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Police Investigate Church Shooting Rampage; Suicide Bombings Kill at Least 70 in Iraq; McCain Talks Economy in California

Aired July 28, 2008 - 15:00   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: The rampage was shocking, but wait until you hear the motive. Police in Tennessee try to get inside the head of a man accused of shooting up a church.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: And does unity mean uniformity? How about objectivity? We will take a look at how journalists of color are covering an historic campaign for president.

PHILLIPS: And you're never too old to be an overnight success. Just ask Japan's 73-year-old king of a new and booming industry, elderly porn.

Hello, everyone. I'm Kyra Phillips, live in New York.

LEMON: It takes all kinds. That's all I have to say.

And I'm Don Lemon here at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.

All right, so here's the story. This is the story behind the story. Out of work, and filled with hate, twin motives cited by police for yesterday's shooting rampage that killed two people at a church in Knoxville, Tennessee. You're seeing the suspect, Jim Adkisson, shortly after the shotgun attack.

Well, today, we're learning more about what may have been going on inside of his head. Not sure if we will ever really know, but our Rusty Dornin has the very latest for us.


RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Investigators say it was a four-page letter discovered in the suspect's car that has given them the biggest clues as to the motive in this shooting. Apparently, Jim Adkisson wrote the letter describing his anger towards the liberal movement, angry about the fact that he had not had a job and been looking for the last two years.

STERLING OWEN, KNOXVILLE POLICE CHIEF: It appears that what brought him to this horrible event was his lack of being able to obtain a job, his frustration over that, and his stated hatred for the liberal movement. We have recovered a four-page letter in which he describes his feelings, and his the reason that he claims that he these offenses.

DORNIN: The church is well known in this community for its liberal views. On its Web site, it describes itself as a community dedicated to social change since the '50s, desegregation, women's rights and gay rights.

Police say 76 shells were discovered at the church and that the suspect fired three rounds. In that letter, apparently the suspect talks about the fact that he thought he would never get out of that church alive.

OWEN: He indicated also in that letter that he expected to be in there shooting people until the police arrived. And he fully expected to be killed by the responding police.

DORNIN: Jim Adkisson remains jailed on a $1 million bond. So far, there's one count of first-degree murder, but more charges are expected. The FBI is also investigating whether to file charges of violation of civil rights for a hate crime. Adkisson is expected to appear in court on Tuesday, August 5.

Rusty Dornin, CNN, Knoxville, Tennessee.


LEMON: All right, Rusty, appreciate your reporting.

One of the victims, though, is being called a hero. Survivors say 60-year-old Greg McKendry stood in front of the gunman to shield others. McKendry was a longtime church member and an usher at the church. Also killed was 61-year-old Linda Kreager. And she was a member of another Unitarian church, but came to this one for the children's performance.

Of the seven people hurt, at least three are still in critical condition.

PHILLIPS: Two thousand homes and a national treasure are in danger this hour. A fast-growing wildfire is burning about 10 miles from Yosemite National Park. It's already burned more than 26,000 acres of dry timber and about a dozen homes. Another 200 families in Mariposa County have been ordered out.


SANDRA GREEN, EVACUEE: We have some of the residents at our house right now, because the families couldn't take care of them. And so, yes, she's -- already burned her house, and that's all she has left.

ALEX GLOVER, FIREFIGHTER: It's pretty difficult terrain. It's really steep and there's a lot of homes, so we're trying to keep the fire from spotting across the road and getting down into these homes down here.


PHILLIPS: Firefighters say the road to Yosemite is still open, but power to much of that area has been turned off to protect firefighters working near the power lines.

LEMON: And in southern New Mexico, rescuers are still searching for two people caught in flash floods. The rain came fast and it came furious over the weekend, the remnants of Hurricane Dolly, of course. Homes and campgrounds in the Ruidoso area are under water. About 800 people, many of them vacationers, have fled to higher ground.


LEMON: And we want to talk now about the view from our viewers. From flooding here in the U.S. to a typhoon battering Taiwan, our I- Reporters are sending in amazing pictures and they're sending videos as well. We will take a closer look in just about 30 minutes.

