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Terror Attacks in Norway; Interview With Rep. Robert Goodlatte, Republican of Virginia; Heat Wave Grips Midwest; East Coast; New Suspects Emerge in Baseball Fan Beating Case; Fiery Crash on New York Freeway
Aired July 22, 2011 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Randi Kaye, thank you so much. Have a wonderful weekend.
And hello to all of you.
We want to continue our coverage of the breaking story here out of Norway -- a devastating and deadly attack in the capital city of Oslo. And I want to show you some of these pictures. This is heart- wrenching to watch, people rushing away from these blasts.
This is the heart of the downtown power center, people scattering, running scared after a massive blast, maybe blasts, took out the windows of several government buildings. Inside one of those buildings, the prime minister's office. We are being told he was not there at the time. But as of this very second, here's the latest number we have.
Seven, at least seven people are reported dead, and many more injured in what Oslo's mayor is calling a terrible day for Norway. Police are urging folks to stay off their cell phones just in order to keep those networks free, so some of the people in the area can call their loved ones, call their family, tell them they're OK.
But on top of all of this, a person dressed up as a policeman walked into this youth camp attended by 700 people and just opened fire. Everything is unfolding as we speak.
I want to go straight to Nima Elbagir.
Nima, just bring me up to speed as far as what's happening. Does the number seven, seven fatalities, does that number even still hold?
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, our understanding, Brooke, is that that death toll will definitely rise. Emergency services have said that they still are unable to fully access the buildings around that initial blast.
One of the government spokespeople said that although today luckily was a national holiday, that every day hundreds of people are in those buildings. And their concern is for the people who continue to be trapped in there. They are unable to reach those people as yet.
And on the island, a Labor Party spokesman, the ruling party in Norway, has said that there were scenes of panic on Utoya Island, especially after reports emerged that the gunman was wearing a police uniform. Many of those there he said are between the age of 15 to 25. And some even tried to swim to safety, Brooke.
BALDWIN: You mentioned something, that at least it gives us a sliver of encouraging news. The fact that it is a national holiday. I do know, though, as you have been reporting, that there are people still trapped inside some of those buildings who were still at work. Do we have any estimate, Nima, as far as how many people are still in there?
ELBAGIR: Well, the police are really reticent as you can imagine to speculate. Because they're worried about -- this is a very panicked situation as it stands and they're worried about inflaming that panic. But, you know, they're also concerned not only about those who are stuck in the buildings, Brooke. They're also concerned that there might actually even be further blasts. They're attempting to keep that downtown area clear.
A police spokesman has said that all they can do is issue warnings and hope that people will stay away from the center of town, not only for this evening, Brooke, but throughout the weekend. They said that the safest place for people tonight is in their homes.
BALDWIN: Do you even know yet if this explosion or explosions was detonated from within a building? Or are -- we hearing that possibly it was a car bomb in the street.
ELBAGIR: Well, eyewitnesses have said that they saw an incredibly mangled car, which would fit with how a car would look if it had been used to detonate that kind of explosion.
Those who say they saw it believe that it couldn't possibly have just happened from the blast. But it was such a big explosion, Brooke, that most people's recollection of it is pretty shaken. The police say they're trying to get bomb experts down there on the scene as quickly as possible to deal with that forensic evidence, because the M.O. they believe will help point to what kind of an organization could've triggered this attack.
But at the moment, we have heard many conflicting reports. Some eyewitnesses say that they believe that that bomb could've actually even been inside the lobby of the building where the prime minister's office was, but all still incredibly unclear at the moment, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Still, Nima, still no one coming forward claiming responsibility for this?
ELBAGIR: Not at the moment. We have seen a lot of chatter on a lot of the pro-jihad forums. So you can appreciate they see this as reason to celebrate. Many are saying that this is in revenge for the bin Laden killing, but nobody actually definitively claiming responsibility.
A lot of the intelligence sources I have been speaking to say that they believe that this has -- this is the kind of attack that something like al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula from Yemen have been attempting to pull off over the last few years.
They had that aborted attack on the cargo plane heading for the U.S.; they had another attack in 2009. They have been trying very hard to hit European or U.S. soil. And the belief is that this could have been because Norway, the security setup in Norway is not as stringent as something that you would have had in the U.K. or in the U.S., but this is all just speculation, you know, nothing concrete, which can only add to that sense of panic that people are feeling this evening, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Sure. Well, certainly the possibility of terrorism always a concern because of the ongoing threat as you mentioned from al Qaeda to potentially target Europe.
But, you know, I have been reading from different eyewitnesses, and a lot of people seem to agree that events like this don't happen in Oslo, a normally calm, peaceful, you know largely free of terrorism city.
