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Countdown to Static Kill; 1,100+ Killed in Pakistan Flooding; Making Up for Lost Sleep; One Hispanic-American Family Divided over Arizona's Immigration Law
Aired August 2, 2010 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: And we're talking about our troops in Iraq. That's because this month the U.S. combat mission in Iraq is supposed to end. President Obama is going to repeat that pledge of an August 31st deadline today when he speaks to a veterans group here in Atlanta. It's a big milestone.
We have been at war in Iraq for nearly 7 1/2 years. Let me show you, at the height of the invasion, we had 150,000 troops on the ground. By the time President Obama took office, that number was down in January of 2009 to 142,000. Last month, another draw down, down to 81,000, and when the combat mission ends, about 50,000 troops, we are told, will stay behind to advise and assist the Iraqis there. They're due to leave by the end of 2011.
We have team coverage, Arwa Damon on the ground in Baghdad with a look at what this means for Iraq but we're going to start with Suzanne Malveaux. She is at the White House. Suzanne, the president says he's staying on his schedule that he announced when at the took office.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It's a campaign promise, Drew, that he would like to fulfill. And you know, President Bush for years had hoped to have said mission accomplished. Well, President Obama is trying to set the stage, if you will, for that mission accomplished moment. He is setting the stage for the country. He's going to be speaking before this veterans group in Atlanta later this morning and essentially he's going to talk about the next month of commitment from the United States changing from U.S. troops primarily in a combat role to a civilian effort led by diplomats.
Specifically, there are some excerpts that we got from the White House. He will say that today, even as terrorists try to derail Iraq's progress, because of the sacrifices of our troops and the Iraqi partners, violence in Iraq continues to be near the lowest that it's been in years, and next month we will change our military mission from combat to supporting and training Iraqi security forces.
In fact, many parts of the country, Iraqis have already taken the lead for security. Now, Drew, there is an active debate however about these numbers and just how much the violence has gone down in Iraq, whether or not they are really painting an accurate picture.
Just over the weekend, there was a fierce debate. The Iraqis said that July was the deadliest month that they have had for civilians since May of 2008. They put the number at 396. U.S. military disputes that account. They says it's less than half that number at 161.
So clearly there is a debate that continues over what is taking place on the ground, certainly in the White House's interest to stress that the violence has gone down and therefore it is justified to withdraw those U.S. troops. Drew.
GRIFFIN: All right. Suzanne, we don't have to take the White House's word for it, we can go right to Iraq with CNN. That's where our Arwa Damon is standing by, to give us some perspective on all of this.
Arwa, you know, just what is the state of this transition and is Iraq ready to take over full control in less than a month?
ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Drew, it really depends on who you are asking. As we heard Suzanne reporting right there, the White House, U.S. officials here adamant that the Iraqi security forces are capable of handling the situation here.
However, when we speak to senior Iraqi officials, they do not share that same level of optimism, that same level of confidence in their own forces. There is a sense that Iraq is on the right track, but that in drawing down at this critical time - remember, there's a political vacuum taking place here right now. We don't have a government even though elections took place in March. So a draw down at this sensitive time might not be in the country's best long-term interest.
And we've been hearing quite a lot of discrepancy between how the U.S. is describing the situation here in Iraq and then a complete contrast when you speak to the Iraqis themselves.
GRIFFIN: Arwa, let me ask you just about life there. So we don't have to listen to the White House or the Iraqi officials, are people on the street scared to go to market? Is the electricity still being limited during the day? Are the utilities working?
DAMON: You know, Drew, one has to handle it to the Iraqis for their resilience because when you do go around Baghdad, when you do go around the country, you do still see them out there. They are going about their daily lives. They are going to the marketplace, but yes, they do still live in a state of fear and anxiety. Albeit, the levels of violence are not as high as they were at the peak of the sectarian violence here from 2005 to 2007, but attacks are still a daily occurrence.
