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CNN Sunday Morning

California Wildfire Forces Evacuations; Hundreds Mourn Fallen Soldier in Ohio

Aired April 27, 2008 - 09:00   ET


BETTY NGUYEN, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: A fast moving wildfire creeps closer and closer to neighborhoods, people evacuated from their homes and investigators say it is a manmade threat. We have the latest from California.
T.J. HOLMES, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Also, Maryland takes foreclosures on the fast track, but is it too little too late for homeowners already facing eviction? Also this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I always wondered why people that looked like me never did it.


NGUYEN: Wonder no more. The Tennessee Williams classic "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" breaks barriers and sets records on Broadway.

From the CNN Center in Atlanta, bringing you news from around the world, good morning, everybody, I'm Betty Nguyen.

HOLMES: And hi there, I'm T.J. Holmes. It is Sunday April the 27th.

NGUYEN: We do want to start with a growing wildfire in southern California, evacuations have been ordered overnight. At least 100 homes cleared out in Sierra Madre, which is about 15 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Now, that fire, it has been confirmed that again, that it was manmade and it has now grown to some 270 acres. And just a short time ago, I spoke with the Sierra city manager about her warnings for homeowners.


ELAINE AGUILAR, SIERRA MADRE CITY MANAGER: We are definitely advising for people to heed the warnings of our public safety personnel out in the field. Some of the roads, especially in our canyon area, are very narrow and we really do need to have the roads remain clear so that our safety personnel can make it up to fight this fire. Again, I just urge people to please heed the warnings of the public safety personnel and remember that their lives are more important than any property they may be trying to save.

NGUYEN: Absolutely. And so far no injuries have been reported, but I've read that one of the fire department spokesperson said that the biggest concern is area is that it hasn't burned in some 10 plus years, so there's a lot of fuel up there for the fire to really -- to charge it and cause it to continue to burn many more acres.

AGUILAR: Unfortunately that's very correct. It has been a few years since this area has burned.


NGUYEN: And we do hope to be able to get you a live update on those wildfires a little bit later in the show.

HOLMES: We're turning to our Reynolds Wolf now who's standing by in the Severe Weather Center, once again severe -- to talk about this morning.

Hello to you, Reynolds.

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hi guys, we do have quite a bit to talk about in terms of rough weather for today.


NGUYEN: Well, that's not good news, but is the reality of the situation, OK.

WOLF: It truly is, you bet.

NGUYEN: Well, you know, the ground, it just won't stop moving in Nevada, more than 100 aftershocks since Friday night and scientists are worried a bigger quake could be on the way, possibly even a magnitude six. Check out the damage from all the quakes: cracked walls, stuff was just thrown everywhere.


CURTIS WORRAL, WINE SHOP OWNER: She said they were hundreds of bottles on the ground and I thought she was exaggerating, but when I got here they were hundreds of bottles on the ground.


NGUYEN: No doubt and this morning residences are cleaning up the mess. They are also bracing for the next big one.

HOLMES: One minute they were watching a military ceremony, the next, they were dodging bullets. We are following a developing story out of Afghanistan.




HOLMES: As you see here, you hear the gunfire but people still kind of standing around, they were trying to figure out exactly what was going on, took them a second to react. Afghan president Hamid Karzai and other dignitaries had to scramble to safety when Taliban militants opened fire during a ceremony today. Officials say an Afghan lawmaker, a tribal leader and a 10-year-old child were killed. More than a dozen wounded.

NGUYEN: Remembering a fallen soldier. Hundreds of mourners will attend the funeral of Staff Sergeant Matt Maupin this afternoon in Ohio.

HOLMES: And Maupin is the soldier whose remains were found last month in Iraq, nearly four years after he was captured. This hour a funeral procession heads for the Cincinnati Reds ballpark, a public service begins there at 1:00 Eastern.

NGUYEN: Yeah, yesterday a memorial procession, as you see here, took place as Maupin's body arrived in his home town. Richard Childs of affiliate WCPO reports.


RICHARD CHILDS, WCPO CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The pipes sing their sad song, a wail about grace, amazing and sweet, joining with the throaty mumble of motorcycles and a voice to welcome home a hero. As the sun broke through the morning, the tristate paused to welcome home our own fallen son.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's really sad. I didn't know him, but I have a little boy and you never know.

CHILDS: Keith and Carolyn Maupin's boy came home. People who may have never met Matt Maupin stood shoulder to shoulder with those who've known the Claremont County soldier their whole lives, all to welcome him home one last time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Me and my girlfriend (INAUDIBLE), we used to baby sit Matt Maupin from Willowville Elementary. And it's just neat to see everybody come together like this and stand out on this rainy day.

