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Dispute Over Oil Worker Illness; Residents Coping with Major Oil Disaster; Florida: Our Beach Are Oil Free; BP Rig's History Scrutinized; Your Info Available to Anyone; Lionel Richie's Patriotic Tone
Aired May 30, 2010 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Thank you all very much. See you all Monday night.
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BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Oil clean-up workers in the Gulf complained the job making them ill. But what really makes them sick is that BP suggesting they might have food poisoning.
Also, the legendary Lionel Richie sings at tonight's national Memorial Day concert in Washington. And he told me this performance was also a national tribute to his dad.
And say good-bye to privacy. A new Web site lets anyone find out far more than you ever imagined possible.
No fix, no solid timeline and for a lot of people not a lot of patience left in the Gulf of Mexico today. All of this after we heard about how important, how crucial that top kill procedure was. The crews were pumping 30,000 barrels of heavy mud into that spill, we learned Saturday was a total bust. So thousands of galloons of oil still blasting every day in what is now being called the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
Now this week, looking ahead here, BP trying its next solution. And you will be hearing a lot of this term next week, so let's start talking about it now. It's called the LMRP cap.
What does LMRP stand for? It stands for lower marine riser package. It has to do with that failed blowout preventer. You're watching the animation here.
Crews will be trying to cut the damage, parts off, right? And they are dropping this new cap, you're looking at, on top of that. But even if it's a success, the flow may not completely stop until August when the relief wells are supposed to be finish.
We can see what the oil is doing to the water, but now the question is, what is the oil clean-up doing to the workers?
So far nine people handling the oil have gotten so sick. You see them on stretchers, sent to the hospital. Some are blaming the chemical dispersants use to break up the oil. But the CEO of BP seems to think the problem stems from something else.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY HAYWARD, CEO, BRITISH PETROLEUM: I am sure they were genuinely ill but whether it has anything to do with dispersants and oil, whether it was food poisoning or some other reason for them being ill. You know food poisoning is surely a big issue when you have a concentration of this number of people in temporary camps, temporary accommodations, it's something we have to be very, very mindful of. It is one of the big issues of keeping the Army operating. You know, the army is marching on their stomach.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So food poisoning or oil and dispersants? This surprise us. So we had our senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, actually checking Tony Hayward's food poisoning claim.
And Elizabeth, let's get BP the benefit of the doubt here. I want to talk about symptoms of food poisoning. And if you will, walk me through some of these symptoms that some of these workers have been complaining of and might they match food poisoning versus something else?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, Brooke. The workers have been complaining of several different symptoms and they have included mostly things like dizziness, headaches, irritation of the nose, shortness of the breath. And I ran Mr. Hayward's theory about food poisoning by Dr. Michael Osterholm, who was one of the foremost experts on food-borne illness in the United States.
And he said, I don't think so. He said these symptoms do not sound like food-borne illness to me. He said, I don't know what they are. I don't know why these guys are getting sick, but it sounds much more respiratory to me than getting sick from food.
BALDWIN: Elizabeth, I want to talk about some other pictures that we've been seeing that I know you've been pointing out this past week, right? So we see these workers on these ships, some of them are laying the booms, and we haven't seen one big thing, that being gas masks. And I know you've learn from one of the workers, he is trying to do something about that. In fact, he's filed a restraining order here.
COHEN: That's right. Just today, he filed a temporary restraining order. Brooke, you mentioned earlier that nine people had been hospitalized, nine of these cleanup workers. One of them and only one of them is still in the hospital. And this gentleman has filed a restraining order against BP saying do not use dispersants unless you're going to give the workers masks. Now I just got off the phone with a spokesperson from BP, and he said, our measurement show we don't need mask.
He's saying, we're checking the quality of the air, we're being careful about what we're putting workers, and the places we're putting them, they do not need masks. And then he said, if the workers want to wear their own masks, they can do so, as long as we make sure that they have the proper training.
Now, I've spoken with some of these fishermen and they said that when they asked, hey, can I wear my own masks, that the folks at BP told them, no, you can't. If you want to wear a mask, you will be fired. BP denies this.
BALDWIN: Elizabeth, I know you want to reach out to some of these workers, perhaps who have been hospitalized, and it seems like that's easier said than done.
Is there a fear, perhaps, in the fact that they're not speaking out? Is there a fear that BP might retaliate?
