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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Iran's Breaking Point?; Interview With Angelina Jolie; America's High: The Case For and Against Pot
Aired June 18, 2009 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, breaking news and possibly a breaking point: a day of mourning in Iran, hundreds of thousands taking to the streets, as pressure mounts on the regime, and on President Obama under fire from Republicans for his stance toward the demonstrations.
Also tonight, my exclusive new interview with Angelina Jolie, talking about the worst humanitarian crisis in a decade, her emotional plea as she remembers refugee kids she's helped and those she's lost.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELINA JOLIE, UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES GOODWILL AMBASSADOR: And he passed away a few months after I was there. And, so, I always wondered. You know, so, it's those kind of young people that you meet, and you just think, God, in any other situation, if this person had been given a chance, what an extraordinary adult he would have been.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And then "America's High: The Case For and Against Pot": Could your neighbor be growing pot in his garage or bedroom? You might be surprised what police are finding in some homes and neighborhoods. We will have it for you ahead.
But we begin with the death in the cockpit -- the veteran captain of a Continental Airlines flight died suddenly at the control of the jet today. It happened over the Atlantic with 247 passengers aboard.
Randi Kaye has the latest on this very rare sudden tragedy -- Randi.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, this story is just as bizarre as it is tragic.
We're learning some new details tonight from the wife of pilot Craig Lenell. And I can tell you that those details are very heartbreaking. Here's what we know right now. She said that the co- pilot looked over at her husband and thought he was sleeping. She said the co-pilot nudge him, tried to wake him, only to realize he wasn't sleeping, but that he was dead.
Immediately, the other pilots took control of the plane and called for a doctor on board, but it was too late. The pilot was dead. They had been married since 1973. She said, at age 60, her husband was very healthy. In fact, he just missed his first day of work in 32 years with Continental Airlines about a year-and-a-half ago, when his appendix burst.
But what makes the story even more painful is the reason this pilot was returning home in the first place. It is another tragic twist. I will tell you about all that in just a few minutes, Anderson. Also, we will address how airlines prepare for this and whether or not these pilots are actually required to get these health checks and how often.
COOPER: Imagine being midair international flight, and finding out your pilot is dead. They didn't know that until they landed, but we will have details ahead, more on that shortly.
Now breaking news from Iran, the growing unrest. It is already Friday there, a new day dawning, a new demonstration planned. On this Thursday, we saw another massive rally, the images the Iranian government doesn't want you to see, a sea of black through the streets of Tehran, a peaceful protest mourning the eight demonstrators that we know of who have died, denouncing the outcome of the presidential election as well.
The pictures sent to us in iReports, amateur video from Facebook, YouTube, across the Internet. Listen, the sights, the sounds of peaceful protest. That's the reality. But these are the images that are being shown on Iranian television.
The images you just saw are being censored in Iran itself. This is what Iranian state television has on their two channels right now, no mention of the silent protest, no mention of the growing unrest.
Most Western reporters have been told to leave. CNN's Reza Sayah is one of the few Western journalists still allowed to broadcast from within Iran, but he's only being allowed to file one report a day.
Here it is.
REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even sequestered in our hotel by government order, the sounds of protests could just barely be heard from the night, voices shouting "God is great" from rooftops, faces hidden in the dark.
On the streets during the day, throngs of protesters gathered for a sixth day in support of Mir Hossein Mousavi, the disgruntled candidate demanding a new vote, this time, their trademark green replaced with the color of mourning in memory of at least seven protesters killed Monday.
Amateur video showed thousands of Mousavi supporters in what has become another trademark, a silent march, cell phones silenced, too, apparently cut off across this city during the rally. Riot police had little excuse for a crackdown, so, for the third consecutive day, no violence. But, two hours into the rally, the silence was broken. Mousavi himself arrived, but hardly anyone could hear him.
For this crowd, just seeing his defiance was enough, a defiance that may already be creating cracks within the regime. Iran's powerful speaker of parliament, Ali Larijani, blamed the interior ministry for the vicious crackdown on civilians earlier in the week. Another lawmaker blasted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for calling Mousavi supporters hooligans, forcing the president to go on state television to defend himself.
MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I was addressing those who started riots and set up fires and attacked people. I said, they are nothing. They're not even part of the nation of Iran.
SAYAH: Never, since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, has Iran seen this much political turmoil -- the pressure also building on Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, the nation eager to hear what he has to say when he speaks at Friday prayers.
If he endorses President Ahmadinejad, he called could face the wrath of the massive movement behind Mousavi. Call for a revote, and he could undermine Iran's conservative regime, even his own leadership.
(on camera): For the first time all week, Mousavi supporters have not called for a rally. So, all eyes will be on Ayatollah Khamenei and his speech. What he will say could be a turning point in this historical political drama.
Reza Sayah, CNN, Tehran.
COOPER: That will be happening over the next several hours.
