Return to Transcripts main page


Historic Heat Bakes the Nation; Firefighting C-130 Planes Grounded; Deadly Heat, Millions Without AC

Aired July 3, 2012 - 05:00   ET


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: No power and no patience. Millions remain in misery with another sweltering summer day on tap.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Caught on camera. Take a look at this. A buckled highway forming that launches a car into midair.

SAMBOLIN: Dara Torres coming up short. Her remarkable run as a U.S. Olympian is over this morning.

BANFIELD: That's heartbreaking.

SAMBOLIN: It really is, right? I was rooting for her, in her 40s with a kid, trying her best.

BANFIELD: I feel like I've had my entire professional career covering her as an Olympian.

SAMBOLIN: That's an amazing story to cover.

Good morning to you. Thanks for being with us. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BANFIELD: Hi, everybody. Nice to have you with us. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.

We're bring you the news from A to Z. And it's 5:00 Eastern.

So, let's get right to it, shall we?

This is unbelievable. It's unrelenting. It is unforgiving. It is a heat wave, and it is devastating, all the way from K.C. to D.C.

And it's going to continue today too. It's going to continue tomorrow, as well -- all the way through the July 4th holiday. In some places, it's going to feel like 115 degrees, particularly in parts of the Midwest today.

And for millions of people without power, sorry to report this, there is not a whole lot of relief coming your way.

At least 19 people now have died in the last week after deadly storms swept through the nation. About 1.7 million people still haven't gotten any power. This is days after the storms went through. Many expect possibly it's going to take until Friday to get their power restored. Take a look at the states that are waiting for the lights and their air-conditioner to come back on -- 410,000 customers in West Virginia, 400,000 customers in Ohio, 340,000 customers in Virginia, all of them in the same boat. And these people are going to have to deal with more soaring temperatures.

The map says it all, 13 states under heat advisories this morning. Those are the states highlighted for you on your screen.

Sandra Endo is in one of those states. She's in Arlington, Virginia, with a lot of criticism for the energy companies.

So exactly what is the story? What are the power companies telling these people? Or can they even hear the message because they haven't got a radio or television to hear it.

SANDRA ENDO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right, Ashleigh. A lot of frustration here in local communities. And it's been four days, as you mentioned, since the violent storm ripped through this region.

And let me just show you the scene we're seeing in residential communities. Take a look behind me. You see downed power lines, trees toppled over crushing this car behind me. And this is a scene, the devastation still left behind four days since this storm struck.

And that is why residents and local authorities are very frustrated with utility companies and power companies. They're asking why isn't this work being done faster to restore power to these communities?

And as you mentioned, still, 1.7 million people across 11 states without power. That's still more than half the number affected since the storms really ripped through these areas.

So, clearly, there's a lot of work yet to be done. The power companies, though, utility companies, they're saying they're having a tough time getting into these residential areas. Moving their equipment through these neighborhoods.

And also, these workers are dealing with the sweltering heat. So, just a conflux of a lot of factors really that are working against so many of these workers.

And temperatures, again, as you were mentioning are continuing to soar. Just in the Virginia/D.C. area, we're expecting the temperatures to really almost hit triple digits here and frustrated residents, they're saying they are doing everything they can to try to cope.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a pool and we have a generator, but a lot of these people don't have nothing. It makes you want to sit down and cry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Been very, very hot. Not getting no relief in the liquid form and people are in dire straits really.


ENDO: And local authorities say that the cooling centers are up and running in many states for people to try to find relief, as well as saying that the community pools are packed, libraries, malls are packed. People are just trying to stay anywhere where they can avoid the heat and wait for these utilities to come back online -- Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: And, Sandra, we've been hearing there's been a serious challenge for the 911 operators with the power outages. They've gone down to about half capacity.

How is that affecting the people who could be in a dire situation right through the Friday?

ENDO: Obviously, this is a big deal, Ashleigh, because in Fairfax County, Virginia, that's exactly what happens. The 911 system was only working at half capacity as of Monday. Still, two days after the storm.

So, clearly, it's so important for these emergency systems to be up and running effectively because people are calling in to really call in emergencies, medical emergencies. Now, if that 911 system isn't working, well, a lot of people are left stranded.

The county supervisor says this is shocking and unacceptable. They're trying to figure out why the primary and backup systems weren't working. And a lot of callers say when they called 911, all they got was a busy signal, a recording, or just dead silence.

BANFIELD: Wow. That is -- that's brutal.

All right. Sandra Endo, live for us in Arlington, Virginia -- thank you, this morning.

SAMBOLIN: Five minutes past the hour.

