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Judge Threatens Attorneys; Why Greece Matters; Delta Flight Has "Engine Issue"; Green Card Lottery Lawsuit; Mayors and Military Dollars; The Price of Death Row; Taxing Your Online Purchases; The Mission in Libya; First Lady in South Africa; FDA Unveils Graphic Images for Cigarette Packs
Aired June 21, 2011 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Thousands of American families have been waiting a long time for this. President Obama announcing when some of our troops will be coming home, the end of the war in Afghanistan coming into focus on this AMERICAN MORNING.
Good morning to you. It is Tuesday, June 21st. Welcome to AMERICAN MORNING. I'm Carol Costello. Ali and Christine are off.
KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Kiran Chetry. Glad you're with us this morning.
By tomorrow, thousands of American families will find out when their loved ones are coming home from Afghanistan. One hundred thousand U.S. troops are stationed there right now. And tomorrow, President Obama announces his plan to withdraw them. It's a critical step, and there are deep divisions in Washington about how to get it done. Dan Lothian joins us live from the White House this morning. Good morning, Dan.
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, and you did touch on that, those divisions not only within the administration, but here in Washington. Some of the liberal Democrats saying that there should be a sharp drawdown of U.S. troops there considering the costs of the war, considering the fact that the U.S. was able to get Bin Laden. Others are calling for more modest withdraw because it might, if you speed things up, it could deteriorate the situation on the ground.
Now, by the numbers, there are 100,000 U.S. troops there in Afghanistan. We got to that number in 2009 when President Obama initiated the surge of 30,000 troops. He also laid out a timeline where troop withdraws would begin in July 2011. That's next month.
The overall goal, of course, is making sure that the stability on the ground is in a position that handover to afghan security could take place in 2014. The administration says that progress is being made, more progress in the region, than just the capture or killing rather of Osama bin Laden.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There has been significant progress in disrupting or halting momentum of the Taliban and significant progress in stabilizing Afghanistan and the government to allow afghan national security forces to build up, to train and prepare for taking over the lead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LOTHIAN: Now after the president makes that speech tomorrow, he heads to fort drum in upstate New York on Thursday. That is home to the 10th division, the 10th mountain division. They played key roles in not only Afghanistan buts in Iraq. The president will be able to have some face-to-face time with them, some private meetings, and hopefully we'll get a chance to hear from the president. Kiran?
CHETRY: Dan Lothian for us at the White House, thanks so much.
COSTELLO: There is a brand new entry this morning in the Republican presidential race. Jon Huntsman, former Utah governor and former ambassador to China in the Obama administration, is set to launch his campaign this morning.
If you're thinking, Jon who? You are certainly not alone. When asked their opinion of Huntsman in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, 76 percent of Americans said they were unsure of who Jon Huntsman was.
Jim Acosta is covering Jon Huntsman's announcement at liberty state park. He joins us live there. Jon Huntsman has a long road.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He does, carol. That is -- and you raised at good point with that poll. That is a big question for Jon Huntsman. After all, we were covering him in New Hampshire about a month ago when he was starting to explore this presidential run and, you know, he's had a month to get his name out there, to start talking about this eventual campaign and he still mired in sort of the single digits in the polls.
He's hoping to change all of that later this morning at about 10:00. He's going to announce he is running for president. He has picked a very important back drop to a lot of conservative Republicans. Lady Liberty is over my shoulder. It will be over Jon Huntsman's shoulders in three hours from now. This is where Ronald Reagan launched his bid in 1980. If you're going to stand in the shadow of Ronald Reagan you better bring it.
Aides to the former governor of Utah say he will touch on a variety of themes on this speech, one being on the economy but also on the national debt and he's also going to call for a civil discourse in this upcoming campaign, which is going to be interesting because, obviously, they've been throwing a lot of red meat on the Republican side at this president.
And so it's going to be interesting to see how this plays out later. Later this afternoon he will go up to New Hampshire and down to South Carolina. So it will be no rest for Jon Huntsman from here on out.
COSTELLO: I know. Civil discourse doesn't exactly garner you attention, but we'll see what happens. His campaign videos have garnered attention because they're different and creative.
ACOSTA: It has.
COSTELLO: We're going to watch a bit of one and get your take on it, Jim.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: So, he's released one of -- these are Kiran's favorite ads, by the way.
CHETRY: The music reminds me of discover Utah, a great place to take your family this summer.
COSTELLO: That's one thing he was trying to show, trying to show out west in the spirit of Ronald Reagan, on a motorcycle, sort of like Ronald Reagan's horse.
CHETRY: You said it wasn't him on the motorcycle.
COSTELLO: Jim Acosta said it wasn't him on the motorcycle.
