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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Vice President Cheney Finally Speaks Out; Sago Mine Survivor's Health Improves; Search For Bodies Continues in New Orleans

Aired February 15, 2006 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Hello from New York, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins. Anderson is on assignment tonight.
Vice President Dick Cheney calls it one of the worst days of his life, the day, four days ago, he shot his friend Harry Whittington while quail hunting in South Texas.

Four days later, reportedly under pressure from senior White House staffers to say something, the vice president today finally did.

Here's CNN's Dana Bash.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Four days after he shot a man, the vice president walked across the White House driveway to talk for first time about what happened in what aides say will be his only appearance, an interview with FOX News.

"The image of him falling is something I will never be able to get out of my mind. I fired, and there's Harry falling. And it was, I would have to say, one of the worst days of my life, at that moment. He was laying there on his back, obviously bleeding. You could see where the shot had struck him."

The uncharacteristically introspective description is exactly what frustrated associates, even senior Bush aides, say he should have done right away, portray a human drama, not a political cover-up. But Mr. Cheney said he had no regrets about the controversial way the incident was disclosed to the public, some 20 hours later and by a private citizen, not him.

"I thought that was the right call. I still do. I had no press person with me. I was there on a private weekend with friends."

The night of the shooting, a Cheney aide at the ranch reported back to the White House, and sources tell CNN, Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove suggested a White House statement. Cheney says his thoughts were elsewhere. "My first reaction is, my friend Harry has been shot and we have got to take care of him," he said.

A Cheney adviser tells CNN a statement was in the works that night, then put on hold when the vice president said he would be meeting with the sheriff's department Sunday morning.

The vice president confirmed that, the morning after the shooting, he and Katharine Armstrong decided she would tell the story to her local paper. She was his host and an eyewitness.

"I thought that made good sense, because you can get as accurate a story as possible from somebody who knew and understood hunting," he said. "Accuracy was enormously important."

But the way Mrs. Armstrong explained it to CNN and others, the shooting was Mr. Whittington's fault, because he broke hunting protocol by not making his presence known when he rejoined the group. The vice president now says it was his fault: "You can't blame anybody else. I'm the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend. And I say, that is something I will never forget."

After days of rampant rumors on the blog about alcohol being involved, Mr. Cheney did say, "I had a beer at lunch," but said the shooting occurred later in the day, when -- quote -- "Nobody was drinking, nobody was under the influence."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BASH: Now, aides say that he really was and still is traumatized by this experience, but he made clear today he immediately grasped how big a story this would be. He said -- quote -- "We have had an experiences where the president has been shot. We have never had a situation where the vice president shot somebody" -- at least in today's world, anyway -- Heidi.

COLLINS: well, Dana, we hear from him four days after the fact. But why now, and -- and why not earlier?

BASH: Well, that was an interesting part of what he got into. And it really -- he really illuminated more of what we already had been reporting, that he was being urged by the president's staff, by people around him.

He even singled out the counselor to the president, Dan Bartlett, the spokesman, Scott McClellan, saying, they were urging me to do this.

But said, point blank, I decided when to do it when I wanted to do it.

And he went into the fact that he felt that it was important to wait to see how Harry Whittington was doing, how his medical condition was. Perhaps, they would have come out yesterday. He didn't say that, but that's the suggestion we -- suggestion we have gotten from some of his aides, but, of course, Harry Whittington had a minor heart attack.

But he definitely tried to make the case and make the point that he's Dick Cheney, and this is his decision. And that's certainly something that we have been talking about, in terms of his personality, trying to explain why it took so long. And he was pretty clear about it tonight.

COLLINS: All right, Dana Bash from the White House tonight -- thanks, Dana. Check in on the blogs, and you will see a pretty healthy debate going on about whether the vice president did enough today. That said, there's no disagreement on this: It's been a real crisis- management curveball.

So, with a look at damage control 101, here's CNN chief national correspondent John King.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A vice president with 30-plus years experience in Washington handled his hunting accident in ways that run afoul of traditional damage-control playbooks.

For starters, the initial 20-hour delay in revealing Mr. Cheney accidentally shot a friend, and taking the highly unusual step of letting the ranch owner call the local paper, instead of a White House announcement, violates the gold standard of crisis management.

JOHN PODESTA, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: It's tell it early, tell it all, and tell it yourself. And they broke all the rules.

ERIC DEZENHALL, FORMER PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN STAFFER: This is public figure, and it has to get out immediately. If you don't get it out immediately, there will be this feeling that there is malfeasance.

KING: More than three days of silence by the vice president broke another rule.

DEZENHALL: Silence implies guilt. And even if it doesn't really mean guilt, there is a tendency, in a democratic society, to think that it means that something worse has gone on.

