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Deadly Flooding Hits Texas; Obama Heads to Oklahoma; Three More Arrests in Soldier's Death

Aired May 26, 2013 - 08:00   ET



POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

Flash floods have swallowed much of San Antonio, Texas. Now word that two women are dead and authorities warn that count might go up.

SARAH MURNAGHAN, NEEDS LUNG TRANSPLANT (singing): Twinkle, twinkle little star --

HARLOW: A little girl fighting for her life in the final stages of cystic fibrosis. But the only thing keeping her from a new pair of lungs may be her birth date. The race to save Sarah.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just look and tears come to my eye every time I drive up and down Route 35 and look at those houses.

HARLOW: And on this Memorial Day weekend, the Jersey shore is open for business. But sandy survivors are still struggling to get back to normal. And some families still have no homes to come back to.


HARLOW: Good morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow. It is 8:00 this memorial day Sunday. Thanks so much for starting your morning with us.

Well, San Antonio, Texas, drying out this morning after being washed over by flash floods. I talked with San Antonio's mayor last hour. He says pockets of the city were under water yesterday causing major property damage.

At least two people were killed in the flooding when they were swept away by the rushing waters. One of them was actually washed out of the arms of a rescue worker who was trying to get her out of her car. We know that more than 200 people were successfully rescued from submerged cars and flooded homes there. Mayor Julian Castro said at least San Antonio got a break last night with very little rain.

And our Karen Maginnis has been following this very closely from the CNN weather center.

Good morning to you, Karen.

How are things looking there now?

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: We are expecting a round of rainfall. But let me qualify this. And that is we're watching this cluster of showers and a few thunderstorms, making its way along Interstate 10. It is been holding together fairly well. Maybe just weakening just a little bit on this eastern edge, but we expect within the next hour, it is going to trek its way across Interstate 10 across San Antonio. You may see some brief heavy rainfall or moderate rainfall.

But I think in the overall picture we're not looking at anything that is going to make things worse as far as flooding goes. There's already a flood watch as well as a flood warning all around the San Antonio metro area. So watch out for that.

The rainfall totals are expected to be maybe an inch, possibly two inches. That's the worst case scenario. This is coming out of the West. Yesterday, that eight to 10 inches of rainfall was fueled by moisture that was coming in from the southeast from the Gulf of Mexico.

So that bumped into this very warm, moist, unstable air and consequently that corridor from San Antonio, all the way down to Corpus Christi, there you can see red and pink shaded areas, that's where we saw almost a foot of rain in isolated pockets, with, as Poppy just mentioned, two fatalities.

We did see all day yesterday, the gentleman who was on top of a building at a golf course and there was a Kodiak (ph) that had some rescue workers in it. They were able to rescue that gentleman off the top of the building. He put on his life jacket, and, Poppy, got into the Kodiak and off they went.

There were lots of stories like that, but there were also about 50 people at an apartment complex who had to be rescued when their building was flooded. And they are safely somewhere else right now. But lots of stories just like that.

HARLOW: Absolutely.

All right. Karen Maginnis for us this morning -- thanks, Karen.

President Obama heading to Oklahoma this afternoon. Nearly a week after the deadly tornado that claimed 24 lives and devastated the city of Moore. The president is expected to speak this afternoon just around 2:15 Eastern Time. He'll then take a tour of the damaged areas. He will meet with families, he will thank first responders and then he'll head back to Washington tonight.

Tonight is also when residents of Moore will hold a memorial service to honor the victims and reflect on the tragedy that happened just a week ago.

All right, let's bring in our Nick Valencia. He's been reporting all week in Moore, Oklahoma.

Nick, thank you for joining us this morning. I know you said you saw some of the first smiles you've seen all week yesterday.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. A very emotional day yesterday, Poppy, as three local high schools graduated, West Moore, South Moore and Moore High School.

And for at least one graduate, it was a much-needed break. If -- just to put this into perspective for our viewers -- these graduates, they lost family members, they lost friends, they lost their homes. It's a very stressful time, a very depressing time here for a lot of people.

But for one graduate it was his much-needed break and a return to normalcy for a very brief short period of time.


