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CNN NEWSROOM

Monster Wildfire Races Through Yosemite; Commemorating the March on Washington; Rescued Teen Prays for Mom, Brother; Christopher Lane Murder Not About Race; Don Lemon, Russell Simmons Discuss Race, Music, Hip-Hop; Campuses Getting Sci-Fi Security; Obama Plans to Cut College Costs

Aired August 24, 2013 - 17:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, Don Lemon here. It's the top of the hour, you're in the CNN NEWSROOM, thanks for joining us.

We'll going to begin with this. In California, where a monster wildfire is creeping further into the iconic Yosemite National Park, the rim fire has more than doubled in size in the last day swallowing up everything in its path. It's burned 126,000 acres and is just five percent contained. The impact of the fire is spreading far beyond the park itself. Governor Jerry Brown has issued a state of emergency for San Francisco, which is 150 miles away. But the fast-moving flames are threatening water and electrical lines that feed into the city, forcing some to be shut down.

We're going to get right to CNN's Nick Valencia outside Yosemite National Park. So, Nick, you have just returned from a tour of the fire lines. We spoke to you very briefly just about 30 minutes ago -- just about an hour ago, I should say. What are the crews doing to slow this fire down?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're working against a lot of odds at this hour, Don. And just take a look at these pictures, and it gives you a sense of what firefighters are dealing with right now at this hour. This was just shot by our CNN crew moments ago. It's that western boundary of Yosemite National Park which has been a big concern for fire officials. We should mention, though, that this fire is still miles away from the tourist center of Yosemite Valley, but still very concerning.

In fact, the U.S. forest service tour guide that took us along on this tour said this fire, his words, not mine, was really cooking, and you can tell by just how black and charred the trees were when you look at those pictures. Extremely difficult conditions, Don, to work against this at this hour right now with the sun out, extremely dry conditions. Canyon winds, and also limited resources. This is the biggest fire currently burning right now in the United States, but we should mention, it's one of several fires. One of at least 50 fires burning throughout the United States. And so far, it's only five percent contained. And we're told by fire officials it's already caused $7 million worth of damage -- Don.

LEMON: Nick Valencia, I appreciate your reporting. We'll going to talk more about the fire, the rim fire, one of the worst ever for the state of California. The fire's already damaged some lines and stations that provide power to parts of the bay area, forcing a state of emergency to be issued. San Francisco gets 85 percent of its water from a Yosemite-area reservoir. More than 2,600 firefighters are fighting the blaze. And huge DC-10 air tankers are working from above. Forty five hundred structures are threatened as the fire continues its march eastward and so far the fire has had no direct effect on Yosemite Valley, a popular spot for tourists with half views -- with views, I should say, of half dome and Yosemite Falls.

A disturbing story to tell you about, this one coming from North Florida. A law enforcement source says a man who was fired just yesterday from his longtime job opened fire today on his former boss. A former employee at the Pritchard Trucking in Union County shot and killed the company's owner Martin Pritchard and another man who worked on Pritchard's farm. The gunman later shot and wounded two workers at two separate office buildings owned by Pritchard, he then returned to his home where he killed himself. The suspect reportedly had worked at the trucking company for close to 40 years before he was fired on Friday.

Just days after Syria's rebels accuse the government of using chemical weapons, the regime is making the same accusations, saying its soldiers were victims of the same lethal weapons.

CNN's Frederick Pleitgen spoke to troops who say they witnessed the attack by rebels.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Syrian military began an offensive in the opposition held district of Jobar in Damascus early Saturday morning. The government says, as its troops were pushing forward, rebels unleashed chemicals on them. This soldier who I spoke to as the battle was still raging says he was there and tells me several of his comrades couldn't breathe after the incident. "We're not feeling well" he says, "eyes burning, a lot of pain and they took a lot of soldiers to the hospital."