Now, at the center of today's peaceful demonstration, Mir Hossein Mousavi, the opposition leader, the man who many believe may have won the election or at least did not do as badly as the official results indicate.
These pictures are from a CNN iReporter. His name is Shirvin (ph). He's 24, an amateur photographer. He said that, when Mousavi appeared, everyone started cheering and shouting. Today, Iran's government said it would meet with Mousavi and the other opposition candidates.
But, at the same time, the Islamic republic appears to be cracking down on the throngs protesting the results. As you saw in Reza's report, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad again addressing the nation, saying -- quote -- "Everybody is victorious" that the official results prove he was the overwhelming winner.
Abbas Milani is director of Iranian studies at Stanford University. He joins me again tonight.
Professor, what do you make of the fact that the protests are continuing, and, yet, we seem to be seeing a decrease in violence?
ABBAS MILANI, DIRECTOR OF IRANIAN STUDIES, STANFORD UNIVERSITY: Well, I think the regime has decided that,at this time, violence is not serving their cause well.
I think we have to wait tomorrow, for tomorrow's speech will, I think, set the tone for the coming days. If Mr. Khamenei decides to stay with Ahmadinejad, my guess is that they will begin to be more violent towards the demonstrators in the days ahead.
And you can expect, tomorrow, for the regime to also pull all stops and try to bring as many people from around the country to Tehran as they can. We already know that they are busing people in. They want to show a force of their own. So, it will be an interesting scene for them to show their forces.
And, for that reason, both camps, Mr. Mousavi and Mr. Karrubi, who had invited their -- them -- supporters to come to demonstrate this Friday, have asked them to stay home, less there be violence, confrontation.
COOPER: Let me play devil's advocate for a moment, because there are those supporters of Ahmadinejad in Iran who will say, you know what? These pictures that we're seeing, these demonstrations that we're seeing, they look powerful, but they are misleading, because Mousavi did win in fact in Tehran. He has a lot of support there.
But, elsewhere, throughout the country of Iran, Ahmadinejad won. So, they would say, well, of course, in Tehran, you are going to see big demonstrations, but there are millions of people elsewhere in Iran who support Ahmadinejad.
MILANI: Well, first of all, I think it's wrong to assume that these demonstrations are limited to Tehran. The media is in Tehran. That's why we get reports from there.
We have very credible reports from Esfahan, from Shiraz, from Mashhad, from Tabriz about similar very large demonstrations. Moreover, if you look at the -- some of the figures that are coming out, the fact that they have cheated is becoming every passing day more undeniable.
Mr. Rezaie, who is the least radical of the three supposedly losing candidates, in his recent letter, today points to 140 different cities where the total number of votes for Mr. Ahmadinejad exceeds by 100 percent, sometimes it's 140 percent, of the citizens of -- total citizens of that city.
COOPER: Let me ask you a -- a very basic question. And I know it may sound like a stupid question. But there are a lot of folks who don't understand the inner workings of the Iranian government.
The supreme leader, this ayatollah who is going to be making a speech at prayers Friday, how -- I mean, he is said to be the ruler of the country, the biggest power in the country. But Ahmadinejad is the president. So, what is the relationship between the two? Who's really the power in Iran?
MILANI: The real power in Iran is no doubt the cleric, Mr. Khamenei, who is elected, not directly by the people, who cannot be impeached by the people.
And, as Mr. Khatami, for example, who has served as a president twice, said, about 80 percent of the real power rests in the hands of this unelected, unimpeachable person. The president is directly related -- elected by the people. And he controls the government bureaucracy. He controls the set of organizations that provide some services to the people.
But the spiritual leader, Mr. Khamenei, is the one who sets overall policy. And he's the one who makes all the major decisions, both domestically and internationally, the kinds of decisions that set the pattern and the overall policy.
COOPER: Which is why the speech on Friday, it's going to be so important.
Professor Abbas Milani, appreciate, again, your expertise. Thank you, sir.
MILANI: Thank you, sir.
COOPER: Join our live happening now, right now, at AC360.com. Let us know what you think about all the going-son you're watching.
Next on 360: Imagine your pilot on an international flight dying in midair. Randi Kaye is back with the latest on today's tragedy in the sky and what the pilot's wife said about their final conversation.
And then, one-on-one, my exclusive interview with Angelina Jolie on the worst humanitarian refugee crisis we have seen this decade. It's happening right now. We will tell you where. And we will tell you what drove her to tears and the children who changed her life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOLIE: My kids are -- some of my kids are from countries that have seen conflict. And I think I usually just explain to them that there are other families in the world that aren't as fortunate as ours and other kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Also tonight, are pot-growers coming to a neighborhood near you? See how some regular homes are getting turned into secret marijuana farms. It's our 360 special, "America's High," ahead.
We will be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: More now on today's high drama aboard Flight 61.
