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Waiting for Wilma; FEMA Official Testifies

Aired October 20, 2005 - 19:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening everyone. We are live, again, on Bourbon Street in New Orleans still tracking the rebuilding of this town. And tracking Wilma. Florida in the crosshairs tonight. 360 starts now.

ANNOUNCER: Bearing down on Florida, a dangerous category 4 storm just like Hurricane Charley was. This is what Charley did. Waiting for Wilma. A state of emergency.

He was FEMA's point man in New Orleans when Katrina hit. The only FEMA employee in the entire city. When he called for help, he says no one listened.

MARTY BAHAMONDE, REGIONAL DIRECTOR, FEMA: I don't know where that information went.

ANNOUNCER: A major break in the murder that caused a mistrial. A prominent lawyer's wife brutally beaten. Now an arrest.

A man frozen in time encased in ice, his army parachute unopened. Who is he? When did he die? Thawing out, a 360 mystery.

Live from the CNN broadcast center in New York, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.


COOPER: And good evening again. I'm back in the French Quarter tonight on Bourbon Street up on a balcony of the Royal Sinesta Hotel. There is a lot happening at this moment. We're going to have much more on the recovery of New Orleans in a moment. How far it's come. How far it has to go.

First, though, let's talk about Wilma. The powerful hurricane churning in the Caribbean. At this moment, Wilma it is a category 4 hurricane. It is about 135 miles south southeast of Cozumel, Mexico. It's expected to hit Florida's Gulf coast some time late Sunday or early Monday.

Across the Caribbean, coastlines are taking a beating. Flooding in Honduras, just one example. The storm has taken 13 lives so far.

In Florida, a state of emergency in place, evacuations underway. If Wilma makes landfall as expected on Sunday, it will be the seventh hurricane in 14 months to batter the sunshine state.

We've got reporters covering the story from the Caribbean to the Gulf Coast to CNN's weather center. CNN's Susan Candiotti is in Cancun, Mexico tonight. Lucia Newman in Havana, Cuba. John Zarrella in Miami and severe weather expert Chad Myers is in Atlanta. Let's start with Chad in Atlanta. Chad, what's the latest on Wilma.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, Anderson, this storm from top to bottom is 1200 miles. If you go outside and you're in Orlando, and you see clouds above you, I know it's getting dark now, but the clouds you saw with your sunset, that was part of the storm.

Part of the outflow of the storm itself now filling almost the western half of the Caribbean. There's the eye of the storm. It's getting very well pronounced now.

The storm reintensifying after taking a breather earlier today. You can now see the eye is getting smaller. That means the storm is spinning quicker in the middle. The smaller the eye, the faster it spins. And in fact, when we had the fastest winds at 175, that eye was only four to five miles across.

Here is the eye now on the Mexican radar out of Cancun. You can see some of the outer bands coming through Cozumel, coming on up through Cancun. And as the wind came through, Cozumel with the first outer band, they had wind gusts of 45 miles per hour.

An impressive looking eye, an awful lot of rain. And if the rain is the forecast of this thing stopping, rainfall totals could be 15 to 20 inches in those areas around the Yucatan even into parts of western Cuba before it finally stops.

There is the track on up into Florida. And in a half hour, we're going to explain how all these lines get here. Where do they come from and why are they all so different. Back to you, Anderson.

COOPER: So, when do we know? I know we don't know exactly when it will hit. When do we have a better idea of when that's going to happen?

MYERS: We get an idea, Anderson, when the storm finally turns to the east. The storm right now is still traveling to the west. This is a simulation. And the storm -- this simulation -- this model actually takes it over the Yucatan and kills it. There aren't too many that do this.

Most them get it up here into the north, into the Gulf and then begin a turn. When it starts to turn, that's when we'll know where it's going go.

Until then, it's in this wind field here that just isn't moving very much. When it gets up here, we know where it's going to be going, we know which direction. We just don't know how long that could take. That could be three days or five days before that happens.

MYERS: All right, Chad, we'll check in with you a little bit later in the program.

CNN's Lucia Newman is standing by live in Havana. Lucia, what's the situation there?


Well, Cubans are taking no chances fearing that this very, very fickle hurricane could take a very sharp right turn on its way to Florida right over Cuba. Already in western Pinar Del Rio province which is expected to be hit the hardest, more than 100,000 people have already been evacuated there. And a similar number will be evacuated in Havana province and here in the city of Havana in the coming hours and days.

This island is already drenched, Anderson. First by Hurricane Dennis then recently by Hurricane Rita. So there is a lot of fear of flooding and mudslides. And as we've seen, that is what causes the most fatalities during and after a hurricane.

Now in Havana itself, the evacuations have not started yet. People are, though, stocking up on food, water, candles, all sort of supplies. It hasn't started raining yet. The occasional drizzle. But meteorologists say that in the coming hours the weather will get much, much worse and very, very quickly, Anderson.