How hot is it? Well, check this out. It is so hot that the extreme heat buckled the pavement in Wisconsin. It created a ramp on highway 21 that sent a car airborne.

Take a look at that. Unbelievable. The car landed, swerved across the other side of the highway and off the road leaving a cloud of dust in its path.

That video was posted on YouTube. The highway was repaired and it was reopened.

Alexandra Steele is tracking all this brutal heat.

You heard a gentleman there in Arlington, Virginia, that said people are simply in dire straits. Are we going to see triple digit temperatures again today?

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, for a lot of the country, we will. So, the unfortunate thing is the areas where the Derecho moved through Friday night, from Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, all the way through Washington and Virginia where we did and have lost power, temperatures are going to be between 95 degrees and 100 degrees.

So, look at the highs today.

For example, Minneapolis. Right now in Minneapolis, it feels like 88 degrees, it's 84, expecting 96. Their average high for the day is 84 degrees. So warmer than where they should be for the high where the starting out the morning.

So why are we seeing this? Well, over the weekend, it's all about this dome of high pressure and its movement. The problem is it's retro-grading. So the area of the country, really the Southern and Central Plains, they're going to see the 100 to 105-degree temperatures.

In the Southeast, a little bit of a break. Temperatures coming down from the high of 106 over the weekend by about five to 10 degrees. The Southeast in the low to mid-90s.

But look at Minneapolis, Kansas City for tomorrow. So, of course, it's the July 4th day, everyone out and about. So, biggest problems there from Wichita, Kansas City, into Omaha -- temperatures, of course, at 100 degrees plus even.

So, here's the five-day forecast for many places. Look at Chicago -- staying right around 95 degrees until we get to Saturday. Washington, D.C., of course, a lot of activities going there today and tomorrow for the Fourth. Temperatures tomorrow at 97. By Saturday, still at 99 degrees, and, of course, here's where the axis of the intense heat is, Wichita staying above 100, St. Louis, above 100.

So, not a lot of relief for the Central and Southern Plains. Southeast have shaved off a few degrees, but still, temperatures well above normal, really coast-to-coast and North to South.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Alexandra Steele, we're going to continue checking with you make sure everybody's prepared for the sweltering temperatures. Thank you.

BANFIELD: It is eight minutes now past 5:00.

And there are serious questions this morning about Penn State and the serious sex scandal that that university has faced. Did the former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno influence university officials not to report a 2001 incident involving Jerry Sandusky and a young boy in a locker room shower?

According to some e-mails between former university executives, a decision was made to approach Jerry Sandusky and report him to child welfare officials and his Second Mile charity. But it appears that coach Paterno who died in January then had a conversation with the former athletic director, Tim Curley. According to the e-mails, Curley then sent an e-mail to school officials saying that, quote, "After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe yesterday, I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps. I'm having trouble with going to everyone but the person involved."

Joe Paterno's family is calling on Pennsylvania's attorney general and the former director of the FBI, Louis Freeh, who is now involved in an investigation at that school to release all of the e-mails and the records related to their investigations.

SAMBOLIN: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says he regrets his forces shot down a Turkish war plane last month. According to "Reuters", Assad is insisting Syria did not know the plane belonged to Turkey until after it was hit.

Syria's relationship with Turkey, a long time ally, has been deteriorating in recent months. The Turkish government deploying troops along the border with Syria last week as a precaution.

BANFIELD: This just in, and this is a change. Gas prices up this morning to $3.30 on average. It's up 3/10 of a cent after 20 consecutive decreases. Average price now down 78.5 cents from the record high of $4.11 that was reported back in July of 2008.

SAMBOLIN: Ten minutes past the hour.

Forty-five-year-old swimmer Dara Torres has come up short in an effort to earn a spot on her sixth U.S. Olympic team. Torres missed her chance by one spot finishing fourth in the finals of the 50-meter woman's freestyle last night at the Olympic trials in Omaha.

The 12-time medalist began her Olympic career at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. She says here, "This is really over. That's it. I'm going to enjoy some time with my daughter, have a nice summer and cheer on the U.S. team."

BANFIELD: And look at the smile.


BANFIELD: Smiling and hugging her teammates.

SAMBOLIN: She gave it her best. I suppose that's what matters.

BANFIELD: Still an American hero in my books. Way to go, Dara.

SAMBOLIN: I think everyone's books.

Coming up at 6:45 this morning, we'll talk about Olympic qualifiers with 1996 gold medalist, Kerri Strug. Of course, we all remember when she overcame an ankle sprain to lead the U.S. women's gymnastic team to victory in Atlanta. Working forward to that.

