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EARLY START WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Historic Heat Bakes The Nation; Tensions Rising Between Syria And Turkey; Paterno's Role In Sandusky Case; GlaxoSmithKline To Pay $3 Billion Fine; Failed To Qualify; Firefighting C-130 Planes Grounded; Barclays CEO Resigns; New CNN Presidential Poll; Two Time Olympian Talks Gold

Aired July 3, 2012 - 06:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN HOST (voice-over): Seeing red, what the weather map looks like almost right across the country, and it also describes the frustration of waiting for power crews to get your air conditioner and your fans back up and running again.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN HOST: Getting air. Take a look, a buckled highway sends an unsuspecting driver flying through the air.

BANFIELD: And a couple of kids try to snatch the Olympic torch. Are you kidding? Seriously? Way to go, kids. There you go.

SAMBOLIN: They were excited.

BANFIELD: Not a funny trick and he runs away waving. All is good in torch land. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. We are bringing you the news from A to Z. It is 6 a.m. here in the east so let's get started.

Up first, you know, unrelenting and unforgiving, it is the heat wave, devastating heat from K.C. to D.C. will continue today and through the July 4th holiday as well.

It will feel like 115 degrees in parts of the Midwest today. For millions without power there will be absolutely no relief. At least 19 people have died in the last week.

That's when those deadly storms swept the nation and about 1.7 million people still do not have electricity. This is days after the storm. Many may not until Friday at the earliest.

And take a look at the states waiting for the lights to come back on, 410,000 customers in West Virginia, 400,000 customers in Ohio, 340,000 in Virginia in the same boat. These people will have to deal with more soaring temperatures.

Take a look at this map, 13 states are under heat advisories this morning. Those are states highlighted right there on your screen, pretty much half there. Sandra Endo is in Arlington, Virginia, a lot of criticism in this morning, but in your area, 410,000 customers still without power. How are they coping?

SANDRA ENDO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they are trying to make the best of it, Zoraida, and clearly the frustration and patience is running out because residents here, this is day four since the storm.

Look at the scene still left behind by the massive storm. You can see downed power lines toppled over trees, crushing cars here. We came in the middle of the night, really, early morning hours.

And it was pitch black because, again, so many people here are suffering without electricity. As you mentioned, these temperatures are expected to soar near triple digits today in this region alone as so many states are under heat advisories as well.

So residents here who are suffering without power are trying everything they can to stay cool and they're trying to cope. But it's getting harder.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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: It's been very, very hot, not getting no relief in the liquid form and people are in dire straits really.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ENDO: So obviously, very frustrated residents. Also, local authorities are urging utility companies to get their act together, to work faster to try to restore the power in these hard hit communities, power companies say they are trying their best.

Workers are out there in the sweltering heat, which is not good condition. Also, it's hard to get into the areas because of so many downed trees.

So they are trying as hard as they can, but of course, they are welcoming all of the federal help and extra bodies to really help in this recovery effort -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, we do know that they are working hard, but everybody is so frustrated. So besides power being out, what other challenges are communities facing?

I read some water towers in some areas need the electricity in order to operate so they are not getting that basic necessity of water.

ENDO: Absolutely. Also, the 911 system, you really want all of your emergency systems to respond when a catastrophe happens and it really failed in Fairfax County, Virginia, the 911 system was working at half capacity as of Monday.

They are trying to figure out why their primary and secondary backup systems did not work when people were calling in medical emergencies and also emergencies because of the storm.

All they were hearing was the busy signal or a recording and sometimes even just dead silence.

SAMBOLIN: I would imagine that at the end of all of this they are probably going to do a bit of an investigation to find out what went wrong and how to fix it for the future. Sandra Endo reporting live for us, thank you very much.

BANFIELD: So at 4 minutes past 6, you probably already know the answer to this question, but how hot is it? Check out Wisconsin for a moment and get to your television, you'll want to see this video.

So hot there that the extreme heat warped the pavement in that state and created a bit of a ramp on Highway 29 and look what happens when a car tries to go over, launched, airborne, that's a heat buckled highway.

The car landed and swerved across the other side of the highway and then went off the road leaving a cloud of dust in its path. That video was posted on YouTube.

Lucky to report and happy to report that we haven't heard of any injuries and the highway was repaired and reopened. But imagine if you're that driver, pretty remarkable stuff.

Alexandra Steele is standing by. Wisconsin not the place expecting to hear temperatures in the 100s and it seems as though the south and Midwest has flipped flopped.

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, what you're looking at there, that road buckling and actually what it is, the joints below that concrete, heat expand and there's nowhere for the joints to go but up.

So they rip up the road. So a lot of people out there possibly sealing those roads for that extra protection and how high? Take a look, Minneapolis, right now is at 85 degrees. That's higher than their average high for the day heading up to 97.

