Return to Transcripts main page


Interview With Stephen A. Smith; Terror Cells in the Northeast?; Major Earthquake Strikes Peru

Aired August 15, 2007 - 20:00   ET


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to start this newscast today with three breaking or developing stories.
The first one, of course, in Iraq, because of the developments that are taking place there. Look as the camera changes now. Look at the shot that is coming up right here. This looks like Armageddon. The reason we're focusing on this is because it's being called the bloodiest day so far since the war started. Five hundred people are dead. What does it say about the surge? We will ask that question and obviously a whole lot more.

Now, let me show you the New York skyline. And the reason we're showing you that is because there's a new report out about terrorism in the Northeast. And some say there could be 20 potential terrorist clusters in the Northeast. We will break that down for you.

And then look at that. See the map? See the storm? That's Erin. She's bearing down on parts of Texas. We have got correspondents standing by to bring you reports from there -- that and a whole lot more coming up right here on "Out in the Open."


SANCHEZ (voice-over): Remember her?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mary C. Winkler guilty.

SANCHEZ: She killed her husband with a shotgun. Two months after being sentenced, she's out, free. Is it because she's a woman? We got the facts.

This is weird. A dog can sense when someone is about to die. Does your pet know something you don't?

And how many of you have stopped taking your meds because you are afraid to get fat? Experts say big mistake and becoming a big problem. We bring it out in the open.


SANCHEZ: All right. Here we go.

We're going to started to right here in the control room, because we have got some more breaking news, some of the stories that I mentioned to you just a little while ago. Plus, we're also getting this new information. You heard Miles mention it just a little while ago about what is going on in Lima, Peru.

This is an earthquake magnitude 7.7. That is a significant earthquake, folks. So, we're doing everything possible to try and get -- we're going to try and get some experts. We're going to try and get some folks down there in Lima, Peru, on the phone.

In fact, our international desk is working on that as we speak.

And, Kim (ph), what's the latest? Do we have any reports of damage at this point down there?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no reports of damage yet, no reports of any injuries.

SANCHEZ: No reports of damage, no reports of injuries. But anybody who follows these earthquakes, seeing 7.7, would think that there might be something going on down there significant enough for us be able to go down there and get a report.

Stay with us, because we're going to get that to you right away.

Now let's talk about another story we are following for you.

Will (ph), go ahead. Put that shot up.

See that map right there? All right, that's Erin. Erin is now bracing for the coast of Texas, around the area around Corpus Christi.

Our Gulf Coast correspondent, Susan Roesgen is following that story for us. And she's going to set the scene for us.

Susan, go ahead and do that, if you would.

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN GULF COAST CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rick, really, the scene right now is right out of the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce press book. It's a beautiful evening. And when you have a storm out in the Gulf of Mexico even about 200 miles away, that's good news for at least part of the local economy, great news for the shrimping industry.

Now, these guys have been out on their boats all day, Rick. One guy told me that he had more than 2,000 pounds of shrimp in just two runs, much more than you would normally have, because the shrimp tend to move around when a storm is coming, just the way we humans tend to move around in a Home Depot parking lot when we know a storm is coming, getting supplies.

So, these guys are enjoying a good day, which is good for them, because tomorrow they probably will not be out on the water. We are expecting here, Rick, maybe a two-foot storm surge. There might be water right where I'm standing here at the Corpus Christi Marina. But we're not expecting anything much more serious than that.

I spoke to the mayor a short time ago, and he told me that, unless there's significant rainfall with this, say, six to eight inches, he's not expecting any serious flooding. So, right now, things are looking good. We will be here all night watching it -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: Susan Roesgen, we thank you. Sometimes, good news is good news. We appreciate it.

And we're going to keep an eye on that for you. Anything changes, we will take you back there.

Now let's take you this breaking news story that we have been talking about out of Iraq. This one is as horrible as it is disappointing for all of us watching this. We have now learned 500 people have died in a series of suicide attacks, 500 people.

Now here's a list that we wanted to show you yesterday, when we thought it was going to be probably somewhere in the middle. And I think, as you see, that we have now moved all the way to the very top. See Iraq's bloodiest days? Look at the very end of that. See the yellow that we have outlined for you? Five hundred-plus, that's yesterday. Look at the other deadliest days in Iraq so far.

That's very illustrative. That's very important. We are going to be keying in on that. This happened, by the way, in northern Iraq, in the Nineveh Province. And we have got some of the very first pictures that have been coming out of the devastation. It's important we share those with you.

But probably better if CNN's Arwa Damon describes them to you. She's there. She's on the scene. And she's going to try and give us a sense of what actually occurred, while we, underneath her voice, show you some of those pictures.

Go ahead, Arwa. Start us off. Describe the scene to us.

ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rick, what you do see in those images is basically flattened buildings, homes where Iraqis once used to lived reduced to rubble. Really it looks more like the scene that's the aftermath of an earthquake, rather than the aftermath of an insurgent attack.

But these suicide truck bombs that struck in this mainly Yazidi area were packed with about two tons of explosives. According to officials there, one of the craters was 23 feet deep and nearly 1,000 feet wide. Another one of the areas where these suicide truck bomb struck, the homes were made of clay, so they crumbled very easily.

We do know that rescue workers are still trying to pull bodies out of the rubble. That death toll that you have been mentioning there very much still in dispute, with local authorities putting it at 500 dead. Iraqi police still however saying that the death toll is about 260. But regardless, both are utterly staggering numbers -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: Arwa Damon, thanks so much bringing us that story.

Now let's talk about the disappointment, because we mentioned that just a little while ago. Just yesterday -- and you may recall this -- the Army's chief of staff told us that the surge is working. There are more U.S. forces, in fact, in Iraq than ever before.

