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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Severe Weather Pounds U.S.; New Allegations of Iraqi Prisoner Abuse Legitimate?; Bodies of Hurricane Katrina Victims Still Being Found in New Orleans

Aired November 15, 2005 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.
Two prisoners escape, armed and dangerous -- the latest on the massive manhunt.

But, first, tornado warnings in the Midwest -- many injured, one dead.


ANNOUNCER: Tornado alert -- days after eight tornadoes sliced through Iowa, funnel clouds and severe weather bear down on the Midwest -- tonight, the latest on flooding, high winds and tornado warnings.

New claims of U.S. torture -- did U.S. interrogators really throw Iraqi detainees to the lions?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): And when the lions came very quickly towards us, was a very horrific noise.

ANNOUNCER: Tonight, we account for the facts of a wild and disturbing ale. But is it true? You decide.

And kids gone wild. Are your little angels turning into a brat pack? Ready to pull your hair out to get them under control? Some experts say, you are the ones that need to behave.


ANNOUNCER: This is ANDERSON COOPER 360. Live from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.

COOPER: We will get to the latest on the tornadoes in a moment.

But, first, let's get you caught up on the latest news happening at this moment.

You are looking live at President Bush. Right now, he is speaking in Kyoto, Japan, holding a press conference. This is the first leg of his eight-day trip to Asia. The address is on democracy. The president's calling for China to allow more freedom in the country and give the people the right to worship without state control.

Tonight, the so-called cell phone bandit is behind bars. Candice Martinez was arrested in Virginia this morning. She's accused of robbing four banks in the D.C. area. Investigators say, each time, she handed the teller a note and pretended to talk on her cell phone. She claims the boyfriend planned the heist.

Right now, the 18-year-old Pennsylvania man accused of killing the parents of his 14-year-old girlfriend is behind bars. David Ludwig was arraigned earlier today on two counts of murder and kidnapping. Police say he shot the couple to death and abducted the girl -- more on this later on 360.

And, in the Midwest right now, very dangerous weather -- heavy flooding, it's being reported across several states. This right now, that's the scene in Evansville, Indiana. Severe thunderstorms have broken out, some areas getting hit by as much as six inches of rain.

Now, along with the flood warnings right now come tornado warnings and watches in several states. We are talking about Indiana, Kentucky, as well as Tennessee -- the big picture in a moment from the Weather Center.

First, CNN's Rick Sanchez getting pounded in Nashville -- Rick.

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Boy, they have -- we have been getting pounded in this area.

This part of Tennessee has been hit hard. As a matter of fact, tornado alarms have been sounding throughout the night. We are still, as a matter of fact, Anderson, under a tornado warning. It is going to go through 11:00 here in the area around Nashville.

Both Tennessee and Kentucky have been hit hard. Let's start in Tennessee in Henry County. I understand we have some pictures that we can share with you, just to show you what some of the devastation is there. We're told anywhere between 12 to 20 people have been injured. When last we checked, they said they were not life-threatening injuries, but they say that there are many homes destroyed, including a mobile home park, which has been pretty much leveled, decimated, according to some of the emergency management officials that I have talking to throughout the night.

They say that three homes were completely destroyed. And they have been trying to get officials into that area to survey the damage. They say there's still a possibility they could find some people who were injured that they haven't accounted for.

Also, in Montgomery County, we are being told tonight that an unknown number of mobile homes have been destroyed as well. There, a grocery store was also destroyed. They have confirmed three injuries up to now.

But the serious situation, we understand, is in Kentucky. There, in Marshall County, we're being told that there was at least one person in a trailer home. The wind picked it up, tossed the trailer home about. There was a person inside. The trailer home caught fire. And initial reports are that that person is deceased. That's according to emergency management officials in Kentucky that I talked to just a -- a little while ago.

They say that they have now got the National Guard is Marshall County. Twenty to 30 National Guardsmen are in that area, also trying to assist and do what they can.

Same situation in Hopkins County -- there, we are told, 40, 50 homes have been damaged in one way or another. There are 40 National Guardsmen in that area as well, trying to help the people there.

Some of the officials that we talked to say that they're doing the best they can, but it's -- it's hard, because of the conditions, and because it's still night, to go in and find exactly what the damage is and how many people are injured.

One thing we're learning, though, is that there are a lot of people without power all throughout Tennessee, all throughout Kentucky. They're saying that those thousands of people, even here in Davidson County, around Nashville, that are affected by the power outages, hopefully will have their power restored some time by morning.

We will be checking on it throughout the night -- Anderson, back over to you.

COOPER: All right, thanks very much, Rick. We will check in a little bit later.

Let's go to Rob Marciano in the CNN Weather Center for -- for the big picture.

Rob, where is the storm now? Where is the latest -- what is the latest?

ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, it's a huge line of thunderstorms, really, the difference between hot and cold, and that cold air trying to press eastward, and that line of thunderstorms firing up at -- ahead of that cold air in -- in the meantime.

Just a couple of hours ago, there were a couple of thunderstorms that were just converging on Nashville, where Rick Sanchez was. Now they have moved east. And what you're seeing right now is mostly in the form of rain.

