND: One of the most important things in the military is confidence in the chain of command. And the situation that developed was one of uncertainty and a feeling that maybe that I was disloyal to the president, that I might be trying to counter hand his orders, the policies of the country, and that perception was unsettling to me.

The most important thing is that our people have confidence in their leaders, just as we have confidence in them and their ability to do their -- carry out their tasks every day.

And the fact that people might be concerned that I was not appropriately doing what I'm supposed to do, in following orders, bothered me and my sense was that the right thing to do was to offer my resignation.


HARRIS: Kyra Phillips, joins us from New York. Fresh off the set of "AMERICAN MORNING."

Kyra, great to see you. You know, you asked Admiral Fallon if he was pushed out. And the reason for the question is that there were several reports that Fallon didn't agree with the surge strategy and didn't necessarily agree with General Petraeus and him being in some people's eyes used as the spokesperson for the surge.

I have to ask you, how did he address the question of whether or not he was forced out?

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's interesting because Admiral Fallon for as long as I've known him, and that's a pretty long time, Tony. You know, he's known for blunt talk, no nonsense. He doesn't like -- he doesn't tolerate incompetence. I mean, he challenges authority. He challenges his own men and women. He constantly questions things. He just doesn't take it for what it is.

And so he always came forward and had great discourse with the president, and let him know exactly how he felt about things. So, yes, he was very vocal about what to do about Iran. Very vocal about what he wanted to do with troops. And he refused to be a lap dog.

He was going speak his mind and give his honest assessment and take it from there. So was he pushed out? He says no, he was not pushed out. That this was a mutual decision. He thought it was in the best interests of this country and for the men and women serving overseas to offer his resignation. But let's put it this way. There was no argument.

When he offered that, they accepted it. And, of course, that stems from sort of the final straw, if you will, that "Esquire" magazine that came out saying -- here's a man that constantly butts heads with the president.

HARRIS: Yes. And he would not let you corner him on the idea of whether he agreed with specific tactical strategic operations in planning that was certainly going on behind the scenes.

I got to ask you, Kyra, there have also been all kinds of pieces as you know about the administration planning to attack Iran before leaving the White House. How did he address that issue? It seems like he made a bit of news here.

PHILLIPS: He did make news here. Even on CNN, we've run the pieces a number of times.

HARRIS: Absolutely.

PHILLIPS: About a possible war with Iran and if there were war plans on the table. And this was something that the president of the United States was going to do. So I point blank asked him, did you stand between the president and a war in Iran? Here's what he told me.


PHILLIPS: Well, let's talk about this "Esquire" magazine article. I mean, this was the catalyst. This was the last straw. Tom Barnett made it appear that you were the only man standing between the president and a war with Iran. Is that true?

FALLON: Kyra, I don't believe for a second that President Bush wants a war with Iran. The situation with Iran is very complex. People sometimes portray it or try to portrait it in very simplistic terms with their -- against, Iran. We want to go to war with Iran. We want to be close to them.

The reality is in international politics, that many aspects to any of these situations and I believe in our relationship with Iran -- we need to be strong and firm, convey the principles upon which this country stands and upon which our policies were based. At the same time, demonstrator willingness and openness to engage in a dialogue because there are certainly things that we can find in common.


HARRIS: Good stuff there, Kyra. Let me the -- let me push this last question a little bit. I hinted at it just a moment ago. Isn't it true when you get right to the bottom line on this that Admiral Fallon didn't agree with the idea of surging troops into Iraq? And that he wanted in a position that seems defensible enough, more troops available for potential flare-ups in other regions of the world.

PHILLIPS: He was extremely concern about Afghanistan, no doubt. He wanted more troops in Afghanistan. He wanted more mentoring going on. More training going on. He sees that as a country that cannot be ignored.

And we've seen how that country has suffered setbacks, Tony. So he makes no qualms about the fact that he wanted more troops there. With regard to Iraq, his primary goal was to eventually look at a long term strategy to bring troops home.

Did that mean bringing troops home in a week, in a month, a year from then. He wasn't going to make that decision right away. And this was something that he and Petraeus had constant conversations and debates about. And as you have seen the outcome here, it's happening in the presidential race as well.

HARRIS: Absolutely.

PHILLIPS: Democrats say -- hey, we want to bring the troops home. John McCain says going to stay the course. Nobody is going to make a decision because it's a daily decision that commander want to make with regards to what's happening on the ground.