JAKE SPRADLING, STUDENT: I know a lot of kids lost family members. I mean, I know tons of people that lost their homes. So it's one of those things that they thought about moving it back to where they could go to funerals and stuff like that.

REPORTER: So you're glad it's today?

SPRADLING: Yes, I'm glad it's today. It means to me we're not going on different routes, we're staying on the same path that we were meant to be on.


VALENCIA: Some more encouraging words from the valedictorian of South Moore High School. They said, "We are damaged, but we survived. We are hurt, but we are resilient. We are graduating, but we are not done with our successes."

Just indicative of the spirit here and the character of a lot of these residents in Oklahoma who have dealt with a lot in the last few days -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Absolutely. Nick Valencia, thanks for all your work on the ground there. Appreciate it.

Well, this is a very disturbing story. A 17-year-old Oregon high school student will be in court on Tuesday because he'll be answering charges related to an alleged plot to set off bombs in his high school. Investigators in Albany, Oregon, say that Grant Alan Acord had built six types of bombs including pipe bombs and napalm.

The bombs were found in a secret compartment below the floorboards, that's what the authorities say, below the floor's board in the boy's bedroom. The teen will be charged as an adult for attempted aggravated murder. CNN has been attempting to reach Acord or any attorney representing him. Now, to the crime that has shocked the world. The search is on for answers in the brutal killing of a British soldier right in broad daylight on the streets of London. This weekend there have been arrests, new arrests in this case.

I want to go right to London and our Erin McLaughlin. She is in London.


Well, yesterday, three individuals were arrested in connection with the investigation into the Woolwich murder. Those individuals were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder. Two of them were tasered before being taken into custody. We don't know why they were tasered.

And officials are also not naming these particular suspects in an investigation that is turning out to be incredibly complex and fast- moving. In total, some eight individuals have been arrested since Wednesday. Of those individuals, three of them, two women and one man, have been released from police custody. The man was released on bail.

Now, as for the two suspects that were arrested at that grisly crime scene on Wednesday, they remain in hospital in stable condition under armed guard -- Poppy.

HARLOW: All right. Erin McLaughlin, staying on top of it for us. Thanks so much, Erin. Appreciate it.

And coming up in the next half hour of the show today, we're going to talk about the issue of extremism. How does extremism in any religion lead someone to commit violent acts in the name of religion? That's in our "Faces of Faith".

Coming up next, the parents of a 10-year-old girl are challenging the rules of organ donation as they fight to save their daughter Sarah's life. You see her right there. They're going to join me next.


HARLOW: This is a picture of 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan. She may only have a few weeks left to live. She was born with cystic fibrosis. It is a disease that clogs her lungs and her digestive system. Sarah needs a lung transplant immediately, but as her parents only recently learned, Sarah's age makes that incredibly difficult.

And now, the Murnaghans are trying to change the rules that govern lung donation for young children. If not in time to help their daughter, then to help others like her.

Our Zain Asher has their story.


SARAH MURNAGHAN, NEEDS LUNG TRANSPLANT (singing): Twinkle, twinkle little star --

ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ten-year-old Sarah Murnaghan wants to be a singer.

SARAH MURNAGHAN: How I wonder what you are --

ASHER: Her mother says if she gets a new pair of lungs next few weeks, her dreams could one be a reality.

JANET MURNAGHAN, SARAH'S MOTHER: I'm not going to tell her she's dying because she's 10.

ASHER: Sarah was born with cystic fibrosis, an illness that's damaged her lungs beyond repair.

SARAH MURNAGHAN: I used to go to school before I get oxygen.

Got to go to school and at least try and act like I was other children.

FRAN MURNAGHAN, SARAH'S DAD: We knew at some point she would need new lungs. We had hoped it would be much, much further down the road. But over the years, her disease has progressed.

ASHER: If Sarah was 12 years old, she'd have a higher chance of receiving adult lungs. But since she's 10, she primarily has access to children's lungs, which are in shorter supply.

JANET MURNAGHAN: That's insane. It shouldn't be about their age. If she's the sickest person, she should qualify.

ASHER: Under the rules, the only way Sarah could receive an adult lung is if the other patients in her region who are aged 12 and older turned it down first.

