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Vatican Offers Training Course In Exorcism; Fats Domino Returns to New Orleans

Aired October 13, 2005 - 17:00   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: You're in THE SITUATION ROOM, where news and information from around the world arrive at one place simultaneously.
Happening right now, it's 5:00 p.m. in the Northeastern U.S., where floods are up, roads are washed out, and the worst of this deadly flooding may still come.

It's 4:00 p.m. in New Orleans, where one of the most famous citizens returned home today for the first time since Katrina. We'll show you what music legend Fats Domino found.

It's 11:00 p.m. at the Vatican, where years of secrecy are being cast aside. Church officials now offering a one-of-a-kind class, training the next generation of exorcists.

I'm Kyra Phillips. Wolf Blitzer is off today. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

It hasn't been 40 days and 40 nights, but for people living in the Northeast, it may feel that way. Flooding, triggered by what was left of Hurricanes Stan and Tammy, has brought much of the East, from Virginia to New England, to a soggy standstill.

Here's CNN's Mary Snow as the waters rise. Mary?

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Kyra. And you know, it has been raining though, here for seven days in northern New Jersey. We are at Pompton Lakes, New Jersey. And the flooding is fairly localized, but still, enough flooding to threaten 25 to 30 homes. And as the water continues to rise, this is one area in New Jersey watching and bracing for moor floods.


SNOW (voice-over): For an eighth straight day, steady rain continues to fall on a much already waterlogged New England, where roads are swamped and airliners are canceled or delayed. Flood warnings are in place for parts of Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey.

The New Jersey State Emergency Management Office is on alert. New Jersey's worst flooding is in Pompton Lakes. An emergency management spokesman says the Ramapo River has already exceeded major flood stage at 13 feet and could reach 16 feet by early Friday. Remarkably, New Jersey reports no flood-related deaths. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There it goes.

SNOW: Not so in southwestern New Hampshire, where at least three people are confirmed dead and more are missing. Up to six more inches of rain are expected over the next few days.

GOV. JOHN LYNCH (D), NEW HAMPSHIRE: One of our first priorities is to restore power and communication to those homes which have been without power and communication since last weekend. And we just about have that job completed.

SNOW: Governor Lynch has briefed legislators, telling them to expect damage to be in the tens of millions of dollars.


SNOW: And what you're looking at right now is the Ramapo River, the river meeting backyards. And officials are closely watching this because the river is expected to crest again tomorrow morning. It is above flood stage, and the forecast is calling for more rain, possibly rain into Saturday.

This area has not been evacuated. Officials say they may have to at some point. There are other parts of New Jersey where evacuations are under way. And there are some families who are just leaving, saying they're not going to wait it out.


PHILLIPS: All right, Mary Snow, we'll continue to follow up with you.

But we want to talk to more about the storm and preparations with Neal Buccino. He's a public information officer with the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management. Neal, tell us what's happening right now and how you're preparing.

NEAL BUCCINO, NEW JERSEY POLICE OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: Well, right now, the State Office of Emergency Management has activated the state's emergency operations center. We're activated at level three, which is the third of five levels of activation. That means we have additional personnel who are going to be here at west Trenton on call 24-7.

They're very closely monitoring the areas of concern. They're communicating very closely with the counties and municipalities and making them aware that we are ready to provide resources such as rescue vehicles, rescue teams, sandbags, additional personnel for police patrols, road barriers and things of those kind.

PHILLIPS: Is the National Guard in place, and is the National Guard doing anything right now like getting some sandbags in place and getting high-water rescue vehicles ready to go?

BUCCINO: Yes, the National Guard is mobilizing both of those things and has provided, I believe, 3,000 sandbags to Essex County, and a number of sandbags to Passaic County as well.

PHILLIPS: Any areas right now where you are asking people to definitely evacuate, or at least get ready to evacuate?

BUCCINO: The local municipalities and counties are the ones who will make that decision based on their area's needs and what's happening in their area. I'm aware myself of voluntary evacuations that have happened in the township of Wayne. I have heard reports of possible evacuations, but nothing specific.

PHILLIPS: Now, looking at Katrina, a lot of lessons learned there. Obviously, this is not going to be as devastating as what we saw after Katrina, but did you learn anything from that? And are you doing anything different this time around?

BUCCINO: We are. We did learn quite a bit from Katrina, and it was -- actually it was Hurricane Floyd back in '99 that was our main time to re-evaluate our evacuation plans here in New Jersey, look at doing things like reverse lane plans that would allow us to force specific highways -- we would take inbound traffic and turn them into outbound traffic, giving us two to three extra lanes of traffic out.

We'd also plan to have state Department of Transportation vehicles available to change tires, provide people with gas if they run out of gas during an evacuation route, and things of that kind.