COOPER: Lucia, you say people are stocking up on supplies. This may be a dumb question, but how easy is it for them to get those supplies?

NEWMAN: Depends on what supplies. Water food, OK. That's not so difficult. Getting candles and batteries, things like that, not to mention plywood or tape even for your windows. That's almost impossible.

There are no Home Depots here. No hardware stores. It's very difficult for people to get anything to protect their homes. But the very basics they can get hold of -- Anderson.

COOPER: A sad reality. Lucia Newman, thanks for that.

Tracking hurricanes is not only complicated, it's very expensive. The computer models can't model without data. And getting the data, not to mention analyzing it all costs money. Money that has to come from government bureaucrats who don't always want to give up the money. CNN's John Zarrella has been investigating.


MAX MAYFIELD, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER DIRECTOR: We really want to go ahead and do this now.

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: During news briefings on Hurricane Wilma, Max Mayfield, the man in charge of the National Hurricane Center, has time and again stressed the value of one particular jet aircraft. MAYFIELD: And especially with that jet getting into the computer models we'll have a better handle on it then. We'll start flying that jet and we'll continue to fly back-to-back missions here.

ZARRELLA: The jet is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- NOAA's -- Gulfstream Four. It is the most sophisticated plane ever built for hurricane reconnaissance and research. But they would haven't it today says former hurricane center director Bob Sheet, if the decision had been left up to NOAA's administration at the time.

(on camera): You didn't go through the regular channels to get this plane.

BOB SHEETS, FRM. NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER DIR.: It never would have happened.

ZARRELLA (voice-over): Because, Sheet says, for two decades hurricanes were not a priority at NOAA.

(on camera): The amount was money that was spent by NOAA on hurricane, research, was it enough?

SHEETS: Never.

ZARRELLA: Sheets wanted the jet badly. In 1989 he committed what could have been a career-ending act. He went around his bosses. He got the support of Senator Fritz Hollings who pushed through the funding. Even that almost didn't work.

SHEETS: The administrator of NOAA wrote a let to Senator Hollings that essentially said thanks for the $43 million, but I'd rather use it over here where I have a shortage. And then two or three years from now we'll come back and ask for this again.

ZARRELLA: Sheets says he got his jet only after Congress ordered NOAA to buy it.

The struggle for funding was even worse across town at HRD, NOAA's hurricane research division. In 1999, scientists watched Hurricane Brett with great interest.

SHEETS: I thought, this is exactly the kind of data that I would want to look at.

ZARRELLA: Brett was rapidly intensifying as it neared the Texas coast. Scientists were collecting data that could answer the crucial question, what turns a weak storm into a monster?

SHEETS: Brett is essentially the poster child for that problem.

ZARRELLA: But Hugh Willoughby, then director of HRD, says that valuable data has never been thoroughly analyzed. In the past six years, no one has been assigned to do this potentially life saving work.

SHEETS: Because there was nothing to hire that person.

ZARRELLA: NOAA insists it has, since 1998, been steadily increasing the budget for hurricane research. And is committed to advancing science and forecasting and new technology is being added to hurricane hunter aircraft.


ZARRELLA: But the scientists admit that because of a lull in major hurricanes during the 1970s and 1980s, getting increased funding was hard to sell. That excuse, they say, no one can use any longer -- Anderson.

COOPER: That is for sure. You would think now it's got to be at the top of people's list of priorities. John, thanks for that story.

We're going to be tracking Wilma throughout this hour. We're going to have a lot of reports including Chad Myers with another check of where the storm is.

We're also tracking some other fast developing stories. A 16- year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the murder of Pamela Vitale. Now, she's the wife of a high profile criminal Daniel Horowitz. Mr. Horowitz found his wife's body on Saturday, you'll remember. She'd been beaten to death at their home brutally. They'd been living in a trailer while their new home was being built in Lafayette east of San Francisco.

CNN's Nancy Grace joins me live from Martinez, California. She has had a remarkable access to the Horowitz family.

Nancy, I know you just came back from Pam Vitale's funeral. I can't imagine how difficult that must have been.

NANCY GRACE, HOST, NANCY GRACE: I got to tell you, Anderson, it was heartbreaking. Daniel Horowitz spoke first followed by Pamela Vitale's two children. Horowitz spoke very openly about what had happened to Pamela, about the attack on her, her murder. He likened it to a modern-day struggle between good and evil.

He encouraged everyone there to set aside their pain and their rage at her cause of death and to focus her life, a celebration of her life. Her children both broke down as they were trying to address the crowd. Her daughter had to leave the podium. It was just a horrible, horrible moment, Anderson.

ANDERSON: Nancy, we learned today a 16-year-old from Lafayette was arrested in connection with Pam Vitale's murder. What do you know about this kid? I mean, did he know the victim or did he know David Horowitz?

