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Kid-Killing Illness Possibly Identified; Thousands Will Face Internet Blackout; Hip-Hop's Evolving Stance on Homosexuality; American Family Survived "Costa Concordia" Sea Disaster; Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Released in Brazil; John Rocker Says He's a Changed Man; Roger Federer Dashes British Hopes at Wimbledon & Serena Williams' Amazing Comeback
Aired July 8, 2012 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Don Lemon here. We're going to get you up to speed on the day's news.
Starting with this -- a Hollywood legend has died today. Ernest Borgnine, he appeared in his first movie more than 60 years ago and won best actor Academy Award in "Marty" and he also starred in the TV series "McHale's Navy". Ernest Borgnine was still working well into his 90s, doing voice-over work for the animated show "SpongeBob SquarePants." He was 95 years old.
A break is coming this week for the extreme heat that has set thousands of records across the country. But the weather was still deadly last night in the small Missouri town of Cuba. A new mother riding out the storm in her car in a food store while in a parking lot was killed when debris crashed through her windshield and hit her in the chest. The powerful storms also collapsed buildings and up-ended cars around the small town.
Overseas in Afghanistan, six NATO troops were killed today when the roadside bomb blew up in the eastern side of the country. No official word yet on the nationality of the troops who are killed. At least 26 people were killed in roadside bombings in other parts of the country. The attacks come as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is meeting with diplomats in Tokyo, discussing Afghanistan's future and the shape of the international force going forward.
You're about to see a woman shot to death, executed in public. It's also in Afghanistan. Someone recorded this public killing after woman wearing a burqa. We won't show you the moment of her death but man with an automatic rifle shoots her at least nine times while men gather around and cheer.
Afghan officials believe the woman was part after love triangle involving two Taliban commanders who accused her of adultery. News officials have responded, calling it a cold-blooded murder.
Activists say at least 43 people were killed today in the war raging across Syria. The death toll from the fighting crept up as special envoy Kofi Annan arrived for talks with Syria's president. The Secretary of State Clinton meanwhile had this blunt message for al- Assad and his allies. (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)
LEMON: A powerful struggle may be under way in Egypt between the nation's military and its newly elected president. Mohamed Morsi is calling parliament back into session, overriding the military's decision to dissolve it. Military officials are planning an emergency meeting to discuss, as they put it, the repercussions of the president's move.
The death toll from the flash floods in southern Russia is still rising, as the water recedes in some areas. Officials now say at least 150 people are confirmed dead. Some survivors are venting their anger at authorities saying they never had any warnings of the floods.
And we have a tiny bit of optimism from a part of the world where a mystery disease has killed dozens of children. Health officials are working around the clock in Cambodia may have an explanation for the deadly outbreak. They are seeing evidence of a virus known to cause neurological attacks. It's not definite but it's something to go on.
And stay right there, we're going to go live to Cambodia in just a couple of minutes to update on that story.
Roger Federer's Wimbledon victory steals a spotlight from Andy Murray's run at tennis history. Federe's seventh Wimbledon title today came at Murray's expense. He was the first British player to reach a Wimbledon final in 74 years. Federer now has 17 grand slam trophies.
Well, it is breaking, it is baking, and it is a nightmare in the making. The heat wave consuming much of the country has broken all kinds of records, 4,500 daily heat records have been broken in the last 30 days, 240 all-time heat records were broken between June 23rd and July 5th.
But guess what? There is relief on the way, sort of. A cold front is moving in, which is great to break the heat spell. But what that cold front comes with -- with that cold front comes more wind, more hail and more lightning. Not welcome news to all those who still have no power and as of today. That's nearly 155,000 customers in 10 states and D.C.
The weather in Missouri causing a tragic death there and a nasty storm blew through the town of Cuba last night. A new mother was riding out the storm in her car. She was talking to her brother in a car. And he was riding out the storm in the car right next to her. Just then, flying debris crashed through her windshield and struck her in the chest.
And in Colorado, where they just can't break there from fires to flash flooding, mud, branches and rocks -- watching the streets out in Ft. Collins, my goodness. They can't get a break there, Bonnie Schneider. What's going on? Colorado needed the rain, though, but now they are seeing they're getting too much at once.
