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CNN Tracks Tropical Storm Bertha; Kansas Institutes Military Custody Law; How to Recession-proof Your Life; Kid Save Helps U.S. Couples Adopt Kids; Televangelist Dr. Juanita Bynum at the Essence Music Festival.

Aired July 06, 2008 - 17:00   ET


RICHARD LUI, CNN ANCHOR: The essence is almost over, the festival that is, but in this last hour, we'll talk to a televangelist about her struggles and how they have affected her ministry.
And finally, cutting costs the bridal way.

A very good Sunday to you. I'm Richard Lui. Fredricka Whitfield joins us live from New Orleans in just a few minutes.

But first for you, we go straight to our top story. They are exhausted and stretched thin. But firefighters out west are some making progress. Mother Nature is giving fire crews in California's Big Sur a little break with cooler temperatures today. The fire charred more than 100 square miles and could keep burning all month long.

Firefighters working the gas fire near Goleta say it's now 28 percent contained. They're giving that blaze top priority since it threatens so many homes. Thousands of people have been ordered out of that area so far.

Well, many of the aircraft used to fight the fires are taking off from the Santa Maria Airport. And that's where our Kara Finnstrom is right now.

Kara, what are you seeing there?

KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Richard, all of these aircraft are critical in the attack on these wildfires because some of these wildfires are just too hot to get in there up close by ground crews. So, the air attack used to try to and get those ground crews in closer. You can see some of these planes lined up right behind me on the tarmac, getting ready actually to leave here in about 10 minutes, some of them going to Big Sur. There are also refueling here to fight that fire.

And joining us live now is Mark Nunez. He is an air attack supervisor.

First up, this is one of the planes right here behind us. Give us an idea of how this works.

MARK NUNEZ, USFS AIR ATTACK SUPERVISOR: OK. The plane comes into the return base, and here on the back of the aircraft, the retardant is loaded while the plane is still running, we call that hot loading. It's loaded into an internal tank on the aircraft.

As you look up underneath here, under the belly of the aircraft. And this tank's internal and it has a flow system where the pilot comes over the fire and is able to release his load in a particular location and it's dropped on the ground where he goes.

FINNSTROM: You have quite an impact already on this fire here. Tell us a little bit about what you were seeing. You were up today.

NUNEZ: Yes, we were up on this morning on the gap fire particular in the Big Sur fires. The aircrafts have been used to drop retardant and water between structures and the fire. We call that structure protection. We actually have been effective in reducing intensity ahead of structures and actually been successful at saving some structures.

Also, the aircraft are utilized to reduce fire intensity and get out in front of ground troops, engines, bulldozers, and crews and slow the fire down to a level that's more workable for them on the ground.

FINNSTROM: All right. Well, we thank you for joining us. We know that you're busy.

Richard, as I mentioned, they're about to get up in the air again, in about 10 minutes. So, we're going to clear out of the way so they can do that.

LUI: All right. Great stuff, amazing work they do there. Kara Finnstrom there in southern California and close to that Goleta gap fire. Appreciate that.

Now let's go straight over to Chad Myers who's also looking at this.

Chad, when we talk about these flames and have to take and make all of these trips, wind is also a concern, right? Not only for the fire.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely. And you brought up a really great point. You just walked over to my office here and said, "Hey, what about the sundowner winds," because they happen all the time. Every time there's a sun down, the sun goes down, the air cools off. Well, that air that's been rising all day like a hot air balloon comes back down.

So, this is like a fire-breathing dragon. The air goes up in the daytime and then at night, it goes back down from a different direction obviously. Look at the fires from San Francisco to San Jose, all the way down into San Diego.

I'm going to walk over here to my machine, Richard because I know we can do this with you over there and me over here. I'm going to change sources just for second because I want you to see what these people are dealing with. This is Big Sur. Let's bring (ph) you up here to (INAUDIBLE) we have here. This is Big Sur. These are all of the different fires now just in this one region.

And now, we are getting so much of a fire line that is hard to fight. If you have a one square block fire, if you have a four-block radius. And when you start to get these miles and miles of fire lines, there's just not enough firefighters to get a firefighter or a crew on every part of that line. There's just no chance and this is all smoke now just coming right on down.

I heard that (ph) -- your drive along the PCH this weekend was certainly not what you thought it was going to be if you try to do that. And the people here are dealing with big time fires, and they're not going away any time soon. I heard someone said they may not even be out until August.

LUI: And you were saying it's not linear. This is exponentially in terms of the number of firefighters they've got to put on that line.

