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Trapped Miners; Murder: Execution Style; NOLA Murders; Planet in Peril

Aired August 8, 2007 - 23:00   ET


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, our first up-close look at the mine itself as well as tough questions about whether the mining company was in fact using an especially risky way of working.
Also, CEO Bob Murray, who gets angry when the subject is even mentioned. We'll try to pin him down.

And who is Colin Powell's pick for president? Details coming up in "Raw Politics."

We begin tonight with late news from Utah. Going on three days now since part of the Crandall Canyon Mine collapsed. We learned tonight that drilling crews have managed to sink a narrow shaft to within about 600 feet of where they think the missing men are.

A mining company executive showed reporters the equipment being used and the rough terrain that its being used on. Bottom line, even if all goes well, it could still be another day before they get there. And who knows what they're going to find when they do.

Just moments ago, CNN's Gary Tuchman and his crew got access to the mine. They're going deep underground even as we speak.

CNN's Ted Rowlands is also on the scene near Huntington, Utah. He joins us now.

Ted, how close are they to these miners?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, there's a good possibility that this time tomorrow night we will know and the families will know whether or not these six miners are alive.

These two drills, the one from the top and the one from the side, are moving -- inching closer and closer to the area where they think that these miners are trapped.

The drill from the top is more than halfway there, but mine officials warn us that it will slow as it approaches the deep areas of this mine. The one from the side, a little bit farther out, but it will move at a higher speed.

More good news today from mine operators. Bob Murray said after he toured the inside of the mine, he says that what he saw looked good in terms of the availability of air. Let's listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BOB MURRAY, CEO, MURRAY ENERGY CORP.: I can tell you that I'm more optimistic than I ever was that there's ventilation back there to keep those men alive from what I saw and what I've learned from others. There was a tremendously strong ventilation, amount of air where we were, and with my experience, I believe that that air is probably sweeping way back into where the miners are also.


ROWLANDS: You notice Bob Murray wearing the helmet there with the head lamp. He was in the mine today. He had a couple of family members when he went in today. He said he was optimistic. Those family members actually briefed the other family members this evening on the progress and what it looks like in the mine.

And as you mentioned, Gary Tuchman is in the mine right now with Mr. Murray. We should hear more from Gary as soon as he gets out.

ROBERTS: Ted, once those drills punch through, hopefully into the area where those miners are, because it's a pinpoint precision required to be able to do it too so that they don't end up in a solid seem of coal. What will the procedure be from there?

ROWLANDS: Well, it's pinpoint definitely from the top because it's iffy. It's a pinpoint both ways. They're worried about the top, though, because they had to bring it in a helicopter and they may miss. If they miss, they'll have to bring it out and possibly go again. They're hoping, though, that the larger hole will hit. They're sure it's going in the right direction.

And what they'll do then is establish communication, for one, They'll open up an airway if it's needed to give them fresh air. And then food, water and other things to sustain them. The bottom line is, if these guys are alive, they're still going to have to sit there for at least a week because it will take that long, according to mine officials, to get in there to pull them out.

So if they're alive, these air holes, this communication, these drill holes, very important to sustain life because they're going to be there a while.

ROBERTS: All right.

Ted Rowlands for us outside of the Crandall Canyon Mine there in, outside Huntington, Utah.

Ted, thanks very much.

Again, as Ted mentioned and we said at the top, Gary Tuchman will be bringing us a live report if his inspection tour wraps up in time. Right now, going deep into that mine.

Earlier today though, Gary got the first up-close look at the rescue efforts. Here's his report on that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two and a half days after this collapse, the owner of the Crandall Canyon Mine escorted us along a private road to see the mine close up for the first time.

(on camera): We're not allowed inside the Crandall Canyon Mine, but we're being allowed close to the opening. This is where the miners go in. Exactly here is where 10 miners went in early Monday morning to start their work. Six remain inside.

(voice-over): A truck takes them up there. That conveyer belt was used to take the coal away.

But according to the owner of the mine, the miners now 17,400 feet in that direction. They enter the mine there, 17,400 feet away. And right now they're not very close to getting them out. They're just resuming work now in the afternoon, Utah time.

This conveyer belt takes the coal, once it comes out, and you can see this pile right here of coal. This is the last coal that's come out before the disaster. According to the owner of the mine, that coal hasn't seen the light of day for millions of years.

(on camera): We want to show you now what they're using to stabilize the tunnel for the workers. Over here is what they call rock props. These rock props weigh about 100 pounds apiece. You can see they're holding it up right now, demonstrating. They're using this to stabilize the walls for the workers to go inside the mine. The walls right now are very tenuous, it's very dangerous. They say there's been seismic activity here over the last day and a half. They say there was a danger that more miners might lose their lives, the rescue miners, so they pulled out.

