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EARLY START WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN
Deadly Storms Slam Tennessee; June Jobs Report Out at 8:30 A.M.
Aired July 6, 2012 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN HOST: Breaking news; two people dead, several others injured in more severe weather overnight. We're tracking the storms for you this morning.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Also this morning, a crucial jobs report. It's out this morning. This hour, we're going to find out what it means for the economy and, of course, the race for the White House.
BANFIELD: And the lifeguard who was fired for going out of his assigned area to save a man's life. He gets an offer for his job. But he's saying, not so fast.
Good morning, everyone. And welcome to EARLY START. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.
BALDWIN: Good morning. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Happy Friday. Zoraida is off today. It is bright and early. Five a.m. on the East.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BANFIELD: And we begin with this breaking news this morning. Violent thunderstorms slamming eastern Tennessee overnight, reportedly killing two people and injuring dozens more people. The storm's tearing through parts of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near the North Carolina border.
The park spokesperson telling affiliate WATE that a falling tree killed a woman and another man died when his motorcycle wrecked during the storm.
Rob Marciano standing by in the extreme weather center for us to let us know what's happening and where these storms are going.
ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning.
Well, the storms have weakened. Around 5:00 they were rolling down the South, along the spine of the Appalachian, actually the western part of the Smoky Mountains. If you don't know, just east of Knoxville. A lot of tourists this time of year, gets millions of visitors, as a matter of fact.
As you would imagine in the middle of July, a lot of folks camping via tents and RV. That's the danger these storms pose. There was a storm -- there was a severe thunderstorm watch posted at the time, but regardless kind of a couple cells or clusters of cells kind of converging on this area as it drove down to the South. With all the heat that we've had built up, that only added fuel to the fire, much like the Derecho that we saw last week, although this one not nearly as large, didn't nearly the wind depth set up that Derecho had.
But nonetheless, over a pocket area -- you know, funny things happen in the mountains, especially when you get them down across the area of Tennessee where winds can converge and accurately accelerate those, as well.
So estimates of about 70 miles an hour or so. That's certainly enough to take down trees and that's all you need when you're talking about a camp down there.
Now, we're looking at things driving down to the south weakening somewhat but yet another wind event with thunderstorms, with all this heat that we've built up certainly not helping the situation.
BANFIELD: All right, Rob, thanks very much. Keep an eye on things. We'll check in with you periodically to find out how things change. Thank you.
BALDWIN: All right. Now to this -- the countdown is on for the big June jobs report that comes out in less than three-and-a-half hours. And this report has, wait, really not just in the U.S. but all over the world. It's going to fresh perspective in the jobs market in this country.
The big question is: will we see another month of weak jobs growth? May wasn't so hot.
Poppy Harlow -- she is on jobs duty for us this morning.
And, Poppy, what do we think we will see?
POPPY HARLOW, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I think another weak month. I mean, this is the estimate, OK?
Analysts surveyed by CNN Money expect this economy to have added 95,000 jobs in the month of June. That's not good at all.
Just to give you some perspective, what we need to see about 300,000 to 400,000 jobs created consistently, month by month, to get that unemployment rate down. We're talking about an 8.2 percent unemployment rate right. What's interesting is that the unemployment rate hasn't been below 8 percent since right after the president was inaugurated.
Another issue we've seen a lot of jobs growth, January, over 200,000 jobs created right there. Take a look at this summer. We've had very anemic jobs growth. The question is: we have even more economic headwinds so how are we going to see a vast improvement?
Europe is really at a tipping point right now. Also, the U.S. economy is at a tipping point. We don't know if and when Congress will act on things like the jobs act. Additionally, who the next president is going to be?
So, that uncertainty, what that makes businesses do and say is that we'll stay on the sidelines. We're not going to hire as many people as we thought we might right now.
Let's take a look at the big picture here. It's all political, guys, because, of course, after this jobs report this morning, we only have four more. Four more jobs reports until that election. So, this all comes down to politics.
If you take a look obviously at the end much the Bush administration, we were bleeding jobs. If you look at the beginning of the Obama administration, this economy lost about 4.3 million jobs.
But then in 2010 we started to see -- we started to see this growth and this is important. It's just the fact that last fall we saw this acceleration in jobs growth. The question is, at the end of the summer, and at the beginning of the fall, will we see that acceleration again?
That's going to be critical to the Obama administration. We know that the president is going to be in Ohio today, Brooke, talking about jobs. He's going to have to address this report. If we see that expectation of 95,000 jobs, that's just not nearly enough. So, the Obama administration hoping for that to take up much higher.
We also want to keep an eye on the revision. Are the previous months April and May going to be revised higher or lower? That's very important too.
But the trend we're seeing is not good at all. In May, 69,000 jobs created. That's disappointing even if we meet the expectation, that's disappointing, as well.