COHEN: That's right. We've reached out to several of these workers, including the one who's still in the hospital and filed the restraining order. They do not want to go on camera as of yet. They are afraid of reprisals from BP.
I mean, you can understand their financial situation. These are people who made their livelihood fishing. They can't do that anymore because of the oil spill. So what they're doing is they're earning up to $3,000 a day using their boats to clean up oil on the Gulf. And they said that they are concerned that if they complain, that they will lose their jobs. And actually the restraining order specifically asks BP to not harass or not bother people who cite safety concerns.
Now, BP says, look, we're happy to hear safety concerns. People can make them in person, they can make them anonymously. They said that they're not harassing anybody.
BALDWIN: Well, if you hear any further from any of those workers who aren't talking or, of course, BP, let us know.
Elizabeth Cohen for us in New Orleans. Thank you.
Now, there was another comment this afternoon that's raising some eyebrows. BP's CEO also offered his take on how his cooperation is handling the oil spill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYWARD: We've actually done quite a good job of containment in the offshore. There hasn't been a black tide. We've had small impactful, and you know, from my personal perspective, devastating. As far I'm concerned, the cap of oil on the beach is safe, be very clear about that, but that we have done a good job of maintaining a vast majority offshore.
And you know, there's been some places where the defenses have been breached and you know that's -- it's tragic but we're going to clean it up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Tragic, going to clean it up, we've done a good job cleaning it up. Some people along the Gulf, you talk to them, they don't agree. And think about it, today's Sunday. A lot of churchgoers hearing those words, looking for answers.
CNN's Carol Costello has a story out of Grand Isle, Louisiana.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Parishioners came to our Lady of Grand Isle Catholic Church to ask God for the strength to deal with what might come next. A black tide that could destroy the community.
REV. MIKE TRAN, OUR LADY OF THE ISLE CHURCH: Of the father, of the son, and of the holy spirit.
COSTELLO: It's been difficult for Father Michael Tran to offer comfort. The level of anger is so high, he fears it might spiral out of control.
COSTELLO: So, you don't invoke BP's name in church?
TRAN: I try not to. Yes. So --
COSTELLO: Because you don't want to incite people any more than they already are?
TRAN: Correct. They're already upset and they're frustrated. And I don't want to make it worse.
COSTELLO: But that intense anger belies the complicated relationship with BP and big oil. On one hand, they're ready to throw the bums out. On the other hand, they know they need big oil to field the Gulf's economy.
According to a University of Florida study, oil and gas interests account for $124 billion a year, or 53 percent of the money generated in the Gulf region.
It's why the people at Meagan's Sno Balls stand say, yeah, they're mad at BP, but not the whole oil industry, even though their business has melted away because of it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You work in the oil field or you are a trawler or fisherman. That's how they live down here. That's what we live off of. And that's pretty much the way of life.
COSTELLO: A way of life that is now threatened by BP, a partner many here blame for failing to take care of this beautiful place, so everyone can profit from its riches.
Back at Grand Isle's Catholic Church, that partner's name BP may inflame, but that doesn't mean people aren't praying for BP all the same.
Your feelings about BP?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're a community that thrives on seafood, but oil as well. And so we just want it all straightened out and we want them to play by the rules. Do it right.
BALDWIN: And Carol Costello good enough to join me live from Grand Isle. And, Carol, I think you explained it perfectly in the piece. It almost seems like a love-hate relationship, you know, with some of these big oil companies.
So I guess my question is, are some of these people worried that these oil jobs are just going to go away?
COSTELLO: Well, they're kind of worried because President Obama has put this six-month moratorium on new drilling in the Gulf, and people fear if that moratorium maybe is extended to a year or a year and a half, that people will start losing their jobs who work on those big oil rigs and they're an important part of the economy, too.
But, you know, the other inescapable fact, and I was thinking about this today, Brooke, is BP has spent $243 million to clean up the mess, to reimburse workers, and they are still up and running.
We talked to a small business person today, who lost $120,000 so far. That's small business person isn't going to survive that.
BALDWIN: Do these small business people get the sense that BP's going to pay them back in the long run?