PHILLIPS: What about travel from air to ground? Air travel slowed up at all, cancelled, any kind of preparations? And then also from the ground? Are you asking people to avoid certain areas right now, not be out on the road at certain times?

BUCCINO: Air travel I haven't heard about, sorry I don't have that in front of me. In terms of the ground travel, again, the local municipals and local counties are making the decisions based on the conditions on their roads.

We certainly advise anybody, if a road appears to be flooded, do not drive there, turn around. If there are any road barriers up, do not go around those barriers, because you don't know. You may see water on a road and not think it's that deep. It may be a lot deeper than you think and it may be moving faster than you think as well.

PHILLIPS: Neal Buccino, our pictures are moving quickly, too. PIO with the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management. Thanks, Neal.

BUCCINO: Thank you very much.

PHILLIPS: Well, we've got a pretty good look at the floods in the Northeast at ground level.

CNN's Tom Foreman back here in the studio to give us another perspective, compliments, of course, of Google Earth Technology. Got to have a shout out, there. And you've mastered that technology.

FOREMAN: Well, we're doing what we can. That means it'll go wrong now. PHILLIPS: Anchor, reporter, meteorologist, computer expert. What else?

FOREMAN: And I can make hundreds of julienne fries in seconds. The fact is -- the reality is, one of the reasons this is such a problem right now in New Jersey is because last week, they were getting hammered by rain. A lot of the rainfall right now, you know, one and a half, two and a half, three and a half inches, something like that, that can be a problem when it falls fast, obviously.

But look at what happens when you stack it up over time. This is New Jersey right now. I want to show you as we zoom in toward New Jersey, I'm going to show you what the radar's showing right now. You've got a tremendous amount of rain falling up in that area, up above there right now.

So they're OK on this, but this stuff has been passing through. A short while ago, we were taking a look at Pompton Lakes. This is the area up north where they're have the really heavy rainfall, Northeast. They're getting hammered up there.

PHILLIPS: That's where Mary is, right?

FOREMAN: Exactly. Mary was there just a few minutes ago. You can see the mountains up there. All of this has a channeling effect, which can make it worse. Waters are flowing down waterways and down mountainsides, and it focuses it. However, if we go down here to Bound Brook, which is quite some distance away, they're very worried down there.

And a moment ago, we mentioned Tropical Storm Floyd. They learned in 1999 how bad it could be down in this area along the Raritan River. They made very hasty plans here on Wednesday to try to deal with this. They got ready to evacuate people. They set up the local high school to see if they could help out if they needed to with evacuating people. The river did not come quite as high as they thought. So right now they're all just like this, waiting, saying, what's going to happen?

PHILLIPS: As we look at the river, what type of -- what do they have along the river? Have they built anything along the sides of the river there -- walls or any kind of precautions? I mean, do they have levees?

FOREMAN: I'll tell you something, I don't know in this town. I mean, I know that in a lot of areas along the rivers in the Northeast, you'll find some degree of a little floodwall or something, but usually they seem to be more for navigational purposes, not so much for holding the water out, although you see some of that, not a lot of it.

So I don't really know in this particular area. But I know this, if the water gets much higher, they were worried about it in the past 24 hours. They say if this rain keeps coming through on Thursday, on Friday, they keep getting hammered there, then they're going to initialize these evacuation plans and start getting people out of that area.

I think, frankly, everybody is reacting very strongly to everything because of what we've seen in the past few weeks. No community out there wants to take chances right now.

PHILLIPS: Oh, sure. Lessons learned, no matter how big the storm is. All right, Tom Foreman, thank you so much.

Still ahead on THE SITUATION ROOM, it could determine the future of a nation. We'll go live to Iraq and CNN chief international correspondent Nic Robertson for the latest on the upcoming constitutional referendum.

Also, ancient rites long hidden under a shroud of secrecy. Now a new attitude at the Vatican toward exorcism.

And a celebrity evacuee returns to New Orleans. We'll go home with Fats Domino. He's returning for the first time since Katrina.


PHILLIPS: The Bush White House has been known to carefully choreograph some presidential appearances, but some are questioning the even more scripted than usual nature of an event today, a live videoconference between Mr. Bush and U.S. forces in Iraq.

Let's go to our White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux. Hi, Suzanne.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kyra. If you've ever seen a President Bush event, you know that they go through rehearsals, that these audiences are hand-picked, and it's far from spontaneous. But what makes today's so unique is the fact that you, me, our audience, get a rare glimpse to pull back the curtain, if you will, on a rehearsal that took place before President Bush's videoconference with soldiers of out of Tikrit, Iraq -- about 10 American soldiers, as well as an Iraqi army official.

