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PAULA ZAHN NOW

Controversy Rages Over Port Security Deal; Interview With New York Congressman Peter King; Dirty Ice; Sports and Sex

Aired February 20, 2006 - 20:00   ET

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


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: And thanks for joining us, everybody. Paula has the night off.
Tonight, the latest controversy over homeland security -- who controls the nation's harbors?

On the CNN "Security Watch," after 9/11, after the London bombings, why would we turn over major maritime facilities to a company based in the Middle East?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Outsourcing the operations of our largest ports is a homeland security accident waiting to happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Tonight, the battle on the waterfront.

Cold, hard facts -- you won't believe what we found when we sampled ice in restaurants coast to coast.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JENNIFER BERG, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: Fecal matter in ice is a serious problem.

COLLINS: That's disgusting.

BERG: It is so easy to spread.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Do you know what is in your drink?

And athletes and sex -- is there really a connection between abstaining and winning?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So, it was through trial and error that you figured out abstaining was a good idea?

(LAUGHTER)

JOSH DAVIS, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: Right. Yes. When -- when I abstained, I got the gold.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Or is it the other way around?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It only helped me and enhanced my performance.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Tonight, the lowdown on sports and sex.

And we begin on the "Security Watch" and the growing controversy tonight over whether six of America's ports will be run by a company owned by a Middle Eastern government. P&O, which runs those ports now, is being taken over by Dubai Ports World. It is owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates.

Since 9/11, many security experts have focused on America's ports as an especially weak point in the nation's defenses against terrorism. Ports like Miami, Baltimore and New York take in millions of tons of cargo every year, typically shipped in truck-sized containers. And only a tiny fraction of those containers are inspected when they get here.

The fear is that terrorists could easily slip a nuclear or biological weapon into this country inside one of those uninspected containers.

Here's Brian Todd now, reporting tonight from Baltimore, one of the busiest ports in the nation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A massive container ship pulls into the Dundalk terminal at the Port of Baltimore, one of more than 2,000 vessels that will likely pass through the facility this year.

Baltimore's mayor now believes his port is entering a new period of vulnerability.

MARTIN O'MALLEY (D), MAYOR OF BALTIMORE, MARYLAND: At a time of terrorist threat, when, for years, we have been saying that our ports are vulnerable, we should not be surrendering any American port to a foreign government, let alone to the United Arab Emirates, with their background.

TODD: Baltimore, along with the ports of New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Miami and New Orleans, may soon have much of their operations taken over by a company called Dubai Ports World, a firm essentially under the control of the ruling family of the United Arab Emirates.

The deal was approved by a committee of 12 federal agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff spoke to Wolf Blitzer on the feasibility of having six major American ports outsourced to an Arab company.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LATE EDITION")

MICHAEL CHERTOFF, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: You can be sure that any transaction that goes forward is going to be carefully reviewed and is also going to be carefully subject to the expertise of the Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TODD: The Department of Homeland Security will screen cargo at the ports and handle other security measures. But physical protection of the terminals themselves will be handled by the operator, a company based in a country that, according to the 9/11 Commission, was home to two 9/11 hijackers and was a major financial base for al Qaeda.

CNN security analyst Clark Kent Ervin worries about that connection to a port system where only a small percentage of cargo is opened and physically inspected.

CLARK KENT ERVIN, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: All the experts agree that, probably, the easiest, and, therefore, the likeliest, way for a weapon of mass destruction to make its way in to the United States would be through a port.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TODD: Now, the company that is in charge and is going to be taking over control of this particular port is trying to reduce those security concerns.

Contacted by CNN, an official with Dubai Ports World said -- quote -- "We intend to maintain or enhance current security arrangements" -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Well, Brian, you said in your report that DPW will actually be in charge of securing its own terminal facility. What exactly does that mean. And, then, what kind of oversight will the Department of Homeland Security actually have?

TODD: This is going to be a real collaboration, from what we're told from the Department of Homeland Security officials and security experts.

Essentially, the cargo is going to be screened by the Customs and Border Protection Agency, which is within DHS. That's going to be -- the cargo will be screened here, in the United States, in these ports, and at the points of -- of embarkation overseas.

The hiring of the security personnel will be done by the company in charge, that Dubai-based company. And the background checks of those personnel will be conducted by the Department of Homeland Security. So, that's where the collaboration comes in.

COLLINS: Collaboration and a little bit of complicated stuff -- Brian Todd, we certainly appreciate it tonight.

(CROSSTALK)

COLLINS: Thanks.

So, what do we know about possible connections between the United Arab Emirates and terrorism?

