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Tariq Khdeir Now Free From Israeli Jail; Italian Authorities Release Dramatic Underwater Footage Of Costa Concordia; Remembering "Seinfeld;" Remembering Asiana Flight 214; Federal Highway Funds Will Dry Up Soon; Tensions Rising Across Middle East; Former NFL Star Aaron Hernandez And His Legal Team Head Back To Court
Aired July 6, 2014 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We have much more straight ahead in the NEWSROOM and it all starts right now.
Hello again. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. The stories are topping the news this hour.
An American teenager is now free from an Israeli jail. This is the same teen who says he was beaten by Israeli security forces. The beating was caught on video and has sparked outrage around the world.
CNN's Ben Wedeman has the story. And I do want to caution you that some of the images in this report are graphic.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, Jerusalem was relatively quiet today but the atmosphere remains very tense. One bit of good news, a 15-year-old Palestinian American boy was released from Israeli police custody but that's not the end of the story.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Two black eyes and a swollen lip, 15-year-old Tariq Khdeir leaves Jerusalem's magistrate court free on bail.
So how do you feel now that you're out?
TARIQ KHDEIR, 15-YEAR-OLD: I feel way better.
WEDEMAN: Images caught on cell phone Thursday evening shows Israeli police punching and kicking the Tampa, Florida, native on the ground, his hands bound behind his back. His parents say he was taking part but not throwing rocks in protest sparked by the discovery of the burned body of his cousin, Mohammed Abu Khdeair, widely believed to have been killed by Israeli extremists in revenge for kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank last month.
Israeli police continue to investigate Tariq's involvement in the protests. He remains under house arrest for nine days not in the family home but rather in a relative's home in an adjacent neighborhood of (INAUDIBLE).
What do you think of the decision of the court?
SUHA ABU KHDEIR, TARIQ'S MOTHER: I'm not really happy. He hasn't been charged with anything. He hasn't been accused of anything. Not charged with anything. And have him on house arrest out of his own home and plus they're making us pay a fine. I am going to --
WEDEMAN: You'll pursue charges against the police who beat him?
S. KHDEIR: Yes, we will. Definitely.
WEDEMAN: The Israeli justice ministry launched a probe into the incident. Tariq's father, Salan, has scant faith in the process.
Are you confident that the investigation will be fair?
SALAM EDDEIME ABU KHDEIR, TARIQ'S FATHER: With history, no.
WEDEMAN: As that investigation moves forward, the police have arrested several Israeli Jews for questioning in connection to the abduction and murder of the 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeair indicating it may well have been a politically motivated revenge killing and more fuel for the fire -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right. Thank you, Ben.
Again, this teenager is American born and that has triggered a response from Washington.
Sunlen Serfaty is at the White House for us with more reaction.
So far we have heard from the U.S. state department in diplomatic terms language is everything. How strong is the wording of the reaction?
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, no parsing of words necessary here. This was a very strongly worded statement sent out by the state department.
Jen Psaki, the spokeswoman for the state department says quote "we are profoundly troubled by reports that he was severely beaten while in police custody and strongly condemn any excessive use of force. We're calling for a speedy, transparent and credible investigation and full accountability for any excessive use of force."
Now today, the Israeli ambassador called the U.S. video -- excuse me, called the video very disturbing and he says that that's not something that Israel will accept. But he also went on to say that the teenager might have been more involved in prompting this attack than his family would like to think.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RON DERMER, ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO UNITED STATES: We condemn excessive use of force. It's unacceptable in our system. I will tell you from what I understand of the facts of the case, this is not an innocent bystander pulled off a school yard. He was with six other people. They wear mask. They through Petro bombs and Molotov cocktails at our police. Three of them had knives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERFATY: And this incident, of course, follows a week with so much tension and so much violence and today the state department says that all sides should take steps to restore the calm in the region -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: And this young man is from the Tampa, Florida, area. Any kind of reaction coming from his community, his neighborhood?
