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Beryl Bears Down On Florida, Georgia; Two Americans Detained In Tokyo; Drunk Woman Shot In Colorado Home; Remembering Our Fallen Heroes; Astronauts Unload "Dragon" Spacecraft; Golden Gate Bridge Turns 75; Confessed Killer Under Suicide Watch; Meghan McCain: Internet Insults "Rattle Me"; World Leaders Denounce Syria Killings; Missing Girl's Brother to Vatican: Open Up; Gas Prices Down This Memorial Day; The Curse of the Goat

Aired May 28, 2012 - 10:00   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. I am Carol Costello. First this hour, Tropical Storm Beryl is ruing plans along the North Florida and Southeast Georgia Coast.

You are looking at a live picture from Jekyll Island. Storms knocked out power to thousands and cancelled several flights to the Jacksonville, Florida's airport.

Came ashore on Jacksonville Beach just hours ago, yesterday beachgoers on Tidy Island, Georgia were trying to enjoy the fun while it lasted.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you have decided to leave early because of the storm?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have never been in one, so you don't know what to expect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've never been through a tropical storm. In New York we don't have tropical storms. It makes me want to go back to New York now.


COSTELLO: Reporter Evan Axelbank with our affiliate WPTV has the latest from Jacksonville.

EVAN AXELBANK, WPTV REPORTER: There is a bit of a lull on the action here in Jacksonville. The rain and the wind have certainly quieted down. Earlier today, they were coming at us hard, now though, not so much.

The rain has certainly quieted down, but the wind picking up just a bit. Want to show you what it looks like here. Take a look at the surf coming in. Those waves are not typical for the coast of Florida, and they are coming in hard here at Jacksonville Beach.

The big concern right now, power outages, tens of thousands said to be without power here in Jacksonville. This storm really was a big deal here at the Memorial Day festivities were cancelled.

And indeed there was a jazz festival this weekend and that was cancelled because of Tropical Storm Beryl. That caused some folks here hundreds if not thousands of dollars in economic impact. The mayor did declare a state of emergency, asking people to remain inside. That state of emergency remains in effect when the -- as the cleanup begins here in Jacksonville.

There are going to be crews going around to make sure folks that made out of this OK. At this point, there have been no significant injuries reported, which officials here say is the good news. That's the latest from Jacksonville, and now back to you.

COSTELLO: All right, let's head to the weather center with Rob Marciano. Where is Beryl now?

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, it's inland about 60 miles, at this point, probably about 60 miles to the west of Jacksonville, Florida, has weakened, 40 miles per hour winds.

At one point last night, we had 70-mile-per-hour sustained winds, and that's below hurricane force. Radar showing the center, there it is. You see quite a bit of rainfall circulating around. The rainfall is good. We need the rain here desperately.

Of course, the folks living here don't want it all at one time, and there are flash flood watches out and a couple of flash flood warnings around Jacksonville proper, and on top of that there is a threat for sustained tornados.

We have one tornado warning in effect right now and it may have expired, but it was just north of Jacksonville for Duvall County there. This cell was heading towards the north at about 30 miles per hour towards St. Marys.

So that will be on going throughout although the Storm Prediction Center does not have a tornado watch out yet with this system. It's weakening in intensity, but will be dumping rain.

Here's your wind, 73-mile-per-hour wind gusts last night at Buck Island, at Kings Bay Base at 65 miles per hour wind gust last night and the rainfall will continue to fall here.

The slow movement out to sea will take a good day and a half before it gets over savannah and then it kind of skims the coastline of the Carolinas. The further offshore it gets, the more it will likely strengthen, but then affect less people.

So if it hugs the coastline like the forecast says is, that could be spell trouble for folks who live along the Carolina coastline. So this was a certainly bad timing for the Memorial Day weekend.

Everybody else is really enduring some searing heat. Another notable record, I mean, this is the second time that we have seen a tropical storm in May. But the first time we have seen a land falling tropical storm since May 1959.

And this is the strongest May land falling storm we have seen in over 100 years. And theoretically, Carol, the season is supposed to be a quiet one, so somebody tell that to Mother Nature. June 1st, this Friday is the official beginning of hurricane season.

COSTELLO: Rob Marciano, thanks.

