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President Obama Fundraising Marathon in Chicago; Olympic Games Close Today; Lolo Jones Felt the Heartbreak of Finishing Without a Medal
Aired August 12, 2012 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: All right. Welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
OK. So it's a fundraising marathon for President Barack Obama. He is attending five events today in Chicago with ticket prices ranging from $51 to $40,000. He just wrapped up his second event, a fundraising rally to a crowd of young voters. The president had this to say about Mitt Romney's new running mate, congressman Paul Ryan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to congratulate Congressman Ryan. I know him. I welcome him to the race. Congressman Ryan is a decent man. He is a family man. He is an articulate spokesman for Governor Romney's vision. But it's a vision that I fundamentally disagree with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: CNN's Athena Jones is outside the rally.
Athena, you have - even though the president was complementary, he said that vision has something of the likes of fairy dust in it.
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fredricka.
Yes, it was a big 20 minute speech or so. The first public remarks we have seen from the president responding to Romney's choice of congressman Ryan. Of course, we don't know what he told the first fundraiser of the day which was closed to our cameras, close to press completely. But again he says that he likes Paul Ryan but he doesn't stand as the same to the presidency. They are trying to link Ryan and Romney or with Romney, I should say, to Ryan's budget proposals which they say are radical and aren't good for ordinary people. We are talking about efforts to shrink government dramatically by slashing spending on programs, making changes to Medicare and Medicaid and that sort of things.
And so, he was sort of trying to rev up the crowd as you mentioned. This was the event geared more towards young people. The tickets cost $51 which is the birthday the president celebrated earlier this month. You know, that crowd saying happy birthday to him before he could begin speaking. He is off to three more events. So, a big day -- five fundraisers in one town. I don't know if he has done this before. I tried to ask the campaign that. The target they presume, he has never done it, but it is certainly rare and this is the city to do it, rev up the hometown crowd and get cash -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: And then on his way to other parts of Midwest, Iowa, being to spend a significant amount of time there, right?
JONES: That's right. He heads to Iowa tomorrow. He will have a seven-city tour. It's a lot of cities. It is almost like it is the primary campaign from back 2007. But of course, Iowa is the state that Obama won in 2008. But right now, polls are showing it looks like a tossup. And so, it only has six electoral votes but it is a symbolic scene. This is place where it all really began for President Obama then candidate Obama at that time before he won that caucus. His candidacy was seen as kind of a long shot campaign. And so, that's the win the really lift the fire and they certainly want to keep that state blue column.
So, three of us to a story tomorrow - Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right, Athena Jones in Chicago. Thanks so much.
So, members of the Democratic National Committee are trailing Mitt Romney's bus tour with a bus tour of their own. Their logo reads Romney economics, the middle class under the bus. This weekend they pulled in to rally to stage this demonstration but Romney wasn't there. The Republican presidential candidate cancelled his appearance in a rally to fit in a stop in Ryan's home state of Wisconsin. The mayor of Minneapolis was there and blasted the GOP ticket's tax policies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR R.T. RYBAK (D), MINNEAPOLIS: It's clear what we have now is a team that says that it's really a great idea to make massive cuts to the very, very wealthy at the expense of the middle class.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Mitt Romney is promoting his economic vision on his bus tour. He and his new running mate, Paul Ryan made just stop today in North Carolina. It is the second stop in the Romney's four states tour.
CNN's national political correspondent, Jim Acosta is there.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: With Paul Ryan a little more than 24 hours in his role as Mitt Romney's running mate, there is a race to define the Wisconsin congressman with Democrats stepping up their attacks and knowing that Ryan once proposed a partial privatization of the Medicare program, Mitt Romney at two events here in north Carolina described Ryan as someone who came to Washington in his late 20s when he was elected to congress.
Here is what Romney had to say earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He planned on doing something else with his career, but you know, he looked at the country and recognized the real challenges we had and decided to go and try to make a difference. And so he went to Washington not to get along with everybody but instead to bring new ideas and help bring people together on both sides of the aisle. You see, he is someone who recognizes that there are sometimes honest differences between honest people. And he went there to change minds and find people across the aisle he can work with and he has done it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Meanwhile, the Obama campaign is rationing up its rhetoric Obama campaign senior strategist David Axelrod said on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" that Ryan is what he call in quote, "a right wing audio log."
