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Final Campaign Frenzy: Last Push for Votes in Iowa; Pervez Musharraf: Bhutto "Martyred"; Crime Surges in New Orleans

Aired January 02, 2008 - 11:00   ET


ROB MARCIANO CNN ANCHOR: You're in the CNN NEWSROOM. It's day two of '08.
Can you believe it?

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: No, I can't. I can't believe it's '08.

MARCIANO: Happy New Year. I hope your year is off to a good start.

I'm Rob Marciano.

WHITFIELD: And I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

Happy New Year to you.

New developments are coming into the CNN NEWSROOM this Wednesday, the second day of January.

Here is what's on the rundown.

Breaking news from Maryland. Shots were fired in the E.R. A hospital is on lockdown. A prisoner on the loose.

MARCIANO: And it's time to do the Iowa blitz. Candidates scramble for votes ahead of tomorrow's caucuses.

WHITFIELD: And the population is down but the murder rate is surging in New Orleans. Our guest takes us behind the numbers in the NEWSROOM.

We're watching a developing story in Laurel, Maryland, outside of Washington, D.C. right now. Shots were fired at a hospital. The schools nearby are in lockdown, and police are now searching for an escaped inmate who was to be getting some treatment at that hospital.

We have now learned the identity of the inmate, 42-year-old Calvin Polk (ph), who was serving life for kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery. He had been taken to the Laurel Regional Hospital for treatment, where he overpowered a guard, apparently, and grabbed the guard's gun. He then apparently tried to shoot off his shackles.

We're also now learning that three area schools are in lockdown as police search for the escaped inmate. We're following this story, and of course we'll bring you the latest developments as we get them -- Rob.

MARCIANO: And a massive fire at an internationally renowned hospital in London. Smoke and flames seen billowing from the roof of the Royal Marsden Hospital.

A spokeswoman there tells Britain's press association that all patients are being evacuated. They're also being taken to other hospitals. This was the first hospital in the world dedicated to the study and treatment of cancer.

You can just imagine what kind of facility this is. More than 40,000 people from around the world are taken here and treated every year. So the amount of equipment in there certainly of concern. No word yet on what caused the blaze.

WHITFIELD: And can you believe it? Just hours left in the caucus countdown. The last full day of campaigning before the first votes of the presidential race.

We begin with the Republicans and Dana Bash, part of the best political team on television.

All right, where is that Dana?

All right. We're going to check back with Dana as soon as we can.

Oh, there she is.

All right, Dana. Well, only a few hours left in this last push for the Iowa caucuses. What are the candidates doing and what are those voters doing, more importantly?

DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the candidates -- in fact, Mike Huckabee was just here in Fort Dodge. They are, you know, giving their final push, their final pitch to the voters in the last 24 hours or so, trying to do two things.

One is to sort of stoke the passion of the people who are already supporters, and to try to sway those voters who simply haven't made up their mind. And on the Republican side there are a lot of voters who haven't made up their mind, even at this late date. So that is what they're trying to do, and really because the name of the game right now really in the next 24 hours, Fredricka, is getting out that vote.

Sorry. I was going to go to a piece there about the process of getting out the vote, but I can really sum it up for you, Fredricka, and this is what it is.

On Mike Huckabee's side what they're relying on is passion. They're relying on the fact that there are a lot of voters out there who simply have not -- many of them have not caucused before. Many of them are church-goers, many of them are home-schoolers who feel an affinity for somebody who is a former preacher, somebody who sort of speaks their language on social issues like abortion, like same-sex marriage and gay rights. So that is really what he's relying on. And you talk to anybody in the Huckabee camp, even Mike Huckabee himself, and he says he simply doesn't know if it's going to work because it is something that is really unscientific. They're not really that well organized. It's not easy to track the voters and sort of the way they're trying to get the voters on his side to the caucus.

On Mitt Romney's side, it's completely different. They have a real machine here in Iowa, Fredricka.

They have the people on the ground. They have an organization that they started building about a year ago. They have an unbelievable database. They sort of bought the list of caucus-goers from the last time there was a competitive caucus here eight years ago, and they know every single voters, caucus-goer that has even slightly said that they would commit to Mitt Romney.

So, what they are doing as we speak is they are calling those people. They are making sure that they are still committed to Mitt Romney, they're making sure that they know where their caucus site is. They're asking them to bring friends and family.

So they aren't really focused so much, at least tactically, on the undecideds. The name of the game, at least if you talk to Mitt Romney's people, is to get the people who say they're for Mitt Romney and make sure they go to the caucus.

