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Obama Overseas; New Twist in Pittsburgh Baby Case; Electric Cars in Economy Crunch; Impact of Body Language

Aired July 20, 2008 - 18:00   ET


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: This is the story much of the nation is talking about. A woman is taken into a hospital with a newborn. At her house, police find a dead woman with her womb ripped open. There is a news conference by police where they have answered some of the questions.
Also, Obama abroad. McCain at home plate. Look at this duopoly. The road to the White House isn't just long. It's full of potential pitfalls. Messages, hidden in some of these photo ops that we reveal for you. The news this affects you starts now.

And hello, again, everybody, I'm Rick Sanchez. You know where I am, but where in the world is Senator Barack Obama? He's somewhere overseas, we know that. We have his planned itinerary, at least the one that's been furnished to us. It's a rough version.

But, you know, for security reasons we should tell that you nothing on this trip is actually confirmed. Nothing is reportable. We do know he left Afghanistan some time earlier today. You saw the pictures that we have been showing you all day yesterday. After visiting President Hamid Karzai, he also met with some U.S. troops. Now Iraq is on the list of places that he is going to be visiting. But is he going there next officially? Likely, yes. Assuredly? Don't know.

The Kuwaiti news service is reporting that he's back there, but nobody's confirming that. By the way, we've got that report about an hour before we went on the air. There are new pictures here, though. Senator Obama, here we go, having breakfast GI style with U.S. forces today in Kabul. He told troops at Camp Eggers that he values meeting commanders and Afghan leaders but he also said that he values meeting with soldiers just as much on the ground.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To see young people like this who are doing such excellent work and so much dedication. It makes you feel good about the country. We want to make sure everybody back home understands how much pride they take in their work and how much sacrifices people are making. It's outstanding.


SANCHEZ: Senator Obama in a suit and tie. We'll get to that in a little bit. When Senator Obama does arrive in Iraq, by the way, he's going to meet with troops and commanders there on the ground. Here now is CNN's Frederik Pleitgen from Baghdad. FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Still no word on when exactly when Barack Obama plans to come here to Iraq but already this leg of his visit to the Mideast and Europe is sparking a lot of interest both here in Iraq as well as in the United States. At the center of attention are Obama's plans to withdraw U.S. combat troops from Iraq here in a very short period of time. Obama, of course, says that if elected president, he would pull U.S. combat troops out of Iraq 16 months after having taken office.

And when he comes here to Iraq, he is going to be talking to top U.S. commanders on the ground and they will be giving him a reality check of those plans. First of all, telling them if this is at all logistically possible in that period of time and also what that could mean to the stability of this country here in Iraq.

Of course, the security situation here in Iraq has been improving. The Iraqi security forces have been improving. Nevertheless, many Iraqis tell us they feel that, of course, U.S. troops should leave their country at some point in time but many fear that if the United States forces leave too fast, this country could descend back into violence. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Baghdad.

SANCHEZ: Here's what perhaps is most interesting about this story. Controversy already swirling in Iraq before Barack Obama even gets there. It's about a comment that was published in a German magazine, A quote from Iraq's prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, where he said that he, Nuri al-Maliki, supports Senator Obama's 16-month timetable for a pullout. It was a clear embarrassment for the White House, especially when the White House press office then accidentally released that story that seemed to be a boost for Barack Obama to the media. Essentially saying, oops. That was followed by a statement from al- Maliki's office later in the day now say, "No, no, no. I didn't say that, I was misquoted, bad translation."

And then this from the McCain camp on Obama's 16-month plan. "Barack Obama advocates an unconditional withdrawal that ignores the facts on the ground and the advice of our top military commanders."

Senator Obama's trip definitely projects an image. Can he handle foreign policy is the question many Americans are going to be asking themselves and does he appear presidential on this overseas trip?

In addition to his formal meetings, he got informal on this trip. I don't know if you have seen this yet. He's playing hoops with U.S. troops in Kuwait. Does it show he's versatile enough? Does it show he's human enough? Does he need to be able to relate to the troops? Usually at least in the past six years haven't exactly caught onto Democrats and liberals.

John McCain went on the "Conan O'Brien" show this week. Dark, formal suit, good idea. Joking about his age. Good idea? Well done? There's questions as well. Coming up, we're going to be analyzing this, taking it apart, talking to a consultant, the dos and the don'ts for both John McCain and Barack Obama on presidential image making.