GRACE: I'm sorry, Anderson. I just caught the tail end of that. I believe the answer is yes. In fact, we have even heard reports that Daniel Horowitz had been doing free legal work for the family. Horowitz lived on top of, basically, a mountain and there were several other trailers, squatters, small dwellings across the mountain and he apparently knew all of them very well.

We are keeping the name of the 16-year-old man secret right now. He is a juvenile, but it's my understanding he will be treated in adult court and this jurisdiction, he can get life without parole under Proposition 21 if in fact he is found guilty.

Apparently the whole scam was about -- somehow linked to Horowitz's mail because possibly credit card fraud. Horowitz's mailbox, Anderson, was way down in the bottom of the hill outside of a very big gate. And so this 16-year-old could conceivably have watched when mail was delivered relating to credit card theft and then get it before Horowitz or his wife could. And apparently he had to fight out that day with Pam Vitale.

ANDERSON: And I understand he was doing credit card fraud because I guess he wanted to start some sort of marijuana growing business and was using the stolen credit card information to get equipment for this marijuana company.

GRACE: You know what, Anderson? you're right. Apparently he had made -- reports are that he made a purchase of special lighting to grow marijuana. Hydroponic lighting, for instance, lighting that you would put on plants you want to grow inside in secret, for instance in your basement.

So apparently he had put that type of equipment on stolen credit cards and was getting all this stuff delivered and communications to Horowitz's address. That's what we're hearing right now. And, you know, think about it, Anderson. I mean, I just am wondering can a 16- year-old man -- young man -- pull off this giant scheme.

But I know this, Anderson. I went inside the crime scene with Daniel. There was a ton of blood. There was impact blood about as tall as me, four to five feet tall and you could see where police had really focused on the bathroom, Anderson. The perpetrator went and took a very long shower -- a long shower -- and they could determine that he had been in the shower for a great period of time. Police say covered the inside of the tub ...

COOPER: Wait a minute. This young man showered -- this young man showered after killing -- allegedly killing this woman?

GRACE: Yes. Yes, and that is why as I was formulating last night why I thought that cleared Horowitz. Reason? Because if the perpetrator showered how did blood get on the outside of the door? There were blood smears on the outside of the door. Clearly the door opened up when the attack went down and the door was open, getting Pamela's blood on the door. Then the door was shut, showered. He left.

COOPER: That is a chilling detail. Nancy Grace, thanks for joining us tonight. I know you're going to be covering this at 8:00 at the top of the hour on Headline News. We'll be watching for that.

GRACE: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: Nancy, thanks. Appreciate that. You've had remarkable access over the last several days to this tragedy.

Coming up later tonight on 360, wanted posters are not going to be necessary. Yesterday an arrest warrant was issued for Representative Tom DeLay. Today the former house majority leader turned himself into a Texas sheriff. Wait until you see his mug shot.

And a bit later, Nero fiddled while Rome burned. What was FEMA Chief Michael Brown doing while New Orleans nearly drowned? A whistle-blower tells a shocking inside story.

Also ahead tonight, a bizarre kidnapping in Baghdad that may slow or even stop the trial of Saddam Hussein.


COOPER: A bizarre twist in the trial of Saddam Hussein as part of our "World In 360." A lawyer representing one of the seven Baathists on trial with the former Iraqi president has been kidnapped. Iraq's interior ministry say gunmen stormed the man's office and dragged him out.

The attorney represents Awad Hamad al-Bandar, the former chief judge of Hussein's revolutionary court. Bandar is accused to having sentenced to death 143 residents of Dujail after a failed assassination attempt on Hussein in 1982. Now a lawyer representing two other defendants in the trial say the kidnapping would not deter his defense.

Meanwhile, British journalist Rory Carroll is free one day after he was kidnapped in Iraq. He's a 33-year-old correspondent for "The Guardian." He spoke to his family to say he is safe and well.

And a series of attacks have killed five people, injured another 35 in Iraq today. A U.S. Marine was also killed by a suicide bomber in western Iraq near the Syrian border.

We have a lot to cover on 360. First let's check in with Christi Paul with Headline News with some of the day's other stories. Hey, Christi.

CHRISTI PAUL, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Hey, Anderson. Good to see you. Former House majority leader Tom DeLay turned himself in today and smiled for his mug shot. DeLay, who's been indicted on conspiracy and money laundering charges was fingerprinted and released on $10,000 bail.

President Bush has described Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as a man devoted to peace. The two leaders met at the White House today. Afterwards, the president said the prospects for a Palestinian state are better than ever.

The couple accused of killing a security guard during a courthouse escape in Tennessee have been indicted on first-degree murder charges. Jennifer Hyatte and her husband George are accused of shooting corrections officer Wayne Morgan. If convicted they could face the death penalty. Authorities want Michael Jackson back in court, this time as a juror. Yes, four months after he was acquitted of child molestation charges, the pop star has received jury summons. But he may not be able to serve or have to serve. His lawyers say he's now living in Bahrain.

