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CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS
Burning Up & Powerless; Severe Heat Threat; Afghanistan Designated a U.S. Ally; Mysterious Illness; Scientology and Celebrity; Interview with Ringo Starr; Serena Williams Wins Wimbledon Title
Aired July 7, 2012 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: From the CNN Center, this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING. It is Saturday, July 7th. Good morning, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye.
Thousands of people are trying to keep their cool as the mercury rises and patience wanes to get the power back on.
Health officials scramble to identify a mystery illness that is killing almost every child it infects in Cambodia.
And it's a special day for us and for Ringo Starr. The Beatles legend joins us this hour on his birthday to celebrate, of course, with us and to talk about his new album and the motivation behind his continued success.
Slow and steady is proving to be a losing combination for hundreds of thousands of people across the mid-Atlantic and northeast, who have been without power now for a full week, and it will be getting even hotter in many cities today. The record-breaking temperatures are blamed for several deaths and catastrophes for many businesses.
Emily Schmidt joins us from Springfield, Virginia, with much more on that. Emily, tell us what the situation is there.
EMILY SCHMIDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Randi. The power back on in this neighborhood, but you can see the storm very still much top of mind here with the mess that remains. And in the Washington area, there are thousands of people who are waking up after just enduring their eighth straight night with no power.
To make it worse, they're waking up knowing that they're going to endure a day that could have record-breaking heat. And even as people and businesses begin to get their power back, they're also realizing that there's a lot they've lost along the way.
SCHMIDT (voice-over): Though it would only takes an instant for the lights to go out in a storm, things can get darker for days. A Chevy Chase supermarket just outside Washington, disaster hit three days after losing power. A refrigerated trailer compressor blew up, and with it, the family-owned supermarket's backup plan.
KEVIN KIRSCH, CHEVY CHASE SUPERMARKET: We lost everything in the trailer then we lost everything in the frozen food case here. So basically, we've lost everything in the entire store.
SCHMIDT: It meant no customers, no paychecks for 60 employees and no buying new food.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got vendors who are smaller than me that count on even my purchases for their own business, and I'm not purchasing from them. So it kind of stream-rolls all the way around.
GUS PAPPAS, PAPPAS & SONS INC.: We're busting at the seams here with nowhere to go.
SCHMIDT: When markets weren't buying for days, it stuck vendor Gus Pappas with a warehouse full of food. Some can be donated. Most, including 2,000 boxes of strawberries must be tossed.
PAPPAS: Most of what's in this cooler is probably going to be thrown out if we can't move it.
SCHMIDT: Pappas estimates he's out hundreds of thousands of dollars. The irony, his business never lost power, so insurance won't help.
SCOTT BERNHARDT, PLANELYTICS: This is going to be a -- an event that is remembered.
SCHMIDT: Scott Bernhardt's company tracks how weather affects business. He says it will take at least a month to know how much the 600-mile storm path cost the economy.
BERNHARDT: It ranks in the realms of hurricanes, snowmageddon type -- type of events. I mean, these are significant events affecting a very large population. Therefore, it has a significant economic impact.
SCHMIDT: Tell me the minute that power came on. What time was it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was -- I think it was about 11:30?
SCHMIDT: Ten delivery-packed hours later on Thursday morning, the store reopened. The power restored along with something just as critical.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More importantly, everybody is back. That's the most important part.
SCHMIDT: And the company Planelytics says one of the problems with this storm, one of the reasons that we are still talking about it more than a week later is because it was only the first half of a one-two punch.
Of course, first you had the winds, but now you have this incredible record-breaking heat. The Washington area is set to experience its tenth straight day that the thermometer has reached at least 95 degrees.
And Randi, even as the temperature and their thermometer continues to go up, you see you still have to deal with all those things that came down. Back to you.
KAYE: Yes, certainly true. Emily Schmidt, thank you very much for that reporting.
And with more warnings of triple-digit temperatures today, let's check in with meteorologist Alexandra Steele to see where the biggest dangers are. Good morning.
ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning to you.
And you know unfortunately, for places like Washington and Virginia, they're going to see another round of storms, so they are far from out of the woods.
But hi, everyone. Good morning to you as you kind of get up and find your day. Well, another steamy one, but here's the areas that are impacted today. A little bit different than what we've seen.
This is a two-week heat wave we're talking about. And to give you a little perspective on the heat, this is the same heat that started out in the west two weeks ago, exacerbated the fires -- remember the Waldo Canyon fire -- and then moved to the Midwest, remember that derecho last Friday night, of course, what happened there. And now it's in the northeast.