Now, as for Romney-Ryan, they will be wrapping up their day campaigning together in Wisconsin where the campaign is billing as a homecoming for Paul Ryan. And then Ryan goes out on his own, with a solo mission. He will be campaigning in Iowa on Monday, the same day President Obama will be in the state.
Jim Acosta, CNN. North Carolina.
WHITFIELD: So, who is Paul Ryan? We will have details on the man Mitt Romney picked as vice president 7:00 Eastern this evening.
All right, New York City police shot and killed a man who they say was wielding a knife near Times Square. The incident happened in broad daylight an area that popular with tourists and shoppers. Police say they approached the 51-year-old man because he was smoking what appears to be a marijuana cigarette, that's when they say the man waved this six inch blade at them and advanced on the officers. A witness explains what happened next.
All right, we don't have that witness account. The officers meantime involved in the shooting are on administrative duty while the incident is being reviewed.
An early morning collision between a U.S. Navy destroyer and a tanker shook both ships. It happened near the Strait of Hormuz in the Middle East. The guided missile destroyer rather USS quarter collided with a Japanese owned tanker. No one on either ship was injured. The porter is now docked and repairs have started. Navy investigators are assessing the damage. But the collision left a huge gash, as you see right there, in the porter side.
And she is one of the best known athletes at the London games. How Lolo Jones says she is coping with the pressure she says she gets from all sides.
WHITFIELD: All right, checking some international stories this hour. Officials in Iran say rescue operations are over after the earthquakes struck northwestern Iran. At least 250 people were killed and more than 2,000 hurt. The quakes destroyed scores of villages and damaged historic monuments in the area.
And then on to Syria, the opposition claims President Assad's force had executed ten young men Holms. And in the city of Aleppo rebels are facing tanks, artillery and cyber fire from regime forces. Rebels are trying to hold their ground against Assad's troops who had better military equipment.
Egypt now. President Mohamed Morsi has ordered two top generals to retire and two new officials have been sworn in. The Egyptian leader has also cancelled a constitutional decree issued by the army limiting presidential powers.
Lolo Jones felt the heartbreak of finishing without a medal in the 100 hurdles in London but she is still leaving London as one of the best known athletes at the games. I spoke to her earlier about her performance and the pressure of being an Olympian.
WHITFIELD: How do you assess it all at this point?
LOLO JONES, U.S. OLYMPIAN: Yes. Well, it's -- obviously I'm not, you know, over thrilled with the results. But I'm pleased, very pleased with my effort, you know. Just - because I had a lot of setbacks this year. The injuries were, you know, they kept coming and I fought through it all. And you know, I made the team and when - even when I'm like a lot of people said I wouldn't make the Olympic team. And so, despite through all that, I'm just really proud of myself. It wasn't the fastest time I ran in my life but it was the fastest I ran this year. So, I was really pleased.
WHITFIELD: You are an inspiration in so many ways. I know there is tremendous pressure an Olympian puts on oneself, the coaches, others surround you put on, corporate sponsors. From which has the pressure really been the toughest?
LOLO JONES: Well, I think you hit all of them. I mean, they are all kind of equal because you have the corporate sponsor that invest in you and, you know, they actually make the dream financially possible because without them, I mean, you can't train, you can't travel. So, you have the pressure to kind help make sure that you are making their effort into you like worth it all.
And then your family, like just seeing my family afterwards, you know, they are going to say they are proud regardless. But I mean I could just feel like I just let them down. And then also just everybody even people you don't know. You are representing a country. And I represented team USA. And I just -- I felt like I let them down when I didn't get the medal but I was pleased because my other two teammates, they both got second and third. So, it is a team effort but at the same time like man, did I like, I don't know like I feel I didn't do my part. So, it is a total effect. WHITFIELD: What has been the most challenging? Dealing with the tough competition on the track or dealing with the media, dealing with the social media?
LOLO JONES: Well, obviously my competition on the track is always going to be difficult. But I think I get a lot of peace from running. And so, I'm used to dealing with the pressures at track. The social media, I think of the athletes are still kind learning how to kind navigate through that. And you know, I learned a lot through this Olympics. And I would say the social media is harder because you can't please everyone. It doesn't matter if you are an angel out here.
And you know, even Usain Bolt, he is winning. You know, he is double repeat Olympic champion about to be triple. And I'm pretty sure that he, if I went through his twitter timeline he had people there saying I hate you like or just this and that negative comments about him. So, I think social media is from what I am talking with other athletes it is one of the hardest things because we are trying to reach out to our fans. We want to like interact with them but at the same time, there is always going to be somebody out there who is going to say something hurtful.
