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"Massive" Military Leak; BP CEO Hayward Out; Wyclef Jean For President; Breitbart To Headline RNC Event; Dow Back In Black; Priceless Collection for $45; Immigration: U.S. Divided By Race; The Rebuilding of BP; Football Helmet Safety

Aired July 27, 2010 - 08:00   ET


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. It's Tuesday, the 27th of July. Thanks for joining us on the Most News of the Morning. I'm John Roberts.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Kiran Chetry. Glad you're with us.

We have a lot to talk about this morning, so let's get right to it.

First, the fallout from the release of thousands of secret records spanning more than five years of the war in Afghanistan. The man who posted them on the web is saying it was the right move and that there's proof of war crimes inside. We're going to get reaction live from the Pentagon.

Tony Hayward on his way out. The gaffe-prone oil executive will step down as CEO of BP in October. In his place, American Bob Dudley. In a moment, we're live with never-before-seen interview with the outgoing chief.

CHETRY: Also, a conservative star -- yes, Andrew Breitbart remains so this morning. The blogger who posted the edited video that cost Shirley Sherrod her job at the Department of Agriculture is actually scheduled to headline an RNC fundraiser next month. We're live. More on that -- coming up.

ROBERTS: And, of course, the amFIX blog is up and running, as it is every morning. Join the live conversation going on right now. Just go to

CHETRY: First, major fallout this morning over the leaking of classified documents from the war in Afghanistan. The Web site released the secret reports. They date back more than five years.

And this morning, "The Wall Street Journal" is reporting that the Pentagon is now going after the hard drive belonging to Army intel analyst, Bradley Manning, who is already charged with leaking classified information.

ROBERTS: Last night, WikiLeaks' founder, Julian Assange, told Larry King that releasing these documents was the right thing to do and the leak reports indicate that war crimes may have occurred.


LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Julian, you said that these leaked documents contain evidence of war crimes by United States forces. What kind of evidence?

JULIAN ASSANGE, WIKILEAKS FOUNDER: Yes. So, when I say evidence of war crimes, we see events that are very suspicious. I mean, in the end it will take a court to really look at the full range to decide if a crime has occurred. And we see events like a Polish melee -- it has actually started to be considered by the Polish courts and by the Polish military where an IED explodes in a town and the next day, the Poles come and shell the town in a -- in a revenge attack.


ROBERTS: Barbara Starr is live for us at the Pentagon this morning. And what are you hearing from officials there about this massive leak of information, Barbara?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, John and Kiran, officials here are looking at all of these documents, they say, trying to figure out what the impact is of the disclosure of them. And they also point out that what they need to figure out in some of these events such as Julian talked about, what happened after that.

These are a lot of very initial field reports, matters that were filed soldiers and troops in the field. When they came across the enemy, engaged in firefights, what happened? Many of these incidents are potentially investigated after that. So, all of that needs to be sorted out.

They are looking very closely, of course, at the 22-year-old Private 1st Class Bradley Manning, an intelligence analyst, a very low level analyst, already arrested for disclosure of information from Iraq. He is being held in Kuwait in military confinement. They are trying to figure out, they believe, it's very likely he was behind this as well -- John, Kiran.

CHETRY: Also, there are reports of concerns that these leaks could endanger agents, both past and present, and also, people who worked with the U.S. military either in Afghanistan or Pakistan. And also, this question about information sharing with allies -- how much concern is there about whether or not this is a huge breach of trust for them as well?

STARR: Oh, absolutely. This is why the Pentagon, right now, is going through all of this document by document. What they need to do, they tell us, is figure out what is the risk by having this out in the public arena now -- what is the risk to troops, what's the risk to operations in the field, what is the risk to intelligence operatives that may be risking their lives to work for the United States? And countries out there who share information with the U.S., what risk is there that they will have any confidence to continue to share sensitive security information if it's just going to show up on the Internet.

You know, as we talked about, there's a lot of discussion always about cyber attacks, cyber warfare. This was perhaps the largest cyber attack, and for the U.S. military, it came from within -- John, Kiran.

ROBERTS: Barbara Starr for us at the Pentagon -- Barbara, thanks so much.

Of course, one of the issues being raised by this document dump is Pakistan playing both sides. And the country's former head of the ISI, the Intraservice Intelligence Agency, has denied claims contained in the documents that he helped the Taliban. Coming up at the bottom of the hour, we're live in Islamabad with reaction.