So, this has gotten a lot of legs. Here's where we're going to see really the heaviest and the most intense heat indices, 115 perhaps. Today's highs, we're going to see 104 in Washington. Hey, we had a forecast yesterday for 106, which would have tied their all-time high; 104 today, 104 in Columbus, 105 in KC.
But here comes the relief. It's in this form of this cold front, behind it cooler air. Chicago on Sunday drops more than 25 degrees from the 100 degrees of yesterday. Still, Washington on Sunday 101, still New York 91, but almost that feels comfortable, right? 90 in KC, then to Monday and then Tuesday, even more relief, as temperatures cool down. So that is good news.
But unfortunately, to the West there's another heat wave kind of beginning to move in. And so, then that, too, will trek eastward. But with this cooler air comes something, and it's a one-two punch in the form of storms potentially today.
And New York, all these cities -- New York, Philadelphia, down toward Washington and Baltimore even, what we could see potentially throughout this afternoon, bow-shaped lines of thunderstorms and paths of wind damage. So that is the potential.
So unfortunately, with the cool down comes, we're going to see the frontal lifting mechanism that will fire off some severe storms, potentially, today.
And also when we come back, we'll talk a little bit more also about the floods we're seeing in the West and we'll do that coming up with more on the heat and how long we'll see it and where the new heat wave comes -- Randi. KAYE: All right. A lot to keep an eye on Alexandra.
KAYE: Thank you.
KAYE: Overseas, too much rain is the problem in southern Russia. Flash flooding has killed now almost 100 people. You can see entire city streets were just completely submerged. Cars are stranded. Floodwaters rose more than 20 feet while people were asleep. Some people were rescued by police after seeking refuge on roofs and in trees.
Relations between the U.S. and Afghanistan have begun a new chapter. The U.S. has named Afghanistan a major ally. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the announcement during a surprise visit to Kabul. The designation clears the way for the two countries to maintain a defense and economic friendship after U.S. troops have withdrawn.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Our strategic partnership agreement is not aimed at any other country. Our goal is to work with the region and the international community to strengthen Afghanistan's institutions so that the transition is successful and the Afghan people themselves can take responsibility and the future of Afghanistan will be safer and more secure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Nearly all U.S. troops are set to leave Afghanistan by 2014. Japan, Pakistan and Australia also have the ally status.
Now to Syria, where violence is spreading beyond its border; two rocket-propelled grenades fired from Syria, slammed into a Lebanese border town. Two Syrian refugees were killed, two others wounded.
And violence continues across the country. At a meeting in Paris, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blasted Russia and China for blocking efforts to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
A historic day in Libya. Libyans lined up to vote in the country's first free election after 40 years of rule by Moammar Gadhafi. Voters are choosing a national assembly that will be responsible for appointing a transitional government. The new government will face the tough job of reining in revolutionary militias and establishing a judiciary.
Back in the U.S. and to a series of killings in Ohio. Police are investigating four deaths in Newton Falls around 60 miles from Cleveland. They're trying to determine if three bodies found in a home and one found nearby are connected to another man who apparently committed suicide in a cemetery. Police say one child was able to escape the shootings in that home. An unknown illness has killed dozens of children, and now doctors in Cambodia are trying to solve this medical mystery and do it fast. We'll bring you the details.
KAYE: Today is the deadline for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to be extradited to Sweden. Police there want to talk to him about sexual assault allegations. Right now, Assange is in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and says that he won't leave until a decision on his asylum request is made.
If Assange travels to Sweden, he could be extradited to the U.S. for publishing thousands of confidential documents.
A mystery illness in Cambodia has claimed at least 56 lives, all of them children, many of them under three years old. The symptoms include respiratory problems and a swelling of the brain.
Sara Sidner is in Phnom Penh with details about the outbreak.
SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Randi, as you might imagine, any parent that has a child under the age of three is concerned, even in some cases scared for their children because of this mysterious illness. The World Health Organization is calling it a mysterious syndrome. They really do not know exactly what they are dealing with.
What they do know is that there have been 76 reported cases that the ministry of health here has reported. Of those, 57 of those all have very similar symptoms. And of those, 56 have died. That is why there's an urgent need to find out what exactly this illness is, the syndrome as they are calling it is.
There are some symptoms that they are telling parents to look out for. It's especially in children under the age of three. That is fever, any kind of difficulty breathing, some neurological problems such as drowsiness or not being able to respond.
These are some of the things they are telling parents. If your child has any of these symptoms, bring that child to the hospital as soon as possible. Let me tell you what we saw at the hospital here in Phnom Penh today. This is the main hospital, children's hospital, where most people come if there is a serious issue or illness in their children. There were lines of people and that's a normal thing waiting to get treatment for their children.
