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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Hurricane Felix Heads For Honduras; Ghetto Handbook?; Air Show Planes Crashes; Massachusetts Kayakers Rescue; Televangelist Kicked Off Air
Aired September 3, 2007 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: I want to show you something now, these words behind me, "murdering pedophile." That's how somebody is describing the Prophet Mohammed. This is stirring up an ugly controversy. We are going to bring the controversy out in the open.
And then meet Felix. There he is, Cat 4. This is no kitty, though. This is more like a bear of a storm. That's why we now have crews standing by in places like Honduras. We are going to be taking you there live. We're also going to show you the loop.
And then you have seen what's going on with airport security lately, right, with the TSA? Well, this is a story about a guy who wanted to wear a turban on his head. This is like religion vs. safety. You would think safety would win, right, if they make him take off the turban? Well, you're going to meet the man who was wearing it. He says he's outraged.
We're not only going to let you meet him. We're also going to take this story to the street.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would rather have them checking out the turban than checking out little detail that we bring.
SANCHEZ (voice-over): You mess with the turban, you're messing with religion. Don't and you're messing with airport security. Tough call. That's why we're bringing it out in the open.
This may be the most shocking air show video of all. And there have been a bevy of them. You will see them all. We will bring in a pilot and ask when enough is enough.
If they can't get them out, they will drown and they're getting sucked in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got her hands. I got her hands.
SANCHEZ: What happens next? We will show you.
And somebody's written a ghetto handbook. A what? That's right. That's right. Words like "foty," a number, and "ax" is a question asked. Bad English or pure racism?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This sends a bad message. SANCHEZ: Parents are furious -- a school system on the defense and tonight out in the open.
SANCHEZ: And hello again, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez.
Let's cut right to the chase with this hurricane. You know why? Because it's now a Cat 4, Category 4, with winds up to 135 miles an hour. And there's an advisory that's coming really right about now.
In fact, Will (ph), can you put the loop up? Let's go ahead and put that up so folks can see it. And you are going to be able to see the loop in just a little bit. In fact, there it is, behind Chad.
I mean, Chad, this thing seems like it's really powered up out of nowhere, hasn't it?
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, this thing went from a tropical storm to a Category 5 storm hurricane in like 30 hours, Rick. There was phenomenal explosive development with this storm.
And then it had a problem today. It gulped in some dry air. It lost its eye and now it's really kind of -- well, it's falling apart a little bit. At least we're down to 135 from 165, not like maybe you're going to tell the difference if it goes over your town. But still that is a little bit of help.
It is going to hit Nicaragua, Honduras probably right there along the border. This is a very sparsely populated area. How can you get two major storms in less than a couple weeks to hit sparsely populated areas, one up here in the biosphere, the national biosphere up there in the Yucatan Peninsula, very few people live now, like 3,500, and then take another storm that is this big and have it hit another sparsely populated area?
Now you get over here to La Ceiba, you get over here to Tegucigalpa, this area, from about Tegucigalpa all the way down into the Honduras and then back into the Guatemala area, this is a mountainous region. And when you get rain in the mountains, like this is going to provide, you're going to get flooding and mudslides. If you remember what happened to Mitch in Honduras, boy, it was just a devastating mudslide maker, not so much a wind damage maker.
But the winds are still 135, gusting to 160, going to be a Category 2, then back down to a Category 1 and eventually could make some big-time rain for Mexico City. This isn't going to be a flood maker for the next I would say 24 to 36 hours, but it could be a big- time one in the next day-and-a-half to two -- Rick.
SANCHEZ: We got to go, because there's a bunch of stuff we have got to get to, Chad.
SANCHEZ: But just let me ask you about this advisory. What's going on with this? Is it going to be coming out any time now?
MYERS: It just did. The winds are the same, because there's not a hurricane hunter aircraft in it yet. Another one is flying to it. So the newest update will actually be at 11:00. All they did on this update was change those numbers of those locations. That's all they did.
SANCHEZ: So, no big changes.
SANCHEZ: Chad, thank you. We will get back to you if anything changes again.
Now, we sent several CNN correspondents to Honduras. Susan Candiotti, we're told, just landed. We were hoping to be able to talk to her now. But, as soon as she becomes available, we're going to talk to Susan.
Well, tonight with the Labor Day travel in full gear, we want to tell you about an airport incident that has at least one guy fuming mad. This is a controversy about wearing a turban and whether it's wrong to pat somebody down who is wearing it or actually just make them take it off altogether.
Before we introduce you to the guest who had this happen to him and is going to share his story with us, I want to take it to the streets.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will tell you one thing. If I am going on a plane to do something bad, I will not go like this.
SANCHEZ: Should they be able to pat down someone's turban?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think I would rather have them checking out the turban than checking out little detail that we bring.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I have to be checked in all over the places whenever they do it, then I don't see why it shouldn't be for anyone else.
SANCHEZ: Tough, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Exactly.
