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Wildfire in Colorado is Out; Nation Brownout in the Middle of Hot Weather Temperature Caused by Storm in Virginia; Islamic Militants Destroying Shrines

Aired July 1, 2012 - 17:00   ET


POPPY HARLOW, CNN HOST: This is CNN breaking news.


HARLOW: We want to show you this just in to CNN.

Take a look at these amazing pictures from one Colorado Springs neighborhood. These are just coming in to CNN. What you can see, these pictures show just complete devastation, wiped out homes.

I mean, look at that. You have one frame of one brick home, brick home, not even wood home, brick home standing there. Everything is completely gone. What is also dramatic, look across the street on the side of jour screen, you can see a house that is standing that is completely untouched right across the street. So, it shows how actually discriminating this fire was destroying one home, leaving others untouched.

Interestingly, too, the lawn in front of that home is green. It is not charred. But the home is completely destroyed. And this is coming from a lot of people that were evacuated, the thousands of people evacuated from their homes today. For the first time, they are getting the chance to come back. They are being bused in by the government to take a look at the damage to see if their home was saved or if their home was destroyed or not.

Let's take a listen in to this video.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Grab that and extended that out to try to fight the fire out here. So now the remains of the hose and that continue up where they cut down some trees to try to prevent the fire from spreading into the house.

Our barbecue on the back lawn has survived. There was a metal upper part of this that you can see the remains of it. It is actually completely melted down to nothing. Our yard chairs which is -- this is where I actually saw the fire start from this seat here looking up into these mountains. Maybe come up over here. So this is where I saw the fire start coming down, coming out the back door looking up and seeing the fire coming down. So the seat is kind of right where we left it.


HARLOW: And it sounds very much to us like that is the man who owned the home. We can't independently verify that because this was shot by the neighbor, not by CNN. The media was not allowed in because of the sensitive need for the emotional need. Sure, obviously of this all.

But this is remarkable video folks. This is the first time I believe that we are really seeing the damage up-close firsthand as the families go back to the area.

Our own, Jim Spellman is in Colorado Springs. He has been reporting extensively on this. We are going to talk to him little bit later on about this, show you some more video everything that is happening in just a little while, 5:30 eastern time. So make sure to stay with us for that.

Heat, as well as gusty winds is an issue for firefighters battling the Waldo Canyon fire near Colorado Springs. The weather conditions have also prevented some residents from going back to their homes to see he damage for the first time. But for one - for ones who are going back, fire officials are warning them that they need to stay vigilant.


RICH HARVEY, INCIDENT COMMANDER, WALDO CANYON FIRE: As you repopulate these areas you will see smoke. You will not see the firefighters but they are there.


HARLOW: The Waldo Canyon fire has destroyed nearly 350 homes. It has burned more than 1,700 acres.

Temperatures rising and power lines down across much of the northeast.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Powers out. Anything goes.


HARLOW: I guess a light moment in what could be a very serious situation for people suffering through blistering heat with no power, a severe storm knocking out electricity for millions on Friday night. Ice, water, even air conditioning units are being handed out to residents to help keep them cool.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sleeping at night is difficult. Last night was a very long night. We are hoping it gets cooler. No definitive plans. My two older kids spent the night at friends' houses. You know, call them a night - they have power. I said if you have someplace to go that has air conditioning go.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HARLOW: Well, some people are going to cooling centers and doing what they can to get out of the heat. Virginia, very hard heat, has opened 35 of those cooling centers.

Our own, Brian Todd, is at one live right now.

Brian, how are people holding up knowing it might be an entire week before their power is fully restored?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they are dealing with it, Poppy, just in kind of a stoic fashion. People are trying to make the best out of it going to these cooling centers like this one right behind me. But, you know, with millions without power and now spiking in record temperatures, this is a double whammy for this region.


TODD (voice-over): These are the life savers, power company teams scrambling to bring transformers back online. But for millions in the Midwest and mid Atlantic these crews can't work fast enough.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hate it. It is horrible. We can't -- all our phones are dead right now. In case of an emergency we can't make a call or anything.

TODD: In the wake of devastating storms, 20 states are dealing with excessive heat warnings word advisories. Temperatures over 100 degrees are scorching much of the southeastern U.S. more than a million customers still have no power. And means huge numbers are at risk.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Heat stroke defined when you start having neurologic problems. Some people come in confused, agitated, ultra mental status. And once you get to that point it can be very severe.

