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Pressing Romney on Releasing Tax Returns; Clinton's Motorcade Pelted in Egypt; Possible Heathrow Security Breaches; Florida to Get Homeland Security Database; Cost of Using Credit Cards May Go Up; Firestorm Over Romney's Role at Bain Capital; Teen Table Tennis Whiz Competes for U.S.; Curfew Cuts Short Boss, McCartney Jam
Aired July 16, 2012 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Happening right now in the NEWSROOM, security scare. The Olympics just days away and new reports this morning of security lapses at London's Heathrow Airport. Are inexperienced guards putting our athletes in danger? We are live in London.
China responds to fight over the U.S. Olympics team's uniform, getting more intense this morning. The country's state news agency calling Senator Harry Reid out saying he's violating the Olympics spirit after he said the Chinese-made uniform should be burned. China now asks if he will burn his Chinese-made appliances, clothes and BlackBerry.
And what are they thinking? An ultra marathon, 135 miles long in Death Valley. It's being called the world's toughest footrace. Runners starting right now on a two-day run through hell. The average temperature in Death Valley, 116 degrees.
And not a crash but tacks, of all things, slowing down the Tour de France. Someone actually threw carpet tacks and small nails out on the road in front of the cyclists? Who does that?
NEWSROOM begins right now.
And good Monday morning to you. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for being here with us this morning.
The battle over Bain, taxes, outsourcing and whether President Obama should apologize gets hotter this morning. The president will be in Cincinnati later today and he's expected to bash Romney over tax breaks for big business. But Romney is already on the offensive. Appearing on Republican friendly "FOX & FRIENDS" this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The president, on the other hand, has only one thing going. And that is constant attacks on me. And you know, they're dishonest, they're misdirected. And I think the American people recognize that kind of politics as something of the past. It may work in Chicago but it's not going to work across America.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COSTELLO: Except the attacks on Romney seem to be sticking. Even some Republicans wonder why Mr. Romney won't release some more of his tax returns. After all, they say, they would show whether Romney headed Bain Capital after 1999 when some of the companies Bain invested in sent jobs overseas.
Let's bring in our political editor Paul Steinhauser to talk more about this.
Good morning, Paul.
PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Good morning, Carol.
COSTELLO: So Romney is holding firm? No more tax returns?
STEINHAUSER: Yes. Romney is holding firm on that. And you just played a clip from that interview on "FOX & FRIENDS." Take a listen to what he said on taxes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: John McCain ran for president and released two years of tax returns. John Kerry ran for president. You know, his wife, who has hundreds of million of dollars, she never released her tax returns. Somehow this wasn't an issue. The Obama people keep on wanting more and more and more. More things to pick through, more things for their opposition research to try to make a mountain out of and distort and to be dishonest about.
We're going put out two years of tax returns and put out one already. As soon as the most recent year is complete, we'll put that out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEINHAUSER: You know, this came up back in the primaries, Carol. Remember in January during the heat of the battle for the Republican presidential nomination. At that time Mitt Romney did put out his 2010 tax returns. And he put out an estimate for 2011. But the opposition then and the Obama campaign now point out that well, Mitt Romney's father, when he was running for president back in 1968, put out 12 years of tax returns.
Carol, listen, the battle over taxes. The battle over Bain Capital. That's the private equity firm that Mitt Romney co-founded and has been accused by the Obama campaign. And back in the primaries as well by his opponents then of sending jobs overseas.
These are heated battles. This campaign turned from negative to really nasty. In fact Mitt Romney in that Round Robin of interviews he did the other day asked for an apology from the Obama camp for saying maybe Mitt Romney had -- broke the law by misreporting what he left misreporting when he left Bain Capital. We'll, is the president going to apologize? Take a listen to what he said yesterday in a affiliate review.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) c BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, we won't be apologizing. And I don't -- you know, sometimes these games are played during political campaigns. Understand what the issue is here. Mr. Romney claims that he's Mr. Fix it for the economy. Because of the -- his business experience. And so I think voters entirely legitimately want to know what exactly was that business experience.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEINHAUSER: What do you think, Carol? We've got 3 1/2 more months of this. You think it's going to get even -- more heated than it is already?