They're just resuming the work now. They hope that these rock props stabilize the walls enough to make it remain safe.

At this point, we won't know until at least Friday if these miners are alive or dead. They plan to do that with small holes -- two small holes that they're boring into the top of this mine. They hope then to lower cameras and microphones into the mine to know if these miners are alive.

If they are alive, it will take at least a week. And the owner of the mine says maybe even more to get them out.

(voice-over): The rescue work had stopped for more than a day because of that seismic activity that the mine owner calls earthquake after shocks. But the U.S. Geological Survey says was most likely ground movement from the shifting mine. There was concern the 134 rescuers on the scene could be in danger inside the shifting mine.

Darrell Leonard is one of them.

(On camera): How worried were you that other miners could lose their lives?

DARRELL LEONARD, RESCUER: Very concerned. We're very concerned about our rescue workers.

TUCHMAN: How tense is it inside there while you're doing your work?

LEONARD: Well, people, they know the work, they know, you know, what's needed. And they're proceeding very professionally and cautiously. Tense? Yes. You need to be tense. You need to be aware of your surroundings and not just sight, but sound. And it is a very tense situation for these men.

TUCHMAN: This is Gary Tuchman, CNN, in Huntington, Utah.


ROBERTS: One thing that Mine CEO Bob Murray has not budged from is his notion that seismic activity was the cause and not merely the result of the cave-in.


MURRAY: From our mining experience, we know that it was an earthquake from the experience of mining and mountain buffs and how this occurred.


ROBERTS: Mining experience is one thing, but expert knowledge in the fields of geology and seismology is another. So we've been talking with people who know earthquakes and know the land there in Utah.

More own that now from CNN's Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): John, the fundamental question here is, does this look like an earthquake to the experts? And this is what they say.

In this part of Utah, on the western edge of Emery County, there are two big fault lines and earthquakes can occur here.

However, the readings they got out of this area do not look like an earthquake. There's certain signatures they look for in the readings whenever they get an impact and they say these just don't look like a normal earthquake.

Plus, they have to look at the statistics. Most of the earthquakes in the United States in the past week alone were in the western part of the country -- every little tremor, every little shake -- and most of those in California, few were in Nevada. And when you get into Utah, there are some, but there aren't a whole lot of them.

Combine that along with the readings from the ground and folks in the National Earthquake Information Center say they're certainly going to have to look at it for several days to know for sure. But at the moment this does not really look like an earthquake -- John.


ROBERTS: Tom Foreman, thanks.

The other issue that Bob Murray has been adamant about is a practice called retreat mining. He doesn't even like using the words and said yesterday he wishes that we wouldn't use them either.

It turns out, though, that his company has used those words when it comes to the mine in question. And there is a paper trail to prove it.

CNN's Joe Johns, "Keeping them Honest," tonight.


JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Crandall Canyon Mine has been on the industry's radar screen for a long time. The state of Utah's coal report last year said the complicated geology and the shape of the coal deposits underground makes mining very difficult.

But it's not the geology, it's the method of mining at Crandall Canyon that has been a greater source of concern. Federal regulators say they approved a plan filed by the mine last year to conduct retreat mining which is when pillars of coal are used to hold up the mine roof, then removed, collapsing the roof of the mine in the process.

TONY OPPEGARD, FORMER FEDERAL MINE SAFETY OFFICIAL: Retreat mining is the most dangerous type of mining there is. And that's because you're intentionally inducing a roof fall.

JOHNS: This kind of work, collapsing the pillars in the mine, is responsible for more than 30 percent of all mine roof fall fatalities, according to federal researchers.

Bob Murray, co-owner of the Utah mine, was asked at his news conference Monday about reports that retreat mining was going on when the miners were trapped.

MURRAY: Retreat mining had absolutely nothing to do with the disaster that happened here, nor was there any retreat mining happening at the time of the disaster.

JOHNS: He blames the reports of retreat mining on a couple of men who were well known in the mining industry.

MURRAY: Number one, I wish you would take the word retreat mining out of your vocabulary. Those were words invented by Davitt McAteer, Oppegard, who are lackeys for the United Mine Workers.

JOHNS (on camera): We asked the experts. Davitt McAteer of West Virginia, who once worked for the United Mine Workers, and Tony Oppegard, a lawyer from Kentucky, to respond. Both said the term retreat mining goes back decades and that Murray's probably talking about different mining techniques.

DAVITT MCATEER, FORMER DIRECTOR, MSHA: He's suggesting that the traditional use of retreat mining or -- was an older scheme and this is a new scheme.

MURRAY: The area where these men are is entirely surrounded by solid, firm, strong pillars of coal. There was no retreat mining in the immediate vicinity of these miners.

