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Hurricane Isabel Hits; U.S. Soldiers Killed in Iraq; Race Issues Raised in Jayson Williams Case

Aired September 18, 2003 - 19:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST: Hurricane Isabel slams the East Coast.

Iraqi oil burning in the desert. Who's to blame?

New fashions hit the runways. We'll get the dish from designer Isaac Mizrahi.

They're back. New TV reality shows. Tonight we go inside the box with reality rocker Ted Nugent.

And the multimillion dollar question. What do Dick Grasso and Charles Taylor have in common?

ANNOUNCER: Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.

COOPER: And a good evening to you, thanks for joining us. Welcome to 360.

We begin with Hurricane Isabel. The storm is roaring its way up the East Coast with near 100 miles an hour winds and torrential rains in some places. A quarter million people have been told to leave their homes.

For those who stayed, many are in the dark. In North Carolina, and Virginia alone, more than a million people are without power tonight.

The governors of North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania all have declared states of emergency, and President Bush has declared North Carolina a major disaster area.

Isabel has shut down the federal government as Washington mayor Anthony Williams said it is big, it is ugly, it is bad and it's heading our way. That's a live picture of D.C. right now.

East Coast airports haven't all shut down. It just feels that way if you have to get somewhere right now. Airlines canceled more than 2,000 flights at more than a dozen major airports, leaving East Coast skies in many places virtually clear of airplanes. That is about the only thing that is clear in the East Coast skies right now.

We're covering Isabel up and down the coast, and we'll update you throughout the hour.

Ed Lavandera is in Topsail Beach, North Carolina. Jeanne Meserve in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Patty Davis has an exclusive look at the FAA command and control center in Herndon, Virginia.

We begin with Jeff Flock in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. He's been getting a workout today. So has his outerwear.

Jeff, take it away.

JEFF FLOCK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, this storm has remarkable resiliency. We thought long ago perhaps we were past the worst of it. But I can tell you, I don't know if it's been blowing any harder at any time during this day than it is right now.

This is a tremendously large storm with a tremendous wind field. We've been through it several times through the eye wall here. We thought for a time that the National Hurricane Center said we thought we would be getting the actual eye of the storm, which in fact would have been a positive based on what we are having happen to us now instead of getting the eye and getting that hour or so break.

We've in fact gotten the eye wall, which is the most intense portion of the storm, the highest winds and a whole lot of rain earlier. That for most of this day.

We've got some pictures earlier of the pier that is out here not too far from me. You can see that it survived. I want to show you that pier at the height of this storm. At least when I thought was the height of the storm, but the waves were crashing on it.

In fact, although this wind is whipping now, the waves are not as intense as it was earlier when they were crashing over the pier. The people responsible for that pier said they were concerned that perhaps it wouldn't survive. That's because high tide came at the same time as that eye was (AUDIO/VIDEO GAP) it's one of the bands and it certainly is perhaps, as you can tell, still blowing tremendously hard here on the Carolina coast.

We'll be back with the hurricane chasers later in the broadcast. That was an extraordinary ride today, too.

Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: All right. Jeff Flock. Jeff will be back, as he said, in about 20 minutes with more.

We go now to Virginia Beach, Virginia, where Jeanne Meserve standing by and holding on -- Jeanne.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the wind is so intense here now that these raindrops that are hitting us are feeling like they're BBs. It's just incredible.

You may see the boardwalk. This is all sea foam that's up here. Usually the sea stays about 50 yards away from here, but it's been right here, pressing again this sea wall since about -- it's just been a ferocious surf down there. It took down part of a fishing pier down the coast near Virginia Beach.

One city official told me at one point it looked like the wave actually was reaching 20 to 25 feet underneath that pier. And, of course, of others things (NO AUDIO) flooding, the rain (NO AUDIO) their own, because of that, of course, a lot of trees down, power going out. At last report there were something like 640,000 people without (NO AUDIO) in this area. (NO AUDIO)

COOPER: We'll try to stay with Jeanne as long as we could. We'll be checking back in with her in about 20 minutes, as well.

Topsail Beach was one of the locations seemingly on a collision course with Isabel. Ed Lavandera is there to tell us how they weathered the storm -- Ed.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, everything here holding up pretty well. I want to follow up on one of the themes that my friend Jeff Flock was talking about. Just how large, how wide and how expansive Hurricane Isabel is.

Hurricane Isabel is heading directly north away from where we are, but we're continuing to feel and it's been five or six hours now that the eye of the storm came through where Jeff is. We are still feeling strong winds and a decent amount rainfall here.

The concern had been storm surge and flooding. This is a very thin island. You can see the ocean, the Atlantic Ocean just beyond the sand dune. The concern had been that that water might spill over this dune and so washing away some of the homes, the lower level parts of the homes and businesses that are on this island, as well.

But we haven't seen very major flooding throughout the area. We drove around several miles north of here, back up toward Morehead City, thirty miles north, but everything seems to be holding up very well at this point. So many people grateful they're on the southern edge of Hurricane Isabel -- Anderson.

COOPER: A good reason to be grateful. Ed Lavandera. Thanks very much.

Thousand of people are cozying up in those tiny airport chairs right now, stuck and stranded by Isabel.

