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Hurricane Arthur Bears Down On Holiday; North Carolina Governor Outlines Hurricane Preps; Dow Jones Hits Record 17,000; FBI: Colorado Woman Tied To Help ISIS Terrorists; Angry Crowds Pack California Town Hall

Aired July 3, 2014 - 10:00   ET


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now in the NEWSROOM, the first hurricane of the year picks up strength. Mandatory evacuations under way in North Carolina. The governor speaking in just moments.

Also this, a Colorado teenager accused of trying to join terrorists fighting in Syria and Iraq. Was it driven by love?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there another bus coming to our city and where can I be when for this next protest to protect that bus from coming here?


HARLOW: Immigration showdown. Protesters turn back busloads of immigrants in California. Will it happen again tomorrow?

And fireworks back with a big bang. Cities that scaled back during the recession have found a way to pay for the big show this year. Would you dig into your pockets for your own 4th of July celebration?

Good morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow in for Carol Costello. Thanks so much for joining us. We begin this hour with Hurricane Arthur, churning off the coast of South Carolina as we speak. It is bearing down on 4th of July celebrations all the way up to New England. Right now, it is a Category 1 hurricane, upgraded this morning from a tropical storm, really just hours ago.

Strong enough to force evacuations along North Carolina's outer banks and deceptive enough not to be properly feared by a lot of people. The biggest danger may be the rip currents. For those who decide to ignore the warnings and wade into the surf. At any moment, North Carolina's governor will update us on the hurricane preparations there.

The first dangers are already reaching shore. We're covering all angles. We have Alina Machado in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, and also our meteorologist, Indra Petersons is in north of her in Kill Devil Hills in North Carolina. Indra, let's start with you. What are you seeing?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Right now, you know, you're talking about those rip currents that's one of those things we keep telling people. Even though the storm is not here stay out of the water. I want you show you over my shoulder so many beachgoers still here, it's the 4th of July weekend, but definitely some dangerous currents are out there.

Just to our south, Poppy, we now have a strengthening Category 1 hurricane, winds up to 80 miles per hour. It became a hurricane in the early hours this morning. Conditions here only expected to deteriorate.

As far as what I see, yes, this morning like glass conditions on the water, seeing a little rougher out there right now. The biggest thing are the winds. They keep strengthening, now about 20, 30-mile-per- hour winds and it all goes downhill from here.


PETERSONS (voice-over): In North Carolina's outer banks, cars lined up to top off at the pump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This storm is taking a trajectory that we're just kind of worried about.

PETERSONS: Mandatory evacuations beginning early this morning as Arthur strengthens, becoming a hurricane, threatening the holiday weekend for parts of the east coast.

GOVERNOR PAT MCCRORY, NORTH CAROLINA: Move. Get out. But even if you don't move, then stay away from the water as much as possible.

PETERSONS: Twenty five counties now under a state of emergency. Massive wind gusts turning water so dangerous two ship captains were ordered to dock and abandon their charter boats along the shore.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You get a storm surge that can easily bust through any part of these outer banks without much of a problem.

PETERSONS: Arthur won't stop there. Heading up the east coast the storm's looming over some of the biggest Independence Day fireworks displays. Ocean City, Maryland, postponing their 4th of July fireworks while Bostonians will enjoy their festivities a day early.

COL. TIMOTHY ALBEN, MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE: It's not optimal, we wish it were, but we have to deal with this.

PETERSONS: In D.C., the electric company says it's closely monitoring Arthur, which could produce strong, damaging wind gusts, large hail and frequent lightning, possibly delaying the iconic National Mall fireworks to Saturday. But on Wednesday, the sun was still shining in North Carolina and the beaches were full of vacationers who say their patriotic partying on the shore will go on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll ride it out, see what happens.

(END VIDEOTAPE) PETERSONS: It looks like mandatory evacuations are already in place. That's about 5:00 this morning because the outer banks is expected to take a direct hit later this evening into the early hours of tomorrow morning. Right now, still well to the south of us, about 100 miles offshore of Charleston, South Carolina, but it's progressing off to the northeast, making moving about 9 miles per hour.

