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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Turning the Tide: Up Close View of Marine Helicopter Run; People of South India Have Deep Ties to Sea; Photos Tell Story Behind Story

Aired January 7, 2005 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST: Good evening. I'm Anderson Cooper, live in Sri Lanka, along with Paula Zahn in New York.
Tonight, the search for survivors, the missing, continues, the struggle to live goes on.

Our special report, Turning the Tide, starts now.

PAULA ZAHN, HOST: Christmas Day was the best day of her life, a tropical wedding ceremony on a Thai beach. Now there's no happiness to talk about, only a mother's heartbreaking story of losing her little baby to the raging sea.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can never forgive myself for dropping my baby. I will always see his eyes when he disappears.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: A story of survival only described as a miracle. Tonight, learn how this man helped these orphans escape certain death.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I came here, and I was shouting at the top of my lungs. They came, I ran, I carried. I just threw them over the fence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Fear some endangered animals could be wiped off the earth in the aftermath of the deadly waves. Coming up, the tale of the sea turtles, and how the waves may have destroyed their future.

Nature's fury caught on tape by a 16-year-old boy. Tonight, his view of the disaster. He sat on top of a rock monument on the tragic morning of December 26.

We have special reports from the hardest-hit regions, Christiane Amanpour in Sri Lanka, Soledad O'Brien and Matthew Chance in Thailand, and Aaron Brown in Indonesia.

ANNOUNCER: This is a CNN Special Report, Turning the Tide, with Anderson Cooper in Sri Lanka and Paula Zahn in New York. ZAHN: And good evening, and welcome. Thanks so much for joining us tonight. Welcome to CNN's Special Report, Turning the Tide.

There are so many Americans still unaccounted for since the tsunami, more than 2,000. Among them, Ben Abels. All his family wants is to bring him home. Their anguish brings this monumental tragedy very close to home. We're going to have their story in just a moment.

But we go back to Anderson Cooper now, who joins us once again from Beruwala, Sri Lanka. Anderson?

COOPER: Paula, so many people yet to be brought home, yet to be brought back to America, or to Sweden, or to their homes here in Sri Lanka or Indonesia. So many missing. The death toll likely to climb as aid workers are just reaching some hard-hit communities.

One U.S. helicopter pilot who's involved in some air drops said this. He said, "The only way to describe some of these villages is extinct." Along the east coast of Sri Lanka, whole communities have been wiped out.

And as ITN's Bill Neely reports, the dying continues.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL NEELY, ITV NEWS (voice-over): This coast will forever be haunted by the tens of thousands who died here. Even in death, they have no peace.

Ghost towns pepper the coast, their populations dead or gone, cut off now by the broken roads and the sea that took their people. This is a ghost coast haunted by water.

Along it today, the Royal Navy searched for bridges and roads to repair. A quick look was enough. There are hundreds to choose from. And even with 100 men, they can't do much.

There will be no bright new dawns on this coast. The bereaved and the broken are everywhere.

This woman lost all of her children, four of them.

But the dying isn't done. The man they're burying swallowed so much seawater he couldn't breathe properly and died overnight after 12 days of suffering. They buried him in the sand, facing away from the sea that killed him.

The coastal hospitals are full, and there may be more deaths. Hamid (ph) was 8 days old when he too filled up with seawater. Habiba lost three of her children. She has one boy left. But Abdul has been brain-damaged by the disaster. The doctors say he'll die and aren't treating him anymore.

This 4-month-old boy was found bruised in the debris. No one knows who he is, but five couples say he's their child. So much loss, so much desperation on this coast.

DR. KOPAL MUHUNITHAN, TREATING TSUNAMI VICTIMS: The only answer to this problem is to scientifically prove that this is their baby by doing some genetic -- studying their genes.

NEELY: Many hospitals are destroyed. Medical aid is getting through, but like the food and the water, it's slow in coming, even as the world's donations multiply.

JONG WOOK LEE, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: The attention of the world is focused on this issue, and also the people will watch that how this money will be used.

NEELY: But in some places on this coast, there is nowhere left to deliver aid to, and few alive to get it.

(on camera): This was a world turned upside down in seconds that will stay like this for years, because it's like this for hundreds of miles, boats in the main street, bodies in the rubble left to rot. An unnatural world that will never be rebuilt as it was.

(voice-over): A world turned upside down, where boys do the work of their dead fathers, or stare at the mass graves that hold their parents.

He's lost his family of five, but everyone here has his own private hell. They stare at the wreck of their lives. No one, no donation, can ever replace their loss on this haunted shore.

Bill Neely, ITV News, on the eastern coast of Sri Lanka.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And Sri Lankans certainly are not sitting around waiting for donations, waiting for relief. They are taking brooms and sweeping the streets, sweeping up what's left of their homes, digging out from the rubble, and in some cases, when possible, Christiane, trying to return to work.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's exactly right. You know, world leaders, from Powell to Annan, have said they haven't seen anything like this in their lives, and the reality is so much worse than pictures. And we see that all of the time. And yet, individuals, peoples, groups of people are just rising like the phoenix, trying to do their work, even though aid has not yet come to them.

We met some of them today.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR (voice-over): There is a place called hope in Sri Lanka, and it's here, Beruwala, on the west coast. The fishermen gather to watch their fleet stranded like beached whales. They peer eagerly as a crane comes to the rescue. (on camera): It's vital to get these boats off the rocks and repaired, because fishing is one of Sri Lanka's biggest industries. And on this coast and further down, it is the biggest industry. More than 80 percent of it has been destroyed.

(voice-over): But it will take months, and it will cost money. Some boat owners make $25,000 a year, a small fortune, but they'll have to pay around $15,000 to fix up their vessels.

Lionel Fernando just laughs when we ask him whether he's covered.

"I have no insurance," he says. "I don't know how we're going to do this. We don't know whether we'll get help from the government or not. I have a bank loan, and I don't think I'll be able to pay it back."

For the sake of his business and the five fishermen he employs, Fernando can't wait for the government or foreign aid. He rented this crane himself, but he says it will be five months before his boat is back in the water.

Ninety percent of Beruwala's 75,000 people depend on fishing. A town that was spared by the tsunami has sent truckloads of municipal workers to help clean up and put Beruwala back to work.

The mayor, Mazahim Muhammad, is busy directing them to the most urgent tasks, like getting the town's swamped school building ready for class to start on schedule on Monday. But oozing mud coats the floor, and every desk and chair has been damaged.

The town's wells and sewer system have been contaminated by salty seawater. Hundreds of homes have been destroyed.

Do you see any foreign help now?

MAYOR MAZAHIM MOHAMMAD, BERUWALA, SRI LANKA: Oh, not yet. Not yet come.

AMANPOUR: He says they do receive food aid, and luckily, no illness has set in. But the mayor says reconstruction is the most urgent need, with thousands still living in mosques and temples, or friends and relatives hosting 10 to 15 families in their homes.

MOHAMMAD: Now we need people for houses. That the first. And (UNINTELLIGIBLE), jobs. No jobs now. They don't have jobs. No boats. All boats damaged. All finished.

AMANPOUR: The fishing.

MOHAMMAD: Fishing, finished, everything.

AMANPOUR: This year's lucrative tourist season is finished too. So while there is hope and hard work in this town, even they need a helping hand.

(END VIDEOTAPE) AMANPOUR: Now, we mentioned the health issue, and that illness has not set in. And that is actually one of the good-news stories now. You know, the World Health Organization, the U.N., were very concerned that double the number of people who died could die again because of epidemics and outbreaks of disease, and as yet, that hasn't happened.

COOPER: And yet you go to the some of these hospitals, and, I mean, some hospitals just completely destroyed, and the ones that are operating, you know, they're still struggling with trying to identify the dead.

AMANPOUR: Yes, that's absolutely true. But, again, luckily, they've been able to get enough sanitation, they've been able to get enough food so that there hasn't been this cholera outbreak or...

COOPER: It could have been worse, yes.

AMANPOUR: ... yes, much, much, and that in terms of disease, yes.

COOPER: Christiane Amanpour, thanks very much.

Let's go back to Paula Zahn now in New York.

ZAHN: (UNINTELLIGIBLE), I've got a quick question for you. Christiane was just reporting in some cases you have 10 to 15 families staying with one family. Realistically, how long will it be before all of these homeless families really are accommodated?

