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Facing Dangerous Heat Without Power; Firefighters Gain Control In Colorado; No Inspection Of Mississippi Women's Clinic; Party's Return To Power In Mexico; Mercury Rising, Fires Burning Obama Asks Donors for More Money; Toss-Up States in Presidential Election; Star Power at the BET Awards; July 4th Spending Fizzles; Economy Hurting Rustbelt States
Aired July 2, 2012 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Next hour of CNN NEWSROOM begins right now. And good morning to you dare I say happy Monday. I'm Carol Costello. Just ahead in the NEWSROOM.
Heat watches warnings. Most out of the gun over the summer as well -- so is this so darn hot?
And caught in the middle with little hope. Mexican parents forced to leave the United States, their kids American citizens go with them. Now they are stuck in a country with no way to get their diplomas or work papers. What's being done to help them? It's a NEWSROOM series special.
But we begin this hour with the brutal heat smothering millions of Americans. For many of you, it's downright dangerous amounts of massive weekend storm toppled power lines from Indiana to Maryland.
This morning, some 2 million people have no way to keep cool, and it could be days before power it restored. Across much of the country, it will be another miserable day.
Just look at all those 90-degree temperatures. At least 18 states have heat advisories or warnings. Already the scorching temperatures have set records nearly 2,000 times in the past week.
That's right, 2,000 times. The weekend storm was so big, so powerful and fast it's a phenomena that has its own name, Derecho. And this was a doozy. It surpassed all of these requirements.
It spanned from Northern Illinois all the way to the Delmarva Peninsula. Wind gusts of up to 90 miles per hour slammed into parts of Indiana and Ohio killing at least 16 people, and it's still creating problems today.
CNN's Brian Todd is along the D.C. beltway in Montgomery County, Maryland. Morning, Brian.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol. The story of the morning commute this morning is just sporadic traffic lights. We have one up here, about 250 yards. These cars are coming from it that was out.
No police directing traffic up there. This light here is on. It was just activated a short time ago, but the traffic situation here is not exactly fluid right now. It is stop and go everywhere.
You've got to treat intersections like this one up here like this one, and like this one down here about a quarter of a mile, you've got to treat them as four-way stops, so that is really slowing down the morning commute.
Hundreds of traffic lights here in Montgomery County, Maryland still without power, so that's a big complication, dozens in Northern Virginia, dozens of traffic lights in Washington, D.C. still out at this hour.
Also we're being told of the metro rail, the main subway system here in Washington, delays on at least three lines this morning again because of the power situation.
Just got an update from Dominion Virginia Power, 270,000 customers in Virginia, the entire state, still without power. Less than 150,000 in Northern Virginia are without power, but some hard-hit neighborhoods still really dealing with that.
What we're told is in some areas they have to pretty much have to rebuild entire circuits of power in these transformers, can't just plug a fuse in like that.
They've got to rebuild entire circuits so that's slowing things down so just asking for people to be patient. What we're told by local power companies is as far as maybe the last person to get power.
Those people may have it by about 11:00 p.m. Friday night. That's a far projection. They think that's when the last person, the last customer to get power will receive power -- Carol.
COSTELLO: So happy Fourth of July to you. Wow, Friday, it's unbelievable. Brian Todd reporting live from Montgomery County, Maryland.
Let's head out west now, shall we? Crews have managed to gain the upper hand on the deadly wildfire in Colorado Springs, Colorado. But the toll is staggering. Two people confirmed dead, 350 homes lost. We want to go in-depth now
Meteorologist Rob Marciano is in Colorado Springs. Good morning, Rob.
ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Carol. Evacuees were finally allowed to go back in and at least look at their homes yesterday, and the number has decreased from the number out of their homes from 30-something thousand down to 3,000, but it's been an emotional weekend, as you might imagine.
For the first time folks who know that their homes were destroyed were allowed back into the neighborhoods. They were allowed to do it in their private vehicles, which is probably a more humane way to do things.
