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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Cambodia's Illegal Sex Trade; Al Gore's Global Warning

Aired March 21, 2007 - 22:00   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.
Tonight, we are in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, also, sadly, a key city in the trafficking and sexual exploitation of human beings, mostly girls and young women.

We have come to Southeast Asia this week to track human slavery, along with the illegal wildlife trade, as part of our "Planet in Peril" series. Tonight, our travels have brought us one of the largest and most horrific red-light districts on Earth -- in a moment, what we found here and what's being done about it.

But, first, the high-stakes showdown back home between President Bush and Congress.

John Roberts is standing by in New York with that -- John.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, thanks very much.

They are firing a constitutional cannon shot down Pennsylvania Avenue. The White House and Democrats in Congress -- threat and counterthreat over top Bush advisers answering questions about the firing of eight U.S. attorneys, over letting them answer or making them answer.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS (voice-over): He's the man who holds all the secrets. And, like a political pinata, Democrats want to whack him until they all spill out.

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R), TEXAS: Democrats see Karl Rove behind every bush in Washington, D.C. And I think the fact they're salivating so much to get Karl Rove under oath in front of a Senate committee, I think they just can't help themselves.

ROBERTS: Today, the Democrats took another step closer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Aye.

ROBERTS: A House committee approved the idea of subpoenas to force Karl Rove's testimony, rejecting the president's offer of a private interview.

REP. JOHN CONYERS (D-MI), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: We can meet at the local pub to have that kind of a gathering.

ROBERTS: Democrats claim they can't trust Rove or other White House officials to tell the truth unless they're under oath.

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You can tell when they're lying; their lips move. This is the level of distrust the Democrats have for some of the senior aides in the Bush White House, and for good reason.

ROBERTS: President Bush is fiercely resisting the notion of subpoenas, an erosion, the White House believes, of executive powers.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: And a key part of that is telling Congress to go to hell, that executive power is not going to yield to congressional demands. And a subpoena falls right in that general area.

ROBERTS: But the White House is under increasing pressure for complete candor. Just look at the incoming Press Secretary Tony Snow had to endure today.

QUESTION: What else is left but to go to court?

TONY SNOW, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, we will see.

QUESTION: Was a crime committed? Yes.

QUESTION: What would make this a political circus?

SNOW: Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me?

ROBERTS: Even some Republicans believe there should at least be a transcript.

SEN. ARLEN SPECTER (R-PA), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER: It would be preferable to have the matter transcribed.

ROBERTS: Today, Democrats suggested, well, maybe we don't need the public hearings after all.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Let them show their good faith by saying, we're willing to do transcript and oath, even if it's in private.

ROBERTS: The attorney general, who began meeting with Republican senators today, appears safe for the moment. There's no momentum to push him out just yet. But some party elders fear, this whole mess may leave lasting damage.

BOB BARR, FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: The integrity of the Department of Justice is being used as a political football by the administration to prove who's the toughest hombre in all this. It's very unfortunate. And I'm not really sure that the administration has chosen the best line in the sand to draw here, so to speak.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: And our CNN legal eagle, Jeffrey Toobin, joins us now.

Jeff, neither side is backing down here. They're both dug in, but who has got the upper hand?

TOOBIN: You know, it's very hard to tell, because this is an area of the law that is very unsettled.

There -- there have been court cases in the past, but there is not a clear law. So, it's really a political question of who's winning. And I think, by and large, the Democrats are probably winning, because it looks like the Bush administration has something to hide.

ROBERTS: So -- so, there's no clear-cut precedent here. Sometimes, they win on the issue, sometimes, they lose on the issue if it goes to the court.

But what does the court consider when making a decision about whether or not the president can claim executive privilege?

TOOBIN: The reason why executive privilege exists is to protect the internal -- internal deliberations of -- of the president, so he can get free advice from his aides without them worrying that they are going to be hauled into court.

But there are a lot of gray areas in there. Does it count -- what if executive aides -- executive branch aides are just talking to each other...

ROBERTS: Yes.

TOOBIN: What if there's...

ROBERTS: As seems to be the case in this particular issue.

TOOBIN: Right.

What if executive branch officials are talking to people in the Justice Department, White House to Justice Department? How far does the privilege extend, if it exists at all in this circumstance?

Those are the kinds of questions a court will have to deal with. And, frankly, I don't know what the result will be. But I don't think anyone does at this point.

ROBERTS: So, the fact that the president wouldn't actually be protecting counsel that Karl Rove and Harriet Miers gave him, but would have given to the Justice Department, and not even to Al Gonzales, but to Kyle Sampson, the chief of staff, can you claim executive privilege?

TOOBIN: Well, see, this is why -- if you look at what the president's lawyers have turned over to Congress so far, it's only e- mails between the White House and the Justice Department.