COOPER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

AMANPOUR: You know, it's anybody's guess, really, Paula, because so many houses, as you can imagine, have been simply obliterated. Now, the good thing is that these are quite simple structures. These are not complicated houses, not complicated buildings. So with the right relief materials, with the money, with the, you know, with the building materials, they could do it.

But it -- there's mountains of rubble that have to be cleared even before you can talk about building.

COOPER: Although what you do realize is that these are extended- family communities, and you often have relatives living, you know, right next to each other. And so people do take each other in. There is really a sense of community in these small villages, and a sense of, you're not on your own, your neighbors kind of, you know, wrap their arms around you, and you kind of are all in it together.

AMANPOUR: That's absolutely right.

COOPER: Paula?

ZAHN: Well, I guess the short and long view pretty daunting there. Christiane and Anderson, thanks so much. Today, the State Department raised the number of Americans presumed to have died in the tsunami to 37. There are still more than 2,000 Americans who are classified as unaccounted for.

Andrea Koppel has the story of one family's desperate search.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Almost two weeks after 33-year-old Ben Abels disappeared from his bungalow while vacationing on Thailand's Phi Phi Island, his family back in Evanston, Illinois, is desperate for news.

DAVID ABELS, TSUNAMI VICTIM'S BROTHER: He was at the Princess Resort on Phi Phi Island.

KOPPEL: Prepared for the worse, the Abels family sent Ben's dental records, samples of his DNA, and his older brother to Thailand this week.

(on camera): The family has also hired several private investigators in Thailand to help expedite a process they feel isn't moving quickly enough.

(voice-over): With more than 3,500 people still missing, it's a daunting task for the Thai government. David Abels told CNN he's worried recovery efforts on Phi Phi Island have slowed dramatically.

ABELS: We're asking the U.S. government to offer assistance to the Thai government, so everyone can have the greatest chance of recovering their loved ones.

KOPPEL: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois says she's been in close contact with the Abels, the Thai embassy, and the State Department. In recent days, her grim task, to ensure that if Ben's remains are found, they can be identified.

REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: I have been told by the state department that the Thai government has made a commitment to catalog, through some sort of a DNA record, all of the bodies.

KOPPEL: The Thai government's plan, to implant a microchip in as many bodies as possible, to help keep track of victims until their families can claim them.

KASIT PROMYA, THAI AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: At the same time, we have gone through the DNA, what you call, sample, and (UNINTELLIGIBLE), and the gathering of the information, and we will be able to analyze them.

KOPPEL: But the Abels family hasn't given up hope Ben may still be alive. When the tsunami hit Ben's bungalow, he was talking with his friend Libby North, who was now recovering in a Bangkok hospital.

Andrea Koppel, CNN, at the State Department.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And we change our focus to this.

They dance like the tsunami never even happened. Thai sex workers back in full swing (UNINTELLIGIBLE) show for Western tourists now hiding a sea of grief. We'll go live to Phuket for that part of the story.

Also tonight, Christmas bride, New Year's widow. She married on Christmas Day, then watched her mother, husband, and child washed away just one day later. Find out how one woman's coping with the very personal side of this global disaster.

And a little bit later on, saving the sea turtles. Thousands of hatchlings killed in the tsunami. The story of one man's fight to keep this endangered species from the brink of extinction.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: And welcome back, live from Sri Lanka.

One man said, as he looks out at the sea, all he sees is a cemetery. And that is likely where many of the tsunami's victims will remain, out at sea, under water, never to be seen again. That is certainly the case in Thailand, where there are thousands still missing.

CNN's Soledad O'Brien joins me there this morning. Soledad?

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, thanks.

An announcement from Thailand, from the prime minister, Chenowat (ph), who says that microchips will be placed inside the bodies that have been recovered in the wake of the tsunami. That, he says, will aid in the recovery and identification process. At this point, 5,100 are confirmed -- more than that number, actually, confirmed dead.

Prime minister is saying that actually could go as high as 8,000 people confirmed dead, if all of those are missing are eventually confirmed dead.

The British foreign minister, Jack Straw, he had high praise for the Thai people in his discussions with the Thai prime minister. He says that 39, 49 Britons are confirmed dead, 391 are missing, and those are feared dead.

Some concerns from the families whose loved ones are still missing that the aggressive searching is over. Hundreds of forensic experts from 30 countries are now on the ground here. They're working to match DNA and dental records and also things like tattoos and jewelry on some of the bodies that have been recovered.

There are fears, though, from some family members that they may never actually know the fate of their loved ones.

And revitalization, a very strong push by both the government and private industry to bring tourists back to Thailand. Tourism is a $10 to $12 billion industry here in Thailand, and, of course, there is another industry of another sort of wealth sort, as well, to talk about Matthew Chance, who's been covering this disaster from the very beginning, talks a little bit about the sex trade. Matthew?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks very much, Soledad.

And that's right. Well, the search for bodies does continue, but the emphasis is perhaps shifting a little to reconstruction and revitalization. Thailand's tourism industry is extremely important. It accounts for about 12 percent of the country's economy. And there's a great deal of concern about how it may have been affected by the tsunami, and that means all aspects of it.

We traveled to the resort of Patong Beach here in Phuket to see how about tourists and Thais were coping with the situation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHANCE (voice-over): They dance like the tsunami never happened, Thai sex workers of Patong Beach acting out the party tourists come to see.

But the seedy glamour, always skin deep, now masks real grief and anxiety. Around a television at the bar, customers and staff are reliving the horrors they've witnessed. But it's the aftermath that matters most.

Yam (ph) serves drinks at the Happy Night Bar, already back in business after being flooded by the tsunami wave. But business is bad, the seats half-empty.

"We never believed this could happen to us, that so many people could be lost," she told me. "It will take a year at least, but we must rebuild."

The sandy beaches are Patong's more innocent attraction. The tsunami struck in peak season. The few tourists who stayed on now tan amidst the rubble. Edward from Austria says it's his way of helping out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We think it's better to stay here, because if we leave the country, our money leaves the country too. And I think it's important to help the people here to begin a normal life on the beach.

CHANCE: And it's an urgent task. Here, the once-popular Sabai (ph) Beach Restaurant is being refitted after the tsunami left it ruined. No one was killed here, but the owner, Wilapong (ph), showed me where the seawater had come to, and the clock that stopped at the exact time the tsunami hit.

"If the tourists stay away, none of us will have a job or any money," he says. "It will be another disaster."

(on camera): These are incredibly difficult times for everybody who was caught up in the tsunami. We have been walking along these sands, still slightly odd, knowing that so many people were lost at sea.

But everybody we've spoken to shares that sense of horror at the terrible loss of life. But they're looking to the future as well, picking up the pieces of their lives and starting to try and live them again.

(voice-over): And that means luring valuable tourists back to Phuket every way the island can.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHANCE: Well, we can't overemphasize how important the tourism industry is to the Thai economy. And that includes the seedier aspects of it as well. The Thai government says they'll be working closely with tourism business leaders on the ground to make sure that industry gets back on its feet, Soledad.

O'BRIEN: And, of course, it might seem, Anderson, crass or cruel that people are back on the beaches so soon, frankly, after the disaster, but the truth is, virtually everyone in Thailand who's trying to hold onto their job has made it very clear that that's something that's very, very important to them, Anderson.

COOPER: Yes, Soledad, it's the same situation here in Sri Lanka. The tourism not as developed as it is in southern Thailand, but many Europeans, Russians, come here to enjoy the sun, to enjoy the water, to enjoy the friendly people.

I talked to one hotel worker just yesterday who said the day the tsunami hit there were some 300 foreigners in his hotel, today there are only about five tourists. A lot of journalists, but just about five or six tourists. They hope those numbers will increase.

Let's go back to Paula Zahn now in New York. Paula?

ZAHN: Thanks so much, Anderson.

And it's still ahead here on our special report tonight, Turning the Tide, we will go to the hardest-hit area, the northern tip of Sumatra, Indonesia, for an update on the situation there.

Also tonight, after the wave. Some new video taken just hours after the water rushed in. One man's quest to capture history in the making.

And a little bit later on, tsunami adoption of another kind. A giant turtle takes on an orphaned hippo. We'll have more pictures for you coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: The U.N.'s Kofi Annan in Banday (ph)said he had never seen such devastation, mile after mile. You see those scenes so many places in Banda Aceh, so many displaced people, so many internal refugees.