SERFATY: Absolutely. The reaction came quickly yesterday. We saw vigils on the side of the highway. People waving signs saying bring our brother home. Obviously the tension of this moment comes in his hometown. Anger and sadness from his family as well. They describe him as a typical American teenager. They say that he's someone that likes to take selfies, go fishing and play soccer. So a lot of sadness in that area today.
WHITFIELD: All right. Sunlen Serfaty, thanks so much. Keep us posted from the White House. Appreciate it.
And this terrifying moment caught on camera as a swimmer is bitten by a great white shark.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He got bit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's not good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Pretty hard to see there but fire officials say it was a seven-foot shark that was hooked on a fishing line when a group of distance swimmers swam right by and one man, Steve Robles was bitten as this shark was trashing, as how he described it, and it was bitten right in his torso. You can actually hear him screaming for help on the video. A paddle boarder and other swimmers and surfers were nearby and helped him get out of the water.
And a photographer actually snapped this photo right on the beach as people rushed to get Steven to paramedics. He's been released from the hospital and is recovering at home today. I actually spoke with Steven Robles last hour and he said he still very much shaken up. You could hear in his voice. He told me how it all happened and what he did throughout.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVEN ROBLES, BITTEN BY SHARK: I saw this fish, the shark surfacing at the bottom of the ocean and coming up to the top of the water. I saw it coming real close to me and then it turned at a very sharp left turn and lunged right at my chest. I felt the shark biting into me and I was, like, oh my God. This is it. Oh my God. I'm going to die. This is really it. And I just -- I said, no, I'll get this thing off me. I grabbed its nose and fortunately it let go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Wow. Steven Robles said thankfully, the shark's bite wasn't too deep so he didn't need stitches but he's still not sure if he'll be ready to get back into the water any time soon.
Donald Sterling just made the sale of the L.A. Clippers a lot more complicated with a last-minute legal move. Where the case heads now coming up.
WHITFIELD: The case to sell the L.A. Clippers may be going to the federal level. Tomorrow Donald Sterling will try to convince a judge that his estranged wife had no right to take his name off the family trust and it's a little unclear when the sale could go through.
CNN's Alexandra Field has more on what's next for the Sterlings.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Sterling and Shelly Sterling set to face off in a Los Angeles courtroom. A $2 billion deal to sell the L.A. Clippers hanging in the balance. At issue, Shelly's takeover of the Sterling family trust which owns the team and her subsequent decision to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer. A deal she struck after doctors she engaged declared Donald Sterling mentally unfit.
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The doctors she bought and paid for in order to evaluate him just that, bought and paid for doctors and did his wife follow the proper procedures and procedure protocols to remove him from the trust. And so I think you'll see that battle really develop in a courtroom.
FIELD: A provision in the sterling family trust allows one spouse to take over if the other spouse is deemed mentally incapacitated. Donald's attorneys question the validity of the medical examinations. In argument, Shelly's attorneys call baseless.
JACKSON: I think Shelly sterling win goes a long way for finality. We can move on with our lives and her loss, boy, oh, boy, it invites litigation that could last a pretty long time.
FIELD: Following that infamous rant toward alleged mistress V. Stiviano, the NBA banned Donald Sterling for life. They fined him $2.5 million and they gave Sterling September 15th deadline to sell the team.
RICK HORROW, SPORTS BUSINESS ANALYST: The bottom line is NBA really wants this to be done for a lot of reasons. Certainty, increasing the value of everybody's franchise at over $2 billion, certainly that sale price raises all boats on this issue. FIELD: Ballmer's blockbuster $2 billion deal, the biggest in league's
history, expires July 15th with the possibility of a one month extension. Nearing deadlines now adding pressure to an increasingly complicated legal battle.
FIELD: A lot more to breakdown here, Fred.
First of all, we should point out that a source tells CNN that Donald's attorneys that had him evaluated by a doctor and those doctors say that Donald is mentally fit.
Now, the next wrinkle in this case because there are a lot of them is the fact that Donald's attorneys now say that this court should move past the state level and that it should be heard in federal court. They say that's because Donald's privacy rights were violated when his diagnosis was made public. At this point though, it's not really clear what kind of impact that could have on probate trial which is expected to begin tomorrow in Los Angeles and should last over the next four days, Fred.
