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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Starbucks Bomb Scare; Sago Mine Investigation; Cheney's Health; Alito Hearings; Lawyer Argues for Insanity in Yates Case
Aired January 09, 2006 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SUMI DAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: CNN has learned from a source within the San Francisco Police Department that that device was a large firecracker and it was housed in an empty flashlight case. Now, earlier today San Francisco police officials called it an improvised explosive device.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SGT. NEVILLE GITTENS, SAN FRANCISCO POLICE DEPARTMENT: Officers evacuated the Starbucks. Additionally, they evacuated the apartment building that was above the Starbucks and our explosive units came in, our bomb squad came in and determined that there was an IED and rendered the items safe. There is an ongoing investigation right now with our special investigations division.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Surveillance cameras are located inside the coffee shop. We have seen one that's trained on the front door. We haven't been able to confirm whether or not authorities have begun viewing videotape from those cameras. Now, we can tell you that the restroom inside the Starbucks remains locked. So anybody who wants to use it has to ask for a key from the employee. Police department says they have some pretty goods leads that they are pursuing.
Starbucks has issued a statement that they say they are cooperating fully with the authorities to ensure the safety and security of the employees, customers and the store -- Anderson.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Sumi Das, following the story. Thanks very much, Sumi.
Tonight we're learning that another miner wrote a final farewell from inside the mine, where he and 11 others died last week. According to the Associated Press, Ann Merritus (ph) says her father, 61-year-old Jim Bennett, gave a detailed account of the final hours inside the Sago Mine. She says he wrote that it was getting dark, getting smoky and that he and the others were losing air. She also says he wrote some ten hours after Monday's explosion. She wonders if rescuers could have reached him them in time.
Well, today, Bennett and two other miners were laid to rest in West Virginia. All 12 are being remembered as heroes to the end. For the community, the grieving continues; so does the need for answers. And we want to make sure you have them. Politicians and lawmakers say they're going to launch several investigations. They promise public hearings. We're going to hold them to that promise. CNN's Chris King reports.
CHRIS KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice-over): The federal officials are already trying to determine what caused the disaster at Sago Mine and now West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin says the state is launching its own investigation. The governor promised answers to the families of the 12 who died.
GOV. JOE MANCHIN (D), WEST VIRGINIA: They can be assured that the loss they have and the loss they suffer might be the loss that be prevented and be suffered by another family in America.
KING: J. Davitt McAteer, the former head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration under President Clinton will lead the state probe, focusing on what caused the explosion at Sago Mine and the miscommunication that followed once the group of 12 men were found, taking families through an emotional rollercoaster. The report will also assess the rescue effort, which was slowed down by the holiday weekend.
J. DAVITT MCATEER, FORMER MINE SAFETY & HEALTH ADMINISTRATION HEAD: The mine rescue system was designed for a period of time that's passed. We need to enhance that system through technology, through better communications, through better training, so that we can bring that system of mine rescue into the 21st century.
KING: As investigators try to unravel the events around the disaster, reports have emerged indicating the miners could possibly have survived.
The "New York Times" reports the men were perhaps about 2,000 feet away from breathable air. But experts say those miners probably had no way of knowing clean air was possibly nearby. The miners, they say, were surrounded by a toxic mix of smoke, containing carbon monoxide and methane.
In the meantime, today families continue the grim task of burying their dead. Twelve ribbons hang at the mine, honoring the victims. In nearby Barbour County, where four of the miners lived, a memorial stands in front of the courthouse. Allen Jones helped with the tribute. His friend, Jack Weaver (ph), died at Sago Mine.
ALLEN JONES, FRIEND OF MINER: I kept hoping that there was a chance that they would get out. You just hope that they can, you know, hope that they find some air.
KING: This evening, a candlelight vigil, as people who lost loved ones and live nearby pray a disaster like this one never happens again.
JONES: People around here care. We're concerned about the miners, about the safety. Maybe something can be done to make it safer.
(END VIDEOTAPE) KING: Now, they held that candlelight vigil here at the Barbour County Courthouse in Philippi, West Virginia. A church pastor read tributes from well-wishers. Now, tomorrow, family members will bury two more victims of the mine disaster.
We are live in Philippi, West Virginia. I'm Christopher King -- Anderson.
COOPER: Chris, thanks very much.
Tonight, an update on the Sago Mine survivor, Randy McCloy, Jr., showing signs of improvement. Doctors are generally optimistic about his condition. The 26-year-old McCloy remains in critical, but stable condition. He's able to move his extremities. Doctors say his liver appears to have recovered most of its function. And although still attached to a ventilator, McCloy is able to spontaneously breathe on his own.
