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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Possible Euthanasia At New Orleans Hospital; Nagin Claims Hurricanes Are Punishment From God; Protests Against U.S. In Pakistan; Inmates Escape From Alabama Jail; Hostage In Georgia; Randal McCloy's Condition Upgraded To Serious; Gerald Ford Treated For Pneumonia; Flu Strain Mutated And Developed Resistance; Cannibal Finds Victim On Internet; 2-year-old Faces Deportation; Strange Weather Patterns
Aired January 16, 2006 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Congress and the public to resist what he called quote, "a gross and excessive power grab by the Bush administration."
For the first time in 38 years, Coretta Scott King, widow of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., was not present today at the Ebeneezer Baptist Church in Atlanta for ceremonies marking the slain civil rights leader's birthday. Ms. King, partially paralyzed by a stroke and recovering from a heart attack, watched the ceremonies on television at her home.
Well, there were some of the most disturbing claims to emerge in the Hurricane Katrina disaster, accusations of mercy killings at several of New Orleans area hospitals. Medical staff, people who pledged to save lives, had allegedly ended the lives of some of their patients. Those are the allegations.
Tonight, there is a new development in the story. New Orleans District Attorney Eddie Jordan has told CNN that he is planning to have a grand jury look into the allegations, and he may empanel one as soon as next week.
Jordan says more evidence needs to be collected, but he believes the investigation could possibly lead to murder charges.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDDIE JORDAN, NEW ORLEANS DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Well, we have reason to believe, based upon the information that has been reported, that there may have been criminal activity at the hospital.
The attorney general for the state of Louisiana is conducting an investigation, and he will submit his findings to my office for further action.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, one of the hospitals where these alleged crimes happened is the Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans. CNN's Drew Griffin is following the investigation there.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Memorial Hospital had been a storm refuge for up to 2,000 people. Patients, staff and their families rode out the storm inside. But by Thursday, four days after Katrina, despair was setting in. The hospital was surrounded by flood water. There was no power, no water; and the heat was stifling. Nurses had to fan patients by hand.
And outside the hospital windows, nurses tell CNN they saw looters breaking into this credit union. Up on the seventh floor, Angela McManus was with her critically ill mother. Thursday, she noticed a change too. Nurses, she says, were now discussing for the first time which patients would have to stay behind.
ANGELA MCMANUS, MOTHER DIED IN MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: I mean this was grown men that were buckling down to their knees because they were like -- they couldn't that FEMA was making them stay there and watch people die. They had decided not to evacuate the DNR patients.
GRIFFIN: That's when you heard for the first time your mom was not going to get out?
MCMANUS: Right. The first time.
GRIFFIN: Angela McManus's mother had a DNR, a do not resuscitate order, but was alert. Her daughter says Wilda McManus did not make it out. She wants to believe her mother died peacefully from her illness, but now doesn't know. On her death certificate lists the first cause of death merely as hurricane related.
MCMANUS: Think he died from the infection -- I don't know. I really don't know. And you know, hearing that this doctor was saying about euthanasia at the hospital, I just don't know where to go.
GRIFFIN: The Louisiana Attorney General's Office is looking into what did happen to the patients at Memorial Hospital. Attorney General Charles Foti has told CNN that allegations of possible euthanasia there are quote, "credible and worth investigating," end quote. But that is all he will say.
While Foti will not provide any details of his investigation, a source familiar with it, who did not want to be identified, told CNN that more than one person is being actively looked at as a possible person of interest for crimes related to euthanasia there.
Dr. Bryant King, who has since left Memorial, was working as a contract physician at the hospital in the days after Katrina. This is what he saw in the triage area Thursday, September 1.
DR. BRYANT KING, FORMER MEMORIAL HOSPITAL PHYSICIAN: I realized there were no more centers (ph), there were no more nurses checking blood sugars or blood pressures. They were all pushed out. And then there were people standing at the ramp at the clear (ph) garage.
There were people standing over by where the morgue or the shop that we were using as the morgue. There were people standing at the entrance way to where the emergency room led up to the second floor area. So it was kind of just being blocked off. And that didn't make sense to me. It didn't make sense why we would stop what we had been doing, especially given the fact that we were evacuating patients.
GRIFFIN: Dr. King said another hospital administrator asked if he and two other remaining doctors should pray. King says one of those doctors, Dr. Anna Pou, had a handful of syringes.
KING: This is on the second floor in the lobby. And across that walkway there's a group of patients, and Anna's standing over there with a handful of syringes.
GRIFFIN: Dr. Anna Pou.
