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EARLY START WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN
Shooting Massacre at Sikh Temple; Mars Landing; Truman Grandson Marks Hiroshima
Aired August 6, 2012 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The search for answers in Oak Creek, seven dead after a shooting rampage at a Sikh temple.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: A lightning strike kills one fan and injures several others.
BERMAN: Triumph at mission control. NASA celebrates the landing of a new Mars rover that's already beaming back brand new pictures of the red planet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At some point you question where can you really feel safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Lives shattered this morning, worshippers clinging to their faith as we learn more about a gunman and what may have motivated him to pen fire on a Sikh temple.
Good morning and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Brianna Keilar, in for Zoraida Sambolin.
BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East.
Up first, new details this morning on that deadly shooting spree at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee. Seven people are dead, including the gunman. And this morning we may have a motive for this massacre. The latest victim confirmed: the temple leader who was shot when he tried to tackle the gunman and save others.
Law enforcement officials spent the night examining the suspected gunman's home. We don't have his identity yet. But a source tells CNN the suspect was an Army veteran who may have been a white supremacist. Police say the shooter walked into the temple parking lot yesterday morning and that's where he began firing.
The first officer responded to the scene was ambushed. Here is what it sounded like on the police dispatch.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
POLICE OFFICER: Ambulance up, subject down! Fellow officer's down. Bring the ambulance.
DISPATCH: Go ahead.
POLICE OFFICER: We have one officer shot.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BERMAN: David Mattingly is with live us in Oak Creek, Wisconsin this morning.
And, David, we've heard the gunman described as a 40-ish year old white male and we keep hearing about this tattoo commemorating September 11th.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, but again, nothing specific yet regarding a possible motive. We did have a law enforcement source telling CNN early this morning that the suspect was indeed an Army veteran and may have been a white supremacist. We have people from the temple who were yesterday telling us that this man wearing a t-shirt and dark pants just showed up in the parking lot shooting, killing someone outside before going inside the temple and killing others in there.
But at this point and including what we're hearing yesterday from investigators here at the scene, that there was no actual motivation that they've been able to determine specifically in this case so far. Witnesses at the scene through an interpreter who talked to CNN were saying that the gunman did not appear to say anything as he was in there, and police arriving at the scene exchanging fire with him, killing him, also one officer at the time being wounded as well.
So, at this point the answers about why this kind of violence, why here and why now have yet to be answered.
BERMAN: David, there was a huge amount of police activity overnight at a residence that was supposed to be or allegedly this suspect's home. Any sense that they've uncovered anything there?
MATTINGLY: Not at this point. But I was out at that neighborhood yesterday. They were very careful as they approached what appeared to be one particular house there in the neighborhood about five miles away from the temple itself.
What we were seeing was neighbors were evacuated from their homes that were nearby that particular house. Residents in streets adjoining that area were told to stay in their homes. We saw a tremendous law enforcement presence there, federal, state and local authorities there. They were approaching that house very cautiously, in fact, some with weapons drawn pointed at that house, suggesting that at the time, they didn't know if there might be other people in that residence as well.
We're hoping to find out more later this morning about what they may have found as they got closer to that house, John.
BERMAN: All right. David Mattingly in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, we'll check back with you in a little bit. Thanks very much.
KEILAR: And, John, for how horrific this was, witnesses say the tragedy could have been a lot worse if the shooter had shown up 30 minutes later. Gunshots rang out 10:30 a.m. yesterday morning. Temple members say half an hour later, very large crowds would have started showing up for services and meals. Still, lives have been shattered, and for some innocence has forever been lost.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KANWARDEEP SINGH KALEKA, TEMPLE MEMBER: At a place that you go to find peace and to find God, of all places.
MALEEN RAJPUT, TEMPLE MEMBER: I just thought it was the safest place maybe on Earth or in Oak Creek. Apparently not. I just want people to know that they shouldn't be mistaken by us because we have turbans and long beards too. And that's our religion, and it's very peaceful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: In the next hour of EARLY START, we'll be joined live by Smiran Kaleka and Kanwardeep Singh Kaleka, the niece and nephew of the temple president and shooting victim Satwant Kaleka.