BONNIE SCHNEIDER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Exactly. And it came too much at once at the worst possible times, after the fires. And here's why -- taking a look at flood threat for this region, you know, a three- day total of 1.73 inches, OK maybe that's not so bad. But you have to realize more than half of that occurred in just 90 minutes last night.
So, when you're looking at this region where the higher flood is, the reason why is because these are the burned scarred areas from the fires. So, when have you so much water coming in quickly and there's no more trees, there's no more shrubs to kind of slow it down, you get that rush down the mountainside and that's what we saw here with the incredible flash flooding for this region.
Now taking a look at the radar picture for the area, we are still getting scattered showers and thunderstorms which could be a problem in terms of lightning but where the weather is more severe in terms of thunderstorms is further east ward. Look what is popping up across Kentucky at this hour. Strong thunderstorms contain in deadly lightning, large size hail, sweeping across West Virginia and many places still don't have power from the last storms we had rolling through.
Washington, D.C., hit a record high, an all-time record high yesterday and we are still looking at the threat for storms. So we mentioned relief from the heat coming in the form of a cold front, that's what's triggering all of the thunder storms right now.
But the good news is, by the time we get to Wednesday, this front will drop down. These numbers significantly. We are looking at temperatures, plummeting from the triple digits down into the mid to upper 80s. Now, that is still hot but that's more typical of what we would see this time of year.
So as this front slides down over the next few days, we are going to see those improvements in the forecast. High temperatures across much of the region though mainly looking pretty hot across the area. We're expecting them to stay hot for today and then work their way a little bit further southward.
Now, St. Louis is a city that faced triple digit temperatures for many days consecutively, so the good news is here, if you zoom into this region, you will see numbers drop down to 89 degrees by the time we get to Wednesday.
Chicago, you saw record high temperatures as well. And now you'll be down into the mid 80s Tuesday and Wednesday. Washington, D.C., I mentioned the record high yesterday and down to about 86, 87 degrees throughout the day.
Atlanta as well, we had record high here of 106 last weekend. So, it's good to see these numbers, at 83. That sounds like a nice cool down. It really does. It's funny when you look at these numbers and you think, 85, that's so cool -- but it's all relative -- Don.
LEMON: I know. I got into the car today and thing said 96. I said, wow, a cool day.
LEMON: Thank you, Bonnie. I appreciate it.
New developments surrounding that mystery disease that has killed dozens of children. We're going to go live to Cambodia for the news.
And you may be hours from losing your Internet access. Imagine that, a virus could knock you offline. (INAUDIBLE)
LEMON: Reporting this as a mystery yesterday and there's a breakthrough today. Hopefully a big one in that urgent search to find out what is killing children by the dozens. I'm talking about Cambodia where some kind of bug, some kind of disease that doctors have never seen before has popped up and is running rampant with no cure.
First now to CNN's Sara Sidner.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Feverish and struggling to breath, this 5-year-old boy is in bad shape. Doctors are trying to diagnose him, well aware he has some of the symptoms on a mysterious illness that is killing children in Cambodia. Nearly every child that has shown up in Cambodian hospitals with the mystery syndrome has died.
So far, pediatrician Ta Vantha has treated two children with the symptoms. Both got worse by the hour. Both died within a couple of days. In 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 VANTHAN, PEDIATRICIAN: For me, I am worried and we are just trying to inform the parents when the child has, you know, symptoms like cough, high fever or respiratory distress. They also should bring the child immediately to the hospital.
SIDNER: During the rainy season here at the 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 the 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 infected a total of 10,000 people in Cambodia so far this year, killed 45. In comparison at the main's children hospital in the capitol, the mystery syndrome has killed 60 of 62 children who were brought there, an extremely high mortality rate.
(on camera): How concern is WHO about the spread of this outside of Cambodia?
PIETER VAN MAARAN, WHO REPRESENTATIVE IN CAMBODIA: 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 found an enterovirus 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's 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 is 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 strait. To her relief, doctors finally diagnosed him with dengue fever, not the unknown illness that has already taken dozens of children in just four months.
LEMON: Interesting. Sara Sidner, there you see her. She's live in Cambodia.
So, Sara, I heard you mentioned EV71. Was it about a possible breakthrough and is it too soon to be optimistic about this?
SIDNER: Well, it's really too soon to say that the mystery is solved. That's the best way to put it.