WHITFIELD: Yes. And Dana, you have to wonder if there's kind of this presidential race fatigue, because we started this race, everyone did, so early in the game, and now here we are, our first contest with the Iowa caucuses. Well, we know a lot of these candidates have got to be pooped. You have to wonder if a lot of these voters are at this point kind of exhausted.

BASH: You know, it's hard to tell. I mean, you know, I think it's important to note that when you're talking about the people who actually caucus on the Republican side, what we're talking about, it's not that big of a universe of people. You know, it's I think maybe about 5 percent of the population in Iowa. It's a maximum about 100,000 people who generally caucus.

So the people who do it are passionate. The people who are so incredibly well-informed on the issues, on the positions of the candidates, is actually remarkable.

I mean, you know, I live in Washington, D.C., where, you know, it's sort of the epicenter of policy and politics, and you talk to people there, and it's no comparison to what people here in Iowa know about what's going on in the world...


BASH: ... and what's going on with their candidates. It really is.

So, yes, there certainly could be fatigue, there's no question, but it's really only been over the past two weeks or so that many of these people have decided to say, OK, it's time for me to tune in to really make a decision. And again, those people are people for whom, you know, politics is interesting and a very important part of their life.

WHITFIELD: All right.

BASH: So, you know, it's sort of the thing that makes Iowa really interesting and interesting to talk to these people...

WHITFIELD: So they really are champing at the bit. They can't wait for the hours to count down.

Dana Bash, thanks so much.

BASH: Thank you.

MARCIANO: All right. Well, we're excited too. The duel among Democrats now going down to the wire in Iowa. Hillary Clinton is battling it out with Barack Obama, and John Edwards is running a pretty strong third.

Jessica Yellin reports from Des Moines.


JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The final push is on. The democratic contenders are crisscrossing the state trying to motivate their supporters and turn out the state's many undecideds. Right now, the three leading Democrats are offering very similar agendas -- health care reform, a fix to the housing crisis, bringing an end to the war in Iraq -- but they're offering different visions of how they get that done.

John Edwards has been on a 36-hour barnstorming tour of Iowa, selling his message that he's more willing to fight the status quo, that he will truly stand up for the little guy.

Senator Clinton tells her audiences that she has the longest track record of actually getting things done. She knows how to work the system and can actually make good on the promises she's made on the campaign trail.

And Barack Obama tells his audiences, well, he's the freshest, he's the newest to Washington, and not tainted by past fights. So he can bring together red and blue America and make Americans work together again.

One influential "Des Moines Register" poll actually says that Barack Obama's message is connecting with Independents and that many of them are energized to come out and support Obama, but other polls show that Senator Clinton's message is connecting more or that John Edwards and all three of them are actually in a dead heat. It really depends which poll you look at, which campaign you talk to.

But we know that Senator Clinton is trying to reach first-time caucus-goers and especially older women. Barack Obama, some of the younger folks. And John Edwards, he wants those regulars, folks who have turned out come rain or shine every four years for these caucuses.

All three campaigns launching the largest get-out-the-vote effort this state has ever seen, and they're predicting an unprecedented turnout caucus night.

Jessica Yellin, CNN, Des Moines, Iowa.



WHITFIELD: All right. Well, let's talk about overseas.

Pakistan's assassinated opposition leader, Benazir Bhutto, martyred by terrorists. Those words from President Pervez Musharraf just a short time ago. He's also allowing Britain to help investigate in the killing.

Let's got to CNN's Matthew Chance now in Islamabad -- Matthew.


And Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani president, offering his condolences, appearing on national television to speak directly to the people of Pakistan. The first time since the assassination of Benazir Bhutto last week.

He, again, offered his condolences for her killing to her family, to her supporters. He said that she'd been martyred by terrorists in this country and was extremely sad and angry that that had happened.

He also said that it was important to get to the bottom of what had happened and clear up the confusion. He said that he asked Scotland Yard detectives from the British police service to come to Pakistan to give their technical assistance in the investigation to try and find out exactly what the circumstances were in her killing.

Let's listen to what Pervez Musharraf had to say.


PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, PAKISTANI PRESIDENT (through translator): I would like to find out what exactly happened, and I want to bring the facts in front of the nation. So far, whatever the confusion is, we need to solve that confusion. And I would like to ask all the people, media, private channels, our foreign media, to -- not to compound this confusion.