PHILLIPS: Let's take you live to John McCain right now, speaking in Bakersfield, California. First, Barack Obama was talking economy. Now he is. Let's listen in.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... oil production at a high level, including offshore drilling.

Now, in briefings that I have had with the oil producers, there are some instances within a matter of months, they could be getting additional oil. In some cases, it would be a matter of a year. In some cases, it could take longer than that, depending on the location and whether you use existing rigs or you have to install new rigs.

But there's abundant resources in the view of the people who are in the business that could be exploited within a period of months. So, offshore drilling is something we have to do. I'm sorry that Senator Obama opposes it. Nuclear power is not only vital, I think, to clean energy and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, but nuclear power also is a way to employ hundreds of thousands of Americans.

We can build 45 new nuclear power plants by the year 2030. It would employ some 700,000 people. So, Senator Obama opposes offshore drilling. He opposes reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. He opposes storage of spent nuclear fuel. And, so, he is the Dr. No of America's energy future. And he also opposes the gas tax holiday as a gimmick.

So, I'm very pleased to be here. Again, we will be talking about energy and the economy and continue to do so.

And, by the way, I, as I do every three months, visited my dermatologist this morning. She said that I was doing fine, took out a small little nick from my cheek, as she does regularly. And that will be -- and will be biopsied, just to make sure that everything is fine.

But I want to again urge all Americans to wear sunscreen, particularly this summer, and stay out of the sun as much as possible. Wear sunscreen. And if you ever have any slight discoloration, please go to your dermatologist or your doctor, and get it checked up on. Melanoma is a preventable occurrence. It really is. It's one of the most preventable occurrences. But, remember, a lot of the damage that people receive from the sun when they're young sometimes comes back later in life.

And that's the end of my lecture from the American Dermatology Association today.

Thank you all very much. Thank you.

QUESTION: Senator, your doctor was confident that there was nothing major?

MCCAIN: Absolutely.

PHILLIPS: Senator John McCain.

You would think he's always wearing the baseball cap talking and promoting the Navy because he was a fighter pilot, but, actually, on a serious note, he does that because of the melanoma that he's had to deal with. And he just let us know again that his dermatologist said he looks good, but they waned to take one more biopsy because of another sunspot on his face.

So, we will follow that. But he's in Bakersfield, California, talking about energy, the economy. Also, he's a big promoter of offshore drilling. That's why he's at that specific sit, his wife by his side. We will follow that.

Barack Obama also talking about the economy today, but with movers and shakers within the economic industry, from CEOs to those in the government and also the university system. He was doing that in D.C.

Meanwhile, tight security in Baghdad, but not tight enough. Three female suicide bombers slipped through a security net around hundreds of thousands of marching Shiite pilgrims today and exploded. To the north, a lone woman suicide bomber struck in Kirkuk -- the total carnage for both attacks, at least 70 dead, more than 280 wounded.

CNN's Morgan Neill is in Baghdad.


MORGAN NEILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Iraqi officials say four female suicide bomb attacks have left scores of people dead and wounded in Baghdad and the northern city of Kirkuk.

In Baghdad, an Interior Ministry official says that three suicide bombers set off their explosives within 30 minutes of one another in what appears to have been a coordinated attack targeting Shia pilgrims. Hundreds of thousands of Shia are making their way to the Kadhimiya shrine in northern Baghdad to commemorate the death of Imam Musa al-Kadhim in the eighth century. Officials had stepped up security ahead of the pilgrimage, banning vehicles, cell phones and bags for those entering Kadhimiya north of where the attack took place. But female suicide bombers are often able to slip through, as men are culturally prohibited from searching them, and not enough women have yet been trained to do so.

In Kirkuk, police say a female suicide bomber mixed in with a crowd of Kurds gathered to protest a proposed electoral law and set off her explosives, killing dozens of people and wounding more than 150.

According to the U.S. military, more than two dozen female suicide bombers have carried out attacks this year, compared to just eight last year.

