Skip to main content


Return to Transcripts main page


Fireworks at Alito Hearings; The Iranian Threat; A Smarter Baby?

Aired January 11, 2006 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We are going to have more on the Frey fallout later on, on 360.
Here are some of the stories that we are following right now, at this moment.

The net widens into the Washington corruption scandal. Sources with knowledge of the investigation tell CNN that two members of Congress could be charged in connection with the indictment of lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Sources tell CNN the lawmakers include Bob Ney, Republican from Ohio. He has denied any wrongdoing.

In West Virginia, defending the Sago Mine safety record. Today, the owners of the mine where 12 men died last week say they paid to have safety improvements made recently. In 2005, the mine was given 208 violations. Today, we learned that the miners who perished may have had access to an oxygen tank that could have sustained them for more than an hour. We are going to have a lot more on that in 360 ahead.

And, in New Orleans, angry outbursts over rebuilding -- a recovery plan unveiled today gives residents just four months to prove they can rebuild in their community. If not, the neighborhoods will be closed and possibly used as park space. The plan also calls for a complete overhaul of the school system -- again, more on that on 360.

And Americans see a troubled future for Iraq. In a new CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll, just 19 percent of people surveyed believe Iraq will have a democratic government within a year. And more than half say the war has not been worth the cost in American lives.

Well, if you listen carefully in Washington, you can still hear the rumbling up on Capitol Hill. Today, there were fireworks at the Alito hearings. There were tears and at the end of the day, as always, there was the issue of abortion.

Our coverage begins tonight with CNN's Joe Johns.


JOE JOHNS, CNN CAPITOL HILL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For a moment, Supreme Court nominee Sam Alito looked more like a spectator at his own confirmation hearing than a participant.

SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Mr. Chairman, I'd appeal the ruling of the chair on this. JOHNS: It was one of those instance in politics when two titans clash and everybody else just shuts up and gets out of the way, Senator Ted Kennedy against Senator Arlen Specter.

KENNEDY: And we're going to have votes of this committee again and again and again until we have a resolution.

I think it's...

SEN. ARLEN SPECTER (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, Senator Kennedy, I'm not concerned about your threats to have votes again, again and again. And I'm the chairman of this committee.

JOHNS: The topic, Alito's one-time membership in an ultra- conservative group called Concerned Alumni of Princeton, known for opposing the admission of more women and minorities to the school.

The issue, whether the group's records housed at the Library of Congress ought to be turned over to the committee. In the end, it all got resolved. Senate staff got to see the records and the mostly unremarkable confirmation hearing of Sam Alito droned on, until spectators were reawakened by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Graham was at it again with prosecutor tricks he learned in the military. He has this way of getting to the point.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Are you really a closet bigot?

JUDGE SAMUEL ALITO, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE NOMINEE: I'm not any kind of a bigot, I'm not.

GRAHAM: No, sir, you're not.

JOHNS: That was enough for Alito's wife, Martha, to leave the room in tears. She later returned, and Graham apologized for the ordeal.

GRAHAM: I am sorry that you have had to go through this.

JOHNS: In fact, she had already weathered some of the toughest questioning of her husband on one of the toughest topics of our time, one that to this day brings protesters streaming to the front stairs of the Supreme Court. That would be abortion.

Alito had already paid homage to the precedent of important Supreme Court cases like Roe vs. Wade without pledging to be bound by them. He did make one promise, in the event he ever has to vote in a case that might overturn Roe.

ALITO: I would approach the question with an open mind.

JOHNS: It was perhaps a bit of a change from his claim in 1985 that the Constitution does not protect the right to abortion. But his answers were not good enough for at least one pro-abortion GOP group. The Republican Majority For Choice said Alito was out of step with mainstream Americans on the issue of abortion and maintaining the legal right to choose.

The group counts four moderate senators on its advisory committee, but they haven't even said how they will vote.

Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Well, joining us now from New York is Jennifer Stockman, co-chair of the Republican Majority For Choice.

Jennifer, I want to play somebody that moderate Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said today. Let's listen.


GRAHAM: I know abortion is important. It's important to me. It's important to you. I know it's an important central concept in our jurisprudence. But we can't build a judiciary around that one issue. We can't make judges pledge allegiance to one case.


COOPER: Judge Alito is experienced and well qualified. But you argue he should be rejected based on this one issue, his opinion on abortion. Is that how our system should work?