ELBAGIR: Well, more recently, there has been increasing -- there's been an increasing sense of insecurity, because you have had a lot of the spillover from the Danish cartoon controversy. A Norwegian newspaper reprinted those cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed in a way that many Muslims found was offensive.
And they reprinted it in 2006 and they also reprinted it again last year. And then after that, Norwegian authorities say they managed to apprehend three al Qaeda-affiliated suspects who were trying to attack the Danish newspaper that had started all this.
So in recent years, although perhaps it hasn't really been on the radar so much for the rest of the world, there is a sense in Norway and actually there was even a Norwegian intelligence report earlier this year that warned against an increased security risk. So definitely amongst the intelligence community in Norway, this is something that they have been worried about.
But it doesn't seem to have spilled over in terms of their security arrangements. For someone to be able to come right up in that road in the center of government outside the prime minister's office and park a car would be unthinkable in -- you know, at 10 Downing Street or in Washington. So for that to be able to happen, definitely there are a lot of questions being asked this evening, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Nima Elbagir, stand by. We will certainly come back to you as soon as you get more information. Nima, my thanks to you.
And within the past half-hour or so, we did hear from President Obama certainly expressing his own deep concern about the events unfolding in Norway. I want to play just a piece of sound. Here he is speaking from the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: it's a reminder that the entire international community has a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring and that we have to work cooperatively together both on intelligence and in terms of prevention of these kinds of horrible attacks.
I remember fondly my visit to Oslo and how warmly the people of Norway treated me. And so our hearts go out to them. And we'll provide any support that we can to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Our terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank is standing. He joins me from London.
And, Paul, I just want to hit you right up with this. Why Norway? Why would terrorists target the Scandinavian country?
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, actually, Norway has been in al Qaeda's crosshairs for quite some time.
In 2003, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the now leader of al Qaeda, issued a threat against Norway, singled Norway out. Norway is in Afghanistan, it's part of NATO. But also last year a newspaper in Norway published controversial images of the Prophet Mohammed, republished those images which had been originally published in a Danish newspaper some years back.
So many reasons why a group like al Qaeda or another jihadist group may want to come after a country like Norway, Brooke.
BALDWIN: I don't know if you were able to hear Nima, but she was describing to me that some eyewitnesses there on the streets had described a mangled car, perhaps the bomb, perhaps a car bomb. She also said perhaps it was inside the lobby of the building that housed the prime minister. As we said, he wasn't there at the time. And she also mentioned this kind of thing would never happen on 10 Downing Street, but it's happening here in Oslo.
What do you make of the level of sophistication of the bomb?
CRUICKSHANK: I think we're talking about a relatively high level of sophistication here. The carnage recalls the scenes in 1998 of the U.S. African embassies that were targeted by al Qaeda. This was a huge bomb that was exploded today. It seems to have killed, unfortunately, a significant amount of people.
Also, coordinated attacks it seems today where they may have been trying to take out some of the political leadership of Norway as well. So it bears all the hallmarks of the al Qaeda terrorist organization at the moment. But we don't know at this point who was responsible, Brooke.
BALDWIN: You know, after Osama bin Laden's death, there were Islamic extremists who came forward and said there will be retaliation, there will be revenge, we will be coming back. Might this be a manifestation of that threat? CRUICKSHANK: It's possibly that this is in some way related to that. And in Norway, in recent months, there's been increased terrorist threat activity chatter that Norwegian counterterrorism services have been monitoring.
They have also been, I understand, monitoring a group of individuals in Norway with suspected links to al Qaeda, possibly to al Qaeda in Pakistan. So these investigations have been ongoing. What is not clear is whether there's any relation of this attack today, Brooke.
BALDWIN: How should the world community react to this? How should security change in Oslo?
CRUICKSHANK: Well, with shock and revulsion and obviously to try and prevent this from happening again. Until we understand who actually is responsible for this, obviously it would be early to talk about responses.
But if it is indeed al Qaeda, then greater steps against al Qaeda will need to be taken. They have a safe haven right now in Pakistan, where they're still able to train Western operatives, including quite recently Norwegian residents. There was a Norwegian resident who trained there in 2009 and was then arrested last year in Norway and suspected of being involved in a plot over there.
So the response if it is al Qaeda will have to increase, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Right. And then again, no one has thus far come forward claiming responsibility, but it does have the makings, as you mentioned, of that terrorist organization.
Paul Cruickshank, thank you very much.
