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Royal Baby Watch; Demonstrations for Trayvon Martin; Washington DC Takes on Wal-Mart; Mickelson Wins British Open

Aired July 22, 2013 - 09:30   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you so much for being with me, I'm Carol Costello. Stories we're watching right now in NEWSROOM: 30 minutes past the hour, opening bell on Wall Street where investors are waiting for more earnings announcement this week. Ringing the bell this morning is the board of directors from the nonprofit organization the Gray Beards, who are highlighting their Sandy relief efforts.

The death toll continues to rise in northwest China this morning following a strong earthquake. At least 75 people have been killed and hundreds of others injured. Rescue teams have been sent to the scene and the Red Cross Society of China is sending tents and other supplies. CNN's David McKenzie is in Beijing with more for you.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This powerful and shallow quake struck northwest China early on Monday morning. It was followed by a series a of after shocks, that could have been quakes in their own right.

Look at this security footage released by state media which shows the immediate effect of this quake as it struck. The tremors lasted for at least a minute causing people to rush out of their buildings for safety.

Gansu Province is one of the poorest in China. One of the worst affected areas appears to be Minxian county where many of the dead were found.

Entire buildings were destroyed and homes heavily damaged. Tragically, it was the elderly and the very young, according to state media, who were affected the worst because they couldn't run from the debris as it fell, in time.

The Chinese government and the Red Cross have mobilized hundreds of rescue and relief workers to the area to try to assist and to find any of the missing. This area seen torrential rain in recent days and more rain is forecast, which could make rescue efforts and relief efforts that much more difficult. David McKenzie, CNN, Beijing.

COSTELLO: Pope Francis is making his first major trip as pope to Brazil. The world's largest Catholic country. He's expected to arrive just about six hours from now. More than 1 million people are expected to make the trip to join the church's World Youth Day celebrations.

A world in waiting. Right now a crowd is building outside of Buckingham Palace as the former Kate Middleton enters yet another hour of labor. CNN royal correspondent, Max Foster, is outside St. Mary's hospital in London where the Duchess of Cambridge could deliver at any moment now. Good morning, Max.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. She's been in labor for many hours now. Could be any moment, and it's been nine months of speculation and fascination, of course. Let's take a look back.


FOSTER: It was the news that royal watchers had been waiting for.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: It's official. Kate Middleton is pregnant.

FOSTER: The palace had been forced into announcing the pregnancy early because the duchess had been taken to hospital suffering from acute morning sickness. As soon as she got better, the family were able to express their excitement.

PRINCE CHARLES, UNITED KINGDOM: I'm thrilled. It's marvelous. Very nice sort of grandfatherhood.

FOSTER: Days after Kate was discharged, the story took a tragic turn. The hospital nurse, Jacintha Saldanha was found dead. She had transferred a prank call from two Australian deejays to a colleague who gave an update on the duchess' condition. Kate later slowly reemerged into the spotlight. Here at a London addiction cetner in February.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kate wants people to see her bump and she wants people to know that she's pregnant now.

FOSTER: A flurry of public engagements followed. Kate was glowing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Amazing. She's radiant. Didn't show any signs of tiredness. We've all said how wonderful she looks.

FOSTER: The big question, is it a boy or a girl? One fan in Grimsby misheard Kate and triggered wild speculation that the duchess was having a daughter, but nothing could stop Kate. Not high heels at this military event or heavy snow with the scouts. She went underground with the queen and cast spells on the Harry Potter set. Her last solo engagement before taking maternity was a true champagne moment.

KATE MIDDLETON, DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE: I name the ship Royal Princess.


FOSTER: And the next time we see her officially will be on the doorstep behind me, the same doorstep where Diana brought William out for the very first time.

COSTELLO: I can't wait. All right, Max, we'll go to Buckingham Palace now. You stay where you are. Our CNN royal commentator, Katie Nicholl is at the palace, she also serves as the royal correspondent for British newspaper "The Mail On Sunday."