So, if the guy's offended, so be it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, you have to be tactful about it and you have to explain the reasons why you're doing it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If they need to be put into an area where nobody has to see that and it's a private thing, then that's OK. SANCHEZ: I could say, well, the guys who attacked us on 9/11 were religious as well. And they wanted to kill.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really don't think it's the same thing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You give up certain liberties if you're going to pay to go and do something or fly somewhere.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A great big metal cross, we would have to take it off and put it in and have it go through...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And that's religious to us, too.
SANCHEZ: so, what's good for the goose is good for the gander?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is just to demoralize us, to humiliate us, and just to make us feel that we are the unwanted people.
SANCHEZ: All right, that's what people say on the streets.
Now let's get right to the meat of the story. This is Prabhjit Singh. He is a Sikh. He is also a motivational speaker.
What happened to you?
PRABHJIT SINGH, SIKH: What happened to me was that I went to Baltimore-Washington Airport 6:00 a.m. on the 16th of August this month. And when I went there, I then got my boarding pass, went to the detector, put my things on. Everything went through. I went through the metal detector, did not beep.
I gave my passenger ticket to that security individual, the TSA. And he said, well, everything is good, but you do know that the policy has changed and that you're going to have to have your turban patted down and because -- the reason is because you're wearing a turban.
SANCHEZ: So, they did that.
SINGH: We will provide you a private place to do this.
SANCHEZ: Why were you offended by that?
SINGH: I'm offended because of the logic and the reasoning behind it, because what they said is that the reason is, is because they believe that non-metallic explosive items may be contained within the turban.
But the question is, why couldn't the non-metallic explosives be contained in the rest of the parts of the body and the rest of the clothing? And so that's the issue is that you're leaving the rest of the people out and you're not checking them even when they do not beep, but you're checking the turban. And so you're actually using all of your resources at TSA to go and check only the people that have turbans and saying, well, you all come to the side and we're going to have to go and have you randomly checked.
SANCHEZ: But, if it's their policy -- but, look, if it's their policy and they're saying, we have done enough testing on this and have determined that people could possibly put something up there that they could use to bring down a plane, then shouldn't they have the prerogative?
SINGH: Well, that's not what the TSA has said as of yet, unfortunately.
The TSA has not said that they even knew how a turban was tied nor have they done any studies about Sikhs. They have yet to tell us why that there's a potential reason why there would be more chance of having a non-metallic explosive contained within the turban vs. the rest of the body.
SANCHEZ: So, you think what? That they're doing this, what, just to get at you because of your religion? Because of what?
SINGH: Well, we're not sure as of yet.
The thing that we do know is that TSA administrator has reached out with us on Friday of this past week and they told us that they do want to meet with us to see how we can make the policy change.
SANCHEZ: But what's the difference?
SINGH: And that's a good thing.
But the problem here is this, is that what they're saying is that they don't have a reason. And what we believe is that their intent wasn't to racially profile, but that is what's occurring.
SANCHEZ: But what is the difference? Let me just interrupt you for a moment.
SANCHEZ: What is the difference between them checking your turban and then taking me take off my shoes or my jacket every time I fly? It doesn't offend me. If they say do it, I tend to do it. It's a pain but you go through with it, right? (CROSSTALK)
SINGH: The difference here is that the turban is a part of our religious article of faith and that it's really a connection between us and the divine. And this is the one thing I want to make sure that your audience understands.
SANCHEZ: But wait. I have got to stop you for a moment because now you're getting into the religion thing. And it may be a very important part of your religion, but the guys, the 19 guys who brought down on 9/11 the Twin Towers were also deeply religious, and if you would have stopped them before they went on the plane, they would have argued they had a right to do whatever they wanted to, correct?
SINGH: Well, this is what we're saying, is that we are not totally against having the random searching of -- and for two reasons, and two reasons only.
One is if I go through the metal detector and I beep, then, absolutely, then you should go ahead and either do a pat-down of the turban or ask me to take off my turban, but provide me a private place to do so, because, otherwise, that's a breaking of civil liberties.
And the other one is, why is it that they're specifically pointing only at Sikhs and only at the turban? One thing I should note is that the only -- in the TSA policy change, there's been three articles that they...
SINGH: ... as examples.
SANCHEZ: Well, as a matter of fact, let's put it up. Since you're going to go there, lets me end this segment by doing this.
Will, show it real quick and we will let them know what they say.
TSA administrator Kip Hawley says he's expressed understanding about the sensitivity of this issue, and the importance of the Sikh headdress screening. TSA takes Sikh's concerns very seriously...
SANCHEZ: ... and is interested in reaching a workable solution that does not compromise security. TSA goes on to say that they will implement additional cultural awareness training for its transportation security officers.
And they go on to say that they will continue dialogue with Sikhs and other groups. So, there you have it. Thanks so much for being with us, Mr. Singh.
SANCHEZ: You know what we will do? We're out of time on this segment. We will have you back and we will continue the dialogue. I think you represented your point of view very well.
SINGH: OK. Thank you very much for the time.
SANCHEZ: You know, we always like to pluck out some of the best videos. And this is probably one of the most important videos of the day. It's another Labor Day travel day for the president of the United States.
