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Terror Tape; How Much Longer Will Orange Alert Last?; Pete Rose Comes Clean About Betting

Aired January 5, 2004 - 19:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: The CIA says it's likely bin Laden's voice. Does the new tape make new threats?
The holidays are over. How much longer will the orange alert last?

Pete Rose comes clean about betting, but will that get him into the hall of fame?

Amazing images. "Spirit" sends new postcards from the red planet.

Are you a balancer or a pretender? Discover your diet profile and how it'll affect your weight loss plan.

Britney's buddy turned pop queen hubby. Why, after just a few hours of marriage, she cut him loose.

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

COOPER: Hello. Welcome to 360. Thanks for watching. We want to welcome our new viewers in Japan watching us on CNNJ.

Our top story right now, with U.S. still on high alert, a new tape of terror. The voice likely that of Osama Bin Laden. CNN's national correspondent Mike Boettcher is on the intelligence trail tonight, and justice correspondent Kelli Arena on when the code orange alert might end. We begin with Mike Boettcher in Atlanta.

Mike, what's the latest on the tape?

MIKE BOETTCHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, analysts say it's proof of life. Bin Laden is alive. But is it a signal of an impending attack?


BOETTCHER (voice-over): With the voice on the tape broadcast by al Jezeera identified by the CIA as likely belonging to Osama Bin Laden, the intention of intelligence agencies now turns to analyzing Bin Laden's message.

OSAMA BIN LADEN (through translator): There is no dialogue with those except with weapons. Jihad is the only effective force. BOETTCHER: In Atlanta today to inaugurate new security procedures for foreigners visiting the United States, Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge said the U.S. counter-terrorism community doesn't yet know if the Bin Laden message is a signal of an impending attack.

TOM RIDGE, SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Whether or not one would conclude that any attacks subsequent were triggered by this announcement would be fairly speculative. I'm not sure that we'll find anything in this announcement that suggests that. Perhaps the intelligence community would.

BOETTCHER: Bin Laden is believed by American and allied counter- terrorist agencies to be hiding along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, in a remote region known as the tribal areas. Top U.S. counter- terrorism officials believe the new audiotape indicates Bin Laden is feeling the pressure of the U.S. war against Al Qaeda. The intelligence community will try to measure how much pressure Bin Laden is feeling using voice stress analysis according to CNN national security analyst Ken Robinson.

KEN ROBINSON, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: To determine what type of duress he's under right now. Because there are many in the intelligence community that believe he is on his heels and he is on the run.


BOETTCHER: On the run, but still on the loose, even after a massive search that's in its third year. Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Mike Boettcher. Thanks very much for that from Atlanta.

Due to the heightened alert, a new program started today. Most visitors to the U.S. are now being fingerprinted and photographed. We saw some of that in Mike's piece. The controversial program, called "U.S. Visit," applies to travelers at airports and seaports. They must have visas to enter the U.S. Visitors from only 28 countries, mostly in Europe, can skip the process, however. The Homeland Security Department says the new rules will block terrorists from getting into the U.S. Critics say it is unfair and will produce few results and is time-consuming. We'll see.

In the skies over America today, confirmation that U.S. military jets have either escorted or shadowed a commercial airplane over the U.S. more than ten times since code orange went into effect last month. All these attacks and the question still remains, of course, when will the code orange alert end? With that, here is CNN justice correspondent, Kelli Arena.


KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The threat level is still at orange, and government officials say it's expected to stay there for the next few weeks. Sources say while it's true terrorist chatter has quieted down a bit, officials are still picking up intelligence suggesting the U.S. could be the target of an attack.

RIDGE: We've learned this from detainees, is that when we add more vigilance and more security, it disrupts plans. I mean, they've told us that. It remains to be seen whether or not these actions deter terrorist attacks or disrupt their plans.

ARENA: The biggest concern is still focused on aviation. Since Christmas Eve, at least six flights to the U.S. have been canceled due to security concerns, most notably British Airways flight 223, which flies from London to Dulles airport, just outside Washington. No arrests were made, but investigations into the canceled flights are far from over.

RIDGE: We continue the investigation based on the intelligence, and we continue to take a look at some of the individuals who are on those passenger manifests.

ARENA: And even though 223 is back in the air, passengers are still subject to delays and intense security measures.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a very unusual flight with all of the extra security, the policemen with guns at Heathrow. It was a very unusual flight.

ARENA: But it's not only an attack from the sky that officials worry about. For example, FBI agents compared Vegas hotel lists with a terror database to be sure there wasn't anyone on the ground that could have attacked the strip, an area intelligence suggested could be a target.


COOPER: Kelli, do we know one particular factor or any number of factors that the intelligence community is waiting for in order to downgrade the alert level?

ARENA: Anderson, that is a -- it's a tricky balancing that goes on there. Obviously, the intelligence that comes in daily is the predominant factor. And if there's a decision that's made as to whether or not they could just specifically alert an industry or an area of the country, then there could be a decision made to bring down the entire national threat level. But because there was information coming in from so many different sources that corroborated what they were hearing, the decision at the time was to raise the entire national threat level. And like I said, we think that they will stay at orange at least through the end of this month.

COOPER: End of the month. All right, Kelli Arena, thanks for that.

Now some perspective on the code orange alert. This is the fifth time the U.S. has been on high alert since 9/11. Now, if the current alert lasts the next few weeks, as Kelli's indicated, through January, it will be the longest at 41 days. The current longest record at code orange is 30 days. The national code orange, I should say. That was from March 17 to April 16 of last year, at the start of the war in Iraq.