TODD: Businesses and state officials are working furiously to make sure people don't get to that point from passing out free ice to offering cooling centers like Burke Center Library in Northern Virginia.

What is the biggest challenge for you right now running this library kind of on extra hours? You are usually not open on Sundays, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct. Our community libraries are not open on Sundays. So, the challenge for us is one, getting the word out and working with the counties to market and then, to get staff.

TODD: Virginia's governor calls it a dangerous situation for his state and a multi-day challenge. Some people in the hardest hit areas, he says, may not get power back in more than a week from when the storms hit.

A resident in Georgia speaks for a whole region dealing with a double whammy of power outages and oppressive weather.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Used to it but it still is not fun. This heat is not fun.


TODD: Now comes, the added challenge of millions of people heading back to work on Monday. These power outages have also knocked out traffic lights all over this region. And here in Virginia, National Guard troops are being staged to help deal with what will surely be a nightmarish commute Monday morning.

Poppy, I'm going to show you a little bit of what relief looks like in northern Virginia right now. You see these reeds just slightly blowing in the wind. That is a very slight breath. That is a revelation in northern Virginia this weekend because there hasn't been much of a breeze up until now.

HARLOW: Wow. When you are thanking that things have to be pretty bad where you are, my goodness.

TODD: That's right.

HARLOW: And you know, and adding to the problems I know there were complications with the emergency response systems in some places where you are?

TODD: That's right. 911 systems were down in Fairfax County, Prince William County and elsewhere in this region. Governor Bob McDonald clearly upset about that. He says he wants answers. They are investigating whether it was a hardware problem, a software problem, maybe human error or lightning. They don't know yet.

They had to go to back-up ideas like TV, radio, twitter and facebook to get the word out for people if they have an emergency to call 911. That - those systems are now back up and place. You can call 911 and get help. But the governor is investigating just what went wrong because obviously, in the critical hours after that storm, that was not the thing you wanted to have happen.

HARLOW: Absolutely not, Brian. Thank you. I appreciate it.

Well, relentless bombings across Syria again today. The death toll climbing latest count, we have 69 people dead today alone. This, as turkey scrambles fighter jets F16 to protect its borders from the Syrian air siege.

And people across Mexico head to the polls to elect a new president today. That's all ahead.


HARLOW: Checking our international stories for you right now.

Today the European Union oil sanctions against Iran take effect. The sanctions are design to make it difficult for countries to trade with Iran as long as Iran moves ahead with its nuclear program.

In response today Iran announced missile tests and threatened to wipe Israel, I'm quoting here, "off the face of the earth."

In just under four hours all polling stations across Mexico will close and Mexican will have elected a new president. Top of mind in this election, the country's brutal drug war and weak economic growth.

And turning to Kenya, leaved 17 killed are dead, victims of black targeting two Turkish near the Somalia border. Police say the attackers threw grenades at the churches and then opened fire on people as they ran out. It is the deadliest attack since Kenyon forces invaded Somalia last year to battle a terrorist group that the U.S. said is link to al Qaeda.

Now let's turn to Syria where the violence continues once again a day after world diplomats hammered out what they hope would be a peace deal. According to activists at least 69 people have been killed today alone across the country. The new plan calls for both the regime and opposition fighter to immediately adopt a cease fire and pave the way for transitional government.

Our Paula Newton joins us now. I do want to talk about this because it seems like there are so many diplomatic meetings and diplomatic solutions that simply have not worked yet.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: It is hard not to get cynical. You have seen the diplomats meeting in Geneva. U.S. secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, was there. They came up with the peace panel. Guess what, Poppy; it looks exactly like the one that has failed, utopian and cobalt together. And the key thing, Poppy, is there was no breakthrough in terms of bringing Russia on side to show pressure on the Assad regime. I want you to listen now to U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton in an exclusive interview with Joe Dorothy. She is going to be quite frank here. Listen up.


HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Unless I am wildly off base there is no way anyone in the opposition would ever consent to Assad or his understand regime, cronies with blood on their hands being on any transitional governing body. But I said weeks ago that Assad going could be an outcome as well as a precondition.


NEWTON: It's interesting because we are just back at square one. It is one of the talking. Why is it significant what she said? She is basically saying that Assad will not be a part of the new government. Russia is saying no, we are not putting conditions in this.

HARLOW: Right.