BANFIELD: It's now 10 minutes past -- now, it's 11 minutes past 5:00.

And just as firefighters are gaining the upper hand on those Colorado wildfires, there's been a deadly crash and it has forced the grounding of a force of fire fighting aircraft. What caused the accident? And how could it affect the firefight, coming up.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. Fourteen minutes past the hour.

So, this comes at the worst possible time. The U.S. Air Force grounding all of its fire fighting C-130 planes. And that decision coming after the fatal crash of a C-130 in South Dakota on Sunday.

Early last month, two pilots died when another C-130 went down along the Nevada/Utah border.

And until officials get a handle on exactly what is going on, the seven remaining C-130s fighting the Colorado wildfires will not be operating today.

Jim Spellman is live in Colorado Springs this morning.

And, Jim, of course, always safety first, right? But these C-130s, they're able to discharge 3,000 gallons of water of fire retardant in less than five seconds, covering an area 1/4 mile long by 100 feet wide. How is this going to affect grounding them? How is this going to affect fire fighting efforts there?

JIM SPELLMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Zoraida. We saw these planes, two of these C-130s in action here at the Waldo Canyon Fire near Colorado Springs just last week. And it was really impressive. We saw residents watching these efforts go on cheer as these large planes went over to help support firefighters on the ground.

As you mentioned, 3,000 gallons of retardant or water in five seconds covering that 1/4 mile run is really valuable tour in these big fires, especially to sort of help lay down this retardant and try to help create something of a line, especially when the winds change, that can go and lay down a lot in a really quick amount of time.

It's one of many tools they use. There's so many ways they're fighting these fires. They definitely want them back in their arsenal as fast as they can. It is such an important part, especially on these big fires.

Take a listen.


LT. COLONEL ROBERT CARVER, DIR. PUBLIC AFFAIRS, NC NATIONAL GUARD: They are crucial in fighting every fire they go out on, because if the units go to a mission, that means that all the other assets are either unavailable or fully tasked.


SPELLMAN: Like you said, Zoraida, though, safety is first on all of these fire-fighting efforts. They want to make sure these planes are fully checked out and if there's a systematic problem, fix it before they get back in the air. SAMBOLIN: Three thousand people still under mandatory evacuation orders. The fire now just 70 percent -- actually, I should say it is 70 percent contained, because that's a victory.

When do officials expect to have the fire fully under control?

SPELLMAN: They think by the middle of next week, they could have it under control. It's really been incredible. As they got favorable weather conditions here, these firefighters just have assaulted this fire, able to get that containment up really fast. Every day, we're seeing that go up. Unbelievable efforts here on this fire that just grew out of control so fast last week.

But for those residents that are just starting to get their first view of their destroyed neighborhoods, it's going to be a while before they're able to get in there and start rebuilding their lives.

This fire's long from over on many fronts, Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Jim Spellman, live in Colorado Spring this morning, thank you.

BANFIELD: It's now 17 minutes past the hour. Let's get you up to date on the top stories of the day.

Historic heat is baking the nation. And the death toll now stands at least 19 people. Millions of people are still without air- conditioning and power this morning after violent storms knocked down power lines and they could be suffering under these conditions all week long, too, before they get their power back.

Several states have declared a state of emergency with the heat index pushing 115 degrees in parts of the Midwest.

SAMBOLIN: The son of a 68-year-old man who was shot and killed by police in suburban New York has filed a $21 million wrongful death lawsuit. They blame the city of White Plains and eight members of its police force for Kenneth Chamberlain's death last November. Police came to Chamberlain's apartment responding to a medical alert signal. And family members say they forced their way in and wound up shooting him to death.

BANFIELD: LinkedIn is now a little less linked up. Twitter has announced it's cutting its ties with the LinkedIn site. So if you synced your LinkedIn and your Twitter accounts, your tweets are no longer going to appear on your profile.

These new requirements are supposed to encourage developers to build apps on Twitter's Web site.

SAMBOLIN: Do not be distracted by this woman. Surveillance video captures a woman wearing a revealing top robbing a service station in Queensland, Australia. She casually enters the store, steps behind the counter, pulls a knife on the cashier.

After fighting with him for several minutes, she leaves the scene with her male accomplice who had been fueling up the get away car right outside. The pair escaped with less than $200 in cash. Police looking is very, very, very closely at the surveillance pictures.

BANFIELD: I bet they are.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, they are confident she'll soon be busted.

BANFIELD: Oh, you didn't.


BANFIELD: No, you didn't. Oh, Lord.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Nineteen minutes past the hour. We're getting an early read on your local news that is making national headlines.

