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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Young Couple Kidnaps Own Children; How Easy is Nuclear Terrorism?; College Grads Moving Back Home; Rabid dogs Create Wave of Fear in Tsunami Zone; Strangest Stuff Caught on X-Ray

Aired January 17, 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.
Armed and on the run. Why did a young couple kidnap their own children?

360 starts now.

Have you seen this couple? Police say they're armed, dangerous, and on the run, accused of kidnapping their own children at gunpoint. We'll have the latest on the investigation.

America's worst nightmare, terrorists armed with a nuclear bomb. Tonight, nuclear terror, how easy it might be to pull off, and what we can do to prevent it.

Are your college grads done clowning around, or are they far from settling down? Tonight, why so many young people can't seem to grow up and get out of the house.

Rabid dogs creating a wave of fear in the tsunami zone. But will killing homeless animals really make the humans safer?

And how did this nail get lodged in this man's head? And why didn't he know about it? Tonight, the strangest stuff ever captured on a X-ray.

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

COOPER: Good evening again.

Tonight, a family who should not be together is together, and that is why police in two states are hunting for them right now. Authorities in Tennessee and North Carolina are searching for this little boy. He's 2 years old, his name is Paul. This is his 11- month-old sister, Breanna. They were kidnapped at gunpoint from a foster home, allegedly by their own parents, their own biological mother and father.

Now, the children were in foster care because last year, authorities removed them from their house, because police found a methamphetamine lab there, poisonous chemicals sitting side by side with baby formula. Right now, police fear the children are with their parents, parents who may be armed, may be dangerous, and increasingly desperate.

CNN's Eric Phillips has the latest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERIC PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This mother and father are the subjects of a police manhunt in North Carolina and Tennessee, suspected of kidnapping their own children. James Lee Canter, 28, and Alishia Chambers, 18, are involved in a drug case and had their children taken away. Authorities say Saturday, they showed up at their foster home in Boone, North Carolina, pulled a gun on the woman taking care of the toddlers, and sped away with 2-year-old James Paul and 11-month-old Breanna.

The police issued an Amber Alert for this white sedan and said the couple was seen by a police officer across the border in eastern Tennessee.

CHRIS DUNN JOHNSON, COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: As I rounded the curve on 421, the vehicle nearly run me off the road.

PHILLIPS: The officer chased them, but Canter and Chambers managed to get away before ditching the car in a nearby driveway, grabbing the children, and running off into the woods.

Inside the car, investigators found a rifle and a handgun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I've known him for years, since he was just small. But as far as I knew, I never dreamed anything like this.

PHILLIPS: Last March, Child Protective Services took the two children after police raided the couple's home and found a methamphetamine lab, where they believe the couple cooked drugs that they then used. But Canter and Chambers devised a plan to get their children back, and investigators don't believe they're working alone.

MAJ. PAULA TOWNSEND, WATAUGA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: We do believe that there are other family members or friends who are involved, who have helped them escape, and we would urge those people not to continue their involvement any further.

PHILLIPS: Authorities say the unmarried couple is considered armed and dangerous.

Eric Phillips, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, police say they have now found the car that the parents used to flee. In it, they found a handgun and a rifle. And while they search for the kids, they're also turning their attention to the family of the suspects, as you heard in that story, hoping that they will maybe provide clues to where these kids might be. Let's get the latest right now from -- on the phone from Boone, North Carolina, is Watauga County Sheriff Mark Shook.

Sheriff Shook, thanks very much for being with us.

The last place these two were seen was in Tennessee, abandoned their car in what I'm told is a very rural, mountainous area. How far do you think they've gone?

MARK SHOOK, WATAUGA COUNTY SHERIFF (on phone): What we're hearing right now is that there's a possibility of people funding them, and providing them with a vehicle to leave the area. We've gotten tips from -- excuse me -- as far away as Savannah, Georgia, Texas, even down in Jacksonville, Florida, because there are family members in those areas.

COOPER: At this point, do you think it's family members who are funding them in some way, or do you not know at this point, or not want to say?

SHOOK: Really don't know at this time or can confirm it, but that's our belief. The family is very supportive of Mr. Canter and Miss Chambers.

COOPER: Now, Mr. Canter apparently is -- he's waiting trial on charge of manufacturing methamphetamine, cooking it up in his home. In this area, how big a problem is meth?

