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Surviving Mom's Murder Attempt; Targeting Girls with no Prom Date; Mr. Z the Storyteller; Epic Storm Event in North Carolina; "Saving Pelican 895"

Aired April 17, 2011 - 19:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: We want to check for you the headlines right now.

A power house of a storm system has killed at least 23 people in North Carolina; 14 of them were in Bertie County, where several dozen more were hurt. It appears the state broke a record with 233 reports of tornadoes. It is the deadliest haul (ph) from the violent streak. That storm that started Thursday, killing more than 40 people throughout the southeast and southwest.

People in North Carolina are spending today in clean up mode trying to pick up the pieces from those intense Saturday night storms. The system swept across the state with epic force, causing residents to seek cover and do it quickly.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just told everybody to get down, cover up, get into cubby-holes, get into a tight space and make sure to not open -- get away from the windows. That's the best thing to do.


LEMON: There were more than a dozen unconfirmed reports of tornadoes next door in South Carolina, but the destruction as not as extensive as what we see in North Carolina. Trees were uprooted. Power lines were knocked down and roofs were damaged, but no major injuries were reported there.

In Virginia four people died from the severe weather; three of them in Gloucester County, the fourth, a child who drowned in the flash floods there. A tornado also ripped off a roof -- a school's roof, downed trees, and left more than 9,000 homes without power. Virginia's governor has declared a state of emergency.

And this new video is just in to CNN. Take a look at this. The five- person crew of a C-130 plane is resting easy on the ground after a daring emergency landing today in Colorado Springs. Again, you're looking at the video there. The plane circled for two hours over the airport trying to fix a problem with the landing gear. The plane belongs to the California Air National Guard. The crew exited the plane, and it's good news, without injury.

The Federal Aviation Administration is putting new rules for air traffic controllers into effect, and they're doing it immediately. The controllers' union agreed to the rules aimed at preventing their workers from falling asleep on the job. There have already been seven such incidents just this year.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood made it clear something had to be done.


RAY LAHOOD, U.S. TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: This is outrageous. As soon as I heard about these controllers sleeping, I expressed my outrage and talked about the fact that I wanted the controllers suspended. I want an investigation. And I want the public to know we will not allow controllers to sleep on the job. We simply will not.

And I'm steamed about it.


LEMON: Controllers will now have a minimum of nine hours off between shifts instead of a current eight hours. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, we should tell you, will join our very own Suzanne Malveaux, Monday -- that's tomorrow -- 11:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

All right. So he is Prince Harry to his nation, but Captain Harry Wales to his fellow soldiers. The third in line to the British throne has earned a promotion in the British Army in recognition of his five years of service. Of course, Prince Harry has another important duty coming up. In less than two weeks, he'll serve as brother, William's best man in the royal wedding.

You can keep up on all the news, on the nuptials, right here on CNN. Go to as well.

After a woman kills herself and three of her children, how can a fourth go on? We consider the strength needed by a young boy who survived the madness of his mother.

And prostitutes know their job is illegal. That's what makes them the perfect target for serial killers. Now one of them is speaking to CNN about her fears.

And many of you have been sending and asking for information on social media. You can reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook, on and on as well.



MAEVE RYAN, RESCUED 10-YEAR-OLD LASHAUN ARMSTRONG: He was saying, "Help me, help me." So I opened my window and I said, "What's the matter?" He said, "My mom drove the car into the water."

He was frantic; very, very frantic. He was hysterical crying, wet from head to toe, and he was shivering uncontrollably. (END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: She's talking about a 10-year-old boy whose mom tried to kill him. LaShaun Armstrong escaped as, prosecutors say, his mother Lashonda Armstrong drove her minivan into the Hudson River, drowning herself, her 11-month-old girl, and two boys, ages 2 and 5.

LaShaun got out, eventually picked up on a roadside by a woman you just heard from. That was Maeve Ryan there. How can any child get through this?

Our human behavior expert Dr. Wendy Walsh joins me now. Wendy, it breaks my heart to just read that story. We all know about it, but just -- it's terrible. Wendy, Maeve Ryan says --


LEMON: -- yes, she had to tell LaShaun not to blame himself. What do you have to do to make a child believe that?

WALSH: I had also heard one report that he had told her he wished he had taught his other brothers how to swim. So he was already blaming himself.

You know, the thing we know about psychology is sometimes people come through some pretty rough emotional experiences and grow up to be somewhat functional. And then the reverse, some people are what we might term delicately scathed in childhood and have deep dysfunction in adult life.

