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Yosemite Fire; Remembering the March on Washington; Bleacher Report; $1 Million Lottery Ticket Expires Today; U.S. Weighs Military Strike on Syria; Sarah Murnaghan is Off Oxygen; MTV Music Awards

Aired August 25, 2013 - 06:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was cooking. It was moving fast.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: No end in sight. That is the view of firefighters battling Yosemite's Rim Fire. We go behind the front lines to see what they're up against.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At this point, no matter what the outcome, we just want to find him.


IVAN WATSON, CNN ANCHOR: A mystery out of Pennsylvania. A teacher who's supposed to return to school tomorrow has been missing since July. So where is he and why has his trail gone cold?

KEILAR: And remember this kiss? This dress? MTV's Video Music Awards are known for breaking boundaries. This year's show airs tonight and there's already a twist.

Hey, good morning, everyone. I'm Brianna Keilar.

WATSON: And I'm Ivan Watson. It's 6:00 and this is NEW DAY SUNDAY.

KEILAR: New this morning, the U.S. is promising a speedy response if it's proven that Syria carried out a chemical weapons attack. Defense officials indicate any response could include cruise missile strikes or a no fly zone.

WATSON: The rebels claimed that a government chemical assault killed 1,300 people last Wednesday, but the Syrian regime, it says it's the rebels who are gassing people. CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is in Damascus. And a caution, you may find some of the images we're going to show you, disturbing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Syrian military began an offensive in the opposition held district of Jobar (ph) 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 said, "eye burning, a lot of pain and they took a lot of soldiers to the hospital."

The Syrian opposition denies the claim, 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.

PLEITGEN (on camera): This is as far as the military is going to let us go. We're actually on the front lines 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.

PLEITGEN (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 and a massive chemical weapons attack, and accusing the international community of inaction, especially the U.S.

KHALID AL-SALEH, SPOKESMAN, SYRIAN NATIONAL COALITION: 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 second counts, experts say, if an investigation is to have any chance of success.


WATSON: That was CNN's Fred Pleitgen in Damascus. Thanks, Fred.

KEILAR: Now here at home, a bit of good news on that monster wildfire that is burning just outside of Yosemite National Park in California. Those canyon winds have died down just a little bit, slowing the flame's march toward the park, which is 200 miles from San Francisco.

WATSON: Still, 4,500 buildings are at risk. More than 129,000 acres have gone up in flames. CNN's Nick Valencia has been covering this over the weekend. He says crews are digging in for a long fight.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was cooking. It was moving fast.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the time of year the Yosemite National Park is usually packed with tourists, not firefighters. But on the western boundary of the forest, about 40 miles from the heavily visited Yosemite Valley, fire crews are dealing with this.

BJORN FREDRICKSON, U.S. FOREST SERVICE: Well, Yosemite is certainly iconic worldwide, so it's on the minds of the public in this area and beyond.

VALENCIA: Fast moving, fierce and so far unpredictable, the so- called Rim Fire could potentially be the largest fire in California's state history. Getting a handle on this fire has been difficult. It's being fueled by extremely dry conditions and canyon winds.

CNN was escorted through the fire zone by the U.S. Forest Service. On our tour, the steady march of the fire was evidence.

VALENCIA (on camera): Here in Yosemite National Park, firefighters are making some progress. But with limited resources, they're dealing with a lot of hot spots like these.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's critical at this time we have so many teams out nationwide and we have to -- we do have to share resources. But because I say we are number one priority, we're getting what we need.

VALENCIA (voice-over): But what these firefighters also say they need is for the weather to cooperate.

Nick Valencia, CNN, Yosemite National Park.


KEILAR: So, obviously, there is still a long way to go. And the question with this kind of thing is always, is the weather going to help or is it going to hurt firefighters today.

WATSON: Well, for that we're going to turn to our meteorologist Alexandra Steele. She joins us now in the CNN Weather Center.


ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: All right, you know, it's not helping. And, actually, the weather and some odd things about the weather have created a few more issues. One, the temperatures. Yesterday morning, the temperatures didn't get as cool as they had been, so it allowed the fire activity to spread a little bit earlier. Those temperatures do help with that and yesterday morning that wasn't the case. It's also creating its own weather pattern, so it's making it a little bit difficult to predict. And in that regard, here's why. The smoke column is building up, it's breaking down, collapses on itself and then sending downdrafts and wind gusts in different disparate directions. So that's made it a little more difficult. And mind you, this fire is burning through at 2,000 degrees.

So, here a look at where we currently stand. It's 52 degrees. So, it is a degree or two warmer than it was yesterday.

Also, humidity at 48 percent. The dew point is a little bit higher than it was. The dew point is the measure of the moisture in the air. So the moisture is what we need. Yesterday, the dew point was in the 20s. It's up to the 30s, so that is good.

Winds in the morning are a little lighter than that do get through the afternoon. And here's what we're expecting through noon. Winds certainly palatable, five, six miles per hour. Gusts a little more than that, especially farther east.

In terms of the temperatures, we'll stay where they are. Again, no rain at all. And, obviously, we'd use - and could use a good dumping of rain. And the irony, guys, is the same deal as yesterday. All this monsoonal moisture is coming in, coupled with a tropical storm that is off the Baja coast, so enhancing this rain even further. So it is so close, flooding rain mind you, but so close but yet so far. It's just not going to get to the fire.

So on the temperature front, on the winds front, Ivan, and now on the rain front as well, nothing really working in its favor per say.

KEILAR: All right, Alexandra, thank you for that.

Now police are trying to find a motive in a shooting spree in northern Florida that left three men dead, including the gunman. Police say that 72-year-old Hubert Allen shot and killed a former co- worker and his former boss at Pritchett Trucking following an argument earlier in the week. Hubert also shot and injured two other workers before turning the gun on himself.

