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Explosions Rock Damascus; Bombing Suspect's Wife Questioned; Firefighters Gaining Upper Hand; The Bleacher Report

Aired May 5, 2013 - 06:00   ET


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, this is EARLY START WEEKEND.

Not in my graveyard. That's the word from several cemeteries to the funeral director who has the body of Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Wait until you hear what he plans to do.

The building collapse in Bangladesh shown a glaring light on the American companies that manufacture there. So what's your shirt with and what's the human cost?

OK, we have a winner, don't you know it. The most exciting two minutes in sports is over, but the race for the Triple Crown, you know that dream (ph) is just kicking in. Will the three decade drought be broken?

It is Sunday, May 5th. Good morning to you. I'm Christi Paul. So glad to have you with us. It's 6:00 here on the East Coast. Aren't you up early. So glad to have you with us.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

PAUL: All right. First for you, I want to share something that's new this morning. Huge fire balls have been lighting up the sky in Syria and Syria is blaming Israel for the attack. Look at this.


PAUL: The explosions rocked a suburb of the capital Damascus overnight. Now Syrian state television says Israeli rockets slammed into a scientific research center.

I want to bring in CNN's Sara Sidner, who's in Jerusalem.

Sara, I know that Syria is blaming Israel for the blast, but has there been any response yet from Israel?

SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Not publicly. Israeli officials here in the capital have not confirmed or denied that there was an attack by Israel into Syria. And they haven't said anything about what may or may not have been hit. What we do have is comment from a senior defense official who I spoke with earlier in the day who said that, quote, "we are watching everything going on as far as the transfer of weapons in Syria. We are watching it closely and we have the means to do that." That is from a senior defense official here in the capital.

Now, I want to also talk about what has happened in the past. We've heard from U.S. officials. Sources telling us that somewhere Thursday night or Friday, that there was an attack and they do believe that it was Israeli warplanes that attacked inside of Syria, but attacked from Lebanon air space, trying to knock out perhaps a convoy that may have been either attempting to or about to transfer weapons, not chemical weapons per say, but weapons, very dangerous weapons. What Israel called game-changing weapons into the hands of Hezbollah, which is in Lebanon, an organization both Israel and the United States considers a terrorist organization.

Time and again we have heard publicly and off the record, as well, from Israeli officials. Time and again we've heard the same statements, that Israel will not allow the transfer of dangerous weapons or chemical weapons, weapons of mass destruction, into the hands of Hezbollah, which is its enemy. They do believe Hezbollah, of course, is a front group for Iran and they just absolutely have been adamant that if they see weapons being transferred, that they will act.


PAUL: Is there any gauge at this point, Sara, how far this thing could go when you mention, you know, Lebanon and warplanes have been flying overhead there? Any gauge at all as to how incendiary this may get?

SIDNER: Well, here's the great concern from Israel's perspective in the region. And that is that they believe if there is going to be something that happens, for example, that comes into Israel where Israel is attacked, that it will likely be coming from Hezbollah. That's been said in the past that they believe that Hezbollah would be perhaps the first to make a move there on the Lebanese border. So that is of great concern, I think, here.

What is not of concern, which is interesting, is that they don't think that Syria is going to necessary turn around and start trying to attack Israel because the Syrian regime at this point has its own problems. It's trying to deal with this war that's gone on for more than two years and is really in a situation where it's having trouble trying to keep itself in power. So what we may see is, over the next coming days, a response. We may not see a response because a response from Hezbollah will mean that Israel, the United States perhaps, will have to back Israel up as well and it's not necessarily certain that Hezbollah will take any action, but we'll have to wait and see, Christi.

PAUL: All right, Sara Sidner live for us there. Sara, thank you so much. We appreciate it.

And I want to let you know we're being joined right now, too, on the phone by CNN reporter Fred Pleitgen. He's actually in Damascus.

So, Fred, I understand you just left the office of the deputy foreign minister in Damascus. What did he say? FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, he was, obviously, very angry, Christi, about this attack. He said that this was, quote, "a work that was done by the Israelis to support Islamism terrorists here in Syria who are fighting against the government." The government, of course, says that the opposition that are fighting are all terrorists. So he said that this was an alliance between terrorists, between Salafists and the Israeli military. He was very angry and he called this (ph), and I quote, "a declaration of war by Israel against Syria." So he was very angry.

And I can tell you from last night, we witnessed the explosions that happened after these initial hits and they were going on for hours after the initial hits took place. They were lighting up the sky here in Damascus. There was a lot of gunfire also going on. Apparently troops there on the ground, Bashar al Assad's troops, were so confused by the explosions that they started firing into the air, they started firing their machine guns because they didn't know what was going on. Some people were speculating whether or not one of these hits might have been on an ammunition dump and there you heard explosions for such a very long time. But I can tell you, the Syrian capital last night was absolutely rocked by explosions for hours and it sounded like full-on war for a very long time, Christi.

PAUL: (INAUDIBLE) in there right now in terms of trying to find people and people who were injured, people who were killed? Is there a death toll? What do we know?

PLEITGEN: Well, they still (INAUDIBLE). Because one of the things that we have to keep in mind is that we're probably not going to find out how many people were actually killed because what was hit last night was one of the most secretive places in this country. It's a place that has a lot of these elite Republican Guard units of the Syrian military. It's that research facility that's basically off limits to everyone. So it is something where it's very difficult to get details.

I asked the deputy foreign minister whether he could even tell me what exactly was hit. If there was anything else hit except that alleged research facility. All he was willing to say was that it was assets of Syria's defense department that were hit. It's a very secretive area. It's into mountains around Damascus that are very hard to access. We have a lot of checkpoints there. You don't get very close to there simply because it's a very militarized zone and not many Syrians, or almost no Syrians, even know what is going on there. But, clearly, something very big was hit there last night judging by the explosions. We'll probably never find out how many people were actually killed. But I can tell you from speaking to people who live around that area, a lot of them ran into shelters and tried to get away from those explosions and felt the pressure waves outside of that militarily area, Christi.

PAUL: All right, Fred Pleitgen live for us there in Damascus. Fred, thank you so much for bringing us the latest. We appreciate it.

And now let's talk about Boston. Officials are scrambling to find a final resting place for one of the suspected Boston bombers. Officials at three cemeteries we know have refused to bury Tamerlan Tsarnaev, saying they fear a backlash from the public. Well, the owner of the funeral home now holding his body tells CNN it's just not right.


