tv CNN Newsroom CNN May 9, 2011 1:00am-2:00am EDT
all with me on "piers morgan all with me on "piers morgan tonight." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com it's just bad, man. and like i said, it's an act of god. what can you do with an act of god? >> evacuations ramp up in memphis as the swollen mississippi river rises higher and faster than expected. water is now overtaking downtown streets and downstream a big decision to make in louisiana. why saving new orleans could cost thousands of people their homes. also tonight, the strongest words yet on president obama on whether osama bin laden got high-level help while hiding in pakistan. meantime, we'll hear from the neighbors of osama bin laden. >> translator: whenever our cricket ball went into the compound, we knocked on the door and asked for the ball, but the guy always said our ball was lost, gave us 50 rupees, and asked us to buy a new one. >> a little boy who played with children living with bin laden
talks about living next to the world's most wanted man. i'm hala gorani at cnn world headquarters in atlanta, in tonight for don lemon. you are in the "cnn newsroom." we begin tonight in memphis, tennessee. a city under siege, if you will. the mississippi river keeps climbing higher and higher. this is what memphis looks like, with the river at 47 1/2 feet. how high it goes won't be known for several days. but experts predict it won't be more than another foot. there is no other place for the water to go, put quite simply. the mississippi is the watershed for everything west and east of the rockies. eight states are now dealing with this historic flood. cnn's david mattingly joins us live from memphis with more on the task ahead for residents in mississippi and elsewhere in the flood region. hi there, david. >> reporter: hi, hala. what we're looking at right now is an amount of water that no one has seen in the mississippi
in generations. there's so much water here that it is pushing flood control systems to their limits all up and down the mississippi. i had an exclusive interview with the man who is in charge of that system, and he tells me about a grave decision he had to make early on in this flood and why he may have to make that decision again before this is over. levees blown up. flooding 130,000 acres of rich missouri farmland. and this is the man who gave the order. but army corps of engineers major general michael walsh now finds his decision questioned and misunderstood. >> in a sense are you playing god here, deciding who gets flooded and who doesn't? >> no, i don't believe -- i don't believe that's the case. >> reporter: walsh's order to blow the levees did prevent record floodwaters from overtopping levees at cairo, illinois. but now we find that was just the beginning. walsh tells me there was so much
more at stake. 80 miles of shoreline along western kentucky on the ohio river. 120 miles from commerce, missouri down the mississippi to helena, arkansas. these are all areas with levees that could have been overtopped by the rising river, walsh says, if he hadn't acted. and when the time came, after consulting with scores of engineers and experts, it was his decision to make and make alone. >> so you're it. you're the top of the chain of command. you didn't have to kick this up to the white house or anybody like that to say hey, we're going to flood a significant portion of missouri? >> certainly we keep the vertical chain in alignment and informed on what decisions i make. but the decision in accordance with the program is for the president of the mississippi river commission. >> and that's you? >> and that's me. >> and there wasn't much time. just eight days from an alarming weather forecast to walsh's worst fears coming true. >> how did this affect you
personally? >> well, certainly, i know many of the people who own land there and i've been to their house and i was talking with them, and they understood the difficulty of the decision that had to be made. >> was the right decision made? and would you make it again? >> well, that's a good question. and frankly, we haven't had the time to go back and look at it. >> that's because huge decisions and their human consequences are now looming in louisiana, where another floodway could soon be opened, flooding communities for miles. on monday we will see a floodgate open and water pouring into lake pontchartrain to relieve some of the pressure that's on the mississippi, this all to prevent flooding in baton rouge and places from baton rouge all the way down to louisiana. there is another huge decision looming on a floodway that may affect thousands of louisiana people in louisiana, just to protect those people in that area i just mentioned.
hala? >> all right. i imagine time is of the essence here, these are decisions that have to bemate qui made quicklyt will impact as you said thousands of residents. >> reporter: what we're seeing is this flood is very slow-moving and it is moving all according to measurements and expectations. they're able to make plans ahead of time but they're holding off on making those decisions to divert water out of the river and into these floodways at the very last minute because they don't want to do any necessary damage. if the water is going to stay within its banks and not affect those big cities like baton rouge and new orleans later on down the road. >> david mattingly live in memphis, tennessee. thanks very much. as david just mentioned, there are already these plans to try to reduce the impact of the flooding on cities and towns downstream from memphis. jacqui jeras has more on that at the cnn weather center. so those plans, when will they be put into place?