No image issues for Senator John McCain at a Yankee game. There it is. Just add one baseball cap. That's a navy cap. Always wears that navy cap. He should. Has plenty to be proud about in his service. The Republican presidential candidate took in game in the Bronx with a former rival and diehard Yankee fan, Rudy Giuliani who, by the way, says that McCain's experience abroad cannot be discounted.


RUDY GIULIANI (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't see how you fail -- you don't fail to elect them president. He was right about Iraq when almost everybody else was wrong. If it turned out we had caved in with Barack Obama and what the Democrats wanted to do, we would now have a defeat. America would have a defeat rather than a possible victory. And the fact Barack Obama's making his first tour in essence of the world is an indication that John McCain is the man with the experience.


SANCHEZ: Senator John McCain, the sports nut. That's what he calls himself. He talked to a major league manager at Yankee Stadium today, and he said running for the White House was like being called up for, you know, to the bigs.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You're in double A and all of a sudden you're playing in Shea Stadium.


SANCHEZ: Senator McCain was talking to Oakland manager Bob Geren and Yankees manager Joe Girardi. You can barely make out what they are saying there but it is a special moment to see this presidential candidate in that environment. McCain told him he's a big sports nut because he was "a mediocre high school athlete." By the way, the Yankees beat the A's in that game for Mayor Giuliani and Senator McCain. The score 2-1.

You hear that? Take a listen to the winds. Good day for surfing, huh? Look at the waves. Sights and sounds of Tropical Storm Cristobal. It's hugging the North Carolina coast right now with some heavy rains, high surf and winds near 45 miles-an-hour. People on the Outer Banks islands are keeping an eye on this storm but many of them aren't going anywhere.


BILL COLE, MANAGER, HOWARD'S PUB: I have a new son, so it's a little bit different for me this year than other years but I don't think is one warrants packing. But we will proceed with caution with everything you do.


SANCHEZ: No reason for panic, at least not because of just the waves at least. Cristobal has a partner out there, by the way. Tropical Storm Dolly Parton, that's the official name we're giving it. People on the Gulf Coast.


SANCHEZ: People --

JERAS: No, we're not.

SANCHEZ: Here's Jacqui Jeras, by golly, to tell us why I just made up the last name.


SANCHEZ: All right, here's the big story that we've been following throughout the course of the day. There is new information, new revelations on something that we have been keying in on since yesterday. This is a bizarre murder mystery. Police are learning more about a newborn, a murdered teenage mother and a suspected killer, one with a reportedly violent past.

Also packing heat in the nation's capital. Starting Tuesday, D.C. residents could apply for a handgun permit with some very big caveats.


SANCHEZ: All right, I want to show you a picture of somebody you are going to see right behind me. You see her there? That woman going into that car? This week, she arrives at a suburban Pittsburgh hospital with a newborn baby. Almost right off the bat the nurses there at the hospital suspect that something's not right here. They were right. Especially not right when they went to her home to see what they found there. A couple of hours ago, we found out even more about this story. Detectives had a news conference. CNN's Jim Acosta is following the story and joining us and bringing the details to us about this.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rick, police say there may have been a connection between the victim and suspect in this case, a suspect investigators say who has a history of baby-snatching.


ACOSTA (voice-over): Using dental records, the Allegheny County medical examiner's office identified the body of 18-year-old Kia Johnson. Police say the pregnant woman was found inside the suburban Pittsburgh apartment building with their arms and legs bound, her mouth gagged. Investigators believe she was drugged before her baby was cut out of her womb.

DR. KARL WILLIAMS, ALLEGHENY CO. MEDICAL EXAMINER: Her abdomen had been opened with a sharp weapon. The uterus had been opened. The uterus appeared to be what we say is grabbed, meaning there had been a baby there.

ACOSTA: Police say the apartment where Johnson's body was found belonged to 38-year-old Andrea Curry-Demus. Investigators believe the two may have known each other. SUPT. CHARLES MOFFATT, ALLEGHENY CO. POLICE: We have information that they met one another. How far it goes back, we don't know at this time. we do have evidence there was contact between the two of them.

ACOSTA: Last week, authorities say Curry-Demus took a baby to a Pittsburgh hospital and claimed it was hers. Then she said she bought the infant from a local woman. Curry-Demus, who has now been charged with one count of murder, told reporters after her arrest, "I didn't do nothing."