JOHNS (voice-over): Still, if anything lack retreat mining ever occurred at the site, investigators may want to know whether this location with its complicated geology should have been approved for this kind of work.

OPPEGARD: There are certain -- I think certain mines where retreat mining should not be done.

JOHNS: So the debate will go on with the co-owner of the mine adamantly claiming that the accident is a natural disaster and that the ceiling wasn't caved in on purpose.

But the only hope of finding out for sure is to first reach the miners.

Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.


ROBERTS: And joining me now is Dennis O'Dell. He is the safety and health director of the United Mine Worker's union.

Dennis, we've got a little bit of an animation here to help explain what retreat mining is. You've also been involved in this in your career as a miner. Can you tell us sort of how this works?


What you see on the screen, what the viewers see on the screen now is similar to a mining machine that we use underground. And this mining machine will actually cut the pillars of coal or split blocks of coal.

And once you do that, you're reducing the yield pillar, the amount of protection that you have, of those blocks of coal, you reduce that. So what you're doing is you're actually making the roof weaker.

When that happens, you're causing an intentional fall that will come in behind you. It's a cheap -- this is a practice that's been going on for years and years and years. When I was a young miner, I had mentioned that I was involved in this type of mining.

A lot of small operators like to do this. Large operations that abandon some mines, small operators will go into these mines that have been abandoned, the long wall mining has been exhausted. They'll go in and what they'll do is they'll actually start mining out these pillars.


O'DELL: And it's...


ROBERTS: And the pillars have been carefully cut out of the coal to support the roof so that it doesn't collapse?

O'DELL: That's the purpose of the pillars to begin with. Yes.

ROBERTS: And the last pillar to be pulled has become known as the suicide pillar. So how dangerous is this practice really?

O'DELL: It's a very dangerous practice. You have to be really careful. That is the last piece that holds the roof up. And once that last support is taken out, then you're going to have a roof fall. It's inevitable.

ROBERTS: You heard the mine CEO Bob Murray say that retreat mining had nothing to do with the collapse. He's actually attacked you for suggesting that it did.

From what you know, is that an accurate statement?

O'DELL: Well, here's -- here's what we're basing our information on.

On Monday -- and this is according to the mine safety and health officials -- Crandall Canyon mine was engaged in retreat or pillar mining. And that's where we got our information, was from the Mine Safety and Health Administration. This is the agency that approves the plans that are used and whatever type of mining they do with that.

So based on that, we believed that that type of mining was taking place.

Now, what they've told us is that these pillars that are in place, they're actually splitting the blocks of coal and we have no reason to believe otherwise.

ROBERTS: What's the economic advantage of retreat mining? I have read commentary from some experts who say that the coal that you pull out in retreat mining is pure profit.

O'DELL: Well, it is. Because when you are in development, you have to do a lot of preparation work. When you're developing a coal mine, you have to drive these headings up and establish these pillars. And so what you're doing is you're laying track, you're establishing communications. You're putting in ventilation controls and you're setting up for long wall mining. Once you're done all that, then the only thing that's left are these pillars of coal, like we have spoken about. So when the mine operator has exhausted all the long wall mining systems that they can do, they go after these pillars, retreat mining. And so they mine that when they come out. And they're -- I mean they don't have to install any additional roof support. It's just cut the coal, load it up, run and go.

ROBERTS: Dennis O'Dell, from the Mine Workers Union.

Dennis, we appreciate you being us and the fact that you've been with us all week and I'm sure that we'll be talking to you again tomorrow. Thanks.

O'DELL: Thank you, sir.

ROBERTS: Mining continues to be a way of life for many Americans. Here's the "Raw Data."

Last year, there were about 123,000 coal miners working in 23 states. The average hourly wage, $21.57 an hour. Weekly, the pay comes out to just over $1,000.

The miners in Utah, though, are nonunion. We don't know the precise figures, but generally, nonunion workers are paid less than their union counterparts.

Straight ahead tonight, the run-up and hoedown to the first big presidential test.


ROBERTS (voice-over): How can you keep them off the farm? The Republican carnival in Iowa. And a Democratic sideshow. Wait until you hear what Elizabeth Edwards said about her candidate husband, gender and race. All is fair in "Raw Politics."

Later, a city where one of the top lawmen said he would suspend civil liberties to stop the violence. And a father makes funeral arrangements.

JAMES HARVEY, FATHER OF DASHON HARVEY: I'm picking out a coffin, going shopping and buying a suit for his burial instead of his college graduation.

ROBERTS: What's going on in Newark, New Jersey? 360 investigates.



ROBERTS (on camera): What happens in Iowa over the next dozen days could shake up the presidential race in both parties. The dog days of August are ripe with "Raw Politics" in the Hawkeye state.

Perfect opportunity for CNN's Tom Foreman.