Thousands of feet above the Atlantic Ocean, the captain of the Continental Airlines jet suddenly died in the cockpit. The other pilot safely landed the plane at Newark Airport. Captain Craig -- Captain Craig Lenell, 60 years old, this is him with daughter. He was the -- he was with Continental for 32 years.
For more on the story, once again, here's Randi Kaye.
KAYE (voice-over): Pilot Craig Lenell was behind the from control of Continental Flight 61 flying from Brussels to New Jersey when about halfway through the flight, the unthinkable happened.
His wife, still distraught, shared the awful details.
LYNDA LENELL, WIFE OF PILOT: He was in the cockpit. And the co- pilot thought he was sleeping, that he had nodded off, and he couldn't wake him.
KAYE: Craig Lenell wasn't sleeping. He was dead, according to the airline, apparently of natural causes. His wife says he got regular physicals, as required by Continental, and did not have any sort of heart condition.
In his 32 years with the airline, she said, he never missed a day, until a year-and-a-half ago, when his appendix burst. With the pilot unresponsive, the crew immediately took control and called for a doctor on board. This man tried to help.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was clinically dead when I came in.
KAYE: In the cockpit with him were two co-pilots and a relief pilot, standard for flights more than eight hours. The relief pilot safely landed the plane at Newark Airport. On the ground, passengers first learned their pilot had died midflight.
CHRIS BALCHUAS, PASSENGER: That's horrifying. I mean, luckily enough, that no one knew about it, so it didn't really scare any of the passengers.
KAYE: Pilot Craig Lenell was based in Newark, but had a house in Houston with his family.
A father of six, his wife calls him the kindest man she ever knew.
LENELL: He called me yesterday from Brussels to tell me he was bringing me home some chocolate.
KAYE: Pilot Craig Lenell and his wife have been married since 1973. Your heart really goes out to her tonight, because it turns out her husband was returning home from Brussels to attend her mother's funeral, which is tomorrow.
So, now she's left, Anderson, to bury not only her mother, but her husband, in just a matter of days.
COOPER: That's just unbelievable. Amazing that she was able to talk on the phone like that...
KAYE: I know.
COOPER: ... even just at this time.
Were the passengers endangered at any point?
KAYE: We spoke with a very experienced commercial pilot. And he does not believe these passengers were ever in danger. He said the good news is, is that this happened while the plane was in cruising mode. It wasn't taking off or landing, which would have been more dangerous.
He also said that, contrary to what a lot of people believe, that co-pilots really are assistants, he said, that's not true. He said, they're just as qualified. They have just as much training, just as many takeoffs and landings. And, in fact, during a long trip like this, he said a pilot and co-pilot would actually share the flying. So, there were definitely qualified pilots, he says, behind the controls.
COOPER: I mean, I hate to ask this question, almost, but it sort of begs answering. What did they do with the captain, I mean, after he had died?
KAYE: Well, it is an interesting question, because it's a confined space, as you know, in an airplane.
So, what we understand is that they -- he was brought to a quiet corner of the airplane and covered in this plane. This is a jumbo jet, a Boeing 777. There is an upper deck, a rest area for the crew. He said that he was likely brought up there.
But it's interesting that, in every manual for every airline, they actually have a written procedure for something like this, in case this happens...
KAYE: ... in case of an emergency like this, where the pilot dies in flight. It's unclear at this point what exactly Continental's procedure is. But there is a procedure.
COOPER: He was only, I mean, 60 years old. Did he -- did he often get checkups? Do we know? KAYE: He did. The wife says, as you heard, he was very healthy. He got his required medical checkups every six months, which is required by the airline.
But, just -- just a while back, they changed the mandatory retirement age from 60 to 65. And he was 60 years old. But there is a rule that goes along with that, which is interesting and may play a role here. They don't let pilots who are 60 or over fly together. A pilot who is 60 or over has to fly with a younger pilot, just in case something like this happens.
COOPER: All right. Wow. It's such a tragedy for the family.
Randi, appreciate it. Thank you very much.
A quick program note: Tomorrow, 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta is going to take us into the controlled chaos of an emergency room in Chicago. As you know, if you have been watching this program, that city has seen as many as 700 shootings so far this year. Many of the victims, of course, are kids.
And, every day, doctors work around the clock to save these gunshot victims. Sanjay takes us to the front lines of the battle. Here's a quick preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You're getting a look at a scene that takes place all too commonly in Chicago. They're bringing in two patients just in the span of a few minutes since I have been here that have both been shot.
What goes through your head right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's fairly routine at this point. We see so many gunshot wounds, it's business as usual.
GUPTA: A race to save a patient's life, that is business as usual.
You can see, they have an entire team waiting for him. They mobilize all the trauma surgeons. They have neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, all standing by. They don't know exactly what the condition of the patient is going to be. So, they get everything ready in a room like this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, don't miss Sanjay's full report tomorrow on 360.
