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Tropical Storm Edouard Targets Texas Coast; Gas Prices Still Falling; Deadly Stampede in India Leaves at Least 133 Dead; HSBC Reports 30 Percent Drop in Profit

Aired August 04, 2008 - 09:00   ET


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

See events come into the NEWSROOM live on Monday, the 4th of August.

Here's what's on the rundown.

Edouard targeting the Texas coast. Will it grow into a hurricane? And broiling, triple-digit heat smothering the heartlands.

HARRIS: They're not household names. Two congressmen surfacing as possible VP material.

COLLINS: China stifling a noisy protest near Tiananmen Square today. The Beijing Olympics four days to go. No complaining allowed, in the NEWSROOM.

Extreme weather by the numbers. This morning, we're watching two threats that could impact millions of Americans. I'm going to go ahead and show you along the Gulf of Mexico emergency crews are scrambling now to get ready for tropical storm Edouard. It could be near hurricane strength when it charges ashore tomorrow.

In the crosshairs, Texas or southwest Louisiana. And triple- digit temperatures are forecast for Dallas, Texas, northward. Heat warnings are in effect all across the southern plains and as far east as Tennessee.

HARRIS: So without a moment hesitation, Reynolds Wolf -- there he is -- in the Severe Weather Center.

And Reynolds, what do you want to start with, Edouard?

REYNOLDS WOLF, AMS METEOROLOGIST: We're going to start with Edouard. That's the heavy hitter out there right now.

What is so weird about this storm is how quickly it intensified. Just yesterday -- at one point it was a cluster of thunderstorms yesterday morning and then it became a depression and now it's a tropical storm. And it's getting much stronger. Winds right now at 50, but some occasional gusts at 65. Just over the last hour we've also seen something else, we've seen the forward move into the storm has slowed down a little bit -- from 9 miles per hour to 8 miles per hour. Now it doesn't seem like much, but believe me that is significant because the more time this storm spins over this warm water with minimal shear, the better possibility it has to really intensify, to really strengthen.

Again, winds at 65 miles an hour. You tack on an additional 9 miles per hour to those gusts, when they, again, begin to ramp up, you're going to be dealing with a hurricane.

What we have right now, we already have some watches, we already have some warnings. Now, you'll notice from the mouth of Mississippi over to Cameron, this area shaded in red, this is your tropical storm warning. However, you get a hurricane watch in effect from Cameron, Louisiana, back to Port O'Connor, Texas, that of course includes Houston, and it includes the Galveston area.

The latest path we have from the National Hurricane Center shows that intensification we were talking about, winds ramping up to 70 miles per hour, sustained gusts will be stronger by 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday. Then, making its way onshore, we're thinking by early afternoon, on Tuesday right near Galveston. However, you look at the cone of probability and there is the potential the storm could move a little bit more to the north. Perhaps maybe hitting -- say -- Orange, Texas, maybe even over to the Louisiana coastline. But it could also go a little bit farther to the south and make landfall just north of Corpus Christi. Regardless, it is going to be a big rainmaker for much of Texas.

Now, the wind, that's something you really don't want in Texas. The rainfall, in many ways, is great news for the state. Of course, we've been talking about the extreme heat, but they've been also dealing with an extreme drought and as this rainfall moves over to parts of Austin and back into San Antonio, into the Texas Hill Country, it could bring some beneficial rainfall. The problem is even there, too much, in a very, very short time, is not a good thing. It could spawn some flooding.

Coming up, we're going to be talking more about that heat later on, but for now we're keeping a sharp eye on Edouard. Let's send it back to you.

HARRIS: Good move.

COLLINS: Very good. Thank you there. Appreciate that.

And as Edouard approaches the Texas coast, many Texans are still cleaning up from Hurricane Dolly. Less than two weeks ago, on July 23rd, the storm plowed into southwestern Texas as a category 2 hurricane. It had sustained winds of 100 miles per hour and in some places dumped more than a foot of rain in very short amount of time. Hundreds of thousands of people were left without power.

So when the weather does become the news, remember to send us your iReports. Just go to or type "" into your cell phone. But please remember to stay safe.

HARRIS: Oil is down, gas is down. Airfares are way, way up. Your money, your concerns, "ISSUE #1" here at CNN.

Allan Chernoff is "Minding Your Business" in for Ali Velshi.

And, Allan, what do you want to start with? Do you want to start with gas and oil? I know you've got some numbers coming in on Fannie and Freddie as well.

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Let's talk about the good news.


CHERNOFF: The good news is at the gas pump we are down for the 18th consecutive day. Gas right now, on average, $3.88 a gallon across the nation. That's a real improvement, although not quite as good as it was in Morristown, New Jersey yesterday.

