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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  June 30, 2012 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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service, how do you begin to understand? understanding it is nearly impossible. one-eighth of our economy is health care. this is just the beginning, not the end. share your opinions on this landmark decision with us. find us on facebook, twitter. our handle is cnnbottomline. my handle is @christineromans. my handle is @christineromans. have a great weekend. -- captions by vitac -- from cnn world headquarters in atlanta, this is "cnn saturday morning." colorado on fire. 17,000 acres burned, more than 300 homes destroyed. and now, at least two dead. we're putting the inferno in focus. and later, a massive blackout leaves millions powerless. and as a dangerous heat wave scorches the central and eastern u.s., no air conditioning and no refrigeration could prove deadly. plus, the future of your health care decided. now democrats and republicans are scrambling to spin the
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verdict to their advantage. good morning, everyone. i'm randi kaye. it is 10:00 on the east coast, 7:00 a.m. on the west. we start in colorado, where daylight brings new dangers along the fire lines. the waldo canyon fire has destroyed nearly 350 homes so far, and thousands more are threatened. firefighters have been working around the clock to protect those homes. cnn's rob marciano has been in colorado springs all week for us. rob, the firefighters get a bit of a break overnight with some cooler temperatures, but what's happening now? >> reporter: well, this time of day is when the personnel for air support begins to filter in and other support crews. they work the ground through the overnight, but this is when things really ramp up. you can see behind me, there's not a lot of smoke. at night, temperatures are cooler, the fire tends to lay down, but certainly, there are
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some homes and communities that they've managed to save there. a little bit further to the south, that's not the case, as you mentioned. almost 350 homes destroyed. but the firefighting effort continues. 25% containment, that is encouraging, but it is still a fire that is with erratic behavior. just a stone's throw from here, yesterday we were on the air force academy airfield, where they were launching helicopters in order to fight those flames. we got some incredible video of some of those air cranes that are modified to haul 2,000, 3,000 gallons of water. they siphon it out of ponds, tanks, reservoirs, wherever they can get water or retardant, and dump that specifically on spots throughout the fire zone. caught up with one of the pilots of one of those air cranes, and he described for me some of the challenges he's facing with this fire. what's the most challenging thing about this fire? >> about losing a house. we don't like that. we take that kind of personal. the challenging part is being up 10,000 foot with the winds. you can see how the clouds or the fog, or the smoke is standing up today, but you get
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up in there, get the wind swirling over top, and even though this machine's got a lot of horsepower, it takes a lot to fly in the wind. >> reporter: fixed-wing aircraft also helping out, unprecedented move by the u.s. military. their entire fleet of c-140s modified to fight fires are in here. also getting federal attention from the president. president obama here yesterday doing a tour, showing his support for the firefighting effort as well. colorado springs, as you know, randi, is the second largest city here in colorado, so this is different from many forest fires we cover. this one actually got into city limits and destroyed so many homes and interrupted so many lives. still over 30,000 people evacuated. they will not even get close to their homes until at least tomorrow, let alone a full-on evacuation lift. that we don't see coming any time too soon. >> when they get back to their homes, will they actually be able to go back in their homes, or just get close and maybe take a survey and see if their home's even still standing? >> reporter: yeah, just take a peek. i mean, their homes, the ones that were burned and the ones
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that are still threatened are in an active fire zone. so, what they're going to do starting tomorrow and monday, they'll get buses, eight buses, and load up between 3,000, 4,000 residents that have been affected by this, and they'll take them on a visual tour of their neighborhood. they won't be allowed to get out of the buses because it's an active fire zone and too dangerous, but at least they'll get some sort of visual as to what may be left of their home and their neighborhood. that begins tomorrow. it's been a frustratingly long wait for these people, and emotions are running high, as you can imagine. randi? >> yeah, i'm sure. rob marciano, thank you very much. well, wherever you are this morning, chances are it is going to be hot. from kansas to d.c., temperatures are expected to reach the triple digits. friday, temperatures tipped the 100-degree mark in st. louis. washington, d.c., hit triple digits. so did memphis, where it got to 105 degrees. and the mercury also topped 100 in atlanta, and that's where we find cnn's nick valencia. he is braving the heat at a cooling station set up by the
