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Pres. Obama's Town Hall; A Serial Killer in Rocky Mount?; Human Smuggling in Mexico; Michael Vick Takes the Field Again

Aired August 15, 2009 - 22:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. I'm Don Lemon.

At first glance, it might look like a campaign rally. President Obama's health care town hall today included a stomp speech, audience questions and plenty of applause lines. But bubbling just beneath the surface is much, much more than that. A president fighting to regain his footing on his number one issue. He took some of the toughest questions he's faced so far, and for the first time, he showed the kind of passion that his political opponents had been using. He talked about claims that his reform agenda includes provisions for so- called death panels for senior citizens.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: First of all, when you make a comment like that, I just lost my grandmother last year. I know what it's like to watch somebody you love who's aging, deteriorate and have to struggle with that.


LEMON: Even as the president forged ahead and tried to answer his critics, he acknowledged that his reform plan is not perfect. But he argued it is the best hope for helping the most people.


OBAMA: The truth is, I want to be completely honest here, there is no perfect, painless, silver bullet out there that solves every problem, gives everybody perfect health care for free. There isn't. You know, I wish -- I wish there was. I wish I could just say, you know what, we're going to change the system. Everybody will get as much care as they want, any time they want. Everybody will have it. And it won't cost anything. And doctors will be happy and nurses will be happy, hospitals will be happy, insurance companies will still make a lot of profits, drug companies will be able to charge as much as they want. I can't do it. Nobody can.


LEMON: This was one of the most fascinating town halls I have seen by the president and the people. A smart question, some of them critical of the president, but none of the tempers are shouting that we have seen at health care forums in other parts of the country. I'm joined right now by three people who were in the audience at today's town hall. Once is Chad Middleton. He's an assistant professor at Mesa State College. He supports the president's reform plan. Bill Hugenberg is a retired attorney, and he's more on the fence about it. He's not sure. He says he likes some of the president's ideas on health care, but not all of them. And then there's Debbie Schum. She's a small business owner. She's against the president's plan to reform America's health care system.

Thank you so much for joining us.

Hey, listen, I want to talk to -- let's start with Debbie real quick.

Debbie, what is your position in regards to the president's health care forum and the plans today? Did you see anything about it that you liked in all of this?

DEBBIE SCHUM, SMALL BUSINESS OWNER: No, I did not. As a libertarian, first of all and foremost, I'm opposed to the government intervention in it to begin with. One of the things that I find particularly offensive about this is I don't have insurance, and I don't want insurance. There's no provision for me or people like me in this plan.

LEMON: You don't want health care insurance?

SCHUM: This is a mandatory insurance plan.

LEMON: You don't want health care insurance at all?

SCHUM: No. I would like to have some insurance if it were affordable. In my opinion, it's insurance that has caused the problems in health care to begin with. And when we have a mandatory insurance program, this is basically a corporate welfare subsidy for insurance companies.

LEMON: Yes, you know, I hear you, Debbie. I'm not exactly sure if what you're saying about this is accurate, because a lot of people need health care insurance in this country. And just because you don't want it doesn't mean that the millions and millions of people who are uninsured and need it, that they don't want it as well.

I'm going to move on. And I'm going to let you think about that. I'm going to go now to Chad.

Chad, you said you support the president's reform plans. And if -- no one has proposed health care reform before. Not even the former president has proposed that or at least has taken up this issue. The Clintons did before that. So if the government doesn't come in and work on health care reform, then who's going to do it?

CHAD MIDDLETON, ASST. PHYSICS PROFESSOR: Yes, that's a very good point. I mean, I do believe that the health care system is broken, and something needs to be done. I mean, the inflation rate is increasingly at a greater rate with insurance premiums over wages. And if something is not done, like the president said today, I mean, I do believe we will be going into the red. And I do believe doing something is the answer. The details of these plans -- yes, I think something needs to be done.

LEMON: OK. Hey, Bill, did you get anything specific that might have changed your point of view today, because you said that you're on the fence about it. Anything that the president said that may -- that won you over or push you back on the other side?

BILL HUGENBERG, RETIRED ATTORNEY: The president did not have to win me over. I'm fully supportive.

LEMON: You're fully supportive. You're not on the fence?

HUGENBERG: Oh, I'm on the fence about specific details. They haven't been identified yet.


