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Prosecution in Kobe Bryant case makes a surprise move, Showdown in Najaf, Amber Frey on stand, Veteran newsman Mike Wallace in handcuffs

Aired August 11, 2004 - 19:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST: Good evening. I'm Anderson Cooper.
The prosecution in the Kobe Bryant case makes a surprise move.

360 starts now.

A Kobe court stunner. Prosecutors file a motion to delay the trial. Is the case against Bryant DOA?

Showdown in Najaf. Marines prep for a final assault, and Muqtada al-Sadr says he'll fight to the death.

Bush and Kerry go west. But whatever happened to the president's promise, We're turning the corner?

Sex, lies, and audiotape. Amber Frey on the stand, her second straight day. She may prove Peterson is a cheat, but does she have evidence of murder?

A plea for life. Searching for a healthy liver, one Texas man takes out ads on highway billboards. How far would you go to save your life?

And veteran news anchor Mike Wallace led away in handcuffs? What in the world could he possibly have done to deserve that?

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

COOPER: Good evening.

Ever since an accusation of rape was made against NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, the case has been poked, prodded, dissected, and analyzed, and the trial hasn't even begun. Tonight it appears the criminal trial of Kobe Bryant may never begin.

The jury was to be selected in little more than two weeks, but today, the prosecution announced they are not ready. And the question is, will they ever be?

CNN's Gary Tuchman has today's developments.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The prosecutors in the Kobe Bryant case, strong supporters in the effort to get an early trial date, are now asking for an indefinite delay. In papers filed with the Eagle County District Court, the prosecutors may, in essence, have taken a step toward assuring a criminal trial won't happen.

The prosecutors criticizing the release of closed-door transcripts at a hearing which discussed sex the woman allegedly had the same week she was with Kobe Bryant. They say because they didn't put forward their own expert witnesses during that hearing, quote, "There is an absence of balance in the information released." And that, they say, affects their efforts to have a fair trial right now.

CRAIG SILVERMAN, COLORADO TRIAL ATTORNEY: It seems like part of a well-orchestrated strategy for this criminal case to go away. In all likelihood, the judge will deny the motion to continue, and then the prosecution may throw up its hands and say, Then we're not going to proceed. We dismiss the case.

TUCHMAN: Just yesterday, the attorneys for Bryant's accuser filed a civil lawsuit against the basketball player seeking an unspecified dollar amount in damages. Her attorneys have also said she might not want to go forward with the criminal case no matter what prosecutors want to do. If the judge were to decide to change the trial date, he would be going back on a vow he made that once the date was set, it would not be delayed.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, Panama City, Florida.


COOPER: Coming up a bit later on 360, legal analysis on the motion to delay Kobe's trial. We'll be joined by Court TV's Lisa Bloom and CNN contributor Michael Smerconish.

In the Peterson trial, a packed courtroom sat in rapt attention listening to Scott Peterson's playful musings to his mistress, Amber Frey. "We could be wonderful together," he told her, "and I could care for you in any and every way for the rest of our lives." This, one day after the town of Modesto held a vigil for then-missing Laci Peterson.

Frey was taping that phone call and many others. She already knew he was a suspect in his wife's disappearance.

CNN's Ted Rowlands was in the courtroom today.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Amber Frey, arriving for another day on the witness stand, was driven into the courthouse garage out of public view. With written transcripts in hand, jurors followed along as prosecutors played more phone conversations between Frey and Scott Peterson.

Frey started taping calls for police after finding out who Peterson really was, less than a week after his wife, Laci, was reported missing.

One recording, which lasted more than an hour, was a New Year's Eve call Peterson claimed he was making from Paris. At one point, while talking about the future, Peterson tells Frey, quote, "My thoughts are that I think that we would be wonderful together."

GLORIA ALLRED, AMBER FREY'S ATTORNEY: So obviously he is planning a future with Amber.

ROWLANDS: But some courtroom observers believe Peterson was actually setting up an eventual split with Frey. During one call, he brings up their differences and says, quote, "Unfortunately, 5 percent of me, you know, has questions." New Year's Day, Peterson called and claimed he was in Brussels and said that because of all of the French food he had been eating, he was going jogging. He also claimed that a bomb had gone off while he was in Paris, but he assured Frey that he was safe.

Despite knowing the truth, Frey seemed comfortable on the phone listening to Peterson's constant lying. Frey testified that police had told her what to say during some of the conversations. At times, on the tape, she seemed to be pressing Peterson to talk about certain subjects, including their future.


ROWLANDS: And late this afternoon, the jury heard another call where Peterson said he was on his way to Madrid. During that call, he said his favorite movie of all time was "The Shining" with Jack Nicholson, Anderson.

COOPER: Ted Rowlands, stand by. We've got some questions for you (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

Want to bring in also a 360 legal analyst, Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom.

Kimberly, good to see you.

Ted, the jury's heard a lot of these recordings over the last two days, riddled with Scott Peterson's lies. They show, obviously, the guy has lied, and he is good at lying. They don't necessarily show that he was a murderer. How did the jury react to hearing Scott Peterson's voice on this tape?

ROWLANDS: They don't have any visual reactions. They're very intent on this. They know the gravity of this case. And they also know that the gravity of Amber Frey. All the jurors are mesmerized by her and these recordings, taking copious notes like they have at no other time during this trial. But no real reactions when he's telling this crazy, bald-faced lies. They're just taking it all in.

