Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Families of Katrina Victims Still Waiting For DNA Tests; President Bush and the Hard Sell on Iraq; Webcam Saves Mother's Life
Aired November 29, 2005 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening again, everyone
It doesn't get any plainer than this tonight. The victims of Katrina still are not getting the respect they deserve.
ANNOUNCER: Outrage in New Orleans -- they promised weeks ago to pay for DNA testing of New Orleans' unidentified dead. They said the problem was solved. So, how come no DNA testing is being done, while hundreds of families are left waiting to bury their lost loved ones?
President Bush and the hard sell on Iraq -- tonight, the president prepares to explain his strategy, but is the White House saying Iraqi troops are more ready than they really are?
And a dramatic intercontinental rescue. A mother installs a Web camera to save money on long-distance charges. But what her son saw from so far away ended up saving her life.
ANNOUNCER: This is ANDERSON COOPER 360. Live from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: And good evening again.
Another outrage in New Orleans, but, first, here's what's happening at this moment.
In Iraq, an American aid worker and three others have apparently been kidnapped. Al-Jazeera aired video of Thomas Fox of Virginia. He and the other three are with a Christian relief organization. They disappeared on Saturday in Baghdad. The captors call themselves the Swords of Justice and claim the four men are spies.
Also in Iraq, insurgents kidnapped a German woman and her driver.
In Virginia, he would have been the 1,000th inmate executed since 1976. Instead, his life has now been spared. Governor Mark Warner has granted clemency to Robin Lovitt. His death sentence was commuted to life in prison. Warner gave him clemency because evidence that could have been used for his appeal was destroyed.
In Georgia, the woman who married a 15-year-old is boy has been charged with statutory rape. Lisa Lynnette Clark was also indicted on child molestation. She is pregnant with the teen's baby. Under Georgia law, an adult can marry a minor if she can prove he is the father of her child.
And across the Plains, a blanket of white -- the first blizzard of the has season arrived in a big way. More than 20 inches of snow is reported in some parts of the Dakotas, and thousands are without power -- more on that later.
On the battlefield, we should tell you, there's a motto among Marines and soldiers, all branches of the military: Leave no body behind. If a comrade falls, you do whatever it takes, risking even your own life to recover them, to bring them home.
Well, there are battlefields here in this country as well. And, in New Orleans, many of the fallen have been left behind. In New Orleans tonight, right now, there are 150 of our fellow countrymen, citizens whose bodies are still lying in refrigerated trucks, unidentified.
They are mothers and fathers. They are sisters and brothers. And they deserve dignity and burial, and they haven't been forgotten by the hundreds of relatives who are in hotel rooms right now, in shelters, and in rented apartments not their own, waiting to bring their loved ones home.
Now, you may remember, about three weeks ago, we were told that, finally, the state and FEMA had stopped quibbling over money for DNA testing. We were told the money was coming; the testing would begin.
Well, tonight, we have found out that has not happened. Tonight, we are "Keeping Them Honest."
CNN's Drew Griffin has the latest.
Drew, what is going on?
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Another bureaucrat snafu -- frustrating, you bet. Two hundred bodies now, Anderson, is what we have been told. That's the bottom line, bodies that remain to be identified. And the DNA testing that could put names on these people has not even begun. The coroner in charge, tonight, we talked to him just a few minutes ago, Dr. Frank Minyard, is calling this yet another travesty.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. FRANK MINYARD, ORLEANS PARISH CORONER: It's extremely frustrating, thinking that it's been so tough to get the dental records, because the dentists' office were all wiped out, too.
And, so, you know, we have to rely on DNA, and it should have been done, you know, at least started, a month ago. But it hasn't been. And, so, now we just have to wait. And the families, of course, are the ones who are suffering.
GRIFFIN: Dr. Minyard, a lot of those families finding this out, right now, tonight, families that have given their own samples, in hopes of -- of identifying their loved ones. They are going to be shocked to hear this news.
MINYARD: Well, I know they will be.
And they have gone to the family assistance center in Baton Rouge and given their specimen of DNA, thinking that it would be done. But it hasn't been done. That contract has to be signed. And we have to get started on this, like, yesterday.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: And that's the problem, Anderson. Dr. Minyard is frustrated with the state for not being able to sign a contract with a DNA testing company.
We called FEMA tonight. And they say, hey, it is not our fault. A spokesman says, FEMA began working with the state of Louisiana two weeks ago, as soon as the state said they needed help with this. FEMA rushed through $12.8 million through Congress for approval. That money has been approved. The problem, no one here in Louisiana has figured out how to spend that money.
Meanwhile, up to 200 bodies wait to be identified, have their names placed on them. And those 200 families wait for answers -- Anderson.
COOPER: It is just incredible that, more than three months now after this, that they have not done DNA testing. I mean, it just boggles the mind, that there are, as you said, 200 people unidentified. And -- and -- and that's hundreds of family who are still, you know, every day, calling this morgue, thinking, well, maybe today's the day.
