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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Rioting Continues Beyond the Paris Suburbs; Powerful Twisters; Ambition: Secret to Success; Queen of the Night Sees the Light; Modern-Day Piracy; Woman Mysteriously Disappears While On Royal Caribbean Cruise; Tyra Banks Dons Costume To Try to Understand Obesity
Aired November 7, 2005 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER (voice-over): Plus, with Paris burning, we take a 360 look at riots and how they can ration out of control.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It becomes a feeding frenzy in mob psychology.
ANNOUNCER: As mob violence rages for the second week in France, we look at how a spark of violence can erupt into incendiary riots the world over.
And, ambition may be the secret to success, but what exactly is it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Genes do influence your ability to be hard working, persistent, ambitious and over achieving.
ANNOUNCER: From the Donald to Oprah, to Britney Spears, what separates them from well, almost everyone else?
This is ANDERSON COOPER 360. Live from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Thanks for joining us on the second hour of 360. Here's a look at what's happening at this moment.
In southern Indiana, searchers have been draining a lake, looking for more victims of this weekend's overnight tornado. The death toll rose to 22 when a body was found there today. A trailer park near the lake was destroyed in the storm.
For the 12th consecutive night, violence has broken out in France, though initial reports seemed to indicate that is less severe tonight that on previous days. The French government says it will deploy more police and will allow mayors to declare curfews. Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department is warning Americans traveling to France to be on alert. More on this story in a moment.
U.S. Navy personnel have boarded a luxury cruise ship that two days ago was attacked by pirates off Africa's coast. They cleared unexploded ordinates from the ship's tourists. Meanwhile, went back to scheduled events, with the sightseeing tour some islands in the Indian Ocean.
And Australian authorities have arrested 17 people in Melbourne and Sydney on terrorism charges. Police say they believe they are significantly disrupted plans for a terrorist attack in Australia. The arrests come after an 18-month investigation.
More now on the violence that has spread beyond the suburbs of Paris, across France and beyond. Tonight, the rioting continues. Despite enormous police effort. Today, the prime minister imposed curfews under a state of emergency law and called for reinforcements to help contain the violence.
And what has spiraled out of control can be traced to a rage that has reached a boiling point. Up to 10 percent of the population in France is Muslim, and many say they have had enough. CNN's Christiane Amanpour is there with a "Back Story."
CHRISTIAN AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): It's the worst social unrest in France since the 1968 student uprising. The mayhem started in the bleak and neglected housing project just beyond the Paris city lights. An explosion of anger by the disaffected youths who live here after two or their own were electrocuted while hiding from what they believe was a police chase.
(on camera): The government built these apartment blocks after World War II, when they invited in tens of thousands of immigrants from Africa and Arab countries to fill low-skill jobs. At the time, this was a step up from where they had come from. But now, the jobs have gone. And people are left here without basic services, with second-rate education, and worse: with no employment. Indeed, the unemployment rate in these outer city ghettos is four times the national average.
(voice-over): As another nervous night falls on these graffiti garbage strewn blocks, we tried to get some answers. These young people tell us they do not support the violence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's impossible to explain it.
AMANPOUR (on camera): But Kareem (ph) says it's the only way they can express themselves. They are angry and upset. They're saying they're fed up. Fed up with a life, says Abdul Aziz (ph), that is just dreary survival. There's nothing for us, no jobs, he says. When we look for jobs, employers look at us. They want to know our origin, our address, and that's the end of that.
(voice-over): The French Revolution's famous promise of levity, equality and fraternity has failed these young people who were born in France and have nowhere else to call home. Instead of integrating, they are now increasingly turning towards their own.
Back at the housing project, 54-year old Musera (ph) tells us the authorities alienate these young people. As soon as the cops see a group of youngsters, she says, they start chasing them. They ask for their papers. When the kids shout that they're French, the cops insult them and throw their papers on the ground.
We hope it will improve, says Kareem (ph), but the authorities have to do their part. They have to do something for the young, to help them instead of leaving them to rot in these ghettos. They need to help us get jobs and improve our lives. Then things will calm down.
AMANPOUR: So, as well as saying he's going to get tough and imposing curfews, the prime minister implicitly recognized the problem when tonight he also said that more money and more resources need to be poured into these outer areas, into these ghettos, after two years of cutting back resources to those places -- Anderson.
COOPER: Christiane, you know, we heard from a lot of people there in your piece, talking about what the government needs to do. From the government perspective, do they feel that a lot of these people need to assimilate or do a better job of assimilating into French culture?
AMANPOUR: The government doesn't see any other types of ethnicities here. It does not recognize them officially. Everybody here who is an immigrant and who is a French citizen is French. No further questions or investigations. But, there's not even an immigrant or a black M.P. here or anyone from the North African countries, not a single of France's 37,000 mayors are from the Arab or African countries. And that level of the population feels alienated.
