Return to Transcripts main page
CNN Sunday Morning
'Dr. Phil Show' Posts Bail for Guest; Authorities Locate Dale Barlow
Aired April 13, 2008 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: You don't. There is no such thing as exclusivity in this case.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is exclusivity. They are not talking to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
T.J. HOLMES, CO-HOST: Wow. Going to great lengths to secure a guest, employees of "The Dr. Phil Show" post bail for a teenager jailed for taking part in a videotaped beating of another teenager.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That was good. Great help, you guys have been great help.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about that, huh?
CLINTON: Oh, yes. Me and all my friends.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BETTY NGUYEN, CO-HOST: Bottoms up. Talk about the peer pressure, though. A lighter moment on the campaign trail: Hillary Clinton enjoying her Saturday night in Indiana. Hopefully, you enjoyed yours.
Good morning, everybody, because Sunday has rolled around. Glad you're watching. I'm Betty Nguyen.
HOLMES: And I'm T.J. Holmes. We're glad you could start your day right here with us. We do begin with a major development in that Texas polygamist case. Authorities have located and spoken with Dale Evans Barlow.
NGUYEN: Yes. He is the man at the center of the abuse allegations that led to hundreds of children being removed from a religious community near the town of Eldorado.
And CNN's Sean Callebs is live in San Angelo.
Sean, authorities have spoken to Barlow, but, even with the arrest warrant, he has not been arrested. What's behind that? SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT - SAN ANGELO, TEXAS: Yes, this is very significant because Barlow is the individual named in the search warrant that would really triggered the raid that happened at the Eldorado compound, about 45 minutes from where we are in San Angelo, last week. Now, this all began with a whispered phone call to a hotline for Child Protective Services from a 16-year-old girl allegedly named "Sarah," who said that she had been beaten by Barlow on occasion, that he fathered one child from her and she was possibly pregnant again. But as you mentioned, no arrest yesterday.
CALLEBS (voice-over): The 50-year-old member of a polygamist religious sect says Texas officials are after the wrong man. The attorney representing Dale Barlow says his client lives in Colorado City, Arizona, that Barlow hasn't been to Texas in more than 30 years, and that he did not father children with a child bride at the Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints compound in Eldorado, Texas.
BRUCE GRIFFEN, BARLOW'S ATTORNEY: We have not been to Texas. We are not the person that they are looking for. We committed no misconduct in Texas. That they need some evidence, they don't have evidence.
CALLEBS: Barlow left a meeting with Texas Rangers near his home without being arrested and remains free.
Authorities say the raid on the West Texas compound was triggered by a call from a 16-year-old girl who claimed Barlow fathered one child with her and that she might possibly be pregnant again. Barlow was named in the search warrant.
GRIFFEN: We made it very clear to them that their accusations are not accurate.
CALLEBS: During the raid, Texas Law Enforcement officers removed 416 children from the compound. However, they have yet to identify the girl known as "Sarah."
Dr. Bruce Perry is among the mental health specialists working with the kids. Perry says the children have learned a strong work ethic, loyalty to family, and something much more sinister.
DR. BRUCE PERRY, MENTAL HEALTH SPECIALIST: They also had a belief system that groomed young girls into being the sexual property of older men. And that's abusive.
CALLEBS: Texas Child Protective Services has the 416 children in two shelters in San Angelo. The state has 88 pages detailing evidence seized in the raid. But what authorities don't have is the man they targeted as a chief suspect.
CALLEBS: Well, Barlow's attorney is not ruling out a possible discussion - further discussions with Texas Rangers perhaps even this week, and all of this as we move forward to a Thursday hearing scheduled on the raid, on the 416 children being held here in San Angelo as well. T.J. and Betty?
NGUYEN: All right. Sean, we do thank you. We'll be checking with you shortly.
HOLMES: Well, "The Dr. Phil Show" is feeling some heat this morning. This weekend, staffers from the show bailed out one of the teenage girls seen in this video, a video you'd probably seen a lot over the past couple of days. A group of teenagers is brutally beating another teen girl in Central Florida. The video was posted on Youtube.
NGUYEN: Nadia Ramdass is with affiliate WFTS. And she was there as Mercedes Nichols bonded out of jail.
NADIA RAMDASS, WFTS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a media circus Friday night as reporters descended upon a man who identified himself as a producer from "The Dr. Phil Show," after word came out that the nationally syndicated talk show may have paid the bond for Mercedes Nichols, the alleged ring leader of the now infamous videotaped beating of a 16-year-old Lakeland girl.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have exclusivity.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: No, you don't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have signed for it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: There is no such thing as exclusivity in this case.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is exclusivity. We have it signed. They are not talking to you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then, speak to me in English then (ph).
RAMDASS: Nichols along with seven other teenagers, are accused of beating another student, and then posting it on Youtube. All eight teens made their first appearance in Polk County court Friday, and were given bonds between $30,000 to $37,000. Most of them bonded out Friday night.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Hey, Mercedes, do you have anything to say to the girl you did this to? Anything to say to this girl? How about an apology (INAUDIBLE)?
RAMDASS: Who exactly posted bond for 17-year-old Nichols is still in question. To answer that question, we went to the person who bonded her out.
STEPHEN WILLIAMS, HEARTLAND BONDS: We can't really disclose the information on who post bond. Only thing I can tell you is that we did do the bond for Mercedes. And as far as information on who did it or anything like that, that's not something we can really disclose.
RAMDASS: Steven Williams, owner of Heartland Bail Bonds (ph) bonded the teen for $33,000 Friday night. And now the question remains, did the popular TV shrink pay to get ownership of this high profile case?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Did Dr. Phil pay for the bond?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No comment.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: But that's not a no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No comment. That's not a yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Do you think "Dr. Phil Show" crossed unethical bounds? Do you think that's ethical to paying for people to go on TV with you guys?
NGUYEN: Well, a spokeswoman for Dr. Phil McGraw says producers had planned a show on the beating case but it's now been canceled. And in a statement, the spokeswoman admits the guests are sometimes helped out financially, saying, quote, "We have helped guests and potential guests in the past when they need financial assistance to come on the show -- assisting with clothing allowance, lost wage, accommodations, travel and necessities."
But she goes on to say, "In this case, certain staff members went beyond our guidelines regarding the bail being paid. These staff members have been spoken to and our policies reiterated."
HOLMES: Well, meantime in Florida, a couple with the same last name as one of the teenagers charged on that brutal beating says they're being harassed and it's a case of mistaken identity.
NGUYEN: Yes. The couple says, their phone number was posted on Youtube next to the names and phone numbers of the other teens charged in the beating. And the couple says they have received 300 angry and abusive calls.
HOLMES: Now, we turn back to some of this dangerous weather we've been seeing a lot in the past week or so. Flooding in the south is turning deadly now. Authorities in Arkansas say two people drowned when their truck ran off a flooded highway and became submerged.
Our iReporter Janice Williams sent us this photo of flooding below Beaver Dam in Eureka Springs. Arkansas. Also these pictures from iReporter James Grubb and his wife are showing storm damage in Clay County, Kentucky. Severe storms moved through parts of the state on Friday, dropping hail and knocking down trees as well as power lines.
NGUYEN: Will those areas get some more storms today? Hopefully not.
But meteorologist Reynolds Wolf has been watching all of it from the severe weather center. So, the word is?
REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I think it's going to be much better today. Much better in terms of the severe weather, however, the big stories we're getting in parts of the southeast is going to be the much cooler temperatures. In fact, current readings, these are current temperatures for you. In Birmingham, 44 degrees. In Atlanta 46 degrees.
Skies in Atlanta are mostly clear right now. We've got a live image for you compliment of WSB. It looks pretty good here in Atlanta. No major problems.
