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American Morning

Hillary Clinton to Speak on Day Two of the Democratic National Convention; McCain Mocks Obama's Star Status; Obama Responds to Celebrity Ad Attacks; A New Drug Could Halt Progression of Alzheimer's Disease

Aired July 31, 2008 - 06:00   ET


KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news. Brand-new info on Hillary Clinton's role at the Democratic Convention.
Plus, in a haze. World class athletes looking for breathing room in Beijing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's my plan again for this year is to wear that mask.


CHETRY: The city that promised a green Olympics tries to fix a big gray problem on this AMERICAN MORNING.

Well, one more day, and it's August. Welcome. It's July 31st. Summer's going by fast.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: It certainly is. When you look at those pictures of Beijing, it almost makes you feel like it would hurt to breathe the air. My goodness. And the Olympics are just, what? Eight days away, nine days away.

CHETRY: And they tried to do a lot because, what? Three million cars off the roads, tried to clean things up. Wonder if those masks are going to make an appearance.

ROBERTS: Yes. Well, that could be the big story this Olympics.

But to start off this morning, we got some big political news for you.

New this morning, Senator Hillary Clinton is going to play a prominent role at the Democratic National Convention. She's going to speak on day two of the gathering in Denver next month. And the night of her speech, Tuesday, August 26th, is an important milestone for women. It commemorates the 88th anniversary of the day that American women won the right to vote.

Our Suzanne Malveaux is going to have more on all of this coming up for you in just a couple of minutes.

The FDA says it found the smoking gun in the nationwide salmonella outbreak. Health investigators say they traced the salmonella strain to irrigation water and a batch of Serrano peppers at a farm in Mexico. More than 1,300 people have been sickened since April.

An e-mail sent to the Japanese embassy in New Delhi warns of more bombings in India. Authorities say the message warned of a bomb being planted at a popular market in the capital city. The e-mail warning comes just days after 43 people were killed in some 29 explosions that rocked two Indian cities. Police are trying to determine if the threat is credible.

CHETRY: And back now to our top story. Senator Hillary Clinton will be speaking at next month's Democratic National Convention in Denver. But as Suzanne Malveaux tells us, it could be a sign that she is not Obama's choice for vice president -- Suzanne.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: John, Kiran, several Clinton sources tell me that Hillary Clinton will speak at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night. She has been asked and has accepted. She'll be on stage with all the Democratic female senators.

Now, they are not calling this the keynote address. It's the 88th anniversary of women's right to vote. One supporter said it this way that Tuesday night is Hillary night. This is clearly a nod to the New York senator but those close to Hillary Clinton say even she believes that there is little chance that she'll be picked as Obama's running mate -- John, Kiran.

CHETRY: Thanks, Suzanne.

Meantime, there are new numbers that still show Barack Obama with a slight edge over John McCain. CNN's poll of polls, an average of recent national surveys, showing Barack Obama with a five-point lead over John McCain. The same single-digit lead that he had in last month's poll of polls. This time he holds a 48 percent to 43 percent advantage, but there are still nine percent of voters undecided, according to these latest numbers, and there are less than 100 days until the election.

The McCain campaign is rolling out a controversial new advertisement mocking Barack Obama's so-called star power. It's designed to raise questions about his leadership by comparing him to celebrities Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.

CNN's Dana Bash with the latest on the campaign crossfire.


DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the stump, rapid fire attacks on Barack Obama's policies.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He wants to raise your taxes to pay for bigger government. We've been doing that for years and it hasn't worked.

BASH: Yet on the air --


NARRATOR: He's the biggest celebrity in the world.


BASH: John McCain is now comparing his rival to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, mocking him as a vapid celebrity.


NARRATOR: But is he ready to lead?


BASH: With this new ad, McCain strategists are trying to channel their frustration with the attention Obama gets into a hit on his readiness and seriousness.

VOICE OF RICK DAVIS, MCCAIN CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Is much more something you expect from someone releasing a new movie than running for president.

BASH: McCain advisers say they are convinced Obama comes across as arrogant and are trying to capitalize on that.

VOICE OF STEVE SCHMIDT, SENIOR MCCAIN ADVISER: This is a close election. We've seen much presumption from the Obama campaign.

BASH: But a new CNN/Opinion Research poll shows McCain advisers may be wrong on that. Only 37 percent say they view Obama as arrogant, pretty close to what they say about John McCain. The Obama campaign responded to McCain's new ad by accusing him of "a steady stream of false, negative attacks. Some might say, Oops, he did it again."

This is the latest in a series of McCain attack ads against Obama.


NARRATOR: He hadn't been to Iraq in years. He voted against funding our troops.