ACOSTA: It's not him on the motorcycle, although Jon Huntsman is into extreme sports. If you want to have Republicans forget about the fact you were the ambassador to China for Barack Obama, it's not a bad idea to put out this unique ad.
This ad comes from Fred Davis, who also put out that demon sheep ad Carly Fiorina had, and the "I'm not a witch" ad that Christine O'Donnell put out in Delaware. Those campaigns didn't work out so well, but you have to hand is to the ad maker they did change the conversation for those two candidates, and they're hoping to do the same with Jon Huntsman.
We're going to have to find out how this plays out. He is trying to take an unconventional approach in the early stages of this campaign. He's vying to be the un-Romney, and riding on the back of the motorcycle in the Utah desert is one way to do that, guys.
COSTELLO: We're going to ask him about that tomorrow, Jim Acosta, thanks very much. Tomorrow we will have Jon Huntsman on our show, AMERICAN MORNING, around 8:30 eastern time. Be sure not to miss it.
CHETRY: We're looking forward to that.
Meantime fire crews are battling 12 new wildfires in Texas alone. That brings the number of fires burning there up to at least 20. The forest service says some 500 homes are threatened and at this point more than 160 people have been evacuated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've never seen anything like this in my life. It was such a beautiful forest two days ago. Look at it now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The toughest part about fighting this fire is Mother Nature. The wind is very, very strong. It's dry. We don't have -- we haven't had any rain in a long time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two inches since January, you know I'm praying for rain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHETRY: Two inches since January, amazing. So far this year, wildfires have reportedly burned nearly three million acres, the most since Texas started keeping records on this back in 1985.
And Senator John McCain defending his comments that illegal immigrants are to blame for the wildfires in Arizona. His office put out a statement yesterday saying the senator was talking about, quote, some fires, not all, and was not speaking about the wallow fire which is the largest in the state's history.
Still, critics are calling the senator's remarks "reckless." The president of the National Institute for Latino Policy saying, quote, "The degree of irresponsible political pandering by Senator McCain has no limits, and with the lack of limits he may as well blame aliens from outer space for those fires."
COSTELLO: He became famous for his crazy stunts before YouTube existed. Ryan Dunn, one of the stars of MTV's "Jackass" movies and TV series was killed in a fiery car wreck Monday morning. Police say Dunn's Porsche spun off the road, flipped over a guardrail, and burst into flames in suburban Philadelphia. It happened early Monday morning.
Speeding probably caused the wreck. A passenger was also killed in the crash, but investigators have not been able to identify the body. A few hours before the crash, Dunn tweeted a picture of himself drinking with friends about a mile away which was quickly pulled down. But the bartender says Dunn didn't seem drunk when he left. Ryan Dunn, just 34 years old.
CHETRY: Running out of sand now to hold back the rising Missouri River. The river is expected to go ten feet over flood stage in parts of Missouri. Officials say it could stay above flood stage into August. One town has filled 365,000 sandbags, trying to reinforce the weak levees.
And high water triggering an alert at a nuclear power plant in Brownville, Nebraska. Officials say that the river rose within 18 inches of forcing a shutdown of the cooper nuclear power station. Right now the plant is still running at full capacity. Officials say no radiation has leaked and no one has been hurt.
COSTELLO: A story with a happy ending -- three Kentucky miners trapped for nearly 14 hours are safe, and they're in good shape this morning. The men who had just finished their shift were underground when heavy rain caused a flood inside the mine yesterday. Officials say the men made their way to a high spot in the mine and waited to be rescued.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DICK BROWN, KENTUCKY ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT CABINET SPOKESMAN: We pumped the water down and they were able to walk through the water and walk on outside.
HEATHER KOHLEPP, FAMILY FRIEND: It's amazing, you know. You hear about the tragedies in West Virginia, and it's a good thing that, you know, there was just three, like I told someone else, if it had been anything, any later, then there would have been 30 trapped miners.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: But all ends well. Labor Secretary Hilda Solice plans to speak with the three men sometime today.
CHETRY: A major victory for Wal-Mart in the country's largest ever sex discrimination lawsuit that could have included hundreds of thousands of women.
COSTELLO: It's a case that could affect worker rights at nearly every private employer, both large and small. Here's our Kate Bolduan reporting from California.
KATE BOLDUAN: It started with six strangers in California. Chris is one of them.
CHRIS KWAPNOSKI, FILED LAWSUIT AGAINST WAL-MART: I'm a fighter, if nothing else. So are all the other women that are involved.
BOLDUAN: She has worked at Sam's Club, part of the Wal-Mart brand, for more than two decades. She says she's been paid less than her male counterparts and passed over for promotions for years. So she and five other women who worked at Wal-Mart sued the company in a high-stakes gender discrimination case.