CHETRY: Protesters from the group Greenpeace claimed they shut down every BP station in London this morning. The oil giant is confirming that up to 15 stations have been closed by demonstrators who tripped safety switches and cut off power at the pumps. Greenpeace claims that its people immobilized nearly 50 service stations. BP says it's trying to get all of them back up and running as soon as possible.

ROBERTS: Well, developing story this morning, BP's CEO, Tony Hayward, who famously said he wanted his life back, is getting his wish. The company is announcing this morning that he'll step down from his post on October 1st. And right now, it looks like Hayward will stay with BP heading up a new oil and gas venture in Russia. Hayward will eventually be replaced by the man who has been overseeing day-to-day cleanup operations, Bob Dudley.

CHETRY: Well, David Mattingly joins us live now from New Orleans with a never-before-seen interview with outgoing BP chief Tony Hayward.

And, David, you conducted this interview in the Gulf during the beginning of the response effort in early May. You had a chance to ask him a lot of questions about, you know, what went wrong, was there a backup plan for such a huge drilling operation. What did he tell you about all of that?

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. This was part of a larger conversation I had with him about responsibility and where BP's responsibility for this disaster began and ended. He believed that he was laying out what he thought was BP's responsibility was to cap the well and clean up the oil and compensate the victims.

When I was talking to him about how this disaster began, he said that they were following industry standards. We had a long discussion about the blowout preventer. There was no investigation really amounting to anything at that time. But he was saying this was a very rare event that shouldn't have happened.


TONY HAYWARD, BP CEO: This, as I say, has never happened in the industry before. It is as if a 747 was has fallen out of the sky across the Atlantic. We need to understand through the investigation why that has occurred. And then the industry will undoubtedly make interventions and take steps to change it.

MATTINGLY: But there are all sorts of safety features involved in air travel. Were there enough safety features involved in drilling for oil?

HAYWARD: Well, there absolutely are. I mean, on this -- on this blowout --


HAYWARD: And sometime, aircraft fall out of the sky, right?


ROBERTS: David, you are looking for clarity from Tony Hayward on the use of dispersants and dangers of using those dispersants particularly deep in the ocean. You got an answer from him, and one that seemed to set the tone for congressional hearings that took place in June.

MATTINGLY: That's right. And again, I was going back to the issue of responsibility. He was saying the responsibility for the toxicity and environmental impact of these chemicals -- remember, this conversation took place in the first week of May. He was saying the responsibility for the dispersants was with the U.S. regulators, with NOAA and the EPA.


MATTINGLY: Do you have any idea what the long term effects on the environment might be? Has there been any discussion at BP about that?

HAYWARD: I really do think that is primarily a question for the EPA and NOAA. We don't have any environmental science expertise. We have environmental scientists working on it. The primary environmental impact is from the federal agencies.

MATTINGLY: True, but you are a petroleum company and you do have the responsibility for cleaning it up. So, don't you have some expertise in knowing what the environmental consequences of that might be?

HAYWARD: Of course, we do. But as I say, this is a joint effort and the primary environmental assessment is coming from the federal environmental agencies and local environmental agencies and we are following their direction.


MATTINGLY: And that was Tony Hayward laying the groundwork for BP's defense of their responsibility for this disaster -- again, going back to the three "Cs": capping the well, containing the oil, compensating the victims -- John, Kiran.

CHETRY: It seems like a bit of buck passing as well.

David Mattingly for us this morning -- thanks.

Well, coming up in just about 30 minutes, will a new CEO be enough to resurrect BP's reputation and help its bottom line? We're going to be speaking to two experts on big business and crisis control. Michael McGrath and David Margulies are going to be breaking down some of the big developments in BP's boardroom coming up in the next hour of AMERICAN MORNING.

ROBERTS: Well, you might say the two space walking cosmonauts are having a bit of a bad day. While replacing some equipment outside the International Space Station, they apparently lost a cup of objects that simply floated off into space.

CHETRY: Yes. NASA engineers watched it happen. And there you see it highlighted in the circle. It's one of them at least. Here's what they said about it:


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Meanwhile, here on the ground in Houston, flight controllers have been taking a look at the object that was seen floating away earlier in the space walk, around 12:44 a.m. Central Time. We're still working to identify exactly what that object was, but they were able to determine that it does seem to have floated below the space station and should not pose any sort of a problem.


CHETRY: Just keeping her voice calm on purpose, not to upset the cosmonauts. Just dropped something up there, guys!

