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Intense Heat Out West; Aaron Hernandez Accused of Murder; Weiner For NYC Mayor

Aired June 30, 2013 - 16:00   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Fredericka Whitfield. A look at the top stories this hour in the NEWSROOM.

The intense heat in the west is only getting worse and it's also getting really dangerous. A live report from one of the hottest places in the country, next.

Surveillance video and phone records provide a timeline of where NFL player Aaron Hernandez allegedly was when Odin Lloyd was murdered. CNN takes you on the route police believe Hernandez took that night.

And hip hop legend Rev Run is joining us live to send you a message about your health. It's something that's touched his family an he'll tell us why it's so close to his heart.

An elderly man has been found dead in his home in Las Vegas. And it could be that he's the first victim of that brutal heat wave. Officials say he didn't have air conditioning. But they aren't sure if the heat is to blame.

Today, it is getting just as hot in the west. In some areas, like California's Death Valley, it could get even hotter. Tory Dunnan is there for us. Tory, just how bad is it?

TORY DUNNAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I guess it depends upon who you are and what your definition of bad is. There are lots of people here who decided to come out and really feel this heat. And Fredricka, we decided to do a little experimenting of our own to kind of show you what it's like to be in this heat. All right.

Here's how this all went. We put an egg in this pan about an hour and 10 minutes ago. Not the most appetizing look but it is slowly cooking. We're going to try that again, though, once the temperatures peak a little bit later on this afternoon.

I want to show you, though, what it's like right now. Let's take a look at this thermometer here. Where we're standing, it's reading close to 130 degrees. We talked with park rangers at Furnace Creek and they said that the highest level they had so far about 122 degrees. But it is hot out here. I mentioned there are lots of people coming out here to feel this heat. This is a lowest point of elevation in the United States, some 282 feet below the level of the sea surface. So you're one of the brave ones who's come out here. I mean it's hard even walking out of breath, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I heard someone was giving away fried eggs. I wanted to stop by and get one for myself.

DUNNAN: It doesn't look so appetizing. So tell me why you wanted to come out here. You're from the L.A. area.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm from L.A.. I wanted to see it for myself. I think it's starkly beautiful in its own way and you know, I think about our forefathers who crossed in a Conestoga wagon to settle in the west and it's mind boggling to me.

DUNNAN: And possibly to be part of what could potentially be part of a record. He's one of the many here but they're from everywhere, Fredricka. From tons of different countries and different levels of heat.

WHITFIELD: Yes. I kind of feel like the folks out there are really die hard there in Death Valley. Tory Dunnan, thanks so much. Try to stay cool. At least you just kind of look like you're glowing.

DUNNAN: I will.

WHITFIELD: You know? Kind of dewey. That's all right.

DUNNAN: That's a good look.

WHITFIELD: Even I know you're really hot.

OK. Very good. You wear it well.

All right, now to New York City. Five people are safe after their sightseeing helicopter made an emergency landing today on the Hudson River. Affiliate WCBS reports the tourists were two adults and two children from Sweden. The pilot set the chopper down on the water near 79th Street when it lost power shortly after takeoff. Fire officials say four people were treated for minor injuries.

President Barack Obama is in Cape Town, South Africa, today. He visited Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was a political prisoner for 18 years. At the University of Cape Town, Obama spoke about Mandela's legacy.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They now appreciate it a little bit more the sacrifices that Madiba and others had made for freedom. But what I also know is that because they have had a chance to visit South Africa for a second time now, they also understand that Mandela's spirit could never be imprisoned. Because his legacy is here for all to see.


WHITFIELD: President Obama also met with Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu today who raised the issue of Guantanamo Bay saying this, "We pray you will be known as having brought peace to all the regions where there has been strife and peace and no need for Guantanamo Bay Detention Center." That from Desmond Tutu. Tomorrow President Obama heads to Tanzania.

Well, all eyes are on Egypt right now. Thousands of protesters, perhaps even millions, take a look at the images right there. At nightfall. Live images right in Cairo's Tahrir Square and outside the presidential palace. They are urging Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to resign. Protesters are angry about the country's economy, the rising crime and fuel shortages and today marks the one year anniversary since Morsi rose to power in a democratic election.