BALDWIN: Yes. And you and I were talking, you know, the unemployment rate in Ohio and also Pennsylvania where he will be later. It's sitting at 7.3 percent which is pretty great. The president can come out and say, hey, look at this vast improvement -- but isn't the situation I know across the country.
And also to your point, in terms of looking at these numbers, you know, this doesn't even include the numbers of people who gave up, who aren't looking.
HARLOW: It doesn't. And that's I think the big issue here. When you look at the unemployment rate, frankly, it's calculated only by people that are out there actively looking for work. So, 8.2 percent is not representative at all.
Economists say you're well into the mid-teens when you talk about the actual unemployment rate and the underemployment rate, as well. I find that to be more important, people that are on the fringes. They are marginally counted. They are working but they don't make enough to get by. They're not getting enough hours. That's very important.
And then long-term unemployed Americans. We've got over 12 million people out of the work. Twelve million people, more than 5 million of those have been out of work for six months or longer and we know the statistics show us, that the longer you're out of work, the harder it is to get a job.
So, those are the numbers that we're going to go through those for you at 8:30 when that jobs report does come out.
BALDWIN: Eight-thirty a.m. Eastern Time, we'll be watching for it. Poppy Harlow, thank you very much.
Also this morning, a Florida judge setting bond at $1 million for George Zimmerman, saying he fears he was plotting to leave the country. So, what does that mean? That means Zimmerman could be walking out of jail at any time, but his defense team says it will be tough for his family to come up with $100,000 in cash plus the $1 million in collateral.
Meanwhile, Trayvon Martin's family, they're, of course, watching these developments very, very closely. Their attorney spoke to Erin Burnett just last night. Listen.
(BEGIN VDIEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY LAWYER: Trayvon's parents and I'm here speaking on their behalf, would rather that the killer of their unarmed son remain in jail until the trial. However, they respect the court's order and fact that the judge sent a very strong message in his order.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Remember, the original bail that was $150,000. That was revoked last month after the judge found out he and his wife failed to disclose $150,000 in donation they have received from the public.
BANFIELD: Seven minutes now past 5:00. And the food is spoiled. The shelves are empty, and people are really starting to panic now. It's been a full week since that freak series of storms knocked out power to millions of people and seven days later, about 500,000 people in 11 different states still have no air-conditioning, no refrigerator, not even a fan.
Feeding centers are now open across West Virginia and they have provided 25,000 meals to the people who have not been able to eat in days.
Scorching heat is going to continue today as well. So, not a big break, either. Thousands without power facing temperatures and extreme heat warnings and heat advisories in 25 different states today. Highs in the 100s and higher today in Chicago, Indianapolis and Baltimore. Cities that aren't used to that at all.
BALDWIN: The secretary of state going to be tackling a lot on this trip here. Hillary Clinton arriving in Paris this morning for a conference on Syria. First stop in a 13-day trip that's going to touch on some of the most critical issues facing the U.S. and the world today. We mentioned Syria, also Egypt, the Middle East, the war in Afghanistan, China and North Korea.
Secretary Clinton will also be meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in France. And then it is off to Asia where conference on Afghanistan in Tokyo, along with stops in Mongolia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, her meetings with officials from Southeast Asian nations.
BANFIELD: A Florida lifeguard who's fired for leaving his post to help save a drowning man has been offered his job back. But here is a catch. Tomas Lopez doesn't want his job back.
That 21-year-old lifeguard says he knew he was breaking the rules on Monday when he left his stand to run into the waters that were outside of his assigned zone because he saw a struggling swimmer. He told Erin Burnett last night that he would do it all over again, too.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOMAS LOPEZ, FIRED LIFEGUARD: They made it clear beforehand we will lose our job if we did violate this rule but I wasn't going to let that stop me, you know. A stupid rule over somebody's life, it's a pretty obvious choice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Well, he told Erin Burnett as well as his boss who was live with Erin Burnett last night that he is very humbled by his boss' apology and the opportunity to return to his lifeguarding post, but he's not interested. He just wants to put this whole episode behind him, and move on with his life.
BALDWIN: I say good for him, good for him for what he did.
Hey, got an update this morning on what I said was my favorite story but I should, you know, star asterisk except if you were in San Diego in the Fourth of July.
BALDWIN: This is the big bay boom that went bust, remember this?
What a show in 22 seconds. All the fireworks went off, supposed to be a 17-minute show. They all went off in the same time, actually five minutes before the show started and took fewer than 30 seconds.
So the company is now saying, all right, here's the deal. They say it was a computer malfunction. They say they have a backup plan if the display doesn't ignite but no backup plan if they ignite prematurely. Aha!
