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DNA Limbo in New Orleans; Abortion Debate in Supreme Court; School Censors School Paper Due to Birth Control Information; Saddam Goes For Presidential Look in Trial

Aired November 29, 2005 - 23:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Mark Warner's commuted the death sentence of a man scheduled to be the 1,000th prisoner executed in the U.S. since the death penalty was restored back in 1976. Convicted killer Robin Lovett (ph) was slated to die tomorrow, the 1,000th execution is now scheduled to happen Friday in North Carolina.
Chances are no felony charges will be filed against the owner of six dogs that mauled a 76-year old woman to death. No charges -- no felony charges. Authorities in Milam County, Texas, say the canines showed no signs of having been used in fights. One dog was fatally shot by the victim's husband, the other five were euthanized. The owner may still face a misdemeanor citation.

And a developing story -- the coroner of Orleans Parish, Louisiana, says that no DNA testing has been done on the bodies of at least 150 Hurricane Katrina victims there who are yet to be identified. Three months after the storm, no DNA testing. FEMA had agreed to pay for most of the testing, but apparently money issues are still getting in the way. And that has caused outrage all across the country tonight, especially among the hundreds of families who are waiting for their loved ones to be identified. Imagine what it's like, waiting day after day after day, calling every day to the morgue and now to learn that no DNA testing has begun.

We talked to the governor of Louisiana about three weeks ago. She seemed to think DNA testing was going on. She didn't seem to know that it wasn't and it still isn't. The money issue was supposed to be worked out three weeks ago -- it hasn't been.

Joining us now by phone is Lynda Hymel. She lost her brother in the storm and has been waiting ever since for his body to be identified.

Lynda, I'm so sorry for your loss and I appreciate you being on the program tonight. We just learned this that no DNA testing has yet been going on. What are your thoughts on that?

LYNDA HYMEL, BROTHER DIED DURING KATRINA: Thank you, Mr. Cooper, for calling and your concerns. It's just agonizing. It's just been a very slow and agonizing procedure, as I think you (INAUDIBLE) right a few weeks ago. My brother is caught in DNA limbo. If FEMA's not paying and the state of Louisiana is broke, then who is going to do this DNA testing that I gave, you know, the DNA samples for my brother, Emmett's (ph) dental record and every piece of information I could and nothing, nothing is being done. As a matter of fact, just today I called the Family Assistance Center. That phone is no longer in service. I called DMAR (ph) and it rings off the hook. And the chief coroner, Dr. Fitali (ph) will not answer his phone...

COOPER: Wait a minute -- you called, you called the Family Assistance Service and then the number wasn't even working anymore?

HYMEL: That's right. It says this service -- this number is not in service any longer at this time. So, I don't know where to turn to any longer. If I go to St. Gabriel, I hear that their guarded by National Guardsmen with M16s and they will not let you in. I just don't -- no local government official has called me.

COOPER: Well, you know what's frustrating --

HYMEL: My mayor, no one.

COOPER: What's frustrating is, I mean, as I said, I talked to the governor three weeks ago. And I said, you know, what is this hold up between the state and the federal government? Is it between FEMA about who's going to pay the bill for the DNA testing? When is DNA testing going to start? And she said to me, well, you know, it's my under -- DNA testing's been going on. It's not completely holding it up. But that wasn't true then --

HYMEL: That's not.

COOPER: -- and three weeks later, it's still not true. I mean, you've given DNA samples.

HYMEL: It's not true. It's not true, sir, because -- and I saw that. You know, a friend of mine taped it for me. And I tell you, every question you directly asked her, I really couldn't make out the answer she was giving you. It was -- it was not to the point.

COOPER: Yes, well, they weren't answers, to be honest. I mean, it just -- it wasn't answers at all.

HYMEL: You're right. You're right. And you really asked the questions that are in my mind. What is going on? And day after day, my brother's body in this condition, it is getting more fragile. And if I gave DNA and I specifically said, if money stands between my brother's body -- the recovery, just tell me how much. I will pay for it.

COOPER: Well, I mean, --

HYMEL: And no one calls me back.

COOPER: It's incredible to me that, you know, I mean, there's a saying on the battlefield: You never leave your comrade behind. You know, Marines or soldiers, they don't leave those who have died on the battlefield. They do whatever it takes to bring them home --

HYMEL: Exactly.

COOPER: -- to give them dignity and to give them a burial. You know, there are battle lines in the United States, and New Orleans is one, and we're just leaving -- these people, we're leaving your brother behind.

HYMEL: Yes. And I have no straight answers from no one. From no one. I've called our councilwoman, Cynthia Willard-Lewis, and she emailed me back and said, I really don't know what I can do for you because of all the (INAUDIBLE). That does nothing for me, but, you know, if they're saying that they're not calling them bodies or corpses, they're calling them individuals. Well, this individual, my brother, is -- I don't know where he is. I had given everything I can and I am -- I don't know what else to do, Mr. Cooper. And thank you so much for helping me.