All right. Later, we'll be talking with Chad about Bertha and what's happening at tropics as well. Thank you, Chad.

A jolt today to a fragile ally in the U.S. war on terror in Pakistan. A suicide bomber killed at least 16 people, most of them are police officers in the capital city of Islamabad. The blast went off as thousands of protestors marked the anniversary of a government siege at a mosque.

With us now, live from Islamabad, CNN's Reza Sayah with the latest.

Hey, Reza.

REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Richard, government officials tell CNN the suicide bomber was probably on foot and he targeted police officers. And based on the aftermath, he succeeded. The explosion happened at 7:45 p.m. local time here on the federal capital of Islamabad. And here are the latest numbers on the casualties: 12 police officers killed, four civilians killed, and more than 50 injured.

Witnesses described hearing a commotion at the scene and they say they saw a number of police officers run to a particular spot. Moments later, there was the explosion. They also described the horrific aftermath with body parts everywhere.

Why did this happen? What was the motivation behind this attack? Government officials say it's too early to tell but it's significant where and when this incident happened. It happened just blocks away from a massive rally that commemorated the one year anniversary of the deadly raid on Islamabad's controversial Red Mosque.

If you recall, it was last July when Pakistan's government then headed by the military rule of General Pervez Musharraf raided the mosque because they accused it of training radical militants. That raid turned deadly, more than 100 people were killed, many of them students of the mosque.

And ever since that incident, tensions between radical Islamic groups here in Pakistan and the government has been on the increase. Was this incident reprisal for that incident on the one-year anniversary? Government officials say they can not say but they do say that this incident targeted security forces, Richard.

LUI: Hey, Reza, any details on this suicide bomber, in a car or any other detail like that?

SAYAH: We know that the suicide bomber was not in a car according to police. And usually, when you have a suicide bombing in a car, you see a huge crater. There was no crater. They say the suicide bomber was probably on foot, in a bicycle and perhaps the strategy for the suicide bomber based on witnessed accounts, was that he wanted to create a commotion, he wanted to draw police officers. And that's exactly what he did, based on testimony from the witnesses, and then the bomb detonated, Richard.

LUI: And how's the government responded, Reza?

SAYAH: The government has now offered reward money and they've also defended the security precautions taken for this rally. Many came out and criticize what they described as lax security measures for this rally, but the government pointed out that this incident happened outside the rally, in a perimeter set up by police, Richard.

LUI: All right. Reza Sayah is on the scene there in Islamabad, after that bombing. Thank you so much, sir.

You know, the government siege last year at that mosque in Islamabad infuriated Pakistan's Muslim radicals and that's what Reza was alluding to. It also sparked calls (ph) from al Qaeda.

With us right now, CNN's Josh Levs.

And, Josh, refresh for us, this Red Mosque. It has very serious implications, doesn't it?

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Even to us, all around the world.

LUI: Right. So, start with what it means historically.

LEVS: OK. Let's take a look at what happened at the mosque. We've again, this great (ph) reporting from there, but he's right, I mean the steps that happened in that mosque end up affecting the U.S.

Let's jump back to July of 2007. I'm going to trace you through some basics here. What you had last year was that the Pakistani government took this action to raid this Red Mosque. And the reason was: They want to rout out these Islamic extremists who were pursuing Taliban rule there in the Pakistan. They want to push Taliban rule. Keep in mind, Taliban was this group that supported al Qaeda and housed al Qaeda back in Afghanistan.

Nearly 100 people died inside that raid and it became this huge deal there. And then, as a result of that, what happened was this truce that the government had struck with these tribal leaders, fell apart. Now, these tribal leaders are in a section of Pakistan where al Qaeda, some people say, can really thrive because it's been lawless.

There had been this truce, it fell apart. So, as a result of what happened at that mosque, Al Qaeda began a new series of attacks, new instability in Pakistan.

RICHARD: You insinuated this earlier, that dotted line between Pakistan and United States, when something happens there, we listen, what's the tie?

LEVS: Big time. Yes, first, you know, as we do this, let's show you where it is because it's in a very volatile region of the world right there, now we have a Google earth and this will take to it. But basically, you know, it's right next to Afghanistan and India. So, a volatile region of the world.

Pakistan, a lot of people say, is the central location to battle al Qaeda in this world. After the U.S. attacked Afghanistan following 9/11, lots of al Qaeda fled into Pakistan. So, many people say you want to tackle al Qaeda, you've got to deal with what's going on inside Pakistan.

