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CNN Sunday Morning

Video: Captive Soldier Fears He Won't Get Home; Police May Have Found Jakarta Bomber's Laptop; Yellowstone Quakes Have Experts Buzzing; iReporters Remember Walter Cronkite

Aired July 19, 2009 - 06:00   ET


T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everybody. From the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING for July 19. I'm T.J. Holmes.

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, good morning, everybody, and thanks so much for joining us. I am Betty Nguyen. It's 6 a.m. here in Atlanta - what? - 4 a.m. out in Chicago; 3 a.m. San Francisco. Getting all those time zones right. Thanks for starting your day with us. We have a lot of news to bring you this morning.

So let's get right to this: a developing story out of Afghanistan. An American soldier believed to be held captive in Afghanistan shows up on a video and appears to be alive.

HOLMES: Yes, according to the Associated Press, two U.S. Defense officials confirm the man that you see there, this video, is the American soldier who went missing from his base in eastern Afghanistan last month. The AP provided a portion of this video to CNN.

It shows the man, as you see there - you see him just sitting at some points. He's talking at some points. Also at a point he's eating some food. The AP said the full video clearly shows the man's U.S. military dog tags, including his name and ID number. CNN, however, has not been able to confirm this information, and the Pentagon has not released the man's identity.

When the man speaks into the camera, he addresses a number of topics, talking about family, fears. Also, his thoughts on being held captive.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Scared I won't be able to go home. It is very un - unnerving to be a prison.


HOLMES: Now, the video contains no demands for his release, and at one point is prompted to make comments directly to the American people. He also talks about his family and his fears, as you hear there, about never seeing them again.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have my girlfriend, who I was hoping to marry. I have my - my grandma and my grandpas. I have a very, very good family that I love back home in America. And I miss them every day that I'm gone. I miss them, and I'm afraid that I might never see them again, and that I'll never be able to tell them that I love them again. I'll never be able to hug them.


HOLMES: The military is distributing pamphlets - you see them here - in eastern Afghanistan in an effort to find the soldier who's been missing since June 30. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for his capture.

Days after the soldier first went missing, a senior U.S. military official said the American, along with three Afghan soldiers, were captured by low-level militants who then sold them to a warlord's clan.

NGUYEN: Well, last night, our Don Lemon spoke with a military analyst who has covered al-Qaida and written about Afghanistan. And Don asked him about the 28-minute long video and its intent.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: This is a direct message that his captors want to take to the public, and - and propaganda in some sense.

DAVID ISBY, MILITARY ANALYST: They're very good at that. The - the insurgents and al-Qaida are very good at making DVDs, getting messages up. And what we saw of captives being sold up the chain, this unfortunately has happened before with Afghans, people who have been kidnapped by common criminals and up in the high level confinement, that he could be in the next cave to bin Laden.


HOLMES: Also on that video, the soldier said the date. He said it was July 14.

Now, our Barbara Starr has been working this story. She'll continue to work this story. We're going to check in with her live in about a half hour, get the update from her.

NGUYEN: Well, also this morning, Indonesian police are saying that they have recovered a laptop computer believed to belong to one of the bombers who attacked those two hotels.

HOLMES: Yes, nine people were killed in Friday's attacks.

CNN international correspondent tells us now that police believe the bombers were among the victims.


DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The police are still working to identify three bodies that they have recovered at the scenes of this twin explosion in the center of Jakarta. The speculation they may be the bodies of the terrorists, the suicide bombers. But it's still too early to say for sure.

We know certainly that there have been six confirmed victims - three Australians, a New Zealander and two other bodies, though some doubt now over the nationalities of those other two bodies. But the police are still working to confirm the identities of those three other bodies to check if they are the terrorists, or if in fact perhaps one of them is - is the body of another guest.

In terms of the scene here, as you can see, the - both hotels are still closed and sealed off. The police have a fairly tight cordon around while they do their work inside. No word yet on when either hotel will be reopened. Both have been allowing guests to go back and get in their possessions. But no sign of them opening probably yet.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Obama has issued a statement saying the U.S. government stands ready to help the Indonesian government respond to and recover from these outrageous attacks as a friend and partner. President Obama, of course, spent some of his childhood here in Jakarta. There is that affiliation from his past, and certainly in - in the statement, they reflected the fact that the Indonesian authorities have done a lot to try and clamp down on terrorism. And this has been reflected in a lull in attacks in the past few years.

The current thinking behind who is responsible - well, there are some forensic links, the police say, between the types of explosives used here and the types used in previous attacks and - and - and found in - in a cache of explosives. They think that points towards Jemaah Islamiyah, which is a - a - an Islamist group that has carried out a number of attacks across Indonesia over the past decade.

Dan Rivers, CNN, Jakarta.


HOLMES: Now, police in two Southern stares are investigating six killings, and one suspect is in custody.

Five bodies were found in two houses in Fayetteville, Tennessee. Another was found in Huntsville, Alabama. Huntsville, as you see there on the map, about 30 miles south of Fayetteville. A police sergeant in Huntsville says that Tennessee authorities told him a man has, in fact, confessed to all six killings. Among the victims were two juveniles.

Most of the victims are related. Police say the motive here seems to be a domestic dispute Thirty-year-old Jacob Shaffer of Fayetteville is now in custody in Tennessee. A law-enforcement official there says there are no other suspects in this case.

Shaffer is charged with five counts of murder in Tennessee. He's expected to be charged with murder as well in Huntsville.

NGUYEN: Well, at least 44 people hurt when one train slammed into another on San Francisco's light rail. All of them, they are expected to be OK. But this happened right in front of a platform of commuters. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NANCY MARTIN, TRAIN-CRASH WITNESS: We saw it just barreling in - in, not slowing down. Driver's head was down. He looked like he was asleep or passed out or - couldn't tell because he was not looking up. He was not slowing down or breaking or - no signals, nothing. And I knew - you could tell he was not going to stop. And he just crashed right into the rear of the (INAUDIBLE).


NGUYEN: Well, police say the conductor crashed when he - quote - "miscalculated a turn."

Shifting now, President Obama takes his push for health-care reform to middle America this week. So let's take a look at his schedule.

Tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of the moon landing. The president will meet with the crew of Apollo 11 and newly confirmed NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.

On Tuesday, meetings at the White House. But that evening, he and the first lady will attend an event celebrating country music at the White House.

Then on Wednesday, he meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki. At 9 Eastern that night, he holds a news conference, and of course, CNN will bring that live to you right here.

On Thursday, he is in Cleveland to discuss health-care reform. And later he has a fundraiser for the Democratic Party in Chicago.

Then on Friday, the president meets with the secretary-general of NATO. Then later, he'll cash the Sunset Parade at the Marine Barracks in Washington.

HOLMES: Oh, thought I had a busy week.

NGUYEN: I know. Every single day, jam-packed.

HOLMES: Yes, Nouri al-Maliki...

NGUYEN: Well, he is the president.

HOLMES: ...and thrown in a little country music in there.

NGUYEN: It all kind of goes together, right?



Well, we were talking about this yesterday, Yellowstone National Park - you've been there...

NGUYEN: I have been there.

HOLMES: I haven't had the pleasure.

NGUYEN: Old Faithful, you got to go see it.

