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Hillary Clinton Endorses Terry McAuliffe In Virginia Gubernatorial Race; Four-Year-Old Girl found By Police Without Identification; Escaped Killers' Families Speak Out; Neighbors Describe Death Scene; Bugs Plague College Application Site; The Science Behind Hurricanes; Monsters from the Deep
Aired October 19, 2013 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: The whole country is watching to see if the rights of women and girls will be respected, especially over our own bodies and our health care.
CLINTON: So even if I had never met Terry and Dorothy, even if I didn't know him to be a man of uncommon generosity and goodness, I would still be supporting him for your governor because I believe that Terry has what it takes to lead Virginia forward in this rapidly changing world.
Now, I've spent four years traveling across the globe, a great honor and privilege to represent all of you and I have learned even more about what it takes to make good decisions, what it takes to bring people together, to build the kind of future that we all want for our children and grandchildren. I've seen leaders who are divisive and I've seen leaders who are unifiers. I've seen leaders who are exclusive and I've seen leaders who are inclusive.
Now, recently in Washington, unfortunately, we have seen examples of the wrong kind of leadership. When politicians choose scorched earth over common ground, when they operate in what I call the evidence-free zone --
CLINTON: -- with ideology trumping everything else, we've seen the families in Virginia and across the country have felt the consequences. Workers furloughed, businesses suffering, children thrown out of head start, poor mothers worried whether they would get the help they need to buy food and formula. That is not the kind that we need to Virginia and America today.
CLINTON: Virginia has a history of getting it right of electing problem solving governors that Mark Warner and Tim Cane who rolled up their sleeves. You know so well that both Mark and Tim reached across the aisle, focused on getting answers to the questions that Virginians had. That is the kind of leader Terry is. That is the kind of governor he will be.
For example, when Governor McDonnell worked with the legislature to make historic changes to transportation that are vital to our future, Terry was there supporting him and the legislature every step of the way. Now, some would say, well, why did you do that? He's a Republican governor, it's a Republican legislature. Real simple answer. It was the right thing to do and Terry McAuliffe did it.
CLINTON: And Terry has focused his campaign on policies that will make Virginia the most welcoming place in America for people who want to live, work, and raise a family, not just for some but for all, for women, for immigrants, for people of every race, religion, and sexual orientation. Terry will work to extend pre-k for our kids because early learning will help them succeed in school and in life.
And by the way, let's give another hand to our teachers like Kelly who works so hard every day because they believe in our kids.
Now, Terry has visited all 23 community colleges in Virginia because he knows that our young people and our not so young people need skills and jobs that allow them to compete in the global economy. He has a vision for the commonwealth. He understands how to create jobs, how to grow the economy, and how to make people feel good about the future.
And you can be sure of this, Terry will do what is right for the women of Virginia. He will stand up against attempts to restrict women's health choices and to ban common forms of birth control. You will not have to worry about that with Terry McAuliffe in the governor's office.
CLINTON: Terry McAuliffe does not have a discriminatory bone in his body. He will work to stop efforts to discriminate those for who they love. It is not only just the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do. Because if Virginia wants to keep attracting the best minds and businesses from across the world, openness and tolerance are essential.
CLINTON: They are the building blocks for a creative, dynamic, and diverse economy. So I guess you would expect me to say this, but I believe it with all my heart. Terry is running for governor for the right reasons to help all our kids have the same opportunities to succeed that he had.
When you think about why people run for office in these times, if it's only about yourself, if it's only about you wanting to get a job and get the perks that go with it and, you know, have people stand up when you come into a room, that's not enough anymore because it's hard. Politics is hard, as the lieutenant governor and attorney general candidates know, because people are wary. They are wondering, can I give this person my vote and will he then remember me? If I vote for him or her, will they do what I heard them say they will do? Will they get diverted by big money or ideology or will they remember who put them into office?
I can tell you, you don't have to worry about that with Terry McAuliffe. He wants to give every person, especially every boy and girl in this commonwealth the chance to grow up and fulfill his or her God given potential. He will work around the clock. You will never find a more energetic chief executive. There isn't anyone who will bring more enthusiasm to the task of helping you have the kind of life you are fighting for every single day for yourself and for your family. He will be a 24/7 governor for Virginia.
So we're coming down to the home stretch. I've been in a lot of elections.
