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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Florida Ready For Tropical Storm Alberto?; How Zarqawi Died
Aired June 12, 2006 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening again.
On alert: Florida gets ready for Alberto, as the first storm of the hurricane season grows stronger and moves closer to shore.
ANNOUNCER: Awaiting Alberto -- the tropical storm gains steam and threatens to become a hurricane. Tonight, Florida braces for impact, but is the storm-ravaged state ready?
Cause of death -- the autopsy results of al-Zarqawi, new details about how he died and the fight to save his life.
And how safe is the sunscreen you're putting on your family?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no all-day, there is no waterproof product. It doesn't exist.
ANNOUNCER: Tonight, the lawsuit against the sunscreen industry that will leave you burning up inside.
ANNOUNCER: Across the country and around the world, this IS ANDERSON COOPER 360.
Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York, tonight, sitting in for Anderson, John Roberts.
J. ROBERTS: Tonight, Florida is under a state of emergency, as millions watch and wait to see what Alberto is going to do next. The storm continues to surprise us. The experts said it would pose little or no threat, but what a difference just a day makes.
Right now, Alberto is on the verge of becoming a hurricane, the first of the 2006 hurricane season. It may not, but, given what happened last year, no one is taking any chances -- tonight, all the angles.
CNN is your hurricane headquarters. We're tracking Alberto. We will let you know where it is, where it's headed, and how strong it may get. Are they ready? We will take a close look at the preparations and evacuations under way as Alberto nears shore.
And we saw it in New Orleans, but will the levees surrounding Florida's Lake Okeechobee give way? That's coming up. But we begin tonight with breaking news. The Tampa Bay area is under a tornado threat. The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for the Tampa Bay area in northern Pinellas County.
Forecasters say Doppler radar indicates a tornado over Clearwater that is moving north at 40 miles per hour. Areas expected to be affected are Dunedin, Palm Harbor, and Tarpon Springs. So, be on the lookout there.
Now for more on what Alberto is doing and what it looks like along the shore, let's go to Cedar Island -- Cedar Lake Island.
And Rob Marciano from CNN is there.
Rob, how's it looking out there?
ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: John, it's -- it's the worst it's been all night, now winds consistently over tropical-storm-force, estimating really at somewhere between 40 and upwards of 60 miles an hour.
The direction of the wind has not changed much at all, still out of the east, and that kind of tells us that the track of this storm has not changed relative to our position, which is just a little spit of land in the northwest part of the state, really the west -- west central part of the state that sticks out of the Gulf of Mexico, very vulnerable to hurricanes.
Obviously, the winds are blowing pretty good. So, you see this rain coming down sideways. Right now, we're at low tide -- a pretty good puff here. This is now, again, the worst we have seen yet.
We're at low tide right now, but the brunt of this storm will be coming in over the next, well, I would say, three to six hours. And that will be at high tide, not only here at Cedar Key.
But, up the way in Apalachee Bay, where the biggest threat for storm surge is, they had a huge storm surge last year during Hurricane Dennis, where the circulation was over by Pensacola. So, that's an area that's vulnerable to storm -- storm surge, as is this area as well.
What you mentioned earlier is quite true. This started out to be a beneficial, light-wind, heavy rainmaker in a drought-stricken state. Today, though, we have ramped it up to near-hurricane-force. And, you know, four or five miles an hour to get to hurricane status, John, it really doesn't make much of a difference. It feels like quite a storm right now. And over the next three to six hours it's only going to get worse.
Reporting live from Cedar Key, Florida, back to you, John.
ROBERTS: All right, Rob Marciano, in Cedar Key, we will get back to you soon.
Max Mayfield is the director of the National Hurricane Center. I spoke to him tonight about Alberto.
ROBERTS: Max, what's the latest from the Hurricane Center on Alberto tonight?
MAX MAYFIELD, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER: Well, John, we -- the good news is, we don't have any signs of strengthening here. It's still a strong tropical storm. It has a chance to become a Category 1 hurricane.
But, even if it doesn't, you know, it's 70 miles per hour now, well -- could very well become 75 and make it a Category 1. We're hoping it doesn't make it that strong. But it's still strong enough to cause some storm surge, rainfall tornado, and some wind damage.
ROBERTS: Looking at that radar behind you, Max, it looks like the storm is a little less organized than it was earlier in the day. Am I -- am I correct in reading that?
MAYFIELD: That's right.
Here, the center is somewhat exposed out here, but it looked like that last night, and then it really exploded early this morning. And we just have another Air Force plane that got out there right now, and we will give them some time to send some data back here. But I don't think we're going to see any major change.
The one thing we really want to point out here is, don't just focus on the center. All these rain bands are already moving onto the state and onto the coast. And, so, conditions are going to continue to, you know, go downhill tonight. We don't want to overdo this, however. This is not a major hurricane. In fact, it's not a hurricane right now.
ROBERTS: Right, but you don't want to underdo it either.
What -- what -- what are the chances here for some sort of significant storm surge? Aren't there some astronomical events that are lining up as well?
