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Operation "Iron Hammer"; Mission Iraq; Strategy Shift

Aired November 13, 2003 - 19:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST (voice-over): The U.S. on the offensive in Iraq. We are embedded in Operation Iron Hammer.

Alabama's chief justice fired over the Ten Commandments.

Our special series, "Sleepless in America." Tonight: the bizarre world of sleep disorders.

And a school assignment gets two high school girls suspended for kissing.


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

COOPER: And a good evening. Thanks for joining us on 360.

A number of stories to tell you about tonight, including new developments in the Scott Peterson murder case happening right now. We're going to take you to Modesto in a few minutes.

But first, the hammer of U.S. military might in Iraq. U.S. forces hit targets in Baghdad with mortars, artillery and gun ships. We are going to take you on a recon mission that happened earlier today in skies over Baghdad, part of Operation Iron Hammer.

Matthew Chance was embedded in that mission today. He'll join us from Baghdad this evening. Jamie McIntyre is at the Pentagon, and Suzanne Malveaux joins us from the White House.

We begin with Matthew Chance though in Baghdad.

Matthew, for a second night, heavy force used to root out insurgents in Baghdad. Tell us exactly what targets the U.S. went after tonight.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Anderson. For the second successive night, more suspected militant targets were hit by U.S. forces, showing that they will strike back against these attackers. The first target that was hit in the west of the Iraqi capital, some kind of building that used to belong to the Republican Guard of Saddam Hussein. That was attacked by an AC-130 gun ship, a very heavily armored and heavily wrought with firepower weapon deployed by the U.S. forces.

The other target that was attacked -- a number of targets, in fact -- by mortar and artillery shells from the U.S. forces. They attacked potential mortar launching sites. All this, of course, part of that ferocious crackdown by U.S. forces on these militants who have been carrying on increasing attacks against U.S. and coalition forces over recent days and recent weeks. U.S. military officials say the aim is to make sure that these forces, these militants are deprived of firepower, deprived of places to plan these attacks, and deprived of any safe havens -- Anderson.

COOPER: Matthew, we're looking at a video right now that you shot over a nighttime Baghdad. We see the city below you very lit up. You were embedded on board this U.S. chopper on this recon mission. Exactly how does this work? I mean, how are these helicopters being used to try to attack insurgents?

CHANCE: Well, these are one of the ways that the U.S. and coalition forces gather their intelligence on the kind of activities that are taking place in the street. We went up in this helicopter of the 2nd Cavalry of the 1st Armored Brigade over the skies of eastern Baghdad this evening on the lookout for any kind of suspicious activity.

What that means are people laying mortars, preparing to fire mortars, as we've seen so often in recent nights. Or laying the roadside bombs that have been so deadly toward U.S. and coalition forces in recent weeks.

This is one of the ways they used to gather that intelligence by being constantly vigil. The other thing they do, of course, is talk to Iraqis. They say they're getting an increasing amount of intelligence coming from Iraqis to tip them off on what activities these militants are taking.

COOPER: All right. Matthew Chance joining us from Baghdad tonight. Matthew, thanks very much.

Iron Hammer is this new operation from the U.S. military. How effective is it? What exactly is the strategy? For that, we go to Jamie McIntyre at the Pentagon.


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Why are there so many caches of weapons and stashes of cash around Iraq? Some U.S. commanders believe they are war chests, hidden as part of a pre-war plan by Saddam Hussein to go underground and wage a guerrilla campaign to push the U.S. out. But the top commander dismisses the idea as nonsense.

GEN. JOHN ABIZAID, U.S. CENTRAL COMMANDER: Saddam Hussein is one of the most incompetent military leaders in the history of the world. And to give him any credit to think that somehow or other he planned this is absolutely beyond my comprehension. MCINTYRE: Abizaid is not disputing that Saddam Hussein could be playing a part in the insurgency, although the U.S. believes he's constantly on the run and not able to communicate effectively. But with the attacks growing in sophistication and effectiveness, someone appears in charge.

ABIZAID: I believe that there is some level of coordination that's taken place at very high levels, although I'm not so sure I'd say that there's a national level of resistance leadership. Not yet.

MCINTYRE (on camera): One reason the Pentagon discounts the idea that Saddam Hussein had a master plan to launch a post-war insurgency is that none of the former regime members interrogated by the U.S. have said that. In fact, some have said that Saddam never really expected the U.S. to attack.

Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.


COOPER: Well, at the White House, President Bush is taking a hard look at Iraq's future and it seems he's backing a change of plans. More from CNN White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux.


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After two days of urgent talks with his point man in Iraq, President Bush acknowledged a significant shift in U.S. strategy.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Ambassador Bremer, with my instructions, is going back to talk to the Governing Council to develop a strategy. And he'll report back after he's consulted with the very people that we want to assume more responsibility.