HUGENBERG: As a result, I kind of agree with both Chad and Debbie, that there are -- there are issues that need to be addressed that go beyond the generalities we heard today.

LEMON: Hey, listen, we're having problems with your satellite. But hang on, guys. I think this is, you know, we can deal with this. It's live television. It's a satellite feed. So not a big deal. Let's continue to listen to this people. And if the satellite goes out, we'll move on.

So, Debbie, did you have time to think about what I said? I mean, just because you don't want reform, it doesn't mean that people around the country don't want it and don't need it.

Do you think that's a selfish approach or a selfish attitude towards this?

SCHUM: I never said that I don't want reform. But my opinion -- I think that the system is broken as well. But the approach that is being taken is not reform. It is corporate welfare subsidies for the insurance companies.

How does that fix -- how does that benefit anybody? How does that benefit me as a patient? How does that benefit my doctor? That only benefits insurance companies. And if we're to say, OK, well, then we have the public option, well, as a small business owner, I have many customers all over the world. And my customers in England, who also have a mandatory insurance program there, have informed me that their national tax rate is 78 percent.


SCHUM: How can -- I don't believe the president when he says that this isn't going to cost any more money.

LEMON: OK. Debbie, we really appreciate you joining us. Bill as well. And also -- what do we have here -- Debbie, Bill and Chad. Chad, thank you very much for joining us. We had some problems with the satellite there. We're very sorry about that. I hope it wasn't distracting, but I think you all had very good points and we appreciate you tonight.


MIDDLETON: Thank you.

SCHUM: Thank you.

LEMON: All right, thanks very much.

Opponents to the president's health care proposal had their say here in Atlanta today at a rally they build as the largest health care town hall so far. The view of several thousand people who showed up at Centennial Olympic Park can be summed up with a single phrase, hands off my health care. And I was there for the rally, and I talked with two of the organizers.

Take a listen.


LEMON: Where was the outrage five years ago, ten years ago, 15 years ago? Why all of a sudden this outrage now? At least the president is trying to reform health care, so where did the outrage suddenly come from?

ALLEN HARDAGE, DIRECTOR, AMERICA'S TOWN HALL: Don, this is the second town hall he's done in the last week that I actually saw real Americans get up and ask questions. It wasn't a pre-selected group or a --

LEMON: But hang on, before you do that. Real Americans, that's another term that really sets people off.

HARDAGE: Well, let me tell you what I mean by that.

LEMON: We're all real Americans. Everybody.

HARDAGE: Where anybody can get in and anybody can ask a question. And you have seen a completely different tenor in -- in the town hall he held on Tuesday and today, than town halls we have been seeing so far in this debate. That's what I mean by real Americans.

LEMON: OK. Or maybe you know what, the whole real American thing -- can we lose that real Americans?


LEMON: Because everybody in this country, who is a citizen...


HARDAGE: Absolutely.

LEMON: ...we're all real Americans.

HARDAGE: Absolutely.

LEMON: And that is part of the issue that really sets people off and divides people. So let's get rid of that real Americans. We're all -- I'm real American. You're real American.


LEMON: Conservatives, liberals, independents, we're all poor or rich real Americans.

HARDAGE: Absolutely.

LEMON: Continue your point.

HARDAGE: But here's my point. If we're going to open this debate up and have everybody come in and put their ideas forth. Virginia is absolutely right. He said it himself, this is a hard issue. So we need to -- we need to bring everybody to the table. Let's hear everybody's ideas and concerns, and come up with a consensus.


LEMON: All right. Well, the Atlanta rally was sponsored by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, and hosted by former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey and several conservative radio hosts.

When it comes to health care, there's so much out there, so much to cover, an hour simply isn't enough. So make sure you check out care. We feature ongoing coverage of the health care debate, a list of town hall meetings from across the country, and how health care reform might affect you no matter where you live -- care.

President Obama was all business at his town hall today, but he is mixing work and pleasure with a visit to old faithful. First family made a pit stop at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming to catch the Geyser's famous show there. The president was apparently impressed. He was overheard telling First Lady Michelle Obama and first daughter Sasha and Malia, quote, "that was pretty cool."

Is there a serial killer at work in rural North Carolina? Local police certainly think so, and we will take you there.

