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Keeping an Eye on Edouard; Hanging Around the Capitol: Oil and Politics; Anthrax Investigation: Probe Could be Closed Soon

Aired August 04, 2008 - 14:00   ET


RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: Goodbye, Dolly. Hello, Edouard. The Gulf Coast braces for its second named storm in just two weeks. Our Chad Myers is watching the warnings.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: And Randi, his own therapist feared him, his colleagues watched him unravel. But what led the feds to believe Bruce Ivins sent anthrax through the mail? We're still learning more this hour.

KAYE: And chicken fingers and fries aren't most parents' ideas of health food, but wait until you hear what's in the kids' meals at several big restaurant chains. Our Elizabeth Cohen is counting the calories.

Hello, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye, in for Kyra Phillips.

LEMON: Probably a lot of calories, Randi, but boy, does it look good.

And I'm Don Lemon, live here at the CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta.

You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.

All right. Right off the top here, we are watching the sky and the thermometer. Warnings are out along the Texas and Louisiana coasts.

Tropical Storm Edouard could be near hurricane strength when it crashes ashore come tomorrow. The big question is, where? Where is it going to crash ashore?

Even as the winds pick up, the mercury is rising. Much of the country's midsection is looking at dangerous triple digits. We'll get to our Chad Myers on both of those in just a moment.

But first, let's go to Galveston, where KPRC reporter Phil Archer is tracking that storm for us and also the preparation.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The storm is moving into the area.

PHIL ARCHER, REPORTER, KRPC (voice-over): Coastal residents are getting ready as the storm moves closer. This will be Evangeline Robinson's first major storm in Galveston. She moved here two years ago.

EVANGELINE ROBINSON, GALVESTON, TEXAS: My concern is the surge of those waves, because I've seen them fairly high down there on the seawall. And by me living so very near there, I want to make sure I have everything boarded up, make sure that I'm prepared.

ARCHER: Thirty miles inland, in League City, they're already restocking store shelves. Overnight, this store sold out of bottled water, batteries, and easy-to-pack food. Managers told us they're not worried about running out.

Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas activated the emergency evacuation operation center this morning. She says they're ready for heavy rain and potential flooding

MAYOR LYDA ANN THOMAS, GALVESTON, TEXAS: We're asking all of our residents to be prepared. We do expect some power outages, some flooding on the west end, and some wind.

ARCHER: Early this morning, Shell Oil began evacuation of some of its offshore platforms. Forty workers were taken off rigs in the western Gulf of Mexico.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Started evacuating at 4:00 this morning, and most of the people were coming in on a boat because it was calm. And the rest of us, the people that shut the rig down, came in on a helicopter.



KAYE: Two battleground states getting personal attention today from John McCain and Barack Obama. McCain stumping in Pennsylvania. Obama is in Michigan. Both are talking about pocketbook issues.

Just three months from today, the polls open across America, and voters will pick a new president. Well, right now, the campaigns are still tight-lipped about potential running mates. But here's what we can tell you about those so-called short lists and who might end up on the ticket.

Right now, these men appear to be on John McCain's radar: Congressman Eric Cantor of Virginia; former presidential candidate Mitt Romney; Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty; and former Congressman Rob Portman of Ohio.

Believed to be on Barack Obama's short list: Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia; Senators Evan Bayh of Indiana and Joe Biden of Delaware; Congressman Chet Edwards of Texas; and Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas.

Today, Obama and McCain are pushing their plans to put money back in your pocket. They're focus? The nation's energy crunch.

At a stop in Lansing, Michigan, Obama explained his change of heart about offshore oil drilling. He railed against it earlier, but now he supports a compromise plan.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Like all compromises, this one has its drawbacks. It does include a limited amount of new offshore drilling. And while I still don't believe that's a particularly meaningful short-term or a long-term solution, what I've said is I'm willing to consider it if it's necessary to actually pass a comprehensive plan.


KAYE: McCain also focused on energy today at a campaign stop outside Philadelphia, and he took aim at Obama.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Unfortunately, Senator Obama continues to oppose offshore drilling. He continues to oppose the use of nuclear power. These misguided policies would result in higher energy costs to American families and businesses, and increased dependence on foreign oil.