CHANCE: Well, President Musharraf also commented on the decision of the election commission of Pakistan to postpone the parliamentary elections in this country scheduled on January the 8th, postpone them until February the 18th. He said that was the right thing to do because of the law and order in this situation.

He expressed his sadness and his anger that in the aftermath of Benazir Bhutto's killing, so much damage had been done to the country by protesters, by supporters, some of them, he said, who were politically motivated. And he announced that the army would be deployed, particularly in the Sindh Province of southern Pakistan to make sure there were no other violations of law and order. Anyone who did violate the law, he said, would be dealt with an iron fist.

So the comments coming in that national broadcast by the Pakistani president.

WHITFIELD: Well, Matthew, you have to wonder with this kind of volatility, even in a month or so, it seems as though it may become even that much more volatile. So perhaps even that election date might be compromised or threatened.

CHANCE: Well, much will depend on what the opposition parties decide to do. And within the last few minutes we've had word from the main opposition party, the one that was led by the late Benazir Bhutto. It's called the Pakistan Peoples Party. They've come out and they've said that they will contest in these elections on February the 18th, which is a big decision for them, because previously they said they wanted the elections to go ahead on schedule, so that's a good thing. But obviously there's a great deal of political uncertainty in this country still.

WHITFIELD: Yes. Matthew Chance, thanks so much from Islamabad.

MARCIANO: Well, it's one title you don't want -- the "Deadliest City in the Nation." A look at the numbers when we come back.


MARCIANO: We are watching a developing story in Laurel, Maryland, outside of Washington right now. Shots fired at a hospital, schools locked down, and police searching for an escaped inmate.

We have now learned the identity of that inmate. His name is Calvin Polk (ph). He's 42 years old, and he was serving life for kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery.

He had been there to -- taken to the Laurel Regional Hospital for treatment, where he overpowered a guard and grabbed the guard's gun. He apparently tried to shoot off his shackles. We're also learning now that there are three schools in the area that are on lockdown as police search for the escaped inmate.

We're following this story closely and we'll bring you the latest developments as we get them into the CNN NEWSROOM.

WHITFIELD: New Orleans could snag the title again, the "Deadliest City in the Nation." Officials and the FBI say that the numbers won't be out for several months, but New Orleans is definitely on track.

Two hundred nine murders in 2007. That's a 30 percent increase from the previous year, the year New Orleans held the deadliest city title again.

Well, what's causing this dramatic increase in crime in New Orleans?

Caterina Roman is with the Urban Institute in Washington. I'm also joined on the phone by Father Bill Terry. Father Terry keeps a record of all the people who die in New Orleans on a church wall.

So let me begin with Caterina.

What do you believe contributes to these numbers?

CATERINA ROMAN, URBAN INSTITUTE: I think the big issue here in New Orleans has a lot to do with being 2.5 years out from Katrina. They do not have enough resources to really tackle the issue at hand.

WHITFIELD: Well, when you talk about previous years, historically New Orleans has had this distinction before as having the murder capital kind of stats. What's the difference this time post- Katrina?

ROMAN: I think it's not really that there are differences. There was weak and inefficient management practices before, and we're seeing some of the same. And with low resident morale, low police morale, it's very difficult to target the structural problems that relate to crime.

WHITFIELD: So you see that the criminal justice system is at the root of this problem.

ROMAN: There are not enough resources, not enough police officers on the street, not enough jail beds...

WHITFIELD: People aren't being prosecuted.

ROMAN: People aren't being prosecuted, they're falling through the cracks. And you're putting the criminals back out on the street.

WHITFIELD: Well, let me ask Father Terry, who's on the line with us now.

You're in New Orleans. What do you believe are the contributing factors here?

REV. BILL TERRY, ST. ANNA'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH: I think the contributing factor is a fundamental one of poverty, poor education, general infrastructure breakdown.

WHITFIELD: So these are the same problems that existed pre- Katrina.

TERRY: These existed pre-Katrina and, in fact, exist in most of our -- many of our urban environments.

WHITFIELD: Now, what about the influx of new residents? I have heard lots of critics and lots of folks who live in New Orleans say that they also saw an increase in crime when it meant workers from across the border were moved in to Katrina to help rebuild, and people generally who really had no roots to New Orleans who have since re- established themselves in New Orleans post-Katrina.

Do you believe that they have anything to do with this as well?

TERRY: No, I really don't. I think it's a red herring argument that's often run up the flagpole. It's drug dealers, it's drug gangs, it's 13 (ph), it's Latinos.

