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North Korea Missiles; American Heroes: Rebuilding the Gulf; NOLA Reality Check; Faith Hill & Tim McGraw; Charity Bucks; Kindness of Strangers

Aired July 5, 2006 - 23:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: War games. A defiant North Korea test fires several missiles, including one that could reach the U.S. and raises the stakes of a nuclear showdown.
A 360 exclusive, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.


ANNOUNCER: Two of the biggest country stars, reaching out to the victims of Katrina. It's part of tonight's special "American Heroes: Rebuilding the Gulf."

And on the money trail. When the hurricane hit, Americans opened their wallets, giving billions to help New Orleans. But what exactly did all of that money pay for? We're keeping them honest.

Across the country and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360. Tonight, live from the CNN New Orleans Bureau, here's Anderson Cooper.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks for joining us. We begin this hour with North Korean missiles. Seven missiles to be exact, including one with range enough to hit the western United States. The kind that North Korea test fired yesterday, despite global warnings not to.

The long range rocket, a Taepodong-2, failed just 42 seconds into flight. But it was enough to rattle the world.

Tonight, President Bush spoke with the South Korean and Japanese prime ministers, stressing the need of unity in the face of the North Korean challenge.

Earlier today, the U.N. Security Council met in emergency session to consider sanctions against North Korea. A Japanese proposal, backed by the U.S. and Great Britain, but not Russia and China.

It hasn't been easy dealing with North Korea. We'll have more of that in a moment.

But first, CNN's Jeanne Meserve on what happens if diplomacy fails and North Korea puts a long range missile into operation.


JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice over): During the cold war, the message was be prepared.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Find the nearest hole and make like a mole.

MESERVE: But despite North Korea's bellicose talk and actions, a missile strike does not seem to be on the Department of Homeland Security's agenda.

KEN MURPHY, OREGON EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: In all of our telephone conversations with homeland security or meetings, the subject just hasn't come up.

MESERVE: As an Oregon Emergency Management Official Ken Murphy thinks it should. If North Korea ever does launch a long range missile successfully, his state could be hit.

MURPHY: I think it would be prudent for them to at least contact the western United States that might be the first recipients of such a disaster and at least begin discussions and thinking about what are the pieces that we need help with.

MESERVE: Oregon, along with other states, has been girding for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks, guided by DHS scenarios. Those preparations could help in a missile strike.

MICHAEL O'HANLON, BROOKINGS INSTITUTE: It doesn't matter their much whether a nuclear, chemical or biological warhead is delivered by missile or by truck bomb or by some other means. The way in which it would affect populations is quite similar.

MESERVE: Hurricane Katrina pointed out some area where improvement is needed, and there are others.

MAJOR GENERAL DON SHEPPERD, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: How to cordon off areas, how to decontaminate areas, how to handle people that are contaminated, how to make your communications work doing that, what do you do with temporary housing?

MESERVE (on camera): The Department of Homeland Security declined to comment for this report. Some analysts think the risk of a successful North Korean launch is so minimal there is no need to prepare, but others think the potential consequences are too great not to.

Jeanne Meserve, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Well, the missile shots yesterday were tracked by satellite and ship-borne radar in the Pacific, as well as the country's new and yet untried antimissile system. Untried, not however, untested. CNN's Barbara Starr.


BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There have been 10 tests of the U.S. Interceptor. Only half have worked. JOHN PIKE, GLOBALSECURITY.ORG: If the missile defense system was a baseball player, and had a batting average of 500, you would say it was doing pretty good. If it's only working half of the time and it's the only thing standing between you and an incoming hydrogen bomb, you would say it's not working very well at all.

STARR: The five tests that failed, one as recently as last February, had various technical problems. Pentagon officials say those have been solved. And they are now confident the missiles would work during an attack, mainly because there were four consecutive successful hits against target missiles in 2001 and 2002. But that was four years ago. Since then, much of the technology has been upgraded.

But one defense official familiar with the program acknowledges the major criticism. That the testing done so far is not realistic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All systems are go for launch. Standby for terminal count.

STARR: That it's all been scripted out ahead of time, as most weapons tests are.

Analysts say the U.S. may still have problems shooting down anything more complex than a single warhead. The biggest risk still may be the continuing uncertainty about North Korea's real intentions.

PIKE: And it's possible that one day they'll provoke a crisis, get in over their head and suddenly we'll find ourselves in a shooting war with them. Under those circumstances, you might hope that you had a reliable missile defense because they might not prove completely deterrable.

STARR (on camera): Deterrable or not, the basic problem remains, after years of development and billions of dollars spent, knowing how well missile defense may work may be just as tough as knowing whether it will be needed.

Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.


COOPER: Well, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has had extensive dealings with North Korea as a U.S. ambassador during the Clinton administration and as an envoy for President Bush. He visited the country as recently as late last year. He joins us tonight a long way from his home state on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

Governor, thanks for being with us.


COOPER: Why do you think North Korea tested the missiles now?

RICHARDSON: One, to get attention. They felt neglected. Iran, Iraq was getting all the international attention.

Secondly, I believe they're upset at the United States' squeezing them on issues like frozen assets. They had been counterfeiting $100 bills and we froze some of their accounts with the help of some of our allies in Macaw.

And third, I believe they feel that Iran, which has no nuclear weapons, got a better deal from the western countries, European countries. They can proceed, Iran can, with a civilian nuclear reactor. We said to the North Koreans, along with the six-party talks, that they could not have a civilian nuclear reactor. We have refused to talk to them directly.

All of those problems surfaced at the time when Kim Jong-il who saber rattles, who's unpredictable, picked the fourth of July to show his displeasure. And he's gotten the attention -- I'm not sure he deserves it, but he's certainly gotten everybody's attention.

COOPER: In that way, then, I mean, if the first part of why they did it, if your analysis is correct, to get attention, then they were successful. I mean, they're front and center now.

RICHARDSON: That's right. And I believe we need to -- the United States needs to take the lead. I think we're doing the right thing, going to the security council, getting a statement of condemnation, looking eventually at potential sanctions, economic sanctions, with Russia and China being probably the most problematic.

But secondly, what I would do, what I would advise the president would be to have his Assistant Secretary Christopher Hill, who's in the region, talk directly to the North Koreans. Not necessarily give anything in on policy. Talk to them directly to set up the next round of six-party talks.

I believe that gesture, although undeserved, would get at least some kind of negotiation going on because this is not a military crisis. This is a diplomatic crisis. The best way to resolve it is, in my judgment, face-to-face direct talks, which the administration so far has not wanted to pursue.

COOPER: Critics, though, will say look, face-to-face talks basically rewards the North Koreans for launching this missile, for playing tough.

RICHARDSON: Well, the reality is what's the alternative? We have not engaged in talks. There haven't been six-party talks. They're shooting missiles. They're destabilizing the region.

I believe if you directly talk to North Korea the way we are now talking to Iran with some interveners like the Europeans, would fulfill an obligation that I believe we need to pursue.

In the Clinton administration, we negotiated with the North Koreans. For 10 years they didn't develop nuclear weapons, they didn't develop any missiles. Yes, they broke the agreement, but it's better to talk to them. It's better to engage them. And I believe a deal is in the making. In exchange for North Korea terminating their nuclear weapons, their missiles, they get an armistice disagreement, which basically says they won't be attacked by the six-party countries, they get fuel assistance, energy assistance, economic assistance.

All you want to do is stabilize the region. You're never going to bring them out of the cold. They're isolated. They're unpredictable. And I believe that the best thing we can do is just engage them directly. You don't have to give anything when talking to them directly. They're big on protocol. They're big on wanting to be on the international stage.

COOPER: Are they a paper tiger? I mean, it's very easy to build them up to be, you know, the international boogeyman. Certainly, the Soviet Union turned out to be much weaker than previously thought. Saddam's regime, clearly not as strong as some had made them out to be. You know, do we see these parades with hundreds of thousands of soldiers, but as Dan Rather pointed out in the last hour, not a lot of modern equipment, not a lot of modern weaponry. Are they really that big a threat?

RICHARDSON: Well, they are a threat. I saw their nuclear reactor when I was there for talks eight months ago. It's dilapidated. It's not in good shape. I'm not sure their technology is the best. Witness the failure of the long range mission.

But at the same time I do think they have two or three nuclear weapons. They have the fourth largest army in the world. They have missiles pointed at South Korea. We've got about 50,000 American troops on the DMZ. They're bellicose, they're isolated, they're a cult of personality. They have very little to lose. They have no economy. Their entire country is based on a strong armed forces.

So, yes, they are a threat. Are they an overwhelming threat? No. But what we want is stability in that region. We want to help our allies, the South Koreans, the Japanese, who are more directly effected. But also if they do develop a capability for a longer-range missile down the road that hits the United States, we want to be ready. And you diffuse that by diplomacy, not by a military option that I believe right now doesn't look very good.

COOPER: Governor Richardson, we appreciate your perspective. Thank you.

For a country slightly smaller than Mississippi, North Korea has a lot of military might. Here's the raw data.