HOLMES: A lot of people go. And apparently, I need to hurry up and go.

NGUYEN: Yes, because...

HOLMES: A lot of people do go there to bond with nature, I guess is (INAUDIBLE).

NGUYEN: Right, and we say hurry up because there is a hotbed of volcanic activity that is taking place there.

In fact, Reynolds Wolf took a trip to check it out.


REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Now, the epicenter for all his seismic activity has been right out here in Yellowstone Lake, right out there towards the middle, where just his year they've had more than 1,000 quakes reported.


NGUYEN: Reynolds will explain why the most devastating quake on American soil could happen in Wyoming.

HOLMES: And you know what? I'm not even going to tell you all what this story is about. I'm just going to let you see Betty in a hardhat, and we'll go to commercial.







NGUYEN: Mmm. A little Queen Latifah this morning. And this is not just her concert. In fact, she is singing in celebration of Nelson Mandela's 91st birthday. This happened in Johannesburg yesterday. And in fact, Nelson Mandela asked people to celebrate by doing good deeds in observance of the inaugural Mandela Day. It is official there, Mandela Day.

HOLMES: Mandela Day.

Also, there was a concert in New York as well to benefit Mandela's AIDS foundation. But big names all around. You see Queen Latifah there. But the - the French first lady, Carla Bruni Sarkozy was around. We saw a lot of big names - Stevie Wonder was...

NGUYEN: Cyndi Lauper, Lil Kim. They did a duet; that was kind of interesting.

HOLMES: Interesting? That's a - one way to put it.

NGUYEN: It was interesting.

Speaking of all things interesting, we've got our man Reynolds Wolf here to talk about Yellowstone.

WOLF: Yes, how do you follow Nelson Mandela?

NGUYEN: It's tough, right?

WOLF: Can you explain that to me? How - how are we supposed to go from one to another? That's really difficult.

Yes, you're right; I did make the trip out to Yellowstone. And you know, when you think about the most unstable places on the planet, you might think it is somewhere on a volcanic island of the - of the Pacific, or maybe a - a section of fourth-graders during a Jonas Brothers concert.


WOLF: But really, the most unstable place on the planet is in Yellowstone National Park. And I want you to see the story. It'll give you an idea of just how incredible and how amazing this spot really is.


WOLF (voice-over): From its majestic peaks to roaring waterfalls to wildlife, Yellowstone National Park draws millions of visitors.

(on camera): Now this incredible park is actually situated inside of a giant caldera, or a crater that was formed from a volcanic eruption some 640,000 years ago. And scientists say that another eruption is inevitable. The question is, when's it going to happen?

(voice-over): Park geologist Cheryl Jaworowski monitors the volcanic activity at Yellowstone, one of the most geologically unstable places on Earth. Magma flows as close as five miles underneath the surface, powering geysers, steam vents and even some earthquakes.

Recently, Yellowstone experienced a series of quakes over a short period. That is known as the swarm.

CHERYL JAWOROWSKI, YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK GEOLOGIST: Yellowstone normally has lots of swarms. And that's - that's being part of being in a volcanic system. What was interesting about this swarm that happened between December 2008 and January 2009 is that it was one of the larger ones we've seen.

WOLF: So large in fact that a flurry of online discussions began, asking the question, is this swarm a sign of the next big volcanic eruption?

Scientists believe there have been at least three tremendous volcanic eruptions at Yellowstone in the last 2.1 million years. The most recent occurred 640,000 years ago. It was massive.

And geologist Dan Dzurisin says that an event that large would have a global impact.

DAN DZURISIN, YELLOWSTONE GEOLOGIST: The amount of ash ejected into the atmosphere and into the stratosphere, together with volcanic gases, would encircle the globe. They would certainly affect airline traffic. They would affect the weather.

WOLF (on camera): Now the epicenter for all this seismic activity has been right out here in Yellowstone Lake, right out there towards the middle, where just this year they've had more than 1,000 quakes recorded.

DZURISIN: They migrated over a period of about a week to the north, toward us here, toward the outlet of Yellowstone Lake. And then eventually the swarm subsided.

WOLF (voice-over): But the questions continued. Is the volcano at Yellowstone on the verge of erupting?

JAWOROWSKI: We don't know if there ever will be another big, catastrophic eruption like there was 640,000 years ago. We do think there will be eruptions. But it could be of something like a basalt, which people have flocked to Hawaii to see.

WOLF: So scientists will continue to monitor the volcanic activity with remote stations, like this one. They don't expect an eruption anytime soon, and they say the signs would be unmistakable, and much greater than the recent swarm.

DZURISIN: You'd see tremendous seismic activity - hundreds, thousands of earthquakes. Probably hundreds per day. We would expect the ground surface to be swelling. Geysers might become much more activity; they might go entirely inactive. New geysers might open, new thermal pools.

So it would be very obvious that something big was in the offing.

WOLF: And a very obvious warning of the next big, potentially Earth-changing event.


WOLF: So if you had an eruption like the one that happened 640,000 years ago, if that were to - to occur today, it could kill easily thousands, perhaps even millions of people. It is amazing. Because, I mean, these pyreplastic (ph) - these gasses that are released into the atmosphere - I mean, it would change the - the - the - the weather around the planet. It could stop airplanes in mid-flight because the jet engines would actually get clogged up by all the silt coming out from this - this volcano.

HOLMES: So what's the good news, Reynolds?

WOLF: Good news...


WOLF: That's the bad news. The good news is, is that in terms of this happening, not likely to happen tomorrow or next week. So if you have those plans at Yellowstone, maybe going - maybe...

NGUYEN: Don't cancel your flights just yet.

WOLF: Don't cancel your flights.


WOLF: But I - it - there is a chance - I mean, they - they - the scientists do agree that it is imminent; there will be another eruption. But it more likely is going to happen maybe several thousand years from now, which to us is a very long time. But on a planet that's 4.6 billion years old, that's the blink of an eye. I mean, that's really, really quick.

NGUYEN: But right now, there's not enough seismic activity to show that's going to happen any time very soon.

WOLF: Exactly.

I mean, if you go there today at Yellowstone, there's a chance that you're going to feel, you know, the ground shake a little bit. I mean, it's going to do that a few times. In fact, during just one month's - you like that effect, didn't you?

NGUYEN: I did.

WOLF: I know that you did.

In fact, from December to January, they had over 1,000 earthquakes. And they've been really active months. They've just - let's see, I think over 300 just in May alone. So this does happen. You could go there; you're going to feel it shake. But does that - does that mean that we're going to have the big pop? I don't think so.

NGUYEN: All right.


NGUYEN: Now that you've attempted to dismantle our desk out there... WOLF: Yes, hopefully things will work over here. Might...

NGUYEN: That's why we keep him in the Weather Center, folks.

WOLF: We'll have to call engineering in a little bit.


NGUYEN: All right.

WOLF: There you go.

NGUYEN: Thank you, Reynolds.

HOLMES: All right. Thanks, Renny.

Well, stay with us here; our CNN iReporters paying tribute as well this weekend to Walter Cronkite, like so many others. Our Josh Levs has been taking a look at some of those.

Good morning, Josh.

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning to you guys.