So, what does this say about the surge?

That question now goes to our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr.

How about it, Barbara?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rick, it all depends where you are on some days.

This is terrible news for this religious minority sect in northwestern Iraq. It just possibly could not be worse for these people. One top general today in the U.S. Army calling it akin to genocide.

What does it mean overall for the surge? This is the type of attack that U.S. commanders had expected. They expected the insurgents to do this type of thing to make the security look as bad as it possibly could one month before General Petraeus is due to report on the success or lack of it in the surge.

By all accounts, General Petraeus will say security is improving in some areas, like Anbar Province, in some places in Baghdad, in the south, and he may be able to move some forces out of those areas.

But this attack shows just how vulnerable Iraqi citizens are still in so many parts of the country, how vulnerable the security situation is. And it may be some time before the U.S. can really reduce its overall troop numbers. The problem, Rick, the clock is ticking. General Petraeus and everybody knows they cannot keep the surge going much beyond the spring of '08. They simply don't have the troops to do it much longer than that. So, progress has got to pick up pretty fast -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: Barbara Starr always on top of the situation having to do with anything at the Pentagon and in Iraq.

As a matter of fact, Barbara just told us a little while ago she has got another development that she's going to be bringing us later on in the newscast. It's another breaking story that we will bring you. This is almost a sad development as we get the information. We will have it for you in just a little bit.

Well, tonight, this -- there's a frightening new report about the threat of terrorism growing among us. Some experts say as many as 20 potential terrorist clusters are in the Northeast. And what they are talking about are homegrown terrorists, so this is different. They say in the developmental stage.

Now, this is a serious report from the New York Police Department. It was months in the making, so serious in fact the CIA is now being briefed on it.

R.P. Eddy, consultant on this report, he's with the Manhattan Institute for Policing Terrorism. And you say that there are in fact some potential clusters out there. What is the difference between a potential cluster of terrorism and actual terrorists among us?

R.P. EDDY, CENTER FOR POLICING TERRORISM: Well, there's a big difference.

And what this report gets to is an attempt to try and make that difference quite clear. A cluster as described in this very good report by the NYPD is an area where there is a mechanism going on that potentially could draw people into radical terrorist jihad. And that's very different than a cell. When we think of a cell, we're talking about a group that has been pre-radicalized, they're in place, and they're ready to attack.

SANCHEZ: OK. So these guys are not radicalized, and obviously they are not acting out yet, or else they would have already been picked up by the police, right?

EDDY: Right. Right.

SANCHEZ: So, who are they? What are they? Describe them for us.

EDDY: Well, we're talking about individuals -- first of all, the homegrown element is what is different and critical here. So, these are people who have been here for at least five years or so. Many of them are native born. Many of them are not Arab by ancestry. Many of them maybe aren't even Muslim by ancestry. But these are people who are getting drawn into the recruitment mechanisms and the concepts of al Qaeda.

SANCHEZ: But -- let's put up this screen here, so we can show the viewers what information we have gotten out of this report, because you say many of them aren't Muslim.

Yet, most were Muslim male citizens ages 18 to 37, says the report. What else does it say? Many are children of immigrants. Many come from middle-class backgrounds, most well-educated.

That does sound like we're talking about one particular profile.


EDDY: But we're not really. We are talking about a process, not a profile, a process that brings people toward radicalization and towards terrorism.

And what the NYPD is saying here is that this process finds room, it finds petri dishes and fertilization in certain parts of our culture, certain aspects of our cities that aren't tended to effectively, areas where you have congregations of people who are groups of people who are preaching hate, people that are -- they describe it as flop houses or bookstores, or other areas, places that are seeds of the violent rhetoric that's leading towards...


SANCHEZ: So, these are people who live in the United States, not necessarily came from another country, but their parents may be from the Middle East.


EDDY: Possibly.

SANCHEZ: They are settling in here. And they are somehow on the verge of becoming radicalized, to the point where they may act out, maybe to the point of doing something as horrible as what we're seeing, suicide bombings in Iraq or something like that.


EDDY: OK. It seems like no-nonsense, right? We should have been on top of this a long time ago. Why has it taken so long?

EDDY: Well, at the Manhattan Institute, we have been talking about this homegrown threat since not long after 9/11. And police departments have been paying attention to it, particularly the New York Police Department and LAPD.

SANCHEZ: They're paying attention to it now?

EDDY: No, they have been paying attention to it for awhile.

NYPD has been looking at this issue for a long time. So has LAPD. People who are paying attention to the threats to cities realize that the these can come from inside the cities and not just eternally. And that's what this report -- forget all the back and forth on who it says to profile, look at.

The report effectively -- the real bullet point here is a police department is coming out and joining the international discussion on intelligence and saying you have to worry about homegrown threats in our cities.

SANCHEZ: And you have got to get it at the local level. You're not going to do it internationally.


EDDY: And who is it going to get it there? The police departments.

SANCHEZ: I got it.

EDDY: Not the CIA, not the FBI.


SANCHEZ: R.P. Eddy, good report.

Hey, you know what? We are going to have you back, because I think this is something that we are obviously going to have to talk about again.

EDDY: I hope we don't have to talk about it too much, but I hope we get it right and we don't have to worry about it.


SANCHEZ: If it's good news, we will be talking about it that way, right?

EDDY: All right.

SANCHEZ: Appreciate it.

My next guest thinks that this report tars Muslims with too broad of a brush.

Edina Lekovic is the communications director for the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

I guess, straight out, do you think this is profiling, and is that a problem?

