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WEEKEND EARLY START
Death Valley Hit 127 Degrees on Saturday; Protests in Cities Across Egypt; Interview with Jesse Jackson
Aired June 30, 2013 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): It's been one year since President Morsi came to power in Egypt, but today, massive protests will call for him to step down.
Just as many same-sex couples are celebrating their right to marry, some chaplains are grieving it. Now, they're calling for protections of their own.
Paula Deen, the Zimmerman trial and the Voting Rights Act, these stories dominated headlines this past week. The common thread? Race. Reverend Jesse Jackson weighs in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. It's 8:00 here on the East Coast, 5:00 a.m. out West. I'm Suzanne Malveaux.
KOSIK: And I'm Alison Kosik. Thanks for starting your morning with us. This is a nice live look at Atlanta there.
MALVEAUX: And it's good to see you, in person.
KOSIK: Good to see you.
MALVEAUX: We begin this morning out West with a heat wave that is breaking records. It might have claimed its first victim.
KOSIK: On -- go ahead.
MALVEAUX: On Saturday, authorities found the man in his 80s dead in his Las Vegas home. He died from cardiac arrest and his home did not have air conditioning.
KOSIK: Meantime, temperatures continue to soar. Phoenix, a one- day record of 119 degrees on Saturday. It's really incredible.
In Death Valley, the mercury hit a whopping 127. That's where we find CNN's Tory Dunnan -- Tory.
TORY DUNNAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's called Death Valley for a reason. The sun beats down on a baron landscape. Tourists from around the world come to see it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We come from Switzerland.
DUNNAN: And to feel it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very hot. And thirsty.
DUNNAN: With an extreme heat wave bringing soaring temps, the draw is irresistible for some. These two are hitting the pavement, literally.
(on camera): Why do this?
JOHN L. WALKER, RUNNER: Because we're crazy. We love the heat.
MIKE WOOD, DEATH VALLEY RESIDENT: Well, it's a novelty thing, you know. To say we were out in the heat when it was 125 to 130, run two or three miles, then we're finished.
DUNNAN (voice-over): Death Valley local Mike Wood is used to the heat, but when his shoes start melting, it's time to pay attention.
(on camera): Tell me about these shoes.
WOOD: My nasty shoes? Well, the ground temperatures here can approach a couple hundred degrees, so you're talking about pretty much boiling the shoes. So, everything that kind of holds the shoes together kind of comes apart.
DUNNAN: This is the exact spot where nearly a century ago, the world record was taken for a temperature of 134 degrees. With this heat wave, they're expecting temperatures close to 130 degrees.
So, rangers come out to this spot, the official weather station. They take a look at these thermometers. And yes, this is for history, but it's also a little bit more important.
JAY SNOW, DEATH VALLEY PARK RANGER: Heat can hurt. And if I don't take the right temperature, then we may tell them, oh, it's cool enough to go out and hike the sand dunes or cool enough to go hike Golden Canyon. It is not.
DUNNAN (voice-over): Ranger Jay Snow's checks and balances.
SNOW: Let me check the water temperature.
DUNNAN: At this unassuming little post is a part of Death Valley.
SNOW: When we say that the temperature was recorded four foot off the ground back in, there it is.
DUNNAN (on camera): Was that the box from 1913?
SNOW: I have no idea, but it looks like it's from 1913. DUNNAN (on camera): There is a bit of a debate over where the highest temperatures are read. Some say it's right here at the bad water basin, which is the lowest point of elevation in the U.S. at 282 feet below sea level.
Tory Dunnan, CNN, Death Valley, California.
MALVEAUX: So, the question, of course, how long is this heat wave going to last?
KOSIK: Let's go to our meteorologist Alexandra Steele in our severe weather center.
What do you think, Alexandra?
ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, it's like an atmospheric blast furnace out there, it really is. And it's kind of the breadth and depth of this heat wave. So, not only is it bad weather where she was, but in Phoenix and Vegas.
So, not only are temperatures so elevated, 110s, they're doing it for days, at least five days. And at nighttime, they're getting no relief because temperatures are dropping into the 90s, then that's it.