A church over there, called the liquid church, was selling gas at -- get this -- 99 cents a gallon. And, yes, you're looking at the line. Some people were waiting three hours to fill up. Actually, not even fill up. They were just getting 10 gallons. But nonetheless, it was a great deal for people in Morristown, New Jersey yesterday.

And in terms of the gas prices that the rest of us are going to be paying, well, I just got off the line with Tom Klazo of the Oil Price Information Service. He says that if oil remains where it is right now -- and it's at $124 a barrel at the moment -- he says gas will probably fall as low as $3.80 a gallon.

HARRIS: Great.

CHERNOFF: So we still have more pickup, more declines to see at the pump. That is if oil remains where it is.

Tony, as you know, oil doesn't tend to remain all that stable.

HARRIS: Isn't that the truth? And what does all of this mean for air travel? I'm hoping it means that maybe we'll get a reduction in the price of a ticket.

CHERNOFF: Don't count on it, Tony, OK?


CHERNOFF: What's happening over there, the airlines say that they are expecting to pay more than $60 billion for fuel this year. So they've got a lot of catching up to do. They are raising their fares dramatically, and they're going to keep on doing that as long as they can, even if the price of oil declines.

Let's have a look at some of the increases. On average fares are up about 15 percent. But have a look at this -- Chicago to Minneapolis, up 276 percent. Right there, you're paying more than $400 for a ticket.

Basically you're paying a buck a mile for that flight. Chicago to Charlotte, $432, Atlanta to Boston, $560, dramatic increases compared to last year.

And, Tony, the news is not going to get good in the air.


CHERNOFF: Anytime soon.

HARRIS: Boy, at those prices, you are pricing a lot of people out of air travel. You really are. It's just too bad. All right.

CHERNOFF: You're talking stay-cations.

HARRIS: Stay-cations, that's it.

All right, Allan, appreciate it. Thank you.

And stay with us as we keep an eye on your money. At the bottom of the hour we will go to Wall Street for the opening bell and what could be another white-knuckled ride there. We're doing that at the bottom of the hour right here on CNN.

COLLINS: On the road with the candidates today, Barack Obama unveiling what he calls a new energy plan for America. He'll be speaking in Lansing, Michigan later this morning. And we are planning live coverage.

Obama now says he's willing to consider offshore drilling if that's what it takes to get a deal through Congress.

By the way, he is celebrating his 47th birthday today.

John McCain turns his attention to small business owners. He's meeting with them this afternoon in Lafayette Hills, Pennsylvania. McCain then heads to the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota.

Tony, you're going there, too, right?

HARRIS: I'm on my way.

COLLINS: The real buzz this morning, though, who's on the shortlist for VP? With new developments on that front, our Ed Henry now from Washington.

Ed, I know you just came from Sturgis yourself, right?


COLLINS: So who's on the short list? Both sides, everybody wants to know.

HENRY: Well, good morning, Heidi. You know the bottom line is that there's a lot of chatter this morning about the fact that Barack Obama will be in Indiana on Wednesday. That's the home state, of course, of Evan Bayh, someone who's been on the Democratic shortlist for some time. A lot of people wondering whether this is a signal.

I'm being told by people inside the Obama camp, don't read too much into it. Indiana is a key state that Obama wants to hit. Obviously, it's been known as a red state -- a Republican state -- that he's hoping to turn blue. He wants to get that in the Democratic column. But the bottom line is Evan Bayh is a relatively fresh face, somebody that a lot of people think could be the pick.

Someone also who could fit along the same lines would be Tim Kaine, the governor of Virginia. A lot of buzz about him. Also Virginia being a state that's traditionally been Republican. It has been going more Democratic in recent years in terms of their Senate races, governors' races, as well. Tim Kaine on that list.

And, of course, Joe Biden. A lot of people talking about the need, potentially, for Barack Obama to try to match John McCain on national security. Joe Biden, obviously, a lot of national security credentials, could help Barack Obama check that box, if you will.

Ted Edwards is the new name. You see him there on the screen.


HENRY: A Democratic congressman from Texas, really being pushed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi as somebody who actually comes from the home turf of President Bush, would be another example of Barack Obama trying to say he can play in some of these Republican states.

And finally Governor Sebelius of Kansas, yet another Republican state, but a chance also because Barack Obama has some family roots in Kansas to try to play into his personal story and, of course, if he doesn't pick Hillary Clinton, maybe pick another female to try and reach out to female voters -- Heidi.

COLLINS: If you were a betting man, who do you think it's going to be?

HENRY: You know...

COLLINS: Both sides. Come on.

