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U.S. Embassies & Consulates Closed Today; Select U.S. Forces on Higher Alert; U.S. Embassies Around the World; Rain Ushers in Cooler Air Today; CBS Goes Dark in Major Cities; Bleacher Report

Aired August 4, 2013 - 06:00   ET


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: U.S. military forces are now on a heightened state of alert as an al Qaeda terror plot prompts the massive shutdown of American embassies around the world. We are live from five countries, bringing you the very latest.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the victims has expired at the hospital due to the injuries.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: A car plows into a crowd of people on Venice Beach's famed Boardwalk. One person is dead, many more hospitalized. Why some witnesses are saying, listen, this was not an accident.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My thing is, for that kind of money, it better work when I want it to work.


KEILAR: Planning on watching "60 Minutes" tonight? How about Tiger at the Bridgestone Invitational today? Well, if you have Time Warner Cable in New York or L.A., sorry, you're out of luck.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Brianna Keilar.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. It's 6:00 here at CNN world headquarters. Thanks for starting your NEW DAY with us.

Across Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, 22 U.S. embassies and consulate have locked their doors today.

KEILAR: The signs to visitors say it all, "stop." The U.S. has also issued a worldwide travel alert, warning that al Qaeda may be planning attacks on Americans. So let's start our global coverage with CNN's Emily Schmidt. She is in Washington.

Hi, Emily. EMILY SCHMIDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Brianna, one of the unusual aspects of the U.S. deciding to close so many embassies and consulates was that it came with a specific date attached, Sunday. Now that action is closely watched to see if there will be a terrorist reaction.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Out of an abundance of caution --

SCHMIDT (voice-over): First, the warnings. Now, the waiting. U.S. embassies and consulates across the Middle East, North Africa and south Asia are closed Sunday in case terrorist threats turn into attacks. The move came after officials picked up increasing chatter from al Qaeda in Yemen, where multiple sources tell CNN an attack plan could be in its final stages.

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK (voice-over): These numbers, I can't go into, other than the fact that they - there definitely is planned a very enormous attack, a catastrophic-type attack. That's probably the best way to describe it. And I can't really go any further than that.

SCHMIDT: The threat is considered credible, though ambiguous. It could target U.S. or western targets all across the region, though Yemen is getting particular attention, with security around the U.S. embassy there even tighter than usual.

There's a long history of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula targeting the U.S., including the Christmas Day 2009 underwear bomb plot. Now, CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank says there's a new twist. Al Qaeda's leader in Yemen, once Osama bin Laden's personal secretary, is reportedly now the second in command in the organization worldwide.

SCHMIDT (on camera): Is this an opportunity, potentially, then, for him to make his mark?

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: It may well be that this is Nasser al-Wuhayshi's coming out party as the de facto number two of al Qaeda. The plot was in the works at the same time as this announcement was going to come out that he was playing this bigger role in the al Qaeda global terrorist network.

SCHMIDT (voice-over): President Obama stuck to his planned weekend schedule, golfing and going to Camp David for his birthday. A White House official says the president will continue to be updated about the threat through the weekend. The White House says it will not comment on intelligence in this case, particularly as it relates to a "New York Times" report that says some of this intelligence came from intercepted electronic communications between senior al Qaeda operatives.


SCHMIDT: Our terrorism expert, Paul Cruickshank, says regardless of what happens as a result of this threat, the terrorists have caused enough concern to prompt closures and travel alerts like we're seeing.

Victor and Briana.

BLACKWELL: Emily Schmidt, thank you very much.

Now, it's not just the embassies that are taking these precautions.

KEILAR: That's right. Select U.S. military forces in the Middle East have been ordered to a higher state of alert as well. And CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr is on the phone now joining us from Washington.

So, Barbara, tell us a little bit more about what the military forces are doing.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, good morning, Brianna and Victor.

This is something that you would expect, of course, of military forces ready to move if something were to happen and ready to move quickly. So what we know now is in three locations military forces, mainly Marines, are on a higher state of alert, ready to go very quickly.

What are those locations? Well, there are Marines in southern Spain, in southern Italy and in the Red Sea. These are all combat- equipped Marines that could move very quickly if ordered. There are other units in the area that could go and reinforce embassies, if it came to that. Everyone would be equipped to help evacuate American citizens if there was a situation that required it. Basically, this is an effort to make sure that there is plenty of force available nearby, ready to move.

Brianna. Victor.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk more about the other resources that are available, Marines in Spain, Italy, who could move at a moment's notice.

STARR: Well, they could. And what's interesting, in the Red Sea, there are Marines on board ships. And a couple of days ago, they were ordered to move south on those ships. And so they are now closer to Yemen.

All of this just is really due to a series of meetings that has happened in the Pentagon over the last couple of days, meetings chaired by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, to take a look at what forces are in the region, where to position them. Because, of course, what you have, if you look at the map, embassies closed over a broad, broad piece of territory, North Africa, the Middle East. And if something were to happen, you know, it's not very practical to have forces in every single spot. So you have to have them strategically positioned so they can be ready to move in a number of different directions.

BLACKWELL: CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr for us this morning, thank you.

KEILAR: And CNN has team coverage on this story with our international correspondents all around the globe. So let's start now with CNN's Vladimir Duthers at the U.S. embassy. He is in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Vladimir, what's going on there?


Well, actually, it's business as usual here in front of the United States embassy, which is right behind me. This embassy normally is closed on Sunday, so it's not really directly affected by this directive from the State Department.

But I can tell you, yesterday, there was a suspicious package alert. And although there -- we've been here for the last three or four days. We've only seen about three or four guards out in front of the embassy. Nothing has changed today. There is no beefed-up security measure that we can see. But I can tell you, when we saw the suspicious package alert yesterday, we saw them mobilize, we saw them take care of the threat. They had a bomb disposal unit here. Turned out to be a false alarm, but they are ready should something occur. But it's business as usual.



It's fair to say that the U.S. approach here is a very wide and not narrow one. The decision to close the U.S. embassy here is considered dramatic because this is a country that has very tight security normally. We can't even go into the embassy area.

Let's give you a sense of what the U.S. embassy looks like. It's on the right-hand side of your screen as we take a tighter shot here. It's that large, sloping building, which stands out in the crowd.

I spoke to the U.S. ambassador this morning, who declined a comment, saying this is being handled out of Washington. But a European ambassador said this is a direct response to the attacks we saw in Benghazi, Libya, September 11, 2012. That the U.S. is not taking any chances. The arrests that we saw here and then the jail- breaks taking place by al Qaeda over the last two months leading to that Interpol alert also raising concerns here.