So, here's the culprit. It's a jet stream extreme. It's this area of high pressure, it's sinking air, it's compressing air, it's warming air and it's stagnant and it's not moving. It's certainly not moving eastward, kind of allowing room for maybe a different air mass to take its place.
It's westward moving, almost retrograding, keeping it well ensconces in the area for even longer.
So, straight through the week, we're going to have incredibly elevated temperatures. So, we talked about a new record in Las Vegas yesterday, 115, new record in Phoenix, 119. But they're not only records for the day or month.
Take a look at how close they are to the all-time record high these places have ever seen. Only two degrees shy in Vegas and three in Phoenix.
So, temperatures incredibly elevated, even at night, 91. It's early in the morning now. Usually, we have very cooler, the coolest of temperatures. Not so. Las Vegas 92.
So, temperatures not moving out of the 90s and aren't expected to. Look at this, today 116 in Las Vegas. Average is 103. But even by Thursday, they're still in the 110s.
Friday, we get down to 109, but still, straight through July 4th weekend. You can see phoenix 109 as we head toward the week, and temperatures aren't really moving from that as well. But it's also not just the desert southwest where, yes, it's hot, and temperatures on the average are way above 100, but Salt Lake City, whose average is 89, yesterday had 105, a record for them, today 104, Monday 104, Tuesday 103, and that's the beginning of the week.
It's not until Friday that they drop down into the 90s.
So, you guys, Alison, we're going to see temperatures that are incredible elevated for really quite some time. So, the duration of this heat wave is really one thing that's off-putting.
KOSIK: It's funny you say drop down to 103, you know? That doesn't sound very inviting.
STEELE: It's a cool morning in Las Vegas with 96, refreshing air.
KOSIK: Yes, there you go. Alexandra Steele, thanks.
KOSIK: Now, let's go to Egypt, where thousands of protesters have packed Tahrir Square on Mohamed Morsi's first anniversary as president. Excuse me, the scene in Cairo resembles the antigovernment protests two years ago that toppled the Mubarak regime.
MALVEAUX: Some protests this week have been violent. Several people already died. Others are loud, passionate with pro-government supporters on one side. On the other side, people demanding that the democratically elected president step down.
Ben Wedeman is in Tahrir Square.
Ben, what does it look like today? Do we expect that it is going to get violent later in the afternoon?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly, the numbers are increasing. And even though it's very hot here in Cairo, in the 90s, more and more people are expected to come into Tahrir Square, not just Tahrir Square, but outside of the Ittihadiya Palace, which is the traditional headquarters of the Egyptian president, although President Mohamed Morsi has had the good sense not to be there today.
There is another -- near there, there is another large, pro-Morsi demonstration.
Now, what we saw yesterday was the same sort of demonstrations, not as big as what we're expecting today, going on at the same time. There were no clashes in Cairo. Most of the clashes have been either in Alexandria on the Mediterranean or in the delta.
But if the demonstrators are kept apart in Cairo, violence can be avoided. But certainly, both sides we've seen are bracing for the possibility of clashes. In fact, we were at the pro-Muslim Brotherhood rally yesterday, and there were a lot of men with sticks and clubs and nunchucks and shields made out of garbage lids and what not, so people are bracing for violence.
What's missing in this situation is the police. The police simply are not out today. And in fact, many police officers have said they want to see the government of Mohamed Morsi brought down.
So, a tense situation, and violence is definitely a possibility.
MALVEAUX: All right, Ben. We're going to check in with you in about 30 minutes or so to see how things are developing on the ground there.
Thanks, Ben Wedeman.
KOSIK: The Supreme Court could find itself once again intervening in the fight over same-sex marriage in California. Opponents have now filed an emergency motion asking justices to stop the state from issuing wedding licenses to same-sex couples. Their issue is with the federal appeals court, which gave the go-ahead for same-sex marriages to resume in California.
They say the decision was handed down too soon. Quote, "Our clients have not been given the time they are due and were promised so that they can make their next decision in the legal process. The more than 7 million Californians that voted to enact Proposition 8 deserve nothing short of the full respect our judicial system provides."
It's unclear if or when the high court might consider the emergency application.