All right. Now in this country, to the troubling case of an ex-NFL player. Aaron Hernandez. Funeral services were held yesterday for Odin Lloyd. The man Hernandez is charged with murdering. Lloyd was a semipro football player for the Boston Bandits and a friend of Hernandez. His body was found in a gravel pit not far from Hernandez's home. Our Deborah Feyerick retraced the route Hernandez and two other men allegedly took on the night Lloyd died.

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, the one thing that Aaron Hernandez never counted on and that's the number of surveillance cameras documenting his route the night of the murder, virtually from the time he left the highway having picked up Odin Lloyd to the time he returned back to his $1.3 million mansion and disabled the surveillance cameras inside.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: and stops just before the road ends.

FEYERICK (voice-over): The murder took place down this road just off the busy street that many in the area use as a short cut.

(on camera): If you draw a straight line in this direction, it's less than a quarter of a mile from where we are here to his home. It's if you draw a straight line. Obviously, he would have to circle around and use the road.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Without a doubt, it's less than a quarter of a mile.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Jay has lived in this area for 25 years. He knows a lot of people and asked not we not use his last name. He showed us the surveillance cameras at this corner gas station which prosecutors say spotted the NFL rented silver Nissan around 3:20 a.m. Monday morning, seconds after it turned off i-95.

Prosecutors say Hernandez and two friends had driven 64 miles roundtrip to Dorchester to pick up Odin Lloyd. They turned down this road through an industrial park and businesses monitored by surveillance cameras.

(on camera): So at this point, he know, he is getting nervous.

JAY: I'd say right about here is where he got the text.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Right about here he sends a final text to his sister at 3:23 a.m. telling him he's with NFL, his nickname for Hernandez. "Just so you know." He texts.

JAY: And right here, is where they said -

FEYERICK (on camera): When he fell?

JAY: They shot two more times, hit him in both sides of his chest.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Jay says he saw the crime scene shortly after it had been processed and the yellow tape taken down.

JAY: Right here, the blue tarp was right here. The red tarp was over there. And you can see it's hard to see now because -

FEYERICK (on camera): You can see an outline.

JAY: Correct. It was in rectangular in shape leading one to believe that the body was this way.

FEYERICK: Clearly, it would be the size of a human.

JAY: Correct.

FEYERICK (voice-over): The car drove in to the pit at 3:23 according to prosecutors. Cameras show the car leaving about four minutes later at 3:27 a.m..

(on camera): So this is where Odin Lloyd had his final moments?

JAY: That's correct.

FEYERICK: According to the prosecutors, he was shot virtually -

JAY: Execution style.

FEYERICK (voice-over): The official timeline shows it took two minutes for Hernandez and his friends to get home. Odin Lloyd was not with them. Almost immediately, the surveillance cameras inside his home were disabled. The same cameras that caught Hernandez allegedly holding a 45-caliber glock before he set out to meet Odin Lloyd. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty. His lawyer said the evidence is all circumstantial.


FEYERICK: So far, police have not recovered the murder weapon. It's described as a 45-caliber glock, holds eight rounds and is easily concealable. Police did recover a shell casing from inside the car that the men were driving the night of the murder. Prosecutors also say there's an image of Aaron Hernandez holding a similar gun just before meeting Odin Lloyd. Fredricka?

WHITFIELD: All right. Deb Feyerick, thanks so much.

All right. Help may be on the way for some 24 million women who suffer from hot flashes. The FDA HAS approved the first non-hormonal drug to treat one of the main symptoms of menopause. The drug will be sold under the name Brisdelle. There's no word yet on how much it will cost but it is due out in November.

Dramatic testimony is expected at the George Zimmerman trial this week. We'll look at the fireworks that could fly and the most compelling moments to date.

And later, Reverend Run of the rap group Run DMC weighs in on the Zimmerman trial and delivers a critical medical message that could save thousands of lives.


WHITFIELD: In Sanford, Florida, jurors will be back in the courtroom first thing tomorrow morning as week two begins of the George Zimmerman murder trial. CNN's Martin Savidge is in Sanford. So Martin, prosecutors say they will use Zimmerman's own words to prove that he murdered Trayvon Martin. Explain how.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT:: Well, you know, there's been a lot of people wondering is it going to be maybe that George Zimmerman takes the stand. The attorneys for the defense team say they haven't made that decision yet but he doesn't have to. Because he's already given a lot of statements. He did the video reenactment. That's the videotape of the Sanford police made of him as he walked them through the day after that shooting took place.