COOPER: Well, you know, I hate to even be talking about this because it is -- it's got to be so upsetting for you and to be waiting every day for this kind of stuff. And, you know, I think it's right -- you shouldn't be calling them bodies and corpses, but I think we should be calling them our countrymen and our neighbors --

HYMEL: Thank you.

COOPER: -- and our fellow citizens. And these people deserve at the very least, after three months of lying wherever they are right now, to at least be identified and be given back -- your brother deserves to come back to you --

HYMEL: You're absolutely right.

COOPER: -- and the rest of your family. And we're going to, you know, tomorrow night we're going to try to get the governor back on. Because I mean, it just -- it boggles my mind and it's just, you know, it's upsetting to me. I can -- it's got to be -- I mean, I can only imagine what it is like for you --

HYMEL: Very upsetting, Mr. Cooper.

COOPER: -- and for hundreds of families out there.

HYMEL: Very upsetting. If we're getting all this money donated, then why don't they use it for the leftover bodies -- there's only 2 to 300. We're having millions poured into this state. Why don't they contribute it to DMAR (ph)?

COOPER: Lynda, let me just ask you. If I am able to talk to the governor tonight, and I don't know if she's going to agree to talk to me -- the mayor won't talk to me anymore -- what do you want me to ask her? What do you want to know?

HYMEL: I just want to know if it's right, if they're correct in saying that billions have been donated for the release of building homes and what about the 300 bodies that are in DNA limbo? Why not use some of that money towards that? It can't be that much.


HYMEL: That's all I want, Mr. Cooper. You know, I just want my brother home.

COOPER: I hear you and we'll keep in touch with you and we'll continue, you know. We'll try to get as much action on this as possible. Lynda, again, I appreciate you calling us.

HYMEL: Thank you, Mr. Cooper, and God bless.

COOPER: Well, I wish you peace tonight. Thank you. It is -- you know, it's just, it's unbelievable and tomorrow night we're going to try to do more on this because we just learned about this really about two hours ago or so.

It is not officially winter yet, but don't tell that to anyone living in the middle of the country, where Mother Nature is doing a terrifically convincing imitation of winter. If you were flying anywhere in the United States today, as I was coming back from New Orleans, I mean, I can tell you the flights were delayed for hours. It feels like winter right down to the look and the feel of it. CNN's Ed Lavandera takes a look.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A winter spectacle in Maple Grove, Minnesota. Lightning flashes across the sky as a severe snowstorm whips through the western parts of the state. Many roads were temporarily shut down, but are starting to reopen. High winds and six inches of snow punished power lines, leaving 6,000 residents in 30 towns without power.

The snow blowers are fired up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Residents there are trying to dig themselves out from under 20 inches of snow. The view from behind the wheel capture the road's treacherous conditions.

Fargo, North Dakota, is stuck in a moment; residents forced to use shovels to dig their cars out of the snow. That didn't work. Tow trucks were called in; and when drivers did get out, visibility was out and roads were slick. The North Dakota governor has declared a snow emergency for parts of the state. The National Guard will help restore power to several thousand residents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I'm gaining ground.

LAVANDERA: The work must go on in Grand Island, Nebraska. Deliveryman Mark Johnson braves the streets, carrying packages through the bitter cold.

MARK JOHNSON, GRAND ISLAND RESIDENT: I've been doing this kind of stuff for eight years. This is the worst I've seen.

LAVANDERA: Two hundred miles of Interstate 80 are now open again after snow covered the highway. Nearly 15 inches of snow blanketed some parts of central Nebraska, with high winds creating drifts. But most people seemed to take it in stride.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're always going to have that at some point during the year, it seems like. This is pretty bad, but it could have been worse, I guess.

LAVANDERA: And it probably will get worse. The official start of winter is more than three weeks away and another snowstorm is expected to strike Wednesday. Ed Lavandera, CNN.


COOPER: And flying in the United States today was just a nightmare. For the latest in the wake of weather, let's turn to CNN Meteorologist Rob Marciano. Rob, how's it looking out there?

ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, most of the snow and the wind has calmed down across the nation's midsection. But certainly some cold air behind this system. The low itself is weakening, so not nearly as windy in the northeast as it was across the Midwest yesterday. But certainly some rough weather across the Carolinas and even in through parts of D.C.

A tornado watch -- out until 1:00 o'clock tonight. Part of it has expired. Mostly to the east of D.C., along I-95 and east of I-95 is where we're seeing most of the action tonight in the form of some heavy rain, moving across the Delaware River into parts of Jersey, upstate New York, as well, is going to be a wet night and a warm night and there could be some flooding issues as this storm slowly makes its way to the northeast. So a wet, windy and for the most part miserable day tomorrow across the northeast. Should be dry in the midsection, but the next storm, as Ed Lavandera pointed out, is already in the Rockies. That will be moving to the Midwest and there's another one behind this one.

