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CNN Sunday Morning
Oil Prices Soar; Laura Bush Travels to Afghanistan; Hillary Endorses Obama
Aired June 08, 2008 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just like, something was coming, something was coming and it was -- you could hear this just moan. It moaned.
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BETTY NGUYEN, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Tornado trouble in south Chicago in a suburb, in fact. They're hoping for clear skies today so they can clean up the mess.
DAN SIMON, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Plus, breaking news that could break the bank. For the first time ever, the national average for a gallon of gas in the U.S. Hits the $4 mark. It's happening as oil prices rise and stocks fall. Your money is our issue No. 1. Good morning. From the CNN center in Atlanta, I'm Dan Simon filling in with T.J. Homes.
NGUYEN: Yes, good morning, everybody. Dan, and I'm Betty Nguyen, we do invite you to stay with us because we have a lot of information for you. Just in this morning, the price of gas, you just heard it, reaches a milestone, the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded, four bucks. It's also more than a penny-and-a-half from the previous average. Now, this news came to us this morning from AAA and don't expect it to stop at four bucks, because the cost of oil went up nearly $11 on Friday, gas is almost certain to head higher in the days to come.
SIMON: Well, skyrocketing energy prices, they fueled international concerns and now a pledge from the world's top industrialized nation's energy ministers from the group of eight countries are meeting in Japan along with representatives from China, India, and South Korea. Just look at all these countries. The 11 nations account for nearly two-thirds of the world's energy consumption and all vow to increase efficiency and accelerate investment in new technologies. They also urge oil produce to boost output.
So how high will oil and gas prices go and what about the trickle down effect? There may be little comfort in what we've seen over the last few days. Our Jim Acosta takes a look now at the bottom line.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): On a sunny day at New York City's Sheepshead Bay, Captain Bill Reddan should be cashing in taking scuba divers out on his boat. Instead with is fuel costs skyrocketing, it's his business that's taking a dive.
CAPT BILL REDDAN, SCUBA DIVING BOAT OWNER: Not only has the fuel gone up, the rent gone up, the insurance gone up, electric went up. And, you know, it comes to the point that how much can you charge people before you scare them?
ACOSTA: After oil closed at an astonishing $139 a barrel Friday, many analysts were warning get ready for a long, hot summer in the energy market.
BOB O'BRIEN, ONLINE STOCKS EDITOR, BARRONS: What took place the last two days in the crude market, never took place before.
ACOSTA: Barron's online stocks editor, Bob O'Brien, blames speculators who he says are going where the money is on Wall Street. And that's energy.
O'BRIEN: At this point, at $139 a barrel, the price of crude has no bearing, no relation whatsoever with the fundamental costs of extracting crude from the ground and shipping it to a refining facility. I mean, that's probably -- that costs us probably closer to about $50 a barrel.
ACOSTA: On Friday, analysts say the ripple effect on the rest of the economy became all too clear. The unemployment rate jumped from five to five-and-a-half percent, the biggest increase in 22 years. And the Dow plunged 394 points.
GEORGE W BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Beginning to seat signs of the stimulus may be working?
ACOSTA: In response, President Bush said those stimulus checks, issued earlier this year, are having an impact. But analysts believe much of that extra money is being spent on rising fuel costs. And many experts wonder how long the current energy bubble will last.
O'BRIEN: Bubbles can go on for quite a while. They don't necessarily pop immediately.
ACOSTA: That leaves business owners like Captain Bill Redding treading water trying to stay afloat.
Jim Acosta CNN, New York.
SIMON: Tomorrow gas prices, food prices, energy price, how are you paying for it all? We're going to bump issue No. 1 up an entire notch by taking a day-long look at your economics concerns. We'll be talking to credit counselor, so if you're in debt, if you have question, you can you spend us an e-mail. The address, of course is, email@example.com.
NGUYEN: Well, in Indiana, this is issue No. 1: severe flooding, it has damaged lots of area, including some tornadoes and the extreme heat. That's another thing that we are looking at, as well, as we take a look at this severe weather over parts of the country, in face several parts of the country, today.
Central Illinois, let's go there, swamped by flood waters. Nearly a foot of rain fell in some areas. Now, the East Coast will be sweltering today under temperatures well into the 90s. And the Chicago area is cleaning up from tornadoes and powerful storms. So, that's an overview, but let's get down to it because the rain, it fell hard and the water rose very fast in Indiana.
People were forced to evacuate by boat, helicopter, even jet ski. In Franklin, Indiana, floodwaters reached the first floor of Johnson Memorial Hospital and another hospital, south of Indianapolis, more than 100 people actually had to be evacuated because of the floodwaters.
Now, here's new pictures in this morning that show just how devastating the flooding is. You can see entire neighborhoods understand water. A weather service official says the flooding could reach levels comparable to the historic flood of 1913.