We had -- we had horrible crime before Katrina and we have horrible crime after Katrina. The difference is we're recognizing it now and trying to desperately address these issues.

WHITFIELD: But Father Terry, doesn't it seem awfully bizarre that you have a populace nowhere close to the pre-Katrina numbers, yet you still would have the distinction of being a murder capital?

TERRY: It's not bizarre. It's a travesty, it's a sin. It's a horrible thing. We're talking about a holocaust situation here. But again, I say it's a holocaust situation throughout the United States.

WHITFIELD: So, Father Terry, if people feel that maybe they're in agreement with Caterina, that perhaps the law enforcement element is really lackluster, they can't -- and the prosecutorial phase can't keep up with the rate of murder and crimes, then are you seeing that communities are becoming more involved? They're being more proactive trying to take on this problem themselves?

TERRY: I think communities are becoming more engaged in the conversation, more engaged in the work. There's a group that meets in Central City every week, every Wednesday, has a prayer vigil. That's an outward and visible sign to the community that something is changing. People are starting to report crimes now.

And I would not characterize the police department here as lackluster. I would characterize them as under siege, perhaps, and undermanned and understaffed, but not lackluster. Some of these officers really work hard, and I know them well. And it's very sad and it's the kind of burden they have to bear.

WHITFIELD: And Caterina, you're talking about officers, prosecutors, et cetera, who are strapped, just as Father Terry was describing, yet at the same time you've got a lot of people who live in New Orleans who say they're afraid to participate, they're afraid to step forward as witnesses to talk about what they're seeing because of the potential repercussions.

ROMAN: Yes, we hear a lot of evidence that witnesses and victims are refusing to testify, and the police could have a great case to bring forward to prosecution. But without a witness, you're not going to get anywhere. WHITFIELD: So what's the future? What's the outlook here?

ROMAN: I think the future has a lot to do with the community and the key leaders deciding that they've had enough, that violence won't be tolerated anymore, and there needs to be a sea change with regard to beliefs and moving forward and saying we've had enough and we'll work together to tackle the problem.

WHITFIELD: And meantime, Father Terry, you have to be exhausted by adding these names to the church wall of 209 now people dead in New Orleans for 2007.

TERRY: I am exhausted, and -- but we will keep up -- we definitely made a promise to the mothers of these children who have killed -- been killed and killed each other that they'll never be forgotten. And so we're in the process of developing a permanent memorial to the murder victims of 2007. Hopefully we won't have to do so in 2008, but we will if we need to.

WHITFIELD: Father Bill Terry of St. Anna's Episcopal Church, and Caterina Roman out of Washington from the Urban Institute.

Thank you to both of you for your time.

MARCIANO: Now we want to get you up to date on the breaking news in Laurel, Maryland. An inmate on the loose, a hospital and three area schools now on lockdown.

Let's get you to Pamela Brown of CNN affiliate WJLA.

Pamela, what else can you tell us this morning about the suspect and, well, where he may have gone?

PAMELA BROWN, REPORTER, WJLA: Well, we do have some new information regarding the identity of the escaped inmate. We have a picture of him now.

His name is Calvin Polk (ph). He is a 45-year-old serving life plus 40 in a correctional facility in Jessup, Maryland, for carjacking, kidnapping, robbery, and first-degree assault. We know he was last seen wearing just scrub pants only. And we do know that he was involved in a carjacking shortly after he escaped.

He is driving a blue Toyota Camry with that license plate number MVC433. Again, that's MVC433.

We know that there was a shooting during that carjacking. The driver was injured. The driver is a family member of an employee here at the hospital.

Now, everything broke out shortly after 8:00 a.m. this morning when Calvin Polk (ph) overpowered two security guards. He was a patient here at Laurel Regional Hospital.

He managed to get a hold of one of the guns, a shooting broke out. We know that no one was injured, but we know he tried to shoot the handcuffs off. We're not sure if he was successful in that endeavor.

Again, he is still on the loose. State police are scouring the grounds here at the Laurel Regional Hospital, but his whereabouts are still unknown. So, of course, this is a very dangerous situation, and we are awaiting a press conference with a representative with the correctional facility here, so we will give you more information as it becomes available.

MARCIANO: Pamela, you were giving us some great information, but there were helicopters around, it was tough to hear you. You described the car that he carjacked as a blue Toyota Camry.

BROWN: Right.

MARCIANO: Repeat the license plate number for us and what state the license plate is from.