We're not going to achieve energy independence by inflating our tires. I'm going to lead our nation to energy independence, and I'm going to do it with a realistic and comprehensive all-of-the-above approach that uses every resource available to finally solve this crisis.


KAYE: And we'll hear a lot more of what John McCain and Barack Obama are saying about energy issues straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.

LEMON: And how about this, Randi, members of Congress refusing to take vacation? You heard right.

And CNN's Kate Bolduan tells us why some House Republicans are hanging around the Capitol even though Congress has adjourned.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It started Friday, when several dozen House Republicans took the House floor for five hours after the House had adjourned for the long recess. They were demanding action on energy legislation, and it looks like this protest will continue this week as House Republican members took to the floor again today.

Here's a little bit from Republican lawmakers as they headed in again for an impromptu session.

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE: It is shameful that Congress recessed for five weeks, left for five weeks. The American people are having a difficult time making ends meet. My constituents say they have too much month (ph) left at the end of their money.

I agree with them. Congress needs to come back in. They need to address this issue.

BOLDUAN: Neither the House nor the Senate were able to pass any significant energy legislation prior to leaving for the long recess. Leaders from both sides remain divided over whether or not to allow for new domestic oil drilling.

Republicans say yes, Democratic leaders say no. But Democrats do continue to emphasize that they support drilling, but only in areas that are already approved for it.

Here's a little bit from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who reiterated this position over the weekend.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: So this is of the highest priority. And in that priority, we have to increase supply in our own country, drill, use it, don't lose it. Drill where you're allowed to drill. Release the oil from the stockpile that we have, which would reduce the price of the pump in 10 days.

BOLDUAN: Now, about 20 House Republicans are expected on the floor today, and Republican aides tell CNN they plan to continue this protest all week.

Kate Bolduan, CNN, Capitol Hill.


LEMON: All right, Kate.

Well, it happened just a short time ago, President Bush departing for Asia, where he'll cheer for team USA at the Beijing Olympics. Mr. Bush also will hold meetings in Bangkok and Seoul, and says he'll nudge China on the issue of human rights. But this trip is mostly about the president as first fan. He'll be the first sitting U.S. president to attend the games overseas.

The Olympic flame is getting closer to Beijing. Today, the torch stop in Mianyang, an area hit hard by May's catastrophic earthquake. The torch was lit in a stadium that once housed thousands of quake survivors. This segment of the relay was supposed to be held in mid- June but had to be postponed.

Tiny little girls pushed to tears, driven by their parents and their country to go for gold. Just a few of the recruits in China's Olympic army.

KAYE: And an immigrant is beaten to death in a small Pennsylvania town. Now three teenagers are facing hate crimes charges.


KAYE: After seven years and plenty of pitfalls, the government's probe into the post-9/11 anthrax attacks might actually be over. Sources tell CNN the case could end today or tomorrow, and we could learn details that have been under wraps for years. Homeland Security Correspondent Jeanne Meserve joins us with the very latest.

Hi, Jeanne.


A Justice official says the Department of Justice is moving as quickly as possible to close the anthrax case. Some sources say it could be as soon as tomorrow.

If and when that happens, the government is expected to go to a federal judge, ask that the grand jury hearing the case be disbanded and that documents in the case be unsealed. The Justice Department then plans to brief anthrax victims and their families, and finally lay out publicly its case against Bruce Ivins, the Fort Detrick scientist who committed suicide last week as government investigators closed in on him.

Former senator Tom Daschle, who received one of the anthrax letters, is skeptical about the government case.


TOM DASCHLE (D), FMR. U.S. SENATOR: I'm not satisfied in part because I think they haven't been as forthcoming not only with me, but with the American people about the status of this investigation. I also haven't seen the evidence, and I think that, given their checkered past and the difficulty they had in getting to this point, the bungling of the Hatfill part of the investigation leads me to be very skeptical.


MESERVE: The senator there referring to Steven Hatfill. He was called a person of interest in this case but later was cleared of any involvement and got several million dollars from the government as a result.

Despite the criticism from people like Daschle, government officials do appear confident they have a strong case. Although we do not know the full evidence against Ivins, there is some new information.

A source familiar with the investigation tells CNN that DNA evidence links the anthrax used in the attack to a flask in Ivins' lab. It is not known if other people would have had access to that flask, however.

