Return to Transcripts main page
Freed British Soldiers Speak Out; Florida's Homeless Sex Offenders; FDA Investigates Pet Food Scare
Aired April 6, 2007 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there. I'm Brianna Keilar, live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. Kyra Phillips is on assignment in Iraq.
T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm T.J. Holmes, sitting in today for Don Lemon.
A line being drawn in the water -- freed British sailors and marines say they never crossed it and accuse Iran of planning their capture.
KEILAR: Nobody wants to live next door to a pedophile. So, this is where some of Miami's sex offenders find themselves, after they get out of jail. Is this a solution or is it shameful?
You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.
If they weren't technically hostages, it sounds like they got the hostage treatment -- British sailors and marines one day home from Iran telling stories of blindfolds, solitary confinement, and constant psychological pressure.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIEUTENANT FELIX CARMAN, BRITISH ROYAL NAVY OFFICER: We approached an unidentified merchant vessel that our supporting helicopter had identified as worth investigation. We carried out a completely compliant boarding, with the full cooperation of the master and the crew.
The Royal Marines secured the vessel and the Royal Navy element of the boarding party then arrived, and commenced a thorough search of the ship. This was in complete accordance with our U.N. mandate and as part of an international coalition.
We were equipped with Xeres true navigational equipment, and handheld GPS for backup. The helicopter as support provided continuous navigational confirmation, and we were also linked through HMS Cornwall, who were monitoring our exact position at all times.
Let me make it absolutely clear. Irrespective of what has been said in the past, when we were detained by the IRG, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, we were inside internationally-recognized Iraqi territorial waters. And I can clearly state we were 1.7 nautical miles from Iranian waters.
CAPTAIN CHRIS AIR, ROYAL MARINES: Two speed boats were spotted approaching rapidly about 400 meters away.
It was then that I ordered everybody to make their weapons ready, and I ordered the boarding party to return to the boats. By the time all were back on board, two Iranian boats had come alongside. One officer spoke good English, and I explained that we were conducting a routine operation, as allowed under a U.N. mandate.
But, when we tried to leave, they prevented us by blocking us in. By now, it was becoming increasingly clear they had arrived with a planned intent. Some of the Iranians sailors were becoming deliberately aggressive and unstable. They rammed our boats and turned their heavy machine guns, RPG and weapons on us. Another six boats were closing in on us.
We realized that our efforts to reason with these people were not making any headway, nor were we able to calm some of the individuals down. It was at this point that we realized that had we resisted there would have been a major fight, one which we could not have won and with consequences that would have major strategic impacts.
We made a conscious decision not to engage the Iranians and do as they asked. They boarded our boats, removed our weapons, and steered the boats towards the Iranian shore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: The British say their televised statements were staged for propaganda purposes.
Reactions from Tehran today, the same accusation -- Iranian officials say the released troops were coerced by Britain's government to say the things they did.
HOLMES: He was covered in mud and begging to be killed. Instead, Francisco Herrera-Genao captured after a night on the run in New Jersey and a confrontation with the FBI outside a bank.
Special Agent Barry Lee Bush was killed in the confusion. He and other agents had been tracking Herrera-Genao and two other men for weeks, all of them suspects in a series of violent bank robberies. The other men were arrested yesterday at the scene, but it took 300 officers from various scenes to bring in Herrera-Genao.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COLONEL RICK FUENTES, SUPERINTENDENT, NEW JERSEY STATE POLICE: As Trooper Pasquino approached, the individual got up. Trooper Pasquino drew his weapon. And the individual put his had hands in his pocket and began to say to the trooper approaching him slowly: Please shoot me. Please kill me.
At around that time, the two Readington officers ran up to back up Trooper Pasquino, and they effected the arrest of Mr. Herrera.
(END VIDEO CLIP) HOLMES: Police say the suspects had two assault rifles and a handgun with them, but did not fire when confronted by the FBI. Investigators say Agent Bush may have been shot by a fellow agent.
KEILAR: New questions and a troubling theory in the pet food fiasco. The FDA's chief vet tells CNN it's investigating whether the contamination started with a deliberate attempt to drive up profits.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. STEPHEN F. SUNDLOF, DIRECTOR, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION CENTER FOR VETERINARY MEDICINE: Somebody may have added melamine to the wheat gluten in order to increase what appears to be the protein level.