BALDWIN: Coming up next, I will speak with someone on the ground in Oslo on the exact same street where that explosion happened. He says his office felt like it contracted and then expanded. The windows you saw some of the shattered glass just blown all throughout the building. That is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: In 2010, Americans chose a divided government. But they didn't choose a dysfunctional government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: But right now, a dysfunctional government is exactly what we're getting. You know the deal. Time's ticking on America's debt ceiling, and Washington is no closer to a deal. But will either side give in here? I will speak with a Republican lawmaker coming up next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BALDWIN: Again, we're staying all over this story. Breaking news out of Norway today. Two deadly terror attacks. At least seven people are dead in this massive bombing in the city center of Oslo.
And outside the capital, a person dressed up as a policeman opened fire at this youth camp run by the nation's ruling party. Police say several people there were injured as well. Obviously by the looks of these pictures, the situation dire, chaotic. Oslo's mayor calling this -- quote, unquote -- "a terrible day for Norwegians."
Ulrik Thyve was in office in Oslo when the explosion happened. He joins me by phone.
And, Ulrik, I know the connection here isn't great. A lot of people trying to use their cell phones right now. I realize I may lose you. So let me just get straight to it. What did the blast feel like? Did you feel it in your chest?
ULRIK THYVE, WITNESS: Yes, it was -- the pressure wave was intense. The sound was also just so loud. And the pressure wave pushed and pulled. And it was just surreal.
BALDWIN: Describe just the next few moments after this blast occurred. What were people doing in your office? Your office is on the exact same street of where this all happened.
THYVE: Yes, we were like four or five people left at work at the time. So we gathered up and tried to check if everyone was OK, went through all the remaining offices to see that no one was left behind. Then we went together down to the ground floor.
BALDWIN: Let me point out you work as an attorney for the Norwegian government, but you also have a passion for photography, had a camera. We're going to show some of your pictures. And I just want you to walk me through exactly as we look at these scenes. It looks like, Ulrik, just shattered shards of glass presumably from the windows, bloodied people, victims of this destruction coming off the windows. Just describe these images and what sticks with you.
THYVE: Well, when we came out, it was just so confusing and so surreal, people bleeding, dust everywhere, broken glass. You were walking on piles of glass everywhere. People were walking to and fro. People were running, but most people were relatively calm. And otherwise the situation was chaotic.
I walked to the center of the explosion area. And the main government building was just devastated. You can see right through it on ground level. You can see from one side and just straight through to the street on the other side.
BALDWIN: Ulrik, I know it's a national holiday. As you mentioned, there were just a couple people in your office. And when you look at some of these images, there are -- still looks to be a number of people in the street.
But would I be deducing correctly to think that had this not been a holiday, this would have been much worse?
THYVE: Much, much worse. The majority of people were either on holiday or had left for the weekend. So the offices were pretty empty. If more of the offices facing the blast had been occupied, this would have been far, far worse.
BALDWIN: Where are you right now?
THYVE: Right now I'm 10, 15 minutes away from the city center in my home.
BALDWIN: In your home. Had you heard sirens? Was there still a sense of panic in the last few minutes? Is smoke still rising from the buildings? Or has it quelled for now?
THYVE: The center area is evacuated entirely. The police have cordoned off a really relatively large area around the blast. So it's just rescue personnel down there right now.
BALDWIN: I was talking to a terrorism analyst a moment ago and he said that there has been increased chatter about Norway, that, you know, they have been investigating militants suspected of being linked to al Qaeda. Do you live with a sense of fear of terrorism? Is that part of your fiber as a Norwegian?
THYVE: Well, not at all, actually, until now. We have had some really, really minor episodes, shooting against synagogues and things like that, but all in all, we have -- I have never experienced fear or believed that Norway would be a target for such an attack. So it just makes it so surreal, so surprising.
BALDWIN: No fear until now, he says.
Ulrik Thyve, thank you so much. And please stay safe. Thank you so much for calling in.
Switching gears, moving to Washington now, 11 days and counting until a potential default of the U.S. Treasury. The president is calling on Congress again to prevent that from happening again by approving more government borrowing. The president is pointing out bills coming due are money Congress has spent already. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: There are some people out there who argue we're not going to raise the debt ceiling anymore. And the problem is effectively what that's saying is, we're not going to pay some of our bills. Well, the United States of America doesn't run out without paying the tab. We pay our bills. We meet our obligations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: That was the president today in College Park, Maryland.
But let me take you to Capitol Hill. Let me tell you what is happening there.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has canceled plans to have the Senate work all weekend long to meet all weekend. He says circumstances have changed. He cites signs of progress in the debt reduction talks between the White House and between House Speaker John Boehner.
Also the Senate has rejected a plan promoted and passed by House Republicans that would cut the national debt through spending cuts alone and require a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Joining me now from Capitol hill, Representative Robert Goodlatte, Republican of Virginia.