The timing brings it in tonight through tomorrow morning. Likely about a little stronger, 85-mile-per-hour winds are expected as the Category 1 hurricane making its way to the northeast -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Appreciate the report from there. Indra, appreciate it. Let's take you now, going to get to Alina in a moment. A live press conference, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, listen in.

MCCRORY: -- our primary purpose is to protect the safety and health of our citizens and our visitors that especially visiting North Carolina during the 4th of July weekend. We want to keep also our public safety personnel as safe as possible. We're asking our citizens and those people who are visiting this weekend to be extremely careful so as also not to put our public safety personnel in unneeded jeopardy.

We also are letting -- want to let every citizen and visitor know please be prepared at this potential time for potential flooding in those areas that we're going to be talking about today or potential power outages or potential surges in the water, especially with regards to rip tides and the ocean.

We want you to be prepared with safety packages, the amount of water and lighting and flashlights and other things that you should have in an emergency kit. We're letting you know we are prepared. We have the best team in the United States in preparing for emergencies. We proved it during the recent ice storms and we're going to prove it again during this hurricane.

We also want to let you know that we're already taking action in preparation to have a very quick recovery and ensuring that we can get back online as quick as possible regarding utility service, water services, roads, transportation, and anything else that needs to be repaired or fixed within a very short period of time.

But again, our main issue is the health and safety of our citizens and those people who are visiting North Carolina. Right now, Hurricane Arthur is approximately 200 miles south of Wilmington. The rain and wind effects are expected to start being felt in the Wilmington area early afternoon with the outer bands of the storm expected to reach the outer banks by mid-afternoon.

The storm is expected to bring as much as 5 inches of rain to the outer banks and less than 1 inch to 3 inches of rain inland. Over wash is expected on a very, very fragile road and that's NC Highway 12 if any of you have been there. Literally outside Highway 12, you literally may have 5 to 10 yards of space between water on both sides.

So, of course, we're very concerned about Highway 12 and Secretary Tada will tell you more about that. As the hurricane moves north more counties are likely to declare a state of emergency. Several counties are already prepared to open shelters as needed and you'll be getting reports on which counties have also required mandatory evacuation and also voluntary evacuation, some which we already mentioned last night.

Our primary goal again is public safety and the state has taken pre- emptive measures to be ready. We ask that the -- our citizens and visitors in the eastern part of our state, especially along the coast and especially in the outer banks, please listen to your media outlets, weather reports and your local officials for updates in your area, have your emergency supply kits and emergency plans ready.

And if you haven't already, reference the Ready NC web site and download the smartphone Ready NC application on your iPhone or Android device. Ready NC tells you how to prepare an emergency planning kit and gives real-time regarding updates on whether, water levels, power outages, open shelters, evacuation routes, the list goes on and on.

All of this information is at the touch of your fingertip, so it's good that you update this and then the updates will be in real-time by our Emergency Management partners so you have the latest information possible. That's very, very important for us to make sure everyone has the latest information.

Of course this holiday weekend, July 4th weekend, this is one of the biggest weekends for coastal tourism in the state and we anticipate a beautiful holiday weekend after the Tropical Storm Arthur or the Hurricane Arthur is out of North Carolina. In fact, I'm planning to still go to Southport hopefully for the 4th of July parade on Friday afternoon.

But again, we're ready for anything and our major priority is to make sure we recover from this storm and deal with any public safety issues as quick as possible. The North Carolina division of tourism will have its visitors call center open 24/7 starting tomorrow through the duration of the storm.

Live operators will offer the latest information and updates at 1-800- visit-nc. That's 800-847-4862. Let's hope for the best, pray for the best, that Arthur cleans -- clears out quickly so we can all get back to celebrating our country's independence with our families and friends on North Carolina's beautiful beaches all the way from the South Carolina border up to the Virginia border.