Wheat gluten is a high-protein substance, and, by trying to artificially inflate the protein level, it could command a higher price. But that's just one theory at this point, and we are not in a position to say whether or not this is our major theory or whether it may be some other.
KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: And a lot of people have asked why it's been taking so long. Apparently, the melamine is not toxic enough in these small quantities to actually kill an animal, at least according to some scientists. So, it deepens the mystery. Have you gotten any closer to figuring out what's causing these deaths?
SUNDLOF: Well, we are looking into that. That's true. Melamine is not very toxic as a chemical. And so we're wondering why we are seeing the kinds of serious conditions, especially the kidney failure, that we're seeing in cats and dogs.
So, we -- but we do know that the wheat gluten that contained the melamine is the -- by far the most probable source of the contamination.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: The FDA may face questions of its own.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin says the agency was tragically slow to respond. Senate hearings are planned. And, in the meantime, 40 new products are being added to the recall list. That includes 20 varieties of dog biscuits from Sunshine Mills. For its part, Menu Foods is expanding its recall to include products made as far back as November.
Well, throughout the tainted pet food scare, it's been pretty much assumed that, whatever happened, it was an accident. Now, though investigators are wondering.
CNN's Joe Johns has the latest.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The day would end with a provocative question: Was the pet food accidentally contaminated. Or was it deliberate?
But it began with another recall, this time, an Alabama company that makes dog biscuits. It received some of the suspect wheat gluten containing a chemical known as melamine, believed toxic to dogs and cats. The FDA said recall of the products manufactured by Sunshine Mills pet food company was delayed, because Sunshine apparently got its Chinese wheat gluten from a middleman distributor that had purchased the wheat gluten from another U.S. supplier, a company called ChemNutra.
DR. STEPHEN F. SUNDLOF, DIRECTOR, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION CENTER FOR VETERINARY MEDICINE: So, it was a little circuitous route, took us a little longer to trace that all down. But now we believe that we have accounted for all the wheat gluten that came from China, that shipment that is -- that is high in melamine, that we have accounted for all of it that has come into this country. And, by the way, it all went into pet food.
JOHNS: Meaning it did not enter the human food supply chain.
How and where the melamine got into the wheat gluten is still a mystery. But the investigation took a new turn today, when the FDA told CNN it is looking whether there could have been a profit motive for deliberately introducing melamine into the wheat gluten. In other words, it might not have been an accident and may have been about money.
(on camera): That's right. Until now, the assumption has been that this was an accidental contamination, because melamine is used in plastics and pesticides, and has no business in pet food. However, the chemical could potentially be used to raise protein levels in the gluten, which could increase the price or make it easier to sell.
SUNDLOF: That's -- that's one of the theories that we have. In fact, that's one of the ones that we are pursuing, because, as you indicated, adding something that would increase the protein content of the wheat gluten would make it more valuable. So, that's -- that's a distinct possibility. But it's -- it's only one theory at this time.
JOHNS (voice-over): All the companies, including the company in China, have denied adding melamine to the wheat gluten in the pet food.
The FDA also that the number of pet food complaints it's received since the start of the scare is now at 12,000, the volume it would normally get over a two-year period.
In announcing the latest recall, Sunshine Mills said, no dog illnesses or deaths have been traced to its dog biscuits, which contain 1 percent or less of wheat gluten. Pet owners aren't the only ones watching. Plans for hearings in the Senate have now firmed up.
SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: What's happened over the last several weeks is unacceptable. What we have found is a threat to the lives of pets, dogs and cats, across America, a threat that should have been minimized and maybe even avoided. JOHNS: When asked whether the worst is over, the FDA says it thinks so. The number of dead pets as a result of all this remains unclear. Officially, FDA only confirmed 16, though the real number is likely to be much higher.
Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.
KEILAR: We know a lot of you are very worried. So, we have posted the entire list, including the new additions, on our Web site. You can check it out at CNN.com/petfoodrecall.
Also, check out the ticker running across the bottom of your screen. We're listing all of the affected brands.
HOLMES: Need to tell you about a big-time drug bust on the high seas, where 15 tons of cocaine was off-loaded, rather, from the USS McInerney at the Mayport Florida naval station. Coast Guard crews made two separate busts in the Pacific -- 14 suspected smugglers now being held. And that cocaine has an approximate street value of $400 million.
Also, where is the love in the City of Brotherly Love? Philadelphia now leading the nation in murders in 2007 -- 104 people killed there since January, which averages out to more than a person a day. Two much larger cities come in at second and third. And we're told there have been 90 homicides so far in Chicago. And, in New York, there have been 89.