>> well, one of them tomorrow morning already. so this is a definite on one of these spillways. it's kind of similar to what they did up in cairo, where they exploded one of the levees to spill all that water out and relieve a little bit of that pressure. but this is not going to be an explosion this time around. they designed this system, and they're just going to open up some gates in order to do that. let's talk a little bit about the system as a whole. and the river, by the way, is cresting right now way up here into the boot heel of missouri. so we're talking about hundreds of miles still for this thing to go before it empties into the gulf of mexico. so a lot of pressure still built up here. there are two spillways we're talking about. first of all, the one that's going to be opened up tomorrow morning. it's the bonner carre spillway. as we zoom in you'll see the missouri river in relation to lake pontchartrain, nobody lives here, this is not going to be a problem for anybody, and they're going to move the water through the six-mile area and move it into pontchartrain so it provides a little relief for new orleans. that is taken into account for
new orleans now for the flood stage and the forecast crest for new orleans. the forecast crest may 23rd expected to be 19 1/2 feet. that's half a foot below what the levees can hold. so that takes into account that spillway. but they're a little concerned that that might not be enough. this is what it looked like, too, by the way. this is a google earth and nasa image when they did this spillway before back in 2008. they've done it about nine times before, so they know that it does work. let's talk about that second system now. this next one is called the morgansa spillway. this is north of baton rouge and this is the area we're talking about here. if they were to open this thing up, that is going to really open up a huge area all the way between here, down toward the gulf of mexico-s and there's a river in here, the achafalaya, and that is expected to flood. and yeah, thousands of people are going to be certain in the way of that one. i want to show you some of the impacts that we're talking about if they're to do that. the army corps of engineers has
said yes, we want to do that, we're requesting the permission to open this. that hasn't come through yet. that could happen in the next couple of days, maybe wednesday or thursday. if it opens, what does that mean? authorities are telling us that means seven parishes could be covered with between 5 and 25 feet of water. that's an incredible amount. the deepest water is going to be near st. francisville. and then after that we're talking about it moving downstream, and it could put as much as five feet of water in some parts of these cities like houma and morgan city. so it's kind of a similar situation. a lot more people being impacted. it's kind of controversial again, hala, because who are you going to save? if that water gets to new orleans, they're below sea level and we're talking about pumps and all kinds of different things and they're also a little concerned about the pressure this is going to cause and all the little towns and communities all the way up and down the mississippi. >> some crucial decisions need to be made, and they need to be made quickly in the next several -- i guess in the next
24 hours really. thanks very much, jacqui, and we'll talk to you a little bit later. now, behind the big story of the raid on osama bin laden's compound is the simple story of his children and grandchildren, who played with other children in the same village. the tour of the neighborhood around the infamous compound is next. plus, two muslim imams kicked off a flight, all because some passengers and the pilot weren't comfortable having them aboard. the latest on that story, next. [ female announcer ] prepare to ace your dental check-up. fight plaque and gingivitis and invigorate your way to better check-ups. new crest pro-health invigorating clean rinse. festival of shrimp for just $11.99. combine two of our most tempting shrimp selections any way you like from favorites like crab-stuffed shrimp to special new creations like bbq-glazed shrimp or potato-crusted shrimp. create your own combination with unlimited cheddar bay biscuits
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well, one of our top stories this weekend has been the peek into osama bin laden's life in hiding in pakistan. five different videos seized during the raid that killed bin laden have been released by u.s. intelligence. officials edited, the sound was removed. national security adviser -- the national security adviser in the united states tells cnn's "state of the union" that special forces pulled enough information from the hideout to fill a small
college library. president barack obama is wanting answers from pakistan about why bin laden was able to hide out there for so long, not too far from the capital and in a garrison town. and he wants to know whether anyone in the pakistani government had a hand in it. bin laden's compound in abbottabad is less than 40 miles from the capital. and as we said, in a garrison town the compound close to a pakistani military academy. on cbs's "60 minutes" president obama says he must have had a significant support network in the country. >> we think that there had to be some sort of support network for bin laden inside of pakistan. but we don't know who or what that support network was. we don't know whether there might have been some people inside of government, people outside of government. and that's something we have to investigate and, more importantly, the pakistani government has to investigate.