Congressman Goodlatte, good to have you on.
REP. BOB GOODLATTE (R), VIRGINIA: Good to be with you, Brooke.
BALDWIN: I want to begin with the fact that you, you were one of the drivers behind the House legislation that the Senate did reject this morning. Are you, sir, are you satisfied that you have had your say here and now it's down to the talks between the House speaker and the president?
GOODLATTE: Well, I think what's really important here is that the Senate in rejecting what the House did now has an obligation to work in a bipartisan fashion.
If they reject the plan the House sent, which raises the debt limit, as the president requested, but it also cuts spending, caps spending, and leads to a balanced budget, in fact a balanced budget amendment that I introduced on the first day of this Congress, the Senate has an obligation to produce something that the House can then negotiate with the Senate on.
I'm pleased that they're still having discussions at the White House, but those discussions have never resulted in anything that either the House or the Senate could vote on, and the president has never put anything in writing that we could score, that we could have the green-eyeshade people in the Congressional Budget Office say this is how much it would cost, this is how much it would save, this is the tax proposal.
Whatever the proposal might be, if the president wants us to vote on it, he's got to give us something in writing.
BALDWIN: Yes. Well, speaking of the talks as they are just talks right now as you point out between the president, between Speaker Boehner, do you foresee repercussions among Republicans against Speaker Boehner should he cut a deal with the White House to keep the government from defaulting come August 2?
GOODLATTE: No, I think that the speaker is fully aware that, unlike the president, who is the only elected official in the executive branch that can act unilaterally and can make a proposal on his own, whatever the speaker discusses with his president, he's got to bring back to the House, particularly to the Republican Conference, and he will then get a very clear idea whether that's something that would pass or not.
So we have a lot of confidence in Speaker Boehner, in Majority Leader Cantor in the negotiations that they have conducted. I think they have represented our position well. But you can't judge a package until it's actually produced and brought back to the Congress.
And, again, with the clock ticking down, it's urgent that the Senate or the president put something forward. We have already voted to raise the debt limit, subject to what we think the American people want. And that is cutting government spending and balancing our budget.
BALDWIN: Well, I don't know if you listened to the president today. I was sitting there taking notes. Because he really tried to make it palatable to the Americans so that we understand these complicated debt talks, right, that everyone's having day in and day out. And the president today said that your refusal to lift the debt ceiling to pay the government's bill is like -- what did he say? He says: "The U.S. doesn't run out without paying the tab. We pay our bills. We don't run out on the tab."
That is pretty simple language.
BALDWIN: Do you disagree with that?
GOODLATTE: Well, of course I do because the House has already voted to raise the debt ceiling. We have sent that bill to the Senate. The Senate rejected it this morning by a narrow vote, and we certainly understand the Senate doesn't have to agree with the House. But if they don't agree with the House, they have to produce something else that we can deal with.
And the president asked for a clean lift of the debt ceiling. That has two problems. One, we voted on it in the House, and it was overwhelmingly defeated. Not only all the Republicans, but almost half the Democrats, voted against that.
But the other problem is that the bond rating agencies, Moody's, Standard & Poor's, they have made it clear that not only can we not default -- and no one here thinks that we can default on our obligations -- but not only can we not default, but we also have to put this government on a track to reducing spending or they will lower our bond rating for that.
BALDWIN: I was talking to Mark Zandi just the other day from Moody's. And at the time, he seemed pretty optimistic. But I think everyone agrees that we can't afford to default whatsoever.
But I do want to show you a poll, sir. We have this poll. It shows the numbers -- 34 percent of Americans now agree with your position not to raise anyone's taxes to help pay down the debt. So if the government defaults, if the government defaults, if the economy then obviously would go south, will you get the blame, Congressman Goodlatte, or do you assume that folks will say that it must be the president's fault?
GOODLATTE: I suspect that different people will place blame in different places. But we don't want to default. We don't want to get blame. We want to get credit for doing our jobs.
And, in fact, if the president has a tax proposal, put that on the table. Many have said in the House that if the taxes are net neutral -- in other words, if the tax increases are offset with tax cuts that help the middle class, for example, dealing with the Alternative Minimum Tax, that that would be something that we'd also consider.
But we can't consider anything unless somebody puts it across the table, either the president or the Senate. We're ready to act on whatever they send. We're ready to negotiate with the Senate if they send something back in response to what we sent them. But they haven't done that, and I think that's unfortunate because we have, you know, 10 days or so left to get this done before August 2.
BALDWIN: We do, indeed, 11 days. And as you mentioned, the talk is happening, but you want to see it in writing. And the American people want to know what is in the details as well.