KC today, 100, the access of that intense heat where it was here on the south, Atlanta, Makin, Georgia, 106 over the weekend. We've seen this heat now through the upper Midwest, central plains and southern plains.

And also not quite into the 100s, but Washington, D.C. and of course all the way from Ohio to Virginia where we do have power outages, that's where the heat will be.

You can see the expensiveness of this, KC 102, Chicago, still at 98, Washington still at 92. So again, it's not going anywhere, that's the biggest problem. Of course, tomorrow is the Fourth of July. We want to show you temperatures. These are the 9:00 p.m. temperatures, 84, Washington, 80. Don't get fooled by that.

We're expecting showers and isolated thunderstorms, kind of pounding on the rain cooled air a little bit, 85 in Atlanta. Chance for isolated storms, KC, no threat, 94 in Dallas, the Pacific northwest, that's where the weather will be great, 67.

Beautiful in Portland as well for fireworks, dry skies, clear conditions and cold front moves through and smooth sailing there.

BANFIELD: It does look nice, but people should really pay attention to the weather forecast if they are going to be outside for the barbecues on the Fourth of July tomorrow. So thank you for that, Alex.

SAMBOLIN: You know, some states are canceling their fireworks because of the intense heat.

BANFIELD: I'm not surprised, probably a good idea.

SAMBOLIN: All right, it's 6 minutes past the hour. Syrian President Bashar Al Assad says he -- 100 percent regrets that his forces shot down a Turkish war plane last month.

According to Reuters, Assad insists that Syria did not know that the plane belonged to Turkey until after it was hit. He says the jet was flying in an area previously used by Israel's Air Force.

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, they say as a precaution.

BANFIELD: Some questions this morning in the Penn State scandal. Did former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno influence university officials not to report a 2001 incident involving Assistant Coach 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 Sandusky and report him to Child Welfare officials and not only that, report him to his Second Mile Charity as well.

Problem is, it appears that Coach Paterno, who died in January, then had a conversation with the former Athletic Director, Tim Curley. Mr. Curley then e-mails school officials and says this.

Quote, "After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe yesterday, I'm uncomfortable with what we agreed with the next steps, having trouble going to everyone, but the person involved."

We've also learned that Penn State reached out to legal counsel during the time of these e-mail exchanges. Joe Paterno's family is now calling on Pennsylvania's attorney general. And not only that, but also the former director of the FBI, to release all of the e-mails and records related to their investigations. Why Louie Free? He was brought on by Penn State to do an internal investigation.

SAMBOLIN: The British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline agreeing to pay $3 billion in fine in a case the Justice Department calls the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history.

Glaxo admitting it promoted anti-depressants Paxil and Wellbutrin for uses not approved by U.S. regulators including the treatment of children.

The pharmaceutical giant also conceding it withheld data and made unsupported safety claims about its diabetes drug Avandia.

BANFIELD: The 45-year-old Dara Torres has missed out on a chance to go for gold on her sixth United States Olympic team effort. Torres missed the cut just by one spot. She finished fourth in the finals in the 50-meter women's freestyle.

It just happened last night at the Olympic trials in Omaha, but look at the smile and the hugs. By the way, she's a 12-time medallist, OK, she's actually doing pretty well.

She began her Olympic career back in '84. In the '84 summer games in Los Angeles, I think some of our interns may not have been born by then. This is one heck of a career, Dara, you have nothing to be sorry for. A lot of people really appreciate you.

Coming up at 6:45 this morning, we're going to talk about Olympic qualifying rounds and what it's like with 1996 gold medallist, Kerri Strug.

Who could forget when she made history overcoming that injured ankle to lead the U.S. women's gymnastics team to victory in Atlanta. Kerri Strug, coming up.

SAMBOLIN: The Olympic torch relay nearly disrupted in the U.K. when two little kids tried to grab it yesterday. They ran up to another torch bearers breaking through the security bubble.

That surrounds the flame as it makes its 8,000 mile journey to the London Olympics. I'm happy to report that no arrests were made. Too overly excited kids.

BANFIELD: I'm trying to figure out if they were overly excited kids or if they were really naughty or they just wanted to touch it. They are definitely grabbing it.

SAMBOLIN: Well, they figured, if I got it, I'm going to show it off.

BANFIELD: All right, someone is going to be in time-out that night. So this story has been plaguing the west. It is a tragedy. It's been a setback in the battle against raging wildfires, trying to fight the fires, but the machinery collapsing on you. Details of the fatal crash that forced officials to ground an entire fleet of firefighting planes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: It's 14 minutes now past 6:00 and with fires still raging in Colorado, the U.S. Air Force has grounded all of its firefighting C-130 planes.