CLINTON: And I know that at the end of the day it all comes down to who takes the trouble to show up and vote. Now, there was an article today in "the Washington Post" which quoted a young woman who was asked about this election and basically her answer was, well, I only vote in the presidential elections.
Well, that's just not enough anymore. When you think about all of the damage that can be done in a state, I hope each and every one of you will take it on as a personal mission to encourage the people you work with, you go to school with, you live next door to, you meet in the supermarket, wherever you are, encourage people to vote. And recognize what is at stake in this upcoming election.
Now, Terry held up this card, the get out to vote card and Dorothy told me that many of you already filled it out three or four times. But fill it out again and those of you who haven't, fill it out for the first time so that you can be part of these final days, this push to make sure that everybody who should vote for Terry, for Terry's values, for Terry's plans for the commonwealth will do so.
Now, I love saying commonwealth because, you know, that's an old word. And it is rooted in the idea that the common good should come before our personal or political interests, an old fashion idea but a really important value. It's what our founders, so many of them from right here in Virginia believe was the soul of the American experiment.
You know, when Alexis (INAUDIBLE) visited our country 200 years ago, he marveled the way that Americans came together, how we volunteer, how we help one another. He called it in a memorable phrase, our habits of the heart.
I don't think there's any other people in all of history or anywhere on the globe today who have those habits. But habits are no good if you don't exercise them. Habits are no good if they atrophy because of cynicism about what we can do together.
I have great confidence in what is available for each of us to contribute to the commonwealth and to the country that we love. Every one of us has benefited by being given the fruits of the labors of so many people who came before. We cannot let those who do not believe in America's progress hijack this great experiment and substitute for the habits of the heart suspicion, hatred, anger, anxiety, that's not who we are as a people.
Terry McAuliffe has some of the finest habits of the heart of anyone that I've ever met. It's what makes Terry the man he is and with your hard work and your help, it is what will make him a great governor. Supporting and voting for Terry McAuliffe will make you proud of yourselves, of this commonwealth, and, yes, of this country because we will have confidence, and optimism back in lead for all the values and ideas that could be generated to create the kind of future that the children, that we love and cherish, deserve.
So everybody, please, let's get out and get that vote on November the 5th.
Thank you all very much!
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All front and center there, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton there throwing a huge endorsement to the man right there, Terry McAuliffe in his run for race of governor of Virginia there. And she framed him, you know, as a man who can lead Virginia in helping to bring less divisiveness, more common ground, providing help to the needy, being an advocate for equal work, equal pay and watching the rights of women and girls and hoping that they would be respected, those rights.
Words very applicable to the state, politics there in Virginia and perhaps even on a national stage. Good friend Hillary Clinton endorsing her good friend there, Terry McAuliffe in Virginia. We are going to talk a little bit further about this.
But first, you know, Terry McAuliffe is not in this race alone for the seat of Virginia governor. His Republican opponent, Ken Cuccinelli earlier today actually gave the GOP web address and he spoke out against Obamacare. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEN CUCCINELLI (R), VIRGINIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: This gross government overreach is best exemplified in the so-called Affordable Care Act. Obamacare represents one of the largest and most reckless and expansions of government in the more than 200-year history of our nation.
I believe Obamacare is unconstitutional. I believe it's an affront to the freedoms and liberties our founding fathers fought to established on our behalf. I'm proud to say that many of those heroes were Virginians, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry.
Because I believe Obamacare was an affront to our liberty, I stood up. I was the first attorney general in America to challenge the law in federal court. And today, I continue to search for avenues to minimize Obamacare's hurtful impact on Virginians. During the debate over this --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right, Republican contender there for gubernatorial seat in Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli. It's safe to say that if not for that GOP web address, he may not be getting the same kind of national attention that his opponent, Democrat Terry McAuliffe is able to get there at a Falls Church, Virginia, in large part because of that appearance of the former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
So let's talk more about this.
Maria Cardona is with us, a CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist and Will Cain, also a CNN political commentator and conservative columnist at theblaze.com.
All right, good to see both of you.
Well, this was very interesting. Of course, yes, Hillary Clinton was talking about the state politics with her good friend Terry McAuliffe running for the Democratic seat. But is it hard, Maria, to listen to Hillary Clinton and not think about the national picture, how presidential she may or may not have looked, in your view?
MARIA CARDONA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Of course it's hard, Fred, especially after that fabulous haircut that she's sporting.