We caught up with a couple of families that told us about their experience when they saw what was left of their home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANNAH SOLICH, FIRE VICTIM: It looked like a war zone. It was just -- it was completely caved in. It didn't even look like a house. It was bad, and it -- just the smell. It smelled like smoke, and it was just -- you got down in it and it smelled like ash, and it was awful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARCIANO: You're looking at one of the neighborhoods. One of the many neighborhoods that were completely destroyed here in northwest Colorado Springs, and then the scarred landscape just uphill from there.
You can vividly see which neighborhoods were -- were not affected and what part of the land was completely torched, blackened, all the way up that ridge line.
That's where the fire came barrelling down just about a week ago, and now all of that -- all of that forest is destroyed. And unlike other areas of the country, it will take a long time for that forest to -- to come back.
Fifty five percent containment, Carol, so they have a pretty good handle on this fire, but it's one of many, many fires burning in Colorado and out west and as you know, we're pretty much just getting into fire season.
MARCIANO: Back to you.
COSTELLO: Rob Marciano reporting live from Colorado Springs this morning.
An expected health department tour of the only women's clinic in Mississippi performing abortions will not happen today. It's still business as usual for now.
This follows a federal judge's decision to block a new state law, which would have forced the clinic to close. Women's groups call it a victory, but the governor says he will continue to fight to enforce the law.
George Howell is in Jackson to explain it all to us. Good morning, George.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Carol, good morning. This clinic here behind me will remain open today. There was a question as to whether it would open for business. But the clinic received the temporary restraining order under a federal judge to continue operating despite this new state law that would effectively shut it down.
The new law, I should say, basically requires two things. First of all, that any doctor performing an abortion in the state of Mississippi be a board certified ob-gyn first.
And secondly, that that doctor also have special permissions with local hospitals here. Now the director of this clinic says that she has been trying to get those permissions since April, since this law first signed, but has been unable to do so she believes because the hospitals may be under p pressure to drag their feet on this issue.
Now, I spoke with the director and the owner of this clinic about her thoughts about what would happen if the clinic were to close. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: What would it mean for Mississippians if this clinic were to close?
DIANE DERZIS, OWNER, JACKSON WOMEN'S HEALTH ORGANIZATION: Absolute tragedy. You know, no one wants to talk about abortion. No one wants to think about abortion until they are there.
There are three reasons you have an abortion, rape, incest and mind and I hear that all the time. I don't believe in abortion, but now it's my kid. Now it's my kid, now it's my mother, my grandmother.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Diane Derzis says today she is jubilant, but on the other side of this a statement from Governor Phil Bryant's spokesperson who says, quote, "Governor Bryant believes HB 1390 is an important step in strengthening abortion regulations and protecting the health and safety of women."
He goes on to say, "The federal judge's decision is disappointing, and Governor Bryant plans to work with state leaders to ensure this legislation takes effect as soon as possible."
Again, Carol, we know that the Board of Health, they will not visit this clinic to inspect as we expected they would today. They will let this clinic continue to operate business as usual under this temporary restraining order.
Again, that continues until the 11th of this month. That is when a hearing is set because you'll remember this clinic did sue under this new law.
COSTELLO: George Howell reporting live from Jackson, Mississippi this morning. Just days after long time New York Congressman Charlie Rangel appeared to win his toughest challenge in decades, ballot complaints could threaten that victory.
Today, New York Supreme Court is set to hold a hearing on the outstanding ballots that have been counted after Rangel was declared winner of Tuesday's primary.
Those votes show the race now in a virtual dead heat with more ballots still to be counted. We will keep you posted.
A former governor and husband of a soap opera star is poised to become Mexico's next president. Enrique Pena Nieto is expected to be winner in Mexico's election.
He's part of Mexico old guard. His party ruled the country for some 70 years. But he's now facing serious questions about corruption accusations from within. He says he's looking forward, not back.
CNN's Rafael Romo is in Mexico City. Good morning.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: Hi, good morning, Carol. Yes, you are absolutely right. He's a fresh face of an old guard of the PRI, the party that governed Mexico for 71 years ending in the year 2000.