We wanted to get a view of Isabel from above to get a sense of what it's doing to air travel. Our Patty Davis has an exclusive look inside the FAA command and control center. She joins us from Herndon, Virginia.

Good evening, Patty.


Well, chances are if you had a flight scheduled in the path of the hurricane, that's North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C., that it was canceled today.

Now, the flights that are out there right now, and this is what you see on the FAA screen right here. These are these little black airplanes. You can see that they are being rerouted around the western side of the hurricane.

That hurricane moves closer inland, moves further inland, they're going to start routing some of those flights around the eastern side. The New York to Florida flights, perhaps, around the eastern side back over the water.

Now some of those planes are flying over the hurricane. We're also told it's pretty safe at 20, 30,000 feet, as long as they can get over the hurricane.

Now we have some delays in the system because of the hurricane: La Guardia, Philadelphia, also Reagan National Airport is closed. Dulles International, basically closed; Baltimore, Washington, has ceased operations, Richmond, Norfolk, Raleigh/Durham, Hampton Roads, no flights for the rest of the night.

Now, very interesting. There was a federal air marshal out here from the federal air marshal's service earlier today, keeping an eye on the situation because this also affects federal air marshals. A lot of them had to be rerouted.

Now they're saying they have a flight they might not be able to get that back in the air again until noon tomorrow until this thing passes -- Anderson.

COOPER: A lot of people stranded tonight. Patty Davis, thanks a lot.

A lot of people turned to train travel to get out of the way of the storm. All the trains leaving Washington's Union Station were heading north, but some trains to New York were simply canceled. Amtrak shut down service south of D.C. and from Chicago heading east. Inspectors have been checking tracks for debris or washouts that might affect service.

Wet, windblown and in the dark. Isabel's power has more than a million people in North Carolina and Virginia without power. Imagine more than a million people right now. Lines snapped under the storm's force. Virginia officials say 40 percent of the state is powerless, and that could last several days before electric companies get people back online.

The major leagues even took a hit from the storm today at Baltimore's Camden Yards. The game between the Orioles and the New York Yankees was brought to a halt today. Steady rain, as you see and concern that hurricane force winds might be on the way led umpires to stop the 1-1 game in the fifth inning.

And we want to get the very latest on Isabel. Where is it now? Where is it headed? How strong is it?

AT the CNN weather center, Rob Marciano joins us.

Rob, what's the latest?

ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Anderson, it's weakened just a little bit as we expected, down to 80 miles an hour winds, but it is still a hurricane, that is as of 7 p.m. tonight. And it's moving off to the northwest.

Here it is, the center of it. It is pretty much right on the border of North Carolina and Virginia. This tornado watch box has been out for much of the afternoon. Now there have been three tornado warnings in the past half an hour. They have all since expired, but you can see the wind field from this thing, it's still windy down across Cape Hatteras.

The right part of this thing, the most powerful part of the storm, there will be a tornado threat there tonight, even as this thing weakens. Also, flooding is going to be an issue not only with rainfall, but with the storm surge right up to the Potomac River, where tonight high tide is around 2 a.m. We could see several feet of storm surge there.

Good news with this thing, Anderson, is that it's moving pretty quickly. So we shouldn't see a lot of flooding from the rainfall, because this thing should be out of here by tomorrow.

Back to you.

COOPER: That is certainly good news. We're going to check back in with you in about 25 minutes for more for more.

Now, our storm coverage continues in a few minutes. But there is other news to tell you about tonight, so let's check the uplink.

Geneva, Switzerland. Child abuse. A U.N. agency issues a very troubling report. Shows the U.S. and Mexico have the highest number of child abuse deaths out of 27 of the world's richest countries.

Kabul, Afghanistan, a new constitution. The first draft is in the hands of President Hamid Karzai. It's 43 pages long and once Karzai goes over it, 40,000 copies will be published to let Afghans make their own comments.

Washington, D.C. Former President Jimmy Carter told Larry King that turmoil in Iraq and Afghanistan are fair game issues for Democrats in the 2004 campaign. He also criticized the White House for a quote, "overly optimistic assessment of Iraq."

And Camp David, Maryland, President Bush, who was meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah, said Yasser Arafat has, quote, "failed as a leader of the Palestinians." He also said Arafat undercut former Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas, you'll remember, quit earlier this month.

And that's the uplink for tonight. Lots still to come this evening, however. Iraq's stability: is it being blown to pieces bit by bit? U.S. soldiers attacked, some deaths, a key pipeline possibly sabotaged. We'll have live reports on both.

Also tonight, justice served. Will Jayson Williams hold the race card in his manslaughter case? Lisa Bloom is here. She's going to sound off.

And could you survive life with Ted Nugent? Seven strangers are going to try. We're going to talk with the rocker who likes his meat, red, raw and preferably something he killed himself.

But first a look inside the box at what the network newscasts have as their top stories tonight.


COOPER: Look at that picture. You'd be best to carry the bike in a situation like that.

Hurricane Isabel bringing transportation to a near standstill in areas up and down the East Coast today. We'll continue to bring you the latest on Isabel as it continues to move throughout the evening. A little bit more in just a few minutes.

But first, a quick trip cross country.