DR. STUART SWEET, BOARD MEMBER, UNITED NETWORK FOR ORGAN SHARINGNOS: It tugs at my heart. It's not a perfect system. There is no perfect system. It's the best we can do right now.

ASHER: Dr. Stuart Sweet is a board member at the United Network for Organ Sharing. He helped write the pediatric transplant rules.

SWEET: So if I change the system to give Sarah an advantage, there's another patient very likely an adolescent who then gets a disadvantage. And I am not in a position, and I don't think the system should be in a position, to do that on a case-by-case basis. We built a system tries to be as fair to everyone as possible.

ASHER: With the clock ticking on Sarah's life.

JANET MURNAGHAN: But it's so hard to get pediatric lungs.

ASHER: Her mother is still working on a solution. Her options though are limited.

JANET MURNAGHAN: Maybe it's too late for Sarah. I don't know. But it's not right. I'm going to fight for the next person's kid.

ASHER: Sarah still has hope.

SARAH MURNAGHAN: I'm not going for easy. I'm just going for possible.

ASHER: The possibility of living, of maybe one day realizing her dreams.

SARAH MURNAGHAN: We can do it if you try, try.

ASHER: Zain Asher, CNN, Philadelphia.


HARLOW: And we're joined this morning by Skype by Sarah's mom and dad, Janet and Fran Murnaghan. They're in Center City, Pennsylvania.

Welcome to you both. Thank you for being with us.

JANET MURNAGHAN: Thank you, Poppy.


HARLOW: First let me ask, how is Sarah doing this morning?

JANET MURNAGHAN: She's stable. She's sleeping this morning. And we're short of stable on the edge of this knife that we're on.

HARLOW: Yes. You know, when you look at the numbers here, it's clear that lungs, organs really for transplant for youth, pediatric organs, are much more rare, they're harder to come by than adult organs. And when you look at that, your daughter Sarah may be more likely to receive a lung if she were just a couple years older.

So, your doctors I know went to the National Lung Review Board and basically asked them to bend the rules in Sarah's case. What happened?

FRAN MURNAGHAN: So they were denied the appeal.

HARLOW: Were you told why?

JANET MURNAGHAN: I was told that it's more of a computerized system and it's not -- it's something that the appeal's put in and the appeal's denied. At this point our best hope is other transplant centers allowing Sarah to compete on her LAS score.

So, our hope is not to be above anyone else who is sicker, our hope is to let Sarah compete based on how sick she is.


So I want to play for our viewers some sound. This comes from a doctor you heard from in Zain's piece, also board member for the United Network for Organ Sharing, they oversee the organ transplant in the United States.

Here's part of what he told Zain Asher.


SWEET: One of the challenges that exist in the current allocation system is that there is a boundary between children under 12 and children and adults over 12 for the way the allocation process works. And right now, there's no way within the computer system to make a child like Sarah appear to be over 12 to get access to those organs.


HARLOW: So I want your reaction to that.

FRAN MURNAGHAN: I understand where he's coming from. And understanding the system that was in place now was designed around 2005, 2008. I don't see any reason why there would be an issue now, especially with they're talking about computer system and the advanced analytics and the software out there nowadays. There's no reason you couldn't put in a dummy date if needed to just change her age within the system.

HARLOW: And, you know, Janet, I know that this is something you just learned about recently in terms of how exactly this system works. I certainly didn't know about it before Zain was reporting on this story the way that it works.

Is part of your goal here ultimately to make this much more widely known? I know that there is a petition on right now.

JANET MURNAGHAN: Yes. There's a petition on Part of our goal here is to change this. We didn't know it. Our daughter was listed for pediatric lungs to start out with. And for the first year, you know, was fairly stable and it wasn't until she became unstable that we listed for adult lungs.

And we didn't find out sort of until we got pretty far into the wait for adult lungs when our number got really competitive and I started to think why aren't we getting offers when I know the number is competitive enough that we should be getting offers?

And that's when I dug in and asked some questions and realized that we weren't getting offers because Sarah's sickness wasn't competing the way everyone over 12 was competing. Everyone 12 and over is competing based on how ill they are.

And that's just natural emergency medicine. You treat the sickest patient first. Doesn't matter how old they are, you treat the sickest patient first.