The Syrian opposition denies the claims, but Syrian state media has been airing video of what it says, shows a rebel chemical weapons stash the army uncovered in the same area. The soldier I talked to claimed the military has been hit with chemicals in the past and showed me gas masks he says the units have been outfitted with. Jobar has been in rebel hands for more than a year with the Syrian army trying to win it back. The troops showed me some of the recent battle damage.

(on camera): This as far as the military is going to let us go. We're actually on the front line in the District of Jobar, the area around us is controlled by the opposition. The military says in recent weeks it's been making gains here, but they claim that the use of chemical weapons by the opposition has been holding them up.

(voice-over): Syria's government and the opposition have been blaming each other for allegedly using chemical agents on the battlefield. Rebels holding the Assad regime responsible for the deaths of more than 1,300 civilians in a massive chemical weapons attack and accusing the international community of inaction especially the U.S.

KHALID AL-SALEH, SYRIAN NATIONAL COALITION SPOKESMAN: From here, I ask and I demand that President -- the American president, Mr. Barack Obama, as the head of the country that has the strongest presence in the international community, to be responsible at a personal level as well as his country level.

PLEITGEN: The U.N. has sent its high representative for disarmament to Damascus to persuade the government to let chemical weapons inspectors to the site of the latest alleged attack. Every seconds count experts say if an investigation is to have any chance of success. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Damascus.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: All right. Fred, thank you very much.

Next, the anniversary of the March on Washington. Fifty years ago this week. We're asking, who is the next MLK? Does this generation have a voice who can inspire?

And he survived World War II only to be beaten to death in a parking lot and two teens are charged in killing him. We're talking asking what drives this kind of horrible behavior.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream Speech" on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, today thousands rallied in Washington paying tribute to this historic anniversary. Well, today's march is not just about Martin Luther King, Jr. It's about remembering and paying tribute to an unforgettable moment in time when the civil rights movement was the national conversation.

CNN's Chris Lawrence has extraordinary moments from today's march on Washington.

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: For thousands of people from all over the world each with their own story to tell and reason for coming here, it's hard to sum it all up, so here's a look at some of the sights and sounds from today's event at the National Mall.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REV. JESSE JACKSON, SENIOR PRESIDENT, RAINBOW PUSH COALITION: Keep dreaming of the constitutional right to vote, stop the madness in North Carolina and Texas, keep dreaming. Keep dreaming revive the war in poverty. Keep dreaming. To go from stop and frisk to stop and employ. Stop and educate. Stop and house. Stop and choose schools over jails. Keep dreaming.

ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: As we gather today, 50 years later, their march is now our march, and it must go on. And our focus has broadened to include the cause of women, of Latinos, of Asian- Americans, of lesbians, of gays, of people with disabilities, and of countless others across this great country who still yearn for equality, opportunity, and fair treatment.

MAYOR CORY BOOKER (D), NEWARK, NEW JERSEY: When the leading cause of death for black men my age and younger is gun violence, we still have work to do. When we still have a justice system that treats the economically disadvantaged and minorities different than others, we still have work to do.

REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: I gave a little blood on that bridge in Selma, Alabama, for the right to vote. I am not going to stand by and let the Supreme Court take the right to vote away from us. You cannot stand by. You cannot sit down. You got to stand up, speak up, speak out, and get in the way. Make some noise!

MARTIN LUTHER KING III, HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATE: The vision preached by my father half century ago was that his four little children would one day live in a nation where they would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. However, sadly, the tears of Trayvon Martin's mother and father remind us that far too frequently the color of one's skin remains a license to profile, to arrest, and to even murder with no regard for the content of one's character.

BERNICE KING, DAUGHTER OF MARTIN LUTHER KING: We continue to march together like children, and we pray together so we don't get tired, because we know that at some point we all will be able to join with Dr. King in saying free at last, free at last. Thank God almighty we are all free at last.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAWRENCE: And, again, today's event really just kicks off a week of commemoration, culminating Wednesday when President Barack Obama will be here on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s I have a dream speech. Chris Lawrence, CNN, Washington.