COSTELLO: Who knows about the small business people? I mean, they're paying fishermen back, right? $35 million, I think, was the figure that came out today. But, again, that's just for the business they lost -- they lose right now. But what about a year from now or two years from now? What if the oil spill, like, affects, you know, the sea life here and they can't fish ever again? So what happens then? And how can anyone possibly compensate them forever?
BALDWIN: Absolutely. Carol Costello, thank you for getting the sense of the people there in the thick of things.
Carol, thank you for that report.
Now, just in here to the CNN NEWSROOM, here's what we're learning. A passenger on a U.S. no-fly list reportedly prompted a Paris to Mexico City flight to make an unscheduled stop tonight in Montreal. There's the plane.
According to the CBC, the unidentified passenger was taken into custody by Canadian authorities. The other 150 passengers were also taken off the plane. They were searched. Officials say they will be allowed to re-board the plane, resume their flight, and let me read this to you. CNN just got this statement here from the TSA.
They are aware of Aero Mexico flight 006 from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Mexico City International Airport which was diverted to Montreal due to a person of interest, that's what they're saying. The flight landed safely and was met by law enforcement. Officers removed the individual from the flight and arrested the person on an outstanding warrant.
The more we learn, the more questions we have here. Tonight, new information about the history and the design of the drill rig at the part of this BP disaster.
Also, take a look with me at some surveillance video had police searching for a kidnap victim, but tonight they say they know who abducted the girl and why.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIONEL RICHIE, MUSICIAN: Right now, this nation needs to come together and understand that there are generations of sacrifices here. Not just one particular group right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Recognize that guy? Yes, Lionel Richie doing something very patriotic this evening in our nation's capital. You don't want to miss that interview.
BALDWIN: As we look ahead here to another week of difficult challenges in the Gulf, want to get some perspective from retired army Lieutenant General Russel Honore, who's also a CNN contributor, but also from Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian and the author of "The Great Deluge," about the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast. And I spoke with both of these men earlier. And I started by asking General Honore what he thinks should happen next along the Gulf.
LT. GEN. RUSSEL HONORE, (RET.), CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, what's next is we've got to take this all along like we are fighting a war. We need to create a defensive plan. Admiral Allen has done much in the last couple of days to instill confidence that he has the capability and we'll bring the capability and to do it.
But at the end of the day, Brooke, is the trust of the people, they don't trust BP. BP deciding what they are going resource and where, BP deciding what level of compensation -- look, we've got a Stafford Act Section 5122 that clearly says if you have an explosion, that the government will invoke the Stafford Act to take care of the suffering of the people.
That's what needs to happen, the people don't trust BP. It's like being mugged on the street and having the criminal decide what level of care you get. We need to move on. Invoke the Stafford Act and start taking care of these people.
BALDWIN: All right. So you say we can't trust BP.
Mr. Brinkley, do you trust BP? Can BP do more? And I also want to ask you just about the role of the federal government here? What can the President and the administration do to force BP's hand to take action?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, of course I don't trust BP. At this point, nobody in America should, nobody in the world should. This is a company that has been dishonest, disingenuous, rude. Tony Hayward the CEO said that this was a little drop in the sea, the oil spill. They've been in constant cover-up in attempt to minimize things.
But where do we go from here? The relief well looks like it's going to be the answer. BP is responsible for plugging it. But we've got to do protection of the wetlands right now.
BALDWIN: We have publicly heard from BP and we've heard them say "mea culpa" today. We've heard them say it could have been worse.
We also have heard from BP on our show within the last hour but I just I want to say here on the record officially and live, hey, Mr. Hayward or Mr. Suttles, feel free to call in. We'd love to hear from you and get your perspective.
Gen. Honore, you and I were talking last night about how you would like to declare this a national disaster because you believe the people along the Gulf region are the ones who have the best interests in mind of the area and should be leading this effort.
LT. GEN. HONORE: That's right. And use the local people for the response. Divide this up in grids. And I know Admiral Allen is working with the parish presidents. But at any time, you know, a governor asks to put a barrier up, or you ask them for a boom and then that decision is approved by the Coast Guard and some BP person is saying yes or no based on what they want to pay for, that's not the response that people are looking for.
The people of America didn't vote for BP. They voted for our Congress and Senators and our President to take care of us in a time of need. We need to move on and put the government in charge of defending the coastline. When that oil comes here, we attack it and we have a lot more assets if we use national response plan because all of government then come. All of government is then required to see how they can help as opposed to being requested to help. And I know Admiral Allen and his team is doing the best they can. But this is all out war. We need land, sea, and air an attack on this thing and keep that oil out of the bayous.
