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Airport Security Gap; Jamie Oliver's Fight against Fat; Second Chance for Amanda Knox

Aired November 24, 2010 - 23:00   ET


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, we're going to tell you about a security gap at the airport involving those TSA checkpoints. But it's not the scanners or the pat-downs that are the problem. It's all the people who simply do not have to go through the checkpoints at all, people who can get just as close to your plane as you do.

Now, the government has been studying this problem for years. The question is do they have any answer that's going to make us all safer? We're "Keeping Them Honest".

Also, Italy and Amanda Knox. She was convicted of a brutal murder with lurid sexual overtones in a trial that some here called a farce. Now she's got another chance at winning her freedom, a new day in court, a very different looking Amanda Knox -- "Crime & Punishment" tonight.

Plus, "Keeping Them Honest", Anderson is going to talk turkey with "Naked Chef" Jamie Oliver about helping your kids win the fight against fat. Now, who could be against that? We will tell you.

We begin, though, as we always do, "Keeping Them Honest".

Tonight: after the biggest flying day of the year, the weak spot in airport security that you probably don't know about because you almost never see it, that is unless you look out the window while they're loading the bags, pumping fuel, or delivering the meals.

Yes, you can still get a meal on some flights. That's not the issue. The issue is this. Almost none of the people you see here go through the same kind of screening, advanced or otherwise, that you do at the airport. Screening, we should point out, that went pretty smoothly today, few people joining the so-called national opt-out protest and refusing the new high-tech scans, in favor of slower pat- downs. Though, in Los Angeles, one traveler did go through the checkpoint wearing a bikini -- not much fuss otherwise.

One traveler telling "The L.A. Times" that the line at Starbucks was longer than the security line. So, things appear to be going smoothly.

Yesterday, in Salt Lake City, a guy got a jump on opt-out day, wearing a Speedo. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, what are you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a safety precaution, man. Just making sure that I don't have any trouble with --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put your clothes back on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will put them back on if --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put your clothes back on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Am I legally obligated to? Because I looked online.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll tell you what. I will have (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it's not that. I don't want to be --


GUPTA: They ultimately let him through. And they're now exempting flight and cabin crew from the more invasive scans and pat- downs as well. But, as we said, and as one of our guests tonight, pilot Patrick Smith, has written, nearly all airport workers, almost a million of them nationwide, don't have to go through any TSA screening at all.

Yes, they do undergo background checks. And the TSA says it now has roving patrols randomly checking airport workers. But, as one worker at New York's Kennedy Airport told Smith, the only TSA people he encounters are at the cafeteria.

Now, here -- here's why this is all a concern. In 2007, a Comair baggage handler at Orlando International Airport was arrested after authorities said he used his airline ID to carry a duffel bag with 14 guns and eight pounds of pot on to a flight. Another airport worker was also charged in that case.

Orlando now screens airport workers. So does Miami. But they are the exceptions. Several other airports did a three-month trial for the government. That was two years ago. And, last year, the Government Accountability Office used the info from those trials in a larger report on airport security.

So, the question was, what did they conclude? And, remember, this is the agency that's supposed to cut through all the bureaucratic double-talk.

Well, let me give this a shot. Here's what they said, quote, "The assistant secretary of TSA should work with aviation stakeholders to develop a comprehensive risk assessment, along with milestones, such as time frames for completing the assessment, that: number one, uses existing threats and vulnerable assessment activities; two, includes consequence analysis; and three, integrates all three elements of risk, threat, vulnerability, and consequence." That is a mouthful. Translated, though -- let me make this simple -- it says the study should come up with a problem and then try and come up with a timeline for studying that problem.

The report also recommended coming up with -- wait for this -- a national strategy for airport security that includes key characteristics, such as goals and priorities.

But you know what you didn't get in all that was any answers and very few specifics. The recommendation seems to be, do something. And you know what? Americans seem to agree with that. But do what?

Clearly, not everybody likes these latest measures put in place by the TSA. Is it simply that there are no easy answers here?

Now, to talk about that, Patrick Smith, who writes "Ask the Pilot" on -- you can read him as well at; also with us tonight, CNN contributor and former FBI Assistant Director Tom Fuentes.

Thank you, gentlemen, for joining us.


GUPTA: Patrick, you know, I was -- fascinated by what you -- I read your article -- this loophole that we just described. And you -- you wrote about this.

Why hasn't that loophole been closed? I mean, we're -- we're not trying to cast suspicion on those workers, by any means. It just seems like a gaping hole in aviation security, especially given this conversation we have been having.

PATRICK SMITH, AIRLINE PILOT: I don't know if it's so much a gaping hole, as it's a glaring contradiction. TSA tells us over and over about the need to screen flight attendants and the need to screen pilots, but all of these other workers with regular access to aircraft are not regularly screened at all.