Also, from trafficking drugs to trafficking humans, and worse. Mexico's violent cartels are targeting a new market.

Plus this for you --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The one place that I never worried about was church. I never worried about him being at church. And to get a phone call that your son got shot coming out of church, it was just unbelievable.


LEMON: Shot and killed on Chicago's deadly streets. And sadly, Terrell Bossiley's (ph) case wasn't the exception and far from it.

And as always, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, is how you get on the air here.


LEMON: So if you're worried drug trafficking is going to harm your family and your community, wait until you hear what else is spreading north of the Mexican border. A report by our Michael Ware will floor you.

Plus, Michael Vick. He is a millionaire again and back on the field. But he's only one in a string of sports figures lately being given another chance. Is it right?

But, first, people are trembling behind locked doors tonight in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. The fear there is that a serial killer is on the prowl, ready to strike again. All of the suspected victims are women, and their bodies dumped along a desolate stretch of rural road, and that's where CNN's David Mattingly begins.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If someone were looking for a place to get away with murder in North Carolina, Edgecombe County's seven bridges road might be the place to go.

(on camera): Nothing, nothing but trees and pastures.

(voice-over): Since 2005, the remains of five women, all African-American and suspected prostitutes, have been found here among miles of woods and crops.

(on camera): There are any number of places you can pull off here. Like this spot right here. You can just drive off and disappear into the woods in a matter of seconds. Sadly, that's what's been happening to these women. They disappear, never to be seen alive again.

(voice-over): Is this the work of a serial killer?

MICHAEL TEAGUE, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes, I believe it is. Yes, I think, the fact that the bodies have been found close together really would argue for a serial killer.

MATTINGLY: Michael Teague was once the state's top forensic psychologist, and believes the killer is someone who could have a lot in common with his victims. TEAGUE: Their economic level, their background. Again, the same race. So I think it is a person that would fit very easily within the environment.

MATTINGLY: All of the victims were last seen in the town of Rocky Mount. We went to where they came from, an area where prostitutes work neighborhood streets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Typically this is the area.

MATTINGLY: But we found the streets deserted, cleared by fear. Prostitutes are easy targets for killers, living fragile lives on society's fringes. Still, Councilman Andre Knight says it shouldn't have taken years for the town to take notice.

(on camera): Is it just a matter of race, or is it possibly because of what they do for a living?

ANDRE KNIGHT, ROCKY MOUNT CITY COUNCIL: I think it's a combination of both, because even what a person does, they still have human rights.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): A turning point in public awareness and the investigation itself was the fifth victim. Jarniece Hargrove, known to her friends as Sunshine. Friends and family publicly demanded justice. Local authorities asked the FBI to assist. Like the other victims, Hargrove disappeared from Rocky Mount. Her body was found in June off Seven Bridges Road.

(on camera): From the streets of Rocky Mount, it's only about a 15-minute drive to get to places just like this. For all practical purposes, it's the middle of nowhere, and this is where investigators say that the victims are being killed. They won't give us a lot of detail about what they're finding, but they do tell us that two of the victims were strangled, one was stabbed and beaten.

Three other Rocky Mount women who police say are not prostitutes are currently missing. The sheriff of Edgecombe County calls this a critical time in the investigation, leading many to hope that this lonely country road will soon lead to a killer.


LEMON: CNN's David Mattingly joins us now.

David, you know, all these women are turning up missing, but is it really a serial killer? Do police know what they have on their hands here?

MATTINGLY: They are not using that word serial killer. That's just something that's unusual about this case. Even though the experts are looking at this saying it has all the markings of a serial killer case, the authorities who are investigating are not willing to take that step and say it publicly. They're saying that because they don't believe they have all the facts that they need to say, yes, there's one person responsible for all of these murders. LEMON: But they're all being found in a remote area. Do they know why this area?

MATTINGLY: This area is known as a place where prostitutes take their customers. It's only about 10, 15 minutes outside of town. They go out there. They're looking for privacy to conduct their business, and this is the place where these women are being murdered.

LEMON: OK. Critical time. Why do they keep saying, critical time in the investigation?

MATTINGLY: The sheriff is calling it a critical time in the investigation. He said that as a reason why he doesn't want to put out any more information about what they have and don't have in this case. But they say they do have leads and they're following up on those. This is something they may not have been able to say just a few weeks ago.