LEMON: Chris, thank you very much.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a voice that inspired an entire generation and as we remember his "I Have a Dream Speech" today, we look for new leaders to carry the torch. Who is today's Martin Luther King, Jr.? Do we need a Martin Luther King, Jr. type? Can we anyone ever soar to those heights again? Is the next generation needs someone like Dr. King to reinvigorate the fight for equality, the passion for fairness or is Dr. King simply irreplaceable?

I want to bring in now someone who could probably help me answer them, sure he can, National Urban League President Marc Morial, he's joining us from Washington. I know the sun is setting there you are not trying to look cool. So, it's right in your face.

MARC MORIAL, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE: The sun is very bright, Don, yes. LEMON: When you look at today's leaders, sir, do you see reminders of Martin Luther King, Jr. in anyone? As I was looking at that, I said, maybe, is it Cory Booker, is it someone we don't know about that we haven't really seen yet?

MORIAL: Dr. King is irreplaceable as a single personality. He was iconic in American history, indeed, iconic in world history. I think that there are many, many disciples if you will of Dr. Martin Luther King, whose work, whose life, whose career, whose words, if you listen to the speeches today, so many were inspired by the words of 1963 and of Dr. Martin Luther King, so we should look for that single personality, because Martin Luther King is irreplaceable. But what I think you do have is many, many, many who Dr. King has influenced, whose work has inspired, and we were here to reaffirm our commitment to that to continue and carry on the fight.

Were you -- were you inspired, Mr. Morial, by the civil rights leaders that spoke at the march on Washington? Obviously, I saw John Lewis speaking, the Reverend Jesse Jackson spoke as well. Were you inspired by those leaders?

John Lewis particularly is always an inspiration because of his work and his life. And today because he was really there in 1963 in a big way. Because he was on the front lines in votes rights, he inspired me. Myrlie Evers-Williams I think inspired me. And Reverend Al Sharpton I think in closing sort of put it all together with this idea of a new America. You know, one of the things that we did leading up to this march is on Friday we released this new 21st century public policy agenda, Don, and that agenda sort of charts the course of what next, why did we march.

And after this day of inspiration, this day of enthusiasm, how do we go forward. And this policy priority document called the 21st century agenda for jobs and freedom covers economics, education, criminal justice reform, protection of voting rights and democracy, and health care disparities and it's available to everyone at nul.org.

LEMON: Yes, and speaking of going forward, and you mentioned -- you mentioned Reverend Sharpton who spoke today. I thought, it was very interesting to me when he talked -- he spoke specifically to young men. And he said, these people, Rosa Parks didn't do what she did for you to be a thug and for you to do all sorts of things. And he also mentioned other female, women civil rights leaders, and he says those women aren't hose or bitches and I think he was specifically referencing, I would imagine, rap music and younger cultural, I guess, reference to those sorts of ideas.

MORIAL: I think was referencing the idea that we've got to confront self-negativity and self-genocide. And he did it very openly. And did it in the context of today. And I think we reaffirmed that. We've got to be more vocal about violence within the community. We've got to be more vocal when it comes to I think the level of respect. But we've got to do that while at the same time affirming that public policy and the Congress and our elected officials have to do more to ensure that more people are working, do more to ensure that all schools are good and all young people have an education and that college is affordable.

So, I thought Reverend Sharpton struck a good balance. And he reflected what we talk about many times privately, the angst about the challenges in our community that we have to be more vocal and more visible and more responsive to and the broader picture of how the decisions that are made in the highest councils of politics and business in this nation really affect the way people live.

LEMON: Amen. Amen. Thank you very much, I appreciate you coming on CNN and I'm glad the sun --

MORIAL: Don, thank you.

LEMON: I hope the sun didn't affect you too much there.

MORIAL: Well, it's a glorious day. It was a beautiful day. We couldn't have asked for better weather. Thank you, Don, for everything you're doing. Thanks, CNN.

LEMON: All right. We appreciate you, thank you, Marc Morial.