Our justice correspondent, Kelli Arena, has been looking into that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The hijacker who steered a United Airlines flight into the World Trade Center's south tower, Marwan al-Shehhi, was one of two 9/11 hijackers born in the United Arab Emirates.

In fact, most of the hijackers traveled to the United States through the UAE to carry out their deadly plan. The FBI has said the money for 9/11 was transferred to the hijackers primarily through the UAE's banking system. Even after the attacks, the U.S. Treasury Department complained about a lack of cooperation in trying to track Osama bin Laden's bank accounts.

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: The United Arab Emirates, they're one of only three countries in the world that, prior to September 11, recognized the Taliban. In the days after 9/11, they were not overly supportive, as we were trying to track down terrorists' financial transactions.

What's more, U.S. officials have said the UAE was an important transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components sent to Iran, North Korea and Libya by the Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan.

Nonetheless, the Bush administration calls the UAE an ally in the war on terror. And counterterrorism officials say it is cooperating more, and consistently, since 9/11.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: It's rare to find a country that has been cooperative in -- in three different arenas, the pursuit of terrorism, the pursuit of their money, and helpful also on proliferation of weapons.

ARENA: In 2002, it was the UAE who caught and extradited al Qaeda's leader in the Gulf, described as the mastermind of the attack on the USS Cole.

And it is working with the United States to prevent the diversion of sensitive U.S. technology through its shipment hubs.

(on camera): Counterterrorism official say, relatively speaking, the UAE has a realistic understanding of the terrorism problem and has made a commitment to help deal with it, much more so, they say, than its neighbors in the region.

Kelli Arena, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: As you might expect, the White House is taking a lot of heat for the port takeovers.

And joining me now is White House correspondent Dana Bash.

Dana, we just heard a lot of detail here on some of the real security concerns being raised about the United Arab Emirates. Is anybody in the administration saying exactly why they think this is a good deal or that it it -- it is safe to go ahead with?

DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're saying that it is safe, but they're not really saying why.

And it is interesting, because the way they -- they do this, the way they give the green light for this, is by having a 12-agency panel sit and discuss it. But the truth is that those deliberations are in secret. Why? Because, we're told, they are talking about national security issues, and they -- and one official said that it is actually a federal offense to talk about it in public.

So, we don't know a lot of the -- or any of the internal deliberations, to answer that question. But one thing that even Republican lawmakers say they're upset about, in terms of this process, is that they had a 30-day review process. That has passed.

But they decided not to go ahead with an extra 45-day extension, because, they said, they didn't need it. In a post-9/11 world, congressman like Peter King from New York, Republican, say that it is necessary to have that extra time to review this process.

COLLINS: And we're going to be speaking with him shortly.

Well, let me ask you this, then. The White House is actually being called tone-deaf on this one, even by Republicans, as you mentioned. Any acknowledgement whatsoever from Washington that, perhaps, this hasn't been very well thought out politically, even if, on paper, it does look like a good deal?

BASH: So far, Heidi, the way they're playing that is a good thing.

It's -- the -- I'm sure that surprises you, to hear the White House say that being accused of being politically tone-deaf in this particular case, one senior official insists, is good. Why? Because they say that people would want this to be sheltered from politics, that the -- the officials in charge of deciding the one thing and the one thing only they should decide, which is whether America's -- Americans are still safe if this transaction goes ahead, are counterterrorism officials and others.

Dan Bartlett, the president's counselor, told me today that it should be comforting that politics were not interjected here. Also, officials, Heidi, are suggesting that critics are perhaps going down a dangerous path here, that there is a suggestion that -- that there is a guilt by association, even perhaps profiling, when talking about the criticism of the UAE taking control of these ports.

COLLINS: Well, Dana Bash, we know you will be watching it from Washington for us.

Dana, thank you.

BASH: Thank you.

COLLINS: A lot of Republicans and Democrats in Congress want to stop this deal.

So, let's turn to the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. And that is Republican Peter King of New York.

Representative King, administration officials have shared details of this sale with you -- of course, it is classified information -- that has assured them all is safe.

What convinces you, though, that the deal is still not a very good one U.S. security?

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: First of all, Heidi, as you were discussing, UAE, the United Arab Emirates, at best, has a very checkered record, when it comes to fighting terrorism.

And there is nothing in there, despite what Secretary Chertoff says -- I have heard the conditions that have been imposed. And they are not enough to protect us, unless we know for certain that this company is free of terrorism, that it has no risks at all. And there is no way we can know that, because there was no thorough investigation whatsoever.

The fact is, this was a cursory investigation. It was conducted in a matter of a few days. It was treated as any other business transaction. There was -- and all they looked for, as far as the background of this company, was, did the intelligence community have anything on record, anything on file against them?

