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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
New Fears over Swine Flu; How Will Obama Approach Supreme Court Pick?; Pelosi Under Fire; Pro-Democracy Leader on Trial in Burma; Farrah Fawcett's Fight to Live; Police Brutality Caught on Tape?
Aired May 18, 2009 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We thought the danger had passed, but tonight, new concerns over swine flu. Another death in the United States: this time right here in New York and thousands of local kids out of school. The victim, an assistant principal -- an assistant school principal in New York City, Mitchell Wiener died yesterday. He was 55 years old.
Tonight students held a vigil for the popular former math teacher. Their school, among 17 closed in recent days by city health officials as more students have fallen sick. This man was the sixth U.S. death tied to swine flu, the first in New York.
Since the outbreak began three weeks ago, swine flu has spread to 47 states and the District of Columbia with more than 5,200 confirmed and probable cases reported. Worldwide, 76 people have died. More than 8,000 cases reported in 40 countries.
The WHO, the World Health Organization, is now facing a delicate decision, should it actually raise its alarm bell another notch to the highest level?
360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta joins us now.
Sanjay, is this -- the latest death, is this a sign the virus is actually growing more deadly, or is this just a natural follow-on to what we've already seen?
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I don't think it means the virus is mutating or becoming more deadly. I think since almost since the beginning, since you and I we're talking about this a few weeks ago, it was expected that there would be deaths here in the United States.
There have obviously been deaths down in Mexico. So, I think we're starting to catch up with what I think a lot of people expected -- Anderson.
COOPER: There has been a lot of question about whether this is hype. I mean, it's the same question I've been asking you pretty much every night that we've been covering this. I go out on the street, and a lot of people say, look, you guys are hyping this. It doesn't seem so bad. And it does seem to have kind of gone away out of the news at least. But now I feel like in the last couple of days with these deaths, it's kind of back in. And we have tens -- you know, tens of thousands of kids out of school.
GUPTA: Yes. And you know, all the ingredients for this to be something that was potentially problematic were there. A brand-new virus, it was spreading. It was causing deaths first in Mexico, now we're seeing it here in the United States.
You know, overall, I think this is still going to look like it was a relatively mild illness, keeping in mind, Anderson, it's something you and I have talked about, that the regular flu kills tens of thousands of people every single year.
Here's the key, though, Anderson. If you look back on pandemics of past, oftentimes they did start with a relatively mild illness in the spring and then became much more troublesome when fall and winter rolled around.
So, I think this is just a message of vigilance and diligence, but I don't think that this is -- what's happening right now is unexpected -- Anderson.
COOPER: The other H1N1 deaths in the U.S. were also linked to underlying medical conditions. If you have diabetes, you have asthma or some chronic health problem and you come down with flu-like symptoms, should you see your doctor right away?
GUPTA: I think so, yes. The problem here is that if you have some of those other illnesses, your immune system is just weakened. We know, because of the things that you've been talking about, that this H1N1 can kill people and it can kill people sometimes in the prime of their lives if they have some sort of underlying illness.
So, yes, you should see them. It's a simple swab to find out if you have Influenza A. If you have that, then you could possibly have the swine flu and then you can get that checked out.
COOPER: You know the thing that alarmed me a couple weeks ago and I guess there's a lot of people as when the WHO...
COOPER: ... the World Health Organization, came out and they said that humanity itself is threatened. When I heard that, I thought, you know, run for the hills.
COOPER: Is it that bad? I mean, did they overstate this?
GUPTA: Well, I think that from a public health standpoint, they're looking at the fact that a new virus, a new pathogen, is finding its way around the entire world. And that's what they were talking about specifically. What you and I really want to know the answer to is, is it going to kill me? Is it going to kill my children? Is it going to kill my neighbors? That's the question we're really asking after everything else is sort of distilled away.
And what it seems to be right now is that it can cause death, although in much smaller numbers again than the regular flu. And this is something that was sort of expected, and you know, after it was first sort of started in Mexico. So, it doesn't seem to be as serious, but it does seem to have significant scope.
COOPER: All right, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, I appreciate it. Thanks, Sanjay.
GUPTA: Thank you.
COOPER: Separating fact from fiction.
We've got a lot more on the swine flu outbreak on our Web site. Go to AC360.com to see a map of how many swine flu cases are in your state and also around the world.
New developments in the search for a successor to Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court. The White House today naming an aide to manage the confirmation. The Senate Republicans refusing to rule out a filibuster. Social issues expected to figure highly in that.
This weekend the president sampled some of the heat addressing the graduating class at Notre Dame, taking on abortion and anti- abortion protesters who interrupted his speech. He came away from the encounter, by most accounts, without a scratch.
But tonight the president is facing growing concerns by some of his most ardent supporters that he may be abandoning them on some key issues. There's the reversal on the release of detainee abuse photos, military tribunals for alleged terror suspects as well as his failure to make any real efforts on repealing "don't ask, don't tell" or reversing the HIV travel ban for visitors to the U.S.