Two young American men could be key players in a murder mystery in Japan. Tokyo police are questioning them about the strangling death of an Irish exchange student.

Nicola Furlong was found in a hotel room with one of the men. Japanese media said they met this woman, Furlong, at a Nikki Minaj concert.

Furlong recently celebrated her 21st birthday. The two Americans are 19 and 23 years old. Police say both are entertainers. The men have not been charged.

Back in this country, thanks to "A Make My Day" law, a Colorado couple will not face charges for shooting and wounding a woman who staggered into their home. She was drunk. They felt threatened and now she could face prison time.

Jeremy Jojola from CNN affiliate KUSA reports.


JEREMY JOJOLA, KUSA TV: Big trouble for Zoe Ripple. Today, it was announced that she will face a felony charge for wondering into this home drunk.

It was early on Wednesday morning when the startled couple inside shot her. The Boulder County district attorney says this sort of thing happens all the time, confused, drunk students entering the wrong homes.

(voice-over): Investigators say Ripple's blood alcohol level that night, 0.20, that's more than double the legal limit for drivers.

(on camera): We found that Zoe Ripple lives in this rick brick house here on university. Somehow just under a mile away she got into the bedroom of this home that's when the homeowner, Timothy Justice, pulled out his gun and pulled the trigger.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She looks fine, but she was shot?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who was? Somebody was shot?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, somebody was shot!

JOJOLA: Ripple is still in the hospital with the gunshot wound. The bullet fractured her hip. This sort of thing happens in Boulder once a month. STAN GARNETT, BOULDER COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: I asked my staff to pull together the numbers this morning. We prosecute probably 12 to 15 of these a year on average, and that's about one a month. We had another one last night ironically, with somebody being intoxicated and go into a property without consent that is not theirs.

JOJOLA: The DA says Ripple will be charged with criminal trespassing sometime next week. In the meantime, her attorney calls this case disappointing and completely out of character for her client. In Boulder, Jeremy Jojola, Nine News.


COSTELLO: As you heard, the woman suffered a fractured hip in the shooting, but her lawyer says she can walk, and then she will face the courts.

Today, we are remembering our fallen heroes. You are looking at a live picture at Arlington National Cemetery. President Obama and the first lady will be there in the next hour for a wreath laying ceremony at the iconic Tomb of the Unknowns.

For those who have lost loved one, Memorial Day cuts deeply. More than 600,000 U.S. troops have died in war since the first Memorial Day observance in 1868.

CNN's Rene Marsh is live at the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington. Good morning.

RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol. Yes, you know, the memorial is right behind me. When you see it in person, it's just so stunning. It's dedicated to the Marines who lost their lives during that fierce battle during World War II.

We're talking about Iwo Jima and it is right outside Arlington National Cemetery where, as you mentioned, President Obama estimated time 11:00 Eastern Time, will lay the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

Hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists rode from Arlington to Washington Sunday coming to the nation's capital annually in remembrance of prisoners of war and those missing in action.

This year's focus was Army Sergeant Bowe Burgdahl, the only known U.S. prisoner of war from the war in Afghanistan. And on Friday, at Arlington National Cemetery, American flags were placed at more than 260,000 head stones to honor every service member laid to rest there.

We want to go to another live look there again at the Tomb of the Unknowns. President Obama and the first lady will be there, and the laying of the wreath will be followed by remarks there at the Arlington National Cemetery. Back to you, Carol.

COSTELLO: We also hear that Arlington Cemetery is offering another way to honor the fallen this year. Can you tell us about it? MARSH: Sure. Nice gesture from several flower farms both in California and Ecuador. They donated some 50,000 roses. What that enables is that people who come here to Arlington National Cemetery, if you lost a loved one you can get one rose to lay along that grave site.

And you get a second rose to take home with you so you can remember that loved one. It's a really nice donation for those families that lost the loved one to war -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Rene Marsh, thanks so much.

Astronauts have unloaded more than a thousand pounds of food and supplies to the International Space Station. These are new pictures. We just got it of astronauts entering the SpaceX "Dragon" capsule.

The spacecraft marks the first commercial flight to the space station. It's expected to return to earth with a splash down in the Pacific on Thursday.