It's a decision that was made after the fatal crash of the C-130 in South Dakota on Sunday. You might also remember that early last month, two pilots also died when another C-130 went down along the Nevada/Utah border.

Until officials get a handle on what's going on with this fleet, the serve remaining C-130s fighting the Colorado wildfires will not be going back up into the air.

Our Jim Spellman is live from Colorado Springs this morning.

So, that would seem like a devastating blow, Jim, to the efforts to fight these wildfires that have been the worst in that state's history.

JIM SPELLMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, definitely. This is a tool box that firefighters love to have in their arsenal. We saw them in action here in Colorado Springs just last week.

They call the system MAFS, Mobile Airborne Firefighting System. It allows these C-130s to drop 3,000 gallons of water or retardant in just five seconds, cover a 100 foot wide swath, a quarter mile long. Especially when these big fires are moving fast, they can lay this down and try to create a barrier between the fire and fuel or homes where it maybe heading.

Listen to what the firefighters consider this to be -- why they consider it to be such an important resource.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SPELLMAN: They hope to have that back in the arsenal as soon as they can, Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: And, Jim, I just want to mention that the family members have been notified about these deaths. They've been identified the dead as Lieutenant Colonel Paul Michael and Master Sergeant Robert Canyon (ph). And these are the two most recent.

But there is an up note in the story, and that is the containment efforts in this horrible Waldo Canyon Fire have really -- actually the percentage of containment has really risen, hasn't it?

SPELLMAN: It sure has.

Take a look at this video, our photographer was able to get into this destroyed area yesterday. You can just see the wreckage of these homes, just piles of ash and few bricks left.

We also got a view from a ridge looking down on this neighborhood yesterday. What's amazing, Ashleigh, is how many homes survived. I mean, the efforts of these firefighters was incredible.

They'll be one home destroyed and five around it that survived. They were in there when this fire came down, fighting so hard to save these neighborhoods. So, even 346 homes were lost, hundreds or maybe even thousands of homes were saved. It was an incredible night's work there a week ago, Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: And thank God we've gone in 24 hours from 51 percent containment to 70. Let's hope that one continues.

Jim Spellman, thank you.

SAMBOLIN: Seventeen minutes past the hour. Let's get you up-to- date.

Historic heat baking the nation -- the death toll sadly now at least 19, millions still without air conditioning this morning after violent stormed knocked down power lines. They could be suffering all week long. Several states declared a state of emergency with the heat index pushing 115 degrees in parts of the Midwest.

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

SAMBOLIN: Do not be distracted by this woman. Of course, now, you have to come to your TV set.

Surveillance video captures a woman wearing a revealing top robbing a service station. This is in 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 getaway car right outside. The pair escaped with less than $200 in cash and police are said to be looking very, very closely at the surveillance pictures.

BANFIELD: Of course they are. Look at that. Wouldn't you?

Just because it's pretty amazing.

SAMBOLIN: They are confident that she will soon be busted.

BANFIELD: Defies nature.

SAMBOLIN: Busted out.

BANFIELD: Look at you, pulling out the busted.

SAMBOLIN: Wow.

BANFIELD: A familiar name getting in on the smartphone game. Mozilla, known for Firefox web browsing is developing a new phone to challenge the Android called Firefox OS, based on open web. And unlike other competitors, the phone is not try to compete with the high end market, instead aiming for entry level phones at lower prices.

Brazil is going to be the first country actually to get that device next year.

SAMBOLIN: Now I want to know how much.

BANFIELD: I know, don't we all?

SAMBOLIN: So, tomorrow is the Fourth of July holiday and that means a lot of you will be traveling. If you're renting a car, that could affect your travel budget.

BANFIELD: Alison Kosik is here to give us some tips on how to all the rental car process without breaking your bank in today's "Road Warriors".

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. When you're renting a car, you always want a kind of get a good deal. So, according to AAA, more than 42 million Americans are expected to hit the road this holiday, and the majority are going to be driving.

So here are a few ways to get the best rental car deals:

First, shop around online. A good place to start is autoslash.com. They give you the best rate on your rental, that continually check for coupons and discounts until your trip date. And they rebook you automatically to the lower rate, that's a good thing.

And don't forget about the discounts you get for being a member of a frequent flyer program or organizations like AAA, Costco or BJ's.

And, finally, consider paying up front for your rental. You know you can get discount of up to 20 percent if you do that, but make sure your plans are final. If you change them, it could mean big bucks in extra fees and, God, I hate those fees. I hate being feed to death.

BANFIELD: Twenty percent off just to do a little advance payment, that's great.

KOSIK: That's right. Plan ahead.

BANFIELD: I didn't know that.