Coming up, I sat down with hip-hop pioneer Russell Simmons and talked about the challenges and the responsibilities facing African-American youth today. We agreed on some issues. We totally disagreed on others. You'll going to see my exclusive interview with the legendary music producer at 6:30 Eastern right here on CNN. Trust me, you do not want to miss that.

In the meantime, kidnapping survivor Hannah Anderson stepped into a crowded church today to pray for her deceased mother and brother, you'll going to see how 16-year-old Hannah reacted to the emotional service, that's coming up, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Kidnapping survivor Hannah Anderson prayed for her mother and brother at a public memorial service today. Authorities say family friend James DiMaggio tortured and killed Christina Anderson and eight-year-old Ethan Anderson and kidnapped 16-year-old Hannah. The FBI rescued Hannah and shut and killed DiMaggio after a nationwide alert.

CNN's Stephanie Elam in Santee, California, right now. Tell us about the emotional service, Stephanie.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was definitely emotional to watch, as everyone was gathering here, Don, coming together, we saw Hannah walking around the inside of the church. Hugging people, as was her father. And as the service got started, she sat down between her grandparents, Tina's parents, and her grandmother protectively had her arm around her through most of the service. But there were some very, very moving words that came from the father, and I want you to hear those now. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REV. KEVIN CASEY, SPEAKER AT ANDERSON MEMORIAL SERVICE: A horrific events occur in Germany or Russia or Africa or even in a different state, they're not entirely real to us. When they occur on our own doorstep and touch us as intimately as the horrific include murders of Tina and Ethan, then they are indeed fairly real. We're touched by this evil and we can never be the same again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ELAM: And while she was smiling before the ceremony started, during the memorial at the end, you could see that she was feeling that, that Hannah was feeling the weight of realizing that her mother and brother have now been gone for about three weeks and just working with that pain. I did get to sit down with her maternal grandmother and her great uncle, and they say that she really wants to be a firefighter and so now their focus is going to be on helping her realize the dreams for her life -- Don.

LEMON: All right, that interview at 8:00 Eastern, thank you very much, for that, Stephanie Elam. You can get more of Hannah Anderson's incredible story tonight, CNN will air "Kidnapped: The Rescue of Hannah Anderson" as I said, 8:00 Eastern, right here on CNN.

An American hero, beaten, robbed, and left to die in a parking lot as police search for a second suspect in the killing. Family and friends of this military veteran can only ask why.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALA: My family come to America because we want a better life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You want to go there? Yes?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are 12 people in the family. When I got to Chicago, they put me into 9th grade, it's really hard the first day, you know, I'm totally lost.

BLAIR BRETTSCHNEIDER, CNN HERO: It's hard enough to be a teenage girl in the United States, so it's even harder to be a refuge teenage girl.

My name is Blair Brettschneider, and I help refugee girls find their place in America.

In my free time after work, I was tutoring different kids. One girl was really struggling.

How's it going?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good.

BRETTSCHNEIDER: So good to see you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had to do more because I'm a girl. I gook food for my family, go to laundry, take care of my brothers.

BRETTSCHNEIDER: We started going on field trips. We talked about college and things started changing.

Are you getting excited for your classes?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, yes.

BRETTSCHNEIDER: One of our biggest goals together was for her to graduate from high school and be on a path to going to college. And she did. I thought that was really important to show the other girls.

Girls.

(SHOUTING)

BRETTSCHNEIDER: We are?

(SHOUTING)

BRETTSCHNEIDER: There are about 50 girls in our different programs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're making great progress. I'm so proud of you, you know?

BRETTSCHNEIDER: Our mentorship program matches girls who are in high school with mentors who work with them during the week.

She asked you to write an essay, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to write about my life.

BRETTSCHNEIDER: In walking down the street, they are just teenagers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to have my own salon.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One day I'm hoping to become a nurse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to be a teacher.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to become a doctor or a nurse.