COSTELLO: I think you're right about that. It will get more heated. The sad thing is no one is talking about their vision for the economy. They are just busy attacking each other.
STEINHAUSER: Over the economy. Exactly.
COSTELLO: Over the economy. With no plan. Paul Steinhauser, many thanks. Live in Washington this mornings morning.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is wrapping up a nearly two-leak long trip to Asia and Middle East with a stop in Israel. Clinton is talking with Israeli leaders about Syria, Iran and other issues. While also bringing a message of solidarity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: It is a time of uncertainty but also of opportunity. It is a chance to advance our shared goals of security, stability, peace, and democracy. Along with prosperity for the millions of people in this region who have yet to see a better future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Before heading to Israel, Clinton met with Egypt's new president, Mohammed Morsi, and urged him to assert his authority. But she also said the United States was not in the business of taking sides. And that message was not welcomed by everyone. On Sunday her motorcade was pelted with tomatoes and shoes as she left the newly reopened U.S. consulate. Protesters also canted, "Monica, Monica," in an attempt to insult her.
Let's bring in Zain Verjee from London. Really? They chanted "Monica"?
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Yes, really. Monica Lewinsky instead of saying Hillary, Hillary, Hillary, it was Monica, Monica, Monica, Monica, Carol, I mean this was a really moment where the protesters gathered outside the U.S. consulate, the secretary was opening in Alexandria and Egypt expressing their anger.
Basically they are mad because they think that the U.S. is taking sides and trying to influence the outcome of Egyptian politics today. So yes, they threw tomatoes or tomatoes. Shoes which is really a sign of disrespect in that region. So that's -- that's the significance throwing something like that at the motorcade.
The thing is the motorcade was -- she was actually in, the car was around the corner. So what happened was officials came outside after street ceremony and they only managed to pelt one Egyptian official in the face. But nonetheless, you know, it was a significant point to know and underscore that the U.S. is not popular in Egypt today.
COSTELLO: Zain, you've covered the State Department and Hillary Clinton for many years. I just wondered what do you think -- the Hillary Clinton even care that this happened?
VERJEE: Well, it grabbed the wrong kind of headlines, that's for sure. That's not something the State Department wants to get because there was some really serious issues here, fragile economy issues of the transfer of power. You know. Still a major power struggle going on between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military in Egypt.
That's still no constitution. There's no parliament, no government, and the State Department wants the secretary to be seen as discussing those topics and instead here we are talking about tomatoes, tomatoes, shoes and water bottles being thrown at as.
So, no, it's not the kind of headline that she wants. Because she was carrying a serious message from Egypt to Israel to talk about what was going on.
VERJEE: Zain Verjee, live in London for us morning.
This morning, families of two Americans kidnapped in Egypt are waiting for word on their fate. Egyptian authorities are still trying to negotiate with the man holding the two Americans and their Egyptian guide. Pastor Michel Louis and Lisa Alphonse were abducted when their tour bus was stopped in the Sinai Peninsula. Their kidnapper is demanding the release of his uncle from an Egyptian jail. Louis' son Jean spoke to CNN earlier this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. JEAN LOUIS, SON OF KIDNAPPED PASTOR MICHEL LOUIS: Story that I heard from my mom, everything happened so quickly, so -- he even -- I remember her clearly telling me on the Friday that one of her concerns were that he didn't even have shoes on when they took him off the bus. So he did -- he doesn't have any of the medication that he takes. I don't know of anything about a seizure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Pastor Louis is diabetic. This is the third kidnapping of Americans in Egypt since February.
Security questions are mounting this morning with the start of the London games. The Olympic Games now less than two weeks away. Reports today of terror are getting into London unchecked. One senior British official blames inexperienced security personnel. The officials adds he is personally aware of three suspects on Britain's watch list being allowed into the country this month.
Joining me now from London, Dan Rivers.
Dan, how concerned should we be with our American athletes going over there?
DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think this may have been a little bit blown out of proportion. These reports were coming from a British newspaper, "The Observer." I spoke to their home office and they're very insistent that this is not the case, that no known terror suspects have come into the country as a result of sort of badly trained staff filling in on the frontlines of Heathrow Airport checking passports.
