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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
White House Drug Deal; Palin vs. Schwarzenegger; Boy Abducted by Dad; American Father Wins Custody of Son; Tiger's Doctor Under Investigation; Riding Cheap & Clean
Aired December 16, 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 HOST: Tonight, the senate votes against letting Americans buy cheaper prescription medicines from other countries. It's a big win for pharmaceutical companies but what about for Americans? And what happened to then-candidate Obama's promises to help get more affordable medicine? We're "Keeping them Honest."
Also tonight, a custody case nightmare, a father disappears with his son after using allegedly fake documents to dupe a judge into helping. The little boy was forced by Texas law officers to go with his father, take him off a bus, even as the little boy allegedly told police his father hit him. All of it caught on tape, you'll see it tonight.
"First up" tonight: what some are calling a flip-flop by President Obama and a big giveaway to pharmaceutical companies. The senate has voted down two proposals that would have allowed Americans to buy cheaper prescription medicines from other countries.
The drug import measures had the support of more than two dozen senators from both political parties and it sure seemed like candidate Obama was behind the idea when he made this promise on the campaign trail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Then we'll tell the pharmaceutical companies, thanks but no thanks, for overpriced drugs; drugs that cost twice as much here as they do in Europe and Canada and Mexico. We'll allow the safe re-importation of low-cost drugs from countries like Canada.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, that was back in October, 2008, before the thick of the health care debate. There's a reason President Obama mentioned Canada's low-cost drugs in that speech. A lot of Americans make the trip across the border to buy their prescription drugs there.
I want to show you why over here at the wall. Take a look at this. We did some price-checking of our own today, just called some drug stores here and in Canada. Now, here is what we found. Take a look. Lipitor, which is a widely used drug for lowering cholesterol, it's a drug I actually take every day. If I bought it at a retail pharmacy chain like a CVS or Duane Reed in Canada, I pay $63.18 for 30 pills, for a month's supply. Now, that's American dollars, by the way. Back in the U.S., same amount of pills, same level of pills, $112.29 for the exact same dose.
Another example, Plavix, it's a drug that's used to prevent blood clots. If you went across the border to Canada, you pay $93.91 for 30 pills; at a Duane Reed here in New York, $185.49.
Here is another number for you, pharmaceutical lobbying, more than $20 million, that's the amount, through October, that the pharmaceutical industry spent on lobbying in just this year.
Now, that's the third most of any industry. You could call it money well spent, because that's -- because earlier this year, they cut a deal, or some would call it an understanding, with the White House and with Senate Democrats and the drug companies has agreed to put up $80 billion over ten years to support the health care overhaul.
In return, the White House would not give Americans widespread access to those cheaper drugs. So, is this a cut and dried flip-flop on President Obama's part?
Joe Johns tonight is "Keeping them Honest."
Joe, it really looks -- it looks like that. I mean, it looks like the White House made a deal and Americans are going to pay more for drugs because of that deal.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Anderson, it looks like that, but you have to remember it's still a tradeoff and this is Washington, because if they can get a bill passed and sent to the president, there will still be something they can point out and say, we passed a form of national health care reform intended to bring down cost and improve choices.
COOPER: But putting the money aside, I mean, there are some people saying this was more than about money, it was about safety. People come from states that just so happen to produce pharmaceuticals, they are using some very scary language.
Let's take a look. This is Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat from New Jersey, gets a lot of money from drug companies. He says, "You may have a heart attack because of counterfeit medicine." And Senator Frank Lautenberg said, "It's a matter -- this is a matter of life or death," also from New Jersey, also gets money from the pharmaceutical companies.
It's very debatable, though, I mean, given safety lapses that we've already seen in this country with American medicine. How much money would consumers save if they could get drugs from other countries?
JOHNS: The Congressional Budget Office estimated that consumers could save as much as $100 million if importation was a law -- $100 billion. And the drug companies are fighting though to protect their bottom line.
Now the safety issue is disputable. I talked today to Senator Byron Dorgan, who sponsored the latest importation measure. He sees that safety argument as just a scare tactic that's being used to protect pharmaceutical company profits.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BYRON DORGAN (D), NORTH DAKOTA: It is a completely bogus argument that there is a safety issue. The Europeans have been doing this for 20 years, country to country. It's completely bogus.
But we have safety provisions that don't even exist in our domestic drug supply, pedigrees, batch lot, tracing that doesn't even exist today for the domestic drug supply. It'll make all drug supplies safer, in my judgment, if we pass this legislation. But the pharmaceutical industry and their friends use this bogus scare tactic and they've been very successful with it, unfortunately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So Joe, I mean, the White House made this deal with drug companies. Would the health care bill be as far along as it is, although right now it's in jeopardy, would it be as far along as it is without the deal that they made?
