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Storm Chaser Killed in Oklahoma Tornado; Family Dies After Seeking Shelter in Storm Drain; Raging Western Wildfires; Republican Makes Explosive Charge

Aired June 3, 2013 - 20:00   ET



Good evening, everyone. Tonight, wildfires burning in three states and the death toll rising in the latest Oklahoma tornado.

Also, after 11 operations and 50 days, the final Boston marathon bombing victim goes home from the hospital. This preschool teacher's recovery powered by caregivers she now calls friends, and this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did you want to tell her?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What else did you tell me? You missed her very --





COOPER: We're going to introduce you to one very special teacher who is also incredibly strong.

Later, did actor Michael Douglas get cancer from oral sex? Dr. Sanjay Gupta has got the likely answer and the likely suspect, a virus that you need to know about and guard against.

We begin, though, with late developments out of Oklahoma. Authorities tonight recovered the body of an 8-year-old girl near a local river, bringing the death toll to 18 since Friday's tornado. Five people still missing and that number could climb. It already includes three professional storm chasers who suddenly found themselves far too close to a killer.


COOPER (voice-over): This is the view storm chasers had trying to outrun the EF-3 tornado that hit Oklahoma Friday night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no time, no. Get down. We're going to die.

COOPER: And this is what it was like when the tornado took an unexpected turn and sped towards them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get down. Duck down. Duck down.

COOPER: Close by, this storm chaser captured the power of winds of at least 136 miles an hour. Flipping over this tractor trailer and pushing it along Interstate 40.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Turn to my right, that's what it looks like in radar. It was tracking south of the I-40. It's tracking south. Oh, god.

COOPER: Both of these storm chasing teams survived. Another team, led by veteran storm chaser Tim Samaras, did not. Samaras, along with his 24-year-old son Paul and long-time chase partner Carl Young, were killed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa. It's getting bigger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. We better leave.

COOPER: Samaras was a legend in the chasing community, featured on the Discovery Channel's "Storm Chasers" he was known for not only being one of the best but one of the safest. So how could this have happened?

SEAN CASEY, STORM CHASER/FRIEND OF SAMARAS: This tornado was a very large tornado and a very strong tornado, and it had an erratic path so this tornado was going east, then it went north, so I think that took people by surprise.

COOPER: This was the path the tornado was expected to take, continuing southeast. Instead, it took a deadly turn to the north and headed straight for Samaras and his team. Just hours before he was killed, Samaras gave what would be his last interview to MSNBC.

TIM SAMARAS, STORM CHASER: We are looking for the very special type of storm called a super cell. A super cell is a very violent storm that is very capable of large hail and pretty destructive tornadoes. Right now, especially in central Oklahoma, even along I- 40, is kind of where we're currently targeting.

COOPER: This is what was left of Samaras' mangled vehicle. The force of the tornado crumpled it into an unrecognizable heap of twisted metal.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It's devastating to look at the car get pulled out. The engine of the car was three-quarters of a mile from where the body of the car ended up.

COOPER: And while other storm chasers continue to grapple with losing three of their own, Tim's brother takes comfort knowing his brother died doing what he loved.

JIM SAMARAS, TIM SAMARA'S BROTHER: I just could never think it would ever happen to him because of his level of expertise, years of being able -- of doing this. If I had to have a way for my brother to die, it would be doing what he did.


COOPER: Unlike the rest who died in the storm, those three storm chasers made the choice to get as close as possible. The question is, why chase storms at all? Beyond providing dramatic video, what purpose does it serve and what really motivates the people who do it.

Joining us tonight is Josh Wurman, who's a storm chaser with the Center for Severe Weather Research.

Josh, I know Tim was a friend of yours. I'm really sorry for your loss. Tim was a guy who knew what he was doing. He was a pro at this. What do you think happened?

JOSH WURMAN, CENTER FOR SEVERE WEATHER RESEARCH: Well, it's really a mystery. Tim was an excellent storm chaser. He was very experienced and more importantly, he was very conservative and careful on how he did his scientific missions. So he wasn't a daredevil and we're surprised that he was caught in this tornado. The tornado did turn, the tornado did get wrapped in rain, but those are things that Tim has seen dozens of times. They're not that uncommon for tornadoes.

COOPER: I know you were in Oklahoma on Friday yourself. There are a lot of different kinds of storm chasers out there. I mean, I've met a bunch out in the field, you know, some as you say are daredevils, some come from a more scientific background. Where do you come out on how all those people can handle storms like this? I mean, does something need to change?