BERMAN: There's another story we're following this morning, Brianna. At deadly lighting strike that kills a NASCAR fan. It happened at the Pennsylvania 400 sprint cup race at Pocono Raceway. The 160-lap event had to be called on lap 98 when a storm moved in. Look at those pictures there.
A race track spokesperson says 12 minutes after Jeff Gordon was declared the winner, a lightning bolt struck in the parking lot, killing a 41-year-old man and injuring nine others, one of those critically. A spokesman also said public address announcements were made before the storm, and at the end of race for fans to take shelter and evacuate the grandstands.
KEILAR: We're tracking those storms that cause sod much heartache at the Pocono Raceway.
Plus, there's Ernesto. Karen Maginnis, in for Rob Marciano this morning.
You have a busy day here.
KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Certainly is. We're watching quite a big of activity. And yesterday, 85,000 people packing the raceway there and they were alerted that there were storms in the area, that did produce quite a bit of heavy downpours, but lightning. That was the thing that in this particular cell points out. Lots of lightning associated with this. As we heard, about ten people were struck by lightning, one fatality. So far this year, this is the 19th death reported from lightning so far this year.
Now, that frontal system tracking off towards the Eastern Seaboard. Clearer, drier, calmer weather conditions. However, we looked down towards the Caribbean. And our tropical storm, Ernesto not looking all that impressive on the satellite imagery. As it treks its way towards the West, it is going to pick up some strength.
We think that right now, 50-mile-per-hour winds associated with it. But the National Hurricane Center says we could see it approach hurricane intensity right before making landfall perhaps in the next couple of days.
It is expected to move across the Yucatan Peninsula and lie low across the Gulf of Mexico and perhaps weaken once again to tropical storm intensity. But we'll continue to monitor that. We'll monitor Florence as well as the heat expected to engulf a good portion of the central U.S.
Back to you, John.
KEILAR: I've been a NASCAR fan for a long time, Karen and I don't remember -- races are called all the time for weather, but I don't remember there ever being a tragedy like we saw at Pocono.
MAGINNIS: These were very fierce storms, as this system roared through. And we watched these storms make their way across the Northeast and New England. And it was very fierce. We had reports of people saying it seemed as if the lightning was right where they were standing. With 85,000 people there, it could have been much, much worse.
KEILAR: All right. Karen, thank you so much.
BERMAN: And this just in. Gas prices are now up a little bit, up to $3.62 per gallon of unloaded. Prices have increased eight days in a row.
KEILAR: Oh, that is a bummer.
And aiming for gold this morning, Jamaica's Usain Bolt is back. The world held its collective breath as the fastest group, all of them, a group, the fastest group of the 100 meter sprinters ever hitting the Olympic blocks. Bolt held off the field with a new Olympic record, 9.63 seconds. Three others finished under 9.8 seconds.
And the big story out of London, hometown tennis star Andy Murray does good. This sort of warmed my heart watching this. He won the gold on the lawn at Wimbledon and he did it very convincingly, if you tuned in.
KEILAR: Very convincingly. A drubbing of Roger Federer in straight sets. Murray avenged his loss last month in the Wimbledon finals.
I don't think anyone's ever treated Roger Federer like that, especially on grass, especially in Wimbledon. This wasn't even close.
KEILAR: He made him look like a beginner, I thought.
BERMAN: Oh, yes.
KEILAR: It was amazing, one point after another.
BERMAN: Good for Andy Murray, good for Great Britain.
All right. The medal count has become a dogfight between the U.S. and China. China is back on top with 60 medals overall. That's 30 gold in there, too. The U.S. right behind with 60 medals, 28 golds. And the host country, Great Britain, third overall with 37 medals.
KEILAR: And here's what you're going to watch for today. Women's gymnastics, the uneven bars final. You've got all-around champ Gabby Douglas going for more gold on this event that earned her that flying squirrel nickname. In men's basketball, team USA verses Argentina.
On the subject of the Olympics, like an Olympic gymnast, they stuck the landing, galactic style. We're talking about NASA and the touchdown of its Mars rover overnight. New pictures are already coming in of the red planet. This thing was awesome. And we have more on this dramatic mission coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Touch down confirmed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: How awesome is that. NASA scientists celebrating this morning. Cheers! Cheers! This the most important space mission in over a decade. Man, did they stick the landing, as we say?