HENRY: You really don't know. I mean the question right now is timing, because there's some people who are thinking maybe Barack Obama will do it now this week, because otherwise he'd have to probably wait until after the Olympics, do it at the end of the August, which would be...


HENRY: ... on the eve of the Democratic convention. I think the two names on the Democratic side most often heard are Bayh and Kaine. Maybe Bayh has a slight edge because he's a former Clinton supporter. So, again, if Barack Obama does not pick Clinton, he can say at least there's an olive branch to somebody in the Clinton camp. But Tim Kaine getting a lot of attention as well -- Heidi.

COLLINS: All right. Well, we'll be watching it very closely.

Nice to see you back.

HENRY: Good to see you.

COLLINS: Thanks, Ed.

HENRY: Take care.

HARRIS: Protests in the shadow of Tiananmen Square. Beijing police make sure it's a short one.


COLLINS: In India, investigators say a deadly stampede was probably triggered by a false report of a landslide.

At least 133 people were killed in the stampede. It happened Sunday at a remote Hindu temple during a crowded religious festival. This morning, survivors are searching rows and rows of bodies for their missing relatives.

Officials say some victims were crushed. Others fell to their death when a railing collapsed. 40 people were hurt.

HARRIS: And how about this? A whisk to safety. Helicopters pick up survivors of a deadly ice avalanche. The peak known as K2 is the second highest mountain in the world. It is located near Pakistan's border with China.

Officials say the rescued climbers have frostbite. At least 11 other people on that mountain are still missing and believed to be dead. We do know, however, that there's at least one other survivor still on the mountain. A Pakistan army spokesman says right now that climber's trying to get to an area where he can be reached by choppers.

COLLINS: President Bush leaves for Asia this afternoon, as a diplomatic trip with sports thrown in. The first stop, a visit with troops at a base in Alaska and then it's on to South Korea and Thailand before he arrives in China on Friday for the Olympics opening ceremonies. He is also scheduled to attend a few events including the U.S. basketball team's game against China.

President Bush defended his decision to attend the games. He says he is there to support the U.S. athletes.

HARRIS: The Olympic flame is getting closer to Beijing. Today the torch stopped in Mianyang, one of the areas hard hit by May's deadly earthquake. The torch was lit in the stadium that once housed thousands of quake victims. This segment of the relay was supposed to be held in mid-June but had to be postponed.

You remember that Mianyang was among the communities threatened by the largest quake lake.

COLLINS: Protesters in Tiananmen Square. Police quick to crack down but they aren't banning all demonstrations as long as the message is approved and is far away from the Olympic Games.

CNN's Emily Chang from Beijing.


EMILY CHANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You don't see this often in China. Near Tiananmen Square, angry Chinese stage a protest.

"We're not against the Olympics," this woman says, "but they shouldn't have destroyed my house, evicted me and left me homeless."

Their neighborhood sits on prime real estate and is being turned into a commercial strip.

"The developers can't take advantage of the fact that it's the Olympics and take away my house," says another woman.

Eviction -- it's one of the biggest complaints among Beijing locals as land is seized for redevelopment. This protest was quickly stifled by police. In fact, impromptu protests are not allowed in China. But in the last few months, it's become clear, some activists will try anyway, hoping to get attention for sensitive issues like human rights in Tibet and Darfur.

So, in addition to Olympic venues, the government has set up protest venues -- three parks across the city but well away from sporting events and any spectators.

(on camera): This is Ritan Park, one of the designated protest zones. But in order to demonstrate here, protesters must submit an application in person five days prior to the event, including the purpose, date, and time, and all posters and slogans that will be used.

(voice-over): But how many requests will be granted? And will those critical of China get a turn?

The last large-scale protest approved was three years ago, an anti-Japan rally. The government ended it as more and more people joined up and protesters turned aggressive.

Still, officials insist dissent will be allowed during the Olympics. The question remains, what will happen if dissenters break the official rules?

Emily Chang, CNN, Beijing.


COLLINS: Everything you want to know about the summer Olympics is in one place. We've teamed with "Sports Illustrated" to create the "Fanzone" Web site. The athletes, the events, all the actions and results, it's at

HARRIS: Boy, a tough day around here in Atlanta. A popular baseball broadcaster Skip Caray has died. You may know him as the voice of the Atlanta Braves.

Caray announced their games on television and radio for 33 years. Really it's a day of mourning in Atlanta. The team says he died in his sleep. He had been doing only home games this year due to failing health.

Caray's father -- just a giant of the game. Harry Caray was the hall of fame broadcaster for the Cubs and Cardinals. His son Chip is an announcer for the Braves.

Skip Caray, 68 years old.

COLLINS: The anthrax attacks, the DNA link to the suspect's lab. Plus you'll hear from his frightened therapist.