COOPER: Christiane, where does this -- what happens now? I mean, I've heard that the violence was less tonight, though there still a number of incidences. I mean, how bad is it still?
AMANPOUR: It's not as bad tonight as it has been over the last 12 nights. It was really a rage, sort of a flame that caught fire and spread across the country very rapidly like a flash fire -- more than 300 cities. And tonight, it seems to have calmed down. At least that's what we're hearing tonight. We can't predict whether it will continue that way, but incidents in just two or three of the cities around France tonight.
COOPER: Christiane, a very early morning or late night for you. Thank you for staying up with us. Thanks.
The violence sweeping France is astounding, but not unprecedented. Every riot begins with a single spark, something that sets off a rage, deeply felt by many. But what is it exactly that causes some outbreaks of violence to spiral out of control, to take on a life of their own for groups of people to join in? CNN's Randi Kaye investigates.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Los Angeles, 1992. Riots erupt after a jury clears four police officers in the videotaped beating of Rodney King. Seattle, 1999. A crowd of 40,000 converge on the city during the World Trade Organization meetings.
And now Paris, 2005. Who are these people? Why did they take to the streets? It's years or resentment, feelings of discrimination, exploitation that are suddenly ignited by a single incident.
SUSAN FISKE, PROFESSOR, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Anger is a reaction that people have when some harm has been done to them and they perceive that harm to be intended by somebody else and to be illegitimate.
KAYE: Psychologist Susan Fiske discounts the term mob mentality. She says rioters are individuals, but are searching for a strong group identity to support their outrage and help them be heard.
FISKE: All of us go along with other people like us. We take our cues for behavior from other people who are around us. We do what other people around us are doing.
KAYE: From the outside it may look irrational, but rioters believe in their cause. They believe they can effect change.
FISKE: It's important for people to try to understand how what these people are doing might seem -- from their perspective -- might seem like a logical, rational thing to do. It's too easy to dismiss them as irrational and emotional and a mob, but they are people too. And from their own particular perspective, this is what has to be done.
KAYE: But at what price? A rioter's passion is a challenge for police who must decide quickly how to respond.
HOWARD SAFIR, FORMER NYC POLICE COMMISSIONER: You have to do containment. You have to make sure that you have adequate force that is (inaudible) enough to deal with the people who are going to commit violence, but not so outrageous that is confrontational.
KAYE: Professor Fisk says it's mostly young men who riot.
FISK: They don't care whether they're breaking the law or not. I think the point is that the law and the larger societies' rules and norms are not so relevant to them in that moment.
KAYE: For centuries, rioters have raised their voices and will continue to raise their fists. The media will continue to capture their anger. In the end, what will be accomplished? More violence and in Paris, death. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Well, here in the states, a tragically familiar story. Nature has once again caused a lot of destruction and a good number of deaths. Today, searchers in Vanderburg County, Indiana, pulled out a body from a lake near the mobile home park that was destroyed overnight Sunday by a tornado. The death toll now stands at 22. But the lake is still being drained. So more bodies might be found. Meanwhile, others are beginning the task of cleaning up, trying to salvage whatever they can from whatever they had.
Although, we may never get used to these images of destroyed homes and lives, tornados are a way of life, especially in the U.S. CNN's Rob Marciano looks at some of the worst.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): It's incredible! It is huge!
RON MARCIANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Perhaps there's nothing as terrifying as a twister, a killer that comes from the sky with little warning -- until it's almost on top of you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): There's a tornado right out my back door! You can see it! Oh my God!
MARCIANO: It strikes indiscriminately, wiping out some homes, while sparing others nearby. The United States is the tornado capitol of the world. On average, 1,000 tornados strike each year -- 1,000 tornados, killing on average about 80 people and injuring about 1,500.
The deadliest tornado to ever strike the U.S. hit in March of 1925. The twister, called the Tri-State Tornado, traveled more than 300 miles through Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, killing nearly 700 people, injuring more than 2,000. That tornado was classified as an F5. The strongest on the scale used by the National Weather Service. And while F5 tornados tend to have wind stronger than 261 miles per hour, the scale is based on the amount of damage they cause.
DAN MCCARTHY, NOAA STORM PREDICTION CENTER: It does look like a war zone. It looks like an absolute -- like a nuclear bomb went off or something like that. Because any structures that are left, they just don't exist.
MARCIANO: Putting its power in perspective, last month's Hurricane Wilma, the most intense hurricane on record, had winds of 175 miles an hour.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Unbelievable!
MARCIANO: The strongest F5 tornado ever recorded had winds as high as 318 miles an hour. It touched down six years ago, near Oklahoma City, causing more than a billion dollars in damage.