With a population of more thank 22 million people, nearly one out of every four citizens has some type of role in North Korea's military. One out of four.

Military expenditures account for about 30 percent of the GDB, making it the world's most militaristic state.

And if there ever was a conflict, North Korea could fire at least 300,000 shells into and around Seoul, South Korea, risking the lives of 30,000 U.S troops still in the region, or some 50,000 and countless South Koreans.

Turning to New Orleans now, and our exclusive interview with Country Music Stars Faith Hill and Tim McGraw and the efforts by thousands of people here to help rebuild this Gulf region. We're going to have more from the country western stars in a moment.

But first, CNN's Gary Tuchman joins us with some of the other stories we're following right now -- Gary.


Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says he wants Iraqis to investigate the alleged rape and murder of an Iraqi girl by U.S. troops. He's called for an independent Iraqi investigation or at least a joint inquiry with coalition forces. Al-Maliki also says there should be a review of the immunity from Iraqi prosecution given to coalition forces.

Meanwhile, a car bomb near a Baghdad mosque killed six people yesterday. The U.S. military says it expects more such attacks because they are the trademark of the new leader of al Qaeda in Iraq.

Mexican officials have begun recounting votes in this weekend's presidential election to decide whether the conservative candidate, Felipe Calderon, won. Preliminary results showed Calderon with a 1 percentage point lead over his leftist rival, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

It looks as if the space shuttle Discovery will not need emergency repairs when it hooks up with the International Space Station tomorrow. Discovery lifted off yesterday, despite a small crack on the foam insulation on its fuel tank. NASA is keeping a close eye on the shuttle, and says so far its heat shield and everything else appears to be in good shape.

And three people have been charged with stealing secrets from the Coca-Cola company and trying to sell them to archrival Pepsi. The suspects will appear before a federal magistrate in Atlanta tomorrow. Pepsi apparently had alerted Coke about the attempted leak.

And Anderson, the soft drink industry is very competitive. It's nice to see some brotherhood in this case.

COOPER: Gary, thanks.

They are two of the biggest names in music. They are joining us tonight, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. Performing in New Orleans right now behind me, actually, in the arena. And they're also giving back to people across the Gulf. My exclusive interview before their benefit concert tonight.

Also, as we approach the one-year anniversary of Katrina. Imagine that, it's almost been a year. A reality check on the slow road to recovery for many in New Orleans. And as our special, "American Heroes: Rebuilding the Gulf," continues, we'll look at one man who has gone to extremes to save the animals left homeless from the hurricane.



COOPER: Faith Hill, performing earlier tonight in New Orleans. A special concert for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. She and her husband Tim McGraw visited hart hit St. Bernard Parish soon after Katrina struck and damaged countless homes there beyond repair. Today we went back there to see how things are today. We'll have that in a moment.

Every day there are signs of rebirth here in New Orleans. And they are encouraging. They're also misleading. For many, life in this city continues to be lived in limbo and in despair.

CNN's Sean Callebs has a reality check.


SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tourists are slowly coming back to New Orleans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, a blast. I'm having a wonderful time.

CALLEBS: The calendar says next month will mark the one-year anniversary of Katrina. But much of the landscape looks like it was just hit. Entire communities, tens of thousands of homes are still vacant. And the city has no real plan on how to get people back in them.

People like Jackie Adams, who's trying to live in a home still under repair

JACKIE ADAMS, NEW ORLEANS HOMEOWNER: I'm nervous because I feel like I'm living in a ghost town. I feel like I'm surrounded by houses that are empty. Some that no neighbors have even come home to even gut their homes.

CALLEBS: Her home flooded. Adams lived in five different places this year. While paying mortgage for a house that wasn't livable.

ADAMS: And then we discovered that there was some mold even up here behind the cabinets.

CALLEBS: She refuses to buy new furniture. Still haunted by the storm and afraid that levees which prove porous will again fail.

ADAMS: I want to just have the, you know, bare minimum and live with that until I feel more comfortable that I'm going to be able to live without the fear of another flood. And then there's other days when you ask yourself, you know, why am I still here, what am I doing.

CALLEBS: The stress has sparked an increase in anxiety and even depression and suicide.

DR. KEVIN JORDAN, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, TOURNO HOSPITAL: We have a crisis of epidemic proportion.

CALLEBS: Touro, the one hospital open in Orleans Parish is completely overwhelmed.

JORDAN: Folks will wait in hospitals for days unfortunately, to be transferred to the far reaches of the state. And in many cases to Texas or Mississippi to get the inpatient psychiatric care that they need.