Another source confirms that Ivins bought pre-stamped envelopes in the Washington area. Investigators have said previously they believed pre-stamped envelopes were used in the attacks. That sources also says investigators removed two computers from a Frederick, Maryland, area library last weekend. It is not known what they hope to learn from those computers.

Randi, back to you.

KAYE: I'm sure the victims and their families anxiously awaiting to hear what that evidence is.

All right. Jeanne Meserve for us live.

Thank you.

MESERVE: You bet.

LEMON: Two mountain climbers are recovering in a Pakistani hospital after Saturday's avalanche on K2 that killed 11 other people. The survivors were rescued from a base camp today. One reportedly has severe frostbite and isn't out of the woods yet. An Italian climber is trekking down to an altitude where rescuers can reach him.

K2 sits at the Pakistani-Chinese border. It is the world's second highest mountain after Everest.

You're looking at the aftermath of a stampede in northern India. At least 133 people died.

Authorities say rumors of a landslide caused panic at a mountaintop Hindu temple. Worshippers at a religious festival tried to run and dozens were trampled. Others fell to their deaths off the side of the mountain. There was no landslide. It is not clear how that rumor started.

KAYE: A sad update on a story we first brought you last week. A Welsh man attacked on his honeymoon in Antigua has died. He and his new wife were shot in an apparent robbery attempt in their resort cottage. She was killed instantly, he'd been comatose on life support ever since, with tests finally determining he was indeed brain dead.

Still no arrests in that attack.

LEMON: Well, listen to this. A brutal crime against an undocumented immigrant engaged to be married. Police say the man was beaten to death by teenagers on the streets of a sleepy Pennsylvania town.

CNN's Susan Roesgen has more.


SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The police say it started as a chance encounter. A group of teenagers out drinking one night in July were heading back from a block party when they spotted Luis Ramirez walking down the street with the sister of his fiancee.

According to court documents, the young men challenged them, saying, "Isn't it a little late for you guys to be out?" And "Get your Mexican boyfriend out of here."

Racial slurs, punches. Ramirez fell to the ground, but he managed to call his friends, the Garcias, for help. ARIELLE GARCIA, VICTIM'S FRIEND/WITNESS: My husband Victor (ph) tried to break up the fight between Luis and the kids, and people were trying to beat up my husband for trying to break it up.

ROESGEN: Court documents say Ramirez was knocked to the ground again and kicked in the head. A retired policewoman who lives nearby heard the Garcias' cries to stop the beating. Then she says she heard the young men shout back at Mrs. Garcia.

EILEEN BURKE, WITNESS: They said, "You (EXPLETIVE DELETED). You tell your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Mexican friends, get the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of Shenandoah or you're going to be laying (EXPLETIVE DELETED) next to him."

ROESGEN: Witnesses say Ramirez was convulsing in the street.

CRYSTAL DILLMAN, VICTIM'S FIANCEE: Internally, he had a collapsed lung. He had two skull fractures, a blood clot on his brain, and his brain swelled.

ROESGEN: The 25-year-old father of two, an undocumented worker with two jobs, had lived in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, for at least three years. He fell into a coma and died.

DILLMAN: His face swelled up to where his eyes actually swelled shut and completely shut. And you could see the bulging of his eyes. That's how bad the damage was on the inside.

ROESGEN: Two of the suspects were good students and popular, too, on the high school football team. Seventeen-year-old Colin Walsh and 16-year-old Brandon Piekarsky both face charges of homicide as adults. Eighteen-year-old Derrick Donchak is charged with aggravated assault. And all three are charged with ethnic intimidation, a hate crime.

MICHAEL WALSH, SUSPECT'S FATHER: My son was a great kid and fell into a bad situation, or whatever became of it. And I feel sorry for the families or anyone who cares for Mr. Ramirez.

DILLMAN: That's supposed to be the crown of thorns.

ROESGEN: The victim's fiancee showed CNN a religious charm Ramirez war. She says an image of it was left imprinted on his chest after the beating. Crystal Dillman says for years, she and Ramirez were harassed in the town in which she was born and raised.

DILLMAN: When me and him used to go to the store together, people would stare. They would say ignorant stuff under the breath. It's just the way they were.

ROESGEN: But attorneys for two of the teenagers say race may not have had anything to do with it. They say it was a drunken street fight that went too far, and that racial taunts were heard on both sides.