It's still hard to tell how powerful a twister can be. There's no way to directly measure the stronger storms, because they literally destroy the weather instruments in them. As for the most active month of tornados on record, well that was just a couple of years ago -- in May of 2003, more than 500 twisters struck. Typically, most twisters touch down here, in what's called, "Tornado Alley." An area stretching from North Dakota to Texas, as far west as Wyoming and as far east as Ohio. But they're not limited to one area or one season.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tornados can strike at any time of day, any time of the year. When you're in a mobile home or whether you're in a permanent structure, if a tornado makes a direct hit, they can cause a lot of damage.
MARCIANO: A lot of damage -- that's an understatement here at the East Brook mobile home park in Evansville, Indiana, you see behind me -- 220 of the 320 mobile homes here, either damaged or completely destroyed; 18 of the 22 fatalities happened right here. That doesn't include the over 350 injuries that were reported to the hospital.
There is one Red Cross shelter that has opened up for the displaced, but most of those folks we are told tonight are staying with friends and families. So if that's what it looks like if you're in or near a mobile in park, how about if you're just standing out and site it? Across the street from that is a forest. Many of the trees completely snapped off, but you can see just here pieces of the mobile homes, fences, pieces of the roof and insulation peppering this forest, just like shrapnel from a bomb. Just inconceivable to imagine what it would be like to be out in this tornado.
As far as warning is concerned, they had 10 to 20 minutes. That's all. I mean, even with the fanciest Doppler radar and warning systems we have, that's all we can do for tornados and obviously, if you live in a mobile home or even a home that's not that secure, that kind of warning is not going to do you much good. So, even though they're very random, Anderson, and with that little warning time, there's very little unfortunately you can do. And this one struck in the middle of the night.
COOPER: It's amazing. Yes, I mean, to think it'd be here at 2 a.m., you're at home asleep in the trailer and this thing hits, no warning. Rob, thanks.
Coming up next on 360, in this group of kids -- take a look. Can you spot the ambitious ones? Well they're far away, so you probably couldn't even if you knew what to look for. Tonight, what drives ambition? Does it help to be rich or poor, male or female? What do you think? And can you turn a slacker into a go-getter? We'll take a look at the secrets of ambition. And the answers are, well they're too good not to share.
Plus, lost at sea. A woman who boarded a cruise ship in Seattle, bound for Alaska and back -- no one has seen her since and the cruise ship never even informed her family she was missing.
This is 360. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back to 360. The subject is drive. No question some people have much more than others, but why? Where does drive come from? Ambition -- why are there people who just can't be stopped and people who can't really get started? Our colleagues at "Time Magazine" have made the fascinating subject of ambition their cover story this week. And we've worked with them to look into where exactly the will to succeed comes from.
COOPER (voice-over): From Donald Trump to Oprah Winfrey, to Britney Spears, ambitious Type A personalities share one thing in common -- an insatiable drive to get ahead.
DR. ROBERT CLONINGER, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHIATRAY & GENETICS: These people are extremely goal oriented; and once they set a goal for themselves, they will do everything in their power to achieve those goals.
COOPER: They may come from poverty or privileged, from small towns or from the projects. But by most accounts, they start young. Oprah asked to start first grade at five, and then skipped second grade the next year. Tiger woods began listening to motivational tapes at the age of six. Martha Stewart catered neighborhood birthday parties as a grade schooler. And President Bill Clinton beat out 1,000 other boys to win a trip to Washington at the age of 16.
Which raises the question -- are some of us more hardwired for success? The latest research shows that genes do play a significant role.
CLONINGER: We've studied the inheritance of ambition persistence and found that it's about 50 percent heritable. So that means that genes do influence your ability to be hardworking, persistent, ambitious and over-achieving.
COOPER: But the other big factor that determines ambition is the environment we grow up in. Our families, culture, class and gender. Studies show children who are expected to succeed, but treated kindly if they fail, tend to be more ambitious. And if you're born first, that matters too.
CLONINGER: There is a tendency for the first-born child in a family on average to have more ambition than later-borns in the family. And they're more likely to achieve more, they have higher aspirations for themselves.
COOPER: And if you think rich people are the most ambitious, think again. Studies show it's actually the people in the middle and upper class who become the biggest stars. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Dell and the duo behind Google. None of them grew up rich.
And the notion that women are not as competitive or ambitious as men, no longer holds.
CLONINGER: I can say very clearly that women are just as self- directed as men. There's no difference at all in how purposeful and resourceful men and women are.
COOPER: Studies do show differences about how men and women express their ambition, however. Women often excel in people-oriented businesses and fields that rely more on communication, cooperation and empathy. It looks like Oprah and Martha were ahead of the curve. (END VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: Joining us now to talk to us some more about the latest thinking on the subject of ambition, "Time Magazine" Correspondent Jeff Kluger, here in New York; and in St. Louis, Missouri, Washington University Professor of Psychiatry and Genetics Dr. Robert Cloninger. I appreciate you joining us. Dr. Cloninger is the author of, "Feeling Good. The Science of Well Being." Gentlemen, thanks for being with us.