This is a surprise visit, completely unexpected, as he goes to Iraq and then says these important words to the troops. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today is Labor Day back home.
BUSH: So, I thought I would come by to thank you for all your hard work. I'm incredibly proud to be the commander in chief of such a great group of men and women.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: It is a thunderous welcome from U.S. troops during a visit to the Anbar Province.
All right. Coming up, I want you to take a look at a couple of guys. You recognize them? They have been riding ferry boats in Seattle. The FBI says these guys are suspicious. Some call it profiling. What do you call it?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPTAIN STEPHEN METRUCK, U.S. COAST GUARD: It is very, very interesting and odd what they were doing, so we really would like to locate these individuals.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: What did they do? Who knows? Should they be hunted? And, by the way, where are they?
And then later, I'm going to read to you from a ghetto handbook. That's right. And who's bright idea was this? We're going to tell you.
And I will ask a pilot what's with the summer's deadly string of air show collisions that we have been seeing like that one?
We will be back.
SANCHEZ: And welcome back.
Do you see these two faces right here? This is that picture out of Seattle of these two supposedly mysterious men. Now, we're keying in on them because we have been following the story. So have other members of the media. And there's some information we know about them. Some say they look suspicious, that they were studying and taking pictures while they were on this ferry. Others say they did this over a period of at least several months, and that they watched them.
This is why it's so suspicious to some of the people there, enough so that the FBI is now saying they want to know who they are and they have actually put the picture out.
CNN's Ted Rowlands has been following the story. He files this update for us now.
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There is a chance, according to the FBI, that the ferry system near Seattle, which shuttles more than a million passengers a month through scenic Puget Sound, is being targeted for attack. There is also a chance that these two men have a perfectly good explanation for what they were doing earlier this summer, taking picture after picture on board passenger ferries.
CAPTAIN STEPHEN METRUCK, U.S. COAST GUARD: It is very, very interesting and odd what they were doing, so we really would like to locate these individuals.
ROWLANDS: So odd, says Coast Guard Captain Stephen Metruck, that authorities feel they absolutely need an explanation. Here is why. The two men were seen on several different ferries on multiple routes taking notes and photographs, and apparently measuring different areas of several ships, including the cargo hold of one boat.
One ferry employee became so concerned he took photos of the two men using a cell phone camera.
(on camera): According to the FBI, some of the specifics as to the two men's behavior included, according to witnesses, them pacing off different areas of the ship, seeming to measure different areas. They were also seen taking photographs of things like this, restricted areas that only employees can go, and they were also seen in one instance studying an emergency evacuation poster like this one.
SANCHEZ: And, as Ted follows that story, we are going to be talking to him in just a little bit.
But I wanted to show you something first. These are these ferries that we're talking about, this ferry scare, as they're calling it, as you can see the words behind me. Here's why it's important.
It's up to a million passengers that use these ferries a month.
Let's go back to Ted now, because it's imperative to find out whether they have been able to get any leads, whether they know who these guys are at this point.
Or do they even think they know, Ted?
ROWLANDS: Well, they have -- after broadcasting the photos of these two guys in the local papers there -- a couple of papers actually didn't publish the photos because of concerns that these people were being singled out. But they did get it out to the community.
And now, according to the FBI, they have about 200 leads that they're following up on. But they still don't have a positive I.D. on these guys.
SANCHEZ: Well, you mentioned something about this. But I'm curious, what's the reaction been there in Seattle? Do people think this is unfair profiling, for example?
ROWLANDS: Yes, some people do. Or they're their concerned about it.
We have talked to a couple leaders in the Arab-American community there, and they're concerned that, if these guys weren't Arab, these guys were two white guys, two Asian guys, we wouldn't have the FBI publishing their photographs. Who are these guys? Who are these guys?
The FBI, on the other hand, says, we don't care what color they are. We want to know what they were doing.
They were seen at least six times, maybe up to 20 times, acting bizarre. The FBI wants to know why. If it was -- if they have a good explanation, bring it on. Just we -- we want to know why.
SANCHEZ: Acting bizarre may be the key word here.
Ted Rowlands, good job following up on that story.
We're going to stay on top of it.
Now let's bring a civil rights attorney, author and talk show host Leo Terrell, who says we shouldn't stay on top of it. He thinks there's something wrong with putting up pictures like this.
And Leo is good enough to join us.
Good to see you again, Leo.
What's your beef here?
LEO TERRELL, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, you asked Ted a very straight-up question. What information have we learned?
Nothing. And I'm really disappointed that the media, such as CNN, would allow these photographs to be published. We should have learned the lesson from Richard Jewell, because, if there's no evidence against these guys, if there's been no evidence submitted to the courts, Rick, why do we publish these photographs?
CNN and every media outlet has an obligation not to be a tool of the government and say, wait a minute. Before we publish these photographs, show us the evidence. Show us what you have.
SANCHEZ: It's because it's a public welfare issue. They didn't say that these guys are necessarily bad people. But they say enough of their activities have been suspicious enough for us to warrant wanting to know who they are. What is wrong with that?
TERRELL: I would recommend to you and I would suggest to you just the fact that these individuals look like they're from the Middle East is the reason why they were motivated.
