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Princess Diana Murder Investigation; Sandusky Victim Settles Lawsuit; Protests Planned Across Egypt; Queens' "Little Egypt" Reacts to Violence; Idaho Wildfire Spreads; Bulletproof Furniture; High School Athlete Dies on the Field; New College Football Rankings; Pleading for Medical Marijuana; New Jersey Governor Weighs Pot Decision; Washington Reacts to Egypt Violence; Why Millenials are Leaving the Church; Preventing Monster Sandstorms

Aired August 18, 2013 - 08:00   ET


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Idaho residents ordered to flee an enormous and unpredictable wildfire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've seen a lot of disasters in my lifetime, but never any fire that threatened my home like this.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Smoke your weed and have your munchies too. Seattle police dole out Doritos at the nation's largest pot festival, and let's just say they didn't last long.

KEILAR (voice-over): And are millennials saying good-bye to God? Two different takes on why young folks are fleeing the church in record numbers.


KEILAR: Good morning, everyone. It is 8 o'clock. I'm Brianna Keilar.

SAVIDGE: And I'm Martin Savidge. You are watching NEW DAY SUNDAY. Thanks very much for being with us.

KEILAR: She died 16 years ago this month. Today London police are looking at an allegation that Princess Diana was murdered.

SAVIDGE: Yes, this is amazing. Scotland Yard stresses it is trying to determine if the claim is credible and there is no formal reinvestigation. Let's bring in right away CNN's Erin McLaughlin. She is live in London.

Erin, there have been conspiracy theories about Diana's death floating around for years, so why would London police put out a statement now saying that they're reviewing the allegation for credibility because that almost seems to lend credibility to it?

ERIC MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That certainly is the question, Martin. They're not saying. They're not even offering what the information is that they're even considering, simply saying that they're assessing this information that they have received. They're scoping it out for its credibility and its relevance, adding that they have not yet opened up a new formal investigation into the death of Princess Diana, that they are simply just assessing the information at the moment.

As I said, they haven't even said what information they are considering. However, there are reports in the British media that this information includes an allegation that the British military was in some way behind the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed all the way back in 1997.

A British publication called "The U.K. People" is reporting a claim from the in-laws of a former British military special forces sniper. "The U.K. People" said they had access to a seven-page handwritten letter. In that letter the in-laws apparently write that at one point in the marriage between their daughter and this ex-special forces sniper, that he had boasted that the British SAS, which is a specialist commando unit, was in some way involved or behind the death of Princess Diana and Dodi al Fayed all the way back in 1997.

Before that letter was even written, the marriage between this particular British SAS special forces officer and their daughter had dissolved, so lots of questions here in the U.K. as to the credibility of this information, if in fact it's true.

SAVIDGE: All right, Erin McLaughlin. It's certainly interesting. We'll follow it with your help. Thanks very much, reporting from London.

KEILAR: Meantime, one of Diana's sons is following in her footsteps as an activist. Prince Harry has returned from a trip to Angola with the group The Halo Trust. The trip was meant to highlight the charity's effort to remove land mines in the area. You may recall that Princess Diana made a very similar trip in 1997. The Halo Trust is the world's oldest and largest land mine clearing charity.

SAVIDGE: Switching gears, a follow-up from the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case. The first lawsuit against Penn State where Sandusky was an assistant football coach has been settled. The word from the lawyer for the victim known only as Victim Number Five, and I talked with his attorney last hour.

He says that Victim Number Five may testify at the trial of three former Penn State officials; they're accused of covering up Sandusky's crimes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The incident which involved my client could have and should have been directly stopped could have been stopped had the appropriate reporting taken place. So my client actually may end up a witness in that trial if subpoenaed, just as he testified live and in person of course in the Sandusky trial and again at the sentencing hearing.

(END AUDIO CLIP) SAVIDGE: Penn State is facing 30 other lawsuits related to Sandusky. The university today told us it's making progress on multiple settlements.

KEILAR: Let's take a turn now to weather because it's been a very soggy weekend for so many of you, including us here in Atlanta.

Are you going to need your umbrella today? Later today?

Let's bring in our meteorologist, Jennifer Delgado. She's in the CNN Severe Weather Center.

So, Jennifer?

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hi there, Brianna, yes, you're going to need that umbrella across parts of the Northeast as well as down towards areas including the Southeast. We start off the morning for you. Good morning to you.

If you're in Philadelphia as well as Washington, D.C., expect some rain around. For New York City, the rain will arrive late in the morning and we're talking rain even through the evening. But the big story, the stuff that keeps coming down towards the South. Let's start off right now showing you what's happening across parts of Florida. Very heavy rainfall there.

Unfortunately, this is another day of it. We are going to continue to see problems with flooding. In fact, let's go to the video coming out of Wilmington, North Carolina. This is yesterday after heavy rainfall. Downpours left this mess behind. You can see people driving through flooded streets.

Basically neighborhoods became sort of islands at times because of the heavier rainfall and, as I said, we are not done yet, Brianna and Martin. It's just going to be a wet one out there.

Back over to our graphics here, I want to show you that we're still expecting in some of these locations 3 to 6 inches of rainfall -- that includes areas just to the north of Tampa and that is why we have so many flood watches out there once again for today as well as tomorrow.

You can see for yourself that many of these watches are going to last because we have so much of this area that is saturated and just has nowhere to go with all the successive rainfall. On a wide view today, again, some showers around for the Northeast.

The Midwest, hello, you are going to see lots of sunshine, comfortable temperatures. We will see some storms popping up, that monsoonal moisture across parts of the Four Corners and we continue to follow the fires burning in Idaho. We'll continue to watch that and more.

Back over to you two.

KEILAR: All right. We'll be checking back in with you, Jennifer Delgado, thanks.

DELGADO: Thank you.


SAVIDGE: If it's gunfire, it must be Egypt. A tense stand-off at a mosque in Cairo. It's finally over. Egyptian security forces cleared the mosque after more than 1,000 protesters defied curfew and barricaded themselves inside.

Unfortunately, there is no end in sight, though, to the violence as the Muslim Brotherhood plans to protest every day this week.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is in Cairo.

Nick, the interim government briefed the media this morning and blamed terrorists for inciting violence. This is a phrase we hear a lot now coming from that region.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is very much the government pushing forward a campaign in the media here to portray the Muslim Brotherhood protests as many of whom, witnesses said, were peaceful as effectively they initiated the violence and terrorist. They play the video which we can't verify, showing people shooting from the Brotherhood side toward police often over barricades. But today we're seeing Cairo relatively calm.

The fears are this is the working week beginning. People will get off work in the hours ahead. The Brotherhood have called their protesters onto the streets to march toward key government buildings. The military have warned they will respond with live fire if they feel state institutions are threatened.

Really the concern is when you hear that sort of rhetoric labeling the protesters as terrorists, the desire from the government to see no real negotiation happening here and the Brotherhood continuing to call their people onto the street, many say, because unless they have protests, they almost slip into the underground as an irrelevance. The real fear is only what we're going to see in the days ahead is continued protests and certainly more violence. Martin?

SAVIDGE: Yes. It certainly doesn't lend itself to any kind of negotiation. Nick Paton Walsh, reporting live in Cairo, thank you.

KEILAR: The violence in Egypt is happening halfway around the world but the bloodshed is hitting close to home for Egyptian Americans and that includes tens of thousands living in the New York area.

Our Alina Cho has been following their experience.

Alina, what are you hearing?

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, good morning. About 60,000 Egyptian Americans live in this tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, 21,000 live in New York City alone and many of them live in this small area of Queens known as Little Egypt. It's really the Egyptian American community of record here in the United States. In Little Egypt when you walk around the streets, when you visit the cafes, much of the talk naturally right now is centered around the bloodshed in Egypt. In fact in one cafe, TVs are actually set to the news coverage and people are glued to it.

Nearly everyone we spoke to said they currently have relatives living in Egypt. Many expressed fear about what's to come, while still having hope for the future.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course very concerned with what's going on. If there's one thing I've learned from this revolution, it's a very unpredictable revolution. You never know what's going to happen the next day. What's happening right now is very sad, but I'm very afraid of what's going to happen next.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If things kind of continue the way they are, Egypt could turn into Iraq, it could turn into Syria and it could just be very violent. If things get better and they get a good civilian government in place and people actually start taking responsibility and making good changes, I think Egypt could be great.

It's such a great country, so beautiful, has so much history. I think it could really be kind of a center of the Middle East like it used to be years ago.


CHO: Wouldn't that be nice. No sign that's going to happen in the near term. In fact a group opposing the military government, Brianna, calling for daily demonstrations this coming week. If history is any guide, those demonstrations likely won't be peaceful. It looks like it could be a bloody, deadly week to come.

KEILAR: And no end in sight to this violence. Alina Cho reporting from New York, thank you.

CHO: You bet.

SAVIDGE: Coming up on NEW DAY, it is a desperate day to save lives and homes in Idaho, as a forest fire pushes residents out.

KEILAR: Then 20- and 30-year-olds across America are losing their religion. Why Millennials are becoming more of a godless generation. This is NEW DAY SUNDAY on CNN.




SAVIDGE: Good morning, Atlanta. Why would I forget that? That's where I am. It is raining and, guess what, it is going to do that all day long. So much to look forward to, including temperatures in the mid-70s. It's like fall has arrived way early.

KEILAR: And now to Idaho, where authorities are telling thousands of people to get out of the path of a fast-growing wildfire. Evacuation orders now covering 2,200 homes in six communities. And for some residents, desperation and fear is starting to set in. Here's my look at what some people are going through.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I came up here earlier and the tears started to come and the heart started to race.

KEILAR (voice-over): his morning a desperate fight to save lives and property. The so-called Beaver Creek fire is now threatening to destroy neighborhoods, vacation homes and ski areas in Ketchum and Sun Valley, Idaho. Residents are being told to get their essential belongings and pets and get out now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My mom prompted me to come down. I didn't think it was a big deal. Then coming south, I realize I'm glad not to be up north.

KEILAR (voice-over): While some people are speeding out of town, others are watching the fire from a nearby hillside. Robert Cole has lived in the area for the past 15 years.

ROBERT COLE, IDAHO RESIDENT: I've seen a lot of disasters in my lifetime, you know, like tornados down in Oklahoma where I come from, but never any fires that threatened my home like this.

JACK DEES, INSURANCE AGENT: It's unbelievable, man.

KEILAR (voice-over): Jack Dees, a local insurance agent, is getting phone calls from his clients. They want to know where the fire is headed and what's being done to stop it.

DEES: Everybody kind of from out of town wants to know what's going on. They have got more people helping them which I think makes them feel a little better at a time like this, which is pretty nervewracking.

KEILAR (voice-over): The wildfire was sparked by lightning on August 7th. Today hundreds of local and national firefighters are using everything at their disposal to contain the blaze, which is turning out to be unpredictable and dangerous.


KEILAR: So this fire just about 9 percent contained.

Let's bring in Jennifer Delgado. She's in the CNN Severe Weather Center.

Obviously when you're talking about a wildfire like this, Jennifer, you want the humidity to go up and the temperatures to go down, but that's not what we're seeing here.

DELGADO: Absolutely right, Brianna. You know exactly what you're talking about.

But unfortunately we are still talking about a danger across this region. We still have red flag warnings in place anywhere you see in pink. In fact, this whole area battling about five separate wildfires there. But what we're going to see today, wind gusts up to 25 miles per hour.

Now, you always hope for some rain out there, but right now it's dry out there. Relative humidity at roughly right around 36 percent. We want that to come up. And that comes up when you get the rain out there, but unfortunately you get lightning out there and that can trigger even more wildfires.

So it's really you kind of want it but unfortunately there can be some side effects with that. For today and tomorrow we'll be dealing with hot conditions, high of 91 degrees. For Tuesday we're going to see a better chance for thunderstorm activity out there and we're also talking about a 30 percent chance of rain.

But Brianna, keep in mind how tough this area is to battle the fire. With the terrain there, that makes it even harder and even more dangerous for firefighters with that high elevation.

KEILAR: Sure, and you look at the middle of that week, no chance of rain. That is exactly not what they want to hear.

All right, Jennifer, thanks so much.

DELGADO: You're welcome.

SAVIDGE: Yesterday we told you about how schools are protecting classrooms with bulletproof whiteboards.

Well, today the couch. This one could save your life. We'll explain next.



KEILAR: So yesterday we told you about the University of Maryland installing bulletproof whiteboards. Now we're going from the classroom to the living room with a combination gun bunker and, yes, bulletproof couch at the Ft. Worth Hunting Show.

Hmm, what do you think, Martin?

SAVIDGE: I'm sorry, I'm so fascinated by this.

KEILAR: It is pretty strange.

SAVIDGE: I'm looking to see where he's going to go. He's going to open it up, I see. So presumably you get the full blast, you're hiding behind the sofa and then you get to unlock and pull out your own weapon to return fire from behind the coffee table.

KEILAR: Yes, there's a storage bunker in there.

SAVIDGE: Or you make a dive to the ottoman.

KEILAR: Or you could keep a throw in there just so you could be warm as well as protected. I just wonder, so when I'm looking for pennies and dimes in my couch cushions --

SAVIDGE: It just doesn't seem too realistic in my home, but maybe there is someone. It's seven grand, by the way, if you're looking to get one.

KEILAR: Cheap.

SAVIDGE: I'm working on the bulletproof slanket.

KEILAR: Oh, which is your Snuggie hybrid.

SAVIDGE: Yes, the Snuggie, right.

KEILAR: I mean, don't steal that, people, because this is something that Martin wants to patent.

SAVIDGE: All right. Thanks very much. Now moving on to a very serious story now, and this one really is serious. It's every parent's nightmare.

Dontray Termin (ph), he's a 16-year-old Atlanta area high school football player, he died this weekend from a freak neck injury in a preseason game.

KEILAR: Onlookers tragically described seeing the young star's body go limp while he was making a tackle. The Creekside High School cornerback was a popular student and one of the team's best players.

SAVIDGE: He had already been offered a scholarship to the University of Kentucky, and our thoughts and hearts go out to his family.

KEILAR: Very unfortunate. Obviously we're talking football, but we're going to take a turn and talk about college football.

Alabama is trying to do what no Division I team in the modern era has ever done.

SAVIDGE: Yes, I got this wrong last time.

KEILAR: Get it right.

SAVIDGE: Win back-to-back-to-back national championships.

Joe Carter, everybody, here with the "Bleacher Report."

JOE CARTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Martin Savidge, that was very well done. You sold that very well, sir. Alabama, you know, it's no surprise. It's like they reset and reload every year. And, yes, once again they're going to be good again this season. At least that's what all the sports writers, all the coaches and all the polls believe.

Alabama picks up exactly where it left off the last two seasons, number one in the country. Bama is number one in the AP Poll, which is the first of the year, number one in the coaches' poll and pretty much every other poll out there. The college football season officially kicks off in just 11 days. It is going to kick off on a Thursday night. This is, by the way, the last season of the BCS because next year a four-team playoff will take over.

More tension between Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees' front office. A- Rod's new lawyer, which he just hired a couple of weeks ago, is accusing the organization of medical malpractice, alleging that the Yankees conspired to sabotage his health by playing him last season while they knew he had a serious hip injury.

Now, Yankees president Randy Levine heard this and he fired back very quickly saying, quote, "It's time for Alex and his side to put up or shut up."

Alex's lawyer then said, "We will put up, we will put up." More drama, so stay tuned.

Now, if you've been following, speaking of drama, the drama between the Braves and the Nationals, these two teams are starting to not like each other very much. There's been some recent history of each team's pitchers hitting the other team's batters intentionally.

And that's why last night just a few wild pitches from Steven Strausberger (ph) pretty much prompted the umpire to say you're going to the showers early. He tossed him from the game. The ump said afterwards that he was worried that somebody, whether it was going to be the pitcher or the hitter, was going to get hurt from all this.

Now, the Nationals lost that little battle right there, but they ended up win get war by beating the Atlanta Braves 8-7 in 15 innings.

College football, guys, 11 days away. NFL football, 18 days away.

Do we like football?

SAVIDGE: Love football. Football. LSU, though, I'm really rooting for.

CARTER: LSU should be pretty good. Alabama, though --


SAVIDGE: Although my daughter (inaudible) Georgia. (Inaudible).

CARTER: OK. They're going to be pretty good too as well. But Alabama's got -- Virginia Tech and then Texas A&M. So we'll see really how good they are and if the polls are right very soon in the year.

SAVIDGE: Joe Carter, everybody. Thank you very much for popping by.

KEILAR: All right. Well, remember this?


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), N.J.: Complicated issues.


CHRISTIE: I know you think it's simple, but it's not. I know you think it's simple and it's not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please don't let my daughter die, Governor.

KEILAR (voice-over): Now, that daughter's plea for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to legalize medical marijuana is causing Christie to take action. Coming up we'll introduce you to another family that claims medical marijuana could save their son.



KEILAR: Good morning, New York City. It's looking a little dismal there, though, isn't it?

SAVIDGE: A little gray.

KEILAR: Temperatures mid-70s I think we're expecting today, but kind of dreary. A little bit of rain. So get your umbrellas ready. You're going to need them.

And we're coming up here on the bottom of the hour.

SAVIDGE: The rock bottom of the hour as I like to call it. You can only go up from here.

KEILAR: Right. I'm Brianna Keilar.

SAVIDGE: And I'm Martin Savidge.

And here are the five things you need to know this morning.

KEILAR: So number one, London police are weighing the credibility of an allegation that British commandos murdered Princess Diana. They are quick to stress the Paris car crash has not been reopened for formal investigation -- this claim reportedly coming from the former in-laws of a British sniper.

SAVIDGE: One of Jerry Sandusky's sex abuse victims has settled his lawsuit against Penn State. Terms are confidential, but the man's attorney calls it a win-win. Sandusky serving a 30 to 60-year sentence -- three other former Penn State officials face trial for covering up Sandusky's crimes. KEILAR: And number three a memorial is being planned for the mother and brother of Hannah Anderson. Hannah is the California teenager who was rescued last week after she was kidnapped by family friend James DiMaggio. Hannah's mom Christina and her eight-year-old brother Ethan were found dead in DiMaggio's burned-out home.

CNN affiliate KFWB reports next Saturday's memorial will be open to the public.

SAVIDGE: And at number four, President Obama wraps up his vacation on Martha's Vineyard and that will be today. And he has spent a lot of time playing golf. The President hit the links yesterday with comedian Larry David. He played nine holes with the Seinfeld co- creator and the "Curb your Enthusiasm" star. He didn't go 18 but rounding out the foursome were the part owner of the Boston Celtics, that's Glen Hutchins and former U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. No scores were revealed.

KEILAR: And finally, Seattle pot smokers are getting an education this week in an effort to get the word out about the state's new marijuana law. Seattle police went to the annual festival known as Hempfest and they passed out bags of Doritos with the dos and don'ts of getting high in the state.

So among the tips, a kind of obvious here don't drive high, don't smoke pot in public, but it says do listen to dark side of the moon at a reasonable volume -- so a sense of humor there. It's pretty good.

SAVIDGE: I think it's a very wise PR savvy plan.

Ok, it is a very different story for pot on other side of the country in New Jersey. Republican Governor Chris Christie is weighing a decision to allow children to be treated with medical marijuana but only with strict provisions.

KEILAR: And parents of sick kids are feeling caught in the middle here. CNN's Alina Cho has one family's story.


ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 14-year-old Jackson Stormes is totally fine one minute, eating his lunch, and the next he's on the floor suffering from a seizure. Jackson has a severe form of epilepsy called Dravet's syndrome.

JENNIE STORMES, MOTHER: He could be going on about having fun playing basketball, jumping on the trampoline or watching TV and just boom, he has a seizure. That's brain damage, that's a traumatic brain injury. So it's like having a car crash. He's had eight today.

CHO: Mom Jennie, who's also a nurse, says he's tried everything.

STORMES: This right here is his medicine he takes every day -- morning, afternoon, evening.

CHO: Nothing works. STORMES: Good job. Go slow. Good job.

CHO: The only remedy that does work, she says, without severe side effects, is an edible form of medical marijuana -- something she was able to give her son last year when they visited California.

STORMES: Speech went up, cognition went up.

CHO: The problem is this special strain of medical marijuana, legal in California, so far is illegal in New Jersey where they live.

The story gained national attention this week when an angry father of a two-year-old girl, Vivian, who has the same condition as Jackson, confronted New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie with cameras rolling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please don't let my daughter die, Governor. Just don't let my daughter die.

CHO: Two days later Governor Christie sent a medical marijuana bill which had been sitting on his desk for two months back to the state legislature, saying he would sign it under these conditions: edible forms of marijuana would be allowed but only for minors; in order to qualify, parents would still be required to get approval from a pediatrician and a psychiatrist as well as a prescription from a qualifying doctor; Christie would also want to keep in place a provision that would place no limits on the number of strains of marijuana New Jersey could dispense.

STORMES: So it's unlimited strains now and edibles are allowed. We won. Jack can get his medication in New Jersey.

The side effects of the drugs my son is on right now -- death, anorexia, diarrhea, insomnia, increased seizures. The side effect of marijuana is lethargy and irritability. I'll take that any day of the week. You know quality of life is going to be huge. I was told by the doctors way back when my son wouldn't live past the age of two. He's amazing, he is a gift, and I -- he deserves treatment.


CHO: Once the state legislature agrees to Governor Christie's proposed changes, Christie says he will sign the bill into law. Now if all of this is done quickly, this special strain of medical marijuana could be made available in New Jersey as early as next month.

And for people like Jackson's mom, Brianna and Marty, it means everything. Right now Jennie Stormes says she can't go anywhere with her son because of those severe seizures. You saw them in the video there.

But if he is able to take this medical marijuana, she says they will finally be able to enjoy life as a family. Something as simple as going to the grocery store, for instance, it's something she can't do with her son right now. But she says if he's able to take this she will. KEILAR: Alina, amazing story. I mean you really get a sense there of just what these families are dealing with. It's tragic. Alina Cho, thank you so much.

CHO: Sure.

KEILAR: And you can check out your local listings for replays of Dr. Sanjay Gupta's special, "Weed" which looks at medical marijuana.

Well, 20 and 30-year-olds they are losing their religion -- why more Millennials are leaving the church. We have that coming up on NEW DAY SUNDAY.


SAVIDGE: Hey, good morning, Washington, D.C. where the forecast is for a high of 70 degrees. A little bit of rain in there and Brianna, I believe you're going to be back there later today. Safe travels.

KEILAR: I am and I'll be pulling out my umbrella to get ready for that.

All right it's Sunday so you know we've got to take stock of the week ahead. I want to show you what's coming up here. So on Monday, you're going to want to set your DVR or tune in to NEW DAY at 6:00 a.m. Eastern. And that's because CNN will be airing the first U.S. TV interview with Prince William since the birth of his baby boy, Prince George. Big interview, so you'll want to see that.

And then on Tuesday -- talk about better late than never -- well that's the case here. The 1972 Super Bowl champion Miami Dolphins are headed to the White House. Why now, you may say? It's been decades. Well, they weren't invited to meet President Nixon after the Watergate scandal hit, so they'll finally get their shot.

And then on Thursday we've got a couple of things going on. The MLK March on D.C. begins in Birmingham. Civil rights groups will be heading to Washington where on Sunday people from around the world will observe the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's "I have a dream" speech.

And then also -- this is another pretty cool thing -- we've got a pair of cosmonauts who will take a walk outside the International Space Station. Of course you'll get to see that on camera. They will be setting up a platform for a new telescope.

And then Saturday is the day, as we mentioned, the big day -- the "I have a Dream" speech 50th anniversary, dozens of cities planning for a worldwide "Let Freedom Ring" celebration. The King Center will kicking off five days of events and services in D.C. honoring Dr. King's legacy.

SAVIDGE: Also expected to continue this week, protests in Egypt and the issue is sure to come up on Capitol Hill, which means it's time for our political gut check with Candy Crowley. And Candy, nice to see you as always, on Sunday morning. Let me ask you this. The reaction in Washington to the events in Egypt, really what is the consensus of what the U.S. can do?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR, "STATE OF THE UNION": Here's where the President, while he formulates what steps, if any, to take next is lucky. Congress is out on its August break. So there is not a time for a collection of voices to, you know, rise as one and say we got to do this or we got to do that. I will tell you, though, that Senator John McCain, who's our guest this morning, came back from Egypt and changed his mind about whether U.S. aid should be given -- should continue to go to Egypt given what's going on in the streets there. He now thinks it's time to suspend that aid. Before he voted against a bill that would have done just that until elections were held.

So clearly while the coup itself several weeks ago by the military ousting Mohamed Morsy was sort of nuanced by the administration in the sense that they didn't call it a coup and they knew it was a popularly-backed coup, was something the administration really felt that it could nuance. When you watch those pictures, it becomes harder and harder. I think that's true of the administration and will likely be true of Congress.

But in the end since Egypt already has its aid for this year, it's something that won't come up until next year in terms of Congress really being able to do something about it, if they want.

SAVIDGE: But that won't stop the politicals from talking about it. So Candy Crowley, thank you very much for joining us. We'll look forward to seeing you a little later.

CROWLEY: Thank Martin it's good to see you.

SAVIDGE: Stay here, by the way, for "STATE OF THE UNION" with Candy Crowley. It'll start at the top of the hour, 9:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

KEILAR: Also coming up, 20 and 30-year-olds losing their religion -- why more millennials are leaving the church. That is coming up on NEW DAY SUNDAY.


KEILAR: So today we -- for today's "Faces of Faith" we are talking about how millennials are leaving the church in droves. If you need proof, all you need to do is look online because Web sites like Reddit which is a favorite among millenials has more than two million people subscribed to a page on atheism but the Christianity page has less than a tenth of that, 67,000.

SAVIDGE: And then there is this survey from 2012. One in four young adults say that they are, quote, "unaffiliated with any religion", though many claim a religion when they were younger.

To talk more about this, we have brought along two millennials. Joining us on the phone is Rachel Evans, who is an Evangelical blogger, that is, and author. And she is 32. And the reason she's on the phone is because the weather up I guess by national is pretty bad. And also we have Hemant Menta, he is the editor of FriendlyAtheist -- I keep wanting to say "The Friendly" but it's He is an author and he's also 30. They both wrote about this at's belief blog.

And welcome to the both of you.


RACHEL EVANS, EVANGELICAL BLOGGER (via telephone): Thank you.

KEILAR: So Rachel, let's start with you. You guys have slightly different opinions. But Rachel, why do you think millennials are turning away from the church?

EVANS: You know, I think there's this assumption among a lot of Christian leaders that if we bring in some hipper worship bands and a coffee shop and a fellowship hall and maybe be pastor who wears skinny jeans, young adults will come flocking back to the church, but clearly that's not working. According to the (inaudible) 59 percent of young adults ages 18 to 29 with a Christian background have actually dropped out of church. Now, not all of these young adults are flocking to atheism. In fact most still identify as Christians, still identify as people of faith but they're not going to church anymore.

And so what I find interesting is that 41 percent of these millennials with a Christian background who have dropped out of church say they are not looking for a hipper version of Christianity, they're actually looking for a more traditional faith. So I think folks are leaving not because they're not getting lattes, I think they're leaving because they're not feeling like they're connecting with Jesus.

And so I think they're looking for churches that care for the poor; that make social justice like anti-trafficking initiatives a priority --

SAVIDGE: All right. Rachel, let me just stop you for a minute because I want Hemant to join the conversation here. And Hemant, you wrote about atheism. What makes that attractive to younger people?

MENTA: Well, like Rachel said, not all the millenials who are leaving church are necessarily flocking to atheism. But if you ask young people, if you ask millennials what comes to mind when they think of Christianity and when they think of the church, they will tell you it's anti-gay, anti-doubt, anti-woman, anti-science, anti-sex education.

We all know what the church is against and we really don't care what the church is for when you have that much baggage. And so for a lot of young people, they want to get away from the church. And more importantly, though, as atheists we're kind of bringing them along. We like exposing the church for all the bad things it does.

We say, look, we have reason on our side. All the evidence, all reality points to our side away from God. It seems like when you keep pushing that message and you have more atheists coming out of the closet and being willing to say they are atheists, all of a sudden you have more people flocking not just away from the church like Rachel is saying but I think toward a place where ok, God isn't so much an issue in their lives anymore.

KEILAR: Rachel, you and Hemant, you obviously have very disparate views here but I did notice in reading both of your columns there was something you both talked about and that was a tension between science and religion, for instance. You both talked about how people are torn between being devoted to a religion and perhaps how their religion treats their gay friends.

You know, in the case of science and religion, Hemant says that science always wins out. Do you think that's the case?

EVANS: Well, I mean I absolutely agree with Hemant on that about the reputation that the church has is often that we're hateful or that gay and lesbian people are not welcome in the church or that people have to choose between their intellectual integrity and their faith when it comes to science.

So what I think what people are really looking for is not a church that answers all of their questions, but a community of faith where they feel safe wrestling with these tough questions that are related to science, related to sexuality. So I do agree that that's a problem and that we need to do better at creating a safe environment so that folks don't feel like they have to leave the church to ask their toughest questions about faith, their toughest questions about how science and faith are compatible, that they can find those places to have those conversations within the church. We need to create environments where we can have this conversation.

SAVIDGE: Hemant, you wrote about influential Christians, like you know Rick Warren, Mark Driscoll and Pat Robertson and said that they're pushing people away. How so? Is it their personality? Is it just because they seem to be the face of that faith?

MENTA: Yes, well, it's very easy to dismiss someone like Pat Robertson because he says so many crazy things on the air. But you never really hear about some of the more popular current Christian pastors like Rick Warren who said so many awful things against gay people. You never hear so much about Mark Driscoll who said so many thing belittling women in a relationship.

And even, you know, someone like Rob Bell who has a lot of street cred with younger Christians -- even he is like equivocating on the idea of hell is existing. And when you have even, you know, cool Christians saying that ok, you know what, even I'm doubting some of the things that we've always known to be true in the faith. It kind of makes you second-guess, you know, whether you want to be a part of a faith like that and it's very easy to, again, as an atheist to say, you know what, you should just abandon those faiths altogether. Because it's not just Christianity is unpopular, but it's untrue.

And there's so many resources now that young people have access to that shows why it's not just Christianity that's unpopular, it's not just that it's wrong, it's that all religion just has no merit when it comes to the truth.

SAVIDGE: All right, Hemant Menta, we have to end it there and Rachel Evans. And of course this is just a philosophical debate that we're having this morning.

Thank you very much for joining us as we discuss faith and young people. We appreciate it. We could talk a long time about that.

MENTA: Thank you.

KEILAR: Yes. And both -- and their columns are definitely worth checking out on So for more stories on faith, you can check out our belief blog -- our award-winning belief blog, I should say, at

SAVIDGE: Coming up, strong wind, a reddish sky and sand -- tons of it in the air. We'll take a look at destructive sandstorms.


KEILAR: Time now for our cool new series "The Science Behind" where we explain the why behind the what.

SAVIDGE: I am a geek at heart. And this week I took a look at the destructive weather phenomenon known as sand storms. They are imposing mountains of sand particles that can tear through cities and they strike almost without warning. And I'm really not joking because they can be quite violent.

New science though could soon help predict the approaching storms.


SAVIDGE: They are menacing to look at and from the air sandstorms can appear to swallow up entire cities. And on the ground, the sky can turn deep red, making conditions treacherous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You said you've never seen a dust storm? Where are you from?




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you think about this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't get these out there. It just rains, so we get the wind but we get water instead of dust.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is not my favorite weather.

SAVIDGE: Now scientists are going inside these monster sandstorms, also known as haboobs, like never before.

MARCUS VINICIOUS CARNEIRO, ETH ZURICH: We tracked the trajectory of every particle and we conceded that particles can collide each other.

SAVIDGE: The team used computer simulators and wind tunnels to recreate sandstorms, following the path of more than 4,000 particles. By studying the flight of each sand particle and how they collide, researchers say it could help predict how this destructive weather phenomenon impacts the land before it strikes.

CARNEIRO: We are saying that the particles are reaching higher heights through the midair collisions. Studies before were predicting, let's say, a certain amount -- a different height, which is less than what we predict as real for the sandstorms.

SAVIDGE: In fact, their findings suggest that midair collision of sand particles can double the strength of a sandstorm, rather than weaken it, as previously thought.

JESSICA NOLTE, METEOROLOGIST: They can be quite intense. They can have very strong winds, in excess at times of 60 miles an hour. And they can definitely be very dangerous in the way that they rapidly reduce visibility.

SAVIDGE: These new models could help scientists predict the severity of an approaching storm. So while instinct would make many run the other way, these scientists see the beauty and the power and physics of Mother Nature.


SAVIDGE: And you can tune in again next weekend for our new segment, "The Science Behind" and check us out on Twitter.

KEILAR: Now before we go, a quick intro to our "Must See Moment" and this funny little guy, the olinguito. Who is that? He's a small mammal that lives in the forest of Ecuador and Colombia.

SAVIDGE: Yes. Scientists at the Smithsonian say that the olinguito is the first new mammal discovered in the western hemisphere in 35 years. The olinguito is a member of the raccoon family, if you didn't know, and a raccoon with a teddy bear face.

KEILAR: Awfully cute guy.

SAVIDGE: Very -- love to meet him. And we don't have time to though.

Thanks for watching. "STATE OF THE UNION" with Candy Crowley --

KEILAR: -- starts now.