WATSON: In southern California, a crowd of about 500 turned out to remember Christina and Ethan Anderson, the mother and brother of kidnapped teenager Hannah Anderson. Both Hannah and her father attended the memorial service. The teen was seen smiling and greeting friends. Police say Christina and Ethan were killed by family friend James DiMaggio, who then kidnapped Hannah. An FBI agent later killed DiMaggio while trying to rescue Hannah

KEILAR: Mourners are also remembering an Australian college baseball player who was gunned down in Oklahoma. You probably know, police say that bored teenagers killed Christopher Lane. Hundreds turned out yesterday in Duncan, Oklahoma, to remember him, and CNN affiliate KOCO reports that many in attendance brought Australian flags in support of Lane. Three teens have been charged in his death.

WATSON: Amanda Knox will not return to Italy for retrial in the 2007 death of her British roommate. That's the word from her family spokesperson. Italy's supreme court plans to retry the case this fall, saying the jury that acquitted Knox two years ago didn't consider all the evidence. It's still possible Italy could request her extradition from the U.S.

KEILAR: With primary elections just 16 days away, "The New York Times" is endorsing Christine Quinn as the Democratic choice in the city's mayoral race. Quinn is one of seven in the crowded Democrat field, which includes former Congressman Anthony Weiner. Quinn is currently speaker of the city council. And "The Times" says that Quinn, quote, "offers the judgment and record of achievement anyone should want in a mayor." For Republicans, the paper is backing Joseph Lhota, the former chairman of the city's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, saying that he's, quote, "the best qualified of the three men seeking the Republican nomination for mayor."

WATSON: Still to come here on NEW DAY, thousands of people from all over the world gathering all weekend in the nation's capital to mark the historic anniversary of the March on Washington. We'll bring you the best sights and sounds from the National Mall.

KEILAR: Plus, it is almost time for the awards show where we've kind of come to expect, right, the unexpected. We have a preview of the VMAs ahead.


KEILAR: Hey, Washington, D.C. Good morning to you. Beautiful view there of the Washington Monument as they begin to light it up this morning. Sort of -- the lights are moving around. It's funny. We've watched them here for the last couple moments. A beautiful day in store there. Mostly sunny skies, 82 degrees. You can't argue with that, right? Thank you so much for starting your new day with CNN.


MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER (voice-over): I have a dream. Let freedom ring.


KEILAR: And it's a good day to have really nice weather there in Washington -

WATSON: Absolutely.

KEILAR: Because that weekend and into next week, Americans are marking a watershed moment for civil rights there. Fifty years ago this Wednesday, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his defining "I have a dream" speech.

WATSON: That's right. And on Saturday, thousands gathered at the National Mall to commemorate that moment and to hear from speakers who call not for nostalgia, but auction in the ongoing fight for equality. Our Chris Lawrence has a look at some of the day's most powerful moments. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, thousands of people from all over the world, each with their own story to tell and reason for coming here.

REV. JESSE JACKSON, CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER: Keep dreaming of the constitutional right to vote. Stop the madness in North Carolina and Texas. Keep dreaming. Keep dreaming. Revive the war on poverty. Keep dreaming. To (ph) 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, 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, 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, SON OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: The vision preached by my father a 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, JR.: 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.

LAWRENCE: President Barack Obama will be here at 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.


WATSON: Chris Lawrence with some rousing speeches there from the National Mall yesterday. Thanks, Chris.

KEILAR: And also in Washington there was another birth last night at the National Zoo. Sadly, though, the second panda cub was stillborn.

WATSON: Yes, the zoo's panda cam showed Mei Xiang grooming - oh, this is sad -- her lifeless baby for 17 minutes before finally letting it go. Zoo staff retrieved the cub. They said it wasn't fully form and was never really alive. Mei Xiang's first cub, born Friday evening, fortunately continue to do well

And if you're looking to grab life by the horns, you don't have to go all the way to Spain, do you, Brianna?

KEILAR: You don't. Because up next, thousands of runners are actually gearing up to run with the bulls right here in the U.S.


WATSON: Good morning, Virginia Beach. Look at that view there. We've got the surf and the stars and stripes. It's a nice day in store there. Partly cloudy skies, 76 degrees. Thanks for starting your day with NEW DAY on CNN.

KEILAR: So, you know, every day thousands of tourists travel to Pamplona.

WATSON: Right.

KEILAR: I'd really like to see what happens there. They do the annual Running of the Bulls there in Spain. But this year, you don't actually have to travel that far to experience the ultimate thrill.

WATSON: Uh-huh. The first great bull run inspired by the traditional Spanish festival, it kicked off yesterday in Virginia. And I guess people don't really see the need to wear white like they do in Spain. The organizers say thousands of runners turned out.

KEILAR: Would you do that?

WATSON: Would I? Yes.

KEILAR: You would do that.

WATSON: Maybe not in - maybe in -

KEILAR: Not in Virginia. You're going to go for the real deal in Pamplona.

WATSON: I want to go in the medieval city there.

KEILAR: I know. It's not quite the same, but, you know, it's kind of close. And so more events are planned in cities across the country, including Atlanta. Here in Atlanta. We could do this, Ivan. We've got Houston. Chicago as well later this year.

WATSON: And, fortunately, it doesn't look like anybody's getting stomped on or gored there.

KEILAR: Yes, unlike in Spain.

WATSON: Right.

And in Spain, there was a little bit of Pamplona on the highway. Check out this video. Instead of on the streets, what you're seeing is a YouTube video. It's showing a runaway bull in Spain charging toward cars and attacking them. Eventually ramming one of the vehicles with those horns. Wow. A pretty frightening scene for the people inside, especially if you were sitting on that side of the car. Damn (ph).

Well, moving on now. Mike Tyson, who we talked about yesterday, about what an incredible businessman he is, now he's revealed to us all that he's been lying about his sobriety. The former heavyweight champ opened up in a way he never really has before.

KEILAR: Yes, this is pretty powerful stuff. He says that he's been battling demons more fierce than any boxer he's ever faced. And Joe Carter has more on this in his "Bleacher Report."

This is like such a change from what we talked about yesterday, Joe.