Music, fireworks and an appearance by the "USS Nimitt" helped celebrate the 75th birthday of the Golden Gate Bridge. The San Francisco landmark has become one of the nation's most iconic symbols. It's only been closed three times due to weather since it opened way back in 1937.

A man that confessed to killing a New York boy 33 years ago is now on suicide watch. Police blew off information about the case years ago, and what the suspect's relatives are telling us now.


COSTELLO: Just about 13 minutes past the hour. Checking our top stories now.

We are remembering the men and women that made the ultimate sacrifice serving their country. President Obama is spending Memorial Day honoring fallen troops.

He will take part in the wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns and later, he will mark the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War with a ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair denied he was ever cozy with Rupert Murdoch. Blair testified at an inquiry into phone hacking at Murdoch newspaper in Britain. Blair said his government had decided more issues against Murdoch's businesses than in favor of them. Blair's testimony was briefly interrupted by a protester who called the former prime minister a war criminal.

Tropical Storm Beryl is leaving thousands without power in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. Jacksonville airport reports minor damage and a dozen outbound flights have been cancelled. The region is also bracing for serious flooding. A relative of the man charged with killing a missing New York City boy three decades ago apparently tried to warn police years ago. Pedro Hernandez is on suicide watch after confessing to choking 6-year-old Eton Patz to death back in 1979.

One of Hernandez's family members tells CNN the police in Camden, New Jersey blew off the information about the case in the 1980s. We agreed not to identify that relative. The family member says there's no indication anything came out of that report.

Joining me now is T.J. Ward. He is the president of Investigative Consultants International. He has extensive experience in missing persons' cases. Most recently, he worked with the Natalie Holloway family. Welcome.


COSTELLO: OK, so Mr. Hernandez is in Belleview. He is undergoing psychiatric test. His lawyer says he is schizophrenic and bipolar and he has hallucinations. Do you believe he is really ill mentally or could he be faking it?

WARD: Well, you know, 33 years ago, the anniversary date was Friday. Sometimes people who are not in the spotlight take the position to get back in the spotlight, and this may be the case.

There are reports the FBI have gotten involved with this with missing and murdered children and they have doubts this individual was involved.

COSTELLO: Is there really any way for police to prove he did it? Because let's face it, the store where he allegedly abducted Etan Patz is gone now. The garbage bag where he said Etan Patz's body in, gone, I mean, where do you start if you're an investigator?

WARD: You need to go back and look at the evidence 33 years ago. The problem being is we don't have the technology as we do today with video cameras and technology.

And also some of the investigators that were involved in the case are no longer around. Some of them were deceased. They will have to take the case file and go back through it and try to corroborate the evidence that is there, and to see if he can tie the pieces together of his involvement.

COSTELLO: So I would assume they are going back in there and interviewing members of Mr. Hernandez' family to see what kinds of stories he told through the years?

WARD: That's correct. They will have to do that. We have technology of layered voice analysis, 6.50, and if we had an opportunity to analyze the interview, we may be able to determine what is going on with his individual.

COSTELLO: Let's talk about the layered voice analysis. You worked with Natalee Holloway's family, and you used this type of analysis on Joran Vander sloot, and what did you find?

WARD: Well, we found out that he was lying and not telling the truth. He was fabricating the story about Natalee. And we were able to target in on some of the information and discredit some of his statements. We not only used it on him, but on Deepak and also Vander Sloot's father.

COSTELLO: But, I think the difference here is Joran Vander Sloot didn't suffer from mental illness like Mr. Hernandez allegedly does. So if Mr. Hernandez is having these hallucinations and he really believes he harmed this little boy in 1979, how do you disprove it or prove it?

WARD: We can see it in this investigative focus too with (inaudible). We can see if he has mental illness when we do the test just by his voice and by the rhythms that come up.

This was a psychological tool unlike a tool being used as a polygraph, which is physical where they have to wire you up. We can take any voice transmission with this system in any language and I can tell you if you are lying or hiding something. If you have a illness or what is going on with you.

COSTELLO: You have this as an investigator, but did the New York City Police?

WARD: The New York City police are not using this. This was brought over here by the Israelis about 10 years ago, voice technology in Madison, Wisconsin.

With the president, Lynn Robins and I both used this to assist law enforcement and the Department of Defense and prison systems to identify sexual offenders. So we could take the interview and look at it and assist the police and identify what this individual's problems are.