So, the question is, is Mr. Obama abandoning some campaign promises as he also faces his first Supreme Court pick?
Candy Crowley tonight, "Keeping them Honest."
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With a Supreme Court vacancy hanging out there, Washington went into overdrive with news that Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm is coming to the White House.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When Governor Granholm comes tomorrow, would she be talking to the president at all about the Supreme Court vacancy?
ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think the governor's primary objective in coming is an announcement we'll make tomorrow on a different topic.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's going to be a secondary objective? Talking to the president about the Supreme Court?
GIBBS: I'm a -- I feel good about my first answer.
CROWLEY: It's a closely watched story because the Supreme Court can and has changed the nation. Brown v. Board of Education set the stage for desegregation. Roe v. Wade legalized abortion.
Barack Obama was 12 when Roe was decided. It's a ruling that still inflames the passionate to protest the commencement address of a pro-abortion rights president at Notre Dame, a premier Catholic school.
Abortion may be settled law, but it remains an unsettling issue and one a president cannot avoid.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So, let us work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions. Let's reduce unintended pregnancies.
CROWLEY: Social issues have confounded presidents for decades. And in this new millennium, a new issue conservatives see as central to the Supreme Court.
JORDAN LORENCE, SENIOR COUNCIL, ALLIANCE DEFENSE FUND: I think same-sex marriage is very likely to be the big flash point issue.
CROWLEY: The president opposes same-sex marriage and says states should decide the issue. But many in the gay and lesbian community think eventually that has to change.
STEVE ELMENDORF, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: The more states that approve it, the more the pressure will build on people in Congress and the president to do things to make federal law comply with all these state laws.
CROWLEY: Marriage is only one issue that has some in the gay and lesbian community worried that a campaigner they saw as sympathetic to their causes is less so as president in office. He has not lifted a ban barring HIV-positive foreigners from crossing U.S. borders. And many had hoped there would be a cabinet appointment.
Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Well, let's "Dig Deeper" now with Tony Perkins, president of Family of the Family Research Council, and author of "Personal Faith, Public Policy." Also joining us, Democratic National Committee member and CNN contributor Robert Zimmerman.
We just heard in Candy's report this list of complaints from of one of the president's key constituencies. Has he abandoned the gay and lesbian Americans? ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: No, I don't -- I think that really is an unfair criticism. I think more can be done...
COOPER: But you hear that from a lot of gay and lesbian Americans saying look, on don't ask, don't tell, on the HIV travel ban, on marriage.
ZIMMERMAN: Let me be clear. I think the Democratic Party should come out of the closet on behalf of the gay and lesbian men and women serving in our military service, without question. I think more can be done by the president and by the Congress on that issue.
But I think we also have to understand, it's just over the first 100 days in office. It's a critical time with a full range of very important breaking issues before the president. So, I think timing is critical. I think timing will be key as we confront many of these issues.
COOPER: Tony, you clearly don't support, you know, the reversing the gays in the military or certainly on marriage. Why do you think, though, the president has basically remained completely silent on these issues? Is it just politics he's playing?
TONY PERKINS, PRESIDENT, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: Well, I think he knows his history. Bill Clinton took on the ban on homosexuals serving openly in the military and it cost him greatly in terms of political capital.
And the American people still are not there. In fact, just recently over 1,000 flag and general officers retired from the military presented a statement to the president saying it would be harmful to combat effectiveness.
ZIMMERMAN: But Tony, we also are aware that we have former general -- former Joint Chiefs of Staff General John Shinseki and Colin Powell have endorsed the right of gays, the lesbians and men and women serving in the military and the majority of American people stand with that issue.
PERKINS: No, you have the American people divided on that particular issue, but you have the vast majority of military officers, and you also have almost 60 percent of those currently serving in the military who said they would consider not re-enlisting or not seeking another military career.
ZIMMERMAN: Tony I think...
COOPER: We're going to continue the conversation. We've got to take a short break. We'll have more with our panel in just a second.
And let us know what you think. Join the live chat happening now at ac360.com.
Also tonight, one intense moment caught on tape; two drastically different views of it. Was it a case of a suspect resisting arrest or police brutality? The one being beaten, a 14-year-old boy. We'll show you the tape, give you the facts. You can make up your own mind coming up.
And later: Farrah Fawcett's brave and remarkably candid battle with cancer. One of the most glamorous women ever, inviting us to see her in her least glamorous and most vulnerable moments tonight, on 360.
COOPER: We're back talking about how President Obama is handling some tough social issues, addressing some of them head on, such as abortion this weekend, stem cell research; going slower and some would say even abandoning others, namely the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy and same-sex marriage.
With us, Tony Perkins and Robert Zimmerman. Robert, you talked about there's still time though. But on an issue like "don't ask, don't tell," wasn't the time if the president was actually going to do something, hasn't the time already passed?
I mean, the farther away he gets from inauguration, the more politically untenable it may become.
ZIMMERMAN: He actually, it's a very interesting observation Anderson, because right now President Obama does stand at the height of his popularity; his approval ratings in almost every demographic are very strong.