With their story, tonight, CNN's Aaron Brown. Aaron?

AARON BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, or good evening.

We've seen significant change here at the military side of the airport, which is the heart of the relief effort here on the island.

Just as an aside, you mentioned before the break about the Western tourists in Sri Lanka. No Westerners have been allowed here for about 30 years because of the low-level civil war that's been going on. Now it's flooded with Westerners.

These are relief supplies over here, as you can tell. The other side of the base is where the biggest change has occurred. And we walked through it a couple of moments ago.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: The American helicopters now land primarily on this soccer pitch. Some Australian helicopters too. They flew about 15 missions yesterday delivering food, medicine, water, mostly food and water, to the outlying western villages that were ravaged by the tsunami.

This over here, these yellow tents, are a French firefighting unit. This is new since we were here the other day. They arrived yesterday. They're still in the process of setting up, and their services much needed.

These are all medical tents, everything else. This is a Korean medical unit that's been set up. There's a Portuguese surgical unit that's been set up. The Poles are here providing medical services.

Over on the other side, I'll tell you as an aside, there is a Chinese medical unit that's looked at with some disdain by other docs. They say they have four doctors and six photographers. The feeling is, they're more interested in publicity than medicine. So be it. That's the feeling around here. A little tension.

Everything that's happening here, whether it is medicine or relief supplies, is still in the triage stage. We're almost two weeks into this, and triage is still the best they can do.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: You could see a flag, Indonesian flag, flying at half- staff on this military side of the only airport in the provincial capital.

Just, we were talking about the Chinese a moment ago. We should also say the other side of that. Just across from me, about 15, 20 steps, there's a Spanish medical group. These are men and women who learned their stuff during the Madrid bombing and learned it very well. There's a young Spanish surgeon who's operating in a tent there. He works virtually nonstop, trying to deal mostly with infections, setting some broken bones, cleaning out wounds, and that sort of thing. When he's not working nonstop, in truth, he's chain-smoking.

They have earned incredible respect from everyone here.

This is a much more organized, much more international effort, but it is still an effort that's very, very, very much in its infancy, Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Aaron Brown, thanks very much from Banda Aceh tonight.

Our special coverage, live from the disaster zone, continues in a moment.

ZAHN: Christmas Day was the best day of her life, a tropical wedding ceremony on a Thai beach. Now, there's no happiness to talk about. Only a mother's heartbreaking story of losing her little baby to the raging sea.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can never forgive myself for dropping my baby. I will always see his eyes when he disappears.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Nature's fury caught on tape by a 16-year-old boy. Tonight, his view of a disaster as he sat on top of a rock monument on the tragic morning of December 26. CNN's special report, "Turning the Tide" with Anderson Cooper and Paula Zahn will continue in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: After nearly two weeks of covering this disaster I think it is easy for us to become sort of jaded, to close our eyes and our ears and hearts to the stories that we continue to hear. Just stop for a moment, though, and listen to this woman's story. Christmas Day she was married. The following day when the waves hit, her husband, her baby and her mother were killed. She's now trying to deal with the aftermath and trying to figure out how to build a life and how not to forget what happened to her family. Robyn Curnow reports from Sweden.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

SARA ADAMSSON, TSUNAMI VICTIM: I just hear the noise. And I'm so afraid to turn around because if I turn around I know I will die. And then everything comes over us. I just hold my baby like this to protect him from the wave and protect him from the house falling apart. The roof is falling apart. The walls are falling apart. I just think I have to save his head and then I only remember that I am beginning to drown and there's so much water and my clothes just rips apart and I lose my baby in the wave. I can't hold him. It is like oil, you know? And then I think in one second I go in the wave with him. But something inside me stops me and then I just scream for Johannes (ph). "Johannes, Johannes, where are you? Johannes?" And I can't do anything.

And then I started to scream to myself, "I'm not going to die. I will not die. I'm not dying. I'm not dying. I'm not dying."

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The deadly waves descending on Sara the day after she married Krista (ph), the father of her son, Johannes.

ADAMSSON: Some of the guests, they spoke to us and wished us happiness and a long life together.

CURNOW: Krista, Johannes, and Sara's mother all taken by the sea.

ADAMSSON: I can never forgive myself for dropping my baby. I'll always see his eye when he disappears.

CURNOW: No bodies yet for her to bury.

ADAMSSON: I want to find my family dead or alive to get peace in my soul and I'm so afraid that I will never get the answers that I will search for my baby or for my husband or for my mother for the rest of my life.

CURNOW: Robyn Curnow, CNN, Stockholm, Sweden.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

COOPER: So many people from so many different countries affected by this storm. The languages differ, the faces differ, but so many of the stories remain the same. The loss and heartache go on. Let's go back to Paula Zahn now in New York. Paula?

ZAHN: And Anderson, the magnitude of her loss seems almost impossible to accept. We're going to shift our focus now to a story that got a lot of attention here in the United States today. We'll come back to tsunami in just a moment. But you might remember it was one of the darkest moments of the civil rights movement and it is now taken more than 40 years but tonight prosecutors say they have finally caught up with the man who killed three civil rights workers in Mississippi David Mattingly has more..

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It has been 40 years, how do you feel?

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Edgar Ray Killen emerged from a Philadelphia, Mississippi courthouse after pleading not guilty to the 1964 murder of three civil rights workers and tensions quickly boiled over. A man identified to police as Killen's brother attacked a cameraman. Minutes later a bomb threat emptied the courthouse. It is a case now four decades old but spawning moments reminiscent of a violent past, when Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and James Chaney were murdered in the days after the burning of a Philadelphia church.

DR. CAROL GOODMAN, MOTHER OF SLAIN CIVIL RIGHTS WORKER: I thought we would ruffled up or get beat up or beat up or something like that but I didn't think he was going to get killed. It never entered my mind.

MATTINGLY: For relatives justice has been a long time coming. Killen walked free from a federal case in 1967 after a hung jury. Now 79 years old, he faces state murder charges made possible when Mississippi prosecutors re-opened the case last year.

BEN CHANEY, BROTHER OF SLAIN CIVIL RIGHTS WORKER: I believed that there was going to be a conviction, a trial. I wasn't sure whether the state attorney general had the guts to do it.

MATTINGLY: The case inspired the movie "Mississippi Burning." Federal authorities at the time charged 19 of the murderers but convicted only seven.

(on camera) Killen will remain in custody, due to return court next week. Local authorities say they will now consider adding security. David Mattingly, CNN, Philadelphia, Mississippi.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

ZAHN: And in our next half hour I'll be interviewing the mother of one of those slain civil rights workers about her reaction to this pivotal arrest today. Moving now on to some other stories.

In Graniteville, South Carolina, some 5,400 people will not be allowed back into their homes until Tuesday, that is at the earliest, after one of the country's deadliest chemicals spills in years. Eight people died and 250 became sick after a freight train carrying toxic chlorine gas crashed into a parked train around 2:40 in the morning on Thursday. The gas cloud may be responsible for all of those deaths.

The former finance director for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is in a lot of trouble with the law. David Rosen has been indicted on four counts of filing false reports with the Federal Election Commission. The charges stem from the dinner event in August of 2000 when Clinton was still the first lady. Rosen allegedly misstated contributions for that fundraiser.

And a federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit against Fox News filed by the parents of Jon Benet Ramsey. The Ramseys complained that the 2002 report about Jon Benet's murder said there was no evidence an intruder did it. The judge did not say the story appeared to be quote, "fair and balanced," but it was not defamatory. Next on our special report "Turning the Tide", new video of what it was like just after that enormous wave hit.

Plus saving the sea turtles washed away. The hatchlings. What's being done to protect some endangered species.

And miracle survivors. An orphanage swamped by the tsunami. A priest acts quickly saving lives, he said, to a higher power. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER (voice-over): This is a story, this is a disaster and these are images which have really captured the attention of the entire world and so much of that is the fact that there were so many different video cameras in so many places large and small capturing this storm from different angles. (audio gap) We have been every day getting new pieces of video that surface as people return from vacations, as people make their videos known. This video that you're about to see we saw today for the first time. It gives us a whole new look at what happened in one spot when the waves came in.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: It is tragic tale told in pictures. Here, hundreds of tourists visit a monument in India. The thought that a tsunami might hit, probably the last thing to enter anyone's minds though some says there was something strange about the sea. Moments later when 30-foot high waves washed over the walls and sent the tourists scrambling, a 16-year-old boy kept his camcorder rolling. "Suddenly people started shouting," he says. "I also started running. My father said, 'Climb up. The water is coming,' but I kept shooting.