BOLDUAN (on camera): Someone says it's just one bad supervisor or a couple bad supervisors, is it worth taking the entire company on?
KWAPNOSKI: It's just not one supervisor, though. It's supervisor after supervisor after supervisor.
BOLDUAN: Wal-Mart fought back, arguing these allegations are isolated, that there's no so-called corporate culture or nationwide pattern of gender bias at their 4,300 facilities. The Supreme Court ruled in Wal-Mart's favor, Justice Scalia writing the workers, quote, "provide no convincing proof of a company-wide discriminatory pay and promotion policy."
The justices also said the lawsuit involving a million or more potential plaintiffs in this case was simply too large. But the women behind it have insisted all along they would continue their fight.
Kate Bolduan, CNN, at the Supreme Court.
COSTELLO: We'll see if they will. The ruling does not prevent the women from proceeding with individual lawsuits. Of course, that's much more expensive and each of them probably has to get a lawyer.
CHETRY: Ahead on AMERICAN MORNING, coming right at them. Incredible video of tornadoes touching down and tearing apart parts of the Midwest, the powerful storms on the move right now.
COSTELLO: And there were no witnesses, no jurors yesterday in the Casey Anthony murder trial, just one very angry judge delivering a warning to the lawyers.
You are watching AMERICAN MORNING.
CHETRY: It's 14 minutes past the hour. Welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING. A bit later this morning, the defense is going to resume its case in the murder trial --
COSTELLO: We think.
CHETRY: -- we hope of Casey Anthony. But yesterday they actually were stopped in their tracks because a single witness was not called. The jurors didn't get to get seated. Instead the judge called a recess and proceeded to blast the attorneys on both sides ordering them to stop their gamesmanship.
COSTELLO: I like this judge a lot.
CHETRY: He's not allowing for any carnival atmosphere.
COSTELLO: I think that's a good thing. It's on television, right? Everybody is watching. So the judge is being very professional. Sunny Hostin, you're a federal prosecutor. Do judges often do this?
SUNNY HOSTIN, FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: The good judges do. This is a really good judge. He's a perfect judge for this. What most people don't know is he's a former prosecutor, a former defense attorney. As a prosecutor he tried a death penalty case and a woman was put to death. And so he's intimately familiar with the trickery that goes on in these trials.
And I hate to put it out there, but it really is true. I have experienced it myself. Really good attorneys maneuver around court orders. They maneuver in the courtroom. They maneuver all the time. And this judge doesn't want any of the trickery.
One of the reasons there are these problems going on is now because to avoid this kind of trickery, he put into place a couple of orders. And one of the orders was to avoid trial by ambush, what attorneys are famous for doing.
CHETRY: He made them submit in the pretrial any opinion that's going to be given by any expert.
HOSTIN: Expert reports have those opinions. And so, the defense is saying that prosecution is using it as a shield and as a sword because when they need it, they use it against the defense. And this time, the defense wanted to call a witness. The witness had submitted like a one-page report. But this witness was going to get on the witness stand and testify to things sort of outside the scope of that report.
COSTELLO: You had a favorite moment in the trial --
HOSTIN: I did.
COSTELLO: -- because the judge said a lot of stuff that was really intriguing and interesting. So, set this up for us --
COSTELLO: -- before we roll the tape.
HOSTIN: Well, the judge is very concerned that the jury has been -- yesterday, the jury has been seated and has been sitting around in the jury room for over -- almost an hour. So, he says to the -- to both, you know, attorneys, tell me what time it is. Look at the clock and tell me what time it is.
CHETRY: All right. Let's play it and we'll see how they couldn't even agree on this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HON. BELVIN PERRY, PRESIDING JUDGE, FL. V. CASEY ANTHONY: I'm going to ask both sides to turn around and look at that clock back there and tell me what time it is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nine-twenty-six, sir.
PERRY: And Mr. Baez.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nine-twenty-six.
PERRY: OK. All right. Thank you. That shows that the two of you will never agree on anything and will never interpret anything the same way. It is quite evident --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOSTIN: Don't you love that? I loved it.
COSTELLO: He needs to be the (INAUDIBLE). He needs to go to Washington.
HOSTIN: I just loved it. I thought, well, you can't agree. I mean, we could all look at the clock and know what time it is, you know? And they can't even agree on that. So, it may have become personal now with these two attorneys.
CHETRY: So, he basically said to them. He called it gamesmanship and he said to them that he's very concerned about the time that the jury has been sequestered because this is a sequestered jury.
So, what was the upshot? I mean, so -- there was basically a big break in the action yesterday.
HOSTIN: There was.
CHETRY: What was agreed upon, going to happen today?
HOSTIN: Well, they said that by stipulation, that both sides agreed to come back today. But they also went in chambers.