Health officials here are warning that though they have come up with more than a dozen samples that they have looked at, have tested positive for this EV71. They have not tested enough samples. That is only from 24 samples. They have to test more. They have to see if this shows up in more samples.
And they also can't quite figure out what's making this so deadly. EV71 usually doesn't work this quickly. The bad news is that if it turns out to be some strain or some mutation of EV71, there is no known treatment or cure for that either. So, doctors really struggling to try and treat these very young patients who are coming into the hospital and literally dying within a couple of days of arriving.
LEMON: So if it's really caused by a virus, and that doesn't mean that -- as you said, it doesn't mean it is easy to treat, even if they figure out that what it is caused by.
SIDNER: Exactly right. And we should also mention this, you know, getting information out here is very different than say the U.S. or United Kingdom, trying to get this out to parents. Because the natural habit is when a child is sick or anyone is sick, you first try to treat them with medicines at home. Then you take them to a local clinic. And then if they get really bad, then you bring them to the hospital.
And doctors are warning parent that if they are seeing things like very high fever, difficulty breathing, perhaps vomiting or convulsions, that child -- they should not wait. They should directly bring that child into the hospital as soon as possible so that doctors can try to treat the child -- Don.
LEMON: OK. So listen, what if it's -- what if it's not a virus? If it's not the cause? And is it back it square one, Sara?
SIDNER: Yes. They're going to have to keep testing. And what they're doing is they have to test each sample with one disease at a time. They don't have a huge testing lab facility here. That is slowing things down a bit.
But this is at least a link and they are hoping it is an important link, giving them some clue as to what they are dealing with right now, Don.
LEMON: Sara Sidner, thank you very much. We appreciate your reporting.
And a warning for computer users: your Internet could go away in a matter of hours, thanks to a dangerous virus. What you need to know to stay online. That is next.
LEMON: Nasty Internet virus is infecting hundreds of thousands of computers, causing an inevitable Internet blackout starting tomorrow. Cyber criminals are responsible for planting the virus in computers around the world.
CNN Money's Stacey Cowley joins me from New York.
So, Stacey, how did something like this happen, what is the DNS Changer?
STACEY COWLEY, CNN MONEY: Yes. Well, this is a problem several years in the making. What happened is a group of Estonian hackers created this virus and got away it for about five years. This is a very long- running scam. What DNS Changer did was it redirected Internet traffic. So if you were trying to go to, for example, Apple's iTunes Store, it would reroute to you a fake Web site. On a lot of these Web sites, they served fake advertisements.
The FBI conducted a sting now, and over two years shut this down. They completely shut it down in November. At the time they caught it, though, about 4 million computers worldwide were infected, including government computers. So it was a really nasty one.
LEMON: And you can find out, though, if your computer is infected, right, Stacey?
COWLEY: Yes. The good news is they created a Web site. Go to dns- ok.us. That's a Web site that the FBI and the groups it's working with put together. If you go to that Web site, you're going to see it go green. If you go to a green light there, your computer is not infected, you're OK.
If you go to that Web site see anything else, though, there are instructions on that page for what can you do to help get your computer cleaned up.
LEMON: No, we're not going to let you off. What do we do if the computer has a virus?
COWLEY: If the computer has a virus, the good news is, most of the major antivirus packages are now on guard for this. They've all been updated to deal with DNS Changer. So, running any antivirus software will help.
That page also has instructions for how to check your own computer's DNS settings and see if everything is OK. If you do have a problem, they are recommending contact your Internet service provider. They're all on guard for this and standing by to help anyone who has an issue with this tomorrow.
LEMON: How long will it take if I'm part of the blackout? How long it's going to take to get back?
COWLEY: You're going to know pretty instantly. You're going to try to get online and you won't see anything.
LEMON: How long to get it back, though?
COWLEY: Oh, to get it back?
COWLEY: Oh, your Internet provider, they're going to have to walk you through some repair steps.
LEMON: Oh, Lord.
COWLEY: The good news is, the clean-up effort has been successful. When the FBI originally started this awareness campaign, there was 4 million infected PCs. We're down to about 300,000. So, 90 percent of the people who have the problem are fixed.
LEMON: All right. I think I know the answer to this. One more reason for Apple, MacBook Pro users to feel superior. You don't worry about it.
