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Obama Leads Romney among Latinos; Memorial Day Observances in DC; At Least 108 People Killed in Houla; Two Americans Arrested in Tokyo; Gaga Cancels Indonesia Show; "Our Church is Being Torn Apart"; Vatican vs. U.S. Nuns; Taking the Slap Out of Ketchup
Aired May 28, 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: Hi, Christine. Happening now in the NEWSROOM.
Beryl shuts down beaches, rip tides, power outage, 70-mile-per-hour winds. This tropical storm ruining holiday plans, we're tracking its movements.
Scolding American nuns. The Vatican say they spend too much time with the poor and not enough time speaking up against same-sex marriage and abortion but the nuns are having none of it. The showdown between the Vatican and the nuns begins.
No experience necessary for the first time in a long time. Neither presidential candidate has ever served in the military. So we want to know do you need to be a veteran to be a good president?
Tribute to the fallen on this Memorial Day. We remember the sacrifices of our troops and their families.
Newsroom begins right now.
And good morning to you. I'm Carol Costello.
It's going to be a wet and soggy Memorial Day across parts of the north -- across parts of north Florida and southeast Georgia. Tropical storm Beryl is to blame. You're looking at a live picture from Jekyll Island, Georgia. As the storm moves up the coast. We learned just a short time ago Beryl caused some major damage at Jacksonville airport after making landfall and canceling 12 outgoing flights. It's also forced Jacksonville to cancel holiday activities and thousands are without power this morning.
Meteorologist Rob Marciano is tracking beryl. Oh, darn.
ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, bad timing. But there are some good news to this and we'll get to that in just a second. First of all the damage you mentioned there in Jacksonville, that's where it made landfall last night shortly after midnight, came on shore with near hurricane force winds.
It was almost classified a hurricane and some folks may even argue that. Seventy-three-mile-an-hour wind gusts at Buck Island, Kings Bay Base in Georgia, 65-mile-an-hour winds and across northern Florida (INAUDIBLE) winds with a tremendous amount of rainfall. So we continue to see that happening. And there's your live shot with the winds still coming in about 30 to 40 miles an hour and that will continue throughout the day I today. Eventually we'll see some more weakening.
Right now we were looking at westerly movement about eight miles an hour. The center of it is pretty much between Jacksonville and Valdosta, Georgia. Right around there. And you can see the circulation certainly and around the circulation we're going to see continue to see rainfall. Some of it will be heavy at times so there's been a flashflood watch issued for this area because we could see, you know, the typical amount of rainfall that we get with this system.
It's going to be a slow mover. Eventually it will recur back out to see and kind of hug that Carolina coastline. But that's not going to start really until tomorrow night, and it may intensify a little bit there, we'll have to wait and see. But until then the main thing is going to be not only battering waves and wind along the immediate shoreline, but we'll see the rainfall continue dump at times heavy amounts here.
But keep in mind this all look nasty and bad news, right? Well, here is a slow-mover which indicates that more than Florida and Southeast Georgia in extreme back out to sea. So any sort of rainfall we'll take. You don't want it all at one time but, you know, beggars can't be choosy at this point. Maybe a rough couple of days as far as some localized flash flooding. But all in all the rainfall is a good thing.
This is our second tropical storm of the season, Carol. It hasn't even started yet. June 1 is the first day of hurricane season.
COSTELLO: All right. Thank you, Rob.
MARCIANO: All right. You bet.
COSTELLO: Texas Republicans to give Mitt Romney the magic number he needs tomorrow. Voters head to the state's primary with 152 delegates up for grabs and Romney needs about half that number to clinch the party's nomination.
Looking to the general election, thought, University of Texas and Texas Tribune poll shows Mr. Romney with an eight percentage point lead over President Obama. The the Latino vote could be critical in Texas in November, though. And we're focusing on that as we cross the state this week, we'll be going to San Antonio and Laredo.
But we start today in Houston. That's where CNN's Juan Carlos Lopez is. Good morning.
Reporter: Good morning.
