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CNN NEWSROOM

Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore in Spotlight

Aired June 17, 2007 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Out of control in Tennessee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Was it a tragedy waiting to happen?

Genarlow Wilson free. Not so fast, the attorney general said if he lets him out, hundreds of others could get out as well. Is he right? We checked the facts.

His campaign is the hottest thing in politics. Now a fire in the Washington home of presidential candidate Barack Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I am very grateful for the soldiers who are looking for my son, tirelessly looking for our boys.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Her son is one of the missing soldiers. What was found today that may lead to finding him. The answer in the CNN NEWSROOM.

And hello again, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez. We're over here because we're really on a quest for answers tonight. There's a couple things I want to show you. Six people are dead in Tennessee. And so far, nobody can give us a good explanation why.

This is a senseless and tragic accident. A souped-up drag racer putting on a thrilling show for moms and dads and kids on a hot sunny Saturday afternoon. And then this.

You see the person who's taking this video suddenly starts running in that direction. This video was captured at that horrific moment when suddenly the hot rod, the drag racer loses control of his vehicle, goes into the crowd. Six people are dead, about 15 other people are injured. Those have been taken to the hospital. Some of them critically. Two of the people dead are just children.

I want to show you something now. Jack and Claude in the control room, if you can, as we're looking at this video, I want you to freeze it when we can see the guardrail right here. You're going to see it right here on this side of your screen. Stop it! There it is. You see the guardrail right there. There's a guardrail that's actually stopping for those people where this camera person is.

But now go ahead and continue it, Jack and Claude. You'll see that where it actually makes impact with the crowd, there is no guardrail. There was some people who were there who have described the scene to us throughout the course of the day today. Here's what they had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lost control. Started fishtailing. And he kind of gained control a little bit. Then he lost it again. I guess he got back in it. Come around. Hit the light pole. Slid over. Hit the people on the four wheeler. I mean, there's bodies everywhere, flying through the air.

CODY WHITEHEAD, WITNESS: It was just extremely chaotic. There were at least two bodies of the deceased, that had already been covered up when we got here. Numerous injuries. That's when the medical helicopters from the surrounding hospitals started coming in, the ambulance agencies and everything like that. It was really something to see.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: You know, it's interesting because that word chaotic keeps on being used. Here's the pictures that we've been getting, the very first pictures that came in yesterday as we are watching. You heard that one witness describing the light pole that was hit, that was knocked over, that seemed to actually end up landing on top of people. They had utility crews out there right after it happened. There you see part of it there. There you see part of the banner that goes over the highway.

This is a four-lane road that goes through this area where they were doing this seeming drag race, which makes all of us and many of you start to ask the question about why this happened. Why would they be having a drag race? 20 to 40,000 people are invited to the event every year. So thousands of people were lined up along the side of the road.

Let's bring in CNN's Sean Callebs. He's been following the story from Selmer, Tennessee.

I know, Sean, you got to the scene earlier this afternoon. You've had a chance to talk to the mayor. Have you gotten a sense of why this seems to us to be almost a tragedy waiting to happen?

SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's interesting because you talk to the people here in this area, and this is an event. It's called Cars for Kids, a charitable event, that every year draws tens of thousands of people to the area, not just this area, this stretch of road where I'm standing on right now.

We heard you talk extensively about that guardrail where that video was taken. If you look back behind me, you can see a yellow sign with a stoplight on it. That is where those pictures were taken. They were taken by Kiley and Renay Jones. We had a chance to talk with both of them. And Renay, who's actually one of the camera, Rick, tells me she was looking through the view finder and simply couldn't believe what she was seeing.

This was a stunt that was preplanned. The city knew about it. The authorities knew about it. What was supposed to happen? The souped up dragster, and here you see it's caught on tape, just revved its engine. It was only supposed to happen for a couple of seconds, but something went horribly wrong.

I want you to come off that video right now. If you can look at what we are right here, you can see some of the skidmarks that are in the street.

Now the first -- apparently the wheels locked up here. And then the car careened down this road a little bit more. The utility pole you're talking about is the second utility pole. At the base, there are a number of candles.

What you're looking at right now is a sort of spontaneous candlelight vigil, Rick, that happened earlier this evening. And we saw a number of people, at least a small handful of people, who had either their legs in bandages, their arms in bandages. Clearly, this is something that has left an indelible mark on this area.