For skiers, it's a fantastic start to the ski season -- a quick one at least. And a slow end to hurricane season. We mentioned this early in the program. Tropical Storm Epsilon, about 700 miles to the east of Bermuda, just some waves at Bermuda, but with hurricane season ending tomorrow, this season for sure, Anderson, is holding on tight.

COOPER: All right. Rob, thanks very much.

Tomorrow, and for the first time in five years, the U.S. Supreme Court is going to hear oral arguments on a case involving abortion. Now everyone has an opinion on the subject, of course, but it's the opinion of the nine justices that carry the greatest weight and the greatest impact. The lawsuit is from New Hampshire. CNN's Chief National Correspondent John King has more.


JOHN KING, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Laughter, as Amanda playfully orders her brothers around the kitchen. Precious family time at home in New Hampshire, before she heads back to college.

At 20, ready to begin her senior year -- and to reveal a secret.

AMANDA: I had an unplanned pregnancy when I was a young teenager. KING: For the past six years, a secret known only among a tiny circle of family and friends.

AMANDA: I decided that it was best for me to have an abortion because I did not want to be parent at that point in my life.

KING: Sharing her story now, Amanda says because of the looming Supreme Court test of a New Hampshire law, requiring parental notification before a minor can receive an abortion.

AMANDA: These laws are only about eroding access to abortion, that they're not about helping parents and they're not about helping young women.

BARBARA HAGAN, (R) NEW HAMPSHIRE STATE HOUSE: I would prefer that we define human life at the beginning.

KING: State Representative Barbara Hagen is on the other side of the abortion divide. She helped write the law that now hangs as a proud trophy at the New Hampshire Right to Life headquarters.

HAGAN: It's a step forward for us and it's a crack in the glass. And that makes us very, very hopeful, even thought it's a small -- it's a very small incremental step.

KING: But the state's parental notification law has never been enforced because of lower federal court rulings blocking its implementation; decisions the Supreme Court agreed to review in this fall's term.

(On camera): The State's argument that the law passed here in June 2003 is constitutional is being watched well beyond New Hampshire's borders. More than 30 states require either parental notification or parental consent before a minor can receive an abortion. And so the Court's decision in this case -- it's first abortion case in more than five years, will have immediate national ramifications.

The case is by no means a direct challenge to the landmark Roe v. Wade decision establishing abortion rights.

CROWD: Ho, ho, hey, hey, abortion's right and we're here to stay.

CROWD: Hey, hey, ho, ho, Roe v. Wade has got to go.

KING (voice-over): But it is a fresh test in the major political and legal debate in post Roe abortion battles. How much leeway do states have in restricting abortion access? John King, CNN.


COOPER: CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin is here to tell us what may be at stake tomorrow when the Supreme Court takes up the abortion review.

It's not Roe v. Wade that's at stake. Certainly not.


COOPER: Because of what?

TOOBIN: Well, because basically, it's an invitation to the states to tighten restrictions if this law in New Hampshire passes --

COOPER: It all centers on this exception in New Hampshire?

TOOBIN: Correct. Basically, in New Hampshire said you have to get parental notification -- you have to notify your parents if you're a minor seeking an abortion unless it's life or death, unless you are literally going to die --

COOPER: If you don't have the abortion.

TOOBIN: If you don't have the abortion. What the Planned Parenthood folks are saying is that's not enough of an exception. If your health is at stake, then you can bypass the parental notification. So the issue is does it have to be life or death or does the loophole have to be bigger. That's the issue in front of the court.

COOPER: Also, it sort of gives a sense of where the Court may be heading with Roberts because this is the first time he'll be ruling.

TOOBIN: Well, that's the most important part. I mean, tomorrow it's going to be very exciting. The first time he asks a question, where he gives some sense of how he stands. Because over and over again during his hearings, he was pressed about his views on Roe v. Wade and abortion, and he was very careful to say yes, it's an opinion of the court, it's a precedent, it deserves respect. But, that was pretty vague and tomorrow we'll have the first sense of where he stands.

COOPER: But because it takes so long -- I mean oral arguments start tomorrow -- Alito may actually play a role in this.

TOOBIN: Well, that's what's so peculiar about this case. Sandra Day O'Connor will be on the bench tomorrow, asking questions. But the way the Supreme Court works is no opinion is official until the day it's handed down. In a case like this, that's usually three months or so and by that point Alito presumably will be confirmed. If O'Connor's vote is dispositive, if it's five to four vote, what they will almost certainly do is ask for the whole case to be reargued.

COOPER: In front of Alito --

TOOBIN: With Alito on the bench. So they often do reargue close cases when there's been a change in personnel.

COOPER: Are you going to go down and watch it tomorrow?

TOOBIN: I'm actually not going tomorrow, but I will go -- if there's a re-argument, I promise I'll go. Actually, you know it's unusual, they are going to broadcast this one on tape delay.

COOPER: Oh really?

TOOBIN: Which they've done in Bush v. Gore, they did on the University of Michigan Affirmative Action case, so in big cases, everybody can listen on the web.