Perhaps it's an overreaction, but the attitude right now, it's better safe than sorry. We had one of our producers in the area today at the U.S. embassy and there's only a few Marines protecting the facility, nobody else.

Let's go to Dan Rivers in London.


Yes, here in London, while the U.S. has closed 22 embassies across much of North Africa and the Middle East and into Asia, here the U.K. has decided a more targeted approach. They've just closed down the embassy - the British embassy in Yemen. They have issued some urgent travel advice, telling all British nationals to leave Yemen now, saying while commercial carriers are still flying.

And it goes on to say, it's extremely unlikely that the British government will be able to evacuate you or provide possible consular assistance. So, they're not mincing words. If you're British, they're saying, get out of Yemen now. The embassy there, which would normally be open, is closed today. It may be closed in the next few days as well. France and Germany have taken similar measures with their embassies in Yemen as well.

I'll throw it over to Arwa Damon in Egypt.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Barely visible behind the wall, blocking off the road there, the U.S. embassy in Cairo. It too closed on what would normally have been a work day. Perhaps of special concern because Egyptian officials back in May say they detained three men, possibly affiliated with al Qaeda and the Islamic Maghreb, who were planning on carrying out an attack.

And it's also in these very streets where an angry mob around a year ago on September 11th tried to also attack the embassy. It, of course, being the same day that that coordinated attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi too place. So the U.S. most certainly not taking any chances here, Brianna.

KEILAR: Arwa Damon, thank you.

BLACKWELL: Americans traveling abroad today or really in the next month should be on alert. The U.S. State Department has issued a worldwide travel alert, warning travelers to be extremely cautious, especially in the countries shown here, where embassies and consulates are closed. The warning also cautions travelers to be careful around typical terrorist targets, like subways and trains and buses and bus stations.

Officials recommend registering your travel plans with the State Department. There's more information on their website. It's

KEILAR: And another story that we're following this morning, a day at the beach turned deadly at a popular tourist spot in Los Angeles. A driver plowed into a crowd yesterday on the famous Venice Beach Boardwalk. Authorities and witnesses say it was deliberate.


LANDON BLACKBURN, WITNESS: Pedal to the metal, because the tires started screeching. I saw him, and he - he was looking for blood. That guy was -- that guy, his intention was to kill people.


KEILAR: One person was killed, 11 others were hurt. And police say the driver ditched the car and then fled.


LT. ANDREW NEIMAN, LOS ANGELES POLICE: We have detained an individual in the city of Santa Monica who may be involved or connected with this horrendous incident. At this point, the investigation goes on and we will determine whether or not this individual is responsible for this incident.


KEILAR: Here in about 20 minutes, we'll be talking with a man who witnessed the aftermath of that.

BLACKWELL: To Bakersfield, California, now. Three people there are recovering this morning after an implosion went wrong. Watch.


BLACKWELL: Now, all three people were hit by flying shrapnel during this implosion at a power plant. Police say one man who was standing more than 1,000 feet away had to have one of his legs partially amputated. Now, the other injuries were minor.

KEILAR: So it's been a pretty rainy weekend for many of you, but it could spell a little relief, at least, from the long, hot summer. Let's go ahead and bring in our meteorologist, Alexandra Steele, in the CNN Weather Center.

Hey, Alexandra.

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hi! Good morning to you, guys. Good Sunday morning. Good Sunday morning to you out there.

Well, it's a wet one. What we're looking at, in Colorado yesterday, a lot of heavy rain and a lot of hail. So much hail covering the ground. That system has all moved eastward. So, in Wichita, driving I-70 south to I-35 heading toward Kansas City, some heavy rain embedded there. And also yesterday it was pretty wet in Florida. Remember our old Tropical Storm Dorian. Kind of shook it off yesterday for the most part. Still some moisture and some clouds around.

Let's take you right now live to Miami. We've got cloudy skies. And, boy, is it steamy! It's 77. Dew points are high. Feels a lot warmer than that. Heading today to 90 degrees, scattered showers today and tomorrow as well. So, good morning to you waking up in Miami, Palm Beach, anywhere in south Florida this morning. Bank on some really warm days ahead.

And, you know, here's why. This is the culprit. It's the same cold front we've been talking about for days. Now, north of the cold front, you're cool. It's comfortable. Temperatures five to 10 degrees below average in the Midwest and the Northeast. South of this front, kind of south of I-20 or so, Birmingham, Atlanta, south, that's where the incredible heat is on. West Coast, looking great for you from the northwest to the southwest, although still some moisture around the Rockies.

When we come back, guys, we're going to look at August as a whole. It was so hot in July, so wet. What will August provide weatherwise around the country? We're going to take a look at that coming up when I see you next.

KEILAR: All right. We'll be interested to see how that shapes up. Alexandra, thanks.


BLACKWELL: If you were planning to watch "The Mentalist" tonight, you might be out of luck, depending upon where you live. Why some of your favorite shows are off the air. That's next.


KEILAR: Good morning! A nice shot of New York City there as you're waking up with us. A beautiful day there in the big apple. And a nice day, maybe, to go outside, maybe hunker down, watch a little golf? Oh, wait, maybe not!

BLACKWELL: Maybe not. If you live in New York or L.A., you will not be able to watch your favorite shows on CBS today.

KEILAR: That's right. The network has gone dark in those and several other major cities because of a contract dispute with Time Warner Cable. And at stake here, $1 million in fees. No chump change. CNN's Alina Cho has this story.


ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Turn on the nation's number one network, CBS, in New York, L.A., and six other major cities, and this is what you will see. No programming, just a slate with a Time Warner logo and a scathing open letter that reads in part, "CBS has made outrageous demands for the programming that it delivers free over the air and online, requiring us to remove their stations from your lineup while we continue to negotiate for fair and reasonable terms."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's a travesty. I love CBS.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, it's annoying, you know? It's like everything -- there's a ton of stuff that I watch, you know, on CBS. That's the main annoying thing. "David Letterman." I'm about ready to lose my mind.

CHO: For golf fans, it means no PGA tour this weekend, no "Big Brother," "The Mentalist," not even this, no "60 Minutes." The roughly 3 million customers affected also lose access to CBS-owned premium networks, like Showtime and The Movie Channel.

Why is this happening? The fight is over retransmission fees, the millions cable networks are required to pay broadcasters in exchange for their content.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, I pay $200 a month. That's, you know, a lot of money. So my thing is, for that kind of money, it better work when I want it to work.

CHO: The contract between CBS and Time Warner expired on June 30th. It was extended and extended again. But by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Friday, Time Warner had had enough and pulled the plug. CBS says it's the first time in its history the network has been dropped by a cable system. The question is, when will viewers be able to see their favorite shows again? Nobody knows.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just get over it. Give me back my news (ph), my "Letterman."