BASH: And much sharper rhetoric.

MCCAIN: Bottom line is that Senator Obama's words for all their eloquence and passion don't mean all that much.

BASH: Even some of McCain's allies worry he's going too far.

CRAIG FULLER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think people are sort of set back and maybe got back on their heel a little bit and said, gee, that's not exactly what we want to see, even those of us who are in the Republican Party.

BASH (on camera): But McCain campaign sources say they're pursuing their current strategy with a very specific target in mind. Blue collar and small town voters whom they think are turned off by what one senior McCain adviser calls Obama's narcissism.

Dana Bash, CNN, Washington.


ROBERTS: Barack Obama responded to John McCain's celebrity attack ad. While campaigning in Missouri, Obama told supporters the McCain campaign has tried to scare voters with its repeated attacks.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And so, the only way they figure they're going to win this election is if they make you scared of me. So what they're saying is, well, we know we're not very good but you can't risk electing Obama. You know, he's new. He doesn't look like the other presidents on the currency.


ROBERTS: The Obama campaign also accused McCain of the same old politics and taking the low road over the course of the campaign.

And still to come this hour, Barack Obama and John McCain in their own words, all part of our commitment to helping you make an informed choice on Election Day -- Kiran.

CHETRY: New York City police say that a man accused of stabbing a woman to death in Massachusetts did not take his four children and their mother against her will.

Rodlyn Petitbois was captured on surveillance photos boarding a bus with the family. It prompted an AMBER alert. He was arrested yesterday in Brooklyn. The family was found safe. The mother is not believed to be an accomplice in the Massachusetts murder. Petitbois will be arraigned today.

Also today, the Senate could vote on a bill banning lead and other dangerous chemicals in your child's toys. House lawmakers overwhelmingly passed their version yesterday. This bill would require third party testing for many products before they get to market. It also bans children's products containing six types of phthalates, chemicals that are found in plastics. Forty-five million toys in children's products were recalled last year alone in the U.S.

And a Transportation Security Administration is reportedly threatening airlines with fines for mistakenly telling passengers they're on a terror watch list. "USA Today" is saying that airlines could be fined up to $25,000 for failing to correct those mistakes.

You may remember our own CNN's Drew Griffin discovered he was on the terror watch list after doing a story critical of the TSA. The American Civil Liberties Union claims one million people are on terror watch lists. The TSA claims there are only 400,000 names -- John.

ROBERTS: It's coming up on seven minutes after the hour. Big oil making big profits. The high price of oil sending revenues soaring in companies like Shell and Exxon Mobil. Our Gerri Willis breaks it all down for us.

Polluted city.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beijing's air pollution today probably is not yet up to what the world would be expecting.


ROBERTS: So athletes adjust.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's my plan again for this year is to wear that mask.


ROBERTS: The air's effect on the summer games. You're watching the "Most News in the Morning."


CHETRY: Yes, that's all we want is a little bit of money. Gerri Willis is here in for Ali Velshi "Minding Your Business" this morning. Right, Gerri?

GERRI WILLIS, PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR: Well, we don't have it. The oil companies do. They have just a blowout quarter. Already reporting this morning, Shell saying that its second quarter net profit jumped 33 percent. Take a look at this number. Net profits $11.6 billion.

So we annualized that figure to compare it to GDPs by poor countries all over the world. So it's the same size as the GDP of Luxembourg, Sudan, Croatia. I'm telling you this is a lot of dough obviously. And we're also expecting some earnings from Exxon as well this morning.

ROBERTS: Luxembourg is about the size of an oil platform, isn't it?

WILLIS: True. But, you know, you're talking about a company versus a country.

CHETRY: Yes. You know what's interesting.

WILLIS: What do you think?

CHETRY: What I thought was interesting is I've been seeing these commercials. They're actually putting out commercials because I guess there's been a lot of anger about the fact that they're making these record profits and people are saying where's the money.

WILLIS: That's right.

CHETRY: And they're saying, well, when you take a look at most businesses, we're really not making that much profit.

ROBERTS: Right. They claim they're making seven percent profit.

CHETRY: And we reinvest all of our money.

WILLIS: I don't really understand that being a business reporter and having looked at the numbers. It doesn't make sense to me. When you look at net profit here, it's astonishing.

Exxon reporting this morning, expecting to have their net profits up 26 percent at $12.9 billion. As a matter of fact, Senator Charles Schumer will be out today talking about this because this is obviously one of the favorite things for Congress to jump on board and whip up a frenzy about.

But I think folks out there a little frustrated with the price of gas but it's actually down today, just under 2 cents a gallon. $3.90. If you're going to fill up your tank, now's the time.