And we have some of the best beaches in the United States of America. And I also just want to also say to everyone, stay safe. I've mentioned this before to citizens. Don't put your stupid hat on. But I also want to talk to the media. We need the media to help inform you and to inform our citizens, but I don't want the media to pull a Dan Rather on us.

You don't need to prove to the citizens that wind is powerful by standing out in the wind on a live shot. You don't need to stick your foot in the water to prove that waves are powerful and that can take you out in the ocean. HARLOW: You've been listening to a live press conference from North Carolina's Governor Pat McCrory, warning people, be smart, be safe, and take precaution. They hope that Arthur passes quickly but again, saying have your emergency kits ready, have water, and have your gas tanks filled.

Also, you know, he said that the state is prepared, their emergency responders are prepared, and they are prepared for a quick recovery once the storm passes in terms of utilities, road repair, et cetera. He did talk about the vulnerability of North Carolina's Highway 12 so severely damaged during Irene really between two waterways there, very narrow, warned about that especially.

If you're traveling in North Carolina, you want to stay off that, away from the coast, listen to the mandatory evacuations, 25 coastal adjoining counties in the state of emergency there right now.

Let's go to Alina Machado in stormy Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. You're there and we look at it and a lot of people say that doesn't look like a hurricane. We know all the way up here in New York from Sandy, these things come fast and they come strong. Are people there taking the storm seriously enough?

ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Poppy. We've been talking to people around here, people who are staying here on vacation this week and there is some anxiety among some of the tourists, people who are not used to hurricanes and even among some of the locals. The bottom line is that right now, we're in a break, but earlier today we saw one of those rain bands come through and we saw very heavy downpours, lots of wind and things change very quickly.

You can see the surf as well. Just take a look. Nobody's really in the water. There's maybe a handful of people. They should not be in there. We've been hearing from officials, they want to keep people out of the water because it's not safe. There are rip currents, there's the danger of rip currents and you can see it. The waves are pretty rough out there.

We also just saw a life guard come out, there's a red flag warning up, which means stay out of the water, and we're really just going to be keeping an eye on the situation here in Wrightsville Beach. We've seen heavy rain bands come through, some high winds and we're expecting to see that continue throughout the morning and into the afternoon -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Alina, thank you. Stay safe out there. Everyone pay attention. Do not take risks and those rip currents are a big, big danger with this one. Thanks, Alina. Appreciate it.

All right, it is a record breaker on Wall Street. Big day for the market within the last hour, the Dow hitting 17,000 just moments after the opening bell. It was pushed higher by the jobs number. The June jobs report showing 288,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy last month. That is a lot higher than expected. That is a strong number.

We're joined to discuss this, of course, the expert, Christine Romans, our chief business correspondent and Alison Kosik at the New York Stock Exchange watching the numbers for us. Christine, I mean, I think the big question here is, is this number really as strong as it appears?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Finally it is. You have a trend of five months in a row over 200,000 jobs created, Poppy and you know, the White House likes to point to this number, 1.4 million jobs created in the first six months of the year, that's the strongest first six months of the year since 1999. So that's a strong performance.

When you look at just any six-month period it's the strongest since 2006. This what is we call a trend and what I've seen in these numbers, broad-based gains. Business professional services, those tend to be higher paid jobs. He w we want to see mid and high wage jobs coming. A broader based jobs gains and that's the trend, Poppy, right there what you're seeing on your screen. Look at April, we have more than 300,000 jobs created. Finally they got that 300 number we've been waiting for so long for.

HARLOW: You know, thank you, Christine. Alison, to you, looking at the market, we were anticipating and you were saying yesterday is it going to come today? It came, 17,000. But for so many Americans, many of them struggling still to find a job, they're totally disconnected from these numbers because they don't have any exposure to the market.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. To your point, Poppy, a Gallup poll that speaks to this that says half of Americans, 52 percent, are actually invested in the stock market so, of course, if you have no skin in the game, you're not reaping the rewards, you're not feeling the effects.

