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PAULA ZAHN NOW

Father Asks For Mercy For Kidnapped Daughter; Googling For Pornography; Suicides on the Rise in New Orleans? Abstinence Promises from Teenagers; Whale in the Thames

Aired January 20, 2005 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. Glad to have you with us.
Tonight, whether it's on the phone, in dark corners, or in hushed conversations, the international effort to free U.S. journalist Jill Carroll is going full-speed.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: A critical time -- the father of a kidnapped American asks for mercy on Arabic TV.

JIM CARROLL, FATHER OF JILL CARROLL: I want to speak directly to the men holding my daughter Jill.

ZAHN: Will Jill Carroll's abductors listen to him, or to anyone?

Googling for porn -- the government wants to know what you're likely to find on the Internet's most popular search engines.

ALBERTO GONZALES, ATTORNEY GENERAL: To ensure the protection, quite frankly, of our nation's children against -- against pornography.

ZAHN: Do you want the government sifting through your searches? And why isn't Google going along?

Our "Eye Opener, saying, "I won't."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Adam Skinner (ph).

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

ZAHN: They're making promises and putting on rings, a new high school fad that is all about chastity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't mind stepping out and being like, I'm not going to have sex.

ZAHN: Making the promise is easy. How hard will it be to keep?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Tonight, Americans and Iraqis are working feverishly to make contact with anyone who might be able to help free American hostage Jill Carroll.

But, as we speak, there is no word about her fate. And time is of the essence. When Carroll's kidnappers released this tape of her on Tuesday, they threatened to kill her and actually set a 72-hour deadline for the release of all female prisoners the U.S. is holding in Iraq.

Well, today, Iraq's deputy justice minister told CNN that six of the nine women in U.S. custody will be released next week. He adds that their release has been in the works for a while and it is not linked to Carroll's kidnapping.

Meanwhile, Jill Carroll's father went on two major Arabic TV networks today. Jim Carroll described his daughter as an innocent woman and told her captors that their cause would be better served if they spare her life.

Jill Carroll was ambushed and her translator killed two weeks ago tomorrow while trying interview a Sunni political leader in Baghdad. That man also went on Arabic TV today. He called on the kidnappers to release Carroll immediately, saying she came to Iraq to cover the news and defend people's rights.

I want to get the very latest now from Baghdad, where it will be dawn Saturday in just a few hours.

Let's turn to Michael Holmes, who is standing by now.

I know it is a very restless evening for people all over the world interested in the story. Is there any indication about how this might turn out?

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Paula, a restless night, indeed.

It is 4:00 a.m. here in Baghdad. But, despite the late hour, we're told that a lot of activity is going on behind the scenes. There is a lot of reaching out going on to local religious and political leaders. Talks are being held. Whether they're directly with the kidnappers, we do not know.

But we are hearing that there is a lot going on behind the scenes. In terms of the deadline, there are deadlines and there are deadlines. They have been routinely extended in the past. One hopes that that is the case now. So, as I say, 4:00 a.m. A lot of people are very concerned, but a lot of people are very involved as well -- Paula.

ZAHN: And you talked about Iraqi political and religious leaders being engaged in the story. Does the general Iraqi population seem to be at all interested in her fate?

HOLMES: Oh, absolutely, front-page news, you could say, Paula.

We have been out on the streets a couple of times to gauge local opinion, both -- both at the very street level, people literally walking along the street, and also with clerics and others we spoke to, an imam at a Sunni mosque, who told us that Jill Carroll should be released, that this is against Islam.

Spoke to an old man, who said, for this old man's sake, release this girl. Spoke to a woman, who said she feels like Jill Carroll is her daughter.

It is an unprecedented level, in my experience, of interest in this case. And 100 percent of the people we spoke to on the street said, let her go -- Paula.

ZAHN: Well, it would be nice if that has some impact on the folks who are holding her tonight.

Michael Holmes, thanks so much for the update.

As we have already seen, many of the pleas for Jill Carroll's release have pointed out how much she cares for the Iraqi people.

"Washington Post" correspondent Jackie Spinner knows firsthand about Carroll's passion for the Iraqis. She, too, has reported from Baghdad and is friends with Jill Carroll.

Thank you so much for being with us tonight.

JACKIE SPINNER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Thank you, Paula.

ZAHN: I know you two were neighbors in Baghdad. Then you became friends. Give us a sense, knowing what you know about Jill, how you think she is holding up.

SPINNER: Well, I can only speculate, but, knowing Jill's courage, her commitment to the Iraq story -- I mean, this was a country that she grew to love. This was a story she grew to love.