Even after the wall of water appeared to obliterate the 133-foot statue, Anaket Kale (ph) kept on rolling.

When a crowd shouts to a lone man on a beach in Thailand seconds before he was washed away from the tide, the moment was caught on tape by another tourist.

In fact, so many of the pictures taken as the tsunamis slammed into the shores were taken by tourists. Vacationers who had a brought along their video cameras planning to record the beauty of their surroundings or to bring home some memories to share with friends and family. Instead they captured a horrific piece of history which many sold to news networks. There are reports that some pictures of the tsunami hitting can command as much as $20,000. As the tsunami ravaged a resort in Phuket and holidaymakers held on for their lives, there was someone there shooting the pictures.

When a disaster strikes without warning, the mainstream media is usually only on the scene in time to cover the aftermath. And so it falls to the amateurs armed with their camcorders to capture the first few shocking moments a few years ago would have been missed. Aniket Kale (ph), the teen that took these remarkable shots survived the tsunami and so did his family only realizing later that video was a document of history. His brother Sanket (ph) said "We have done something good and we have come back from the jaws of death."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Another man's footage is just as powerful. In the moments following the tsunami, long before most of the world even realized the extent of the damage and loss, he was here on the island of Sri Lanka recording it on tape. Brian Todd has his story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just two hours after the tsunami hit Sri Lanka a local man picked up a camera and recorded scenes of the deepest despair. Men, women and children trying to cope with almost unimaginable disaster. The man who recorded it later talked about his decision to take the pictures.

SKAJAM RAO, TSUNAMI SURVIVOR (through translator): My wife said, please don't go. Take your child and come with me. What do you want, your camera or baby. I said I want both. So I took one of the children in one hand and the camera in the other.

TODD: He walked among his friends and neighbors in an eastern coastal town that had 27,000 residents before the tsunami struck. Some of them managed to take refuge on rooftops but hundreds, perhaps thousands died. Survivors waded deep in water some of them carrying bodies. In a morgue there were cries of anguish.

Bodies were buried in mass graves in a trench in the center of town and covered by wooden planks it is estimated tens of thousands of Sri Lankans died in the tsunamis and 900,000 are homeless. These are some of the faces behind those numbers. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And a searing (ph) video to look at. Moving on to another story now. Sea turtles in danger. Their hatchlings destroyed by the waves. Will the endangered species be wiped out for good?

And then, a little bit later, a priest answers the call for help. Saving children's lives at an orphanage when the tsunami hit. Christiane Amanpour has that story.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Of course, we have been focusing, as we should, on the plight of humans in this tragedy but we have also been focusing a little bit on the plight of animals. And there are many animals in need. CNN's (audio gap).

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

HUGH RIMINTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In this rubble all that's left of one of the last hopes for five endangered species of turtles.

KITHSIRI KANNANGARA: The big waves, tsunami waves, they come in and wash all hatcheries, tank and everything is destroyed.

RIMINTON: Thousands of baby turtles were due to be released into the sea the very day the tsunami struck.

KANNANGARA: It was more than 20,000 turtle eggs ready for the hatching.

RIMINTON (on camera): And how many of those are saved?

KANNANGARA: About 400 we have been able to save.

RIMINTON: From 20,000.

KANNANGARA: Yes.

RIMINTON (voice-over): It's effectively a wipeout. Of his 18 adult turtles only six remain, some of them found up to five kilometers away washed into local rivers.

(on camera) Has this tsunami made them more endangered because of this destruction?

KANNANGARA: The tsunami left a lot of problems for the endangered species to protect, yes.

RIMINTON: This one adult loggerhead turtle was found badly hurt.

(on camera) So with this damage to the shell

KANNANGARA: The tsunami, they are hitting with trees.

RIMINTON (voice-over): Of the handful of rescued eggs some have now hatched.

KANNANGARA: One day old.

RIMINTON (on camera): One day old. This shell is really beautiful.

(voice-over) But his immediate concern is the loss of his critically endangered hawksbill turtles.

KANNANGARA: We had 11 of these ...

RIMINTON: 11 hawksbills and you've got just these two ...

KANNANGARA: Only two.

RIMINTON: That's a tragedy that so many died.

KANNANGARA: Sure.

RIMINTON (voice-over): After nearly two weeks another one is brought in. Its shell has been damage bid fresh water immersion. It appears stressed but Kithshiri is confident he can keep it alive and depleted as his stocks are, his work goes on.

(on camera): Well, there are so few of these survivors but Kitshiri says it is time for them to go off to sea so let's send a few of them on their way.

(voice-over) It is hard to believe a wave swept six meters high across this very sand.

KANNANGARA: They get experience for walking by putting them in the sand. RIMINTON (on camera): Here comes the water.

(voice-over) It is not the thousand hatchlings he dreamt of but the first ones since the tsunami. Much is now riding on their survival.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

ZAHN: They move pretty darn fast there. Hugh Riminton reporting for us tonight. Coming up next on "Turning the Tide", orphans saved when the wave hit, a priest comes to the rescue. That story from Christiane Amanpour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: So many of you at home have emailed us with concern about orphans, kids who have either lost one or both of their parents in the storms. Christiane, you have been looking into the plight of orphans here and there are many of them.

AMANPOUR: We have the story of what one priest describes as miracle. The last time there was a tsunami in the Indian Ocean it was nearly 200 years ago and there's no experience in this generation and no storytelling in this generation. But he tells us a story that conjures the awful power of this water and the quick thinking that led to him saving 26 orphans. This is his story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR (voice-over): These children really should be dead. The tsunami swamped their orphanage but they're playing and smiling thanks to the quick thinking of their caretaker, Father Dayalan Sanders. With monsoon rains now adding to the misery, Father Sanders took us across the lag on a to tell us how he and the kids escaped certain death at Nevaladi (ph) Beach.

The story starts early morning, Sunday December 26 with his panic stricken wife.

FATHER DAYALAN SANDERS, SAMARITAN CHILDREN'S HOME: She just burst into the room. I never saw her look so terrified. And I thought what could be this wrong for her to look like this. And she said the sea is coming.

Words defy description of what I saw. It was a massive 30-foot wall of water. Black in color. Just coming at us like a thousand freight trains charging at you.

I knew that I had to act fast and there was no time to think and I got to get the children out.

I came here. I was shouting at the top of my lungs. They came and I ran, I carried and I just threw them over their fence.

AMANPOUR: Their only method of escape a small boat tied up behind the orphanage. Safe now in a friend's home, the youngest remember how terrified they were.

"I was in front. We saw the wave coming," says Vincent, "I got down in the boat. I'm still afraid." Esau says, "We ran to the boat. I saw a car slammed against the sea. The sea was black. I was so scared." And Pria (ph), who is 15-year-old says that when the wave came and lashed the boat from all sides, we were all crying and praying to God to help us. That is when this man of God made a desperate test of faith. With 32 people, 26 of them children in this tiny boat, he turned to the wave.

SANDERS: I stood up. I raised both of my hands and I said, "I command you in the name of Jesus to stop."

AMANPOUR: Whether the hand of God or just good fortunate, the engine was on the boat.

SANDERS: We never leave the outboard motor on the launch. This is the first time we have done that, it has happened to us.

AMANPOUR: And for the first time, Stephan (ph) the boat man got it going on the first try.

SANDERS: He just yanked the starter rope and with one pull it started. I said this is what happened. I called upon my God. I prayed. And my God answered my prayer.

AMANPOUR: But the drama wasn't over. They still had to outrun the wave.

SANDERS: There is no power on earth that could resist the force behind this water of body. The only safe place was right on top of it. I was determined that I'm going to get on top of that.

AMANPOUR: He ordered Stephan to turn around and charge the overloaded 15 horsepower motor straight at the wave. An hour and a half later, they all floated into a town of Batikaloa (ph) drenched, spent but alive.

(on camera) This east coast took the full brunt of the tsunami it is hard to imagine but nearly half of all of the victims here in Sri Lanka have been children. And for days after the tidal wave struck, parents would come and walk up and down these beaches hoping that the sea that had seized their children would at least return their bodies.