This -- Enrique Nieto is the -- all the other candidates have conceded and -- he has about five months to assemble a new cabinet, create a government plan and also set priorities. (Inaudible) as you know, Carol, a single large -- single here in Mexico has been security. We have had people who have died in drug violence in the last five years, and what people here tell me is they are desperately in need of a change.
They -- situation to stop because they say that has driven -- businesses that could create jobs here and also -- border from Texas, Arizona have -- that's a very important issue for Mexicans.
Last night -- middle of speech Enrique Pena Nieto said that he's not going to make pact with organized crime. There has -- for many, many years that his party, used to do precisely that.
So he was he just wanted to make -- that's not going -- to be the case very big for about 49 million people participated in the elections -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Rafael Romo live for us this morning. Nearly 2 million acres scorched this year by wildfires, so what's behind these destructive fires.
(Inaudible) extreme weather conditions we're experiencing right now? Could it be that climate change is to blame? Bill -- the science guy is standing by live. I'll ask him about that just ahead.
COSTELLO: Just about 15 minutes past the hour -- of grim of those forced out -- in Colorado Springs are going back to, well, what's left of their -- which has now -- destroyed hundreds of homes --
(AUDIO AND VIDEO NOT CLEAR)
BILL NYE, THE SCIENCE GUY: Well, I've got to disagree. It is because of the heat ultimately. Just two years ago it was wet in Colorado, and there was a lot of growth in forests, and then you can say, well, responsibly you should have cleared that growth.
It's a difficult thing, so then two years later when it's especially dry and the forest floor gets especially dry and then there's a lightning strike, the fire is that much more intense than it would have been.
Now, since this -- you brought it up as politics, to us it's science, this is a deep concern, and wouldn't you want the United States, I grew up here, I don't know any better.
Wouldn't you want the United States to be the world leader in addressing climate change and innovating and energy distribution and storage? Wouldn't you want that?
COSTELLO: But the people who are politicizing this issue they seem to be winning because not much is being done on the issue of climate change even though President Obama promised that, you know, back in the day, 2008.
NYE: Well, I think you're going to have to way. I mean, I'm not -- I think you're going to have to wait until after the election. By the way, if you're a voter, consider taking the -- the environment into account as well as the economy.
Consider it including environment. I think the two candidates running for president right now have very different views about the validity, for example, of science and the importance of it and what you would do about climate change in the coming years.
You know, other countries are addressing climate change, but the United States is the world's largest economy, and by long tradition, whether it's an iPhone or methods of growing food to feed a lot of people, the United States has been the world leader in this sort of innovative technology.
COSTELLO: So what will it take --
NYE: Do you want to keep that up or not?
COSTELLO: What will it take for America to be on the same page? Mean take?
NYE: Well, we in the science education community chip away at this problem all the time. We have an enormous population of people in the United States who don't believe in evolution, the fundamental idea in all of life science. It would like saying I don't believe in earthquakes or something. I mean, the analogies are disturbing, but, in other words, science is a process, and we -- we want everybody to understand it.
And then include science in the way you do your thinking about how you're going to vote and how you're going to conduct your life, so you -- you can attack me -- people can attack me personally, but it is -- this is the, I say, 16 warmest years on record of the last 17.
And 1996 was not one of the warmest because there was a big El Nino, but that aside everybody I think has a sense that the world -- in the United States anyway, the world is getting warmer. The storms are being -- are stronger than ever, and our ability to respond to them is not especially good to combine all of these ideas.
COSTELLO: Bill Nye --
NYE: So the wildfires in Colorado are probably another symptom of the subtle slow change that's happening around the world.
COSTELLO: You threw that probably word in which is why people are confused.
NYE: What are you going to do? You can't prove every weather event, but sooner or later everybody let's change the world. Let's work together and make life for future generations as good as it was, for example, mine, really, everybody.
COSTELLO: Thank you.
NYE: Probably doesn't mean it's all wrong, really. Good morning.
COSTELLO: Good morning. Thanks for joining us. Bill Nye, the science guy.