MALVEAUX: The responsibility of the Iraqi Governing Council, as the White House sees it, is to create some type of interim Iraqi authority that would give power to the Iraqis quickly to run the daily affairs and to provide security. The White House says its strategy is not based on politics. But an established Iraqi government now could mean a significant drawdown of U.S. troops before Mr. Bush's re- election bid next November.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: It's not a matter of getting the U.S. out of there. It's a matter of recognizing that the Iraqis want to take more authority and responsibilities.

MALVEAUX: The push to speed up the transition of power comes as the Bush administration works to have its coalition stay the course. Wednesday, 18 Italians were killed in Iraq. This morning, Mr. Bush called Italy's prime minister to offer his condolences.


MALVEAUX: And now the Japanese have announced that it is too dangerous to send their much-anticipated troops in Iraq at this time. A blow to the White House that is seeking to maintain international support -- Anderson.

COOPER: Suzanne Malveaux, thanks very much. A windy night at the White House. A strange weather day throughout the country. We're going to have more on that a little bit later on in the program.

To California now and the Scott Peterson preliminary hearing. CNN's David Mattingly has some late developments and he joins us with those now.

David, what can you tell us?

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, as we speak, Gloria Allred, the attorney for Amber Frey, is telling reporters that Amber Frey, the much anticipated girlfriend of Scott Peterson, will not be testifying in this preliminary hearing. Amber Frey will not be testifying in this preliminary hearing.

Also, at the end of testimony today, we just learned that Laci Peterson's body, according to detectives, was recovered wearing tan pants. Pants that she was last seen wearing by her sister on the 23rd of December, and completely inconsistent with the dark pants that Scott Peterson claims she was wearing the last time he saw her on the 24th. This is just the latest turn of events in a day that's focused on Scott Peterson's behavior and the actions of Modesto police.


MATTINGLY (voice-over): At first, it sounded like a bombshell. Modesto Police Detective Allen Berkini (ph) revealing in the first two weeks after Laci Peterson's disappearance how her husband Scott revisited the Berkeley Marina where he claimed to go fishing Christmas Eve.

Police followed Peterson here to the marina three times, twice as he drove a rental car, to where he would pause several minutes and stare out at the bay. Apparently suspicious behavior, considering Laci's body washed ashore three months later just a few miles away. But immediately under cross-examination, defense attorney Mark Geragos produced an explanation, how each trip to the marina coincided with articles in the the local paper reporting on police searches of the bay, implying Scott apparently was attempting to see what was happening.

The defense, however, had no explanation for Scott's behavior with Amber Frey, how he lied about being married. Police say Amber's best friend told them that Scott sounded like he was crying on the phone when he convincingly told her 18 days before Laci's disappearance that he had lost his wife.


MATTINGLY: But through much of the day, it was the Modesto police who were on the defensive, trying to defend their handling of evidence, particularly that single strand of hair that they recovered from Scott's boat that later turned into two pieces of hair inside the evidence room -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. David Mattingly, thanks for covering that for us tonight very much. We're going to have more on the Scott Peterson hearing a little bit later in the hour when our 360 legal analyst, Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, joins us from Modesto, California.

We are following a number of other stories for you right now "Cross Country. Let's take a look.

Virginia Beach, Virginia: fate in limbo. Jurors begin deliberations tomorrow in the trial of D.C. sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad. It's moved very fast. Just miles way, opening statements today in the trial of his alleged accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo.

Near Atlanta, Georgia: mega music bust. The Feds say they have uncovered the nation's largest music piracy operation valued at more than $50 million. A man known as Deejay Rock (ph), who is accused of starting the operation, is being held without bail. Five other defendants are out on bond.

New York: baseball bombshell. Major League Baseball officials say that more than five percent of players tested positive for steroids this year. That means automatic steroids testing will be conducted again next year under the collective bargaining agreement with the players' union. Now, in 2004, unlike this year, testing will not be anonymous and disciplinary action could be taken.

We'll see what happens. That is tonight's "Cross Country."

The Alabama chief justice who defied the law to keep the Ten Commandments in a public place, well, he lost that fight. And today he lost his job. It seems getting fired just gets Roy Moore more fired up.


ROY MOORE, FMR. ALABAMA SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: It's very wrong for a public official to be excluded from his office because of his religious beliefs and the acknowledgment of god.


COOPER: Hear more from him shortly.

Also ahead, snowballs in sunny southern California? What is going on? Just one of the places where some wild weather struck with a vengeance today.

And the nightmare of sleep disorders. As our series "Sleepless in America" continues, when sleep becomes exhausting, even dangerous.

Right now, let's take a look "Inside the Box" at the top stories on tonight's network newscasts.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Call him former Alabama chief justice. Roy Moore lost his job today for refusing to remove his Ten Commandments monument from the courthouse lobby. Now who would have thought that the two- ton monument would be easier to budge than one man. Moore was defiant as ever today.