What we found was that many of the people just had never heard that there was a new problem out there, that there was a mysterious syndrome out there. There was only one or two who had heard on the radio that this existed and they had brought their child because that child had a fever, for example. So the word has not spread completely around the country that this mysterious syndrome is out there. However, right now, the World Health Organization and the ministry of health is trying to get to the bottom of what this is, trying to determine what it is. They have decided it is not SARS and it is not bird flu.
PIETER JIM VAN MAAREN, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: It is very difficult to assess how dangerous and how rapidly spreading it will be if we don't know what we're dealing with. This is the focus of our investigation at the moment, get to know what we are dealing with. Then we will be able to take the appropriate measures.
SIDNER: The first cases of this they saw in April and the last case just a couple of days ago. The thing that concerns health providers is that it has very rapid deterioration in children. Of the 57 again children that ended up in the hospital, 56 died. We're talking about a very high mortality rate. There's a lot of concern that parents won't be able to get their children to the hospital in time. Many of the children who made it to the hospital died within a day or two -- Randi.
KAYE: Sara Sidner, thank you very much.
The secrets of Scientology. We're breaking through the myths and the misconceptions. What is it all about and why are so many celebrities taking part?
And if you're leaving the house right now, well, just a reminder, you can continue watching CNN from your mobile phone. You can also watch CNN live from your laptop. You never have to leave us behind. Just go to CNN.com/TV.
KAYE: Welcome back.
It is the celebrity breakup heard around the world, and people are still talking about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' split. Holmes filed for divorce and wants custody of their daughter, but she hasn't really said what led to the decision to walk away from Cruise. Some say it may have had to do with his religion, Scientology. That has also brought more attention to the church and its practices.
We're focusing on Scientology a bit this morning -- the beliefs, the celebrities and the money. But first, there are many misconceptions about Scientology, so we thought that we would try and clear some of those up for you.
Their religion was started by author L. Ron Hubbard in the 1950s and has grown from there. Earlier, I spoke with Dan Gilgoff, co-editor of CNN.com's belief blog, and I asked when Scientology finally got final approval from the federal government.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DAN GILGOFF, CO-EDITOR, CNN.COM BELIEF BLOG: Scientology is a relatively new religion. The first church opened up in Los Angeles in 1954. Sort of helps to explain the church's long affiliation with Hollywood and celebrities.
Now, for a long time, the church fought to get government recognition in this country so it could get tax-exempt status like other religious organizations, other churches in this country enjoy. It took them a long time to do so, and they filed a lot of lawsuits against the IRS to make it happen. The IRS finally granted that status in 1993.
KAYE: When you talk about the belief, I mean what is at the core of Scientology?
GILGOFF: Scientology is really meant as a kind of new approach to mental health. So, a lot of it revolves around thinking about how the mind operates. Scientologists believe there is this reactive mind that we have that sort of experiences all this trauma and distress not only in our present life, but also in what Scientologists believe is our past lives.
So a lot of the religion is aimed at working through those traumas and regaining this sense of what Scientologists call clear, and it's this access to this analytic mind, the thinking goes, that lets us experience reality sort of more truly or more clearly.
KAYE: Danny Masterson, the actor from "That '70s Show", he's a second- generation Scientologist and he actually opened a museum called "Psychiatry, Industry of Death". Does the church have a problem with psychiatry?
GILGOFF: It really does. You know, if you go on to the church Web site, it compares psychiatric drugs to illicit street drugs. And Tom Cruise has generated controversy by talking about this as well.
Now, because Scientology treats itself as kind of a new approach to mental health, it's meant as a replacement for modern psychiatry and psychiatric drugs. So, there's this whole process of what Scientologists call auditing, where Scientologists sit with someone else from the church, and there is something called an e-meter that sends electrical waves through their body. This is meant to pick up on those sources of distress we were talking about.
And all of that is really meant to replace psychiatry. So, it really does dispute and reject modern-day psychiatry, and that's one of the big kind of areas of controversy surrounding the church.
KAYE: And what about all this talk about an alien or outer space somehow linked with Scientology? What is that all about?
GILGOFF: Scientologists, if you talk to them-reject this talk of aliens. At the same time -- and this is something that the Scientologists only reveal to members who are seen to be very advanced -- there is this whole founding story of humanity that revolves around an ancient intergalactic civilization that comprised dozens of planets. Now, the story goes that a lot of this population was sent to earth and extinguished and that kind of the souls of these bodies are now free floating and attach themselves to human bodies and that some of the trauma that we are experiencing today is borne of those bodies as well. It's another way that Scientology says it takes aim at kind of our minds and on providing clarity in the face of all these bodies that have attached themselves to humankind.