At about midnight tonight, NASA scientists are expecting the most detailed photo ever sent by a spacecraft from Mars. Right now the rover "Spirit" is on the red planet working like a charm, they say. Miles O'Brien is at the NASA's jet propulsion lab in Pasadena, California.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to start off by saying wow.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): And so would we. NASA "Spirit" rover is sitting pretty in the middle of a Martian crater a hundred million miles away, swiveling its eagle-eyed head, looking for places to go and rocks to reconnoiter, all the while checking in like a homesick child.

ART THOMPSON, MARS MISSION TEAM, NASA: Once again, in this instance, reality has far surpassed fantasy. All the years of working and dreaming about getting this vehicle on the surface in the last seven months of practicing operations, she's just to easy to operate.

O'BRIEN: Easy as it may seem, it comes on the heels of Saturday's death-defying plunge into the Martian atmosphere, which beat the odds. "Spirit" arrived with parachute, rockets and air bags blazing, seven months after launch, four years after NASA's last Martian lander cratered after the agency cut too many corners. This time, they tripled the budget and built a twin rover, set to reach Mars in three weeks.

STEVE SQUYRES, SPIRIT CHIEF SCIENTIST, NASA: To finally see our dreams come true on another world is like nothing I can describe.

O'BRIEN: So now what? The team is combing through images like this to create a road map of where to steer "Spirit" once they put it in gear. They hope the cameras, along with a sensor that measures the heat radiating from rocks, will lead them to proof this is an ancient lake bed.

MATT GOLOMBEK, MARS MISSION SCIENTIST, NASA: This is like, you know, your eyes, only more so, in that you can look around this whole seen and decide what's important. You've got a whole bunch of rocks. Which one's the really key one to go look at?


O'BRIEN: Tomorrow we expect that this scene in black and white will be given full color, which is to say that rusty red color of the red planet, Mars. And one place they're going to be looking at very closely, Anderson, is this spot right here, a depression off the back of the "Spirit" rover. The controllers here have named it "Sleepy Hollow," in honor of the fact that they're not getting much of it.

COOPER: Miles, I don't know how it works. But it is just remarkable images. More, I guess, later on this evening. Miles O'Brien, thanks very much for that. From a former baseball superstar today, a confession, and a swing for redemption, and not coincidentally, book sales. Pete Rose says it's so. In his new book, Rose says, quote, "I had huge appetites and I was always hungry." The baseball star reportedly admits to illegally gambling hundreds of thousands of dollars on major league baseball games, including the team he was managing, the Cincinnati Reds. Josie Burke has the latest.


JOSIE BURKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In 1989, Pete Rose told the commissioner of Major League Baseball that he had never bet on the game. But in the pages of a new autobiography, Rose admits to betting on Cincinnati Reds games while he was managing the team, but says he never bet the Reds to lose. Rose says he finally confessed to commissioner Bud Selig last year.

But Rose's confession in the book is a measured one. He tells readers, quote, "I'm sorry it happened, and I'm sorry for all the people, fans, and family that it hurt. Let's move on."

TOM VERDUCCI, SENIOR BASEBALL WRITER, "SPORTS ILLUSTRATED": He had to show some true contrition. And beyond itself, the bigger picture of what it meant in the position he was in as one of the icons of the game.

BURKE: By coming clean about his betting on baseball, Rose hopes to return to the game he played and managed for 27 seasons. Major League Baseball must decide if it can afford to have him back on the field.

JOHN DOWD, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL, MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL: In the year 1987, organized crime in New York owned Pete Rose.

BURKE: John Dowd conducted baseball's investigation of Rose, and his report outlined links between Rose and mob bookies. Rose denies these allegations in his book.

Quote, "Over the years, I met many bookmakers at the racetracks. These were honest, working-class guys with wives and families. Not the 'mafia' guys the press made them out to be."

Rose says he quit making illegal bets long ago, but he continues to bet on horses and at casinos.

"I never took an unfair advantage," Rose writes. "I never bet... based on injuries or inside information."

VERDUCCI: What happens on those days when he didn't bet the Reds at all? That would seem to be a clear signal to the betting community that the manager of the Reds didn't feel real good about the Reds' chances that particular day.

BURKE: The commissioner must determine whether Rose's public confession and qualified apology is enough to grant Rose the second chance he desperately seeks. Josie Burke, CNN.


COOPER: Well, what do you think? We want to hear from you. Today's buzz question is this. Should Pete Rose now be allowed to enter into the baseball hall of fame? Vote now, We'll have the results at the end of the program this evening, about 50 minutes.

Right now we're following a number of other stories for you cross-country. Let's take a look.

In the Midwest, baby, it is cold outside. Take a look at that. The snow has tapered off in Illinois. Forecasters say it'll be zero degrees tonight. In Fargo, North Dakota, they say that's nothing. There, it's already dipped 26 below.

West Palm Beach Florida, the Limbaugh files. The judge has ordered Rush Limbaugh's medical records to be sealed for at least 15 more days while his lawyers try to get them permanently sealed. Now, of course, prosecutors want to look through the records for evidence that Limbaugh illegally bought prescription painkillers.

New Orleans, singer shot. The Kinks' front man, Ray Davies, there he is, he was shot in the leg in New Orleans last night. He was treated at a hospital, released. Police say Davies was walking with a woman whose purse was stolen at gunpoint. Davies got shot when he ran after the thief.