Well, about an hour later, a second object was seen floating away from the space station. NASA officials say that one appeared to be a washer or something similar. So, fingers crossed. That one did look like a washer.

ROBERT: But as any do-it-yourself will know, any time you put anything together, you've always got parts leftover.

CHETRY: Exactly. What are all these extra screws for? Oh, they just come in there.

ROBERTS: Don't worry about them.

Jacqui Jeras never has a screw missing -- at least nothing that we've seen so far. She's in the weather center for us this morning.

Good morning, Jacqui.

JACQUI JERAS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Give it time, guys. Give it time.

Yes. We got a lot of stormy conditions today and that is going to be our top story across parts of the Midwest and southeast.

This morning, there are some really nasty weather found across the Dakotas and northern Minnesota that are causing some wind damage at this hour -- expecting that to persist throughout the morning and then redevelopment this afternoon that includes places like Minneapolis, over towards Green Bay. And the southeast could see some isolated wind damaging thunderstorms as well. And that's going to cause a lot of travel delays.

How about that heat? Well, it is diminished across much of the country. Couple of the hotspots, though, Minneapolis there as well, and then also the Carolinas, where it's going to be feeling like 100 degrees plus. We are going to have world breaking records when I see you, guys, again in the weather forecast. And only going to give you right now is that there was a hail of a storm in South Dakota last weekend.

ROBERTS: Are we talking golf ball, quarter, softball, football?

CHETRY: Cannonball. It went up to cannonball last week.


ROBERTS: There are many different kinds of cannonballs, though. You can have your eight-pound. You're going to have your 16-pound cannonball.

CHETRY: I guess she's not going to give it away.

ROBERTS: No. Not giving up anything. She's keeping the screws down tight on this information.

Thanks, Jacqui.

CHETRY: Well, the GOP invites blogger Andrew Breitbart, who is, of course, the focus of a lot of political controversy last week, to a fundraiser where Michael Steele will be. Jim Acosta on what type of message this sends from the GOP.

It's 12 minutes after the hour.



CHETRY: -- first of all it said we are playing, "Staying Alive" it said it was AC/DC "Back In Black." But we are promised -- what's going on here? Deejay, get some more coffee.

ROBERTS: Hey Mr. D.J -- Musician Wyclef Jean is considering a run for president in his native Haiti. Jean says that he has filed the necessary paper work in case he decides to run but he is still mulling it over. Haiti's presidential election which was postponed because of the earthquake is going to be held on November 28th.

CHETRY: Well here is a television have first. President Obama will visit the ladies of "THE VIEW" this week. It is first the time a sitting president has appeared on a daytime talk show. It is not the president's first time on "THE VIEW," though. He went as a presidential candidate back in March of 2008.

ROBERTS: Republican chairman Michael Steele will soon be sharing the stage with conservative blogger Andrew Breibart, the California fundraiser next month. Breibart, of course, is the man that posted the out-of-context video about race by now former Agriculture Department of employee Shirley Sherrod.

CHETRY: So our Jim Acosta is live in Washington this morning and you know, we are asking with all the fallout that happened after this, is this a smart move for the GOP right now?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is a good question, Kiran and John. All the RNC is doing at this point is confirming the invitation as real and that the event is on. Here is that invitation. It first showed up on the talking points memo web site.

The invitation clearly shows that conservative blogger Andrew Breibart is scheduled to headline a three-day RNC fund-raiser in Los Angeles starting on August 12 and he will be sharing with Michael Steele who has had problems in the PR department of his own lately. Breibart, as we all know, is the new media provocateur who posted that selectively edited video online showing former USDA official Shirley Sherrod giving what appeared to be a racially inflammatory speech but the full video as we all know now, if you don't know, welcome back to planet earth, the full video of Sherrod's remarks shows her speech was just the opposite instead of moving message on racial reconciliation, Sherrod, as we know, is forced out the USDA and then asked to come back to the department.

Now as for Andrew Breibart, he has not said much publicly since all of this blew up in his face. He has been active on his twitter page in the last 24 hours. But he has not commented on whether or not he's keeping these plans to appear at the fund-raiser. John and Kiran.

ROBERTS: So the question then Jim with Michael Steele's problems, particularly when he said that Afghanistan was President Obama's war which raised a lot of criticism from conservatives, and Breibart's problems, why make this choice?