KING: Talking to a patient and the words that I heard her say were, I'm going to give something to make you feel better. And she had a handful of syringes. I don't -- and that was strange on a lot of different levels. For one, we don't give medications. The nurses give medications.
We almost never give medications ourselves unless it's something critical, it's in the middle of a code or -- even in the middle of a code, the nurses give medications. Nobody walks around with a handful syringes and goes and gives the same thing to each patient. That's just not how we do it.
GRIFFIN: Dr. King had no way of knowing what was in those syringes. He left the hospital. He says he personally did not witness any acts of euthanasia.
Right after evacuating Memorial Hospital, Dr. Anna Poe had this to say to a Baton Rouge television station.
DR. ANNA POU, MEMORIAL HOSPITAL PHYSICIAN: There were some patients there that -- who were critically ill and regardless of the storm, were -- had the orders of do not resuscitate. In other words, that if they died, to allow them to die naturally and not to use any heroic methods to resuscitate them. We all did everything within our power to give the best treatment that we could to the patients in the hospital, to make them comfortable.
GRIFFIN: Dr. Pou talked to CNN in several phone calls in the days after the evacuation. She would not comment on the euthanasia allegations and has since hired an attorney. Dr. Pou's attorney, Rick Simmons, sent this statement to CNN on behalf of his client.
It reads, "The physicians and staff responsible for the care of patients, many of whom were gravely ill, faced loss of generator power, the absence of routine medical equipment to sustain life, lack of water and sanitation facilities, extreme heat in excess of one hundred degrees, all occurring," says the statement, "in a an environment of deteriorating security, apparent social unrest and the absence of governmental authority.
Dr. Pou and other medical personal," it reads, "at Memorial Hospital worked tirelessly for five days to save and evacuate patients, none of whom were abandoned. We feel confident that the facts will reveal heroic efforts by the physicians and the staff in a desperate situation." Drew Griffin, CNN, New Orleans.
COOPER: Well, exactly how many deaths might be involved is still under investigation. And no charges have been filed. There are two companies, we should point out, involved with patient care at Memorial Hospital. Tenet Healthcare runs the hospital; Life Care of New Orleans leases space to care for long-term patients on the seventh floor.
Now both companies declined to be interviewed, citing the ongoing investigation. But both say their employees acted heroically under difficult conditions and both companies say they're cooperating with the state's attorney general's investigation.
An investigation like this demands more than just eyewitness accounts and documentation, it requires an examination of the bodies themselves. And that's now being done.
CNN's Randi Kaye talked with the man who is handling the bodies, about the delicate signs of learning how you can tell if someone has been euthanized.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Did dozens of patients from New Orleans Memorial Medical Center die of natural causes in sweltering heat following the storm? Their life-saving machines no longer pumping without power. Or were these mercy killings?
JIM MCCLOSKEY, CENTURION MINISTRIES: It's a real mystery and it's going to be a real legal quandary.
KAYE: More than a thousand miles from New Orleans, in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Dr. Cyril Wecht, the county coroner, is following the case closely, wondering if it will become a real live crime scene investigation. A CSI that could take months to resolve.
DR. CYRIL WECHT, ALLEGHENY COUNTY CORONER: The bodies are brought in to the back of the building, our entrance.
KAYE: Dr. Wecht gave us an exclusive look inside his autopsy room. To help us understand how the mystery down south may unravel.
WECHT: See this? This is the -- is marbling, greenish black discoloration. See these -- sub-epidermal blisters are beginning to form. You can see there. This is already early decomposition. After a while, he'll balloon up and he'll look like a sumo wrestler and you'll say, boy, where did you get this 450-pounder?
KAYE: The bodies from Memorial will be far more decomposed than this one. It's likely they hadn't been refrigerated for more than a month. Dr. Wecht says, to determine cause of death, Orleans Parish Coroner Frank Minyard will collect blood, bile and urine. They'll be tested to determine if drugs like morphine or potassium chloride may have been used to euthanize patients.
WECHT: If you find any morphine in a patient for whom morphine had never been ordered, now in my opinion, from a forensic scientific legal investigator standpoint, that's enough. Because what are they doing with morphine?
KAYE: Testing for the drugs is complicated. And Wecht admits what happened at Memorial may never be known. With a temperature of 110 degrees, Wecht says the organs are useless to a coroner.
WECHT: The body first begins to swell and become discolored and then inside the organs and tissues begin to become decomposed. The bacteria go to work and after a while, the (unintelligible) you'll have will be shrunken, totally discolored, blackened, organs and tissues.
KAYE: The best chance at knowing how these patients really died is through toxicology tests like this one.