COSTELLO: So tell us what you're doing there. JUAN CARLOS LOPEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we are following -- we are following the vote. We are looking at what this election looks like. It's been a very important year for Latinos in Texas. Twenty percent growth in the last ten years. Texas gained four congressional districts and that growth was due mainly to Latino Hispanics the fastest growing minority not only in the states but in Texas. We weren't supposed to be here today. Texas was supposed to be the crown jewel of Super Tuesday on March 6th, but there was a redistricting battle.
It hasn't ended but now the primaries will be tomorrow and we will see what happens. Republicans still a Republican -- Texas still a Republican state. We will see what role Latinos play but it's a very interesting prospect for them in this state that now has 36 congressional districts, Carol.
COSTELLO: Well, I know that nationwide, President Obama leads Latino voters by a large margin. Is that true in Texas?
LOPEZ: Yes, it probably is. But remember, as I was saying this is still a heavily Republican state. Now if we look at the most recent NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll it says that President Obama has 61 percent of the Latino vote versus 27 percent for Mr. Romney. Now Republicans -- the last Republican to do well with his Hispanics was President George Bush, he gained between -- he gained between 35 to 40 percent of the Latino vote depending on who you ask and that's what Republicans need to win.
Now he's at 27 percent in this poll. Who knows if he'll make it and if the different issues he's talked about especially immigration but Hispanics care about education and health care, and the economy and let's see if they're able to convince of it. For now, it seems that President Obama is safe with Latinos.
COSTELLO: Juan Carlos Lopez reporting live for us in Houston this morning.
Astronauts are unloading more than a thousand pounds of food and supplies to the International Space Station. These are new pictures of astronauts entering the SpaceX Dragon capsule.
SpaceX marks the first commercial flight to the space station. It's expected to return to earth with a splash down into the Pacific on Thursday.
Back on earth. Music, fireworks and appearance by the "USS Nimitz" help celebrate the 75th birthday of the Golden Gate bridge. The San Francisco landmark has become one of the nation's most iconic symbols. It's only been closed three times due to weather since it opened back in 1937.
Happening right now. Memorial Day observances around the country and in our nation's capital. Live pictures of the U.S. Marine Corps war memorial. A short time ago, a touching tribute was held for fallen war veterans with a wreath laying ceremony at the National World War II Memorial. Fifty years later, Vietnam war veterans are being honored. Many will begin receiving the homecoming they feel they never had and the tributes will continue the next 13 years.
White house correspondent Dan Lothian is following today's event.
So, Dan, President Obama will take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Vietnam memorial wall later today but it's kind of special this year, extra special. Tell us why.
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It is. And you know, it was spelled out in this proclamation that the president issued last week with regards to the remembering the Vietnam war. It's not just a one-day event, but looking at a program that stretches over 13 years, and it will be a joint program between the federal government, local communities, and private organizations as well, to honor those who paid the ultimate price, sacrificing their lives in that war in Vietnam.
Fifty-eight or more than 58,000 service members died in that war, more than 1600 are still listed as missing. But as we've been spelling out the president remembering those who fought and died for this country and those who are still serving as well. At 11:00, the president will be laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. That is at Arlington National Cemetery. A short time thereafter, about 20 minutes after that, the president will be delivering some remarks.
And then shortly before 2:00 p.m. this afternoon, the president will visit the Vietnam War Memorial on the National Mall and will also be delivering remarks there. So a chance to look back at those who fought and died for this country, but also not only those long ago wars, but also those who fought and died in Iraq and who are still fighting in Afghanistan -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Dan Lothian live at the White House this morning.
The spirit of Dan Wheldon was riding with his friend Dario Franchitti. The Scotland took his third Indy 500 win. Franchitti held on for the wind as Takuma Sato tried to pass him in the final lap. Sato spun out -- you're going to see it shortly and he hit the wall and Franchitti got the checkered flag. Franchitti hugged the winner (INAUDIBLE) Dan Wheldon who died in a crash at Las Vegas speedway last October. And just a few minutes ago Franchitti spoke about Wheldon on CNN's "STARING POINT."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DARIO FRANCHITTI, INDY 500 WINNER: Yesterday was really about paying tribute to Dan for the whole month really and the fans and the teams and the drivers really got behind that and the emotion of the day was incredible. But I think it was a fitting tribute to Dan and all of the fans were wearing the white glasses, the crews as well. The banners in the grandstands. It was -- so I think he would have been very proud.