He's feeling well. That's what a spokesperson for Dick Cheney said today about the vice president. The same could not be said for a few anxious hours this morning, when he was rushed to the hospital after complaining of shortness of breath. The 64-year-old Cheney has had four heart attacks in his life, but doctors say this time his heart had nothing to do with it. CNN White House Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux, in Washington, with more on Cheney's condition -- Suzanne.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, it really was a close call early this morning. Aides said that around 3:00 o'clock in the morning, Cheney was struggling to breathe. He was rushed to George Washington University Hospital, and his office said he was retaining fluid and experiencing shortness of breath, which were side effects, they say, from an anti-inflammatory drug that Cheney had been taking for a recurring foot problem.
Now, last Friday, you may recall seeing Cheney hobbling through several stops in Kansas, using a cane. A spokeswoman for Cheney's office said Cheney's doctors monitored his heart condition today, which they found unchanged. And they treated him with a diuretic. They also released a statement, saying that Cheney has his occasional bouts with inflammation of his left foot, sometimes in the heel, which has been diagnosed as tendinitis, sometimes in the joint of his big toe. Now, some doctors are suggesting gout or osteoarthritis. President Bush was notified about Cheney's condition before his early Oval Office meetings. He immediately tried to reassure the public.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, how's the vice president doing?
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Doing fine. I talked to him this morning. His health is good. Should be coming in to work a little later on today.
(END VIDEO CLIP) MALVEAUX: Anderson, some historians say Cheney is arguable the most powerful vice president in our country's history, and his office says he is not going to slow down anytime soon -- Anderson.
COOPER: Well, there's always a lot of concern in Washington and throughout the country about his condition. Has there been any talk about the possibility of him stepping aside before the end of the term?
MALVEAUX: Well, the White House says that he is absolutely staying through the term, that he will continue not only to play a high profile role in defending some of the Administration's more controversial policies. He really is out on forefront, like the war on terror and the domestic spy program.
COOPER: All right, Suzanne Malveaux, thanks.
Now, to Tom DeLay, who resigned over the weekend as House majority leader, having endured two grand juries, several indictments and one Jack Abramoff scandal. The man who was an exterminator in a previous career is political poison tonight. So where does that leave his party and the opposition? Not to mention, the voters. That story now from CNN's Candy Crowley.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice-over): Tom DeLay is still the congressman from Sugar Land, Texas, but his legal problems make him too toxic to Republican leader.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: but politically, was the right move for DeLay to step down?
SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: No, this was his decision. We respect his decision.
CROWLEY: Who used to say dang straight, Republicans think DeLay made the right move, especially the ones running for re-election.
AMY WALTER, COOK POLITICAL REPORT: Essentially, Republicans are trying to do right now is cut off as many angles as possible for Democrats to make this scandal a purely Republican ore purely partisan scandal.
CROWLEY: At least DeLay's departure means Republican's don't have to defend him as their leader, but at the dawn of election year, there is plenty to keep them up at night. There is DeLay's upcoming trial for campaign law violations. There is DeLay's close friend, Republican Lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who recently made a plea deal with the feds, promising to name names in a corruption probe, said to target at least half a dozen lawmakers and even more staffers. There was ex-Congressman "Duke" Cunningham's guilty plea on corruption charges. The issue, as they say, is beginning to show some leg.
In the latest CNN/USA Today poll, many Americans put corruption in the top tier, an issue extremely important to their vote on '06. A majority thinks the Abramoff case is a major scandal. What good news there is for Republicans, is that most Americans think both parties will be hurt, meaning voters could turn against office holders in general. All of which explains why Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to find an edge.
WALTER: It is a struggle for defining this debate, going into 2006. And really, campaigns are all about who gets to do the defining.
CROWLEY: In a letter, launching his bid to take DeLay's old job, Congressman Roy Blunt said his first act would be to push for lobbying reform.
"Unfortunately," he wrote, "the recent scandals have caused some to question whether we have lost our vision and whether the faith they have placed in us is justified."
Democrats are passing are ideas on how to milk the corruption issue, and they are not about to let go of their favorite boogie man. Said one of their strategists, it's not like we're taking DeLay out of our talking points. In fact, one source says while planning a protest over corruption, Democratic activists are debating whether to wear prison suits or DeLay masks.
Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Better prospects tonight for Judge Samuel Alito, but he's not quite there yet. Coming up, how Supreme Court nominees sometimes end up losing their shot at the job of a lifetime.
And tonight, how not to let a lousy childhood get in the way of a happy adulthood. Dr. Laura Schlessinger shows us how.
Around the country and around the world, you're watching 360.
COOPER: Well, tomorrow Supreme Court Nominee Samuel Alito faces grilling on the second day of confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill. Senate Judiciary Committee members promise tough questions on abortion, domestic spying and presidential power.
