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Pro-Bush and Anti-War Protesters Rally In Crawford; Hurricane Katrina Is Moving In; The Morning-After Pill

Aired August 27, 2005 - 12:00   ET


RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: Unfolding this hour, voluntary evacuations and the threat of Hurricane Katrina. CNN is your hurricane headquarters, we'll have up to the minute details.
Also, the future of Iraq and questions about the constitution. What challenges remain? We'll have a report from Baghdad.

And Pat Robertson on the defensive over his controversial comments about assassinating a world leader. What will be the fallout? Two religious leaders weigh in.

Hello, welcome to CNN LIVE SATURDAY. I'm Randi Kaye in for Fredricka Whitfield. Those stories in a moment, first, other headlines in the news.

Almost 1,000 Iraqis held at Baghdad's notorious Abu Ghraib Prison are celebrating their freedom. They were released this week at the request of the Iraqi government. Officials with the U.S.-led coalition say all of the prisoners were accused of nonviolent crimes and all of them have renounced violence and pledged to be good citizens in a democratic Iraq.

The American death toll in Afghanistan climbs again. A U.S. soldier was killed and four others wounded when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb, 15 American troops have lost their lives in Afghanistan this month.

In Crawford, Texas, pro and anti-war protesters are on the march. Hundreds of people are expected to converge on the tiny town today for dueling rallies. Demonstrators opposed to the war in Iraq are showing support for Cindy Sheehan who lost her son in the war.

Supporter of President Bush also are gathering in Crawford for a rally today. Mr. Bush remains at his ranch near Crawford where he is on a "working" vacation.

We begin with a nerve-racking wait along the central gulf coast. Just a couple of days from now a monster of a storm is expected to pound the region. Right now, hurricane Katrina is swirling in the warm gulf water as a Category 3 and it's getting better and stronger. Landfall is expected sometime Monday and it could be a Category 4 by the time it slams ashore. Right now, the region around the Mississippi-Louisiana state line appears to be in the bull's eye. And some voluntary evacuations are already underway in low-lying parishes in Louisiana. But it's still too early to pinpoint exactly where that storm is heading. Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider is keeping track of Hurricane Katrina at the CNN Weather Center.

Bonnie, what's the latest?

BONNIE SCHNEIDER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, Randi, you know, this storm is really intensifying. It's steadily moving to the west, that hasn't changed, and because we haven't seen that immediate turn to the north, I'd say coastal residents in Louisiana are especially concerned because a hurricane watch has been issued.

When I talk about the movement of the storm, just to let you know, the movement, first to the west, and then eventually that turn north that will really give us a better idea for the timing and the arrival of the storm and the intensity of what we're expecting as well. Here's latest track from the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Some changes from early this morning. First off, still the center of circulation is expected to cross through the central gulf coast sometime on Monday. That hasn't changed. But, what has changed is how strong this storm is going to get. We're expecting this storm to get up to Category 4 strength. Currently, we have maximum wind at 115-miles-per-hour as a Category 3. However, eventually, as early as, I'd say, tomorrow morning, this storm will strengthen to Category 4. And, what the latest advisory is saying is before the storm making landfall we could see winds get as strong as 145-miles-per-hour. So, that means a strong Category 4.

Now, because of this and because this situation could get very serious, the hurricane center has issue a hurricane watch, from Morgan City, that's in St. Mary Parish in Louisiana, through Pearl River, which separated Mississippi and Louisiana for this area. If you're wondering what a hurricane watch mean, it means be prepared. In the next 36 hours, we could see hurricane conditions along the coast. And, of course, we're talking Category 4 hurricane conditions, so a serious situation. We will keep monitoring, because here on CNN, we are your hurricane headquarters. We're going to have another advisory later this afternoon. But the main thing to note is just keep because this storm is just growing and becoming more and more powerful -- Randi.

KAYE: All right, Bonnie, we'll check back with you in a little bit.


KAYE: We turn our focus now to emergency preparations as Hurricane Katrina heads for the central gulf coast. Michael Brown is with us from Washington. He is the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Thank you so much for being with us. Tell us, with the storm heading there and possibly we'll see hurricane conditions within the next 36 hour, what should people along the gulf coast be doing right now?

MICHAEL BROWN, FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY: Well, I can't emphasize enough to your viewers how serious FEMA is taking this storm. We've done a lot of planning for a hurricane striking New Orleans because of New Orleans lying below sea level. There are mandatory evacuations in some southern-most parishes right now. And I encourage anyone who has relatives or friends all along that coastal area to call and make sure they're heeding those warnings. You know, as the forecast shows, there's about 36 hours left for folks to get ready. Beyond that, it's just too late. And with a Category 4 striking, winds of 150-miles-an-hour or more, serious storm surge, and there will be significant flooding. So I expect a lot of power outage, a lot of places that will not be travelable at all. So, people have between now and Sunday afternoon to really get ready and I encourage them to do that right now.