and we've already communicated to them. and they have indicated they have a profound interest in finding out what kinds of support networks bin laden might have had. but these are questions that we're not going to be able to answer three or four days after the event. it's going to take some time for us to be able to exploit the intelligence that we were able to gather on site. >> president obama -- the u.s. didn't tell pakistan, an ally, that raid on bin laden was coming. several children were living inside bin laden's compound. and just like any kids, they liked to play and make friends. but as nick paton walsh reports from abbottabad their neighborhood friends couldn't really contemplate who was living behind those tall walls. >> reporter: away from the high-tech hunt for terrorist number one is a simple tale of life in his village that we went to find. the eight or nine children in bin laden's house, some perhaps his grandchildren, played with others in the village, including zara amjed turk, age 12.
>> translator: the kid said the guy with them is their father nadine. i saw two wives. he had a brother who was a fat guy with a goatee and mustache. i don't know why they had security cameras installed outside the house. we used to knock on the door for 10 or 20 minutes. then someone used to come to talk. that was strange for us. >> reporter: he says he didn't know the names of the children he played with. >> translator: we used to play cricket next to their house. whenever our cricket ball went into the compound, we knocked on the door and asked for the ball. but the guy always said our ball was lost, gave us 50 rupees, and asked us to buy a new one. >> it seems now that nadine is dead. does that make you sad? >> translator: yes. i feel sorry for uncle nadeen. he never did anything wrong. he took my grandmother to the hospital and asked her to call him if she needs help as he can
drive her anywhere. he was a great person. i feel sorry for him. >> reporter: the viewpoint of a child who until this week had never heard the name osama bin laden. nick paton walsh, cnn, abbottabad. well, through the eyes of a child around the bin laden compound in pakistan. ahead, the hunt for bin laden and the role of enhanced interrogations. we examine the renewed debate over waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques and whether they helped uncover the first clues that led to al qaeda's leader. stay with us. building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people in more places than ever before in an effort to give you the best network possible. at&t. rethink possible.
it's clear that that -- those techniques that the cia used worked. and to have taken them away and ruled them out i think may be a mistake. >> we went to a lot of trouble to find out what we could do, how far we could go, what was legal, and so forth. and out of that emerged what we called enhanced interrogation. and it worked. it provided some absolutely vital pieces of intelligence. >> donald rumsfeld and dick cheney defending those so-called enhanced interrogation techniques once again in the wake of osama bin laden's death. let's talk about it with cnn contributor errol lewis, political anchor for new york one. thanks for being with us. all right -- >> good to see you, hala. >> unsurprisingly, former bush administration officials are defending controversial techniques that were then -- that were then abolished by the
obama administration. what do you make of this now coming out on the sunday talk shows and saying, look, our methods worked? >> i think there's a genuine debate that went on. it went on during the campaign in '08. it's continuing on the airwaves today. and it's a debate over torture. i don't really go for the euphemism of enhanced interrogation technique. if you describe the techniques, 90% plus of americans would call it torture. slamming people's bodies against the wall. threatening to kill their families. putting them in boxes with insects and all of the other range of horrible techniques. it was never a question about whether or not it worked. although there were -- there was a small subset of people who said we shouldn't torture possible terror suspects because it doesn't really work. the much more i think -- >> is if it's moral. >> is it wrong? right. and it's wrong. and that was the decision that
the administration made, was that they weren't going to do it. they never said we're not going to do it because it doesn't work. they just said we're not going to do it. >> and it's still an open question how much of that information could have come out, right? regardless of what method you used. >> sure. even in cases -- this is far from a clear-cut case, despite what secretary rumsfeld said. there were over 100 data points, we are told, that led to the actual operation. and whatever they got out of a torture session with a particular suspect was only one of those over 100 points. that was a very tenuous affair. and the other case that's always referred to is a name that we allegedly got from khalid sheikh mohammed after he was waterboarded 183 times. so that's not a ringing endorsement of the effectiveness, and certainly no argument at all for the morality of torture as a technique. >> right. so it's not the effectiveness of it, it's the morality of it, and that question in the united states is answered how by the majority of americans?