WHITFIELD: My goodness. So Alexandra, what happens if all of this is not figured out resolved by the NBA deadline which is later on this month, right?
FIELD: Yes, don't we all want to know? Steve Ballmer, particularly, he has the one who has this contract to buy the team by July 15th. If he can extend it for another month, he could see him take legal action if the sale doesn't go through and NBA has set that September 15th deadline. At this point it appears they could go ahead in trying to force a sale then and then just put that money in escrow while this legal battles continue, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Alexandra Field, thanks so much in New York.
All right, disgraced former NFL star Aaron Hernandez and his legal team are due back in court this week. The ex-New England Patriots player faces two different murder charges including the execution style playing of his friend last year, Odin Lloyd last year.
Susan Candiotti has following the story. What is happening, Susan?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Fred, accused murderer Aaron Hernandez is expected in court twice in the coming days to challenge prosecutors and the New England Patriots.
CANDIOTTI (voice-over): Aaron Hernandez flashes an occasional smile while his lawyers fight tooth and nail to drop a first-degree murder charge in the execution style murder of Odin Lloyd. Hernandez pleaded not guilty.
JAMIE SULTAN, DEFENSE LAWYER: I think that the grand jury could find based on throwing out inferences as they must be drawn (INAUDIBLE) that Mr. Hernandez was present when Mr. Lloyd was killed. Yes. I think they have enough to say that. But that is not enough to make him a voluntary, deliberate participant in that killing.
CANDIOTTI: The defense also wants a judge to throw out evidence seized from Hernandez's home arguing the search warrant was not properly served. That could include Hernandez's own home security video which shows Hernandez holding what prosecutors believe is the murder weapon. It's never been found.
On Monday, the trial judge is also expected to rule on a defense request to move Hernandez to a different jail so he can be closer to his lawyers. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to assaulting a fellow prisoner where he is now.
On Wednesday, the defense is taking aim at the New England patriots. Hernandez wants a court subpoena to force his old team to turn over any medical and psychological information that "may bear upon his physical and mental state prior to Lloyd's murder."
CANDIOTTI: Legal experts say this indicates his lawyers might be considering a diminished capacity defense meaning he didn't know right from wrong -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Thank you so much, Susan Candiotti.
Testimony could wrap up tomorrow in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. A sports doctor who treated the blade runner will be on the stand again. He testified last week that Pistorius was shooting to kill the night he killed Reeva Steenkamp. But also, that his disability has had a very negative effect on his life. Pistorius admitted to shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, but he says he thought she was an intruder. There are no juries in South Africa so this final decision will be up to the judge.
Tensions on the rise in the Middle East from Iraq to Israel where witnessing conflicts, wars, death and destruction all of that taking place. What should the U.S. do? We'll seek some answers next.
WHITFIELD: Tensions are rising across the Middle East. Palestinians and Israelis are fighting. U.S. military advisers are in Iraq as militants march to Baghdad. In Egypt, police are fighting opposition supporters and jailing journalists. And the Syrian civil war rages on with more than 100,000 killed. Will these countries repair themselves or will the U.S. have to engage?
Eric Ham is a political and national security analyst and contributor to "the Hill" newspaper. Good to see you. He also chairs the fragile state strategy group in Washington.
All right. Welcome from Memphis.
ERIC HAM, POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST/CONTRIBUTOR, THE HILL: Thanks for having me. Great to be here.
WHITFIELD: Thanks so much. Well, you say, especially since you're interrupting your family reunion I understand in while vacationing there in Memphis, so I'm glad we can make it happen. So you say the problem is that there are 60 fragile states around the world but what is most worrisome to you about the handful in the Middle East, countries including Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iraq, why?
HAM: Well, the biggest problem is you have these states and because you've got a large number of youth with no opportunities, unemployment going through the roof, there isn't enough infrastructure as to where we can place these people and so it makes it a fertile breeding ground for terrorism.