(voice-over) This school is just one of the many shelters in Batikaloa (ph). Some parents have come with their children but hundreds of children are still missing. This woman has lost one of her daughters and the waves of grief show no sign of subsiding.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was cooking in the kitchen and when she saw the water coming in, she ran but she lost her two children. She also lost her sister and her brother in law and two children.

AMANPOUR: Father Sanders saved the children in his care, but his parish is in desperate pain.

SANDERS: Now half the children are not here. Half the people are not here. I will take you and I will show you stories. My immediate neighbor, he lost his wife and two of his children. Now yesterday he drank poison and he is in the hospital in critical condition.

AMANPOUR: And the sorrow of another neighbor who tried to save his sister and mother from the swirling waters.

SANDERS: He said at one point he had to make a decision, I mean which -- I mean whether to save the mother, hold onto the mother or the sister and then he finally decided that he was going to hold onto the mother and he, you know, just let go of his sister and that, you know, is tearing him apart even now.

AMANPOUR: Father Sanders will not bend under this terrible sadness and loss. He had built this place as a refuge for the orphans of Sri Lanka's civil war.

SANDERS: I built this brick by brick, every penny, you know, I saved I put in here, 20 years of all my labor just vanished in 20 seconds right in front of my eyes but I'm not giving up. I'm coming back for the sake of the children and I'm coming back for the sake of the villages. I'm just going to rise like the Phoenix.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR: Now, Father Sanders is Sri Lankan, but he's an American citizen. His mother, his siblings live in the United States. And they're sending back private funds to help him try to rebuild.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: So he probably will be able to rebuild.

AMANPOUR: He will. He obviously needs -- he needs more money, but he hopes that he will and he is not going to leave. So that's good.

COOPER: We're joined by Soledad O'Brien, who is standing by in Phuket, Thailand.

Soledad, orphans obviously here a big focus of people's attention. Same situation in Phuket, no doubt.

O'BRIEN: You know, absolutely.

In fact, there's a similar story here in Phuket, actually. A group called World Vision, which is a relief organization, has a housing facility for street children. And they told a similar story, that the facility where these kids live and stay utterly devastated by the tsunami.

But, fortunately, that morning, the kids had all gone out on an outing. And when they returned home, they saw the tsunami hitting. They were able to turn the bus around quickly and get out of there. Right now, what they're trying to do is just clean up and raise funds, so that they can rebuild their very heavily damaged facility.

AMANPOUR: Soledad, I just wanted to ask you, some of the stories that you've been reporting and other correspondent about these tourists who have been separated from their children, babies in many cases. Do you have any sort of updates of whether any of these children and parents have been reunited?

O'BRIEN: At this time, we don't have any good news to report, I'm sorry to say.

And, of course, as I think Anderson said in that last hour, you know, the countries differ and the languages differ, but the stories are the same. And what's more heartbreaking than the story of a mother or father who doesn't have the strength to hold on to their child who looks at them and says, I'm afraid, I'm afraid, help me? Heartbreaking.

Unfortunately, there is no good news to report. And I think, at this time, many of the people who are searching for their loved ones have now resigned themselves to being hopeful for just any news about any remains. They think that not knowing what happened, not having any little bit of closure, anything to hold on to would be the worst- case scenario. So, no, there is just lots and lots of heartbreak, not only here in Phuket, Thailand, and other areas right around here, but as you well know and have been reporting for this last week and more, really, everywhere.

It's a disaster that's affected easy to say millions and millions of people -- Christiane.

COOPER: When I was back in the states last week, it seemed hard to figure out, well, if they have photographs of people that died, why can't they be identified? Yesterday, I went to a hospital. And I know you have been at the places, too. You actually see the photographs of the dead. And there are hundreds of them. And they're completely unrecognizable. Some don't even look human, it's horrible to say. The water robs people of any dignity in death.

AMANPOUR: Well, I'm just going to tell you something.

Yesterday, I received an e-mail, Soledad. That's why I asked you. And I received an e-mail with a little picture of a 2-year-old boy who looked blond, who probably was a European. Nobody knew who he was. He couldn't say who he was, obviously, 2 years old. They don't know what country he's come from. So I've been e-mailing this picture around because I have seen a report about two distraught Norwegians, a couple who have lost their 2-year-old kid.

And I'm going to e-mail it to you in Thailand. I don't know, but any little shred of hope, perhaps, any little information might be able to help.

COOPER: And so many people still missing. At this point, it is hard to really wrap your mind around. Soledad, we'll talk with you in a little bit, Christiane as well.

Our special coverage continues. A lot more ahead. Stay with us.

ZAHN: And from back here in New York, we move on.

In this disaster, there are so many areas we've yet to see, so many people whose stories have not been told. Our correspondents and crews remain throughout the region. We'll continue bringing you stories you are not going to find anywhere else.

And coming up in this hour, the story of a 13-year-old boy suddenly facing a man's world of worries and problems.

But, first, we want to bring you up to speed on some of the latest developments.

The overall death toll confirmed by CNN has passed 155,000. Revised numbers from the U.S. State Department show a total of 37 Americans believed dead. The number of Americans unaccounted for has been reduced to 1,870. Secretary of State Colin Powell weeklong visit to the disaster zone ended today with a visit to Sri Lanka. He told our own John King -- quote -- "No briefing book, no TV picture can convey what really happened here."

The secretary returns home, reports to President Bush on Monday.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan also toured the devastated region today. He told reporters -- quote -- "I have never seen such utter destruction, mile after mile."

World governments and ordinary people also trying to help. More than $4 billion in aid has been pledged. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says corporate America has collected more than $187 million in donations.

The main mosque in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, which was built in the 1600s and survived the disaster, reopened for prayers today. It had been used as a makeshift morgue. About 2,000 worshipers heard Indonesia's chief cleric preach that the disaster may have been punishment for forgetting Allah and his teaching. He also asked everyone to be patient, kind of a tough message for everybody to listen to.

There's much more ahead tonight from Anderson Cooper, Aaron Brown, stories of people pulling through one of the worst disasters of our time.

ZAHN: Meet this man. His name is Nasir. He is trying to comprehend his incredible loss. Still, fate has one more twist in store for him. And it could be good news. These villagers trying to outlast desperation, waiting to start rebuilding their lives.

And then the story of these Americans coming the aid of thousands of hungry and grateful survivors -- all that still to come.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: All those pictures packing a punch.

We want to show you now another still photograph that conveys much more than we could ever put into words. This one is from India. But in this little boy's loss and silence and contemplation, we see a story that's being repeated over and over in country after country. What's to become of the children?

From Banda Aceh Indonesia, Alex Quade has the story about another boy whose whole world changed when the sea roared ashore.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALEX QUADE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Life for Nasir is hard, orphaned, his family and village gone, swept away by the tsunami. While other children swim, 13-year-old Nasir scrubs laundry. Just getting by is a daily struggle with work and memories.

NASIR, TSUNAMI SURVIVOR (through translator): I saw people running on the road. They were screaming, the water is rising. I told my sisters to follow me. I saw the top of a palm tree already in water. I ran to the mosque to save us. Then the mosque was hit by the wave and the water came in.

I had my two sisters on my left. They kept calling for my mother. More water came in. After 10 minutes being underwater, they couldn't breathe and were limp. I didn't let go of their hands. I held them tight. Then I couldn't breathe anymore, so I let go. I was forced up by the water. Somebody saved me.

QUADE: Nasir ended here in a refugee tent with three other families. He cooks.

NASIR (through translator): I want to buy vegetables but have no money. All there is is rice and dried fish.

QUADE: Throughout it all, he feels guilty.

NASIR (through translator): The last time I saw my father was when he said goodbye before going to work. He gave me pocket money and said not to spend it all. Take care of your sisters, he said. Then he left. Half an hour later, the water came.

I'm very sad to lose my sisters, whom I love so much. The last time I saw them, they were yelling, mama, mama and holding on to me in the water. I didn't want to be separated.

QUADE: Two days ago, his life changed again. The mother he thought dead showed up at his tent, Nasir, an orphan no more.

NASIR (through translator): Before I found my mother, I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep at night. Every day for a week, I went on searching for my mother. I was elated when I saw my mother. Now I can eat. I have my appetite back after I was reunited with my mother.

QUADE: She helps him wash for prayers, but is to depressed to do much else.