Today, in his opening statement, Alito told Senators, quote, "A judge can't have any agenda. A judge can't have any preferred outcome in a particular case." Things are supposed to go well, but what it takes to get rejected. That's what we wondered. It's happened in the past. Our Senior Analyst Jeff Greenfield takes a look back.
JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST (voice-over): For Judge Samuel Alito, his first step toward the Supreme Court began with the traditional trial by ordeal. Sitting in silence while 18 Senators made speeches at him; some laden with praise, SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R), IOWA: Not only that, Judge Alito has a reputation for being an exceptional and honest judge, devoted to the rule of law, as well as being a man of integrity.
GREENFIELD: Some heavy with doubt.
SEN. TED KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I find Judge Alito's support for an all powerful executive branch to be genuinely troubling.
GREENFIELD: By the time the questioning ends this week, some might say they're more speeches than questions, we'll likely have a reasonably good idea if Alito will become the 110th justice of the court or whether he'll join the half dozen other nominees in the last four decades who didn't make the cut.
(On camera): So what are the factors that keep a nominee from making to a lifetime job on the court? Qualifications, character, judicial philosophy, partisan politics. History says the answer is all of the above.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My nomination of the Honorable Abe Fortas to be an --
GREENFIELD (voice-over): Abe Fortas was already on the court when President Johnson tried to promote him to chief justice in 1968. But, his liberal rulings on criminal rights and obscenity, his close continuing ties to L.B.J., and his questionable financial dealings scuttled the promotion. In fact, Fortas was actually forced off the court altogether the next year.
When Richard Nixon picked Judge Clement Haynsworth in 1969, his chances were hurt by charges that he was anti-labor and that he ruled on cases where he'd held small financial interests.
RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Judge Carswell...
When he was rejected, Nixon turned to another Southerner, District Judge Harrold Carswell. But Carswell's record as a judge was pockmarked with reversals by higher courts, and he'd once given a speech embracing white supremacy. He was rejected too.
RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am making a brief announcement --
GREENFIELD: Seventeen years later, there was no question about the qualifications of Robert Bork when President Reagan chose him -- law professors, solicitor general, federal judge. But with the Senate newly retaken by Democrats, Bork's past -- he'd fired Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox during Watergate, made him a target. So did some of his long hilled views on the constitution, that there was no right to privacy, for example.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me explain that view. GREENFIELD: And Bork presented a politically unattractive face at the hearings -- too intellectual, too remote, that helped lead to his rejection.
BUSH: Thank you for agreeing to serve.
GREENFIELD: Last year, the nomination of White House Counsel Harriet Miers died for highly unusual reasons. President Bush's most loyal foot soldiers, movement conservatives questioned both her qualifications and her commitment to a conservative judicial philosophy.
Alito's opponents will argue that his philosophy puts him outside the mainstream and that his conduct on the bench raises questions about his credibility. But with Republicans in firm control of the Senate, blocking him looks like a long shot.
Jeff Greenfield, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Well, that was our senior analyst; now, our Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin with us tonight from Washington. Jeffrey, let's listen to something that Judge Alito said in his opening statement before the Judiciary Committee. I want to talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAMUEL ALITO, SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: Judges are always open to the possibility of changing their minds based on the next brief that they read or the next argument that's made by an attorney who's appearing before them or a comment that is made by a colleague during the conference on the case when the judges privately discuss the case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Is that true? I mean, do judges change their opinion like that? Is it that open, this process? Or is that something you just say because you want the politicians to believe you?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, no, I think it does happen. Judges change their minds all the time about individual cases, about how to approach one kind of law or another. But judges also have distinctive philosophies that don't change.
And I think what Alito was doing today, was laying the groundwork for saying, look, the lawyer I was in 1985, who wrote very provocative statements about the state of law on abortion, on civil rights, very conservative philosophy, that was a very different person than the judge I am today, who was shaped by 15 years on the bench, where I have not been particularly an ideologue (ph). That's the distinction that he's going to try to draw when he starts getting questioned tomorrow.
COOPER: Well, there was also this today, from Senator Ted Kennedy. Let's play that. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KENNEDY: I'm gravely concerned by Judge Alito's clear record of support for vast presidential authority, unchecked by the other two branches of government. In decision after decision on the bench, he has excused abusive actions by the authorities that intrude on the personal privacy and freedoms of average Americans. And in his writings and speeches, he has supported a level of overreaching presidential power that frankly, most Americans find disturbing and even frightening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, how important is his stand on the issue of presidential power going to be?
TOOBIN: You know, it just shows how political these hearings are. You know, a month ago, it wouldn't have been a big deal at all. That issue might not have come up. But since December 16, when the "New York Times" revealed that the administration had been engaged in warrant-less wire -- eavesdropping on American citizens, here in Washington, at least. I don't know about the rest of the country.