There was no investigation. There was no analysis. There was no vetting. If you or I were appointed to even a sub-Cabinet post in the administration, we would be subjected to much more investigation that this company, in a $7 billion deal, got.

COLLINS: Well, DPW will not be the owners of the port, though, nor will they be solely in charge of security.

The Department of Homeland Security and local authorities have primary oversight on that. And foreign companies have actually been running ports for years. Is this really about the fact that it is an Arab-owned company?

KING: It's not that it is an Arab-owned company. The fact is that it is a country which has a very strong al Qaeda presence. Prior to September 11, the United Arab Emirates was one of only three nations in the entire world which recognized the Taliban as a legitimate government in Afghanistan. As you heard, two of the hijackers were of UAE ancestry.

There has been terrorist financing going through the country. I know, from people in the aviation industry, that there were ticket agencies in Dubai, where the hijackers bought large numbers of tickets.

COLLINS: Right.

KING: They were laundered through there.

So, this any -- this is not any Arab country. It's not just a foreign country. It is a country with a strong al Qaeda presence. And there is no assurance we have that that presence will not be part of the company.

COLLINS: All right.

Well, before we let you go, let's talk, for a moment, about overall port security. We still screen only a small portion of the cargo that comes through each day. How safe should we be feeling at this point?

KING: Well, they are safer than at 9/11.

You know, they say that only 5 percent is actually tested. But a good number of the cargo -- a very high percentage of the cargo is actually screened overseas, and it' monitored.

So, it -- listen, we have a long way to go. But it is far better than some of the critics say.

COLLINS: Some progress there, then.

Representative Peter King, thank you.

In just a moment...

KING: Thank you, Heidi.

COLLINS: ... we will take you to another port affected by this controversial deal. What are they saying in Miami? Does anyone have a better idea?

We also have got a training question for all types of athletes: In order to do your best, should you do without sex?

Plus, a report you have got see, before you order another drink on the rocks. What is cleaner, the ice in your glass or the water in your toilet?

First, more than 15 million of you logged on to our Web site today. Here is our countdown of the top 10 most popular stories on CNN.com -- at 10, the sentencing hearing for Cody Posey, the teen convicted in the shooting deaths of three family members on ABC newsman Sam Donaldson's ranch in New Mexico -- the hearing expected to last all week.

And nine -- at this hour, a rescue effort under way to reach 65 Mexican coal miners trapped, after a gas explosion on Sunday. They're believed to be about a mile-and-a-half from the mine's entrance.

Numbers eight and seven just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: We are talking tonight about the controversy over who will run six of America's major ports. The company that runs them now is being taken over by a company owned by the United Arab Emirates.

Now, the Port of Miami is one of the six ports that are part of that takeover. Already, a company there is suing to block the deal over security issues.

National correspondent Susan Candiotti takes us "Beyond the Headlines" tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the Port of Miami, someone parks a car where he shouldn't, and Miami-Dade police take action.

(on camera): You don't know what it is doing here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't know. And we...

CANDIOTTI: But it is not supposed to be here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It doesn't have the designated dockside permit. It doesn't have any of the traditional markings of vehicles that have access here.

CANDIOTTI: So, it doesn't belong, you move it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it doesn't belong. It has got to move.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): It might appear minor, but the penalty indicates, when to comes to security, the port means business.

(on camera): This guy will lose his credentials, similar to this one...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

CANDIOTTI: And he will have to go through a procedure to get it back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exactly. Exactly, because we can't have people out here -- at any given time, you never know who is who. You know, bad guys are everywhere.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): Whether the sale of port operations in Miami and five other American cities to the United Arab Emirates goes through, the Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security and various state and local law enforcement agencies will remain in charge of security.

Regardless, a Florida company that is in a joint venture with the British cooperation that is selling its U.S. port operations is suing to stop the sale.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We feel that it is not appropriate that a foreign government know about the secrets with respect to the security at the ports. And we feel strongly that this is not the right business partner for us or for the country.

CANDIOTTI: When it comes to port security, Bruce DeCell, whose son-in-law, Mark Petrocelli, was killed in the World Trade Center, wants the Bush administration to keep the UAE out of running any aspect of American ports.

BRUCE DECELL, BOARD MEMBER, 9/11 FAMILIES FOR A SECURE AMERICA: If you are letting a foreign country that probably is, in my estimation, not really a strong ally run -- run the ports of New York and Philadelphia and Maryland and Miami, and wherever else they're going, I don't think that that's a good idea at all.

CANDIOTTI: But how is security in Miami?

(on camera): The Florida Department of Law Enforcement gives the Port of Miami good grades for internal security, once you're on the ground.