A lot of people simply didn't want to talk about it. You could look at their faces. You could see the shock, the traumatic experience that the people who were here yesterday had to endure.

And mind you, this is an event, Rick, that had between 40 and 60,000 people, most of them lined up along this road for the parade simply to watch these muscle cars pull into town.

And we talked to the mayor about this as well. Because right now, no criminal charges have been filed. But we know that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation as well as the state patrol are investigating. Here's what the mayor had to say about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID ROBINSON, MAYOR, SELMER, TENNESSEE: Going forward, I can assure you that it will be looked at extensively by not only our police department, but certainly safety engineers and all. If we have to move it, we'll move it or take whatever measures we have to take to ensure the safety of our citizens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CALLEBS: Now the driver of this vehicle is said to still be in town. Troy Kritchi. Rick, we had a chance to talk with the investigators. They say they have spoken with him much of the past two days. We know there's a news conference tomorrow to talk about any kind of investigation that has progressed to this point. The D.A. is supposed to be there. So at this point, perhaps we'll know if they're going to move in the direction of criminal charges or not.

SANCHEZ: Well, it, you know, maybe it's a cultural thing. And a lot of viewers can understand that. And we probably need to be sensitive to that, Sean, but are they rethinking the idea of having as you said 40, maybe as many as 60,000 people sitting on the side of a road with a car going that can go from zero to 200 miles an hour in front of them without a guardrail and without a barricade?

CALLEBS: Without question. The mayor was asked that. You know, he said obviously in hindsight. Everybody has 20/20 hindsight. They wished they would have done things differently. In the future, they will.

And what's also amazing this is a charitable event, this Cars for Kid, that actually started back in 1990. And it was started by an individual whose son was critically injured in a bicycle wreck. And at that point, he said if his son was able to live, he was going to devote his life to raising money for children. So this is a tragedy on so many levels.

SANCHEZ: Yes, boy, what an irony. Sean Callebs, thanks so much for hustling and getting out there and bringing us the story firsthand right there - thanks so much.

Here's another story that we're going to be following throughout the course of the day. New clues, new questions, and maybe new hope. We got more to tell you tonight about the search for those two missing U.S. soldiers that we've been telling you about in Iraq.

Well, here they are. We're going to be able to show you some of them here. That's Private Byron Fouty. You see him there on the left. Specialist Alex Jimenez. You see him on the right. We found out yesterday the soldiers' military IDs were found in an insurgent safe house. This is just north of Baghdad. And tonight, we're learning that there were other items there that were found as well. That's promising -- information like some of their own notes, some valuables from their pictures of loved ones. Who's doing all she can to hold on to hope now? Family members.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARIA DEL ROSARIO DURAN, SPEC. JIMENEZ MOTHER (through translator): I haven't lost hope. I am trying to remain as positive as I can all the time. I remain positive and I keep praying and asking God to get me through this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Again, that's Specialist Jimenez' mother. The soldiers' IDs and other items found in Samarra. It's about 100 miles from where they were abducted.

Here's a map, by the way. Samarra is where U.S. troops are now focusing their search. And you're able to see it right there as we go in on it. Remember, Samarra's also the place where we told you about that mosque bombing earlier in the week. CNN's Karl Penhaul has been there following that story. Now he's latched on to this one as well. He's done one on one with the captain, who led the raid, that turned up these clues we're talking about tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are the fields and orange groves south of Samarra. In an isolated village like this, U.S. paratroopers have turned up fresh clues about two missing American soldiers.

Specialist Alex Jimenez and Private Bryan Fouty captured by al Qaeda insurgents. Captain Adisa King led the raid just before dawn on June 9. The target -- an al Qaeda bomb maker's safe house.

CAPT. ADISA KING, U.S. ARMY: When I saw there, I said OK, this is a set-up that's unbelievable. I said take everything you got.

PENHAUL: They seized a bounty of information, at least five computers, hard drives, video making equipment and documents. Back at base amid the bundle of papers, they found some of Jimenez and Fouty's belonging.

KING: Imagine a brown paper, light brown paper like an envelope type, but it was wrapped up pretty tightly. And also had some tape around it pretty -- and it had some Arabic writing on it.

Well, you had the military ID cards. Then you had their driver's license, you had their bank cards. It was one card there. And this was -- I think it was of a parent or a grandmother that had passed away.

PENHAUL: That find triggered a 72-hour search for the missing soldiers. Paratroopers, forensic teams, and sniffing dogs combed farmhouses, fields, and reed beds. But the battalion commander says there was no trace of the men themselves.