That's not it. In Chicago, people are cleaning up this morning from tornadoes and powerful storms. Part of a major interstate had to be shut down yesterday while crews worked clear overturned tractor trailers. You're looking at some of that right now in this video. This storm ripped roofs off of homes and buildings, trees, power lines, they were toppled. Frightened residents ran for cover and some were shocked by the damage after the storm.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You could see the bed, you could see the wall came down, the bricks are on the ground, a lot of trees down, rooftops on the ground. So it was just terrible.
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NGUYEN: And not just there, because the storm that hit the Chicago area, also spawned tornadoes in Wisconsin.
And today we're looking at the weather, as well, and not really storms, but more along the lines of heat.
SIMON: It is so hot here in Atlanta and Reynolds's, you're in D.C. I see you got your thermometer there. How hot is it now?
REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Approaching 100 degrees, guys. We're well beyond 90 at this time, but with the humidity, the heat index is very, very close to 100, at this point. You got to remember, though, when it comes to Washington, D.C., I mean, it's basically built on a swamp. We've got a tidal basin out there, you got plenty of moisture, and when you add the daytime heating, it can make all the difference and it certainly is going to make the difference not just in Washington, D.C., but up and down much of the Eastern seaboard. Let's go right to our weather graphics. On our weather graphics you're going to see this big "H" right off the Carolina coast. That "H" represents an area of high pressure, has a compressing effect on the atmosphere and things are going to get hot and hotter for many spots, anywhere from 95 to 103 degrees expected today for places like Philadelphia, Richmond, Raleigh, even into Columbia, South Carolina and Washington, D.C., yes, could get in that range, too. But, when speaking of rains, the heat index range could go anywhere from 100 to 110 when you have all that moisture.
Let's talk about record high temperatures. Yesterday in Washington, D.C., Washington national, 98 degrees, Myrtle Beach, same story, upper 90s for Georgetown, Delaware, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, 96, then 90 in Binghamton, New York.
Now, today's high, the record high today, was set back in 1999, 98 degree, and we can expect that high today, but I would not be surprised in someplace here in the district it's even bond that, well into the century mark, and we're not get much of a break until you get to mid-week, we're going to have that high eventually move off, more opportunity for more storms, more fronts to come through and that's going to cool us down.
But until that happens, people need to be very, very careful. You need to drink plenty of water, really avoid exposure during the peak heating hours of the day, in the mid-day to afternoon. You want to certainly watch out for your elderly neighbors, the younger children also, the young and the old are very susceptible to the heat, as are pets. If you have pets, hey, they need to have water just like people do. So make sure you give them plenty of it. Water the best thing to drink. Forget about the sport drinks, it's always water. Let's get back to you guys.
NGUYEN: Yeah, water and the shade. Hey you know, speaking of that heat, Dan and I have a little bet going. Why don't you inform Reynolds about that?
SIMON: It's a guy thing, Reynolds. I said the reason why you're wearing a dark shirt is so the sweat doesn't show. Am I right?
WOLF: You know me too well, dude.
SIMON: Yeah well, it's...
NGUYEN: Except when you see the salt stains from those sweat rings. That's never a good thing, Reynolds. Just don't raise your arms.
WOLF: This is a visual medium. It's a visual medium.
NGUYEN: Keep your arms by the side of you, OK? Right, we'll talk to you shortly.
SIMON: I'd be doing the same thing if I were him.
NGUYEN: Exactly, stay cool. SIMON: Well, high drama on the high seas. We are following a developing story off the coast of Texas. Earlier this morning, a Coast Guard helicopter rescued five people from a sailboat that capsized in the Gulf of Mexico. All are listed in good condition and at this hour, the Coast Guard is still searching for a sixth person still missing from that Texas A&M vessel. The crew included four college students and two safety officers, all were experienced sailors. They were taking part in a Regatta Race when they missed a radio check yesterday morning.
NGUYEN: This is a story we've been following this morning. Firefighters, they're battling a four-alarm fire at the historic Texas governor's mansion. Look at these flames, the state officials say the fire caused near catastrophic damage. Now earlier, we heard the roof was close to collapsing. The mansion was undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation and the governor had already moved out. The majority of antiques and valuables, well, they were also moved, too.
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DIV CHIEF DAWN CLOPTON, AUSTIN, TX, DEPT: It was under renovation, so fortunately all of the valuables were out of here, we basically had an empty building. I think the only thing that still had stuff still in it was the kitchen majority of antiques and valuable, so, and that, we were fortunate there were a lot of antiques, a lot of old history that was not in the building when it caught on fire.
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NGUYEN: That's defiantly some good news and it'll still be some time before anyone can get the 150-year-old home to fully assess the damage. The cause of that fire? Well, that's still unknown at this hour.