Still ahead, though, tonight, a remarkable discovery in the Atlantic, the galley kitchen from Air France Flight 447. Look at that picture. That's the galley kitchen. It's almost completely intact. Some of its drawers, apparently, still contain meals for passengers. The question is, what does that clue tell investigators about exactly what happened to the plane?
Also, new threats from North Korea. This time, its leaders are talking about firing missiles in the direction of Hawaii.
Plus, my exclusive interview with Angelina Jolie and her plea about the worse refugee humanitarian crisis we have seen in a decade. It's happening right now. We will also find out how refugees have changed the way that Angelina Jolie thinks about her own kids.
COOPER: Still ahead: my exclusive interview with Angelina Jolie, why our her partner, Brad Pitt, felt compelled to make a million- dollar donation this week to the worst refugee crisis in a decade and why our interview today almost didn't happen.
First, Erica Hill joins with us a 360 bulletin.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we begin tonight with breaking news. A Texas billionaire charged with fraud has turned himself in. The FBI says Allen Stanford surrendered to agents in Virginia just a short time ago. Stanford, you may recall, is accused of running an $8 billion Ponzi scheme.
Incredible new photos tonight of the wreckage of Air France Flight 447. That that you see right there, salvage crews have recovered the galley kitchen. As you can see, it's almost completely intact. Some of those drawers still had meals for passengers wedged inside.
Now, based in part on these discoveries and now on the autopsies which were performed on the victims, investigators do believe that the plane broke apart in midair.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the United States has positioned more missile defenses around Hawaii as a precaution against a possible North Korean launch. A Japanese newspaper is reporting North Korea might fire its most advanced ballistic missile toward Hawaii around the Fourth of July.
In "Raw Politics," President Obama using his star power to boost his party's fund-raising fortunes, giving the keynote speech tonight at a joint fund-raiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committees. The event is expected to raise about $3 million.
And DNA testing confirms a 54-year-old Michigan man is not a toddler kidnapped on Long Island in 1955. The FBI says tests show John Barnes is not Steven Damman, who had disappeared when he was 2. Barnes contacted police after finding photos on the Internet which led him to believe that he was in fact that kidnapped boy -- Anderson.
COOPER: That's got to be so just horrible for the family of that little boy, to get the hope, you know, growing.
HILL: A roller coaster of emotion. COOPER: Wow.
Up next: my exclusive interview with Angelina Jolie, her passionate mission to help refugees, the generous donation she just made to the cause, and, of course, her busy home life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOLIE: We have so many kids that we just have year-round birthdays. We just have a rotating...
JOLIE: It's just fun.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Then, million dollar pot-growing operations in suburban homes, could it be happening next door to you?
Also tonight, John Edwards speaking out about his affair, in the wake of his wife's book about his affair. Is he considering a return to politics? We will tell you.
COOPER: We want to say right off the bat the 360 exclusive interview you're about to see doesn't begin to reflect all the drama that went into bringing it to you.
We spent more than two months setting it up and had been really looking forward to it. The plan was for me to interview Angelina Jolie and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the same time, both scheduled to speak at today's World Refugee commemoration in Washington, two great bookings and an important subject.
But, in news, best-laid plans, frankly, often fall apart. So, if you missed my tweets on this today, here's how it went down.
Last night, Secretary Clinton had to pull out of the event and our interview after she broke her elbow. We hear she's resting and is going to have surgery in a few weeks. We're sorry to hear about her fall and wish her the best, of course.
Angelina Jolie was still a solid go, though, this morning. So, I get on a plane at like dawn to D.C. But then my plane is diverted back to New York -- that's not actually my plane, but just a facsimile of my plane -- because of bad weather.
How bad? In midair, a lightning flash lit up the plane. The flight attendant said, "Dear God, what was that?" That was the same flight attendant who was later seen touching a barf bag. It was not a fun flight, I can tell you.
The good news, our crack producers managed to set up a satellite interview with Jolie. No, I did not need the barf bag. And that's the backstory.
Now the main story, the important story.
If you don't already know, Angelina Jolie serves as goodwill ambassador for United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees. It's a cause she's deeply committed to. Just today, the UNHCR announced that she and her partner, Brad Pitt, have donated $1 million to help Pakistanis displayed by fighting between troops and Taliban militants.
Forty-two million people around the world right now are homeless because of war and other disasters -- 42 million. We had a lot to talk about. Take a look.
COOPER: Angelina, is there one refugee crisis right now that concerns you the most?
JOLIE: Pakistan. Pakistan, because it's relatively new and the numbers have jumped so quickly. I think, in the last few weeks, there were about 100,000 displaced a day. There's over two million now.
And -- and I think it's just there -- there has been a giant appeal. Many -- a lot of funds have been sent in. A lot of aid has come to the people. But the -- just -- as much as it can. But the numbers are so extraordinary, and they're growing. And...
COOPER: You visited Afghanistan, just next door to Pakistan, several months ago, U.S., obviously, sending more troops there. Do you see the situation in Afghanistan getting worse at this point?