LT. COL. VIET LUONG, U.S. ARMY: We have scoured every corner of that area. And had we found any evidence of the soldiers being there, we would still be out there.

PENHAUL: Fouty and Jimenez were taken after a gun fight with insurgents on May 12. That was in the triangle of death, a lawless region around a hundred miles south of here. On an Internet Web site, the insurgents laid to post pictures purportedly of the men's documents. The U.S. military said they appeared to be authentic. Even though there's no indication Fouty and Jimenez were ever taken to the area around Samarra, Captain King is refusing to give up the search.

KING: I'm hoping that I can find something out there, because I know if that was me, whether I'm alive or dead, I would hope that someone would keep looking no matter what because that's what I would want someone to do for me, to bring that closure to my family. PENHAUL (on camera): U.S. commanders say it may take months to analyze the significance of the computer files seized in that raid. The soldiers, meanwhile, are vowing to find their missing comrades however long it takes.

Karl Penhaul, CNN, Samarra, Iraq.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: Coming up, a fire in the Washington home of Barack Obama. We'll bring you the details.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not that complicated. In the Cold War, we were able to do that. There was no doubt that the United States were the leaders of the free world. We need to make sure that we remain on that high ground.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: That's Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore. We put him on the spot in our Sunday spotlight.

But first, no celebrations yet for Genarlow Wilson because letting him go would supposedly free hundreds more. Is that true? We check the facts when the NEWSROOM returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: And we welcome you back to the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rick Sanchez. Tonight, there is more pressure on Georgia's governor and attorney general to free Genarlow Wilson. He was sent to prison for 10 years for receiving oral sex from a teenager when he himself was a teenager. Well, today, the pastor of the church where Martin Luther King Jr. once preached called a news conference to say this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAPHAEL G. WARNOCK, REV., EBENEZER BAPTIST CHURCH: Genarlow Wilson's ongoing incarceration is not only cruel and unusual punishment, it is Georgia's shame.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Earlier this week, a state superior court judge called Wilson's ten-year sentence an injustice and said that he should be freed, but Georgia's attorney general is refusing to free Wilson, saying that it could mean the release of hundreds of others. Georgia state senator Vincent Fort today said this to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VINCENT FORT, GEORGE STATE SENATE: Let me tell you, if the facts of this situation approximate Genarlow Wilson's they ought to be free also. (END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Well, we wanted to know are there really 1300 cases like Genarlow Wilson's? We checked for you. And we're going to tell you what we found out in just a bit.

But first, many of you, including former President Jimmy Carter, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban have been asking why prosecutors in this case seem so adamant about keeping Wilson behind bars against what seems to be popular opinion? Certainly, it's the hot issue in this case. And that is where we pick up tonight's follow-up.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ (voice-over): He had said it all along, to me, in jail.

At no time did you tell that young lady that she had to give you oral sex?

GENARLOW WILSON, INCARCERATED: No, sir.

SANCHEZ: Then the attorney who prosecuted him confirmed it to me.

EDDIE BARKER, ASST. DISTRICT ATTORNEY: From what we've seen on the videotape, and heard from the victim ourself, we do not believe there was any physical force used.

SANCHEZ: Genarlow Wilson convicted of aggravated child molestation under an antiquated law that has since been changed is now getting support from somebody else, the mother of that other teenager.

Girl's mother defends Wilson, says penalty too severe was the way the headline in the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution" put it. But the article goes on to say that after making the comment, the girl's mother was paid a visit by state prosecutors and investigators.

B.J. BERNSTEIN, WILSON'S ATTORNEY: It was extremely shocking to believe and read something that almost reminds us of what happens in a communist country, that when you speak out about something to the media, you get a visit from the government.

SANCHEZ: The girl's mother is quoted in the article as saying she testified against Genarlow Wilson because prosecutors told her she could face legal trouble for neglect as a parent if she didn't. But prosecutors deny they threatened her. B.J. Bernstein says the prosecutors are out of control, and is questioning the Georgia attorney general's support of them.

BERNSTEIN: I know that you need to support your prosecutors, but you don't support prosecutors who are out of control. You don't support prosecutors that intimidate.

SANCHEZ: We spoke with prosecutor David McDade by phone, who says the accusation that anyone from his office threatened or intimidated the teen's mother is quote, "absolutely, categorically untrue." And he calls the newspaper article grossly inaccurate. Attorney General Thurbert Baker, who is appealing the superior court's decision to throw out Wilson's conviction called a news conference late this week.