JENNIFER STOCKMAN, NATIONAL CO-CHAIR, REPUBLICAN MAJORITY FOR CHOICE: Well, as a Republican organization, it's always easier to go along with the party agenda, of course.

But as the Republican Majority For Choice, where our core issue is protecting Roe vs. Wade and a woman's right to choose, you know, it's a very different situation. It's that very issue that hangs in the balance, because it's a swing vote on the court that we're talking about.

COOPER: But he said he would approach the issue with an open mind. He said that it was an important precedent. Why don't you believe him?

STOCKMAN: Well, you know, it's a very reason that it is a swing vote that we're applying higher standards to looking at the nomination of Judge Alito.

And, frankly, we waited until the hearings to make our final decision. You know, we weren't knee-jerk, just reactionary.


COOPER: When Judge John Roberts was nominated for chief justice, you withheld your opposition.

STOCKMAN: That is correct. COOPER: What's the difference between his nomination and Alito's?

STOCKMAN: Well, there's -- first of all, Judge Roberts was replacing Judge Rehnquist. And we believe Rehnquist was -- is more conservative than Judge Roberts.

And Judge Roberts didn't have the same kind of paper trail as Judge Alito. In addition, Judge Roberts said that he would confirm that Roe v. Wade is, in fact, settled law.

COOPER: Jennifer Stockman, appreciate you joining us. Your group has said that they are not going to support Alito. Thank you very much.

So, if a majority of not just Republicans, but all Americans have reached a rough consensus on abortion that it should be, in so many words, safe, legal and rare, why does the issue still cause political conniptions whenever it comes up.

We will ask Jeff Greenfield, who has been watching the hearings from up on the Hill -- Jeff.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Anderson, this is one of those issues that different people on different sides define differently.

For instance, yes, a majority of Americans say they want a judge who will not overturn Roe v. Wade. The position on abortion is what some people call the mushy middle. They don't like it. They don't want the government to ban it. They don't think it should be on demand.

But the key here is that there's been over the last couple of decades a dramatic shift in the broader political landscape, to the point where three of the last four presidents, Reagan and both Bushes, have said they want to overturn Roe. There are far fewer moderate and liberal Republicans in the Senate than there were 20 and 30 years ago, so, that when you look more broadly, not just at this issue, but how the Supreme Court nominees get accepted or rejected, when the three Republican nominees were voted down, Haynsworth in '69, Carswell in '70, Robert Bork in '87, in all three cases, Democrats controlled the Senate and they were aided by a cadre of relatively liberal Republicans.

That has shifted dramatically, so that in 2006 you have a conservative Republican president and not only a Republican Senate majority, but a Senate majority of Republicans overwhelmingly conservative. And that's why Alito is in so much better shape than he would have been if he had been nominated, say, 25 or 30 years ago.

COOPER: You think he's going to get the nod?

GREENFIELD: Oh, I think unless the -- cliche alert -- unless the smoking gun emerges in the next couple of days, yes. In fact, in talking to some of the people who are most opposed to Alito -- just I will share this with you quickly -- they thought some months ago -- they knew that Judge Roberts was going to be confirmed. But they put Alito in the class of some other judges who would so polarize the Senate that a filibuster would have blocked him.

I don't know of any Democrat, not matter how ardently they are opposed to Alito, who now believes that. I think they think Alito, barring a shock, is a done deal, because, while they think he's out of the mainstream, the mainstream of 2006 politically isn't where the mainstream was 20 and 30 years ago.

COOPER: We will be watching. Jeff Greenfield, thanks very much.


COOPER: More questioning in store for Judge Alito tomorrow, more drama, perhaps.

CNN is covering the hearings, a special edition of "THE SITUATION ROOM" with Wolf Blitzer begins tomorrow morning 9:00 a.m. Eastern time.

So, doctors today released more information about the sole survivor of last week's Sago Mine tragedy. After the break, we will tell you how Randy McCloy is doing. We will also look at the controversy surrounding some pictures of the miner and also the safety record of the mine. You might be surprised how many violations they have had and what those violations really mean.

Plus, this tape -- a woman's bravery during a brazen robbery attempt. All of it was caught on tape. We're going to hear her story. And we are also going to look at how you can reduce your chances of being a victim -- what she did right and how that may save you if you are ever caught in a situation like this -- when 360 continues.