KAYE: All right. Dan Gilgoff, thank you so much. Fascinating conversation.
GILGOFF: Randi, good to see you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: For more on this story, be sure to check out our belief blog at CNN.com/belief, and you can also add your own comments there as well.
All right, here's a question for you. Who was the first Beatle to get seven consecutive top ten hits as a solo artist? John Lennon? Paul McCartney, perhaps? No it was Ringo Starr. There he is. It's his birthday today, and we're going to talk to him next.
KAYE: You've got to love that song. From his first days with the Beatles in 1962, Ringo Starr has never slowed down. The hysteria of the 1960s gave way to a solo musical career which began in 1970, and he's just released his 17th solo studio album called Ringo 2012. He's also been a working actor for decades and is still touring now with his all-star band.
And today happens to be his 72nd birthday. Ringo Starr joins us now from Nashville. Ringo, good morning to you and happy birthday!
RINGO STARR, SINGER: Thank you, Randi. Good morning to you, too -- 72.
KAYE: 72. We wish you many, many more. But this has become --
STARR: Yes, me, too.
KAYE: This is really more, though, than just simple happy birthday. I know that this is a big day for you because you want your fans to send out peace and love wishes to the world every year on your birthday.
STARR: Yes, well, we started this several years ago. Now, at noon, on my birthday, today, of course, the 7th of the 7th, wherever you are on a bus, in the office, you know, in the studio, hanging out, getting Randy tea, whatever you're doing, at noon, just go peace and love. That's all I ask for my birthday. Peace and love.
KAYE: We will do that. 33 minutes from now.
STARR: We're here right now at the -- sorry, Randi. What'd you say? KAYE: I said we will do that 33 minutes from now, at noon.
KAYE: OK, great. Well, we're here at the Hard Rock. They've been very supportive. There's a very nice lady called Annie who helps us out a lot. So, the last five years we've done this.
KAYE: Well, I think it's great. You're in Nashville also because you're on tour.
KAYE: With the all-star band. Let me give our viewers a little taste of you performing.
KAYE: So, tell me about the all-star band. This is what, the 13th version?
STARR: 13th version. I've been doing it now for 23 years, Ringo and the All-Stars, but this band is incredibly excellent. We have -- Greg Raleigh's on organ and keyboard, and he's from Santana, so we have "Black Magic Woman". We've got Steve Lukathe from Toto, "Africa".
You know, everybody has the hit to be in the band. We've got Mr. Paige back, Mister, Mister, "Broken Wings" and then we have Todd (inaudible) back for the third time banging the drums, so we've got a really cool line up, a very diverse line up. But when you put it all together it works, so, and I don't know that when I start.
KAYE: On top of it all, you have your new album out as well, Ringo 2012.
STARR: I hope the camera's on me now.
KAYE: Oh, we got it.
STARR: That's how it looks, yes. Anyway, yes, Ringo 2012. I thought let's keep it simple. And you know, there's the first track on it is a track I wrote with Glen Ballard, and it's called "Anthem", and it's an anthem for peace and love. So, I'm trying my best, peace and love, peace and love, you know, whenever I can.
KAYE: I'm just curious, none of us are as young as we used to be, so where do you get the energy now on your 72nd birthday, to tour night after night, year after year? I mean, do you have a secret?
STARR: Well, you know, I think you've got to keep fit. I think you've got to watch what you eat and that's all you can do. I work out quite a lot, and you know, broccoli is my main course, stuff like that. So, you know, that's how I do it. Just keep yourself fit.
When you're fit, you stay fit on the stage, anyway. You know, I'm dancing around on stage, I'm playing the drums. So as long as you do something physical, you know, keep moving.
KAYE: So, you live the vegetarian lifestyle, is that right?
STARR: I do, yes.
KAYE: All right. Well, that explains some of it.
STARR: This time I've been a vegetarian for, well, since '92, 20 years now.
KAYE: Well, listen, if it's OK with you, we'd love for you to stick around. I have a few more questions for you. So if you can, stay put as you turn 72. I want to hear what you have to say about what you see as The Beatles' legacy and your legacy. So we'll talk to you again in just a moment.
STARR: Whatever you want, Randi. Randi, I'm all yours.
KAYE: Oh, you made my day.
KAYE: Welcome back. We are back now with Ringo Starr.
One of the things, Ringo, that you've been really focused on, besides the peace and love of the planet.