My daughter's one of the sickest people in this region. And all we want is for her to be treated in order of how ill she is. HARLOW: I know. We're looking at some beautiful -- we are looking at some beautiful pictures of your daughter who has this great, great spirit. I know she wants to be a singer.

And I'm wondering, she's been on the list for 18 months. Can you tell us where things stand now for her? How her prospects look now of getting a lung donation to be able to get that transplant?

JANET MURNAGHAN: Well, right now our greatest hope is pediatric lungs still because, you know, both where we are with the adult lungs. We are appealing and pushing the regional hospitals and regional transplant centers who have all received us really kindly to let Sarah compete on her LAS score.

And our understanding is that while it can't be changed in the computer system, these transplant centers could decide on an individual basis to let Sarah compete on how sick she is. And our hope and our prayer is that they will hear our plea, they will see Sarah and realize this is the way medicine should be managed. The sickest patient should be cared for first. So that's our push.

But beyond that we have a petition on and -- .

HARLOW: I think we may have unfortunately just lost Fran and Janet there. We'll try to get them back. But, luckily, we were able to get through most of the interview with them and hear from them about Sarah and about all of this in what they're trying to do right now.

Again, our thanks to them and our thoughts with the entire family and with Sarah.

Again, the Murnaghan has set up a petition at You can search "Sarah Murnaghan" at the top of the page. Also, her mom has a Facebook page devoted to her daughter's fight for survival. It's at

You can also find out more information about these transplant rules, how they work, why they work this way. It's at

Coming up next, we're going to take you to a New Jersey town that is still feeling the effect of superstorm Sandy on this Memorial Day weekend, seven months after the storm. What they're doing to prevent damage like that again.


HARLOW: Well, this is the first Memorial Day weekend since superstorm Sandy devastated so much of the north -- north of the East Coast nearly seven months ago. It has been seven months. And it's a bittersweet Memorial Day weekend for many people who live in towns that got hit by Sandy.

I went to the Jersey Shore this week to see how the recovery's going and why some families may never be able to return home.


HARLOW (voice-over): The iconic boardwalk in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, coming to life again after Sandy.

MAYOR BILL AKERS, SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NEW JERSEY: We said it would be done by Memorial weekend and it's going to be done.

HARLOW: Mayor Bill Akers says 85 percent of the boardwalk's businesses will open by this weekend. All they need now?

AKERS: People. I mean, you need good weather and you need people.

HARLOW: The owner of Lucky Leo's is depending on it.

BILL METTLER, FORMER MANTOLOKING RESIDENT: This is where I make 100 percent of my money is right here on this boardwalk.

HARLOW: But the problem is many of the people have no homes to come back to. Just down Ocean Avenue in Mantoloking, not one house spared.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just look at it and tears come to my eye every time I drive up and down Route 35 and look at those houses.

HARLOW: Famous for images like this.

METTLER: Supports gave way, the porch dropped down and it tilted the house toward the ocean.

HARLOW: For Bill and Louie Mettler, it's just too much.

LOUIE METTLER, FORMER MANTOLOKING RESIDENT: If we could have rehabbed it, absolutely we would have done it. Yes. It's just, it's too broken.

HARLOW: This week, they watched their home come down.

LOUIE METTLER: It's sad it is, that it's being destroyed, that we couldn't save it.

HARLOW (on camera): Of the 520 homes here in Mantoloking, 56 of them washed away the night Sandy struck. Many, many more so damaged they're uninhabitable, being torn down one after the next after the next. All in, Sandy took about 40 percent of the homes in this town.

(voice-over): Now, a beach so eroded it offers little protection from future storms.

MAYOR GEORGE NEBEL, MANTOLOKING, NEW JERSEY: Most people will want to rebuild and will rebuild, I think the reluctance will exist until we can guarantee them safety from a similar storm.

HARLOW: Mayor George Nebel is fighting for 20-foot high dunes, a protective wall beneath them and quadrupling the width of the beach.

LOUIE METTLER: It has to happen. This town will not survive another series of storms like this.

HARLOW: Stan Witkowski feels guilty, guilty his home survived.