Congressman Robert Goodlatte of Virginia, thank you show much for coming on.
GOODLATTE: Thank you, Brooke.
BALDWIN: And I want to go back to our breaking story out of Norway. Not going to go too far from that, terror attacks rocking the capital city, and also a youth camp there.
But, first, here at home, have you noticed? The heat is on. And if you are now just now feeling it, chances are you will be feeling it even more so over the weekend, nearly half the country right now under an extreme heat warning. We are going to take you across the country next.
BALDWIN: News flash, it's summertime. But the heat wave that is gripping much of the East is much more than just a scorcher. Perhaps you know that firsthand. It is, in fact, downright dangerous to spend too much time outside. We have a lot to get to. But, first, listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Try my best not to melt.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BALDWIN: Whew, the heat index in Washington, D.C., hit a sizzling 111 degrees before noon today, making this a day for walking around with a T-shirt on your head and water bottle in your hand, the best way to go. It's especially dangerous for people who have to work outside.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys are sweating. It was hitting the beams and just evaporating immediately. So it's hot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: The temperature at this Washington work site registered at a mind boggling 133 degrees. Worse yet, people who fight fires, those brave men and women, crews in Texas battling the heat from wildfires in the sun. Imagine all the equipment that they have to wear.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought I could handle the heat in Texas. It intensifies it times 10 when you put on this fire gear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Temperatures in Northeast Texas are reaching into the triple digits again today. The heat is taking its toll also on farm animals.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When it's this hot, I just -- I leave my sprinklers run just to try to give them a break, and, unfortunately, I know I have lost a couple to heat and I know that neighbors have lost some animals to heat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Did you see those cows? They weren't happy either. Thousands of cows, actually, and hogs have died across the Midwest since this heat wave began.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are setting records in terms of power usage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Phones ringing off the hook. This is where New York's emergency management team monitors the city's power grid. Power outages have hit several cities. And New York is asking people to conserve as much as you can.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been bad, hot, hot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: That is Louise Dunlap (ph) of Madison, Wisconsin. Folks, she's 88. She's overheated because her air conditioner gave up on her. And she had to call the repairman. The extreme heat is creating a mini-economic boom for people, though, who do this kind of work.
Down the road in Milwaukee, the heat wave has turned into a crime wave. There's been a rash of thefts of air conditioners, you know, the kind of you stick right out the window? And remember this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you know of seniors, your relatives, your friends, your neighbors, check in on them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: When it's this hot, the elderly and the very young are always the most at risk. Everyone living in the danger zones is asked to help -- help out. Make sure your neighbors, your friends, your family are all right.
And just because we can, just for fun, take a look at this. We love this video. We found a horse that knows exactly how to manipulate a sprinkler with his hoof. Take a good long look with his right hoof. Turn it on, take a little sniff, drink, get the most benefit from the cool spring. He's got the right idea on a day like this, doesn't he?
By the way, our correspondents, we've got them in some of the hottest cities around -- New York, Chicago, Philadelphia. In Washington, Alison Kosik, thanks for going outside for me. Alison, to you.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I'm Alison Kosik right outside the New York Stock Exchange where it's sweltering out here. It's midday right around lunchtime, and usually this area would be crowded with people, with tourists looking at the stock exchange. But today, believe it or not, the crowds are a lot thinner because it is so hot out here.
Even these security guards, they're getting extra water, but not shorter shifts. They get to have the short sleeves, though, that's helping. Even their dogs, the dogs not here with them today, the security dogs, because he's getting a break. They're even alternating the security dogs because it's so hot out here.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, here at the White House, the heat and humidity is literally affecting our equipment. So if you go outside with a camera, it will fog up, and that means that our photographers have to give themselves about 20 minutes before we have a live shot to help it de-fog.
Here at our live shot location on the lawn, we're dealing with the heat index, and also this concrete riser is raising the heat upward. And the hot TV lights don't help either. So what we're trying to do, of course, above all is stay hydrated, wear cotton, and when all else fails, my photographers have been nice enough to set up a fan down there to help me stay cool during my live shots.
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ted Rowlands in Chicago where people have been dealing with sweltering heat for the past week with temperatures well into 100, heat indexes 110 to 115 degrees. Today we actually got a little bit of a break with a thunderstorm as the system starts to move to the east. And as bad as we feel for the folks in New York and Washington, quite frankly, everybody in the Midwest could use the break.
SARAH HOYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Sarah Hoye and I'm in Philadelphia where temperatures peaked well into the triple digits. And we have one very special block that's finding a way to stay cool.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today we opened up the fire hydrant with this giant wrench. We also have a sprinkler cap provided by the fire department to keep the water down. We're not using a lot of water, but it's keeping everybody cool.