CHO: Alina Cho, CNN, New York.


KEILAR: No laughing matter, but I do love how that woman says, no "David Letterman"? I'm losing my mind!

BLACKWELL: She is really feeling "David Letterman."

KEILAR: She is annoyed.

BLACKWELL: You know, these two companies are really going after on another.


BLACKWELL: I was on kcows (ph) website, the station that's covering this Venice Beach tragedy, and they've got on the sides, call Time Warner Cable and tell them you want CBS. I was in New York and they had - Time Warner Cable had an ad on that said, CBS is giving New York a black eye. So they're like political ads attacking one another.

KEILAR: Yes, big money - big money involved. That's why.

BLACKWELL: $1 billion.

Hey, next on NEW DAY, will Alex Rodriguez go down swinging? The Yankees slugger thinks he's returning to baseball, but new reports suggest he's about to get hit with a big-time suspension tomorrow.


BLACKWELL: A live look at our nation's capital. This is the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. 6:22 on the East Coast. Good morning, Washington. Good morning to you at home.

Big sports news developing this morning. According to reports, all-star slugger Alex Rodriguez will be suspended from baseball tomorrow.

KEILAR: His punishment for allegedly using performance-enhancing drugs. And Jeff Fischel - I can say your name, buddy, I'm sorry. It's still early. I'm warming up here.

BLACKWELL: Our old friend Jim.

KEILAR: That's right.

JEFF FISCHEL, BLEACHER REPORT: Anything before 7:00 a.m., it's all understood. We're waking up.

KEILAR: Take it away. Take it away with the "Bleacher Report." Yes.

FISCHEL: All right, guys.

So, tomorrow, the Yankees star will be suspended for the rest of the season and all of next year as well. That's from a number of reports which say reps from A-Rod reached out to the league to discuss a settlement, some negotiations. The league said, too late. This is all for being connected to the Biogenesis clinic, which is accused of supplying baseball players with performance-enhancing drugs. Rodriguez has said he'll appeal any suspension. Last night he played in a minor league game, recovering from an injury, and said his plan was to play for the Yankees tomorrow.


ALEX RODRIGUEZ, N.Y. YANKEES THIRD BASEMAN: I can't wait to see my teammates. I feel like I can help us win. I can help us be a better team. And I haven't seen a lot of my brothers in a long time.


FISCHEL: Seven NFL greats were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame yesterday. Wide receiver Cris Carter, Jonathan Ogden, perhaps the greatest offensive lineman ever, two-time Super Bowl winning coach Bill Parcells, aka "the big tuna." These guys are all giants of the game. Dave Robinson, Curley Culp, Warren Sapp and offensive lineman Larry Allen.

An incredible moment at the Cleveland Browns pre-season family night practice, especially for five-year-old cancer survivor Ryan Encinas. He gets the handoff. They bring him into the game. And while he didn't quite head straight for the end zone, he eventually got there with the help of an escort from the entire Browns team. He can't even -- by the time he gets to the goal line, you can't even see Ryan, guys, because he's surrounded by 50, 300-pound football players, but he's in there. He eventually was lifted up onto shoulders. They're celebrating.


FISCHEL: It was truly a great moment. Over 25,000 Cleveland Browns fans there celebrating with Ryan. You know, just a couple of years ago, he was diagnosed with a tumor. They thought he just had a cold. They find this huge tumor. He's now in remission. That is great to see. A great moment for the Browns and for Ryan. KEILAR: That's is great to see. And you know what was so funny, Jeff, is you see they're doing the play. There's like these huge guys taking dives.

FISCHEL: Yes, exactly.

KEILAR: Really got into the drama of it.

FISCHEL: Truly afterwards, the players couldn't have been more excited. They're like, this guy's a first-round draft pick! We loved it! It was our favorite moment of the night! So it was really a special way to end what's a fun night for all Cleveland Browns fans.

KEILAR: Yes. So cute. Jeff, thank you.


KEILAR: And witnesses say that it was mayhem when a driver plowed through the crowd yesterday on L.A.'s Venice Beach. We'll be asking the man who shot this video if he thinks it could have been an accident.


KEILAR: Mortgage rates ticked up again this past week. Check it out.


KEILAR: It is half past the hour now. Welcome back, everyone. I'm Brianna Keilar.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell.

Here are five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.

Number one. The U.S. is taking unprecedented action. It's shutting down 22 embassies and consulates in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. And select U.S. military forces in the Middle East are on a higher state of alert. Washington is taking no chances with a terror threat from al Qaeda. Sources tell CNN intelligence indicates, rather, a potential for attacks.

KEILAR: And a former FBI agent behind bars this morning for his role in an alleged bribery scheme. A criminal complaint states that Robert Lustyik seen here and two others accepted a $1000 to dig up confidential information on the man's political rival in Bangladesh. Lustyik worked in counterintelligence and he retired last September. He faces a maximum prison sentence of 25 years.

BLACKWELL: Three, now. A passenger on board the Southwest Airlines flight that landed nose first at LaGuardia Airport has filed a lawsuit. According to her attorney, the woman was injured when sliding down an emergency ramp with no one to catch her. Southwest says it does not comment on pending litigation. 11 others were injured in the last month crash landing. KEILAR: And number four, President Obama himself stepping in and overturning a looming ban on older Apple iPhones and iPads. This was a ban that was put in place by the International Trade Commission, and it stemmed from a patent dispute between the iPhone maker and Samsung. This is the first time the president has stepped in on an ITC decision since 1987.

BLACKWELL: Here's number five. A mountain rescue team is headed to Oregon's Mt. Hood to try to save a man trapped under ice. CNN affiliate KGW reports, the man was with five other snowboarders when he got stuck in a tunnel. Now, authorities say they know where he is. They just need to make sure it's safe to rescue him. His friends got down the mountain safely.

KEILAR: Let's go to Los Angeles now, where one person was killed, 11 others hurt yesterday at Venice Beach, world-famous beach there in southern California. And this happened when a driver just plowed through the crowd there on the famous boardwalk.

BLACKWELL: Police and witnesses said it was deliberate. A suspect is in custody this morning. Joining us now by phone from L.A. is Terry Cacchia. He got to Venice Beach a few minutes after this hit-and-run and he shot this video that you're watching now.

KEILAR: Now, Terry joining us on the phone here. Set the scene for us on the boardwalk when you got there. Tell us exactly what time you got there and what you saw.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got there about 20 minutes after it happened, 20 to 30 minutes after it happened. I was skating from Santa Monica down to Venice, and I came upon the scene. The police had cordoned off the entire boardwalk. You could only get by on the bike path. There was a bunch of ambulance and police there, and it looks like they had taken away most of the critically injured, but they were still working on people who were not as severely injured, but those people were going to the hospital as well.