BALDWIN: The marshes.
LT. GEN. HONORE: Look, we are right in the middle of going into hurricane season. The people here remember a 30-foot wall of water hitting Biloxi. They remember a 17-foot wall of water coming through Lake Morgan, coming in to Lake Pontchartrain. They know what the black wave will do.
BALDWIN: I want to let you know, we'll have much more on the unfolding disaster in the Gulf in just a moment, including the devastating impact on coastal towns dependent on tourism already hurting, even though there is no oil in sight there.
But the first tropical storm of the hurricane season in Central America takes a deadly hit from Agatha. The death toll tonight making a distraction jump.
And have you seen this video? A crash today. Look at this picture. This is the Indy 500, on the very last lap. That was a race car. The driver, good news, he's OK. We'll show you the whole thing here in the CNN NEWSROOM.
BALDWIN: Checking some of our top stories now.
Have you heard about this? The first tropical storm of the season has killed at least 82 people in Central America. Most of them killed in Guatemala, where heavy rains. You can see all that water rushing, triggering mud slides, collapsed homes, caused more than 60,000 people to evacuate. By the way, the storm was downgraded today, but it's still producing heavy rainfall as it moves towards the western Caribbean and authorities say the death toll is expected to rise even more.
And a case of a possible kidnapping in Stafford, Virginia, appears to be a family fight. An amber alert went out yesterday after a camera at this target store caught this violent abduction. You can see a couple of people kind of moving together there. Well, the young woman in the center of that doing all she can to break free, but it turns out the people grabbing her are her relatives. The 17-year-old did not want to move with her family, so apparently they grabbed her, headed her down to Florida, where authorities stopped the van, determine this to simply a family dispute. The sheriff's office is still deciding whether or not they want to press charges.
And here we go, the Indy 500 ended in this spectacular fashion today. Look at these crash pictures. Frightening crash. This is involving driver Mike Conway. He went airborne, crashed into the fence, there it goes, lands upside down. Conway suffered a broken leg. Amazingly, no other serious injuries. Dario Franchitti was the winner. His second Indy 500 victory in the past four years. By the way, Danica Patrick finishing in sixth place.
Well, Florida beaches have seen no sign of the oil from that Gulf spill, but a major campaign still under way to convince all the tourists it's safe, head on down there, take your surf board, make some reservations.
And also, there's this new Web site out there that some say giving a little too much information about people. You check this out. All you have to do to access it, type in your name.
BALDWIN: For all the pictures all of us have seen of the oil, right, washing up on land, there are plenty of other beaches along the coast that are just fine.
But as our John Zarrella tells us, many in Florida are just simply struggling to get the word out to tourists this Memorial Day weekend.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hey, just look at this. White sand beaches, rolling waves, surf boards and sandals. This is what Florida's beaches look like. Not bad, right? But getting that message out, that's another story.
The state is spending millions, much of it money from BP, for slick commercials that basically say there's no slick here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The weather is beautiful, the beaches are clear and the fish are biting. The Sunshine State is open for business.
ZARRELLA: Tourist business is good this long Memorial Day weekend, but hotel and restaurant owners are worried big time about the rest of the summer because of, well, talk like this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to preserve some of this white sand we got before this oil makes it not white no more. I'm going to save it.
ZARRELLA: Florida's panhandle communities from Pensacola to Panama City are having the toughest time convincing prospective tourists.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not in any forecast or any danger of oil or anything right now.
ZARRELLA: Get it? There's no oil here. Just look at the sign.
In St. Petersburg, to get the message out, tourism officials wined and dined journalists and travel agents from Europe to Latin America. There hasn't been a drop of BP oil found on Key West beaches, but, for some reason, tourists aren't getting it.
Michael Burge - people call him "Duck" - owns a charter boat company. Business, he says, is down 30 percent. It's so bad, Burge says, he's not sure how long he can keep his bank account open.
MICHAEL "DUCK" BURGE, KEY WEST TIKI CHARTERS INC: Very frustrated. I mean, you know, I'm a full grown man, but, I'll tell you what, it - it emotionally bothers me when I get up in the morning and I'm wondering how can I go out and make money today.