Morgan Neill, CNN, Baghdad.


LEMON: President Bush is expected to sign a housing rescue bill anytime now, and it couldn't come at a better time. That's according to RealtyTrac.

More than 739,000 homeowners received foreclosure-related notices in the second quarter. That's up 121 percent from the second quarter last year. Now, the bill allows many homeowners in arrears to get new fixed-rate loans. It also provides $180 million for counseling and legal help for families in crisis. It provides $15 billion in housing-related tax breaks.

LEMON: The next president, whether he's a Republican or a Democrat, will face a sea of red ink, $482 billion worth. That's the latest forecast from the Bush administration for the fiscal year starting in October. The new figure actually underestimates the deficit. It leaves out about $80 billion in war costs.

And your money, your concerns, be sure to check out for in-depth coverage and analysis. And every day noon Eastern, it's "ISSUE #1" with Ali Velshi and Gerri Willis right here on CNN.

LEMON: Barack Obama visits with journalists of color over the weekend -- a look at his reception.


PHILLIPS: Devastating storms, and flash floods, CNN I-Reporters on the scene and sharing with us in the CNN NEWSROOM.


LEMON: Barack Obama was greeted by cheering crowds on some of his overseas stops last week. Fresh off the plane yesterday stateside, he headed to the UNITY Conference, a meeting of journalists of color. That was in Chicago.

Well, organizers actually sent out an e-mail ahead of time asking people attending to -- quote -- "maintain professional decorum."

Well, I was there at the conference, not exactly at the speech, and Obama got a pretty loud, enthusiastic issue welcome anyway.

So, I raised the issue of objectivity with Barbara Ciara, president of the National Association of Black Journalists.


BARBARA CIARA, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACK JOURNALISTS: I find it interesting that this question is coming up as it relates to journalists of color, when for many, many years journalists have been respectful of people who are in high office.

They certainly stand and applaud when President Bush comes into the press room, and they stand and applaud when at other venues with Mr. McCain. So, I'm not quite sure why the question is arising right now. I think that there is a perception. I think it is a double standard. There's no question about it in my mind.

If you see a black candidate and you see other blacks in a room, all of a sudden, you're family. I think that's a joke. I think that people ought to stop thinking that way. That's what makes this country so separatist to begin with, that people think we all think alike.

If you look at the audience during that CNN broadcast, you will see there were a number of journalists who sat, did not applaud, and basically had their notebooks in hand. And there were others who did react enthusiastically or express themselves as being supporters of Obama. But guess what? They were all people of color and they all apparently had a different reaction.

LEMON: Let's talk about John McCain. You mentioned John McCain in all of this.

On a news program, a Sunday news program, he said that he would be for abolishing affirmative action. In Barack Obama's speech to UNITY, the journalists there, he said -- he called that a flip-flop by John McCain. What was the reaction from the room?

CIARA: Well, basically there was no gasp. There was no audible gasp. Oh, my gosh, John McCain wants to roll back affirmative action.

I think that the expectation of his conservative message certainly would lead you to expect that that's exactly what his position would be. I think what was a surprise was Obama's answer to that question, and that he believed in certain principles associated with affirmative action, but he never quite embraced it, saying, oh, I think let's go with affirmative action all the way. He said he didn't believe in quotas, and he kind of danced around that.

So, I think those of us who were looking for him to be very specific on that question still are yearning for an answer there.

LEMON: OK. "New York Times," "Sunday "Times," front page, it says, black radio on Obama is left's answer to Limbaugh. And it talks about the popular black radio hosts and how they are unabashedly supportive of Barack Obama. Yet and still, Barbara, there's also a criticism that Barack Obama doesn't really go to the black media as much as he should. There's a feeling that he -- from black media that he will go to a mainstream person, or to a Larry King, before he goes to a black media person.

What do you say to that?

CIARA: You know, I think any smart candidate is going to play to his strengths, and also understand his weaknesses. If Barack Obama's camp believes that he is fundamentally weak in one area and needs to play more to that audience, that makes sense, doesn't it?