COOPER: Well, today, doctors at the West Virginia hospital reported that the lone survivor of last week's Sago Mine tragedy remains in critical condition. His status is -- quote -- "essential unchanged."

But no news may be good news in this case. Doctors believe Randy McCloy's recovery could be a long and gradual one. And they don't seem concerned that he hasn't awakened from a coma. After all, McCloy is already a proven fighter. It's rare for someone to breathe in that much carbon monoxide and survive.

Still, a long recovery could be a long ordeal for McCloy's family, an ordeal that just recently intensified.

CNN's Chris Huntington explains how.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHRIS HUNTINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Randy McCloy's survival has brought this tightly-knit mining community its only bright light -- nothing but kind words, prayers for a swift recovery, hope, not blame

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you talk about things that he really loves to do or if his children are around, he's moving a lot more. He's -- you can just tell that he's aware.

But in the pages of a supermarket tabloid, McCloy's brother, Matthew, has broken ranks with the rest of the family, lashing out and selling the paper this photo of Randy in intensive care.

MATTHEW MCCLOY, BROTHER OF RANDY MCCLOY: The world needs to be shocked because we need to have our loss to keep this from ever happening again to other miners' families.

HUNTINGTON: The rest of Randy's family members attacked "The National Enquirer" for preying on their misfortune. A family spokeswoman tells CNN that Randy's wife and mother are outraged at Matthew's public outburst and issued the following statement: "The family will not talk about a story from a tabloid newspaper, nor are they interested in a discussion about these kinds of stories in those kinds of papers."

The information was paid for by the tabloid paper in the amount of $800 the and was done so without the permission of Randy's wife, Anna.

MCCLOY: I took this picture of my brother because I love my brother and his family and Anna. And I believe they need to pass better laws, and the government's being left in the dark about what's going on. And I believe that -- I know it's a shocking picture.

HUNTINGTON: "The National Enquirer" confirms it has already paid Matthew McCloy $800 and says it will pay him an additional $1,200.

PAUL FIELD, EDITOR, "THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER": Matthew felt very strongly about the sort of story that we were planning and the sort of investigation that we -- the inquiries that we were making.

HUNTINGTON: Matthew tells "The Enquirer" that Randy complained of safety issues just days before the Sago Mine disaster, when he found a pocket of potentially explosive methane gas trapped in a tunnel roof. The rest of McCloy's family would neither confirm nor deny those allegations. The mine company's CEO had this to say.

BEN HATFIELD, PRESIDENT & CEO, INTERNATIONAL COAL GROUP: I'm not aware of any such communication or complaint from -- from Randal McCloy. But I can tell you, from personally visiting his family, that they have been very supportive of the company. Those are great people. They're praying hard for him to pull through.

HUNTINGTON (on camera): Anna McCloy has made it clear all along that her only real concern is her husband Randy's recovery and not media attention. We tried, unsuccessfully, to get in touch with Matthew McCloy. "The National Enquirer" tells CNN that it has him locked up in an exclusive deal.

Chris Huntington, CNN, Morgantown, West Virginia.


COOPER: Well, Today, country music star Hank Williams Jr. tried to bring a little cheer and support to Randy McCloy and his family. Williams visited them today at the hospital.

McCloy's wife had earlier said that her husband was a fan of Williams' music. Hank Williams Jr. will join us tomorrow on 360 to talk about his special visit.

Erica Hill from Headline News joins us right now, though, with some of the other stories we are following.

Hey, Erica.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: A conviction today in the case of a man who threw a grenade at President Bush during a rally last year in the country of Georgia.

Now, the man was sentenced to life in prison for the attempt on the life of not only Mr. Bush, but also on the president of his own country, who was also in attendance at the rally. The man was convicted of also killing a policeman during the shoot-out in which he was arrested. That happened weeks after the incident.

Back stateside, Shelbyville, Tennessee, where police thought they had a very drunk driver on their hands as they watched a pickup truck -- and you're watching it, too -- weave, careen, run over a street sign. Alcohol, though, not the driver's problem. His age was the problem and probably short legs. Behind the wheel? A 7-year-old boy.

All right, never mind this cookie. This is the way the casino crumbles. Yes, yes. Opened in 1955, it's the Showboat, and more recently known as the Castaways. The 19 story-tower collapsed into history today in Vegas. It was demolished in a carefully planned implosion. No word yet on what is going to rise in its place when the dust settles. But you can be sure it will be something big.