NEWTON: And avertedly, they are basically propping up the regime. In the meantime, Poppy, it so difficult to see all the violence. We continue to get videos on a daily basis, of course, CNN trying to authenticate it. But, it is utterly heartbreaking how really impotent the whole world diplomatic situation is absolutely impotent in terms of trying to with it. HARLOW: And until you get Russia on board and you know there have been tense talks and tense relationships frankly between secretary Clinton and Sergey Lavrov, the foreign minister there in Russia, just to get them on the same page to get the countries on the same page, I think an indication of how tense this is as you said with what we saw happening in Turkey scrambling the F16s in the air because they buster in helicopters by the border.

NEWTON: It is a tender box. You know, we saw a little while ago the Syrians take down that Turkish debt. In the meantime, the Turkish government has really been on hair trigger with this. Today, they scrambled jets to the border.

Turkey is part of NATO. An attack on one is an attack on all. We are not there yet where we are talking about military intervention. But on the other hand, as you see that diplomatic process ground to a halt, Turkey is getting very impatient. And they feel as if they do not have the international support they need to bring an end to the Assad regime.

HARLOW: Thank you so much, Paula. Appreciate it.

Well, more than people one, more than people on the run from wildfires in the west. We are going to take you to Montana where a woman is doing pretty incredible work saving endangered horses there in Montana. That's next.


HARLOW: Well, this just in to CNN.

Take a look at some amazing pictures from one Colorado Springs neighborhood. These are just coming in to CNN. These pictures show pure, utter devastation. These were shot by neighbors. Media was not allowed in along with families. You know these families as we have been telling you got to take bus tours to see if their home was standing or now. What is dramatic is how completely destroyed that one brick home is and right across the street you have other homes right even in the back there that are standing just fine, even the brush in front of the home not really touched.

So, it shows you that this fire has been discriminating in terms of the houses it has completely destroyed and those it left untouched. And we are going to talk to our own Jim Spellman who has been helping us all week bring this elements in. He is going to be live there for us in about ten minutes with the latest.

All right. We have been talking a lot today about the wildfires in Colorado. You just saw that video. But, they aren't just happening in Colorado. They are raging across the rocky mountain west.

In Montana there is a battle to save horses endangered by the smoke and the flames. We are going to bring in Sasha Hyland. She is with a group that is setting up safe refuge for the horses. She joins us via Skype from Belgrade, Montana. Sasha, the work you are doing is amazing. Tell us what is going on right now. I know you have a number of horses there that you guys are protecting and taking care of.

SASHA HYLAND, MAERA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: What we have done is we have basically opened up our entire facility to any horses in need in Montana and across other states. We can house over 400 horses and small livestock to prevent these animals from suffering from fires and getting killed with the high winds we had and those fires traveling really fast.

HARLOW: You know, we are looking at pictures of fire and all the smoke there and we see in the middle of the picture one beautiful horse there being rescued. I know that one of your concerns is that a lot of people don't know that your facility is out there and you have capacity for a few hundred horses. So people like the ones you see on the screen right now can bring them to you. Is the biggest issue getting the message out and getting the animals?

HYLAND: Definitely. I think getting the message out is hard especially in panic situations and crisis. A lot of people don't know what to do. And so, for us we will be around and having this option open for the remainder of the summer so that people at any moment anytime there is a risk, potential fire, fire coming their way they don't have to wait to be evacuated to bring their horses to us.

HARLOW: That's such a good point because at that point it might be too late. You know, they are just evacuating the people out. I know you have 52 acres, 150 indoor stalls. You are taking more than just horses though, right? I mean, if anyone needs help with any animals, pretty much you are helping.

HYLAND: Correct. Definitely. And most people that have horses have other animals, too.

HARLOW: Absolutely. What can people do to help at this point for you guys?

HYLAND: Right now it is really spreading the word, visiting our Web site. We also have lost horses sign up and we have missing horses and livestock. So, if someone has located something or lost one, you know, we have that ability on our site to be able to provide that information to the public.

HARLOW: All right. Keep up the great work. Thank you. I'm glad. Hopefully more people know about this now that you came on our air. Thank you so much, Sasha.

HYLAND: Thank you. I appreciate it.

HARLOW: Illegal immigrants getting a free ride to college here in the United States. Is it fair? Is it legal? One Illinois College says yes. But, you are going to hear both sides of this story so you can decide for yourself.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARLOW: Listen to this. A small private catholic university just outside of Chicago says it spend over a quarter million dollars to educate 17 undocumented students. It's a dream come true for these young people but not everyone feels they deserve it.