Here's the thing. It's not just the fact that only half of Americans are invested, but all this good news that we're seeing on the screen, 17,000, making the headlines, all of this really doesn't register with many consumers for other reasons too. For one, their incomes. Wages, yes, they're up a bit, but they're really basically keeping pace with inflation.

You look at unemployment, although it's come down to 6.1 percent, it's still high. The reality is millions of people are still out of work. Also, what we pay for food and energy, what we pay for goods and services, all of those costs have gone up. Here's a funny example for you, not that funny if you eat a lot of it.

The price of bacon in the U.S. is up 18 percent over the past year. That's one example of one food. Gas prices today, are at six-year highs. What happens is, all of these higher prices, they hold back consumer spending. Even consumer confidence is getting better, but it's not great because people still are holding back on spending because they're not feeling that 17,000 that we're seeing on the screen right now -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Yes. You know, it's always important to look at the headline number and then look beyond it. This is a two tiered recovery. We have to go. Christine, do you think this is an inflection point? ROMANS: I think it is. When you have five months in a row like this 200,000 jobs created and the kind of confidence it's going to start to build. Companies, recruiters and CEOs say they've been so to the bone for so many years and now seeing demand come back they have to hire. The hope is they have to start to higher quickly. In parts of the economy moving for six months, eight months, Silicon Valley, anything that's engineering and IT, there are talent wars. People are making money.

HARLOW: But not everywhere. Still a long way to go. We'll take the number. Appreciate it. Christine, Alison, thank you, both.

Still to come here in the NEWSROOM, joining a terrorist group for love? The FBI says a young Colorado woman wanted to meet up with an ISIS fighter. Our Pamela Brown following the story.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Poppy, authorities saying that this woman was intent on waging Jihad overseas. We'll have more on this coming up right after this break.


HARLOW: Some live shots for you now. Look at those clouds over Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina where our Alina Machado is. We'll get back to her. Ominous signs this storm, this Hurricane Arthur is coming and it is coming fast and strong.

Meantime, a 19-year-old Colorado woman says she fell in love with a man she met on-line and wanted to travel halfway around the world to be with him. Now she's under arrest accused of trying to help terrorist groups. The FBI says Shannon Conley planned to meet up with a man a member of is the terrorist group fighting in Iraq and Syria and authorities say Conley wanted to serve as a nurse in an ISIS camp.

Our crime and justice correspondent, Pamela Brown, following the case for us this morning. Good morning, Pamela.

BROWN: Good morning to you. We're learning some new details from the unsealed criminal complaint that says this 19-year-old Denver woman's goal was to get to Syria to fight with the terrorist group, ISIS, and the FBI says it openly tried for months to dissuade her from her plans to no avail.


BROWN (voice-over): A Colorado teenager arrested and charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. The 19-year-old Shannon Maureen Conley taken into custody by the FBI as she attempted to board a plane to Turkey at the Denver international airport in April. Her goal, authorities say, to unite with a radical Islamic group, ISIS in Syria and marry a Jihadist she met on the internet.

According to a newly unsealed criminal complaint, Conley discussed her radical beliefs with federal agents over the course of an eight-month investigation, referring to U.S. military bases as targets, and telling investigators that she thought she could plan an attack on U.S. soil, but could not carry it out because she lacked the means and opportunity.

Ignoring warnings that aiding terrorists would result in her arrest, Conley told investigators she needed to go overseas to be trained in Jihad. The teenager became the subject of an FBI investigation after a pastor who feared she was planning an attack at a local church reported what he saw as suspicious activity to police.

REVEREND GEORGE MORRISON, SENIOR PASTOR, FAITH BIBLE CHAPEL: She became a little more hostile and then eventually we came here and said listen, it's just probably better that you not come back.

BROWN: According to court documents, Conley told investigators that she hates the people at the church, asserting that they think I'm a terrorist, I'll give them something to think I am. According to the complaint, agents recovered material about Jihad and al Qaeda from her house, in addition to DVDs of Anwar Al-Awlaki, the American militant killed in a drone strike in Yemen in 2011. The teenager joins a growing list of Americans who have been detained for attempting to join terrorist organizations abroad.