JOHNS: Well the answer is probably not. It would have been hard for the administration to have much of anything left at all to call a deal if the drug companies backed out. It looked like a major concession when the industry agreed to kick in $80 billion to make health care reform work. That meant the industry was not going to fight to kill the bill, which is very important when you have a big company like that.
At the same time, the drug makers made it clear there were two things they simply were not going to support, drug importation and price controls. That was their bottom line. You know, in Washington, you get something and you give something up.
COOPER: Joe, stay with us.
I want to bring in senior political analyst David Gergen for tonight's "360 Insider Briefing". David, I mean, is this just the dirty reality of politics? I mean, we showed you President Obama back in October, 2008, very clearly saying, look, we're going to say no thanks -- thanks but no thanks to drug companies, basically, we're going to be able to get medicines from Canada for half the price, we're going to open things up.
That is -- clearly now, the White House not just kind of had a hands-off policy on this thing, I mean, they campaigned to kill this idea in the senate that Dorgan supported. Is this just the way politics works?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I'm afraid it is, Anderson. It's what's made -- it's what's made Americans so cynical about politics and it's particularly cynical to -- increasingly cynical about this health care bill and why opinion is souring on it.
But look, what happened here basically was the White House was calling in various industries and saying, what deal can we cut with you? What will you contribute to the savings and we'll cut a deal for you that will be good enough, if you then agree not to campaign against health care reform.
You'll recall that back when President Clinton and Hillary Clinton proposed health care reform in the 1990s, a variety of industries, big pharma, the insurance industry, as well as small business lined up against that health care bill and they basically tanked it.
So, this White House went in and said we've got to cut deals with these people and keep them on the sidelines so we can get enough public support and get the Congress to pass it. And having big pharma and Billy Towson (ph), a representative, a former member of Congress, very savvy, he was first in line and he got the best deal.
And it is -- look, I happen to think that the pharmaceutical companies in this country do need reasonable profits in order to cover their R&D, they do need in order to produce these new drugs.
COOPER: Right, because that is the flip side though, of the argument which we didn't really address...
GERGEN: That's correct.
COOPER: ... which is basically, I mean, the pharmaceutical companies say, look, we are innovating new technologies, new drugs and that's a very expensive thing and that's why we've got to charge huge amounts of money.
GERGEN: You know, Anderson, I think that argument is correct. It does -- it costs millions upon millions, hundreds of millions of dollars to produce a new drug. Now, the question is whether this is too much of a sweetheart deal. And I must tell you that this smells like a sweetheart deal.
GERGEN: And let's take the argument about the foreign, you know, be too dangerous to bring in these drugs. Dana Milbank pointed out in the "Washington Post" yesterday, 40 percent of the contents in drugs we take here in America today come from China and India.
GERGEN: What are we talking about here?
COOPER: And people seem to have lost confidence in this whole health care debate.
Take a look at this NBC News/"Wall Street Journal" poll, health care reform. Only 32 percent of the American people polled think it is a good idea; 47 percent think it is a bad idea. I mean, it seems like public support for this is hemorrhaging in a lot of different directions.
GERGEN: You're absolutely right, Anderson. It's gone down rapidly in the last couple of weeks. This poll, for the first time, finds that more Americans would prefer to do nothing than to pass health care reform of the kind that's being proposed. That's not good news for the White House.
What it suggests is I still think they're going to get the senate to pass this bill in the next few days, before Christmas. But it suggests there may be a rough road ahead for health care; the passage in the senate is not a guarantee it will go all the way to the full Congress now.
With these kind of polls out there, there are going to be a lot Congressmen, especially in the middle and the right, especially in the House...
GERGEN: ... who are going to get very skittish.
COOPER: Yes, Joe?
JOHNS: Yes, one last point is that the leaders in Congress on both sides, Senate and House, are very worried about having nothing. And I was just talking to David back in the Green Room a few minutes ago. The question is whether they're going to get something and the American public still doesn't accept that versus having nothing...
JOHNS: ... and having the American public angry about that. So, it sounds like sort of a catch-22.
COOPER: Yes, Joe...
GERGEN: Yes Joe is absolutely right on that, Anderson.
COOPER: Yes. I appreciate the reporting, Joe. David Gergen as well. Thanks very much for the insider briefing.
GERGEN: Thank you.
COOPER: Health care debate stalled briefly today when Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma insisted that a 767-page mega-amendment be read out loud in its entirety.