And people still carry with them that fear and anxiety, not just about their daily lives but about the future as well. And you bring up a very good point there with the electricity and with basic services. Billions upon billions of U.S. taxpayer money has been poured into this country towards reconstruction. Much of that money has gone missing or put into projects that really have been proven to be ineffective or have not properly been managed.
At best, if an Iraqi household is lucky, it would be getting four to five hours of electricity a day. Clean water, very hard to come by. And so while the U.S. is leaving behind a more stable country than it was back in those dark days, it is not leaving behind a functioning nation nor is it leaving now that many Iraqis believe can actually stand on its own. Drew.
GRIFFIN: I was afraid that that would be the answer. Thanks for that. Thanks for keeping us in touch with the real people who are trying to live their lives in Baghdad.
Thank you, Arwa.
Nearly two-thirds of all Americans support the president's plan, by the way, to remove most American troops from Iraq by the end of August. According to a CNN opinion research poll from May, 64 percent of the people support the president's deadline. 35 percent oppose it. As for support for the Iraq war at large, 36 percent of Americans support it, 62 percent oppose it.
Switching war fronts, the web of intrigue growing in the leak of tens of thousands of those secret Afghan war documents, and investigators now reportedly following a trail to a prestigious university in the northeast.
Here are the players, Julian Assange is the editor of the whistleblower web site, WikiLeaks. The site published the war logs on its web site. The prime suspect as the source of that leak is Private First Class Bradley Manning. The Army intel analyst is in solitary confinement in Virginia.
Authorities were tipped off about Manning by this guy, a former computer hacker named Adrian Lamo, and he is now saying that two students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, M.I.T., gave Manning the software he needed and taught him how to use it. Barbara Starr is live at the Pentagon. Barbara, bring us up to speed on the latest on this investigation.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Drew, as you said, the computer hacker Adrian Lamo says two men from who say they attend the M.I.T., the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Boston area say they helped Manning and one of them claiming allegedly to have taught Manning, the private, how to use encryption software.
Now, the investigation clearly expanding into the civilian arena, the FBI, the Justice Department looking at this potential Boston leak because they will look at the civilian side of this, the military will focus on Private First Class Bradley Manning.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates still says in his view that this hurts troops in the field, that all of these leaked documents give a road map to adversaries about U.S. troop tactics in the field and Gates offering a clue about how he thinks it all happened, how one person could have downloaded tens of thousands of documents with nobody noticing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROBERT GATES, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: Had he tried to do this, or had whoever did this, tried to do it at a rear headquarters overseas or pretty much anywhere here in the U.S., we have controls in place that would have allowed us to detect it. But one of the changes that has happened as we have fought these wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been an effort to put as much information and intelligence as far forward to the soldiers as we possibly can so that at a forward operating base, they know what the security risks are to them and they also have information to help them accomplish their mission.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STARR: So, even as the investigation continues, the possibility, the real possibility, of significant prosecutions, the challenge for the U.S. military, how to get control on that classified information out in the field but not to get so much control over it that the soldiers on the front line can't get the information that they need. Drew.
GRIFFIN: Barbara Starr, live at the Pentagon. Thank you, Barbara.
Turning to oil now, the 105th day of the gulf oil disaster, and today there is renewed focus on the decisions made over the last three months.
Today, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is in New Orleans, meeting with local, state and federal officials. They're going to review with here, I guess, how the spill has been handled at all levels. It comes at a blistering criticism over the use of chemical dispersants.
That criticism coming from Congressman Edward Markey, a Democrat, who says the feds ignored limits on the potentially toxic chemicals and says that "BP carpet bombed the ocean with these chemicals."
Meanwhile, the permanent sealing of the well could be within reach. As early as tonight, crews could begin pumping mud and cement into the well from above. Phase one of the static kill.
CNN's Jim Acosta is in New Orleans to explain the process. Jim, you have been doing a great job with your drawing, showing us exactly how this is working.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Drew, I'm an Acosta, not a Picasso, but I'm doing my best down here. But you know, essentially, you know, it just helps to be able get your arms and your brain around what they're doing down here to look at it firsthand. And essentially what they are going to be doing over the next 24 to 48 hours, keeping in mind that these pressure readings continue to come back well to the engineers monitoring this rupture well with a cap on top of it, we are going to start seeing that heavy mud starting to pump down towards the containment cap, over the next hours from now.