MALVEAUX: Well-wishers are flocking to the hospital where Nelson Mandela is being treated. They are dancing in tribute to him. We're going to have the very latest on Mandela's condition.
And I'm going to talk with Reverend Jesse Jackson about Paula Deen's fall from grace and other stories that put race in the headlines this past week.
KOSIK: In South Africa, many people are thinking of and praying today for Nelson Mandela. He's now been in a Pretoria hospital now for three weeks with a persistent lung infection. He remains in stable but critical condition.
There's been an out pouring of support for the 94-year-old antiapartheid icon. An orchestra performed outside of the hospital this morning in tribute to the man many South Africans call father as a sign of deep respect.
MALVEAUX: The issue of race front and center in the news last week, from the Supreme Court striking down a key part of the Voting Rights Act to the fallout from Paula Deen's use of the N-word, to the George Zimmerman murder trial as well.
I'm joined now in Chicago by civil rights leader, Rainbow PUSH Coalition president, Reverend Jesse Jackson. Good to see you this morning here.
REV. JESSE JACKSON, CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER: Good morning.
MALVEAUX: There's so many things to talk about. And obviously, you know, race being really very much at the center of a lot of news items. Let's start with Paula Deen. I know that you've mentioned before that you were talking with her, advising her.
We know a number of corporations that have since dropped her after her -- admitting that she used the N-word almost two decades ago. And I was surprised to learn that she actually reached out to former President Jimmy Carter as well.
And I want you to listen to what he said.
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JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT: I've known Paula Deen quite well for a long period of time. I advised her to let the dust settle and to make apologies.
And she has some very beneficial programs in Savannah, Georgia, where she lives that benefit almost exclusively oppressed and poverty- stricken black people, African-American citizens in her own community and I advised her to get those people who she's helping every day to speak out and show that she has changed in her relationship with African-American people, with minorities, in the last number of years.
But my heart goes out to her, but of course, there's no condoning the use of a word that abuses other people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Reverend, you've been speaking with her. What do you think is appropriate?
JACKSON: Well, first of all, it's really not just about the N- word, it's about the workplace conditions. The workers within the company begin to contact attorney Robert Portillo, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the attorney general.
She must address the workers, not just a community, not just the press and Matt Lauer, but address the offended workers, number one. Number two, get someone to evaluate the conditions within the company that's creating the complaints, and then they plan a reconstruction.
I think attrition is very significant, and no one has begun the zone of bracing mercy, but the process of reconstruction must be more meaningfully addressed. Those workers who have worked there, they should be addressed and addressed rather quickly.
MALVEAUX: Do you think it was appropriate for all those corporations and sponsors to drop her?
JACKSON: Well, that's a judgment they made based upon the branding item and their own set of fears. I remember a similar situation happened with Texaco some years ago, I might add. A racial matter, a number of ministers met with them.
And they immediately owned the problem. They then did an internal investigation, found that the accusations were valid and put forth a plan for reconstruction. They eventually hired now Governor Deval Patrick to be their joint counsel, who is now the governor.
I mean, when these problems do occur, own the problem, address the people who are offended, evaluate it and then put forth a plan to reconstruction. I think mea culpa is important. No one should be begun trial before punishment.
I don't understand the kind of (INAUDIBLE) impact of all these corporations. And I don't understand they're not meaningfully address the issue forthrightly.
MALVEAUX: Let's move on to the Voting Rights Act, because there were several very important decisions that the Supreme Court ruled, that some Jim Crow states, essentially, and cities, no longer have to get the approval from the Justice Department before they change either the political boundaries or the voting rules.
And this was something that a lot of people felt very strongly about.
What do you think, ultimately, the result is going to be?
JACKSON: Well, we've gone from federal oversight to the rather raw exposure to states' rights again, a 48-year setback. Already, they have begun the process in the states' rights, state-by-state gerrymandering and the schemes of 1965 that impact Latinos and in Texas, they could lose four congressional seats, maybe two in Arizona. They impact upon blacks across the South could be just as well.
I would think that the Supreme Court did an overreach as ghastly as it was in 1986. I hope two things will happen: that the massive march on Washington plan is a symbolic march, a march to restore the voting rights federal protections. Beyond that, even a constitutional right to vote, they're going to have a states' right to vote. Maybe a constitutional right to vote will spare us of this agony.