STARR: Yes, Randi.
KAYE: But one of the things that you've been focused on the past few years has been helping to save endangered rhinos. What is it about the rhinos that it's become such an important fight for you?
STARR: Well, the rhinos go back to the '70s, actually. For some reason, Keith Moon and I were friends and we both loved rhinos, and I had two life-sized rhinos made. I gave him one and I had one. Just being one of those animals that I feel an affinity to. And that the idea that they kill like a three-ton animal to get that horn, you know, for the reasons we all know is just like, it's incredibly insane to me. But just a minute, Randi. Somebody just walked in.
KAYE: Oh, you have a guest? You're bringing -- oh!
JOE WALSH, MUSICIAN: Hi, Randi.
KAYE: That's Joe Walsh.
STARR: That is -- the incredible Joe Walsh came in to support me.
WALSH: I can't hear you, but you can see me.
KAYE: Well, tell him -- STARR: He just wanted to say hi, Randi.
KAYE: Hi, Joe.
STARR: Hi, Randi.
KAYE: Peace and love from Ringo and Joe.
STARR: OK, on your way, brother.
I have to let him in. He's the brother-in-law. It's a family thing!
KAYE: I get it. I get it. Well, let's talk about music and sort of a family thing, and your musical legacy. I want to share with our viewers just a little bit of you performing with Paul McCartney from a few years ago. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RINGO STARR AND PAUL MCCARTNEY (singing): What do you see when you turn out the light, I can't tell you, but I know it's mine. Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: A great moment. Certainly one of the songs that you're best known for. I'm curious, you know, how often do you and Paul still talk and what do you talk about when you do run into each other?
STARR: Well, we talk quite often. If we're in the same city or the same country, we can hook up. I mean, we don't live with each other, but you know, we are old friends and we're good friends. And you know, so, we just -- it's like a natural thing, you know. It's not like, oh, we've got to meet up. So that, you know, that's what we do.
KAYE: And do you talk about the old days?
STARR: I spoke to him a couple of weeks ago because, you know -- sorry?
KAYE: Do you talk about the old days?
STARR: Not a lot. We don't sit there, you know, we don't just sit there and talk about all the old days. We talk more about today, and you know, we're still doing it, and it's still exciting out there. But of course, you know, they were incredibly, you know, exciting and important days for me, and the music we made is still important. But you know, the kids are still in at about our music all these years later. So, we left a great musical legacy.
KAYE: And what do you think your legacy and The Beatles' legacy will be?
STARR: Well, that's it, music. I think "The Beatles" -- I always thought about The Beatles, it's not about me. I think The Beatles' music is that every generation listens to The Beatles. You know, the kids today are listening to The Beatles. Their fathers listen, their grandfathers listened. And you know, we're still out-selling most acts.
KAYE: What do you think about music today? I mean, do you think it's interesting? Do you think it's easier to become a star in the land of music these days than it was for you, or more difficult?
STARR: Well, no, I think it's all the same. You have to love what you do and you get out there and you play as much as you can, and sometimes things happen. You know, with a lot of the TV shows, I'm not really interested in that, but you know, underneath it all, there's always bands coming out. There's always a band you can listen to, new bands trying to get it, trying to start, trying to get up the ladder. So you know, I think it's exciting now. That I think the main problem now is that, you know, when we were "The Beatles," at least we could go on holiday. I don't think the kids now can go on holiday, you know?
KAYE: I'm sure that you might -- you might --
STARR: And you have to admire Justin Bieber because he works, you know he works so hard, and Rihanna is out there. You know, they're doing what they do.
STARR: It's hard.
KAYE: I would imagine, though, you still have plenty of groupies, although maybe the look and possibly the age of the groupies has changed?
STARR: You'll have to repeat that.
KAYE: I said I'm sure you still have plenty of groupies.
STARR: Sorry about this line. Birthdays.
KAYE: OK, we'll go with birthdays. We wish you many more birthdays.
STARR: OK. OK. Well, you know, I'm on the road, I'm touring still, I'm doing what I love to do. The dream started when I was 13, and it's still unfolding, so it cannot be bad. So, life is good and God bless you, Randi, and peace and love.
KAYE: Peace and love back at you, Ringo. What a pleasure to speak with you. Have a wonderful birthday today.
STARR: All right, thank you. God bless.
KAYE: Meat is off the menu for Chinese athletes. They're worried that chemicals in the meat may cause them to fail a drug test. So, is there reason to worry about the meat that we're all eating? We'll take a look.
KAYE: Serena Williams, this just in, has won the Wimbledon ladies' single final. Williams defeated Agnieszka Radwanska six to one, five- seven and then six two, nabbing her fifth Wimbledon singles title. Amazing.