PETER STEFAN, DIRECTOR, GRAHAM PUTNAM & MAHONEY FUNERAL PARLORS: This is what we do in this country. Do away (ph) with medical treatment for the terrorists, murders. I brought up Oswald, I brought up Dahmer, I up Bundy, I brought up McVeigh. Somebody buried them. You saw the hearse driver - who was driving it? It wasn't Mickey Mouse. It was a funeral director stepping up to the plate. The funeral directors basically should be commended, not criticized, for what we do. And that's what's been happening.


PAUL: Meanwhile, investigators are still pressing Tamerlan's widow for information about bombs which were allegedly made in her own home. CNN's Erin McPike is in Providence, Rhode Island, near Katherine Russell's attorney's office.

So, Erin, I'm wondering if you've seen much of her the past couple of days.

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi, we have. We actually saw her here at her attorney's office on Thursday, where she was meeting with investigators. But just yesterday we did see her leave at 1:00 at least for several hours and she was also outside in her parents' backyard playing with her daughter, who's almost three, and one of their friends. So she has been getting out and outside of the house quite a bit more in the past week than she was the week before when she didn't leave that house for at least three days in a row, Christi.

PAUL: Well, I know investigators found explosive residue in her apartment there with Tamerlan, and I'm wondering, does that make it harder for her to argue that she didn't know anything about the bomb plot?

MCPIKE: Not necessarily, Christi. And the reason is, from the very beginning, Katherine Russell's attorneys have been saying that she was very busy. That she was spending 75 to 80 hours outside the house where she was working as a home health care aid. And on top of that, the couple was raising their very young daughter, this almost three-year-old. So her attorneys had basically already made the point that she's been very busy. So she very well may not have known, Christi.

PAUL: Well, what did neighbors say about having, you know, the widow of a suspected bomber so close to home? What are they saying about their neighborhood?

MCPIKE: More than anything, Christi, this has been a very big disruption for them. They don't like the national attention. It's just getting in their way. And so many of these neighbors think very highly of the Russell family and knew Katie when she was growing up there and they'd like to see her be left alone and say -- they can say and again, innocent until proven guilty. So, more than anything, just a disruption.

PAUL: All right, Erin, thank you so much for bringing us the latest. Good to see you this morning.

Now, you know the fate of Tamerlan's remains has riled emotions on both sides of the issue. Here's, in fact, what some of you are tweeting. From SportsDweb (ph), he says, "there are certain individuals that are such vermin and slime that they don't deserve a proper burial or cremation." JoeOnTheGo (ph) suggests "why not cremate the body and drop it out in the middle of the ocean like Osama bin Laden?" And then WanderingMind2 (ph) wrote, "we buried Nazis, we can bury these guys. We do what's decent. That's what distinguishes us from them."

So we want to know what you think about this. Should Tamerlan Tsarnaev be buried in the U.S.? Tweet me @Christi_Paul. We're going to read some of your answers a little bit later. And thank you for doing so.

OK, let's get to southern California now. Firefighters are hoping to make more progress today against that huge wildfire. Look at some of these pictures coming in. The Springs fire is now nearly 60 percent contained. That's the good news. Its blackened 28,000 acres that were in Ventura County outside L.A. That, of course, since it roared to life just three days ago on Thursday. One young resident says he's never seen anything like it.


CALVIN WATERMAN, NEWBURY PARK RESIDENT: It's been kind of scary because we were getting packed up to be ready for evacuation and then when we got dismissed from school, there's been ashes coming down and the sun's all different color from the pollution. It's been crazy.


PAUL: CNN meteorologist Alexandria Steele at the Severe Weather Center now.

So I know there's rain on the way. Please tell me that is for southern California specifically.

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, it is. And we've seen such a dramatic change in the weather, Christi, that that has changed the dynamics of fighting this fire. And this is it. This is the catalyst for this change, this area of low pressure changing it completely. What we've got now, a moist -- the ocean, calmer winds, a big cool down from the 90s on Thursday and Friday to the 60s this weekend. Also, again, this normal damp flow off the Pacific. The marine layers in place.

Here we go. Here's future cast. Here's Saturday, Sunday into Monday. Look at the change. Moisture there. Clouds and showers. Not a deluge of rain. And it's just the pattern change that has made such a difference, allowing it to be completely out of control Thursday, Friday, to 60 percent containment this morning.

So here's a look at the forecast. A 50 percent chance. We're seeing the clouds, showers, Monday and Tuesday. And, Christi, it's really through a dramatic change in the temperatures. The moisture levels and the increased humidity that has really made the dynamics of fighting this so much different today than it was just a few days ago.

PAUL: We certainly hope so for them. Alexandra, thank you so much.


PAUL: Well, heroism and controversy in Boston. A Boston Strong Bruins fan, well, he makes a surprise appearance to rev up his favorite team before a game.

Also, it might be time to prepare for another round of debates. Yesterday, NRA executive Wayne LaPierre brought up Boston in his anti- gun control speech. We'll have more on that coming up. Stay close.


PAUL: Sixteen minutes past the hour right now.

You know, this is the weekend the NRA is hosting its 142nd annual meeting in downtown Houston and more than 70,000 people expected to attend gun shows, seminars, rallies there. Well, yesterday, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre sparked controversy when he invoked the Boston terror attacks during his speech asking, quote, "how many Bostonians wished they had a gun two weeks ago?" Here's what he said.


WAYNE LAPIERRE, NRA EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT: How many Bostonians wished they had a gun two weeks ago? No bill in Congress, no Rose Garden speech will ever change that inescapable fact that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.


PAUL: Now, LaPierre and Sarah Palin criticized the Obama administration for, quote, "exploiting victims of gun violence." Well, Patricia Maisch, the woman who took the gun magazine from the hands of Jared Loughner at the 2011 Tucson shooting, called these claims insulting. She actually spoke with our Victor Blackwell yesterday.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: What do you make of those remarks yesterday that the supporters of tougher gun laws see opportunity, what Chris Cox said and Sarah Palin blasted the president for practicing the politics of emotion. This exploitation of people like you. What do you think about that?

PATRICIA MAISCH, WITNESSED TUCSON SHOOTING MASSACRE: How insulting. It's just unbelievable that they should say that. Nobody's manufacturing reasons to use these horrible tragedies in political ways. They're in need of being changed. These laws are needing to be changed. Obviously, none of them have felt the pain or watched six people die on a sidewalk to say that we're using them as props. It's very insulting and disingenuous.