He loved this track like no other and I think the fans have a special connection with him. So, yes, it was very bittersweet day yesterday.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: He in the victory lane. He took a swig and swallow from a bottle of milk. The traditional drink as Indy 500 winner. He also got a hug and a kiss from his wife, the actress Ashley Judd.
A mystery is unfolding following a Nicki Minaj concert. A young girl is found strangled. Now two American men are being held by police as they try to figure out what happened.
COSTELLO: Thirteen minutes past the hour. Checking our top stories on this Memorial Day.
Tropical storm Beryl is causing -- well, it's leaving thousands without power in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia. Jacksonville, Florida's airport reports minor damage and a dozen outbound flights have been canceled. The region also bracing for serious flooding.
Thirty-three years after the disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz, a relative of Pedro Hernandez tells CNN they told police in the '80s that Hernandez had said he had killed a boy in New York. Hernandez has not entered a plea due to a pending psychiatric evaluation.
In Syria the brutal massacre of at least 108 people in the town of Houla is reigniting national anger toward the government. International envoy Kofi Annan is now in Syria for a meeting with President Bashar al-Assad and opposition members. Annan says he is shocked and horrified by the tragic incident. The Syrian regime denies involvement.
Let's hit to London and check in with Zain Verjee for more on these meetings in Syria.
And before I get to you, Zain, I just want to read something that the General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of Joint Chiefs, said when asked if America should -- military action -- should America intervene with military action in Syria. This is what he said a short time ago.
Okidoki. We don't have that. He says, basically, he's like to keep all options open but of course military action is something the United States is loathed to do.
So Zain Verjee, this incident in Syria, it was beyond horrible.
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Yes. You know, and the Pentagon has been saying, too, that all military options should be considered and that should be one of them and the Pentagon's job is to give the president the kind of options that he needs.
Carol, this is what a lot of Syrians are calling for after what happened in this place called Houla. It was the focus of grief and outrage. I mean just look at the numbers. Hundred and eight victims. Now 49 of them were children under the age of 10. I mean, one of them was even like a 9-month-old baby.
Basically what survivors and witnesses are saying happened it was all this shelling and then a bunch of thugs came in. They went house-to- house and just slaughtered men, women, and children.
Now, there's a huge amount of diplomatic pressure of this. The special envoy Kofi Annan is there in Damascus. He'll meeting with Bashar al Assad on Tuesday.
The Syrian government, though, Carol, is saying itself, we have nothing to do with this. It's al Qaeda. Al Qaeda, the terrorists, did this, not us.
They also say they will investigate what happened in Houla. Human rights watchers saying that is a total fuss. They're not going to investigate their own crimes.
The U.S. President Barack Obama really turning up the heat now on Syria and he wants countries like Russia and China to just get on board and put pressure on Bashar al Assad and get him out -- Carol.
COSTELLO: There has been pressure on Assad, and he has made promises that he has not kept. So what more can you do?
VERJEE: That is the big question and the difficulty with Syria. You know? One of the big challenges, though, diplomatically is that Russia and China don't want to pile on the pressure on Syria. And Russia in particular has strong historical relationships with Syria and is close to Bashar al Assad.
The hope seems like we saw in Houla and in other parts of Syria will just continue to pile on the pressure on the Assad regime. They don't seem like they are going any. President Obama is looking for pressure and possible military option because the Syrian people want those strikes.
COSTELLO: Zain Verjee, reporting live for us from London.
Two Americans arrested in Tokyo. Police questioning them about an Irish woman's death inside that hotel. What more we are learning about this case is just ahead.
COSTELLO: A mystery happening half way around the world involving two American men being held by police in Tokyo. They are being questioned about the strangling death of this Irish exchange student.
Nicola Furlong was found dead in a hotel room with one of the men whom she had met at a Nicki Minaj concert that night. This is a Facebook photo showing the 21-year-old celebrating her birthday just days ago.
CNN's Kyung Lah is outside that Tokyo hotel with more on the investigation.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: An unfolding international murder mystery here in Tokyo. A young Irish exchange student who just celebrated her 21st birthday found unconscious and unresponsive at this Tokyo Shinjuku district hotel. She later died.