ROBERTS: And it's surprising too that the oil companies are making this much money but the stocks aren't doing well.

WILLIS: That's true. It's not paying off. You know why? Because they're increasing their dividends to shareholders. So the share prices aren't going up as fast as you might expect.

ROBERTS: Gerri, thanks very much for that.

WILLIS: My pleasure.

ROBERTS: See you again soon.

Extreme weather. Hot temperatures about to sweep through the country. It is a steam bath here in New York today. Rob Marciano is going to tell you where you'll need to turn up the AC today.

And researchers are calling it a potential breakthrough in the fight against Alzheimer's disease. A new drug that slowed the progress of the debilitating disease remarkably in a clinical trial. We'll talk with the lead researcher. You're watching the "Most News in the Morning."


ROBERTS: Oh, isn't it amazing to be in Boston on a Thursday morning. Look at the State House this morning. Thanks to our folks at WCVB for that lovely picture.

Seventy-two degrees and pretty cloudy there right now, going up to a high of 82 and some scattered thunderstorms this afternoon. So if you're traveling somewhere out of Logan, make sure that you call ahead because those thunderstorms really could affect your travel today.

CHETRY: Well, it's 14 minutes past 6:00 in Boston and here in New York. And, boy, a steam bath already this morning. And we're hearing it's just going to get worse.

Rob Marciano tracking the extreme heat for us. Hey, Rob.

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hey, well, it's you know, last day of July, right?

CHETRY: It sure is.

MARCIANO: So I guess that being the weather headlines after 12. Yes, steamy across the northeast so try to stay cool up there. It's not going to be record breaking by any stretch, but it'll be 90-ish with the humidity feeling more like 95. And without the air conditioner you'll certainly be spitzing (ph).

Let's talk Dallas though for a second; 85 degrees, that's the current temperature right now in Dallas. This is when they should be cooling off. The big problem in the Big D is that they haven't been allowed to cool off at night. Temperatures haven't really dropped below 80 degrees.

There is some humidity, I mean. North Texas does get humid. Dew points are in the upper 60s so today, temperatures again, likely to touch 100 degrees.

The last 12 of 13 days have been over 100 in Dallas. Denver has seen, like, 18 days in a row of 90 plus. So this heat is certainly widespread and they'll be feeling it for sure.

Some flood warnings posted for parts of St. Louis and right along the Mississippi and the tributaries that head into the Mississippi. And also some showers and thunderstorms are heading across parts of Kentucky and Tennessee Valley this morning. And across the northern tier is where we'll see a lot of the action today and across the southeast, but that midsection in the country certainly will be baking.

If you do get a thunderstorm across the northeast that will just kind of cool you off. So be grateful. John, Kiran, back up to you.

ROBERTS: Rob, thanks so much. We'll check back with you soon.

MARCIANO: Sounds good.

ROBERTS: The hairless prophet of doom goes one on one with a billionaire philanthropist. See what happens when Ali Velshi meets Bill Gates.

CHETRY: Also, Barack Obama telling voters the McCain campaign is trying to scare up support with his repeated attacks against him. We're going to hear more from Obama in his own words. You're watching the "Most News in the Morning."


ROBERTS: It's 18 minutes after the hour now. Let's fast forward to some of the stories making news a little bit later on today.

President Bush is going to be making a statement on Iraq this morning at the White House. You can see it live at the top of our 8:00 a.m. Eastern hour. Today is the deadline set by the White House and Iraqi leaders for an agreement on troop extensions.

At 10:15 Eastern, New York Senator Chuck Schumer and other lawmakers will hold a press conference calling for the end of multibillion dollar subsidies for oil companies. It comes as more companies report record profits as Gerri was telling us about just a moment ago.

Later on, House Republican Leader John Boehner will make another public push for Congress to allow offshore drilling.

At a hearing today on what the Federal Emergency Management Agency did with Hurricane Katrina supplies. A joint Senate and the House subcommittee will grill FEMA on the issue which came to light after a CNN investigation. All of that ahead on the grid this morning -- Kiran.

CHETRY: John, thanks.

Well, the "Most Politics in the Morning" now. The presidential campaign heating up again after John McCain launched a new attack ad labeling Barack Obama more of a celebrity than a leader. Beginning this morning and continuing until the election, we're going to bring you more of what the candidates are saying to voters on the campaign trail. Here's Barack Obama addressing supporters in Missouri about that new McCain ad.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: John McCain and the Republicans, they don't have any new ideas. That's why they're spending all their time talking about me. I mean, you haven't heard a positive thing out of that campaign in a month. All they do is try to run me down.