They did confirm that some non-border staff have been brought in to cope with the extra demand. Retired police officers, retired border floors staff and so on. But they were very insistent that all of the normal checks are being carried out. Also saying that the independent inspector of the UK Board of Forces completely independent of the government has also agreed that all the requisite checks are being done on passports and they're absolutely certain that no known terrorists have slipped through the net as a result of border staff not checking passports properly.
But it does underline just the sensitive nature of hunger at the moment in the lead-up to the Olympics less than two weeks away. Combined with that we had all this controversy here about private security from G4S as well not being able to supply enough guards to guard the Olympic stadiums.
COSTELLO: Well, yes, that is disturbing to many Americans. They actually had to call in military personnel because they couldn't find enough private security to protect the athletes.
RIVERS: Yes. Basically this is the story of -- a private security firm G4S which was supposed to initially provide 2,000 private security guards to sort of check tickets and check your bag as you walk into the stadium, that figure was then up to 10,000 guards last December. The home secretary who's about to -- answer urgent questions in the House of Commons in about an hour, basically said last Wednesday, she was told this firm suddenly decided it couldn't provide those 10,000 guards.
Having until that point reassured them that they could. The reason being they got some glitch in their computer software which means the vetting and accreditation of all of these extra staff has been slowed down as has the training. And they simply have finally admitted, you know, we simply can't do this in the time frame allowed. And that's why the government says they've stepped in and put 3,500 soldiers in their place as well as police as well-being brought in to try and fill the gap where the -- that is being left by this private security firm basically dropping the ball.
COSTELLO: Dan Rivers reporting live from London.
Olympic uniform game gets more interesting this morning. China is fighting back. You know the story. Those U.S. Olympic team uniforms made by Ralph Lauren, the ones that were actually made in China? Well, the Chinese government is now slamming American lawmakers for their outrage over the uniforms.
In a statement from its official news agency, the Chinese government says, quote, "The Olympic Spirit, which has nothing to do with politics, chants mutual understanding and fair play, so tagging the uniforms with politics by those U.S. politicians exposes narrow nationalism and ignorance, and violates the Olympic Spirit," end quote.
You may recall Senate majority leader Harry Reid was particularly outspoken, his objection to the uniforms. Here he is on Thursday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: I am so upset that I think the Olympic Committee should be ashamed of themselves. I think they should be embarrassed. I think they take all the uniforms, put then in a big pile and burn them. And start all over again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: China responded to that with this question. Quote, "Will Reid burn his BlackBerry, all of his home appliances and half of his wardrobe because those were made in China?" End quote.
We've reached out to Senator Reid's office for a response. We're still waiting.
In the meantime, since we're talking about uniforms and where they were made, we wondered what China's uniforms look like. Well, there they are. "The New York Times" is reporting the team is outfitted by Fila, the world's largest sportswear company. The "Times" added that the president of Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Olympic Committee, is actually unsure of where the uniforms were made. Fila originally an Italian company, now has South Korean owners.
Florida will scrub its voting roles now that it's getting access to a Homeland Security database on non-citizens. What that could mean come Election Day.
COSTELLO: Sixteen minutes past the hour.
Checking the top stories:
Was it '99 or 2002? Democrats keep hammering GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on exactly when he left Bain capital. And the Obama campaign is rejecting Republican demands for an apology.
Democrats have suggested Romney may have committed a felony if filings didn't accurately reflect his time with the company, as in when he exactly he left. A senior adviser now says Romney retroactively retired from Bain after starting his work with the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.
In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal, many people have been asking if the Joe Paterno statue will be taken down. There are even reports suggesting that it might be removed from outside of Beaver Stadium. Penn State says no decision has been made.
In money news, Ford recalls more than 8,000 Escape compact SUVs over an issue potentially affects the brake pedal. It says mis- position carpet pad could reduce space around the pedal. The recall affects 2013 models made between March and June of this year.
After months of haggling, Florida election officials will have access to the Homeland Security citizen database. What's that, you ask? It's a list of resident non-citizens compiled by Homeland Security and Florida's Governor Rick Scott says it will ensure no illegals vote.
John Zarrella is in Miami to break down exactly what that means.