You know, some people are remembering Walter Cronkite, they say, when they think of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And others are calling him a father figure.

Also, how did he relate to the next generation of journalists? Our iReporters are weighing in.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The eagle has landed. Rocket 22, (INAUDIBLE)




CRONKITE: Whew, boy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, we're going to be busy for a minute.

CRONKITE: Wally, say something - I'm speechless.


NGUYEN: One of the very few times when Walter Cronkite was actually speechless. A man who had seen so much history, and actually carried the world - carried the U.S., us Americans, through those moments in history.

That moment in particular, one of my favorites. In fact, one of his, I believe.


NGUYEN: One of the favorite stories that he ever covered, 1969 in July, when we first saw man land on the moon.

HOLMES: Yes, and he said that, in fact, that was his favorite. The 40th anniversary of the landing coming up tomorrow. So a lot of people looking back at that moment.

Also looking back at the life of Walter Cronkite. We've been looking at some of those moments this weekend, and so many of those tougher moments. The...

NGUYEN: Right.

HOLMES: ...certainly the assassination of JFK. We talked about Martin Luther King and some of those moments.

But that was a - a happy moment, a proud moment there, which he said was his absolute favorite story to cover.

NGUYEN: Which is so great to see, especially in the news business. So many times we bring you devastation around the world. But to see these great moments, where we can all sit together and - and find real joy in them - Walter Cronkite did that in the landing of man on the moon.

Josh Levs has been looking into this as well.

LEVS: Yes.

NGUYEN: Josh, I'm sure a lot of people weighing in on their favorite moments.

LEVS: Exactly.

You know, it's interesting, because we were - since his death, we've had the chance to hear from so many people who worked with him, right? And - and a lot of bigwigs in the government and in the industry.

But the essence of his achievement lay in everyone else. This is why I really like turning to iReports at a time like this, to hear from people who grew up watching him., What did he mean to you? I'm going to show you a couple of examples right here.


MARTHA LILLARD, CNN IREPORTER: Walter represented for a lot of us a father figure, because I know he was approximately the same age as my father. But - but he was just such a warm and caring person. He made you love him, and he made you trust him by what he said, about what he did.

The world is a much worse place without him. I wish we had more people like Walter Cronkite.



DAVID WHITE, CNN IREPORTER: Good (ph) Mr. Walter Cronkite that America turned to on April 4, 1968, when we found out that the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King had been assassinated.

He was the first, middle and last word in news from the time I was a little bitty boy till the day he left CBS. It was through (ph) Walter Cronkite that I became a news junkie.

Thanks, Walter. I appreciate it.


LEVS: Now, I also want to give you all a taste of our next generation. One of our frequent iReporters - his name is Kyle Aevermann. And he attended - I have it written down here - Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

And Cronkite actually paid a visit there. And here's what Kyle told us.


KYLE AEVERMANN, CNN IREPORTER: He wanted to be part of the next generation, the next wave of broadcasting and into the new media. So it was definitely something - he was trying to take what he knew and passed it on to the students now that will hopefully one day be like him.


LEVS: Now, we've also got discussions going on through the newsroom blog, Facebook, Twitter.

Let's show up on the graphic where you can weigh in now. Your - your thoughts, your stories - there you go. It's joshlevscnn -

I'm going to show you an example right here if we got to Facebook, I got up on the screen behind me. Just a nice little message that we got from Tom: "I grew up in Guam listening to Walter Cronkite every night with my folks, our pre-dinner routine, like the old radio days when families would huddle around the radio for news. His voice was the authoritative sound of the news."

I like these places online because people are having discussions. They're responding to each other; they're sharing memories. You can take part in all of that right there.

And Betty and T.J., I'm sure it's going to keep going for several days. There's a lot of people - more and more, especially tomorrow. You're talking about that anniversary, the moon landing... NGUYEN: Mm-hmm.

LEVS: A lot of people are thinking about him especially right now.

NGUYEN: No doubt, and in fact, Cronkite's funeral will be on Thursday...

LEVS: Right.

NGUYEN: New York City. And we're also hearing that he's going to be cremated and then buried next to his late wife in Missouri, where he is from indeed.

And - and you talked about people reflecting on their thoughts and their memories. We're getting a lot of that on our Facebook and Twitter pages. So continue to send those in this morning and we'll share them on the air.

HOLMES: I have some breaking news we want to pass along to you about a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. This happened in Kandahar airfield, which is in the southern part of Afghanistan. We can put this up on a map for you.

What we're getting right now, at least from the Associated Press, is that this helicopter has gone down. Again, a civilian helicopter. This is at NATO's largest airbase there in southern Afghanistan. No word on casualties just yet. But don't know how many people might have been on the helicopter. Don't know who was on it.

But again, not a military helicopter, but a civilian helicopter that has gone down. We will continue to keep an eye on this. We have, of course, seen a number of crashes - really, a string of helicopters that go down over the past several days even. Only one of those, I believe, incident had to do with enemy fire.

We of course saw the U.S. fighter jet as well...

NGUYEN: The F-15.

HOLMES: Two - two crew members were killed in that. Again, the military not saying that that crash had anything to do with enemy fire. And also this one - again, this was a civilian helicopter. Not saying enemy fire had anything to do with this one just yet either. But we will continue to keep an eye out. Don't know how many people might have been killed (INAUDIBLE).

NGUYEN: Yes, and that makes it really interesting, because we - we have an F-15 jet that goes down; two crew members die in that. No hostile fire reported there. Now you have this crash of a U.N. helicopter going down; no report of hostile fire either.

So you don't know - I mean, is it the weather conditions? Is it malfunctioning of these aircrafts? A lot of questions right now, and when it comes to that U.N. helicopter, as T.J. mentioned, we still don't have a casualty report as of yet. But when we do get those numbers, we will bring them to you.

In the meantime there, a man held captive in Afghanistan shows up on videotape. And U.S. officials say it may be a missing American soldier.

HOLMES: Also, we'll continue to talk about health care. How is this whole debate affecting the president's poll numbers? We'll be live in Washington.

Stay here.


HOLMES: Well, good morning, everybody. Welcome back to this CNN SUNDAY MORNING. I am T.J. Holmes.

NGUYEN: Yes, good morning, everybody. Thanks for joining us. I am Betty Nguyen.

We do have some breaking news right now. We understand a civilian helicopter has gone down in Afghanistan. We want to take you straight to the ground right now and get a live report from Ivan Watson, who is at Camp Dwyer - all right, I am being told that he is not ready at this point. We're trying to get that signal up for you.

But here is what we know about this crash: it is a civilian helicopter, crashed at NATO's largest base in southern Afghanistan. Now known exactly how many people were onboard, and if there are indeed casualties as a result of this crash.

But what we have been told so far is that at this point, it is not believed that this helicopter went down because of hostile fire.

HOLMES: All right. And - I've got to ask our producers on air right now, I - I've got an AP write-up here out of Moscow, and - and I'm not sure if we sure go with this or not. But AP is now reporting some updated information. And we're trying to see if we can pass that along to you.

But again, we're getting some initial reports here about what's happening; we're depending on the Associated Press for this. This is coming to us out of Moscow.

We're told Ivan Watson on the ground for us is ready.