And the rich just get richer. New Hampshire senator Judd Gregg already a millionaire, by the way, won more than $850,000 last night when he matched the first five numbers of the Powerball draw. Picking up his check he told reporters, quote, "even senators can be lucky."

Anderson, I never understood with people like all that money felt like they had to play the Lotto to win more, but all the more power to him, I guess.

COOPER: I guess so. Hey Christi, thanks. See you again in about 30 minutes.

When the levees broke here in New Orleans the city was full of people in need. Hundred of hospital patients awaited rescue. Many of them died. Ten thousand residents on were trapped rooftops and more than 20,000 others were stuck in the squalid shelter of the Superdome, not to mention the Convention Center.

Among the crowd at the Superdome, the only representative of FEMA in the whole city. Today, he came forward to testify that he was as helpless as the refugees he was there trying to help. CNN's Kathleen Koch has his story.


KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As Hurricane Katrina roared in, Marty Bahamonde sounded the alarm in New Orleans. He told senators he called FEMA immediately, to say the worst-case scenario had happened -- the levees had broken. And he asked for help.

MARTY BAHAMONDE, REGIONAL DIRECTOR, FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY: FEMA headquarters knew at 11:00. Mike Brown knew at 7:00. Most of FEMA's operational staff knew by 9:00 that evening. And I don't know where that information went.

KOCH: Bahamonde says he waded to the Superdome, found little food there, little water. Stunned, he watched as thousands more were bused in.

BAHAMONDE: Just doubled the population and really took a bad situation and made it so much worse, when you had options to just drive them out of the city, across the bridge.

KOCH: Bahamonde sent an e-mail to FEMA Director Michael Brown Wednesday morning: "Hotels are kicking people out, thousands gathering in the street with no food or water, hundreds still being rescued from homes. Estimates are, many will die within hours."

It's unclear whether he got a response. Hours later, Bahamonde was forwarded this e-mail from Brown's press secretary in Baton Rouge: "It is important that time is allowed for Mr. Brown to eat dinner. Given that Baton Rouge is back to normal, restaurants are getting busy. He needs much more than 20 or 30 minutes."

An exasperated Bahamonde responds: "Tell her that I just ate an MRE and went to the bathroom in the hallway of the Superdome, along with 30,000 other close friends. So I understand her concern about busy restaurants."

KOCH (on camera): Brown has not replied to CNN's request for a response. FEMA's new director calls Bahamonde "dedicated" and "hardworking," and says the agency has changed.

DAVID PAULISON, FEMA DIRECTOR: I can tell you at this point in time, this agency is in touch and this agency is ready to respond.

KOCH (voice-over): Senators investigating the Katrina response asked Bahamonde to conclude by reading his final e-mail to colleagues the week of Katrina.

BAHAMONDE: "I can't get out of my head the visions of children and babies I saw sitting there helpless, looking at me and hoping I could make a difference. And so I will, and you must too. It is not what we do that is as important as who we are, and that's what those little kids' faces were counting on."

KOCH: Kathleen Koch, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Can you imagine sending that kind of an e-mail to your boss, only to get an e-mail the next day saying please allow this guy at least 30 minutes to eat because restaurants have opened up in Baton Rouge? That is an extraordinary exchange of e-mails.

Still to come tonight on 360, pity the poor conchs, as the denizens of Key West call themselves. They're having to pack up and leave. Wilma is on the way. We'll have the latest on the storm.

Also tonight, the awful story of children, small children thrown into the San Francisco Bay to die. How could it have happened? Did authorities miss the warning signs?

And a little later, what happens when moguls point their fingers at one another? The Donald versus Martha. What you might call a no love lost story.


COOPER: A relatively quiet night here on Bourbon Street, although night really hasn't fallen. Still a little bit of light. At the Mardi Gras Daiquiri and Pizza restaurant, not too many customers. They're hoping for a few more people to show up as the street gets a little bit more crowded.

We have a heartbreaking story from California to tell you about tonight. Three children are dead after being thrown into the San Francisco Bay. It is an unthinkable crime. They were 6 years old, 2 years old and 16 months old. Their mother has been arrested and charged with murder and assault. CNN's Rusty Dornin has been looking into the case.


RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a warm autumn afternoon when witnesses say these three children were taken by a woman to the end of Pier 7. The pier juts 700 feet out into the bay, a popular spot for tourists and fishermen.


CHIEF HEATHER FONG, SAN FRANCISCO POLICE: We received a 911 call at our emergency dispatch center from a citizen reporting that he had observed a woman putting two children into the water.

DORNIN: It was allegedly not two, but three children. Police say they found 23-year-old Lashaun Harris pushing an empty stroller down the pier. She was arrested and charged with the murder of her three children. Her family says she's had mental health problems, including schizophrenia.