And of course when you look at a place like Iraq where you have ISIS that's raging throughout the country, the question becomes what can we do to contain the threat and particularly with ISIS knocking on the door in Jordan. It's very imperative that the U.S. began to look for a response should ISIS decide to advance in countries like Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
WHITFIELD: So if your book, "the GOP civil war," you have a chapter on the U.S. role in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. You say people are looking for leadership in the Middle East but how influential does the U.S. need to be in those cases?
HAM: That's a really good question. I'm glad you asked that about the book. And even though the book talks about domestic politics, there's a huge chapter on foreign policy because foreign policy -- what happens overseas will eventually, you know, happen at our doorsteps. And so, we need to make sure that we take these challenges on.
One of the glaring problems that the U.S. is confronting and hasn't been able to address is we simply don't have a comprehensive strategy as to how to address state fragility particularly in the Middle East. The Middle East is burning but the U.S. has yet to begin to look at how do we begin to put these countries back together?
WHITFIELD: Should it be the duty of the U.S. because isn't that what some of the criticism has been, you know, from the world stage? And sometimes the U.S. tries to be the policing, you know, the police of the world and that it shouldn't be -- the onus shouldn't be on the U.S. to be involved and engaged in stabilizing or helping to change or alter countries that are in trouble.
HAM: That's a good question. And because the United States has played a role, what we don't see is a comprehensive plan. We see leading from behind in Libya. We see red lines in Syria. We see a hands off approach in places like Tunisia. But we don't see is a coherent comprehensive plan for what the steps should be. And so what that does is it kind of muddles the waters in terms of what the U.S. plan and strategy is going forward.
And I think that's one of the major tensions particularly with our allies is they really don't know, really don't understand where the U.S. will be. Will we stand with them or what our plan will be in those countries when terrorism comes knocking at the door.
WHITFIELD: Eric Ham, thanks so much from Memphis.
HAM: Thank you so much.
WHITFIELD: Still to come, an absolutely classic men's final at Wimbledon. Courage, heart and heartache. It was all there at centre court.
WHITFIELD: All right, bottom of the hour now. Welcome back. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Here are top stories crossing the CNN news desk right now.
It's been eight days since the pregnant wife of a marine went missing. Erin Corwin was on the way to a national park near her home in Southern California when she disappeared. Corwin's husband reported her missing the next day. A spokeswoman for the San Bernardino county sheriff's office called the circumstances of the 19-year-old's disappearance suspicious.
And a fire that killed a New York City firefighter is under investigation. Fourteen-year veteran Lieutenant Gordon Embelus (ph) got trapped while searching for victims last night in a Brooklyn high- rise. The married father of two was honored last month for helping to save a 7-year-old boy.
And another bouncy device flies away right there. This time it was an inflatable slide. It took off in a gust of wind as people celebrated Independence Day at a carnival in Nevada. The slide had just passed a safety inspection. No one was inside the slide but several people on the ground were injured.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: That unforgettable line from one of America's most unforgettable movies "Forest Gump," it hit theaters 20 years ago today. Tom Hanks said it took him less than a couple hours after reading the script to sign on as the lead in that film which today remains as a cultural icon. And that's all I have to say about that.
All right. There is some brilliant tennis playing at Wimbledon centre court today. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic meeting in the men's final. Federer going for a record eight Wimbledon title.
Max Foster has the rest of the tale from here.
So Max, this was an incredible match, wasn't it?
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It really was. That seems to pot cash he won here a few years ago, you remember. He says it's one of the greatest matches of modern times. It was amazing to see Federer sort of fight back championship points in the fourth set but then he finally did succumb to Djokovic right at the end of the fifth set.
An incredible match. Everyone here very much behind Federer, actually. But in the end, really cheering on Djokovic because it was a well deserved win. Djokovic hasn't won a major grand slam in more than a year so imagine his relief to win here. He now has seven grand slams under his belt putting him on par with McEnroy no less. So he has rise up there. Although, Federer in total has won 17. So he still has some way to go.
