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CNN Newsnight Aaron Brown

Serena Williams' "Catsuit" is the Talk of New York; Mother Laments Son's Death in Controversial Police Shooting; Baseball Doomsday Clock Approaches Midnight

Aired August 28, 2002 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. We faced a bitterly divisive issue at our afternoon meeting today. Now I don't mind telling you some feelings were hurt. Now, we could lie and say the fight was whether to invade Iraq or not, or what our policy should be toward Iran. And for the record we have talked about those issues plenty of times before here.
No, today's tiff was about females and fashion. We're not talking about Carey Bradshaw (ph) and her latest Jimmy Chu shoes or Pucci scarves. Compared to this, that's downright T.J. Max, We're talking about tennis supernova Serena Williams and the controversy over the cat suit. Have you seen it?

It's right there. Some thought it was a wetsuit. But no, Serena says. She says no, and believe me, when Serena says no, you better listen. With biceps like that, she could crack you like a walnut.

She helped design the outfit, she says, maybe also the controversy. It was certainly the talk of talk radio today. Fans and foes arguing over whether tennis is going too far, and where it's going at all. We'll talk about that later in the program.

But first some perspective. You might be interested to know that since women first stepped on the court, there have been fashion renegades, tennis players who have left fans blushing and refs stammering. Long before lycra and lucrative endorsements, more than a half century ago there was this woman, "Gorgeous" Gussie Moran. Her trademark, frilly knickers.

We were shocked -- shocked -- to learn of Susanne Langlon (ph). There she is at her first Wimbledon in 1919. She wore knee length stockings and a loose pleated dress that clung to her body -- egads! She was also the first tennis player to show her forearms and her calves. Can you believe it? The nerve! And then there's Maud, Maud Watson, a champ in the late 1800s. She's gotta be the most famous. Check out this outfit. An ankle-length dress. We are told she also wore ankle boots and a bustle.

If you ask me, Serena Williams' cat suit is an improvement.

We begin, however, tonight, as always, with the hard news and "The Whip." First we go to Jamie McIntyre and a story involving al Qaeda and Iran. Jamie, your headline.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, for months the Pentagon has been accusing Iran of harboring al Qaeda fugitives, and now U.S. intelligence sources are giving us some idea who they might be, including one top al Qaeda leader the U.S. thought it killed months ago.

COOPER: All right. To the State Department now, and a key question in the debate over Iraq. What would happen after a military campaign? Andrea Koppel is not that tonight. Andrea, your headline.

ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the public debate over whether or not to attack Iraq may be capturing all the headlines these days, but quietly behind the scenes U.S. officials tell CNN that planning for the day after Saddam Hussein is gone is finally getting serious.

COOPER: Andrea, back to you shortly. How to punish the man convicted of killing 7-year-old Danielle van Dam? Thelma Gutierrez is on that from San Diego tonight. Thelma, your headline.

THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the prosecution told jurors that David Westerfield deserves the death penalty for murdering 7-year-old Danielle van Dam. They called several people to the stand to help them make their case. The most emotional testimony came from Danielle's parents -- Anderson.

COOPER: And the other Ward Weaver, the father of the man suspected of killing two Oregon girls, quite a story in and of itself. Rusty Dornin is on that tonight. Rusty, your headline.

RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the headline is a tale of two men named Ward Weaver, father and son. The father convicted of murder. The son could face the same fate in cases that are hauntingly similar, and we'll show you why.

COOPER: All right. Back with all of you in a minute. Also coming up tonight, a story that's become hugely controversial, but only for one part of Los Angeles, the Latino part. Gonzalo Martinez, an unarmed man, shot dead by police and captured here on videotape. Was the shooting warranted? We will look at that tonight.

And Jeff Greenfield tonight on why politicians can dust off an old forgotten labor law to keep Major League Baseball players in the game. Larry King would be very happy about that. All that in the hour ahead. But we begin with a dizzy -- a busy day of federal indictments in the war on terror.

The first batch came in Detroit charging five Middle Eastern men with operating as a support unit for terrorist attacks here and overseas. Now the second batch of indictments came just a few hours later in Seattle, charges filed against a man who goes by the name Earnest James Ujaama, but he was born James Earnest Thompson and grew up in Seattle. Here's CNN's Kelli Arena.


KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): James Ujaama, a U.S. citizen, stands charged with being an agent of the al Qaeda terrorist network operating in the United States.

JOHN MCKAY, U.S. ATTORNEY: The purposes of the conspiracy as alleged in the indictment by the grand jury include offering and providing facilities within the United States for those interested in violent jihad training, to provide safe houses in the United States for members of this conspiracy, to recruit individuals interested in violent jihad training.

ARENA: Ujaama has been held as a material witness in Alexandria, Virginia, according to federal officials, since late July. He proclaims in a statement his innocence and accuses the government of quote, "conducting a witch hunt." His family has steadfastly denied that he has any terrorist involvement.

MUSTAFA UJAAMA, BROTHER: This issue is bigger than this, than him or me. This issue is dealing with America and our rights.