And we are -- and this issue is now becomes an issue of national security. We've lost over 12,500 brave men and women who are being forced out of the Army because of their sexual orientation. And we have a drastic shortage of Arab translators in the military because it seems people like Tony Perkins and his organization are more afraid of gay and lesbian men and women serving bravely in our military than they are of al Qaeda.
PERKINS: Well, look, I've served in the United States Marine Corps, and I know what it's like to serve in close quarters along with over 1,000 of these general officers. It's more than just a political issue. It's about the military effectiveness.
And when 14 percent of military men and women who are serving say they may not re-enlist, that's over a quarter of a million men and women. A lot more than what...
ZIMMERMAN: Tony, you know what a fraudulent poll that is. Shame on you.
PERKINS: No, no that's a...
ZIMMERMAN: This is...
PERKINS: It's a "Military Times" poll; it's a very accurate poll. And I know from talking to men and women that I served with in the military that are still in there that there's grave concern about changing this law. The fact is... ZIMMERMAN: Tony, you can be very helpful in terms of helping educate people about the need to focusing our attention on fighting Al Qaeda as opposed to exploiting discrimination...
ZIMMERMAN: ... towards the gay community.
PERKINS: The reality is this...
ZIMMERMAN: Granted, you make a lot of money for your organization by doing that, but is it really serving our national interests at such a critical time?
PERKINS: The reality is the president has to choose between delivering to a radical but small and vocal portion of his base or keeping the support of a lot of moderates that he needs to pass other issues like health care reform.
I think the president learned from what happened with Bill Clinton and how he lost political support.
ZIMMERMAN: I think what we learned, Tony, from what happened with Bill Clinton, was the fact that this president has his priorities in place, and he's leading with a broad range of support. The American people are with him on this issue.
COOPER: But Tony raises an interesting point, in talking about Bill Clinton. Andrew Sullivan on his blog the other day, and you hear this from a lot of gays...
COOPER: ... and lesbians in the United States, say essentially, oh, no, is this happening again? Is what -- is Obama doing what Clinton did? Which is essentially, you know when you're running for office, you say all these things, and then when you actually get in office, it's a different story?
ZIMMERMAN: Well, I think, look, I think in fairness to Bill Clinton -- in fairness to Barack Obama, he, in fact, has met most of -- many of his promises in his first 100 days. We're all...
COOPER: But to gays and lesbians, he certainly hasn't.
ZIMMERMAN: Absolutely. There's more that has to be done. I think he's appointed many gay and lesbians officials to high-ranking positions in his administration; that's to his credit.
I think more and certainly more has to be done for gays and lesbians serving in the military. When it comes to marriage, that's going to have to be driven by the grass roots, by our state legislators and by our courts. COOPER: Tony, yesterday at Notre Dame, President Obama spoke about trying to tone down rhetoric and find common ground. When it comes to some issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, "don't ask, don't tell," is there really common ground? Is there middle ground?
PERKINS: Well, it's interesting. The first time I've heard the president say this yesterday in his speech before the Notre Dame's student body, the graduating class, he admitted that there may not be common ground, there may not be a resolution, that we may have to agree to disagree.
Here's the challenge that the president has. I thought he made a great speech yesterday, but he's going to have to at some point in time come down off his rhetorical mountain into the valley of decision where public policy is made.
That's where it becomes very difficult. And you talk about common ground. I don't think you're going to find a lot of common ground on whether or not people want taxpayer money to go to fund abortions.
ZIMMERMAN: Well, you know, Tony, there is common ground between you and me because we both agree it was a great speech. In fact, I think a very defining speech about the Obama presidency. And there is common ground we both can find in terms of making adoption laws easier and also helping women who choose to carry their pregnancy to term.
PERKINS: And one of those may be...
ZIMMERMAN: Those, one of things we can find common ground there.
PERKINS: One of them may be the fact that in his budget, where he's calling to eliminate the charitable tax deduction where a lot of these organizations that support unwed mothers and help women who carry their babies to term, they rely on those charitable contributions; that's one thing he could do to find common ground.
COOPER: We'll leave it on that note of possible common ground. Tony Perkins, Robert Zimmerman. I appreciate you both being with us.
PERKINS: Thank you.
COOPER: Next, the Republican Party amping up the war against Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. New charges over what she knew about torture techniques during the Bush administration and new questions from Democrats about how she's handling the controversy. We'll bring you the latest on that.
Also tonight, a world away in Burma, a Nobel laureate, peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, goes on trial today for taking in a mysterious American who swam to her house uninvited. The question is, is the repressive government of Burma, also known as Myanmar, simply trying to find an excuse to continue to imprison this world-renowned Nobel Peace Prize recipient? And later, Brooke Shields furious, threatening legal actions and standing up for her mom. A reporter from the tabloid the "National Inquirer" taking Mrs. Shields out of a nursing a home under false pretenses. Was it a tabloid attempt to exploit her? Or something else entirely?
Details when "360" continues.