However, off to the east, talking about the cities of Woodbury and Cannon County, a fresh tornado warning out. That's just to the east of Murfreesboro, and heading the east-northeast at 45 miles per hour. We have had some of -- some of these radio-indicated tornadoes throughout the night heading northeast at 60 to 70 miles per hour. You just can't get out of the way of those.

This cell right here, in northeastern Alabama, did have some rotation. This may very well be extended. And that could have dropped a tornado earlier. Could be a tornado on the ground as well.

And then look at this line, also, tornado warnings out for parts of south central Mississippi -- so, a tremendous amount of activity, a tremendous amount of energy in the atmosphere tonight, with that hot and that cold. Look, it's 17 in Denver, 44 right now in Chicago -- rain turning to snow now across parts of Minneapolis, and 65 degrees in Washington, D.C.

Mother Nature gets that cold and hot going and things are going to explode. And that is what we have seen. The white here is snow. And the brighter colors here, that is rain, in the form of some thunderstorms as well.

The red watch boxes, which have been going on all night long, means the potential for tornadoes are there. And these watch boxes continue to be extended off towards the east through -- throughout the evening. So, we will watch this, Anderson. The good news is, things are beginning, in some cases, to settle down just a little bit as we get into the middle of the night.

But, for some other folks, as these lines continue to hold strong in spots, it will continue to be a long night across, as they march east towards the Appalachian Mountains. It should be a better day tomorrow. That's for sure -- a slight risk, as opposed to a high risk, of seeing severe weather and tornadoes across the Northeast tomorrow.

So, we will start to see the energy decrease as we go through the next 24 hours.

COOPER: And we will continue to follow this storm over the next two hours. Rob, thanks very much.

Again, one fatality that we know about -- we are checking on more reports as they come in.

Two convicted murders are on the loose tonight in Iowa. Police say the men escaped from the Iowa State Penitentiary. They scaled a wall, a wall that was not guarded. And they used a grappling hook that they apparently made themselves. The escapees may have stolen a car, 1995 gold Pontiac Bonneville. They are believed to be armed and dangerous.

We are going to have a lot more on this developing story coming up later on, on this program.

Coming up next, though, beatings, electric shocks and torture using lions? Some bizarre new allegations about prisoner abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tonight, we investigate. Were prisoners really threatened with lions?

Plus, a 37-year-old woman is in prison tonight, accused of molesting a 15-year-old boy. But, believe it or not, she may be legally married to the alleged victim. Bizarre story -- we will explain when 360 continues.


COOPER: In a moment, you are going to hear an Iraqi man, a former detainee, say that American soldiers held him inside a cage with hungry lions.

Now, allegations are not facts, but they certainly have a different ring today than they once might have had. Look, we -- I mean, we have all seen Abu Ghraib. We have all seen Guantanamo. We have heard the president say the U.S. does not torture while blocking legislation banning it.

And whether most Americans think torture is right or wrong, they clearly do not believe the president. In the latest CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll, 74 percent of people surveyed said, yes, the United States has tortured prisoners.

But did it happen this time? And did it happen in this way, with lions, of all things?

Here's CNN's Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was three months after the fall of Baghdad, in 2003, that Thahe Mohammed Sabbar's tale of torment began.

THAHE MOHAMMED SABBAR, FORMER IRAQI DETAINEE (through translator): I had a very modern life.

FOREMAN: That's when he says he and 20 others were seized at his business by U.S. soldiers, handcuffed, hooded, beaten and taken to one of Saddam Hussein's former palaces.

SABBAR (through translator): Immediately, as they pulled the bag off my head, I saw the lions right in front of me.

FOREMAN: Sabbar says he was in front of a cage of lions and that two soldiers carried him to the cage door, while another swung it wide.

SABBAR (through translator): At the time, as he opened the door, they put me right at the beginning, at the front of the cage. And when the lions came very quickly towards us, was a very horrific noise. At that time, the two pulled me and the third closed the door.

FOREMAN (on camera): So, then, what happened?

SABBAR (through translator): I lost conscious at that moment for a -- for a period of time. They woke me up by so beating me.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Then, he says, he and the group were put against a wall. Soldiers pointed rifles at them and fired -- blanks.

SABBAR (through translator): I could not stand up very well. And I urinated on my own clothes.

FOREMAN: Day after day, through six months of confinement, he says he was beaten, deprived of sleep, food, water, medical care, that he was sodomized by U.S. soldiers and shot with an electric prod. SABBAR (through translator): I thought my life had ended. I was turned into a man that is completely hopeless for any potential for life.

FOREMAN: Many of Sabbar's complaints and those of seven other detainees are in lawsuits filed against U.S. military leaders, including Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. They seek to have the military officials declared in violation of U.S. and international law.

Lucas Guttentag is the ACLU attorney on the case.

LUCAS GUTTENTAG, ACLU ATTORNEY: Let's just be clear. It is absolutely irrefutable that widespread torture and abuse occurred in Afghanistan and Iraq. That's the findings of the military's own reports. The question is, who is going to be held accountable for that?