WHITFIELD: And I know, you are still living in the moment, but have you been thinking about the, what is next for Lolo Jones?
LOLO JONES: Yes. I'm just trying to figure out. It's weird. Track is different. We have -- this isn't our last race or last competition. So, we have like another four more races. And so, I'm trying to figure out which races I will run in. So yes, that's my immediate future.
But you know, obviously I will reiterate that you know, 2016 is always going to be my last Olympic. So, I will be there. Gale Diever (ph), thank you for the call and tell, you know, she was like at 33 she broke the American record and at 37 she won her last gold medal. So, I really appreciate Gale calling me and making sure I didn't retire at a young age of 30 for hurdles.
WHITFIELD: All right, Lolo Jones.
All right, we are going to take you back to London in a few minutes for a wrap of some of the best stories of the games with our sports guy, Mike Pesca.
All right, first we are going to get reaction from the imam of a Tennessee mosque that opened today after two years of protest and court cases.
WHITFIELD: All tight. You can actually smell what the drought is doing to lakes and rivers across the country. This is lake side, California. Dead fish turning up killed by rising water temperatures and drastically lower water levels, both of which reduced the oxygen supply. Locals say they have never seen the lake this low. In fact, the state is pumping water into the lake to try to keep it alive.
Something else resulting from the drought, dust. A huge dust storm seemingly or dust clouds has seemed to have engulfed the city. A local meteorologist says whether this can dry can easily trigger a dust storm. This had winds of up to 40 miles per hour and visibility reduced so much that police had to close roads.
A Tennessee mosque that opponents have been trying to keep closed held prayer services for the first time on Friday. The Islamic center in Murfreesboro faced two years of court challenges, protests and even an arson attack. Some opponents said they feared mosque leaders are trying to spread radical Islam, but after a federal court ruling the center opened under a temporary permit. Earlier I spoke to Ossama Bahloul. He is the imam of the Murfreesboro Islamic center. I asked him what it felt like to hold the first prayer service.
OSSAMA BAHLOUL, INAM, MURFREESBORO ISLAMIC CENTER: It felt really so special. It felt so wonderful. I was standing the other side of the facility watching people entering the venue, Islamic center. Remembering what they used to say. I was looking to the children and so many of them went through a rough time. So many of them have doubt about this facility existing and us being able to bring in the new facility.
I was enjoying the children smiling and the laughing eventually because for a while those children couldn't be excited about this project because of what we have been through. I was looking to an older member of the community walk into the new facility crying because actually they used to say we are not sure if we will be able to have the new facility.
I was -- it felt so good and so right. It felt so normal. It felt that we are in America.
WHITFIELD: So, how hurtful has it been that opponents of the mosque of the prayer center have expressed concerns about radical messages that might be spread within the confines of the building and even within the community. Do you feel like you have helped change the minds or do you feel like you still have to convey to people the kinds of messages that which you speak just a moment ago saying these are, you know, messages of peace that you are spreading within this mosque?
BAHLOUL: The Muslim community is really a part of the American dream. It is a part of American dream. It is a part of American society. The Muslim community is a member of the country. They contribute, pay taxes and share what we have in mind with others. So, as of the people who is in the opposition, we said to them so many times, our door remains open and we welcome any criticism and we are open to any kinds of questions you have to us, for anything that you have. But please, when we answer try to listen to us. We spoke against any radicalism of any kind and I said the Muslim community along to this non-Muslim community standing to firm against to any violence or any radical view of any kind.
WHITFIELD: We will talk more about tolerance or lack thereof in a moment. Also this evening, you can catch Soledad O'Brien's documentary "unwelcome the Muslims next door." That's tonight 8:00 and 11:00 Eastern time, right here on CNN.
And for the first time since the shooting massacre the Sikh temple in Wisconsin held an emotional and public prayer meeting. We'll take you inside.
WHITFIELD: All right today, is an emotional day for American Sikhs especially those in Wisconsin. Worshippers held their first prayer service since the gunman burse into their temple a week ago killing six people. Today's service honors those who died and appeals for peace and greater understanding. The temple also added extra security. Tonight in Lafayette Park across from the White House there will be a candle light vigil for the victims in Wisconsin.
