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Millions Of Pounds Of Ground Beef Recalled; Search Continues for Suspects in Sex Abuse Videotape Case; Crisis In Myanmar Continues; Taliban Suicide Bomber Kills 30 in Kabul; Yazoo City Federal Prison in Lockdown; FAA Investigates American Airlines Plane Fire; Gator Found in Pool; Denver's Baby Boom.

Aired September 29, 2007 - 17:00   ET


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you're planning on having a barbecue this weekend, you may want to check what you're throwing on the grill. This may be the third largest meat recall in U.S. history. We're talking about 21.7 million pounds of ground beef. Sold in the very popular form of those frozen patties that you find in supermarkets and wholesale stores. The USDA shut down operations here at the Topps Meat Company here in Elizabeth, New Jersey after discovering E. coli in some of the samples here at the processing plant. At least 25 people in eight states may have been sickened by this, three, as you mentioned, so far. Officials in New York State believe that number could go higher because they believe some of this tainted beef is still out there.
CLAUDIA HUTTON, NEW YORK DEPT. OF HEALTH: This is the first case we had in New York where one of the patients had leftover hamburger at home that we could take and test, and that hamburger tested positive for E. coli in a very particular strain that usually isn't seen in this state.

ACOSTA: And despite what that official just said, a spokesperson with Topps Meat says it's likely, because of the way their product is processed and sold to consumers across the country in these frozen beef patties, the company believes, at least, that much of this product has already been consumed. So you may be wondering what good does a recall do? That's up to consumers to decide because if they do have this product lurking in their freezer, they are being urged to throw it out. Don't put it on the table this evening. You definitely don't want to do that because of the threat of tainted beef. And the company here says this is the first time that this has happened to them in 65 years, so they're saying, well, as bad as this sounds, they believe that much of this controversy is now behind them. HARRIS?

TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: CNN's Jim Acosta for us.

In one of the chains that carries Topps products is now the subject of a lawsuit. A Florida woman is suing a walmart after she reportedly ate Topps Beef and got seriously ill. Walmart isn't reacting to the lawsuit specifically, but the company has issued a statement that says, "As soon as we learned of the expanded Topps meat recall, we directed our stores to remove affected product from our meat cases and placed an electronic block at registers in our stores." More information for you at BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Law enforcement officials tracking a suspected child molester say that they have never seen anything like it. That's all that they will say about the videotape that led them to a girl who was 3-years-old when the crime happened. Here is the man that they are looking for. His last known place of residence, Las Vegas.

For the latest on the case now live from Las Vegas is CNN's Kara Finnstrom. Kara, hello to you, what can you tell us now?

KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, here in Las Vegas is where this massive manhunt is now being coordinated both by the FBI and local police. The girl has been found safely, so now all of the efforts are shifting to finding the man that they believe repeatedly raped her and the suspect that they named in this case yesterday is Chester Arthur Stiles. This is a man that they named earlier as someone they wanted to question, they wanted to talk with. That was before they actually found this little girl late yesterday. When they found her, they talked with the mother, and the mother said that Stiles was someone who had been a distant family friend. Shortly thereafter, he was named an official suspect. FBI is also very familiar with Stiles. He is someone that they had been seeking in another case. He's considered a fugitive. He's also wanted on charges completely unrelated to this of lewd conduct involving a minor under the age of 14. Now, tips have been pouring in from across the State of Nevada. Authorities tell us they've gotten more than 5,000 because Stiles has spent quite a bit of time in the Las Vegas area and in surrounding counties. Authorities tell us some of those tips are even coming from some folks you wouldn't expect.


ANTHONY DE MEO, SHERIFF, NYE COUNTY, NEVADA: He needs to turn himself in. He's going to be captured. He's a hot topic. No one wants to touch him. Even criminals that are in jail right now are giving us leads to where he may be. Even the bad guys understand that this guy should be taken off the streets because there's concern for the safety of children.


FINNSTROM: Now, as far as how that little girl is doing, detectives tell us when they found her, she appeared to be happy. She appeared to be safe with her mother, although they do say that the investigation to exactly what happened with her will continue. Social workers will be working with her and they'll be getting her all kinds of help because this community is very concerned about the future of this little girl. The mother says she was completely unaware that any of this abuse took place. They say they'll be continuing to question the family about how they did not notice any signs of abuse with this horrific incident. Back to you.

NGUYEN: So Kara, we talked about the mother and the suspect right now, Chester Arthur Stiles. I also wanted to backtrack and ask you about the man, Darren Tuck, I believe his name was. What ever happened to Darren Tuck? He's the man who turned the tape in to authorities.