SAMBOLIN: Great information. Thank you, Alison.

All right. Stay with us.

Alison -- ph, we're going to want to talk to you. What are you talking about next, about a scandal?

KOSIK: We're talking about a scandal. We're talking about another slowdown sign for the U.S., of manufacturing.

SAMBOLIN: We're not talking about the drugs again. Somebody sent me a question about the drugs, GlaxoSmithKline. They wanted to know if the drugs were affected at all. The answer is no, right?

KOSIK: No, that's correct.

SAMBOLIN: The drugs are not affected in case you're curios about that. But a $30 million fine for that.

KOSIK: Three billion, yes.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thank you.

We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Twenty-three minutes past the hour.

We are minding your business this morning. Bad news on the manufacturing sectors worried investors yesterday. Manufacturing activity contracted in June. As a result, stocks ended mixed and today, futures are pointing down.

BANFIELD: Alison Kosik is in for Christine Romans today, and we're hearing a major bank CEO by the name of Diamond is stepping down.

KOSIK: Not to be confused with JPMorgan's Dimon.

And, you know, this is yet one more shining example of why we love to hate these big banks. It's another example of banks doing bad things. Barclays CEO Bob Diamond is leaving the bank. He's the second executive to step down at Barclays just this week.

It comes as a scandal is growing regarding interest rate manipulation, specifically with the Libor rate. And what that is, it's the rate that is set every day as a worldwide benchmark for prices on these different financial products, including auto loans and mortgages. Now, the bank is accused much manipulating these rates, meaning, submitting lower than actual figures on its interbank borrowing during the financial crisis.

Now, regulators in the U.K. and the U.S. fined Barclays last week millions of dollars for doing this, but Barclays isn't the only one. Investigators are looking at dozens of other banks, including Citigroup, UBS and RBS. Barclays is the first bank to settle, though.

So, what this investigation is doing is they are raising more and more concerns about whether or not those retail operations should be separate from those riskier investment operations, something a question that was certainly raised during the JPMorgan --

BANFIELD: Hearings on Capitol Hill, they were all over that.

KOSIK: Exactly. So, yet one more question and why everybody loves to hate the banks.

SAMBOLIN: No good news for us?

(LAUGHTER)

KOSIK: No more good news. There's another sign yet that the economic recovery is kind of hitting another speed bump. We got the manufacturing report yesterday showing that we're not just seeing the momentum slow down in the jobs market, we're seeing it slow down in manufacturing because the manufacturing sector in the U.S. contracted last month.

And here's why it's a big deal -- because manufacturing has had a really strong run of it for three years. We've seen growth for factories and manufacturing has really been this bright spot in the recovery. But part of the reason why we're seeing this slowdown is because of what's happening outside our borders, you know, directly impacting us here. You look at the eurozone debt crisis.

They're stalling growth in China. That is hitting our factories here. So, it's adding to these worries that the U.S. could see its own economic slowdown in the second half of the year.

BANFIELD: I would have thought that would have happened sooner though -- that slowdown that happened overseas quite a while ago.

KOSIK: Yes, it took a while.

But it's one report does not make a trend, just want to say that.

BANFIELD: There's your silver lining.

SAMBOLIN: There's the happy news. Thank you.

BANFIELD: Thank you. Alison Kosik joining us live.

You know, there's a lot of problems out there. People who are suffering with no power. In fact, more than a million customers and there is nothing but heat on the radar, too, from coast to coast. So, coming up, we're going to get a firsthand word from the boss of at Maryland's Emergency Management Agency for how they are handling the crisis, at least in that state.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Red hot. Take a look at your screen -- from coast to coast, the map says it all, another sweltering day for those still without power.

BANFIELD: The mystery of Amelia Earhart. An expedition setting off to try to find the truth.

SAMBOLIN: And her brave and stunning performance led Team USA to gold back in 1996. Remember this picture? Olympic hero Kerri Strug, she is joining us live in the studio.

Welcome back to EARLY START. Thanks for being with us this morning. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BANFIELD: Good morning, everyone. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.

Thirty minutes now past the top of the hour.

Let's start with this top story: more on the deadly heat that's been threatening states all the way from the Midwest to the eastern coast, including Maryland, a state where more than 226,000 people are still waiting for the power to come back on. That means no fans, no A.C., and a lot of sweating this out.

Crews have come from as far as Florida and Canada to help speed up the effort to get the power back online, but customers may have to wait until the weekend to get their electricity back.

It's been deadly as well. Four people have died in that state from heat-related illnesses. And with temperatures expected to hit as high as 99 degrees just today in parts of that state, more people could certainly be in danger.

Ken Mallette is the executive director of Maryland Emergency Management Agency. And he joins me on the telephone.