And I hope president Barack Obama will do as Lyndon Johnson did. Go to the Congress, speak to the congress and the nation about the importance of the integrity of our democracy.
MALVEAUX: All right, Reverend Jackson --
JACKSON: And seek immediate remedy.
MALVEAUX: Stay there, if you will. We're going to take a quick break, and, of course, we'll be talking about many other topics, including the Trayvon Martin's family insisting that race should not play a part in the trial of George Zimmerman. But that might be a bit hard to avoid.
We're going to talk about the testimony of Martin's friend, Rachel Jeantel, up next.
MALVEAUX: We've been talking with Reverend Jesse Jackson. Thank you for joining us again.
You led the charge last year to bring justice to the family of Trayvon Martin. The trial, as you know, is now under way, and this has gotten a lot of attention here over the last week or so. A lot of people looking at the key witness. It was Trayvon Martin's friend, Rachel Jeantel.
Now, she was the last person, as you know, to speak to Trayvon martin when he was alive, before he was shot by George Zimmerman, and she testified about a conversation that she said this is how Trayvon Martin described Zimmerman. I want you to take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RACHEL JEANTEL, TRAYVON MARTIN'S FRIEND: I asked him what the man looked like.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And --
JEANTEL: He just told me the man -- the man looked creepy and --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said the man looked creepy?
JEANTEL: Creepy, white, kill-my-neighbors cracker.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, and what did you say? OK, they're having trouble hearing you, so take your time.
JEANTEL: Creepy (EXPLETIVE DELETED) cracker.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Reverend, I want you to weigh in here on what you make of the language, because she said it wasn't a racial term, but she also said that Trayvon Martin had used the N-word. And I'm wondering, what are you making of the language that you're hearing that's coming out of the testimony? Could race play a part in this trial?
JACKSON: Well, one, here's a young African-American boy with Skittles and tea going home. He looks back and looks at someone perceived to be a white person, apparently stalking him, and of course, fear comes. He begins to engage in conversation.
The young boy is unarmed, the man is armed, who's advised to not follow him. He chose to follow him anyhow, and he shot and killed him in apparently some kind of tussle.
That's all we really know is that an unarmed boy was shot by an armed men. The infinitesimal detail of the trial -- I'm not the trial lawyer, I have no oversight on that, except I know that he should not have been followed or should not have been shot. MALVEAUX: I guess the question is, I know that the Martin family, Trayvon Martin's family, they don't want to have race be injected in this, and a lot of people have been looking at this trial through the lens of race, and you have this racial language that has now been put out there in the testimony.
Do you think that language that we've heard is going to impact somehow the verdict?
JACKSON: Well, clearly, it's perceived, even though he's found Hispanic, to be a white-black situation. And the ideas listened to the family and Reverend Sharpton and others of them is that he killed him and walked away. Until that was protests, he was not brought back even into court, and that kind of cheapened the life of black people who experience this all too often, indeed, and at the police department, similar things have happened before.
The issue of blacks and browns being profiled, New York attempts to justify it. So, being profiled and disproportionately (ph) arrested and shot and killed happens all too often and must be meaningfully addressed by the Department of Justice.
MALVEAUX: You know, we've talked about the N-word, and we've talked about it here on CNN with the Paula Deen story, then obviously this has come up in the George Zimmerman trial. Do you think there's any time that the use of that word is appropriate, even among young people who feel that gets -- the racial sting has been taken out of it?
JACKSON: Well, it's deeply engrained in our culture. The use of it used to describe African-American people as inferior, as in cannot learn -- should never sit next to me on a bus, should never have the right to vote, should never have privileges. That's the use of it.
Then, many blacks internalize the word to describe it as a kind of culture idiom, he is a bad brother, he can do these things. And then there's a kind of controversial use of it, where you begin to cut records and sell records in (INAUDIBLE).
However it is used, it is always pejorative, unacceptable. It really should be stopped.
MALVEAUX: And, finally, I know this is probably a difficult week for your family. I know your son, former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., and his wife, Sandi Jackson, are going to be sentenced this week having pled guilty to using campaign money for things like vacations and that type of thing. The government is thinking that perhaps up to four years in prison here.