STAN WITKOWSKI, MANTOLOKING RESIDENT: So what my neighbors lost, so much.

Most of our neighbors are not here. Many homes are not here. They'll never come back.

LOUIE METTLER: Do we look young there.

HARLOW: Like the Mettlers, after decades of memories --

LOUIE METTLER: That's one my favorite pictures of you.

HARLOW: A few saved from the rubble.


HARLOW: And we're going to join you live starting tomorrow morning. I'll be in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, right there on the boardwalk, to take a look at the businesses and how they're coming back on this critical Memorial Day weekend.

But ahead, what drives a follower of all different religions, what drives people of all different religions, to commit violent acts? Where does that extremism come from? It's our "Faces of Faith" discussion today. The answers may surprise you.


HARLOW: Hey there everyone. Welcome back to CNN SUNDAY MORNING. I'm Poppy Harlow. It is the bottom of the hour, 8:30 out here on the East Coast.

Here are some stories that we're watching for you.

First in San Antonio, Texas, emergency workers rescued more than 200 people caught by flash floods. At least two people died in those floods. Two women were swept away by the water yesterday. Also, there is word that a teenager may still be missing. He reportedly was trying to cross a creek when he disappeared. The flood waters are expected to recede today, that is good news. A lot of rain is not expected today, thank goodness.

Drivers in Seattle are being forced to find a detour this holiday weekend because that bridge you see right there is collapsed. That happened on Thursday when it was hit by an oversized truck. The driver says he heard a big boom before the collapse. The truck was too tall for the bridge, but there was apparently no sign on the structure saying how tall it was.

The President, President Obama heading to Oklahoma this morning. He'll be touring the tornado damaged city of Moore. He will meet with several families there. He'll also meet with those who lost their loved ones. And he'll thank first responders. The President has pledged his support to the region as it recovers and rebuilds.

In New York, Gabby Giffords offered graduates of Bard College the same advice she gave U.S. senators considering gun-related legislation, "Be bold, be courageous." That is what she said. Giffords appeared at Bard's commencement on Saturday to receive an honorary degree. The former Arizona representative who was shot in the head in 2011 resigned from Congress in January to focus on her recovery.

And it was a dark, wet morning in Boston on Saturday, but nothing could dampen the spirits. This moment thousands of runners ran the last mile of the Boston Marathon. They returned to complete what they had trained so long and so hard to do. And of course to honor the victims of last month's bombing. The one run event was organized by Boston running clubs and also by local businesses. Good for them.

It was a shocking crime. And it was committed in broad daylight on the streets of London. A British soldier brutally killed by two attackers wielding meat cleavers. One of the suspects on camera after that horrific slaying saying "The only reason we killed this man is because Muslims are dying daily. The British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." This is a message of extremism, religious extremism.

And in today's "Faces of Faith," we're going to explore this. We're going to explore extremism. What drives a follower of any religion to extremism to commit violent acts in the name of religion?

So I want to bring in two experts to talk to us about this. I'm joined by Charles Kimball, he's a professor of religious studies at the University of Oklahoma, he's also author of this book "When Religion Becomes Lethal". Also with me from London Maajid Nawaz he's a former leader in the Global Islamist Movement, he's now a human rights and democracy activist. He is author of "Radical: My Journey out of Islamic Extremism".

So thank you both for joining us. I appreciate it.



HARLOW: Maajid, let's start with you. Your story is fascinating. And you say that you became radicalized at age 16. I wonder what -- what drove you there and then what brought you back here to where you are today.

NAWAZ: Yes. There are generally four factors that lead to somebody traveling the path of radicalization from any religious context whether it's the Islamist context or right -- far right wing movements.

And those four factors I summarized as one, a sense of grievance whether real or perceived. Somebody has to be very angry, and very aggrieved to start considering alternative identities and adopting a subculture.

The second is what I call an identity crisis, because from that grievance the person starts disconnecting from mainstream society and distancing themselves both in terms of empathy, but also in terms of belonging from the society in which they were born. And that's a crucial stage of identity crisis, because it then allows them to feel that they belong somewhere else and they don't belong to the very people that they were eventually go on to target.