Listen to this: a mom is suing a Miami charter school, claiming her son was sexually assaulted and bullied by an older student. An attempted suicide after and the school, she says, ignored it.

The mother claims officials at the Downtown Miami Charter School promised her that the students would be separated and closely monitored. But that never happened and the assaults continued.

The operator of the school would not comment directly on the lawsuit but said that student safety and security are among its highest priorities.

BANFIELD: Let's take you out to West Coast for this next story. California's tossing a life preserver to those people who are underwater on their mortgages. State lawmakers have decided to pass historic legislation out there that is meant to protect homeowners from foreclosure.

And here's how it works. The laws would stop banks from negotiating with people on lower mortgage rates while at the same time working to kick them out of their homes. It's also going to ban those so-called robo-signings which were so controversial. Those are the kinds of signatures on foreclosure documents that are done in a rapid-fire fashion without review.

So, hopefully, that will give some relief to people in California who are struggling.

SAMBOLIN: A New York City judge is forcing Twitter to hand over three months worth of tweets sent out by a writer during the Occupy Wall Street protest last fall. The judge ruling private speech is constitutionally protected but comments on Twitter are not.

New York prosecutors say writer Malcolm Harris' messages could show he intentionally disregarded police orders when he and hundreds other protesters occupied the Brooklyn Bridge.

BANFIELD: I wonder if they're going to capitulate to that. That's interesting. We'll have to watch that one.

I'm not sure if I would if I were Twitter. I'd say you have a Twitter, you read it at the time. Sort of like us.

SAMBOLIN: Aren't those saved, really, can like of in perpetuity? You can go back and look.

BANFIELD: They are. So it's odd they would have to actually do a subpoena for them.

For an extended look at all of our stories, you can head to our blog, which is Everything's there.

SAMBOLIN: Twenty-one minutes past the hour.

It's the largest health care fraud settlement in history. How a major drugmaker broke the rules. That's coming up.


BANFIELD: It is 24 minutes now past 5:00 on the East Coast.

We're minding your business this morning. The stocks ended mix yesterday after reports show that the manufacturing sector kind of took a hit last month. Manufacturing has been one of the bright spots of the economic recovery and it had been growing for nearly three years.

SAMBOLIN: Alison Kosik is in for Christine Romans today and she has news of the biggest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history.

GlaxoSmithKline is paying a $3 billion fine.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: And that's why it really caught our eye because of the amount of this fine. Now, GlaxoSmithKline is paying that $3 billion fine for fraudulently marketing nine drugs off label between the 1990s and 2007.

And when we talk about marketing off-label, what they say is that's when a pharmaceutical company actually markets the drug as a treatment for conditions different from what the FDA has approved. Now, when you break down that fine, you look at $1 billion of that. That goes to settling the criminal wrongdoing; $2 billion of it covers the civil liabilities.

All right. So, here's what the government said they did. It said it marketed Paxil to children. But the thing is, this drug is indicated for adult.

Wellbutrin, that was marketed as a weight loss drug. And they're saying this drug is an antidepressant.

Now, there are lots of other popular drugs involved. You can take a look here, including Advair, Lamictal, Imitrex, that's a migraine medications.

So, these were not just for marketing off-label. But the company's accused of paying kickbacks to doctors to prescribe the drugs. We talked to some people and they were surprised about this. BANFIELD: I would say at the very least, yes.

KOSIK: Yes. Take a listen to what they had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't realize drugs were being marketed that way. But the question is: who is going to enforce the laws? And until some system comes to that, and I never see --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exactly. If there's teeth behind the regulations, otherwise, it just has no power.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course it shouldn't happen.

REPORTER: How do you think about what they did?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it's not moral, is it, frankly. I mean, it's disgusting. So if they were fined how many dollars?

REPORTER: Three billion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three billion. There you go. Speaks for itself.


KOSIK: Now, it's not just GlaxoSmithKline. You know, other companies have been caught doing similar if not the same. Glaxo CEO came out and said, "Although this happened during a different era for the company, I want to express our regret and reiterate that we have learned from the mistakes that were made."

But you know what? You wonder if these companies really have learned when you see in the past all of these big drug companies have been fined for similar if not the same issue, and then we've got Glaxo doing the same thing. Makes you wonder.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, doing things that make you wonder.

All right. Thank you, Alison Kosik. Appreciate it.

BANFIELD: Three billion dollars spanking, though. They might remember next time. All right. Thanks, Alison.

You know, you can find almost anything for sale on eBay. But we didn't expect to find this. Look closely, it's a school. An entire school on eBay. We've got the story behind the ad coming up.