COSTELLO: Back to the case at hand. What percentage do you give police on ever proving that Mr. Hernandez had anything at all to do with Etan Patz's death.

WARD: Well, again, they would have to go back and corroborate the stories and the witnesses and what information they had at that time and to see if in fact he is involved.

And if not, then, his defense attorneys are already saying that this would be a case where he would plea insanity if it went forth. It may have been premature as to the arrest of not corroborating a lot of information yet in this case.

So I think that needs to be done, and going back to the case file before the formal charges are brought against him.

COSTELLO: Just a final question, why do you think New York City police decided to arrest Mr. Hernandez at this time? Why didn't they wait until they had all their ducks in a row? WARD: Well, it may be based on the information they have and it maybe because of the anniversary of 33 years has come out to hurry and bring this case to a head and get what has got to go on. But again, they need to corroborate the evidence that they had 33 years ago with what they have today.

COSTELLO: T.J. Ward, thanks so much for coming in this morning. Appreciate it.

WARD: Thank you.

COSTELLO: Tough and outspoken, but even Megan McCain is having some sleepless nights because of internet bullies. Why she says people are harassing her.


COSTELLO: John McCain's daughter is finding out how tough it is to be a moderate Republican these days. Last week, Megan McCain criticized right wing bloggers. She claim many Republicans treated her like a freak because she is not conservative enough.

Now she is talking about the backlash she is getting in the interview. She writes in "The Daily Beast" that some people called her fat, clueless, anti-American and suggested that she should kill herself.

She writes quote, "You would think by now having gone through a presidential election with my father in 2008 I would be kind of numb to this kind of name calling, but I am not, it hurts, it rattles me," end quote.

Now is your chance to talk back on one of the big stories of the day. The question for you this morning, is military service necessary to be a good president?

On a day we honor our troops for service to their country, we still have men and women dying overseas, one of them just last week. The 3,000 coalition death in Afghanistan, John McCain blames President Obama's foreign policy on Iran, Syria and Afghanistan.


SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: It began in Iran when we failed to stand up in 2009, and in Libya, we quote led from behind, with Iran, clearly we are kicking the can down the road. How many times have we seen North Korea and Iran, these different negotiations that have taken place? In Afghanistan, obviously the Taliban believe that we are leaving.


COSTELLO: Still, the president defeated Osama Bin Laden public enemy number one and a recent NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll shows most Americans approve of Mr. Obama's handling of foreign policy. But does McCain, a Vietnam POW and a decorated war hero have a point? If anyone knows war, it's McCain. A man who seen battle firsthand. That brings up an interesting point, one we read about in the "Washington Post" this morning.

For the first time in modern history neither man running for president has any military experience, and it makes us wonder if that matters anymore. It doesn't guarantee a win after all Mr. Obama beat Mr. McCain in 2008.

But yet some of the most successful presidents have had military experience, among them, George Washington, JFK and Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan.

So the talk back question for you this morning, is military service necessary to be a good president? I will read your responses later this hour.

We are going to ask our "Political Buzz" panel that same question at the end of this break.


COSTELLO: Just about 30 minutes past the hour. Checking our top stories. Live pictures from Jekyll Island where Tropical Storm Beryl is pounding the southeast coast of Georgia.

Further south in Jacksonville, a dozen flights had to be canceled because of some minor damage at the airport. So far up to three inches of rain have fallen in some areas and about 15,000 people are now without power.

In Syria, the brutal massacre of at least 108 people at the town of Hula is reigniting international anger towards the government. International envoy Kofi Annan is now in Syria for a meeting with President Bashar Al-Assad and opposition members. Annan says he is shocked and horrified by the tragic incident. The Syria regime denies involvement.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair denied he had ever been cozy with Rupert Murdoch. Blair testified in an inquiry into phone hacking at Murdoch newspapers in Britain. Blair said his government had decided more issues against Murdoch's businesses than in favor of them.

"Political Buzz" is your rapid fire look at the best political topics of the day, three questions and smart answers. Playing with us today, CNN contributor Will Cain, he leans to the right, and Steve Murphy leans left. Steve is a Democratic strategist. Welcome to both of you.

Good morning. First question, a "Washington Post" columnist writes on this Memorial Day that this is the first election in modern American history in which neither candidate has any military experience. So the question is, does being a veteran make for a better president, Will? WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, all things being equal and all other factors being equal, being a veteran would be a benefit to holding the office of the presidency. But rarely are all things equal and policy wise equal.

But you know, we ought to look at the president like a head legislative position, the head policy maker and in truth most presidencies are defined by things out of their control and things they cannot anticipate.

And that's often dealing with national security issues. So having someone in that office that has served and who understands what soldiers and military leaders are up against would definitely be a benefit.


STEVE MURPHY, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: You know I tend to agree with Will. I think it's a little bit more beneficial to have a president who has military experience. I think Barack Obama has done a terrific job dealing with terrorism.

But you know, we're not going to have many presidents in the future who have had military experience because we have this all- volunteer Army today. I think it's a good case for -- we should go back to a draft rather than having an all volunteer Army so have much more of a citizen military.

COSTELLO: Interesting.

Ok onto the second question, Mitt Romney's old rivals look back on their old slams, Giuliani railed on Romney in 2008 but now says "Hey, that was just ego talking".


RUDY GIULANI (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He had a reduction of unemployment of about eight, ten -- I think it was 15 percent. I had a reduction unemployment of 50 percent. They had a growth of jobs of about 40,000, we had a growth of jobs of about 500,000. So I was comparing what I thought was my far superior record, to his otherwise decent record but the numbers weren't as great. That's all part of campaigning.


COSTELLO: So he still kind of slammed him. Any who; should President Obama use the GOP to attack Romney -- Steve?

MURPHY: You know, I don't think he has to use the GOP to attack Romney. I think what President Obama should do is use Romney to attack Romney. The things that Romney has advocated and he said of over the course of his campaign, are going to be far better ammunition against him. Things like corporations or people and he supports the Ryan budget making, and privatizing Medicare and making seniors pay $6,000 a year more, that's where Obama ought to go, right at what Romney has said and forget about what the rest of the Republicans have said.


CAIN: Yes, I totally disagrees with Steve. I think that President Obama should use the GOP as a criticizing mechanism for Mitt Romney. Because here is the deal, I have constantly been wondering why are they so focused in on Bain and basically an indictment of capitalism?

And it's because they can't penetrate his governorship of Massachusetts. Here is why. It's hard -- it's a hard thing to criticize from the left. What are you going to do, go in and say you know Mitt Romney was a poor job creator. Well, President Obama doesn't have the best job creation record to run right now.

What's he going to do? Go in and criticize health care reform in Massachusetts when he uses it as a model for Obamacare? You can't criticize that governorship from the left, but if you use the right to do it for you, you've now proxy the criticism of that entire service.

COSTELLO: All right. On to the third question, Megan McCain, Senator McCain's daughter, Megan McCain got slammed with nasty grams after she wrote a column in which she claim Republicans treat her moderate self like a freak. She said people responded by calling her fat and telling her she should die.

So the question is, "When will these vicious attacks end and civility return? I mean why can't she say, why can't she criticize people like Michelle Malkin (ph) -- Will?

CAIN: Well civility, you know this is never going to return Carol -- this is the way that it is when we venture into these worlds of public debate and public discourse. And it's the way it's always been by the way.

You and I have talked on this program Carol like constantly invoke Thomas Jefferson versus John Adams and how horrible that -- that campaigning was --


COSTELLO: Yes but this is Megan McCain. She is not running for anything.

CAIN: Let me -- as someone who has ventured into the public arena to participate in these debates, let me tell you, you know well and good that this is part of the game. And by the way in today's day and age when people can say such to you anonymously, immediately, the world is full of anonymous Twitter tough guys, you better deal with it, you better get used to it because this is the way it is.


MURPHY: You know the problem is that Megan McCain is a freak in the Republican Party today, any moderate is a freak in the Republican Party. They have gone and purged every single moderate elected official they have. They might have one or two, they just beat Senator Lugar in Indiana from the far right. We're not a good country when a moderate can't be in the Democratic Party or a moderate can't be in the Republican Party. Our -- it's not good for the country.

Our reapportionment system now has got almost every congressional district being strongly left Democratic, strongly right Republican. We need to get back to having the system where you can be -- have a big tent and be a moderate in the Democratic Party or the Republican Party.

COSTELLO: Steven and Will thanks for playing today.

CAIN: Thank you.

COSTELLO: When we come back --


WILL SMITH, ACTOR: In our situation --



COSTELLO: The third "Men in Black" movie sitting at the top spot. But the news sits an all stellar. We'll explain.


COSTELLO: "Men in Black 3" invaded and won the box office against "The Avenger". But it's still got a long way to go before it's in the black. Nischelle Turner is Los Angeles with a scoop. Hi.

NISCHELLE TURNER, HLN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Hey Carol. You know they say nothing lasts forever. But this one was really a good while it lasted. Because it was a record breaking big money making run for "The Avengers". But yes like you mention there is a new box office champ in town.

Will Smith's "Men in Black 3" earned roughly $55 million over the weekend in the U.S. putting the third installment to the alien fighting action franchise on top. It's expected though to take in around $70 million at the end of this Memorial Day weekend.

Now earlier reports indicate that "Men in Black 3" could bank more than $200 million worldwide after today. The film did really well overseas but according to the "Hollywood Reporter", it's slightly under performed here at home. Many people expected it to earn closer to $80 million domestically this weekend. They are good number but you know they are really well short of "The Avengers" numbers and this movie still has some work to do Carol because the movie cost to reported $230 million to make.

So it could be a few weeks before "Men in Black 3" starts making a profit. I mean, it's 3D, it's an alien film, it's probably going to do well. And it's Will Smith in May. But it does have some work to do.

COSTELLO: All right, let's talk about Justin Bieber. He's had a run in with the photographer. What's up?

TURNER: He's had a rough weekend. But it's hard to imagine that Justin Bieber has actually putting the hurt on somebody. But that's what one man is alleging. The Los Angeles county Sheriff's department confirms to "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" that a man has accused the pop singer of physical battery after an incident Sunday afternoon in Calabasas, California. That's outside of Los Angeles.

Deputies say the man who is a photograph said he was taking pictures of Bieber and his girlfriend, Selena Gomez, outside a shopping center when this alleged altercation occurred.

Now Bieber and Gomez left the scene before sheriff's deputies arrived. The man complained a pain, he requested medical attention. He was taken to a local hospital by the fire department, he was treated and released.

We don't actually have a lot of details as to what started this whole incident, but the matter is now being investigated. And we reached out to Justin Bieber's representatives for comment. But Carol, you know, I haven't really gotten a -- a word back about what happened yet from them.

COSTELLO: I know he looks so young and innocent and incapable of like hurting anyone but --

TURNER: 65 cents stopping -- he has a willow thing. So yes it's hard to think about that.

COSTELLO: Ok, I'm sure you'll keep us updated. Nischelle Turner thank you.

TURNER: We'll do.

COSTELLO: You need a breaking news, you need your breaking news fix from Hollywood Watch "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" at 11:00 Eastern on HLN.


COSTELLO: 42 minutes past the hour.

Checking our top stories now -- live pictures from Jekyll Island where tropical storm Beryl is pounding the southeast coast of Georgia. Farther south in Jacksonville, Florida, a dozen flights had to be canceled at the airport because of some minor damage there. So far up to three inches of rain have fallen in some areas and about 15,000 remain without power.

To Michigan's upper peninsula, where there is some progress to report on the so-called Duck Lake fire, but not much. Containment still stands at 48 percent. The cruise say they've bulldozed lines that should keep the fire from growing. So far more than 22,000 acres have burned. Let's head out to National Arlington Cemetery in Virginia. This is the U.S. Army Band. It's playing at the ampitheater there and you can see all the people there waiting for the President to come out. He will be out in about -- we're thinking about 15 minutes to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. When the President and the First Lady does that, of course, we will have it for you live.

Now to Italy, where a 30-year-old mystery may soon be solved. 15-year-old Emmanuela Orlandi (ph) disappeared in 1983. Since then, her case has instigated conspiracy theories blaming everyone from the Mafia to the Vatican, including a top Vatican exorcist official who claims the teenager was kidnapped for sexual reasons.

Earlier this month Italian authorities opened the crypt of a mob boss, buried at a church owned by the Vatican. And what they found was shocking -- dozens of boxes containing remains that did not belong to that mob figure. Those remains are now being tested for a possible match to Orlandi.

Now, her family is urging the Vatican to open a serious investigation. CNN's Barbie Nadeau is live in Rome.

This just doesn't even sound real.

BARBIE NADEAU, ROME BUREAU CHIEF, "NEWSWEEK" AND "THE DAILY BEAST": No, it's a very complicated case. That's definitely -- there's no question about that. You know, the mobster, the member of the Italian criminal gang was buried in the church in 1997, for reasons nobody really is clear about.

There are allegations that perhaps his family gave a huge sum of money to the Church, to the Vatican to ensure that he was buried in this protected place so that his tomb wouldn't be desecrated if they weren't in a public cemeteries and things like that.

But the family of Emmanuela Orlandi believes that there is something more to it. They want answers. They believe that the Vatican is holding back information, and that they know a lot more than they have been forthcoming with at this point.

COSTELLO: Why hasn't the Vatican agreed to get more involved?

NADEAU: Well, because they don't have to. You know, the Vatican is a own sovereign nation -- is its own city state. It's basically what happens there stays there. They don't have to be accountable to everyone else. There are only about 220 people who live inside the Vatican; only a handful of those people are non-clerical people.

And you know, usually they can take matters into their own hands. They have their own criminal justice system. They have their own judges. They have their own method of dealing with things. So until now, they have not had to be very transparent with these things.

There is so much pressure though outside of Italy -- outside of the Vatican City within Italy because this case is really underscores that difference in that wall between the Vatican and the country. And, you know, for 30 years people have wanted to know the answer, and it's really getting, I would say gaining steam now. They are really making progress in terms of getting the Vatican to agree to open the tomb, in terms of listening to the family members and things like that.

There was a demonstration this Sunday, the brother of the missing girl marched with a number of followers to St. Peter's square, carrying signs of the girl hoping that The Pope would make a reference to her. Of course, he could see those signs from his window when he gave his Sunday blessing. He did not say a word about the young girl.

COSTELLO: When will the DNA test come back?

NADEAU: Well, we're expecting, you know, the next week to 10 days that there should be some information coming out of those tests. They were able to determine that many of those bones were ancient, were very old. They had been buried perhaps in a previous era in that crypt.

But some of the bones were recent. Some of the bones -- and those are the ones that were retested so see if they are matched to Emmanuela Orland, and of course, who are they if they are not hers? Whose bones are they is another question they want to know the answer to.

COSTELLO: Barbie Nadeau reporting live from Rome this morning.

Back in the United States, we are breathing a little easier at the bump. We are not at the $4 gas range analysts expected by now, but why? We'll break it down for you.


COSTELLO: Analysts had us bracing for it, $5 for a gallon of gas. Thankfully that didn't happen.

CNN's Alison Kosik is live outside a gas station in New York to explain why. Good morning Alison.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Carol.

You know, a lot has changed since we beat that drum saying $4 and $5 gas around Memorial Day. You know, you look at these three top reasons why.

First of all tensions with Iran have kind of cooled off. You remember early last year, Iran was threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz. That's a main sort of thorough-way for 20 percent of the world's oil. So once again Iran was threatening to close that off. That, of course, raise that fear of premium with oil and that pumped up gas prices as well. Now those threats have kind gone away and that is also why you are seeing gas prices lower.

Also supplies are plentiful. Oil and gas supplies are actually at their highest levels since 1990. That's also why we are seeing gas prices a little lower. And finally, part of it is actually the economy.

Here in the U.S., we are seeing the economy, it's recovery kind of lose a little momentum. You look at the job market. You look at the GDP. That's economic growth is slowing down.

And it's not just here in the U.S. You look at Europe, at least 12 countries there are fall into a recession, and you are seeing the global growth kind of slowing. So that means that when everybody is sort of trading oil right now, the expectation is that demand is going to be less and so you see oil prices coming down. And you remember oil prices actually make up about 66 percent of gas prices.

So those are kind of the reasons why you are seeing gas prices lower on this Memorial Day.

Though here where we are right now, you say the national average is $3.64 a gallon. Here's what we're in New York City, $4.13 a gallon for a gallon of regular, of course.

COSTELLO: Hey, it's worse in California. It's way worse in California.

KOSIK: Yes, it's actually -- and Hawaii.

COSTELLO: And Hawaii. But you know, the relatively -- I can't even say "relatively low", because gas prices even at $3.64 a gallon is high, but it's not too bad for the millions of people hitting the road today.

KOSIK: Exactly. And if you look at where we were for gas prices this time last year, gas prices are down 30 cents. So you know, we are making headway that way. But, you know, there's a trade off once again. I talked about the fact that you are seeing the recovery kind of slowdown a little bit, which is affecting the gas prices.

It is a trade off. Do you want to see the economy kind of be sluggish or would you rather, you know, pay a little bit more out of your pocket to fill up your car? So everything is down to a trade off, isn't it?

COSTELLO: Yes, it is. Alison Kosik, thanks so much.

Still ahead, we asked you to "Talk Back" on one of the big stories of the day. The question for you this morning, "Is military service necessary to be a good president?

Your responses coming up.


COSTELLO: We asked you to "Talk Back" on one of the big stories today. The talk back question this morning, is military service necessary to be a good president?

This from Charles. "It should be a pre-requisite. In fact, we are long overdue for a national service act which would require every able-bodied citizen to serve in some way, be it military or other federal service."

And this from Vern, the best military minds are at the President's side. Service helps but leadership skills and the willingness to listen to the experts are more important.

This from Jamie, "Like many other management positions, if you are going to be managing a workforce, one should have previously have done the job you are managing."

This from McNeil, "My president doesn't need to have military experience, but he does need to be able to understand conflicts, geo- political issues and proceed with integrity and intelligence."

Keep the conversation going, And thanks as always for your comments.

Finally this morning, baseball players and fans swear by superstitions and one of the most powerful is the curse of the billy goat on the Chicago Cubs. Back in 1945, the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern was asked to leave a world series game because his pet goat was stinking up Wrigley field. And legend has it, the owner said the Cubs would never win a world series again, and guess what? They haven't.

Now some Cubs fans and their goat are hoping to break the curse by doing a good deed.


D.J. FISCHER (ph): D.J. Fischer.

BOYD FERRELL (ph): Boyd Ferrell.

BILL BOLDER (ph): Bill Bolder.

KYLE TOWNSEND (ph): Kyle Townsend.

MATT GREGORY: I am with a group of four friends and Wrigley the Goat. We are hiking from Mesa, Arizona to Chicago trying raise $100,000 for cancer research and crack the curse of the goat for the cubs. We started February 25th in Mesa, and walked through that southern desert in Arizona and New Mexico, and went through the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma City, Tulsa, the Ozarks in Missouri, and right through the Cardinal Country in St. Louis.

And here we are 88 days into it, and we could smell Chicago and they could smell us coming, and so it feels good and it's a journey almost done.

We traveled close to 1,900 miles. It's going to be about 2,000 when it's all said and done. We raised over $13,000 so far.

The target is $100,000. We feel like it's still a possibility. A lot of that comes in the form of people stopping by and doing $5, $10 and $20.

We're outside McDonald's and this guy named Heath donated $125, just because his kid wanted to pet the goat. He's really the star of the show. People love the goat. We've had probably about five or six people ask if they can buy him. And he is not for sale.

Wrigley is actually from Cave Creek, Arizona. We found him on Craigslist -- the Phoenix Craigslist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don't let that goat in there, and I hope they never win a game.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My story with cancer research was my mom was pregnant with me. I'm prematurely born because she had leukemia, and a couple months later in early 79 she took part in a sibling bone marrow transplant. She lived 20 years off that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're doing something for a cost that we believe. Doing something for our team. Everybody's got their team, you know. Whether it be the Cubs or anything. This is far bigger than sports.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE It's an experience a lot of people don't get to get. We have been fortunate enough to have the time to do it and be able to experience this journey with each other, and with the goat.


COSTELLO: The guys and their goat have made it all the way to Chicago and just in time, the Cubs have lost 12 straight games. The guys and the goat will be on CNN's "STARTING POINT" with Soledad O'Brien tomorrow morning.

I am Carol Costello. Thank you for joining me on this Memorial Day. "CNN NEWSROOM" continues right now with Ashleigh Banfield.