JOLIE: From what I understand, the people I spoke to that I was with just a few months ago, they have -- they have lost certain areas that they were able to bring aid, have now become out of bounds for them. And it's more and more dangerous for them to -- to work for the refugees and to aid them.
COOPER: On a personal level, when you go to a place like Afghanistan, do you worry? I mean, do your kids worry? How do you explain to them what you're doing?
JOLIE: I usually just explain to them that there are other families in the world that aren't as fortunate as ours and other kids. And their mommies are somewhere in a country that is not as safe. And their kids are in a country that are not as safe. And they're not as fortunate as we are.
And, so, I tell them that it's important for all of us to -- to do what we can and go to these places and understand what is happening.
COOPER: You're meeting, I mean, hundreds of refugees at a time.
And I guess there's a danger that everything starts to look the same. The stories, you probably hear the same stories over and over. And, yet, each person is an individual. And each person has -- has a story and a tale to tell. Are there individuals that you keep thinking about, I mean, people who you remember who -- who -- you know, who stay with you?
JOLIE: There was a young boy I met who was about 15 who had been shot in the back and paralyzed. And -- and his whole family had been killed. And he was completely on his own.
And -- and, yet, he had this really remarkable, unbreakable spirit, a spirit beyond anything I can imagine having. The -- the things we complain about on a daily basis -- he had lost everything, and -- and was just so full of laughter and kindness. And -- and he passed away a few months after I was there.
So I always wondered -- you know, it's those kind of young people that you meet. And you just think, God, in any other situation, if this person had been given a chance, what an extraordinary adult he would have been. How extraordinary for his country, for his family, if he had ever had a chance to have one. But instead, he had so many horrible things happen to him in his life.
And -- but he taught me a lot about just the strength, the spirit. I think of him, and I can't complain about anything. I can't -- I can't do anything but be grateful for what I have. Because he was grateful and he had nothing and had suffered everything. So -- and there are millions like him. So there are many, many stories.
COOPER: You mentioned an 8-year-old girl who you met who was taking care of her little brother. Where was that?
JOLIE: That was in Tanzania. And she'd -- she'd fled fighting, and she saw her family killed in front of her. And she -- but somehow -- I think my son is almost 8. He's 8 in August. And I can manage if something happened to my family, him grabbing his little brother and running by himself somewhere.
That's what she did. She grabbed her little brother, and she ran through the jungle. And she managed to figure out that she should grab bananas and fruit. And she squashed things up, I guess, and fed her brother and carried him with her and ran for two weeks and figured out how to get to a camp and got to a camp and got him medical attention.
But when we found her, she was just -- she would just stare out the window and was rocking. And just the poor little kid had seen the worst.
And yet, I went back to visit her a year after that, and she'd started to speak. She was responsible for her brother. She was looking after his medical care. She was very, very kind, very gracious, lovely little woman, really. But she was -- she was a baby herself. She was going to have that life and live with all that -- all those memories. And yet, again, like so many refugees I've met, so resilient, so tough. So unbroken.
COOPER: Had they changed the way you view yourself, the way you view your own family, your own kids? JOLIE: Absolutely. I -- I guess in more ways than I can probably understand. I just know that I want -- I think of my children's education. And more than thinking I want to make sure they understand math or they're good at this, or they have -- I just -- I want to make sure they go out into the world, as I've been fortunate enough to do, in whatever way they can and really see the way other people live and meet these other children that are so strong, that are so grateful, with so little and are such strong survivors.
And I -- I think by witnessing them, by meeting them, by making friends with these type of people, these type of children, it will make my children better people.
COOPER: Two American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, went to China to report on the plight of refugees from North Korea, many of whom actually become victims of trafficking. They were arrested. They were sentenced in North Korea to 12 years hard labor. Have you been following their case at all?
JOLIE: I have. You know, I wouldn't know what -- how to comment on it except to just feel for their families and those women. I think to be -- to be a journalist is, especially in that situation, is a noble thing to really try to get in there and learn what's really happening.
COOPER: And just one final question which I've got to ask. I know you have a bunch of birthdays coming up with your kids. How do you deal with multiple birthdays?
JOLIE: We have so many kids, we just have year-round birthdays. We have a rotating -- it's just fun, you know. It's a lot of fun now, because the older kids are old enough to help plan the birthdays for the younger kids. So it's just -- it's one of the great pleasures of life.
COOPER: Everyone in my office asked me to ask: any plans for more kids?
JOLIE: We do love children. We want a big family. So we never -- you know, never say no.
COOPER: I appreciate your time, and I appreciate all you're doing on behalf of refugees. Thanks very much for talking.
JOLIE: Thank you so much.
COOPER: Well, many of you already weighing in on the crisis and my conversation with Angelina Jolie. Join the live chat, happening now at AC360.com. I just logged in myself, a little bit late in Italy (ph).