Tokyo metropolitan police say 21-year-old Nicola Furlong was killed by suffocation by cervical compression or strangulation. The Kyoto News Agency says Furlong and an Irish friend went to a Nicki Minaj concert Wednesday night when they were approached by two American men.
Police say the two Irish women and two American arrived here at the hotel around 1:00 a.m. by taxi. Three hours later, a hotel guest complained of a loud noise coming from a room. When hotel workers got to that room, they heard someone saying in English, "She's not breathing." police say Furlong was unconscious, a 19-year-old American man the only other person in the room.
The Furlong family spokesman, a priest, tells CNN by telephone from Ireland that this loss is incomprehensible.
FATHER JIM FITZPATRICK, NICOLA FURLONG'S PASTOR (via telephone): Everybody is a little devastated in the local area because this section of the parish to which Nicola belongs is a small end of the parish only 300 to 400 families in total. So, I mean, all of those 300 or 400 families would know each other quite well.
When something of any nature happens, it has a huge impact and a death of a young person especially, everyone knows and everybody involved are concerned.
LAH: Police arrested the two American men in these cars being transferred from the police station to an undisclosed location. Police say they are both entertainers -- a 19-year-old dancer, a 19- year-old is considered a minor here in Japan. And 23-year-old James Blackstone. He is a dancer.
Neither men have been directly charged in Furlong's murder. Rather, they are being held for fondling Furlong's friend in the back of a taxi. Meanwhile, police are trying to investigate who may have killed Furlong.
Kyung Lah, CNN, Tokyo.
COSTELLO: Now is your chance to talk back on one of the big stories of the day. The question for you this morning is military service necessary to be a good president? On a day we honor our troops for their service to our country, we still have men and women dying overseas. One of them just last week -- the 3,000th coalition death in Afghanistan.
John McCain blames President Obama's foreign policy, on Iran, Syria, and Afghanistan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: It began in Iran when we failed to stand up in 2009. In Libya, we, quote, "led from behind". With Iran, clearly, we are kicking the can down the road.
How many times have we seen North Korea and Iran, these different negotiations that have taken place?
In Afghanistan, obviously, the Taliban believe that we are leaving.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Still, the president defeated Osama bin Laden, public enemy number one. And a recent NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll includes that most Americans approve of Obama's handling of foreign policy.
But does McCain, a Vietnam POW, a decorated war hero, have a point? If anyone knows war, it's McCain who has seen battle firsthand. It does bring up an interesting point, one we read about in "The Washington Post" this morning.
For the first time in modern history, neither man running for president has any military experience. It made us wonder if that really matters any more. It doesn't guarantee a win. After all, Mr. Obama beat Mr. McCain in 2008.
Yet some of our most successful presidents have had military experience. Among them, George Washington, JFK, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan.
So, the talkback question for you this morning -- is military service necessary to be a good president? Facebook.com/CarolCNN. I'll read your comments later this hour.
COSTELLO: Just about 30 minutes past the hour. Checking your top stories now.
Winds and rain from tropical storm Beryl are leaving thousands without power in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia. Jacksonville's airport also reports minor damage. A dozen flights have been canceled. The region is also bracing for some serious flooding.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair denied he had ever been cozy with Rupert Murdoch. Blair testified at an inquiry into phone hacking at Murdoch newspapers in Britain. Blair said his government had decided more issues against Murdoch businesses than in favor of them.
Blair's testimony was briefly interrupted by a protester who called the prime minister a war criminal.
Back here at home. We are remembering the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice serving their country. President is spending Memorial Day honoring fallen troops. He'll take part in a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and later mark the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War with a ceremony at the Vietnam vets memorial.
Republicans have made it a campaign issue attacking President Obama over gas prices but in recent day, prices have been going down, not up.
Today, the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded is around $3.64. AAA says that marks 12 straight declines. It's also an 18-cent drop from a month ago.
Republicans say regardless, the need to solve the problem is still there. Top Democrats on Capitol Hill say the GOP's attempts to capitalize on gas prices have fizzled.