NASIR (through translator): I am responsible for my mother now. She can't work. She thinks about my sisters. They're gone. When the tsunami came, my mother almost surrendered. She wanted to die with her children.

QUADE: So now he must work even harder to care for them both. He doesn't mind. The only thing missing, his sisters and father.

NASIR (through translator): I miss my father's hug. I want to apologize to him. Maybe I did something wrong. I miss my father.

QUADE: Alex Quade, CNN, Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: A little boy with a giant hole in his heart.

In Banda Aceh, as in many other areas, the cleanup after the tsunami is beginning to show some signs of progress. But even with a massive effort, getting lives and livelihood back on track is not easy. That story when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: And welcome back to our special report, "Turning the Tide."

My colleague Aaron Brown joins us from Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

Aaron, you have been telling us over the last couple of days how complicated it is to distribute this aid. Have you seen any progress from where you stand?

AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, you know, look, I mean, you measure progress in funny ways.

And every helicopter that goes out with water and medicine and food is progress. If you're looking for some big sea change, no. But another village gets fed or another refugee camp gets set up and food gets delivered, another wound gets healed, and that -- you measure progress in a kind of simple or small way.

But it's -- in fact, nobody knows that better than Dr. Cesar Campo, who is a surgeon, a Spanish surgeon. He's with the Spanish medical team that works here.

When you walk up and down the line here, the Aussies, the Americans, everybody says, talk to the Spaniards, because they are the ones who have really done the work. And the doc here has been doing the work.

What kind of wounds principally and injuries are you seeing?

DR. CESAR CAMPO, SURGEON: Well, we are seeing very dirty wounds, because they are people that was affected by the tsunami. And then we are the first attendant that are looking for them, you know?

Then those wounds are very, very dirty, very infected. And we have to do a work for cleaning, for debriding. It's (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

BROWN: All you can -- is it right that all you can really try to do is try and stabilize the patient and hope for the best?

CAMPO: Yes.

Our first work is to stabilize the person and give the first aid here in Banda Aceh. Afterwards, the persons can go to hospitals in Medan, in Banda Aceh, or can go to the refugee camps after our work.

BROWN: Just a quick final question, Doc. What are their chances, generally? Do you think most of them will make it, some of them will make it? What do you think? Will they live?

CAMPO: Well, no, I think all of them will -- won't do, won't live, because there are many people very, very ill. We try to do our best with them with our work, cleaning, debriding, fixing fractures, using antibiotics and so, then -- but we don't know when another doctor or us will review them.

BROWN: I know you've got a lot of work to do. You have got a patient in there now, Doc. Muchos gracias, senor.

CAMPO: Thank you very much.

BROWN: Thank you.

CAMPO: Thank you.

BROWN: We appreciate it.

We were talking a moment ago about how you measure progress here. A helicopter goes out, that's progress. You see a heavy piece of machinery come into the city to start clearing the rubble, it's a -- the rubble, the mess here is so vast, it doesn't seem like much to start clearing a block. But it is a small measure of progress.

Atika Shubert was out on the bridge that we were broadcasting from the other day, and she, too, found small measures of progress, small measures of normalcy.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Aaron.

What we find is that people are starting to get back to normal life, but it's going to take a long time. There just isn't the kind of equipment needed to clear the area quickly. So, we did is, we went to some of the areas that were hardest hit in Banda Aceh to see how they were dealing with the clear-up. And this is what we found.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHUBERT (voice-over): Friday prayer in the great mosque of Banda Aceh, the first area to be cleared of debris and bodies. The faithful come to pray. Soldiers stand on guard. Signs of life returning to normal. In the market, shops still in ruins, but order has been restored. Residents line up patiently for food and for water dispensed by Australian soldiers.

(on camera): Residents still live amid the wreckage. Heavy moving equipment is hard to come by and it may take months for any of this to even begin to be cleared.

(voice-over): Boats are still marooned in the center of town more than a kilometer inland. The most spectacular wrecks have become something of a tourist attraction for visiting aid workers.

Here we found Mohammad Amwar Illas (ph), a fisherman watching over his family's boat jammed atop a bridge. He was fishing four kilometers offshore in another boat when the tsunami struck, feeling nothing but the rise and fall of a large wave. He came back to this. His home and his parents gone, he focuses on salvaging what he has left.

"If I can, I'll build another boat. The engine still works," he says. "We will have destroy the rest of this to get the engine. I just don't think anything else is usable." Mohammad figures it will take six months for his life to return to normal. He waits every day for a cleanup crew to arrive, but they're not stopping here today.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SHUBERT: Now, there are still some more encouraging signs this morning, Aaron. Actually, supermarkets are starting to open and that's a good thing, but it is going to think many months yet.

BROWN: Thank you.

Every day, another piece of heavy machinery moves in. Every day, the area inches towards recovery. But you're talking about three months before, four months maybe, before bodies are all cleared out of the city and really years before anything approaching what was -- and what was wasn't all that great -- but what was is recreated again -- Paula.

ZAHN: Aaron, we're reading here that in the province where you're spending most of your time, they're beginning to see outbreaks of cholera and malaria. What can you tell us about what you've seen in the refugee camps you have visited?

BROWN: Well, Atika may weigh in here, too.

You know, the conditions are ripe. I mean, you have all of the ingredients for a horrible outbreak of disease. You've got a lot of standing water. The water table, without getting too technical here, is so high that it's just -- standing water is all over the place, mosquitoes all over the place. And so, all of the things that create a health disaster are in place.

And while there are actually a lot of doctors here, there's not necessarily -- I'm trying to think of the best way to say this -- there's not necessarily a system set up to get patient to doctor. And so cholera spreads very quickly. And if that were to happen, then -- you've got the worst disaster that anyone can imagine and that would only make it worse.

ZAHN: Well, we hope things improve there, given the speeding up of the distribution, as you've talked about.

Atika, Aaron, thank you so much.

When Anderson and I come back, Black Hawk choppers on a mission of mercy. We're going to show you how American forces are bringing hope to desperate tsunami survivors. And American families who sponsor children in the tsunami zone now wonder if they have even survived. CNN.com tries to make the connection as our special continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: And welcome back to this CNN special report, "Turning the Tide."

In this half-hour, we are going to take you on a ride-along with American Marines in a Black Hawk helicopter on a moving mission of mercy. That's coming up in this half-hour.

Right now, let's go back to Paula Zahn in New York -- Paula.

ZAHN: Thanks so much, Anderson.

Also coming up from here, the ocean was their life. And after so much destruction, can they summon the courage to trust it again?

But first, we're going to catch up on the day's most significant stories from outside the tsunami zone.

A political fund-raiser for Senator Hillary Clinton's 2000 campaign has been indicted. David Rosen is accused of making false statements and submitting a false document to the Federal Election Commission. A just released statement from his attorney predicts Rosen will be cleared once all the facts are known.

A jury of four officers and six enlisted men was chosen today in the court-martial of Army Specialist Charles Graner. Opening statements and testimony begin Monday. He's accused of being the ringleader in the abuse of Iraqis held at Abu Ghraib prison.

Talk show host and commentator Armstrong Williams says he made a mistake when he took $240,000 from the Department of Education to promote the No Child Left Behind reform law. Well, today, Williams told CNN he understands how some people would feel that that was unethical.

The passions and sacrifices of the struggle for civil rights in America are back in the news again tonight. In Mississippi, an old man was brought to court earlier today to plead not guilty in the killings of three young civil rights workers more than 40 years ago. News crews also crowded around the man's relatives. You will see here one of them snapped. He chased down a news photographer and ultimately was pulled away after a struggle sparked by new developments in an unsolved case involving one of the most brutal killings of the civil rights era.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN (voice-over): More than a dozen suspects were arrested after the three murders which rocked the nation 40 years ago. Edgar Ray Killen was one of them.

During the summer of 1964, civil workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney were campaigning to register black voters. Cheney's brother Ben remembers that their mother was worried about his civil rights work.

BEN CHANEY, JAMES CHANEY'S BROTHER: I remember now, also, all the stories she would tell my brother in a way to try to protect while he was out doing what he was doing in the movement.

ZAHN: One night the three activists were forced off the road by members of the Ku Klux Klan and taken to a deserted spot. One was beaten to death. The other two were shot dead at point blank range. The killings were dramatized in the movie "Mississippi Burning." Their bodies were found six weeks later. Local and state prosecutors failed to indict a single suspect. Federal prosecutors did manage to convict seven people but only on conspiracy charges. Killen was freed after his jury deadlocked and he has always denied any involvement in the crimes.