Another piece of the context we always have to keep in mind, Pakistan is a nuclear nation. And if (INAUDIBLE) was on there, that's always the context. There are nuclear weapons in Pakistan. Everyone wants to keep them out of the hands of al Qaeda.

LUI: And we really have to remember that map, the geographical location, the fact that it's a nuclear power. There's a lot of questions to be answered there.

You know, let's take it to what's going to be happening this coming up week. We were talking about where the presidential nominees will be going forward in the week. What do you think this is, how this thing is going to play out based on what's happening so far?

LEVS: First of all, we can expect them to weigh in on all the latest in Pakistan. And one of the biggest reasons is that this is one of the biggest tests that they will face, whoever wins as president. This is one of the biggest foreign policy tests. I mean, look, whoever becomes president inherits the Iraq war, which is this massive challenge that anyone taking on would have trouble with.

But the truth is, when it comes to Pakistan, here's the challenge. You've got to help the government there fight al Qaeda, right?

On the flip side as we know, this government has taken all these steps that are not in keeping with our view of Democracy, a lot of steps under the current leadership. So, what do you do with Pakistan? How do you support the government against al Qaeda but fight them when it comes to steps you don't like them taking?

This is the challenge that whoever becomes president, faces: How to weigh in in Pakistan, how to handle it, very tricky. That is the test of experience and judgment, everything but the race.

LUI: A lot of great space there. But thanks for putting it in the context, really great stuff. Josh Levs there, putting context for us today and what that attack might mean going forward.

Hey, let's go to people walking to a wedding party in Afghanistan now that find themselves under fire in a coalition air strike. U.S. leaders say they are not aware of any civilians being killed, but Afghan officials say nearly two dozen civilians have lost their lives.


LUI: Now: checking news across America for you. North Carolina is paying its respects to former Senator Jesse Helms. He passed away on Friday. State flags will fly at half-staff tomorrow through sunset on Tuesday, to honor his 30 years of Senate service.

To the big island of Hawaii now, where it's 25 five years and counting for nature's own pyrotechnic show. Scientists there say the lava spew from Mount Kilauea is greater than usual and all those volcanic gases can make it tougher for people with respiratory issues, too.

It was a record high-wire walk at Kings Island amusement park in Ohio, high above husked crown, Rick Wallenda right there, crossed 2,000 feet of cable, and of course, without a safety net. He went about 200 feet farther than grandpa, Karl Wallenda did at his walk in the park in 1974.

And, a massive fire in the hold on the Miami River last night. This freighter bound for Haiti burned for three hours. All nine crews on board were evacuated and no one was hurt. No word on what sparked that blaze.

French media report that doctors have given former hostage, Ingrid Betancourt, a clean bill of health. She had several tests at Paris Military hospital. The former Colombian presidential candidate and three Americans were among 15 hostages tricked away from leftist rebels in Colombia last week.

And the three Americans that were freed with Betancourt's group say they are doing fine. In a statement, the former hostages said they are thrilled to be home, Keith Stansell, Marc Gonzalves and Thomas Howes have been getting medical care at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. They were captured after their drug surveillance plane went down in southern Colombia back in 2003.

And tonight for you, a CNN special presentation, an HBO documentary looks at Ingrid Betancourt's kidnapping and her family's six-year struggle to free her. HBO's "The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt," see it right here on CNN tonight at 6:00 Eastern.

This Summer Olympic Games begin in barely one month. And President Bush's decision to attend those games in China was topic number one today as he arrived in Japan for the Group of Eight Summit.


PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH, UNITED STATES: I view the Olympics as an opportunity for me to cheer on our athletes. This is an athletic event. I don't need the Olympics to express my concerns.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LUI: Some have criticized the president for agreeing to attend the games, given China's human rights record. Hey, you know what -- meanwhile, the president celebrated his 62nd birthday aboard Air Force One while en route to the G-8 Summit. White House Press Secretary Dana Perino says the president enjoyed a conservative slice of birthday cake. A tasty one, too.

It's a quiet day on the campaign trail for you, but things pick right back up again tomorrow. John McCain focuses on jobs and the economy in the week ahead. And Barack Obama will try to woo some more southern voters and raise some more campaign cash. Both candidates will also be targeting a group that could sway key states in November.

Here's CNN deputy political director, Paul Steinhauser.


PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Veronica and T.J., this week, both presidential candidates court Hispanic and Latino voters.

(voice over): From John McCain...