So, they are offering to do next year's show for free. After I had said it was my favorite story I got a few tweets from people in saying, say, yes, Brooke, it may be fun to watch but if you're sitting there and you waited hours, big bummer.
BANFIELD: Yes. And I think the reason we said yesterday it was a light story is because nobody was hurt. This could have been --
BALDWIN: No, it was an amazing light show in 22 seconds.
BANFIELD: It was a heck of a finale. I was going to say that, right, Brooke?
All right. So a Southern church is holding a conference. Here's a thing: it's for white Christians only Free speech or racist? Talk about it in a moment.
BALDWIN: A lot of talk this morning about the jobs numbers. And you know, the stakes are very high this morning. We wait that report coming out of 8:30 Eastern Time because experts say, you know, this jobs report maybe the most important part of the past three years. It's going to have a strong influence on undecided voters could decide, could help decide the upcoming presidential election.
President Obama seems very, very aware of this, of course, we've been reporting on his bus tour through the two key swing states. You have Ohio where he's also going to be this morning before heading off to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Both states, big manufacturing hubs, and president is making his pitch out and about on how he's going to battle outsourcing and bring more of those jobs back here to the U.S.
And Dan Lothian has been along for the ride. He is Akron, Ohio, this morning with some details.
And so, Dan, you know, the theme of the president's bus trip is betting on America precisely what he told Americans. He's betting on them.
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And his message specifically is that things may not be perfect but much better because of his policies and he's repeating that message we've heard so many times before, when he came into office, his administration found an economy that was much worse than expected. But that because of what he did, his actions he was able to reel back the economy from a cliff of collapse specifically in regions where we are, and in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, as you pointed out, where the president will be later today, the unemployment rate is below the national average of 8.2 percent.
And the president specifically and the campaign pointed to the fact that because of what the president has done, manufacturing is stronger, there are bigger investments especially in this region that is dependent so heavily on the auto industry, the president telling voters yesterday, all of that is happening because of his actions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So when folks said let's go ahead and let the auto industry go bankrupt, we said, no, let's bet on American workers. Let's bet on American industries. And now, G.M. is back on top and Chrysler is moving and Ford is going strong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LOTHIAN: Now, the Romney campaign rather telling a different story saying because of what the president has done, manufacturing is much weaker, especially in this region that the middle class is hurting and that the president, they're accusing him of covering everything up with this bus tour -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: Yes, Tim Pawlenty and Bobby Jindal, shadow -- it's called like the "shadow tour" since it was President Obama and Obama rolling out of a town, you have these two gentlemen, sort of surrogates of Mitt Romney rolling into town. I'm curious, this isn't something we really saw in 2008, was it, Dan?
LOTHIAN: Well, you know, the president did come through a lot of these towns in 2008, but what you're seeing is really a shift from some of the bigger events the president did and big fund-raising and high-priced fund-raising events. Nis to these official planned events that the president has been conducting in the state of Ohio. He's also taking these unplanned stops along the way where he's stopping in at a market, stopping in at a pub having a beer.
BALDWIN: Grabbing a few brews with the former governor, right?
LOTHIAN: Exactly. Having brew, also joking about giving relationship advice at one point, someone was wanting to exchange a vote for an arm wrestling match and he said, well, let's actually exchange a vote over a basketball game.
You se the president here trying to make a personal connection with these voters that are crucial to both campaigns. And that's those blue color workers, those working class voters, which will be critical in a race that's very competitive, even though the president is leading here in the state of Ohio, also leading in the state of Pennsylvania. But these are still very competitive races and, the president is trying to win both of these just like he did in 2008.
BALDWIN: Yes, president buying cherries and strawberries along the road, at some, you know, about some fruit stand. Dan Lothian, we appreciate it there in Ohio. Thank you.
BANFIELD: Early morning train behind him. Did you hear that? Five-eighteen in the morning.
BALDWIN: Running the clock, my friend.
BANFIELD: No kidding.
Full service. It is now just like I said 18 minutes past the hour. So, let's get you up to date on top stories.
Bond now set at a million dollars, a million dollars for George Zimmerman. Florida judge saying that he fears the suspected shooter in Trayvon Martin's death may have been plotting to leave the country. Zimmerman's defense team says it's going to be pretty darn tough for his family to come up with $100,000 cash and $1 million in collateral that's need before he can actually be freed from jail.
BALDWIN: It forced the evacuation of 35,000 people, killed 2 people and destroyed close to 400 homes. Now, fire investigators, they have pinpointed the spot where that Waldo Canyon fire sparked to life, but they still don't know what caused it. The wildfire in Colorado Springs is now 90 percent contained. But it was the most destructive fire in Colorado history.