LEMON: CNN's David Mattingly, thank you very much for this story. Thank you.

A grisly new side business rises from the drug war, selling people. It is a Michael Ware special report.

And he's back. Some of you are thrilled, others not so much. We'll talk about Michael Vick.


LEMON: Some people in Chicago are afraid to leave their homes. They say there is a war waging on the city streets. Nearly 300 people gunned down this year alone. Tonight, the people who have lost their children in the senseless violence. After meeting them, you will want to hug your own children.

But, first in Kuwait City, dozens of children and women are burned alive after a fire ripped through a packed wedding tent. At least 41 bodies have been pulled from the smoldering tent, and the death toll could rise. More than 70 other people are hospitalized. No word on what started that fire.

In Afghanistan, a suicide bomber, apparently Taliban, set off a powerful bomb today outside NATO's main gate in Kabul, killing at least seven people, wounding more than 90. The Afghan government believes it's an attempt to keep people from voting in next week's presidential election.

Now to a battle only the criminals are winning and where the victims are lost in the shadow of an escalating drug war. Fair warning, some of what you're about to see and hear is very disturbing.

Recently we introduced you to Los Zetas, Mexico's most feared and dangerous drug cartel. Well, tonight, CNN's Michael Ware uncovers the cartel's grisly side business. A highly lucrative one at that, where people of all ages are bought and sold. Again, this is graphic.


MICHAEL WARE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is a tale of kidnap, imprisonment and worse, much worse. It's the story of those who fall prey to Mexico's drug cartels because of their hope to come to America.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (speaking in foreign language): Because they didn't let me free, they raped me.

WARE (voice-over): I cannot tell you her name nor anyone else's in this story. Nor can I show you their faces or tell you where I met them. Because if I did, they say, they would almost certainly be killed.

That's because the violent drug cartels have a new and lucrative business. Think of it as a hostile takeover, the people smuggling business.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (speaking in foreign language): We were very scared because these men were very bad. They don't have a soul. They can just kill an immigrant without a thought because to them, we don't count for anything.

WARE: This woman fled the poverty of her hometown, the seventh of 12 children. As hundreds do every week in Central America, she headed north for Mexico, bound for the U.S., only to be seized by one of the most brutal cartels in the business, Los Zetas.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (speaking in foreign language): We boarded the train, when the train arrived to (_____), many vans drove by with members of Los Zetas. They kidnapped us and took us to a secret location.

WARE: The cartel ransomed them off for whatever they can get, selling them back to families who barely could pay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They control all the routes. They have the infrastructure. They have the money. They have the people. They have the guns. They have everything right now to control everything.

WARE: This man is one of few working with the cartel's victims. He tells us the cartel's new business, human trafficking is flourishing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. This is not only a drugs issue. It's getting money. Where come from, the money, they don't care.

WARE: And some of the money is used for bribery. When the car carrying the young woman in our story arrived at an immigration police checkpoint, she hoped her ordeal with the cartel was over. But she said the immigration officials were in on it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (speaking in foreign language): I was telling myself, thank God, something is going to happen the instant an immigration officer approaches. But the kidnapper in the car said he was a member of an organization without name, and made some hand signal, and the immigration officer said, "OK, go through."

WARE: This is another woman who was held by a cartel. Her family was unable to pay a ransom, so for four months she was forced to work, cooking for the other hostages and the cartel kidnappers themselves.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): While I was kept in the safe house I found out a lot of things about the cartel because being the cook, I had to serve them, I had to attend to them, bring them their beer and their food when they were in their meetings.

WARE: She says she was also ordered to take food to prisoners, shackled in makeshift torture chambers and to wash the clothes of the cartel jailers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Because I washed their clothes, it was always bloody. I didn't realize why. But then I realized the people tied and cuffed, they chopped them in to pieces, then burned so there was no evidence of that.

WARE: The men chopped into pieces, she says, were hostages who could not pay. Or more often, they were the men they called coyotes, the Mexicans who specialize in smuggling people across the U.S. border. The cartels literally butchering their competition. And anything that makes cartels like Los Zetas stronger is a threat to America, particularly when it offers a new means of importing more drugs.

RALPH REYES, DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION: The Zetas are a prime example of an organization that has, from a traditional perspective, looked into other areas of making money, specifically with the human smuggling situation. It is a means of introducing drugs into the United States.