But in Congress, people are very worried about that. And the Democrats feel this issue is one that might peel off a couple of Republicans because some of the Republicans, even though they tend to be very partisan on Democratic/Republican issues, they are very jealous of Congress's prerogatives, and they feel like the executive is stepping all over the Congress. And if they can associate Alito with the executive branch versus the Congress, they can try to get some of those Republican votes.
COOPER: I mean, in reality, do you think the confirmation is a done deal? I mean, what has to happen to stop the confirmation?
TOOBIN: I think it's close to a done deal. I think Alito has to establish himself as someone who is really conservative and who will almost certainly overturn Roe v. Wade, and give the president a virtual blank check in foreign policy. He knows that's the risk. And he's a smart guy. He's been doing rehearsals. It seems very unlikely to me he will give the kind of answers that will motivate the Democrats to launch a filibuster against him. But, you know, these are unpredictable events and we'll see what happens.
COOPER: It's such a strange process too. I mean, we've heard Alito say that a judge can't have an agenda, that his personal opinions, you know, wouldn't cloud his decisions. And yet he has this record as a seated judge, as well. I mean, how can you really tell anything through this process? It just seems so politicized.
TOOBIN: That's why it's so frustrating, frankly, to cover these things, Anderson, because the question can be answered. You know, you ask ten people in the street, do you think Roe v. Wade should be overturned? You'll get 10 straight answers. The one person whose view matters on that question, you can't answer the question. So there's all this sort of dancing around, and you ask them about their attitude towards precedent and the right to privacy. It's useful in figuring out what a justice will do, but it's not foolproof and that's why sometimes we're surprised when justices could get on the bench and they turn out not to be what we expected.
COOPER: I'm surprised you said there are no straight answers in Washington.
TOOBIN: Amazing, huh? That's why you get those blinding insights from me, right?
COOPER: All right, Jeff Toobin, thanks very much.
TOOBIN: See you, Anderson.
COOPER: Virginia Shaw from "HEADLINE NEWS" joins us right now with some of the other stories we're following tonight. Hi, Virginia.
VIRGINIA SHAW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson.
Well, in San Francisco, a police bomb squad disarmed an explosive device found in a Starbucks coffee shop Monday afternoon. Police say the bomb squad was called to investigate a metal flashlight found in a bathroom, and determined it was a device that could explode. Starbucks executives had no immediate comment on the report.
In New York City, the pilot of a Statin Island commuter ferry that killed 11 people when it crashed into a concrete pier was sentenced today. Assistant Captain Richard Smith had pleaded guilty to 11 counts of manslaughter. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison. His attorney says Smith passed out at the controls and accepts his punishment.
In Atlanta, Baby Noor, the 3-three-old Iraqi girl brought to America for life-saving medical treatment is reported to be in good condition after surgery to realign and enclose her spinal column. Soldiers from Georgia's National Guard found the infant during a routine knock and search of the family's Baghdad home. Doctors have said she would have died without surgery for her spina bifida.
Well, in Los Angeles, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is rebounding from a weekend motorcycle accident. Schwarzenegger was on his Harley Davidson, when a car backed into a street near his Los Angeles area home. He required 15 stitches to mend a cut to his mouth and his 12-year-old son, who was a passenger, and was also treated for minor cuts and bruises. Both were wearing helmets, and so far, no word on whether Maria will let them continue to ride.
COOPER: Hmm, all right, thanks very much.
A mother accused of killing her children is next. Remember the case against Andrea Yates? Well, she was back in court today. She has a whole new trial coming. She has to enter a plea once again. Coming up, find out why.
Plus, it is reported to be spreading faster than any other major illness. Take a quiz and test your knowledge on diabetes. Could you be at risk for the crippling and deadly disease?
And dolphins can do amazing tricks. We all know that. But now scientists say they can do much more. Maybe even count. We'll tell you all about it, next on 360.
COOPER: Well, the lead story in today's "New York Times," caught our eye. This morning, diabetes is emerging as a silent national epidemic. According to the American Diabetes Association, one out of every 10 healthcare dollars is now spent on diabetes. There's no cure, and the complications are many. For instance, diabetes is the leading cause of adult blindness, leg amputation and kidney disease. Diabetes occurs when a lack of insulin impairs the body's ability to process glucose or sugar.
Earlier, we asked CNN's senior medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta to help us with a quick diabetes quiz.
COOPER: Dr. Sanjay, 41 million Americans have pre-diabetes. The question is, if you have pre-diabetes, which is a higher than normal blood glucose level, there is nothing you can do to prevent the onset of diabetes. True or false?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: That is false, Anderson. Actually, there are several things you can do, including lifestyle changes. And you know, you look at the obesity epidemic in this country, it is probably single-handedly contributing to the diabetes epidemic. And that is certainly something that everybody can do something about.