CHILDS: The rain wouldn't stop anyone who waited with the Maupin's for Matt to come home. After four years, this community watched this journey come to its final mile. Honor guards received the body of Staff Sergeant Maupin. The men who would carry him, served with Matt in the 724, they kept their promise to one another, never leave a man behind.

Old soldiers saluted, young ones held their heads high with pride. Children watched unsure, but aware of the life lived and celebrated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) is people need to be reminded why they got their freedom. This guy gave the ultimate sacrifice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Friends and buddies and relatives that he gave his life for this country, it will help bring a closure to his life, but it will give the others maybe an incentive to keep help defending our country.

CHILDS: Matt is home from his long journey, perhaps making us a little better along the way.

In Claremont County, Richard Childs, 9-News.


NGUYEN: Well, as the friends and family of Matt Maupin remember him today, we do want your help honoring lost loved on Memorial Day.

HOLMES: Please send us your stories, photos, videos and letters. We'll share some of them when we mark Memorial Day. Just go to to get started.

NGUYEN: Well, Maryland says no more.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will no longer be in our state, that draconian fast track to foreclosure that has existed in the past.


NGUYEN: OK, but will it be enough to help homeowners in trouble?

HOLMES: The he said she said over the question of another debate. We'll take a closer look at why Hillary Clinton wants one and Barack Obama does not. Also this.


GEORGE W BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I love the band. So I'm going to say farewell to you by doing something I've always wanted to do.


NGUYEN: I guess if you are the leader of the free world, leading the Marine Corps band shouldn't be too hard. We'll have much more from the White House Correspondent's Dinner.


HOLMES: And now we have a look at some of the other stories that are making some headlines this morning.

NGUYEN: Yeah, check out these pictures. An unexpected blast leveled this building in Florida. It used to be a car repair shop and police found a body buried under the rubble. Meanwhile, some nearby buildings were also damaged in that blast.

HOLMES: In Norwich, Connecticut, about 150 people lost their homes after a fire destroyed an apartment building. This fire started in the middle of the night. It appears that everyone did get out safety, however, fire officials they're looking for one person that they believe, they think, that resident moved out before that fire.

NGUYEN: The search is on for a killer shark and it's still taking place along the southern California coastline. And Eight-mile stretch of beach is still closed for swimming, or at least until tomorrow. That shark that we're talking, it's believed to be a great white and it killed 66-year-old David Martin Friday on Solana Beach which is just north of San Diego.

HOLMES: And a lot of men out there can relate to this. Some days you might have to borrow your wife's car. John McCain had to borrow his wife's plane. He's been using her corporate jet for campaign trips. The "New York Times" reporting the plane was used for seven months ending this past March. That was at a time when the McCain campaign was pretty strapped for cash. There is legislation, which was backed by Senator McCain that makes presidential candidates pay charter rates for private planes instead of the cheaper first class rates. However, there's a loophole, always a loophole, that allowed McCain to use the family-owned plane at a much lower cost.

NGUYEN: The Democrats today are racking up the travel miles as well, now shuttling between Indiana and North Carolina. Those states hosting the next primaries on May 6. And CNN's Jim Acosta joins us now from Indianapolis.

Jim, Senator Barack Obama making an appearance there, today. What is on the agenda?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are playing a game of campaign 101 here in the Hoosier State, if you will pardon the basketball analogy. They both held events here in Indiana, yesterday. And Hillary Clinton even though she's in a different state, she continued the same line of attack, essentially shaping up Barack Obama, once again, as nothing more than all talk.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As Evan said, if it were so easy that all you did was show up in Washington and say: let's change change, I think Evan and I would have figured that out a while ago.


ACOSTA: And even though Barack Obama is coming under mounting pressure by some circles in the Democratic Party to go ahead and unload on Hillary Clinton to fire back and respond in kind to some of the attacks that he's getting from her, he essentially told this crowd in Anderson, Indiana, yesterday, that he's having none of it.


BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When I don't always hit back, then folks are what's the matter with him, how come -- you know, maybe he's not mean enough, maybe he's not tough enough. Well, you know, one of the things I learned in the schoolyard was the folks who are talking tough all the time, they're not always that tough.


ACOSTA: Now as for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, they are both moving on beyond Indiana to North Carolina this evening and over the next couple of days, because that state is also holding a primary coming up on May the 6th, both of these primaries combined, Betty, offer more pledged delegates than what was up for grabs in Pennsylvania. So, these are both very important contest for both of these candidates.

NGUYEN: Yep, it is a big deal. And in fact, the poll of polls show these two senators in a statistical dead heat there in Indiana, but the big question right now is, if you look at those numbers -- how are they going to decide when it comes to the people going to the polls? And lot of people looking to a debate, but there's question over whether that is going to happen -- Jim.