Here he is reading from the bill. The move, or if you prefer, the stunt could have brought senate business to a halt for the day, and which could have threatened Democrats' ability to pass a health care bill before Christmas, didn't work. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont the amendment sponsor withdrew the measure so the senate could return to normal business.
But it got us thinking, how long would it take to read a nearly 800-page amendment, so we found something with a similar word count, but a little more interesting, Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities," we asked one member of our floor crew, Jerry, to help us out.
JERRY, CNN FLOOR CREW MEMBER: As a ladder, when every postal house and ale house could produce somebody in the captain's pay...
COOPER: Jerry started reading from the Dickens' classic at the top of the show. We're going to be check in with him throughout this hour to see how far he's gotten.
Jerry, what page are you on now? We're ten minutes into the program. How far have you gotten to?
JERRY: I'm on page 13, Anderson.
COOPER: Thirteen, all right, well, keep going and we're going to check back with you later.
You can join the live chat right now at AC360.com.
Coming up, Palin versus Schwarzenegger, their battle heating up. Sarah Palin slamming the governor over global warming she says he's, quote, "trying to be greener than thou," and that's just for starters, her words, his reply and the latest ahead.
Also tonight, heading home: an international custody battle over an American child may be, may be -- appears nearly over. Sean Goldman was taken to Brazil by his mom five years ago. His father, David, has been trying to get him back ever since.
Just moments ago, we got a call from the dad. He is on a plane heading to Brazil right now; the plane is literally taking off when we were talking, excuse me, to be reunited with his son. Our exclusive interview with the boy's father, ahead.
COOPER: At the U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen, the United States and five other countries announced that they have pledged $3.5 billion over the next three years to a program aimed at protecting rain forests. Deforestation is estimated to account for about 20 percent of global greenhouse emissions, making it an important part of the talks.
Demonstrations outside the meeting turned out pretty ugly today as police beat back hundreds of protesters. More than 200 people were arrested.
And back here in the U.S., another debate over climate change is heating up, this one between California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sarah Palin. No punches thrown yet and no arrests, but plenty of "Raw Politics."
Candy Crowley has more.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: As climate change battles go, it's a 10 on the snarky meter, Republican-on- Republican. The Governor of California, who brags about the green revolution in his state, on Sarah Palin's statement that the benefits of reducing carbon emissions are outweighed by the economic costs; "is she really interested in this subject or is she interested in her career and in winning the presidential nomination?"
Firing back from her favorite spot, Facebook, Palin accused Schwarzenegger of trying to be greener than thou, and worse, running a failed state. "Why is Governor Schwarzenegger pushing for the same sorts of policies in Copenhagen that have helped drive his state into record deficits and unemployment?"
This is not a pretty party picture and Palin's non-fans in the GOP do question the wisdom of elevating her status by responding to Facebook musings.
But conservatives are heartened. They hope Palin is teeing up to become the face of opposition to the president's plan to tax carbon emissions, a plan critics say will cost jobs and kill the economy in places already dying.
TERRY JEFFREY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: If cap and trade is the next thing, if President Obama comes back from Copenhagen with a draft treaty, there's going to be need to be a national leader leading a grass roots movement, she could do it.
SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There's just something about me...
CROWLEY: Be still the hearts of Democrats. Every time a fresh Google hit for Palin pops up, Democrats hear ka-ching. In a fund- raising letter for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Senator John Kerry got right to it. "Think GOP obstruction now? Just imagine what Washington would look like if a bunch of new senators inspired by Sarah Palin and the Tea Party crowd took over."
On the opposite coast, McCain Republican, Meg Whitman, looking to follow the term-limited Schwarzenegger into the governor's office, is being targeted by small group of progressives. They are raising money for an ad campaign featuring Whitman as California's Sarah Palin.
Palin may help Democrats raise money, but her fan and conservative commentator, Terry Jeffrey, thinks next year, Republicans will laugh all the way to the voting booth.
JEFFREY: Probably won't be huge turnout. The people who will go out to vote are people best motivated. We know conservatives are motivated. And no one motivates conservatives in this country today like Sarah Palin will.
PALIN: I wanted to feel like I was at home.
CROWLEY: After Palin's happy talk book tour, her supporters want some smash talk. Look for it soon on a TV channel near you, or try Facebook.
Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: All right. You can go to AC360.com to check out "Our Planet in Peril" report I did about deforestation in the Amazon.
Up next, a "360 Exclusive", an unexpected twist in a custody battle we've been following for years. The American father, David Goldman, called us literally minutes before we went on air to tell us he was on a plane and about to take off for Brazil to pick up his son Sean after a new ruling from a Brazilian court.
His plane was almost taking off as I said. The son has been in Brazil for five years now. We're going to hear from David Goldman in a moment.