JOE CARTER, BLEACHER REPORT: Yes, absolutely. I don't want to take away from the fact that he has turned himself into a successful businessman, but basically he's been saying for years that he's been sober. But yesterday he sort of, you know, used this moment with the media to come clean. He used this as sort of an admission during the news conference to say that he, you know, he's been battling incredibly, incredibly dark demons and that his battle with drugs and alcohol is pretty much day to day now.


MIKE TYSON, FORMER HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: I'm a vicious alcoholic. I haven't drank or took drugs in six days. And, for me, that's a miracle. I've been lying to everybody else thinking I was sober, but I'm not. It's my sixth day. I'm never going to use again.


CARTER: Now, you can watch more of Tyson's revealing confession on

Well, the first of several lawsuits against Lance Armstrong has reached a settlement. Armstrong has agreed to pay the same British newspaper he once sued back in 2004 for publishing an article about him and his doping. Now according to "The Sunday Times," the paper was suing him for $1.5 million. Now, the exact settlement amount is unknown, but it's being called a, quote, "mutually acceptable final resolution."

And, finally, the little leaguers from Chula Vista, California, well they crushed Westport, Connecticut, yesterday, 12-1, to win the American final. And pitcher Nick Mora, the guy not only struck out nine batters, he hit a monster three run home run, which means California will play Japan for the world championship at 3:00 p.m. Eastern later today. Now the last four champions, by the way, have come from either Japan or California. My money, guys, is on California. They have a 6'4" pitcher and a little second baseman that looks like Spicoli (ph). I like their - I like their character.

KEILAR: Looks like Spicoli. You know Ivan's from Connecticut and I'm from California. So this really - this really mattered to us, Joe.

WATSON: Very important.

CARTER: All right, Brianna. I think you're going to win this one.

KEILAR: All right. I'm excited. Joe Carter, thanks so much.

CARTER: Thanks a lot.

KEILAR: Now still to come on NEW DAY, an experienced hiker's disappearance has baffled friends and local police. We're going to tell you about the month long hunt for Matthew Green.

WATSON: And The Donald sued. Did you know that he taught real estate classes? Well, his students are saying they've been stiffed, they've been ripped off and we're going to tell you why.


KEILAR: Mortgage rates jumped this past week. Check it out.


KEILAR: Twenty-nine past the hour now. Welcome back, everyone. I'm Brianna Keilar.

WATSON: And I'm Ivan Watson.

And here are five important things you need to know if for your new day.

Number one, a senior defense official tells CNN, the Pentagon has updated military target lists for Syria. That's in case President Obama decides to hit Syria with cruise missiles. A U.S. strike could come if the administration verifies Syria attacked civilians with chemical weapons this past week.

KEILAR: Number two, one of two U.S. children recently infected by a brain eating parasite passed away on Saturday afternoon. Doctors used an environmental drug to treat the infection, but 12-year-old Zachary Reyna did not respond. The same drug was used to treat a 12- year-old girl in Arkansas. She survived and is recovering.

WATSON: Number three, you're sued. That was the message from the New York state attorney general to Donald Trump Saturday. The $40 million lawsuit accuses Trump University of promising real estate students they'll get rich. But providing only expensive and mostly useless seminars. Trump denies the accusations and says the lawsuit is politically motivated

KEILAR: An unclaimed winning ticket, lottery ticket worth millions of dollars expires today. This ticket was sold in Rye, New York, just outside of New York City about a year ago. Or, I should say, exactly a year ago. But the winning ticket holder has yet to claim the prize. The winning numbers, pay attention, folks, one, six, seven, 20, 49 and Powerball 23. Officials say if no one claims the prize, the money will return to the lottery pool for future winners

WATSON: And according to the "New York Times" award-winning actress Julie Harris passed away this weekend at the age of 87. The star of stage and screen will be remembered as one of Broadway's most successful performers. She also starred in hit films, including 1955's "East of Eden." The cause of her death is not known.

KEILAR: Turning now to a mystery in California. Officials there are searching for 39-year-old Matthew Greene, a popular Pennsylvania high school math teacher who vanished during a hiking trip to Mammoth Lakes.

WATSON: Now, Greene, he would have started classes tomorrow, but he hasn't been heard from since mid-July after exchanging text messages with a friend.

KEILAR: His friends and family have started a "Find Matthew Greene" Facebook page and believe they may have found their first clue. It's a pair of eyeglasses that could belong to the missing hiker, but police say, they're not sure. Take a look.


TIFFANY MINTO, SISTER: I want to be hopeful, but yet at this point it's so hard to be hopeful.

KEILAR: It's hard because her brother Matthew Greene is missing. The avid 39-year old hiker and high school math teacher from Pennsylvania who loved being outdoors vanished more than a month ago while vacationing in the mountains of Mammoth Lakes, California. His family says he'd gone there to camp, hike and climb. He had been staying at the shady rest campground nearby while his car was being repaired. His family says he was supposed to pick up his car, then meet some friends. He never picked up his car and his friends say he never showed up.

MINTO: So, there's really not a lot of clues to go by and that's kind of a pitfall of the investigation right now, is where could he have gone.

KEILAR: Air and ground searches haven't produced many clues. His family and friends have launched a "Find Matthew" Facebook page.

UM: This is one of my best friends. And it is as our best effort. We're going to focus on the pages that we're missing from his guide book that he probably had with him, but we're looking at an area that's probably going to be 20, 30, 40 acres of mountains.

KEILAR: Police aren't sure what's happened to Matthew. It's missing person's case for now. His family just wants answers.

MINTO: At this point no matter what the outcome, we just want to find him. You know? We just want him back. We want to know what happened to him.

KEILAR: Greene's friends plan to organize their own search team to find the missing hiker this week and anyone who has any information is urged to call the Mammoth Lakes police department.


WATSON: Now, crews are making some progress in the fight against a fast moving wildfire in Yosemite National Park.

KEILAR: Officials there say the California rim fire is now seven percent contained. That's still not a lot of from five yesterday ...

WATSON: Better than yesterday.

KEILAR: Yeah, five, three the day before. It's little increments. And at this point you've got more than 129,000 acres that have been burned.