do they support these, quote, enhanced interrogation techniques or not? >> you look at the polls and they say no. but hala, let me remind you also, one thing that cheney in particular was getting at, the former vice president, saying that the justice department should not be looking at bush-era operatives to see what they did and how they did it, but the justice department has really pretty much scaled back. all they're looking at is an investigation to see if what torture was done was done within the guidelines that existed at the time. and it's hard to believe that that was out of line. if they played by the rules they were supposed to play by, even though the rules have now changed, then everything should be fine. >> but it's interesting that they're coming out now talking about it again. quickly, how does this affect president obama politically? we're a long way away from the actual election. but politically, how is this affecting president obama nationally? >> i don't know if we're that far away, to tell you the truth.
there's some polling data, believe it or not, that says how the president does and how he's perceived on foreign policy actually tracks quite closely with how people think of him generally. so this will stand him in good stead. but again, in march of 1991 the first president george bush was, you know, overwhelmingly approved after he won the first gulf war, and he was turned out of office a year later. so the white house can't sleep on this, but they certainly are enjoying a bounce in the polls right now. >> errol louis, thanks very much. joining us live from new york on this sunday evening. >> thank you. coming up next, two imams, muslim imams, traveling to a conference on prejudice, are removed from a plane despite being cleared by security officials. you'll hear the reaction from the imams and the airline after a break. but first, unemployment takes a positive turn, and there is surprising news concerning a
staple in the american home. alison kosik is getting down to business. >> reporter: the recovery in the u.s. job market is getting stronger. the economy added 244,000 jobs in april. and the private sector tacked on 268,000 jobs. that's the biggest monthly increase in five years. for the first time in 20 years there are fewer american homes with a tv. according to nielsen, the number of households with tvs has dropped more than 2% in the past year. one reason, a growing number of young people watch movies and tv programs online. and streaming video seems to take a lot of energy. over the past decade the power needed to run computer servers has increased by more than 10% every year. the internet already uses more electricity than u.s. car and truck production. that's this week's "getting down to business." alison kosik, cnn, new york. hey, did you ever finish last month's invoices?