Ivan, what can you tell bus this helicopter crash? I guess just initially is this --

IVAN WATSON, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT: One, two, three, four, five.

HOLMES: There's our Ivan Watson.

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR, CNN SUNDAY MORNING: He's checking his audio, right there.

HOLMES: Ivan, can you hear me OK? This is T.J. and Betty at CNN Atlanta. You hearing me OK, Ivan?

Doesn't seem that Ivan is hearing me. I'll try one more time.

Ivan Watson, this is T.J. and Betty here in Atlanta. You hearing me OK? If you can, go ahead and give us the update.

WATSON: I hear you fine, T.J. I think there's unfortunately a long delay in our satellite communications.

I'm in a remote -- I hear you fine, T.J. unfortunately there's a long delay here.

About this helicopter crash, it occurred before noon local time at Kandahar air field, that is to the east of where I'm located now; a civilian helicopter which crashed.

The spokesman for that air base is not giving any details about whether there were any injuries or deaths at all. He has not even identified really what kind of a helicopter it was, aside being a civilian contractor. And he did say, though, this was not as a result of hostile fire. This has been a difficult day for aircraft around Afghanistan.

We're also getting reports from the U.S. military of a military helicopter making a hard landing, T.J., in eastern Kunar Province and there were injuries, some of the crew have been treated, have been rushed to medical care after that took place. No reports of insurgent activity behind that crash.

And of course, T.J., yesterday we had for the first time a war plane, an F15 E Strike Eagle which went down in central Gazny (ph) Province. The U.S. military ruled out any hostile fire in that plane crash, but the two American crew members aboard that war plane were both killed in that accident.

This has been a difficult month for the NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The bloodiest month yet of this war, which has been going on for more than eight years since the overthrow of the Taliban. At least 50 people killed, U.S. and NATO service men and women over the course of this month, and the month is still far from over. And you still have some significant military operations underway here in Helmand Province, some 4,000 Marines capturing opium fields, an area that was used by the Taliban to funnel weapons and fighters and drugs from the nearby Pakistani border up into central Afghanistan -T.J.

HOLMES: All right. Our Ivan Watson there for us in Afghanistan. We appreciate you and again, the update here about what's happening there. This is a civilian helicopter that went down.

NGUYEN: Right.

We have very little information as to exactly what happened, what brought that down. What we know, as we heard from Ivan, is that there was no hostile fire. But we're getting a lot of wire reports as to what might have occurred. HOLMES: Might have occurred. We'll keep on top of that as soon as we get more information that CNN can confirm, we'll pass it along to you.

Also, news out of Afghanistan, an American soldier believed to be held captive there, now showing up on a video and looks like he's alive and well.

NGUYEN: Yes, it does. And according to the Associated Press two U.S. Defense officials confirm the man seen in this video right here is the American soldier who went missing from his base in eastern Afghanistan last month.

Now the AP is distributing this video, at least a portion of which has been provided to CNN. What it shows is - what you're watching right there - a man sitting, talking, at one point even eating some food. Well, the AP says the full video clearly shows the man's U.S. military dog tags including his name and ID number. CNN has not been able to confirm this information and the Pentagon has not released the man's identity. When the man does speak into the camera, though, he addresses several topics including his thoughts on being held captive.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Scared I won be able to go home. It is very unnerving to be a prisoner.


NGUYEN: The video contains not demands for obtaining the captive's release. And at one point the man is prompted to make some comments directly to the American people. He also talks about his family and his fears that he might never see them again.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My girlfriend, who I was hoping to marry, my grandma and grandpa. I have a very, very good family that I love back home in America. And I miss them every day that I'm gone. I miss them. And I'm afraid that I might never see them again and that I'll never be able to tell them that I love them again. I'll never be able to hug them.


NGUYEN: The military is distributing pamphlets in eastern Afghanistan in an effort to find the soldier who has been missing since June 30th. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for his capture. Days after the soldier first went missing a senior U.S. military official said the American, along with three Afghan soldiers, were captured by low-level militant who then sold them to a war lord's clan.

All right. Let's get some more information on all of this. Barbara Starr has been talking to her sources about this video. She's joining us now on the phone from Washington.

What's the latest you've learned about this, Barbara?


The Pentagon still very publicly quiet on any official comment on this. Obviously, since this soldier went missing on June 30 there has been a very urgent but very quiet hunt, obviously, to scour that eastern Afghanistan area to see if they can find him and get him out of there.

This video, though, certainly the proof of life that everyone had been looking for, that he is alive. I must tell you there is a reference on the tape to the date of July 14th, an indication that he was well up until that date. U.S. military official tells us they have every reason to still believe that since then that he is alive that he is continuing to be held. And they are just continuing that hunt for him.

But looking at this video, frame-by-frame they tell us, to see if they can glean any clues about where the video was made and any clues about how and where he's being held, Betty.

NGUYEN: And, Barbara, upon the release of this video, there were any demand that came with it?

STARR: Not as far as we know per se. But it should be said that over the last several days there have been a number of statement from a variety of Taliban, so-called commanders and officials in that region, threatening his well being if the U.S. doesn't get out of the area, that sort of thing. There have bean number of very strident Taliban statements in the recent days. But as far as we know this 28- minute video is fairly benign, but certainly this young man is being held against his will, and some of the statements that are being made by him need to be reflected with that in mind, Betty.

NGUYEN: No doubt. We're also awaiting word to see what the Defense Department has to say regarding this video, the soldier's identity, and all the other details surrounding it. Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr joining us by phone this morning.

Barbara, thank you.

HOLMES: An update here. We'll keep an eye on the breaking story out of Afghanistan where a helicopter went down. We understand this is a civilian helicopter. But the Russian state news agency now reporting - InterFax is what it is, but they are now reporting 15 people have been killed in that helicopter crash. There were some survivors. Still no word on exactly what brought it down and no word on the nationalities of those who were killed. Again, this is coming from the Russian state news agency. We're keeping an eye on that breaking news story. We'll bring you the latest details. Quick break, we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HOLMES: (AUDIO GAP) ... America this week. Let's check the schedules out here. Tomorrow, the 40th anniversary of the moon landing, the president will meet with the crew of Apollo 11 and the newly confirmed NASA administrator Charles Bolden. Then Tuesday, he as meetings at the White House; that evening he and the first lady will attend an event celebrating country music. That's happening at the White House.

Then on Wednesday he meets with the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki. Then, at 9:00 Eastern that night he will hold a news conference. We will, of course, bring you that live. Then Thursday he's in Cleveland to discuss health care reform and he'll attend a fundraiser for the Democratic Party in Chicago. On Friday the president meets with the secretary-general of NATO. Later he'll catch the Sunset Parade at the Marine Barracks in Washington.

President Obama wages the health care reform battle with his popularity on the decline. CNN deputy political Director, and friend of our show here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING, Paul Steinhauser, joins us now with a look at the latest poll numbers.

And, Paul, this has always been kind of the theme. He remains personally popular, if you will, with the American public, but not always crazy about his policies. So interested to see these new numbers.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes, there is a noticeable drop, T.J. Take a look at this. This is our CNN Poll of Polls. We've averaged a bunch of polls that were taken in July, national polls. The question, of course, how is the president doing in the White House? You can see, 57 percent is the average right now. Still a very good number. That is a nice approval rating. Just about any public official would like to have. But you can notice, right there, it has dropped 4 points from June. And that is noticeable.