Tragedy at that Sikh temple focused many people's attention on what some see as growing religious tension in the U.S. On Friday in Islamic center open in Murfreesboro Tennessee, but it took two years of court battling during which time the facility suffered vandalism a bomb threat and an arson attack. And just last week a mosque in Joplin, Missouri was burned to the ground, its second fire in a month.
I'm joined by Reza Aslan. He is the author of the book, "No God but God."
Reza, I mean, you can't really make sense of all of these things happening. But is there like a common denominator? Does it speak to the tolerance or lack thereof in this country and if it is building?
REZA ASLAN, AUTHOR, NO GOD BUT GOD: Well, if there is no question that violent crimes against Muslim communities and against Sikhs have been on the rise over the last few years. In fact, it is on precedential level. The thing that is important to understand, however, is that this isn't an accident. This is a result of very well organized, well funded cobalt of individuals and organizations that have according to the center for American progress, spent some $43 million trying to convince Americans that Muslims despite being less than one percent of the population of the United States are on the verge of a total takeover of this country.
WHITFIELD: When things like this were happening immediately following 9/11 that was the event that was being blamed. But now so many years far removed what is happening?
ASLAN: You know in fact, Anti-Muslim sentiment in this country is far higher today than it was, I mean, the immediate after math of 9/11. WHITFIELD: Why not.
ASLAN: It's not just that - Well, it is not a just that it is - well, part of it has to do with what is said, the Islamic phobia industry that has made this the common cause. They spent millions of dollars on this. But more importantly, it is said, it has become main stream. I mean, we now have politicians like Michele Bachmann taking part and what even her own party refers to as a witch hunt against Muslims in the government. We have mainstream politicians like Newt Gingrich saying he wouldn't have Muslims serve on his cabinet anymore than he would have Nazis serve on his cabinet. When we have this kind of mainstream of anti-Muslim sentiment in this country, it is only natural that those who are on the fringes, who are themselves on hinges, are going to react with the kind of violence that we saw this last week.
WHITFIELD: Do you see it worsening before it gets better?
ASLAN: I think the only way it gets better is if people of faith, Christians, Jews especially realize that this is not an attack on Sikhs. This is not an attack on Muslims. This is an attack on America. Religious freedom isn't just one of our rights in this country. It is the right up on which this very country was founded, and anyone who sees religious minorities whether Sikhs or Jews or Muslims or whatever as un-American, is attacking this country and that we cannot put up with anymore. Instead of rewarding this kind of anti-Muslim sentiment as we tent to do in the political sphere, we need to say enough is enough. We will not tolerate it any longer.
WHITFIELD: Reza Aslan of - author of "No God but God," thanks so much for your time.
ASLAN: My pleasure, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: And a reminder. You can see a documentary this evening right here on CNN "unwelcome the Muslims next door" coming up 8:00 and 11:00 Eastern time, right here on CNN.
On to Aurora, Colorado. First lady Michelle Obama offered comfort to victims and family members of last month's theater shooting. She also talked with medical staffers who treated the wounded; thank them for their professionalism in a time of crisis. A dozen people died and 58 others were injured in that attack.
That shooting shattered a community's sense of security. Nick (INAUDIBLE) of CNN affiliate KUSA explains how a ticket give away may help lure movie goers back.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is Aurora.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got probably 30 or so left to give.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: This is aurora where going to the movies has become an act of defiance, an act of community. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were in line waiting to see the movie and it was sold out in that exact theater actually.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) almost saw batman that night.
Is that a response to the Century 16 shooting? He and his friend, Alexander Jones, knew many who were inside the night of July 20th.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A friend of mine A.J. Boik was there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: -- which is why they were there on this Saturday in Aurora.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We invite everyone just come and enjoy the movies again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: An in deem, volunteers raise the money to donate 1,300 tickets to strangers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Paid for your ticket this evening.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pure act of kindness. That's pretty mean.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to try to find something that was the exact opposite of what this guy did in the dark and to try to find a way to spread light.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Make no mistake, three weeks later the pain is still real.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My oldest daughter had a friend who was shot three times in the back. My youngest daughter at the last minute made the decision to go to a different theater.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: And now her son Alexander joins dozens of volunteers --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to let one person affect my whole life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: He is in pain by showing up and giving back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's OK, Mama.
WHITFIELD: Nick (INAUDIBLE) of CNN affiliate KUSA. Nick says in all, about 1,300 tickets were given out last night.