THURBERT BAKER, GEORGIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: There are over 1,300 inmates in the Georgia prison system currently serving time for aggravated child molestation. And this ruling, if it stands, would have the potential to reduce or set aside the sentences of a significant number of those convicted felons.

SANCHEZ: Of the 1,300 other convicted felons, we checked and found that only seven, like Wilson, were teenagers when they were found guilty.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: Why would then the attorney general say that? Well, here's what else we found. Of those seven cases, there's no consensus that they are the same as Genarlow Wilson's case because it's not clear whether the acts in those cases were consensual as jurors have told me personally that their convinced it was in Wilson's case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't know what's happened. And I just want my daughter back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Nine months pregnant. Now missing without a trace. Coming up, a story that's going to leave you with chills. That's next in the NEWSROOM.

And then, check this out. Millions of dollars worth of stuff stolen, clothes, milk, soft drinks, computers, you name it. They take it. How are thieves getting the goods and why are you paying up to 20 percent more for everything you buy because of it? We investigate. I go out and talk to the FBI. And I'll tell you what they told me. You're watching CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: We welcome you back.

An Ohio woman was just days away from giving birth to her second child. But tonight, she's nowhere to be found. And it's a mystery because her loved ones are growing more and more desperate. Here's Bob Jones of our affiliate WEWS.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PATTY PORTER, MOTHER: We don't know what's happened. And I just want my daughter back. BOB JONES, WEWS NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Patty Porter agonizes as she waits for answers. Her 26-year-old daughter, Jesse Davis who is nine months pregnant with a baby girl vanished at least two days ago. Today, Stark County investigators returned to Jesse's north Canton home looking for any clues in her disappearance.

CAPT. GARY SHANKLE, STARK CO., OHIO SHERIFF'S OFFICE: We've canvassed the neighborhood. We've also had canines involved in canvassing the neighborhood. And we're just following up any leads we get.

JONES: Concerned for her daughter's safety, Patty went to Jesse's home on Friday morning. Patty found her daughter's mattress half off the frame, a night stand and a lamp knocked over, but there was no sign of Jesse and her bedspread also missing. Deputies did not find any blood, but someone did spill bleach on the floor.

PORTER: They don't know if maybe somebody tried to throw bleach on her. They don't know where the bleach came from.

JONES: Equally alarming, Jesse's two-year-old son Blake was found in the home. And he may have been alone for most of the day.

PORTER: She would have never left my grandson ever unless she was forced out of there with somebody threatening him.

JONES: Investigators say a Canton police officer is Blake's father. And he's likely the father of the baby Jesse is now carrying. He's also married to another woman, but police are not calling either one of them a suspect.

Is there anything to suggest he's involved in her disappearance?

SHANKLE: None at all.

JONES: Is there anything to suggest his wife is involved in her disappearance?

SHANKLE: Not at all.

JONES: In the meantime, a desperate mother make as plea.

PORTER: I just ask people to pray for my daughter and my grandson and his dad and his family and our family. It's devastating for everyone.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: We'll keep an eye on it for you. That's Bob Jones from WEWS.

Friends, family and total strangers hit the streets again today. They're looking for clues but so far nothing. At least trying to hold a news conference tomorrow, they'll say. We'll keep you posted on that.

Coming up, we turn the heat up on a presidential candidate as we always do in our "Sunday Spotlight."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that the surge should be given an opportunity to succeed. But so far, the record doesn't show that anything is getting any better.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: That's Republican Jim Gilmore. He sits down to talk with me, the war, the budget, and who is a real conservative in the country.

Also, she's a 56-year-old grandmother who cares for an ailing father and several grandchildren, but police also say that she's a high level of distributor of heroin for the Mexican mafia. The amazing details on that one, coming up in the NEWSROOM.

And also coming up, a fire at a Washington home of Barack Obama. Details on this story straight ahead in the NEWSROOM. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Here we go. Our goal every Sunday night is to shine the spotlight on one of the candidates who wants the be the president of the United States. It's our duty here. We believe that we should choose our candidates by their words, not how much money they have or how many billboards they put up, or how many commercials they are able to put out.

That's why we're dedicated on Sunday nights to bringing them to you. Tonight he calls himself a consistent conservative. Those are his words. He's also a former Army counter intelligence officer, then went on to become the governor of Virginia. Here now, our "Sunday Spotlight: Jim Gilmore".