ACOSTA: Right well Andrew Breibart is a tea party rock star. He has appeared at a number of tea party events and the tea party, as we all know, is a major force inside of a Republican party. So it will be very telling what the RNC does next. If Breitbart dumped from the fund-raiser it means he is too radioactive for the republican party right now. And it will mean that Breibart has taken a hit from the fallout of the controversy. The RNC silence does mean they are possibly trying to sort out what to do here. A spokesman for the RNC would not say when Breibart was booked for the fund-raiser, before or after this controversy. Which is a pretty important detail.

CHETRY: Yes we will see if the invitation changes, if there is an amendment to it. ACOSTA: Yes exactly.

CHETRY: All right, Jim Acosta for us this morning, thanks.

ACOSTA: You bet.

ROBERTS: So the stock market goes down. The stock market goes up. Well, this week it is up again. Dow reaches a high point for the year. What's going on? Nineteen minutes after the hour.


CHETRY: It's "Back In Black" that can only mean one thing -

ROBERTS: They found it. Hey the D.J. is back.

CHETRY: A they found it and B, stocks are up. Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. Twenty two minutes past the hour, "Minding Your Business," good news for your money. The Dow is back in black. Positive territory for the year. The Dow rallied 100 points yesterday. And the gains were fueled by a better than expected housing report and more upbeat profit outlooks from FedEx.

ROBERTS: And you know what that means. That means two weeks from now, they will find reason to be pessimistic about the economy and the Dow will go back down again.

Sweet basil, the mainstay herb of Italian and Thai food is under attack from an aggressive fungus. The disease first surfaced three years ago and since then has been hitting east coast growers the hardest. Experts say the fungus turns the herb yellow. It's not harmful to humans though if you happen to eat it. Outbreaks are still sporadic. So we should not see, according to the experts, widespread shortages of sweet basil.

CHETRY: All right well that's good news.

Well the answer inform a multimillion dollar question was there in black and white. A team of experts say that the glass negatives that a California man bought at a garage sale for $45 were actually created by famed nature photographer Ansel Adams. The images were apparently take in the early 1920s and '30s before he became nationally recognized. The father of American photography. The negatives, which were originally thought to have been destroyed in a dark room fire were not destroyed clearly and they are worth an estimated $200 million.

ROBERTS: Two hundred million dollars and he bought them for 45 bucks.

CHETRY: After talking the guy down from 70.

ROBERTS: The only other thing that would be worth that much if the guy sold him five Van Goghs for 45 bucks. That's amazing.

CHETRY: I mean - it really is, it is. It is amazing. When happens from now, we will wait and see if there is a goodwill gesture on the part of the guy.

ROBERTS: Well he talked him down from $70 right to $45.


ROBERTS: So maybe he will give him another 25 bucks and say OK.

Well what happens when illegal immigrants who had enough of life in this country want to go back home? Soledad O'Brien with the surprising answer to that question coming right up. It's 24 minutes after the hour.


ROBERTS: About 48 hours time, Arizona's controversial immigration law goes into effect. And this morning, a new CNN research corporation poll shows that Americans are divided over immigration reform and they are divided by race. One of the questions in our poll asks should the main focus of reform be to deport illegal immigrants? African- Americans were split about 50/50. But only 27 percent of Hispanics said yes. While 63 percent of whites said yes.

CHETRY: And of course now there is unemployment hovering near 10percent nationwide. There is plenty of immigrants, both legal and illegal, who are among the millions coast to coast having trouble finding work. Some of them making the choice to return to their native countries to search for jobs and sometimes even that can be easier said than done. For more, joined by our Soledad O'Brien. Special correspondent for CNN's "In America Documentary" series. Good to see you this morning.


CHETRY: So it sort of highlights this splits. I mean you know, saying we have to stop people from coming across the border and at the same time, some who want to leave can't.

O'BRIEN: Yes, they feel trapped. I mean literally they feel like they are stuck in the United States and they want to go home which is sort of an odd thing to think about. And often you will hear people say why don't those illegal immigrants just go home and actually it turns out that it is much more complicated than that for illegal immigrants to just leave the United States and get back to their homeland.


O'BRIEN (voice-over): Edwin Andrade first came to the U.S. from Ecuador because his daughter, Dominica, was dying. Her heart ailment could only be treated here. When their visas ran out, his family stayed illegally.

EDWIN ANDRADE: I took the position to stay here. I left everything for coming here to save her life.

O'BRIEN: Even after Dominica got better, the Andrade's continued to stay. They had good jobs. They had a second daughter with U.S. citizenship.