ARENA: The 36-year-old Ujaama is not charged with committing any terrorist attack but with providing support for the al Qaeda network in a conspiracy dating back to 1999.

Specifically, those charges include planning to offer jihad training at a ranch in Bly, Oregon that prosecutors say Ujaama compared to terrain in Afghanistan, and setting up a Web site promoting violent acts against the United States.

CHARLES MANDIGO, FBI: What we have to look at in this case is that the seriousness of support to terrorism that is equally important as the terrorist acts that may be committed by people.

ARENA: Sources describe Ujaama as a smaller fish caught in a larger investigation of a radical British cleric, Sheikh Abu Hamza.

Investigators believe Hamza is actually a senior recruiter for al Qaeda, an allegation he denies. Officials say Ujaama attended Hamza's mosque in London while living there, as did Zacarias Moussaoui and the alleged shoe bomber Richard Reid.

(on camera): Three unnamed co-conspirators are mentioned in the Ujaama indictment, and officials say that more charges could follow.

Kelli Arena, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Well, the search for even bigger fish now. Notably a pair of senior al Qaeda leaders who are believed to be hiding Iran. Today a denial from the Iranians and tough talk from the Pentagon. CNN's Jamie McIntyre has that.


MCINTYRE (voice-over): For months now the Pentagon has fingered Iran as a safe haven for al Qaeda fugitives.

DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: There is no question but that they have permitted al Qaeda to enter their country, they are permitting al Qaeda to be present in their country today.

MCINTYRE: Sources tell CNN some intelligence indicates Mahfouz Ould Walid, a top aide to Osama bin Laden, also known as Abu Hafs the Mauritanian, may be hiding in eastern Iran. The Pentagon originally believed Walid was killed in January by U.S. bombing in Afghanistan, but he's now thought to be alive.

Other intelligence indicates an Egyptian, Saif al-Adel, another top bin Laden lieutenant, may also be holed up in border towns in eastern Iran, and that the pair may be planning more terrorist attacks.

Iranian officials deny the two al Qaeda leaders are this Iran and Iran's president insists his country supports the war on terrorism even while opposing any U.S. attack on its neighbor Iraq.

PRES. MOHAMMED KHATAMI, IRAN: We thought we could combat terrorism through the U.N., but unfortunately the policies adopted by the United States ruined everything. Now the U.S. policies are a worse threat than terrorism itself.


MCINTYRE: But U.S. officials caution that the intelligence about the whereabouts of top al Qaeda leaders is ambiguous and sometimes conflicting. In fact, there is some intelligence indicating these two are actually in other countries. In fact a senior U.S. official said today that if Iran insists that the two are not within its borders, there is a possibility it's telling the truth -- Anderson.

COOPER: Well, Jamie, even if it was clear to the United States that this man was in Iran, what options does the U.S. have in terms of trying to do something about it?

MCINTYRE: Well, not many. I mean, there is some discussion at the Pentagon of the possibility of authorizing covert missions into countries such as Iran if they can get in and out and capture somebody. That would require a presidential authorization, and at this point there's been no serious discussion of mounting those kind of commando missions.

COOPER: All right. Jamie McIntyre at the Pentagon. Thanks very much tonight. We go now to Iraq and the question, what comes after a war with Saddam? With no decision yet about when, how or even whether to go to war, it might seem a bit premature to talk about things like what rebuilding Iraq might cost or how long U.S. forces would have to stay.

But remember, this is a president who once campaigned against nation building and whose secretary of state once built a military doctrine -- the Powell Doctrine -- on the notion of always having an exit strategy, so the questions are being asked. And these days the secretary of state is talking about an exit strategy that includes a military occupation stretching out possibly for years to come.

Again tonight here is Andrea Koppel. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KOPPEL (voice-over): It's a question some top Bush advisers have only just begun to seriously explore. What happens the day after Iraq's president, Saddam Hussein, loses power?

LAWRENCE EAGLEBURGER: How long do we stay? How much does it cost? What does it do to our conditions within that part of the world? What kind of a regime do we put in his place? How long does it last if it's seen that we are the ones that put him in his place?

KOPPEL: Privately Secretary Powell believes in order to ensure Democratic Iraq takes root, the U.S. military will have to make a long-term commitment to occupy and rebuild Iraq, just as it did in Germany after World War II, but not all Bush advisers agree. Current and former U.S. officials say Bush will also need to resolve how to pay to rebuild Iraq and what a new government there should look like.

CHARLES DUELFER, FORMER U.N. WEAPONS INSPECTOR: Is the United States going to support an external opposition? If so, whom, or are we going to encourage the development of internal alternative to Saddam, and these are key issues which have not been resolved.

KOPPEL: Among those outside Iraq vying for prominent post-Saddam position, members of Iraq's exile community.

SHARIF ALI BIN HUSSEIN, CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY MOVEMENT: The war it doesn't end with the fall of Saddam. The war will continue, and that war is establishing democracy in Iraq.