Sir, can you hear me?

KEN MALLETTE, MARYLAND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (via telephone): Yes, I can.

BANFIELD: Mr. Mallette, with your organization and hearing the statistics that I was rifling off, you must be performing at top pace right now to make sure that there are no further deaths. What are you doing to help the people of Maryland in this crisis?

MALLETTE: Well, you're exactly right. We're at full activation at the state level with all of our state resources being available to deal with this super Derecho phenomenon that has come through Maryland and has rivaled hurricane Irene. So, we got a hurricane punch without a hurricane warning.

And our main concern right now are 36 -- what we call critical care facilities, nursing homes, things of that nature that are on generator power, they are all right. But as you said, going through the end of this weekend, we want to make sure that Marylanders help themselves, help their families, and help a neighbor. That's what we can do right now.

The utilities as you indicated, there are about 74 percent restoration. We're not going to be happy until we have every Marylander back online.

BANFIELD: And maybe we should talk about that for a moment, the utilities. Because one of those utility companies, Pepco, which services the D.C. area, has been really taking it on the chin over how they've been responding to this and other crises as well. In fact, "Washington Post" did an investigation and found that Pepco ranked near the bottom nationally in its ability to keep the power on and to restore power when it goes out.

Pepco customers have experienced 70 percent more outages than customers in any other metropolitan area utility.

So, this must be infuriating for you because you're trying to deal with an emergency and your tools aren't there.

MALLETTE: Exactly. You know, it's like having a car without gas in it.

We need that electricity. We have zero tolerance. We want that power back on yesterday.

If I was a Marylander, that's what I want. To do our job, we need electricity and we need to make sure that we stay on top of it, and we are staying on top of it.

I think our governor said it best, that we have zero tolerance for the electricity outage and so as I indicated, we're not going to sit here and rate Pepco or any other utility. This is not the time to do that. We're in the middle of a serious emergency, but that is one thing that will be dealt with in an after action issue.

BANFIELD: And we'll definitely follow up with you on exactly what does happen after this crisis abates.

But in the meantime, there is one report from a neighboring state of Virginia that the 911 operations are only functioning at half capacity because of power problems in Virginia. And I'm speaking of Fairfax County where people who call 911, a number of people, are getting busy signals.

Is this a concern for you in your state as well?

MALLETTE: You know, I'm glad you brought that up. We would like Maryland to do, if it's not a dire emergency, and our 911 system is not in that condition, to use our 211 system. Our 211 system are for non-emergencies, if you need information regarding insurance, if you need information regarding cooling center, that's the number we would like all Marylanders to use. That's staffed 24 hours, seven days a week.

BANFIELD: Are you -- I hate to bring this up. With the number of deaths that have already been experienced in that state, are you prepared and braced for that number to rise?

MALLETTE: We are -- we are prepared. We will deal with that and when I get into the office today, I'll get a brief to that issue.

BANFIELD: All right. Ken Mallette, joining us from the telephone, the executive director of Maryland Emergency Management Agency -- thanks very much and good luck to you. I hope that things abate soon in that state.

And coming up at 8:00 Eastern, the mayor of Washington, D.C., Vincent Gray, is going to be Brooke Baldwin's guest as she fills in on "STARTING POINT" for Soledad O'Brien, as the nation's capital and scrambling to get their power back online as well.

SAMBOLIN: Thirty-five minutes past the hour.

Your travel forecast from Alexandra Steele. Is the heat affecting travel?

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Well, you know, for places like Maryland and Washington, it will not abate any time soon. The next four days, the temperatures continue to be between 95 and 100. I mean, you know, the heat is actually the number one weather related killer in the U.S.

And look, from Billings, Montana, to Macon, Georgia, to Maryland today, temperatures are between 95 and 100 again. Tomorrow, Kansas City gets to 102.

So, here in the upper Midwest, a lot of places don't have air conditioning. Minneapolis, the average high this time of year is 84 and it's already 86 at this point. A hundred for you tomorrow and, again, of course, the Fourth of July. So, we're certainly going to see everybody out and about. So, actually, a lot of fireworks even cancelled because of the heat.

In New York City, for fireworks time, expect around 9:00, 84 degrees.

Washington, now 80, I think this computer model is generating this number because we're expecting some showers and thunderstorms. So, rain cooled but with 99 degrees, could see 80. I don't know if the rain is there at that moment.

Eighty-five in Atlanta, the Pacific Northwest seeing beautiful conditions.

But the extended forecast straight through Saturday, St. Louis still in the 100s, Wichita and Kansas City as well. So, certainly not going to see any relief for the balance of the country coming up through the weekend -- guys.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you very much, Alexandra.

STEELE: Sure, Zoraida.