And, you know, you know this in your own life, right? If somebody doesn't have anything nice to say about anybody, that means they got some problems of their own.

So, they know they've got no new ideas. They know they're dredging up all the stale old stuff they've been pedaling for the last eight, 10 years. But, since they don't have any new ideas, the only strategy they've got in this election is to try to scare you about me.

They're going to try to say that I'm a risky guy. They're going to try to say, well, you know, he's got a funny name. And he doesn't look like all the presidents on the dollar bills and the five dollar bills. And -- and they're going to send out nasty e-mails.

And, you know, the latest one they got me in an ad with Paris Hilton. You know, never met the woman. But, you know, what they're going to try to argue is that somehow I'm too risky.

You know, basically what they're saying to you is, we know we didn't do a real good job. But he's too risky.

Well, let me tell you something. When we are in such dire straights economically, when our foreign policy has gotten so messed up, what's a bigger risk? Choosing change or choosing to do the same things that got us into this mess in the first place?

We -- that union -- union -- that is the real risk is that we miss this moment. That we miss this time that we decide we're not going to go ahead and do what is needed because we're afraid. We are going to create a better America. That's what this election is about. That's the choice you have in November.


CHETRY: And in just about 20 minutes we're going to hear from the presumptive Republican nominee, John McCain.

ROBERTS: It's now 22 minutes after the hour. Five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease, but doctors say a new drug has significantly slowed the disease in a clinical trial. We'll talk with the lead researcher working on the drug.

CHETRY: Competing against smog.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pollution is on its lungs. It can cause inflammation. So generally, it's not helpful to athletes.


CHETRY: Three million cars off the road. But is it enough? What's being done to clear up Beijing's haze. You're watching the "Most News in the Morning."


ROBERTS: 25 minutes now after the hour. Every 71 seconds someone in America develops Alzheimer's disease. Over five million Americans are already living with it. In the interest of full disclosure, my mother has Alzheimer's.

Now British researchers say a new drug could effectively halt the progression of the disease. The findings were released yesterday at the Alzheimer's International Conference in Chicago.

Dr. Claude Wischik is the lead researcher from the study and he joins us now from Chicago. This is being described by some people, doctor, at the National Institute on Aging as just fantastic. Biggest development in Alzheimer's disease in decades.

You know, we hear so much about these plaques and tangles that get in there and destroy brain tissue and affect brain function. How does this drug, which is called, Rember, work?

DR CLAUDE WISCHIK, LEAD RESEARCHER, REMBER STUDY: Well, it doesn't work on the plaque. Folks have been working on the plaques for 20 years and really the results on the clinical trials continue to be disappointing. We focused for the last 25 years on the tangle. So Alzheimer's, the thing he found in the brain, was a dense mass of fibers that form inside nerve cells.

We discovered that these fibers are made of a protein called tau and then we discovered that we could pull these fibers apart.

ROBERTS: Really.

WISCHIK: The storyline is very simple. More tau in the brain, more dementia.

ROBERTS: Right. And what kind of effect has this drug had on the progression of the disease?

WISCHIK: Well, we pretty well stopped it in this study. This is the biggest phase two clinical trial that's been done so far. 321 subjects. And at 24 weeks, 50 weeks, and at 84 weeks, the subjects on the best dose hadn't declined significantly from their baseline score. This was an 81 percent reduction in their rate of decline.

ROBERTS: Now, will this only either slow or stop the decline, the progression of the disease, or could it actually reverse the disease in some people?

WISCHIK: Well, you know, this particular version of the drug, we were limited in the top dose that we could pursue. But we're working on a rapid follow, a second generation version of this, which we believe will have higher potency and we think it will actually reverse.


WISCHIK: In the mouse experiments, you can reverse and you can prevent. So, you know, I don't see a reason. It's not a technical thing. It's just we've got to be smart enough to come up with the right form of the medicine now to prove the principle.

ROBERTS: You know, I covered medical issues for a lot of years and researchers always said if you're a mouse, we're pretty good at treating everything from Alzheimer's disease to cancer. A human being, we have a little bit more trouble. How cautious should we be about the promising results of this drug?

WISCHIK: I think everyone's voice that correct caution. Although this is the largest phase two trial done so far, it's still small; 321 is still small. We need a complimentary study and a thousand subjects. You know, always in science, you have your first result, you've got a good result. You need to confirm the experiment. And that's what we've got to do now.

ROBERTS: So I know what people out there are saying right now. They're saying who is this treatment best targeted towards?

WISCHIK: Well, at the moment, we're going to approve it in phase three in mild and moderate Alzheimer's disease. But, you know, the regions where this tangle stuff begins are the memory critical regions. You were saying a moment ago there are five million Americans with Alzheimer's.