And it's going to go right into that containment cap that's on top of that ruptured well and then down into the ruptured well. And from what we understand from hearing from Thad Allen yesterday, if the pressure readings are good throughout that process, then the cement will come in and repeat that process and go right down into that well and start filling up that well with cement.
Now this is all sort of a one-two punch. So if static kill goes well, the next phase of this operation should take place in about five to seven days from now, the so-called bottom kill, which is going to basically bring in the same elements through a relief well that they have been drilling almost since this whole nightmare began.
That relief well will intercept the ruptured well, and then more mud and cement will come down into the ruptured well and they hope that will permanently kill this thing once and for all. So, you know, the optimism is there. BP's Doug Suttles, the CEO of the company, gave a briefing yesterday, and his mind - his attitude about this is that he is confident that all of this is going to work. Drew.
GRIFFIN: All right. Jim Acosta, live in New Orleans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOUG SUTTLES, BP, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER: Some days getting better. There's still a lot to do. There are still a lot of activities. Here in Venice alone, we have over 2,000 people working on the response right now and there are still areas to clean. There's still oil on the water to pick up and I just stress we're going to be here doing that until the job is completely done and once that's done, we have to focus on the restoration activities. And we're going to be here for a very, very long time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: So that's Doug Suttles talking about the next phase of their operations down here. Not just the static kill and the bottom kill but what happens to all the marshlands, what happens to the coastline here. Essentially what Suttles was saying there is that they're seeing less and less oil showing up on the shores down here.
Local officials differ with that, depending on who you talk to but eventually Suttles is saying that they're going to have to make this turn at some point, from a cleanup operation to a gulf restoration operation. And that means that BP, and the federal government and those cleanup workers will be down here for months on end. Every time oil pops up somewhere, relief workers, clean up workers will have to go to that site, clean that up and get that out of there.
So this is not over by a long shot, but the static kill and bottom kill operations, at least if those go well over these next couple of weeks, at least there will be that sense of calm down here on the gulf coast that at least that thing is killed once and for all. Drew.
GRIFFIN: All right. Jim, I should give a shout out to the beaches. I've been hearing from people coming back from the gulf coast beaches saying that things are fine. So I guess the cleanup workers have been doing a good job - ACOSTA: That's right.
GRIFFIN: - spot oil as they come in. Thanks, Jim. Holding on for dear life. Rescues go on in Pakistan. More than 2.5 million people there have been affected by a tremendous amount of flooding.
MARCIANO: Dramatic, dramatic flooding there, life threatening. Obviously, we have some flood risk here in the U.S. as well, heat risk and then a tropical risk. You see what could be our next tropical storm brewing in the Atlantic. We'll have those details after the break.
GRIFFIN: Checking our morning passport, rocket fire resounded in the Middle East today. One rocket landed in front of a Jordanian hotel, killing one person and injuring five. Witnesses say the entire hotel shook from that blast. Several apparent rocket explosions were also heard across the border in Israel. No damage or injuries reported there. The Israeli military and Jordanian security forces investigating what they say are separate incidents.
A massive rescue and relief operation under way in Pakistan where more than 1,100 people have already died in this flooding. Tens of thousands of people stuck on roofs, and the effort to reach them becoming tougher because more rain is yet on the way.
Our Reza Sayah, just back from a helicopter tour of some of the hardest hit areas and joining us live from Islamabad. This really do look terrible, Reza, and remind me a lot of Hurricane Katrina.
REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they do. This is nothing short of a catastrophe here in northwest Pakistan. And for some of these communities recovering could take years. This was our first look at some of the flood-ravaged areas from up above. The Pakistani Army taking a group of journalists on a helicopter tour of some of the hardest hit areas.
And indeed, what it looked like was the floods that swept through New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, but take Katrina and multiply by 10. That's how vast the destruction was. Down below, we saw village after village, especially those next to rivers, under water. We saw homes demolished. If they weren't demolished, they were buried in mud.