And that's not to say that these workers are dangerous or necessarily a threat.

GUPTA: Right.

SMITH: I mean, these people are background-checked and -- and -- whatnot.

But it does, like I just said, show this immense, you know, just screaming contradiction. And it underscores a lot of TSA's other -- incoherence, you could call it. I mean, I can name just four things off the top of my head. I mean, we're putting body scanners in domestic airports, but not overseas, where a threat is likely to come from.

We're -- we're still going through people's bags for sharp objects, almost a decade after September 11, when the whole 9/11 strategy is really off the table from a hijacker's point of view, where you can't bring a 10-ounce container through security, but you can bring five three-ounce containers.

And then this is the latest example of -- it's somewhere between, you know, contradictory and incoherence.

GUPTA: Right. Right.

SMITH: And you know, lately, all this controversy over the scanners has, I think, distracted us from asking these more important questions about TSA's approach to security overall.

GUPTA: Right.

And -- and so, Tom, as a former FBI official, how much does the fact that most of these airport employees aren't screened, how much does that -- does that concern you?

THOMAS V. FUENTES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think it's a huge issue.

I mean, you have seen in the movies where people working with a terrorist have hidden guns or explosive devices in the paper towel dispenser in the airplane bathroom. And after the plane's taken off, the bad guys get up and pull the weapons out, hijack the plane.

So, you know, all the people that have access to it, the maintenance workers, the catering services -- you know, what's in those rolling carts that have supposedly food trays in it, where they could hide bad things for -- to be used later on in the flight?

And that's all true. I think that, from my perspective, what's happened over the last -- especially now this last three weeks, with new issues being raised, is that, you know, it's almost like we're trying to settle on public policy -- policy by sound bite.

And what I would advocate is -- and you have seen the -- the recommendation that you just talked about recommending a study -- I think we need a pre-9/11 condition -- commission.


FUENTES: Instead of waiting for after the event occurs to go find out who we can blame it on, why don't we get some adults in the room that have some expertise and talk about all of these different concerns, including the maintenance workers, including the catering services, the aircraft crews --

GUPTA: Right.

FUENTES: -- the -- the on-board crews, as well as the passengers, and the screenings that's required, which machines work, which -- can the dogs detect various amounts of explosives?

GUPTA: Yes. FUENTES: All of these issues have been taken on one at a time and piecemeal. And I think a comprehensive, real, true study, with policy implications -- implications should be made.

GUPTA: It's interesting because obviously a lot of people traveling today.

And Patrick, you have talked about the fact that the screening of airport workers isn't the only thing that you think needs to be fixed. You think the full-body scanners aren't a good move for the TSA.

But -- but if the scanners and the pat-downs are not particularly effective, getting to sort of this point, this conversation, what -- what do you think needs to be done?

SMITH: Well, I think what TSA is doing with respect to these ground workers is maybe smarter than it seems. They're doing a risk assessment and they're saying maybe to themselves what they're afraid to say to the public, which is that, wait a minute, we have to step back and realize that we cannot protect ourselves from every conceivable means of attack.

We need to put our resources and manpower where we can get the most bang for the buck.

GUPTA: Right.

SMITH: And we also need to realize that real airport security doesn't happen at the airport concourse checkpoint. It happens behind the scenes. It's -- it's law enforcement, counterintelligence, the FBI, CIA.


SMITH: That's the real nuts and bolts of security.

GUPTA: And they talk about things like background checks, for example. They talk about things like behavioral profiling, which happens in other --

SMITH: Sure.

GUPTA: -- countries around the world. I mean, is that something that you think should be adopted in this country?

SMITH: I -- I think we need to scale back this obsession with weapons themselves and start looking for people who might use weapons. And, you know, a lot of that is what I was just talking about, you know, kind of investigation and whatnot that goes on behind the scenes.

GUPTA: And Tom, what do you -- what do you think about that? Is that -- is that possible? I mean, they talk about that in Israel, for example.

FUENTES: No, Sanjay, it's absurd. GUPTA: Is that possible here?

FUENTES: It's ridiculous.

Israel has a couple thousand passengers going through their country. The whole country of Israel has a population about as big as the greater New York area, New York City area. The United States, we have two million passengers per day boarding domestic aircraft, not even talking about all of the overseas flights coming into the U.S.

So, the idea that you're going to somehow --

GUPTA: Right.

FUENTES: -- do background checks, profile them, talk to them on the sidewalk, two million people a day, is ridiculous.

I heard somebody earlier today --

SMITH: Well, by the same token --

FUENTES: Excuse me, but I heard somebody earlier today on CNN advocating, we need to do a background check on every passenger getting on an airplane.