And I hope that she is feeling all of the support that is headed her way, all of the prayers that are being said for her. I -- I hope she is not as terrified as I think I might be in her -- her exact position.

ZAHN: And you had some pretty terrifying brushes yourself with -- with things that turned out badly. So, you certainly understand that.

Tell us when was the last time you spoke with Jill.

SPINNER: Well, I saw Jill last when I was in Baghdad in November, right before I headed home for the holidays. We exchanged e-mails over the next couple of months. And I talked to her right around Christmas. We wished each other, you know, blessings at Christmas. And she seemed very upbeat and happy. Jill was always happy when she was in Iraq and always a little bit homesick when she wasn't in the country.

ZAHN: But she also was very realistic about what she was up against, in her -- terms of her own personal safety. Did she talk about that much at all?

SPINNER: You know, Paula, it's something that, as a journalist in Baghdad, anybody who spent a significant amount of time there, I would say that it -- it tends to dominate the conversation.

We're always constantly vetting our -- our security and talking about the threats against us. If somebody has a close call, it is the topic of conversation at dinner. And she and I, you know, talked frequently about the risks that we were taking in -- in Baghdad.

But, you know, Jill just was so interested in getting at the truth and so interested in telling the story of the Iraqi people, that I think she -- she believed that the risks were worth what she was doing there. She really was on a mission.

ZAHN: And, finally, Jackie, we have heard not only the public appeals from both of Jill's parents, heartfelt ones, poignant ones, but we have also heard from Iraqi political and religious leaders and leaders of the American Muslim community, demanding that she be released. What kind of impact do you think any of those pleas might have on her captors?

SPINNER: Well, I have to hope that it is going to have an impact.

I mean, this is remarkable, unprecedented, you know, this -- this sort of outpouring for her. And I think it shows just what kind of reporter Jill -- Jill is. I mean, you look at her body of work, she was free of bias, as free as any reporter can be of bias.

You know, the very fact that she was in that Sunni neighborhood, a very dangerous part of Baghdad, in order to interview Dulaimi, certainly showed that she was interested in hearing his point of view.

ZAHN: Well, Jackie Spinner, we appreciate your sharing the two of your's friendship with us tonight. And we're all hoping this turns out well.

SPINNER: Absolutely.

ZAHN: Again, thanks for your time tonight.

SPINNER: Thank you.

ZAHN: Of course, we will be following the story all night long and bring you the latest developments as soon as we get them.

But, right now, we turn our attention to West Virginia, where folks there are reliving an absolute nightmare. Rescue crews are trying desperately to find two miners who failed to make it out of a coal mine when fire broke out yesterday. This mine is in Melville. It's about 180 miles away from the Sago Mine, where a dozen miners died in an explosion less than three weeks ago.

Chris Huntington joins me now with the very latest on the search.

CHRIS HUNTINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, we are expecting a briefing from mine officials at any minute.

It is a very fluid situation. The two men have been trapped in there for about 26 hours now. There are eerie parallels to what happened in Sago some two weeks ago, but also some very distinct differences with the situation here at the Aracoma Mine.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HUNTINGTON (voice-over): In a scene that is tragically familiar, the families, friends and co-workers of two men lost in the Aracoma Mine stand vigil with their state governor at a local Baptist church.

GOV. JOE MANCHIN (D), WEST VIRGINIA: I think all of you have been through this scenario with us before. Time is not our friend. The time, and the longer the time goes, the -- the more difficult it becomes.

HOLMES: The disaster this time, a fire that started about 5:30 Thursday afternoon on a conveyor belt that moves coal out of the mine. The fire is still burning, filling many of the mine passageways with smoke and hazardous fumes, including carbon monoxide.

That is hampering the efforts of the 25 specially trained mine rescuers, who have been searching for the lost miners and fighting the fire in shifts since 10:00 p.m. Thursday night.

DOUG CONAWAY, WEST VIRGINIA MINE SAFETY CHIEF: We have some clear entries, and then we have some entries that are full of smoke. And it's just very difficult to examine and -- and determine what are in those entries, with -- with very poor visibility.

HUNTINGTON: Perhaps the biggest challenge for the rescuers is the sheer size of the Aracoma Mine. The fire site is 10,000 feet inside the mine and 900 feet underground.

CONAWAY: This will just give you a -- a scale. That's two miles.

HUNTINGTON (on camera): It is vital to understand what a massive area, a huge labyrinth, the rescue teams are trying to search, again, two miles from their entry point to where the fire is located, a trip that we're told takes them an hour to make on a motorized vehicle. Then they have to get around the fire area and begin their search in the areas where they believe the miners were last seen.