CALLEBS: Folks also wait for hours in Touro's emergency room. The overflow there is matched by an overflow in violent crime. Five killings in one weekend prompted the governor to call for hundreds of National Guard troops, some of them just back from Baghdad.

The French Quarter is still an intoxicating enticement. But much of the city still suffers Katrina's lingering effects.

ADAMS: Until you actually see it or you live through it, you really have no idea.

CALLEBS: And for many people here, no idea when New Orleans will feel like home again.

Sean Callebs, CNN, New Orleans.


COOPER: Well, of course, until there's a real plan, a plan for this entire city to determine what parts will get rebuilt, where it will get rebuilt and when and how, it's really up to individuals to make a difference.

And we are seeing thousands of people, tens of thousands of people over these last several months who have come down here, students on their spring break, on their summer vacation, people taking vacation just to come here and work with some of the groups, trying to make a difference, trying to rebuild not only New Orleans, but the entire Gulf Coast along in Mississippi as well.

Two people here tonight in this city, trying to make a difference, are performing right now behind me. Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, country western superstars. They have a benefit concert tonight.

I took a walk along the lower Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish with them earlier today. Here's some of what we saw.


TIM MCGRAW, COUNTRY WESTERN SUPERSTAR: When I first came down, and we went to -- we drove through the city as best we could.

COOPER: Tim McGraw, remembering his first visit to New Orleans just days after Hurricane Katrina struck.

Does it surprise you that it's all kind of still out here?

MCGRAW: You know what? It does. Like I said, when I came down right after the hurricane and I came down around Christmas time again. And it -- it's still the same. Still mud. There's still -- I'm really interested to see what St. Bernard Parish looks like, if it's still like it was at Christmas when I came down.

COOPER: Walk around the devastated lower Ninth Ward as Faith Hill and Tim McGraw did today, and it's hard not to be shocked, shocked by the scope of destruction, shocked by the lack of progress cleaning it up.

MCGRAW: But there's got to be a plan. I mean, that's the main thing. And you can't really push the play button until there's a plan to do it. And I think it was you that said that, just hoping that and a plan.

COOPER: It does seem like Mississippi is almost further along, you know, at least with a plan.


COOPER: You go to Waveland, Mississippi, and their Mayor Tommy Longo, you know, has the plan on paper. You can see it.

HILL: Yes. You got to have steps to get to -- you've got to have a beginning and you've got to have an end, for people to follow. There's too many people that has been affected. And there is definitely more progress being made in Mississippi. I think in this -- it's just more difficult in Louisiana for some reason. I'm not sure why. It's just -- it's been very, very difficult.

COOPER (voice-over): Tim worked on his last visit here, helping out in nearby St. Bernard Parish, another devastated section of the city.

Today, the couple took a trip back there, visiting some of those displaced by the storm, firefighters living in FEMA trailers.

MCGRAW: Oh, my boy is going to be jealous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you so much. I won't wash that cheek or this side of my body for the rest of my life.

MCGRAW: What can you foresee with how long it's going to take to get anything -- not even to normal. That's just -- that would be a silly question to ask, how long before it gets back to normal because that's obvious. That's going to be a long, long time, but to where there's just some semblance of a regular life?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think a couple of years, two, three years. Homestead, Florida, we think about 10 years it took for them to rebuild their community. I kept telling the guys, don't worry, in six months, we'll be OK. There will be a big building boom. And it hasn't happened yet.

COOPER (on camera): Do you feel sometimes forgotten? Especially St. Bernard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I don't know we're totally forgotten, but you know how it is when you sit there and you watch the news on television and then you turn it off and you're back to your normal life. And it doesn't affect you.

MCGRAW: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, we've always dealt with people going through tragedy with fires and they lose all of their belongings and it's terrible. And I think now we'll have a new respect for those people because after losing everything that we own, you know, you have to have a lot more compassion for them.

COOPER (voice-over): In St. Bernard Parish the country singers saw for themselves how some of Katrina's victims are now living.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we're faced with right now is they've given us these camper trailers that we're in, for a weekend. OK, and we're forced to move what little possessions we had here and we're forced to move our wife, our three children, some of them elderly parent, have to come in here. We've got people that were living in these with six people in it.

HILL: This size?


COOPER (on camera): Do you guys think about what it would be like if you were living there? How do you think you would respond?

MCGRAW: Oh, she would kill me.

COOPER: You couldn't live in a space this big?

HILL: You know what, it would be tough.

MCGRAW: It would be very tough.

HILL: We live on a bus when we're on tour, but it's not -- it's nothing like this. You know, it's a different kind of lifestyle. But it would be very, very difficult with a family. This is -- you know, this is a small trailer. Basically one room. The only other separate room is the toilet. That's the only way you can close yourself off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's about it. That's about it. Or that little drape that you can actually close in.