Look at some of these terms, suspicious, they look odd, they look -- they are measuring things. They committed no crime, Rick, at all. And if they had evidence, if the FBI had evidence, why don't they go to a judge and say look, Your Honor, here's probable cause; give me a warrant to arrest these guys?
CNN and all the media should look at the evidence first, instead of just being...
SANCHEZ: I got to tell you, part of the evidence, too, is the way they presented it to us. And it seems to us that the way the FBI has presented this case has been in a respectful manner.
In fact, let's, you and I, listen together to what the FBI said in their statement about this situation you're talking about, the potential profiling. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY CARR, FBI: When you break it down to just the facts and you separate yourself from any personal issues or agendas that may be present, you look at the facts, and I don't know how we can determine that there is any other way that we can go about it. We simply have to I.D. these individuals.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: We simply to have to I.D. these individuals.
And they say this has nothing to do with any agendas or any profiling.
TERRELL: Rick, I would like that gentleman to go to the judge and say those exact same words. What did he say? This is the boogeyman approach since 9/11.
We have -- the media and CNN should not just accept the face value of what the FBI say. And, in response, what have the FBI shared with CNN and the other media outlets as to what information they have to allow CNN to have an independent decision?
SANCHEZ: Well, let's go to motive here. What would be the FBI's motive for wanting to go after these two guys if they have done absolutely nothing wrong and they don't think they have done anything suspicious? What's the motive here, Leo?
TERRELL: Oh, no question. It is the P.R. attack. It is the way to keep justifying the alleged 9/11 attack or post-attack mind-set.
Rick, the government has misled the American public on a lot of things regarding 9/11 since 9/11 and you cannot -- and the media...
SANCHEZ: No, you're right. You're absolutely right about what you just said.
SANCHEZ: But you have got to take these stories -- you have to take these stories one at a time.
And it seems that, in this particular case, they're being fair, they're being prudent, they're being honest. Obviously, we have a difference of opinion.
TERRELL: Where is the judge?
SANCHEZ: Leo, always good to talk to you, my friend. Appreciate it.
TERRELL: My pleasure. Thank you.
SANCHEZ: Let me bring you over here to the smart board. I want to show you some of our video picks now. This is a series of underground explosions. You see them right there. Watch as they go right there. This is in regular motion. And there it continues.
Pardon the umbrella, by the way. What they're doing is, they're expanding the Panama Canal. And, to do so, they have got to create a bigger lock system. This is a third lock system that they're putting in. So, they're putting in those supertanker ships and they're able to go through there. This is in slow mo now. Here it goes one more time. It's the same video. But you can see they're essentially taking down a mountain.
And we're going to show you something now that has some people furious. It's supposed to teach police officers how to relate to students. What were they thinking? We will show you ghetto speak, as they say.
And then look at this, kayakers hanging on for their lives. Watch the video right there. They're actually getting sucked in under that bridge and fire rescue officials have to come and try and get them or they will drown and fast. We're going to talk to one of them.
Stay with us. We will be right back.
SANCHEZ: As we come back, I want to show you something right there on the big wall.
See that word gank? Apparently it means in Ebonics to steal from someone.
This is insulting stuff, folks. But let me show you the next one s well.
Go ahead and put that up.
Foty. Foty. You know what foty means? It's an ounce of beer, a 40-ounce of beer. By the way, the people who put this together are so ignorant, they actually misspelled 40. It's F-O-U-R-T-Y, which is what is interesting about this.
Also like the word "ax" -- that's to ask.
Well, we show you the power of words when we show you these. They're sparking outrage in Houston, Texas, in the school district. Have a look at the words contained in a so-called ghetto handbook. This is what the handbook looks like. We got a copy of it.
It's being put out by some police officers there that are part of the school board police in the area. They call it a guide to Ebonics. One cop as a result of this has already been suspended.
Joining us now, Quanell X. He's a national spokesman for the New Black Panther Nation.
You know, I got to tell you, it seems obviously offensive to any of us who look at this. But explain from your perspective as an African-American man why you find this so offensive.
QUANELL X, NEW BLANK PANTHER NATION: I find the conduct and the behavior of those HISD police officers very egregious and offensive to the entire black community here in Houston.
If we are to believe as parents -- and I have a child attending the public HISD school system in this city -- if we can trust law enforcement officers who investigate incidents every day involving students, if we know that we have cops who have racist attitudes, mind-sets and ideas and concepts about black people and black students in particular, how can we trust the integrity of those investigations? How can trust that our children are being fairly, when we have cops who are already biased against them because of the color of their skin?
SANCHEZ: Help us understand this? Do you think a bunch of cops just got together and decided to put this together as a gag; they thought it was maybe funny, so they distributed it among themselves?
QUANELL X: Based on my investigation in my organization, we believe it was two officers in particular who did this. And one officer involved, there have been complaints filed against him from members of the community before because of his behavior in treating young black males in HISD.
SANCHEZ: But the motive was what? Just to have fun, just to show hey look how funny this is; this is the way these black folks over here talk?