COOPER: And Kimberly, Amber Frey looks very different. We also believe we're about to hear from Gloria Allred, Amber Frey's attorney. We'll bring that to you. She -- Amber Frey looks very different. We have pictures sort of the way she looked at that first press conference, the way she looks today. That's obviously a conscious, a conscious decision.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE NEWSOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Sure, the changing faces of Amber Frey, much like we saw the changing faces and hair colors of Scott Peterson. What we have seen is, yes, she's ready for prime time. She has Gloria Allred as her attorney, who has performed a miraculous Oprah Winfrey-like makeover on Amber Frey.

But you know what? Good for her. She's been victimized so much in this (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

COOPER: But the idea of that is what?

NEWSOM: ... hair color and makeup. I think it's important. She's got to present to the jury. She's wearing a nice black suit in court. She's got a cross on. She's presenting well. She's in two- inch heels. We know all about the details of it because she is presenting and selling an image to the jury that I'm to be trusted, I'm to be believed, I'm here to do the right thing, I'm a victim of Scott Peterson's deception, believe my words, and if you don't want to believe me, listen to the tapes. It is all part of a very well-put- together package.

COOPER: Gloria Allred is giving a press conference right now about today's testimony. Let's listen in.

ALLRED: ... items of evidence from this afternoon. And the last item that I'd like to discuss is what I consider the bombshell of the afternoon.

But first, I think it was interesting that Scott asked Amber to rent a movie, and that the name of the movie was "Love Affair." In addition, I thought it was interesting this afternoon that there was more talk by Scott on those recorded telephone conversations with Amber, after Laci disappeared, about their future together, including the trips that they would make together. Scott, "Yes, definitely, we will... "

COOPER: We're obviously having a technical problem. That will bring that to you as soon as we get it fixed.

But standing by, Ted Rowlands with CNN, also Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom.

And we have the audio back. Let's play it.

ALLRED: ... that will be a surprise for you. And of course this morning, I noted other trips that they would make together, including to Hawaii.

I thought it was also interesting this afternoon in the recorded telephone call of January 4, 2003, 10:32 p.m., where Scott talks about how wonderful Amber is. In that regard, of course, it's one area in which I agree with Scott.

Scott, "Can I tell you how wonderful you are, how thoughtful you are, and amazing? And I need a bigger word than special to describe it, because it is just amazing. I need a better vocabulary or a book or a thesaurus or something to find the right words to describe you. And for me, trying to explain you is like I'm drawing a stick figure. I'm that far removed from being able to describe you."

And that was Scott, of course, talking about Amber to Amber.

Another statement made by Scott this afternoon that I thought was interesting was, he said to Amber, "You have changed who I am."

And finally, what I thought was really the bombshell of the afternoon was the movie that Scott Peterson thought was the best movie ever made. And it was "The Shining." Now, for those of you who have not seen "The Shining," "The Shining," starring Jack Nicholson, is a film about a husband whose mental health is deteriorating significantly. And as a result he attempts to kill his wife. It is a real horror film.

And the fact that Scott Peterson's favorite movie is "The Shining," where a husband tries to kill his wife, I think is the bombshell of the afternoon. And frankly, that gives me more chills than the chills I experienced when I actually saw "The Shining."

We'll be happy to take any questions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gloria, do you think that -- the last thing we heard was the January 6 testimony. Can you elaborate any more on what happened (UNINTELLIGIBLE) her out of her (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

ALLRED: The question had to do with the January 6 testimony, and the protection that was, protection that the police felt that Amber needed after Amber had a telephone conversation with Scott in which he made a certain suggestion in reference to information that she had received from a message from her friend that she thought was of concern to her.

We are going to hear more, I believe, about that tomorrow. It would make sense to me if the prosecution was to proceed to explain that. So I would leave that to the testimony tomorrow.


ALLRED: I, I, I, I, I never want to preempt testimony. And so I'll leave it for the testimony to clarify, you know, why the police felt that they should make the move that they did and why Amber said what she said. And then, of course, Scott's reaction, which I can't -- you know, I anticipate you will learn more about tomorrow. It would make sense, since there appears to be in chronological order.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) but when Amber Frey left today during some of the testimony or during some of the tape playing, why did she leave? Did she...

ALLRED: It was very simple. She left this morning because the baby needed to be fed, and the last time the baby had been fed was at 8:30, and it was impossible to wait until lunch, since she's breastfeeding, to -- for the baby to be fed again. And the judge was aware of the reasoning and gave his approval.

COOPER: And you've been listening to a interesting press conference given by Gloria Allred, who's the attorney, of course, for Amber Frey.

We're joined, Ted Rowlands standing by, who's been in the courtroom throughout the day. Also 360 legal analyst Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom.

Kimberly, I mean, as you watched this press conference, the question occurs, why isn't Gloria Allred gagged in, in -- by the same gag that all the other attorneys in this case are gagged with?

NEWSOM: You're right about that. And why doesn't she have her own show? You get movie reviews, makeovers. It's the best. Yes, here's the problem. She's not a participant or a party to the case, therefore she is not under the auspices of the gag order. So she can make these statements.

And once things have come into evidence and have been testified to in the court, she can talk about it. That's why she's not talking about future testimony or specifics, and she can go out there and sit and read one thing after the next about incriminating statements that she believes and put her spin on it.

