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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Violent Weather Around Globe Causes Landslides, Flooding, Death; AWOL Marine Shoots 2 Police Officers, Later Killed; Department of Health Revises Food Pyramid
Aired January 12, 2005 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST: Good evening from New York. I'm Anderson Cooper.
More bodies pulled from the mudslide in a Californian town.
360 starts now.
Listening for signs of life in a mountain of mud. Tonight, rescue workers not giving up. The clock is ticking. Can they find more victims alive?
He rushed to save two pilots trapped in the wreckage of a plane. Tonight, meet the passer-by who ran to the crash, caught on tape.
A Marine who didn't want to go back to Iraq. AWOL, he shoots two policemen. But it was really suicide by cop? Tonight, his mother speaks out. Why would this young Marine rather die at home than go back to war?
Courtroom faceoff in the Michael Jackson case. Should the jury be able to hear allegations of prior misconduct by the king of pop?
And with all that money and all those stylists, why do some top stars get caught in getups like this? It's that time of the year again. The cranky critic names the year's worst fashion faux pas.
ANNOUNCER: Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.
COOPER: And a good evening again.
The sun is shining in Los Angeles, which may seem a very small thing, an ordinary thing, but given the torrential rain of the last few days, today it is a very special thing indeed.
That's a live picture of downtown Los Angeles, and what a beautiful day it is. The sun, of course, comes as relief, but it also allows a clearer picture of the terrible damage those rains have done.
At least 28 people are dead in the West, a result of the weather since just last Friday.
In La Conchita right now, the digging goes on. Rescuers with dogs and listening devices still are hoping they may yet find someone alive under all that mud, all that wreckage, that literally overtook more than a dozen houses and killed 10 people in the process, including this poor man's entire family. The bodies of his wife and three of his four daughters were recovered today from the mountain of mud that had swallowed their home.
This is not Asia, not some faraway land, this is California. A small (audio interrupt) man, his family, they are our neighbors. His name is Jimmy Wallet, and in a moment, Miguel Marquez will tell you more about what has happened to him on this terrible day.
But first, the danger is not over. Officials have been warning residents there that the hills above them still are wet and soft, and may be unstable, and that other mudslides are therefore to be expected. "We want people out of the area," that's what the Ventura County deputy fire chief has said. Rescuers want that too, if they can find any.
Miguel Marquez reports now on the awful work having to be done in the mud of La Conchita.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A child's painting, scraps of paper, a photo album, an old cap, remnants of lives and homes now buried under a hillside.
VICKI FALK, LOS ANGELES CONCHITA RESIDENT: I have a horrible (UNINTELLIGIBLE), my stomach's sick. It's just tragic. All the people that we know that lost their lives, our friends that are gone from here.
GREGORY: Jack and Vicki Falk have lived in La Conchita for 24 years. They raised their two kids here. Now they'll be burying their friends here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Charlie was a very special (UNINTELLIGIBLE), wonderful, caring, loving, spiritual friend to the world.
MARQUEZ: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger arrived by helicopter to survey the damage. What he saw from the air, in a word...
GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA: Devastating.
MARQUEZ: Another shift of workers moved in for a third day of digging, and residents listened as names of the missing were read. The names of the confirmed dead were also read.
CHIEF DEPUTY GEOFF DEAN, VENTURA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: This isn't a fun job for me. Hannah Wallet, Michelle Wallet, Palermo Wallet, and Raven Wallet.
MARQUEZ: Six more names are read as almost the entire town of La Conchita breaks into tears.
Jimmy Wallet helped rescuers and tried to dig his entire family out. He lost his father, his wife, and his three little girls.
TOM LANSKI, VENTURA COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT: You're going through and you're finding beds and stuffed animals and toys, that sort of thing. That can kind of get you a little bit.
MARQUEZ: For all the heartache, it is still a search-and-rescue operation, workers hoping that someone survived the mud in a town that won't be budged.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've been here for 30 years, and I see no reason to leave.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... '68.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Went through the last one, and I'll be -- I'm going to stick it out here.
MARQUEZ: And that's what the day's been like, a lot of sadness, followed up by some resolve.
Want to give you a different view now. We've talked a lot in the last couple of days about La Conchita being along the seashore. This is the seashore. You can see all of this debris that goes on for miles down this seashore. Used to be up there on land. All of this will have to be cleaned up, obviously. The mudslide will as well.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency for Ventura County, where we are right now today. Twelve people are still officially unaccounted for, and rescuers say that they believe that one could survive around that mud for four to five days. Today, Anderson, we're on day three. Back to you.
COOPER: Miguel Marquez, thanks very much.
You see those pictures of the mudslide in California, and you hear how it had happened before some 10 years ago. And you got to wonder, could anything have been done to prevent it?
What do we know about landslides, about how they work, and warning signs to look for? We thought you might want to hear some of the answers to those questions.