Let's talk about health care, another non-controversial topic. It's now a battle between the "t" word and the "p" word. The talk back question, is the health care mandate a tax or a penalty?
COSTELLO: Now is your chance to talk back on one of the big stories of the day. The question for you this morning, is the health care mandate a tax or penalty?
On the health care law we're now caught in a heated battle over the "t" word versus the "p" word, tax versus penalty. The president promised not to raise taxes on middle class Americans.
But critics of his health care say with the individual mandate the requirement that most Americans buy health insurance or face a penalty, the president will be doing just, that taxing middle class Americans.
After all, the administration used that argument in part to persuade Chief Justice John Roberts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (R), CHAIRMAN, BUDGET COMMITTEE: The broken promises and hypocrisy are becoming breathtaking from the president who says one thing to get this passed Congress and then another thing to get it passed the Supreme Court. If this was brought to the public as a tax, there's no way this would have passed into the first place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: But to the White House it's a penalty, not a tax and one that would affect very few people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACK LEW, WHITE HOUSE, CHIEF OF STAFF: We're happy to have a debate if others want to on tax policy because this administration has cut taxes for the middle class $3,600. This health care law cuts taxes for middle class people $4,000. The 1 percent who choose not to buy health insurance, but can afford it will pay this penalty. It's what we call fair.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: That "p" word just kind of jumped out at you, didn't it? So the talk back question for you today, is the health care mandate a tax or penalty? Facebook.com/carolcnn. I'll read your comments later on in the next hour.
President Obama might have crossed a fine line campaigning aboard Air Force One. "The Daily Beast" is reporting a rambling conference call where Mr. Obama pleads with donors to send more money.
COSTELLO: It is just about 30 minutes past the hour. Good Monday morning to you. I'm Carol Costello.
Stories we're watching right now in the NEWSROOM. Another day of summer swelter from millions of you. This morning heat advisories and warnings up in at least 18 states from Missouri to South Carolina. Temperatures are expected to soar into the triple digits again.
In Colorado Springs, Colorado, exhausted fire crews have finally gained the upper hand. The Waldo Canyon Fire is now 55 percent contained, but only after a terrible toll. Two people killed, 350 homes lost and dozens more homes damaged.
Enrique Pena Nieto is the projected winner of Mexico's presidential election. The victory would return the PRI Party to power after losing the presidential vote in 2000. The second place finisher in yesterday's election has not conceded though. An individual vote count begins on Wednesday. While President Obama continues his weekend break at Camp David, Mitt Romney continues his vacation in New Hampshire. Both campaigns spring into fundraising mode following the Supreme Court's health care decision last Thursday.
Blasting text messages, sending e-mails and tweeting support are not unusual. What may seem unusual is a report from "The Daily Beast." They're reporting, quote, "a rambling conference call by the president begging donors for money. The President said, quote, (AUDIO GAP) -- the majority on this call maxed out to my campaign last time. I really need you to do the same this time", end quote. The President went on to say, quote, "I'm asking you to meet or exceed what you did in 2008 and the American people, the nice thing is they agree with our message when they hear it. We just can't be drowned out. A few billionaires can't drown out millions of voices", end quote.
CNN does not have that recording. We have not heard it. Daniel Stone has. He's the White House correspondent for "Newsweek" and "The Daily Beast." He joins us now. Good morning, Daniel.
DANIEL STONE, NEWSWEEK & DAILY BEAST WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Carol.
COSTELLO: Ok so you listen to -- well, first, I'm curious who gave you this 18-minute phone call, because was it the -- one of the President's supporters, and if so, why would he do this or she?
STONE: Well, this was a call with several, many of the donors. We don't know exactly how many people were on this call, but people who have been hit up for money from this campaign several times at least. We know they were hit up in 2008. Many of them gave the (AUDIO GAP) amount you can to a campaign back then and this time the President very anxious about these fund-raising (AUDIO GAP) is asking for that same amount of commitment this time as well.