FOREMAN: At the Pentagon, however, their story, in particular, the lions, is drawing skepticism that it might be part of insurgent tactics.

DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: It seems quite farfetched. People are -- obviously, every -- everything that everyone alleges is looked into. But you have got to keep in mind that the -- the documents that were found, I believe in Manchester, train people, terrorists, to lie about their treatment. And they do it consistently. And it always works.

FOREMAN: The Pentagon says, through 12 major investigations and 2,800 interviews about alleged prisoner abuse, lions never showed up, not once.

Saddam Hussein's now dead son Uday had lions, but the International Fund For Animal Welfare and the man who was in charge of those animals tell us most were taken to the zoo two months before Sabbar was picked up. And the rest were kept under lock and key by zoo officials at another palace.

What's more, the lion story does not appear in Sabbar's own lawsuit. Still:

GUTTENTAG: We have confidence in the allegations we put in the complaint, and in the conduct that our clients were subjected to, and in the statements that they have made about the abuse that they suffered. We have complete confidence in that. And we look forward to proving it. And if...


FOREMAN (on camera): So, you would believe -- if you believe the statements they made, you believe this happened?

GUTTENTAG: Oh, we -- we...

(CROSSTALK) FOREMAN: The lion -- the lion thing happened?

GUTTENTAG: We think that's entirely consistent with the other kinds of abuse that happened.

FOREMAN (voice-over): So, why not include the lions in the lawsuits? Why not include Sabbar's accusations that guards randomly fired rubber bullets at prisoners?

(on camera): When would they do this?

SABBAR (through translator): Whenever it suits them, whenever they like.

GUTTENTAG: Because a lawsuit is the beginning; it is not the end.

FOREMAN (voice-over): The lawsuit does include a graphic description of how U.S. soldiers sodomized Sabbar. But when we asked about this serious accusation:

SABBAR (through translator): I don't like to speak about that.

FOREMAN (on camera): But it did happen?

SABBAR (through translator): I don't want -- I don't wish to speak about that.

FOREMAN: You don't want to say if it did happen or not?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's cut that off.

FOREMAN: Hold on. Hold on.

(voice-over): Sabbar's lawyers tried to stop the interview at this point. And, a few minutes later, when we had to change tapes, he left and never returned.

But the lawyers did, first to insist we not show Sabbar's reaction to those last questions, saying, while they wanted the accusation of sodomy in this story, Sabbar was too embarrassed to be questioned about it. And, second, the lawyers disavowed something their own client said.

Time and again, in my hour-long interview, I asked Sabbar if he was ever questioned by the people tormenting him.

(on camera): It sounds like what you're saying here is, in the entire time you were captive, you were never questioned about anything.

SABBAR (through translator): No. That's what I'm saying.

FOREMAN (voice-over): The lawyers indicated Mr. Sabbar was still in the hotel where we conducted these interviews. So, we asked if he could come back down and clear up that point. He did not. But this did happen. Three-and-a-half-hours after Sabbar left the interview room, the lawyers brought in a second detainee from the lawsuits, Sherzad Khalid. He told us he was arrested with Sabbar, kept in the same prison and subjected to many of the same torments. But, he says, he was questioned relentlessly.

SHERZAD KAMAL KHALID, FORMER IRAQI DETAINEE (through translator): The first question was, "Where is Saddam?" I laughed. I thought he was joking. And then he...

FOREMAN (on camera): Do you have any idea why your friend would say that he was tortured all the time, too, and they never asked him any questions?

KHALID (through translator): I have no idea. I'm telling my own story.

FOREMAN (voice-over): None of this proves or disproves whether these men are telling the truth.

This lawsuit may produce evidence that more Iraqis were brutalized by American soldiers. Or it may show that American soldiers are being unjustly accused of things they did not do. And, in the midst of a difficult war, either may be hard to accept.


FOREMAN: There are many troubling issues raised by this lawsuit and by the factual questions that are implicit in all of this. If you say things like lions attacked, why not put it in the suit? If you don't think you can prove it, why do let your client say it?

These questions are going to stay out there. And, right now, I'm not sure the Pentagon is very worried about this suit. Their reaction today may be that this is the kind of suit they can use more of, things that they feel they can prove are incorrect -- Anderson.

COOPER: That's probably one of the stranger interviews you have ever done.

FOREMAN: Oh, yes.

COOPER: I mean, I have never quite seen anything like that. What was your take? I mean, what did you take away? What did you walk away thinking about the -- the first defendant?

FOREMAN: We spent -- normally, you go for an interview like this, you -- you're there for a short while. And this was supposed to happen at 9:00 in the morning.

At 9:00 in the morning, we were supposed to get both defendants -- both of the plaintiffs here, both of these gentleman from Iraq. Three-and-a-half-hours later, almost four hours later, we finally got the first one. Their lawyers kept saying they were very upset; they were concerned about questions, this sort of thing. We interviewed him for an hour. At the end of the hour, you saw, he left. When they finally brought in the other guy, hours after this guy had left -- and they had already argued with us about how they didn't want these things asked; they didn't want certain things pried into -- when they brought him in, they said, you can only have him for 20 minutes. And, indeed, about 20 minutes into it, they said, ah, we have got to go right now. We can't answer any more questions.