Denver, Colorado. Porn at the Air Force Academy. Charges filed against a cadet for running a porn web site from his dorm room. He was allegedly trying to organize group sex. The Air Force said his conduct was a disgrace to the armed forces.

Long Island, New York, hazing horror. A school board has voted to end high school football for the season. That after allegations that some players were sexually assaulted by older teammates last month.

Tulsa, Oklahoma, near miss. The FAA is looking into a mid-air incident involving an American Airlines jet bound for St. Louis. Now, it happened yesterday afternoon. We just found out about it today. Flight 490 plunged 100 feet to avoid a military aircraft. Five passengers onboard were hurt, none seriously.

And Dyersburg, Tennessee, hostage standoff that ended last night after nine hours. A SWAT team stormed in. The gunman was killed. It turns out he was a 26-year-old man with a history of mental problems. Two hostages were wounded, not life threatening.

And that's the look across country tonight.

And now we go to Iraq. We are just getting reports of a deadly ambush on U.S. troops near Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit. Three Americans dead. Our Jason Bellini witnessed the firefight, joins us live by videophone with the latest details.

Jason, what happened?


Well, right across the river from me, the Tigris River is where a firefight took place involving rocket propelled grenades and small arms, resulting in the deaths of three U.S. soldiers, the wounding of two. It's not yet known at this hour whether those responsible had been found or tracked down.

What I can tell you is that even the last 10 minutes we've been hearing gunfire. We saw a helicopter flying overhead. We saw its tracer fire. We can only presume that they are going after the people who are responsible for the deaths of these two soldiers.

The details at this hour are still very sketchy. All we know is that they were ambushed from across the river from where we are now -- Anderson.

COOPER: Jason Bellini, thanks for the update. Appreciate it. A lot of raids going on in that area in Tikrit. That's the update. Three Americans killed, two wounded.

Now, earlier today there was another attack on U.S. troops in the town of Khaldiya. Military officials say two G.I.s were wounded. Our senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson has more on that.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On fire and taking fire. A rare glimpse of a now common event, a U.S. convoy under attack in the so-called Sunni triangle.

Hours later, after a rescue, reinforcements pull out of the town of Khaldiya.

Immediately after, with pictures of Saddam Hussein carried aloft, young men rushed forward to claim victory, although not in the name of Saddam Hussein.

"These attacks are not from outside the country and are not from Saddam's army," local resident Shakia (ph) says. "They are by honorable people from around this area."

From firing weapons to showing charred remains of U.S. trucks, everyone finding their own way to celebrate.

(on camera) Over the last few weeks, incident after incident appear to have fueled an already volatile situation, making it increasingly tense. Just a few days ago, the police chief in this town was murdered.

(voice-over) Those in the crowd claim several U.S. soldiers died in this firefight. But the coalition says only two soldiers were wounded.

This attack on the convoy apparently sophisticated. Faifal Haisan's (ph) truck was damaged in the firefight. He says there were several explosions.

"After 15 minutes," he says, "I tried to move. Then the soldiers were hit again, and that's when they started to shoot at everybody."

From high on a bank, providing a vantage point over the site of the ambush, more jubilation.

For townspeople, the rationale of the attacks, simple.

"When the occupying force came they promised a lot," says Shaikh Ali (ph), "but it was all lies."

Such is the mood in the heart of the Sunni triangle.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Khaldiya, Iraq.


COOPER: Four more stories of Iraq to tell you about.

Near Tikrit in northern Iraq, coalition forces are still trying to get an oil pipeline fire under control. Take a look at these images. It was started by know explosion. Coalition forces are investigating.

Still uncertain of the cause, but Iraqi officials say they suspect sabotage.

The explosion reduced the flow of oil from Iraq to Turkey, estimated as a $7 million loss every day. Unbelievable pictures.

Meanwhile, former U.N. chief weapons inspector Hans Blix, remember him? Well, he's stepping up his attacks on the main argument for war with Iraq. Specifically, allegations that Iraq possessed banned weapons of mass destruction.

Blix told BBC radio today the allegations were nothing but, quote, "spin and hype and a way to justify an invasion." Even compared the U.S. and Britain to medieval witch-hunters. So far no weapons of mass destruction, of course, have been found in Iraq.

France continues to push for a quick transfer of power in Iraq. French President Jacques Chirac says it should happen in, quote, "months, not years."

Chirac right now is in Berlin for talks for German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. This, of course, ahead of a meeting on Saturday with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. They are searching for a common European position. Both France and Germany also said they could help train Iraqi soldiers, as well as a new Iraqi police force.

In Fallujah yesterday, witnesses said an American patrol opened fire, killing a 14-year-old boy, injuring six other people. Now he troops in passing Humvees apparently mistook gun shots at a wedding celebration for an attack. One resident said they opened fire 360 degrees around them. The military has apologized for the incident and says it is launching an investigation.

All right. That brings us to tonight's terror watch.

Washington D.C., the U.S. government has asked companies to help adopt anti-missile technology for use on passenger jets. It is a bid to address the threat of shoulder fired missiles.

To Bali, Indonesia, life in prison for one of the terrorists behind the deadly Bali nightclub. There he is. The nightclub attacks last year. Ali Imron escaped the death penalty. He said that he, quote, "felt guilt" and had honestly expressed regrets for what he did. Life in prison.