(on camera): You want to go home.

ANDRADE: I want go back home. In my country I'm citizen. I need to go wherever I have to go. I have like a -- I'm afraid.

O'BRIEN (voice-over): After 13 years, the Andrade's are doing the unthinkable. Trying to leave. But they say they feel trapped. Unable to be find work in a recession, they are part of an estimated half a million illegal immigrants who are struggling to go back home.

(on camera): Are you stuck?

ANDRADE: Yes. I'm stuck. I don't have hands, what I have is like tie my hands.

O'BRIEN (voice-over): If Andrade tries to fly out using his Ecuadorian passport, officials will discover he has overstayed his visa and he will face potential fines and expulsion from the U.S. for years. Leaving isn't so easy.

ANDRADE: We have a case of an Ecuadorian that went to I.C.E and they said I have nothing left in this country, I have no money for my ticket. I just want to go back home. They told him no.

O'BRIEN (on camera): Are you saying that some people say I would love to go home but I can't?

ANDRADE: Yes. That's their reality.

O'BRIEN (voice-over): Some illegal immigrants even face detention if they try to leave.

JOHN DE LEON, MIAMI IMMIGRATION LAWYER: If you want to stay, they get you out very quick. If you want to leave they try to make it hard for you to leave.

O'BRIEN (on camera): Immigration authorities declined to be interviewed on camera. They say people facing deportation orders maybe detained while in process. The only way to come and go without a penalty, sneak back across the border.

At a center for day laborers in Los Angeles, undocumented immigrants can't fathom paying a coyote thousands of dollars to go backwards in their American dream.

He says, "I have been wanting to get a long time. I make the decision and I don't even have enough money for a ticket."

And if they aren't Mexican citizens, it is more complicated. For example, Guatemalans fist arrest if they enter Mexico illegally. Guatemala is one of the countries that helps its citizens get back home, giving two people each week a bus ticket and negotiating safe passage.

LUIS ALBERTO FIGUEROA, DAY LABORER: This year, 50 people take ticket for Guatemala.

O'BRIEN: Edwin Andrade says the immigration crackdown made it hard for him to get any work. Once he raises the money, he is taking his family back to Ecuador.

PABLO GARCIA SAENZ, GUATEMALA COUNSEL GENERAL IN LOS ANGELES: I say thank you very much for the opportunity with what I have and in this 13 years in the United States. I want to start at zero again.


O'BRIEN: Mexican citizens can just go back across the border they have their Mexican passport but for people that are from Guatemala or Honduras, if they go through Mexico to try to get home, they can be arrested in Mexico for being in that country illegally.

ROBERTS: Earlier we talked to the head of ICE, John Morton. He said a lot of concerns about people being trapped are exaggerated and why should taxpayers foot the bill to send the people back home.

O'BRIEN: That's an interesting question. Always about, you know, who going to pay for it. I'm not sure it is an exaggeration. One of the things he said, you go down to the consulate and get your passport in order. That's assuming you have a passport. For many people who literally run across the border, they are undocumented, they have no documents. They didn't come with their passport.

Another group of people that have overstayed their visas, and for them of course, you could go to the consulate but that can result in a fine. It can result if you get a deportation order in spending some time in some kind of a facility behind bars.

So those are the kinds of things that people are weighing when others will say why not just pack people on a bus that want to go and get them out of the country.

CHETRY: And clearly, they are taking a risk. It is not worth the risk that they could be incarcerated. But cost-wise, it seems as though it would make more sense even holding somebody for a day, the amount of money that costs versus helping people that want to go home go home.

O'BRIEN: Again, you are not talking really realistically about daylong detentions. You are talking about month-long detentions and longer if someone is deemed to have to go to some kind of facility. So yes, I think that running the numbers is always a good way to think about it.

ROBERTS: How much would the cost of detaining somebody a month compared to buying them a plane ticket to go back to --

O'BRIEN: Put them on a bus to go become to Mexico if they want to go.

ROBERTS: Soledad, great story. Thanks for bringing it to us this morning. Time for this morning's top stories. New tragic developments in the ground in Afghanistan -- NATO confirming that it has found the body of one missing American sailor. A massive search continues for the other. A Taliban spokesman said that one of the Americans had been killed in an ambush. The other one was captured.