You see a Pentagon official actually in this rehearsal, prepping them for possible questions from the president, and then, of course, we asked the White House about this. You'll hear some of that tape from the satellite feed. You'll also here White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan addressing some of those questions.


ALLISON BARBER, DEPUTY ASSISTANT DEFENSE SECRETARY: So here's what we have to be prepared for, Captain Kennedy, is that the president is going to ask some questions. And he may ask all six of them, he may ask three of them. He might have such a great time talking to you, he might come up with some new questions.

So what we want to be prepared for is to not stutter. So if there's a question that the president comes up with that we haven't drilled through today, then I'm expecting the microphone to go right back to you, Captain Kennedy, and you to handle it. CAPTAIN KENNEDY, U.S. ARMED FORCES: OK.

BARBER: If all else fails, start singing.

QUESTION: Why did the administration feel it was necessary to coach the soldiers that the president talked to this morning in Iraq?

SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I'm sorry. I don't know what you're suggesting.

QUESTION: They discussed the questions ahead of time. They were told what the president would ask and they were coached in terms of who would answer what question and how they would pass the microphone.

MCCLELLAN: I'm sorry, sir. Are you suggesting that what our troops were saying was not sincere, or that what they said was not their own thoughts?


MALVEAUX: So here, the White House unapologetic, as well as the Pentagon. A Pentagon spokesperson saying -- and I'm quoting here -- "To my knowledge, nobody told them what to say. We just gave them a sense of the issues and that they should be prepared to talk about. The troops are very proud of what they're doing, and we're very proud to present that to the president."


PHILLIPS: Suzanne, it's interesting though, because if you look back, wasn't it Donald Rumsfeld that visited the region, and those two soldiers stood up and asked the questions about why did their Humvees have to be protected by scrap metal from the dump? And if sort of caught everybody off-guard. It ended up being a very interesting conversation, but, once again, he obviously wasn't prepped on the questions.

MALVEAUX: Well, that's right. Every once in a while, you have one of these spontaneous moments that happen, and it surprises everyone because typically, what happens behind the scenes is this kind of question and back and fort, Q and A, this preparation that takes place. Today, what is very unusual is that we actually got to all of this unfold before the actual event.

PHILLIPS: Suzanne Malveaux, live from the White House. Thanks so much.

Well, this weekend, the people of Iraq will make history. The country will hold a national referendum on its proposed constitution. Security is tightening in advance, of course. Last minute deals are being struck, but the bottom line will be at the ballot box. Even prisoners are voting.

CNN's senior international correspondent Nic Robertson joins us now by videophone from Baquba, Iraq. Nic? NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kyra, prisoners were able to vote today. We watched them voting in a prison in the town, here in Baquba. We also spoke with them. Most of them told us that they were going to vote yes, some of them said they haven't been able to read the constitution and therefore, they would vote no. Also, people in hospitals were able to vote.

Election officials have told us they expect more people to turn out to come and vote now than they did in the elections in January of this year. They say about eight out of every 10 people eligible to vote is registered to vote. They say the reason for that is that (INAUDIBLE) people in the streets say that.

But even as people were telling us this today, just a few miles away, a convoy carrying ballot papers around the edge of Baquba was targeted by a road-side bomb. It was followed up with an ambush, a rocket propelled grenade fire, small arms fire. So it's clear here, still -- that convoy of ballot papers got through. But it's clear, still, that even though it is marginally safer, as people say, it's still not entirely safe.


PHILLIPS: Well, Nic, as we talk about the security issues, and of course, we've seen the troops trying to secure the polling stations from buildings to schools. What about once the voting takes place? What kind of security will be around the actual votes that are cast?

ROBERTSON: Well, the really tight security begins about now. As of tomorrow and Saturday, Election Day, there will be no vehicular traffic allowed on the roads at all. At the polling stations, you will have police controlling the polling stations. There will be another cordon out beyond that, perhaps the Iraqi army. And then beyond that, sort of out of sight, if you will, U.S. military providing an out-of- cordon quick reaction forces available.

But the idea is, is to encourage Iraqis to be out to the polls. And it does have to be said that people we talked to, by and large, really did say they felt safer about going out. But of course, which way are they going to vote? We saw people today debating that the constitution would divide the country. Others say, no, look. Here in the book with the constitution, this will make us more united. It's not clear really so far which way everyone's going to vote.


PHILLIPS: All right, Nic Robertson, we'll be checking in. Thank you so much.

Coming up, he fled the floodwaters of New Orleans. Now music legend Fats Domino returns to see what's left of his home.

And will the party go on? We're going to talk to a small business owner in New Orleans about plans for, oh yes, Mardi Gras, Mardi Gras 2006.


PHILLIPS: An emotional return home for rock and roll pioneer Fats Domino. The singer returned to his devastated house in New Orleans today for the first time since he was rescued last month after Hurricane Katrina.

Eric Paulsen of CNN affiliate WWL was with Fats Domino when he got a look at what the floodwaters did to his home.


ERIC PAULSEN, WWL REPORTER (on-camera): What do you think when you see it?

FATS DOMINO, MUSIC LEGEND: Well, what do you expect, you know? It's one of those things. I saw a part of it on television.

PAULSEN: Are you going to stay in New Orleans? I mean, you are New Orleans, to many people.

DOMINO: Yes, I'm going to stay here, I think.

PAULSEN: Are you going to rebuild here? What are you going to do?

DOMINO: I don't know. I don't know.

PAULSEN (voice-over): Inside this annex to his house, it's a mess. As we walked through this morning, he found some of the memorabilia from his decades in the music business. In his big entertainment room at the back of the annex, it's wrecked. Then, in the main house, where Fats has lived for more than 40 years, total destruction.


PHILLIPS: And that was Eric Paulsen of affiliate WWL. He actually joins me on the phone right now. Eric?

PAULSEN: Hi, Kyra. How are you?

PHILLIPS: Well, I heard a rumor that you were actually hanging out at the piano with Fats right now. Is that true or is that just a rumor?

PAULSEN: That's just a rumor.

PHILLIPS: All right, that had to be pretty amazing. I mean, come on. The guy is a legend. I can just only imagine what he had in that house. I mean, what else did you come across? Tell me about what you found and what he was telling you.

PAULSEN: Well, I've been there a number of times because I did a story on Fats about a year and a half ago for his 70-something birthday. And we got to be friends. In fact, I've been to a couple of concerts with him and stuff like that, and we've gone out drinking together before. I mean, it's pretty cool to go out drinking with Fats Domino.

PHILLIPS: Typical New Orleans reporter.

PAULSEN: Well, you've got to get the whole story. And so I've got to know him very well. And, you know, when you go into his house, that first part we showed you, that room in the back room, that was a beautiful room. It looked almost like something Elvis Presley would have had at Graceland. And he had the back of a pink Cadillac made into a couch in that room and a big long dining room table. The dining room table was shot, and the pink Cadillac was still there, but a mess.

And then he was trapped for -- Katrina came in on Sunday night, Monday morning. And they thought they were OK. He's got all kinds of storm shutters on the house, he though it was a very well protected house. But when that water started rising, it started coming up very fast until they were trapped in the top of that house. They had to be rescued by boat.

PHILLIPS: Well, you know, Eric, I mean, we're talking about the inside of the house, but I think one thing -- I mean, we know this as reporters working in New Orleans, a lot of these musicians really want to be a part of the community. He lives in the Ninth Ward. His house is extremely humble. This is a really famous musician and he lives in his community just like everybody else. It's not really a fancy home at all.

PAULSEN: Well, it's a huge home and he had a lot of stuff in it. I mean, it was...

PHILLIPS: But it's humble.

PAULSEN: Yes, but humble if everyone lives in a 6,000 or 7,000 square foot home with an annex and a TV room and stuff like that, then that's humble. But it's a very humble neighborhood. But Fats is an icon. You know, when we were out doing the story today, workers from FEMA and Shaw and all kinds of contractors were coming up. They wanted their picture taken with Fats. I mean, wherever you are with Fats, it draws a crowd.

PHILLIPS: Well, I love that he stays in the same neighborhood. It's incredible.

PAULSEN: Oh, it's just great. And you saw that one white baby grand, the white baby grand, that was one of a couple of baby grands he had in the house. He had a bar upstairs that had a thousand silver dollars under glass. We got upstairs, that was broken, and he was worried that his money had been stolen. It was very, very dear to him. He found out later that his son had come there a few days ago, broken the glass, and gotten the dollars to save for Fats.

PHILLIPS: Oh, wow. Eric Paulsen, great stuff. Thanks so much for calling in.

PAULSEN: All right, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: My pleasure.

Well, Mardi Gras is big business in New Orleans, and one small business owner is vowing that he'll be back in time for the big party.

CNN's Ali Velshi with more from New York. Of course Ali Velshi is talking about Mardi Gras.

ALI VELSHI, CNN ANCHOR: I've got to tell you, I love Mardi Gras. I've been several times. It grows a little less easy to handle the further you are from the age of 20, but in New Orleans...

PHILLIPS: It's about the recovery, is that what you're talking about?

VELSHI: Exactly right. They're talking about bringing it back. And obviously, it means a lot more than it just typically does. It's a thing about spirit. It's also something that the businesses in New Orleans need a great deal now.

A lot the floats are made by one company, and I spoke to the owner of this company. He refers to himself as Mr. Mardi Gras. I understand some people use that name too, but he says he's the Mr. Mardi Gras. Some people doubt that Mardi Gras will make it in 2006, this man doesn't.


BLAINE KERN, "MR. MARDI GRAS": They call me Mr. Mardi Gras, that's my title. If you write Mr. Mardi Gras, New Orleans, I get the mail.

Oh my gosh, they blew all the doors off of Mardi Gras over here. It's collapsed. Two of my carnival gems up in the next parish, and the floats that we named the tractors, the ceilings fell on top of them. We'll have 70,000 to 100,000 people come Mardi Gras in the Convention Center in town.

Now, about the bands. We can bring the bands in. We can get Navy ships in here. They've been here before, they'll do it even more so. Navy ships will come in and house the bands and the groups. And anybody out there that wants to come ride, there'll be enough hotel rooms, but just come in and do it with us. They'll want to come for the rest of their life. That happens.

There's marching clubs, there's probably a thousand different clubs in New Orleans that take part in Mardi Gras. There's about 50 major parades.

I'd like to make a plea, though, right now to everybody listening to me, please, come to the Mardi Gras. Like I said before, eat our food, drink, in other words, dance to our music, but get on our floats. Please come.


VELSHI: How can you resist that plea, honestly? This man is so full of verve and energy. You know, with people like that saying it's going to happen, you got to have some faith in this.

PHILLIPS: Well, and even when I was there, some of the military commanders that were trying to make it a goal. Of course, it's not going to be like it was last year. There's no way we can do that, but they want some type of Mardi Gras up and running for the morale of that city, Ali.

VELSHI: And Mr. Mardi Gras here said the military will be involved. The Navy's going to help out. You know, Kyra, I think we can put money on the fact that Mardi Gras will happen. You're right, it may not be the biggest Mardi Gras they've ever seen, but I think that city needs that. And some people might use that as the turning point for the rebirth of New Orleans. And I look forward to seeing it.

PHILLIPS: Well, check out King Cakes Company for me, too, because usually I order a King Cake every Mardi Gras.

VELSHI: I shall.

PHILLIPS: OK, good. Ali Velshi, thank you so much.

Well, coming up. Water rescue, it's not just the victims in danger. We're going to show you what emergency crews are facing.

Plus, growing alarm in Europe. Bird flu now confirmed at its borders and possibly inside the E.U. as well.



PHILLIPS: And here's a look at some of the "Hot Shots" coming in from the Associated Press, pictures likely to be in your newspaper tomorrow.

In Iraq, stepped-up security. According to an Iraqi public information officer, these men were rounded up after two days of clashes. U.S. and local forces are clamping down ahead of this weekend's constitutional referendum.

In Long Beach, California, a police dog funeral. A K-9 officer, Ranger, was shot and killed during a shoot-out by a gang member last week. His human partner says that he saved his life during that shoot- out. Ranger was the first police dog to be shot to death in that city.

In Indonesia, Australian model on trial. Michelle Leslie sits during questioning at the prosecutor's office in Bali. She was busted for allegedly having two tablets of the drug ecstasy. She faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

And, in Cincinnati, smashing lunch. An elephant name Mai Tai holds a pumpkin in his trunk as he prepares to crush and eat it. The pumpkin smash is part of the Halloween celebrations at the zoo.

That's today's "Hot Shots," pictures worth a thousand words and a few Mai Tais. Well, more now on this hour's top story, the deluge in the Northeast that just won't let up. Flood warnings are up in part of the New Jersey, as well New York and Connecticut. Some areas in the Garden State have had almost five inches of rain in the last two days, and on top of another five inches last weekend. It's just a mess all the way up to Maine. Ten deaths are being blamed on that weather. At least four people are still missing in New Hampshire.

More now on the flooding that is plaguing the Northeast. It poses a danger not only for the people caught in it, but for all those that are coming to the rescue as well.

CNN's Brian Todd live in Great Falls, Virginia, with more. Brian?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kyra, we came here because we wanted to show viewers what may be a little bit of an extreme example, but will show a very clear illustration of how fast floodwaters can rise and what first-responders are up against. Here at Great Falls, Virginia, this gorge down here at the Potomac River, officials say, during a flooding event, that water can rise from that gorge down there to the observation post on the Maryland side of the river, where those people are over there, in 12 to 18 hours.

But it can fluctuate about five feet either way in just a couple of hours. That's how extreme it can -- the activity is around areas that are in narrow passageways, like this, and areas in New England where small streams are rivers are flooding so very fast.