New York. The Dalai Lama talking tough on terror. He's in town advocating nonviolence, and he told "The New York Times," quote, "Terrorism is the worst kind of violence. So we have to check it; take countermeasures."

That's a look at tonight's terror watch.

Hurricane Isabel pounds the East Coast. Team coverage of all of the developments in just about 10 minutes.

And coming up next, however, justice served, Did race play a part in the Jayson Williams manslaughter case? His lawyers sure hope it did. Lisa Bloom weighs in.

Also tonight, reality TV unplugged. We'll look at the new reality shows and talk live with the always uncensored Ted Nugent.

And new rags for a new generation. Is high fashion out of style and cheap chic all the rage? I'll talk with designer Isaac Mizrahi. Who wears this stuff? Stay with us.


COOPER: Tonight on "Justice Served," lawyers for former NBA star Jayson Williams want to take a harder look at police officers who investigated the shooting death of a limo driver at Williams' home.

Now, they are seeking evidence of racial bias by five New Jersey state troopers. The attorneys want a judge to review personnel and employment records. Court TV anchor Lisa Bloom is with us to talk about all this.

It's actually a little bit complicated. They wanted to get all the police officers. They wanted to review the records of all of the police officers investigating the case, but they were limited to these five.

LISA BLOOM, COURT TV ANCHOR: Sixty-five investigating officers and the judge said, "I will give you as to five of those officers that I, the judge, will review their personnel files to see if there are disciplinary actions that have proceeded as a result of racial profilings." That's what the judge is going to do. COOPER: And apparently, I mean, they picked these five, they named these five out of all 65 because I guess they were able to find some alleged evidence, indicating that there at least have been some sort of a track record with these guys.

BLOOM: One of them alleged slurs against an Orthodox Jew in a traffic stop. Others were involved in racial profiling. The judge says, "That's enough to make me want to look a little deeper to give this evidence to the defense attorneys if it exists."

COOPER: But it doesn't necessarily mean they are going to get this evidence, if in fact it exists.

BLOOM: That's right and it doesn't mean it will come in at trial. That's a completely different standard of relevance. The judge will decide then.

COOPER: How popular -- I mean, obviously, you know, everyone thinks of O.J. Simpson and race obviously being introduced into the courtroom in this. Since then, is this trend just growing and growing?

BLOOM: Of playing the race card? I think it's a hot...

COOPER: In particular against police officers who are investigating the case. Because these people were called to this man's house.

BLOOM: Well, that's right. They were called there so racial profiling on its face doesn't seem to make sense in the context of this case. But if you look deeper, I think the defense may have an argument on cross-examination.

These were the investigating officers. They took statements of witnesses at the scene. They investigated evidence and they'll be testifying at trial. Their credibility is everything in this case. If they have a bias against African-Americans, the defense has a right to argue this at trial.

I'll tell you something. I looked carefully at this case to see whether the defense really is going to pursue this high-risk strategy of playing the race card. I found two clues.

One is they argued in April that the grand jury may have had some racial bias and they wanted racial evidence as to the composition of the grand jury. The judge just denied that recently, so they're not going to get that evidence.

Secondly, they want a change of venue. They say because of pretrial publicity, but if you look at it, carefully, Anderson, Huntington County in New Jersey is only two percent African-American. I think the defense wants a more integrated jury. That's the real reason why they want a change of venue.

COOPER: Some sort of future strategy. All right. Lisa Bloom. Thanks very much. BLOOM: Thank you.

COOPER: Well, "Forbes" magazine is listing the 400 richest Americans for 2003 and sadly, I didn't make the list again. The total net worth of everyone listed, $955 billion, roughly the GDP of South Korea.

Here's the top eight, no changes from last year. Microsoft's Bill Gates worth $46 billion. Investor Warren Buffet, $36 billion. Paul Allen, who co founded Microsoft, $22 billion. Graphic not seen there. Paul Allen, Microsoft, $22 billion. The next five are heirs to the Wal-mart fortune, each worth about $20.5 billion.

The good news is that 79 of the 400 richest are not married.



COOPER: It's time for "The Reset."

Tonight's top stories: Hurricane Isabel threw a punch into the Atlantic Coast like Mike Tyson in his prime. The forecasters say the storm eased a bit at landfall, if you can call sustained winds of 95 miles an hour eased. More than a million people are without power right now. And well over 1,000 thousand flights have been canceled over all the Eastern seaboard. More on Isabel in a moment.

Iraq: Three soldiers from the Army's 4th Infantry Division were killed in an ambush near Tikrit. Two other U.S. soldiers were wounded in Khaldiyah when their convoy was hit by an ambush.

Atlanta, Georgia: It's a record nobody one wants to break. But the Centers for Disease Control says there will be another record- breaking number of West Nile cases this year, 4,137 human cases so far, which is just 19 shy of last year's total.

New York: Executives of the media conglomerate that own this network are getting new business cards. AOL Time Warner, the company created by a mega-merger two years ago, has decided to drop the AOL from the company's name. The bosses say the move will help the brand identity of Internet service provider AOL.