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ (on camera): You have a very conservative platform and you're coming along just about the same time you have a Republican president, considered by some to be conservative as well, with really record low approval ratings; 29 percent this week. That's according to the NBC/ "Wall Street Journal". Is that a problem for you?

GILMORE: I think every conservative has to offer his own platform. And I've offered mine. I think I'm a consistent conservative that believes in controlling government spending. Some people have criticized the president for not doing that. That's something that I want to do.

SANCHEZ: But do you consider -- let me stop you right there.

GILMORE: Sure.

SANCHEZ: Some people have criticized the president for that. Do you criticize this administration for the debt and the deficit issues that have arisen? There's a report says this administration has spent more money than not just any administration -- but all administrations in the U.S. history combined. Does that sound conservative to you?

GILMORE: Hey, Rick, look, I'm no apologist for the president. There are a couple of things you might want to think about. Number one we're spending more money because the economy is good and they have more money. Secondly, they ought to be doing some more tax cuts but this president did a tax cut.

You have seen the Democrats they have been on their debate saying we're going get rid of the Bush tax cuts. That's just because they don't understand, frankly, that the tax cuts are helping the economy and increasing tax revenues and increasing the welfare and benefit of American citizens everywhere.

SANCHEZ: But let me take you back, because --

GILMORE: That's conservative principles.

SANCHEZ: Well, but you're skirting my question.

GILMORE: No, I'm not.

SANCHEZ: OK, I'll try it again then. Maybe it's just a disagreement. Do you believe that this administration has acted unconservative-like by the way it has spent, as some have said, like a drunken sailor?

GILMORE: In some ways the administration has offered too much program, like the prescription drug program, which is going to be incredibly expensive, in other ways they have offered tax cuts. That's not the source of the president's unpopularity. There are other areas that are I think causing that, the Iraq war for one thing.

SANCHEZ: OK, let's go to the Iraq war then. You right now are on the record saying back the -- going into Iraq, however you have some problems with the way it's been run?

GILMORE: Yes, I have been very uncomfortable with it, frankly. I spent quite a long time thinking about this, but the challenge that we're facing right now is that we're in a guerrilla war now. That's not an advantage to American power. I think the Democrats are flat wrong when they say we control it on a timetable. I think they are not taking the best interest of this country into effect, but I think you can't just stand pat and keep doing the same thing.

SANCHEZ: Part of what is going on to use your words, the same thing, is that recruitment for Al Qaeda has actually increased while we have been in Iraq, gradually. Not just in that region but in parts of Africa, as well. You chair the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness, for a while it actually had your name. Do you think things are working against our intentions in this war on terror?

GILMORE: In many ways it is. I have made it clear that I think that the surge should be given an opportunity to succeed, but so far the record doesn't show that anything is getting any better. So I'm concerned about that.

The National Council on Readiness and Preparedness, that is the nonprofit that I assembled and founded, is designed to really try to help out on homeland security issues. I can tell you, Rick, we're going to need it, as time goes on.

SANCHEZ: Let me ask you that, as a follow up to that. Do you think we need to somehow reach out to the Muslim or Arab moderates to get them on our side as opposed to bin Laden's side?

GILMORE: Yes, I do.

SANCHEZ: Who seem to have victimized themselves, somehow, in this war.

GILMORE: Yes, I do. I think that there are people over there, the Wahabi Muslims, that believe that they should kill Americans as a matter of faith. You can't do anything about that.

SANCHEZ: Right.

GILMORE: You have to defend yourself and we have to be aggressive about that. But I absolutely believe that people that exist in the Middle East all the way from Iraq, all the way across the Middle East, in Asia, all the way to the Philippines, many of them believe that the United States is on the high ground here. I think we should make sure that everybody in the world understands that we are the good guys here. That will deny some of those resources back to Al Qaeda.

SANCHEZ: So, are you on record saying this administration is losing the ideological war in the Middle East?

GILMORE: I'm on record as saying this country has to do a lot better, yes, in order to be able to persuade people across the Middle East, and the world, that we share the aspirations of people across the world. This is not that complicated. In the Cold War we were able to do that. There was no doubt that the United States were the leaders of the free world. We need to make sure we remain on the high ground. That's one of the main, principle pieces of American power.

SANCHEZ: Governor Jim Gilmore, thank you so much for taking the time to be in our political "Spotlight".