Good morning, John.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, Carol. We know that a couple of months back, the state of Florida started cleansing the voter rolls and initial a huge furor because it looked like there might be thousands of people the state was going after. People were actually being identified who were legitimate citizens and they were being told, look, you've got to respond within 30 days. Or you are going to be pulled from the voter rolls.
So, it caused a huge flack. The state system wasn't very accurate. It was bottom line. So, the state said we've got to have this federal database. As you pointed out, after weeks and weeks of haggling, the federal government, Department of Homeland Security, has finally agreed to give Florida access to this database.
Now, this morning, just about an hour ago, Governor Rick Scott was on with Soledad and talked about how this is all going to work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: There was never a purge. What we do -- what we do is we provide information to our local supervised elections. We have 67 of them per county. We'll give them names that people -- that -- appears would not be U.S. citizens. It might be on the voter rolls, and they'll go through the due process. What happens is you send them a notice by mail. If they don't respond, you put it in the paper. And then if they don't respond, they are taken off the voter rolls.
But when the election happens, this happened to me, you go in and you're not on the voter rolls. In my case I think it's 2006, they said I passed away. You get to vote provisionally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZARRELLA: Now, some of the local supervisors of elections before this was announced had said that they were not going to go ahead and do anything based on the information Florida was giving in the past. The governor added today that he assumed that these supervisors of elections would now go along with whatever names are given to them and then go back and double-check, triple check. See if those people are really on the voter rolls if or if they are -- if they are not U.S. citizens.
And, of course, as you know, Carol, many other states are looking very, very closely and were to see how al of this shakes out because they, too, have asked for and won access to that federal database. So, this could have some very interesting ramifications leading up to the November elections.
COSTELLO: Sure could. John Zarrella reporting live for us from Miami.
When it comes to the Olympics and our uniforms, are we playing fair when it comes to China? That's a tricky question, isn't it? That's our question in talkback today.
COSTELLO: Now is your chance to talk back on one of the big stories of the day.
The question for you this morning -- how far should we go to limit products from China? You heard the uproar over those Chinese- made uniforms for U.S. athletes. Well, China is fighting back. The Chinese news agency Xinhua says that the U.S. politicians, like Harry Reid, are being hypocritical and irresponsible by wanting to burn the uniforms because, it says, after all, American politicians surely wear and use Chinese-made products.
And quote, "The Olympic spirit has nothing to do with politics. So tagging the uniform with politics exposes narrow nationalism and ignorance and violates the original Olympic spirit," end quote.
Truth is, when it comes to the Olympics, though, politics is often the spoiler. Remember the massacre of Israeli athletes in Munich? Or the U.S. and Soviets' boycotts. Now, six Democratic senators plan to introduce the Team USA Made in America Act of 2012, to make sure that our uniforms are made here.
Lot of Americans are cheering that idea. And that's creating lots of fodder for the hot topic of the moment in 2012. Both Romney and Obama are accusing the other of outsourcing jobs to China. Mitt Romney has vowed if elected to get tough with China.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now, what do you do about China? How do you deal with its cheating? On day one of my administration, I would designate China as a currency manipulator.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: But back to the Olympics. What about those Olympic ideals of international inclusiveness and good will? Good luck with that, right?
Talk back question today: How far should we go to limit products from China? Facebook.com/CarolCNN, Facebook.com/CarolCNN. I'll read your comments later this hour.
Visa and MasterCard settle an antitrust lawsuit for more than $7 billion. Guess what? You may be picking up some of that tab.
COSTELLO: A $7 billion settlement between retailers and credit card companies means you could pay more every time you swipe that card.
Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange.
So, let me get this straight. The credit card companies are being punished and so are we.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You got it. That's in a nutshell. Isn't that lovely? I know. I'm with you on this.
Keep in mind, though, if this is approved it would be the biggest antitrust settlement ever. A judge still has to give his or her OK on this. What it does is settles the big dispute that's been going on with 7 million U.S. retailers and these credit card companies.
What happened was these retailers claimed that Visa and MasterCard fix these swipe fees and that's a processing fee that they charge retailers on each transaction. And what they say happened is they didn't allow those retailers to pass that cost on to us, on to consumers.
So, the retailers claimed that was illegal collusion. Well, now, Visa and MasterCard are settling the charges out of court. So, yes, the retailers won.