She's really essentially become the third prosecutor sitting third chair in this case because, you know, obviously, she's prepared her client very well. So far, the best witness that the prosecution has put forward has been her client.

COOPER: Well, the defense also has got to be sitting there listening to Gloria...


COOPER: ... Allred, furious.

NEWSOM: Yes, Mark Geragos is going to be driven mad, much like Jack Nicholson in the movie "The Shining." I think he's really going to lose it, because this has got to be incredibly frustrating. The prosecutors, I don't think they mind it so much, because it is recapping the testimony. All they want to dissociate, so it's not as if they are, you know, pandering to the press directly.

But she's entitled to do this.

COOPER: Ted, you were in the courtroom today. One of the things that the jury heard in these recordings that Amber Frey made of Scott Peterson, Peterson claiming that he was overseas, he was actually sitting in Modesto, his wife still missing. He told Amber Frey, "I'll be in Paris tomorrow. I'm flying to Normandy right now, and hopefully the phone will be better." As he is sitting there listening to his own voice lying, does he squirm, does he make any visible reaction?

ROWLANDS: No, he follows along with the transcripts just like everybody else. At times he'll be diverted and he'll look at other material that's in front of him on the table. But he's made no reaction at all. His family, interestingly, just sits there, no reaction at all, very stone cold. Yesterday a sister said, This is all just a sideshow, and Scott having an affair has nothing to do with Laci. And that is what the defense is going to try to prove, that the two are completely separate.

COOPER: Where does, Kimberly, where does the defense go when they have the chance to cross Amber Frey?

NEWSOM: Well, I tell you what, they better tread carefully. And I think Mark Geragos, he's smart enough, he's a great lawyer. He's going to have to resist the temptation to go all out on her, because he's going to emphasize her testimony if he does that. He has to stick to the facts, take apart some of the statements, show that she was following scripts, that she was essentially acting by doing this, following the scripts of the police, to get incriminating information from him.

And she never did, is what he's going to say. We never heard Scott Peterson saying, I love you, or, I want to marry you. He's going to say, This is a woman who's being kept at bay by Scott Peterson, because his wife is missing, he doesn't need more problems (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

COOPER: But Peterson does say...


COOPER: ... several times, you know, I can see spending the rest of my life with you...

NEWSOM: He absolutely...

COOPER: ... and that is close to saying I love you.

NEWSOM: He absolutely does. And to most women, what we would hear is, This is fabulous, this is the guy of my dreams. And honestly, this is what Amber Frey believed. She believed him. So there's some real sadness. In one of these transcripts, she's crying at the time, when she says, I wish you were there for me. He says, I am, you know, and she's crying about (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

COOPER: Well, it's fascinating. Also, the...

NEWSOM: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) she's so upset...

COOPER: ... but it's fascinating that...


COOPER: ... she knew that he was lying all during this. I mean, she's sitting there, she's making these recordings with the knowledge that lies are going on. Fascinating.

Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom...

NEWSOM: Thank you.

COOPER: ... thanks very much. And Ted Rowlands as well, thanks very much.

Two powerful storms target Florida. That story tops our look at what's going on right now cross-country.

Southwestern Florida, here comes Hurricane Charlie. Florida emergency officials are evacuating visitors from parts of the keys as residents prepare for the impact. Forecasters say the storm, which grew to hurricane strength this afternoon, will likely strike Florida early Friday.

Gulf of Mexico now, big, bad Bonnie, the National Hurricane Center says tropical storm Bonnie may become a category one hurricane sometime tonight. It is targeting the Florida panhandle and could make landfall tomorrow morning.

Houston, Texas, now, sorry for his sin. A man who said Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" convinced him to admit to the killing of his girlfriend today pleaded guilty in court. Dan Leach (ph) faces up to life in prison.

Washington, D.C., now, meet the new tenants. Today for the first time, the National Zoo showed off its four 2-week-old Sumatran tiger cubs. They may look cute. That, of course, will not last long as they grow. The cubs will grow some 300 pounds in the next year.

That's a quick look at what's happening cross-country tonight.

360 next, on the campaign trail, it is the war in Iraq versus prescription drugs, President Bush versus John -- Senator Kerry. They both head west.

Plus, lifeline from the sky. The desperate wait for food in a nation where hundreds of thousands of people could die of starvation. Christiane Amanpour reports today from Sudan.

And Mike Wallace. Find out how tough it is to get takeout in New York. He wants meat loaf, he's got handcuffs. We'll tell you why.

All that ahead. But first, let's take a look at your picks, the most popular stories on right now.


COOPER: Well, yes, it is still August, but for the presidential candidates, it might as well be the late fall. Both men are stumping hard in what are now universally known as the battleground states, hoping to grab the edge in what still looks like a very close race indeed.

Today President Bush was in Arizona, picking up support from Senator John McCain. And Senator John Kerry was in Las Vegas, courting the senior vote.

Tonight, we have reports from both camps, beginning with John King and the Kerry campaign.


JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Senator Kerry called himself Dr. Kerry today, and said if elected president, he would move quickly to cure what he says are significant problems with the Medicare prescription drug benefit that President Bush pushed through the Congress last year.

Specifically, Senator Kerry says the president bowed to pressure from the drug companies and did not allow the government to negotiate bulk rate, meaning lower prices for prescription drugs bought for the Medicare program. He also says he would immediately reverse a Bush administration ban and allow Americans to reimport prescription drugs now sold in Canada at lower prices.