WURMAN: Well, most all storm chasers are basically recreational and they're either thrill seeking or they're out there trying to appreciate nature. And it's really not unlike white water rafters or bungee jumpers or hikers.

People are out in nature for different reasons. But as with any of those things, understanding the risks are important and we have always had concern and still have concern that some storm chasers, either because they are daredevils which means they're constantly escalating the daredevil thing that makes them the top of the heap, someone gets into a tornado, the next person wants to get into a stronger one, and that only leaves one place.

For us, the concern sometimes that less experienced storm chasers, people without training or experience doing storms or some kind of meteorological training, may not understand some of the vagaries of how tornadoes might move and that tornadoes might exist behind a rain cloud even when the tornado's invisible.

COOPER: Because -- I mean, there's no level of training required or anything, as you said. Some people are just recreational and just go out there on their own and just do it.

WURMAN: Anybody with a car can storm chase. In fact, Ben Franklin did it with a horse back in the 1700s. But we encourage storm chasers to get some kind of training or to apprentice with some other storm chasers who know the risks and it's not just the tornado. There are lots of other hazardous things out there like traffic and hydroplaning and lightning and just horrendous lightning and hail and rainfall.

COOPER: Do you think this may change the way some people chase storms or prevent some people from going out there?

WURMAN: Well, chasing either for recreational purposes or scientific like mine is very difficult, almost impossible in an urban area, because basically everything breaks down. People are trying to evacuate, police are closing off the roads, trying to keep people from getting in, and it becomes quite chaotic.

COOPER: Is there anything new to this season's outbreak that you haven't seen before? Because there was a tornado drought up until, you know, a couple of weeks ago, now we've seen a large number of tornadoes.

WURMAN: The number of tornadoes is still well below average. This is one of the calmest tornado seasons in years. However, the tornadoes that had happened have recently been hitting major populated areas and that's what's unusual. But that's probably just bad luck. If these kind of tornadoes, the El Reno tornado or the Moore tornado from several days before had hit rural areas, we wouldn't be hearing about them.

And that's more typical. So, so far, we've just had some very bad luck. Hopefully future tornadoes which certainly will occur in June and into July will either be weaker or hitting rural areas.

COOPER: Yes. Josh, I appreciate talking to you. Thank you, Josh.

WURMAN: Good talking to you.

COOPER: I want to talk more now on the human cost of what at least seems like the right thing when tornado warnings go out. The trouble is with all the conflicting advice sometimes it's hard to know what is right. And in Tornado Alley where the storms are so big and the number of basements and shelters so small, sometimes there simply are no good options about what to do in a storm.

Gary Tuchman now with an extended family who faced that horrible situation, what to do, and they did not make it.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In disbelief, family and friends aid rescue workers as they search a muddy creek for a woman still missing after flash flooding that followed the Oklahoma tornadoes on Friday. Three adults and four children in the same extended family were swept away in flood waters. The woman still missing is Yolanda Santos.

The bodies of her three small children, Leslie, Christopher and Brandon, have been recovered. So were the bodies of their cousins, Samuel Fuentes, his wife Florinda and their son Alex.

The families are immigrants from Guatemala. The grief-stricken father whose wife is still missing says he's in a state of shock.

Jose Santos says his children were all very smart and very loving. The way they became storm victims is heartbreaking.

(On camera): The four children and three adults were all staying in this house when they started seeing the tornado warnings on television. What's particularly sad about this story is that the tornadoes never struck here. There's not even any wind damage. But like many people in Oklahoma, they grew quite panicked.

They always heard that you should go into a low area if a tornado comes so the adults made a decision to come to this storm drain right next to the house. They took a table from inside the house, they put a table down here so the children and the adults could jump on it. It's about a seven foot jump. They came down inside here and then they went inside this tunnel.

They thought this would be a safe place to wait. But what happened next to this family is horrifying and sad. There was no tornado damage. But the rains kept coming down and this drain flooded. The waters were about eight feet deep and the seven people started getting swept through the waters into this dark tunnel.

This tunnel goes on for a very long time. These people never had a chance. The water was too high, it was way too powerful and you can see in this tunnel there's nothing to grip on to. They were just hurled down the tunnel.

You know, our weather experts at CNN and other weather experts will tell you that a storm drain like this could save your life, but, and this is a very important but, it should only be used as a last resort when you see the tornado coming. You should not come down into a storm drain in advance, because of the danger of flash floods, and that's what victimized this family.

(Voice-over): The location where the bodies were found is about five miles away from where the family got in the storm drain. This is the brother of the other woman whose body was found.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Through Translator): I have an emptiness in my heart because I've lost my sister.