GUPTA: Right.

FUENTES: That's two million people today, two million people tomorrow. What agency is going to have dossiers on every member --

GUPTA: Right.

FUENTES: -- of the American population that possibly could get on an aircraft? So --

GUPTA: Right.

FUENTES: -- these kind of suggestions, you -- it has to be put in the context, can it work, given the size of aviation --


FUENTES: -- in the United States?

GUPTA: Compared to Israel.

Patrick, really quick.

FUENTES: Exactly.

GUPTA: We have got to go, but you got one quick response?


By the same token, one of our fundamental flaws is trying to treat every single person who flies, from a little baby to, you know, the elderly, to -- to crew members, as potential terrorists. That's not sustainable or really enforceable in a country where that many people are moving through the system every day.

GUPTA: Lots to talk about -- a lot of problems pointed out, and still not -- not great solutions. But I'm sure a lot of people will continue to be interested.

Tom Fuentes, Patrick Smith, thanks to both of you. Happy Thanksgiving as well.

SMITH: Thank you, Sanjay.

GUPTA: Let us know what you think at home. Join the live chat now under way,

Just ahead, we're going to tell you about the American show of force aimed at making North Korea think twice after they shelled South Korea.

And, next, Anderson is going to talk with Naked Chef Jamie Oliver about his fight for healthier kid food and against the junk food obesity crisis.


JAMIE OLIVER, CELEBRITY CHEF: It's an incredibly important department in being able to empower change, healthy change.

And at the moment, what's happening is -- is the dollar and industry is way more important than your children.



GUPTA: We have got another "Keeping Them Honest" report for you now.

This one is about the food we eat and who's responsible for making sure that food is healthy. So, here's a question. Should the government police what you feed your kids? Should it tell restaurants what they can serve?

Well, for a second time this month, officials in San Francisco have said, yes, absolutely. As promised, they overturned the mayor's veto of a ban on fast food targeted at kids, unless that food meets new nutritional standards. This means that McDonald's Happy Meals, for example, will have to either ditch the toys or get a makeover, trimming calories, fat, sugar, and salt and adding fruits and vegetables.

But there's been a lot of pushback on this. Many critics are saying, hey, wait a minute, this is going too far. It should be parents that decide what their kids eat, not city officials.

Now, as a doctor and as a father of three, I can tell you, I can tell you I appreciate this issue's complexity. Yet, childhood obesity is a deadly serious problem. It's actually threatening to cut years off of kids' lives. And that has some people asking another question. Are officials, both in the government and in schools, actually part of the obesity problem?

Consider this. A report this year by the White House Task Force on Obesity found that up to 94 percent of school lunches -- 94 percent -- fail to meet USDA nutritional standards. And here's something else. According to a recent "New York Times" investigation, a marketing arm of the USDA, the same agency that sets those nutritional guidelines for school lunch programs, has been pushing cheese sales to help farmers. At the same time, the public face of the USDA has been warning Americans about fat.

Critics say this is a conflict of interests, acting as an advocate for Americans' health and for farmers' balance sheets. That could actually be making Americans fat.

Now, Anderson recently talked about all of this with British chef Jamie Oliver, host of the reality series "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution".

Take a look at this.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I want to start by showing somebody that was on your show, "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution", some of the stuff you have found in school cafeterias around the country.

Let's play that.


OLIVER: How is your pizza for breakfast?


OLIVER: I can't believe they're having pizza.

Oh, lovely. What's in there? You've got luminous pink -- is that milk? Lovely.

What's in here, honey?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Those are nuggets for today.

OLIVER: So, they get pizza for breakfast and chicken nuggets for lunch?


OLIVER: OK. So this is pizza for tomorrow, yes?


OLIVER: So, you have pizza for breakfast, but then they have it for, what, lunch tomorrow?


OLIVER: Bloody hell.

Now, this meat is already cooked, yes?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. When it grows up, it will be scrambled eggs.

OLIVER: So, that is scrambled egg?


OLIVER: I have never seen that before.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. It's -- it's egg. We steam it.

OLIVER: Didn't like your fruit?

I'm going to start crying in a minute.

It doesn't matter about nutritional boxes and pie charts and all that sort of stuff. They ain't eating the food that they're supposed to be eating, because it's all going in the bin.

Welcome to the world of American school food.


COOPER: It is incredibly shocking when you see it like that. I read that the number one food served in cafeteria in school are -- is chicken fingers.


I mean, basically, what's happened is, over the last 30 years, the cooks have been ousted out, and the accountants have been ousted in. And accountants like doing things like pureeing meat, shaping it, making it have a large shelf life.

COOPER: Shaping meat?