SEN. JOHN KERRY, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The distortions of the other side are just stunning. You know, they say I want to repeal it. No, I don't want to repeal it. I want to fix it. I want to plug the hole, and I want to give every American a prescription drug benefit that works.

KING: Elderly Americans are among the most reliable voters, and poll after poll shows deep skepticism, even outright opposition to the Bush Medicare prescription drug plan. Yet those same polls also show that Senator Kerry has failed to take advantage of that. The latest CNN polling, for example, shows that when voters over 65 are asked their preference in the presidential race, they are evenly divided.



SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I'm Suzanne Malveaux, traveling with the president in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

This is a critical state for the president. He lost the state back in 2000 by only 366 votes. Now today at a rally, he focused on his administration's efforts to train workers, create jobs, and cut taxes. He is counting on a greater turnout by Hispanics to put him over the top.

Traveling with Mr. Bush is what many aides believe is his strongest weapon, former Republican rival Senator John McCain of Arizona. The war hero is campaigning with Mr. Bush to show that he supports the president's war policy. The two are leading a rally together in McCain country, Phoenix, Arizona. That's where, back in 2000, McCain launched his bid for the Republican nomination before ceding it to Mr. Bush.

The hope is McCain will convince those moderate Republicans and swing voters who backed him back then to back Mr. Bush now.

Tomorrow President Bush continues his West Coast swing to Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Back to you, Anderson.


COOPER: We'll have more about Senator McCain on the campaign trail later on on 360.

Deadly battles throughout Iraq today. In Najaf, a seventh straight day of fighting. Militia fired on U.S. forces just 400 yards from the Imam Ali shrine as Marines trained Iraqi forces in preparation for what is being called a major assault.

Now, because of the religious importance of the shrine in the area, the Marines say the assault won't happen until there is an OK from Iraq's interim prime minister, Iyad Allawi. Al-Sadr's forces say they'll respond to an attack by blowing up Iraq's oil pipelines.

Now, 100 miles southeast of Baghdad, a fierce clash on the streets of Kut. Iraqi police fought off the Mehdi Army at the town's central police station, other government offices. Cameras captured the battle. Take a look.

Four people died. Twenty more were wounded in Kut today.

Saudi Arabia now opening more oil taps. That tops our look at what's happening around the world in the uplink.

The kingdom is making good on a pledge to produce an extra 1.3 million barrels of oil per day. That's on top of the more than 9 million barrels a day it already produces. The Saudis call it pure fiction to claim they promised the White House they'd release more oil and cut prices before the November election.

Nagua (ph), Dominican Republic, migrants lost at sea for two weeks, at least 31 people are found alive in a boat. It is believed more than 50 others died. The migrants were headed for Puerto Rico, but the boat's engines failed.

And Manila, Philippines, a plea from President Gloria Arroyo to Filipino men, Stop kissing me. Apparently she gets kissed by a lot of male admirers. Arroyo said on national TV, the only man she wants to be kissed by is her husband.

That's the uplink.

360 next, is Starbucks lactose intolerant? Find out why one breastfeeding mom took on the coffee giant.

Also tonight, Kobe Bryant's criminal trial. Prosecutors ask for a postponement. Is it the first step in giving up the case?

360 next.


COOPER: As protests go, the one that took place over the weekend in Maryland wasn't particularly large. But the issue seems to have struck a chord.

Lorig Charkoudian, a Maryland mom, organized what she called a nurse-in at a Starbucks near her home. Last month, a Starbucks manager asked Charkoudian to cover up or to go breastfeed in the bathroom. Charkoudian complained to Starbuck's headquarters.

They apologized, saying, quote, "While Starbuck's does not have a formal policy regarding mothers breastfeeding babies within our stores, we welcome nursing mothers to our stores. Starbuck's complies with all applicable state and local laws regarding breastfeeding."

Charkoudian says she wants to rally mothers across the country to ensure breastfeeding in public is permitted everywhere.

She joins me from Washington. Also joined by syndicated columnist Armstrong Williams, who has some strong opinions on the subject as well.

Appreciate both of you being on the program.

Lorig, let me start off with you. When you were in the Starbuck's, you were breastfeeding your baby, the manager basically said, Look, could you either cover up or go into the bathroom. Why was that an unreasonable request?

LORIG CHARKOUDIAN, ORGANIZED NURSE-IN: Well, just to be clear, he meant put a blanket over the baby's head. He didn't mean cover my breast. My breast was covered. And my -- no one thinks it is appropriate to eat in the bathroom. You wouldn't eat in the bathroom. So it's not right for a baby to eat in the bathroom.

But primarily the reason it was unreasonable is because what it reflects is the shame that people associate with breastfeeding. And the more that either the general public or companies think that they can tell women to hide their breastfeeding, the more they sort of reinforce that there is something wrong with what they're doing, or that it's shameful, rather than encouraging women to breastfeed, which is, in fact, the healthiest thing that they can do for their children.

COOPER: Well, Armstrong, why do you think it is perhaps unreasonable not to make accommodation to other people who are, who don't like the idea of breastfeeding in public?

ARMSTRONG WILLIAMS, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: You know, I've traveled the world, from Africa to Israel, and I've seen breastfeeding on numerous occasions. And they have things now where you can absolutely breastfeed your child and no one ever knows exactly what is going on. It is very natural that a mother want to calm her child down by feeding her immediately if the baby is crying.