CIARA: And also if you already have the support in this other camp and you do less bookings with them, maybe you already have that sewed up. I think that strategically that makes sense. I don't think that there's a deeper message in it.


LEMON: Barbara Ciara, president of the National Association of Black Journalists.

And Senator John McCain was also invited to speak at UNITY, by the way, but he said he had -- his schedule conflicted with that, so he could not speak.

The watchdog Media Matters has released its latest survey on diversity on cable news networks. And according to the group, take a listen to this, prime-time guests on CNN, FOX and MSNBC are still overwhelmingly white males. And to be specific, 67 percent of all guests were men -- 84 percent of all guests were white. That's slightly more than the 80 percent of the U.S. population who are Caucasian.

PHILLIPS: Longtime journalist Robert Novak is suffering from a brain tumor. The 77-year-old Washington columnist says that he will soon begin treatment at a Boston hospital.

It's not known yet whether the tumor is malignant. Just last week, Novak was cited for failure to yield the right-of-way after he hit a pedestrian with his car.

LEMON: Saving the endangered Sumatran elephants. CNN's Arwa Damon takes us on a ride with Indonesia's elephant protectors.



LEMON: Love and money, couples merging their lives and their finances.

Here's CNN's Christine Romans.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mix love and money, and you may have a recipe for disaster.

CARMEM WONG ULRICH, AUTHOR, GENERATION DEBT : It may seem that we're very alike when we get together and fall in love, but the truth is, a lot of people and individuals are very different when it comes to how they use their money, how they approach their money, and what their priorities are.

ROMANS: To keep the peace, couple should have a plan.

ULRICH: Every couple has a different way of approaching it. But my best advice is -- have a joint account to take care of your household bills and your finances, but also your financial goals that you have for the future. Outside of that, have your own personal account.

ROMANS: But there isn't a one size fits all approach.

ULRICH: Crunch the numbers on what you're going to be jointly responsible for. Make sure you go through each of your bills, the both of you.

ROMANS: Even though you're equal partners in your relationship, it doesn't always translate to your finances.

ULRICH: So what you want to do is proportion it out -- 80/20, 30/70. Figure out how much each of you make, and then how much you're going to contribute to your household expenses.

ROMANS: Christine Romans, CNN, New York.


PHILLIPS: Well, that is the sound of a typhoon coming shore in Taiwan seen through the eyes of a viewer just like you.


LEMON: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon live at the CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta.

PHILLIPS: And I'm Kyra Phillips in New York.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

LEMON: It is time now to tell you some of the stories we're working on for you right here in the CNN NEWSROOM. Australian officials think an exploding oxygen canister ripped this car-sized hole in this Qantas jet, forcing it to make an emergency landing in the Philippines on Friday.

Well, today a landing gear problem forced another Qantas flight had to head back shortly after takeoff in Australia.

Well, just days before the bridge collapse in Minneapolis, a national safety group says nearly one in four U.S. bridges needs repair. It says a total price tag would be at least $140 billion and would only rise -- rise the longer repairs are delayed.

And we're expecting President Bush to sign a housing bill that passed Congress over the weekend. It could provide emergency relief for homeowners in danger of foreclosure.

PHILLIPS: New help for the mortgage market, Uncle Sam and some of the nation's biggest banks are getting behind a plan to make more money available for home loans. Our personal finance editor Gerri Willis is here with the details about covered bonds. First of all, explain to me what a covered bond is.

GERRI WILLIS, CNN PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR: I know. This is complicated. We talk about all this crazy stuff, CMOs, you name it. This is really what I think the market would call a plain vanilla instrument. It's a bond that's backed by residential mortgages. Remember, we talked about the fancy shmancy CMOs, the collateralized mortgage obligations that the market invested so heavily in and sold, and then they will to unwind them and it was really difficult.

This would be much easier. The Treasury Department is thinking this is a way to shore up the banking industry, give them some added flexibility, some greater liquidity, make life easier for banks who are worried, frankly, about confidence shrinking here, and they want access to quick capital. This would be one way to do it.