That stunning news put a renewed focuses on the whereabouts of Kia Johnson, who had recently gone missing. Before Johnson's body was identified, relatives were beginning to worry.

SHAKEEA WASHINGTON, VICTIM'S SISTER: We don't know where she's at. She's pregnant. It's not like her. She's been gone three days. It's not like her just to be missing. She would have called somebody. She does not, not go home.

ACOSTA: According to the "Pittsburgh Tribune-Review," Curry-Demus suffered two miscarriages at ages 12 and 21. In 1990, she was accused in an alleged plot to steal a woman's baby and in a separate incident of kidnapping an infant from a hospital. She was sent to prison after pleading guilty to various charges from both incidents.

STEPHANIE EPPS, CURRY-DEMUS'S SISTER IN LAW: Why does she do that? Why does she do this? Why?

ACOSTA: Flash forward to this year. Friends and relatives say Curry- Demus had told them she was pregnant. It went so far as to attend a baby shower.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She would never like let you touch her stomach, lift her stomach. Pregnant woman do things like that. They're happy because they're pregnant. But she would never do none of that. She wouldn't let me do it at all and she just kept her distance from me.

ACOSTA: Authorities say that baby boy Andrea Curry-Demus brought to the hospital is doing fine. Curry-Demus is scheduled to appear in court later this week. Jim Acosta, CNN, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


SANCHEZ: News across America, this disturbing story out of central Florida. Authorities are looking for a 2-year-old girl now missing for five weeks. Her absence has only been reported to police this week, though. The mother of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony said she hasn't seen her daughter since leaving the child with a babysitter last month. The mother is charged with child neglect and criminal obstruction. Police haven't ruled out the possibility the little girl is out there somewhere still alive.

By the way, police are trying to track down the husband of this missing soldier in Texas. Police want to question Clinton Lewis in the disappearance of private Jeneesa Lewis. They suspect foul play. Lewis is also wanted on a warrant for failing to pay back child support. Friends say the two had been having marital problems.

A murder suspect is on the run in Texas after escaping jail by counting calories. That's right, Walter County deputies because that Darryl Norris's dieting goal was to slim down enough so that he could shimmy through a one-foot-wide exhaust vent.

New video from northwest Arkansas where a church group may think twice about venturing into the Devil's Den again. A teenage girl is OK after falling into a cave in Devil's Den State Park Friday. Rescuers found her the next morning, surviving 50-degree temperatures overnight.

For three decades, handguns have been banned in Washington, D.C. That changed this week. Critics are lining up on both sides of the aisle. Here's CNN's Kate Bolduan.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the first time in 32 years, D.C. residents can now keep a gun in their home for self- defense. Last month, the Supreme Court struck down D.C.'s strict handgun ban, forcing the city to pass emergency legislation to comply with the ruling.

The new law requires all handguns to be kept only in the home, unloaded and disassembled or secured with a trigger lock, or in a safe. D.C.'s acting attorney general, Peter Nickles, helped craft the legislation.

PETER NICKLES, ACTING D.C. ATTORNEY GENERAL: You can load it to be prepared to use in self-defense if -- and this is the key language -- if you believe there's a "reasonably perceived threat of immediate harm."

BOLDUAN: D.C. firearms instructor James Wiggins is forced to train students outside the district. He says the new rules are still too restrictive.

JAMES WIGGINS, FIREARMS INSTRUCTOR: Is the district is saying that burglar is going to call you ahead of time to let you know he's coming so you can have it immediately available for self-defense. That's not what's going to happen. That's not really available when someone is kicking down your door.

BOLDUAN: The National Rifle Association agrees arguing the city is trying to skirt the Supreme Court ruling, in part because only revolvers are allowed, not semi-automatic handguns.

STEPHEN HALBROOK, NRA OUTSIDE COUNSEL: D.C.'s reaction is to basically continue the ban as to about three-quarters of the kind handguns that exist in this country.

BOLDUAN: Another criticism, the lengthy process to register the gun. The process includes a written test, a background check, fingerprinting, and a ballistics test before taking the weapon home. City officials say it's a delicate balance, protecting residents and not violating their right to protect themselves.

NICKLES: People get hurt when they have handguns in the home. And those hand guns make their way from the home to the street.