EDINA LEKOVIC, MUSLIM PUBLIC AFFAIRS COUNCIL: Well, what I think, the report, it really just uses very broad generalizations to try to describe the threat that we are facing.

Now, no one is more concerned about the threat of potential domestic radicalization than Muslim-Americans themselves who are working day in and day out with federal and local law enforcement to try to protect our company, because we have a vested stake in this just like all other Americans.

I think one of the interesting things that is found in this report is that these radicals, these potential radicals, are being turned away from mosques. They are not finding homes for their radical ideas within mosque settings and so they are seeking other places.


SANCHEZ: Let me stop you just for a moment, because I want you to react to a piece of the report itself. I'm going to read it to you.

In fact, I have been taking out some pieces as we were reading it today: "Radicalization continues permeating New York City, especially its Muslim communities."

How do you react to that?

LEKOVIC: Sure. I'm concerned about radicalization just as much as the next person.

But, without specific definitions, without specific cases, I mean, this report is long on generalities and vague descriptions. It's short on specifics. (CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: I get it. Let me get specific.


LEKOVIC: And I think that is precisely where the problem is, because what it does is create an alarmist sort of fear of your neighbor rather than looking at real sound policing policies.

SANCHEZ: I get it. But let me get a little bit more specific with you.

If in fact there is a trend toward radicalization in some of the Muslim communities, if there in fact are clusters that are being formed that could later become dangerous, then what is it that you and me need to do to make sure they don't go in that direction? What would you tell the police department, for example?

LEKOVIC: Absolutely.

We have lot to do and there's a lot that's possible here, and we're doing it. In order to prevent radicalization, what we need to be doing is creating opportunities for inclusion and opportunities for particularly young Muslim-Americans to be at the table so that their concerns, their issues, their dreams, their hopes are being listened to.


SANCHEZ: What does that mean, opportunities for...


SANCHEZ: I'm sorry for saying that. I know. Those are gobbledygook.

LEKOVIC: No, no, that's all right.

SANCHEZ: What do you mean?

LEKOVIC: Right. No.

So, because disenfranchised people, the people who sit at the margins of a society, are far more likely to get radicalized and to develop these dangerous ideas. People who take voting seriously, who take the political process seriously, who see that their voice has an impact on the future direction of their country are contributing voices and that's the vast majority of the Muslim-American community as has been seen in report after report.

So, what we want to do is create, as we have done as an organization, create opportunities for Muslim-American civic engagement, particularly for young people, so that they see that they have access to decision-making.


SANCHEZ: We get it.

Edina Lekovic, you are very kind to come and join us and share that perspective with us. We really appreciate it.

LEKOVIC: My pleasure.

SANCHEZ: All right.

By the way, we told you at the beginning of this newscast about that 7.7-magnitude earthquake that is taking place in Lima, Peru, a beautiful country -- a beautiful city, I should say, very, very populated. We are going to bring you the very latest out of Lima. We hope to be able to get somebody down there who can describe the scene for us.

Also, we are following the latest out of Texas and developments out of Iraq.

First, though, there's something I want you to look at. Take a look at this. This referee just blew the whistle on himself. How big a blow is this to all pro sports? And, by the way, this one has some organized crime connections to it.

Also, what is this guy's story? He says, yes, I'm a pedophile, and he wants to be loved for it. He also wants to love kids.

We will be back.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez.

We do have breaking news that we are following for you. This is the story we were telling you about out of the area around Lima, Peru. There you see it. You see Lima just above where we put that red triangle right there and Huancayo just to the right. That's the area where it happened.

I guess one of the big questions that we have to ask is, is there a possibility that this could have other repercussions, some kind of tsunami effect, for example, we usually follow when we're looking at earthquakes like this?

Chad Myers is the guy to ask. He has been following this for quite some time.

Chad, bring us up to date. What are your impressions of this thing so far? What do you know?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Rick, here is what happened.

There was a 7.7 on the scale, on the moment scale. And then all of a sudden there was another 7.5 and then another 7.5. And the newsroom is going that's three huge earthquakes. Wait, that didn't happen -- 7.7. Then they corrected to 7.5. Then they re-corrected position to 7.5 and a different depth. So, there is not a tsunami. There is no Pacific-wide tsunami warning.

But still a 7.5 about 100 miles from Lima. People in Lima absolutely felt that shake and I guarantee you there is some type of damage, even though it is about 100 miles, a little less than 100 miles away. People there certainly felt the shaking, but so far no tsunami, very close to shore, though, kind of a dangerous little situation when you get that earth moving under the water -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: Good job, Chad. Thanks for filling us in on that.


SANCHEZ: And good news again.

Well, tonight, there's a major crisis for professional basketball, maybe for professional sports in general, as a matter of fact. Today, we're getting information a former NBA referee -- in fact, can you see him? There he is walking right over there. And that's part of the problem. He has admitted to a federal court of betting on NBA games, even some where he could determine the outcome.

This gets worse. They say there could possibly be a mob connection to the story. And it's a big problem for the NBA.

Here's CNN's Allan Chernoff.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Uh-oh. Now a technical foul, as Alstin (ph), he's continuing to bark, as Tim Donaghy T'ed him up.

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As NBA referee Tim Donaghy was calling fouls on players, he himself was committing personal fouls against the game of basketball.

Donaghy admits to betting on games he officiated and providing gamblers with inside tips.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He expresses a great deal of remorse and concern about the pain that he has caused his family, his friends and his co-workers.

CHERNOFF: In court this morning, Donaghy pled guilty to two felonies carrying a maximum of 25 years in prison, though his cooperation and the continuing investigation could lead to a far shorter sentence.

