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Scorching Heat Broils 11 States; Two Babies Left In Hot Cars, One Died; Cold Front Breaks Heat Wave; Flooding Kills At Least 150; Mystery Illness Killing Cambodian Kids; Annan In Syria For Talks; Holder Vows Fight Against ID Laws; Federer Takes Down Andy Murray; Doing It All With Style; Baby Golden Eagle Survives Wildfire
Aired July 8, 2012 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
It is a brutal heat wave now being blamed for dozens of deaths. Scorching temperatures continue to create dangerous conditions in 11 states and people stuck in the heat zone are doing anything they can to keep cool and safe. Here's Melissa Raney.
MELISSA RANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The record breaking heat has been blamed for scores of deaths. People look for relief wherever they can find it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It feels great. It feels so wonderful. It beats the heat. That's for sure.
RANEY: In Chicago, the heat buckled roadways. Some residents simply gave up and fled the city.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Chicago, it was 105 and it felt like 112. So we came up here to escape the heat a little bit.
RANEY: But a cold front is expected in the coming days.
JEANETTE BENSON, COPING WITH EXTREME HEAT: Looking forward to the 80 agrees. Even 89 degrees would be great.
RANEY: Forecasters say the cooler air will move across the upper Midwest and Great Lakes, and into northeast. That brings some comfort for hundreds of thousands who are still without power after last weekend's storms.
In West Virginia, more than 160,000 people remain in the dark and sweltering with no working fans or air conditioning.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's 93 degrees.
CASEY: Refrigerators and freezers shut down when the power went out forcing some residents to rely on food pantries to get by.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been a large request over the past few days. We're really scrounging around to try to keep up with the demand.
RANEY: I'm Melissa Raney reporting.
WHITFIELD: And two parents in Indiana are accused of leaving their babies in separate incidents in hot cars during this blistering heat wave.
Police in Greenfield say this man left his 4-month-old daughter in a car for an extended period of time with temperatures around 103 degrees. The baby later died at the hospital.
And about 25 miles away in the town of Fisher, this mom is accused of neglecting her 16-month-old daughter by leaving her inside a car at a shopping center parking lot. The child was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
Some states suffering through a week and a half of this heat wave are finally getting some relief. Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider in the weather center, so Bonnie, are the temperatures falling?
BONNIE SCHNEIDER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: They're falling, but very slowly and they're not falling fast enough for many people that are still without power. We even have the threat of severe weather.
I want to also mention about leaving anyone in a car in this heat wave. Even with the window cracked, the indoor temperature can get up to 120-plus in a matter of seconds. So it is very, very dangerous.
Let's take a look at where it's dangerous across the country. The heat stretches from Missouri through Illinois, across the entire state of Kentucky, into the Ohio Valley and some dangerous heat through the Carolinas and Virginia.
Once again, this is a region where people are still without power. There is a cold front so I was hearing on Twitter from people in Michigan, we're getting some relief. It feels a lot better.
And there's a reason why. You can see the temperature today in Chicago, for example, is 82 degrees. As we get to Monday, this front will slowly drop to the south and everybody it touches it will make things just a little bit better and a little more bearable, more typical for summertime weather.
So Washington, you drop down to 87 and then as the front drops southward, by Tuesday you start to see numbers in the 80s for cities like Charlotte and Atlanta. We haven't seen that in a while.
But zoom in here you'll find that some of the numbers are still 90- plus. That includes Kansas City and St. Louis. Now there is the threat today for severe weather, the threat for very strong thunderstorms with damaging winds and large hail. It's a widespread watch box that continues until the evening hours tonight.
Fred, we saw this yesterday. This zone is an area where still thousands of people are without power. This is the kind of last thing they need. It is going to help break the heat, but you can see thunderstorms are working their way into Charleston, West Virginia.
West Virginia was really hard hit by power outages so that's not good news. Washington, D.C., you're in the watch box as well. So the severe threats from the Storm Prediction Center extends all the way into the mid south, then stretches off to the coastline, from northern parts of North Carolina through Virginia, and then even touching the Jersey shore.
So Atlantic City, you could see some strong storms and Cape May as well. So keep an eye to the sky. If the weather gets dangerous, always head indoors even if you hear that quick rumble of thunder, it could be a strong storm.
And of course, don't forget, heat is the number one non-severe weather related killer in the U.S. every year so very dangerous, the silent killer really.
WHITFIELD: Yes, don't leave people, children or pets in the car. I mean, that's so ridiculous. You know what? People in West Virginia, Maryland, and D.C., they're just starting to recover from that power outage as a result of that storm.
So now here we go again. Hopefully they'll be able to keep power on this time though, right?
WHITFIELD: All right, Bonnie Schneider, appreciate that. Thank you.
All right, a severe weather tragedy in Russia. Raging floodwaters tore through neighborhoods in the middle of the night. At least 150 people were killed.
Hundreds of others have been injured and more than 12,000 people are now homeless. Officials say the floodwaters rushed through towns with such force, roads were ripped up and cars were pushed into the sea.
All right, we have new information now on that mysterious illness killing children in Cambodia. More than 60 have already died and now officials say they've made an important discovery.
CNN's Sara Sidner reports from one of the areas hardest hit by this baffling illness.
SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Feverish and struggling to breathe, this 5-year-old is in bad shape. Doctors are trying to diagnose him, well aware he has some of the symptoms of a mysterious illness that's killing young children in Cambodia.
Nearly every child that has shown up in Cambodian hospitals with the mystery syndrome has died. So far, pediatrician, Dr. Ta Vantha, has treated two children with the syndrome, both got worse by the hour, both died within a couple of days. One case the child's lungs deteriorated within hours.
(on camera): Are you as a doctor worried because you don't know what it is exactly?
DR. TA VANTHA, PEDIATRICIAN: For me I worry and it is important just to inform the parent when the child, you know, symptom like cough, high fever or respiratory stress. They also could bring the child to hospital.
SIDNER: During the rainy season here at this Southwestern Cambodian Hospital, about 50 children a day are admitted. They normally have serious, but treatable, conditions like encephalitis and dengue fever.
(voice-over): Mosquito-born illnesses explode during this time of year due to the many pools of stagnant water where mosquitoes breed.
But the mortality rates of those diseases are far lower. Dengue fever which has infected a total of 10,000 people in Cambodia so far this year killed 45.
In comparison, at the main children's hospital in the capital, the mystery syndrome has killed 60 of 62 children who were brought there, an extremely high mortality rate.
(on camera): How concerned is WHO about the spread of this outside of Cambodia?
PIETER VAN MAARAN, CAMBODIAN WHO REPRESENTATIVE: Our concern is really to get the diagnosis sorted out as quickly as possible. Because then it will be much easier for us to assess how dangerous or not dangerous it is for neighboring countries.
SIDNER: Now four months after the first case was reported, health officials may be a little bit closer to figuring out exactly what it is.
(voice-over): Researchers have found an entero virus called EV71 appearing in samples of more than a dozen of the cases they have tested. EV71 was discovered in the 1960s in the U.S. where it was blamed for an outbreak of neurological disease in California.
It is associated with hand foot and mouth disease. There is no known treatment for it. The World Health Organization warns the discovery of EV71 does not mean the problem of the undiagnosed cases has been solved. A lot more analysis and testing are needed.
In the meantime, health officials in Cambodia are trying to make sure parents with sick children know, if their child is having any of the symptoms, bring the child directly to the hospital.
This family tried treating their child at home first. A week later his grandma brought him to the hospital in dire straits. To her relief, doctors finally diagnosed him with dengue fever.
Not the unknown illness that has already taken dozens of children's lives in just four months. Sara Sidner, CNN, Cambodia. (END VIDEOTAPE)
WHITFIELD: And now to Syria, international peace envoy Kofi Annan arrived in the capital of Damascus today for a meeting with President Assad.
Broken buildings and deserted streets bear witness to the continued violence there. Activists say at least 43 people have been killed today.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says time is running out for Assad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: The future to me should be abundantly clear to those who support the Assad regime. The days are numbered.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Meanwhile, the Syrian military says it is conducting live exercises and launching missiles to stay prepared for an attack from the sea.
All right, back here on U.S. soil, Attorney General Eric Holder says he will do everything in his power to protect the voting rights of Americans.
Speaking at a conference on Latino civil rights, Holder vowed to fight controversial state laws that require voters to present personal identification before voting.
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ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Each of the jurisdictions where proposed changes can be shown to have no discriminatory purpose or effect follows the law.
We are jurisdictions did cannot meet this threshold we will object under the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and other laws in order to guarantee that all eligible citizens have unrestricted access to the ballot box.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: A trial starts tomorrow in Washington on a Texas Voter I.D. law that was struck down by the Justice Department in March.
Strawberries, cream and a little piece of history at Wimbledon today. We'll tell you who won the men's single tennis title.
WHITFIELD: In London, Roger Federer wins his record tying seventh Wimbledon crown. But British tennis fans are kind of disappointed after he beat U.K.'s Andy Murray by 3 set to one. Murray was hoping to become the first Brit to win the Wimbledon men's singles title since 1936.
Our Amanda Davies is live in Wimbledon. So it's kind of, you know, bittersweet. I feel bad for Federer because not enough people were cheering for him.
Amanda, very emotional. We heard from Andy Murray who had a very moving speech. I think he won a few new fans if that was possible. Even after his very kind words.
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think he did. Roger Federer wasn't going to let a good story stand in the way of his quest for titles, was he?
I mean, there has been the most incredible build-up to this match today, because as you said, Andy Murray, the first British man in to the final of the Wimbledon championship for 74 years.
Many men have tried and failed over the years and people were suggesting that this was Andy Murray and Britain's best hope. But, sadly, it wasn't to be.
Hundreds of fans had been camping overnight to get tickets inside here at the All England Club. An estimated 20 million people were watching around the country, some suggestion that tickets inside on center court were going for around $50,000.
DAVIES: That is how much people wanted to be part of this and wanted to be part of what could have been British tennis history.
But sadly, Roger Federer didn't read the script and Andy Murray will try once again. This was his fourth grand slam final and sadly, it's four times played and four lost.
WHITFIELD: Yes, you know what? He's still got a little time since Roger Federer's 30 and that was made very clear, kind inform that victory and concession speech.
You know, that at least Federer says, you know what? Andy Murray's probably going to win at least one title so there's time. Amanda, thanks so much from Wimbledon.
All right, well, it is called a party with a purpose, the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. I talked with legendary gospel singer, Yolanda Adams about her music, giving back and taking care of self.
WHITFIELD: A lot of us are trying to do it all -- take care of our families, our careers, and everything else. Well, one woman who's juggling it all, four-time Grammy-winning gospel singer and radio host, Yolanda Adams.
I caught up with her at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans where powerful music meets powerful ideas and discussions.
WHITFIELD: It is such a treat to be sitting with you and talking with you. And you know what? The crowd just like filled the room here when you walked in.
YOLANDA ADAMS, GOSPEL SINGER/RADIO HOST: Wow.
WHITFIELD: Everyone loves your music and everything that you did philanthropically as well, as well as you have a new clothing line coming out for us tall girls. You're 6'1". I'm 5'10". I cannot wait to see what you've got online. How do you juggle it all?
ADAMS: Well, I've told you. We have great help, great family, people who just love us to life and you have to space it. You have to give yourself a little me time. But the exercise, the vitamins and the water are essential.
WHITFIELD: All of that is so important. Yesterday, I was talking with Vanessa Williams and her mom, Helen Williams. They really were sending the message of, you can only be your best mother, you can only be the best in a daughter if you take care of yourself first.
So many women feel like they've got to put everyone first, the family, health care, the financial dynamics and they put themselves last. I love that you're sending the message that you really do have to take care of yourself in order to be your best and the best partner that you can be, best mother you can be. You've got to think about you first.
ADAMS: You've got to think about you because if you're broken down, then everything else breaks down. You know, you've got to make sure when you put your health first -- I'm a stickler about health.
You've got to do the exercise. You got to do the water. You got to do the vitamins. When you feel a little sluggish, that means, I need a nap. Afternoon naps for me are essential. They are.
WHITFIELD: You juggle a lot. You've got a morning show.
WHITFIELD: That has to be incredibly fulfilling.
ADAMS: Everything in my life is fulfilling. First of all, I'm a mom first. Taylor is my pride and joy. She's my definite inspiration and my rocket booster. She's reason that I do all I do.