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I received 70 percent of the Hispanic vote in my last reelection.

STEINHAUSER: ... to Barack Obama.

Both candidates are making a pitch for Spanish-speaking voters. Senators McCain and Obama each separately speak to a top Latino organization here in Washington on Tuesday, the second of three such meetings this summer.

And here's one reason why. Hispanics and Latinos could be the deciding factor in such contested states as Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado.

This week also finds John McCain pushing his plan to create new jobs.

MCCAIN: We need to help millions of workers who have lost their job that won't come back.

STEINHAUSER: He'll be touting his proposal in some of the key battleground states.

Barack Obama starts the week in two red states he'd like to turn blue, North Carolina and Georgia. He'll also be campaigning for cash, hitting (ph) big bucks fundraisers in D.C. and New York. We expect him to team up with former rival Hillary Clinton at the two (ph) in New York.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We've made the decision not to participate in the public financial system for the general election.

STEINHAUSER: But John McCain is staying in, which means he gets $85 million in public financing to spend this fall.

(on camera): Obama can spend as much money as he can raise and that's one of the things on his to-do list this week.

Paul Steinhauser, CNN, Washington.


LUI: It has become police priority number one. Night crimes are claiming the lives of nearly 20 London teens this year. What is behind those numbers?


LUI: London police have now made five arrests in Thursday's brutal stabbing and beating death of a teen. For Londoners, it's part of a worrying trend there. There have been so many stabbings in the city this year. Police now say that knife crimes have passed terrorism as their top priority.

CNN's Owen Thomas reports.


OWEN THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Britain still is on a severe terrorism alert, but it's a sign of just how seriously the police are taking the issue of knife crime and youth knife crime, that they (INAUDIBLE) work today, that is their number one priority right now.

Eighteen young people have been murdered in London since the beginning of the year; most of them have been stabbed. The latest one, a young 16-year-old boy Shakilus Townsend. Now, he was lured away from his home turf, if you can put it that way, and then set upon by a group of young people armed with baseball bats and he was stabbed to death.

Now, his family are too distressed to talk about this terrible crime, but this is what a neighbor had to say. And she really sums up what a lot of people here in the U.K. are thinking right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why? What did he do that was so bad that people just come to some agreements on a friendly basis, why? Why kill him? He didn't deserve to die like that. That is somebody's child.

THOMAS: The problem the authorities have, though, is -- how do you tell a 16 or 17-year-old, who maybe frightened of not carrying a knife with him because he thinks he needs it for protection, that it's not a good idea and this is a worrying trend too. Look, this is Shakilus, "Gang Secret of Stab Teen," and there he is posing with a knife, it seems. And that's the big difficulty for the authorities, how do you stop knives from seeming to be glamorous?

Well, the Metropolitan Police, London police force say they've got a special 70 men task force just dedicated to deal with knife crime in the capital, and a spokesman for that police say they are doing all they can now to try to stump this out. CMDR. MAXINE DE BRUNNER, METROPOLITAN POLICE: Widespread (INAUDIBLE) thorough searches (ph). We'll be seeing a lot more police on the streets of London. You can see much more visibility around the place of London. You'll be seeing dogs out there. You'll be seeing traffic out there. So, we are really deploying more resources we have valuable to take ruffles in the street and stop these murders.

THOMAS: Despite what the police say they are doing, there are clearly no easy answers to this one.

Owen Thomas, CNN, London.


LUI: Protecting newborns from HIV AIDS can be a critical step in breaking the disease cycle and they are seeing some success in Peru. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta visits a UNICEF program in Lima as part of our special "Survival Project" coverage.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Peru, at least 1,500 children live with HIV AIDS. As I will show you, UNICEF hopes to drive that number down starting with new mothers like Adelaida Delgado.

(on camera): What you're witnessing here is very important. What they're doing is doing a rapid test to try to figure out if Adelaida here is, in fact, HIV positive. She's had this baby a couple of hours ago. If, in fact, this test comes back in 30 minutes, as being positive, that means this baby should not be breast-fed, is going to be formula-fed after the next six months.

(voice-over): The first priority -- to diagnose and treat as early as possible. What now happens here -- every woman coming into any maternal health clinic is tested for HIV. No questions asked, no exceptions.

For Adelaida, it's good news. She tests negative.

(on camera): It doesn't mean some of the stories still aren't very heartbreaking. For example, this seven-month-old boy, was abandoned here after his mother tested positive for HIV. They don't even know if the boy has HIV or not, but no state orphanage will take him for the next 18 months. So, for the time being, he is sort of stuck.