ROGER LAGUNA, WALSH'S ATTORNEY: A scene of chaos. Many people on both sides, not just Colin, for sure. But many, many folks on both sides engaged in a violent confrontation, and I think it's extremely important to take some time and to figure out who's responsible for what.

This was not a preplanned event. This was a random, chance encounter. There was no target based on race or anything like that.

ROESGEN: Susan Roesgen, CNN.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Minimum wage...

CROWD: An outrage!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Minimum wage...

CROWD: An outrage!


KAYE: California's budget worries spilling over onto the streets.



CROWD: $6.55, we can't survive! $6.55, we can't survive! $6.55, we can't survive!


LEMON: As you can imagine, there's a protest, and dozens of state workers are protesting yesterday -- were protesting yesterday outside California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's L.A. estate. They delivered a symbolic pink slip.

That's because last week, Schwarzenegger signed an executive order laying off more than 10,000 state workers. Thousands more had their pay reduced to minimum wage.

The reason? Lawmakers haven't passed a budget yet. Now more than a month into the fiscal year, the state is running out of money there.

More nickel-and-diming in the skies to tell you about. This time it's from a discount airline that prided itself on lots of perks.



LEMON: All right. We want to tell you about some of the stories we're working on for you today, right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

First up, Barack Obama and John McCain both talking energy today. Obama called for tapping into strategic oil reserves as part of a broad plan to reduce America's need for foreign oil. But McCain says Obama's policies would only boost dependence on foreign oil and hike energy costs for American families.

The government's probe into the 2001 anthrax attacks now drawing to an end. A source tells CNN that investigators could close their case today or tomorrow and release details kept secret for seven years.

Tropical Storm Edouard picking up speed, picking up strength. Edouard could be near hurricane force by tomorrow when it could make landfall on the Gulf Coast. Warnings and watches have been expanded in Texas and Louisiana.

KAYE: All right. They're tasty, they're filling, and they take a lot of the guesswork out of family dinners. But most kid's meals, as many parents have long suspected, aren't really all that healthy.

CNN's medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, is here.

So how bad are these meals? Do we even want to know the answer?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, according to this group, Center for Science in the Public Interest, who put out this report, say they're really bad. They say some of these fast food kid's meals have more than double the number of calories that any child should be eating at any one sitting for a meal.

Let's take a look here. They had a press conference earlier today, and they have what they call their hall of shame, very high calorie kid's meals. Let's take a look specifically at three of them -- sometimes 1,000 calories, 910 calories, 830 calories. We're talking about things, little pieces of chicken -- you can see them there -- that are all fried up, or grilled cheese or double cheeseburgers.

Now, this same group, Center for Science in the Public Interest, did point out that Burger King, who they're very critical of, did recently come out with a meal that's about 420 calories, which is about what a kid should be eating. So Randi, maybe things are looking up a bit.

KAYE: And are there some healthy alternatives out there?

COHEN: There definitely are. And so parents need to know that they can ask for alternatives.

You can say to your kid, get mandarin oranges instead of french fries, or, you're having skim milk instead of soda. And this is the point that the National Restaurant Association really has honed in on. They say, look, we only sell the food, you parents are the ones making the choices. And we give you choices. NRA says, "Restaurants encourage parents to help their children make smart eating choices when dining out, and the industry works to help them do so."

Now we did get a comment from one restaurant that was singled out in this hall of shame, and that would be the Sonic restaurant chain. And they say, "We know you care about children's health and well being, and at Sonic, we do too." And they point out that at Sonic they do have healthier options and they're coming up with more all the time.

KAYE: I know your kids eat those mandarin oranges, don't they?

COHEN: Only when I insist on it. But it's hard. They want the fries. And it is tough, but I figure it's my place as a parent -- I insist on it. I'm paying for it too.

KAYE: They're going to take over at the drive-thru window though. You know it.

COHEN: That's right. That's right.

KAYE: All right. Elizabeth Cohen, good advice. Thank you, as always.

LEMON: We're going to continue to talk about health, specifically here, HIV. The numbers were bad before. Now they're even worse. Federal health officials say more people are infected with HIV every year in the U.S. than previously thought, about 40 percent more. The new estimate, more than 56,000 new infections a year. The old estimate was 40,000. Officials at the Centers for Disease Control say they're now using more precise ways of calculating HIV rates.