WECHT: She's placing in a solvent solution and that is going to lead to the picking up the absorption, the extraction of whatever it is that is contained in the blood. Some extraction has taken place because the blood from you or me wouldn't have this non-bloody component. That's already been accomplished.
KAYE: So it'll be further separated in there?
WECHT: Yes. And now, it'll be further separated in this centrifuge. A rapid spinning, and this will lead to further extraction.
KAYE: So it's one step closer to figuring out this whole mystery?
WECHT: Exactly. Right.
KAYE: After the blood is separated, it's tested.
WECHT: This is going to show, as the specimens go through, that Connie and Julie extracted, whether or not there are drugs present and they will give you some blips.
KAYE: So if down in New Orleans they find that there is morphine or potassium chloride or whatever there might be, this is what they'll see on the screen?
WECHT: Or sedatives, barbiturates, tranquilizers of different kinds, morphine and related analgesic drugs, right. And then blips will appear.
KAYE: Those blips still won't be enough to determine if mercy killings took place.
Next, the amount of drugs found in the patients, if any, must be measured.
WECHT: They'll say, hey, you know, how could they have possibly have needed this much morphine or this much secobarbital?
KAYE: Remember, most of these patients were elderly and may have been taking pain medications like morphine. But drugs like that only stay in the body for 24 hours. If it shows up now, especially in high doses, mystery solved. Randi Kaye, CNN, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
COOPER: And we will continue to follow that story.
Today, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin talks about last year's hurricanes during a speech to mark Martin Luther King, Jr., day, making an offer to frank explanation as to why he believes they happen, suggesting they may have been some sort of punishment from God.
RAY NAGIN, NEW ORLEANS MAYOR: And as we think about rebuilding New Orleans, sure God is mad at America. He's sending hurricane after hurricane after hurricane. And it's destroying and putting stress on this country.
Surely he's not approval of us being in Iraq under false pretenses. But surely he is upset at black America also. We're not taking care of ourselves. We're not taking care of our women and we're not taking care of our children. When you have a community where 70 percent of its children are being born to one parent.
We as black people, it's time. It's time for us to come together. It's time for us to rebuild a New Orleans, the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans. And I don't care what people are saying uptown or wherever they are. This city will be chocolate at the end of the day.
This city will be a majority African-American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You can't have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn't be New Orleans.
COOPER: A local reporter asked Mayor Nagin what he meant by chocolate city. Nagin then defined chocolate as a delicious drink made from a mix of dark chocolate and white milk. He says New Orleans is a chocolate city because it's a place where white and black people are working together to make something special.
Overseas there were protests against the U.S. across Pakistan today. The demonstrations were in response to a CIA air strike Friday in a remote region of the country. The target was reportedly Osama bin Laden's right-hand man, Ayman al-Zawahiri. CNN's Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson has the fallout over the attack.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): He was the man who apparently didn't come to dinner. Al Qaeda's number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri. U.S. intelligence sources say Zawahiri was supposed to show up in this village for a feast with other al Qaeda leaders, marking the end of a Muslim holiday. And that's why it was targeted by U.S. missiles.
But a Pakistani intelligence source says he either never showed up or left early because he was not among the 18 people killed.
KHURSHID KASURI, FOREIGN MINISTER, PAKISTAN (voice-over): Well, as far as the reports that we've got so far, he wasn't there.
ROBERTSON: U.S. officials are confident the group of senior al Qaeda personnel were in the targeted house, and say 12 bodies, including eight non-Pakistanis were taken from the rubble right after the air strike. Villages deny any al Qaeda leaders were there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Foreigners and outsiders are not here, nor among the recovered or dead.
ROBERTSON: Among the dead, women and children, angering not just this tribal region, but the whole country, threatening the War on Terror.
From rain drenched diratalies (ph), where tribes are more powerful than the government, to the wide well-ordered affluent boulevards of the nation's capitol, Islamabad. The cost of the apparent intelligence mistake is being paid.
One of the U.S.' staunchest allies on the war on terror, Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, is being told to step down.
Musharraf has been through this before. Most notably, announcing his support for the United States after September the 11th. But he is politically weaker now and that means catching Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri may be getting harder.
FAROOQ SATTAR, PAKISTANI OPPOSITION LEADER: Time is running out for all those who are engaged in this and they must very seriously address the lapses and the weaknesses in the intelligence.
ROBERTSON: Well, a critical question for intelligence agencies now has to be, why didn't Zawahiri show up for dinner? Was he tipped off or was he simply not hungry -- Anderson.
COOPER: Is it possible he was tipped off?