SHOOK: Methamphetamine is a huge problem in our area. Right now, we have Miss Chambers -- she is out on bond because of the meth lab. Mr. Canter was not there during the raid, and we do have warrants that he's evaded service for.

COOPER: Now, the kids were living in the home, where they were actually cooking the methamphetamine. What was it like for them? I mean, did you see this home? What were the conditions like for these kids living in this place?

SHOOK: Oh, it was basically a toxic waste dump, I mean, with all the hazardous byproducts from the meth lab. The house was very unkept, very messy. And we found, you know, drying methamphetamine beside the baby formula.

COOPER: Just right next to it.

SHOOK: Yes, sir.

COOPER: They were in foster care for the last eight months. How were they doing in foster care?

SHOOK: From all the varying indications, they were doing well. In fact, the foster parents had told me that Paul Chambers had even referred to them as Mom and Dad. So that relationship and that bond was very strong.

COOPER: How dangerous, at this point, do you think are Canter and Chambers and?

SHOOK: With their, you know, history of methamphetamine use, that, you know, we have warrants on them, going to the extreme of using a handgun to take the kids, the way they were driving, and the car chase with the Johnson County, Tennessee, deputies, you know, they were very desperate. I mean, even to the point of -- even when a tire had blown out, they still continued trying to evade the law.

COOPER: Do you think they're using meth now? I mean, do you think they're -- are they still -- they don't just make it, they're using it?

SHOOK: Well, the size lab that we found is -- it was a small -- like an user lab, not a big production lab. So in all the drug information that we have gotten in the past on these subjects is that they are using methamphetamine.

COOPER: Well, the kids are out there. I know you're looking for them. If any viewers, obviously, see anything, they should get the information to you.

Mark Shook, sheriff, we appreciate you being with us. Thanks very much. Good luck to you.

SHOOK: Thanks, I appreciate it. Thank you.

COOPER: We turn now to Iraq and a question. Do you believe it was a mistake for America to have sent troops to Iraq in the first place?

Now, we ask you this, because a CNN-"USA Today"-Gallup poll that was carried out between last Friday and yesterday, finds this. Of 1,007 Americans who were asked that very question, 52 percent say it was a mistake, 47 percent believe it wasn't a mistake, and 1 percent had no opinion.

Interesting to know where you fall in that poll.

Tonight, we wonder if, a couple of years from now, however, will pollsters asking that very same question about American troops, not in Iraq, but in Iran?

One very respective investigative reporter is suggesting, in a piece that was published today, that planning for an Iran attack is already underway.

CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One thing is certain, the U.S. is watching Iran's nuclear program closely. Sources say satellite and aircraft surveillance has been stepped up in recent months.

But is there war planning for an attack against Iran's nuclear sites this summer, as suggested by Seymour Hersh in a "New Yorker" article?

Without responding to the question of a summertime attack, Pentagon officials say Hersh is wrong. Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said in a statement, quote, "Mr. Hersh's article is so riddled with errors of fundamental fact that the credibility of his entire piece is destroyed."

Hersh believes administration hardliners do want to attack Iran.

SEYMOUR HERSH, "THE NEW YORKER": This is a president that's going to do what he wants to do. And the only thing we can hope is that these guys are right about the world waiting for America to come and remake the Middle East, and that Iran will go smoother than Iraq. Because they're do it, I'm almost -- I'm pretty much convinced of it myself, and so are my sources.

STARR: Hersh says it's part of a broader Pentagon plan to secretly use special forces around the world on missions that might have been done by the CIA. The Pentagon won't say much about special forces on the record. Commandos do conduct capture or kill missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and have waged attacks against al Qaeda. But Rumsfeld has indicated he doesn't want to take over CIA efforts.

Hersh insists the U.S. Central Command is updating the war plans providing for a maximum ground and air invasion of Iran. A senior U.S. military official calls that "absolutely false," and emphasizes, contingency plans are updated routinely.

(on camera): All of this has the Pentagon deeply worried. The mullahs in Iran are watching and listening. It's one thing to keep them guessing about U.S. intentions, but nobody wants them to miscalculate and have the U.S. suddenly in another war.

Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, it is embarrassingly cold in Minnesota. That tops our look at what's happening cross-country.

We take you to Duluth, Minnesota, 15 degrees below zero tonight. That is nothing. Temperatures in the town of Embarrass, Minnesota -- yes, that's the town's name, Embarrass -- temperatures there are registering a low of 54 degrees below zero. Maybe that's why the average life expectancy in Minnesota is more than 79. I don't know if that's true, why not?