ASIA POWELL, SUSPECT'S COUSIN: She was on medication, but they took her off the medication.

DORNIN: Four hours later, the first body was discovered, 2 1/2- year-old Toronta (ph), more than two miles from Pier 7, heading toward the Golden Gate bridge.

The city launched an all-out effort to find the bodies of the two other children, 16-month-old Joshua (ph) and 6-year-old Treshaun (ph).

The water here is 55 degrees. No one can survive long.

MAYOR GAVIN NEWSOM (D), SAN FRANCISCO: All of us are somewhat in shock. These are senseless and inexplicable things that are beyond the pale of imagination.

DORNIN: Former neighbor Angelica Williams says police often came to the house to break up fights, and last year, she says Harris began behaving strangely.

ANGELA WILLIAMS, SUSPECT'S FORMER NEIGHBOR: Paranoid all the time. She would be up in the house looking out the windows.


DORNIN: A "San Francisco Chronicle" reporter says the police told him the woman told them that she'd heard voices that told her to throw her children into the water.

This is incredibly disturbing to us as adults. You can only imagine what it might do to young children. City officials say they're very concerned. They're opening up mental health services for people, and telling people to call in if they think their children are having problems.

Rusty Dornin, San Francisco.


ANNOUNCER: Bearing down on Florida, a dangerous Category 4 storm, just like Hurricane Charley was. This is what Charley did. Waiting for Wilma, a state of emergency.

A man frozen in time, encased in ice. His Army parachute unopened. Who is he? When did he die? Thawing out a 360 mystery.

360 continues.



COOPER: We have some late-breaking news to tell you about. A United Nations investigation into the killing of Lebanese former prime minister Rafik Hariri has released a report today implicating Syrian and Lebanese officials. Now Syria denies any involvement to the killing last February.

In a recent interview with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, CNN's Christiane Amanpour asked president Assad about the assassination. Here's what he said.

Clearly, we're not having -- we've having a problem getting the sound bite to you. Basically he said that there was -- he doubted that any Syrians had anything to do with it. In fact, he said it was impossible that that could have happened. And if it did happen, it would have been an act of treason, because he would have had no knowledge of it.

Syria's interior minister, Ghazi Kanaan, one of several senior officials questioned in August by U.N. investigators about Hariri's assassination committed suicide on Wednesday according to Syrian officials. We'll be having more of this later tonight on "NEWSNIGHT.

Hurricane Wilma is now churning through the Caribbean. It looks a lot like Katrina did nearly two months ago: a category 4 monster. Only this time, New Orleans isn't in the bull's-eye, Florida is.

Here's a look at what's happening at this moment. Wilma is 130 miles southeast of Cozumel, Mexico. It is making its way toward the Yucatan Peninsula. It's now expected to make landfall in Florida some time late Sunday or early Monday.

Across the Caribbean, Wilma has already left a trail of damage in its wake. Thirteen people have been killed so far.

In Florida, hurricane preparations and evacuations are well underway as the state braces for what could be the seventh hurricane to come ashore in 14 months. Predicting where a hurricane is going to be in 24 hours, let alone 72 hours, is not an easy thing by any stretch, nearly impossible. Forecasters depend on models to do their work, which brings us to all of those confusing lines we've been watching for the past few days. It seems like there are an awful lot of lines.

To the untrained eye, they look like, well, a confusing jumble of lines. Not to CNN severe weather expert Chad Myers. He's promised to help us make sense of it all. Chad, what does it all mean?

MYERS: It all means that the models, some of them do some things well, others do other things well. Some do very good in the short term and some are longer term models, which means once they figure out where it's going in the first place, then they do a great job.

Well, the models that we have for you tonight -- there's usually 13 of them on here -- all pretty much come over Cancun -- Cozumel -- somewhere in the Yucatan Peninsula. Some last longer over the Yucatan and kill the storm off a little bit. But then all of them take it to the northeast as the wind begins to move toward Florida.

And the official forecast track, actually in between, six models to the north and seven models to the south. So kind of an average of all of the models.

If you remember last night, the models didn't look quite like this. Yes, there were still some here. And those are the ones that we called the consistent models. The ones that consistently say the same things.

Well, the ones that we have here -- well, they were saying the south of Cuba last night. So we throw those out, because they're not agreeing what they were saying 24 hours ago.

We're trying to get some pictures up for you here of the aircraft that NOAA sends back and forth across the Caribbean, across the Gulf. The pictures dropping in. These will be called little drop sans. And as they drop through, the plane flies back and forth.

You know why they have to do this because there's nobody who lives in the water to blow put up balloons. We can't put balloons up if we don't have anyone living there. So, we drop them down into the storm to try to get wind speeds to try to get a handle of where the storm is going.