ROBERTSON: It is possible, and it's worth remembering there were surveillance aircraft reportedly by villagers flying over that village for three days before. If that wouldn't have been a tip-off to an al Qaeda leader like him, then perhaps nothing would be. So there was ample opportunity -- Anderson.
COOPER: And Nic, you said also a number of bodies were removed right after the attack. Do you know who removed those bodies?
ROBERTSON: All we know is that people came in -- men came in and quickly removed the bodies. It is not clear if they were relatives. It's not clear if they came from the village. It's not clear if they came from outside the village. It's just suspicious that these bodies were so quickly removed and it was only some and not all -- Anderson.
COOPER: And just very briefly, Pakistan sources telling you he was not there. Pentagon officials, though, officially saying they simply don't know.
ROBERTSON: It seems to be at this stage the Pentagon is looking for a sort of scientific sign of, if you will, having made their analysis of the bodies or whatever they can recover from the site -- or Pakistanis can recover for them. The Pakistanis, perhaps going for a more simpler solution in saying, OK, everyone there is telling us he wasn't there, that there were no foreigners there. We'll buy that. Maybe it may be that simple. We don't know -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Nic Robertson, thanks.
A violent jail break in Alabama leaves two accused killers on the run. One of the inmates allegedly murdered a 2-year-old girl. We're going to have the latest on the manhunt to find them.
Also, in Georgia, a custody fight ends in a police standoff, with the couple holding an attorney hostage. A live report from the scene, coming up.
And going to extremes. A look at our wild weather and what may be behind Mother Nature's strange behavior.
Across America and around the world, you're watching 360.
COOPER: Tonight, an intensive manhunt is on for two escaped inmates. They broke free from an Alabama jail cell this week and those are there pictures. They are considered armed and very dangerous. One is suspected of rape and murder, the other an accused child killer. CNN's Betty Nguyen joins us live from Phenix City, Alabama, with the latest -- Betty.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, in just about an hour from now, this search will officially enter its fourth day. And despite heat-seeking equipment, search dogs and helicopters, there's still no sign of these escapees.
NGUYEN (voice-over): We want to put their pictures up for you. Take a look at them. The escapees are 17-year-old Johnny Earl Jones, charged with murdering a 2-year-old girl he was babysitting; 19-year- old Lamar Elan Benton, charged with raping and murdering a 39-year old woman.
Now, officers say during that escape, they injured four jail guards. One was stabbed 15 times.
NGUYEN: We understand all of those jail guards are recovering tonight. But it's also important to note that a third person did escape with them. We have his picture as well.
NGUYEN (voice-over): That person is 33-year-old Brent Martin. However, he was captured six hours into this manhunt that started early Saturday morning.
NGUYEN: Now, the latest development happened a little bit earlier this evening when officers went into an apartment here in Phenix City, Alabama, with their guns drawn, looking for these escapees. They did not find them, but an intense search is going on as we speak here in Alabama and in Georgia, along the state line, looking for these two escapees who are still on the run.
NGUYEN (voice-over): There is also a caution going out, a warning, that these two escapees are considered armed and dangerous -- Anderson.
COOPER: Betty, thanks very much. Here's the number to call if you've got information that might help catch these guys. It's (334) 298-6535. That's (334) 298-6535. That's to reach the Russell County Sheriff's Office.
We're also following another developing story out of the south. This one from Georgia, involving a dangerous standoff between police in Statesboro and a couple who've allegedly taken attorney hostage. It's been going on all day. Terry Mann, from our Atlanta affiliate, WSB, has the latest from Statesboro.
TERRY MANN, WSB-TV CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Police say a man and woman entered the office of Statesboro Attorney Michael Hostilo just after 9:00 o'clock Monday morning. Minutes later, Hostilo was taken hostage. Two office secretaries were allowed to leave. Police and the FBI are negotiating with the hostage takers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But it's been very open, very honest and very calm in this manner and we have no reason to believe otherwise.
MANN: Police say the suspects are upset over the way the attorney represented them in the past.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The biggest thing is they're seeking justice, in a past crimes he was convicted of. So we're working on that.
MANN: Meanwhile, area residents aren't used to this kind of excitement in their town.
KEN CARRINGTON, RESIDENT: I don't see why no matter what the reason for this hostage situation is, it shouldn't -- this shouldn't be called for. I mean, whatever it's for, the man -- whoever's doing it is going to jail to start with. So there's no sense in it.
MANN: And police are keeping us at a safe distance. We are about three blocks from where the standoff is taking place, but we are unable to see the building from this vantage point. Now, the suspects have been identified as Robert and Connie Brower. Police say Brower has a criminal record going back several years. Again, this standoff is now in its 15th hour -- Anderson.