That was after we had been at this hotel for, oh, I don't -- nine, 10, 11 hours, a huge amount of time for this.

It was very strange, Anderson. And you cannot help but wonder why there isn't more transparency. They're asking for transparency from the government. Why not transparency on these guys? Let us know exactly who they are and question them at length about their accusations, because they are very serious.

COOPER: They certainly are.

Tom Foreman, thank you -- excellent, excellent piece.

Erica Hill from Headline News joins us with more on Iraq and some of the other stories we are following right now.


One of the other big stories in Washington today was today's Senate vote, which calls on the president to provide regular progress reports for the war in Iraq. Now, the measure was actually tacked on to a defense spending bill. It passed 79-17.

Senators, though, rejected Democratic calls for a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. But Virginia Republican John Warner said the Iraq government should initiate a -- quote -- "stronger take-charge action" after December's parliamentary elections there.

Meantime, violence in South Korea on the eve of a major economic summit there. Thousands of farmers clashing with police in Seoul, they're demanding protection for the country's domestic rice market. At least 70 farmers and 10 police are reported injured.

In and around Yellowstone National Park, the Interior Department says grizzly bears no longer endangered. Thirty years ago, 200 grizzlies roamed the park. And officials believe their number now exceeds 600. The loss or protection could eventually allow for grizzly hunting in parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

And, finally, while we're on an animal kick, meet Harriet. She's the oldest living reptile on Earth. That's according to Guinness World Records. The tortoise celebrated her 175th birthday today. The Australia Zoo says Harriet was actually collected by none other than Charles Darwin back in 1835. She would have been 5 years old. It is a great story.

Historians, however, dispute it. But, yes, it's still not bad. Experts say she could live to be 200. Sometimes, the good stories are not the truth.

COOPER: That would amazing if Charles -- if that animal was actually...

HILL: Wouldn't it be?

COOPER: Yes, it really would be.


COOPER: You know what? There is actually an older creature from Australia. Let's show that picture that we found. Yes, Dame Edna.


COOPER: I don't know if you knew that.


COOPER: Yes, oldest living creature in Australia.

All right, thanks very much.


COOPER: Knew Charles Darwin, but in a whole different way.

Coming up next on 360, in New Orleans, why are more bodies still being found inside homes? In an unbelievable story, they were found not by searchers, because the searchers have stopped looking. They're found by family members when they return home, more than 100 grisly discoveries in the past few weeks. The question is, who's to blame? We will investigate ahead.

Also tonight, a developing story. Two convicts, convicted murderers, make a bold prison break in Iowa. Tonight, they are on the loose -- a massive manhunt. We will talk to the sheriff live about where he thinks these guys might be.


COOPER: Well, the death toll keeps rising.

You know, it's hard to imagine anything worse than coming back to your home in New Orleans and finding it completely destroyed. But, tonight, as you're about to hear, there is something worse, much worse. Dozens of families have returned to what is left of their homes and found, lying amidst the mold and the wreckage, a body, forgotten, abandoned. Maybe it's their mother or their grandmother, sometimes even their missing child.

The state called off searching house to house in New Orleans well over a month ago. They said they completed the job. Clearly, they have not. In tonight's "Keeping Them Honest," our daily segment devoted to New Orleans and the still devastated Gulf Coast, we try to find out who is to blame.

CNN's Rusty Dornin investigates.


RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Susie Eaton (ph) worried her mother, Viola (ph), might have been stuck inside her house in the Ninth Ward when Hurricane Katrina hit. Eaton (ph), who lives in Florida, received a death certificate for the wrong person. Upset, she tried, but couldn't get answers from officials in New Orleans.

She ended up calling CNN and told us about her worst fears.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My feelings are that my mother may be still in the house and she was not able to get out in time before the -- before the levee broke.

DORNIN: We volunteered to go to her mother's house to see what we could find.

(on camera): This is what's left of the block where Susie Eaton's (ph) mother lived. We have no idea exactly where the house was. But we did have the address. And we found her mailbox. When we called Eaton (ph), she said she was thankful to know that much, but still wonders what happened to her mother.

(voice-over): Two blocks from where Viola Eaton's (ph) house once stood, cadaver dogs continue to search underneath the piles of rubble.

The official search-and-rescue effort was called off October 3, but there was such a backlash, crews resumed searching demolished neighborhoods. They have cleared areas zip code by zip code.

There was no joy for Paul Murphy (ph) in this homecoming. When he walked into his house in New Orleans' Ninth Ward last month for the first time since Katrina, it was shock and anger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, I'm thinking that, OK, I was going to come and salvage a few pictures or something. And I walk in here. I found my grandma on the floor dead.

DORNIN: Since November 1, 10 bodies have been found in the ruins of the Ninth Ward. The last area, known as the Lower Ninth, will open to residents December 1. Coroner Frank Minyard worries about what people will find.

(on camera): You're fully expecting that more bodies will come in once they open the Ninth Ward?