Over Augusta, it's pretty much the same. A few scattered clouds, well, you can expect the Masters today. But it will be breezy as I mentioned.
Hey, you know, as we go back to the weather computer, you'll notice in Charlotte, we have 48 degrees. So, that frontal boundary came through North Carolina but didn't do so without causing some damage. We've some video for you, too, from, I believe, Princeton, North Carolina. We've got that for you coming up in mere moments. That video is going to show you some damage that we had yesterday. I'm not exactly sure if this is caused by tornadic activity or either by straight-line winds.
There's the video for you. And you can see, again, so typical during severe weather events, this is compliments of WTVD. You see the roof damage, a lot of debris on the ground. Again, from what I can tell from this vantage point, it looks likes straight-line winds but the National Weather Service will go up in the helicopters and they take some aerial observations and then afterwards, will declare what caused this damage.
Meanwhile, let's go back to the weather computer once more. Scattered showers are now moving into parts of extreme southeast from Georgia and then to Northern Florida, and nothing severe at this point. And in parts of the Midwest, in the southern half of the Great Lakes, what we're seeing is a little bit of snowfall. Less than an inch expected in spots like Flint and Detroit. But still, certainly enough to ice the roadways for you. And back to Rochester and Buffalo, we are going to see that lake-effect snow action through the midday hours.
High temperatures for today, up north you can expect them to be very, very chilly as we wrap things up. Chicago, 41 degrees, 48 degrees Nashville, Atlanta, high of 59.
Back to you.
NGUYEN: Things are getting chilly on the east coast.
WOLF: Yes. A little bit of the switch in our weather pattern.
NGUYEN: Yes, after all of that 70 to 80-degree weather. OK, thank you, Reynolds.
WOLF: You bet.
NGUYEN: Well, American Airlines is back on schedule this morning for the first time in six days. The airline has clearance to fly all of its MD-80 jets. More than 3,000 American Airlines flights were cancelled in the last week so engineers could inspect the wiring in the wheel wells. That disrupted travel plans for more than 250,000 million passengers. American Airlines has issued an apology to its customers.
So, if you were scheduled to fly on one of those canceled flights, you can contact the airline for a refund or to rebook.
HOLMES: All right. Presidential candidates are always trying to look like the every day man or woman. You saw Barack Obama bowling, and we actually saw -- yes. My bad. Then he was in the bar having a beer.
Well, look who else has gone belly up.
NGUYEN: All right.
HOLMES: That is your former first lady having a shot of crown, folks. Yes. Hillary Clinton. She ended up taking it to the head though.
NGUYEN: Oh, did she?
HOLMES: She did later. But we're going to talk about what she was doing in this bar. We're going to be live in Pennsylvania.
NGUYEN: Also, Pope Benedict coming to America. Be the first to get your tour t-shirt or pretty much whatever else you can think of. That is just ahead.
Plus, this -
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's my understanding that she saw the truck coming, and either shielded him or tried to push him out of the way and he's still here and she's not. I believe that she saves his life, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Above and beyond the call of duty. You don't want to miss this story. It's coming up on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.
HOLMES: All right. Just nine days to go until the Pennsylvania primary. The Democratic candidates are back in that state today. Both campaigns are still talking about Barack Obama's choice of words.
CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser is in Grantham, Pennsylvania for us this morning. It's the site of tonight's Compassion Forum with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Paul Steinhauser, compassion, that's -- not really a word people have been throwing around a lot in the battle between these two. But tell us, what's going on there?
PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: You know, you're going to hear a lot of issues tonight, T.J, you normally don't hear on the campaign trail, you don't hear the candidates speak about them, and you don't hear us cover them. Issues like faith, and values, and religion, and how religion plays a role in the candidates' lives and how religion could play a role in their presidency if they were elected.
I think you'll also hear the candidates speak out tonight about poverty and maybe some of the hot button social issues like abortion and gay marriage. But something else that can come up tonight, I think, T.J., because we're back here in Pennsylvania, is Barack Obama's comments about some of these people in small town Pennsylvania being bitter. I think that could definitely come up as well tonight.
HOLMES: So that could possibly, I guess, everything is on the table during this forum, so questions like that can come up. We expect them to possibly talk about it during this actual forum?
STEINHAUSER: You know, it could be an opportunity for Barack Obama to speak out in person to people in Pennsylvania, because it's his first time back in Pennsylvania since his comments came to light, to explain himself. He explained himself yesterday, and again, you know, when we spoke yesterday morning, he was standing firm. But yesterday afternoon, he did tell a North Carolina newspaper that he regretted, if these comments offended anybody, that he regretted them.
But his campaign is still saying that he's not the one out of touch, it is the Clinton and McCain campaign that are out of touch with average Americans who were struggling in this hard economic times and that Barack Obama is the person who's listening to them and will fight for them.
So this controversy, you know, we weren't sure yesterday whether it was going to continue for a day or two. Well, as of now, it's continuing.
HOLMES: All right. Let's take a look. You stay with us and we're going to take a look at this. I mean, running for president could be pretty stressful. And for Hillary Clinton right now, you know, she's behind in pledged delegates. She's behind in the popular vote. And if there was ever a time this woman needed a drink, maybe it's right now.
Let's take a look and a listen to this, folks, at what happened with Hillary Clinton at a bar last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: That was good. Great help, you guys have been great help.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about that, huh?
CLINTON: Oh, yes. Me and all my friends.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The mayor's buying.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Crown Royal. Yes.
CLINTON: You better get some food.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: All right. Hillary Clinton is having a beer and having a shot of Crown Royal. Paul, we saw Barack Obama few weeks ago in a bar there in Pennsylvania. He only took a few sips of his beer. Hillary Clinton is taking shots.
Now, what is this, you know, it's a light moment, kind of fun for some people to see possibly. But, I mean, this could -- win her some points, couldn't it?
STEINHAUSER: You know, running for president, it's no easy job. You got to do a lot including take shots of whiskey. And that was interesting -- she was in Crown Point, Indiana and she was doing a shot of Crown Royal. She did also later have some pizza as well at that establishment.
But, you know, it's a way of humanizing these candidate, because often, they are thought of as almost like robots in some ways. But this way -- this is a way for them to kind of humanize themselves and show that they're just in some ways maybe average people.
And T.J., just one other thing, you're giving me a hard time yesterday, saying I was the busted left knee, everybody's coming back here. The candidates will be here tonight, the CNN Election Express on its way with John King for his primetime show. So, hey, everybody's coming back right here at Grantham.
HOLMES: All right. They don't have a choice, Paul. So, how long are you going to be there? How long are you going to be in Pennsylvania now?
STEINHAUSER: All day and all night and into tomorrow.
HOLMES: And into tomorrow. All right. Well, we'll try to catch up with Hillary Clinton today, see if she needs a little Visine, maybe some Advil. See how's she's doing this morning.
Paul Steinhauser, Paul, it's always good to see you, buddy. Enjoy your day there. And as Paul mentioned, you can tune in tonight, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama facing the hard questions on faith and politics. Our Campbell Brown leads the CNN special event: The Compassion Forum that airs tonight, 8:00 o'clock Eastern, only right here on CNN. NGUYEN: Well, let's get you back to the bar, just for a second, because Hillary Clinton, you know, with that shot of courage. Well, one of those lighter moments that occurred on the campaign trail but there's another one.
HOLMES: Another one to show you. This having to do with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton put on the spot at a campaign event in Oregon. Listen closely.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If your mom were asked by Senator Obama to serve as vice president, and she then asks you for advice, how would you advise her?
CHELSE CLINTON, HILLARY CLINTON'S DAUGHTER: Well, sir, you make a lot of assumptions in that question.