KAYE: We hear about mandatory evacuations. We hear about voluntary evacuations. When really is the right time to evacuate? Because I know in covering Hurricane Dennis back in July, a lot of people waited until the very last minute and that caused numerous deaths.

BROWN: I talked to Governor Blanco a few minutes ago and she says they're already beginning to see a strong increase in the patterns out -- the traffic patterns out of New Orleans. I've talked to Governor Barbour earlier this morning and we anticipate so many evacuations that they will probably do some reverse orders and allow the outflow to even go up through Mississippi. So, even the governors are taking this seriously. I've dispatched teams to both Mississippi and Louisiana. We're ready to respond in every possible way, because we do anticipate this being a very significant event.

KAYE: And you're expecting this, what they call, the contraflow, which is when they turn the roads all heading out of the city? You're expecting that when?

BROWN: I don't know -- you know, Governor Blanco is in a hurricane evacuation conference as we speak and she'll make that decision once she gets all the detailed information from the hurricane center, from FEMA and the rest of us. She'll make that decision probably sometime this afternoon.

KAYE: Back in 1969, lots of folks can't forget about Hurricane Camille, 256 people dead, slammed ashore there in the gulf coast. This feels early similar. What are your concerns about that?

BROWN: Well, that is exactly my concern. And since that time, there have been literally millions of people move into the gulf coastal regions, which has not experienced a hurricane. And then there are so many people in Louisiana and Mississippi that watched the hurricanes in Florida last year and even this year and say well, thank goodness it's going over there it doesn't affect me. I'm telling those people today, you have about 36 hours now to understand how serious this storm is, and to make your preparations to keep your family and to keep your business safe. You've got to do that now, tomorrow and Monday is going to be too late.

KAYE: All right, FEMA's Michael Brown with some very important information for us today, thank you. BROWN: Thank you.

KAYE: Katrina was only Category 1 Hurricane when it slammed into South Florida two days ago, but it still packed a deadly punch. The storm is blamed for at least seven deaths in Florida and drenched parts of the state with some 18 inches of rain. That caused some serious flooding problems in Key West, Homestead and other areas. The storm's legacy in Florida also includes a story of survival. A couple and their three children reported missing after they went sailing as Hurricane Katrina approached. The Coast Guard found the family unharmed yesterday, on a mangrove island, at the tip of Florida.


Keep watching CNN, your hurricane headquarters.


KAYE: We turn our focus now to Crawford, Texas. Scores of anti- war protesters and supporters of President Bush's policies in Iraq are expected to make their voices heard this afternoon. CNN's Ed Lavendera is in Crawford with an update -- Ed.

ED LAVENDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Randi. Well, it's a scorching hot day here in Crawford and authorities are hoping, quite frankly, that kind of heat will help kind of simmer tensions, here. But, to give you a sense of what's going on here in Crawford where authorities have been told to expect hundreds, possibly thousands of people to show up here this weekend in Crawford.

Basically what they've done here is what you see behind me is those supporters who have come out to support President Bush and his policies. Over here is the camp -- what's been called "Camp Casey" and this has been set up for the last couple of weeks. This is really one of those boiling point-type areas that authorities are most worried about. You can see as well, if you look here in the middle, just the amount of security presence. And this is much larger than what we've seen over the last couple of weeks and this in direct response -- this is one of the -- the only really camp area where you have both sides so close together.

There's already been one person arrested here this morning for not obeying orders from one of these peace officers as well and a lot of tension, a lot of yelling going back and forth. And basically authorities here trying to keep everyone on a tight leash. Anyone found -- where police believe that anyone is trying to incite any kind of, yelling, screaming back and forth at each other, the security leash here is so tight, to say any kind of language like that that would incite people arguing back and forth at loud levels could be arrested, so a large presence of security here.

We expect to see that in the coming hours. Pro-Bush caravan of folks who have arrived into Crawford, as well. Both sides gearing up for what expects to be a very tense weekend here in Crawford -- Randi.

KAYE: All right, Ed Lavendera reporting live for us from Crawford. Thank you Ed.

It is an uphill battle for Pat Robertson, he's apologized, but many are still outraged at his call for the assassination of Venezuelan's president. Jesse Jackson weighs in ahead.

And still no deal in Iraq. Is a compromise on the horizon or will it end in a political showdown?

Plus, as a quiet American home is labeled a terrorist hangout on national TV, but it was a horrible mistake, an innocent family dealing with the backlash. CNN LIVE SATURDAY continues in a moment.