Nick Valencia went to Chicago to report on this. I think it is a fascinating story because they are skirting the law here.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They circumnavigating the law. That is exactly right. The way they are doing, this is the funding is coming from private sponsors, Poppy. The university president, Donna Carroll said that no funding comes from the state level at all whatsoever. For them as an institution, a catholic institution, they say it is their moral obligation. Their convictions have led them to this. They feel that this is the right thing to do.

Now, when you take a controversial stance like this, it will split - it is going to polarize people. Not everybody is in line. There are some alumni that have come out and said, this -- they disagree with the decision. And in fact we spoke to one state representative there earlier this week. He said it is a horrible idea that these people are illegal immigrants according to him and should not receive this education. Donna Carroll says this is the right thing to do.

We spoke to them earlier this week. Listen to what they had to say.


VALENCIA: Somebody say devil damage here, a representative. They are a private university. They are private school. Some say they can do whatever they want with their money.

REP. RANDY RAMEY (R), ILLINOIS: Well, they could. But, why are they still breaking the law, then. I mean, here are kids with no identification. They are not citizens but we are going to give them a college education. Then what?

DONNA CARROLL, PRESIDENT OF DOMINICAN UNIVERSITY: As a catholic institution, as a Dominican institution one part of our mission is a commitment to social justice. These students are not criminals. They are not aliens. They are bright, aspiring young men and women.


VALENCIA: So, you see Poppy. This is a very divisive issue. One saying it is a human issue and this is the right thing to do, the other side taking a different stance.

HARLOW: And I think, the question also has becomes what are the opportunities for these students, these young men and women, as they graduate from the university. They are still likely not going to have papers. They will not be allowed to legally work in this country. They are not going to get what students -- foreign students legally in this country get which is the one year sort pass to try to find a job and get sponsorship here.

VALENCIA: Right. This is a tough road ahead for the students. They are not guaranteed jobs after they graduate.

HARLOW: Right.

VALENCIA: During their education, they are receiving this education from this university and other extreme Mexicans. In Illinois, it is important to point out that there is a dream act that passed in May.

We spoke to a student Arianna Salgado, who has become sort of the face of the dream act in Illinois. She remains optimistic. She says she doesn't like to think about the future because she knows this is not a federal dream act in place and there are few options and more obstacles. But she says she is still hopeful.


ARIANNA SALGADO, UNDOCUMENTED STUDENT: My hope is that something like the dream act or immigration reform would happen every year, so that it would make it possible for not only myself and for my friends and other students like myself to be able to work.


VALENCIA: She is saying well, it's worth it. Sacrifice is worth it. But she does worry about the future but she is going to stick in with it.

HARLOW: I guess too. It gives the kids a few more years to see if policy changes in the country, what happens with immigration reform to be an issue, no matter who the next the president is. I wonder, finally very quickly, is there any organized, and we know the representative speaking against this, is there any sort of organized movement to try to sue the university or something?

VALENCIA: Not yet. You would think there would be more of an outcry of opponents against what Dominican University is doing. But overall, even those within the university that sort of disagree with what the president Donna Carroll, what she is doing, haven't been that vocal about it. It took a long time for us to find somebody like representative Ramey who was opposed to it. Of course, he represents a larger group of people in the United States who disagree with what this university is doing on a local level.

HARLOW: Keep an eye on it for us. It is a fascinating story.

VALENCIA: Thanks, Poppy.

HARLOW: Thank you so much.

All right folks, I want to show you dramatic video coming in to CNN.

For the first time, we are getting an up close look at the devastation left behind from the Colorado wildfires. We are going to take you live from the disasters on next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARLOW: Right now in Colorado for the first time people are getting a first-hand look at what is left of their homes after those dizzily wildfire.

I want to bring in live our Jim Spellman. He is in Colorado Springs.

Jim, you have some amazing CNN exclusive video just come in to us of the devastation, the first time that these families are seeing what has happened.


What we did was we gave a camera to a couple named Ted and Kate Stefani and asked them to film this for us. So, they did this just for us at CNN. They gave us a tour of what their neighborhood looked like. And you could just see the devastation is unbelievable. Some homes all you can see are a little few bricks from a chimney, weird artifacts, a hall of a washing machine and little else.