Park City, Utah, a deadly avalanche. We brought you the story on Friday night as it was unfolding. At the time, authorities believed several people were missing. Now, the body of a 27-year-old snowboarder has been found, buried in four feet of snow. Authorities tonight now say they believe he is the only victim.

Miami, Florida, new bizarre headlines tonight about former Oakland Raider center Barrett Robins (ph). He's the all-pro ballplayer who went AWOL during the 2003 Super Bowl. Now he is in critical condition after being shot in a violent struggle with a Miami police officer who was investigating an office building break-in. Miami police say Robins is considered a suspect in that burglary.

Atlanta, Georgia, now, remembering Martin Luther King, Jr., on this national holiday celebrating his birth. Among the commemorations, a service featuring his widow, Coretta Scott King, at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where Dr. King used to preach. We'll have more about Dr. King later on in the program.

And in Baltimore, Maryland, and around the country, those inspired by Dr. King's message took part in parades, in marches, and in rallies. One rally right there.

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

360 next, the dogs of disaster, orphaned after the killer tsunami. Tonight, why one country plans to kill them with cyanide- laced meat. We'll talk to someone on the ground trying to prevent that.

Plus, a Marine turned cop killer. New evidence of cocaine use and gang ties. What really drove this young vet over the edge? Covering all the angles on the story tonight.

Also ahead, the largest demolition derby on earth. That's what they're calling it. An iceberg and a glacier on the verge of colliding. We'll take you there.

First, let's take a look at your picks, the most popular stories right now on CNN.com.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Ever since the tsunami hit Sri Lanka and other countries along the Indian Ocean, here at 360, we have been bringing you stories of survival, even stories about the animals who beat the odds and survived after the wave.

But tonight, we've learned that some of those animals could now be marked for death.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): They survived the tsunami, but now may be killed, poisoned with cyanide-laced meat. Facing that possible fate, an estimated 10,000 orphaned dogs roaming the coastal towns of Sri Lanka, some of them former pets, starving and alone.

They come up to you looking for food, or a friend, like we found out when I was in Sri Lanka.

(on camera): There are dogs everywhere you go. It's -- and they're very persistent.

(voice-over): The reason for their death sentence? Rabies. Desperate and deprived of their usual meal sources, homeless dogs have begun feasting on the remains of wild animals, which can lead to rabies. It's rare in the United States, but rabies is a feared killer in Sri Lanka.

FARSHAD RASTEGAR, CEO, RELIEF INTERNATIONAL: If you get rabies, especially in the third world, there's little you can do. And unfortunately, in many cases it does lead to death.

COOPER: Just last week, at least half a dozen people, some working for relief agencies, were bitten by dogs in Ampara (ph) Province. Of those so far, just one reported case of rabies.

RASTEGAR: It's almost exponential in this situations. If one -- if you find one case of rabies, then it's quite likely that many, many more are out there.

COOPER: To save their dogs, owners must tag them with bright red collars. The rest could be killed.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Now, I know a lot of you at home watching that story are going to be upset, wondering if this is really the only way to deal with the rabies threat in Sri Lanka. We had those questions, as well today, and on the program, we like to cover all the angles.

So tonight, joining me on the phone from Colombo, Sri Lanka, is Terri Crisp with a group called Noah's Wish. She's in Sri Lanka now, vaccinating dogs against rabies. She's trying to save their lives and protect people as well. Terri joins me on the phone.

Terri, thanks very much for being with us.

How many dogs have you been able to vaccinate so far?

TERRI CRISP, NOAH'S WISH: Since last week, we've done 5,000 dogs, and we've targeted key areas where there are larger concentrations of animals and people. We are putting the red collars on the dogs once they've been vaccinated, so people know that these are animals that they don't need to be afraid of.

COOPER: How many strays are there? I mean, is there any way to get an accurate sort of count or sense?

CRISP: Oh, you were here, Anderson. And you know that everywhere you look, there are dogs roaming the streets.

One thing that we've learned, though, is that, you know, we've had to readjust the way we look at the situation here. It's not just like it is in the United States. And many of the dogs that we see on the street do have someone, or even a village, who care for them, and normally feed them. And we're finding that most of these people are still trying to keep these animals fed.

There's just -- they're everywhere. And it's not only dogs. The thing that's been really strange for us to see are the number of cows that are just roaming in and out of traffic. COOPER: Yes, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), you see that a lot, also cats. But you're really not focused on cats, because they're harder to track down.