BRETTSCHNEIDER: What I can see is what all of the girls can accomplish and everything that they can do. That's really wild. It's the best.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: This is really a terrible story. He survived the war in the pacific, taking a bullet to the leg during the battle of Okinawa, but now this World War II veteran has become the victim of a heinous crime. Delbert Belton was beaten and left for dead by two teens outside a lounge in Spokane, Washington, Wednesday, a place he loved to go and play pool. Police found him in the parking lot. He later died at the hospital. Cause of death? Blunt trauma to the head. Friends from the pool hall held a vigil last night in his honor. Still shocked by what happened. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Because that's senseless, man, beating an old man, what kind of person does that? With a -- excuse the expression, a wimp.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Yes, there are more words for people who would do that. One juvenile has now been arrested and charged with robbery and murder. A second is still on the run. Police say the teens appeared to have picked Belton at random.

I want to bring in now psychologist Wendy Walsh and criminal defense Attorney Holly Hughes. I think both of you will agree, this is a disgusting crime. Both suspects have been arrested and convicted in the past according to the police chief. What do you make of this? First to you, Holly.

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Don, this is just another one of those random, violent acts that we see our young people engaging in, and it reminds me you were just reporting on Reverend Al Sharpton's speech and how he's encouraging young people, that the thug life, it's not cool to be in a gang, it's not cool to be a thug. And Don, that's not just one community, that's all the youth, all of our communities.

LEMON: All communities. Thank you.

HUGHES: Every race, every religion. We need to tell our young people it is not cool to go out and commit these type of crimes, because these young men will now be charged as adults and they will be doing hard prison time, Don...

LEMON: Right.

HUGHES: ... and I don't think there's anything cool about that.

LEMON: Yes. Instead of people thinking they're living some of the songs that they're hearing --

HUGHES: Right.

LEMON: Yes. You'll be living it in jail. Wendy, you know I've been talking about this in my no talking points, making the same points. Who's to blame here? Obviously the teens are responsible. But is it the parents? The schools? The society? What's going on?

WENDY WALSH, HUMAN BEHAVIOR EXPERT: You know, in the next hour, Don, we are going to be talking much more in-depth about all the factors that contribute to teen violence. But I think the lack of a caring adult in the home, these guys are waiting until a judge keeps them in line, and you know --

LEMON: Wait, wait, can you say that again? Can you please say that again? WALSH: A lack of a caring adult in the home, particularly male. You know, I've said this over and over, that 14 million single mothers are raising one in four American children. And, you know, it's not alimony that we need, folks, it's a guy butting horns with that young buck, keeping him in line. And I think that you don't want to wait until a judge parents your kids.

LEMON: Thank you very much. Good points.

Let's switch gears a bit here and turn to the case of Christopher Lane, the Australian exchange student who was shot in the back while jogging along a road in Duncan, Oklahoma, last week. Three teens have been charged in his death. And last night, the D.A. handling the case spoke to CNN about what role race played in the killing. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JASON HICKS, PROSECUTOR: I don't believe that this is a racial crime at all. I have nothing in any of my files, any of the paperwork, any of the audio recordings that we have that would suggest that Christopher Lane was killed either because of his race or his nationality. I tend to think that the police chief's comments that they did this out of boredom are probably accurate. With respect to the race issue, again, we don't have anything that's going to lead us to believe that this was a racially motivated crime.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Holly, do you agree with the D.A. there that this should not be prosecuted as a hate crime?

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & FORMER PROSECUTOR: I do agree with that, Don. Hate crimes -- and I've read Oklahoma's Hate Crime Statute -- they do have a category for national origin and ancestry and race, but what you need to determine when you charge a hate crime is what is the mind of the defendant, and there's no indication that these suspects even knew Christopher Lane. So they didn't know he was Australian. They didn't know where he was from. They --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Holly, can I jump in here, though?

HUGHES: Absolutely.

LEMON: Can I ask you this?

HUGHES: Yes.

LEMON: They can see with their own eyes that eyes he's white.

HUGHES: Right.