BOLDUAN (on-camera): Cities across the country are watching D.C. closely to see how these new gun regulations play out and how the courts react. Now remember, this all came about when a D.C. resident sued the city over the gun ban. And D.C.'s attorney general says he fully expects these new regulations to be challenged in court as well.

Kate Bolduan, CNN, Washington.


SANCHEZ: Gas prices, out of sight, right? Well, can Congress do anything about this? Can they, even if they wanted to? How about this? Are they at least try something.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have so many great ideas in this report. Why haven't they been implemented over the last 25, 30 years?


SANCHEZ: OK, so what's the holdup? We are catching up with some of these senators. We're asking them the tough questions.


SANCHEZ: We welcome you back to the world headquarters of CNN. I'm Rick Sanchez.

It is just a penny, right? But every penny counts. AAA is saying the average price of a gallon of unleaded gas has dropped one penny from yesterday's average. Did you know? We're now at 4.08 a gallon and people in South Carolina, be grateful. Gasoline is the cheapest in the country at about $3.88 a gallon.

Gas prices are just one of several major factors plaguing the American economy. The housing crunch of course, one of the others. But today on CNN's "LATE EDITION," Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the nation's overall economy remains strong.


HENRY PAULSON, TREASURY SECRETARY: The longtime goals are strong and they compare favorably with the long-term fundamentals of other industrial companies around the world - other industrial economies around the world and our financial systems is a safe and a sound one.


SANCHEZ: The next time you gas up as the cost adds up, who do you want to blame for your plan? Or for your pain? Shouldn't Congress be doing something? Here's CNN's Ed Henry on Capitol Hill. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please rise and raise your...

ED HENRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Almost 100 congressional hearings on energy so far this year, hours and hours of talk, but little action. So, let's take a walk. There's Dick Durbin, the second most powerful Democrat in the Senate, riding the Senate subway.

(on camera): You mind if I sit with you?

It's 4:30 in the afternoon, the middle of the week, no votes, nothing happened.

SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: No, there is something happening. We're bringing a bill to the floor dealing with speculation in the oil markets.

HENRY: The speculation -- most experts say that going after speculators will only have a marginal impact.

DURBIN: A marginal impact is something.

HENRY (voice-over): Durbin, who is fiercely opposed to offshore drilling, promises Democrats will get an energy bill done.

(on camera): So, you're going to get it done in the next few weeks?


DURBIN: Well, that's my goal. And we have been working on it all day.

HENRY: A goal is one thing. You're in charge now.


HENRY: You're in charge now.

DURBIN: Well, we're in charge with 51 votes out of 100. So, it isn't exactly a hefty majority.

HENRY (voice-over): Then I find retiring Republican Pete Domenici. As former chair of the Energy Committee, he's expressing regret both parties have failed to find consensus on energy over the last quarter- century. He speaks of finding common ground. But, he's as fiercely in support of offshore drilling as Durbin is against it.

SEN. PETE DOMENICI (R), NEW MEXICO: The people are going to fix it, because they understand this simple proposition that this huge Outer Continental Shelf is theirs. They're going to come out 75 percent in the next poll, and they're going to -- we're going to say to the Democrats, just defy them if you'd like, at your peril.

HENRY (on camera): Well, not the next poll. A new one just found that more Californians than ever support offshore drilling, but it's still less than half, 43 percent of all Californians. So, what how about a blue-ribbon panel to try and find solutions while Congress is gridlocked?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rallying his friends...

HENRY (voice-over): Here's one, a dream team of talking heads, everyone from Mack McLarty, President Clinton's former chief of staff, to Don Evans, a Texas oilman who was President Bush's commerce secretary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have so many great ideas in this report. Why haven't they been implemented over the last 25, 30 years?

HENRY: The panelists didn't really answer why they didn't do more when they were actually in government. But then Don Evans jumped in.

DON EVANS, FORMER COMMERCE SECRETARY: I think the simple answer to your simple question is, gas is $4.50 a gallon. I mean, it's amazing how that will focus the mind.

HENRY: We can all agree on that. We're all focused. Ed Henry, CNN, Washington.


SANCHEZ: By the way, former vice president Gore spoke out this week with a new challenge for the American people. He says that we need to make a quick transition to clean electricity and we need to do it in the next decade or says the old way of doing things just don't work anymore.


AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: When people rightly complain about hirer gasoline prices that are hurting our country, we propose to give more money to the oil companies and pretend that they're going to bring gasoline prices down? It will do nothing of the sort and everyone knows it. If we keep going back to the same policies that have never, ever worked and have served only to produce the highest gasoline prices in history, alongside the greatest oil company profits in history, nobody should be surprised if we get the same result over and over again.


SANCHEZ: Mr. Gore says that incremental steps to wean America from oil aren't enough. He says the damage caused from burning fossil fuels could become irreversible in just 10 years.

One obviously way to ease the oil price crunch would be to increase supplies, right? A lot of people, mostly Republicans, say drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would some offer relief. Democrats, not surprisingly, disagrees. We send our Ali Velshi to Alaska to see for himself. He called in to Fredricka Whitfield just a little while ago to talk about the ANWR debate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ALI VELSHI, CNN SR. BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well the conflict is, do we go into a place because there's oil available or do we say some things are just off-limits? And that's what it comes down to. In the Wildlife Refuge, a lot would be left alone. An area about the size of South Carolina would be left alone and the area of the state of Delaware would be drilled on. But the concern is there is caribou, there are native people who live here, who live off the land, subsistence hunting. And should we be tampering with things that are that pristine? That's the debate at the moment. There are people who say we need every last bit of oil that we can get, so we should. And those who say you know what? Maybe we should think about conserving.


SANCHEZ: Again, that's Ali Velshi. He's calling from Alaska's North Slope. He's going to be reporting on tomorrow's "AMERICAN MORNING, live from the Arctic National Wildlife, and that's starting at 6 Eastern. He's going to do it again, by the way, on his regular show, "ISSUE #1." Catch him at noon Eastern right here at CNN.

High gas prices got you down. Well, build your own electric car. How's that for a solution? Hmm, does it work?


SANCHEZ: Welcome back, I'm Rick Sanchez, to the CNN NEWSROOM. Much has been made about Senator Barack Obama's overseas trip being make or break. If he stumbles, then they're going to say, see, he's just not ready. If he looks good, they'll say, yep, this guy could possibly be presidential. And a big part of what we're talking about is image.

So we thought this would be the right time to talk to Heidi Berenson. She's a specialist in this field. In fact, she provides media training how to act, how to look and how to make sure you say the right things. Heidi, thanks so much for being with us.

HEIDI BERENSON, BERENSON COMMUNICATIONS: You're welcome Rick, it's a pleasure to be here.

SANCHEZ: I'm going to start with this video that we were all somewhat mesmerized by yesterday because it was Barack Obama playing basketball. I thought it was video. I guess it's a still. No wait, now it's video again. There he is. Why do you consider military trends to be conservative and Republican? How important was this seeming ice breaker for him yesterday, playing basketball? I guess what I was trying to say at the beginning there, I was confused by the video, considering that the military tends to be more conservative and Republican, here you've got this skinny guy as a Democrat coming in there, more liberal. Was it important for him to try and come through by relating to these guys?

BERENSON: Well you know, when I work with clients whether they are politicians, Democrats or Republicans or Fortune 500 executives, I ask them one simple question. What image do you want to project?

In this particular case he's wearing black. And black actually is a wonderfully versatile color. It has power, it has grace. And so he was able to sort of come in and be himself, be authentic and genuine. And see you can see in that smile, you can't fake a smile. When you have an authentic smile like that, your eyes crinkle up. Your mouth muscles move. That is a perfect example of a genuine smile.

SANCHEZ: But it's not about a shirt or a color, right? You want to be the president of the United States. Who cares what color you're wearing?

BERENSON: Well actually, you'd be surprised how much of an impact body language has. In fact, when an audience perceives you, they perceive you on three levels. On your body language, on your voice and your choice of words. And body language - actually, more than half your message is conveyed through body language. So that's the colors that you wear, that's your gesturing, your facial expressions, your posture if you're sitting up. And that's why so much is conveyed non-verbally.

SANCHEZ: We told our producers that this picture, the one that you just related to a little while ago, was very important. I look at it and I'm thinking, it's a picture, I mean, yeah.

BERENSON: And, hence, a picture is worth 1,000 words. I mean look at that. To see that kind of passion and that kind of energy and that kind of spirit in a photo is -- anyone who wants to appear presidential would love to have a photo like that. You can see it's contagious. He's sort of radiating and everyone around him is radiating.

SANCHEZ: All right, we've got another one here I want to show you. Hamid Karzai, all right, he's a guy who captivated Washington.