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city. nick, i understand that they've set up several of these around atlanta. >> reporter: yeah, i think, randi, at this point, we'd rather be there in the studio with you. we got here about two hours ago, and already the temperature's gone up, if you can believe it, ten degrees. when we got here, about 75 degrees. we're pushing about 85 degrees now. you can see behind me in this cooling center, one of five that the city of atlanta has set up for the public, they're delivering water, trying to keep these residents cool, anticipating for these triple-digit temperatures. we talked to georgia power earlier today. they said they don't expect to reach an all-time record usage in terms of power. we did hit that back in 2007. if you remember, randi, terrible heat wave that hit this city. and now today, it feels like we're going to get there pretty soon. randi? >> so, have people been coming by already looking for some cool air? >> reporter: yeah, they have. we spoke to a resident just a little while ago that came in here. she found out about it through her local community planning in her neighborhood. people have shown up here, dozens, in fact, have shown up. this, in fact, is a recreation center for the community that
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now is doubling as one of the five, as i mentioned, cooling centers in the city of atlanta. some advice that the georgia emergency management gave us. stay hydrated, stay inside, and try to stay cool. that's just the most important part. and if you can, go to your neighbor's house, team up there with friends so you can just stay out of those hot, hot conditions. it's going to be tough, a tough road ahead and a tough day in terms of heat for the city of atlanta, and of course, across the nation. randi? >> nick, thanks for sweating it out with us. we'll let you get back inside that cooling station behind you. nick valencia, thank you. severe weather has left millions without power this morning. a line of thunderstorms through mid-atlantic states and into the midwest knocked out the power. take a look at this. this is the scene in rockville, maryland. streets are littered with downed trees, as you see there. it's a similar scene from delaware to indiana. if you do, take a look at this map. virginia was the hardest hit with over a million homes left in the dark. ohio is close to that many. and west virginia's governor has
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declared a state of emergency. power outages, fires and a sweltering heat wave. how long will this sauna-like weather last? meteorologist karen mcginnis may have the answer for us. so, karen, hopefully, we'll see some relief in sight soon. >> nothing immediate, and what we do see over the trend the next three to five days is a downward trend. now, if you're sitting at record-setting temperatures and the temperature goes down maybe five degrees or ten degrees, it's still going to be sizzling hot. but just to give you some idea, almost 600,000 square miles affected across the united states. most of those across the east-southeast and into the mid-atlantic. but we also have a number of areas that are looking at triple digits. they'll come close to those records, but they just won't make it over. but take a look at this. the temperature trend, as i said, is downward. for atlanta, we go from the low triple digits down to around 92 by tuesday. are you going to really tell a difference from that? well, you might just a little bit, but most areas are going to
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be sweltering for some time. as we go into the next several days, we'll start to see that heat continue to make its way towards the east, but in these orange and pink shaded areas, that's where we've got various heat advisories and heat warnings. essentially, there is a lot of moisture in the atmosphere and these temperatures climb up. you'll see relative humidities in 20% to 30%. when you've got triple-digit readgs, that's going to make it awfully difficult to allow your body to cool. so, if you know someone who is compromised, make sure you check on them frequently. also, the animals need a lot more water. take a look at these record temperatures we saw on friday. muscle sholes, alabama, 107 degrees. you have to go back to the 1930s to see temperatures that come even close to that. but the temperature in nashville yesterday, 109 degrees being reported there. that record was broken from 136 years ago. our temperatures as we go through saturday afternoon, 105
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for st. louis. yes, these temperatures are hot and they'll come close to those records, but it does look like the bulk of those record-shattering temperatures are going to be across the southeast. so, randi, a lot of people suffered the storms yesterday afternoon and evening, from virginia to ohio. they're without power. this is going to make it exceptionally difficult for them to bear this heat, since probably 3 million or so are without power right now. >> yeah, they can't even duck inside and cool off. >> exactly. >> karen maginnis, thank you. so, what do you think of the supreme court's decision on health care? they let the law stand by a 5-4 margin, the supreme court, that is. but check out this "usa today"/gallup poll. it shows that the country is evenly split on the decision. take a look. 46% say they agree, and yes, 46% say they disagree. a bit of a slip of the tongue for louisiana governor bobby jindal. he was chiming in on a republican national convention conference call to talk about the supreme court's ruling on health care.