Keep in mind, one inch on this map is 400 feet, crisscrossed with avenues and cross-streets that go on for hundreds of miles.

(voice-over): The two men were not alone when the fire first broke out. They were with 10 other miners,who did manage to make it out safely. Officials say the group of 12 fled the fire together, but somehow separated after making it to a safe spot where they put on their emergency breathing gear.

CONAWAY: While they were doing that, they said the smoke became very heavy at that point in time. And, for some reason, the other two individuals got separated from -- from the other 10. The other 10, then, as -- as we mentioned, came down.

HUNTINGTON: The 10 who made it out, including this man, somehow worked their way around the fire, then rode a motorized vehicle nearly two miles to the nearest escapeway.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HUNTINGTON: Now, Paula, mine officials, for now, are withholding the names of the two men who are still trapped in there.

We do understand, though, from mine officials and others familiar with -- with their work, that these are experienced miners. In fact, one of them, as we're told, has had several years direct experience in that section of the mine. And this one person speculated that that trapped miner would certainly know where to go, where a safe area might be, if anybody could possibly know that.

Again, we're awaiting a briefing from mining officials in the moments ahead.

To put it all in perspective, it has been more than 24 hours since these two miners were last seen by their cohorts amid a fire burning underground -- Paula.

ZAHN: And the governor makes it clear that, the more time passes, the more worried he is about their fate.

But, Chris, before we get to the details of the briefing, if that comes through in this hour, give us a sense of what the safety record is of this particular mine.

HUNTINGTON: That's a good question, Paula.

The safety record here at the -- at this mine is indeed better than what we learned about the safety mine at the -- the safety record at the Sago Mine.

We're told that the -- that there were 95 recorded infractions for this mine last year, that, overall, its nonfatal accident record was -- was slightly higher than the average for West Virginia, but still considerably better, again, than what we encountered at Sago.

Overall, the sense here is that this mine, a very, very large mine, much, much bigger than Sago, run by the Massey company, is a mine that is generally in -- in good repair and in ship shape, so to speak, not one that has been sort of top of the list of red flags, if you will, by mining inspectors -- Paula.

ZAHN: Chris Huntington, thanks so much for the update.

And want to remind you all that Chris will continue to follow the story. He will bring you any details from this briefing set for some time, as he just reported, in this hour. We will bring them to you as they become available.

One of the most devastating aftershocks of Hurricane Katrina hardly ever makes the news. Why are people literally dying to get out of New Orleans?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. FRANK MINYARD, ORLEANS PARISH CORONER: We have not had this many professional people at one time commit suicide.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: So, the question tonight is, why can't they go on? Is there anything that can head off these tragedies? We are going to take you to New Orleans in just a minute.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Deborah Feyerick in Tampa, Florida, with high school students talking about sex, not about having it, but about not having it. It is part of a growing trend, teenagers taking chastity vows, saying "I don't," until the day they say "I do." Will it work?

That's coming up on PAULA ZAHN NOW.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: And, also ahead tonight, the government wants to know what people are searching for on the Internet. Will Google tell? And should it? And how do you feel about that?

We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Tonight, almost six months after Hurricane Katrina, 3,200 people are still unaccounted for along the Gulf Coast. That is a startling number.

In New Orleans, officials plan to recheck 400 addresses for signs of any of them. But among the survivors, and, in particular, professionals, like lawyers and doctors, who chose to stay in New Orleans or come back, there is a disturbing trend, suicide.

Here is Drew Griffin with more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The story of Dr. James Kent Treadway is closely woven to the state of his city. These pictures of debris, disaster and despair are New Orleans closing in on five months after Katrina. In many areas, it looks like the storm hit yesterday.

TYRA TREADWAY, HURRICANE KATRINA SURVIVOR: Depression is...

GRIFFIN: Tyra Treadway is a Katrina survivor.

TREADWAY: You think you're have a good day when you see a street that is cleaned. And you drive three blocks down, and you see people out there trying to clean and sweep the sidewalk next to two -- two stories of debris on the street, because they just want one little section, to say, it is mine, it is clean, and it doesn't have Sheetrock dust on it.

GRIFFIN: It was in this environment of dust and debris that Tyra Treadway came home last November 16 and found her husband dead. For most of their 33-year marriage, he was one of the city's most prominent pediatricians, a man whose roots went back five generations and whose father started the practice he took over.

Now, he had hanged himself. His wife says the doctor had been suffering debilitating back pain for three years. But it was the pain that came from Katrina that Dr. Kent, as he was called, could no longer take.