ACOSTA: That's right. Yesterday in South Bend, Indiana, Hillary Clinton, she laid down the gauntlet challenging Barack Obama to a Lincoln-Douglas style debate which would feature no moderator. And if we all go back to our history books and look at the Lincoln-Douglas debates, essentially that was when Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas were running for the senate in Illinois. Abraham Lincoln lost that race, but went on to win the presidency. But what was so special about those debates is that they went one on one with no moderator on stage and just fired at one another, you know, the different parting shots of the campaign. And Hillary Clinton is essentially saying she wants to do the same with Barack Obama in Indiana.

And the Obama campaign told us yesterday, David Axelrod with the Obama campaign, told us yesterday that is not going to happen, they've had 21 debates, there will not be a 22nd debate. They would like to focus more on these campaign style events, they think that is a much more effective way to reach out to voters here in the Hoosier State and down in North Carolina -- Betty.

NGUYEN: Yeah, but just the thought of a Lincoln-Douglas kind of a debate, hmm, interesting. If it would happen...

ACOSTA: It would be fun.

NGUYEN: Yeah, for us, I guess. I don't know about the loser of the debate. OK, Jim Acosta, joining us live, thank you.

So, what about another Democratic debate? Maybe, maybe not. We're going to talk about that with Ken Rudin, political editor for "National Public Radio," that's coming up in 15 minutes.

HOLMES: And another reminder for you, we are bringing you the candidates up close. CNN's BALLOT BOWL on the 22nd sound bite, that's today at 4:00 Eastern Time.

NGUYEN: Attention business travelers, if you have a flight booked on Eos airline, you need to make other arrangements. We're going to tell you why. HOLMES: Yeah, and later, we'll talk about the black cat, that's on Broadway. We'll tell you about this break-through show on Broadway.

First here, the new Fortune 500 list, out this week. You might already guess who's No. 1, but we are looking at some of the names behind the numbers.

NGUYEN: OK, but before we tell you who they are, we're going to give you a chance to guess.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He got his start in women's clothing and he's still into lotion and lingerie. He's also the longest serving CEO on this year's list. Who's the billionaire with an interest in all things beautiful? Find that out after the break.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which Fortune 500 CEO has the most years under his belt? Leslie Wexner opened the first Limited store in 1963 from a loan from his aunt. Almost 45 years later, Wexner is still the man at the top. Limited brand now include other stores such as Victoria's Secret and Bath and Body Works.


NGUYEN: Well, Eos Airlines, named for the Greek Goddess of the dawn, today that company is entering its twilight. After a mere three years, the New York based airline conducted final flights to London and back. Eos officials say the economy and the credit crisis forced it into bankruptcy. The airline joins a list of several other U.S. carriers who called it quits over the past few months

HOLMES: Well, Maryland is taking foreclosures off the fast track. The new law extends, by a factor of 10, what had been one of the quickest repo timeframes in the nation.

NGUYEN: But it won't help homeowners who already have one foot out the door. CNN's Kathleen Koch explains.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's my little brother. That was about '65, 1965.

KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A lifetime of memories, cherished possessions ready to be boxed up. Sherry, who doesn't want her last name used, is losing the Silver Spring, Maryland home she shared for much of the last 50 years with her mother. SHERRY: There's mom. This is where I lived. I grew up. I played around here. We left our doors and windows open and it was wonderful.

KOCH: But just weeks after illness caused her to fall behind on the mortgage, Sherry learned the lender was foreclosing despite efforts to work things out.

SHERRY: And they had us fill out all this paperwork and we filled it out, we sent it and they sent us a letter back saying, well sorry.

KOCH: Maryland, for years, had one of the shortest foreclosure windows in the nations, just 15 days.

GOV MARTIN O'MALLEY (D), MARYLAND: It will no longer be in our state that draconian fast track to foreclosure that has existed in the past.

KOCH: So, earlier this month, the Maryland legislature passed and the governor signed a law giving homeowners 150 day after missing a mortgage payment before facing foreclosure proceedings.

THOMAS PEREZ, MD LABOR LICENSING REG SECY: The fast track to foreclosure really puts people at serious risk. And when you compound it with the fact that when you try to call your servicer, they don't answer the phone and you have difficulty getting a response and the clock and ticking and ticking and ticking, that is a very toxic recipe for homeowners. And so, this is a basic consumer protection law.

KOCH: Attorney Phil Robinson's nonprofit law firm helps families about to lose their homes.

PHIL ROBINSON, CIVIL JUSTICE NETWORK: There's good case law that supports our position, there.

KOCH: He says the new law means much needed relief for struggling homeowners in Maryland where more than 25,000 homes were foreclosed on last year.

ROBINSON: In the past, by the time someone got the notice, the sale was going to occur in a week's time, that is not a meaningful opportunity to defend their property.