And now to learn, for the first time, that no DNA testing has still been done, you know, it is amazing, Drew. I -- I talked to the -- to the governor of Louisiana, I think it was about three weeks ago. And I asked her about this. I asked her why no DNA testing was done, because of this conflict over who was going to pay for it. She didn't even seem to know about it. She said to me that, in fact, that wasn't the holdup, that DNA testing was going on.
The fact that the governor didn't even seem to know that -- that, you know, that her own morgues not doing the DNA testing, it just boggles the mind. Who is in charge there?
GRIFFIN: Yes. It is -- it is hard to determine.
There seems to be this large bureaucratic snafu of who's going to pay, who's going to be the bottom line, who's going to sign the contract. But, really, the fact of the matter is, 200 people, three months later, as you say, Anderson, they don't have dental records; they don't have wallets in their back pockets. They don't know who these people are.
And there's hundreds of families out there wondering, which one is my loved one? And this has not been resolved. This is why Dr. Frank Minyard came to us tonight, threw up his hands, and say, what is being done? Congress approved the money. Let's get it going.
But not a single DNA test has been done on these people.
COOPER: Drew Griffin, appreciate the report. It is just -- it -- it is really stunning to me.
A lot of questions tonight to get answers on.
With us now on the phone, Oliver Thompson, the New Orleans City Council president. He's good enough to join us on the phone from Baton Rouge.
Council President Thomas, what -- what do you make of this? I mean, I -- I was just down there. I cannot believe they have not done DNA testing yet.
OLIVER THOMAS, NEW ORLEANS CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT: Well, Anderson, it's just frustrating.
I guest we had no value during life when we waited on the roof and we waited for food and water. And I guess there's just no closure in death for many of our -- for many of our family members and for many of our families.
COOPER: You -- you...
THOMAS: I mean -- I mean, how many more storms do the people of Louisiana have to go through? How much more sorrow do these families have to bear?
The one thing everybody around this nation knows is that people want some closure from this. We can't get closure from the destruction. We can't get closure because of these -- these -- these inferior levees. But at least the money that has been allocated for DNA testing could identify our loved ones and our families.
Now, until that -- until they're identified, until -- until the state does what it needs to do to identify these bodies, then people are not going to have closure in their life. And that's what we need right now.
COOPER: It -- it kind of amazed me, Council President Thomas, when I talked to the governor, you know, I think it was three weeks ago -- maybe it was two weeks ago.
COOPER: And she seemed to believe that DNA testing was kind of going on. She didn't think there was any kind of bureaucratic snafu. Do you get the feeling that the governor knows what's going on in her own state?
THOMAS: Well, you know, I -- I would hope so. You know, first of all, it took FEMA too long to get us the money. Now that we don't -- now that we have the money, someone ought to be administering the DNA testing. How are these families going to move on when you have over 200 bodies? And -- and, you know, they just found more bodies not long ago.
How are -- how are they going to have some closure? You know, we are not getting the federal funding we thought we would get. We didn't get the help we thought we would during the -- during -- during the storm and during the aftermath.
So, our families have to wait. And we have to wait and we have to wait. And we can't have -- and we can't have a memorial for our loved ones who are lost.
COOPER: Well, you know, I mean, you -- you mentioned they are just finding some more bodies. I mean, what -- what -- they stopped -- the state stopped the official search October 3.
COOPER: And they have found more than 100 bodies.
COOPER: And this is -- this is relatives going back to the Lower Ninth Ward, going to New Orleans East.
COOPER: Going in their homes for the first time, and finding their grandmother in the attic, still. You -- and -- and that was another thing.
I asked the governor -- I mean, I hate to pile on the governor tonight, but I asked the governor, why -- why did you stop these searches October 3? Who made that decision and why? She didn't know. She -- she had no idea why they were stopped or who made that decision.
THOMAS: Well -- well, we all predicted and you predicted we would find more bodies. We predicted.
I mean, when you saw the debris on top of debris that is still there, and -- and who knows what's under the barge? Who knows what is under some of those houses that are still piled on the other houses? You know, I -- I think we can predict that they're going to find -- they -- they will probably find more bodies.
COOPER: It -- it's...
THOMAS: You know, but -- but -- but this is just one of the saddest things I have heard in a long time. We have money to do DNA testing. That's the one way to bring some form of closure to these families, and it's not being done.
I don't know whose fault is or -- or -- or why it's not happening. But it needs to happen yesterday.
COOPER: Yesterday is right, you know, and I said at the top of the program, on a battlefield, you know, you don't leave a soldier, you don't leave a Marine behind. People risk their lives to bring back their -- their colleagues, their comrades who have died in arms. The least we can do for people of New Orleans is -- is...
THOMAS: Look, look, Anderson, the way you opened it up, you know, you described what Americans do for Americans.
I'm starting to feel -- I'm starting to feel like, the way Congress is treating us, the way a lot of bureaucrats are treating us, I'm starting to feel like we're not really Americans down here. And I -- I really am. And -- and I don't know what we have to do. Do we need to wave our flag higher? Do we need to wrap it around our head? Do we -- do we need to sew it to our forehead?