While many of you were sleeping, first lady, Laura Bush, was in Afghanistan on a surprise visit. Her goal, to highlight the progress the country has made toward Democracy since the fall of the Taliban. And our Ed Henry is following the developments from Washington.
Ed, I imagine, considering what's going on in Afghanistan, this is going to be a pretty short trip.
ED HENRY, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Betty, in fact the first lady is expected to be on the ground for no more than nine hours today in Afghanistan. Obviously this is a war zone. Very rare for a first lady to travel into a war zone, obviously, but we've seen her more and more really raise her profile on the global stage just in the last few week, you'll remember she had a press conference which many believe to be the first one in the White House briefing room for a first lady talking about Myanmar, something she's also been very active on.
But this is her third trip to Afghanistan. You see her with U.S. troops as well as with Afghan police and military officials that have been trained by U.S. military personnel. You mentioned that she wants to be on this trip to highlight progress, but you see her there with President Karzai, she also has a very important message to the international community is that while there has been some progress, there's also deep concern among top U.S. officials, including President Bush, that there has been backsliding in Afghanistan and that the Taliban has been rising up again. And there's great fear that now, six, seven year into this war in Afghanistan, a war that was suppose to have been won several years ago, the potential of the Taliban could come back and regain power, again. So, you can see the first lady while she's been active on foreign policy issues, this is an extreme example of how she's really raised her profile to essentially be standing in for the president of the United States in a war zone. And I think there's an obvious goal here by the administration, the president, not very popular around the world, the first lady, however, is. And more and more you're seeing her use these diplomatic skills she's developed over the last few year and I think it's very clear that they're going use her as often as they can -- Betty.
NGUYEN: Hey quickly, as you talk about some concerns, I understand that there may be some potential pay cuts for troops in Afghanistan?
HENRY: Well, President Bush's radio address yesterday suggested that in the summer, U.S. military personnel might not get their paychecks if Congress does not give them more war funding in Iraq and Afghanistan. And I think what that's all about is political posturing by both the White House and Democrats on Capitol Hill. Democrats have for the given the president more war money as quickly as he's wanted. The fact of the matter, though is that there are still billions of dollars in the pipeline, right now. So you're going to hear these extreme examples from the president about how the Pentagon is going to run out of money, they might not have paychecks, et cetera, et cetera, but in an election year, it's highly unlikely the Democrats are not going to turn over more war money -- Betty.
NGUYEN: All right, CNN's Ed Henry, joining us live, as always. We do appreciate it, Ed. Thank you.
HENRY: Thanks Betty.
SIMON: Well, it was a big disappointment at the Belmont. Everybody wanted Big Brown to win.
NGUYEN: Well, they expected Big Brown -- didn't his owner say Big Brown is guaranteed to win?
SIMON: He said it was a foregone conclusion. We're going to tell you what happened, why Big Brown came up short, coming up after a break. And we're going to tell you exactly what the jockey said.
NGUYEN: Yeah, after that race. Plus, a grand farewell for Hillary Clinton giving her supporters a new challenge. What is it? We'll tell you, straight ahead on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.
SIMON: Well, she went out on a high note. Hillary Clinton captivated the crowd with her concession speech, yesterday.
NGUYEN: Yes, she did. She suspended her campaign and then threw her enthusiastic support behind Barack Obama. We want to get more now from CNN's senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley, part of the best political team on television.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, this isn't exactly the party I planned, but I sure like the company.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): They crowded the floor and balconies of Washington's historic Building Museum to watch a history making bid come to an end, giving way to another.
CLINTON: So today, I am standing with Senator Obama to say, yes, we can.
CROWLEY: Channeling Obama's signature phrase, Hillary Clinton mentioned his name 14 times in the 30 minute speech, a full on endorsement.
CLINTON: Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been. We have to work together for what still can be. And that is why I will work my heart out to make sure that Senator Obama is our next president.
CROWLEY: An Obama strategist called the speech "generous, without ambiguity. I appreciate," he added, "how hard this is for her." Online, Obama asked supporters to support her. On her Web site, she put a link to his, unity in the cyberspace as she pushed forward in the grassroots.
CLINTON: The way to continue our fight now, to accomplish the goals for which we stand is to take our energy, our passion, our strength, and do all we can to help elect Barack Obama, the next president of the United States.
CROWLEY: Mostly they cheered his name, though there were scattered boos, it is too severally for some. And in the end, winning her voters is up to him, she can only start the process. At times, there was a hint of a screen test for the No. 2 spot on Obama's ticket, as she underscored power player status, the nearly 18 million people who voted for her, blue collar voters, Latinos, women. Sources close to her say it was important to Clinton to put history in perspective, important she write the last graph in this chapter.
CLINTON: Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling that time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it.
CROWLEY: To try so hard so long and lose by so little, surely hurts. Along the rope line, they said Bill Clinton had tears in his eyes, she did not -- leaving the race as she came in, tough, determined.