But I just think that it is more of a statement from some people. I don't even think it is an issue of shame. I just think they're very -- you know, there are many people, including mothers, who are very uncomfortable with the idea of exposure. I think there are areas where you can go, not necessarily the bathroom, or other areas where you can go in a more -- in a area where it is not obvious as to what you're doing if you don't have anything that is available to you to disguise exactly what you're doing.

I just think it is an issue of being comfortable. And I had -- I talked to someone today about this, and they were saying to me, their daughter was out in the public exposing herself. But a lot of people, especially older people, are very uncomfortable with it. And whereas the parents were uncomfortable too, they just asked her to not do it, because of how uneasy (UNINTELLIGIBLE) people around them.

COOPER: Well, Lorig, to, I mean, to those who are uncomfortable, what do you say?

CHARKOUDIAN: Well, I think it is a larger picture than that. The issue of breastfeeding is that because it is as healthy as it is for babies, it has long-term health effects on babies, children, and then as they become adults, there is positive externalities that come with breastfeeding. All of society benefits because of health care cost savings down the line when women chose to breastfeed.

So for society to benefit from the breastfeeding, but then to turn around and have policies and attitudes that tell women, Hide what you're doing, figure out a way so I don't need to know what it is that you're doing, go to the bathroom, stay home, pump first and then bring a bottle with you, all these things that either make it difficult logistically for women to breastfeed and have a life, leave their home, or things that imply to women that there is something shameful or wrong or that should be hidden that they're doing, those kinds of policies and attitudes have the effect of having women breastfeed less time than is recommended.


CHARKOUDIAN: So at this point, 14 percent of women breastfeed while up until six months of age, which is the absolute minimum...


CHARKOUDIAN: ... and...

COOPER: ... I'm sorry, I -- we're just...

WILLIAMS: (UNINTELLIGIBLE), I don't, I don't, I don't...

CHARKOUDIAN: Sure, go ahead.

COOPER: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) running out of time. Very briefly, Armstrong.

WILLIAMS: ... think, I don't think anyone is discouraging breastfeeding here. I think that is definitely not the point. The point is how you do it, and the kind of dignity and self-respect that you have for you and your child as you do it. And I think you can do it in a way where you can accomplish both.

COOPER: OK, we're going to...

CHARKOUDIAN: Well, it's like saying to (UNINTELLIGIBLE)... COOPER: ... we're -- I'm sorry -- I'm really sorry...


COOPER: ... though, we, we are going to have to leave it there.


COOPER: I, we, I'm glad you both got your points in. Lorig Charkoudian and Armstrong Williams, thanks very much.


WILLIAMS: Thank you.

COOPER: Today's buzz is this. What do you think? Does it make you uncomfortable to see a mother breastfeeding in public? Log onto, cast your vote. Results at the end of the program.


COOPER (voice-over): A Kobe court stunner. Prosecutors file a motion to delay the trial. Is the case against Bryant DOA?

A plea for life. Searching for a healthy liver, one Texas man takes out ads on highway billboards. How far would you go to save your life?

And veteran news anchor Mike Wallace led away in handcuffs? What in the world could he possibly have done to deserve that? 360 continues.


COOPER: You're looking at a live picture of Panama City, Florida. Happening right now, staring at one, possibly two hurricanes in Florida. Hurricane Charley is one of the hurricanes barreling in from the southeast, poised to hit the Florida Keys. From the west there is also Tropical Storm Bonnie quickly gathering strength, setting its sights on the Florida Panhandle. Let's get the latest now from CNN meteorologist Jacqui Jeras. Jacqui, how does it look?

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Anderson, not looking great. It looks like we're going to have two landfalling systems. One for sure a hurricane. The other one probably it is going to be close. But hey, what is a couple miles per hour between friends, right, Anderson?

This one is Bonnie, it's in the Gulf of Mexico, it's moving up to the north and the east. It is accelerating in forward speed. It is still moving into warmer waters. So we're expecting more strengthening over the next 12 hours or so. It's going to become a category one it looks like overnight tonight. But will it be a category one when it makes landfall probably midmorning tomorrow near Panama City. Still a little questionable because it's going to run into a little bit of sheer so we'll probably see a little bit of weakening. Either way pretty strong punch, mostly a rain event and some flooding to go along with those strong winds.

This is Charley, it's moving around Jamaica now. Slamming it with tropical storm force winds and heavy rainfall. The eye of the storm staying offshore for Jamaica. Looks like the center of it is going to move right over Cuba through your Thursday and Thursday night and then head for the U.S. skirting towards the Keys early on Friday and likely making landfall Friday afternoon. Big problem, Anderson, is that this ground already very saturated. So we may have significant problems with flooding and trees coming down because the roots are very loose. We'll keep you up to date.

COOPER: We'll be watching closely. Thank you very much, Jacqui Jeras.

Questions tonight on whether the case against Kobe Bryant is headed for the dustbin. Prosecutors in Colorado filed a motion today seeking an indefinite delay in his trial on sexual assault charges. Is this a hint they're preparing to drop the case? That's the question tonight for us in "Justice Served."

From the set of Court TV here in New York, anchor Lisa Bloom joins us. In Philadelphia, attorney and CNN contributor Michael Smerconish. Appreciate both of you being with us.