FLORENCE BAUER, UNICEF PERU: The impact of UNICEF is every child is diagnosed, and the one who is HIV positive, the right steps can be taken.

GUPTA: The right steps in Peru? Stopping an epidemic before it ever begins.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Lima, Peru.

(END VIDEOTAPE) LUI: "The Survival Project: One Child at a Time," that airs tonight at 8:00 and 11:00 Eastern. Don't miss that. This CNN-UNICEF special gives you an in-depth look at the struggles of children from around the world. Plus, details on what you can do to help.

From the battlefield to a battle in court, several soldiers are coming home from war only to find out they've lost custody of their children, but some lawmakers are trying to do something about that.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And, it's the final day of Essence, but perhaps the one leaving the deepest inspirational impression. A live conversation with evangelist, Juanita Bynum, here at the NEWSROOM is on the road from New Orleans.



VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The sounds, the beauty -- the things you can expect to experience during a trip to Europe. Because the dollar is coming up short against the euro and pound, you may be thinking about putting that vacation on hold. But there may still be ways to do Europe.

CHRIS MCGINNIS, EXPEDIA.COM: If you really want to go to France or you really want to go the U.K. this year, you just have to plan on staying in smaller hotels, choose a hostel instead of a hotel, plan on traveling to smaller towns.

DE LA CRUZ: So, Chris McGinnis of says, instead of visiting Paris, you may want to try Lyon or maybe Marseilles. An alternative to your London stay could be cities like Glasgow or Manchester.

And to get the most bang for your buck...

MCGINNIS: Try to pay more as much as you can upfront in U.S. dollars. That means buying a package deal here in the States before you head over there.

DE LA CRUZ: Expedia says booking a European cruise is another option. Packages are typically all-inclusive covering your room and meals.



RICHARD LUI, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Happening now, a suicide bomber kills 16 people in Pakistan's capital. Most of the victims were police officers. The blast happened near a rally protesting the government's deadly siege last year of the militants hold up in a mosque.

President Bush leaves today for the G-8 summit. It begins tomorrow I Japan. The president celebrated his 62nd birthday last night aboard Air Force One. Happy birthday, sir. Staying cool under fire. Lower temperatures are helping firefighters battling hundreds of wildfires in California. Crews say there are making slow but steady progress.

Folks out West, they want rain to help dampen the flames. Meanwhile, the east coast sizes up Tropical Storm Bertha, which could become the first Atlantic hurricane.

CNN's Chad Myers is manning the Severe Weather Center right now.

How big or small is Bertha or how small is she right now, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: A little bigger because the new 5:00 p.m. advisory came out. We're up to 60 miles per hour. There's the U.S., Florida, Mexico, and South America. Way out here, still almost 900 miles from the islands here, and the forecast is for the storm to become a hurricane. And then what? Then to turn into the middle of the Atlantic and make a close approach to Bermuda. That's five days away. The cone goes left and goes right from there.

Let's put it on paper for you, 899 approximate miles. We'll call it 900 from the Windward Islands. We'll call it closer, like St. Kitts and St. Lucia and places like that. We are on the tip here of where the closest approach is to the island, like the British Virgin Island and those places there.

Now, as it turns to the north and this has been the forecast for a long time, for a little gradual turn to the north and then out to the ocean and not hitting anything. If that doesn't happen, and we have to watch this cone, it could be approaching the U.S. by late in the week. Now, this is already Friday. This coming Friday. That's five days away. We are still talking at least a week, probably ten days, before we get a close approach to the U.S. We'll watch it for you. It is forecasted to become the first hurricane of the season. It has a lot of warm water out there as well -- Richard?

LUI: Chad Myers at the Weather Station. Thank you, sir.

MYERS: You're welcome.

LUI: Another allegation today that a military aircraft bombed civilians. Afghan officials say an air strike killed two dozen members of a bridal party and wounded several ourselves others. The U.S. official said he did not get any reports that civilians were killed. There was a similar incident just two days ago, prompting Afghan President Hamid Karzai to order his own investigation in that.

It's been one day after Iraq's prime minister proclaimed his government has defeated terrorism. Insurgents say otherwise, though. A car bomb exploded outside of a Baghdad's mosque this morning. Authorities say it was likely targeting a police patrol. Six people were killed in that and 16 others wounded in the attack.