BALDWIN: Sarah, Alison, Ted, Brianna, I appreciate it. Chad Myers, I'm sorry. I just woke up this morning and I just thought, gosh, we've got to get these guys outside, feeling the heat.
I'm sort of enjoying the cool studio, though I would be out there with you if I had the time to make the dash. Are you burning up?
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: No. "Hotlanta" is not living up to the name. It's 92 heat index right now. The breeze is OK. But it's the sun that makes you hot. And even though we're heat index of 92, when the sun comes out, and it will here before the live shot's over because we see the gray clouds, that blocks out the sun every once in a while. And that's what Hotlanta does -- it gets hot, humid, and all of a sudden the sun comes out and blocks the sunshine and things cool off.
But it feels like 92 here, it feels like 123 on the mall in Washington, D.C., 31 degrees warmer because the humidity is higher. The temp's 102. OK, it's hot. They broke records in New York, D.C., LaGuardia, and Newark have now all broken all-time records. Newark, New Jersey, got to 106 last hour. That's higher than they've ever been on any other date in any other year. Not just on this date.
Sure they broke a record today, was 101 was the record and went to 102 at noon, then they got to 106, hotter than ever, ever before on record. And that's what the people up there are dealing with. Only 8,000 customers, though, Con Ed without power right now. And that's a very good number. That's just your random transformer that blew up every once in a while. That's not bad. But you were talking earlier about these potential brownouts and blackouts.
BALDWIN: That's a big concern, right? Because everybody's using their air-conditioning if you're fortunate enough to have it. And the electric grids getting a huge workout and may not be able to handle it all.
MYERS: They're putting out so many little recommendations that I haven't even thought about. Please use your microwave today, don't use your oven in the house, because the oven just comes on, heats up the house and the air-conditioner has to work harder. Microwaves don't do that. Don't do any laundry until after 8:00 or 9:00 when people turn off their air-conditioners. And certainly if you leave your apartment, turn the AC down or up to about 82 so the ac doesn't run while you're not there, turn it back down when you get home.
But I'll tell you what, it's right on that strain. It's like you can just feel the strain on those wires. You can hear the buzzing on some of the wires up there in New York as all those people literally 150,000 megawatts or whatever they're over right now, all those things are right at their tested limits.
BALDWIN: Hey, Chad, just real quickly. I don't know who your shooter is, but can you pan over to the CNN sign. Are there any tourists? The good folks who come to CNN to get the tour? I'm curious to see if anyone's hanging out outside. A few people.
BALDWIN: One and two.
MYERS: That's it. As you look downtown, people literally are not going out. And we heard this in New York City today. When New York city woke up this morning, the heat index was 95. People thought they were going to go outside, take a jog outside early to beat the heat, but it was already hot at 7:00 a.m. And in fact New York city was hotter at 7:00 a.m. than it is right now in Atlanta. So Hotlanta doesn't cut it today. BALDWIN: Beautiful blue skies for you. I have one thing for that running outside -- treadmill. Chad Myers, thank you so much.
MYERS: Treadmill on a sprinkler.
BALDWIN: I like that.
MYERS: Not electric, though.
BALDWIN: Thank you.
And on a much more serious note, look, let's go back to our breaking story out of Norway out of the capital city Oslo. Terror attacks rocking the capital and a youth camp nearby.
Also, the Los Angeles police department thought they had their guy. They had one man in custody, this man, arrested for the brutal beating of a fan outside a Dodgers game earlier this year, but it turns out they might have gotten it wrong. And now two new arrests reported in the attack of this father of two. Be right back.
BALDWIN: All right, now to this story in California. Police reportedly arrest two new suspects in a beating of a Giants fan outside Dodgers stadium. And the guy they thought was the suspect, well, isn't.
The "L.A. Times" broke the story. Remember this? Giants fan Brian Stowe was beaten nearly to death in the Dodgers stadium parking lot back in March. Now, the "Times" reports that Stowe suffered seizures, had emergency surgery just this week, though his condition had been improving just a bit before that.
In May, police nabbed the guy they said did it, 31-year-old Giovanni Ramirez. Here he is. Police say -- Police Chief Charlie Beck repeatedly said Ramirez was their guy, the prime suspect in the beating, but detectives were not able to conclusively link him to the crime and prosecutors held off on filing criminal charges. He was held, instead, on suspicion of violating probation from a previous conviction.
Fast forward to June, Ramirez sent back to prison for ten months for that parole violation. Let's go straight to Joel Rubin, who is a staff writer for the "L.A. Times" and who was one of the writers who revealed all these new arrests. Joel, good to have you back on. You and your colleagues, you report on this, you say the police case against Ramirez stalled from the start. Talk to me just about the investigation that they did conduct trying to find a connection here.