KOCH: The law, though, is not retroactive, so it doesn't help homeowners like Sherry.

SHERRY: It's very frustrated. We don't know where to turn, we don't know what to do now.

KOCH: A feeling fewer Marylanders will face now that time is on their side.

Kathleen Koch, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE) HOLMES: And stay with CNN our money team has you covered whether we are talking jobs, debt, housing or savings. Join us for a special report, it's called "Issue No. 1, The Economy" all this week at Noon Eastern, only right here on CNN.

NGUYEN: As you mentioned a little bit earlier, Hillary Clinton wants to debate, Barack Obama does not. And John McCain, well he's now in the headlines over campaign flights that he took on his wife's company jet. We'll have the latest on your "Trailmix," coming up. Plus Josh.

Hey, Josh.

JOSH LEVS, CNN.COM DESK: Hey, good morning to you guys. So, some are arguing that Hillary Clinton has been more negative than Barack Obama. Well, her interactive timeline begs to differ. We've got competing versions of just how this campaign has played out and we'll show it to you, coming up right here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.


HOLMES: Hello again, everybody. I'm T.J. Holmes.

NGUYEN: And I'm Betty Nguyen. Here's a quick look at our top story today. Officials say it will take two or three days to contain a wildfire in southern California. Look at these flames. The fire in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains has forced the evacuation of about 100 homes.

HOLMES: A farewell for a fallen soldier, a funeral precession is getting underway for Staff Sergeant Matt Maupin. He's the soldier whose remains were found last month in Iraq, almost four years after he was captured. The funeral service is this afternoon at the Cincinnati Reds ballpark.

NGUYEN: Well, bullets flying, dignitaries ducking for cover. We have an update now on the developing story out of Afghanistan, this morning. President Karzai and others had to scramble to safety when Taliban militants opened fire during a military ceremony.




NGUYEN: It took those on the podium a few seconds actually to react, to figure out what was going on. Officials say an Afghan lawmaker, a tribal leader and a 10-year-old child were killed. More than a dozen people were wounded, but President Karzai was not hurt.

HOLMES: We will turn to U.S. politics now. The Democrats gearing up for Indiana and North Carolina, some 10 days away. The question now, will we get to see another debate between the two Democratic candidates before the primaries? National Public Radio political editor, Ken Rudin joins us from Washington this morning. Ken, hadn't seen you in a little while. Good to see you. Good morning to you.


HOLMES: A Lincoln-Douglas debate between Clinton and Obama. My goodness, would that not be some good television? It ain't happening, is it?

RUDIN: Well, which one is Lincoln and which one is Douglas? But look, you know, obviously if you are behind, as Hillary Clinton is, you want as many debates as you can. You want as many as possible. And of course, if you are behind in the money race too, you want debates. If you are Barack Obama, who leads in delegates and states won and all that stuff, you want to run out the clock.

Now of course, Hillary Clinton is not going to let him run out the clock. There are nine more contests to go until June 3. But, she wants -- she beats him up on the debates. He would like to be the above politics kind of guy, that guy who says: I transcend politics, I don't believe in this.

HOLMES: Is that still working for him, Ken?

RUDIN: No, it's actually not and actually, exit polls show -- first of all, after the last debate in Pennsylvania, the ABC debate, he just seemed flummoxed with a lot of questions that were thrown his way. And nobody is a better, a tougher infighter than Hillary Clinton and she's shown it. Polls show that most voters think she's far more negative and she probably is, but she's also very effective and especially in a debate with no referee, you know, nobody to stop the fight she can go on and on.

HOLMES: Oh boy, that would be some great television, though. Is there any time -- we're talking about Obama, here -- hasn't been able to close the deal out because he's had so many opportunities, many would say, to close it out, to win a big one, to knock her out of this thing and every time he gets a chance to, he can't do it. Is there any tie turning among people, and by people I guess I mean superdelegate, that hey, wait a minute, let's take a second here, he doesn't seem to be able to close the deal?

RUDIN: Well, first of all, let's be honest here, Hillary Clinton is Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction." She gong to keep coming back and they're not going to stop her.

HOLMES: What Ken?

RUDIN: Well, we'll figure that out, there's a lot of ways to imagine that.

HOLMES: Yes, you can.

RUDIN: But, also if, I think, look, as far back as New Hampshire people were saying, well, you know, if Hillary Clinton loses New Hampshire, it's over. This is still the seventh inning, there is still nine more contests, plenty more to go. But, Pennsylvania, look, the demographics were against Barack Obama from the beginning, in Pennsylvania. It is older, the state is older, it's whiter, it's more women, it's more blue collar workers. That's been an albatross for Barack Obama.