For investors, they like it because these instruments are easier to understand. They get it. The CMOs were wildly complicated. Once they were issued, if people didn't pay on their mortgages, there was nowhere to go. So they like it. The question now is will banks like these instruments and will they actually use them. Treasury Department is doing a good job of trying to sell them and trying to put the idea across, but we'll have to wait and see what banks say.

PHILLIPS: I remember that's what financial planners were pushing in the past year. Buy bonds, buy bonds. They're safe.

WILLIS: This is a slightly different thing. This is ...

PHILLIPS: What's the main difference, and is the -- why is the administration pushing this now?

WILLIS: Well, the main difference is that this is an investment that banks would be involved with. This is really to shore up their balance sheet, really to help them. That's what we're thinking about here. And at the end of the day it could really help the mortgage market. It's really hard to get a loan right now and that's because banks are really unwilling to lend.

They're trying to find a way to inject some confidence in this market, get it going, covered bonds are a $2 trillion market in Europe. Germans invented them like 200 years ago, they've been around a long time. They're hoping that maybe this is a way to get that industry going again. Because without a mortgage lending industry you really can't save the housing market and you know the housing market is having so many problems right now.

PHILLIPS: We need mortgages in order to buy a home. It's the only way to float it out. All right, Gerri. Thanks a lot.

WILLIS: My pleasure.

PHILLIPS: Your money, your concerns. Be sure to check out for in-depth coverage and analysis. Every noon Eastern it's "ISSUE #1" with Ali Velshi and Gerri Willis right here on CNN.

LEMON: We have some information into the CNN NEWSROOM. Want to take a look at these pictures from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can see there's a rescue effort going on, we're told this man was rescued from a truck. Here's exactly what happened. This truck apparently was in, somehow got into Lake Michigan, drove into Lake Michigan. I'm just getting the information off of my computer here.

A lift truck fell into the KK River with the driver still inside. It happened this afternoon. It happened near 1225 Car Ferry Drive west of Hoan Bridge if you're in the area, you know that. The driver was rescued with the help of a dive team and the sheriff and Police Department.

And the KK River is short for the Kinnickinnic River in Wisconsin. But again, the driver is OK, and you're looking at live pictures now from our affiliate WTMJ. This truck apparently drove into the river. Dive times rescued the driver. Not exactly sure of his condition. We'll continue to follow it. And you see the rescue teams, all the dive rescue units on the scene now. This is new video that just came into the CNN NEWSROOM.

As we pull back we can see some of the divers and folks who were all part of that rescue. But luckily there's some good news and hopefully this driver will survive and there was no one else inside of the truck at the time. But again a rescue going on. You can see the video of the man, the truck driver on the ground, that's just coming into the CNN NEWSROOM.

In the meantime, the blame game after deadly bombings in Turkey. Funerals were held today for some of the 17 people killed yesterday in two bombings in Istanbul. The Turkish government is blaming the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party for the blasts which wounded more than 150 people.

The Turkish prime minister says the bombings were the deadliest against civilians in five years. The Kurdistan Workers' Party denies involvement and blames so-called "dark forces." Hard-line nationalists allegedly trying to strengthen the political influence of the military.

Police raids and arrests in India today after a series of bombings killed at least 45 people and wounded more than 160. In Mumbai, formerly called Bombay, police raided the home of an American and seized a computer. The police say the computer may have been used to send an e-mail claiming responsibility for the attacks.

Police said the American is not currently a suspect. An underworld figure is under arrest in connection with the bombings, and police say he apparently has ties to a banned Muslim group. An obscure Islamic militant group has claimed responsibility for the bombings.

PHILLIPS: Fewer than 2,000 Sumatran elephants are believed to still exist in the wild and their habitat in Indonesia is shrinking quickly, CNN's Arwa Damon reports on an effort there to protect them.


ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): First order of the day, breakfast. We're at the Flying Squad Camp. Four adult elephants, much, much younger additions and their helpers. Sam, who runs the camp, warns us about Tesso (ph). He's the naughty one, he says. We don't need convincing.