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listen. >> there's only one candidate, governor romney, who has committed he would repeal the obamney, the tax, appeal obama care once he's elected. >> yes, you heard that right, jindal said obomb thamney. it doesn't help when you're comparing it to romney's plan in massachusetts. we'll have more at the bottom of the hour. attorney general eric holder won't be prosecuted over the justice department's failed "fast and furious" program. the house voted earlier this week to hold him in criminal contempt of congress for not turning over some documents associated with that, but the justice department says they won't prosecute. holder cited executive privilege as the reason for not releasing those documents. moving to egypt now and a historic day for the people there. just two hours ago, mohamed morsi was sworn in as the new president. during the inauguration, he offered a salute to the people of egypt and promised to promote
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unity. the science of the wildfire. should we have expected the fires in colorado and should we expect more of the same in other parts of the west? we'll find out. i was a kid. eam when i didn't know how i was gonna to do it, but i knew i was gonna get that opportunity one day, and that's what happened with university of phoenix. nothing can stop me now. i feel like the sky's the limit with what i can do and what i can accomplish. my name is naphtali bryant and i am a phoenix. visit to find the program that's right for you. enroll now. what happens when classroom teachers get the training... ...and support they need? schools flourish and students blossom. that's why programs like... ...the mickelson exxonmobil teachers academy... ...and astronaut sally ride's science academy are helping our educators improve student success in math and science. let's shoot for the stars.
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incredible pictures of the efforts there in colorado to fight those wildfires. thousands of families evacuated, hundreds of their homes lost. it is all part of the ongoing emergency situation in colorado, where several wildfires are burning. we're focusing this morning on
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the toll and the efforts to control those flames, but now i want to take a moment to talk about what is actually fueling those fires. andy thode is an associate professor of fire ecology at northern arizona university. andi, good morning. first of all, we heard the term superfires or megafires. what exactly does that mean? >> you know, the term megafire is somewhat of a media term, actually, and it's something that started to be used more. really what it refers to is very large fires, probably greater than 100,000 to 300,000 acres depending on the ecosystem type, and fires that are uncharacteristically high in severity relative to the way that they would have burned historically. >> so what exactly is fueling the fires in colorado? >> well, we seem to have come to a junction of climate, weather and fuels. both last year and this year in the southwest and in the western
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u.s., basically, we have a drought, and not only do we have a drought, but we have a warm drought, so we have hot, dry temperatures -- hot temperatures but dry conditions. we also have high winds, 50-mile-per-hour wind gusts, and we also have had fuels on the ground that have built up over the last 100 or so years due to a lack of fire on the ground. >> so, is there anything that actually could have been done to prevent this type of spread in terms of the fire? >> well, there's two things, really. what make these two fires in particular in colorado, the hyde park fire and the canyon fire is different because they're in what we call the wildland urban interface, and that seems to have communities and a lot of people on the interface of the wildlands right where these fires are happening. so, if we had some sort of city -- [ inaudible ]
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-- information coming to homeowners on how they might be able to prepare themselves for these things, that's definitely one facet of the issue. the other thing that can be done is to address the fuels issue on the ground. and fuels treatments are something that we have seen from the federal agencies down to local agencies, and it includes, basically, either thinning out smaller trees, underbrush, controlling grass growth in areas and trying to reduce the amount of fuel that's available to these fires. >> it's hard to imagine as we look at these pictures that anything good could come out of this, but in a way, i mean, this does -- a fire itself reduces some of that fuel, right? some of that dry tinder that's on the ground. >> it certainly does. and every wildfire has high severity patches, which is generally what we do see on tv is these big crown, torching events, but there are also areas burning in low and moderate severity that are doing a good
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job of actually cleaning out some of that understory, thinning out some of those trees and taking care of some of those fuels for the future. >> so, as we get deeper into the fire season, what do you expect? do you think we'll see more fires as intense as this one? >> well, it certainly -- it depends on the region and on the weather. colorado has been in a special state this year because of the lack of snowpack, the lack of snow in march, which is usually one of their heavier snow seasons. and across the west, we are actually have evidence that shows there are longer fire seasons and earlier snowpack melts. so, this is something that we really actually may expect. >> professor andi thoad, thank you very much. appreciate that. >> thank you. >> the waldo canyon fire continues to rage in colorado springs. it's a dynamic situation that changes by the hour. the unified command is having a press conference right now, happening now. let's listen in. >> -- wrong rather than the things that could go right. so what i'm going to do is give
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you a quick briefing on the map behind us to make sure we are focused on the areas of concern and we're sharing them with you guys. there has been a lot of great work out there. a couple areas that i want to highlight for you. we talked yesterday about this back part operation in here. police report the backfire was successfully completed and we now have a line from rampart range road down to about route 420 here. that line is in, it is completed, a the crews are going to be working today to control or mop up the end from that line and really start to anchor it down. you see we turned this line black, so we're contained on this line. working around up here, all these little spot fires have been contained. there is a line around this one. we're continuing to mop it up. all this along highway 24 is starting to look good, except for that one spot i've been telling you about down in the cave of the winds. we are in a search-and-destroy mission for that spot, get that hotspot down there in the cave
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of the winds area. air attack is going to be working on it and we have assigned our division supervisor to make sure we get in there and have eyes on it and start to have a good plan to put that thing to bed. >> and there you have it, just a little bit of what's going on behind the scenes there as they are trying to tackle that fire. they're hoping to get control of it, certainly within the next few weeks. but you can see it's quite an operation. and now, a chance to feel what some of the people in colorado are going through. one woman taped herself driving away from her colorado springs home for what turned out to be the last time. >> i'm leaving my house for probably the last time. [ crying ] oh, my god, look at the smoke in the air. it's so bad. i'm going to see if i can pull up through here. this thing was on fire just a second ago. there's planes over here. this is [ bleep ]. oh, my god. look out my window.