Where improvement is needed, says one law enforcement official, is trying to find better ways to stop a terrorist from using force to penetrate the port by land or sea.

(voice-over): Until now, the emphasis has been on stopping drug smugglers and illegal immigrants. Florida has its own laws to protect its international border. But has not yet addressed terrorism. The legislature is now trying to figure out how to best do that.

Susan Candiotti, CNN, Miami.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Switching gears to number eight on our CNN.com countdown now -- tonight, rescue teams from all over the world, including hundreds of U.S. Marines, are desperately trying to dig out a Philippine village buried in a devastating landslide last week. More than 1,000 people are missing -- the question tonight, whether any of them could still be alive.

Hugh Riminton joins me now with the very latest from Leyte in the Philippines.

Hugh, can you update us as to how the search is going at this hour?

HUGH RIMINTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely.

It is almost exactly, as far as we can judge, four days since the moment that this mountain behind me -- I will just step out of the way -- collapsed and cascaded down, taking away this village, going down into the valley below.

Now, the search today -- as they go into their fifth day, the search is expanding. The Marines are here in ever greater numbers, more helicopters, more people on the ground. They're trying to push their men further up on to the mountainside and make it a 24-hour search scene, even though it is very difficult at night, and particularly when it rains.

As you hear, it's another Marine helicopter. They have been doing these transports back to their ships, just riding offshore, all day, and into much of the night -- Paula (sic).

COLLINS: And, Hugh, I know that the Marines are still calling this a rescue effort. But what can you tell us about reports of possible signs of life actually coming from underground?

RIMINTON: Sure.

The Philippine authorities themselves say that there are increasingly positive signs of life. They say that these are coming from an area where there was a school, with 246 children in class, when this landslide went through.

They say that the sounds include scratching noises and rhythmic tapping. It should be said that the Marines themselves say they have found no signs of life.

COLLINS: All right. Well, Hugh Riminton, we know you will be our eyes and ears in that area.

RIMINTON: OK, Heidi.

COLLINS: And our thoughts are certainly with that country.

RIMINTON: Thank you.

COLLINS: Thank you so much, Hugh.

You may not ever make it to the Olympics, but here is a question that applies to any sport. In order to go for the gold, do you have to go without sex? What do the experts say?

And here is something to consider the next time you're sipping a cold drink: How clean is the ice? What is in there that you can't see?

Before that, though, number seven on our CNN.com countdown.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Consider this -- fact number one, this year's Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers were ordered to stay away from their wives or girlfriends the night before the big game -- no sex allowed. Fact number two: They crushed the competition. Coincidence?

Well, more and more coaches and athletes think there is a connection between sex and athletic performance.

Our medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, decided to look into the theory that you can score on the field or in the bedroom, but not both.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ancient Greek Olympians, the Buffalo Bills, and Josh Davis all have something in common. They're all lean, mean athletic machines, living by a strict code, train hard, compete hard, and no sex before a competition.

(on camera): So, it was through trial and error that you figured out abstaining was a good idea...

(LAUGHTER)

JOSH DAVIS, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: Right.

COHEN: ... to win a medal?

J. DAVIS: Yes. When -- when I abstained, I got the gold.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): Josh won gold three times in Atlanta, two silvers in Sydney, and he broke seven U.S. records.

And while he adores Shantel, his wife of 10 years, he says, abstaining days before a competition and the day of works for him. Of course, he does have sex. The man has five children.

J. DAVIS: It is awesome. I mean, God invented it. And he said, go for it. And I love it. And we love it. And it is great. And we celebrate that. But, being that my job is to race for our country, one night every four years, I can probably abstain that day...

(LAUGHTER)

J. DAVIS: ... and really focus my energy, you know, to bring home the gold.

CANDIOTTI (on camera): You said you have made some mistakes.

J. DAVIS: Yes.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): It was Fort Lauderdale, 2002.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, ESPN)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My perennial favorite, Josh Davis, he will not be in this final heat tonight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COHEN: The Davises blame Josh's poor athletic performance in part on too much canoodling.

J. DAVIS: Well, I flew her with me to Fort Lauderdale. We are on the beach, and I'm getting ready to race. And not having the kids around and being on the beach, it was just so romantic and so wonderful. And we had a great time at the hotel.

But my times in the pool were awful. I was really tired. I don't know what was wrong with me. I just could not perform, and I -- in the pool -- and I didn't make the USA team. And -- but we had a great -- a great time together.

COHEN: Now Josh says he learned his lesson.

And so have others before him. Muhammad Ali said he didn't have sex for six weeks before a match. The no-sex rule has even made it into movies like "Bull Durham."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "BULL DURHAM")

SUSAN SARANDON, ACTRESS: There is no relationship between sex and baseball. Ask Crash.