Today's arraignment brought some joy to James Cheney's brother, Ben. But he said the case is far from closed.

CHANEY: That regardless, how long it takes, the wheels of justice turn. Usually turn very slowly. Extremely slow. But you have to be persistent.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And joining me from her home here in New York is Dr. Carolyn Goodman, the mother of Andrew Goodman, one of three civil rights workers killed in Mississippi back in 1964. Thank you, so much, for joining us. I know you have been hoping this day would come for almost 40 years. What does it mean to you that Mr. Killen is arrested for the murder of your son?

DR. CAROLYN GOODMAN, ANDREW GOODMAN'S MOTHER: Well, this is a day, as you said, and I waited 40 years, that I was hoping would come and knew it would come because we live in a country of laws and he broke a law.

ZAHN: There was a long battle to reopen this case. Did you ever lose hope during those very long decades?

GOODMAN: No. ZAHN: No?

GOODMAN: No, no. I had faith.

ZAHN: And besides your belief and trust in the justice system, what else gave you faith?

GOODMAN: Well, actually, my son did. Because Andy was the kind of young man who also believed, because I don't think he would have gone to Mississippi to register African-Americans if he didn't believe in the fact that they would have gotten the right to vote and they did.

ZAHN: Take us back to that summer of 1964. I know that you were very concerned about his safely. When Andrew told you he was heading south to help in the registration of blacks.

GOODMAN: Yes.

ZAHN: What were you worried about?

GOODMAN: Well, I was worried about the fact that there were a lot of people who were opposed to that idea. And that he could very well have ended up in -- gotten beaten up and ended up in a prison. And been hurt. But, we certainly didn't have any idea that he would have been killed. We didn't have any thought of that at all.

ZAHN: The simple reopening of the case has reopened some old wounds and one of the attorneys involved in the civil case from many years ago was quoted as saying this, "I think this is a sad day for Mississippi. This is going to open up old wounds. People will look at one another differently. I never thought it would surface again." You see it quite differently. Do you really believe this will heal wounds?

GOODMAN: I was in Mississippi not long ago. And I tell you the truth. There are a lot of victims whom I met when I was down there and they all believe that it is going to come out in their favor. And they all are very positive.

ZAHN: What do you want the audience to know about your son and his passion for this issue?

GOODMAN: Well, what I'd like them to know is that he was a young man who in his youth lived through a period of fascism, of narcissism knew what the possibilities were and was willing to risk his life to go south, risk his life because while he didn't expect to have his life ended, but he knew it was going to be a serious matter and work for the good of all American.

ZAHN: What kind of sentence would you like to see handed down for Edgar Killen, the man accused of murdering your son?

GOODMAN: Well, yes. I would like to see him off the streets.

ZAHN: Dr. Goodman, when you say off the streets, do you mean in prison?

GOODMAN: You know, I guess that's what it has to be.

ZAHN: You would object to the death penalty, wouldn't you?

GOODMAN: Yes. Very much. I mean, if I would recommend the death penalty, that would mean that I would recommend happening to him what happened to my son. And I'm opposed to that. I'm totally opposed to capital punishment.

ZAHN: Dr. Carolyn Goodman, thank you for joining us. I know this has been a long day coming for you. I appreciate your joining us.

GOODMAN: Quite welcome.

ZAHN: And from civil rights and the pursuit of justice in America, we'll take you on a mission to save lives in Sri Lanka. The U.S. military reaching out to some of the most isolated people in that island nation when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Welcome back to Sri Lanka. Earlier today, a U.N. official said that by this weekend every person in Sri Lanka will have received some sort of aid large or small. Secretary of State Colin Powell, of course, has been touring the disaster zone. He was in Sri Lanka yesterday. CNN's John King spoke with him about what he saw.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: No briefing book, no television picture, really, can convey what really happened here. To drive through the town, to see all these fishing boats that have been tossed up on the shore, to see an 800-ton freighter that literally was taken out of the ocean and simply plopped on a wharf and sits it there until something big enough can come along and get it off.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Of course, the U.S. is leading the way in so many ways in this relief effort. CNN's Satinder Bindra went along on a mercy mission aboard a Blackhawk helicopter. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SATINDER BINDRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the story of a mission. Three Blackhawk helicopters tasked with carrying USAID relief supplies to Sri Lanka's east coast. U.S. marines and Sri Lankan soldiers work side by side loading thousands of pounds on to each helicopter, working energetically aware many will die if these supplies don't reach them on time.

Once the helicopters are loaded, cameraman Sanjee (ph) and I hop on. As we fly east, the helicopters must avoid the supply planes coming west. An hour and a half later, we touch down in a school soccer field. The crew is quick to offload, helped by local residents, hungry for attention, hungry for care.

Hundreds watch. Another Black Hawk arrives. Within minutes, all are safely on the ground. A human chain is formed, unloading boxes marked, "Gifts from the people of the United States."

Policemen try to control the crowds. The crowds win. Hundreds swarm the U.S. helos. Dozens board this helicopter. Airmen and charging policemen back them off.

(on camera) These U.S. Air Force helicopters are normally used for search and rescue operations. Here, they've been deployed to carry plastic sheeting and jerry cans (ph) for the people of Ampala, the worst affected area in Sri Lanka.

(voice-over) From the air, we can see that Ampala's low lying coast has been completely destroyed. Hundreds of thousands still living in relief camps. They're quick to thank their benefactors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are very happy, but we want more, more.

BINDRA: The Black Hawk crews realize these supplies are just a start for people who've lost their families, homes and livelihoods.

We take off, again, in great haste. The Marines are silent during the journeys home. The pride that only comes from a job well done is enough is enough.

It's too loud for microphones. So I chat with crewmember Tiffany Gabbard (ph) from Clinton, Utah, the old fashioned way. She tells me it's her birthday. I ask her what the happy faces on the ground meant to her.

"It made me feel proud, and it was the best birthday present for me ever," she writes.

For two days, she's seen only endless destruction from the air. Now she can afford a breather, catching a herd of elephants disturbed by the helicopters.

As the trip winds down, the crew realizes this mission means more than just saving lives. It's a step towards rebuilding the image of an Army and a nation that has taken a beating in Asia since the Iraq war.

Satinder Bindra, CNN, on board a U.S. Black Hawk in eastern Sri Lanka.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And there are, of course, so many missions like that by the U.S. and by other countries. The outpouring of concern and aid has been overwhelming -- Paula. ZAHN: Anderson, over the last couple of days, you've talked a lot about the vulnerability of the orphans left by the tsunami, and there were a lot of reports that there were kidnappings, alleged kidnappings, kids being sold in the sex trade, kids being auctioned off for adoption.

Can you provide any context for us tonight about what percentage of these stories have any truth to them at all?

COOPER: Yes. It's interesting. I don't have a percentage for you. But I can tell you, we spent all day yesterday tracking down one of these stories.

It's been big in the local papers here in Sri Lanka. Two children, a little boy and a little girl, 7 and 5, kidnapped. They were rescued from a -- their overturned car, taken by motorbike and never seen of again.

I mean, this was a story which was on the front-page headlines here. We spent hours tracking it down. We went to the site. We talked to the people that rescued the kids and it just turns out not to be true.

And you really get a sense of sort of the fog of war here, almost, the fog of disaster. You know, hearsay and rumors just spread like wild fire. And I don't know if all of these stories have similar endings and all of these stories are kind of, you know, one person saying, well, maybe this is happening and it sort of just mushrooms.

But it certainly seems like that from this one story we investigated. We're going to bring that to you on Monday. It's a pretty revealing look at how rumors end up being reported as truth.

ZAHN: Can be many months before we know any of them are true. Anderson, thanks so much. Come back in a little bit.

For centuries, the sea has run deep in the hearts of those living on South Asia's coast, and it has helped link their ancient cultures with the western world. Lives taken and given by the sea right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Finally getting some much needed help there. For those who survived the tsunami, it's going to take time and a lot of hard work to rebuild their lives. It will also take a lot of courage, especially for those who made their living on the ocean.

Here's Ram Ramgopal with a reporter's notebook from southern India.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RAM RAMGOPAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For hundreds, even thousands of years, the Tamil people have gone out on to the high seas, venturing as far as Europe and Java and Sumatra to trade spices and Jewelry.