CLINTON: You'll always find me on the front lines of democracy fighting for the future.
CROWLEY: Moving forward, if not where she thought she was headed.
Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.
SIMON: Coming up, we're going to have more on Hillary Clinton's speech and her possible role in the campaign. CNN's senior political producer, Sasha Johnson, just about two minutes away.
NGUYEN: Looking forward to that. But right now, we want to give you some of the other stories that's making news today. You know, it just wasn't meant to be. Big Brown finished dead last in the Belmont stakes missing out on the first Triple Crown in 30 years. Big Brown's jockey said, well, the horse just ran out of gas. In fact, I understand he actually pulled up in parts of the race because of it. But, the day belonged to a 38-1 long shot, some folks made some cash. Da'Tara, who went wire to wire for to win. So good luck -- not good luck, but congratulation, I should say, to the winner and good luck to Big Brown, see where that horse goes.
SIMON: Yeah, the final of the French Open, today. Hard serves on the clay. The two top seeds are battling it out this morning. Roger Federer playing Rafael Nadal. Federer trying to the -- he's going for the French -- he's never won the French. He's won all the other grand slam tournaments.
NGUYEN: But this one.
SIMON: Right, the only other modern day player to win all four grand slams was Andre Agassi. So Federer trying to make trying to make history by winning the French. On the women's side, yesterday, Anna Ivanovic, she won, actually her first grand slam title, she was the runner up in France last year. So congratulations to Anna Ivanovic.
NGUYEN: Well, after France, tennis fans have the next grand slam to look forward to. Mark McKay is on the go to the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
MARK MCKAY, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): If you're heading to London this summer, you may want to check out the world's oldest major tennis tournament.
ERIK TORKELLS, EDITOR, BURGETTRAVEL.COM: Wimbledon, held ever summer, starting in late June, tennis the way it use to be played, in white, on grass, and with the world's most polite spectators.
MCKAY: This year Wimbledon will serve up tennis greats from June 23 to July 6. It's only a half-hour tube right from central London and, yes, can you still get tickets.
TORKELLS: You can also just show up. For the first week-and-a- half of the tournament, 1,500 show court tickets are sold everyday at gate three for $600-180 each. As each day's play draws to a close, the line for the next day will have already have formed with campers toting sleeping bags.
MCKAY: And if you need something even cheaper...
TORKELLS: About 6,000 grounds passes are sold each day. They grant access to the outer port. Admission is $40 during the first week, and drops as low as $16 in the second week.
MCKAY: Hop in the cue, it's game, set, match to experience sports history.
SIMON: Well, we're going to be talking about weather a lot this morning. Mother Nature packing a one, two, three punch.
NGUYEN: Boy, did she. Flooding, extreme heat and tornado damage. Your weather report coming right up.
SIMON: It was certainly a hearty farewell for Hillary Clinton. She told a packed crowd that she's suspending her campaign and backing Barack Obama in November. Now, CNN's senior political producer Sasha Johnson, she was actually inside the museum yesterday, when Hillary Clinton made that announcement.
And Sasha, I know you've been covering the campaign for a while. What were your impressions of actually being inside there?
SASHA JOHNSON, CNN SR POLITICAL PRODUCER: Well, as you and I were just talking about in the break, I mean, it was a really remarkable speech. You could you tell how difficult it was for Hillary Clinton to give that speech, how determined she was. But, the language that she used was some of it -- a lot of it was new, different than we'd heard on the campaign trail. And it's always easy to say when you see a candidate concede that if they'd only talked like that through the campaign, they might have won, but it was a really remarkable speech.
SIMON: You know, I've heard some pundits say if she had been like that or had been as emotional or as eloquent throughout the entire campaign that we might be in a different position, but do you think that she accomplished what she set out to do with the speech, and that was really, first of all, to tell women don't give up, that we've sort of gotten past a barrier, and also to convince her supporters to back Barack Obama?
JOHNSON: Well, it was interesting to see how much she focused on the women issue and sort of the history of her candidacy. She did that on and off during the campaign, but it was not a constant theme. You know, some of her advisers had worried that had she didn't want to be too focused on that area for fear of turning men off, so it was interesting to see her do that. And you kind of wonder had she done that through the campaign, maybe she would have gotten more young women onboard, more young women excited about it.
As far as whether she, you know, made inroads with her supporters to sort of convince them to go to Barack Obama, I think we'll sort of have to wait and see. It was a first step, but as I mentioned to you, I encountered a lot of very angry Hillary Clinton supporters, yesterday, who came up to the media podium, who came us up to us afterwards and said: your biases coverage, your sexist coverage really contributed to her loss. So, while I think a lot of those women are good Democrats, if you will, and they will certainly go with Barack Obama, eventually, I think some will consider going for McCain. This was a really hard day for them.