Donaghy confessed he would call his old friend Thomas Martino with betting tips, often involving games he was reffing. Martino would then pass the tips to another friend, James "Baba" Battista, also known as "Sheep." For every winning tip, Donaghy initially pocketed $2,000. Later, the payoff was up to $5,000.

JACK MCMAHON, ATTORNEY FOR JAMES BATTISTA: Now we know what it is, and we intend to defend it.

CHERNOFF: Battista's attorneys says his client will plead not guilty. Martino and his lawyer had no comment.

Both defendants out on bail face maximum prison terms of 20 years.

(on camera): Millions of kids around the world grow up playing basketball. For them, the NBA is a dream, the very pinnacle of athletic success. To now learn that one of the referees was crooked threatens that image and the very integrity of the game.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For me, it sort of ruins the game of the NBA.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a referee to just degrade the game like that, it's wrong. It's plain and simple wrong.

DAVID STERN, NBA COMMISSIONER: This is not something that is anything other than an act of betrayal of what we know in sports as a sacred trust.

CHERNOFF (voice-over): The NBA and the referees union concede, they now have to play defense to protect the league.

LAMELL MCMORRIS, NBA REFEREE SPOKESMAN: Our top priority is to demonstrate to the public that the referees in the NBA are committed to ensuring the integrity of the game.

CHERNOFF: The NBA says it believes Donaghy was the only rogue referee, though federal authorities are checking to see if indeed that is really true.

Allan Chernoff, CNN, Brooklyn, New York.


SANCHEZ: This could be a huge problem for the NBA.

In fact, this could be a huge problem for all pro sports because of the signal that is may be sending.

Let's bring in ESPN analyst and commentator Stephen A. Smith, as good as anybody in this business about talking sports. By the way, he writes a sports column for "The Philadelphia Inquirer."

Glad you're here.

Word is that he is going to start talking about some of the other people that he may have worked with, people he gave confidential information to. If they then come out and start talking about other people that they have reached in the NBA in the past, this thing could blow wide open. This is a huge problem for Mr. Stern.


STEPHEN A. SMITH, "THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER": Well, there's no question about it. It could be catastrophic if that were to be the case. But, so far as we know, that's not the case.

He pleaded guilty to two federal counts today. He could face up to 25 years in prison.

SANCHEZ: So, you are saying he is the only one? There's nobody else out there doing this?

SMITH: I'm saying that we don't have evidence whatsoever to believe otherwise. The reality is, the federal government is involved. The NBA is investigating the matter. So far this is the only individual they have found.

SANCHEZ: You know what I get told when I talk about this story on the way home with the cab drivers in New York City and others around the country? Why is anybody surprised about that? Of course some guys in sports are on the take.

Do you think enough Americans are convinced that the NFL, the NBA, all of sports are clean, or not?

SMITH: Well, of course a lot of people think that sports is not clean, simply because there's -- we live in a cynical society. It doesn't matter whether you are judging Barry Bonds or in this particular case judging a rogue referee.


SMITH: The reality is, every gave you go to, when you see officials, you question an abundance of calls that they make. It doesn't matter whether it's the home team or -- the home crowd, rather, or the visiting crowd. Any time you go to a game, you are questioning some of the decisions that officials make. And then when this guy comes out and basically gets busted for doing it, you are going to have some scrutiny there. But, again, the evidence doesn't show anybody more than him.


SANCHEZ: You have got to be somewhat shocked by this.

SMITH: No, I'm not.

SANCHEZ: I mean, professional wrestling, sure. We all look at that with a wink and a nod. Professional boxing, of course there's some stuff going on there.

But baseball, NFL and basketball have pretty much remained, for the most part, clean, outside the other stuff...


SMITH: I would be shocked if there were an abundance of individuals, a group of individuals, that were involved in such a scandal.

When it's one rogue individual, that never surprises me, because there's a bad apple in all walks of life, not to mention...


SANCHEZ: Why are you quoting Stern? Why are you saying rogue individual?

SMITH: My man, I quote no one but me.

SANCHEZ: Are you defending...

SMITH: I'm telling you what I feel.


SMITH: And what I'm saying to you is that when it's one guy, I'm looking at the fact that, on the court, 10 different players at any given time have contracts accumulating at least $100 million, $50 million to $100 million.

You are making about $90,000 to $150,000, it stands to reason, you know what, you might catch one guy that might be a bit corrupt when he's surrounded by that.


SANCHEZ: It's a big opportunity, isn't it?


SANCHEZ: By the way, the word you used, rogue element, that's the same thing that Stern is saying.

They have got to really -- they have got to separate themselves from this, don't they, in a big way and fast.

SMITH: Well, they should separate themselves. If somebody on your block did something wrong and they engaged in some criminal act, do you want to be associated with them because they are your neighbor?

SANCHEZ: No. No. No.



SANCHEZ: You're absolutely right. You're absolutely right.

Thanks for coming.

SMITH: No problem.

SANCHEZ: Nice to have you here.

SMITH: All right.

SANCHEZ: Good stuff. SANCHEZ: Stephen Smith.

Well, here is a story that parents, including me -- I have got four kids -- all over the country are talking about. Listen to this guy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you attracted to children?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sure, girls. I have admitted that many times. But I have never done anything criminal.


SANCHEZ: Here is what we want to know. What is the mind-set of people like this? He admits he's a pedophile. That's next.

Later, she killed her husband last year, and she is already free. Is it because she's a woman?

All right. I'm being told, as a matter of fact, that we have got an update on the earthquake.

Go ahead, Jeff (ph), if you would. Tell me what's going on.

Hold on just a minute, folks.