And where the storm is headed that the point is still a mystery, about 120 hours away, possibly from the Florida coast. It's called the Gulfstream Four. John Zarrella had a great story about it just a few minutes ago -- Anderson.

COOPER: Hundred and twenty hours away. That is a long . And obviously, it could change direction in any one of those hours. We'll continue to follow it. Chad, thanks very much.

A lot of that more on that tonight on "NEWSNIGHT" also at 10:00 Eastern time. When we come back here, more from New Orleans. In particular, we'll take a look at the New Orleans police officers who, despite all of the bad publicity, are still showing up to work every day and doing a very difficult job. We'll show you what life is like for them ahead.


COOPER: Welcome back. We are live in New Orleans in the French Quarter on Bourbon Street on the balcony of the Royal Sinesta Hotel. One of the many hotels that has reopened and is back up to full service here in the city of New Orleans.

We've been closely following Hurricane Wilma tonight, tracking the storm minute by minute.

CNN's Susan Candiotti is in Cancun, Mexico right in the storm's crosshairs. Susan, what's the latest there?

Susan, what's the latest where you are if you can hear me?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, at this hour, there is no rain, but the skies look very ominous, dark clouds over head. And in fact, the palm trees are bending every which way. One serious sign of Wilma is approaching, the waves are seriously pounding the beaches here.

And another sign, I'm standing on a four-lane road that services the luxury hotels that many of you might be familiar with here in Cancun. It is nearly deserted. Every now and again, we see a passing car. Also, emergency vehicles, police cars. We saw some crews taking down traffic lights as we traveled around. And this is largely, it's deserted because authorities forced at least 20,000 tourists to get out of Dodge. Many of them did and headed to the airport, but about another 20,000 had been taken to hotels in the center of town. Some of them are using their ballrooms as shelters. Others taken to schools that are also being used as shelters.

It is very threatening and should hit -- could hit by midday tomorrow -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Susan, you'll be there. Thanks.

Be sure to join us on 360 tomorrow night. I'll be in Florida, trying to get ahead of Wilma, bringing you full coverage of the coming storm.

We are sadly familiar with the plight of so many Katrina survivors. Their houses and jobs swept away. They're forced to live miles from home, hundreds of miles, thousands of miles in some cases, depending on the kindness of strangers -- and there has been so much kindness -- and the help of the government. Not, you'd agree, an amiable position. Or is it? As David Mattingly reports tonight, there are those who wouldn't mind being in the shoes of a refugee right about now. He'll explain why.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sansara Williams (ph) fled New Orleans, a mother of three and eight months pregnant, losing everything she couldn't carry, landing in Charlotte, North Carolina, with thousands of other Katrina evacuees. She's starting a new life in a new house, made possible by a highly sought after but hard to get type of federal housing assistance called a Section 8 voucher.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It allows me to stay in my home free, rent free.

MATTINGLY: The voucher pays her $700 a month rent for the recently refurbished four-bedroom, one-bath house. It is in a better neighborhood, she says, than she left behind, with better schools.

(on camera): The housing vouchers are so coveted in Charlotte that people wait on a line for years to get one. But for dozens of Katrina evacuees who landed here, there was no line and no waiting.

(voice-over): The preferential treatment suggested by federal authorities will cause local people already on the list held by the Charlotte Housing Authority to wait months longer.

JENNIFER GALLMAN, CHARLOTTE HOUSING AUTHORITY: It took the whole nation and housing authorities, local governments, supportive service agencies to pitch in a little bit of what they currently had that was also limited to assist them in this effort. It was an emergency. They had nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From here down are my belongings...

MATTINGLY: Glendora Rivera has six children of her own in Charlotte. Not an evacuee, she waits for her own chance at a voucher while sleeping on the floor of an overcrowded Salvation Army homeless shelter.

GLENDORA RIVERA, HOMELESS MOTHER: I know they was in a bad situation, but I'm in a shelter. There are other people in the shelter. This is a crisis, too.

MATTINGLY: Advocates for affordable housing say the preferential treatment exposes the funding limitations of a vital program.

CHRIS ESTES, NORTH CAROLINA HOUSING COALITION: Right now we have people in our communities who really can only get crisis assistance if they, in a sense, lose all the supports they've had.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They say she's one of the first Katrina victim babies in Charlotte.

MATTINGLY: Williams gave birth to her new daughter one week ago. Her crib was donated, along with the rest of the family's furniture.

Unlike her life before Katrina, Williams says she now has options, and plans to go back to school. A new life filled with generosity, and some timely federal assistance that thousands wished they had as well.

David Mattingly, CNN, Charlotte.


COOPER: An interesting twist on that.

Coming up next on 360, a glacier gives up a secret held for over 60 years. Who is this man, and how did he end up so high on a frozen mountain for all these years?