We are Americans here, white and black, rich and poor, Latino and Asian, male and female. We are Americans here. And we are not being treated like it.
COOPER: Well, we just found out about this probably about an hour ago. Tomorrow night, we are going to do more on this. We are going to try to get the governor on the program to try to answer some more questions on this, because, I mean, this just -- it's incredible, that it's taken this long. We -- the people there deserve answers.
THOMAS: Well, we all have family -- we all have family members that are still missing, you know? It would be nice to know who they are, don't you think?
COOPER: It certainly would. It -- we owe it to the missing and -- and those who survived not to forget.
Council President Thomas, we appreciate you joining us tonight from Baton Rouge.
Another -- another...
THOMAS: Thank -- thank you, man.
COOPER: Another kind of accountability now to talk about, and another simple notion -- people expect their president to be able to tell them why the country is at war. They want to know what the objectives are and what the exit strategy is.
And while they might agree or disagree with the plan, they want to know, at the very least, that there is a plan. Yet, so deep into the war in Iraq, if you look at the polls, Americans aren't quite sure. And a majority believes the president hasn't played straight with them.
So, tomorrow, president is going to try again.
CNN White House correspondent Dana Bash has a preview of how he's going to do just that.
DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a preview of what the White House is billing as a major speech on Iraq, the president suggested troops could start coming home soon but warned too soon would be a terrible mistake.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want our troops to come home, but I don't want them to come home without having achieved victory. And we've got a strategy for victory.
BASH: The president will try to define that strategy, aides say, in more detail than ever before, focusing on progress Iraqis are making in securing their own country. A senior official says Mr. Bush will admit it's taken more time than expected to properly train Iraqi security forces, but he'll cites some 120 Iraqi battalions in the fight, 40 leading missions, and tout specific regions, like a road formerly known as Death Street that are now safe and under Iraqi control.
NICOLLE WALLACE, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: This is a clear road map for the conditions being in place for Iraqis to defend and secure their own country, which is, of course, the condition that has to be met for United States troops to come home.
BASH: The president still says he'll make that decision based on advice from his military commanders.
A Democrat just back from Iraq who wants U.S. troops to stay reports progress but warns it may be slow-going.
SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D), CONNECTICUT: The Iraqis are beginning to show much more self-sufficiency. They're a long way from being able to take it on their own.
BASH: The White House has tried several times before to turn around slumping support for Iraq with speeches billed as major. After Cindy Sheehan captured August headlines, Bush aides promised to explain their Iraq policy better with this VFW speech. That was two months after using the same tactic with this prime-time address.
BUSH: Is the sacrifice worth it? It is worth it.
BASH: Yet, they lost support. In June, 52 percent of Americans said it wasn't worth going to war, two months later, 54 percent. Now 60 percent, six in 10 Americans, say Iraq wasn't worth it.
BILL MCINTURFF, PUBLIC OPINION STRATEGIES: What the headlines say every day in Iraq is how many poor people got blown up and how many American soldiers were killed. That's the reality that's shaping opinions about Iraq.
BASH: And Bush officials say they now believe Americans are willing to stay in Iraq if they think they can win. And that is a word the president is using more often.
And, Anderson, you mentioned that the public yearns for a plan. At the White House, they say they get that. That's why, in part, they're going to declassify a 20-plus page document tomorrow morning they say proves that there is a plan -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right. We will be looking. Thanks very much, Dana.
360 next, with troops dying nearly every day in Iraq, why is the secretary of defense arguing about what to call the people who are killing them? So, what should we call the bad guys? That's ahead.
Plus, alone and in diabetic shock, she could have died, but didn't because a Webcam saved her life.
Around the U.S. and the world, this is 360.
COOPER: Well, at the risk of being blunt, it's hard to imagine the buddies of soldiers killed in Iraq caring one little bit if the people who did it are called insurgents or guerrillas or simply the enemy.
As for the boss out at the Pentagon, that is a very different story, as we learned today.
Here's CNN's Jamie McIntyre.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR MILITARY AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): If you needed a lesson in civilian control of the military, Donald Rumsfeld gave it at Tuesday's Pentagon press briefing, when he suddenly pronounced the term insurgent expression non grata.
DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: We frequently call them insurgents. I'm a little reluctant to, for some reason.
MCINTYRE: You see, even if you're a battle hardened four-star Marine, when the boss bans a phrase, you are supposed to salute smartly and use a synonym, unless, of course, you can't think of one.
GENERAL PETER PACE, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: I have to use the word "insurgent" because I can't think of a better word right now -- taking...
RUMSFELD: Enemies of the Iraqi -- legitimate Iraqi government. How's that?
PACE: What the secretary said.
MCINTYRE: Rumsfeld's beef with insurgent is that he thinks it's too good for terrorists who brutally murder innocents.
