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Nationwide Rallies; Home Captivity Case; Relief from Extreme Heat; Remembering Helen Thomas; Bomb Suspects Link To Triple Murder; Final Round of the British Open; Bleacher Report

Aired July 21, 2013 - 06:00   ET


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: The northeast may be cooling off, but wildfires continue to threaten California. And while expected thunderstorms could bring some relief, they present new dangers.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Jay-Z and Beyonce out on the town in New York City Saturday, but it was not for a red carpet event. A show of support, rather, for protesters.

BLACKWELL: You know what this is. Comic-Con, the annual extravaganza. But in addition to your film stars and your comic book stars, there was this somewhat unexpected guest.

HARLOW: Good morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. July 21st. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It's 6:00 a.m. here in the East.

Florida's governor is calling for a statewide day of prayer for unity this Sunday morning. He's hoping to begin healing the wounds that opened up after a jury acquitted George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin.

HARLOW: The governor's proclamation follows rallies across the country yesterday. Rallies called "Justice for Trayvon." Our Nick Valencia reports from Miami.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Enough is enough!

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Across the nation, a call to action.

SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN'S MOTHER: Not only do I vow to you to do what I can for Trayvon Martin, I promise you I'm going to work hard for your children as well.

VALENCIA: From New York, to Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles. In more than 100 cities, rallies with one clear message, justice for Trayvon Martin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he was profiled, as well as a lot of our African-American men, and he was singled out. And I think it's a travesty.

TRACY MARTIN, TRAYVON MARTIN'S FATHER: Trayvon was my son. He was a love child. He did nothing wrong.

VALENCIA: In Miami, Tracy Martin, father of the slain 17-year- old, was the headliner. Surrounded by hundreds of supporters, he spoke to CNN.

MARTIN: It's overwhelming. It's just - it just goes to show the love and the support that our families and friends have for us here in Miami, as well as across the country. And it sends a message to the nation that you -- we're not going to sit back and let our children be killed and don't say anything about it.

VALENCIA: One week to the day George Zimmerman was acquitted in the death of Martin, thousands fanned across the United States, the hope of power in numbers, to put pressure on the Justice Department. Activists want civil rights charges filed against the former neighborhood watchman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to organize and have rallies just like this in order to fight racism.

VALENCIA: In Florida, demonstrators pushed to get the controversial Stand Your Ground law amended. And while the governor has said he will not budge in his support for the law, Martin's supporters have not been discouraged.

MARTIN: I think the people are just tired of senseless violence, and the people really want the world to know that our children's lives matter just as much as their children's lives.


VALENCIA: It's the voice of a movement they hope will bring change.

Poppy. Victor.

HARLOW: All right, Nick, thank you. And thanks to all our teams who spent all day yesterday across the country covering those rallies.


CROWD (singing): Amen, amen, amen


BLACKWELL: Two of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s children attended the "Justice for Trayvon" rally in Atlanta and both of them spoke with us here at CNN.


MARTIN LUTHER KING III, PRESIDENT & CEO, REALIZING THE DREAM: When you look at the fact that the criminal justice system is 59 percent people of color and we are only 13 percent of the population, there is something clearly going wrong where targeting or profiling is consistently operating. Those are the kind of things, some of the laws, that are on the books overall. This is a time for us to begin to look at everything so that we can move America forward. We must become a more unified nation. We are far too divided at this time.

REV. BERNICE KING, DAUGHTER OF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: For me, the step is, first with the honest dialogue that we have to begin to have. And by the president setting the tone, whether there are those who disagree with it or not, that opens the door and the way for us to begin.


HARLOW: Meantime, superstars Beyonce and Jay-Z attended the "Justice for Trayvon" rally in New York City. You see them right there. They kept a low profile, but the couple did pose for a photograph with Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, also along there right aside the Reverend Al Sharpton. Sharpton posted this photo on his Instagram page.

BLACKWELL: Charges have now been filed in a captivity case that we first told you about yesterday. You know, police found those four malnourished men in a home in Houston.

HARLOW: Yes. Very troubling. Three of them, police say, were being kept in a garage when they were found by authorities, but now police want to know exactly why they were there, how long they were there for. Our Ed Lavandera has more.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Poppy, criminal charges have now been filed here in this bizarre case in north Houston, where four men were found being held against their will inside this house just beyond that purple wall. The man who was arrested is a man by the name of Walter Jones. He is the grandson of the woman who owns this house. He has been charged with two felony criminal counts, one of them injury to the elderly by act and the other injury to the elderly by omission.

And this is a case where investigators are still trying to unravel the timeline of exactly what was going on inside this house and how long the four men had been held against their will inside this house. They said the conditions inside were deplorable. The men needed to be taken to a hospital for treatment. But we are told by investigators here in Houston that the three men that were taken to the hospital are now in stable condition and doing much better.

Victor and Poppy, back to you.

BLACKWELL: All right, Ed Lavandera in Houston, thank you.

HARLOW: Meantime, investigators say there are no signs of foul play in the roller coaster death of a woman at Six Flags Over Texas. In a statement, Six Flags wrote that it is not yet ready to comment on the incident which took place on Friday. They said doing so would be a, quote, "disservice" to the woman's family. Witnesses told CNN affiliate WFAA that the woman who flew out of the roller coaster had expressed concern about the safety of her seat.

BLACKWELL: South of Los Angeles, it looks like firefighters have finally turned the corner on a wildfire that's already destroyed at least six homes. The Mountain Fire, as it's called, is now 49 percent contained. Evacuation orders are still in effect for Idyllwild and Fern Valley. Firefighters could get some help today from rain moving into the area, but flooding is now a concern.

HARLOW: And let's take you to Milwaukee, where health officials say that a heat wave may have claimed two more lives. A 69-year-old man, also a 64-year-old woman both died in their home without air conditioning. This comes after three men were found there dead earlier this past week.

BLACKWELL: Let's bring in meteorologist Jennifer Delgado in the CNN weather center.

And when you hear that people are losing their lives, this becomes more than an annoyance, but hopefully relief is on the way.

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely. And the relief is actually here, guys. Yesterday was the last day of the extreme heat, and that was hitting areas like the northeast, as well as New England. But as I show you across parts of the Midwest right now, you can see temperatures in the 60s and 70s. We're actually just a couple of degrees below average across parts of the midsection, as well as the eastern part of the U.S. So certainly there is some relief out there.

You can see the high temperatures today. We're not seeing the upper 90s like what we saw yesterday across parts of the northeast. Eighty-six for New York for the high, 89 in Washington, D.C. And then for Kansas City, a high of 88 degrees.