They appear to be saying e-mails within the White House from, say, Karl Rove to Harriet Miers, they are covered by executive privilege. Those are the kind of issues that the -- if the Democrats take this to court, they are going to have to ask -- they're -- they're going to want to ask for.

ROBERTS: The fact that the Justice Department has sent some 3,000 pages of e-mails and other documents up to Capitol Hill for these committee to take a look at, is that, in a sense, the White House waiving executive privilege?

TOOBIN: Well, that's anticipating an argument that the Democrats in Congress will surely make. That's also why they didn't turn over internal White House communications, because they're saying: We don't want to waive anything within the White House.

But the -- the -- the congressional lawyers will certainly argue that, simply by simply turning over e-mails on this subject area, they're waiving the whole area, because you can't sort of pick and choose what part of a subject you want to disclose.

ROBERTS: Jeff, a couple of big cases in which executive privilege was denied by federal courts, the famous Nixon tapes from the Oval Office, 19 -- early 1970s, and then Bill Clinton trying to invoke executive privilege to stop Bruce Lindsey, who was the White House attorney, from testifying before a grand jury.

But, in both of those cases, investigators were looking at crimes. So, there was no crime committed here.

TOOBIN: That -- that's right.

The -- the -- the courts always look at what interest is being served. In the Nixon case, there already was a criminal case under way. So, there was a strong interest to get the relevant evidence. In -- in the Lindsey case, there was a grand jury investigation under way, also a powerful interest.

Here, it's just sort of a general congressional investigation, not as strong an interest. But courts don't like privileges.

ROBERTS: Yes. Yes.

TOOBIN: So, they -- they -- that -- they -- they basically believe privileges operate to withhold relevant evidence. And, so, they tend to construe them narrowly.

ROBERTS: And another shoe probably going to drop tomorrow, when the Senate Judiciary Committee expected to vote on the idea of authorizing subpoenas.

Jeff, come back again next hour, because we want to talk to you about the Phil Spector case...

TOOBIN: OK.

ROBERTS: ... if you would. Appreciate it. Good to see you.

Now let's go back to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. And here's Anderson.

COOPER: John, thanks very much. We came to Phnom Penh, because Phnom Penh is really ground zero in the illegal sex industry, in the human trafficking problem, also as well as the illegal trade of animal and animal parts.

This is the red-light district in Phnom Penh. By day, it doesn't look like much. It's an active thoroughfare. There are small shops and businesses here, small factories. At night, it is a completely different place. Many of these small storefronts become brothels. And there's very basic little women, little children sitting out, selling themselves for customers.

Many of the -- the kids, the young women, are lured here from the countryside. They're promised jobs in factories or in -- in the service industry. What they find here, of course, is something completely different. They find themselves literally enslaved and stuck in a life they can't get out of.

Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): Late night on a main street in Cambodia's capital city, Phnom Penh -- this is an area known as Svay Pak, where these roadside stands belie a dirty secret. Svay Pak is devoted to the sex trade.

NICHOLAS KRISTOF, COLUMNIST, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": When I first went to Cambodia, there were virgins, you know, 11-year-old virgins, being openly sold in storefronts.

COOPER: "New York Times" columnist Nicholas Kristof has covered the seedy sex business in Cambodia for years. He says the tragedy is that so few of these workers have chosen their jobs. Instead, many are victims of trafficking, sex slaves bought and sold on the black market. And many of them are so young.

(on camera): Here in Cambodia's capital, the U.N. estimates there are between 10,000 and 20,000 people working as prostitutes. It's a remarkable figure, when you consider there's only about a million people actually living in Phnom Penh.

What is even more stunning, according to a U.N. report, at least 25 percent of the Cambodia's prostitutes are children.

(voice-over): In fact, the UNICEF study found, 15 percent of Phnom Penh's prostitutes are between 9 and 15 years old. Many are taken from China or Vietnam, robbed of their childhoods, held prisoner by brothel owners out to make a buck.

KRISTOF: There was one recent girl who had been to the brothel. And the owner locked up this girl, sold her virginity, beat her when she resisted. And he rips off, he cheats all these girls. They're ATMs for the brothel.

COOPER: And their lives are miserable. A study by the group Violence Against Women and Children in Cambodia found that 54 percent say poverty drove them to this life; 79 percent can't write; 50 percent can't read; 95 percent say they work seven days a week. More than 70 percent say they have been gang- raped. And all say they have to pay protection money to police.

Then there's HIV. A USAID study says Cambodia has the highest measured national prevalence of the virus in Asia.

KRISTOF: One of the traditions which makes it hardest to stop is this notion that, if somebody has AIDS, and if they sleep with a virgin girl, then they are going to cure themselves of AIDS.