SAMBOLIN: And if you're living the House right now, you can watch us any time. We're on your desk top, on your mobile phone. Just go to



ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Red hot from coast-to- coast and the map says it all. Another sweltering day for those still without power.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Chris Christie hot under the collar calling a reporter an idiot. Today, the story behind all the tension at New Jersey state house.

BANFIELD: And after the Supreme Court's healthcare ruling, which candidate gets the bump in the latest CNN poll?

SAMBOLIN: Interesting numbers this morning.

BANFIELD: It is. And it can be spun either way. And you know the spin machine is twisting as we speak.


BANFIELD (on-camera): Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. Nice to have you with us. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.

SAMBOLIN (on-camera): And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Thirty-one minutes past the hour.

So, at least 19 people are dead and millions suffocating without air- conditioning this morning as record-breaking heat continues to bring horror to much of the nation. Federal help now on the way to seven states across the Midwest and the mid-Atlantic and to the nation's capital. The army corps of engineers has deployed personnel to Ohio to install generators there.

And the West Virginia National Guard is also deployed on a mission to provide emergency power to people. The president issued emergency disaster declarations Saturday for all counties within the states of West Virginia and Ohio to coordinate all federal disaster relief efforts in those states. And emergency declaration request is also currently under review for D.C.

Sandra Endo is live for us in Arlington, Virginia. And despite of all of the help that is headed in these folks' directions, we're hearing about 33 nursing homes that are still without power this morning that is in Baltimore. And that when you call 911 in some areas, you're actually getting a busy signal. What can you tell us?

SANDRA ENDO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. I can tell you, Zoraida, that people here are frustrated and when you think about it, it's been four days since these violent storms really ripped through this region and take a look at the scene still left behind, devastation in neighborhoods like this one where you see power lines that are down, toppled over trees, crushing cars, and debris strewn about.

Again, four days since the storm. So, certainly residents and local authorities want these utility companies to get back into these neighborhoods, get the power restored, and really help these residents who are suffering. And, when we're talking about how many people are affected, 1.7 million people still without power across 11 states.

Right here in Virginia alone, we're talking about roughly 350,000 people without electricity, similar numbers in states like Ohio and West Virginia. And residents are really just trying to cope. They're trying to do their best, but they're saying that even getting some of the basic needs is starting to get really hard.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to just rough it the best way you can. You have to go buy water if you can find it. Everyone was out of everything. No one had any water, no one had any ice. You were lucky if you could find a cold Pepsi somewhere.


ENDO: And a girl friend of mine told me that she had to wait in line at a gas station for over 30 minutes just to get some gas. So, clearly, the patience is running out here. Residents and local authorities, Zoraida, are urging utility companies to work faster.

SAMBOLIN: Seems to be at least from the pictures that we're looking at is all of the downed trees that are hampering those efforts?

ENDO: Absolutely. Power companies are having a tough time getting into these communities with all the power down and removing trees and large debris. And that is the challenge. And keep in mind also, workers are working in this sweltering heat, as well. So, that's really slowing down the process.

And we're talking about temperatures soaring continually throughout this region, reaching near triple digits today alone. Again, it's going to be a very tough day out there for workers.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. It's like insult to injury. I read something really interesting here that in one area, they're actually sending cooling buses out now, as well.

ENDO: Yes, Zoraida. They're thinking of creative ways to really help these residents who are hard hit. Cooling buses, people could get on the bus and get some A.C. for a little bit. A lot of libraries and malls are packed as well as community pools. That's what we're hearing. And also, there are dozen of cooling centers available for those elderly residents who are without power or anybody who really just needs some relief in this heat.

SAMBOLIN: Well, at least, they are getting creative. We're happy to hear that. Sandra Endo live for us this morning. Thank you.

In one hour, we are talking to Ken Mallette, the executive director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, about the effort to get power back and to try to keep people cool.

BANFIELD: Our meteorologist, Alexandra Steele, joins us now with a look at the weather patterns right across the country. It is remarkable, Alexandra. I don't remember any other time that I've seen a map with as much red on it from coast-to-coast as I'm seeing now.

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I mean, it's really incredible. Even since last week, we've been talking about this historic heat wave. All the way from Montana to Macon, Georgia, temperatures between 95 and 100 degrees. Highs today, you know, kind of the axis of this intense heat will be in the upper Midwest, Minneapolis, 97.

Their average high this time of year is 84, and they're warmer than that at this very moment, this early hour. All the way down to Kansas City and Wichita, south and east, places like Dallas, of course, used to the heat, but places like the southeast, Atlanta, Georgia, 93. Those are the places in the southeast that have temperatures in excess of 105.