It was interesting to see Federer, you know. We're told he's old at the age of 32, nearly 33. But actually, he is still out there and he is expected to come back again next year, Fredricka. So, a really great day of tennis. Great two weeks-worth of Wimbledon as well.
WHITFIELD: Yes. It really was very exciting. And people really on the edge of their seat, weren't they, in centre court for this match?
FOSTER: Yes. It is big stars. Hollywood A-listers there. Duke and duchess of Cambridge as well. It was really, really gripping because it was going each way. So you couldn't really tell. (INAUDIBLE) was supporting Federer, but now seeing a pushed back over time. (INAUDIBLE).
WHITFIELD: Fantastic. Well, lucky dog. Lucky you for being able to be there for it, Max. I appreciate it.
FOSTER: Thanks, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right, take care.
All right, perhaps you did a lot of driving this holiday weekend. Well, you might have noticed more than a bump or two in the road. Why the money to fix them may be drying up.
WHITFIELD: The TSA is adding another step to secure flights en route to the United States. The TSA says it may soon ask passengers going through security overseas to turn on their electronic devices like cell phones and laptops. The agency wants to be sure they are not explosive devices. Just last week the TSA said it would work with foreign governments to increase security. There is no specific threat but there is concern that Al Qaeda may be trying to develop bombs that could pass through security without detection.
All right, back in the U.S., millions of 4th of July holiday travelers are returning home and driving on roads and bridges very much in desperate need of repair. And many of those repairs may not happy any time soon.
As CNN's Rene Marsh explains, federal highway funds will dry up soon unless Congress acts quickly.
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION AND GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This summer millions of Americans hitting the roads will cross bridges and roadways in dire need of improvements and repairs. Getting to your destination likely won't be easy. Expect traffic jams because decades old bridges and roads weren't built to handle today's traffic.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If this Congress doesn't act by the end of the summer, the highway trust fund will run out.
MARSH: Thus, the transportation fiscal cliff. A federal fund used to repair America's crumbling infrastructures just weeks away from going bankrupt. A potential crisis for commuters considering the American society of civil engineers gives U.S. infrastructure a D-plus. And one in nine of the nation's bridges are structurally deficient.
Look no further than Delaware for what the impact could look like. An emergency shutdown of the critical i-495 bridge. The problem, cracks and leaning support columns. Old underground pipes breaking in cities across the country causing major flooding. The president and transportation secretary Anthony Foxx say failure to fund repairs and improvements will cost Americans in more ways than one.
How many jobs potentially at stake here?
ANTHONY FOXX, TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: So we are estimating 700,000 jobs at risk.
MARSH: In 2011, commuters wasted 2.9 billion gallons of gas just sitting in traffic costing the average consumer more than $800 per year according to one study. The highway trust fund gets revenue from an 18.4 cent per gallon gas tax. But the tax has not increased to keep up with inflation since 1993. Now, the clock is ticking as Congress debates how to prevent the fund from going broke next month.
FOXX: We need to be able to get those investments moved into filling gaps, reducing congestion, lowering traffic times. Improving the ability of the American people to move around and for goods to move around. That can only happen if Congress acts.
MARSH: Well, on Tuesday states all across the country received letters saying prepare for the worst. Payments are about to slow down. What lawmakers cannot agree on is how to pay for our infrastructure. The ideas range from raising the gas tax to scaling back Saturday mail delivery to offset the cost.
Rene Marsh, CNN, Washington.
WHITFIELD: And it's been more than two years since the Costa Concordia cruise ship crashed off the coast of Italy. Italian authorities have released new underwater footage of the ocean liner.
Here's Matthew Chance.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are remarkable new images of the stricken Costa Concordia. Italian police released the footage recorded by their divers giving us an unprecedented glimpse of the sunken ocean liner. Its giant hole, twice the size of the titanic, struck rocks of the Italian coast in 2012 with 4,200 passengers and crew on board, 32 of them lost their lives.