CHETRY: Tony Hayward out as CEO of BP. He will be replaced this fall by American Bob Dudley. BP's softening the blow for Hayward. He will not only leave with $1.6 million salary. He will also be in charge of a BP oil and gas venture in Russia.

ROBERTS: Talk about your space jaunt. Two cosmonauts lost a couple of work items that seemed to have just kind of -- there you can see in the highlighted part of the picture, floated off into space. NASA, though, says the objects should not pose a debris threat to the space station, though they may be a couple of parts short in their little home renovation project.

ROBERTS: One was a washer. You always have extra washers. You don't need them all.

It is being called a massive military breach. In all, more than 90,000 documents obtained and released to the website WikiLeaks. It is ball the war in Afghanistan. Some of the files may confirm fears that elements in the Pakistani government are working against the U.S.

ROBERTS: The nation's former spy chief is implicate medical the secret reports and denying that he provided weapons and support to the Taliban.

Our Reza Sayah is live for us in Islamabad today. Reza, it has long been suspected and reported on, ties between the ISI and Taliban. Would this add more credence to those reports? Or could maybe the source of the reporting, source of the intelligence, be in question?

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think the source of the reports is in question. Many agree the source is the Afghan intelligence that made it clear they don't like their counterparts in Pakistan, the Pakistani spy agency.

So because of that, some of these reports are in question, and you also have to remind everyone that they are very difficult to verify. But the head of that former Pakistani spy agency that you mentioned is retired General Hamid Gul. This is a very lively, dynamic, outspoken man. He's widely known here in Pakistan because you often see him on television as an analyst. And when he appears on television he is usually blasting U.S. foreign policy.

Mr. Gul shares a view with many Pakistanis these days that the violence in this region, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, is because of U.S. foreign policy, and he has also made it clear he believes the Obama administration's latest strategy in Afghanistan is doomed to fail.

Of course, over the past 24 hours, much of the world is getting to know Mr. Gul's name because his name repeatedly comes up in the WikiLeaks reports.

He is in his mid 70s. Mid 80s he was head of the ISI and that's when he worked with the CIA to train the Afghan against the Soviets. They went on to become the Taliban. Many of the WikiLeaks reports say he's still actively involved with the Afghan Taliban in plotting attacks against the U.S. soldiers. We spoke to him and he said, not me. I'm retired and not involved with the insurgency.


GENERAL HAMID GUL: It's simply moral academics.

SAYAH: If you say you retired, you are living with your grandchildren and living a peaceful life, why does your name continue to surface in the reports?

GUL: I think they are -- they made a mistake. And now they are looking for a scapegoat. Those scapegoat is the ISI, Pakistan army, double-crossing them. This is the first sign of defeat. I think -- it is showing the anxiety that they are losing the war.


SAYAH: Here's what's interesting. Right after retired General Gul denied actively being linked with the afghan Taliban, we posed a hypothetical question. We said, if the U.S. decides to sit down with the Afghan Taliban, could you with your sources facilitate those talks? He didn't say yes, but he said maybe -- maybe, which really makes the intrigue continue.

CHETRY: Very inning stuff. We will see how it shakes out. Reza Sayah for this morning, thank you.

Still ahead, BP names a new boss. Bob Dudley is taking over for Tony Hayward. We will talk more about how this could be the first step in helping the company rebuild its image.


CHETRY: Welcome back to the Most News of the Morning. It's 40 minutes past the hour.

Rebuilding of BP has begun. CEO Tony Hayward forced to step down this morning, he will be replaced in October by American Bob Dudley. Hayward will be remembered as the chief executive that Americans loved to hate, responsible for a series of missteps that created one PR crisis after another.


HAYWARD: We are responsible not for the accident.

I think the environmental impact is likely to have been very, very modest.

Nobody wants this thing over more than I do. I would like my life back.


CHETRY: Joining us live from Dallas this morning, Michael McGrath, CEO of the Thomas Group, and author of "Business Decisions," and David Margulies, crisis prevention and management expert and president of the Margulies Communications Group. Thanks to both of you for being with us.

David, I want to start with you and ask about Tony Hayward stepping down. Was Tony Hayward a villain here regardless of any of the gaffes, regardless of the pictures of him on his yacht while the oil was still spewing? Is it just the fact that he headed up the company that's responsible for the worst environmental disaster we have seen in the U.S.?

DAVID MARGULIES, PRESIDENT MARGULIES COMMUNICATIONS GROUP: Well, he's a convenient scapegoat. I don't think anybody knows at this point who precisely is responsible for what happened there. I think you need to do a real deep analysis of what happened.