And talk about stargazing, some heart-stopping pictures of the Orion Nebula, a bustling cauldron of activity, as one NASA spokesperson called it. The pictures were released today at a meeting of the American Astronautical Society. Now, the images, taken by the Hubble space telescope, show baby stars, failed stars, and vast cosmic canyons of dust and gas.

Most stunning here, the caverns of light, they're in fact like little nurseries in which thousands of stars are forming.

Pretty cool. Kind of beats the glow-in-the-dark things on my bedroom ceiling.

COOPER: It looks like one of those -- it looks like one -- I was going to say, it looks like one of those airbrushed paintings on the side of a van.

HILL: It does a little bit, yes, next to the Elvis and the doberman.

COOPER: That's right. Exactly.


COOPER: Erica, thanks very much.

Ridding Iraq of Saddam Hussein did not rid the Gulf of potential threats. Iran has made no secret of the fact that it has restarted uranium research for its nuclear program. Now the West has to decide what to do about that. Coming up, CNN's Christiane Amanpour reports from Tehran.

Also tonight, the next installment in our "Mind and Body" series. Can you make your baby smarter? We will show you how one couple is trying.

Stay with 360.


COOPER: You surely remember that worries about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction were what drew the U.S. into a war there, the aftermath of which is still being dealt with by American troops now.

Well, Iraq's old enemy, Iran, has said that -- is said the nuclear development program as well, Iran does. And, tomorrow, the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany will meet to talk about bringing Iran before the U.N. Security Council.

CNN's chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, standing by live in Tehran to fill us in on the latest in this sticky situation -- Christiane.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, this is after months of threatening to do so.

The new Iranian president, Ahmadinejad, has, in fact, now decided to go ahead with nuclear research. And we were down at Bandar Abbas, which is Iran's main southern port. We were there earlier today, your time, and so was the president, giving a speech.

He, again, declared that this was Iran's legal right, he said under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. And he insisted that their intentions were peaceful. And he said that pursuing nuclear energy in their nuclear program was non-negotiable.


MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Iran is justice seeking and in want of peace. There are big powers who possess hundreds of nuclear plants and have nuclear weapons. They want to make obstacles for our nation and keep it several steps behind. They objected to us when we resumed nuclear activities yesterday.


AMANPOUR: So having done this in the face of widespread opposition around the world -- and we understand that Iran has received diplomatic demarches, not just from the West, but from countries in this region as well, urging it not to go ahead.

But, having done this, it could mean it get -- referred to the Security Council, and that could mean wide sanctions on Iran. And, of course, Iran is always defiant. And yesterday its old president said that sanctions would not harm it. But, clearly, the people here don't want sanctions to come down on them -- Anderson.

COOPER: Christiane Amanpour, live from Tehran -- thank you, Christiane.

Stopping a violent crime before becoming a victim. This woman managed to fight off her attacker. Would you know what to do? Our safety expert gives us the tips that just might save your lives.

Also tonight, what does it take to turn a baby into a genius? Find out as our "Mind and Body" series continues, or at least maybe a couple of ideas, maybe at least a little bit smarter.

Across America and around the world, you're watching 360.


COOPER: Let's get you up to speed on some of the stories we're following at this moment.

In Washington, a contentious third day of Senate hearings. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito refused to say Roe v. Wade is well settled in the law. Alito calls Roe v. Wade an important precedent deserving of respect. Hearings resume tomorrow.

Louisiana: Health authorities have identified 33 Katrina victims in just the last week, seven through DNA alone. The pace marks a dramatic improvement over a weeks ago. Still, 129 bodies remain unidentified and most of those lack personal effects or family contacts to aid coroners.

Four members of the Massachusetts National Guard are suing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. It is a $73 million class-action suit. The Guardsmen say they represent 300 others who seek reimbursement for food, lodging and travel costs, all incurred since 9/11 while defending against possible domestic terrorist attacks.

Look closely. There's a gun in this man's hand. You can see it there. He is robbing the Gold Coast Casino in Las Vegas. He fired several shots as he fled, hitting a security guard in the leg. It wasn't much of a pay day. In his getaway, the bandit dropped the cash.

Well, "Keeping Them Honest" tonight. Here is an irony for you, New Orleans-style. Tourists have begun to book rooms for Mardi Gras. That's a good thing, right? Of course. But then we're talking about a city that was almost literally turned upside-down some months ago and still is upside-down in many ways.