OLIVER: Shaping meat into any shape you want, brother -- any shape, any color. And, ultimately, we're -- we're disconnecting kids from food. It becomes like toys.

And even milk isn't virginal. That has got colorings, flavorings and, you know, 26 grams of sugar sometimes.

COOPER: That, I found stunning, that milk has 26 grams of sugar.

OLIVER: And they're allowed -- and the milk board is allowed to advertise that in the schools on posters. And they're a company, just like McDonald's or KFC or any of those guys. And, frankly, the governments are letting them do it. COOPER: Well -- well, I mean, "The New York Times" recently did an investigation of the -- the USDA, the Department of Agriculture, and found that they kind of have these twin roles.

On the one hand --

OLIVER: It's a quango.

COOPER: It's a what?

OLIVER: Well, it's -- we call it in England a quango.

COOPER: A quango?

OLIVER: Well, it's part of the government. So, it's -- it's part of the government. So, they're a -- they're a massive part of the government.

COOPER: Right.


COOPER: And with the USDA, in particular, on the one side, they're -- they're talking about, you know, eating better and -- and fighting obesity. On the other hand, an arm of the USDA is promoting the sale of cheese and trying to get products to have more cheese in them, to have, you know, Domino's Pizza with more cheese.

OLIVER: Or 11 grains in a five-day week, which means that on one day, you have got three types of grains on a plate, which is obviously carbohydrate, which is obviously stored as fat in the body, which only adds to the obesity epidemic.

So, you know, my problem is, is, you know, that life ain't supposed to be easy. Do you know what I mean? And I'm not saying I would want to run the USDA, but it's an incredibly important department in being able to empower change, healthy change.

COOPER: Well --

OLIVER: And, at the moment, what's happening is -- is the dollar and industry is way more important than your children.

COOPER: In San Francisco, the city council there has passed a law which would basically stop McDonald's from selling a Happy Meal.

OLIVER: Mm-hmm.

COOPER: Any -- any restaurant couldn't sell a meal with a toy in it if it didn't meet certain new nutritional guidelines.

OLIVER: Correct.

COOPER: And there's a -- there's a pushback here in the United States. A lot of people think, well, look, that's like the nanny state. That's -- that's -- that's too much -- OLIVER: Yes.

COOPER: -- government interference telling us -- telling a restaurant what kind of a meal they can --

OLIVER: And let me tell -- let me tell you one thing. Like, you know, nanny -- a good nanny is what children need. And you can't -- you can't say, in 2010, when you can put people on the moon, that -- that -- that children in the United States of America or England have -- are expected to have a shorter life than their parents, based on not having a nanny state that doesn't protect them.

You know, when our little children go to school and eat twice a day, 180 days in a year from the age of 4 to 18, you are responsible, as a government, as an adult, as a senator, as a governor, as a head of health or the USDA, you are responsible for half of that child's nutrition.

Don't go blaming the -- the Main Street or the parents. You're responsible for half that child's nutrition.

It's so easy for the dollar and greedy -- greedy parts of industry and government to say, don't tell people what to do. Don't control people, because we're in -- we're in a health epidemic.

COOPER: Do you feel, though, that parents have -- I mean, parents often have a -- a lousy diet, and they pass that on to their kids.

OLIVER: Of course. It's hereditary. It's hereditary.

And that's why, in conjunction with a good, proper, real healthy meal, which, by the way, isn't rocket science -- you know, cooking some raw ingredients that come from within 100 miles away, applying some heat or technique to deliver a meal that is edible -- you know, we're in a recession now. We need to know how to budget. We need to know how to shop efficiently. We need to know how to cook 10 meals to save their life, you know, basic stuff.

These -- you know, you talk about math and English and foreign languages.

COOPER: I know how to cook one meal.

OLIVER: Well, brother, if -- in my dream, if I had a magic wand --

COOPER: Uh-huh.

OLIVER: -- when you left at 16, you would have been able -- you would have been able to cook 10 things.

COOPER: That would be good.

Jamie Oliver, thanks. That was great.

OLIVER: Cheers, buddy.


GUPTA: I guess Anderson won't be cooking Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, probably.

Still ahead: Haiti's growing health crisis -- a live report from Port-au-Prince on the cholera outbreak. That's next.

Plus, "Crime & Punishment": American student Amanda Knox returning to court in Italy to appeal her murder conviction after three years in prison, another tough battle ahead -- the latest coming up.

Stay with us.


GUPTA: Well, the health crisis is far from over in Haiti. The cholera outbreak, we're talking about, already claiming more than 1,400 lives, sickening more than 60,000 others and threatening to spread further around the country.

Now, all of this could have been prevented. They're being called stupid deaths, because they didn't have to happen.