BLACKWELL: But would you admit or endorse what seems like a new strategy to bring the people who have been affected by gun violence, Gabby Giffords, to the Rose Garden, to take the daughter of the principal at Sandy Hook to a town hall meeting at Senator Kelly Ayotte's state of New Hampshire? Would you admit that this is a new up close and personal strategy?

MAISCH: You know, I don't know the political, all it -- political aspects of doing that. People tell me I'm being used and I say that is a form of the word use and useful. And if I can be useful in changing the laws and making the public safer, then by God use me.

BLACKWELL: So, you're in Houston where this NRA annual meeting is happening this weekend. What's the goal for you?

MAISCH: Well, you know, I've been to the NRA meeting in 2011 in Pittsburgh and I went to the last year in St. Louis and my mantra then was, we don't want your guns, we want your help, both years. But this year we obviously know that's beyond their moral fortitude to be helpful in this cause. In my opinion, seven -- not in my opinion. There is survey after survey that 74 percent of the NRA rank and file membership believes stronger background checks is important and that it can be done and preserve Second Amendment rights.

I believe that the leadership of the NRA, the gun manufacturers and the gun lobby are saturated in the blood of these innocent people and that some of our legislatures have blood on their hands. And they hope that we will go away. It's not going to happen this time. There's a grass roots movement and this is not going to go away. The NRA is not going to win this battle.


PAUL: And, you know, we were speaking about that tragic shooting in Tucson. Well, survivor and former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, she's in Boston today being honored with this year's John F. Kennedy Profile In Courage Award. Giffords was chosen in recognition of the political, personal and physical courage she's demonstrated in her fearless public advocacy for policy reforms aimed at reducing gun violence. Caroline Kennedy, by the way, will present the award to Giffords a little bit later this afternoon.

All right. Those big hats came in handy at this year's Kentucky Derby. People tropped (ph) through the rain to see their favorite horses vie for the title. We're going to tell you a little bit more about the horse that will now try to break the three decade triple crown drought (ph).

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PAUL: Oh, listen to that. That's a video from last night's Bruins' game. And Marathon bombing survivor there Jeff Bauman making a surprise appearance to hype up his favorite hockey team before their playoff game against the Toronto Maple Leaves. Bauman served as the Bruins' honorary banner captain, as you see. The black and gold flag he's waved reads, of course, "Boston Strong." Unfortunately, the Leaves did beat the Bruins, but we won't focus on that, I guess, right now, right?

It was an incredible comeback at the Kentucky Derby. Jeff Fischel is here with "The Bleacher Report." And it was a career crowning achievement, I know, but a pretty messy one.

JEFF FISCHEL, BLEACHER REPORT: You know, Christi, it really was. It started with rain, lots of it, and it ended with tears of joy, lots of them. The 139th Kentucky Derby was so rainy and muddy, I have to tell you, Christi, the old hippies I was watching the race with, they were having Woodstock flashbacks. At the halfway point of the race, Orb was fourth from last. Then he took off and blew away the field to win. For legendary trainer Shug McGaughey, it's his first ever Kentucky Derby win. He couldn't hold back the tears afterward. And jockey Joel Rosario, he is money (ph) right now. Just a few weeks ago he also won the richest race in the world in Dubai. He can't believe the year he's having.


JOEL ROSARIO, JOCKEY: Like right now, you know, I just (INAUDIBLE) win the Kentucky Derby, it's like a dream. It's sort of like -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In ways it will change my life because I'm not going to have to worry about it anymore. Well, not worried about it for a while. And I might not let anybody know that but inside, inside that thought was always there.


FISCHEL: And, of course, the Kentucky Derby, you cannot miss the collection of best and worst hats at the derby that we have for you at

Floyd Mayweather won his first fight since he got out of jail. It was a unanimous decision last night. He said afterward he felt bad for the fans that he didn't knock out Robert Guerrero. Should Guerrero say "thank you"? Fans actually booed at times because they wanted more action, but the champ admitted he hurt his hand during the fight. "Money Mayweather" is now 44-0. He certainly earned his nickname. Mayweather made at least $32 million last night.

The minor league baseball team in your hometown, Christi, the Toledo Mud Hens, felt a disturbance in the force yesterday. For "Star Wars Day," - "Star Wars Day," you ask, yes, may the force be with you. The Mud Hens celebrated with special Chewbacca-inspired uniforms as well. They will wear those again today because it's really become "Star Wars" weekend. Yes, just like the "Star Wars" movies, "Star Wars Day" has a sequel. Today it's "Revenge of the Fifth (ph)."


FISCHEL: I'm just telling you, that's a fact. That's true.

PAUL: Yes, OK.

FISCHEL: People are calling it "Revenge of the Fifth." They're going to be serving Yoda soda as well at the game.

PAUL: Yoda soda. That can't be a comfortable costume. That Chewbacca costume.

FISCHEL: I'm, you know, it brings out a growl. I'm guessing, you know, you just - you start yelling and you can't control what comes out of your mouth.

PAUL: The kids had fun. Isn't that all that matters, the kids had fun?

FISCHEL: Apparently the adults as well.

PAUL: Yes, of course. Jeff Fischel, thank you so much.

FISCHEL: OK, Christi.

PAUL: Appreciate it.

Hey, you know, they do not call him the oracle of Omaha for nothing. So when Warren Buffett speaks, everybody listens. What's he saying about the economy now? We'll tell you.


PAUL: Mortgage rates dipping again this week, nearing a record low. Have a look.


PAUL: 31 minutes past the hour. I hope Sunday morning has been good to you so far. Even though I know it's early. We want to send a special welcome to our troops who are watching on the American Forces Network. We appreciate all that you do. I'm Christi Paul. Half past the hour as I said right now. Let's get you right to it, because Syria is accusing Israel of launching its second air strike on a war- torn country in three days. Now, Syrian state television says Israeli rockets hit a government research site in a Damascus suburb. There's no official response from Israel at this point, but Syria's deputy foreign minister calls the attack a declaration of war by Israel. A senior Israeli defense official tells CNN that Israel will do what is necessary to stop the Syrian government from transporting weapons to Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon.

The Taliban is claiming responsibility for a roadside bomb that killed five U.S. troops Saturday in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. Separately, two members of the NATO-led coalition were shot dead by an Afghan soldier in western Afghanistan. Their nationalities haven't been released.