COOPER: Late word from the Supreme Court, the justices squashing a lawsuit against FBI Director Robert Mueller and former Attorney General John Ashcroft. The plaintiff was a former Pakistani 9/11 detainee who claimed the two were responsible for confining him and others in highly restrictive conditions because of their religious beliefs or race.
The court found there was nothing linking Mueller and Ashcroft to those abuses.
More now on torture techniques during the Bush administration: what the House's top Democrat, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, knew about it at the time. You'll recall she says the CIA never briefed her about water-boarding saying that they never informed her that it actually was taking place.
Today CIA Director Leon Panetta repeated his claim that the agency did and over the weekend the Republican calls for her head grew louder.
We've got the "Raw Politics" tonight from Dana Bash.
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Inside this Capitol office, aides to House Republican Leader John Boehner are working to keep the heat on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Churning out press releases, touting coverage of Boehner's challenge to Pelosi on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION," essentially put up or shut up.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), MINORITY LEADER: Lying to the Congress of the United States is a crime. And if the speaker is accusing the CIA and other intelligence officials of lying or misleading the Congress, then she should come forward with evidence.
BASH: But the reality is that Republicans know full well it's hard for Pelosi to prove her claim that the CIA lied to her about waterboarding because notes from her September 2002 briefing on the issue are highly classified.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: I would be very happy if they would release the briefing.
BASH: Pelosi says she wants those notes declassified, but sources with knowledge of deliberations on the issue tell CNN it's unlikely the CIA and the White House will allow it. And the very Republicans who insist that Pelosi come clean on what she knew about harsh interrogation tactics oppose a broad investigation of Bush officials who actually set the policy.
BOEHNER: And I don't think it's in the interest of keeping our troops safe nor in the interest of keeping the American people safe.
BASH: Meanwhile, a lingering question is whether the controversy and specifically this performance...
PELOSI: I'm sorry, the page is out of order.
BASH: ... has cost Pelosi support among fellow Democrats. John Larson, one of her most loyal deputies, says no but does admit...
REP. JOHN LARSON (D), CONNECTICUT: I think, you know, perhaps it wasn't one of her best press conferences, but certainly everybody in this caucus understands and stands behind her moral certitude (ph) and her ability to lead in our caucus.
BASH: Still, several Democratic sources tell CNN that privately some congressional Democrats are baffled by Pelosi's decision to escalate the controversy last week by going after the CIA.
PELOSI: That the CIA was misleading the Congress.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe, Speaker Pelosi...
BASH: On that front, today CIA Director Leon Panetta refused to talk about his stinging response to Pelosi last week that the CIA does not mislead Congress.
Instead, he tried to end the rancor and improve the CIA's tattered relationship with Capitol Hill.
LEON PANETTA, CIA DIRECTOR: We've been through a rough period. When the Congress and the CIA don't feel like they're partners in this effort, then frankly, it hurts both, and more importantly, it hurts this country.
BASH (on camera): As for Pelosi, CNN has obtained these talking points distributed by her office to help keep rank-and-file Democrats on message about the controversy.
In it she repeats her claim that CIA officials gave her inaccurate information and told her harsh interrogation methods like water-boarding were not used.
Dana Bash, CNN, Capitol Hill.
COOPER: All right, joining us now is senior political analyst, David Gergen. How much trouble is Nancy Pelosi in on this?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't think she's in as much trouble as the Republicans would like to have her.
COOPER: They haven't boxed her into a corner.
GERGEN: I don't think so. If anything, I think they made some very powerful arguments. I do think she's been weakened. But she's flipped to this controversy. She's managed now to make it no longer a controversy between her and a fellow Democrat, Leon Panetta. It's now between Nancy Pelosi and Republicans. And that helps to rally Democrats behind her.
So, I think, Anderson, the really big issue is if somebody tries to stage a coup -- and I don't see any evidence from the Democratic caucus that they're going to do that. Steny Hoyer, who would be probably the leader of any kind of coup effort is supporting her.
COOPER: But President Obama hasn't really been vocal about this at all. He hasn't come to her defense.
COOPER: Well, that is what's peculiar because she's been doing a lot of heavy lifting for him in the House of Representatives, not only from her point of view on the stimulus bill and other bills that have come, but now health care and on climate change, I mean, she's pivotal to both of those bills.
So, they need her help and want her as a firm ally. I've been surprised they haven't been more vocal in her support. But I think one can underestimate that she's a -- she's as tough as any man in the House and tougher than most. You know, there's a lot of Margaret Thatcher in her, the steel of Margaret Thatcher.
GERGEN: And she's -- she didn't get there by just being, you know, a quiet mouse in the corner.
GERGEN: She's a tough lady. And she's not going to -- she's not going to stand for anybody coming after her.
COOPER: Let's talk a little bit about what happened in the White House today. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was visiting with the president. I want to play some of the exchange that they had. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: And I indicated to Prime Minister Netanyahu in private what I have said publicly. Which is that Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon would not only be a threat to Israel and a threat to the United States, but would be profoundly destabilizing in the international community as a whole and could set off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East that would be extraordinarily dangerous for all concerned including for Iran.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: The Israelis want a timetable for any negotiations with Iran and a threat of military force if they fail. The President's not willing to go that far. And the President wants a stop to Israeli -- new Israeli settlements.