COOPER: All right, second question. The death rate for diabetes is in decline. True or false?
GUPTA: That actually, amazingly is false. It has actually gone up by 45 percent actually over the last 15 to 16 years. Remarkable, actually, we are just not doing a very good job at controlling the number of people who get diabetes. The numbers of people who are getting diabetes is going up, and therefore the death rate going up as well -- Anderson.
COOPER: Eating too much sugar gives you diabetes. True or false?
GUPTA: That is false. A common misconception. Eating sugar does not give you diabetes. Typically, it's two problems. It has to do with genetics and it may also have to do with your pancreas not producing enough insulin. Those two things in combination can often give you either Type I or Type II Diabetes.
COOPER: What about number four, minorities are at greater risk for developing diabetes?
GUPTA: That is true. Remarkably, this probably highlights the disparities in healthcare more so than just about anything else. Talking about minorities, probably has to do with poor access to healthcare. It may have to do with poor access to good foods, nutritious foods, and the obesity epidemic once again -- Anderson.
COOPER: And I've heard that heart disease is the leading killer of people with diabetes. True or false?
GUPTA: That is true. Diabetes causes all sorts of different complications in the body. Heart disease ends up being a big one, and the number one killer; but it can also cause kidney disease. It can cause stroke. It can cause blindness as well -- and amputations. People talk about all those things.
COOPER: Sanjay, thanks.
GUPTA: Thank you.
COOPER: Coming up next, she drowned her five children. Now Andrea Yates is going back to court to stand trial all over again. But will she reach a plea deal before the case begins? We're going to talk to her attorney, ahead.
Also, tonight, turning a difficult childhood into a great life. Radio talk show host Laura Schlessinger stops by to tell us how she says it can be done.
Stay with 360.
COOPER: Here are some of the stories we're following at this moment. It is Tuesday morning in South Korea. And reports there say that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, may have entered China, by train, on a visit. China is the North's sole ally and the source of economic aid to impoverished South Korea. It is also hosted talks by six countries aimed at dismantling the North's nuclear weapons.
The Middle East, the December rocket attack against northern Israel was ordered by Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. That claim comes in an audio statement attributed to fugitive terrorist leader Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. CNN was unable to immediately verify this statement's authenticity. A U.S. counter-terrorism official says there is no evidence that bin Laden ordered any attacks from Lebanon, into Israel.
And in Turkey at least 14 people have been infected with bird flu. Almost all the cases have been linked to infected poultry. Remember the greatest concern is that the virus may mutate and spread easily from person to person. There is no evidence that that has happened in this case.
Well, we know what Andrea Yates did, but did she know what she was doing? That's the question a Texas court will soon have to wrestle with for the second time. And jurors will, once again, have to decide if her unspeakable act was intentional or beyond her control.
COOPER: In a Houston courtroom today, Andrea Yates pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity for the second time, in the 2001 drowning of three of her five children.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have found the defendant, Andrea Pia (ph) Yates, guilty of the offense of capital murder.
COOPER: In 2002, a jury rejected Yates' first insanity defense, finding her guilty of the bathtub murders of three of her five children; seven-year-old Noah, five-year-old John, and the youngest six-month- old Mary. She was sentenced to life in prison. Her other two children, Paul, three, and Luke, two, were also drowned but Yates was not charged with their deaths.
Then, last January, a surprise, her convictions were overturned by a state appeals court, ruling that a prosecution expert's false testimony about the TV program "Law & Order" required a retrial.
Forensic psychiatrist Park Deets (ph) testified that shortly before Yates killed her five children, the television series "Law & Order" has showed an episode about a woman suffering from post-partum depression, who drowned her children. Suggesting that Yates had the ability to pattern her actions after the TV show and knew the difference between right and wrong. But no such episode ever existed.
In 2001, Yates confessed to the police before her trial that she had drowned her five children. Yates received a diagnosis of post- partum depression and psychosis. And her attorney claims it was insane delusions that compelled her to kill her kids.
Today, a new trial was set for March 20, this time Yates will not face the death penalty.
COOPER: Well, George Parnham is the attorney for Andrea Yates, I spoke to him, earlier tonight.
COOPER: Mr. Parnham, how lucid is Andrea Yates? How much does she know about what's going on?
GEORGE PARNHAM, LAWYER FOR ANDREA YATES: Andrea is stable. She's on a daily regimen of high dosages of anti-psychotic medications, anti-depressants. She is at a level where she is aware of the proceedings and understands what occurred and what the future might hold for her.