And Ivan Watson is in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, with the latest.

Ivan, I know you've been reporting on this. What have you found?

IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the World Health Organization, Sanjay, made an announcement this week. Their initial estimates that some 200,000 Haitians could get sick with cholera, they have announced that they're going to double that to 400,000 cases, half of those, roughly, in the first -- in the next three months.

They have also sent out a warning to other Latin American states to get ready, in case there's a burst of cholera cases in their countries as well.

I was at a -- a cholera treatment center here run by Doctors without Borders, Medecins Sans Frontieres. They said that there are seven centers here in Port-au-Prince, in the capital. They're getting 600 to 700 cases a day, Sanjay, and they're losing about four or five victims a day as a result of this deadly outbreak.


Any sense, Ivan, of whether there's going to be enough supplies over the next few months, as these numbers increase?

WATSON: Yes, I got no sense from the Doctors without Borders organization that they're in trouble.

And what was really surprising to me, what has been surprising, is that, yes, this is a deadly disease, it can kill somebody who gets infected within a matter of hours due to the -- the drastic dehydration from acute diarrhea and nausea, but, on the other hand, treatment is surprisingly simple. You don't need lots of expensive drugs for this.

You basically need IV fluids for severe cases. You need rehydration solutions, basically, solutions made out of salt and sugar water. The key thing is just to get those people who are sick into treatment centers --

GUPTA: Right.

WATSON: -- within a matter of hours, those crucial hours.

And the problem, as you well know, the road system in this country is terrible, and the health system in this country is terrible as well.

GUPTA: A country that just can't seem to catch a break 11 months later.

Ivan, be safe down there. Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow to you.

Elections in three days in Haiti, incidentally, as well. This is probably going to affect it. Keep an eye on that.

Still to come, though, American Amanda Knox, she is getting a second chance to try and prove she didn't kill her roommate in Italy. We will have details from inside the courtroom just ahead.

First, though, Susan Hendricks joining us with a "360 News and Business Bulletin -- Susan.

SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sanjay, tensions are high in North and South Korea. The USS George Washington Carrier Strike Group is headed for the waters off the Korean Peninsula for planned military exercises in the South.

It is a show of force following North Korea's deadly artillery attack on a South Korean island on Tuesday that left four people dead. South Korea says that it will strengthen its rules of engagement in the Yellow Sea following the shelling by North Korea.

And no surprise here -- the Beatles are a hit on iTunes. "Rolling Stone" is reporting that the Fab Four sold more than two million songs and 450,000 albums in the first week online.

In Florida, actor John Travolta and his wife, Kelly Preston, are the proud new parents of a baby boy. His name is Benjamin. The birth comes nearly two years after their 16-year-old son suffered a fatal seizure. We hear that John, Kelly and daughter Ella are very happy, ecstatic, really, about the newest member of their family.

And we, of course, wish them well -- Sanjay.

GUPTA: We -- we definitely do, although, boy, I have three daughters at age 50 -- 56, a new kid, that's a lot of work --

HENDRICKS: Yes, it certainly is.

GUPTA: -- although he has some extra help, I'm sure.

Susan, stick around.

We got tonight's "Shot" now, an incredible photo that's gone viral on the Internet. I want you to take a look at this guy. Now, from the front, his head looks absolutely normal. But this is what he looks like from the side. Now, there is a -- you see that?


GUPTA: There is an Internet debate. Is this picture real or is it Photo-shopped? A lot of people asking that question.

But, I can tell you, as a neurosurgeon, this is quite possibly real.

Susan, what happens in certain situations is that people have an operation where they actually remove the bone on both sides of the head. It can happen, for example, after a trauma where they have to relieve pressure on the brain. And it may be some time before they can put that bone back in.

And, in the meantime, you sort of look like that guy does.

You ever seen anything like that?

HENDRICKS: No, never. I have never. Looks like -- from the front, as you said, he looks pretty normal. He's smiling.

GUPTA: He's got the forehead.

HENDRICKS: From the side --

GUPTA: But it's all that bone on top, again, that is gone.

But, again, that bone can be put back at some point, so he can get back a -- a normal appearance.

Susan, also, a quick program note: this Friday on 360, Anderson is going to have a special report, "Amazing Animals: Smarter than You Think." He's going to show you why some scientists believe animals share more with humans than many have thought before.

You're going to meet some Bonobos who are said to understand English.

Anderson spent time with them, and things definitely took a sort of bizarre turn. Take a look.


DR. SUE SAVAGE-RUMBAUGH, GREAT APE TRUST: Who should be the bunny?

Bunny is you.

COOPER: I'm the bunny?

SAVAGE-RUMBAUGH: You are the bunny.

COOPER: How am I the bunny? Wow.