A shocking arrest in Britain. Nigel Evans, the Deputy Speaker of Britain's House of Commons was arrested for alleged rape and sexual assault. Police searched Evans' home in response to allegations from two men in their 20s. Evans is openly gay and is a prominent gay rights activist in England.

Well, President Obama is traveling to Columbus, Ohio this morning, to give the commencement address at OSU, Ohio State University. As many as 70,000 people are expected to attend and more than 10,000 students are going to get their diplomas. It might be no surprise he's speaking at OSU. Exactly one year ago today, he kicked off his re-election campaign at the university and later won Ohio in November's election, of course.

Boy, cooler temperatures are really helping firefighters get the upper hand on that huge wildfire that raced all the way to the Pacific Ocean at this point in Ventura County, California. It's the spring fire and now nearly 60 percent contained. Fire officials say rain forecast for later today could certainly be a big help to them. Since Thursday, 28,000 acres have gone up and 35 homes and other buildings have been damaged. So wishing them the best there.

You know, the mom who disappeared for 11 years and resurfaced this week is in a Florida jail right now. Brenda Heist turned herself into authorities on Friday. Accused of violating probation, forgery and giving a false name to police. Earlier this week, though, she told police she was a missing person. That she had left her husband, son and daughter back in Pennsylvania in 2002 and that she did so because she was stressed. She claimed that she's lived mostly as a homeless person since then. But Anderson Cooper talked to a woman who employed her and let her actually move in with them.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And when she moved in, she had, you know, belongings. Like when she called me up and said, hey, were you serious about that offer? And I said, yes, it took her a couple of weeks to get all her stuff packed up and moved in.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And did she have a cell phone, did she have a Facebook page?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, she had -- yes, she was on the computer a lot. She had her cell phone. She was on her cell phone texting and what not. And she had a Facebook page, yes. She was on Internet dating site. She had friends outside of me.

COOPER: Let me ask you -- you know, I don't know if you've seen the recent picture of her, the one that we've been showing of the way she looked when she turned herself into police just last week. Is that the way she looked to you? Because she looks very worn down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She really does. No, I mean I was absolutely shocked when I saw that photo. No, she didn't look like that. COOPER: So, that's -- that she's deteriorated since 2010/2011 time frame when you knew her?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She has deteriorated significantly since the last time she was seen around here, which was the, you know, the end or the middle of 2012, the end of 2012. That's not been very long, you know. Seven months or so.

COOPER: Did you suspect of her using drugs?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did not. I would have never allowed her around my family or my kids.


PAUL: Well-wishers have been flocking to Boston's Copley Square since it reopened more than a week after the marathon bombing, and CNN national correspondent Susan Candiotti was there, ran into a very special visitor, too.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For the second weekend in a row as people pour into Copley Plaza to pay their respects to those who lost their lives and to those whose lives are changed forever by the bombing. Someone we didn't expect to see. Adrianne Haslet-Davis, a professional dance instructor who lost part of her leg in the bombing. For the first time in 18 days after leaving the rehab hospital she and her mother were outside and came upon this memorial.

ADRIANNE HASLET-DAVIS, BOMBING SURVIVOR: We were just out walking around and doing some errands and just trying to kind of find some sort of normalcy and we just happened upon it. So.

CANDIOTTI (on camera): What did you think of what you saw?

HASLET-DAVIS: The outpouring of support I've already known before seeing the memorial was huge. But after seeing the memorial and seeing people there and just paying their respects and hearing people tell me that I was an inspiration that everyone, all of the victims were an inspiration. I know that I wish that the other people that are still in recovery could be here right now seeing it with me. They deserve to see it. So ...

CANDIOTTI: Did anything in particular stand out in your mind as you looked at the mementos that people have left behind and the signatures?

HASLET-DAVIS: You know, I think it's just the -- it isn't one in particular, I think it's just the amount of people that really stands out. It's the amount of people that had an a outpouring of support and love and just encouragement all around, what really stood out to me.

CANDIOTTI: One thing that stood out to me, was how many people came up to you and wanted to be photographed with you and wanted to congratulate you and touch your hand.

HASLET-DAVIS: Yeah, yeah, they did. I think it's, it's very sweet, first of all, that they would want to give me their support, but I think it's also for them it's important to see that all of us that were affected are moving on and trying to find, again, some sort of normalcy. And I think it's important for them to be able to see that and for them to be able to kind of have that knowledge that it goes on. Life goes on after such a horrible tragedy.

CANDIOTTI: You are an inspiration. Thank you.

HASLET-DAVIS: Thank you so much. I really appreciate that.


PAUL: For those who recognized her, it was a special moment. It was for us, too. Susan Candiotti, CNN, Boston.


PAUL: Boy, she seems to have such a sweet spirit, too, doesn't she? And thank you to Susan Candiotti for that -- for the report there.

A factory building collapses in Bangladesh. We'll tell you more about that and companies you know often get their labor cheaper overseas, but at what expense? We're taking a look at the human cost of the clothes we wear, coming up.


PAUL: Yeah, I always look forward to getting your tweets. And let me know what you're thinking. OK, the Oracle from Omaha speaks. Tens of thousands of investors from across the country have descended upon Omaha, Nebraska this week, and to hear from Berkshire-Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, of course. And that includes our own Poppy Harlow who spoke with Buffett. Poppy.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi. Well, I talked to Warren Buffett here at the Berkshire-Hathaway annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, it is where tens of thousands of investors flock to hear from the Oracle of Omaha himself. I talked to Buffett specifically about the stock market, because we've seen a record high for the stock market recently. Big question people have is our stocks overvalued right now, especially given the current Fed policy and the stimulative effect that it has. Warren Buffett being a long-term investor told me he doesn't look at what the market is going to do in a week, a month, or a year, but he did note that giving these low interest rates all assets across the board, including stocks, are being driven up. We also talked about immigration reform and jobs.


HARLOW: Is there any policy, anything that can be done on the policy side that would increase job creation at a more rapid rate?

WARREN BUFFETT, CEO BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY: Well, we could apply way more fiscal stimulus. And that -- we have some effect. There isn't much to do on the monetary side, but whether the ...

HARLOW: Would you support more stimulus?

BUFFETT: What the down side of that stimulus would be, greater than the needed benefits. You don't want to take something that makes you feel extremely good just because of that fact without considering consequences. So, I really have no great recommendations in terms of change of policy.

HARLOW: Immigration reform is front and center right now in Washington, and I wonder, do you think that immigration reform is critical to the economy? What is the impact on this economy if we see immigration reform derailed, does it matter?