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oh, my god. oh, my god. oh, my god. oh, my god. oh, my [ bleep ] god. [ bleep ] oh, my god. >> can't you just feel her panic? it's incredible. the woman you heard is nicole fr nyee. not only did she lose her home, but her grandmother as well. she thanked reporters. >> it was heartbreaking, because i approached multiple firefighters and i told them, look, my house is gone. and immediately, they stood up and they said, "i'm so sorry," but i tried to tell them, no, it's okay, because you are saving lives and you are saving other homes and memories, and that's what really counts, and i appreciated them for trying. >> frye credits a firefighter for helping her get through that drive. he directed her to a parking lot so she could calm down before continuing to get out of the area. amazing story. it is hard to find any good news coming out of these wildfires, but we've got a picture that just might make you
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smile, at least for a moment. take a look here. look at this. ireporter bethany bellport shared this photo with us. it shows a firefighter holding an injured fawn after it was rescued from a burning home there in colorado springs. bethany's father, steve belport, captured the photo. he, too, is a firefighter and helped bandage the fawn's wounds. you can see the fawn has a little bandage there on that foot. the fawn is now in the care of the colorado division of wildli wildlife. an adorable puppy falls nearly 30 feet into an old well. he was trapped for hours, but we'll show you how the rescuers saved his life. the twenty billion dollars bp committed has helped fund economic and environmental recovery. long-term, bp's made a five hundred million dollar commitment to support scientists studying the environment. and the gulf is open for business - the beaches are beautiful, the seafood is delicious. last year, many areas even reported record tourism seasons. the progress continues...
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it's you, fully charged. checking stories cross country now. first in arizona. police blame a naked carjacking suspect for multiple wrecks. they say the rampage started when he got in a crash yesterday. he jumped out of his car and started yelling before pulling off his clothing. he then climbed on the roof of a car, pulled out the driver, jumped in and fled, then crashed into four more cars before police stopped him. one of those injured was a pregnant woman. police say the suspect may have been on drugs. now to michigan, where bars are installing talking urinal cakes to remind men, don't drink and drive during fourth of july.
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[ inaudible ] >> do yourself and everyone else a favor, call a friend or a cab. >> this is one more thing to try to get the attention of those who are the heaviest violators. >> the people that have seen it so far come out of the bathroom laughing. >> it is part of a state highway safety program. officials say they thought of the idea because most alcohol-related accidents were caused by men last year. it also reminds them, of course, to wash their hands. now to north carolina, where a 7-month-old puppy found nearly 30 feet down a well after he ran away from home. a rescue squad rushed to get him out. the rescuers tied the dog to a rope and carried him up. >> he actually jumped right in my arms. it's kind of hard to tie him off, but he was real friendly. you know, i love animals myself, so i wouldn't want my pet down there in the hole, so. >> the pup, we're happy to tell you, is okay. the property owner now plans to cover up the well. good plan. okay, raise your hand if you saw this coming. one of hollywood's most talked about couples is headed for a
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divorce. we'll tell you what we know about tom cruise and katie holmes' big split.
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this week's cnn hero has watched the beauty of the sea disappear, but now he's working to bring life back to an underwater world in crisis. meet ken niedermeier. ♪ >> i grew up diving in the florida keys, and it was just the most magical place. the coral reefs were so pretty, and i decided that's what i wanted to do for a living is dive on coral reefs. in an area where there's live coral, there's always more fish.