(voice-over): Before I know it, I'm presented with a costume.

(on camera): You want me to dress up like the bunny? That's OK?

(voice-over): And I'm escorted off to go put it on.

(on camera): Do you guys do anything the chimps tell you? Like --


COOPER: This is the weirdest thing ever.

(voice-over): I wasn't sure if I should do this, but I remembered the advice we were given before arriving. Be laid back and see where it goes.

(on camera): Oh, a bib. The bunny has a bib.

So apparently one of the chimps, Panbanisha, likes bunnies and asked me to dress as a bunny, which was the big surprise, and get one of the presents that she had requested.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The bunny hops. Hopping is good.


GUPTA: And you can find out exactly what happened next. Anderson actually hopped away, and we haven't seen him since, which is why I'm here tonight. Kidding.

Friday at 10 p.m. Eastern, don't miss "Amazing Animals: Smarter than You Think".

Coming up, the American college student who was convicted of the murder of a roommate in Italy. She went back to court today to appeal her case. We have the latest details from inside the courtroom, that's next.

Also a "CNN Heroes/AC 360 exclusive". We're going to wrap up Anderson's interview with several of the rescued Chilean miners. Find out if they're ever going to return to work in those mines.


GUPTA: Well, tonight in "Crime & Punishment", American Amanda Knox was back in a courtroom in Italy today, nearly a year after she was convicted of killing her British roommate and was sentenced to 26 years in prison.

This story started three years ago when that roommate, Meredith Kercher, was found murdered. Her throat was slashed. Prosecutors say Meredith, Amanda and her Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were in an extreme sex game that turned violent. Amanda, the boyfriend, and a third person, a drifter named Rudy Guede, are all serving time for the crime.

But Amanda and her family have staunchly maintained her innocence, saying that Amanda and Meredith were friends, and she is the victim of a horrible miscarriage of justice.

The 23-year-old Knox was in court today to appeal her murder conviction. Since the conviction, a lot has changed. It's a new jury. There are two new judges. Even Amanda looks different. Her lawyer said she has lost weight and is tense and with good reason. She's facing a very difficult legal battle.

This time around they have to prove that she's innocent. And under Italian law the prosecution can also appeal, which they are doing. Prosecutors say 26 years isn't a long enough sentence. They want life.

Barbie Latza Nadeau is an American journalist based in Italy. She's also author of "Angel Face: The True Story of Student Killer Amanda Knox" and a contributor for the "Daily Beast". She joins us live via Skype from Italy.

Thank you, Barbie. You were in court today. What were some of the latest developments you found over there in the case?

BARBIE LATZA NADEAU, AUTHOR, "ANGEL FACE": Well, it was a very different situation in court today, from what we saw all of last year with Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were facing their criminal trial.

The media was there, as usual, but Amanda Knox did not pander to the cameras like she did last year. She -- she seemed very tense, very nervous. She seemed afraid. I think she really understands the gravity of the situation she faces right now. Her lawyers were nervous, as well. Everybody was -- it was a tense situation in the courtroom today.

GUPTA: Right.

LATZA NADEAU: It lasted only half an hour. It was delayed until the 11th of December.

GUPTA: Right.

LATZA NADEAU: So even that, I'm sure, was a disappointment for Amanda Knox, to not get going with this appeal after waiting so long.

GUPTA: Let me ask a couple of specific questions about the details. The alleged murder weapon, a knife, didn't match at least two of the three wounds on the neck of Meredith Kercher, and it didn't match a bloody knife pattern on a sheet.

Now, do you expect the defense is going to use this as the cornerstone of their appeal? Will it work? Or is there some other sort of strategy, do you think?

LATZA NADEAU: Well, I think it's a crucial aspect of the appeal, because in the -- the sentencing judge's reasoning, they introduced a second sort of fantasy knife that must have been used for the other two wounds, and they alluded to the fact that Raffaele Sollecito was a knife collector, so therefore, it must have been his second knife.

All of these things may be great when you're discussing the case outside of the courtroom, but you really -- the judge shouldn't have, according to the defense, used that scenario to justify why this knife could be the murder weapon.

The other, I think the other crucial point in their appeal is the lack of a motive. And, you know, the prosecution in the criminal trial really didn't prove a motive when it came to why Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito, and Rudy Guede would have killed Meredith Kercher.

GUPTA: Really quickly, Barbie, the Italian public, how do they feel about this, do you think? What's the public opinion?

LATZA NADEAU: Well, I think it's really mixed right now. You know, there was a period of time when everyone thought Amanda Knox was absolutely guilty, and I think that that tide is turning right now.

People are open to hear what happens in the appeal. I think people will believe the appeal, what's presented, and the outcome of the appeal will be sort of a more definitive answer in the case.