Remember, the height of these floods was sometime on Friday. Obviously a few days have passed. Imagine what the people who lived in these areas went through then. Some of them are still there. The Pakistani government says 1.5 million people have been impacted by these floods. Thousands of homes destroyed. Tens of thousands of people homeless.
More than 1,000 people killed. The government is saying they are doing all they can to get to these victims. During this helicopter tour, they made a stop at one of the relief camps to show us the work that they're doing, but we spoke to a number of flood victims in different areas, and Drew, what we're hearing over and over again is we're not seeing the help. So that's the challenge for the Pakistani government. It's a race against time to get to some of these people who are in remote areas. They need help, and the frustration is growing.
GRIFFIN: Reza, seeing these pictures, and listening to the officials tell us that only 1,100 people have been killed seems like two different things. What is likely to be the final toll? Does anybody have an estimate exactly how many people may have perished in these floods?
SAYAH: It's difficult to say right now, Drew. We are getting two different death tolls from two sources. Pakistan's biggest private aid agency is saying more than 1,200 killed, and the government is saying 1,100 killed, but the military acknowledges they haven't gotten to all the flood ravaged areas especially in the (INAUDIBLE) valley in Pakistan. These are areas where many of the bridges, in fact, most of the bridges, according to officials are down.
Getting to these areas, the only way you're going to do it is by helicopter. The military says they have 36 helicopters working, and they acknowledge that's not enough to get to get to every area. So it's difficult to say right now how many people are impacted, and military officials say that death toll could certainly go up in the coming days.
GRIFFIN: Reza Sayah, live in Islamabad. Thanks, Reza.
More severe weather to tell you about. This is Russia. Four Russians desperately trying to escape a fire, that's surrounding their village. They did successfully drive out through the danger zone. At least 34 other Russians though have been killed. It's some of the country's worst ever wildfires. 500 towns in Russia are under a state of emergency. 700 separate fires were told all started accidentally. A record hot summer in the Moscow area, hitting 102 degrees just last week.
We're watching a tropical wave brewing off the African coast that could become trouble in the next few days. Rob Marciano, it is indeed that time of year.
MARCIANO: It is. Now that we're into August, Drew, you're right about that. We start to see the frequency of these things ramp up, and also we start to see the orientation of where these things start coming from. Well, they start to come from Africa and the Cape Verde Islands, in this area right here. We call it Cape Verde season especially as we get into the middle and late part of August.
And these are the scary ones because they have a lot of real estate in the way of the Atlantic Ocean to get brewing, and this one looks like it's doing just that. There you see and the last couple of frames, it gets a little bit more active and a little bit more spin. We're going to get an update from the National Hurricane Center within the next 30 minutes and that will indicate to us whether or not they deemed it as a tropical depression or maybe even a tropical storm and if so, the name would be Colin. So we will keep you updated and abreast of that situation. As far as what's going on, a little closer to home, we have the heat. We have the humidity, and we have it again, across the mid south and the deep south, especially across the lower Mississippi River Valley where our temperatures today could exceed 100 degrees, like they did yesterday and with the humidity, it's going to feel more like 105, 110 and maybe like 115.
You got showers, thunderstorms to cool you off? Not necessarily. It's going to be across the western great lakes. In the New York City area, the i-95 corridor has seen temperatures cool the past couple of days. So I hope you enjoy that. There's a slight risk of seeing a shower there and some thunderstorms maybe across the gulf coast but those would be welcome.
These are the heat advisories and warnings that are posted for about 16 states at last check. The heat indices will be up 105, 110 degrees and that is dangerously hot. 106 is the expected high temperature in Dallas, and believe it or not, Drew, they are not even under a heat advisory. Tough for folks down in Texas, for sure. (INAUDIBLE)
GRIFFIN: Yes, thanks, Rob.
Improving your health. Just hit the snooze button, folks. The eye opening details in today's "Daily Dose."