PODESTA: It creates the impression that -- that he's both -- not only has no remorse, but he's sort of almost unfeeling in this.

KING: Speaking with one voice is another staple of damage control 101, and this White House was once considered legendary for its communications discipline -- but, in this case, a mixed message.

SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I was urging that that information be made available as quickly as possible.

DEZENHALL: The whole idea that there is a battle between the president and the vice president's staff, that is a -- this is an upstairs-downstairs drama.

PODESTA: No one can say to no to this vice president. You know, we have seen it in policy matters, as well as in a communications matter like this.

KING: To calm a crisis, you have to gain control. And Mr. Cheney took charge of that effort by finally telling his story Wednesday. DEZENHALL: You pick one reporter. You do one interview. You convey your humanity, and, then, you sign off and don't -- don't address it again.

PODESTA: Oh, he would have been better off standing up -- you know, stand in front of a microphone, bringing in a press pool, letting them ask questions, until they got tired of asking questions.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Now, one close adviser who spoke with Mr. Cheney repeatedly in recent days says the vice president's first concern was his friend's health, not political damage control. But this adviser and senior administration officials acknowledge internal miscommunications, mistakes, and, in fact, some friction in the days of delay before the vice president finally gave that account -- Heidi.

COLLINS: John, thank you.

And, if you do want to read the entire transcript of the Cheney interview, you can log on to CNN.com.

Well, not a quite moment for the administration, some would say. In fact, it has been a pretty rough week -- a blistering report on Hurricane Katrina, a grilling from the secretary of state over the war in Iraq, and a new batch of photos, apparently from Abu Ghraib prison, reportedly taken three years ago, the same time as the ones that launched the torture scandal in the first place.

Like the originals, they appear to show American soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners. An Australian network aired them last night. They were beamed around the world today, including the Muslim world, where tension is already high for other reasons.

Two reports tonight -- what's happening and why, beginning with CNN's Nic Robertson.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): In Pakistan, the U.S. is, once again, a target of white-hot anger -- a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet burning, an image of President Bush mocked, along with the Danish prime minister's.

In the third week of anti-European demonstrations over a derogatory Danish cartoon of Islam's Prophet Mohammed, angry Muslims have now added American interests to their target list.

SHEIKH HAMZA YUSUF, AMERICAN MUSLIM LEADER: An attack on Kentucky Fried Chicken is, in essence, just an attack on the West. And I think a lot of Muslims now really feel like this is a war against Islam.

ROBERTSON: On the day new and potentially incendiary pictures of American abuse more than two years ago at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq are being broadcast worldwide, American Muslim leader Sheikh Hamza Yusuf was at Oxford, preaching against violence and encouraging cultural tolerance.

Normally thoughtful, if not constrained, tonight, he was sounding an urgent alarm.

YUSUF: It's never been as bad as it is today. The image of the West is -- is literally at rock-bottom.

ROBERTSON: After 9/11, Sheikh Hamza advised President Bush about Islam, helped the president moderate his message for the Muslim world.

The riots currently racking the Muslim world, he says, are rooted in the power of images, like the cartoons and Abu Ghraib pictures to Muslims who, in many countries like Pakistan, are largely illiterate. The fiery backlash has already cost the Danes hundreds of millions of dollar in boycotted goods and damaged property.

At Iraq's request, they decided to stay, reversing a decision to pull out their troops and abandon the U.S. and its allies in the fight there. But, with Pakistan now, what Denmark has endured could be just a taste of what awaits the U.S. and the West, as Muslim extremists' anger shows no sign of abating.

HAMZA: If we don't learn to live with the peoples that possess that oil with just mutual respect, we're setting ourselves up for some very, very frightening times in the future.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTSON: Well, a cease-fire in the war on words and rioting, and a pause for understanding is what Sheikh Hamza says is required now, and his next move is to be to Denmark, the place where this controversy started -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Nic Robertson, thank you.

And, with that as a backdrop, Secretary of State Rice today lobbied Congress for $75 million to build democracy in Iran, some of it going to beam TV and radio into the country. Now, this would be on top of hundreds of millions of dollars already spent on news and public relation in that region, much of it, as the pictures today shows, falling on deaf ears.

CNN's Tom Foreman now with some new insight on why that is.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the war, it's the war, it's the war. The single biggest event driving down global public opinion of the United States still seems to be the fact that the U.S. is in Iraq without broader international support. The war can be a tough sell at home.

SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R), NEBRASKA: I don't see, Madam Secretary, how things are getting better. I think things are getting worse.

FOREMAN: But now a new worldwide survey of people in 33 nations has come down hard on the U.S.

Steven Kull, conducted it.