KEILAR: I love watching them just totally geek out over this.
BERMAN: We can all geek out.
BERMAN: It's something all we can be proud of.
Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. It is 13 minutes after the hour. I'm John Berman.
KEILAR: And I'm Brianna Keilar in for Zoraida Sambolin.
Brand new this morning, just hours ago, NASA's Curiosity space rover landed on Mars. And you're looking here at the very first images from Curiosity of the red planet. The mission here: to hopefully find out once and for all if life was possible on Mars.
And we've got CNN's John Zarrella in Pasadena, California, at NASA's jet propulsion lab.
So, John, to land Curiosity, NASA used a parachute method that they weren't even able to test. I find this funny because they call this the seven minutes of terror, quote. Is this the hardest part of the mission or are we expecting other potential pitfalls here?
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's always potential pitfalls, Brianna. But, you know, the bottom line is, that without question, that "seven minutes of terror". They never attempted this kind of landing before. The vehicle, you can see a model behind me there is so big at 2,000 pounds, the size of a small car, they couldn't use the other methods they had done in the past, the tried and true methods, air bags opening, bouncing on the planet and deflating and these rovers coming out.
This was just too big to do that. They had to go to this method where they would fly through the atmosphere, a parachute would deploy. Then they would fire rockets, stabilize the vehicle, then a sky crane literally with tethers lowering the vehicle to the ground, everything had to work perfectly if any one thing went wrong, the mission would be lost.
But you heard that sound. They were all cheering and celebrating. It went just fabulously.
And shortly after, the entire EDL team, the entry, descent and landing team, they left mission control, they marched across this campus here and from here, they made their way over to where NASA was holding the news briefing, and at that point they kind of interrupted it all.
But, John Holdren, who is President Obama's science adviser, said that this was a great day for America.
KEILAR: And now they're breathing this sigh of relief --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN HOLDREN, WHITE HOUSE SCIENCE ADVISOR: And if anybody has been harboring doubts about the status of U.S. leadership in space, well, there's a one-ton automobile-sized piece of American ingenuity that is --
HOLDREN: And it's sitting on the surface of Mars right now and it should certainly put any such doubts to rest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZARRELLA: I was talking with Rob Manning, a chief engineer here a little while ago. And Rob said, you know, finally, we do not have to worry about whether it's going to work anymore because it did -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Breathing a sigh of relief. But now, there's a lot of work to be done. And John Zarrella, we'll be looking for the awesome photos as they come back. Very cool, thank you so much.
BERMAN: You know, so nice to see John smiling. All the reporters at that time news conference had big smiles on their faces. Something we can all rejoice in.
It is 17 minutes after the hour. And let's get you up to date on the morning's top stories.
We have some new developments in the Sikh temple massacre. Right now, investigators are searching the Milwaukee home of the man who opened fire on members of the temple yesterday. Seven people are now dead including the gunman. A law enforcement tells CNN the shooter may have been an army veteran and white supremacist. Witnesses describe him as a white male in his 40s. He may have had a 9/11 tattoo on this arm.
KEILAR: Syrian warplanes dropping bombs on their own people. Heavy shelling being reported during a fierce battle for Syria's largest city this morning. Syrian rebels claim 124 people were killed just yesterday as government forces launched heavy shelling attacks in Aleppo.
And just hours ago, state TV also reported an explosion at a TV building in Damascus that injured several people.
BERMAN: It's a lot of sense in the world of football. No word on the cause of death for the son of Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid. Police say 29-year-old Garrett Reid was found dead in his room yesterday morning at the teen's training campaign at Lehigh University. They do not suspect foul play.
This young man battled drug abuse for many years. He went to prison in 2007 after a high-speed crash when cops found heroin and more than 200 pills in his car. He had up and down battle with this for years.
KEILAR: Less than four hours to the kickoff of the third annual bullying prevention Summit in Washington, D.C. This is a big priority for the Department of Education. They're hosting this. Corporations, researchers, parents, students -- they are focusing on coordinating anti-bullying efforts with school set to resume here in just a few weeks. Keynote speakers will include Maryland's First Lady Katie O'Malley and Lady Gaga's mother.
BERMAN: It is just about 19 minutes after the hour. We're getting an "Early Read' on local news making national headlines.