BROWN: Sure. It's a blue Toyota Camry. It's MVC433. Again, that's MVC433.

It's a Maryland license plate. And again, a shooting did break out during that carjacking, and the driver of that car is injured.

MARCIANO: And I'm guessing if you knew this information you'd already tell us, but if by chance, do we know what direction he may have been going, what road that carjacking took place on?

BROWN: I'm sorry. Can you please repeat the question?

MARCIANO: Do you know where the carjacking took place, maybe what road and what direction he may have been headed?

BROWN: We're not sure what direction he was headed. We just know that it took place in the proximity of the Laurel Regional Hospital here. But the hospital is on lockdown, the surrounding area is on lockdown. All the roads are blocked.

So police are trying to get a handle on this.

MARCIANO: All right. Good information.

We should also note that the hospital has put out a statement. It doesn't say a whole lot except that they're investigating that situation as it continues to develop, as I'm sure you will on the ground there.

Pamela Brown from our affiliate WJLA.

Thanks for that information. We'll get back to you.

WHITFIELD: Meantime, Rob, a different hospital, a different incident, and a different country. In London, a world acclaimed cancer hospital is burning this morning. It's a developing story we continue to watch in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MARCIANO: You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rob Marciano. Fredricka Whitfield here with a voice that's on the wane. We have 30 more minutes here.

WHITFIELD: Save me, right? I'm going to spare the words.

MARCIANO: Take care of yourself, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Well, I'm hanging in there. Thanks so much, Rob.

A massive fire at an internationally renowned hospital in London. Smoke and flames seen billowing from the roof here of the Royal Marsden Hospital. A spokeswoman there tells Britain's press association that all patients are being evacuated and being taken to other hospitals.

This was the first hospital in the world dedicated, by the way, to the study and treatment of cancer. More than 40,000 patients from around the world are treated there each year. It's quite the significant landmark. No word yet however on the cause of the blaze, and we hope to get a live update out of London shortly.

MARCIANO: We are watching a developing story in Laurel, Maryland. That's outside of Washington. Shots fired at a hospital. Schools locked down, and police are searching for an escaped inmate. We have now learned the identity of the inmate. He's 45-year-old Kelvin Poke, who is serving life plus 40 years for kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery.

Poke left the hospital grounds carjacking a getaway vehicle. It's a blue Toyota Camry. The driver of that car was injured in the incident. He had been taken to the Laurel Regional Hospital for treatment overnight, that's the inmate that was taken there, where he overpowered a guard and grabbed the guard's gun. He then apparently tried to shoot off his shackles. Three area schools are locked down right now as police search for the escaped inmate. Of course, we're following this story and we'll bring you the latest developments as they happen.

WHITFIELD: And new fears this morning, will post-election violence in Kenya spiral into tribal warfare? Armed mobs are rampaging there. Human rights groups report more than 300 people dead, and that's just in the past five days. Some are seeking sanctuary in a church and when they did, they were burned alive. The violence has sparked -- was sparked rather by charges that President Mwai Kibaki rigged his re-election. The U.S. and Britain had issued a joint statement calling for calm there, and until last week Kenya was considered one of the most stable democracies in Africa.

MARCIANO: Terrorism or road rage? New questions today about a U.S. diplomat killed in the Sudan. The African country had once been a haven for Osama Bin Laden. Saddam's government says they killed John Granville and his daughter because of a street argument. The U.S. says it's too early to determine that. There have been no arrests thus far. I want to get to Jacqui Jeras who is talking about a blue of storms rolling across the country effects people on the road. What do you got, Jacqui?

JACQUI JERAS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I can hear the excitement in your voice, Rob.

MARCIANO: Not so much for Freddy.

JERAS: I know what's on your brain. Ski, ski, ski, ski, ski.

MARCIANO: We're almost home. What do you got?

JERAS: Good thing she's not out west because she's going to get damp and cold. Depending where you're at, it's going to be snow or rain, and either way you spell it, it's going to be one big ugly mess for California. But it looks beautiful right now from KOVI. That's Bald Mountain, California. It's near I-80 there on your way up towards Tahoe. That's going to be one of the hardest hit areas is the Lake Tahoe region as this storm starts to move on in. We'll see at least three of them roll through, and I think the worst of it is going to come on Friday day and Friday night.