MAYFIELD: Well, you know, the tidal range is not that great in the Gulf of Mexico, but depending on what track we have here, if it were to become a Category 1 hurricane, we could easily have eight to 10 feet of storm surge up here in this extreme northeastern Gulf of Mexico.
It will taper off the farther south you get, down towards Tampa and south of there. But when that flow comes on shore, most likely, in the very early morning hours on Tuesday here, that's when that surge is going to come in and -- and be the highest.
ROBERTS: Isn't it supposed to come at high tide and during a full moon as well? MAYFIELD: Well -- well, it will likely go through a whole tidal cycle. So, we will probably hit one of the high tides there, which is, you know, not that much. But, in some of these low-lying areas there, it doesn't take too much to make a real difference.
ROBERTS: So, here it is, the early part of June. We're only about a week and a little bit into hurricane season, and you're already doing all these live shots, Max. Were you expecting to be this busy this early?
MAYFIELD: Well, we were certainly hoping not. But this is not unusual, to have a -- a storm in June. And they typically in the northwestern Caribbean, just like Alberto did.
MAYFIELD: About every other year, we get something in June like this.
ROBERTS: All right, Max, we're going to keep checking back with you on -- on this and more storms to come in the future...
ROBERTS: ... because this will be an active season, won't it?
MAYFIELD: That's what we're saying. And the peak of the season doesn't really start until about the middle of August. So, John, we have got a long way to go.
ROBERTS: Yes. I hope you don't have any vacation booked.
Max Mayfield, at the Hurricane Center, thanks.
MAYFIELD: Thank you, John.
ROBERTS: The hurricane warnings and evacuation orders are nothing new in Florida. The state has been battered by powerful storms in the past. Several have come in just the last two years, where they have taken a heavy toll.
ROBERTS (voice-over): Hurricane warnings have been issued along the Florida Gulf Coast, and residents are again going through the motions of a familiar and wearying routine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Make sure my roof doesn't leak anymore. I have got -- we make sure everything's inside, so the wind doesn't get it. We have the wood cut for the windows, if we have to put it up, and that's what you got to do. ROBERTS: In the past two years, Florida has worn a bullseye, hit with eight. -- that's right, eight -- hurricanes. In 2004, after two tropical storms, Hurricane Charley roared across the Keys in August, slamming into Fort Myers as a Category 4 storm with 150-mile-per-hour winds.
The next month, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne tore across the state with rain, winds, and tornadoes. The four hurricanes left more than 100 dead and $21 billion in damage. Then, a year ago, Tropical Storm Arlene, the first of 2005, made landfall near Pensacola.
In July, Hurricane Dennis, a Category 3 with a massive storm surge, left tens of thousands of acres in the Panhandle flooded. And, a month later, in August, Katrina carved her path of destruction through Florida, before wrecking New Orleans.
Some four weeks later, Rita clipped the Keys. And, finally, Wilma hit in October -- last year's hurricane bill in the Sunshine State, about $12 billion. Florida is the state most vulnerable to hurricanes. But it's also the most prepared.
GOV. JEB BUSH (R), FLORIDA: We know from experience that every storm is different, but we know that all of them have the potential to make life miserable for people that are impacted by these storms.
ROBERTS: While it would be a minimal hurricane at most, Alberto could be a nasty experience. Landfall is expected at high tide, during a full moon. And officials are warning of a potentially damaging storm surge.
And though no one wants a hurricane, Florida is suffering from a drought. The heavy rains could bring welcome relief, perhaps the silver lining in the stormy clouds.
ROBERTS: But those heavy rains could also trigger a disaster on a catastrophic scale. The levees surrounding Lake Okeechobee may be at risk of collapsing. For the thousands of people who live around it, the fear isn't if the levee will fail. It's when.
CNN's John Zarrella reports.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN MIAMI BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Rebecca Gooden (ph) and Angela McCall (ph) work at Poppa Jimmy's Catfish diner in Pahokee, Florida. It's pretty laid back here most of the time...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, have a nice evening.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See you later.
ZARRELLA: ... but not when hurricanes are out there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If -- I knew, if it's a Category 4 or 5, I know that, you know, it's time to go.
ZARRELLA: But, just like in New Orleans, it's not easy for everyone here to get out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of people don't have the funds, transportation, or the means to evacuate.
ZARRELLA: And many are nervous, because, like New Orleans, they are protected only by a manmade structure, this one, the Herbert Hoover Dike, surrounds Lake Okeechobee. When the lake water is high, the dike leaks.
LES BROMWELL, STUDY ENGINEER: It's not safe. It's definitely not safe, needs to be fixed.
ZARRELLA: Engineer Les Bromwell was part of a team that studied the Hoover Dike, finding it posed a grave and imminent danger to the people and the environment. Bromwell's team believes that, if the lake reaches 18 or more feet from the kind of rainfall a hurricane can bring, the dike would likely fail.
BROMWELL: If a piping breach occurs, that is that the water from the reservoir is in direct -- can directly flow through, without any pressure loss, carrying material with it, that that breach would likely be on the order of 750 feet wide, and it would flood a very wide area within a matter of days.
ZARRELLA: Following the report, Governor Jeb Bush called on the Army Corps of Engineers to move quickly on repairs to the 140-mile dike. But work on a massive $300 million project to shore up the dike has been stopped. Materials being used to construct a barrier around the dike were not working.