GUPTA: All right. Barbie Latza Nadeau, thanks so much.

Let's turn to Steve Moore, as well, former FBI agent. He says during his 25 years with the bureau, he came to believe if you were arrested you were probably guilty, which is exactly what he thought about Amanda Knox, at least at first, then changed his mind. And Steve Moore joins us now live from Los Angeles.

Thank you, sir. You say there's no evidence Amanda had anything to do with this crime. Why are you so sure about her innocence?

STEVE MOORE, FORMER FBI AGENT: Well, I did 25 years in the bureau. I think I can read a crime scene. And I saw the evidence in this case and there is -- it's not just a lack of evidence; the -- the crime scene precludes their involvement. It's really an affirmative defense. Lack of evidence is going to -- is going to prove that they had nothing to do with this. Absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

GUPTA: Just to be clear, when you first spoke about this case, you thought she was guilty. And now you think she's innocent. So what -- was there something specific that made you change your mind?

MOORE: The evidence. The evidence made me change my mind. I initially thought, well, if brother and sister officers arrested her and had what appeared to be a case, they wouldn't do that unless they actually had evidence.

And then when I actually looked into the case, I found out that the evidence that they had was suspicious at best and horrific at worst. There is no credible evidence to connect them with this crime.

And in fact, this is just a simple burglary gone bad. It happens somewhere every day in the world, and the prosecutors made it incredibly complicated, hoping that people would forget that the evidence says that they were not at the crime scene.

GUPTA: But what do you think hurt Amanda so much then during this trial? I mean, some say it was a lack of an alibi or her and her boyfriend's stories did not quite match up. I mean, you sound pretty convinced about this. What's hurting her in this particular case?

MOORE: What hurt her, two things. A prosecutor who is willing to do anything and say anything to get a conviction, and yellow journalists like Barbie Nadeau, who wrote books before she was convicted, like "The True Story of Amanda Knox, Student Killer". They poisoned the water and made it impossible for a fair trial to happen.

Usually, you would expect the press -- and it's their job to hold governments accountable -- to hold prosecutors accountable for evidence that they say exists, and if it doesn't, they should be asking questions. Instead we had the press over there and the tabloid press in England creating this persona of Foxy Knoxy, creating this -- this lie about who she was, and the Italian public and the jury ate it up.

And so all of a sudden, instead of the real honor student, the dean's list student who worked several jobs to go to Italy and learn languages, we now have this crazy drug- induced woman.

GUPTA: Well, and just to be fair, Barbie was just on before you. She's not with us anymore, but she was trying to give us an assessment of what she thinks is happening now. But she did write a book about this, as you pointed out.

Steve Moore, thanks so much. A happy Thanksgiving to you, as well. Thanks for joining us.

Up next, the men who rescued the Chilean miners sit down with Anderson to share what it felt like and, yes, even what it smelled like when they finally reached the miners who had been trapped underground for 69 days; "CNN Heroes/AC 360 Exclusive Interview".

And later, the protest that never happened or why Opt-Out Day was a bust. That's the latest addition to "The RidicuList".


GUPTA: It's time now for "The Big 360 Interview".

The Chilean miners have gotten so much attention throughout the world -- as well they should -- for the bravery and the fortitude they displayed during their 69-day ordeal underground.

Just as brave, the men who rescued them. They sat down with Anderson and some of the miners they rescued, as well, to talk about what they were feeling during the rescue mission that had the entire world, really, riveted. Tonight, part three of the "CNN Heroes/AC 360 Exclusive Interview".


COOPER: Manuel, you were the first rescuer down. We all watched. Around the world people were watching, and I was nervous watching you go down. Were you -- were you nervous going down?

MANUEL GONZALEZ, FIRST RESCUER (through translator): We had done so much testing, so I wasn't that nervous. I was more anxious. We had done so much testing. There were 17 of us. We knew that passage was safe.

COOPER: Roberto, you actually carried a flag that said "Mission accomplished". Were you that confident that the mission would be accomplished?

ROBERTO RIOS, RESCUER: We made the flag with my partner, Patricio Robledo. And the flag, our mission was accomplished when they surfaced, you know? That was the idea about the flag.

COOPER: Were you scared for yourself? I mean, you're a -- you're a Navy SEAL. You've done a lot of very brave things. Were you nervous?

RIOS: I was anxious. No nervous, and I was afraid about my health, nothing. Just I was focused on the mission.

COOPER: What was that ride down in that long, long tube like?

RIOS: The condition of the hole wasn't -- was very good. You know? The turning was very good. The Phoenix 2 was an amazing capsule. So it was very secure the whole time, just hearing the noise from the wheels, you know, that kind of thing is -- was a very good trip.