But clearly, he's the person who is the head of the company. President Obama said he wants him gone. Congress wants him gone. So this is a move the company can make that will appease some of the critics. And for that reason, it is a good thing to do. It is something they had to do.

But I don't think you can necessarily blame him personally for what happened. I think you need to do a root-cause analysis to figure out all of steps in this process that led to this disaster, or otherwise replacing him doesn't necessarily mean this will never happen again. That's what everybody really wants.

CHETRY: Michael, speaking of replacing Hayward the news came down that for the first time it will be American, Bob Dudley, who will be the CEO of BO. He grew up in Mississippi, actually spent summers vacationing in the Gulf. What does it signal for BP to be putting him at the helm of the company?

MICHAEL MCGRATH, AUTHOR, "BUSINESS DECISIONS": It is very important time the an American, particularly Bob Dudley, he has very good experience as the right person to put in charge. And Bob Dudley has his work cut out for him right now.

CHETRY: He actually said today sometimes events shake to you the core to the foundation. He said that we are going to hold ourselves to a higher standard. And he says "I suspect American people and regulators will as well, and they are going to respond to that and change."

David, as he makes those words, I mean, he sounds so much more conciliatory just on his first day announcing he will be taking over, and we heard from Hayward in the past. Is that a planned strategy, do you think, on the part of BP?

MARGULIES: I think it is that, but it's also just the people's personalities. How do you respond under stress? Hayward was under a tremendous am of stress. There was a lot going on. At this point the well is capped. There is a possible necessary place to pay the claims.

So Dudley is in a better place. It is always easier when you are replacing somebody to say we will do better in the future, because quite frankly, you have nowhere to go but up. Dudley has an easier job in terms of media relations and in terms of what he says about the issue than his predecessor had. I think he will do the right thing.

But a big organization making a change is a very complex process. The question is going to be does he have the skill set to really do that or is this just talk for the media and the government.

CHETRY: We will see he does have his work cut out for him. Michael, BP posted a quarterly loss of $17.2 billion. That -- when you compare that to a year ago BP had a net profit of $4.4 billion for the quarter. We see shares of BP plunge and they are up slightly after plunging 50 percent of their value, now creeping up slightly.

But it seems like they have a lot on their plate right now. Yet, Bob Dudley is promising future growth. How realistic is that in your opinion, Michael?

MCGRATH: I'm not sure it is realistic for a few years. BP really has a turnaround situation and Bob Dudley has to face up to that turnaround.

Coming up with $32 billion is something they label to do. But they are going to have to reshape the company and sell off a lot of their assets, a lot of their operations to come up with that money. It could actually be more expensive.

So he has to lead the company through that transition. But even more importantly he has to change the decision culture in the company that got them into this trouble in the first place.

Now, the CEO of the company really is responsible for the decisions that's -- the company makes. And as part of the BP culture they continually push the -- you know responsibility to perform dumped into the organization.

And I think it caused people to have a bias towards taking a little bit unnecessary risk. And -- and he has to change that culture, too, within the company which is a big task at hand.

CHETRY: David, does BP ever fully recover from this in terms of how they are viewed by the public at large.

DAVID MARGULIES, CRISIS PREVENTION & MANAGEMENT EXPERT: I -- yes. I think so. Exxon certainly went through the "Exxon Valdez" and today is a very successful, highly respected company.

This will fade from the news just like all the other incidents. Eventually, you know, they're no longer on the front page. And I think it will move on and I think ultimately it will do fine. And it -- it does require the reorganization and it does require selling assets.

But in the long term another disaster will come up, unfortunately. Something else will happen. And this will no longer be a top of the mind issue. And ultimately, yes, I think they'll recover.

CHETRY: Michael, how much does that depend on how they handle the aftermath in terms of making, as they promised before, the Gulf Coast whole again for the people there?

MCGRATH: It's critical.

Bob Dudley has to really be sincere and he has to follow through with actions. And -- and that's going to be very expensive for them to do. But I think he is the kind of person that can do that. But -- but he has to really put actions where the words are at this point.

CHETRY: All right.

Michael McGrath, David Margulies, it's great to get both of your perspectives this morning. Thank you.

MARGULIES: Thank you.

MCGRATH: Thanks.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: We've got severe storm threat in the Midwest today and you can expect airport delays across parts of the country. Jacqui Jeras has got the travel forecast coming up after the break.