So, we don't know what happened in chambers. But let me tell you this judge told the them the trickery is over. And so, my guess is they deposed those witnesses that were supposed to give these opinions today and we're going to see a really tight ship today. I think we're going to -- we're going to see the witnesses getting on the witness stand pretty promptly at 9:00 a.m.
I'll let you know what happens. But I think that's what's going to happen.
CHETRY: He threatened to exclude evidence, you know? So, he was very angry.
HOSTIN: Very, very angry.
CHETRY: All right. We'll see what happens today.
Sunny Hostin, the day-to-day ins and outs of this trial. Like no one else can. Thank you.
COSTELLO: Thanks, Sunny.
Let's take you up to the roof now. Come on, let's go to the roof.
This is a live look at New York City. And we're doing this because this is the official first day of summer.
CHETRY: Yay, happy summer.
COSTELLO: Happy summer. It's not exactly summer yet. We have a few more hours to go, right?
CHETRY: It's 1:00 p.m., I think, when summer officially starts. It is beautiful, 1:16 p.m.
But the forecast high for today in New York, a very summer-like 81 degrees. And it's also about the humidity. It's a little sticky. You feel it already, right?
COSTELLO: The heat, it's the humidity.
CHETRY: Exactly, summer in the city.
Rob Marciano is with us this morning.
You know, it's so ironic we're talking about, you know, the start of summer and you got wildfires in some places and you got flooding in others. They could both use a little bit of a weather swap.
ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. You know, for a lot of people, people are saying, what spring? We went from a nasty winter right into summer and with record-breaking temperatures, especially across parts of the Southeast.
These are the numbers from yesterday: 102 degrees in Florence, South Carolina, Wilmington seeing 101. Charleston 100 along the coast there and Tuscaloosa, 98 degrees.
So, still sweating and it doesn't seem to want to let up. We'll see a little bit of a reprieve as the storm comes to the East from the Midwest.
We're seeing temperatures cool off a little bit behind it, but still sticky, and Chicago 89 degrees, threat of storms there, 93 expected in Atlanta, and 92 degrees expected in Dallas.
This is what we're worried about today. This big storm which produced this tornado out of central Nebraska yesterday, a beast of a twister, ripping through central and southern Nebraska about an hour and a half or so west of Lincoln, in Elm Creek.
And this tore up some farms, did some damage, yes, but no serious injuries with this storm. But, nonetheless dramatic, dramatic stuff there. One of over 40 storms that produced tornadoes yesterday.
We have storms that are rolling through Dallas now moving off to the East. This is where we expect to see thunderstorms with this very, very strong front that's going to cool some folks of eventually now that we're officially getting into summer this afternoon -- guys.
COSTELLO: Thank you, Rob Marciano. And happy summer to you once again.
COSTELLO: Up next on AMERICAN MORNING: you can be one of the millions of Americans with mystery charges on your phone bill. Find out why.
CHETRY: And trophies for last place. Our question of the day, are we hurting our kids by coddling them too much? There's a fascinating cover story in "Atlantic:" saying that we're basically raising a generation of kids that are going to end up on the therapy couch.
COSTELLO: Because they don't know how to lose. CHETRY: Terrible stuff. Terrible stuff. Send us an email. You try as a parent. You're always doing something wrong.
Anyway, send us a tweet, tell us on Facebook. We'll read your responses later in the hour.
COSTELLO: Minding your business this morning.
Stocks pushing higher at the close yesterday. Even as investors remain cautious about the debt crisis in Greece.
And listen to this -- half of U.S. workers are unhappy in their jobs and actively looking to get out. That's according to a report from Mercer, an outplacement and consulting firm.
As many as 20 million Americans have unauthorized mystery charges on their land line phone bills. That's according to the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC says it is considering outlawing so-called cramming practices by phone companies.
Universal Orlando raising ticket prices to match Disney's increase announced just last week. It will cost you $3 more for a one-day, one-park ticket this summer to parks like the popular wizarding world of Harry Potter.
Poor service, higher fares and baggage fees are hurting customer satisfaction with the major airlines. Delta scoring the lowest in a new report out today. The American customer satisfaction index found U.S. Airways and United Airlines tied for the second spot. American came in third, Continental came in fourth.
Don't forget. For the very latest news about your money, check out the all-new CNNMoney.com.
Coming up, why you should care about what's going on in Greece, how the situation there could freeze our markets here.
AMERICAN MORNING will be right back after a break.
CHETRY: Welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING.
Greece, as we've been talking about, teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, and this morning, about to default on a mountain of debt. European finance ministers are poised to spend billions once again to bail the country out.
COSTELLO: Scary stuff, and has markets in America and around the world a little rattled.
Mary Snow is with us to explain how Greece affects us.