The Olympics are wrapping up. We'll go to London for a look at the best and the worst of the games.
WHITFIELD: This could be the last chapter in the Penn State sex abuse scandal. Right about now, the board of trustees is holding a conference call. Members will vote on whether to accept the NCAA sanctions imposed on the school following the Jerry Sandusky scandal. NCAA slaps Penn State with a $60 million fine, bans of football team from ball games for four years and instruct away 122 of the team's win, all of this, in punishment for failing to deal with the scandal.
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Chad Johnson who was formerly known as Chad Ochocinco is in a Florida jail on a domestic violence charge. Johnson has accused of head butting his wife, reality TV star, Evelyn Lozada.
Police say the two started arguing in the car when she found a receipt for condoms. Johnson claims they accidently butted heads. Lozada was treated at a hospital for a cut to her forehead.
The Olympic Games wrapping up today. The final medals being handed out. The U.S., walking away with another basketball gold, as well.
NPS Sorts correspondent, Mike Pesca, has been in London. He is with us now for smart Look at all illuminating behind you closing ceremonies underway.
So, let's start with - I can't -- you believe is the best and the worst. I know you really enjoyed the story of the judo champion, Kala Harrison. And that had a real impact on you in what way?
We are going to have to work out that audio because I'm not the only one who is not hearing Mike there. We will try to sort that out and get Mike back with us, let's so. We will take a short break and we will work out that little kink.
WHITFIELD: We are going to try this again. So much going on in London especially with the closing ceremonies underway right now. We are going to try again and talk with our Mike Pesca with the beautiful back draft of the Olympic stadium there.
So, you have some, you know, big high five moments and then you say there were some that, you know, leave a lot to be desired. Let's begin with the judo athlete that you liked so much and found inspiring.
MIKE PESCA, NPR SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. You know, as a journalist you try to guard against cliche, right? Every game is do or die. Everyone tried adversity. But here, you have Kala Harrison, a victim of sexual abuse, gets a new coach and excels in the sport of judo. She has a brilliant personality. She is as sincere an athlete as you will ever meet. And Lochte, Phelps, the men's basketball team, and the women's basketball team, they all deserve their applauses. But when you get an obscure sport like judo and everybody pays attention to you, for maybe one day in the summer, t is what the Olympics are all about.
WHITFIELD: Incredible. And then what about the men's relay team? I mean, a true champion running with a broken leg. PESCA: Yes. And the great thing about what Manteo Mitchell did in a preliminary heat. He has to go around the track once, 400 meters. Half way around, he breaks his leg. It is not like one of those things where afterwards I found out it was broken. Heard it pop, heard it snap, excruciating pain. He knew if he stopped they would be out of the medal rounds before they even got there. And he finished his race. And it is almost more poignant that the men didn't even go on to win a gold. They won a silver. Bahamas clipped them in the end.
But you know, we should still remember the name Manteo Mitchell in a way he epitomizes the Olympic spirit.
WHITFIELD: He really does.
PESCA: He is optimist in general.
WHITFIELD: Oh, my goodness. He had three people counting on him so really had to hang in there and just, you know, muscle through the pain, much to be admired there.
All right, how about things you think didn't work so well?
PESCA: You know, from the American point of view we won the most medals. Our women won two-thirds of the gold. Everything is great. There are a couple of sports it would be good if the American Olympic committed could address. There is no reason why we don't have male weight lifters. Why are we conceding this board to the Iranians? I was in a gym where 5,000 people were going crazy for Iran. Wouldn't it be great some lift off against Iran and kind show our strength symbolically?
And the other this is the sport of handball is an amazing sport. America should embrace it and we should start teaching it in our high schools, in our colleges and we do really well to field a team handball team in the future. I actually talk to USA basketball member, Russell Westbrook. He says he love handball, played it once. That dream team we have at basketball, they could also win a handball gold.
WHITFIELD: How you like that BMX?
PESCA: The BMX is pretty cool, a lot of slips, a lot of falls.
PESCA: And you know what, they are talking about skateboarding in the next Olympics. And that is what will take this event and make it appeal to youth. Modern pentathlon maybe the time is come and gone on that. I mean, I love the shoot, ride and swim, the combination, but maybe skateboarding is more relevant to the next generation.
WHITFIELD: Well, I hope they have fierce helmets like they do with the BMX because my goodness, those face plants, I mean ouch, are tough to watch.