COOPER: Terry, there had been a report earlier about possible explosives. Do you know anything about that?
MANN: Well, police said that they took a bag out of the suspects' car, which was parked in front of the attorney who is being held hostage, in front of his office. And they hinted that it could be explosives in that bag, but they said until they investigate it with their explosives unit, they are not going to commit to that.
We are live in Statesboro, Georgia. I'm Terry Mann, for CNN.
COOPER: Terry, thanks very much. Appreciate that.
After more than a week of essentially no change, the condition of the lone Sago Mine survivor was upgraded yesterday from critical to serious. Randy McCloy is still comatose at a West Virginia hospital, but tonight there is hope for his recovery. And even the slightest bit of good news could mean a lot for a community that has experienced so much suffering. CNN's Christopher King has the latest.
CHRISTOPHER KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Doctors say Randall McCloy's health continues improving, albeit little by little. They've upgraded his condition from critical to serious. He remains in intensive care on kidney dialysis at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia. Hospital officials say his heart and liver functions continue progressing.
McCloy's wife, Anna, has been a constant presence at her husband's bedside since his rescue. She temporarily left her husband on Sunday to attend a service at West Virginia Wesleyan College, for Randall and his 12 fellow miners who died inside Sago Mine.
Pastor Ed McDaniels has been ministering to all the families of the miners since the disaster. He says the service gave Anna McCloy a chance to meet with other family members, calling it therapeutic for all suffering, giving them a sense of resolution at a time when hope and grief intermix.
ED MCDANIELS, PASTOR, CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP CHURCH: For the families who had lost their loved ones, it was so helpful and beneficial to them to congratulate her, to say we're pulling for you, that we're praying for you, we're hoping for the best for you. And it was so good for Anna as well, to know that these families who are hurting so much still had enough love to be able to share with her.
KING: Randall McCloy is the sole survivor after an explosion inside the Sago Mine killed his 12 fellow miners. Trapped underground for more than 42 hours, McCloy inhaled enormous amounts of highly toxic carbon monoxide. Doctors say they're amazed. Until now, they've never seen anyone take in as much of a deadly gas and live.
Monday, work crews continued drilling at Sago Mine, venting out dangerous fumes so investigators can go back inside and search for answers on what caused the disaster.
Randall McCloy's family and this community wait for the day that he may awake from his unconscious state and resume his life.
MCDANIELS: Each of the 12 families, just like our nation and maybe even the world, is anxiously waiting to see good news every time the news comes on about Randall McCloy.
KING: Christopher King, CNN, Morgantown, West Virginia.
COOPER: Well, the man who succeeded Richard Nixon to the presidency and escaped a would-be assassin's bullet, is in the hospital tonight. President Gerald Ford is being treated in Rancho Mirage, California. We'll have the latest on his condition.
And flu trouble -- turns out the drug your doctor may have prescribed for you, well it might have just lost its effectiveness. We'll tell you what you can do about it.
Plus, a big night in Hollywood, the Golden Globes. Find out which movies are the winners tonight.
This is 360, stay with us.
COOPER: A story developing tonight, Former President Gerald Ford is being treated for pneumonia at a California hospital. We're going to check in by phone with CNN's Thelma Gutierrez, who is standing by in Rancho Mirage, California -- Thelma.
THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At this hour, Anderson, we're told that Former President Gerald Ford is doing well and he is resting comfortably at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage. Now, this is the third day that President Ford has undergone an IV antibiotic treatment for pneumonia. He was admitted to the hospital on Saturday. And his Chief of Staff Penny Circle told us that his doctors just wanted to take some extra precautions because the former president, after all, is 92 years old. And they said it would be best for the president to undergo this kind of a treatment in the hospital.
Now, Betty Ford, who has been married to Gerald Ford for 57 years, has visited her husband every day since Saturday and we're told that he is expected to be released from the hospital on Wednesday or Thursday. And his office is expected to give us an update on his condition sometime tomorrow -- Anderson.
COOPER: Thelma Gutierrez, thanks very much.
Virginia Shaw, from "HEADLINE NEWS," joins us with some of the other stories we're following right now. Hi Virginia.
VIRGINIA SHAW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Anderson.
Well, a rejection today from the Supreme Court for a stay of execution in the case of Clarence Ray Allen, a 76-year-old wheelchair- bound diabetic who is blind and nearly deaf. Allen has been on death row for 23 years and is now scheduled to be executed in California San Quentin Prison at midnight tonight, Pacific Time.