So I am joined now Randy Jibson of the United States Geological Surveys Landslide Information Center. He is in Denver tonight.
Randy, thanks very much for being with us.
I want to play that video of the storm coming down, the mudslide coming down. And when you look at it in slow motion, what jumps out at you? What triggered this mudslide?
RANDY JIBSON, UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEYS LANDSLIDE INFORMATION CENTER: Well, the mudslide happened because of the long- term rainfall over the last few weeks that was so very, very intense. And it simply saturated the hillside to the point that the water pressure inside that hillside broke down the strength of that material, and it simply collapsed.
And the motion of that material is so dramatic because it was solid ground just a few seconds before, and then it became just this turbulent roiling liquid that flowed down slow.
COOPER: Well, that's the thing. I mean, it looks like it is liquid. But it's really, I mean, it's dirt and it's debris.
JIBSON: It's dirt and rock, but there's a lot of water in it. But when this material detaches from a very steep slope, it literally becomes a liquid as it flows. And the faster goes, the more like a liquid it behaves.
COOPER: And it just swallows up everything in its wake, I mean, trees, rock, soil. How fast is this thing moving?
JIBSON: Well, in the upper part of the slide, it was probably going, I don't know, several tens of miles per hour, 30, 40, 50 miles per hour. By the time it reached the houses on flatter ground, it probably slowed to perhaps 10 or 20 miles per hour. But that's fast enough that it would be very hard to outrun it.
COOPER: And if you're caught in it, I mean, this is probably a stupid, idiotic question, but, I mean, is there any way to swim above it, I mean, to kind of stay above it?
JIBSON: You're not going to swim in this material because it's kind of like wet concrete. If it overtakes you, it will in all likelihood bury you. It's very, very thick, heavy material.
COOPER: Let's talk about warning signs a little bit. We're going to show a picture of someone's back yard in a, in the, in, around the Mulholland Drive in California. The, you, we see cracks in this person's lawn. Does that indicate a real problem to you?
JIBSON: Well, if you were to see cracks like in a hillside near your house, above your house, that would be a suggestion that the slope is beginning to move. Now, it might be that the slope doesn't move any more, and that's all that happens. But it might also be an indication that there's going to be more movement, and it would be a good time to get out.
COOPER: And even though the rain has abated, I mean, there's still a lot of risk. This, there could be more landslides, correct?
JIBSON: That's absolutely correct. During the rainfall, mud flows, debris flows, those very rapidly occurring landslides tend to happen. But after the rain stops, all of that water that has been falling for weeks is soaking deep into the ground, and that can destabilize large hillsides. And we can get very deep, very large landslides for several weeks or for even several months.
COOPER: Randall Jibson, I appreciate you being with us. Thanks very much. JIBSON: My pleasure.
COOPER: South of the border, yet another deadly landslide. Details now in a quick news note. At least three people died on Tuesday after two houses collapsed in the northern Mexican city of Tijuana during intense regional storms. Twenty-five hundred residents in the area have been evacuated.
Now, this part of Mexico usually gets less than 10 inches of rain a year. It has had about that much in the past three weeks.
Now, the mudslide, the tsunami, the flooding in the West, it's really easy to see it all on TV and think, you know, something spooky is going on with the weather. TV often makes things seem worse than they really are.
On this show, we're trying to cut through the hype, give you the facts. So for a moment, let's put all this extreme weather in perspective.
Here's CNN Brian Todd.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Images that have terrified us. Southern California simply can't absorb some of its most devastating rainfall since records have been kept. Deadly mudslides swallowing subdivisions. Floods catch motorists, even rescue workers, by surprise.
California's storms move inland, flooding in (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and wash away houses in southern Utah. Some experts believe in the Western U.S., at least, this all may be part of nature's cycles.
SANDI DUNCAN, FARMERS ALMANAC: Mother Nature kind of has a way of balancing out, so the checkbook, so to say. You know, in the past, for how many years, it's been so dry out there so long, and it kind of seems like nature does its thing and unfortunately too much, too fast, but kind of bounces back out.
TODD (on camera): But take a look elsewhere. Here on the East Coast, some people are acting like it's springtime, and it almost is. Temperatures in New York and here in D.C. expected to reach well into the 60s on Wednesday and Thursday. This is mid-January. So it's prompted us to ask meteorologists and climate experts, What's going on with the world's weather?
(voice-over): Why would brushfires make this area of southern Australia look like another planet? Why are people in northern Europe, from Ireland through the Baltics, picking up from their most violent storms in years, hurricane-forced winds and rain that have killed at least eight people?
The experts we spoke to all say, take a deep breath. The world's not falling apart. BOB LEVIZEY, CLIMATE SERVICES, NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE: All this is business as usual. These are serious weather events, but they're not unprecedented. They've happened before, they'll happen again.
TODD: The experts we spoke to say there is no connection between the South Asian tsunamis and the deluge in California. They say don't blame global warning in these events. The only connections in all of this, they tell us, jet streams, systems of strong winds in the upper atmosphere. They push extreme weather in certain directions.