But guess what? The consumers, we are going to lose a bit of money each time we use our credit cards. So, we are seeing how this all rolls downhill, aren't we? We're seeing that now.
So retailers are going to be passing these swipe fees on to us. So, it's going to be more expensive for us to use your credit card versus cash -- Carol.
COSTELLO: I was just looking at those little boys helping ring the opening bell this morning. They are innocent yet. There they are.
KOSIK: They are learning about money so early, don't they?
COSTELLO: They do. They do.
No. That's -- not great news for consumers of the credit card company. What about how things are looking on Wall Street this morning? I see we are in negative territory right now.
KOSIK: Yes, stocks are opening lower. This is after a huge run-up from Friday where we saw triple digit gain on the Dow.
Citigroup, that was next biggest bank to report that reported this morning. JPMorgan reported on Friday. Citigroup beat Wall Street's expectations on profit. Revenue fell a bit short.
We also got a report on retail sales, Carol. We found out that retail sales fell a half a percent in June. This is the third month in a row now.
So if you look deep in that report, you see that gas prices are down but with all this -- with a little bit of extra cash people have in their pockets from those lower gas prices, consumers are either paying down debt or putting it into savings. They're not spending as much. So, while it's good that they are saving and paying down debt, it's not helping the economy.
So, Wall Street is not feeling good about that. Reason -- one of the reasons you are seeing stocks open in the red -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Yes. We've heard that song and dance before.
Alison Kosik live at the New York Stock Exchange.
It is 31 minutes past the hour. I'm Carol Costello.
Stories we are following now in THE NEWSROOM:
Egyptian authorities are preparing for another round of negotiations to try to free two kidnapped American tourists and their Egyptian guide. Bedouins sheiks who are acting as mediators had said the captives, including Boston pastor Michel Louis, are unharmed and well fed. The kidnappers are demanding the release of a jailed uncle.
The president of Florida A&M University stepping down today. Dr. James Ammons just resigned after the family of a band student who died in a hazing accident filed a lawsuit against the university.
The campaign is hot, hot, hot -- except when it comes to an actual vision as in hey, presidential candidates. How will you fix our economy?
Instead Mr. Obama is calling on Mr. Romney to release his tax returns and Mr. Romney is accusing Mr. Obama of paying of political donors. Political cronyism, don't you know.
That means that you may elect a president based on whose nasty campaign worked best.
So, let's discuss.
L.Z. Granderson is the CNN contributor who leans left. And Will Cain is the CNN contributor who leans right.
Welcome to both of you.
WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Good morning, Carol and L.Z.
L.Z. GRANDERSON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Good morning, Carol.
COSTELLO: Good morning. I will ask you about the vision thing.
And I'll start with you, Will. When do you think the vision thing will emerge?
CAIN: You know what? I think it already has.
First of all, I do lament the fact that for example, we had this debate over whether Mitt Romney left Bain or let his influence wane before or after 1999, was it there in 2001 and 2002, because the entire implication for the debate is if some jobs were outsourced under Bain and under Mitt Romney, then that's always bad. The truth is that that's a rational response to economic indicators.
We're not debating why the situation in the United States, why the economic climate of the United States might be conducive to outsourcing. That's the debate. How do you manage an economy and what kind of effect does it have on jobs?
I do think, Carol, that the vision thing has emerged. And I think between the two guys, underlying a lot of -- even some of the superficial attacks, you can see a vision of maybe protectionism versus free economics, you see some visions of how they would handle economies and hopefully one that's somewhat of a recession/sluggish situation.
COSTELLO: Let me put it to you this way. I mean, Mitt Romney is not talking about his time much as governor of Massachusetts and his record there. And President Obama is not talking much about the state of the economy now since, of course, we have, what, 8.2 percent unemployment rate.
So, L.Z., maybe these candidates can't talk about a vision thing because their vision thing hasn't worked in the past.
GRANDERSON: Well, you know, first of all, I think it is unfair to say they haven't talked about visions because -- while you may not hear a lot of sound bites from television or radio, what you can do is visit both of their Web sites and take a look at what they want to do for the country. So, I think that their vision is out there but it is up to us as the American voters to do more digging.