Up next, why Jolie says the refugee crisis is everyone's problem.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOLIE: This moment right now, this situation and keeping it stable is in all of our best interests. It's unimaginable what could happen if -- if in fact the extremists do -- do gain ground.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Talking about the situation in Pakistan.
Also ahead, a business that is growing in the middle of the housing crisis. Homes on streets like yours, maybe, being turned into pot factories. A new side of "America's High."
And some incredible video of a huge tornado that even made seasoned storm chasers very nervous. We'll show it to you, ahead.
COOPER: More now of my interview with Angelina Jolie. She serves, of course, as goodwill ambassador for the high commissioner for refugees. Today, she and Brad Pitt, it was announced, mad a huge donation to a group of refugees, literally caught in the middle of the war against the Taliban.
COOPER: You and Brad Pitt have given $1 million to aid refugees in this place, people in Pakistan. I was amazed to learn that only the United States has given really large amounts of aid. They've given more than $300 million. Does it shock you or concern you that European countries, even some -- even Muslim Arab countries, according to the Pakistan government, have largely ignored the crisis?
JOLIE: Yes. And I think they should -- they should pay attention to what's happening. It's a very -- I'm not a political person. But I think it doesn't take much to understand that this is the front line of fighting against extremists where -- where all that we hold dear and all that we value is really on the line. This fight is a very personal fight for all of us.
And these victims of this crisis, these regular people who are mostly agriculturalists that are fleeing, are -- you know, we should feel a real connection to them, identify with them. This is a similar enemy that we've been fighting for years.
This is -- with this moment right now, this situation, and keeping it stable is in all of our best interests. It's unimaginable what could happen if -- if, in fact, the extremists do -- do gain ground.
COOPER: Unimaginable indeed. What's happening in Pakistan right now hasn't really gotten much attention from the outside world. But it is the biggest mass movement of people since the genocide in Rwanda. Two to 3 million people are not in their homes tonight in Pakistan, and they face an uncertain future.
Nic Robertson has seen the crisis firsthand. Here's his "360 Dispatch" from Rustoum (ph), Pakistan. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): I've seen many crises but nothing like this. Hundreds of tiny villages now teeming with refugees. Two and a half million people forced to run from their homes. And now they're here. I'm looking at the largest human displacement in over a decade.
Their homes in the Swat Valley are now the epicenter of the war against the Taliban.
(on camera) The reason we're wearing these clothes today, the shawa khamid (ph), it's the local dress. And the idea is to blend in, not draw too much attention to ourselves. And of course, not draw any attention from the Taliban who are fighting the army just over the hills over there.
(voice-over) But here where people have found safe haven, another problem.
CHRIS WEBSTER, WORLD VISION: Up until now, it's been a largely invisible crisis. Because most of the displaced, something around 90 percent of those 2.5 million, are staying with host families.
ROBERTSON: This is typical, an extended family: 16 adults and seven children. The Bagar (ph) family. They ran here more than a month ago. Fear dominates this place. The Taliban is not far away.
(on camera) Would you like to be at home, in your own home?
(voice-over) "Of course," 5-year-old Manuba (ph) tells me. She then asks if I could take her somewhere safe. It's heartbreaking, but so is their plight. They are hungry, don't have enough food. All 23 live in two tiny rooms provided by a villager. They cook in the garden, have no running water.
Chris Webster from U.S. charity World Vision has brought us here to see how bad the situation is.
WEBSTER: But the scale of the need is so vast, across such a wide area, you know, that $10, $50, whatever you can give will make a huge difference.
ROBERTSON: World Vision is struggling to keep pace with needs, handing out desperately needed food to 500 families a day.
This man is one of the oldest sons. Today is his lucky day. He's being allowed to claim a month's ration of food for the entire Badar (ph) family. He needs a motor cart to carry it home.
(on camera) The poor little motorbike is struggling under the weight of all this food: 80 kilograms of wheat, 8 kilograms of (UNINTELLIGIBLE), 4 kilograms of sugar, 1 kilogram of salt, 300 grams of tea. That's got to last the family here for a whole month.
(voice-over) We drive deeper into the maze of tiny alleyways. (on camera) I think we're going to have to get up and push. There's too much wheat on for this thing to get up a hill. Eighty kilograms of wheat. It's too much for this little bike.
(voice-over) Back at those two tiny rooms, the family carefully lays out the food. Instantly, they all realize what was too much for the motor cart is too little to feed the family for a month. One family of 2.5 million people on the run from the Taliban and on the run from war.
And as I leave, I can't help feeling sad for the children. They don't understand. And they certainly don't know when they can go home.
Nic Robertson, CNN, Rustoum (ph), Pakistan.
COOPER: Two million to 3 million people not in their homes tonight, fleeing fighting and an uncertain future.
A lot of people, of course, worrying to -- working to help the refugees. Go to AC360.com to watch how CNN hero Rose Npindo (ph), a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, set up her own refugee organization. She's a remarkable woman. Her story will inspire you.