ZARRELLA: Burge has filed a class action suit holding BP, Transocean and Halliburton responsible for his losses.
But how much of this is just the lousy economy? In Cocoa Beach on Florida's east coast, the sign out in front of King Rentals reads, "No oil here". In fact, summer bookings are solid.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our reservation is good for the month of July. We're really busy.
ZARRELLA: Occupancy at King's Properties, which usually runs 60 percent this time of year, is running 70 to 80 percent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sadly, at the expense of the West Coast. It looks like we're going to have a great summer here in Cocoa Beach.
ZARRELLA: A great summer is exactly what's on every state tourism official's bucket list.
BALDWIN: And I know John Zarrella, that some of those people are taking that perfect white sand and putting it in their buckets. There you are now in New Orleans for us tonight.
John, besides Cocoa Beach, might other parts of Florida benefit from what's happening along parts of the Gulf?
ZARRELLA: Yes, you know, it's interesting, Brooke, that here you have Key West that's suffering and there isn't any oil for hundreds of miles near Key West. None from the BP spill, anyway, and they're suffering. Cocoa Beach is doing really well. Up the coast, Jacksonville Beach is doing even better. They're saying occupancy rates coming up in the later summer months are up 100 percent.
Now, you wonder about the places in Orlando, a big tourist Mecca. University Studios, Disney. Well, they're saying that they don't have any solid numbers yet to show that they're going to have an increase, but they do expect that their summer months will show increases in occupancy from people who don't want to go to the beaches on the west coast or the Panhandle. So some Florida communities are sadly, you know, good for them, going to benefit, but sadly, that's at the expense of lots of other communities. Brooke?
BALDWIN: Yes, some beaches are most definitely open.
John Zarrella for us out of New Orleans.
John, thanks for that.
The paper trail now growing in the investigation into the deepwater horizon oil rig explosion. BP may have known about the problems nearly a year ago.
And with months of leaking still likely from the oil disaster, look what's here. Check your calendar, hurricane season. What might a hurricane mean to clean up efforts? That's next.
BALDWIN: As we learn more about the possible causes of the BP disaster, we're also finding that there were warning signs that not everything was OK on board that drilling rig. Perhaps here, the most telling, BP now acknowledging it had many unanswered questions about how crucial equipment like the blowout preventer operates at such depths.
BALDWIN (voice-over): As BP struggles to control the flow of oil from the Deep Water Horizon site, more questions are being asked about the rig's history and the design of some of its equipment.
BP managing director Bob Dudley was asked on ABC this week about problems back in March, said to involved gas seeping into the well.
ROBERT DUDLEY, BP MANAGING DIRECTOR: There were issues of well control and signs out there and there are strict procedures that are written for rig owners to walk through well control.
BALDWIN: The company's CEO maintains the problems were with the procedure and not design.
HAYWARD: There is nothing unusual about the design of the well. We should await the full investigation. And trying to speculate without the fact is speculation.
BALDWIN: But design issues have led to friction at the on-going hearings in New Orleans and held by the Coast Guard and Minerals Management Service. BP drilling engineer Mark Hafle testified he made several changes to the casing designs to address problems with the well cement walls and leaking drilling mud. He was sharply challenged by one of the panel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You still think the job was successful?
MARK HAFLE, BP DRILLING ENGINEER: I don't have any data that says the job was not successful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact that the well flowed doesn't tell you something.
HAFLE: The fact that the well flowed tells me that the well became out of control at some point after the cement job.
BALDWIN: In a submission to the House Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this month, BP said that it planned to review design and execution of the cement job. Then there are multiple issues with the blowout preventer.
REP. BART STUPAK (D), MICHIGAN: The blow out preventer it was only down there since February. In three months, the batteries went dead. Therefore, when we lost all power to it, the batteries should have kicked in but that didn't work.
BALDWIN: A memo from the committee chairman Henry Waxman last week said, quote, "The BP investigation has raised concerns about the maintenance history, modification, inspection and testing of the BOP."
BP's Bob Dudley has since acknowledged there are many unanswered questions about the blowout preventers in deep water exploration.
DUDLEY: We know and the rest of the industry knows that we need to take a top to bottom particularly at these blowout preventers to make sure this doesn't happen again.