Our first headline from the "Atlanta Journal Constitution" about chicken. Why should you care about this? Because Americans eat about 80 pounds of chicken each a year, 80 pounds of poultry a year, that's each of us.
In a new government proposal, it's going to change the way inspections are done at these plants. Among other things, they are proposing -- reducing the number of federal inspectors, replacing them with people who actually work at the chicken factories. In some cases, it can reduce the number of inspectors from four to one, the federal inspectors.
This will save a lot of money. It could. It could save about $90 million a year for the federal government -- over three years rather. It could save $276 million for the chicken producers.
As of now, this is just proposal and a lot of times, Brianna, as you know, these proposals are floated to see how the public will react. I'm not sure the public will react all that way to this.
KEILAR: Do you eat that much chicken?
BERMAN: I don't eat that much chicken a year.
KEILAR: It's a lot.
KEILAR: Now, the early read that we have of "The New York Times" has to do with schools across the U.S. They're cutting summer vacation short, some of them, because as you know, a lot of schools actually have taken away days during budget cuts. But this is focusing on some schools that are adding days.
Normally what you have is a 180-day school year. I know your kids are getting ready to go to school.
BERMAN: They sure are.
KEILAR: We got kids who are already heading back to school, some with 200-day school years. This is really important experts say for low income kids. They need to catch up. There's so much emphasis on standardized testing.
And I mean, I know certainly that they -- I've done stories on reading, they go in a lot of times, low income kids with like 25 hours of book reading and middle income kids have like a thousand. It's quite a discrepancy.
BERMAN: May be good for kids. But I'm sure it's not the kids making this decision.
KEILAR: They don't mind, the parents, says "The New York Times", they're cool with it.
BERMAN: All right. For extended look at all of our top stories, head to our blog CNN.com/EarlyStart.
KEILAR: And you noticed the trend at the gas pumps. Gas prices keep creeping up. Coming up, we'll look at why and how it could have a factor in the race for the White House.
KEILAR: We're "Minding Your Business" this morning. Let's check in on the markets.
U.S. stock futures for the Dow, NASDAQ and S&P 500 are trading higher ahead of the opening bell.
BERMAN: Alison Kosik is in for Christine Romans.
Alison, the word I've been hearing all weekend about the market this week, choppy.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, choppy, meaning you're going to see markets really bouncing around a lot. There's not a lot of market-moving data, volume is also light, meaning there aren't a lot of traders out there. It's summertime. People actually take vacation.
The wildcard is going to be Europe. Any headline coming out of Europe, that really could be a market mover. But let's go ahead and take stock of where we are right now. The S&P 500 right now is up 9 percent this year. That's things to track because that's what your 401(k)s typically track. The Dow is sitting over the 13,000 mark.
But then you've got to stop and ask, you know, what is moving in these markets higher.
And you know what's moving them higher, speculation that the Fed will take some sort of action to stimulate the economy, to give the economy a boost. That would help give markets a boost as well. It's not fundamentals, even though we got a good jobs report on Friday. It showed 160,000 jobs were added to the economy in July.
Sure, that's a good start. The reality is we need to see 300,000 to 400,000 jobs added month after month after month. You see right there, the momentum really dropped off during the months of April through June. We've got to see those job additions really, really gain momentum to make an impact on the unemployment rate.
KEILAR: And if you go to the gas station, you're seeing gas prices tick up. That's tough on a ton of Americans.
KOSIK: It's bad timing isn't it. I mean, this is kind of a punch to the gut, especially after three months of seeing these gas prices fall. Now, July had seen some of the highest average prices ever recorded. The latest reading for the national average is at $3.62 a gallon for unleaded. Prices have increased eight days in a row. That's because oil prices are higher.
Also there's a fear premium on oil. There are tensions with Iran that are on going. There are new sanctions on Iran. We're seeing this impact the price of oil. Oil on Friday jumped 4 percent to over $91 a barrel.
So, what's the track that oil is going to take? So, this month it's expected you're going to see gas prices stay mainly flat to slightly higher. But in September, you should se prices fall off after Labor Day because the summer driving season winds down, demand drops and refineries switch to cheaper blends.
But this uptick that we're seeing in gas prices, it's certainly going to be a big factor in the elections, don't you think?