BANFIELD: A warning to Libya, on the eve of historic elections there: do not repeat the mistakes of the man they called the mad dog of the Middle East. The nation is going to go to the polls tomorrow for the first time since the overthrow and death of their former dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
Amnesty International is warning the newly elected leaders to make the rule of law top priority, rein in your militias, end torture and revenge killings of detainees.
BALDWIN: The captain of a yacht that capsized in the Long Island sound on the Fourth of July night is blaming a wave for the tragedy, three children died in the incident. They're trapped in a cabin when it sank. The captain who's nephew was among those killed says a wave simply flipped his 30-foot vessel, sent most of the 27 passengers out of this boat into the water. They were initially on the boat just to watch fireworks. Police say the boat was built to carry a maximum of 15 people.
BANFIELD: A woman in suburban Detroit is fighting for her life this morning after contracting a rare flesh-eating disease. Thirty- three year old Crystal Spencer's husband is saying that the doctors have only given his wife about 20 percent to 30 percent of surviving.
They've already been forced to surgically remove part of her midsection. Her husband thinks she contracted it at another hospital, a Detroit area hospital when she had surgery to remove an abscess from her leg.
BALDWIN: Throwback to Jim Crow. A small Alabama church holding a conference for white Christians only. The organizer, Reverend Mel Lewis, the founder of Christian Identity Ministries, claims the event is racist and they're the ones being treated unfairly, he says.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. MEL LEWIS, CHRISTIAN IDENTITY MINISTRIES: The mayor orders our flyers to be taken down. Now, when did they start religious censorship? We're not breaking any laws. We've not violating any ordinances but bringing the word of God to people who want it obviously or they wouldn't be here.
REPORTER: Who are white?
LEWIS: Well, they're part of the chosen race.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: The main event of the conference comes today when the church will set a cross on fire. They say it's not cross burning but -- I'm quoting them -- "a sacred Christian cross lighting." Hmm.
BANFIELD: Well, there's that.
BANFIELD: Siri, can you find yourself an attorney general? Why apple is being sued over its very, very popular voice-activated service.
BALDWIN: Do you like Siri?
BANFIELD: I don't have an iPhone.
BALDWIN: I don't really have a relationship with Siri.
BANFIELD: Think that's OK. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
BALDWIN: Sorry, Siri.
BALDWIN: Twenty-five past the hour here on a Friday morning.
BALDWIN: We're getting an early read for you on local news making national headlines.
So, here's the deal in Texas. There's a sneaky Texas mom, thought she had the perfect plan to dig up dirt on her daughter's basketball coach but, yes, that didn't work so much because all it did was land her in jail.
BANFIELD: With a mug shot.
BALDWIN: With a felony charge, with a lovely mug shot. Possible 20-year prison sentence.
"The Denton Record Chronicle" said Wendy Long told her daughter to plant a camera in her high school locker room and she wanted to get evidence of the coach yelling at her players. But her plan backfired when the school board got a hold of the tape, turned it into police. Long is now charged with wiretapping. She says she didn't break any laws.
BANFIELD: She's a principal too.
BALDWIN: She's a principal of the school?
BANFIELD: Can you imagine?
BALDWIN: Telling your kid --
BANFIELD: Middle school --
BALDWIN: Middle school principal.
BANFIELD: Yes, bummer. That won't look good on your resume.
All right. So, we said earlier, Siri, can you find me an attorney? Because Siri might need a big old team of lawyers because Apple has been sued over the technology of the voice assistant service.
The "L.A. Times" has this one this morning. They're reporting that a Chinese company is claiming that it, in fact, has the patent on voice assistance software and that they got it back in 2006. Apple Siri they say is in violation of our patent.
In case, you're wondering this is, in fact, the second time there's been big-time civil litigation that Apple has faced in China. We'll see how this one works out.
They settled their last issue. See how they settle this.
BALDWIN: They say they were inspired by Rosa Parks. Two gay men, they refused to leave the county clerk's office in Dallas after they were denied a marriage license. "The Dallas Voice" said that they handcuffed themselves together in protest of Texas' ban on same- sex marriage. They were arrested.
I met Rosa Parks in high school. She rolled through Atlanta signing her books.
BANFIELD: You got a picture.
BALDWIN: I got a -- it got her autograph. It was amazing.
BANFIELD: Frame that.
For an extended look at everything we're talking about, all stories are on our blog, CNN.com/EarlyStart.
BANFIELD: The heat -- the heat is on between President Obama and Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney. This morning, we're getting one of the last jobs reports before the big election in November. We are talking the politics of jobs after this quick break.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BANFIELD: Breaking news this morning. Deadly storms pushing to the Smoky Mountains overnight leaving two people dead, dozens of others injured. We are live in that region with the details in less than 60 seconds.