This is a family who first discovered their home was destroyed when they saw a photograph of it on the front of the Denver post. Then, now to see it up close, yes, to see it up close was really stunning for them.

And you know, I expected them to really broken up, but they really felt like this gave them some sort of a sense of closure and set them up to be able to maybe start looking to the next phase, to rebuilding and being ready to start a new life. They are going to rebuild right back in their neighborhood on that same plot, Poppy.

HARLOW: Wow. On that same plot. And people on their screen are looking at images of the home of Ted and Kate Stefani who you sent a camera in with because media was not allowed in on this bus tour. It's bringing people to their homes for the first time. Of course, the concern that was still emotional and they just don't want the media know. So they willingly shot this video of their own house. I know there is one chair, Jim, that is very important and it is where Ted Stefani actually sat, right, when he first saw the fires.

SPELLMAN: That's right. Ted sat on that chair watching the fire come down the hill when they made the decision it was time to get out. They went back. The chair is still there, all the fabric on it long gone, really just a metal frame.

And Ted is an interesting guy. He is an army surgeon who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has seen a lot of, you know, tough times over there. And he said he has never seen anything like this.

They went back looking for specifically one thing that unfortunately they weren't able to find. His father, also a surgeon, in the military in the army in world war II and they were hoping his uniform had survived. It didn't make it, unfortunately. But they really come to peace with that. They say, look, the stuff is all gone. We know we have a clean slate. We are safe. We are together and we are going to rebuild.

HARLOW: Let's listen in to some sound from Ted and Kate Stefani.


TED STEFANI, LOST HOME IN FIRE: This is our first look at it after the fire so we'll go for a tour around but there's not much left.

KATE STEFANI, LOST HOME IN FIRE: This is what was the garage. And you can see the gutter that has fallen down. The only thing left of the garage is the brick standing here and the brass fixture that we really didn't like anyway but it made it.

TED STEFANI: I can just walk it around from there.

KATE STEFANI: OK. Thank you.

TED STEFANI: Thanks, Mark.

KATE STEFANI: Yes. I will take it around.



TED STEFANI: So this is our garage or what is left of it. Of course, there is the one pillar remaining with the fixture with the light that we absolutely hated, but that's all right. And we go around the side here.

As you can see the heat is so intense with the fire that it kind of incinerates your grass, so the cans of glass cleaner that we had survived for whatever reason in various states. You can see the foundation but our adjuster is telling us that in these fires that the heat is so great that you can't save any of the slabs or the foundation. Coming over the only thing that you see of this box over here is our deep freezer that was in our garage.


HARLOW: And that is just a small look at this family, again Ted and Kate Stefani, taking a look at their home. And Jim Spellman, again live for us.

Jim, you know, I want to bring up for our viewers this photo on "the Denver Post" that you mentioned was the way the family learned of their home going out in flame. The house is to the bottom left of our viewer's screen. You see it there.

This photo really has become symbolic of the raging fires in Colorado. You know, what is interesting to me, Jim, in this video is that this fire burned some homes completely to the ground and right across the street and right behind and next door homes are untouched.

SPELLMAN: Yes. It's really incredible. Look, if you see kind of an aerial map, it will be destroyed, destroyed, fine, fine, destroyed, destroyed. It is really hard to figure out kind of what happened. We spoke to one woman today who also got to go back in and she is the firefighters who actually fought and tried to save her home, unfortunately in vain, told her it was because she had juniper Bushes around the house that acted like an accelerant. No Bushes on the house next door and that home is completely fine. It's just - it's hard to make much sense of it.

And I was really surprise also, I was interested to find it, people are happy that their neighbors' homes are not destroyed. Because they say, that when they go back and rebuild it will feel more like a neighborhood. And they will have kind of a foundation to build on.

The people that are still there and are going to help them make it feel like part of a community and have the kids have somebody to play with and not this barren moonscape a another person described it to me. I think the homes might actually really come to be a sort of a seed that will help rebuild the rest of the neighborhood.

HARLOW: Yes, Jim. And especially for the Stefani family who you said told you that they are going to rebuild on the same plot right there. And I just want to keep our Jim Spellman up with us guys, live because Jim folks, he is the one who again brought you that amazing story of Susan and her four grandsons that we showed you earlier last hour who is suffering so much, as well.

So Jim, you have been doing an extraordinary job on the ground getting the stories. We are starting to feel from a very human way what this means to this community and this state.