KEILAR: Sure. Huge issue. But a lot of times, it matters what is it in October?
BERMAN: Well, if it's not a spike -- if it's an uptick, not a spike, maybe not so much.
KOSIK: Well, but it still weighs on your pocketbooks if you're a consumer and that's something that any politician can use as fodder, Democrat and Republican.
BERMAN: Alison Kosik, thanks very much.
BERMAN: All right. Up next, new details on the Sikh temple shooting massacre. We have emotional worshippers grip in fear. And what the shooter's tattoo could tell us.
If you're leaving the house right now, watch us on your desk top or mobile phone. Just go to CNN.com/TV.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR (voice-over): New information on the Sikh temple gunman. A source telling CNN he may have been a White supremacist.
BERMAN (voice-over): It's personal for the president. A new e- book detailing how President Obama feels about his Republican opponent.
KEILAR: And record breaker. Usain Bolt lives up to his name in a dramatic 100-meter race.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR (on-camera): Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Brianna Keilar in for Zoraida Sambolin.
BERMAN (on-camera): And I'm John Berman. It's about half past the hour right now. We have new information this morning about the gunman who opened fire at a Sikh temple in Suburban Milwaukee killing six people before police shot and killed him. This morning, FBI investigators are at the shooter's home looking for clues. We don't have his name yet, but a law enforcement source now tells CNN he may be an army veteran and a White supremacist. Police say the suspect walked into the temple parking lot yesterday morning, he began firing. The first officer responding to the scene was ambushed. He's now in critical condition, but he is expected to survive.
David Mattingly joins us live now in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. And David, we keep hearing the suspect is a White male in his early 40s. Witnesses say he had a tattoo commemorating 9/11. Are police commenting on that?
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They are not commenting specifically about that tattoo. A lot of attention is being paid to what the witnesses were saying describing this man as having that 9/11 tattoo.
But as of late yesterday, authorities were not going to speculate as to exactly what happened here, but one local official did tell us that there was a certain way that they were approaching this investigation as a case of domestic terrorism. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN EDWARDS, CHIEF OAK CREEK POLICE: We're treating this as a domestic terrorist-type incident. And therefore, the FBI has the resources needed to help investigate that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTINGLY: So, that's about all the insight we're getting as to how they are approaching this case. But, so far, no one confirming actually what the motive in this violent shooting may have been, but again, a law enforcement source telling CNN this morning that the suspect was an army veteran and may have been a White supremacist.
So that, again, one step closer to that possibility that this could have been a case of domestic terrorism. But again, nothing official as of yet.
BERMAN: David, it really does appear as if the authorities are moving with a great deal of deliberate caution. And I think overnight, at their house, at the suspect's alleged hous,e you saw some evidence of that, too.
MATTINGLY: That's right. They were being very cautious. There was a lot of resources brought to bear into one particular neighborhood about five miles away from the temple. They approached this. There were federal authorities there in full SWAT team gear. They were being very careful.
Weapons drawn as they approached the house, approaching it, apparently, believing that there are -- as if there might still be someone inside that house, but again, very cautious at the time. They did eventually last night gain entry. They exited the building carrying what looked like large boxes. And this morning, they still have the house lit up with lights suggesting that that investigation at that site will continue later this morning. But that same source that was telling us that the suspect here was an army veteran and had been possibly a White supremacist is also telling us that the identity of that alleged gunman will probably be revealed publicly sometime this morning as well.
BERMAN: All right. So, more developments expected. David Mattingly in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, thanks very much.
KEILAR: it's really a horrific scene, but apparently, witnesses to the massacre say that if the shooter showed up just minutes later, this could have been a whole lot worse. Gunshots rang out yesterday at 10:30 in the morning. And temple members say that very large crowds would have started showing up for services and meals beginning at 11 o'clock.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KANWARJIT SINGH BAJWA, CHAIRMAN OF TEMPLE: The main function starts at 11:00. People start pouring in at 11:00, and it's done by one o'clock. Most of the people are in by 12 o'clock. If that had happened at 12, it would have been very different.
KANWARDEEP SINGH KALEKA, TEMPLE MEMBER: Who would do these kind of things? And, at some point, you question where can you really feel safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: The New York City Police Department is beefing up security around Sikh temples here in city even deploying critical response vehicles. There are no known threats against any of these temples. Officials say they're just doing it as a precaution.