Here's something that caught our attention. When a divorced parent gets sent overseas for military duty, what happens to their custody and custody arrangement? In some states, the law is ambiguous. But Kansas has taken some steps to try to clear things up here.

State Representative Jim Ward pushed for the measure. He's agreed to talk to us about this right now.

Representative Ward, thank you for being with us.

REP. JIM WARD, (D), KANSAS: You bet, Richard. Thank you so much.

LUI: Let's start with how this all started. Captain Tyra Bolder, right, she has a son that's 16-year-old girl. She gets called up to go abroad to serve the country. She comes back and has some concerns about custody and getting her child back from her husband. Fill us in from there.

WARD: It started as she was going to be deployed. An issue started arising between her and her ex-husband. Her brother, of who live in my district, called and said is there anything we can do. We got a bill drafted, talked with Fort Riley in Kansas and said is this a single issue or is this happening to several soldiers. They said it is a pretty global problem and they helped us draft legislation.

LUI: That legislation, let's drill in on that. There are what I understand to be three major parts that you, of course, were a part of building. Tell us about those three parts.

WARD: In all new divorces, parents are having to address the issues of the children if they are deployed. They will set the rules for themselves before the deployment. In divorces already final, two things we changed. One, we added expedited faster hearings so they could be done before the deployment, if possible. If not, if there is changes made while a soldier is deployed, when they get home, it will go back to the way it was after ten days, unless there's another meaningful reason not to change.

LUI: OK. First of all, we have crafting a custody plan if one of the parties was deployed. Then you are talking about the expediting the situation for those who don't have a plan, correct?

WARD: Correct.

LUI: Finally, the company goes back to pre-condition situation, whatever it was, if the circumstances haven't changed.

WARD: That's right, absolutely.

LUI: With the three parts now, this was not a cheap endeavor for Tyra and her family and brother, right?

WARD: I'm sorry. I didn't hear the question.

LUI: This is not a cheap endeavor.

WARD: They had to hire lawyers and do things prior to the new law. We are hoping to alleviate the concern for soldiers in the future.

LUI: This was a bipartisan effort here, Representative Ward. Tell us about the support you have, also the governor, Governor Sebelius, signing that.

WARD: It wasn't a partisan thing at all. Once the issue was explained to people, it was unanimously supported. We had a little bit of a learning curve with the family law bars to make sure we did know harm because this is a fairly volatile area.

LUI: Any objection to this at all?

WARD: No. More questions than objections to make sure it doesn't disrupt a whole area of stuff unnecessarily.

LUI: All right, Representative Ward, thank you for dropping by today on this new military custody law. Have a great rest of your weekend, would you?

WARD: Thank you, you too, Richard.

LUI: The salmonella investigation heads to the border. Starting tomorrow, the FDA will testing produce that are imported from Mexico? On the list, bulb onions, cilantro, scallions, and jalapeno and Serrano peppers. Investigators are still trying to pinpoint the cause of a salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 900 people. They were focusing on tomatoes originally but have expanded that probe.

These tough economic times can mean tough choices for a bride to be. Getting hitched on a budget can be done. We have tips from the clever end cost-conscious brides.


LUI: Just more reason to walk instead of drive, gas prices hitting a new record high for the seventh straight day. AAA says they went up a fraction of a cent overnight. The new national average is $4.11 a gallon.

Many women have big elaborate dreams for their weddings, but as brides face tough economic times, they are getting inventive to cut costs. Susan Lisovicz has more on these budget brides.


LUI: The economy is certainly "Issue Number One." We bring you all the latest financial news weekdays at noon eastern. It is info you need on the mortgage meltdown, credit crunch, and much more when it comes to your pocketbook. "Issue Number One," that's Monday through Friday at noon eastern.

Having trouble making ends meet in these tough economic times? Are you? All day tomorrow, we'll focus on ways to recession-proof your life.

Our Josh Levs is here now with some of your ideas and how you can contribute even more.

Hey, josh. What do you got?

JOSH LEVS, CNN BUSINESS ANALYST: These days when you have to focus on something, at CNN is your answer., right?

Let me show you something right here. This is a right now. This is our big topic tomorrow. We're going to close in on this, survival strategies, how to recession-proof your life. You can't miss it. Go to right now.

What we doing is we are asking some I-reporters to send us ideas and photos, whatever you are have for beating the recession. If you have an idea, what are you doing to beat the recession, well, send your pictures or your videos.

Let's go to one picture we got right here that I'm loving. This comes from James Stallings of Jonesboro, Arkansas. Why are we looking at that? Because this is a photo of a two-stroke moped. He says its getting about 100 miles per gallon, and it goes 35 miles per hour. He is saving tons of money that way. His theory, why not give up your car and travel around town differently.

These are the kinds of things we love to hear from all of you. I'm going to quickly show you the things we are getting from people here.

This is a video someone sent us as well, saying I was traveling around parts of town here and starting to think there are pockets out there that don't experience the recession to the same extent. What are they going through?

I want to show you one more photo here as well. Get back to this one. I want you to send us whatever you can,, right now. Send your videos, your photos.

Richard, this is a big push, which means that tomorrow we'll share all the stories we can. That means pretty much throughout the night tonight we're going to be piecing through a whole lot of I-reports, seeing what we can show you on TV tomorrow -- Richard.

LUI: I have to tell you, Josh, that moped, I love it.

That might have been mine. And it gets great mileage. The guy is absolutely right, 100 miles to the gallon.

LEVS: It's a little less crazy than the one we got from somebody saying he wants to take a horse to work now. It is cheaper with nothing to clean up.

LUI: You have to worry about methane gas, though.

Josh Levs, thank you. And do send in your I-reports to us. Also watch "CNN NEWSROOM" throughout the day tomorrow to see how to recession- proof your life. We'll have recommendations from our team of experts, a look at energy alternatives as well. Plus, pointers on how to make the most of what you have.

We also want to hear from you about how you stretch your dollars, i- Click on Beating the Recession. We'll take a look at your responses tomorrow, as Josh was telling us, at 9:00 a.m. eastern. From a summer miracle to something much more, how one Virginia family has changed a little boy's life forever.


LUI: Finding a home for older orphans can be difficult, but a program, called Kid Save, is giving some new hope, allowing kids from other countries to meet caring adults in the U.S. on their summer vacations. Adults who could become their new moms and dads.

Kate Bolduan has the story.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We first Zak and Angela Smoot a year ago. They had fallen in love with Nyan Way (ph), a 5-year-old Taiwanese orphan who spent the summer with them as part of a program through Kid Save. Kid Save finds homes for orphans between 5 and 15 years old. Older children from around the world who are typically harder to place. Kids come to the U.S. for a five-week stay while potential parents get to know them.

Nyan (ph) went back to Taiwan. The Smoots then started months of paperwork to formally adopt him.

They chronicled the adoption journey from Warrenton, Virginia, all the way to Taiwan. And back again.

ANGELA SMOOT, ADOPTIVE PARENT: It is amazing you remember all the stuff from last summer. It's just amazing.

BOLDUAN: The Smoots can finally call Nyan (ph) their son.

As their story ends, many others begin. Just this weekend a new group of kids arrived in the Washington area to meet their American hosts.

JUNE NAUS, HOST PARENT: Our plan is to try to keep things simple to start, because I know it is just going to be -- the language itself can be exhausting for them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just thought it would be a good chance to give a kid a chance.

BOLDUAN: A chance at the life they have wished for, one with a loving family, something Nyan (ph) and the Smoots have already found.

Kate Bolduan, CNN, Washington.


LUI: Now we talk about the 14th annual Essence Music Festival. Over 200,000 people attending, and lots of great music. Lots of people, as you see there. The theme there: reclaiming the dream, self- empowerment, luminaries on music, politics, academia, culture, economy, it goes on and on.

Our own Fredericka Whitfield has been there all week long reporting there live. She has another report for us coming up.


LUI: The Essence Music Festival is winding down in New Orleans. For three days, the city has been celebrating its rich musical heritage. Essence is also being bills as a vehicle of empowerment.

Our Fredricka Whitfield has been in the center of all this.

Fred, I've been watching a lot of the interviews and, wow, it's a who's who list, isn't it?

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: It really is. I have among those another who's who, a multimedia evangelist, with a huge following, especially among African-American women. Juanita Bynum, her career, seemingly, was smooth sailing. Then publicly, a road block. Seemingly, it was to derail, if not sidetrack her mission.

With us live right now is Dr. Juanita Bynum to talk about that.

When I talk about this obstacle, something that could have sidetracked your career, I'm talking about physical abuse by the hands of your former husband, Bishop Thomas Week (ph). Was there ever a moment that you felt, even though you were a public person, even though your ministry was about self empowerment to women in particular, that you wanted this to be a private matter?