GILMORE: Thank you, Rick.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: By the way, you heard me mention what critics of the administration say about exorbitant borrowing and spending as far as the administration is concerned. To be clear, we wanted to share with you this breakdown. Let's put it up.

According to the Treasury Department from 1776 to 2000, that's the first 224 years of the United States, as a nation, 42 presidents borrowed a combined $1.1 trillion from foreign governments and financial institutions. But in the first four to five years in office the Bush administration has borrowed $1.5 trillion.

Speaking of politics: Senator Barack Obama might be looking for a new place to stay in Washington. A townhouse where Obama rents an apartment near Capitol Hill caught fire today. The Democratic presidential contender was with a his family in Chicago at the time.

No one was hurt. There was no major damage as it is being described by fire officials. They are saying it's a faulty ceiling fan that may have sparked a fire on the home's third floor. Obama's apartment is not on that floor, we should mention.

Coming up, making a killing when it comes to cargo in this country. See that? That is undercover video that we're showing you, right there. Taken by the FBI. These guys making money at your expense. It's a new type of crime raking in billions of dollars a year.

Also, what makes a hero? We're going to introduce you to a man that gives the very substance of life to hundreds of others, and does it hundreds of times. He's tonight's "CNN Hero".

But first a week of vicious fighting among the Palestinians. Now a new move by President Mahmoud Abbas aims to try and bring it to a stop, try. Details next in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: We welcome you back. This is our incoming wall, where we get incoming video. We're going to start today in Crawford, Texas. Yes, that Crawford, Texas, in fact, not far from where the president is spending his Father's Day. This is what is going on.

Some of the roads into town have been closed. Its literally a deluge, both in Crawford and Laredo. One bridge into town has been shut down because people say it's just too dangerous to get in. Listen to the rush of the water.

That's what people have been trying to deal with there. One person has died. Several others have been stuck and had to be rescued. We're going to keep an eye on that for you.

Then, out of space now. Astronauts Patrick Forester and Steve Swanson are logging their fourth and final spacewalk in their mission. We have the pictures coming in. There you see the astronauts. You see them right there. They are doing some repairs to the solar array.

Obviously, the big hit has been the thermal blanket, that had peeled back. They also had to go in and fix that by using staples to get it down, because they wanted to make sure that was fixed before they came back into re-entry. Sounds like everything is under control now.

But before we leave outer space. There is something else I wanted to show you. Go ahead, Claude, switch the picture there. This is astronaut Danny Olevas (ph), he's building a taco for himself. And it's not easy to do in outer space. See? Pieces want to keep flying away. There's egg and there's sausage and there's cheese. And now I think he's going to try and take a little bite out -- literally it's floating around. So, you got to clean up before you eat. Now he takes a big bite. There you have it, folks. Yep, tough stuff. Made it go. That's got to be tough to do but fun to do, as well.

You're not going to believe the next story. It's about a grandmother in Mexico. They say she's a drug king pin. Heroin distribution is the charge. And if that's strange enough, listen to this. Wait until you hear what her neighbors are saying about her. We'll have that for you. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Cargo theft, it's not just a problem for big business. When thieves steal cargo shipments they are also ripping you off.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ (voice over): This may look like a typical storage area that you would find at any local discount store, but what you're seeing here is home base for thieves. It's a fencing operation where people who steal take their stash to get it sold. High tech electronics, tires, soft drinks, if you can send it through ports, highways, railways, thieves will try to steal it. See those containers they can carry anywhere between $12,000 to $6 million worth of cargo.

(On camera): So, they'll either take the entire truck, and drive it away.

STEPHEN EMMETT, SPECIAL AGENT, FBI ATLANTA: Right.

SANCHEZ: Or they'll bring their own truck and just take the containers, like the ones we see behind us.

EMMETT: Correct. Or the other scenario is back up to the trailer itself and offload it.

(Voice over): This is undercover video. It shows two men being arrested for allegedly trying to sell a truckload of stolen laser printers out of Nashville, Tennessee. Watch carefully as you see one of the suspects try to make a quick get away.

(On camera): What do you do with thousands and thousands and thousands of pounds of pills, or clothing, or milk?

EMMETT: Well, unfortunately, a city like Atlanta contains numerous fences that trade in stolen goods. We have had numerous raids on warehouses, recently several days ago in Cobb County we had a raid in a warehouse that was full of stolen goods.