KOPPEL: The Bush Administration hosted high-level meetings with members of Iraq's opposition earlier this month to encourage them to forge a united front.

AHMED CHALABI, IRAQI NATIONAL CONGRESS: The challenge is for the Iraqi people assisted by the United States to build Democratic country with the rule of law and to build civil society in Iraq so that it can be the basis and the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) for the development of a democratic society.


KOPPEL: But there is as yet no blueprint for that democratic society. The debate is focused on whether to impose it from the top down, as the U.S. did in Afghanistan, with the transitional authority, or to allow Iraqi candidates to emerge on their own -- Anderson.

COOPER: Andrea, you know the other day we heard from Vice President Dick Cheney about U.S. policy toward Iraq. We have not heard much from Secretary of State Colin Powell. Why might that be?

KOPPEL: Well, he hasn't had any public appointments. You've noticed that the vice president had a speech. It wasn't just an impromptu appearance on the White House East Lawn. This was something that had been previously scheduled, not the speech on Iraq necessarily, but the public appearance. Secretary Powell doesn't have anything on his schedule this week. He was on vacation last week. But I think that he's been letting those former secretaries of state and national security advisers and other prominent Republicans, primarily, speak what he is privately telling aides, and that is that an invasion should not go forward right now, but again, Anderson, you know, Secretary Powell is always the good soldier, retired four star general, and whatever President Bush decides in the end, aides told me, Secretary Powell will make sure to make that case internationally.

COOPER: All right. No doubt. Andrea Koppel, thanks very much tonight.

One other note out of Baghdad. The Iraqi government today took reporters on a tour of a factory about an hour west of the capital. They call it a pesticide factory. Experts at the U.N. say they have their doubts. Pesticides and chemical weapons use many of the same raw materials. In any case, U.N. inspectors haven't had a good look at the plant in at least four years.

Ahead on NEWSNIGHT, another controversial home video of California police in action. And up next, dramatic, emotional testimony at the sentencing phase of the trial of David Westerfield.



GUTIERREZ (voice-over): ...that brought Danielle's mother to tears.

BRENDA VAN DAM, MOTHER: A lot of times I can't sleep at night and I go in there to cry. I go in there to try and feel her, try and smell her.

GUTIERREZ: The prosecution's told jurors Danielle was not just a victim of murder but a child who had hopes and dreams.

DAMON VAN DAM: She wanted to be a mommie, and she loved baby dolls. She loved helping with Dylan, and that was her big thing.

GUTIERREZ: Damon van Dam testified Danielle's death had a devastating impact on her two brothers, Derek and Dylan.

D. VAN DAM: He reverted back to the form of baby like, stopped eating, started wetting the bed again, needed to sleep with us.

B. VAN DAM: Derek came up to me and he said, Mommie, I woke up that night, but I didn't get out of bed, and if I had gone to the bathroom, do you think I could have stopped that bad man from taking her? And I said, I don't think it would have changed anything.

GUTIERREZ: The prosecution tried to convince jurors the same 12 people who convicted David Westerfield of kidnapping and murdering Danielle van Dam a week ago, the van Dams loss is so great the crime so heinous, David Westerfield deserves the death penalty. ROBERT GRIMES, LEGAL EXPERT: In the guilt phase we are simply not allowed to get into this type of evidence, the emotional evidence of the loss of somebody. They're treated more almost as an object than as a person, but not they jury is entitled to hear everything about Danielle and what her loss means to her family.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you describe your loss?

B. VAN DAM: I don't know where to begin. She was one of the most precious gifts anyone could ever receive. And I was so happy the day I found out I was pregnant, because...

GUTIERREZ: Brenda broke down as she remembered Danielle's birth and the first time she saw her daughter.

B. VAN DAM: They brought her to me, and I got to see her. And I was very happy.

GUTIERREZ; Danielle's father says he will remember the person she was becoming, a child with a conscience. He read one of her last letters.

D. VAN DAM: To dad, I am sorry. I will try to be nice. Will you forgive me? From Danielle. Then it has, I love you, and I heart you.


GUTIERREZ: Tomorrow morning the defense will begin to call witnesses for their presentation. Now a dozen friends and family members are expected to plead for David Westerfield's life, including Westerfield's own two grown children -- Anderson.

COOPER: Now one of the children had already testified against Westerfield, reluctantly albeit, that he had discovered some of Westerfield's pornography, isn't that correct?

GUTIERREZ: Well, you're right. David Westerfield's 18-year-old son Neal did testify for the prosecution, as you had said, reluctantly. He is expected to come and plead for his father's life tomorrow, along with his sister.

COOPER: All right. Thelma Gutierrez, thanks very much. The parents of Danielle van Dam have been waiting for justice for their daughter for six months now.

The mother of another young girl has been waiting a quarter century, the mother of Martha Moxley. Lawyers for Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel made their arguments for a new trial today, and they lost.