COOPER: And does she talk about what occurred? What she did to her kids, to you?
PARNHAM: Without going into the content of any attorney/client conversation, she has vivid memories of those children, the memories include, obviously, those young kids growing up to the day that they all perished. She remembers those incidences and she is devastated. She lives, literally, in a hellish torment everyday of her life.
COOPER: Does she want a new trial? I mean, I assume so, but you have said it would be torture for her.
PARNHAM: Yes, and that is an excellent questions. She desires emotionally not to go through this process. That is not necessarily equal to a legal decision about what has to occur and what doesn't have to take place. We would do anything short of giving away some non-negotiable issues to get this matter resolved, prior to jury selection.
Nobody wants to go through this. The prosecution doesn't, I don't, and Andrea certainly doesn't, the court can use its time in other matters. But unless we're able to arrive at some type of a conclusion that is the inevitability of our process.
COOPER: You sound like you're saying you're open to some sort of plea deal. What would the perimeters be? You said there are some things which are non-negotiable. What is non-negotiable?
PARNHAM: Mental health and security. Andrea Yates, her mental health needs to be addressed. And it can only be addressed in a mental health facility for as long a period of time as is necessary to get those issues taken care of.
COOPER: But isn't she getting treatment now? You said she is on a number of different kind of medication?
PARNHAM: The best that the state has to offer for individuals who are mentally impaired is at a location known as Rusk (ph) State Mental Hospital, for the indigent individuals that can't afford to pay for psychiatric care or go to a private hospital. That's the best that the state has, Andrea fits that bill, she needs to be in Rusk and needs to get those issues addressed.
COOPER: Do you think she could win? Do you think she could be declared not guilty by reason of insanity?
PARNHAM: Absolutely, Anderson. No question. This time around we have an additional four years of medical testimony related to her psychiatric conditions. Remember she -- while she's been incarcerated, over the last four years, she has had three incidences where she spiraled down into psychotic delusional states. One of which entailed her being placed on life support in Galveston, because she almost died.
COOPER: Has she ever indicated a desire to have children again?
PARNHAM: I've -- I can't go into the content of any communication with Andrea Yates.
COOPER: OK. PARNHAM: But I have -- that is not something that has ever been talked about. Those children were too precious to her, are to this day, and she has a very difficult period of time each day of her life.
COOPER: That was George Parnham, Andrea Yates' attorney.
In Alaska, fears that a volcano is about to erupt and that millions could be affected. We'll take a look at that. Also ahead, if you had a less than ideal childhood, is your goose cooked? Doctor Laura Schlessinger, the radio personality, says no. Not at all. We'll talk to her about her new book, subtitled, "How to Blossom and Thrive In Spite of an Unhappy Childhood". You're watching 360.
COOPER: Well, Tolstoy, famously wrote, all happy families are alike, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Radio talk show host Laura Schlessinger, Doctor Laura, to her listeners, might add this: Children from unhappy families, may grow up to be miserable adults, they don't have to stay miserable. That is the basic premise of her new book, "Bad Childhood, Good Life: How to Blossom and Thrive In Spite of an Unhappy Childhood."
I talked to Doctor Laura earlier and asked her about callers who complain about feeling unhappy and stuck. Here's what she said.
DR. LAURA SCHLESSINGER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Everybody in the world can point out something annoying about their childhood.
SCHLESSINGER: Or something horrendous.
SCHLESSINGER: Just a whole range of things. But what I have found, on my radio program, is that the connection between what happened then and how you reacted to it and how you defended against it and how you coped with it. These are behavioral patterns of thinking, perceiving, reacting, that you still do today in situations that are not relevant anymore. So you can tell that when people overreact.
SCHLESSINGER: You know, I go, Anderson, you know I don't know I didn't think that idea really made sense. Now, you could do the little, explain to me how. And let's argue it out, or you could get hysterical, call me terrible names and march off. Now if you did the -- if you did the one I just said, that's probably more because I remind you, for example, of your mom being very critical.
SCHLESSINGER: So, if somebody challenges you, you immediately feel the mom withdrawing love feeling, you don't even realize it, but you reacting against that.
COOPER: And it's fascinating, because as a kid I always thought, well, once you become an adult, you move away from all of that stuff. But it just stays with you and the older I get the more I realize so much of what happened to -- what happens to one as a child, still is right there with you.
SCHLESSINGER: It is like it put certain lenses in your glasses, and you spend the rest of your life looking through those lenses.
COOPER: That's true.
SCHLESSINGER: Until you go -- ah! You have that a-ha moment.
COOPER: And once you have that a-ha moment, what can you do about it?