RUMSFELD: I've thought about it. And, over the weekend, I thought to myself, you know, that gives them a greater legitimacy than they seem to merit.
MCINTYRE: The American Heritage Dictionary defines insurgent as one that revolts against civil authority, or a member of a political party who rebels against its leadership.
But, despite Rumsfeld's public admonition, when it came time for Pace to return to the subject of insurgents, he again found himself tongue-tied.
PACE: The insurgents are...
PACE: Sorry, sir. I'm not trainable today. I'm not trainable.
MCINTYRE: Still, the role of the Joint Chiefs chairman is to tell his civilian superiors what he thinks, not just what they want to hear. General Pace showed he has the brass to do that.
PACE: It is absolutely responsibility of every U.S. service member if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to intervene, to stop it.
RUMSFELD: I don't think you mean they have an obligation to physically stop it, it's to report it.
PACE: If they are physically present when inhumane treatment is taking place, sir, they have an obligation to try to stop it.
MCINTYRE: As any defense secretary knows, sometimes, the military has the last word.
Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.
COOPER: Man, that was a fascinating press briefing, wasn't it? Man.
The official end of the hurricane season is coming to an end tomorrow. Thank goodness, not without yet another storm. Call this one Epsilon. It's way out in the Atlantic. We will have more on that in a moment.
But, first, Erica Hill from Headline News joins us with some of the other stories we are following right now.
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Anderson. We start off in Milam County, Texas, where no charges have been filed in the case of a 76-year-old woman mauled to death by a pack of dogs belonging to a neighbor. The county sheriff said there was no sign the dogs had been used in any kind of fighting and no other laws have been broken.
In Saint Petersburg, Florida, the parents of a 13-year-old girl are considering suing after they saw this security camera videotape of their daughter being roughly handcuffed and dragged off a school bus by a motorcycle policeman. Now, the cop boarded the bus after he says he saw a golf ball thrown from a bus window, which he also says nearly got him into an accident. The girl he handcuffed, however, had nothing to do with the incident.
And, on a lighter note, at the National Zoo in Washington, a star was born. All right, actually, this star born in July, but four-and- a-half-month-old panda cub Tai Shan made his official media debut today, captivating a crowd of journalists, before rolling off a rock and waddling away in search of mom.
He is pretty cute, almost as cute as the dog painted to look like a panda from last night.
COOPER: What is it about pandas? Why are they, like, staple of, like, news kickers? Do you know? Why is that?
HILL: I -- why are cute animals in general a staple?
COOPER: Well, you know, for me, for my money, nothing is cuter than a smoking chimp.
HILL: Oh, I love the smoking chimp.
HILL: There you go.
HILL: Didn't the -- didn't the chimp quit, though?
COOPER: I think so, but I'm still using the smoking chimp video.
HILL: I think you should use it as long as possible...
HILL: ... because I heard that, from cigarettes, it went to drinking milk -- and, frankly, not nearly as exciting to watch.
COOPER: Oh, isn't that cute? Oh, just like a panda. Only, it's smoking.
COOPER: All right, Erica. Thanks very much. (LAUGHTER)
COOPER: I don't know. It's late.
HILL: See you later.
COOPER: Yes. See you.
COOPER: Coming up next on 360, the 2005 hurricane season finally -- finally -- is over. Patooey. Good riddance. We will take a look back at the worst stormy year on record. Could it get any worse in 2006? Some fear yes. We will tell you why.
Also tonight, caught on tape -- have you seen this, vandals attacking liquor stores in California? Some are calling them vigilantes. We will have more on who they are. And two arrests were made. We will tell you why.
COOPER: Well, the 2005 hurricane season, by far the worst on record, is going to finally end officially tomorrow, not without one more storm. This is Epsilon. Today, it became the 26th named storm in the year. Epsilon continues to grow in size and power over the Central Atlantic.
In all, 13 hurricanes formed since June 1, a coastline pummeled, 1,500 people killed, hundreds of thousands of people displaced.
CNN's Rob Marciano looks back at the year we -- none of us will ever forget.
ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST (voice-over): They said the 2005 hurricane season would be worse than average. Nobody predicted it would be this bad, a record 26 named storms, 13 hurricanes, four major hurricanes making landfall in the U.S., a big season, with an early start.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A strong Category 4. This is the strongest we have ever seen a storm in July.
MARCIANO: Hurricane Dennis tears through the Florida Panhandle with winds of 120 miles an hour.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here we go. Watch out for that aluminum. Watch out. Get back! Get back!
MARCIANO: Later that month, Emily grows to a Category 4, missing the U.S., but hitting Mexico. Then, a welcome break, until late August, when something begins to brew in the Bahamas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is still a depression. And the name will be Katrina.
MARCIANO: Friday, August 25, Katrina crosses South Florida as a Category 1 storm. Two days later, it is a monster Category 5, bearing down on the Gulf Coast.
(on camera): Right now, flashings of the roof and gutter are being ripped off this hotel and being blown over our heads.