WATSON: So, let's get a check of the weather to see how the forecast could help or hurt the situation. Meteorologist Alexandra Steele joins us now.

It's not helping on any front.

ALEXANDRA STEELE, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hi, it's not helping on any front, really. I want to give you a perspective. What this is you're seeing here, maybe we can kind of zoom in, this is the rim fire right here. It's 200 square miles. Farther -- what the whole picture is, and you can see right here, is Yosemite. Yosemite is 1200 square miles. And where the rim fire is encroaching is really in the remote northwest corner. So, three of the four entrances to the park are still open and it's actually where all of the visitors predominantly go, you can barely see smoke. Barely visible from those area. But here's one of the aspects. We're going to take you with this Google map in.

And look at this. We were talking yesterday about the canyon effect and what happens with the air and why winds are such a factor. When the wind gets channeled through this canyon, the air gets squeezed and it accelerates, similar to walking in a big city, Chicago or New York, and you kind of walk between the narrowest passage way between the buildings and you notice the wind pick up. And it's a similar scenario here. So, the winds a factor and the topography is making that so. So, that's -- that's scenario. And here is what the deal is with the wind: you can see here denoted in the blues where the heaviest and the strongest, rather, winds are. And right now they're to the east. And here is where the rim fire is.

Today's winds again with a southerly component -- southwest component, when we talk about winds, we talk about the direction from which they come. So, when they come from the southwest they blow this way. They blow northeasterly, of course. And so that's, of course, the direction this fire is moving. Bringing it into the northwest quadrant, the remote quadrant of Yosemite. So, when every (inaudible) and no rains in the forecast. We'll talk a little bit about that coming up in detailed forecast.

The temperatures, now they're playing a role. too. Pretty interesting what happened yesterday morning, with the temperatures and how that has impacted the fire and not in a good way.

WATSON: Thanks, Alexandra Steele, and can I ask you a stupid question?

STEELE: There are no stupid questions. If you're a teacher, you ever say ...

WATSON: Why do we call it a rim fire?

STEELE: Well because when you look at -- I'll show you that again, why it's named the rim fire. Well, you see kind of the topography of it, too. You'll notice it looks like a big rim. And remember yesterday, I was hearing someone tweeting and what they said was they were standing on one side looking over. The fire was on two sides of the canyon and it almost created this circle looking like a rim as well. So, that's maybe why they're calling it the rim fire.

WATSON: All right. Thanks for answering my stupid questions.

STEELE: Ah-ha. Yeah.

KEILAR: Never a stupid question.

STEELE: That's right, you tell him.


KEILAR: We'll take a look at this incredible video. A sinkhole in Parish, Louisiana, this is near Baton Rouge, swallowed an entire row of cypress trees. Unbelievable.


KEILAR: That's unlike anything I've ever seen. So, this actually started last year when a pit that was 400 feet wide opened up. It's grown since right before our eyes, in fact, prompting mandatory evacuations in the area. And officials say that this 25 acres sinkhole was actually caused by the drilling of a well into an underground salt mine. They say there's no way to fill it. That it could actually double in size from what it is now. So, the state is now suing the company who owns the mine.

WATSON: Like 20 or 30 foot tall trees.

KEILAR: Yeah. Unbelievable.

WATSON: Natural toilet bowl.


KEILAR: Kind of like, yeah.

WATSON: Well moving on, this is going to refer to a word I don't think I've ever heard of before. In Arizona the desert -- desert southwest was hit hard by a monster sandstorm known as a haboob on Thursday. This tower cam video shows just how thick sand clouds were making it almost impossible to see the skyline, because of the haboob. Officials say at least 12,000 people lost power and more than 50 power poles were knocked down from heavy winds, residents also experienced thunder, lightning and flash floods.

KEILAR: I would think that you would have experienced a sandstorm or a haboob.

WATSON: I have experienced sandstorms. I just had no idea they were called haboobs. But now I know.

KEILAR: Now you're going to use that word all the time.

WATSON: Use it all the time.


WATSON: All the time.

Moving on from haboobs. Play begins tomorrow at the U.S. Tennis Open. Where we hope there will be no haboobs, but we'll tell you all about a group of kids who already know who the tournament's champions are. It's a story of stars giving back.


KEILAR: Good morning, New York. Rise and shine for what's going to be a gorgeous day there. You can already see it. 66 degrees right now, but you're going to a high of 82, mostly sunny. Beautiful weather today. Ivan.

WATSON: Yeah, let's hope that keeps up because, Brianna, the U.S. Tennis Open kicks off tomorrow in New York. But before play even starts, last year's open champions have taken to the courts and proven winning goes way beyond game set and match. CNN's Alina Cho has more.


ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Andy Murray is not used to hitting tennis balls with pint-sized players. But on this day, all of his opponents are just that.

Half his size, and less than half his age.

ANDY MURRAY, 2012 U.S. OPEN CHAMPION: I remember when I was that age and I would have loved to have gotten to play with Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras.

CHO: But these aren't just any kids. All of their families were impacted by Superstorm Sandy. Many are still struggling to recover. Which is why Murray and Serena Williams, both defending U.S. Open singles champs, are spending this precious pretournament time leading this clinic.

(on camera): I know that you're very big on getting youth into tennis.


CHO: Why is that important to you?

WILLIAMS: Well, for me it's important because it was a clinic something similar to this where that really got me so excited. I met some professional players and I was like, wow, I want to be -- I want to be that.

CHO (voice over): Until today, nine-year-old Joseph Adriano and his six-year-old brother Charlie had never picked up a racquet. During Sandy the Andrianos lost one floor of their home in Howard Beach, Queens and two cars. Today tennis is providing an escape.

(on camera): How does that feel?

JOSEPH ANDRIANO, HOWARD BEACH, QUEENS: It's like the total opposite. It's really cool.

CHO: Total opposite meaning what?

ANDRIANO: It's like the total opposite like I was worried and scared with the storm and now I feel great and it's cool.

SALVINA ANDRIANO, JOSEPH'S MOM: This is a very amazing experience for all of us.

CHO: When you play with them, what do they say to you?