We really don't know how the biology is going to play out. But most importantly, he does need to get help and support, as clearly his mother needed before hand.

I hate to get on a soap box, but, Don, 40 percent of American babies are born out of wedlock; a population of single mothers. Where is the village supporting these women? Where are the baby daddies? Where are the extended family? Where are the services for a mother to reach out when she's not doing so well?

LEMON: Yes. As you were talking there, I was just looking at the video of the little boy. Of course, we don't show his face but it's just -- I can't imagine at that moment what he was going through.

One other point I want to make, LaShaun told Ryan that no other car would stop for him, Dr. Wendy. A 10-year-old boy on the side of the road half clothed, and no one helps him. What's going on there?

WALSH: You know, I'm going to go there. This is racism. And we don't know --

LEMON: Really?

WALSH: -- I don't know how big this child was, but I happen to have a 12-year-old daughter who's multiracial, who's 5'8. So this child could have been perceived as a young black man at the side of the road. Oh, my gosh, a threat. I mean it's so disturbing. But I can only imagine if a 10-year-old white boy was standing there how many cars would have passed by.

I'm sorry, but this really bothers me.

LEMON: It's just sad. I can't imagine someone half-clothed on the side of the road, even if they didn't flag me down, I'd probably pull over and stop and say, are you ok? Do you need something?

WALSH: Right.

LEMON: It's unfathomable.

Let's move on to older kids here. At a Massachusetts high school, two Facebook e-mails have been floating around that named 22 girls who do not have a date to the junior prom, rating them by size and sexual experience.

Ok, so Ipswich High administrators have condemned the e-mail. How should the school punish the person, likely a student, who wrote these e-mails?

WALSH: Well, if they have trouble identifying that perpetrator, who is breaking some online bullying laws right now, they need to just say no prom until somebody gives him up because this kind of thing -- you know the example I use, now what used to be subtle teasing and frothing, whatever you call it with kids, is now set in stone in a digital world, and it's entered a new arena.

In the 1940s, Don, when teenagers walked to school, if they stole a few apples from the farmer's tree, you kind of went, "Oh, they're teenagers." If they walked into a grocery store today and stole apples, they'd be prosecuted. These young teens should be prosecuted. They're breaking bullying laws. We do know this kind online humiliation and shame is as damaging as a physical injury.

So they -- I think these people need to -- this whole generation of teenagers need to be trained. You're writing things in stone when it's out there electronically.

LEMON: And we say it over and over, and it needs to be drilled into their heads.

Also, there's something else in New England I want to talk about. A bill begs the question what bathroom, Dr. Wendy, should transgender people use? A Maine representative says business owners and schools who direct transgender people to use the rest room of their original sex should not be accused of discrimination. Do you think this is right?

WALSH: Well, you know, the fact that we're having this conversation shows that now we're starting to become a little more progressive and understand, just as there is a variety of sexual orientations in the human species, there are also a variety of genders, and we're going to learn to accept all kinds of variations on typically female and typically male. My answer is for everybody's comfort, the customers and the transgender person, that they probably go into the bathroom that most matches their clothing, not necessarily their genitalia, so that everybody can be happy for now. But, you know, who knows?

LEMON: Yes, it's interesting because what you see in places like New York where there's not a lot of space, space is a premium in restaurants, it's usually just -- it's the same unisex bathroom. So that's one way to solve it. Let everybody go to the same bathroom.

WALSH: In Italy, when I lived there. When I lived in Italy, I had to get used to. There were men in the ladies' room because there was just one bathroom; it was unisex.

Now that I have kids, we're in family rest rooms. Let's just have one bathroom and a little more privacy.

LEMON: Yes. This is America. You know how we are here in America.


LEMON: Ok. So from sexuality to sex in Philadelphia; the city health department is promoting condom use for boys as young as 11 years old. What should parents think about their kids? Should they allow their kids to do this? What do you think of this?

WALSH: I think it's fabulous. Remember, condoms are not a sex toy. They're a health instrument. And anything that protects our children from sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy is good. And obviously, they wouldn't be developed, and they wouldn't be giving them away if there wasn't a market and a need for them.

So parents need to be talking to their kids about sexuality earlier in life. If you're going to wait until your child is 13 to have "the talk", guess what, mom? You're too late. Our media has gotten a hold of your kid.

LEMON: I can tell you, when my mom -- my parents wanted to have the talk with me, I'm like, I already know that. My friends had already told me. They were way too late.

WALSH: Right. Yes. They're so late.

The time to start is when they're say -- when they're young, when they're 2 and 3 and 4 and say how did the baby get in there?