CNN's Martin Savidge heard the verdict read.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Finding no other viable alternatives, this court hereby orders that Roy S. Moore be removed from his position of chief justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): To the end, former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore took a stand as hard as the granite monument he had fought to save. Moore was charged with six counts of ethically violating his office, for refusing to remove the stone depiction of the Ten Commandment he had placed in the state Supreme Court's rotunda.

MOORE: It's about whether or not we can acknowledge God as a source of our law and our liberty. That's all I've done.

SAVIDGE: But Alabama's attorney general argued this was not about God, but a judge who ignored a federal court order, going against the very legal system he was sworn to uphold.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He simply decided that he would defy the law. And when you are the chief justice of a state, that's not one of your options.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The more you raise him up, the more you exalt him, oh God.

SAVIDGE: To many Christian conservatives, Moore's stance is not so much for a monument, but against what they see is the moral decay of the nation. His detractors say he is simply using the incident for political gain, something his attorneys don't rule out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He'll be back. He'll be back as a United States senator or he'll be back as chief justice because he can run again. Or he'll be back as governor. He'll be back as something.


COOPER: Martin Savidge joins us now. Martin, certainly a lot of talk. We just heard it there.

Roy Moore may run for a big political office in Alabama. Right now, how popular is he?

SAVIDGE: Good evening to you, Anderson. He's very popular. Judge Roy Moore, I think when he ran for election to be elected as chief justice, won 56 percent of the vote. And there was a recent poll that was done here in Alabama that suggested that three quarters of the people of this state stand firmly behind him on this particular issue.

Now, the governorship and the Senate seat are not up in the immediate future, but he did say that next week he was planning to make a major announcement, which he said would alter, perhaps, the course of history for this state, even the nation. Like they say, stay tuned -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. That's quite a tease there. All right. Martin Savidge, thanks very much tonight.

From East Coast to West, this has been just some strange weather day. Hurricane-force winds in Pennsylvania. And what was the white stuff on the ground in California? Here's CNN's Miguel Marquez.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Shoveling snow and snowball fights typical for November in many parts of the country, but not in sunny southern California.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We get to play the first time with snow.

MARQUEZ: Technically, it was hail. Lots of it. The National Weather Service says it has no way to measure hail, but the rain hit almost five-and-a-half inches.

(on camera): It is just nasty all across this area.

(voice-over): It stormed so hard, flights at LAX stopped landing, electricity was snuffed out, and L.A.'s normally heavy traffic, swamped.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The situation is just getting out of hand.

MARQUEZ: In Milton, West Virginia, one person died when up to four inches of rain knocked out power and flooded homes. But rain and hail weren't all Mother Nature dished out. In Worcester, Ohio, where a tornado took the top off the Rubbermaid plant and wind from New York to Denver downed power poles, stripped roofs, delayed flights and forced cars off the road.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a wheelbarrow that flew out of somebody's truck and we had to swerve.

MARQUEZ (on camera): The National Weather Service says the conditions that created this storm coming together were so rare the chance of it happening again in our lifetime is minimal. About a snowball's chance in southern California.

Miguel Marquez, CNN, Los Angeles.


COOPER: What do you bet they hit him with a snowball right after he was done with that? I don't know.

Anyway, a couple of international stories to tell you about tonight. Let's check the "UpLink."

Bogota, Colombia: hostages. Two months after their abduction by Colombian rebels, seven kidnapped tourists have appeared on this videotape. Now, it is not clear when the tape was made. The group consists of four Israelis, a Britain, a German and a Spaniard. They say they are being treated well but complained of being cold and hungry. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's been almost eight weeks now. And also I'd like to say to the governments of both England and Colombia that it may be, you know, just another day for you, but it's 24 hours in my life here. And I just hope that you can each reach some resolution soon to this problem and get all of us out of here. Mom and dad, I love you very much, and I hope to see you very soon.


COOPER: Hard to imagine what they are going through.

Seoul, South Korea: major protests. They are gearing up for a visit by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. As you can see, he's now in Guam, the first leg of his six-day trip to Asia. Rumsfeld says he is testing various ideas with regional allies in order to meet new security and terrorism threats.

Tel Aviv, Israel: elder beauties. The contest: a beauty pageant for seniors. And there she is, Miss Elderly Beauty Queen. Esther Weig (ph) is her name, a 76-year-old grandmother. Weig (ph) was one of 10 finalists ranging in age from 67 all the way to 93.

And that is tonight's "UpLink."

Still to come this evening, the strange, exhausting, sometimes dangerous world of sleep disorders.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This evidently is how I went out the window.


COOPER: This guy says he went out the window. He was sleeping, he says. We'll also meet a woman who eats in her sleep, as our series "Sleepless in America" continues.


COOPER: Tonight, as part of our special weeklong series "Sleepless in America," we're going to look at the nightmare that begins for some people when they turn the lights off. We're talking about sleep disorders from the slightly annoying to the downright dangerous. Now, these nocturnal nightmares turn sleep into a experience that can be bizarre, exhausting and even debilitating.