KEILAR: In the next hour of EARLY START, we'll be joined live by Simran Kaleka and Kanwardeep Singh Kaleka, the niece and nephew of temple president and shooting victim, (INAUDIBLE) Saleka.
BERMAN: We may find out later today if the man behind the Tucson shooting rampage will plea guilty. The "L.A. Times" and the "Wall Street Journal" are reporting this morning that Jared Lee Loughner will do just that tomorrow and that a competency hearing will be a change of plea hearing, instead.
The U.S. attorney's office won't confirm or deny these reports. The shooting killed six people and wounding 13 others, including then Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. This was last year, you remember.
KEILAR: The FBI in Denver says a suicidal person who made threats against oil and gas sites in Western Colorado is in custody. Investigators have been conducting sweeps of a refinery in the surrounding area but have not found any public safety issues. Part of highway six and 50 was closed for a while, but it has reopened. BERMAN: Wildfires still burning in parts of Oklahoma this morning. This is a monster blaze between Manford (ph) and Kellyville in the northeastern part of the state. It has burned almost 91 square miles. Dozens of homes and buildings have been burned to the ground. The flames, they were so intense on Friday, three firefighters had to be treated for burns.
Many families who were forced to evacuate their homes are now being allowed to return. Light rain and cooler temperatures are helping the firefighters make significant gains against the flames yesterday. But for dozens of Oklahomans, the damage is already done.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've lost everything. I mean, there's nothing. I mean, we have our lives which that's the most important. But as in clothes, dishes, anything, we have nothing left.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Here's the good news, aside from those injured firefighters, there've been no reports of serious injuries from any of the 18 fires that have been reported statewide.
KEILAR: Fires, lightning strikes, tropical storms, a very busy day, so, let's check in now with Karen Maginnis. She's in for Rob Marciano in the weather center. What are you seeing there?
KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: They are saying there are so many fires across the state of Oklahoma. There are almost too many to count. But as you mentioned, there are major fires in some areas. One of them, 38,000 acres being reported. It has been so exceptionally hot, exceptionally dry, and now, the wind is continuing to blow.
However, the levels for the fire advisories or the heat advisories has diminished, but nonetheless, is still going to be fairly hot across Oklahoma City, expecting those temperatures and the triple digits the next several days, but not just there, look at Fort Smith, readings mostly in the hundreds there as well. Springfield, readings in the nineties. And for Wichita, triple digits expected there as well.
Last week, our drought monitor said about 63 percent of the counties in the United States are at extreme or exceptionally dry. Well across the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, yep, we'll see heat indices between 100 and 110. And yes, the other big news is Ernesto. Now, Ernesto is still chugging its way across the Caribbean.
It is expected to intensify but only minimally, we think, in the next day or day and a half. It could temporarily reach hurricane status, move across the Yucatan. And from there, the guess is, according to our computer models across the southern Gulf of Mexico, but we'll keep you updated -- John, Brianna.
KEILAR: All right. Karen, thank you very much. BERMAN: Moving on to some politics now. The lineup announced for Mitt Romney's big week in Florida. Senator John McCain, former secretary of state, condoleezza rice, and former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee, among the first speakers named for this month's Republican National Convention which will be held in Tampa.
This list was first reported by the "Tampa Bay Times." The keynote speaker and other headliners, they haven't been announced yet. That will be announced closer to the convention at the end of this month. And of course, there will be a spot reserved for the eventual VP choice. We don't know who that is either yet.
KEILAR: Yes. Soon, though. Expecting that, too. Mitt Romney making the case that he's the guy to grow the economy. In an interview with CNN chief political analyst, Gloria Borger, this weekend, Romney reacted to last week's July jobs numbers that showed unemployment ticked up to 8.3 percent saying that another stimulus is not the answer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They were told unemployment would stay below eight percent. It's not been below eight percent since. His approach of just spending money on government programs did not create the jobs that America was looking for.
So, the idea of doing the same thing again and expecting a different result is famously said, the definition of insanity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: The race for the White House, apparently, quite personal for President Obama. A new e-book called "Obama's Last Stand" will be out in two weeks. And author, Glenn Thrush, of politico say aides have picked up a level of anger in the president from Mitt Romney that he never had for either Hillary Clinton or John McCain.