FINNSTROM: Correct. He's still a player in this. He's been somewhat side shadowed for this massive manhunt for the man that they really believe is involved with this. But they do suspect that Darren Tuck knows more than he's telling them and they wanted to bring him in for more questioning. They're looking for him right now. They believe he went underground. He's wanted on a probation violation. So they're trying to bring him in on a completely unrelated incident. But they say they really want to talk with him. They want to get more information from him. They gave him a lie detector test to try and ascertain how truthful he was being with them and they said that lie detector test told them that he wasn't being very truthful. So they believe he's got more information that he hasn't handed over yet that could perhaps lead them to Stiles. And, so, they're looking for him as well at this point.

NGUYEN: Alright, Kara Finnstrom, live in Las Vegas. Kara, we do appreciate the update. And if you are a parent, in particular, we hope that you will stick around to hear a therapist's view on how to spot a child molester and what some of the signs of abuse might be. We'll speak to a well known consultant to the FBI. That's coming up at the bottom of the hour.

HARRIS: And now to another big story we are following closely, and that is the worsening situation in Myanmar. Where the United Nations is trying to quell a brutal government crackdown on pro- democracy demonstrators by opening a diplomatic dialogue with the ruling military junta, well, today there is word out of Yangon of only sporadic outbreaks of violence between soldiers and protestors. CNN's John Vause has the very latest from neighboring Thailand.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There's incredible security presence on the streets of Yangon, but despite that, one source inside the country has told CNN about an incredibly dangerous game of cat and mouse between demonstrators and security forces. according to this source, at any one time, about 100 or so protestors have been facing off against the army and against the police. These protestors have been taunting the soldiers and the police officers. They've been yelling abuse, they've been chanting slogans. And then, as the security forces move in to arrest them, these protestors scatter, they run away and hide. That is the sign for a secondary protest. Apparently a red flag, a fighting peacock flag which was the symbol of the pro-democracy movement in 1988, hundreds fall in behind. They start marching, they start chanting Buddhist prayers and then the police and the army turn their attention to those protestors. They, too, run away and hide. All of the demonstrators then regroup at another location and it starts all over again. Today, though, there was almost no sign of any monks on the streets of Yangon. Many have been rounded up, hundreds have been arrested and others confined to their monasteries. It seems, though, after days of unrest the military is determined to regain control but without bloodshed, at least in public. And one of the reasons for that could be because the U.N.'s Special Envoy is now in the Myanmar's capital, he's there to try and broker talks between the government and the pro-democracy movement. John Vause, CNN, Bangkok, Thailand. NGUYEN: An invitation to the Taliban from the President of Afghanistan. Hamid Karzai says he'll give Taliban militants positions in his government if they stop their attacks. Karzai also says he is willing to hold talks with reclusive Taliban leader, Mulla Omar(ph), and a top Taliban warlord.


TRANSLATOR FOR PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI: If a group of Taliban or a number of Taliban come to me and say, president, we want a department in this or that ministry or a we want a position as Deputy Minister and we don't want to fight anymore, if there will be a demand and a request like that to me, I will accept it because I want conflicts and fighting to end in Afghanistan.

(END VIDEO CLIP) NGUYEN: A spokesman responded saying, quote, we share president Karzai's desire for an end to the senseless violence that continues to take the lives of innocent Afghans and U.S. forces. End quote. Karzai's offer to the Taliban came hours after this bloody bombing in Kabul. Officials say a Taliban suicide bomber blew up a military bus, 28 soldiers and 2 civilians were killed. Dozens of others were wounded.

All right, coming up in the NEWSROOM, Jacqui Jeras with a fast forward to winter?

HARRIS: What are you talking about, Jacqui?

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, you know, it's been nudging in all week long in the west, hasn't it? You've even seen snow in the mountains and in the east it's been a little bit more like summer. What happens when you put the two together? Find out with your forecast that's coming up.

NGUYEN: Didn't you just say it's a beautiful day? Atlanta?

HARRIS: It's a perfect day in Atlanta. That's for sure.

NGUYEN: No snow.