I mean, I've often heard it compared to Lehman Brothers. MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And that is a comparison that you're hearing. And, basically, the answer is, it affects your bottom line.
To give you a sense of how much of a role Greece plays right now, markets around the world are higher because some of the fears. Now, the first big test comes today as a parliament in Greece takes a confidence vote on the prime minister's government.
But working in the background are fears that the crisis in Greece could spread to other European countries and have a domino effect.
SNOW (voice-over): In Athens, anger amid government plans to cut more jobs, wages and pensions. Unemployment is already at record highs. There's been a steady stream of protests over the last three weeks, as Greece stands on the brink of bankruptcy. Its government has been told that another bailout from European countries will only come after it takes tough measures.
Jacob Kirkegaard at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, for one, thinks the measures will likely pass. But it hasn't already erased concerns that Europe could face the same kind of crisis the U.S. did in 2008 when Lehman Brothers collapsed.
JACOB KIRKEGAARD, PETERSON INSTITUTE INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS: What happened at Lehman Brothers was that the financial markets froze completely as a result of the fact that no one really knew who was exposed to whom by how much. And that's essentially the same thing that would happen if you had a Greek default of government bonds.
SNOW: That fear has rippled through U.S. markets. Some economists say the U.S. has an indirect link because it's exposed to European banks which carry Greek debt.
TOM PORCELLI, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS: If our banks have significant exposure to those countries and those countries start to reel, the negative transfer is potential slowing down in lending, which actually hasn't accelerated over the recovery thus far.
SNOW: Those what-ifs played a part in the six-week losing streak in U.S. markets that eased last Friday. Besides the uncertainty how it might affect European banks, there is also concern how it might affect the value of the euro.
This isn't the first time Greece has needed a bailout. Then there are concerns about how it will affect businesses if Europe's economy slowed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SNOW: Even as European finance ministers work to keep Greece solvent, some worry that if Greece were to default, would other European countries facing their own debt crisis, would they follow suit?
COSTELLO: Well, the question I have is, you know, people do compare it to Lehman Brothers. We heard that in your story, but we didn't know about Lehman Brothers.
It came as a huge surprise. I mean in this case, everybody knows what's happening to Greece. So does that mean we're better prepared to deal with whatever may happen?
SNOW: Well, you know, as you heard, so many people say, that there's really no clear answer on who's exposed to this in terms of the European banks.
This has been lingering now for a year, right, because of the last bailout, so the Lehman Brothers is a worst case scenario. Some are thinking that, you know, this is not going to happen, as you see there's some optimism the fears have eased, but it's still lurking there.
KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: It's also a problematic because these are people that need to be re-elected as well. So, I mean, you know, you have a -- the people are taking to the streets. They're very upset, but the broad picture is that the country's on the verge of collapse if they don't do something.
SNOW: Right. It's such a volatile mix. But, you know, it's a very good point you made there. Everything has been out there in the open, is it any better?
COSTELLO: Figure it out. It's like a slow-moving disaster and we can't fix it.
CHETRY: Very strange.
SNOW: And uncertainty is weighing on stocks.
COSTELLO: Mary Snow, many thanks.
COSTELLO: It is now 32 minutes past the hour. Time to check this morning's top stories.
President Obama is ready with a plan to begin pulling U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. He will share it with the American people in a speech tomorrow. The first wave of soldiers expected to ship out next month.
A Delta Airlines flight returning to Atlanta shortly after takeoff last night, a spokesman says the crew on board Flight 1323 experienced a, quote, "engine issue." The Boeing 757 was heading to Los Angeles with 174 passengers on board.
A California immigration lawyer suing the State Department after results of a green card lottery were thrown out because of a computer glitch. It affects some 22,000 people worldwide who thought they had hit the immigration jackpot and won a chance to live in the United States legally. The lawsuit says the decision is a broken commitment by the U.S. government.
CHETRY: This week we're taking an in-depth look at states in crisis and across the country one thing they seem to have in common is a sea of red ink.
To that end, the U.S. Conference of Mayors is now on record calling for an early end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They say that money spent on these wars should be put to use at home.
Joining us now from Madison, Wisconsin, Mayor Paul Soglin and also from Baltimore, Oklahoma City, Mike Cornett. Thanks to both of you for being with us this morning.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning.
CHETRY: Let me just ask both of you, I'll start with Mayor Soglin on this. This seems a little bit unusual that mayors, you know, of cities, local leaders, are weighing in on a big national and federal question, which is our involvement in foreign wars. Why did you guys decide that this was important?
MAYOR PAUL SOGLIN (D), MADISON, WISCONSIN: Actually, there's a long tradition of making statements of this sort. It was done during the Vietnam conflict. It was done during the '90s in regards to the so- called peace dividend.