SIMON: Well, in terms of all the people who had assembled there, did you get a sense about how many people will actually support Barack Obama versus, you know, these few women you were talking about who are angry? Would you say the majority of them left sufficiently convinced?
JOHNSON: I mean, I think so. You know, there were a smattering of boos at the beginning, when Hillary Clinton said she was suspending her campaign and throwing her support behind Senator Obama, but those were gone by the end of her speech. Her repetition saying, you know, her repeated line: this is why we have to elect Barack Obama as president, not as much applause at the begin, but by the end, the crowd was in with the refrain and they got her message, what she wanted them to do. So, I would argue most of the people in that room want a Democratic president and will come around and those that are still aren't sure yet will probably come around, but again, I think some won't. This was a hard primary for Democrats.
SIMON: You would think the next step would be for Senator Obama and Senator Clinton to actually appear together. Any sense when that might occur?
JOHNSON: Not at this point, but we know that it will happen. You know, the Barack Obama campaign has said we want Hillary Clinton to be out there with us on the road. Hillary Clinton has said she wants to do everything possible to get him elected. So, I think that in the coming weeks, we will probably see them together. I don't think that it will be tomorrow or next week. Barack Obama sort of needs to establish his general election campaign on his own without her, but she will come out and when she does, I think that will be a huge media blitz for Barack Obama campaign and it's something that we will all really cover.
SIMON: And finally, President Clinton's role -- what do we think that will be?
JOHNSON: You know, I don't know. In talking with aides yesterday after the speech, it seemed sort of unclear how much he wanted to be a part of this campaign. He has a large and extensive foundation, list of foundation activities that he has coming up on his schedule. So, I don't know how much campaigning he's going to do for Barack Obama. I wouldn't be surprised if he were to come out in the fall, but I really think we will see Hillary Clinton kind of leading that Clinton team with Barack Obama much more so than her husband. SIMON: All right, CNN political producer, Sasha Johnson. You had a front row seat to history, yesterday. I'm sure it was pretty exciting to be there.
JOHNSON: It was pretty neat. Thank you.
NGUYEN: Well, the United Nations says there are more than 20 million refugees around the world, 20 million. And many crowded in camps, receiving only basic food and shelter. So, let's go to the top to meet one American student who is trying to give them more.
(voice over): Kjerstin Eirckson's life changed after a high school trip to Africa.
KJERSTIN ERICKSON, FOUNDER, FORGE: Coming from a privileged background in northern California and entering a school in which they didn't have enough desks and there were no materials, was my first taste of, wow, there's really something that I could do here.
NGUYEN: Three years later, at age 20, the Stanford University student formed "Forge," an organization to help educate and empower African refugees.
ERICKSON: One aspect that you will see throughout refugee communities is severe lack of opportunity. Refugees are usually not allowed to work at all, not allowed to leave the camp in which they live.
NGUYEN: Erickson felt these prisoners of homelessness were starving for more than food and water.
ERICKSON: If we stopped viewing refugees as just a humanitarian problem, started giving them the skills that they need that once they go hone, then they could contribute to rebuilding their society, they could provide that leadership.
NGUYEN: "Forge" built the world's largest refugee camp library and set up computer training and help centers in the camps. Now, the refugees design and run programs to meet their communities' needs. "Forge" hires project managers for year-long intervals to oversee the work in Africa.
ERICKSON: We see an incredible difference in just the morale of the refugee community. They're no long every just waiting in the camp, but they really feel like they're working towards something that will make their lives better in the long run.
NGUYEN: What a great program. Here's a quick look at some other stories that we're going to be telling you about today.
SIMON: Well, you knew it was coming. This morning it's here. AAA says the average price of gas is now $4 a gallon nationwide and can you expect to see it go higher in the wake of all these oil prices going up?
NGUYEN: Don't even ask, because you know the answer. Well, parts of Indiana under water and under a state of emergency this morning. Authorities say at least one person has died after being swept away while driving through floodwaters. Nearly a foot of rain fell in some areas. So, as we talk about this weather, and look at this, though, how often do you see that? Dairy cows under water. Reynolds, you're looking back behind, you're not dealing with water, but instead heat, today.
WOLF: We really are. I'm telling you, for man or beast, it's going tonight brutal day. I mean, the dairy cows you mentioned in parts of the Midwest dealing with the extreme rain and the flooding they've had here, but in parts of say, here, in the eastern seaboard, it's entirely the different story. We've got incredible heat, high pressure just sitting, settling right over this part of the U.S. and we not going to see any change, kind of a stagnant situation with our temperature, with our sky conditions over the next couple days. People here would like to get some rain, they would love to get cooler temperatures, but that won't be in the cards.
Here's the reason why. Take a look at this graphic, we've got high pressure that building up over parts of the eastern seaboard, it's really anchored right off the Carolina coast. And as long as that stays put, the rain is going to stay to the west, the heat will remain locked in place.