BLACKWELL: You know, we have heard from many witnesses who were there on the scene. Do you believe that there was any way -- and I know you showed up a little time after it happened -- but any way this could have been an accident?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've seen people drive on to the boardwalk by accident. Usually what happens is that they find themselves surrounded by people and then everybody starts yelling at them and then they figure, well, I'm not where I'm supposed to be. This person just, you know, they just kept going. I mean, usually, when somebody makes a mistake like that, they stop almost immediately, and this guy just kept going. So, you know, common sense would say I'm not where I'm supposed to be, I should stop and figure out what I'm supposed to do, which you know, I've seen a number of times before. So, this guy was just, you know, it's looking like he was out for mayhem or was really angry. The traffic wasn't that bad that day either, you know, that afternoon. I mean, it does get jammed up down there, but it wasn't like, you know, you see it on Sundays. So, I don't know what this individual was thinking. KEILAR: Yet a lot of people are wondering that, Terry, especially because of the fact that traffic isn't normally allowed in that area. As you said, a mistake that happens occasionally, but certainly, I think people aren't moving very fast when they do it. And the fact also that this person ditched their car after this.


KEILAR: So, Terry Caccia (ph) there in L.A., thank you for that.


BLACKWELL: So, what will the August weather look like around the country? As promised, meteorologist Alexandra Steele in the CNN weather center with the weather outlook for the month!

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: All right, it's a lot to tackle!

BLACKWELL: Yes, it is.

STEELE: I can do it, though! All right, so if you're watching us from Hartford or Providence, you know the hottest July on record this last July. Also, Boston, the fifth hottest, New York City the eighth hottest. That's just on the eastern seaboard, but look at this. Isn't this a refreshing change? So, what we're going to see, especially in the next 12 to 14 days, two cold fronts come through, so certainly below average in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes, but not so, kind of just normal or average, but also even Salt Lake City in July, last month the hottest July on record. And you can see, it will be above average. You can see from the West all the way from the northwest, even to the southwest. So, that's the temperature profile. In terms of how much rain, you can see above normal. We certainly had very wet conditions here in the southeast. That looks like that will continue as well. And a few other spots in the west. So, certainly, in terms of the wildfires, which we saw, we won't see an abundance of rain, but normal conditions, even into the northeast. So, we tackled that on the whole. It does look better for some, though, than what we saw in July.

All right, for today, highs below average in the northeast and temperatures, especially in Texas, guys, 100 degrees not only for the weekend but straight through until Friday, at least.

KEILAR: What about tropical storm activity, Dorian in the Atlantic? We have Gil in the Pacific.

STEELE: Well, it's good news. Both weakening, both dissipating really ...

KEILAR: Thanks.

STEELE: ... both nonfactors now as we head through the next couple of days. It's a done deal. We talked about Florida, of course, where Dorian re-emerging yesterday. Had a few rain showers, but it's over as well. So, now we're just looking for the next letter and we'll tell you when that happens.

KEILAR: OK, well, at least let's go to the beach after the show, all right?

STEELE: Yes, you can do it.

KEILAR: Just head to Florida.

STEELE: There you go. Caribbean's good right now.

KEILAR: Get some color. That will be nice.

BLACKWELL: All right. That was interesting. Thank you.

KEILAR: And just ahead on "New Day," from the Roman Empire to last week in San Diego, sex and politics. They seem like they're never too far apart. Coming up, we look at steamy scandals here and abroad.


BLACKWELL: 20 minutes before the top of the hour. Good morning. Egypt is trying to reassure the U.S. its defense minister is promising U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that his government is committed to elections and resolving differences with supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsy. Hagel has expressed concern about the recent violence that has swept the capital of Cairo and other parts of Egypt.

KEILAR: And there may finally be a breakthrough in the case of a young American woman who's been missing in Nepal for three years now. Police in Nepal have arrested two men and a teenager. 23-year-old Aubrey Sacco went trekking alone in Nepal in April of 2010. She vanished, and police say they suspect that she was murdered.

BLACKWELL: Iran officially has a new president. This weekend, Hassan Rouhani became the seventh president of the Islamic Republic after taking more than 50 percent of the vote back in June. The 65- year old cleric is seen as a moderate politician and has a reputation for avoiding extreme positions.

KEILAR: We know sex scandals and politics seem to go hand in hand, and it turns out, anywhere around the world.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, OK, so, you see Silvio Berlusconi and you think what, bunga bunga, right? You see Anthony Weiner, you think sexting. And then San Diego's Mayor Filner? Who's next?

KEILAR: The headlock. I think of a headlock.

BLACKWELL: He's a hugger. He's a hugger on both men and women.

KEILAR: What he says, he's a hugger. Yeah. Well, CNN editor real producer Nadia Bilchik is joining us now to discuss select start with Silvio Berlusconi. I mean ...


BILCHIK: Well, let's start with the fact that over the last 25 years, he's had around 30 trials. And for the first time ever on Thursday, he has definitive sentence. And it's amazing because he's had everything from elicit sex with underaged women -- remember Ruby, the heartbreaker, and the bunga bunga dancing and corruption charges? But for the first time ever, he has a four-year sentence.

BLACKWELL: The idea that you can have 30 trials over 25 years and still be elected, I don't know if that could happen in the U.S.

BILCHIK: Probably not.

BLACKWEL: There must be a different appetite in other countries.

BILCHIK: There certainly is for how people perceive these things. But interesting, after four years, remember that in Italy, three years will be shaved off because of overcrowding in prisons.


BILCHIK: And Italy does the year, it will be house arrest or community service. And house arrest, by the way, in either the villa, the seaside estate or the palazzo in Rome.

KEILAR: So, he's hardly really paying a price for this.

BILCHIK: It is - but you know, thinking about it, it may be a Pyrrhic victory for the court, but at the end of the day, is he finally getting some comeuppance? But the real thing for him is the loss of power, because he'll have to give up his senate seat and then he won't be able to endorse other candidates, but for Berlusconi, that's the real thing. But isn't it fascinating ...


BILCHIK: ... that it's not sex that's brought him down but tax fraud.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Tax fraud.

KEILAR: It's always the tax fraud, right?

BILCHIK: Exactly.

BLACKWELL: So you know, we were talking, and I brought this up just a moment ago, but I want to elaborate on this just a bit about - you know, we talked earlier this year about Putin and his divorce. Other politicians overseas.

KEILAR: He was divorced.