WILLIAMS: They're just so cute. I just usually have conversations with them. They're like yeah, when they're young they're like my mom wants you, or you're famous. Have I seen you on TV? They're just always so cute.

MURRAY: I was that age once, I remember.

CHO: Do you?

MURRAY: Yeah, I remember what it was like. I used to play with my brother a lot when I was that age. And, you know, you just charge around the court. You try and hit the ball as hard as you can. There's no -- you know, there's no thoughts or pressure.

CHO (voice over): Like there is now as these two tennis stars at the top of their game go for their next grand slam. While cultivating these tiny stars to be who could be the next ones to play on center court.

Alina Cho, CNN, New York. (END VIDEOTAPE)

WATSON: That's Alina Cho reporting. Thanks, Alina. Brianna.

KEILAR: Thanks, Ivan. Cute kids there. All right, everyone. It is that time of year again. The annual MTV video music awards kick off tonight. I think we'll probably hear this song. Don't you think? But what can we anticipate, what else from a show that's motto is expect the unexpected. We have an inside look at the big night next on this "NEW DAY."


KEILAR: An incredible and scary moment caught there on camera. A truck flying over a guardrail. This happened in Michigan and the 17-year-old who shot this video said she'd seen the truck driver hit a sign in the middle of the median so she took out her phone and started shooting. Now, that's when she captured this terrifying accident. And doctors believe the driver had some sort of medical episode before jumping over that median. He is now in the hospital. He has serious injuries but he's expected to make a full recovery.

WATSON: Let's hope he gets better. OK. So, this might make some of us feel old, the present company included. The MTV video music awards turned 30 tonight.

KEILAR: That's right. The annual show has been making headlines, sparking controversy for three decades now. So, what can we expect from tonight's big show. CNN entertainment correspondent Nischelle Turner has a preview.


NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Happy birthday VMAs. They MTV video music awards turned 30 this weekend and as their motto goes, expect the unexpected.

MAGGIE FURLONG, WEST COAST AUTHOR, HUFFPOST: The VMSs are known for spectacle. This is where people come and pull out all the stops. If you want to see Britney Spears kissing Madonna, Lady Gaga in a meat dress, Beyonce saying, hey, hey, look, at this bump ...

TURNER: The 2013 VMAs leave their Hollywood home and head east to Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Lady Gaga is expected to open the show with her new single "Applause" in one of her first TV appearances since undergoing hip surgery earlier this year.

Kanye West rocks the mike. And his (inaudible) be a May performance. And look for eight songs of the summer tribute featuring Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke and their ubiquitous hit.

Since this is an award show, after all, a few moon will be handed out during the live two hour telecast. Maclemore and Ryan Lewis and Justin Timberlake lead the six nominations apiece. Both are nods for video of the year. Timberlake will also be honored with the night's prestigious Michael Jackson video vanguard award. And there are rumors of a reunion with N Sync.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my gosh. Are you kidding me? I'm freaking out. I hope that's true. That's great.

TURNER: It's the VMAs, baby. After 30 years, you've got to expect the unexpected.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm really happy for you! I'll let you finish!

TURNER: Nischelle Turner, CNN, New York.


WATSON: Nischelle Turner there, thank you. And are you rooting for anybody there?

KEILAR: No, although I do love that "Blurred Line" song. But actually, I got -- I was at the VMAs one year when Brittany ...

WATSON: You ...

KEILAR: I did, in Vegas, when Brittany was having her comeback, which actually kind of seemed more like one in person, I think than on TV and I think Kid Rock and Tommy Lee got in fist to cuffs over Pamela Anderson.

WATSON: How did you get invited to the VMAs? Did you invite yourself?

KEILAR: No, I just -- you know, I've just -- I have friends, have some friends there.

WATSON: Brianna knows people.

KEILAR: I used to do a news cast that aired on their college network.

WATSON: OK. All right.

KEILAR: That was why. But, you know, just three months ago on a Sunday morning on CNN we introduced you to Sarah Murnaghan, a Pennsylvania girl with cystic fibrosis. She's been fighting for her life and now her family says that she's made another major breakthrough. Plus, this furry friend is high and dry after a rescue by the U.S. Coast Guard, but now the search is on for its owner.


KEILAR: Welcome back to "NEW DAY." Time for "The Good Stuff."

WATSON: That's right. We want to tell you about a miracle reunion between a dog and her owner that would not have been possible were it not for the power of the good stuff.

KEILAR: Jen Koczan from Indiana lost her beloved Rottweiler Sasha when she was stolen five years ago.

WATSON: Stolen.

KEILAR: Unbelievable, right? Ho steals a dog? So, Jen thought she would never see her again, but then, an apparent miracle -- after five years Sasha popped up in a shelter thousands of miles away in Phoenix. So workers there got Jen's number because Sacha had a microchip, and they called Jenna.


JEN KOCZAN, RECOVERED STOLEN DOG AFTER FIVE YEARS: I never thought I was ever going to see her again. You know, I thought about her all of the time, I always wondered, I wondered what happened to her. You know, I still have all of her pictures because she was a part of our family. I don't know where she's been or who's she's been with, or, you know, what she's been through. I just hope that, you know, whoever had her gave her a good life.


WATSON: And got her back, but the good stuff doesn't end there, though. Right after the shelter told Jen they found Sasha they told her they would euthanize her if Jen could not get all the way from Indiana to Phoenix in just a couple of days. Jen had had no way to make the trip, let alone on time.

KEILAR: And that's when volunteers from the Kindred Hearts Transportation Connection stepped in. This is an organization made just for this very purpose. And they picked up Sasha in time. Volunteers then drove Sasha as far as they could go, a little piece of the journey at a time back to Indiana. And in all it took 26 volunteers and two weeks to get Sasha back to a very grateful Jen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's moments like this that we do what we do. It's just seeing the dogs get back to their owners. It's great.


KEILAR: And you know what? They are always looking for more drivers. So if you're willing and able, you want to help out, check out Kindred Hearts Transportation Connection on Facebook.