HARRIS: The 2001 anthrax attacks, we're learning more about evidence collected in the case and hearing chilling tapes from the suspect's former therapist.

Our Brianna Keilar is on the story.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): CNN has learned there is DNA evidence linking the anthrax used in the 2001 mailings to a flask used in Bruce Ivins' army laboratory according to a source familiar with the investigation.

As federal prosecutors grew closer to charging Bruce Ivins in connection with the anthrax attacks, his therapist, Jean Duley, told a Maryland judge in late July that she was scared to death of Ivins and sought a temporary restraining order against him.

In court tapes obtained by "The New York Times," Duley described a murder plot the troubled scientist laid out during a group therapy session.


JEAN DULEY, IVINS'S THERAPIST: He proceeded to describe to the group of very long and detailed homicidal plan and intention to -- that he had bought a bullet proof vest, had obtained a gun, a very detailed plan to kill his coworkers. To that because he was about to be indicted on capital murder charges he was going to go out in a blaze of glory. That he was going to take everybody out with him. That he had been roaming the streets of Frederick trying to pick a fight with somebody so that he could stab them.


KEILAR: After that therapy session, Duley started the process to have Ivins involuntary committed to a high-security mental health facility. She told the court she had been subpoenaed to testify against Ivins before a federal grand jury. As she made her case for a restraining order, Duley also said Ivins had been "forensically diagnosed by several top psychiatrists as a sociopathic homicidal killer."

CNN has not been able to confirm those diagnoses. Just days after this testimony, Ivins killed himself in Frederick, Maryland.

Prosecutors were so sure they had their man they had scheduled a meeting to discuss a possible plea bargain with Ivins's attorney last Tuesday, the day Ivins died. Officials planned to reveal some of their evidence at that meeting.

But many people are skeptical the FBI has got it right this time, especially after repeated mistakes throughout the seven-year investigation.

Jeffrey Adamovicz, a former bacteriology chief who worked with Ivins for 12 at Fort Detrick's biodefense lab, says it would have been nearly impossible for Ivins to pull off the attacks.

JEFFREY ADAMOVICZ, FORMER COLLEAGUE OF IVINS: The labs were not equipped, for instance, with a lot of the equipment that would have been required to supposedly dry this material down and create the highly refined state that it was in.

KEILAR (on camera): Sources familiar with the investigation say authorities may publicly release their evidence against Ivins as soon as this week, and then go ahead and close the case. According to those sources, that would happen after a federal judge unseals grand jury evidence, and officials brief the families of those who were killed and injured in the 2001 attack.

Brianna Keilar, CNN, Washington.


COLLINS: Murdered on their Caribbean honeymoon. Hospital officials say a newlywed shot during a botched robbery in Antigua has died.

Ben Mullany, who's been in a coma since he was shot, was taken off life support. Catherine Mullany died instantly during the shooting at the couple's honeymoon cabin.

British papers are reporting the couple will be buried together at the church where they were married only three weeks earlier. The police are still looking for the killer.

HARRIS: A breakfast of Wall Street, a serving of new economic numbers for you. Minutes to the opening bell and we are tracking the Dow all day.


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

HARRIS: And I'm Tony Harris. You're back in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Markets opening on Wall Street, just about -- we've got a little bit of time. After a volatile week with the Dow posting triple-digit moves in four out of five sessions.

All right, Susan Lisovicz at the New York Stock Exchange with an early look at how things are shaping up.

Susan, good morning.


Well, you know, we are expecting a quiet open. Why is that?

HARRIS: Really? OK.

LISOVICZ: Yes, well, because there's not a whole lot of news out there. This is peak vacation time, and finally, because we have a decision on interest rates this week.

And, in fact, we have a lot of decisions on interest rates from Australia, the UK, and the Euro zone, and, of course, most importantly from the Federal Reserve. U.S. policy makers are expected to hold interest rates steady tomorrow as they struggle to balance the conflicting problems of a sluggish economy against rising inflation.

Adding to inflation fears, a report released an hour ago shows personal spending increased by just over half a percent in June.

That sounds OK, right? But the increase was due to rising prices.


LISOVICZ: Surfing that out, spending actually fell.

Meanwhile, incomes rose just slightly, and the credit crunch also continues to rear its ugly head.

HSBC, your biggest bank, reported nearly 30 percent drop in profits for the first half of the year. HSBC, like so many others, hurt by the U.S. mortgage crisis. Separately, an influential analyst says the crisis is far from over. HSBC shares are down 2 percent in pre-market, and we'll, of course, be watching financials, and we're expecting a quiet open.

One thing that we're also watching, oil prices, Tony, right now, down about a buck. Holding steady, just over $124 a barrel.

HARRIS: Mm-hmm.