COSTELLO: So -- so your report describes the President as sounding weary and maybe a tad bit worried. What did he say that made you think that?
STONE: Well, a lot of it was tone. And remember, this is the President coming back from Colorado on Friday he had a very long day I don't think we can read into a major theme about what he was feeling, (AUDIO GAP) but certainly he had had a long day. And remember, this campaign fund-raising races are very much what drives narrative (AUDIO GAP) throughout the entire season, from now throughout the summer, into the fall. Whoever is (AUDIO GAP) knows that even though he was handed a win by the Supreme Court last week on Thursday that the narrative this week will be driven by who won the fund-raising race in June. He wants it to be him. Over the past couple months it has been Mr. Romney.
COSTELLO: Well, I know that Romney's camp (AUDIO GAP) hey, we raised what $4.2 million after the Supreme Court's decision, but the Obama campaign didn't release any number. What do you make of that in light of this call? STONE: Wow, it's fairly obvious what you can read into it. The Obama campaign says they never release fund-raising data except when they are required to by law, but -- but think about it. If you see the Supreme Court decision on Friday, I mean on Thursday, that galvanized Republicans, it really energized them, and it forced about 47,000 donors to donate to Mr. Romney within 24 hours.
Obama to the contrary, you didn't see that type of energizing among Democrats and the liberal base the same way. So I think we can say that they did not raise as forcefully. Of course, they don't want to admit until they are forced to by law which will be later this week.
COSTELLO: Ok. So a lot of people are probably wondering can the President legally make a call from Air Force One to his donors? Can he do that?
STONE: It's a question that's asked often. The short answer is yes he can. He's always the president, whether or not he's working on official business or campaign business. There are some outlets, including a special telephone, an area that the President can work on campaign matters on the plane as well as in the White House, but think about it. He never gets pretty far from the White House or his campaign limo or his presidential limo or certainly Air Force One, so they need to (AUDIO GAP) options accessible to him where ever had he is.
COSTELLO: Ok. So if anyone wants to listen to this recording, can they hear it anywhere are you guys releasing it?
STONE: One of the -- one of the -- ways we got this recording was by agreeing that we would not (AUDIO GAP) the recording. Remember (AUDIO GAP) recording with people that were very loyal to the President, conceivably are very loyal to the President so we can't release the recording, but the campaign has not denied what's in the tape, so -- so we do know that it's -- it's real.
COSTELLO: Daniel Stone, White House correspondent for "Newsweek" and "The Daily Beast," thanks so much for joining us this morning.
STONE: Thank you, Carol.
COSTELLO: Would you waste time if you worked from home? If you're watching me that does not count. I'll tell you what people say what -- I'll tell you what people say they are really doing when they say they are working at home.
COSTELLO: Checking our "Top Stories" now.
In Kenya four refugee aid workers abducted from a camp near Somalia last week are finally free. Kenya's defense force worked with Somali troops to go after the kidnappers. During a shootout one of the kidnapers was killed. Two others escaped. If you have outdoor plans today, you might want to check the temperature before heading out. 18 states are under heat advisories, watches and warnings. Triple digit temperatures are in the forecast again after many states hit record highs over the weekend.
In money news a survey by Wakefield Research reveals what people really do when they are allowed to work from home; 43 percent watch TV or a movie; 35 percent do chores around the house; 28 percent make dinner; 26 percent nap; 24 percent drink and 20 percent play video games and then all that other time they work.
Facebook's stock may be tanking, but designer Claire Pedabon's business in Beverly Hills has exploded. Zuckerberg's wife Pricilla Chan wore a wedding dress designed by Pedabon back in May. Now the designer is reporting a 300 percent sales increase in May and June and expects her business to double this year.
We're just about four months away from the presidential election and a new CNN poll of polls shows it's still virtually tied; 46 percent of the people said they would vote for President Obama while 43 percent of people chose Mitt Romney. The road to the White House could turn on these seven states. There they are.
CNN considers the states in yellow as tossup states right now. Our Joe Johns is in one of those tossup states. That would be Iowa.