A judge today ordered a psychological examination for one of two teens arrested in the fatal beating of a homeless man and a second beating that was videotaped by a surveillance camera. Family members and their attorneys negotiated the surrender of 18-year old Brian Hooks and 17-year-old Thomas Daugherty, who now face charges of murder and aggravated battery.
Africa now has something the U.S. has not had yet. Liberia's Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf took office today as the continent's first elected female president, pledging to break with her country's history of corruption and violence. The inauguration was attended by First Lady Laura Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Now, Liberia is Africa's oldest republic, founded in 1847, by freed slaves from America.
In Beverly Hills, California, results from the Golden Globes. Now, we know some of you on the West Coast haven't seen your broadcast yet, so here's your chance to plug your ears. OK. "Brokeback Mountain" won the Golden Globe award as the year's best film drama; and "Walk the Line," the motion picture biography of Johnny Cash, won as best musical. Now, the Golden Globes are generally thought of as a good gauge for the Oscars, so we shall see -- Anderson.
COOPER: We shall see. All right, thanks very much.
It is one of the medical community's constant fears. And this flu season, well, it's come true. The Centers for Disease Control says the season's predominant flu strain has mutated and developed a potent resistance to two of the most powerful drugs used against it. With the number of people getting the flu starting to pick up, what does this mean for you and your family? That's what we wanted to know. So earlier I with CNN's Senior Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
COOPER (voice-over): So why is this announcement such a big deal?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Anderson, before Saturday, there were four antivirals out there to try and curb the symptoms of the flu. This new announcement, actually saying that there's two antivirals that will no longer be available, amantadine and rimantadine.
Now, these to antivirals have been around for some time. They're cheaper, they were more widely used, but now they say that the current strain of the flu virus circulating around is about 91 percent resistant to it. It just doesn't work very well. So it's a pretty big deal for people who take these sort of --
COOPER (on camera): And how many people are we talking about this affecting?
GUPTA: Yes, that's a good question. You know, people like you and me probably would not need to take these medications. For most people, it's just you know, getting rest, getting fluids in terms of treating the flu. But older people, people who are susceptible to actually dying from the flu were people who were getting these medications.
Again, the amantadine and the rimantadine. But those two medications are no long going to be available. And, Anderson, you know that Tamiflu, which is another medication, is already being stockpiled by the government for a potential bird flu pandemic. So that has limited availability as well.
COOPER: And antivirals like Tamiflu, I mean it cannot cure the flu?
GUPTA: It doesn't actually cure the flu and some people say that its sort of overstated, the potential effectiveness of Tamiflu. It probably could reduce the duration of the regular flu only by a couple of days. it by no means is going to get rid of all of your symptoms. You're still going to suffer for a few days, but it just gets you back to work or to school a little bit more quickly.
COOPER: So what, if these two things don't work anymore, what are our options for both preventing and treating the flu?
GUPTA: Well, you know, like so many diseases of this nature, Anderson, the best treatment really is prevention. And we're talking about the flu shot. I mean, a lot of people talk about this and I talk about it all the year, saying it's a good idea, either the flu shot or the nasal flu vaccine. You can still get it. It's January now and people typically want to get this in October, November, December, but you can still get it and it can still be effective this season.
COOPER: All right, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks.
GUPTA: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: A father's plea for his 2-year-old daughter. She's an illegal alien, but he is an American citizen. And tonight he's begging the government not to deport her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER (voice-over): Also a court case that has shocked a nation. The retrial of a self-proclaimed cannibal. This man, and what he admits he did is nearly impossible to believe. 360 next.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: In a moment, a case that has shocked a country. A man admits to cannibalism and he found his victim by advertising on the Internet. But first, a look at the top stories we're following at this moment.
The fate of al Qaeda's second in command is unknown tonight. Pakistani intelligence sources tell CNN he was not among the 18 people killed in the CIA air strike in Pakistan on Friday. The Pentagon says it does not know if Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed, though U.S. intelligence sources say some of the victims were senior al Qaeda personnel.
Two murder suspects still on the loose tonight. They broke out of a jail in Phenix City, Alabama, allegedly stabbing one guard 15 times with a make-shift knife. Johnny Earl Jones was being held on the murder of a child he was babysitting. Lamar Benton is accused of murdering a 39-year-old mother of three. They are considered armed and dangerous.
And President Bush, paying tribute to Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders in a ceremony today in Washington. He said the country can be proud of the progress made toward racial equality, but added there's more work to be done.
Well, a horrifying case. A computer technician is standing trial again for a horrific crime that may remind you of Jeffrey Dahmer. He confessed to killing a man and partially eating his remains. And he found his apparently willing victim by advertising on the Internet, of all places. It's a shocking case, not just for what he admitted to doing, but for how little prison time he was originally given. CNN's Chris Burns has more from Germany.