SANCHEZ (voice over): In all, police say nabbed six suspects at the warehouse each charged with five counts of theft. Two of them had also been arrested in 2003 for their involvement in the warehouse fencing operation we showed you earlier.

(On camera): There are thousands of people going around stealing cargo -- all over the country?

EMMETT: Right. Unfortunately it's relatively easy to do. A lot of these freight yards are located in industrial areas, or economically depressed areas, where security is very difficult.

SANCHEZ: Mike Goldstein manages one of the largest storage container lots in Atlanta.

MICHAEL GOLDSTEIN, METRO TRAILER: The Kingpin lock, basically, attaches underneath to trailer, to the kingpin, which is what attaches to the inside of the trailer.

SANCHEZ: He says thieves continue to beat the system.

(On camera): So they will just back their truck in there, lock it in, and drive away with it.

GOLDSTEIN: Take off.

SANCHEZ: Wow, that's brazen.

GOLDSTEIN: It's pretty brave, too.

SANCHEZ: But -- and they get caught once in a while, but not enough, I guess.

GOLDSTEIN: Not enough. The incident are high. It's a major loss to the industry.

SANCHEZ (voice over): Here's the biggest upshot. Cargo theft is costing all of us.

EMMETT: The victims in cargo theft start with the retailers, the manufacturers, and insurance companies that pay for this, but bottom line, the consumer will pay up to 20 percent more for that product, at retail, because of cargo theft.

SANCHEZ (voice over): The FBI estimates losses to be around $6 billion a year. That's conservative. Some in the cargo industry put that figure closer to $16 billion.

EMMETT: Cargo theft is lumped in with thefts, with property crimes, and that is not giving us an accurate picture when some of these thefts are millions of dollars worth of merchandise.

SANCHEZ: But that's about to change. Congress has passed a law that makes cargo theft its own crime. That will make the penalty more severe. And they're also using beacons and GPS technology to track the cargo. The thief wouldn't know it, but the very loot he think also make him money is sending off a signal that will eventually make him get a lawyer instead.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: By the way, here is something else I found out in my investigation that we should probably ponder about how widespread the problem is: While billions of dollars of cargo thefts are reported. Federal authorities told me that 60 percent, they believe -- hard to tell exactly -- but 60 percent are not reported. And you know why they're not reported? Because if they report them they are afraid the insurance will go up and that may end up being more costly to them in the long run.

Coming up, giving blood it's a gift too few people take time to do.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know who these people are that I'm helping, but if I'm helping somebody. If I'm helping to keep them alive it makes me feel good.

SANCHEZ: And believe me, when I tell you, he has helped an awful lot of people. It's a selfless story in tonight's "CNN Heroes"

Then, straight ahead, a 56-year-old grandma, the police say what she is baking is much more potent than cookies. Story next in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: We welcome you back. We're back in B control now to show you some of the stories -- and some of the videos we've been following that are the most popular on CNN.com.

First, a horrific crime. Police in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, say a high school student broke into a classmate's home and murdered both the teen, and his parents. Police say they arrested the 16-year-old after he confessed the killing to his father, after it happened. No word, by the way, on the motive in this one.

Also, an international story that is exploding before our eyes. The divide between Hamas and the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, has gotten even wider, following the militant group's take over of Gaza. Today Abbas has sworn in a temporary cabinet for its emergency government. Hamas says the new government is illegal.

Now this, North Carolina prosecutor Mike Nifong visibly emotional and at times tearful during his ethics trial. He has now been disbarred for ethics violations in the Duke lacrosse sex assault case.

These stories and a whole lot more, all you have to do if you want to know more, just log on to CNN.com.

This story, she's a grandma who spent most of her time looking after her family. At least that's what the neighbors thought. Police in Texas say she was actually a high level dealer of black-tar heroin. Drew Roschen (ph) of KENS, in San Antonio filed this report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (on camera): Rosie, why?

(Voice over): Rosie Cruz went out to run an errand this afternoon. It was probably her last taste of freedom.

SGT. RON TOOKE, BEXAR CO., TEXAS, SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Our intelligence tells us she is a distributor for the Mexican mafia. Somebody is going to be in big trouble over this one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rosie's errand, deputies say, was going to be the drop off of black-tar heroin to a lower level dealer. They say the Spurs win last night likely got plenty of people wanting to party with that heroin. When she was pulled over, she pointed right to it.