COOPER: The U.S. is far apart with Israel on this.
GERGEN: We are. And I think there are two things that should be said up front, though. That this president is engaging with the Middle East much, much earlier than President Bush. And I think that's a positive thing.
COOPER: Well, President Bush I mean didn't really do anything for a long time.
GERGEN: He hung back. It was sort of in the ninth inning, he got engaged. The second thing is this could have been a very contentious meeting. Apparently it was not from everything we know.
Having said that, they are -- they have fundamentally different views of how to deal with this. President Obama wants to deal with the Israeli/Palestinian issue first as a way to warm up the region in order to deal successfully with Iran.
Netanyahu is saying just the opposite. He's saying you've got to deal with Iran first and warm things up in order to solve the Palestinian issue. So they've got fundamentally different views.
COOPER: And the President reiterated today his support for a two-state solution. We didn't hear that from Netanyahu.
GERGEN: We did not. And there were some indications that he was going to bow. The people who know Netanyahu well say ultimately he will support a two-state solution. But he wants -- he's bargaining. He's going to wait to see what he gets in exchange.
In the meantime, he's putting on pressure on Iran. President Obama very -- did set a deadline for how soon Iran has to come up...
GERGEN: ... be serious about bargaining, bargaining, that is, by the end of this year.
COOPER: By the end of this year.
GERGEN: By the end of this year.
COOPER: And he didn't want to go -- he wanted to put a timetable on it because he doesn't want the Iranians to use this as an excuse to just to cover to develop their own weapons.
GERGEN: Absolutely. And he has to put -- he has to have some pressure on Iran to come to the table because they know -- they have elections in June.
GERGEN: He then negotiates. If they don't get anywhere, he builds up world opinion and U.S. opinion for much tougher sanctions. If that doesn't work, then we've got a real problem.
GERGEN: And then the military question arises sometime next year.
COOPER: All right. David Gergen, thanks.
GERGEN: Thank you.
COOPER: I appreciate it, David.
Next on the program, the pro-democracy leader and the mysterious man from Missouri, both under arrest half a world away, both on trial today by a military junta. Tonight we're going to take you inside the secretive brutal country for a live report on this developing story.
We have a reporter on the scene. We will talk to that reporter shortly.
Also tonight, new video, some growing outrage. Is this teenager the victim of police brutality? Tonight we'll tell you the story. We'll show you the tape and let you be the judge.
And Farrah Fawcett's fight and her emotional battle against cancer and how she has turned her struggle into a moving documentary. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Tonight, new developments in a story we first told you on Friday, about an American citizen's mysterious mission to contact a pro-democracy leader under house arrest. This is all unfolding in Myanmar, the country also called Burma.
It's run by the military junta that has silenced opposition voices, most notably this woman, Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace prize laureate. They have her under house arrest for more than 13 years.
Today she faced a new trial that could spell more confinement for years to come and possibly even in a prison. This Vietnam vet from Missouri is playing a big part in the junta's case. John Yetta traveled to Burma, swam across a lake with homemade flippers to reach Suu Kyi. The junta has put him behind bars, and he could face 15 years in prison for immigration violation and trespassing.
It's a bizarre story with serious repercussions for the democracy movement inside Burma. Joining us on the phone is a reporter with CNN who is also inside the country, but we are not revealing her identity or her exact location for security reasons. Thanks for joining us. We've read about police barricades preventing anyone from getting close to the prison where the trials are being held for Aung San Suu Kyi and John Yetta. Do you have any details of what took place inside the courtroom today?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, Anderson, the only information that we are able to get is from the NLD. That's the National League for Democracy. That's Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition group. They are telling us that the trial did start on Monday morning and that two witnesses were heard. But they have 22 witnesses lined up.
And we also heard that Western diplomats, and that includes the U.K. ambassador to Myanmar and a few others from Germany and other Western countries who tried to come into the courtroom today but they were turned away. And we don't have any information on that American's trial today because the NLD did leave the courtroom when he was beginning his proceedings - Anderson.
COOPER: What are the conditions like at a prison that Aung San Suu Kyi is being held at, and any word on how she is actually doing physically?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, this prison, Hang Seng Prison, is notorious for having very poor conditions, draconian-like living situations. We hear that it has malaria, it has bugs, it has rats and it's extremely hot; the temperature rising from 90 degrees Fahrenheit to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. And although we are hearing those conditions, we also heard for the NLD, the National League for Democracy, who spoke to Suu Kyi, and he's saying she's doing well actually and she's eating well, too - Anderson.
COOPER: What are the conditions like on the ground there? I mean, are supporters able to protest? I mean, obviously, there was a huge crackdown on thousands of people last year as monks went to protest. We've seen crackdowns over the years. What is it like for people there now and even for yourself trying to report?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, Anderson, I have to tell you it's really hard to get this story in Myanmar. People are afraid to talk. You walk around the streets, and no one's talking about politics. No one's talking about Aung San Suu Kyi.