The third one is a charismatic recruiter then steps in at this fundable stage and provides an alternative sense of belonging, pretty much even like in a gang that people in the United States have to deal with a lot. He provides or she provides an alternative sense of belonging.

And then the fourth one comes along, which is the fourth factor, the ideological narrative. And that charismatic recruiter will sell to that vulnerable individual a cultural narrative that would seem to explain away all of the world's problems and as we heard from the -- from the killer on the streets of London in Woolwich when he said that Muslim troops are dying.

It's this anti-west victimhood narrative as if Muslims are the only victims in the world and they are the only ones dying and the only one killing Muslims are non-Muslims. Well in fact that's a half truth. And the power of this narrative is that it doesn't -- it's not based on lies. It's easy to uncover a lie, but in fact it's based on half-truths.

They only -- they only sell, they only uncover half of the story so that this young and angry teenager doesn't realize that in fact there's a complete picture there that they're missing. For example, more Muslims in Pakistan have died due to Taliban terrorist attacks than they have due to the U.S. military strikes.

So why would this young man not turn into a suicide bomber against the Taliban? But that's an example of where the narrative falls apart.

HARLOW: Right. And Maajid, I want to let Charles jump in here. Because you know Charles, Maajid explained these four points, he's written about them and frankly himself experienced many of them. You write about the warning signs. Can you talk to us about warning signs that people can see before something like this happening?

KIMBALL: Yes. And they dovetail I think very much with what Maajid was just saying. There is a kind of absolutism that's involved -- a kind of narrative that takes over. There's an absolute truth claim where in the end the end justifies the means. And we saw that in the Boston bombing case, we saw that in this case where the message is clear that -- that there is this incredible grievance that's felt. And I can do something about it.

When you throw in a charismatic leadership often and the religious narrative that paints all of this in a broader picture of ultimate meaning, it's a very powerful combination for at least some individuals.

HARLOW: I want to talk about some other examples here. Let's talk about Scott Roeder, people may know that name, he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for killing the late-term abortion doctor, George Tiller. This happened in Tiller's church three years ago. And Roeder was a born-again Christian. And at his trial he said the killing of Tiller was justified because he was protecting unborn children.

Is this an example of the ends justifies the means that you're talking about?

KIMBALL: Yes no question about it.

NAWAZ: Yes I think about --

HARLOW: Go ahead, Charles.

KIMBALL: I would say, yes, it's a very, it's a prime example where people cite the Ten Commandments as being so central, one of them is thou shalt not kill, and here are people who are both in the case of Dr. Tiller in Kansas in 2009, a Presbyterian minister in Florida, we had another doctor killed in New York state where the remedy for those who are killing in this view is to murder them and the end justifies the means.

So they're doing the very thing, sadly, in the name of religion, that they say they stand against.

HARLOW: I want Maajid to jump in here. We're running out of time, but one thing you have said before on CNN that I found fascinating is that -- that we as a culture and perhaps outside of just America just globally targeting individuals is a mistake that the focus needs to be on targeting ideas. Can you explain that for us?

NAWAZ: Yes. So if we recognize the power of the narrative and how that becomes a brand that thousands of angry young teenagers from whichever religious background join whichever extremist cause, then the focus must be on discrediting that brand. But if we do actions that only ever reinforce that narrative such as targeted killings, illegal sort of, you know, torture and rendition -- these actions of our foreign policy, if they end up reinforcing the extremist narrative, we're giving power to that brand.

We should be focusing on the inverse of the neo conservative model and that means by popularizing democratic culture on the grass roots instead of trying to impose it from the top down as neo conservatism tried to do and also instead of just basically focusing on increasing targeted drone strikes which I call neo conservatism light.

HARLOW: I appreciate both of your time this morning. A fascinating conversation -- we will have you back again. Thank you.

NAWAZ: Pleasure.

HARLOW: For more stories.

KIMBALL: Thank you.

HARLOW: Thank you both. For more stories on faith, be sure to check out our belief blog -- a lot of fascinating stuff there. It's at

Well, the Supreme Court is ready to make history -- several landmark decisions on the horizon possibly as early as tomorrow. We've got a preview.


HARLOW: Well, this week we expect to hear from the Supreme Court as early as tomorrow we could get the first of several expected landmark decisions from the high court.