So there's that. And then there's a number of interrogations that they did and those have all been recorded. So that's what the belief is here that the state is going to take those recordings and what you find when you listen to them is that George changes his story. That it's not told the same time every way. Well, you know, it's kind of human. We don't always tell the same story but what the state is going to be looking for, the prosecution is, how much does that story change? What are the key parts that he wavers on or perhaps tells completely different? And so, when I think they make a statement like that, use his own words to convict him, evidence like that is going to be used, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: And is it clear what kind of witnesses the state would call this week?

SAVIDGE: Well, we've had a list of who potentially could be called. And some of those we would look to see are Chris Sereno. He was the initial investigator. He worked for the Sanford Police Department and he was the person who filed that initial affidavit suggesting that George Zimmerman should be charged with manslaughter. That recommendation wasn't followed but clearly he had some suspicion.

So I would think he would likely be called. There could be other investigators here. Maybe the medical examiner because the body of Trayvon Martin has a story to tell unto itself. And then, of course, we have all wondered why whether the parents of Trayvon Martin could take the stand. There's potential for dramatic moments in the courtroom before the prosecution rests.

WHITFIELD: All right. Martin Savidge, thanks so much in Sanford, Florida. Let's talk more about this case. Attorney Mo Ivory is host of her radio show here in Atlanta, "The Mo Ivory Show." And Carrie Hackett is a criminal defense attorney. All right. Good to see both of you ladies, again.

It was a riveting week of testimony. I don't think anyone expected really the potpourri of witnesses, you know, styles and testimony that were received. So Carrie, as we head in to the next week, what do you suppose jurors are mulling over this weekend?

CARRIE HACKETT, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think jurors are thinking about the inconsistencies and the discrepancies between the various witnesses' testimony because really none of these witnesses actually saw the altercation from the beginning to the end. So during the course of this testimony this week, we have had snippets of, well, I heard this, I saw the men on the ground, I saw them engaged in an altercation. But we haven't really heard any testimony about from witnesses who saw what led up to that altercation.

So I think that's a point that both the prosecution and the defense are really going to have to deal with here.

WHITFIELD: So the jurors really have a big job here, Mo. Because they have to figure out what they heard from Rachel, you know, Jeantel, what she heard on the phone in terms of being confronted by George Zimmerman, hearing the grass, understanding what does that mean? And then you heard from John Good who said he saw the fight and who was on top and who was on the bottom and then you had Jonathan Manolo who took the pictures of George Zimmerman to kind of demonstrate what kind of injuries and even talked to him and even called his wife on Zimmerman's behalf. Is it clear cut in your view? Do you think jurors are starting to get a picture of what really happened that night?


WHITFIELD: More confusing?

IVORY: More confusing. I think the people's court, you know, what's been going on, social media especially as it relates to Rachel. I mean I wonder sometimes will they think she was hostile or do they think she was truthful? Do they think she's authentic or do they think that she was problematic? Or a liar?

WHITFIELD: Are jurors swayed by that?

IVORY: Oh sure.

WHITFIELD: Are they really measuring the demeanor -

IVORY: Listen, How uncomfortable was everybody with Rachel, right? It has us as African-Americans looking at ourselves and our community like "oh my gosh. This is what represent." It had white people a little bit uncomfortable with why did she show up like this? It says a lot about classism. It talks a lot about exposure, opportunity.

WHITFIELD: The casualness of language.

IVORY: The casualness of language.

WHITFIELD: Which was enlightening for a lot of people and then other people say that's really not a big deal -

IVORY: Sure.

WHITFIELD: But in the end, why is it distracting from the facts of the case?

HACKETT: A change between her - the way she testified on day one, her first day testifying and the way she testified the second day and seemed like whether it was an attorney or whether it was a family member, somebody told her, "Look, the way you're being perceived here is negative and is detrimentally proving -

IVORY: Did it -


IVORY: No, sir.

WHITFIELD: It seemed like an extra dig.


HACKETT: I think she was probably coached. I don't know that it was -

WHITFIELD: She was asked about that -

HACKETT: ... perceived as any better.

WHITFIELD: She said, "No, I just got some sleep."

HACKETT: I heard it. I don't know that I believe it.

IVORY: No, I didn't like it. I didn't like it.

WHITFIELD: What did that say to you?