And while you're there, you can also learn how you can help refugees by making a donation to the United Nations high commission for refugees. All that at AC360.com.
Coming up next, our special series, "America's High: The Case for and Against Pot." What looks like a nice family home in the suburbs is actually housing a $1 million pot operation. Will one be moving to a neighborhood near you? We'll take you inside this home
And controversial reality couple Jon and Kate have big news, apparently. And Erica and I learn that we may share a scary link with Kate. I'm not sure what that means, but we'll find out when we come right back.
COOPER: Our weeklong series "America's High: The Case for and Against Pot" continues tonight with big news from Washington.
Representative Barney Frank has introduced a bill calling for a sweeping change to the federal laws on marijuana. He says it should be legal for someone to possess small amounts of pot.
While the debate over legalizing the drug rages, we're learning how pot farms may be coming to a home near you. Right now, marijuana gardens may be growing in your neighbor's house, for instance, in a garage, really anywhere. You won't believe what's behind it.
Drew Griffin has more in tonight's "Uncovering America" report.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's 7:15 Tuesday morning. This is a convoy of DEA agents about to hit a drug house. Think you can stop marijuana trafficking? Watch this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seven-footers. I'm guessing off the bat right now 60 -- 60, 65 plants.
GRIFFIN: A three-bedroom ranch, a cut lawn, a family of three, and a $500,000-a-year illegal business in just one room.
(on camera) This is what could only be described as a pot factory in a garage on a suburban street in Miami. Look at just the water system. That brings the water to every individual plant that's in one of these pots. These plants, seven-feet tall, just all in a garage that you would not notice from the street.
(voice-over) The growers, Cubans here illegally. Agents say most likely just minor players in a criminal network connected sometimes to as many as two dozen other homes, all growing pot just like this.
TONY ANGELI, DEA SUPERVISOR SPECIAL AGENT: This is not mom and pop. With the amount of lights that are in here, the air conditioning setup, the plumbing setup down here, yes, they're not doing this on their own.
GRIFFIN: DEA special agent Tony Angeli, a former prosecutor, has watched Florida's casual indoor grower turned into sophisticated networks of organized criminals.
In just two days, we watch as agents acting on tips and leads raid home after home, arresting this man suspected of setting up drug houses. Inside his house, they find growing equipment, building plans, plenty of guns, $9,000 cash in a bag and several bags of dope.
(on camera) It seems endless.
ANGELI: You could spend all day. There's so many grow houses. There's so many leads bringing us to grow houses, this could be a task force just doing grow houses all day, seven days a week.
GRIFFIN: It still arrives smuggled in by the ton on boats and trucks. But the DEA says more and more marijuana is coming from just down the street. And if your street has foreclosed houses, all the better.
(on camera) Sophisticated.
GRIFFIN: The pot grows year round.
GRIFFIN: Potentially four crops a year from one house?
ANGELI: That's right.
GRIFFIN: And the availability of houses?
ANGELI: Today with the depressed real-estate market around the country, particularly in Florida, it's a trafficker's paradise to come here to buy multiple houses at depressed rates, pay cash, use the house for a grow and abandon it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just got consent to search these premises and it is a marijuana grow house.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Case in point, this house in west Florida. Take a look at this evidence tape inside a million-dollar operation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Second room. Hydroponic.
GRIFFIN: Florida law enforcement is trying to stay ahead of the game. But the more law enforcement pressure here, the further north the grow houses spread.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The whole house still reeks of marijuana.
GRIFFIN: This house raided in suburban Atlanta just this month. Neighbors didn't have a clue.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just really mad, because I always thought it was a safe neighborhood.
GRIFFIN: Back in Miami, agents will spend the next few hours breaking down this indoor farm, processing paperwork to make arrests. In the end, these DEA agents say the mom, dad and son will most likely be sentenced to probation. The task force will move on and the problem of home-grown marijuana keeps growing.
Drew Griffin, CNN, Miami.
COOPER: It's amazing.
Up next, will he or won't he? John Edwards talks about his political future.
Plus dramatic moments caught on tape. A storm chaser face to face with -- look at that, a giant twister.
And we have a surprise guest who joins us for "The Shot." I'm very excited. Coming up. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Let's check some of the other stories we're following. Erica Hill back with a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica. ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, former presidential candidate John Edwards not ruling out a return to politics despite the sex scandal he admitted to last year. In his first major interview since that admission, Edwards tells "The Washington Post," though, it's too soon to tell just what the future holds but imagines his role would be more of an advocate like Al Gore rather than an elected office, although in his case his focus would likely be poverty.
Interestingly, his affair, those involved in it, and his wife's most recent book all off limits during that 90-minute interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's now a half mile wide. It's huge! We have debris coming up. We've got structural damage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: The voice there of a storm chaser heading straight for a tornado that ripped through Aurora, Nebraska last night. One man whose home was all but leveled says he would feel it blowing apart as his family hunkered down in the basement.