Now, yesterday there was a lot of rain coming down. In fact, on the radar, we're still tracking some storms through parts of the Midwest, as well as down towards the south. But in Atlanta yesterday, let me show you some video coming into us of flooding that happened after days of heavy rainfall. Well, you know what happens when you get these afternoon storms. It leads to problems with flash flooding. And I feel like that may not be the right video, but we'll move it on.

And we will continue to talk about the weather, because out in the west, where Victor was just talking about the Mountain Fire being 49 percent contained, well, we are still watching this, of course, because weather conditions are going to be very important there for the firefighters and the possible spread. But it looks like the winds aren't going to be as gusty today. We're really expecting those to come from the east-southeast, roughly right around 5 to 10 miles per hour. We could still see some stronger gusts.

But notice what's happening there. We have a lot of shower activity. And this is all due to the monsoon season. Poppy, you guys remember, I talked about this yesterday, and the flooding that was happening through parts of Las Vegas. Well, this kind of has a two- part problem for areas that are battling wildfires because this could actually make the ground weaker, if you get some of these producing heavy downpours, we could at least see some problems with some landslides.

But the other problem, too, is say if they're a dry thunderstorm, that could potentially lead to the spread of more forest fires. So we certainly don't want that to happen. But right now, because of the heavy rainfall, even for the Mountain Fire in Palm Springs, we do have a flood warning in place and more flood watches, including parts of Arizona as well as into Las Vegas. So a lot of weather out there today, but luckily the heat is dying down.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Jennifer Delgado, thank you very much.

DELGADO: Thanks, guys.

HARLOW: President Obama calls Helen Thomas a true pioneer who broke down barriers for generations of women in journalism. The trailblazing White House reporter died yesterday at age 92 following a long illness. She will be buried in Detroit. That's where her family moved when she was just a young girl. While her career ended in controversy, it was also filled with accomplishments. Elizabeth Cordin (ph) reports.


HELEN THOMAS, JOURNALIST: My question is, why did you really want to go to war?

ELIZABETH CORDIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Once the unofficial dean of the press room, Helen Thomas was the longest serving White House correspondent ever. She gave every American president, from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama, a taste of her pointed question.

THOMAS: What is it that prevents your administration from talking to Castro, to Sandinistas (ph)?

The widespread perception that you're waffling, that you can't make up your mind.

When are we going to get out of Afghanistan? Why are we continuing to kill and die there?

CORDIN: The daughter of Lebanese immigrants, Thomas got her start writing for her high school newspaper. She spent more than 50 years with United Press International, working her way up from a reporter covering women's issues, to White House bureau chief. The first woman of any wire service to hold that job. In 1962, she helped convince President Kennedy to threaten to boycott the annual dinners for White House correspondents if women were not allowed to attend.

THOMAS: We were going toe to toe with them in stories with the men. And when the scales fell from their eyes, they finally realized it's OK to have women.

CORDIN: She considered traveling with Nixon to China a career highlight. In 2000, Thomas left UPI to become a columnist for Hearst. In that role, she became a harsh critic of the Iraq War, arguing journalists didn't do enough to question George W. Bush's administration over a war she called illegal and immoral.

THOMAS: I think that the reporters know in the aftermath of 9/11, we're afraid to challenge the government, we're afraid to be seen as un-American, unpatriotic. And as a consequence, they really let the country down.

CORDIN: A few years later, her outspokenness cost her, her job after she was asked about Israel in this interview.

THOMAS: Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, where should they go? What should they do?

THOMAS: They can go home.


THOMAS: All of them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So the Jews (ph) can -

THOMAS: Germany.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You saw Jews (ph) go back to Poland and Germany?

THOMAS: And America and everywhere else.

CORDIN: The video went viral and sparked outrage in the Jewish community and beyond. Thomas abruptly retired and issued a written apology. But later, she said she stood by her remarks, insisting she wasn't criticizing Jews, but was instead showing support for Palestine.

THOMAS: We had the right to ask questions to help the poor people, the underprivileged, people who have no voice. And I wish reporters would have more responsibility in speaking for the oppressed.

CORDIN: Controversial to the end, Helen Thomas always kept true to herself.

I'm Elizabeth Cordin reporting.


BLACKWELL: You know, all the tweets yesterday from Andrea Mitchell and even Dana Perino, we spoke with our own Candy Crowley about Helen Thomas. They say that she was the nicest person when you met her. HARLOW: Yes. Candy said she was like a mentor to her. The first one to welcome Candy to the White House when she was just in her 20s.

BLACKWELL: Yes. We'll talk more about Helen Thomas throughout the show.

Just ahead on NEW DAY, an unsolved triple murder and a connection to one of the suspected Boston bombers and one man knew all the players. We'll bring you his story, next.


BLACKWELL: I love this city. I love this city. Good morning, Atlanta. Live look out this morning. 6:16 now here on the East Coast. You've got the Ferris wheel that was just built and you've got Centennial Olympic Park there. It is going to be a beautiful day in Atlanta. Good morning!

HARLOW: Good morning, everyone.

Want to tell you about this story now because we're learning more about one of the suspected Boston bombers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and a link to a triple murder nearly a year and a half before the Boston attack. One man knew several of the key players in both crimes, a Boston gym owner. He sat down one on one with our national correspondent, Deb Feyerick, and what he told her may surprise you.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With the terror attack on Boston, three people in John Allan's world were about to collide. Three people who trained in boxing and mixed martial arts. All three are now dead. And key among them is bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, seen working out at Allan's Wai Kru gym days before the attack.

FEYERICK (on camera): Were you surprised at his demeanor 72 hours before those bombs on the marathon?

JOHN ALLAN, OWNER, WAI KRU MIXED MARTIAL ARTS CENTER: Unbelievable. Just him entering the ring. I mean, you know, like, jumping over, both legs, feet at his shoulder height, clearing the ring, hopping in, jumping rope, like, yes, like he was on top of the world.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Allan trained both Tsarnaev and another Russian speaker, Ibragim Todashev.

ALLAN: There were a few times that Ibragim and Tamerlan, they prayed to Mecca in the gym and -- which wasn't abnormal for Ibragim to do it, because he would - he did it from day one, but it was abnormal for Tamerlan.

FEYERICK (on camera): So they were getting closer.

ALLAN: It seemed so, yes. FEYERICK (voice-over): Allan says Todashev and Tsarnaev trained together in 2011. That same year, Tsarnaev's friend, Brendan Mess, who also trained at the gym, was murdered in a near beheading, along with two pals. Tsarnaev was never interviewed by state troopers in connection with his friend's murder or the murder of the other two victims, Eric Weissman and Rafael Teken.

FEYERICK (on camera): Did Tamerlan ever tell you that police had come to speak to him about what he knew about Brendan, about the drugs, about anything?