But with that being said, in September of 2011, p Obama did unveil, you know, his Americans Job Act and in October it was voted down. And then going forward, we were told that we were going to have discussions about which pieces of the act of the bill we can actually implement to help the economy.
And that simply hasn't happened. It has been a stalemate there. I think it is because of this campaign has been going on. No one really wants to get down to helping the American people, American public.
But I think there have been plans out there. It just doesn't seem like they are getting traction because we're all sidetracked trying to win the White House.
Neither party is really interested in helping the American people.
COSTELLO: Well, I don't know if you can actually deny that because what today, Romney's campaign is going to release new attack ads. Attacking Obama for cronyism, you know, political donors. Obama will do anything for them. You know, if they pay money into his campaign. And then Mr. Obama is going to be in Cincinnati and he will continue talking about, you know, tax break for big businesses and probably Bain will come up as well.
COSTELLO: Yes. OK. Listen. I agree that often -- in political attack ads or sound bite politics and spin, we don't feel like we get the underlying message. We don't understand the debate that they are trying -- because they are trying to mask it.
But that isn't always the case. So, for example, I think it is cronyism ad, this cronyism line the Romney camp is going to put out, I think there's a legitimate question here.
It doesn't have to be one always of nefarious implications. If the government is going to be involved in directing various areas of the economy, in this case, energy, you have to ask what goes into places like Solyndra or LightSquared and why is that connected possibly to campaign donors? I don't think that it is an illegitimate thing to be discussing.
COSTELLO: It may not be --
GRANDERSON: I think it's illegitimate, though, for Mitt Romney to be the one bringing it up, though. I mean, he really does not want to have that conversation. I mean, if -- if you --
GRANDERSON: -- you think about his own campaign in Massachusetts. His own campaign in Massachusetts, you know, once -- everything was said and done, he made off everyone else on the staff except his son. Except for his son.
How do you keep your own kid on? You lay off everyone else who worked hard on your staff to wrap things up, and the one person you keep on staff is your own son. If he really wants to have this conversation about cronyism, as well as nepotism, it's going to unveil a lot of things he may not want the public to be talking about.
COSTELLO: Last word, Will?
CAIN: That's a stretch. But I think that -- everything worth -- I think that -- the theme under everything we are talking about here is hidden beneath some of the spin. You can actually see visions of the economy, how they would handle it, and I think that, therefore, we get a bit -- maybe silver lining? I don't know.
COSTELLO: That's looking at the glass half full. Will Cain, L.Z. Granderson, thanks so much.
GRANDERSON: Thank you.
COSTELLO: This might be the ultimate ultra marathon. Can you imagine 135 miles through Death Valley, California? Nearly 100 runners doing that right now.
COSTELLO: Welcome back.
The heat is back. Hot weather returns for many parts of the country this week. But how is this for hot?
Temperatures soaring into the triple digits. In Death Valley, California, check out the high temperature. That would be 110 degrees, just the right temperature to run a 135-mile marathon.
I cannot believe people actually do this.
Alexandra Steele joins us now.
I don't know how they survive.
ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, it is unbelievable the extreme nature of this.
All right. How bad is this? Bad Water, so aptly named, right? It is bad about two fronts. It's about elevation and excessive heat.
So, let's talk a little bit about the elevation, and let me give you a Google Map and show you what we are talking about and where this is.
Now, it all begins at Bad Weather, Death Valley, California, this morning. At 282 feet below sea level. It ends Wednesday morning. You've got 48 hours to complete it. That's it. Mt. Whitney, an elevation over 8,000 feet.
So, you are running 135 miles, covering three mountain ranges, Carol, for a total of 13,000 feet assent. That's just one aspect. That's the elevation.
Now, say you handle that. We have the heat to contend with. Now, the average temperature there is 104. You can see today, tomorrow, Wednesday, 110 to 112. But often it gets to --
COSTELLO: But it is a dry heat.
STEELE: But it's a dry -- so beyond dry heat. A hundred and twenty is actually pretty common there.
So, how and what does 120 degree heat feel like?
Well, paraffin wax melts, candle melts at 120. If you order a raw steak, that's 130 degrees only. And if you have bath water that's 120, it scalds you and actually can damage your human tissue.
COSTELLO: Look at those people -- I just can't understand how you would stay hydrated through all that.