FRANK MINYARD, ORLEANS PARISH CORONER: Yes. And I think it's -- it's going to come in for a good while. There's so much rubbish around that they might find people in the rubbish. DORNIN (voice-over): They already have. And there are still many bodies left unidentified and unclaimed.

MINYARD: We have 150 autopsies left to do, all on unidentified people. Hopefully, that -- that will help us identify that person, if we can find a pacemaker or an artificial hip or something. Then we're into DNA.

DORNIN: Susan Eaton (ph) asked if she could send a DNA sample and was told DNA samples were not being accepted. Nearly 80 days after Katrina, not one DNA test has been done.


DORNIN: Now, there's been talk about conflicts among FEMA and the state about contracting a private lab. And then it was too expensive.

But when I spoke to a FEMA spokesperson tonight, they said they -- it is their number one priority to go ahead with the DNA testing of the people who have not yet been identified. They are trying to find -- decide whether they're going the use a military facility or use a private contractor.

Meantime, the coroner, Frank Minyard, told me that they were still trying to use dental records to -- to identify some people. But, of course, the dental records from the dental offices were destroyed, along with a lot of other records. So, people like Susie Eaton (ph) may not ever find out what happened to their loved ones, let alone get them identified -- Anderson.

COOPER: You know, it's amazing that FEMA is still trying to decide this.

And -- and, all the while, not one person has been identified through DNA. I mean, that is just mind-boggling to me.

DORNIN: What I was told tonight was, DNA was to be the test of last resort, that they would use every means possible to try and do it other ways, with dental records and that sort of thing, and that the state coroner, Louis Cataldie, went in today and talked to the FEMA representatives and said, we have reached that last resort.

COOPER: Unbelievable.

DORNIN: We must do something as quickly as possible.

COOPER: Well, we pledged we would keep -- be keeping them honest there in New Orleans, holding the authorities to their promises. And one of the promises was that the dead would be identified and returned to their families as quickly as possible.

Earlier, I spoke to Saint Bernard Parish Sheriff Jack Stephens.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: You warned us October 3. When the state stopped house- to-house searching for -- for -- for the deceased, you said, it was a bad idea, that there were more people out there. Now the death toll, it turns out, has jumped by 104. And -- and families are returning to find the bodies of their loved ones still in their homes. How does -- it's got to infuriate you.

JACK STEPHENS, SAINT BERNARD PARISH SHERIFF: Well, you know, you just wonder what provoked that decision.

A month ago, we were still very much in the midst of a -- of a crisis. And the National Guard was conducting the house-to-house searches. And if you go through, Anderson, the neighborhoods right now that were searched then, a lot of them bear the mark of "N.E.," which means no entry.

I was always under the impression that there would be a hard- target search at some point following that to determine whether or not there were any casualties left in those dwellings. As of right now -- in fact, the day before yesterday, in my own jurisdiction, a family came home to discover a family member who had been reported missing.

COOPER: Oh, my God.

STEPHENS: It was a horrible -- it was a gruesome sight. Very -- and again, people don't deserve any more grief and pain than they're going through right now. I mean, this whole process has been so excruciatingly screwed up and slow that, I mean, you're starting to feel a real sense of anger and hostility on the part of people locally and, my God, it's well-deserved.

And it is almost impossible now to do identification on them. I mean, these bodies are so decomposed, you know, which leads to the next chapter of the story, and that is the horrible job that has been done at Saint Gabriel with respect to handling these bodies, identification and return of these casualties to their loved ones.

COOPER: That's an incredible story in and of itself. I mean, I know you've been publicly critical of the morgue over there in Saint Gabriel, and look, I'm sure the people there are working hard and God knows that the conditions they're probably working in, examining these bodies, has got to be horrific. But 874 bodies they've examined so far, only 238 of them have actually been released to the families. They haven't even done any DNA testing that has resulted in identification because the state is arguing with FEMA about who's supposed to pay for the DNA labs. I mean...


COOPER: ... it boggles the mind.

STEPHENS: It goes back to some level of incompetence or negligence on the part of government. And in my mind, I mean, we all bear some of the responsibility for this, but, I mean, people just have to be scratching their heads and wonder who's really in charge of this thing and why is it so disorganized? COOPER: Well, and it has got -- I mean, what has got to add to the frustration for you is thinking that the rest of the country has kind of moved on. Because, I mean, I walk around in New York and I talk to people and no one seems to be talking about this.

STEPHENS: This was the largest disaster to strike the United States since the Civil War, and that's natural or man-made. And when you think about that, and start to think about the scope and breadth of the destruction caused by this weather event, it's hard to imagine that the Congress and the rest of the country is ignoring us.

But, you know, this is another thing I predicted a month or six weeks ago. When the lights went down and the other stories were hot and people's attention were diverted, that basically, we were going to be neglected here. But I'll tell you what, people are really disillusioned and disappointed by the response to this whole event. We continue to be.


STEPHENS: But, you ,know the encouraging thing is over the last couple of weeks, I have seen a new resolve by the people in the metropolitan area. They know now that any help we get from outside is basically going to be just like finding money on the ground.