Those numbers are just one reason people like Bambi Gaddist are so important. She's one of the CNN Heroes we've been profiling here all year. Her work is so important. She is fighting AIDS, and she is fighting ignorance every single day of her life. We salute here because she is one of CNN's Heroes.

And Bambi joins us now from South Carolina from the HIV/AIDS Council. She joins us now from -- Columbia, I should say.

Thank you very much for joining us today.

You get in a van. Is it a van or is it a winnebago that you go around in?


LEMON: Mobile unit. And you go around with this, and you urge people to get tested.

What was the reaction when you started doing this?

GADDIST: Well, initially, when we first started with the mobile unit -- and I should say we were able to purchase that equipment through the Centers for Disease Control through a federal grant -- and when we first got on the road, I'll be quite frank with you, people would actually stare because as you know it has 'Get Tested' on it. And they first would want to know what did get tested mean. And so there was a lot of stares and a lot of unusual reactions to it.

But once we started to go into communities -- and when I say into communities, I'm talking about churches, places where you might not think we would be, nightclubs -- and literally, under the trees in neighborhoods -- and as we interfaced with the community and they started to learn more about why we were out, they began to change some of their views and perceptions and actually encourage their friends to come out and get tested.

LEMON: And you were saying -- and I don't want to put words in your mouth, but one of the biggest issues you had that you came up with was from the faith community. And you are happy to say that you're making inroads with that community.

Why was it so tough to get into that community, and how have you made inroads?

GADDIST: Well, it's been a journey. I should tell you we started originally with some funding from our alcohol and drug abuse commissions, just exposing churches to what was care team ministry. What was it like to be an entity of faith that chose to support not only persons living with HIV, but their families as well -- and

LEMON: Well it seems like a church is the place you would go to if you wanted this sort of assistance, if you wanted people to be understanding.

GADDIST: You would think that initially. But, again, you have to realize that the whole dilemma of lack of information and knowledge about this disease has been the foundation for much of people's stigma, some of their negative attitudes and beliefs about this disease. What we did know, from talking to pastors, is that they were very interested in making a change because, quite frankly, they were tired of the burials, the lying about why people were being -- in their final days. And so what we did was interface with these leaderships within the church, and we found out that they were ready to take some action.

LEMON: OK. And you said that's good because that every little bit helps.

All right. So the international agency --

GADDIST: Every bit helps.

LEMON: Every bit helps.

The international AIDS Conference is happening now in Mexico City. You have been doing this, this outreach, for AIDS since the '80s. Let's talk about how it's changed. Because first, let me give you these numbers, and you can tell me how it's changed.

Who has HIV? That's the question.

One out of four HIV-positive persons doesn't know that they're infected, that's according to the CDC.

And who has HIV? Forty-five percent are African-American, 35 percent white, 17 percent Hispanic, again, according to the CDC.

You've been doing this since the mid-80s. How has that changed? How has the face of AIDS changed?

GADDIST: Well originally, the face of AIDS was predominantly white gay men. And although they are continuing to be heavily impacted, what we've seen in the change of this disease is African- Americans and people of color. Particularly young gay, bi-sexual men we are critically concerned about. We are concerned about women, black women, who continuously are overrepresented in the cases. And finally, we are deeply concerned with the fact that our epidemic is younger and younger. And what that means is we are going to continue to face a new up-growing epidemic in this country if we do not put some things in place, particularly in the south where we are so heavily impacted, along with other parts of the country.

LEMON: Yes. All right.

Bambi Gaddist, we appreciate it. Bambi Gaddist with the South Carolina, HIV/AIDS Council, and she is a CNN Hero.

We appreciate you joining us.

GADDIST: Thank you. I am so grateful for everything. We continue to do great work with support from the community, and we are grateful for the opportunity.

LEMON: All right, Bambi. I'm going to tell people how to get involved in your organization. If you want to, you can go to, and Bambi's information is there. It is the most outstanding CNN Heroes we will be honoring here. The all-star tribute will happen Thanksgiving night on CNN. Again, it's

KAYE: Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman is in serious condition in a Memphis hospital. His car reportedly went off the road last night in nearby Tallahatchie County, Mississippi. The highway patrol tells our affiliate there, WMC, the car flipped several times and rescuers had to use the jaws of life to cut Freeman and his female passenger out of that car. Morgan Freeman is 71. We'll keep you posted on his condition.