C. CLINTON: But to be fair, when people ask me, you know, who my mom would pick as a running mate I say the same thing. I mean, I don't take anything for granted. You know, I'm going to talk to as many people as I can here in Oregon today when I come back, talk to as many as I can when I go back to Pennsylvania, and all of the states who get to vote. I passionately believe in my mom. I believe there are a lot of people who still want to cast their votes and have their voices heard.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: Pretty quick there (INAUDIBLE).
HOLMES: Pretty quick and diplomatic as well.
NGUYEN: Of course she's going to be. Yes.
HOLMES: But the question, the guy who asked it, is an admitted Barack Obama supporter and later said, he thought Chelsea could have a future as a politician.
NGUYEN: You think. She's got it in her genes, right?
HOLMES: She does. Mom and dad, yes.
NGUYEN: OK. We're going to get you more on the candidates from the campaign trail but in their own words. This afternoon on BALLOT BOWL, that's starting at 2:00 Eastern, don't miss it.
And tonight: Route 2008, it's a special look at the issues affecting you. CNN's senior national correspondent, John King travels across Pennsylvania stopping just long enough for tonight's live special. That's at 10:00 Eastern.
HOLMES: OK. It's 7:20 in the morning.
NGUYEN: Eastern, yes.
HOLMES: Breakfast time. People are having cereal. Salmonella in cereal.
NGUYEN: In cereal?
HOLMES: People don't want to hear that this morning but folks, we need to tell you about this.
NGUYEN: Drop the spoon just for a second.
HOLMES: Yes. There is a recall because of salmonella having to do with cereal. We're going to tell you about it in just a second.
NGUYEN: And right after the break, the material and the spiritual collide in a church gift shop. Wait until you see all of the souvenirs and mementos folks are lining up to buy. That's ahead of the Pope's U.S. visit.
NGUYEN: The London marathon under way this morning. Look at this. Around 35,000 runners are taking part right now.
HOLMES: Yes, the London run part of what's called "the majors in the marathon world" along with Boston, New York, Chicago and Berlin. OK. He's moving a little slow.
NGUYEN: Bring about people of all sorts apparently.
HOLMES: Yes, they always have a cast of characters. You saw the giant robot. Apparently, there's a batman in there somewhere. But, yes, one of the "majors" as they call it of the marathon. We need to get the winners of this thing.
What was going on right there? They got tangled up apparently.
NGUYEN: And then you got entertainment. A tribal group there.
OK. We're learning a lot more about the marathon than we ever knew. But we're also learning about this, it's a big trip to the U.S.
HOLMES: We're going to learn a lot, folks, over the next week or so about him, the Pope. Pope Benedict XVI is celebrating his 81st birthday here in the states. Next week.
NGUYEN: At the White House, Madame Tussaud's will unveil a life- size wax figure of the Pope. I thought he looked a little stiff there. No wonder.
But if you want Pope souvenirs, a gift store in Washington has it all -- from post cards to key chains.
Here is Caroline Lyders. She's with affiliate WJLA.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CAROLINE LYDERS, WJLA CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Pope t-shirts and key chains, Pope mugs and bumper stickers, Pope in 3D, Pope made of cardboard.
ELSA THOMPSON, SHOPPER: Pope towel, isn't it great?
LYDERS: For 50 cents there's the Pope on a postcard. For $675 the Pope made of porcelain and not for sale a life-size cutout of the Pope, surprisingly lifelike for the people walking by.
You thought the Pope was here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I jumped.
LYDERS: At the Basilica gift store the Pope has turned pop star. And from the tasteful to the tacky, commemorative items marking his upcoming visit are flying off the shelves.
KENT GRAVES, SHOPPER: We can find a bobble head of Pope Benedict, we'll probably go for that too.
LYDERS: It was Pope Benedict who criticized the materialism of Christmas. And some wondered what exactly he'd think of all of this.
GRAVES: It's a little commercial. You like to think of our Holy Father as a little bit less than a commercial opportunity. But, I guess, everybody's got to make a buck.
LYDERS: Just how many bucks? The store managers estimate, they're raking in an additional $1,000 a day, bound to increase when Pope Benedict arrives. But gift store sales and donations are the only source of income the Basilica has. And it's not a private parish.
So, if that means meeting the high demand for Pope paraphernalia, they say, they're more than willing to help out.
HOLMES: And yes, we're going to talk a lot about the Pope over the next week. And Betty and I will be there with the Pope. Not this close necessarily, but we're going to be there in New York with him. That's the site of the Pope's mass. That's next weekend. So, CNN SATURDAY, CNN SUNDAY MORNING going to look a whole lot different next weekend
NGUYEN: Yes, it begins coverage of the Pope's trip to the U.S., and that starts Tuesday morning. But you want to stay with us all week long. We'll be covering every step of it.
HOLMES: Also coming up of just a few minutes, CNN's Vatican analyst will preview the Pope Benedict's upcoming visit to the U.S.
NGUYEN: Plus: Josh Levs is checking your e-mails and he joins us now. Hey, Josh. JOSHUA LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning to you, guys. So, yesterday, in Reality Check, we're talking about the Olympics and what might be expected in Beijing. We invited your e-mails on whether it could bring about change in China, where you stand on this. It's coming up right here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.
HOLMES: Hey there, everybody. Welcome back to the CNN SUNDAY MORNING. I'm T.J. Holmes.
NGUYEN: And I'm Betty Nguyen. And here's a quick look at the stories making headlines today. Leaders in southern Africa calling for a speedy verification of election results in Zimbabwe. They met at a summit in Zambia yesterday. The opposition candidate claims to have defeated President Robert Mugabe. And a ruling is expected tomorrow on the opposition party's appeal for the government to release those election results.
HOLMES: And in Tanzania, it's the latest stop for the Olympic torch on the way to Beijing. The Chinese official handed the torch to the mayor of Dar es Salaam for this run through the east African nation. Demonstrations against China have followed the torch relay but officials are not expecting any protests in Tanzania.
NGUYEN: The Dalai Lama at a festival in Seattle. Take a look. The spiritual leader encouraging the crowd to help solve world problems by showing compassion, letting go of past hurts and having hope for the future. The Dalai Lama did not specifically address the Chinese crackdown in Tibet although he is expected to talk about that at a news conference today.
HOLMES: A lot of folks wonder whether the Olympic spotlight of China will prompt change within the Chinese regime, especially when it comes to Tibet and other areas.
NGUYEN: Yes. We received a whole lot of e-mails about this question and our Josh Levs have been reading through them. We knew we would get a lot of good responses.
JOSH LEVS, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: Yes, people are passionate about this. I mean, you have these two views. Because on the one hand, a lot of people thought China should have not been given the Olympics, right. Because of its human rights record. On the flip side by hosting it, all of a sudden, they are in the international spotlight so everybody is focusing on this issue all over the world. So we asked you, will it bring about change.
Let's take a look at some of your e-mail responses here. "There is a greater chance to bring about change by holding the games there. The power game majority strategy of exclusion often produces a "looked down upon" experience in the minority that slows down its becoming part of the mainstream." That's Larry Wilder. So thank you for that.
Now over to Jim Cole. "Of course the Olympics will not change anything in China. They have had a working communist state for many years." Richard Gere who we looked at yesterday. He was opposed to them getting the Olympics. "He's correct. China sees the Olympics as a "stamp of approval" and even as a reward for doing things their way."
Now this next one, "because China is so concerned over its "appearance," this may indeed push China to make some changes concerning Sudan and the Tibetan monks. However, I am less confident that change will be permanent."
Now to Armelle, "I thought it would make China more open, but this is nothing further from the truth. I think it's a bad idea to have chosen Beijing for the Olympics.