Dr. Cloninger, let me start off with you. You say you can tell by the age of three, whether a child is ambitious or not. How can you know?
CLONINGER: Well, you can just observe their energy level, the fact that they like to keep busy, that they seem to take joy in what they accomplish -- no matter how small or big it is.
COOPER: Jeff, can parents mold the child one way or another? I mean, can they take someone who's a slacker and make them a go-getter?
JEFF KLUGER, TIME MAGAZINE CORRESPONDENT: Well, you can certainly create an environment in which an ambitious child can flourish. And some of the key things to do are to set tough, but attainable goals -- goals that are a challenge, but that a child won't inevitably fail in pursuing. You can applaud successes, you can go easy on failures and you can also applaud the process -- the thought process, the strategy, the tactics the child goes through to achieve goals. Because at that age, remember, it's not so much about getting there as much as it is the route you're --
COOPER: Can parents go too far? I mean, you know, you heard about Tiger Woods listening to motivational tapes at the age six.
KLUGER: Yes, that seems certainly excessive to me. That motivation should come from -- organically from inside the child or the parent can impart it a little more gently than that. But the idea of imposing external motivational devices like that is just too much and it's going to smother a child.
COOPER: Dr. Cloninger, in the research that you know, I mean the body of literature out there, you know, you take Pop Culture Icons Donald Trump, Martha Stewart, people who are wildly ambitious often linked to not being so nice in reality. I don't know about these two, I've never met them. But I mean, is that -- are things like greed, materialism, corruption -- is there any linkage there to ambition?
CLONINGER: Well, certainly if you are very persistent, ambitious, that can fuel greed. But you don't have to be greedy in order to be ambitious. You can combine your ambition to help others to do good for people. And in fact, often we combine a sense of hope and purpose and meaning that's bigger than ourselves with the sense of ambition.
COOPER: But ambition doesn't always translate into success? KLUGER: No, it doesn't. Ambition can sometime -- well, first of all, it depends on how we define success. Certainly there's monetary success, but there's also the success that comes from fulfillment and comes from being satisfied and feeling joyful with what you do. Successful people can be successful artists, say, and earn very little money. On the other hand, people who earn enormous amounts of money can be terribly unsuccessful. The way you measure success is in a sense of satisfaction and gratification.
COOPER: But just because you are driven and have ambition, it doesn't mean you are efficient enough to achieve success in whatever it is -- financial success or artistic success or personal.
KLUGER: That's exactly right. You have to have some sense of incremental milestones. Some ability to measure your progress, to set goals, to achieve those goals and then to move the goal posts a little bit further and further along. One of the reasons that children do so well in sports is because sports are so infinitely quantifiable. You can cut one-tenth of a second off your sprint time and you've learned something about focusing on a short-term goal as a step to a longer- term goal.
COOPER: It's a fascinating article in "Time." Thanks for being with us. And Dr. Cloninger, as well, thank you very much for joining us.
Time now for a quick check on the headlines. Here's CNN's Erica Hill in Atlanta -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Anderson. Here we go. Voters heading to the polls tomorrow across the country in both state and local elections. In Virginia, it's a close race for the governor's mansion. A close and nasty race for governor in New Jersey. Ballot initiatives in California; and in New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg expected to win reelection in romp.
In Vietnam, another fatal case of bird flu. That makes number 42 for the country so far. In the meantime, the Chinese government has ordered the immediate shutdown of all 167 live poultry markets in Beijing.
Back to state side, a little relief at the pumps. The average price of a gallon of gasoline, now standing at $2.43 -- that 23 cents a gallon lower than two weeks ago. But, just to put it all in perspective for you, 41 cents higher than a year ago.
And you can say good bye to Prince Charles and Camilla. They're heading home tomorrow after their sweep across the colonies. A bit less glamour, compared to the days of Diana, but plenty of substance and certainly very age appropriate -- Anderson.
COOPER: It certainly is. Thanks very much, Erica.
Coming up on 360, the queen of the night sees the light. Anne Rice, writer of all those steamy vampire novels produces a volume about the seven-year old son of a couple named Joseph and Mary. We'll talk about the new direction for Anne Rice, ahead, with her.
And pirates are just characters in children's stories, right? Wrong. They do exist in real life and they have reared their very ugly head. We'll explain what happened at the high seas.
Across America and around the world, this is 360.
COOPER: Here's a multiple choice question for you: If you want to learn more about the early days of Jesus Christ, would you turn to (a) your priest, (b) a scholarly reference book, or (c) a new novel by a woman who's made quite a reputation for herself and quite a fortune by writing about vampires? With the correct answer, here's CNN's Faith and Values Correspondent Delia Gallagher.