COOPER: Despite the blinding poverty and rampant corruption, there have been some steps taken to clean up the sex trade in Cambodia. And the U.S. government is trying to help, applying diplomatic pressure and placing the country at the low end of a watch list measuring what different nations are doing to stop sex trafficking. But there is a long way to go.

KRISTOF: There have been, you know, some improvements at the margins, but, ultimately, the story is still one of a modern form of slavery.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: It's that way tragically because of supply and demand, supply from the countryside, demand literally from all over the planet. People come here to have sex with children.

Details now -- and they're truly not pretty -- about what it's like here from CNN's Dan Rivers.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The nearly 900-year- old ruins of Angkor Wat, tranquil, mysterious and stunningly beautiful -- but, here, amid the supreme heritage of the Khmer civilization is a dark undercurrent of sex and pedophilia.

As I quickly discovered, Westerners are besieged by children selling trinkets. It's made this place attractive to men who want to buy more than just a souvenir. Child charities say Cambodia is a haven for pedophiles. World Vision says more than 15 percent of boys it surveyed said they were sexually abused before the age of 9.

But critics of the country's government say, a lax legal system and endemic corruption mean many offenders aren't punished.

Graham Cleghorn didn't escape, though. In a trial that captivated the nation, he was convicted in 2004 of raping five teenagers while living in Siem Reap.

GRAHAM CLEGHORN, DEFENDANT: Those girls up there, those witnesses of mine, were told, if they didn't say that I molested them, they would never see their parents again. RIVERS: Cleghorn recruited girls as maids. The New Zealander expat denies any wrongdoing, claiming his victims were pressured into testifying against him.

Amit Gilboa lived in Cambodia and wrote a book about the sex- obsessed expatriates, sex-pats, he met.

AMIT GILBOA, AUTHOR: In Cambodia, it was like: Hey, guys, do you want to go out and get a shag?

It was -- it was completely unremarkable. It was part of day-to- day existence. There was no -- there was no hiding. There was no coyness. It was like: Do you want to go to lunch and -- or do you want go to -- you know, go to the brothel?

RIVERS: The red-light districts of Siem Reap cater to both Western and Cambodian men. It's aggressively patrolled by pimps, who try to keep our cameras out. They're prepared to use violence just to protect their meager income of as little as $2 a customer.

Sex offenders like Cleghorn often buy houses and stay in Cambodia for years. His place is now looked after by this man, who says he's Cleghorn's brother-in-law.

Pugh Snah (ph) says many girls stayed with Cleghorn, and the youngest were only 12 or 13 years old.

Inside, Snah (ph) shows me Cleghorn's bedroom, where the girls say they were abused, and a photo of Cleghorn's wife, Der (ph). Many sex-pats marry to help them buy property and give them a veneer of respectability. Snah (ph) says Der (ph) usually slept in a different bedroom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The next door (INAUDIBLE)

RIVERS: Cleghorn was caught, but is appealing his 20-year prison sentence. Officials fear there are many more like him roaming Cambodia roaming Cambodia as part of a sex-pat culture that has no taboos, but plenty of victims.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: It's unbelievable, Dan, when -- when you see just how open it is. And, I mean, the irony is, prostitution is technically illegal here.

RIVERS: That's right, Anderson.

And this is, as you say, the kind of epicenter of the red-light district in Cambodia, really, in Phnom Penh. They think, across the country, there could be as many as 100,000 women and children who are involved in the sex trade in some way. And they think -- some of the NGOs here, the charities, think maybe a third of those, 30 percent, are under 18. So, there is a massive problem and a massive number of children...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: There is also a lot of child abuse going on.

RIVERS: Oh, yes.

I mean, the -- the situation with child abuse here is -- is horrific. World Vision, an American charity, did a survey of kids here, about 1,300 kids. They found that 15 percent of the boys that they asked have been sexually abused before the age of 9, I mean, really quite staggering statistics.

They said that 50 percent of the kids they asked had been beaten by their parents, and about 20 percent had witnessed the rape of another child.

So, what feeds into...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: And what is being done about this? I mean, there are certainly a lot of NGOs here. Is the Cambodian government doing anything?

RIVERS: Well, I think critics of the Cambodian government would say that corruption is so rife and endemic here, that that is where the real problem lies.

I mean, you look around you here, you know, nothing is done in this area at night. There are prostitutes. There are kids being sold, you know, pretty much openly down the back alleys here, and, yet, the police will go up and down here and do nothing about it.

COOPER: There -- there has been some progress, I'm told. Nick Kristof says, I mean, he seen some change. But much of it just seems to have gone underground.

RIVERS: Yes.

I mean, I think it's -- you know, they have a crackdown every now and again. You know, while we're here, the police have had a bit of crackdown. They have cleaned people away. But, frankly, the problem just moves around the corner or moves to another area.