FOREMAN: John, the Iowa state fair is just getting started, but the "Raw Politics" players are already putting on a heck of a show.


FOREMAN (voice-over): Up and down the midway, presidential contenders are working the crowds. The Dems have a big debate coming up, the Repubs have the Iowa straw poll. Some big names are skipping it, but Mitt Romney is not. He needs a strong showing and he's got a new ad.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Washington politicians in both parties have proven they can't control spending. And they won't control our borders. I will.


FOREMAN: The campaign coaster has Ron Paul near the bottom, but he's hoping for a surprise ride to the top on strong Internet support and his first TV spot.


REP. RON PAUL (R) , PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You never have to sacrifice one bit of liberty and the means to do it.


FOREMAN: To the sideshow, the magician. Elizabeth Edwards says her husband, John, is lagging behind Democratic frontrunners because quote, "we can't make John black, we can't make him a woman." She says some voters just like the idea of Obama and Clinton being social firsts. The raw read, she's right.

The daredevil. Mike Gravel keeps trying to jump up by insisting top Democrats are just like Republicans. Some Dems like it. Others are starting to say he's endangering the whole party's chances.

The mysterious medium. Fred Thompson has upgraded his Web site. See how it solicits money. See how he connects with Conservatives. See if he finally declares in September.

Get your peanuts! John McCain has scored a donation from former Secretary of State Colin Powell. An endorsement may follow. That's cotton candy for this struggling campaign.

And on the main stage, it's country music sensation Lonestar with Republican Mike Huckabee. Well, no, not really. But he has acquired the group's old tour bus as his rolling campaign mother ship.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is a fine ride.

(END VIDEOTAPE) FOREMAN (on camera): Interesting choice, because if Huckabee doesn't start doing better, he will be singing the blues. That's life in the carnival -- John.

ROBERTS: Tom Foreman reporting tonight from the fun house in the side show. Don't miss "Raw Politics" and the day's headlines with the new 360 daily podcast. You don't even need an iPod. You can watch it on your computer at or get it from the iTunes store where it's always the top download.

Erica Hill joins us now with a 360 bulletin.

Hi, Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, an annual report on President Bush's health shows he was treated for Lyme disease last August. Until now, the White House hadn't revealed that fact. When asked why not, a spokesman said the illness occurred after last year's report on the president's health was released. And officials didn't believe it was serious enough to be disclosed until now. In the new report, Mr. Bush's doctors give him a clean bill of health.

A company that supplied (UNINTELLIGIBLE) for "Big Dig" tunnel project has now been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of a 38-year-old woman last year. She was killed when a 12-ton concrete ceiling panel fell on her car. Powers Fasteners now faces a maximum fine of $1,000 if convicted.

And the Space Shuttle Endeavour hurdling into orbit this evening, carrying former teacher Barbara Morgan in memories of the fallen Challenger crew. Morgan trained as Christa McCaul's (ph) backup for the June 1986 mission and later became a full-fledged astronaut. Her first mission, beginning with a near picture perfect lift off. Two small pieces of foam were seen flying off Endeavor's fuel tank during the launch, but neither appeared to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) near the shuttle -- John.

ROBERTS: Well, that's good news.

And it's great that Barbara got a chance to go up into space, even if she had to wait 21 years.

HILL: Absolutely. Well worth it, I think she would say.

In tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" I mean, frankly -- obviously, this person was not thinking. In Florida, police are calling here the Botox bandit. Allegedly, she bamboozled a spa out of nearly $900 worth of cosmetic procedures. She used a fake name and address, but here's where she messed up, John. Because apparently she overlooked the fact that the spa's plastic surgeon takes pictures of every patient before and after. So there are the before shots. And then after, she made up an excuse to run to her car. Surprise, surprise, didn't come back. If police eventually track her down, though, the after could just be her mug shot.

ROBERTS: You know, I've said it before and I'm going to say it again. Some people are just too dumb to be criminals.

HILL: It's so true. I'm right there with you.

ROBERTS: Erica, thanks. We'll see you a little bit later on this hour.

HILL: Thanks, John.

ROBERTS: Tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING," a story for the summer. Is it safe to go back in the water?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Too many of the beaches in the United States, the water isn't clean and it's not safe.


ROBERTS: Alarming report reveals a record number of America's beaches are polluted and a threat to the public. Is your beach one of them? What you need to know before packing your beach bag. Join Kiran Chetry and me for that and the most news in the morning, beginning at 6:00 a.m., Eastern, here on CNN.

Still to come on 360, the execution-style killings in New Jersey. Tonight, there may be a break in the case.

Plus, we return to New Orleans where the mayor has promised to fight crime, but the city's murder epidemic continues. We're "Keeping them Honest."