JOEL RUBIN, STAFF WRITER, "L.A. TIMES": Yes. As you said, they took Giovanni Ramirez into custody in May and very confidently proclaimed he was their prime suspect, the man they thought was the prime assailant in the case. They took him into custody, they did not arrest him. They did not charge him in this crime because they were working to pull together the case. And right from the get go they were having trouble finding that hard piece of evidence that could put him at the stadium on the day of the game and link him to the attack.
They looked through surveillance video, looked through financial records to see if there was an ATM receipt. They looked through phone records to see if they could put him at the stadium, and they couldn't find anything that put him at the stadium and at the attack.
BALDWIN: So they couldn't find those pieces of evidence to conclusively connect the dots. Then last month the police chief reassigned this investigation to the robbery-homicide division. And then they now find these two new suspects. How did they do that? And what kind of evidence do they have?
RUBIN: Well, that is the big question we are trying to find out. The LAPD has gone on a complete information shutdown on this, which is in stark contrast to what happened the first time where they were very public about it. They, you know, said this is who we have, this is who we think did it. And this is, you know, they talked about eyewitnesses identifying Giovanni Ramirez.
This time we, you know, we heard through our sources about these arrests, but we have not gotten anything from the LAPD as to what it is, what pieces of information, or what tips they got that led them to these two gentlemen.
BALDWIN: So Ramirez' lawyer who your colleague did manage to talk to, he's always maintained his client's innocence. In your article, he says Ramirez isn't officially not a suspect, but he says if it's true, obviously he'll be happy. And I want to quote some of what you were quoting. He says "There was a lot of pressure on LAPD. I believe they were operating in good faith and made a good faith mistake." Do you think they came under pressure and jumped the gun a little too early?
RUBIN: Well, I think they had reason to arrest Giovanni Ramirez. This was not just a name and a guy they pulled out of the blue. They had an eyewitness or two eyewitnesses, they said, who picked Ramirez out of a lineup, a photographic lineup. And they went with it.
Whether the -- the question of whether they moved too quickly, I think it's a question more of whether they went public too quickly or whether they were too public about their confidence in their case against Ramirez. People are scratching their heads saying, well, why didn't you just say we have somebody in custody and we're looking at him as a possible suspect and we'll get back to you when we know more instead of doing what they did, which was, you know, stand up there and say pretty much this is our guy and then get caught, backed into a corner when they couldn't put the case together.
But they didn't just pull this guy out of the blue. And I think the lawyer has been very understanding on that case. He's a very good lawyer, and he said from the start, my guy is innocent, and I don't think the LAPD is being malicious here, but they have the wrong guy. BALDWIN: And perhaps they now recognize that, thus explaining the radio silence for now, just being safe. Joel Rubin with the "L.A. Times" breaking the story. Joel, thank you.
RUBIN: Thanks, Brooke.
BALDWIN: And we're still all over the breaking story out of Norway, a massive bomb, explosion in the city center. It is a national holiday. But take a look at the video -- people scattering, frightened as this happened in the 4:00 hour in the middle of this workday. We're going to have much more on the breaking story. Seven reported fatalities, multiple injuries, people still stuck in some of these buildings right where the prime minister was housed. More on that and the White House's reaction to this incident coming up next.
BALDWIN: I want to get you back to breaking news, the coverage of the terrorist attacks in Norway today. Let's go to Dan Lothian who's covering the White House for us this afternoon. And Dan, we have heard from the president who was speaking during a photo op with the New Zealand prime minister. What was it that he said?
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, more on that in just a second. But first of all, this is something the White House has been paying close attention to. In fact the senior official pointing out that the president was briefed this morning by John Brennan, his adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. As you pointed out, though, during that meeting with the prime minister of New Zealand, the president made his first public comments in reacting to the situation in Norway. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I wanted to personally extend my condolences to the people of Norway. And it's a reminder that the entire international community have a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring and that we have to work cooperatively together both with intelligence and in terms of prevention of these kinds of horrible attacks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LOTHIAN: Now the prime minister of New Zealand also weighing in, saying that if, in fact, this is an act of terrorism, it points out that no country no matter how small or large is immune from such a risk. Brooke?
BALDWIN: Quickly, Dan, do we know yet if Barack Obama has picked up the phone and reached out to Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway?
LOTHIAN: We do not know at this point. In fact, I did inquire of a senior administration official if, in fact, he plans additional briefings on this, information that we're still gathering. Hope to have more on that later. BALDWIN: Dan, always appreciate it. Thank you.