Now, coming up on May 6, North Carolina, certainly more favorable terrain for Barack Obama, perhaps Indiana, as well, and then you still have the other contests. So, there may be superdelegates who would love this to be over right away and are giving Hillary Clinton a second look, but again, he still leads, you know, he still has the lead, and he could still do very well on May 6.

HOLMES: And last thing here on these two before I get to a question about McCain, if Obama pulls off North Carolina, as he is expected to win, and also Indiana, that's still not enough to knock her out of this race?

RUDIN: No, but nor should it be. I mean, again, you know, there may be a lot of pressure on her from the party big rigs, whoever they are, to say look, it's time to go, but she'll say, look, I'm in it until the end. And I expect her to be in until the end, as Glenn Close was.

HOLMES: As Glenn. And we understood the analogy, I think.

Tell us, McCain, how is doing with his image right now? He has gone on a couple of tours, seems like everybody has some kind of a bus tour. But his tour, his "Time for Action Tour," and he was taking his bus and taking himself into areas, Democratic country, areas where you don't find Republicans a lot of times: Selma, Alabama, he went to New Orleans in the Lower Ninth Ward. He was in a lot of places like that. Is doing, I mean, great things to really help his image and show himself as not the typical politician and not the typical Republican politician?

RUDIN: True. And of course George W. Bush did the same in 2000 when he campaigned as a compassionate conservative. But, I think the feeling in the McCain camp is that ultimately there will be a large segment of Democrats disappointed with however it turns out. Barack Obama supporters, if he doesn't get the nomination, they will be upset. Again, Hillary Clinton supporter, a few of then get the nomination, they'll be upset. John McCain is clearly trying to reach out to these Independents, these disaffected Democrats that he's not a typical Republican and on many issues he's not a typical Republican, so he's trying to show that he's not this right wing lunatic that a lot of people portray him.

HOLMES: And real quick, here, on the plane, is this going to be a big deal? He was borrowing his wife's plane. A lot of husbands have to borrow the wife's card, but she has a plane available and that helped him out, saved him a lot of money when he was cash strapped, she had the private plane, she let him use, saved him a lot of money. Is this going to be a much to do about nothing?

RUDIN: I think, yes, but of course, everybody, given the fact that he's so far behind in finances, he will do whatever he can to kind of catch up. I think Democrats will talk about it, I don't think it's a big issue in the long run.

HOLMES: All right, Ken Rudin, National Public Radio political editor, thank you for getting up with us. We know you were at the correspondent's dinner last night, NBC, where the president was and here you all had a pretty good time. But you look good this morning for partying all night.

RUDIN: I'm faking it.

HOLMES: All right. We'll let you go then.

RUDIN: Thanks.

NGUYEN: Maybe that explains the Glenn Close analogy, who knows?

HOLMES: "Fatal Attraction," we don't get that reference on this show a lot.

NGUYEN: Very rare. Well, the presidential campaign has been going on so long, that it's really easy to lose track of time. So, the candidates are helping you out by posting their own timelines on the Internet.

HOLMES: And Josh Levs, Mr. Reality, here to walk us through the Web of political sites.

Good morning, Josh.

LEVS: Good morning to you. Glenn Close from "Fatal Attraction," that may be the only image Maureen Dowd has not used yet. That was pretty striking.

Well, to that end, Hillary Clinton is arguing that she is not more negative. And that is what I'm going to start off showing you, right here. Her Web site includes a link to this: I'm going to step aside, we can pull in. What she has done is created this timeline of the times when she says Barack Obama has attacked her. For example, here, this is from April 22, the other day, she says a mailer falsely accused her of a factory closure in Pennsylvania.

To the right a little bit, she quotes him on CNN. Obama campaign saying Hillary continues "to employ the say-and-do-anything tactics of the past." You can scroll back to 2006 on this thing, keeps going and going and going.

Not to be outdone, I'm going to show you Barack Obama's Web site. Now, he, for a long time, has said this, Hillary attacks. This is linked from and it traced through various times that she attacked him.

Now, I was looking at this today, and it is interesting to note he has actually not updated this page since February 15. Now, that might sound like a random date to you. What it actually was, if you think back, February 4 was the big Super Tuesday, after that he started cleaning up, carrying all of these different states. It could be his campaign decided he didn't need to keep updating this. But, it does go farther back. You can see some of those attacks.

Now, different kind of timeline from, very cool. I've been wanting to show you this and this new screen is a great way to do it. It's interactive, it traces you through this entire history, literally, from his birth with lots of stops along the way, about various things he says have gotten him to the place where he should be leading the nation.

For example, I'm over here, 1968 right now, you've got Vietnam captivity, it goes to video, it goes to audio, it goes to various pictures throughout the years. I'm going to skip ahead now. I prepared this up to these years, 2006, 2007, 2008 all these stars you see, are things you can click on that give you information about things he says he's accomplished in the last few years that are presidential.