WISCHIK: Well, there are actually 25 million people who have the beginnings of tangles in the memory critical parts of their brain. And it just progresses from there. I mean, it takes 20 years to reach full dementia.

ROBERTS: So is this something you're thinking people could start taking maybe in their early 60s as a preventive?

WISCHIK: Yes. Not this particular one. That's where we've got to be smarter than we are now.


WISCHIK: I don't think treating Alzheimer's disease now is hard. The real difficulty now is to come up with a better version of this drug that lots of people can take that's really easy to use, and has minimal side effects. That's where we're going.

ROBERTS: While you're really causing quite a stir with this and certainly generating an awful lot of interest with it. Dr. Claude Wischik for us this morning from Chicago with that remarkable research. Doctor, thanks for being with us today. Appreciate it.

WISCHIK: Thank you very much, John.

ROBERTS: All right. Take care.

CHETRY: Wow. Could turn out to be such a lifeline for families if that works out. We'll keep you posted on how that research is going.

Meanwhile, a look now at our top stories as we approach the half hour. Senator Hillary Clinton will be speaking on day two of the Democratic National Convention in Denver next month. The night of her speech, Tuesday, August 26th, is an important milestone for women.

It commemorates the 88th anniversary of the day that American women won the right to vote. However, giving her the stage that night may be an indication that she is not getting the vice presidential nod. Indicted Alaska Senator Ted Stevens is expected to plead not guilty to seven felony charges. He'll be arraigned today in federal court in Washington. The senator is accused of failing to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts from an oil services company that did a major renovation on his home. Stevens is the longest serving Republican in the Senate.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says that he will not run for re-election with his party this September. He's facing a corruption investigation and has denied wrong doing but he said he would resign if indicted.

Olmert says he will step down once his party chooses a new leader for the primaries. The move is likely to complicate efforts to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal before President Bush leaves office.

And the summer Olympic games now just eight days away. And China's abysmal air quality is the big red flag for many of the athletes. The government has been making a desperate attempt at pollution control.

CNN's John Vause is in Beijing to tell us just how that dirty air could affect the summer games.

Hi, John.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN BEIJING CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kiran. Well, this is precisely what Beijing needs right now. A nice steady rain to try and clear the air, because earlier today the pollution here was just awful. And some athletes are now worried that this bad air could lead to a bad performance.


VAUSE (voice-over): And so it returns after just a few clear days, a heavy, gray haze once again hangs over this Olympic city.

LO SZEPING, GREENPEACE CHINA: Beijing's air quality today probably is not yet up to what the world would be expecting from an Olympic hosting city.

VAUSE: With the dead calm conditions and a build up of pollution, Chinese officials have announced another emergency plan. More factories will be closed in Beijing as well as nine neighboring cities. Already Beijing has taken half the cars off the road with a system of odd and even license plates. That system will now be expanded here and implemented in five other cities.

(on camera): The new emergency pollution measures will take effect 48 hours before a forecasted period of still, calm conditions. When smog usually builds up and can't be dispersed.

"We're still optimistic that during the Olympics we can reduce pollution below our target threshold," says this senior official.

(voice-over): But some athletes are not convinced. Will Champ (ph), (INAUDIBLE), an asthmatic, has already pulled out of the marathon because of fears for his health. And other endurance athletes from the U.S. and reportedly from Japan plan to wear masks.

JARROD SHOEMAKER, USA TRIATHLETE: It's faster to wore masks all the way up to the race and then after the race. Kind of as a test to see if it would work. And I felt perfectly normal, perfectly fine, so --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Definitely think that worked?

SHOEMAKER: That's my plan again for this year is to wear that mask.

VAUSE: Doctors say high levels of pollution will impact performance. Especially for endurance athletes like marathon runners who breathe in around 100 liters of air every minute compared to six liters for an average person not playing sports.

MALCOLM GREEN, BRITISH LUNG FOUNDATION: Pollution gets down into the lugs. It can cause inflammation. It can cause people who have asthma to get asthma episodes. And so, generally, it is not helpful to athletes.


VAUSE: And the IOC has warned that if the air is really bad, some events could be postponed. So, there could be this really bizarre situation where you have the closing ceremony and then you run the marathon. At this stage we just don't know, Kiran.

CHETRY: All right. John Vause reporting from Beijing for us this morning. Thanks.

ROBERTS: It's 33-1/2 minutes after the hour. And Alina Cho joins us now with other stories new this morning.

Good morning to you.