HARRIS: Yes. Good stuff this morning, Kyra. Appreciate it. Good to see you. Thanks.

PHILLIPS: You bet.

COLLINS: Double you gas mileage in the same car. It takes a willpower and a little push power. You will not believe this story. We get tips. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: We've been talking about it for weeks now. Pump prices at record highs. Looking to improve your gas mileage. Well, how about hypermiling. What's that? Our Miles O'Brien took a lesson from the master and is now trying up those tips on the streets of New York.

I didn't know you can drive in New York there, Miles. You're a talented guy.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN CHIEF TECHNOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, I'm at a huge vehicle, Heidi. I have the Yukon XL, because just the Yukon is not enough. You got to have the XL.

COLLINS: Absolutely.

O'BRIEN: I call it the rolling zip code. This guy you're about to meet calls it the FSP. You know what that stands for?


O'BRIEN: Fuel sucking pig. Check this out. Check this out. We plug in to the engine monitor here -- 3.1 miles per gallon.


O'BRIEN: As we go up and down Central Park South. That is real at four bucks a gallon. That will get your attention, won't it?


O'BRIEN: Well, this guy who I meet, Wayne Gerdes, after 9/11 decided it was time that the United States gets off of foreign oil. And boy, has he done something about it.


O'BRIEN (voice-over): Wayne Gerdes may look like he's out of gas. But actually he's just kind of hyper about saving every drop he can. And I mean hyper.

WAYNE GERDES, HYPERMILER: We're in neutral (INAUDIBLE), starts were going -- O'BRIEN: Wait. You just went --


O'BRIEN: That was like immediately into drive.

GERDES: Right. There's no point wasting any fuel.

O'BRIEN: Wayne is the reigning king of the gas mileage misers known as hypermilers. A ride with him is a real eye-opener, not to mention a filling loosener.

GERDES: Put on your camera --

O'BRIEN: Yes. No, hold on. I'm going to hold on.

That's what happens when you take a turn without touching the brake pedal. Wayne avoids it like, well, gas stations. He routinely gets 50 miles per gallon in his plain old Accord, twice what Honda promises.

GERDES: And I'm already going to shut it down. This is an advance technique.

O'BRIEN: He kills the engine whenever he can. Never tail gates but does draft behind big trucks. He always drives the speed limit and plans trips as if they were the D-day invasion.

So it forces you to think entirely differently about how you drive.

GERDES: Yes. I'm already -- I'm thinking that like three lights ahead in a suburban traffic area. And now I'm going to use the (INAUDIBLE) drive.

O'BRIEN: In Wayne's world, angry tailgaters are proctologists.

GERDES: Guys that ride in your butt.

O'BRIEN: And when they pass him in a --

GERDES: They're the mad, rather.

O'BRIEN: And big SUVs are FSPs as in --

GERDES: Fuel sucking pig.

O'BRIEN: I almost didn't have the heart to tell him about my Yukon XL. But when he came to New York the other day, he held his nose and plugged in a gadget that displays fuel economy and we were off like a heard of turtles for hypermiling 101.

GERDES: Gentle, easy back off a little bit. No sense of race. Shift to first. OK, we're going to slowing up to first. I want your foot on the brake and I want you to shut off the car at 1100 rpm. And you're working your butt off right now.

O'BRIEN: Hard work it is.

Using his techniques, I instantly curtailed my FSPs thirst for unleaded by 30 percent, but still a long way from 50 miles a gallon.

GERDES: This vehicle just isn't meant for downtown.

O'BRIEN: You think?

GERDES: That's why I have to watch my own speed on this.

O'BRIEN: Wayne started doing this after 9/11 made him reconsider our dependency on foreign oil. He runs a web site with tips. And with gas where it is now, he has a growing, albeit slow moving, following. He sure made me a believer.

OK, call me Hyper Miles.

In fact, you might say I'm pushing the concept.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, that should do it.


O'BRIEN: Go to hell. Hey, guys. Hey, look who's passing me. I'm hypermiling and the horses are passing me. Can you believe?

COLLINS: They run on a different field.

O'BRIEN: This is the only way. This is the only way to beat the hypermiler is to have one of these rigs right here, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I still get tickets.

O'BRIEN: What?

He says he still gets tickets. All right, listen -- let's get serious here for a minute before I cause a little confrontation on the streets of New York. They weren't very happy with me when they couldn't get around me.