In Seattle, residents want police to spend a little less time chasing people holding a little dope. Voters OKed an initiative to make marijuana possession the lowest crime priority for city police. The city attorney says, OK, but also says state and federal drug laws do still apply.

And that's "The Reset" for tonight.

We return now to our top story: Hurricane Isabel rolling the East Coast tonight. The weather experts have been tracking the storm since it developed far out to sea. Now, they are still at work chasing the storm to find out all they can about this force of nature.

With them, our own Jeff Flock, back live from Atlantic Beach, North Carolina -- Jeff.

JEFF FLOCK, CNN CHICAGO BUREAU CHIEF: And, indeed, Anderson, they are getting an extra opportunity to gather data tonight with this last counterpunch. You talked about it like a Mike Tyson punch. This is kind of a counterpunch. This is the back end of the hurricane.

I want to talk to members of the Hurricane Intercept Research Team, Mark Sudduth, who is a little drier than we are in there.

What happened here? What happened? (AUDIO GAP) now?

MARK SUDDUTH, HURRICANE INTERCEPT RESEARCH TEAM: This is unbelievable. The center has moved up in here into Virginia. Long ago, we're sitting down here, still in Atlantic Beach, but if you look at anemometer reading over there, we're showing


FLOCK: Can you see the anomometer there? Sixty-five is the last reading?

SUDDUTH: That's exactly right; 65 was the highest gust. But 44 right this second, 48, 46. That's why the hurricane warning is still up in this area. We still may see some hurricane-force


FLOCK: And that's the most intense winds that we've seen in this storm.

Can you also show me the data that you've been gaining. Anderson, what they've been doing here is setting up anemometers, all sorts of other measurement data. And you've got what there? That's the listing of it. What are you doing, minute by minute?

SUDDUTH: That's right.

We have a lot of equipment here that we can record all of this. And then I can look at it in the poststorm. And this is this afternoon. About 1:06 p.m., we came off our lowest pressure of about 969.5 millibars. And we had 47 mile-per-hour winds sustained for a one minute average, sorry, and 57 gusts. And you go down here.


FLOCK: And you have got that data minute by minute.


SUDDUTH: Minute by minute, right, exactly.


FLOCK: And this is going to help you to understand storms like this and others in the future.

SUDDUTH: Exactly. We can put all this together and it makes it a good educational experience when we work in the future.

FLOCK: Mark Sutton, appreciate it very much. And appreciate the tour here.

This picture, Anderson, this vehicle something like that vehicle in the movie "Twister," where the little balls went out and they gathered all sorts of data on the tornado. This is what they've done, essentially, in this hurricane. And they are still gathering, as you can see, as this storm is still here.

That's the latest -- back to you.

COOPER: All right, Jeff Flock, try to get dry.

In Virginia, in the path of the storm, more than one million people are without power right now, as we said. The governor of the state says crews are poised to start fixing downed power lines, but warns, the process could take a couple days.

Kris Osborn is in Richmond, where thousands are without power, to bring us an update -- Kris.

KRIS OSBORN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Hello to you, Anderson.

Well, emergency officials here in Virginia describe the situation as increasingly treacherous, saying that police and fire and emergency personnel can only respond in situations that are critical. You are looking at now this huge tree that essentially fell on to this house. I am standing in what's called the Museum District of Richmond, Virginia. And it is a historic area that has essentially been ransacked by fallen trees, some downed power lines and some limbs.

I am standing here with Steve Flex (ph), who had a tree fall on his own house.

What happened to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was just here checking on my parents. And we were sitting there talking about the tree down the street there. And all the sudden, it just came crashing through the window.

OSBORN: How you doing with it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doing fine, buttoning it up pretty good, as best we can. It knocked the dormer off and broke a lot of windows, so we're just trying to get it buttoned up as best we can.

OSBORN: Well, we wish you the best.

And, as you heard there, Anderson, so many people weathering the storm, a lot more damage assessments to come, of course, once this storm passes -- back to you.

COOPER: All right, Kris Osborn, thanks for the update from there. Now, this just in from Virginia. At least one person has been killed because of Isabel just north of Richmond when their car apparently hydroplaned. The National Guard is working on two rescues in Virginia.

As well, we want to get the very latest on Isabel. Where is it now? Where is it headed? How strong is it right now? Let's go to the CNN Weather Center, get an update from Rob Marciano.

Rob, how it's look?

ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Anderson, the center of this thing is now just pretty much crossing I-95 on the border of North Carolina and Virginia. We still have this tornado watch box up. And the circulation is still bringing in strong winds across parts of North Carolina.

As you can see the rain here, central Virginia is just getting hammered with heavy rainfall at this hour. Roanoke, just to the south, Doppler radar estimates of five, six inches of rainfall already, with more rain to come tonight. So there will be some localized flooding there. Category 1 storm, winds 80 miles an hour. That will probably hang around for another couple of hours. Then it will be downgraded to a tropical storm.

Northwesterly movement at 20 miles an hour. That's good. We want to get this thing out of here just as soon as we possibly can. Wind gusts will be extending into Washington, D.C. later on tonight and then decreasing in intensity. As this blue line highlights as we go across the border into Canada, things will begin to taper down just a little bit.