COOPER (voice-over): Each morning, Nancy Jordan (ph) wakes up and begins looking for clues. Wondering just what she may have eaten in her sleep.

NANCY JORDAN, SUFFERS FROM SLEEP EATING: I can go through a loaf of bread at night.

COOPER: Jordan suffers from sleep eating, a debilitating and dangerous condition.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What gets really problematic is when people decide that they need to cook something. And what we've heard, several episodes occurring where fires have started.

COOPER: Doctors have identified nearly 80 different sleep disorders ranging from the rare Kleine-Levin Syndrome, which causes people to sleep for days or weeks at a time, to insomnia, which plagues nearly 30 million Americans. Restless Leg Syndrome affects up to five percent of the population, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Sufferers experience a night filled with uncontrollable leg movements, often for hours at a time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was sort of like a crawly feeling I used to say in my blood. Like my legs just had to move.

COOPER: Then there's people like Marvin Olsen. He says he actually jumped out a window in his sleep.

MARVIN OLSEN, HAS REM BEHAVIOR DISORDER: I felt a tremendous blow to my head when I hit the ground.

COOPER: Olsen suffers from REM Behavior Disorder, which causes his body to act out his dreams. He's rigged up a system to keep him in bed.

While some struggle to stay in bed, others struggle simply to stay awake. Narcolepsy affects 200,000 Americans with sleep attacks that come without warning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You just fall to the ground limp, no muscle tone, like a dishrag.

COOPER: And one thing to keep in mind, doctors say if you are suffering from a sleep disorder, chances are you don't even know about it.


COOPER: Well, it is a fascinating subject, one we wanted to find out more about. We're joined now from Minnesota by Dr. Mark Mahowald, director of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorder Center, who has been researching this topic for years. And from Dallas, Charlene Mentink. Her sleep disorder was so bad, she once woke up, found herself eating ice cream with a kitchen knife.

We appreciate both of you being with us.

Charlene, I want to start off with you. You woke up. You were in front of a refrigerator with a knife in your hand trying to eat ice cream. Did you know what was happening?

CHARLENE MENTINK, SUFFERS FROM SLEEP DISORDER: No. I had gone in my sleep downstairs in our basement to the freezer with a butcher knife actually, and was eating ice cream with that butcher knife when I came to. And it was an extremely frightening experience.

COOPER: Yes. I can't even imagine.

Dr. Mahowald, I mean, how common is something like sleep eating, for instance?

DR. MARK MAHOWALD, MINNESOTA SLEEP DISORDERS CENTER: Well, we don't know exactly how common sleep eating is, but sleep eating is, if you will, a specialized form of sleep walking. And we do know that sleep walking affects almost all children at some point in their lives and actually affects at least five and maybe 10 percent of adults. And it's almost never related to underlying psychiatric or psychological problems.

COOPER: Yes. People I think often believe that there is some sort of psychological problem. But you're saying very clearly there's not, this is a sleep disorder.

Charlene, I know you also have Restless Leg Syndrome and you sleep walk as a result of that. Do you -- have you ever hurt yourself sleep walking?

MENTINK: Yes. I have hurt myself many times. Now, not recently.

It's improved much. But I used to walk into walls. I broke my toe. I cut my ear. I did a number of things before, yes.

COOPER: Unbelievable.

Dr. Mahowald, I mean, are sleep disorders like this curable, like Restless Leg or sleep walking?

MAHOWALD: Yes, absolutely. The important thing about almost all sleep disorders is that they are diagnosable and, more importantly, they are almost all treatable. And they are usually not related to psychiatric or psychological problems.

COOPER: Treatable with medication?

MAHOWALD: You can use medications or behavioral techniques. Certainly, Restless Leg Syndrome responds very dramatically to a number of different medications.

Most sleep walking and sleep eating may not need to be treated if it doesn't happen very often. But if the behaviors are potentially violent or injurious, such as you have people cooking in their sleep, driving cars in their sleep, going out first or second story windows in their sleep, then we certainly would be interested in treating them. And there are a number of medications and some behavioral techniques that are very, very effective.

COOPER: Well, that's certainly good news.

Charlene, when you are sleeping and have this restless leg and your legs are moving around in bed, are you conscious of that? Do you notice it?

MENTINK: Well, it wakes you up. And that -- you know, that's why, of course, all the medication, as the doctor just said -- now I'm being treated by a doctor in Dallas here and it's been very successful. And so I don't have nearly the problem that I had in the past.

COOPER: Well, that is great news for you and for a lot of people probalby listening out there who may have some sort of disorder like this.

Charlene Mentink, I appreciate you joining us. And Dr. Mahowald, appreciate it as well. Thank you.

MAHOWALD: Thank you.

COOPER: Our series "Sleepless in America" continues tomorrow. Watch as your helpless anchor gets all wired up for a night at a sleep clinic. Yes, that is me. We'll look at what happens to your body and your brain when you sleep.