This Memorial Day, many of you are taking advantage of lower prices at the pump. AAA says nearly 31 million Americans are traveling by car, a slight increase from last year.
CNN's Alison Kosik is live outside of a gas station in New York. Oh, you look lonely. I thought it would be packed with cars!
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You know, you just missed the morning rush, Carol. I'll tell you that much. We are in New York City where the prices are a little elevated than what you'd see across the country.
You mentioned $3.64 is the national average. Here we are paying $4.13 but this is traditional. You see the higher gas prices in places like Hawaii, here in New York and California. So this is pretty typical.
What is the trend going to be? So, what analysts say is you're probably going to see the trend stay around where it is, maybe dip a little lower so that basically $3.64 a gallon for that national average is something you can sink your feet into for a little while.
But what is keeping it going down even more is right now what is happening refineries are switching over to the summer grade of fuel and making that fuel cleaner and more environmentally sound for the summer months, it costs more. So, that's why you're going to see prices really not dip too much from here -- Carol.
COSTELLO: That's good news. Alison Kosik, thanks.
New mom Beyonce makes a dazzling return to the stage!
Oh, man! She just had a baby too! Beyonce still has got the moves and, of course, the voice and a very important person in the audience.
And a photographer accuses Justin Bieber of roughing him up. Justin Bieber -- roughing him up. I don't know. So, is Bieber in big trouble now? We'll tell you.
COSTELLO: Almost five months after the birth of her daughter Blue Ivy, new mom Beyonce returns to the stage.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
COSTELLO: That's amazing. She is performing four sold-out shows to open the resort in Atlantic City. Among the fans watching her on Saturday night, the First Lady Michelle Obama and she had her daughters with her, Sasha and Malia.
Pop star Justin Bieber reportedly has a run-in with the photograph and the photographer fights back by going to the police!
Nischelle Turner is in Los Angeles with the scoop.
I'd be embarrassed to admit that Justin Bieber beat me up! Maybe it's just me!
NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: You know what, though? For a lot of these photographers if there is money involved, then, you know, they will --
COSTELLO: I get it now. Because I think I could take Justin Bieber on!
COSTELLO: This is turning into a Memorial Day, though, that Justin Bieber would rather forget. Now, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department confirms to "Showbiz Tonight" that a man has I accused the pop singer of physical battery after an incident Sunday afternoon in Calabasas, California, that's outside of Los Angeles.
Deputies say the man who is a photographer said he was taking pictures of Bieber and his girlfriend Selena Gomez outside a shopping center when the alleged altercation occurred. Now, Bieber and Gomez left the scene before deputies arrived. The man complained of pain and he requested medical attention.
Now, he was transported to a local hospital by the fire department where he was treated and released. We don't have a lot of details as to what started this whole thing but the matter is now being investigated. We have reached out to Justin Bieber's reps for comments but, Carol, of course, we have not heard back from his camp just yet.
COSTELLO: Can't wait.
TURNER: He looks so little in that video there!
COSTELLO: He doesn't look like a violent lad.
Lady Gaga just decided to cancel the show and not deal with it, huh?
TURNER: Absolutely. You know, her little monsters in Indonesia are not to happy as she canceled a show in Jakarta. The singer's management plug on the June 3rd concert after Islamic headliners denounced her costumes and dance moves as to risque. An attorney for Gaga's promoter say there were worried, there were worries that the concert, the crew, the concert-goers even Gaga herself may be in harm's way if the show were to have gone on.
Many Muslims in Indonesia, which has the highest Muslim population in the world, say Gaga revealing outfits and dance moves are forbidden by Islamic law.
Now, Lady Gaga is disappointed. She posted the following message on her Twitter account. She said, "We had to cancel the concert in Indonesia. I'm so very sorry to the fans and devastated as you if not more. You are everything to me. I will try to put together something for you. My love for Indonesia has only grown."
Carol, according to newspaper reports in Jakarta, more than 25,000 tickets were sold in the first two hours when seats for this concert went on sale in March. So, there were a lot of people looking forward to seeing Gaga.
COSTELLO: Nischelle Turner, thanks so much. She will be back with us next hour with more showbiz headlines.
Coming up, "Men in Black 3" takes down the "Avengers." But was its debut anywhere as impressive?