LEMON: And Dr. Wendy is in New York. Have fun with your two daughters in New York. Hope you enjoy it for spring break ok.

WALSH: Thanks. We will.

LEMON: All right.

WALSH: Thanks, Don. See you next week.

LEMON: All right.

An estimated 30 million adults in the U.S. lack the basic reading and writing skills required to read a newspaper or fill out a job application.

CNN education contributor Steve Perry sat down with a man who was forced to face his illiteracy head on and now works in an unlikely place, the library.


JOHN ZICKEFOSSE, "MR. Z": David's mom always said, "No, David."

STEVE PERRY, CNN EDUCATION CONTRIBUTOR: John Zickefosse is known as Mr. Z. His mission: to get kids excited about reading.

ZICKEFOSSE: I'm having probably more fun than all of you, and there's a special reason for that. Mr. Z. didn't learn to read and write until I was 35 years old. Yes.

PERRY: How did you get out of high school not knowing how to read?

ZICKEFOSSE: Yes. Obviously that still hurts. I will say I was a master at deception.

PERRY: As a young boy, Zickefosse was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD.

ZICKEFOSSE: I'm not trying to jab at the education system. Today, we're so much better equipped at dealing with the learning disabilities.

PERRY: He managed to keep his illiteracy a secret from everyone.

ZICKEFOSSE: Including my wife; she didn't even have any idea until our son busted me; sitting with my -- both my boys Shawn and Adam me, reading simple children's books. My son Shawn, would actually fix the words that I got wrong and say, "No, dad, that's not what it says."

PERRY: Then Zickefosse had back surgery, which made returning to his restoration job impossible.

ZICKEFOSSE: At that same time, my wife saw an article in the newspaper for the literacy program here at the Cornell Library (ph) and called them. They said, come in. It wasn't easy.

PERRY: Not only did Zickefosse learn to read and write, he's now the outreach coordinator for the library.

ZICKEFOSSE: I know in my heart of hearts that when I do that and share my story, there's a child out there who's going through the exact same thing that I went through, that says you know, wow, if Mr. Z. can do it, maybe I shouldn't give up on myself.


LEMON: All right. Steve Perry, reporting there.

Livelihoods wrecked, ecosystems destroyed, and wildlife struggling to survive. It's almost hard to believe, but we're coming up on the one- year anniversary of one of the worst disasters in American history.

And the images that you're looking at speak for themselves. Storms blast through the southeast leaving death behind them.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The nearest (INAUDIBLE) for me is probably down the road from your house to the corner. Yes. There goes the roof off a house. I love this.


LEMON: This YouTube video from Wilson, North Carolina, shows the speed of the storms powering through. Steven Hoag parked at a Fred Food Club thinks he's videotaping a bad storm, a dark cloud. It turns out it was a tornado that misses him by near feet, lucky man.

And you heard him right there say I love you because he wasn't sure what was going to happen at the time.

Let's talk more now about those epic storms that raked across North Carolina Saturday night. Long-time weather watchers say they have never seen anything quite like it.

And I'm joined on the phone by meteorologist Mike Maze of our affiliate WRAL in Raleigh. He was on duty when the storms hit, and he has been at WRAL now for 17 years, and you have been working nonstop, I'm sure, since it happened.

Tell us what you went through at the time the storms were rolling through.

MIKE MAZE, METEOROLOGIST, WRAL: Don, it was a crazy afternoon. I've been at -- like you said -- WRAL for 17 years. Never have I ever seen anything like this.

We have slight risk for severe thunderstorms from time to time and get the occasional tornado that stays on the ground for a short period of time and it does some damage but not all that great. But yesterday was something we haven't seen since the '80s.

We had a high risk for severe thunderstorms. The Storm Prediction Center put us in that risk. The last time we had a high risk for severe weather was back in March of 1984, when we had 57 people killed between South and North Carolina, 42 in North Carolina alone.

Yesterday you were on the air. You know how things are. Here comes a tornado coming towards where I live, where I work, my friends and my loved ones were in the path. How hard is it to be on the air and try to tell people to take cover, be safe, and then also knowing my friends and family are in the line of the storm? They could get killed.

The tornado's coming towards the TV station. We sent all the nonessential personnel downstairs to safe cover while we remained on the air. It was just a very emotional afternoon not only because viewers that we deemed very important to us were getting injured and killed, but we had the possibility of being hit ourselves.

LEMON: Yes. And Mike, I understand you had a moment yesterday on the air when this was happening.