Tesso and the rest are endangered Sumatran elephants. They're fed and bathed by Sam and his team, but life wasn't always this easy. These elephants were captured by government officials and kept in camps of poor conditions. Victims of the struggle for land between man and beast.

SAM SUARDIN, ELEPHANT FLYING SQUAD: The conflict happens when the elephant leave their natural habitat or when people move into their habitat and clear it to plant plantations over it.

DAMON: Now the Flying Squad is part of the battle to save the Sumatran elephant. It was set up by the World Wild Life fund along with the Indonesian government four years ago.

Its mission, as can you see in this video from the WWF, is to coax wild elephants back into what's left of the Tessomilo (ph) Forest, and away from farmers who might shoot or poison them.

We joined them on patrol. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that about 200 Sumatran elephants remain in the Province of Riau, that's a decline of 85 percent in the last two decades. In the same time, much Riau's natural forest, around 4 million ares, has been turned into palm oil plantations, or cut down for the paper industry.

Encroachment by humans into an area proposed by the WWF as a protective park has only exacerbated the conflict.

(on camera): This is the conflict zone, palm, the elephants love it. It's like their version of cotton candy, so they come here looking for a tasty treat and then clash with humans.

(voice-over): And this is the aftermath. Elephants poisoned by farmers. Farmlands trampled by elephants in a desperate search for food. Tohai (ph) used to have a palm plantation. He has replanted it with less tempting rubber trees. He said the Flying Squad patrols have helped keep the elephants away.

But it's what some wildlife experts describe as a Band-Aid solution.

SUARDIN (through translator): What the flying squad does for elephant conservation, especially here, is only a short-term solution. The long-term requires us to provide them with a habitat.

DAMON: Or the WWF warns in a few years Sumatran elephants could be extinct in the wild.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Riau, Indonesia.


LEMON: Blood pressure, drugs, exercise and Alzheimer's. New hope for people with this debilitating disease.


LEMON: Well, a program note for you. GOP presidential candidate John McCain is sitting down for an exclusive interview with our Larry King. It airs tonight at 9:00 Eastern here on CNN.

Lifeguards on Long Island are actually getting counseling. That's how serious it's been on the beaches with a number of swimmers drowning or missing and presumed drowned. Strong rip currents are being blamed. Just since Friday four people have died, and a short time ago, authorities pulled another body from the waters off Queens. They haven't released an identity yet, but a man disappeared in that same area over the weekend, and yesterday divers called off their search for a missing 10-year-old girl.

PHILLIPS: A typhoon batters Taiwan with fierce winds. And as you can see, a tremendous amount of rain. This is what it looked like in Taipei where Typhoon Fung-Wong dumped up to three feet of rain. And the storm isn't finished yet. It's due to hit southeastern China overnight.

And we've been getting a lot of photos and video from our I- reporters caught in the eye of the storms. That is what is keeping CNN's Josh Levs busy.

Josh, what do you have for us?

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, no kidding. In fact, we're going to start out with that very same typhoon. I don't know if you've seen this yet, but what we have video from an I-Reporter who was pretty much in the middle of it. Some powerful stuff. In fact, we're going to listen as well. Let's watch.

You can see that it comes to us from Kenneth Kao who got us this video, who was stuck there as Typhoon Fung-Wong was on its way really crashing through the section of Taiwan where he is.

I also want to bring you another video right now. It's similar. This one comes to us from Heather Correia. Again, let's listen.

Really powerful sound, really powerful video. We thank the I- reporters obviously for bringing us inside that. Now I'm going to bring you over stateside a little bit, because some people here in the U.S. dealing with severe weather situations as well.

I want to take you to the pictures from New Mexico. This is Ruidoso, New Mexico, which as you know has had some serious flooding this week. It's been a rough time. These came to us from Andrea Rushing. And let's take a look at some of these shots.

She tells us the water was just absolutely not supposed to be there. It's generally a small river that is heavily overflowed, it's now washing through a whole bunch of stuff in that area. She says you really can't avoid it. Some people have had to flee the town. But we've heard reports from there. But these honestly are some of the best photos I've seen from Ruidoso.