Also tonight, let's check in on Jerry and see how he is doing reading "A Tale of Two Cities". Remember the senate Republicans were going to try to read a 767-page amendment to stop the health care debate. Got us thinking, how long does it take -- how long is a 787- page book? Jerry, what page are you on right now?
COOPER: 16? All right, just keep it going. We will be right back.
COOPER: Developing story out of Texas tonight and much of it was caught on tape. The child you see here, the terrified child, backing away on a school bus, is missing. And police say he was abducted by his own father.
Now, authorities say he was taken from that bus and crying as he was led off. We're going to talk with the boy's mother in a moment.
But first, the latest on the case from David Mattingly.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's an ugly child custody fight caught on tape, with a very frightened little boy caught in the middle.
JEAN PAUL LACOMBE DIAZ, KIDNAPPED BY FATHER: Please help me. He's not my dad. He's not my dad. I don't want to live with him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on. You're going to have to get off the bus, come on.
DIAZ: No, I don't want to live with him.
MATTINGLY: With his own father standing outside his school bus, listen as 10-year-old John Paul Lacombe Diaz pleads with Texas constables for help, begging to stay with his mother.
DIAZ: I want to stay with my mother.
CONSTABLE: We're not going to let him do anything to you.
DIAZ: No, please. No, no, no, no, no, no.
Someone help me, please. Someone help me, please.
Someone help me, please.
MATTINGLY: His mother says it should have never been allowed to happen.
BERENICE DIAZ, JEAN PAUL'S MOTHER: Take him to a place where he is going to be safe, not just given to him. If -- the kid was shouting, just please don't give my buddy to him. Please, put me in a safe place. He was pleading, pleading for that.
MATTINGLY: But Texas constables had a court order and turned him over to his father on the spot. Jean Felipe Lacombe told a Texas judge he had legal custody of his son in Mexico. He did not.
MATTINGLY: All this happened two months ago. Texas authorities have since discovered Lacombe actually lost custody and visitation rights after he took his son away to France in 2005. His mother had to fight two years to get him back. She moved to the United States, thinking that here, they would be protected.
So, where did everything go wrong? The judge says he acted properly based on the documents he was presented.
JUDGE SOL CASSEB III, TEXAS JUDGE: And you've got lawyers as your officer of the court telling you here is the order, here is my client swearing to you that something is going to happen to the child. You have to understand, in this case, these people were making allegations, they were swearing to me.
MATTINGLY: But listen to what the child says here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why is he not your dad?
DIAZ: Because he hits me a lot of times. I don't want to live with him. I want to live with my mother, please.
MATTINGLY: The district attorney says the child's claims of abuse still have not been investigated, but just the allegations alone at the time, she says, should have been enough for officers to act at the scene. SUSAN REED, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, BEXAR COUNTY: The officers are initially under responsibility to report any form of child abuse that they are aware. You have a child who is out crying. The common sense would be that the officers call Child Protective Services. And they didn't do that.
MATTINGLY: The father and the child have not been heard from since. Calls to his attorneys by CNN were not returned. Jean Felipe Lacombe is now wanted for kidnapping and accused of lying to the judge.
David Mattingly, CNN, Atlanta.
COOPER: Berenice Diaz joins me now along with legal analyst, Lisa Bloom. Berenice, first of all, how are you doing?
B. DIAZ: I'm doing -- you know, pretty bad, because it has been two months since -- I have heard nothing about my child since the last time I heard from him. I saw him; it was the 17 of October. So, you can't imagine. This is a nightmare.
COOPER: Tell us about the day the officers came to take your son. You say they suddenly arrived at the bus stop?
B. DIAZ: Yes, they arrive at the bus stop. When I arrive, I thought it was an accident. Then, I saw when they -- my kid was on the ground. He was crying and they -- a policeman came and threatened me with some papers.
You know, I started begging him, you know, to let me go with my child because he was on the ground, crying. So I came to him and he was crying and he was asking to whom he has to talk because he didn't want to go with his -- with his father anymore because he mistreats him.
So, you know, I was begging also to the policeman that what was happening? And he said that they have court orders. And I say court orders for what, because I didn't understand what was happening.
COOPER: Do you have -- I mean, it's been two months. Do you have any idea where your son is now? You still have his passport, correct?
B. DIAZ: Yes, I don't know where is he. I still have his Mexican passport so, I don't know where is he. He could be anywhere.
COOPER: Lisa Bloom, I want to bring you in here. Berenice's lawyer called this government-assisted kidnapping. I mean, it actually kind of sounds like that. How could this happen? I mean, the judge says he did nothing wrong in this.
LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: When I first heard the story, Anderson, I was convinced that the judge had to have engaged in some wrongdoing, but when I digged a little deeper and talked to practitioners and looked at the law it turns out in my view, the judge actually was following the law.
There is an international treaty that we signed along with Mexico, France and many other countries that says when there is a court order from another country regarding child custody, that these judges follow it immediately and schedule a hearing a few days out. And that's what happened here. Of course, the father and the son didn't show up a couple days later and that is what caused this problem.
COOPER: But Lisa, isn't the court under some obligation to actually check and make sure the documents are legitimate? I could just make up Mexican documents, give them to some court and they are not going to check?
BLOOM: Well, that is apparently what happened here, Anderson. Look, the father was represented by a couple of attorneys. They came into court and argued it. Apparently, the document looked legitimate.
I can tell as you a trial attorney myself, every day, we present documents in court that our clients give us. We assume are authentic. I don't know where the blame should lie here, whether it is the system, the judge or the attorneys or all of them or none of them, because this is a routine thing in court. We present documents every day and we assume that they are true.
COOPER: Berenice, beyond, of course, the father in this case, who do you blame for taking your son away without checking to make sure these documents are legitimate?
B. DIAZ: You know, first of all, I blame his lawyers, Morning and Meade (ph), because I suspect, you know, they are involved in this conspiracy. Second, I blame the judge, because he should have been more precautious at giving this order. And third, I blame the police, because they didn't hear the begs of my child saying that he is mistreat by his father, saying that he didn't want to go with him. So, I blame them all, you know?
COOPER: Are you hopeful, Berenice? I mean, is there anything right now that gives you hope in finding your son?
B. DIAZ: Yes, of course, I have seen the light since the D.A., Susan Reed, you know, took my case. And since my lawyer, Miguel that is here with me, Miguel Ortiz, that he is being, you know, behind me, giving -- and making sure that everything in the law is getting right again.
COOPER: Well, certainly, if anybody has seen this child, they should contact the local authorities.
Berenice Diaz, we appreciate you being on. I'm so sorry for what you are going through. We will certainly continue to follow it and Lisa Bloom as well.
B. DIAZ: Thank you.
BLOOM: Thank you. COOPER: Also tonight, a new twist in another custody battle. This case we have been following for years, a father's desperate battle to win the return of his son.
Just moments ago, literally right before we went on air, we got a phone call from the father, David Goldman. A court in Brazil has decided he should get his 9-year-old son back.
Now you might remember this case. The boy's Brazilian mom took Sean in 2004. Back in Brazil, she remarried but later died in child birth. Her Brazilian husband argued that he should have custody of Sean.
A lot of appeals over the years; now, today's ruling 9-year-old Sean Goldman should be reunited with his dad.
As I said David Goldman just called a short time ago to tell us he was on a plane headed to pick up Sean. Here is the "360 Exclusive Interview".
Take a look.
COOPER: David, a Brazilian court has ruled in your favor. What are your hopes right now?
DAVID GOLDMAN, GRANTED CUSTODY OF SON (via telephone): Well, fortunately the Brazilian court ruled in Sean's favor and in accordance to the rule of law. And I hope that this time, I will be able to go down to Brazil and come back home with my son. He will reunited with my -- to me and to his family.
COOPER: You are on the plane right now, literally about to take off. We can hear the announcement in the background.
Courts in Brazil though have ruled in your favor and in Sean's favor before, only to be -- to have the rulings nullified by another court. Are you optimistic this time they are going to be different?
GOLDMAN: I'm hopeful, Anderson. I'm hopeful, stay the course. You know, I waited. I didn't jump down there this time as I have done 14 or 15 times before. We waited for the decision. It was unanimous. 48 hours to send my son, bring him to the embassy so we can leave.
COOPER: And that's where the hand-over is supposed to take place, at the U.S. Embassy?
GOLDMAN: I believe so. Either I have to be there. I guess we will find out more or I will find out more once I'm on the ground.
COOPER: Do you know, are you going to be met by embassy officials or Brazilian authorities? Do you have help on the ground there?
GOLDMAN: Yes, there should be, there should be help. Well, I hope.
COOPER: What is this -- what is this whole process ...
GOLDMAN: Several thousand miles away right now. I can only do -- do the best I can, follow the advice of my attorneys, follow the rule of law. And hopefully, everything else will, this time, work out. That the rule of law, God, nature, human decency will be followed and Sean will come home to reunite with me, his only parent and his family.
COOPER: What's this whole process been like for you? I mean, I can't imagine.
GOLDMAN: Tough. Anderson, we are -- I have to hang up. It's been -- as a parent and as anyone who loves someone so dearly, you can only bring yourself to a point of the worst-case scenario and you have to bring yourself out of that, because it's a very dreadful place to be.