Moncks Corner, South Carolina, resignation. Remember the high school drug raid, there it is on video, where kids were held at gunpoint, sniffed by dogs? Well, the principal of the school has now resigned. He says it is in the best interest of the school and the students for him to step aside.

That is a look at stories across the country for you tonight.

A New York firefighter scandal. One firefighter remains on a respirator after a colleague struck him with a chair. There's even allegations of a cover-up. What is going on? We're going to get you the latest on the investigation.

Plus, what kind of eater are you? I know it's an odd question, but the answer may explain why it's so hard to lose weight. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is here explaining part of our special three-part series, slim chance.

And smoking hot wheels. Take a look at that. Rolling out the new Ferraris. We'll take you on a spin around the Detroit auto show that just opened yesterday.

First, tonight, let's look inside the box. The top stories on tonight's network newscasts.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Right now, a badly bludgeoned New York firefighter is on a respirator in a Staten Island hospital. Investigators suspect a cover-up of the circumstances that put him there. Deborah Feyerick has details.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It happened New Year's eve. Firefighters from Engine 151 on Staten Island were changing shifts when one of them, Michael Silvestri, allegedly picked up a metal chair, smashing it in another firefighter's face.

NICHOLAS SCOPPETTA, FIRE COMMISSIONER, NEW YORK CITY: All the evidence supports, and the criminal complaint alleges, that this was not accidental, that it was intentional.

FEYERICK: Robert Walsh is in critical condition in a medically induced coma. His nose is shattered, his face fractured in several places. Press reports say the injured firefighter allegedly taunted Silvestri about dodging his regular Thanksgiving shift to work higher paid overtime. This after Silvestri called Walsh insulting names.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, MAYOR, NEW YORK CITY: There is no room in the fire department or anyplace for assault.

FEYERICK: This might have been handled as an internal feud that got out of hand, except that others in the firehouse saw it and, officials believe, tried to cover it up.

SCOPPETTA: There was a report he had fallen down the stairs, there was another report he was in a car accident.

FEYERICK: Police next door to the firehouse were not called until eight hours after the alleged assault. By then, a law enforcement source says, the blood had been wiped clean.

GLENN CORBETT, JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Fire services is like a family. And just like any other family, things are usually kept within the confines of their home, basically, which is the firehouse.

FEYERICK: The firefighter who allegedly swung the chair has been charged with assault. Six others, including the captain, have been reassigned to desk duty pending the outcome of the investigation. Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.


COOPER: For a lighter story right now, this week in Detroit, a gathering like no other. The North American Auto Show, the mother of all car shows, some people call it, got underway just yesterday. The hottest new wheels unveiled. New cars, new models. Jeff Flock has them all right now from Detroit.

Good evening, Jeff. JEFF FLOCK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Indeed, Anderson, thinking of you, perhaps, at this hour. In some sense this show has been the show of the sports car. With me at this hour, this is the 612 Scalietti. It is a Ferrari; it's named after the primary coach builder, the first coach builder of the first Ferrari, worked with Enzo Ferrari. Perhaps you can see. It is a 550 horsepower engine in this, goes about 200 miles an hour. They will only make about 200 of these. And the price tag on this one, $230,000. It's the first Ferrari to ever debut in the United States. This is the very latest sports car unveiled at the show tonight.

This comes on the heels yesterday of the introduction of the sixth generation of the Chevy Corvette, the primary American sports car, perhaps. A big night last night at the Detroit opera house. A red one unveiled there.

And then that on the heels of the introduction of a concept car by Chrysler called the ME 4-12. That's because it's a 12-cylinder engine in there. They admit it is a car essentially built around an engine, and goes 248 miles an hour.

Amazing number of sports cars introduced at the show. I don't know if there's anybody that can account, Anderson, for exactly why this is. But sports cars, for some reason, this year are big.

COOPER: You're giving me a case of car envy right now, Jeff. You know, every year you always hear there's a lot of talk about hybrid cars at these shows. It never really seems to catch on with consumers. Do you get the feeling this year may be different?

FLOCK: May have turned the corner, not to make a car pun, there. But, you know, the Toyota Prius was the car of the year this year. And you know, we've got another live camera across the hall. It is in a Mercedes exhibit. Take a look over there. It is something called the grand sports tour. This is a car they say is a cross between a sedan, a wagon, and an SUV. And it, believe it or not, that is a hybrid. At very slow speeds the electric motor kicks in. So if you are in stop-and-go traffic, you've got no fuel being burned. It's a V-8 diesel engine in there which has plenty of power, goes upwards of 150, 160 miles an hour out on the open road, but it also goes on electric power. This may be the year that they turn the corner on the hybrids.

COOPER: All right, Jeff. As I'm riding the subway tomorrow I'll think of all those nice cars. Jeff Flock, thanks very much.

We are following a number of developing international stories for you now. Let's check the uplink.

Brussels, Belgium, letter bombs. Three more letter bombs turn up at the offices of the EU. Two in Brussels, one in Manchester, England. They've been coming for the past two weeks now. So far, no one has been hurt. EU officials suspect an Italian extremist group may be sending the letter bombs.

Beijing, heading off SARS. China plans to slaughter thousands of civet cats, you're looking at one of them, to help prevent a new outbreak of SARS. Now, the Chinese consider the weasel-like animals a delicacy. They're called civet cats. I've never heard of them. But scientists suspect they spread SARS to humans. One person in Guangdong province is recovering from a confirmed case of the disease.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, short, short, no, no. A new law banning miniskirts in the workplace has women's groups in Malaysia up in arms. The hard-line Islamic party in one of Malaysia's most conservative states says the ban is intended to make non-Muslim women dress decently.