DELIA GALLAGHER (voice-over): She was queen of the damned. Captivating millions with grim tales of the undead.
(ON CAMERA): This is very dramatic. This is the Anne Rice of "Interview with a Vampire," and the Anne Rice of Christ, the Lord. How do we get from vampires to Jesus?
ANNE RICE, AUTHOR: Well, I think it was all part of a quest. You know, I lost my faith when I was 18. I wrote, "Interview with a Vampire," when I was about 34 years old. And I was an atheist and obviously, the book is just filled with grief and sorrow and darkness and it has to do with a mourning for a lost faith, the lost religion. It was a portrait of me mourning for my lost faith, really.
GALLAGHER (voice-over): What? It's as if somewhat the great writer was suddenly possessed -- but not by evil.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to give you what you need to get well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: Listat, the vampire, made even more famous by Tom Cruise in the film version, is perhaps her greatest creation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're a vampire who never knew what life was until it ran out in a red gush.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: Anne Rice admits she's been lost in the darkness, but now --
RICE: I say my rosary before I get out of bed. I say the five Joyful Mysteries.
GALLAGHER: Rice has embraced Catholicism and all but abandoned those dark themes that made her famous -- and rich.
Her new novel is titled after her newest hero, "Christ the Lord out of Egypt." It's methodically researched. A depiction of His childhood.
(on camera): That return to the church, that conversion was in 1998?
GALLAGHER: Was it a moment?
RICE: No, I think it was a long time in coming. And I was wrestling with all sorts of theological questions. And finally, it hit me. He would have to resolve any of these questions. You really don't have to find the answers. You're not teaching theology at Loyola, you're just
RICE: Was it a moment? No, I think it was a long time in coming. And I was wrestling with all sorts of theological questions. And finally it hit me; you don't have to resolve any of these questions. You don't really have to find the answers. You're not teaching theology at Loyola. You're just you. And just go to confession, tell the priest that you want to go back. That you believe God is on that alter and you want to go to Holy Communion again. And I did. That's what happened.
GALLAGHER (voice over): In her life, and in her work.
RICE: And I wanted write about Him and I didn't want to do anything else. Nothing else was as important anymore. I wanted to go for the ultimate, which was to put any talent I had in his service. Than I began to realize the depression is gone. The depression that was just part of life for me, the depression, the anxiety and the fear, they're gone.
GALLAGHER (on camera): What was it, though, that made that depression lift?
RICE: Oh, I think the resolution that I would hold nothing back. You know, as a little girl I wanted to be a saint. And I really didn't want anything small time.
GALLAGHER: Have you accomplished that?
RICE: No, of course not. I'm nowhere near. I'm a deeply flawed human being with a terrible temper. You know --
GALLAGHER: You still strive for it though?
RICE: Absolutely. That was the whole idea, was to go for it. You know, to sit there in church and say I won't hold anything back. It's all for you.
GALLAGHER (voice over): But will readers follow Rice from the prince of darkness to the prince of peace?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm curious, curious.
GALLAGHER (on camera): How about your fans base?
RICE: Some of the readers of the "Vampire Chronicles" are unhappy. You know, they want the vampires to come back and they don't want anything else. I've tried to tell the, please give this a chance. You may find this has more in common with the other books than you think. This is also a supernatural hero. This is also an outcast. This is also an outsider. And this is an exceptional human being that teaches us about our humanity.
COOPER: Was there one event that made her return to Catholicism?
GALLAGHER: Well, you know, she said it was a journey. It was something that was progressive and she had been married to an atheist. And so she went through a sort of period of atheism. She lost her daughter. And she had several sort of moments of kind of coming back to the church and then she said she just had one moment in the church in 1998 and she said she was going to dedicate the rest of her life to Jesus and to this work.
COOPER: And that is something that continues long after this book. I mean, this is not --
COOPER: Not a conversion for part of research?
GALLAGHER: This is -- the reason this is so interesting is because it is both a personal and professional conversion as it were. I mean, she just sort of personally went back to the church. But then she decided also to put this into her professional life and decide from here on out -- and I mean, what a dramatic change, that she is going to only write about Jesus. So this is a first of a sequel of books.
COOPER: No doubt there will be a movie. Who does she want to play Jesus?
GALLAGHER: Absolutely. One guess. Who does she want to play Jesus?
COOPER: I have no idea.
GALLAGHER: It's not Anderson Cooper. COOPER: Ah.
GALLAGHER: She wants Johnny Depp.
COOPER: Oh, OK?
GALLAGHER: She said Johnny Depp is the guy that she thinks is going to be perfect for the role and she thinks he's a wonderful actor and she wants to talk to his agent. And hopefully he'll take it.
COOPER: All right. We'll see. Delia, thanks. Delia Gallagher.