TUCHMAN: The emptiness and grief is intense. As the search for the missing woman goes on.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, Oklahoma City.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: It is just horrible to think about them in that storm drain. And so storm drains clearly can be deadly. The question is what about cars. And the advice can be confusing. This is really important because on Friday night, there were so many people trapped in their cars on I-35 and I-40 in bumper to bumper traffic.

The National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma, tweeted this on Friday. Flash flood threat is high right now for Oklahoma City metro. Most people who die in flood drown in their cars.

Now earlier before the storm, they tweeted tornado safety, if you wait until you see the tornado or hear the sirens it is too late to drive away. Plan ahead.

So here's the dilemma. The tornado caused flash flooding which can be deadly in a car. At the same time, even people left early, they got stuck in commuter traffic. There you see the bumper to bumper traffic, that line of cars there, I said, as the night was coming.

And what about when the tornado itself is actually bearing down? Is staying in the car a mistake? Or is it a good choice? Some answers now from Chad Myers, who is on the ground in El Reno, Oklahoma.

So, Chad, I wasn't even sure what to do about this on Friday. I mean, there were a lot of people don't know what to do when they're in the path of a tornado. Do you stay in your car or drive away from it? Do you get out of your car and try to take cover?

You were about a half mile from one of the tornadoes in El Reno Friday night. What are you supposed to do?

MYERS: You know, Americans want a black and white answer to that, especially people here in middle America, but in fact every storm is slightly different. So it's a couple shades of gray. Ninety-nine point something percent of storms, even maybe 99.99 percent, one out of 1,000 storms, would be unsurvivable.

Ninety-nine percent of the storms if you are in your house, you are absolutely safe, stay in your home, shelter at home, put as many walls between you and the outside as possible, get in a closet, get some place in the middle of your home, make sure there's not a bunch of bowling ball stuff above your head.

Get in a safe place, get a bunch of foam or pads or mattresses around you in that middle. If you get to an F-4 tornado, that middle of the house will still be there. Now, F-5, which is 200 miles per hour or greater, then you maybe -- you may lose the whole house and that may be the unsurvivable storm. But out of 1,000 tornadoes we get a year, one might be an F-5. And the odds of it hitting a major big city, you know, is pretty low.

A car is never the safe place to be. When a tornado gets done with a car, there's no place left for you in it. The entire thing is smashed to bits. Not an F-1, maybe not even an F-2, but anything greater than about 150 miles per hour, you have to get out of your car.

Now the best place to do is to drive up to a store, drive up to somebody's house, and get in that house. Not the ditch because you can get hit by things getting to the ditch. But plan ahead. That's why there are tornado watches in the first place so that you should have a plan before anything like this even happens.

COOPER: But bottom line, if you were stuck, and a lot of people faced this on Friday and the police said on Friday.


COOPER: If you are stuck in traffic and the tornado is coming toward you, get out of your vehicle, go to an embankment, go to -- and just lay low on the ground and just hope.

MYERS: Get out of your car because there's no place left for you in it when the tornado is done. Now, many times, especially in cities, the roadway is the lowest spot. It's actually lower than maybe the upper spot, kind of dig it down and it will run below the -- most of the bridges above. That's fairly safe because you're down below.

Buckle yourself in the car if it's a small tornado and you can see it, buckle yourself in, tighten them up, get down below, so you're below where the windshield might be and all these windows. That's one thing in a small tornado but if it's big, there's still, it will smash your car to bits. And that's the gray.

You know, that's the part that you have to use your own judgment, you have to use your own common sense. If this is a big tornado, get out of the car. There won't be -- you will not survive it in a car. You have to get out.

COOPER: And you know, these days, there are so many folks out there who are calling themselves storm chasers, really unless you are a professional storm chaser, unless you have done this before and you are well equipped with an armored vehicle or scientists, you should not go out and try to capture video or pictures of a tornado no matter how interesting or fun or cool you think it's going to be.

MYERS: I think every professional chaser out there was once an amateur chaser. You know, as it goes, you learn by experience. And if you have a radar in your car, because you can download them now on a wireless mi-fi, if you have that kind of equipment or someone at home you can call, someone back at the TV station, sure, you can chase, but it's just not safe. You can do everything right like Tim did, and still get in trouble.

COOPER: Yes. You never know with some of these storms.

Chad, appreciate it.

Let us know what you think. You can follow me on Twitter tonight @Anderson Cooper. Just ahead, breaking news on the battles to contain raging wildfires out west and multiple states. How much damage they've done and how close firefighters are to try and get them under control. We'll take you to the fire alarms.

Also, violent clashes in Turkey between protesters and riot police are rocking the country. CNN's Ivan Watson is on the ground with the latest.