So, here's the irony. That silver lining, tourists heading down for Mardi Gras, comes with a very dark cloud.

CNN's Gary Tuchman investigates.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Some Hurricane Katrina evacuees who have lived in FEMA-paid New Orleans hotel rooms for months...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Well, we're all packed up.

TUCHMAN: ... are being told they need to move out, because Mardi Gras is around the corner and tourists have made reservations for their rooms.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was the first one out because they told us if we didn't leave, they would arrest us.

TUCHMAN: Last month, FEMA extended the deadline for the hotel program to at least February 7. But hotels have not had any legal obligation to keep the homeless that long. So here's the note one New Orleans hotel gave the FEMA guests: "We are now entering into the city's season of special events. And as a result, it is necessary that you check out of the hotel."

The hotel would not comment to us. But not everyone voluntarily left.

TRACIE WASHINGTON, ATTORNEY: They kicked them out. They threw out their mattresses, their furniture, sheets, bedding. They threw everything out on the street behind them. It was probably one of the most obscene, disgusting things I had ever seen.

TUCHMAN: So, lawyer Tracie Washington asked the judge for a temporary restraining order against this one hotel. The judge agreed.

PROTESTERS: The people united will never be defeated.

TUCHMAN: So, for at least this week, the people at this hotel can stay. But thousands of people at other hotels here and elsewhere in the country can still be evicted at will.

(on camera): So, you came to the hotel and the hotel has told you what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just today, really, I have to be gone tomorrow sometime.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): This hotel told guests who in many cases are still waiting for temporary FEMA trailers that people with reservations will be taking their rooms.

CALETTA JACKSON, EVACUEE: I don't even know where I'm going to be in the next couple of days to even take a bath or eat.

TUCHMAN: Elise Boyer has lived in the Cotton Exchange Hotel for months while she waits for her destroyed home to be fixed.

(on camera): What is it like living in the hotel all this time?

ELISE BOYER, EVACUEE: Beautiful, comparing. I could have been out on the street.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): One of the reasons she's grateful is that the company that owns her hotel has decided, after talking to the evacuees' lawyers, that they all can stay.

PATRICK QUINN, HOTEL GROUP OWNER: I think it's -- we just feel like we're doing the right thing. And that's -- that's really why we're here, is to try and -- try and house people.

TUCHMAN: The lawyers say they understand hotel managers have a dilemma, but are appealing to them on the phone in this case to be more, well, sensitive.

WASHINGTON: I understand and I have learned that you're going to be evicting some of the FEMA residents here tomorrow from the Royal St. Charles. And I wanted to see if we could meet today.

TUCHMAN: The meeting took place, and the hotel decided not to make them leave, at least for now.


TUCHMAN: Tonight, there has been a development in the story. A federal court judge here in New Orleans this evening said that FEMA must extend its hotel program. Now, hotels can still kick out evacuees; however, by extending it three weeks, to the end of February, the thought is that hotels will know they're getting FEMA money for several weeks to come and, therefore, they will have less incentive to kick evacuees out.

One other related note -- there are 11 hotel in Detroit, Michigan, that have evacuees. And the reason I bring that up is because, like New Orleans with Mardi Gras, Detroit has a big event coming up on February 5, the Super Bowl. And cities need lots of hotel rooms for the Super Bowl. So far, no word that any of those Detroit hotels will be kicking those evacuees out -- Anderson.

COOPER: It sounds like, as soon as they get some media attention on this, they -- you know, they thought that if no one's paying attention to this, they could just kick these people out. As soon as the cameras show up, then, all of a sudden, and -- and the lawyers start calling, they change their mind.

TUCHMAN: I think it's fair to say, Anderson, that the news media attention has created some pressure on the hotel owners to be a little more sympathetic to the people who have no homes.

COOPER: And let me just get this right.

They're being paid to house these people. This isn't as if they're doing this out of the kindness of their heart. I mean, they're making money housing these people, correct?

TUCHMAN: FEMA is paying money for each person in each hotel room. In some cases, the money is less than a tourist would bring in.

However, the FEMA people are guaranteed to be there seven days of a week. You don't have to change the rooms. It's constant money. So, for many hotels, it's better to have that kind of money than the irregular money that a tourist may bring in, with some empty rooms occasionally.

COOPER: Gary Tuchman definitely "Keeping Them Honest" in New Orleans tonight -- thank you, Gary.