GRIFFIN: We want to check our top stories now. Ethics charges against two long serving House Democrats could give the GOP ammunition ahead of the midterm elections in November. A House sub- committee recommending Charlie Rangel to be reprimanded for 13 violations of House rules, and Maxine Waters says she is going to face the House Ethics trial regarding a meeting she arranged between a bank and Treasury officials.
A computer hacker says two M.I.T. students helped WikiLeaks suspect, Bradley Manning. One of the students allegedly told hacker, Adrian Lamo, they gave encryption software to Manning and taught the Army Private how to use it. Pentagon officials say Manning is the prime suspect in last week's leak of thousands of field reports from the Afghan war.
Day 105 of the gulf oil disaster, a move to seal the ruptured well could begin tonight, the so-called static kill. It involves pouring mud and cement into the well from above.
Well, the gulf oil disaster, we've seen the dead wildlife and the polluted beaches, of course. But is there a hidden danger still lurking from all those dispersants that were used to contain the damage. Well, one lawmaker is. Here he is demanding answers. We're going to hear an expert's view on what this is all about.
GRIFFIN: All right. Does this sound like you? You burn the midnight oil and then you're up early and head to work every day and then on the weekends you catch up on all of that extra sleep? Do you really catch up on your extra sleep?
Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins us now. Elizabeth, can you really do you that? I thought it was a myth?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Gosh, I hope so. Because I do it all of the time. And I bet you do, too.
GRIFFIN: I do. Well -
COHEN: It's the only time you can catch up on that sleep sometimes is to sleep extra on the weekend. Well, some researchers were wondering does that really sort of clear up your sleep deficit to take those naps? To sleep late on the weekends?
So what they did is they took 150 healthy adults, put them in a lab, and allowed them to sleep only four hours a night for five nights, trying to sort of simulate a busy week and then on that sixth night, they were allowed to get two to 10 hours recovery sleep, extra sleep and then they test it. They did some cognitive testing all the way through and what they found is that after that sixth night of getting that extra sleep, people's cognitive abilities did improve. So they did see that they were able to recoup, at least to some extent, from that difficult work week of sleep deficit.
GRIFFIN: I can see where the sleep would make them feel better the day after the sleep, but can you actually make up for it? Like, if I sleep four hours, can I sleep eight hours the next night and then that four hours would dissipate somehow from my sleep deprivation?
COHEN: Somehow, to some extent. That's how I would put it. That's how the researchers put it, that it helps somewhat but there is still no replacement for getting seven to eight hours of sleep every night, all the time. So you can catch up a bit but it's not going to be the same, if you had a good night's sleep all the time.
GRIFFIN: so what is a good night's sleep all the time? And how can you work that in - it seems silly to say that, work sleep into your schedule?
COHEN: Well, you know, it isn't silly because one of the experts we talked to says you really have to schedule sleep these days. You have to schedule it. Think about I'm going to go to bed at this time, I'm going to wake up at this time and really make it an important priority.
A good night's sleep is between seven to eight hours. Of course, it's different for everyone, and I know we've all heard the advice of about, you know, maybe having a glass of warm milk before you go to bed or try to relax. One thing that I think is important to people, don't think about, is that you need to put down the cell phone. People are on their cell phones sometimes lying in bed, you know, that sort of last-minute text or e-mail or for some people tweets. And then they put it down, then they go to sleep. Well, your brain is kind of revved up, from all that work you are doing, plus you got these lights shining in your eyes from the cell phone. That's also not good. So put that cell phone away. All those texts can wait until the morning.
GRIFFIN: Just need my mom to tell me what my bedtime is.
COHEN: I know.
GRIFFIN: And put away that cell phone, you know.
COHEN: Exactly. Put away your toys, Drew. Exactly, I know. We all need mom. That is definitely true.
GRIFFIN: Thanks, interesting.
Well, the Gulf oil disaster and the safety of seafood. Would you think twice before chowing down on the region's favorites? Your answer has a large impact on how that area is going to recover.