WARE: And that means only one thing -- many more horror stories to come.

Michael Ware, CNN, Mexico.


LEMON: We'll hear more from Michael Ware on this story tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. He will join us right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

He's a huge Bollywood star, but the security screeners at Newark International Airport did not recognize him, detained him and questioned him for two hours.

Also, Michael Vick retakes the field. This time as a Philadelphia Eagle. But should he get a second chance? And did he get off easy.


LEMON: All right. So Michael Vick is two years away from the NFL hasn't hurt his throwing ability. He took to the field today for the first time to practice with his new team, the Philadelphia Eagles. The 29-year-old quarterback still sports the number seven jersey as he did during his days with the Atlanta Falcons. And that was before dog fighting. A dog fighting conviction landed him in federal prison. Vick says he now wants to move on.


MICHAEL VICK, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES QUARTERBACK: In the past, I made some mistakes. I have done some terrible things. I made a horrible mistake. And now I want to be part of the solution and not the problem.


LEMON: So reaction to that apology and his return, as you might imagine, mixed.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he should be out of the NFL altogether.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it is awesome, awesome. I'm really looking forward to it. We're going to get season tickets now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love it. Love you Michael. Can't wait. We need you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To me, I think football is second. You know, it's a privilege to play ball, you know. There's a lot of talented people out there that don't get the chance to play ball. This man, I think he messed up his chances. He had it all.


LEMON: All right. So with his legal problems behind him, he now faces a challenge of rebuilding his career and really his life. A career that once placed him in the NFL's $100 million quarterback club. That's a lot of money.

Joining me now is sports attorney David Cornwell. His agency has represented many professional athletes, and we're going to talk about a couple of them who had been in trouble recently.

So, how would you advise Michael Vick right now if you were representing him? What would you tell him to do? Can he win public support just by being a good guy?

DAVID CORNWELL, SPORTS ATTORNEY: He can, but I would tell him first of all, change is a process, not an event. Take it slow. It seems like you lost everything overnight but you won't regain it overnight.

LEMON: So what's the challenge here? What's the biggest challenge he faces? CORNWELL: There are a few. First of all, he's not going to be the same player immediately that he was before. Does he have the commitment to put in the time to become what he used to be? He has financial difficulties. But now he's going to work harder than he ever has and make less money in doing it. And there are going to be critics out there. And in the past, as we know, he's responded to critics in various ways. So now he has to carry himself graciously and with dignity and not react.

LEMON: He has a very, very well respected mentor, Tony Dungy, who is supporting him and trying to help him get back on track.

Let's take a listen to what Tony Dungy had to say, and then I want to talk to you about it.


TONY DUNGY, FORMER NFL HEAD COACH: Well, I talked to Andy Reid a lot. I talked to the Eagles' organization, and I just talked about a lot of young men who make mistakes, who go down the wrong path and what you got to try to figure out is if they've changed, if they're different. Are they going to be a good team mate, a good person in the locker room and the community, and I told the eagles, I thought he would be. I thought he would be very positive, and I hope that bears out.


LEMON: How much does that help him? Having Tony Dungy on your side?

DAVID CORNWELL, SPORTS ATTORNEY: I think it helps him immensely. Tony is a man, of great character and great faith. But, remember, he's also a football coach, and you can't fool him. And the fact that Tony is standing behind Michael means that Michael is authentic, and he's going to make the commitment to earn the trust not only of his teammates and his coaches but the public.

LEMON: All right. So stay tuned.

Let's turn now to Rick Pitino, another apology this week.


RICK PITINO, BASKETBALL COACH: If you tell the truth, your problem becomes part of your past. If you lie, it becomes part of your future. And I made a very difficult decision to tell the truth to the federal authorities, the local authorities, to university officials and most important, to people that love me the most, my family and friends.


LEMON: All right. So he apologized. He faced it head on. He said I was wrong. Does this help him at least in the court of public opinion? CORNWELL: I think it does. But what we also have to remember, while rape is a vicious, vicious crime, the false accusation of rape is also a tragedy. This man had to go out in public and talk about a private -- his private life. Now, it's just inappropriate. It's a difficult circumstance but he stood up with the university and his family, and I think he showed leadership.