Well, 21st century here in America. Nobody is really tarred and feathered anymore. Nobody is run out of town on a rail, but modern- day pariahs are shunned, isolated, rejected just the same, all in the name of public safety.
CNN's John Zarrella reports from Miami.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN MIAMI BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): The noise never stops, day or night, the sound of cars traveling the causeway linking Miami to Miami Beach. And beneath that mass of concrete and steel live a handful of homeless men.
Kevin Morales has been here three weeks. At night, he sleeps in a recliner perched at the top of the embankment.
KEVIN MORALES, REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER: You can even hear the mice behind you, picking away at your bags.
ZARRELLA: But there's something the people in those cars above don't know about Morales and the others. All four of these men are convicted felons, sex offenders who committed crimes against children. They are here, Morales says, because they have no place else to live.
MORALES: I went and gave a down payment to hold the apartment. Needless to say, the following day, I get the bad news from my probation officer that I'm not allowed to live there, because the building had a pool where children may congregate.
ZARRELLA: Laws in both Miami and Miami Beach prohibit sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of schools, playgrounds, and anywhere children congregate.
With nowhere to put these men, the Department of Corrections first placed them under a highway off-ramp in Miami. But that location was near, of all places, a center for sexually abused children.
So, corrections officers moved them here. On the state's sex offender Web site, each man's address is listed as the Julia Tuttle Causeway. State corrections officials say they know it's not ideal, but they had no choice.
BRUCE GRANT, FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS: The real question is, do -- do we really want people wandering around without a place to live, without a country, without a location to be? Because the increasing restrictions push them further and further out.
ZARRELLA: At least here, Bruce Grant says, they are all in one place and can easily be monitored. Nearly every morning at 5:00 a.m., with his flashlight in hand, Benito Casal (ph) comes by.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Angel Sanchez (ph) here. Kevin Morales here.
ZARRELLA: Casal (ph) is their probation officer, responsible for making sure they are here, complying with the conditions of their parole. So far, he says they all have.
(on camera): A couple of hundred yards from where Kevin Morales lives under that bridge, right over here, behind these bushes, lives another registered sex offender, Rene Matamoros (ph). He has been here since last August.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is aluminum.
ZARRELLA (voice-over): Matamoros (ph) makes about 200 bucks a month selling the aluminum. He sleeps in a tent and has a makeshift kitchen, complete with rats. For the foreseeable future, this is his existence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got nowhere I can go.
ZARRELLA: We asked State Senator Dave Aronberg to meet us at the bridge.
DAVE ARONBERG, FLORIDA STATE SENATOR: They're horrible criminals.
ZARRELLA: Aronberg is sponsoring legislation that would set a uniform statewide standard that would keep offenders 1,500 feet from where children gather. And it requires all offenders to wear electronic monitoring devices. He believes forcing men to live this way is asking for trouble.
ARONBERG: They're desperate. They're angry. And who do they hang around, but other sex offenders, and they feed off each other's anger and their desperation. I just don't see how this helps public safety.
ZARRELLA: For Kevin Morales, going back to jail might be a blessing.
MORALES: If homeless life is what I have to look forward to, then I am better off in there, because there's nothing out here for me.
ZARRELLA: None of these men know where they will go after this. What they all do know is that few people have any sympathy for their plight.
John Zarrella, CNN, Miami.
KEILAR: Raking in the campaign cash, but how do those dollars translate into votes? We're going to talk with campaign veteran Joe Trippi about the fine art of fund-raising -- ahead in the NEWSROOM.
HOLMES: Also, millions of Catholics take part in somber ceremonies today, tracing Jesus' path to the crucifixion -- ahead in the NEWSROOM, a closer look at the meaning behind the ritual.
KEILAR: Seventeen past the hour now, and here are three of the stories we're working on in the CNN NEWSROOM.
The FBI says an agent who was shot and killed yesterday in New Jersey may have been shot accidentally by another agent. It happened as the agents tried to arrest three suspected bank robbers.
Also, some of the British marines and sailors held for almost two weeks in Iran faced reporters today on home soil. They said they were kept blindfolded and separated from one another. They also described what they called mind games during their detention.
And two workers in east Tennessee were hurt this morning when the oil well they were working on exploded and caught fire. The well's owner says a drill struck a gas pocket.