HILL: It would be tough.


COOPER (voice-over): Before they left, the country superstars handed out free tickets to their benefit concert and signed autographs. A few moments of happiness and a place where that is in very short supply.

Incidentally, the July 17th issue of "People," magazine features Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. You can look for that on newsstands beginning this Friday.


COOPER (on camera): Another challenge, helping the thousands of animals abandoned after Katrina. Coming up, meet a Mississippi man who's done so much for pets in need and continues to. Just wait until you see how he has literally transformed his life for the animals left behind.

And a hero cop in New Orleans, shot in the head during the looting after Katrina. And amazingly, he survived. Despite the wound and the pain, he still wants to help this city rebuild.

And if you want to help the victims of Katrina, you can log onto our Web site, and look at just some of the charities who are doing work here.

This is a special edition of 360, live from New Orleans. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Well, the victims here in New Orleans and in the Gulf Coast weren't just humans, of course. There were also thousands of abandoned animals, helpless and in desperate need for food and water. There's a man in Mississippi who hasn't forgotten them. He's provided so much to him, even his home.

CNN's Gary Tuchman reports.



TUCHMAN (voice-over): Sam Bailey's yard has more animals than some zoos.

BAILEY: We named most of these after ice cream. There's Baskin and there's Robbins and there's Hershey. They were stuffed in a box and put underneath a pick-up truck at a Wal-Mart parking lot. Sometimes it's very frustrating. But if I could have 100 here, I would.

TUCHMAN: His yard is a foster home for dozens of abandoned pets. Sam lives in Pearlington, Mississippi, where the eye of Hurricane Katrina came ashore. He rode out the storm in his home because he didn't want to abandon the animals that are cared for by an organization he founded called the Pontchartrain Humane Society.

And now there are more pets here. Abandoned by others during Katrina. Sam and his wife live in a FEMA trailer because his house is uninhabitable for people. Some pets remain inside. Samson the Rottweiler gets a bathroom.

BAILEY: You be a good boy.

TUCHMAN: Some cats get a bedroom. But most of the pets live outside, waiting for people to adopt them. Thousands of pets were abandoned during Katrina, so not surprisingly there has been an increase in the number of dogs, often ill and mistreated, arriving in Sam's yard.

BAILEY: She has no canine teeth on the right-hand side. She had been hit in the face with either -- the vet think a baseball bat.

TUCHMAN: When Hurricane Katrina hit, the flood waters climbed up to the second floor of the house. Sam acted like Noah, ushering dogs up to the attic.

(On camera): Did you bring all the dogs up here?

BAILEY: All of the dogs except Samson, because I didn't know...

TUCHMAN: The Rottweiler?

BAILEY: The Rottweiler.

TUCHMAN: And why didn't he go up there?

BAILEY: Because I didn't know how I was going to entice him to walk up these steps.

TUCHMAN: Couldn't carry him?

BAILEY: And I couldn't carry 140 pounds.

TUCHMAN: All the pets that were with him survived. But Sam still can't get over the dead, abandoned pets he has seen.

BAILEY: You wouldn't leave your kid hanging on a tree branch.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Sam's organization has volunteers, but the work takes hours of his day and there is no pay.

(On camera): Sam Bailey doesn't especially want to stay here in Pearlington or in Mississippi, for that matter. But he's not about to leave because he doesn't want to abandon his pets.

BAILEY: If I had to do it again, my wife and I really have thought about it, and I think that we probably really would stay again.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Because of your love of the pets?

BAILEY: Yes. Because we know that no one else would do it.

TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN, Pearlington, Mississippi. (END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And joining me now is a the remarkable man Sam Bailey, with a number of the volunteers that you have working for you.

Thanks you for being here. Thanks for what you're doing.

BAILEY: Thank you very much.

COOPER: Do you feel like a lot of people in the rest of the country have kind of forgotten, not only the needs of people here, but also animals?

BAILEY: Well, definitely that they've forgotten about animals.

COOPER: This little guy is looking for attention right now.

BAILEY: It's -- everybody is trying to get their houses back together and I understand that. But there are still these little things that are left out in the woods that are just running around. I mean there's horrible stories that you hear every day. We have a litter of about seven pups that were stuck in a cardboard box and stuck underneath a car in a parking lot.

COOPER: How many animals do you have now up for -- available for adoption?

BAILEY: There's approximately 50 animals right now, cats and dogs, puppies.

COOPER: And this puppy?