CHO: Good morning. You guys heard about that big problem at Kennedy Airport -- the bags. And we begin with that. Good morning, guys. And good morning, everybody. We begin with an update on that massive baggage problem at New York's JFK Airport.

American Airlines has canceled at least five outbound flights today as it tries to get thousands of stranded bags back to their owners. And that's the picture. Take a look.

It was a massive computer glitch that caused a major problem in the airline's bag sorting equipment. Dozens of flights were affected. Thousands of passengers, at least 500 bags were shipped to nearby New York and La Guardia Airports so they could be put on planes headed to the same destination. Anyone who paid a bag fee will get a refund if they ask for it at their destination. Small consolation.

The United States may have become a less inviting destination for illegal immigrants. The Center for Immigration Studies says the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. is now 11 million, dropping by more than a million between August of 2007 and last May. The reasons? A crackdown on undocumented workers and, get this, a lack of jobs due to the faltering economy. Critics say it's difficult to count all illegal immigrants and say the study ignored people who are not Latino.

Well, finally, it's good to be governor. But that didn't help Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire get into a bar in the capital of Olympia. Get this. The 61-year-old governor was carded, turned away because she didn't have any ID with her. She was trying to get into a bar, of course. She said it was something of a compliment that the guy who bounced her thought she was under 21 years old.

Isn't that the ultimate compliment when you get carded?

CHETRY: I love it.

CHO: Try to get a drink and they say -- hey, can I look at your ID. It happened to me. I was at the Unity Conference in Chicago last week. I swear it actually happened to me. I said, God bless you. God bless you.

ROBERTS: I'm wondering because there are some places including the 930 Club in Washington where if you don't have ID, it's just a blanket policy. You don't drink.

CHO: Yes. I mean, as one person said, rules are rules. But, you know, come on. The governor? 61 years old. Anyway --

CHETRY: It is.

CHO: It's a compliment nonetheless.

CHETRY: It is a compliment, for sure. Alina, thanks so much. We'll see you in a couple.

ROBERTS: Bill Gates after Microsoft. Our own Ali Velshi sat down with the man who helped put a PC in every home and office in America. Find out what kind of work he's doing at his new job.

CHETRY: Also, John McCain says he's the man to bring about change in Washington, not Barack Obama. We're going to hear from the presumptive Republican nominee in his own words. You're watching the "Most News in the Morning."


ROBERTS: 38 minutes after the hour. Rob Marciano is tracking extreme weather for us today from the weather center in Atlanta.

What's on tap today, Rob? Hot steamy temperatures here in New York City. It's just awful.

ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, a bit of a steam bath. You guys have some thunderstorms that rolled through so you get that moisture in the ground, and then it all percolates and rises upwards. So, when you're looking at humidity across much of the eastern third of the country, and we'll see showers and thunderstorms pop up, some of which will be strong. We got some strong ones moving through Kentucky and Tennessee this morning. And then we'll see some stronger ones fire up and maybe head through Chicago like we saw yesterday and the day before.

94 in Kansas City. This temps for tomorrow. We're hoping to get below 100 in Dallas. That would be nice with a streak of 100 plus days you've had. Denver, still pretty toasty there although dry heat, 99 degrees will be 88 degrees tomorrow in New York and 93 degrees in D.C.

You know, when they go about building new buildings, it's kind -- it's a -- there are all the rage to build an eco-friendly and green. But taking an old building and making it green, that's definitely more of a challenge.


MARCIANO (voice-over): This 1960s building used to be a bank. Now, it's the headquarters for Ideas, an electrical engineering and lighting design company in San Jose, California. It's nickname, Z- squared, and for a good reason.

DAVID KANEDA, IDEAS: It says Z-squared is net zero energy, zero carbon emission. And as far as we know, this is the first building of this type.

MARCIANO: David Kaneda and his team redesigned the building to run efficiently on its own, with high-tech windows that darken to block the heat and glare to well-positioned skylights.

KANEDA: And now, as you can see, we've got plenty of light in this space and all the lights are turned out.

MARCIANO: And how does a large space keep cool in the summer? Well instead of an air-conditioning unit, a system of pipes under the floor with warm or cool water running through them, depending on the season, maintain comfortable temperatures in summer and winter.

MARK FISHER, IDEAS: There is a two-inch concrete slab over the top of the pipes that acts as thermal mass to radiate the heat or the cooling into the space.

MARCIANO: Solar panels on a flat roof produce energy to power the building, with any leftover electricity redistributed to other users.

KANEDA: If the building doesn't use all the power, then it just goes back on onto the street and spins the meter backward. MARCIANO: All that's left of the old bank is the original vault door, but an unintended symbol of the money saved in creating an environmentally friendly and high efficiency building.