GRIFFIN: It's Day 105 of the Gulf oil disaster and there are growing concerns about the dispersants used to break up the oil. Some lawmakers want to know if BP's heavy use of the chemicals is dangerous.
One congressional subcommittee says the amount was excessive. The group's finding that the Coast Guard granted BP exemptions to use the chemicals, an average of more than 10 times a week for seven weeks. And get this, that was after the EPA ordered that the chemicals be used sparingly.
One Congressman Democrat Edward Markey goes so far as to say this, that BP, quote, "carpet bombed the ocean with these chemicals and the Coast Guard allowed them to do it."
We wanted to take a closer look at the facts. Just what are the consequences of dispersants? We got one expert's answer on CNN's "AMERICAN MORNING."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY MCKINNEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HARTE RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR GULF OF MEXICO STUDIES AT TEXAS A&M: The massive use the dispersants to try to minimize wetlands impacts. In fact, it caused more environmental damage to the open ocean system to which that oil dispersant mix drifted as it approached the Louisiana/Mississippi. That's the real question. I don't think we'll know the answer to that, frankly, until next year at this time or perhaps even the year after.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Congressman Ed Markey from Massachusetts basically accused BP of quote, "carpet bombing the Gulf with chemicals."
Do you agree with that statement?
MCKINNEY: Well, they used huge amounts, I think something like 1.8 million gallons, or perhaps even more. That's a lot of dispersants. But, of course, it was a big oil spill, too.
ROBERTS: National Incident Commander Thad Allen says, yes, we granted those waivers, but it was done prudently. And overall since the EPA recommended that the use of the dispersants be curtailed, that the use of those dispersants was actually down more than 75 percent.
MCKINNEY: Which is probably good. I think what we'll see is that it has some good benefit in that we're seeing hopefully less impact on those wetlands than we might have anticipated so at least that's a positive side of it. The negative side, of course is what it will do to that ocean system that we can't see and what the damage is temporary or is it long term. And that's the question. The tradeoff is that perhaps we protected the wetlands. And the wetlands are the long-term health of the Gulf. As long as we protect those wetlands then we can recover. And we can recover relatively quickly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: Gulf residents say now that the oil disaster seems to be more manageable, they have another monstrous battle to fight. That is clearing up misconceptions about the damage. They are hoping to lure tourists back by telling them most of the beaches are clean. And the local seafood, well, that is safe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOUG SUTTLES, BP CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER: There's been a tremendous amount of testing done by NOAA, and the state agencies, and the FDA and others. And they're not going to open these waters to either sport fishing or commercial fishing if it's not safe to eat the fish. I have a lot of confidence in those agencies and I trust their recommendations and I would eat their food - the seafood out of the Gulf here. And I would feed it to my family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: He would, but would you? The question, would you feed Gulf seafood to your family right now? Your answer and the public perception likely decide the region's recovery.
CNN all platform journalist Chris Turner has that story from the Florida panhandle.
TIM RAWLINGS, BAR MANAGER, AJ'S SEAFOOD & OYSTER BAR: This is known as the Emerald Coast. It's got beautiful, white, sandy beaches, emerald green waters. The food is certainly one of the reasons people would come down.
Since April, when the oil spill occurred in the Gulf Coast, the fear and the concerns of coming to the beaches. Certainly the perception that coming to the Gulf beaches would be tainted by oil covered beaches. our business, by the lack of seafood, the possibility that the seafood could be tainted by the oil, which is purely perception. It has not occurred in one instance to my knowledge. The perception, however is the Gulf Coast is one body, is all covered in oil, which is certainly not true.
JEFF NORTH, CUSTOMER FROM MISSISSIPPI: It's hard to know without being hear every day. You don't know exactly what's out there or what's in the water. But when you come down and you see people having a good time and taking the care that they're taking with the oysters, they're checking every one of them.
RAWLINGS: The restaurants are open for business. Unfortunately we're not seeing the tourists that we would like.
WILL KUYKENDALL, OYSTER SHUCKER, AJ'S SEAFOOD & OYSTER BAR: You just take a leap of faith and believe what you see on TV. If you see someone saying it's good down here, come on down here, spend some money, help some of these hard-working people out. We could really use the hand up right about now. Not a handout, but a hand-up.