IVORY: Twenty three to twenty six times, the sir, the sir, the sir. What does that do? It just says that now she was told it didn't come off good. Listen. The best thing about her was the authenticity of who she was and she showed up to be herself to do one thing, to tell the facts about what happened that night and the phone call. That is all that matters. So getting in to all of this people's court stuff with the conversations on social media I think have just completely distracted from the main thing which was what you said. The truth about what she knows what happened.

WHITFIELD: Well, this is what's so sad because I think everyone can empathize with the parents of Trayvon Martin who was sitting there. I mean, that was the shot that we saw most often. We didn't necessarily see the shot of George Zimmerman's family so I'm not really sure what their demeanor was. But when you look at Trayvon Martin's parents, you are wincing, you are feeling uncomfortable for them because so much attention is being paid to the performance for lack of a better word as opposed to the content of what's being said and that seems to distract from the real message here which is what happened here?


WHITFIELD: Was there intent? Somebody died.

HACKETT: And they're heart broken. I mean you can see their reaction to this testimony regardless -

WHITFIELD: How does this have t change next week or if it doesn't change, how do the pieces have to come together.

IVORY: I think it's the attorney's job to bring it back center. The fact that the jury is sequestered. You know, they're not hearing everything that we're hearing so maybe their focus hasn't been completely taken away but I do think we have to bring back some decorum and I do think that we have to get focus back on the issues. If I was the prosecution, I would feel very concerned about what the jurors left feeling about my whole case with these witnesses. And so I would want after a day of rest to come back with some powerful statements to redirect everybody to why we're here. There's a dead 17- year-old and we need to figure out what happened that night.

HACKETT: Well, from a defense perspective I'm very surprised of the witnesses of the prosecution has put on and how inconsistent their statements have been and how really they have contradicted each other. So from a defense perspective, I think that the defense is starting off on a pretty good foot having such contradictory prosecution witnesses.

WHITFIELD: Wow. All right. We'll see how the week unfolds. Carrie, Mo, good to see both of you. Appreciate it.

IVORY: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: And of course, during the Zimmerman trial, some people were taken aback by hearing the n-word. That really has ignited a lot of conversations so you don't want to miss CNN's special report "The N Word" hosted by Don Lemon and that's Monday night, tomorrow night 7:00 Eastern time, right here on CNN.

Also, straight ahead, disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner, well he could be making one of the fastest political comebacks ever. Hear why those racy pictures he took of himself may not hold him back from becoming perhaps New York's next mayor?


WHITFIELD: Former disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner has declared himself a candidate for mayor of New York in November's election. Current mayor Michael Bloomberg isn't running again leaving the field wide open. CNN's Erin McPike looks at why Anthony Weiner is an early front-runner.


ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Political pundits, start your punch lines. Anthony Weiner is rising in the polls in this year's wide-open New York City mayoral race. It's quite the turnaround. Just two years ago, photos like these ricocheted around Twitter and ended Anthony Weiner's congressional career.

ANTHONY WEINER, FORMER NEW YORK CONGRESSMAN: I hoped to be able to continue the work that the citizens of my district elected me to do.

MCPIKE: But it wasn't career ending. Even in this resignation speech, there was a note of defiance.

WEINER: Now I'll be looking for other ways to contribute my talents to make sure that we live up to that most New York and American of ideals.

MCPIKE: And so began one of the quickest rehabilitations in American politics. In April, a contrite Weiner posed with his wife Huma Abedin on the cover of "The New York Times Magazine."

HUMA ABEDIN, WIFE OF ANTHONY WEINER: We love this city. And no one will work harder to make it better than Anthony.

MCPIKE: Six weeks later he made a splash, reintroducing himself to voters in his second try for the office. So far in the campaign, Weiner's past transgressions haven't been much of an issue.

WEINER: Look, I made some big mistakes and I know I let a lot of people down but I also learned some tough lessons.

MCPIKE: His wife has done more than stick by him, that support may help boost Weiner in holding off New York's council speaker Christine Quinn who is hoping to become the first woman to run the Big Apple.

CHRISTINE QUINN: What I think this race is about is delivering for New Yorkers.

MCPIKE: One poll even shows Weiner with an edge among female voters and with a five-point advantage overall but another shows a closer race with Weiner tied with Quinn and a third candidate Bill Thompson.