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: We are going to see probably storm surges in Lake Pontchartrain of 20 feet. And that could breach some of those dikes, some of those levees, the wrong way. The levees are high. But I'm wondering if they're high enough this time.
MARCIANO (voice-over): The levees break, the city floods, and an unprecedented storm surge, much of New Orleans, and entire towns in Mississippi and Louisiana destroyed in the nation's worst ever natural disaster.
Hurricane Rita follows in late September through the Florida Keys, looking like Katrina, as it grows to a Cat 5. September 24, Hurricane Rita lands near the Texas-Louisiana border with 120 mile-an- hour winds and a 15-foot storm surge. Three killer storms strike the U.S. in as many months.
Why? Some say global warming's to blame. NOAA disagrees, saying it's part of a natural cycle that could last for decades.
GERRY BELL, CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION: We see absolutely no indication whatsoever that greenhouse warming is causing any of it. It's part of the natural -- naturally occurring climate variability.
MARCIANO: Whatever the cause, this hurricane season was far from over.
In October, six named storms, and Hurricane Wilma rewrites the record books.
MYERS: The big story about this storm right now is, it is the strongest, the deepest, the lowest-pressure storm ever recorded in the Atlantic.
MARCIANO: Wilma slams Yucatan Beach resorts and strands tourists, before moving toward the Gulf. Then, it makes a beeline for South Florida, battering sugarcane fields and cities on both sides of the state.
Thankfully, hurricane season officially ends Wednesday. But what about next year? Could there be more Katrinas, Ritas or Wilmas?
CONRAD LAUTENBACHER, ADMINISTRATOR, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION: What we know from our current climate patterns is that next year could be just as active as this year.
MARCIANO: Words that storm-weary coastal residents do not want to hear. Rob Marciano, CNN, Atlanta.
COOPER: Certainly not.
Next on 360, they got all dressed up just to commit vandalism? Have you seen this video, bizarre assault on a store full of booze? Now police have made some arrests and may know who's behind the violence.
And tragedy is not nearly strong enough to describe what's going on and on in Darfur in Africa. It is genocide. Women there deal with the threat of rape as a way of life, the reality of rape every day. And it's a story the world isn't listening to.
From America and around the world, this is 360.
COOPER: Coming up, some arrests made and those mysterious scandals caught on tape as they destroyed a liquor store in Oakland City -- Oakland, California, I should say. But first, here's what's happening in this moment.
A developing story in Orleans Parish, 150 bodies at least still have not yet been identified by the coroner and what's more we have learned tonight the coroner says that no DNA testing at all has been done on those bodies. Even though family members have been bringing in samples to help with the identification process. The material sits idly while government agencies continue to look for a private company to do the testing even though weeks ago they said it all had been resolved. We'll have more on this later on 360.
On al-Jazeera television, new video of these four kidnapped aid workers in Iraq, an American, two Canadians and one man from the U.K., all members of an organization working for the rights of Iraqi prisoners held by the U.S. They're held by a previously unknown group called the Swords of Justice.
An attempted poisoning in Pennsylvania. A woman making dinner for her family including her daughter's two young kids allegedly doused the macaroni and cheese she was about to serve with bleach of all things. Her daughter took a bite, spit it out. She claims the mother then told her said she tried to poison her because, quote, "you don't deserve those children."
And if you have got about $10 million to spare, maybe you can go to Sotheby's tomorrow and outbid everyone for a painting of the first George W. The Washington portrait, part of a collection being sold by the New York Public Library, was painted by Gilbert Stuart (ph) and commissioned as a gift for Alexander Hamilton.
Tonight there is a possible first step towards solving a puzzling but very public crime. Imagine you're minding your own business, literally minding your retail store and suddenly your inventory is totally trashed right in front of your eyes. In Oakland, California, this has happened twice and just yesterday one store owner became the victim of a far more serious crime. Rusty Dornin has the story caught on tape.
TONY HAMDEN, LIQUOR STORE OWNER: I could sell, you know, beer, alcohol whatever I want to sell.
RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It made no sense to Tony Hamden. He says he was accused by these men of being a bad Muslim as they wrecked his liquor store and one across town. The two stores both owned by Muslims from Yemen were trashed last week and in this surveillance tape, you can see 11 suit clad bow tied African American men sweeping merchandise off the shelves and smashing liquor bottles on the floor. The men allegedly told the clerks Muslims should not sell alcohol. Hamden told CNN then he would not be intimidated.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this going to change the way you do business?
TONY HAMDEN, LIQUOR STORE OWNER: Never. You know what in makes me stronger. Right now, the only thing they did is make me stronger.
DORNIN: But then in a bizarre twist this past Monday, Hamden's store was set ablaze. He told police he was kidnapped, he was found alive by police 12 hours later in a car trunk in this parking lot about 10 miles from his store. Hamden hasn't spoken publicly since. Police won't say if the vandalism and arson and kidnapping are connected but say they have identified at least six men of the men shown on the tape. Now two have been arrested.