Now, Margery, "change happens more quickly when there is an immersion and exchange of people and thought. Nothing would be accomplished by "taking our marbles" and staying home. Better would be to go and to speak.
And finally, I chose this one because this summarizes what a lot of people are saying. A lot of people wrote us that, very briefly, "the games are not going to bring change to China." I saw a lot of responses that were just simple. Look, no matter what they say, no matter what happens in the coming weeks, no matter what happens in the coming months, in the end they will host this big even and people will celebrate and things will go on exactly the way they were before. A lot of people are very despondent in that sense.
NGUYEN: Yes. You would think, I mean, we're less than four months away from the games and if change is going to occur you may have seen at least some of it by now.
LEVS: That's what people say because they had all these years and now, you're right, the games are in August. So, already we're just a few months away. It could have happened by now. A lot of people feel like what they've seen in China was not adequate.
NGUYEN: All right. Josh, thank you for that. And thank you for writing in your thoughts. We're going to talk about this right now. Because the Pope, Pope Benedict XVI, he arrives in the U.S. Tuesday on his first visit as pontiff.
HOLMES: Did you know there are almost 70 million Catholics in the U.S. and that number is growing. Joining us now from Rome with more on the Pope's visit, CNN's senior Vatican analyst, John Allen. John, thank you for being here with us. Tell folks what would be the -
JOHN ALLEN, CNN, SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Good morning, guys.
HOLMES: Hey there. What would be the main focus of this Pope, his goal in coming to the U.S.? What does he hope to accomplish?
ALLEN: Well guys, I think the first thing is he wants to introduce himself to an American public who frankly doesn't know a great deal about him. The Pew Forum recently did a survey of Americans and they found that 80% of Americans including 63% of those almost 70 million Catholics in the country, say they know nothing or almost nothing about this Pope. They like him but they don't know much about him. And so I think he's coming to present himself for the first time in a way on what is the world's biggest stage in the United States.
NGUYEN: So what do you think, John, is his overall message? What is the message that the Pope is going to be bringing to the people of America?
ALLEN: Well, you know, when a Pope travels he typically has two messages -- One for the country and another for the Catholics in the country. I think his message to the United States, Catholics and not, is basically going to be one of on one hand -- a lot of what he sees about the United States, particularly the important role that religion still play in American culture, and all those American ideals that we always talk about, freedom, justice, democracy and so on.
But I think he'll also want to challenge America to do a better job of living up to those ideals and for most people around the world, I think (inaudible). He wants to give a shot in the arm to a church that has suffered a great deal in recent years, particularly, of course, because of the sexual abuse crisis.
HOLMES: Is he going to be able to or folks here in the U.S. certainly trying to move past that. You just talked about that, that pain, some of that pain and the memories of all of those sex abuse scandals. Is this Pope going to be able to move the church past that? That's certainly a goal to try to move the Catholic Church past that.
ALLEN: Well, T.J., I think he's walking a fine line there. On the one hand, you don't want to come to the United States and pretend that this story is over because it's not. There are still dioceses that are continuing to pay out significant chunks of money to settle cases. But deeper than that, the kind of stain this has left on the public image of the Catholic Church in the United States is very much alive. I think the Pope has to acknowledge that.
But on the other hand, I think he also wants to tell American Catholics not to be paralyzed by that. But to make sure that they are still engaged in the kind of spiritual and also the kind of social challenges that face the church because there's a lot of stuff on the horizon for the Catholic Church. I mean, just to give you one example that the U.S. bishops estimate today that about 39% of the Catholics in the United States are Hispanic. By mid century, that's going to be probably a majority, Catholicism in America is evolving to becoming a bilingual bi-cultural church. That's an enormous challenge. I think Benedict's message is going to be, look, let's do justice to the victims, let's not pretend that this is over but at the same time, let's make sure we're still in the game in facing these very dramatic challenges that are waiting for us.
HOLMES: All right. A historic trip, really, for the Pope and the first one he is making to the U.S. and he's going to be having a birthday party maybe while he is in the U.S.. John Allen is going to be traveling with the Pope coming over so we look forward to seeing you next weekend as well. Again, CNN's senior Vatican analyst John Allen. Good to see you. We'll see you again soon, buddy.
NGUYEN: And CNN will bring you in-depth coverage of the Pope's first visit to the U.S., that begins Tuesday morning. And T.J. and I will be with you from New York next weekend as we cover this historic visit by the Pope. The events next weekend include a visit to ground zero and a mass at Yankee Stadium.
HOLMES: Faith and politics, the focus of a CNN special event this evening. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama facing the hard questions, you can join CNN's Campbell Brown for the compassion forum. That's live from Pennsylvania tonight, 8:00 p.m. Eastern, only right here on CNN.
NGUYEN: "Faces of Faith" now and the realities of life after Katrina. Catholic leaders in New Orleans have unveiled a plan to close 27 churches. Many have been closed since the hurricane struck but church leaders say trouble had been brewing even before the storm and the plans had been considered for several years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARCHBISHOP ALFRED HUGHES, NEW ORLEANS: They were to recognize the fact that we were going to have diminished number of priests in the future, and that there was significant population shifts of our Catholic people in the archdiocese.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: The archdiocese says it will use the reorganization to expand its outreach and a half dozen of the closed churches will be turned into missions or campus ministry centers.
HOLMES: Well, an Ohio school crossing guard doing her duty and giving her life. We got this story for you, it's a really heart wrenching story that you don't want to miss.
NGUYEN: Yes. One of sacrifice. And minutes away, a day of horror, a year of hope, life after the Virginia Tech massacre through the eyes of a student.
NGUYEN: We do have a health warning for those of you sitting down for that bowl of breakfast cereal right now.
HOLMES: Yes. The FDA reporting 24 cases of Salmonella poisoning linked to cereal. We're talking about bags here of puffed rice, puffed wheat made by Malt-o-meal. It's sold under several different brand names and people have been sick in at least 14 states.
NGUYEN: The bags have best if used by dates between April 8, 2008, and March 18, 2009. Malt-O-Meal has issued a recall for all of the suspect cereal.
We'll take you to Milwaukee because families there flooded the health clinics yesterday desperate to get their measles shots after four people came down with the highly infectious disease. Three of the people infected are children attending a local daycare center.
HOLMES: Well, a crossing guard is being remembered as a hero for saving the life of a child.
NGUYEN: It was the ultimate sacrifice. And Maureen Kocot of affiliate WBNS has the details.
MAUREEN KOCOT, WBNS, REPORTER: Medics tried to save Diane Sharp after this dump truck ran over the crossing guard. A witness who didn't want to be identified says the truck was going faster than the school zone speed limit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He wasn't doing 20 miles an hour. There's no way. There was no way. Because her body went hurling.
KOCOT: The truck driver is clearly devastated. Investigators said he told them he was doing the speed limit just never saw the crossing guard and child in the road. The view from chopper 10 shows no skid marks which does indicate the driver never slammed on his brakes. It's just as clear the crossing guard had to make a split second decision, save herself or save the boy crossing at the time.
CHIEF RODNEY GARNETT, HILLIARD OHIO POLICE: It's my understanding that she saw the truck coming and either shielded him or tried to push him out of the way, and he's still here and she's not. I believe she saved his life, yes.
KOCOT: Hilliard accident scene investigators and the Highway Patrol spent the day measuring, and weighing and calculating, trying to figure if the driver was going too fast. A parent say Sharp was wearing a bright vest and carrying a red stop sign.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How could you not see her? She was there in the middle of the road.
NGUYEN: And WBNS reports police expect to charge that truck driver this coming week.
HOLMES: Such a sad story. Their job is to protect the kids. You don't expect it to go that far. She was doing her job to take the kids there.