Sydney, Australia croc hunter snaps back. You've seen this video, no doubt, by now of crocodile hunter Steve Irwin. And he's defending himself against critics who were outraged when Irwin fed a croc on TV while he held his month old son with his other hand. They say he was risking his infant's life. He says nonsense, and he'd do it again, but without TV cameras present.


STEVE IRWIN, "CROCODILE HUNTER": I'm so sorry people have seen this as danger. But it's called perceived danger. You won't see me putting my kid on a horse because I think horses are a little bit dangerous. But you know what? I would be a bad parent if I didn't teach my kids what was in the backyard. So that's my mistake. That the world -- a lot of people in the world just don't live where I live.


COOPER: Crikey. That's a look at tonight's uplink.

So, are you having trouble shedding those extra pounds? Find out what may be standing in your way. Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains in our special series. Part one tonight, slim chance.

Also ahead, Martha Stewart jury selection about to begin. You might be surprised to hear how selecting a jury is now a big money affair. We'll explain why.

And a little later, how to avoid a nasty divorce. A California judge has an innovative idea. Will it work? He'll join us live.


COOPER: A new study has some dramatic news. Teenagers in the U.S. have higher obesity rates than teens in 14 other industrialized countries, including Germany and France. This is all part of a new study. Now, this study found that among American 15-year-olds, 15 percent of girls and nearly 14 percent of boys were obese. 31 percent of American girls and 28 percent of boys were at least overweight. The contributing factor is pretty much what you would expect, fast food and sedentary life styles.

Now, as we're all well aware, the weight problem in this country isn't confined to just teenagers. This early in the new year, a lot of people are still pretty resolute about their resolutions to lose weight. So you may have more company at the gym this week. But just you wait. Chances are, many of you won't stick with it, including me. In fact, I didn't even begin.

To try to explain why some of us won't stick with it, why we'll fail at a diet, we have an exclusive look at a study commissioned by "Cooking Light" magazine. The first of its kind, an in-depth look at Americans' attitudes about health and their behavior. Dr. Sanjay Gupta has the story.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): According to the research, Americans are splitting into four groups with distinct personalities, avoiders, pretenders, bargainers and balancers.

ELLEN CARROLL, "COOKING LIGHT": The balancers is a group that we think really get it, or that they really understand what living a healthy life style is all about. They exercise because they want to, it feels good, they eat healthfully because it makes them feel better, and they don't feel guilty when they eat indulgent foods.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not like somebody saying I should be here, or I have to be here. It's just the feeling you get afterwards and you miss that when you're not doing it anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The bargainers we see as also a healthy population. They do embody healthful behaviors. But they see it more as an equation and a trade-off. They bargain more exercise so that they can eat more.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I exercise because I hate dieting.

CARROLL: Group three is the avoiders. The avoiders do just that. They see the health information out there, but they're confused, they don't get it, they don't want to get it. So they just say, forget it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you like to exercise?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Actually, I like doing stuff. I like swimming. I like surfing. I like making love to beautiful women.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Group four we call the pretenders. This is so because they're really kidding themselves. These guys say they're healthier than they really are.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm one of the dieters that always says I'll start my diet on Monday, because a Monday's always a good day to start something new.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A typical line for a pretender is I'm sure it's going to be more of a diet Coke but I want the hamburger with it.

GUPTA: Survey says? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It doesn't work.


GUPTA: So there you have it. America sort of has a split personality when it comes to this. People, more than ever, think that they're eating healthier. According to the survey, a pivotal survey, by the way, first of its kind. But they're also getting fatter. We've heard that data over and over again. The four groups, incidentally, break down about equally among the entire population.

COOPER: Obviously, the ideal, I guess, would be to be the balancer. Are you kind of doomed if you are a pretender? Are you doomed to be that way for life? Or can you switch?

GUPTA: No. Clearly, you can switch. That also came out of the survey. About seven out of ten people, another number here, pointed out, in fact, that they recognize small health incremental improvements now, early, can lead to longer, better health outcomes later on in life. Yet very few people actually act on that.

The real key, coming out of the survey, though, you have to do things in small amounts. If you think you're going to lose ten pounds in a month, you may do it. But you're probably not going to be able to keep that off. You have to do things that are realistic and sustainable. Everybody knows this information. They have to act upon it.

COOPER: I've heard it before. It is a question of doing it. You're going to be here tomorrow talking more about this?

GUPTA: Yes. Much more information coming out.

COOPER: All right. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks very much.

Martha Stewart heading back to court. Find out why who sits on the jury may determine the outcome of the case. That's pretty obvious.

Also, how to avoid a nasty divorce. Meet a judge pushing couples towards a happy ending. We'll see if it's going to work.

And, oops, she got married. The marriage can bee annulled. Already going to be. But how about Britney's image? I'll ask publicist Lizzie Grubman. Be right back.


COOPER: Time now on for "The Reset." Here's what is happening right now. Washington, D.C. Not so fast. President Bush has decided to renew sanctions against Libya, saying that the Libyans' pledge to completely disarm and destroy their weapons of mass destruction programs must be verified before he'll drop them permanently.

Washington, D.C. Not so fast take two. New rules issued by the U.S. Army today say if you're a soldier in Iraq and you're due to get out of the service when you rotate home, you can't. Not for 90 days, anyway. This stop-loss order, that's what it's called, is designed to make sure that army commanders have enough troops available for their assigned missions. It will apply to most of the 130,000 troops in Iraq today.