HARRIS: Yeah, for sure. Still to come in the NEWSROOM, the cause of Colorado's sudden population explosion and if you think that all they eat are MRE's, well we're going to show you some of the grub being served to the U.S. military. We're talking about good eating here. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: And, we want to get to a story that's just in to the CNN NEWSROOM out of Jackson, Mississippi. We are getting word that the federal prison in Yazoo City is on lockdown right now. After a fight between inmates, don't know of any injuries at this point. We are getting word that maybe some of the inmates suffered minor injuries. Don't know how many inmates in total were involved in this. The matter, as you can expect, is under investigation. This is a medium security prison about 40 miles north of Jackson that houses men. Again, just a federal prison there in Yazoo City very near Jackson, Mississippi, on lockdown right now after a fight between inmates. We'll continue just to keep an eye on this and if there is a significant update, we'll bring it to you here in the NEWSROOM.

NGUYEN: In Charleston, South Carolina, two people plunged to their deaths Friday when the SUV they were in flipped off a bridge and crashed into the marsh below. Police think the driver lost control when a tire blew out and the SUV fell about 90 feet.

New questions arise after yesterday's aborted American Airlines flight from St. Louis to Chicago. The pilot turned the plane around minutes into the trip after the jet's engine caught fire. Now, there is word the flight had been delayed because of possible trouble with that same engine. All 142 people on board got off the MD-80 safely after landing in St. Louis.

And take a look at these pictures. Florida waterways are known for the chance gator encounter, but a YMCA swimming pool, this 3 1/2 footer turned up Friday morning at the Cocoa Beach Y giving folks a reason to put off doing their laps. Gator Rangers were called in to corral the critter and it didn't want to leave. It will be returned to the wild. That's when you say, see you later, alligator.

HARRIS: See you later, alligator. Very nice, very nice.

Well, call it a baby boom delivered by a frosty stork. Back-to- back blizzards in Colorado last winter brought life there to a standstill. Now nine months later, the fallout has doctors and nurses on the go. We get the story from our Denver affiliate, KUSA.


JANET DYER, DIRECTOR OF WOMEN'S SERVICES: We're in the middle of a blizzard baby bonanza here at Swedish. We've been seeing a regular daily increase in the number of deliveries. And when we talk to our families, they've pretty much all confirmed that it occurred around blizzard time. They just couldn't keep up with keeping the streets clear. So people were kind of stuck at home. And as a result, we're seeing lots of new babies from nine months ago.

GRANT MUDD, NEW FATHER: We were just sitting in the hospital room and thinking that it's exactly nine months from Christmas Day. So, you know, we were just joking around that the blizzard or no blizzard, it was like our Christmas present that we had to wait nine months to open. It was nine months to the day from Christmas that we had her.

DYER: I think that the staff here takes it in stride. We're a really busy facility. We do a lot of births here regularly, so they're prepared. This is why we're here. We're glad to be working.

MRS. MUDD, NEW MOTHER: Can you give her a kiss.

MR. MUDD: Good job, buddy.

DYER: It's fun for us. This is what we do. This is what makes us happy is to see new families. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: Is that true?

NGUYEN: Yeah, well we were talking about this earlier and she was actually saying, Jacqui Jeras, that this doesn't just happen during blizzards but it's also hurricanes and tornadoes and other natural disasters, right, Jacqui?

JERAS: Whenever power is out, you know? What are you going to do?

HARRIS: You have to generate your own heat, I suppose.

JERAS: You said it, not me.

Hey, we had some snow going in parts of the west, no blizzards, but we had some snow in the Cascades yesterday. And, take a look at this, our next system is moving in. We're getting the rain already along the I-5 corridor. This is going to be a real strong, real heavy rainmaker, and this part of the country has been really dry and this is a pretty strong system coming in. We're talking two to four inches. We could see flooding in the Olympic Peninsula there. Expecting to see some rivers maybe coming out of their banks just because the ground is going to saturate and then maybe some of the smaller rivers and streams could be filling up. That's coming in late tonight and extending throughout the day for tomorrow. We've also had a little snow across parts of the intermountain west, yeah, the snowflakes were flying earlier today in Pocatello and on up towards Idaho Falls. You can see the temperatures have warmed up enough now that we're mostly just looking at some of the rain showers but on the other side of this system in the warm sector, the winds are just howling. They've been in the teens and 20s all day, and we could be seeing some gusts around 40 plus miles per hour. When you bring that wintry-type, fallish kind of weather together with summer, that's where the severe weather begins to pop out. We could see some of that happening here across the nation's mid-section late this afternoon and later on this evening. As for the tropics, we do have a little action going on. Meet Karen and Melissa. Karen is fading out, in fact, the last advisory that's been issued on it now, Karen, not expected to strengthen. But I just want to show you the difference now. This is where hurricanes typically develop in the month of September. We see a lot of those Cape Verde hurricanes where the majority of major hurricanes develop. Now as we turn the page into October, we see that begin to fade out across the central Atlantic and things really begin to happen a little bit closer to home. We are more than half way through, guys, about a month and a half to go and we're going to be out of hurricane season.