COOPER: Got breaking news tonight. Wildfires in New Mexico, Colorado, as well as California. The newest on the left I want to show you threatening about 100 homes in Evergreen, Colorado, just southwest of Denver. Local sheriff's office sending out this tweet to residents saying leave now. The biggest California -- the powerhouse fire in the Palm Dale area north of Los Angeles, that's the biggest, now covers about 29,000 acres and Dan Simon is on the front lines.


MONIQUE HERNANDEZ, FIRE VICTIM: The flames were 200 feet high. It was -- it was horrible. We couldn't breathe. It was nothing but smoke.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More than 2,000 firefighters are now fighting this massive fire that doubled in size within 24 hours.

HERNANDEZ: I lost everything I own. I don't have any resources to rebuild my things over again.

SIMON: Monique Hernandez was not one of the lucky ones. She lost her home. But hundreds of properties have been saved. Firefighters using every tool in their arsenal to fight this fire on land and by air around the clock.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have put everything that we have into this, including night air attack.

SIMON: The weekend's winds really complicated the efforts, as did the terrain, which is steep and rugged.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And this is an extremely old and dry fuel, 1929. That's how old that Chaparral is.

SIMON: The outlook is ominous. Take a look at this national fire inter-agency map. Almost the entire state of California is above normal for potential wildfire threat.

CHIEF DARYL OSBY, L.A. COUNTRY FREE DEPARTMENT: This summer we're going to have a very volatile fire season. Our fuel moistures typically don't get to critical stages until the fall, when we have Santa Ana wind events. But we project that those fuels will be at that critical state no later than July this summer.


COOPER: That's certainly bad news. Dan Simon joins us now live. What's the latest on the fire right now?

SIMON: Well, thankfully, crews seem to be getting the upper hand on this wildfire. It's said to be about 40 percent contained officially but they expect those numbers to go up tonight. A couple of reasons for that. They've been fighting this fire very aggressively on the ground and by the air, as you saw in that story, and also the wind has died down for the most part.

Still kicks up now and then, but seems to be looking pretty good. The main concern, though, is the summer overall, the conditions are --

COOPER: We lost his mike there, obviously. Having transmission problems. Dan Simon reporting.

Now let's go to "Raw Politics." The investigation into alleged IRS abuses is heating up and getting nastier. Now as you know, congressional investigators are looking into the targeting of conservative organizations by IRS employees, at least in Cincinnati.

On CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" yesterday, Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and government reform, accused the White House of misleading the public about its role in the alleged abuses. He said interviews with IRS employees suggests they were getting direction from Washington. So far his committee has only released excerpts some of those interviews and there's no smoking gun in any of those excerpts.

And when candy asked why all the interviews haven't been released, here's what Issa said.


CANDY CROWLEY, HOST, CNN'S STATE OF THE UNION: Can you not put the whole transcript out?

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), HOUSE COMMITTEE ON OVERNIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM: The whole transcript will be put out. We understand these are in real time and the administration is still, their paid liar, their spokesperson, picture behind, he's still making up things about what happens and calling this local rogue. There is no indication -- the reason that Lois Lerner tried to take the Fifth is not because there's a rogue in Cincinnati.

It's because this is a problem that was coordinated in all likelihood right out of Washington headquarters and we're getting to proving it. We have 18 more transcribed interviews.

CROWLEY: That's it, you don't have that direct link.

ISSA: My gut tells me that too many people knew that this wrongdoing was going on before the election, and at least by some sort of convenient benign neglect, allowed it to go on through the election, allowed these groups, these conservative groups, these, if you will, not friends of the president, to be disenfranchised through an election.

Now I'm not making any allegations as to motive, that they set out to do it, but certainly people knew it was happening. They could have done something and would have done something, I'm sure, if these had been progressive groups or groups that supported the president.


COOPER: Chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash joins me now.

His remarks there got a lot of attention now. Congressman Issa, he's selectively releasing parts of the transcript, as Candy noted. The bottom line, do we know yet exactly who is responsible for this targeting?

Chairman Issa makes it sound like he knows the answer, but when you listen closely he's saying my gut tells me, it was folks out of Washington knew. Does he know for sure? Does anybody know for sure at this point?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The answer is no, Anderson. He doesn't know yet who came up with that strategy to single out or target Tea Party groups for extra or inappropriate scrutiny and, as you said, when you listen carefully to him, he admits that's something he believes but hasn't yet proven.