And as always, we want to hear from you. Send us a v-mail. That's video mail. It's easy. Just go to


ROBERTS: Coming up now on the bottom of the hour, John Roberts from "AMERICAN MORNING," here in for Anderson Cooper tonight.

We want to tell you now about three young people who were the future of a city. Tonight, they are being mourned. The three college students shot to death execution style in Newark, New Jersey.

Police believe there may be as many as five suspects.

Now, there's a potential major break in the case. A source close to the investigation says one suspect has been identified and a warrant may be issued in the next day.

CNN's Deborah Feyerick reports.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For James Harvey, none of this makes any sense. Not the trip to the morgue to identify his son. Not the funeral arrangements. Not for Dashon, a kid with dreams as big as his smile.

JAMES HARVEY, FATHER OF DASHON HARVEY: I'm 41. My son is 20. I'm picking out a coffin, going shopping and buying a suit for his burial instead of his college gradation. And it hurts. And I don't understand the logic in that.

FEYERICK: Dashon Harvey was with three friends Saturday night, hanging out in a Newark, New Jersey, schoolyard when they were all shot execution style. Only one survived.

HARVEY: I went to that site. I wanted to relive and trace the steps. I wanted to feel what he was feeling on that exact day. You know, I went there -- I wanted to know what the heck was going on. Who, what, when and why would you do something like this? You know? I did.

FEYERICK: What kind of people do this?

HARVEY: Animals. Animals.

FEYERICK: Newark's Police Director Gary McCarthy has investigated many murders. Even he is stunned by this one's inexplicable brutality.

GARY MCCARTHY, NEWARK POLICE DIRECTOR: I can't get over the motivation, which we haven't gotten our hands around yet. What would bring you to a position to do this to another person, let alone three or four people. So it really is a little bit mind boggling.

FEYERICK: Friends pay their respects, trying to make sense of it as best they can. Police Chaplain John McClain, a great uncle of 20- year-old victim Iofemi Hightower, tried to console the girl's distraught mother, police said, sits in a chair, rocking back and forth.

JOHN MCCLAIN, CHAPLAIN, NEWARK POLICE DEPARTMENT: Every week somebody is shot and killed. We have terrorists here. And what happened Saturday night, if that wasn't a terrorist act, then you have to tell me what it was.

FEYERICK: Maybe it was random. Wrong place, wrong time. But surveillance cameras in the schoolyard were smashed some time that weekend, leaving authorities to question whether the murders were premeditated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, they appear to have been hit some type of way with some type of a object, basically, they were being knocked of the -- the little stands that they're actually attached to.

FEYERICK: Dashon's father says planned or not, the killers were armed that night and looking for trouble.

What do you want to happen to these guys, whoever did it, what do you want to happen.

HARVEY: Prosecuted to the full extent of the law. FEYERICK: You want the death penalty?

HARVEY: Whether you're 16, 17 or 15. If you've done something as horrific as this, you need to be punished to the full extent of the law.

FEYERICK: Is it just shocking to you how quickly it can all end?

HARVEY: Yes. Yes. I -- how quickly it is to end, it really hurts. People like that do not deserve -- deserve to be walking the streets of America, of any city.

FEYERICK: The mayor and police say they're confident they will get the killer or killers off the street, and maybe these murders will help unite the community to help put an end to the violence.

Deborah Feyerick, CNN, Newark, New Jersey.


ROBERTS: To stop the killing in Newark, the Essex County sheriff says he would be willing to do away with civil liberties. Extreme? You bet. But his frustration is shared by one city official. Ron Rice is a Newark councilman who represents the neighborhood where these killings occurred.

I spoke with him earlier tonight.


ROBERTS: You know, it's no secret the situation there in the city of Newark in terms of the violence ongoing. It's so bad in some areas that the Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura said, quote, "I'm on the verge of telling my guys to suspend civil liberties and start frisking everybody."

He thinks the public would probably go for that because of the situation. Do you think they would?

RONALD RICE, NEWARK WEST WARD COUNCILMAN: I don't think they would. I think that's kind of overstating what the sheriff meant. I think he's just expressing the frustration of a community.

But again, I always like to emphasize that Newark is not an island, that we're seeing upswings in gang violence and shootings and murders in places like Atlanta and Philadelphia and major cities all across America.

We have a serious problem in Newark, but it's an American problem; it's a New Jersey problem. It's a Newark problem, but it's a problem all over this nation that our national leaders as well as our local leaders have to come together to find solutions for.

ROBERTS: I guess he was really just reflecting the depth of frustration that everybody there experiences. How deep does it run? You represent the district, Ivy Hill, where this execution style shooting took place.

What's the feeling in the community there? Are people afraid to go out? Are they afraid to go to places like schools?