LIVEZEY: What's causing it is a shift in the jet stream that extends all the way from the north Pacific to the eastern part of the United States.
TODD: A similar but separate branch of the jet stream pushed extreme weather into northern Europe.
The bottom-line advice from weather experts? Don't panic. Most of this is coincidental. Oh, and, folks on the East Coast, don't mothball those coats. It's going to get cold again this weekend.
Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: In other news, a milestone in Iraq. Today we've learned that the search for weapons of mass destruction is over, done, finished. After years of clashes inside the U.N., political wrangling, a bloody war that toppled Saddam Hussein, debates about faulty intelligence, and allegations of lies, the search is over.
It met its end rather quietly, and significantly, without any significant findings. By now, the results, of course, no big surprise. The question is, are they a big deal?
Senior political analyst Bill Schneider takes a look.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): It's official. The United States has given up the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
So what? The existence of those weapons was central to President Bush's case for war.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- that the Iraqi regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal. Weapons ever devised.
(END VIDEO CLIP) SCHNEIDER: But once Saddam Hussein was ousted, finding weapons of mass destruction didn't seem to matter to the public anymore. Nearly 80 percent of Americans said the war was still justified. Americans don't like to quarrel with success.
At that time, the war looked like a brilliant success. Remember "Mission Accomplished"? In January 2004, the former chief weapons inspector told Congress...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID KEY, FORMER CHIEF WEAPONS INSPECTOR: The intelligence service believed that there were WMD. It turns out we were all wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHNEIDER: The public was still not impressed. Less than two months after Saddam's capture, most Americans continued to say, It doesn't matter.
Last October, the man who headed the weapons search made this statement.
CHARLES DUELFER, SPECIAL ADVISER ON IRAQI WMD: It is clear that Saddam chose not to have weapons at a point in time before the war.
SCHNEIDER: Five days later, President Bush modified his language.
BUSH: Saddam Hussein retained the intent and the capability to rebuild his weapons programs.
SCHNEIDER: The news that the search has been abandoned is being treated like a footnote.
SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Nothing's changed in terms of his views when it comes to Iraq.
SCHNEIDER: Nevertheless, Bush's Iraq problem is becoming more serious. The number of Americans who say the war was a mistake is growing, from 27 percent a few months after fall of Baghdad, to 42 percent a year ago, to 44 percent just before the election last fall.
Now, half of all Americans say the war was a mistake.
What's changed? The American death toll in Iraq keeps rising, with no end in sight.
(on camera): Americans don't like to quarrel with success. What's changed is that U.S. policy in Iraq no longer looks like a success.
Bill Schneider, CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: We were watching the president's spokesman, Scott McClellan, today during his news conference. We couldn't help but notice, he sure knows how to stay on message. No matter what the question, McClellan, like any good spokesman, gets back to his talking points.
What were the talking points today? Well, as our service to you, we've cut out all of those extra words and nosey questions and bring you just the spin.
Talking point number one, Saddam Hussein had the intent and capability to produce WMD.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCLELLAN: Saddam Hussein's regime retained the intent and capability to produce weapons of mass destruction...
... that the regime retained the intent and capability...
The regime and the regime's intentions and the regime's capabilities...
... that the regime retained the intent and capability...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Talking point number two, the president must confront the threats that we face.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCLELLAN: ...confront the threats that we face...
... confront the threats that we face...
... confront the threats that we face...
... confronting the threats that we face. It's important that we act together to confront the threats that we face.
... how we confront the threats that we face.
... to address the threats that the world faces, that we need to confront threats...
... to confront the threats that we face.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Got it, confront the threats.
And talking point number three, the president will look and act on the recommendations made to fix the problem of incorrect intelligence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
MCCLELLAN: ...acting on those recommendations.
He looks at their recommendations...
...looking at the recommendations...
...who acting on those recommendations...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: There you go. Scott McClellan's briefing. It took 29 minutes. We just saved you 28 of them.
A $330 million mission to smash a comet has a glitch. That story tops our look at news right now cross-country.
We take you to Cape Canaveral, Florida. Shortly after takeoff today, a NASA spacecraft headed toward a comet shut down all but its essential systems. The mission's manager says its propulsion system overheated, but he doesn't consider the glitch as a long-term threat. If all goes according to planned, the craft, dubbed "Deep Impact," will hit a comet on July 4, creating some space fireworks and a crater up to 14 stories deep and 300 feet wide, allowing the first look inside a comet.
Oklahoma City now, Oklahoma. Crackdown on lasers targeting cockpits. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta says the FAA will now require pilots to report any laser sightings immediately, enabling other pilots and law enforcement to determine the source. Mineta says since the end of last month, there have been 31 incidents of laser beams shined into cockpits. He doesn't believe they're related to terrorism.