STEVEN KULL, DIRECTOR OF THE PROGRAM ON INTERNATIONAL POLICY ATTITUDES, WORLD PUBLIC OPINION: Yes, there -- there is a perception that the -- the U.S. is unpredictable, that the U.S. isn't listening to other countries, and the U.S. feels free to act independently.

FOREMAN: In every country surveyed, the nations of Europe collectively were seen as a mainly positive influence on the world. And Japan, France, Great Britain, India and China all individually outrank the United States.

This comes despite millions of dollars in initiatives by the White House to improve world relations. There have been foreign tours by a special undersecretary for public diplomacy, efforts to expand positive radio, TV and newspaper coverage in anti-American places, even a failed attempt to start a pro-American teen magazine in the Arab world, and, of course, many, many public assurances.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our enemy and our friends can be certain, the United States will not retreat from the world, and we will never surrender to evil.

FOREMAN: The report is not entirely bleak. Interestingly, Afghanistan is one of the nations which gave the United States high marks, more than 70 percent approval.

(on camera): This whole business of surveying world public opinion is in its infancy. Some of the samples aren't that big, and the margin for error could be fairly wide.

(voice-over): It's worth noting, too, that the survey was seeking opinions about only eight individual nations. Still:

(on camera): Of all these countries you surveyed, is anybody doing worse than us?

KULL: There is one country that has more negative ratings in the world than the United States. And that is Iran.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Yes, Iran -- as international images go, not exactly the gold standard.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Bodies of hurricane victims are still being found in New Orleans. But a morgue that would be used to identify them has been shut down by FEMA. Why? We're "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.

Plus, more on those mobile homes built for Katrina victims just sitting there in Arkansas. Are they usable after all? Who can you believe? We're going to get to the bottom of that. Plus, another reason tonight to be hopeful about the recovery of the lone Sago Mine survivor -- an update on his condition when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Tonight, some very encouraging news from the family of the lone survivor of the Sago Mine tragedy.

We will give you the latest on his condition, but, first, Erica Hill from Headline News joining us now with some of the other stories we're following tonight.

Hi, Erica.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Heidi. Nice to see you again.

The Massachusetts man accused of killing his wife and infant daughter is now back in the U.S. Today, Neil Entwistle was extradited from the United Kingdom, where he was staying with his family. Tomorrow, he will appear in a Massachusetts courtroom and be formally charged with two counts of murder. His wife and their 9-month-old daughter were found shot to death at their home last month.

In Washington, 15 people have been chosen as potential jurors for the trial of confessed al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui. Two Muslim-Americans, a woman born in Pakistan and a man born in Afghanistan, are among those selected. Eighty-five people in all will be picked, from which a jury of 12 and six alternates will be formed.

In Detroit, an hour-long hostage standoff ends with the hostage- taker shot dead. Police say, this afternoon, a gunman had robbed a bank and took about 10 customers and employees hostage. They say a SWAT team member shot the gunman in the head, killing him. All hostages did make it out safely.

And a former wife of pop star Michael Jackson wins a battle in her fight to regain some parental rights she lost. Deborah Rowe gave up those rights five years ago -- five years ago -- but, today, a California appeals court ruled, the procedure used then was flawed. Jackson and Rowe have two children -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Paris and Prince or Blanket or...

HILL: Prince Michael and...

COLLINS: Something.

HILL: Yes. I can't keep them straight.

COLLINS: I can't. I can't either.

(LAUGHTER)

COLLINS: All right, Erica, we will talk to you again soon. Well, no news is good news. For several weeks now, that has been the case with Randy McCloy. He's the lone survivor of the Sago Mine tragedy. His recovery has been moving slowly, as expected. But, tonight, there is, in fact, some very good news to report. McCloy's family says he is speaking again.

In a statement, the family spokeswoman says Randy is responding appropriately to questions asked by therapists and family members.

Earlier, I discussed this new development with 360 M.D., Sanjay Gupta.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Sanjay, as a neurosurgeon, what does this new information about Randy McCloy tell you? I mean, he hasn't spoken for 50 days. He was in a medically-induced coma. And now he speaks.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, a couple things.

One is, he's speaking in single words sometimes, phrases as well sometimes. He's also able to swallow. You know, he has been fed in a feeding tube up until just recently. These are significant developments. When someone is able to hear something and then respond to it, that means they're both receiving information and then expressing themselves. That's a pretty significant, you know, neurological recovery.

And also swallowing, I mean, that is a very complicated reflex, in terms of actually getting food down into the esophagus. So, these -- these are significant improvements for sure, overall, Heidi.

COLLINS: How about his recovery time, though? Does it appear to be pretty normal, in terms of the time frame?