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reefs provide recreational areas and opportunities for millions of people. i was diving for 40 years, and over time, i saw those coral reefs start to die. coral reefs worldwide are in decline. if coral reefs die completely, coastal communities would be bankrupt, tourism would be virtually gone, a billion people in the world will be impacted. i started thinking, you know, how can we fix this problem? >> my name is ken nedimyer. my goal is to help restore coral reefs. we've developed a system that is simple and something that we can train others to do. we start with a piece of coral this big, we hang it on a tree. and after about a year or two, it becomes this big, and then we cut the branches off and we do it again. >> ken's coral nursery is one of the largest in the wider caribbean. it's ten times larger than the others that are in existence. >> we recently planted six corrals here, and now there's over 3,000 growing in this area
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alone. >> before i felt helpless watching it die. now i think there's hope. it's not too late. everybody can help. i see all those corrals and all those fish, so it's like this whole reef is coming back to life and making a difference is exciting. have you heard? tomcat is no more. yes, tom cruise and katie holmes are calling it quits. i'll talk about their big split with famed hollywood attorney d. what do you got? restrained driver in a motor vehicle. sir, can you hear me? two, three. just hold the bag. we need a portable x-ray, please! [ nurse ] i'm a nurse. i believe in the power of science and medicine.
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welcome back, everyone. i'm randi kaye. bottom of the hour. let's get straight to the news. checking our big stories this morning. in colorado, firefighters are bracing for high temperatures and another rough day. the waldo canyon fire has already destroyed nearly 350 homes, and thousands more are threatened. firefighters have been working around the clock to protect those homes. >> i'm leaving my house for probably the last time. >> excessive heat is a problem across the country. that means triple-digit temperatures and people scrambling to find ways to stay
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cool. it has been tougher in some of the atlantic states, where millions are without power this morning. and in egypt, a new chapter has begun. earlier this morning, mohamed morsi was sworn in as the new president. he is the country's first democratically elected leader. during the inauguration, he offered a salute to the people of egypt and promised to promote unity. all right, remember this? >> i know. >> have you ever felt this way before? [ cheers and applause ] >> well, seven years after tom cruise jumped up and down declaring his love for katie holmes on oprah's yellow sofa, the actress, katie, has filed for divorce. cruise's attorney asks for privacy and says tom is very sad, and katie's camp says she's concentrating on her daughter's best interests. their daughter, suri, was born in 2006. she's the couple's only child, and katie wants primary custody. but this is just the beginning of the story. famed hollywood attorney debra
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opri joins me now for much more on the split. debra, good morning to you. so, i guess the million-dollar question -- do we know why katie filed the papers and why now? >> she couldn't take it anymore? she grew up? she basically decided she wanted to go another direction with her life. let's face it, i've heard, and i'm here in town in los angeles, that she had been seen all over town over a period of time where she didn't look very happy. and if you look at the most recent photo of the two of them in iceland, while he looked happy and they were hand-holding, if you look close, i understand she wasn't very happy. so, the answer to the question is she wanted a fresh start. and hopefully, with custody of her daughter. >> i understand that she filed for divorce in new york. so, is there an advantage to that? >> that's interesting to me because she had been working on broadway. i don't know if there were residency issues. they probably own a home there. so, if she had filed in new york and the child had been in new
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york for six months with her, she can argue under what they call the home state law, that the child is under the jurisdiction of new york. it's interesting to me. i have not heard that tom cruise has been served yet. though the lawsuit was filed. if he has been served, that starts the clock tick in terms of with the jurisdiction, acceptance of it. but if he has not been served, then he rushes to file in los angeles, claiming he wants custody there over the child. there's going to be a battle. however, that said, i know that tom cruise and katie have an understanding of confidentiality, and this is going to be in the press so long and then, ultimately, wherever the jurisdiction lies, it's probably going to go to a confidential, quiet, private mediation. >> how does the process work, though, in terms of custody, and do you think she'll get it? >> this is where the scientology issue is going to rear its head. if the handler, basically, when
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they brought katie into the scientology environment when she first was going to marry tom cruise, they probably gave her the education of you're going to have the child, this is what we expect, and i believe, and i would have to confirm this, that the scientology process of education of the child would start at the age of 5. so, if, in fact, katie rushed to file in new york, where custody over children are a little bit more favorable to the mother, rather than in los angeles, where it's more 50/50 parenting, i would think that she ran to new york to get custody, and she may, in fact, be fooiighting an scientology educating of the child, if she disagrees with the scientology teachings. we haven't heard yet that that's so. >> right. so, as we know, tom cruise made the term "show me the money" famous. any idea how they might divide all those finances? >> knowing the hollywood environment like i do, the terms
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of any relationship, especially marriages where there is going to be children in a period of time that the parties may insist that they stay married to each other, i would think that the terms of any financial settlement were well spelled out for katie by tom cruise and his representatives years ago. in fact, at the age of 26, if and when she married him and said i accept these terms, and now five years later, a woman grows up significantly in that period of time, i would think that whatever terms she agreed to then she's going to be held to them. i'm sure there will be a significant, substantial financial settlement with her. the question becomes what is going to happen with the child? if she wants custody of the child and she does not want the child in the realm of the scientology, wherein tom cruise wants that child raised as a scientologi scientologist, that is going to be the battle. if she walks away from the marriage, not allowing that or not wanting it, that may interfere with the financial settlement. >> right. there had to have been a prenup, though, right? >> absolutely.