Like you mentioned in 2007, that protest alone, we had thousands and thousands of people protesting. And we had dozens die, thousands more imprisoned. And in Hang Seng prison alone, there's thousands of political prisoners.
This military dictatorship is the longest-running military dictatorship in the world. People are afraid. We ourselves, we're afraid to approach the people of Myanmar, because yes, we may get in trouble, may get kicked out of the country, but they will feel the effects much longer than we ever will - Anderson.
COOPER: No doubt you're being watched very closely. I appreciate you taking the risk to give us the call and report on what's happening. Thank you very much. Coming up ahead tonight, millions tuned in to watch Farrah Fawcett's moving and raw documentary about the cancer that is killing her. The painful and personal details she shared just ahead.
First, Erica Hill joins us with a "360 bulletin" -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, tomorrow President Obama will issue top new fuel-efficiency requirements for cars and light trucks creating a single national standard for tailpipe emissions and mileage requirements for the very first time. These new rules will be just as strict as California's which are the toughest in the nation.
Sri Lanka's state television reporting the founder and leader of the Tamil Tiger rebel group has been killed by government troops in the country's northern war zone just one day after the rebels admitted defeat ending a decades-old civil war.
"GQ" magazine stirring new debate over the role of religion in the military: the magazine's Web site posting a series of covers for intelligence reports ran for former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld during the early days of the war. This cover's emblazoned with biblical quotations.
Actress Brooke Shields is vowing to take legal action against a reporter and photographer she claims took her mother out of a New Jersey nursing home to get a story for the "National Enquirer." Shields's mother has dementia. The "National Enquirer" said the reporter was not on assignment at the time and is a longtime friend of Teri Shields -- Anderson.
COOPER: Such a bizarre story.
You can join the live chat happening now. Let us know what you think at ac360.com.
Up next, reality television in its rawest form. A new documentary reveals Farrah Fawcett's brave and emotional fight with cancer.
Also tonight, caught on tape -- a 14-year-old kid under arrest. His family says he was attacked. But were police just doing their job? We'll show you the tape. And you can decide.
Also, President Bill Clinton has just been tapped for a new role, former President Clinton. We're going to tell what you he's doing and where he's going, coming up.
COOPER: Tonight Farrah Fawcett's very brave and very public battle with cancer. The 62-year-old actress was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006 and has since spread to her liver. Fawcett's determined to defeat the disease and details her fight in a new documentary that's a video diary of her struggle, her treatment and her will to survive. In a moment we're going to talk to Dr. Sanjay Gupta about this rare type of cancer but first, Farrah Fawcett's story "Up Close" tonight with Randi Kaye.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Farrah Fawcett is dying. She knows it, and now the world knows it, too.
FARRAH FAWCETT, ACTRESS DYING OF CANCER: I used to wonder how people who were very sick, with a terminal diagnosis, could get up and go on with their lives and not think about dying.
KAYE: This two-hour NBC documentary, "Farrah's Story," was watched by nearly 9 million people.
(on camera): It's a roller coaster of emotion where the viewer is made to feel as if he or she is in the doctor's office right there in the hospital room with the actress. Filmed by her good friend, Alana Stewart, Farrah narrates most of it herself.
(voice-over): It is honest, painful.
FAWCETT: Cancer is my own private war.
KAYE: And it is, in the truest sense, raw emotion.
Here Farrah has just been told her cancer has returned.
She was diagnosed with anal cancer back in 2006, then went into remission. It came back in 2007 and had also spread to her liver.
Tom O'Neill writes an entertainment blog.
TOM O'NEILL, ENTERTAINMENT BLOGGER: Probably the most devastating scene in the whole documentary is when she says to the cameraperson, as she is projectile vomiting, "Why aren't you getting this on camera?" She wants the graphic, shocking nature of this to be driven home.
KAYE: The film is peppered with happier times: Farrah, as one of "Charlie's Angels," her oh-so-famous poster, and her birthday.
But her hoarse voice sets the tone. Still, even as the disease progresses before the viewers' eyes, one can't forget Farrah's beauty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Farrah Fawcett won our hearts in the late 1970s with that big hair, that big smile and that big Texas southern drawl.
KAYE: Now reportedly bedridden and heavily medicated, it's unclear how much time Farrah has left. One of the film's final scenes, Farrah alone in her hospital bed listening to the rain.
FAWCETT: I was just thinking how much I would miss the rain sometimes. I wonder whether I would be able to experience it from heaven.
KAYE: A heart-wrenching moment for a woman on borrowed time.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: The German doctor who treated Fawcett called her original tumor a, quote, "a terrorist full of hate." There are roughly 5,000 new cases of anal cancer every year.