And we have our Amanda Davies who is there watching all this. They're caught up in all the action. This is certainly a big day for Serena Williams.
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is, Randi. Thanks very much.
Welcome to the All-England Club, to Wimbledon, where Serena Williams has just lifted the Venus Rosewater Dish for the fifth time. Incredibly, ten years after she won her first title here at Wimbledon. People have suggested that today was going to be a walk in the park for her against first-time grand slam finalist Agnieszka Radwanska from Poland, but it wasn't quite that way, was it? As you said, it was three sets. Serena got off to a fantastic start and marched to the first set six games to one in just 36 minutes.
And then there was a rain delay. The players went off court for 20, 25 minutes or so, and Radwanska came back really a very different player. She's been suffering from a chest infection, of course, and had lost to Serena on both of their two previous meetings, but she went on to take that second set seven games to give, and people were talking about an upset here, but then Serena really showed her class, showed her experience, and she went on to take the third set and the title, six games to two. So, here she is at 30 years of age, celebrating her 14th Grand Slam title, which really is quite something, because people had been writing her off because of everything that's happened in the past couple of years to her with the foot injury and the pulmonary embolism and then the first-round exit at the French Open. But here she is, Serena Williams back with her name on that trophy.
KAYE: Amazing. Certainly the Williams family along with her sister, Venus, they'll be celebrating now for her today. Amanda Davies, thank you very, very much. We'll be right back.
KAYE: China women's volleyball team is on a losing streak. And the coach thinks that he knows why. The athletes have been restricted to a vegetarian diet for the last few weeks out of fears that they will ingest a steroid called Clenbuterol. It's a substance that used to breed leaner animals, but also considered a performance enhancing drug by the International Olympic Committee.
So, what about chemicals and ingredients in your meat at home? Can it have serious health effects? We invited Mark MacDonald, author of the book "Body Confidence" to join us in studio to talk about this. So, Mark, good morning to you.
MARK MACDONALD, FITNESS AND NUTRITION EXPERT: Thanks, Randi, thanks for having me. KAYE: You are very welcome. So, let's talk about this. I mean is the coach right? Could it have something to do with the meat or a lack of meat, I should say?
MACDONALD: Well, I think, so the protein is important, especially for athletes. Because it has nitrogen, which affects the quality of your tissue. So, if you take meat out of an athlete diet, then that could affect their overall performance and energy level. Now, is that why they lost? I wouldn't say that, but it is the piece of the equation. Nutrition is important.
KAYE: But when you hear so much about plant-based diet and green juices and the dark greens, and you're like -- is this supposed to, you know, give you better function and more energy? But you are saying with the meat, it's -- without the meat it's just not enough?
MACDONALD: Well, there's three main nutrients that you need from a point of calories, carbohydrates, protein and fat. So, when you take protein out, you are not getting enough. Then you have carbs and you have fat, but it's still -- you are not getting the nitrogen you need. So after they have a hard workout, they don't have the necessary nutrients to recover. That's why protein is so important. You need all three.
KAYE: But you don't need meat protein, right? You can get a plant-base protein.
MACDONALD: You could get it from -- you totally could get plant based protein.
KAYE: They should eat a salad.
MACDONALD: Well, they can do like a soy protein or a quinoa. Or some type of complete protein, but most likely, they might have just cut all the protein out. And who knows if there was a balance.
MACDONALD: So if you are someone who is eating a particular way and then you eliminate something, it's a shock to the system, especially an athlete.
KAYE: Right. So, what about in the U.S.? I mean is this something, this Clenbuterol, is this something that we should be concerned about?
MACDONALD: I don't think so. Not in the U.S. I think, you know, Alberto Contador just lost this 2010 Tour de France title because during the race, he had steak from Spain that he said was tainted with Clenbuterol and made him positive on the drug test. Now, do we know that as a fact? We don't know. But in other countries, they do use Clenbuterol to get the animals leaner and more muscular. In the U.S., one thing that -- we've never had a U.S. athlete have to worry about taking in meat for Clenbuterol.
KAYE: What should we look for then when buying it? Is there anything we should be on the lookout for? MACDONALD: I think the biggest thing is nitrates. That when you look at the preservatives in meat, it makes your body -- it affects your digestive system and it makes you hold fluid. I'd also look at hormones. I mean hormones in meat isn't great for you, but in moderation, I mean it's not -- we have to look at if you are going to have organic or if you are going to have hormone-free, you have to make sure that it works within your budget.