LEMON: You know, apparently I hear -- and you will know this, that the coach had -- the coach had warned some of the potential recruits that this might be coming, something maybe coming out and he also talk to the parents about this. So there was fair warning at least.

CORNWELL: Yes. And I think that's the leadership. Leadership is a quality, not just in good times, but also in difficult times. And he stood up there and faced parents and young men that he wants to lead and said, I made a mistake and I admitted it. Now let's see if we can move forward together.

LEMON: Is there a double standard, at least separate standards going on, because some people seem to get into trouble and then get out of it, and all is forgiven for the most part? And in others, it takes a longer period of time and they never redeem themselves. Why does that happen?

CORNWELL: It's hard to explain. And it's even more difficult to compare one case to the other. It's really apples and oranges. It's just how people react to individuals based on how they present themselves and the conduct they engaged in.

LEMON: All right. What are you -- you represented a number of these people. Is there anything you want to tell us about anything that may be coming up that we should know about? You know I've got to ask you that.

CORNWELL: Well, that's a fair question. Right now we're involved in the Ben Roethlisberger case. And we did a pretty good job last week in demonstrating that the accusations against him are false. And we're not going to let up. We're going to get out on this one.

LEMON: And, again, what I do find about being a high-profile person, when you look at these people and athletes, lots of accusations all the time. Some of them turn out to be true. Others turn out not to be true. So you really have to wait until the very end to find out exactly what it is, until it either goes to court or is settled.

CORNWELL: It's difficult. You know, fans react immediately to what goes on the field. It's difficult to ask them, but we hope they will to reserve judgment until the entire story is told.

LEMON: David Cornwell, sports attorney making news tonight. Thank you very much. We appreciate you joining us here.

CORNWELL: My pleasure. Thank you.

LEMON: Have a good one. Thank you very much.

You know what, the tropics are heating up. Not one, but two storms strengthening out in the Atlantic. Meteorologist Jacqui Jeras is in the CNN hurricane headquarters. She is tracking those storms for us.

Also, mandatory evacuations in California's fire zone.

Plus this for you --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Someone went out there and took away his ability to make his mark on the world. And the only way that anybody who never met him is ever going to know him is through me.


LEMON: This is all she has left of her son, the unbearable reality for parents touched by gun violence. We will take you to Chicago's killer streets.


LEMON: Well, there is little left in the Taiwanese village of Xiaolin in the wake of Typhoon Morakot. Only a few ruins and throngs of weeping mourners.


LEMON: Nearly two-thirds of the town's 600 residents died when it was obliterated last weekend. Rain spawned by the typhoon triggered mudslides, sending two mountainsides tumbling down. Well, today, friends and relatives of victims gathered where the village once stood, burning incense, carrying photos and, of course, crying and mourning. Nationwide, the death toll reportedly stands at about 500 people. Hundreds of people are still awaiting rescue in washed- out towns.

And tropical storm Ana is churning in the Atlantic, and tonight, it is not alone. Meteorologist Jacqui Jeras, you're saying folks along the Gulf Coast had better start paying attention to the meteorologists here at CNN.

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Oh, yes. And the East Coast, too. You know, it's not a sure thing where this is going to be hitting the U.S., even if it will at all. Well, we've got two named storms here. We had two months of the hurricane season thus far, and we've had pretty much Nada, and now things are really starting to heat up.

LEMON: Let me get out of here. I'm going to go this way.


LEMON: All right, Jacqui, thank you very much for that. She is a Nobel Peace Prize winner, living under house arrest, and he was her uninvited guest, her houseguest. Now the man who sparked an international incident by going on a bizarre swim goes free. And he has a U.S. senator to thank for it.

First --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I think back to what kind of child I had, it hurts me so bad. It hurts so bad.


LEMON: The heartbreaking reality for families coping with the loss of a child. We'll take you to Chicago's deadly streets.


LEMON: Tonight in "What Matters," we're talking about the more than 250 people who have died by the gun in Chicago just this year. Many of them are teenagers. Some of them were innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire. They are someone's son or daughter. They had names. They had dreams that they never realized. I sat down with their parents, whose pain never seems to ease.


LEMON: Is that raw? Is he right, it takes you back? Is it always just raw pain?