360 M.D. Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us with more details. This is different than rectal cancer?
GUPTA: It is different than rectal cancer. It is different than colon cancer. It is a rare cancer, as you mentioned. This is the very last part of the large intestine. So it's a relatively small surface area which is probably part of the reason it is so rare, and as a result, Anderson, not a lot of detection on it, detection or literature about it. But we do know one thing is that if it's caught early, like with many cancers, it can be treated very effectively.
COOPER: Are certain groups or people more susceptible than others?
GUPTA: Yes, it does appear to be. This is something I was looking into a little bit today. We didn't learn a lot about this in medical school. It was probably the last time I really have looked into this. But people who have weakened immune systems for some reason, people with HIV, people who engage in anal sex, people who have HPV, that's the human papillomavirus infections, people who are smokers may also be more at risk.
And then there's a group of people who haven't had any of those risk factors and still get it. We're not entirely sure why.
COOPER: Why does HPV, or the human papillomavirus, which can cause cervical cancer, sometimes lead to anal cancer?
GUPTA: It's interesting. What seems to happen with this particular virus -- and remember, we talked about this in cervical cancer, it was really the first time that they said, look, a virus- causing cancer, if you give a vaccine for it, it could prevent that cancer. It was a big deal in the world of medicine.
What HPV seems to do is turn off some of the -- what are known as tumor-suppresser genes. We have genes in our body that are constantly sort of circulating, trying to fight off potential tumors. HPV somehow interferes with that so the tumors are allowed to start and grow.
COOPER: And, I mean, what's the prognosis for someone who's diagnosed with it?
GUPTA: Well, if it's caught early before it is spread at all, either outside that area or into the lymph nodes, it is pretty successful treatment. You know, about 5,000 cases a year in the United States, in the hundreds, a few hundred of those people will die so pretty good survival odds.
The problem, Anderson, is when this spreads and spreads as it did, as Ms. Fawcett talked about, to her liver, it can be very, very difficult to treat. There's really not good treatments for it. And survival drops way down, less than 20 percent in five years.
COOPER: And briefly, symptoms?
GUPTA: Sometimes bleeding, sometimes pain, sometimes people will confuse it with a hemorrhoid in the beginning. And that's part of the reason sometimes late diagnosis occurs as well.
COOPER: All right. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, appreciate it. Thanks.
Go to ac360.com to watch Farrah Fawcett's struggle with her cancer treatments and how she's turning to laughter at times to help deal with her pain.
Just ahead, caught on tape: a 14-year-old boy, his face a bloody mess after two police officers arrest him. What happened before the video camera was turned on? Was it police brutality? Watch the tape and see if you can decide for yourself.
Also a new twist in the Drew Peterson case. Is the former police sergeant getting out on bail, and why prosecutors have a problem with his judge.
COOPER: In Toledo, Ohio, an allegation of police brutality caught on tape posted on YouTube; the alleged victim, a 14-year-old boy. Now, the video doesn't show what led up to the arrest. All we see is the boy's bloodied face moments later. His family says the officers beat him up, pure and simple. Police say the boy resisted and took a swing at them.
Erica Hill has more in tonight's "Crime and Punishment" report.
HILL (voice-over): Friday morning in Toledo a neighbor with a cell phone camera records the aftermath of a violent incident between two police officers and a teenager.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's bleeding.
HILL: The video from YouTube shows 14-year-old Trevor Casey, his eyes shut, his face bloody. One officer holds him in a headlock, and then the teen falls to the ground.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God.
HILL: What happened depends on whose version you believe. The family says Casey is the victim of police brutality. SHARISE WOODARD, TREVOR CASEY'S SISTER: I want them to feel all the pain that they put my brother through. Everything that they did to him, I want them to have to experience all of that.
HILL: According to a police report obtained by Toledo affiliate NBC-24, Casey and three other males were loitering at the location, but Casey was the only one who refused orders to leave the area. Told he was under arrest, Casey allegedly began fighting with the officers, resisting attempts to be handcuffed and striking one officer in the chest with his arm.
The report says the officers applied joint pressure and body strikes to the suspect. He would not go down. And then, according to the report, open-handed strikes were applied to the suspect's facial area by both officers. The suspect still would not go down.
The officers were able to subdue Casey who was charged with resisting arrest, obstructing official business and disorderly conduct. The report goes on to say Casey admitted to the officers he had been smoking marijuana.
In a statement to the Toledo TV station, Casey's brother, David, claims the officers choked him, punched and kneed him, hit him in the face with a billy club and repeatedly slammed him into the hood of the police cruiser.
DAVID CASEY, TREVOR CASEY'S BROTHER: My mother spoke to him while he was in the juvenile detention center. And he said he could feel the life coming out of him. You know, just for my little brother to say that, that makes me feel a lot of resentment, you know, a lot of anger.
HILL: In a statement to AC360, Toledo Police Chief Michael Navarre said he couldn't comment on an ongoing investigation but did acknowledge the department is looking into the incident and that the mother of Trevor Casey filed a formal complaint today alleging excessive force.
The police report said the boy was treated at a hospital and then released and booked by police.