Lisa, I guess strike one was the defendant in this case or the alleged victim in this case, filing a civil suit against Kobe Bryant. Is this strike two?

LISA BLOOM, ANCHOR, COURT TV: I think so. I think it is pretty clear the prosecution is now in disarray ever since Tropical Storm Civil Suit hit Eagle, Colorado, yesterday. The prosecutors on the one hand want this young woman to go forward, to testify at a criminal trial against Kobe Bryant. The civil attorneys say no, she should drop the criminal case and proceed civilly. I think there is a real tug of war going on behind the scenes. And the reasons given in this motion for continuance are probably just posturing. Really what they need is more time to try to convince this young woman to stay with the criminal case.

COOPER: Michael Smerconish, I know all along you've been saying this thing will not go trial at all. Is that what the prosecutors need, just more time?

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, ATTORNEY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: No. The prosecutors need a Hail Mary and it is just not in the cards in this case. I found the filing of the civil case this week to be mind numbing. There was no reason at all to file the civil suit now except to provide an exit strategy. So I think that finally to be politically correct the heavy set woman is about to sing in this case in both respects.

COOPER: Well, Lisa, the papers filed by the prosecution, though, don't make any reference to the civil suit.

BLOOM: No, they don't but they were filed yesterday afternoon. And the civil suit was filed yesterday morning. So the timing is certainly probably more than a coincidence. I think it makes clear what is going on.

One of the reasons the prosecutor gives is the judge has still not ruled on one of the most important pretrial issues in the case. Whether the accuser's mental health history and drug and alcohol history will come in. And the prosecutors say if that's so, we the prosecution need to hire experts. We don't have unlimited money like some people, like Kobe Bryant who spent $12 million reportedly on his defense thus far, my words, not theirs. But they need time to hire these experts, they need the money to hire these experts and they need the judge to rule before they can do that. That's a legitimate argument. They have until November 11 under Colorado's speedy trial rules. They probably will get this continuance. The judge is likely to give it to them and then we'll see where this case heads.

COOPER: Michael, how good -- this March -- this November 11 date on the speedy trial rules, Kobe Bryant is supposed to get a trial within six months of the charges being brought. That looks like it is going to be difficult to reach.

SMERCONISH: I think, Anderson, by September 11, you're going to have resolution in this case. If we were flies on the walls right now, in Pamela Mackey's office, I think you would be hearing a conversation such as, Kobe, we're in pretty good shape for this criminal case and the civil case as well. And the hard call for you now is do you want to hang tough and probably not, certainly, but probably win them both or having spent, if Lisa is correct, $12 million, write another check for $1 million or $2 million and have resolution of all of these matters. You won't be a sex offender. It will only be a civil check you'll be writing and the criminal case will go away and Kobe Bryant will have to make that call.

BLOOM: One problem is the prosecutor has to agree to that. It is not solely up to the accuser. The prosecutor has to agree to drop the charges. He's been accused of a very serious sex crime and for the prosecutor to drop that down to a misdemeanor and a nonsex crime for which Kobe would not have to register as a sex offender, the prosecutor has to find that the accuser's allegations are false. He may not be able to do that.

COOPER: If the woman backs out altogether, they have no case.

BLOOM: Technically that's not true, Anderson. Technically, the prosecution can subpoena her, require her to come in and testify. She's going to have to testify consistently with her police statements otherwise her civil case is gone.

SMERCONISH: Mark Hurlbert would be the happiest man in the state of Colorado to bring this thing to a close without a loss at trial. Let me just remind the two of you of conversations that we had a long time ago in this case when if you were called, it was the sheriff who was on the scene when these allegations first arose and who was the one who started the ball rolling toward a prosecution. Hurlbert, as I recall, was out of town, wasn't sure that there should be a prosecution, wanted time to investigate it and in retrospect it is pretty clear that from jump street there were problems with this case. It probably shouldn't have been brought. BLOOM: Well, what started this case was the accuser coming forward immediately after the encounter in the hotel room and telling a consistent story that has never changed unlike Kobe Bryant's story. I think the real problem here is the court system, which has unfortunately violated her privacy a number of times, they've apologized for that and now the advice, the terrible advice, the one thing Michael Smerconish and I have ever agreed on in this program, is that this woman's attorneys are doing her a terrible disservice by filing a civil case on the eve of the criminal trial. That's where the fault lies.

SMERCONISH: Allow me to remind you one more time, you still don't know which one the victim is in this case.

COOPER: We're going to leave it right there.

BLOOM: I said accuser.

COOPER: Lisa Bloom, Michael Smerconish, thank you very much.

Today, both President Bush and John Kerry headed west. They repeated their stump speeches to large audiences. Campaign speeches, they're a lot like stand-up comedy routines. Politicians tweak them constantly to find out what works and then they stick with it.

Yesterday we remarked on how a lot of Democrats on the campaign trail seemed to have adopted language from Barack Obama's convention speech. Today it's the Republicans' turn. They thought they had a winning phrase but this week they seem to have, well, turned the corner on it. That's tonight's "Campaign Unplugged."


COOPER (voice-over): Last week President Bush was all about turning the corner and not going back.

BUSH: When it comes to creating jobs, for American workers, we are turning the corner and we're not going back.

We're turning the corner and we're not turning back.

We turned the turned the corner and we're not turning back to that way of thinking.