And some breaking Jon and Kate news. TLC is preempting Monday night's episode of the reality series.
HILL: I know. Wait for it.
COOPER: What? What?
HILL: Preempting Monday night's "Jon & Kate Plus Eight" for a special about the couple. They're, of course, parents of sextuplets and twins. You want to owe in another what?
HILL: The new promotional spot touts the couple's life-changing decision which will be revealed.
HILL: Jon Gosselin, though, has denied, of course -- there's a lot of talk out there about whether or not he cheated. He has denied that.
But one thing that's undeniable is the attention that is paid to Kate Gosselin's hair.
HILL: And letting you know a little bit more about it -- I'm going to have to stop you now. It's getting annoying.
TMZ following her to the salon where she gets it cut. And the gossip site not the first to suggest that maybe she took a little inspiration from you, Anderson Cooper, describing the style as a, quote, "bi-level Flock of Seagulls, porcupine reverse mullet weave."
COOPER: Wait a minute. What are you saying?
HILL: It's a little bit Anderson, and I guess it's a little bit Erica. It's like she meshed the two.
COOPER: You're right. She's been watching the program. She wanted a little you, a little me.
HILL: We would just like to say I hope everything works out in your personal life, especially for the children. And you're welcome for the hair.
COOPER: I guess.
Up next, "The Shot" and a surprise guest. Even I don't know what's going to happen. But I'm very happy that our guest is here at the top of the hour. My emotional conversation with Angelina Jolie with the refugee crisis in Pakistan. An interview you'll only see her, coming up.
COOPER: So Erica, as you know on this program, we like to have surprise guests for "The Shot." And tonight, we've got a great surprise guest. You know him, you love him. Richard Simmons is in the studio. Richard...
RICHARD SIMMONS, FITNESS EXPERT: I'm here. Anderson and Erica, I'm here in the studio.
HILL: It's about time. It's about time, we've been waiting.
SIMMONS: This is so exciting.
COOPER: Did you bedazzle that?
SIMMONS: These are Swarovski crystals. Not in the dance hall. These are 60 cents a piece, Anderson.
COOPER: How are you?
SIMMONS: I'm great. I'm here this the city to go to the...
COOPER: You're here for an important cause.
SIMMONS: Yes. The three years I've been trying to get P.E. back in our school system. And there's 25 million obese children.
SIMMONS: So for three years I've been working to get P.E. back in the school system in a very strong way.
COOPER: You're at city hall tomorrow...
SIMMONS: I'm at city hall tomorrow here in New York for a big pep rally to get people going. And then I hope that I'm going to have a meeting with President Obama and Michelle.
COOPER: Are you really?
SIMMONS: And lay out a plan. I hope.
COOPER: Are you going to wear that?
SIMMONS: No, I'm going to wear that. Whatever I have to wear...
COOPER: Because I've seen you in this outfit a lot.
SIMMONS: And I will bury -- be buried in this outfit. No. It's just -- look, I'm a clown. I'm a court jester.
COOPER: You're doing great work.
SIMMONS: Thirty-five years. But now I'm really worried about our kids.
SIMMONS: And all day long I get e-mails from parents who are very concerned about the obese kids. They're not moving.
SIMMONS: The school has taken P.E. and recess out in many -- in many United States countries. It's sad. And we have to get that back in. So little by little...
HILL: And it makes it harder on some of the kids, too, to focus and concentrate.
SIMMONS: The kid who moves is the kid who learns. I've been at 26 schools this year. I've taught classes. They are so excited when the music goes on.
SIMMONS: They know all these songs. They feel good. And we have to do this for our kids, or they will become overweight teenagers and they'll become overweight adults. And what's going to happen with the health-care system.
COOPER: Great. Good luck with the thing tomorrow.
SIMMONS: Thank you.
COOPER: I was going to show you this great video that we had. But we're out of time.
SIMMONS: Thank you so much. Thank you for watching Erica and Anderson. And we hope you'll come back tomorrow.
HILL: Anderson, you could dance for the kids. I'm just saying, Mr. I Won't Dance on "Ellen."
COOPER: Yes, I can't dance. No. I can't dance.
HILL: Maybe it would help the kids.
SIMMONS: You'll dance.
HILL: No, he won't dance.
Richard will dance. See.
SIMMONS: Come on! Come on! Come on, Anderson! Give it up! You did it with Kelly Ripa.
COOPER: No, I didn't.
SIMMONS: What about me? What about Richard? You want a cute outfit like this?
COOPER: Yes, no, I can't. I like the Lady Gaga, though.
HILL: Excellent song choice, I will say. He does love Lady Gaga.
COOPER: Thank you very much, Richard. Thanks for all the good work you're doing.
HILL: Richard Simmons dancing on the stage. Everyone dances but Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: It's getting very hot in here all of a sudden.
At the top of the hour, we go back to the growing and remarkably peaceful protests in Iran and the interview with Angelina Jolie. We'll be right back.