NGUYEN: Yeah, but we know what's going to happen if that turns into a hurricane.

HARRIS: Oh, boy, yes.

NGUYEN: Another baby boom.

JERAS: There you go.

HARRIS: I think I'm already in trouble here. Don't take me back down that road again. Jacqui, appreciate it. Thank you and coming up in the CNN NEWSROOM, a case of one man's trash being another man's treasure. The trash, medicine, the treasure, help, the one man, a CNN hero.

NGUYEN: And later, you might be watching the stories about the troubles in Myanmar and ask yourself, it's so far away. Why should I care? Well, we've got a guy who will tell you why, coming up.

HARRIS: Fighting HIV and AIDS around the world, that's what today's CNN hero is doing. Jesus Aguais gets medicine that would have been thrown out and sends it to people who desperately need it. Now because of you his network is growing and more people are getting help. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JESUS AGUAIS, FOUNDER, AID FOR AIDS INTERNATIONAL: The simplest idea could make the biggest impact, recycling HIV medicine. How many people out there are looking for medicine? And how many people with HIV in the United States have no idea that they could save lives with something that is just a leftover for them? My name is Jesus Aguais, I'm the founder of Aid for AIDS International. I'm dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with HIV in developing countries. Early in 1993, I got a job as a counselor in one of the Latino AIDS organizations here in New York. In terms of helping people abroad, there was very little that you could do. There was no medicine at all. Only people with lots of money could come to the United States. The rest, the common people, have to die. In 1996, the first two protease inhibitors got approved but some people couldn't tolerate it. A treatment that cost $1,200 was being thrown away. I just knew it was wrong, purely wrong. I was telling people, why don't you bring it to me? We started using the concept of recycling the HIV medicine. All the medicine comes from people with HIV around the U.S. and goes abroad. People can send it directly to us, or if they live in the New York City area, we can pick it up, and we send it on a monthly basis straight to the patient. This is a matter of saving life. People need this medicine. We need to get it to them. It's our responsibility. I see it as what I'm here to do.


HARRIS: How about this, just go to to nominate a hero like Jesus. But tomorrow is the deadline, so you don't have much time. You need to hurry up here. Selected winners will be honored during a special live global broadcast on December 6th hosted by our Anderson Cooper.

NGUYEN: Crackdown in Myanmar. Pro-democracy protestors standing up against the military junta. A conflict half way around the world, so why should you care? We have the answer coming up.

And a 5-year-old girl turned into a human punching bag and killed. One of her parents accused of the crime. The horrifying details just ahead. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: A nation living in fear. We call it Burma, but the military junta who has ruled the country for the past 45 years calls it Myanmar. Here's what we know. On the government-sponsored crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators there, the U.N. Peace Envoy is there now trying to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis, coinciding with Ibrahim Gombari's (ph) arrival today. A relatively calm scene on the streets of Yangon compared to days past, but in all candor, we can't say definitively what's going on. The government is suspected of shutting down the nation's internet link with the rest of the world slowing the flow of information out of the country. We've seen the videos of Buddhist monks marching in the streets and soldiers firing on pro-democracy demonstrators, but really, why should we care about what's going on in Myanmar? We are posing those questions and more to Derrick Mitchell, he is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies where he's a Director for Asian Strategies. Boy, that's a mouthful. He joins us from Washington. Good to see you, Derrick. Thanks for your time.


HARRIS: A lot of words, a lot of words to get to the central question, why, Derrick, why should we care?

MITCHELL: Well, I'm not going to tell people to care, but I think when you look on the headlines, you see the pictures coming out of Burma, you see peaceful demonstrations by Buddhist monks, a Nobel Peace Prize winner in Aung Sang Suchi (ph), following Gandhi in techniques of nonviolent resistance. It's in the true heritage of the United States, and it affects the sensibilities of Americans. I think we react instinctively to the terrible deprivation going on there in a place that should be the rice-bowl of Asia, should be the richest place in Asia.

HARRIS: We are thousands and thousands and thousands of miles away from Burma. What about India? What about Thailand? What about China, the neighbors? Look, they have a real stake in what's going on here.

MITCHELL: They certainly do. And, in fact, I think we do have common interests with them when it comes to stability and reconciliation. I think they would like to see a transition in the country overall.