Still to come tonight on 360, he's safe in port tonight after surviving an attack by pirates. The drama on the high seas that could have ended much differently. We're going to talk to a man who saw it all unfold because he was on the ship.
Also, a woman who never returned to port after setting off on a cruise to Alaska. What happened to her and why didn't the ship notify anyone she was missing? 360 continues.
COOPER: And welcome back to the new 360. A cruise ship attack by pirates, we'll talk with one of the passengers. First, a look at what's happening at this moment.
Five U.S. soldiers have been charged. They're accused of punching and kicking detainees awaiting movement to a detention facility. The alleged incident happened on September 7. Charges were filed over the weekend.
Pentagon officials say five more suspected terrorists held at a Naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will be tried before a military tribunals. They face charges ranging from destruction of property to murder. Today's development means that of the 500 or so detainees being held at Gitmo, nine now face an actual trial.
And in Shreveport, Louisiana, after a 78-hour nationwide manhunt, an escaped Texas death-row inmate has been captured. Charles Victor Thompson was found last night outside a liquor store, apparently intoxicated. He had waived his extradition and right to counsel and should be transferred back to Texas soon.
Coming up now, a pirate's story. A modern pirate story took place off the coast of Somalia, in Northeast Africa. Some of the riskiest waters in the world when it comes to piracy. Norman Fisher was one of about 300 passengers aboard a luxury cruise ship. Safe in port, tonight, after running into pirates over the weekend. Pirates that were armed with AK-47s and rocket propelled grenades.
We spoke with Mr. Fisher earlier tonight, and I started by asking him at what point did he realize something was terribly wrong?
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) NORMAN FISCHER, SURVIVED PIRATE ATTACK: Well, I heard a cracking sound outside the window. I had been awake for about 10 minutes. Looked out the window and saw these five guys in the boat. Two of them waiving what I now understand to be AK-47s, they appeared to be rifles or something like that.
One of them just sort of waving at us. I didn't really understand what was going on. At that moment I hadn't realized it was -- quite how serious it was. But then it was a couple of minutes later when one of them actually started firing the rifle -- the gun, directly at the ship. And I also realized the guy at the front of the boat was carrying what I'm told was an RPG. I could definitely see it was some kind of rocket launcher.
COOPER: (on camera): Did you see them firing the rocket launcher?
FISHER: I did. Yes, it wasn't immediate. That was a few minutes later. But I saw the flash and heard the bang as the launcher was fired. I could see, fortunately, what it wasn't being aimed directly at me. It was slightly above and to my left.
COOPER: Obviously Somalia is a very dangerous place. I spent a lot of time there over the years. Did you have any fear when you heard the trip was going to that part of the world?
FISHER: No, I must say I didn't. I mean, I had heard stories of some piracy of cargo ships. But my understanding is that we were in normal shipping lanes, that our sort of craft -- and I'll tell you, there are no government warnings that I'm aware of saying that we shouldn't have been there. And certainly I had no qualms in advance. I was perfectly happy to take the cruise as I would be again.
COOPER: You know, I think a lot of people were surprised when they hear that there are pirates, still. And this is probably going to be a moronic question, but what do these guys look like? What do pirates look like now?
FISHER: Well, these guys just looked like regular guys. It was difficult to tell in the light, they were certainly dark skinned. It was difficult to tell whether they were black skinned or olive skinned. But you know, just normally, as people in those sorts of boats are. They certainly didn't look anything out of the ordinary. They could have just been ordinary fishermen.
COOPER: But you're pretty sure these were Somali men?
FISHER: Well, I wouldn't like to say where they were from. But certainly, I have no doubt in my mind that this was piracy, and not, as I think some people have suggested, some kind of terrorism. I think if it had been terrorism, they'd been far more organized and attacked us in a different way.
COOPER: Well, the pirate attack was one example of how the sea can be a very dangerous place, even when you are riding on a luxury cruise ship. The following story is another example. It is a mystery of a woman who left Seattle on a cruise and never came back.
COOPER (voice over): She was, her father says, vivacious. And at 41 financially independent, Merrian Carver loved to take cruises.
KENDALL CARVER, MERRIAN CARVER'S FATHER: I would say cruises were probably Merrian's most favorite activity. I mean, she was very sophisticated, loved to get dressed up, and she really like to take cruises and that is something she did probably, maybe once a year.
COOPER: A year ago last August, Merrian Carver, divorced, and the mother of a teenager, boarded the cruise ship, Mercury, in Seattle, bound for a seven-day cruise to Alaska and back. It was the last time her parents, her ex-husband, and her daughter ever saw her again.
K. CARVER: She did not tell me she was booked on a cruise. And I -- she didn't necessarily -- Merrian was a private person, wouldn't necessarily share everything she did. I have four daughters. They don't share what they're doing this coming weekend. Merrian did not share that with me.