BALDWIN: Still ahead, this was a scene on a New York highway this morning, really the aftermath of this horrific fire after a tractor-trailer slammed into a bus filled with tourists. Some amazing stories of heroism here, including eyewitnesses pulling victims out of the fiery wreckage. That is coming up.
BALDWIN: A horrible scene early this morning on the New York State freeway west of Syracuse. A tractor trailer rear-ended a tour bus right around 1:30 this morning. Both vehicles immediately caught fire. Police tell us the bus driver just pulled back on to the freeway after stopping for half an hour to take care of an emissions problem when the crash happened.
The truck driver, a 59 year old man from Michigan, was killed, 30 passengers were injured, two of them are still listed in critical condition. And police say the bus driver will be charged with a misdemeanor for driving with a suspended license.
But you can just imagine the sense of panic early this morning, people scrambling to get off that bus that had burst into flames, 52 passengers were onboard. They were tourists from Canada headed to New York City. One woman whose parents were onboard that bus told a Canadian newspaper, that her parents just ran on the bus barefoot and had to keep running because the bus just kept blowing up. Drivers who drove past the accident did stop to help. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAJOR MARK KOSS, NEW YORK STATE POLICE: Upon the impact, there was an explosion. And as I said, all the passengers, the bus driver were able to get off the bus safely. There was a couple of witnesses who rendered help. One notable witness is a sergeant for Fort Drum. His name is Jacob Perkins. As I said, he's a sergeant, he's an E-5. He's in the 189th cavalry stationed at fort drum. And he was able to get a few of the passengers off that bus safely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Well, how about this part of the story? Speaking of heroism, a soldier from nearby fort drum stopped and pulled people from that burning bus.
Coming up at the top of the hour, a Missouri woman, a mother of triplets just disappears. Police think her husband may know a little bit more than he's offering up. He says they're on a witch hunt. We're going to take you inside this mystery. CNN news room rolls on.
BALDWIN: It's time for a CNN = Politics update. Let's go to Wolf Blitzer here. And Wolf, I know you and I normally talk about what's going on the Political Ticker. But today I just have to ask your thoughts as we've been watching the situation develop out of the capital city of Oslo in Norway. You've been there. What do you make of all of this?
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": Well, it's pretty shocking. You've seen the pictures, and our viewers by now have seen the pictures. And more are going to be coming in fairly soon. So reminiscent of what happened in Manhattan on 9/11. You see these people running from these buildings in downtown Oslo in shock and the buildings destroyed.
It looks like Oklahoma City. I was there after what happened in Oklahoma City in 1995, Timothy McVeigh. I would urge everyone to be cautious right now. We don't know who's responsible for this -- one individual, more than one individual. We don't know if there's a political background. We don't know who did this. So I wouldn't jump to any conclusions right now, let the local law enforcement authorities in Norway get the job done, because I remember after the Oklahoma City bombing, and you probably remember as well, Brooke, we all jumped to certain conclusions. It was more homegrown terror in Oklahoma City than it was foreign terror, Al Qaeda related.
Then again, after 9/11, we know who's responsible for 9/11. So let's see what the authorities come up with, and then we'll be able to draw the conclusions.
But Norway is a beautiful country, Oslo is a great city. Have you ever been there?
BALDWIN: I haven't. The closest I've been to that sort of neck of the woods is Denmark. But I've not been to Oslo.
BLITZER: Well, it's like Copenhagen to a certain degree, very picturesque, a lot of history. The people are wonderful. Very quiet. You never hear about it unless god forbid something like this happens. So it's a real sad story. And my heart to goes out to all of those people, especially in that youth camp. Do we have a number coming in? How many people were killed?
BALDWIN: We haven't heard any fatalities from the youth camp. Now I'm hearing we've justice confirmed as you're asking nine to 10 fatalities. Eric, that's at the youth camp alone? That's at the youth camp alone, nine to 10 fatalities at the youth camp alone. That's just in to CNN. And now we also add that to the seven reported fatalities from the Oslo bombing. So that's a number.
Also speaking with a reporter who's been on it. She's saying according to her sources it's likely the number will rise, because you have to keep in mind, and thank goodness this was a national holiday, so not as many people were at work in the 4:00 afternoon hour. But the fear, of course, is that people are still stuck in some of these buildings in Oslo, that number will rise.
So it's horrific. I was speaking to someone who lives there, was working there, said he, look, Brooke, I had never feared terrorism until today. Wolf Blitzer, I'm sure you'll be all over this story as we will be for the next hour. Wolf, we'll check in with you next hour. Thank you so much.
BLITZER: Thanks, Brooke.