DEPUTY CHIEF HOWARD JORDAN, OAKLAND POLICE: Both individuals turned themselves into the Oakland police department this afternoon. They were arrested on suspicion of robbery, felony vandalism, terrorist threats and conspiracy.
DORNIN: Because the suspects were bow ties and suits there were questions about whether they belonged to the Nation of Islam, whose members dress in similar fashion. The Nation of Islam adamantly denies any involvement and police now say they do not believe any Nation of Islam members were involved.
This business known as Your Black Muslim Bakery was started by a now deceased Black Muslim leader. A family member told CNN one of the suspects arrested is the 19-year-old grandson of that leader, Yusuf Bey. Family members declined to comment any further. There are more than 200 grocery store owners from Yemen. Many in poor, predominantly African American Oakland neighborhoods. Some store owners believe alcohol is not the only reason for the attacks.
MOHAMED SALEH MOHAMED, YEMENI GROCERS ASSOCIATION: It seems to me this is a hate crime issue and as you seen in the video, their motive to vandalize the store and terrorize it. DORNIN: Oakland Police are urging the community to stay calm and pleading with store owners not to arm themselves. But the store owners we spoke to earlier this week are thinking otherwise.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You let it happen one time, because they catch you off guard. But the next time you see it happening, you are going to arm yourself and try to protect yourself by any means necessary.
DORNIN: For Abdul Saleh, the owner of the other vandalized store, news that his fellow grocer might have been kidnapped this week for whatever reason makes him very nervous.
ABDUL SALEH, VANDAL VICTIM: It's worry, more worry. What will it be tomorrow? Next week?
DORNIN (on camera): For 20 years, Saleh says he has had great relationships with customers here regardless of race. Now, he doesn't know what to think. Rusty Dornin, CNN, Oakland, California.
COOPER: A lot of questions still to be answered on that one.
Coming up next on 360, tens of thousands murdered. More than 2 million homeless all because of the color of their skin and where they live. Why isn't it front page news? We'll look into it.
Plus, a remarkable rescue story. A woman who could have died but didn't. The hero? Her Web-cam. We'll explain. From America and around the world, this is 360.
COOPER: Before Katrina and Rita and Wilma, before the earthquake in Pakistan and mudslides in Colombia, even before the tsunami that struck nearly 12 months ago, long before those disasters another was unfolding and it is still unfolding, in fact, this one is just getting worst. It is not a natural disaster. This one is entirely man-made. We're talking about genocide.
Today, a new round of peace talks to end the horror in Darfur began. It's the seventh round of talks so far. In the meantime, the killing and raping, the genocide goes on. Here's CNN's Jeff Koinange.
JEFF KOINANGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Picture this, an area twice the size of Texas and as remote and desolate as the Mojave Desert. It's known as Darfur. A region in western Sudan where fighting over control of rich oil reserves has raged unabated for close to three years.
Where tens of thousands black Africans killed and millions more forced to flee the homes. Where a government-sponsored Arab militia known as the Janjaweed goes from village to village raping, pillaging, and burning everything in sight. In a word, according to aid workers and analysts, Darfur is the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
Not Pakistan, not Baghdad. Darfur. What's happening here was recently described by some U.S. lawmakers as genocide in the 21st century. Take mother of six Miriam Ibrahim (ph). She says despite being a Muslim, like the Janjaweed, she and thousands of other women at this camp have been raped repeatedly, simply because they're black.
This, she says, is the Janjaweed's method of ethnic cleansing. "Weeks ago we were attacked and beaten," she says. "Many ran away. Others were raped."
None of the victims of rape will agree to go to the authorities. They insist the police are just as bad as the Janjaweed and reporting the crime makes their lives even more difficult in the camps. "Police are all the same," is all she can manage to say.
The few hundred peacekeepers sent by the African Union largely been ineffective. Thousands more will be required just to stabilize the region. Something few nations are willing to commit to for now. Until the meantime, Miriam says she has no plans to return to the village as long as the Janjaweed are running rampant in the countryside.
She doesn't feel safe here, but venturing outside the camp's perimeter is suicidal. "Sometimes if you go collect grass or firewood, you'll be beaten or chased away," she says. "Or sometimes," she says, "they'll just take turns raping you, leaving you for dead."
And experts add, destroying the only bit of dignity remaining for a race of people slowly and methodically being annihilated right before the world's eyes. Jeff Koinange, CNN, Johannesburg.
COOPER: And it is happening every day. "New York Times" columnist Nicholas Kristof just returned from Darfur. He's been there five times since the killing began and written extensively about the atrocities that continue. I spoke to him earlier.
COOPER: During the last trip to Darfur, you found three women in a camp who had been raped just days apart from one another. How systematic are the rapes there?
NICHOLAS KRISTOF, "NEW YORK TIMES": They're very systematic. It's an attempt by the government to drive people away, to teach them a lesson, and the stories you get are just extraordinary.