RICE: I think -- I think naturally there's a fear, there's a frustration, there's a shock. I was taking aback. This is an area that I jog through at 11:00 at night. These are homeowners and taxpayers. These are good people, our mothers, our fathers. I like to say, you know, my strong middle class in my west ward. And so, indeed, there is that.

But something else is coming out of this, John, something that I like to term a reconciliation. I've seen more people in the Ivy Hill community and throughout my ward and city who are now more ready to join us as we do things more for recreation, for jobs for our young people, for education opportunities.

We're concentrating on the constructive things that will lead to prevention of young people getting involved in gangs and violence. And I see that new kind of energy coming out of this tragic situation.

ROBERTS: Mayor Cory Booker has been criticized for pledging to reduce violence, but not do enough. Do you criticize him for that, as well?

RICE: No. This problem did not take a year to make, and indeed it is not going to take a year to fix.

We've done -- we put more money into police protection and law enforcement over the last year than what's been done over the last five or six.

We have a police foundation, for instance, that has raised $2 million to bring in new technology there to better prepare our officers on the block.

We put more cops on the street that have been there before. Taking cops from behind desks and putting them into patrols. In the Ivy Hill section, we're returning our two officers who were responsible for community policing for the last 14 years there to better embrace those strategies.

We fixed up precincts in our community that have never been fixed up before. So we're doing those things, but it takes time for those tactics to work.

ROBERTS: But Councilman Rice, how much responsibility do members of the community bear, as well? You know, there's this idea of "stop snitching" that's becoming pervasive throughout urban centers across America.

RICE: Absolutely. We need to replace the "stop snitching" attitude with the "stop shooting" attitude, with the "do better" attitude, with the "love thy neighbor as thyself" attitude. That's historically what Newark is about. That's what our families are about. That's what the homeowners in Ivy Hill are about. And indeed, we got to -- we have to re-embrace that spirit. You know, we had a convention in 1969, a black and Puerto Rican convention to elect our first African-American leadership. But it wasn't just about electing elected officials.

It was about a new type of governance in our city that would embrace community. We got to get back to that.

ROBERTS: Well, obviously, you've got a lot of work to do. And we'll keep checking back with you to see if there's any progress being made.

Ron Rice, councilman for the city of Newark, thanks for being with us tonight. Good to see you.

RICE: Thank you for having us. Thank you.


ROBERTS: And coming up, another big city, the same deadly problem and one promise after another to change. We're back in New Orleans, fighting for the good people there, who are just trying to survive.


ROBERTS (voice-over): Four days in New Orleans. Four murders.

MAYOR RAY NAGIN, NEW ORLEANS: We will put all of our resources to focus on murders and violent crimes.

ROBERTS: He said that back in January, dozens of murders ago. We're "Keeping them Honest."

Also tonight, using plants and animals to cure what ails us. The benefits and the catch. What makes people healthy could be killing the planet. Details ahead on 360.



ROBERTS (on camera): An update now on a story that we've been following out of New Orleans -- the city's soaring murder rate. Anderson was there just a few weeks ago, reporting on the crime wave.

We were hoping that the violence would have begun to subside. It has not. Yesterday, New Orleans recorded its fourth murder in four days. The bloodshed has left people afraid and angry, as CNN's Randi Kaye reports.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The flood waters long gone, New Orleans is drowning in murder.

(on camera): Do you feel safe here in this city now?


KAYE (voice-over): Jeanette Kelly's boyfriend, Christopher Roberts, was shot and killed just last month on Father's Day. Police say someone stole his motorcycle, and Roberts took a bullet to the chest. His killer, like too many here, got away.

KELLY: I think that some people have lost their humanity, have no appreciation for life. And I don't know, it's a really sad reflection on our society.

KAYE: The couple had evacuated for Katrina and moved back last December with their new baby girl. They wanted to help rebuild, just like their neighbor, filmmaker Helen Hill, who was shot to death in January by an intruder who was never caught.

After her murder, Kelly says she and her boyfriend put bars on their windows and bought a gun. They thought that would keep them safe.

The week Helen Hill died, there were 11 other murders, prompting New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin to make this promise.

MAYOR RAY NAGIN, NEW ORLEANS: We will put all of our resources to focus on murders and violent crime. Everything we have.

KAYE: "Keeping them Honest," we ran the numbers. In the six months since the mayor promised to make murder a priority, more than 90 people have been killed in his city.

The police force is still down 300 officers. And the justice system is a mess. Witnesses are either missing or unwilling to cooperate. Last year, nearly half the murder suspects walked free because by law, prosecutors have just 60 days to make their case before a judge. Time is simply running out.

(on camera): What's actively being done at this point to try and repair the justice system so the killing will stop?

NAGIN: Everything. Everything is being done, from more resources, more dollars, more manpower, more police officers. We've got the federal government involved.