BILCHIK: It's a (inaudible) to the incumbent French president left his partner of 27 years and now lives with his mistress. So, and don't forget, they had a great role model in Mitterrand who famously had his mistresses. In fact, his wife used to say, he can have as many mistresses as he wants, I'm still Madam Mitterrand.

KEILAR: But that doesn't fly in the U.S.


BILCHIK: No. It doesn't. Certainly, it doesn't. We're very punitive. Look at Filner and what it's up to nine women?


BILCHIK: And, of course, as you mentioned, Weiner. So here in this country, sex can bring down a politician. And in Italy, some, you know, hardly mattered. In France, hardly mattered. In South Africa, the current president has four wives and is not known for his fidelity. But we're not worried about Berlusconi. He is worth $6.2 billion. He's still on "Forbes"' list as the 194th most wealthy man.

KEILAR: That's good because I was so concerned about him.



BLACKWELL: House arrest is going to be so difficult.

KEILAR: And I'm waiting for your report on the women who are behaving badly. I'm sure we'll have that at some point, or not.

BILCHIK: Women never behave badly, Brianna.


KEILAR: Nope, not as much. Nadia Bilchik, thank you for that.

BLACKWELL: I'm just going to not comment on that at all. Anything I say is going to be a problem.

Next on "New Day," could you spend a month living under water? The grandson of famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau is ready for try, at least. He'll tell us how he's planning to do it. Stay with us.


KEILAR: You know, this week may feel like a repeat of the 2012 election because you have both President Obama and Mitt Romney on the trail and making headlines.

BLACKWELL: Yes, it's part of the political week ahead. Here's CNN political editor Paul Steinhauser with more. Hey, Paul.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Good morning, Brianna, Victor. It's August, and Capitol Hill's quiet, as lawmakers head back to their home districts and states for summer recess. The big question, will we see a repeat of this? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody back up!


STEINHAUSER: Those were the Tea Party protests against Obamacare at congressional town halls four Augusts ago. Conservative groups say they're planning a repeat performance with pro-Obama groups saying they plan to be out in force in supporting the health care law. Talking about the president, Tuesday he heads to Arizona to talk about the economy.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Growing the economy, making sure that the middle class is strong is like getting in shape.


STEINHAUSER: Then it's on to Los Angeles later in the day as he joins Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show." The man he beat last year is back in the political spotlight this week. Mitt Romney's the main attraction at a GOP party reception in New Hampshire. It's the first fund-raiser he's headlined since his election loss last November. And two Republicans who may run for president in 2016, Rick Santorum and Ted Cruz, show up at the end of the week at a social conservative gathering in, you guessed it, Iowa. Brianna, Victor?

KEILAR: Paul Steinhauser, thank you for that.

All right, guys, we're going to show you what's ahead for the new week. On Monday, in Kansas you have the sentencing for Brett Seacat, he is the former - I can pull this up - he is the former police officer who is found guilty last month of killing his wife and setting their home on fire to cover it up. Now, on Tuesday, you have opening statements in the Texas trial of accused Ft. Hood gunman Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist who could face -- I'm not very good at this, am I? He could face the death penalty if found guilty of killing 13 people and wounding dozens more in the 2009 shooting rampage.

And then on Thursday, it is a very big day in sports. You have the PGA championship, the tournament on the men's pro golf tour, it gets under way in New York. So, set your DVRs. The world's top-ranked golfer, Tiger Woods also doing pretty good today in the Bridgestone Invitational. He tees off at 8:35 in the morning. And then on Friday, Disney's D23 expo. Thousands of Ironmen, Mickey Mouse and Buzz Lightyear fans uniting in California, this is all part of Disney's big D23 expos. I said more than 40,000 fans are expected to attend there. And then on Saturday, that's right, the first family, they are going on a pretty nice summer vacation. They're headed to Martha's Vineyard for nine days. This will be the Obama's fourth vacation there since first taking office. And no, I am not actually going with them, Victor.

BLACKWELL: The production team gave me so much grief a few weeks ago when I had trouble with that board. I'm happy to see that I'm not the only one.

KEILAR: It's because I didn't get a run-through. I actually think that I might be better at it than you.

BLACKWELL: See, you ... ...

KEILAR: I'm better at pressing a screen than you.


BLACKWELL: OK, well, I'll let you have that.

KEILAR: Yeah, let me have it. It's the small victories.

BLACKWELL: Coming up on nine minutes before the top of the hour, and it's time for our weekly series "The Science Behind," where we give you the why behind the whats. And today we have a real-life deep sea adventure. Fabien Cousteau, grandson of the legendary diver Jacques Cousteau, is about to plunge into the ocean, but he's not just jumping into the water. He's going to live in an underwater lab for 31 days. His team will even cruise the ocean floor on motorcycles, really, on motorcycles. He spoke to our Chad Myers about the mission.


CHAD MYERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fabien, 63 feet, 31 days, never done before. What do you hope to find?

FABIEN COUSTEAU, AQUATIC FILMMAKER AND EXPLORER: Well, the unknown, you know? This is what it's all about is pushing outside the box and going into the mysteries, and hopefully, bringing some of those discoveries back.

MYERS: You have motorcycles to go on, too, some kind of underwater vehicle.

COUSTEAU: We have a lot of modern-day technology, including underwater motorcycles, which are the modern-day scooter. You can sit on top of them like a motorcycle with a cowling, and it gets you from point "a" to point "b" more efficiently than the traditional scooter.

MYERS: I heard you talk in the past about places that you used to dive ...


MYERS: ... where there would be hundreds of thousands of fish, and now you don't find any fish. Does that concern you at all?

COUSTEAU: It used to be a fireworks display of life when I was a child, and I go to those places that used to be full and teeming of life, and it's changed quite drastically. One of the things that worries me probably even more is that today's youth doesn't know what it's supposed to be like and figures that what it is today is what it's supposed to be.

MYERS: Do you think it's ocean acidification, global change, global climate, overfishing? What do you think?

COUSTEAU: I think you've hit all of the topics right on the head. It's climate change and acidification issues, it's overfishing issues, especially by commercial interests and nonselective fishing, and it's pollution issues. And all those things, of course, affect our planet and our oceans, but it affects us fundamentally. And that's what we really have to be worried about.

MYERS: Let's talk about the six aquanauts that are going to be down with you.

COUSTEAU: Yes. Well ....

MYERS: What are you going to do all day?

COUSTEAU: Well, they're about as crazy as I am if they're coming with me, but we're going to be doing a lot of things. We're going to be diving six to nine hours a day, going down to depths of up to 150 feet or maybe even more. We're going to be looking at the phosphorescence and bioluminescence of coral reefs, what I call underwater cities, and, of course, something my grandfather only dreamed of, we're going to be able to reach millions of people, millions of students around the world for full 31 days live in real-time through things like Skype in the classroom.