NORTH: You don't know until you get here and come down and experience the seafood. Wonderful, absolutely wonderful.
RAWLINGS: The food is fine. It always was. We're just trying to clear up that fear, you're trying to cure that cancer of the fear of the food in Destin, the food on the Gulf Coast. The beaches are clean. The seafood's good. The restaurants are open.
GRIFFIN: Views from Destin, Florida, this morning.
Well here's another reason to be really careful about your Facebook posts and your tweets. Banks might be watching you. You post something they don't like, you may not get that loan. More on that in two minutes.
GRIFFIN: You're looking at live pictures at Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta, Georgia, just north of Atlanta, where the president has landed. A lot of folks there probably tweeting that they're excited about getting to meet President Obama as he comes to Atlanta to address a veterans group. There's a plane, obviously arriving with the president. We'll keep track of that as we go through this morning.
Trending now, more Facebook, a little less e-mail. The headlines from Nielsen Research new study about what Americans do online. The study finds that we spend a quarter of the time - roughly six hours a month -- on social network sites. It also found web surfers spending more than a third of their time communicating and networking across social networks, blogs, e-mail, and instant messaging. Here's something that surprised me. Nielsen says twice as many of the 50- plus and older crowd visited a social network compared to those 17 and younger.
All of that time spent posting and tweeting on social media sites, it's not just your friends and family who are interested in what you have to say.
Patricia Wu joins us from New York.
Patricia, what are we talking about here?
PATRICIA WU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Drew, what we're talking about is that you just never know who might be looking. What we do know is that lenders are still jittery after the housing meltdown so they're looking for anything that can help them cut their risk when it comes to potential borrowers.
One technology consultant told me that social media monitoring is nirvana. He says a credit score tells a bank how well you paid your bills in past, but social media monitoring tells a bank how likely you are to pay your bills in the future.
So, beware, your online postings could cost you if you're not being honest with your lender. We talked to a Georgia mortgage lender who routinely friends loan applicants and even denied one loan after checking out a guy's Facebook page.
Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY PARKES, MORTGAGE LENDER: This one individual posted on there that he was looking forward to become a slumlord or landlord and he was buying this home and the home in question that we was commenting on there about being a slumlord was actually a house that we was telling us that he was planning on occupying himself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WU: Misrepresenting who's going to live in the home is one example of what lenders might be looking for since loans for investment properties can be harder to get and carry higher interest rates. Employment status, another thing that can be easily verified. For example, you tell the lender you have a job but on Facebook, you talk about being fire - Drew.
Interesting stuff. Good warnings.
GRIFFIN: Well, we want to move on now, checking our top stories.
It is Day 105 of the Gulf oil disaster. A move to seal that ruptured well could begin tonight. The so-called "static kill," it involves pouring mud and cement into the well from above.
Another story making news, ethics charges against two long-serving House Democrats could give the GOP ammunition ahead of the midterm elections. A House subcommittee recommending Charlie Rangel be reprimanded for 13 violations of House rules. Maxine Waters in trouble, too. She says she will be face a House ethics trial regarding a meeting she arranged between a bank and Treasury officials. She's tied to that bank.
A massive rescue and relief operation underway in Pakistan. 1,100 people have died officially in flooding. Tens of thousands of people still stuck on roofs or high ground. The effort to reach them becoming tougher because Pakistan says it only has 36 helicopters working and more rain on the way.
A large Hispanic-American family in Arizona. Some members are all for the state's tough new immigration laws. But others in this family are dead set against it.
CNN's Dan Simon takes us inside a house divided. Three minutes away. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
GRIFFIN: This is tape just into us a few seconds ago. The president arriving here in Georgia, Marietta, Georgia, just north of Atlanta, getting ready to speak to the Disabled American Veterans. There's a local Air Force band that - the next person he meets is Governor Purdue of Georgia, and a couple of local congressmen there to greet him. But that is his destination -- the Disabled American Veterans here in Atlanta going to hear a speech from the president on the withdrawal from Iraq, which the president said is going on schedule according to this time table.