COOPER: A New Orleans police officer said to me while I was down there last time, and I have got a lot of respect for New Orleans Police, he said to me, you know what, a month from now people are going to be sitting around in New Orleans, they're going to say -- you know, neighbors are going to be sitting around in neighborhoods and say, you know, whatever happened to Old Joe? Where did Old Joe go? And no one will know what happened to him because his house will have been bulldozed and in all likelihood, his body is still going to be inside there and it is going to be bulldozed and just buried in some pit and some people are just going to disappear.

STEPHENS: The point needs to be made that in some cases entire family histories have been wiped out. And that's not just documents or pictures, that includes family members who will never be accounted for. And that's an ongoing tragedy and something we have to live with, and certainly in a country as rich and powerful as the United States, we shouldn't have to settle for that.

COOPER: It's pretty shocking to find out there are still people in their homes being discovered by people returning home. Sheriff Stephens, it is good to talk to you. Appreciate you being on the program.

STEPHENS: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: One more word on the subject of Katrina. For tonight, the Federal Emergency Management Agency says it's going to stop paying for hotel rooms for evacuees on the 1st of December, that means some 53,000 families, most of them in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, they are going to be relocated by then or they'll have to pay the bill themselves. Next on 360, a developing story. Manhunt for two escaped prisoners both behind bars for murder, expected to be armed and dangerous right now. We'll get the latest on the search for the killers on the run.

And a 37-year-old woman, she married a 15-year-old, the best friend of her son, if you can believe it. She's pregnant. His guardian wants the marriage annulled but a justice of the peace says, hey, he was following the law. Bizarre case coming up.


COOPER: Two killers are on the loose right now. They escaped from a prison by climbing a wall. We are going to have the latest on the manhunt coming up in just a moment. But first, here's the latest on what's happening at this moment around the country.

Tonight President Bush is in Japan beginning his eight-day Asia tour. And as you can see, not everyone is happy about it. Hundreds marched in the streets protesting. They're protesting the Sunday summit in Seoul. Others demanding an end to the war in Iraq.

Tonight the U.S. is mourning the loss of six American troops, three were killed in a roadside bomb in Baghdad. Three others died along the Iraqi border with Syria. The American death toll now stands at 2,071.

And the next call she may be making is for a lawyer. Tonight, the alleged "cell phone bandit" is behind bars in Northern Virginia, she's accused of robbing four banks in the Washington, D.C., area. Now every time she would pretend to talk on her cell phone. In an affidavit, prosecutors say she admitted to the string of robberies.

And right now a manhunt, as I said, is under way for two men. They are armed and dangerous, experienced killers, they broke out of Iowa State Penitentiary late yesterday, climbing over an unguarded wall using a homemade grappling hook. Martin Shane Moon and Robert Joseph Legendre were each serving life sentences for murder. Now police are a frantic search, hoping to catch the convicts before they will be able to kill again.

CNN's Gary Tuchman has the latest.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the face of it, it sounds like an old-fashioned jailbreak straight out of a movie. Two convicted killers, Martin Shane Moon and Robert Joseph Legendre escaped with the Iowa State Penitentiary using upholstery webbing from prison furniture to scale a wall. But for the people of Fort Madison, Iowa, it is all too real.

The two fugitives, described by the police chief as armed as dangerous, made it into town where police say they stole a car from a woman who had left it running while she dropped her child off at her sister's house. Both men were serving life sentences for murder. Martin Shane Moon is described as 34 years old, white, 6 feet tall, 185 pounds, with green eyes and brown hair. Legendre is 27, also white, 5 foot 11, 178 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair. The vehicle police say may be the getaway car is described as a 1995 gold Pontiac Bonneville with Iowa plate 776 NOW.

The escape has raised questions about security at this maximum security facility, where one state senator said guard towers are not manned after 3:00 p.m. and budget cuts are to blame.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Well, joining me now by the telephone is Eugene Meyer, the director of Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, which is helping the Fort Madison Police Department track down these killers.

At this point, what do you know about how they escaped?

EUGENE MEYER, DIRECTOR OF IOWA DIVISION OF CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION: Well, we know that they scaled a wall and jumped through a roof and then to the ground, and at some point, found a bicycle, at least one of them found a bicycle and then came upon the running '95 Pontiac Bonneville that you just referenced in your report, and abandoned the bicycle and took the car.

COOPER: Now, one of the state senators has said that the stone wall was unguarded because of state budget cuts. Is that true, to your knowledge?

MEYER: Well, the focus of my job here is to locate and apprehend these two fugitives. I understand there's an independent review going on by the Department of Corrections that relates to the actual escape attempt.

COOPER: All right. Where does the investigation -- where does the manhunt stand at this point? Do you think they're still in the state?

MEYER: Well, that is very possible, Anderson, although the vehicle that they stole did have a half tank of gas. There was $12 cash. So they could have easily traveled 200, 250 miles. But we haven't ruled out the fact they could still be in the area.