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security twice. apparently, that wasn't good enough for the pilot. as cnn's allan chernoff explains. >> reporter: the irony here is that the two imams were on their way to charlotte for a conference about islamophobia. they were dressed in traditional muslim garb. and the captain would not permit them to fly aboard his aircraft. the two imams boarded the delta connection flight friday morning in memphis. but the plane, operated by regional carrier atlantic southeast airlines, returned to the gate for security to rescreen the men. >> the only reason that the pilot has cited is that some of the passengers didn't feel comfortable. but when the passengers were asked whether anybody felt uncomfortable, none of them indicated that they were. >> reporter: rahman and zaglul passed security a second time. but in spite of pleas from the delta agent, the pilot would not allow them back on the plane. federal regulations give the captain authority over all aspects of a flight, including
who may board the aircraft. >> we let them check our stuff and our luggage, our bag, our body, everything they did in a few minutes. afterward they said okay, you guys are good, you can go. when we are entering to the plane, their supervisor, mr. russell, he said, mr. rahman, sorry, i was pleading to the pilot to let you go in this flight but he is not allowing you to go. >> reporter: the imams were invited into delta's sky club as they waited for the next nonstop flight, six hours after their original flight had been scheduled to depart. imam rahman compares his experience to that of civil rights trail blazer rosa parks. >> it reminds me, the black lady was kicked from the bus because of some racism. that history i found today in that plane. >> reporter: delta deferred comment to the flight's operator, atlantic southeast
airlines, which told cnn, "compensation and reaccommodation on the next available flight were immediately offered to the passenger and the passenger's travel companion. we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused." meanwhile, the two imams flew back to memphis on sunday afternoon without incident. their attorney says he wants both delta and atlantic southeast airlines to institute training programs for pilots to ensure this doesn't happen again. allan chernoff, cnn, new york. in the headlines tonight, memphis officials are bracing for the worst flooding in more than 70 years. the mississippi river is expected to crest at 48 feet by late tuesday or early wednesday. residents are urged to evacuate the low-lying areas that could be engulfed by the historic flooding. security scares today forced two passenger flights to be
diverted to nearby airports. a continental flight was diverted to st. louis, seen on the left, when a "unruly" passenger tried to open an exit door on the flight. he was removed from the plane. then there was a delta flight diverted to albuquerque on the right when a suspicious note was found in a restroom. no threat was found eventually. passengers on both flights were able to reach their destinations after their unscheduled stops. a woman whose accusations against the gadhafi regime received worldwide attention, has managed to flee libya. eman al obeidy tells cnn she crossed into tunisia thursday with help from a defecting military officer and his family. back in march, you'll remember, eman al obeidy rushed into the tripoli hotel where journalists were staying and she accused gadhafi elements of raping her. she says she now hopes she can obtain protection from a western government. more amateur video showing
government troops moving into homs, syria, where a 12-year-old boy was killed today. a human rights group says soldiers fired into a crowd, killing several people, including the boy. cnn has not been granted access into the country and cannot confirm these reports. cnn has requested access to syria for seven weeks now. in the latest incident in protesters' ongoing struggle for political freedom we're hearing of more violence in other places. we're having difficulty confirming firsthand, of course. meanwhile, the syrian government says three soldiers and three security officers were killed during clashes with what it called armed terrorist groups. can the u.s. afford to remain friends with both india and pakistan, especially after bin laden was found hiding comfortably in pakistan? next, an argument for ditching relations with pakistan altogether. into the esophagus. prilosec otc uses a unique delayed-release system
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the raid that killed osama bin laden is exposing long-held trust issues between the u.s. and pakistan. president obama is demanding to know how bin laden managed to safely hide inside pakistan for so many years and not in a cave somewhere but relatively close to the capital, islamabad. and the pakistanis are angry that they didn't know about the raid beforehand. let's bring in gordon chang, who writes about international affairs as a columnist at forbes.com. now, you wrote an op-ed for the daily, gordon, saying this is the last straw, the u.s. some dump pakistan and fully partner up with that country'sabilitier rival, india.