Inside the ship, the divers record an eerie snapshot of that horror. Through the murky water, smashed doors and seating areas can be made out even a bar or reception desk. What was meant to be a pleasure cruise that turned into a nightmare.
Finally, the divers reached the ship's ornate central atrium some of which is above the water's line. In the days ahead, the first attempt will be made to refloat the vessel and tow it to shore. But with the ship's Italian captain accused of causing this wreck an abandoning the ship, controversy surrounding the sunken Costa Concordia are set to remain.
Matthew Chance, CNN, London.
WHITFIELD: And one year ago today, a Asiana Airlines flight 214 crashed while trying to land at San Francisco's airport. The Boeing 777 stalled short of the runway and then hit a rock seawall. Three passengers were killed, 187 others were injured.
CNN's Dan Simon takes a closer look at the day's events and subsequent investigation into what went wrong.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my God. It's an accident.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): July 6th, 2013, 11:28 a.m. Asiana flight 214 crashes on final approach in San Francisco. Within moments, the calls start pouring into 911.
911 Operator: 911 emergency. What are you reporting?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi. I'm reporting an airplane crash at SFO.
911 OPERATOR: An airplane crash at SFO?
SIMON: Of the 307 people onboard, nearly 200 are taken to local hospitals. The injuries ranging from bruises and broken bones to serious spinal injuries.
ESTHER JANG, ASIANA 214 SURVIVOR: It was like we were all bouncing all over the place. I just remember there being dust everywhere. And I was freaking out. Then it just stopped. SIMON: From the very beginning, it seemed clear that the Boeing 777
was flying too low and too slow as it came in for landing.
BEN LEVY, ASIANA 214 SURVIVOR: There was no wind. No fog. And the regular of the sanctions (ph) to airport and emergency traffic condition to land. So yes, it was so shocking that we could miss the runway by so much.
SIMON: The plane clipped a seawall just short of the runway and then spun violently breaking into pieces. There was chaos on the ground with passengers running from the plane as emergency crews arrived.
These pictures show you the devastating aftermath inside the plane with rows of seats dislodged from the cabin floor. Three passengers died. One of whom was run over by fire trucks involved in the rescue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a body right there in front of you.
SIMON: Now a year later, the national transportation safety board has officially blamed the crash on the pilots. Investigators determined they deactivated the plane's system for controlling air speed.
CHRISTOPHER HART, ACTING CHAIRMAN, NTSB: This instant, the flight crew over relied on automated systems they didn't understand. As a result, they flew the aircraft too low and too slow and collided with the seawall at the end of the runway.
SIMON: And on top of it, it was determined the pilots failed to monitor the speed. A basic skill required of all captains. But some of the blame was also directed toward the complexity of the 777's automatic controls. Something Boeing rejected citing the plane's safety record. Before last year in fact, no 777 had been involved in a fatal crash though the 777 is the same plane operated by Malaysian airlines that went missing in March.
What happened with the crash here at SFO and Malaysian airliner could not be any more different. In San Francisco the main cause is now clear. With flight 370, still no one knows.
Dan Simon, CNN, San Francisco.
WHITFIELD: All right, living in Hollywood is a dream for a kid particularly who wants to be a movie maker when he or she grows up. But just being nearby doesn't always mean you actually get the chance to learn the right skills and meet the right people. So one group is giving kids a shot to do just that while they're still young.
Stephanie Elam takes us inside the echo park film center.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the city of angels under the stars that's famous for celebrities, beaches, and cars, filmmakers follow in the footsteps of their favorite mentors at the workshop in Los Angeles called the echo park film center.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The echo park film center has started 15 years ago to provide a research for the community, a place to celebrate film and celebrate movie making.
ELAM: And for free of charge, use of equipment and knowledge is theirs for the taking. The teens learn how to create films that can be funny and smart.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To have access to equipment and education and also just sort of the comradely of coming together to make a work of art.
MAVIS FIGULS, STUDENT: We sit at big tables that all have spicers and all of these viewers for you to look at while you edit it. It was great.
ELAM: Using all tech as a method to each those who participate.