High temperatures up and down much of the eastern seaboard will range anywhere from 95 to 103 degrees, today. The heat index anywhere from 100 to 110 degrees. The record high in Washington, D.C., yesterday, we broke it, 98 degrees. Myrtle Beach, 98. Also some upper and mid-90s from parts of Delaware into Pennsylvania, even into New York state.
Now today, the record high here for Washington, D.C., on this date is 98 degrees and already we've exceeded some 90s. We're definitely going to go up quite a bit more, but with that high humidity, that breeze that continues to flow in from the coast, it's going to make things even more muggy as we make our way to the late day hours. So, it is going to be just oppressive.
So, if you have any outdoor plans, you see this is one of D.C.'s finest, officer right there, riding along, you haven't seen a whole lot of activity. There was a little bit more this morning, but now people are starting take shelter and certainly take it easy during these warmer hours. The city of Washington, D.C. has been doing everything they to help people battle the heat. In fact, we've got cooling centers set up, there are many people that have got spray centers. A lot of the pools are now open. Some of them were pay, but today pay pools, it's going tonight free-be for many people. Anyone who wants to get cool may just go and jump in and, you know, I think that's where we might be headed next.
NGUYEN: You might be in the pool in minutes. And like you said, though, a little bit earlier, there's plenty to see in Washington, plenty of air conditioned buildings, different museums to go into it. So, if you don't have to be outside, then don't in that kind of heat. All right, Reynolds, thank you. Maybe you'll get inside sometime soon.
SIMON: There's nothing worse than D.C. in the summertime. It's just brutal.
NGUYEN: Yeah, it can be, and today even more so. Thank you, Reynolds.
Coming up, innocent victims of the mortgage mess. We are going to show you what happens to the pets who get left behind when their owners are forced out of their homes.
SIMON: This just in to CNN, we're getting word of a significant earthquake in southwestern Greece this morning. It looks like it was a 6.1 magnitude earthquake. Right now there are reports of at least three people injured. One of the injured was hurt by falling rocks on one of the islands off the west coast of Greece. There are also reports that another five people may be trapped in a collapse the house.
NGUYEN: Well, with foreclosures up, we hear a lot about how people have lost their homes during the sluggish economy. Well, now pets somewhere become a casualty, too. An increasing number being put in animal shelters and CNN's Kate Bolduan reports.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The local animal shelter should be the last place hit by the housing crisis. But animal advocates say nationwide this is one of the unexpected consequences of the struggling economy.
BETSY SAUL, CO-FOUNDER, PETFINDER.COM: When someone's losing their home and they become in such financial straits, people feel shame for that and the other thing that people feel a lot of thing about is relinquishing a pet.
BOLDUAN: Betsy Saul is the co-founder of petfinder.com, the nation's largest on line pet adoption agency. While the evidence is largely anecdotal, Saul says Pet Finder's network of shelters has been flooded with animal, many handed over because of foreclosure, like these dogs in California.
RICK JOHNSON, SACRAMENTO SPCA: The fellow that turned them in was terribly distraught at that. They had tried friend, they had tried advertising.
SAUL: We've got pets not leaving, pets coming in more and no donations not coming in, that's a tough spot.
BOLDUAN: And with such limited space in shelters, Saul says, many families are turning to desperate measures.
SAUL: Pets are being abandoned, some at the shelter and some just left in the home or turned out o streets.
BOLDUAN: Until the economic strain eases, animal advocates hope families turn to people like Joanna Harkin before they give up.
JOANNA HARKIN, ANIMAL ADVOCATE: I can take their animals, market them and try to get a good adopter.
BOLDUAN: Harkin finds temporary foster homes for animals in Washington, D.C. when shelters are no longer an option.
HARKIN: So, really there is a way to transition animals in on a better situation.
BOLDUAN: A better situation for both the pets and the owners.
Kate Bolduan, CNN, Washington.
NGUYEN: Well, on Monday, your house, your job, your saving, your debt, all of those issues, we bump issue No. 1 up just a notch here, taking a day-long look at your economic concerns. We'll be talking with credit counselors Monday, so if you're in debt or you just simply have questions regarding your credit, send us an e-mail. There's the address right on the screen, it's firstname.lastname@example.org.
SIMON: U.S. troops in Iraq using former Hussein palaces to help the Iraqi people.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was able to commend deer the kitchen because it had a pizza oven that was pretty useful.
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SIMON: Well, that connection between pizza ovens and prosthetics is just minutes away.
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Had I made the team, I wouldn't have the family I have today. Had I made the 2000 Olympic team, I would not experience this experience nearly as much.
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NGUYEN: So, and athlete that's actually glad she didn't go to the Olympics eight years ago? Just what experience is this weightlifter talking about? Find out here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.