So, what really impressed me is that Prince William took Kate to the hospital with not much fanfare and no guards around them. It was just a normal couple going to the hospital to have a baby.

KATIE NICHOLL, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: It was as you say, Carol. Around the back, of course, as Max just pointed out, there are so many media. Outside the Lindo Wing and once again this couple who are so elusive when they want to be managed to fool us all.

They were in very quickly. One brief picture I've seen but you don't actually get to see the couple at all. They were driven in at high speed and, yes it's now nearly eight hours of labor. So, it really could be any moment now. I'm here at Buckingham Palace where the official notice of birth will be posted on the gate behind me at Buckingham Palace. We understand the queen is possibly on her way back here. I mean, the whole family, the queen, Prince Charles and Camilla and, of course, the Middletons will be awaiting this announcement just as eagerly, and probably more so, than the rest of us here.

COSTELLO: I think a little more so than the rest of us. So, will the queen get the first word or the parents of Prince William and Kate?

NICHOLL: Well, royal protocol needs to be adhered to in situations like this. This is a modern couple. We've seen them do things their own way, but on certain aspects such as the royal birth, certain guidelines need to followed. SO, Prince William will make that first call upon the birth to the queen on especially encrypted telephone that goes to her secure line. She will be the first person to discover the sex, the weight and whether we're going to have a future queen or king.

COSTELLO: And then some sort of sign will be posted at Buckingham Palace announcing to the world whether it is a boy or a girl and what the name is?

NICHOLL: That's right. The birth announcement which will have the sex and it will have the weight of the baby, not we're told the name. That will be taken from the Lindo Wing, where it was signed from the obstetrician who delivered the baby, brought here at high speed in a police convoy, and put in a glass easel, the same easel that was used to announce Prince William and Prince Harry's birth and put here at the gates of Buckingham Palace where the crowds are gathering already in that very historic, very special moment. Yes it will be announced on Twitter and Facebook, and everything else that you would expect but it will be here, very first on that easel.

COSTELLO: That is just kind of crazy. I just can't believe that. How many people are gathering at Buckingham Palace?

NICHOLL: Well, since this morning, there have been crowds gathering. I expect it's going to get much busier. I have come across a lot of tourists here. A couple that are asking what all these TV cameras are doing. I was like, have been on Mars all this time? The Duchess of Cambridge has gone into labor and having a baby. Most people, I hasten to add, know exactly what's going on here. That's why they're waiting. Just as eagerly as everyone else.

COSTELLO: I am, too. Katie Nicholl thank you for enlightening us this morning. We appreciate it.

It has been a busy news day here in the CNN NEWSROOM still ahead, the parents of Trayvon Martin join supporters across the country as President Obama weighs in from the White House on the verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial. A live report out of Washington, next.


COSTELLO: A movement, not a moment. That's how some characterized rallies held nationwide this weekend as supporters of Trayvon Martin gather from coast-to-coast standing with the slain teenager's parents and against the controversial stand your ground laws. The rallies came just one day after President Obama weighed in on the Zimmerman verdict. Comments that rippled throughout Washington and actually throughout the country. White House correspondent Brianna Keilar has more for you.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: In Houston late Sunday, some tense moments as Trayvon Martin supporters marched close by a group backing George Zimmerman and stand your ground laws. Earlier, emotional rallies in some 100 cities across the country echoing President Obama's extraordinary personal comments, trying to explain the pain African-Americans are feeling.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Trayvon Martin could have been me, 35 years ago.

KEILAR: : Protesters demanding federal civil rights charges and supporting the president's call for states to reconsider stand your ground laws.

OBAMA: If Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? And do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman who followed him in a car because he felt threatened?

KEILAR: Republican John McCain says stand your ground laws need to be rethought.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: I'm confident that the members of the Arizona legislature will, and because it is very controversial legislation.

KEILAR: Beyonce and Jay-Z came out to stand with Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton. And Friday night, Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake ended a Yankee stadium concert dedicated the song "Forever Young."