Let's show you how things are setting up here back on the maps now. You can see a couple of different things out in the pacific. There you can see one swirl of our main system up there towards the Gulf of California. You can see something coming in here from the middle, and look at all this moisture just starting to flow in towards California. That will kick in that pineapple connection or the subtropical moisture which will really help make some of these rainfall totals be extremely impressive and on the high side and why we're looking at some snowfall totals that are going to be just unbelievable when we're looking at maybe 5 to 8 feet overall.

There you can see that on the satellite picture, how things are looking pretty well at this time, and I'm trying to get my computer to go and it just seems to want to lock up on me, but basically the gist of this is we're looking at rainfall totals in the inches for southern California. That's going to come into play over the burn areas, so we could have very significant runoff with debris flows and mud flows. And the snowfall totals in the Sierras are going to be somewhere up to possibly like 10 feet, 10 feet of snow. That's going to only happen over a four-day period of time. We'll also be concerned about avalanches.

Showing you some of the rain, Seattle to Portland, down towards Eugene. They have been getting rain so heavy here across the Pacific Northwest and that rain is going to stick in their forecast throughout much of the week.


MARCIANO: Important to know when we put the one apostrophe.

JERAS: That's feet not inches.

MARCIANO: This reminds me of a storm that was a big mess from the mountains to the coast line.

JERAS: Some are saying this could be worse.


WHITFIELD: As long as you have the hot cocoa at hand.

JERAS: That helps.

MARCIANO: I think she's buttering up some room service right now.

WHITFIELD: The Christmas day tiger attack. The victims say the zoo ignored their cries for help.


WHITFIELD: The world's first premiere cancer hospital is on fire in west London. You're looking at the Royal Marsden Hospital right there in west London. Max Foster with CNN International is there.

Max, what's the latest?

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fredricka, there was a fire on the top floor of the hospital, and there's been a huge amount of damage to the roof of the building, and a lot of damage to the hospital itself. Everyone in the hospital has been evacuated, which has been a huge logistical exercise here in London. Several of the key roads have had to be closed as a result of that.

As far as we know, no casualties. But, of course, they are cancer patients. They need extremely high levels of technical care. We understand that most of them have been taken to another hospital nearby. They are coping, and other less serious cases have been taken to a community center behind us, and they're being treated there until they can be taken to hospital beds elsewhere around London.

WHITFIELD: And, Max, initially the concern or the thought was the place of the fire there at the hospital was an area that was not being as readily used there. Is that still the case?

FOSTER: Sorry, I didn't hear you quite clearly there at the end, Fredricka. What was your question?

WHITFIELD: We understand that the area where the fire began was a part of the hospital that had not been as widely used as other parts of the hospital. Is that still true?

FOSTER: Yeah, that's something that we're hearing, but we can't confirm that. We're not managing to speak to anyone from the hospital or even the police in an official context right now. We're not getting any statements from them, but a huge amount of chaos around here. They're trying to get the patients out, and the other big concern is this is a research hospital. They're concerned research may be lost, but we're told there is a backup facility somewhere. So hopefully that's going to be all right but a lot of equipment, naturally a concern as well. Very high levels of technology in this hospital. Hoping to hear that's all OK.

WHITFIELD: And we also understand this is a hospital, I mean this held significance not just for the folks in the UK, but worldwide, served some 40,000 people from all over the world. You think about people who have scheduled to get treatment that are traveling from great distances. You have to wonder how they are going to be accommodated.

FOSTER: Absolutely. We've been speaking to people involved in the cancer research industry here in London, which is a major center around the world, as you say. They say this is a major setback for cancer research not just in the UK and Europe, but around the world. This was the first cancer hospital in the world. It was developed here 150 years ago, and as you say, people come from all around the world to be treated here. There will be lots of people waiting for appointments that would have been waiting for months if not years. They will be very concerned on what the impact will be on them.

WHITFIELD: Max Foster there in west London. Thanks so much. Much more on this fire at the Royal Marsden Hospital there on "YOUR WORLD TODAY" at the top of the hour.

MARCIANO: Who is to blame for the deadly Christmas day tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo? We're finally hearing from the surviving victims. Their attorney says the brothers tried to get help for at least 30 minutes before anyone would listen. He says they first ran to a cafe, but it was locked. Then they told a security guard, but they say that she didn't take them seriously. The zoo is dismissing those allegations. And a timeline is still unclear, but police records show someone called 911 from the cafe just after 5:00 p.m.

Meanwhile, Jack Hanna is weighing is on a report that the victims may have fired sling shots at the tiger. He spoke to CNN.