LISOVICZ: This as investors keep an eye on tropical storm Edouard, which is in the Gulf of Mexico, where so many oil rigs and oil facilities...

HARRIS: That's right.

LISOVICZ: ... are on the Gulf coastline. So that could be something that will be moving around today.

But, you know, really the major headlines of the week, really comes tomorrow.

And there's the opening bell.

And we're not expecting a whole lot of movement, and the first few seconds of trading, or maybe even possibly for the day, Tony, because, like I said, there's always a bit of caution.

HARRIS: Yes, yes.

LISOVICZ: Even though the decision is pretty much pre-ordained. They expect the Fed really has its hands tied, because the economy continues to slow. While inflation remains a huge problem. We're seeing some movement to the downside, but just modestly, Tony.

HARRIS: So, what are you looking forward to tomorrow in terms of information, numbers, reports? What are you looking -- what are you pointing to?

LISOVICZ: Well, you know, the Fed comes out at 2:15.


LISOVICZ: So, we'll expect it to be a slow day right up until then. And as we said, you know, this is a -- this is a real conundrum for the Federal Reserve.


LISOVICZ: Because the economy, you typically want to juice the economy by lowering interest rates, but you -- but at the same time prices are going up. And the way you fight that is by raising the interest rates. So, the Fed is probably just going to do nothing. That is the consensus on Wall Street.

HARRIS: Got you.

LISOVICZ: The statement that accompanies it could give some insight as to what is bothering the Fed, and also give a clue as to when interest rates might rise. That's the expectation that the Fed will raise rates when it makes its next move. But it can't do anything at the moment.

HARRIS: Terrific. Good to see you, Susan.

LISOVICZ: Likewise, Tony.

HARRIS: We'll be checking in with you throughout the morning. Thank you.

LISOVICZ: Count on it.

COLLINS: Less than two weeks after Hurricane Dolly slammed into the South Texas Coast, millions of people just to the north are bracing for yet another storm. Tropical Storm Edouard could be a hurricane by the time it makes landfall tomorrow.

In the crosshairs and scrambling to get ready, Texas and southwest Louisiana. Very busy day in the weather center. Of course, we want to get straight over to Reynolds Wolf who is standing by with the latest.

Hey, there, Reynolds.

WOLF: The latest we have in the storm, Heidi, is that it is still moving to the west at 8 miles per hour, winds at 50, gust up to 65. We do expect that to change as the storm surges its way to the west. It is expected to intensify.

Already to the west, we have a hurricane watch. That's in effect from Cameron, Louisiana to Port O'Connor, Texas, and then for the rest of the Louisiana coast from Cameron back over to even the Mouth of the Mississippi.

We currently have a tropical storm warning that is in effect. The latest path from the National Hurricane Center shows that movement to the west and veering northwest with winds of 70 miles per hour by 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday. But there is the possibility the storm could become a Category 1 hurricane before it makes landfall sometime early tomorrow afternoon. Eventually, the storm will move right into Central Texas, and could provide quite a bit of rainfall. Something they desperately need in Texas.

Something else they desperately need in Texas is a bit of a cool down. Take a look at these temperatures behind me. For much of the nation, temperatures have been anywhere from 5 to 10 to even 15 degrees above normal.

Yesterday in Texas, in Dallas, they set a record, getting up to 107 degrees. Take a look at the shots that we have for you from Dallas this morning. You can see the sun is coming up. The temperatures, well, yes, they're going to go up. That mercury is going to rise quite a bit this afternoon. We forecast highs about 106 degrees in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Farther to the south in Houston, not quite as warm, but still plenty humid. There's the shot from Houston compliments of KHOU. It is going to be a lovely day there but very warm. And of course, that tropical system brewing out in the gulf, you can expect more cloud of coverage to move in to Houston later on this afternoon.

Here are some of the highs yesterday. The records -- Dallas, Oklahoma City, Shreveport, Louisiana, El Dorado, Arkansas, even Little Rock all got into the triple digits. It could happen once again today. Back to you.

HARRIS: Boy, that's hot. That's hot.


WOLF: Way to go. Unbelievable.

HARRIS: That's crazy hot.

COLLINS: Really hot.

WOLF: Crazy times, yes.

HARRIS: Oh, Reynolds, thank you.

COLLINS: All right, Reynolds, thank you. We'll check back later on.

HARRIS: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger symbolically terminated. Dozens of state workers gathered outside Schwarzenegger's L.A. estate yesterday to deliver a pink slip. That's because last week, he signed an executive order laying off more than 10,000 state workers. Thousands more had their pay reduced to minimum wage.

The reason, lawmakers have refused to pass a budget. Now, more than a month into the new fiscal year, the state is running out of money.