Washington, D.C., now, sentencing guidelines unconstitutional. In a five to four vote, the Supreme Court said the guidelines gave federal judges improper authority to add time to the sentences of defendants. The justices ordered changes to the guidelines, which were established nearly two decades ago to bring uniformity to U.S. courts.
That's a quick look right now at stories happening cross-country.
360 next, a pleasure flight turns into a nightmare. It was all caught on tape. Two friends crash-land this plane onto a golf course. You're going to meet one of the men who pulled out one of the pilots alive.
Also tonight, put down that hamburger, get off the couch. Well, maybe later on tonight. The FDA has some new ideas about getting fit. The problem is, you might not like what they have to say. It's all about exercise. Yikes.
Plus, a Marine in a deadly shootout with police. Question is, now, did the stress of war push him over the edge? We're covering all the angles tonight. First, let's take a look, the most popular stories right now on CNN.com.
COOPER: That was a horrible end to what was supposed to be a pleasure flight for two friends. In Orlando, Florida, yesterday, Dan Lawler (ph) and Steve Scheiber (ph) had rented a small Cessna airplane for the day. Now, the two of them had worked together at a local flying service. They were experienced. By the end of that day, one man was dead, the other hurt.
But what has caught so many people's attention is how a number of people who witnessed the crash rushed to the scene to help.
COOPER (voice-over): (audio interrupt) 4:00, 5:00 p.m., the tower at Orlando Executive Airport got a call from the plane, saying the engine was losing oil pressure. A local TV helicopter pilot was there when the call came in.
DAN MCCARTHY, HELICOPTER PILOT: I was at Orlando Executive Airport. We had just finished refueling the aircraft coming from another scene, when I heard the pilot's initial call to the tower, saying that he had low oil pressure, and he was eight miles northwest of Executive Airport, and he wanted direct clearance back to Executive.
COOPER: Local firefighters rushed to the scene, preparing for a crash. Aboard the plane, the trouble was mounting.
MCCARTHY: Yes, the pilot announced that he no longer had an engine. His engine had just quit, and he was turning around to land, or attempt to land, at a golf course that he had passed over.
COOPER: In the plane, Steve Scheiber, sitting in the left seat, and his friend, Dan Lawler, who was sitting on the right side, both licensed pilots. They were desperately trying to thread a needle between buildings, cars, and power lines without an engine. They came close, but couldn't quite make it.
MCCARTHY: Well, I talked to the tower moments beforehand and said, This isn't going to be good. You need get the crews rolling right now, because I knew he wasn't going to make the golf course.
TROY MARCELO, WITNESS: And I saw a flash of light. I thought it was somebody got struck by lightning, or a car wreck, because it just was -- oh, I'm sorry -- it was just, Bam!
COOPER: Then the heroism of those on the ground kicked in. Amid sparks from downed power lines and leaking fuel from the plane, people jumped on the wreckage, trying to free the injured men.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got to give credit to the people on the ground. I mean, there were a lot of people that were on top of that plane. You've seen the video. There were people, golfers, people working in the restaurant, driving by, that were on top of that plane within seconds. And one person in particular, I still don't know his name, climbed into the aircraft and pulled one of the pilots out.
COOPER: Using a pocket knife, the two men were cut free from the debris and dragged to safety before the plane could catch fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Making sure the other gentleman that was in the cockpit, trying to get him out, wasn't hitting any of the power lines, because there were power lines around him.
MARCELO: It was smoldering, and we saw the gas dripping out, and that was -- you know, we were -- you know, it's just what you do when you have to do what you have to do.
COOPER: Dan Lawler died later in surgery. Pilot Steve Scheiber is still in fair condition in the hospital, but he's credited as well with preventing a larger tragedy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did an excellent job. This could have been a catastrophe, it could into a house, it could have been into a building.
COOPER: In a moment, you're going to meet one of the heroes from that crash.
360 next, couch potatoes, beware, the food pyramid's getting a makeover. FDA has a new plan to try to keep you fit. Find out what it takes now to stay in shape. Maybe not such good news.
Also tonight, a Marine in a deadly shootout with police. Question is, did the stress of war drive him to suicide by cop? Covering all the angles on that story.
And a little later, the past comes back to haunt Michael Jackson, maybe. Should old accusations and just accusations of child molestation be allowed as evidence against him now?
COOPER: Brandon "Bosco" Cashen was driving by a golf course when he saw a Cessna crash, and he quickly came to the rescue. He's the one who used a pocket knife to get two men out of a crashed plane. The plane crashed yesterday in Orlando. He may have saved the pilot's life.
Bosco Cashen joins me now from Orlando, Florida.
Thank you so much for being with us.
You know, you were on your way to meet a friend, I understand. You actually saw the plane teetering in the sky, hadn't even crashed yet. And yet you immediately started going to where you thought it was going to go down. What went through your mind?