To give you an idea of the swathe of this storm, already, rainfall into Niagara Falls from this hurricane. It is a very, very wide one. And, as you know, Anderson, it's affecting millions of people.

COOPER: It certainly is, Rob. We're going to continue to follow it all night long. Thanks very much. Appreciate that report.

Coming up, however: The designer who helped usher in Eskimo chic a few years back, he's targeting something a little something exotic, suburbia. We're going to talk with Isaac Mizrahi.

And a little later on in the program, Gene Simmons, he wants to rock 'n' roll all night and party every day. But it's not going to be at a Borders bookstore. We'll tell you why.

Be right back.


COOPER: Welcome back.

Last night, we told you about the Russian ballerina fired for being too fat, all 109 pounds of her. Well, now she knows how the supermodels feel.

If you look very closely this week here in New York, you can see these fragile creatures, wraith-like creatures traveling in their natural habitat. It's Fashion Week, lovie, where the air kisses are fake, the food is carb-free, and the clothes to us mere mortals look simply unwearable.

Here's CNN's Jason Carroll.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fashion Week is all about anxiety, Prozac.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is New York at its most glamorous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's like the least glamorous time of the year.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What's New York Fashion Week?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's, like, insane.

CARROLL: Really like.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You came to the wrong people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's crazy. It's too fast. It's like...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Talk to me, not them, me. Janice (ph), the world's first supermodel.


CARROLL: It's all subjective. One critic raves about Marc Jacobs' show.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought it was delicious and yummy. I thought it was yumsville.

CARROLL: Another trashes it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Go to your grandmother's closet, such as many of the things we saw this evening.

CARROLL: Beyonce loved Baby Phat's hip-hop flavor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They always have the coolest and exciting show.

CARROLL: Seal hopes women will really wear it.

SEAL, MUSICIAN: There are some very brave women out there.

CARROLL: You'd better be to wear Heatherette. The question is, who would? "Vogue" Anna Wintour sorts it out. ANNA WINTOUR, "VOGUE": The runway is so competitive and there are so many talented designers that used it to show more unusual ideas.

CARROLL: And unusual themes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This collection is called "In the Mood."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Urban, Southern bell.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A return to the original showgirl.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you can accept that it's slightly laughable, then you can just have a good time.

CARROLL: Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.


COOPER: All right, so you look at what's on the runway and think, does anyone really buy this stuff? Who are these people?

Most high-fashion designers prefer to think of, say, Carrie Bradshaw as their muse. But Isaac Mizrahi is not most fashion designers. He can dress the size zero Carries of the world, and still does. But now he's also dressing soccer moms with a line of clothes from Target, or Target, as I like to say. He joins us now.

Isaac, good to meet you.


COOPER: When we are looking at these videos of the supermodels walking down the catwalk, it all looks very glamorous. It all looks very sort of easy. But behind the scenes, it is just a nightmare.

MIZRAHI: It's pandemonium, yes it is.

And when you look at that stuff, a lot of it is wonderful and a lot of it is very outre and only there to be remarked over. It's not really to be worn. You know what I mean?


COOPER: Wait. The clothes aren't really to be worn?

MIZRAHI: No. Honestly, they're not.

If you're a designer making a point about something, you have every right to show it in its most extreme way. People, for the most part, like the extreme. They like to look at it.


COOPER: So, someone puts something very extreme on the runway because it gets attention, but what they're really selling are some smocks which aren't quite so out there?


MIZRAHI: Absolutely. That's true.

A lot of times, what you do is, you show like the top of the bathing suit with something, with a suit or whatever. And people say, who's going to wear the top of the bathing suit? Well, no one, but they'll wear the suit and they'll wear the bathing suits separately. Do you know what I mean?

COOPER: I do, yes.

MIZRAHI: So it's really just about how we imagine this kooky, kooky woman lives.


MIZRAHI: That's who we imagine. We fantasize that she has this lifestyle that sort of calls for crazy pairings like that. You know what I mean?

COOPER: Like a suit and a bathing suit at the same time.

MIZRAHI: Yes. Exactly. You know what I mean?

COOPER: Sure, yes.

MIZRAHI: But very, very, very high heels inappropriately, or gigantic hair with the wrong dress. It looks good. And, eventually, it does affect the mainstream.

COOPER: Right. I learned the most about fashion from your movie "Unzipped" from I think was 1995, which basically tracked you a year as you designed a line of clothing.

MIZRAHI: That's right.

COOPER: You are now designing for Target. How is it different? You were doing high fashion and you're now doing mainstream American...

MIZRAHI: Well, for one thing, I don't have to have fashion shows in tents.

COOPER: Which has got to be a great relief.

MIZRAHI: Yes, it's a great relief.

Right now, I just kind of have planning meetings with merchants at Target, because they know their business. They know their customer. And I'm learning now who this woman is. It's so fabulous. I just love it.

COOPER: But this woman, by, you mean, sort of an average American woman. MIZRAHI: Yes.

COOPER: And it's a whole different kind of style. It's a whole different kind of body type and everything, isn't it?

MIZRAHI: Well, you may think so, but, honestly, it's these clothes that I have been making all this time.

They're more sort of like -- I think there are just a little bit broader in terms of their appeal. But it's basically the same hands making them, the same mind thinking of the thoughts.