What do you think is appropriate? I know that they have two young children.
JACKSON: Well, we plead for mercy. And we thank so many people for their prayers and concerns. We're waiting with bated breath and to see what the outcome will be. Of course, we have an outpouring of love for our children and grandchildren. We'll have to wait for the outcome and make family adjustments.
In the meantime, we thank so many people for their prayers and their concerns.
MALVEAUX: All right. Reverend Jesse Jackson, thank you so much for your time. We really appreciate it this morning. Thank you.
JACKSON: Thank you.
KOSIK: Is Edward Snowden dropping another bombshell? Top European Union officials are furious at the U.S., and they're demanding an explanation. The stunning, new allegations about U.S. surveillance secrets, straight ahead.
MALVEAUX: Bottom of the hour now. Welcome back, everyone. I'm Suzanne Malveaux.
KOSIK: And I'm Alison Kosik. Here are the five things you need to know this morning.
Number one, the heat wave out West may have claimed its first victim. On Saturday authorities found a man in his 80s dead in his Las Vegas home. He died from cardiac arrest. His home didn't have any air conditioning.
Meantime, temperatures continue to soar. Phoenix saw a one-day record of 119 degrees on Saturday. And in Death Valley, the mercury hit a whopping 127.
At number two, Nelson Mandela remains in critical but stable condition at a hospital in Pretoria, South Africa. The 94-year-old Noble Peace laureate and champion of civil rights has been battling a lung infection. His wife is at his bedside and crowds of well-wishers have gathered outside the hospital singing and praying for him.
MALVEAUX: Number three, the Supreme Court could find itself once again intervening in the fight over same-sex marriage in California. This weekend, opponents filed an emergency motion asking justices to stop the state from issuing wedding licenses to same-sex couples. Their issue is with the federal appeals court, which gave the go-ahead for same-sex marriages to resume in California. Well, they say the decision was handed down too soon.
KOSIK: Number four, Joe Lefeged of the Indianapolis Colts facing gun charges. Police Lefeged and another man fled from a Washington traffic stop early Saturday but were caught almost immediately after a foot chase. Officials say they found a .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol inside his car.
MALVEAUX: And at number five, thousands of protesters are packing the streets of Cairo. That's right, demanding President Mohamed Morsi step down. Today is his one-year anniversary in office. The scene in Tahrir Square resembles the protests two years ago that toppled the Mubarak regime.
Well, this week, anti-government protesters have clashed with massive crowds of Morsi's supporters. At least eight people have been killed, including an American student.
KOSIK: So let's go now to Cairo. CNN's Reza Sayah is outside the Presidential palace. Reza, tell me what it's like out there today.
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's calm right now, Alison, but in some ways, this feels like the build-up and the anticipation you feel before a heavyweight prize fight. In this occasion, the two opponents are two sides that don't like one another and obviously, there's so much at stake here -- the future of democracy and the Egyptian revolution of 2011, the future of this government led by President Morsi and the future of the Arab spring in many ways. And most importantly, lives are at stake, too.
Previously, when these two sides have clashed, people have gotten killed and injured, and there's a lot of concern for that happening again.
This is one of the focal points where we are, the Presidential palace in Cairo. I'm going to briefly step outside of the shot to show you what things look like at this hour. To your left is the Presidential palace. You see a few hundred people who have already gathered. Some have set up their tents. And what you also see is a very lengthy concrete barrier that's extending in front of the palace that's designed to serve as a buffer zone between protesters and the palace. What you don't see is security guards.
So if things don't change, if the protesters want to get at that palace, it would seem all they have to do is climb the concrete barrier over there. This mass demonstration that's planned is part of a campaign that started three months ago with a petition drive calling for President Morsi to leave, calling for new elections.
Organizers of the campaign claim that they've gathered 22 million signatures. If that's the case, that's nine million more signatures than President Morsi won votes last year. So the message from the campaign is simple. They say, President Morsi, more people want you out than they want you in. Not to be out done, President Morsi's supporters are also demonstrating in a sit-in a short drive away from here, and the big concern is, if some point today the two sides clash, it's not going to be a pretty scene.