ANNETTE NANCE-HOLT, BLAIR HOLT'S MOTHER: Every time we talk about what happened that day, it breaks me down all the time.

RONALD HOLT, BLAIR HOLT'S FATHER: I'm just as numb as that night and that afternoon when they called, and she told me Blair had been shot. You talk about the worst feeling in the world, instant trauma to the emotions.

NANCE-HOLT: And, you know, when I think back to what kind of child I had, it hurts me so bad. It hurts so bad.

LEMON: Most of you are carrying some sort of memento or something. What are you guys carrying?

MARIA RAMIREZ, MATTHEW RAMIREZ'S MOTHER: My son was killed 3-1/2 years ago, and as you can see, I still have his cell phone on. I just can't bear to turn it off because I keep having that stupid little thought in the back of my head, when he walks back through the door, if he doesn't have a phone, he's just going to die.

LEMON: Does it ever ring?

RAMIREZ: I leave it on for his friends. You know, for them to, you know, text him. And, you know, they text him a lot.

LEMON: What did some of the text messages say? Do you get the text messages.

RAMIREZ: Just, you know, poems...

LEMON: Do you have any of that?

RAMIREZ: ...I love you. I miss you. Things like that.

LEMON: You can read it. Do you want to read it?

RAMIREZ: I don't want to lose anybody else. This hurts a lot. I love you.

LEMON: You brought something of your --

MICHELLE LINTON-DELASHMENT, KERMIT DELASHMENT JR.'S MOTHER: I brought a program, an obituary and also a newspaper article because he told me he would be in the paper.

LEMON: This is how he was in the paper.


LEMON: College student is city's 500th homicide of the year. This isn't how you expected your son to be in the paper?


LEMON: Tell me your story, Mrs. Bosley.

PAMELA MONTGOMERY-BOSLEY, TERRELL BOSLEY'S MOTHER: Terrell was a bass player, gospel bass player. He was at a church, coming out to help his friend get there on time. Somebody came and shoot, and shot Terrell.

TOMMIE BOSLEY, TERRELL BOSLEY'S FATHER: I drove him to high school four years. I drove him every day so that he wouldn't have to take public transportation. And the one place that I never worried about was the church. I never worried about him being at church. And to get a phone call that your son got shot coming out of church, it was just unbelievable.

CYNTHIA WATERS, CHRISTINA WATER'S MOTHER: I got a call from a complete stranger. They're coming from her and her friend were coming from a church function, and I get a call, you know, on my cell phone. It has her name. So, you know, I'm calling to get an update. How is your afternoon going? It's 5:00 in the afternoon. A complete stranger telling me that my daughter is laying in that alley bleeding.

JAMES ROSE, CHRISTINA WATERS' STEPFATHER: We almost lost Christina. I feel very lucky that we still have her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If I could say anything to that parent whose child caused my child to lose his life, I hope you never feel like I feel.

(END VIDEOTAPE) LEMON: Shootings happen everywhere in the United States. We know that. We report it to you. Some of you have experienced this kind of violence firsthand. But right now in Chicago there is a problem that we cannot ignore, and next week we will take you in depth to try to find some solutions.

We will talk to members of the community. You will hear more from families affected by this violence. And city officials who had enough. They are working to make changes there. And we will talk about all of it right here, 10:00 p.m. Eastern, next Saturday on CNN.

Meantime, an American arrested in Myanmar. A U.S. senator tries to get him freed, but what happens next?

Also, living the lesson of recycle, refuse and renew. This week's CNN hero will have you looking at that old PC and laptop in a brand-new way.


LEMON: A Bollywood star was stopped by immigration officials at the Newark Airport today, but what exactly happened depends on who you ask.

Shah Rukh Khan originally told reporters he was questioned for two hours because his name showed up on a computer alert list. But a U.S. immigration official said the routine stop took half that time. The 44-year-old actor is in the U.S. promoting a movie about racial profiling in a post-9/11 world. He is now downplaying the airport incident saying it was part of a necessary, but unfortunate procedure.

A Missouri man convicted for taking a forbidden swim in Myanmar is free thanks to the intervention of a U.S. senator. John Yettaw will be officially deported tomorrow, side stepping a 7-year prison sentence. Virginia Senator Jim Webb negotiated for his release with Myanmar's military rulers. Yettaw swam uninvited to the home of Imprisoned Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Now Senator Webb was also allowed to visit Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy leader who was slapped with an extra 18 months under house arrest for hosting the unexpected swimmer.