But look, clearly Hillary is somebody that she whispers and then we all try to figure out whether she will be running in 2016 because of that whisper. So no matter what she does and what she says in the next year and a half or in the next two years, at least until she decides to run for president, we're going to be slicing and dicing it to see what it means.
But I do think today she underscored several themes, and you touched upon these, Fred, that I think are really relevant to national politics and I think will actually positioned her, if she does run, as somebody who will be important in bringing Americans together. Because given what we just went through, that is what Americans are clamoring for. And at the end of the day, if she does run for president, that is clearly going to help her.
WHITFIELD: And Will, you know, clearly post government shutdown, there was some interesting word choices that Hillary Clinton used. She was talking about common ground. She talked about an evidence- free zone. You know, she says it's something that's hard to find because she said in so many arguments people are following ideology and not necessarily delivering the goods. She talked about the openness and tolerance that are essential. ' How do you dissect, how do you evaluate her positioning today, how she was framing her support for Terry McAuliffe but at the same time very much emanating, very much emanating her own personal views on so many topics? WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, most of it I chalk up to just cliches that people spout on the campaign trail. Look, honestly, things like coming together, who doesn't say, let's come together? Who doesn't say, hey, let's all work together towards a common goal. I mean, there may have been a shutdown in the past two months but the point of the shutdown wasn't, we should all separate, go our separate ways. It was a technique in persuasion, one that didn't work very well. But that's all a platitude, let's come together.
What I do think and what you might be leading for is many of the themes you heard Hillary Clinton espouse on that stage just now in Virginia will be similar themes we'll hear three years from now. The reason I know this is because I heard them one year ago. Does the war on women mean it's the protection of women's rights? It remains abstract. I assume she's talking about some of the abortion bills that have come up in Virginia. But you know, it's funny how every four years there's a massive war on women and then in the intervening years, not so much.
CARDONA: Well, we'll see. We will see in 2014 if a lot of those issues come up. I think that will probably hopes that they won't because they were very damaging to Republican candidates in 2012. And you know, the war on women and all of these women issues may be obscure for Will, but for a lot of women in this country, they actually did hit home and it's one of the big reasons why Obama was re-elected and one of the big reasons why many Republican candidates were vastly defeated. And so, yes, it will be an issue as long as Republicans try to keep women from making the decisions that they need to make about their bodies, plain and simple.
WHITFIELD: And you know, I wonder, Will, if this is a testing of the waters for Hillary Clinton or perhaps not. Can she be too much over saturating, you know, the airwaves or, you know, public appearances or endorsements before even articulating whether she is, indeed, running?
CAIN: She could be, yes. That could happen to her. But I don't think she's doing it. This is kind of a rare appearance for Hillary Clinton. We don't see that much of her right now. And look, we're three years out. Does that mean -- do we need to be reminded of this? It's 2013. We're talking about a 2016 election.
CARDONA: We were doing that last year. Everybody was.
CAIN: Hillary Clinton is very aware of the fact that she doesn't need to be overexposed for the next three years. Any lessons we try to take from governance today will not, will the shutdowns have any impact on Rubio, Paul or any of the Republicans that might have been involved in this or will it shine, you know, favorably on Hillary Clinton, the answer is, can you name for me the number one news issue three years ago today?
WHITFIELD: All right, Will Cain, Maria Cardona, we have to leave it right there. Everybody knows the next race begins after the one just ended. So, it is --
CARDONA: Right now.
WHITFIELD: All right, thanks so much, Will and Maria.
CARDONA: You, too.
WHITFIELD: All right, trying to solve a mystery in Greece. Police find a young girl living with a couple who claim to be her parents but testing reveals that they are not actually related. We'll have the latest on that story straight ahead.
WHITFIELD: Greek authorities are looking for help in solving a mystery. They are trying to identify a little blond girl who was found outside Athens. Well, the couple who claimed to be her parents, but investigators say they have evidence that the man and woman are no relation to that child. And they want to know who this child really is.
Atika Shubert who is following the case for us and joins us with more on this.
Atika, how are they going to go about trying to figure out where her biological family might be?
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they've put out an appeal and THEY distributed her photo hoping that someone might recognize this little girl. But it's going to be tough because they suspect that she may have been abducted as a baby. So, obviously, recognizing her now will be tough. And, of course, she can't give them any information about her biological parents, anything about where she may have been born or to which family.