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absolutely. this is not the first time tom cruise has gone through a marriage that has failed. this is the third time. >> right. >> and the only surprise i had was that it ended so quickly. but in many regards, maybe that was all she was required in many instances to have been required to stay in the marriage, if in fact, that's so. >> in terms of image, does it hurt either one of them? >> here's the image that i give, because i represent celebrities as well as the regular folk, and the celebrity has a need and a desire and a look that they're going for. tom cruise certainly is a leading man. his career certainly is not waning. it's on the up side with the "rock of ages" movie. he did a fine job. he needs a married man, family image with children, and it works for him. but now he can argue, perhaps, that you know, i loved her with all my heart and she broke my heart, and it's going to take me a long time to get over this, so
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i'm not into the dating scene, and i'm just going to be a single parent at this time and do my best, but wish me luck, folks, because i really loved her. >> yeah, it's going to be a difficult time. i know we talk about, and it's in the spotlight, but it can't be easy for them to live in that spotlight. debra opri, thank you so much. have a great day. >> thank you. a victory for president obama, but is there room for gloating over health care? we'll examine the political fallout from the supreme court's decision. maria cardona and amy holmes standing by to get fired up. our neighbors... and our communities... america's beverage companies have created a wide range of new choices. developing smaller portion sizes and more low- & no-calorie beverages... adding clear calorie labels so you know exactly what you're choosing... and in schools, replacing full-calorie soft drinks with lower-calorie options. with more choices and fewer calories, america's beverage companies are delivering.
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♪ last week at this time, we were debating the political stakes ahead of the supreme court's decision on health care. now we know the court let the law stand. so, what now? joining me again this week is cnn contributor maria cardona and conservative commentator amy holmes. good morning to both of you. it's a clear win -- >> good morning, randi. >> -- for democrats, but does this just give republicans more ammunition heading into november? amy, i'm going to start with you on this one, because you nailed the gop response right on the head last week. >> well, i offered that if the supreme court were to actually uphold obama care and the individual mandate, the debate would shift then to the races,
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particularly in the senate. you have 33 senate seats that are up for re-election this fall, 23 democrat, 10 republican. and charlie cook has ten of those seats as pure toss-ups. republicans only need to grab three and the white house with the vice president casting the tie vote, and they very well could repeal obama care. so, i think the political debate here is going to focus on those senate candidates, basically, a very clear question, are you going to vote for repeal and replace or are you going to vote for obama care and the status quo? >> maria, is it time for the president to take a victory lap, do you think? >> no, randi. even though this was a political victory for him. more importantly, and he said this when he spoke the day of the decision, it's a victory for the american people, randi. 30 million americans who don't have health care coverage will now be able to have it. 189 individuals with preexist -- 189 million, sorry, individuals with pre-existing conditions, including 17 million children,
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will now have protections which will be life-saving for them. hundreds of thousands of seniors will now be able to get affordable prescription drugs. this is a huge deal for the american people and for those people who not only already enjoy those protections, but who will continue to enjoy them. in addition, the republicans will absolutely spin this as a tax increase, when in reality, it will be a tax cut for millions of american families and for those who can't afford it, they will get tax credits and tax subsidies, including millions of small businesses who want to give their employees coverage. so, this is a big win for the american people. it helps politically, i think it helps president obama, but more importantly, let's think about those millions of americans who are going to be helped today and in the future, who before did not have health care coverage. that's huge for them. >> all right. so, republicans, though, are beating the drum, saying that the mandate is just a tax increase, but i want you to listen to this. >> it's not a tax hike, it is a