And the Vatican called them radical feminists and even appointed a bishop to keep an eye on them. Now, the largest nuns in the United States, they are ready for a showdown.
COSTELLO: Forty minutes past the hour. Checking our top stories now.
Tropical storm Beryl is causing damage and leaving thousands without power in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia. The region is also bracing for some serious flooding. The mayor of Jacksonville, Florida, already canceled Memorial Day ceremonies.
To Michigan upper peninsula where there are some progress to report in the so-called Duck Lake Fire, but not much. Containment still stands at 48 percent. The crews say they bulldozed lines should keep the fire growing from the southern edge and the northwest plank. They say the northeastern edge is contained. More than 22,000 acres have burned.
And in Argentina, a celebration as the Sioux Falls becomes one of the seven new wonders of the world. It joins the Amazon Rainforest. Vietnam's Halong Bay, South Korea's Jeju Island, Komodo in Indonesia, Puerto Princesa Underground River in the Philippines, and Table Mountain in South Africa.
The showdown between the Vatican and America's largest group of Catholic nuns is on. The sisters will meet to determine to the Vatican's reprimand for the group's, in the Vatican's words, radical feminist theme. Translation: nuns spend too much time on the poor and not enough time fighting abortion, same sex marriage and euthanasia.
More now from CNN's Sandra Endo.
SISTER SIMONE CAMPBELL, NETWORK: Keep up the good work.
SANDRA ENDO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Letters of support are what comfort this Sister Simone Campbell at a time when the Vatican rebuked American Catholic nuns not speaking out more on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.
CAMPBELL: It's this kind of support for our work that is so touching.
ENDO: In April, the Vatican released findings of their doctrinal assessment which criticized the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, a group that represents the majority of the 57,000 nuns across the country.
The document says this about the group. "It is silent on the right to life from conception to natural death, a question that is part of the lively public debate about abortion and euthanasia in the United States."
The report also found, quote, "radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith" in some of the group's work.
The LCWR said it was stunned by the findings. The report singled out for criticism Sister Simone's group Network, a liberal Catholic lobbying group of nuns. Sister Simone says it's politics at play since the nuns supported the new health care reform law, something Catholic bishops opposed.
CAMPBELL: Our church is being torn apart for political reasons, I think. It's anguish, it's anguish. Where it goes, I don't know.
ENDO (on camera): In the report, the Vatican appointed a bishop to oversee the nuns' activities. LCWR's board of directors are set to meet this week to discuss the Vatican's move and come up with a response.
ERIC MARRAPODI, CNN BELIEF BLOG CO-EDITOR: I don't think it will change their core mission, which for is helping the poor. I think what we will see is some compromise as they move forward on this and it will be a long and painful process.
ENDO (voice-over): Worshipers say it's time for both sides to take pause.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would hope that the U.S. nuns would look at it as an opportunity to reflect on where they are succeeding and where they need to grow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think a lot of people are taking a hard line on both sides. I think it needs a little fairness, just take your time and find out exactly what is going on.
CAMPBELL: Stay strong. You are an inspiration.
ENDO: Until there's a plan for a way forward, Sister Simone says she'll continue to pray for direction.
CAMPBELL: We are not alone. We don't stand alone.
ENDO: Sandra Endo, CNN, Washington.
COSTELLO: Barbie Nadeau is "Newsweek's" Rome bureau chief. She's in Rome this morning.
Barbie, can you hear me?
BARBIE NADEAU, ROME BUREAU CHIEF, NEWSWEEK, THE DAILY BEAST: Yes, I can.
COSTELLO: Good. You scared me there for a minute.
The nuns could do one of three things. Agree with the Vatican or offer to negotiate or say we are break away from the Vatican and go our own way. What's your best guess?
NADEAU: Well, I think the least likely scenario they will break away from the Vatican. A Catholic nun needs the Catholic Church to remain true to her vows.
What you're going to have is probably a type of an effort to negotiate with the Vatican. It's probably going to be up to the Vatican, though, whether or not they are willing to negotiate with the nuns. They may, you know, their document from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith is that, a document, it's not a call for dialogue.