KAYE: And there it, Hurricane Katrina, churning its way through the gulf there, the Gulf of Mexico. At 1:00 p.m. today, we are expecting a live press conference from New Orleans. That will be including the governor of Louisiana and the mayor of new Orleans, to talk about the preparations there along the gulf coast as Katrina makes its way in that direction.

Nearly 1,000 detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghraib Prison got out of jail this week. Accord to a statement from coalition force, Iraq's government requested the release and none of the prisoners had been convicted of violent crime. They also reportedly agreed to renounce violence and they pledged to support a democratic Iraq.

It is a day of counterpoint and compromise for Iraqi negotiators trying to write a draft constitution. In a month of missed deadline, negotiator aimed for agreement before the National Assembly meets tomorrow. CNN's Aneesh Raman has more from Baghdad.


ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Almost two weeks since the first constitutional deadline and it's the same question confronting Iraqi leaders, will this process end with compromise or confrontation? On Saturday, a last-ditch effort by the Shia-Kurd coalition to bridge deep divide with the Sunni minority.

HAJIM AL-HASSANI, IRAQI NATIONAL ASSEMBLY SPEAKER (through translator): Agreement has been reached between the Kurdish Coalition and the Shia Alliance accepted the suggestions of the Sunnis. It will be announced in Parliament tomorrow.

RAMAN: The new draft sidelines details on federalism, appeasing Sunni demands, leaving the Kurds with autonomous region in the north. It also sidelines another Sunni concern, specifics on deBaathification. What to do with members of the former members of Saddam's regime and the Baath Party. Saturday, conferring among themselves the Sunnis were deciding if this was a deal worth taking. But for some negotiators, it is already too late.

SALEH MUTLAG, SUNNI NEGOTIATOR (through translator): The situation is not balanced. We came here on the basis there's a compromise, but it does not exist. They bypass the constitution on the National Assembly without any compromising.

RAMAN: The government says the only looming legal deadline now is October 15, by when a national referendum must take place. In the interim, the Shia-Kurd Coalition will try everything to get everyone on board, especially the Sunnis.

This is why, in Baqubah on Friday, thousands of Iraqis in the majority Sunni area pouring on to the streets, saying "no" to federalism. With such sentiment, and with the urging of their political leaders, the Sunnis, as well as some Shia, could vote down the constitutional referendum, forcing the National Assembly to be dissolved and the political process to start from scratch. With the likelihood of only reaching this same point again next year.

(on camera): The speaker says with the National Assembly set to convene, Sunday will be a crucial day. And Shia negotiators are calling this the end of the road, suggesting a conclusion to this process, long stalled, may now be at hand. But in Iraqi politics, anything can happen and it usually does in the 11th hour.

Aneesh Raman, CNN, Baghdad.


KAYE: Pat Robertson apologized for his remarks, but the fire storm continues. Should a religious leader mention the word assassination?

Jesse Jackson and Robert Schenck share their thoughts straight ahead.


KAYE: Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson set off I firestorm this week after calling for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Robertson has since apologized. But the Venezuelan is criticizing the U.S. government for fail to condemn those comments. CNN's Mary Snow has more on the controversy.


MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Late Wednesday afternoon, pat Robertson issued a statement apologizing for comments, calling for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. He said, quote, "I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the U.S. is out to kill him." Earlier Wednesday, Robertson blamed the media for misconstruing his comments.

PAT ROBERTSON, CHRISTIAN BROADCASTER: I didn't say assassination. I said our special forces should, quote, "take him out." Take him out can be a number of things, including kidnapping.

SNOW: But on Monday, this was Robertson, in his own word, speaking to his "700 Club" viewers about Chavez.

ROBERTSON: If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think we ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war.

SNOW: Robertson hasn't found allies to back him up, even among Christian Evangelicals.

REV. TED HAGGARD, NATIONAL ASSN. OF EVANGELICALS: Pat Robertson was wrong in recommending this, he was wrong in saying it, but he was not wrong in being able to just openly discuss it the way political pundits do all the time.

SNOW: Critics say Robertson is more than a political pundit and the Bush administration should speak up.

REV. JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW PUSH COALITION: The administration must not be silent, because there's such a strong relationship between the administration and Pat Robertson.

SNOW: Robertson's clout in politic and at the White House has waned over the year. He doesn't hold the kind of influence he had when he ran for president in 1988 and then went on to create the Christian Coalition the following year. Still, he is a prominent member of the president's core electoral base. His "700 Club" program draws an estimated d 865,000 viewers an day. Some Christian groups say given Robertson's influence, that when remarks such as this go unchallenged it creates an impression for American Evangelicals and others.

STEVEN WALDMAN, CEO, BELIEVNET.COM: People need to realize when a major Christian leader like this make comments like that, then other people are going to think, oh, well this is what evangelical Christians are like.