KAYE: And that's what I was going to say. Because it can be more expensive. You know, we hear so much about eat organic. But a lot of folks just can't.
MACDONALD: I agree. And --
KAYE: Is there an alternative?
MACDONALD: To me, it's being educated about shopping in the right places. The warehouse stores are fantastic. There is some good other stores. Like Trader Joe's, where you can get good quality with not a lot of nitrates, that work within your budget. You just have to be more creative and you can get high quality protein at a good rate.
KAYE: All right. That's a pretty good advice. We'll continue to watch that -- that team and see how they do without their meat. Mark MacDonald, nice to see you.
CNN's "NEWSROOM" starts at the top of the hour. Gary Tuchman is in today for Fredricka. How are you?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Randi, nice seeing you.
KAYE: Nice to see you.
TUCHMAN: We have a very busy day today. First of all, our legal guys are here, and we're going to be talking about should prisons be air- conditioned? There are four lawsuits in the state of Texas saying that some prisons are too hot. Four people have died over the last year from heat-related causes. But the question here is, there are millions of Americans who don't have air conditioning in their homes or apartments, either. So we'll be talking about that. We'll also be talking about fitness. I know you're a fit woman.
KAYE: I am. Well, I'm a fitness fan.
TUCHMAN: OK, you play a lot of tennis. I know you could beat Serena Williams.
KAYE: I don't know, not today, maybe.
TUCHMAN: Not today, maybe. But we have an app for you and for all of our viewers who want to take care of their fitness. Apps to help you get in better shape. And also, Randi, this past week I spent time in Colorado with the wildfires, and I was with the bravest of the brave, the smoke-jumpers, the men and women who go in airplanes, parachute out of the airplanes and fight the fire. So we'll be talking about that over the next several hours here on CNN. KAYE: All right. Did you catch the Ringo Starr interview?
TUCHMAN: I am so amazed that you got a chance to interview Ringo Starr.
KAYE: That made my day.
TUCHMAN: That's really great.
KAYE: This is making my day, too, but --
TUCHMAN: I'm very honored, but, you know, Ringo Starr I would think would certainly be the highlight.
KAYE: Yes, it was pretty great. All right, Gary, thank you. And I know you're in for Fred and Fred is busy in New Orleans. She is at the 2012 Essence Music Festival. It's going on there. Visitors being treated to all kinds of performances. The queen of soul, Aretha Franklin, you name it. Fred, tell us about what's happening there and who do you have with you?
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, yes. OK. Well, you know there's a lot of smart talk and then incredible music. Does this ring a bell? Never give up, open my heart? And the best rendition of "I believe I can fly" that gospel singer Yolanda Adams. Oh, it's such a treat to be sitting with you and talking with you.
YOLANDA ADAMS, SINGER: Thanks for having me.
WHITFIELD: And you know what? The crowd just like filled the room here when you walked in.
ADAMS: Oh, wow.
WHITFIELD: Everyone loves your music and everything you do philanthropically as well, as well as you've got a new clothing line coming out for us tall girls --
WHITFIELD: You're 6'1", I'm 5'10", I cannot wait to see what you've got on line.
ADAMS: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: How do you juggle it all?
ADAMS: Well, I told you, we have great help, great family, you know, people who just love us to life and, you know, you have to pace it, you have to give yourself a little me time, but the exercise, the vitamins and the water are essential.
WHITFIELD: All of that is so important. Yesterday I was talking with Vanessa Williams and her mom Helen Williams. And they really were sending the message of you can only be your best mother, you can only be the best in a daughter if you take care of yourself first. And so many women feel like they have got to put everyone first, the family, health care, the financial dynamics and they put themselves last and I love that you're sending the message that you really do have to take care of yourself in order to be your best.
WHITFIELD: And the best partner that you can be, best mother you can be, you've got to think about you first.
ADAMS: You've got to think about you, because if you're broken down then everything else breaks down, you know. You've got to make sure that when you put your, you know, your health first, I'm a stickler about health, you've got to do the exercise, you've got to do the water, you've got to do the vitamins and, you know, when you feel a little sluggish that means hey, I need a nap. Afternoon naps for me are essential. They are.
WHITFIELD: You juggle a lot, you've got a morning show.
WHITFIELD: That has to be incredibly fulfilling.
ADAMS: Everything in my life is fulfilling. First of all, I'm a mom first. Taylor is my pride and joy. She's my definite inspiration and my rocket booster. She's the reason that I do all I do. And I want to show her that it's OK to be able to do more than one thing in your life. My dad taught me that. He taught me, Yolanda, listen, you can have seven streams of income if you apply yourself and do what you're supposed to do. I was 12 when he told me that.