Now Skakel faces sentencing tomorrow after his conviction for murdering Moxley in 1975, when they were both 15 and neighbors in Greenwich (ph), Connecticut. Skakel could be sentenced to a maximum 25 years to life, but he could serve as little as six years because of credit for good behavior. Another crime story tonight, this one involving Ward Weaver III, the suspect in the case of two Oregon girls whose bodies were found over the weekend.

Don't know if you saw it, but the other day, right here the "New York Times" had a pretty fascinating side-by-side picture of Weaver and another man named Ward Weaver -- Ward Weaver Jr., Ward Weaver III's father. He is on death row in California for murdering a young couple.

One victim was buried in the back yard. Of course we don't want to jump to any conclusions about a suspect who hasn't been charged and whether crime is somehow a family affair, but we thought the case of Ward Weaver the father still seemed like an intriguing thing to look at. So here is Rusty Dornin.


DORNIN: When the bodies of 13-year-old Miranda Gaddis and Ashley Pond were uncovered in the back yard of 39-year-old Ward Weaver, many wondered did the sins of the father become those of the son. Weaver's father, also named Ward, sits on death row in California, convicted in 1981 of killing Robert Radford (ph), then kidnapping, raping and murdering Radford's girlfriend, Barbara Lavoy (ph).

Weaver brought her body to this house, body where he lived in Oroville, California. He buried her under concrete and wood in his backyard. Neighbor Tammy Garrett (ph) remembers the police search.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Those green flower -- that's where it was.

DORNIN: At that time Ward Weaver was already serving time for kidnapping and raping a different victim, a 15-year-old girl, when he told Detective Gary Davis about the murders.

GARY DAVIS, FORMER INVESTIGATOR: Well, after listening to him describe how he killed these two people over six hours, there was no doubt in my mind that this man was very sane. He knew exactly what he was doing. He knew right from wrong. He just enjoyed doing it. He was evil.

DORNIN: Just how evil investigators could never confirm. Weaver, a trucker, was linked to 26 unsolved hitchhiker murders, apparently near his truck route. He offered to tell investigators where the bodies were buried in exchange for life instead of death. The offer was declined.

So as Ward Weaver the father sits in prison, haunting similarities between the victims of the past and those mourned here in Oregon City are hard to ignore.

All the female victims were young, kidnapped, murdered, and buried in back yards.

In Ward Weaver the son's back yard, here below what was a concrete slab, investigators found one of the 13-year-old victims. Weaver the son is the top suspect but hasn't been charged. He claims it was a hot tub pad.

The FBI did their excavation there and they found three barrels, one of which, you know, had Ashley Pond's remains in it.

DORNIN: Weaver the father originally claimed the concrete and wood in his backyard was a platform for a clothesline. His victim was found underneath it.

Ron Shumaker prosecuted the father. Similarities, he says, may be eerie, but not necessarily relevant in a case against the son.

RON SHUMAKER, KERN CO. PROSECUTOR: I don't think it's genes, whether he just wanted to be like his dad, I don't know. Whether he could do it and get away with it?

DORNIN: A tale of two men named Ward Weaver, father and son, the father convicted of murder, prosecutors seeking an indictment and a similar fate for the son.


Now police in northern California are actually looking into disappearances of young girls near Eureka, where Ward Weaver the son lived and grew up, specifically a 16-year-old girl who disappeared in 1997 who was last seen talking to an older man in a car.

Now here in Oregon City there will be a memorial tomorrow night for the two girls. People are still flocking here to the sight. A landlord, the man who owns the property where the two girls were found, says that he is going to destroy the house. He feels it's the only thing he can do for the community -- Anderson.

COOPER: Rusty, you hinted at it a little bit, but explain where you are right now.

From my understanding, you're in front of Ward Weaver's house, and what's the scene behind you?

DORNIN: The scene behind me is the memorial where the people have been bringing notes and letters, and if you can see, there are still hundreds of people who come every day, Anderson, and this memorial is building out five or six feet away from this fence. This fence was constructed originally to keep people out of the search area. They're now just going to keep it up for a while, hopefully until this community starts to heal, but they've also separated traffic, and people just keep coming here. They just really want to show their support for these families.

COOPER: All right. Rusty Dornin, thanks very much. Coming up on NEWSNIGHT, we'll find out what's all the hubbub about clothing at the U.S. Open, and up next the disturbing video of California police. It's a video you probably have not seen before.


COOPER: A shooting death in Southern California got our attention today, in part because, until now, it hasn't gotten much attention anywhere else, at least not in the English language media. We make the distinction because the death of Gonzalo Martinez at the hands of police has long been a cause celebre in parts of the Latino community. He was shot during a traffic stop early this year. Police say they were justified. The incident has yielded no end of controversy, however -- an investigation, a lawsuit and, of course, a videotape.


(voice-over): The videotape is grainy and, at times, shaky. The picture it shows, police say, is an incomplete picture. But one thing is clear: caught on tape during a traffic stop, the death of a 26- year-old man named Gonzalo Martinez.