COOPER: David, I know you got to go. What is the first thing you are going to say to Sean when you see him?
GOLDMAN: I love you.
COOPER: David, good luck. We will talk to you when you are on the ground.
GOLDMAN: Thank you. Thank you. Bye.
COOPER: David Goldman, just right before we went to air. We will follow up with that tomorrow.
Coming up, a doctor charged with trying to bring unapproved drugs into America has possible links to Tiger Woods. And why is this doctor now in trouble? We will tell you ahead.
Reprehensible, arrogant and indefensible; those are the words used to describe Governor Mark Sanford's behavior. Was his affair ground for impeachment? Details ahead.
COOPER: New details tonight about the army psychiatrist accused in last month's shooting at Fort Hood. He is paralyzed but now out of intensive care. We will tell where you he is being held.
First, Joe Johns has a "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Joe.
JOHNS: Anderson, a missile firing in Iran to report tonight. Scientists test fired an upgraded rocket capable of hitting Israel and parts of Europe. The launch was followed by calls for tougher sanctions against Tehran.
The Federal Reserve decided today to hold its key interest rate near zero percent for the foreseeable future. The Fed says it is doing so because the economy is likely to remain weak.
Meanwhile, the Fed's chairman, Ben Bernanke, might have been expected to relish being named "Time" magazine's person of the year, except the magazine also named him the "most powerful nerd on the planet". "Time" praised Bernanke for leading the charge to save the economy.
And the fans and critics of Domino's Pizza are aghast at the piemaker's plans to radically alter its half-century-old recipe. There will be a spicier crust and sauce and different cheese, more like provolone. Domino's says the new pizza will be out by December 27th. Just goes to show...
COOPER: I've lived on Domino's Pizza for many years. I can't imagine them actually changing the taste.
JOHNS: Well, American taste changes all the time and during an economy like this, you got to do what you got to do.
COOPER: I guess. They have had a dip in sales. All right. We'll see how it tastes. I'm skeptical though I just want to be on record.
All right. A doctor of Tiger Woods now charged with a crime not connected to Woods. The same physician is also speaking out about a procedure he says he performed on Tiger. It is called blood spinning.
We were curious to find out what exactly is blood spinning. We will talk live with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Also let's check in with Jerry, he's continuing to read from "A Tale of Two Cities". It's as long as the 767-page amendment that brought the health care reform battle to a halt in Congress today. How much time would have been wasted reading that amendment? Jerry, it has been 36 minutes, how far have you gotten?
JERRY: Page 28.
COOPER: 28? All right. It is going to be a long night. We will be right back.
COOPER: Tiger Woods may have lost some sponsors and his image as a family man, but he has added a new title, "Athlete of the Decade". The Associated Press gave him that honor today. What is interesting is that most of the votes came in after rumors of his alleged affairs first surfaced.
Woods wasn't making news today, but a man who says he was his doctor certainly was. This guy, a Canadian physician named Anthony Galea, was charged in Canada today, in connection with trying to bring unapproved drugs into America.
Now, Galea is also under investigation for allegedly giving performance-enhancing drugs to some of his patients. According to the "New York Times" Galea says one of his patients is Tiger Woods, but we want to caution and say outright very clearly, there has never any proof or suggestion that Tiger Woods has ever taken performance- enhancing drugs.
"The New York Times" also reports that Galea says he treated the golfer after his knee injury with something called platelet-rich plasma therapy. The "New York Times" says it is a technique that speeds up recovery after surgery and that procedure is raising some questions right now.
Joining me with answers is chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He is over at the magic wall.
I want to show you first, Sanjay, Tiger Woods playing during the U.S. Open. You can see right here, clearly, his injured knee, his left knee, was clearly still bothering him, he winced throughout the tournament and yet he still won.
A lot of athletes tried this blood spinning technique. What exactly is it?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It's been around for some time. It's interesting to sort of take a look at what it is specifically.
First of all, this is a blood vessel with all the various blood components in it, Anderson. So you have red blood cells. These beige things in here, those are platelets and it's believed that they may have some benefits when it comes to certain types of injuries. Specifically what happens in a situation like this is they actually take the blood, they spin it down in a centrifuge and really focus in on this area down here.
This viscous stuff, Anderson, that's sort of the stuff that really is thought to maybe have some healing qualities. So, that's what they actually take, they pull that up in a syringe and then they actually go ahead and take that syringe and inject it into an area of the body that has an injury.
COOPER: So they inject it right to the area of injury?