TREADWAY: And, actually, the only time that he was -- could -- would really not focus on the pain and stuff is when he was with these patients.

GRIFFIN: His house was damaged, but survived, his office flooded, but also survived. What did not survive was his practice.

Parents fled New Orleans, taking their children, his patients, with them. Dr. Treadway was advised to retire, to start accepting disability payments, and to begin taking stronger pain medication. Instead, he took his life.

TREADWAY: Well, when you don't give anybody hope of leading somewhat of a life with dignity, you can't expect people to just exist.

DR. FRANK MINYARD, ORLEANS PARISH CORONER: In the past, we have not had this many professional people at one time commit suicide.

GRIFFIN: Since November 10, the day New Orleans Parish coroner Frank Minyard began counting the dead as non-Katrina related, two lawyers and three doctors have killed themselves.

MINYARD: I don't know the mental status of these people prior to them doing the act, but I know a little bit about what happened to them. And it is obviously Katrina-related. People have lost their jobs. People have lost their homes. People have lost their loved ones.

GRIFFIN: Minyard says he helped talk a friend, a business owner, out of suicide. Many people, he says, are finding post-Katrina New Orleans just too much to handle.

MINYARD: I'm acutely aware of that, that the storm really precipitated these feelings. I mean, I have had them myself, just the fact that my office has been destroyed. And, you know, my daughter's home has been destroyed. So, I have had feelings like that myself.

GRIFFIN: The coroner says that, for professionals who thrive on controlling situations, the storm was devastating. He fears, the suicides are not over, but no one wants to deal with the problem. Politicians keep saying, things are getting better.

(on camera): But despite the billions of dollars pledged to bring this city back and the millions of dollars being sent to clean it up, people in New Orleans say, look around. The garbage is still everywhere, a visual sign that things are not improving. And that, they say, is the biggest problem. New Orleans is a city without hope.

CECILE TEBO, CRISIS UNIT COORDINATOR, NEW ORLEANS POLICE DEPARTMENT: The psychological implications, the grief and the loss, and the emotional roller coaster for some is simply beyond their ability to cope.

Kids that aren't doing well with their parents...

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Cecile Tebo is a grief counselor for the New Orleans police. The department lost two officers to suicide since the storm. She says she has been deeply depressed herself, and, every day, is conscious of living in a destroyed city.

TEBO: Oh, God, our Steinway. My husband is a beautiful, beautiful pianist. This is our -- this is the tragedy here.

GRIFFIN: Her home was flooded. She's just learned her neighborhood could be bulldozed into a city park. The garbage isn't picked up. When she tries to get help repairing her house, FEMA and insurance companies, she says, put her on hold for hours. And insurance adjusters and contractors repeatedly don't show up for appointments.

This is her new New Orleans.

TEBO: To me, it is abusive. It is -- it is like being in a -- in a really bad abusive relationship. Well, as a counselor, I encourage people to -- to get out of those relationships.

(LAUGHTER)

TEBO: So, it is like, you know, the thought would be, get out. Don't do it.

GRIFFIN (on camera): But you can't get out of your insurance. You can't get out of your building permits. You can't get out of, for most people...

TEBO: Right.

GRIFFIN: ... New Orleans.

TEBO: So, people kill themselves. That's how they get out. They just kill themselves.

TREADWAY: They can finally go back to their orthopedist.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Tyra Treadway says she saw that frustration and depression building in her husband, and they did seek help. Two psychiatrists, she says, told them he would be all right. Now she wonders whether anyone in New Orleans will ever be all right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Too depressing.

GRIFFIN: Drew Griffin, CNN, New Orleans.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And, when we come back, we change our focus to the issue of what you search for on Google. The government wants to know what searches for pornography are turning up. Should Google tell? That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: And now a story that raises the question, do you want the government snooping at what you do on the Internet, even if it is supposed to be in the name of protecting children from the bad stuff on the Web?

Well, the Justice Department is trying to force Google, the hugely popular Internet search site, to hand over records on what millions of people have searched for.

Here is technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DANIEL SIEBERG, CNN TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From its very beginnings in 1998, Google has had a unique corporate culture, from the baby grand, lava lamps and beanbag chairs that decorate the Googleplex, to the mission statement from gazillionaire founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, "Don't be evil."

The Nielsen Company, which tracks these things, estimates that 70 million searches are Googled every day in the U.S. But in part because of its concern for privacy, Google is resisting the Bush administration's request for a peek inside those search results.

ALBERTO GONZALES, ATTORNEY GENERAL: There have been other Internet service providers that have been forthcoming in sharing of information. We're not asking for the identity of Americans. We simply want to have some subject matter information with respect to these communications.

SIEBERG: The Justice Department is trying to defend a law aimed at protecting minors from seeing harmful content on the Internet. Court challenges have prevented it from being enforced.

The government wants to know from Google and other search engines how much harmful information is actually out there and how likely people are to come across it.

DOUG ISENBERG, GIGALAW.COM: So, the government wants to see what types of searches people are conducting and what types of content the search engines are providing. If it turns out that a lot of that content is considered harmful to minors, within the definition of the law, then the government will argue that Internet filters that are currently in place are inadequate.

SIEBERG: The Justice Department has filed an order to compel, demanding that Google turn over data for a random one-week time period and a sampling of a million Web sites. Yahoo, MSN and AOL, which is owned by CNN's parent company, have reportedly complied, at least in part, with similar requests.

Google says -- quote -- "We had lengthy discussions with them to try to resolve this, but were not able to. And we intend to resist their motion vigorously."

But Google's concern about privacy might be tinged with self- interest.

(on camera): Google says, if it printed out all the Web pages in its database, the stack of paper would be 150 miles high. It is how Google sifts through all that information to find exactly what you want that has made it number one, more than all the other search engines combined. And Google doesn't want to share its techniques with anybody.

DAVID VISE, AUTHOR, "THE GOOGLE STORY": Google saves every single search that they do and every single e-mail that they send. Google knows a lot more about you than you know about Google.

SIEBERG: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Vise authored the book, "The Google Story."

VISE: You might think that the main reason Google is fighting this is privacy. Actually, the main reason Google is fighting it is because Google is a super competitive company. These guys don't want Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL, or any of their other competitors to get the kind of data the government wants them to give up.

SIEBERG: Whether it is the privacy of Googlers, shielding children from porn or one company's move to guard its bread and butter, some privacy advocates worry that this is just a first step toward the government requesting Internet databases anytime for any reason.

The Justice Department's case against Google is scheduled for trial in October.

Daniel Sieberg, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And there is this. So what does this mean to the average Google user? Well, the Justice Department says it is not interested in identifying, as you heard from the attorney general, anyone through this information. And there is a protective order in place to ensure this. But that hasn't stopped some privacy advocates worrying about what could happen down the line. It's a good reminder that almost everything you do online leaves a trail.

Still to come tonight, how do you convince teenagers with all of those raging hormones to leave sex alone until they get married? We'll look at a possible answer in a few minutes or so.

But right now it is time for Erica Hill at headline news to update the hour's top stories--Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Paula, if you heard a giant Bronx cheer from the east today, it was New Yorkers learning that transit workers have voted to reject a new contract a month to the day after transit strike stranded seven million riders.

The 33,000 union members said no to the deal by just seven votes, and now the two sides have to start negotiations all over again.

Federal prosecutors say a grand jury in Oregon has indicted 11 alleged eco-terrorists. Prosecutors say they're members of the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front Group, which have claimed responsibility for arsons against meat processing companies, lumber companies, a ski center and federal facilities.

Michael Fortier is a free man tonight. He spent the last ten years in federal prison for failing to warn authorities about the Oklahoma City Bombing plot but got out a year and a half early because of his good behavior.

Former President Gerald Ford is itching to get out of the hospital. But doctors say not quite yet. He was admitted on Saturday to Rancho Mirage Hospital in California with pneumonia. The former president is 92 years old.

Actor Tony Franciosa has died of a massive stroke. He was a Tony and Oscar nominee starring TV series like "The Name of the Game," and made a name for himself playing intense, moody and troubled characters. He was 77 and died a week after his ex-wife, Shelley Winters, passed away.

And Paula, that is a look at the headlines at this hour. Back over to you.

ZAHN: Erica, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Coming up, a remarkable story about kids who aren't into porn and promise they won't touch sex until they're married. Will that really happen?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, everybody tries to tempt you and bring you down. But as long as you're strong in your beliefs, you know, they can't bring you down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Coming up next, teens, rings and chastity. Is it just the encouragement they need?

And have you seen one of London's newest and most popular attractions? Just look in the river.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Any of us who have teenagers spend an awful lot of time worrying about sex. So it may be a relief to hear that a lot of teens are taking public pledges to remain virgins until they get married. Some of them even go so far as to wear a ring, as a sign of that pledge.

But those promises are controversial, as you're about to hear from Deborah Feyerick in tonight's "Eye Opener."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): When you first meet him, Adam Skinner seems like a typical 17-year-old guy. He loves guitar, his souped up truck, staying buff...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did you know it?

ADAM SKINNER, MADE CHASTITY PLEDGE: Because I'm a genius.

FEYERICK: And, of course, hanging out with his girlfriend, Marissa.

SKINNER: I got that one wrong on the test too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you serious?

FEYERICK: They talk about sex specifically how they plan to remain virgins until marriage for God's sake.

(on-camera): How important is God in your life?

SKINNER: He's number 1.

FEYERICK (voice over): It is that relationship with God...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, it's too cold to go to the beach.

SKINNER: But what about if we're just flying kites?

FEYERICK: ...that keeps his relationship with Marissa G-rated.

(on-camera): How important is that to you, as a 17-year-old guy with hormones going crazy to be sexually pure?

SKINNER: It is very important. Because, you know, like, you know, being impure creates a strain on mine and God's relationship too, not just, you know, the person that I'm with. FEYERICK (voice over): Adam freely quotes scripture and hopes to become a youth pastor. He's been attending the Grace Family Church in Tampa, Florida, for about a year. And every Sunday night, along with some 300 other high school kids, he goes to youth group to get some religion, teen style.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe you're here because the girl or boy that you like is here, and you are hoping that they will oh, baby, just glance your way and maybe all the butterflies will come to you. And you'll be like oh. Do you understand? Because of desire, you have made the choice to be here.

FEYERICK: Front row center is Kelly Brown. For her, the word of the Lord is to keep desire in check. She's determined to remain a virgin until her wedding night, and she is not afraid to let everyone know.

KELLY BROWN, MADE CHASTITY PLEDGE: I don't mind stepping out and being like, I'm not going to have sex. I don't mind being laughed at or being made fun of.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For those of you who signed the purity pledge...

FEYERICK: But here no one is laughing at her. They're applauding.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kelly Brown.

FEYERICK: That's because like tens of thousands of other teens across the country, Kelly and Adam...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Adam Skinner.

FEYERICK: ...are slipping a silver band on their ring finger and pledging to save themselves until marriage. In fact, the so-called chastity rings have become so popular, they're sold all over the Internet and at major stores.

Every day everywhere you turn images like these bombard teenagers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, I want you. Can I kiss you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

FEYERICK: We had to know just how they plan to keep their pledge.

(on camera): You all have these rings. Do you feel that they have the same seriousness as an actual wedding ring?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Definitely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Definitely.

FEYERICK: So having that on your finger, you feel committed to the decision you've made. Is that a fair statement?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

FEYERICK: Brandon? So you're on the football team. You gotta have guys around you all the time talking about it like it's nothing. How do you to deal with that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody tries tempt you and bring you down. But as long as you're strong in your beliefs, and you're strong in what you know, they can't bring you down.

JAMES DODZWEIT, MADE CHASTITY PLEDGE: God, you've shown us the way. Now show them the way.

FEYERICK: James Dobbs is the youth pastor at Gray's Family Church. He's shepherding nearly one thousand kids who are trying to keep their virginity.

DODZWEIT: There is pressure to have sex. There is pressure to be in a very intimate relationship.

FEYERICK (on camera): So I'm a young girl, I come to you and I say, you know, I really love him and I really want that physical intimacy. What do you tell me?

DODZWEIT: I tell you that your emotions really cannot be trusted.

FEYERICK (voice-over): So when young love comes up against faith, which one wins? Not faith, says Columbia University's Peter Bearman. He conducted the largest study on teen sexuality, interviewing 20,000 young people. There was some encouraging news.

PETER BEARMAN, SOCIOLOGY PROF., COLUMBIA UNIV.: On average, you know, kids who take these virginity pledges will have sex a year and a half later than the kids who don't take these pledges.

FEYERICK: The problem? When teens did decide to have sex, they were less prepared, putting themselves at greater risk.

BEARMAN: All the benefit that they get from delay is simply wiped out in a second by not using a condom, in terms of pregnancy risk and in terms of STD risk. It's hard to imagine having a pledge card in your wallet at the same time as a condom.

DODZWEIT: We would rather set the bar high towards abstinence rather than give them tips on how to put your condom on right.

FEYERICK (on camera): Is it possible to solve a teenager's hormones simply by saying put this ring on?

DODZWEIT: No. Absolutely not. My goodness, I would be, you know, God himself if I could do that. FEYERICK (voice-over): In fact, Bearman found 88 percent of those who had taken the pledge lost their virginity by the time they said, I do. But this doesn't deter Pastor James.

DODZWEIT: If we have our way, we're going to blow that statistic out of the water. That's not wishful thinking. When it comes to anything that you hope for your kids, you don't tell them to aim low. We do strive for excellence.

FEYERICK: Adam Skinner knows just how hard it can be to fight hormones. He faced it with his last girlfriend.

ADAM SKINNER, MADE CHASTITY PLEDGE: We didn't always make the right choices, but, you know, God can see past that and forgive our sins. We didn't go all the way, but you get caught up in the moment and sometimes you just -- you lose your self-control.

FEYERICK (on camera): Was there guilt?

SKINNER: Yes.

FEYERICK: A little bit of shame?

SKINNER: Sure.

FEYERICK: Little bit of embarrassment?

SKINNER: Yes.

FEYERICK (voice-over): He says the choices he hopes to make with his new girlfriend, Marisa (ph), who has also taken the virginity pledge, will be different.

FEYERICK (on camera): It is fair to say you don't plan to be alone with Marisa at any point?

SKINNER: Not in that kind of a situation, you know, for -- go to the movies or something together, but don't ever want to put ourselves in a place where we could be tempted.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Kelly Brown is also figuring out how to keep her pledge when she goes to college next September.

(on camera): There are going to be temptations, there are going to be cute guys, you're not going to have your parents looking over your shoulder. It is harder when you go to college to say, my mom and my dad don't let me date.

KELLY BROWN, MADE CHASTITY PLEDGE: I just know I have to keep -- I have to keep myself accountable. I definitely don't party. I don't go to parties. I don't drink.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Kelly Brown and her mom seem to have it all figured out. But will she be able to wait if things don't go as planned?

BROWN: I think I want to get married at 26. I think I want to meet him at 25, 26-ish and be -- I want to be married by 27 at least.

FEYERICK (on camera): Okay. And do you re-evaluate if you haven't met somebody by then?

BROWN: I don't know. Most likely. But hopefully I don't have to wait that long.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Deborah Feyerick, CNN, Tampa, Florida.

ZAHN: And there is one more thing to add tonight: the Columbia University study also found that one in five teens in this country have taken some kind of chastity pledge, whether or not it involves an actual exchange of rings.

Coming up in about 15 minutes from now, "LARRY KING LIVE." Larry joins us right now to give us a little preview on this Friday night as we head into the weekend.

How are you doing, Larry? Who have you got on tonight?

LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Hi, Paula.

Judea Pearl, the father of the late Daniel Pearl, the "Wall Street Journal" reporter, who you remember was abducted and murdered in Pakistan in 2002. Then he'll join a larger panel, discussing Jill Carroll's still being held in Iraq.

We'll also have a segment with Michael Chertoff, the Homeland Security secretary. And we'll have phone calls as well from viewers. All that at the top of the hour immediately following the talented -- usually I say lovely and talented. Now we'll reverse that. Talented and lovely, Paula.

ZAHN: No matter what order you say it in, Larry, I like it. Thank you.

KING: We're both in black tonight.

ZAHN: Yeah, I know. I was going to say, should we promise the audience, maybe we'll both come back out in lavender on Monday or something? We look like we're --

KING: You wear lavender, I'll wear lavender.

ZAHN: You got it. It's a deal. Lavender memo coming at you. Larry, have a good show. We'll be watching. Have a good weekend, too.

Still to come tonight, London is getting a most unusual visitor these days. We know how it got there. But the question is, why?

Before we head across the pond, there is some important news about your money. Erica Hill has the HEADLINE NEWS "Business Break" for you.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS: Paula, no other way to put it: stocks tanked today. It is the worst showing for the Street in close to three years. The Dow Industrials lost 213 points to finish the week down close to 300 points. The NASDAQ finished 54 points lower. Oil prices had a lot to do with those numbers, hitting a four-month high at over $68 a barrel. And that price blamed on jitters over Iran's nuclear plans, trouble in Nigeria which has lots of oil, and Osama bin Laden's latest threat against the United States.

Oil production in the U.S. meantime still hurting because of the storms that devastated the Gulf Coast. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita damaged more than 100 rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. At least one-sixth of the Gulf's 4,000 production platforms will still be off line when the next storm season starts.

Two weeks from now, United Airlines, though, on an up note, will finally come out of bankruptcy protection. A judge has given the company final approval for its reorganization plan, capping the longest bankruptcy in airline history. It has allowed United to cut costs by $7 billion. Casualties of United's three-year climb out of the red here, pensions and some 25,000 jobs.