QUANELL X: We believe the motive was to make mockery, to insult and to inflame other African-American officers who work at that the particular HISD substation. Yes, they attempted to make a mockery of the black community with this particular bigoted literature, yes.
SANCHEZ: You want them fired?
QUANELL X: Absolutely we want them fired. And we want the police chief suspended pending an outside investigation to determine why he took no action for three months once this was brought to his attention.
There's been ineffective leadership. You would think that department is being led by Barney Fife. This man saw what was on his desk about this racist handbook for three months and took no action. We want to know why.
SANCHEZ: What does this say, though? If a police officer has the whatever it takes to do something so outwardly, aside from the fact that they're probably pretty ignorant to do it, beyond that, what does it say about their point of view?
QUANELL X: It says several things.
One, it says that he works for a police department that has created an environment that this kind of behavior is acceptable and this type of behavior can be tolerated. Then it says a lot about that particular officer and those other officers involved that...
QUANELL X: ... that we are still living in a society that we are not going forward with race relations. We're going backwards.
SANCHEZ: Well, and it's one thing to say this in the privacy of your home. And everybody has their own prejudices. And I suppose they're entitled to them. But this is people in a public capacity, and that's why we're bringing this out in the open. That's why this makes a difference and that's why we're going to stay on top of it.
Quanell X, thanks so much for joining us. We appreciate it.
QUANELL X: Thank you for having me, sir.
SANCHEZ: Also today, this story out of Borger, Texas. We want to show you some video now. It's near Amarillo. It happened Sunday. Look at this. This is the result of a small plane it. It crash-lands nose first into a driveway.
Someone came by and took pictures of this. Then, of course, the local affiliates came out as well. Here's what's interesting about this. The pilot and his son, a 16-year-old, were actually on the plane. They were both taken to the hospital. Look at that picture again. That plane is nose into the ground. We're being told by hospital officials that they're going to be OK. Wow.
Coming up, a frightening and a deadly crash at another air show. The thing is, this isn't the only one. There have been a string of these recently. We have been following them. That may be as bad as it gets though, folks. We will have about six to show you.
And then a televangelist who called Mohammed a murdering pedophile. So, we invite him on. And he's going to tell us his story and defend his position, if he can.
Also, caught in a raging current and getting sucked for good right in under that bridge, hanging on for their lives. Do they survive or do they drown? We're here to follow it.
Stay tuned. We will bring it to you next.
SANCHEZ: And we welcome you back. I'm Rick Sanchez. Let's try and get back to our top story, remember we told you Susan Candiotti was going to be there. Well, we're being told she's on the horn now. Susan is right in the bull's eye of this thing -- this hurricane with winds of 135 miles-an-hour. She arrived there just a couple of hours ago and she's on the phone.
Susan, just go ahead and tell us what you're seeing and, I suppose, what you're expecting.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rick, we are getting ready to (INAUDIBLE). And it could be directly in the path (INAUDIBLE) stay here. She said they were worried. They have good reason to be (INAUDIBLE) hit landfall about 200 miles south here, along the Honduran/Nicaraguan border sometime between midnight and 6:00 a.m. There are no shelters open at this time. Instead the government decided to open them after the storm. Some people are saying they preferred staying in their homes until after the storm hits.
But as you recall, Rick, the disaster in October of 1998 when Mitch struck Honduras. (INAUDIBLE) there are a lot of farms (INAUDIBLE) in the country, that were hit hard when roads were wiped out, bridges were wiped out. Villages were buried under mudslides and there is concern that there will be a lot of (INAUDIBLE) high storm surge (INAUDIBLE) surges of up to 20 feet (INAUDIBLE).
SANCHEZ: And let me tell you, that's always the problem with these because once you get into that hill country, that's when you can also get, not just the storm surge itself, but some of the flash flooding.
Susan Candiotti, you can see it's kind of tough to communicate with her because of what's going on and the conditions around there. Obviously, we thought important enough to be able to hear from her. We'll keep monitoring the situation, going back to Susan, checking in with Chad and let you know the very latest as this dangerous storm closes in on the coast.
Now, let's talk about tragedy in the sky. Isn't that amazing? Two planes colliding in an air show in Poland this weekend. Really horrific to watch. Two pilots were killed in this thing.
And this, take a look at this one. This is a crash in Germany, 70 people were killed, it was in the late 80s. It's the kind of thing that can happen at these air shows. Incidents like this and Saturday's fatal collision in Poland raise some serious questions about air show safety. We wanted to bring it OUT IN THE OPEN. In fact, this was the fifth fatal crash at an air show just this year alone. Underscoring the risks for pilots who challenge the limits and even for spectators on the sidelines.
Joining me now is champion air show pilot Michael Wiskus.
Michael, thanks so much for being with us. You're a brave fellow. I'll tell that you.
MICHAEL WISKUS, CHAMPION AIR SHOW PILOT: Thanks. Thanks for having me, Rick.