COOPER: Yes.

RIVERS: I mean, there was one area outside Phnom Penh that was renowned, Kilometer 11, for selling kids. They cracked down; it moved somewhere else. So, it's difficult to solve it.

COOPER: Dan Rivers, appreciate the reporting. Thanks, Dan.

Two million women and children are being held in sexual servitude around the world. Here's the "Raw Data."

According to a report by DePaul University's International Human Rights Law Institute, 80 percent of those sold into sexual slavery are under the age of 24, some as young as 6 years old. An estimated 30,000 slaves die every year from abuse and torture, neglect, as well as disease. And, since 1990, more than 80,000 women and children from here in Cambodia, along with Myanmar, Laos, and China, have been sold into Thailand's sex industry.

Coming up: an undercover look at the trade in endangered animals, part of the "Planet in Peril" series.

And also tonight, coming up next: Al Gore sounds the global warming alarm in Congress.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): He says, debate over.

AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Consensus supporting this view on global warming is as strong as anything in science, with the possible exception of gravity.

COOPER: He says, not so fast.

So, who's playing politics with global warming? And are these words a clue?

PHILIP COONEY, FORMER WHAT ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISER: My sole loyalties were to the president and his administration.

COOPER: We're "Keeping Them Honest."

Also tonight: He's supposed to protect and serve, not pummel the server. Meet the petite bartender who fended off this drunken assault allegedly committed by an off-duty cop -- when 360 continues.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Looking at some photos from Bangkok, Thailand, taken by Jeff Hutchins (ph) from Getty Images. We have a photographer traveling with us.

We're here this week working on our "Planet in Peril" series, a look at global warming and its consequences, dangers that Vice President Al Gore has been warning about for years, even when few were listening.

Today, the former vice president and senator returned to Capitol Hill with the same warning and some new respect. The House hearing room was packed. In fact, so many people came to hear Gore testify, they needed three overflow rooms to hold everyone.

CNN's Candy Crowley has more. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GORE: It is an emotional occasion for me to come back to this hearing room.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He is a new man in old haunts.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GORE: Al Gore of the state of Tennessee has received 266 votes.

CROWLEY: The last time Al Gore was on Capitol Hill, he was vice president, certifying the election results which put George Bush in office. He returns a multimillionaire, star of an Oscar-winning documentary, internationally recognized guru of global warming.

GORE: These ice sheets are moving far more rapidly than anybody predicted. It's -- it has really shocked the scientists.

CROWLEY: He is his party's most visible spokesman on the environment, a global warming expert before it was cool. Democrats greeted him like returning royalty, or better.

REP. ED MARKEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I obviously sat here with you 30 years ago. What you were saying about environmental issues back then really do make you look like a prophet.

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: You really are, in so many ways, a role model for us all, just -- not just as elected leaders, but really as citizens of -- of this -- of this country.

GORE: Now, you don't give out any kind of statue or anything?

CROWLEY: Republicans were not quite as entranced.

SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: Thousands of meteorologists and geologists, physicists, astrophysicists, climatologists, scientists who disagree with you, are they all wrong and you're right?

CROWLEY: Gore is a man clearly enjoying the sunshine. And what with all that attention and poll numbers showing him tied for third in the Democratic presidential sweepstakes, people won't stop asking him if he's running for president.

QUESTION: Mr. Gore, is there any chance you will run for president?

GORE: How are you?

I have no plans to run. Thank you.

CROWLEY: Which is not no, which is why people keep asking, except for those who know Gore, and see a man who's enjoying his life.

CHRIS LEHANE, FORMER GORE SPOKESPERSON: Former Vice President Gore knows better than just about anyone else eligible constitutionally to run for president that to do this, and to take that step, you have to feel it with every single ounce and fiber of your body. Now, thus far, he has indicated that, you know, his head is just not there.

CROWLEY: When Al Gore left Washington, he was an also-ran, listing his assets between $1 million and $2 million. Now he is making multimillions advising some of the country's top corporations, and he's getting more attention for his environmental causes than he got in 30 years of politics.

LEHANE: He recognizes that, at some level, keeping the door or the window open, even by the slightest crack, allows more attention and focus to be given to the issues that he's talking about.

CROWLEY: Red carpet nights vs. snowy New Hampshire days, making lots of money vs. having to raise it -- the new Al Gore may prefer the new haunts.

Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Maybe so.

It's taken literally years for Al Gore's message to begin to register. And that's not surprising, considering all the conflicting things that we hear about global warming.

You have probably heard or read reports that downplay the threat, and even question whether it's happening at all. It can be confusing. And what often gets lost in the debate is a simple fact: The vast majority of scientists believe, without a doubt, that global warming is real.