So Joe, let's talk about the strategies for both candidates as they try to win these states.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Carol, I guess you can say they have been heavy on the ads. Everybody knows that if they are watching TV right now.
Also heavy on the trips to the battleground states; Mitt Romney has been to battleground states about 20 times, Barack Obama about 12 times just since April. This week we're going to see another (AUDIO GAP) with the president taking a little bus through and all important Pennsylvania. And Mitt Romney just happens to be hanging out in New Hampshire (AUDIO GAP) a home. (AUDIO GAP) he's been there before, but, of course, (AUDIO GAP) is on these states that could make the big difference in November.
COSTELLO: Ok and then I would assume that both candidates will be about jobs, jobs, jobs?
JOHNS: Yes, yes. Obviously jobs, jobs, jobs, (AUDIO GAP) probably the number one issue, but if you look at what they have been doing in some of these states. You see there's a little bit of micro targeting going on here in the state of Iowa, for example. There's been a little bit more of a focus on the deficit. We're going to go over to Ohio tomorrow in that state. We've seen some ads that have -- that are focused, you know, on a number of different things, so you have immigration that comes up as things people are interested in and so that's what they are doing. They are micro targeting. This is a word we try not to use on television, but it certainly is happening more than ever this election cycle. COSTELLO: Joe Johns reporting live for us from Iowa in a special CNN series.
We'll take you on a tour of some of those Rustbelt States. We'll talk with auto workers to see how they're coping with the struggling with the economy. Many lost their jobs, some say there will be a political price to pay as a result.
COSTELLO: Let's head out to Los Angeles and check out with Nischelle Turner because I understand you hit the red carpet this week for the BET Awards and there were some emotional moments.
NISCHELLE TURNER, HLN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. There definitely were some emotional moments. We do have a lot going on, on the red carpet because, of course, Hollywood is still stunned by the news on Friday that Katie Holmes filed for a divorce from Tom Cruise. I was out there covering the BET Awards last night. And the breakup of one of industry's A-list couples was still rippling across the red carpet.
Now usually, you know, Jamie Foxx, he's got a lot to say. But when I asked him about how his close friend and co-star in "Collateral" was holding up, here's all he would say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TURNER: Real quick, any words for your buddy Tom Cruise that's going through a hard time?
JAMIE FOXX, ACTOR: Oh, man, you know what; he'll be all right, man. He'll be all right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TURNER: That's it from Jamie but in addition to the sadness about Tom and Katie, there were a lot of big stars there anticipating this award show's usual dramatic moment. They were all looking forward, of course, to the long-awaited star-studded Whitney Houston tribute led by her mother, Cissy Houston. Cissy performed "Bridge over Troubled Water" in front of a large graphic of her daughter and them two singing together.
I just want you to listen to this for a second.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(WHITNEY HOUSTON'S MOTHER PERFORMING AT THE BET AWARDS)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TURNER: You know, you see everyone just in tears. Beyonce in tears, Soulja Boy there in tears. Everyone because, you know, they were feeling this woman's pain. And, you know, she died the day before the Grammy telecast, and they did do a tribute to her on that -- on that show, but BET really had time to put this together and they filled the void.
It really was an emotional moment, Carol. It was actually, even though it was beautiful to see her up there, it was a little haunting because the words of the song really seemed like they felt exactly what she was feeling.
COSTELLO: And just from the little bit -- I know that she's a great singer in her own right, but she sort of sounds like her daughter.
TURNER: You know, they have that gospel tone to their voice. And her brother Gary Houston also sung before Cissy Houston. He sang "I Just Want to Be There Where You Are", and they all have that very strong gospel sound to their voice. It was actually really nice to see, although it was very sad. Everyone really had that moment and felt it last night.
COSTELLO: Nischelle Turner, many thanks.
COSTELLO: Want information on everything breaking in the entertainment world, check out "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" at 11:00 p.m. Eastern on HLN.