It was about 2 a.m. last February in the Southern California city of Downey. Police say Martinez tried to run them down after they pulled him over on suspicion of drunk driving. And in court documents, they say he was raising an arm to threaten them when shots rang out.

DAN TOKAJI, ACLU FOUNDATION OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Since Gonzalo's death in February, his family and friends have unwaveringly sought justice, including a full investigation, prosecution and termination of the officers responsible, an end to racial profiling and an apology from the city.

COOPER: No apology has been forthcoming. In Los Angeles, the tape of the shooting has been seen time and again on Spanish-language stations and even played in Latin America. But, in general, not anywhere else.

NORMA MARTINEZ, VICTIM'S MOTHER: We show the video, we send the video out, even send the video to the governor, and no answer. City, no answer. We attend, like, 11 city council meetings asking for justice.

COOPER: Police and the mayor's office in Downey won't comment on camera because of a civil lawsuit, and because of that ongoing district attorney's investigation. But in a statement, they said, quote, "Our officers never know who they're going to pull over when making a traffic stop in the wee hours of the morning. It may be someone who just committed a crime, or a felon on parole who doesn't want to get caught violating his parole and decides to run. Every traffic stop needs to be approached with extreme caution."


We should point out, we asked a representative from the Downey Police Department to join us tonight. They declined, given the pending litigation.

Joining us now from Los Angeles, Norma Martinez, Gonzalo's mother, and Steven Lerman, an attorney for the Martinez family.

Welcome to both of you. Mrs. Martinez, I appreciate you being here. I'm sorry it's under these circumstances. Is it true that you did not know of your son's death until you saw it on television until you saw that videotape?

MARTINEZ: That's true. My son, he didn't come that day, that night. And then -- and he didn't call, either. So after I saw I was in the hospital. And then I saw on TV at 5:30 a.m. in the morning, a shooting in Downey. And then, you know, I tried to get it off my mind. I says no. And by the time, that was approximately 6:00. We usually watch the Spanish news. And after I saw my son on TV. Nobody called me. Police never came to me and says, you know, "Your son is dead." So I have to, you know, see my son die in that horror. I'm never going to get it off my mind, never.

COOPER: Mrs. Martinez, police say your son was driving drunk. They say they tried to stop him. He tried to evade them. Even after shots were fired, they say he tried to run them down. Do you believe anything in the police account?

MARTINEZ: Nothing I don't believe. I told them -- when they told me -- when we went with my husband to the police after the -- we saw that program, they say that. And then I says this is not my son, definitely. This is not my son. My son was a kind person, never aggressive, never. You know, he supported my family. He supported his brother. They study in my country. So you know, that's not my son. My son is a very good young boy. Very good.

COOPER: Mr. Lerman, what is it you are seeking from the city at this point?

STEVEN LERMAN, MARTINEZ FAMILY ATTORNEY: The civil suit that was filed on behalf of the family members essentially asks for damages for the wrongful death of Gonzalo Martinez, and basically for an end to racial profiling, for an end to unconstitutional use of deadly force. These officers had no legal excuse, no moral excuse, no reason whatsoever to mow down Gonzolo Martinez with automatic weapons fire that are best seen on a battlefield, not in a domestic scenario with a police officer.

COOPER: You know, there are -- I mean, we've seen the videotape. It is -- it's sort of hard to tell exactly what went on from that videotape. There are investigations ongoing. Is there anything that could come in those investigations that would convince the Martinez family, convince you, Mr. Lerman, that police were justified in this shooting?

LERMAN: No, as a matter of fact, I've had the opportunity to talk to several eyewitnesses. And the eyewitness' perspective is on the other side of the car. And the eyewitness does not see anything in Gonzalo Martinez's conduct whatsoever that justified the police officers. Quite to the contrary, Gonzolo Martinez at all times is compliant. He's listening to their commands. He's doing what they tell him. He gets out of the car when they tell him.

His hands are raised in an attempt to surrender. And just as he's surrendering, he's mowed down. You don't see a furtive gesture. You don't see a body language. You don't see any movement of his head or his eyes. In fact, he's not even leaning on the car as though he was drunk. This man was executed by police officers.

COOPER: Police do say that before he got out of the car, he attempted to run down police officers in the vehicle. And this, after he had already undergone a chase and already been shot at, and yet continued to resist the police efforts to take him into custody.

LERMAN: The police at the scene reacted so bizarrely and so widely, that one of their rounds of automatic fire went through a neighbor's house, narrowly missing a sleeping 10-year-old boy. In fact, that bullet went all the way through his bedroom wall, lodging in the wall adjacent.

Now this is wild. There could have been two fatalities. When they start shooting up the neighborhood, it's something more out of a Clint Eastwood or movie or a Rambo movie than it is out of some police manual on how to conduct themselves. They had bean bags they didn't use. They had a police dog they didn't use. The man was surrendering. He was given up. If they say that he was driving erratically, if they say that he had something to drink before they pulled him over, the last time I looked -- and those aren't proven facts. Those are hardly the excuse for summary justice right there, street justice than by police officers gone wild.