BANFIELD: Thirty-seven minutes past 6:00.

Talk about bashing your service provider. Take e a look at this video posted on YouTube. See that guy? He is mad, not going to take it anymore, trashing a T-Mobile store in Manchester, England. He starts by tearing everything off the wall, the display, and the merchandise. The man, he goes for the fire extinguisher and starts hosing place down.

Apparently, he was pretty upset when he was denied a refund. He might want to read the terms and conditions.

Listen to the people outside though, sometimes you can hear them cheering. Yes. They are cheering. Some people obviously also not too happy with their provider.

Eventually, though, police did show up and it wasn't much of a struggle either. He was kind of laughing as they were putting the cuffs on him.

Here's my pun, are you ready? Courtesy of my friend, Michael Opelka, who said he's on his way to a different kind of cell service. Get it?

SAMBOLIN: That was good.

BANFIELD: I've got to give credit where credit is due. That's Michael Opelka, thanks.

SAMBOLIN: He was so calm while he was tearing that place apart.

BANFIELD: Smiling.

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

All right. So, for first time we're getting a look at how the Supreme Court's health care ruling could affect the race for the White House. We have the latest poll numbers. They are coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Forty-one minutes past the hour. Welcome back.

Significant amount of political rhetoric surrounding the Supreme Court's health care ruling last week. But it doesn't look like any of it is having much of an impact on you, on voters.

A new CNN/ORC internal poll shows 49 percent of registered voters favor President Obama, 46 percent prefer Mitt Romney. Guess what? Those numbers are identical to those recorded by our survey in late May.

So joining me now to break it all down: CNN political editor Paul Steinhauser, who really knows his numbers.

Are you surprised the numbers haven't changed?

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: A little bit. A lot of people are talking about that. You know, what happened.

And we went in the field with this poll right after the Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act on Thursday night and we did four nights through Sunday night.

Well, here's one of reasons why -- take a look at this number from our CNN/ORC poll. We asked that Supreme Court ruling, how is it going to affect your vote for president?

Look at this, Zoraida, 16 percent said more likely to vote for the president. Those are probably progressives who are already in the Obama camp; 30 percent said less likely, they were probably conservatives already voting against the president; 54 percent, no effect on their vote as of right now.

Things may change, Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Does that surprise you?

STEINHAUSER: A little bit, a little bit, because there was so much hype about this ruling. But remember, at the end of the day, this election is still about the economy, not about health care.

SAMBOLIN: That's true. You know, we keep on saying that, and then these polls actually remind us of that, don't they?

STEINHAUSER: Yes, they do.

SAMBOLIN: So, is there any good news that we have for the president or Mitt Romney in any of these new polls that you have for us?

STEINHAUSER: Yes, I have a present for each candidate.

Let's start with the president. The health care ruling did do something. It energized Democratic voters.

Take a look at this number from our CNN/ORC poll. You can see right here, 13-point joint in enthusiasm, those who are extremely enthusiastic about voting for Democrats.

SAMBOLIN: Wow.

STEINHAUSER: Yes. But as for Republicans, pretty much static.

As for Mitt Romney, well, listen, we've polled in all 50 states as we normally do, but we also broke it down to those 15 so-called battleground states. And here's our map. And these are the seven toss-up states you can see there in yellow on our Web site, and the light blue are leaning Obama, light red leaning Romney.

What is it like on those 15 states? Take a look at our CNN/ORC poll of registered voters just in those 15 states.

SAMBOLIN: Wow.

STEINHAUSER: Mitt Romney with an eight-point advantage.

Now, remember, this doesn't mean that he's going to win all eight of the states, but he's up by eight points in those 15 states, but it is a very good number for Mitt Romney.

Zoraida, hey, four months to go. These poll numbers will change and anything can happen between now and November.

SAMBOLIN: I know. But 51 percent, that's a huge number for him?

STEINHAUSER: It is a very good number for Mitt Romney, and people will talk about it, no doubt about it.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Paul Steinhauser, live from Washington -- thank you.

STEINHAUSER: Thank you.

BANFIELD: Now, 43 minutes past 6:00 on the East Coast.

Let's get you up to date with the top stories.

And this one is bad -- historic heat baking the nation. The death toll at 19 and that is at least 19. Millions of people system without air conditioning or fans or power this morning after violent storms knocked down the power lines. Here's the bad news: they could be suffering all week in those conditions.

Several states have declared a state of emergency as well with the heat index pushing 115 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. It blames the city of White Plains and eight members of its police force for Kenneth Chamberlain's death. This was last November.

Here's what happened: police came to Chamberlain's apartment. They were responding to a medical alert signal. And family members say they forced their way in and wound up shooting him to death.