Despite the setback, the Army Corps insists, its constant inspections will find any leaks and prevent a catastrophe.
(on camera): You don't see the potential for major, catastrophic failures?
GEORGE COOPER, ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS: Well, there's always the potential for anything. But I would say that I'm not concerned about the integrity of Herbert Hoover Dike.
ZARRELLA (voice-over): State and local officials aren't that confident. They're working on new, more extensive evacuation plans to be used until the dike is fully repaired, which will take years.
For now, the 40,000 people living around the lake can only wonder what would be left if the dike fails. At Poppa Jimmy's diner, the regulars fear there wouldn't be much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If -- if the dike, if it would -- something were to happen to it, I think that Pahokee and Belle Glade wouldn't exist anymore.
ZARRELLA: It's hard not to think the worst when you live in the shadow of the Hoover Dike.
ROBERTS: John Zarrella is in Pahokee, Florida, for us tonight.
John, if that dike breaks, how widespread could the flooding possibly be?
ZARRELLA: Well, John, the state and local officials, as well as the Army Corps of Engineers, know what the -- the flood maps show, but they're not sharing it with the public, because the Hoover Dike is considered a national security issue, and that information could be used by terrorists.
Now, what you're seeing right here behind me is the damage to a building from Hurricane Wilma last October, when the lake came over the embankment here and blew through this building. The lake is just off to my right. Now, off to my left, that's the Hoover Dike you're seeing there, about a 25- to 35-foot earthen structure.
During Wilma, the water crossed the road and lapped about a third of the way up the dike. So, John, you can -- you can see why there is such a grave deal of concern here about getting those repairs done, because there's no guarantee this dike would hold in the event of a lot of water in this lake and a major hurricane coming through here...
ZARRELLA: ... some serious problems. And that's all that protects the people, the Herbert Hoover Dike.
ROBERTS: John, I used to live in -- in Florida and drove by there very often, and I always wondered what would happen if that dike ever let go.
John Zarrella in Pahokee -- thanks, John.
Folks around Lake Okeechobee do have reason to be concerned. After all, it's where one of the worst hurricanes made landfall. Here's the "Raw Data."
The second deadliest hurricane on record to hit the United States struck the Lake Okeechobee area on September 16, 1928. That's before storms were given names. It was a Category 4, with winds around 140 miles an hour. As many as 2,500 people died in the storm and the flooding, though the exact number of deaths remains uncertain.
The total damage at that time came to $25 million, which today would be about $16 billion.
Let's take you back to Cedar Key, Florida, where we started tonight, winds blowing hard, still just tropical-force winds, a few miles shy of a hurricane. But that still is a big deal in anybody's estimation.
Stay with 360. We will have updates on Alberto over the next two hours. Don't forget, CNN is your hurricane headquarters.
On to the day's other top story -- President Bush working to maintain momentum, after the U.S. takeout of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, part of that, releasing Zarqawi's autopsy. 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta tells us how long the terror leader lived after the strike and precisely, in exquisite detail, how he died.
Plus; President Bush kicks off a two-day summit with his war advisers at Camp David.
Also tonight: a legal battle over sunscreen lotions. Could you be paying for protection that you're not really getting?
All that when 360 continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAJ. GEN. WILLIAM CALDWELL, U.S. ARMY: The scientific facts provide irrefutable evidence regarding the death of these terrorists and will serve to counter speculation, misinformation, and propaganda.
The Iraqi people deserve the facts, to know that the personal threat of Zarqawi is eliminated, and the fact that he was treated better in death than he was -- than he treated others in life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: That's was Major General William Caldwell discussing the autopsy of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the slain leader of al Qaeda in Iraq.
Of course, if you're at home when a couple of 500-pound bombs fall on your house, death is pretty much guaranteed. But, for the United States, particularly in the present climate, it is vital to know precisely what killed Zarqawi and how quickly his death came.
360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta has the autopsy results.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was last Wednesday, June 7, 6:12 p.m. A U.S. Air Force F-16 drops two 500-pound bombs; 6:40 p.m., coalition forces arrive at the debris- filled crater left by the airstrike.
The target, al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, is not dead. And U.S. medics treat him, as he lapses in and out of consciousness.
CALDWELL: The medic secured his airway, at which point Zarqawi expelled blood. The medic ensured Zarqawi was breathing. However, he noted the breathing was shallow and labored. The medic then checked his carotid pulse, which was barely palpable, and quickly deteriorated, and which he determined, therefore, that Zarqawi's death was imminent.
GUPTA: At 7:04 p.m., no pulse, no respirations are detected. Zarqawi is declared dead. It's 52 minutes after the first airstrike hit his hideout. Cause of death, according to U.S. military medical examiners:
CALDWELL: Closed-spaced primary blast injury of the lung. His injuries are not apparent from an external inspection. They can only be seen by examining the lungs. This wound was not immediately fatal. The injuries to his lungs were not survivable. That's what killed him.