LEMON: If you look at their social media writings, they said on social media that -- and I'm paraphrasing here -- that most white people are bad, and there were some other indications that things that they talked about white people on their social media sites. That's not going to be -- you say taking into account their state of mind, that's not going to be taken into account?

HUGHES: Well, it could be taken into account, but what you need to prove to a jury -- remember, just because it's not charged as a race hate crime doesn't mean they're not going to be charged with first- degree murder. They will absolutely be charged as adults with murder. When you get into the motivation, just because these young men don't like white people doesn't mean that they committed a murder because of that dislike. They may have very good legitimate reasons. Maybe they have been treated terribly by white people. When you get into the mind of a defendant, when you charge a hate crime, you have to show a huge pattern, not just speech. But are they part of a group? Do they subscribe to racist literature? All of that.

LEMON: OK.

HUGHES: Do they subscribe to racist literature, all of that.

LEMON: I get you.

I want to get Wendy in.

Wendy, do you think this is another case of bad choices made by young people? Do you think there was race? Do you disagree with the district attorney?

WALSH: I do agree with the district attorney. I don't think there's race here. I don't know if you noticed, Don, one of the shooters is white. And I want to caution all of us old folk here to be very careful about looking through a lens of an over-40 person when you are talking about teenagers. This new generation of teenagers is less concerned about race. They have enough other problems with this generation, and there are cohorts within races and between races.

LEMON: And one of the suspects there is white, but the shooter is the African-American young man. Accused shooter, I should say that.

Thank you, Wendy.

I'll see you both soon. I appreciate it, Wendy and Holly.

For weeks, there's been a battle on Twitter and on the blogs between myself and hip-hop mogul, Russell Simmons, and the battle has been over race and my controversial advice to the black community. I've invited Russell Simmons to the program several times and he finally said yes to my interview. Our emotional conversation, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: All right, so let's have the conversation that a lot of you have been waiting for. Earlier this month, I shared some of my thoughts on just some suggestions on how to fix some of the problems facing black youth and in the African-American community. Many found my advice to be controversial. Many people loved it. Some people hated it. We started a conversation and that's what we wanted to do. People are still talking about it. So we accomplished our mission here, we feel.

But some people didn't like it so much, including hip-hop mogul, Russell Simmons, who responded with an open letter and suggestions of his own. After much begging and pleading from the folks on social media, the two of us finally sat down to discuss race, music, and hip- hop's influence on the black community.

Here's a preview.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: When you want to improve something, where's the first place you look?

RUSSELL SIMMONS, HIP-HOP PERFORMER: Here. I look inside. And when I want to improve -- and here's what I learned, and I say this --

LEMON: OK.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: No, no, no, this is too good. This is too good.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: So why didn't you write a letter that said, I understand what Don Lemon was saying, we need to take personal responsibility.

SIMMONS: I should have said that first and then say --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: And then say here are the points where I disagree with you.

SIMMONS: You're right. You have to say things in the way that they go in instead of bounce off. Of course, personal responsibility. I wouldn't include the cultural expressions so much.

Here's what I learned. I'm a vegan. I meditate twice a day. I have these kind of -- but I was -- years ago, I took every single drug. I learned that morning meditation is greater than late-night drinking. I learned this.

LEMON: You had to do this yourself.

SIMMONS: That's right. The only way to move people towards -- give them another chance, give them the education, give them another opportunity, give them things that are cleaner and more inspired, and that is every day my job. And even if a rapper comes to me and says things that you object to or we both, I don't know if we get uncomfortable, or something that you don't like, my job is to give him a little bit more clean and a little bit more of an inspired idea.

LEMON: Do you think that rap and hip-hop can be better? SIMMONS: I think each individual artist has the responsibility to say what's on their hearts, and some of it is not pretty. So, I think they are reflections of our reality and, in some cases, sad reality.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: That's great, but do those artists understand the influence that they're having on the young people or the people who are listening to their songs?