I'm joined here by Captain Mark Feaster (ph). He is a veteran Swift boat -- Swift water rescue official here in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Capital Feaster (ph), what is the most common mistake that people make when they're next to water like this or even just somewhat milder floodwaters?

CAPTAIN MARK FEASTER, FAIRFAX COUNTY, VIRGINIA, SWIFT WATER RESCUE: Well, I believe it comes down to, really, a misjudgment of their own ability, lack of training and equipment.

Out here, swimming -- no one should swim in rivers like this. But swimming in current is much different than swimming in a pool or a lake.

TODD: We were talking about -- now, obviously, this is an extreme example. But you pointed out, even a very small cascade can do a lot of damage. Talk about that.

FEASTER: Oh, yes. The hydraulics from even a small waterfall can trap an individual. And the current, approximately seven-mile-per-hour current, which is about as fast as a man can jog, can exhibit around 300 pounds of force on an adult's body. So, it's quite extensive.

TODD: Absolutely. And -- and at -- at this time of year, we also have to worry about water temperature here and in the Northeast. Talk about that. That can really sap the body of its energy, right? FEASTER: Oh, yes. And people overlook that all the time. Your body -- you always have to be on guard for hypothermia. And water can rob your body 25 times faster than air of heat. So, it doesn't take a lot, and hypothermia will set in.

TODD: These are some of the things that first-responders in the Northeast and flood victims up there are dealing with. They're going to be dealing with it for a few more days.

Kyra, back to you.

PHILLIPS: All right. Brian Todd, thank you so much.

Let's talk more about the flooding, as we check in with our Internet reporter, Jacki Schechner. She, of course, is checking the situation online. Yesterday was the panda-cam.


JACKI SCHECHNER, CNN INTERNET CORRESPONDENT: Today, it's ducks. Well, I am going to show you that in just a moment. That will be your little tease.

We were just talking about how fast these conditions are changing and how quickly the floodwaters are rising. You can follow the warnings in certain areas online. At the National Weather Service -- this is at -- for example, you can see the Pompton Lakes area. We looked at that on Google Earth a little bit earlier. You can see the major flood warnings there. And then you can take a look at that obnoxious bright green color. That's where the major flood warnings are in the New Jersey-Connecticut areas.

I want to also take you to This is a site online that is a consortium of newspapers. And you can see from the headline, "We're Soaked," what they're doing is having some photos online. You can take a look what the area looks like here in one area. This is from Matt Rainey at "The Star-Ledger" in New Jersey. You can see the flooding.

And this is the duck photo. Kyra, I know you have been waiting for this one. This is actually weather suited for ducks.


PHILLIPS: Jacki, thank you.


PHILLIPS: It's adorable.

Well, still to come, thousands of people are dead and thousands more are injured, in need of medical attention in the aftermath of Kashmir's violent earthquake. How can doctors cope against such enormous odds?

And later, the dangerous bird flu wings its way from Asia to Europe. Can a potential pandemic be stopped?


PHILLIPS: Tens of thousands of people are dead, but just as many are seriously injured as a result of the South Asia earthquake. Doctors say there's little they can do for some, because they just don't have enough of the supplies.

CNN's Stan Grant joins us now live via videophone from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. And I know you have got a pretty tough story to tell us about, Stan.

STAN GRANT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tough story -- a tough picture out there, Kyra. The Pakistani military and relief and aid agencies pushing into the farthest regions, the most remote areas of Pakistan. They're finding more and more victims and finding it is increasingly difficult to get the aid to them, so difficult that lives that could otherwise be saved are being tragically lost.


GRANT (voice-over): Look at this little girl. She's slowly, surely dying. Her body is bent and broken. Inside, she's bleeding. There is nothing doctors can do.

DR. FLORISSE IDDENBERG, DUTCH SEARCH AND RESCUE: Something is wrong inside. I guess -- at least the bleeding, but there could be a perforation of the one of the lungs (ph). And, to be honest, I'm convinced that this child is going to die.

GRANT: Her father brought her here to this makeshift hospital. Now he's watching, helplessly, as the minutes tick away.

"I'm praying to God to keep her alive," he tells me.

Doctor Florisse Iddenberg (ph) grapples with this misery, hour after hour. He's with the Dutch relief group, urban search-and- rescue. For four days now, he has tended to the sick. But it is not enough. He's the only surgeon here, but his skills are rendered useless.

IDDENBERG: There is no anesthesia over here. The -- it's -- I'm the only surgeon here. The only thing that needs to be established is a surgical capacity somewhere to treat them. But I think we have to accept -- but I don't like it -- that people are going to die.

GRANT: He takes me on a tour of the tents that serve as wards. Everywhere are the sick and injured. This man is now a paraplegic. There are women and children, so many children, limbs broken, in pain.