CNN's Joe Johns, tonight, is "Keeping Them Honest."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOE JOHNS, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the most part, Al Gore was preaching his gospel of global warming to the already converted.

GORE: The planet has a fever. If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor. If the doctor says, you need to intervene here, you don't say, well, I read a science fiction novel that tells me it's not a problem.

JOHNS: Gore knew his audience. But there were a few non- believers there, too. In a way, he had already squared off with one doubter in the Oscar-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" who called global warming:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH")

INHOFE: This could be maybe the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: That's James Inhofe, who was then chairman of the Senate Committee on the Environment. Today, they met again. Inhofe thinks Gore is an alarmist.

INHOFE: My perspective has been that some of the statements that you have made are -- have inaccuracies and have been misleading.

JOHNS: So, whom do you believe, the growing number of scientists who support Al Gore or those who say global warming is, well, way overheated?

At least some of that confusion is calculated. One of the people who planted seeds of doubts was this guy, Philip Cooney.

PHILIP COONEY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISER: My sole loyalty was to the president and advancing the policies of his -- of his administration.

JOHNS: Cooney is not a scientist, but a lawyer who had been a lobbyist for the oil industry for 15 years when the White House hired him -- his job, review the administration's position papers on global warming, with an emphasis on highlighting differences among scientists.

Let's look at how Cooney and other government officials edited documents from the experts and scientists asked to contribute to the White House Counsel on Environmental Quality. According to the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee, Cooney's team made at least 181 edits to the administration's strategic plan of the Climate Change Science Program.

By the way, those handwritten notes are Cooney's. And this editing is not for grammar.

Here's one example. An October 21 draft report of the strategic plan was originally written to say -- quote -- "Warming temperatures will also affect arctic land areas" -- no doubt there. That's pretty clear.

But House Democrats say Cooney and his colleagues changed "will" to the word "may." The final report reads, "Warming temperatures may also affect arctic land areas."

You get the picture. What starred out as a firm statement on future climate change was suddenly transformed into a vague assertion that pretty much anything could happen.

(on camera): Those kinds of changes happened over and over again, with the result that reports, studies and conclusions prepared by experts for the White House became anything but firm warnings on global warming.

(voice-over): And what do some of the scientists think about this?

Dr. James Hansen is with NASA.

DR. JAMES HANSEN, NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION: ... nature of these edits is a -- a good part of the reason for why there is a substantial gap between the understanding of global warming by the relevant scientific community and the knowledge of the public and policy-makers, because there has been so much doubt cast on our understanding, that they -- they think it's -- it's still completely up in the air.

JOHNS: In fact, the vast majority of the scientific community agrees: Climate change is not up in the air at all. They say it's here and it's real. And the real question is, who will have to sacrifice to improve these conditions?

As for Philip Cooney, he has since left the White House and now works for ExxonMobil.

Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: In just a moment, another threat to the planet, and the victims cannot even speak out. They are animals. Wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin shows us what his hidden camera found out at a market in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

Plus: a sickening attack caught on tape -- an off-duty cop allegedly beating up a bartender half his size because, well, she wouldn't serve him a drink.

We will hear from the victim and her lawyer -- tonight on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Our team has covered a lot of ground since arriving in Southeast Asia. We are in Cambodia right now. Earlier this week, we were in Thailand and Myanmar, formerly Burma. Now, in all of these places, we're focusing on the trafficking of humans and of animals.

Wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin is traveling with us, and so is Steve Galster from the Wildlife Alliance. In Myanmar, Jeff and Steve used hidden cameras to record the crime that preys on endangered animals, the trade in animal parts. They found it happening in a popular site in plain sight, and what's remarkable is they've gone back there now several times. And to see the change each time they've gone back.

But to understand how it is now you have to see how it was this past weekend. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEVE CORWIN, WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST (voice-over): It's only a 45- minute drive north from the airport, the northern Thailand town of Shangri, before we reach the border of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. It is a place that we've heard that the illegal animal trade thrives, and it does so in plain view.

This is Steve Galster. He's one of the original co-founders of the wildlife protection group known as the Wildlife Alliance. He often visits this area to check on what pieces are for sale, who's buying and who's selling.

(on camera) Who are the clients? Who is this market doing business with?

STEVE GALSTER, WILDLIFE ALLIANCE: What you'll see today is mainly, you've mainland Chinese tourists on their way to Thailand. This is one of their stop-off points. You'll see Thais, as well, maybe Taiwanese, mainly Asian tourists mixed in with some backpackers from Europe.

CORWIN: Who are the people that are in charge here, that are controlling these operations?

GALSTER: We don't think that the central Burmese government is really fully in control here. It's really anybody's guess as to what kind of politics are taking place behind the scenes, what kind of deals are being struck. But what's clear is that this is an unregulated zone.