COOPER: Your clothes are at Target now.

MIZRAHI: Yes, they are.

COOPER: It's a huge success. And congratulations.

MIZRAHI: Thank you.

COOPER: We wish you a lot of success.

MIZRAHI: Thank you. Thank you.

COOPER: Great to meet you.

MIZRAHI: Great to meet you, too.

COOPER: All right.

All right, time for a check of tonight's "Current."

"New York Post" gossip columnist Cindy Adams says KISS singer Gene Simmons has been banned -- banned, we say -- from Borders. Simmons is signing copies of his book, "Sex, Money, KISS." But the chain said the signings are too unruly. Still, more than welcome come at Borders, Styx.

The last Beatles album will be the next Beatles album. "Let it Be" was mixed by producer Phil Spector after the Beatles' breakup. Well, now it be rereleased without all the production effects Spector added. It goes without saying, it must take some courage for Paul and Ringo to risk angering Phil Spector.

Pamela Anderson is getting her weekly show on the Serious Radio Network, a development we'll keep in our missing-the-point file.

And a woman who suffered temporary hair loss after treatment at a salon has won $150,00 from a Georgia jury. And now the obligatory jokes. No word on if the lawyers will ask for an extension or at least get an amicus brief from Coolio. That's Coolio. Also acceptable there would have been Phyllis Diller. And our stupidest comment on the hair story, good thing the jury wasn't dreadlocked. Thank you very much. We'll be here all week. Try the veal.

Coming up next on 360: Has TV gone completely mad? We'll look at the "Overkill" on Lopez, Affleck or Bennifer, or is that B.Lo? Well, we'll see. We'll also ask the Motor City Madman, Ted Nugent, whether his new special means reality TV is getting totally out of hand.

Stay with us.


COOPER: A whole new season of reality TV is starting. It's the most lucrative misnomer in the entertainment industry. And this season, more than ever, it seems as though reality TV relies heavily on manufacturing unreal situations.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fellows, if you didn't receive a rose tonight, take a moment and say your goodbyes.


COOPER (voice-over): "The Bachelor" is back. Remember Bob? Trista dumped him. ABC didn't. How the rose has turned. Next week, Bob starts sorting through 25 sultry suitors.


EVAN MARRIOTT: So what I'm going to say right now might come as a shock. I did not inherit $50 million.


COOPER: Evan Marriott is history, but "Joe Millionaire" has a future. The butler is back as well.

"Survivor" starts off its new season. This time, the cast only get to keep the clothes on their backs. One thing, though, is sure to be the same.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The tribe has spoken.


COOPER: This season, look for some famous folks to jump into the reality ring. Donald Trump has a new show, "The Apprentice." Socialite Paris Hilton and Lionel Richie's daughter Nicole take "Green Acres" a little too far.




TED NUGENT, MUSICIAN: This is Surviving Nugent.


COOPER: And rocker Ted Nugent debuts "Surviving Nugent." Think "Big Brother" meets "Survivor" meets -- well, Ted Nugent.


COOPER: Well, "Surviving Nugent" airs October 5 on VH-1.

And Ted Nugent joins me right now from Portland, Oregon.

Ted, thank you very much for being with us.

Why did you want to do a reality show?

NUGENT: Oh, I didn't necessarily want to do a reality show. But I'm game for adventure, you know?


COOPER: And did you watch reality shows?

NUGENT: No, I never have.

My wife and my family are big fans of them. In fact, we got to be good friends with Mike Skupin. He's a real survivor. And they approached me with this concept and my imagination ran wild.

COOPER: Yes, I can imagine. The concept, seven people come stay in your house, in your compound, I guess, which is a pretty big spread. They hunt. They fish. They do all sorts of things, I guess, including running from you.

We have got a little clip we're going to show. And then we'll talk about it. Let's show the clip.


NUGENT: Yes. Celebrate the flesh. Look it's a Nuge Popsicle.


COOPER: One of the, I guess, the people is a vegan who's come to stay with you. How did she do?

NUGENT: She didn't do very good. I tried to make her the ultimate tofu veggie platter, but something still didn't connect there.

COOPER: So, now, this is like a two-hour special. Do you hope this thing becomes like a series? NUGENT: Oh, my hopes go a little higher than that, but I'll take whatever comes, as long as it's stimulating and adventuresome and creative.

And my whole family was involved with this, so it made it a lot of fun. And I got to meet some funny people. And we had a good time.

COOPER: Well, it looks like a couple of people are crying there. What it was like with these people in your home?

NUGENT: Well, we didn't open up our inner sanctums to these strangers, but we did become friends with them. We're Midwestern hospitality mongers, so we made friends pretty quick. But we kept the edge and kept the insanity level at a very outrageous intensity for the entertainment factor.

But I was trying to get them to man up. I was trying to get them to realize rugged individuals, some self-sufficiency, true independence was something to celebrate in this great experiment in self-government. And they ought to try being themselves a little more often. And most of them got it. It was really fascinating.

COOPER: Did it surprise you, sort of the lengths that people are willing to go on TV, to be on TV?

NUGENT: That did shock me.