WATSON: That's quite a carpool there.


KEILAR: Yeah, exactly.

WATSON: And another happy ending for man's best friend. This dog was rescued after he was found struggling to swim in the Honolulu Harbor. A tug boat crew first spotted it and the Coast Guard was called in. And although the dog is now high and dry, the search is on for its owner. So please anyone with information is being asked to contact the Coast Guard.

KEILAR: All right. Now, for today's must see moment videos. An ingenuous way to beat the heat. Don't live next to a water park? Well, just make your own, right? That's what these youth folks did in Russia. They took a construction crane and they turned it into a water roller coaster of sorts.

WATSON: People riding on that that.

KEILAR: I can't decide if it looks fun or frightening. Maybe the latter. I would not suggest trying that at home, folks.


WATSON: The Russians never fail to surprise.

KEILAR: Oh my goodness.

WATSON: Wow. And just keep watching that for a while.


WATSON: And here's proof that there's a kid in all of us, even animals. You're looking at the oldest tiger in captivity. Flavio is a 24-year-old Bengal tiger, a former circus performer who lives at the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida. And look at him. He's playing with the sprinkler, I guess.


WATSON: Like a kitten? I don't know. I've never seen a cat enjoy water quite on that level.

KEILAR: No. Normally they kind of hate it.

WATSON: My cat certainly does.

KEILAR: But Flavio, in his old age, is loving it. Good way to stay cool.

And thank you for starting your morning with us.

WATSON: That's right. We've got much more ahead on "NEW DAY" in the next hour, which is going to be starting pretty soon here.

KEILAR: Right now.

Good morning everyone I'm Brianna Keilar.

WATSON: And I'm Ivan Watson. It's 7:00 on the East Coast, 4:00 on the west, and this is "NEW DAY" Sunday.

KEILAR: So, let's start with that whopper of a fire that's burning outside the Yosemite National Park in California. You have canyon winds there easing up a tiny bit, that's the good news, but it's not much. Firefighters will take that, though. WATSON: And this may, it may give crews a chance to gain ground on this monster fire today. CNN's Nick Valencia is there just outside Yosemite with the latest details.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Ivan. Yeah, the firefighters are really focusing a lot of their attention on the western boundary of the Yosemite National Park. So far, though, you may want to know about the impact on tourism. There's only been a few cancellations so far, and that's a good thing. But when I was there taking a tour on the frontline, the fires yesterday, we saw a lot of charred trees, we saw a lot of hot spots that firefighters were still, you know, working very hard to try to put out. This fire, though, is still about 30 or 40 miles from the more heavily visited area of the iconic Yosemite National Park, but the firefighters aren't celebrating just yet.

Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The concern there is it's actually starting to back down into some canyons that could make some big runs and that's where we get large fires spread.


VALENCIA: And some good news from overnight, Ivan and Brianna. The fire containment jumped up a couple of percentage. It's now at 7 percent. But that acreage is still very, very high. More than 126,000 acres burned. The firefighters have a long road ahead so far today -- Ivan, Brianna.

KEILAR: And, Nick, Yosemite gets about 4 million tourists a year. Any indication that some of them may be staying away. I know you said a lot of people haven't canceled but do you think that could change or are they still enjoying themselves?

VALENCIA: Well, anytime you have a fire associated with their name, that's the concern. And I think for tourist officials there in the Yosemite National Park, they want to get away from that as far as they can. But fire officials we've spoken to and that CNN has talked to, they say at least in the very heavily populated areas, there's very little smoke, there's still blue skies.

But if you can see around me, we're still -- you know, just a handful of miles away from that western boundary, and there's smoke all around us this morning. A lot thicker smoke than there was yesterday and that's surprising when you consider fire officials are saying they're making progress on the fire. But it's still tough and difficult to breathe out here this morning -- Brianna, Ivan.

WATSON: Thanks for the update, Nick.

KEILAR: Well, you know you can bet that the firefighters are paying close attention to the forecast here. So, let's check in now with meteorologist Alexandra Steele. You said that there's some good, right? The canyon winds are dying down. But it's not all good news.

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: No, it's definitely not. I mean, you know, what he was just saying out there, you saw the flames. I mean, this fire is large.

OK, the number has gone up in terms of containment, a couple of percentage. But it's large, it's ferocious. And more so than it was earlier and also it's moving farther eastward and it is hot, 2,000 degrees. So, I mean, it's pretty tough.

But in terms of the weather we actually had some problems as well. What happened yesterday, temperatures didn't get as cool as they had earlier. So the fire activity picked up a little bit earlier in the day. Usually, it usually picks up more in the afternoon but not so yesterday. Today the temperatures are better.

Also, one interesting thing, the fire, as happens with fire, it's creating its own weather. Here's why exactly -- the smoke column, it builds up, it breaks down and as it breaks down and collapses and downdrafts and wind gusts go all different ways. So kind of disparate wind directions, which makes it harder to follow the fire because it's not only the winds taking the fire in one direction, which that direction is predominantly eastward.

Right now, it's 50 wind direction in the Southeast. The winds are pretty light at 5 miles per hour, certainly palatable.

The gusts, though, do get higher than that. Here's what we're going to see throughout the afternoon. This is pretty cool, the time stamp through about 1:00, and watching the darker shades. There's the legends up there. The darker blues into green showing you the winds that are getting stronger and it shows you where the winds are getting stronger and they will be stronger in the afternoon.

So, this continues to be the same scenario. Temperatures consistent, air consistent and also the dew points, the dryness of the air is consistent and no rain in the forecast and the irony as we've been saying is there's a tropical depression just west of the Baja bring in flooding rain to Phoenix and Vegas. So it's so close to the fires but it's not going to get there.

So, that's the story, big picture as well, from Albany, New York to Albany, Georgia, dry, beautiful Sunday for you. Some severe storms in the Upper Midwest, and if you're vacationing right along the Gulf of Mexico, a few storms for you. Other than that it's palatable in the east and certainly in the Upper Midwest and portions of the country today.

KEILAR: All right. Alexandra, thanks.