Yeah, when a president starts out of the White House everything is new. But it is a tough job. You see these numbers come down.

HOLMES: Give us some historical perspective here. What about his predecessors, right about now, how were they doing?

STEINHAUSER: Right around now, the previous guy was right at 57 percent, as well, George W. Bush back in July of 2001. You can see Bill Clinton was at 48 percent back in July of 1993. George Herbert Walker Bush at 66 percent way back in 1989. And six out of 10 Americans were giving Ronald Reagan a thumbs up six months into his presidency back in 1981, T.J.

HOLMES: Paul, because he has been so popular, a lot of folks have been a little hesitant to come out and just go against the president. The numbers dropping a little bit there. How much -- or how important will public support be in this whole health care debate for the president?

STEINHAUSER: Public support is so crucial here. The president's approval rating actually -it matters because, as you said, he's trying to get major legislation through, health care, later this year, energy, and maybe even immigration. So, the more popular the president, the higher numbers in the polls, of course, the more clout he has as he deals with Congress. So, if that number starts to slip that's troubling to a White House, T.J.

HOLMES: All right. CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser, we'll be talking to you again this morning. Thank you, kind sir. We'll see you soon.


HOLMES: For our viewers here, CNN Wednesday night, 7 o'clock, the "Moment of Truth," with Steve Harvey and Tom Joyner, live from Times Square. Then at 8:00 the premier of "Black In America 2". This will be the first part of the series here. It will be followed by President Obama's press conference, which will happen at 9:00. Then at 10 o'clock, "Black In America 2" continues. This is all happening on Wednesday night, right here on CNN.

NGUYEN: So are you looking for a job, or maybe know someone who is? I'll take you to Vegas where thousands ever jobs are up for grabs. Plus, when the economy started to go to the dogs, so to speak, it gave one struggling business woman an idea. See her success story.


HOLMES: All right. I know that is what you play on your iPod, on your flight to Vegas.

NGUYEN: Every time I go.

HOLMES: That you often take.

NGUYEN: We all need a little luck these days.

HOLMES: Yes, and the big bets. I guess, this guy you talked to, he is really needs some luck in this project. The big project out in Las Vegas, a lot of people are betting on it now. It is a huge project called the CityCenter.

NGUYEN: You know what they are saying, MGM Mirage, is really the ones behind this project. It's a mammoth of a project that's creating some 40,000 jobs. But the guy behind the plan, the man who came up with it all, says, look, it is going to be profitable. We're going to create jobs, it's just a matter of getting this thing opened. And that will happen in just a couple of months. Take a look at CityCenter.


NGUYEN (On camera): How many buildings is it comprised of?

JIM MURREN, CEO, MGM MIRAGE: You're on about 67 acres of land. There are over 20 different buildings here.

NGUYEN: Welcome to CityCenter, the newest edition on the Vegas strip. MGM Mirage CEO Jim Murren came up with the idea for this $8.5- billion project.

(On camera): A lot of casinos will put the gaming right up front.

MURREN: Right.

NGUYEN: You decided to put it towards the back?

MURREN: We did.


MURREN: We don't think we need to put it in everyone's face.

In the old days the casino was front and center. And everything was designed, thematically, and from an egress perspective to force people into the casinos. That's insulting. If people want to gamble, we will have a wonderful casino there, but that's not the heart of CityCenter.

NGUYEN (voice over): Instead Murren is making art, architecture and culture the focus. He's hired some of the world's top designers to develop this urban metropolis and will fill with it $40-million worth of contemporary art. But getting CityCenter funded in the midst of a recession has been a real challenge. It narrowly avoided bankruptcy earlier this year.

MURREN: We came very close to having to shut this project down.

NGUYEN: Now, back on track, work is underway on the Center's casino, four hotels, high-rise condos, entertainment venues and retail shops.

(On camera): How important is the CityCenter to the future Las Vegas?

MURREN: There's probably 20,000, 30,000 people in the environs, that are working on projects that relate to CityCenter. Then when we open CityCenter, we'll have about 12,000 new jobs. There's nothing in the U.S., no auto company is creating any jobs. You know, no bank. No developer. No hi-tech company. Nothing in the United States is creating more jobs than we are.

NGUYEN (voice over): How is that possible given it's the largest property on the Vegas strip? It's called building up. The Los Vegas Convention & Visitor's Bureau says because there are several high-rise hotels and condos, in a small space, it's creating more jobs than the average strip property. So, while Murren says, CityCenter is simply too big to fail, you can bet he's still feeling the pressure.

MURREN: Darn right I do. There's enormous pressure. This has to perform financially for our stake holders. It has to perform economically for the community. It has to perform for the people that we're going to employ. It has to perform for the state to increase the state's tax base. It has to, I think, perform, to prove, that we're more than a gaming company. (END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: All right. So a lot of pressure and when CityCenter does open in December, not too long from now, we are going to see if the Murren's gamble was a good one.

But back to those 40,000 jobs that it is said to create. Well, 12,000 of them are still available. But you are going to have to hurry if you're interested in that. Because MGM Grand says it has already received over 14,000 applications, for those 12,000 jobs that are still available. These are full time jobs, folks. So get those applications in.


All right, we just talked about it, and we're going to talk about it some more, because unemployment is high, money is tight. And you know, as we know, this recession is just dragging on. But many financial experts say it's a great time to start a small business.

HOLMES: In today's "Money & Main Street" we meet an out-of-work Air Force veteran who is getting a clean start by becoming her own boss. CNN National Correspondent Susan Candiotti has her story.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In the eight years since she retired from the Air Force Lori Lawrence has had three different jobs. She quit one and was laid off twice. After the last layoff, in February, she started rethinking her options.

LORI LAWRENCE, ENTREPRENUER, MY PAMPERED POOCH: I started thinking, I'm tired of going through this. What would I really enjoy?

CANDIOTTI: Though her aging Husky, Cody, is too old to need much grooming anymore, Cody inspired her to set her sights on opening a dog grooming business in the upscale Atlanta suburb of Peachtree City. But money was tight so she swallowed her pride and opened a fruit stand.

LAWRENCE: It's not doing anything like what I had hoped that it would do, but it's more money than I had last week.

CANDIOTTI: Fruit is only bringing a few 100 dollars a week, compared to that dog grooming looks like a gold mine.

LAWRENCE: People spent $42 million last year on their pets alone. You know, it's there. How do I get in? I want in, you know.

CANDIOTTI: Lori attended a number of SBA seminars and Goggled business plans at other start ups, and then drafted her own. Small business experts Dani Babb and John Rutledge offered to take a look.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She has a specific idea in her head, and about what this is going to look like, and what the consumer will walk away with. John and Dani helped Lori reduce her start-up costs from $147,000 to just $35,000. They showed her how to save money on labor and equipment. They suggested she look for free advice online, instead of hiring an attorney and CPA. And they are helping her negotiate a better lease in a down-and-out commercial real estate market.

JOHN RUTLEDGE, RUTLEDGE CAPITAL: In your plan you have things like pet sitting, dog taxi, a retail, a bakery, all those things ways of adding more revenues on to just the basic wash-your-dog.