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fee, it's an assessment. we're currently assessing our employers, the great majority of employers in massachusetts are assessed this fee right now. >> sounds awfully familiar. i mean, mitt romney said his massachusetts mandate wasn't a tax. so amy, how do you frame the tax argument, then, over this? >> well, i think mitt romney, as it was seen in the gop primary, he's in a difficult position, actually, to attack obama care, since he had a similar plan in massachusetts. he's made this tenth amendment argument that what was good for massachusetts isn't necessarily good for the rest of the united states. so, i think we can concede that mitt romney's going to have these statements come back to haunt him to defend, but we also saw that president obama said this is not a tax. but you know what? the supreme court has said that it is, and randi, that gets you into some interesting legislative territory, which is, if this is a tax, then to repeal obama care may only need 51 votes in the united states senate. so, if republicans this fall can
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get to 51, they could very well repeal obama care, and i think, again, that is going to be a central issue in this campaign. and we just heard a defense of obama care, but you know what? we're not hearing it so much from president obama. in his remarks after the supreme court decision, he said why relitigate? let's move forward. jon tester, he's a democrat in montana, in the senate who is up for the re-election battle of his life, and he said, you know, obama care's constitutional, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't have room for reform. so, i think you're going to see these democrats in swing states and the president basically trying to walk this very fine line over -- >> but -- >> -- defending obama care but not going too far. >> let me ask you about relitigating this, because romney said if he's elected, he's going to replace -- he's going to try to replace this and get it overturned. so, might some voters, though, see this as a waste of time? i mean, refighting this old battle which two years has already been spent on, instead of maybe looking ahead and maybe talking more about the economy? maria, what do you think? >> absolutely. and this is where the
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republicans i think are going to run into trouble. because first of all, you're going to be talking to a lot of independents who are weary from this fight, and frankly, a lot of those, i think, agree with all of the provisions who have come into effect that give millions of american families the protections that i just talked about. in addition, you know, let's talk about the down-ballot races. i agree with amy that this will be a big issue in those campaigns, but it will also be a big issue in the presidential. and president obama will be out there on the offense fighting for this, not fighting for this, but defending obama care, because he understands along with millions of americans the fact that this gives a lot of protections to american families, whereas before, the insurance companies had all the power. so, in all of those down-ballot swing states, you have already seen democrats come out and say, if this is a battle that the gop wants to continue to have, we welcome it. not only the battle where democrats stand with america's middle class and working class families to give them protections while the gop stand
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with insurance companies wanting to take away protections, especially from children with pre-existing conditions, that's a battle that we welcome, including the battle on the taxes. the supreme court might have called this a tax, but it is a penalty. and you know how many people this will affect, randi? less than 1%. let's remember that most people want to have health care coverage. if they are given the ability to buy it by making it affordable or giving them a subsidy if they can't afford it, they will do it. they want to do the right thing. and if they don't, you and me and amy and no one else should have to pay for that. so, i think that's the reality of obama care and the president's going to be out there defending it robustly as well as -- >> i hear you. i hear you loud and clear, maria. i told you everybody at home who's watching, these two women were fired up. maria cardona, amy holmes, nice to see you both. thank you. >> and i'm very excited about tomcat. >> they're still talking! they're still talking. all right, have a great saturday, you guys. >> thank you. a town made famous by a
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horrific hate crime has a new problem now with racism. last year, jasper, texas, hired its first black police chief, and now he has been fired, and he says it's all about the color of his skin. i have to know the weather patterns. i upgraded to the new sprint direct connect. so i can get three times the coverage. [ chirp ] [ manager 2 ] it's like working in a giant sandbox with all these huge toys. and with the fastest push-to-talk... i can keep track of them all. [ chirp ] [ chirp ] [ male announcer ] upgrade to the new "done." with access to the fastest push-to-talk and three times the coverage. now when you buy one kyocera duracore rugged phone, for $49.99, you'll get four free. visit a sprint store, or call 855-878-4biz. [ chirp ] how math and science kind of makes the world work. in high school, i had a physics teacher by the name of mr. davies. he made physics more than theoretical, he made it real for me. we built a guitar, we did things with electronics and mother boards. that's where the interest in engineering came from.