So, that's really where the break is coming. Washington, D.C. not so, unfortunately, Washington and Virginia. Places that don't have the power will be at 98, 99 degrees. All right. Forecast for tomorrow, it's the Fourth of July. Everyone heading out. These are the nine o'clock temperatures. And you can see Washington pretty comfortable.

Certainly, better than it could be. Eighty degrees, 84 in New York City, 89 in Chicago. Dry skies, no problems. We shall see any (ph) for the fireworks. Kansas City, 94, pacific northwest, beautiful conditions for the fourth. Temperatures in 60s, under clear skies at that nighttime hour.

High temperatures for the next few days to the weekend. Look at -- as we head in St. Louis all the way from tomorrow through Saturday, temperatures still in excess of 100 degrees. Similar scenario in Wichita. So, it's St. Louis, Omaha, Wichita, Kansas City, you will really be the hardest hit. Places like Washington, you can see, though, still 100 degrees as of Saturday.

Boston, though, Northern New England, much cooler temperatures upstate New York, as well. And Atlanta, Georgia, you can say Friday in the upper 80s. So, the biggest relief really in the southeast where you expect temperatures to be really hot, but it's really right here through the upper Midwest and the plains that we'll see this 100 degrees scorching heat really right through the short-term forecast and even into next week.

BANFIELD: Because it seems upside down. Normally, you're talking about Atlanta might be, you know, closing in on the 100s and Not Washington, D.C. And St. Louis 104 by Saturday?

STEELE: Yes. That was -- Miami and Tampa, temperatures much cooler than that.

BANFIELD: Bizarre. It's so bizarre. It looks like upside down. All right. Alexandra Steele, thank you.

STEELE: Sure, Ashleigh.

SAMBOLIN: Thirty-seven minutes past the hour. New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, is fighting again, this time, with state Democrats over a middle class tax cut. Christi called a special session of the legislature yesterday one day after a really ugly exchange with a reporter. Not much of an exchange.

He was the one doing the talking. In case you miss it, here are some of the governor's Sunday press conference.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On Monday, are you going to be addressing legislature?

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: Did I say on topic? Are you stupid? On topic, on topic. Next question. Good, thank you -- thank you. Thank you all very much and I'm sorry for the idiot over there. Take care.


SAMBOLIN: Clearly, he was mad because he didn't want to talk about that. Christie is pressing for a 10 percent middle class tax cut in New Jersey which is what the reporter wanted to know. Democrats control the state assembly and Senate, and they accuse Christie of turning his back on the working poor while trying to protect tax cuts for the rich.

BANFIELD: New York congressman, Charlie Rangel's, victory in last week's primary election, still not official this morning. His opponent, state senator, Adriano Espaillat, has now withdrawn his concession and is demanding that he, instead, be declared the winner, claiming that he is the victim of voter suppression.

During a court hearing yesterday about this, Espaillat's lawyers announce that they're going to file a new lawsuit reserving the right to ask for a do over in that election.

SAMBOLIN: Iran's official news agency reports a series of successful missile test is part of three of war games -- three days of war games. The reports said some of those tested, included long-range missiles capable of hitting U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf. Iranian military officials say long, medium, and short-range missiles were due to be tested this week on over 100 targets around the country.

This latest series of war games comes just as the European Union begins an oil embargo aimed at pressuring Iran over its nuclear program.

BANFIELD: It looks like North Korea's supreme leader, you know, the new one, Kim Jong-Un, is relaxing some laws in a, quote, "rebranding effort for his country." It's a plan that apparently includes pants and flat form for women in North Korea, and more cell phones for everyone in the country.

Kim Jong-Un has endorsed some previously banned food there too, like pizza, and French fries, and hamburgers, so they'll be eating like my kids. It turns out he's also a big fan of amusement parks. So, book your next vacation.

SAMBOLIN: An eBay listing trying to sell off an alternative high school near Philadelphia has been removed. The cash-strapped learning center in Langhorne, Pennsylvania was never really for sale. The auction was for naming rights, a free pizza, a school coffee mug, and the chance to deliver a graduation speech. The listing described the school as slightly used but extremely successful.

BANFIELD: I love that.

SAMBOLIN: I wonder if they had any bids. I can't see on the screen there.

BANFIELD: Slightly used but extremely successful.

OK. We've got something for you. Come near to your TV screen. This is one of those daddy don't go moments. Look at this little one. A touching moment. The photo op for the next crew of the International Space Station. But the Russian cosmonaut six-year-old daughter can't stop crying during his sendoff.