Also tonight, she's better coiffed. Does she have what it takes in front of the camera? Martha's "Apprentice" not a hit yet. We'll explain why.


COOPER: Coming up in a moment, a man frozen in ice, discovered after many, many years. We'll explain the mystery.

But first, Christi Paul from HEADLINE NEWS joins us with the other day's top stories. Hey, Christi.

PAUL: Hey, Anderson. Wal-Mart vowing today to become a more socially conscious company. Chief Executive Lee Scott says the retail giant will be more involved in the business practices of suppliers abroad, with a close eye on environmental and labor standards. That means for one thing, a new line of clothing made from organically- grown cotton.

Viagra users, ever notice the warning on the label about possible vision loss? Well, one group wants to make sure you do. The advocacy group Public Citizen is asking the FDA to put black box warnings, the most serious type of disclaimer, on the labels of all three leading impotence drugs. The group cited FDA data in their argument for a tougher warning.

And checking the markets, declines all around. Stocks fell 133 points on the Dow to end at 10,281. The Nasdaq was down 23 points. The S&P down almost 18.

That's it in Atlanta. Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: All right, Christi, thanks.

A remarkable story out of California tonight. Ice climbers may have found a soldier who apparently had been missing in action for more than 60 years. It's a classic cold case that is now just beginning to thaw.


COOPER (voice-over): Over the weekend, a mystery revealed itself. Two ice climbers discovered a body in California's Sierra Nevada mountains. A man literally frozen in time.

J.D. SWED, KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK RANGER: Good mysteries, we don't solve them overnight like we do on TV, of course.

COOPER: Park rangers have been gathering clues.

ANNIE ESPERANZA, SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK RANGER: In the ice and snow, the biological processes move really slow, and it's not unlike putting something in your refrigerator freezer to preserve something.

COOPER: The man's skin, his blond hair and teeth are all preserved, as well as an unopened Army-issued parachute with the numbers 1984 clearly visible.

SWED: The most remarkable thing was that there was a parachute on this individual, and it said "U.S. Army" on it. They took a little piece of that parachute, and it appears to be silk, which indicates that it's quite old, because they went to nylon several decades ago.

COOPER: Rangers suspect that the man may be a World War II soldier from a training flight that crashed near here in 1942. The wreckage was discovered five years later, along with the bodies of four passengers.

ESPERANZA: I think it's more the mystery that everyone is intrigued by. The fact that here's this plane that crashed 63 years ago, and there's still someone out there.

COOPER: Last night, the man's body, still encased in ice, was flown to the coroner's office in Fresno, California, where officials are hoping to find a name, a history, and somewhere perhaps a family.

SWED: It's only going to be through good science, a little patience and time that we're going to be able to put all the pieces of this puzzle together and solve the mystery.


COOPER: The iceman will spend the next few days thawing out at the coroner's office in Fresno. He'll then be transferred to the joint POW-MIA Accounting Command on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Now, this command is one of the largest forensic anthropology labs in the world. Its job is to identify the remains of American service members, no matter where or when they fell. There are around 78,000 Americans still missing from World War II. Remarkable.

It is safe to say -- and probably necessary, too, that no other police force has ever been tested in quite the way New Orleans' police force has. Here in this city, what was a hard job on a good day became outright soul-sapping.

And unimaginably bad days and even worse nights stretched on into weeks. Things are better now, yes, but riding along with the police in New Orleans is a sobering experience.

And let's remember, as bad publicity as they have been getting over the last several days and weeks, most of the incidents that we have been discussing involve a handful of police officers. There were 1,400 members of the New Orleans police force and most of them are showing up for their job every day, day in and day out. I spent the day with some of them.

OK. We're having a technical problem with that. We'll have that story coming up right after the break. We'll be right back.


COOPER: We're about to play you a piece about the police in New Orleans. I spent the day riding along with some fine officers in the New Orleans police department. We're having a technical problem getting the piece satellited.

We're going to play the piece at NewsNight at 10:00 Eastern time tonight. We'll also have an interview with the acting superintendent of police, Police Chief Riley.

Now a tale, not of two cities, but of two TV series with the same name: "The Apprentice" with different stars. One of them says the other is hurting the act.

Fasten your seat belts: the ego with the combover takes on the style maven with the prison record.


COOPER (voice over): When Donald made his first foray into prime time, it was like magic: that catchy theme song, cutthroat competition and the tag line.

DONALD TRUMP, HOST OF THE APPRENTICE: You're fired. You're fired. You're fired.

COOPER: America was abuzz. In its first season, "The Apprentice" was watched by about 20 million people every week.

Mark Burnett, the producer and the king of reality TV must have thought, hey, why have have one hit show when you can have two?

The Donald and the Martha: neither are stranger to controversy or the spotlight. This Fall, "The Apprentice" began its fourth season and viewership is down, way down. The show is averaging about 10 million a week -- nothing to sneeze at, but half as many as in the first hit season.