COWLEY: They've been enjoying this. This is largely a problem infecting Windows machines. Yes.
LEMON: Yes. There you go. I will just say, I tell everybody, MacBook Pro is the way to go.
COWLEY: I hear that a lot from the Mac people. They do enjoy that.
LEMON: I never worry about viruses. I go on and off the Internet, and whatever. Thank you. We appreciate it. All right. Thank you very much.
COWLEY: Thanks very much.
LEMON: Each week, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta profiles innovators from all walks of life and all fields of endeavor. The program is called "THE NEXT LIST". And next Sunday, he's going to talk with Jose Gomez Marquez, who is turning toys into medical tools.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSE GOMEZ MARQUEZ: I want to create the equivalent of what Lego is today for toys. I want to have not just the medikits but the movement of democratized innovation in healthcare. I want to do that for medical technologies.
My name is Jose Gomez Marquez and I use toys to make affordable medical devices.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Patients neglected at the hospital that's supported by millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars. A CNN investigation is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Don't forget you can stay connected. Can you watch CNN live on your computer. You can do it from work. Go to CNN/TV.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: A disturbing story now of patient neglect at a hospital in Afghanistan where most of the salaries and supplies are paid for by you, the American taxpayer.
Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr has been investigating this story -- and warning for you, some of the images in this report may be difficult to see.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Afghan soldiers, starving, lying in dirty beds with festering wounds, denied pain killers. All of this at the Kabul National Military Hospital, a hospital the U.S. paid more than $100 million to help the Afghans run.
SCHUYLER GELLER, RETIRED AIR FORCE PHYSICIAN: Things as simple as dressing changes are not done. Patients become infected and they die.
STARR: These days, a world away, Schuyler Geller, a retired Air Force doctor, tends to his Tennessee farm.
GELLER: This will be kind of a little haven.
STARR: From February 2010 to February 2011, he oversaw training of Afghans at the hospital. These photos were taken by his American military staff.
GELLER: There are patients that are starving to death because they can't buy the food. They have to bribe for food. They have to bribe for medicine. Patients were beaten when they complained about no pain medicine or no medicine.
STARR (on camera): And you're not supposed to worry about that.
GELLER: That's what we were told.
STARR (voice-over): Pentagon officials do not dispute that the photos from 2010 show hidden, but deliberate abuse by Afghan staff. But they insist that after a U.S. inspection, conditions have improved significantly.
In this memo to Congress, Geller alleges, two senior U.S. generals who oversaw Afghan training, Lieutenant General William Caldwell and his deputy, Brigadier General Gary Patton, in 2010, delayed bringing in Pentagon investigators because of their political concerns over the looming midterm U.S. elections.
Geller says Caldwell was angry his staff wanted the inspector general to investigate. And that Patton ordered a delay out of concern it would embarrass the Obama White House.
GELLER: And then he said, but we don't want to do -- we don't want to put that request in right now, because there is an upcoming general election. And we wouldn't want this to leak out.
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: That's just not acceptable.
STARR: Congressman Jason Chaffetz's House Oversight Subcommittee is investigating the general's alleged behavior.
CHAFFETZ: That's a very serious allegation. But it didn't come from just one high-ranking military official on the ground; it didn't come from just two. We have several of them who have stepped forward and said, yes, this was indeed the case.
STARR: Geller says he wants the truth to come out.
GELLER: The biggest frustration is our own leadership's response, and how slow that was and how inadequate that was.
STARR (on camera): Both Caldwell and Patton declined to comment. But the Pentagon is looking into Geller's allegations. Caldwell eventually did request a DOD investigation into the hospital. But that began after the 2010 elections.
A senior Pentagon official tells CNN there's no indication the White House knew about any of this, and that conditions at the hospital are better. They are even inviting TV cameras in.
Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.
LEMON: All right, Barbara, thank you very much.
I want to get you up to speed. A Hollywood legend has died today. Ernest Borgnine, he appeared in his first movie more than 60 years ago and won the best actor Academy Award in 1955 in the film "Marty." He also starred in the TV series, "McHale's Navy." Ernest Borgnine was still working into his 90s, doing voiceover work for the animated show "SpongeBob SquarePants". He's 95 years old.