ERROL LOUIS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: We are 75, 76 days out and still a lot of unhappiness with this field.

MCPIKE: Despite Weiner's steady climb back in to the political arena, one good poll or two is a far cry from victory. The primary is still more than two months away. And if no candidate can muster 40 percent in the party primary, the top two vote getters will face off in a run- off October 1st.

LOUIS: That's when, you know, the whole scandalous past really will be brought out and sort of politically litigated, so to speak, and that's when it will really be talked about in a very pointed way.

MCPIKE: Erin McPike, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE) WHITFIELD: The same-sex marriage debate moves forward this week. When it becomes legal in one more state. CNN political editor Paul Steinhauser looks at how opinion is divided on the issue nationally.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Hey, Fred. Delaware makes news tomorrow as it becomes the 11th state plus the District of Columbia where same-sex marriages are legal.

(voice-over): This past week two Supreme Court rulings gave a big boost to supporters of same-sex marriage.

So what do you think? Before the high court's rulings, a majority of those we questioned in our CNN-ORC polls said marriages between gay or lesbian couples should be legal. According to our national survey, support's up 15 percentage points over the past six years. Members of Congress may get bombarded about immigration this week from their constituents as they head back to the home states and districts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bill as amended is passed.

STEINHAUSER: The Senate Thursday passed a sweeping immigration reform bill but the measure faces an uncertain future in the house when Congress comes back in a week. So what do you think? More than six in 10 tell us when it comes to immigration reform border security is a bigger priority than giving undocumented workers and eventual pathway to citizenship. Fred?

WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks so much, Paul Steinhauser.

Hey, massive protests in Egypt today. A look at the crowds by supporters and opponents of the country's president are facing off and the situation is getting tense. We'll take you live to Cairo, next.


WHITFIELD: A record-setting heat wave is pushing temperatures above 110 degrees, even inching near 130. In California's Death Valley, the heat appears to have taken a fatal turn however in Las Vegas. An elderly man was found dead in his home yesterday with no air conditioning. The heat is expected to stay for a few more days.

And zoo animals beat the heat just like we do, sometimes with sprinklers. When it is this hot the chimps at the Houston Zoo get a cool shower and special popsicles and the zoo's elephant well takes a little dip in the pool as you see. In Las Vegas, dog owners make sure their pups don't burn their paws on the hot sidewalks so they wear little booties.

Hey, speaking of animals, remember Justin Bieber's pet monkey that got taken away from him in Germany? Well the animal is out of quarantine now and has joined a new family of monkey's in a German zoo. The monkey was transferred to the park this week. German authorities took control of the monkey after Bieber failed to provide the right import paper work during a tour stop.

All right. Now the latest developments in the case of NSA leaker Edward Snowden. A German publication "Dutch Legal (ph)" reports his leaks documents show the U.S. spied on officers of the European Union. The president of the EU said he was shocked by the allegations. The U.S. responded by saying it gathers foreign intelligence just like all other countries do.

All right. Now to Egypt. Right now, thousands of protesters are in Cairo Tahrir Square and outside the presidential palace. Look at these live pictures tremendous crowd there at nightfall. On one side apparently angry protesters calling for Egyptian President Morsi to resign. On the other, his supporters insisting that he stay. CNN's Reza Sayah joins me now live from Cairo. So Reza is there any way to tell who outnumbers who the supporters or those against the president?

REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It wasn't even close. The opposition factions, the opponents of President Morsi far outnumber the supporters of President Morsi. This was about who can put on the best demonstration, this was a knockout in favor of the opposition. What a night here in Cairo. These opponents of the president wanted to send out a infatic message with a powerful show of force. Then by all indications they succeeded.

Massive crowds, not just here where we are. Outside the presidential palace but across the street, across town, in Cairo and cities throughout Egypt. Massive crowds, at least hundreds of thousands of people, probably millions and you can see them cheering again as a military chopper goes above us. These demonstrations are part of a very effective campaign that started months ago with a petition drive calling on the president to step down, calling for new elections.

The leaders of the campaign claim that they have gathered 22 million signatures. They say that's a world's record. If that's the case, that's 9 million more signatures than the president received votes last year to win the presidency and the campaign's message is clear. They say, Mr. President, more Egyptians want you gone than they want you in. A short drive away from here, the president supporters tried to put on a demonstration. It was a large crowd but they were still outnumbered. Their position is, the president was fairly and democratically elected. Let him finish out his term and then in three years we will have another election. But the opposition doesn't trust the president and his Islamic supporters and that's why we have a faceoff here. Both sides digging in not backing down, Fredericka.