CRISP: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) -- Well, unfortunately, cats here in Sri Lanka, very few of them are owned. They are really pretty much for the most part all feral. Ones that we've tried to approach are extremely frightened and take off. They're not in the best of health.

There is a normal rabies vaccination program that goes on in Sri Lanka. It's not offered on a consistent basis. But they only focus on dogs and not cats. In our efforts to vaccinate, we have been vaccinating cats that do belong to people.

COOPER: How much does this cost you? I mean, how much are you spending vaccinating animals?

CRISP: For the veterinarians, vaccination, transportation, all of those types of things, it is about $500 a day. And we've been sending out teams down south, all the way as far as Matara (ph). A lot of focus has been placed on the Gall (ph) area, and then all the other villages between Gall and up here north into Colombo.

COOPER: And of course where you're talking about is toward the west, southwest coast. A lot of the...

CRISP: Exactly.

COOPER: ... the -- a lot of the problems, and where's one case of a rabies has been found was on the east coast, harder to get to, and obviously...

CRISP: Much harder to get to. And what we really did, it's really a triage situation, you know. We come in, we do an assessment. You say, Where can we go where we can do the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) best, you know, for these animals, save as many as possible? And the areas that we have been working in are those areas. The population over on the east coast is very sparse. I mean, you have villages that had only 800 people to begin with.

COOPER: Yes.

CRISP: And, unfortunately, in some of these locations, just within the last couple days, they finally were able to get temporary bridges or roads put in so that you could reach the areas by vehicle.

COOPER: So many in need, people and animals. Terri Crisp, We appreciate you joining us tonight, talking about the work you're doing right now in Sri Lanka Thanks very much, Terri.

CRISP: Thanks very much. We appreciate it.

COOPER: The group is Noah's Wish.

Awaiting a clash of titans in Antarctica, that tops our look at what's happening around the world in the uplink. Massive iceberg, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) 100 miles long, is about to smash into a glacier. NASA cameras in outer space are ready to capture what they say will be a demolition derby. That's what they're calling it. NASA thought it was going to would happen last week, but apparently you can't rush an iceberg, as everyone's mom always tells them.

Near Perth, Australia, now, raging brush fire. Lives and property at risk. More than 12,000 acres have gone up in smoke after two fires, suspected of being caused by arson, the two fires merged into one.

We take you to Bangkok, Thailand, now, a bloody morning commute. More than 200 people injured when two subway cars collided. Most of the injuries minor, still, a big scare for commuters. Investigators blame the accident on human error, saying the driver of an empty subway train slammed into a packed one.

And a little King now. Across the U.K., the King rules again, Elvis Presley, of course, king of rock and roll. The rerelease of his 1959 hit "One Night" is the 1,000th song to top the British pop charts. It follows the release of -- or the rerelease, I should say, of Presley's "Jailhouse Rock," which was number one a week ago.

And that is tonight's uplink.

In Ceres, California, a turnaround of sorts on a story that we covered a lot last week. We had reported that a 19-year-old Marine who had served in Iraq killed a police officer in a shootout little more than a week ago.

This is a surveillance tape that actually captured the shooting. That's the Marine there, waiting for police officers. He'd gone into the liquor store, asked them to call the police. The police were coming. he then took out a rifle and did his work.

Those are still the facts. But today, there are more questions about why he did this, about his motive. And police are discovering clues that may help reveal why this decorated Marine became a murderer.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): Security cameras caught the rampage as it happened. Marine Lance Corporal Andres Raya (ph) guns down two police officers outside a liquor store, killing one. He himself was killed in another shootout later that day.

The Rayas' family and friends have trouble coming to grips with what happened. The motive did not at first seem to be all that mysterious.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I asked him what he wanted. And he said, I don't want to go back to Iraq.

COOPER: Family members say he was scheduled to go back, and suggested the shooting could have been a case of suicide by cop, perhaps brought on by post-traumatic stress from combat.

County police now say that's unlikely. Investigators checking Raya's school and home say they found a book, video, and photos linking him to a local youth gang.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Raya is in the front. He is throwing an Ortegno (ph) gang sign. This picture was taken in front of Ceres High School.

COOPER: A toxicology report says there was a significant amount of cocaine in Raya's body the night of the murder, and police say at Raya's home, they found so-called shopping list for black clothing, body armor, assault rifles, and ammunition.