MAZE: I don't know if anybody noticed, but I almost lost it on the air yesterday. And you have to remain composed; that's just part of the business. But when the news or weather hits you and affects you, it's a completely different story. And I'm trying to tell folks what they need to do to protect themselves, and then I'm trying to send signals to my family and friends that are out there like saying what road it's on and where's it going so they know to take cover immediately because I can't reach out to them.

I can't say pick up the phone and say, hey, the tornado is coming to you guys. You need to take cover. And my voice was quivering, and there were tears in my eyes. I wasn't on camera, thank God. It was a really scary situation, none that I've ever experienced and hope I never experience again.

LEMON: How are your family and friends? Is everybody ok?

MAZE: Yes. Everybody's ok. Nobody sustained damage. I had part of my fence blown down. But south of where I live and north of where I live in my neighborhood had damage. So it appears like the tornado just lifted over my house and just missed it.

LEMON: And unfortunately, Mike, we know so many people were not so lucky because of the number of people who died. Talk to us now please about the science behind this. We are hearing this is unprecedented for the Carolinas.

MAZE: Very much so. I mean, the condition that's came together were the kind of conditions you see in the plains or what we refer to as the second Tornado Alley across Alabama. We had enough moisture in the atmosphere. We had a strong jet stream aloft, a cold front coming on in. And I know it sounds like a cliche, but it was like the perfect storm. Everything came together the way it needed to produce the kind of tornadoes that you see in the plain states.

Now, we have National Weather Service crews going out in the field today to see what kind of damage happened to tell us what kind of tornadoes hit. We've had one report so far in Jacksonville and Onslow County, the National Weather Service crew there came back and reported an EF-3 tornado with winds of 145 miles per hour. 43 people were injured between Onslow and Carteret County, and they estimated that the width of the tornado was a quarter mile.

So in the coming days, we'll get confirmation of how many tornadoes actually touched down and what the intensities were. But seeing some of the damage, I wouldn't be surprised if there were F-3s, and EF-4s across our part of North Carolina.

LEMON: Mike, we're going to have to run here but I have to ask you this. A lot of people don't have power; some are and if they don't, they can listen to us on radio, and they may be watching now that the power is back up. And people around the country.

What do you make, if you had a sentence or a couple of sentences to sum this up, what do you say to those folks?

MAZE: I wish them the best. God bless. And hopefully, everybody will bounce back from this. It's a tough situation for North Carolina. We're a strong people, and I know we'll thrive and move on.

LEMON: Meteorologist Mike Maze, WRAL in Raleigh. He's been there 17 years.

Thank you, sir; best of luck.

MAZE: Thanks, Don. I appreciate it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know, if we lose a bird, it's probably not the end of the world. We feel we're responsible, and how can people question that we shouldn't care for these animals?


LEMON: The pictures are beautiful. And that's a clip from the new documentary "Saving Pelican 895", a film that takes a very specific look at the Gulf oil spill. Following the rehabilitation of a single pelican after it was covered in oil, "Saving Pelican 895" premieres on HBO this Wednesday, which marks the one-year anniversary of the explosion on the DeepWater Horizon rig that began it all.

And I spoke with the director, Irene Taylor Brodsky, who described the star of her show.


IRENE TAYLOR BRODSKY, DIRECTOR, "SAVING PELICAN 895": LA 895 was the 895th bird being picked up off the coast of Louisiana. He was the very first bird we filmed being captured, and I knew that moment, we just need to follow this one bird whether he lived or died.

He was captured by a biologist that I knew really needed to be in our film because he was a lifelong native of Louisiana. He had helped to bring the pelican back to Florida in the 1970s after it had disappeared for 10 years from the coast. So he was very involved with pelicans. And he was really going to be my speaking human co-star to the pelican throughout and I knew that. So we stuck with that bird right from the get go.

LEMON: A lot of people -- or some people, I should say, wonder whether it's cost effective. Should these pelicans -- should these birds be saved? And during the documentary, someone who works with the pelicans, they have a good answer for it. Let's listen, and then we'll talk about it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It doesn't mean everybody has to wash a bird. It means that everybody should, in my mind, support it because it's just like when someone gets hurt on the street, you take him to the hospital. You might say, oh, it's just a street person or whatever. It's a human life, and it deserves care and respect, and we're saying the same thing.


LEMON: So Irene, the survival rates are really low, and some would wonder why you would save them? Is it more humane to euthanize them, or do you think it's better to save them?

BRODSKY: You know, I think it takes a hardened cynic to see these birds in distress and not save them when we have the resources to do it and our laws require BP to pay for it. My feeling is why not?