COOPER: All right. Jeff Toobin, thanks very much.

TOOBIN: All right.

COOPER: Coming up next on 360, "Keeping them Honest." Back to New Orleans. The people of New Orleans give their mayor a grilling.

Later, a cop could have been hurt, but is that any excuse for what he did on a bus full of teenagers? Have you seen this video? We have the tape and the facts and you can decide for yourselves around the country and the world. This is 360.


COOPER: New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin on the hot seat. That story coming up. But first, Erica Hill from "Headline News," joins us with some of the other stories that are happening right now. Hi Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi Anderson. The Army wants you and anyone else who may have been in the Army to come back. It's launching an unprecedented effort to get former troops to sign up again for active duty service. Now the Army failed to reach its recruiting goal this fiscal year. Officials say the Iraq war was one of the factors contributing to the shortfall.

In Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the U.S. government will clarify reports that the CIA used covert flights via European airports to transport terror suspects. Germany's foreign minister discussed the flights with Rice during a meeting today. Europe's main human rights watchdog has been investigating unconfirmed reports that the CIA set up secret jails in Europe and used the covert flights to send terror suspects there.

St. Petersburg, Florida. The family of a teenager arrested on a school bus say she was roughed up by police. The family tells a local news network they might file a lawsuit. The teenager was originally accused of throwing a golf ball out the bus's window. Another student, though, later confessed to that.

And in Tampa, Florida -- not that far away from St. Petersburg -- an alleged strip club on wheels. Yes. Police say prior to Sunday's Tampa Bay Buccaneers game, football fans were offered cocktails and lap dances inside a 40-foot motor home parked across the street from Raymond James Stadium. Police have filed charges against the dancers and three men connected with the club. I don't know what else to say to that one.

COOPER: Yes, man. Lap dances on wheels. Who knew? Gosh. HILL: It's the new wave.

COOPER: Yes. It's just a lot of cramped spaces, though. It doesn't seem like a really conducive environment.

HILL: Some people may not mind that.

COOPER: I suppose so. I suppose that's the whole point.

HILL: It might be.

COOPER: There you go. Erica, thanks very much.

Already tonight we told you about a shocking discovery today that no DNA testing has yet commenced on the 150 unidentified dead in New Orleans. But if you spend any time at all in New Orleans, as we continue to, you'll also hear people complaining about as much as no phone, power, no homes, there's no real plan to start making things better. And if there's one man who many residents feel should be putting a plan in place, it's the mayor. CNN's Randi Kaye takes a look.


RAY NAGIN, MAYOR: The facts are we will be rebuilding every section of this city.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin -- determined, direct and once again on the defensive.

DANA WILSON, NEW ORLEANS RESIDENT: And I don't want to blame you. I don't feel that you are totally at fault for Katrina. But you're responsible for us. I voted for you to represent me on the local level.

KAYE: Dana Wilson from Algiers, came to this town hall meeting to demand answers. She says her landlord is hiking up the rent. She's run out of money.

WILSON: Twenty-four hours after today my family will be in a hotel to be displaced after you said I'm holding you responsible to come back.

KAYE: So what's the plan to help people like Dana Wilson and who should be held accountable? Still no plan for stronger levees, just a study. Still a shortage of FEMA trailers, still too few public schools open.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bring people back to New Orleans. Where are the kids going to go to school? Ninety percent of New Orleans have kids.

KAYE: And why won't the power be back on until next year?

SANJAY BISWAS, NEW ORLEANS RESIDENT: If I can't do my job, I get replaced. If energy can't do the job, we need other power companies from this country to come down here and get this job done. KAYE: The mayor didn't offer many answers, just referrals.

NAGIN: Let me see if we can get an answer from FEMA.

WILSON: It's never him. It's never I'm gonna. It's always go see this one, go talk to that one. This one will assist you. Never he will assist you.

KAYE: Mayor Nagin is busy, lobbying Congress for billions to rebuild and pushing for tax incentives. But three months later, still no solid plan. City Council President Oliver Thomas takes responsibility too.

OLIVER THOMAS, NEW ORLEANS CITY COUNCIL: There ought to be a plan. Look, the best thing we can come up with now, you're right, is a public plan. And people are not -- people can't wait --

KAYE: Mr. Nagin is promising a master plan by the end of the year. But Dana Wilson needs to be out of her rental tomorrow, by the end of the day.

WILSON: No plan pre-Katrina, no plan post-Katrina. Where are we going to go?

KAYE (on camera): We tried to get a word with the mayor as that meeting ended, but he had to attend a Christmas tree lighting, so he didn't have time to speak with us. But Anderson, I can tell you just being in that room for three hours, it was so frustrating. Clearly, the mayor wants to help, but there seems to be this disconnect between the two sides. The mayor and representatives from FEMA and the other leaders saying to these people if you have a problem, give us a call or logon to our website. Anderson, you know from being here, they don't have phones, most of these people. They don't have the internet. And then they would tell them well come down to City Hall. These people don't have transportation. So clearly there's a disconnect, a lot of frustration and they certainly need a plan in place.