So, how long will it take them to run -- I mean, the good ones -- 135 miles?
STEELE: Who does it, right? Nonsmoker probably. Correct?
OK. So 94 invited guests are running. And they have -- average age is pretty unbelievable. It's 45.
COSTELLO: Yes, because older people are better at long distances. I know that now.
STEELE: Right. Well, you're awesome. Carol is a marathoner.
So, the average age is 45, 19 countries, 24 U.S. states.
And you know, I was reading a blog of one of the guys who was no 45. He was older. He takes his bike, puts it into a sauna and bikes 100 miles in a sauna. A sauna is 150 to 180 degrees. You know, signs say 10 minutes max and get out.
COSTELLO: Stationary bike, I was going to say --
STEELE: Stationary bike. Yes. Can you imagine? Just to kind of get fit for the whole thing.
COSTELLO: How else could you do it? I guess they have 48 hours to finish and if you don't finish in 48 hours, you are done.
STEELE: That's right. You are done.
And the record, a woman actually in 2010, an American woman, had the record 26 hours. And the man, a Brazilian guy, was 22 hours. Couple of years before that.
COSTELLO: Kudos to them.
STEELE: Can you believe that?
COSTELLO: I can't. Thanks.
STEELE: You are welcome. Maybe next year you'll try it. We could do it together.
COSTELLO: I don't think so. I have trouble now running five.
OK, let's talk about table tennis. The 16-year-old calls Warren Buffett "Uncle Warren". Now she is competing for Uncle Sam in the London Games. We will profile this table tennis wiz kid.
COSTELLO: When you think of the summer Olympics you probably think of the big sports like swimming and diving and the 400 meter dash. You probably don't think of table tennis.
Well, that sport has been in the Olympics since 1988 and the United States has yet to win a medal. But as Rob Marciano reports, Ariel Hsing is out to change that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROB MARCIANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): School is out. And while other teenagers may play a little ping pong this summer, 16- year-old Ariel Hsing has a much different summer vacation plan. She is going to the Olympics. Hsing will represent the U.S. in women's table tennis in London. Her first attempt at Olympic glory.
ARIEL HSING, U.S. WOMEN'S TABLE TENNIS TEAM: When I made the Olympic team I just felt so lucky. Going to the Olympics is about representing your country. It's about the flag that -- you know, you are holding up.
So when I go to the Olympics, I am going to fight for every point and I'm going to try until the very, very end because I want to bring home a medal for my country.
MARCIANO: Ariel started playing table tennis at age seven. And early on in her career she gained a pretty notable fan, Warren Buffett.
HSING: Well, I met Uncle Warren when I was nine years old. It was his 75th birthday party. And as a gift one of his friends said to give him a table tennis lesson from a local coach. And the local coach, it would be funny if there was just this little girl that came and also played and that little girl just happened to be me. He's just been really nice. And so supportive and he's given me a lot of advice.
MARCIANO: Ariel's journey to London hasn't been without sacrifice. A junior in high school, every day she wakes up at 7:00 a.m. to practice before school. After morning classes, her dad picks her up for lunch and a quick nap in the car on her way to another round of practice -- two sessions each two to three hours. Finally, returning home for dinner and of course homework before bed.
HSING: I really do try to balance my academics and table tennis because in the U.S. it's really hard to become professional player and make a living out of it. Well, I want to go to Stanford University. It's just always been my dream.
MARCIANO (on camera): Even with all the added responsibility and pressure, Ariel is still a 16-year-old at heart. So she's got some teenage-style expectations for her first Olympics.
HSING: I'm really excited to be able to stay in the Olympic village with so many other athletes. I really want to meet Michael Phelps and get a picture with him. I think that would be amazing.
MARCIANO: Rob Marciano, CNN reporting.
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COSTELLO: That would be amazing. Good luck.
Imagine two of music's greatest legends they're jamming together and then somebody pulled the plug. They turn the microphones off. Talk about angry fans.
COSTELLO: So Bruce Springsteen gazing over the crowd of thousands at London's Hyde Park and he said, "I got to tell you all, I've been trying to do this for 50 years." This being joined onstage by Paul McCartney. Imagine Springsteen and McCartney jamming.