CORWIN (on camera): This is Neil, our cameraman. We're about to check up on the local wildlife markets. We want to get some footage. So what we've done is we've wired Neil up right here. We've got this camera right here. That buttonhole right there is where is the lens is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Taped in.

CORWIN: So we're using techniques of espionage to hopefully document the goings on, the sale of wildlife parts in this market.

(voice-over) Our plan is to pose as tourists interested in buying animal products.

Moving between these two countries is relatively simple. We just cross a small river, clear immigration and then we are in Myanmar.

(on camera) What's this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sex CD's, some pornography right here.

CORWIN: What is this? Can I see this?

You like the camera. Welcome to the land of the black market. It's incredible. Just hustle and bustle border town. Sort of like a no man's land. We just crossed over from northern Thailand, and we're going to check this place out.

There is nothing here that isn't for sale. You want counterfeit CDs, cigarettes, drugs, you'll find it here. This is also the place to find black market wildlife.

(voice-over) And it doesn't take long to find it.

(on camera) This one stall we have tons and tons animal product right here.

Wow. How much is this? How much?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eight hundred.

CORWIN: Eight hundred. Look at this incredible hornbill.

Very endangered species right here. Incredibly rare. It's a Gibbons skull.

(voice-over) The sale of most of these animals violates a treaty known as CITES, or the Convention for the International Trade in Endangered Species.

The international community is trying to make a dent in this trade, but it's tough. The Wildlife Alliance thinks that at least $4 billion of illegal wildlife trade is sold in Southeast Asia annually.

GALSTER: So these guys here would be relatively small timers. I think if we go around the corner one might find someone who might be slightly bigger time trader. This is kind of your introduction to wildlife trading.

CORWIN: We move down the street, find what feels like more of a sophisticated operation. It's only a matter of minutes in their store when a mother and daughter team pull out a crate brimming with cat pelts.

Most of what they show us are endangered: spotted leopard, the mysterious clouded leopard, even jungle cats. Their asking prices range from just a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, depending on the quality of the pelt and the rarity of the species.

We tell her we're not interested, but it's likely someone will be and unlikely, if they buy these pelts, they'll get caught.

During our day in the market we never saw one police officer or even one wildlife official. As we crossed back into Thailand, there were no searches. No one even checked our backpacks.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: You went back just yesterday. What did you find?

CORWIN: It was really incredible. The first impression is, seeing that tiger skin, terribly disturbing. You know, in that part of the world, there's maybe 100, 150 tigers left.

COOPER: That's it, 100, 150?

CORWIN: Yes. Perhaps 700 throughout Southeast Asia. Ten -- you know, ten years ago in Burma, there were 1,000 tigers. Today in Myanmar, there's maybe 100, 150. So when you look at that pelt you see it's potentially one percent of the population.

COOPER: And what kind of impact does this illegal trade have on the population?

CORWIN: Well, in Southeast Asia alone, the percentage of endangered species is four times greater than both the United States and Europe combined, just in this parts of the world in mammals we have 40 plus endangered species, 50 endangered species of bird. So it has a huge impact.

Because of this market, this desire for these products, OK, these animals are being pulled out of the environment. So every time someone goes to one of these stalls and they buy one of those cat pellets, what it means is that a door is open for someone to go out and poach another creature.

COOPER: It gives an incentive to go out and hunt more?

CORWIN: Absolutely. And it just beautifully illustrates in a profound manner that -- the need to educate people to build this sense of awareness. So not only do you have to deal with law enforcement to break down on this illegal activity contraband of wildlife parts, but you have to educate the communities, both domestically and internationally, about the importance about protecting the natural resources.

COOPER: You said in the piece how you don't see any police there. It's not as if they don't know what's going on. I mean, everybody knows that market is there, and that's what you go there for.

CORWIN: Yes, and there are laws on the books. Myanmar is the signatory -- to the CITES, the Convention for the International Trade of Endangered Species? So what happens is, if they're not actually on the streets enforcing these laws, protecting these creatures, these laws basically have as much value as a -- as a paper tiger.

COOPER: And it keeps going on and on, Jeff. Appreciate it, Jeff.

We'll talk to Jeff throughout today and also tomorrow.

You can read more about animals in danger and our travels here in Southeast Asia by checking out the blog. Go to CNN.com/360blog. We'd love to get your thoughts.

Let's go right now back to John in New York -- John.

ROBERTS: Anderson, thanks much.

Coming up next, it seems like the whole country's talking about it: 115 pounds of bartender up against 250 pounds of apparently drunk and angry cop.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER (voice-over): Also tonight, he's supposed to protect and serve, not pummel the server. Meet the petite bartender who fended off this drunken assault allegedly committed by an off-duty cop, when 360 continues.