CHRIS BURNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a case that's both horrified and fascinated a nation. A masochistic and sex-crazed cannibal testing Germany's definition of murder. Prosecutors say Computer Repairman Armin Meiwes met his prey on the Internet. Computer Specialist Bernd Juergen Brandes of Berlin, was looking for someone to kill him.
According to prosecutors, Meiwes took Brandes to his house in central Germany in March 2001. Complete with butcher's bench, meat hook and cage. Meiwes severed Brandes' genitals and they both tried to eat them, raw and fried. When Brandes blacked out from bleeding, Meiwes says he thought he was dead and proceeded to butcher him.
Meiwes told the court today he didn't want to kill Brandes, just eat him. At the time he said quote, "I didn't know whether I should pray to the devil or to God." Meiwes put Brandes' remains in the freezer and for months he made meals out of them, serving some as meatballs to colleagues at work.
Meiwes was sentenced in 2004 to eight and a half years in prison. Not for murder, but for assisting suicide. But Germany's high court ordered a retrial. This time for murder.
MARCUS KOELHER, PROSECUTOR: In the bill of indictment, the defendant is accused of having killed his victim in order to satisfy his venereal desire.
BURNS: Meiwes' defense lawyers argue Brandes repeatedly showed he wanted to die.
JOACHIM BREMER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: We believe that this is a clear case of manslaughter on request.
BURNS: The high court ruled that the first trial ignored the fact Meiwes videotaped the gruesome act for later sexual gratification.
Meanwhile, lawyers for Meiwes are trying to stop the March release of a film about him, titled, "Butterfly," a grim love story. The filmmakers say it reflects the real life story. Meiwes' lawyers say the movie could affect the trial.
Chris Burns, CNN, Berlin.
A 2-year-old child, caught in a situation that she cannot begin to understand. Why the U.S. government says she must leave the country and leave her father.
Also, why talking about the weather is anything but boring these days. What is up with the weird weather patterns that are making life so unpredictable across the country? Coming up on 360.
COOPER: Laws and public polices are often written in black and white, but the lives that they're meant to regulate are full of grays. Try explaining that to a toddler.
There are an estimated 20 million illegal aliens in the United States. One of them is a 2-year-old girl, living outside Atlanta, facing deportation because of something she had no control over. Here's CNN's Rick Sanchez.
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She's only two, here with her father and attorney. She can't possibly understand why she's in court in Atlanta. Little Anett Maldonado's story happens at the emotional epicenter of immigration policy in this country.
It would be crushing for anyone, yet it all came to rest squarely on Anett's fragile shoulders.
EDGAR MALDONADO, ANETT'S FATHER: My little baby is innocent. Because that's like, she can't make -- she can hardly speak.
SANCHEZ: Twenty years ago, Anett's father, Edgar Maldonado, arrived with his parents from Guatemala. Edgar would become a legal U.S. resident, play high school football, graduate and start a construction business in suburban Atlanta.
A few years ago, a new business venture meant he also had to spend time in Honduras.
(on camera): Edgar Maldonado was living in two places. Here in Austell, Georgia; and also in Central America. It is there, he was starting a new business and it is there he met the woman who would become his wife.
(voice-over): Soon, Anett was born. And for her father, business was booming in Georgia, so he stopped the Honduras business and planned to bring his wife and daughter to join him in Georgia.
Your plan was to have your wife come here legally.
MALDONADO: Legally. With my daughter. She flies here, flies with my daughter like normal, what would normally be.
SANCHEZ: But Edgar says his wife grew inpatient. A year ago, she was caught with Anett illegally crossing the border into Texas.
You had nothing to do with that?
MALDONADO: I had nothing to do with that.
SANCHEZ: Maldonado says a customs agent called him to say they had his wife and daughter. But then, gave him a peculiar choice. Though his wife had to go back, the officer handed him his daughter.
The immigration official said you can take your daughter?
MALDONADO: You know what, it sounds so harsh, but all they did was say, here. SANCHEZ: Anett Maldonado ended up on immigration court because she was here illegally. Her lawyer agrees. But Attorney Robert Beer argues she's an innocent. And asks, can't the law be tempered with mercy?
ROBERT BEER, MALDONADO'S IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: What sweat is it off the United States government to have this little girl stay? She's not a criminal. She's not the one that decided to break the law.