SCHLESSINGER: Well, let me give you a quick example. A guy called me, he was a very functional guy, he has nice job, he has a nice wife, but he never feels happy and he never really feels connected to her. But he's a good man. He spends his time remember the beatings, can't get it out of his mind. Can't get the pain, fear, whatever he does he's almost obsessed by that.
So, we're on the radio and I said, OK, you could go through 50 years of therapy, or you could do something in a minute. Here's what I want you to do. Close your eyes, and I want you to think, put yourself right in that place, where you're being hurt. And you could hear the voice go -- as he was thinking of it. I said don't describe it to me. Frankly, I don't want to know. Now, think of yourself laying next to your wife and her caressing your face. Go there. So, he goes there and you hear the breathing get calmer. And I had him go bath and forth two times.
And I said, can you be in two places at once? Well, no. Well, every time that pain comes up, have your wife be caressing your face. So what adults have to do is understand that pain is never going away. It is an integral part of who you are forever. But you can make choices even on a moment-to-moment basis to embrace it, to be embraced by it, or to shift over into the goodness and the beauty and the loveliness and the hope that is in your life today. And people can make that shift, but they usually -- I call it manual override. But it usually has to be forever and that is why it is hard for people to change. You have to do this forever.
COOPER: Does there have to -- does there come a point where you have to you now forgive your parent, or parents, or get an apology from them? Or does there come a point where you just have to move on from them?
SCHLESSINGER: Whether they apologize or not, and most apologies take the form of, well, I had a lot of things that I was going through.
COOPER: I did the best I could.
SCHLESSINGER: I did the best I could -- to me, this is more injury to the insult. If a parent, and I have advised parents to get this book and give it to their children and say the following: I acknowledge the truth and the reality that I hurt you. And I did this way, this way and this way. I have excuses, but none of them change the fact that I hurt you. And here is a book that will help you get from that point to a good life. I'm giving you that gift. Do you realize what a wonderful gift that is for a parent to just say the truth to you, rather than defend against it.
But I'll tell you, whether they're alive or dead, whether they apologize or not, the journey is the same.
COOPER: It is a fascinating book, "Bad Childhood, Good Life". Doctor Laura Schlessinger, thanks for being with us.
SCHLESSINGER: Thank you.
COOPER: Well, will the next tsunami be caused not by an earthquake but by this volcano? Worrying story from Alaska on trouble brewing deep in the earth.
And do dolphins understand mathematical concepts? More reasons to think, so fewer to scoff, when 360 returns.
COOPER: Well, the world has seen, to its horror, what an undersea earthquake can do. We're talking of course about the apocalyptic tsunami of a year ago. Well, the bad news is that a submarine earthquake is not the only force that can cause that kind of havoc. And right now, in Alaska, there is a volcano that has scientists worried.
CNN's Joe Johns investigates.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Augustine Volcano, Alaska, for two decades a picture of calm. But beneath the slopes, as this infrared image shows, anything but calm. The temperature is starting to rise, the earth convulsing, and that has scientists on alert that Augustine could be about to blow; just like it did in 1986.
And there is bad history here, too. Scientists also know what happened 120 years ago, when an eruption triggered a tsunami, huge waves that swamped nearby fishing villages.
Augustine is a uninhabited island, not easy to get to. From Anchorage you fly by plane all the way down Cook Inlet, to the fishing village of Homer. From there we took a helicopter 65 miles across the water with pilot Mike Fell.
MIKE FELL, HELICOPTER PILOT: Just here in the last, you know, month or so is when we've been getting the big clouds releases. I've landed in the dome itself, you know, and we can't land there anymore, because of how much it's grown.
JOHNS: As we approach, we see that we're flying into heavy weather. The top of the mountain is shrouded in mist. The terrain looks like a moonscape.
FELL: Here, when we're close to this mountain, we clearly get the smell of sulfur in the air.
JOHNS (on camera): This is 1,200 feet elevation. The summit is just that way through the clouds, about 4,100 feet. Some of the worst weather in the world is out here. In just a matter of minutes we went from bright sunshine to freezing rain and sleet. The fear is, if the volcano blows it could send a plume of ash all the way to Anchorage.
(Voice over): Our pilot, Mike Fell, was there went it went up in '86.
FELL: As we turned back around it looked like just a giant mushroom cloud coming up out of the volcano, as you can imagine in just a big ash and steam plume going straight up. It was a beautiful day, crystal clear. And then it just had the anvil shaped cloud going up and away from it.
DR. STEPHANIE PREJEAN, ALASKA VOLACNO OBSERVATORY: So this is our operations room.
JOHNS: At Alaska's Volcano Observatory, Doctor Stephanie Prejean and her team are keeping a close eye on Augustine, using seismic monitoring stations placed all over the mountain.
PREJEAN: This is an actual steam explosion at the volcano's summit.