The U.S. is sending food investigators to Japan because of another Mad Cow scare over U.S. beef. Less than 2 months after Japan lifted its ban on U.S. beef, Tokyo has again shut down imports because a recent shipment had material it believed is at risk for Mad Cow.

And Paula, that's a look at your "Business Break" headlines at this hour. Have a great weekend.

ZAHN: You too. Thanks, Erica.

Coming up, Londoners have gotten a whale of a surprise. What the heck is it doing there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Quite makes for a new doorstep (ph), isn't it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were suggesting it's probably male because it is not asking for directions.

ZAHN: How are they going get this wayward whale back where it belongs? Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: So if you ever made a wrong turn and who hasn't, you'll sympathize with the whale that at this very moment is in London. Yes, London, England. The whale managed to swim all the way up the Thames from the English Channel. And now there are a lot of people trying to help it find its way back.

Here is Paula Newton.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It could have been lifted from the pages of a children's story. It has just never happened. A wandering whale loses its way and winds up in London. For hours thousands of Londoners were riveted by the spectacle of a northern bottle-nosed whale taking in a tour of their city, basking in the sun.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's got a book, the whale and the snail, but he never came to London. So we're very excited that he's in London, aren't we?

NEWTON: People just couldn't help themselves. They abandoned their desks, grabbed their kids and brought out the cameras. This majestic mammal mystified them all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like nature on your doorstep, isn't it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're suggesting it is probably male because it is not asking for directions.

NEWTON: The whale was first spotted by a commuter who told police he must be hallucinating. But by that time, the whale had already slipped under Tower Bridge and headed up river right past Big Ben.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's over there. It's amazing really. It is. Once in a lifetime, I hope he gets back safely to where he came from.

NEWTON: In fact, the whale's home is hundreds of miles away in the north Atlantic. Rescuers were on the scene trying to coax it to head back there. Experts are not sure why or how this kind of whale could stray so far.

Eventually, it became clear the whale was in trouble. Lost, injured on its nose and tail, and now swimming aimlessly in fresh water, not saltwater. By late afternoon it had beached twice. Idle spectators plunged into action shooing the whale on its way. But by night fall it had clearly run out of steam.

MARK STEVENS, BRITISH MARINE RESCUERS: It has got quite a bit of damage around its head area and is flexing in an unnatural manner.

NEWTON: The real danger is that it will beach again before it gets anywhere near the open sea, now more than 14 miles away.

RICHARD SABIN, ZOOLOGIST: If it beaches, its body weight will put pressure on its lungs which will cause extra stress to the animal.

NEWTON: As long as a bus with five tons of bulk, experts say a tow or a lift are last resorts. As eventful as this day has been for this most curious of creatures, it may be its final journey.

(on-camera): The truth is this whale is in for a tough night. Tired, disoriented, injured, its best shot is to make it out to open sea on its own. What so delighted Londoners for hours is now distressing them. Everyone here looking for that happy ending.

Paula Newton, CNN, London. (END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: But we have just learned this, the latest reports say the whale is now headed in the right direction, down river, toward the open sea.

Be sure to stay with CNN for the very latest developments in the kidnapping of American journalist Jill Carroll. What might she be going through right now?

Well, a journalist who survived being kidnapped in Iraq two years ago joins Larry King at the top of the hour. I'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Almost a spring-like night out there in New York City tonight.

Many of you had some pretty strong reaction to our story last night about the woman who has accused an influential Atlanta minister of sexual misconduct and is now suing him. Last night we introduced you to Mona Brewer who says her former pastor Bishop Earl Paulk forced her into a sexual relationship that lasted for 14 years.

Here is what Wendy in California wrote to us, quote, "I'm proud of her for speaking up and showing her face. Those of us who have had similar experiences need to constantly remind the public that we are not to blame. That man should not have touched her. It was and always is an abuse of power."

Well, others had different takes.

CALLER: She was a grown woman. And ultimately, you know, she made her own choice. It was her decision. She could have said no, pure and simple. But she failed to do so. So she has to accept responsibility for what she did.

ZAHN: Well, we always love hearing from you. And hearing your variance of opinions out there. Please leave us a voice mail at 1- 877-Paula-Now or email us at heypaula@cnn.com.

And be sure to join--or stay with CNN for the latest developments in the kidnapping of American journalist Jill Carroll. What might she be going through right now. Well, a journalist who survived being kidnapped in Iraq for two years joins Larry King in just a minute.

And here is a heads up for a story we're working on for Monday. Remember your school nurse? Well, apparently they are a thing of the past at most schools. We'll take a look at the shortage across the country.

We hope you all have a good weekend. Thanks for joining us tonight. Good night.

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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