The rocket's scheduled to depart on the 15th of July for the International Space Station. Look, they look terrific. That sweet little girl.

SAMBOLIN: Poor little girl.

BANFIELD: I know. She's just six. I totally get it. Look at her.

SAMBOLIN: I'd be crying too. I'm not six.

BANFIELD: I'm almost crying now. Adorable little one.

SAMBOLIN: Forty-one minutes past the hour. For the first time, we are getting a look at how the Supreme Court's healthcare ruling may have impacted the race for the White House. We have the latest phone numbers coming up.


BANFIELD: Good morning, Mr. President, then first lady. It's a lovely day in Washington, D.C. if you like the heat. It is already a quarter to 6:00 this morning, 77 degrees in Washington, and it's going to be soaring to 98 degrees in D.C. A lot of people having trouble, in fact, getting their power back on. So, that's not good news at all.

And then, there's the heat of politics. Significant amount of political rhetoric surrounding the Supreme Court healthcare ruling last week, but it really doesn't seem to look as though it's having a huge impact on voters to know if you're surprise about that or not, but there is a new CNN/ORC internal poll that shows 49 percent of registered voters favor President Obama and 46 percent prefer Mitt Romney in the choice for president.

These numbers may not surprise you, but look at the difference, it's the now and the May. So, what happened in between May and now? Of course, healthcare, but there's no change. So, joining me now to break it down is CNN political editor, Paul Steinhauser. I was pretty surprised to see identical numbers, both for Democrats and Republicans, and it made me wonder if the weekend and asking people questions on a weekend has anything to do with it, Paul?

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Yes. And I got to say, nice segue there from the heat to campaign politics, so, good touch. Yes. We conducted this poll starting Thursday night after the Supreme Court decision for four nights straight through the week. And we normally poll on the weekends at CNN.

So, what's going on here? You heard a lot of people, Ashleigh, like you said, wouldn't that have made a difference. Take a look at this other number from our CNN/ORC poll, and you can see right here, we asked did the Supreme Court decision make you more likely or less likely to vote for the president.

Sixteen percent said more likely. You know what, a lot of those people are already liberals or progressives who are going to vote for him. Thirty percent said less likely. A lot of these people are conservatives that are already going to vote against the president. Fifty-four percent, Ashleigh, 54 percent said guess what, no effect on my vote. That's what they're saying right now.

BANFIELD: Interesting. So, whenever poll numbers come out, the spin doctors get at them real quick. Is there anything that they can spin for either of these candidates to make -- to shine their candidate up?

STEINHAUSER: Sure. I'll give a present to each candidate, all right? Let's start with President Obama. What about that healthcare ruling again? Let's take a look at this. An enthusiasm is the key thing here. Are your people excited to vote? Look at this jump from March until now among Democrats and whether they're extremely or very enthusiastic about voting in November.

That's a 13-point jump. That's a lot, and they did healthcare decision was a reason. Republicans stayed pretty much static here. Enthusiasm is important. Take a look at the next number. We also broke this poll. We polled 1,500 people across the country and a little over 500 of those people are in those 15 so-called battle ground states, the seven true toss-ups and the eight are leaning one way or another.

Those states could be the ones who determine who wins. And look at this, among those people in those 15 states, Romney with an eight- point advantage. I got to say, though, this doesn't mean that Romney is going to win each of those states by eight points or that he's even ahead in those 15 states, but it's a very good number for Mitt Romney in those important states, Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: And important to note that that's not only a good number, that's a great number when you're sitting way outside the margin of error, right?

STEINHAUSER: Yes. That is outside the sampling error, so yes. I mean, he'll be happy with that number right now. But again, we have four months to go, a little four months to go, and a lot of things could change as between now and November 6th.

BANFIELD: As the primaries thought as well. Paul Steinhauser, thanks very much. Nice to see you. And welcome back from your vacation.

STEINHAUSER: Good to be back.


BANFIELD: At 7:30 eastern time on "Starting Point" as well, the RNC chairman, Reince Priebus, is going to be live to talk about the healthcare fallout, the next step for Republicans, and here the gap, the word "tax" will likely come up often.

SAMBOLIN: Forty-eight minutes past the hour. let's get you up to date.


SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Historic heat baking the nation. The death toll sadly now at least 19 people dead. Millions still without air conditioning this morning after violent storms knocked down power lines, and they could be all week. Several states have declared a state of emergency with the heat index pushing 115 degrees in parts of the Midwest.

BANFIELD (voice-over): Police in Mexico City are investigating the death of an Associated Press news intern. His body was found over the weekend in an elevator shaft. Twenty-two-year-old Armando Montana (ph), a Colorado resident, arrived in Mexico just last month after graduating from Grinnell College in Iowa.