SANCHEZ: He hasn't exactly captivated his own country. He's not exactly seen as a rock star over there. For the most part, he's --

BERENSON: Rick, if you'll just notice -- I'm sorry to interrupt. But if you'll just notice, the two are almost mirror images of each other. They're both wearing black jackets and a white shirt. And you can see, there's a conservative tie. So really when you travel overseas, the very important thing is to take your cues from your host. And you can see they blend perfectly there.

SANCHEZ: Well isn't this as much about clothing though as it is about your comportment? How you stand? How you walk? How you go into the room? What language you use?

BERENSON: Absolutely because what I like to say is you want your clothes and demeanor to fit you and to fit the occasion. And it seems like it is a perfect match there. So what you want to think about is how are you being perceived? You can't control how people see you, but you can control the image that you want to project. So if you think about when Reagan was president, when he wanted to be the common man, he would wear a brown, plaid suit which they used to call the horse blanket around the White House. And that, he saw that as a common man because it sort of -- it's sort of similar to when you wear a blue shirt. And I see you're wearing a blue shirt, Rick. Blue happens to be the most common favorite color in this country and worldwide. So when you wear blue, it's trustworthy and it's warm.

SANCHEZ: That's why I'm wearing it, as a matter of fact.

BERENSON: And you look awfully trustworthy.

SANCHEZ: There's a cap that John McCain wears all the time. We've got some video of it. He has this Navy cap. The guy loves wearing that cap, as he should. This guy was in the Navy. He was a prisoner of war. That's part of who he is. Here he is at Yankee Stadium today. Your thoughts?

BERENSON: Yes, absolutely. He's being authentic and authentic really is the world of the day. And he's also taking his cue from his host. And in this kind of situation, you want to be, as I said, fit you and fit the occasion. He's totally fitting the occasion. When you go to a baseball game, you are going to be relaxed. And you'll notice, what color shirt is he wearing? Again, a blue shirt and he's wearing the baseball camp, perfectly appropriate. So you really want to think about -- this is really the embodiment of fitting into your surroundings.

SANCHEZ: Looks comfortable. But then again, who wouldn't be going to a baseball game?

BERENSON: Well, I'm more comfortable with the Red Sox, but go ahead, Rick.

SANCHEZ: Heidi, thank you so much for coming on. I'll be able to use that quote from you now against all of my producers who say I wear blue shirts too often.

BERENSON: No, you never can do it too much.

SANCHEZ: There you go.


SANCHEZ: One of Barack Obama's PR moves involved a look-a-like presidential seal, but it definitely didn't get the seal of approval. Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): No Senator Obama, don't sit - don't sit there.

OBAMA: Good morning, everybody.

MOOS: Uh oh.

OBAMA: Thank you very much.

MOOS: His fate is sealed. Does this remind you of anything? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Presidential seal.

MOOS: Same layout, same eagle holding arrows and an olive branch.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's very presumptuous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, he's assuming he's already president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, he ain't president yet, nowhere near it.

MOOS: Maybe not. Just like the presidential seal, Obama has a Latin inscription "vero possumus" loosely translated, "yes, we can," the campaign slogan. The Obama seal is already being sold on T-shirts and mugs. But the opposition is up in arms. The audacity of him, ego gone wild. One person commented by posting that old Carly Simon song.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, whoever said a presidential candidate is humble?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's nothing wrong with him being optimistic.

MOOS: But some right winging blogs question the legality of Obama's seal. It's illegal to display a likeness of the seal. It conveys a false impression of government approval.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Smart marketing, that's all it is.

MOOS: But the critics weren't just the usual opponents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a tine of presumptuousness and I am a Barack Obama supportive.

MOOS: On the other hand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I myself am an entrepreneur and I think that's marvelous. I think it's funny. It's out of "Mad Magazine."

MOOS: Reminds us of the flap about John McCain's lime-green background which the campaign dumped after much ridicule and challenge by Stephen Colbert for viewers to come up with more exciting background ranging from the "Three Stooges" to the Hindenburg.

MCCAIN: The entitlement program is approaching bankruptcy.

MOOS: When it comes to Obama's seal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't think there's a touch of hubris there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the brother's confident.