BALDWIN: One industry veteran equipment is equipment. It's what people do with it counts.
JOHN HOFMEISTER, FMR. PRESIDENT SHELL OIL: How come it didn't work, is going to be looked at in terms of the judgment that people make, the level of communications, and honesty around those communications, the decisions that led to taking the mud out, the cement job which may have been botched.
BALDWIN: The mechanical aspects of drilling for oil are the easy part, Hofmeister says. Human factors are the hard part. Investigators will be looking at both factors as the search for what caused the biggest oil spill disaster continues.
BALDWIN: Looking at the timeline here, it could be August before the oil leak in the Gulf is fully contained. That means hurricanes could be a huge factor. Meteorologist Jacqui Jeras is here with a look at that.
A lot of people down there wondering, what happens when a hurricane hits?
JACQUI JERAS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Well, it certainly won't be good news. You mix the oil, you mix the hurricane and it's certainly a bad situation.
Now, for the most part, we think that the hurricane will impact the spread of the oil, but probably the oil won't impact the development of a really strong hurricane. So this is more about what will happen and where will that oil go.
And a lot of that has to do with the size. Take a look at this map. How we put the oil spill here on Google Earth for you, and put Hurricane Katrina over the top of it. And look at the size difference.
So the oil spill, very small compared to a large hurricane, and this is not solid oil. It's kind of patchy, so we don't think it will do very much overall. Now, the big question we've been getting here is, what's going to happen here once a hurricane does get into the Gulf of Mexico?
Well, we do think that it all depends, for the most part, on the track, where the hurricane is going. For example, hurricane winds, they rotate counter-clockwise around a storm. So if the storm is to the west, it's going to be bringing oil onshore. If the storm is to the east, it's going to be bringing it offshore, potentially into that loop current. But we definitely think it will disperse it into places it normally wouldn't go, so it's going to be more widespread.
A couple of benefits, believe it or not. Hurricane winds will churn up the water. That is going to dilute the oil concentration in the water a little bit, so that's a little bit of good news. The other thing is that it can also speed up the biodegradation process, believe it or not. So that would be a little bit good.
And then the number one question that I get, will it rain oil? Will we have acid rain? And the answer is no for a couple of different reasons, Brooke. But, basically, you know, clouds form in the sky, not on the surface of the oil, and the oil could actually inhibit a little bit of the evaporation of the water coming in from underneath.
BALDWIN: It's a valid concern. It's a question a lot of people have been asking.
JERAS: Oh yes.
We have send of course some of our best correspondents out and about. And coming up, they'll tell us what they'll be covering for us, and what will be making news in the coming week.
And then also we have a look at this bewildered traveller. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 3:00 in the morning, and I got up, and there was nobody on the plane.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So get this. The plane landed, everybody got off, except her. We'll tell you how she got locked inside and how she finally got out.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BALDWIN: And now to the stories you'll be hearing a lot about in the week ahead, from the Pentagon to Capitol Hill. Also, of course, to Wall Street. Well, we want to begin tonight at the White House.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I'm Suzanne Malveaux at the White House. We are following a busy week for President Obama. He is marking Memorial Day at a wreath-laying ceremony outside of Chicago in Elwood, Illinois.
And then a big day on Tuesday. That's when he's hosting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu here at the White House once again to try to jump-start the Middle East peace process and those talks. And then the following day, there's a concert here at the White House honoring Paul Mccartney. We're following it all.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: I'm Barbara Starr at the Pentagon. There's a looming confrontation with Congress this week where the House wants to spend millions of dollars on a fighter jet engine program that the military says it doesn't need or even want. Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants the whole thing vetoed. But if that happens, the Pentagon and the White House risk losing a crucial vote, repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell, that ban that prevents gays and lesbians from openly serving in the military.
PAUL STEINHAUSER CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: I'm Paul Steinhauser at the CNN political desk in Washington. The battle for Congress resumes Tuesday as three states, Alabama, Mississippi, and New Mexico hold primaries.
Friday, John McCain gets a helping hand from a former rival, Mitt Romney. They clashed when they were both running for the White House in the last presidential election, but that's ancient history now. The former Massachusetts governor heads to Arizona to campaign with Senator McCain, who's facing a tough primary challenge from the right.
POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM: The stock market is closed for the holiday on Monday, but Wall Street will continue to watch BP very closely as the company tries to deal with the Gulf oil spill. In the meantime, lots of important economic data ahead this week. We'll get the latest auto sales figures and the all-important monthly jobs report.
And Warren Buffett will be in New York this week testifying before the financial crisis inquiry commission. We'll track it all for you on "CNN Money."
BALDWIN: All right. Azadeh Ansari joins me from the CNN international desk. Let's talk Cypress. What's going on there?
AZADEH ANSARI, CNN INTERNATIONAL DESK: Well, actually, this is a historic trip for Pope Benedict XVI, because it's the first time he's visiting Cyprus. And as we know from his past foreign trips, he's had some political missteps, so we'll see how this trip pans out and we'll be watching that closely.
BALDWIN: First time to Cyprus, and we lost it. Come back down. ANSARI: That's OK.
BALDWIN: Let's talk Moscow.
ANSARI: Let's go to Moscow.
BALDWIN: There we go.
ANSARI: What's going on here, it's a simulation that's taking place where we have six crew members from China, Russia, Italy, France, and they're going to actually be embarking on a journey on what it's like to be -- take a trip from Mars and back. But it's a mock spaceship.
BALDWIN: To see what life is like.
ANSARI: So it's kind of cool for 520 days to be stuck in this compartment.
BALDWIN: OK, kind of cool, kind of interesting. Mars 500.
Azadeh Ansari, thank you so much for joining us.
ANSARI: You're welcome.
BALDWIN: All right. Well, there's this new Web site, maybe you've heard of this, I hadn't until tonight. It help bring a lot of answers about your personal information, too much information, some say.
BALDWIN: Many Internet phone books will give out your name, your number, your address, right, but Spokeo.com, this Web site, it takes you to a whole new level offering your ethnicity, your marriage status, education level, et cetera, et cetera. You can even find picture and videos of you that you may not even know about it.
Co-founder Harrison Tang talk to me about how it works, and addresses some of the privacy concerns.
HARRISON TANG, CO-FOUNDER, SPOKEO.COM: Well, Spokeo is a people search engine that organizes information around people. It's kind of like Google for people, basically. And we gather this information, this public information from phone books, social network, real estate listings and such public sources out there.
BALDWIN: Now, Harrison, we did a little research here, and we typed in your name here in the search box. We put in Harrison Tang. Not a single result comes up. I mean, how do some people who are sitting there thinking, hmmm, I don't think I want people to see pictures and information and my address. How do you get your information yanked off of Spokeo? TANG: Well, first of all, you can actually -- on the bottom of every page, it has an opt out. You can just click on the privacy, and there's a very detailed description of how you can do that. And it's very simple. You just do it in one step.
My name is on there when we launch about three months ago, but then we get about millions of searches every single day now, so a couple of our colleagues and as well as our lawyers advised me to take my name off. So that's why you cannot find me today.
BALDWIN: So that's why. Now, Harrison, there are all kinds of consumer groups waving the flag, you know, saying, hang on, this is essentially giving identity thieves, you know, ammunition. I know you're not putting out, you know, my social security number or my bank account, but this is just giving them ammunition to perhaps steal your identity. In fact, there's a "No More Spokeo" Facebook group.
I mean, what do you say to people who say, hang on a second, this is an invasion of my privacy?
TANG: Well, we've heard and understand the issues out there, and we have taken a lot of steps to address these issues. For example, we have heard that some people do not want to -- you know, one of the biggest concerns that people are telling us is that we actually link their virtual identity together with their real-world identity.
So we have taken off the, you know, the street numbers, so we do not actually show the full street number of the full address of your location. And these are the couple steps that we have taken, and we have taken out the Google street view and things like that. And we actively listening to our user feedback, and we are actually building on more features, for example, we are going to allow you to actually add your information and manage your public information, not just on Spokeo, but on other Web sites as well. And these are the future features that we're working on to address these issues.
BALDWIN: A lot of information on Spokeo. In fact, it's free, but users can get even more information for a subscription fee.
And tonight, a patriotic celebration in our nation's capital. Why Lionel Richie is leading the chorus to sing America's praises this Memorial Day.
BALDWIN: The 21st annual National Memorial Day concert ended about an hour and a half ago in the nation's capitol. And one of the closing act was this inspiring rendition of "America the Beautiful" from a great American talent Lionel Richie.