BALDWIN: Also, buses, politics, and jobs. President Obama and Mitt Romney's surrogates competing in Ohio for voters as we rate this crucial jobs report numbers out later this morning.
BANFIELD: And here's something for you. Great white sharks. A warning, believe it or not, as you begin your weekend a warning about great white sharks. We're going to take you live to Cape Cod this hour on CNN.
Welcome back, everyone, to EARLY START. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.
BALDWIN: I'm Brooke Baldwin. Good morning. What's up with the sharks the last two days? A lot of shark talk on the show.
BANFIELD: Isn't it funny how it's almost always right around the July 4th, holiday.
BALDWIN: Interesting. Interesting. We look forward to getting that. I remember Cape Cod had an issue last summer, so they (INAUDIBLE) the interview.
Hey, let's talk jobs, though. The brand-new jobs report is coming out in just a couple of hours. It could really set the tone for these last couple of months of the presidential race and decide who wins the White House. Unemployment is way up in many key battleground states. I want you to just look at this here.
You have Florida, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, they're all states President Obama won in 2008, all states with jobless rates well above the national average. So, the new report this morning could really kind of make or break his campaign. Right now, as we reported with Dan Lothian, the president on his bus tour.
He is waking up in Ohio this morning, then next heads off to Pittsburgh, P.A. Both states, you know, they're huge manufacturing hubs. All the while, team Romney is shadowing following president Obama with its very own bus tour and both sides obviously, they're bashing one another.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When the American auto industry was on the brink of collapse, more than one million jobs were on the line, Governor Romney said we should just let Detroit go bankrupt. I refuse to turn my back on communities like this one.
TIM PAWLENTY, (R) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He is dubbing his tour the betting on America tour. Well, of course, we should all bet on America. But we shouldn't double down on Barack Obama.
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, (R) LOUISIANA: He's going to try to distract us. We, the American people, are smarter than that. We know that we are not better off than we were four years ago. We know that we can't afford another four more years of this president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: CNN's political director, Mark Preston, is live in Washington for us. Mark Preston, so we know both sides. They are anxiously awaiting these numbers. Tell me once they sort of parse through them all, and we don't even know what the numbers will be, right, but once say parse through them all, how will they ingest them and spin it back out to the country?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, I mean, just from a strategic point for our viewers, what has happened right now is that the campaigns have appeared to send out immediately reaction to when these numbers are released, and we'll get those right around 8:30. Now, President Obama will address these numbers directly during his tour of Ohio.
We expect him to do that this morning. You know, this is a very important pivot point right now, Brooke, in the campaign because it could help frame the discussion at least for the next month in the summer. A lot of people are on vacation. It might be tuning out right now to the presidential race.
But, if the candidates, if President Obama gets good news today, the numbers increase from what they were over the past couple of months, well then, he can try to carry that message over the next -- you know, through July into August into the convention, same thing for Mitt Romney.
He's going to try to use this number right now to really try to pivot and try to hammer home the idea, of course, these numbers are bad, that he's the one that can turn the economy around.
BALDWIN: OK. So, they're kind of pivoting from the conversation that was, you know, the Supreme Court ruling and health care now pivoting toward with so many Americans, I know, care very much about that. Being the economy, we played some sound from, you know, you have Bobby Jindal, Tim Pawlenty.
They are the surrogates who are sort of following along on this bus tour. Why is it Mitt Romney out there and might we hear from him specifically publicly later when it comes to these job numbers. Certainly, as you mentioned, we'll be hearing from the president?
PRESTON: Well, there's always a possibility. He's up in New Hampshire right now for a vacation, but there is always a possibility he will come out and address this head on to the cameras. He did that with the healthcare ruling last week when he was here in Washington, D.C.
He came out and addressed it head on, but the reason why he's not on this bus tour is that it would be unseemly for the Republican nominee in wait to be trailing the president trying to bring him down a little bit. That's why we're seeing these surrogates out there, Bobby Jindal and Tim Pawlenty out there, trying to go out and carry Mitt Romney's message.
Now, what's interesting about this is that where does Mitt Romney go next? And pretty much the way that we've mapped out the whole election right now is that it's going to come down to about seven states. So, expect Mitt Romney to appear in Pennsylvania, certainly Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Nevada, Colorado.
These are all states that will see Mitt Romney appearing as well as President Obama over the next couple of months.
BALDWIN: Again, for our viewers, reminder that the June jobs report is coming out at 8:30 a.m. eastern. Mark Preston, thank you.
PRESTON: Thanks, Brooke.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
BANFIELD: And at 5:35 on the east coast, we are following this breaking news for you. Some deadly storms are on the move right now. They are violent, they are thunderstorms, and they are slamming Eastern Tennessee.
In fact, overnight two people killed. Dozens of others were injured. Stephanie Beecken from our affiliate, WATE, is live in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Stephanie, can give me an update as to how bad it's been and what the aftermath is?