Now Democratic sources I've talked to who are involved in this investigation say they still do have other interviews to do, very important ones with IRS employees, likely this week, and that's going to help get to the bottom of why this broad policy was put in place. But they and other Republican sources I've talked to say what they have found out is that it certainly was early involvement from Washington, but when we're talking about Washington, it's not the Obama administration.

It's other bureaucrats, tax attorneys in the Washington office of the IRS who are trying to help frontline IRS agents with something very real which is the question of whether Tea Party groups who admit to political activity, whether they should get tax-exempt status.

But those questions, you know, were legitimate but when and how that turned into a blanket targeting which was not legitimate and inappropriate, we still don't know the answer to that.

COOPER: I mean, you also don't often hear the word liar being used in politics and his use of the word liar against Jay Carney, the president's spokesman, is getting obviously a lot of attention. What do you make of it? Politicians usually kind of dance around that word.

BASH: They almost always do. Issa's aides say that he called Carney a liar because Carney has said from the White House podium that Tea Party targeting was the work of Cincinnati IRS employees, but Issa really believes that that's not true, that the Washington IRS employees, as we heard him, they were involved. Look, there's no love lost between Issa and Carney or the White House. We know that because of this and the Benghazi controversy but, Anderson, it is unusual to use the "L" word and even more jarring in this case because Republicans I'm told were given very clear directive from the Republican leadership not to overplay their hand politically in this, not distract from fact-finding with over-the-top rhetoric and some Republicans I'm talking to are a little bit worried that this is exactly what they were worried about.

COOPER: You first reported on Friday on excessive spending in the past of the IRS like the cupid shuffle dance video that was made, supposed to be educational, and then this is another one, a kind of a take-off of "Gilligan's Island." Let's watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, everybody. I saw a ship. No, really. I saw a ship. Take a look for yourself.


COOPER: How much did those two videos -- and there's another one looking like "Star Trek," how much did that cost and is that just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to kind of overspending?

BASH: At least $50,000, maybe $60,000. We know, like watching that that it's pretty clear they didn't spend it on acting lessons. Maybe the laugh track, but not acting lessons.

We're expecting an inspector general report tomorrow, Anderson, that details some pretty egregious use of taxpayer dollars. $50 million for IRS conferences, one alone in Anaheim in 2010 where these videos were actually played, cost $4 million. They spent a lot of money at that conference on hotel suites that cost upwards of $3500 a night. This is taxpayer dollars.

They hired outside speakers to come in that cost over $100,000 and one of those speakers apparently was an artist who led the session with something called "Leadership Through Art." By the way, he was paid $17,000 taxpayer dollars.

COOPER: Wow. It's pretty unbelievable. Dana, appreciate it. Thanks.

Coming up, what started off as a simple sit-in from a handful of people has now erupted into anti-government protests in Turkey. Violent responses by the government. Thousands of people have been injured in the clashes with security forces. We'll get a live update next from Ivan Watson in Istanbul next.

Also, the last Boston bombing victim finally leaving the hospital. We'll tell you about Erica Brand's story and hear about her long journey home more than a month and a half in the making.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: A medical group in Turkey says at least one protester has died. More than 3,000 people have been wounded in violent clashes in just the past two days. Massive anti-government demonstrations are spreading throughout the country. Here's one clash with security forces that happened in Istanbul on Sunday.

What began as a sit-in by a handful of residents has now erupted into larger complaints against the government and against the way security forces are responding with tear gas and pepper spray.

Let's check in with our senior international correspondent, Ivan Watson who is in Istanbul. So Ivan, I mean, the images that we have been seeing out of Turkey are really striking. It all began over a park. How did it escalate and what's the focus now?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it blew up I think starting Friday morning, when the security forces at dawn raided the sit-in in that park and really attacked it with water cannons and tear gas, and drove the demonstrators out into the streets. And something here snapped and people started attacking the police and the clashes began here right outside our office window for 36 straight hours. It was incredible.

They have spread to other cities now. I have never really seen anything on this scale before in Turkey, Anderson. As for what the people want, it's gone very quickly from trying to defend a couple of trees to now calls again and again for the resignation of the elected prime minister of Turkey, a man who has ruled this country, has governed it, for more than 10 years.

COOPER: Throughout the Arab spring, he has held his own country as a model democracy, but this kind of excessive use of force, which the prime minister himself conceded was used, that's got to be damaging to that image.

WATSON: Absolutely. I mean, this is a prime minister who was advising Hosni Mubarak at the height of the uprising in Tahrir Square to listen to his own people. Well, now you've got tens of thousands of people coming out into squares like this, you've got young Turks hurling themselves against riot police, and demanding that their prime minister listen to him. And you know, he's taken a page from the playbooks of some of these Arab dictators who were toppled by repeatedly coming out on television and calling the demonstrators extremists and members of marginal groups.