BRANDON "BOSCO" CASHEN, PLANE CRASH RESCUER: Just I knew somebody was going to be hurt, whether if they hit a car or they, you know, hit another object, like the restaurant that it was 60 yards away from. I was just trying to go and see if I could do any help or be of any help to anybody.
COOPER: When you got to the plane, I know that you jumped up, you got the door open. What was it like inside?
CASHEN: It was a wreck. You know, I've never really been inside of a plane with a cockpit that small before, but, I mean, I knew places were where they didn't belong. I mean, everybody was just kind of -- the two gentlemen were in separate locations from, I guess, where they were originally sitting, and the cockpit was, like, half- gone, I mean, half of it was on the ground, half of it was still up in the air suspended, hanging onto the telephone pole.
COOPER: We were just looking at a photo, a still photo of people helping. I don't know if you've seen that photo. I know that you can't see it from where you are. But you're the one actually sticking your head in the door. You actually -- you're up in the upper right- hand part. You were wearing, like. a blue shirt, I think, is that correct?
CASHEN: No, I'm actually in the cockpit. I had a white shirt with blue pinstripes and khaki shorts.
COOPER: OK, that, I'm sorry, that is it. I, from my angle, it looks like a different-colored shirt. But the one we're focusing on is you. You're -- so you're actually in the cockpit. Both people were unconscious, right?
CASHEN: Correct. Both of them were unconscious. Steve, which is the first gentleman, he was the closest one. He was actually the -- they were both very difficult to get out, given the situation that they were in. But Steve was the first one I could get to. And the second gentleman, I had a chair that was in front of me that Steve was sitting in that I actually had to remove or kick as hard as I could to get it out of the way to get to the second gentleman.
COOPER: My understanding, though, is, I mean, you're smelling gas fumes all along. Did you ever stop to think about your own safety? I mean, did you ever worry, This thing could blow?
CASHEN: I guess not at that particular point. I guess adrenaline was running, and I was just worried about the two gentlemen that were in there, because, you know, I just -- they were alive, and they needed to get out.
COOPER: I know, I understand you went to the hospital to see how Steve Scheiber was doing. His father also called you today, I think. What did he say?
CASHEN: He was just, you know, very happy. He wanted to say thank you, and that he wanted to let me know that Steve was OK. That was my main reason to go see them at the hospital, to see if they were OK. He called me with the good news, saying that he's going to be all right, and that he's just got some bumps and bruises, and that it could have been a lot worse, but he did fine.
COOPER: You know, it's amazing, because we so often get these stories about people who ignore, you know, crimes they see, or ignore tragedies they see, thinking of their own safety. It is, it's great just to talk to you. You know, you rushed to a scene. Before you even knew what was -- you know, how bad it could get, you were rushing toward it.
And that is something that should be honored. And so we just wanted to say thank you tonight. Thank you very much. It's an amazing story.
CASHEN: Thank you.
COOPER: One country in the tsunami zone tells the U.S. and other foreign troops, Thanks, now, please go home soon. Yes. That tops our look at global stories right now in the uplink.
Off the coast of Indonesia, the aircraft carrier U.S.S. "Abraham Lincoln" is headed further out to sea, because the Navy doesn't have permission to let its fighter pilots use its airspace for training missions. At the same time, the Indonesian government says it wants all foreign troops out of the country by the end of March so its own forces can take over.
Air (UNINTELLIGIBLE), Australia now, a wall of fire, the deadliest bush fires in 22 years. At least nine people are dead, dozens more injured, entire communities and farms are ruined. Lifetimes of hard work, just simply up in smoke. Visibility, we can't even see more than a few feet.
Sao Paolo, Brazil now, torrential rains and now deadly mudslides in shantytowns perched on the city's hillsides. And there are so many shanty towns in Sao Paolo. Dozens have been rescued from the high waters. But the mudslides have killed at least 8 people and most them were children.
Moving to England now, Prince Harry is apologizing tonight for wearing a swastika armband to a friend's costume party. A photo that ended up on the front page of the Sun Newspaper. A spokeswoman said, quote, "he realizes it was a poor choice of costume."
COOPER: And another item from England, where Strawberry Fields may not be forever after all. It seems the children's home that inspired the 1967 Beatles' song is about to shut its doors, because most kids now go to foster homes instead. A few trivia buffs remember what was on the B side? Oh, I'm (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
Anyway, that's tonight's "Uplink."
If you are one of the army of Americans who have promised yourself a weight loss makeover in the new year, and you a lot of you have, you may want to pay attention to this next story. There are changes to the food pyramid. Its first makeover in 5 years. What difference will it make, you may ask? Well, CNN senior medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta takes a look.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With two-thirds of Americans overweight and obese, government officials are trying yet again to take off the fat by announcing another set of dietary guidelines.
TOMMY THOMPSON, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECY: Scientifically based is tell you to lower your calorie intake as it results to trans fat, all fats, it's telling you to reduce your calorie intake as it relates to carbohydrates, it's also telling you to increase your fruits and vegetables and whole grains. And basically it's tell you that you have to do it yourself.