but if that happens, gordon, who moves in? china? saudi arabia? is that eventually in the u.s.'s best interest? >> well, clearly, it's going to be china and saudi arabia that do move in because they already control the country and we pay for it. and of course no one wants to see pakistan move closer to beiging and riyadh. but we've got to recognize that we've got to make a choice because india is going to force us to do this. you know, just last week they ruled us out of their $10 billion fighter contract, and relations have cooled during the obama administration. so this is not something that we can be friends with both. we've got to make a choice. >> right. but isn't an imperfect relationship with a very important strategic ally in the war against terrorism, an imperfect relationship better than cutting ties altogether? >> well, clearly, we have tried to work with the pakistani intelligence services and with the pakistani military, and
we've been doing this for over the course of more than two decades on really the most important issues in the world, proliferation, nuclear proliferation, and terrorism. but things have only gotten worse on both fronts. so it really hasn't gotten us anywhere. and that's why i'm questioning our relationship with pakistan because in many ways it sort of inhibits our ability to deal with these important issues because we're trying to engage with islamabad. so it hasn't worked. and we need to sort of reverse course and try something that has a hope of actually achieving better results. >> that's what you think should happen, but that is not what is likely to happen. what is likely to happen with regard to the u.s.'s relationship with its very important ally, pakistan? >> well, what's going to happen is there are going to be calls in washington to get tougher with pakistan. and we've also started to hear that. but we've had these calls of getting tougher with pakistan for two decades -- >> tougher how, though? >> you know, that's the question that i want to know. because we've been saying this all along and we haven't been
doing it. we've been getting really bad results. and you know, as we saw on sunday, the pakistani government was harboring the person that we wanted most, bin laden, and they were doing it at least since 2005. so clearly what we've been doing hasn't worked. and to continue to do something that hasn't worked doesn't make sense to me. >> the pakistani government, that hasn't been proven, potentially elements within the isi, potentially elements within the military, but all of that is still an open question. not high-level government officials. is that what you're suggesting? >> well, you know, look at it. bin laden didn't have guards at his compound during the time of the raid, which meant that he felt very comfortable living there. that compound stuck out like a sore thumb, you know, visible in all directions. just down the road from pakistan's west point. i mean, what more evidence do we need that he was being harbored by the military and the isi, the intelligence services? and they are the pakistani
government. they're the ones with the real power. so you know, the question is like who else was there? so this has been going on for a very long time. and it's not just bin laden. it's the khan-e network. last week pakistan tried to sever our relationship with afghanistan. things are just going from bad to worse. >> all right. gordon chang of forbes.com, thanks very much for joining us on cnn. a colorado school is using a unique approach to teach children on their own terms. we'll tell you why and how effective it is, after the break. [ female announcer ] women like andrea move the world.
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[ male announcer ] learn more about the college of nursing at phoenix.edu. teachers at a colorado school have adopted a unique approach to education. it's modeled on the belief that children learn in their own way. so instead of grades, they use levels, for instance. deb feyerick went to the school to check it out. >> reporter: victor perez and dulce garcia are both 11 years old. ask them what grade they're in, you won't get a traditional answer. >> level 7. >> and you are? >> 6. >> and what about reading? >> level 7. >> and you are? >> 7. >> reporter: at hodgkins elementary school outside
denver, colorado there are no grade levels. in fact, there are no grades, period. kids are grouped not by age but by what they know. >> we're talking about facts from a non-fiction book. >> reporter: jennifer gregg's literacy class is made up of kids age 8 to 10 with four different reading levels. >> it's so individualized. we're filling in their gaps so that they can move on. >> reporter: it's known as standards-based learning, modeled on the belief every child learns in their own way. >> every student in every class is learning at exactly the spot that they're supposed to. >> reporter: principal sarah gould helped put this system in place two years ago. >> for the first time every child is getting exactly what they need, when they need it, and how they need it. >> reporter: no one moves to the next level without testing. >> you guys all got 100. >> reporter: at the equivalent of a c or higher. >> how many of you have gone up a level this year? wow. >> reporter: the entire school
district has been on an academic watch list because of below-average standardized test scores. mother and school board president vicki marshall helped convince parents they needed to try this and make it work. >> their biggest concerns were around how are you going to assign a grade point average? >> reporter: but changing course is not easy. educators estimate it takes three to five years for standardized test scores to go up. so far 300 schools nationwide have tried it. half couldn't stick with it. wendy batina, who helps implement this model, says without strong leadership and community support it won't work. >> this is really hard. superintendents last, what, 2, 2 1/2 years on average? it's really hard to lead systemic change when you have that much turnover. >> reporter: and those state test scores here haven't gone up. principal gould is still on board. why? she says discipline problems dropped 76% since the change and students now are more motivated than ever. deborah feyerick, cnn, westminster, colorado.