A brazen robbery attempt, all of it caught on tape. But the victim fights back. Now, if this happened to you, would you know what to do? Honestly, I don't think I would. We're going to get some tips from a safety expert.

Also tonight, an Alaskan volcano blows its top. It is not causing major problems now, but is it a preview of a greater danger ahead? We will look at that.

Across America and around the world, you're watching 360.


COOPER: So, if someone put a gun to your head, would you know what to do to survive? Angie Hirsche did. And the chilling security tape of what happened four days ago goes to prove it.

The mother of two was working inside a cash checking store in Utah when an armed man hurled himself through the window, right there. He points his pistol in front of her face. He then forces her to open the safe. Hirsche stayed cool, even when he tried to tie her up. Every time he grabbed her, Hirsche found a way to free herself.

And, at one point, he knocked the receiver off the phone. That was the break she needed. Her husband was on the line. He heard the attack, called police. Later, the suspect was arrested.

Now, earlier today, on "AMERICAN MORNING," Hirsche described how she used psychology to try to diffuse the situation.


ANGIE HIRSCHE, ROBBERY VICTIM: He was so overpowering that I knew there was no way I could physically dominate him. So, I started to try and emotionally and mentally talk him into, you know, not hurting me and letting me go.


COOPER: Well, what happened to Hirsche, of course, can happen to any of us. But there are ways to reduce the chances of being the victim of a violent crime.

Here to take us through them is safety expert Bob Stuber. He joins us now from Chico, California.

Bob, you have seen the video. Did Angie Hirsche do everything right?

BOB STUBER, FAMILY SAFETY EXPERT: Yes, I think she did, in my opinion.

It's really hard to do a right or wrong in that particular type of a situation. It worked for her. You know, she got out of there. The most important thing for anybody to remember here is that you have to trust your instincts. Where she did things a certain way, somebody else might do them entirely differently. But if it gets you out of the situation then you have done it right.

COOPER: She was attacked while she was at work. That's pretty rare. A lot of people get attacked in parking lots. And I know you're in a parking lot. Give us a few tips on how to stay safe there.

STUBER: Yes, absolutely.

Being attacked in a parking lot is a far more common situation. Shawna (ph) here is going to kind of be my victim, because we want to show you just a few techniques.

For instance, if somebody was trying to grab you and put you in the car, you don't want to get in their car. If you get in their car, you're probably never coming home. Anything can help you do that. Now, in this case, here is a garbage can.

Shawna (ph), grab that can right there.

If you just held on to something like a garbage can, right there, you can look. I could get her in the car or the can, but I'm not going to get her and the can. Even though it's just a simply a lightweight piece of plastic, that could actually save her life.

Also, in this same type of situation, you have to look around and use whatever you have in your environment, called situational awareness. For instance, in a parking lot, if you're around cars, you could probably use an antenna off of a car, something like this. They pop off real easy. You can break them off.

But with that in your hand, it's a very formidable weapon. There's always something in your environment that could make the difference.

And I want to show you one more really quick. Shawna (ph), let me get you to jump up here. If she was unloading packages in the car -- now, this is a very common scenario, standing back here unloading the packages, anybody could get to her.

But if she was in the front door -- open that door, Shawna (ph) -- and she was standing there, if she opens the door all the way, and then you open this door at the same time, now she's created a cocoon where nobody could get to her. I couldn't get to her from here. I couldn't get to her from the front. She's relatively safe in that situation.

COOPER: Bob, when an attacker has a weapon like a gun, does it change the way you should interact with them?

STUBER: No, it really doesn't. You -- you still want to defend yourself. Just because he points a gun at you, that doesn't mean you get in the car and go with him.

As a matter of fact, if you get in the car and go with somebody, there's about a 98 percent chance that you're going to get killed. If you run, there's only a 50 percent chance the person's even going to shoot at you.

Of that, it's only a 50 percent chance he will hit you. And, of that, it's only a 50 percent chance it will be a mortal wound. You end up with about an 11 percent chance of even getting injured if you run, a 98 chance of dying if you get in the car.

COOPER: And in the case with -- with Angie Hirsche, she could recognize that the gun was actually a fake. What are the ways you can tell that a gun is fake? Apparently, this one was a really cheap one. But some of them look really lifelike.

STUBER: Yes, that's pretty rare there.