TIM ROBBINS, ACTOR: I did.

SARANDON: And what did he say?

ROBBINS: He said, if I give into you, I will start losing again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DR. DREW PINSKY, AUTHOR, "CRACKED: PUTTING BROKEN LIVES TOGETHER AGAIN": For the most part, this is a wives' tale.

COHEN: Psychologist Drew Pinsky says, it is all in an athlete's head.

PINSKY: I think it what -- it might be what you call retaining the eye of the tiger. I think people have sort of a sense that, if they remain irritable and deprive themselves of things, that, perhaps, then, they will be more apt to be aggressive when they need it.

COHEN: Dr. Ian Shrier, past president of the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine, agrees.

DR. IAN SHRIER, FORMER PRESIDENT, CANADIAN ACADEMY OF SPORT MEDICINE: Among the six studies that we looked at, all of them showed the same thing. Sex the night before competition does not make you weaker, does not decrease your aerobic capacity, doesn't make you more tired.

COHEN: Football great Joe Namath said, he had sex the night before his team won the Super Bowl. He claims sex improved his game.

And "Dr. J.," Julius Erving, claims to have conceived one of his children the night before he played the best game of his life.

But Josh Davis knows what works for him.

J. DAVIS: USA number one.

COHEN: He's training to become the oldest man ever to make a U.S. Olympic swim team. He will be 35 at the 2008 Games in Beijing.

J. DAVIS: The day of a race, I have a certain amount of physical energy that I need to put towards that race. Obviously, engaging in relations would...

(LAUGHTER)

J. DAVIS: ... take away from that energy potential that I would have.

COHEN (on camera): So, at the trials for 2008, you are not going to make the same mistake?

J. DAVIS: Right. We won't be together for that week. We will take...

(CROSSTALK)

COHEN: Separate rooms?

SHANTEL DAVIS, WIFE OF JOSH DAVIS: Separate rooms...

COHEN: Separate rooms.

J. DAVIS: ... that week. And, then, we can celebrate after I make the team.

COHEN (voice-over): An old Wives' tale, a myth? The Davises don't really care. All they know is, there is a time for love and a time when love takes a back seat.

Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, San Antonio, Texas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: And there is this.

Dr. Drew Pinsky says it is entirely possible that male and female athletes do react differently to sexual abstinence -- as usual, Mars and Venus, two entirely different worlds.

So, do you know what is in the ice at some restaurants? Well, it is pretty hard to swallow. Coming up, how pure is the ice in your cup?

Also ahead, a controversial concept that is catching on -- have you heard of unschooling? Your kids might love it. But will they learn anything?

And how would you tell this guy to dress? Just go to his Web site.

First, numbers six and five on our CNN.com countdown -- the parents of a 5-year-old girl from Florida have sued McDonald's because they say its french fries contained a wheat protein called gluten that made their daughter sick.

And five -- in Alabama, federal officials say a fire at a small church in Glencoe does not appear to be linked to a string of arsons at 10 rural churches. Two other fires are also now being investigated. No. 4 on our countdown, right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: So how do you get a fourth grader to understand ninth grade science? Well this half hour, a simple but controversial answer.

And what clothes should Kevin wear today? Would you believe he's waiting for you to tell him?

And at the top of the hour, inside stories from "Dancing with the Stars." This is my favorite show. Some former contestants waltz on to "LARRY KING LIVE." Can't wait for that one.

Well it's not every day that a seventh grader's science project makes news. But wait until you hear about Jasmine Roberts' scientific comparison of the cleanliness of fast food ice with toilet water in those same restaurants. She found that the toilet water was generally cleaner, sadly. So just look at that, that is bacteria growing in water from an ice machine. Yuck. Her investigation just won the top prize in her division at the science fair in Hillsborough County, Florida. Now take a look at what we found when we checked out restaurant ice. It is tonight's "Eye Opener."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS (voice-over): Ice can become contaminated in many ways, like microorganisms in the water supply. But according to the experts CNN consulted, the most common causes of ice contamination are poor handling and storage. Take Denton, Texas, 1999, 58 members of a high school drill team were infected with various levels of gastrointestinal illnesses at a camp. The ice got contaminated with E. Coli after campers used their bare hands to scoop ice out of the machine.

So that got us thinking, what would we find if we bought ice just like you would on any given day at any given restaurant across the country. We took our ice samples in Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles at a combination of fast food chains, and local establishments in each town. A total of 23 samples. In each location, we walked in, and ordered our drinks with our ice on the side and then carefully without touching the ice poured it into sterile bags and then sent the samples off to a certified food laboratory, Microbac Laboratories in Warrendale, Pennsylvania.