Washington cows to the slaughter. The Department of Agriculture today said a herd of 450 calves will be killed, including the offspring of the dairy cow that tested positive for mad cow disease. The slaughter is a measure being undertaken to reassure American consumers that the supply of beef is safe.

St. Louis, Missouri. Big money. A visit to a fund-raiser today is expected to bring in $2.7 million for the president's reelection campaign. That makes a total so far of $120 million he has raised, breaking his own record which he set in the 2000 campaign. That's a look at tonight's "Reset."

We go now to "Justice Served." Ladies and gentlemen, direct your attention to the big top. The latest media circus is about to begin. Tomorrow, jury selection starts in the Martha Stewart case. It is sure to be a long, drawn-out process. Prospective jurors are asked to fill out a lengthy questionnaire. Here is CNN financial news correspondent Alan Chernoff.


ALAN CHERNOFF, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: The questionnaire about Martha Stewart in the words of one lawyer in the case, is relatively lengthy and attempts to ferret out people who would be biased. Disqualifying factors for potential jurors include those with a strong opinion about Martha Stewart, people who have been following the case closely in the media, and investors in Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

ROBERT HEIM, MEYERS & HEIM LLP: I think that she has a strong defense. The case is really going to come down to credibility and who the jury believes.

CHERNOFF: To convict, the jury will have to believe star witness Doug Faneuil, former assistant to Stewart's stockbroker. Faneuil is to testify he told Stewart her friend Sam Waksal was trying to unload stock in ImClone Systems which led her to sell her shares just before the Food and Drug Administration gave a thumbs down to ImClone's experimental cancer drug. Stewart and her broker Peter Bacanovic claim they had a preset agreement to sell the stock once it fell below $60 a share.

MARTHA STEWART, HOST, "MARTHA STEWART LIVING": Having done nothing wrong allows you to sleep.


STEWART: Allows you to continue your work, gives you the opportunity to think about other things.

CHERNOFF: Stewart is also charged with securities fraud for publicly claiming her innocence. Lawyers say it will be tough for the government to prove securities fraud. But on the obstruction charge, prosecutors say they have evidence that Stewart was trying to cover her tracks by changing the computer log of a phone message from her stockbroker. The interviewing of prospective jurors is to begin on January 20. Alan Chernoff, CNN, New York.


COOPER: For high-profile defendants with money to share, jury selection is not something a defense lawyer leaves to chance. Earlier, I spoke with Court TV's Lisa Bloom about what Martha Stewart's defense team might be looking for.


COOPER: So CNN has confirmed that a jury consultant, a psychologist is being used by Martha Stewart's defense team to help pick an ideal jury. What kind of thing are they looking for?

LISA BLOOM, COURT TV ANCHOR: Well, certainly, they're looking for the kind of juror who's going to interpret the evidence most favorable to Martha Stewart. This is a case that rests on some physical evidence, letters, e-mails but it's a matter of interpretation. What kind of person is more likely to interpret that favorably to Martha Stewart? What kind of juror do they want? They're really honing in on that right now during the jury selection.

COOPER: They picked a psychologist. We were talking about this a little bit before. This whole notion of jury consultant has really evolved far beyond what a lot of people realize.

BLOOM: In high profile cases, like the Robert Durst case, I think jury consultants are the --

COOPER: That was a murder case down in Texas.

BLOOM: Where he admitted killing his neighbor and dismembering him and he was acquitted and, I think, there was a jury consultant in that case that made the difference that picked the right kinds of jurors for the defense.

Trial lawyers like me used to base their decisions on do we want men, do we want women, black, white. We are way beyond that now. With consultants like this one, in the Martha Stewart case, who's much more sophisticated, who look at the type of people, regardless of sex or race.

COOPER: It seems like a marker. I mean, you say they run focus groups. We don't know if they're doing this in Martha Stewart's but in the Robert Durst case you said they actually ran focus groups?

BLOOM: Focus groups, mock trials, shadow juries. I mean, we're talking about a sophisticated level of analysis to find the person who will vote for the defense.

COOPER: Do they do that while the trial is going on to see what argument is playing better?.

BLOOM: That's what a shadow jury is and depending on how much money the defense is willing to spend on a jury consultant, that can certainly happen. The attorney can go home at the end of the day and find out what the shadow jury watching on television or getting information relayed to them how they're responding.

COOPER: I don't want to sound naive here but isn't this just sort of ruining the process? Isn't this totally unfair to those who have the money, those who are rich enough to get these high-priced consultants?

BLOOM: Exactly. I'll tell you what it does. It means that money makes more and more of a difference these days. We always think of the defendant as the one who is outgunned by the prosecution, the big bad government against the little guy.

In these high-profile cases we see a reversal of that, where the defendant like a Martha Stewart or Kobe Bryant or Michael Jackson can afford so much more than the local prosecutor, it can really give them an edge.

COOPER: I suppose, we don't know whether, in New York, they're using a consultant. The prosecution, they very well could. I'm sure they have access to it. This case, this Martha Stewart case is not just a case against her. It also involves her broker, Peter Bacanovic. If he make some sort of a deal or if he, in some way, settles with the state, her case -- that could go badly for her, depending on what his plea was.

BLOOM: I'm sure that behind the scenes, the state has been pressuring him to flip, turn state's evidence, to help them get a conviction against Martha Stewart. So far, that hasn't happened.

COOPER: Because their testimony is really linked. Their stories support one another. If their stories then suddenly diverge, that would spell trouble.