BROWN: And according to the criminal complaint, Conley even received military training in an effort to train Jihadists overseas about U.S. military tactics and when the FBI encouraged her to join a humanitarian aid organization instead, she allegedly said, it was not an option because it would not solve the problem of protecting Muslim lands -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Pamela Brown, live for us this morning from Washington, thank you.

Still to come here in the NEWSROOM, angry crowds greet busses filled with immigrants in a small California town. The same crowds are giving border patrol and immigration officials an earful. Our Kyung Lah is live in Marietta with more -- Kyung.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Poppy, a loud and ruckus crowd fills an auditorium with a message to D.C., don't send them here. That story coming up.


HARLOW: Let's take some -- a look at live photos now. You're seeing live images from two places in North Carolina. Wrightsville Beach and Kure Beach bracing for Hurricane Arthur. The rain coming down in Kure Beach and ominous clouds over both of those locations. We'll take you live to Wrightsville Beach where Alina Machado is in just a moment.

Meantime this, a small California town is quickly becoming a battlefield for the fight over immigration. Crowds packed in Murrieta High School auditorium last night with harsh words towards border patrol and immigration officials. More busses filled with migrants are expected there as early as tomorrow and the mayor of Murrieta says this is all about a broken system.


MAYRO ALAN LONG, MURRIETA, CALIFORNIA: Immigration happens every day in Murrieta. We have a border patrol office right here in Murrieta. No one is protesting that. What we're protesting is the product of a broken system that finally reached the doorsteps of our community.


HARLOW: Kyung Lah joining us from Murrieta right now. Good morning, Kyung. It has been quite a scene there.

LAH: It certainly has. This is the border patrol station that mayor was talking about. The station that's right here in this town. This is where the undocumented immigrants are supposed to arrive and more are expected to arrive, though we don't know exactly when and what people in this town are saying, protesters on both sides, is that this is what it looks like when federal policy fails.


LAH (voice-over): Even before the Murrieta town hall began, debate exploded in the waiting crowd.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your kids are going to get sick. Don't you guys understand that?

LAH: Inside the packed auditorium, cheers drown out any opposition to the city stand against the federal government's bussing in of undocumented immigrants. On Tuesday, a wall of protesters blocked the entrance to the Murrieta Border Patrol Station. Three busses carried 140 undocumented immigrants from Central America, many of them women and children.

They're part of an influx of migrants cramming facilities in Texas, many of them unaccompanied children. A total of 60,000 to 80,000 children without parents are expected to cross illegally this year. The federal government coping by shipping them to smaller towns like Murrieta. But Murrieta's protesters -- forced these busses to turn around. This town hall underscored, Murrieta still does not want them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is an invasion. Why is the National Guard not out there stopping them from coming in?

LONG: This is admittedly a nationwide problem and little old Murrieta has taken the lead in getting change.

LAH: In a week that's shown the uglier side of the immigration debate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Am I being detained? Am I being detained?

LAH: The small town braces for the next wave of busses, the next which could happen as soon as the 4th of July.

(END VIDEOTAPE) LAH: And we don't know if that is still going to be happening and here is why. Immigration and customs enforcement says they're no longer it telling the public when undocumented immigrants will be arriving at these border patrol stations. The reason is out of safety concerns -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Of course, Kyung Lah, reporting for us live there. Thank you for that.

Still to come here in the NEWSROOM, a very important court hearing for a Georgia father accused of killing his 22-month-old son left for seven hours in a hot car. Victor Blackwell is outside the courthouse in Atlanta where a lot of people are gathering. Good morning to you, Victor.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Poppy, good morning. Charges against this father have gained international attention and four hours before the start of today's hearing, already some are waiting outside to get a seat inside that courtroom. What should we expect? I'll tell you in just a moment.