Now our study didn't follow all EPA protocol. That would mean we would have had to have gone to each restaurant four or five times, tested the city water, and then made sure that our sample ice touched nothing before it went into our sample bags.

But our results were tested against the most basic EPA standards and what we found was disturbing. In every city but one, there was a restaurant that failed those EPA standards. This McDonald's in Atlanta failed. This Dunkin' Donuts in Chicago failed. This 7-Eleven in Dallas failed. And so did this Burger King in Los Angeles. On the day we tested, according to Microbac Laboratories, each ice sample from these four establishments was contaminated with fecal matter.

JENNIFER BERG, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: Fecal matter in ice is a serious problem.

COLLINS: Jennifer Berg is the head of the graduate department at the Food Science and Nutrition program at New York University. She says ice can hold bacteria that makes you just as sick as anything else you eat. Most common complaints: nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

(on camera): That's disgusting.

BERG: It's so easy to spread.

COLLINS (voice-over): And the one city that got a clean bill of ice? Well, that surprised even us.

BERG: New York City has much more stringent laws and regulations in place inspecting food.

COLLINS: We then contacted the establishments that failed our single tests. In every case, after hearing the results of our tests, the owner operator said they shut down their ice machines and cleaned them thoroughly and also retrained their employees. All four restaurants said they retested their ice after cleaning the machines and found no trace of bacteria.

7-Eleven sent us this. "The safety of 7-Eleven customers is of the utmost importance to us." And from Dunkin' Donuts. "Dunkin' Donuts strives to endure adherence to food safety standards." McDonald's issued this statement from the franchise owner. "My restaurant has an excellent track record with our local health department. My last inspection score was 99 out of 100." Burger King responded by telling us, "The particular restaurant has consistently achieved high health and safety results from both our internal and external audits, as well as those of the local health department."

To be fair, none of the other locations of these establishments failed our tests in other cities, and we only tested the failed establishes once. So what can you do to protect yourself? If you are lucky enough to live in one of the handful of states that have food safety officers, look for the sign telling you that one is on duty. Otherwise, if you see the server filling your cup, make sure they are wearing gloves, and they don't touch the ice. Or you can do what Jennifer Berg does.

(on camera): Do you get ice in any of your drinks when you're out to eat?

BERG: I just decided it's OK to just have beverages room temperature.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Yes, probably a good idea. So who picked out what you're wearing today? Would you like to help Kevin choose what he'll wear tomorrow? He's waiting.

And here is a really radical approach to school. Skip class and let the kids decide what they want to learn. Could that possibly work?

First, No. 4 on our CNN.com countdown.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Do you have any idea what you're going to wear to work tomorrow? Well, we know of at least one guy who doesn't.

As Jeanne Moos shows us, he's waiting for people on the Internet to make the choices for him.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Imagine telling a guy exactly what to wear from striped shirt and jeans to gym shorts and t-shirt to flowered swimsuit and sunglasses. Want him in a cowboy hat? Just click.

Dress him from head to toe.

(on-camera): I mean they pick your socks?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And I'm wearing the socks that they picked, the black socks.

MOOS (voice over): All you have to do is go to dresskevin.com.

(on-camera): You're like a Ken doll to them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, a lot of people have said that actually. Like I'm the real life Ken doll.

MOOS (voice over): Every day Kevin McCormick asks what he should wear the next day. You pick from photos he's taken of practically every item in his closet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This always gets picked. And I have no idea why.

MOOS: Kevin wears labels like Banana Republic, not Prada. (on-camera): You're not a fashion plate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Not at all. In fact, the opposite.

MOOS (voice over): Kevin is an IT manager at an investment company, and his boss had no idea his outfits were put together by popular demand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was that guy who couldn't dress himself. This was the day where I had to tell them. When I wore the Hawaiian shirt to work, my boss was like, what are you wearing?

MOOS: Whichever items get the most votes, he wears. Web site visitors even chose what he wore for his CNN interview. Aside from a few votes for flip-flops, the result was conservative, striped shirt, black pants, simple black belt.

Kevin is photographed in every outfit selected then he posts it on his web site.

(on-camera): Look at your microphone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's great.

MOOS: A new accessory.

(voice over): And sure enough, there it is. Kevin says his audience is almost all female either 13-year-olds who want to dress their boyfriends or 45-year-olds who want to dress their sons. His sock shots generate comments like nice legs. His cowboy hat got, did it come with a lasso?

After viewing the web site, opening Kevin's closet feels like visiting a shrine.

(on-camera): Let's get to the shoes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry.

MOOS: That's OK. Hazardous duty this job.