BLOOM: Keep in mind that Sam Waksal never flipped on Martha Stewart and he is looking at a long prison term now. Surely would have helped him if he would have turned state evidence against her. He never did that. I don't expect her broker to do that either.

COOPER: And we've heard from interviews in the past, he was interviewed on "60 Minutes" and Waksal -- prosecutors were saying to him, they were trying to get him to flip against Martha Stewart.

BLOOM: Right and he never did. Either meaning she's innocent or he's remaining loyal to her to the end.

COOPER: All right. Lisa Bloom, thanks very much.

A judge in California is tired of divorcing couples duking it out in his courtroom. Who can blame him? He wants unhappy couples to get a letter explaining their options. Will it work? We'll try to find out. Plus, on the other end of the spectrum, did you see the romantic New Year's Eve proposal? We'll hear from the couple who got engaged live in Times Square.

And saying good bye to an American soldier. The pictures are worth a thousand farewells.


COOPER: Starting last week, anyone who wants a divorce in Ventura county, California, first gets a letter explaining alternative ways to resolve disputes without a court battle. Ventura county Superior Court Judge John R. Smiley is trying to cut down on the knockdown, drag-out courtroom scenes that have become all too common in divorce cases and he has seen a lot of them.

Judge Smiley joins us live from Los Angeles and here in New York, renowned divorce attorney Bob Cohen whose high-profile clients have included Christie Brinkley, Tommy Mottola, and James (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

Bob, good to meet you and Judge Smiley, we appreciate you joining us as well.

Judge, let me start out with you. Your idea is basically to send a letter to couples who may end up in your courtroom explaining alternatives to divorce court. What kind of alternatives?

JUDGE JOHN R. SMILEY, VENTURA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT: Well, the alternatives have been around for a number of years and there are more developing all the time. It was the idea of my colleagues and the lawyers in Ventura county to really produce a menu of alternatives for people who were beginning the divorce process or beginning an action for custody, visitation or responding to that action.

COOPER: So you are taking about mediation, things like that.

SMILEY: Talking about mediation, private arbitration, using a relative new concept sweeping the country the collaborative law group, mental health professionals, in-house, and I am talking about inside the courthouse facilitators. A whole array of things people can use to stay out of my courtroom.

COOPER: OK, let me bring in, Bob.

What do you think?

You see this from a different perspective.

Does mediation work?

BOB COHEN, DIVORCE ATTORNEY: I think the potential for it working is very powerful, but I think the fact is that you have two people who really hate each other, and they're getting divorced. And the notion that they're all of a sudden going to like each other and work out the details concerning the children and the money and related issues is almost impossible. We tried it in New York about 25 years. We forced people to have a cooling off period before they could go ahead with a divorce case. And it didn't last longer than six months or a year. Because it doesn't work. You have to take people and almost lobotomize them and change them to make...

COOPER: Because the emotion is so raw your saying?

COHEN: They are at the worst time of their lives. There's nobody they hate more than the person they're getting divorced from.

COOPER: John Smiley, what do you think about what Bob said?

Are you optimistic that this might work or this sort of an act of desperation because what else are you going to try?

SMILEY: Well, the cases I see, 85 percent of the litigants are representing themselves in the cases across the board in Ventura County. 85 percent of the people are self-represented. The people that I see who have the most conflicted problems are the people who end up trapped in their custody-visitation battle, trapped in their divorce for a period of years, and they can't seem to get out of that. And not withstanding what counsel in New York said, I truly believe that early intervention by a family lawyer who's willing to take an alternative route or a family law judge who prescribes early intervention or a mental health expert, I think, can keep those people from becoming the bitter endless divorcees that was mentioned earlier.

COHEN: Your honor, what you're saying doesn't make sense because those people starting without lawyers in any event. And there's very -- apparently very little involved in terms of the economics of the divorce.


COOPER: Bob, finish your thought.

COHEN: Most of the divorces we see have significant -- the economics are significant and the childish are very significant. They need lawyers to wade themselves through it. And the notion we're going to make them agree to things they couldn't agree on before they started is very, very difficult.

COOPER: We're going to have to leave it there gentleman. Judge John Smiley, it is an innovative idea and we appreciate you joining us. We would love to check in with you a little bit, see how it's working in Ventura County, California.

And Bob Cohen, thanks very much.

COHEN: Thank you judge, thank you Anderson.

SMILEY: Thank you very much.

COOPER: Sure the divorce rate is staggers. If you watched our New Year's Eve special, as I hope you did, you know that romance is still alive and well. Bob, this will warm your heart as a divorce attorney.

I'm not talking about the drag queen that dropped in the shoe. I'm talking after midnight when a guy from Miami got down on one knee, live on TV in Time Square proposed to his girlfriend. Took a few days.

But our Jeanne Moos tracked the couple down.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That old (UNINTELLIGIBLE) sure can be an aphrodisiac among the camera's sending out live pictures of Time Square was the kiss cam. Couples are encouraged to kiss even if they get confetti stuck on their lips. But no one cued this couple.

ASHLEY ROBINSON, GOT ENGAGED IN TIMES SQUARE: I turned around. Greg was on his knees with a sign that said, Ashley, will you marry me.

MOOS: Nurse Ashley Robinson thunderstruck look was striking.

(on camera): I was afraid you were going to say no.

ROBINSON: Apparently everyone did.

MOOS: Because you paused so long it seemed like you were, you know, frozen.

ROBINSON: I truly had a heart attack.