And take a look now at this video Chris Wanacott (ph) sent us from Canada. This is a tire store just up the street from him. It caught fire; 18,000 tires and 16 hours later, firefighters were finally able to snuff out the blaze. But the store, as you can imagine, is a total loss.
Thanks, Chris (ph), for that I-Report.
And, also, you can send your I-Reports. Just go to CNN.com/ireport to share your video and photos.
HOLMES: One of the most solemn ceremonies in Christianity going on right now in Rome -- Pope Benedict is leading the Way of the Cross procession through the ancient ruins of the Roman Coliseum -- live picture we're seeing of that ceremony now.
And our faith and values correspondent, Delia Gallagher, watching this with us.
And, Delia, first things first. We hear this is happening at the Coliseum. Well, why is it not happening at the Vatican?
DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN FAITH AND VALUES CORRESPONDENT: Good question. Why does it happen at the Coliseum?
You know, it's tradition that the Coliseum, which, of course, was built as a Roman amphitheater, and we know sort of had gladiator games in there and so on, there is a tradition, however, that Christians were killed there. So, it is a site for Christians of Christian martyrdom. And that's been the traditional connection, as well as, obviously, a historical one, with the Vatican being so close by.
You know, throughout the centuries, after the gladiators and the various games that they used to play in that arena, it was turned into a marketplace. It was turned into a convent for some time. It was used to house farm animals. It was sort of used for lots of different purposes throughout the century.
And, even at one time one of the popes, Pope Benedict XIV, as a matter of fact, put stations inside. So, there's a long tradition of the stations of the cross inside the Coliseum. So, there's a long tradition of the stations of the cross at the Coliseum.
And we know John Paul II, of course, brought back this tradition of leaving the Vatican, coming to this very beautiful place, obviously, and reenacting these stations of the cross.
HOLMES: All right. We talk about the location. I guess we need to take a step back a little bit and just the whole point of the ceremony in the first place, stations of the cross. Take us through exactly what this is, what's happening, and why.
GALLAGHER: Well, you know, as -- as you have been saying throughout the day, from Jerusalem, it's the tradition of pilgrimage. You know, the Muslims take a pilgrimage and the Christians do a pilgrimage as well, traditionally, to Jerusalem, to the site, to the place where they believe that Jesus was crucified and buried.
And it's in the Bible these different steps that he took on the way from being condemned to death to actually being crucified. And, so, from the Bible passages, they developed this idea of the different stations. And so for those people who couldn't make it to Jerusalem for this pilgrimage, they did a mini-pilgrimage, and they did the stations of the cross in whatever city, church they happened to be in locally. So, it's thought actually it was Saint Francis of Assisi that started this. The Franciscans have a great devotion to the cross and the suffering of Christ -- and, so, long tradition of Christians kind of commemorating this every year before Easter, which, of course, would celebrate then the resurrection.
So, this evening ends with the crucifixion and with the death of Jesus. And that's why Good Friday is this kind of very solemn day, and you see them with the candles, and it's a very kind of somber day. And then Easter sort of comes as the great resurrection. But that would be that would be the tradition of the stations of the cross, a kind of local commemoration for those who really couldn't go on the pilgrimage to the main place in Jerusalem.
HOLMES: All right.
Our faith and values correspondent, Delia Gallagher, thank you for breaking that down for us and explaining this really a gorgeous, but like you say, solemn ceremony that we're seeing happening here. Thank you so much, Delia.
GALLAGHER: You're welcome.
KEILAR: The conclusions are dire enough, but some say a new global climate report doesn't go far enough in assessing Earth's future. That's ahead in the NEWSROOM: a showdown between science and government.
HOLMES: Well, this just in to us here. Take a look at this video. Whew. This is coming to us from Lake Wales, Florida.
You can see that 18-wheeler there on its side. And it has plowed into a house there in Lake Wales, Florida. This is kind of the central part of Florida. Then what we're seeing is -- this is north of U.S. Highway 60 in Lake Wales.
As you can imagine, that house -- excuse me -- that road right now is blocked in both directions -- work going on trying to clear this up. Certainly, you can see that that house certainly sustained some serious damage. Don't know any word just yet about any possible injuries. Don't know if there were people in the house and if they were all right. Don't know about the condition of the driver of that truck as well.
Don't know either what might have been going on, the circumstance that would have caused this truck to end up in the position that it's in right now. But you can see quite a scary sight, this truck obviously going down that road there, and ends up into a home there in Lake Wales in Florida.