BALDWIN: Now the concert also featured former Secretary of State Colin Powell, actress Kelli O'Hara and the U.S. Air Force insurgents among other. But before his performance today, Lionel Richie took a little time to talk to me. Told me he comes from a military family, so he felt compelled to take a part.
LIONEL RICHIE, NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT PERFORMER: Every veteran that was ever in a war is probably in D.C. right now.
RICHIE: I have never seen patriotism so overwhelming right now. It's wonderful.
BALDWIN: Yes, I woke up thinking of my grandfather, who was in World War II, who is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. I'll never forget going to his funeral. It was just beautiful out there.
Why would you want to perform, other than the obvious, why would you want to perform at this event?
RICHIE: Well, my dad was World War II, Army World War II. And I grew up in a military family. And so I just can't imagine -- and my heart goes out -- I just can't imagine dad not coming home. And just think about this now. We are talking about celebrating World War II, the Korean War, the Iraqi War, the Afghan War, of fallen soldiers, who gave their lives, the ultimate sacrifice for this nation. And my dad not coming home -- I just can't imagine being in a family of two or three kids, and what do you from here on without dad?
And so, you know, I'm here. When I say that, whatever I can do to lend that hand or to support, I have to be there. It's just part of my being right now.
BALDWIN: So you're going to be there. You will be thinking about your dad.
BALDWIN: There will be hundreds, I'm sure thousands of people who will be thinking about people in their own family, people here at home and away. But do you think -- some of us were talking, we think, hey, a lot of us think, Memorial Day, awesome. You know, it's when the pools open.
But a lot of people -- let's be honest, Lionel, a lot of people are forgetting what the purpose is behind this weekend.
RICHIE: This is why I am here. You know, every once in a while you just have to take a step back. We forget. We hear all these Fourth of July and holidays coming up. But we forget that, behind the holidays, there is a meaning as to why we're having these holidays, just not a day out of school or a day off from work, especially Memorial Day. You have to think about it. These men and women gave their lives for the freedom that we are enjoying right here in this country. The fact that we are at the pool on Memorial Day is because someone went out there and did the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf.
And so I think this is a reminder that I want to give when I walk on the stage, is if Lionel Richie can take his Memorial Day and put it away, I want everybody else to do the same thing.
BALDWIN: Yes, and I know they've been having -- I have lived in D.C., and they have had this thing going I think for 20-plus years. And it is not just music, which is a wonderful way to bring people together. There will be speakers. They are honoring, what, the anniversary of the Korean War, the widows --
RICHIE: The Afghan War, the widows of the Afghan and the Iraqi War.
RICHIE: And we are going all the way back now to World War II and World War I, and all the wars. And this is the first time they've ever done this. Normally, they would pick a war, because that would be the one they would focus on. But now they are going for all of them. Right now, this nation needs to come together and understand there are generations of sacrifices here, just not one particular group right now.
BALDWIN: Lionel Richie, thanks for him today. About 300,000 people, by the way, attended the National Memorial Day concert.
Coming up, her flight wasn't exactly supposed to end like this. She was left sleeping on a locked airplane. Her next trip may be to court.
BALDWIN: On Sunday, we always want to try to catch you up on some of the news you may have missed this past week, including this story. A Michigan woman woke up on an empty plane four hours after it landed in Philadelphia. She describes the whole thing as horrifying. Talking about Ginger McGuire. She wants United Airlines and a partner carrier to pay up, somewhere between $25,000 and $75,000. McGuire is suing for negligence and infliction of emotional distress, among other things. She describes the whole incident when she woke up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GINGER MCGUIRE, LEFT SLEEPING ON PLANE: I just woke up, and I looked at my phone, I grabbed my phone and looked at it. I'm like, oh, my God, 3:00 in the morning, and I got up and there was nobody on the plane.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: The airline says flight attendants are supposed to do a sweep of the plane after passengers get off. They are, indeed, investigating. And actor Dennis Hopper died yesterday after a long battle with cancer. His career spanning 53 years, including more than two dozen films, TV shows, but, of course, Mr. Hopper best remembered for "Easy Rider," a film he directed and acted in with Peter Fonda. Dennis Hopper was 74.
I'm Brooke Baldwin at the CNN World Headquarters here in Atlanta. Good night.