ALLAN: No. No. You know, I mean, around here they call -- we call it NHI.

FEYERICK: Which is?

ALLAN: No humans involved.

FEYERICK: OK, which means?

ALLAN: There were three drug dealers that were murdered over drugs and money.

FEYERICK (voice-over): That, at least, was the perception, even though only one of the victims faced drug-related charges. Shortly after the murders, Todashev moved to Florida. Tamerlan Tsarnaev left Boston and traveled to Dagestan, where it's believed he became radicalized.

FEYERICK (on camera): Was it weird to you that Tamerlan just disappeared after those murders?

ALLAN: No, because we had been in serious dialogue about him becoming a professional boxer. He definitely had become disillusioned and he was very hesitant to do it.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Allan says he gave FBI agents Todashev's name. Todashev was shot by an FBI agent after allegedly implicating himself in the murders.

FEYERICK (on camera): What questions do you have over the death of Ibragim Todashev?

ALLAN: I think everybody has questions. That's a bizarre story and situation. It's very hard to believe.

FEYERICK (voice-over): A seemingly bizarre coincidence of two unthinkable crimes and a cast of characters all connected to Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his days working out at a Boston gym.

Deborah Feyerick, CNN, Boston, Massachusetts.


HARLOW: Now, the Middlesex district attorney's office is heading that investigation into the triple murder case. It says it's conducted a thorough investigation from the start and says that investigation is active and ongoing.

BLACKWELL: Tiger Woods is back at the top of his game, but can he keep up the momentum and become the British Open champion? "Bleacher Report" live in Scotland, up next.


BLACKWELL: Twenty-three minutes after the hour now and it's the final round of this week's British Open. So, it's time for the players to make the shots. Players like Tiger Woods, who's within striking distance of another major win. Our Shane O'Donoghue is in Scotland this morning.

Shane, what can we expect today?

SHANE O'DONOGHUE, CNN SPORTS: We can expect fireworks today, Victor. This is going to be a thrilling conclusion to the open championship. We've had magnificent winners already of the majors so far this year with first-time winners like Adam Scott at the Masters and then Justin Rose sensationally at the U.S. Open.

Scott is in with a really good chance of making up for last year when he bogeyed the last four holes to lose what looked like a certain open championship win for him last year at Royal Lytham and St. Ann's. He's very much in the thick of it.

But the lead is held by Lee Westwood. He too is looking for his first major title. And he'll be out in the final group with Hunter Mahan of the United States, also looking for his first major.

But menacingly poised just two shots behind is Tiger Woods, the world number one, who is in search of his 15th major. Can he get a major? He hasn't had one in 15 years - or, excuse me, he hasn't had one since 2008. He's looking for number 15. And he's desperately, desperately searching for that title so that he can start that climb towards Jack Nicklaus's record total and haul of 18 majors.

So, it's Tiger's to lose. It's Lee and Hunter's to win. But watch out for Adam Scott. It's going to be a thrilling day. They get underway in around about two and a half hours, all the lead groups, and there's plenty of birdies out there judging by what we've seen already today. It's a very exciting place to be here at Muirfield.

And for more sporting headlines, let's go over to Jared Greenberg for this morning's "Bleacher Report."

JARED GREENBERG, BLEACHER REPORT: Shane O'Donoghue, thank you so much. Much more open championship coverage right now on

Stateside. Erik Bedard wants no part of baseball immortality. A pitcher pulling himself out of a no-hitter, well it's unheard of. Add this latest wrinkle to what has been a weird week for the Houston Astros. Bedard was flat-out dominant Saturday. (INAUDIBLE) the lefty didn't allowing a hit. He struck out 10 batters, but in the seventh, Bedard asked out of the game, having thrown 109 pitches, had a history of shoulder problems, he said he was done. Before exiting, Bedard walked what would turn into the go-ahead run. So without allowing a hit, Bedard got tagged with a loss. Oh, Houston, you've got problems.

Celebrity golf featuring no golf at all. It's a legendary connection. Hall of Fame Quarterback John Elway drops back to pass, and former hockey star Jeremy Roenick goes deep. The caddie? Well, he'd better get a huge tip. Clubs go everywhere. Roenick makes the spectacular grab. We should say, this wasn't the first time they tried this, and it hadn't worked on previous connections.

At the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship, Roenick doing well, one off the lead. One of the NBA's brightest, young stars, Steph Curry, is in the lead heading into today's final round. You know all week long we had been planning to run a ridiculous Charles Barkley tee shot during this segment. Unfortunately for us and for all of America, an injury kept Sir Charles from playing this weekend. So, you don't get to see one of the worst golf swings in the world for Charles.

BLACKWELL: It's that hesitation and then the rest of the swing.

HARLOW: Yes, exactly.

GREENBERG: It's a mental thing. But he is staying out there and doing a lot of great charity work, despite being a long-shot in the tournament. He came in dead last, last year.

BLACKWELL: All right, that's Jared Greenberg, thanks.

HARLOW: All right, coming up, a woman fires a gun. She thinks she's protected by Florida's Stand Your Ground law, but she wasn't. And the bullets that Marissa Alexander fired never hit anyone. So, why is she behind bars?


HARLOW: Bottom of the hour now. Welcome back, everyone. Happy Sunday. I'm Poppy Harlow.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. July 21st, 6:31. Here are five things you need to know this morning.

Number one, Israel says it wants to resume peace talks with the Palestinians immediately, and it's laying the groundwork for that by promising to release a limited number of Palestinian prisoners as a "goodwill gesture." The negotiations have stalled since 2010, but Secretary of State John Kerry says both sides could be in Washington within the next week or so.

HARLOW: And number two -- five people have been convicted of multiple manslaughter and causing personal injury. This follows the 2012 wreck of the "Costa Concordia" cruise ship off the coast of Italy. But according to a plea bargain, only two people may serve jail time. The lawyer for those convicted says he will appeal their sentences. 32 people died when that cruise liner struck rocks. Hundreds more were injured. BLACKWELL: And another tragic story in Cleveland. Third story here. Police in the eastern part of the city discovered two more bodies linked to a suspect already in custody after a body was found in a garage near his car. All of the victims were young, black women wrapped in plastic. Police believe they were all killed within the last week and a half.

HARLOW: Number four -- police are ruling out foul play in the death of a woman on a Six Flags over Texas roller coaster. In a statement, Six Flags wrote that it is not yet ready to comment on Friday's incident and that doing so would be a "disservice" to that woman's family.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Enough is enough!


BLACKWELL: Story five -- Florida Governor Rick Scott is calling for people of his state to pray for racial unity today. His proclamation follows a day of rallies across the country for Trayvon Martin. The marchers are demanding the federal government bring a civil rights case against Martin's killer, George Zimmerman.