A couple of things. You got to inflate your tires to the absolute max. You got to have your filters changed. Use low viscosity oil. Take off things line your roof rack to make yourself (INAUDIBLE) looking better. Never use the air conditioning. Look what I'm wearing.

COLLINS: Is that a bullet proof vest?

O'BRIEN: That's an ice vest, Heidi. A real hypermiler.

COLLINS: I thought in New York, they're going to, you know, get you.

O'BRIEN: Well, you got that, too, because these guys are so mad at me. I should probably good to be wearing a vest, if you know what I mean.

COLLINS: Wow. OK, seriously, Miles, nobody's going to do this. I mean, no one is going to go through those lengths. It would be exhausting just driving one way to work.

Are there any realistic tips that people can get out of this in order to have their gas mileage.

O'BRIEN: Yes, I mean, think about it. The car setup you can do and still drive anyway you like, you know. And make sure those tires are inflated right. You know, the oil filters -- the oil thing. Those are key things to do and, you know, plan out your trips. As Wayne says, the best way to save gas is to think about how you do your errands. For example, combine trips, when you go to do errands. Always go to your farthest destination first and work your way back. That typically will -- that will save you gas.

COLLINS: Do you know who does that? Matt Collins.

O'BRIEN: What?

COLLINS: Yes, Matt Collins does that. It drives me crazy -- my husband -- plans the whole route of the errands.


O'BRIEN: So he's a hypermiler. How are you doing? This is my friend right here. How are you doing over there? How's the mileage? Good?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're blocking traffic, man.

COLLINS: Oh, you're blocking traffic man.

O'BRIEN: He's not happy with me at all.

COLLINS: We'll start to letting you go. You're seriously going to get --

HARRIS: No, no. Let's stay with him. Let's stay with him.

COLLINS: You're going to get in trouble.

O'BRIEN: (INAUDIBLE) society out here. There is no question.

COLLINS: Listen, full disclosure, too. That's your vehicle, huh? I didn't know you had that (INAUDIBLE).

O'BRIEN: It's a big hocking mess of a vehicle. It's a rolling anachronism, or as I call it in the household, the rolling zip code. It's long past time to get rid of it, but you know, who's going to buy it at this point.

COLLINS: It's worth about five bucks.

O'BRIEN: $4 a gallon. Who wants this thing? You know, look what I'm getting right now. Let's see. 3.2 miles per gallon here on Central Park South. Ouch! That hurts.

COLLINS: Better turn on the air conditioning.

All right. Hey Miles.

O'BRIEN: I got my ice vest.

COLLINS: All right. Appreciate it. Hypermiling -- it's a new word and now we know what it means. Miles O'Brien driving somewhere very dangerous in New York City. Thanks so much, Miles. O'BRIEN: See you.

HARRIS: There's a guy next to him. Buddy, what are you doing? Buddy, let's go.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM, stocks going nowhere fast. More rescues on the sand than in the water at Daytona Beach. We'll explain coming up in the NEWSROOM.


COLLINS: It happened too fast. This morning, new findings about the Utah mine collapse that killed six miners last summer. A new University of Utah study says the cave-in happened in seconds. And the miners probably never had a chance to escape.

The study also says the collapse was four times bigger than what investigators first thought. Researchers say it was not caused by an earthquake. Ten days after that original collapsed, three rescuers were killed in another cave-in at the same mine.

HARRIS: A cause for the Universal fire. Investigators now say roofers were to blame for the blaze. They were working with asphalt roofing on one of the New York City sets early Sunday morning.

The fire apparently started while they were on break. Two city blocks worth of street escape, parts of the video fault and King Kong attraction were destroyed in the fire. Look at these pictures, man. Nine firefighters and a sheriff's deputy suffered minor injuries. The park reopened for tourists yesterday with the burned outsets now part of the tour.

COLLINS: We said we'd go directly back over to Rob Marciano, if there was weather to report. We've been following it. Tornado warning in the Midwest. And Rob, you've got something new.

ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, this one -- now there's funnel clouds that have been spotted with this particular cell that's moved off to the East into Richland County, Illinois. There you see it again moving quickly to the east at about 34 miles an hour. Hail core in this. That's dissipated a little bit. But it's still being picked up by the radar.

And with this, we have seen spotters -- storm spotters in Xenia. Have spotted a funnel cloud with this storm. Now it's moved off to the east just a little bit. No reports still of a funnel touching the ground in the form of tornado, but nonetheless folks who live in Mount Erie, Parkersburg, West Salem, Calhoun, those are the areas that are going to be in for some rough weather here. So just be aware of that.

It's usually moving at 34 miles an hour. Richland and Clay counties under this until 9:15 and a funnel cloud has been spotted with this storm system moving through Southeastern, Illinois. We'll have a fresh update for you in about six minutes.

COLLINS: Yes. We'll have you right at the top of the hour. Thank you, Rob.

HARRIS: Well, talk about that sinking feeling. They were looking for fun in the sun, but they ran into trouble at Daytona Beach. Some 100 cars got stuck in unusually soft sand. More from Jessica Sanchez with our affiliate WKMG.


JESSICA SANCHEZ, WKMG REPORTER: Up and down the shores of Daytona Beach, life guards weren't busy, but beach patrol officers were. This time more rescues were made on the sand than in the water. It got so bad that beach driving had to be restricted to four-wheel drives only.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you realize that sand was this soft?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I didn't realize that. No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're just trying to get the wheels to go. You know, try to get the car to move and you get nowhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I haven't seen it this bad in my lifetime.

SANCHEZ: Captain Tim Cunningham with beach patrol says red sands has been getting worse over the years. More often they're having to put the brakes on beach driving.

CAPT. TIM CUNNINGHAM, DAYTONA BEACH PATROL: Right now, the sand is like powder. With just months and months of no rain.

SANCHEZ: And when high tide comes in, it's even worse. And officers find themselves doing more towing than patrolling.


HARRIS: Over the weekend, beach patrols eventually had to close parts of the beach to all vehicles.

COLLINS: You don't know Diddley.

Oh, come one, yes you do. How could you forget? A rock and roll pioneer passes on. We'll look back at the legend of Bo Diddley.


HARRIS: The originator has died. Rock and roll trailblazer Bo Diddley passed away at the age of 79. His legacy lives on. Here's CNN's Tim Lister.


TIM LISTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bo Diddley was one of the pioneers of rock and roll with a flamboyant style and ramping guitar. He even created his own unique rhythm which became known as the Diddley beat. The most plagiarize rhythm of the 20th century according to "Rolling Stone" magazine. His contribution to popular music married his R&B roots in Mississippi with his upbringing on the streets of Chicago. And in the mid-50s, he combined these influences to produce some of the foundations of rock and roll.

In a musical career that spanned more than 50 years, Diddley's unique guitar playing style was also one of the templates for fun. Without exaggeration, he called one album the "Originator."

He had admirers from Buddy Holly to The Who and Bruce Springsteen, as well as Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards of the "Rolling Stones". Richard say, quote, "Watching Bo Diddley was university for me."

The song "Nor Fade Away" was based on the Diddley beat. When the Beatles first came to America in 1964, John Lennon was asked who he'd most like to meet. Bo Diddley, he said, without hesitation.

Diddley played and recorded into the 1990s, partly because he had to. He often complained of bad contracts and other rip offs in the music industry that left artists with little return for their work.

Diddley had other ways to make money. He appeared in a commercial for Nike with a whole case of sports stars with (INAUDIBLE) the line --

BO DIDDLEY, MUSICIAN: Folks, you don't know Diddley. But Diddley had few hits himself, just one top 40 number.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lifetime achievement award.

LISTER: But he was the musician's musician. And he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in just its second year.

DIDDLEY: This is the top of the hat, you know. I'm happy to be here to be sitting on the rim.

LISTER: Maybe it was Diddley himself who best summed up his contribution to popular music. I opened the door for a lot of people and they just ran through and left me holding the knob.

Tim Lister, CNN, Atlanta.


COLLINS: Good morning, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins.

HARRIS: And I'm Tony Harris. You will stay informed all day in the CNN NEWSROOM. Here's what's on the run down.

The big finish. South Dakota and Montana, closing out the grueling primary season today. Will a Democratic nominee emerge tonight?

COLLINS: Polygamous parents reuniting with their children today in Texas. Is the case over? A live report this hour. HARRIS: Door busting video. A tornado slams into a bank. Plus, new tornado warning pop up today. Tuesday, June 3rd, you're in the CNN NEWSROOM.

COLLINS: So let's go directly there because there is new information kind of popping all over the place. Rob Marciano has been on top of it for us, and joins us now with the very latest in the Midwest tornadoes.

MARCIANO: Yes. Tony, Heidi -- the cell that we have been watching track eastward and kind of drifting to the south as well. This has produced funnel cloud about 15 minutes ago in through Xenia. That's in southeastern parts of Illinois.