COOPER: All right, well as we said, investigations are ongoing. Stephen Lerman, Norman Martinez, thank you very much for being with us tonight. We will certainly be following the story and would like talk to you in the future as it develops. Thanks very much.

Some other items now from around the nation, starting with a late development tonight from Phoenix, Arizona. An American West Airbus 320 airliner with 150 passengers on board, has some trouble on landing. Showing it to you there. The plane's nose gear apparently collapsed a short time after the jet touched down. Four suffered minor injuries.

We go now to Riverside County, California. Local police there admitting the kidnapping of a nine-year-old boy may be tied into a custody battle. Nicholas Farber was at home with his father when two armed men grabbed him early this morning. Now according to police, his parents have been fighting over who will raise him. His mother, who lives in Colorado, is currently embroiled in another custody dispute with another man, one of several ex-husbands, over two other young children.

In New York, an armful of federal indictments today against two former Worldcom executives, including Scott Sullivan, the former chief financial officer. He is charged with fraud and conspiracy, as well as filing false statements to help Worldcom hide more than $5 billion in expenses.

Good news from Tennessee tonight. The white powder mailed to Al Gore's office has tested negative for anthrax. That is the preliminary result. A final answer is expected as soon as tomorrow.

And take a look. This Kentucky couple is now officially the world's oldest. The certificate from the Guinness people came yesterday. When William and Claudia Ritchie said, "I do," Woodrow Wilson was in the White House. They have been together 83 years. The couple raised four children, now have 18 great-great-grandchildren. On their 83rd anniversary, they apparently got 579 cards.

Some people might say, sure, they're together, but do they still speak to each other? Apparently they do.

Still to come on NEWSNIGHT, are baseball owners and players still speaking to each other? And, up next, remembering.


COOPER: So we've been collecting our ideas on what to do with those 16 acres in lower Manhattan. We're taking your proposals at Just a reminder, this is not a contest. No grand prize at the end, no matter how good your design might be. And there have been many good ones.

This one came from Texas today, a theme we've seen quite a bit, triangular towers. Two of them, in this case, along with five more buildings. The footprints of the towers would be memorial parks.

Erin in Illinois called this the garden of remembrance, now Aaron Brown, a fountain in the middle with a garden all around it. And Peter from New York sent us this one, four basic buildings that would house all different kinds of things, including a hotel, offices, retail stores, all to avoid creating a pedestrian wasteland. There'd be a memorial park at the base. We appreciate all your ideas. Keep them coming.

It was reported today that six people, maybe more, who were listed as missing on 9/11, are actually alive. It is, of course, wonderful news, but it still seems like small consolation, considering the scope of the disaster. The Associated Press today began filing a list of the confirmed dead, ahead of the one year anniversary, filing it alphabetically. And under the letter "D" alone ran 125 names. One of them was Bob Devitt, the focus of our remembering segment tonight. His life remembered by his girlfriend.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We met in college at Kutztown University in 1989. We worked together in a pizza shop. He was the delivery guy. I was the cook. And we started dating. And we were together for nine years. He was pretty wild in college. And everybody has a Bob story. Unforgettable is how they would describe him, and outrageous. And again, he lit up a room. And people knew he was there. And he would tell great stories and have everybody in stitches, laughing. And that's what they loved about Bob.

He, sort of, burst into a room. And he just -- he's very charismatic and had a lot of energy. He was always active in sports. You know, again, always going the challenge. Sky diving or kayaking or you know, always pushing things to the limit. There really wasn't anything that he wouldn't do. He made a killer chili. His chili was amazing. Everybody knew Bob's chili. And he tried to teach you something that he's learned, because he liked to do that, to sort of dispel his wisdom. He'd be very happy being remembered the way he's being remembered. And his family also feels that way because he is being remembered. He's being remembered with smiles and laughter.



COOPER: More now on Serena Williams, the cat suit and the controversy. The U.S. Open is a very different kind of tennis tournament than some of the other more, well shall we say stuffy affairs. It's in the dead hottest month of the year here in New York. The crowds are brasher, the game is faster, and the players bring out the flash.

Our guest tonight says it's like the fall fashion shows. John Werthheim is a writer for "Sports Illustrated." His book, "Venus Envy" focused on the women's tour and what happens in the locker rooms and club houses around the world.

Thanks for coming in tonight.

JOHN: Thanks.

COOPER: So what do you make of this cat suit controversy?

WERTHEIM: There was a great scenario today where Tommy Haas, the third seeded German, goes out on the court wearing basically a sleeveless vest.

COOPER: Like a muscle T.

WERTHEIM: Yes, basically. I mean, the guy's had shoulder problems. The trainer can rub it easily. And he's -- and this is nothing -- it's about as risque as what we're wearing. He's told unacceptable, change in to something else. Roughly the same time on the adjacent court, Serena Williams is wearing this cat suit, which I don't know if you saw.