BAILEY: Yes, this happens to be Jackson. This is one of four. We have a couple others from the same litter.

COOPER: So, all these -- wow, look at that face. He's so beautiful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is Charmaine, named for Charmaine noodles. It's a (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

COOPER: Oh, is that right?

BAILEY: Yes. And she had a problem with the fact that we got these out of the woods and Charmaine had her ear half chewed off by wildlife.


BAILEY: So we get them in any shape and size. We don't look for the perfect yellow lab.

COOPER: And, I mean, how much does this cost you? How do you pay for all this?

BAILEY: Well, you hope it comes through in donations. But lots of times it doesn't and so we just kind of as a group just suck it up and pay for it.

COOPER: What's your Web site that people can -- because all the animals are up for adoption...

BAILEY: All of the animals are up for adoption. Our Web site is

COOPER: OK, we're going put that up on the screen in just a minute. What's the main thing you want people to know about what's happening here with animals?

BAILEY: Well, we want to get across to people the concept of spay and neuter. We don't let any animal out of our group go without it being spayed or neutered; or if it's too young, six months is usually the age that you spay them.

COOPER: And with hurricane season coming up, people should have a plan for their animals as well.

BAILEY: Absolutely. And we've developed a flier concerning that to try and help people. We have attached to our Web site hotels that you can go to that are pet friendly now.

COOPER: That's a big problem, of course, trying to find. Sam, I appreciate what you're doing. I appreciate you bringing all the volunteers and thank you for what you're doing.

You know, some of the animals, let's, you know, maybe someone out there would like to adopt them.

Again, the info, if you would like to help, the number for the Pontchartrain Humane Society is 985-699-9040. The Web site It's got pictures of pets that need adopting. It also has a wish list if you would prefer to donate things like food and medicine to care for animals that haven't yet been placed in foster homes.

We'll have a lot more on the people here and more on the animals here coming up in this hour.

Some people throw around the phrase, "Katrina fatigue," the notion that America has heard enough about the disaster and its aftermath. Tonight, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw tackle that one head on. In their own words, you'll hear them describe seeing fellow Americans in urgent need. Images that they and anyone who has visited here just can't shake.

Plus, who's keeping track of where the money went? Not tax dollars, but the billions of dollars donated to charities. You're going to be amazed at how fast the money goes when 360 continues from New Orleans.



Percentage of New Orleans homes still without electric service: 40 percent.


COOPER: That is an unbelievable number. Even now, 10 months after Katrina, 40 percent of all homes in New Orleans still without electricity. So much still needs to be done here. That's why we're here, to continue to find the facts, get answers and trying to hold the people in power accountable.

There are many making a difference. Tens of thousands people here. Two very well known people here tonight making a difference, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

We've been bringing you parts of our exclusive interview with them throughout tonight. Here's more of their mission of mercy.


COOPER: So, what's it like being back in New Orleans?

MCGRAW: Well, it's -- knowing that we're at a place where we're coming back to try to move forward and to try to, you know, as little dollars as we can raise by doing a concert and because I like to come back to New Orleans no matter what it's like. But it's still strange to see not so much being -- has been done as you would expect.

COOPER: For you, this is your first time back really, since the storm.

HILL: It's my first time back. I have been to Mississippi, but I have not been in New Orleans. The life of this town, I mean, people just, you have to experience New Orleans before you understand why it's so important that this town comes back to the way it was. And even better than what it was before because it's such a heritage of our -- of our life and our lifestyles.

COOPER: When you hear that term "Katrina fatigue," you know, you hear people in Washington talk about "Katrina fatigue" or people in California or elsewhere. I always think that the only people who have the right to have "Katrina fatigue" are the people who are here...

MCGRAW: In he middle of it.

COOPER: Right.

HILL: Oh, that's...

MCGRAW: Yes, and that's really the wrong word to use. "Katrina fatigue." I mean, if you're going to call it "Katrina fatigue," then you really, it's the people that went through "Katrina fatigue."

HILL: But the issue still remains that there is mountains and mountains and mountains of things to do that have not been taken care of that honestly should be taken care of.

COOPER: And you were -- I read somewhere you were in the St. Bernard Parish and went to a shelter and you were talking about some of the kids you met there and sort of the look in their eye.

MCGRAW: In St. Bernard Parish, we went to a shelter that was just bridging people in. This was eight to 10 days after the hurricane. I don't know which. And they were just bringing people in off the rooftops they were just still finding. And the look in their eyes was just one that I've never seen before. It's just a hollow, lost expression. Helpless. And not only kids. It was grown-ups, old people, and strong middle-aged people who are healthy people, that just had this glazed look on their eyes that they had been through something that you could look in their eyes and tell that you had no idea what they had gone through.

