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Gitmo Trial Begins This Week; Aid Workers Killed in Afghanistan; Manhunt for Escaped Convicts; Missing Boaters Back on Land; Private Accused of Leaking Afghanistan War Documents to WikiLeaks; Interview with Presidential Candidate/Musician Wyclef Jean; What's Up with Tiger?; Walking the Amazon
Aired August 9, 2010 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. Welcome to AMERICAN MORNING on this Monday, August 9th. I'm Kiran Chetry.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. I'm John Roberts. Thanks for being with us. Lots to talk about. Let's get right to it.
After eight years behind bars, Gitmo detainee, Omar Khadr, is finally getting his day in court. And the Obama administration has a lot riding on the military proceedings. We're live in Washington this morning.
CHETRY: Outrage and anger after 10 members of a medical team, six of them Americans, were robbed and murdered in Afghanistan. The Taliban claims responsibility, saying that the victims were carrying Bibles and promoting Christianity, an accusation the organization behind the aid group denies.
We're live in Afghanistan with the latest information this morning.
ROBERTS: Grammy winner and presidential candidate Wyclef Jean joins us live this hour, the native son returning to Haiti to run for president. It's going to take more than star power, though, to win. Can he save his country?
CHETRY: Also, the amFIX blog is up and running. We'd love for you to join the live conversation. Just head to cnn.com/amFIX.
ROBERTS: We begin the hour on a security watch. He is the youngest Gitmo detainee and he will be the first to be tried under the Obama administration. Omar Khadr's case could provide a glimpse of how the White House plans to prosecute terror detainees moving forwards.
CHETRY: So, the legal and political stakes are high for the president.
Homeland security correspondent, Jeanne Meserve, is following developments. She's in Washington.
So, just refresh our memories about this case. Who is he and what is he facing?
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, he is the youngest detainee at Guantanamo, only 15 and the only westerner, he's Canadian. His trial has drawn international criticism and it's also being closely watched as the first test of the revised military commission system under the Obama administration.
MESERVE (voice-over): Omar Khadr, sobbing during an interrogation at Guantanamo Bay in 2003.
OMAR KHADR, GUANTANAMO DETAINEE: You don't care about me, that's what.
MESERVE: For eight years, the young Canadian has been in custody there. This week, he is finally slated to have his day in court before a military commission. Khadr was 15 when he was picked up on the battlefield in Afghanistan.
JOHN ALTENBURG, FMR. MILITARY COMMISSIONS OFFICIAL: There's evidence that he was making bombs. There's evidence that he was placing bombs, you know, as IEDs on roads in Afghanistan. And there's evidence that he is the person that threw a grenade that killed an American soldier.
MESERVE: Khadr's attorney strongly disagrees.
LT. COL. JON JACKSON, KHADR'S ATTORNEY: The evidence in this case is clear, clear that Omar Khadr did not throw the grenade that killed Sergeant Christopher Speer.
MESERVE: Omar Khadr's attorney says his client, now 23, was a child soldier, that interrogators threatened him with rape to obtain confessions, and that his client should be tried in federal court rather than what he calls an illegitimate, illegal and unequal military commission.
JACKSON: Separate is always unequal when it comes to a justice system. If you have a justice system that is set aside for noncitizens, it will never have validity.
MESERVE: Even recent reforms passed by Congress don't give defendants in military commissions the protections they would have in federal court. But a former top Pentagon lawyer believes they are fair and all detainees should be tried there.
ALTENBURG: I don't see the need or have the desire to put those people who are not citizens, who are detained on a battlefield, who were fighting against the United States soldiers -- I don't see giving them the same rights that United States citizens would have.
MESERVE: Khadr's lawyer said yesterday there is a possibility his client could boycott the proceedings or fire him. But as of now, the case is expected to move forward this week. The result and the reaction to it could affect the administration's decision on where to try the more notorious 9/11 conspirators, courts or commissions.
John and Kiran, back to you.
CHETRY: All right. Jeanne Meserve for us this morning -- thanks so much.
And we're also getting a closer look this morning at the aid workers who lost their lives trying to help those in need in Afghanistan. The 10 members of the medical team were actually on their way back to Kabul after helping several people who needed medical attention when they were ambushed, robbed and murdered.
ROBERTS: The Taliban was quick to claim responsibility for killings, accusing the group of being spies and promoting Christianity -- accusations the head of the International Assistance Mission denies.
Joining us now live on the telephone from Kabul is Nic Lee. He is the director of the Afghanistan NGO Safety Office.
CHETRY: Thanks for being with us this morning, Nic. Are you able to hear us?