But they have other interests, unfortunately. They have in India and China's sake, they're interested in investing in the resources that Burma has - oil and natural gas. India has some cross border problems with Burma. There's some insurgencies that emanate come from Burma that affect India's interests. In southeast Asia, they have something that they call non-interference in internal affairs of other states. They've all been colonized in the past. They have an elegy against other nations telling them what to do, so they don't exactly see it the way we do. HARRIS: Yeah. You know, there is a desire when we see these pictures - and I think you hit on it, for Americans to want to do something.

The most powerful nation on the planet, but we can't certainly police the world and, boy, we seem to have our hands full with Afghanistan, with Iraq, the government in Sudan, Khartoum, implicated in a genocide there in Darfur. But we feel like we want to, should do something. Is there something we can do, sanctions, more with sanctions? What do you think, Derek?

MITCHELL: Well, there is always more that we can do. What the Burmese want and what Aung San Suu Kyi herself had told me 10 years ago when I met with her, she said when there are demonstrations or when she's released from house arrest, there's all this attention on the country and it's very hopeful. But then they fall back in the shadows and people lose interest.

And that's exactly what the junta is trying to do. They're trying to shut off the information out of the country, not because they don't care what the world thinks but because they do care what the world thinks. We need to do is keep a light shining on what's going on there.

HARRIS: So Derek quickly before I run out of time with you, the U.N. is involved now, awake, paying attention to what's going on in Burma. How do you see this playing out over the next days and weeks?

MITCHELL: Well, there's a U.N. envoy there. We'll see what comes out. I doubt it will make substantial progress in the situation. What we need to do is lead an international effort again, bringing in China, India, southeast Asia, Japan and others to talk about a common approach. The Burmese have used us against each other. What we need to do is have a common approach to put pressure on them to say that this instability should end and a justice should come to a place.

HARRIS: When you say we, are we talking about the United States leading that effort? Are we talking about a United Nations-led effort?

MITCHELL: I think the United Nations could do it. I think the United States should do it. I think the U.S. has the ability and should engage in east Asia. We are a credible player in southeast Asia. I'm not sure the U.N. has the staying power to do it. I think we ought to lead in that regard.

HARRIS: All right, Derek, so much for the United States to do. OK, big country, I get it. A lot to do in a lot of areas where the country is being asked to lead. Derek Mitchell, thanks for your time. Appreciate it, Derek.

MITCHELL: Thank you.

DE LA CRUZ: Well, in today's "Uncovering America", you know those ethnicity questions on forms you have to fill out? Well as CNN's Thelma Gutierrez shows us, you can't define really race by checking a little box.


THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What are Latinos? What do they look like? You may be surprised.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We go from black to white, so we have mestizo, we have indigenous, we have Arab.

GUTIERREZ: And some of us are Asian. I'm Chinese and Mexican. But contrary to what most people think, Latino is not a race and it's not a particular ethnic group.

PROF. PETE LOPEZ, VALLEY COLLEGE: We transcend race. We're not one racial, monolithic group, and that's the biggest misnomer.

GUTIERREZ: Pete Lopez teaches Chicano studies in Los Angeles. He says politicians and marketing executives target the Latino market, but usually miss their mark.

LOPEZ: They think if they put on a cultural base, tons of celebrations, and then talk immigration, the outcome (ph). The misnomer is that we all come from Mexico or that we all come from Central America or South America.

GUTIERREZ: Latinos share a tie to Latin America somewhere in their family. My grandfather migrated from China to Mexico, where he married my grandmother and started a family. Several generations and many interracial marriages later, this is the outcome. Different ethnic backgrounds tied at least in part, by the Spanish language and the Mexican culture.

LOPEZ: The Latino is a person who understands that he or she comes from this community. If you feel that you were raised, have been raised in a Latino household, you'll know that. You'll feel that. It's almost visceral, it's almost firmer (ph) -- something that you feel, you sense.

MARCELLA ORTIZ SARDANIS, VALLEY COLLEGE: My name is Marcello Ortiz Sardanas. I'm French, Spanish, and Mexican. I'm Latina.

The stereotype is that all -- we all speak with accents, that we all do not want to embrace the culture here, that we are all are dark skinned, black-eyed, and we have one look, and we absolutely do not.

DOUG MARRIOTT: I'm Doug Marriott. I'm Canadian and Mexican, and I'm Latino.

I remember somebody saying that if you have access to two languages, it's like having two souls. And I thought that was kind of true, because when you dream in Spanish or feel things in Spanish, you feel things differently.