GUPTA: Two senior Defense Department forensic pathologists were flown in from outside Iraq. In an autopsy lasting nearly three hours, they were able to determine that Zarqawi was indoors at the time of the explosion.
CALDWELL: All the injuries found were consistent with the type seen in blast victims. The abrasions, lacerations, and the fracture were likely due to flying debris or Zarqawi being thrown against a hard object by the force of the blast. The shockwave from the blast can rupture air-filled organs such as the ears, lungs, and intestines.
Those injuries are not obvious from looking at the external surface of the body.
GUPTA: Being in an enclosed space magnified the pressure of the blast. The shockwaves rocked the lungs inside the body. The blood vessels ruptured, and air sacs ruptured, stopping the exchange of oxygen to the blood and to the tissue. The autopsy team found no evidence of gunshot wounds or beatings.
CALDWELL: We have clear evidence that he died of blast injuries. There is no evidence to suggest that he was beaten. And I have no reason to suspect that that happened.
ROBERTS: Sanjay, we should point out that, in addition to everything else you do, you're a certified medical examiner. You -- you know the results of this autopsy. Is there any doubt in your mind that Zarqawi died from anything other than a blast injury?
GUPTA: It really doesn't look that way at all, John.
A couple things that are critical to point out here, one is that, when you talk about these sorts of blast injuries, primary blast injuries, you talk about damage that sort of goes right past the soft tissues of the skin to the internal organs. You can't get the sort of damage to the lungs and the internal organs from just a beating, for example, or any kind of penetrating trauma. This is primary blast sort of injury. A couple things to point out -- first of all, these lung injuries that they described are pretty significant. And, you know, when you're coughing up blood, you have significant lung injuries, that's a primary blast.
Also, you saw some of the images. When someone is beaten, you see a pretty typical and predictable discoloration of the skin and some of the surrounding soft tissues. That's different than the sort of injury you see from a blast as well. So, these are just some of the tricks that you know.
ROBERTS: When -- when you're doing the forensics of this, when you're trying to piece together the situation as it happened on the ground, is it possible to tell where someone may have been in relation to the initial blast?
GUPTA: Yes. That's a great question, an important one as well.
If you think about blasts, there's really three waves to them. A primary blast is, you know, just someone who's close to the actual blast itself. And you develop -- a couple of things happen. All the air-filled organs in your body, the eardrums, your intestines, your lungs, those take a hit right away. And you see some damage there.
If you're in a small room, for example, that damage is magnified, because the pressure just builds up. The second wave is typically shrapnel flying through the air. The third wave is actually bodies flying through the air against walls and things like that.
Looking at his type of injuries, you basically think that maybe he was in an enclosed space that may not have had as much opportunity for shrapnel to actually fly through. But, on the other hand, the -- the magnification of the blast was pretty high, so, I would say a small enclosed space without a lot of shrapnel around.
ROBERTS: Some interesting insights.
Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks very much.
GUPTA: Thank you, John.
ROBERTS: All pretty graphic stuff.
New polls tonight on Iraq taken after the death of Abu Musab al- Zarqawi, we will have those for you in just a moment.
But first, Erica Hill from Headline News joins us now with some of the other stories that we're following tonight.
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: John, the wife of a Tennessee preacher has been indicted in his death. A McNairy County grand jury indicted Mary Winkler with one count of first-degree murder. She's accused of shooting her husband, Matthew, in March. She will likely be arraigned on Wednesday.
Near downtown Tampa, Florida, a small plane crashes into a house at the end of a runway, killing the pilot and badly burning the co- pilot. They were the only two on board the plane. A woman inside the house escaped without injuries. That crash is under investigation.
A different type of crash in Pittsburgh, where pro football star Ben Roethlisberger broke his jaw and nose in a motorcycle accident this morning. Police say the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback wasn't wearing a helmet at the time. He is listed in serious, but stable condition.
And, across the country, the lunch hour becoming a thing of the past. According to a new survey conducted on behalf of fast-food chain KFC, more than half of America's office workers take half-hour or less for lunch. Fifty-eight percent say they eat at their desks while still doing work. Those who cut down on lunch time often use their spare minutes to get other errands done.
I don't know about you, John, but I'm a desk eater.
ROBERTS: Oh, absolutely.
ROBERTS: I -- I have been just about all my life.
But you know why more of America is -- is doing that, of course?
HILL: Why is that?
ROBERTS: It's to make up for work time lost while they're surfing the Internet.
HILL: That just may be it, I think.
ROBERTS: And the Roethlisberger thing, terrible. You know, I ride a motorcycle. And, you know, it looks great to not wear a helmet, until you hit that car.
HILL: So important to wear.
ROBERTS: Yes, absolutely.
ROBERTS: All right, Erica. We will see you next hour.
HILL: Talk to you in a bit.
ROBERTS: More public opinion coming up, far more serious, though -- are attitudes shifting on Iraq? We will have results from a new CNN poll, and we will discuss them with former White House adviser David Gergen.
Plus, you remember the admonition, always remember to wear sunscreen? Well, sunscreens are the focus of a new legal battle, where some say they don't always deliver what they promise. This will be a beach conversation all summer long.
You're watching 360.