COOPER: Would Peter Jennings do this?


COOPER: I don't think so. My night inside a sleep clinic. You don't want to miss this tomorrow as our series continues.

And coming up next: the very latest on the Scott Peterson case. Legal analyst Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom joins us with her take on some late-breaking developments.

And Kobe Bryant back in court. We'll tell you who was there to watch and make a statement.

And if you or someone you love is on heart medication, you do not want to miss some very significant developments on what drugs work best. We're going to check in with Dr. Sanjay Gupta with some very fascinating news.

We'll be right back.


COOPER: Welcome back. We have a story just in to CNN. For it, we go to senior Pentagon correspondent, Jamie McIntyre.

Jamie, what's going on.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well Anderson, just as the U.S. is picking up the pace and intensity of attacks in Iraq, another sign the war isn't over. Pentagon sources confirming to CNN that 300 or 400 members of the staff of General John Abizaid, the U.S. central commander, will be moving back from Tampa, Florida, to the U.S. Central Command Regional Headquarters in Qatar.

The ostensible reason for this is to provide more direct support to Abizaid as he spends more time in the region. But it's clearly a sign that, one, Abizaid will be spending more time in the region. And also, that they want to be able to have the commanders react without having to deal with the time zone difference between here and the United States.

So another signal the United States is ratcheting up its efforts in Iraq.

COOPER: All right.

MCINTYRE: Anderson.

COOPER: Jamie McIntyre, thanks for that late-breaking development. Thank you.

We're going to check some of our other top stories right now. Here's "The Reset."

Baghdad, Iraq -- still hammering. Operation Hammer continued -- Iron Hammer for a second straight day as U.S. forces carried out more attacks on suspected Iraqi insurgents. Now today's targets included a former Republican Guard building allegedly used to launch mortars and rocket. Amid the offensive, coalition officials looked for ways to give peaceful Iraqis a bigger stake in running their country.


COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: We are all interested in accelerating the process of putting in place a government for the people of Iraq, reflecting the will of the Iraqi people and representing all the people of Iraq, And it has been our mutual goal, the United Kingdom and the United States and all of our coalition partners, to do this as fast as we can.


Elsewhere in Washington, D.C., talk, talk, talk. The Senate filibuster continues at this hour. That's a live picture right there. Democrats trying to block the confirmation of four Bush administration appeals court nominees. The non-stop talk began yesterday evening and the cots are in place again tonight. There they are, Jim (ph) -- right there, two cots. The filibuster now is expected to continue until 9:00 or 10:00 tomorrow morning.

And that is a look at tonight's "Reset."

We go to "Justice Served." Amber Frey will not be testifying at Scott Peterson's preliminary hearing. We just learned that about 30 minutes ago. That today from Frey's lawyer, Gloria Allred.

Now, Allred said has received official notification that Frey, who was Peterson's mistress, will not be called.

Peterson's hearing is being held in Modesto, California. And that is where 360 legal analyst, Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, joins us.

Kimberly, good to see you again.

Why is Amber Frey not going to testify in this preliminary hearing?

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE NEWSOM, 360 LEGAL ANALYST: The D.A.'s office made a determination that so far, there's been sufficient evidence presented in the case to get the case held to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) without her testimony.

We heard powerful testimony from Detective Burkini today, who testified on behalf of Shawn Sibley (ph), one of Amber Frey's best friends, which corroborated earlier reports from December 9. She confronted Scott Peterson and he told her that he was a widower, had lost wife, and asked her to let him to tell Amber Frey. I think that was an important fact that came out today, and hopefully obviated the need for the prosecution to call Amber Frey, at least at this point.

COOPER: I mean, is there any element of them not wanting to expose Amber Frey to, say, Mark Geragos at this point?

NEWSOM: Well, there was some explosive cross-examination of Mark Geragos of Detective Burkini regarding the hair today. But I think also we got a hint of it yesterday when it was suggested that Amber Frey had been surreptitiously taping Scott Peterson prior to the police ever enlisting her in this investigation. So I think that was a little bit of a surprise and maybe they didn't want to put her on the stand at this point.

COOPER: OK. Interesting.

Now there were also some other potentially damning testimony today. Apparently, Peterson visit the marina and looked out over the waters where his wife was eventually found, several times.

NEWSOM: Well, we learned that on the 5th, the 6th and the 9th of January, Scott Peterson went out to the Berkeley Marina -- kind of went out there, stood and looked out at the water, staring, and then would return home. What was interesting about this is, it seemed pretty powerful at the time, but then, Mark Geragos was able to expertly sort of deflate the impact of that testimony, showing that on those three occasions there were articles in the "Modesto Bee" talking about divers going into the bay searching for evidence.

COOPER: And also testimony about one of the Peterson's neighbors. Apparently, Scott Peterson said he was golfing, not fishing to this neighbor. What was the prosecution trying to do bringing this person in?