Rob Marciano, CNN.



CHETRY: Welcome back to the "Most Politics in the Morning." Hear the word "change" and you think Barack Obama. But to hear John McCain tell it, he's the one who will fix what's wrong in Washington.

As we mentioned earlier, we're going to bring you more of what the candidates are saying out on the campaign trail. So, here's John McCain stressing his independence to supporters in Colorado.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I spoke up against this administration for their mistakes in Iraq. I fought for the surge strategy that's going to bring our troops home with honor and victory. I spoke up against my party for out-of-control spending.

And I spoke up against this administration and Congress who just gave us another energy bill with more giveaways to big oil, but nothing, nothing to free us from our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.

My independence hasn't always made me friends in Washington. I was not elected Ms. Congeniality in the United States Senate again this year. Time and again, time and again, I've heard politicians, pundits and pollsters warn me, warn me that my position on this or that issue would cost me the presidency. But I don't answer to them. I answer to you. And you will always know exactly where I stand. And no matter what, I'll always do what I believe is right for our country.

We need to change the way that government does almost everything. All these functions of government were designed before the rise of the global economy, before the information technology revolution, and before the end of the Cold War. We have a lot of work to do. A lot of work to do, and to get it done, we're going to have to have the strength to really change Washington and change the way we're doing business.

I know that you know Senator Obama is an impressive speaker and the beauty of his words has attracted many people, especially among the young, to his campaign. I applaud his talent and his success. And Americans, all Americans, should be proud of his accomplishment.

My concern with Senator Obama is that on issues big and small, when he says what he says and what he does are often two different things. And he doesn't seem to understand that the policies he offers would make our problems worse and not better. Senator Obama says he's going to change Washington, but his solution is to simply make government bigger and raise your taxes to pay for it. And I want to look you in the eye, I will not raise your taxes nor support a tax increase. I will not do it.


CHETRY: So, John McCain in his own words. It's part of our commitment to helping you make an informed choice on election day.

ROBERTS: Coming up on 46 minutes after the hour. Our own Ali Velshi sat down with Bill Gates, that enigmatic figure who headed up Microsoft. Find out what kind of work he's doing at his new job.

Dwindling tips. Money once given to skycaps is going to the airlines.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The skycaps need that money because that's what they've lived on.


ROBERTS: How another fee affects the economy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not easy watching good jobs economically disintegrate day by day, month after month, you know, with every change in policy.


ROBERTS: Lawsuits over curbside courtesy. You're watching the "Most News in the Morning."


ROBERTS: Bill Gates of Microsoft fame begins a new full time career in philanthropy, heading up the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He writes in the upcoming edition of "Time" on a subject that he calls "creative capitalism," the idea of doing well for yourself by doing good to others. Ali Velshi recently sat down with him.


ALI VELSHI, CNN SENIOR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: An interesting article that you've written for "Time" and you start off with a reference to Bono about how when you sort of first encountered him, you thought maybe he's a little nuts. And yet now he's an example of what you're calling "creative capitalism." Tell us a bit about that story.

BILL GATES, BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION: Well, Bono came up with the idea of this Red Project, where you'd have products that were branded, cool products. And knowing that those projects are contributing to buying life-saving medicine. And I think it's part of the overall idea that companies view their mission as helping not just their richest customers, but also being agents of change to help those most in need.

And that -- the umbrella for that is what I'm calling creative capitalism. It's about the same stretch for the poorest, go out of your way, do way more than you might think of otherwise for those. And it will reward you in the long run in terms of broader markets and hiring the best people and a great reputation.

VELSHI: Let's talk a little about a crisis that we're all facing right now, and you've mentioned a lot of them. But one of them that seem to be facing people immediately is this energy crisis.

How can you see creative capitalism being applied to this energy crisis that we're in?

GATES: Well, whenever you have a strong price signal you're going to draw in a lot of innovation. And I see today in the scientific communities a lot of very bright people, not only doing research but also being involved in start-up companies.

And there's a lot of wild ideas that will lead to energy that's lower cost, secure and environmentally friendly. Many of them will be dead ends. But here you have the normal profit motive and the desire to help out the people who are suffering the most from these high energy costs coming together.

VELSHI: Now that Americans are facing the possibility of $5 a gallon for gasoline or very expensive heating oil or corn prices that are up, all of a sudden it sounds like a crisis that has just popped up in the last year.

GATES: When energy prices are high what that means for us is maybe taking a shorter trip. What it means in these countries is buying less fertilizer and having less food where you're literally on the edge of starvation.

VELSHI: You basically just started this new job full time. You've been working on the foundation for a long time but you made this your full time job now. What is that mean for you? How is life different for you?