One of those women, one called Mura (ph), was -- her father was killed by the Janjaweed, but the Sudanese backed militia and she needed money to support her family. She went out to cut grass and just outside the camp, she was picked up by two men with guns, military uniforms. They gang raped her. Told her they were doing that because she was black. Threatened to kill her and -- let her go. To terrorize everybody else. I mean, you ask these people in these refugee camps, why do the women go out when they know they're vulnerable to being raped? And they say, look, when the women go out, they're raped and beaten up but when the men go out, they're killed and so given those options, they send the women out.
COOPER: And the stories -- your writing has just been incredible from there. The children getting killed, bayoneted to death, in front of their parents, smashed on the ground.
KRISTOF: One of the stories that affected me the most, was talking to this woman called Fatma (ph), who was in a village I visited and early one morning, the Janjaweed came. She heard the gunfire. She ran out of her hut with her youngest child, a two-year- old daughter on the back. The Janjaweed grabbed the baby from her back, threw it to the ground and beat it to death in front of her.
COOPER: There is a peacekeeping force there. The African Unity force.
KRISTOF: The African Union force is there.
COOPER: But their funding has just been cut by the United States.
KRISTOF: We had $50 million tentatively in the budget and that was just cut out by Congress. You know, you couldn't have sent more of a signal that we're not serious about stopping genocide.
COOPER: Why is that? Because the - this president has done more for African really than Bill Clinton did when he was president an yet - and this president called it a genocide, what's happening there and still yet there's not action.
KRISTOF: I think that the president, you know, thinks that it's a mess over there. Maybe would like to do something but doesn't see any easy solution and so, has ended up doing nothing and that traditionally been the problem with every genocide. Because we don't see a clear solution to solve the whole problem, we don't do anything at all.
COOPER: Some of the pictures that you have talked about in your article, in your columns from ...
KRISTOF: Breinstitle (ph).
COOPER: He's a former marine who served in Darfur. One of the things he said, he said every single day -- he served there as an observer. He said every single day you go out to see another burned village and more dead bodies and the children you see, six-month-old babies that have been shot. Six and three-old kids with their faces smashed in with rifle butts and you just have to stand there and write the reports.
You probably share the same frustration. You go back and you write these columns to the "New York Times" and you're writing the same column basically every time you go.
KRISTOF: Absolutely. I mean, as a columnist, I think it's crazy for me to go back to the same place time and again but I do because those stories -- you can't get the stories out of your mind.
COOPER: And in terms of action, in terms of making some sort of progress, you say there are things you can -- that the U.S. can do. They can fund the African peacekeepers. What else?
KRISTOF: Yeah. I mean, the solution is not to send American troops on the ground. I think we are scared ...
COOPER: That's the big fear.
KRISTOF: That's the fear and I think that's what is paralyzing us so we don't do anything. There's an African Union force and we can support it a little more. And most importantly, we can just express a little more outrage and I think that would actually really help on the ground.
COOPER: Talk about it more?
KRISTOF: Talk about it more. One of the lessons of past genocides is that if you actually bellow about it, and shine a spotlight on then it subsides and it saves lives. And we're not bellowing, we're whispering.
COOPER: Whispering, indeed.
Here in the United States, a woman is thankful to be alive tonight. In part because of her Web-cam. We are going to have that story in a few minutes. But first Erica Hill from Headline News joins us again with the other stories we're following right now. Hey, Erica.
HILL: Hello again. A fellow on death row getting another chance at life. Today, the Virginia governor commuted the death sentence of convicted killer Robert Lovitt. Now, Lovitt was slated to be the 1,000th prisoner executed in the U.S. since the death penalty restored in 1976 but that distinction may now go to a prisoner in North Carolina on Friday.
In New Orleans, anger and frustration directed at Mayor Ray Nagin. Nagin held a town hall meeting today and got an earful from residents. Many complaining the response to Hurricane Katrina is still too slow. Some say they don't even have basic city services.
Though on the upside, some folks in New Orleans who still have a computer can actually now surf for free. Mayor Nagin says the city's new wireless system will residents and small businesses who can't get an Internet connection over the washed out phone lines. The network, the first of its kind run by a major city is a limited right now and should be available city wide in about a year. And on Capitol Hill, do not be calling it a holiday tree. No, no. At the request of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, the decorated tree on the west front of the Capitol Building is once again taking the name Christmas tree. The first Capitol tree in 1964 had that name. And it became a holiday tree if the mid-'90s and apparently now we're back to Christmas tree. Anderson?
COOPER: There you go.
HILL: In case there's question.
COOPER: I actually used to do a living Christmas tree. Have you ever done that?
HILL: The kind where you can plant it later? I always wanted one of those.
COOPER: I've done it for the past two years. It actually works.
HILL: Where do you plant them in New York?
COOPER: In the sidewalk, I guess. No. I plant them on Long Island.
HILL: You're sneaking out to Central Park in the middle of the night to plant a tree. Good stuff.
COOPER: Thanks, Erica, see you again in about 30 minutes.