NEWSOM: Well, it was just another inconsistent statement made by Scott Peterson about what exactly did he do that day.

We heard from Amy Rocha earlier, who said that she told him she was going -- he told her she was going golfing. And then this neighbor, he came right at that exact day on the 24th, and when he went to look for Laci went to her door and he told her that he, in fact, had been golfing that day, had been calling his wife throughout the day with no response. That''s significant because his stories just don't match up. He's telling different people different things. And that's going to hurt him in the courtroom.

COOPER: All right. We're probably hear a lot more about that. Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, thanks very much.

More "Justice Served" now. We want to take you to Eagle Colorado. Kobe Bryant was back in court today, and in the same room as the family of the young woman accusing him of rape.

Josie Burke has this report.


JOSIE BURKE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kobe Bryant's appearance in an Eagle County courtroom was brief, but significant. For the first time, Bryant was in front of the judge who will preside over his trial, and in the same room as his accuser's family. The mother, father, two brothers and cousin of the 19-year- old alleged victim, sat, not far from the basketball star.

KRISTA FLANNAGAN, D.A. SPOKESWOMAN: We did have notification they were going to be here. They thought that it was important that people recognize there is a real victim in this case and that they wanted to show their support.

BURKE: Bryant's appearance lasted less than 15 minutes. He did not speak, but his attorney, Pamela Mackey, did, on his behalf.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've decided to follow the court's usual procedure and not enter a plea as of today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Do you wish to have a formal reading of the information?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Judge, we would waive that.

BURKE: District Judge Terry Ruckreigel (ph) set two hearing dates, December 19 and January 23, and gave both sides 30 days to file pretrial motions. He did not set an arraignment date.

LESTER MUNSON, LEGAL ANALYST, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: Nobody wants this case to come to trial quickly. The prosecution is going very slowly. The defense is obviously stalling and going slowly, hoping to have a trial next summer.

To me, the big surprise is the prosecution should be pushing this case to trial, demanding action. And instead, they are kind of coasting along.


BURKE: And now, even though it does look like an actual trial is still very far away, that didn't stop Ruckreigel judge from asking both sides just how long they thought a trial would take when it eventually does come to pass. And prosecution and defense, they were in agreement that a timetable of two to three weeks seems appropriate -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Josie Burke, thanks very much for the report.

Coming up -- no, this is not a case of tastes great, less filling. It is a battle of light beer against dark beer and which is actually better for your heart. What do you think, light or dark?

Well, we'll also have some important information for anyone taking cholesterol medication. That is coming up with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

We'll be right back.


COOPER: There is news this week about two ways to reduce your risk for heart disease, significant news. One involves drugs, the other involves beer. Sorry to wet your appetite, we're going to start with the drugs part.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta is here. Two cholesterol-lowering drugs very well known, one of them apparently now much better than the other.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, clash of the billion dollar drugs. A big industry here. Lipitor actually, turns out is probably going to be a better drug overall compared against Pravacol. A study of about 500 patients with heart disease. Take a look at the specific findings here. They compared these two drugs sort of head-to-head. They find that Lipitor overall sort of a better drug, specificly lowering your bad type of cholesterol, which is known as LDL. Also really interesting, Anderson, halted the progression of the plaque buildup. Everyone knows that as arteriosclerosis. And in a small percentage as well may have reversed that process. A small study. If that pans out, that will be interesting.

COOPER: Thanks huge. I mean, if it actually reverses plaque buildup that's...

GUPTA: Reversing heart disease, I mean, that's something people have been searching for years. not question about it.

COOPER: The other -- the other question, I take Lipitor in a smaller dose than was in here. Does a smaller dose -- do we think that still works?

GUPTA: Yes, this study actually looked at the maximum doses for both drugs.

COOPER: Something like 80 milligrams...


GUPTA: 80 milligrams for Lipitor, 40 milligrams for Pravachol. Certainly it's still effective in small doses as well.

COOPER: Interesting.

OK, now let's talk about beer.

GUPTA: Of course.

COOPER: This is legitimate. There was a study comparing light beer and dark beer, which is actually healthier for your health.

GUPTA: And it's bring your own beer night to Anderson Cooper tonight.

COOPER: It's always bring your own beer night here.

GUPTA: Dark beer, light beer, this is a face off as sorts as well. Guinness the dark beer vs. Heineken the light beer. Looking at heart protection again as well here, and what they found is the flavinoids in dark beer much more protective to your heart. You can actually see them. I'll hold this up here. Actually, see the flavinoids in the beer much more so than in the light beer. If you look beer, you basicly have four major ingredients. You have malt, barley, hops and also something called wart (ph), which is all the plant material.

COOPER: Mmm, wart.

GUPTA: Wart, yes it sounds good. You leave it in there a lot longer you actually get a lot more of the flavinoids seeping into the beer and gives it it's dark color.

COOPER: You said, you say you can see the flavinoids.

GUPTA: It's just a dark color.