A break is coming this week for the extreme heat that has set thousands of records around the country. But the weather was still deadly last night in the small town in Missouri town of Cuba. A new mother woman riding out the storm in her car in a food star parking lot was killed when debris crashed through her windshield and hit her in the chest.
The powerful storm also collapsed buildings and upended cars around the small town.
Overseas in Afghanistan, six U.S. troops were killed today when a roadside bomb blew up in the eastern part of the country. Their nationalities initially were withheld but a U.S. official has now confirmed they were Americans. At least 26 people were killed in roadside bombings and other parts of the country. The attacks come as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is meeting diplomats in Tokyo, discussing Afghan's future and the shape of the international force going forward.
Activists say at least 43 people were killed today in the war raging across Syria. The death toll from the fighting crept up, as special envoy, Kofi Anan, arrived for talks with Syria's president. Secretary of state Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, had this blunt message for al- Assad and his allies.
(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)
LEMON: A power struggle may be under way in Egypt between the nation's military and its newly elected president. Mohamed Morsi is calling parliament back into session, overriding the military's decision to dissolve it. Military officials are planning an emergency meeting to discuss, as they put it, "the repercussions of the president's move."
Now to the big stories in the week ahead. From the race from the White House to Wall Street, our correspondents tell you what you need to know. We will begin tonight with the latest from the campaign trail.
PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: I'm Paul Steinhauser at the CNN political desk. Mitt Romney starts his week in Colorado, reaching out to voters and raising campaign cash in the important battle ground state. Wednesday, Romney will speak before the NAACP convention in Houston. Vice President Joe Biden addresses the same gathering the next day. President Obama hits the campaign trail this week in Iowa and Virginia, two crucial swing states.
POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM CORRESPONDENT: I'm Poppy Harlow in New York. Following the disappointing jobs report on Friday, Wall Street will turn its attention to some big corporate earnings starting on Monday. We will get the latest quarterly numbers from aluminum giant, Alcoa. That's on Monday. Later in the week, we will hear from Google, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. All eyes will be on earnings from JPMorgan to see if the bank releases an update of how much money it has lost since announcing earlier this year that a massive bad bet on credit derivatives cost the firm at least $2 billion. A lot of focus on that. We'll keep an eye on Wall Street for you all week on "CNN Money."
NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: I'm "Showbiz Tonight's" Nischelle Turner. Here's what we're watching this week. "American Pie" star, Chris Cline, joins us to talk about his new TV career. Plus, country music darling and former "American Idol," Kelli Pickler, talks us to about her brand new mission that hits close to home.
LEMON: All right, thanks, everyone.
In five minutes --
-- the upside of being on the D.L.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELLEN DEGENERES, HOST, ELLEN: There are going to be people who don't understand it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: A bold move or bad for business?
LEMON: Some are calling it a big day for hip-hop, but was the conversation long overdo? Frank Ocean, an up and coming singer, recently posted on his Tumbler that the summer he was 19 years old, he fell in love with a man.
I talk to Dean Obeidallah and Ana Navarro about the impact of coming out in the hip-hop industry.
LEMON: Many in the headline call him brave, as does his mom.
But Ana, this is 2012. Is it brave to be honest about your sexuality now?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know, it is still brave, unfortunately. I wish it weren't. I wish we didn't have to make these announcements. I wish that coming out and saying I'm gay was just like coming out and saying me saying I'm straight or Hispanic, or you saying you're black. I hope this one day stops being a political issue and it turns into a personal issue.
LEMON: Dean, how do you think this will impact Ocean's career? Or will it at all?
DEAN OBEIDALLAH, POLITICAL COMEDIAN: That's an interesting question. At first I thought, a lot of people were like, wow, another gay celebrity, big deal. But country singer, Shelly Wright, after she came out, lost a third of her sales in records. And so there are places that don't book her anymore. And he may come up against this wall. In hip-hop community, homophobia is notorious. Every video has a hot woman in it. Even his last video, Novocain, had a hot woman in it. Only time will tell will this hurt his career or not. I hope it doesn't, sincerely.
LEMON: What do you think about that, Ana? Dean brings up a good point about other entertainers who have come out. But then, when you look at Neil Patrick Harris, who really sort of personifies the other side of that, he has been very successful, and is an openly gay man.
NAVARRO: Don, first, let me confess and say I know a lot more about I-HOP than I do about hip-hop.