BUFFETT: Well, I think if the immigration reform is derailed, I think -- I think people will continue to have great doubts about the efficacy in Washington. But I think there is great sentiment for it and I think it probably will pass. Exactly in what form, I don't know.

HARLOW: Is there anything specific that you think needs to be included in immigration reform in this country for the economy?

BUFFETT: Oh, I think net immigration over the lifetime of the country has been obvious (inaudible) of the country and you can, you know, we can fight problems with it. But this is a country of immigrants and I think that -- I think we should be a lot smarter in terms of the quotas we establish. I think it's crazy not to encourage all kinds of people that can benefit this country by bringing them over.


HARLOW: We also touched on the issue of income inequality. Warren Buffett had said that income inequality in this country bothers him and he thinks that the growing gap between rich and poor is having a negative impact on the U.S. economy. At 82 years old, the big question is, who will succeed Warren Buffett to run Berkshire Hathaway. People ask that question here, still no answers from Buffett on who he has tapped to be his successor. Christi?

PAUL: All right. Poppy Harlow, thank you so much.

I know a lot of you may have seen some of the images of that deadly building collapse in Bangladesh. And when we see them, we know there's a tragedy, but that it happened in a country faraway from our lots, right? But did you know there's a connection that may be found a few feet away from you right now in your closet. CNN editorial producer Nadia Bilchik here to explain. So, OK, Nadia, first of all, what is this connection to Bangladesh.

NADIA BILCHIK, CNN EDITORIAL PRODUCER: You just look in your closet and anybody watching today take a look at your shirts, your pajamas, probably made in China, maybe Vietnam, maybe Bangladesh. 98 percent of all American clothes are manufactured overseas and they do it quick and they do it cheap. And if you want to know just how cheap, the Institute for Global Labor did a study. They took an American company and a company in Bangladesh and said, we want to see how much you could make the same denim shirt for. Exactly the same.

PAUL: Same material.

BILCHIK: Same material. Absolutely everything.


BILCHIK: Detail, buttons, and the U.S. company said, $13.22.

PAUL: That is what it would cost to make that one shirt.

BILCHIK: The one shirt in the U.S. and the Bangladeshi company, wait for this, $3.72.

PAUL: And that's because of the labor conditions?

BILCHIK: That's because of how cheap the labor is. So, if you just want to look at labor ...

PAUL: Yes.

BILCHIK: The labor on that shirt in the U.S. would be $7.47. The labor on that shirt, now, wait for this one, in Bangladesh would be 22 cents.

PAUL: So, what do -- what out of that 22 cents, what does that tell us about what people in Bangladesh make? In a week? In ..

BILCHIK: So, a factory worker in Bangladesh would make around $38 a month whereas an American worker would be around $1,300 a month. So, you are looking at a huge discrepancy in the amount that people earn. Now, for Bangladesh, this is 77 percent of their exports comes from the garment industry. It's a $20 billion industry. And factories like this in Dhaka, which is the capital of Bangladesh, there are 100,000 factories like this in and around and only 18 inspectors.

PAUL: And there's no way that they can keep up with that then.

BILCHIK: Exactly. It's not -- it's the working conditions, it's the buildings. The pope himself said that not paying fairly is against God.

PAUL: Wow.

BILCHIK: So, of course, the question remains now, what gets done? We've had some shock, we've had horror, we've had some companies get together this week, global companies and look at the conditions. But what will actually be done remains to be seen.

PAUL: Well, and some people might be sitting at home thinking, I'm not comfortable with this. And is there anything that I personally can do? So what is there?

BILCHIK: Well, you can look at the label of your clothes and certainly say I'm not going to buy clothes from certain places. But up to the manufacturer at the end of the day, and it does look like there are associations and groups getting together, hopefully, Disney for example, as a company has chosen to pull out of countries like Bangladesh, Belarus, Pakistan. So, let's take a look and I'd like to know where the dress you're from (inaudible) is made.


PAUL: I know you'd have to look, because I'm not sure.

BILCHIK: Let's take a look.

PAUL: I know the brand. OK, let's take a look. Nadia, it might be making me feel bad when this is over.


Thank you Nadia, we appreciate it.

Have you heard of Prince Harry U.S. tour? Leonardo DiCaprio in theaters. And of course, Mother's Day, we're taking a look at what's going on in the week ahead to give you a heads up.


PAUL: All right, and we want to make sure that you know what's going on in the week ahead. So, let's talk about Monday, because it could be a big day here for the Boston bombing victims. They're expected to hear how that $28 million fund plans to distribute money including, "Well over a million to families of victims who died or lost more than one limb."

All right, let's move ahead to Thursday, because Prince Harry is headed to the states for a week. A special visit he's going to make to Hurricane Sandy victims across the country. And you might remember, it was a year ago last May in 2012, was his last visit. Also on Thursday, by the way, Washington is going to hold its first congressional hearing on the Boston bombing. And Boston police commissioner Edward Davis is expected to testify in that.

So, let's move on here to Friday. If you just need a little get away. Maybe you want to go to the movies. Movie lovers. Yes. "The Great Gatsby" premiers. The 3D adaptation, of course, of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and you just kind of get away from that all in that, right? I would think this film, and that would be terrific. You know, the atmosphere.

And then Sunday, OK, so you've got Saturday off to prepare Sunday. Mother's Day. You do not want to forget that one, because you know, if mom is not happy, nobody's happy. All right, those are just some of the things that we are keeping an eye on. Here is CNN political editor Paul Steinhauser, too, with a preview of the week ahead in politics.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, POLITICAL EDITOR: Good morning, Christi. Take a former governor whose political career was sidetracked thanks to an infamous affair. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK SANFORD: I've been unfaithful to my wife.

STEINHAUSER: And the sister of Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert and you get a congressional race that has captured national attention. Voters Tuesday in coastal South Carolina head to the polls to fill a vacant House seat. Their choices Republican Mark Sanford, their former two term governor who's seeking political redemption with his bid for the office he once held.

SANFORD: I'm just tremendously humbled to find ourselves in this spot.

STEINHAUSER: And Elizabeth Colbert Busch, his Democratic opponent.

ELIZABETH COLBERT BUSCH: My only pledge and my only special interest are to the people of South Carolina district one.


STEINHAUSER: Republicans have held the district for three decades, but thanks to Sanford's political baggage, Colbert Busch has a good shot at winning.