JACK HANNA, ANIMAL EXPERT: If they're firing something at that tiger whether it be a slingshot or whatever they're firing at the tiger or dangling feet over, then the tiger will get quite upset. If it's true there was a slingshot and they were flying things at that tiger, then that is sick.


MARCIANO: Well, the attorney for the survivors is denying claims the tiger was taunted.

WHITFIELD: Straight ahead, a beauty queen packing heat and facing criminal charges. Find out what police say she did to her ex in two and a half minutes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WHITFIELD: Ringing in the New Year. For some, the tradition includes firing bullets into the air. It's not clear whether that practice had deadly consequences inside this Colorado home, but just after midnight, police say a single bullet hit the house, passed through a woman, and struck an 11-year-old girl.


NORMA KAHOLO, RELATIVE OF VICTIMS: It's just random. I mean, who -- she's my cousin that lives in Fort Collins. She was sitting on the couch and all -- suddenly blood started coming from her head.


WHITFIELD: And of course you know the result. The woman died instantly. The little girl died as well at a hospital. A 25-year-old man has been arrested and police are not revealing any more details than that.

MARCIANO: That's just dumb.

WHITFIELD: Whatever you want to call it, just firing in the air knowing someone could potentially get hurt? Come on, people.

MARCIANO: Well, this wasn't so bright either. This story could be called the beauty and the beast. A grand jury in Arizona has indicted a beauty pageant winner on charges that she kidnapped and tortured an ex-boyfriend. This is an example of her work for a firearms Web site. According to local reports, she and three other men held the ex lover hostage for ten hours. The suspect, 25-year-old Kamari Fullbright has held local pageant titles and has competed for the Miss Arizona sash. She is also a law school student and clerked for a federal judge. Congratulations.

WHITFIELD: Maybe Fullbright not so bright.

MARCIANO: Not so bright.

WHITFIELD: Thousands of dollars in free jewelry. How does that sound? One Boston area store now on the hook thanks to the New England Patriots. We get more from our affiliate WCBZ.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you feel about your free ring?

LINDSAY DONAGHY, GETTING RING REFUND: I feel unbelievable. He actually wants to take it and get it engraved 16-0 on the inside.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lindsey Donaghy, her fiance, Stephen Shamoian, and the New England Patriots are forever connected thanks to a deal offered by Shavarsh Jewelers in Worcester. It's stamped on the receipt for the wedding band they purchased, a 100% refund if the Patriots were undefeated in the regular season. For this young couple, a $1,260 cash refund they can spend on the summer wedding. STEPHEN SHAMOIAN, GETTING RING REFUND: It was more fun than anything because it's something that I knew I was going to have to buy, and I love the Patriots, and I love football.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The couple admits that as the season wore on, it got a business stressful.

SHAMOIAN: I remember the Baltimore game we were watching just us two, and she took off, went to bed. I got to a point where I shut it off, walked around the house for a little bit.

DONAGHY: I didn't handle it very well. I was a mess. I kept saying I'm so sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The jewelry store is closed today. The owner could not be reached for comment. She is just 19 years old, took the business over from her father, and reportedly is a Patriots fan who has been rooting for them to win. In fact, Shavarsh Jewelers have a new offer. If the Patriots win the Super Bowl, customers will get store credit equal to the value of any purchase between now and then. Confident the Patriots will go all the way, the couple says they will be returning to the store to buy his wedding ring.


WHITFIELD: All right. Well, the store is facing around $250,000 in jewelry refunds, but the store owner may not be fretting. Insurance is expected to cover the quarter of a million dollars.

MARCIANO: That's what insurance is for. Congratulations.

WHITFIELD: Sometimes it pays.

MARCIANO: Lots of international news coming up on "YOUR WORLD TODAY." Jim Clancy has a preview of what you have on the run down. Hi Jim.

JIM CLANCY, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, Rob. Hello, Fredricka. I hope your voice is a little better.

Join Hala Gorani and me at the top of the hour. We will take a focus here on Pakistan. Some developments in the last hour or so. President Musharraf says the vote is delayed. He also concedes the credibility of their own investigators may be lacking. He's asking Scotland Yard to come in. They're going to do it.

Also, we're going to take to you Kenya, and we're going to be joined by one of our own I-reporters. There's continued election violence there, an election that's disputed. We'll tell you the story of one American, what she had to do in order to get out of the country. It's a pretty amazing ride that this woman took.

Also, Hemingway called New Year's Eve amateur night and papa wouldn't be surprised to see how bull fighting wannabes fared inside the ring. For at least one of those matadors, 2008 seems to be a great year to explore other career opportunities. All right. Fredricka, Rob, back to you.