HARLOW: Marchers also want Florida and other states to repeal or at least review their stand your ground laws. That legal defense has turned into a nightmare for one Florida woman. Our Gary Tuchman has her story from Jacksonville.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She walks down the jail hallway in handcuffs. Marissa Alexander has been sentenced to 20 years behind bars, convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. She says she was defending herself, standing her ground from a husband who had been arrested before on charges of abusing her.

(on camera): He was arrested for doing what to you?

MARISSA ALEXANDER, FACES 20 YEARS IN PRISON: He choked me, he pushed me forcefully into the tub, he pushed me so hard into the closet that I hit my head against the wall and I kind of passed out for a second.

TUCHMAN (voice over): Her husband received probation after that incident. Months later, Alexander says she was in the bathroom at their home here in Jacksonville, Florida, when her husband started pounding on the door. She says he was in a jealous rage over text messages on her cell phone.

ALEXANDER: He managed to get the door open, and that's when he strangled me. He put his hands around my neck.

TUCHMAN: Alexander got away from her husband and then made a fateful decision. She could have run out the front door and escaped. Instead, she ran into the garage but says she did not have her car keys and the garage door was stuck, so instead, she grabbed her gun she kept in this garage.

(on camera): And what did you think you were going to do with it?

ALEXANDER: I thought that I was going to have to protect myself.

TUCHMAN: Were you thinking you might have to shoot him?

ALEXANDER: Yeah, I did, if it came to that. He saw my weapon at my side, and when he saw it, he was even more upset, and that's when he threatened to kill me.

TUCHMAN: But how is he going to kill you if you're the one with the gun?

ALEXANDER: I agree. I thought it was crazy, too.

TUCHMAN: But why didn't you run out the door at that point?

ALEXANDER: There was no other way to get out the door. He was right there threatening to kill me.

TUCHMAN: But what if you had run around him to go out the door? Wouldn't - your life would have been easier today if you did that?

ALEXANDER: Yeah, but the law states I don't have to.

TUCHMAN (voice over): The law she's talking about is the controversial stand your ground law. Instead of running, she did what she thought was allowed by law. She believed she stood her ground and fired the gun into the wall. Nobody was hurt, but it was enough to scare her husband Rico Gray and he left the house with his two young children from a previous relationship.

Alexander was safe from her husband, but not from the law. She was arrested, her stand your ground defense rejected and found guilty by a jury.

Marissa Alexander's husband Rico Gray agreed to do an on-camera interview with us to counter his wife's allegations, but a few hours later, he made the decision not to do the interview, claiming that going on camera would put his life in danger. However, later he sent us an e-mail saying he would do an interview if he got paid, which CNN does not do. But he has already said quite a bit. During a deposition with the prosecutor from the office of state attorney Angela Corey and a defense attorney for his wife, Rico Gray acknowledged hitting his wife in the past and said this about the shooting incident -- "If my kids weren't there, I knew I probably would have tried to take the gun from her. I probably would have put my hand on her." Marissa Alexander's attorney then asked the husband what he meant about putting his hand on her, and Rico Gray responded, "Probably hit her. I got five baby mamas and I put my hands on every last one of them except for one." ALEXANDER: I believe when he threatened to kill me, that's what he was going to do. That's exactly what he intended to do. And had I not discharged my weapon at that point, I would not be here.

TUCHMAN: But later at a court hearing to determine whether Marissa Alexander should get immunity based on a stand your ground law, Rico Gray changed his story, saying he had lied repeatedly in the deposition to protect his wife, claiming he did not threaten to kill her and testifying, "I begged and pleaded for my life when she had the gun." The jury deliberated for 12 minutes before convicting her. The Jacksonville NAACP wrote a letter to the trial judge, saying Marissa Alexander may not have received justice because of her gender, race or economic status. Some African-American news websites are saying much the same thing, that if Marissa had been white, her stand your ground defense would have been accepted and she wouldn't be facing 20 years in prison, but Alexander will not say if she agrees with that possibility.

ALEXANDER: I'm going to be honest with you, I'm uncomfortable answering that.

TUCHMAN: For now, Marissa Alexander's main hope is that an appellate court agrees to hear her case. She had a baby girl with Rico Gray three years ago, but she only sees her child in photographs. Rico Gray has custody. He is considered the victim, his wife the criminal.

ALEXANDER: This is my life I'm fighting for. This is my life, and it's my life. And it's not entertainment. It is my life.

TUCHMAN: The 20-year sentence is a mandatory 20 years, meaning no chance of parole. Gary Tuchman, CNN, Jacksonville, Florida.


HARLOW: Wow. Our thanks to Gary for that fascinating report. Yeah, in Florida, this is the same district you're seeing, Angela Corey's district.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, you know, this is what makes this story more interesting, because Angela Corey, the special prosecutor in the Zimmerman case ...


BLACKWELL: ... is the state attorney there in Jacksonville who brought these charges against Marissa Alexander, and there are people in Jacksonville -- this has been covered since the acquittal of George Zimmerman -- who ask how is this just if George Zimmerman has been acquitted and this woman is in jail? And I'm sure that conversation will continue there.

HARLOW: And it's interesting, because stand your ground, we talked about it so much at the beginning of the investigation into the killing of Trayvon Martin, but it really wasn't part of that trial.

BLACKWELL: Not until the very last day in those jury instructions.

HARLOW: Right, right, right.

BLACKWELL: And you know, I wonder if it is appropriate that the jury has no idea what the punishment is when they ...

HARLOW: That is what is very interesting. When juries go into that deliberation room, you know when they were considering George Zimmerman's case, manslaughter, second-degree murder, they did not know the prison sentences that come. And in Florida, as you heard in the case of Marissa Alexander, what Gary Tuchman just did, there is no parole.

BLACKWELL: Yeah. So, of course, there will be more conversation on this.

Wounded in that mass shooting a year ago in Aurora, Colorado, a young couple marks the solemn anniversary by turning it into a milestone of their own. Look at this. Their story after the break.


HARLOW: Out of tragedy, a fairy tale ending. A year to the day after he was shot trying to protect his girlfriend from a rain of bullets in a Colorado movie theater, Eugene Han married Kristin Davis on Saturday in Aurora. 12 people died last year in the theater massacre. According to CNN affiliate KDVR, the couple wanted to transform July 20th into a day of joy. Congrats to them.

BLACKWELL: They've got to make new memories for that day.

HARLOW: Yeah, and they did.


HARLOW: They did yesterday.

BLACKWELL: Congratulations. Hey, Reporters and photographers, they have been camped outside of a London hospital for days. The #greatkatewait is trending on twitter.