KEILAR: So, the U.S. military prepping now for a possible strike on Syria. That is an "if" though. WATSON: An important if -- if the U.S. verifies Syria used chemical weapons on civilians last Wednesday. This is important. This could have big implications in the Middle East and for the U.S. as well.

Now, CNN Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence is live now for us.

KEILAR: Chris, can you outline the steps that the Pentagon is taking here?

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, basically, what they've done is have updated their target list to present the most current and comprehensive options for the president. Officials tell us that the Syrian forces continue to move. And so, these updates have to be done. But this was probably one of the most comprehensive updates in several months.

I am told that a lot of it had to do with looking at ways to target Syria's ability to deliver chemical weapons and also looking heavily at the cruise missile option. To that end, the Navy has moved a fourth destroyer into the region. That's important because these destroyers each about 100 tomahawk missiles, long range cruise missiles that are designed to hit land targets from the sea.

Again, these are options and that's a point that Secretary Chuck Hagel was stressing on his trip to Asia.


CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY: President Obama has asked the Defense Department to prepare options for all contingencies. We have done that. And again, we are prepared to exercise whatever option, if he decides to employ one of those options.


LAWRENCE: Secretary Hagel participated by video conference with the chairman of the joints chiefs of staff and really the president's entire national security team over the weekend as the White House also conferred with its European allies to scope out what needs to be done next. This was a big meeting, not a normal meeting to call in this many principles on a weekend. It shows the seriousness of the situation in Syria right now.

Secretary of State John Kerry also placed a call to his counterpart in Syria, the Syrian foreign minister. Those two do not talk very often. So, this too was a sign that things may be taking a turn to a far more serious turn -- Ivan, Brianna.

WATSON: That's Chris Lawrence in Washington. I just can't even imagine what that conversation might have been like between Kerry and the foreign minister of Syria.

KEILAR: Awkward, tense, serious.

WATSON: Especially since the Obama administration has been calling on the Syrian president to step down for more than a year now.

KEILAR: Yes, very rare, extremely rare.

WATSON: We want to move on now and show you a startling piece of video that turned up on YouTube today. It shows what appears to be Syrian rebels firing up at a Syrian jet somewhere in Syria which then responds in kind. It tells a whole deadly story here.

You can see those rebels, they were firing up and then, bam, they get hit by some kind of attack. Whether it was the jet retaliating or some kind of rocket to rocket fire.

Now, the opposition activists who put this online, they say this was shot near the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, which is largely controlled by rebels. And much of it has been devastated. I was there in the last winter.

We should note that CNN cannot independently confirm the authenticity of the video but it really brings home the viciousness of the conflict that's been raging for more than two years, left more than 10 percent of the population forced to flee out of the country.

KEILAR: Unbelievable video.

WATSON: And still to come we have a CNN exclusive: major progress for the little girl whose battle for new lungs touched off a nasal debate. Our exclusive interview with Sarah Murnaghan.


KEILAR: Now to a CNN exclusive and a happy one at that. It was three months ago this week that CNN on a Sunday morning first introduced you to Sarah Murnaghan. She's the little girl whose fight for new lungs changed the rule at least for now for kids desperate for a transplant.

WATSON: Well, Sarah, we're happy to report, has had a major breakthrough. Just ten weeks after her double lung transplant, the 11-year-old is breathing without the help of an oxygen machine. Yesterday her mom posted this on her Facebook page, quote, "After two and a half years on oxygen, Sarah is officially off oxygen. This is us outside enjoying the sunshine today."

KEILAR: Our CNN national correspondent Jason Carroll sat down with the Murnaghans for their exclusive first interview with Sarah's transplant. He's joining us now from New York.

So, Jason, Sarah obviously has a very important case. She's a hero to so many people. She's also just an 11-year-old girl.

Does she kind of understand how significant this was?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, she's a very mature 11-year-old girl. When you meet here, that's one of the impressions you get. You know when children get sick, Brianna and Ivan, I think what it does is it really forces children to grow up. And Sarah is no exception.

I was really taken aback at the level of her maturity and how she was able to understand how far she has come and what has happened to her. Her fight with cystic fibrosis which destroyed her lungs and having to survive not one lung transplant but two lung transplants. And when I sat down with her at that hospital bed, we played a little bit of Monopoly, we talked a little bit and we also talked about how tough she is and what she understands about her illness.


CARROLL: You know, so many people have said that you're a tough little girl. Do you feel like you're a tough little girl?


CARROLL: You do.


CARROLL: Can you tell me why?

MURNAGHAN: Because I thought it was going to be hard and I've done them.


CARROLL: You can see she barely talks. It's a whisper but the strength is there. She's actually breathing on her own. She's still has a long way to go but it's just incredible that she's been able to come this far, with her family there. You see her mother at her side, her father were her aunt has be there as well. Her brothers and sisters really looking forward to her homecoming.

WATSON: She really is a brave little girl there. Do you get any sense how much longer she'll have to stay in the hospital? Can she ever really live a normal life, do you think?

CARROLL: Well, here's the good news, Ivan. It turns out that Sarah could be released as early as Tuesday of this week, maybe Thursday if Tuesday doesn't work out. It looks like she will be going home this week. Her original hope was to be able to actually walk outside on her hone but because of hospital protocol, that probably won't be able to happen.

Her mother very aware of exactly what she's expecting for Sarah. We talked about that in terms of her prognosis. She hoping she's going to be able to live, you know, do all the other things that little girls will be able to do. But it's going to take some time.

Listen to what so Sarah's mother Janet had to say when we talked about her prognosis.


JANET MURNAGHAN, SARAH'S MOM: She's going to fight and she's going to be OK. I fully plan to watch her graduate from college and watch her get married some day and do whatever it is she wants to do. And, you know, I believe those things are a reality. I just don't think they're going to be as easy for her to obtain those things as somebody else but I think she's going to have them.


CARROLL: And, Ivan, one of the things that Sarah said to me was, she said, I'm not going for easy. I'm going for possible -- Ivan, Brianna.

KEILAR: Good advice I think for a lot of people to take.