MYERS: So, you swim under, a kind of like the old movies, where we'd see you pop up, and you'll be in the air and Aquarius will be full of air, but there will be water all around this, what, bus-sized thing, right?

COUSTEAU: That's correct. It's a habitat is about 43 feet long, 9 feet wide, inside full of equipment and full of people, six people. It is - you can get in and out of the habitat from down below in what we call the moon pool. But inside, it's air, it's at pressure depth, so to speak, so we'll be saturation diving, as opposed to diving from the surface. And once we're down there, we are committed to being down there for the full 31 days before coming back up.


BLACKWELL: All right, Chad and Fabien, thank you. To follow Fabien Cousteau's underwater ocean adventure, go to And be sure to come back and see us next week for our new segment, "The Science Behind."

KEILAR: Nearly two dozen U.S. embassies and consulates closed down and select U.S. military forces are on high alert. Just ahead, we are live from five countries on the al Qaeda terror threat.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLACKWELL: In Michigan, police arrested a man who tried to break into the home of musician Kid Rock. The security cameras caught this suspect -- we don't know his name yet -- using his van to break open a gate, and Kid Rock, of course, called him out and he posted this footage on his website.

KEILAR: Veteran character actor Michael Ansara has passed away. The 91-year old may have been best known for playing Kang on "Star Trek," and Ansara's film credits also include 1953's "Julius Caesar" as well as "The Greatest Story Ever Told."

BLACKWELL: Speaking of space, we talked about space moments ago, graduates at the University of North Dakota had a very special commencement speaker. Karen Nyberg is former UND student, but also, she is an astronaut and she delivered a speech to the graduating class from space.


KAREN NYBERG, ASTRONAUT: I am extremely proud to be a graduate of UND. My time there provided a great foundation for me, not only as an engineer, but also as a person.


BLACKWELL: Nyberg told the students they should continue to reach for their own stars.

KEILAR: I wonder if that's the first. Pretty cool.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, it is pretty cool, probably one of the more interesting graduation speeches.

KEILAR: Thank you so much for starting your morning with us.

BLACKWELL: The next hour of your "New Day" begins right now.


KEILAR: Good morning, everybody. I'm Brianna Keilar.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. It's 7:00 here on the East Coast, 4:00 on the West Coast. This is NEW DAY SUNDAY.

A former U.S. ambassador tells CNN he's never seen anything like it. This morning, almost two dozen U.S. embassies and consulates across the Middle East, North Africa and Asia are closed.

KEILAR: Also, select U.S. forces in the Middle East are on a heightened state of alert. We have reporters standing by in five countries to bring you the latest on this unprecedented move by the U.S.

Let's go ahead and we start with CNN's Emily Schmidt. She is in Washington.

Emily, this terror threat has embassies locking their doors.

EMILY SCHMIDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna and Victor, 22 embassies and consulates closing their doors across the country. And we are only seven hours into the day in Washington, all weekend, the world is watching Sunday arriving abroad.

President Obama is in Camp David this morning. The White House says he's being updated on a regular basis about the terror threats. We know the briefing Saturday included members of his national security team. It includes the president's national security advisor, the directors of the FBI, CIA and national security agency, secretary of state and the secretary of defense.

CNN has also learned that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has looked at what forces are in the area where the embassies and consulates are closed to be used in the event of any attack, and as a result, some select military forces are now operating on a higher state of alert as a result of the terror threats. Combat-equipped marines were deployed to the Red Sea, Spain and Italy after last year's attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi.

It's a situation here of watching in Washington. They're also watching abroad.

We go now to John in Abu Dhabi with more.

JOHN DEFTERIOS,CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, thanks very much, Emily. In fact, it's fair to say that the U.S. is using a broad brush approach here, as you noted, with this response to shut down the 22 facilities. It raised some eyebrows here in Abu Dhabi, specifically because security is normally very tight.

Let's give you a shot of the U.S. embassy. It's on the right- hand corner of your screen as we take a tighter shot here. it's the big, sloping building. I was suggesting that security's so tight. Normally, under normal operations, we're not allowed to take even a still or video camera into that area.

Now, a European ambassador told me this is a direct response to what we saw in Benghazi last year, perhaps an overreaction. But after the gains al Qaeda has made in the last couple of months in Iraq with all the killings and also into Yemen, the U.S. is not willing to take any risk. We had a producer in the area this morning, and there's only a few marines at the facility right now. It's a 24-hour shutdown -- Vladimir.

VLADIMIR DUTHIERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, here in Tel Aviv, the United States embassy, which is right behind me, is typically, normally closed on Sunday. We've been here for the last three days. We've seen just three or four security officials out in front. Nothing has changed. We haven't seen any kind of beefed-up security measures.

However, yesterday, there was a suspicious package that was sort of right across the street from the embassy. Within minutes, security officials had cordoned off the area. Bomb disposal unit showed up on the scene, disposed of the package. It was a false alarm, nothing to worry about.

So, they clearly are prepared should something happen, but it's business as usual here in front of the United States embassy outside, right behind me in Tel Aviv -- Dan.

DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, here in the U.K., the foreign office has issued a very unusual, urgent piece of travel advice, saying -- it's telling all Brits to get out of Yemen immediately. They've also announced the temporary closure of the embassy today and possibly tomorrow.

The statement says they're advising against all travel to Yemen and telling all Brits to get out now. They say it's extremely unlikely the British government will be able to evacuate you or provide consular assistance. This coming as France and Germany have taken similar measures for their embassies in Yemen as well.

And Interpol, based in Leon in France, has also put out a global security alert relating to the breakout of prisoners in Iraq, Libya and Pakistan, numbering some 2,000 inmates altogether, including they think some al Qaeda senior members, wondering if all the prison breaks are related and if that, perhaps, has some impact on this security alert.

Throwing it over to Arwa in Cairo.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Barely visible behind the wall, blocking off the road there, the U.S. embassy in Cairo. It too closed on what would normally have been a work day, perhaps of special concern, because Egyptian officials back in May say they detained three men, possibly affiliated with al Qaeda and the Islamic Maghreb for planning on carrying out an attack.

And it's also in these very streets where an angry mob around year ago on September 11th tried to also attack the embassy, it also being the same day of that coordinated attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi took place. So, the U.S. most certainly not taking any chances here, Brianna.

KEILAR: Arwa Damon, thank you.