COOPER: Yes, I think we got a picture. We'll show it right now as we speak.

WERTHEIM: The Lycra dental floss.

COOPER: Yes, there it is.

WERTHEIM: And you know, the juxtaposition was sort of funny. I mean, men's tennis is sort of struggling to break out of this stuffy mold. And a guy basically wearing a sleeveless vest has to change into real short sleeves.

COOPER: Uh-huh.

WERTHEIM: And Serena Williams wears that, and that's what everybody's talking about. COOPER: Well, do you think this is a -- I mean, obviously it's an effort on her part. You know, I'm sure she likes to wear it, but -- and I think she looks great in it. It's an effort, obviously, you know, to get people talking. I'm sure Puma is very excited. They are the manufacturer of the suit. Do you think this is an effort though by women's tennis to kind of bolster attendance, basically?

WERTHEIM: Well, in a sense, sure. Everybody's talking about that and sort of the whole package, the glitz and the glamour. This is the way the players individuate themselves by what they wear. I mean, we also have to remember, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, the top players are making more money from their endorsements, their apparel endorsements, than they are in prize money. So in a sense, you know, she wears an outfit like this, and people talk about it, she's earning her keep.

COOPER: But -- I mean, the outfits are getting flashier and flashier. You know, there's Serena. There's Venus, even Jennifer Capriati. I think we have some photos of some the stuff she's wearing. Anna Kournikova. I mean, is this a conscious effort?

WERTHEIM: Oh, absolutely. Oh, no doubt. I mean, I think women's tennis is seen, for better or for worse, this sort of marketing the glamour, the sex appeal has really done wonders for their popularity, not necessarily their bottom line, but certainly in terms of buzz. And players wore the pleated skirts and the white collared shirts. Nobody talked about it. So if this is another way to talk about women's tennis, all the better.

COOPER: It's interesting though, because you got this article coming out in "Sports Illustrated" I think tomorrow that I read, that's really interesting. And - but in it, there are a lot of quotes from like Martina Navritalova, saying look, we're trying to be more serious now. Women's tennis isn't about this. But clearly, they're not attending the U.S. Open because I mean, you look at these outfits, and that seems to be what it's about.

WERTHEIM: Sure, I think there's a real tension, where a lot of the players want the tennis to speak for itself. But you know, we saw today, the past two matches, Venus and Serena Williams have played, they've lost a combined total of one game. Well, people aren't going to talk about that. So when they wear these outrageous outfits, and when we add the sex appeal, it gives the tour another dimension.

COOPER: Mm-hmm. In -- you know at the start of the show, we looked back at some of the outfits that people wore like in the 1800s and early 19th century. I mean, there's a long history of people being upset about what women tennis players are wearing.

WERTHEIM: Well, Susanne Longlin (ph) wore a skirt that came above the knee.

COOPER: Right.

WERTHEIM: And this was outrageous.

COOPER: Right, she was the first to show her calves.

WERTHEIM: Right, right. You know, and even 10 years ago, we had Ann White, who's a player of little distinction, but she wore to Wimbledon a white, full body suit.

COOPER: Mm-hmm.

WERTHEIM: And this created a stir. And then you look, I mean every year they sort of push the envelope a little bit more.

COOPER: Right. What -- in this article that's coming out tomorrow, you profile a young player who's just about to turn 18. Tell us about her.

WERTHEIM: Well, she's the tour's dream come true, which is a player that can compete with the Williams sisters right now, who are -- the two of them are sort of running away, head and shoulders above the field. So she can compete with the Williams sisters. But she also has Anna Kournikova's marketability and glamour. Anna's sort of gotten to be a little bit stale. And she's going to come along and save the tour by sort of...

COOPER: This is her. This is...

WERTHEIM: all things (UNINTELLIGIBLE). This is Svetlana Popova, correct.

COOPER: There are those who say, and as sort of a serious side to this, you know, alleged controversy over the cat suit, there's a racial component to it, that if Serena Williams, you know, was a white player, there would not be as much talk about the, you know, the very sexual nature of some of her wardrobe. Do you -- have you heard that? Do you...

WERTHEIM: No, I haven't, to be honest, I think a lot of people are sort of impressed by how bold this is. I mean, I haven't heard a lot of sort of negative or pejorative talk about this. I mean, I think people realize that she's getting paid a lot of money to endorse this apparel. And when she wears it and people talk about it, it's good for business. But no, I don't see that at all.

COOPER: And in your article, you talk about the women's tennis is actually not doing all that well financially. Is that right?

WERTHEIM: Well, that's sort of the irony of all this, that the players, a few individual players, the Williams sisters, Kournikova are doing extremely well. Corporate America has really invested in them, but one of the downsides of sort of selling the sex is that corporate America is not invested in women's tennis as an institution. They say, you know, we're going to give our money to the Williams sisters, but it hasn't necessarily bolstered the sport as a whole.

COOPER: And while attendance is up at male tennis matches, it's actually going down at women's tennis?