STEPHANIE BEECKEN, WATE REPORTER: Absolutely, Ashleigh. Ashleigh as I can. Yes. The storms were terrible as they rolled through yesterday around six o'clock. And we actually wanted to get into the Great Smoky Mountains national park to give you some up-close and personal look of what was going on this morning.
But all the roads pretty much leading into the park are closed at this point, and actually, parts of the national park are closed as you can see from this sign, and right now, rangers are still trying to clear debris from the roads, and they're trying to make sure that all the visitors in the park are accounted for. Now, a couple of hours ago, they were still trying to rescue people trapped at Cade's Cove.
Now, we do have video of some of the damage in the park. Three people were injured here. Park rangers say one person had a cardiac incident. Another person's back was injured when a tree struck them and a person in a car was hit by broken glass from their windshield after a tree fell on their car. At Abrams Creek, four people were hit by falling trees.
Three people were transported to the hospital, and a 41-year-old woman was also killed, and a man riding a motorcycle on Little River Road was also struck by a falling tree and killed. So, I was saying, cleanup continues as they try to make sure everyone is accounted for and try to get portions of the park re-open. Ashleigh, back to you.
BANFIELD: All right. Stephanie Beecken reporting for us from WATE. Thanks very much. BALDWIN: Rob Marciano, we have been seeing a number of storms, horrible storms, it seems likes in the past couple of days. Are they going away? How does this weekend look?
ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, we got to get through the heat and front that's going to press that heat away before we can get through into more calm weather. To give you -- idea the lay of the land, Eastern Tennessee, the Smoky Mountains here, Abrams Creek, this is in the front country of the Smokies, so, there's a number of campgrounds in through here, and this is prime time for camp.
And so, you can imagine what just even the smallest tree falling in some of these wind conditions can do, and that's exactly what happened. So, numerous injuries as that reported mentioned. And the thunderstorms that came through yesterday came through around five o'clock, and they pretty much converged just to the east of Knoxville.
You see them driving down to the south there. We had over 400 reports of wind damage, not only with this complex but a series of other storms, but this series of complex of thunderstorms really gained energy late in the day ,and obviously, the heat that we've had built up and the humidity across the southeast only fed this storm.
It has diminished as they typically do at night. So, we're looking at quieter start this morning, but later on today, especially along the front that will eventually cool things off over the weekend, along that front, we expect some severe weather in the cross Western Great Lakes. Guys, back up to you.
BALDWIN: Rob, thank you.
MARCIANO: All right.
BANFIELD: Construction workers and college students will be the backdrop, essentially on hand as the president signs student loans and the road building bill today. The new law that's going to prevent interest rate increases on new loans to millions of college students.
That bill is also going to allow 100 billion to be spent on highways, mass transit, and other transportation projects over the next two years. Both sides agreeing that this is critical to creating jobs.
BALDWIN: The California Senate saying we're not Arizona. It is passed legislation that would shield illegal immigrants from showing documentation to local law enforcement. It's being nicknamed the anti-Arizona immigration bill that really called the Trust Act.
Supporters say it protects folks from the clear racial profiling that is going on in Arizona's crackdown as some are alleging last week. The Supreme Court upheld the so-called "show me your papers" part of the Arizona law.
BANFIELD: There's a new report out from the House of Representatives this week, and it says Countrywide Financial issued hundreds of so-called VIP loans to members of Congress and other people on Capitol Hill. It was a three-year investigation.
The House Oversight Committee finding the Countrywide was offering cheaper loans and a whole bunch of other perks, too, in exchange for help with business on Capitol Hill. Investigations started back in 2009 after it was discovered that several high-profile members of Congress were getting preferential shall loans, all of this during the subprime mortgage crisis, which of course, you may remember, that was something in which Countrywide was heavily involved.
BALDWIN: The captain of the wrecked "Costa Concordia" cruise liner is no longer under house arrest, but he's been order to stay in his hometown while his trial continues. We're heating from Captain Francesco Schettino he wrote a letter to his lawyers saying, quote/unquote "Divine hand guided him on the doomed cruise ship."
Divide hand. At least 30 people were killed back in January when the ship hit rocks. It capsized with one of 4,000 people (ph) from dozens of countries on board.
BANFIELD: Assigning women to front line combat positions may not be such a good idea, after all, this according to a female marine officer and a combat veteran. Marine Captain Katie Petronino (ph) -- let me try that again -- Katie Petronio (ph), I beg your pardon, is an Iraq and Afghanistan war vet, she's written an article in the latest issue of "Marine Corps Gazette," and it is creating quite a buzz to say the least.