Coming up next on 360, a woman collapses at home and saved thanks to her Web cam. It's remarkable story from America and around the world, this is 360.
COOPER: Well there was a time when Web cams were a novelty. Now for many Americans they're a necessity. Some use them to check up on babysitters, others simply like to perform in front of the camera. Not sure exactly what they're performing, but it's probably best not to ask.
But this story is out of California and is new to us and involves a Web cam that incredibly helped save a woman's life. CNN's Ted Rowlands reports.
KARIN JORDAL, DIABETIC: When I woke up, it was my living room filled with the paramedics and I wondered what was going on.
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Karin Jordal says she'd be dead had it not been for this, a Web camera on top of the home computer.
JORDAL: My son put it up for me. ROWLANDS: Both her sons, Tore (ph) and Ole (ph) live thousands of miles away overseas and use the Web cameras to stay close to their mother and to save money on long distance bills. Luckily, Karyn's camera was left on the afternoon she went into insulin shock.
JORDAL: When you go into an insulin shock, you can't take the phone and call anybody. You can't.
ROWLANDS: She was out cold all alone in her remote California home in need of immediate medical care. More than 7,000 miles away in the Philippines, her son noticed his mother lying in a strange position on her couch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was terrifying. I knew she was sick and I knew we had to get an ambulance because I've seen her sick like that before and I'm diabetic, too.
ROWLANDS: Unable to call 911 from the Philippines, Tore called his brother Ole in Norway whose wife eventually got through to the San Bernardino County sheriff's department.
DISPATCH: Has she been ill?
TAMMY JORDAL: Has she been ill?
OLE JORDAL: I don't know.
TAMMY JORDAL: No, she's diabetic.
TAMMY JORDAL: Her other son lives in the Philippines and they have a cam on, a live cam, and she's on the floor.
DISPATCH: OK. And what is her name?
TAMMY JORDAL: Karin.
ROWLANDS: The call was a first for the operator.
FIRE DISPATCH: Hello.
SHERIFF'S DISPATCH: Hi. We have kind of a weird thing here. The lady that called was calling from Norway. OK. They have a live cam to their mother in law's house at this house here.
FIRE DISPATCH: OK.
SHERIFF'S DISPATCH: She's a diabetic and she's on the floor.
FIRE DISPATCH: OK.
ROWLANDS: Captain Doug Nelson (ph) and his crew were sent on the crew.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most unusual medical aid call I've ever been on.
ROWLANDS: Tore, who was still watching from the Philippines, was sending computer messages to the rescue crew. Captain Nelson heard them coming in and then saw the camera.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At that point, I sat down or kneeled down at the computer and continued to talk with the family in the Philippines. Trying to get as much information from them as I could about their mom.
ROWLANDS: The text of the instant messages from the Philippines is still on Karin's computer, the desperate attempts of a son trying to contact the mother to a heart felt thank you to paramedics. Karin spent three days in the hospital. Her blood sugar level was so low, doctors say if help hadn't arrived when it did, she would have most likely suffered serious brain damage.
Now home and healthy, Karin is back on the computer, talking to her sons saving money with the Web camera that she says saved her life. Ted Rowlands, CNN, Pinion Hills, California.
COOPER: Man, if only I knew how to install one of those things I'd get them.
Next on 360, the Supreme Court about to dive into deep water. Not one but two cases involving abortion are going to be coming up this week. Consequences may be enormous. Jeffrey Toobin will talk about that. And a trumpet blast of winter weather in the Midwest announces the season a little early but very, very convincingly.
And tonight, beauty is only skin deep but then so is ugliness. Farewell to Sam, man's worst looking best friend. And we're going to introduce you to the new ugliest dog in America
COOPER: Good evening everyone, welcome to 360.
Outrage in New Orleans, why have nearly 200 Katrina victims still not had their DNA tested? That story and nasty, chilly weather in the Midwest as well.
360 starts now.
ANNOUNCER: Extreme weather. The end of a record-setting hurricane season instantly transforms into a brutal early winter. Paralyzing blizzards, rolling blackouts hit the Midwest. What now?
Arrests tonight in the strange crime spree targeting only Muslims who own liquor stores.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were arrested on suspicion of robbery, felony vandalism, terrorist threats, and conspiracy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: The latest twist in the bizarre case. Is it religious vengeance?
Everything your teenager needs to know about safe sex. The author -- a teenager. In fact, she's a reporter for the school paper. So why did the principal ban the entire issue?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just wanted to let people know the different kinds of birth control that are out there and what you can use.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Tonight, we'll get her story, uncensored.
And finally, a fond farewell to the award-winning ugliest dog. And we'll introduce you to the new top dog. This is ANDERSON COOPER 360 live from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: Welcome to 360. Here's what's happening at this moment. The Arabic language network al Jazeera has aired video showing four western aid workers being held hostage in Iraq. One of them is an American. They're allegedly being held by a previously unknown group who claims the aid workers are spies.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com