WHITFIELD: And Reza a spokesperson for the president actually appeared on state television. What was said?

SAYAH: He essentially restated the president's position. Let's all unite based on democratic principles and refrain from violence. Now the question is, what's the opposition going to do? They have certainly outnumbered them in the streets but their ultimate goal is to remove President Morsi. What are they intended to do after this? How can they get rid of him politically? That's still an unanswered question.


WHITFIELD: All right. Reza Sayah thanks so much from Cairo. Appreciate it.

All right. Here in the U.S., millions of college students are about to get hit by a brutal reality. They are just hours away from watching interest rates on their government loans skyrocket. We'll tell you just how high those rates are expected to go, next.


BO JACKSON, RETIRED PRO ATHLETE: Hi, I'm Bo Jackson and we can make an impact after the storm.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): This is what one deadly twister left behind in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

JACKSON: I got phone calls from relatives and friends saying there's a bad storm, a big tornado. And it came through. I set up and thought about, what can I do to give back to my community? I came up with this hair brain idea to ride a bicycle across the state. I decided to make it an annual event to raise money for the tornado victims. I want to make the rest of the country aware of how severe our tornado can be.

When you don't have a place to get out of the way of a tornado, a lot of people get injured, lose their lives. Hiding in a closet or even in a bathtub doesn't work when the whole house is getting picked up all the foundation and thrown down the street. To continue this bike ride and to raise money to build community tornado shelters I think that's my calling.

Join the movement. "Impact Your World." Go to


WHITFIELD: In economic news, big changes are coming to two of the largest purchases you will make in your lifetime. One is a college education. The other is a home. We begin with CNN's Christine Romans who says buying a house just got a whole lot more expensive.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): To buy this house just a few weeks ago you might have locked in a mortgage at 3.5 percent. But rates may never be that low again.

GERRI DETWEILER, DIR. OF CONSUMER EDUCATION, CREDIT.COM: If you are either in the market to buy a house or you've been on the fence about refinancing, I would say do not wait.

ROMANS: Mortgage rates are still historically low but now a sudden move higher jumping half a percentage point this week, the biggest weekly increase in 26 years.

BOB MOULTON, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN MORTGAGE GROUP: The rates went up very dramatically, they went up very quickly.

ROMANS: Ironically, an improving economy is to blame. MOULTON: Unemployment is down. The stock market is doing really well. Median home prices are up. People are feeling better, they are out there buying again so the economy does well, you will see a rising rate environment.

ROMANS: And you will see it in your monthly payment at 3.5 percent on a $250,000 home with 20 percent down, you would pay about $898. The same 30-year fixed mortgage will cost you over $1,000 at 4.5 percent, that is $115 more a month or more than $1,300 a year. Down payment, credit score and income determine the rate you will pay.

MOULTON: Borrowers that are getting the best rate are putting 20 to 25 percent down. They have income that's documentable so they're providing w-2's and federal tax returns. And they have an excellent credit score, something over 700 or 720.

ROMANS: A quick closing date also helps.

MOULTON: You get your best rate from a lender if you lock in for 30 days. Standard to lock-in for 60 days and the longer you go out, the more expensive it will be.

ROMANS: Ask your lender about a float down provision so your rate could be adjusted lower if rates do slip again. If you're still looking for the right house, make sure you're preapproved for a mortgage and pay down your debt while interest rates on auto loans and credit cards are still low.

DETWEILER: This is a time to take advantage of those rates. It means be as aggressive as you can about paying down your debt because once they start to rise, there won't be a stop.

ROMANS: No stop and the lowest mortgage rates in history may be gone for good.

Christine Romans, CNN, New York.


WHITFIELD: All right. Now to that other major investment a college degree. Rates on student loans could be double and that could lead to a wave of defaults. So for more on that, here's CNN's Zain Asher.


RACHEL BOEHR, STUDENT: I'm almost $60,000 in debt. Which affect my ability to get a mortgage and to have children and put them through a good education, and will affect what kind of jobs I choose.

ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Columbia student Rachel Boehr thought about studying drama but skyrocking tuition costs forced her to drop out. Now at age 30, she's only just finished her undergraduate degree.