>> soledad o'brien will examine the crisis in our public education system. the cnn special report, "don't fail me: education in america," premieres next sunday, may 15th, at 8:00 p.m. eastern. next, cairo, illinois was spared the worst of the flooding after a levee was intentionally blown up. but across the river in missouri there are many angry farmers. we'll tell you why. plus, will weather affect your commute tomorrow? it's your morning commute tonight. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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in illinois the town of cairo is breathing a huge sigh of relief. it now appears this small town has been saved from catastrophic flooding from the mississippi river. but it was a hard choice, pitting residents of the town against farmers in missouri. cnn's ted rowlands spoke to people on both sides. >> reporter: cairo, illinois sits between the mississippi and the ohio rivers. many believe the entire city would be underwater if not for the controversial decision to blow open this levee.
the explosion opened a two-mile hole, flooding more than 130,000 acres of farm land in neighboring missouri. >> when you look at that, what do you think? >> i'm very sad. i look at that, and i don't have a home. >> reporter: marilyn nally's farm has been in her family for three generations. it would still be dry if the federal government hadn't blown up the lev yo. >> i feel like we're having to suffer for someone else. >> reporter: farmers ray and roy preston have 2,000 acres underwater. >> we always lived with the idea that someday they might have to blow it. the waters kept rising and we knew they would blow it. we don't like it, but you know, we have to accept it. >> reporter: the plan since 1928 has always been that if cairo, a city of about 15,000 at the time, was in danger of flooding the levee would be opened to save the city. but back then things were much different.
cairo was a vibrant river community. this is what it looks like now. most of the businesses downtown here are gone. most of the people have left as well. in fact, less than 3,000 people remain. many believe this in fact is not a town that was worth saving. >> would you rather have missouri farmland flooded or cairo underwater? >> cairo. i've been there. cairo. >> if the governor vetoes -- >> have you been to cairo? >> yes. >> okay. you know what i'm saying, then. >> have you been to cairo lately? ha, ha, ha, yes, i have. what do you mean? i want to know what you mean about it. >> cairo is predominantly african-american. people on both sides say there is a racial component to the debate over whether the city or the farms should have been saved. >> it's nothing but blacks here. you know. this town here is built -- was built on races. you know, a long time ago, back in the years, years ago. you know, ain't nothing changed. >> reporter: cairo's history of
racial tension dates back to the 1909 public lynching of will james, who was suspected of raping a white woman. in the 1960s the city closed the public pool rather than allow blacks to swim. on the missouri side many people feel the federal government may have been overly sensitive to the race issue and pulled the trigger too soon to blow up the levee. >> i do believe that the government was worried about some of that. i don't think that should have played any role in it. >> reporter: people of cairo seem to be out of the woods. take a look at the water levels of the miss misissippi. this is water from the mississippi in a spillway. it has been dropping considerably in the past few days. we should note every person we talked to in the city of cairo has been very empathetic. they absolutely feel bad for their neighbors in missouri. but they also absolutely agree with the decision by the u.s. government to open up that levee and spare their city. ted rowlands, cnn, cairo, illinois. well, drivers in the flood
areas will have to be careful navigating through those waterlogged streets of course. for travel problems in the rest of the country, meteorologist jacqui jeras joins us with weather for the monday morning commute. so what should people look out for on this sunday evening? >> they're going to have a lot to look out for. those water-covered roadways, there are literally hundreds and hundreds of roads that are closed all across the midwest and ohio river valleys as a result of that. this is the big picture for tomorrow. we're watching for problems because of thunderstorms across the upper midwest and winds will be our other issue, especially across the southwest and then again into the northeast. if you are traveling tomorrow, a couple of pick cities where we could really have delays. chicago o'hare expecting heavy delays in the afternoon because of showers and thundershowers. boston logan, maybe some moderate delays. and this is predominantly because of the winds. the later in the day we get, actually, the more they could slacken off a little as that low pressure system starts to move out 37 and salt lake city, we're expecting to see a lot of delays at the airports. as well as the roadways. it's going to be slow going.