HOLMES: Well, folks, we know college costs a lot. But you may not know about some hidden costs when it comes to even applying for college.
NGUYEN: And Reynolds Wolf has a preview of who's going to get some colder temperatures. Hey, Reynolds.
WOLF: Hey. You know, you're absolutely right. That's the big story this morning. It's not really the weather that you can see but rather the weather you can feel. In places like Nashville, this morning. Good morning to you. You got 39 degrees this hour. Birmingham, Alabama out by Red Mountain 42 and out by Peach Tree Park in Atlanta, we've got 44. It's going to be a lovely day but certainly on the cool. Coming up, I'll let you know how long the cold air will remain in place.
NGUYEN: And Reynolds, we want to show some of these baby pictures. Look behind you.
HOLMES: Tell us what we're seeing, Reynolds. Talk us through it.
WOLF: That is my munchkin. That is my latest munchkin. That's Landry Marie Wolf right there. Super sized baby.
HOLMES: Oh, my gosh, super sized baby.
WOLF: Yes, she's --
NGUYEN: How big did you say she was when she was born?
WOLF: According to this she is looking pretty big, much bigger than dad. She was 8 pounds 6 ounces, 19 3/4 inches long.
NGUYEN: Oh, wow. You know what, we're going to show much more of her, well --
HOLMES: Look at proud dad.
NGUYEN: Don't start crying on us.
WOLF: No, not at all.
NGUYEN: We'll have many more pictures coming up. Stay with us.
NGUYEN: All right. So as we talk about your money, get a load of this. A college education, you probably know this, is more expensive than ever before, even applying for college can reduce your bank account. CNN's Christine Romans has some savings tips on this week's "Right on your Money."
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: Paying for college tuition is tough enough. One cost many families fail to factor into their budget, the cost to apply to college. Application fees range from about $25 to $60. Many students apply to more than one college up to a dozen in some cases, and then there is the cost of visiting all of those schools to check them out.
KATHERINE COHEN, AUTHOR, "THE TRUTH ABOUT GETTING IN": We found that students spend an average of $3,500 just applying to college.
ROMANS: But there are a few ways to cut costs once you've been accepted.
COHEN: You can try to graduate in three years which cuts the cost of college tremendously. If you have taken AP courses in high school you can see if those credits transfer or go to a less expensive institution over the summer and make sure those credits transfer over and try to graduate sooner.
ROMANS: Or if three years sounds too short, there are other options.
COHEN: You might even want to look at room and board versus renting an apartment with your friends off campus. Sometimes that's less expensive. Also think about buying used books instead of new books.
ROMANS: Check out half.com, ecampus.com and bookswap.com. To compare prices on used textbooks. That's this week's "Right on your Money."
HOLMES: All right. Let's turn to some weather. Things are getting a bit cold in parts of the southeast. Our Reynolds Wolf keeping an eye on things for us. Good morning to you again, sir.
WOLF: Good morning, guys. I was thinking about all of the guys at the masters at Augusta National Golf Course. You think of not only the athletes that are on the course but so many of the people, you know, when you're watching coverage and everyone is following the golfers from hole to hole to hole, the scene yesterday a lot of people had the umbrellas. Because of the chance of raindrops, today they are going to be wearing sweaters and sweatshirts.
Temperature's much cooler this morning. In spots like Nashville where it's 39, 42 in Birmingham, 44 in Atlanta. It's about 40 right now in Augusta. We've got a live image for you at Augusta. Not at Augusta National but the city. And boy, nice and bright there. This is compliments of WJBF right along the banks of the Savannah River, looking to the south and southeast. Should be a lovely day, very breezy with some winds topping up to about 30 miles per hour or so, which could make it a pretty interesting day.
Pretty interesting day yesterday in our nation's capital where we have some great video for you of the, well, cherry blossom parade. We have that for you. Yes, there they are having a great time. Everyone dancing around and celebrating the wonder and beauty of the cherry blossoms. Although at this vantage point, you're seeing the umbrellas. Kind of a fitting thing because they did have rain there yesterday but you don't see much, in terms -- there you go. It was kind of like I guess a painting or a drawing of a cherry blossom. People are - is that -- what are they shaking? I have no idea what the shaking is but they're having a good time.
Let's go right back to the weather computer. We're going to expect much of the country is going to be a pretty nice day in parts of the southeast, most of the shower activity now moving further to parts of North Florida and extreme Southeast Georgia. However, into the Midwest we're going to be seeing a little bit of sunshine building in, in places like Missouri, chance of snow showers. A
And looking for some scattered snow showers in the Great Lakes and the Ohio Valley. However, accumulations should be less than an inch. That's certainly some good news. Very dry out to the west, in parts of the central Rockies and back out to the West Coast. In terms of your high temperatures today, it's really going to depend on where you happen to be. Much cooler obviously with that north breeze, it's going to be kicking in, spots like Nashville and Atlanta rising mainly into just the 50s and into the 40s in a few locations, Dallas with 67 and Las Vegas into the 80s. That is your forecast. Let's send it back to you at the news desk.
NGUYEN: That is not a bad Sunday at all. We will take it.
We're going to send it right back to you, though, Reynolds. You've got more chit-chatting to do.
NGUYEN: Look at her.
WOLF: Can I be totally honest about something?
HOLMES: Please be honest.
WOLF: I love my daughter. I love her very much but tell me, when they are first born babies, she looks like a combination of Rush Limbaugh. Ali Velshi and James Carville. Does she not?
NGUYEN: She doesn't have much hair?
HOLMES: oh, my goodness.
WOLF: Now, she looks better now. I'm just being honest. That's what happens, babies look weird.
NGUYEN: She had more than Ali. I would tell you that.
HOLMES: You just said your child resembles James Carville?
WOLF: The political season is not a bad thing to have. You know, both conservative, liberal and of course, financial so maybe she'll pick up those qualities. That is a great shot. That is Aniston on the left side of the carpet. That's my older daughter, and there is Landry on the other side.
NGUYEN: How are they getting along?
WOLF: Fine. They're doing fine. You know, it's a big adjustment for Aniston with the new baby in the house but she's doing okay.
HOLMES: How are you and Erin getting along, your wife?
WOLF: The comments made earlier, I have no idea. I may be sleeping here at CNN.
NGUYEN: Well you know what though, now you are so outnumbered at home. I think we'll see you here at work a lot more often just to stay out of trouble.
HOLMES: Three girls in the house.
WOLF: Absolutely, wouldn't have it any other way.
HOLMES: That's awesome, Reynolds. Congratulations! Good to have you back though.
NGUYEN: Yes. What a wonderful family.
WOLF: Thank you so much.
Well, folks, college. How do you choose a college? That was actually the site of the worst campus shooting in history.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was really shocked at the people on campus. I'm like, I remember crying when I got home like watching all the stuff on TV.
HOLMES: Well, one girl did just that, she chose Virginia Tech. It may help her fellow students cope.
NGUYEN: And a little later on, on CNN's SUNDAY MORNING, the magic of the masters. Tiger is in the back of the pack and you won't believe who is in front. We'll go to Augusta for the latest.
NGUYEN: Well, nearly one year to the day since the Virginia Tech shootings, the state's governor says a settlement is inching closer.
HOLMES: Yes. Tim Kaine says a substantial majority of the victims' families have agreed to a settlement. The goal of the $11 million offering preventing lawsuits against the state.
NGUYEN: Now, it's not clear how many of the 32 families had signed off but Wednesday does mark the one-year anniversary since the student went on that shooting rampage and then killed himself.
HOLMES: Grief and courage at Virginia Tech, the horror has faded a bit, hope had surged now.