SNOW (on camera): While Robertson sought to squelch top the controversy with his written statement, part of the statement went on to praise Protestant theologian, Dietrich Baumhoffer. He was kill after the Nazis after he attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler. And Robertson says today he deserves respect and consideration.

Mary Snow, CNN, New York.


KAYE: Churning towards the Gulf Coast a Category 3 hurricane is gaining strength. We'll have the very latest weather update in just a moment.


KAYE: Once again, the Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson set off a firestorm this week in calling for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The Reverend Jesse Jackson is heading to Venezuela today to meet with President Chavez, but before he leaves he is joining us to talk about the controversy, along with the Reverend Robert Schenck, president of the National Clergy Council.

Good to see both of you today.

Reverend Jackson, let's start with you. What was your reaction at first when you heard about Pat Robertson's comments?

JACKSON: Well, I was appalled. A, because it is an immoral suggestion and an illegal one. The silence of the FCC, in terms of setting standards for what can be broadcast -- because this is beyond free speech, recommending assassination, and silence of the white house, likewise is deafening. Why does it reverberate so? Because we have a history of political assassinations in Guatemala, in Chile, in the Congo, so it conjures up all of these old fears. That's why President Bush has some obligation to calm those fears, by making it emphatic that it is not our desire, nor design, nor is it our policy.

KAYE: And how much weight would you say a statement from Pat Robertson carries?

JACKSON: It has significant weight. I mean, he talks to a million people a day. Most republican operatives have been on his program have gained his support. He's credited for being Mr. Bush's margin of victory against Mr. McCain in South Carolina when they were running for the presidency. And so there's a tendency to kind of distance themselves from Pat Roberson. I think the other thing missing, of course, is that the context in which Pat Robertson said it. Mr. Rumsfeld had been down through Latin America, South America, saying "Chavez is a menace, even though he's won twice by overwhelming majorities. Even though there was a coup and we supported the coup attempt against that democracy," of -- Pat Robertson, in effect saying, "If you're saying he's a menace, rather than having a war, let us, therefore, kill him." You really can't separate what pat Robertson said from the administration's attempt to isolate Chavez and choose isolation over negotiation to calm those fears.

SNOW: Reverend Schenck, you've never Pat Robertson for 20 years. Is it your opinion he crossed line here?

REV. ROBERT SCHENCK, PRES., NATIONAL CLERGY COUNCIL: Well, yes, I think he crossed the line. But let's keep this in perspective. I think that the Reverend Jackson exaggerates the consequences of this. Pat Robertson is a private American citizen.

He does not represent the government of the United States. And let's put the background in perspective as well. Hugo Chavez is an aspiring dictator, he would like to inherit the mantle of Fidel Castro and he was egging for a fight with someone in the United States.

Sadly, Pat Robertson took him up on it and engaged in this very embarrassing and damaging verbal jousting match. But -- and this was why, as an Evangelical, I called publicly for Dr. Robertson to apologize.

He has issued that apology. I accept it. Millions of others accept it. Now we have a positive platform, where we can discuss the paramount moral question, which arose in this controversy, and this is whether assassination can ever be employed to resolve human suffering. And I would argue that it can, but only in very dire circumstances and Venezuela does not reach that threshold.

KAYE: Let me follow up on that. JACKSON: I think the case is Chavez, who's won by majority, has never preemptively struck another country, as we have. And if a major leader in that country, religious leader, had called for the assassination of our president, we would not take it lightly, because it would be wrong, it would be damaging.

KAYE: Robertson -- Robertson -- let me jump in here. Robertson has actually said he didn't use the word "assassinate," he used the word "take him out," which could mean a number of things.

SCHENCK: Well, there's no question here that Dr. Robertson committed what I would consider to be a grave moral error in this exchange, but he did apologize. And one man's grave moral error does not nullify all the other positive contributions that Mr. Robertson's made, even if that part of the world, feeding, clothing, housing, providing medicine for millions of very poor people.

He maintains a flying hospital, which in that part of the world may be the only hope for life-saving surgeries. And I think reverend Jackson knows from his personal experience, as well as I know, what the power of asking for forgiveness and receiving forgiveness is. That's at the heart of the gospel message that we preach. We admit our faults to God. We receive forgiveness. And I think Dr. Robertson deserves that now and there are many lessons to be learned from that episode and they are not all negative.

KAYE: Reverend Jackson, you're heading to Venezuela...

JACKSON: When you said don't kill him but take him out, mean the same thing. He change language. He did not have a shift in his heart. I mean, you know "take him out" means kidnap or assassinate. So, the politic of kidnapping and assassination are both equally wrong morally and...

KAYE: Reverend Jackson, I want to get to your meeting with President Chavez. You are heading to Venezuela, I'm sure this topic will come up. What do you hope to accomplish there?