We also have a little bit of video. Let's take a look at this from Phillip Genest who also was in that same area. This is the dramatic video that's coming to us from that area. If you're near severe weather, obviously we love to get your videos and photos, whatever you have, all you need to do is go to We're going to keep updating this throughout the day. We'll continue to bring more of this to you right here on TV, as well as online, videos from anywhere in the world, with your severe weather, we've got it for you --

There you go, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Thanks a lot, Josh.

LEVS: You got it.

LEMON: New hope for families dealing with Alzheimer's. Researchers say common blood pressure drugs could be the key. I spoke with our medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen about this just a little bit earlier.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: The big news, as Don said, is blood pressure drugs. They're called angiotensin receptor blockers, and they're given to heart failure patients, to blood pressure patients, and what they found is that these drugs actually delayed dementia by two years. And that's quite a bit. So folks still got Alzheimer's disease, but there seems to be a delay in the progression by two years.

And Don, there was also an interesting study about an antihistamine, of all drugs, which was pretty surprising, but that also seemed to improve cognitive function.

LEMON: If you've ever had to deal with it I your family, it's really awful. And I'm looking here, you said healthier lives, I think there's some information about exercise and Alzheimer's?

COHEN: Yes. They actually looked at an area of the brain that's very affected, affected very dramatically by Alzheimer's called the hippocampus. What they found is that folks who got exercise, and I mean real cardiovascular exercise that gets your heart going, that those folks had less atrophy of the hippocampus. So yet another reason why we all ought to exercise. As if we didn't have enough reason before this.


PHILLIPS: Straight ahead, from retiree to role model: how one man is making his mark in a racy and risky business.


LEMON: All right, thought you've seen just about everything under the sun? Maybe not. You should watch this. A Japanese retiree is a role model of sorts for his fellow 70-somethings, but his roles aren't suitable for family viewing.

Here's CNN's Kyung Lah.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Shigeo Tokuda looks like your average retiree but there's nothing average about this 73- year-old when he steps in front of the camera.

Shigeo Tokuda is a porn star. From the old to the young, Tokuda woos and coos and always gets the girl. With 200 porn movies under his belt, Tokuda, that's his porn name, is the leading man in the genre of elderly porn.

"I retired and didn't have anything to do," says Tokuda, a former 9:00 to 5:00 travel agent. "This is my second life. I don't know how long I can keep living but I want to enjoy the rest of it."

Tokuda says he's healthier now than he's been in years. So are sales of his DVDs.

"To be honest I don't understand why people are buying these videos," says Ryuichi Kadowaki, president of Ruby Productions which makes Tokuda's movies. Ruby pioneered the elderly porn field by accident. He started producing adult movies with middle-aged stars, then old and older actors and saw better and better sales. Ruby now specializes in elderly porn, and is looking into selling his DVDs in retirement homes, and, "The porn industry in Los Angeles just called. They want to get in on this, too."

Director Gaichi Kono says senior citizens are encouraged by Tokuda and other elderly actors. "In his generation Tokuda is a superstar, says Kono. He encourages older people to think I can do that this because that old man can do this."

Japan has a higher percentage of people over the age of 65 than any other country in the world. Tokuda says while his retirement may be unconventional, he hopes he's showing that seniors can continue to be active and vibrant. "My friends say I'm lucky because I have a job where I'm valued," says Tokuda. "Many seniors get depressed because they don't have anything to do, they go crazy."

Tokuda's wife and daughter support his career but don't want to know the details. Tokuda hopes to work until he's 80 or even older, giving it his all, he says, until the end.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Tokyo.


PHILLIPS: A little different kind of film we're going to talk about now. Holy box office. "The Dark Knight" has set another record in record time. The Batman sequel took just 10 days to rake in $300 million, that passes the previous record set by "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," which took 16 days to reach the $300 million mark. Some analysts say "The Dark Knight" could eventually top "Titanic" as the best cinematic money-maker ever.