NGUYEN: And a showing that spirit, a record number of freshmen wanting to take part in the resurgence. CNN's Kate Bolduan has one such story.
HALEY FREKING, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: I mean look around. It's a great school.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN, CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Haley Freking, one of Virginia Tech's 5,200 freshmen, fondly remembers her campus visit one year ago.
The people here were incredible. It was just like everybody was really, really, really friendly. That's really nice.
BOLDUAN: But it's what happened just two days after her college tour that Freking and the world will never forget. 32 students and teachers killed in a shooting rampage in what seemed like an instant. The shooter, a Virginia Tech student himself.
FREKING: I was really sad for the people in campus. I'm like, I remembered crying when I got back home. Watching all these stuff on TV.
BOLDUAN: Freking's experience was even published in an essay titled "My decision to attend Virginia Tech. "I was given a chance to see a school that went through so much pain only to rise above it," she wrote. "I chose to attend Virginia Tech in the hope that one day I will be as strong as those people."
FREKING: I was really proud of the fact that everybody was just so united.
BOLDUAN: It's that unity known as the hokey spirit, Haley says was the deciding factor in choosing Virginia Tech. A feeling apparently shared by many of her classmates. The university's vice president of student affairs says they welcomed a record number of freshmen last fall.
ZENOBIA HIKES, VA. TECH. V.P. OF STUDENT AFFAIRS: We actually were over subscribed for our first year class. We had to buy back beds, as it were from some of our upper class students in order to house our first year students.
BOLDUAN: Now, looking toward her sophomore year, it's the fighting hokey spirit, not that faithful day that defined Haley, her classmates and their university. Kate Bolduan, CNN, Washington.
NGUYEN: Well, good morning from the CNN Center in Atlanta. This is CNN SUNDAY MORNING. It is April 13th. I'm Betty Nguyen.
HOLMES: Hello, everybody. I'm T.J. Holmes. Glad you could be here with us this morning. We start with some new pictures. To show you now, from inside that secretive, polygamous compound in El Dorado, Texas. We are just getting your hands on these. They were taken by the "Dessert News." That newspaper reports the first time journalist have been allowed this secretive compound.
NGUYEN: Well, we're going to show you this picture where you see a woman identified as "Monica," will try to get that picture up for you. And when you do see it, here's what she says that she is not being allowed to see her children since authorities raided the ranch and took 416 children away.
HOLMES: All right. The next couple, one you've seen already, but of a man named Richard, he's standing in a room there, a living room beneath the portrait of church leaders, one of those church leaders being Warren Jeffs, is actually up there on the right.
NGUYEN: And here he is standing in his empty kitchen. One woman told the newspaper, quote, "It is miserable. It's too quiet."
HOLMES: And also new this morning, attorney for the man at the center of the abuse allegations at the polygamist compound said, Dale Evans Barlow is not the right man.
NGUYEN: Yes. CNN's Sean Callebs joins us now from the city of San Angelo with the latest on this.
So, Sean, after they've been looking for Barlow for many days now, they've found him. But once they did, they didn't arrest him.
CALLEBS: Yes, exactly. Texas Rangers left from here and actually went to Barlow's home in Colorado City, which is basically on the Arizona/Utah border. They met with Dale Barlow and his attorney yesterday.
And the attorney came out later and told CNN: You know what? They have the wrong person. We have an alibi. He hasn't been to Texas since 1977. And the reason this is significant, Barlow is the individual named in the search warrant. There you see a picture of him getting in his truck as he leaves his attorney's office.
Barlow, as I mentioned, was named in the search warrant. This all began with a hushed phone call in the end of March from a 16-year- old girl identified as "Sarah." She says that Barlow fathered a child with her and that she is pregnant again. She also went on to tell authorities that Barlow abused her, hit her on occasion. And that is what prompted the raid.
But when authorities went there, they didn't find Barlow. They did seize hundreds and hundreds of items detailed in 88 pages. But, Betty, they've met with Barlow yesterday. The Texas Rangers left. Barlow is still free. He was not arrested.
They are not ruling out the possibility that Barlow could speak again with Texas Rangers. But right now, he remains a free man.
NGUYEN: And you know, right now, Texas has to deal with what to do with these 400-plus children. And I understand that each child, is this correct, has to have their own separate attorney. We're talking about hundreds of attorneys here.
CALLEBS: Yes. This is -- this is a very unruly process, without question. I don't think that -- and talking with the officials here in Texas, they had any idea there were 416 children under the age of 17 in that compound. And the way the law is here, each must have his or her own attorney. So, you're talking about hundreds of attorneys. We know they've reached out, tried to get volunteer attorneys to meet with these families, because there is a very important hearing coming up this Thursday. At the same time mental health specialists are also talking with these children, trying to gain insight in to their past as well as to try to get them back in to society. It's going to be difficult. Yesterday, a Houston television station talked with a leading mental health specialist, who has talked with children who were abused at the Branch Davidian compound, of course, by David Koresh.
Also, this individual went to South Africa with Oprah Winfrey, met with children there as well. He says that, you know, there are - there is a hint - a positive news from this religious sect. That they talked about a strong work ethic, loyalty to family and the community. But that pales in comparison to the negative.
Listen to what he has to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. BRUCE PERRY, CHILDTRAUMA ACADEMY: In many ways, a lot of the things that happened on that compound were probably pretty good. I think, they taught industry. They taught hard work. They taught responsibility for community. They taught elements of respect. Things that are -- those are decent qualities.
But they also had a belief system that groomed young girls in to being the sexual property of older men. And that's abusive. And no matter what veil of religion, no matter what veil of therapy or -- you know, you can put all kinds of guises on the exploitation and sexual abuse of young children, but it is still sexual abuse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CALLEBS: And, Betty, I had a chance to speak with the mayor's spokeswoman earlier this week. Today is Sunday. I asked if there were a chance for worship services for the children here. She said she knew of nothing official, but probably they were able to meet in groups. Betty?
NGUYEN: All right. CNN's Sean Callebs with the latest. Thank you, Sean.
HOLMES: Well, is Dr. Phil in the business of bailing his potential guests out of jail? Well, this weekend, staffers from the show did, in fact, bail out one of the teen girls seen in this now infamous Youtube video. You may have seen about it now. But here it is again for you.
Group of teenagers brutally beating another teenage girl in Central Florida. Our affiliate WFTS caught up with the bail bondsman and a "Dr. Phil" producer.
STEPHEN WILLIAMS, HEARTLAND BONDS: We can't really disclose information on who post bond. One thing I can tell you is that we did do the bond for Mercedes. But as far as information of who did it or anything like that, that's not something we can disclose. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Did Dr. Phil pay for the bond?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No comment.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: But that's not a no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No comment. That's not a yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Do you think "Dr. Phil Show" crossed unethical bounds? Do you think that's ethical to paying for people to go on TV with you guys?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Well, a spokeswoman for "Dr. Phil" says producers had planned a show on the beating case. In a statement out, a spokeswoman admits that guests are sometimes helped out financially, but in this case, staff members went too far. She goes on to say, quote, "These staff members have been spoken to, and our policies reiterated. In addition, we have decided not to go forward with the story as our guidelines have been compromised."
NGUYEN: Well, we're going to move to some politics now. And a bitter battle of words among Democrats or maybe we should say, a battle over bitter and what some argue is what it really says about Barack Obama.
CNN's Jim Acosta has that.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Hillary Clinton, it was a Hoosier country slam dunk. From Indianapolis -
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was kind of taken aback by the remarks that Senator Obama made the other day, because they don't reflect my experience. You know, they seemed kind of elitist and out of touch.
ACOSTA: To Valparaiso.
CLINTON: I don't think that Americans need a president who looks down on them. We need a president who stands up and fights for the American people again.