But I have read it is a very macho-driven music movement. And I will also tell you that the only Mr. Ocean I knew until this week was the guy from "Oceans 11." That being said, I think it is great that folks come out, and they show that you can be an award-winning journalist covering wars and can you be gay. You can be a hip-hop artist, singing about macho lyrics and women and be gay. It doesn't define you. It is like your hair color. It is a personal, you know, lifestyle that people have. And it does not mean that there is anything they can or cannot do.
LEMON: Do you think, Dean, that this will make any difference with the hip-hop community? Because the hip-hop community has been deemed as very homophobic. I have read it a lot of places this week. At first, the response to what Frank Ocean did was very tepid. No one said anything. Then, all of a sudden, Russell Simmons and others start to jump in. I don't know if it's guilt by association, but do you think this will change anything?
OBEIDALLAH: When you look at responses, Anderson Cooper came out and, overwhelmingly, people would say, this is a great thing. You have Russell Simmons and J.Z. But you don't have a lot of people in the hip-hop community coming out. I think they are still afraid of being tainted as somehow being gay. Clearly, the sheer number of people in hip-hop, there has to be gay hip-hop performers. People don't want to talk about in that business. In time, I think they will overcome it.
LEMON: My thanks to Dean and Ana.
It was shades of the "Titanic."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HECTOR PEREZ, CONCORDIA PASSENGER: Everybody was panicking. Everybody was running for their own lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: We will take you inside the "Costa Concordia" and talk to some passengers who were lucky enough to escape.
LEMON: It has been almost six months since the "Costa Concordia" disaster. 32 people died when the ship hit a reef and ran aground off the coast of Italy.
CNN's Dan Rivers talked with an American family who was there among the last it make it out alive.
UNIDENTIFIED SHIP PERSONNEL: (INAUDIBLE)
DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When the order to abandon ship was given, Hector Perez and Sohaim Khan were at a life boat.
(SHOUTING) RIVERS: The crew member who barred access to the boat told passengers to calm down.
PEREZ: As soon as he opened the door, everybody ran towards that emergency boat and pushed him out of the way.
PEREZ: Everybody was panicking. Everybody was running for their own lives. A lot of them didn't realize that they were going to let people jump into the boat without an actual seat. Those that realized it, they jumped into the boat and they just stayed standing on the boat. It was way over 150 people limit.
RIVERS: The boat carrying Khan and Perez made it to the sea. But even then, they were not safe.
PEREZ: I look up and I see the Emergency Boat A go side ways one way. Suddenly, it went this way again and it fell right on top of our boat.
SOHAIM KHAN, CONCORDIA PASSENGER: If our boat would have turned when we were evacuating when the second boat fell on us, we would have been dead.
RIVERS: Several life boats couldn't be lowered and, with the ship listing, the problems of evacuating people multiplied.
This Ananias family boarded a life boat but were forced to return to the ship when the boat wouldn't launch. Once back on board --
CINDY ANANIAS, CONCORDIA PASSENGER: Bam.
ANANIAS: The boat flipped.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Its takes another five to eight degree-roll to starboard side.
RIVERS: One of the crew told investigators that some officers literally pushed passengers into the water.
But the Ananias family turned around and tried to climb across the ship with nothing to hold on to.
VALARIE ANANIAS, CONCORDIA PASSENGER: The side of the ship is now the bottom of the ship. So you are literally walking on the side of the ship.
RIVERS: The speed with which the "Concordia" tilted, first one way, then the other, has alarmed maritime experts.
(on camera): This is the Safety of Life at Sea rule book, the maritime safety Bible, if you like, issued by the International Maritime Authority here in London. It specifies that ships should remain stable with two water-tight compartments flooded, and they should be able to be evacuated within 30 minutes.
(voice-over): But the loss of power, the flooding of the pumps and back-up generations turned the "Concordia" into a helpless hulk.
As the water continued to rise, the ship tilted yet further, more than 60 degrees.
GEORGIA ANANIAS, CONCORDIA PASSENGER: And then I remember us all starting to pray and saying our good-byes. I can remember thinking, oh, my gosh, we're going to die. Let's just get it over with.
RIVERS: By now, it was nearly 1:00 in the morning. The Ananias family, and dozens of other passengers, were still trying to climb a metal ladder to reach the outside of the ship. But it was still a mad scramble to escape.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Men pushing women aside, pushing children aside.
VALERIA ANANIAS: I put my foot down and I said, this is not going to happen. I'm not going to sit here and watch one other man jump in front of this mother and child to get his way up there. It wasn't going to happen.
LEMON: Thank you, Dan.
Don't forget to watch Dan's special, "CNN Presents: Cruise to Disaster" coming up a little over an hour from now at 8:00 eastern on CNN.
It sounds like science fiction, mosquitoes being genetically engineered to fight a deadly virus. We're going beyond the headlines.
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LEMON: Early results could be announced as soon as tonight in Libya's historic parliamentary elections. Ballot boxes from around the country are arriving in the main election center in Tripoli. Libya's last election was 40 years ago, before deposed dictator, Moammar Gadhafi, seized power.
An outpouring of frustration against NATO today in Pakistan. 20,000 people took part in a protest march from Lahore to Islamabad. They are upset over the reopening of a supply route for coalition troops in Afghanistan. Pakistan closed the route in November after NATO just accidentally killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. Protesters were organized by the alleged mastermind of the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, India, which killed 164 people.
It is one of the world's most deadly killers, infecting as many as 100 million people yearly. But scientists in Brazil believe they have an alternative tool in the fight against the dengue virus in their genetically modified mosquitoes. A pilot program reveals it is working.
CNN International's Azadeh Ansari is going beyond the headlines.
Azadeh, this sounds like -- it sounds like a science fiction movie that I would go to the movies to see.
AZADEH ANSARI, CNN INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL DESK EDITOR: It does.
ANSARI: It sounds like Jurassic Park, with these genetically modified mosquitoes --
ANSARI: -- pitted against these wild-like mosquitoes. But Brazil implemented this program in 2011 and they saw, over a six-month period, Don, that there was 90 percent decrease in the mosquito population, which in turns means decrease in dengue fever. They just said this today, they started off in their pilot program with 500,000 mosquitoes and now they say, let's try this in a different city with four million genetically modified mosquitoes to see what happens.
LEMON: How will they do that?
ANSARI: Well, OK, bear with me. It does sound freaky but they are taking male mosquitoes, and genetically modified them to carry a lethal gene against the dengue virus. Then they send them out into the wild and say, go get the females. They mate with the females, then the offspring carry this lethal gene, and then the offspring don't become adult mosquitoes. They stay in a larva stage and then they are destroyed.
LEMON: Have they done this before?
ANSARI: It's been done on a smaller scale in the Cayman Islands. It's been done in Malaysia and Australia.
This has environmentalists and public health officials up in arms. Even though it's worked in the laboratory and on a small scale, the reality is this could have dire implications on a grand scale when you look at what it could do to the environment as well as to public health.
LEMON: That's right. They're playing with Mother Nature. Are they sure they want to do this that? Obviously, they have to fight dengue somehow.
ANSARI: They do because there's no cure and there's no vaccine. It does give them a glimpse of hope. Though, in the U.S., it's not a problem, we don't have the outbreaks of dengue like they do in the rest of the world. We're talking about nearly 40 percent of the world's population could be at risk at some point. Huge problem. This gives them a glimpse of hope for a possible solution in how to combat this, even though it sounds really off the charts.
LEMON: Yes. It's fascinating though.
ANSARI: You're welcome.
LEMON: Thank you. I appreciate it. Learn something new every day.
British tennis fans were ready to celebrate their first home-grown Wimbledon winner in seven decades, and only one man stood in their way, the great Roger Federer. We'll talk tennis, next.
LEMON: You guys went nuts on social media about this interview. You don't have to be a baseball fan to remember the name John Rocker. He is a former closer of the Braves and a rival of all things New York. Got himself into big trouble in a now-infamous profile in "Sports Illustrated." He says he's reinvented himself, that he's a changed man. He's now a columnist for "World Net Daily." And I spoke with John Rocker and asked him about that 1999 profile and how he's changed since then.
JOHN ROCKER, COLUMNIST, WORLD NET DAILY & FORMER ATLANTA BRAVES PLAYER: I've been three or four years removed from high school, small-town Georgia. It was a little bit eye-opening and awakening and like, OK. Obviously, since then, I've matured, been all over the world and things like that. But at the time, it was a little bit unnerving. I'm not going to lie to you. The homophob comments were a little inappropriate.
LEMON: Why do you regret that?
ROCKER: I guess the definition would just be inappropriate in every way that the term can be used.
LEMON: You've grown up. Do you think you were just a dumb kid back then?
ROCKER: Dumb, inexperienced.
(END VIDEOTAPE) LEMON: It got you guys talking so I appreciate the comments. Some think he means it, others don't. Read my Twitter feed if you want to hear what people are saying about John Rocker. We're going to have more of my conversation with him in the NEWSROOM right here at 10:00 p.m. eastern, 7:00 pacific.
Roger Federer now dashes Britain's hope at Wimbledon and Serena Williams caps an amazing come back. We're talking tennis with Jon Wertheim, senior investigative report for "Sports Illustrated."
There's a new S.I., "Where Are They Now." Who's on the front? It's Earl Campbell, "Where Are They Now," Hall of Fame winner, Earl Campbell, by the way.
So, Jon, Wimbledon. So, we're watching Wimbledon and, across the 911 that they have in the news room, it didn't say that Roger Federer won. It said that what's his name, Murray --
JON WERTHEIM, SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: Andy.
LEMON: Andy Murray has lost Wimbledon. I'm like, OK, who won?
WERTHEIM: If Andy Murray had won this, British player, there hasn't been a British champion since the Holy Roman Empire. They would have knighted him on the spot. He won the first set, he was so close, then Roger Federer turned into the Federer we've come no know and love. Murray sort of broke down in tears addressing the crowd. Hadn't won in two years and did it again today.
LEMON: I was watching and was like, wait, what's going on here? You saw the loser had more time. And people were crying. Wait a minute, what about the guy who won? It's interesting, because Wimbledon, look where it's being held. And they have the 76 years, really? What does that mean for Federer?
WERTHEIM: This guy, greatest of all time. End of discussion. What's interesting, you mentioned Wimbledon. That's where the Olympic event is going to be held. This could be a preview for what we get in London with Olympic tennis. If Murray could win that, for instance, they would knight him again. He's 30 years old. Almost geriatric in tennis and he just played spectacularly well the last few weeks. And I think we already regard him as the best ever, but this really ends the discussion.
LEMON: Did you say 30 years old, he's geriatric in tennis. Serena's 30, too. She won Wimbledon as well. We have some pictures of that. She's been battling injuries for a couple of, a year now, right? She won her fifth Wimbledon title. How big a win was this for her?
WERTHEIM: Huge. You think at the stage, it's all gravy, but not really. The last event, she loses in the first round. Everybody says she's finished. She's had these injuries. Comes after this horrible first round, comes to the grass of Wimbledon and just steam rolls everyone. Again with the Olympics looming at this same venue, it's significant. But Serena's back on track. You can see from her emotions, this was not ordinary title.
LEMON: Can we just go back to Andy Murray just for a second. I asked you what it meant for Federer, but what does it mean for Murray? This is a huge accomplishment for him and the British people were very happy about how far he got.
WERTHEIM: You know, he's one match away. Been to four grand slam finals. British player at Wimbledon. Every newspaper, he was on the front page. I can't imagine the ratings this match did. And to see him come this close, you hope he can say, hey, I got to the final, got within a couple of sets against the great Roger Federer. He's got to be gutted now.
LEMON: Can I talk to you quickly about Jeremy Lin? He may be traded, but there could be a hitch.
WERTHEIM: He's got to decide between the Houston Rockets and staying in New York. Huge story. Linsanity, it was great. He made less than a million dollars last year. The Knicks made $50 million off Jeremy Lin. He's got to decide, do I go to Houston where it's going to be caller and less hype but also less commercial opportunities, or do I stay in New York. Could be another crazy season. I've been told by NBA people, it's really 50/50. It's not a formality that he's staying in New York. He's really going to contemplate these two offers. But good for him for getting paid.
LEMON: Oh, wow. Woo. That could be interesting. All right. Yes, he was living in, remember, that small apartment, and everyone's like, what's he doing? He's got --
Thank you, Jon Wertheim.
WERTHEIM: Thank, Don.
LEMON: Much appreciated.
WERTHEIM: Thanks, Don.