BOEHR: We're asking too much of our college students and we're narrowing and narrowing the field of who could be a college student in the country.

ASHER: American college grads owe more than one trillion in collective student loans. As tuition costs continue to soar, rising interest rates could soon be their next headache. Interest rates need-based or subsidized Stafford Loans was fixed at 3.4 percent. Now that Congress hasn't intervened, that rate is scheduled to double.

RYAN MORGAN, STUDENT: I definitely think that doubling the rate to 6.8 percent would increase default rates because, again, the students receiving the subsidized loans are from the lowest income brackets.

ASHER: While some lawmakers want to keep the rates at the lower 3.4 percent at least temporarily, other says student loan rates should be allowed to fluctuate along with market forces.

KALMAN CHANY, AUTHOR, "PAYING FOR COLLEGE WITHOUT GOING BROKE:" I think there's going to be some kind of compromise, some kind of adjustment. I don't know if they go to a variable rate loan. My guess is they may just kick the can down the road and say we'll do it for a year and revisit another year later.

ASHER: The higher rates could be a revenue booster for government generating $36 billion this year at a time when Congress is scrambling for new sources of cash. Though raising the rates could also cost students as much $5,000 more in loan repayments over the next 10 years.

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE): The President and Mrs. Obama just finished paying off their student loans and they think that fact they're 40 years old and they are still repaying off student loan debt is really scary. We could even be 50, 60 years without having paid off our student loans.

SARAH SCHUTZ, STUDENT: The politician have to look beyond their own self interest because college students like myself and my peers are counting on them.

ASHER: Zain Asher, CNN, New York.


WHITFIELD: All right. Coming up, a vital message of a rapper turned reverend, Reverend Run part of a hip hop group Run DMC is on a mission to save lives to save lives. He joins us live next.


WHITFIELD: Conversations about race played a major role in the news this past week. Paula Deen was fired from her television job after admitting using the "n" word. Sparks flew this week at George Zimmerman's racially charged murder trial when the prosecutor star witness took the stand and expressed words that were used and the U.S. Supreme Court made major announcements on cases involving voting rights and affirmative action so much of this is at the core of a CNN special airing tomorrow night called "The N Word" hosted by Don Lemon.

Don rather is joining me right now from New York. So Don, give us a preview of what to expect in this hour-long special.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Man, what can I tell you? You can expect lots of honesty. Probably a lot of disagreement. I don't know if you'll see yelling back and forth but I think we're talking to people from all different walks of life, all different ages. All different ethnicities and backgrounds about their take on what many find to be the most toxic word, frankly, in the english language and that is this word. Right here.

We're going to say this word, Fredericka, on television. Those who feel comfortable saying it, they can say it. If not, you don't have to say it, you can say as the promo says that has been running on CNN and right here that you see -- the "n" word. And many people say if you say the "n" word you should take ownership of saying the "n" word because you're putting the ownership on me. Because I think about the word in my head. Louie C.K has a very funny sketch about that. And many people say the say thing you should say the word instead of saying the "n" word.

WHITFIELD: So a lot of this discussion is about people feeling comfortable with it or people having a better understanding of it and the context in which it should or is or can be used?

LEMON: If it can be used or should be used. I have to be honest with you. Just before I came in today, I was on the phone with the producer for "The N Word" and we were talking about what we were going to do tomorrow night, the rundown and the guest and all of that. The person sitting next to me in the barber chair said, you know, those "n" words come up in here all the time. Blah, blah, blah. I said I'm so glad I'm doing this and I turn and I said, I hope you tune in tomorrow night at 7:00. There's a show on CNN that you need to hear about the very word that you just said. So it's going to be a provocative and interesting evening tomorrow night.

WHITFIELD: It certainly sounds like it. Don Lemon thanks so much. Of course, Don's going to be back in THE NEWSROOM later on this evening. But tomorrow night, you don't want to miss that special "The N Word," Don Lemon hosting it 7:00 Eastern Time. Right here on CNN.

All right. Coming up, he sold millions of records with his rap group Run DMC. Now Reverend Run is hoping people around the world tune in to important a message about health. He is joining us next live.