COLLINS: Rising fuel prices are putting a squeeze on many state budgets. In Utah, they want to save more by working fewer days. I love this plan. Beginning today, workers in most state offices begin a four-day workweek. It is designed to save the state more than $3 million in energy costs. Some offices and services like the courts will stay on a five-day schedule.

HARRIS: OK, are you looking to beat the high cost of gas? Who isn't? Poppy Harlow has tips that are "Right on Your Money."


POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Americans are driving less, as gas prices rise. But there are many ways to save fuel, even when you're on the road.

PETER VALDES-DAPENA, SR. WRITER, CNNMONEY.COM: The biggest thing you can do is just take it easy on the gas pedal. When the light turns green, accelerate gently away. If you're approaching a red light or a stop sign, take your foot off the gas earlier. Let the car coast to that stop sign and stop gently. When you're on the highway, slow down. HARLOW: When you need to stop your car for more than a few seconds, consider turning the engine off. Though not if you're in traffic.

VALDES-DAPENA: People waste an awful lot of gas just idling for no reason. Also if you're running errands, don't wait and run one errand at a time. Plan what you're doing. Run your errands in a line. Give your engine a chance to warm up, and stay warm so as you turn it off and on, you're not wasting a lot of gas turning the car off and on.

HARLOW: Still, you can't believe everything you hear.

VALDES-DAPENA: Probably the biggest myth about saving gas is people think that things like, you know, changing your air filter and things like that, changing your oil, are going to have a big impact in fuel savings.

You could absolutely maintain your car, keep your car drivable and keep it safe. But, the reality is, you're not going to see a huge impact on your fuel economy. So, the big thing is, quite simply, change how you drive.

HARLOW: And that's this week's "Right on Your Money."


COLLINS: Offshore drilling, John McCain is for it. Barack Obama has opposed it, but hear what he's saying now.


HARRIS: Hey, we want to tell you a little about the podcast. Where's the music? The podcast music. OK, we'll get to it in a second.

You know, Heidi, we've gotten a little heavy with the podcast. You know, with a lot of the hard-hitting news, and now we have started to lighten it up just a touch, and get some of the stories that just don't make it into the big newscast every morning.

COLLINS: I hear there's a video of the CNN golf tournament.

HARRIS: Oh, is there really? We haven't talked about it yet, have we?

COLLINS: No, we'll get to it.

HARRIS: OK. So, you know to catch us weekday mornings from 9:00 until noon right here in the NEWSROOM, but you need to also know, and you maybe do already, that you can take us with you anywhere on your iPod. The CNN NEWSROOM podcast is available to you 24/7 right there on your iPod. Join us today.

COLLINS: In this critical campaign season, we want to bring you more from the candidates in their own words. Here's Barack Obama now, speaking to supporters in Florida, about offshore oil drilling. He opposes it, but says he'll consider it as part of a compromise to get an energy bill passed.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: This wasn't really a new position. What I'm saying is that we can't drill our way out of the problem, that every energy expert I have spoken with, every scientist, every engineer, will tell you that with three percent of the world's oil reserves and 25 percent of the world's oil utilization, we can keep on drilling all we want. But the long-term trend is for flat or decreasing oil supply and increased consumption.

And so what that means is, is that if we want to have true oil independence, if we want to have true energy independence, then we're going to have become much more efficient in terms of how we use energy. What I said was that the gang of 10 bill, what I've seen so far, and we haven't seen final legislation, has some of the very aggressive elements that I've outlined in my plan to move us in the direction of genuine energy independence.

You know, a good example is their goal that in 20 years, 85 percent of the cars on the road are no longer petroleum-based. That, I think, is the kind of bold step that we need. The fact that they're willing to put in $7 billion to help the auto industry retool, so that those new energy efficient cars are made in America, I think, is a positive step.

So, there are a whole bunch of good things that have been proposed by this bipartisan group. I remain skeptical of some of the drilling provisions. But I will give them credit that the way they crafted the drilling provisions are about as careful and responsible as you might expect for a drilling agenda.

And what I don't want to do is for the best to be the enemy of the good here. And if we can come up with a genuine bipartisan compromise in which I have to accept some things I don't like or the Democrats have to accept some that they don't like in exchange for actually moving us in the direction of energy independence, then that's something I am open to.

Obviously, this is very preliminary. These are early details. But I wanted to, you know, send a strong signal that we can't allow, you know, partisan bickering or the desire to score political points to get in the way of providing some genuine relief to people who are struggling.


COLLINS: Barack Obama in his own words. We'll hear from him live later this morning. He has an event in Lansing, Michigan, talking energy.