COOPER: Manuel, when you first broke through, we didn't even know that we were going to see pictures of it, and I gasped -- I could not believe when I actually saw you arrive in the cave. What -- what was that moment like?

GONZALEZ (through translator): It was a very exciting moment when I got to the bottom and saw that they were all in good health and happy. I just wanted them to be in good health.

COOPER: I don't want to offend any of them, but did they smell very badly?

GONZALEZ: Not at all.

COOPER: Oh, come on. (CROSSTALK)

COOPER: When you saw that capsule arrive and you saw him get out of that capsule, what did you think?

JUAN ILLANES, RESCUED CHILEAN MINER (through translator): It was like starting over again. It was great. Like starting from day zero.

MARIO SEPULVEDA, RESCUED CHILEAN MINER (through translator): I was looking to see who was coming. I kept looking, and then we heard Manuel's voice. And we were all reacting. We didn't know him, but it had been 70 days since we've seen anyone.

And then Manuel came out, and he was beautiful. And we were just running up to him and hugging him. We were just pulling at him and hugging him. We were all attacking him.

RIOS: I thought it might be a little dangerous down there. They'd been down there in a closed mine for 70 days.

COOPER: For you, I particularly remember when you came out, everyone was worried that you might not be feeling well or that you were -- you might need an ambulance. You were jumping around. You seemed very, very strong.

SEPULVEDA (through translator): I came up very happy, content. I was just filled with happiness and excitement. The situation was finally over.

COOPER: Do you all plan to go back into the mines? And do you worry about going back into the mines?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): That mine? No.

COOPER: But another mine?

ILLANES: (through translator): Any other mine, yes. But outside, on the surface. But inside, no. No, no, no.


GUPTA: And tomorrow night, after your Thanksgiving dinner, don't forget to watch "CNN HEROES: AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE," today at 8 p.m. Eastern and 5 p.m. Pacific.

Well, up next, even though everyone from that bikini lady to the ACLU is making a fuss about those new airport scanners, we'll tell you why the guy who tried to get people to opt out of them belongs on our "RidicuList".


GUPTA: Well, it's time now for the newest addition to "The RidicuList". It's our nightly effort to point out hypocrisy, double talk and stuff that's just downright ridiculous. Tonight the honor goes to National Opt-Out Day and the guy behind it. Now, today was supposed to be a big protest against body scans at airports. The simple premise, as explained on the Web site, all you have to do is say, "I opt out" when they tell you to go through one of the machines. You will then be given an enhanced pat-down.

Isn't enhanced a great word? Enhanced -- now with 26 percent more patting. OK. We made that part up. It could actually be 28 percent more.

And yet for all the build-up, all the hype, travelers mostly opted out of Opt-Out Day.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I didn't see anybody opting out. Most people just did the scan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We didn't have any problems, but we were there at 6 a.m. this morning, so not a lot of crowds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Not at all. It was very easy and very uneventful.


GUPTA: That's right. Uneventful. And that was pretty much the story everywhere. Sure there were a few opt outs throughout the day. There was that passenger we told you about in Los Angeles who opted out of most of her clothing, in fact, except for a bikini, but other than that it was pretty much a dud. In fact, the TSA says travel was no normal they actually closed some screening lines.

And workers at the Burbank Airport said the wait lines were longer at the coffee shop than the check point.

So why did Opt-Out Day turn into Flopped-Out Day? Well, here's a theory we've been working on.

If you want to protest something, maybe it shouldn't make everyone, including your own protesters, even more miserable at the airport. If Opt-Out had worked, the lines would have been longer and tempers shorter.

Or maybe people understood that, as protests go, asking to have one's crotch grabbed really doesn't quite cut it. Don't tread on me. There's a pretty good slogan. Or even "don't touch my junk." But please pat me down? Please. That's not going to work.

Or maybe people just wanted to get where they were going. Imagine that on the day before Thanksgiving. The guy who came up with the idea for Opt-Out Day, Brian Sodergren (ph), isn't worried about the non-response. In fact, somewhat bizarrely, he declared it a success and went on to say this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BRIAN SODERGREN, ORGANIZER, OPT OUT DAY: Look, I never expected to have, you know, disruption and chaos at the airports today. You know, my whole point in doing this was to educate people on what their options are, you know, in my opinion, how grossly their rights were being violated, and to get the policy changed. Let's put the pressure on them to get the policy changed.


GUPTA: All right. Well, change may be needed but not today. Not on the busiest flying day of the year. No one wanted to touch this protest except to pat-down its premise, run it through the logic scanner, and throw it onto "The RidicuList".

Well, that does it for this edition of 360. Thanks for watching.

"LARRY KING" starts right now.