MOOS (voice-over): Through the miracle of sign language we learned she said yes.

(on camera): Did you have a sign in case she said no.


MOOS (voice-over): Twenty-eight year old Greg Siers knew where to kneel to get on TV since he was a technical manager of the New Year's Eve production.

SIERS: This was a back-up if in case that got run over.

MOOS (on camera): Wait a minute you had a back will you marry me sign?


MOOS (voice-over): Ashley was unprepared she had to spit out her gum. This was their first look at tape of the propose. Ashley froze while waving to the camera. You look like the statute of liberty. Somehow it seemed less phony than the reality proposals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you marry me? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you marry me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wanted the whole word to know how much I love this woman.

MOOS: This engagement has already lasted longer than Britney Spears marriage. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Funny she should mention Britney Spears marriage. She married a friend. Now pop star Britney Spears tries to undo saying I do. You're going to hear from the ex-groom ahead.

Plus Michael Jackson in the "Current."

Did his TV special grab the viewers?

We'll see. Be right back.


COOPER: All right. Time to check on pop news in tonight's "Current." Happy news from Las Vegas where Britney Spears married a childhood friend in an ceremony.

In other news CBS's Michael Jackson's special drew 10 million viewers. The special scored an 11 share among viewers 18-49. All though, Jackson's usual target demo is younger than that. Figure it out in a little bit.

The "Hollywood Reporter" says a new survey of Americans who download dropped by half. They have millions of their own potential customers left to sue.

And finally sad news from Las Vegas where singer Britney Spears filed for an annulment on her marriage. Our thoughts are with them both at this difficult time..

So what happened. Why the until today not until death do us part?

Spears record label says the wedding was a joke that went to far. CNN's, Bruce Burkhardt has some other ideas of what may have led to splitsville.


BRUCE BURKHARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): For Britney, it was about commitment to a guy named Jason Alexander. Not that Jason Alexander, this one. Like most brides, everything had to be just right. On this most important day, she wore a baseball cap and jeans with a little tear in them -- perfect. Then after the wedding, the inevitable adjustment period, settling into the realities, getting to know each other little eccentricities, do you squeeze the toothpath in the middle or roll it up neatly from the bottom. Stuff like that. Then, of course, the question of children. On this, apparently, they agreed for the time being, no kids. As time wore on they grew to know and love each other in ways they hadn't dreamed of when they first got married.

Britney loves to hear Jason tell his funny stories about "Seinfeld." That's right, it was a different Jason Alexander. Any how the marriage endured through sick in and health or well, until the seventh hour.

(voice-over): That's right, the dreaded seven-hour itch kicked in, and Britney, for the first time in her marriage, began to have doubts.

Oops. Maybe Jason wasn't the right guy after all. But they decided, what with everything they had invested in the marriage, to give it a few more hours. They saw counselors. But in the end, it just wasn't working. And the fateful decision was made, annulment.

(on camera): Now we can only look back and wonder what might have been. And I'm left to wonder, can this story be annulled?

Bruce Burkhardt, CNN, Atlanta.


COOPER: All right, I don't know if you really care, but what's Britney's ex-groom saying about -- ex-groom, can we even call him that? What's he saying about the short-lived nuptials? Here's what he told "Access Hollywood."


JASON ALEXANDER, SPEARS' EX-GROOM: We sat in the car and we were like, are we going to do this? And we decided, oh yeah, we are going to do it. So we went ahead and did the whole thing. And we got back to the room, and we decided that's when we needed to tell everybody what we done did, and then that's when all hell broke loose, and we realized that what we did wasn't probably the right thing we should have done, and wasn't the right way to go about it.


COOPER: It's nice he dressed up for the interview.

So, will all this hurt Britney's image? Let's get some feedback from Lizzie Grubman, Britney Spears' former publicist. Lizzie, good to meet you, good to have you here.


COOPER: What was she thinking? You've represented her in the past.

GRUBMAN: I'm completely perplexed. I really am. Britney is a girl who has, you know, numerously said how marriage is so important to her. Her parents just got divorced and she said it was one of the hardest things that ever happened to her. So to make it light and to make a joke and to go and get married so quickly makes absolutely no sense to me.

COOPER: Here is what she said to Diane Sawyer. We're going to put this on the screen. "I think, honestly, if you can wait until you're married, I think you should definitely do that, because it's so much more sacred, and there is a reason for saying to do that. There is a rule in the book, the Bible, that says that. I think that is a really important thing to do."

I'm not sure what section the rule is in the book, the Bible. But you don't think it's a PR stunt?

GRUBMAN: What kind of PR stunt? This is a disaster if it's a PR stunt.

COOPER: It's a disaster from public relations?

GRUBMAN: Yeah. I mean, what, I mean, no good comes out of someone being married for 16 hours in a hall, I mean.

COOPER: I think, you know what, that should be a new rule.

GRUBMAN: I mean, you know what I'm saying? I think this is the shortest celebrity wedding yet.

COOPER: Yeah, yeah, I actually think that is true.

GRUBMAN: It's crazy.

COOPER: Do you think she was drunk? Do you think she was just kidding around? You kind of buy this it was a joke that went too far?

GRUBMAN: I think it was a joke that went too far. I wasn't there. I can't tell if you she was intoxicated. The times that I've seen her, she's not been intoxicated, and I see her out in nightclubs and places all the time. And she's been perfectly sober.

I think this is a joke that went too far, but what really strikes me as weird is she's always surrounded with a lot of bodyguards and a lot of handlers and a lot of friends. Didn't somebody just say, Britney, what are you doing? All of a sudden she's off in a limo with this guy and...