NIC LEE, DIRECTOR, AFGHANISTAN NGO SAFETY OFFICE (via telephone): Yes, I can hear you fine.
CHETRY: First of all, our condolences to the family and friends and everyone who knew these 10 people doing great work there. And for this tragedy to happen, it's just mindboggling. It has not changed, though, the way that other aid organizations are going to be operating in the future in Afghanistan.
LEE: Well, I think the important part is it's a little too early from this incident occurring. There's no conclusion of the investigation as to precisely which group conducted this and possibly what their motivations would be. That's quite common for a variety of opposition groups to make plans on these types of incidents.
So, it's a little bit early for us to generally assess what the impact will be. There's a little bit of background for that. It does occur within an environment where generally attacks on NGOs and humanitarian have actually been in decline. We've been monitoring a tax on aid agencies since 2002. And our latest data for 2010 actually showed an overall drop off of about 35 percent compared to the same period of last year. A lot of this is down to a set of security protocols on behalf of NGOs, people who have restricted road movement, they've moved out of more dangerous areas.
So, we've also generally seen a little bit of a shift on behalf of the primary opposition, the Taliban, to not really targeting NGO workers. A lot of people have been abducted. They have been released. We've had interactions between the Taliban and NGO workers across the country, (INAUDIBLE) non-secularly.
So, this is very much something a little bit out of the norm for the trend so far this year. So, I think, like everyone else, we tend to wait for the investigation to conclude so we have a clear idea of who conducted this and why.
ROBERTS: Nic, we spoke with the Libby Little, who is the wife of Tom Little, the lead doctor there with the organization. And she says that, you know -- I mean, they've been in the country for more than three decades and they're not afraid to go into dangerous areas. And she said that they ran into trouble before where they would be captured by somebody and held hostage for a while. And they always won them over by saying, well, let's give you some medical treatment here because you're probably just as much in need as other people in the region.
But they couldn't talk their way out of this one. Does this, to you, represent a disturbing new development that may be some of these rogue groups just are not willing to listen, that the level of intolerance has risen? Or might it be simply that they were just criminals and they didn't care who they killed?
LEE: Well, you had a number of valid points there. I mean, first, the issue of longevity. And this is what we hear time and time again from the NGOs that we work with, is that if they have this kind of extensive local acceptance by the community, then that very much trumps to the perception of the opposition groups towards them individually and organizationally.
And you're actually right, there have been many cases throughout the years, and 29 cases in this year alone, where the NGO workers have been abducted by various opposition groups and they've been, quite honestly, fairly well-treated and then released after maybe, you know, 10 to 15 days in captivity. That in itself has changed a little bit this year as compared to previous years, and it's given us cause to take actually a slight softening of the position toward NGOs generally.
LEE: The important thing is that no one really has complete control of the battle stakes here. So, there's a big difference between, you know, perhaps the strategic intent on anybody's side and the tactical reality of that. So, it's very feasible that small unit commandoes operating in remote areas can take their own initiative. As you say, you know, it's a violent. It's a very violent act.
So -- but again, until we really understand who that was and why they did it, we couldn't really put it in a broader context. At this point, we suspect it's not going to reflect too much of an overall strategic change.
I don't think it represents, you know, the Taliban now deciding whether, you know, open season on NGOs. I think that's clearly not the case. They certainly have some kind of self-interest in organizations that do bring these types of services, you know, to the Afghan people as is, you know, quite clear.
But again, momentarily, maybe I'll eat those words, but this time, we don't necessarily see a change in policy more than, you know, inoculated localized decision taken by the commander in the field at that time.
CHETRY: Well, certainly, a tragic one -- one that's brought widespread condemnation, including from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as others. Well, we'll continue to follow the latest developments.
But Nic Lee -- thanks for joining us this morning -- director of Afghanistan NGO Safety Office.
ROBERTS: All right.
CHETRY: We're going to take a quick break.
For the first time, a woman will head one of the 16 major U.S. intelligence agencies. Quickly, actually, we'll show it to you. Letitia Long, there she is, she will formally accept command of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency today. Long has spent 32 years in government, including more than two decades in the intelligence community.
ROBERTS: In California, a 14-year-old boy has confessed to accidentally setting a wildfire that burned through 40 acres and threatened about 50 homes outside Los Angeles. The teen told police that he and a friend were smoking marijuana when he dropped the lightener in the dry brush.
CHETRY: And more severe weather is expected today in the Midwest. Over the weekend, a storm chaser captured some dramatic pictures of this twister up close. This is in Minnesota. It ripped apart a farmhouse.
Let's listen so to some of the reaction as this was happening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, no! Oh, no, no, no, no!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHETRY: Well, you can see pieces of the building literally being tossed into the air by the funnel cloud. Too bad we don't have the picture again because it's just amazing how close they got.
The National Weather Service says that as many as seven tornadoes may have touched down in southeast North Dakota and western Minnesota. But as you look at the funnel cloud, it's amazing to think no one injured.
ROBERTS: Yes, it's pretty incredible stuff.
Rob Marciano is tracking the weather forecast across the country.
And some parts of the country are not out of the woods just yet, Rob.
ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: No, same spot I think across the Northern Plains. This is the time of year where they're going to get severe weather, and that particular tornado we just showed you on video was analyzed and found to be an EF-3, meaning winds could have exceeded 150 miles an hour, maybe even more than that with that tornado touching down late Saturday.
So, the highlighted red areas behind me is where you'll see the threat for severe weather later today. We already have some thunderstorms that were rolling through Chicago. But the hazy, hot, humid conditions -- that's going to be the main weather player, I think, not only today, but for the rest of the week. In some cases, you'll be 15 degrees above seasonal averages up near the Canadian border.
But notice how the above average temperatures dry pretty much east of the continental divide, all the way to the east coast. That would include the I-95 corridor from D.C. up through New York City and Boston with temperatures in those areas will be well into the lower and mid-90s. And you couple in the humidity and it will feel warmer than that. So, stay cool out there on the west coast.
Speaking of cool, it's pretty cool in Greenland, but they're shedding some ice. We're going to have some pictures of a huge iceberg. There they are -- dropping into the ocean there in the northwest part of Greenland, 92 square miles, about four times the size of Manhattan.
And they think if that were to melt, that would feed the U.S. water supply for 120 days. So, dramatic stuff coming out of Greenland there. They had not seen an iceberg release like that or cap, as they say, since 1962.
All right, guys, just trying to get some cool thoughts in your head now that everyone is sweating so much.
ROBERTS: It's always -- it's always a good idea, though, to keep the glaciers where they're supposed to be, Rob, isn't it?
MARCIANO: Yes, we try to do that. There is a small chance that it might, you know, hit a passage that will block further releasing of glaciers. But that's the only good news that I can find out of that one.
ROBERTS: OK. Rob, thanks so much.
And A.M. "Follow-Up" now. You may remember the little girl near Portland, Oregon, whose lemonade shop was shot down because she and her mom didn't have the proper government permit. I mean, this is like a chapter out of the book, "The Death of Common Sense." Now that she has an apology from county officials and has set up shop again, her mom says business at the lemonade stand is booming.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIA FIFE, DAUGHTER'S LEMONADE STAND BACK OPEN: I am very overwhelmed. I don't know what to think. And we're appreciative. This means so much for us as a family.
Some people have just driven by and given $10 without even wanting lemonade. It looks like we're going to on Disneyland because we're going to use the money for Disneyland souvenirs. So, I -- that's probably what we'll do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Now that your lemonade stand, Julie Murphy, is back up, where are you going to go? Disneyland.
This time, she put her lemonade stand outside a tire shop. A local radio station helped get the word out. And as you can see, there's a line up for the lemonade.
CHETRY: Lining up for that. Good for them.
All right. Well, a happy ending after all.
Still ahead, jumping on the charity bandwagon -- 40 billionaires, so far, have agreed to give away at least half their fortunes to charity. We're going to be speaking with billionaire Lorry Lokey coming up.
ROBERTS: And three Florida fishermen are back on dry land after drifting out into the Atlantic Ocean for three days. Their story is coming up next.
It's 13 minutes after the hour.
ROBERTS: Sixteen minutes after the hour. Developing right now, authorities believe two escaped killers and their female accomplice are hiding somewhere in or near Yellowstone National Park. The two fugitives, John McCluskey and Tracy Province have been linked to a double murder in New Mexico. Since their escape from an Arizona prison ten days ago, they are said to be very dangerous and very desperate.
CHETRY: After three days adrift at sea, three Florida men are safe this morning. They say that their boat broke down during what was supposed to be a one-day fishing trip off of West Palm Beach on Thursday. When they tried to call for help, their radio didn't work. They were spotted Saturday night by a U.S. navy frigate 85 miles east of Jacksonville.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN LAND, BOATER: It's good to be -- I mean, looking at buildings and trees and stuff, that's a beautiful thing, because out there, we couldn't even see the glow of the city lights anymore. KEVIN WOOD, BOATER: A little scary, you know, but we was making due and surviving with what we had.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHETRY: The boaters said that they ate what they caught raw with some spicy mustard during their three-day ordeal at sea.
ROBERTS: It wasn't all bad, three days of sushi. Some people will bail (ph) on a money for that.
It's still a disaster. Admiral Thad Allen, the point man for the president on the Gulf of Mexico, stressing that the Gulf oil catastrophe is far from over despite the fact that the well has been capped, killed and many beaches are looking a lot better in recent days. On CNN's "State of the Union" yesterday, he talked about dealing with BP and public opinion aside, how they did overall.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: A grade from A to F, how did BP do handling this?
ADM. THAD ALLEN (RET.), NATIONAL INCIDENT COMMANDER: I think I'd have to break it into parts. I think at the well head, I'm not sure there's any oil company that could do more than they did. The technology was needed to be brought in from other parts of the world was. It took a long time to engineer it. It took a long time to install it, but ultimately, it helped us put the cap on and control the well. So, I give them fairly good marks there. What BP is not good at, they're a large global oil production company.
They don't do retail sales or deal with individuals on a transactional basis. With these things involve, that has been a real struggle for them. I have had the conversations with Tony Hayward and Bob Dudley and the other folks, that's something they don't naturally have as a capacity or competency in their company, and it's been very, very hard for them to understand. And that's the lens by which the American people view them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Admiral Allen also said the relief well is on page (ph) to be completed by Friday or maybe the latest some time this weekend.
CHETRY: Forty billionaires, so far, are agreeing to give away half of their wealth to charity. One of them, billionaire Lorry Lokey. He's given away millions already. He's going to be joining us coming up.
CHETRY: Twenty-one minutes past the hour. Some of the nation's wealthiest people have pledged to give away more than half of their fortune. They were spurred on by two of the world's most famous philanthropist, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. And our next guest is one of the billionaires who signed on to the giving pledge.
Lorry Lokey. He joins us live from San Francisco this morning, the founder of BusinessWire. It estimated he's given away about 90 percent of his fortune approaching $700 million. Thanks so much for getting up with us this morning, Lori.
LORRY LOKEY, FOUNDED BUSINESS WIRE IN 1961: Good morning, Kiran.
CHETRY: You, obviously, signed on to this, but you were a huge giver before. What sparked your love of philanthropy? Why was it so important for you to give back?
LOKEY: It all began in childhood. See, my parents gave money they couldn't really afford during the depression years. And as you age, you begin to realize it's almost a responsibility to give money. As you age some more, you begin to enjoy seeing what happens to it. By the time you get to my age, you are loving every minute of it because of the results you see.
CHETRY: You know, there are some people who may say, it's easy if you have billions of dollars to say you're going to give half of it away, but as I understand it, you and your wife, even when you were maybe pulling in only about $20,000 a year, still gave 10 percent.
LOKEY: Yes, very close to that. One year I gave more than that, she nearly killed me.
CHETRY: Was part of this, I mean, was this through your church? Was part of it your religious beliefs or is it just your own personal conviction?
LOKEY: Yes. It was to the synagogue in San Mateo, California.
CHETRY: And when we talk about this giving pledge, I found it interesting, there are 403 billionaires in the United States. We, of course, know some of the most well-known like Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, and others like that, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, all of them have been, not only into philanthropy themselves but really trying to get others who are as fortunate money wise to give. What is the impact of, I guess, that collective peer pressure to get others to donate?
LOKEY: It has been the fact it makes people think about giving away. Too many people leave it for the grave, you live it for their estate, and they should be planning ahead of time if they have a great access of cash beyond what they want to leave their families. It's very important to plan while you're alive, and it's very important to me to actually allocate it while I'm alive, so I can sit back and enjoy it.
Such as the stem cell laboratory at Stanford University that opens next month. It will be the world's biggest, and the remaking of the whole giant sector of the University of Oregon has changed the whole outlook of that school for coming years.
CHETRY: That's wonderful. And that leads me to wondering how do you decide? I mean, I'm sure that once people know that you're giving, there are so many requests and so many pitches for why my project would be a great recipient. How do you choose?
LOKEY: Virtually, all of them are entities (ph) this that I know, whether it be an opera or symphony, a library or a school, and of course, the huge amount, 98 percent or 99 percent of what I've given has gone directly to schools and two states and Israel.
CHETRY: It's interesting because we've just been talking about today, actually, interviewed Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. You know, we're facing some tough times. We used to be number one in the world when it came to graduating college students.
Now, we dropped to 12, and anecdotally, states around the country are finding budget gaps that are forcing them to make deep cuts in things that many consider vital like pre-K programs, laying off teachers. How do we solve this problem when giving is also actually down for a second year in a row?
LOKEY: I think our government has to change its value judgement from the war fair stance to education. Education is an investment. It doesn't pay off for 20 or 30 years. And when you cut back on education, you're paralyzing our future. And that's what the states and federal government have been doing.
And it's not unique to the United States. It's happening in other countries, too. Education is the key to what your life will be.
LOKEY: And that's why I put so much emphasis on it.
CHETRY: One quick question, there's been a big debate going on, of course, about whether or not to let the Bush-era tax cuts expire especially on some of the top income earner earners. What is your view about whether or not taxing people who make over $250,000 as a household is bad for the economy or something that is vital in these tough times?
LOKEY: I guess, I pick up on the Republican Party line and say that if well to do people have less money, they'll spend less. And that that money is really needed to reinvest in the economy, and it will create more taxes as a result.
CHETRY: So, you think that it's best to let all of those taxes, tax rebates continue?
LOKEY: I feel they should be continued as is.
CHETRY: Well, it was great to talk to you this morning, Lorry Lokey. You're doing great things. You want to actually give away -- you've given away 90 percent, and you want to give away even more before it's all said and done. And I know, you're urging fellow billionaires to join you. So, thanks so much for your inspiring story.
LOKEY: Thanks, Kiran. See you later.
CHETRY: All right. Take care -- John.
ROBERTS: Twenty-seven minutes now after the hour. Can hip-hop star, Wyclef Jean lead Haiti out of despair in poverty as president? We'll ask him. He's live coming up.
And who is Bradley Manning? The 22-year-old army private suspected in a largest ever leak of intelligence in American History. Chris Lawrence is looking into his private life coming up next.
ROBERTS: It is coming up on a half hour now which means it's time for this morning's top stories.
American officials condemning the Taliban for the execution (ph) of 10 medical aid workers in Afghanistan including six Americans. U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, calls last week's massacre a, quote, "cowardly and despicable act." This morning, the head of the International Assistance Mission deny the Taliban's claim that the victims were missionaries trying to preach Christianity.
CHETRY: And 23-year-old Omar Khadr, the youngest detainee being held by the U.S. at Guantanamo Bay, is set to be tried before a military tribunal this week. He's charged with terrorist acts and killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan back in 2002. Khadr is the only westerner held at Gitmo and the first to be tried under the Obama administration.
ROBERTS: And protestors lined up outside the Marine base in Quantico, Virginia, over the weekend, most rallying to support Army Private Bradley Manning. Military officials suspect Manning of leaking tens of thousands of pages to of Afghan war document to the Web site WikiLeaks.org. A few hundred yards away though a handful of counter-protestors held signs with bloody hands on them, calling the leak "treasonous."
CHETRY: So how does the computer savvy 22-year-old go from an intelligence analyst in Iraq to the man accused of the biggest military leak in history?
ROBERTS: Our Pentagon Correspondent Chris Lawrence is investigating the private life of Private Bradley Manning. He is joining us live from the Pentagon this morning. What do we know about this fellow, Chris?
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, there's somewhat of a picture starting to emerge from the pieces we are putting together. He was a guy picked on at various points in his life, but once he got to a computer screen, he had a power he didn't have out there in the world.
LAWRENCE: Private Bradley Manning's small town life ended at the age of 13. His parents separated and his mom moved them out of Oklahoma overseas to Wales. There in the U.K., CNN tracked down old friends who told us manning didn't back down from school bullies.
TOM DYER, PREP SCHOOL FRIEND: He would always stick up for himself and for others, even if he knew he couldn't particularly win the battle.
LAWRENCE: And how he loved computers.
JAMES KIRKPATRICK, PREP SCHOOL FRIEND: He was doing hide coding, as a programmer, hide coding is some of the most complicated stuff from the ages of 14, 15. It was really talented guy.
LAWRENCE (on camera): Eventually Manning's skill with computers would get him in trouble. He'd end up here at Quantico locked up in solitary confinement. But there were other steps along the way.
LAWRENCE (voice-over): We know Manning moved back to the states five years ago. One night he came to this gay bar here in D.C. and met another young man who was in the army. But this man had a very positive experience about being gay in the military and talked to Manning about the discipline and everything else he learned.
"TIM," FRIEND OF PFC BRADLEY MANNING: I would say that it started out as a physical relationship that turned into a friendship.
LAWRENCE: We'll call him "Tim" to protect his privacy.
(on camera): What did he tell you about his background?
"TIM": He was very hurt as a person. He felt verbally, emotionally abused because of his sexuality. And so I thought maybe the army could do for him what it had done to me.
LAWRENCE (voice-over): It didn't. Tim says Manning was verbally abused right from boot camp.
"TIM": Brad took the harassment and said, well, he's making fun of me. That's not right and I feel bad about it.
LAWRENCE (on camera): What did he say to you about the fact that the army put him into that nonetheless?
"TIM": He said, I can't believe they made me an intel analyst.
LAWRENCE: You last saw him two years ago, and that point he had just gotten into a relationship with someone that you told us had sort of a profound effect on his outlook.
"TIM": Yes. Through him Brad was able to really sort of discover in himself that it was wrong, the discrimination, and how "don't ask, don't tell" sort of created an atmosphere in which that could happen because of silence because of your required silence.
LAWRENCE (voice-over): On Manning's Facebook page he did take stands, supporting the repeal of California's been on gay marriage and ending the law of "don't ask, don't tell."
"TIM": In my opinion I feel that sexuality, his own sexuality, and what has happened to him in the military coupled with the policies of the military played a significant role in the reason to why he did what he did.
LAWRENCE: Or rather, what he's accused of. Nothing has been proven. We mentioned that Manning is in prison, but that's because he's accused of giving a secret military video to WikiLeaks. He is not charged with leaking those Afghanistan arguments, but Pentagon officials say he's their main person of interest.
ROBERTS: Chris Lawrence at the Pentagon this morning. Thanks.
CHETRY: Hip-hop star Wyclef Jean says he's the right person to lead Haiti, especially in this time of immense turmoil after the earthquake. We'll talk to him in the studio coming up next on what his vision is for the earthquake-ravaged country.
CHETRY: It's 38 minutes past the hour. Wyclef Jean is a Grammy- award winning musician, a philanthropist, and as of Thursday he's a candidate for president of Haiti.
ROBERTS: So, what's his plan to revise the country? Joining us live is Wyclef Jean, candidate for president of the nation of Haiti. Good to see you.
WYCLEF JEAN, HAITIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good to see you.
ROBERTS: Tremendous problems in Haiti, not just the economy and jobs. It ranks as the poorest nation in the western hemisphere. Presidential candidate Wyclef Jean, what is your plan to lift the country out of that crushing poverty?
JEAN: The first thing, before we nor the in the earthquake, a majority of the population couldn't read or write. We barely had infrastructure and job creation. After the quake, you have to multiply that by four.
And the key of getting Haiti out of the problem is education -- 90 percent of the population has to pay to go to school, and they are living on less than a dollar a day. So the key would be how to provide a quality and a free education for this 90 percent of the population, and how do we create job creation.
One of the ways is, I was watching what donors did in Kenya and Morocco, where they take the responsibility of an engineer or do nor where you commit to giving free education and taking care of the family from grades one to eight.
Keep in mind, the money is coming inside the country. How is the money managed and distributed in what programs it goes into is another question.
CHETRY: Education, of course, is the foundation and cornerstone for any successful country. Right now in the wake of the earthquake, there's been a lack of even the debris being able to be cleared in many areas, homes being able to be rebuilt, a lot of tussles over land ownership and rights. How would you go about trying to get that back up and running?
JEAN: Well, the first thing is I want people to understand that the situation in Haiti is better than Port-au-Prince. So when you are looking at Haiti, I want you to see past just the tent cities.
If we are talking about decentralizing, which we have been talking about, we have to start talking about agricultural and start setting up agrarian farms on the outer-skirts outside of Port-au- Prince and get people to start going back to these places.
So there you can provide a home and a piece of land. This land should be given to them for free. Once people feel they own something they can grow something. What happens is people will leave Port-au- Prince if they leave there's nowhere to go.
ROBERTS: One of the biggest problems you have in Haiti is the corruption that has crippled that country for so many years. Phillip Brutus, a Haitian-American from Miami who is also a candidate for Congress, said of the corruption there and of you, quote, "I fear if you parachute him into the Haitian presidency, the culture of corruption and cronyism there may well eat him alive."
You spent much of your time on the outside of things talking about Haiti on the global scale, but you had not been in there learning the wheres, whys, and how tos of what's going on with the corruption. How do you parachute in and prevent yourself from being eaten alive by it?
JEAN: The first thing is, I have been in Haiti. I have a clear understanding of what I'm getting to. Understand, when you have a country where the police are not paid on time and some of the lawyers and judges don't know where their checks are coming from, and sometimes you have a parliament that necessarily cannot agree on things, the budget comes in and the money disappears, the first thing I have to do and the reason why I'm running is because Wyclef Jean is a neutral candidate. I have no problem to sit with any party and saying, look, if --
ROBERTS: How do you say to someone, I know that you are stealing from the country and building yourself beautiful mansions in the Port- au-Prince with the money you are skimming on the top. That stops now. They say to you, how are you going to stop me?
JEAN: You have to implement law, and policy has to be respected. In Haiti the law is implemented but it is not really respected. It is implemented for the very few, and law has to be implemented for all, and that's how we'll bring investment into the country. CHETRY: I'm sure you knew critics would be coming out to talk about various things. One thing that Sean Penn, who has been very critical of you, has said that he has spent a lot of time in Haiti and he hasn't seen you on the ground in the wake of the earthquake. Here's what he said to Wolf Blitzer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN PENN, ACTOR: I have to say, I'm very suspicious of it, simply because he as an ambassador-at-large has been virtually silent, for those of us in Haiti, he's been a non-presence. I want to see someone who is really, really willing to sacrifice for their country and not just someone who I personally saw with a vulgar entourage of vehicles demonstrating a wealth in Haiti that in context I felt was a very obscene association.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHETRY: Those are some harsh words from Sean Penn. How do you respond?
JEAN: The first thing is, I want Sean Penn to understand I have been coming to Haiti before six months and the quake. I always wanted stars to go to Haiti to bring the light to Haiti. So I brought Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
I want Sean to understand the place where he is located in Haiti, the reason he has not seen me there, Haiti has a population of nine million people. In Haiti we focus on the rough areas that NGOs would not go to. The idea is not to go to scene Sean Penn's camp to take a photo-op but to be doing the real work. So the majority of the Haitian people understand what we're doing.
ROBERTS: A little bit of criticism coming from Pras Micheal, who is a former member of the Fugees and a cousin of yours. He's supporting Michele Martelli, who is another musician running for the presidency.
He said you lack a definitive plan to bring Haiti into the 21st century. Speak to this about what Michele Martelli says about you. He says he's a better candidate because he's local, whereas you're global, again suggesting you don't really know the lay of the land of the country.
JEAN: Well, I think to move Haiti towards the future, it has to be someone that's in Haiti but that can leave Haiti and travel outside of Haiti and communicate with the rest of the world.
As far as Prime Michelle (ph) I understand his point of view. I was a member of the Fugees with him. I don't think that we've had more than a 30-second conversation outside of the Fugees for him to understand my growth.
The policy that I have for education is if 90 percent of the population has to pay for school, how do we get them free in quality education and this is how we take them into the 21st century. CHETRY: Jean, talk a little bit about the corruption issue also the mismanagement funds that have taken place that many talk about in Haiti. And one of the -- the questions that's being raised is whether or not you yourself can properly handle money.
That Smoking Gun Web site published several documents, three of them are tax liens -- federal tax liens filed against you to the tune of $2.1 million. You said on "LARRY KING" that everything has been paid up. Is that the case now?
JEAN: Yes, what I want people to understand is I make a lot of money, right -- we all know that. And you have to pay your IRS. You work out deals with the IRS situations. Everything is being taken care off.
The one thing I learned about these United States of America is the law is the law. I respect the law, I will never run from the law.
The idea of managing money, one thing that Haiti lacks is management. And I think with good management we'll be able to handle the situation with the proper prime minister.
ROBERTS: Well, good luck to you in the campaign. And obviously, there are a lot of questions between now and Election Day. We hope you come back and answer some of them.
JEAN: I will come back. Thank you.
ROBERTS: It's very important to try to get that country back on its feet.
JEAN: Thank you.
CHETRY: Are you sure you want to do this, by the way?
JEAN: Oh yes, I do.
CHETRY: It's a huge undertaking.
JEAN: Yes. I do.
ROBERTS: OK, it's good to see you this morning.
JEAN: Thank you.
CHETRY: All right, well, thanks for joining us.
JEAN: Thank you.
CHETRY: It's great to have you with us.
CHETRY: All right, we're going to take a quick break. When we come back, heat, rains from the Midwest all the way to the East Coast; our Rob Marciano breaking all of it down for us. He also has some amazing pictures of the tornado that rips through the Midwest.
Forty-seven minutes after the hour.
ROBERTS: Good morning Boston well, right now, it's a mixture of clouds and sunshine on the high and it's 78 degrees, later on today a high of 90 with some isolated thunderstorms.
This is the time of the year in New England where is just kind of gets soupy (ph) and humid. And really is, there's no question.
CHETRY: Yes, pretty color in the skies though this morning if you are looking up there and headed to work. Rob Marciano is giving us a check on the weather across the country today -- hey, Rob.
ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hi, good morning, guys. You know what? Let's start with what's going on down across Miami and parts of South Florida. A little area of disturbed weather -- boy it's been raining across much of Florida for the past couple of days, in some cases flooding rain. It is just this disturbance that's kind of creating it.
And the National Hurricane Center is watching this for potentially developing into something, but it is so close to land right now there's no immediate threat. It's going to bring more rain. But if the disturbance itself gets into the Gulf later in the week, of course, we're going to have to watch that a little bit more carefully.
Chicago up to (INAUDIBLE) Grand Rapids -- some rough thunderstorms here, mostly there's some heavy rain and some wind gusts. But the main story today, with the exception of the severe weather threat across parts of the extreme northern tier will be the heat across a large chunk of real estate once again. This will be ongoing throughout the rest of this week.
Good heat pump coming in from the Gulf of Mexico so you bring in that humidity as well. We have those heat advisories and warnings that are up for a lot of states. Actually, it is starting to sneak up into the northeast as well.
A lot of folks will get a little taste of above average temps; 15 degrees above for the northern tier. 5 to 10 degrees below average for our friends who waking up this early on the West Coast.
I know it has been a cool summer for you but folks who are going to be enduring 101 degrees temperatures in Dallas; 100 in Kansas City; they'll take that 77 degrees in Los Angeles in a heartbeat; 92 in New York today for a high temperature, warm and humid for the Big Apple.
John and Kiran, back up to you.
ROBERTS: Yes, take the 77 in L.A., the 58 in San Francisco is pushing it.
MARCIANO: That's a cold one, yes. Always cold this time of year, though.
ROBERTS: Thank Rob.
CHETRY: Sweatshirt weather -- thanks Rob.
ROBERTS: Well "Golf" magazine's headline says it all. Tiger's game hits rock bottom with a shockingly awful week. Tiger Woods staggered his way through his worst tournament ever as a pro this week in the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone. It is a tournament that Tiger has won an unprecedented seven times in the past. A tune-up for next week's PGA championship next week as well.
This year, he finished 18 over par placing in a tie for 78th in a field of 80. He was 30 shots behind the leader. The only bright spot for tiger, Phil Mickelson failed to place fourth or better at the event meaning that Tiger still hangs on to his number one ranking heading in to Thursday's PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, in Wisconsin.
CHETRY: There's the one bright spot. You found it. Maybe that was just -- he had to get it out of his system.
ROBERTS: It's been said many times and it bears repeating. Golf is a game of inches -- the space between here and here.
CHETRY: I don't play, but I get it, I think.
Well, the first man to hike the Amazon River -- he's expected to finish his epic trek this morning. If you think golf is bad, try wrestling anacondas.
Fifty-three minutes past the hour.
CHETRY: Well, get the calamine lotion ready or you may need more than that. A British hiker is set to complete a historic journey this morning; a treacherous walk that started back in April of '08. That's when Ed Stafford set out to become the first person to walk the entire length of the Amazon River; that's more than 4,200 miles.
ROBERTS: The explorer is on a mission to raise awareness for the disappearing rain forest. He's also raising money for five charities.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED STAFFORD, BRITISH EXPLORER: To try to make (INAUDIBLE) and deforestation as a subject interesting for the school kids and follow some dark British explorer down the length of the Amazon is actually quite a fun and we have had such a positive response.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Stafford is a former army captain, but even his army experience didn't prepare him for what he had to face along the way; dangers like pit vipers, piranhas, anacondas, locals with bows and arrows, machete -- some even carrying a shotgun. But he says the worst part of it all has been the damn mosquitoes.
CHETRY: I'd still say the anacondas but maybe it's just me.
ROBERTS: I think your chances of getting bitten by a mosquito versus suffocated by an anaconda --
CHETRY: Although mosquito bites eventually go away.
ROBERTS: They do.
We're going to take a quick break. Three minutes until the top of the hour.
CHETRY: All right. Continue the conversations on any of the stories that you've seen today by going to our blog, cnn.com/amfix. That's going to do it for us on this Monday morning in August. We hope you have a great day.
Thanks for being here. We'll see you back here tomorrow.
ROBERTS: The news continues here on CNN with Kyra Phillips in the "CNN NEWSROOM". And you know, we talk about Tiger Woods' foibles, Kyra. He wishes he had your game. We should point out Kyra smacked 255 yards out the tee on Saturday.
CHETRY: Rock on, girl.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM": That's because --
ROBERTS: Well done.