MOOS: As for the "yes, we can" Latin slogan, the "Baltimore Sun's" political blog suggested "they may want to rethink the Latin inscription 'vero possumus.' It made me think of opossum. I don't think the campaign wants people thinking of opossum when they look at Obama." But it was the seal that ended up as road kill. The Obama campaign says it was a one-time thing for a one-time event. So hold that criticism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What a mistake.

MOOS: What, wait, wait, wait. I want to show you?


MOOS: Cutting the seal, get lost is what the Obama campaign is doing. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


SANCHEZ: How can you not love the people of New York? They are so incredibly warm and fuzzy.

Fighting for the right to serve God, their way. Three women now facing excommunication in their quest to become priests.


SANCHEZ: You can see the words right there on the teleprompter, right. Those are the ones I'm about to read to you, ready? Do you want an electric car? More people are getting charged up about them in the face of record gas prices. Why wait for Detroit to come through when you can do this for yourself? Here's Thelma Gutierrez.


THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was supposed to be the great electric hope.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The electric car is here.

GUTIERREZ: GM's EV-1. It went away about as quickly as it came. If Detroit wasn't going to build an electric car --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just different components being used in the car --

GUTIERREZ: Average Americans would. People like Lefteris Padavos, a professional photographer who converted his '71 914 Porsche. Daniel Pelosi (ph), an electrical engineer whose Ford Fairlane station wagon is now all electric. And Greg Konig (ph), a Web designer who turned his '95 Honda Del Sol convertible into an electric sports car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, it's a blast to drive.

GUTIERREZ: They are do it yourselfers who basically taught themselves how to convert gas cars to all electric.

LEFTERIS PADAVOS, BUILT ELECTRIC CAR: This is not rocket science. What I tell people, what you see here is available, existent easy technology. This is off of the shelf stuff. GUTIERREZ: The cost, about $8,000. And you can forget any storage space. That goes to the batteries.

PADAVOS: The first thing that needs to come out would be the gasoline engine as well as the radiator and the muffler.

GUTIERREZ: He has eight batteries under the hood and 14 others in the trunk. The car's range is 70 miles between charges. It takes about three hours to charge the car.

PADAVOS: It's costing us about $1.6 cents per mile.

GUTIERREZ: When you add it up, Lefteris says that's about 300 miles for under $5. He has no complaints about performance. Each month, the Electric Vehicle Association of Southern California needs to compare cars and notes.

PAUL SCOTT, ELECTRIC VEHICLE ASSN OF SO. CALIF: It's the only way to drive. Electricity instead of oil, much better. It's all domestic, it's clean.

GUTIERREZ: With gas prices now above $4 a gallon, these drivers are trying to send that message to automakers scrambling to come up with fuel-efficient vehicles. For Lefteris, it's all about freedom. When was the last time you actually cared about the price of gas?

PADAVOS: I can't remember. I don't. I remember we call it now passing gas.

GUTIERREZ: Thelma Gutierrez, CNN, Los Angeles.


SANCHEZ: You have seen the pics, a shark leaping out of the ocean just feet from surface - or from surfers. Is it real?


SANCHEZ: You know the term, right? Fish out the water. Look at that picture over my shoulder there. How about a shark out of water? This is amazing. Insert this photograph that has a lot of people talking, including us. This is Florida, and this is John Zarrella.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Take a look at these pictures, right there behind the surfers. Yep, go ahead. Rub your eyes. You're not seeing things. It's a shark out of water.

KEN MCNAIR, PHOTOGRAPHER: I looked at the camera, you got to be kidding me.

ZARRELLA: Ken McNair was talking photos on the beach in New Smyrna with a spinner black-tipped shark jumped into his image, straight out of the water and twisted in the area. MCNAIR: And I saw something in the background and what was that? And I look at the display and back it up just a tad and there's this sprinter shark.

ZARRELLA: Over the years there are many doctored photos showing shark, so these have understandably raised eyebrows. McNair swears his photogenic shark is legit and others on the beach saw it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He took the shot and I was witness to it.

ZARRELLA: Sonny Gruber, one of the world's leading experts on sharks believes him because Gruber said he's seen it.

DR. SONNY GRUBER, SHARK EXPERT: That's a species that's known to jump. I have seen it. Many people have seen it and as a consequence, I believe the pictures are real.

ZARRELLA: One theory, they jump to dislodge the sucker fish called remoras.

GRUBER: They will jump and spin and then when they do that, the remoras all scatter.