And now our hero of the week, New York-based chemistry teacher Jude Ndambuki spends his spare time saving discarded computers from America's landfills and shipping them to Kenya, where most schools don't have them. And as he sows the seeds for a nation's prosperity, students and interns are planting some of their own.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Heroes.

JUDE NDAMBUKI, CNN HERO: I was coming from college at night. And I see these computers thrown out. I found everything was perfect.

So many computers are thrown out and so many computers are needed where I grew up in Kenya. So, I decided, I must do something. My name is Jude Ndambuki. I refurbish discarded computers and send them to schools in Kenya.

The children in Kenya, they have very few resources. Even a pencil is very hard to get. Any part that I can play to make the life of kids better is great.

The computers are tested to make sure they are working. Then, we label the name of the school on each box and then we ship it to Kenya.

The computers are saved from poisoning the environment, and they are going to be used for 20 years by some schools. Every school is going to plant 100 trees for every computer. We are planting a seed, teaching the kids to conserve the environment and be engines of change.

It's like giving the kids a new life. Computers are getting new life and trees are being planted to bring a new life too. It's all connected.


LEMON: You know, you can find out more about Jude or any of our heroes on Again,, and be sure to keep an eye out. In just a few weeks, we will be announcing the top ten CNN heroes of 2009. That is always exciting, especially when announcing the winner.

In tough economic times, an education is really more important than ever. But at some historically black colleges, really colleges all over the country, the money crunch can put dreams of a higher education in jeopardy.


LEMON: The recession is squeezing college students, squeezing some right out of the classrooms? CNN's Sandra Endo has tonight's "Money & Main Streets."


SANDRA ENDO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sophomore Zakiya Williams found a perfect fit at Spelman College.


ENDO: But when the though economy hit her and her family hard, she packed her bags, ready to drop out.

WILLIAMS: I wasn't able to get loans. Neither were my parents.

ENDO: It's a familiar story at colleges across the country, but especially at historically black colleges and universities where in some cases, up to 95 percent of students rely on financial aid to fund their education. President Barack Obama has moved to increase financial aid with stimulus and budget funds. But still, many black colleges expect enrollment rates to keep shrinking as families and students struggle in the economic downturn.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Many students want to come, but will they be able to afford to come?

ENDO: Since 2004, $238 million of federal funding was earmarked annually for historically black colleges. And in the last two years, those institutions also benefited from an extra $85 million each year under the College Cost Reduction Act, which ends in May of 2010. So those institutions may feel the squeeze even more.

CARLTON E. BROWN, PRESIDENT, CLARK ATLANTA UNIVERSITY: We're under-resourced. We try to keep our costs as low as possible. That means that our margins are always very tight.

ENDO: In the Atlanta area alone, Morehouse College laid off 25 adjunct professors. Spelman is eliminating 35 jobs next year, and Clark, Atlanta University's budget acts fell with 70 professors and 30 staff members let go.

The White House Budget Office says President Obama's budget calls for a 5 percent increase in permanent funding for historically black colleges.

MICHAEL LOMAX, CEO, UNITED NEGRO COLLEGE FUND: We're saying you're moving in the right direction, but unfortunately, in these tough times not far enough.

ENDO: For Zakiya Williams, a scholarship came through at the last minute. And she says the struggle to stay at a historically black college was worth it.

WILLIAMS: I was completely relieved, and now I'm focusing on my studies.

ENDO: Sandra Endo, CNN, Atlanta.



LEMON: Let's get some of your feedback on while we have a chance here. Here's what Marty Landau says, "Thank you for asking everyone to drop the real Americans label. You're right. We're all real Americans."

Yes, we are all real Americans.

Here's what Jnyce247 says, watching at Don Lemon, "Mexico is out of control with the drug cartels. Yikes."

And JayIndependent says, "We need to discuss how the public option is paid. What are the wastes we need to cut, et cetera? No death panels, stupidity. We need reform."

Thank you so much for joining us tonight. It was a raucous show, especially at the top. I'm Don Lemon in Atlanta. See you back here tomorrow night at 6:00, 7:00 and 10:00 p.m. Eastern. Have a great evening.