Gladys Tarnaweki (ph)?


SANCHEZ: Yes. Thank you. Gladys (ph), we got you. I'm just now getting the information. I apologize for being a little behind there.

Gladys Tarnaweki (ph), you're on the phone. You are joining us from Lima. We have been wanting to talk to somebody there to bring us up to date on the situation that is there on the ground.

So, go ahead. What's going on right now in Lima as a result of these earthquakes that was about 100 miles north of you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, as you might imagine, this has been the most terrifying experience we have. My voice is of course not normal, because I'm still shaking.

Many people is waiting outside the houses because the security on the radio, on the battery radios, are advising us to wait outside because the (INAUDIBLE) can come in any time.


SANCHEZ: The what? I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I didn't hear what you said.

(SPEAKING SPANISH) The last thing that you said, the what could come at any time?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Water? No, the -- no, I was...


SANCHEZ: Oh, the water, the water. Oh, I see. So, you are saying that there's a concern that there might be a tsunami?


Well, we heard on the battery radio...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... that is coming from the sea, that the epicenter it comes in Chincha Alta nearby the sea.


SANCHEZ: So, just to clarify, there is a report on the radio there that you heard warning people that there is a tsunami coming their way or that could be coming their way?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, we didn't hear anything about that. We are just waiting for the (INAUDIBLE) again to leave. But we don't have that information that you are telling me.

SANCHEZ: But you said just a little while -- let me ask just you in Spanish, and then I will do the translation.

(SPEAKING SPANISH) Did they say something about the water coming your way?




SANCHEZ: Thank you very much.


SANCHEZ: (SPEAKING SPANISH) Wait just a moment so I can explain to the viewers what you just said.

What she said was that what they are reporting is her is that there might be other tremors coming after this, the so-called aftershocks. And they're telling everybody on the radio to hang on because there could be other problems.

Chad Myers, reconcile this for us with the information you gave us a little while ago. Obviously, she's there on the ground. We don't know or can we verify the information that she's gotten from the radio reports or other people there on the street? What would you say to this woman right now? (CROSSTALK)

MYERS: There's absolutely no question there could be more quakes, Rick, absolutely no question there could be more aftershocks.

But what we do know, just coming over the priority wire now, a tsunami warning has just been issued for Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Colombia.


MYERS: That is a tsunami warning for those coasts, all the way up and down here, because of the way -- this was a little bit of a shallower quake, now that we're looking at it. And shallow quakes makes big movements in ocean floors.

If you get a quake that is 200 miles down, it's like having 200 miles worth of pillows over it. It doesn't shake the ocean floor as much. But this is now coming up, as they are looking at more and more of these tremors -- more and more of these sensors.

Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, and Honduras, you are under tsunami watches here.

Now, there are no watches, period, no watches, Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii, no watches, no warnings there. They believe that this moment, the way this shook, probably took the earthquake and probably took the water and pushed it toward shore, not out into the Pacific.

Here's what happens. Here's what happens, Rick.


SANCHEZ: Go ahead.

MYERS: If you can take my camera here, this is a subduction zone. This is one plate going down below another. So, you have this place that is going down.

You have this plate that is actually being subducted down below it. Well, at some point in time, you get this little Slinky effect. It can't go any farther, and it has to move. And, when it moves, when it lets go, that's when the earth moves. That's when the water gets pushed up. And that's when the wave is made. And that's al along here. I mean, there is just -- literally, there is a plate all along this coast here. Here's Lima, about 100 miles, there's the quake, right down there, buddy.

SANCHEZ: All right, you mentioned a tsunami warning. What does a tsunami warning mean and how does it vary from a tsunami watch which you then mentioned some of the other areas?

MYERS: A tsunami watch means that within a couple of hours, you could see something. They're still looking for this tsunami. They don't know whether it's happening or not. Not a lot of sensors, here. There're dart buoys. When you think of a buoy, it kind of sits out there and it floats around. Well, a dart buoy -- a dart buoy actually sits on the bottom of the ocean, it sits there and it measures how much water is above it to the inch. It knows in thousands of feet of water if that water just went up an inch or more. And it will know. And if they see that -- of a dart buoy sees this rise in water, it will actually send that signal back to the sensors, back to the satellite and we will know that the water is rising somewhere. So all along the coast, and all the way back up to the other side, that's where the tsunami warning is happening. The warning means it very well may be occurring, right now you need to flee the coast if possible.

SANCHEZ: Why can't we be definitive about something like this? I mean, why say it could happen, it could not happen? Isn't there any way we can definitively measure it?

MYERS: Not enough sensors.

SANCHEZ: So, this is what you and I have talked about in the past, by the way. The plan is to put enough sensors, but right now because there's not enough -- it could it be in an area where there's no sensors and they don't even know it's coming?

MYERS: No question about it. And they know something or they wouldn't have issued that tsunami warning. Some sensor, one sensor actually must have moved or they would not have issued that warning. They look at the way, and also they look at the depth, they look at where and what type of fault it is. And now with this fault they know the depth, they know what kind of fault it was. They think that water moved and so therefore that's why tsunami warnings were issued...

SANCHEZ: By the way, the last time I was in Lima I noticed that top graphically when I was walking along the beach I had to look up to look at most of the homes. I mean, there's really a low-lying area before it gets to the place where the people live there, right? Is that a help for them?

MYERS: It's absolutely a help. There are some areas down here, a little bit of farming along the ocean, but other than that people really do live up. And you're not going to get a -- with a 7.5 earthquake you're not going to get a 100-foot wave like we got with a 9.1 earthquake out near Banda Aceh. That was an enormous earthquake out on the ocean, an enormous wave happened there. This will not be that big, so literally fleeing just a mile or so in, and you know how that goes up so fast. As it goes up that fast, you're absolutely safe. But people there need to get up there right now.