For example, take a look at this. This is his character, his destiny. He's also continuing to talk about his legislation he's supporting all the through today. Every single one of these it gives you -- OK, that one didn't come up -- well, every single one of these a different piece of legislation or a speech he's made in the last couple of years that he says are presidential and prove that he should be the next president. It's part of his campaign, right now, to introduce himself as a potential president to the nation, and as we know, and as we've been reporting, that's really his focus right now, guys, trying to introduce himself to the nation. Obviously, you can see all of this any time at all on their Web sites, they're all linked from the main site, just go to and click on his timeline. There you go, Betty, T.J.

NGUYEN: Well, why would we want to do that when you can stand up there and just show it all to us?

LEVS: Hey, if I had an hour, I would...

NGUYEN: With that new toy of yours.

LEVS: Are you kidding? I don't want to leave. They're telling me I have to leave. Come on, let me have this.

NGUYEN: But you know, Josh, John King's got a wall that's very similar, it's just some more bells and whistles. Now, this is the real magic wall, Josh.

LEVS: You know, and you guys are ripping be about this, but you have no idea how cool it would be to play with that thing some day. And that's the toy -- if I got to play with, I would stay at work all night.

NGUYEN: No, they're not letting you near it, Josh.

LEVS: I'd need a case of Red Bull.

NGUYEN: That is why you're using the one that King used five years ago. But, you're doing a good job and we appreciate it.

LEVS: Hey, at least I get the hand-me-downs.

HOLMES: I think they sell those next to PlayStations now, in Wal-Mart, Josh.

NGUYEN: At the stores. My little sister's on one right now, she's 15, Josh. All right, enough ribbing, Josh.

We want to give you another reminder though that we are bringing you the candidates up close and personal at CNN's BALLOT BOWL, they'll be on the 22nd sound bite, today at 4:00 p.m. Eastern.

HOLMES: It is that time of the year for teams to reload, the NFL draft, here, a chance to grab the NFL dream, stay tuned, it gets underway, today.

NGUYEN: Plus one draft success story, making his mark earlier than expected. That's ahead on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.


HOLMES: All right, well hugs, kisses and a big welcome home for some 150 Marines who were serving in Iraq. Family members turned out in Montgomery, Alabama, yesterday to greet the troops. Many spent the last seven months in the warzone.

NGUYEN: The Olympic torch relay travels through Seoul, South Korea, today. Police say a North Korean defector tried to set himself on fire to stop the relay, but they stopped him. Scuffles did break out between Chinese supporters and anti-China demonstrators. The torch is due to arrive in North Korea in a couple hours.

HOLMES: Living the dream of making it to the NFL. The first step of this weekend's draft. Day two of the NFL draft gets underway in just a few minutes. The first day had plenty of notables on the board. And any time we can show the University of Arkansas, I'm a happy man. That's running back Darren McFadden, he went No. 4 in the draft. I don't have loyalties really, when it comes to NFL teams. But, he went to Oakland, so now I do have a new favorite NFL team.

Matt Ryan went a pick earlier, that's the Boston college quarterback, he goes to the Atlanta Falcon who of course, are in need of a franchise quarterback because their franchise quarterback, as we know, right now, serving time in prison.

NGUYEN: Well, if you have a new team I better not see you at an Atlanta Falcons game.

HOLMES: Well, if Oakland is coming to town to play.

NGUYEN: Only then, right? Finding that cornerstone quarterback is not easy. I mean, look at Tom Brady, he was a sixth round pick.

HOLMES: Perfect example, there. But then again, every first round pick can surprise you. CNN Larry Smith takes a look at one such success story.


LARRY SMITH, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, was born to play football, but wasn't always the star.

BEN ROETHLISBERGER, PITTSBURGH STEELERS QUARTERBACK: I played wide receiver in high school because the coach's son was the quarterback, then I finally got to play quarterback in my senior year.

SMITH: Roethlisberger went on to play college football at Miami of Ohio. In 2003 he was picked 11th in the NFL draft by the Steelers. The rookie was set to back up the team's two other quarterbacks, but when they were injured, he became the starter in only his third NFL game. A season later at age 23, "Big Ben" became the youngest quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl.

ROETHLISBERGER: When you win the Super Bowl, when you hold that trophy, that makes you feel like, wow, I've done it. Every year, every NFL player, every team says their goal is to win a Super Bowl. To actually do it, makes you feel good. That is one point, so far, in my football career that has really made me take a step back and smile.

SMITH: Roethlisberger made headlines again in 2006 when a motorcycle accident and an emergency appendectomy threatened to keep him off the field. But he bounced back.