SIMMONS: I think many, most artists, understand. And I don't believe that there's anything we can do to stop a poet from expressing the truth. The only thing we can do is change that truth that -- if it's uncomfortable to us.

LEMON: Do you think -- just the question, do you think rap and hip- hop can be better?

SIMMONS: Absolutely.

LEMON: OK. But how so?

SIMMONS: Each individual can be better, but as an overall culture, it has to express our sad reality. It's the way -- young people want to express themselves by bucking the system, is something that I support. And some of the things they say that may make the adults uncomfortable, in most cases, I support it. And, of course, there are lines. I'm not suggesting to you that there's no line.

We hope that their expression can be one that uplifts people. But we also want them to be truthful to their art and say what's on their hearts. And if what's on their hearts sometimes is difficult to digest, then we have to look at it and see if there's a roadmap to fix it.

LEMON: Is there a way to do it without calling someone a bitch or a whore?

SIMMONS: Some of the lyrics are very harsh and sexist and difficult to digest.

LEMON: And ignorant.

SIMMONS: And ignorant. I still can't tell a poet -- you know, I cannot tell a poet -- those are not my lyrics or my songs, but I can't tell a poet what to say, and I will not.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: That is just a small part of it.

That's my Twitter address, @donlemonCNN. Let's hear it. And his is @unclerush. The rest of my conversation with Russell Simmons coming up at the top of the hour right here on CNN.

There's the deadliest prison fire in Bolivia's history, but part of the story is how it started.

And a sports reporter's final chapter. A website details his life and death, publishes the day he commits suicide.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Now some headlines from around the world right now.

At least 29 people have been killed in the deadliest prison fire in Bolivia's history. The blaze reportedly started during a fight between two groups of inmates. During the battle, two liquid gas cylinders caught on fire causing the explosion. One of the victims is believed to be a child. Bolivia allows children to live with incarcerated parents. Bolivia's president is demanding an investigation.

Police have found the bodies of at least five teens buried in a shallow grave near Mexico City. They were among a dozen young people kidnapped from a bar three months ago in an area that has been spared from the violence in other parts of Mexico. The mass grave contained 13 bodies in all. Police aren't saying what led them to the grave. The bar's two owners and two employees have been arrested in the case.

In Mumbai, India, police have arrested three men suspected of taking part in the gang-rape of a female photographer. Investigators say a group of five men allegedly raped the 23-year-old woman and beat up her male companion while they were on assignment. The violent attack shocked the people of Mumbai. Mumbai, India, is a financial center and a city considered safe. The woman is in a stable condition in a Mumbai hospital.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CROSSTALK)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: 14 people were rescued from the North Sea after a helicopter crash last night off the coast of Scotland. Four people were killed. The twin-rotor chopper was carrying 16 oil workers and its crew of two. It was en route from a drilling rig when it ditched in the water off the Shetland Islands. No word yet on what caused the sudden loss of power.

It appears a federal lawsuit against southern cooking queen, Paula Deen, has been resolved. Lawyers signed a deal to dismiss the final part of a discrimination and sexual harassment case filed by a former employee. Under the agreement, no money will change hands. Deen said she's anxious to put this part of life behind her, but it has cost her millions, millions in lost contracts and endorsements. Deen says she's confident that, quote, "Those who truly know how I live my life know that I believe in kindness and fairness for everyone."

Let's move to a story now that is trending on CNN.com. It's about a former Kansas City sportswriter. He leaves behind what he calls one of the most organized good-byes in recorded history. Martin Manley timed a 40-page website detailing his life and suicide, to be published the day he died. Manley shot himself in a suburban Kansas City police parking lot on August 15th. It was his 60th birthday. Twice married, Manley claims he wasn't lonely and didn't want to die, but he had left his most productive years behind. On the website, he apologizes to his friends, family, and the police who were going to find him. He also said he was, quote, "Thrilled to death to leave behind a digital legacy" for himself. Manley prepaid for a five-year web-hosting plan, but Yahoo! took it down after learning of his suicide. To read excerpts from Manley's website, go to CNN.com.

What if you could use a body part for I.D.? It sounds like science fiction, but it's already here. That's next.

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LEMON: For some young people, college is a whole new world that can really open their eyes. And for some schools, young people are required to open their eyes just to get in the door.

Our Laurie Segall has the story now.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This way for your I.D.s.

LAURIE SEGALL, CNNMONEY.COM, TECH REPORTER (voice-over): Welcome to the college orientation of the future. First, get your I.D. card.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here you go.

SEGALL: Then get your eyeballs scanned.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look into this mirror. Tell me if you can see your eyes.

SEGALL: Entering buildings using your eyes. Sound like science fiction?

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UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Hello, Mr. Yakamoto (ph). Welcome back to The Gap.

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SEGALL: Biometric security is a growing trend. Iris scanning is catching on at colleges and even some elementary schools because no two eyes are alike.

JAMES HAMMOND, WINTHROP UNIVERSITY: Our scanning has a very high level of accuracy. And you don't have to touch anything.

SEGALL: At Winthrop University, they plan to use it all over campus, even for parents at this on-campus nursery school.

PAGE BOWDEN, PARENT, WINTHROP UNIVERSITY NURSERY SCHOOL: I think parents will subscribe to it quickly just because the level of security that is involved is such a comfort.

SEGALL: Since Newtown some elementary schools experimenting with using iris scanners to I.D. kids getting on and off the school bus. And several companies are competing for the business.

MICHAEL HAGAN, VICE PRESIDENT, BLINKSPOT: Technology itself, an iris image is nothing more than the colored portion of your eye. Every time a child boards and/or exits the school bus, the parent will get an e-mail or text message, and they will get that image of the child's photograph, a Google map of where they boarded or exited the school bus, as well as the time and date.

SEGALL: Eyelock is another eye scanning company. Its technology is also being used on school buses, along with high-security offices and banks.

ANTHONY ANTOLINO, CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER, EYELOCK: Our algorithms will find the best images of your right eye and the best images of your left eye.

SEGALL: Scanning for security lab around for a while but it is getting more popular. That's because advances in technology mean the scanners can be built quicker and cheaper.

This scanner is for airports.

COMPUTER VOICE: Welcome, Blaine (ph). Welcome, Tony. Welcome, Laurie.

SEGALL: While iris scanning may be effective, it does raise concerns, especially when it is used in schools.

DON KESTERSON, PARENT, WINTHROP UNIVERSITY: I would wonder where the database for this information is going to go, naturally.

SEGALL: For now, the information collected by the scanners is owned by the school district. But as the market expands, so do the possible security risks.

HAGAN: There is going to be people that come into this market that don't have the thought process, if you would, that aren't going to be security safety driven. Naturally, that's going to happen. And we want to make sure that, as we are in this industry, that we are doing everything we can to do it the right way.

SEGALL: Eye-opening technology that you may see more of in the future.

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LEMON: OK. So CNN money tech expert, Laurie Segall, is here.

I, for example, am I -- I'm not going to show the front.

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But this is my ATM card. Might I be trading this in for my eyeballs?

SEGALL: It is in the works. It sounds science fiction but a company you saw in the piece, Eyelock, they are working with financial institutions right now to get this to market in the next year. They are also working on -- you will be able to look at your computer and if you usually type in a password, you'll be able to look at your computer and it would unlock. This kind of technology is coming to market and it's coming to market soon -- Don?

LEMON: Can't you get now, though, for some phones, like a scanner, but it's an attachment, right? But the word is that the new iPhone may have a scanner attached to it? Am I wrong?

SEGALL: Absolutely. The technology isn't completely new but it's now cheaper to build. And Apple, about a year ago, they acquired a fingerprint sensor company, so now there are all these rumors that you could actually have a fingerprint scan on the next-generation IPhone, which we will hear more about in September. When you think about how, you know, people steal iPhones all the time, it will be an extra layer of security if you just had to use your finger to unlock it.