JOHNS: What they're seeing right now is a lot of steam and indications that the magma, molten underground rock is rising. The worst-case scenario here is that like Mount St. Helens, in Washington State in 1980, there could be what scientists call a flank collapse, when an entire side of the mountain comes tumbling down into the water. Depending on which side of the mountain might collapse the town of Homer could even be at risk if there is a tsunami.
While there is little risk of a catastrophe 175 miles away in Anchorage, at the very least, air travel would likely be affected if the ash falls on the city. Remember the St. Helens blast sent huge ash clouds into the air that actually circled the world, eventually a menace for all air travel.
Beyond the risks, if and when it blows, for scientists and the rest of us, it should be a spectacular show. Volcanoes are unpredictable things, but for scientists studying Augustine, it is more a question of when, than if this volcano will unleash fire into the Alaska sky.
Joe Johns, CNN, Homer, Alaska.
COOPER: Well, Virginia Shaw from Headlines News for some of the other stories we're following.
SHAW: Hey, Anderson.
So a study published today says that when the long-term health care costs for wounded soldiers are included, the cost of the Iraq war could top $2 trillion, far above the White House's prewar projections. Researchers included in their study, disability payments for the 16,000 wounded U.S. troops, about 20 percent of whom suffer serious brain or spinal injuries.
In Washington, Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito will face grilling tomorrow on Capitol Hill. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee promise to ask Alito about his stance on abortion, executive power, police searches and a lot more. Watch the testimony tomorrow right here on CNN, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Eastern, and throughout the day, plus all week.
A new option for women suffering from breast cancer. A treatment announced today cuts the traditional six week course of radiation, down to five days, during which cancer killing beams are targeted at the tumor sight only, instead of the entire breast.
And Canadian scientists are working on a one-day treatment in which radiation seeds are implanted inside the breast to kill stray malignant cells.
An unveiling today, on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, added to the sidewalk, Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane, once of the Broadway musical, "The Producers". And currently starring on stage in "The Odd Couple". Mr. Broderick -- Broderick, with a sense of humor -- addressed the gathered crowd to say, please, remember to curb your dogs when you're walking in this area.
His wife, Sarah Jessica Parker, attended the unveiling, along with director Mel Brooks.
I don't blame him, being worried about the dogs, Anderson.
COOPER: Absolutely. Thanks very much.
It was the great pitcher Satchel Paige (ph) who said, Never look back, something may be gaining you." Well, we didn't listen and we did look back and found that in the intelligence department something may very well be gaining on us. CNN's John Zarrella has that story.
LINDA ERB, V.P. ANIMAL CARE: On your mark, get set, go Talent!
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): OK, it's not a revelation. We all know dolphins can do amazing tricks.
ERB: What an athlete.
ZARRELLA: Talent here, loves showing off. Here's his shark imitation.
ERB: That's his scary shark impression.
ZARRELLA: By the animal kingdom's standards dolphins are pretty darn intelligent. Now scientists are discovering they may have more on the ball than anyone imagined.
ERB: Left! Good boy! You did it again.
ZARRELLA: Bottle-nosed dolphins can look at two quantities, in this case, white dots on a board, and tell which board has less.
ERB: Did he go, 1, 2, 3, in his head? Probably not, but he is recognizing them as individuals and counting them for practical purposes.
ZARRELLA: They may not be able to count as we humans do, but a new three-year study by the dolphin research center here, found a level of cognition in dolphins that scientists say had never before been demonstrated.
First, Talent and a second dolphin, Rainbow, were shown two boards with different numbers of dots, two and six. They were trained to always the board with two dots, no matter the size, or location of the dots on the board.
ERB: You got it! Yes, you did!
ERB: I know! I know! Are you proud of yourself? Are you? Good for you.
ZARRELLA: Researchers say learning this skill meant they understood two is different from six. That they could grasp, intellectually, the concept of more and less. When under final exam the dolphin had to show the smaller number from sets they had never trained on.
ERB: Oh, hard one. That was a hard one? Yeah, a reverse.
The reason that that is so significant is when you run the test, he can't -- he has to see new number pairs. In other words, combinations that he's never seen before.
ZARRELLA: Talent and Rainbow aren't perfect. They got it right, 80 percent of the time. Showing a level of smarts that never has been measured, but is still limited. The study is over but Talent and Rainbow still go to class once a week, just to keep up their skills. John Zarrella, CNN, Grassy Key, Florida.
COOPER: Amazing. More on 360 stay with us.
COOPER: Reminder, tomorrow, here on CNN you can watch the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, starting at 9:30 a.m. Eastern. They are expected to get very interesting and heated tomorrow. Make sure you tune into CNN first thing in the morning. Larry King is next. Thanks for watching 360.
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