DR. JUANITA BYNUM, TELEVANGELIST: I did. But I think once the action took place publicly, I felt like I owed my public to come forward and tell them what happened, because I started out in storefront churches with 150, sometimes 50 people. And I have grown over the years with my audience. We have all grown up together. The people you see around me, this is years and years of a relationship. And I could mislead them, because I think that one of the things they respect me for is I'm candid, honest, and I don't have anything to hide.

WHITFIELD: And a relationship with your following that became very strong, particularly with no more sheets. When you told women directly, you know what? You be in charge of your own life. Let no man take control of your life, influence your life in a negative way. And a lot of followers were miffed when they were to learn that is what happened to you. There were strong words from followers. I talked to a couple here who said they were willing to call you a hypocrite.

BYNUM: When you're called a hypocrite is when you really live a double lifestyle. That was something that, with the pushing and shoving -- if somebody pushes you a little bit, you don't call that domestic violence. What happened in the parking lot had never happened before. It was not something considered as being hypocritical. It was considered as something happening to me because I'm, first, a person. I'm a preacher, you know, a prophet. I travel around. I'm an inspirational speaking. But I think the myth that a lot of people follow is because you say you're a preacher, bad things are not supposed to happen to you. And bad things do happen to good people. WHITFIELD: So this humanized you, too.

BYNUM: Absolutely.

WHITFIELD: They said, even someone like Juanita Bynum can vulnerabilities, even terrible things can happen. But then it's up to you, and that's part of your ministry, try to pick yourself back up.

BYNUM: Absolutely. I never stopped preaching. I never stopped moving. For me to stop was to give in to the circumstance. It's not going to be the last circumstance in my life.

Life brings us challenges all the time. If we make a decision to stop because we have one, we might as well stop, period. There's going to be other challenges in my life, and I never stop preaching, never stop creating. And life just continues.

And that was the example I wanted to make, not so much that I was a domestic violence victim, but I was an individual who knew how to come out with a victory.

WHITFIELD: How have you altered your ministry? Are you still really targeting women, particularly black women, or are you trying to reach men as well through your experience?

BYNUM: I don't think my ministry was ever particularly targeted toward women. I think my message is broad. I think pain is not prejudiced. Pain knows no color, no nationality. The ministry that God has given me is a ministry that talks about the resolve, when you're going through issues, and life itself, it is a process.

And I don't think I plan to change who I am on the platform today. I just continue to be Juanita Bynum. Whatever comes out, whatever I'm inspired to do -- Job 33 says, it is he who has made me, therefore he inspires me. Whatever I'm inspired to say to the people, that's where my focus is. If that day, it's women, it's women. If another day, it's men, it's men. I don't pick what I'm going to say.

WHITFIELD: What lesson do you think your experience taught people? There have been plenty of myths about domestic violence victims, that they allow it to happen. It's a sad myth, but you hear it from people. What do you suppose your lesson conveyed about you, a very publicly strong woman that people could see, that even a strong woman can be abused?

BYNUM: Right, I think the lesson in all of it is that people stay and go through it because although you're a strong person, love weakens everybody. Love is something else that's not prejudice. The lesson I learned in this is I loved the Bishop Weeks (ph), and I took the love with me.

You have to recognize when it's love but it's not conducive to your lifestyle, it's not beneficial to you, it's hindering your destiny, and you come to a crossroad of choices.

I think in my heart, there will always be that thing. but my lesson is you cannot stop just for love. It cannot be just for love. It has to be a situation where your destiny is involved in it. And that is what your focus is. So that became my lesson.

I was able to walk away from the courtroom a week ago. And I saw him -- God bless him, truly. I don't have any envy, no bitterness, because if you learn a lesson, then you don't have to carry hatred. I learned to care about the lesson.

WHITFIELD: A very valuable lesson in your new book "The Threshing Floor" as well. Dr. Juanita Bynum, thanks so much. A pleasure talking to you.

BYNUM: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: I know you're continuing to reach thousands of women that are learning from your experience. And there are a lot of women trying to learn about forgiveness as well through your experience because perhaps they have had a hard time understanding what they thought were hypocritical messages coming from you.


WHITFEILD: Dr. Juanita Bynum, thanks so much.

BYNUM: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

WHITFIELD: Pleasure.

Richard, back to you. An indelible message and an inspirational one being left here from the Essence Music Festival as a lot of folks have been empowered in so many ways, from powerful people who have come from all over the country to really make this a really successful and remarkable festival.

LUI: Fred, thank you so much. Great stuff all week. Fredricka Whitfield now wrapping up a week full of great reports for us. Thank you so much.