(on camera): As you can see, you can barely move in here, for the patients. Most of these people were injured only moments after the earthquake. They have been brought in here to this makeshift hospital. They're hoping for the best treatment they can get. But the doctors are telling us, it simply isn't here. They can't get the medicine. They can't get the treatment to these people quickly enough. And now they're really fearing the worst.

(voice-over): The people here were all injured in that dreadful moment when the earth cracked beneath them. Their town of Bagge (ph) was leveled. It's hidden in the remote mountains of Pakistan- controlled Kashmir, difficult to get to.

We arrived by helicopter with the Pakistani army. They want to show us that aid is getting through, the relief operation is working. But not even the army can get through here. The roads, badly damaged, are jammed. We cannot pass. Patience is wearing thin.

(on camera): The problem is, you're trying to get to people who need you, and you can't get there.


GRANT: Helicopter. But you can't get there by road. It's chaos.



GRANT: What can you do? Nothing.

(voice-over): We do follow him. But, minutes later, another traffic jam. Some aid is getting through, but people grapple over what meager rations they receive. The town of 60,000 now more resembles a refugee camp. People carry all they own on their backs. Sometimes, they carry each other. The faces of the old tell of the suffering here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Too much have people died. Too much (INAUDIBLE) Too much people have -- too much (INAUDIBLE)

GRANT (on camera): Too many people died?


GRANT (voice-over): There is too much death. Florisse Iddenberg (ph) has seen it with his own eyes.

IDDENBERG: Anyone who has seen this will change, will realize that what we consider our daily problems are minor to what we have seen here.

GRANT: But, for all his personal trauma, Dr. Iddenberg (ph) will have a life. He will go on. Our cameras, too, will move on. But we leave behind a little girl who will not see too many more days. For all of the will of the doctors here, they cannot save her.


GRANT: And that is the truly heartbreaking thing about this, for us reporting the story, also the medical teams, those at the front line of this rescue effort: There's only so much you can do, only so much you can cope with. Then you simply have to walk away and leave these people to the worst possible fate.


PHILLIPS: Stan, we think about air support here in the United States and -- and the capabilities we have from helicopters to airplanes. What about air support? Is the Pakistani military just not equipped with enough helicopters and other types of aircraft?

GRANT: You put your finger on a big problem there, Kyra. They desperately need more aircraft. They desperately need more helicopters.

The United States actually has came to the aid -- come to the aid here. Of course, the U.S. has a big contingent of helicopters and military in Afghanistan just across the border. They have sent through a batch of those helicopters that are helping out in this relief effort.

You can get in by helicopter to these remote areas. But then, once you're on the ground, you have to get up close to the people. That's where the problem is. That's where you get caught in the traffic. And that's where the aid getting to the people gets so difficult.


PHILLIPS: Stan Grant, live from Islamabad -- thanks, Stan.

Well, for more, let's turn to our Internet reporter, Abbi Tatton. She's checking the situation online. Pretty disturbing pictures, Abbi.

ABBI TATTON, CNN INTERNET CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And aid agencies are doing everything they can to try and get to these devastated regions. One of them is They're using their Web site to let you know exactly what they're doing to out there. The map shows their locations in the region. And reports from the aid workers out there coming in let you know just how difficult it is, but what exactly they're doing. From Kashmir, reporting in the hospitals, this young boy, it took four days to rescue him.

They're now talking about the cold, distributing blankets out there to try and work on that problem. In Pakistan, this is Shaista Aziz, an aid worker who is also reporting back, saying that supplies are beginning to get through. It's starting to come together. Winter clothing, water equipment and hygiene kits have begun to arrive in Islamabad for Oxfam. But she's reporting on other difficulties as well -- repeated earth tremors add -- adding to the stress of it all. All the information there at, where they're also asking for your online donations.


PHILLIPS: Abbi, thank you so much.

Lou Dobbs getting ready for his newscast at the top of the hour. What are you working on, Lou? LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, Kyra. Coming up at the top of the hour here on CNN, a new blow to the Republican congressional leadership and new political concerns for the Bush White House, which already has plenty of them. On the eve of new grand jury testimony from Karl Rove, new scrutiny into the stock sales of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. We will have that story.

And, tonight, from one of the country's top corporate CEOs, despicable, disgusting comments about American workers, another example how our corporate elite in this country is all but ignoring their responsibilities and the plight of the American middle class. We will have that special report.

And the attorney general of the United States has apparently now discovered that there's rising violence on the U.S.-Mexican border. Federal agents are now being sent to the border. And the U.S. attorney general is holding talks with his Mexican counterpart. We will have a live report for you from the border.

Please join us at the top of the hour on CNN.

Now back to you, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Lou Dobbs, look forward to it. Thank you.