Actor/comedian Bernie Mac also in the hospital. He's in Chicago recovering from pneumonia. His publicist says the 50-year-old entertainer is responding well to treatment and should be out of the hospital soon.

LEMON: And you know Robert Novak has been in the news too, Randi. Just a short time ago we learned that the longtime columnist and conservative fixture in Washington, Bob Novak , announced his retirement. Novak was diagnosed just last week with a brain tumor. Today, his paper the "Chicago Sun-Times," said Novak plans to get radiation and chemotherapy. Nonetheless, the paper characterized Novak's prognosis as dire. Novak is 77-years-old. KAYE: Duelling energy plans. John McCain and Barack Obama say their proposals will solve the nation's energy problems and put money back in your pocket. We'll hear from both candidates in their own words.


LEMON: OK. With only three months to Election Day, we're bringing you the candidates in their own words. Today, Democrat Barack Obama is talking about energy issues. Here's what he said just a short time ago in Michigan.


OBAMA: You won't hear me say this too often, but I could not agree more with the explanation that Senator McCain offered a few weeks ago. He said -- and I quote -- "our dangerous dependence on foreign oil has been 30 years in the making and was caused by the failures of politicians in Washington to think long term about the future of the country." Now, what Senator McCain neglected to mention was during those 30 years he was in Washington for 26 of them.


And in all that time he did little to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. He voted against increased fuel efficiency standards and opposed legislation that included tax credits for more efficient cars. He voted against renewable sources of energy, against clean biofuels, against solar power, against wind power, against an energy bill that, while far from perfect, represented the largest investment in renewable sources of energy in the history of this country.

So when Senator McCain talks about the failure of politicians in Washington to do anything about our energy crisis, it's important to remember that he's been part of that failure. And now --


-- and now, after years of inaction, in the face of public frustration over rising gas prices, the only energy proposal he's really promoting is more offshore drilling, a position he recently adopted that's become the centerpiece of his plan and one that will not make a real dent in current gas prices or meet the long-term challenge of energy independence. Understand, George Bush's own Energy Department has said that, if we opened up new areas to offshore drilling today, we wouldn't see a single drop of oil for seven years -- seven years. Senator McCain knows that, which is why he admitted that his plan would only provide -- quote -- "psychological relief to consumers."

I know that's what you've been looking for, is psychological relief when you're pumping gas into your car.

He also knows that if we opened up and drilled every single square inch of our land and our shores, we would still find only 3 percent of the world's oil reserves, 3 percent for a country that uses 25 percent of the world's oil. Even Texas oil man, Boone Pickens -- and Boone's not a Democrat -- who is calling for major new investments in alternative energy, has said -- quote -- "this is one emergency we can't drill our way out of."


LEMON: That was Barack Obama in Michigan.

Republican John McCain is stumping today in Pennsylvania. Here's what he had to say about the energy crunch just a short time ago at a stop in Lafayette Hill, just outside Philly.


MCCAIN: We're going to solve the energy crisis that's affecting businesses like National Label Company, and we need an all of the above approach. We need to aggressively develop alternative energies like wind, solar, tide, biofuels and geothermal. But we also need to expand our use of existing energy sources here at home.

That means we need more nuclear power. It means we need clean coal technology, and that means we need to offshore drill for oil and natural gas. We need to drill here, and we need to drill now. And anybody who says that we can achieve energy independence without using and increasing these existing energy resources either doesn't have the experience to understand the challenge we face, or isn't giving the American people some straight talk.

Unfortunately, Senator Obama continues to oppose offshore drilling. He continues to oppose the use of nuclear power. These misguided policies would result in higher energy costs to American families and businesses and increased dependence on foreign oil. We're not going to achieve energy independence by inflating our tires.

I'm going to lead our nation to energy independence, and I'm going to do it with a realistic and comprehensive all of the above approach that uses every resource available to finally solve this crisis.

As a lot of Americans know, the Congress, doing nothing, decided to go on a five-week recess without addressing the energy challenge that's affecting Americans every single day and in ability to go to work, in their ability to do their jobs and their ability to keep inflation down, as they're trying to do here at the National Label Company. And they need a Congress that will act. Congress should come back into session. Congress should come back into session, and I'm willing to come off the campaign trail.