This is kind of in the central part of Florida. But we are -- this is pictures and a story we're kind of monitoring right now, and certainly going to keep an eye on it. As soon as we get more information about exactly what's happening -- certainly, injuries certainly a possibility, and just a devastating scene like that -- we certainly will pass along that information as we get it.
KEILAR: A chilling report on global warming: A panel of U.N. experts offers dire predictions about the effects of manmade climate change. Some experts say the report was even bleaker before it was watered down by politicians and bureaucrats.
CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano reports.
ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST (voice-over): February's report from the United Nations panel on global climate change was just the tip of the iceberg. It concluded that global warming is real, it's getting worse, and that human activity is driving it.
And a follow-up released Friday in Brussels offers new details on the devastating effects climate change will likely bring to bear on humans, animals and the environment.
MARTIN PARRY, IPCC CO-CHAIR: We're no longer arm-waving with models that this might happen, right? This is what we call empirical information on the ground. We can measure it.
MARCIANO: Perhaps the most troubling finding is that, by the end of the century, floods will permanently displace hundreds of millions of people, as low-lying coastal areas are swallowed up by rising sea levels.
ROBERT CORELL, CLIMATE SCIENTIST: With a meter or two of sea level rise, we're likely to see hundreds of millions of what we will call environmental refugees, people who no longer can live where they had lived for maybe thousands of years.
MARCIANO: The report predicts that, where it's wet and hot, insect-borne diseases, such as malaria, will explode. Where it's dry, it's likely to become much drier. And some water supplies will vanish, notably, the glaciers in the Himalayas, the key water source for hundreds of millions of Asians. And the deserts will expand.
JAMES HANSEN, EARTH SCIENTIST: Already, we're beginning to see in the Western United States that it is becoming drier and hotter. And, if we go down the path of business as usual, we can expect basically permanent drought in the Western United States.
MARCIANO: Another grim finding is that the world will see a spike in endangered species, with a wave of extinction, from coral reefs to polar bears.
CORELL: Our study in the Arctic suggested that the polar bear is on its way to extinction during this century, in most likelihood. And the reason for that this is that they live on the ice; they get their food off the ice; they snatch the seals through small air holes. And now most of that ice is no longer there and will disappear.
MARCIANO (on camera): Next month, another key section of the report will be released, and it's going to provide some much-needed guidance as to what we humans can do to stop global warming. And even scientists who fear the worst say it's not too late to avoid some of these nightmare scenarios.
Rob Marciano, CNN.
KEILAR: What do you think about this hot topic? Are you worried that global warming is going to affect you? That's the question we're asking our "Quick Vote" -- in our "Quick Vote" today. Right now, 63 percent of you say, yes, you are worried.
And you can go to CNN.com and cast your "Quick Vote."
LEMON: Well, Reynolds Wolf joining us now from the Weather Center.
And, Reynolds, we -- what, around Christmastime, we were all in shorts. And now, here it is Easter; we're about to pull out the coats again.
REYNOLDS WOLF, METEOROLOGIST: I know man, I mean, down here during Christmastime, it was all Bermuda shorts and Hawaiian shirts and ukuleles. I mean, pretty much it was the story, now we're shivering.
HOLMES: All right, Reynolds, kind sir, thank you very much.
WOLF: You bet.
HOLMES: Meanwhile, almost 1600 passengers and crew were rescued. But a man and his daughter still missing from a cruise ship that sank in the Aegean sea. The latest ahead in the NEWSROOM.
HOLMES: Hello again, everybody. I'm T.J. Holmes live at the CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta.
KEILAR: And I'm Brianna Keilar. Well, what they said in Iran versus what they're saying back home. Freed British captives speak out and Tehran doesn't like it one bit. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.
HOLMES: All right. Hands bound, blindfolded, lied to, no talking, no lawyer, paraded on television. Does that sound like an arrest or does that sound like hostage-taking to you? Some British service members just released from Iran say call it what you want. That's what happened to them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. FELIX CARMAN, BRITISH ROYAL NAVY: When we got to the prison, at all times initially we were kept in solitary confinement. There was absolutely no speaking. We were blindfolded to go to the toilet. However, later on, I'd say probably a week into it, we were taken out in the evenings for maybe a couple of hours just to play chess together or to -- just to socialize. But that was in the full glare of the Iranian media as we previously stated. It was very much a set- up, very much a stunt for Iranian propaganda.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: We want to go now to the small British town of Hayle, Cornwall, the hometown of one of those released sailors.