GUTIERREZ: Latinos can be multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-ethnic. At 44 million and counting, the U.S. Census Bureau projects Latinos will exceed 100 million by the year 2050. Thelma Gutierrez, CNN, Los Angeles.


DE LA CRUZ: And we'll continue our "Uncovering America" series today, this weekend and through Wednesday of next week. Check out's special online report, the Hispanic experience today. You can read about the real issues facing the Latino community and significant moments in Hispanic history. Just log on to

HARRIS: It is every parent's nightmare, their child falling into the hands of a sexual predator. What you can do to protect your child. Expert advice just ahead for you in the CNN NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: That's the shot right there, huh? That's special. All right, let's talk a little bit more about our "Fit Nation." When your child asks for a candy bar at the grocery store or wants to stop for a bite at the local burger place, do you always give in? Well a new ad campaign hopes to change your mind. The topic in today's "Fit Nation" segment from our Dr. Sanjay Gupta.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These ads might seem shocking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dad, can you buy me some diabetes?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can I drink another cup of sugar?



GUPTA: The state of California hopes the ads will force parents to stop and think before they give their kids junk food.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't look unhealthy, but the food I ate here was.

GUPTA: The ads warn parents that poor diet can lead to weight problems, illnesses, even early death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're trying to convey to you that these little choices all day long, a cookie here, a doughnut there, a glass of juice, some chips, by the end of the day your child has consumed far more calories than they really needed.

GUPTA: Now the campaign is funded by the state's tobacco tax and is part of a larger state initiative to get kids fit.

And the ads are getting noticed, even by celebrities.

ADAM SANDLER, COMEDIAN: A child obesity commercial came on. They showed this kid just eating and eating. The family keeps feeding him and eventually he gets diabetes and stuff. And we were watching it. It's a very powerful commercial. Me and my little girl took the cheeseburgers out of our mouth and were like --

GUPTA: California is not the only state to take on childhood obesity. But it's the first to fund millions of dollars into an anti- obesity effort of this magnitudes. But states with smaller budgets can still do their park. Look at Arkansas. They were the first state to push for better nutrition in public schools by getting rid of vending machines.

KEN STANTON, UNIVERSITY OF BALTIMORE: Arkansas would be a good example because that's certainly not one of the most affluent states, and yet they were sort of the head runner in terms of where we started our obesity report card.

GUPTA: Back in California, state officials say about 60 percent of all Californians have seen the ad since the campaign was launched about a year ago. Their hope, parents will think twice the next time their kids ask for unhealthy food. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


DE LA CRUZ: New developments in the search for a former Las Vegas animal trainer police say brutally raped a child. Police are scouring all known haunts for this man, 37-year-old Chester Arthur Stiles. He's accused of sexually assaulting a then 3-year-old girl and videotaping the attacks four years ago. The girl on the tape has been found safe, that's the good news. Authorities are saying her mother is cooperating and that she didn't her daughter had been raped repeatedly.

Parents hope their kids would tell them if someone hurt them, but very young children may not be able to do that, so what are some of the signs that parents should be on the lookout for?

Well Flora Colao is a social worker and therapist who specializes in treating victims of child abuse. She joins us now live from New York. Flora, thanks so much for your time today. So what should you be on the lookout for? What are some of the signs of abuse?

FLORA COLAO, SOCIAL WORKER: There are a number of things. With young children, change in behavior, change in eating patterns, change in sleep patterns, bad dreams, those kinds of things. Sometimes strong reactions to particular people is a way that children let us know what's wrong.

DE LA CRUZ: On the flip side of that, Flora, what signs do you look out for in maybe a sexual predator, a child molester? We have to think about this case in particular. This man who abused this little girl was actually a friend of the family's.

COLAO: Whenever you have an adult who wants exclusive time with a child without other people around, that's a red flag. Your average adult doesn't want to spend that much time with a young child exclusively. Everybody likes, you know, who likes children doesn't necessarily want to be spending hours on end with the child. So whenever there is someone looking for exclusive time with a child alone, without anyone else around, that's a red flag.

DE LA CRUZ: So I know there are no sure-fire ways to protect your children. What are some of the things that you definitely want to do here?

COLAO: First of all, you want to pay attention to your child, your child's behavior, their demeanor around different people, tune in to their likes and dislikes so that you know when there's a difference. Their general patterns of behavior, their sleep patterns, et cetera.