So, you know, it's going to be up to the Vatican to open up the door of dialogue and see what the sisters in the United States, part of the LCWR are willing to do.
But I think in many ways, these nuns are on the front line when it comes to dealing with the poor and dealing with really serious poverty situations in the United States and their focus has been on that. Now whether or not they are going to be able to take a step back and introduce some of these -- what the doctrine, the faith document wants them to do is going to be up to them to decide if there is room in their ministries to do that as well. In their work, if they can also include that sort of ministry.
COSTELLO: How much power do the nuns have? Over the Vatican? I mean, we -- we assume that nuns are powerless but they're really are not, right?
NADEAU: Well, the nuns have a big voice within the public Catholic community and in many ways, they are -- they are the middle ground between the priests and the people. They do not have though the equivalent of the Pope in Rome. The Pope is the leader, is the spiritual guide of the priest and of the clerical community.
The nuns do not have one mother superior. They have different orders in which they have different mother superiors and those mother superiors are actually the members of the LCWR are the ones that guide them so they don't have a supreme leader if you will. So they -- they've to come together within the context of each of their orders and decide what to do in response to this.
And it -- but it seems that they have little ground, if they want to stay as part of the Catholic Church. There is not much room for dialogue and there is not much room for argument when it comes to the doctrinal issues that the Vatican wants them to adhere to.
COSTELLO: We will see what happens. Barbie Nadeau live at Rome, thank you.
Still ahead, we asked you to "Talk Back" on one of the big issues of the day. The question for you this morning, "Is military service necessary to be a good president?" Facebook.com/CarolCNN. I'll have your responses on the other side of this break.
COSTELLO: We asked you to "Talk Back" on one of the big stories of the day. The "Talk Back" question for you this morning "Is military service necessary to be a good president?"
This from Michael, "Mandatory federal service is necessary for anyone who wishes to profit from public service. It's good for every citizen to give back to their country in proportion to what their country has given them."
This is from Tracy. "I'm a veteran and I used to think so but Obama has done more for veterans than any other president. It depends on the individual's knowledge of the military."
This from Peter. "George Washington unlike McCain discouraged foreign entanglements. Ron Paul is still running for president and he has had military experience. He has the closest understanding of foreign policy to George Washington." This from Mark, "McCain still seems angry that President Obama beat him 2008. Whatever the President is for, McCain and most of the Republicans area against. I don't think that a president needs to be a veteran, that's why you are surrounded by 4 star generals who give pretty good military advice.
And this from Carol. "I humbly ask that politicians put sound bites aside and remember those who have fought and are fighting for our country. Stop the blame game at least for one day."
Keep the conversation going, Facebook.com/CarolCNN. I'll read more of your comments in the next hour.
And we are following a lot of developments in the next hour with the CNN NEWSROOM. Let's check in first with Rob.
ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hello again Carol. While you were sleeping, Beryl came through last night, almost a hurricane with 70 mile an hour winds made landfall in Jacksonville, Florida. It is still spinning inland and causing a lot of wind, waves and heavy rainfall. We'll go with the forecast track and how it will else impact the rest of the southeast U.S. That's all coming up.
CNN NEWSROOM will be right back.
COSTELLO: In the past week four people have died trying to conquer Mt. Everest. Part of the problem, deadly traffic jams, groups of climbers trying to scale the world's tallest peak at the same time, couple that with dry windy conditions. It's got a lot of snow which makes the climb tougher and in short weather windows near the summit, and it makes for a more an even dangerous challenge.
Kenton Cool who is climbing Everest for the 10th times says conditions are not all that different, but he says the crowds are new.
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KENTON COOL, MOUNTAIN CLIMBER: The mountain has become more dangerous. What happened this year, is through the number of people and the way that the weather transpired this year, lots of people ended up trying to climb on the 19th of the month and again on the 25th and the 26th of the month.
I think if you look at the statistics it's actually was no more dangerous this year than it has been in the past. It's just unfortunately that the -- that the traffic picked on the unfortunately on the four -- deaths which occurred on the 19th which has been a trips due to the sheer number of people trying to climb up.
And obviously the picture that you showed -- I mean, it looked absolutely horrendous, but in reality nowhere near that bad.