Martha's "Apprentice" was originally expected to be one of the hottest shows in the season. But it has instead met with lackluster reviews. Well, perhaps lackluster is too nice a word.

Variety called it "the biggest bomb of the Fall."

Last week, only 6.9 million people tuned in to see who Martha sent home. So, does one show work better than the other?

TRUMP: You were a very, very negative force. You're fired. MARTHA STEWART, HOST OF THE APPRENTICE SPINOFF: "I'd have to say good-bye."

COOPER: Their dismissal approaches are different, yes. The Donald opts for a proper corporate boardroom while Martha goes for a more casual atmosphere.

STEWART: We don't have a boardroom at "Martha Stewart Living, as Charles will attest. We have our board meetings in various conference rooms.

COOPER: Clearly, she hopes to come across as relaxed, but some say that just isn't Martha.

CHRISTOPHER BYRON, AUTHOR, "MARTHA, INC.": The prime time broadcast television show is the one that really matters for her. And it's not working because it's essentially selling a fraudulent, fake image.

COOPER: Asked why the spin-off of his "Apprentice" TV show is doing so badly in the ratings, Donald Trump couldn't help himself, telling a radio station quote, "I think there was confusion between Martha's "Apprentice" and mine.

Mine continues to do well and, as you know, the other one has struggled very severely. But I think it probably hurt mine, and I sort of predicted that it would."

To be fair, "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart" has seen an increase in viewers since its premiere. And Stewart has chosen to see things with the glass half full.

A spokesman tells us they are, quote, "thrilled" with the continued ratings growth of the show, but declined to comment on Mr. Trump's radio remarks.

TRUMP: What are you waiting for? Go.

COOPER: The Donald is just doing what he does best, teaching by example. In this case, he's demonstrating the most important of all CEO skills, blameshifting.

TRUMP: And who will be the apprentice?


COOPER: All right. Let's check in with Chad Myers right now at the CNN weather center for the latest on Wilma.

Chad, where is the storm?

MYERS: The 8:00 advisory now in, Anderson. And the storm is, as it moves toward Cozumel, Mexico, 120 miles from there, moving northwest, at 5.

If you're keeping track at home, 19.1 and 85.9. This storm now fills up almost the entire western Caribbean and now, even, clouds to Orlando. And this storm is still 600 miles away. We'll zoom in a couple of more times for you.

You can see how much it is affecting now the Yucatan peninsula with onshore winds, rain and thunderstorms, wind gusting there over 50 miles per hour at Cozumel in the past half hour.

One more stop for you: I want you to see something a little bit interesting as the storm moves on by, revealing a line of where the storm was and now, look where it's going. It made a big right hand turn, didn't it?

Just in the past three or four hours, the storm now traveling to the northwest -- instead, of the west, northwest. If it would have continued on its track, it would have plowed into the Yucatan and could have killed itself because it needs more water to grow or to even sustain itself.

Now, as it turns to the north, it will be glancing right across Cozumel, right across into the Cancun, which is just right there at the tip of that peninsula

We'll go back one more time and we'll show you the Cozumel radar. Here's what it looks like now: a big squall line coming into Cozumel and Cancun. There's the eye.

You can actually see the eye on the Cancun radar now. Well, where did it go from here, because that's really what everybody's worried about.

It does affect the western half of Cuba significantly. It probably deals a significant blow -- maybe a catastrophic blow to Cozumel and Cancun. Category 5 winds, 155, 160 miles per hour. They're not going to be many windows left in that hotel zone.

And then as you finally move it onshore here, probably a category 2 -- possibly a category 3 coming onshore on the southwestern side of Florida.

Now, the storm's slowing, actually, down until landfall late Sunday night, possibly Monday morning. Anderson?

COOPER: So, that is actually now much earlier than -- I mean, a couple of hours ago people were saying, oh, you know, 2:00 on Monday afternoon. So you're now talking about Sunday night, Monday morning?

MYERS: That's absolutely still a possibility -- some of the computers still slowing down. Although, you know what? It's kind of a momentum thing, Anderson.

This thing is forecast to slow down, but until it does, I'm not really believing it yet. We'll have to keep watching.

COOPER: It is so frustrating. I mean, I know we're doing the best we can and it's amazing that we have all this technology that we do. But, you know, people want to know where this thing is going and it keeps on changing.

MYERS: What's frustrating to the people in South Florida is to have to watch this for four more days.

COOPER: Yes, I know. Well, we'll be watching it together. Chad, thanks very much.

That's it for 360 tonight from Bourbon Street. Join me and Aaron Brown for a two-hour edition of "NEWSNIGHT," starting at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time. We'll play that ride along with the New Orleans police officers, a very revealing look at what life is like for them.

It's something we rarely see.

CNN's prime time coverage continues right now with Paula Zahn.

Hi, Paula.


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