COOPER: Certainly do. Randi Kaye, thanks.

Coming up next on 360, taking the nation's pulse in the war in Iraq. We're going to hear from people in a part of the country in which tanks pretty much outnumber cars. Have they changed their minds?

And later, sex in the schoolhouse and what you can say about sex in the school paper. A 360 exclusive.


COOPER: Some babies come in all shapes and sizes, except one, which is inexpensive. People spend ten thousand dollars in the first year alone, sometimes more for diapers and formula and strollers and such. Then again, there are babies and then there are babies. This one made his debut -- his media debut, we should say, today at the National Zoo in Washington. No stroller for him. But goodness, what a bill. More on that now, from CNN's Brian Todd.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's just a fantastic little bear.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tai Shan, four and a half months old, 21 pounds. But here are some other vital statistics on the newly debuted giant panda cub. He cost $100,000 a month for the first six months of his life. His parents cost $10 million over ten years. That's how much the National Zoo in Washington pays the Chinese government just to keep these creatures.

DENNIS KELLY, CEO OF ZOO ATLANTA: The program for its first ten years has been great for the pandas, but this expense -- there's too much for just four zoos to bear.

TODD: Dennis Kelly, CEO of Zoo Atlanta, crunched the numbers for the four U.S. zoos that keep giant pandas: Atlanta, Washington, San Diego and Memphis. He says last year their revenues attributed to the giant pandas were $3.8 million. The costs: $10.4 million; most of those costs paid directly to the Chinese government as fees for the pandas and for conservation programs to save the endangered species. The rest goes for food and maintenance -- all paid for by the zoos. And here's another thing China gets -- the pandas, back. All these animals -- even the ones born in U.S. zoos, remain the property of the Chinese government. Those rules come under separate lease agreements these zoos have with China. Agreements that also call for any profits made by the zoos to be put right back into conservation. Dennis Kelly is trying to make these deals a little more equitable.

KELLY: We want the costs that we pay for conservation in China to be much more in line with what we believe is being paid by other zoos outside the United States.

TODD (on camera): Zoo officials say they're still negotiating with the Chinese to reduce those costs. Are the pandas worth it in terms of popularity? Maybe not. Here in Washington and at other U.S. zoos where they're kept, officials say visitor ship does spike whenever a cub is born or an older panda arrives, but goes back to normal within about a year. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: They actually have a live panda cam, I'm just told -- I didn't know they had such a thing. Apparently -- you can't really tell what it is, but I think there's the panda in the upper part of the screen. You can always watch that 24 hours a day and see -- at -- I did not know that. A panda cam.

Coming up next on 360. Does freedom of speech extend to the office of the high school newspaper? We're going to talk to a young journalist who found herself testing the limits when she wrote about sex ed. A 360 exclusive.

And farewell to a dog you'd only want to pet after turning the lights off. Oh, that's not true! I would pet Sam. Sadly, Sam has passed, but we're going to show you the new ugliest canine.


COOPER: It's amazing. Forty percent of high schools have eliminated their schools newspapers in the last five years. Here's a question more difficult to answer than you might think at first.

In famously free America can you be both a student and a journalist? In other words, if you're writing an article for your high school paper on say, sex and birth control and the privacy rights of students, do you or does the school's administration get the last word on what can and can't be said?

It's not a hypothetical question to Krystal Meyers of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, who wrote just such an piece for a high school paper and then found her article censored and herself the center of a storm. We had an exclusive conversation with Ms. Meyers earlier this evening.


COOPER: So, Krystal, why did you decide to write this article?

KRYSTAL MEYERS, WRITER, "THE OAK LEAF": I decided that I was going to write it when I came back from summer vacation and I had seen how many of the senior and other classes had pregnant girls in it. And I asked my teacher if would be OK if I were to make a story on it and make some information known that obviously is not known.

COOPER: Well, one of the things that the superintendent said is, look, there are 14-year-old kids reading this article. But I read your article and actually according to your statistic 34 percent of ninth graders are sexually active anyway.

MEYERS: Yes, and that's one of the points that I made clear to the principle, but she still felt as though it was inappropriate.

COOPER: I want to read out some of the paragraphs that were censored from this article and also why the article is not running. One of them, you wrote, "If you get a pregnancy test done and you find out that you are pregnant, you can make sure that the parents do not know. Also parental consent is not needed to obtain birth control."

Now some people, I guess, thought you are sort of trying to undermine parents' authority here?

MEYERS: Yes, but that is not what my intent was. It was to let the students know whose parents may not want them to go and get birth control, but who are sexually active and want to be safe. It's for them to know that they do have that right.