As for Raya's Iraq service, police say he never fired his gun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was not, and I repeat, not, in a combat unit and did not see combat in Iraq.

COOPER: They also say he was never scheduled to return. His unit is headed for Okinawa, Japan. Raya's family, though, still blame his actions on the stress of war, and they deny he was a gang member.

Of course, the only person who really knows Raya's motives is Raya himself. And since he's gone, we may never know what drove him to kill.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, 360 next, young adults who refuse to grow up, at least for now. And we're not talking about Peter Pan. A whole new generation, find out why more of them are still relying on Mom and Dad to get by.

Also tonight, defending America against nuclear terror. Are we living on borrowed time? We're going to take a closer look.

Also a little later tonight, living with a nail in your head. A bizarre story. This guy got a nail in his head. He didn't even know he had it. We're going to get to the bottom of one man's pain.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, more and more 20-somethings are experiencing sort of Peter Pan syndrome these days. They won't grow up, at least not so fast. Latest numbers show that almost 16 million families had at least one child over the age of 18 living at home. They're called boomerang kids. They don't move out, they move back in. Sociologists say their return to the nest isn't a fad but a new way of life for adult kids who are in no rush to settle down.

CNN's Adaora Udoji takes a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ADAORA UDOJI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jess Delamater isn't married. He has a girlfriend, Stephanie (ph). At 27, he has no children as he jumped from job to job in Atlanta with a psychology degree and thousands in school debt. In search of better prospects, he moved home and went back to school.

JEFF DELAMATER: We're not out there just driving around, partying. Not really -- like, shirking responsibility. We're out there looking for jobs.

UDOJI: Delamater is part of a dramatic trend, say researchers. Call them twixters, thresholders, or boomerangers, 20-somethings putting off marriage, procreating, and settling down.

PROF. FRANK FURSTENBERG, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: We have seen an enormous shift in the timing of adulthood. The costs of housing and the cost of schooling has skyrocketed.

UDOJI: The result, they're taking longer to finish college, racking up more debt, and moving home. A "TIME" magazine survey says 66 percent owe more than $10,000, 5 percent more than $100,000.

Those costs, say Shaniqwa Jarvis, led her to half a dozen jobs in New York City the past five years, including swimming instructor. But her eye was always on finding a meaningful career, not just a paycheck. Today, she believes it's photography.

SHANIQWA JARVIS: All the imagery, though, I could tell, it's from the same photographer, which is exciting.

UDOJI: Also strapped with school debt living in her mother's home to save money. Marriage and children are not a priority.

JARVIS: I think about it, but it's not something that drives me at all.

UDOJI: In the '60s, 77 percent of women and 65 percent of men had left home and started a family by the end of their 20s. Today, it's half that.

But don't accuse twixters of holding onto adolescence. They consider themselves grown up, their journey necessary.

JARVIS: I have worked a lot and done -- worked with a myriad of people and come to the conclusion of where I don't want to be.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here you go.

UDOJI: As twixters search, they're changing the definition of adulthood into something that works for them.

Adaora Udoji, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: So I didn't really think this was a big trend. Turns out it is. I, we asked around. We got lots of people on our own staff who are these twixters, these boomerang kids. One of them, Greg, over there, who just lounging around. Greg, you moved back in home when you were 26?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right.

COOPER: Why didn't you move back out of the house?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because you save a lot of money and there's just no rush.

COOPER: Get your feet off the -- all right. These kids today, they lay around and sit around. All right. Well twenty-somethings return to the nest, a 66-year-old woman from Romania has finally been able to build hers. The sextogenarian gave birth yesterday to a baby girl, there she is. And, yes, the mother is 66 years old. Doing so, she has not only become a mother, she's made world history we are told. ITN reporter Lawrence McGinty has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAWRENCE MCGINTY, ITN MEDICAL EDITOR: The clock's ticking. Even when women are in their 20s and 30s, the peak of their fertility. By the time they reach their 40s things are slowing down. After menopause at 51 on average they can't bear children. At least that's what happens naturally. But medical science is now so potent it can reverse nature. That's what happened in this case with disturbing implications. Adriana Ilescu is 67 in May. She's unmarried, retired professor and author of children's books. It took nine years of treatment before she fell pregnant.

ADRIANA ILESCU (through translator): Happiness is too small a word. Probably a few different feelings which all mean that but what I feel now is much more.