The United Nations latest world drug report is out, and the Web site Business Insider has gone through the report to find the countries that have the highest percentage of marijuana smokers, pot smokers. Palau tops the list. About one out of every four people, aged 15 to 64 smoke marijuana there. The Northern Mariana Islands is second and Guam is third. Wondering where the U.S. fits into all of this? Well, it comes in seventh with just over 14 percent of people in that age group who smoke pot. Now you know.
Some good news for coffee drinkers. Researchers say it can help lower your risk of developing the most common form of skin cancer.
COSTELLO: This just in to CNN. We have learned Airbus plans to build a new $600 million plant in Mobile, Alabama. Construction on the new plant begins next year and would bring 1,000 jobs to that coastal city. Workers will be hired to make commercial airliners. Company officials plan to make the official announcement in just a few minutes from now at 11:00 a.m. Eastern. That's actually ten minutes from now. Of course, we'll keep you posted.
Hot dogs, hamburgers, fireworks, cold beer, all the staples of an American Independence Day, but it looks like people plan to shell out less on those things this year. Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange. Less on beer?
ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Less on beer and all the other stuff that goes along with celebrating the 4th of July holiday. Maybe it's because Americans are feeling a little less patriot this Carol, or maybe they just don't have the money to spend on it. There's a new survey by Zeta (ph) that shows that 21 percent of people out there aren't going to be celebrating Independence Day at all and those who plan to are going to spend quite less.
If you look at last year, Americans spent $216 on everything from food to fireworks. This year that's expected to drop by more than 10 percent to about $190. People in the Midwest and in Western states are expected to spend the most. Northeastern states are going to be spending the least. That's most likely because fireworks are illegal in a good part of region -- Carol.
COSTELLO: So I think it's more the state of the economy than anything else, don't you?
KOSIK: I think you're right. That's what really plays the huge part in this. You know, one financial educator who's over at Visa says, you know, being patriotic does not equate with overspending on the Fourth. And he says that as Americans are watching their wallets more closely to so, you know, to many people it just doesn't make sense to spend money on all that stuff that's not considered essential.
Plus, look when July 4th is. It's in the middle of the week, first of all, so you're not going to be looking at everybody celebrating in a whole hearty way right before they have to go to work the next day and have a big blowout party and come in hung over. Not a good idea.
COSTELLO: Well, I know a few people who actually do that. That's the kind of friends I have.
KOSIK: Yes, you do.
COSTELLO: Alison Kosik, thanks so much.
COSTELLO: In today's "Daily Dose", if you like to wake up every morning to a cup of caffeinated coffee here's to you. It could lower your risk of developing the most common form of skin cancer. Researchers say out of the more than 113,000 participants studied for more than 20 years, only about 23,000 developed basal cell carcinoma. But they caution this is not an excuse to start drinking more coffee because as always more research is needed.
COSTELLO: The Rustbelt -- it's made up of Midwestern states that are now suffering after building their economies around manufacturing for generations. The auto industry crisis really hurt. Plants closed and many people lost their jobs.
In a special CNN NEWSROOM series this week Poppy Harlow toured some of those states to see how people's lives have changed. We begin with a preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We bled auto. I mean this town and GM went hand in hand.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): How many years as an auto worker?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 30.7 when the plant closed in Jamesville.
HARLOW (voice-over): I first visited Jamesville in 2009 right after GM shut its doors here. Three years later we found Janesville trying to build back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a town without an identity, a town with more unemployment and more foreclosed homes and more people that want to work that just don't have that option anymore.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They want jobs, and they want good jobs.
HARLOW (on camera): Is it still a union town?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's changed. This is not a union-centered town anymore.
HARLOW (voice-over): When we rolled into Kokomo, Indiana, it was 93 degrees. Few clouds in the sky, reflecting the revival of this Rustbelt town. We came to meet Cliff Pitcher and Duane Bates at their neighborhood bar, two friends whose blue collar auto career have followed a similar path but whose politics have not.
(on camera): Do you agree on who the next president should be?
CLIFF PITCHER, AUTO WORKER: No, I'm all over Obama.