BANFIELD: Investigators are going to be watching closely on July 26th when Facebook is set to release its first earnings report as a publicly traded company. Stock is down nearly 19 percent since its badly flawed debut on the NASDAQ exchange in May which triggered lawsuits over questionable financial disclosures.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Earnings report as a publicly traded company. That stock is down nearly 19 percent since its badly flawed debut on the Nasdaq exchange in May which triggered lawsuits over questionable financial disclosures.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, y'all, it's time to get dirty. It is opening week for the new Red Neck Resort Mud Park in Sweetwater, Tennessee. I'm not making this up.

BANFIELD: Oh, yes.

SAMBOLIN: That is the name. The resort has mud water. Somebody just yelled ye-ha.

BANFIELD: I would go.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN: Getty-up.

SAMBOLIN: Look at this. Mud water slides. A mud swimming hole and a mud pit for your 4-wheeler or your truck. You need to sign a waiver for that one though.

BANFIELD: I am so in.

SAMBOLIN: Look at him go.

BANFIELD: I am so in.

BALDWIN: Listen to you Chicago girl trying to pull out a y'all.

SAMBOLIN: I know. You know, I knew you were going to correct me. You southerners, I'm telling you.

BALDWIN: I'm a Georgia gal. I got this y'all thing covered.

SAMBOLIN: Y'all.

BANFIELD: Y'all.

BALDWIN: Y'all. Good morning. Good morning. Nice to be -- nice to be in your house.

BANFIELD: Oh, my. I'm sorry, I am still absolutely trapped in the image of that SUV in the mud.

SAMBOLIN: Want to play in the mud, actually.

BANFIELD: I so want to be there. I so want to be there.

BALDWIN: That would be so fun.

BANFIELD: Brooke Baldwin in the house, guys.

SAMBOLIN: Right. She's filling in for Soledad. What you got coming up?

BALDWIN: Good to see you both this morning.

BANFIELD: You too.

BALDWIN: Got a little bit of everything.

Of course -- of course this morning here on "Starting Point," first up, this political shocker. I know you guys have been talking about it this morning. Mitt Romney's campaign actually agreeing with President Obama and throwing some cold water on a central Republican attack line by calling the individual mandate too by health insurance a penalty and not a tax. The question I'm going to ask this morning is, did RNC Chairman Reince Priebus's job just get a little bit more difficult? We're going to ask him that question when he joins me live. That's coming up.

Also, Theresa Fusco (ph), she thought she had done everything she needed to do to settle comfortably into retirement. She owned her own condo, had a rainy day fund, the whole deal. But then she says her property was stolen right out from under her. I mean imagine this happening to you. She now pays rent to live there. She's telling this unbelievable story. We're going to see if this could actually happen to you outside of the state of Pennsylvania. That's straight ahead.

And this is going to make your tummy growl a little bit. He is wood's most fashionable man. Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson is dishing the details on his crazy, but mostly charmed life. We're going to talk about the Red Rooster, his big restaurant in Harlem. Fried chicken anyone, speaking of the southern theme here.

BANFIELD: Yummy.

BALDWIN: Hey, don't forget, you can watch CNN live on your computer or your mobile phone while you are at work. Go to cnn.com/tv.

SAMBOLIN: I just wonder if they're bringing food in.

BALDWIN: I know. I'm like, I'm here for a week, buddy. Can we please go to the Red Rooster for lunch.

BANFIELD: He knows it's breakfast television, right?

BALDWIN: Yes. Hey, please, bring the food.

SAMBOLIN: Hey, we could have that for breakfast. Thank you.

BALDWIN: Bring the food.

BALDWIN: Thanks, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Thanks. Thank you.

SAMBOLIN: Forty-seven minutes past the hour. It's an iconic Olympic image, the quiet gymnast who's gutty performance led team USA to gold in the '96 games. Olympic hero Kerri Strug is here live. We are so happy you're with us this morning. Coming over to chat with you. And you can join in on the chat coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: It is 50 minutes past the hour. Welcome back to EARLY START.

It is hard to imagine it has been 16 years since -- she's laughing here -- since gymnast Kerri Strug vaulted into Olympic history. After injuring her ankle, she went on to assure the Olympic women's gymnastics team their first gold medal win during the 1996 Atlanta games. And Kerri continues to support the U.S. gymnastics team and is just back from the 2012 U.S. Olympic trials and she joins us this morning to talk Olympics, both past and present.

Thank you for being here this morning. We really appreciate it.

KERRI STRUG, OLYMPIC GYMNAST: Thanks for having me.

SAMBOLIN: So, I want to start in the past, in 1996. You had injured your ankle and you still got the Olympic gold for the U.S., yet you sacrificed that individual medal. What was going through your head at the time? Any regrets?