Thrush writes President Obama began the campaign with mutual feelings about Romney but quickly developed, quote, "a genuine dislike for the man." And you know what's interesting, Brianna, I don't think these guys have met more than twice. I think they bumped into each other ones in the trail in 2007. I think they may have bumped into each other at a gridiron dinner in 2004.
BERMAN: But like they've never had any human contact.
KEILAR: They don't really know each other. I think that's part of the thing. And, Obama was a senator with John McCain, and I think he sort of revered him -- or sort of honored the fact that he was a war hero. But, you know, I have to say that race with Hillary Clinton in the primaries was so bruising, if he dislikes Mitt Romney more than he disliked Hillary Clinton at that time, this is going to be brutal. BERMAN: Sharp elbows. He has shown that he has them, even if some of his true supporters say he likes to stay above politics right now, but President Obama has learned how to be somewhat bruising politician.
KEILAR: Yes. Make no mistake. Definitely sharp elbows. And you know the race for the White House is a month-long marathon. But the race that everyone was talking about today was over in less than ten seconds. More on Usain Bolt's dash for gold coming up.
BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. It's about 45 minutes after the hour right now. So glad you're here. I'm John Berman.
KEILAR: And I'm Brianna Keilar. And you know, the "Lightning Bolt" is back, John. Sprinter, Usain Bolt, held off the fastest Olympic field ever. How did he do it? That's right. A new Olympic record in the 100 meters, 9.63 seconds. And Amanda Davies has that and the other big stories coming out of London. So, Amanda, that race was quite a rush.
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was. Good morning, Brianna. Yes, not bad for somebody who said he was only 95 percent fit. It makes you worry what would have happened if there was that extra five percent, doesn't it? I was lucky enough to be inside the stadium last night watching what was billed as the greatest showdown on the planet.
Usain Bolt against his team mate and training partner, Yohan Blake, the man who of course beaten him in the Jamaican trials. And it was a bit of a slow start. And now, characteristically slow start for Usain Bolt, but he hit the 50 meters and hit the turbo button to clock that new Olympic record. How fast is that? Well, 9.63. That's .05 of a second slower than his world record.
But just to put that into context. How about for this? It's somewhat quicker than a snail, but still --
DAVIES: -- slower than a javelin or even a pigeon or even the stadium hawk, the hawk that flies around here catching those pigeons. So, of course, it's still pretty quick. And Yohan Blake took the silver. America's Justin Gatlin took the bronze. And Usain Bolt saying it's a step closer to him becoming a legend, but I think most of the people in there, in that stadium last night would say he's already pretty much there.
There was quite a sensational roar. So, easily matched the support that had been on in Saturday night for the home favorites, Jess Ennis and (INAUDIBLE).
KEILAR: That's hilarious. Usain Bolt is half as fast as a pigeon. So, this is the thing that I was watching, Amanda yesterday, because everyone loves a hometown hero making good. Andy Murray (ph), he won the gold. I imagine there was a ton of celebrating going on over there.
DAVIES: Yes. After the heartbreak of Wimbledon, the grand slam final just four weeks ago, Andy Murray (ph) got a chance to exact a little bit of revenge on Roger Federer. And he did it pretty well, a straight set victory over the former world number one.
It's the first time Murray has ever beaten Federer in a five-set match on the new look center court, bedecked in all the Olympic finery with the Olympic rings hanging and the bright pink banners, very, very different from the normal Wimbledon traditions that we're so used to seeing.
But it was fantastic for Andy Murray, the biggest title of his career to date. People hoping that that now will lead on to bigger and better things, the U.S. open, of course, only around the corner now. There was also victory, of course, for the Williams sisters in the doubles. They're now the first sisters to have won three Olympic doubles titles, and they've got their sights set on Rio in four years time as well.
KEILAR: I'm sure they do. And it's great that Mary (ph) came through. Amanda Davies, thanks so much for that from London.
BERMAN: Roger Federer is going to have to console himself with the mountain of grand slam victories.
BERMAN: Poor Roger.
KEILAR: Poor Roger.
BERMAN: It is now 48 minutes after the hour. And we want to get you up to date on the morning's top stories.