ADAMS: Now I'm 50 and I'm like yes, it works.
WHITFIELD: Oh, my gosh. Beautiful 50.
ADAMS: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: And then you have got this Voice of an Angel foundation.
WHITFIELD: What's the inspiration? What's it all about?
ADAMS: Well, I used to be a teacher, I taught for seven years, second and third grades. And I knew that between the middle school and high school if we lose our kids we lose them for a while, you know. And it takes time to get them back. What we want to do with the Voice of an Angel foundation, is to mentor them through high school, all the way through college, make sure that they have a running start, you know, make sure that they give us back three years in the education system and they have to love kids. It cannot be one of those things, oh, I'm in a program and I just want to do this.
WHITFIELD: No part-timers. ADAMS: No. You've got to love kids. That's automatic.
WHITFIELD: Well, we love it -- you love your music, you love (inaudible).
WHITFIELD: We love you. Yolanda Adams, fantastic. And of course, we'll be enjoying you throughout the Essence Fest weekend.
WHITFIELD: Thanks so much for stopping by.
ADAMS: I will be here.
WHITFIELD: Yes, all right. Good to see you.
ADAMS: Good to see you too.
WHITFIELD: All right, Randi, we have got a lot straight ahead including, of course, great inspirational talk just like that. Randi.
KAYE: That was quite inspirational. Fred, thank you very much. Enjoy your time there.
EReaders are a great way to keep up with your favorite books. But your favorite electronic books, well, they actually may be keeping up with you. Can you protect your privacy? Our digital lifestyle expert weighs in.
KAYE: Teenage girls will see a different picture when they open up next "17" magazine, an un-edited one. It is part of the magazine's pledge to never change girls' bodies or face shapes in any of its photos. Instead, "17" will celebrate every kind of beauty and only show real girls and models who are healthy. The push started in April when 14-year old Julia Blum (ph) gathered 84,000 signatures petitioning against tweaking the photos.
Well, it is no secret that many websites like Facebook and Google gather personal information about you, but your E-book may be collecting data about you as well. I spoke with HLN digital lifestyle expert Mario Armstrong about what your eReaders are saying about you.
MARIO ARMSTRONG, CNN DIGITAL LIFESTYLE EXPERT: A lot of people did not realize that publishers and manufacturers of these eReaders can now determine a lot of things.
Number one, they can tell how fast we're reading a book, where did we end up stopping and pausing, what do we highlight in the book, even annotations if we make notes within that book as well. And this data will tell publishers a lot about our interests, a lot about our reading habits, and maybe how they could better create books for us or how they could position the next best seller for our habits.
KAYE: So it's all about learning how to market it to us better, it sounds like?
ARMSTRONG: It's a lot of that. It's a lot of data that they're collecting right now. So they don't even really know the full picture.
For example, Barnes and Noble recently created something called Nook Shorts, and this is because they found that a lot of people when reading nonfiction tend to start and stop. They said, you know what, maybe people can't finish a long book, maybe we should do shorter features and see how those actually sell and see how those move.
So it is making some adjustments within the publishing industry. They never had this before. You buy a book, you read it, you either talk about it or you don't. But they had no data to collect about what you do with that book.
KAYE: Right. So how exactly does it work and is there any way to turn it off? Is there any way to prevent them from doing this?
ARMSTRONG: You always ask the right question. There's no way to -- right now, there isn't. In fact, in the Amazon agreement, it kind of explains this in the fine-tooth details there. But here's the thing. They transmit wirelessly. So the same antenna you're using to download the book is the same antenna inside that's sending back information as you're using your eReader.
I should caution people. I'm being told that they aren't personalizing that information, that they're just aggregating it to identify trends and identify what things people are doing. But, to me, the potential for them to still personalize it is right there. I mean, the last thing I think someone wants to have happen, Randi, is they are reading "50 Shades of Gray" and they are maybe making a note about how they're going to better their life at home through something they read, and that shows up.
KAYE: That would be bad. That would be very bad.
ARMSTRONG: That wouldn't be so good. But that could really help, that could really start to make people think differently about what do they download, what do they read.
And lastly, we don't want the author feeling like they can't be creative due to technology pressure that maybe the publishers or the manufacturers of these devices are suggesting.
KAYE: Who knew, right? That was our digital lifestyle expert Mario Armstrong.
All right, well, that will do it for me. Gary, I will hand it off to you. Gary Tuchman in for Fredricka today.
TUCHMAN: Randi, have a nice rest of your week. KAYE: Thank you.
TUCHMAN: And thank you.