She writes that she and her sisters cannot take the physical punishment of the front line. And she goes on to say that the marine corps attempts to fully integrate women into the infantry to cause a colossal increasing crippling and career-ending medical conditions for the female soldier who may take part.
BALDWIN: All internet service could be wiped out on Monday. It seems like a nasty virus here found its way on computers worldwide last year. It's meant to steal personal and financial information to the FBI. They will be turning off the hacker's servers Monday, but it will cause all victims to lose internet service without warning.
So, heads up again, this is Monday. So, you can go to see if your computer will be affected. Go to DCWG.org. DCWG.org.
BANFIELD: That is going to be such a bummer if you did not heart that your story and you're --
BANFIELD: My Facebook, what?
BANFIELD: Forty-two minutes now past the hour. Great white sharks invading Cape Cod. Pictures like this put swimmers on high alert, and it turns out it should. Why the sharks are there and what you need to know about as we head into the weekend. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BALDWIN: Forty-five minutes past the hour. Happy Friday to you. Let's get you up to date here this morning.
BALDWIN (voice-over): In less than three hours now, the labor department is releasing this critical June jobs report, the numbers. And it could play a key role in the race for the White House.
Economists surveyed by CNN money, they're predicting 95,000 new jobs were added to the economy last month, and they're expecting the unemployment rate to hold steady at that 8.2 percent mark.
A gay Virginia couple with a two-year-old toddler is suing a Roanoke Athletic Club for discrimination. Will Trinkle says he and his partner had their membership yanked months after joining the club because of the -- his word, "composition of his family."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILL TRINKLE, SUING VIRGINIA ATHLETIC CLUB FOR DISCRIMINATION: It actually was like somebody punched us in the stomach. It's from a place we couldn't imagine that there would be this kind of discrimination and this kind of attack, but, yes, we have come a long way that shows us we still have a way to go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: The Roanoke Athletic Club's Web site defines a family as a husband, a wife, and children under the age of 25 living at home. Trinkle and his partner are suing for breach of contract.
And police in Portland wrestling, here you go, you see it's blurred because the guy is naked. Wrestling him to the ground after he run out of a hospital, led him on a chase, down the interstate. With the second scuffle, they had with him in as many days. Police say 45-year-old Charles Freeman (ph) bit an officer.
Bit an officer when they tried to throw handcuffs on him and he was likely, they say, high on meth.
Slamming full speed into a -- take a look at the right side. Keep your eyes on it, boom! Yikes! Video showing this Dallas area rapid transit van smashing into a line of stopped cars at an exit ramp. Imagine being that car and seeing it in the rearview mirror. Frightening.
Two people were hospital -- hospitalized, I should say. No passengers were in that van. Transit officials in Dallas say the driver is on paid administrative leave while the crash is being investigated -- Ashleigh.
BANFIELD: Oh, I used to drive that Dallas north toll way a whole bunch of times.
BANFIELD: That's really frightening, that video. Thank you, Brooke.
Forty-seven minutes now past 5:00 on the east coast. Swimmers in Cape Cod on high alert this week after a pair of great white sharks were seen swimming just off of the shore. All of this coming just a week after three other sharks were spotted in the same area, marking the first official shark sightings of the summer.
No beaches have actually been closed at this point, but the local harbor master has issued a warning telling swimmers to stay away from the area seals which is kind of a funny thing. So, I'm not sure how often we go after those seals. But you know, everybody knows seals is one of those favorite snacks for great white sharks.
So, with me now to talk about this is Greg Skomal who's the senior fishery scientist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. Greg, thanks so much for getting up early to talk with me about this. It feels as though almost every year around the July 4th holiday that we start getting the reports of the first shark sightings.
Is there such a thing as shark season? And is there any truth to the fact that this does seem to happen at this time of year?
GREG SKOMAL, SHARK SPECIALIST: Yes, Ashleigh. First of all, it's nice to be here. Good morning. It's beautiful day in New England. Yes. We do have a shark season here in New England as are waters warm during the summer months. The sharks show up as they migrate into our warmer waters. So, we do expect them every year. So, this is not an unusual behavior on their part.
BANFIELD: So, the harbor master, while not closing the actual beaches, has put out this warning, and I'll just read exactly what the harbor master of Chatham said, "At this time, the town of Chatham is not closing our east facing beaches to swimming in its entirety but simply suggesting that beach goers, mariners, and swimmers pay close attention to their surroundings while in the water and not to venture too far from shore."
I don't know how you swim carefully when there could be a great white. Can you explain that one to me?
SKOMAL: Well, we know that the white sharks are pretty much staying at a fairly small area. And they're in this area because of the robust gray seal population in that that same area. So, we're really advising swimmers just to be cognizant of their surrounding. You know, we know the sharks are there to feed on the seals.