NGUYEN: Now for some other stories that we're watching for you this morning. Salmonella illnesses. They've been found in four states and more, in fact, bringing a total to 16. Look at the map, here, see if you live in one of those, this map shows which states have been affected. The outbreak of more than 100 cases in Texas and New Mexico is actually being linked to large raw tomatoes. The CDC hasn't been able to pinpoint, though, the original source.
SIMON: It is a fine day for a spacewalk. A pair of astronauts will head outside the International Space Station in less than an hour. They're putting the final touches on the installation of a bus- sized Japanese lab that's now attached to the station. It's the third and final planned spacewalk of this shuttle mission.
NGUYEN: Well, a bunch of supplies -- actually, not supplies, these are puppies and a couple of cats are cooling their because at the airport in New York, Newark, New Jersey, in fact, after a long flight from Iraq. They belong to troops who adopted them in Iraq. Officially, the Pentagon does not permit service men and women to adopt pets while on active duty, but because these animals have a special bond with their owners, a program called "Operation Baghdad Pups" help bring the animals to the U.S. A great story, there.
The leader of Iraq, Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki, he's trying to calm Iran's fears. He's in that neighboring country, right now, to meet with top leaders and according to Iran's state-run media, al Maliki says his government won't allow Iraq to become a launching pad for an attack on its neighbor. He made the comment in reference to a planned U.S. Iraq security pact.
SIMON: Life amid the horrors of war, countless Iraqis are now missing arms and legs. Now a former American soldier is restoring those missing limbs and it's a measure of hope. CNN's Morgan Neill has that story now from Baghdad.
MORGAN NEILL, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In the waiting room at this clinic in Baghdad, war has claimed a piece of everyone. This young mother was on her way to her parents in the city of Kut (ph), late last year a stray bullet ripped through her right leg. By the time Nuer (ph) got to a hospital, doctors had to amputate. With a one-year-old son to care for, she was frustrated and desperate. Then she met Chris Comings, a man who who's part craftsman, part healer.
"He saw my situation was bad and he saw me weeping," she says. "Doctor Chris told me not to cry because can he make a prosthetic limb for me."
Comings was a reservist running a prosthetics company when he was called up, working as a civil affairs officer in Baghdad, he and a fellow soldier started a clinic in 2004, a mixture of donations and military funding. It began as a makeshift operation, set up in a former palace of Saddam Hussein's infamous son, Uday. Plastics for the first the first prosthetics were heated in Uday's pizza oven.
DR CHRIS COMINGS, MAKES PROSTHETICS FOR IRAQIS: I was able to commander the kitchen because it had a pizza in there that was pretty useful. NEILL (on camera): And what did you use the pizza oven for?
COMINGS: For making the sockets for making the prosthetic devices.
NEILL (voice over): Since then, things are gotten much more sophisticated. After extending his original tour to 20 months, Comings has now returned as a civilian, training the clinic's all Iraqi staff to use its modern equipment. The patients never stopped coming.
Twenty-six-year-old army soldier Ala was guarding a checkpoint when his unit was overrun by insurgents. A grenade blast blew apart his leg and he was left for dead.
"I used to be an athlete," he says, "I never need help from anyone." That all changed after the attack. But now he's newly married and he's hopeful, trying to provide for his new bride. Comings has given hundreds of Iraqis the tools to walk again. He says patients like Ala and Nuer have given him something, too.
COMINGS: I love to see when they're surprised and they see all of a sudden look at me, I'm walking. You know, I came in a wheelchair and I'm up and I'm moving. And when I see that light up in their eyes, yeah, that's worth everything.
NEILL: Morgan Neill, CNN, Baghdad.
NGUYEN: What a story, there. Well, going for gold in Beijing? The Olympic games are fast approaching.
SIMON: And we will introduce you to one inspirational athlete who has already turned failure into success. That's ahead on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.
NGUYEN: Now time to check in with Howard Kurtz in Washington to see what's ahead on CNN's RELIABLE SOURCES.
HOWARD KURTZ, RELIABLE SOURCES: Hi, Betty. Coming up, Hillary Clinton finally bows out after days of being jeered by the media. Are journalists are being swept away by the historic nature of Barack Obama's victory. Bill Clinton uses words like "sleazy" and "slimy" to denounce a "Vanity Fair" writer over a stinging profile. Was he tricked by a blogger who was taping the tantrum?
Plus, Angelina Jolie has had her twins, at least that's what "Entertainment Tonight" says is one of the biggest blunders in celebrity history. What were they thinking?
That and more ahead on RELIABLE SOURCES. NGUYEN: Some good stuff there, Howard. We'll be watching, thank you.
SIMON: The Olympic flame is burning bright in southeastern China, today. It's the latest leg in the torch relay. There are now just 60 days left before the torch reaches Beijing to signify the start of the games. Yeah, two months until '08...