COOPER: OK. All right.

GUPTA: But green leafy vegetables. All of the vegetables that are really dark in color same sort of principle here. 3 to 1 more flavonoids in dark beer versus light beer. Why is that good? It gives you more antioxidants. Also, it's going to make your blood thinner. It's going to bust up those clots...

COOPER: Basically the same as what they say about red wine?

Is that correct? GUPTA: That's right. The same sort of same thing. Red wine versus dark beer and also grape juice as well, for people who don't want to drink.

COOPER: Yes, but no one wants to here that.

GUPTA: Not bring your own grace juice night.

COOPER: Exactly. Fascinating news really -- particularly about the Lipitor, just very significant.

GUPTA: Yes. Yes, I'll keep an eye on that.

COOPER: All right, Dr. Sanjay Gupta thanks very much. You can take the beers with you if you want.

GUPTA: I'll drink them.

COOPER: I'm sure.

All right. Each week we like to look at a story the media has overplayed, overkilled. Tonight we want to point out that calling something overkill doesn't mean it is not important or worthwhile. Just that it has eclipsed other stories, other people that are equally or perhaps more important. This week's "Overkill" story, the case of Jessica Lynch. And by the way, Lynch herself seems to agree. Take a look.


COOPER (voice-over): In repeated interviews, Jessica Lynch says the real heroes are her comrades still fighting in Iraq, and those who rescued her, those who fought and died at her side in Nasiriyah on March 23. In fact, she also says in repeated interviews that she's bothered by the way unnamed military sources characterized her actions early on. But none of this, however, stops the repeated interviews. "Time" magazine, the Associated Press, ABC, NBC, David Letterman tomorrow, Larry King next week and, of course, Rick Bragg who wrote her book and shares the million-dollar advance with her. Is anyone still interested in a story that started off blurry and still has holes in it?

True, more people watched her story in her own word on ABC than the TV movie about it. But Reuters reports below than expected sales on the book. And Lynch seems to have company in the backlash against using her as a symbol. Not only has recent coverage made a point of acknowledging those who actually gave their lives in Iraq, but at least one publisher has passed on a chance to profit off Lynch or pictures allegedly of her nude anyways.

LARRY FLYNT, PUBLISHER: I have no intention of publishing them.

COOPER: You know it's a sign of overkill when Larry Flynt represents the height of discretion.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: And that is this week's "Overkill" story.

Still to come this evening -- the controversy over the kiss. No, this isn't the kiss you are thinking of. We'll talk with a teenage girl who got punished for a well-intentioned lip-lock in school.

Also tonight, when is the last time you saw Paris. An hour ago on the Internet perhaps? Paris Hilton, part deux, that in the "Nth Degree." We'll be right back.


COOPER: All right. Time to check tonight's "Current."

Country Singer Winona Judd was charged with drunken driving this morning after doing 47 miles an hour in a 30-mile-an-hour zone in Nashville. Judd took full responsibility and explained that the incident only occurred because she had been drinking.

Sylvester Stallone is being sued by a former fighter who claims the character of the well-meaning but dim-witted boxer rocker was based on him. It's not clear why this man waited 27 years to sue. Although that would seem to support his claim.

ABC's Jessica Lynch interview was not the big ratings winner. Tuesday night as we mentioned the tale of her ordeal, trapped in Nasiriyah with Iraqi's proved, well, less compelling to views than Andy Griffith's story of life in Mayberry, trapped with Jim Neighbors and Don Knotts.

And finally, Britney Spears reveals in the upcoming issue of "People" magazine that she enjoys masturbating. Who knew.

Now to a controversial kiss you haven't heard about a million times. Two girls at a high school in Maryland locked lips to raise awareness of homophobia they say. So what happens -- they get punished.

Sherry Lee (ph) of our affiliate WTTG reports.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Katherine Pecore and Stephanie Haaser are best friends. So when Stephanie got a class asignment to do something nonconformist, they decided on a kiss, girl to girl.

STEPHANIE HAASER, SUSPENDED AFTER KISSING FRIEND: Katherine stood up there with me and I yelled, end to homophobia now and kissed her for around 12 to 15 seconds.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They made out like Britney Spears and Madonna instead of a simple peck on the lips and got everyone's attention.

KATHERINE PECORE, SUSPENDED AFTER KISSING FRIEND: It was passionate. It was not -- I wouldn't say lewd. It was, you know it got the point across.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They wanted to raise awareness about discrimination against gay students, although neither is gay. Riverhill High School handed them a two-day suspension. Their friends immediately protested.

ANNA BOYLAND, PROTESTED FRIENDS SUSPENSIONS: There is harassment of mainly verbal. There's severely like derogatory comments made.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The kiss and the punishment are where the parents disagree.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I basically feel that the punishment as far as the suspension is concerned because appropriate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some students called the punishment harsh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A guy and girl kiss all the time in school. So, I honestly don't think if a girl and girl do it that it should make all that much of a difference.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Howard County Schools said the girls were not suspended for the kiss but for disrupting students. But Stephanie paid a bigger price, she got kicked out of the National Honor Society.