CNN's Alphonso Marsh is there. Alphonso, we can tell by that sign over your shoulder folks excited to have Nathan back home.
ALPHONSO VAN MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Nathan Summers, just one of those 15 British service members detained in Iran as you mentioned, and now back on British soil. And many of them back in the arms of loved ones.
But as we saw from that clip just before you came to me here, six of those British service members did speak to the world's media gathered at a marine base in the southwestern part of the country. They wanted some important points they felt to be told.
First, they mentioned that when they were detained by Iranian forces on March 23rd, they were indeed, they say, in Iraqi waters, not Iranian waters as again we heard from one of the service members. They talked about what they called psychological pressure, mind games during their nearly two weeks of detainment saying they were blindfolded, subjected to random interrogation. At one point they told reporters today, they were blindfolded, their hands were bound, pushed up against the wall and they heard the sound of guns cocking behind their heads.
Now, it's important to mention that these service members felt that this was not a mock execution but one of the service members told me he felt and feared for the worst. After the press conference, we had a chance to sit down with some of those detainees, or former detainees, we should call them. Let's hear a little bit about what Marine Joe Tindell explained about his experience in Tehran.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE TINDELL, BRITISH ROYAL MARINES: I can't say I was treated well. I mean, the first 24 hours we were treated well. Between then and the prison speech, I wouldn't say we were treated well at all. And as a few instances, a few of us thought we weren't going to go on TV without being told by our officer that we could do so. So, I mean, we weren't allowed to go out. Usually, they would let you go out swamp (ph) for 10 minutes a day, we weren't allowed to go (INAUDIBLE), we were given half food (ph) and our people who smoked weren't allowed to smoke. And it just generally made it slightly even more miserable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN MARSH: I can tell you that there is very little misery here in Hayle as you mentioned at the hometown of Nathan Summers. That is the 21-year-old Royal Navy service member.
And behind me you might see that sheet that says "Welcome Home Nathan." This is the pub where Nathan worked before he joined the armed forces. And I can tell you members of his family, apparently almost the entire community is gathered in that room. The champagne bottles are flowing and we are expecting Nathan to arrive at any minute. And I can tell you, they started partying almost two days ago and it will certainly carry on tonight -- T.J.
HOLMES: Yes, a pub is a pretty good spot for a celebration and a welcome home. Alphonzo Van Marsh for us there, thank you so much.
HOLMES: Meanwhile, an Israeli soldier held for 10 months by Palestinian militants may -- again the emphasis on may -- soon be free. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told French TV he's optimistic that efforts to secure the release of Corporate Yalon Shalete (ph) "will soon come to fruition."
Shalete was kidnapped and two of comrades killed in a cross border raid by pro-Hamas militants from Gaza. It helped ignite last summer's war between Lebanon and Israel. Shalete's whereabouts since June are unknown.
KEILAR: A Greek cruise ship was due to dock today. Instead, it lies at the bottom of the Aegean sea. It sank within hours of hitting a volcanic reef yesterday. Two French passengers are missing. Divers and coast guard teams are searching for them here just off the Greek island of Santorini.
And CNN's Diana Magnay has the latest.
DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dramatic nighttime pictures of the doomed Greek cruise ship, the Sea Diamond. Rescue workers still circling long after they had evacuated those on board. At this stage, powerless to prevent the inevitable.
And here, just before 7:00 in the morning, 15 hours after she began to take in water, it's all over. All 22,500 tons of this enormous ship now lying on the sea bed near the Greek island of Santorini.
The Sea Diamond was carrying almost 1,600 people when she scraped a reef. Passengers said it all happened very suddenly.
TOM GATCH, PASSENGER: I heard the noise, and it was a loud noise, of course. And then I stepped outside of my cabin and looked and the water was coming down the hallway. And I thought I had to go back inside to get my life jacket, but I had to get to open the door and I didn't have time because now the water was up over my ankles.
KATIE SUMNER, PASSENGER: We heard a big shudder, and then the whole boat started to tilt. All of our glasses were sliding everywhere, and our warning that the ship was sinking was of the staff running down the corridor screaming out life jackets and banging on doors.
MAGNAY: Military and commercial vessels took part in the three- hour rescue operation. And local fishermen rushed to help while tourists on Santorini watched as this ship billed as the ultimate in luxury took on more and more water.