COOPER: Some of the other paragraphs I found interesting. The first was a quote, "The only way for male condoms to actually work correctly is as soon as the male ejaculates he must pull out so there won't be any leakage into the vaginal area. This, unfortunately, is not widely practiced and therefore ups the risk of pregnancy." And then another paragraph, you have a quote from a doctor saying "withdrawal is risky because many men do not realize that when semen is released the first bit of semen contains a large quantity of sperm." They didn't want you using any of these words, right?

MEYERS: No, they thought that they were very obscene and inappropriate.

COOPER: I want to read the statement from the superintendent. We wanted to talk to the principal, the superintendent, obviously they said no. This from Doctor Thomas Bailey, released a statement saying, "After reviewing the article submitted to "The Oak Leaf", the administration felt that the interests of the student population would not be served by certain content of the articles. The administration considered the age range of the student body, the relevance of the articles to student life, and the ability of students to receive information on subject of birth control from other existing school programs."

Are there other school programs? I mean, don't -- I assume there is a sex-ed class and they talked about ejaculation, and they talk about condoms, and they talk about birth control, no?

MEYERS: We do have a class but I wouldn't exactly call it sex ed. We learn about the female parts, the male parts, but we don't -- they don't talk a whole lot about what actually the risk and things are.

COOPER: Did you have any idea this was going to cause such a kafuffle?

MEYERS: No. I knew it was going to be a controversial article. My supervisor also told me that it was -- it could cause some problems, but we weren't expecting it to go this far.

COOPER: What's the lesson for you in all of this?

MEYERS: Well, first of all this is my first year on a journalism staff, period. What I have learned is that I have a right to speak, and I have a right to have an opinion. And no matter what, no one can take that right away from me. And if I have to go to the news or if I have to go to a newspaper in order to have my story read by teenagers, that's what I'm going to do.


COOPER: And yes, I did use the work "kafuffle". I think it's not used enough these days.

Coming up next on 360 -- what? It's true. Coming up next, the saying is, "image is everything" and some say Saddam Hussein is keeping that in mind behind bars. We'll explain his -- did he have a make over? We'll take a look at that.

Plus, saying farewell to a -- maybe a dog that could have used a make over -- they said it was the ugliest dog, Sam. Wait till you see who is getting the title now.


COOPER: Yesterday in court deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had a rare chance to actually talk with friends, his co-defendants, former members of his regime. So what else did he do? He complained about the prison food, of course, you know that.

That was just one tidbit picked up by courtroom microphones, which Saddam Hussein apparently didn't know were still on. Other parts of the conversation were published in today's "New York Times". The paper reports that Saddam also doesn't like being watched at all hours. I could understand that. And he said he refused offers to have his family visit because he believes the women would cry if they saw how he was living.

He also said something that the mics didn't pick up clearly, but from what courtroom reporters made of it, it sounded like Saddam was discussing his own destiny and invoking the names of Napoleon Bonaparte and Benito Mussolini. Great company.

From his conversations Saddam Hussein doesn't seem to be happy, but he doesn't look bad either. As CNN's Mary Snow reports, his well- groomed appearance in court maybe an effort to send a message.


MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Appearing in court almost two years to the date after he was taken into U.S. custody, it was hard not to notice a change in Saddam Hussein's appearance.

JERROLD POST, DIR., POLITICAL PSYCHOLOGY, G.W. UNIV.: I was very struck in looking at him. He looks much better than he has for some time.

SNOW: Jerrold Post is keeping tabs. A former CIA profiler, he's now a political psychologist who writes about the former dictator. He says Saddam Hussein uses his time and appearance in the limelight to send a message.

POST: He is playing to his radical Arab followers. He has made a point throughout his career of having the courage to defy superior force and that, after all, is what he is doing.

SNOW: While facing charges of genocide it appears Saddam Hussein even sported a folded handkerchief in his pocket. That's the kind of detail you might expect from former inmate and style icon Martha Stewart, whose image was on trial even after her prison release. Experts say Hussein is paying attention to every detail of his appearance.

SABAH AL-MUKHTAR, ARAB LAWYERS ASSOCIATION: The handkerchief, which he had, this is one example of how one would continue to have the dignity and aura of importance, which he wants to portray. I'm sure. SNOW: His hair even appears darker. Gone are the visible grays. That feature is noticed by observers since hair dye, for instance, isn't even allowed in most U.S. prisons. The no dye issue came up with another famous but very different inmate, former "New York Times" reporter Judith Miller, who complained to gossip columnists that despite being brought some stain stick in jail, she developed a wide gray part. And actor Robert Blake, who was arrested with dark hair, was released from prison looking a bit lighter. That's why Saddam Hussein's new do has made and impression.

POST: It seems to me that the authorities are probably bending over backwards to not give him something to claim that he is being treated badly.

SNOW: Saddam Hussein did voice complaints as his seven co- defendants looked on. But note, the former Iraqi president was the only one wearing a Western suit. That, observers say reflects his belief that he's still president and should look like one.