So, it is a tough job. But they are hoping that somebody somewhere may have some information and will be able to call in to help line for missing children and Europe or to the charity where she is now being taking care of. It is called the smile of a child. That is Greek charity there.
But it is a tough job. And one of the reasons that they do suspect that she may have been abducted is because this couple, that claimed to be her parents, had 14 other children, six of whom they claimed were born in a ten-month span. So clearly, the numbers are just not adding up for this couple.
WHITFIELD: And then Atika, what do we know about the condition of this little girl? Earlier I spoke to a representative of that smile of a child and he said that physically and psychologically the girl was in a bad way. How much more do we know about that?
SHUBERT: We don't have too many more details. But we do know that when police and the prosecutors that were sighted her, founded her, they said that she didn't seem to be in the best condition, that she seemed sort of de-shelved, you know, living in great poor conditions and seemed to be very frightened but shell shock, I think was the term that they used. So she's in the care of a charity now and she does have a police psychologist that is trying to help her ease and easing to feel more settled. But all of this is obviously going to be very traumatizing for a little 4-year-old girl.
WHITFIELD: All right, Atika Shubert, thanks so much. Keep us posted on any new developments.
All right, back in this country. Two convicted killers who walked away from a Florida prison are still on the loose. We'll tell you what happened and what's being done to try to get them back in jail.
But first, we're shining a spotlight on the top ten CNN heroes of 2013. And you can vote for the one who inspires you the most at CNNheroes.com. This week's honoring spent 13 years delivering babies until a back injury forced her to stop. Well now, she's found a new way to bring babies and mothers safely through child birth and she calls it the solar suitcase.
DR, LAURA STACHEL, CNN HERO: There's a traditional African saying that when you become pregnant, you have one foot in the grave. There are so many women dying in childbirth in many communities. Pregnancy is feared.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the last month recorded four women actually died of pregnancy complications.
STACHEL: When I went to Africa, I saw these women, one after another, coming in with complications and we didn't even have adequate light to treat them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome to the world, (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the lights just went out.
STACHEL: A lot of the clinics don't have any electricity. Midwives use kerosene lanterns, they may use candle. They use their cell phones to deliver babies. Once I witnessed the things that I saw, I had to do something about it.
My name is Dr. Laura Stachel. I'm helping provide a simple and reliable solar lightning and power source so that mothers and babies can be saved during childbirth.
Hospitals and clinics received the solar suitcase for free.
So the charge controller is very important. Solar suitcase provides medical quality lighting. It charges cell phones. It has a small battery charger for head lamps and for some fetal Doppler that we include.
Perfect. That's it.
Mothers are easier to come to the clinics. It's shifted the morale of the health care worker.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This light is going to bring good changes. It keeps me going.
STACHEL: There you go.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much.
STACHEL: I really want a world where women and their families get to celebrate birth and I would love to be part of making that happen.
WHITFIELD: Just last hour, the families of two escaped killers spoke out.
Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins walked away from a Florida prison with forged documents. They are still on the loose and officials are offering a $10,000 reward each for their arrests. They have been free for a while but authorities only learned of their escape this week.
Nick Valencia joins me live now from Caravel, Florida.
So, Nick, what more could be said about the investigation and how the families of these inmates -- how they are feeling? What they are saying?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they made it a point to say that they had nothing to do with the escape of either one of these inmates. We heard from both families of Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins. First at the microphone was the mother of Walker who said that she did not conceal her son's whereabouts from the public or authorities. They even attended a church service together.
But, Fred, she was very emotional in her plea going so far as to beg for the return and -- for her son to turn himself back in. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LILLIE DANZY, CHARLES WALKER'S MOTHER: We love you, we believe in you, we just want you to surrender yourself to someone who you trust who will bring you back in safely. We don't want any harm to come to you. I know you are a man of faith. You have a strong family bond and strong family values and I know who you are. You know who you are. I just want you home safely, son. Please come home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: We also heard from the self-described father figure of Joseph Jenkins and he said that he picked up Jenkins right here from this correctional facility on September 27th when he got out, drove him back to the Orlando area where they took him to his grandmother's house, his mother's house, and eventually back to their own home. They had a birthday party set up for him on his birthday on October 1st but he was a no-show and that's the last time they say they saw him.