It's 13 minutes now at the top of the hour.


JERAS: Well, welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING.

We've got some nasty thunderstorms rolling across part of the upper Midwest this morning, through parts of central Minnesota that could cause some damaging winds.

We are starting to see some development now into northern Wisconsin. So a heads up; we could potentially get a severe thunderstorm watch here as well.

We're also tracking thunderstorms in the southeast. We had a real mess here yesterday afternoon and evening causing delays at the airport and lots of trees and power lines down. We'll be watching Georgia and the Carolinas for that threat as we head into the afternoon and evening hours.

And more delays will be expected and not just Atlanta but Charlotte and Memphis, Houston and Denver because of thunderstorms and then some low clouds expected in Los Angeles and San Francisco this morning causing you a couple of delays. What about that heat? That continues out there. But not quite as widespread at least not where we're talking the dangerous levels. But Minneapolis as well as the Carolinas under those heat advisories today. And everybody is getting pretty close to the 90-degree mark.

Ok, I promised you world breaking weather. And we've got a couple of headlines. How do you keep cool in Utah in the summer? Well, how about a world record water balloon fight. Look at that, 120,000 water balloons were thrown by the Brigham Young University students. It looks like they had a heck of a good time doing that as well.

And my second record breaker here, large hail fell in South Dakota on Friday. And they think it was a record. They are waiting to confirm that but this was over 18 inches in diameter. About eight inches wide and this fell in Vivian, South Dakota and created craters in people's yards about one foot across.

Amazing weather. I hope you enjoyed it.

John and Kiran will be back right after this break.


CHETRY: We're going rogue. Fifty-four minutes past the hour. And welcome back to The Most News in the Morning.

A new football season is nearly upon us. And it means that players from high school right up to the pros will soon be, of course, knocking heads.

ROBERTS: The NFL just released the results of safety tests on 16 football helmets. Three of those models tested were rated as top performers.

Now, earlier on AMERICAN MORNING, I spoke to neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Cantu who is concerned that making that information public could give people the wrong impression.


DR. ROBERT CANTU, SENIOR ADVISER, NFL HEAD, NECK & SPINE COMMITTEE: -- that these helmets might be better in protecting against concussion. The document that was released by the NFL clearly states that that isn't the case. But when you have a document that talks about top performing and in the document is the word concussion, some people might draw the connection.

The reality is these helmets which meet a standard that really is the top one percent of concussion forces could actually perform more poorly than other helmets at the lower levels of forces.


ROBERTS: And Dr. Cantu says those lower forces are where the majority of hits occur in football especially in youth football. And you can very easily get a concussion because it is just -- it's not so much a big injury to the head like a skull fracture as he was talking about. Bleeding on the brain is just a violent shaking of the head. And some of those lighter hits and not even hits to the head can result in a concussion.

CHETRY: Right. And then you also are relying on the patient to sort of explain their symptoms or to say whether or not they are injured. As we know with the NFL, I mean, there's a lot of pressure to keep playing even if you don't feel 100 percent.

ROBERTS: Yes exactly, you've got to be well to play. And even if you're not feeling well, you tell the coach hey, I'm feeling fine. Put me back in there again so -- everybody has got to work together on this. And much more research needs to be done on these helmets as well and maybe some new designs.

So we'll see where this goes in the future.

We have about four minutes to the top of the hour. And we'll be right back.


ROBERTS: Baseball is here. The pitcher continues. Tampa Bay Rays' Matt Garza, no-hit with the Detroit Tigers last night. The 5-0 victory is the fifth no hitter in the majors this season. Two of those have been perfect games as well. Garza was near perfect, allowing just a second inning walk in facing the minimum 27 batters -- pretty good.

CHETRY: Not bad. (INAUDIBLE) was first no hitter in the team's history. This is even funnier when you look at it this way; it leaves the Mets and the Padres as the only major league teams without no- hitters.

ROBERTS: What's wrong with you guys? Seriously.

CHETRY: Oh, man. You have step up your game. Max Kellerman, our resident sports guy says it is because of all of the years of pitchers having to go against these juiced up batters. They had to get better and better.

ROBERTS: The pitching's actually getting better.

CHETRY: There you go.

Well, continue the conversation on today's stories by heading to our blog, And we'll see you right back here tomorrow morning.

ROBERTS: Meantime, the news continues here on CNN with Kyra Phillips in the "CNN NEWSROOM".

Good morning Kyra.