SANCHEZ: Chad, you do -- you always do such a good job of explaining these things to people. Appreciate it.

Can you hang on because we're going to wait to see? Obviously, there's awaiting game at this point. If there's any developments we'll bring them to you. We thank Mrs. Tarnowi (ph), as well, who joined us there from Lima. We'll see if we can get some other people down there. No matter what language they speak. And also we've got Dr. Harley Bend, he's with the U.S. Geological. He's going to be joining us in just a little bit to break down what he -- what the U.S. Geological Survey is saying about what's going on right now, down there in Lima, Peru. We'll be right back. Say with us.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back, we told you just a little while ago that there was another story that we're following out of Iraq. This is a CNN exclusive; by the way, it's about an alarming increase in soldiers committing suicide. Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr has some of the numbers for us.

Barbara, fill us in, if you would. I mean, it's horrible to have to report something like this, but it's the news. How many soldiers are we talking about?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Rick, this is very sad, tragic news. The Army will report tomorrow, publicly for the first time, that in 2006, last here, there was a dramatic increase in suicides. Last year, 101 soldiers committed suicide while on active duty. That's 17.3 per 100K.

Let's compare it to the year before, 2005, 88 suicides. You see there, 12.8 per 100K. What we're talking about, they have those variations in the per 100K in order to count for the different size in the Army. But, by all measures, a significant increase, 88 up to 101 last year. So far this year 44 suicides in the Army. There has also been increase in the number of soldiers deployed who are committing suicide, 30 of the in the year 2006. More on all of this tomorrow. Very sad news for the U.S. Army -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: Well, you know, we got to move on because we got a couple of breaking stories, but this is really important. So, let me just ask you a quick question, if you could just give us a brief answer. What are they doing? I mean, how can we stop this somehow? Because this important.

STARR: The Army is conducting a number of suicide prevention and suicide awareness programs. But to be very clear, this is an ongoing problem because, of course, the U.S. military is full of young men age 17 to 24 with ready access to firearms. It's a very unique population. They say it does continue that most of the suicides appear to be due to personal problems, substance abuse and just basically personal stress. Very difficult news -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: Barbara Starr at the Pentagon, once again, with more breaking news for us, tonight. We thank you, Barbara.

All right, let's go back to the other breaking story we're following for you. Boy, one of several on this night. This is the situation in Lima, Peru. We're trying to get a handle on this, although, you know -- you know, nature sometimes doesn't' cooperate. We don't know specifically what the damage may be there on the ground and you heard from Chad Myers, just a little while ago, reporting. Those of you just now getting home from work late and joining us, that there has been a pretty significant earthquake taking place there, just outside of Lima, Peru. And that there's a possibility that it could lead to tsunamis. In fact there's a tsunami warning for the area, right now.

Dr. Harley Benz is with the U.S. Geological Survey. He certainly knows his business pretty well, he's joining us now to try and fill us in on what he can share to this conversation.

Dr. Benz, thanks for being with us, sir.


SANCHEZ: All right, what do we know? What can you tell us about this earthquake? At first we got 7.7, then 7.5. What is it?

BENZ: Well, the reviewed solution is a magnitude 7.5 earthquake, it's about 90 miles south-southeast of Lima, Peru. It's relatively shallow, about 25 miles deep, and because it's relatively shallow, there is a tsunami warning in effect.

SANCHEZ: Why does that -- I don't understand that. Why is it that because it's in shallow waters it increases the chances of it having or forming or creating a tsunami?

BENZ: Well, because if it's relatively shallow and if it's a thrust fault, you will displace the sea floor (INAUDIBLE) for generating a wave. At this point we don't know if it has generated a tsunami wave, but because it's relatively shallow, it has a probably of doing such. Deeper earthquakes do not produce tsunamis.

SANCHEZ: You're saying that you think, given the magnitude of the earthquake and given the shallowness of the water, it will probably produce some kind of tsunami. If so, can you draw us a picture of what type of tsunami this would be? How high would the waves be? What kind of damage could it possibly do that we should be looking for?

BENZ: The USGS doesn't do this kind of work. It's the tsunami warning centers in, within NOAA that do this. And they all need tide gage data shallow water -- tide gage date to determine this. All we can say is in this magnitude range of around 7.5 or larger, has the potential of producing a tsunami if it is a shallow event, and that's about all I can tell you. I don't have access to tide gage data.

SANCHEZ: OK. All right. So, all we -- really all can do is just watch this right now. If this were to happen -- before we let you go -- what would be the timeframe? When would we know that something has happened? Or how soon would it happen after the tremor?

BENZ: Well, I mean, the tsunami waves travel relatively slowly, so for longer distances you're talking several hours for it to reach across -- midway across the Pacific. Locally we're talking about a few tens of minutes for a tsunami wave to hit the coast. I can tell you, given the (INAUDIBLE) event, that there was quite a bit of shaking in Lima, which is about 90 miles away and along the coast. But with respect to tsunami waves, I don't have the kind of information that can assess whether it generated a tsunami or not.

SANCHEZ: So, this could happen within the next half-hour or within the next couple of hours? Is that what I hear you saying?

BENZ: Well, it depends how far away you are. Near the source it will be within tens of minutes. Farther out, across the Pacific, you're talking about a timeframe of (INAUDIBLE) tsunami to travel across the Pacific. But locally, you're talking about tens of minutes.

SANCHEZ: And you're an earthquake expert, you're not a tsunami expert, so you're not going to venture to say exactly what kind of waves we'll be looking at or what kind of damage it would cause, right?