you're going to want to leave a little bit early out the door tomorrow morning because we're going to see some fog in the morning and also plenty of shower activity all throughout the day. a couple of other pick cities, they just kind of pick basically the four worst for the morning commute. chicago, i mentioned. denver a lot of winds here. minneapolis-st. paul, rain and thunderstorms on and off. especially in the morning. and then salt lake city. if i had to pick one location in the nation, hala, that's probably it, salt lake. >> okay. thanks very much. jacqui jeras. on tuesday adoption and child welfare advocates will hold a congressional briefing to bring what they hope will be revolutionary reform to the adoption process. they say national policy should move beyond finding families to helping families after the child is theirs. advocates say the case of a tennessee woman returning a boy she adopted to russia is a prime example of the need for post-adoptive services. >> we think of adoption as sort of a win-win, you go into a new family and everything, love conquers all and everything's
okay. well, you know, if the kid has been abused, neglected, sexually abused, whatever, they need some work. they need some help. and the parents and the family need to get the services and support in order to help the family succeed. >> some of the groups involved include the child welfare league of america and the adoption institute. if you don't snow who debbie wasserman schulz is, you will know very soon. she's now in charge of the democratic party's entire campaign operation. we'll hear from her next. at usaa, this is our executive committee.
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she's a mother of three and a member of congress. and if that weren't enough to keep florida's debbie wasserman schultz busy, she's taking on a new job, chairwoman of the democratic national committee. that means she's in charge of leading democrats to victory in the 2012 elections. she talked about it with cnn's senior political editor, mark preston. >> reporter: debbie wasserman schultz should be enjoying this mother's day at home. the past few years she's been on the road almost constantly as a regular on the democratic campaign circuit. and next year she'll be rolling again. >> we must trumpet president obama's agenda from the rooftops. >> reporter: as one of president obama's top supporters in the 2012 election. >> the reason i do this is to make sure that my children have the most promising future and that my constituents' children have the most promising future. >> reporter: 44 years old, this mother of three was handpicked by the president to be the new chair of the democratic national
committee. one of only a handful of women to lead the party. a fierce partisan, a defender of democratic priorities, a political pro who has mastered the art of television, and speaking her mind. >> i was 25 years old when i first ran for the florida house of representatives. now, i believed i was ready to serve. but mitch, you remember the good ole boys in our democratic club had other plans. let's just put it that way. >> reporter: so waterman schultz put it her way, defineding the old boy network and becoming the youngest woman to win a seat in the florida house. she came to congress in 2005 and two years later found out she had breast cancer, which she kept hidden, even from her children. >> everyone that they'd known that had died to that point, and they were a couple years younger, had died of cancer. so i just didn't feel like i could convince them while i was going through all the surgery that i was going to be okay. >> reporter: she beat the illness with the same fighting spirit she brings to politics.
a zeal that draws praise from colleagues and scorn from political opponents. penny nance of the conservative group concerned women for america says that debbie wasserman schultz is positioned to the far left of the democratic party "and we wonder if that signals the democrats' intentions for candidate recruitment." the new dnc chair couldn't care less. >> my only goal right now is to re-elect barack obama and re-elect debbie wasserman schultz, make sure we can take the house back, hold the senate, and make sure we can turn state legislatures and governor's mansions blue, blue, blue. >> reporter: a high bar but on this mother's day one she believes is in her grasp. mark preston, cnn, washington. >> i'm hala gorani at the cnn world headquarters in atlanta. i hope you have a great week. i hope you have a great week. good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com