SANCHEZ: The judge says the law is clear and he had no choice, but to order Anett be deported within 120 days. After repeated requests from CNN, no one from the Department of Homeland Security would go on camera. But a DHS spokesperson emphasized Anett was here illegally, and the case was clear cut, nothing out of the ordinary. Anett's lawyer questions the government's priorities, wondering why the government is going after a 2-year-old, while ignoring hundreds of illegal aliens in Atlanta area jails.
BEER: It embarrasses me as a native-born American, that the government would do this. It makes no sense to me.
SANCHEZ: So Anett could not possibly understand how she finds herself in the middle of a black and white, if not heartless policy. Could not understand why she will have to leave this spring, before her father has a chance to legally bring her mother, his wife, home to Georgia.
You've become very attached to her?
MALDONADO: And in such a great way.
SANCHEZ: Rick Sanchez, CNN, Atlanta.
COOPER: Heavy rains out West, wildfires in Texas and Oklahoma and warm weather up North. What is the deal with all the wacky weather? We'll show you what Mother Nature is up to. 360 next.
ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST (voice-over): Earth. The two culverts underneath the highway the amount of water flowing through them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All of a sudden it was so fast. Before you know it, it was over.
MARCIANO: And fire.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a rare occurrence in Oklahoma, to have lightning strike fires that aren't accompanied by rain. MARCIANO: After a year of too many natural disasters, 2006 is starting off where '05 finished, with wild extremes in weather. Dry conditions across the plains sparked wildfires in Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado. That dry and very warm air pushed all the way to Canada, where we caught a few of our northern neighbors wearing shorts. And short-sleeves.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not going to go out there, no.
MARCIANO: In Minnesota, ice fishing has become just plain old fishing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is one of the worst years that I've seen out here in quite a while for this time of year, is just bad ice.
MARCIANO: Unusually warm air can trigger unusually strong thunderstorms. Tornadoes and high winds ripped through the Carolinas early this weekend.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is material stuff. As long as you have your life, you're rich.
MARCIANO: On the West Coast, at least one thing seemed to be normal, rain in Seattle, right? But 27 days in a row? The record is 33 days. And some hillsides in Washington have started to slide.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You really can't do anything, you know, it's Mother Nature. You just got to -- it takes its course.
MARCIANO: Even the sea lions have headed for higher ground. This chubby guy makes an environmental statement by climbing on top of the roof of a Toyota Prius.
So what gives?
(on camera): Weather patterns tend to come and go over a few days, but this pattern has been around for a couple of weeks over much of the country, held in place by a big dome of high pressure. Now, think of this H like a rock in a stream.
Where the river or the stream hits the back side of the rock time and time again, sometimes it goes up and over the top of that rock, well, that's what these storms are doing. They're hitting this big dome of high pressure. Well, they'll keep doing that until things start to change, like they're doing now. And finally, those storms are beginning to stretch across the rest of the country.
(voice-over): Now, snow is piling up around Tahoe and into the Rockies. Even Arizona is seeing snow this week. That moisture is bringing some welcome rain to parts of the fire-ravaged plains.
Not everyone, though, is happy about the changes. Much of the northeast felt temperatures drop almost 40 degrees over the weekend.
(END VIDEOTAPE) MARCIANO: Well, that cold snap's not going to last very long across the northeast. This active weather pattern will continually bring little spats of cold and little peeks of mild air into the east and northeast part of the country.
Tomorrow's daytime highs into the lower 40s. That is warmer than today. So there's your mild there, but we do have some moisture riding up into that air and that is going to spell a bit of a mess for parts of the northeast.
Most folks in the northeast will see rain along the I-95 corridor, but some cold air mixing in at times. And we'll see a little bit of ice across some of the mountainous areas, especially up into the Appalachian mountains.
Windy conditions persist across the central part of the country. We did get a little bit of rain for the folks across the plains, but not nearly enough. Barely any of it actually hitting the ground.
And tomorrow expects to be a windy day across the parched landscape of northern Texas and Oklahoma, as well. As a matter of fact, the red flag warnings are out. So I mean, though we've got a little bit, we could use a little bit more.
They're getting quite a bit more across the Pacific Northwest, with more rain and mountain snow expected there. Their drop from last year looks to be all but gone. So good news at least for them, Anderson. And good news for you.
Temperatures tomorrow will be in the lower 40s, a little bit more comfortable in that little snap of cold air you got over the weekend.
COOPER: Yes, it's been a miserable, miserable weekend. Rob Marciano, thanks very much. More of 360 in a moment. Stay with us.
COOPER: That's it for 360. "LARRY KING" is next, with U.S. spies eavesdropping on your phone calls. Is it legal? Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez and other weigh in on the wiretapping controversy.
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