MALVEAUX: And Reza, real quick here, I mean this guy was elected democratically, so what is the main problem here? Why do they want to get him out?
SAYAH: The main problem by the opposition, who are the moderates and the liberals, is that they claim the President has hijacked the revolution and side-lined their voices. But what's remarkable, joining the opposition are supporters of the old Mubarak regime, supporters of the military. Remember, it was the military and the Mubarak supporters who were the target of the liberals and the Muslim Brotherhood supporters in 2011.
Now there's been a clear shift in teams, and that's what adds to the drama.
MALVEAUX: All right, Reza Sayah, thank you so much. We'll be watching to see what actually happens on the ground. It could be very tense.
This is the guy everyone wants to find. Only Edward Snowden has -- he's disappeared from sight. Now you've got this top Russian lawmaker says quote "It would be immoral if Moscow actually hands Snowden over to the United States."
KOSIK: So it is believed that the NSA leaker is still holed up at a Moscow airport, but he's apparently dropping yet another bombshell, and this one has made European officials furious in Washington. Let's go ahead and find out more from CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr.
Barbara, do you have more details about this latest development? What are -- what are these newest allegations?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well good morning to both of you.
A bombshell this morning the German publication "Der Spiegel" is reporting that the European Union offices were electronically bugged, spied upon by the U.S., all according to what "Der Spiegel" says are documents from Edward Snowden, the self-confessed NSA leaker. And it's all provoking a very strong reaction from president of the European parliament Martin Schulz, who said in a statement and I want to read it to you he says quote, "I am deeply worried and shocked about the allegations of U.S. authorities spying on EU -- European Union -- offices. If the allegations prove to be true, it would be an extremely serious matter which will have a severe impact on EU-US relations. On behalf of the European parliament, I demand full clarification and require further information speedily from the US authorities with regard to these allegations."
Now, we have not heard yet from the Obama administration a specific response on this. It's the European Union. All the members of that are allies of the U.S., so it remains to be seen how this will be explained.
MALVEAUX: Yes, it seems like it would be quite a serious fallout if in fact that is true. Now, in terms of Snowden, where is he? Do we know if Ecuador has decided that they're going to accept him?
STARR: Yes, well, that's it, you know? How many days are we into this? By all accounts, he still remains in Moscow, still believed to be in the airport possibly, but let's be clear, we don't -- nobody really knows that, except perhaps for the Russians.
And Vice President Joe Biden has now spoken to the President of Ecuador, asking him to reject any request by Snowden for asylum. Pardon me -- Rafael Correa said in his weekly broadcast in Ecuador that they could not even proceed with the request for asylum because Snowden is not yet in Ecuadorian territory. If he makes it there, then they will look at it.
Well look, I mean, we're days into this now, and it's becoming a real three-dimensional chess game going on. But President Obama appearing to want to stay out of it publicly -- let all the governments work something out here. But the real question may be in the next couple of days how long before the Russians just want him gone and where will he go?
KOSIK: Ok, Barbara Starr, thank you.
MALVEAUX: Military chaplains are speaking out against the Supreme Court's ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, why some are saying that they believe that their religious liberties are at stake.
KOSIK: For today's "Faces of Faith", we're talking about the Supreme Court's decision to strike down part of the Defense of Marriage Act and what effect that could have on military chaplains.
MALVEAUX: Same-sex couples can and have been married on military bases. With the Supreme Court ruling, they may now be able to receive spousal military benefits just like straight married couples as well.
KOSIK: But not all chaplains are ok with same-sex weddings in the military. Joining us now from Washington, Retired Military Chaplain Ron Crews, executive director of the group Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. Good morning to you, Ron.
RON CREWS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CHAPLAIN ALLIANCE FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY: Good morning, Suzanne and Alison.
KOSIK: The Defense Department says no one will be forced to perform a same-sex wedding. So, explain what you are worried about. You know, what do you fear could happen now that DOMA is gone?
CREWS: Well, chaplains have been protected by the Defense of Marriage Act in saying no to same-sex couples for marriage counseling, for going on marriage retreats. Most of our chaplains are come from Evangelical, orthodox backgrounds who hold to the belief and understanding that marriage is the union of one man and one woman and we don't want to see these chaplains discriminated against for their rightly held religious beliefs because of striking down of that section of the Defense of Marriage Act.