HARLOW: Are you following it?

BLACKWELL: I am not, but I'm following it here every day.

HARLOW: But he will.


HARLOW: Everyone is eager for the British royal baby to arrive, but he or she taking their time, officially overdue. Whatever you said the due date was, whether it was a few days ago or a week ago, some confusion on that, so let's go to royal commentator Katie Nicholl, who is live for us in London. Hello, Katie. We have been on royal baby watch for a while now. Any signs from the palace? KATIE NICHOLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're still - we're still waiting, Victor and Poppy, we are still waiting. But you know what I think the great irony about all this is, do you remember we used to call her waity Katie, because she was waiting in the sidelines for her prince to propose? Who's waiting now?


NICHOLL: She's having the last laugh because we are waiting now.

HARLOW: You know, it's interesting when you look at this. Everyone wants to know all of the details. And the palace has kept so much secret. How will the public find out about the news of the baby's arrival? I mean, are we going to know hours after or days?

NICHOLL: No, it will - I would imagine it will be hours after. Once the baby's been born, the consultant gynecologist who will be in the delivery room with her will sign a document. That document will then be brought here to Buckingham Palace at high speed by a police convoy, and it will be pinned to a glass-fronted easel and will be put outside the gates that you can see behind me. Now, I don't know if your camera's zooming in on this, but there are already huge crowds here. They just erupted now, not because an announcement has been posted, but because someone got down on bended knee and proposed. But the fact is, the people are here, they're waiting. Everyone is waiting, both outside the hospital and here at Buckingham Palace. But if you want to find out, well, you can tune into the news, of course, but if you want to come and see history in the making come here to the gates of Buckingham Palace, because this is where that easel will be posted.

BLACKWELL: So, you know, there is so much pomp and circumstance because this is a royal, but at the center of this, you've got two young people in love who are about to have a baby.


BLACKWELL: How are Will and Kate prepare?

NICHOLL: I'm told very quietly, very low key. This is a couple who really like to keep below the limelight. It's very tough when you're the most famous couple in the world, but they want this birth to be as low profile as they can be. And do you know what's so interesting? We don't actually know where they are. We're assuming they're in London, saying they're close to hospital, but this is a couple that knows exactly how to give the media the slip and they do it very well. So, low profile with their family, and I'm told Kate's just resting, watching lots of videos and DVDs to pass the time and literally waiting herself for those waters to break and this baby to be born.

BLACKWELL: All right. Hopefully, it's sometime soon. Katie Nicholl, thank you very much. And be sure to tune in to "Will and Kate Plus One" right here on CNN at 8:00 P.M. Eastern time. CNNn takes you to England for the birth of an heir to the British throne. Programming note as well. It's a guest host week on "Piers Morgan Live." Tomorrow night, Matthew Perry fills in. His guest is former "Friends" star Lisa Kudrow. Be sure to tune in tomorrow night, 9:00 eastern right here on CNN.

HARLOW: Superheroes are a fairly common sight at comic-con. It is here, but this one this year, a little bit different. We're going to tell you why civil rights icon John Lewis is lighting up the convention.


HARLOW: It is Sunday, just a few hours until the workweek begins. My workweek already under way. Let's take a look at what's ahead this week. Coming up, Lance Armstrong taking a ride in Iowa. He's participating in the rag ride, which runs across the state. This is going to be his first public ride since admitting to doping.

Also coming up in D.C. on Monday, the Senate, the full Senate expected to confirm James Comey as FBI director. He was unanimously confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. During the Bush administration, Comey was pivotal in ending the warrantless wiretap program, so watch for that. Then, ahead on Wednesday, this is big. Aaron Hernandez making an appearance in court. The former Patriots player will have a probable cause hearing. So far, a grand jury has not yet indicted him. Also ahead, Bradley Manning, focus on him. Remember that name? Closing arguments expected in the trial of Bradley Manning. He is the Army private accused of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks. And then, we were talking about this. Who thinks Mick Jagger looks 70? Do you think Mick Jagger looks 70? Well, maybe you think he's older, younger? I think he looks a little younger, but "Rolling Stone" front man, Mick Jagger, 70th birthday. Happy birthday to you, that's on Friday. Victor.

BLACKWELL: How do you do that story, does Mick Jagger look 70 and then come to me and expect me not to say anything.

HARLOW: What do you think?


Mick Jagger looks 70.

HARLOW: Mick, I don't think you look a day over 50.

BLACKWELL: All right, it's going to be a big week in Washington. Plenty on the docket for Congress, but the president won't be around to hear it. CNN political editor Paul Steinhauser has more. Hey, Paul.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Good morning, Poppy, Victor. After two weeks in Washington, President Barack Obama hits the road Wednesday and Thursday, taking his case on the economy directly to the American people. The president holds events in Illinois, Missouri and Florida.


JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The economy and the things that we can do to help it grow and to strengthen and secure and expand the middle class has been, is and will be the central focus of the president's domestic policy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The House will be in order.

STEINHAUSER: House Republicans won't take up the bipartisan immigration reform bill that recently passed the Senate, but Tuesday they begin their own action on immigration reform. The House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on what to do about undocumented children.

JOHN BOEHNER (R-OHIO), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This is about basic fairness, you know. These children were brought here of no accord of their own.


STEINHAUSER: There are 234 Republicans in the House, but only 19 are women. This week, the GOP will try to start to remedy that with a new reach-out to women voters dubbed "Project Grow."

BLACKWELL: All right, Paul. Thank you very much. More politics next hour with the comeback kids, Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner. They were both disgraced out of office, and now they're trying to get back into the game. So, are voters willing to forget the past, or at least forgive? We'll take a look.


HARLOW: Getting a check on your entertainment news this morning. You'll remember last week we told you about the tragic death of "Glee" star Cory Monteith. Well, the creator of "Glee," Ryan Murphy, announced that the fifth season premiere will be pushed back by one week. Following the death of Cory Monteith. He played Finn Hudson on the show. That's according to the "Hollywood Reporter." The new season will now begin on September 26th. It is still unclear how Monteith's death will be handled on the show, but Murphy says that his character will not be recast.

BLACKWELL: As usual, comic-con is the hottest ticket in entertainment right now. This is a big, big deal every year.

HARLOW: You go every year.

BLACKWELL: I've never been, but I would love to go! I say this year it's not the movie trailers, though, or TV previews that have everyone talking, it's civil rights icon John Lewis.

HARLOW: Yeah, the Georgia House member is attending this year to promote his new book about civil rights and the civil rights era, but it's probably not what you think. CNN affiliate KFMB has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Amidst the crazy costumes, crowds and playful displays ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is where the magic happens.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Comic-con featured a different type of superhero today.