GUPTA: Right to the area of injury -- so an elbow for example, tennis elbow. There's tendons, ligaments, all those sorts of things that are often associated with athletic injuries, that's really where this comes from, again believing that that has some healing properties.
COOPER: You have before and after pictures. What does it actually show? How does it work?
GUPTA: Well, this is a little bit hard to sort of discern here, but you are looking at an MRI scan. And it's hard to tell, there's a little ligamentous tear here. These are from a Dr. Alan Mischrah (ph) who's at Stanford, who's done a lot of studies on this. This was injected. And over here you may have a little bit of time telling that the ligament in here now is continuous. It was healing a little bit more quickly as a result of that. I think that this -- that's what this is all about is this idea that it would probably heal anyway but it really expedites the recovery, expedites the healing process.
These are areas of the body that typically don't have a lot of blood flow. So, you are taking that blood, that platelet-rich therapy and injecting it into the area that has a lot restorative factors, healing factors that might cause it.
COOPER: And when Tiger Woods did this, it was all up and up. Now, there is a partial ban by the World Anti-Doping Agency that is going to take effect, I guess, in a few weeks, January 1st?
GUPTA: Yes and it's interesting, because we talked to them specifically about this. This is a therapy that's been around for some time, a lot of doctors really believe in this. What they say specifically, is you could take this platelet-richer therapy and inject it directly into muscle, you may be giving someone an unfair advantage. That their muscles may get bigger, may get stronger, so that may violate some of their laws with regards to doping. In that case, they say it is doping. But in this case, it is around a tendon, a ligament, an ankle, knee.
COOPER: As long as it is not directly into the muscle for purposes other than healing?
GUPTA: That's right. And they say January 1 when that takes place.
COOPER: All right Sanjay. Thanks.
Up next, one simple idea: an electric car to use when running errands around town. Randi Kaye took it for a spin. We'll show you how good it is for the environment, coming up.
And later, an update on the alleged Fort Hood gunman; he's out of ICU. Where is he now? We will tell you when we continue.
COOPER: Tonight, "One Simple Thing": our series showcasing ideas that are changing the world. Here's a mode of transportation that's light on the environment and light on your wallet. Randi Kaye reports.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Plug it in, charge it up and go. That's all you need to hit the road in this vehicle. It may look like a souped up golf cart, but it is actually an electric car. Its official name, a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, because it's mainly used for errands around town.
Colin Reilly owns Drive Electric, the company that sells them. (on camera): What's been the response so far?
COLIN REILLY, OWNER, DRIVE ELECTRIC: Fantastic. People love it. They love the fact that 80 percent of travel in the U.S. is inside of ten miles of your home, so this is something, even in New York City you can zip around town, run errands, drop the kids off at school and what have you.
KAYE (voice-over): Running errands in this, Colin says, benefits the environment since electric cars are supposed to be quieter, less expensive to operate and they emit fewer air pollutants. We took it for a test drive around New York City. It is street legal and can be driven on any road with a speed limit under 35 miles per hour. It goes up to 25.
REILLY: I think rather than firing up the old Suburban to go down the street, you can jump in this; there's no cold start. Again, a car would have to have the equivalent of 160 miles per gallon to be as efficient as this is.
KAYE: So efficient the cost of driving this vehicle is about one penny a mile. That's right, one penny a mile.
(on camera): Not only is it good for the environment, but it's good for your wallet, too. It costs about $6,500 but because it's part of the stimulus package, if you get one before the end of the year, the government will give you a tax credit for the full amount.
(voice-over): The Obama administration wants to have 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015. This one isn't great at handling the potholes on New York streets.
(on camera): Whoa. It's a little bumpy.
REILLY: It is.
KAYE (voice-over): But it sure is an attention-getter. We got plenty of stares and thumbs up all over town. This trucker suggested we add a spoiler and some wheels with spinners. Maybe the next model.
(voice-over): Hey, you like it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Love it. I think everybody should have one.
REILLY: That's a great thought.
KAYE: It's electric.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody should have it instead of all these big cars.
KAYE: Hey, honk your horn.
How do you like that?
REILLY: Back at you. KAYE (voice-over): The car comes standard with 4 seats. If you want six seats, you'll have to pay a little more. They're also available in six different colors. But no matter what color you choose, you can count on this. It will be green.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: That's a cool car. I like it.
Coming up next, he's facing a divorce. Now the governor of South Carolina learns his punishment from state lawmakers for his secret trips to visit his Argentine mistress.
And what's in a name? The list of top baby names of 2009 is out, for the decade -- see if yours made the cut.
COOPER: A lot of other important stories, let's check in with Joe Johns and the "360 Bulletin" -- Joe.