He covered violence related to Mexico's notorious drug gangs. However, so far, there's no evidence linking his death to his reporting duties.

SAMBOLIN: The family of Aimee Copeland releasing new pictures of a 24-year-old Georgia graduate student. Take a look at her there. She's recovering from a flesh-eating bacteria. Aimee was transferred from an Augusta Hospital to an inpatient rehab facility, that was yesterday. Surgeons amputated most of Copeland's hands, one of her legs, and a foot after she was infected back in May. And she's smiling.

BANFIELD: All right. History buff. Commemorated in an untraditional way, the World War Ii, warship "USS Mohawk" reaching its final resting place nearly a 100 feet underwater off the coast of Sandoval Island. Watch these pictures, this is awesome. The mounted camera on deck as this thing goes under water.

The sinking of the Mohawk, by the way, creates the first dedicated veterans memorial reef, because that is going to become a big, big reef. The ship was the last to radio Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower that the weather was clearing for the D-Day invasion.

SAMBOLIN: Cool. Sound effect and all. Isn't that great?


SAMBOLIN: All right. In just over three weeks, Facebook will release its first earnings report as a publicly-traded company. The stock is down nearly 19 percent since the company's badly flawed debut on the NASDAQ exchange in May triggered lawsuits over alleged improper financial disclosures.

BANFIELD: It could be the last autograph that Marilyn Monroe ever gave. What's believed to be her last signed check is going up for auction later this month. It's dated August 4th, 1962, the day before she died from the star's personal checking account at the city National Bank of Beverly Hills.

It was for $228.80, and it was made out to pilgrim's furniture. Heritage Auctions is expecting that this thing could fetch $10,000.

SAMBOLIN: Good gracious.

BANFIELD: $228 check fetching $10,000. But stay tuned because you never know how much it will fetch.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, I know, right?

BANFIELD: Could fetch more or could fetch less.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Forget Paris, for an up close look at the palace of Versailles, head to Kentucky.


SAMBOLIN: We're going to explain that coming up.

BANFIELD: And if you're leaving the house right now, not to worry, take us with you, especially when we're jamming on the tunes. Go to, and you can watch us on your mobile phone enroute and also get us on your laptop if you could see the crew dancing to "Brick House" right now. You would take us everywhere. We're back in a moment.


SAMBOLIN: Fifty-four minutes past the hour. It's time to take a look at what's trending on the web. It was like catching a T-Rex. Guiness World Records has now declared that this giant killer crocodile caught in the Southern Philippines last year is the largest ever in captivity.

The crocodile measures more than 20 feet long, weighs more than a ton and was blamed for several -- for eating several people before its capture. It took 100 people, ropes, a crane, and a truck to reel him in.

BANFIELD: You need a picture of a person beside it to get the relative size. I'm not seeing the -- currently, there is. I'm not seeing the same picture that you are, folks, sorry about that. That's a big one. All right. So, talk about bashing your service provider, a video posted on YouTube has a guy totally trashing a T-Mobile store in Manchester, England. Have a look. He's one mad dude. He starts tearing everything off the wall, the display ads and the merchandise and then goes really -- he just goes to town. Look at that.


BANFIELD: Grabs the fire extinguisher off the wall and hoses down the place. He's just had enough. Apparently, he was upset because he was denied his refund. You might want to read your terms and conditions and you might want to check out time in jail, too.

SAMBOLIN: He's so calm, isn't he?

BANFIELD: And listen to everybody cheering outside, too.

SAMBOLIN: Because everybody wants to be able to do this without being taken away in handcuffs.

BANFIELD: You know, crime doesn't pay, though. Got to be hones, he was taken away in cuffs as was expected. That looks like he was kind of expecting it too, laughing all the way.


And for the price tag of $30 million, you could call the palace of Versailles home, this Versailles, Kentucky. This huge castle on 230 acres of land is surrounded by stone walls outside Lexington, not Paris, it is now on the market. Construction started in the 1970s, but it was not finished until the last decade.

Here are pictures for you. It was abandoned for many years after the couple that commissioned it got a divorce. The 50-room palace includes a library, a great hall, a staircase, game room, sitting room, dining room that seats 40, plus the tennis court and a 20 by 50 foot pool.

BANFIELD: It's missing the gardens. Sorry, that ain't no Versailles.

All right. So, from trending to the news here and the power problems across the country, crews are trying to get power up despite the withering heat, especially in the northeast. Coming up, the latest on heat wave and getting relief to those who are still sweating it out.