I want to show her that it's OK to be able to do more than one thing in your life. My dad taught me that. He taught me, Yolanda, listen. You can have seven strings income if you apply yourself and do what you're supposed to do.
I was 12 when he told me that. Now I'm 50 and I thought, yes, it works. WHITFIELD: Beautiful 50!
ADAMS: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: You have this Voice of An Angel Foundation. What's the inspiration? What's it all about?
ADAMS: Well, I used to be a teacher, taught second and third grades. I knew between middle school and high school, if we lose our kids, we lose them for a while because it takes time to get them back.
What we want to do with the Voice of An Angel Foundation is to mentor them through high school, all the way through college, make sure that they have a running start.
You know, make sure that they give us back three years in the education system and they have to love kids. It cannot be one of those things, I'm in a program and I just want to do this --
WHITFIELD: No part-timers.
ADAMS: You've got to love kids. That's automatic.
WHITFIELD: We love it. You love your music. You love what you do. We love you. Yolanda Adams, fantastic.
WHITFIELD: The Yolanda Adams collection is sold online.
All right, it's one of the most amazing stories to come out of those wildfires out west. A baby golden eagle nearly burned to death found alive on the Fourth of July.
If you have to go out today, just a reminder, you can continue watching CNN from your mobile phone. You can also watch CNN live from your laptop, just go to cnn.com/tv.
WHITFIELD: It's one of the most amazing survivor stories of the Utah wildfire. Phoenix, the baby golden eagle, was severely burned when fire hit his nest. He is recovering, but it is too early to tell whether he'll ever be able to fly again.
Todd Tanner, from our affiliate KSTU has the full story.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For him to survive something like that is outstanding. I mean, there's just no words for it.
TODD TANNER, KSTU REPORTER (voice-over): The story of this eagle starts on June 1st when he was photographed by Kent Keller.
DALYN ERICKSON, WILDLIFE REHABILITATION CENTER OF NORTHERN UTAH: He is a bird bander so he goes up and bands these birds in the nest and that gives us longevity records of what's going on with the nesting behaviors and all that is it type of stuff.
TANNER: In this nest high above the community of Eagle Mountain.
ERICKSON: He was the single baby in the nest.
TANNER: On June 21st, the human-caused dump fire began burning. Thousands of acres were consumed over several days including the nest site with the eaglet too young to fly. Kent returned several days later.
ERICKSON: He basically went back to retrieve a band and close out information he had on the band.
TANNER (on camera): So he went back thinking he was going to find a dead bird.
TANNER (voice-over): But this symbol of freedom was found alive on the Fourth of July. Now named Phoenix, this eagle truly did rise from the ashes.
ERICKSON: The flames had to engulf his body just because they're on the top of his head. They're on his back, on his wings, his legs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see the shafts up here. They're still growing, but they're pretty much done for.
TANNER: Handlers say Phoenix has a long way to go, but his future looks promising.
ERICKSON: We are hoping to release him. That's the goal of our program is to get him back out into the wild.
WHITFIELD: And a look at our top stories now. International peace envoy Kofi Annan arrived in Damascus, Syria today. He is scheduled to meet with President Bashar Al-Assad.
It is Annan's third trip to the country since the violence began there last year. Activists say at least 43 people have been killed across Syria today alone.
In Libya right now, votes are being counted after the country held its first election since Moammar Gadhafi took power nearly a half century ago.
Roughly 60 percent of Libya's voters turned out. Some preliminary results could be announced later on today. Many see this election as Libya's first steps toward building a free and democratic nation.
Look out. Here come the bulls. Saturday was the first day of the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Run lasted less than three minutes, but the Red Cross reported dozens of injuries, six of them quite serious.
A 73-year-old Spanish man was gored in the leg and taken to the hospital. The tradition of running with the bulls through the town started 400 years ago.
I'll be back in one hour. You'll meet a 9-year-old whiz kid and get this -- he's not planning to go to college. He's already there!
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: At 6 years old when I wanted to take a paleontology class that was actually in college. I liked dinosaurs so I wanted to study more about them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So what kid doesn't like dinosaurs? Well, this one went to college to study paleontology. He is my guest in the 4:00 Eastern Hour. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Stay with CNN. "YOUR MONEY" starts right after this.