BLACKWELL: Americans traveling abroad today or any time in August should be on alert. The U.S. State Department has issued a worldwide travel alert, warning travelers to be extremely cautious, especially in the countries here in yellow, where the embassies and consulates are closed. The warning also cautions travelers to be careful around typical terrorist targets like subways and the stations, trains and buses.

Officials recommend registering your travel with the State Department. There is more information on their Web site. It's

KEILAR: And U.S. officials are particularly concerned about Yemen and the possibility of an attack there. You'll remember, the embassy has been attacked by al Qaeda affiliates before. This was actually the scene in 2008, when a car bomb went off outside the embassy, and that attack killed more than a dozen people. That included an 18-year-old woman from New York named Susan Elbana (ph).

BLACKWELL: Today, the embassy in Yemen is closed and security there extremely tight. At least 12 tanks are surrounding the building.

Let's bring in CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen.

Peter, good to have you this morning.


BLACKWELL: What makes -- and we've got, as we said, 22 countries where all this has been shut down, but what makes Yemen so dangerous?

BERGEN: Well, as you indicated, they've already had an attack on the embassy there, and certainly there have been multiple attempts to attack the embassy in the past, some successful, some less successful.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is the al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen, has tried to bring down American airliner in 2009, trying to bring down American cargo planes in 2010. That said, this affiliate in Yemen has also been under substantial pressure. Something like 37 of their top leaders and senior operatives have been killed in U.S. drone strikes in the past three years. They held significant territory in southern Yemen in 2011. They were pushed out by the Yemeni army with some U.S. help.

And so, you know, the chatter that may have prompted this alert, you know, it certainly, it's prudential to close these embassy facilities, but it may all wash out. Often, you get these kinds of alerts and nothing really happens.

KEILAR: But what do you -- Peter, what are you expecting in terms of how long this could last? Obviously, the main concern seems to be today, which is a key holy day on the Muslim calendar, but might this go beyond today?

BERGEN: Well, it could. You know, one of the reasons you do these alerts is basically to interrupt the plot. I mean, you know, anybody trying to attack the Yemeni embassy today would have to have their head examined with all those tanks around it and all the kind of security alert that's going on.

So, you know, as you've indicated earlier in the report, many of the embassies we're discussing have a very high degree of security on any ordinary day. So you know, they're hard targets, but they remain targets. Many of the embassies that have been closed today have been not just the one in Sana'a, Yemen, but also in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, you know. There have been multiple attacks on these embassies in the past.

So, you know, a state of alertness at these embassies is quite usual. BLACKWELL: Can you tell us the level of confidence that this is confined to these 17 countries? I mean, how concerned should people here stateside be about an attack?

BERGEN: I wouldn't be that concerned about it at all stateside. I mean, this is a kind of general alert. You know, in a sense, this is unusual, because usually when you have a specific alert, a specific embassy might close in a specific country.

This kind of generalized alert, we had one a couple of years ago in Europe where there was some kind of notional plan by an al Qaeda affiliate to do some kind of Mumbai-style attack that came out of an interrogation of somebody in Afghanistan, the information, and nothing happened. So, you know, in the post-Benghazi era, the U.S. State Department isn't taking any risks. No one wants to testify, you know, a year from now at some congressional hearing into some inquiry about why a bomb went off at a consulate somewhere in the Middle East and the State Department hadn't taken appropriate measures.

KEILAR: And, Peter, speak to the abilities of al Qaeda at this point in time. We've heard that it's not a cohesive organization like it used to be. What is the ability to launch an international attack or even a widespread international attack?

BERGEN: I think it's very low, you know. The last time that al Qaeda attacked in the west was on July 7th, 2005, successfully. Obviously, there hasn't been a successful attack on the United States by an al Qaeda affiliate or group or inspired organization since 9/11. We've had lone wolves who were inspired by al Qaeda's message of attacking the United States, most recently in Boston, but also at Ft. Hood, Texas, and one or two other places.

But you know, these have been relatively small-scale attacks. They have been tragedies individually, but they haven't been catastrophic attacks as we saw on 9/11, and I don't think there's any likelihood that al Qaeda's able to pull anything remotely like that from now on going forward. It's an organization under tremendous pressure that has lost almost all of its leadership, and that's true not just of the central organization but of many of the affiliate organizations.

That said, we have had prison breaks in Iraq and in Libya and in Pakistan over the past several months and militants, senior militants from these groups have got out, and certainly, they'll be looking for attacks, at least against American targets in those countries.

BLACKWELL: CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen, thank you.

KEILAR: Chaos on L.A.'s Venice Beach. A driver speeds through the crowded boardwalk, leaving one person dead. Was this an accident or was it a plot to kill?


KEILAR: A day at the beach turned deadly at a popular tourist spot in Los Angeles. This happened yesterday when a driver plowed into a crowd on the famous Venice Beach boardwalk. Authorities and witnesses say that it was deliberate.


LANDON BLACKBURN, WITNESS: Pedal to the metal, because the tires started screeching. I saw him, and he was looking for blood. That guy was -- that guy, his intention was to kill people.


KEILAR: One person was killed, 11 others were hurt. And police say the driver ditched the car, then fled.


LT. ANDREW NEIMAN, LOS ANGELES POLICE: We have detained an individual in the city of Santa Monica who may be involved or connected with this horrendous incident. At this point, the investigation goes on, and we will determine whether or not this individual is responsible for this incident.


KEILAR: To Bakersfield, California, now, where three people are recovering this morning after a planned implosion went wrong.


BLACKWELL: Three people were hit by flying shrapnel during the implosion at a power plant. Police say one man who was more than 1,000 feet away had to have one of his legs partially amputated. The other injuries were minor.

July was an extreme month for weather. Record heat, record rain. So, what's coming up in August?

Let's bring in meteorologist Alexandra Steele in the CNN weather center. Hopefully, no new records.

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. I mean, we've set some incredible records. You know, places like Seattle in July, first time in 50 years without any measurable rain, that certainly notable. In Ft. Lauderdale, July was the wettest July on record. The hottest July on record in places in the Northeast, like Bridgeport and Providence.

So, we're talking about over 100 years of data. So, certainly substantial. So, that's how July shook out, hot in the West, hot in the Northeast and kind of below average or just about average for many. Not a lot of cool areas.

But here's what August looks like, kind of on the aggregate. What we're looking at are above-normal conditions, so expect the West to stay hot, a little pocket of below-normal temperatures. We have seen two fronts move through, one now, one coming in later next week. So, that really will keep things cool, below average by about 10 degrees or so.

So, the temperature outlook normal in the Southeast, where it was quite cool because of all the rain. Unfortunately, August outlook in the Southeast above normal in terms of rain as well, and you can see mostly on average more or less. So, in terms of the wet weather, not as wet as we've seen.