Later this week, presidential politics. Two Republicans who may want to run for the White House head to the states to kick off the primary and caucus calendar. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky heads to Iowa to keynote a GOP dinner and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal headlines an event for local Republicans in New Hampshire. It's only May 2013, but in some ways it feel like 2016. Christi?

PAUL: Oh, not already. Already, Paul, Steinhauser, thank you so much.

A funeral director met with outraged and rejection over the possible burial of a Boston bombing suspect. So, what is going to happen to Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body and what do you think about it? Coming up, stay close.


PAUL: A decision to charge admission at New York's 9/11 Memorial. Have you heard about this? Not everybody is too happy. The museum board says the museum is going to charge somewhere between $20 and $25 when the site opens next year. And that's to help with operating costs. Now, those costs are expected to be about $16 million a year. But some families of 9/11 victims say they believe the museum should be free.

So, take a look at this: it's one of the best free museums in New York, at least until Tuesday. That's when this multi-million dollar works of art go up for auction in Christie's and Sotheby's spring art sale. They include a Picasso and other works of art, sold by celebrities, such as Madonna. "The New York Time" says some celebrities could be at the auction, maybe even Leonardo DiCaprio as well as some of New York's billionaires. So, if you like the art, you might like the people watching there, too.

A Florida teenager is recovering after a shark tried to take a bite out of his leg. And this happened along the Atlantic Coast. 16-year old Michael Alveder (ph). He said he and his friends didn't notice any trouble in the water, although black sharks have been spotted in that area recently. He told CNN affiliate Central Florida News 13, the bite left 20 teeth marks in his foot, but it didn't hurt too badly and now, you know, he thinks the whole story is kind of cool.

A 16-year-old would think that, wouldn't he? And he's OK, so that's all that matters. We've got so much more ahead on CNN SUNDAY MORNING, which starts right now.


PAUL: Happy Sunday to you. Let's get you caught up if you haven't looked at the clock. Seven o'clock on the East Coast and early 4:00 for all of you out west. Are you just getting home or waking up? Thank you, regardless, for spending some time with us here.

I want to tell you first about Syria's deputy foreign minister. He's accusing Israel of issuing a declaration of war. This after huge explosions rock the Syrian capital of Damascus for hours overnight. Syria says Israeli rockets attacked research facility.

I want to bring in CNN's Sara Sidner who's in Jerusalem.

Sara, is there any response at this point from Israel to Syria's accusations?

SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The response from the prime minister's office and the foreign ministry is no comment when it comes to whether or not Israel did strike inside of Syria. We also asked them about the recent comments made to our CNN Fred Pleitgen who is in Damascus by the deputy foreign minister that this is a declaration of war by Israel again. No comment, they're not commenting on any of the matters concerning what is happening inside of Syria.

What I can tell you is I spoke also with an Israeli official and the Defense Department and, basically, he said, look, what I can say to you is, look, I'm not allowed publicly to speak, but we cannot allow weapons transferred into the hands of terrorist organizations, such as Hezbollah, which is over the border in Lebanon. We do know that Israeli intelligence officials have been looking at Syria very closely. Watching the movement of the weapons inside of Syria, both the chemical weapons and very dangerous conventional weapons and they've said, look, we have the capabilities to do that and we are doing that.

So, you're hearing there from folks who are really watching the situation. Though we also know from a Knesset member who is also a former defense minister who said, look, we are also very concerned about these weapons and where they may or may not be going and if Israel does have the right to defend itself, but they are not commenting, they are not confirming or denying whether Israel did strike inside of Syria. But you did hear from Syrian officials who said, yes, it was Israel that struck.

We do know also that just four days ago, somewhere Thursday or Friday, U.S. officials told us that there was an earlier strike and they do believe it was by Israel planes that flew over Lebanon and shot into Syria from Lebanon. We know from the Lebanese that there were lots of planes that violated Lebanese air strikes. The Lebanese very upset that their air space was used without their permission -- Christi.

PAUL: You know, Sara, a lot of people might be watching this and thinking, you know, if Israel is carrying out these strikes, what could this mean for the U.S. and the West, specifically? I mean, could we see U.S. boots on the ground?

SIDNER: We've heard several comments from U.S. officials. The president himself saying, you know, we're really at this point not there yet. We're not at the point where we think about putting boots on the ground.

What we do know is that Israel has deployed two Iron Dome batteries in the north because of an assessment of the situation there noting the fact that this could well be because of the tensions rising in that area.

The big concern from Israel is that Hezbollah would be the first to strike Israel, if there was some sort of escalation of tensions. They put those there. Those worked very well the military said in Gaza to knock out rockets and they're hoping that they will do the same, if, indeed, they are hit from the Lebanese border -- Christi.

PAUL: All right. Sara Sidner, so good to hear from you today, Sara. Thank you so much for bringing us up to date.

SIDNER: I want to take you to Boston now.

Officials are still scrambling to find a final resting place for one of the suspected Boston bombers. Officials at three cemeteries have refused to bury Tamerlan Tsarnaev saying that they fear a backlash from the public. While the owner of the funeral home now holding his body tells CNN the whole thing is just not right.


PETER STEFAN, OWNER, GRAHAM PUTNAM AND MAHONEY FUNERAL PARLORS: This is what we do in this country. Do away with medical treatments for the terrorists, murderers. I brought up Oswald, I brought up Dahmer, I brought up Bundy, I brought up McVeigh and somebody buried them.

You saw the hearse, who was driving it? It wasn't Mickey Mouse, it was the funeral director stepping up to the plate. The funeral directors basically should be commended, not criticized for what we do. That's what's been happening.


PAUL: And, of course, amidst all of this, investigators are still pressing Tamerlan's widow for information about the bombs, those bombs which allegedly were made in her home.

CNN's Erin McPike is in Providence, Rhode Island. It's near Katherine Russell's attorney's office, and I'm wondering. You know, I know you're at her attorney's office and he's standing strong that she didn't know anything about that. But the fact that they found bomb residue in the apartment, is that tough for them to make that statement?

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, her attorneys haven't said very much in the past two weeks. They just released two statements. But what they've said at the very beginning is that Katherine Russell was very busy when she was living with Tamerlan in Boston because they said she worked 75 to 80 hours a week. So, she was outside of their home for a very long time.

Now, on top of that, Katherine Russell and Tamerlan Tsarnaev had a young daughter who is about 3 now and this young couple, remember, Katherine Russell is just 24 years old and Tamerlan Tsarnaev was 26. This young couple was caring for this almost 3-year-old daughter.