BENZ: I just simply don't have the information to be able to (INAUDIBLE) that kind of information.

SANCHEZ: Well, that's fine. We respect that, Doctor, and we thank you for bringing us what you do have. Obviously, we'll try and continue to talk to some other experts about this as we follow this breaking story out of Lima, Peru.

And now I'm being told there's other breaking news. This one's going out on in Utah. Brian Todd has been following the situation with those six miners that have been trapped there underground and there's some kind of development on this, so let's get out to Brain Todd, now and see what he's got.

Brian, what you got?

BRIAN TODD, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well Rick, Robert Murray, the owner of the mine just came up from briefing the families down in the town, here. And as he was driving by we got a chance to stop him and ask him what was going on. He said there's been a significant development. He would not elaborate on what that was, but he did say the families remain very hopeful. They're going to brief us on this in about 15 or 20 minutes.

Now, what they were hopeful of tonight, was this third drilled hole that was going into the mountain where they hoped to reach some kind -- this chamber that they believe the miners might have retreated to for air, if they survive this collapse. They had gotten through to that chamber, the drill had gotten through, but when they tried to lower the microphone earlier, it didn't get there. It hit some kind of a snag or possibly a bend in the hole, didn't get there, they had to pull it back up, put casings in this hole, try to lower the microphone down, and the camera down. They were most hopeful of being able to get that camera and or the microphone down, possibly tonight. That could be what they're talking about, whether they have any significant data or signal regarding that effort, we'll know in a few minutes.

SANCHEZ: Good job, Brian, as usual. Do us a favor, stay near your camera in case there's another update, we'll back to you right away, OK.

And we're going to be following all of these breaking stories in many ways. Too many to name at this point, but we'll be all over the earthquake in Lima, Peru, obviously the developments that are taking place out in Iraq, the very latest coming out of that Utah mine and everything having to do with that tropical storm that's now bearing down on some of the parts of Texas. All of it, right here, OUT IN THE OPEN. I'm Rick Sanchez, we'll be right back.


SANCHEZ: All right, we're going to break in because we were told just moments ago that there's a big development coming out of Utah. There is Richard Strickland (SIC). Let's listen to him.

RICHARD STICKLER, MSHA, ASST SECY OF LABOR: you at the last update. I think I just want to focus on the No. 3 borehole and give you an update on that. You're aware that that hole did drill into the mine. We have since withdrawn the drill seal out of that hole and we're in the process, as we speak, of dropping a video camera and microphone in that hole.

At this time we don't have any information regarding the video or the results of the microphone. After we go in the hole with the microphone and video recorder, the next step is a plan to put a 1-1/4 diameter steel-threaded pipe down that we can draw air analysis to determine the air quality at the bottom of that borehole in the mine.

Based on that information that will give us some guidance on what the next course of action will be. Now in the meantime we've indicated that we were planning to drill a fourth borehole down a crosscut 133 and No. 1 entry.

We have had discussions at the mine, a planning meeting with MSHA and the mine operator, and we have determined that we have a higher priority location that we intend to drill the fourth hole. It's very close to the road that we had built for the third hole. Although we had the site prepared and the drill pad build for the third hole at crosscut 133, it's not take and extended period of time to change that location to crosscut 143 and No. 4 entry.

This is crosscut 133 where we had planned to drill the fourth hole. We have since decided that it would be a higher priority to drill that fourth hole at this location at crosscut 133. Two pieces of information that was part of that decision, as we looked at the most recent mine map and ventilation controls, there are walls existing in these crosscuts, so part of the discussion was it would be easy to barricade in this area by simply constructing two barricade radishes (ph), and also considering this location with three tunnels that would have to be closed off to create a barricade.

So, that's part of why we feel it's a higher priority to drill with crosscut 143 as opposed to 133.

Another very small piece of information that we've received that played a part in this, is on the mountain we have geophones positioned at various locations on the mountain, a considerable distance apart and...

SANCHEZ: All right, lets try and this up for you because obviously he's given us the headline and now he's giving some the detailed explanation that have become part of his mind jargon. So, let's try and put this in a regular perspective that people can understand.

The drilling hole that he's talking about -- you heard him say just a little while ago, he's referring to a third hole that they came at an angle on. That's it, right there. You see that one right there? That's the one where they're saying that they're now able to actually make some progress and get in there. And they're talking about being able to drop another microphone into this area, possibly a camera. That's important, too.

And what he's talking about when he's describing these chambers similar to this. I'm just going to draw this out for you right there. You know, obviously you know, this is simplistic -- but he's talking about is that these men may be in an area more over here as opposed to over there where they originally had dropped in.

And this is almost striated (ph). If you look at a camber, kind of like what I'm drawing there for you, right now. It has different departments, and they're going to try and look into this area and that area and that area, as well, to try and see where the men could possibly be. We may be getting some of this information if the camera gets down there on time. and that's why they're considering this a significant development at this time.

Brian Todd's been following this situation, he's out there, too. We're going to be talking to him in just a little bit. As matter of fact, as soon as he gets his camera in position, we're going to talk to Brian because he's been -- he's been following the developments as we've been bringing them to you all along.

And this could be very significant, because this could possibly -- of course, you know -- let's look at this again. I mean, if we're talking about a chamber and the camera comes into this area right here, well, what about if the men are over here and they're separated by another one of those walls that we've been showing you, that show all the different concrete? You know, that's a problem. So, nothing's guaranteed here, folks. But, let's give out to Brian Todd, see if he can kind of put this in perspective given what he's learned today, talking to the mine officials.