COOPER: Now it seems the Bush campaign turned the corner on its own slogan. The DNC which has been keeping track claim Bush uttered the catch phrase 34 times from July 30th to August 6th, the day a disappointing jobs report released and the day Senator Kerry mocked the metaphor.

KERRY: In last few days you heard people in positions of leadership on the other side saying America has turned the corner. Well, it must have been a U-turn or else they're continually turning around and going around in circles and ending right back where they started from. COOPER: Since then the Bush campaign mentioned the corner just once and the DNC instituted a corner watch to keep track and see if the phrase gets abandoned all together.

But never fear, Republicans already are moving forward with a new catch phrase.

BUSH: We're moving America forward and we're not turning back. We're moving America forward and we're not turning back.

SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECY.: The economy is moving forward and we're not turning back.

COOPER: Motion is still the message, it is just in a slightly different direction.


COOPER: That's "Campaign Unplugged" tonight.

All week we have been following closely the situation in Sudan, the plight of more than a million refugees driven out of their homes by heavy violence and by alleged ethnic cleansing. They fled to the desolate camps in the Darfur region where they met disease and starvation and death. Today a little bit of hope came from the sky.

CNN's chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour was there.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here we are in Habila, a village that had not had any food distribution since June. Now, it's only 50 miles south of the nearest town. That doesn't sound a lot but it is completely inaccessible by road right now. And so this plane is bringing in much needed food aid. It is a giant Russian Illusion, commandeered by the U.N., the World Food Program and any minute now it's going to open up. There we see it. And 12 tons of aid will hit the ground.

There is wheat from the United States. There is salt from the Sudanese authorities. And from Canada, cereals like split peas. This is desperately needed food for this village. So, now that all the sacks have been dropped, in all about 414 tons for these few days on this region, then these armies of people come to collect it and take it to the distribution points.

There are columns of men who come up here and they're going to haul it back on their backs. And then there are the ladies, these people have come with their little straw brushes, little baskets and literally they're picking up every single grain. It's that desperately needed.

Now air dropping is not the most efficient way of delivering food aid. It is much, much more expensive and you can't drop as much as you can deliver by road. But they're having to do this because, A, they're late on the aid effort. They've not stockpiled food in Sudan and people are really desperate. And the only way to get to remote places like this in the rainy season is by dropping aid.

For 360, I'm Christiane Amanpour in Habila, Western Darfur.


COOPER: Some hope from the sky.

A Texas man in a fight for his life, and he's pleading for help in billboards. He needs a liver to stay alive. He share his story with us next on 360.

Plus, TV's Mike Wallace, famous for asking tough questions, we'll tell you why he was on the receiving end. 360 next.


COOPER: Terrible number, that. If you're driving down a Texas highway, you may see a simple sign. I need a liver, it reads, please help save my life.

The man behind the side -- behind the sign, Todd Krampitz is trying to do whatever he can to save his life, so is his wife Julie.

They're efforts have gained national notoriety, and national attention to those who's lives depend, literally on the kindness of strangers.

Here's CNN's Adaora Udoji.


ADAORA UDOJI, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice-over): Todd Krampitz, turned 32 this year, married his high school sweetheart and was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer.

TODD KRAMPITZ, NEEDS LIVER TRANSPLANT: I want to live. That's basically what it is. And I need someone to donate a liver.

UDOJI: He registered with the National Organ Transplant Network, then went further.

JULIE KRAMPITZ, TODD'S WIFE: The day we found out he needed a transplant, his sister said, I want to put up a billboard.

UDOJI: Two billboards like this, an Internet site asking for a liver donor. Krampitz is among 17,000 people nationwide needing a liver transplant, says the United Network for Organ Sharing.

In a complex system, it distributes available organs through 58 offices.

ELAINE BERG, CEO, NEW YORK ORGAN DONOR NETWORK: The numbers of people on the waiting list are increasing. UDOJI: The network reports, that more than 86,000 people are waiting for organs, most 60,000 need a kidney. For that, many wait five years. But those with ailing hearts or livers or lungs rarely have that much time, which leads, say transplant officials to 17 deaths every day. Specialists say they need more donors, though they recognize it's a complicated decision for some.

BERG: People think that their religions are opposed to donation and we have done a lot of work with all the major religions in the United States and they're all very supportive of donation.

UDOJI: But Dr. Robert Gibbons who has advised a federal government on organ transplants questions the current regionally based distribution system.

DR. ROBERT GIBBONS, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS: In the smaller allocation areas, those organs are being transplanted in patients who don't need them nearly as badly as many other patients.

UDOJI: Changes are in the works, but right now, the Krampitz yearn for success. For a liver transplant, a chance for a future.

Adaora Udoji, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Well, joining me from Houston, Texas, Todd Krampitz and his wife Julia. Appreciate both of you being with us. I'm sorry it's under these circumstances.

Todd, what -- when the idea of the billboard came up, what did you first thing?

I mean, did you have any reservations?

T. KRAMPITZ: Well, at first, we did. We really weren't sure what we wanted to do. All we wanted to do was get my name out there saying that I need a liver. And my sister came up with the idea with the billboard, and we just went with it.