As far as the investigation is concerned, Fred, we also heard from sheriff deputies who said they still believe that these two men are in the Florida area and perhaps even more specifically in that Orlando, Orange County area -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Nick Valencia, thank you so much.
All right. In Utah, did a wealthy doctor kill his beauty queen wife to live happily ever after with his mistress or did heart problems cause his wife's death?
The trial for Martin MacNeill started this week and we'll break down exactly what happened in court next.
WHITFIELD: A former doctor is on trial right now in Provo, Utah, accused of drugging and drowning his wife so that he could be with his mistress? Well, yesterday neighbors described what they saw and heard after Michele MacNeill's lifeless body was found in the bathtub.
Here's Jean Casarez.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: Fred, prosecutors on Friday took the jury into the master bathroom of the MacNeill home. What they actually did was bring a tub and put it in the center of the courtroom and then neighbor after neighbor testified on how they saw an unresponsive Michele MacNeill in that bathtub and what it was actually like to be right next to the frantic now defendant Dr. Martin MacNeill.
CASAREZ (voice-over): Neighbor Kristi Daniels described the tragic moments after Michele MacNeill was found unresponsive in her bathtub. She had been summoned to the home by the MacNeill's youngest daughter Ada.
KRISTI DANIELS, NEIGHBOR: I could hear Martin yelling that he needed help but I started running and went into the house and followed Martin's voice and when I came in to the bathroom, I could tell that we needed to call 911 so I said I'll call 911 and he said I've already called 911.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have here in front of us the bathtub.
CASAREZ: Prosecutors brought in a bathtub, similar to the one found in the MacNeill home so they could demonstrate how Michele was found. Daniels says she was lying face up, her head at the faucet, her feet inside the tub with her husband draped over her head. She said there wasn't any water in the tub.
Neighbor Angie Aguilar was also in the bathroom and said Martin didn't appear to be making any real effort to revive his wife.
ANGELA AGUILAR, NEIGHBOR: I don't remember him actually blowing into her mouth. I don't. And I did not see him actually put his mouth on her mouth.
CASAREZ: Prosecutors say MacNeill forced his wife to have a facelift, supplying her with several different drugs, all so he could be with his mistress. MacNeill is charged with murder and obstruction of justice in the death of his wife. The defense says she died of natural causes.
For months leading up to his wife's death, Martin MacNeill was telling friends and neighbors that he had a life-threatening disease and didn't have long to live. At the church of Latter Day Saints where he was a Sunday school teacher, he told the congregation.
AGUILAR: He had cancer and that he was preparing Michele to take over the financials, that -- and it was a very heartfelt, tearful lesson.
CASAREZ: Just days after Michele died, Daniels ran into Martin MacNeill in their driveway.
DANIELS: He told me that she died of some kind of heart problem. The doctor had called, they had a conference call with the family and make sure that the family knew that it was nobody's fault, that it was just all natural. And then I -- and I asked him -- well -- yes. I asked him, so, Martin, how are you doing? Because I heard that, you know, you only have like six months to live? And he said something to the effect of, you know, don't write me off yet.
CASAREZ: In fact, MacNeill was already introducing his mistress around town saying she was the new nanny.
DOUGH DANIELS, NEIGHBOR: You know, at first it was very vague and then we'd learned that she was the nanny and so we just had conversations both with Jillian and with Martin about how the kids were doing or whatnot, and then eventually as everybody could tell that their relationship was more than that as to whether or not they were getting married.
CASAREZ: The next witnesses to take the stand, an officer from the Pleasant Grove, Utah, Police Department, the fire chief, and also paramedics, all trying to save the life of Michele MacNeill.
Fred, back to you.
WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks so much, Jean.
The MacNeill trial is just one of the stories Don Lemon will look at in a CNN special called "MAKING THE CASE" tonight at 8:00 Eastern Time. Don and a group of legal analysts will break down the top crime stories of the week.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WHITFIELD: We're learning that a Web site that's supposed to make it easier to apply to college is actually making it harder. It's called Common App. And hundreds of students are reporting problems with the popular college application Web site.
Let's check in with CNN's Alina Machado to find out what's wrong and what's being done to fix it.
ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, this is perhaps the most stressful time of the year for so many college hopefuls as they wrap up their applications and this year many of them are now dealing with added anxiety thanks to some issues with a popular Web site designed to facilitate the process.