But it's very clear that as we spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year fighting these wars, our local infrastructure, our state infrastructure, our school infrastructure continues to deteriorate and we know that infrastructure is slowing down private investment.
CHETRY: Mayor Cornett, it's symbolic though, right? I mean, there really isn't any ability of local mayors of cities to affect war policy at the federal level?
MAYOR MIKE CORNETT (R), OKLAHOMA CITY: No, that's absolutely right. We don't pretend to have the level of information about these types of situations that the executive branch is going to have or members of Congress.
But what we believe is that as we strategically pull out of these other areas, those infrastructure dollars that have been spent rebuilding cities in eastern Afghanistan, should be redirected to eastern cities in the United States with aging infrastructure.
In Oklahoma City, I don't have a lot of these problems. We have a booming economy, the lowest unemployment in the nation. But our deferred maintenance on our infrastructure in a lot of these older cities is very alarming to mayors across the country.
CHETRY: Mayor Soglin, you called the resolution moderate because it doesn't call for an immediate withdraw, what you guys said and you were very clear in the beginning of the resolution to say we honor and appreciate the service of the brave men and women that are fighting.
You also said it's not an immediate withdraw, but it would be -- but it would be something along the lines of trying to figure out a way to get out as safely and wisely as possible, but the end result being getting out? Why was it important to make sure that you highlighted it wasn't immediate? SOGLIN: Well, we wanted to make sure also that it was understood that we certainly support the men and women who serve overseas as well as in the country.
But the critical thing here is that while we find money for fighting these wars and we do not pretend to substitute our knowledge strategically for that of the president or the Congress, we do want to remind them that there are urgent problems in the United States.
We've got buildings. We've got public buildings, schools that are deteriorating, that are not sustainable, that drives up the costs for taxpayers.
We've got situations where communication systems, where our roads simply do not meet the demands of the business community within our boundaries.
CHETRY: Right. And you know, just to give you -- people a snapshot of what you're talking about. Congress approving more than $1 trillion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, about $800 billion for Iraq and more than $400 billion for Afghanistan.
I mean, huge chunks of money and I guess your point, Mayor Cornett, you can speak to this as well, this could be better spent here back in the states. I mean, in some ways, I think a lot of people agree with what you're saying.
It just seems like it's a very difficult thing to unwind. Look, now we're in Libya, now we're spending millions of dollars a day in Libya.
CORNETT: Well, we need to unwind it. As these dollars are freed up in these other areas, we need to specifically address these aging infrastructure issues.
We're going to be handing off this city to our kids and grandkids. We're going to be handing off a lot of deferred maintenance if we don't get to the areas around our rail-based economies, around our highways, around our airports and around aging water systems that in some eastern cities are 100 and 200 years old. We cannot allow this to continue.
CHETRY: All right, Mayors Paul Soglin --
SOGLIN: The mayor makes a vital part. It was part of our nation's history. It was canals 200 years ago, rail 150 years ago, cars 100 years ago. We need to do this for future generation and it's all about jobs.
CHETRY: I want to thank both of you for appearing on the show. Best of luck with you. I know you're also dealing with your own issues back in your own cities and trying to put this issue to the forefront as well. Appreciate your time. Thanks for being with us.
CORNETT: You bet.
COSTELLO: Well, let's go more in depth on our states in crisis coverage to California now, where one state lawmaker has a plan to fix the state's budget.
He says get rid of the death penalty. That's because a new report found the state spent $4 billion on capital punishment since 1978.
In fact, according to the report, maintaining the death penalty cost California taxpayers $184 million more per year than it would to simply leave inmates in prison for life.
And a handful of cash strapped states, you see them on your screen right now are taking steps to collect sales tax from purchases you make on-line.
Right now internet retailers are only required to charge you sales tax if they have an actual store or office in your state. But now, states want to broaden those roles.
For example, an internet retailer, might be forced to tax you if they use a marketing firm located in your state. Officials say taxing all online sales could generate $23 billion. That is enough to pay the salaries of some 46,000 teachers.
CHETRY: There are people who shop on-line for the very reason that they save sales tax. Guaranteeing a certain amount of revenue may not be the case if they start taxing it.
COSTELLO: Well, but if you can't get revenue from everywhere else, you have to do something. If that's one source of taxation, to fix things like infrastructure, let's say, they're going to tap into it because they have few choices these days.
CHETRY: It's getting squeezed on both sides is a good way to put it.
Well, ahead on AMERICAN MORNING, first lady Michele Obama is touring South Africa. She's bringing her daughters Sasha and Malia. We're going to check in with our Zain Verjee in London who's got the latest scope on the first lady's agenda.
COSTELLO: And find out why the British tabloids are all over Venus Williams at Wimbledon. Leave her alone. We'll give you a hint though, it has nothing to do with tennis, but you knew that, didn't you? It's 39 minutes past the hour.
COSTELLO: Welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING. There is growing bipartisan frustration in Washington this morning over the president's handling of military action in Libya and his decision not to seek authorization from Congress under the War Powers resolution.
GOP sources say House Republican leaders will likely hold votes this week to limit funding for the operation. So, here's a quick look at the cost and the resources the United States is committing to Libya.
Since march, 6,600 troops have been involved. Also, I'm not good at this, so I'm warning you right now. Also, there you go, the U.S. has flown about 3,000 sortie or flight missions and nearly 700 of those sorties were strike sorties.
Also, four U.S. warships are stationed in the Mediterranean. The total projected cost of all of this, $1.1 billion. That's assuming the mission lasts until September.
There are no U.S. troops on the ground. We want to make that clear. Republicans have said they want to keep it that way. They're actually thinking of introducing legislation that would prevent funds for ground troops to keep the mission from escalating.
At the same time this would give lawmakers the chance to express their unhappiest movement as they said should come on Thursday. We'll keep you posted.
For everything you want to know about the mission in Libya, by the way and the tension it's creating in Washington, just go to cnn.com/middleeast.
CHETRY: Carol, thanks. Well, first lady Michele Obama in South Africa this morning. It's the first stop on a goodwill tour. She brought her daughters, Sasha and Malia Obama as well.
The first lady is paying homage to former South African President Nelson Mandela in the struggle against apartheid. Zain Verjee has details. She's live in London for us this.
Probably -- I'm sure they're thrilled about it in South Africa, but also a very exciting trip for the girls.
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Yes, it really is. And it's also a very packed schedule. The focus of this trip, Kiran, is really to promote youth development, women in development, as well as democracy in the region.
But basically, today, they're going to be meeting with President Zuma's wife, then also with president -- former president Nelson Mandela's wife, Graca Machel. They're going to be touring the Nelson Mandela Foundation. A little bit later in the day they will see the Apartheid Museum. There will also be a speech that Michelle Obama is going to give in the country. And then afterwards she's going to be heading to Botswana to meet with the president there, to meet with women's groups there.
And then time for a little bit of fun, too. Why not? They're going to go on a nice safari in Botswana, which will be very relaxing at the end of the trip. But it's definitely a packed schedule and I'm sure it's going to be a lot of fun for them.
CHETRY: All right. So a couple of other things I want to ask Zain about. The whole controversy over poor Venus Williams.
COSTELLO: Well, we know what it's going to be. Everybody always complains about this poor women's outfits.
CHETRY: That's right. But they really were unhappy this time around, right? Show it to us. Lay it on us, Zain. VERJEE: Let's take a look at what Venus wore. Nobody really cared that she actually won her match. Take a look at this outfit. The tabloids are slamming her. Do you guys really think it's that ugly, that bad?
VERJEE: Right? Well, basically, it's this all in one jumpsuit. There's a big V-slit at the back. And when she was jumping around, she was flashing the gold hot pants there.
Now she jumpers are really in right now, like lace, and she's really going for the simplicity here. But the fashion police were out at Wimbledon and they hated it.
So guys, I don't think this one is going to catch on. I say so what if she has bat wings on this outfit. Isn't white in anyway?
CHETRY: Tennis outfits are revealing in general, aren't they? I mean, you wear this short little skirt, you have some shorts down there.
COSTELLO: I don't think you have to, though, Kiran.
COSTELLO: I don't think it was that revealing, even.
VERJEE: She's worn worse. Remember the lacy tutu thing that she wore and the nude underwear, too? But I always wonder when you're wearing all this jewelry -- she had a heavy necklace and a ring and, you know, a jewel adorned belt --
VERJEE: I don't know how you concentrate and play.
CHETRY: I'd rip my earlobe right off. It'd get stuck in there. I mean, good for her. She's obviously a pro.
VERJEE: Well she's being called the Lady Gaga of tennis. But, you know what, she hasn't shown up in an egg so give a girl a break.
COSTELLO: We're going to give her a pass because of that, Zain.
CHETRY: This is only the first round. She's got time to bring the egg out there.
All right. Zain, thanks.
And you can watch Zain, by the way, every morning, "WORLD ONE," 5:00 a.m. right here on CNN.
COSTELLO: And just ahead on AMERICAN MORNING, new cigarette warning labels display some horrible health effects of smoking. But, will it stop people from lighting up?
CHETRY: Also our question of the day: are we hurting kids by coddling them too much?
Send us an e-mail, a tweet or tell us on Facebook and we'll read some of your responses later in the hour.
CHETRY: It's 49 minutes past the hour right now. A look at your headlines this morning.
The beginning of the end in Afghanistan. President Obama expected to make a critical speech tomorrow to announce how many troops will begin coming home as early as next month.
The GOP field getting more crowded this morning. Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman is expected to enter the race today. He once worked for President Obama as ambassador to China.
Firefighters are battling a dozen new wildfires in Texas this morning. Crews say 500 homes are in danger right now and hundreds of people have already been evacuated.
Tracy Morgan on an apology tour now. The comedian is going back to Nashville to apologize face-to-face to the people who were in the audience when he delivered a violent, homophobic rant at a live show.
Some scary moments caught on tape as a car flies up and over a wall at a racetrack in Indiana. Four people ended up in the hospital. They were all volunteers who were working at that track.
And you're caught up on the day's headlines. AMERICAN MORNING will be back in 60 seconds.
CHETRY: Welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING.
Smokers will be in phenomenon an eyeful when they go to buy a pack of cigarettes soon. The FDA, this morning, is unveiling graphic new labels that will be on the packs of cigarettes. They'll actually cover half the pack and include some pretty graphic photos and warnings like, "Smoking can kill you," "Tobacco can harm your children." Cigarette makers will have to start using them by September of next year.
COSTELLO: They're really, really graphic, especially the one we showed of the tracheotomy with the smoke coming out of the hole. Oh, it's just like -- but maybe it'll be effective and more people will quit smoking. That's the idea here.
Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins us now from Atlanta.
So, what do you think? I mean, will this convince smokers to quit, because everybody by now knows that smoking is dangerous and gives you cancer.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, that is true. So let's take a look at the current warning, all right?
This has been on cigarette packs for 25 years. It is all text, it is boring, it is ineffective. And so the government has decided, you know what, let's do this instead. I mean, you can't get much more arresting than that.
A dead guy with the caption, "Warning, smoking can kill you."
How about this? "Cigarettes cause cancer."
Those are pretty nasty looking teeth there. You can't ignore that photo.
"Cigarettes are addictive." You mentioned the tracheotomy hole.
And also, "Smoking can harm your children."
And they are really hoping that this is going to stop these numbers -- one out of five American adults smoke cigarettes, 443,000 tobacco- related deaths per year. They're hoping that these photos make a difference.
CHETRY: It's interesting. I mean, when you talk about the warning labels. When you go to other countries, they already have this. I mean, you see some in Canada, some of the Caribbean countries in the Dominican and other places they have this.
Is there any study or numbers that show that it actually helps when the warning labels are that graphic and large?
COHEN: You know what is interesting? I thought that there would be. I thought there would be these studies that say, oh my gosh, smoking rates are cut in half.
What's interesting is that it's not true. There are studies that show that there may be some relatively minimal declines in smoking possibly based on these ads. They can't say -- these labels, rather. It may be based on something else. But, really what they know is that it certainly makes people think. It may not make them stop smoking, but it may make them think about where they smoke. It may make them think about, wow, maybe I shouldn't smoke around their kid.
But these -- in other countries, these labels are not made people say, oh my gosh, I'm going to quit smoking and the rates have not declined dramatically.
CHETRY: It's interesting.
COSTELLO: Because, like I said, people know that smoking kills you. They know it causes cancer. If you're a hard-core smoker, you're going to smoke.
CHETRY: It's interesting, though, because they did another study recently that showed that if you have an education -- a higher education, a college degree, you're less likely to smoke than people who aren't. So that's kind of interesting there. I mean, they seem to be making a correlation between education and whether or not you will take up the habit or eventually quit the habit.
COHEN: Right. The wealthier you are, the less likely you are to smoke. The better educated you are, the less likely you are to smoke. I mean, I guess -- I don't know, maybe when you have a better education, you realize how much more you have to lose. I don't know. But those things are true.
It'll be interesting to see in this country -- it covers up half the pack, as you mentioned. All right. That's huge. So you're only going to see the branding here. You'll see the label there. And it'll be interesting to see what happens when they put these on if we'll see declines in this country.
COSTELLO: Maybe so. They could just like increase the price. Smoking is expensive, too, and people still buy cigarettes.
COHEN: And you know what? That has actually been shown to have a pretty profound effect. That when you raise smoking taxes, that does seem to have an effect and really does seem to make people quit smoking.
COSTELLO: Elizabeth Cohen, many thanks.
COSTELLO: Just ahead, President Obama expected to talk about the next step in Afghanistan. Actually he's going to do that tomorrow. But it's going to be a big speech because it'll be a big step out of Afghanistan. Thousands of American family waiting to hear how many troops will come home and how soon. What the White House is saying about this critical speech.
CHETRY: And we are excited because Carson Kressley is going to be with us. He's a fashion and design expert. You remember him from "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy." He's out with a new show and he's stopping by here to talk to us about it.
It's 56 minutes past the hour.