CANDIOTTI: For the time being, dog washing is all Lori offers, but she hopes to be providing the Pampered Pooches in her area a full range of services by the end of next month.

Susan Candiotti, CNN.


NGUYEN: And you can catch a new "Money & Main Street" this Thursday morning on "American Morning" starting at 6:00 a.m. Eastern.

Also want to get you more details now on breaking news, that civilian helicopter that went down in Afghanistan.

HOLMES: We'll have more details about that coming up right after the break.

Also, President Obama tackling health care this week. How is he going to get his message out?


HOLMES: Welcome to CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING for this July 19. Hello, to you all. I'm T.J. Holmes.

NGUYEN: Good morning, everybody. I'm Betty Nguyen. It is 7:00 a.m. here in Atlanta, 6:00 a.m. in Dallas, 4:00 in Los Angeles. We do want to thank you for starting your day with us. We have a lot of news to bring you.

Let's get to our breaking news story out of Afghanistan. We know that a civilian helicopter has gone down. For the latest now, since there are new numbers on those affected by this, let's take you to Ivan Watson on the ground in Afghanistan.

What have you learned so far, Ivan?

IVAN WATSON, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Betty. I apologize, there's a helicopter taking off from the base I'm at in Afghanistan's southern Helmand Province.

To the east of here, that is where there was grim news today, just about a little less than four hours ago a civilian helicopter, a contracted company, crashed during takeoff from Kandahar air field. I have just gotten off the phone with a spokesman from that base. He says that 16 people were killed, Betty, five more hospitalized. They're not releasing the nationality of these passengers but they say none of the passengers or crew were military personnel. They're also saying that this was not a result of any kind of hostile fire. There will be an investigation into this.

Now, Betty, this is the third crash in the last two days. Earlier today, there was also a hard landing, an emergency landing by a U.S. military helicopter in eastern Afghanistan, in Kunar province and we're told hat the passengers and crew were being treated for injuries. We don't have further details on that except there wasn't hostile fire.

And yesterday, we had an F-15E Strike Eagle, the first we believe U.S. fixed-wing warplane that crashed in the pre-dawn hours with two crew members killed. So, a very difficult day for aviation.

Despite that, we traveled with marine helicopters and I believe we have some video that we can show you, traveled around Helmand Province. This is this very difficult province in the south of Afghanistan today. I traveled with U.S. Marines. Some 10,000 marines have been moved into this area; 4,000 launched an offensive earlier this month, moving into areas that the Taliban insurgents had controlled.

During our trip -- and we stopped at several bases -- it was very clear that -- I was in the same area last year, Betty -- the small forward operating bases have tripled, quintupled in size. The base that I'm at right now has perhaps several hundred American and British soldiers, marines.

Now, it has some 2,000 personnel, a sign that the U.S. and the NATO allies are ramping up their efforts here, trying to reach out and extend the Afghan government's authority in this very contested region where poppies, drugs are produced in massive quantities and this ahead of the August 20th presidential election that's scheduled to be taking place then -- Betty?

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Very quickly, Ivan, I want to get back to the crash, the civilian helicopter today where 16 people have been killed. You also listed a string of other crashes, including a jet yesterday; none of them having to do with hostile fire.

Any indication what is going on? Is it weather related? Is its mechanical? Any idea?

WATSON: You know, I've been asking spokesmen and they range from NATO-ISAF spokesmen to U.S. military spokesmen here in Afghanistan and down at CentCom headquarters down in Qatar -- and the answer that I've gotten on all three of these incidents is that no hostile fire and an investigation is underway. That's all we're getting from authorities right now.

Afghan government officials that we talked who are based in the Ghazni Province, where this F-15E Strike Eagle went down Saturday morning, Betty, we spoke with them, and they said that the crash site had been sealed off by foreign troops on the ground, preventing any Afghan forces from getting into that crash site so that Afghan officials also could not add any details...

NGUYEN: Got you.

WATSON: ... as to the cause of this crash. I really can't give any further explanation, Betty...

NGUYEN: All right.

WATSON: ... as to why these aircraft have been going down.

NGUYEN: It is very curious, nonetheless, and we're waiting to hear the latest on those investigations. Ivan Watson joining us live from Afghanistan -- thank you, Ivan.

Also, we want to tell you about this important story that we are getting this morning. An American soldier believed to be held captive in Afghanistan shows up on video and appears to be alive.

T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, this is according to "The Associated Press." Two defense officials -- two U.S. defense officials confirm the man you're seeing there in this video is the American soldier who went missing from his base in eastern Afghanistan last month. "The Associated Press" provided the portion of the video to CNN. It shows the man -- as you see there, you see him talking for a bit. You also see him eating at one point.

"The A.P." says the full video clearly shows the man's U.S. military dog tag, including his name and I.D. number. CNN not able to confirm this information and the Pentagon has not released his identity.

When the man speaks into the camera, he addresses several topics including his thoughts on being held captive.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Scared I won't be able to go home. It is very unnerving to be a prisoner.


HOLMES: This video contains no demands for obtaining the captive's release, and at one point, the man is prompted to make some comments directly to the American people. He also talks about his family and his fears that he might never see them again.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have my girlfriend who I was hoping to marry. I have my grandma and grandpa. I have a very, very good family that I love back home in America. And I miss them every day. When I'm gone I miss them and I'm afraid that I might never see them again and that I'll never be able to tell them that I love them again, I'll never be able to hug them. (END VIDEO CLIP)

NGUYEN: The military is distributing pamphlets in eastern Afghanistan in an effort to find the soldier who has been missing since June 30th. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for his capture.

Now, days after the soldier first went missing, a senior U.S. military official said the American, along with three Afghan soldiers were captured by low level militants who then sold them to a war lord's clan.

We'll continue to follow this story for you.

HOLMES: Turning to some politics now.

Marking the 40th anniversary of a giant leap for mankind and high level discussions with international figures -- are just a couple of things on the president's agenda this week. But judging from his weekly address, health care is at the top of his list.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to be very clear: I will not sign on to any health plan that adds to our deficits over the next decade. And by helping improve quality and efficiency the reforms we make will help bring our deficits under control in the long term.

Those who oppose reform will also tell you one that under our plan, you won't get to choose your doctor, that some bureaucrat will choose for you. That's also not true.

Michele and I don't want anyone telling us who our family doctor should be -- and no one should decide that for you, either. Under our proposal, if you like your doctor, you keep your doctor. If you like your current insurance, you keep that insurance. Period, end of story.


HOLMES: Well, let's bring in CNN deputy political director and friend of our show here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING, Paul Steinhauser, joining us live from Washington.

Paul, good morning. He's talking about the health care reform there. Nobody really opposes health care reform, necessarily, just disagreement about how we should get there. So, how is the president going to get his message out this week about the way he wants to go with health care reform?

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: I guess you could say he's going all the way because he's going prime time, T.J., on Wednesday night. He's going to hold a prime time news conference from the White House. And you would expect that some of his opening comments will be about health care and you would assume that a lot of the questions from reporters will be about health care. And when you -- when the president goes to prime time, it is a big deal and this is a big deal for this presidency.