SANCHEZ: Let's start by showing some of these different videos as we've been monitoring. That was on the weekend following a lot of these when they usually happen. And first is Poland. And I want you to -- let's watch this with the viewers. Watch the collision. There it goes. Describe to us, I imagine this is some kind of maneuver that's orchestrated and what did they just miss? How does this happen? WISKUS: You know, I don't know. I saw the -- I don't have the footage in front of me right now, but I did see that on the news here just recently. And you know, we practice an awful lot. This was in Poland, I don't know the details. But, they hit pretty hard. Evidently they didn't see each other. I can't explain to you what happened on that, but...
SANCHEZ: I guess it's imperfect. I want to show you another one now. This is out of Ohio -- Dayton, Ohio. Here the pilot dies. Let's look at the video.
Now, he goes down there, as a matter of fact, you knew this pilot, didn't you, Michael?
WISKUS: Yes, I did. And that was a hard accident, a hard crash for a lot of us, here in the United States. Jim was a very close friend to a lot of us and we've watched him perform this maneuver for years. It could have -- we still to this day don't really know what had happened.
SANCHEZ: What was he doing? Like, what was that technique? What was he trying to do that didn't seem to work? And, if you know why, tell us.
WISKUS: That was a half Cuban Eight, it's called, with several Snap Rolls on the backside. So, he's coming down around the backside and he's snapping down to the ground and then he'd pull up...
SANCHEZ: Go ahead and put that back up, Will, as he's describing it.
WISKUS: There wasn't enough room for Jim to pull out. I'm not really sure what happened.
SANCHEZ: Wow, that's tough. There's another one, there's another one, as a matter of fact, this one's in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. And I think what we're going to see here are some single engine warplanes that apparently went down. And apparently in this case they ended up crashing into each other. We've got aftermath video of this one and I think we may be able to see on the ground what's left of it. What -- you know, you wonder what happened -- go ahead.
WISKUS: Well, the Oshkosh incident was a landing incident. In fact, I was up flying at the time, just above them, and they came in formation. And you know, formation flying, taking off and landing, I mean, the pilots in warplanes have been doing that since World War I. I mean from the very beginning. We don't know what happened, but they clipped each other, and they hit. But you know, the thing you've got to look at here is we've got a lot of rules in place. Now, what happened in Poland, I'm not too sure about, I don't know all the details...
SANCHEZ: Well, wait a minute...
WISKUS: What happened in Germany was terrible, but... SANCHEZ: That's the one. That's the one. Before you -- before you -- before you -- Michael, before you talk about that, I want the viewer to actually see what was really the grand daddy of all the horrible accidents. This is Germany, Ramstein Airbase, 1988. Let's just take a look at this and natural sound up for a little bit. We're not hearing the sound, but just watching the pictures is enough. I mean, just out of respect, you almost want to be able to watch this -- 70 people were killed, three planes end up crashing into each other. I mean, this is a disaster.
WISKUS: Absolutely. I agree with you, Rick, 100 percent. So much has changed from then. You know, we learn from our mistakes. Right now, the way that we do this, we don't project any energy toward the crowd any more.
SANCHEZ: Oh, I see.
WISKUS: Nothing like that. So a lot of rules have changed.
SANCHEZ: That's what I was going to ask about, protecting the crowd. There's a lot of people out there, how do you make sure there's -- so, what happened there was the lesson you guys don't do it over them anymore?
WISKUS: You bet. And you got to realize that in the United States and in Canada, we've had that rule in place for a lot of years. Over in the, in Europe, that hasn't been the case. The whole idea here is to keep the spectator and the volunteers safe. You know? Unfortunately for Jim, very close friend, we lost Jim. I've lost friends in the past. But it's been -- and I'm just thinking here, it's been 30 to 40 years since we've lost spectators or any volunteers at all and that's because of the rules that we've put in place to keep these people safe.
SANCHEZ: Michael, we appreciate that. And we appreciate you being on to take us through something like this. And we're sorry for your loss, my friend.
WISKUS: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: All right, there's some more pictures we want to show you, now. Take a look at this. This is in Hull, Massachusetts. Four kayakers suddenly get pulled by rising waters. A couple of them are actually pulled underneath there. We apologize for showing this guy's backside. We'll try and cover it up there. They're just desperately trying to see if they can get him out of there somehow.
OK, they get him out, right? But there's still another one that's stuck under there -- under that -- see that little hole under the bridge. And they're barely able to breathe, but they're trying to get down there and pull him out of there. It's really just an amazing story. In fact, we've got one of the survivors on the phone with us now. His name is Don Ritz.
Don, thanks so much for joining us.
DON RITZ, RESCUED BOATER: Yes.
SANCHEZ: What happened?
RITZ: I was rowing in my dory in the Weir River in Hull with my friend Meg Cochran who was in a kayak and we were near this culvert and I knew about this culvert and the tide was very strong and we heard some yells and I knew right away that this was bound to happen, somebody in a kayak got sucked into this culvert, and we turned around immediately to get there as quickly as we could...
SANCHEZ: Let me ask you a question, because I was curious when I was watching this. If you continued going through that culvert, where would it come out to?
RITZ: It came into a sluice gate that went -- drops down from there into a pond. So, there was not a navigable bridge, and basically a dead end...