BERMAN (voice-over): We have some new developments in the Sikh temple massacre. Right now, investigators searching the suburban Milwaukee home of the man who opened fire on members of the temple yesterday. Seven people now dead including the gunman.
A law enforcement source tells CNN the shooter was an army veteran and may have been a White supremacist. Witnesses describe him as a White male in his 40s with a 9/11 tattoo on his arm.
KEILAR (voice-over): New this morning, the NASA's space rover curiosity has landed on Mars. And you're looking at the very first photos from the expedition. Very cool. And we're going to be getting more, of course. The rover's mission is to find out whether life has ever existed on the Red Planet, and, if it could sustain life in the future. Scientists say it's the most important space mission in over a decade. BERMAN: SWAT teams surrounding a building during a hostage situation in California. Two workers at a sporting goods store in Sacramento were held captive for four hours by an armed suspect yesterday. Police say the man had tried to rob the store, but a manager was able to call 911.
The suspect fired a gunshot into the air, but no one was reported injured, luckily. He eventually surrendered to the police.
KEILAR: At least 15 Egyptian soldiers were killed and nine others wounded after masked attackers struck an army checkpoint close to Gaza in Israel. Officials say the attack happened as the soldiers were breaking their Ramadan fast last night. The Israeli defense forces blamed terrorists associated with the global jihad group for the violence.
BERMAN: It is August 6th, and late President Harry Truman's grandson will attend ceremonies commemorating the bombing of Hiroshima today exactly 67 years after Truman ordered the bombing. Clifton Truman Daniel will also go to ceremonies in Nagasaki on Thursday. 140,000 people died when the atomic bomb fell on Hiroshima during World War II, another 70,000 in Nagasaki.
This is the first time a member of Truman's immediate family is going to attend the ceremonies in Japan.
KEILAR (on-camera): And it's 5:50 in the east this morning. You know, she has 14 kids, a home foreclosure, she recently made her porn debut. I don't know, maybe a keeper, huh? She's single now, guys. How you could win a date with Octomom next.
BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone. It is now 54 minutes after the hour. I'm John Berman along with Brianna Keilar. And we're taking a look at what is trending on the internet this morning.
KEILAR: Yes. You can win a date with Octomom. This is trending on the internet. Nadya Suleman, I wonder how much she'll get for a date, but she's kind of broke right now. This is the issue. She made a porn debut, and I guess, that didn't quite pay off enough. She's got $150,000 that she needs paid in bills, and so, she's now online putting herself out for a date. The bidding starting at $500.
BERMAN: If that doesn't make you want to go to Mars, I don't know what will.
KEILAR: Very nice.
BERMAN: How do you like that segue?
KEILAR: I really like it. That's about right. BERMAN: Just a few hours ago in Times Square, take a look at this. Hundreds of people watching the big screen, watching this Mars curiosity rover land on the Red Planet. It was breathtaking to see, but there is another picture this morning that everyone is talking about. It's the Mohawk guy. The Mohawk guy --
KEILAR: I love this guy.
BERMAN: -- is Bobak Ferdowsi. He once a flight director at the Mars science laboratory, the JPL there. He is helping the Mars rover curiosity land. Bobak apparently cut a different hairdo for each landing. And this one really cut the world -- you know, set the world on fire here. On twitter overnight, I was seeing so many tweets about the Mohawk guy. Quite handsome, by the way.
KEILAR: He is kind of handsome. So that's like red -- he's got some red in there.
BERMAN: He got some red, he's got some yellow stars. And good news for Bobak, he went from about 200 Twitter followers when the mission started to 10,000 after Curiosity landed.
KEILAR: His Mohawk needs a Twitter alias, I think.
But this morning's top stories straight ahead for you. We'll have new details and stories from inside a Sikh temple during that massacre that we've been talking about this morning. We're speaking to a relative of the temple leader who is being called a hero this morning. You're watching EARLY START.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN (voice-over): The shooting rampage at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Investigators telling CNN the gunman may have had ties to hate.
KEILAR (voice-over): Tragedy at the track. A lightning strike killed one NASCAR fan and injured several others.
BERMAN: Touchdown on Mars. Mission control celebrates the landing of the new rover on the Red Planet.
KALEKA: At some point you question where can you really feel safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)