MACHADO (voice-over): Every time she's tried to log on to Common App this week --
MARIA VOSS, HOLY SPIRIT PREP: I enter my e-mail and it says there's no account with this e-mail.
MACHADO: Maria Voss says she's gotten an error message keeping her off the site.
(On camera): And when that happened, what did you think?
VOSS: I was kind of in a panic mode because I wanted to get these deadlines. I have a few essays to finish writing. A few recommenders to send off. And I couldn't go on.
MACHADO (voice-over): Common App is supposed to simplify the college application process by allowing students like Voss to use the same form to apply to several schools at once. Harvard, the California Institute of Technology, and Georgia Tech are among the more than 500 colleges and universities that use the nonprofit service.
Just last year, Common App says it processed hundreds of thousands of applications. This year the site has been plagued with technical glitches that are leaving some high school seniors desperate for answers.
LINDSEY DEAN, DIRECTOR AT COLLEGE COUNSELING, HOLY SPIRIT PREP: There should be struggle when it comes to putting four years on a piece of paper but to struggle with technical issues is somewhat difficult to explain to them.
MACHADO: Comments about the technical problems has flooded Common App's Facebook page. On Twitter, Common App users are venting. One person tweeted, "I'm never going to be able to apply to college," and included this image of the Common App site.
(On camera): Several universities are trying to ease anxiety by changing their early admissions deadlines. In Atlanta, Georgia Tech moved its early action deadline from October 15th to October 21st after being flooded with calls from concerned students. RICK CLARK, DIRECTOR OF ADMISSION, GEORGIA TECH: We are not going to let technology punish a student for something that's outside of their control. If that means extending a deadline, we're going to do that.
MACHADO (voice-over): On its Facebook page, Common App attributed some of the issues to, quote, "a spike in activity." The organization says it is working to fix the glitches and offers suggestions for users having trouble.
VOSS: It just worked. Oh. OK then. I guess you guys are good luck.
MACHADO: Back in Atlanta, Voss was eventually able to log on in front of us getting one step closer to submitting her college applications.
(On camera): What do you think that moment is going to be like?
VOSS: Relief. Relief.
MACHADO: Georgia Tech says they've seen some problems with data center from Common App. They've had instances where names are mismatched with essays as well as applications that have multiple names on them but the school says they are double-checking the applications. They are also working with Common App to fix these problems -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right. Fingers crossed for them. Alina Machado, thanks so much.
An asteroid just passed by earth but it's expected to return in 19 years. So what might happen then? Could it strike?
WHITFIELD: NASA scientists are always on the watch for asteroids and one just brushed past the earth 11 days ago. The space rock about a quarter of a mile in diameter missed by about 4 million miles, but NASA says it will make another pass in 2013.
The movie "Gravity" depict some more realistic danger, one that comes from man-made space junk and small asteroids that threaten things like the International Space Station, so the key is to keep a close watch on space and I talked to a meteorite expert about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DENTON EBEL, AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY: We meaning NASA- funded researchers are building telescopes on -- in Hawaii that will actually be able to give us some notice of objects of this size and we have a mandate, astronomers -- meteorite people that study meteorites have a mandate from Congress to go after and find in space all of the objects that are greater than about 140 meters in diameter, which would include this particular object.
Luckily the Ukrainian astronomers were on watch and they found this object and were able to see it coming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Ebel says the real danger is from the ones that are too small to see like the meteor that crashed in Russia back in February.
All right, back in the spring scientists were predicting it would be a busy hurricane season and then after Superstorm Sandy last year some fear this could be a devastating season, so what happened to those predictions?
Karen Maginnis takes a look at the science behind hurricane season.
KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST (voice-over): From the air the damage continues to leave many in awe, and from the ground the personal stories of struggle are a constant.
HARRY SMITH, SEASIDE HEIGHTS CITY COUNCILMAN: This is heartbreaking. I've lived here my whole life, I'm, like, a fourth generation here and like I said this whole is devastating.
MAGINNIS: That was a year ago after Superstorm Sandy slammed into the northeastern United States. Today the Atlantic hurricane season has been a dud. Take a look at the numbers. Only two hurricanes had formed in the Atlantic this year and neither one has been a major hurricane. A category 3 or greater. So what's the science behind the lack of hurricanes this year?