KAYE: Why then is the number of homicides going up instead of down? Who should be held accountable? Everyone is pointing fingers.

Police blame the district attorney for not prosecuting cases quickly enough. The district attorney blames police for holding onto case files and letting witnesses slip away. And the mayor, he accuses the district attorney of encouraging lawlessness and dropping charges against dangerous criminals.

(voice-over): Like this guy, Michael Anderson, who says he's innocent. District Attorney Eddie Jordan just last week dropped five counts of first-degree murder against him for the deaths of five teenagers. Jordan's office claimed it couldn't find a key witness. So how did police manage to the next day?

(on camera): Certainly a lot of people are pointing fingers at your office. Who do you think is at fault here?

EDDIE JORDAN, ORLEANS PARISH DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Well, let me say, first of all, that I am not going to take the blame for all the sins of the criminal justice system. Certainly, we have our shortcomings. But we're working on our shortcomings.

KAYE (voice-over): Jordan, who plans to reinstate charges against Anderson, refused to play the blame game and dismissed the notion of infighting. He says he's working closely with police and has successfully prosecuted dozens of criminals.

(on camera): Is New Orleans safe?

JORDAN: Yes, I do believe it's safe.

KAYE: More than 100 murders this year and you still say the city is safe?

JORDAN: A hundred murders is totally unacceptable, but it is not -- it is not the murder capital of the world, in my opinion.

KAYE (voice-over): Still, the FBI says the city is on track this year to rank among the nation's most murderous. The mayor promises he's trying every crime fighting technique used around the country.

(on camera): Does that sound like crime fighting is a top priority to you?

KELLY: You know, I wouldn't -- like I said, I wouldn't presume to know what they're doing, but it does seem out of control.

KAYE (voice-over): People here wonder how long it will take, how many will have to die before Mayor Nagin makes good on his promise.


ROBERTS: CNN's Randi Kaye.

And there are new developments in another story that we've been watching closely. Accusations of brutality and murder at the county jail in Gulfport, Mississippi.

The man who controlled the jail, Sheriff George Payne Jr., was voted out of office yesterday in a primary election. This week, two former guards went on trial for violating the civil rights of several inmates. Prosecutors say they created a culture of violence behind bars, leaving other jailers to attack and intimidate inmates.

Up next, our "Planet in Peril" series continues from China, where traditional medicine is anything but ordinary, and where they get it from is a major concern.

Plus, we showed you this shot last night, just moments after Barry Bonds made history. Tonight, a unique view of home run number 756, good enough to be our "Shot of the Day," when 360 continues.


ROBERTS: Tonight, our "Planet in Peril" series goes to China, where traditional medicine has been practiced for thousands of years. Millions of Americans are embracing it, but the remedies may come with some major global side effects.

Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta traveled halfway around the world to show us why.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm here in Beijing, and the first thing that I did after getting off the plane was come to a traditional Chinese medicine clinic.

It's very different than the clinics I'm used to back in the states. For example, this is the pharmacy -- lots of drawers, lots of different herbs. This was what a prescription might actually look like.

People come here for all sorts of different problems. This woman told us that she came here for rheumatoid arthritis. People come here for headaches, for nausea. Another woman back here told us she came here for digestive problems. That happens, as well. They treat just about everything here.

What really surprised me, though, is what a prescription might actually look like.

(voice-over): In ancient practice, traditional Chinese medicine, or TCM, is deeply rooted in Chinese culture. In fact, up to 95 percent of China's hospitals have TCM care available.

(on camera): This is a one-week prescription to try and treat nausea and vomiting. Take a look here. This is bamboo, for example. This is a type of leaf. These are actually Chinese dates. This is a very bitter herb. These are roots here. Different type of root. Dried fruit, orange peel, and several other roots, as well.

Add that all together -- you got to take all of that each day, put it in hot water, drink it and it will get rid of your nausea and vomiting. It's a lot for one prescription.

(voice-over): Treating everything from cancer to acne, TCM relies on over 11,000 plants and 1,500 animals to restore one's balance and harmony, which equals good health.

Although 80 percent of the resources used in TCM are plants, the use of animals, particularly endangered ones, is a controversial issue.

(on camera): One of the big concerns with traditional Chinese medicine for a lot of people is where do they get the medicine from, and could it actually be hurting certain species, especially endangered species?

We didn't really find any of that here. Let me give you a few examples of what we did find. This, for example, is a snake. Down here, they actually use buffalo horns now. They used to use rhinoceros horns, which might be better, but they use buffalo horns.

Over here, for example, turtle shells. They use turtle shells for certain ailments, as well.

The whole inner play between wild life, endangered species and medicine is something we're going to see a lot here in China. It's hard to know whether or not this stuff actually works. We'll be looking into that, as well.