REP. GEORGE LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: Hi, how are you doing?


LEWIS: Good to see you. Thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congressman John Lewis, one of the most influential leaders during the civil rights movement.

PATRICIA WILLIS, CONVENTION VISITOR: I've seen him on television, but I never saw him in person. And so, this is amazing that he wrote a book chronicling his life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not just any book, but a comic book detailing everything from his humble beginnings in Alabama to his dedication for equality.

LEWIS: I got arrested a few times, was beaten and left bloody, almost died on that bridge from Selma to Montgomery, but I never gave up, I never gave in, I never became bitter or hostile.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But why write his story in the form of a graphic novel?

Congressman Lewis says he was inspired by something he read nearly 60 years ago.

LEWIS: Back in 1957, there was a comic book called "The Montgomery Story and Martin Luther King Jr.," and a lot of us read that comic book, and it inspired us to sit in, to go on that freedom ride, to march.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That inspiration returned in 2008, when a Lewis staffer wrote a thesis about that comic book and suggested his boss do the same.

ANDREW AYDIN, CO-AUTHOR: So, I asked congressman, well, why don't you write a comic book? So, at first, he was a little, you know, oh, I don't know. But then a couple of weeks later, he turned around to me and he said, you know what? Let's do it, but only if you write it with me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And so, with the help of an illustrator, that's exactly what they did. Fittingly, "March" is the title of what will be a three-part series, and hopefully, a lesson in history people of all ages can understand.

LEWIS: It is my hope that more of history will be displayed in comic book to make it easy, simple for people to understand. They can almost feel it, almost smell that sense of history.


HARLOW: What a great story. I mean, perfect way to have people start young.

BLACKWELL: Yeah. And you know, remember encyclopedias? And they aren't around anymore.

HARLOW: I do recall them. Yes.

BLACKWELL: You don't have to dig through those to find history.

HARLOW: That's true.

BLACKWELL: Thanks for starting your morning with us.

HARLOW: Your "NEW DAY" continues right now.

HARLOW: Good morning, everyone! It is Sunday. I'm Poppy Harlow.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. 7:00 here on the East coast, 4:00 out west. If you're up on the west coast ...

HARLOW: You're probably ...

BLACKWELL: Thank you.

HARLOW: You're probably still partying.

BLACKWELL: Oh, yes, that's the night before. But especially thank you for being with us this morning. We're starting out West this morning where more than 3,600 firefighters -- 3,600 firefighters, they're working to contain wildfires now threatening homes in southern California.

Also in Oregon, south of Los Angeles, efforts to battle the Mountain Fire appear to be paying off. It's already destroyed at least six homes, but now this blaze, which spans more than 40 square miles, is about 49 percent contained.

And in southwest Oregon, the Pacifica Fire has burned one home. It's threatening 150 other structures. Crews have set up road blocks and are doing their best to tamp down the hotspots.

HARLOW: Meantime, wet weather is the problem in Las Vegas. We showed you that incredible video of all the rain. Look at it there. We showed you that first yesterday, unbelievable storm there.

Another round of powerful storms swept through Sin City late last night. We've seen reports of hail the size of golf balls and more than a half inch of rain in just five minutes. Rain remains in the forecast through tomorrow there.

BLACKWELL: And let's talk about this heat in Milwaukee. Health officials say this week-long heat wave may have claimed two more lives, a 69-year-old man, a 64-year-old woman both died in homes without air conditioning. This comes after three men were found dead there this past week.

HARLOW: So, let's bring in meteorologist Jennifer Delgado. She's in the CNN weather center.

Jennifer, we've been talking about a week now waiting for relief. Is it here?

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, the relief is actually here. I know it's hard to believe, but you can see the temperatures across parts of the Midwest already in the 60s and 70s out there. Look at that. We even have 54 degrees in Fargo, for Omaha 72, Milwaukee 66 and 72 in Chicago. And high temperatures today are actually going to be right about average for this time of the year.

And some of these locations actually a little bit below average, but for the Northeast and New England, today a high of 78 degrees, Boston. I know you're happy with that. Yesterday, you were in the mid-to-upper 90s in some parts of Massachusetts, 86 in New York for a high today and 92 in Memphis. And believe it or not, that's where you should be for this time of the year.

So, temperatures are much better. We're still tracking some showers and thunderstorms out there. Hugging the coastline of Florida, you can see parts of the Midwest as well as those rain showers parting off to the Northeast. That's what brought the cool- down yesterday. But as we head out towards the West, and Poppy as well as Victor mentioned the Mountain Fire, that it's at 49 percent containment.

Well, today the winds are generally going to be about five to 10. So we're not expecting any winds to be gusty out there, but I can tell you this, that we are still tracking showers and thunderstorms out there. This one, of course, in the Palm Springs area.

And if you look on the radar, we have a line of showers and thunderstorms just moving towards the Palm Springs region. And the problem is, when you get these storms out there, some of them can trigger more fires. Of course, if you get the lightning out there. The lightning can potentially cause more of those to spread in different directions.

But if you get some of these heavier downpours and you get some flooding out there -- right now, we do have flood watches in place -- this can add another danger to firefighters. This leads to landslides as well as even localized flash flooding. Keep in mind, we've got burn scars across many parts of the West because of the fires burning there.

So, that moisture, it's due to the monsoon season. But let me show you how the monsoon has been affecting Mexico. Let's go to this incredible video.

Guys, look at this. You're looking at an amazing rescue. This is happening after days of heavy rainfall. As we said to you when we talked about the flooding in Las Vegas, this is all due to the monsoon, and that's that shift in the wind.

Well, when you get these big ridge of high pressures, it allows that moisture to move more towards the north, and that's why we're seeing it now in the four corners, but this is coming out of Chihuahua, Mexico, where the international airport had to be shut down and hundreds of people had to be evacuated. Now hundreds of people are also homeless.

But look at this. This really shows you how brave these first responders are. Going out there and saving people.

BLACKWELL: All right, amazing video there. Jennifer, thank you.

We'll see you in about 20 minutes for this new segment we're doing called "The Science Behind." we're going to talk about Saturn and ask that people wave at the sky on Friday. We'll talk about that in a moment.

HARLOW: Also, Florida Governor Rick Scott wants everyone in their state to pray for what he's calling racial unity today. His request comes a day after rallies across this country for Trayvon Martin.

CNN's Martha Shade takes a look.


SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN'S MOTHER: Today, it was my son. Tomorrow, it might be yours.

MARTHA SHADE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Those words from Trayvon Martin's mother at a rally in New York are one reason this father of three showed up for a demonstration in Washington, D.C.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are soon to be adolescent Latino males and the same thing could happen to them that happened to Trayvon Martin.