MILO TALWAM, STUDENT: The physical act of splicing film is just a really enjoyable process. Super eight is just so much fun to cut things together.
ELAM: The light flickers images of films that receive positive reactions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a lot of fun to go out with the camera and then have it go into action.
ELAM: To some digital age children, film is a new experience that might not be their cup of tea.
CHELI VELOC, STUDENT: You have to cut up your film and tape it back together. It was a very new and scary thing for me.
ELAM: The echo park film center offers workshops for teens, adults and seniors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Creating this community of peers, of filmmakers, of story tellers, of dreamers.
ELAM: The echo park film center offers learning and fun.
For CNN in Los Angeles, I'm Stephanie Elam.
All right. Well now to the small screen. It was the ground breaking TV show about nothing. Hard to believe but it's been 25 years since the debut of "Seinfeld." The show went on to become one of the most successful and most quotable sitcoms ever.
Here's Nischelle Turner with a look back.
NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): July 5th, 1989. NBC debuts a new sitcom built around standup comedian Jerry Seinfeld.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wouldn't it be great if you could ask a woman what she's thinking.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What a world that would be.
TURNER: First called "the Seinfeld Chronicles," the title later shortened to just "Seinfeld."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The show is about nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not about nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's about nothing.
ROBERT THOMPSON, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY: Of course it wasn't about nothing but it was about the kinds of things that standup comedians talked a lot about but sitcoms generally didn't. Issues of how one eats snack foods.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you just double dip that chip?
THOMPSON: Issues of shrinkage.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm really sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was at the pool! I was at the pool!
THOMPSON: Master of your domain perhaps the most memorable episode "Seinfeld" ever did.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That was fast.
MARY MCNAMARA, TV CRITIC: It changed television in that it gave us a new way of looking at the world and a whole new kind of comedy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't say anything.
MCNAMARA: It was the start of the alternative family comedies.
THOMPSON: People who are not roommates who don't live under the same roof, who aren't related and don't even work in the same place. "Seinfeld" establishes that so that becomes completely the norm.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's weird again.
MCNAMARA: I think "Friends" was obviously a young "Seinfeld."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get out of here.
MCNAMARA: Every successful new show changes television because it makes a bunch of other stuff possible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is Louie CK and he said to be here around 2:00.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said? The doctor doesn't make appointments.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know him.
MCNAMARA: Louie is the closest thing we have to modern day "Seinfeld."
TURNER: "Seinfeld" ended its run in 1998. There's been no official reunion unless you count this one.
Filmed for "Curb Your Enthusiasm" the series developed by "Seinfeld's" co-creator Larry David.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excuse me?
TURNER: "Seinfeld" characters live on just as they were in syndication, still impacting TV and the culture.
MELISSA MCCARTHY, ACTRESS: Not just influences comedy writers, it kind of influenced everything. It's like people's dialogue, people's references.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not gay, not that there's anything wrong with that. He's just a dentist.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you're an anti-dentite (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A brazier for a man, the manzier, get it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nothing for you.
MCCARTHY: Everything that happens into life, do you remember that "Seinfeld"? It was just perfect show. Perfect.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When somebody has B.O., the O, I mean, usually stays with the B. Once the b. Leaves, the o. Goes with it.
TURNER: Nischelle Turner, CNN, New York.
WHITFIELD: And still to come, Arthur is a post tropical storm. Why the former hurricane is still leaving a path of damage.
WHITFIELD: All right, this holiday weekend folks are throwing burgers on the barbeque grill and perhaps downing a whole lot of salty potato chips. Well, the center for science in the public interest says, restaurant chains have promised to bring down the amount of salt and that's barely happening.
Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is here to explain all of it -- Elizabeth.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Fred, we've all heard that too much salts bad for you. And that's why restaurants have been told, try to get the sodium levels down in some of your foods.
Well, some restaurants have heard that that. For example, McDonald's, Subway, over the years, they've really gotten the salt levels down. But other restaurants, well, some of their items have actually gotten saltier over the years. Let's take a look at some of them.