HARRIS: John McCain has his own ideas on energy and working with Congress. And an opinion on Barack Obama's proposals. Here he is taking questions from reporters during a stop in Florida. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The fact is that we are gridlocked in Congress. We are gridlocked because the Democratic leadership refuses to reach across the aisle and work with the Republicans. We are gridlocked on virtually every single issue.

And so, I want to assure you, when I'm president, I will reach across the aisle, we will sit down, we will work together, and we will do it in a bipartisan fashion. And we'll solve the issues that confront the American people.

Yes, sir?

QUESTION: Senator Obama earlier today expressed support for a plan, a bipartisan energy plan that would allow oil drilling within 50 miles of Florida's west coast. I would like to get your reaction to that, and to him coming around to that position.

MCCAIN: We need oil drilling, and we need it now offshore. We need it now.

He has consistently opposed it. He has opposed nuclear power. He has opposed reprocessing. He has opposed storage. And the only thing I've heard him say is that we should inflate our tires.

So, he has no plan for addressing the energy challenges that we face. And we need drilling everywhere that the states and the governors, such as in the state of Florida, approve of.


QUESTION: Please tell us the thinking behind this new Web ad that mocks Obama as a Messiah-like figure.

MCCAIN: We were having some fun. We were having some fun with our supporters that we sent it out to. And we're going to display a sense of humor in this campaign.

I noticed a couple of days ago that Senator Obama challenged me to a duel. Well, light sabers is my weapon of choice.

But seriously, if we have differences, we should have appeared at the Urban League convention today. I've asked him time after time to appear with me on the same stage so we can discuss the issues that are important to the American people.

So, I look forward to people across this country saying, appear together, appear in town hall meetings, and discuss the issues that are important to the United States of America.

Kelli (ph)?

QUESTION: Can I just follow up on that, Senator? The political video today does use religious imagery. Some people might have questions about that. And where does mocking, as it has been described by some of your critics, no longer include a respectful campaign? Where is the line for you?

MCCAIN: This is a very respectful campaign. I repeated my admiration and respect for Senator Obama. That clip is of Charlton Heston. It's a movie. It's a film -- movie.

So, I really appreciated the movie, and I appreciated Charlton Heston's magnificent acting skills as I saw it. But it's a movie.


QUESTION: Senator, are you going to steal our governor for vice president?

MCCAIN: I think that your governor has earned a place in the Republican Party not just in the state of Florida, but nationally. He's a great leader, and I think that obviously he has a major role to play in the Republican Party and this nation in the future. We aren't talking about the process, but everybody knows the respect and appreciation I have for him.


HARRIS: McCain in his own words. He will be talking energy again today in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

COLLINS: Plenty of debate over the so-called race card in the presidential campaigns. During the primaries, former President Bill Clinton was accused of dealing from that deck while stumping for his wife. He was asked about it on ABC's "Good Morning America."


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you personally have any regrets about what you did campaigning for your wife?

WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, yes, but not for what you think. And it would be counterproductive for me to talk about it. There are things that I wish I'd urged her to do. Things I wish I had said. Things I wish I hadn't said. But I am not a racist. I never made a racist comment, and I didn't attack him personally.


COLLINS: The former president says he will have more to say once the election is over.

HARRIS: A Greyhound bus passenger stabbed and decapitated. Remember this story from last week? New details this morning about the victim and the suspect.


HARRIS: He may have snapped. The mother of a man accused of ambushing a group of young people suggest that could be the motive for a deadly shooting. Three teenagers were killed and a fourth person was injured last week at a river hangout along the Michigan-Wisconsin line.

Police say Scott Johnson jumped from the bushes and opened fire. Johnson's mothers told the Associated Press that her son may have been spooked by a police investigation into an alleged sexual assault. He could be charged with the shootings today.

COLLINS: A horrible killing in Canada. And now, the family of a man who was beheaded on a Greyhound bus is speaking out. They want people to remember Tim McLean for who he was, not for the senseless way he died.

CTV's Oliver Murray has the story.


OLIVER MURRAY, CTV REPORTER (voice-over): The family of Tim McLean has stayed away from the cameras ever since the night of his horrific murder. But today they broke their silence.

ALEX MCLEAN, VICTIM'S UNCLE: He was a little guy with a heart bigger than you can know. He made friends effortlessly, disliked no one and accepted everyone for who they were. Tim spent his life traveling and meeting new people. And always saw the good in everyone. He had the most infectious giggle. You could hear him laughing from a mile away.

MURRAY: McLean family says for now it's time to leave us alone.

MCLEAN: We are suffering our loss. This is obviously a most difficult time for us all. And at this time, we are requesting the media and the public to grant us privacy and let us grieve with the family and friends.