What's next for Arizona's tough new immigration law SB-1070? For now, we wait. A federal judge blocked some controversial parts of the law the day before it was supposed to take effect. Friday, Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona lost her bid to get a speedy appeal hearing, so now that won't happen until November.
The state wants the court to lift the injunction. The blocked part the of law including the requirement for a police to check the immigration status while enforcing other laws. Experts believe this fight will end up before the Supreme Court eventually because other states are talking about adopting similar laws.
The court of public opinion, or the court around the dinner table? Well, the argument there rages on unevaded (ph). SB-1070 has pretty much divided a Hispanic-American family in Arizona.
CNN's Dan Simon paid them a visit.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For 33 years, the Kingery family has made Friday night taco night. All seven of Josephine and Ed's grown children try to be here each week along with 11 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.
IDA KINGERY, DAUGHTER: We bring our friends oaf to meet our family. And there's a lot of people who aren't Hispanic that are our friends. They come and they see how tight we are with our families.
SIMON: But on this night, there is division.
(on camera): We've got five for it.
OK, and if you're against it, raise your hand.
(voice-over): This large Hispanic-American family finds itself split on the anti-immigration law that has rocked this state.
Eddie marched this week with the protesters.
(on camera): You're worried it's going to lead to a lot of racial profiling?
ED KINGERY, AGAINST SB-1070: I do. Honestly, I do. It happens -- I mean, it's so easy to see the color of skin. The color of skin is just such an easy way to say, hey, they're probably here illegally.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's going to be a little bit rough going, but I just feel that it's going to be the best thing for Arizona.
SIMON: Ida Kingery is the oldest sibling. Racial profiling? Maybe, she says. But something needed to be done.
(on camera): How do you think it's going to help? How is it going to solve the immigration problem?
I. KINGERY: I think once the law is past, it will give a little bit of ease for the people who are non-Hispanic. It's going to make them feel a little more comfortable because right now they think that all of the immigrants that are coming in as criminals and they're not all criminals.
SIMON (voice-over): For those on the pro side, their arguments turn to health care and education. Liz says she's concerned how tax supported services can be overwhelmed by illegal immigrants.
LIZ KINGERY, SUPPORTS SB-1070: The current immigration problem is affecting the state of Arizona's economy, the medical and benefits for Social Security, and our education.
SIMON: On the other side of the table --
E. KINGERY: It's really turned the Mexican people into being the villains. Like they're blaming us for the economy and blaming us for --
L. KINGERY: But it is affecting the economy.
E. KINGERY: It is but it's not - the economy --
L. KINGERY: It's the medical they're getting.
E. KINGERY: The economy not doing right now is not the problem of the immigrants. It's not. L. KINGERY: The education.
SIMON: But no matter how heated their arguments get, they'll always be back the following Friday for taco night and the family celebrations that have made this evening special for more than decades.
Dan Simon, CNN, Phoenix.
GRIFFIN: Good report. We'll be right back.
GRIFFIN: Every day at this time on the show, we honor a service member who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq or Afghanistan. Our segment's called Home and Away and we're going to tell you how you can be part of it in a second.
Right now, we want to tell you about Private First Class Matthew Everett Wildes (ph) from Canon, Louisiana. Matthew died in a roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan in 2009. Matt's mom tells us he was the youngest U.S. soldier to die in Afghanistan last year. She also says he was a good kid, never gave her any trouble. Matt had wanted to join the Army since he was 13. He actually enlisted when he was 17. His parents had to sign for him to join at that age and they say they have no regrets. This is what Matt wanted, his mother tells us. He was so very proud he was an infantry Army soldier.
If you'd like to honor your loved one here's all you have to do. Go to CNN.com/homeandaway. Type in your service member's name in the upper right search field and pull up the profile. Send us your thoughts, pictures, and we'll keep the memory of your hero alive.
CNN NEWSROOM continues now with Randi Kaye - Randi.