COSTELLO: Brianna Keilar joins me now from Washington. So, Brianna, is the administration likely to do anything in the wake of this case? KEILAR: A lot of folks, Carol as you've heard, in those rallies, as well as on the White House website. Thousands of people calling for federal charges against George Zimmerman. You've seen hundreds of thousands of people sign onto an NAACP petition asking the federal government to get involved in the civil rights investigation.

But if you listen to what President Obama said on Friday, he seemed to downplay the federal action component of this. Even though you know the Department of Justice is reviewing the case at this point, as they have been doing for months. President Obama said, really, it's important for people to have clear expectations. He said traditionally these are issues of the state. These are local issues, these are law enforcement issues, but while he seems to be downplaying expectations, there are going to be a number of folks, obviously, some you saw in that piece right there that you don't think the administration is doing enough here who want the administration to do more.

But I think when you listen to lawmakers on Capitol Hill, there seems to be some agreement between Democrats and Republicans that maybe what they can do is certainly look to the states and the stand your ground laws and look to those to be adjusted, and I think that is really the prevailing thought here in Washington. That that is really the way to go, not necessarily the federal government getting involved through the Department of Justice.

COSTELLO: Brianna Keilar reporting live from the White House this morning.

Coming up in the NEWSROOM, the nation's capital wages a fight for living wage and that is sparking backlash from the world's largest retailer. Inside Walmart's battle with Washington, D.C. That's next in the CNN NEWSROOM.


COSTELLO: Checking our "Top Stories" at 47 minutes past the hour. We are waiting for the birth of the newest member of the British royal family. The great Kate wait has intensified, even with news that the Duchess of Cambridge arrived at London's St. Mary's Hospital in labor overnight. Will and Kate's baby will be third in line to the throne, regardless of the child's sex.

Calling it a big seizure and that's an understatement. The Coast Guard says that it confiscated $35 million worth of cocaine that was heading to the United States from South America. But the smugglers did not give up so easily. The Coast Guard said it had to shoot out the engine of the drug smuggler's boat and then seize the 2,300 pounds of cocaine.

The wife of the driver involved in that deadly limo fire in California says he was arguing with her on the phone at the time. The wife tells the "San Jose Mercury News" Orville Brown had music blaring in the background to keep the new bride and her friends from hearing the conversation. These new details raised questions about whether Brown was too distracted to hear the women screams for help. The bride and four women were killed, three others escaped. Brown hasn't commented on these new details.

Arbitrary and discriminatory, that's how Wal-Mart describes a Washington, D.C., bill that requires certain retailers to pay a living wage in the city. The bill targets companies with $1 billion in annual revenues, footprints of 75,000 square feet or more, and employees who make $50,000 or less per year.

Joining me now is one of the original co-sponsors of that bill. He is at-large D.C. City Council member Vincent Orange. Good morning Mr. Orange.


COSTELLO: Good morning. So just take us back. I mean, you came up with this idea for a living wage in Washington, D.C. knowing that Wal- Mart would probably have a problem with this. Why is this so important to you?

ORANGE: Well it's extremely important we want large retailers to come into the District of Columbia where our citizens can prosper with them such as Costco. Costco has been in Washington DC for less than six months. Their average wage is $21 per hour, 84 percent of their employees are DC residents. They are good corporate residents in the District of Columbia.

In fact their CEO supports our living wage bill and has called on the President to increase the minimum wage. Those are the types of entities that we want in the District of Columbia.

The District of Columbia offers a larger more concentrated consumer base with disposable income. And that's the reason why other retailers are knocking on our doors and would like to come in. But we cannot have them pay poverty wages and have the taxpayers of the District of Columbia pick up social costs.

COSTELLO: Well Wal-Mart knocked on your door and announced it's going to take a hike if -- if this bill becomes a law. So what you'd like Wal-Mart to do -- look, the minimum wage in Washington, D.C. is $8 per hour or so, right.

ORANGE: That's correct -- $8.25 per hour.

COSTELLO: Ok $8.25 per hour and -- and you want Wal-Mart to pay its employees $12.50 per hour.

ORANGE: Well the law says $12.50 per hour less benefits. We want to make sure that our residents in the District of Columbia have a living wage which is about $26,000 per year. Two people with a living wage can purchase a home in a nation's capital. At $8.25 that's only $17,000 on an annual basis. Two people living together making the minimum wage cannot even purchase a home in the District of Columbia.

Our policy in DC is a living wage, affordable housing, access to health care and a good education which would allow our residents to prosper. We are living in the good times in the nation's capital -- (CROSSTALK)

COSTELLO: Well let me just -- let me just interject what Wal-Mart is saying. Because it wants to -- it wants to open these three stores in the Washington, D.C. area and create 1,800 jobs. In a "Washington Post" op-ed, a Wal-Mart regional manager writes, "If this bill is passed the company will cancel as well as delay construction on area stores" saying the bill quote, "would clearly inject unforeseen costs into the equation that would create an uneven playing field and challenge the fiscal health of the planned DC stores."

In fairness Wal-Mart held a number of community meetings before it decided to build in these areas. It had the support of the community and it says it had the support of the D.C. Mayor. So why not bring this up then? Why bring it up now once Wal-Mart was planning to actually build in the Washington, D.C. area?

ORANGE: Well Carol I have to correct the record. In 2006 we established a law for the living wage. Any entity doing business in the District of Columbia that receives government assistance has to pay a living wage. So this is not a new argument.

And now today we are saying if you're a large retailer and you gross in excess of $1 billion then you must pay a living wage minus benefits. Now if you calculate that your benefits amounts to like $2 then you can pay a living wage of $10.50 plus benefits. It's well documented that Wal-Mart basically provides minimum wage and forces government to pick up social costs -- social costs being access to health care, public housing assistance, food stamps, Medicare things of that nature. So, in the long run Wal-Mart doesn't pay off for the citizens of the District of Columbia. And that's the reason why we're having this discussion.

COSTELLO: But -- but you understand the position that you put the -- you understand the position the mayor is in. He's got to choose between 1,800 jobs or nothing.

ORANGE: Well I think -- I think what -- what the mayor has to be counseled (ph) of the fact that he needs to look at the whole picture. We have invited Costco's into our city. They are doing extremely well. They're paying an average wage in excess of $21. To allow Wal- Mart to come in and pay $8.25 in the long run that will suppress wages and -- and that will hurt our economy.

Right now we are coming off $800 million in surpluses over our last four fiscal years. Our chief financial officer's indicated that we would generate another $600 million in surpluses. We have $1.5 billion in our rainy day fund.

We don't have to beg retailers to come into town. What we're simply saying is come in town, make a profit but share some of the prosperity with our residents so they can have a living wage, they can have access to affordable housing --


ORANGE: -- and access to health care and a good education. Come on in Wal-Mart. But don't come in and pay poverty wages.

COSTELLO: I've got to wrap it here. I've got to wrap it here. But thank you so much for being with us this morning Washington, D.C. council member Vincent Orange. Thank you Councilman Orange.

ORANGE: Thank you so much.

COSTELLO: It's a moment Phil Mickelson will never forget. The man who once could never win a major, oh he takes home a new title. We'll be back with that story and more.


COSTELLO: From the files of where did he come from, Phil Mickelson captures his first British Open. Starting the final day five shots off the lead (inaudible) who played some of his great golf ever and he takes home the Claret Jug with his family by his side.


PHIL MICKELSON, 2013 BRITISH OPEN CHAMPION: I played some of the best golf of my career. It feels amazing to have this championship and then to make it even more special to have Amy, Amanda, Sofia, Evan here to share this moment it's a -- it really is special. It's the day that I'll always cherish, I always remember.


COSTELLO: Mickelson won by three stroke. He was the only golfer to shoot under par for the tournament.

The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM right after this.