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COSTELLO: Cool fulfilled his personal mission successfully taking a 1924 Olympic Gold medal to the summit on Friday.
The Indy 500, one of the closest in recent history. It included a really close call for one driver. Mike Conway spins out. Will Power cannot avoid him -- you see it here. Conway goes sideways into the outer wall -- it was a scary accident. Amazingly Conway would be ok.
But a tire from the crash breaks free and momentarily becomes a track hazard. Caution flags flew seven other times on the race, including one on the last lap -- that's when Takuma Sato tried to pass leader, Dario Franchitti and wound up crashing into the wall. Franchitti goes on to take the flag. His third win at the Indy 500.
San Antonio Spurs on a roll this first, beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 101-98 last night to pick the opening game of the Western Conference final. Manu Ginobili led the way with 26 points. Check out a few of his moves because they're fantastic. Spurs have now won 19 straight games dating back to the regular season. Game two in the series tomorrow night in San Antonio.
Talk about some power hitting. Cincinnati's Todd Fraser hits a home run and the bat comes out of his hands. Take a closer look here. See that? It seems that that makes contact with the ball after Fraser dropped it. This is one of nine home runs. The Reds/Rockies game a record for Cincinnati's great American ball park. The Reds go on to win 7-5.
Some egg heads at MIT are using their noodles to change American culture. They've taken slapping out of the dining room. What is that, you say? Well, let's catch up on the story with Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Who among us hasn't been guilty of assault on a ketchup bottle. But has technology finally caught up with ketchup?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at that thing slide.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amazing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my god.
MOOS (on camera): Our long national nightmare is over.
(voice-over): Mechanical engineering students at MIT have come up with a super slippery coating that makes anything from ketchup to mayonnaise practically leap out of a bottle coated with the stuff. They call it LiquiGlide.
DAVE SMITH, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING MIT: It works on everything we've tried so far.
BRIAN SOLOMON, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, MIT: So, glass, plastic, different types of plastic, metal.
MOOS: Even Tony Soprano would be beholden to these students. Look how annoyed Tony gets at the dreaded ketchup clog.
Sure there are techniques ranging from the Goodfellas bottle roll to the Heinz 57 trick.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tilt the bottle at a 45 degree angle.
MOOS: And gently slap it on the sweet spot where the 57 is imprinted near the next.
But LiquiGlide could make all those tactics obsolete. The idea is to apply the coating during bottle manufacture. Student David Smith says it's totally non-toxic.
SMITH: This is stuff that people already eat in some foods. It's perfectly safe.
MOOS: They've already applied for a bunch of patents.
What are the secret ingredients?
SMITH: Well --
MOOS: Well, they wouldn't be secret if they LiquiGlide it out of their mouths.
Dr. Crepa Verinassi (ph) and his students are already talking to bottlers and food companies. We asked the folks and Heinz if they were in contact with the LiquiGlide inventors. All they would say was.
"We love the idea of making it easier to pour out Heinz ketchup."
Despite rave reviews.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's amazing.
MOOS: There are traditionalists.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't feel the ketchup would have the same satisfaction to it if it just poured out that quickly.
MOOS: Yes, well guess what the young inventors at MIT are anticipating?
I mean, do you think this is going to turn you guys into like millionaires?
SMITH: I think so.
MOOS: They already have a slogan. "LiquiGlide, let it slide." No more banging with shoes, or mallets, or sucking up ketchup. For traditional bottles, LiquiGlide could mean their last gasp.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
(END VIDEOTAPE) COSTELLO: The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.
Happening now in the NEWSROOM, Beryl shuts down beaches and rip tides and power outages and 79-mile-per-hour winds, and the tropical storm ruining holiday plans. We're tracking its movements for you.
Kidnapped at the Vatican. A 15-year-old disappears 30 years ago and now somebody inside the Vatican claims the teenager was taken for sex parties. Her family is at a protest to demand answers. So what really happened to her?
Meghan McCain bullied. She spoke out against extremists in the Internet. Now McCain says she is being bullied on the Internet. They are calling her fat, and worse, they are suggesting that she kill herself. We will tell you how she is fighting back.
Tribute to the Fallen on this Memorial Day, remember the sacrifices of our troops and their families.