COOPER: So, 250 miles, that means they -- I mean, I know the prison is close to a bridge on the Mississippi which crosses into Illinois, so they could be in Illinois, could be maybe even in Missouri, is that correct?

MEYER: That's correct, yes. Fort Madison sits in the southeast corner of the state of Iowa, bordered by both Missouri and Illinois.

COOPER: Do you think they're still in that vehicle? MEYER: Well, certainly the vehicle has not been recovered. There is always a possibility that they could have abandoned that vehicle and taken a different vehicle. But we don't have any information to that effect.

COOPER: And I assume your officers are looking at any known contacts they may have, any family. Have you been in touch with families?

MEYER: Yes. Certainly, that's part of our investigation to look quite deeply into their background and try to predict as best we can where they may go.

COOPER: In your experience, do these guys try to stay together in a case like this or would they separate?

MEYER: Well, that probably depends on, you ,know how closely related they were or how strong the relationship was. But right now, as we do know that one of them was on a bike and took a vehicle, whether or not he picked up the other party, we don't know. That would be just speculative on our part.

COOPER: All right. We don't want to go down that road. Eugene Meyer, appreciate you joining us, I know you've got a lot ahead of you tonight, thanks.

Coming up next on 360, a 37-year-old woman and a 15-year-old tie the knot. That's not all. It turns out she's pregnant and the nuptials may not be against the law because of that. We'll explain.

And later, a mystery as hot as a wildfire and as big as the great outdoors: was this fire arson? We're going to show you a detective story like you have never seen before.

Break first. You're watching 360.


COOPER: Welcome back to 360. Tonight, a 37-year-old bride sits in a Georgia jail accused of molesting a child, in this case the child is her husband. They were married just a few days ago by a justice of the peace who, thanks to a state law, may have done nothing wrong.

CNN's David Mattingly investigates.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a quiet, no frills ceremony at the home of a justice of the peace that made headlines in their hometown of Gainesville, Georgia. The smiling couple said their vows in the driveway and in a 10 minutes, they were man and wife.

But within 24 hours, the bride was honeymooning in the county jail, 37-year-old Lisa Lynette Clark faces a charge of child molestation because her groom is only 15. JUDY HAYLES, TEEN'S GRANDMOTHER: Had that been a man and a young girl, they would have had him hung already. It is what they ought to be do that skanky thing.

MATTINGLY: The teenager's furious grandmother, his legal guardian, says she alerted police when she learned two weeks earlier he had been having a sexual relationship with the adult woman. A warrant was issued for her arrest because state law says no minor under the age of 16 can consent to a sexual act.

LEE DARRAGH, DISTRICT ATTORNEY: The acts of alleged molestation in this case all are alleged to have occurred prior to any marriage.

MATTINGLY: Sixteen- and 17-year-olds in Georgia need a parent's permission before they can marry. So how is a 15-year-old allowed to marry at all?

JOHNNY TALLANT, JUSTICE OF THE PEACE: They had their license, so, I mean, they were legal as far as I was concerned.

MATTINGLY: The county judge who issued the license says she also followed the letter of the law. It turns out it is a law that provides one important exception allowing a 15-year-old to marry.

(on camera): Under Georgia state law, that exception is if the couple is expecting a child. The bride has to show that she is pregnant and the groom has to swear that he is the father.

(voice-over): According to Judy Hayles, her grandson was a friend of the bride's own teenage son and frequently visited the woman's house. She says this latest news was more than she could stomach.

HAYLES: The lady is pregnant, and my heart just failed. I stopped on the way home and vomited and went immediately and called the sex crimes division of Hall County.

MATTINGLY: But because the sexual relationship allegedly went on before the 37-year-old Clark said "I do" to the 15-year-old groom, the district attorney says the prosecution will continue. Clark has not yet responded to the charges but her defense attorney calls the case hypocritical after the couple was allowed to marry.

DANIEL SAMMONS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think that we engraft on kids of today levels of innocence that they do not possess, or lack of sophistication.

MATTINGLY: If found guilty, Clark could be sent to prison for up to 20 years.

David Mattingly, CNN, Atlanta.


COOPER: I need to see that thing again. Because I'm -- I got whiplash on that. That's all over the place. Bizarre case. Still ahead on 360, new research about the long-term effects of spanking your kids. But what if you're -- well, what if you're a family that's really out of control? Can you whip them into shape without whipping them into shape? You know what I mean? Take a look.

And did politics trump science when the FDA made its controversial decision about the morning-after pill? Why dozens of lawmakers are demanding an investigation.


COOPER: A new study about the long-term effects of spanking confirms what other research has shown, that spanking may cause children to become aggressive and anxious. And those findings were published in the journal Child Development. And they got us thinking, short of spanking, what is a parent to do when a child is out of control? What if the problem is a gaggle of kids gone wild? You're about to meet two parents at their wit's end, desperately in need of a crash course in discipline. So desperate they went on national television to try to get some help.

Here's CNN's Heidi Collins.


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Priore family has issues, five to be exact. Their 9-year-old quadruplets and 11- year-old daughter are a discipline disaster.

JOE PRIORE, FATHER OF FIVE: Glenn (ph) would be drop and go.