Our Athena Jones looks at the major cases.


ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From now until the end of June the Supreme Court is expected to rule on big issues -- affirmative action and same-sex marriage.

TOM GOLDSTEIN, CO-FOUNDER, SCOTUS BLOG: It's almost unimaginable the number of things the Supreme Court's going to decide that affect all Americans in the next month.

JONES: First up could be whether public schools can consider race when admitting students. Abigail Fisher sued the University of Texas arguing she was rejected because she's white.

ABIGAIL FISHER, ALTERNATIVE ACTION PLAINTIFF: I hope the court rules that a student's race and ethnicity should not be considered when applying to the University of Texas.

JONES: The school says race is one of many factors it uses to achieve diversity on campus. Court watchers say Anthony Kennedy could side with conservative justices to overturn or limit a major Supreme Court decision from ten years ago that allowed affirmative action.

The justices are also dealing with another hot button issue, same-sex marriage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- that marriage is between one man and one woman, you guys won't accept it.

JONES: Considering whether California's Proposition 8 ban is constitutional. And in a second case, if the Defense of Marriage Act can deny same-sex couples the same federal benefits as heterosexual ones.

EDITH WINDSOR, DOMA PLAINTIFF: I think it's going to be good.

JONES: That case was brought by Edith Windsor, a New York woman who had to pay higher estate taxes after her wife died than someone in a heterosexual marriage would have.

TOM GOLDSTEIN, CO-FOUNDER, SCOTUS BLOG: I think it's likely in the Defense of Marriage Act case that the Supreme Court will invalidate the federal law that says we won't recognize state same-sex marriages. But in the California Proposition 8 case, the justices seem unlikely to require under the constitution every state to recognize same-sex marriage. The ruling may not be a huge gay rights victory at all, but I doubt it's going to be a significant loss either.

JONES: Another case involves the kind of genetic testing that led actress Angelina Jolie to undergo a double mastectomy. The court is considering whether human genes so-called "products of nature" can be patented.

Athena Jones, CNN, Washington.


HARLOW: Well, new details are surfacing that the parent company of Fox News was aware years ago that the Justice Department was targeting one of its reporters in a leak investigation. This is something Fox News is just now acknowledging. This comes after a law enforcement source told CNN that the Justice Department notified a media organization almost three years ago of a subpoena for detailed phone records. And a second source told CNN that organization was Fox News.

After news of the subpoena broke Saturday, a Fox News executive told CNN the outlet's parent company, that is News Corporation, was notified of the subpoena by the Justice Department in May of 2010. But Fox News itself apparently never got the word.

Fox and other news organizations have been highly critical of the Justice Department's aggressive pursuit of leak investigations involving reporters, but Fox had said nothing about the 2010 subpoena. The subpoena was part of an investigation of Stephen Kim, a former state department worker accused of unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information to Fox News reporter James Rosen.

Now, one law enforcement source told CNN and this is a quote here "In the investigation that led to the indictment of Stephen Kim, the government issued subpoenas for -- the government issued subpoenas for toll records -- telephone records, for five phone numbers associated with the media. Consistent with Department of justice policies and procedure, the government provided notification of those subpoenas nearly three years ago by certified mail, by fax and e-mail."

Up until now the focus of this controversy has been on a separate search warrant for personal e-mails of the man you see on your screen there, James Rosen, something Fox News indicated it learned of just recently. And while Fox News is now acknowledging that the Justice Department notified its parent company about the phone record search, that notice apparently didn't include anything about the separate search of Rosen's e-mail.

So that is the latest on that story that we continue to follow.

Coming up next, we are remembering our U.S. servicemen and women on this Memorial Day weekend -- our hats off to all of them.

We'll be right back.


HARLOW: Well, it is called flags in. It's a tradition that dates back to just after the Civil War. Last week members of the third U.S. Infantry regimen, the old guard were at Arlington National Cemetery honoring fallen colleagues by placing American flags near their tombstones. In all they planted more than 220,000 flags.

You know, all morning we have been showcasing U.S. veterans in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who have sacrificed their lives for this country. This hour -- two more.