The next day, the president takes out, he leaves Washington. He goes to Cleveland, Ohio, where he will, again, be talking about health care reform.

You saw just there on the sound you played, that was from his Saturday radio Internet address. He had an impromptu event this past Friday on health care as well. T.J., this is the number one issue for this White House right now.

And as you mentioned -- yes, most Americans, when you ask them, yes, they agree, health care reform is need but the devil, of course, poll suggests, is in the details, T.J.

HOLMES: The devil is in details. Americans are backing the president right now?

STEINHAUSER: Overall, yes. But in some specifics on health care, they are not any more.

HOLMES: Not anymore. All right. Paul Steinhauser, we appreciate you as always. Our deputy political director -- we will talk to you again very soon.

Well, the president is going prime time kind of throws the monkey wrench in some of our programming plans here at CNN. On Wednesday night, this is the plan now. At 7:00, "The Moment of Truth" with Steve Harvey and Tom Joyner. They'll live from Times Square.

Then at 8:00, we expected to show you from 8:00 to 10:00 "Black in America 2," the two-hour premiere of "Black in America 2." But what we're going to do here is at 8:00, you'll see the first hour of "Black in America 2," we'll pause at 9:00 for the president's press conference that will until 10:00, and then at 10:00, the second hour of "Black in America 2," we'll show it to you. Again, that's right here Wednesday night on CNN.

NGUYEN: All right. Well, let's get the latest on the weather outside. Reynolds Wolf has been watching it for us and he joins us now.

Reynolds, what are you looking at in particular when it comes to severe weather today?

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: What we are seeing and what we're feeling this morning, certainly, some cool temperatures in places like Detroit this morning, 35 degrees; well below normal in Minneapolis with 55 and 61 in Chicago. Later on today, there's the potential for rough weather, Betty, in parts of Texas and back into portions of the Central Plains.

You know, we got that cool weather we've been talking about. But speaking of cool, I had a chance to take a cool trip out to Yellowstone recently where we saw all kinds of animals, all kinds of geysers and met an incredible American, a 77-year-old park ranger. You'll get a chance to meet him coming up in just a few moments right here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.



NGUYEN: Yes. And you know what? Diana, our producer, perfect choice for what we're about to see, because talking about hot and cold, well, let's show you a little bit of the cold. Snowboarding in July. Really? Well, it's happening at Copper Mountain. Oh, my goodness, look at that.

The ski area actually was closed for the winter, so crews had to save as much snow as they could so that these professionals, obviously, they don't look anything like a amateurs right there -- I can't do that.

WOLF: You have never done that.

NGUYEN: Never.

WOLF: You do ski.

NGUYEN: Look, we just talked about how we can fall on our face easy enough skiing.

WOLF: Sure.

NGUYEN: We don't need the help of a snowboard to do that.

WOLF: Yes. I mean, just right your old ski. I mean, usually, by the time (INAUDIBLE) the run, my nose doesn't really set on the same fit. It's placed on my face where it did at the start of the run. But certainly a great thing to see. It's highly unusual to see snow still around this time of the year.

NGUYEN: In July.

WOLF: Yes. And the cool temperatures we're about to show you in the few moments are also kind of amazing. But not in a bad way.


WOLF: A good kind of amazing.

NGUYEN: We need a little break from the heat.

WOLF: I know. The problem is, we're going to be spoiled by this. We're going to wish that we are having this for the rest...

NGUYEN: Enjoy it while it lasts then.

WOLF: Exactly.

Take a look at what we have right now, Betty, in Atlanta. It's a great shot outside and it is a beautiful day. I mean just picture perfect. Plenty of sunshine.

Temperatures this hour in the Atlanta area, take a look this. I got these for you. As we head over towards the magic wall, currently, 65 degrees in Atlanta. But some areas outside of the city are mainly into low 60s. So, it's going to be a nice morning for you.

And then later on today, temperatures will be warming up from, say, 65 in Atlanta and 61 in Chicago, 55 in Minneapolis and 55 in Detroit. It will be going a little bit higher, say, at 85 in Atlanta, 85 in Washington, 83 in Boston, 73 in Chicago and (AUDIO BREAK).

The reason why we've been dealing with this cool down is really pretty simple. You got high pressure that's been setting up over parts of the Midwest, and winds over high pressure goes in a clockwise fashion. Out to east, we got an area of low pressure. Spins counter clockwise around that. So, these two working together create almost like a wind tunnel and they pulse in that cool air from the north, drives into the southeast and we're getting great breakdown in terms of the heat going cool weather in.

Meanwhile, as we make our way back out towards the west, what we're seeing a chance of severe storms later on today for parts of the Texas coast. If you got plans, maybe in Galveston, perhaps in Houston maybe even Aransas Pass or even Corpus Christi. You might have some thunder boomers into the afternoon.

A better shot actually in the front range of the Rockies, into portions of New Mexico, Texas, Kansas, even into Nebraska before the day is out and then out to the west, in southern California, picture perfect conditions in Pismo Beach. The surfing is going to be phenomenal.

You know something else that's phenomenal, Yellowstone National Park. Recently I had a chance to go out there and see the incredible sites, and I met an incredible American and you're going to get a chance to meet him right now.


WOLF (voice-over): It's the reaction you hear nearly every 90 minutes at Yellowstone National Park. And after 43 summers at the Old Faithful Geyser, Sam Holbrook still finds it equally inspiring. As a park ranger, he observes each eruption, takes notes and explains the phenomena to the thousands visiting each and every day.

SAM HOLBROOK, YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK RANGER: Each eruption lasts about four minutes generally. But one minute up high, about 130 feet and then it starts down the last three minutes is coming back down.

WOLF: And for Sam, there's lots of questions.

HOLBROOK: Eleven-o-five, plus or minus 10 minute. So, you got about an hour.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. WOLF (on camera): And how many times you're going to get that question each day? How often does that happen?

HOLBROOK: You're out here roaming for about two hours at a time, and people stand and watch me answer that question.

WOLF: Right.

HOLBROOK: They say you should put a sign on your chest, you know? Don't you get tired of that? No. I never do. I just -- you're talking to people. And that question comes up and then right after that, two or three more questions and so...

WOLF: Let me guess, it's when does the geyser erupt and the second is: where is the bathroom?

HOLBROOK: Where is the bathroom?


UNIDENTIFIED KID: How many gallons of water does it spurt out?

HOLBROOK: How many gallons of water? Eight thousand gallons of boiling water every hour and a half.

WOLF (voice-over): Sharing that information is all natural for this former science teacher.

HOLBROOK: Where else can you find a job where you get to be outdoors, talk to people, see the lights turn on their face, give them some information they are so excited about it. And I am thrilled about it. People say, "How do you get a job like that?" I'm not going to tell you. Yes, grab your seat here folks because it's going to sell out.

WOLF: And while he calls it a job, he definitely doesn't think of this as work.

HOLBROOK: And I'm 77 years old. So, how much longer that I got to work a 40-hour week. I don't have to work a 40-hour week but I love it here. This is not worth -- I'd would do this for nothing but don't tell the park service that.

WOLF: Getting words from a man who's as true to this park as the Old Faithful Geyser itself.


WOLF: You know, every once in a while, when you go out to do a story and your original intent is going out to is doing the story about the super volcano, but every now and then, you're going to find a gem.

NGUYEN: Right.

WOLF: And he's truly a gem for that park. And you mentioned that you have been years before at the park.

NGUYEN: I went there with my father when I was about, I don't know, 11 year old. And I remember sitting on a bench there just looking at my watch going how much longer? How much longer because I couldn't wait for Old Faithful to blow its stuff.

WOLF: Well, he's been there 43 years. There is a very good you saw him or at least heard him...

NGUYEN: I might have seen him. Yes.

WOLF: ... when he gives his presentation. But he's an amazing guy. And a former school teacher from Bountiful, Utah. He's been coming there for years and years and years. Started off going there with his wife and three kids when they were very, very young, and his wife works in the gift shop.

So, if you have a chance to go out to Yellowstone, make sure you go up and say hi to Sam. And go buy something at the gift shop. I'm not -- I promise you I'm not on payroll.


WOLF: But they're just delightful people. And you can you ask him anything. He's heard it all. He's just a great -- I think he's really a treasure at that national park.

HOLMES: That teaching background probably helps him so much, kids out there.

WOLF: Oh, yes.

HOLMES: I mean, you can you tell.

WOLF: He's 77 years old. I mean, if he's able, he'll be doing that when he's 90 or 100.

NGUYEN: And he answers the same questions it seems over and over again.

WOLF: Patience. He's so patient.

NGUYEN: Absolutely. Someone was saying that maybe he should have a countdown clock until the next time Old Faithful blows so that he would answers to some of the questions.

WOLF: That's great idea. Yes.

NGUYEN: Maybe we'll get that for him.

WOLF: Absolutely.

NGUYEN: All right.

HOLMES: Reynolds, that's great. Thanks, buddy.

WOLF: You bet.

NGUYEN: Well, our Josh Levs has his eye on some of the best stories on the Web for you this morning.

HOLMES: All right. Good morning to you, again, Josh.

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning. I got to tell you guys about this one. This is a story about a family's economic struggle. It's a boy who tries to sell his own toys to help his out- of-work father and we are going to show you what happened next.



HOLMES: There she is. Aretha Franklin. She is singing in honor of Nelson Mandela. This was last night. The big concert, star- studded, in New York, to celebrate the 91st birthday of Nelson Mandela.

He didn't ask for much, you know? Most of us on our birthdays we're asking for something, we want something. Well, this is what he wanted. He wanted people to celebrate by doing good deeds in observance of his party and the inaugural Mandela Day in South Africa.

NGUYEN: What a great request. I mean, it just really shows the man here, he has done so much.

HOLMES: Oh, my goodness. We're glad he's still here.

NGUYEN: Yes, absolutely. This concert, though, a benefit for Mandela's AIDS foundation taking place in New York. So, all those people were doing a bit of good deed in celebration of his birthday.

You know, we hear a lot about stories and what families are doing to get by in this economy. But this is a new one.

HOLMES: Yes. A boy, actually, reached into his toy closet to try to help his family out.


HOLMES: Josh Levs with the story for us this morning.

Good morning, again, Josh.

LEVS: Yes, good morning to you, guys. It's really interesting. This is a family that has done a lot of charity work, has helped Katrina victims, and now, the father lost his job. So, this boy you can see next to me right here, he -- as T.J. was saying -- reached into his toy collection and it became this big community event with all these people turning out.

Let's look at a little piece of the story.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ZACH MCGUIRE, SON: It's what you're doing that matters and how you're helping people.

TOM MCGUIRE: I prayed to God, let me win the lottery, as I'm sure a lot of people do. This was better than the lottery. This is worth more because other people reaching out to us.


LEVS: And our affiliate there, WNWO, is saying that there are people who drove 45 minutes or more just to make it to buy some of these toys, and in some cases, made donations as well. It's helping the family a great deal. Obviously, as you can imagine, it's really galvanized the community. It got a lot of people talking and it's just a sign of the times.

Now, there's a lot of great stuff at It's one of the most popular stories.

There's something else I want to point out to you that's getting a lot of traffic today and it's going to get even more in the coming week and that's this. The whole spread we have on "Black in America" at There's a lot to check out here.

I'm going to zoom down a little bit so you can just see a few of the special features that we have right here, tracing Michelle Obama's slave route. Also, we'll look at Africans in America, what it's like for them. There's just a whole section here called "Journeys," that actually focus in on a few specific families and it allows you to follow their journeys over the decades. Some pretty stunning stuff. I encourage you to check it out.

Plus, there's always the fun, it's actually a very big section and some of these gets pretty deep to about black hair and families and adoptive families learning to deal with that and what it represents. Anyway, I encourage you all to check it out.

All leading up to this CNN Wednesday night: 7:00, "The Moment of Truth" Steve Harvey and Tom Joyner are going to live from Times Square. It' going to be great. Then at 8:00, the premier of "Black in America 2" part one, rather. And that's, of course, followed by President Obama's press conference at 9:00, and then at 10:00 "Black in America 2" is going to continue. It's all Wednesday night right here on CNN.

And you don't have to memorize because the entire program listing is right here as well. We got it at

NGUYEN: All right.

LEVS: All right.

NGUYEN: Being split up by the president's speech.

LEVS: Yes. NGUYEN: Starting at 8:00 and then finishing up at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

LEVS: Yes.

NGUYEN: OK. Thank you, Josh.

LEVS: Thanks a lot.

HOLMES: We squeeze the president in there.

NGUYEN: Yes. He is the president after all.


NGUYEN: Well, you know, the South Carolinian governor who cheated on his wife now says God will make him a better person. That's coming up at the top of the hour at 8:00 Eastern.

HOLMES: Also, we have live reports from Afghanistan on the breaking situation there we've been following there this morning. Actually, of course, that's just the video of the governor.

NGUYEN: South Carolina governor and his wife.

HOLMES: But yes, that deadly helicopter crash in Afghanistan, we're keeping an eye on that. Stay with us.



NEIL ARMSTRONG, ASTRONAUT: That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.


NGUYEN: What a historical moment in history, 40 years ago come Monday. We are asking you this morning to share some of your memories of watching that with us today. And we're getting a lot of them. And some really good stories, too.

Let me first go to my Twitter page. And Linda says she was a camp counselor at the time. In fact, a director borrowed a TV from a store in town and they gathered the entire camp to watch. It was grainy black and white picture but they saw it all.

And then go down here to our 4808 in -- some of these names are interesting -- but he says he was 9 years old sitting in front of a 10-inch black and white TV thinking, "I'll be up there by the time I hit the grand old age of 20." I don't see his picture with an astronaut helmet on.


NGUYEN: So, I don't know if that really happened. But, boy, it really did spark the imagination and a lot of children said, "I want to do that when I grow up." So, you know, and we're watching 40 years come Monday since the day that it happened.

HOLMES: Yes. We appreciate those comments coming in. We'll have more comments and more news coming up at the top of the hour when Betty and I are back, including that breaking story out of Afghanistan today.

But right now, we need to hand it over to the good doctor.

NGUYEN: Absolutely. "HOUSE CALL" with Dr. Sanjay Gupta starts right now.