Later, it was something to see.

FIFE SYMINGTON, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ARIZONA: You would have been astounded.

COOPER: So what did he see? The UFO mystery that's only deepened years later. Three-sixty tonight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: It's not that unusual for a bartender to cut off a patron who's had too much to drink and for that patron to get upset about it. That's what happened in Chicago last month, but in this case, the patron, an off-duty cop, allegedly attacked the bartender, who happens to be a petite woman.

And as you can see, it was all caught on tape. The cop, who's about twice her size, allegedly shoves the bartender to the floor and then punches her over and over again. She did manage to cover her face and finally, she's able to walk away.

I spoke with the bartender, who only wanted to use her first name, and her attorney.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: Karolina, I viewed that tape a number of times, and it's just brutal to watch. I can't imagine what it was like to be on the receiving end of that.

Can you take us back to the bar that night of February the 19th and tell us how did this whole thing begin?

KAROLINA, BARTENDER BEATEN BY OFF-DUTY COP: Well, it began with the customer being -- since the beginning, being very rude to me, and then not having money in the bar...

ROBERTS: He was pretty drunk, was he?

KAROLINA: Well, after my serving, I don't think that he was actually drunk. He was like more not thinking what he was doing, which, when I refused serving him, then he got very mad.

ROBERTS: He is this big hulking man. Anthony Abbate is a big, big guy. What went through your mind when he came around the bar after you?

KAROLINA: Well, I was in really big shock, but also I'd got an anger inside me, which that probably-- helped me to get through that. But it was like a -- it just happens like a few seconds but actually felt like it was like a 15 minutes or more. So, it was just an awful time, which I couldn't just get out from his hands.

ROBERTS: Terry, let me read a statement put out by the Chicago Police Department. They said quote, "The officer" -- and this is Anthony Abbate they're talking about -- "has been relieved of police powers and a recommendation for termination is expected pending the completion of the internal investigation."

They only arrested him yesterday. This incident took place on the 19th of February. Why did it take so long?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Interesting question, because the state's attorney's office got a hold of this right after it happened and began to do an investigation. And the Chicago Police Department last week decided to charge Abbate with misdemeanor charges and give him an i- bond.

And the state's attorney's office, who I feel is doing a very good job of looking into this matter, immediately upped the charges to aggravated battery. They picked him off the street last night.

This man has no business being a police officer. He has no business having a gun and a badge and being out on the street arresting people. What he did to this poor woman was absolutely reprehensible.

ROBERTS: You know, one of the other things I was struck by, as well, when I watched the videotape, is there's Abbate behind the bar, just wailing on you. And there is at least one other customer that you can see within camera range, who's just sitting there doing nothing.

KAROLINA: Well, I believe that he was really afraid of that -- of that big guy.

ROBERTS: I can imagine he would have been. But it wasn't until about a minute later, you see a couple more people come around behind the bar to try to get him off of you. Do you think that people should have stepped in? I mean, there you were on the floor, really getting beaten up.

KAROLINA: Well, it was -- there was one guy actually standing up, just looking. You know. He was not sitting. He was just looking, which I was surprised. But he was -- I don't have hard feelings for him. He was just afraid. It happened just too, too fast. And we were all surprised and all shocked.

ROBERTS: So the injuries to your face, to your head, they pretty much cleared up, but you've still got some lingering injuries?

KAROLINA: Well, I didn't have to my face. I cover my face with my knees and my hands. But the back of my head, he hit it quite a few times pretty hard. That afterwards, after he left and after the police, and then I could feel like the swelling on the back of my head.

ROBERTS: Are you prepared to go to court to try to put Abbate in jail?

KAROLINA: Not yet. I'm not ready to meet that guy yet.

ROBERTS: We'll keep following this case. Karolina, thanks very much for being with us. I hope you -- you're feeling better.

And Terry Ekl, thanks for joining us, as well. Appreciate it.

KAROLINA: Thank you.

EKL: You're welcome, John. My pleasure.

KAROLINA: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: Up next, close encounters of the governor's kind. What did he see over the skies of Arizona, when 360 continues?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Earlier this month, a man in Tennessee reported seeing a dime-shaped object whirling through the sky at incredible speed. He's not sure that it was a UFO, but for three out of 10 Americans, the answer may be obvious.

There are many true believers out there, and one of them held the highest office in Arizona. CNN's Gary Tuchman reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fife Symington is now a businessman. He was the Republican governor of Arizona for six years, elected when the first George Bush was president.

Now, a decade after leaving the statehouse, he takes me to a Phoenix park and discloses something unlike anything uttered by any other high level U.S. politician.