ROETHLISBERGER: A lot of people started talking about, well maybe he was just a one-hit wonder. And that stings you a little bit, but it fuels the fire. You just learn to use it as motivation. That's what I did. You know, I like when people talk bad about me.

SMITH: But the quarterback's true inspiration is his father.

ROETHLISBERGER: As a father, as a husband, as a son, as a, you know, everything, he just inspires me to be better. His hard work and determination kind of rubbed off on me. I'm not settled, I'm never going to be satisfied with where I'm at. I'm always going to try and get better.

SMITH: And he's doing just that. "Big Ben" recently signed an eight-year $102 million contract with the Steelers, making him the highest paid player in team history.

ROETHLISBERGER: I always wanted to play in the NFL. I count my blessings every day that I've gotten the opportunity to be here and to do it.


NGUYEN: Well, dinner is served and President Bush dishes up the laughs.


BUSH: This is my last White House Correspondents Dinner as president. You know, I'm not sure what I'm going to do next. After he left office, Vice President Gore won an Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize.


Hey, I don't know, I might win a prize, publishing clearinghouse or something.


HOLMES: We will have the highlights from the White House Correspondents Dinner next.


NGUYEN: All right, so where are all the children? Well, this morning two moms from that polygamous ranch in west Texas say they cannot find their kids.

HOLMES: Yeah, these mothers says their boys were taken from the ranch and aren't on any of the temporary housing list; however, a Corpus Christi newspaper reports Child Protective Services is confident no children have been lost. The agency official also tells the newspaper it's sometimes hard to determine who their parents are.

NGUYEN: Meanwhile, though, in Liverpool, Texas, dozens of children from the compound are settling into a group home and KHOU's Kevin Peters explains how that community is coming together to help the children.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Baby clothing, a lot of diapers, kids' toys.

KEVIN PETERS, KHOU CORRESPONDENT (voice over): the Liverpool city hall may be just a tiny shack, but today, it's warehousing something much bigger than these walls can hold.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We believe in community, we believe in these kids, we believe in helping each other.


PETERS: One after another.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody has to come together, especial in Houston.

PETERS: People stop by to donate.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Brenda, thank you so much.


PETERS: A caring gesture to ease the lives of three dozen children at the nearby Kid's Harbor. (on camera): The children spent their first night at the shelter. Workers tell us they are adapting as best they can.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to keep it as close to what they were doing at home as possible.

PETERS (voice over): Kid's Harbor says the children are playing with toys, with each other and are adjusting to new surroundings. As far as their demeanor...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really quiet right now, but lots of smiles which it let's me know that they feel comfortable.

PETERS: The shelter is preparing to house these children for several months, if not longer, that will depend on what the court rules.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here, I'm going to be here every day.

PETERS: One protester camped out in front of the shelter, he says the state wrongly separated the children from their parents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have no evidence, no physical evidence whatsoever and if they do, they should bring -- do it through the rules. Nobody is above the law.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We wish the best for this kids and these moms.

PETERS: People who donated have their own questions about the state's investigation. But. the focus now...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If each person was just to give a little, think of everything that they could have.

PETERS: Must be on taking care of the children.


NGUYEN: Well, the polygamous case does continue this week and on Tuesday, a judge will hear more arguments related to the children's custody.

HOLMES: All right, time this morning for us now to check in with Howard Kurtz in Washington to see what's ahead on RELIABLE SOURCES.

NGUYEN: Hello, Howard.

HOWARD KURTZ, RELIABLE SOURCES: Hello Betty and T.J., coming up, did Bill Moyers go easy on Jeremiah Wright during his interview of Barack Obama's pastor? And should the media dive back into the controversy with endless reruns of the man's sermons?

A retired colonel and the Pentagon's former top spokesman responds to charges that military analysts were manipulated by the Bush administration to defend the handling of Iraq on the air. Plus "New York Times" language maven, William Sapphire, gives us the lowdown on political lingo. That is the Fox commentator who's selling a love potion. No joke. Ahead, on RELIABLE SOURCES.

NGUYEN: Did you say a love potion?

KURTZ: You got to tune in to hear the full story.

NGUYEN: Will you take some of it? No? OK, thanks, Howard.


BUSH: I love the band, and so I'm going say my farewell to you by doing something that I've always wanted to do.


HOLMES: Strike up the band and cue Mr. President. Last night he grabbed the baton, as you see there, and had a good old time.

NGUYEN: Yeah, his audience, the White House correspondents annual dinner. And his target, well that was just about everyone.


BUSH: Next year, a new president will be standing up here. I have to say I'm kind of surprised we don't have more presidential candidates here tonight. Like any. Senator McCain is not here. He probably wanted to distance himself from me a little bit. You know, he's not alone. Jenna is moving out, too. The two Democratic candidates aren't here, either. Senator Clinton couldn't get into the building because of sniper fire. And Senator Obama's at church.