SANCHEZ: I mean, how much -- how much -- how long would that be? I mean, I guess what I'm trying to get through here...
RITZ: Across to the sluice gates on other side. It was a two- lane road that went across, and it was, you know, at least 20 feet under there to some kind of a strainer, filter gate.
SANCHEZ: Oh, my God.
RITZ: And God knows what was under there it could have been debris, shopping carts...
SANCHEZ: Well so -- oh there -- well, hold on. You must said there was a strainer on the other side, so if you get pulled by that thing, there's no way to come out, because you're going to be stuck up against the gate. You've going to be (INAUDIBLE), right?
RITZ: That's right. And I know that (INAUDIBLE). We got there as quick as we could and there were three people in the water with their heads barely above in that narrow space.
SANCHEZ: Oh my goodness.
RITZ: And Meg and I did what we could at the time to keep them from going further in. They were hanging on, literally, for dear life by their fingertips and we managed to hold them back until some help came and my boat, the dory, one of the guys -- the guy that's in the video...
SANCHEZ: We should probably mention too, that a dory -- a dory is a -- is a type...
RITZ: A row boat with a flat bottom...
SANCHEZ: A row boat that you guys use out there.
RITZ: And I'm a rower.
SANCHEZ: Hey Don, we got to go. We appreciate you taking time to take us through this. Amazing situation. We're glad you're with us and we're glad your friend survived, as well. God bless, man, take care.
RITZ: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: All right, my next guest is somebody who called Mohamed a murdering pedophile. My other guest got him kicked off TV for saying it. That's right. And they're both going to be here face-to- face, mano-a-mano. We're OUT IN THE OPEN. Stay with us.
SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez OUT IN THE OPEN and off the air, a Christian TV talk show host in Florida getting the heave-ho after complaints alleging extreme bias against the Islamic faith. What did he say? Well, listen to this.
He said that "Islam is 1,400 year old lie from the pits of hell." He calls the prophet Mohammed "a murdering it madman," says Islam, the religion, "is all about hate, lies and death." And he also says that "the Koran was written by a pedophile, murderer named Mohammed."
Joining me now, the man at the center of the debate, televangelist, Bill Keller, president of Bill Killer Ministries who was taken off the air as a result. Also Ahmed Badir, executive director of the Tampa chapter on the Council on America-Islamic Relations.
My thanks to both of you gentlemen for being with us.
Mr. Keller, let me begin with you. Do you still believe that Mohamed is indeed a murdering pedophile, as you called him?
BILL KELLER, BILL KELLER MINISTRIES: Rick, it's good to be with you tonight. Rick, I'm an evangelist and for the last 19 years of my life, I've brought the truth of God's word and the hope of Jesus Christ in to millions of people's lives...
SANCHEZ: That's all well -- that's all well and good, sir, but please, if you would just answer the question.
KELLER: No, I understand that. In so doing, I deal with the false religions in the world, like Islam.
SANCHEZ: I got it.
KELLER: Its historical fact that Mohamed was a murderer. It's a historical fact that that he had sex with a 9-year-old girl. In anybody's terminology, that makes him a murderering pedophile. It was in the context of dealing with this false religion to try to bring people of that faith to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, which is what I have done for the last 19 years...
SANCHEZ: We thank you, sir. Mr. Badir, would you get a shot at this, and then tell him how you would react to someone saying that about your prophet.
AHMED BEDIER, COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS: Well, Mr. Bill Keller is completely misinformed and in the business of spreading lies and hatred and bigotry when we realized that he was spreading this type of nonsense on a public television station or public airwaves, we reached out -- we used our positive speech against his hate speech.
We never said he doesn't have the right to say what he was saying. We simply used our own free speech and appealed to the TV station owners and said look, you need to disassociate yourself from this bigotry and hatred and demonizing religious minorities and they agreed with us. And he lost fair and square.
SANCHEZ: Do you want to respond? By the way, Mr. Bedier...
KELLER: Rick, let me jump in.
SANCHEZ: Go ahead.
KELLER: See, what this real issue is, it's about an organization, CARE, who no more speaks for the Muslim community than Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton speak for the Black community. They have a track record of coming against anybody that will speak out against their false religion, they're and intimidating, and bullying organization. That's what they do.
SANCHEZ: Mr. Keller, let's be fair. If somebody said that about Jesus Christ, what you're saying about them...
KELLER: Rick, they do every day. We don't go out and try to kick all...
SANCHEZ: Who has called Jesus Christ a murdering pedophile of late?
KELLER: Rick, go turn on the latest movie out "The Ten," makes a mockery of Christ. They're putting always putting art exhibits out making a mockery of faith. The Christian faith is mocked all the time.
SANCHEZ: You're right, and when they do that...
KELLER: And when somebody stands up for the faith, like I do, you get these extremist groups like CARE.
SANCHEZ: As a matter of fact, as Christian I do, too, but I don't think that my defending my faith has to do with putting another man's faith down and maybe that's the import issue, here.