ZARRELLA: It's not uncommon to see large numbers of sharks swimming along Florida's coastline, but not as many as there used to be.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have the tag number?

ZARRELLA: University of Miami researchers are studying that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is a female and it's a black tipped female sharp.

ZARRELLA: Trying to figure out how fast their numbers are declining. But it's not surprising to shark experts that these photos were taken in New Smyrna, an area where so much surfing and wave action is sometimes called the shark bite capital of the world. John Zarrella, CNN, Miami.


SANCHEZ: That has got to be one of the most amazing pictures anyone around here as ever seen.

Well, it's a sorority in a sea of pink and green. Every step they take is a step towards unity, and a service to their community. You're going to meet the sisters of AKA.


SANCHEZ: Here's one that's going to turn some heads. Three women in Boston are hoping that they're going to be the very first ever in the Roman Catholic Church to be ordained as priests, females, that is, sort of. The ceremony is being held right now at a Protestant church in Boston. It's not, of course, recognized by the Catholic Church because it's not even taking place at a Catholic Church. The women are part of an activist group hoping, though, to be able to pressure the church into dropping its long-standing ban on women in the priesthood. The Vatican has issued a warning that women taking part in such ordination ceremonies will be excommunicated.

A multitude of women with a singular purpose, helping others through their sorority. Alpha Kappa Alpha also known as AKA, CNN's Jill Dougherty talked with members as they mark this major milestone.



JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sororities are an institution in the African-American community and Alpha Kappa Alpha is the oldest and one of the most influential, predominantly black sororities in the U.S.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Happy birthday to you. DOUGHERTY: This week 25,000 AKAs dressed in their distinctive pink and green colors celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of their sorority.

ELEANOR WALLACE, AKA MEMBER: It represents the 20 revered women who started and perpetuated the sorority from the very beginning, 20 courageous women in 1908.

DOUGHERTY: Those young women were just one generation removed from slavery. They were studying at Howard University in Washington, D.C., but in those days very few blacks could even dream of attending college.

ANGELA WHITE, AKA MEMBER: It was also at a time when lynching wag rampant in the country, so there was a lot of difficulty in terms of being able to succeed as an African-American, and these women not only came up with the idea to support each other in a university environment but also to affect the community.

DOUGHERTY: Today AKA has 200,000 members worldwide with chapters in six countries. Their motto hasn't changed, service to all mankind.

DAWN LUCKY MANNING, AKA MEMBER: We read to kids all the time, we go to schools and libraries, we help the homeless, we have scholarship funds, we send hundreds of kids every year to black colleges or any college they want to go to.

DOUGHERTY (on-camera): Most of these women joined AKA when they were in college, but it's a lifetime commitment. They even have active members in their 90s. Snookie McGinnis and her sisters joined in the 1960s and '70s and for them it's a sisterhood of like-minded women.

SNOOKIE MCGINNIS, AKA MEMBER: It's meant a lifetime of meeting different people all across the country and doing work, good work in different areas, whatever is need. It's all about AKA.

DOUGHERTY: Jill Dougherty, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SANCHEZ: Programming note for you now, don't forget that we are just days away from an unparalled television event, "Black in America." You don't want to miss this groundbreaking documentary coming this Wednesday and Thursday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, only on CNN.

Here's a couple more. We have got a couple of special presentations tonight. First at 8:00 Eastern, CNN and "Essence" magazine team up to present "Reclaiming the Dream." Then at 9:30, "MLK: Eyewitness to Murder". Again, that's all tonight starting at 8 only on CNN.


SANCHEZ: I want to show you now what you Web surfers have been looking at most on No. 1, "The Dark Knight", breaking box office records. The Batman sequel has taken in more than $155 million. This is in a debut weekend. It's already beat out "Spider- Man 3," which held the previous record last year.

Rapper DMX has been arrested in a Phoenix mall. He's charged with taking someone else's identity. He's had a lot of run ins with the law lately, by the way. He was arrested in Miami for allegedly trying to buy cocaine and marijuana and another arrest earlier this month for outstanding warrants.

Police in Dayton, Ohio, say they went to an apartment building looking for a robbery suspect and ended up tazing the man's mother. It turns out she was legally blind. Police say she refused to talk to them and became combative, hitting one of the officers. The incident is under investigation. Why would you taze a blind woman?

Click on and link to the most popular if you want to see more on those. I'm Rick Sanchez.