SPELLMAN: Well, Poppy, what is amazing is how the people here are weathering and dealing with this, really. But, it's really an incredible community here, Poppy.

HARLOW: Wow. Great work, Jim. Keep on it. Thank you very much.

Folks, much more on this in Jim's amazing video coming up 6:00 p.m. Eastern on NEWSROOM with Don Lemon.

Let's move on now.

Armed with chisels and hose militants in Timbuktu destroyed ancient artifacts, now the international criminal court in the United Nations getting involved in an effort to preserve what is left.


HARLOW: Well UNESCO, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, is condemning the destruction of three sacred tombs in Timbuktu Mali by Islamic militants. The militants plan to destroy more shrines because they think people shouldn't worship saints.

I spoke with UNESCO's director general earlier today about what if anything can be done to stop these destructions.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) IRINA BOKOVA, DIRECTOR GENERAL, UNESCO (via phone): Well, the information that we got that four of the mausoleums who are on the world heritage list, there are 60 mausoleums, four of them were completely destroyed. Early may we know that one of the ones with more than 30,000 unique manuscripts from the 14th, 15th, and 16th century also have been vandalized enough to fight by armed groups. And what is more disturbing is that yesterday they vouched to destroy the rest. So, we are really very concerned.

HARLOW: And I know they are reportedly using hoses and chisels. AFP is reporting that some of these men have circled that tombs' crying "Ala Akbar," God is great. They are obviously doing this in the name of religion.

Is there a force that is fighting them off? Is there anyone opposing what they are doing or is it too dangerous for anyone to be on the ground, you know, fighting back protecting this area?

BOKOVA: I have been seen some pictures of local people bewildered of what they see and what happened because these are very vivid living monuments. These are not only museums, so people go there to pray every Friday. And all of a sudden they are destroyed. And I believe that we need the total rejection and mobilization of everybody, of religious leaders, world religious leaders because this is not acceptable.

HARLOW: Do you feel, though, that you have the attention, the necessary attention of world leaders on this right now?

BOKOVA: Well, I think that to the secretary general understand very well, he say, equally worried about it. I spoke with also with the secretary general of the Islamic organization for cultural and tour education and I tried to reach out also to other leaders. The tour was launched to everybody. I believe that is why we inscribed these monuments from the world heritage list. I believe that everybody, all political leaders should be mobilized and launched an appeal for these military groups.


HARLOW: I mean, that's Timbuktu, a place where, you know, so many people say, I will go there one day. So, we will keep an update - we will keep you updated on that story as we get more information.

Well, Spain makes history in the euro 2012. And a record breaking ending for the NBA draft. For the first time in history two players from the same school got the top two picks.

NPR sports correspondent, Mike Pesca, is joining me from New York with some smart sports. You know a lot more about this than I do. The only thing I know a lot about is Minnesota sports and we are not talking about Minnesota. We are talking about Spain and then we are talking about Kentucky.

So, let's start with Spain. Spain, making history. A four to nothing win against Italy just wrapped up from the past hour, o, the first nation to win three major international titles back-to-back. Let's show some live - tape pictures of cheering fans in Madrid, those coming to us from ESPN, elated at this victory.

Mike, how good is this team? Was this expected?

MIKE PESCA, NPR SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It was expected and the answer is they are fantastic. What you just said, three majors in a row. Some of the great teams of all time have won a world cup and a federation cup but no team has done what Spain did. They won Europe in 2008. They won the world cup in 2010. They just won Europe again.

And people are talking about them as the greatest site of all time. Now, we do this a lot. We in the sports media, whoever won just recently, will say they are the greatest ever. Fans do it, too. So now, I just call it the recently effect.

But I think there is a really good case. You know the 1970 Brazil team with L.A., that was voted the best soccer team ever. But, they couldn't do what Spain did with this three in a row and the Spanish side turned over some players. So, their striker, David Villon (ph), who wasn't in this tournament. And I think what we are seeing is they are deep. They are excellent. They can continue into the world cup in 2014. It is quite unprecedented.

HARLOW: Yes. They are the defending world cup champions. They get this and, you know, it is great for them because that country and Italy frankly, going through a lot right now when it comes to their economy. So, it's great for the people there, obviously, celebrating that win.

All right, let's turn here to the United States. The NBA draft wrapped up. Kentucky really knocking it out of the park, one to pick, six players from the draft, what's going on?