MCGINTY: She became pregnant after in vitro fertilization. The first step is a hormone to reverse the effects of menopause and then eggs and sperm from donors, mix them to fertilize the egg. The resulting embryos were implanted in her womb and at the third attempt, she was pregnant with triplets. One died after 10 weeks. When the second died after 33 weeks, doctors performed a cesarean to deliver the baby. Eliza Maria survived. But what happens next when she is in the terrible twos, her mother will be 68. At 10, her mum will be 76.

PROF. GEDIS GRUDZINSKAS, THE BRIDGE FERTILITY CLINIC: To consider treating women over 55 or 60 is pushing the limits somewhat.

MCGINTY: Could you see yourself carrying out treatments on a woman this old?

GRUDZINSKAS: No.

MCGINTY: Elizabeth Hoskyns knows how difficult it is looking after a child 60 years younger than you are, even part time. She looks after her grandson, Joe.

ELISABETH HOSKYNS, GRANDMOTHER: What's going to happen if something happens to her? You know, doesn't have to be anything tremendously serious. You know, even something like arthritis could make it very, very difficult for her to look after a child.

MCGINTY: Eliza Maria is now in good hands but whose hand will protect her for the rest of her life?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Tiny little hand. Defending America against nuclear terror. A look at the world's most dangerous black market.

Also, a man who lived with a nail in his head. He claims he didn't know about it. Find out how he got rid of the pain that wouldn't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Defending America tonight. A terrorist with a nuclear device is a nightmare scenario but it is one that is not that farfetched. With the president's inaugural, we are focusing on threats to the national security. How are we defending America? Are we doing it the right way? We begin tonight by looking at the nuclear threat and as David Mattingly reports, getting material for a bomb to kill tens of thousand, it turns out, it can be relatively easy.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A small island in the south China Sea. Once a Portuguese colony, now controlled by China. For decades, it has been the seedy underbelly of Asia. A steamy neon splattered gateway to the international underworld. It's a place where Chinese gangs came to spread violence and North Korean spies learned how to operate in the west. Today, it is a place where tourists come to test their luck in the casinos and to satisfy other urges in the arms of prostitutes. But look more deeply into the shadows and some say you will likely find a base of operations. For a sophisticated North Korean smuggling network that in the past moved drugs, counterfeit money, and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

MATTHEW BURN, MANAGING THE ATOM PROJECT: North Korea is a country that has a history of selling any weapon it had to virtually anyone who would buy.

MATTINGLY: So could a terrorist group come to the island shopping for nuclear material and would the North Koreans sell it to them? The experts that study the threat fear the answer could be yes. In fact, they say the transaction would be surprisingly simple. A North Korean agent operating unnoticed slips into one of the hundreds of bars. He meets an al Qaeda middleman. He makes an exchange. Then the al Qaeda operative heads into the night getting lost amongst the tourists and the prostitutes on the prowl. All it takes is a small bag like this, big enough to easily hold enough highly enriched uranium or plutonium to incinerate the core of an American city.

BURN: The amount of plutonium you would need for a nuclear bomb would fit easily in a coke can.

MATTINGLY: Matthew Burn studies the security or insecurity of the world's nuclear material.

BURN: It is very plausible that a well-organized and sophisticated terrorist group might be able to put together a crude, nuclear bomb.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we keep doing today what we're doing the likelihood is more likely than not.

MATTINGLY: A Harvard professor and former defense department official warns in a new book that we are dangerously vulnerable to a terrorist nuclear attack.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No event like this has happened in the American history. This would make 9/11 seem like a you know, a toothache.

MATTINGLY: Steve Flynn has been studying for years long before 9/11 how terrorists might attack the U.S. with a weapon of mass destruction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reality is intelligence agency has said the more likely way a weapons of mass destruction will come into the United States is in a ship and likely to be in a shipping container.

MATTINGLY: Most about the size of the typical truck trailer containers like these are the vehicles of choice on the super highway of international trade. The busiest container port in the world is Hong Kong. Just an hour away from Macou. Despite many efforts made by the U.S. and other governments and private industries since 9/11 experts like Flynn say containers are America's Achilles heel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are between 16 and 18 million containers worldwide. Where anybody can get a container, order to their home or workplace, they can load it up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are between 16 and 18 million containers worldwide. Where anybody can get a container, ordered to their home or workplace, they can load it up. You close it off. You put a 50 cent lead seal with a number on it and then you hand it to a transportation provider. Somebody you may not otherwise invite into your home.

Flynn's new book, "America the Vulnerable," is a stark warning.