If she recognized that it was fake, that makes her very rare. Most people cannot. You know, the toy guns are supposed to have this yellow or orange tip on them. But, right now, you can buy sport guns, like the kind that shoots pellets and paintballs, and some of them look absolutely real.

You can't tell if a gun is fake or real. You react the same way.

COOPER: Is it important to try to talk to the person and get them to see you as a person? I mean, she was saying that she used psychology on the...

STUBER: No, I don't think it is. You know, if you have time to use psychology on them, that's fine. You have got to realize who you're dealing with here.

You're dealing with somebody that's basically been out -- in and out of prison probably most of their adult life, or they're going to go to prison pretty soon. They're really -- you're not going to really psyche this person out. You're not going to use psychology on them.

Here's what's important. Do whatever you have to do get out of that situation. Now, if it turns out to be something where you're stuck with them, you can't get away from them, and you have to carry on a conversation, then psychology might come into it. But typically that doesn't even enter the picture.

COOPER: All right. Bob, thanks very much. Appreciate it.

If you think that all that money you're spending on educational videos is making your baby smarter, think again. Those tapes and toys that promise to boost your baby's I.Q. may actually be harming your child. Coming up, we will tell you why and show you what really helps babies grow into smarter kids.

Also, a tense day in the Senate for Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito -- not just for him, his wife, too. She got up and left in tears. We will show you why -- that and much more ahead on 360.


LAUREN BRENNER, OWNER, FOUNDER, PURE POWER BOOT CAMP: My name is Lauren Brenner. I am the owner, founder of Pure Power Boot Camp. This is a military-style fitness facility.

We specialize in getting people to overcome obstacles, both physically and mentally. Our most popular program is called the Tour of Duty. It's four times a week for six weeks. Everyone gets a personal guarantee by me.

If you do not improve your fitness level, I train you free of charge indefinitely until you do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) Go lower. Don't get soft on me.

AMANDA RUDEY, RECRUIT: It's actually really fun to have people yell at you and motivate you like that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After spending almost six years as a Wall Street trader, the former Syracuse University tennis player swapped her high heels for combat boots.

BRENNER: After 9/11, I really wanted to make a difference in society. I wanted to figure out a place that, when you walk in, there's accountability. There's respect.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In 2003, Brenner brought Fort Knox to the Big Apple, literally. The nation's only indoor obstacle course mirrors the Army's confidence course at Kentucky's military base.

To add to the authenticity, Brenner enlisted former Marines to help her whip clients into shape.

BRENNER: The crazy thing to me is, I'm considered the toughest. So, I have real Marines that they're like, oh, he's is a softy. He's the nicest guy in the world, and I'm the crazy one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With 715 recruits this year, Pure Power Boot Camp's success has thrown Brenner into the spotlight. She's a fitness contributor on NBC's "The Today Show" and is hosting the program "Fit Family" this spring on Fit TV.

Future plans for Pure Power Boot Camp include new programs and franchising throughout the country.

BRENNER: This is blood, sweat and tears in this place. And whether I own 100 of them, this is still going to be home.




COOPER: Well, our "Mind and Body" series continues tonight with this simple fact. Being a baby, or even a toddler, isn't what it used to be. From the time they leave the womb, many kids today are bombarded by videos, tapes and special toys, all promising to make them smarter.

Kids couldn't really care less, of course. But their parents, well, that is another story, a story that our sister publication, "TIME" magazine, reports on in its current issue. We partnered with "TIME" to find out what really makes babies brainier. And what we found out may surprise you.


COOPER (voice-over): Every parent wants to provide the best for their kids, teach them and hope they will grow into smart adults. By all accounts, Lanchi and Brian (ph) Venator are doing things just right.

They admit to the occasional cartoon, TV show or Baby Einstein, but for the most part, 2-year-old Silvie (ph) and 5-year-old Sophie (ph) do what most girls did when they were growing up, kid things, color, cut and glue, play with puzzles, play with dolls.

LANCHI VENATOR, PARENT: We do a lot of wooden puzzle toys. We do a lot of these fun workbooks. They just like to do things. And that's what we're here for, is to let them express themselves.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, teacher, everybody is ready.

COOPER: On this night, the family plays school, a game the girls made up and play so often that everyone has an imaginary name. Silvie's (ph)? Cardboard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cardboard, aren't you supposed to help everyone to their spots?

COOPER: The Venators have made a conscious choice. Every night, they have quality time, direct interaction with their girls. TV is rare. Many other parents turn to products like Baby Einstein, in hopes their kids will get smarter while they're occupied.