ROBERTS: A live picture there of Cedar Key island, Florida -- tropical storm Alberto setting its sights on the Sunshine State. It's still a tropical storm, but threatens to become a hurricane. We're monitoring that, and we will bring you all the latest.
And we should tell you that that tornado warning for the area north of Tampa, in around Dunedin, Clearwater, has expired.
But back now to our other big story of the night: Iraq and the latest feedback on Iraq from Americans after the airstrikes that took out Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and with the Haditha investigation under way. Here are the results of a poll commissioned by CNN and conducted from last Thursday through Sunday.
Compared with three months ago, 43 percent say the war is going either very or moderately well. That's up from 38 percent in a March poll, a five-point jump. But 55 percent say they believe the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 was an error. That's a figure that remains unchanged from an April survey.
Polls aside, President Bush clearly sees an opportunity here to change the dynamics of the war in Iraq. Today, he convened a war summit at Camp David.
Here's CNN White House correspondent Ed Henry with that.
ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Bush kicked off the two-day summit at Camp David with his war council by immediately trying to pass the torch of responsibility to the Iraqis.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Success in Iraq will depend upon the capacity of the new government to provide for its people. We recognize our responsibilities to help that new government.
HENRY: The president is clearly trying to shift the U.S. to a more supportive role, but is stopping short of calling for major U.S. troop cutbacks, leery of going too far out on a limb with violence on the ground continuing.
BUSH: This is a process of getting to know the -- understand the Iraqi capabilities, particularly the command-and-control structure, and what our needs -- what we need to do to help them achieve victory. HENRY: The president is hoping to get a better assessment Tuesday, when his war cabinet meets, by secure video conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki and his cabinet. Earlier Monday the president got a briefing from his war commanders and tried the delicate balancing act of cheering the death of Abu Musab Al Zarqawi while still trying to be cautious about its effect.
BUSH: I fully recognize it's not going to end the war.
HENRY: Despite the president's attempts to lower expectations, democrats say the American people are anxious to hear more about troop redeployment.
JOHN PODESTA, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: The very nature of moving up to Camp David I think raises the stakes, and I think that he'll be under some pressure to deliver the goods, if you will.
HENRY: But administration allies say the summit can help focus the public on the big picture.
TORIE CLARKE, FMR. PENTAGON SPOKESWOMAN: It's very, very complex stuff. And it's not a simple black or white answer to anything. So the way to manage expectations, the way to make sure people don't get false expectations is to be communicating with them constantly and drawing them into the process, if you will.
HENRY: The president said the enemy is trying to break the will of the American people and the goal of this summit is to remind Americans the sacrifice is worth it. A case the president will continue to make Tuesday afternoon when he returns to the White House for a press conference in the Rose Garden. Ed Henry, CNN, with the president near Camp David, Maryland.
(END OF VIDEOTAPE)
ROBERTS: And joining me now from Boston for more on the president's summit and public opinion is former presidential adviser David Gergen. Good to see you again, David.
DAVID GERGEN, FMR. PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: Hi, John.
ROBERTS: So this is the first good news for some time out of Iraq, at least for President Bush. Zarqawi's death here, we've got a five-point bounce in the polls among people who think that the war is going well. How significant do you think this is?
GERGEN: I don't think it's much to write home about, John. I think the tide of events has been moving in the president's direction, partly because of the accomplishments of his own team. They're showing more competence both in the White House in their appointments and especially on the ground in Iraq. But if you look at the numbers on the CNN poll, it's a bump about the kind we expected. But no change in the number of people who thought the war was a mistake.
And importantly, John, there is another poll from CBS that actually shows the president's popularity, his approval rating, dropping slightly, a couple of points, down to 33. And this was taken after Zarqawi's death. So in that sense I think it's -- he's moving in the right direction from the White House's point of view but he hasn't yet swept the country and I think that these two days of meetings in Camp David will be helpful to him.
ROBERTS: Alright David, there's probably time to change Americans' perceptions of the war before the November elections, but do you expect that the effects of the Zarqawi success will be short- lived or can they be sustained?
GERGEN: Well, that's what we don't know, do we? I think what he's now doing, John, with these two days of summits at Camp David is a mixture of public relations and substance. You know, the speeches that he was giving out on the road were not moving people. This is more dramatic, to go to Camp David. I mean this is pretty staged. After all, he could do this in the cabinet room, it's the same people around the table. But he's taking them up to Camp David.
He's gotten a lot of news attention, now he has this teleconference tomorrow with the Iraqi government. And he's now finally got a chance to showcase an Iraqi government, which is important. But there is a substantive issue here, and that is are we going to come out of Camp David with some sense of a strategy or is it going to be pretty much let it -- you know, keep on keeping on, which has been their strategy all along?
ROBERTS: What do you think? Is this just for the cameras to say yeah, we're up here and we're working on it, and we're trying to cloister ourselves away in a place where we can really get our heads into this, or is there really some kind of plan that's going to come out, as you say?
GERGEN: All indications are that there's not going to be any dramatic announcement coming out of this. Certainly the White House aides have been downplaying that expectation, especially around the question of troop withdrawals. You know, we have these very contradictory signals now coming out of the administration and from the military about whether in fact there may be significant troop withdrawals this year or not.