NGUYEN: Oh my goodness. OK. So, as you may remember, Hillary Clinton falsely claimed to have braved sniper fire in Bosnia as first lady.

HOLMES: Yes, and of course Barack Obama, his long-time pastor has been criticized for inflammatory comments about the U.S., but the president's not running for anything, he can say what he wants to say.

NGUYEN: Exactly. And we want to brag about one of our own colleagues.

HOLMES: Yeah, this was last night's dinner, as well. Our White House correspondent, Ed Henry, you see him there, he was recognized with the top journalism award for White House Reporting Under Deadline Pressure.

NGUYEN: He shares the Merriman Smith Award with Deb Wightman of the "Associated Press."

HOLMES: Now, Ed was also recognized for something quite noteworthy, being one of the few people around the stress-packed White House, who hasn't seemed to age over the years. If you saw his picture there, he has this boyish look to him. There he is, he is 74 years old.

NGUYEN: He is not. But, he doesn't change. I mean, he -- the man does not age.

HOLMES: At all. He looks good.

NGUYEN: Congratulations.

HOLMES: Congratulations, had a good night.

NGUYEN: Yeah, well deserved.

Want to talk about this now, a black cat on Broadway?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It works with no matter who you cast in it, because he wrote it about human beings. Whether he wanted to or not to have us playing it, it's just wonderful.


HOLMES: A history is made at "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" breaks the color barrier.


HOLMES: A black cat is attracting a lot of attention on Broadway. A classic Tennessee Williams play gets a makeover with an African-American cast.

NGUYEN: Yeah, it was a project years in the making and it's making big money on the great white way. The story now from Kareen Wynter.


KAREEN WYNTER, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Another packed performance of one of Broadway's hottest shows has just let out. Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" first here in 1955 and spun by Hollywood in 1958, has gotten an distinct makeover and audiences can't get enough of its stars.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Paul Newman was in the movie before. And he was just gorgeous, but (INAUDIBLE) played the role Paul Newman played was even better.

WYNTER: She's gushing over this actor Boris Kodjoe who stepped in to replace Terrance Howard as Breck as the first-ever Broadway version of the classic play with and all African-American cast.

BORIS KODJOE, ACTOR: The doors sort have opened and I hope that in the future there will be a lot more plays like that that embrace a demographic that has been underserved. WYNTER: The African-American demographic has traditionally been an illusive audience for Broadway, particularly for Broadway plays with ticket sales reaching $11 million in just two months, you can call "Cat" a bona fide hit by Broadway standards. The show's producers estimate the audience to be between 70 and 80 percent African-American, remarkable considering just a few years ago black audiences made up just 5.6 percent of total Broadway theater goers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he had a highball.

WYNTER: The cast includes Anika Noni Rose as Maggie the Cat and Phylicia Rashad and James Earl Jones as Big Mama and Big Daddy in the story of a dysfunctional Southern family. Debbie Allen directs.

DEBBIE ALLEN, DIRECTOR: It was Stephen Byrd, our producer's idea. He had this vision a decade ago and it's take this long for it to happen.

STEPHEN BYRD, PRODUCER: I always wondered why people that looked like me never did it.

WYNTER: Rookie producer, Stephen Byrd had to convince the Tennessee Williams' estate that an all-black production could succeed.

BYRD: When I first went after the rights, I spoke with a woman by the name of Maria St. Just who was Tennessee Williams' executor, his best friend, who Mag the Cat was based on. She said the definitive version has been done. And she finally relent and she said, OK, if you can get Jimmy Jones, you can do it. I didn't know who the heck Jimmy Jones was, I said: I can get him. She meant James Earl Jones.

WYNTER: Jones signed on saying he'd always wanted to be "Big Daddy" as written by Tennessee Williams.

JAMES EARL JONES, ACTOR: And it works with no matter who you cast in it, because he wrote it about human beings, whether he wanted to or not, to have us playing it. It's wonderful that we could replay it. Makes it joy universal.

WYNTER: Kareen Wynter, CNN, New York.


NGUYEN: To see James Earl Jones in anything, I would pay just to hear that man talk.

HOLMES: Just to hear him speak. Jimmy Jones, as he's known.

NGUYEN: Jimmy Jones, yeah.

HOLMES: All right, well with Pennsylvania behind them, senators Clinton and Obama are on the campaign trail today with stops in Indiana and North Carolina. Who is winning? What determines a win these days, anyway? That's next on RELIABLE SOURCES. NGUYEN: Plus, scrutinizing Syria and North Korea. Was Pyongyang helping Syria build a nuclear weapon? Senator Diane Feinstein and Reprehensive Peter Hoekstra join Wolf Blitzer on LATE EDITION. But first a check of this morning's top development.