But on Friday, the Greek tourism minister announced that two passengers were still missing.
FANNY PALLI PETRALIA, GREEK MINISTER OF TOURISM (through translator): The mother told me that it all happened within a few seconds. While one of the two children was upstairs on the deck, the rest of the family was in the cabin, which suddenly filled with water. They managed to open the cabin door and the mother dived and got out. She doesn't know whether her husband and her daughter managed to follow her.
MAGNAY: In September 2000, more than 80 people drowned when the express Samina (ph) ferry hit rocks and sank off the Greek island of Paros. Greece has since worked hard to improve its safety record. The cruise operator says it has already launched an investigation into how this latest ferry disaster was allowed to occur.
Diana Magnay, CNN, London.
KEILAR: Words you should never hear at the hospital.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All I heard was the surgeon yell very loudly to call 911.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And were you stunned that here you are in a hospital and they are calling 911?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All I can remember saying is looking at him and saying, you've got to be kidding?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: No kidding. Details on how this could happen straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.
HOLMES: All right. A hospital patient goes into crisis. What do you expect to hear around the hospital? Maybe code blue? Hear somebody yell stat. You don't expect to hear somebody yell call 911. But that's what happened in January at a hospital owned by doctors in Texas.
CNN's Gary Tuchman reports.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is Steve Spivey's father, his mother and wife. What they went through when Steve was in the hospital was harrowing.
TRACY SPIVEY, PATIENT'S WIFE: He was panicking, very scared. I had never seen that kind of fear in his eyes ever.
TUCHMAN: Steve Spivey, a father of three, was in this Abilene, Texas, hospital for neck surgery after a truck accident. The operation seemed to go well. But the 44-year-old started to choke that night. His wife was at his side.
SPIVEY: Nurses felt like he was just having a panic attack and the last words he said were, no, I'm in trouble.
TUCHMAN: The hospital Spivey was in was one of about 140 in the country owned by the physicians who work there. But all the doctors had gone home for the day when Steve lost the ability to breathe.
SPIVEY: His eyes were bright green, and they turned very dark. His face turned dark, and he grasped my hands and shook them like this and looked me in my eyes and then closed his eyes and went out. That was his last breath.
TUCHMAN: Tracy Spivey kept yelling to call a doctor. But in the meantime, incredibly, she says she performed CPR by herself for 15 minutes.
SPIVEY: There was no pulse. I checked, you know, three different places for pulse and could find none. I told them, we have no pulse and one nurse says -- said, what's wrong? What's happening? And I said, he's dying.
TUCHMAN: About two hours after Steve started gagging, the surgeon arrived.
SPIVEY: All I heard was the surgeon yell very loudly to call 911.
TUCHMAN (on camera): And were you stunned that here you are in a hospital and they are calling 911?
SPIVEY: All I can remember saying is looking at him and saying, you've got to be kidding?
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Steve Spivey was pronounced dead at a different hospital. This week, Tracy went back to the hospital with her attorney as they met with a hospital lawyer in preparation for a likely lawsuit.
DARRELL KEITH, SPIVEY FAMILY ATTORNEY: I look forward to being their champion.
TUCHMAN: Darrell Keith is her lawyer.
KEITH: Well, I think that the physician-owned hospitals, as a general rule, tend to be more, you know, profit driven than patient safety driven.
TUCHMAN (on camera): After the death of Steve Spivey, the federal government decided to no longer allow the use of Medicare at this hospital. And now, the facility is shut down.
(voice-over): The hospital's CEO did not want to go on camera but did tell us, "911 is a last resort in Mr. Spivey's case. We were trying to get the patient to a higher level of care." He also said the facility may reopen some day in a different form.
At another physician-owned hospital in Arlington, Texas --
GREG WEISS, CHMN, USMD HOSPITAL AT ARLINGTON: If we treat every patient like a family member, the patients will want to come here. The referring doctors will want to refer here.
TUCHMAN: Doctors are in the facility around the clock. The physicians here at USMD reject the broad-brush criticism they hear about doctors owning hospitals and have immense pride in their facility.
DR. JOHN HOUSE, PHYSICIAN/OWNER, USMD HOSPITAL: We want a place where we can take care of our patients the way that we want to take care of our family members. And we have the ability to do that by owning and controlling our own facility.
TUCHMAN: But some members of Congress want to take a closer look at how these types of hospitals are regulated.