And we really encourage people not to get too close to these seals, certainly not to swim close to these seals because their predators are close by. BANFIELD: All right. So, is there any chance that -- well, I guess, the question should be not is there a chance the beach should be closed, but what would it take in order for the harbor master to suggest that the beaches should be closed and that there will be no swimming.
SKOMAL: You know, of course, it's the decision of the town, but I would imagine that if the sharks are approaching shore and consistently approaching shore and in particularly in areas where we have high densities of swimmers, I imagine the town is going to close those particular beaches.
BANFIELD: Now, I know that there's tagging and that many of the sharks have been tagged in the past. Have we got repeat offenders? Are the same sharks migrating and then returning and making repeat appearances?
SKOMAL: Yes. We live in an age where we have newer technologies that allow us to track individuals. And indeed, we're seeing sharks that we tag last year showing up again this year, which we kind of expect based on studies done in other parts of the world, but it's nice to see it happen here. So, these particular sharks learn that the cafe is open and decide they want to come back to it each year.
BANFIELD: All right. So, this is the crazy question. I remember when "Jaws" came out in 1975, we all talk about what would happen, what do you do if you find yourself in a precarious situation? Is there a way to fend off a shark attack and I remember some of the experts saying, hit the nose of the shark. Is that truly what you try to do?
SKOMAL: I imagine that if a shark does attack a person, the person is going to react simply by lashing back. And certainly, that's what I would recommend. I think the best thing to do is try to avoid attacks. So, you know, use common sense when you get into the open ocean. That's the bottom line here.
And those eastward facing beaches of Cape Cod is the open Atlantic. So, you're not only want to be concerned about the presence of seals and sharks, but I would think about rip tides and currents, and you know, when you get out of the water, you know, sunburns. So, just, you know, common sense when you go to the beach.
BANFIELD: I'm with you on that. Don't get into the situation where you have to fight the shark, try to be preventative to start with. Greg Skomal, good to see you. Thanks so much. Really appreciate the info.
SKOMAL: My pleasure.
BANFIELD: Brooke, over to you.
BALDWIN: Ashleigh, thank you.
New details this morning about Katie Holmes' break from scientology and her husband, Tom Cruise. That's coming up. And, if you are heading out, you're leaving the house right now, maybe to work, maybe to gym. Gym good for you if you are. You can watch us any time on your desktop or your mobile phone. Real easy, just go to CNN.com/TV.
BALDWIN: OK. Time to take a look at what's trending here on the web. Fifty-four minutes past the hour. We're going to inside Katie Holmes' escape from scientology.
BALDWIN: We're going inside.
BALDWIN: Former church insiders are talking to "The Hollywood Reporter," including (INAUDIBLE) saying she is Scientology's worst nightmare. They're talking about how amazing it was that she was able to blind side Tom Cruise and the church with divorce papers. They say she was likely tailed and had to use disposable cell phones and multiple laptops to throw them off the trail.
Reports says Holmes wanted the split because she didn't want her daughter, Suri, raised as a scientologist. The Church of Scientology didn't respond to those specific allegations but has attacked (ph) the credibility of those insiders in the past.
BANFIELD: And we have this update for you. A story that we brought you a couple of days ago about the talking --
BALDWIN: The talking urinal hockey puck --
BANFIELD: Yes. The urinal cakes that we know (ph) so well.
BALDWIN: They talk to you or something.
BANFIELD: We did show it to you as part of a campaign to prevent drunk driving in Michigan on July 4th. Actually, pretty good idea, a lot of people said. It turns out there's a slight twist to that story. We found out that --
BANFIELD: This was the voice that we talked about in terms of these urinal cakes. These guys go into the urinal, and they hear the urinal cake talking back to them. They do exist, and they do talk, but they don't say the things necessarily --
BANFIELD: Profane, yes. Here's what they really sound like. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, listen up. That's right. I'm talking to you. Had a few drinks? Maybe a few too many. But do yourself and everyone else a favor, call a sober friend or a cab. Oh, and don't forget, wash your hands.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: That's a little cleaner.
BALDWIN: -- voice.
BANFIELD: It does, doesn't it?
BANFIELD: The other into that hoax --
BALDWIN: Someone had a sense of humor.
BANFIELD: As the hockey puck curses you out. Tell me you go to prison --
BALDWIN: You were like, what?
BANFIELD: It's open a whole bit.
BANFIELD: This one is cleaner.
BALDWIN: There we go. Don't drink and drive.
Still to come, in a couple of hours this morning, actually pretty serious here. This is crucial jobs report that's coming up this morning. It's a June jobs report. We're going to talk about what it means for your wallet. Of course, what it means from the upcoming presidential election. We're going to break down all the angles with Poppy Harlow.
BANFIELD: All coming up next, stick around.