And while there are some fringe political parties out there waving flags, there are also an awful lot of advertising executives and law students and teachers and normal middle class people who feel like their leader, though he was elected, has started losing touch and he isn't paying attention to them and he's implementing policies without asking them first, and that's what's triggered this explosion of anger.

COOPER: Is there any clear sense of where this goes?

WATSON: I don't know. I mean, I have not been able to predict from one day to the next. I thought, Monday, today things would die down, people would go back to work and not want to come out in the streets. Instead, once they finished their university courses or finished work, they came out to the square to demonstrate or in some cases, we saw high school kids just skipping school entirely to come out here.

There's an archaic energy here. There has been vandalism, lots of spray paint, but there's also something else that's new and I think the Turks who haven't really seen a real political opposition in years, a viable opposition to Erdogan at the ballot boxes are venting some of that frustration and we're seeing weird blending of rivals.

You've seen fans of rival soccer clubs, guys will beat each other up in the streets. Now uniting to face off against the riot cops or you'll see nationalists and Kurds who would fight in the past side by side in demonstrations. That's something very new. I don't know where this will go.

COOPER: All right, Ivan, be careful. Thanks.

There's a lot more happening tonight around the world and also back here at home. Isha is here with the "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a second suspect has been charged with murder in that hacking death of a British soldier in broad daylight in London. Michael Adebolajo appeared in court carrying a Koran and interrupted the judge several times. He's one of a total of 12 people arrested and accused of having ties to the killing.

The U.S. Senate's last surviving World War II veteran has died. The 89-year-old Frank Lautenberg served nearly three decades in the Senate during two stints. The New Jersey Democrat was behind the laws that ban smoking on airplanes and raised the drinking age to 21.

The court-martial of U.S. soldier, Bradley Manning, got under way today. He's accused of aiding America's enemies by leaking more than 700,000 classified documents to the Wikileaks web site. If convicted, he could face life in prison.

Anderson, it will cost you more to see Mickey Mouse and his friends. Disneyworld hiked the price of its one day adult pass to $95 and $89 for children. California's Disneyland also raised its price, $92 for adults, $86 for children, a lot of moolah to feel the magic.

COOPER: Certainly is. Isha, thanks.

Up next, the final survivor of the Boston marathon bombing goes home. We're going to tell you who she says helped her get through the darkest days and who she wants to thank for helping save her life.

Also, Michael Douglas says that sex may have caused his form of cancer. We will talk to Dr. Sanjay Gupta about what you need to know about this very real risk.


COOPER: Milestone today, Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Erica Brannock, the final marathon bombing victim, went home. She is the last of 275 men, women and kids, none of whom will ever be quite the same as they were before the bombs went off more than a month and a half ago. They have been scarred inside and out by the trauma that they endured.

They have also been changed, though, in another fundamental and very welcome way. By the friends they made in the hospital and the love that they rediscovered during these tough weeks waiting for them back home. More tonight from Randi Kaye.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every once in awhile I paint my nails.

RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's almost time for Erica Brannock to leave the hospital so she's getting one last pedicure from her nurses. Above her bed, a dragonfly hangs.

ERIKA BRANNOCK, BOSTON BOMBING SURVIVOR: It had the staying on it that it was a symbol of strength and courage and getting through hard times. So it's kind of been like my mascot.

KAYE: Hard time is an understatement. On marathon day, Erica, her sister and brother-in-law had gone to see her mother run. They were standing near the finish line when the bomb went off.

BRANNOCK: I fell backwards, I could hear the sirens and people crying and screaming.

KAYE: Erika was also screaming, for help. The lower part of her left leg had been blown off and her right leg was broken.

BRANNOCK: I had a conversation in my head with God and told him I wasn't ready to go, and it was almost instantaneously she heard my thoughts, this woman kind of crawled over to me and she grabbed my hand and she could hear -- she had heard me screaming for help, and she said my name is Joan. I'm from California and I'm not going to let you go and she stayed with me the whole time.

KAYE: Joan used her belt as a tourniquet on Erika's leg. Erika never got Joan's last name or contact, but swears the woman in the yellow jacket with brown hair saved her life. She desperately wants to find her and thank her.

BRANNOCK: Yes, that's her.

KAYE: We showed her a picture of Joan helping her from the "Boston Globe."

BRANNOCK: That's Joan right there. She's holding my hand right there. This is my right leg.