J. PRIORE: Joe would have the bad temper. Nicole (ph) was shy. John (ph), John actually is a pretty good boy, but he's starting to break out of his shell. And Faith is very bossy.

COLLINS: Throw in a dog, two cats, and a million extracurricular activities and the Priore household is a circus.

N. PRIORE: The house is out of control. The kids were screaming, fighting all the time. It was very loud in here. I would come home from work and just be ready to tear my hair out.

COLLINS: So what's a parent to do?

N. PRIORE: Remember I said, anything I find on the floor.

COLLINS: About a year ago, the Priores turned to "Nanny 911," a show on FOX that teaches discipline, reality TV style. Nanny Stella Reid spent a week at the Priore house in Long Island, New York, whipping these kids into shape on national television.

STELLA REID, HOST, "NANNY 911": Is that it?

J. PRIORE: Is that it? REID: Is that the consequence, you yelling and him yelling?

The first thing I wanted to do was turn down the volume first thing. It was a very loud house.

COLLINS: Stella's first rule?

REID: No yelling. No hitting. No spanking.

COLLINS (on camera): Instead, Stella says you can get your children to behave by using positive reinforcement, teaching there's a consequence and reward system where good deeds are rewarded and bad deeds are punished by taking away privileges. And remember, consistency is key. If you make a promise or a threat to your child, be prepared to follow through on it every time.

J. PRIORE: You should know by now what that means!

COLLINS: Joe Priore says he now keeps track of every deed, good or bad, and doles out rewards and takes away privileges accordingly. Another tactic for teaching responsibility, every child has a list of chores.

J. PRIORE: OK. These are the chores for the week. That is it.

COLLINS: But is the new strategy working? The kids think so.

JOE PRIORE JR.: I have to change my ways, (INAUDIBLE) smacking and yelling.

COLLINS: And mom and dad have learned some lessons, too.

N. PRIORE: She thought that a lot of it came from us. If we're yelling, they're yelling. If we're swatting, they're spanking. You know? They're hitting. So you have to be careful what you are doing up here because you have got five little people who are watching everything that you do.

COLLINS: The Priores say they're still trying to keep the yelling and swatting to a minimum, focusing on positive reinforcement, rewards and consequences and consistency. One year later, children and parents are no longer behaving badly.

N. PRIORE: Remember what Stella taught us? When someone else is speaking you...


COLLINS: At least not as often.


COLLINS: And one more thing Stella Reid says is parents often are very good at telling their children when they are at fault and condemning them. But fewer parents remember to pick out the good things. We shouldn't take it for granted when a child carries his dishes to the sink or makes his bed. We should take the time to point it out and tell him he did a good job. There will be times though that the ultimate line must be drawn.

And, Anderson...

COOPER: I can tell you are a mom.


COLLINS: In our house, it's the "naughty chair."

COOPER: Uh-oh.

COLLINS: This is where the child goes when the child misbehaves and the behavior continues. He gets one warning. He goes in the naughty chair. Sits there for one minute for every year of his life. Four years old, four minutes.

COOPER: Oh really?

COLLINS: Put the timer on the microwave...

COOPER: And does it work?

COLLINS: It does work. But they have to really hate the chair, because if they like the chair, then they just hang out and it doesn't work, but they have to not like sitting there.

COOPER: I kind of like the naughty chair.


COLLINS: Well, here you go. You can have our naughty chair.

COOPER: Thanks. Fascinating piece. Man. I'm not ready for kids. No way. All right. Heidi, thanks.

You know, to the millions around the world joining us on CNN INTERNATIONAL, thanks for watching. Right now, the second hour of 360 starts in a moment.

Just ahead, police say he masqueraded as a firefighter, even set off a fire to get to his victim. A bizarre and brutal crime, an intensive manhunt now under way. This guy is still out there.

From ashes to answers, cracking the case of a catastrophic fire that ripped through Colorado, a whodunit, filled with twists and turns and an unlikely hero.

And he anchored "NIGHTLINE" for a quarter of a century, now he is the news because he is moving on. Ted Koppel talks about the past, the present, and his future.


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST: Good evening. It's 8:00 p.m. in the West, 11:00 here in New York. There are storms on the ground, a pair of escaped killers on the loose, that and a question in the air: Is the government playing politics with your daughter's health?


ANNOUNCER: How come the FDA says no to making the morning-after pill easily available? A new report hints politics not science was at play.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Science has to rule at the FDA. And with this decision, they have said politics trumps science.

ANNOUNCER: Tonight, the startling findings that will make you wonder, what's happening inside the FDA?

A teenage couple's secret life. Intimate details emerge of what allegedly drove this 18-year-old man to kill his 14-year-old girlfriend's parents.

And a massive fire burns out of control. But was it a natural disaster or arson of epic proportions? Tonight we take you inside the investigation where the crime scene is 10 times the size of Manhattan.

This is ANDERSON COOPER 360, live from the CNN studios in New York, here is Anderson Cooper.


COOPER: Hey, thanks for joining us in our second hour of 360. We have the very latest on the tornadoes across the Midwest tonight.