But places like Chicago have certainly seen some cool-downs, and this is why, a cold front moving through, dropping their temperatures, which were so warm, to below average. Let's take you there live.

Lollapalooza going on in Chicago, and really a beautiful weekend for it. Temperatures in the 70s. Right now temperature at 64, sunny skies, 75 and sunny today in Grant Park, so hello to you waking up there, walking out the door or already partying; 150,000 around grant park for lollapalooza this weekend.

So, temperatures will warm up in Chicago, Midwest. You're going to lose this cool air and get up into the 80s by the time we hit Tuesday. So, we'll shake off the cool.

But here's where the front drops down and still warm and steamy, guys, in the southeast for today.

BLACKWELL: All right, Alexandra Steele, thank you very much.


KEILAR: And you know the beach is beautiful, but it can also be dangerous.

And Alison Teal learned that firsthand. There's a peek at her now. She learned this on "Naked and Afraid." Have you seen that show? It's a good one. We've got her story next.

But first, let's check in with Dr. Sanjay Gupta for a look at what's coming up on "SANJAY GUPTA, M.D." at 7:30 Eastern.

Good morning, Sanjay.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, ahead on "SGMD," parents are demanding more information from this elite children's hospital following the death of multiple young heart patients. We'll explain.

Also, convicted Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro, he said in court that he's a sex addict. Is that even real?

And new warning about energy drinks. I'm going to tell you what to look for.

We'll see you in just a few minutes at the bottom of the hour.


KEILAR: For some of us, camping is about as rustic as we're going to get. Maybe you've even gone glamping, have you heard of that? But what if you didn't have shoes or clothes or even a tent?

That is the premise behind the Discovery Channel's latest hit "Naked and Afraid." A man, a woman, alone without clothes in the wild, finding food, shelter, really just trying not to die.

And I'm joined now by Alison Teal from Hawaii. She was featured on the show's reunion special, which aired last night.

Alison, aloha to you.


KEILAR: Aloha to you. And you know, did you think that the show lived up to its name? Were you afraid? We know you were naked. Were you afraid?


TEAL: Absolutely! You know, one time during the storm, I did get a little bit afraid when the camera crew -- nobody, none of the medics, anyone could make it to the island and I actually had to film the storm with my diary cam. So, I have to say, I got a little bit full of fear at that point, but other than that, you know, I'm pretty at home in that environment.

KEILAR: Sure. And you're quite the adventurer. I think from the time that you were 2 months old, because you are the daughter of adventure photographers. You were sort of running around the world. The world was your playground to some areas that we might say are inhospitable.

Did this compare to anything that you had done before, or did this really push you to the extreme?

TEAL: This definitely pushed me to the extreme. It's funny, it was actually kind of a coming of age experience for me, because I'm used to the three adventurers, me and my mom and dad, and we go in these, you know, wild gallivants around the world. And suddenly, here I am with a strange, naked man, and I'm actually not one to be with naked men, regardless in strange places, let alone on national TV.

So, that was -- oh, man, it was mind-boggling, but it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, and I think it's changed me forever, for sure.

KEILAR: What was that like? So, Jonathan, actually -- I believe he is a -- is he a retired marine, I think? So, he's sort of -- you know, he should be having some skills as well. But what was that like to be -- and you were in the Maldives, because each episode is in a different place, some in Borneo, I watch one in Panama.

What was it like to be with someone you didn't know and what difficulties did that create?

TEAL: Yes, you can imagine, we're in the middle of the Indian Ocean, 20 minutes from the equator, it's 150 million degrees. I'm driven in by a boat. It's run by a Muslim captive. It's an Islamic country.

So I'm taking my clothes off and I'm brought on to this island with the largest recon marine I've seen in my life. And he has the word "sniper" tattooed on his back in huge letters and I'm like, oh, my gosh, this is wild! What am I doing here?

And we had our ups and downs. Luckily, we came together in the end. But, you know, it's really -- naked is an issue for about 10 minutes, until you're like, oh, gosh, where am I going to sleep, what am I going to eat, what am I going to drink and how am I going to survive with this individual I don't know at all for 21 days?

KEILAR: It was really fascinating to watch, not just the human interaction, but from the get-go, you have to swim into shark-infested waters because you're on an island that has no resources and you're not going to survive 21 days. And also, what sort of struck me was it was interesting skills that got you by. For instance, this hat I'm sort of wearing, we saw you wearing a lot.

TEAL: Yes! Are you wearing it?


TEAL: Are you wearing the coconut shells, too?

KEILAR: No, I can't wear the coconut bra you made because our producer Jason took it and will not give it up, so I don't have that, but you are a weaver --

TEAL: Tell Jason I'll make him a coconut jock strap, too, if he wants.

KEILAR: OK, he's listening. We'll let him know that. But this sort of skill really came in handy, right, for keeping the sun off of you and for making things. Talk about that.

TEAL: Absolutely. Yes, I actually made the first couple things for Jonathan because I could tell he was get a lobsterfied, but he didn't take on to the island-style clothing until a while later. I think he thought I was arts and crafts first, but then he noticed the importance of it. And I'm kind of surrounded by palm fronds.

I'm reporting to you live from grass shack here in Hawaii. I'm very Swiss family Robinson. So, yes, you just palm fronds, you can make baskets, you can make blankets, and it's just a joy to really actually live off the environment. So, until times got really tough and we hadn't eaten in 16 days, it was actually cool to see what I could make out of what surrounded me there.

KEILAR: Yes, and it was pretty amazing. And he was much fairer than you, Jonathan is, so I'm surprised that he wasn't up for wearing the hat.

Alison Teal, it was great to see you on the program and thank you so much for joining us today.

TEAL: All right. Do I have a second?

KEILAR: Yes, real quick.

TEAL: I would love to say that if you go to, R-E-D- C-A-P-E-S, and you look up "Alison's Adventures," I'm crowdfunding to take this knowledge that I showed on the show all across the nation to schools and bring it to kids, because that's my real dream is to educate children.

So, check out, "Alison's Adventures" film series. And please donate to my cause, because I'd really, really love to get out there and inspire and educate kids.

KEILAR: And it is a pretty cool cause. I know that your goal in life is to really kind of make the world a smaller place for everyone and explore different cultures. So, a good cause, Alison. Thanks for being with us. >

TEAL: Absolutely. Thank you so much! Mahalo!

KEILAR: Mahalo. Victor?

BLACKWELL: Hey, if Alison is passing out coconut jock straps, I want one.

KEILAR: She'll make you one. She will!

BLACKWELL: We'll be right back.


BLACKWELL: We'll see you back here at the top of the hour.

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