I was taking it as a funny, humorous adventure. And some of these souls were dead serious about it. And it was kind of emotional, because I am a compassionate guy. I don't want to hurt anybody. But some of theme were truly heartbroken. And I didn't think it was going to be like that.

COOPER: But promise me you don't cry in the special.

NUGENT: No, I get pretty emotional, well, almost. I think I


NUGENT: ... a couple shins. I think that's as close I get to crying.

COOPER: Hey, Ted Nugent, I appreciate you joining us tonight. You rock. And we'll look for the special. It's on VH-1. Thanks very much.

NUGENT: God bless you, Anderson. Happy hunting season.

COOPER: All right. Take care.

Well, tonight, a very special addition of our "Overkill" segment. We're hitting a topic that's gotten overkill even on the subject of whether it's overkill. Since their wedding plans fell apart, the media have tracked the movements of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck like NORAD on a flock of geese. How did we get here? As with so many things in life, it started with "Gigli." (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


JENNIFER LOPEZ, ACTRESS: I want you to meet your mother.



COOPER (voice-over): Shooting "Gigli" is how they met. And when word got out, the media bet on huge public interest and won.

AFFLECK: What's the fascination? It steam seems strange to me. I think you can really make yourself crazy if you start thinking about, who's paying attention to me? Who's interested in me?

COOPER: Who, Ben Affleck? Just a plucky little nation called America. That's who. Just like a good movie, the romance had all the elements, humble beginnings for the stars and a leading lady who had been so very publicly unlucky in love before. The media ate it up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When it comes on the wedding of Jennifer Lopez with Ben Affleck, there were so many questions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It may be over for Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it doesn't look like it's going to happen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't believe I was wrong on this.

COOPER: Even I couldn't resist.


COOPER: You hold on to that lady, Ben Affleck.


COOPER: In the end, the couple blamed media hype for the wedding delay, which, of course, just fueled more media hype. After all this overkill, does anyone really care anymore? Or do most people feel about the story what the stars now seem to feel about each other?


LOPEZ: You're not my type. Good night.


(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Now, at first, we considered discussing the overkill with Affleck and Lopez themselves, but we decided to pass on that booking and hear from just a couple of average no-name Americans instead.

In Houston, Jenny Lopez joins us, and, in Las Vegas, Ben Affleck.

Appreciate both of you being with us.

Do you get sick all of the confusion that must be associated with your name?

BEN AFFLECK: No. I don't get sick of it. I have got a good sense of humor, so I can kind of roll with it a little bit, play along.

COOPER: Jenny, do you come across that kind of thing a lot?

JENNY LOPEZ: I sure do, but I think it's fun. We have a lot of fun with it. So...

COOPER: Now, you are both married. Jenny, what does your husband think about this? Does he like Jenny Lopez?

LOPEZ: Yes. I think he's crazy about Jennifer Lopez. So just the name is a bonus. So...

COOPER: Ben, what do you think? I mean, why do you think the media is so fascinated with these two?

AFFLECK: Both of them are very successful and very famous and very young and good-looking. At least my wife thinks Ben is.

COOPER: But she must think you're better-looking than Ben.

AFFLECK: Of course. She tells me that all the time.

COOPER: Absolutely.

Now, Jenny, would you take P. Diddy back?

LOPEZ: No, I don't think I would.

COOPER: You don't think you would? OK.

LOPEZ: No. That would be a definite no.

COOPER: And, Ben, what are your future plans?

AFFLECK: Just to get over the heartbreak and everything.


COOPER: All right, I appreciate both of you joining us, Jenny Lopez in Houston and Ben Affleck in Las Vegas.

LOPEZ: Thank you.

COOPER: Thanks very much.

You do what you've got to do.

Coming up next on 360: Hey, former Liberian President Charles Taylor, you just escaped your country with half the gross national product in your pocket. What are you going to do now?

COOPER: And tomorrow, holy moly, can this be right? Right here on 360, the world premiere of the new video from REM. Plus, I will talk with Mr. Michael Stipe himself.


COOPER: Tonight, golden parachutes to "The Nth Degree."

"The New York Times" reports that former Liberian President Charles Taylor got a severance package of between $90 million and $100 million before retiring. The package was worked out in a complex series of structured payments negotiated by then current Liberian President Charles Taylor.

But now Taylor has told "The New York Times" that, despite all the money, he misses working. As luck would have it, though, when one door closes, another one opens. And that's what happened with last night's resignation of New York Stock Exchange Chairman Dick Grasso. True, Grasso's severance package was about $50 million bigger than Taylor's, casting doubt on Taylor's ability to fill Grasso's shoes.

But in fairness to Taylor, his severance package was proportionately bigger, amounting to half of all Liberia's money. So what qualifications does Taylor have for this job? I'm almost certain he's read "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Warlords" cover to cover. And I've obtained a copy of what appears to be Taylor's resume, demonstrating a whole range of applicable experience.

The company bosses who run the stock exchange want nothing more than a strong chairman who will keep them in line. And, really, after years of scandals and abuse of trust, who better to ride herd on Wall Street than a dictatorial indicted war criminal, whose idea of a good job reference is Moammar Gadhafi?

It's the end of the program as we know it. Joins us tomorrow for the world's first look at REM's take on the news.


Issues Raised in Jayson Williams Case>

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