JACKSON: Well, first of all, to let him know the politic of assassination is illegal and we accept that and that rhetoric must cool between our nation and his nation. We need each other.

The largest producer of petroleum in this hemisphere is venezuela. We need them and they need us. We should focus on pro- democracy and human rights and a greater sharing of wealth among the resources and the people who are poor.

So, I intend to meet with him and religious leaders; to meet with the African-Venezuelan, to meet with Jewish leader, to meet with women leaders and of course, I hope that a dialogue there will help cool some of the rhetoric between the U.S. and second Venezuela. We need each other as partner and not to fighting each other in this way.

KAYE: All right. Revernds Jessie Jackson, Robert Shank, thank you so much for your time today.

JACKSON: Thank you.

SCHENCK: Thank you.

KAYE: Checking some stories "Now in the News:" Hurricane Katrina is getting bigger and stronger as it churns its way toward the central Gulf Coast. A hurricane watch is already in place for Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Mississippi state line.

While it's far too early to know where the storm will make landfall, that region is already preparing for the storm's possible arrival just a couple days from now.

The dramatic battle over Iraq's draft constitution may be drawing to a close. Negotiations continued today in Baghdad and Shiite negotiators now say they plan to go to voters in October with a compromise draft, even if they can't reach a meeting of the minds with their Sunni counterpart. But they are still hoping for an agreement before the transitional National Assembly convenes tomorrow.

Pro and anti-war protesters are on the march today in Crawford, Texas. Hundreds of people are expected to converge on the tiny town for dueling rallies. Demonstrator opposed to the war in Iraq are showing their support for Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son in the war.

Supporters of President Bush also are gathering in Crawford for a rally today. Mr. Bush remains at his ranch near Crawford where he is on a working vacation.

Many people along the Gulf Coast are keeping a close eye on Hurricane Katrina. CNN's Bonnie Schneider is in the weather center with another update for us -- Bonnie?

SCHNEIDER: Well, Randi, take a look at this visible satellite imagery. You can really see the eye of the hurricane, well defined here on this persepective.

For Katrina -- Katrina still has a ways to go before it makes landfall, but just in case, the National Hurricane Center has already issued some watches from Morgan City, Louisiana, back out to the Pearl River.

So, that includesthe metropolitan area of New Orleans for a hurricane watch; for the next 36 hours, be prepared. I just want to show you the latest track. A lot of changes happening. A lot interesting things going on with this storm. It's moved further to the west. That's, I guess, good news for the eastern Gulf of Mexico, especially the coastal area there in Florida.

But not so good for louisiana, because -- since the storm has not yet made that northerly turn, we're still watching the track to take it in this region. Anywhere in this cone of uncertainty, we could see landfall; it looks like sometime on Monday.

But the other thing to note is that the storm is likely to become a category four-strength storm when it makes landfall. And we could see winds as high as 145 mile per hour. Just to let you know, once again, there is a hurricane watch in effect. Morgan City, that's in St. Mary Parish in Louisiana, through the Pearl River, which separates and divides Louisiana from Mississippi.

So, keep that in mind and remember, a hurricane watch mean conditions for a hurricane, likely in the next 36 hours. So, you should be prepared.

Let's take a look at the latest track to get a better idea of where this storm is headed. It's moving over some very warm, very deep water in the Gulf of Mexico. So, by 8:00 a.m. tomorrow, category four. And as I mentioned, the winds are likely to increase.

As the storm approach, making landfall sometime Monday, we may see winds as strong as 145 miles per hour. One of the reasons we're going to see that burt of intensification is the loop current. That's the current that funnels in warm water -- very warm water from the Caribbean Sea through the Straits of the Yucatan, right on into the Gulf of Mexico.

And what happens is, as we get this current kind of circulating and looping and eventually you have those pools of warm water that form really in the Gulf. And it's warm, deep water that could go as far deep as 600 feet when you have temperatures of 80 degree.

And remember, that warm, deep water is the fuel that this storm needs to really fire up. So, that's why, Randi, we're going to see that intensification, especially as we get into Sunday. Category four strength is expected. It's a big storm and it looks like it's going to make a big, direct hit somewhere in this central coast on Monday.

KAYE: A Big, slow storm, which is never a good thing.


KAYE: All right, Bonnie, thank you.

Louisiana is bracing for the worst. Officials are already asking people in low-lying areas to voluntarily evacuate. Jim Ballow is the assistant chief of operations at the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security Emergency Preparedness. He Joins us now by phone. Jim, where do evacuations stand now?

JIM BALLOW, ASSISTANT CHIEF OF OPERATIONS: Hi. We've asked for precautionary evacuations -- that's voluntary and precautionary, of ten parishes. We have one mandatory evacuation and that's with St. Charles Parish, that's a coastal-area parish.