PESCA: Yes. Kentucky won the national championship and they showed why. They have great players. Michael Kidd-gilchrist went second overall. Anthony Davis went first overall. That's never happened. They had fix players taken.

You know, back in 1977 when the draft was ten rounds UNLV had six players taken. So, they are deep great team. And I think a lot of people will say what else why Kentucky won? Great. Big deal, they have a lot of players. And what's often missed is the fact that coach John Calipari, he coaches the kids up as base tag. He doesn't just make them tough players. He makes them tough players.

So, this guy, Michael Kidd-gilchrist was a well-regarded guy out of high school. But Calipari instilled toughness in his. And it seems he is comfortable taking a guy like Michael Kidd-gilchrist because you know, he is a winner. All these guys are winners. They won the championship. So, credit should go to Calipari. He is not just a guy who harvests greatness and makes it, you know, uses it for his own means. He really makes these guys better players.

HARLOW: Is he a guy who teaches them how to work together really well? Because that is key, right? I mean, when you look at the heat it was all about getting those players to work really well together?

PESCA: That's right. Yes, they are a cohesive team. I think some of the guys were taken late in the second round, you know. (INAUDIBLE) didn't have these great teammates. He might not even be taken. So Calipari makes them better than they are.

It really is too easy to say this was a top kid out of high school. You know, a guy named Perry Jones; he was a top kid out of high school. He went 28 on Thursday. The number 10-pick, Austin River, he and Anthony Davis were co-high school players of the year. He went ten. Why are Kentucky players going so high? Coaching has a lot to do with it. Their environment has a lot to do with it.

HARLOW: And yes, all the really good coaches have great names, right, like Calipari and Krzyzewski (ph). That's part of it.


HARLOW: There you go. All right, thanks so much. Good to have you on, Mike.

PESCA: You are welcome.

HARLOW: Folks you know to win the White House you have to win Ohio. At least that is how it has worked for the past 12 elections since 1964. So, how is it looking right now for President Obama? I took a road trip to find out, that's next.


HARLOW: But you have elected president to represent you in Washington, but are they are doing a good job.

CNN contributor, Bob Greene says lawmakers are reducing politics to childish game when they play the blame game.


BOB GREENE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Let's say your furnace is breaks and your higher accompany to fix it. The repairman come-up from the basement and the first one says we can't get it started and it's his fault. The second one says not his fault. The third repairman says I know exactly how to fix your furnace but these guys keep stopping me before we can do it.

You have every right to say what are you talking about? I hired you to do a job. Don't blame each other. Don't tell me why you don't like each other. Please go back down there and fix the furnace. That is how it is supposed to work, except in one area.

In politics and government and the acrimony in recent years with the finger pointing and blame shifting that we sometimes lose sight of the fact that with their lofty titles, members of the house, senators, our presidents over the years, the people who have been hired have like electricians or plumbers have been hired to do the job. There is a self congratulatory phrase that political professionals sometimes use, politics isn't bean bagged. But in recent years, too often, that's exactly what it seems to have devolved into it, a child's game played just for the playing.

Bob Dylan when he was a young song writer wrote a song with the title "Only a Pawn in their Game." And it would be difficult to blame Americans if at least once in a while in this political atmosphere they don't identify with that phrase. But the citizens are not pawns. They are employers. And with the seriousness of the matters facing this nation this is not a game.


HARLOW: Interesting opinion. We are paying their paychecks. Well, you can read Bob's column and other great opinions on the issues on

To politics now, we are going to D.C. We are going to head the Rust Belt. Last week, I hit the road with our team. We drove from Wisconsin to Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. You see our route right there, to get the pulse of voters in key auto towns. All four states selected Obama in 2008. Now, Indiana is leaning towards Romney, Ohio a clear tossup, 55 elect pro-votes are up for grabs in those states. So, we wanted to see what people are thinking. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We bled on him. I mean, this town and GM went hand in hand.

HARLOW: How many years as an auto worker?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 30.7 when the plant closed.

HARLOW: I first visited James in 2009 right after GM shut its doors here. Three years later we found James trying to build back. It's a town without an identity, a town with more unemployment and more foreclosed homes and more people that want to work that just don't have that option anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They want jobs and want good jobs.

HARLOW: Is it still a union town?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's changed. This is the union's center town anymore.

HARLOW: When we rolled in to Kokomo, Indiana it was 93 degrees reflecting the revival of this town. We came to meet Cliff (INAUDIBLE) and Dwayne (INAUDIBLE) at their neighborhood bar, two friends whose blue collar auto careers that followed a similar path but whose politics have not.