SHADE: Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., hundreds in downtown Atlanta stood in the pouring rain, demonstrators gathering in cities across the U.S. for what has been dubbed "National Justice for Trayvon Day". One week after a jury decided George Zimmerman acted in self-defense when he shot and killed the 17-year-old, protesters are still demanding justice.

PROTESTERS: No peace! No justice! No peace!

REV. RAPHAEL WARNOCK, EBENEZER BAPTIST CHURCH: We are saying that last Saturday's verdict should not be the end but the beginning of a very important national conversation about race and justice in America.

SHADE: Professor Carol Swain calls these protests misguided, saying the politics around this issue takes America backwards. CAROL SWAIN, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY LAW PROFESSOR: They have time for political correctness, but they're not doing anything to serve the needs of the black community or the needs of America as a whole. And as a consequence, we're suffering.

SHADE: But for Tracy Martin, rallies like the one he attended in Miami are helping him heal.

TRACY MARTIN, TRAYVON MARTIN'S FATHER: This is what keeps us going, all of these people that are out here to support us -- white, black, brown. They're a mixture of people. Everybody is out here to support not only Trayvon but their children as well.

SHADE: I'm Martha Shade, reporting.


BLACKWELL: So, that's the Miami rally. And Beyonce and Jay-Z, they attended the "Justice for Trayvon" rally in New York. But as you can see, they kept a pretty low profile. That's Beyonce's mother, Tina, right next to her.

The couple did pose for a photograph with Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, and Reverend Al Sharpton, the chief organizer of Saturday's rallies across the country. Sharpton posted this picture on his Instagram account.

HARLOW: Well, forgive and forget -- that seems to be front and center in New York politics right now. We're talking about Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer, both of them back in the political game after their own scandals, and they're riding high.

Our Alina Cho takes a look.



ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After suffering through years of late-night laughs at their expense, disgraced politicians Anthony Weiner --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was a man who literally (EXPLETIVE DELETED) his own career.

CHO: -- and Eliot Spitzer --

JAY LENO, COMEDIAN: How could you be this stupid?

CHO: -- just may have the last laugh.

Weiner running for New York City mayor and Spitzer a candidate for city comptroller are leading their respective races, according to at least one major poll.

(on camera): What do you think that says about New Yorkers and their willingness to forgive?

ELIOT SPITZER (D), FORMER NEW YORK GOVERNOR: Well, look, I hope there's forgiveness.

CHO (voice-over): Spitzer is the former New York governor also known as client number nine, a man who resigned from office in 2008 after admitting he hired prostitutes. Now, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll, the so-called sheriff of Wall Street, just two weeks after announcing he's running, is trouncing the competition, Scott Stringer, with 48 percent to stringer's 33 percent.

ANTHONY WEINER (D-NY), FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: So, today I'm announcing my resignation from Congress.


CHO: Ex-Congressman Weiner, whose unfortunate last name made him the butt of jokes after he accidentally tweeted these compromising photos, is making his own comeback. The same Quinnipiac poll has Weiner with 25 percent support to his Democratic opponent, Christine Quinn's 22 percent.

A "New York Times"/Sienna poll has Quinn on top.

(on camera): This shows at least in New York politics that sex sells?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it certainly shows that celebrity sells.

HUMA ABEDIN, WEINER'S WIFE: We love this city and no one will work harder to make it better than Anthony.

CHO (voice-over): In Weiner's case, having his wife Houma's support is key.

WEINER: My wife is an enormous asset to the campaign. She's the not-so-secret weapon of this campaign.

CHO: Spitzer and his wife Silda are living separately.

(on camera): Will we see Silda on the campaign trail?

SPITZER: Yes, absolutely, at the right moment, yes.

CHO (voice-over): That could be key when the man dubbed the tabloid twins sweat it out on election night.


BLACKWELL: And Alina Cho joins us now from New York. Alina, I want to talk about - I want to start, at least, where you just ended off, with the wives of these two men.


BLACKWELL: Anthony Weiner, his wife Houma is out with him. We don't see Silda, as you said. Could that impact this campaign?

CHO: Well, apparently not at this point, I can tell you, Victor. In terms of why they are showing so strong right now -- you know, it's a couple of things. First of all, it's the middle of summer. Things really aren't going to heat up until the fall.

So, name recognition plays a role in this case right now. One pundit told me voters know Anthony Weiner's name. They know Eliot Spitzer's name. They know why they know them.

But they also know that these men are articulate fighters; which really brings me to my second point: New Yorkers love fighters as politicians. Poppy knows that. You know, whether we're talking about Mayor Bloomberg or Ed Koch. This really fits the mold of that classic New York politician.

And in the end, if these two men actually pull it off, they actually win on election night. It could also show that voters love a story of redemption as well -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, Alina Cho in New York for us. Thank you.

HARLOW: Fascinating to watch. All right, thanks, Alina.

Well, Helen Thomas once said it was a reporter's job to give people who have no voice a voice. The longtime White House correspondent died yesterday. She was 92 years old. She covered every president from JFK through President Barack Obama, and she was the first female president of the White House Correspondents Association and admitted into the Washington Gridiron Club.

President Obama said, quote, "Helen was a true pioneer, opening doors and breaking down barriers for generations of women in journalism." He added, "She never failed to keep presidents, myself included, on their toes." She certainly did not.

Her career ended in scandal and controversy in 2010 with some controversial comments about Jews. But I think she's being remembered for the entirety of her career. B

BLACKWELL: Yes, and I'm paraphrasing here. She said that sometimes you'll have to say and do some things to incur the wrath of the powers that be.

HARLOW: Right.

BLACKWELL: But so what?

HARLOW: Right.

BLACKWELL: All right. Imagine being a child trapped in a sweltering car. A new public service announcement takes you inside that terrifying life-or-death moment, and we'll talk with an expert about how to prevent a tragedy.

HARLOW: There is Lady Liberty. Beautiful day there in my home city, New York City.

Good morning. Good morning. Get up, everyone. Enjoy the beautiful day.


HARLOW: Well, this is a parent's nightmare and it's also a completely preventable tragedy. A child left in a car in the heat of the summer ends up dead. It happened again last week in Homewood, Alabama.

According to "The Birmingham News," the mother of an 11-year-old girl went to work and forgot the baby was strapped in her car seat. Three hours later, the woman found her daughter dead in the car. Outside it was 90 degrees. Inside the car it was 120 degrees.

According to San Francisco State University, the infant was the 22nd child to die in a hot vehicle this year. Since 1998, almost 600 kids have lost their lives in this way. A new public service announcement is driving home that message that hot cars can kill. We're going to show you about 50 seconds of it. You're watching some here. I want to warn you that it is very, very disturbing.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Yes, I just pulled in at the store and I've got to grab just a few things, then I'll be home and we can go. Talk to you later. OK. See you, bye.