23-year-old Joe Wrightsman. He drowned in 2010 while trying to save an Afghan police officer who was caught in a strong current. Our thanks to him and our thoughts with his family this Memorial Day.

And 24-year-old Delfin Santos Jr. -- he was killed along with four others including a diplomat in April while delivering books to a new school in Afghanistan. Our thoughts also with those who love him and our hats off to all of our veterans.

For more, you can log onto and join us in honoring the memory of 100 soldiers in 100 hours. We invite you to join us there this Memorial Day weekend.

And as we told you earlier, President Obama will be in Oklahoma today. The state is dealing with the aftermath of that devastating tornado that claimed dozens of lives. Candy Crowley has a lot more on that coming up on "STATE OF THE UNION". good morning, Candy.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Poppy. We do in fact have a lot more coming up. Governor Mary Fallin is going to join us. This disaster so fresh, we want to get an update from her about the situation on the ground, but we're also going to bring in Congressman Michael Grim who represents the Staten Island area of New York, and talk to him about six months in -- actually seven months in since Hurricane Sandy -- or Superstorm Sandy came. And what he learned that might help Oklahoma at this time.

And then, you know, it's been two years since Joplin, which also had one of those F-5 tornadoes. We're going to bring in the mayor of Joplin to also kind discuss what they might not have known at the time and what might help Oklahoma now in terms of working their way through the bureaucracy to get the help they need.

HARLOW: Absolutely. That's always the question, rebuilding. Look forward to the show, Candy. Thanks so much.

CROWLEY: Thanks, Poppy. HARLOW: All right. You can stay right here for "State Of The Union". It's with Candy starting right at the top of the hour, 9:00 a.m. Eastern, 6:00 a.m. Pacific right here on CNN.

Before that we're going to take a last look at the weather, let you know how things are shaping on your holiday hot spots this Memorial Day weekend.


HARLOW: All right. Time for "Bleacher Report" now. Let's bring in Joe Carter. Joe, this is interesting. I guess the only thing the Grizzlies can do now is what no NBA team has ever done before.

JOE CARTER, "BLEACHER REPORT": Yes, they have a lot of making up to do. Basically Memphis has to win four games in a row to advance to the Western Conference Finals, but no team in NBA history's ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series. They certainly have a lot of work to do.

And Memphis was unbeaten on their home floor in the playoffs. They had a chance to keep that streak going last night. In the final seconds they found themselves with the chance to win. The game was tied at 86, but the shot would not fall, which forced overtime.

That's when the Spurs took total control of the game. San Antonio cruised in overtime. They won the game by 11 points. Now the Spurs just stand one win away from sweeping that series.

This is awesome video. Great finish in the Rockies-Giants game yesterday. San Francisco's down by one run in the tenth. Angel Pagan hits it off the wall -- that scores the tying run. Pagan's got, you know, got a triple, right? Instead he pushes it one base further. The third base coach practically running by his side wishing him home -- he beats the throw. A walk-off inside the park home run -- incredible finish. The giants would go onto win 6-5.

Another piece of great video for you. A sideline reporter from Milwaukee gets hit by a stray baseball during her live report. Best part, totally unfazed, picks the mic back up and continues her live report. Number one rule, in live television, if anything happens, just keep going.

HARLOW: Yes, I think she handled that much better than I would have. Shout-out to her on that one.

All right Joe, thank you. Tomorrow, Memorial Day, you don't have to wait to start your cookout. For a lot of folks a lot of nice weather across the country, not everywhere, but many places; Karen Maginnis here with a quick holiday forecast -- Karen.

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: All right Poppy, we are watching the potential for severe weather all the way from Texas extending into the Central Plains and headed up towards the northern tier states even into Montana. We have seen reports come out of South Dakota of baseball-size hail. We could see some large hail, damaging winds and the possibility of a tornado or two.

Sunny skies will eventually prevail across the northeast and temperatures fairly warm. We'll look at 80s across the upper Midwest and Chicago a high temperature of 82.

HARLOW: Pretty nice there.

All right. Thanks so much, Karen. Appreciate it.

Thanks for joining us this morning. Nice to spend my Sunday morning with you. "STATE OF THE UNION" with Candy Crowley starts right now.