MATTINGLY (on camera): On a scale of 1 to 10, how prepared are we for that attack?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were on 9/11 a 1. And today, we may be getting up to a 3. We got a very long ways to go.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): The U.S. Government admits there was a problem. It says it is moving quickly to fix it.

TOM RIDGE, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: In the past efforts to secure this vast global industry, both here and the United States and throughout the world, were isolated, they were scattered, and they were uncoordinated. The United States and the United States' coast guard recognize the problem and took specific actions to secure our homeland and the global economy.

MATTINGLY: But despite these efforts, Steve Flynn and others argue containers could still be the poor man's nuclear missile.

(on camera): Will we know what is in the boxes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I don't think you'll -- you'll know for certainty on ever single container.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This one old camera's or one of the new ones?

MATTINGLY: John Meredith moves more boxes than anyone else in the world, 44 million a year. He's a managing director of Hutchinson Port Holdings, the largest port operator in the world with 44 facilities in 17 countries. And he is very worried about what could be put into one of those boxes.

JOHN MEREDITH, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF HUTCHINSON PORT HOLDINGS: So many millions and millions and millions of products are coming, flowing into the country and no one at the moment is tracing where they came from and tracking how they got there.

MATTINGLY: Meredith says companies like his are ready and able to improve container security. With the devices like X-ray machines, radio seals on containers and radiological detectors, but he says, the U.S. Government needs to set an uniformed standard for all companies shipping containers into U.S. Ports. There's no one person or one agency in charge. Responsibility for container security lies across multiple agencies.

MEREDITH: The ports are now secured. But what is not secured is the supply chain. The movement of the boxes through the system and that is the Trojan horse.

MATTINGLY: And if the Trojan horse, a nuclear device inside a container were detonated, ports would shut down and so would the global economy.

MEREDITH: If you shut those down for a period of two to three weeks, we shut down the global trade system. That's what we're talking about playing with here.

MATTINGLY: If it made to An American city, the human toll is worse.

David Mattingly, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: There are, of course, so many aspects to this story. Join Paula Zahn and myself on Wednesday night for a two-hour "Defending America" special. We're going to examine the major threats to the national security. That begins 7:00 p.m. Eastern time. And as always, stay tuned to CNN day and night for the most reliable news about your security.

360 next, a far lighter tale. The things you find with a X-ray. And you going to hear about this man with a nail in his head, says he didn't know about it.

Plus, the person who said there's no such thing as stupid questions apparently wasn't watching the Golden Globes last night. I don't know about you, but there were some stupid questions being asked. We'll bring you highlights and low lights when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: You may not know this but the very first X-ray was taken back in 1895, the image was the hand of the inventor's wife. It showed a ring around one of her fingers. Now, you'd expect to see that on a X-ray of a hand, but lately we've been seeing some strange things show up. Just today, we learned about a construction worker who was missing, well, he was missing a nail but wasn't under the nose, it was inside it and he didn't even know about it.

Jeanne Moos has that story and a few other odds bits and pieces that have shown up on X-ray.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hey, doc, I'm having some pain in hi mouth. Maybe it's the nail in your head.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There it is.

PATRICK LAWLER: Yes, I always consider myself lucky.

MOOS: Construction worker Patrick Lawler's nail gun back tired, but he thought he whacked himself. A tooth ache and blurry vision finally prompted him to get a X-ray six days later. But what's an itty bitty anyway when this Pennsylvania woman went grocery shopping with a knife sticking out of the back of her neck. And there's surveillance tape in the store to prove it. Earlier, a passer by stabbed Shirley Pettrick (ph), but only she didn't realize it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought he had thrown a stone to hit me.

MOOS: So, she continued to the store. You think someone would have mentioned, hey, look at those nice peaches and by the way, there's a knife in your neck. But it wasn't until she got home her daughter yanked it out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was dumbfounded.

MOOS: But even a knife pales next to this. Back in 1848, an explosion hurtled this iron bar through Phineas Gage's skull, in through the left cheek, out the top of his head.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He survived the injury but his personality changed dramaticly afterwards. MOOS: For the worse. They didn't have X-rays back then, but now, all sorts of medical mishaps are documented. From the retractor accidentally left behind during an operation to the kitchen knife that a dog somehow swallowed. And then there was the sheep dog used as a drug courier, 10 condoms filled of cocaine -- were implanted in her belly. Not to be confused with a golf ball dog. Hanna (ph) loved to chase golf balls.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was that in your belly?