COOPER: It's a disturbing video. A lot of police work is disturbing, though. It's always hard to know especially when something happened before the video is turned on.
COOPER: What happened to the police officers.
HILL: What we've been told by the police chief is right now they have not been reassigned, they haven't been placed on desk duty and their going to (INAUDIBLE). Right now, all this is under investigation, and so they're looking at it.
Trevor Casey, we should point out, is set to go to trial on June 2nd.
COOPER: All right. Erica, thanks very much.
Coming up next, more "Crime and Punishment:" Drew Peterson back in court and pleaded not guilty today to killing his third wife. Now prosecutors are asking for a new judge. We have the details on that.
Plus, Bill Clinton tapped for a new job, and we'll tell you what he'll be doing in the weeks and months ahead, coming up.
COOPER: Organizers call it a case of Michael Jackson obsession gone wrong. Do you agree? Coming up, we'll show you how they set a new "Thriller" dance record. That's right. You want to stick around for that. It's tonight's "Shot."
First, Erica Hill joins us with the "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Erica.
HILL: And Anderson, former President Bill Clinton named the United Nations special envoy to Haiti. Mr. Clinton has traveled to the Caribbean nation several times. It is the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
This video is of his most recent visit there in March with his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Some encouraging news on housing and banking helping to boost stocks today. The Dow adding 235 points, making up more than half of last week's losses. The NASDAQ gained 52. The S&P 500 climbed 26.
Facing the judge: Former Illinois police officer Drew Peterson, pleading not guilty today to charges of murdering his third wife. But his attempt to lower his $20 million bail is on hold. That's because before Peterson's attorney could ask, the prosecution requested a change in the judge for this case because the current judge dismissed a felony gun charge against Peterson last November.
And taking Manhattan tonight, first lady Michelle Obama, seen here at the American Ballet Theater's spring gala. Earlier in the day she cut the ribbon on the newly renovated American wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art -- Anderson.
COOPER: She had a busy week, she was working all weekend, she gave a commencement address.
HILL: She was in California, now she's in New York today.
COOPER: There you go.
HILL: It isn't easy being first lady.
Time for our "Beat 360" winners: our daily challenge to viewers to come up with a caption better than the one we can come up with for a photo we put on the blog everyday. That's how it works. Let's put up the picture, first lady Michelle Obama before delivering the commencement speech at the University of California over the weekend.
Our staff winner tonight, Marshall; his caption: "No, no, Mrs. Obama, it says so here on page 14: 'sleeves optional.'"
View winner is Harriet with the caption: "I'm the first Obama to get an honorary degree. Go UC." Harriet, your "Beat 360" T-shirt's on the way. Congratulations.
Coming up, the "Shot" is next. Moms and dads, this is why you send your kids to college, isn't it? To dance to Michael Jackson's "Thriller." This performance actually made history. I'm not sure history, maybe a record. Maybe it broke a record.
It's making TV; that's right. We're going to tell you why.
COOPER: Erica, time for tonight's "Shot." A 360 favorite returns.
HILL: Whoa, we weren't even there yet. People are excited in the control room.
COOPER: A mass gathering of "Thriller" dancers; 242 students at the College of William and Mary made, well, history of sorts. That's the largest gathering to replicate the '80s music video. We congratulate them. But it doesn't really top our favorite, of course, which are the inmates in the prison in the Philippines. Do we have that tape? Oh, yes.
COOPER: That's right. You know them, you love them.
HILL: I'm guessing that's more than 240 in that prison yard.
COOPER: I don't know.
HILL: Well, when you get the wide shot when they pull out and there's that huge shot.
COOPER: That does look like more than 240.
HILL: You know?
COOPER: Do we have a split screen? Can we do any better? It's more sparsely populated. Maybe it's over a wider area.
HILL: Could be.
COOPER: The kids at William and Mary, they should have synchronized their outfits like the prisoners did.
HILL: I was just thinking that.
COOPER: Sure the prisoners don't have any outfit in the matter but you know what...
HILL: It would have gone a little further, I'm with you there.
HILL: I think sure their parents are just happy as far as they know it wasn't fueled by a cake stand (ph) or something.
COOPER: Actually, there's a wedding edition, I'm told. I haven't actually seen this video. What is the wedding edition?
HILL: This sets a new trend in weddings.
HILL: Seriously, yes. There are all these great videos online. My mom has sent me a couple.
COOPER: I didn't know this.
HILL: Where people will learn dances, even the bride and groom or their wedding party, the "Dirty Dancing" I think is a pretty popular one.
HILL: There you go.
COOPER: We should have people at home send us their own.
HILL: That's a great idea.
COOPER: Then we'll some on the air.
HILL: They could compete with our crew.
COOPER: That's right. We'll ask our crew to do it, too. Yes. Frank? Bob?
HILL: Frank's game. There we go.
COOPER: Maybe tomorrow, we'll see.
You can check out all the most recent "Shots" at ac360.com.
That does it for 360. Thanks for watching.
"LARRY KING" starts now.
I'll see you tomorrow night.