DE LA CRUZ: And communication, right? I know that communication is key here. I know that a lot of parents feel really uncomfortable talking about the issue of maybe sex. How soon do you have that conversation with your children?

COLAO: Well, you know, it doesn't necessarily -- I mean, every family decides that themselves. What's more important is talking about feelings, talking about comfortable and uncomfortable, talking about rights to privacy, right to your own body. And the most important is you never have to keep a secret from mommy or daddy. And anyone who asks you to keep a secret is doing the wrong thing.

DE LA CRUZ: Quickly, Flora, before I have to let you go, I wanted to ask you about this little girl in particular. Where does the road to recovery start for her? She's now 7-years-old. Is this something that her mother wants to wait to talk about until she's an adult?

COLAO: No. She should get her in to some kind of expressive therapy right away. From what I was told, the child seems to have no memory of it. But it's hidden there somewhere. She probably disassociated to cope. So the most important thing would be some kind of treatment right away that allows for creative expression and also some kind of treatment together with the mother and child.

DE LA CRUZ: All right, Flora Colao is a therapist and a social worker. Flora, thank you so much for your time. Appreciate it.

COLAO: Thank you.

HARRIS: An infamous bathroom at the Minneapolis airport is getting a makeover. Airport officials say they're redesigning the stalls in the bathroom where Senator Larry Craig took his wide stance and was ultimately arrested in a sex sting. They're installing dividers that will drop almost to the floor instead to the current ones that leave as much as a foot of space. Police allege Senator Craig tapped his feet and swiped his hand under the divider to solicit sex. The Idaho Republican pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.

DE LA CRUZ: So they're going to go all the way down to the floor now, the divider.

HARRIS: Very near the bottom. DE LA CRUZ: Got it.

Coming up in the NEWSROOM, a young child beaten to death right in her own home.

HARRIS: It is one of the most disturbing child abuse cases ever. The story even more shocking when you hear who is accused of the crime. Details straight ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: The next iron chefs? Well, maybe not. But they're some of the best cooks for the military's top brass and what they're cooking is not your typical mess hall fare. A look at the culinary competition that has mouths watering in the NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: Most parents would not hesitate to sacrifice their time or even their lives for their children, so it is very difficult to hear a story like the one we're about to show you, a story of 5-year- old Melanie, a little girl who suffered a lot in her short life. Now her mother and father are charged in her death. Here's our Kelli Arena.


KELLI ARENA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A 911 call, a child not breathing and worse, much worse.

SHERIFF THOMAS J. DART, COOK COUNTY: The level of violence involved was something you just don't see very often, thankfully.

ARENA: Inside this apartment complex a 5-year-old child, a girl, badly beaten.

DART: Child had black eyes, broken nose.

ARENA: Melanie Beltran was taken to Lutheran General Hospital just a few blocks away and died within days. She never woke to tell doctors what happened. The marks on her tiny body spoke for her.

DART: The things that the doctors laid out, the things that the medical examiner laid out were things that, you know, really left someone speechless.

ARENA: The night before that 911 call her mother, 9 months pregnant with her eighth child, got angry and slammed Melanie's head into the wall, face first, according to the sheriff.

The mother, Mila Petrov, then allegedly beat Melanie some more and finally force fed her tabasco sauce, a regular punishment, investigators learned.

The next day Melanie was vomiting and was allegedly hit again and again until according to state documents, her eyes rolled into the back of her head and she collapsed. According to investigators, her mother's first instinct was to clean up before calling for help.

DET. SGT. MATTHEW RAFFERTY, COOK COUNTY: We were informed the mother had the kids, the other children, clean up the house a bit before the police came so it looked more presentable when they arrived.

ARENA: Melanie's six brothers and sisters were at the house. State documents show that they bore no signs of physical abuse, but all was not well.

According to the state documents, one child told investigators, there are secrets in the house we don't tell. The children described how they, too, abused Melanie because she was a, quote, "bad girl." One of them said everyone can hit Melanie when she touches our things. Experts say it is rare for one child to become the punching bag for the entire family. Rare, but it does happen.

ROBERT HARRIS, COOK COUNTY PUBLIC GUARDIN: We've had cases where the parents have directed siblings, other children in the family, to hold a child down while they beat the child. Or we've had cases where parents have told one child to hit the other child and they can't hit the other kid back.

ARENA: Medical reports say ligature marks on Melanie's wrists and ankles showed she was tied up. She had second and third-degree burns, marks from being whipped with electrical cords. The doctor who examined her said it's one of the worst cases of abuse he has seen.