COOPER: Do you see a lot of resolve when you walk around New Orleans, when you look in people's eyes now?

MCGRAW: Oh, yes. Yes, I do. I see a lot of resolve. I mean, these people -- they want to be here. They want this to work out. I mean, they want help.

HILL: I still see pain.

MCGRAW: You still see pain. You see -- you can drive...

HILL: I saw a lot of that today.

MCGRAW: You can drive by and see somebody sitting out on their porch. You can just see them just kind of looking in the distance.

HILL: One...

MCGRAW: You know, and thinking and, you wonder, you know what they're thinking about but you wonder what they're thinking about. And the thing is, not knowing when it's going to end. That's the biggest thing that I can think of that's got to be the biggest horror of the whole situation, is not knowing when it's going to change.


COOPER: And of course, many people here in New Orleans do not know when it's going to end or when it's going to get rebuilt or where or even how.

Americans responded to Katrina by opening their wallets to an extraordinary degree. Charities responded by trying to direct the money to those most in need. But as we have seen tonight, the need continues. Which raises the question, where did that money go, the money that was donated?

CNN's Joe Johns, tonight, keeping them honest.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When New Orleans cried out for help, America responded and is still responding. The most recent estimate of charitable donations, $5.3 billion, seems staggering at first glance. Most of the money, $4.2 billion, donated by individual people. But when you look at the scope of the disaster affecting an area about the size of Great Britain with more than a million people evacuated, it doesn't seem like so much money.

Elizabeth Boris studied the Katrina response.

ELIZABETH BORIS, THE URBAN INSTITUTE: It's a great start, but we know the scale of the disaster is much, much greater. We have, what, 280 some thousand homes that are just destroyed. We have people without jobs, whole neighborhoods unlivable.

JOHNS: So what is the money being used for? It was either for emergency response, food, shelter, clothing, medical supplies and pets or for rebuilding, homes, churches, synagogues, schools, farms.

But getting the money to the people who need it hasn't always gone smoothly. For one thing, some local charities that could have helped were themselves knocked out by the hurricane. And the Government Accountability Office reported serious problems with coordination of charitable relief, especially for people in hard to reach areas. Difficulty sharing information from computer databases or sharing inaccurate information at a time when the victims needed the fastest response possible.

Diana Aviv, president of Independent Sector, represents a coalition of about 550 public charities and foundations. She and others see a need for larger organizations to have good contacts with smaller groups that will know where the needs are when disaster strikes.

DIANA AVIV, INDEPENDENT SECTOR: The individual out there who sees this terrible thing going on, they're watching their screen and they see this terrible thing going on, they want to be sure that they're giving their money to an organization that is likely to help them. So they will go to the ones that they've heard of, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, United Way, the very big organizations.

It's imperative that those organizations have relationships with the local organizations and other people on the ground.

JOHNS: To that end, relief groups have been working on coordination plans. But with a new hurricane season already under way, they're still trying to figure out how to make them work.

Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Coming up, an amazing story in the aftermath of Katrina that stemmed from a horrible crime. A New Orleans police officer rushed back to work. He was shot in the head, but survived. His story and how he is learning to cope today and still trying to survive. That story coming up.

Plus, a story of true grit, a basketball team with nothing left to lose plays a season of its life and gets some unexpected help. Ahead on this special edition of 360, "American Heroes: Rebuilding the Gulf."



COOPER: Faith Hill and Tim McGraw performing just a little while ago tonight. The concert looks like it just got out here in New Orleans. A fund raiser for their foundation, Neighbors Keeper, raising money to help rebuild the Gulf.

Just two people doing the work here in New Orleans and the Gulf, trying to help rebuild. There have been tens of thousands, of course, most of them not famous.

Of course, New Orleans wasn't the only place hit hard. Residents of coastal Mississippi are rebuilding their lives as well.

About 15 miles west of Biloxi, you will find a beachfront town of Pass Christian, the Pass, as the locals call it, full of southern charm. After Katrina, however, the girl's high school basketball team discovered the charm of strangers from across America.

CNN's Susan Roesgen reports.


SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If you want to know what Katrina did to the Lady Pirates basketball team of Pass Christian, Mississippi, take a look at their shoes. No two pairs are alike because the girls' shoes, their uniforms, even the gym they used to play in, are all gone.

(On camera): This is where one of the players used to live. A mobile home picked up and carried by the storm surge across the road, 100 yards away.

(Voice-over): These days Lady Pirates Junior Point Guard Sarah Freeman practices outside her family's FEMA trailer. The drive to get back on the court is the one thing that kept her going when the hurricane took everything else away.