And I can't really say I entered making this film with much of an opinion about that because I didn't really know what went into it. But after making the film, I definitely fall on the side of rehabilitating these birds and doing what we can to mitigate the damage because it's a human problem, and so I support it.

I should say 85 percent of the pelicans in the rehab center where we were filming survived -- survived to be -- yes. So they had a very good survival rate. Every oil spill is different. It depends on the weather. It depends on what kind of birds, of course, they are.

LEMON: Will it spoil the ending if you tell us what happens to Pelican 895?

BRODSKY: I don't think I should tell you what happens to Pelican 895. It will be on HBO Wednesday night, and you can see the whole film. And I think, you know, it's best if I don't tell you because the truth is most of these birds that were picked up in the gulf were picked up not alive or they died soon thereafter. And so, you know, whether LA 895 lived or died, I believed that he would be an iconic figure, an iconic symbol of what was going on down there in the gulf because it's hopeful to know these birds can survive and they can tough it out.

But of course, it's very realistic to be reminded that they don't survive. So we knew that either way it would be a poignant story if we could accomplish it. It was tough to shoot the whole thing.

LEMON: Irene Taylor Brodsky.

Next, a serial killer targeting prostitutes and dumping their bodies on Long Island; we're talking with an actual sex worker about why she takes the risk when the next John could be her last.


LEMON: A serial killer mystery on the beaches of Long Island. Investigators have found the remains of at least eight women so far, four are unidentified. The other four we know worked as prostitutes. And as our Susan Candiotti reports, many sex workers in the area are living in fear.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Stacy Swimme is not embarrassed to say what she does for a living.

STACEY SWIMME, SEX WORKER: I'm a sex worker.

CANDIOTTI: An independent escort for seven years, a dangerous job for at least four women whose bodies were unceremoniously dumped in tangled scrub brush along a Long Island seaside highway, possibly at the hands of a serial killer.

(on camera): Why are you speaking publicly and on camera and not in silhouette about this?

SWIMME: I can't be silent anymore.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): Swimme also is an activist with S.W.A.P., Sex Workers Outreach Project. It believes decriminalizing prostitution will make the job safer.

SWIMME: This is exactly why predators target us and try to abuse us because they know we can't trust the police for help.

CANDIOTTI: Police officials say they treat crimes against prostitutes like they would for any other victim, but the mother of victim Melissa Bartholemy said valuable time was lost to get a New York City Police to start looking for her daughter once they learned she was a prostitute. She had to hire an attorney to get things moving.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something needs to be done about that.

KATE D'ADAMO, SEX WORKER ADVOCATE: People need to know that these people we're talking about, you know, sex workers, are wives and husbands, they're mothers and fathers, they're children, they're sisters and brothers.

CANDIOTTI (on camera): I spoke with prostitutes who work on Long Island and advertise on the internet. All declined to go on camera, but each told me they're now taking more precautions like bringing a friend along to watch out for them. One woman said she's now carrying a gun. As to the danger, another said, it's part of the job.

Why then take the risk? Especially now.

D'ADAMO: Sex work is often the best option for people engaged in the profession, and then at the end of the day, there's people who love what they do and who really are in sex work because they enjoy their work.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): Until investigators make an arrest, activists are asking for amnesty so prostitutes feel more comfortable bringing tips to police without fear of arrest in hopes that one might lead to a killer.

Susan Candiotti, CNN, Long Island, New York.


LEMON: All right. Susan.

Horrific damage in the southern states. We'll get a look at the destruction in a live report coming up in minutes.


LEMON: Bertie County, North Carolina, took a direct hit from these fierce storms. It's about 130 mile east of Raleigh.

CNN's Catherine Callaway is there with a firsthand look. And Catherine, we have been watching all the video come in all day. Watching your live shots. People are picking up the pieces literally behind you.

CATHERINE CALLAWAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they certainly are. These are more family members out here just trying to find something that they can bring to their family members. You know, Don, we started the day up in Raleigh, a couple of hours from here, where there was a trailer park that was completely devastated. The sad story that we were told that the three victims may have all been children who had sought refuge in a bathtub. Unfortunately, their trailer was hit by debris, and they were killed.

And then we came here to this, to see this devastation. This state, North Carolina, has really taken the brunt of these storms. I know you're talking about 40 people killed, but 11 alone in this community alone. And you look about you, and you see nothing. There's nothing left. It is - unfortunately, they have not been very successful in trying to find things they can salvage from this.

LEMON: And all these people who are literally homeless now, I hate to say that, but it's true. What are they going to do?