For example, a Jack-in-the-box, their hamburger from 2009-2013, the sodium level went up 26 percent. KFC, their grilled drumstick, the salt level went up 45 percent over the four years. And Sonic Tater tots up a whopping 84 percent in sodium levels.
We asked the restaurant industry what's going on here and here's what they had to say. Across our highly diverse industry, restaurants and actively engaged in efforts to provide consumers with lower sodium options, efforts to lower sodium are impacted by consumer preference and limited technology. Or you can put it this way, people like salty foods so some restaurant are just going to continue to serve salty food.
Now, these increases in sodium levels, they put some meals over the top. Now, before I describe the meals, take a look at this. This is what most adults are supposed to get on a daily basis, 1500 milligrams of sodium.
Now, take a look at this meal from Sonic. A whopping 3,780 milligrams that is more than two days of sodium in one meal. One meal gives you more than two days of sodium. So what can you do about all of this? Usually salt is not listed on menus right at the restaurant. So what you can do is, if you have a few restaurants to go to a lot, go to the websites, and look up the sodium content for specific meals that you like to buy, and see if there's a lot of salt in there, keeping in mind you're supposed to have 1500 milligrams a day for most people.
So, if some items you like have too much salt, you may want to choose some other foods or go perhaps go to a different restaurant -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Now to an update on a storm once called Arthur, the once category II hurricane weaken to post tropical storm earlier this weekend and continues to lose strength. Arthur brought heavy rains and knocked down powers and hundreds of thousands of Canadian homes in its trek up the northeast coast, officials warned potentially deadly rip currents from Arthur are still possible from the mid-Atlantic and north.
All right. Time now for the science behind of the why, basically where we look at the why behind the what. So what exactly is a rip current? And what makes it so dangerous?
CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has the answer.
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Fred, here's how it works.
You're at an amazing beach, you have an amazing beach day, nice waves out there to go play in. The problem, the waves are a little too big. And there are sandbars offshore. Those sandbars and those waves create a hazard, called a rip current. Not immediately, but when water piles over the sandbars that are offshore, eventually the water gets slightly higher close to the shore and it wants to run away from the shore to balance out the ocean. And if it comes in and comes in, and you don't flow where it's going to break because you never know where it's going to break, at some point the erosion's going to take place as the water rips out and it's called a rip current.
So the water's coming out maybe five miles per hour straight out into the ocean. And if you're caught in this, because it just starts all at once, you're sent out to the ocean as well. The problem is, your body, because I've been in one, your body all it wants to do is turn around, swim back toward shore. You want to get back as fast as you can because you know the water's sucking you out to sea. That's the wrong thing to do.
And they say, please swim along the shore, not back toward the shore. Which means you're supposed to somehow tell your brain to don't go back, go across, go over here somewhere to get out of this water, this current that's going that way and then eventually swim back to shore because you will get too tired to counteract this current for very long.
So either go that way or come back down here, turning left or right, doesn't matter, get out of the water going out to see and then get brought back here by the feeder current or just swim back.
Now, another way to counteract this, too, is that I would never have my kid or even myself in the ocean with any type of wave action like this without a life jacket on. This is the weekend to not be cool, this is the weekend to be safe. Life jackets on any one in the water because this can happen anywhere -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: Sure can. Great advice there. Thanks so much, Chad.
All right. Great story I want to share with you now right now. A hero's welcome this week for U.S. army Sergeant Brian Dilberian, in Staten Island. He lost an arm and both legs in an IED attack three years ago in Afghanistan. The explosion took the life of his best friend, Sergeant Dilberian saw the ground breaking of his future smart home. It was made possible by a group of veterans and home building charities. Also making this possible, the New York jets gave $1 million donation.
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SERGEANT BRIAN DILBERIAN, INJURED VETERAN: Three years I got hit today and I lost couple of friends and you know it was just -- it is like another re-birth.
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WHITFIELD: The completed three bedrooms smart home will be outfitted with customized features and in a ray of high-tech features all controlled with an iPad.