MALVEAUX: And Chaplain, you also opposed the repeal of "don't ask don't tell" and under that policy, there were thousands of gay troops who lost their jobs simply for being gay. There have not been chaplains who've lost their jobs for their religious beliefs, so what is the fear here? What is behind your concern?
CREWS: We do have some chaplains who have experienced some recrimination for their positions. A chaplain that was reassigned a position that he had been awarded about based on his opposition to "don't ask don't tell" he was reassigned. We've had other chaplains who have been directly ordered, resign your commission because of their opposition and concern about these policies.
Right now, we're working with Congress and we are grateful that they have passed some legislation last year in the FY '13 National Defense Authorization Act that provide the right of conscience clause and this year in the House of the Representatives they passed even stronger language and we're hoping that this language will be adopted by the Senate and that chaplains and those they serve will be protected from any form of recrimination. We don't want them discriminated against because of their rightly held religious beliefs.
MALVEAUX: And I know you say rightly held religious beliefs. It's controversial, to say the least, in terms of where you fall on this. But the latest CNN/ORC poll does show that 55 percent of Americans say that same-sex marriage should be legally recognized; 44 percent oppose that. Do you feel like in some ways you are losing, perhaps, support in terms of your religious beliefs in your community on this issue?
CREWS: What the polls say come and go, and we've seen time and again, when polls have said a state is going to affirm same-sex marriage and then that state not affirm it, North Carolina being one of the recent ones going into the election. All the pollsters were saying that same-sex marriage would win there, and it did not.
But that's beside the point. It's a matter of consciously-held religious belief and an understanding that children need a mom and a dad, it takes a mom and a dad to produce a child and we believe that a child needs to know who their mom and dad are. And the chaplains who hold that position -- and not only chaplains but all military personnel who hold those positions should be able to continue to serve with their religious liberties since they're putting their lives on the line to protect the religious liberties of all Americans.
KOSIK: Ok. Justice Antonin Scalia had written in his dissent, Ron, that "It's one thing for a society to elect change, it's another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it, enemies of the human race." How do you react to that?
CREWS: Well, I was grateful to Justice Scalia's words to provide some balance to the words that were written in the majority opinion by Justice Kennedy. I'm grateful that he acknowledged that those who hold these beliefs don't hold them out of animus or anger toward anyone. They hold them because they believe that this comes -- that marriage is defined ultimately by God and that a court can say what they want to say about the definition of marriage, but marriage ultimately, for those who hold this view is defined by God.
And so, it doesn't matter what polls say, it doesn't matter what the whim of the government may be. They hold a view that it takes a mom and a dad to produce a child and a child needs a mom and a dad, and that that's the definition of marriage that has stood the test of time through civilizations and history throughout our nation as well as around the world.
MALVEAUX: Chaplain Ron Crews, thank you so much for your time. We appreciate it; obviously, the Supreme Court moving in a different direction. Appreciate it.
CREWS: You're welcome. Thank you.
KOSIK: Ok, we are headed into week two of the George Zimmerman murder trial, and for the first time, jurors are set to hear George Zimmerman describe the scene the night he shot Trayvon Martin.
KOSIK: The George Zimmerman murder trial resumes tomorrow morning. The second week poised to be just as explosive as the first. And this is going to be the first chance for jurors to hear from the defendant and how he described the shooting of Trayvon Martin to police.
CNN legal correspondent Jean Casarez is following the trial for us. Jean, why are these tapes where Zimmerman described the scene, why are these tapes so important?
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: And to the prosecution they're so important because this is a case about the credibility of George Zimmerman. I remember the opening statement. The prosecution said ladies and gentlemen, because there are two alternates, now one. They said George Zimmerman will tell you himself that this is a case of murder. This is what they're talking about. So, this is critical to them.
Now, Alison, they can't play the whole tapes because a lot of things on the tapes help George Zimmerman, and there's been an order that there cannot be self-serving hearsay played for the jury. So, I think we're going to see bits and pieces, but it's all the inconsistencies. That's what they want to show the jury.