Well, up next, can a possible pandemic be held at bay? The specter of bird flu at their borders sends European health officials into action.

Also ahead, once downplayed by the Vatican, a rare and controversial ritual gets a resurgence. Could this be the new age of exorcism?


PHILLIPS: Fredricka Whitfield, once again, live from the CNN Center in Atlanta, with a look at some other stories making news. Freddie?


Well, European experts on bird flu hold an emergency meeting in Brussels tomorrow to discuss ways to prevent a global outbreak among humans -- this after the type of dangerous bird flu that hit Asia was found on Europe's border.


WHITFIELD (voice-over): It's as though someone pressed the panic button in Europe, now that officials have detected bird flu in Turkey and possibly Romania.

MARKOS KYPRIANOU, HEALTH PROTECTION COMMISSIONER, EUROPEAN UNION: We have received now confirmation that the virus found in Turkey is an avian flu. GRANT: Fears are growing that the deadly Asian strain of the virus will spread to humans in large numbers and trigger a worldwide epidemic. Police are searching and disinfecting poultry trucks at the Romanian border. All poultry from Romania has been banned throughout Europe.

And the European Union is urging member nations to stockpile antiviral drugs. Many pharmacies have been stripped clean of Tamiflu, believed to be the best medicine against bird flu. Europeans are also rushing to get ordinary flu shots, looking for any protection they can get.

Europe's drug regulator says it could approve, within days, any vaccine that might be effective against bird flu in humans.

KYPRIANOU: We don't have today the vaccine for the pandemic influenza, because we don't have the virus. Thank God for that. Nevertheless, we are preparing.


WHITFIELD: More than 60 people have died of bird flu in Asia since 2003. With demand for vaccines surging now, the Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche Holding announced yesterday that it is stepping up production of Tamiflu.


PHILLIPS: Fredricka, thank you so much.

Well, up next, it's not just movie material. We are going to show you a real university class teaching the next generation of exorcists.



ANNOUNCER: "This Week in History", at the age of 35, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was named the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. The announcement was made on October 14, 1964.

SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D), DELAWARE: Professor, do you swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth to help you God?


ANNOUNCER: In 1991, Anita Hill testified against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, accusing him of sexual harassment.

And, on October 12, 2000, a boat filled with explosives blew up alongside the USS Cole in the Port of Aden in Yemen. Seventeen American sailors were killed.

And that is "This Week in History".


PHILLIPS: Well, in a city full of monuments, it's a different kind of landmark. You will remember these stairs in Washington's Georgetown neighborhood, right? They were made famous in the movie "The Exorcist" in two particularly gruesome scenes.

And although the Roman Catholic Church shunned the movie and downplayed exorcism, that ancient rite of casting, right, out of demons now taking on a higher profile at the Vatican.

CNN's Kimberly Osias joins us live with the details. Kim?

KIMBERLY OSIAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kyra, I don't know if you're a scary movie aficionado. Personally, I can't tolerate the genre. But this isn't Hollywood. This is the real world.

And, in recent years, the Roman Catholic Church has really tried to keep a low profile on exorcisms, allowing only a small number of priests to practice the ancient rites quietly. Now the church is training a new generation of exorcists.




MAX VON SYDOW, ACTOR: Oh, Lord, hear my prayer.


OSIAS: Before the 1973 thriller "The Exorcist," few people, even Catholics, knew much about the ancient rite of exorcism, which the faithful believe can cast out demons.

The Roman Catholic Church didn't welcome the spotlight on its rare and controversial ritual. And, in recent decades, the Vatican has downplayed exorcism.


OSIAS: But under the new Pope Benedict XVI, exorcism is again being discussed openly -- the pontiff himself calling it important work.

Today, a new generation of exorcists began classes at a prestigious Vatican university. They're studying under Bishop Andrea Gemma, one of the church's top exorcists.

BISHOP ANDREA GEMMA, EXORCIST, ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH (through translator): Exorcism in the Catholic Church, the kind I practice, that I am nowadays famous for around the world, is an important prayer of the church, to help those who believe to be or who really are suffering from a diabolic infestation.


OSIAS: Gemma is teaching his students how to recognize demonic possession.




OSIAS: He says young people, such as Linda Blair's character in "The Exorcist," are particularly at risk. And he warns, it's not confined to movies.

GEMMA (through translator): Devil's action, as Paul VI already said, is much more common than people may think.


OSIAS: This is the second year the exorcism class is being offered.


PHILLIPS: Thanks, Kimberly. And those scary movies give me nightmares.


PHILLIPS: I'm Kyra Phillips. Wolf is back in THE SITUATION ROOM tomorrow.

LOU DOBBS TONIGHT starts right now.


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