KAYE (on camera): In all, Erika had 11 surgeries. Each time she would be wheeled down this hallway and through those doors where she picks up the elevator. She soon learned though that the entire wing of the hospital back there had been shut down because that's where the surviving bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was being held.

She started to have nightmares about him, nightmares that he was going to blow up the hospital, so she met with the FBI who assured her that he was going to do nothing of that sort, that he would never hurt her again.

(voice-over): Erika had some brighter moments, too, like a visit from actor Kevin Spacey and some girl time with her mom, who didn't even know Erika was alive until hours after the bombing.

BRANNOCK: We have been hanging out a lot.

KAYE: But what's really kept Erika going is the preschool class she teaches back home in Maryland. This little girl made her a video on YouTube with some help from mom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did you want to tell her?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What else did you tell me? You missed her?


KAYE: Erika also made a video for her students.

BRANNOCK: The doctors and nurses are taking very good care of me and helping me get better. I love you guys very much and can't wait to come home and see you. Bye.

KAYE (on camera): How much has that connection helped you heal?

BRANNOCK: Tremendously. Just still having that connection with them and being able to interact with them, knowing that I'm still in their thoughts and that they miss me. It's kind of given me the kind of push to get home and do as much as I can and go as far as I can with my healing.

KAYE (voice-over): In Maryland, Erika will start physical therapy and learn to walk with a prosthetic leg. Her motto is she's one tough cookie. She knows it will be a long road ahead, but with a send-off this sweet, Erika's fresh start at home will have a touch of Boston Strong.


COOPER: Randi Kaye joins me now from Boston. So Erika is back home tonight in the state of Maryland. She sounds as determined as ever to find the woman who saved her that day.

KAYE: She certainly is, Anderson. Obviously her first priority is getting that prosthetic leg and learning how to use it, but as she told me today, her other priority is finding Joan, Joan from California, as she put it. She said she would have died. She would have given up and died on the pavement that day in Boston if it weren't for Joan.

So I want to show you a couple of pictures. This is the first picture that we have of Joan. If you take a look here, you can see that's her right in the middle there with the brown hair. She's leaning over, that's Erika on the pavement. You can see her she's holding Erika's hand.

Right behind Joan's head, you can see the guy with the curly hair, that's actually Jeff Bauman, who had lost both his legs. He and Erika landed in the very same spot. Let me show you a second photo of Joan. This is just a different angle because we really want to know if anybody out there, anybody watching, might recognize Joan.

We would love to be able to find Joan and put the two of them in touch. You see Joan in that other photo. So if you do know Joan, if you recognize that face, you can send an e-mail to and we are hoping that we can make a connection for Erika, who so desperately wants to find her and thank her.

COOPER: That would be nice. Thanks very much.

One other quick note, friends have set up a fund to help Erika pay for her medical bills, which are substantial. If you would like to donate, go to the You can also see the link at

Just ahead, actor, Michael Douglas, says a sexually transmitted virus, HPV, may have caused his throat cancer. The question is how big is the risk? What do you need to know about this? Chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins me ahead.


COOPER: Tonight, after Michael Douglas is making medical news again three years after his throat cancer diagnosis. In an interview with a British newspaper, he appeared to say his cancer, which was treated successfully, was caused by the HPV virus, a virus he contracted, he said, through oral sex.

Douglas' publicist later tried to dial back his comments but "The Guardian" posted audio of the interview on its web site. The actor's very personal revelation is actually part of a much larger public health story. The type of cancer Douglas battled is actually on the rise significantly and a growing number of cases are related to HPV.

I spoke to chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta about it a short time ago.


COOPER: So Sanjay, what are the chances that oral sex actually caused Michael Douglas' cancer? I mean, is there any way to know for sure how you get it? DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICALL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, it's interesting because in his case, you have the history of also him smoking and drinking, and so any doctor is going to look at all the various risk factors and say smoking and drinking are significant risk factors for oral cancer, throat cancer, the type of cancer that Michael Douglas had.

But to the second part of your question, can you know for sure, the answer is actually yes. What they do, Anderson, is they will take the tumor, they will specifically look at it and what they're searching for is DNA of the virus, the human papilloma Virus, HPV. If they find it, they can almost definitively say this was caused by the HPV infection. It's a little more confusing in his case, but yes, you can know. It's a knowable question.

COOPER: It's certainly gotten a lot of people talking. This has gotten a lot of attention. Give him props for being specific on this, because there are tens of thousands of cases of cancer linked to this virus every year and the numbers are actually rising.

GUPTA: Yes. You know, I actually was surprised by this. I looked at some of the data today, and you find an interesting thing. First of all, the population where it has run the most is actually middle-aged Caucasian men, if you look at all the different demographics, that is the demographic where they have seen the largest increase in oral cancers.

