Coming up Wednesday

Wildfires burn through Colorado causing thousands to evacuate, and protests in Turkey are in 13th day. Tune in at 7am ET.
June 26th, 2012
10:42 AM ET

Tropical storm Debby continues to pummel Florida coast- Gov. Rick Scott discusses state response

Tropical storm Debby continues to hit Florida today and is creeping slowly towards the coast. There has been severe flooding, widespread power outages and reports of tornadoes as the storm pummeled the coast over the weekend.

Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a statewide emergency yesterday and tells Soledad O'Brien on CNN's “Starting Point” that forecasters explain the rain from the storm to continue for the next two to three days.

“We’re working hard at this making sure Floridians are prepared, making sure they’re very cautious when they’re going outside,” Scott says.

Watch more from Soledad's interview with Gov. Scott on CNN's “Starting Point” in the clip above.


Filed under: Weather
June 26th, 2012
10:33 AM ET

Romney campaign reluctant to answer questions about candidate's immigration stance

The Supreme Court struck down three parts of Arizona's immigration bill Monday. However, the Court upheld the most controversial portion - the SB 1070 provision -  which permits police officers to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.

While the law says police can only check immigration statuses if they have "reasonable suspicion" to believe someone is in the country illegally, critics maintain the law will promote racial profiling.

Mitt Romney has not expressed his position on Arizona's controversial provision while on the campaign trail but has said that he supports giving states greater authority to enforce immigration laws.

Romney campaign senior adviser Carlos Gutierrez tells Soledad O'Brien on CNN's "Starting Point" that "the Governor supports the right of border states and the country at-large to protect its borders, to protect its integrity. It's not an anti-immigration issue."

Gutierrez adds, "This is not about Governor Romney. This is about President Obama's lack of leadership."

Watch more from Soledad's interview with Carlos Gutierrez on CNN's "Starting Point."

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Filed under: 2012 Race • Immigration • Politics
June 26th, 2012
08:52 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Between an exclusive interview with Jada Pinkett Smith, discussions on the Supreme Court's health care ruling anticipated on Thursday and a viral video of a shocked, submerged wedding party, we heard today's playlist picks:

Soledad O'Brien's playist:
Marvin Sapp – "Calling Me"

Panelist Will Cain's playlist:
John Anderson – "Swingin'"
Tom Petty – "I Won't Back Down"

Panelist Margaret Hoover's playlist:
The Rolling Stones – "Street Fighting Man"
Regina Spektor – "Us"

Panelist Alicia Menendez's playlist:
Phoenix – "1901"
Jay-Z – "Made in America"

Author William McGee's playist:
R. Kelly – "I Believe I Can Fly"

June 26th, 2012
06:30 AM ET

WEB EXTRA: Extended clips from Soledad's interview with Jada Pinkett Smith on fighting human trafficking

Jada Pinkett Smith talks about her personal investment in combating human trafficking on "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien," airing at 7am Eastern on Tuesday.

In the first video above, Pinkett Smith talks about why getting 'in the trenches' on human trafficking is important to her. She also says that if things had gone differently in her life she could have been in a similar situation to many of the girls she's trying to save.

In the second video below, Pinkett Smith shares a few stories of girls that inspired her to work to help stop human trafficking.


Filed under: Human rights • Trafficking
The Big Tease
June 25th, 2012
10:18 PM ET

The Big Tease

Our Starting Point Tuesday... Arizona. We're breaking down the Supreme Court ruling on the state's controversial immigration law. Jeff Toobin says he's baffled, but he says it might tell us something about what will happen Thursday with health care... and it's not good news for President Obama. Jeff joins us at 7:30 & 8:30am ET.

Also on SCOTUS immigration ruling:

Carlos Gutierrez, senior adviser for the Romney campaign, 7am ET.

Luther Strange, Alabama's Attorney General on the implications for his state, 7:30am ET.

Russell Pearce, the former AZ state senator who lead the effort to pass the law, 8am ET.

ALSO -

The latest on Tropical Storm Debby. We're live in Florida throughout the morning and talking to FL Gov. Rick Scott at 7:10am ET.

Rep. Charlie Rangel joins us from Harlem (8:10am ET) to talk about another tough primary fight Tuesday.

Jada Pinkett Smith at 8:40am ET.

All this and more live on "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien" at 7am Eastern on CNN.

June 25th, 2012
02:25 PM ET

Mira Sorvino on playing a woman with bipolar disorder in the new film 'Union Square' and the importance of work-life balance

Actress Mira Sorvino won an academy award when she was 28 years old for her work in the Woody Allen movie "Mighty Aphrodite." Her new movie is an indie flick called "Union Square." In it, she plays a woman with a bipolar disorder who reunites with her estranged sister.

Sorvino talks with Soledad on "Starting Point" about her new role. She also talks about creating a work-life balance raising four children and working in Hollywood.


Filed under: Goodwill Ambassador
June 25th, 2012
01:13 PM ET

Singer Chaka Khan on honoring women she helped mentor through the Superlife Transformation Program

Singer Chaka Khan, a 10-time Grammy Award-winning singer, is helping women live their dreams.

Last year, Khan launched a mentoring program to help women in the New Orleans area with financial and employment needs. The "Superlife Transformation Program" helped a group of chosen women accomplish their goals, from starting their own business to finishing school. Next month at the Essence Music Festival, she will salute the 33 women who will graduate from the program.

Khan talks with Soledad this morning on "Starting Point" with an update on the status of these remarkable women.


Filed under: Mentoring
June 25th, 2012
12:56 PM ET

CNN EXCLUSIVE: Director of National Intelligence to crack down on classified intel leaks

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is rolling out new measures Monday aimed at ending what recently has been a spate of leaks regarding classified programs and operations.

Among Clapper's recommendations, to be instituted across the 16 intelligence agencies, are an enhanced counterintelligence polygraph test for employees who have access to classified information, and the establishment of a task force of intelligence community inspectors general that will have the ability to conduct independent investigations across agencies in coordination with the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive.

CNN's Suzanne Kelly details the rollout on "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien" this morning.

FULL STORY


Filed under: Intelligence • Leaks
June 25th, 2012
12:47 PM ET

Shooting the 2012 London Olympics in 3D? Getty Images' Jonathan Klein on the new technology behind capturing memorable Olympic moments

The 2012 Olympic games will kick of next month in London and they will be photographed in ways you have never seen before.

Getty Images, which is the official agency of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), is deploying some new gadgets to capture the games in 3D for the very first time. Photographers will also use time-lapse technology as well as flying, remote controlled cameras to capture every moment.

Jonathan Klein, co-founder and the CEO of Getty Images, walks Soledad and the "Starting Point" team through the technology behind the new gadgets and strategies for capturing memorable images at this year's London Olympics.


Filed under: 2012 London Olympics • Photography
June 25th, 2012
12:40 PM ET

The NBA's 19-yr-old star? A humble Anthony Davis talks about the pressure of being the presumed #1 draft pick this year

NBA fans are gearing up for the NBA draft this Thursday, and there is one player and one team who seem destined for each other. The New Orleans Hornets scored the first-round draft pick, and they're expected to go with 19-year-old Anthony Davis.

He's the star power forward for the Kentucky Wildcats. He was named the most outstanding player of the Final Four this season. Anthony is going to find out on Thursday if he becomes the new face of the Hornets franchise.

Davis talks with Soledad on "Starting Point" this morning. He explains how despite the enormous pressure on him, he's trying to 'down play everything.'

"Trying to take it a day at a time," Davis says of the hype surrounding his talent. "There's a lot of pressure, but I think I can handle it."


Filed under: NBA
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