TOOKE: We have four ounces of pure tar heroin. That was in this cup, in the center consul.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm still in shock. I have known her for 10 years, since we moved here. And that is not, that's not Rosie.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her neighbors say there were never any cars coming in and out of the driveway, as is so often the case with drug dealers. The deputies say that's because Rosie was so high level she took black tar heroin directly from the boss of San Antonio's Mexican mafia and drove it herself to lower level dealers. And a 56-year-old widow, taking care of her ailing father, and her grandkids, was the perfect cover until now.

TOOKE: Besides being up front, I guess, she knew she was had.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: By the way, Police are saying that Cruz had about $300,000 worth of heroin on her when she was arrested. That's enough to get her a life sentence if she's convicted.

We're in B control. Told you we're thinking we might get some new pictures coming in. We have. These are coming in from South Dakota. Take a look. Some kind of windstorm has suddenly come through there. This is Spearfish, South Dakota.

It's apparently brought some heavy rain with it, too. It's right on the South Dakota and Wyoming border. Look at the damage. This couldn't have taken very long, I don't think it's -- tornadic -- as Jacqui Jeras would call it in meteorological terms, but it certainly is a big gust of wind either way. Let's go to Jacqui now to find out what she thinks this could have been.

What's going on, Jacqui. What happened here?

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: There were two reports of tornado touchdowns in Spearfish, a very brief, but they were unconfirmed reports. May as well have been straight line damaging winds. And that was last evening, and that storm system still causing some problems up there in the Dakotas. It's been a rough weekend for them.

There you can see the watches still in place. Severe thunderstorm watches but sometimes tornadoes can and do occur in severe thunderstorm watches. They don't have to be a tornado watch. And that's what is going on in northern parts of South Dakota at this hour. McPherson County is under a tornado warning. A funnel cloud was spotted near Long Lake.

That's moving up to the north and east around 30 miles per hour. So you need to be seeking shelter now. Tonight's the night you want to have the NOAH weather radio on. It's going to be ongoing after you have already gone to bed.

Speaking of ongoing the situation across eastern Texas, still a heavy rain came down all day today. We had a lot of flooding problems and still some watches and warnings in place. Things will fire up here again as we head into tomorrow.

Temperatures has been another big story. We had a couple of records today, 97 in Denver; 91 in New York City at JFK. The heat is going to be sticking around throughout the day tomorrow. And that means we're going to have some air quality problems. All of these cities from Atlanta, down to Washington, D.C., the air will be unhealthy for sensitive groups tomorrow afternoon. Take it easy -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: All right, thanks so much, Jacqui. Good explanation.

Coming up, he's helped so many people. None of them even know his name. He's tonight's "CNN Hero". They may, after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Always our favorite segment. We welcome you back. I want to introduce you to a man who is quietly saving lives, but the hundreds of people that he's helped have no idea who he even is. Wilbur Armstrong is tonight's "CNN Hero".

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, Wilbur, great.

WILBUR ARMSTRONG, BLOOD DONOR: My name is Wilbur Armstrong. I've been donating blood for 33 years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wilbur is a very good donor, never flinches. And he never complains.

ARMSTRONG: Some people are afraid of needles, but it doesn't hurt at all.

Every other Thursday I go to donate blood. When I became legally blind I couldn't drive anymore.

Hi, there.

I can travel around the public by myself. I take three buses. Roughly an hour and a half each way.

HARVEY SCHAFFLER, DIR. OF MARKETING, DONAR RECRUITMENT: Wilbur is exceptional. Today makes his 216 platelets donation. Patients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy require platelet treatment. So it's really urgent that people donate.

ARMSTRONG: They told me I had a high platelet count and I was what they call a splitter. A splitter is a double donation. Whole blood takes about 10 minutes. To split the platelets will take you an hour and a half, but you will be helping out two people instead of one.

RICHARD PENDERGAST, RECRUITER: For all the platelets he's donated he's bound to run into people that have his platelets running through their and blood and they are alive because of him.

ARMSTRONG: I don't know who these people are that I'm helping. But I'm helping somebody and if I'm helping to keep them alive, makes me feel good.

I lost three kids in my neighborhood to cancer. That shakes you up. These kids are just beginning to live and they are gone already. So, I says, if I can prevent somebody else from dying like that, let me do it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: If you know one, go on cnn.com and way to go, Wilbur.

By the way I had a great Father's Day. I want to thank my kids for that. Hope you guys did, too. Goodnight, everybody.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.voxant.com.

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