DUANE BATES, AUTO WORKER: And I'm leaning towards Mitt Romney.
HARLOW: Why Obama?
PITCHER: Because I have a job today.
HARLOW (voice-over): He credits the auto bailout which Romney opposed. You see folks here call Kokomo "little Detroit".
BATES: If it wasn't for Obama, I would not have a pension. I would not have insurance.
HARLOW: Despite that, Duane doesn't think President Obama deserves another four years.
On the outskirts of Detroit --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't see the economy turning around.
HARLOW: Two auto workers.
STACEY STEWARD: And Michigan is on its way back.
HARLOW: With similar 9:00 to 5:00s, but dramatically different views on the economy here, where unemployment is about 8.5 percent.
(on camera): Who do you credit for having a job today?
STEWARD: I credit president Obama totally, 110 percent.
STEWARD: Because when everybody else turned their backs on the auto industry he said that there was no way he was going to let us fail.
HARLOW: Mitt Romney's criticism of the auto bailout doesn't sell well here in Michigan. It's home of the big three and also Romney's home state. Michigan's leaning towards Obama this election, but not all the autoworkers we met here are.
RICK MCCLAIN: I think Mitt Romney will do a much better job managing the economy. The government needs to be out of the economy as much as possible.
HARLOW (voice-over): Warren, Ohio and Lordstown, Ohio -- two towns 15 minutes apart with two very different stories.
(on camera): Does this town really resolve around the GM plant?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
HARLOW: No question?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No question.
HARLOW (voice-over): We met Sherry Gaunt in Lordstown, long-time GM worker and vice president of the local United Auto Workers.
SHERRY GAUNT, GM WORKER: Look where GM is at now. If the government didn't step in, we may not be working, might not have a job.
HARLOW: But in Warren, Ohio some former autoworkers are angry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was one of the innovators.
HARLOW: Bruce Gump worked at auto parts supply Delphi for years, a senior engineer, non-union.
(on camera): What did the auto bailout mean to you?
BRUCE GUMP: The auto bailout, the effect on me and my family is a loss of all of my health care insurance, a loss of all of my life insurance, a reduction of my pension by 30 percent for the rest of my life.
HARLOW (voice-over): He and his fellow Delphi retirees think they have been thrown under the bus by the Obama administration.
GUMP: He certainly didn't protect my pension. I was just road kill and to be kicked to the curb and out of the way.
COSTELLO: Fascinating. Poppy Harlow reporting. Tomorrow Poppy begins her road trip in Janesville, Wisconsin. Please be sure to join us.
We asked you to "Talk Back on one of the big stories of the day. This question for you this morning, is the health care mandate a tax or penalty? You responded in droves.
This from Christopher. "It's only a tax or penalty if you don't have health insurance. There will be multiple options available for everyone. The Massachusetts plan where I live is incredibly popular and we have incredibly high coverage rates.
This from Rita. "If this is a tax increase. It doesn't concern me. After all I have health insurance. Fortunately I'm oblivious to brainwashing."
This from Ed. "It's a tax. We've been lied to again. The arrogance of the Obama administration never ceases to amaze me."
And this from Lee. "It's a penalty for idiots. Good news for everyone else."
Please continue the conversation. Facebook.com/carolCNN, Facebook.com/carolCNN, and as always thank you for responding.
Finally this morning, at least for me, an interesting story about the U.S. Olympic trials. Two U.S. sprinters had a choice to settle their tie. Flip a coin or have a runoff. They planned to go back to the track.
Check out this photo finish that led to the rerun, if you will. Jeneba Tarmoh and Allyson Felix tied for the 100-meter dash in the U.S. Olympic trials. They are scheduled to race against each other later today but this morning sources say Tarmoh may pull out of the rematch. She had originally been awarded third place in the race and was angry that the spot had been taken away from her. So we don't know if the rerun, if you will, will continue.
Hey, she says they said I took third place, so I took third place and I qualified for the Olympics. Again, we'll keep you posted.
I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me today. "CNN NEWSROOM" continues right now with Kyra Phillips.