STEPHANIE HAASER, SUSPENDED AFTER KISSING FRIEND: I would do it again. I don't regret it.


COOPER: And Stephanie Haaser joins us now from Washington tonight to talk about the kiss and the controversy. Stephanie, thanks for being with us. You were kicked out of the National Honor Society because of this?

HAASER: Yes, as a result of the suspension.

COOPER: Is that something that can be rescinded? Is there any way to appeal that?

HAASER: Actually, they are having a meeting with the student climate committee this Friday to try and reintroduce the topic. Trying to negotiate...

COOPER: You are a top student. You get like a 3.88 or something, I read.

HAASER: Yes, I have a 4.0 this year. I try not to cause too much trouble in the school. I haven't had a disciplinary record previous to this.

COOPER: What was the idea behind the kiss? You had this English class. They said do something nonconformist. Why a kiss, why in such a public venue?

HAASER: The project started out as a requirement for English class, an act of nonconformity, a sort of Henry David Thorough situation, an act of civil disobedience. I decided to incorporate this into an aspect of my life I feel strongly about, the issue of homophobia at our high school, Riverville High School. I felt it had to be public. I do realize the fact I could have walked into the administrative office and introduced the problem, we have a problem, we need to solve this. But it wasn't for the administration, it was for the students.

COOPER: Is there a big problem at your school with homophobia?

HAASER: Yes. I firmly believe that. I've seen it. I've heard friends talk about it day-to-day. They'll go to a class, every class. You'll probably hear a derogatory remark.

COOPER: And do you think this has -- obviously it's got a lot of reaction from students, from the administrators, from people outside, from CNN in this case, do you think it's going to change anything in the school? Do you think it's going to make administrators address this issue?

HAASER: I would like to think so. Already so much has happened. There have been countless petitions at my school with literally hundreds of signatures. The teachers -- certain teachers have been adamant about it one way or the other with the issue.

It is definitely being represented in our school now. The SGA is taking into consideration extended home rooms, that type of thing. Education is really the question here, because it is really the sort of ignorance and lack of understanding that leads to those -- that leads to the homophobia in our school.

COOPER: You said it in the piece. I have to ask it again. If you had to do it over, would you still do it?

HAASER: Yes, I would.

COOPER: When is it you find out about the National Honor Society?

HAASER: When did I?

COOPER: No, when will you find out?

HAASER: This Friday. The meeting sort of decides that.

COOPER: We'd love to follow up on this. Stephanie Haaser, appreciate you coming in and talk with us.

HAASER: Thank you.

COOPER: This case led us to today's buzz. Was it wrong to suspend two high school students after their same-sex kiss in the school cafeteria? What do you think? Vote now, We'll have the results at the end of the program.

We told you yesterday about the sex tape making the rounds, I think you know the one we're talking about. Turns out we should have used the plural, sex tapes. Hear the S? Plural, very plural. More on that coming up.

Plus, tomorrow, more tapes of people doing strange things in bed, only this time it's me. Hey, wait a minute, this tape is legit. A look at what happens to your brain and your body. That's what I look like sleeping, that's just creepy. All right, we'll be right back.


COOPER: Love to hear from you. Send us an e-mail anytime, Just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? Any time, day or night. We try to respond to as many as we can. Thanks very much.

Time for now for "the Buzz." We asked you, "was it wrong to suspend two high school students after their same-sex kiss in the school cafeteria?" 59 percent said yes, 41 percent said no. Not a scientific poll, just viewer buzz. We appreciate you taking the time to do it.

Tonight, taking sex tapes to the "Nth degree." Yesterday we told you about Paris Hilton, the 22-year-old hotel chain heiress. She and her family and her ex-boyfriend Rick Soloman and squadrons of lawyers are embroiled in a fight over a tape she made with Solomon having sex, giving sex, receiving sex, talking about sex and then having more sex.

The tape has been duplicated faster than NBC cranks out "Law & Order" spin-offs. But, in a report disputed by Solomon's lawyer, "The New York Post" says there is a whole catalog of sex tapes. Now, the first one is readily available online. You probably know that.

But isn't it only a matter of time until we can all get subscriptions to Paris Hilton's sex tape club. If you want to receive subsequent tapes, act now. You can continue to receive a brand new tape from the prestigious Paris Hilton/Rick Solomon sex library each and every month. If at any point you aren't completely satisfied, return it. Otherwise do nothing and you'll be billed later on in hell.

That wraps up our program. Thanks very much for joining us. Our sleep series continues tomorrow night. I spend the night in a sleep clinic. We'll get lots of bizarre video of me sleeping. We'll also take a look at what your brain and your body -- what happens to your brain and your body while you sleep.

Coming up next "PAULA ZAHN NOW."


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