REP. PETE STARK, (D-CA): The hospitals are often second rate, sometimes illegal. And it takes profitable business away from community hospitals.
TUCHMAN: Tracy Spivey still has nightmares about when she told her 10-year-old daughter the horrifying news.
SPIVEY: I just pulled her in my lap and held her and told her I needed her to be real strong. And I said, baby girl, our daddy got very sick. I said, our daddy's not coming home.
TUCHMAN: Tracy still can't believe a hospital had to dial 911.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Abilene, Texas.
KEILAR: You know, an awful lot has been written about the feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys. But here's something you won't find in a history book. Researchers at Vanderbilt University say the McCoy clan had a well-guarded family secret.
It's called von Hippel-Lindau disease and it's effected McCoys for generations. It causes tumors as well as headaches, high blood pressure and, get this, anger, hair-trigger rage and murderous outbursts. It can also be deadly. No word from the Hatfields but historians downplay the diagnosis saying many things fuelled the legendary conflict, but it certainly makes you wonder.
HOLMES: Well, Easter, of course, always brings out the bunnies. But what does a wascally wabbit got to do with it anyway? Ahead in the NEWSROOM, I'm going to correct my English and see if Jeanne Moos is going to answer this question for us. Only she would dare. We'll see you here in just a sec.
KEILAR: He was once a cleanup hitter in the Major Leagues. Now he's a developer cleaning up down and out properties to create low- income housing. In this week's segment of Life After Work, Ali Velshi looks at the big league personal of Mo Vaughn.
ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A big stick and a big personality made slugger Mo Vaughn a star during his 12 years in the Major Leagues. But when his baseball career ended in 2003, he had no intention of retiring. Instead, he traded his uniform for a business suit, and the baseball diamond for the board room.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have the tenet meeting at 7:00.
VELSHI: These days, Mo's fans are thousands of low-income families in and around New York City.
MO VAUGHN, FORMER BASEBALL PLAYER: Affordable housing is a need. It's not only a need here in New York. It's a worldwide need.
VELSHI: With the help of business partner Gene Schnurr, he founded Omni New York in 2004. Since then, the company has turned notoriously run-down buildings in crime infested neighborhoods, into safe havens for affordable housing with the help of government bonds and tax credits.
VAUGHN: When we purchased this building, it was run down. There were tenets that were afraid to come out at night.
VELSHI: Grace Towers in East Brooklyn was transformed from a hub for drug deals and prostitution, to a peaceful residential complex for families.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only time I'm going to leave here, when they take me out, feet first or head first.
VELSHI: Head first is how Mo dives into each new project. And while he says his new career is lucrative, for Mo, it's not just about the money but rehabilitating rundown buildings and communities.
VAUGHN: I don't think anybody will be the thrill of catching the 3-2 pitch at the bottom of the ninth to win the game. This is probably as close as they can get to it.
Reporter: Ali Velshi, CNN.
HOLMES: Well, exactly what do bunnies have to do with Easter? Don't go a-hoppin' out of the NEWSROOM just yet. Jeanne Moos has the answer, next.
HOLMES: Alright, Christmas got Santa. But St. Nick and giving makes a lot more sense than Easter and bunnies? Excuse us for having to ask this, but what does a rabbit have to do with the resurrection? You'll have to pardon Jeanne Moos for going out to Times Square to actually ask. Yes, she has a cross to bear.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What do these have to do with this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, I wish I could use bad language on CNN because absolutely nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's religion and that's propaganda.
MOOS: The question is, what does this have to do with this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids.
MOOS: How did the bunnies and the resurrection ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That, I don't know.
MOOS: What does this have to do with this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know. Maybe there were bunnies around when he came to. Who knows?
MOOS: What do bunnies do a lot of?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hop around.
MOOS: Something else.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eat carrots.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, you know, it's spring. You know what bunnies are doing.
MOOS: What are bunnies doing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are doing a lot of it.
MOOS: The other thing that's interesting. The bunnies are a symbol of fertility and lust. Hence, the playboys.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sign me up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going home with the bunny.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hence, the expression, doing it like rabbits. I hear you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't believe the naming of it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jesus was hatched from an egg in a manger by a rabbit.
HOLMES: I wish the naked cowboy would become the clothed cowboy one of these days. But the right answer for you, is that long before Christ appeared, the rabbit was a pagan symbol of spring renewal, fertility and rebirth. Christians then later adopted that symbol. So there you go.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.voxant.com