(voice over): His readers suggested he needed some Pumas. He brought a pair, and they rocketed to number one in shoes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of people have asked me why I don't put my underwear on the site.

MOOS (on-camera): And why don't you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is my underwear.

MOOS (voice over): He may not know how to dress, but he knows to draw the line online by leaving his drawers in the drawer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, there it is.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, Hoboken, New Jersey.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Well, that's classy of him. Kevin says the oddest request he gets are from women who look over his clothes and tell him what to throw away or even burn. He hasn't burned anything yet but he did toss out a shiny brown shirt he had gotten from his uncle.

So here is an idea your kids will probably love. Should you let them sleep in and then only study the subjects they really want to learn? You'll meet some grown-ups who seriously think that's a good idea.

First Erica Hill has the "Headline News Business Break" -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Heidi, Wall Street was closed for the President's Day holiday. But in overseas trading, oil prices surged today after Nigerian rebels bombed more oil facilities over the weekend. A major tanker terminal was also hit. Nigeria is a member of OPEC and much of its oil does end up here in the U.S.

President Bush, meantime, visited Midwest factories that make hybrid car batteries and solar panels to promote his energy budget. Mr. Bush says unstable governments are one reason why the U.S. must develop more alternative energy.

And the CEO of Radio Shack resigned today after a 62 percent drop in fourth quarter earnings and questions about two college degrees he claimed on his resume. Last week, the company said it would close up to 700 stores.

Playstation fans, you may have to wait until spring for Sony's next generation Playstation 3. It all depends on an industry group's approval of new technical specifications for the gaming console.

And that is a look at today's business headlines.

Heidi, back over to you.

COLLINS: All right. Erica, thanks a lot.

"LARRY KING LIVE" begins in just a few minutes from now.

And, Larry, I tell you what, I'm so excited about this. We actually want to look real quick if we could with you dancing with I think this is Ashley in the bright red dress. What are you doing here?

LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: That's Ashley. It's going to be on my show tonight, we're doing a show on "Dancing with the Stars." I know you're a big fan. Heidi, I know you want to get on that show real bad. I got connections. You could be on next season.

But I do a dance with Ashley on the show. She's giving me a lesson. I pay no attention, and I just do my own version of what we call the Jewish cha-cha. COLLINS: I was going to say what dance is that exactly?

KING: It is my own creation. Notice the footwork with the western boots.

COLLINS: Yes, the footwork is spot on, I must say.

KING: Spot on. Anyway, that's the show, "Dancing with the Stars."

Heidi, you don't call. You don't write. It is OK. Listen, it doesn't bother me.

COLLINS: We only talk on TV. I know.

All right. Larry, thank you. We can't wait to see it at 9:00 tonight.

KING: Thanks Heidi.

COLLINS: So do your kids really like going to school or would they do better if they only studied the subjects they liked? Well, it is called unschooling. And it is far from uncontroversial.

First though, number three on our CNN.com countdown. Iran's foreign minister calls for an end to the violent and in some cases deadly protests against cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

Number two on our countdown just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: So how is this for a school kid's dream? No books, no homework, no classrooms, no teachers? It is a growing movement across the U.S. called unschooling. It is like the radical stepchild of home schooling. How does it work? For starters, the students decide what they want to learn and when. Here is Thelma Gutierrez.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Daybreak on a typical weekday. And the rush is on to get to school. But not for 5- year-old Alex of Dana Point, California; or 10-year-old Nailah in Marietta, Georgia; or the Park children in Chicago, Illinois. No, these kids will wake up when they're good and ready.

Often after 11:00 a.m.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the end, they are inevitably successful.

GUTIERREZ: Because for Kay Alina of California...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you want to use the potty?

GUTIERREZ: ... and other parents like her around the country, a strict schedule doesn't matter. Their kids are being "unschooled." KAY ALINA, "UNSCHOOLING" PARENT: "Unschooling" is basically a child-directed learning. I mean, to me, it's allowing the child to choose his own experience in it, so it's not A, B, C, D, here's what we do, here's what we're going to learn.

GUTIERREZ (on camera): The "unschooling" movement began in the '70s by education reformer John Holt. The advocacy group estimates that 150,000 American families "unschool," allowing their kids to decide what they want to learn when they want to learn it.

(voice-over): Families who "unschool" can typically afford to have one stay-at-home parent.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should we sit down and figure out what we want to do today?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What we did...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can we go to the park?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... and yesterday we did it. Yes, we can go to the park.

GUTIERREZ: Winifred Hahn (ph) of Chicago, is a stay-at-home mom, who "unschools" her three kids.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Athena wants to go outside and play. All right, Iris, what do you want to do today?