COOPER: Right, the limo driver walked her down the aisle. Wonderful.

GRUBMAN: I mean, something's wrong here, something's wrong here. And I think that Britney really has got to speak up and give her side of the story.

COOPER: So from a PR perspective, that's what you would advise? From here, you've got to come out, you've got to say what was going on?

GRUBMAN: Oh, yeah, absolutely. The statements from, you know, her record label and this that, it means nothing at this point. She needs -- we need to hear from Britney.

COOPER: I want to give a little advice to Britney. Do we have that clip from when she talked to Tucker Carlson? Do we have that? We're trying to get it. Anyway -- OK, let's roll this clip. This is her interview with CNN's Tucker Carlson.


TUCKER CARLSON, CNN ANCHOR: Pepsi for a long time. Candidly, just between you and me, how much Pepsi do you think you drink?


COOPER: My advice to Britney and I'm no PR expert, is don't chew gum all the time when you're talking to people.

GRUBMAN: You should never. It's rude. It really is rude. I don't know. This is really...

COOPER: So you agree with me on that one?

GRUBMAN: Yes. That's that, and that was a bad haircut day.

COOPER: Bad hair. Lizzie, it's great to meet you.

GRUBMAN: Nice to meet you too.

COOPER: I appreciate you coming. All right.

GRUBMAN: Thank you.

COOPER: Well, Britney Spears and Jason Alexander got married in Los Vegas chapel, as we've told you, called the Little White Chapel. Here is a little news for you, in case you also get the urge, it's open, so you know, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Many celebrities have tied the knot there. Among them, Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow. Demi Moore -- or is it Demi or Demi?

GRUBMAN: Demi. Demi, actually.

COOPER: Whatever. And Bruce Willis. She got married there. Plus, Michael Jordan and Juanita Vanoy got married there.

Apparently, Britney now holds the record, as Lizzie mentioned, for the fastest celebrity union, reportedly filing for annulment just about 12 hours after she said "I do." She does top Zsa Zsa Gabor, who filed her lawyer turned husband, Count Felipe DeAlba, after just one day. Actor Dennis Hopper and singer Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas, got divorced after eight days. And Dennis Rodman filed for annulment nine days after marrying Carmen Electra. They still managed to stay married for five months. More than you ever wanted to know about celebrity unions, or mismatches.

Anyway, tonight in "Fresh Print," a weekly look at news -- at what's new in magazines. We couldn't help but notice the power of politics and pictures. Take a look. Both "Time" and "Newsweek" put Howard Dean on their covers this week. "Time" tells us they have got the real Howard Dean, while "Newsweek" more explicitly raises doubts about the man and his chances.

We couldn't help but notice that nearly all the pictures of Dean leave a vaguely unsettling impression of the guy. There's mysterious Dean, angry Dean, unstable Dean. In contrast, in "Time," President Bush comes out looking, well, commander in chieftastic. He's on the ranch, relaxed, in control. No wonder the other Democrats "Time" shows us look kind of worried. As a recent issue of "National Review" makes clear, some Republicans would love the Democrats to nominate Howard Dean. If that's true, we imagine this is what it might have looked like over at the RNC when they saw the photos in this week's news magazines. Maybe.

A soldier returns home. His family and friends say goodbye. A remarkable send-off for an American hero.

Plus, tomorrow, they forced a convicted murderer to take drugs so he'd be eligible for the death penalty. Tomorrow, he is going to die.

And today's vote, should Pete Rose now be allowed into the Baseball Hall of Fame? Vote now, at We'll be right back.


COOPER: Here's what you said for "The Buzz." Should Pete Rose now be allowed into the Baseball Hall of Fame? Forty-five percent of you said yes, 55 percent no. Not a scientific poll, just your buzz.

Finally tonight, farewell to "The Nth Degree." We want to show you some blurry pictures we found while surfing the Web today taken by a woman named Vicky Pierce (ph), whose nephew, a soldier, died in Iraq. The photos you'll see were taken last April, along a couple of miles of road between two small towns in the Hill Country of Texas.


COOPER (voice-over): Army Specialist James Keel (ph) was serving with the 507th Maintenance Company in Nasiriyah when he was killed, the same day Jessica Lynch was captured there.

There had been a church service for him in his town, a small place called, strange to say, Comfort. But the cemetery was miles away, in Center Point. It would be, the people in the procession must have thought, a sad and lonely ride.

And sad surely it was, but not lonely. The townspeople of Comfort and Center Point and who knows how many other little places in between resolved not to let it be. All along the road, figures appeared, standing at attention, holding flags. And some, just their hands over their hearts.

This went on first for one mile, then for another, then for part of a third. All the way to James Keel's (ph) final resting place. An impromptu honor guard of men, women, and children, still as statutes, silent, stricken. It is all in the past now, as we said, but we thought you should see these pictures, these moments anyway, to give you something to think about when you hear the cold talk of casualties and numbers.

Remember that in one place on one day it came down to this, a hearse, a grieving family and hundreds of people most of whom can't ever have met Specialist James Keel (ph), but who felt the need silently to stand beside the road as he passed by for the last time.


COOPER: We want to welcome some of our new viewers in Japan tonight. ANDERSON COOPER 360 (SPEAKING JAPANESE). I know. I need to work on my pronunciation.

That wraps up the program tonight. Thanks for watching. Coming up next, "PAULA ZAHN NOW."


Rose Comes Clean About Betting>

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