WERTHEIM: Yes, sort of contrary to belief, I mean, women's tennis certainly hot from unquantifiable buzz standpoint, but this has not translated to better attendance or you know, better revenues for the tour.

COOPER: All right, John, thanks for coming in.


COOPER: It's interesting.

Well, not everyone can play tennis. Some of us just don't have the fashion sense. Others prefer something with more of a challenge. And it's for those of you we present two alternatives in our world round up tonight.

Do leave the tennis whites at home. Bring the goggles, maybe a little Chianti and head to Spain. No, this isn't how they make gazpacho. From the country that brought you the running of the bulls is the annual throwing of the beefsteaks. How about them tomatoes? Yum.

Wales isn't known for tomatoes, but they do have plenty of mud. And no, this isn't how you make gazpacho in Wales either. This is not an Olympic event either, at least not yet. They call it bogs snorkeling. So why do the Welch men snorkel from one end of the weed infested bog to the other? Well if you have any idea, be sure to let us know because we don't.

Next on NEWSNIGHT, baseball labor woes, labor schmoes. Plus an update on looking for Charles Nelson Reilly when we return.


COOPER: Ah, Segment 7. Finally tonight, baseball and the last 24 hours until a threatened strike by Major League players. Keith Olbermann reports that a source in contact with the negotiators tells him that progress is being made and that an agreement is possible before tomorrow night's deadline. We say possible. We have no way of knowing if that supposed progress is due to the fact that Commissioner Bud Selig showed up at the talks for the first time today.

But despite all that, despite all of that, the talks break down. And if there is a strike, there could be a price to be paid this November for not listening to Jeff Greenfield or Robert Taft or Fred Hartley. Now sadly, the last two gentlemen were unavailable tonight. It is the end of August, but Jeff Greenfield, he -- we got him.

Welcome back.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're not going to get those guys in September either.

So listen, it was eight summers ago and one baseball strike ago, and President Clinton was wrapping up a chat with a trio of journalists, present company included. As I took my leave, I said to him, tongue in cheek, "Have you thought about invoking the Taft- Hartley law to stop the baseball strike? " I'm not sure if President Clinton realized I was kidding, but he looked at me as if I had gone completely off the deep end. But you know, the more I think about it, the more I'm inclined to suggest that President Bush take my advice for real.


GREENFIELD: First some history. The Taft-Hartley law, named after Senator Robert Taft and Congressman Fred Hartley, was passed by a Republican Congress in 1947 over the strong veto of Harry Truman. It gives the president the power to impose an 80 day cooling off period on any strike that would imperil the national health and safety.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A nationwide strike is immediately called. And 560,000 steel workers join the picket lines.

GREENFIELD: Labor unions hated the law. They called it slave labor, but it's been stored in the political attic for years and hasn't been used since 1978, when Jimmy Carter used it to stop a coal strike. And guys like Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Bernie Williams making between $10 million and $25 million a year may not strike you as the classic image of the hard callused sons of toil, but think about it from the president's point of view. As Bush thinks about what happened to President Clinton and the Democrats eight years and one baseball strike ago...

BILL CLINTON, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It appears that both parties are determined to let the strike proceed.

GREENFIELD: Democrats were swept out of the House and Senate in the midterm elections. swept out in a tidal wave of angry voters. Whatever they were angry about back then, surely the absence of the baseball playoffs and the World Series could not have helped their mood any.

And today, every poll shows that the voters are in a bad mood. They think the country's off on the wrong track. Maybe it's the markets or Enron and company or Martha Stewart or the church scandals or the terror fears. But here's one thing everybody from Karl Rove on down knows, if voters go to the polls in a lousy mood, it is very bad news for the party in power.


GREENFIELD: Now an 80 day cooling off period, it gets baseball all the way through the World Series, which means a happier emotional state for voters, male voters in particular, the key to any key Republican victory.

And even if the president can't argue politics, there is no reason why Mr. Bush could not argue that an emotionally happy public is indeed a matter of national mental health. So Mr. President, think about it. The last president ignored my advice. He got six years of an opposition Congress and an impeachment to boot. You pardon the mixed metaphor, please, but this one is a slam-dunk.

COOPER: Have you gotten any calls from Crawford, Texas lately?

GREENFIELD: No, but I can tell you in all confidence, you just don't get analysis like this anywhere else.

COOPER: That is absolutely true. We expect nothing less from CNN.


COOPER: And from you, Jeff. Thanks very much.


COOPER: Well, that's about it for NEWSNIGHT tonight. Thanks for watching. As we leave you, we'd like you to keep an eye out for this man. That's right, Charles Nelson Reilly. In "The Wall Street Journal" earlier this week, he was bemoaning his inability to get on television. We would love to interview Charles Nelson Reilly, and yet, he has not returned our repeated calls.

It's been three days now. If you see this man, do not approach him for an autograph. Just drop us a line at Let us know where he is. We are trained professionals. We are determined to bring him in.

I'm Anderson Cooper. I'll see you tomorrow night.