But indications are that this is more about showcasing a new Iraqi government, giving them responsibility, as your previous report said, to start moving more responsibility toward the Iraqis to see if it would work. But John, you know, we're -- even after Zarqawi, yesterday there were some 40 deaths that we know of in Iraq, and how many others went on undisclosed. You know, the violence keeps on keeping on too. So it's just too early to tell. I think they're being smart about going to Camp David, but I would not expect much substantive progress out of Camp David.
ROBERTS: As always, David Gergen, good to see you. Thanks for joining us tonight.
GERGEN: John, tell me. A motorcycle.
ROBERTS: Yes. That's my other life.
ROBERTS: We all have alter egos. And that's mine. Alright thanks, David.
Up next, what you don't know about your sunscreen may hurt you. We'll take a look at some sunscreens at the center of a hot legal debate over whether their labels are true or false.
And the latest on tropical storm Alberto. 21,000 Floridians are being told to get out now. We'll go live to the scene. 360 next.
ROBERTS: The latest now on tropical storm Alberto, which is on the verge of becoming the first hurricane of 2006. CNN's Rob Marciano is live on the scene in Cedar Key Island, Florida. His signal starting to go in and out now as those winds get up there, heading out by the 70-mile-an-hour range there. Rob, what can you tell us about what's going on by where you are?
ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, the signal fading in and out for one reason, the winds, for another reason the amount of rain that's coming in, blocking the satellite signal out. Rain fade as it's called, you probably get it at home if you have a satellite provider. The winds have not changed. They remain to be out of the east. Anywhere from 30 to 50 miles an hour. And obviously it's raining sideways. So this is beneficial rain inland where they need it. But the winds are stronger than anybody anticipated. 12 and even 24 hours ago. Right now it's low tide. But as the winds -- as the storm gets a little bit closer to us and eventually passes just to our west, it will be high tide tonight at 4:00 a.m. here and then up the road in Apalachee Bay it will be high tide around 6:00 a.m., probably when the strongest winds or shortly after the strongest winds arrive up through Apalachee Bay.
They do have evacuation orders out for six counties. 17 shelters are set up. That decision was made today when the forecast went from being just a 45 or 50-mile-an-hour storm up to near category strength, which is where it is right now. Although official word from Max Mayfield is it's unlikely to strengthen any further before it makes landfall. But still at the cusp of being a category one hurricane. That's going to do a couple of things. One, it's going to create a pretty big storm surge at and to the right of the center of this storm.
And two, you get winds over 50 miles an hour, that is strong enough to knock down tree limbs and power lines and there's going to be some power outages as we go through the next 12 to 24 hours. Right now as far as we can tell from the field as far as where the center of this storm is, if I stand with my back to the wind and I point left, it's pretty much to our south and west, where it has been all day long. So the track relative to us here in Cedar Key has not changed much and it looks like we're going to be in it for the next several hours. That's the latest from here, John. Back over to you. ROBERTS: So Rob, in terms of that storm track, when it eventually does make landfall, what side of the hurricane center are you going to be on? Will you be on that so-called dirty side where the wind and the waves really pile up or will you be somewhere else?
MARCIANO: No, we're on the dirty side, the bad side, the right side of the storm. When you get that forward momentum coupled with the flow of wind around the storm, you kind of get a one two punch where we are right now, that's what Biloxi and Gulfport and Waveland, Mississippi had during hurricane Katrina. And that's what we're going to have here to a much lesser extent thankfully with tropical storm Alberto. But you know, John, it's the beginning of June. We don't typically see tropical storms this early in the season. Typically July 11. So here we are again this year a month ahead of schedule of getting our first named tropical storm, much like last year. An omen and an eerie one tonight especially as it gets more stormy here in Cedar Key, Florida.
ROBERTS: Right out of the box you've got all kinds of action. Rob Marciano, thanks very much. Keep the hatches battened down and stay safe.
Now that hurricane season is upon us, summer isn't far away and with it perhaps a trip to the beach and to the drugstore to pick up that summer essential sun screen. We're told if we use it we're protected from the sun's harmful rays but what you may not know is that a battle is under way between the companies that make some sunscreens and lawyers who claim those companies are actually deceiving the American public. What's hanging in the balance is the health of our skin. Here's CNN's consumer correspondent, Greg Hunter.
GREG HUNTER, CNN CONSUMER CORRESPONDENT: Whether you spray it, dab it, or slather it on, many people consider sunscreen their best defense against skin cancer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Finally, sunscreen that's in sync with your life.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Provides superior stabilized UVA UVB defense with heelioplex.
HUNTER: But questions about sunscreen claims have some people wondering if it really protects as well as the labels might imply.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you sell a product and say it does something that it doesn't do, that to me is the equivalent of selling snake oil.
HUNTER: Sam Rudman is one of several attorneys challenging the billion dollar sun protection industry with a controversial lawsuit that's generating headlines and heat. It accuses some sunscreen makers of being fraudulent, negligent, and intentionally deceptive in the marketing and labeling of some of the sunscreens sold by Coppertone, Hawaiian Tropic, Banana Boat, Bull Frog, and Neutrogena. All five defendants categorically deny the claims. At issue the reliability of common claims such as waterproof, all day, UVA UVB protection, even the term sun block, which the lawsuit says are exaggerated, misleading, and may give consumers a false sense of security.