GUPTA: But doing it yourself is not going to be easy for most Americans. The guidelines say shoot for 9 fruit and vegetable servings a day. And make at least half of your grains whole-grains and more exercise. If you thought 30 minutes a day was enough. Not so. Try 60 to 90 minutes a day to lose and keep off weight.
If you're one of the millions of Americans on a low-carb, high- fat program then your diet is almost the exact opposite of what the government now recommends. But the big question is, will guidelines alone help us slim down?
THOMPSON: I think we're finally having an impact. I'm saying that we've got the message out there. And that message is now resonating with individuals and with food companies.
GUPTA: Really? Others may disagree.
MARGO WOOTAN, CNTR FOR SCIENCE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST: In the past, they've merely published the dietary guidelines and then crossed their fingers and hoped that Americans followed them.
GUPTA: As for Tommy Thompson, he says he's lost 15 pounds.
THOMPSON: I walked up the steps in the department instead of take the elevator. So, you can do this. You don't have to do a 30 or 60 minutes at one time.
GUPTA: Tommy Thompson and the rest of America looking closely at their waistlines.
COOPER: He's talking about 30, 60 minutes, 90 minutes is what this thing is saying of exercise a day. That's amazing. What about kids, Sanjay? Did the guidelines make any distinction for them?
GUPTA: Yeah. I mean, the guidelines pointed out, first of all, that there's a problem of children. Between the ages of 6 and 11, the number of overweight kids has doubled since the '70s. Teenagers have tripled in terms of the number of overweight since the '70s as well.
So 60 minutes at least a day of physical activity for children. Two to three cups of fat-free or low-fat milk a day, and as much grains as possible as well. So some interesting increases overall in terms of requirements for kids as well, Anderson.
COOPER: I can't get my head around the 90 minutes of exercise.
GUPTA: A lot time for busy guys like you and me.
COOPER: Or just lazy guys like me.
All right, Sanjay, thanks very much.
Eating more, not less is what is driving burger fans to one fast food chain. Hardy's continues to find success with its appropriately titled, Monster Thick Burger. MMM, monster.
I'm gaining weight just looking at it. Nearly 1500 calories. The 107 grams of fat meal consists of two slabs of meat, 4 strips of bacon, mayonnaise, cheese, a buttered bun and maybe a defibrillator on the side. No word if it can be super sized.
A Marine who didn't want to go back to Iraq. AWOL, he shoots two policemen, but was it really suicide by cop? Tonight, his mother speaks out. Why would this young Marine rather die at home than go back to war?
Courtroom face-off in the Michael Jackson case. Should the jury be able to hear allegations of prior misconduct by the king of pop?
And with all that money, and all those stylists, why do some top stars get caught in get-ups like this? It's that time of the year again, the cranky critic names the year's worst fashion faux pases.
COOPER: There is a picture of Andreas Raya in his Army uniform that his family keeps at home. That's how they want to remember him. Surveillance video, however, paints a much darker image of him that as I cold-blooded cop killer. And we may never know why he did what he did, but his family is certain the young man who left for Iraq was not the same man who returned, not the same man who shot 2 police as if they were animals.
CNN's Adaora Udoji reports.
ADAORA UDOJI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This Andreas Raya, pacing in front of a California liquor store brandishing an assault weapon, is a young man his parents say was nothing like the caring Marine corporal they knew.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He wanted to come home, get married, have a family, become a fireman.
UDOJI: Instead, police say the 19-year-old waited, then ambushed officers, wounding one, Sam Ryno and killing Howard Stephenson, a 39- year-old father of 3 before reinforcement shot him to death. His confused family says Raya wasn't supposed to be there.
JULIA RAYA, MOTHER: I mean, we actually drove him to the airport, we saw him got in the plane, and that's the last we've seen of him.
UDOJI: Raya was scheduled back to Camp Pendleton, joining his unit, Marine officials, say was headed to Japan.
(on camera): Though, over the holiday, all he could talk about, says his family is never going back to Iraq, after he'd served there seven months.
JULIA RAYA, MOTHER: I asked him what he wanted. He said I didn't want to go back it Iraq, and I said I wish I could take that away. But I can't.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was trying to make it like a dream so he wouldn't remember it.
UDOJI: They're all at a loss to explain the bloodshed, heartache they know is shared by the victim's family. Adaora Udoji, CNN, New York.
COOPER: After he returned from Iraq Raya told one cousin he couldn't sleep at night and was having mental problems. There are so many young Americans who returning from service from Iraq and some may be unwilling or unable to get the help they need.
Joining me from Washington is Stephen Robinson, executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center. He studied the military care provided by veterans. Good to have you on the program tonight.
One of the things that strikes me as so startling about the security camera recording of Andre Raya's (ph) actions. He clearly was waiting for police. He requested they come. It seems like he wanted to engage with them.