WHITFIELD: Oh, my gosh, that is painful to watch. And we're going to see it over and over again.

MARCIANO: We'll look for that coming up in about ten minutes.

Want to show you some pictures coming out of North Carolina. We've got an accident there on highway 1, U.S. 1, which runs the stretch from Miami all the way to Maine. A bus crash, a Greyhound bus crash with a tractor-trailer. They collided. No word on injuries, but U.S. 1 in North Carolina just south of Henderson is closed, at least the southbound lane on U.S. 1 just south of Henderson closed right now in North Carolina. We'll bring you more on this story as it develops.

WHITFIELD: OK. Thanks so much.

Speaking of North Carolina, shots fired. The target? A water tower. Now turned into a giant colander. Look at that.


MARCIANO: Continuing live coverage of this breaking news out of Laurel, Maryland, where an inmate escaped the hospital there. Let's listen in on the news conference.

GREG SHIPLEY, MARYLAND STATE POLICE: Had escaped custody. The investigation is preliminary at this point, but what we know at this time is that the inmate was on the fourth floor of the hospital, overpowered a correctional officer and disarmed that correctional officer. took his handgun. There was a second team of two correctional officers -- to the room. One of those correctional officers was also disarmed by the inmate. Shots were then fired in the room. No one was struck at that time.

A security guard at the hospital, hearing the shots, responded to the area, was confronted by the inmate who was armed with two weapons at that point. The security guard was then taken by the inmate down the stairs of the hospital to the front entrance. Security guard was told to lie down in the front lobby floor.

The inmate then left the hospital, went outside the entranceway, saw a man sitting in a car who was waiting to pick up an employee from the hospital. The inmate apparently fired at least one shot into the vehicle through the driver -- one shot into the vehicle and struck the man sitting behind the wheel of the vehicle. Pulled the man out of the car and took that vehicle. That vehicle is a '93 Toyota Camry. It's dark blue with Maryland tag "M" as in Mary, "V" as in Victor, "C" as this Charles 433, MVC-433. The driver's side window has been shot out of that vehicle.

The inmate then left the area in that Toyota. Prince Georges County Police immediately initiated a search of the area assisted by Laurel City Police, Maryland State Police, and the Prince Georges County Sheriff's Office. That search obviously is continuing, helicopters, canine dogs, and lots of police officers in the area. Prince Georges Police have contacted the schools and been on scene throughout the morning there. They have completely searched this area thoroughly. The indication is at this time that the suspect has left the area in the -- the immediate area in that vehicle. Certainly the search is continuing.

We do have -- I only have one picture at this point. We are making more. They also have been e-mailed out to the stations, another photo, but we have a recent photo here of this inmate. We'll post it where everybody can get a shot of it as soon as we finish here.

Any questions I can answer at this point? Again, it's very early in the investigation.

I'm sorry? What city is he from in Prince Georges County?

Don't know. Just Prince Georges County is all we know.

We're not certainty point. We believe he was firing the shots from the weapons that he had taken. He did have -- he was not handcuffed at that point we don't believe but he had leg manacles on. We believe he may have fired those shots to break the leg shackles that he had because when he was seen outside the hospital, he apparently was walking freely, so he had somehow disengaged himself from those.

QUESTION: How could this happen twice? I understand the other one -- I don't know what ...

SHIPLEY: We'll certainly be looking into that. We don't know the answer to that at this point. That will search be part of the continuing investigation. There were two officers assigned to guard him. Brad?

BRAD: After the incident in Hagerstown, there was much talk about procedures at hospitals. Were all the new procedures followed here? Four guards, one inmate?

SHIPLEY: Again, Brad, we don't know at this point. That will be part of the continuing investigation. There were two officers specifically on his detail. These were division of corrections officers and a second detail in the hospital with another inmate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is the condition of the man who was shot?

SHIPLEY: The condition of the man who was driving the car is apparently good. He is doing well. He was struck in the head by the shot. But apparently it is not life threatening. So we do have encouraging news from the hospital on his condition. He's a 51 year- old man. We don't have his ID at this time. This was the guy in the car.

We have no indication of accomplices, at least inside the hospital at this point, no. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you say what he was being treated for?

SHIPLEY: Division of Corrections says he was being treated for chest pains. He had been admitted at about 12:30 yesterday. Anybody else?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it standard for officers to have guns in the hospital?