ACOSTA: Clinton was out to make Barack Obama pay for his recent remarks at a closed-door California fundraiser where he referred to blue collar voters in Pennsylvania as bitter. In Indiana, Obama labored to explain away those comments.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT: Lately, there's been a little typical sort of political flare-up. Because I said something that everybody knows is true, which is that there are a whole bunch of folks in small towns in Pennsylvania, in towns right here in Indiana, in my hometown in Illinois who are bitter. They are angry. ACOSTA: But by the end of the day, Obama was ready to go further, telling a North Carolina newspaper: "If I worded things in a way that made people feel offended, I deeply regret that."
But the piling on had already begun. In Indiana, Clinton surrogate, Senator Evan Bayh argued undecided superdelegates should consider Obama's remarks before making up their minds. And down in North Carolina, a former Democratic Party leader and Clinton supporter all but called Obama a limousine liberal.
TOM HENDRICKSON, FMR. N.C. DEM. PARTY CHMN: So, Senator Obama, don't pity us and think that we are bitter and frustrated. We're hardworking family folks who are smart and we get it.
ACOSTA (on-camera): The Clinton campaign is clearly hoping this controversy will spill over into Indiana and North Carolina, which both hold their contests two weeks after the Pennsylvania primary. By all appearances, Clinton is prepared to take Obama's comments all the way to the bitter end of this campaign.
Jim Acosta, CNN, Valparaiso, Indiana.
NGUYEN: And we'll get you more on the candidates from the campaign trail in their own words. That's at 2:00 p.m. Eastern today, CNN's BALLOT BOWL. Don't miss it.
HOLMES: And getting past their prepared remarks, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will face the hard questions tonight in a CNN special event. That's the Compassion Forum, focusing on faith and politics.
CNN Political Editor Mark Preston is live for us in Grantham, Pennsylvania this morning, site of tonight's event. Good morning to you, Mark. They're going to be talking about tonight faith and politics.
Well, this statement that's gotten all this controversy now that Barack Obama made was a bit about faith and a bit about politics. He said that people were bitter and sometimes they turn to religion. So, do we expect this to be a big part of this forum tonight?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: You know, I'm certainly expecting that Senator Obama will address the issue, T.J. This will be the first time he'll actually take questions. You know, when this first rose on Friday, Senator Obama went out on the campaign trail, he spoke a little bit about why he said those remarks.
That wasn't enough. On Saturday, he had to go out again and say it. And he had to go down in North Carolina and he gave an interview to the "Winston-Salem Journal," tried to explain himself a little bit further.
But tonight will be the first time he actually gets to take questions on the issue. It will be interesting, too, because, his audience is going to be largely comprised of faith leaders from around the country. It will be interesting to see what their reaction is.
HOLMES: And Democrats as well. It's usually been the Republicans we often talking about and the evangelical Christians and that voting bloc. But, we've seen Democrats more and more, some might even say get more comfortable talking about faith. What does it mean now for Democrats to be going this direction and talking about faith?
PRESTON: Well, it's really important, T.J. because look, you know, when we get to November, Democrats are going to have to reach out to this faith-based community. And we've seen over the past couple of years that the faith-based community is not necessarily just focused on abortion, same-sex marriage, it's really expanded their portfolio, at least a certain part of it has.
They're talking about AIDS. They're talking about poverty. They're talking about what's happening in Darfur.
So, I expect tonight, we're going to hear a lot about the candidates talking about those issues and how faith is going to really shape -- how their administration is going to deal with these pressing things, both domestically and across the, you know, across the seas.
HOLMES: And Mark, explain to our viewers and explain to us how this forum is going to work. Are the candidates going to get a chance to engage each other tonight at all or are they just be taking questions from the moderator, Campbell Brown and just from the members of the audience?
PRESTON: Well, it's going to be a little different, T.J. You know, CNN has done a lot of debates over the past year, a lot of the candidates really don't engage one another, to really question one another on many of these issues. But tonight, it's going to be a little bit special. It's going to be a little bit more intimate. But you have a little over 1,000 people in the audience.
But the candidates are going to have one on one time with the moderators, Campbell Brown from CNN, of course, and Jon Meacham from "Newsweek," but in addition, we're going to allow these faith leaders to ask questions directly of these candidates, of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on how their faith would inform their decisions. So, no, we won't have a debate. And we won't have those nasty spats. But it might be a little bit more informed for the viewer tonight.
HOLMES: All right. I guess it is a Compassion Forum. We don't want them on the stage together in any nasty spats. I guess you're right there.
Mark Preston for us. Thank you this morning. We'll see you later. Enjoy the forum this evening. Mark, we appreciate you.
And folks, of course, we've told you about it. We've been talking about it. And don't forget to tune in, The Compassion Forum. Campbell Brown leads the CNN special event on faith and politics. That's live from Pennsylvania tonight on at 8:00 Eastern and only right here on CNN. NGUYEN: So, where is spring? I mean, really. We've been waiting on it. A lot of folks are in blizzard-like conditions today. Some states hit with flooding, and then snow and more snow. Below normal temperatures. I can go on and on, Reynolds. But, when does it stop?
REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, it's going to get better as the week goes on.
WOLF: But, I mean, there are some places where temperatures are a little bit cooler than we would normally expect this time of year, here in Atlanta for example.
NGUYEN: A little bit? Blizzard-like conditions, a little bit?
WOLF: Well, let me put it to you this way. It's not unusual to get snowfall this time of the year in places like Michigan. And there's a very, very slight chance we might see snow here in the Atlanta area over the next couple of days. That is what is really unusual.
Blizzards in some places north, that's fine. But here in the southeast, it's very odd to have the snowflakes on the peach blossoms. It's just not supposed to happen.
Hey, right now, we've got 45 degrees in Charlotte, 39 degrees in Nashville, 42 in Birmingham, Atlanta with 44 degrees and Mobile with 48 degrees. And Augusta National, it's going to be a chilly day, not only in terms of temperatures but the wind is going to be strong with some gusts topping 30 miles per hour.
We have live image for you in Augusta, right along the Savannah River. Wow, yes, the sun is coming up and it's really blinding out that lens there. This is a shot from WJBF and it's going to be a pretty nice day in Augusta in terms of being dry but again the breezy conditions will make things a little bit uncomfortable.
Farther south of Augusta, let's go right back to the weather computer. We're seeing some scattered showers now moving towards Jacksonville. Here's I-95, here's the I-10 corridor. Nothing severe at this time, but certainly, a wet day for you there.
Farther to the north, this what Betty was talking about, the snowfall in Flint, Detroit and farther to the south, St. Columbus, in Cincinnati looking like a rainy day for you. That's a check on your forecast. Let's send it back to you at the news desk.
NGUYEN: All right. Reynolds, thank you.
WOLF: Talk to you soon.
HOLMES: All right. Well, American Airlines, back on schedule this morning. That's the first time we've been able to say that in six days. The airline has now clearance to fly all of its MD-80 jets. More than 3,000 American Airlines flights were canceled in the past week so engineers could inspect the wiring in the wheel wells. That disrupted travel plans for more than 250,000 passengers.
NGUYEN: The Olympic torch, well, it burns and the controversy is smoldering still.
HOLMES: And right after this, a new day, a new continent. Will it be dogged by the same protests though?
NGUYEN: And a memo to the president. Rein in the gas prices, will you? Signed an 8-year-old, you'll meet her just minutes away.
HOLMES: All right. Food prices are rising. You feel it every time you go to the grocery store. I know, folks. Don't need to put breaking news up on the screen.
NGUYEN: Feeling it right in the pocket but, you know, problems reach far beyond your local supermarket or your local refrigerator. The United Nations is warning about long-term problems worldwide.