Also over the same time period, you've actually seen a decrease in smoking and as you point out, an increase in oral cancers. So back 25 years ago, 16 percent of oral cancers would be linked to this type of infection, human papilloma virus infection. Now it's closer to 70 percent. It's not only rising, but it's rising despite the fact that smoking rates and other risk factors have gone down.

COOPER: When you're talking about a person's prognosis, does it matter whether someone got it through oral sex or through drinking and smoking in terms of the way it's treated, the way they can deal with it?

GUPTA: It's a great question. I think the best way to answer that is that it probably is important to know for sure, not because the treatment necessarily would be different, but more so because these patients tend to have a better response to treatment. It is better if you had to choose a reason for developing an oral cancer, whether it be HPV versus smoking, drinking, HPV would be better in terms of prognosis.


COOPER: Chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. There is a vaccine for HPV. Talk to your physician about that. The "Ridiculist" is next. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Time now for the "Ridiculist." Tonight we offer the "Ridiculist" tips to get in shape for summer. It's of course called prancercize, described as a springy rhythmic way of moving forward similar to a horse's gait and --

WOLF BLITZER, HOST, CNN'S "THE SITUATION ROOM": Hold on, Anderson, Anderson, Anderson. I'm sure we're all on the edge of our seats, we're waiting to hear your take on that prancercize video but I think that could wait until tomorrow, since today is your birthday, Anderson. I'm officially taking over the "Ridiculist" so you can just sit back and relax, enjoy.

Let the viewers at home, they can see us side by side. They can decide, by the way, who is more of a dreamboat, would that be you or me? I thought I would like to take this opportunity, Anderson, on the occasion of your birthday, to offer you some tips on aging gracefully as a news anchor since as you know, I have a few years, not many, but a few years on you. So here's the question. Should we get started?

COOPER: You go right ahead, sir.

BLITZER: You seem to have your workout program down, as anyone who has seen you in a t-shirt can attest. You don't need any advice from me on that. Whatever you're doing, just keep it up. No background check necessary at that gun show, by the way.

But there are a few areas in which I think I can be of some assistance. As you get older, Anderson, you're going to have to stop getting into fist fights. I personally was shocked, a lot of our viewers around the world, they were shocked to see this a few weeks ago on "SNL," which I assume is a news program. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get ready for Anderson Cooper 360.


BLITZER: As you age, Anderson, you'll have to learn that violence doesn't solve anything. Use your words, Anderson. There's one other area I would like to address and I would like to address it right now and that is your tendency as you well know to burst out laughing at certain types of words and ideas. You know what I'm talking about.


BLITZER: Let's just remind the viewers.


COOPER: They saw an actual thespian, actually thespian -- they should thank their lucky stars it wasn't part two. Sorry. Sorry. By the way, if you're the adventurous type or you just like to splurge --


BLITZER: Anderson, Anderson, I got to tell you, that kind of behavior may fly in your 40s but trust me, it's not going to cut it in your 60s. You have to keep it together. You have to learn how to keep it together, meditation, maybe. Maybe find a way to center yourself, repeat a mantra in your head.

For instance, I'll give you an example, I calm myself often by repeating over and over and over again, you're in "THE SITUATION ROOM." But that may not work for you, because it has the word "you're in" in it. I hope you find as you mature, you will be able to keep a straight face when saying nearly anything. So watch how a master does it.

The pussy willows blowing in the wind on the shores of Lake Ticaka are almost as magical as Uranus. I make it look magical. That's the way you do it. As you mature, you learn how to deal with these things. Let me just point out you're doing just fine.

So tonight, on behalf of everyone at 360, we want to thank you for the work you do every day for your dedication, your leadership and for letting us all get the last laugh with you on the "Ridiculist" -- Anderson.

COOPER: Wolf, thank you very much. Everybody on the show, thank you very much. To all the viewers, thanks for watching, I appreciate all the nice birthday wishes I've been getting throughout the day. I do feel old, though. I feel old, 46. I don't know. It's getting up there.

BLITZER: Moving up in the world. You know, 46 is, what, the new 36? Is that what they're saying?

COOPER: That's what people who are 46 say, but I don't think that's really true.

BLITZER: You're doing fine. You look great. Can you put the glasses on just once so our viewers can see you and me together? We'll get, on Twitter, a little thing going, whose glasses look better, yours or mine.

COOPER: There we go. Wolf, thank you so much. Appreciate it. That does it for us. We'll see you again one hour from now, another edition of 360 at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. Thanks very much for watching. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts now.