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Romney Delivers Foreign Policy Remarks; Obama Campaign Adviser On Romney Remarks; Tanks, Shells Pound Aleppo, Syria; Rebels Surround Syrian Army Base; Church Bans Black Couple's Wedding; Sleeping With Your Pets; All Eyes on Swimming, Basketball; Uproar Over Empty Seats At Events; Hyundai Recalls 222,000 Cars; Jerusalem Market Great For Street Food
Aired July 29, 2012 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROB MARCIANO, CNN ANCHOR: You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rob Marciano in today for Fredricka Whitfield.
We begin in Israel where Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gets tough on Iran in a speech to Israelis, but also aimed at U.S. voters.
Let's bring in right now CNN's Sara Sidner in Jerusalem where Romney just delivered that speech. Sara, set the stage for us there.
SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he was standing with the old city behind him, a very beautiful picture and one that very much talks of the region that he is in. But he had some very, very strong words about Iran.
This is really the first major foreign policy speech that we're hearing from Mitt Romney. He chose Israel as the place where he would give that speech. You can hear there the applause, the Israelis in the audience really liked what he said.
He talked of Iran. He talked of the fact that he believes that the United States has to lead the effort in preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Iran has denied it is trying to obtain nuclear weapons, saying that its nuclear program is only aimed at trying to build its electricity supply. But that is not something that Tehran or Israel believes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We should employ any and all measures to dissuade the Iranian regime from its nuclear course and it is our fervent hope that diplomatic and economic measures will do so.
In the final analysis, of course, no option should be excluded. We recognize Israel's right to defend itself and that it is right for America to stand with you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER: Romney also said that he believed that security of Israel is a vital point in the national security of the United States. He really, really made a push to show that he stands behind Israel and would stand behind Israel if it decided to attack Iran because of Iran's perceived quest for nuclear weapons.
So a very strong statement there, both tying himself to Iran and really damning Iran and how -- sorry, tying itself to Israel and damning Iran for what he believes is its perseverance in trying to get nuclear weapons.
One thing he said though as he's trying to court for sure the Jewish vote. A new poll that came in the U.S. said that 68 percent of the Jewish voting bloc actually would vote for Obama.
He's hoping perhaps to get some of those voters to come over and vote for him especially in the swing states such as Florida. But he says something that's certainly angered Palestinians here.
Because in the beginning of his speech, he said that he was very happy and moved to be in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. Why is that significant?
Well, since 1967, no U.S sitting president has recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, because of a dispute over East Jerusalem in the 1967 war. Palestinians believe Jerusalem should be their capital in a two- state solution -- Rob.
MARCIANO: Sara Sidner live for us in Jerusalem. Thank you, Sara.
Reaction to Romney's remarks came swiftly from the Obama campaign. Tim Roemer, the foreign policy advisor to the president's campaign, spoke with CNN's Candy Crowley.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM ROEMER, OBAMA CAMPAIGN FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER: The threshold for Governor Romney, quite frankly, Candy, is this -- is he equipped, is he prepared to be a commander in chief.
And when he gets off on the first leg of this trip and he goes to Great Britain and he insults the British people and David Cameron, the prime minister and the mayor of London both rebuke him, the question becomes this.
If he can't engage our allies on a simple topic like the international Olympics, how is he going to be tough enough to stand up to our gravest enemies like Iran?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARCIANO: That Obama advisor speaking earlier today with CNN's Candy Crowley.
Well, you can hear Mitt Romney's full speech in Jerusalem during our 5:00 p.m. Eastern hour right here on CNN.
Now to Syria where rebels and government forces are still fighting to gain control of Aleppo, the country's commercial center. At least 10 people were killed in Aleppo, a total of 88 are dead across the country.
Syrian state TV says rebels suffered big losses after clashes with three neighborhoods in Aleppo. Our Ivan Watson is live on the phone from Northern Syria. Ivan, what are you seeing there today?
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, for the past hour and a half I've been watching a rebel attack on a Syrian army base located just outside the northern limits of that city of Aleppo.
It started around sunset with a great deal of rocket fire and mortar fire and machine gun fire and we've basically been watching constant tracer fire at night focused on this Syrian army base and emerging from this Syrian army base.
The rebels seem to be attacking this base, which has an estimated 14 tanks and about more than 200 soldiers from many different directions. I've traveled in the villages around this army base.
They are almost surrounded by sympathizers and supporters of the rebels. The army base appears to have called an outside artillery support.
It sounds like it's come all the way from the city of Aleppo just a few miles away with heavy artillery lobbing shells miles towards a nearby town next to the army case.
We have visited that town. It is run by the rebels, but it is also completely depopulated of civilians and very much battle scarred by previous battles.
I suspect the army base itself has stronger weapons, had better guns, has tanks, but they are surrounded by rebels. I imagine it is a very scary night for the Syrian soldiers inside.