Then the unspeakable happens. Because of a local curfew, the sound was cut on Springsteen and McCartney before they could finish their jam session. And ooh, can you think of a more angry crowd.
In that crowd, someone who works for CNN and is with us today from London, Richard Greene. So you were at the concert when the plug was pulled. Please describe the reaction?
RICHARD GREENE, CNN WIRES REPORTER: Well, Carol, I mean, imagine this. You're in Hyde Park. This is one of London's biggest parks, hosting London's biggest summer rock festival. You have tens of thousands of people, there, it's 60,000, 70,000, 80,000 people.
And Springsteen has been playing for three hours. He's played all of his hits and you've a crowd who are singing along to the lyrics. You know they know all of the words to every song. He plays "Born in the USA", he plays "Born to Run", he plays "Dancing in the Dark", and he's clearly he's still going. And we're thinking how is he going to top this, and as you said he brings out Paul McCartney.
This is a historic concert these guys have never played together before. We all know, you know we're never going to see anything like this in our lives and they launch into "I Saw Her Standing There" and the crowd goes wild. And they start playing "Twist and Shout" and we're all twisting and shouting, and I'm thinking to myself how is he going to top this because he's clearly not finishing. They're twisting and southing and suddenly, it just goes silent.
And we're singing along and he's going -- and you know, he moves from one microphone to another. He think he's got a problem with his mike. And you know at some point, they realize somebody has actually gone and switched off the sound system that's -- that's broadcasting Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney in this -- in this unbelievable -- (CROSSTALK)
COSTELLO: Who was that person?
GREENE: Well, there's been some finger pointing as you would expect. Westminster City Council is the local authority; it's the region of London where the concert was taking place. And it looks like a lot of the fingers are being pointed at them.
The concert organizers says look, "We had a license to go until a certain time. And when that time came up to keep our license, we had to switch the sound off."
COSTELLO: Oh come on.
GREENE: The Westminster City Council is saying -- well, as you can imagine, the crowd was actually pretty cool about it. There was sort of a lot of confusion in the sense of like, I can't believe they're really doing this. But then we drifted away.
But Springsteen's guitarist, Stevie Van Zandt was a legend, went on Twitter and he says "English cops may be the only individuals left on earth that wouldn't want to hear one more from Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney." He says, "When I'm jamming with McCartney, don't bug me. Is there just too much fun in the world?" We're all sort of -- I think we would all agree with him on that. We could have managed another 15 or 20 minutes without disturbing the neighbors.
COSTELLO: Oh for sure. But at least you got to experience some of it. Thank you so much for talking with us.
GREENE: I did. And I did get the momento.
COSTELLO: Oh, we tried to get him to wear the T-shirt, but he refused. You look very professional.
GREENE: Well, thank you, Carol.
COSTELLO: Thanks, Richard. We asked you to "Talk Back" on one of the stories of the day, the question this morning, how far should we go to limit products from China?
This from Steven, "This is way overboard. We have to accept we're a global economy. Will Harry Reid ban iPhones and apple because most of their devices are from China?"
From Fabian, "Get tough with China. Ok. I'm going to get tough with my bank and not pay the fees they impose on me. I'll let you know how that goes."
This from Corey, "Free markets allow us to trade openly with all nations. Banning the sale of a product in another country on behalf of nationalism is economic isolationism."
Keep the conversation going. Facebook.com/CarolCNN.
COSTELLO: Tour de France organizers are asking police to investigate possible sabotage by a spectator. Tacks were tossed on to the road on the steepest run of the day, 30 riders got flat tires. The stage leader followed the sports rule of etiquette, getting the others to slow down until the riders caught back up to the pack.
Washington Nationals rookie, Bryce Harper pointing his bat in the direction of the Miami Marlins dugout. Boy, did that set off Ozzie Guillen. In the first inning, Guillen had complained that pine tar was too high on Harper's bat, so Harper switched bats for his plate appearance. Did Guillen feel the rookie was showing him up with the gesture.
What he did was unprofessional, said the manager. Lindenwood University in Bellville, Illinois will field it's first football team this fall and check out the field on which they will play. Grey and maroon stripes, those are the school colors as you might expect. Lindenwood becomes the fourth football team to play home games on a non-green field. That's your look at sports this morning. The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM begins right now.