GUTIERREZ: That means they have no set curriculum. Her 9-year- old daughter, Athena, can read if she wants to, or work on crafts; but she'd never be forced to open a math book or take a test.

ATHENA PARKE, 8 YEARS OLD: Basically, you get to do whatever you want. If you're interested in politics, you go on Google and research politics. If you're interested in art, you go look in the library in art. What "unschooling" really means to me is I get to learn in a better and more enjoyable and probably a little bit safer environment.

GUTIERREZ: Alex is unschooled too. His choice? Morning cartoons.

(on camera): Critics out there might say, but he's 5 and he's sitting in front of a television, watching cartoons, as opposed to being in kindergarten, learning how to read and learning math.

ALINA: Way beyond that. Way beyond that. He counts, he reads, his colors he learned at 18 months.

GUTIERREZ: Alex told me he did go to preschool once. It didn't go well.

ALEX KANSTUL, 5 YEARS OLD: School is terrible. They tell you raise your hands and it's actually a really, really terrible place. GUTIERREZ: Do you learn more at home, do you think?

KANSTUL: Yes, yes, yes, I learn a lot, lot more.

GUTIERREZ: What's your favorite thing to do during the day?

KANSTUL: Go shopping on the computer.

GUTIERREZ: Alex is only 5, but check out his computer skills.

KANSTUL: You go into Internet Explorer, also know as Google.

GUTIERREZ: If you find something that you like, are you allowed to buy it on your own?

KANSTUL: Hey, who knows.

GUTIERREZ (voice-over): Kay says her son reads at a fourth grade level and counts to 100. But even if he didn't she wouldn't worry. She lets Alex decide what's important to him.

(on camera): But do you think that by allowing him to make all the decisions, that he's actually going to learn discipline and structure and all the things that we need to know to be able to make it in society?

ALINA: He may not be a very good worker bee, but I do believe he has the skills of an entrepreneur.

GUTIERREZ (voice-over): Nailah Ellis of Georgia is 10. She doesn't go to school either. She spends most of her day doing what she loves most, playing the piano, practicing martial arts and learning Chinese because she wants to, not because she has to.

NAILAH ELLIS, 10 YEARS OLD: I don't want to sound pompous, I think I am learning a little bit more because I can just do everything at my own pace.

GUTIERREZ: Los Angeles School Board Member David Tokofsky says "unschooling" doesn't work.

DAVID TOKOFSKY, LOS ANGELES SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER: I just don't know how that kid's going to get a lab chemistry class at home. I don't know how that kid's going to get an introduction to world geography and world history.

GUTIERREZ: But Barbara Ellis says these Georgia state test results are proof that "unschooling" works. Nailah would be in the fourth grade in school, but tested at the seventh grade level in vocabulary, and the ninth grade level in science.

BARBARA ELLIS, "UNSCHOOLING" PARENT: Everything she saw, she absorbed and somehow, along the way, the so-called educational process kicked in and she learned. She actually retained all these things and she learned to love all these things. And not because some book tell her to or some teacher tell her to. GUTIERREZ: Holt Associates, which offers "unschooling" materials and guidance to parents concedes many "unschoolers" learn to read after age 9, but then it says kids catch up quickly.

A. PARKE: In my case -- I don't write very good, so my mom has me doing writing exercises, instead of talking on the phone with my friends.

GUTIERREZ: "Unschooling" parents say a child's ability to memorize facts they may later forget isn't a true test of intelligence.

STEPHEN PARKE, "UNSCHOOLING" PARENT: Education is a balance between wrote learning and learning how to think. And I personally would rather emphasize learning how to thing.

GUTIERREZ: Stephen Parke has spent lots of time in school. He has PhD in physics. He and his wife believe their kids will make it to college if they choose to.

S. PARKE: So if they're really passionately interested in something, they will learn so much.

GUTIERREZ: And these parents think they will learn so much more than they would have in school because they want to.

Thelma Gutierrez, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Coming up at the top of the hour on "LARRY KING LIVE," former contestant from "Dancing With the Stars." And we hear Larry is going try a few fancy steps himself. Looking forward to that. Here is number two on our CNN.com countdown. Nick Lachay files court papers to reserve the right to seek spousal support from Jessica Simpson. She filed for divorce last year. The couple had no prenuptial agreement. Stay with us, number one, right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Now, number one on our CNN.com countdown. This weekend's Powerball winner has yet to come forward. The winning ticket was sold at a Lincoln, Nebraska convenience store. That jackpot was worth 365 million. Maybe we all have relatives in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Thanks for joining us, everybody. Tomorrow, are you a pack rat. We'll tell you all about that. Tune in. Have a great night, everybody. "LARRY KING LIVE" coming up next.

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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