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see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for exceptional offers through mercedes-benz financial services. president obama was so touched by one woman's story of sacrifice and survival that he took time to meet her yesterday. stephanie decker lost her legs while protecting her two kids from a tornado in march. she walked arm in arm with the president, as you see there. you can see she's practicing using her new prosthetic limbs. her legs were crushed by falling debris when a tornado hit her home in henryville, kentucky. decker covered her kids in a blanket and laid right on top of them. her quick thinking, no doubt, saved their lives. now to jasper, texas, a city that is no stranger to racial tension. the town made headlines in the 1998 death of james byrd jr., who was dragged behind a pickup
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truck by three white men. now, 14 years later, racial tensions are again at an all-time high. just last year, the city elected the first black police chief, but that didn't last very long. cnn's deborah feyerick has the story. >> reporter: jasper, texas, is a sleepy town with temperatures well over 100 degrees in summer, but it's not the heat that defines jasper so much as a crime that happened 14 years ago. >> when they tied him to the truck, as they came along here, he was going from side to side. >> reporter: as jasper's first black trooper, rodney pearson found the body of james byrd jr., a black hann dragged to his death by three white men. >> his head and shoulders caught this cover right here -- >> and it snapped it off. >> and it severed it off his body. >> reporter: not long ago, pearson became the city's first black police chief, but his term ended after little more than a year. >> i make a motion that mr. pearson be terminated as our
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police chief. >> reporter: pearson was hired in april 2011 by the jasper city council in a 4-1 vote. the four black council members voted for him. the one white member didn't. 16 months later, he was fired by a different city council, majority white, the vote also 4-1. >> i was fired over the race. and now i feel that me and my family are a mark. >> reporter: what seemed like a simple hire has turned jas pear upside down, reopening past wounds, pitting blacks against whites. >> our local radio station kjas, made me a huge target. >> and who owns that station? >> the mayor. >> reporter: mayor michael loud backed somebody else for the job. when you looked at the nine finalists, where did rodney pearson fall in terms of that scoring system? >> well, i think he was way below at the bottom, close to the bottom of the list. they just wanted their person in there. >> reporter: pearson says his credentials were identical if not better than past police chiefs. comments on the radio station's
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facebook page contained racial slurs. >> from day one to the day he was fired, he's had a target on his back. >> reporter: for those against pearson, the only way to get rid of him was to get rid of those four black city council members who voted to hire him. a group of all-white residents, calling itself concerned citizens, launched a petition drive to recall the black councilmembers, accusing them of incompetence and misconduct in hiring pearson. were all of you incompetent? >> we make a positive decision, something positive for the city of jasper, and we find ourselves recalled. >> reporter: how far apart are people? >> i think that we're probably back at that same stage that we were at during the james byrd time. >> reporter: so, that rift is back. >> absolutely. the town is divided. >> reporter: as we were on this story, the city's insurance carrier canceled liability coverage for its public officials, including the mayor. it's for things like civil rights and discrimination issues. a number of lawsuits are pending. deborah feyerick, cnn, jasper, texas. so you're no marathon man.ok,
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have you ever happened to trip in the same spot over and over? well, it is not just you. there is one pesky step in new york city that trips countless people every day. here's cnn's jeanne moos. >> reporter: it's hard not to stare when everyone's tripping on the subway stairs, or more precisely, on one particular step. everybody loves to watch people trip, though. >> it's true. as long as it's not you. >> reporter: but it was him. this is filmmaker dean peterson's subway stop in sunset park, brooklyn. he videoed all of these other
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people tripping because he kept tripping on that one step that was slightly higher than the others. >> and i know that it's there, but that doesn't stop me from tripping. >> reporter: and it definitely didn't stop him from editing together and putting to music a montage of trippers. 17 of them shot over a total of about an hour. there's even a guy carrying a kid! >> i felt bad videotaping some of the people. luckily, nobody got hurt. >> but they did get famous after dean posted his montage. the next thing you know, the video was on a trip of its own around the world on the internet. let's all laugh at people tripping on stairs is the headline out of australia, but you know who wasn't laughing? the metropolitan transportation authority the day after the video went viral. repair guys were pacing the steps, at least this guy didn't trip. neither did this one. commuters were happy to see them. >> i almost busted my entire behind on that step.
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>> reporter: this can't be what the mta means when they say have a nice trip? jeanne moos, cnn. [ bleep ] new york. >> have to make a mental note to avoid that set of stairs next time i'm in new york. much more ahead in our next hour of "cnn saturday morning," which starts after this quick break. and two pills. afternoon's overhaul starts with more pain. more pills. triple checking hydraulics. the evening brings more pain. so, back to more pills. almost done, when... hang on. stan's doctor recommended aleve. it can keep pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is rudy. who switched to aleve. and two pills for a day free of pain. ♪ and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels. ♪ well hello, welcome to summer road trip, huh? uhuh yep uch let's find you a room. at, you'll always find the perfect hotel. because we only do hotels. wow.
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