That tradition continues, though much closer to shore. The Tamils, who live along this coast of India are fishermen. Tossed about in their small boats, they brave the elements just to earn a basic living.

As a Tamil myself, I've always been intrigued about why these fishermen were willing to risk everything for so little, about why the trade is still passed from generation to generation, along with the vessels.

Sometimes it's not even a fiberglass boat; it's a group of logs tethered together, a kattumaram in the Tamil language. That word, ironically, is the origin for the English word catamaran, now applied to sleek, luxury yachts.

Centuries ago, foreign maritime powers came to this coast, drawn by the spice trade. All along the Bay of Bengal coast, the symbols of empire remain. This old Danish fort battered by time, ignored by the tsunami.

Nearby, this tower, part of a 13th century Hindu temple, has collapsed. But strangely, inside the temple, the shrine to the Hindu God of destruction, Shiva, is intact.

Awareness of the sea runs deep in this culture. Every great Tamil epic speaks about the bounty of the ocean and its brutality. The great flood is an idea that comes up again and again in Tamil myths. Three times, the epics say, the Tamil land was destroyed by the sea.

This time, the land is still standing, but the faces tell their own stories of deep loss and suffering. Moved from their homes, these families of fishermen rely on the kindness of strangers for all their needs. For a people as proud as the Tamils, that is difficult to take.

In one home, with no roof and barely a wall, a woman tries to carry on the daily business of living. She even offers our cameraman food from her own meager supply. Hospitality has not faded, even amid adversity.

The fishing boats are not going out to sea. The Tamil nation has emerged from tragedy before. As it will take time to restore peoples' trust in an ocean that has claimed so many lives.

"We should return to the seas," one Tamil poet wrote this week. "To fish, to travel but never to dissolve the ashes of the dead."

Ram Ramgopal, CNN, Chinmaya (ph), India.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: The tsunamis have left tens of thousands of people just not knowing if loved ones are still alive, and among those who are feeling that unique pain are people who have sponsored children through charities such as Save the Children, World Vision and the Christian Children's Fund. And some of those people have contacted CNN.com looking for help.

Joining me again tonight, CNN.com's Veronica De La Cruz.

Hi, Veronica. Welcome back. I know that we've mentioned the linkages CNN.com is making with some of these families. Has there been any luck with these families locating children they've sponsored?

VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN.COM QUICKCAST: Well, Paula, among the tens of thousands of e-mails we've been receiving here at CNN.com, we actually got this e-mail from Joe in Kansas.

Joe wrote into us, "Seeking whereabouts of Mounica, resident of an orphanage hostel in Repalle Gunturn District in India? Child I have sponsored for years, thank you!"

And, Paula, through CNN.com, Joe was actually able to get in touch with a pastor who works at an orphanage 13 kilometers away from where Mounica lives. He is familiar with the area and he does believe that Mounica is all right.

Now, Mounica turns 11 on Sunday, and Joe has mailed her a birthday present and is hanging onto hope that she is alive.

ZAHN: Well, we're keeping our fingers crossed here.

You have another story about a family who is still looking for their sponsored child. What can you tell us about that?

DE LA CRUZ: That's right. Suzanna and her family e-mailed us this appeal from Colorado. They say, "I'm eagerly waiting to hear news on a child I sponsor by the name of Kasun. He will be 4 years old in April. I love him and his family very much. They live in Lunugamvehera, which is 105 miles from Colombo."

Now, Paula, I spoke with Suzanne today. She says she still has yet to hear if this child and his family are alive. She's worried sick. She spends all of her time on the Internet. She's watching the news.

She told me Kasun and his family write to her all the time. Kasun draws her pictures of his hands so she can see how much he has grown. He's a very, very cute child.

And, Paula, so you can get an idea of how much Suzanna loves this child, she told me earlier, "I may have not grown this child in my belly, but I have grown him in my heart." And then, and then she started crying when she was talking about the uncertainty of Kasun's fate.

ZAHN: This is amazing the attachments people form through e- mails and letters.

And just a quick reminder, and you can tell us just a little bit more about how people can make contact with CNN.com for more information.

DE LA CRUZ: All right. Well, you can actually e-mail your appeals to tsunami@CNN.com. We're still accepting them. Also, you can log onto our special report at CNN.com/tsunami.

ZAHN: Thank you so much, Veronica.

DE LA CRUZ: Thank you.

ZAHN: Appreciate your report.

Time to check in with Larry king. Yes, we are about six minutes away from the top with his show.

Are you ready, Larry? And can you give us a preview?

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": I'm always ready, Paula. I'm always read.

ZAHN: We know that about you.

KING: Diligence, that's the secret, Paula.

ZAHN: That's why you've been at this so long.

KING: That's right, awhile.

ZAHN: Do we want to tell how long you've been at this?

KING: Forty-seven years.

ZAHN: That's fantastic.

KING: Nice -- no picture -- I still -- I don't know what I want to do when I grow up.

ZAHN: That's a problem to have. Especially successful as you've been.

KING: Paula, thank you.

ZAHN: So what are we going to see tonight?

KING: We're going to have top religious leaders -- Muslims, monks, Catholics, Jews, Deepak Chopra from India -- discussing God and the tsunami.

And you, then, at 10 p.m. is your special -- oh, Brian Wilson is with us, too. He's got a friend that's missing over there. You've got a special at 10 p.m., "PEOPLE IN THE NEWS," dealing with all this, right? Survivors?

ZAHN: Yes. We -- we kind of look back at the tsunami through a time line and then hear survivor stories. And then we hear reporters' takes on what they witnessed. It's a pretty compelling hour of television. I highly recommend it, Larry, if you have nothing to do on this Friday night.

KING: I will look forward to it, and I'll see you in a week in New York.

ZAHN: All right. See you in about five minutes. Thank you, Larry King.

We're going to take a short break here. I will be right back with Anderson Cooper.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: And welcome back. I'm back with Anderson, who has been in Sri Lanka all week.

And as I've watched you very carefully, Anderson, it's just so obvious how deeply affected you have been by the horror of what you've seen, by the beauty of some of what you've seen. And I know you filed your thoughts in a reporter's notebook on some of the challenges that lie ahead.

COOPER: Yes. It's been -- it's been a privilege to be here over the last week and to meet these people who are facing this disaster with such courage and with such desire to live and a sense of endurance.

We've been followed around this week by a photographer, Brent Stirton (ph) from Getty Images. He's been taking sort of pictures behind the scenes, and that is our -- tonight's version of "Reporter's Notebook." Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): You find yourself getting used to the desolation, the flotsam and jetsam of life before the wave. We've been broadcasting out of an abandoned hotel. The Christmas decorations still hang all around.

You find yourself after awhile not wanting to ask more questions. It feels like too much has already been said. The words fail to have any meaning. They fail to get at the scope of the loss.

At times, it's best to just stay silent, let what you're seeing sink in.

The room is nearly empty except for some tiny chairs. This is a classroom where children died.

I didn't know what to say to these people. Their children were dead. They're holding their photos. I looked each of them in the eye said, "I'm sorry for your loss." It comes out sounding so small.

We were in a hospital searching for two missing kids. I had their school photos and was trying to compare them to the photos of corpses. Nurses were scrubbing the floor. Hundreds of dead had been laid out in this room. They drain blood and fluids into the floor. This was the third time the hospital had tried to scrub the stench out. I'm not sure they'll ever be able to.

That smell, that rot, coats your hands. It seeps into your skin. You feel you'll never get clean.

The mass graves don't look like much when you're there. Upturned earth stretching as far as the eye can see. There are more than a thousand people buried right here.

Two women who live nearby told us they're scared, scared the ghosts of the dead will haunt them at night.

None of this is pleasant. It's not an easy story to tell. The emotions are palpable, and you can't help but be changed: moved by these faces, by their stories, their pain, by the dead and the living, by the will to endure.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Those images from Brent Stirton (ph) of Getty Images -- Paula.

ZAHN: And they get you right here when you see them. Anderson, I'll be back with you again next week. Travel safely. I'm going to be back a little bit later with a prime time edition of "PEOPLE IN THE NEWS: VOICES FROM THE TSUNAMI." That gets underway at 10 p.m.

"LARRY KING LIVE" is next. Deepak Chopra joins him to talk about the role of faith in the face of catastrophe.

Thanks so much for joining us tonight.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


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