KAYE: And what is the plan for evacuations as the storm gets closer?

BALLOW: Right now, the local officials are conferencing with the governor's office to determine -- to make their determinations known to her, so we can make a public announcement as to what evacuation will take place, be it the contraflow plan; be it mandatory evacuatievacuations or what. That's still being discussed and decided upon by local elected officials.

KAYE: And the contraflow plan, that is when you actually reverse the road direction so all of the roads are heading away from Louisiana?

BALLOW: That's generally the plan, yes, ma'am. It's a little more complex, but that's what it entails.

KAYE: OK. And the challenges of evacuating a city like New Orleans, talk about that a little bit.

BALLOW: Well, that's always been a key challenge, of course. New Orleans if we have over four million people in the state, you have 1.2 million in and around New Orleans and surrounding areas.

So obviously, moving them out with limited -- limited evacuation routes and some that are susceptible to high water as well, poses a challenge. We need to decide early -- certain number of hours out, as per state evacuation plan, to begin evacuating them, so we can effecttively remove as many people as possible and then stop the evacuation prior to the storm striking.

KAYE: The coast of Louisiana, certainly no stranger to hurricanes and the damage that comes with them. How much damage has been done over the years? Certainly, thinking back to Hurricane Camille, back in '69. But how much damage has the coast suffered over the years?

BALLOW: Well, it's hard to put that into a couple of sentences, but in general, there's been a lot of damage to coastal -- you know, coastal erosion has happened due to various other things besides just storms.

Storms, of course, punctuate and accentuate the damage, but you know, it is true, for every mile of coast that we lose due to erosion or storms, the hurricane-force winds are able to come inland, closer. That's been a study ongoing with that. So, it is a problem over the years. Not just hurricanes, though, with coastal erosion in general.

KAYE: Hurricane Camille, strong cat four, slammmed Louisiana back in afs 69, as I mentioned; 256 people dead. What, if anything, has been learned from a hurricane like that?

BALLOW: Well, we've learned over the years and even since Hurricane Andrew, we've improved as well, back in '92, to respond to local officials. Local officials have the interests of their citizens in mind and every local community has a different set of priorities and problems.

And their plans have been geared to be local; to assist the locals in what it is that affects them. So, paying attention to local officials, early evacuations, special building codes and so forth and a lot more detailed planning and most of all, team work and cooperation; that we're able to coordinate between agencies. We've been very successful so far with that. KAYE: All right. Well, we wish you luck there in Louisiana. Jim Ballow, assistant chief of operations there. Thanks so much for your time today. We also want to remind all of you at home that at 1:00 p.m., we will be carrying a live press conference from Louisiana, from the city of New Orleans. We will hear live from the governor of Louisiana and the mayor of new orleans about just what is being done there to prepare for Hurricane Katrina.

ANNOUNCER: Keep watchin CNN, your hurricane headquarters.

Accused on national TV of terrorism, but this is not a terrorist hangout. And the law abiding Americans who live there, are not terrorists. Their nightmare, ahead.

Plus, just how many bottles of nail polish does it take to paint your car? One woman tried it. We'll have the answer ahead.


KAYE: The idea that terrorists may be living among us is a powerful one. So when a television network identified a Los Angeles area home as that of a terrorist, you can imagine the outrage that followed. The problem is, the report was flat out wrong. CNN's Peter Viles has more on what happened to the innocent family living at that address.


PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Now, we're not going to tell you address, but it's an ordinary suburban house east of Los Angeles, except that it's under a police watch because it was briefly and wrongly identified on national television as the home of a terrorist. A mistaken report that became a nightmare for the innocent family who lives here.

VORICK: Just people driving by and honking and then they'll shout obscenities at us. We've heard the word terrorists from I don't know how many cars. They just drive by and scream, "terrorists," and then they just keep driving.

RONNEL VORICK, WIFE: We don't sleep well every night. Every sound, we're up. We're looking around. It's just -- you know, I go to work. I can't think. I can't concentrate. I'm calling my oldest, because she's usually home during the day, every half hour.

VILES: One night, someone spraypainted this on the front of the home. The family of five has been living in fear.

R. VORICK: I just can't imagine anyone doing that to someone else's house, being that close to my front door. I mean, they might as well have done it inside my house. It'd have had the same effect.

VILES: The mistaken report came August 2nd on the Fox News Channel. A guest contributor, John Loftus, reported he believes a California man is linked to a known terrorist organization. And then he gave the man's home address. JOHN LOFTUS, FOX GUEST: And he lives at [ bleep ].

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, now -- to be fair to him we haven't contacted him at the moment.

VILES: The man Loftus was referring to does not even live at this house. It's not clear if he ever did. In addition, he's not been accused of illegal activity. In a statement Fox said, quote, "John Loftus has been reprimanded for his careless error, and we sincerly apologize to the family."