CALLAWAY: Well, the spirit of this community is amazing. As the sun sets, I've been really thinking today about how people have just been walking up to us and randomly saying, are you hungry? Are you thirsty? We're just the media. They're helping us. And it's been like that all day long. People just stopping, trying to make sure that the family members that are here trying to pick up the pieces are well fed, that they're being taken care of, that they can take care of them.

Here's a statement of how much the community helps itself. Three shelters are open tonight. We just were told that they're basically empty. So most of the family members are staying with other family members. They're staying with friends. And, of course, those victims here from this little area, several people were taken to the hospital. They are still in the hospital tonight. But otherwise, all the family members have someplace to go tonight, which is great, but the recovery, the rebuilding, the money that it's going to take and the time, that's when they're going to really need the support here.

LEMON: Hey, Catherine, can you describe that particular neighborhood and area where you are and show us a little bit around there just so we can get the idea. We know there's major damage. But show us around a little bit, if you will.

CALLAWAY: Absolutely. Well, yes, the bugs have started to come in as the sun goes down. This is the farming community. It's a very rural community. I'm going to have Tim, as I step down on what's left of this home here, and show you this barren field behind us. This is where a lot of the debris flew from this little neighborhood. Cars. There's actually cars and a little ravine beyond here.

A lot of clothing was found. That was a home across the street. The only thing you can see is the very tip top of the roof. There is a church about three blocks down. You can see that it is too nothing but a roof left. Just a very small community, very rural, as I said. And it's heartbreaking to see the loving work that went into this home that we're standing at.

I mean, these hand laid brick driveways, as you can see. It was beautifully landscaped. It's all gone now. All gone. Got to start over. Got to rebuild. But they're willing to do it and build this back into the charming little community that it was.

LEMON: And our hearts and thoughts and prayers are with those. Catherine Callaway, thank you so much.

There's also some weather conditions that happened in Pennsylvania. Flash flooding has been a persistent threat. Water poured over the banks of the Harrisburg area. And the weather got a little better today as the city enjoyed blue skies. But another weather system could move into the area tomorrow afternoon bringing more rain.

LEMON: OK. Flip cams. You know, they were the hottest thing when I got mine just about a year ago. But the slide towards - they're sliding towards obsolescence, or they're going to be obsolete, and it's going to happen quickly, we're hearing. And these things may be going the way of the rotary phone. We'll tell you about that in just moments.



LEMON (on camera): Breaking news in the CNN NEWSROOM, flip cams. You have one, right? I've had this for a year. Do you like it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like it. It's great. It's portable. You're family events (INAUDIBLE)

LEMON: It doesn't connect to the internet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No but it does connect to this (INAUDIBLE)

LEMON: Yes. So does my phone, and I can e-mail this right away in a second.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's got different HD and aspect issues.

LEMON: So does my phone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Audio can be manipulated.

LEMON: So does my phone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It can be used as a still cam.

LEMON: So does my phone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what are we saying?

LEMON: What do you think?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. Maybe it's time -

LEMON: I wouldn't dare say anything bad about this flip cam, but I love my phone.


LEMON: My executive producer (INAUDIBLE) and I debating another gadget heading for the technology grave yard, maybe. Cisco announced that its stopping production of the flip video, the inexpensive pocket camcorder. I'm joined now by Scott Steinberg, CEO of a company called Tech Savvy Global. You heard about the blog post about the demise of flip video for "Rolling Stone." So Scott, this was the hottest thing just a few years ago. So what happened here?

SCOTT STEINBERG, CEO, TECH SAVVY GLOBAL: Right, you know, time passes like at light speed in the technology world. And what happened was the cardinal sin, or the mortal sin, I should say, of not having internet connectivity. Because right now there's so many different budget digital cameras on the market, all of which are competing on price. And many of which have better features, Sony, JVC, VXG, Vivitar, all these guys are often cameras that are competitive with the flip.

But the biggest thing that killed it, is the fact that unlike your Smart phone, as you pointed out there, it doesn't have internet connectivity so you can't upload videos right away there and you don't have to pack another device in your pocket.

LEMON: Yes. And I'm going to show you Scott, just how quickly that is. Thomas, come in here, shoot a little video. We're going to shoot this video. And I'm going to send it right to YouTube during our newscast here. So we're going to shoot that quickly. Scott, I've got to ask you. Tell us about this new cloud music services that you have been talking about and bringing up here. Cloud music, what is it?