Thanks so much.
PESCA: Try to wear your elbow pads.
WHITFIELD: Yes. Yes, the elbow pads too.
Mike Pesca, thanks so much. Enjoy the rest of your experience there in London. We look forward to seeing you back state side. You can catch Mike Pesca every week at this time if you like the conversation. I know you do because he brings so much. He will join us next Sunday 5:00 Eastern hour.
So, many memories to reflect on. And I have been privileged to attend four Olympic Games including London. But this time attending Olympic Games with my five-time medalist dad, Mal Whitfield was uniquely different.
WHITFIELD (voice-over): Serving in the Korean War as a Tuskegee airman gunnery sergeant couldn't stop his dreams of making history at the 1948 Olympic Games in World War II bomb scarred London.
So, why at 87 I can't wheelchair, a survivor of two strokes and deteriorated legs from decades of competitive world stage racing would Mal Whitfield put on the brakes now. Returning to London for the 38th Olympiad destined good medicine.
Dad, known as Marvelous Mal, because of his seemingly effortless style in the track and near undefeated winning streak in the 800meters, saw old London and friends of long ago with new eyes and lots of laughter.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is very different here.
WHITFIELD: Fellow 48er bronze long-jumper Herb Douglas, made the return, too.
HERB DOUGLAS, 1948 BRONZE LONG JUMPER: It's reliving what we did in 1948 and the majority that we have, were able to handle it now. Your dad and I couldn't handle it in 1948 but today we are ready.
WHITFIELD: 1968 Olympian, Bob Beamon, whose world record jump stood for more than 20 years, says he owes much of his Olympic success to men like dad.
BOB BEAMON, 1968 OLYMPIAN: I read about him through my coach, Larry Ellis. And he said, you know, he is as great ones that came before you. These are model guys to look at. So, this is just a real wonderful treat to have him here.
WHITFIELD: The journey to London with dad and my brother, Lonnie, was filled with golden moments like this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to take your picture.
WHITFIELD: At lunches and galas honoring unforgettable athletes. Other highlights, this historic super city of London transformed through a host of modern sports venues.
The beach volleyball here at the horses guard parade and of course, we have to pass by the queen's crib here at Buckingham palace.
A playful volleyball pits bites between the Skyline of Westminster Abby and the Queen's Palace guards. The fear of grid lock and frustration with the crush of 200,000 at a time at the Olympic park replaced with this reality.
Crowds, yes. Headaches, few.
What happens when an event ends and coincidence with rush hour, well, you cannot be claustrophobic. But hey, the bright side is, when you do get an Olympic ticker, you also get a travel card. That sends you about seven pounds or US team support dollar round trip.
Our trip a smooth ride fuelled by the inspiration of one marvelous Olympian forever touched by fellow athletes he calls his brothers. Together creating new memories in a city where they first made history 64 years ago.
WHITFIELD: And many of the 1948 Olympians told me this will be their last games to attend. It would be hard to top the kind of special reunions that took place this go around in London six decades after they competed together as team USA.
Now, a look at the top stories, the latest on the Penn State sex abuse scandal.
On Sunday, the board of trustees decided not to vote after all on whether to accept the sanctions imposed by the NCAA. This decision coming down just within minutes ago. It failed to give ten days notice of the vote.
No matter, the board's chair says the trustees totally support the university's present decision to accept the penalties. NCAA slapped Penn State with a $60 million fine, banned the football team from bowl games for four years and stripped away 112 of the wins all these punishment for failing to deal with the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
The presidential candidates are on the move today. Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney is headed to Wisconsin tonight and his new running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan there attending an evening rally in Ryan's home district. Earlier today, the GOP team made two stops in North Carolina where they blasted President Obama's economic record.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: I have good news for you and that is that this nation is going to come roaring back. There are some who are fearful that if we stay on the track we are on we are going to end up like Greece and we will have like Europe has the chronic high unemployment and the low wage growth and fiscal calamity right at the door. That is not the path will take us down. I see your president making us more and more like Europe. I don't want to be like Europe. I want to be like America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: After tonight's rally in Wisconsin a new GOP team splits up. Romney continues his bus tour in Florida and then Ryan heads to Iowa.