MARSHALL SHEPHERD, UGA SCIENTIST: That's going to be the question of the season and I think there are a couple of culprits. There's been quite a bit of wind shear in the upper atmosphere. Hurricanes don't like wind shears.
MAGINNIS: Experts also say a combination of dry air and dust from western Africa could also suppress hurricane development.
SHEPHERD: It's a bit odd to have a lack of activity relatively speaking in both Pacific and the Atlantic, and so many people think there may be some type of atmospheric mode like the El Nino or the arctic oscillation. Similar our methods for projecting seasonal forecasts may not handle those very well.
MAGINNIS: But with six weeks remaining in hurricane season, there's still plenty of time for storms to develop. And the factors that could have inhibited development earlier in the season may weaken or even disappear. It only takes one storm to make it a devastating season. Two of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic basin, Hurricane Wilma and Mitch, occurred in mid to late October.
SHEPHERD: I will remind viewers that Superstorm Sandy or Hurricane Sandy happened on October 29th or so, we're not even to that yet. So we do have to keep our guard up.
(END VIDEOTAPE) WHITFIELD: Wow. Thanks so much to Karen Maginnis for that.
All right, a shark gets a little too close for comfort. Check it out.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's checking me out. Whoa. Oh, my god, right under the board.
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WHITFIELD: Whoa. This is just one of many close encounters on the California coast this week. More scary fish stories straight ahead.
WHITFIELD: Something fishy is happening on the California coast.
CNN's Casey Wian has the story of close encounters with some strange creatures.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It started when a snorkeler came across this 18-foot creature that's likely an example of what ancient mariners called sea serpents.
JIM DINES, NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, L.A. COUNTY: They seem kind of sea monster-ish and so it catches a lot of attention and it's exciting for the scientists, too.
WIAN: Normally found only in the deep ocean, this oarfish was in just 15 feet of water off Catalina Island. Two days later this bizarre looking mammal washed ashore across the channel on Venice Beach. It's believed to be a rare saber-toothed Stejneger's beaked whale. It's usually found in much colder waters and almost unheard of in southern California.
NICK FASH, EDUCATION SPECIALIST, HEAL THE BAY: They're never seen around here and to have something this unique wash up which is a once- in-a-lifetime so far experience for me was a real treat.
WIAN: Manhattan beach surfers are used to seeing great white sharks but not this many.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I've been seeing an abnormally high quantity of great white sharks out here lately, so I figured I'd take a stand- up paddleboard out, put my go-pro camera on my head, and see if I could get some footage.
WIAN: Did he ever.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED). He's checking me out. Whoa. Oh, my god, right under the board. Oh, my god, look at that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) shaking like a leaf.
WIAN: So what's going on here?
ALEX ARONOFF, BEACH GOER: I'd say something along the lines of a global climate change. The temperature of the ocean currents are definitely changing up a bit.
COURTNEY BELLIG, BEACH GOER: I don't know. It sounds scary, though, especially with the great whites. I have four little kids out here and I tell them not to go in the water.
WIAN (on camera): Scarier for southern Californians than any shark sighting is a theory about the oarfish. Japanese legend holds that oarfish actually beach themselves to warn of an impending earthquake.
(Voice-over): And, in fact, dozens of them did just that in Japan about a year before the devastating Fukushima quake and tsunami in 2011.
DINES: Usually there is some truth behind every legend. In that particular instance, I don't know, it seems a little farfetched.
WIAN: Scientists don't know why all of this is happening. For now the Catalina oarfish has been dissected, cut in pieces and frozen, so its flesh can be boiled off later and its skeleton reconstructed and mounted. I wonder if that will keep the earthquakes away.
Casey Wian, CNN, Los Angeles.
WHITFIELD: Wow. Casey, thank you so much for bringing us that. He has some very freakish stuff out there.
All right. We're going to have much more straight ahead in the newsroom, no freaky stuff coming up, with Don Lemon, though.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, you don't know me, my dear.
WHITFIELD: Oh, please. Yes, I do.
LEMON: How are you, Miss Whitfield?
WHITFIELD: I'm being facetious. Anyway, oh, I'm doing good. How are you?
LEMON: I'm doing great. You look lovely. I love the necklace. I love the dress. Everything. You're getting younger by the minute. How would one do that?
WHITFIELD: I don't know. Is that true? OK. I'll take it. That's nice, thank you. LEMON: Yes. Always a pleasure to see you, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Good to see you, too.