CNN's Isha Sesay has the details.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Haiti, hospital beds are filled with the wounded. And the prime minister has been kicked out of office (INAUDIBLE) and riots on the street. The violence since sparked by rising food prices repeated around the world. In Egypt, the signs of unrest include broken windows, burnt cars and police in full riot gear. From Bangladesh to Mozambique, battles on streets fought by a bigger battle with hunger.
JOSETTE SHEERAN, EXEC. DIR., WORLD FOOD PROGRAM: It's in places where people were not desperate before, more people hungry.
SESAY: The U.N. says world food prices rose 40 percent last year. Basic food stuffs, bread, milk, cooking oil, all more expensive and all increasingly out of reach to millions of the world's poor.
JACQUES DIOUF, U.N. FOOD & AGRICULTURE ORG.: We believe that in this present situation, we have to tackle the problem at highest political level. To be honest with you, I'm surprised that I have not been summoned to the Security Council to discuss these issues.
SESAY: Prices continue to climb seemingly independent of supply as rising fuel costs and slumping economies complicate the equation. Much of the unrest brought on by the exploding cost of rice. It's a commodity becoming so valued that farmers in Thailand protect their crops with guns. India, one of the world's major producers has banned some rice exports, hoping to keep down domestic prices, but only adding to the international crisis.
U.N. officials met to discuss the situation, worried that the basic principles of supply and demand no longer apply. DIOUF: All the indication we have is that this is not a short- term effect obeying to the law of king (ph) where the first year you have prices increase, the following year that that has increased supply, that brings the prices down.
SESAY: As countries protect what they have, some are hoarding while others like Haiti are diverting aid money to subsidize food, their local short-term answers. But the U.N. warns even as violence begins to subside, without concerted international action, high food prices will remain.
Isha Sesay, CNN, Atlanta.
HOLMES: Now, the soaring price of gasoline may not be a crisis to some, but it certainly is making life uncomfortable for many Americans. And that is not lost on an 8-year-old Massachusetts girl. There she is. That's Madeline Dalton. She was shocked at how much it cost to fill up her family's minivan. So, she shared her concerns with the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADELINE DALTON, EIGHT YEARS OLD: I saw the gas prices. It was $60 to fill up the minivan. So, I asked my mom if I could write a letter to the mayor and she said that the mayor couldn't do anything about it. So, I said how about the president? She said, that -- you can write a letter to the president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Well, would you believe the White House responded quickly.
NGUYEN: Oh, really?
HOLMES: In that letter, President Bush said he would see what he could do about lowering gas prices. Don't hold your breath there, Madeline. She says she'll take the letter to school to share that with her friends. She got a quicker response than we get sometimes at CNN.
NGUYEN: Yes, this is true. Very good, Madeline.
HOLMES: Well, keep it here, folks. Keep watching CNN. Our Money team has you covered with its jobs, debt, housing, savings or gas prices. You can join us for a special report, Issue # 1: The economy. All this week at noon Eastern, only right here on CNN.
NGUYEN: And we are keeping tabs on the presidential candidates. Our Josh Levs has a Reality Check for us. So, you're getting real this morning. What are you talking about?
JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we got a couple of things we got to go through. A couple of campaign staples that we're hearing again a lot lately from Clinton and Obama. We're going to have the truth about fundraising and the real delegate count coming up right here. T.J.?
HOLMES: All right. Thank you, sir. We'll see you shortly.
But first: A preview of what's coming up on HOUSE CALL this morning.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, guys. Here's a question for you. Could what you're doing right now affect how long you live?
Well, coming up on HOUSE CALL: Learn some steps you can take today to live a longer, healthier life. We have an expert panel. They're going to bring you the latest research and practical tips on living to 100.
It's coming up on HOUSE CALL at 8:30.
HOLMES: All right, everybody. Once again, welcome back to this CNN SUNDAY MORNING.
NGUYEN: Yes. Good morning, everybody. We want to get you a quick look now to some of the headlines that we're working on for you.
There is violence in Haiti and it's sparked by high food prices, the results -- and it has resulted in the death of a United Nation's police officer. The U.N. says the victim from Nigeria was pulled from his car and then shot. The unrest, again last week in Haiti, has been especially hard hit by rising food prices.
HOLMES: Leaders in Southern Africa are calling for speedy verification of the election results in Zimbabwe. They met at the summit in Zambia yesterday. The opposition candidate claims to have defeated the president, Robert Mugabe. A ruling is expected tomorrow on the opposition party's appeal for the government to release the election results.
NGUYEN: Tanzania is the latest stop for the Olympic torch on its way to Beijing. A Chinese official handed the Olympic flame to the mayor of Dar Es Salam for its run through the East African nation. Demonstrations against China have followed the torch relay but officials are not expecting any protests in Tanzania.
HOLMES: Presidential candidates, of course, they say a whole lot of stuff.
NGUYEN: Oh, all the time. Yes.
HOLMES: And you know, they want you to take them at their word, Betty.
NGUYEN: But as we have learned, it's wise to maintain a level of skepticism, shall we say? Our Josh Levs is here with a political Reality Check. He's skeptic.
LEVS: Hey, guys. Yes, I know, I have that reputation now, don't I?
NGUYEN: That's OK. That's why you're Mr. Reality.
HOLMES: Exactly. It's part of the job.
LEVS: Skepticism is not cynicism. That's my theory.
So, let's do this, two really quick things. First of all, in defending his controversial remarks yesterday, Barack Obama said something he often says on the campaign trail. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The problem we've got in Washington has to be fixed. The problem of lobbyists and special interests and big money is dominating the agenda and the American people are not being heard. So, that's why - that's why at the beginning of this campaign I said I'm not taking PAC money. I'm not taking money from federal lobbyists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEVS: The FactCheck.org has listened to that before, not taking PAC money or federal lobbyist money. Here's what they said. Let's take a look at this.
"Obama is trying to create a distinction without very much of a practical difference. Political action committee funds are polled contributions from a company's individual employees or members." They went on to say, "We're not sure how a $500,000 contribution from a PAC would have more influence on a candidate than pulling money from individuals that still work for that company, sometimes have prominent roles in that company."
As for the federal lobbyists, they call this "hair splitting." They say, "It's true. He doesn't accept contributions from individuals who are registered to do federal lobbying. But he does take from their spouses and from people at firms where they work."
And really quickly, let's take a look at something that Clinton has been saying pretty often.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: We forget that my husband did not win the nomination until June.
(END VIDEO CLIP) LEVS: OK. So, she's been saying often, just, hey, if the race is still on. My husband didn't get the nomination until June. I'll show you quickly what Politifact said. They say technically, she's right. But that claim really lacks context because the two races are very different.
Went back when Clinton was running in '92, when Bill Clinton was running, the late March primaries are pretty much made it clear that he had this major commanding lead, had twice the delegates of his closest opponent. So, really, guys, by late March, when Bill Clinton was running, he knew he was going to get the nomination. So, she really is in a different position from her husband.
NGUYEN: (INAUDIBLE) very close. But the PAC money, that's very interesting.
LEVS: Yes, it is. I mean, the thing is, if you're taking money from people who work at that company, even top people and you know.
NGUYEN: Isn't it all the same?
LEVS: Yes. He'll say, technically, it's not. But they say, effectively (INAUDIBLE).
NGUYEN: All right. Mr. Reality, right here. That's why you're called it. Thank you, Josh.
HOLMES: Thank you for your skepticism and your cynicism.
LEVS: No, I'm not cynical.
NGUYEN: Hey, take a look at what the tide brought in.
HOLMES: Yes, a shocking sight for beach-goers in Alabama.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.voxantshop.com