WHITFIELD: All right. Did you know that African-Americans are almost twice as likely to have diabetes than whites? That's a pretty scary number from the American Diabetes Association and it is something hip hop legend Reverend Run wants people to know and you may remember him as part of Run DMC or perhaps run his show on MTV "Run's House." Well now he is sending out a very important message. Know your risk factors for diabetes. Get in front of it. Do something about it.


WHITFIELD: Don't, you know, ignore it because -- REV RUN: Go to the doctor.

WHITFIELD: Go to the doctor. As simple as that. Run good to see you.

REV RUN: Good to see you. You have to understand what's going on before you can fix something. The website we're telling them is Ask.Screen.Know and what you don't know you can't fix. I find a lot of my friends, I tell them, did you get screened? They're like, I got to work Rev. Everything, I was like, did you get screened for diabetes? No, I had my physical. I forced two of them, you know what? I got everything checked and didn't get screened for diabetes.

WHITFIELD: So the patient you need to ask about that?

REV RUN: You have to ask specifically to be screened for diabetes. And we don't. And a lot of my friends also and people I've been talking to on the road, they don't even think about going to the doctor.

WHITFIELD: I was going to say that's the first hurdle right there.

REV RUN: They don't want to go to the doctor. They're afraid to hear the answer. I was one of those people that was afraid to hear the answer. I had to start exercising. I lost 20 pounds. I'm pulling it together for myself. I got with noble nautilus and came up with an Ask Me Know Campaign and I've been out at churches. I was at one today.

WHITFIELD: What happens when you go to churches, when you talk to people one on one and you say look it's close to home for me.

REV RUN: My father had diabetes. They want to know more about it so I've been to several churches. I went to a church today. The church was packed. We went in the back and smoke about it. We found a lot of people didn't know that they weren't screened for diabetes. They were like, yes, I have been to the doctor Rev. Did you get screened? I'm not sure.

WHITFIELD: So you are helping people take care of themselves.

REV RUN: That is right.

WHITFIELD: At a time when so many people put themselves on the back burner. Something else I wanted to ask you about while we have you here. The nation is riveted by the George Zimmerman trial. Everyone anticipated that was going to happen. But it was something else for it to unfold this week. What have been your observations? What does it say to you about where we are as a country, as a society?

REV RUN: For me I've been watching the news and everything going on. For me, it has been more of I'm in prayer about it. I mean, I have kids. I couldn't imagine the pain that Trayvon's parents are going through, losing a kid so for me I'm like, oh my God. I'm compassionate and I take it to prayer. That's all I can do is just more concerned about we lost a young man here.

WHITFIELD: Do you feel like this trial is greater than -- it's about more than the death of this 17-year-old or do you feel like it's getting lost and stuff getting lost in everything else?

REV RUN: I think -- yes. The death is the big concern and I'm more concerned about the parents. The pain that they're feeling because you know I have kids. You saw my show.


REV RUN: I care much about how they're feeling.

WHITFIELD: I think every parent empathizes. That is why it will be interesting with the jury. Because we are talking about five of the six who are mothers and it's difficult I think for anyone to look at the case and not think about their sons, whether it be, you know, on either side. You think about your child.

REV RUN: It is very unfortunate.

WHITFIELD: Yes. Rev Run always good to see you. Thank you so much, thanks for spreading the message. People have to take care of themselves.

REV RUN: Thank you. Go. Get screened.

WHITFIELD: All right. Glad you're healthy, too.

REV RUN: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks so much.

All right. Hey. What does your job and the Statue of Liberty and the IRS all have in common? They're all in "The Week Ahead" next.


WHITFIELD: This fourth of July week is shaping up to be a pretty busy one. Here's what's happening.

Tomorrow is Susan Rice's first day on the job as National Security Adviser. She has been serving as ambassador to the U.N. On Wednesday former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is scheduled to find out how long he'll spend in jail. He pleaded guilty in February to using campaign money to buy things like Rolex watches and Michael Jackson memorabilia. His wife is also being sentenced for filing false tax returns.

On the fourth of July, the Statue of Liberty reopens for the first time since super storm Sandy. Ellis Island is still closed for repairs. On Friday, the IRS closes down for the day. It is one of the five days this year when the tax office will close because of automatic budget cuts. Also on Friday, the Labor Department releases the jobs report for June.

All right. Busy week ahead. That is going to do it for me, I'm Fredricka Whitfield. THE NEWSROOM continues with Don Lemon.

Don. LEMON: All right. Fredricka thank you very much.