ROBERTS: Fascinating stuff. That's Dr. Sanjay Gupta reporting from Beijing. His work is part of our "Planet in Peril" documentary that's coming up in October. You can read all about it in our web site,

Up next, Barry Bonds' record setting home run. This is the video of the historic moment. Coming up, another perspective on the blast over the right field wall. It's our "Shot of the Day." Stay with us.


ROBERTS: It's gone, Mr. Spaulding. The "Shot of the Day" is coming up. We brought your Barry Bonds' record-breaking home run last night. Tonight, a new take on his historic swing.

First, though, Erica Hill from "HEADLINE NEWS" joins us now again with a 360 bulletin.

Hi, Erica.

HILL: John, more bloodshed in Baghdad. Around 30 people killed today in fighting in the city's Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City.

The violence comes as security is beefed up for a Shiite pilgrimage to a shrine in northwest Baghdad and as Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki travels to neighboring Iran and Syria to talk about border security.

On the Indonesian island of Java, a magnitude 7.5 quake hit, shaking the area for at least a minute. Amazingly, there were no immediate reports of injuries or damages.

Back in the U.S., sweltering weather, temperatures topping 100 degrees in many East Coast cities and in the Midwest. And along with that heat comes a plea from the company that manages the power grid for 13 states, urging customers to cut back on electricity.

In New York City this morning, as John, you know all too well, a very wet and windy mess along with that heat. Heavy rains tearing through the Big Apple. A tornado actually touched down in Brooklyn. Trees falling on homes and cars.

With accu (ph) I-Reports that document it all. This one from Ken Zadima (ph) in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. A car smashed from a falling tree in his neighborhood.

And Rosa Avila (ph) sent us this I-Report photo from the Bay Ridge/Sunset Park area of a roof heavily damaged, and she says other roofs are just lying on the ground.

Parts of the subway washed out for several hours due to those heavy rains, and I understand that the elevators over there at the Time Warner Center weren't working either, John.

ROBERTS: No. We had a little bit of a leak here in our -- in our drainage system from the roof. They've got a couple of them back in service, but I think it's going to be at least until tomorrow before they get them all back on line.

Hey, Erica, check out the "Shot of the Day." We've all seen Barry Bonds' record-setting 756th home run from the television perspective of it. What did it look like from the stands in San Francisco?

HILL: Wow, look at that crowd.

ROBERTS: There comes the ball, boom. Take a look at that. This guy was just a few feet away from where that ball came in. Let's take one more look at it. Here it comes.

HILL: Wow!

ROBERTS: Right down. And that Mets fan from New York who caught it...

HILL: Twenty-two-year-old, the guy who caught it. Matt Murphy, I think, is his name.

ROBERTS: Yes. You know, it's probably worth somewhere between $300,000 and $500,000 right now.

But you know, earlier today, our Ali Velshi was suggesting, because you know, he's going to go on to hit more homers and perhaps because there's all of this controversy about drugs swirling around Barry Bonds, maybe he should find a buyer for the ball now. Because the value...


HILL: That's what I've heard, too. Yes, the value may not last.

Someone else also told me that, you know what? You really want to sell it now because the ball that's going to be worth a lot of money is the last ball that Barry ever hits out of a park when he ends his career.

ROBERTS: Right. Hey, by the way, thanks for coming in, Erica. We'll see you again tomorrow night.

We want to give you a shot at the "Shot." If you see some amazing video, tell us about it at We will put some of your best clips on the air.

Up next, a check of the 360 blog. More on the wild weather. Your feedback on how it impacted your work day. It's what's "On the Radar."


ROBERTS: Time now to check what's "On the Radar" on the 360 blog. We start off with those triple killings in Newark.

Mehroz in northern California writes: It's just a very sad situation that seems to be getting worse and we need to take a look at what is happening, why it's happening, and what we can do to change the course, and eventually lessen violence in our towns.

Oliver in Detroit, Michigan, says: There is no compassion for life. Also, when the police put their ear to the street they will get these heartless thugs. My heart goes out to the families of the victims.

Some of you are also weighing in on the bad weather that we experienced here in the Big Apple. A tornado, lots of rain and most of the elevators here at CNN washed out, forcing us to climb the stairs.

Polly Anna in Shreveport, Louisiana, says: Can we all say planet in peril? Stairs on the other hand are a good thing!

Marcy in Mobile, Alabama, had this idea. She says: I say you guys throw up two one-hour special editions of 360 and head home to dry off.

Not a bad idea, but we're a dedicated lot. We made it here to the office and we hope that you liked tonight's program.

Tell us what you think at

That's going to do it for this edition of 360. For Anderson Cooper, I'm John Roberts. Thanks for joining us.

For our international viewers, "CNN TODAY" is next. Here in the United States, "LARRY KING LIVE" is coming up.