SYMINGTON: If you -- if you had been here 10 years ago, standing out there looking up there at the lights and the view, you would have been astounded. You would have been amazed.

TUCHMAN: Governor Symington is referring to what is now known as the Phoenix lights, an object videotaped by many and seen by thousands over several nights in the Arizona sky in 1997.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Major sighting here.

TUCHMAN: It was described by witnesses as larger than a football field and silent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was giant V. All right? And the right side of the V went over us. The left side was like a couple blocks over it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You just didn't know what to do. You know? It was just like, my God, how big is this thing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... the great state of Arizona, Fife Symington.

TUCHMAN: The former governor, a Vietnam Air Force veteran, had never publicly acknowledged seeing it until now.

SYMINGTON: And I suspect that, unless the Defense Department proves us otherwise it was probably one form of an alien spacecraft.

TUCHMAN: So why didn't he say anything then? Partly because he didn't want people to panic.

SYMINGTON: I think as a public figure you have to be very careful about what you say because people can have pretty emotional reactions. And I said my goal wasn't to try to stir the pot.

TUCHMAN: And he went to humorous and controversial lengths not to stir the pot. He held a news conference after the Phoenix lights to announce the mystery had been solved.

SYMINGTON: And now, I'll ask Officer Stein and his colleagues to escort the accused into the room so that we may all look upon the guilty party.

Don't get him too close to me, please.

TUCHMAN: In the alien costume, the governor's chief of staff.

SYMINGTON: This goes to show that you guys are entirely too serious.

TUCHMAN: UFO enthusiasts were not amused, especially since the governor was believed to have seen nothing. But now he's coming out.

SYMINGTON: The lights were really brilliant. And it was just fascinating. I mean, it was enormous. It just felt otherworldly. You know, in your gut, you could just tell it was otherworldly.

TUCHMAN: Symington will be talking about this in an updated film about UFOs called "Out of the Blue". He is also talking with an organization that wants UFO information more out in the open.

LESLIE KEAN, COALITION FOR FREEDOM OF INFORMATION: It's very significant that someone of the stature of a governor would come out and say they that experienced that they'd experienced a UFO, because it brings a lot of credibility and strength to the case.

TUCHMAN: Governor Symington says he did tell his family, friends and staff about what he saw early on.

SYMINGTON: I still, behind the scenes, tried to investigate it, but I got nowhere. TUCHMAN (on camera): So what were the Phoenix lights? Frankly, we don't know. What we do know is that it's as much of a mystery today as it was a decade ago.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, Phoenix.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: From UFOs to a story that's truly out of this world, the astronaut accused of trying to abduct her romantic rival. Well, it seems that she's got a new job. That's coming up.

Also tonight, our "Shot of the Day". Man on fire, the life and death struggle to save him. We've got the tape. We'll show it to you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Coming up our "Shot of the Day". It's the desperate attempt to free a man from an inferno. A dashboard camera shows what happened. That's coming up ahead.

First, though, Kiran Chetry joins now with a "360 Bulletin".

Hey, Kiran,

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, John. Good to see you.

We start off with a disturbing story out of Iraq. Today, Private First Class Bryan Howard told a judge he witnessed four other U.S. soldiers plan the rape of an Iraqi girl outside of Baghdad last year. The girl and her family were shot to death.

Howard pled guilty to being an accessory to rape and murder. He could face up to 15 years in prison.

Here at home on Wall Street, a very good day for investors. Stocks soared in reaction to signs that interest rates may be cut. At the closing bell, the Dow was up 159 points. NASDAQ, the S&P, and the NASDAQ also posted some healthy gains today.

And from trips to outer space, to a desk job. That's where the former astronaut charged with attempted kidnapping is headed next. Navy captain Lisa Nowack will soon work for the chief of naval air training command. The job begins next month.

She is, by the way, out on bail. She's accused of attempting to abduct a woman over a romantic relationship with a fellow astronaut.

A quick look at your news -- John.

ROBERTS: A little more down-to-earth than she was, but it's interesting that she found gainful employment somewhere else.

Kiran, thanks very much. Our "Shot of the Day" is from Fayetteville, North Carolina, recorded from a police dashboard camera. Two police officers tried to save a person trapped inside a burning van. This happened early this morning.

You can see the flames leaping out of the vehicle there. You can also hear the man's screams if you turn up the volume enough. There you can hear him.

Those two cops are heroes. They managed to pull the man out and smother the fire that was still burning on his body. He's in stable condition now. No word on what started the fire.

And we want you to give "The Shot" a shot. If you see some amazing video, tell us about it at CNN.com/360. We'll put some of your best clips on the air for you.

And there's the answer to the question I've been waiting to ask, to breaking news coming up just ahead. More from Anderson in Cambodia. I'm going to get the phone. We'll tell you what that's all about.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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