Like for instance, in the videotape recreation, he says that Trayvon Martin came forward and he circled his car, but he doesn't say that in the non emergency 911 call, and we believe the statement. He gave a lot, because he did a written statement, a couple of audio- taped statements and then that video-taped recreation the day after.
But on the other hand, the defense even can get something out of this, because you see a calm demeanor. You don't see one that has evil, hatred, spite in them, which is the depraved heart. And you also see someone that has bandages on the back of his head. So, you see a videotape of the injuries that are covered up.
KOSIK: All right, so could we actually hear from George Zimmerman? Could he take the stand?
CASAREZ: See, that's the question everybody -- nobody thinks he's going to take the stand, because there is a lot to lose. He's facing life in prison. There are so many inconsistencies here. And then the prosecution has to show beyond a reasonable doubt that there was not self-defense. And that could make the job easier if there's one more statement with so much inconsistency.
But I say he could take the stand possibly, because the jury may want to get to know George Zimmerman. The defense may want the jury to get to know George Zimmerman. That's part of that. And also, there are things that would come out that could help George Zimmerman about his character and the person he is, and it's almost all out there anyway, so the defense might say, why not?
KOSIK: All right, Jean Casarez in New York, thanks.
KOSIK: And same-sex marriages resume in California, a champion of LGBT rights is promising a national push to make it legal for gay and lesbian couples to tie the knot in any state.
MALVEAUX: Attorney David Boies who argued the Proposition 8 case before the Supreme Court says it is now his goal to have marriage equality in all 50 states in just five years.
Want to bring in the host of CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION," Candy Crowley. Candy, interesting, you're going to be speaking to Boies -- fascinating. It was the former president Jimmy Carter who made some news, said that he too believes that same-sex marriage should be a legal right across the country. How would Boies do this? How would he make that happen?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN HOST, "STATE OF THE UNION": Well and there you have the first question, because he has said, "Next five years, this is going to be the mission, and we will take it state to state." And the question is, would it be -- I mean, that's a long haul. You have some states -- what, 37 states -- sort of a collection of states that some have civil unions, some haven't even done anything about the issue and others have outright banned same-sex marriage. So, there's these 37 states.
And assuming you pick off some -- those that you think are sort of leaning towards approving in some way, the state legislature, I imagine is the first step here and you go there. But just how they propose to do this, that's a pretty big order over five years, especially because the Supreme Court ruling not only activated those in favor of same-sex marriage, it activated those who are against it.
MALVEAUX: All right, Candy. Good to see you, as always. We're, of course, going to be watching closely that interview. It should be fascinating. You want to keep it here. "STATE OF THE UNION" starts top of the hour, 9:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
And he's definitely adorable, but being incredibly cute hardly his only achievement. We're going to introduce you to this little guy when we come back.
MALVEAUX: We are seeing a record-setting heat wave making things pretty uncomfortable across the country. Just check out the animals -- this is at the Houston Zoo -- working hard to just keep cool.
Zookeepers brought in a supply of monkey popsicles -- I kid you not. It's made up of water, fruit juice, some seeds or nuts. Elephants, they're using dirt as sunscreen and splashed in the water. They shouldn't expect much relief today, however, because temperatures may soar into the upper 90s.
KOSIK: Ok, you may or may not consider this next animal adorable. Meet Ethan -- look at little Ethan -- he's a baby Indian rhino living at the Montgomery Zoo in Alabama. He's actually the first rhino ever to be conceived using artificial insemination. The zoo's staff says they are overjoyed at the accomplishment.
And while one is good, two definitely better. Check out this pair of baby snow leopards at the zoo in Boise, Ohio -- now that is cute. The cubs, one is a boy and one is a girl, were born almost a month ago as part of an effort to preserve the species. The newborns aren't on exhibit just yet. They've still got some bonding time to do with their proud parents.
They're really cute -- not to put the rhino down -- but they're really cute.
MALVEAUX: Well, I like how he scooches or crawls, you know. It was really fun.
KOSIK: All right. Thanks for watching this morning.
MALVEAUX: "STATE OF THE UNION" with Candy Crowley starts now.