NGUYEN: Can you believe it's already almost here? A whole new batch of Olympic heroes we're going to be talking about. And you just can't beat Olympic competition. CNN's SPORTS' Larry Smith is here with us this morning.
And this story is really inspirational about one Olympic hopeful who is already a winner.
LARRY SMITH, CNN SPORTS: Yes, a couple months ago, I'm like, you know what, we've to do a piece on her. She was here in Atlanta a few weeks ago. And you talk about the Olympic spirit, that unseen fire that burns perpetually. And Melanie Roach is one Olympian who really refuses to take no for an answer.
(voice over): She just might be the strongest woman in America, in body and in spirit. Melanie Roach's road to Beijing is longer than most. Eight years ago the former gymnast appeared destined for the Sydney Olympics when a back injury quashed her dreams.
MELANIE ROACH, OLYMPIC WEIGHTLIFTER: At that time in my life, it was the most devastating time for me to sit and watch your Olympic dream disappear. It was very devastating. I realize now that everything has a purpose, and I now have three wonderful children.
SMITH: There aren't enough hours in the day for Team Roach. Melanie and her husband, Dan, who was a Washington state representative, juggle her training, his duties, her gymnastics business, their three children, and the challenges of caring for their 5-year-old son, Drew, who has autism.
M ROACH: It really changed my perspective, not only on parenting my son, but on weightlifting. as well. I have really learned to stop worrying about what just happens, don't worry about the future, and just live in the now.
DAN ROACH, MELANIE'S HUSBAND: There are a lot of people that talk about their dreams or that try to achieve that dream, but come up short. Melanie's the kind of girl that says, this is what I want and finds a way to do it and is not deterred by anything.
SMITH: After a couple of failed comebacks, Roach underwent outpatient surgery in 2006 to repair her herniated disk. The procedure was such a success, that her surgeon had to order her to stay out of the gym two days after the operation. M ROACH: He was so shocked, I don't think he believed me, but he made me wait a couple more days. And I would say five days after the surgery, I was back in the gym.
DR ROBERT BRAY, SURGEON: It takes that special person with dedication and drive to get through all that, and that's what's so special about Melanie. She just -- she doesn't stop. She's not going to stop. She's going to take this right to Beijing.
SMITH: It all paid off last month when the 33-year-old earned a spot on the Olympic team, with a lift of nearly 240 pounds, more than twice her weight.
M ROACH: To stand there with that bar over my head, I think I held it for a couple extra seconds, yelling and screaming, and it was really pure joy. What a blessing it was to not make the team in 2000. Had I made the team, I wouldn't have the family I have today. Had I made the 2000 Olympic team, I would not enjoy this experience nearly as much.
SMITH: She's an incredible story. She weighs 117 pounds. As we mentioned, she lifted 240 when she was in Atlanta for the weightlifting trials, here last month. She says she's going to retire after Beijing to be a full-time mom. Dan is going to try to get re- elected, a reelection big coming up this fall. The people around her say with Melanie we've learned never say never.
NGUYEN: Yeah. And what are her chances of winning in Beijing?
SMITH: You know, to go for the gold will be difficult, she admits. She says she really wants to go for the American record that she set 10 years ago, herself. She'd like to get that and she just wants to be in the best shape possible. She's actually moving her gymnastics business into a new facility, right now. The facility wasn't ready last week, so she currently is training. I talked to Dan a couple of days ago, she's train right now, and, you know in a garage, basically, with no lights and electricity, whatever. But she's dedicated. It's like a Rocky movie, "Rocky IV" come to life.
NGUYEN: Yeah, dedicated, determined, and good for her. We'll be watching as the games kick off. Thank you. That's a great story, Larry.
SMITH: Sure. Thanks.
NGUYEN: Well, cleared for takeoff. Yep, the best looking airplane we have ever, well, seen, I think. What happened to that?
SIMON: Yeah, we better make that the best looking boat we've ever seen. We're going to tell you about this flight of fancy right after this.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) NGUYEN: Well, this just in to CNN, we are getting word of a significant earthquake in southwestern Greece, this morning. Check out this new video. You can see the chandelier, there shaking and the quake, we understand, triggered landslides that have reportedly trapped at least 11 people, according to state-run media. We're also being told that at least 15 people have been injured, as well, because of this. Now, one of the injured was hurt by falling rocks on one of the islands off the west coast of Greece. You can see the cracks in the building. I don't know if that had anything to do with the quake there, but apparently it is, is why they are centering in on that in the video.
But, emergency crews, obviously, responding to other reports throughout the city of Peloponnese and one area, we understand, that's why people may have been trapped as a house collapsed. So, this is a story that we are going to be following, so stay with CNN of that.
And just ahead, right here, Hillary Clinton bows out of the presidential race, so just how historic was her run and can she really help unite the Democratic Party? Howard Kurtz and RELIABLE SOURCES is next.