Go ahead, take it away -- Brain.

TODD: Well Rick, the headline here, really is that they've been able to get -- lower a camera and a microphone down that third hole, that you were just referring to -- that diagonal hole where they hope to hit a chamber where these miners might have retreated for air. They are in the process, they say, of dropping a video camera down that hole and a microphone. They say -- they're very clear to say right now that they do not have results from that yet, not sure when they're going to get those. But what they will also do, once they send the camera and the microphone down, Richard Stickler, the head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, said that they're going to insert a 1-1/4 inch threaded pipe draw air analysis from. They essentially want to measure the quality of the air down in that chamber.

Above about 12 percent air quality is considered livable space. And they have measured air quality in other areas of the mine at around 15 percent, some of it lower than that, so they are very concerned about the air quality in various chambers. So, they're going to be measuring that down there.

They're also, he just said, planning on drilling a fourth hole. This is going to be much deeper in the mine because they believe that they might have barricaded themselves in that general area. So, these are the developments. They've been able to lower the camera and the microphone down that third hole. Robert Murray, the mine owner, told us a short time ago, that the families are very hopeful about any data that can be taken from that and also they're going to drill a fourth hole down there, to try to see if the miners might have barricaded themselves in a deeper part of the mine -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: So, I guess the first thing they'll do is drop the microphone. If the microphone goes down there, what would they be looking for? Just to hear some pings? I mean, how would the guys know they need to start hitting something when the microphone goes down if they don't visually see the microphone? Does it emit a signal or a beacon?

TODD: Well, what they're trained to do is when then -- well, I'm not sure if there's actually an audio signal that the microphone is going to send. They want to pick up sounds from down there. What the miners are trained to do when they start drilling, and when the drill bits go down, the rescue workers at the top are banging on it the whole time, the miners are trained to bang back and respond to that.

So, when they lower this down, there may be a signal sent somehow, maybe just banging on the sides of this hole that is going to be going down and the miners might respond to that. So, they're really just, you know, again, very important to point out here, Rick, the mine owner, Bob Murray, put it best. These drill holes are trial and error. They are going down to places where they think these miners might have retreated to if they survived the initial collapse of this mine. They are -- it's not guesswork. They're doing it in a much more calculated way than that. But, they going into areas where they think they might have gone. They're trying to calculate it based on where they believe they were when this collapse occurred.

SANCHEZ: And there's a possibility there may be enough oxygen, which means they would still be breathing? It's unbelievable as long as they've been down there. And we've seen in some of the video that there's plenty of water to drink down...

TODD: Robert Murray, the owner (INAUDIBLE) there is that possibility.

SANCHEZ: And there's plenty of water to drink down there, too, right?

TODD: That's what they say. There's -- Mr. Murray, the mine owner, said there's plenty of potable water down there. I talked to a veteran miner from these hills, who's been here for 35 years. He said that most of the water that you see down there -- we captured it in a camera we lowered down the other day. You see all of this water dripping, this miner says all of that water is drinkable.

SANCHEZ: Unbelievable. Well, all we can do is wait and follow it and hope for the best for them and certainly for their families. Brian Todd, as usual, thanks for bringing us up to date on this.

The latest out of the situation in Lima, Peru. We're watching. There's a tsunami warning there, a tsunami watch in some in some of the adjacent areas. Obviously, we're all over it. Hopefully we'll be able to hook up with Chad Myers when we come back to get an update on that. Stay with us, we'll be right back.


SANCHEZ: Bob Murray's at the microphone now, the CEO and president of the company. Let's take him.

BOB MURRAY, MURRAY ENERGY, CEO: ...real, practical reasons to keep that hope. Don't read too much into this noise we picked up, but it is a sign of hope. One other bit of information is this No. 4 hole where we're locating it on 143 now, because remember, I've been saying, we've been drilling on a priority basis, or trial and error. The last hole tells us where to drill next. It happens to be right on the road between No. 2 and No. 3 holes. So, we'll be on that hole drilling in four hours and hopefully we'll put that hole down in record time, 1,717 feet.

See, it's partway back up the mountain, the last was 1,415 and the first one was 1,886. So, there is every reason for hope. The families have that hope. I have never seen such courageous, strong people in my life. They actually give me hope. And I just wish I could tell you that we've had them out by now.

SANCHEZ: Wow, wow what a story. What you just heard was -- and what I heard as well -- and I almost shake my head as I listen to it, was that they've heard some kind of noise down there, wasn't real specific about what kind of noise he's talking about.

Brian Todd, you there? What noise? What kind of noise are we talking about? Do we know?

TODD: All right. Rick, the information that we're getting -- and they essentially buried the lead in this news conference because they didn't say it right away -- was that they had lowered some geophones, some listening devices into that third hole and they picked up about five minutes' worth of what they call spikes, they don't know what -- it is essentially is a series of noises. They don't know what the noises were. Bob Murray, you just heard him on the air say don't read too much into it, but it does give them hope. So, that's what they're looking at and that is essentially what gave them the impetus and the calculation to start drilling for the fourth hole which he says will start in a few hours. They hope to take that fourth hole down about 1,700 feet and into an area where they may want to -- where these miners might have wanted to barricade themselves. But the headline here is they have picked up some sounds from deep inside that mine.

SANCHEZ: But, you know, we're down to about 20 seconds before we got to close the show, because we got to go over to Larry King, but with 15 seconds left at this point just nod your head. Those sounds are a good sign for these guys? They think it might be the miners, right?

That's -- they -- possibly, possibly, but don't read too much into it.

We'll leave it there, we're out of time. Here's LARRY KING LIVE. Thanks for being with us, everybody.