Do you agree on who the next president should be?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I'm all over Obama.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm leaning towards Mitt Romney.

HARLOW: Why Obama?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I have a job today.

HARLOW: He credits the auto bailout which Romney opposed. You see folks here call Kokomo little Detroit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it weren't for Obama I would not have a pension and would not have insurance.

HARLOW: Despite that, Dwayne doesn't think President Obama deserves another four years. In the outskirts of Detroit

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't see the economy turning around.

HARLOW: Two auto workers --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And Michigan is on its way back.

HARLOW: With similar nine to five, but dramatically different views on the economy here where unemployment is about 8.5 percent.

Who do you credit for having a job today?

STACEY STEWARD, MICHIGAN: I credit President Obama totally 110 percent.


STEWARD: Because when everybody turned their backs on the auto industry he said no way he was going to let us fail.

HARLOW: Mitt Romney's criticism of the auto bailout doesn't sell well here in Michigan. It's home of the big three, and also Romney's home state, Michigan, leaning towards Obama this election but not all the auto workers we met here are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think Mitt Romney will do a much better job managing the economy. The government needs to be out of the economy as much as possible.

HARLOW: Warren, Ohio and Lords town, Ohio, two towns, 15 minutes apart, with two very different stories. Does this town revolve around the GM plant?


HARLOW: No question.


HARLOW: We met Sherry Gaunt in Lords town, long time GM worker and vice president of the local united auto worker. SHERRY GAUNT, VICE PRESIDENT, LOCAL UNITED AUTO WORKER: Look where GM is at now. If the government didn't step in might not be working. Might not have a job.

HARLOW: But in Warren, Ohio, some former auto workers are angry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was one of the innovators.

HARLOW: Worked at auto parts supplier Delphi for 34 years, a senior engineer non-union. What did the bailout mean to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The auto bailout, the effect on me and my family is a loss of all of my health care insurance, a loss of all of my life insurance, a reduction of my pension by 30 percent for the rest of my life.

HARLOW: He and his fellow retires feel they have been thrown under the bus by the Obama administration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He certainly didn't protect my pension. I was just road kill. And to be kicked to the curb and out of the way.


HARLOW: Really interesting to hear the perspective of all of those folks across the Rust Belt there and what they are really thinking. You can see the first story in our series that premiers tomorrow night 7:00 p.m. Eastern on Erin Burnett "OUTFRONT."

CNN NEWSROOM with Don Lemon coming up in just a few minutes. My good friend Don, in New York, I'm in his home.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST, NEWSROOM: We switched roles here. I know. What's going on?

HARLOW: We didn't get to hang out. But, Don, what is ahead on the show?

LEMON: Well, before that, it's -- you know poppy it is nice to get out. And I did the trip in 2010 during the mid terms. And it is great to hear people talk about what is going on and get out of the building every once in a while and listen to the American people.

Good stuff. I can't wait to see that.

HARLOW: Thank you. I appreciate it. Yes, I mean, you know, we talk about what we think people care about so much. And sometimes you got to shut up and listen to them.

LEMON: And listen to them. Very well said.

So hey, Poppy, you know I had the chance to talk with former NBA star Jayson Williams last night. It was his first TV interview since getting out of prison. And I have to tell you it was really, really intense.


JAYSON WILLIAMS, FORMER NBA PLAYER: I'm sweating up in here right now.


LEMON: OK. That was not the right sound bite there. But anyway, he was -- during the interview, Poppy, he was sweaty. He was sort of unsure about himself just a little bit. He was very humble and he said, you know, I am sorry for what I did. If I could take it back I would be more careful about what I did. He said it was silly what happened as you know back in 2001 he had just come home from a Harlem Globetrotters game with nieces and nephews and some other family member. They were in his home. He was showing off a gun. The gun went off and killed his driver Mr. Cristoffi. And then he went to jail for that and served 22 months for it.

And so, now he is out and he is also saying that he was part of his behavior is that he was molested as a child and he didn't deal with it. And also he said he was an alcoholic and he had addiction issues, as well. We will play that for you coming up at 6:00 and 7:00.

HARLOW: That would be a great interview, Don. We look forward to that next hour.

That is going to do it for me, folks. Great spending the weekend with you. CNN NEWSROOM continued at the top of the hour with Don Lemon.

Have a great week.