J. KRAMPITZ: We know that that's Todd's only chance for him to survive is for him to get the transplant. And we need a direct donation and for that to happen, which means anyone out there that knows of an unfortunate tragic situation where someone is on life support. And they are in a situation where they can donate the organs, we need the liver to go directly to Todd, which means they would talk to their local organ procurement organization and make them aware that they are requesting and want -- their wishes are the liver to go directly to Todd. At the same time we are bringing awareness, that how important it is that individuals talk with their families now before a tragedy strikes. And let your family know and your loved ones and the next of kin, that you want to be a donor -- organ donor.

COOPER: Because that's thing Julie, unless you let your loved ones know, a lot of times your wishes won't be (UNINTELLIGIBLE) donor card. J. KRAMPITZ: But ultimately in the end, it is the next of kin that will be making the decision. Not do you have a sticker on your license, not did you have a registration card. It's the family and the next of kin that would be making that decision.

COOPER: What kind of response have you gotten to the billboards -- I know you have this website,

T. KRAMPITZ: It has been unbelievable. The last few days the website alone has had almost 10,000 hits. And phone calls have just been nonstop. The last two days we probably had it close to 100 phone calls a day.

J. KRAMPITZ: It's amazing how generous and how caring everyone is.

T. KRAMPITZ: We have a whole team of people just answering phones, returning phone calls. If you do give us a call, it may be a little while for us to get back to you, but we will get back to you.

COOPER: Well, we wish you a lot of luck. I know there are a lot of people are pulling for you as well as for the thousands of other people who are on a waiting list and there are many out there, far too many out there.

I appreciate you being with us. Todd Krampitz and Julie Krampitz. Thank you very much.

If you're interested in learning more about organ and tissue donation and how to become a donor yourself, then go to

360 next. Meatloaf, double parking and Mike Wallace in handcuffs. How the hunt for a little dinner went terribly wrong.

Also a little later, a bad genetics experiment or lovable little creatures? We'll take the Olympic mascots to the Nth Degree. What are those? We'll find out.


COOPER: Whatever you do, don't mess with a man I admire a lot: Mike Wallace. World leaders, international terrorists and even A-list celebrities know that by now but apparently some New York parking inspectors did not. They have gone where others have feared to tread, between the legendary CBS news man and his meatloaf. CNN's Jeanne Moos reports.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mike Wallace goes to pick up take-out meatloaf. While waiting outside, his driver is nabbed for double parking. But Mike is the one who ends up in handcuffs.

MIKE WALLACE, "60 MINUTES": I'm Mike Wallace. MOOS (on camera): And I'm Jeanne Moos, the "Mike Wallace busted over meatloaf" story and more in the next 60 seconds or so.

(voice-over): It looked like a "60 Minutes" pursuit only this time it was Mike Wallace the cameras were chasing. Watch out for the branch, Mike. Blame it on the meatloaf.

WALLACE: I call ahead of time saying, "make me some meatloaf."

MOOS: Called ahead to a Manhattan restaurant called Luke's but while his car and driver were double parked outside, two taxi and limousine commission officers began questioning the driver. Then Mike Wallace started asking them questions.

WALLACE: I don't get it. What is this all -- "get back in the car!"

MOOS: The inspectors say Wallace was disrespectful. They reportedly spun him around and slapped handcuffs on him.

ERNESTO CAVALLI, WITNESS: He's 86 years old. The poor guy -- the inspector can say what he wants. It is a lie.

MOOS: But one of the officers said Wallace lunged or was about to, to which Wallace retorts...

WALLACE: I find it difficult to lunge into bed.

MOOS: At least Wallace didn't pull a Zsa Zsa Gabor, slapping a cop.

ZSA ZSA GABOR, ACTRESS: You come to (ph) a lady like me, ...get out of the car and put my diamonds into my wrist. It hurts, girls.

MOOS: But Wallace's wrists are fine. He spent less than 60 minutes at a police station and left with a summons for disorderly conduct. The last time he was arrested was while covering the 1968 Democratic convention. By the way, Mike did finally get his meatloaf.

WALLACE: The driver had dropped the meatloaf here.

MOOS: Let's hope the meat was worth loafing for.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take it easy. He lunged into the car.


COOPER: He lunged indeed. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Time now for the buzz. Earlier, we asked you, does it make you uncomfortable to see a mother breastfeeding in public? Based on one of our stories from earlier. 28 percent of you said yes, 72 percent no. Not a scientific poll but it is your buzz and we appreciate you voting. Tonight taking mascots to the Nth Degree. So ready or not, watching or not, the Olympics are here. Time for us all to fall in love with and buy lots of products emblazoned with the new adorably cuddly Olympic mascots.

Are you ready to meet them? Here they are, Phevos and Athena. According to Olympic organizers, this distorted duo are, despite those tabloid rumors, brother and sister quote, "full of vitality and creativity, perhaps mischievous and hence lovable."

Bob Costas on the other hand called them a genetic experiment gone horribly, ghastly wrong. Sure it is easy to mock the mascots but when you peek at the mall of mascots that have before them, they aren't so bad. Remember the "what is it?" What was that all about?

There have been plenty of mascots who have made us scratch our heads over the years through summers and winters. We're still trying to figure out what this one was all about. In response to criticism, Greek Olympic organizers say, come on. Actually, they're Greek so they say, Eh la (ph), give these mischievous and hence lovable mascots a chance. We say, Phevos and Athena, chin up, you may not have chins, but we love you anyway.

I'm Anderson Cooper. Thanks for watching 360. Coming up next, "PAULA ZAHN NOW."


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