COOPER: This grainy black and white photograph from a security camera is the last known image of Merrian, taken as she boarded the ship. Only one day out of Seattle, the cruise line says the steward assigned to her cabin reported her missing to his supervisor. Each day, the steward later said, in a deposition, he reported her missing. And each day, he said the supervisor's response was the same, quote, "You do your job. You continue to do your job."
For its part, the cruise line says they do not monitor guests. And it is not uncommon for people to stay in rooms not belonging to them.
CAROL CARVER, MERRIAN CARVER's MOTHER: We had no idea where she was, whether she was -- where she was. I mean, it is just, you know, unbelievable that you could lose somebody.
COOPER: Her father says Merrian Carver had been emotionally distraught because of her divorce. And at first, they didn't even know she was missing, because she hadn't told them of her plans. The first, they say, they knew of her disappearance was when they're granddaughter phoned.
K. CARVER: Their daughter called me and said that she'd tried to call her mother. They talked, I don't know, every day or every other day, and didn't get an answer. She said, do you know where mother is?
COOPER: They did not. But they ultimately filed a missing person's report with police here in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Merrian lived in this apartment building. The police checking her credit card purchases, learned about the trip onboard the Mercury. Purchased, said the cruise line, only two days before departure. The first time anyone knew for sure she was missing.
K. CARVER: So, I called the cruise line. And said, gee, you know, our daughter has bought a ticket on your ship. Was she on your ship? And about three -- roughly, three days later -- we're now 27 days into the time this had started -- they called back and said, yes, we've got her bag in storage. We found it in storage. It has her name, her Social Security number, it has some computer discs in it. And you know, we'll mail it to you.
COOPER: Not until September 30, more than a month after the disappearance did the cruse line file this report with the FBI. A disappearance the company says it was not aware of until the family intervened.
C. CARVER: The whole story is the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line just absolutely -- every time we turned a corner trying to find a piece of our puzzle, trying to find out daughter, we were the only ones interested.
COOPER: Well, still to come on 360, more on the mysterious disappearance of Merrian Carver. Should the cruise line take responsibility?
Plus, what's up with supermodel Tyra Banks? Why she went out of her way to put on an awful lot of weight. Across America, and around the world, this is 360.
COOPER: Welcome back, before the break we told you about Merrian Carver, a cruise loving woman who set sail from Seattle a year ago, and disappeared. Her family has been grappling with the mystery, trying to find out what happened to her aboard that ship and hoping that somehow, some way, they may find her alive. The investigation has only lead to frustration. A lot of it directed at the cruise line their daughter traveled on, because the cruise ship never informed them that she was missing.
K. CARVER: There are other people involved in that corporation. There is a board of directors, who have some responsibility to the passengers. And I would hope that they would say, gee, we've got to make sure this doesn't happen to some other family in the future.
COOPER (voice over): For Ken and Carol Carver the disappearance of their 41-year-old daughter Merrian, onboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Mercury, has been both emotionally and financially devastating. They say they've spent 75,000 in fees for attorneys and private investigators in the 15 months since she disappeared. The Royal Caribbean ship she sailed on was crowded, 2,000 passengers. A floating small town.
KRISTOFFER GARIN, AUTHOR, "DEVILS OF THE DEEP BLUE SEA": There is one thing you have in every small town in the country, which you will never see on a cruise ship and that is the police. An impartial third party, whose job is to investigate and solve crimes with no financial conflict of interest.
COOPER: Kristoffer Garin is the author of a newly released book on the big cruise lines.
GARIN: This is not something they like to see. It can cost their cruise line hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, an hour a day, when they have to stop these cruises for an investigation.
COOPER: The Carvers have filed a lawsuit alleging negligence against Royal Caribbean, and because of it, the company said in a statement to CNN that it was, quote, "somewhat limited in what it could say in response." It said the Carvers have suffered, quote, "an inconsolable loss", but added, cruise line authorities believe that Merrian Carver, quote, "appears to have committed suicide on our ship".
Her parents say that even if Merrian did jump overboard -- and Carol Carver, for one, does not believe it -- it is immaterial. Authorities on the ship, they say, should have quickly informed them of her disappearance.
C. CARVER: We're hoping that maybe some people that were on the ship, maybe someone is out there seeing this program, that maybe they saw something that might tell us, you know, what happened to Merrian. Did they see her get off at one of the ports? You know, was she, maybe -- you know, you'd think in the middle of the night, was she drugged? You know, someone could drug her and literally walk her off the ship.
COOPER: Royal Caribbean fired the supervisor who failed to report Merrian Carver's disappearance. But added, sadly, "even if he had shown better judgment -- which we wish he had -- there is no reason to believe we could have averted the tragic outcome."
She is not the first American to disappear at sea on a cruise ship. According to a magazine, the "Business Journal of Jacksonville", eight other passengers have disappeared in the past five and a half years. A small number among the millions who have taken vacations at sea, say cruise ship operators who insist they can't monitor the comings and goings of their passengers.