Mary Snow, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Well, the president of the United States speaks again tomorrow trying to clarify his plan for getting the job done in Iraq and getting out. Question is have Americans reached a breaking point or tipping point? On hearing Walter Cronkite say the war in Vietnam had reached a stalemate after the TET offensive, President Lyndon Johnson famously said, "If I've lost Walter Cronkite, I've lost middle America."

Fast foreword 37 years, there is no Walter Cronkite to speak for middle America, but reporting from middle America, from a congressional district where support for the military and the president traditionally runs high, we do have CNN's John King.


KING (voice-over): At first glance Congressman Walter Jones is perhaps the most unlikely White House nemesis in the Iraq war debate. He is a conservative Republican, voted for the war, and was so angered at the French for opposing President Bush, he coined the phrase "Freedom Fries".

And yet, now, if he could write one line of the president's big Iraq speech it would this --

REP. WALTER JONES (R-NC): That I made a mistake. I thought at the time it was the right thing to do but in reflection I now know I made a mistake. We've got to be able to tell the American people the truth.

KING: His dramatic transformation began more than a year ago at a military funeral. Now, the congressman writes letters to family of every serviceman killed in Iraq. Says his support for the war was a mistake and that the president has failed to explain how the pre-war intelligence was so bad and how he defines victory now.

JONES: John, I think it a mountain that has got to be climbed. And I think it all goes to that word "trust". KING: Challenging a war-time commander in chief is risky business here. North Carolina's Third Congressional District is conservative country, dotted with military installations like Camp Lejeune and the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. A place that gave the president 68 percent of the vote just a year ago.

In local lore the blood runs red, white and blue. Retired Army Colonel Gus Wilgus among those who think their congressman and others demanding a detailed exit strategy are naive or worse.

COL. GUS WILGUS, U.S. ARMY (RET.): We're too early in the game. It's like playing poker, with an open hand, to your opponent. And by playing poker with an open hand I believe that that gives the enemy -- first of all, gives your plan, it gives them a timetable that says, hey, sit back and wait.

KING: Vietnam and Desert Storm combat veteran Jim Van Riper supports the war and agrees that any talk of specific withdrawal timetables is a mistake.

But recently Van Riper wrote his congressional delegation saying he could not longer support the Republican Party, calling Iraq a textbook case of how not to wage a war. Van Riper says the president is in a mess of his own making for standing by his Defense secretary.

COL. JIM VAN RIPER, U.S.M.C., (RET.): I'm more convinced than ever that Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld will be the Republican's Robert S. McNamara, when history is written that is the way he'll be viewed.

KING: Such talk in a patriotic place like this is telling. Tough questions for the commander in chief even as bases are bustling with training for the next deployment.

For his part, Congressman Jones has not shortage of critics. He says he will keep asking his questions, the president doesn't answer them.

JONES: It's for the families who have loved ones in Iraq today. It's for the families who have given a child dying for freedom.

KING: John King, CNN, Greenville, North Carolina.


COOPER: Well, next on 360, the world mourns the death of the Ugliest Dog, and there is a new canine ready to take the title. We'll show you ahead.


COOPER: So, now there are voices in this country speaking out against the war in Iraq, when that war was still in the offing many of those voices were in France. Have minds changed there? Specifically, has the mind of that country's new prime minister changed?

CNN's senior international correspondent Christiane Amanpour sat down with Dominique de Villepin to ask that question and a number of others as well.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INT'L. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The Iraq war drove a deep wedge between France and the United States. Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, then France's foreign minister, was way out in front voicing French dissent.

(on camera): You obviously did not support it and you raised many of the issues that are currently unfolding there right now. What do you think? Do you feel vindicated when you look at what Iraq is going through right now?

DOMINIQUE DE VILLEPIN, FRENCH PRIME MINISTER: No, I think we -- it is of course, a very difficult situation. We have gone a long way to begin to establish democracy in Iraq, but still there is a long way to go.

AMANPOUR (voice over): As for the immediate future, de Villepin says there are two main issues for Iraq. The possible outbreak of civil war and terrorism.

DE VILLEPIN: We know that there are two risks in Iraq, still, today. One is the division of Iraq, which is, of course, a nightmare for the region. And the second one is a growing role of terrorism. So I think it is very important for the international community to try really to put all of these forces together to solve the matter.

AMANPOUR: As for withdrawing U.S. troops:

DE VILLEPIN: We knew since the beginning, that it was very easy to go to war, but very difficult to get out of Iraq. Because of the fragility of the country, because of the sensitivity of the situation in this region. So now, we have to face the situation as it is; and it is the responsibility of all the international community to help the process and to make sure that we go forward all together.

AMANPOUR: And on France's fiery unrest, two weeks of rioting by French youths of African and Arab origin, de Villepin admits these people do face discrimination, but he downplays the violence compared to what's happened in the U.S.

DE VILLEPIN: It's very different from the situation you have known, in 1992, in LA, for example. You had at that time, 54 people that died. You had 2,000 people wounded in France during two weeks period of unrest nobody died in France. So, I think you cannot compare this social unrest with any kind of riots.