In her five years on this earth, this may be the only place where little Melanie ever found peace, in the children's section of the Maryhill cemetery. This is where her story ends.

Her brothers and sisters now live with relatives. Her mother and father face at least 20 years in prison. The defense attorney representing Melanie's mother says she's grieving and should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

WENDY SCHILLING, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I do not represent guilty clients. I represent clients accused of crimes. The only time my client is guilty is when somebody tells me they're guilty, and that has to be a judge or jury.

ARENA: We wished we could show you what Melanie looked like, but investigators say they couldn't find a single picture of her by herself. Apparently, no one ever cared enough to take one.

At CNN's request, the sheriff's department prepared this sketch of Melanie based on her hospital and autopsy photos - a face to a name. For a little girl no one seemed to know until it was too late. Kelli Arena, CNN, Chicago.



DE LA CRUZ: Well, anyone who has served in America's military knows it is not the place to fatten up and live high on the hog.

HARRIS: Well now, it's changing. Military chefs are showing they can certainly still sling hash.

DE LA CRUZ: Yeah, sling some hash --

HARRIS: As well as cook up the really good stuff too.

DE LA CRUZ: CNN's Gary Nurenberg is taking it all in from Washington. So Gary, who earned the top gun or the top spatula honors?

GARY NURENBERG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, Veronica, in this story, that's desert and as you know, dessert comes at the end. First, we're going to show you how it got there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The mushroom will go with this. So I say we make a mushroom sauce with this.

NURENBERG (voice-over): They may be some of the best chefs in the American military.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I say we get this thing cranked to 500.

NURENBERG: Outside the Marine Baracks in Washington, 13 teams competed in the military culinary competition.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need cuts. They're going to be looking for the knife skills.

NURENBERG: It's a cooking contest with the clock running.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One hour and 10 minutes.

NURENBERG: There are Navy teams, Air Force teams, one that cooks for the CIA director, one from the Joint Chiefs, one cooks for the secretary of defense. The judges design it to be tough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're looking for taste, creativity, presentation and food utilization.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gentlemen, you currently have 50 minutes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're having fun, we're enjoying this, you know, and we're all part of, you know the same team, also.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wildest pressure, wildest pressure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wildest pressure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wildest pressure is on.

NURENBERG: Prize-winning chef Frank Ruta of Washington's Palena restaurant says the competition is good raining. FRANK RUTA, CHEF, PALENA RESTAURANT: Most chefs, whether it's military or not, I think you're always working in a pressure-filled environment. Things have to be done now, they have to be done five minutes ago.

NURENBERG: No planning before hand, the teams got a sealed box, open it, and have to design a meal based on what's inside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am trying to get this lobster meat out of this shell so we can actually stuff it with a pesto.

NURENBERG (on camera): How hard is that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a little bit difficult.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty-five minutes, gentlemen.

NURENBERG: Day to day work in military kitchens is tough.

ED MANLEY, INTL FOOD SERVICE EXEC ASSN: They're feeding 20,000 people on an aircraft carrier. They're in confined spaces. They're low-budget food and how do you make that creative and how do you change it every day and make it different?

NURENBERG: Judges watched the presentation, did the tasting and decided who won first place.

A chicken breast supreme with mushroom herb dressing by marine 14.


NURENBERG: So Johnson and Carvell (ph), the man and woman who said they were under so pressure, the judges really gave them a hard time. They said why did you leave the seeds in the cucumbers? They were expecting to do badly. They came in third.

HARRIS: Nice, nice. Looks like the makings of a reality show there. All right Gary, good to see you, thank you sir.

DE LA CRUZ: I wonder how much taste tasting he got to do today.

HARRIS: He better have sampled a little bit.

DE LA CRUZ: Well there is still much more ahead on CNN. Up next on "LOU DOBBS THIS WEEK," outrage is mounting in New York over Governor Eliot Spitzer's plan to grant drivers licenses to illegal aliens.

HARRIS: Then at 7 p.m., his views on Israel and the Holocaust are controversial and his country's nuclear ambitions are in question. CNN investigates "Ahmadinejad: Soldier of God." Coming up at 8 Eastern, a Los Angeles community terrorized by gangs, residents living in constant fear. Anderson Cooper brings you their stories.

DE LA CRUZ: And at 9, driven by religious beliefs to martyr themselves. An encore presentation of "God's Muslim Warriors." I'm Veronica de la Cruz.

HARRIS: And I'm Tony Harris. "LOU DOBBS THIS WEEK" starts right now.