STRUG: No, definitely not. The team medal was our focus. And, you know, I had had this goal of winning an individual medal, but at the same point my teammates had done their part and I had to do mine. As a gymnast, we're trained to never walk away once you've fallen on a routine. And so it was just like in practice. I couldn't just give up. I had to give it my all. I was the last competitor. We thought that the gold medal was on the line. Since the Russians were still on the floor exercise, we weren't sure what their scores were going to be. And this is the Olympics. This isn't any competition.

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

STRUG: So it's not just me and my teammates. It was our coaches, our parents, our trainers, everybody really had put forth a lot of time, energy and sacrifice through the years for this moment. And I had to give it my all.

SAMBOLIN: And in that moment, all that is going through your head?

STRUG: No, no, no. no. Definitely at the moment, I was focusing on the task at hand. As an athlete, you learn you have to block everything else out. Once you get to the Olympic games, everybody talent-wise, you know, pretty much on the same level, but it's who can put it together when it counts most.

SAMBOLIN: All right, let's move forward now to 2012. And Tarmoh and Felix have been in the news, right? And this poor girl drops out. She refuses to do that runoff. And, you know, just as an Olympian, right, you have been there during those pressure-filled moments. How do you make a decision like that? You know, we're all expecting to see the results of that crazy photo finish to fruition with a runoff. What do you think is going through her head? STRUG: You know, to be honest with you, I'm just not sure. As an athlete, you always want to give it your all and go till the end. But, you know, the Olympic games, they just come once every four years. So to walk away is difficult for me to understand. I don't know what's going through her mind. But, you know, we have to respect her decision and hopefully, you know, she's going to live with that and move forward and be all right with it down the road.

SAMBOLIN: Boy, that's a tough one. All right, so 2012 in gymnastics. We saw Shawn Johnson retire at the 11th hour. How is that going to affect our chances?

STRUG: Well, Shawn gave USA gymnastics so many wonderful memories. But the sport of gymnastics, the window of opportunity is very short. So to make two Olympic games is pretty difficult and I think she, you know, wanted to end out on top. And she decided to give these new girls a chance. And they're looking very, very strong.

SAMBOLIN: Well, speaking of new girls, Gabby Douglas, 16-years- old, they're calling her the flying squirrel. You just watched her. What do you think?

STRUG: She's phenomenal. She has a lot of energy and spunk. She needs to just make sure that she stays mentally tough, that she, you know, continues with a good diet and executes her routines over and over again, stays mentally tough, gets the rest that she needs and that's why I've actually teamed up with Sleep Number to talk about getting adequate rest for these gymnasts because the excitement and the energy sometimes kind of gets to you right before the games. So she's got to stay focused.

SAMBOLIN: Wow. All right. And I can't let you go without talking about the March of Dimes, but I want to mention you little one, baby Tyler, who turned four months July 1st. Congratulations there. Your efforts behind the March of Dimes?

STRUG: Well, I think, you know, it's really important to help those that maybe can't help themselves who want to do preventative medicine here and to help babies. I mean how can you say no to that? I'm very fortunate that I had a healthy son, but not everybody is that lucky and we want to let everybody know, educate them on what they can do to have healthy babies and save as many lives as possible in today's society.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, never fun to have a premature baby. Kerri Strug, thank you so much for joining us.

STRUG: Thanks for having me.

SAMBOLIN: We appreciate your insight.

STRUG: Thank you.

SAMBOLIN: All right, Ashleigh, back to you.

BANFIELD: All right, thanks, you two. Today's best advice is going to come from former NFL player Wade Davis, who recently announced that he's gay. That's coming up after this quick break. Stay with us. Be back right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: It's now 58 minutes past the hour, which means "Starting Point" is less than a minute away, and we wrap it up, as always, with the best advice.

SAMBOLIN: And today we hear from former NFL player Wade Davis.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WADE DAVIS, FORMER NFL PLAYER: The best piece of advice I've ever received is to live without fear. One of my youth actually told me that -- that I give them the strength to live without fear. And it's amazing that I don't sometimes understand the power that I have. But I also think that our youth don't understand that the power that they have, because they look to me as someone who's a hero.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Well, I'm glad that he is there as a role model for the youth.

BANFIELD: I like that, live without fear.

SAMBOLIN: That's a tough one though.

BANFIELD: I know. I was just going to say, it's easier said than done. I mean, and on so many respects, you know, not the physicality, but also just the mental. Jumping out there. Getting going. Seize the day. Carpe diem. All those things. Fear or no fear.

Hey, that's the news -- that's the news from a to z. it's EARLY START. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.

SAMBOLIN: I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

"Starting Point" with Brooke Baldwin starts right now.