UNKNOWN: Is sun block a good term?
UNKNOWN: That is a false statement.
HUNTER: Waterproof, true or false?
HUNTER: All day protection, true or false?
UNKNOWN: False. The consumer should understand what the product does, what the product doesn't do.
HUNTER: They can read the label for that.
UNKNOWN: Well they can't read the label because the label's a lie.
HUNTER: We asked Dermatologist James Spencer, a spokesman for the American Academy of Dermatology, what he thinks about sunscreen labels.
JAMES SPENCER, M.D., DERMATOLOGIC SURGEON: There is no all day. There is no waterproof product. It doesn't exist. And you are mistaken. If you think you can put this on your child at 8:00 in the morning and tell him he go to the beach all day, know by 10:00, 11:00 he's not protected anymore.
HUNTER: And there's something else you may not realize. When you're out in the sun there are two types of rays beating down on you. Ultraviolet A and B. Or UVA and UVB. But listen up. What your bottle of sunscreen doesn't tell you is that you're not protected equally from both. This number, the SPF number, our sun protection factor, primarily tells you how much protection you're getting from UVB rays.
The ultraviolet B rays affect the outer layers of your skin. They're the ones that make you burn and tell you it's time to go inside. But UVA rays penetrate to deeper layers of the skin and are increasingly thought to be a major cause of early wrinkles and melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. It's the sunscreen's ability to filter out these UVA rays which the lawsuit and some dermatologists question.
UNKNOWN: There you go, honey.
SPENCER: Are UVB blockers and screens are really very good. They'll block up to 97, 98 percent of the UVB rays. So we're pretty good there. UVA we fall down. We don't have that level of protection.
We're not saying it's a product you shouldn't use. We're simply saying it doesn't do everything that they tell you it does.
HUNTER: The Food and Drug Administration regulates sunscreen, and in 1999 proposed a set of labeling rules for sunscreen makers that banned SPF numbers higher than 30. They also rejected claims like all day or waterproof, saying they're unsupported and potentially misleading. So why, you might wonder, is the FDA still allowing manufacturers to make these claims on sunscreen labels? It's because the FDA indefinitely delayed its own rules.
They say to give science and the industry more time to work on guidelines for UVA testing and labeling. The end result means compliance with their 1999 labeling guidelines is voluntary. We asked officials here at the Food and Drug Administration headquarters in Rockville, Maryland why it's taken so long, seven years now, to come up with a set of clear labeling rules that sunscreen makers have to follow. No one at the FDA wanted to answer that question on camera.
Instead, FDA officials emailed us, saying they're currently working on rule making for sunscreen drug products to address, among other things, UVA testing and labeling issues and are working to establish new rules "very soon."
They've dropped the ball, and no one's going on camera to admit that the ball's bouncing around.
HUNTER: You're basically doing the government's job.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct. If the government had done their job, we wouldn't have a case.
PERRY ROBINS, M.D., PRESIDENT, SKIN CANCER FOUNDATION: I hope the thing is thrown out of court because I think it's going to do more damage than help.
HUNTER: Dr. Perry Robins is a leading dermatologist and president of the Skin Cancer Foundation. It's a non-profit group partially funded by the sunscreen industry, dedicated to the prevention and care of skin cancer.
ROBINS: I'm very much disturbed with this lawsuit because what it's going to do is tell people, well gee, if it doesn't work why am I using it? And that's the last thing we want to do. If they stop using sunscreen, it's going to have a disastrous effect.
HUNTER: For cancers.
ROBINS: For cancers of the skin.
HUNTER: None of the sunscreen makers named in the lawsuit would answer our questions on camera, but three of them wrote us saying their labels fully comply with all current FDA standards and are totally safe when used as directed. The makers of Hawaiian Tropic went on to write, "The rhetoric of the plaintiffs' lawyers is motivated by their self-interest and greed. Their statements are contrary to the public's health and are irresponsible." The makers of Banana Boat and Bull Frog sunscreen didn't respond to our inquiries. And Schering-Plough, the company that makes Coppertone, told us in a statement, "They believe the suit is without merit and attempts to exploit the fact that the FDA has not issued final regulation in this area."
When we asked them about UVA versus UVB protection, they simply said, "The product labels and advertisements do not say the same protection applies to the full spectrum of UVA rays, nor do we believe they imply that." People on Clearwater Beach, Florida, however, had a different point of view.
When you see UVA UVB sun block lotion, what does that make you think about both those rays?
UNKNOWN: That he's pretty protected by it.
HUNTER: From both.
UNKNOWN: Right, from both, absolutely. Equal, in equal amounts.
HUNTER: What do you think?
UNKNOWN: I think that I'm getting both protections.
HUNTER: And that is exactly the kind of confusion the FDA says future labeling rules will clear up. Until then, sun lovers should keep one thing in mind. You may not be as protected from all the sun's harmful rays as you think. Greg Hunter, CNN, Clearwater Beach, Florida.