In fact, we've been listening in on one of the rebel radios. They claim they have taken out one of the army tanks with a rocket propelled grenade launcher.
MARCIANO: The Syrian government warning the rebels that they would not take Aleppo. What about those civilians you said that town just on the outskirts, deserted. Where are the civilians going?
WATSON: They're scattering to the four winds, in some cases civilians flee to what they believe are safer villages or towns where their relatives are. Some of them run across the border to nearby Turkey.
In the case of this battle where you're hearing heavy artillery, constant machine gun fire being sprayed all over the place, we're watching this from a vantage point we believe is a safe distance back.
What's striking is that just maybe two miles away from where the battle is raging -- there was a huge explosion just now -- just a few miles away, families are kind of sitting on their balconies. Children are walking around. There was a call to prayer recently and they're behaving as if nothing happened. I have seen a constant stream of motorcycles loaded with families coming from the direction of the battle itself.
In some case it is five, six family members on a single motorbike, which is a sign of how frightening it must be closer to where the battle is raging.
MARCIANO: Ivan, you just said there was a huge explosion. How big is that one compared to what you've seen so far and how close is it to your vantage point?
WATSON: Well, it is probably a distance of maybe two -- well, I shouldn't really say over phones that are perhaps open to ears that may not be far away from me. I can't give away my position.
The biggest explosions we've seen so far are the heavy artillery that are being fired from the direction of the city of Aleppo itself.
In those cases, you hear the cannon fire and it can be up to 20 seconds later that the shell crashes in to that rebel held town of Amadan where there is no electricity whatsoever but then you'll still see a huge flash from the shell crashing in to the town.
And another striking thing is from the army base itself, at times the machine guns that are defending it are firing in three different directions at once, which really illustrates how much they feel they're surrounded.
And they're firing directly into surrounding villages and towns that have electricity, that have some residents still living with them. It looks like they're firing blindly into surrounding communities.
And that's a pattern we've seen during our week here, that these army bases, which are surrounded by rebel sympathizers, communities that are completely against their government.
The army bases routinely rocket and fell residential communities every night which has driven much of the civilian population into fleeing these areas.
I would estimate more than half of the civilian contemplation here in Northern Syria has been uprooted by this conflict.
MARCIANO: Ivan Watson reporting live for us from Northern Syria where fighting obviously is intensifying. Thank you, Ivan. Stay safe.
A church in Mississippi bans one couple's wedding and when you hear why, you may be just as shocked as they were when they found out.
MARCIANO: A couple in Crystal Springs, Mississippi said they had to find a new place to get married just because they're black. They had already printed and mailed the invitations. But just after their wedding rehearsal, they say at First Baptist Church, which they attend regularly, told them not so fast, you can't get married here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TE'ANDREA WILSON, WEDDING BANNED AT CHURCH: He had people in the sanctuary pitching a fit about us being a black couple. I didn't like it at all because I wasn't brought up to be racist.
DR. STAN WEATHERFORD, PASTOR, FIRST BAPTISH CHURCH: This had never been done here before. So it was setting a new precedence and there were those who reacted to that because of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARCIANO: The pastor who you just heard ended up presiding over the wedding ceremony at a different church down the street. Some church members tell a local paper that they were outraged to hear what happened. They say it was only a small group of parishioners who protested the wedding.
Turning to health news -- sleeping with your pets is not so unusual. Many people do it, but is it a healthy idea? Elizabeth Cohen takes a look at what you need to be aware of in this week's "Health For Her."
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When David Dreher married Kristin Grimm, he knew he'd be sharing a bed, not only with his new wife, but also with her dog. Space was limited.
DAVID DREHER, PET OWNER: I like to spread out and stretch across the bed. That's certainly hard to do when he's lying right next to you.
COHEN: David and Kristin live with their dogs, Olivia and Hudson. Hudson shares the bed with them causing a few awkward moments.
KRISTEN GRIMM, DOG OWNER: David gets in his spot, I get in my spot, the best case scenario is Hudson's in the middle. But then if sometimes David gets up to brush his teeth, of course, Hudson will move into his spot.
COHEN: But both owners don't mind because the dogs are like part of the family.
DR. BARRY DICICCO, PULMONARY AND CRITICAL CARE SPECIALISTS OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA: It's -- by and large, a safe activity, but the pet needs to be healthy.
COHEN: Doctors say although they can keep you warm at night, sleeping with cats and dogs can affect your sex life, cause allergies and put you in danger in certain diseases.
For instance, pets can carry ticks that transmit Lyme disease and your furry friends can also interrupt your sleep patterns. DICICCO: We call that sleep fragmentation and you tend to be less rested, tend to be less alert. The ability to concentrate is diminishes, memory may be impaired.
COHEN: But there is the element of companionship. David suffers from some allergies but he doesn't mind. He and Kristin agree there is a certain comfort to having a pet in the bed. With this week's "Health For Her," I'm Elizabeth Cohen.