GARIN: The cruise lines do not take responsibility for their individual guests. They check in as adults, they behave themselves as they behave themselves.
COOPER: There will be congressional hearings about all of this, about Merrian Carver's disappearance and about the disappearance of a young newlywed from Greenwich, Connecticut, George Allen Smith, who disappeared while on his honeymoon on a Royal Caribbean vessel, off the coast of Turkey.
(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: We'll keep you updated on the story.
Just ahead on the program, what happens when a super model says, super size me. Tyra Banks as you have never seen her before, I can guarantee that. 360 continues.
COOPER: It has been said you can't fully understand the pain of others unless you walk a mile in their shoes. That's what super model Tyra Banks had in mind when she strapped on a fat suit and waited to see how the world would react. Here's CNN's Sibilia Vargas.
SIBILIA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Recognize this woman? How about now? Lot's of people didn't recognize super hot, super model Tyra Banks as a 350-pound woman.
TYRA BANKS, SUPER MODEL: As soon as I stepped off the bus I saw three people turn and laugh right in face. I was stunned.
VARGAS: That's right. The first African-American model to grace "Sports Illustrated Swim Suit" edition, host of "America's Next Top Model" and one of "People" magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People in the World", was treated like anything but beautiful.
VARGAS (on camera): You said it was a heartbreaking experience?
BANKS: You're going to make me tear up. It just was heartbreaking because it was so in your face. You know, it was so in my face, and I'm like -- I couldn't believe it.
VARGAS (voice over): Banks says she decided to put on the hefty fat suit and prosthetics to feel what it is like to be overweight.
BANKS (voice over): The most important thing for this to work was that the suit had to be me, only bigger -- 200 pounds bigger.
(on camera): Just when he started putting the neck on, I got emotional. I got emotional. I wasn't like I got emotional, like looking in the mirror and seeing myself, and -- Oh, that not so attractive. It wasn't that. It was almost like a precursor. I knew -- I had a feeling about what was going to happen that day.
VARGAS: Hidden cameras captured her experience for the "Tyra Banks Show" as she hit two trendy LA spots.
BANKS: The first door I walked into was the popular celebrity boutique, Itsol (ph). Walking in, I felt a bit uncomfortable. As I walked through the store, I felt the cold stare and I even heard snickering from some people shopping.
VARGAS (voice over): And watch what happens as she meets one of three blind dates. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BANKS: I'm not sitting here desperate, but as you can imagine I'm a big girl and I have to live this life being a big girl. Oh, you don't have to imagine? What do you mean, you don't have to imagine?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can see. I have eyes.
BANKS: Yes, well, that wasn't nice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANKS: The first guy had to take a shot. I sad down, he immediately ordered a drink. And later he told me he had to take a shot to get through it.
VARGAS (voice over): Banks says the experience changed her life forever. And she now has a greater appreciation for what obese people live through.
(On camera): You could take that off.
VARGAS: But another person might may not be able to do that.
BANKS: Another person cannot take it off. You know, not overnight at least, like I could. Not in the matter of -- it took me a couple of hours to take it off, actually, they can't do that. They can't do that.
VARGAS: Sibilia Vargas, CNN, Los Angeles.
COOPER: Yes, we're calling this next segment -- I don't know, what are you going to say? We're calling this next segment, "On the Radar". We're calling that because radar is modern. Pretty good, huh? It is a look at what's out there, before it gets here. Get it? "On the Radar" tomorrow, the president's first day back at the office after a rocky trip to South America.
Topping his agenda, a photo op with this year's Nobel Prize winners. That's the easy stuff. He's also -- let's see he's got the battle with the Senate over torture, a fight with the Supreme Court over military tribunals. Supreme Court confirmation sniping from the Left and the Right. Well, there's an old saying, if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog. Problem is he's already got a dog.
He's already got a Chalabi, too. That's Chalabi, Achmed Chalabi, the deputy prime minister of Iraq. But also the guy, you might remember, who supplied a major chunk of the intelligence about Saddam WMD program that got us into this war. In case you've forgotten, the intelligence, not so good. So why is this guy even allowed back in Washington, you ask? Let along rubbing elbows with the secretary of State on Wednesday? We'll look into that tomorrow.
Prince Charles may not have a dog or a Chalabi, but he's got a goat. There it is, sort of. They were introduced on an organic farm in Berkley, California. He won't get to bring the goat home, unfortunately. He's going to go home goatless. He and Camilla head back tomorrow, after a swing through the states that may have lacked for glitz and glamour like the old days, but made up for in substance. And with a certain sense that these two kids really do dig each other in a very dignified British sort of way.
Coming up next on 360, more coverage. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Thanks for watching. "Larry King Live" is next.
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