STEINBERG: Cloud music is basically the ability to stream your songs anytime, anywhere on demand to your PC or mobile device except for one little fact, they're not actually stored on its hard drive. So they're stored on remote computer servers which simultaneously fixes the issues with syncing, storage, backup, you don't have to worry about hard drive space, your don't have to worry about having something on hand on your actual device itself or of course, worrying about privacy because you're getting your music right from the cloud. You just hit a button and it plays any time anywhere, and it doesn't matter where you're getting it from.

LEMON: OK. Listen, I want to talk to you a little bit more about the flip cam. Let's go back to the flip cam. Because we're working on sending the thing there. So what does it mean? They're going to stop making them. Does it mean that these are going to become relics or they're really cool because not a lot of people will have them? Or they're going to start giving them away? You're going to start buying them for hardly anything at all?

STEINBERG: Well, you can start grabbing them for a discount now. But the fact that there's so many models out there on the market. There's going to be the bloggy 3D very soon here. They're for $250 that's going to let you shoot actual 3D home video in a span of a microsecond. So the reality is budget digital pocket camcorders, these aren't going away any time soon. And just because the flip is "dead."

In the consumer electronics world, we saw Guitar Hero died in February. Now it's suddenly back in "new form." That's not to say that Cisco won't sell it off, and it won't live on in another form. And in fact, hopefully an internet connected model will come in the future if somebody actually buys the division. So budget digital camcorder is not going anywhere because keep in mind as well with your Smartphone there's that little pricey contract that you pay for monthly service. So there's always a catch.

LEMON: OK. I have to ask you this also. I just grabbed this back. And I think the video, yes, it's processing the video. It says YouTube is processing the video. So just that quickly in this segment, we did a little test video. YouTube has to process the video, and then it's up and running, and they'll see it that quickly. In the meantime, when you have the flip cam, you've got to stick it in your computer, you got to edit it, and you got to do all that stuff and then get it off to the internet. So now you see why.


LEMON: Listen, as far as size, let's talk about size of these cameras. To have this my Smart phone, doesn't it have to be a certain size. It has to be big enough to have the technology of a camera inside. Even though on my iPhone or on my blackberry, it's small, and you can still get great quality but if we start going down, making the devices smaller, is that going to reduce the quality of the pictures and what they can do?

STEINBERG: Well, the good news is technology is keeping up with shrinking form factors. And so we're actually getting more power out of smaller devices. And that's not to say that the smaller device couldn't have an equally powerful video camera. In fact, many of the most portable devices now that pack right away in your briefcase or in your purse, you can actually take along and use for casual video conferencing. So going forward, I think we're actually going to see higher quality from devices that are slimmer and easier to pack along. But in the end, I'm not sure it spells good things for flip or dedicated stand alone units, unless, of course, you're shopping in a budget, in which case, you may actually sacrifice quality.

LEMON: All right. We're going to have to get you in the studio, Scott Steinberg, CEO of a company called Tech Savvy Global. (INAUDIBLE) you here in Atlanta and bring some of those cool devices with you. OK.

STEINBERG: All right. Cheers, thanks.

LEMON: Thank you.

18 years ago, 76 people perished in flames at a cult compound in Waco, Texas. The controversy over the federal raid isn't over for Branch Davidians who survived the bullets and fire that day. A preview of our CNN special, "Waco, Faith, Fear, Fire" straight ahead.


LEMON: Tuesday marks the 18th anniversary of the FBI raid on a Branch Davidian religious sect near Waco, Texas. 76 members of this sect died as fire engulfed the complex. Our Drew Griffin will anchor a CNN documentary "Waco: Faith, Fear and Fire," which will air immediately following our newscast here. It airs at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, in just a few minutes.

Drew has a preview now, focusing on an ill-fated raid that began the 51-day confrontation and includes a phone conversation with sect leader, David Koresh.


DAVID KORESH, SECT LEADER, BRANCH DAVIDIAN: You can't point guns at my wife and my kids, damn it, I'll meet you at the door any time.

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT (voice-over): Each side blames the other for firing first.

CLIVE DOYLE, BRANCH DAVIDIAN: I hear the shots. I thought, oh, my god, there's going to be a blood bath.

GRIFFIN: Top federal officials would later call the decision tragically wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's settle this now before anybody gets hurt. Is anybody hurt in there, Wayne?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. A man's screaming.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm under fire!

GRIFFIN: In the middle of the gun battle, David Koresh also calls 911.

LYNCH: Yes, this is Lynch.

KORESH: Lynch? That's kind of a funny name there.


LYNCH: Who am I speaking with?

KORESH: This is David Koresh.

LYNCH: OK, David.

KORESH: The notorious.