I call on Senator Obama to call on Congress to come back into town and come back to work. Come off their recess, come off their vacation, and address this energy challenge to America and don't leave until we do. Republican and Democrat joining together. And a very vital part of that is nuclear power, and another vital part of that is offshore drilling. We have to drill here and drill now. Not wait and see whether there's areas to explore, not wait and see whether there's a package that needs to be put together, but drill here and drill now. Let's start working for the American people and not for ourselves. So I hope that Senator Obama will call on Congress and the leaders, Harry Reid and Speaker Pelosi, call Congress back into session. Let's get this energy crisis solved as Americans have been able to solve every challenge that's faced us and move forward and work for America and put America first.


LEMON: And remember, you can always watch the candidates in their own words, live and uninterrupted on the campaign trail, at




KAYE: As we count down to the Olympics, can we count on more protests like this? People angry at the Chinese government for taking their homes.


KAYE: Imagine stage parents times a billion, and you've got some idea of what young Chinese athletes go through once their talents are noticed. The country's Olympic machinery is well-oiled for Beijing, as our John Vause reports.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Raw recruits in China's Olympic army. Children as young as six handpicked by the state for a remote chance to be national heroes.

Here they're pushed to their limits, and sometimes beyond. Little girls barely old enough to walk to school, walking on their hands for three minutes, then 60 sit-ups, balancing on bars.

Jung (ph) Yanyan's father says he pushes his little girl because sporting success can mean a life of ease and privilege, the likes he has never seen.

"She's not very happy about the training," he says. "She doesn't want to go. Her mother and I encourage her and she listens to us."

And from there, the pressure only increases.

JOSEPH CAPOUSEK, FORMER COACH, CHINA CANOE KAYAK TEAM: Everybody's taught here about second place or silver or bronze medal, you are loser.

VAUSE: Joseph Capousek was hired to coach China's canoeing and kayaking team. Over years, he guided Germany to 18 Olympic gold medals. But less than six weeks before the games, officials say he quit.

He says he was fired for refusing to push his squad relentlessly seven days a week.

(on camera): More than 20 foreign coaches were hired by China to train their Olympic hopefuls. Recently, at least four have either quit or been fired, another reportedly stripped of all authority, while others speak privately at being berated for not running their programs like military camps. That's an allegation Chinese officials have repeatedly denied in the past. But when asked for a comment by CNN, there was no response.

(voice-over): An indication of the pressure to do well -- recently China's president made an unprecedented visit to many athletes, saying the nation was looking forward to good news.

While a recent study by a Beijing hospital found 14 percent of China's national divers had damaged retinas because of heavy training, a percentage doctors describe as staggeringly high.

Basketball star Yao Ming will play, despite suffering a stressed fracture in his foot several months ago.

For the coach of Liu Xiang, the hurdler who became a national hero after winning gold in Athens, told state media last year that government officials had warned, "If Liu cannot win another gold medal in Beijing, all his previous achievements will be meaningless."

These Olympics, with their flashy stadiums and minute attention to every detail, are all about telling the world, we're here. And for China, it seems, nothing says that more than a record-breaking hall of Olympic gold, no matter the price.

John Vause, CNN, Beijing.


KAYE: The games, of course, start this Friday. You can follow all of the Olympic action on in a special section called "Fanzone." You'll have all of CNN's global resources right at your computer, right at your fingertips, so just go to





LEMON: Some angry, unusual protests in China today. A group of neighbors came out to criticize the government for evicting them. Their land was seized for redevelopment. The demonstrators say they're victims of Olympic fever. Police swooped in on the protest near Tiananmen Square and broke things up. KAYE: Strong tropical storm or weak hurricane? Either way, it's Edouard bearing down on the northern Gulf Coast. We'll see how folks in Texas and Louisiana are preparing.

LEMON: Well it's not as dramatic, but can be just as deadly -- mid-summer heat. The middle of the country is baking and our Chad Myers is watching in the weather center for us.

KAYE: Call it a purpose-driven fight against a global crisis. Rick and Kaye Warren join us this hour from the International AIDS Conference in Mexico.

Hello, I'm Randi Kaye at CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta.

LEMON: And I'm Don Lemon. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.