President Obama will also be in Iowa. He begins a three-day bus tour of that battle ground state tomorrow. Today, the president is in Chicago for five fundraisers, one doubled up as a rally to a group of young voters. The president told them the impact of this election will be huge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We cannot have a bigger choice in front of us than the one that we face in November. It's not just a choice between two candidates or two political parties. More than any other election this is a choice about two different visions for the country for two different directions of where America should go. And the direction that we choose, the direction you choose when you walk into that voting booth in November is going to make a difference not just in your life but in the lives of your children and grandchildren.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Tickets to Obama's fundraisers range from $51 to $40,000.
Officials in Iran say rescue operations are over after two strong earthquakes struck northwestern Iran. At least 250 people were killed and more than 2,000 hurt. The quake destroyed several villages and damaged historic monuments in the area. A series of aftershocks followed the quakes, including one measuring 4. 4.
Some big changes taking place in Egypt. President Mohamed Morsi has ordered two top generals to retire and two new officials have already been sworn in their place. The Egyptian leader has also camp with the constitutional decree issued by the army limiting presidential power.
Tea time, that time-honored of British tradition, is undergoing a bit of a change these days. It's being updated to lure a newer, younger clientele.
WHITFIELD: Olympic goers not only took in incredible medal events, they likely stopped at a few pubs while in London or tea parlors to enjoy a slice of British culture. While in London I caught up with jetsetter.com's Kate Maxwell who showed us tea time is undergoing a kind of renaissance.
WHITFIELD: So it's fascinating if tea parlors today are not conservative, stuffy.
KATE MAXWELL, TRAVEL EXPERT, JETSETTER.COM: No.
WHITFIELD: There are as many tea parlors as variety of teas.
MAXWELL: They really are. We're at sketch which has not one, but two parlors which have totally different decor. It's extremely eccentric. I mean, you can just look at the walls of this place for hours, couldn't you? It's absolutely stunning.
But there are all sorts of options for tea. If you want something traditional I'd recommend Clair gees (ph) which is just down the road from here and has been award-winning about for years for its softening tea, something a bit more quirky. The Barkley, another fantastic hotel not too far from here does a (INAUDIBLE) tea. They've been doing it for a while. And what they do is that every fashion season, they change the cakes and the biscuits to reflect what they've seen on the cat walk, which is amazing.
WHITFIELD: So, have they done in this large part to attract a different clientele that maybe --.
MAXWELL: I think so.
WHITFIELD: Associated with the more mature audience and now they want younger --
MAXWELL: Right, exactly. I mean, obviously, you know, places like the Ritz have been doing tea for years and years and years, but, yes, people want different things, and so for this year for the Olympics, there is a sport tea. So, I think they have a sponge that looks like a racetrack. There are all sorts of different things happening with tea in London.
And if you don't want to spend quite as much because some of these can set you back 30 or 40 pounds per head, it's a pretty big investment, in the park, which is in St. James Park, they do tea for 16 pounds 50 and you get a lovely park view. So, you got to see one of London's best world park at the same time while you are drinking your tea.
WHITFIELD: So you're drinking your tea and always getting something -- some sort of wonderful edible that goes with.
MAXWELL: Right, exactly. And there's some insight into London at the same time.
WHITFIELD: And I notice that some of these tea parlors, champagne seems to be incorporated into tea. How does that work?
MAXWELL: I suppose champagne is the drink of the upper classes. As we've discussed today, it's a very upper class social custom traditionally, drinking afternoon tea. Why not have a glass of champagne at the same time?
JONES: And, of course, one of the best souvenirs when you leave London or anywhere in the UK, you have to take home some tea with you. MAXWELL: Absolutely. Yes. Take some leaf tea and make sure off strainer so you can strain it into the cup and it makes a great present.
JONES: That's a great point because you go into these tea parlors, no bags allowed. No pinkies up.
MAXWELL: No pinkies up.
WHITFIELD: And no clinking with the spoon.
MAXWELL: Absolutely. You did very well.
WHITFIELD: I think I pass. Kate Maxwell, jetsetter.com. So great to see you in London, your home.
WHITFIELD: All right.
WHITFIELD: So, along with the tea parlor experience, you got to brush up on the tea etiquette. No pinkies after all. Kate Maxwell joining me every week. You can find a lot more travel tips from her and lots of other information on very cool destinations at jetsetter.com/CNN.
All right, that's going to do it for me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Have a great week. Much more of the CNN NEWSROOM straight ahead with Deb Feyerick, in for Don Lemon.