KELLER: Well, we're here to help lead people in this false religion to faith in Christ, which we've successfully done. You're dealing with an organization that's out to silence...
BEDIER: Rick, can I jump in?
KELLER: ...anybody who speaks up against their false religion.
SANCHEZ: Yeah, let's give Mr. Badier a chance, here. Go ahead.
BEDIER: It's just like the NAACP or the ADL would oppose hatred and bigotry to their groups and their minorities, we're doing simply the same thing. Instead of protesting and sending threats and other things, we just simply used positive speech. We left the decision up to the TV station. And the TV station decided with us. He lost fair and square. Hatred and bigotry doesn't win...
KELLER: We lost nothing...
BEDIER: And that's not the message of...
KELLER: ...because my morning program started...
BEDIER: Bill Keller -- Bill Keller.
KELLER: ...and my nationwide program's on in two weeks.
SANCHEZ: Well gentlemen, we're going to have to leave it there. Bill Keller, Ahmed Bedier, thanks for being with us. Good luck to you both.
KELLER: God bless you.
SANCHEZ: Time for a business break. The markets may have been shut down for Labor Day but a lot of investors have their minds on their money, nonetheless, they're hoping that the credit meltdown that sent stocks plunging a few weeks ago, is going to force the feds to slash interest rates. The next fed meeting on September 18.
And then a new report says the country's workers aren't seeing bigger paychecks even though the economy has been growing for six years and the Economic Policy Institute says it's not likely that they're going to see big raises, at least not anytime soon.
Coming up, can you buy a cure for a loved one, like your son, for example? Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK DANT, RYAN'S DAD: Actually, golf tournaments is what I believe saved Ryan's life. (END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: You heard right, they arranged a golf tournament to raise money for their son's medical care. Where were their insurance companies? Well, you got to see this one to believe it. We'll be right back.
SANCHEZ: And we welcome you back. Imagine your child having a disease that's so rare that doctors can't even treat it, let alone try and cure it. Well, when doctors told the family you're about to meet that their little boy might not live past 10, they didn't give up. Nope, neither did their son, as a matter of fact. They did have to go it alone, though. Raising millions to try and find a cure. Medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen, now with tonight's "Vital Signs."
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): By all accounts, Ryan Dant shouldn't be here today. When he was three years old, doctors told Ryan's parents he had a rare genetic disorder called MPF-1. The disease was devastating his body. There was no treatment. And doctors said Ryan would lose his hearing, his sight, and would be in a wheelchair. They said Ryan wouldn't live past his 10th birthday.
MARK DANT, RYAN'S DAD: We'd carry him to his little bed and put him sleep and watch him sleep and wonder, is tonight the night that he will not wake up?
COHEN: But incredibly, Ryan lived to see his high school graduation this past Spring.
DANT: We had a lot of golf tournaments. Actually, golf tournaments is what I believe saved Ryan's life.
COHEN: That's right, golf tournaments. Desperate to save their son and frustrated by the lack of treatment options, the Dants went out on their own, they raised nearly $3 million and gave it to a researcher at UCLA who discovered a treatment for Ryan's disease. Now, Ryan's expected to live a long and healthy life.
With all the billions of dollars that goes into medical research, the Dant story raises a frustrating question -- why do patients with rare diseases often have to resort to do it yourself fund-raising? The cold reality is, it's tough to make money off rare diseases, so pharmaceutical companies are sometimes hesitant to invest.
AMY DOCKSER MARCUS, WALL STREET JOURNAL: In general, if you get a rare disease, there's very, very few places you can turn.
COHEN: Amy Dockser Marcus writes about rare diseases for the "Wall Street Journal." Earlier this year, she lost her mother to a rare form of cancer. Before she died, doctors had to give her drugs meant for other cancers because there was so little research for her cancer. MARCUS: She had eight rounds of chemotherapy and each one was a failure.
COHEN: This sounds familiar to Risa Sherman, whose young daughter, Lucy, has a type of brain tumor so rare there's little money being spent on medical research.
RISA SHERMAN, LUCY'S MOM: It's just unacceptable. That's not good enough for our kids.
COHEN: So Sherman and these other parents have taken matters into their own hands. In just three years, they've raised $5 million. They hope, like Ryan Dant's family, to someday come up with a cure.
Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, Needham, Massachusetts.
SANCHEZ: Got some more video pics to show you. As a matter of fact, remember that "Thriller" album that Michael Jackson put out? Well, here it is. As done by the prisoners somewhere in the Philippines, hundreds of them, they don't have weight so they don't work out, so the this...
Oh, my goodness. Yeah, this is what they do. Hey, this was so big it was on YouTube. Look at these guys. Pretty good, huh? I mean they got it down. They work out for like three hours a day, and you know, takes all kinds. Well, they're doing well, and we're happy to bring it to you.
Hurricane Felix dumping tons of rain on Aruba. When we come back, we're going to show you some of the situations that people are having to deal with as a result of the storm. Stay with us, we'll be right back.
SANCHEZ: There's some pictures we just got out of Aruba. That's what they're having to contend with. Yeah, they got their car out and they're all so excited, because Larry King is coming up next.
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