So, at her attorneys have said, she was very busy. That could explain why she might not know anything. Now, Christi, with that in mind, I will tell you that federal agents are still following Katherine Russell's every move. So, they're certainly not finish with her and they are mounting questions about what she might have known, Christi.

PAUL: I know that she has been cooperative up to this point, officials say. What more do they need from her? Do we know anything about upcoming meetings?

MCPIKE: Not just yet. Her attorneys have said that she will continue to cooperate and she will continue to meet with investigators. They have been questioning her about 90 minutes at a time in meetings. About every other day in the past week or so, and they've been showing her pictures and asking her to comment.

So, of course, they want to get to know more about her and what she might have known beforehand, if anything. If she can tell them about some of the people that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was associating with back when they were living in Boston, Christi.

PAUL: All right. Erin McPike, thank you so much, Erin. Good to hear from you today.

Now, the fate, of course, of Tamerlan's remains -- I mean, you heard from the funeral director. It has wild emotions in Boston and beyond. Last hour, we asked you to tell us what you think. Should the suspected bomber be buried in the U.S.?

I want to read a couple responses that I've gotten on twitter. (INAUDIBLE) says, "No, he should not be allowed to be buried on American soil. He lost that right when he committed his act of terrorism."

(INAUDIBLE) disagrees, tweeting, "We gave him the right to be in our country. So, why can't he have the proper burial? We bury Americans that have committed crimes."

And then (INAUDIBLE) has this, "Not in Massachusetts, his family should take his body home for burial. He's not even a U.S. citizen. Don't add insult to massive injury."

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. We appreciate it. Your opinion is important to us. Please, keep those tweets coming on @Christi_Paul.

Well, residents in Ventura County, California, are breathing just a little bit easier this morning. Fast moving wildfire that's burned up to 28,000 acres already and threatened thousands of homes is nearly 60 percent contained at this point. The much-needed rain is in the forecast for later today, as well.

CNN's Paul Vercammen is in Newbury Park in southern California -- Paul.


PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They are now talking about a dramatic, 100 percent containment for Monday, if there is no dramatic shift in the weather for the worse. If you look behind me, at this part of the fire, no active flanks of flame, but these smoldering problem areas, that does need to get put out if they get this 100 percent containment. They'll go after this by air and hand crews on the ground.

Meanwhile, if you look over here, residents in the area, many of them still on pins and needles wanting to make sure it's all done with. If you can look at this from a kid's eye, this has been dramatic, because for children they were yanked out of their nearby school and there was a lot of excitement. Let's listen to what two brothers had to say about their fire experience.

UNIDENTIFIED KID: This was probably one of the coolest, but saddest things ever because so many plants died and stuff.

CALVIN WATERMAN, NEWBURY PARK RESIDENT: It's been kind of scary because we were getting packed up to be ready for evacuation and then when we got dismissed from school, there's been ashes coming down and the sun's all different color from the pollution. It's been crazy.

VERCAMMEN: Those are two very well-spoken young men. Also good news here, they say there is a 20 percent chance of rain for Sunday. Here's why that's important. Even if it doesn't rain, that means moisture is in the air and temperatures are down and that's just what firefighters and residents need.

Back to you now, Christi.

(END VIDEOTAPE) PAUL: All right. Paul Vercammen, take good care. Certainly thinking of all those folks out there as we hope the best for them.

You know, five women escaped a limousine after it caught fire. This is while crossing a bridge near San Francisco. Look at the flames that engulfed this limo.

Four of the survivors were rushed to the hospital. Five other women in the limo did not escape the fire. They died. Police shut down part of the bridge for the investigation, not clear at this point what started that fire, though.

Stay with us. We're back in just a moment.


PAUL: I have a sad update to tell you about at this bizarre story in Utah. Ricardo Portillo is a recreational soccer referee, he has died after he was punched in the head by a teenage player. Now, the player attacked him after being issued a yellow card. The 46- year-old referee was in critical condition for seven days, but he passed away last night and the teenager is in custody. He was originally charged with aggravated assault, but, obviously, now, new charges are expected to be filed.

Look, at this video from last night's Bruins game. Marathon bombing survivor who you're looking at there, Jeff Bauman, made a surprise appearance to hype up his favorite hockey team obviously before their playoff game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bauman served as the Bruins' honorary banner captain and the black and gold flag he's waving there, can you read it? Of course, it says "Boston Strong". Unfortunately, the Leafs beat the Bruins but the spirit was there.

The winner of the Kentucky Derby was almost in last place before making an amazing run to the finish. Now, we're looking ahead to the prospects of a Triple Crown.

CNN's Joe Carter is at Churchill Downs with all the details.

Hey, Joe.


JOE CARTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, on a very rainy day, a favorite finally wins the Kentucky Derby. It happens to be a Kentucky born and Kentucky bred horse. Orb rallied from the back of the pack to win 139th running the Kentucky Derby. It's a first for both jockey and trainer. Orb is running red hot right now, having won five races in a row, including the Florida Derby and the Kentucky Derby.

JOEL ROSARIO, JOCKEY: (INAUDIBLE) see all the people there. It's something I'm -- you know, unbelievable to see it. Like right now, you know, I win the Kentucky Derby. It's like a dream.

SHUG MCGAUGHEY, ORB'S TRAINER: The ways it will change my life is I'm not going to have to worry about it any more, because I've worried about it for a while. And I might not let anybody know that, but inside, inside that thought was always there.

CARTER: Some other notable finishes. The only female jockey running in the race, Rosie Napravnik, aboard Mylute finished in fifth. Fifty-year-old jockey Gary Stevens aboard Oxbow finished in six sixth. And Goldencents, co-owned by Rick Pitino and ridden by Kevin Krigger finished in 16th place.

And now, it's on to Baltimore and the Preakness. If Orb can manage to win there, it will be one win away from our first Triple Crown winner in 35 years.

Joe carter, CNN, Louisville, Kentucky.


PAUL: Boy, he got the big straw on that one, didn't he? Getting to go there.

All righty. Forget the Dew (ph), you heard about this, a new commercial called the most racist ad ever has Mountain Dew's parent company doing some damage control. How bad is it? I'm going to take a look with you.

Stay close.


PAUL: Let's raise your hands to the Statue of Liberty. Hello to all you folks there in the Big Apple and everywhere. Gorgeous day, it looks like. Lots of sunshine and 48 degrees there in New York.