MARCIANO: An Olympic mystery solved. The IOC says they now know who the woman was walking with India's team at the opening ceremony.
MARCIANO: In London, it is day two of the 2012 Olympic Games. Medals are stacking up for China and the USA. China is leading with six golds so far followed by the U.S. with three and Italy has two.
Our Becky Anderson is watching it all from London's Olympic Park. Becky, lots of events today on tap, including swimming. Ryan Lochte took the gold yesterday. What do you expect to see today?
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Well, we've just nailed -- or you have certainly, Team USA, have just nailed another gold in the pool just behind me here. Dana Vollmer with a world record of 55.98 in the 100 meters fly final, a terrible end, I've got to say, to the race. She absolutely stormed to victory.
Another gold for Team USA. You've got Ryan Lochte through the final in the 200 meters. He got beaten in the semi-final by the German, Biedermann, but he'll be there for the finals.
Of course, Michael Phelps back in the water for the second of his seven events, along with Ryan Lochte in the 4x100 freestyle relay. You can pretty much cross your fingers that you're going to get a gold in that.
Your nemesis team, the Australians also in that relay, but cross fingers you may come out with another gold by the end of the evening in the pool as well. It's been a great day so far as Team USA has been concerned and it will, I'm sure, continue at this point in the pool.
MARCIANO: Becky, I appreciate you cheerleading for the U.S. squad. I know that can't be all that easy. But listen, there's excitement today also from the pool to the hardwood.
The men's basketball team, I took a peek at what they were doing. They were pretty much putting on a clinic. How is the team doing now?
ANDERSON: Yes, they did well, 98-71 against the French. The 2012 version of the Dream Team, their first game against the French early on today, Kevin Durant top score with 22 points. Kobe Bryant on for 10 minutes scoring 12. No sign that the big guns are being rested. I can tell you, Lebron James on for 24 minutes. Both James and Bryant have said that this year's team could beat that original 1992 Dream Team. Everybody's got their Olympic hopes and dreams I guess at London 2012.
It was only the beginning, of course, of the men's basketball, but lots of excitement there. Michelle Obama is there at the side of the arena to cheer those boys on today just about two or three hours ago.
MARCIANO: Becky, a lot of this is tape delay so I apologize our American viewers who are holding out for prime time, we may have given away stuff. You know what I saw last night, Becky?
There are so many empty seats in the stands at some of these events. What do organizers say about this? What are they doing about it?
ANDERSON: Yes. Fans have been really frustrated by this. The organizers have apologized effectively and said that when you saw scenes of sort of 500 seats empty, one block in the swimming alone yesterday, which featured Lochte and Phelps, for example.
You saw a thousand seats empty at the gymnastics. The British team actually did pretty well, the host nation, you saw empty seats all over the stadia.
At the beginning of an event like this, they say the sponsors didn't pick up all their tickets, but what they decided was to donate many of these tickets to servicemen who have been brought in to run security.
You will see a lot of British servicemen, and rightly so, in those seats. That's what they've decided to do. But it is wrong when you consider most of them were basically sold out way in advance.
MARCIANO: Many of us would love to be there. Thank you for reporting for us. Becky Anderson live for us from London.
Well, Hyundai recalling nearly a million cars. We'll tell you which ones and why.
MARCIANO: Top stories today -- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney continues his overseas tour. In Israel, Romney was talking tough on Iran. He also declared Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state.
He did not say if he would order U.S. embassy to move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem if he wins the White House, but strongly suggested that in an earlier interview with CNN.
Another big car recall to tell you about, this one from Hyundai. The company is reporting problems with its air bags in some of its vehicles.
First the front passenger air bags of 200,000 Santa Fe SUVs may not deploy properly in a crash and side airbags in 22,000 Sonata sedans may inflate for no reason at all. Owners will be notified this week about free repairs.
And normally Elise Labott is producing for us out of the State Department and around the world when she's traveling with our diplomats and reporting for us, well, she loves Jerusalem. Not just for the international stories, but for one fabulous market. Here's Elise's "Travel Insider."
ELISE LABOTT, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT REPORTER: Jerusalem's old city is famous for its history and culture, but I love to come to this market. This is where you're going to find the real tastes and smells of Israel.
Outside the market you have the freshest fruits and vegetables. The produce in this country is really incredible. Inside the market they have all these breads and sweets and dried fruits and nuts and all these great nibbly things that they call bissets here.
There is also a whole alley of different restaurants where people can come and eat lunch. But the thing that I like the most about this market is you can find Israelis and Palestinians from all walks of life here.
No matter what the divisions are in this country, everyone can agree on one thing -- good food. Elise Labott, CNN, Jerusalem.
MARCIANO: I'll be back in one hour and we'll have the story of a troubling outbreak of the Ebola virus in Uganda and how American health organizations are trying to stop it from spreading.
Also tune it at 5:00 where we replay the entire Mitt Romney speech in Jerusalem. Stay with CNN. "YOUR MONEY" starts after the break.