PAMELA PAUL, CONTRIBUTOR, "TIME": The truth is, when you talk to most parents, they see Baby Einstein really as free period, where they can go off and, you know, clean the house or make dinner. And they know that their baby will sit there basically glued to the screen.

COOPER: While Einstein is in the title, the company's Web site reminds consumers their products aren't made to increase I.Q., but are -- quote -- "specifically designed to engage babies and provide parents with tools to help expose their little ones to the world around them."

With color, art and classical music flashing, what could be wrong? Parents often do perceive their children to be engaged, almost trance-like, while watching. According to Dimitri Christakis, co- director of the Child Health Institute at the university of Washington, it's all wrong.

DIMITRI CHRISTAKIS, CO-DIRECTOR, CHILD HEALTH INSTITUTE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON; Media programs, particularly those aimed at very young children, convey very rapidly-changing images and scenes. And the theoretical concern for many years has been that this over- stimulation could cause the brain to expect that high level of input as normal, and then predispose children to develop attentional problems later in life.

COOPER: Christakis isn't alone. The American Academy of Pediatrics has even gone so far as to -- quote -- "discourage television viewing for children younger than two years and encourage more interactive activities that will promote proper brain development, such as talking, playing, singing and reading together."

So, if most experts agree, anything other than very limited TV for infants is bad, than why is the marketplace for infant videos booming?

PAUL: I think that parents want to get a leg up as soon as they can, you know, get their baby on the Ivy League track from infancy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Twinkle, twinkle little star.

COOPER: Experts like Christakis believe, that leg up comes from good old-fashioned learning and parents making child time a priority.

CHRISTAKIS: In many respects, parents' best instincts here are spot on. A lot of the things that they would naturally want to do with their children, singing to them, reading to them, playing with them, all of those sorts of things are, in fact, beneficial.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There came an old woman from France.

COOPER: For Silvie (ph) and Sophie's (ph) mom and dad, the instincts are spot on; 5-year-old Sophie (ph) started kindergarten this year. She's already in an accelerated program.


COOPER: We want to thank our international viewers for watching. If you're just joining us, coming up, a lot ahead on 360 -- a fight for justice from the grave. A decade after he was executed for rape and murder, will he be exonerated? And, if he is, then what?

Also, what really happened inside the Sago Mine? How close did the miners come to getting out? New details on efforts they made to escape.

And his memoir about substance abuse landed him on Oprah and the best-seller list, but his -- but is his story mostly fiction, instead of fact? We're going to hear from the author James Frey on allegations he is facing.

This is 360.


COOPER: Strapped to an electric chair, a convicted killer goes to his death chair swearing his innocence. Virginia calls it justice, but is DNA about to reveal, the wrong man was executed?


ANNOUNCER: Justice from beyond the grave. A man was convicted of rape and murder in 1981.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will fight to prove I'm innocent until I'm either free or dead.

ANNOUNCER: And executed in 1992. Now, over 13 years after his death, a forensic crime lab tests his DNA -- tonight, either a case finally closed or a horrible injustice uncovered.

Dangerous conditions at Sago Mine -- a new report details just how unsafe and potentially combustible the mine was.

Plus, a failed escape -- new revelations about how the desperate miners tried to break through to safety.

And "A Million Little Pieces," a memoir of booze, drugs and run- ins with the law, sold millions after making Oprah's Book Club. Tonight, the author responds to allegations that his wild tales are more fiction than fact.


ANNOUNCER: From across the U.S. and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.

Live from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.

COOPER: Thanks for joining us.

Questions tonight about whether a man put to death nearly 14 years ago was, in fact, innocent. We will have that shortly.

First, here's a look at some other stories we're following at this moment.

Sparks today in the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. Democrats grilled Alito about his membership in the group Concerned Alumni of Princeton, which had called for admission restrictions on women and minorities. Alito denounced those views. His wife apparently became so upset by the line of questioning that she left the room in tears. We will have more on this later.

Anger tonight in New Orleans over a controversial rebuilding plan gives residents just four months to prove they will be able to rebuild their community. If that doesn't happen, the city could ban redevelopment in some neighborhoods and turn them into parks. However, the plan is not set in stone. More proposals will be unveiled in the coming days.

And Randy McCloy Jr., the sole survivor of last week's Sago Mine tragedy, remains in critical condition.


© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines