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Afghan Prison Break; Catastrophic Flooding in Iowa; Remembering Tim Russert; The Skinny on Body Wraps; Harnessing Wind Power; Tiger Woods Tests Repaired Knee at U.S. Open

Aired June 14, 2008 - 16:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your life's in there. We didn't think it would get this high. We moved everything upstairs. And it's gone. It's gone.


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Well, first there was fear. Now come the tears.

Next in the NEWSROOM, misery of flooding in the Midwest, and there may be more to come.

In Afghanistan, a daring prison break. Militants spring hundreds of Taliban prisoners in a suicidal jail break.

And we say goodbye to a respected colleague and friend. Remembering NBC's Tim Russert.

And welcome back. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

We'll have the latest on the flooding in a moment.

But first, the developing stories out of Afghanistan, where hundreds more Taliban terrorists are on the loose today. And four U.S. Marines have died in a roadside bombing. This comes after a month that saw more Americans killed in Afghanistan than in Iraq.

Our story now from Owen Thomas.


OWEN THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The attack on Sarposa Prison, both brazen and bloody. The Taliban say a suicide truck bomber with about two tons of explosives was used to blow holes in the roof and walls of the jail. Reports speak of sustained rocket and machine gunfire.

A spokesman for the group says dozens of militants rushed inside on motorcycles to help free the prisoners. There's some confusion as to how many got out. Certainly hundreds, maybe more than a thousand, according to NATO. Hundreds of Taliban militants are now on the run. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a lot (ph) loaded with explosion and, of course, a suicide bomber. They managed to break the door and enter. And then, of course, they fired some rockets inside the prison courtyard.

And as a result, one of the floors was demolished. And at that time, of course, there was, of course, an arrangement program. And I should say, you know, that a large number of prisoners managed to escape.

THOMAS: Such a major security breach is a worry for NATO forces who are now helping to round up the escapees. Checkpoints have been set up around Kandahar. A NATO spokesman calls the militants' operation a success but says it will have no long-term strategic impact. Local residents aren't so sure.

This man says the jail break shows the weakness, recklessness and helplessness of the Afghan government. "The Taliban are getting stronger day by day," says this man. "And the international community must look again at the security situation in Afghanistan."

Hours after the prison attack, four Americans were killed when their military vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in the west of Afghanistan. It's described as the deadliest single attack against U.S. troops in this country this year.

The casualties are the latest in an upsurge of violence in the country. The American defense secretary this week called for more international involvement in the battle to beat the Taliban insurgency. While politicians claim the military action is showing real signs of success, casualty figures continue to rise.

Owen Thomas, CNN, London.


WHITFIELD: And for a closer look at this story, we turn now to Los Angeles. And that's where we find terrorism expert Ken Robinson. He is a former Special Operations intelligence officer.

Good to see you, Ken.


WHITFIELD: All right, so we have got a prison break and then the killing of U.S. troops there in Afghanistan. Seemingly all at the same time.

Do you seem them to be related?

ROBINSON: Sure they are. The Taliban is reemerging. They have been very strong in coming back here in the spring.

The snow has melted. And there is a concern that they may be mounting a campaign, that this may be part of their campaign going into the summer. The United States military is thinking about the same thing and is also plussing up its forces.

WHITFIELD: All right. So part of this campaign and this kind of reemergence of the Taliban, how in the world could something like this happen? This, as it's been described, has been a very sophisticated operation of a prison break.

ROBINSON: Well, you know, it's really very simple there because this part of the country, they live really in the 12th century. These buildings, these mud hut buildings from the Soviet era, don't really look like what you and I would think of as a prison. And they don't cordon off these areas, they don't have large areas of perimeters, and so they were simply able to drive right up to the front and explode through a casualty-producing device a bomb, and then move in very fast.

They're very good at detailed planning. And this should give pause to all of the security forces there in Afghanistan.

WHITFIELD: Who or what do you blame? Do you blame in part a lack of intelligence? Do you blame that Afghans' own forces are ill- equipped to take on something like this, protecting or providing security for these kinds of prisoners? Does it say something about Karzai's involvement or his government, or international forces being there, or lack thereof?

ROBINSON: You just hit all of it. Let me try to bump through it really fast.

The United States right now has forces in Afghanistan. But there is also a force called ISAF that is part of NATO. And the NATO involvement of that and the United States military there are two separate chains of command. And one of the things that they're hoping that they're going to look at is finding a way to have a unity of that command so that when NATO decides to do an operation, that it does not have to be coordinated across the board with the United States military the way they do it now, that there is a specific streamline with the unity of command from one United States general all the way down to the tactical forces.

That's the way it looks in Iraq right now. That's not the way it looks in Afghanistan. And it is based on the status of forces agreement between the United States and the Afghan government.

The Afghan government right now has a -- really, they're like city states. They have these islands within the country where they have control. But warlords, criminal activity, the production of poppy heroin, and militias that never disarmed are in the countryside.

It's very hard. They have been trying to do a reintegration program where they disarm these militias and reintegrate them into the army. They have had some semblance of success with that, but there is a lot of challenges.

WHITFIELD: All right.

Ken Robinson, terrorism expert, we appreciate your time. Thanks so much. It's been a while since we have seen you. Good to see you back on the air.

ROBINSON: Thank you, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right.

All right. On to this very disheartening scene out of Iowa. Iowa's catastrophic flooding, well, it spilled over to the capital city of Des Moines. You're looking at live pictures right now.

Floodwaters poured into the city overnight after a part of the levee ruptured. Well, National Guard troops tried but failed to build an earthen wall to keep the waters contained.

The story in Cedar Rapids, utter devastation there. Hundreds of city blocks remain under water. More than 20,000 people have fled to safe ground. And the water will still be around for days to come, it's believed.

Well, to lesser degrees, flooding has hit Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota and Illinois. And states along the Mississippi river, well, they could be next. Economic losses well be in the billions of dollars, and that includes crop losses amid the rising food crisis.

CNN's Jim Acosta is standing by for us in Cedar Rapids. He'll join us live in a moment.

But first, let's check in with Dan Simon, who's in Des Moines -- Dan.


Iowa's state capital in a state of emergency tonight, and behind me is the reason. You were talking about a levee breach, and right there is where they tried to sort of patch the levee breach.

That is a makeshift levee. You can see the mounds of sand on the right side of your screen. Well, it really didn't do any good whatsoever, because the water just rushed in. And to the left of your screen, behind the water, there are about 250 homes.

Those homes now under a mandatory evacuation order. Police, in very methodical fashion, went through the neighborhood this morning, about 4:00 in the morning, knocking on doors, getting people out of their homes. For the most part, that neighborhood is now empty and the power has been turned off. Utility crews went in there and turned off the power as a safety precaution.

The good news, it does not appear the water is advancing. There is no flooding in the neighborhood at this moment. But, of course, crews keeping a close eye on the situation.

This levee breach took place behind a high school, and unfortunately that high school did take in a significant amount of water. But at this point, very few businesses and no homes really to speak of facing flooding as of this juncture -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: Wow. This really is devastating to see.

Thanks so much, Dan. Appreciate it.

Let's check in now to the city of Cedar Rapids. Live for us there, CNN's Jim Acosta.

What's the picture there, Jim?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fredricka, the picture is not very promising at this point.

Just a few moments ago, it started raining here in Cedar Rapids. This is exactly the kind of weather they don't want to see here as this river and the floodwaters are receding at this very moment.

We can tell you that this area was under a severe thunderstorm warning for this afternoon. We just heard a few moments ago it's now under a tornado warning. So all of these weather problems could potentially compound all of the misery that the people here have been dealing with over the last several days.

But if you look around me, you see how the water has gone down dramatically over the last 12 to 24 hours, ever since this river crested at over 31 feet about 1:00 in the afternoon yesterday. You can see the water rushing past me.

We have seen some fish trying to swim upstream behind me just a few moments ago. Unfortunately, you can't really tell what's upstream at this point.

And then as we go beyond where I'm standing now, you can see some of the debris backed up against that sign. And then along those buildings behind me, you see where the high watermark was along those storefronts. The water has dropped here about two feet since this river crested yesterday, and it's anticipated to drop an additional two feet every day, should the conditions improve here from a weather perspective.

And as I walk along here, I can just recount to you just where things stand right now. Some $350 million in damage for the town of Cedar Rapids. Some 25,000 to 50,000 residents have been evacuated into shelters across this area.

But they're also worried about the economic lingering circumstances and after-effects for this area. If you look over to my right, just across this bridge span here, that's the Quaker Oats factory. It's a big employer here in Cedar Rapids.

And as we were driving in here just a few moments ago, Fredricka, we saw a grain silo on the back side of this Quaker Oats facility split open. There is a giant fissure along the side of that silo, and grain had actually dumped into the overflowing Cedar River here in Cedar Rapids.

So, as people start to see this water go down here, they're going to have to start coming to grips with just how much devastation they'll be dealing with over the next several days as this river goes down. And we should note, as you've been noting, Fredricka, and others have noted, as the river goes down here in Cedar Rapids, it is going up in other places.

Down river from us, or further south of us, in Iowa City, along the Iowa River, that area is expected to get hit next. But here in Cedar Rapids, things are improving dramatically as we speak, just as long as those severe thunderstorms and tornadoes that we're being warned about in this area don't strike. That is exactly the kind of weather they don't want to see right now -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Wow. With all that information, Jim, you really did kind of underscore how this is going to impact a lot of people. Not just the people there in Iowa who are directly impacted, but along downstream Mississippi, and really from coast to coast. We're all going to feel it in some way, shape or form.

Jim Acosta, thanks so much from Cedar Rapids.


WHITFIELD: Well, iReporters in the communities inundated by these Midwest floods are sending in their photos and their videos and helping us report the disaster as it unfolds.

Our Josh Levs is monitoring the iReport desk.

And you are being flooded, so to speak, with all kinds of messages, aren't you?

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are. In fact, I want to show you right now, behind me, is the main page right now of, and the main picture right here is an iReport photo that we got from Keith Ryan, who I believe is joining me on the phone right now.

Keith, are you with me?


LEVS: OK, Great.

Listen, I want us to show this picture here. This is our iReport Web site. This is one of the photos that you took. I'm going to see if our cameraman Dave can close in on the very top of the screen, because what you have here is water everywhere, but you're telling me the only part that is supposed to be water is this tiny little line up there.

Is that right?

RYAN: That's correct. If you look at the...

LEVS: Let's take it full in the control room, actually. We have that. Let's bring up your pictures in the control room and we'll be able to see it there.

There you go. Now, tell me, it's just the very top?

RYAN: That's correct. If you look at that little U shape at the top, that's the actual river inside of its banks. And then everything else is water, is overflow from the water itself.

LEVS: That's amazing. So what we're seeing here, you're telling me this is right near Des Moines, right?

RYAN: Correct. Just on the southeast side of Des Moines.

LEVS: OK. Let's scroll through some of your photos here, because I know you were flying over Des Moines. And you're telling me that usually you wouldn't see water except in that tiny little area. And right now when you look off at all those fields, massive areas have been completely smothered by the water.

RYAN: That's correct, yes. The photo you're looking at there is on the north side, I-80. And that's normally fields. There is an airstrip there, there's some ball diamonds there. So it's mostly just grass normally, yes. And there's the county road that you see.

LEVS: Yes.

RYAN: Normally there is water out across that road. So...

LEVS: Fascinating. Really dramatic pictures.

Keith Ryan, I want to thank you very much for taking these. And quickly, I want you to tell everyone, you did not go to any danger to take your photos, right?

RYAN: Absolutely not.

LEVS: OK, great. Well, thanks very much for joining us.

Before I go, Fred, I want to show you one more set of photos that we have from Waverly, Iowa. I was just looking at a map there.

Here you go. These come from Jen Reese. This is an area northwest of Cedar Rapids. And this is from earlier this week. But you can see this residential area completely flooded out.

Now, a lot of people, we understand, did manage to flee in advance. But not everyone did. And there are some people who were stuck there, and there have been concerns about more water.

Obviously, we look for all the iReports we can get. We look forward to hearing from you. Send us your stories, your videos, your photos, to You can't miss it. And a lot of them might end up right here on our main pages at -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks so much, Josh.

LEVS: Thanks.

WHITFIELD: Appreciate it. Well, federal emergency officials all over the Midwest map are helping the victims. And it's not just the floods.

The region has also been hit by tornadoes. And FEMA workers have spread out in these states. They're sandbagging homes, putting up emergency shelters, and they're passing out food and clean water as well.

For more on how you can actually help the victims of this severe weather, log on to

And then there's Japan. Rescuers there are searching in the darkness for about a dozen people missing after a major earthquake there.

The 7.2 magnitude quake hit near the northern city of Sendai, and that was today. Take a look at this surveillance tape right here. You see the shaking? This is the quake as it's happening.

At least six people were killed. More than 140 hurt. Entire hillsides came crashing down and the roads have been buckling as well. And then, of course, bridges have even collapsed.

Well, he was indeed a towering TV presence. An unexpected loss has taken place. A day after Tim Russert's sudden death, we take a look at his impact on and off camera.


WHITFIELD: Well, the tributes started pouring in immediately, a testament to the kind of journalist and the kind of person NBC's Tim Russert was.

President Bush issued a statement soon after Russert's death yesterday, and then spoke publicly today in Paris.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: America lost a really fine citizen yesterday when Tim Russert passed away. I've had the privilege of being interviewed by Tim Russert. I found him to be a hard-working, thorough, decent man.

And Tim Russert, you know, loved his country. He loved his family. And he loved his job a lot. And we're going to miss him all, and we send our deepest sympathies to Maureen his wife, and Luke his son.


WHITFIELD: Well, to call him a giant is an understatement. Most people knew Tim Russert as that fixture on Sunday morning with hard questions backed by solid research; moderator of "Meet the Press"; NBC Washington bureau chief; and regular political analyst.

Well, for many privileged others who say they gained volumes from him by working with him, he was genuine. Yes, tough, but a real teddy bear.

A few years back I was a national correspondent for NBC News when I had opportunities to work out of the Washington bureau under Russert's leadership. And just when you felt intimidated by this giant at NBC and this giant in broadcast news, he immediately revealed his true spirit, when one time in his office he came from behind his desk, sat casually and sat on one of the two soft, comfy chairs, and invited me to do the same.

I came to talk about career choices and crossroads at the time. He imparted advice like a great uncle by revealing to me how, yes, politics, television, career were central to him. But he made the turn.

The amount of time that he spent talking about his wife Maureen and his son Luke told me that he had it all in perspective. Truly at the center of Russert was a good guy with a huge heart. He even teared up and had me tearing up talking about how hard it was going to be to see his Luke off to college one day.

Well, how great buds they were. So I know how proud he must have been to see Luke graduate from Boston College this spring, enjoy together a post-graduation vacation abroad. But it also breaks our hearts beyond words to not see his cheeky grin and hear his voice again.

We will all miss him.

Here is more now from Tom Foreman with his perspective.


ANNOUNCER: This is "Meet the Press" with Tim Russert.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Tim Russert took on political reporting with Irish tenacity and zeal. And along the way he changed politics itself. Each Sunday morning newsmakers lined up to join him on the longest running TV show ever. A program that he took over in 1991, "Meet the Press."

TIM RUSSERT, HOST, "MEET THE PRESS": But first, with us for an exclusive Sunday morning interview...

FOREMAN: Born in Buffalo in 1950, Russert was steeped in old- fashioned Irish-Catholic beliefs about hard work, friends and family. He went to law school and then straight to the front lines of politics, working with legendary politicians Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Mario Cuomo.

That's when Bill Schneider met him.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: He wasn't a grim, ideological warrior. He didn't fight for causes. He believed in basic human decency, and he believed that politic was there to serve people's interests. But he made it his business to know what the interest was of everybody around the table, and he was brilliant at it.

FOREMAN: In 1984, he was hired by NBC. In just a few years, becoming the Washington bureau chief. He's been a force in every phase of that network's political coverage ever since. Wolf Blitzer.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: You know, he could come across and ask a very tough question in a very polite, honest, almost amicable way. And it would disarm a lot of the politicians who came on the show, and they wouldn't realize that, whoa, you know, he's clobbering him.

FOREMAN: His incisive, meticulously-researched interviews set the standard for political reporting. Virtually every big newsmaker of the past 20 years at some point sat with Tim Russert.

Along the way, Russert opened doors for many other journalists. He gave Joe Johns his first network job ever.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The thing Tim did so well and a lot of us always tried to emulate was the sort of prosecutorial interview without a sharp edge. So here was Tim on "Meet the Press" asking very tough questions but not making himself the focus of the questions.

FOREMAN: In this town, where contacts are everything, Russert seemed to know everyone, and he was an innovator. With a marker and a white board, he reduced the complexities of an election to something everyone could understand: red states, blue states, he came up with that idea as a way of measuring America, according to "The Washington Post."

And his influence went beyond politics, to groundbreaking coverage of the world's religious, economic and social issues.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: He was one of the journalists who managed to have a very popular show that also dug deeply into the issues and really illuminated not only the issues themselves, but often pierce the balloons of some of the people who were appearing on his shows who came in with a certain arrogance or a view that they could just sort of put one over on the American people.

FOREMAN: His awards are too numerous to mention. "TIME" magazine called him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

And yet spending team with his family and helping his community were among his deepest passions. Married for 25 years to Maureen Orth, who writes for "Vanity Fair," he talked with endless pride of his son Luke and his father, Big Russ, immortalized in two books. And, of course, there was sports.

BLITZER: He loved the Buffalo Bills. That was his real passion. And how many times did he end his show with, "Go, Bills"?

FOREMAN: Tim Russert was a big man, not only in size. He was well over 6 feet tall. But also in his presence, in his passions, his determination to get things right as a journalist, a citizen, a friend, a father, and son.


WHITFIELD: A great man, Tim Russert.


WHITFIELD: Barack Obama reaching out to Hillary Clinton supporters. Senator Obama returned to Pennsylvania today, a critical battleground that he lost to Senator Clinton in the Democratic primaries. The working class vote, a major reason for Clinton's victory there.

At a town hall meeting in the Philadelphia suburb of Wayne, Obama focused on the economy, proposing a thousand-dollar tax cut for families, but he also took on Republican John McCain for opposing a bill that would expand education benefits for veterans.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you have served your country, if you have fought for your country, when you come home you are going to get your entire college education paid for. No ifs, ands or buts.


OBAMA: And George Bush is opposed to it and threatens to veto it. And John McCain is opposed to it.

And here is their rationale, both Bush and McCain. Their rationale is that, well, if you provide such a good benefit, then we may not have retention rates that are as good.

Now, think about this argument. The argument is that in order to keep people in the military, we want to give them bad benefits when they get out.


WHITFIELD: Meantime, Republican nominee John McCain is also trying to win over Hillary Clinton's supporters. Today he held a conference call with Democrats and Independents.

And the McCain camp says many were Clinton supporters. He brought up one of the issues at the heart of the Clinton campaign, health care reform. McCain says the federal government needs to come together to make plans to help the uninsured.

Iran's nuclear program, the focus of talks today between President Bush and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Well, President Bush is in Paris on the sixth day of his European farewell tour. Mr. Bush said he and the French president are committed to keeping nuclear weapons out of Iran's hands. Both leaders say Tehran has a right to civilian nuclear power, but they insist the country can't be trusted to enriched uranium. Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her 82nd birthday -- a couple of months after the fact, however. Her majesty took in the trooping of the color ceremony today. The annual military parade honors British monarchs' births. Well, the queen was actually born April 21st, but it's royal tradition to hold birthday tributes in June when the London weather is better. A little less rain.

Oh, the things some women will do to lose weight.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We do mineral body wraps that take off inches. And we guarantee people will lose 6 to 20 inches with the first wrap or the next one is free.


WHITFIELD: Oh, really? Body wraps, squeezing your way to a smaller size. Do they work?


WHITFIELD: High winds are fanning several wildfires in northern California. The worst is threatening the town of Paradise, where thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes. The blaze has already destroyed at least 66 homes and contributed to the death of an elderly woman. She had a heart attack while evacuating her home.

The wildfire has already charred more than 36 square miles.

And in Philadelphia, the death toll from this week's heat wave has climbed to 17. The latest, two victims are also already elderly residents found in their homes with no air conditioning.

In all, more than 30 heat-related deaths are being reported in several northeastern states. The four-day heat wave finally broke this past Tuesday.

And then there is the Midwest. Rising floodwaters are forcing new evacuations there. Emergency officials in Des Moines ordered a mandatory evacuation today when rising waters breached a levee near the Birdland Park neighborhood. The area there includes 270 homes, as well as a recreation area and a high school.

Terrible. And it only seems to worsen.


WHITFIELD: All right. A little bit of health news coming up. The skinny on body wraps. The idea here is to wrap up your body and watch the fat melt away. But the medical establishment isn't buying that.

CNN's Judy Fortin takes a look at the body wrap claims in today's edition of "Health for Her." (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JUDY FORTIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Our constant battle with the bulge has a new weapon gaining in popularity. The basic concept is simple: loss by bondage -- or body wraps.

Around for decades, body wraps come in a host of styles -- from minerals to mud, from moving to motionless. Their aim, better bodies. Their claim, less of you when you're done.

JULIE CHAPMAN, SUDDENLY SLENDER BODY WRAP SPA: We do mineral body wraps that take off inches. And we guarantee people will lose 6 to 20 inches with the first wrap or the next one is free.

FORTIN: In the land of wraps, measurement is key. Body wrap treatments begin with taking measurements, anywhere from a dozen spots to over 20. And it is the sum total of those numbers that equals inches lost. But how do they work?

CHAPMAN: What the treatment does is it draws out metabolic waste and impurities from the body. That lets water flow through better, because the water naturally retains to dilute that metabolic waste. And those go between the fat cells and spread things apart. So, with the compression of the bandages -- because you are wrapped up real tight -- we push those fat cells back together and that's what changes the shape.

FORTIN: Aside from inches gone, body wraps claim to help with things like cellulite, skin tone and body shaping. But some doctors aren't buying into this wrapped-up fat-shaping weapon.

DR. ERICA BROWNFELD, EMORY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: They're claims. They may say that they are squeezing the fat cells closer together.

Again, I think it's very important for people to realize that you're not losing fat cells. And those fat cells, once you decompress them and take those wraps off, they're going go back to their usual shape and size. So, again, these results are going to be temporary. And again, there is no scientific data to support that what they're claiming is actually what is going on.

FORTIN: To wrap or not wrap is an individual decision. Just remember, if you have any medical concerns, check with your doctor before wrapping up becomes your method for shaping up.

Judy Fortin, CNN, Atlanta.


WHITFIELD: And it's clean and green, and could blow down your energy costs. Coming up, a look at some people giving wind power a spin.


WHITFIELD: It sure is an all-too repetitious headline: Gas prices have hit a record high.

According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas has edged above $4.07. Gas first topped the $4 mark just last week when crude oil prices soared to $139 a barrel. Well, since then, crude oil prices have been seesawing back and forth.

The old tanker drivers across the pond and beyond have parked their rides for yet another day. A four-day strike began in Britain yesterday against Shell Oil. And South Korean drivers are protesting rising fuel costs across their country.

Both groups seeking better wages. The British and South Korean governments say they have contingency plans to prevent gas disruptions or even shortages altogether.

Soaring fuel costs have many people looking for alternative energy sources here at home. In Carroll County, Maryland, a changing zoning ordinance is allowing residents to harness the power of wind.

Our Kate Bolduan examines these new wind energy systems.


PAUL ABEY, USES WIND ENERGY: We have to keep the crabs cooled off until the bar comes and picks them up.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Paul Abey, a third-generation Maryland crabber, is an accidental environmentalist.

ABEY: It seems to be something that might be feasible for us, could help us some in our electric bill. And we just decided to try it. And it seems to be working out.

BOLDUAN: What is working out? Last year, because of ever-rising energy costs, Abey installed a 47-foot wind turbine on his property.

Wind energy advocates estimate giant wind farms like this one will generate just over 1 percent of the total U.S. electricity supply by the end of the year. Advocates also say more and more consumers like Abey are taking matters into their own hands, harnessing wind energy in their own back yards.

ANDY KRUSE, SOUTHWEST WIND POWER: We know that there is not a single silver bullet out there that's going to solve all the problems of tomorrow. So we're all looking to the resources that we have around us.

BOLDUAN: But skeptics say the small amount of energy generated by residential turbines isn't worth the big investment.

LISA LINOWES, INDUSTRIAL WIND ACTION GROUP: It could take 10, 15, 20 years for you to get payback on those units. You may want to think about other ways. For instance, insulating your home, new windows.

BOLDUAN (on camera): Well, Paul Abey says his initial investment was $17,000. And Maryland gives homeowners a $3,000 grant for these wind systems. Abey says his turbine cut his electric bill by a third. Now, add this all up, and if energy prices continue to rise, Abey thinks he'll recoup his investment in eight years.

(voice over): No matter the cost, this fisherman, whose livelihood often depends on coastal winds, says he's content catching the swift Maryland breeze.

ABEY: I've cursed it a lot of times in my life, but now maybe I'll get something back out of it.

BOLDUAN: Kate Bolduan, CNN, Washington.


WHITFIELD: And now Discovery is back on Earth.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Down and locked. Main gear touchdown.


WHITFIELD: Pretty picture perfect. This was Kennedy Space Center in Florida as the shuttle touched down a few hours ago.

During its two-week mission, the crew expanded the International Space Station by installing a new billion-dollar science lab and they also delivered replacement parts for another vital piece of equipment, a toilet. NASA officials say today's shuttle landing was about as smooth as it gets.

Well, it is his first tournament since knee surgery nearly two months ago. Good news for Tiger Woods. Bad news for the rest of the field at the U.S. Open.

Live to San Diego next.


WHITFIELD: All right. Because you know he's tough as nails, the limping and the grimacing, well, that's new. But when he swings, it's that same old Tiger magic again.

Tiger Woods making his comeback two months after knee surgery. And the golfer is shaking off his soreness, charging up the U.S. Open leaderboard as well.

CNN's Larry Smith joins us live from San Diego with more.

Ooh, I bet you there are a lot of surprises.

LARRY SMITH, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Oh, I tell you what, this has been such great drama, great theater to watch with Tiger.

As you mentioned, he had not played in two months. But right now he is on the driving range behind me. He will tee off his third round here in about an hour. One shot off the pace.

Saturday is moving day, when golfers typically make their move in attempt to win a tournament on Sunday. But Tiger does things early. His best scoring round in his career on the average in a major is on Friday. And Tiger played up to that average -- five birdies in the back nine yesterday on his way to a round of 68, as, again, he closes in on possibly a third U.S. Open title.


TIGER WOODS, GOLFER: I felt I played well on that back nine, and I could definitely get back to even par for the tournament, and I would be right back in the championship. And all of a sudden, I started (INAUDIBLE) in there from everywhere.



ROCCO MEDIATE, GOLFER: A lot of people said, well, he's not going to win because he's had, whatever, a thousand weeks off. He's a different -- it is not the same. When I talk about players or golf, he's not included when I talk, because he's -- it's up there.



WOODS: I've been in -- whether you call it the zone or not, it just feels like a nice rhythm. Been there before.



STUART APPLEBY, GOLFER: I'll be doing my guest to accidentally throw a club towards his sore knee. It would be an accident, of course.


SMITH: Anything you do to stop him, right? Sore knee and all. Tiger's one shot off the pace.

How about Phil Mickelson? Did not get things done. He was -- while Woods was climbing the leaderboard on Friday, Mickelson was falling seven shots off the pace.

And so as he mentioned, it's a once-in-a-lifetime dream to win a U.S. Open here in his back yard of San Diego. It seems right now that that is now slipping away from him, as Phil is already on the course right now, currently five over par, eight shots off the pace.

Let's go back to you.

WHITFIELD: All right. And you know what? Phil's looking kind of good there. He looks like he's really kind of trimmed down and looking more fit.


WHITFIELD: But since we just saw that last image of him, apparently traveling with he and Tiger, kind of traversing the course there, Adam Scott as well, but I understand that Adam Scott's caddie got into a little melee.

SMITH: Yes. He took umbrage at a couple of drunk fans. The 62- year-old dad, a grandfather, and a 37-year-old dad, who were drunk with the 7-year-old son and grandson, the caddie took umbrage to him heckling at him, Scott.

Went into the gallery after him. They got into a wrestling match. The two were arrested for being drunk in public. And two female officers were injured in the whole melee.

WHITFIELD: Oh, my gosh.

SMITH: So there is some talk right now that, should the caddie have gone in? The guys paid their money. They can heckle, whatever they want to do.


SMITH: You know, there is some debate right now in terms of if the caddie should have been charged as well, but he was not charged. Kind of an ugly scene. And, you know, the moral of the story is, you know, don't drink.

WHITFIELD: Be quiet. Yes, that's right. Just say no.

SMITH: Just clap -- clap and move on.

WHITFIELD: Right. Even on the golf course, it's supposed to be serene and quiet and enjoyable for everybody, right? Well, at least they...

SMITH: Well, it was free speech, I guess. But yes.

WHITFIELD: I guess so. Yes, but, you know, I think the -- I guess the police or the security officials and other officials with the courts are letting fans know they mean business. Don't disrupt or in any way interfere with this potential title, right?

SMITH: Yes. Well, there is decorum, I think, in golf that you want to follow, especially in golf, in a sport like this. And I guess they did not follow that, you could say.

WHITFIELD: They were shown the door. All right.


WHITFIELD: Larry Smith, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

SMITH: All right. OK. WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks for joining me in the last couple of hours here in the NEWSROOM.

I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

Rick Sanchez is up next waiting in the wings right here. He's got more on the flooding in the Midwest.

The loss of property has certainly been horrendous. No laughing matter. Well, add to that devastating effects to the agricultural industry there in Iowa, something that could end up costing us all millions at the grocery store.

The next hour of the CNN NEWSROOM is up right after this.