Loftus, in a telephone interview, told CNN quote, "I got it wrong and I'm just heartsick about it. I apologize profusely to the family." Loftus said Fox has terminated his contract to appear as a contributor.

R. VORICK: I never understood the power of the media until this incident happened. You know, how much one phrase or one little address could affect, you know, so many people.

VILES: The Voricks were happy on this street and in this house, now they're wondering whether it's safe to stay.

Peter Viles for CNN, La Habra, California.


KAYE: Now let's check other stories across America today: Grammy-nominated music producer Christian Julian Irwin has been found. Authorities say he was discovered sitting naked in a creek in the backyard of a Los Angeles-area home.

Irwin reportedly vanished last Sunday after calling a friend and saying he was being pursued by people with dogs. Authorities say there's no evidence of a case and took Irwin to a hospital for examination.

A school district in northern New York state goes high-tech with its buses. A global positioning system allows school official to pinpoint the locations of buses. Real-time video and audio feeds show who is on each bus. Students also have I.D. cards that they swipe when getting on and off the buses. The cards help ensure that students board the correct bus, don't get off at a wrong stop or jump out the back door.

A South Carolina woman has turned her car into a mobile work of art. Yvonne Milner spends up to four hours -- yes, four hours a day, painting designs on her vehicle using nail polish. That's right, nail polish. She's already used about 112 bottles. That can get expensive.

How would you like to live past 100? Well, this mouse has the anti-aging answer. Can scientists use their magic on humans, too?

And the decision was delayed for the morning-after pill, but that doesn't stop this doctor. He is determined to help patients get the pill by helping them on-line.


KAYE: Don't expect to see the so-called morning-after pill on store shelves anytime soon. The FDA is delaying for 60 days, a decision on whether to allow the emergency contraceptive to be sold over the counter.

In the meantime, one doctor is going on-line to give patients he's never met, a chance to get the pill with very little hassle. CNN's Rusty Dornin reports.


RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You could call Dr. Matt Wise (ph) the "Morning-After Man." This OB/GYN's services are in such demand, he works seven days a week. Vacations? He says he hasn't had one in five year. Not because of his regular job, but because of his virtual one. He gives on-line prescriptions for the morning-after pill.

DR. MATT WISE (ph), OG/BYN: These are telemedicine consultations. So, you know: Have laptop, will travel. But in term of -- I can't -- I haven't left the country during that time and I've got to make sure that I've got Internet access wherever I am.

DORNIN: In 2000, while he was training as a resident, Wise took a lot of phone calls from women trying to prevent unwanted pregnancies the morning after. He felt there was a huge need, so he created the Web site For a fee of $24.95, women who fill out a questionnaire and qualify can get a prescription for emergency contraception.

DORNIN (on camera): Women can already get this through their doctor. Why do they really need to go this route.

WISE: A lot of different reason. Nubmer one, I mean, I'm surprised how many women actually don't have a primary OB/GYN provider. They don't have access to someone. Some patients actually, you know, they have a regular OB/GYN, but it's a weekend, it's a holiday, they simply can't contact there OB/GYN.

DORNIN (voice over): Wise's regular employer did not want to be identified, and tried to discourage him from doing this interview. Wise says he works the website on his own time with a little help from his brother and a few employees to field phone calls. He gets up early and is back online after his day job is done. Wise prefers to prescribe Plan B, a product containing two pills for emergency contraception.

(on camera): Do people still misunderstood and mistake it for an abortion pill?

WISE: Absolutely. Pharmacists even misunderstand that.

DORNIN (voice over): Some right-to-life advocates disagree. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because we believe that life begins at fertilization, we would consider this as an early term abortion.

DORNIN: And opponents say with an online service, women don't have a doctor they can get to quickly if there are side effects. But Wise says side effects are limited to nausea and in rare cases vomiting. And he says he's available by phone or e-mail, if they have problems. Wise had to get a medical license for each state where he prescribes the medication.

WISE: I think I'm probably like one of the most licensed doctors in the country right now, actually. At late count, it was somewhere between 22, 23 licenses.

DORNIN: But it's one thing to prescribe, another to find a pharmacy that will actually take the prescription. Some pharmacists refuse.

(on camera): New Mexico is one of seven states where pharmacists are allowed to dispense Plan B without a doctor's prescription. But it's their choice and they have to first take a course.

(voice over): Phil Greego (ph), a pharmacist in Albuquerque, New Mexico, took the course. He says he's happy to get referrals from Wise.

PHIL GREEGO, PHARMACIST (ph): There's no controversy in my mind. I know there is a controversy in a lot of areas, with a lot of pharmacists not wanting to dispense.