AMANPOUR: De Villepin insists the cause of French unrest is neither religious nor ethnic. DE VILLEPIN: There is no ethnic or religious basis of this movement, as we can see in some of the parts of the world. But it is true the that the feeling of discrimination the feeling of maybe not having the same equal chance, but what is interesting is that most of these young people, they want to be 100 percent French. They want to have equal chances.

AMANPOUR: Again, de Villepin says the French answer will be significantly different than in the United States. In France, programs will be created to help its youth with housing, education and employment.

(on camera): Is that like positive discrimination?


AMANPOUR: Is that affirmative action?

DE VILLEPIN: No, there is a difference between what we stand for in our republic, which is equal chances and affirmative action. Affirmative action is mainly aimed at taking into account the race and the religion. In our republic everybody is equal and we don't want to take into account the color of the skin, or the religion. But we want to take into the account the difficulty that one may have.

AMANPOUR: How can you help these people if you do not take into account that they are discriminated against because of their color?

DE VILLEPIN: We are going to triple the scholarships given to the children. We are going to triple the boarding schools in order to answer to the best students in these different neighborhoods, in order to help them, going to university and to have a good career.

But the difference between the system you have and the one we have is that we are going to help as well, any young children in France facing difficulty, but not taking into account that he's black, or coming from Arab or the Muslim. Everyone who has a difficulty is going to taken into account and helped individually.


COOPER: Next on 360, we remember Sam, the world's ugliest dog and I'll show the ghastly canine now ready to take his turn.


COOPER: Well, he had a face that could cause nightmares. A bark that could send chills down your spine, and a body that simply said, "don't touch". But Sam was not your ordinary ugly dog. No, he was above all the rest -- or below, depending on how you look at it. Most importantly, though, CNN's Jeanne Moos reports he is an ugly dog that is sorely missed.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): There is one less dog as Susie Lockheed's house. And empty dog bed, and empty dog bowl, and an owner who feels empty.

Crying one minute, laughing the next.

SUSIE LOCKHEED, SAM'S OWNER: Really, it's almost like a world leader has passed away. I'm overwhelmed.

MOOS: If looks could kill ...


MOOS: ... Sam would have been a mass murderer.


MOOS: Named World's Ugliest Dog at California's Sonoma Marin Fair.

LOCKHEED: 2003, 2004, 2005.

MOOS (on camera): It is the Ugliest Dog.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was the ugliest dog in the world, he died.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's not very nice.

MOOS: Why?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, he was. He won it three years in a row.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's say I didn't like the way you looked? Would I say you are the ugliest woman in the world?

MOOS: I hope not to my face.

(Voice over): But Sam's ugliness won him fans worldwide, when he died, put to sleep, it was in his owner's arms.

LOCKHEED: From the moment of life, to the moment of death, he had the exact same look in his eyes, because he always kind of looked like death warmed over.

MOOS: But there was nothing warmed over about Susie and Sam's relationship. Susie took him in from a shelter when he was nine and considered unadoptable. He slept in her bed. Now, she's been sleeping with his favorite toy.

LOCKHEED: See, people think I'm a nut (ph), Jeanne.

There was some joking going around on the Internet about having him taxidermied for the Smithsonian Institution, but he's actually being cremated.

MOOS: Sam's oak box will join her five other cremated pets. In the wake of his death, Sam's web site has gotten as many as 6 million hits in one day. Condolence cards and e-mails like this one slugged, "Ugly is only skin deep" have poured in from all over the world.

LOCKHEED: Some one made this for Sam. This really chokes me up, because -- oh, god! I miss my dog! MOOS: At a fan web site Sam has been given angel wings.

LOCKHEED: Oh, he -- oh, god!

MOOS: Sam was almost 15. What finally got him?

(On camera): Heart failure.


MOOS: He probably looked in --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He probably looked in the mirror!


MOOS (voice over): Susie thinks Sam's gift was to make people laugh. If she ever wants to hear Sam, all she has to do is dial her own phone.

LOCKHEED: Please leave a message at the sound of the growl.


MOOS: Though Sam didn't make it through the holidays, you can catch him in his Santa's outfit representing December 2006. Just be careful where you put the Ugliest Dog Calendar. Don't want to ruin your dog's appetite.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


COOPER: I think there was something cute about him. So with Sam off to doggie heaven, what dog is now the World's Ugliest? Officially, we won't know who will take the throne until the Sonoma Marin Fair in June of next year, but unofficially the crown, by default will go to the second place finisher in this year's fair -- oh, my goodness?!

Wow, what kind of a -- that honor went to this mutt, a cross between a Offen (ph) Pincher Terrier and another breed, perhaps a Chihuahua with a little -- I don't know -- what is -- ah, that's not so ugly. Her name is Munchkin. So what do you think is she deserving of Sam's throne? I don't know. It's a pretty tall order.

Thanks very much for watching 360. We're going to have more from New Orleans tomorrow night, about the latest outrage from that city.

Larry King is next. Good night.


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