JOHNS: Anderson, the accused Fort Hood shooter is out of intensive care tonight. Major Nidal Hasan is now under guard in a private room at Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio. Hasan, who was paralyzed from the waist down, is expected to remain hospitalized for at least two more months.
New details are out today about the Northwest pilots who overflew their destination by 150 miles. Shortly after the incident, Captain Timothy Cheney told NTSB investigators there was no excuse for what happened and, quote, "You'll never know how sorry I am."
He'll keep his job, however, but in South Carolina lawmakers have rebuked Governor Mark Sanford. The House Judiciary Committee unanimously censured Sanford over secret trips to see his Argentine mistress and his use of state aircraft. That, they said, brought ridicule, dishonor, disgrace and shame to the state.
And what to call the baby? The Web site NameYourTune.com says the most popular name for boys this year was -- ta-da -- Aidan; Madeleine for girls. The most popular names of the decade: Jacob and Emma. Those are pretty good names.
COOPER: Not Joe, not Anderson?
JOHNS: I know. What happened? How did we get left out?
COOPER: Yes. I can tell you personally from personal experience, one today, as a matter of fact, that moms are great for remembering the most embarrassing moments of your youth.
I want to share with you, Joe, how things played out on this morning's "Live with Regis and Kelly".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I have a special guest in the audience.
KELLY RIPA, CO-HOST, ABC'S "LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY": You do?
COOPER: You did not know this.
RIPA: Wait. Who -- why -- who do you mean?
COOPER: My mom is here.
RIPA: I saw your mom. I saw your mom, but I didn't know she wanted to be pointed out.
COOPER: Yes. My mom is here with her friend, Nancy Bittle (ph), and she's sitting right there.
RIPA: Any embarrassing Anderson stories that you want to reveal from the childhood?
GLORIA VANDERBILT, ANDERSON COOPER'S MOTHER: Oh. Yes, I can tell you that...
COOPER: Yes, please.
VANDERBILT: When I was -- when Anderson was a student at Dalton when he was very little, I used to go to PTA meetings. And I had a lavender fur coat.
VANDERBILT: And it used to embarrass him so much he never told me. So today...
COOPER: Mortified. My mom -- like, everyone's parents would come to their report card day, you know, and it would be -- my mom would come and my mom has, you know, great style and stuff and she would always show up...
RIPA: Your mother is a fashion icon.
COOPER: I know. She would show up. I'm 10 years old. I didn't really care about that stuff. I just wanted her to be like all the other parents, you know? I wanted her boring like all the other kids' parents.
But she would show up in these amazing outfits, like she had this, like, lavender fur coat. I'm sure it was not real fur. It's fake fur, but -- but you know, and like a Zandra Rhodes (ph) beaver skin coat. I didn't even know -- that was purple. I didn't even know there were purple beavers around.
RIPA: There are. There are. Your mother found them.
COOPER: Yes, enough to make a coat. And I would -- I would organize my Mom's arrival in the school with like military precision. I'd be like, "So be here at 5 to 8. We can go up the back stairs," and like in and out so that, like, no other kids would see my mom, this fashion icon.
And now, of course, I'm very appreciative.
RIPA: See that? See?
VANDERBILT: So when I arrived today, I said to Anderson, "I did not wear my lavender coat today."
JOHNS: You know, you should wear a lavender tie.
COOPER: Oh, yes.
JOHNS: It would work.
COOPER: Thanks, Joe. Appreciate you doing double duty tonight.
Want to check in now with Jerry one more time, see how far along he is in reading "A Tale of Two Cities". He started reading in the top of the hour after Senator Coburn threatened to delay the Senate health-care debate by reading a 767-page amendment out loud.
So it got us thinking about how long that might have taken? How long would it have -- the Senate basically been shut down for doing nothing? "A Tale of Two Cities" has a similar word count. We thought Jerry would enjoy reading that more than the Senate amendment.
Jerry, what page are you on right now? It's about -- almost three minutes to the top of the hour?
JERRY: I'm on page 41.
COOPER: Forty-one. So about -- you'll probably get 42 pages by the end of the hour. Is it the best of times or the worst of times right now in the book?
JERRY: It's the worst of times, actually. Very bad. Very bad.
COOPER: Are you just saying that because you're unhappy doing this?
JERRY: No, I actually like doing this, but I don't like this book at all.
COOPER: All right.
Do you want to stay here overnight and finish up or are you ready to call it quits?
JERRY: Absolutely not. I'll leave. I'll leave.
COOPER: All right. Well, you're a great sport. We appreciate you doing that, Jerry.
Hey, that's it for 360. Thanks for watching.
"Larry King" starts now.
I'll see you tomorrow night.