STEPHEN ROBINSON, EXEC. DIR., NATL. GULF WAR RESOURCE CTR.: Yes, absolutely. It didn't appear as if he was -- the crime was going to be to rob the store. It appeared as if he was waiting to conduct an ambush and to close with the people that he wanted to ambush. And engage in a firefight.
COOPER: You said one possible explanation, again, we don't know exactly what was going on in his mind at this point, you think one explanation may be he suffered from a mental wartime trauma, what is that? ROBINSON: Well, it's not clear whether he has PTSD or combat stress reaction but many people coming back from this war come back changed forever. Some people come back and recover to live normal productive lives, and other people require special help. We really don't know what his circumstances are, but we do know that the department of defense had a requirement to screen him when he came home.
COOPER: So many of our soldiers and marines are seeing the kind of action in Iraq that really the U.S. military hasn't seen in decades. The fighting in Fallujah, for instance, the uncertainty, whose friend, whose foe. Talk about the mindset of a soldier, a marine when they come back. The adjustment is extraordinarily difficult.
ROBINSON: Yes, absolutely. These people are operating in a combat environment that completely surrounds them. The enemy is above you, below you. Their adrenaline is constantly up, prepared for any danger around any corner and then when they return home, it's difficult for them to turn that off. I have worked with soldiers at Walter Reed, even there on the grounds at Walter Reed, and they're scanning their sectors. They're looking on top of buildings. They stay away from trash piles. So they're very hypervigilant.
COOPER: One of our producers here talked to an army spokesperson today and they said they are being much more proactive than the army has ever been before. They've sent teams into Iraq to try to assess the needs of the troops. They're trying to be more proactive, they say. Do you believe that? Are you seeing that on the ground?
ROBINSON: Well, let me just say this. When these soldiers come back from the war, they're given a piece of paper. It's called a DD Form 2796. And on that piece of paper, there's about four questions where they asked the soldier to self-report. If they feel like they're going to hurt somebody, or if they feel like they need additional care and counseling. And I think we owe the soldiers that we know that have had a combat experience, a face-to-face encounter with a clinician that's trained in mental health care, rather than asking the soldier themselves to determine if they need help or not.
COOPER: You also have to think of all these National Guard troops who are coming back and may not have access to the same things that full-time soldiers or marines are getting. Stephen Robinson, I appreciate you joining us. It's a tough subject. We are going to keep on looking at it this week. Thanks very much.
This just in, at least two people are dead. 25 others injured after 100 cars, 100 cars were involved in pileups on Interstate 96 in Williamston, Michigan. That is east of Lansing. We're just getting these pictures in. The first pictures we're seeing. It's difficult to get a sense of the scope of this. Partly due to -- there's a lot of thick fog and also the angles with the camera, we're not sure at this point what has caused the pileups but we're talking about 100 vehicles, about 100 vehicles involved in this incident. State police closed a 12-mile stretch of the interstate. No doubt we'll be getting more information on this. We'll bring it to you as we get it. Coming up next on 360, the Michael Jackson case. Could past accusations of sexual offenses haunt him in court and both lawyers, both teams, were in court today. We'll tell you what happened.
Plus, she's a desperate housewife and she tops that guy, Mr. Blackwell's worst dressed list. But who is this Mr. Blackwell, and who does he think he is? And why does anyone care what he says. That's just my thought. That's in the Current tonight. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL JACKSON, SINGER: There have been many disgusting statements made recently concerning allegations of improper conduct on my part. These statements about me are totally false. As I have maintained from the very beginning, I am hoping for a speedy end to this horrifying, horrifying experience to which I have been subjected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Of course that was back in 1993, and for Michael Jackson, it continue to be no speedy end to it all. The molestation trial against him begins later this month and it's seeking to convict the singer. Prosecutors are turning to allegations made against him more than a decade ago.
(voice-over): No dancing, no waving to the crowd, the gloved one nowhere in sight as Michael Jackson's lead attorney, Thomas Mesereau arrived at court to spar with the prosecution. At issue, a motion to have allegations of Jackson's prior sexual offenses admitted in the current molestation case against him. Jackson is facing 10 felony counts. Accused of molesting a then-13-year-old boy at his Neverland Ranch, back in 2003. He's pleaded not guilty to all charges. Today, the judge ruled he won't even consider the request until the jury's impaneled and the state presents its case.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The judge is concerned about jury bias. The judge is feeling that this explosive information could taint a jury before they even hear the evidence. Better to let the jury hear the evidence as to this child. This '03 accuser.
COOPER: The defense claims the D.A.'s office has identified at least seven alleged sex abuse victims from the pop star's past. No names attached but only one may testify. Jackson's never been brought to court on molestation charges and that now infamous 1993 child sex case was settled out of court.
JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: There isn't evidence of other sexual contact. From what we have read and seen so far, it appears that several of these seven children now coming forward don't even claim to have had sexual contact with him. COOPER: Also the court released documents showing that British journalist Martin Bashir who now works for ABC has been subpoenaed to testify for the prosecution in Jackson's trial. ABC said today it will fight the subpoena. Bashir's the producer of a British documentary "Living With Michael Jackson," filmed with the boy who has accused Jackson of molesting him.
In it, Jackson admitted, quote, "I have slept in a bed with many children. We go to sleep. It's very charming. It's very sweet. It's what the whole world should do." But denied there's anything sexual about it.
The judge set the next preliminary hearing for January 21. Jackson likely entourage and all must appear in court for jury selection scheduled to begin January 31.
COOPER: Well, TV producers have found a very creative way to get around the camera band when the case against Michael Jackson heads to court. Here's a quick news note. Actors will present dramatic interpretations of each day's testimony. That's what the E! channel has planned. They'll put the reenactment of the case into a half hour week night show.
Now to Aaron Brown for a look at what is coming up on tonight's special, "Extreme Weather."
AARON BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Anderson. No actors on the program tonight. But with snow and heavy and deadly rains out west, one of the worst hurricane seasons on record in the east in the fall. We started to ask ourselves what in the world is going on with the weather?
Tonight, we'll take a look at it in an hour long version on "NEWSNIGHT" that looks at extreme weather over the last year. Is there some signs behind it or is it all just coincidence?
That's "NEWSNIGHT" tonight.
COOPER: 10:00 Eastern. Thanks so very much, Aaron.
360 next, TV loves list and Mr. Blackwell's worst dressed stars list is out. The question is why should anyone care what this one snide man says. Frankly, we're not sure, but we'll try to figure it out.
COOPER: OK, so he can slight Ashley, Jessica and certainly Paris, but calling Meryl Streep lumpy, dowdy. Come on! This Mr. Blackwell guys has gone to far. Who is he anyway? Maybe he was a big designer in his day but come on, he's been doing this worst dressed thing for more than 40 years. Isn't it time to move on? What's worst, he spawns an entire industry of fashion critics who live to slice up the clothing of the rich and clueless. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
RIGHT SAID FRED, ENTERTAINER: I'm too sexy for your body, too sexy for your body.
COOPER (voice-over): This year, Mr. Blackwell has turned his acid tongue on a desperate house wife he believes is a desperate dresser. Nicolette Sheridan.
NICOLETTE SHERIDAN, "DESPERATE HOUSE WIFE": Welcome to Wisteria Lane (ph).
COOPER: She topped his list as the worst dressed stars. "In barely-there bomb, she's a taste-free pain. Lets crown her the tacky tempest of Wisteria Lane." How long do you think it took him to come up with that one?
He called Lindsay Lohan, number two on the list, over hype and underdressed.
Paris Hilton is still on Blackwell's list, though she slithered from number one to number five.
Simpson's Sister Ashley and Jessica tied at number three.
Also on the list, Serena Williams and Anna Nicole Smith. Fair game you say, maybe.
But Meryl Streep, acting icon. She made Blackwell's list of wearing dowdy glasses and lumpy tents.
Have you noticed that these days everyone it seems is trying to get in on the Blackwell bitchy act.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love Meryl Streep, obviously, she was so cute and so funny with her speech, but what is up with this sort of hippie mom, I made my own necklace, kind of look that she's got going?
COOPER: No doubt it's good for ratings and how hard can it be? All you need is a poison pen and a mean little mouth. So Blackwell has spoken, but we're sure it's not the last we've heard about fashion flux pas. After all, award season is starting and there is money to be made.
COOPER: Well, 360 next, North Korea sees a new danger. It has launched a new offensive. One that has ever barber in country smiling. We'll take that to "The Nth Degree."
COOPER: Tonight, taking a good grooming to "The Nth Degree."
All right, another remarkable scientific breakthrough from North Korea. The little country that gave the world -- nah, I guess that was actually France. But hey, never mind the past, it's the future that we're talking about and the openly of a wildly exciting new sphere for self improvement. Forget diet, exercise, Botox. Forget liposuction and cosmetic surgery. This is about the intelligent.
North Korean men are being ordered by their government to keep their hair short. The stirring motto is -- "Let's trim our hair in accordance with the socialist lifestyle." The crowning glory should be between one and five centimeters long and cut back every couple weeks to make sure it doesn't get weedy. But we haven't told you the exciting part yet, which is the scientific discovery underpinning this new mandate. Those smarties there in Pyongyang have discovered that "Excessive hair growth" and I quote, "consumes a great deal of nutrition, which nutrition would otherwise go", yes, "directly to the brain." In other words, genius, dope. Wow, want to add a quick 15, 20 points to your IQ -- shave your head. Our thanks to all you there at the North Korean Institute for Advanced -- what the hey.
I'm Anderson Cooper. Thanks for watching 360.
Prime time coverage continues now with PAULA ZAHN -- Paula.
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