GATES: Well, it's been less on a month since I switched to being full time with the foundation. I'm thrilled at the interesting and important problems that we're working on. I'm very optimistic that we'll come up with a breakthrough. So, you know, I love this job just like I loved my previous full-time work. And, you know, I think I'm adapting even faster than I expected.


ROBERTS: That's Ali Velshi together with Bill Gates. And you can catch more of that interview on "ISSUE #1" here on CNN, today, at noon Eastern, 9:00 Pacific.

CHETRY: Breaking news. Hillary Clinton gets her night at the Democratic National Convention. New information on her role.

Plus, holding kids back to give them a head start.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they've gone into kindergarten they would have been the youngest kids in the class.


CHETRY: The debate over red shirting your children.


CHETRY: Welcome back to the "Most News in the Morning." Checking the "Political Ticker" now. The McCain campaign distancing itself from Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. The campaign is donating $5,000 it received from Stevens' political action committee. That money will go to the Flight 93 National Memorial.

Stevens was indicted for failing to disclose gifts he received from an oil company. Steven says he is innocent and will fight those charges.

Barack Obama says thanks but no thanks to rapper Ludacris. The rapper's new song called "Politics as Usual" praises Obama but also uses some lyrics the senator called outrageously offensive.


LUDACRIS: With a slot in the president's iPod Obama shouted 'em. Said I handle my biz and I'm one of his favorite rappers. Well give Luda a special pardon if I'm ever in the slammer. Better yet put me in office, make me your vice president. Hillary hated on you, so that (explicit word) is irrelevant


CHETRY: Well, Hillary Clinton not the only target. Ludacris also insults President Bush, John McCain, even Jesse Jackson.

Well, could the Brooklyn Bridge go up for sale? New York State considering selling off some of its bridges, tunnels and roads for cash to pay off an estimated $6.4 billion budget deficit. Governor David Paterson discussed the idea in an emergency session of the state legislature. Selling the rights to a private company would bring in money now, but critics warn that it would cost the state revenue in the long run.

CHETRY: And for more up to the minute political news head to

ROBERTS: Wow. Selling the Brooklyn Bridge for real? Unbelievable.

With the election a little more than three months away, we want to give you all the information that you need to decide whom to vote for. So every day we're going to play extended clips of the candidates in their own words talking about the issues.

Here's what Senator Barack Obama is saying about offshore drilling.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: If I thought that I could provide you some immediate relief on gas prices by drilling off the shores of California, New Jersey -- I understand how desperate folks are. I met a guy who couldn't go on a job search and lost his job, couldn't go on a job search because of the high price of gas. Just couldn't fill up his tank.

I,, I met a teacher in South Dakota who loved her job as a teacher on an Indian reservation. She had to quit because the drive was too far. She, it was taking up too much of her paycheck. I know how bad people are hurting. So if I thought that by drilling offshore we could solve our problem, I'd do it.

But here's the problem: We have 3 percent of the world's proven oil reserves. We consume 25 percent of the world's oil. The oil companies right now have 68 million acres of leases that they are not using. They are holding land that they're not drilling, and now they want to get some more.

And we've got no guarantee that they're going to actually end up using it. And if they did drill, there's, there's no law out there that says that the oil is only used by Americans. So it ends up going on the world oil market. China ends up buying it. India ends up buying it.

And you would not see a drop of oil for ten years. The soonest you would see a single drop of oil from any drilling off our shores would be ten years from now. Full production wouldn't start until twenty years from now.

And the most you would end up saving ten years or twenty years from now would be a few cents on the gallon, although at that point I figure oil, gasoline might be $12 a gallon. Who knows what it might be?

The point is, this is not real. I know it's tempting. The polls say the majority of Americans think that that's one of the ways we're going to solve this problem. But it's not real.

And, this is what Washington does. It pats you on the back and says we're going to do something. And in the meantime, the oil companies are shoving this thing down the throats of Congress because they know everybody wants to try to pretend like they're doing something about the energy crisis. And they end up making out like bandits again. So we don't need the same old tired answers. What we need is something new. So, what I've said is, first of all, let's make the oil companies drill where they've already got leases, since we've given it to them. Let's increase supply by making them do what they're supposed to do. Let's look at oil speculators and make sure that the markets aren't being manipulated.

And let's get serious about alternative energy. Let's get serious about solar and wind and biodiesel. Let's raise fuel- efficiency standards on cars. Let's get plug-in hybrids all across America. Let's finally free ourselves from dependence on foreign oil. That's the direction we need to go.



ROBERTS: Senator Barack Obama on the campaign trail there, talking about off shore drilling.