GRIFFIN: Koresh, calm, wants to talk scripture.

KORESH: There's some things in this Bible that have been held as mysteries.


KORESH: About Christ.


KORESH: What it says in Revelation 22, "behold I come quickly, my reward is with me." The statement is what reward did Christ receive in heaven from his father? He received a book with Seven Seals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me - can I interrupt you for a minute?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. We can talk theology but right now -

KORESH: No, this is life. This is life and death. The theology we go with is life and death.


GRIFFIN: Finally, after 90 minutes, a cease fire.

SHEILA MARTIN, BRANCH DAVIDIAN: I kept hearing that, and I thought, oh, good, this is over. This is over.

GRIFFIN: Inside Koresh and others have been wounded.

KORESH: I want to see one of the holes here? Here's one of them.

GRIFFIN: Six Branch Davidians are dead. Outside, ATF looks like an army in retreat. More than 20 agents wounded. Four agents are dead.

(on camera): When you realize that not only were they shooting at you, but now you have dead federal law enforcement officers outside.

DOYLE: It's a whole different ball game from that point on. We're looking to god to indicate how we play this.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): The war in Waco has just begun.


LEMON: It would be 51 days before the standoff came to a fiery end. Our CNN documentary "Waco, Faith, Fear and Fire" tells it all, 8:00 p.m. Eastern right after this newscast.

The latest numbers from the tornado devastation in the southeast. We'll add it up for show and show you the damage, next.


LEMON: I want to get you up to date on the top stories right now.

A power house of a storm system has killed at least 23 people in North Carolina. 14 of them were at Bertie Country, several dozen more were hurt. It appears the state broke a record with 230 reports of tornadoes. It's the deadliest toll, the deadliest toll from the violent storms that started Thursday, killing more than 40 people throughout the southeast and southwest.

Crews in Idaho are tumbling through 40 feet of earth trying to reach a trapped miner. A cave-in trapped the 53-year-old in a mine shaft some 6,000 feet underground. The miner hasn't been heard from since part of the mine's roof collapse. The cause of the collapse hasn't been determined yet. The mine's operator promises an investigation after rescue efforts are complete.

In Japan, it's going to take six to nine months to stabilize the damaged nuclear reactors at the Fukushima power plant. The first timetable that engineers have given for ending the crisis. It will take three months to reduce radioactivity and restore cooling systems. Another three to six months will be needed before the reactors are fully shut down so crews can build new shells around their housings.

That's the sound of battle in Misrata, Libya, where six people were killed today and another 47 hurt. Control of the city remains in rebel hands but they're reportedly still fighting 200 to 300 of Moammar Gadhafi's troops.

Meanwhile, to the west, in Libya's capital of Tripoli hundreds of supporters rally behind Gadhafi after reported NATO air strikes pounded targets around the city. Despite weeks of strikes by international forces, Gadhafi is still defying demands to stop attacks on his own people. The Federal Aviation Administration is putting new rules for air traffic controllers in effect immediately. The controllers union agreed to the rules aimed at preventing their workers from falling asleep on the job. There have already been seven such incidents this year. Controllers will now have a minimum of nine hours off before shifts. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will join our Suzanne Malveaux Monday, tomorrow, 11:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

The postal service is trying to make the best of a bad situation saying it loves a new Lady Liberty stamp. Even if it's not the lady they thought it was. The image is supposed to be the Statue of Liberty, right? It's actually a replica which rises over the New York, New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. This is the replica. A sharp-eyed stamp collector caught the mistake. An image service that gave the picture to the postal service actually made the mistake after printing 3 billion of the stamps. A spokesman says, they won't change it. And they're raising rates anyway because they need the money. So they're not going to change it.

Kate Middleton made her Facebook account, canceled. Had her Facebook account canceled. No, not that Kate Middleton. Not that one. Not the betrothed to Prince William, their nuptials set for April 29th. I'm talking about this Kate Middleton who is from Maynard, Mass, and had the name first. She had it first. She's a few years older than her British counterpart. She told me earlier as the wedding draws near, her name has become more and more of a royal pain.


KATE MIDDLETON, MASSACHUSETTS: Absolutely worse now. But my friends have always thought I'm sort of a princess anyway.

LEMON: All right. So, you don't plan on watching the wedding, right, you said?

MIDDLETON: Well, it's on at 3:00 in the morning, so maybe I'll set my DVR and just dream about it.


LEMON: She's going to have a little fun event for charity and she's going to ride a bike with a wedding dress on.

I'm Don Lemon at the CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta. See you back here at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.