(END OF VIDEOTAPE)
ROBERTS: So it is those UVA rays that could cause everything from wrinkles to skin cancer. For the best possible UVA protection look on your sunscreen label for one or more of the following ingredients -- zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and avobenzone. Greg's piece first aired on "Paula Zahn Now." You can watch Paula every night at 8:00 p.m. eastern time.
Coming up, the latest on tropical storm Alberto. We'll tell you where it's heading and what's being done to prepare for it. 360 is covering all the angles.
Plus, making money off the war in Iraq. Tonight, a behind-the- scenes look at military contractors and how they are cashing in your tax dollars. 360 next.
ROBERTS: Residents along the Gulf Coast of Florida are being warned, prepare for what could be the first hurricane of 2006. So far Alberto is just a tropical storm, but evacuations are already under way. A state of emergency has been declared, and Florida is taking no chances. Adam Landau of affiliate WJXT is in Steinhatchee, Florida. He joins us there live. Adam, what's happening where you are right now? ADAM LANDAU: Well, we're really starting to see an increase in the winds as well as the rain. And you can take a look. It's not going to take much for this area to flood, and it's sure not going to take a lot of water to completely flood that dock there. So far tens of thousands of people from this area have been evacuated. They're going to shelters, hotels, friend's homes, family's homes. And they're trying to get out of the way. They're not expecting heavy winds here, that's not what they're worried about. What they're really worried about is the storm surge. The last time they had a major storm surge here was back in 1993. It was unexpected. Six people died, and no one here wants to take any chances again.
The rain is starting to really pour now, we're not expecting the worst of Alberto to get here for another four or five hours or so. And again, people are going to shelters, taking advantage of the opportunity to get out of harm's way. Now, this right here is an evacuation road, and we haven't seen a car in the last couple of hours. Maybe one or two floating by. But besides that, most everyone is gone. And again, the people here aren't worried at all about property damage because most people here build their homes on stilts. But what they're really worried about is people getting hurt because they know it's going to flood. They expect right here. In fact, the owner of this hotel behind me tells me that she knows that there's going to be a lot of water on this road, it might creep up to her hotel, and she expects that maybe everyone there will have to leave, but they're hoping that they'll be able to stand until 8:00 tomorrow morning. But there is a mandatory evacuation for this entire area. John?
ROBERTS: That's why I always want to get a room on the second floor. Adam Landau of WJXT in Steinhatchee. Thanks. We'll check back with you.
We're waiting on that hurricane advisory that's coming up at the top of the hour, that's next plus the shot of the day. But first Erica Hill from "HEADLINE NEWS" joins us with some of the business news that we're following tonight. Hi, Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: John, a new week on Wall Street, but old troubles remain. The Dow sank nearly 100 points today. The NASDAQ lost 43, hitting a seven-month low. And the S&P dropped 15 points. The uneasy market is linked to inflation fears and concern interest rates could climb and send the economy downhill. Disney stock also taking a bit of a hit today, dropping slightly but then rebounding after lower than expected ticket sales for the opening weekend of the Pixar animated film "Cars." That is the first film made since Disney bought Pixar for more than $7 billion. "Cars" raked in more than $60 million over the weekend, but that's still about $10 million less than some analysts had predicted.
And Fendi is fighting Sam's Club in federal court, suing the retailer's parent company, Wal-Mart, claiming knockoff Fendi handbags, wallets, and key chains were sold in at least three states. Wal-Mart denies the allegation against Sam's Club and said all those items, John, are authentic. ROBERTS: Hey, Erica, the stock market may be going down, but some things are going up. Take a look at the shot of the day. Look at what scared a big black bear in West Milford, New Jersey. At the bottom of the tree, way down at the bottom of the tree there, that's Jack, a 15-pound cat. Jack chased the bear up the tree and it seems that the bear was so afraid of Jack's hissing, it didn't come down until Jack's owner called him away from the tree.
HILL: Wow. That means if I'm in the woods and there's a bear after me I should hope that my cat is with me?
ROBERTS: Hope your cat's with you. Now of course, you know, that bear eventually came down on his own, but it always reminds us about what happens to bears who don't come down on their own.
HILL: They get a tranquilizer gun, don't they?
ROBERTS: They get trampolized.
HILL: And we do need to point out, John, correctly, that the bear was okay after that, right?
ROBERTS: He was. He was a little sleepy and his nose was a little bit sore but they took him out in the woods and let him go and he did what bears do.
HILL: And he stayed far away from cats.
ROBERTS: Yes. Thanks, Erica. See you next hour.
HILL: Thanks, John.
ROBERTS: We're watching tropical storm Alberta for you tonight. Up next, the latest on where the storm could hit and who's getting out of its way.
Plus, an exclusive look at the war in Iraq. It's something we don't usually see. Private armies competing for billions of dollars. And you, the American taxpayer, footing the bill.
And a gruesome business right here on American shores. Hundreds of dead bodies alleged allegedly stripped of their parts to be sold for profit. When 360 continues.
ROBERTS: State of emergency, Florida is on guard and on edge as the first storm of this hurricane season takes aim.
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