Jason Carroll, thank you for that story. You can see Jason's entire interview with Sarah and the Murnaghan story tomorrow morning on "NEW DAY" on CNN.

She was a beautiful little girl who ultimately became the face of the march on Washington. We're going to have the story of the young reporter who took this iconic image.

WATSON: If you're looking to get away for Labor Day. How to book the last-minute trip without breaking the bank.



REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., CIVIL RIGHTS ICON: Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate value of segregation.


KEILAR: It was 50 years ago and the words still resonate as if they were spoken yesterday. "I have a dream." But it was more than those words that are burned in r in our mind and in the pages of our history.

Don Lemon has more.

DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, we all know those words. I have a dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, and on and on and on. Those were the words that people remember from the original march on Washington.

But there were also the images, those indelible images you see in black and white of the faces that were there, the black and white people who were there. Those were the words that people remember from the original march on Washington. But there were also the images, those indelible images you see in black and white of the faces that were there, the black and white people who were there.

And one of those was taken by a very young photographer. His name is a Rowland Scherman and he was there and spotted one little girl with a sign in her hand behind a picket fence and she became the face of the march. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROWLAND SCHERMAN, PHOTOGRAPHER: I was out there covering this giant event. Kid reporter with a couple of cameras photographing the whole thing. I was the official government photographer. I couldn't be denied access to any part of it. I was sort of like a free roving guy.

You could see the access I had, the proximity I had. It looks like they're in their backyard singing folk songs to each other just for fun. But there are hundreds of thousands of people gathered around listening to them.

I'm really so happy with this picture. It shows all of the emotion that's gone through this man's face. He was the guy who created the march on Washington.

This picture shows the spirit of it, another face in the crowd. Just happens to be caught at the right moment. I saw this face. She's really a beautiful young girl and she was so intense. I wasn't the only one to be struck by it. She has become like the face of the march on Washington.

I wanted to show the people who couldn't be there the greatness of it, the majesty of it, the scope of it, close-ups and long shots, all of the faces in the crowd, not only the superstars but people themselves.

I was just a kid, just starting out. You're a freelancer and this is your first job? What is your first job is the biggest event that's ever happened in your lifetime?


LEMON: So you heard it. It took almost 50 years for her to figure out that he was the iconic face of that march on Washington because a family member told her. So it's not just the words that came out of the march, it was also those images that will leave a lasting impression on the nation, not just the nation, the world -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Don Lemon, thank you so much.

And tonight at 10:00 on CNN, you can take a look back at that historic event 50 years ago. We were there. It's an oral history of the march on Washington.

And if you're looking for last-minute Labor Day deals, I know I kind of am. Well, you're not alone, because Labor Day travel is expected to sore this year. We'll be taking a look at what you can expect on the roads and how to get to your destination without putting a dent in your wallet.

But first let's check in with Dr. Sanjay Gupta to see what's coming up at the bottom of the hour.

Good morning, Sanjay.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDNET: Brianna, this week the CDC reported the number of Lyme disease cases is, in fact, ten times higher than they reported before. I'm going to explain why so many people think traditional medicine may be failing them in this case.

Also, the school year is here. Now, people can't wait (ph) schools to teach the way kids really learned.

We've got all that and much more, 7:30 Eastern.



KEILAR: If you're looking for last-minute Labor Day get away, you are not alone. According to AAA more people are planning to travel than in year's past.

WATSON: It's going to be busy out there and Alison Kosik joins us live.

Alison, what can travelers expect this weekend?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, Labor Day weekend is the last blast of summer for many people to get out there and sneak in the last vacation. Kind of bittersweet because we know that once Labor Day hits, here comes the cold weather. So in the last vacation that people are going to take, it's going to be more crowded from the roads to the skies -- 34 million people are expected to travel for the Labor Day weekend.

You want to break it down: on the roads, 29 million people are expected to take the roads to get their destination. Almost 3 million people are expected to fly. You're not going to be alone.

Take a lot of patient with you because it's going to be crowded. Why is this? Why are we seeing more people travel this Labor Day weekend as opposed to last year?

Well, believe it or not, housing prices have a lot to do with it because when you think about what makes you feel wealthy, what makes you feel rich, what your house is worth has a lot to do with it because that's your biggest asset.

Also, what your portfolio looks like. Although the market has been down for the last week for the year, it's up quite a bit.

So, you're seeing home prices improve, you're seeing confidence return to people ever slightly, and people are feeling more comfortable about being able to afford this extra trip for the Labor Day weekend. KEILAR: Well, that's certainly good news. I imagine a lot of people are still being very careful about what you're spending. So should you drive or fly?

KOSIK: It depends on how far you're going to go. Many people are going to stay close to home. And the good news is, is that gas prices -- although they are still at this high level, they're at $3.53 a gallon, they're actually down almost 3 percent compared to last year around this time.

As far as being able to maybe score some deals, keep in mind that as we get closer to the Labor Day weekend, which is right around the corner, those deals with going to diminish because more and more people are going to procrastinate and book those deals. Also, you're going to see, especially with the airlines, what they wind up doing is kind of tricky. If they see they have empty seats already on the flights they are going, they'll cut the flights to try to fill those empty seats, and, of course, you're not going to be able to get the discounts.

But also, one other thing to keep in mind, many people are going to actually leave on their labor day vacation August 30th and then come back on September 2nd. So, if you're looking to book a flight, the trick may be not to book on those days, or the heavier travel days. You may be able to get a better discount.

WATSON: Alison Kosik, thanks for those travel tips. So are you going to get one last blast of the beach? No, you've got a work trip coming up, huh?

KEILAR: Sweden and Russia, I'm not complaining but it's not beach time. I'd like to get a tan --

WATSON: On Air Force One?

KEILAR: Maybe not. Maybe on a different plane, unfortunately.

But we're going to see you back here at the top of the hour, 8:00 Eastern for another hour of NEW DAY SUNDAY.

WATSON: But, first, Lyme disease under the microscope. "SANJAY GUPTA, M.D." starts right now.