HARLOW: That's incredibly disturbing, very hard to watch. Again, that was a public service announcement made really to warn people of just how dangerous this is and that it happens to too many children. One child is too many.

I want to bring in from Boston, Alison Rhodes. She's a child safety expert for

Thanks for joining us. Appreciate it.


HARLOW: Let's talk about this, Alison.

For parents and caregivers who think it's OK, I'm just running in the store a few minutes. It's easier than getting them unbuckled from the car seat, getting them inside. I just have to run in. Talk to me about how few minutes it can really take for a child in a hot car to get that heat stroke and possibly die.

RHODES: Well, it only takes ten minutes for a car's interior to heat up by more than 19 degrees.

But I do want to clarify something, because so many people sit there and watch the news and say how could a parent do this, they're negligent. The reality is, 51 percent of people simply have forgotten their child is in the car. Another 29 percent have died because they're playing in the car and the parents didn't know they got in.

This case down in Alabama, as you mentioned --

HARLOW: Right.

RHODES: It was an 11-month-old. The mom is just devastated. She was driving to daycare -- she thought she was driving to daycare. She drove to work. She had a lot on her mind. A colleague had just passed away.

She was planning on her daughter's 1-year birthday party. She got to work. She forgot her child was in the car.

The daycare called three hours later to say where is the child, and that's when she realized what happened and she ran out. Unfortunately, by that time, after four to five hours, it could heat up to 45 degrees higher.

So, it's really important to remember, these parents aren't usually purposely leaving their child. It's a pure accident because there's so much on our mind as parents.

HARLOW: Right.

RHODES: And that's what we need to talk about. What are those tips that we can really remember?

HARLOW: Right. And I think that's such an important point, because -- and you see when you watch the full public service announcement, you see how devastated the mother is coming out.

This is a tragedy for the child, for the mother or father or sitter or whomever leaves the child in the car, for the entire family. So when you talk about it, it's not that they're intentionally leaving the child in the car to run inside. They can forget.

So, what can be done to help parents, babysitters, et cetera, remember and prevent?

RHODES: Right. Well, there's a couple of things we have to keep in mind. First of all, the most important thing, a great acronym, be safe. The first thing is put something in the back seat of the car, your purse, your cell phone, which should be back there anyhow, a computer bag, so you remember to check the back seat when you get out.

Secondly, make sure that every time that child is restrained properly in the car. Then here's a good tip, keep a stuffed animal in the car. When your child's not in the car seat, put the stuffed animal in there. When your child is in, put the stuffed animal in the front seat, so it's a reminder to you, my child's back there. And then, really important, ask that care provider to call 10 minutes later if your child is late. Unfortunately, in the case down in Alabama, it was over three hours later. So, ask just 10 minutes would make a difference.

Finally, focus as well. No distractions. Put the texting down, put the calls down, but even your mind. Clearly, this mom down there had a lot on her mind. We need to focus.

And then finally, every time you get out of the car, check the back seat, every time. But then also, if you're not driving in your car, if your car's parked, keep it locked and keep the car keys somewhere else.

HARLOW: Right.

RHODES: Because it's very easy for your child to climb in, play and you don't even know it.

HARLOW: Absolutely. Alison, thank you so much for the tips and for sharing this with us. It's really tough to talk about and tough to see but very, very important.

Alison Rhodes, thank you.

RHODES: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Great information there.

The science of life on Saturn. Next, why NASA scientists had us here on earth waving and smiling at the distant planet this week. We'll talk about this.


BLACKWELL: Twenty-three minutes after the hour now.

This weekend, we are starting a new segment called "The Science Behind."

Our first topic is Saturn, and we'll begin with an unusual question. Did you wave at the sky last week? No?

Well, that's exactly what NASA asked people to do, as the Cassini spacecraft snapped pictures of Earth from outer space on Friday. A group gathered in New York City to participate in the long-distance photo shoot.

CNN meteorologist Jennifer Delgado joins me live to explain.

So, we've got people waving --

DELGADO: Waving in the sky.

BLACKWELL: Waving in the sky.

DELGADO: Like, here comes the space invaders, something like that, right?

BLACKWELL: What's this all about?

DELGADO: Well, this is actually something that's been going on with Cassini. Cassini is the spacecraft that's part of NASA. And job of Cassini is basically to orbit Saturn as well as Mercury.

What we have here is a rendering of Cassini, and this is actually Saturn. We see the rings around. We all know so much about Saturn.


DELGADO: Cassini launched in 1997. Well, get this, Victor, it took eight years to arrive to Saturn.


DELGADO: Took a long time. You know, those trips aren't fast. You think your delays at the airport are long? No, not at all.

But, again, as we talk about the Cassini solstice mission, the difference is this time we're now able to see the rings surrounding Saturn better now. You can see the rings here, and this gives you an idea of the solar system and this is where earth is. And, of course, when you're talking about the solar system, we want to show you where the earth is. There it is.

Well, what we're looking at now is more visibility with the Saturn rings. We can see the particles there because Cassini is just tricked out with all these super instruments, and it can better see the wave lengths.

But what's different now is now for the first time, and while people were actually waving to the camera, we can actually see the earth because it's actually backlit by the sun. So, that's why we have now a view of earth and people waving to the sky.

BLACKWELL: Very cool. "The Science Behind" Cassini and Saturn. Thank you, Jennifer.

DELGADO: Did you learn a lot?

BLACKWELL: I did learn a lot. Thank you very much.


HARLOW: I learned a lot, too.

Just ahead on NEW DAY, solving the mystery of this totally rocking granny that we showed you yesterday. We're going to tell you how she is and where she learned to twirl those sticks.


HARLOW: All right, remember this totally rocking grandmother? The unknown silver fox caught some major chops on the skins. BLACKWELL: What?

HARLOW: You know what, I just want to say that I did not know what chops on the skins was, so I'm just going to say it the way that -- major granny rocking out. We were talking about this yesterday. We showed you the video, awesome. No longer a mystery, guys.

CNN affiliate WXOW reports her name is Mary Havida (ph). We didn't know who she was before, and she actually had no idea that she was an Internet sensation. Mary said she got those skills playing in a band in her younger days.

Victor, your favorite part was the twirling of the drum sticks.

BLACKWELL: The twirl. What was that term again?

HARLOW: I don't know. I didn't write it.

BLACKWELL: Thanks for starting your morning with us.

HARLOW: We'll see you at 8:00 Eastern.

"SANJAY GUPTA, M.D." starts right now.