MURRAY: The 22-year-old McLean was coming home from Alberta where he worked with a traveling carnival. He was stabbed and beheaded at the back of this Greyhound bus just outside Winnipeg.

Accused of second-degree murder is 40-year-old Vince Weiguang Li, of Edmonton. It's now his life under the media microscope.

(on camera): Li was reportedly a contractor delivering large number of newspapers such as the "Edmonton Journal". Li's boss says he is still reeling from the news that Li could be involved in a murder. He described Li to CTV as a good employee and a nice guy.

(voice-over): Prosecutors want Li to have a psychological evaluation before proceeding. This Winnipeg psychiatrist says a sudden mental crisis can leave a person completely unable to tell right from wrong.

JITENDER SAREEN, PSYCHIATRY PROFESSOR: They are hearing voices that are telling them to do something or if they believe that they are god and this person is the devil, then they might be reacting to those voices.

MURRAY: Prosecutors say the suspect could be found not criminally responsible for his actions avoiding time in a prison.

LARRY HODGSON, PROSECUTOR: They go before a review board that's mainly made up of psychiatrists and they deal with the safety of the public and whether the person can be released to the public. And, if not, they keep him in a locked facility.


COLLINS: McLean's family and friends have made a memorial to him along the highway where he died. It's a series of small stone structures and cactus plants.

HARRIS: A vicious attack that had happened right outside a woman's bedroom window.


JENNIFER MCLENDON, SAW BEAR AND MOOSE ON FRONT LAWN: I went looked out the window, peered down and saw a rather large grizzly bear attacking a moose calf.


HARRIS: Oh, man! Well, it's natures way. Incredible pictures for you in the NEWSROOM.


COLLINS: The call of the wild. One Alaska couple woke up to see the food chain playing out right in their lawn. Big grizzly bear there grabbing a moose calf. Here is how Jennifer McLendon described the scene out of her window.


MCLENDON: I went looked out the window, peered down and saw a rather large grizzly bear attacking a moose calf. It was the calf that we had been seeing all the time. It comes with the mom and the bear got it this time. The bear had it by the back of the neck. You can see the claw marks on the pine quarters of moose. The mother moose was -- nothing really she could do. She was right, maybe 50 feet away just watching.


COLLINS: The next day, the grizzly tried to attack Alaska Park and Wildlife worker who had come to take the dead moose away. They were able to get away unharmed.

HARRIS: A unique effort to revive rare turtles. That is happening in Cambodia. CNN's Eunice Yoon has the story.


EUNICE YOON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cambodian villagers Sou Pai makes a living of the great Mekong River. Used to hunt for the nest of a rare soft-shelled turtle and steal the eggs. Now, he patrols this beach to protect them.

When the turtles lay their eggs, villagers go and eat them, he explains. Sou is one of the first fishermen to consult with conservationist as part of a new program to save the endangered Cantor's giant soft-shell turtle. The turtle can grow to be the size of a small sofa, live as long as a century and weigh over 50 kilograms or 100 pounds.

It's native to this river, spending most of its time buried in sand. But if provoked, turtle specialist David Emmett says...


YOON: Yet despite the turtle's rapid defense mechanism, hunters manage to drive the species to the verge of extinction. It's considered a delicacy in some countries and is sold on the black market via Vietnam.

(on camera): This is a skeleton of an adult soft-shelled turtle. A local fisherman caught it a few months ago and ate it as is customary here. But now the people of this area are starting to understand that these turtles are worth more alive than dead.

(voice-over): That's because of people like Sokhorn. Sokhorn is part of a Cambodian conservation team that recently discovered a 24- kilogram in soft-shelled turtle in waters made inaccessible for decades by Khmer Rouge guerrillas.

We were so excited because that meant there were still a few left, he says. To help revive the species, Sokhorn and his team came up with an idea they say is sustainable here. Paying villagers like Sou to guard the eggs

If a fisherman finds a nest, the group pays him $30. They pay him another $2 a day to guard the nest until the eggs hatch, which usually takes about two months. Then the fishermen gets paid another $2 for every successful hatching.

So far, the group has been able to save and release 80 turtles back into the wild. Even so, some critics say paying fisherman is not a long-term solution. They say conservation groups have limited cash, and there's no guarantee the grown up turtles won't be hunted later. Yet, for now, news of the program is already spreading upriver to other communities.

People are very interested in saving the turtle, Sokhorn says. Every time they catch one, they give my team a call. Raising hopes that protecting the threatened turtle will become a new way of life here.

Eunice Yoon, CNN, at the Mekong River, Cambodia.


COLLINS: Good morning, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins. HARRIS: And I'm Tony Harris. Stay informed all day in the CNN NEWSROOM. Here's what's on the run down.