SARAH FREEMAN, PLAYER: As soon as the phone lines got back up, I called my coach to ask her if -- if we were going to play.

ROESGEN: The Lady Pirates had never been what you call a power house. They had never even made it to the playoffs until this year when the team that lost everything found their true grit. They started winning. They took second place in their district. And someone noticed.

Last week at the elementary school gym, where they had been practicing, a visitor arrived with a surprise.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every single one of you get a new pair of Nike shocks. OK?

ROESGEN: A national business women's networking organization headed by CEO Sandra Yancey had decided to adopt the Lady Pirates. Working with Nike and the WNBA, Yancey brought the team gifts and hope. It was the girls' spirit that made them a team. Now they look like a team, too.

Susan Roesgen, CNN, Pass Christian, Mississippi.


COOPER: Well, coming up, another amazing story. A New Orleans police officer just trying to do his job in the lawless days right after Katrina. He was shot in the head. Now he is rebuilding his life. His story ahead on this special edition of 360.


COOPER: And you're looking at a live shot of the New Orleans arena. The Tim Hill -- Faith Hill, Tim McGraw concert just getting out now. The people streaming out. Quite a long show it was. A benefit concert helping to rebuild the Gulf.

In the past year we've formed a picture of the victims of Hurricane Katrina. We see people's homes and lives were destroyed by a natural calamity and by a government's failed response. But Katrina took its toll in other ways.

CNN's Sean Callebs now meets a police officer whose life will never be the same.


CALLEBS (voice-over): The day after Katrina, the water was rising and so was looting. New Orleans Police Officer Kevin Thomas stopped four suspicious men at this Chevron in the city's west bank. Three cooperated. But when he went to frisk the fourth, Thomas's life changed forever.

KEVIN THOMAS, NEW ORLEANS POLICE OFFICER: I turned him around and pat him down. I guess as I was -- he turned back around, I guess that's the way he had the chance to pull it out and he had a chance to shoot me.

CALLEBS: A bullet from a .45 ripped through his head.

THOMAS: It went in through my ear because the bullet torn off the top portion of my ear. It came through and came out through the front.

CALLEBS: His new bride, Thelma, feared the worse.

THOMAS: We got married May 28th. And I got shot a few months later. The only thing I can say is God prepared her for what was going to happen.

CALLEBS: There are bright spots. A hero's welcome home. But people don't see the pieces of bullet still lodged in his brain, the constant medication he takes, the blinding headaches, blurry vision and seizures. THOMAS: I was told that, from a doctor, there's a possibility that the fragment actually caused the seizures.

CALLEBS: He's also struggling financially. Equipment from a once flourishing lawn business he had on the side is collecting dust. And workers' comp doesn't go far.

THOMAS: $800 every two weeks. You know, and that's hard. That's hard.

CALLEBS: The 17-year police veteran now spends almost all his time at home. He wants to return to the force, saying his hometown has gotten more dangerous and he wants to help turn it around.

The department says Thomas has a job when he's ready to come back.

The suspects in his shooting were caught, but haven't gone to trial because of the legal backlog caused by Katrina.

THOMAS: You know, I'm still -- I'm still angry, but I'm learning to deal with the anger in a different way now.

CALLEBS: It would be easy to wallow in self pity, but Thomas is determined to get off medication and back on the street to beat a savage attack that almost took his life.

Sean Callebs, CNN, New Orleans.


COOPER: Well, the New Orleans police department has been trying to raise money for the officer and another officer also wounded in the line of duty. If you would like to help, you can call the First Bank and Trust at 504-586-2640. That's 504-586-2640. Just tell them you'd like to make a donation to the Kevin Thomas trust fund.

We'll have more of 360 in a moment. Stay with us.


COOPER: We want to wish one of our great producers Tommy Evans a happy birthday. He's aged about 10 years in the last, say two years or so that he's been work on the show. But he just turned 30 today. So we want to wish him a happy birthday.

Tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING," the tranquility of a quiet Texas neighborhood is shattered by an unspeakable act. And now a family in the community is left to grapple with its consequences. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you muster up that much hatred? We don't know. And I don't -- I can't imagine anybody knowing.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Soledad O'Brien traveled to Texas for an exclusive report as a community struggles to comprehend just what went wrong. You can join Miles and Soledad tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING," starting at 6:00 a.m., Eastern time.

We leave you with some more from tonight's Faith Hill and Tim McGraw concert here in New Orleans to benefit the rebuilding of the Gulf.

"LARRY KING" is next. See you tomorrow.



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