DORNIN: Wise says he's not getting rich from the website and says he'd be happy to shut down if that meant women were able to get emergency contraception over the counter.

Rusty Dornin, CNN, Albuquerque, New Mexico.


KAYE: Bracing for the storm: Katrina's second landfall could be even worse than the first. We'll bring you the latest on the growing hurricane.

Plus, great news for mice, an anti-aging miracle. But can humans use this fountain of youth? CNN LIVE SATURDAY continues in a moment.


KAYE: And let's get another update now on Hurricane Katrina from meteorologist Bonnie Schneider.

BONNIE SCHNEIDER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, Randi, here's what we're looking at. Katrina's still a powerful hurricane. We have maximum winds at 115 miles per hour.

A very large hurricane as well. Notice some of these clouds. You can see them stretching pretty far north, already kind of bringing some clouds there towards Tampa, Florida. Though the storm is moving away from Tampa to the west at seven miles per hour.

So, fairly slow-moving. A turn is expected in the forecast to the north. And that's why the folks in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, be prepared. Because a hurricane watch has been posted right now from Morgan City in Louisiana, St. Mary Parish, through the Pearl River, which separates Mississippi and Louisiana.

So keep in mind, that we're likely to see hurricane conditions in the next 36 hours in this region. I do believe that this watch will be extended probably to the east and probably to the west as well in our next advisory that's coming up at 5:00.

So, just keep that in mind for today and into tonight. And certainly, into tomorrow when this storm is likely to really gain strength and become, eventually, a Category four storm. And that's what the track is calling for, as well. We're expecting this storm to make landfall at some point on Monday as a Category four -- Randi?

KAYE: All right. Bonnie, thank you. We want to remind you, once again, 1:00 p.m. Eastern time, a live news conference from the state of Louisiana, the city of New Orleans, the governor of Louisiana and the mayor of New Orleans will be discussing their preparations there for Hurricane Katrina.

Could a newly discovered hormone unlock the fountain of youth? Texas researchers are working with a gene that appears to extend life and keep the body from aging. CNN medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has details.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In human years this mouse is 120 years old. That's because these scientists made him 120. They cranked up one of his genes that regulates aging. Mice get bigger as they get older. Take a look. The genetically engineered older mouse, the one on the left, is much bigger than the younger one on the right. Dr. Kevin Rosenblatt, one of the researchers, says even his team was surprised at what happened when they manipulated the gene.

DR. KEVIN ROSENBLATT: We did not think it would work quite this strikingly.

COHEN: Humans and mice have this particular aging gene in common. So the question is, given our society's obsession with youth, could scientists manipulate our genes to make us live longer?

ROSENBLATT: The possibility of a sort of age and anti-aging hormone and vaccine, so to speak, that could prolong life or actually protect humans against a particular disease, is quite possible.

COHEN: And even better this mouse isn't old and decrepit, he's old and quite healthy, without the usual diseases of aging.

ROSENBLATT: It would be sort of like a 70-year-old man or woman living closer to be 100 years old. But not just living longer, but perhaps healthier, without many of the age-related diseases, such as cardiovascular disease or atherosclerosis or certain lung diseases that are more common in the elderly.

COHEN: The researchers think in about ten years their mouse research could translate into medical advances for humans. But they warn it might not pan out at all. Over the years, scientists have waived their magic wands and made fat mice skinny.

They've made paralyzed mice walk again. They've made brain tumors in mice disappear in a matter of days. But none of these advances has ever translated into breakthroughs for humans. So this aging discovery is great news if you're a mouse, and might turn out to be helpful if you're a human. Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, Atlanta.


KAYE: There is much more ahead on CNN LIVE SATURDAY. We are awaiting a news conference with the Governor of Louisiana, and we will continue to bring you the very latest on Hurricane Katrina. First a check of the headlines now in the news.

FEMA Director Michael Brown is urging people along the Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast to start heading inland as Hurricane Katrina turns toward that area. The storm is expected to come ashore there Monday as a strong Category four hurricane. We are awaiting a news conference with the Governor of Louisiana. CNN will bring that to you live.

Iraqi law-makers hope tomorrow will mark the end of their long running constitutional drama. Sunni Arab lawmakers are now considering a Shiite-Kurdish proposal for the country's draft constitution. Shiite negotiators say they'll take the draft to the voters this fall with or without the support of their Sunni Arab counterparts.

Nearly 1,000 Iraqis held at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad are now free, at the request of the Iraqi government. Coalition officials say none of the released were convicted of violent crimes and all have pledged to be good citizens of a democratic Iraq.

I'm Randi Kaye at CNN Center in Atlanta. When that hurricane news conference begins in Louisiana we will have it for you live. More news in 30 minutes. "IN THE MONEY" begins now.


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