LEMON: Time now to check in with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

PHILLIPS: He's standing by in "THE SITUATION ROOM" to tell us what's coming up at the top of the hour.

Hey, Wolf?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, guys. Thanks very much.

John McCain has a skin growth removed from his face. The presidential candidate has a history of potentially deadly skin cancer. We're waiting to find out whether this one is something actually to worry about.

One hundred days until Americans go to the polls to choose a new president. What each candidate will focus in on in this, the final stretch.

And the prime minister of Pakistan is our guest here in "THE SITUATION ROOM." We're talking about a missile strike today that may have taken up a major member of al Qaeda in Pakistan. My exclusive one on one interview with the prime minister. That is coming up as well. All that and a lot more right here in "THE SITUATION ROOM."

Back to you, guys.

LEMON: All right, Wolf, we'll be watching. Thank you very much.

Closing bell and all of the action on Wall Street just ahead.


LEMON: OK, so there is an old saying, liquor is quicker but for a group of runners in Arizona, it's beer that gets them going. Yesterday marked their first ever 30-pack marathon. Twenty-six point two miles of pounding the pavement, and the booze as well. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

"CHARLOTTE THE HARLOT", MARATHON TIMEKEEPER: It's just a fun, different thing to do. It's the middle of summer in Tucson, there's not much else going on, so it's just something fun to do.

"BLOODY Z", MARATHON RUNNER: I'm getting ready to go to Iraq and this is a last chance to go nuts, before I go overseas and get all the beer intake I can.


LEMON: So don't try this at home a cording to one witness there was a fair share of, shall we say, nausea, on the course. You can try it at home. Just don't do them together. I think that would be a fair assessment, don't you think?

PHILLIPS: Well, I tell you what a fair assessment is, knocking down a few brews at the Bruce Springsteen concert with Susan Lisovicz.

LEMON: I want to know who got pulled up on stage like Courtney Cox back in the eighties in the video.

PHILLIPS: Here you go, Susan, here's your music just for you. I tell you what, you have not experienced a concert until you go with Susan Lisovicz and I tell you what, it's a piece of America, seeing the Bruce in Jersey, his hometown.


PHILLIPS: See our picture there?

That's the picture when he was looking at Susan, blowing her a kiss. I snapped a photo of the man reaching out to Susan Lisovicz, there it is, the Bruce loves her.

LISOVICZ: He must have laser vision, Kyra, because our seats were good, they weren't quite that good. I think, yes, they were probably about 500 people ahead of us so we still had a great night, and yes, I think that if you were going to see one of the best live performers in rock 'n' roll, you should go to his home state, the Garden State and you should go with a Jersey girl, and Kyra, so you did it right, it was a beautiful night and it was fun. Going with you and tomorrow we'll do something else because of your short stay here we're going to go to the Bronx.

PHILLIPS: That's right. The Yankee game. Bruce Springsteen and the Yankees, I couldn't have a better New York experience.

LEMON: Before you get to the experience, really, concert tickets, my gosh, what did that set guys back? A ton?

LISOVICZ: We paid above face value.

PHILLIPS: But it was worth it.

LISOVICZ: It was worth it. I usually say "buy low."

PHILLIPS: And if you saw the Jersey girls and the big hair you got to get good seats so you can see the stage.

LEMON: You got to stand up the entire time.

PHILLIPS: We were standing the entire time, that's for sure, and he was worth it, and I'm wearing flat shoes today as a result.

LEMON: Glad you guys had fun.

LISOVICZ: All right. No fun on Wall Street today, guys. Such a quiet day and the market is not acting that way. We're looking at a sell-off that's accelerating in the final seconds of trading, triple- digit losses. Two percent for the three major averages.

Financial stocks getting hammered. No major news today. The IMF did warn that more economic consequences could come as a result of the credit crunch, but we've been hearing warnings about that for some time, so let's let it go. Kyra, it was fun last night. We'll do it all again tomorrow and we'll be in the Bronx tomorrow.

PHILLIPS: Sounds good. Thanks, Susan.

All right. Let's take you now to Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. Wolf?

LEMON: Take it away, Wolf.