Come to Atlanta and it's 50 and raining. I should be where you are today. Thank you for keeping us company nonetheless. And we hope that you're having a good Sunday so far.

And, you know, I don't know if you're one of the people who needs a soda first thing in the morning. But let's talk Pepsi or more specifically its popular soda, Mountain Dew, because they're doing damage control over what's being called, quote, "arguably the most racist commercial in history." Have you seen it? If not, here's a bit.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's easy. Just point to it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You better not mess on the player.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's wearing the Dew right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stitches, gets bitches, boom.


PAUL: So, yesterday, CNN's Victor Blackwell spoke to branding consultant Joey Reiman and Paul Porter, the founder of He's the man who says that he blew the whistle on this ad. And Victor started by asking Paul what he thought when he first saw that ad.


PAUL PORTER, FOUNDER, RAPREHAB.COM: I was shocked and made a phone call and tried to get some things started.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I mean, why would a company think, Paul, that this would be a good way to sell soda, and that that wouldn't be offensive?

PORTER: Well, to their credit I have to say that they made a quick decision to get rid of it and to be honest, we're playing it now and it was dead on Tuesday. So, you know, I commend Pepsi for taking it off as quick as possible. I guess when you're so large, you can't catch everything, but everybody makes mistakes and luckily they got rid of this mistake.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about Pepsi and possibly mistakes they announced cutting ties with wrapper Lil Wayne over his reference in one of his songs to slain civil rights icon Emmitt Till. Right move for PepsiCo?

PORTER: It was a great move for them. Yesterday I was in tears. I'm a first-time uncle of twins, Alex and Porter, and I said maybe corporate America is changing and doing the right thing and a little more sensitive.

And I think they made a great move and some of the images in the things that he said with Emmitt Till, it's unfortunate, it's just the -- you know, beverage company but maybe next the broadcasters and the record labels will do the same thing and start thinking about making changes in terms of content.

BLACKWELL: And Joey, isn't that important? When do you make the change, when you make the announcement, you've got to be quick on it and it doesn't hold that all publicity is good publicity?

JOEY REIMAN, BRANDING CONSULTANT: No, actually all publicity is fabulous in the beginning but what happens afterwards determines the outcome. And what we've got here is someone trying to be edgy and went over the edge, this is marketing gone mad.

And you know, the beverage company's customers are millennials. These are kids born from the '80s to the 2000s and they only want one thing, they want meaning. They're born with B.S. meters. So when they see something like this, they're just going to walk away from PepsiCo and that's where the real damage is done.


PAUL: We'll see if they help by pulling that ad. All right, today's Cinco de Mayo, if you're just waking up and you haven't looked at calendar yet. So, people are celebrating Mexican heritage. Really, do you know what it's about? Here's the hint -- let's just say it's not what you might think. We're going to have that after the break.

But, first, I want to check in with Dr. Sanjay Gupta for a look at what's coming up on "SANJAY GUPTA, M.D."

Good morning, Sanjay.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Christie, I'm going to look at the anatomy of violence today, what goes on in the brain of someone like the accused Boston bombers. I will tell you it's controversial, but biology seems to play a bigger role than scientists thought even very recently. I'll explain.

Also, Alicia Keys, beyond the music. Why she's now fighting for people with HIV.

We've got all that coming up 7:30 a.m. Eastern.



PAUL: You know, Tucson shooting survivor and former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords is in Boston today being honored with this year's John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. Giffords was chosen in, quote, "recognition of the political, personal and physical courage that she demonstrated in her fearless public advocacy for policy reforms and reducing gun violence."

Caroline Kennedy, by the way, will present the award to Giffords and that's happening a little bit later this afternoon.

Well, President Obama, meanwhile, is going to Columbus, Ohio, this morning to give the commencement address at Ohio State University. We know as many as 70,000 people are expected to attend. More than 10,000 students are going to get their diplomas, by the way.

It might be no surprise he's speaking at OSU. Exactly one year ago today, he kicked off his re-election campaign at the university and, of course, later won Ohio in November's election.

Today's Cinco de Mayo, people across North America are going to be celebrating. Now contrary to popular belief, I just want you to sound smarter for the rest of the day, right? This is not about Mexico's Independence Day. The date actually commemorates Mexico's victory over the French during a bloody war in the 1860s.

Today, the holiday isn't celebrated very much in Mexico, but people here in the U.S., obviously, is going to celebrate Mexican heritage with food, and parade and, I don't know, maybe a margarita or two. So, just maybe something you can slip in there. Be smart today.

You know, it's raining, like cats and dogs here in Atlanta. I was slipping all over the road heading into work today. There's just ponding everywhere. That's a live look at what's going on.

Alexandra Steele, our meteorologist here on CNN weather center -- how long is it going to last? Is the weekend awash?

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Completely a wash. It's certainly has been for the last day and a half. So, it's a slow soaker of a system and you're driving and you feel like you had too many margaritas. It's such a blur out there. It's so hard to see. It's foggy and a cold component to the system to boot.

Here's Atlanta, Georgia, record rain the last day and a half. The heaviest rain another one to three inches of rain, predominantly north and east of the city, kind of one wave through, a little bit of a break, and then more rain coming in, again, for the Southeast. Kind of showers and thunderstorms later this afternoon.

So, here's a look, all the way from the Midwest down to the Southeast -- Cinci, Louisville, all the way from eastern Kentucky towards Virginia. It is headed your way. So, it's a slow system and really quite impactful in the next couple of days, as well.

Georgia, take a look at Atlanta, 3 1/2 inches of rain. Record rain delineated here by these stars. Chattanooga, Huntsville, Bowling Green, between one to three inches. So, an incredible amount of rain. More is on the way as we head from Tuesday into Wednesday. Another two to three inches now find its way through Washington and in Virginia.

So, to the West, you can't buy a drop of rain. It's a deluge in the East. But finally, incredibly, what we've seen now, almost 50 to 60 percent containment of the fire because the pattern has changed, Christi, so dramatically. Moisture coming in and temperatures dropped 20 to 30 degrees and things certainly weather wise are much better, really changing the dynamics to fighting the fire.

PAUL: Yes. So, we're so grateful for them for that. Alexandra, thank you so much.


PAUL: I'm going to see you back here at the top of the hour, 8:00 Eastern. First, though, "SANJAY GUPTA, M.D." starts right now.