MOOS: The vet removed nine of them. No more fetch for Hanna. She can only salivate over the thought of the golf course as a main course.

For dessert, imagine swallowing steel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here, here.

MOOS: Here at the Sword Swallowers Convention, they'd swallow anything with a handle and ask me to pull it out. No, no, I don't want to -- ugh. Even sword swallowers like to take X-rays. Just don't make them say cheese.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: If your asking yourself, how in the world that guy in Colorado had a nail in his head and didn't even know about, we are too. It seems he's not alone. The hospital where he's being treated told us today, it is the second time in about a year they've treated someone who shot themselves with a nail gun, had a nail in the skull and didn't know it. Denial ain't just a river.

Here's a look ahead at the top of the hour with Paula Zahn -- Paula.

PAULA ZAHN, HOST OF "PAULA ZAHN NOW": Thanks so much, Anderson and good evening, everyone. While this week's inauguration is not a first for president George W. Bush, it is the first since the war on terror began. And for that reason, security will be like nothing we've ever seen before. And for that reason today, it's day one of our special series "Defending America."

We sent dozens of reporters and producers out to answer one basic question -- is the nation really safer now than it was back on 9/11/2001?

Much of what we found, both the strength and weaknesses will surprise you. Of course, tonight, we'll show you the unprecedented measures being taken to protect the 250,000 people expected at the inauguration on Thursday. And we'll take a critical look at our railways. And Anderson and I will be together, both Wednesday and Thursday nights surrounding those inauguration activities and we're counting on it to be safe.

COOPER: Thanks very much. 8:00, top of the hour. 360 next, the red carpet chaos and the silly questions. Talk about that ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Fashion ruled the red carpet last night at the Golden Globes. At least it was supposed to but soon the stars found themselves facing a barrage of inane questions that would shame anybody. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): It used to be so easy being a star, heading down the red carpet to any awards show. As long as you could read the label on your designer duds, you were pretty much prepared for the question you knew you were about to be asked.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who are you wearing tonight?

COOPER: But at last night's Golden Globes the inquisitors lining the red carpet decided to get all serious, taking the focus off fashion and on to more important matters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many times a day did they order pizza, girls, beer, girls?

COOPER: Star Jones Reynolds seems to have a tough time coming up with nonfashion related questions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is the one dumb thing you've done getting ready today? do you consider yourself a comedian or a comedic actor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A dancer, basically. A caterer.

COOPER: When the tough questions ran out, Star was able to get back to doing what she does best, gushing about the stars.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have to tell you, I'm standing here with one of the greatest living actors of all time. I have to not gush. You know they yell at me when I gush.

COOPER: Thankfully while Star was or wasn't gushing, the red carpet cohort Cathy Griffin was being funny.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have questions. You are very tiny. Can you name three carbs? Who do you think is going to get the drunkest tonight.

COOPER: But E! wasn't the only network that abandoned hot couture for hot issues. At NBC, there was Lisa Ling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you discuss the content of the film as it was happening? Is it autobiographical?

COOPER: There's Joan and Melissa, paid big bucks to be the little TV Guide channel. Maybe it was their tiny audience or pointy shoes but the twin rivers of scorn sure came off sounding kind of cranky.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have two big names here. So could you just wait?

COOPER: Celebrities, consider yourself warned.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Coming up next, what if Martin Luther King were alive today? We'll take that to the Nth Degree.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Tonight taking what if to the Nth Degree. But for a bullet fired as the sun was going down in the city of Memphis on Thursday, the fourth of April, 1968, we might still have the man himself among us to celebrate instead of just this day bearing his name. Martin Luther King Jr. was only 39 that day in Tennessee. Barring other kinds of bad luck, he would probably still be around to turn 76 this past Saturday. There would have been a fine party for him I'm sure. Instead we have observances, memorials, speeches about him, not by him. Wonder what he'd be saying these days in that warm round even voice of his. It would be ludicrous of course worse than ludicrous to guess what might now be moving Martin Luther King to speak out after all you never know what your conscience is going to say and that is what he was. This country's conscience. Pretty often you'd rather your conscience hadn't piped up at all. It tends to say things that are bothersome to hear, upsetting, inconvenient, embarrassing, threatening to the status quo. In a word, things that are true. And that is what he did while he was alive. We have no question he'd still be doing it now. I'm Anderson Cooper. Thanks for watching 360 tonight. Primetime coverage continues now with Paula Zahn -- Paula.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


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