GUPTA: Well, you -- you know, it's interesting, Heidi. And you and I talked about this around the time.

I mean, you don't measure recovery from this type of injury, which is essentially a stroke-like injury, in hours or days. You just can't measure it that fast. Instead, it takes weeks or months. And it has been about six weeks now since he was pulled up from that mine. So, this is sort of on par with what we would expect.

It could still be a lot more recovery to see, though.

PHILLIPS: Do you think it's likely that -- that he could have permanent brain damage? I mean, it has been a concern that is talked about quite a bit.

GUPTA: Yes.

I think, by definition, Heidi, he probably has had some permanent brain damage. And they talked about his MRI scans actually showing some areas where he possibly had the stroke. And, remember, Heidi, when we talk about stroke here, what happened is that he probably had carbon monoxide poisoning. And what that carbon monoxide did was, it essentially kicked the oxygen out of his bloodstream.

So, even though blood was still flowing to his brain, it didn't have any of that valuable oxygen. And that's what caused this sort of stroke. The question, I think, is, you know, how much of an impact will this -- these changes on his MRI have on his function overall? That's much harder to tell.

PHILLIPS: Yes. So, that probably answers our next question, which is not much of an answer. I mean, how -- how do you think he will do in the long term? It's hard to tell.

GUPTA: It is hard to tell, being that I haven't seen his most recent scans either.

But I will say this. And what's so fascinating to me as a -- as a neurosurgeon is that people can make recovery for a long time. And when I say a long time, I mean up to a year, year-and-a-half, after this sort of injury. So, I wouldn't be surprised if he continues to make strides, you know, up until next summer, even, you know, a year or 18 months or so after his initial injury.

PHILLIPS: Yes, it's pretty astounding that we are talking about a recovery at all for him.

GUPTA: Yes.

PHILLIPS: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks so much.

GUPTA: Thank you, Heidi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIPS: Ahead on 360, we are "Keeping Them Honest" -- in New Orleans, the $17 million morgue that FEMA is shutting down, even with dozens of bodies still missing in the debris. But why?

Also, who do you believe? Are those empty mobile homes sitting in Arkansas falling apart and heading for the trash heap? Tonight, FEMA finally lets us in for a look -- coming up on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: In "Keeping Them Honest," a public grilling for the government's flawed response to Hurricane Katrina. On Capitol Hill today, senators blasted Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff over the handling of the disaster.

Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, told Chertoff, his agency's efforts were an alarming and unacceptable failure.

From Washington, return -- we return to the recovery in New Orleans. All this time later, the grim search for bodies continues. And so does the wait for help.

Here's CNN's Sean Callebs.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A grim sign, and the only indication that, today, yet another body has been removed from a New Orleans home, nearly six months after Katrina.

DR. LOUIS CATALDIE, LOUISIANA STATE CORONER: Put this in the person's mouth.

CALLEBS: Normally, doctors would use forensic techniques to try to identify the body. But the state medical examiner, Dr. Louis Cataldie, says he no longer has the equipment. Why? FEMA built this enormous new morgue about an hour north of New Orleans to do just this kind of examination on what authorities feared would be 10,000 to 20,000 people killed in the storm. It cost $17 million.

But after examining only 60 bodies, FEMA shut it down Monday, saying its work was done, and keeping it open would cost $230,000 a week.

CATALDIE: Well, would I like to have the use of the facility? Sure. Do I understand that there's a timeline and there's a -- you know, they -- they need to pull their stuff out? Absolutely.

CALLEBS: FEMA officials didn't want to go on camera, but pointed out that they told Cataldie in December they would be closing the site. Still, FEMA has no clear plans for the facility, so the bunkbeds, washers and dryers and gym equipment for its staff are being mothballed -- the high-tech autopsy gear already shipped out.

Cataldie says, he thought, by now, most of the 2,100 people still listed as missing would have been accounted for. But, as it turns out, he's still expecting to find scores more bodies.

CATALDIE: We certainly feel we have, depending on rough, rough estimates, 60 to 100 bodies in the Ninth Ward, so, folks that need to be recovered.

CALLEBS: But in a sign of just how many problems New Orleans faces and how those problems are so often connected, not only is the $17 million morgue off limits; the city also doesn't have the $400,000 it would cost to find the bodies, and hasn't been able to get the money from FEMA.

STEVE GLYNN, RESIDENT OF NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA: It's -- it's extremely frustrating. And it has -- it has -- it has been frustrating since we -- since we shut down.

CALLEBS: Steve Glynn is the chief of the fire department special ops unit. From October until December 10, he worked with teams using cadaver dogs, going through the debris from splintered homes. He tells CNN, the dogs made at least 58 hits, meaning probable human remains.

FEMA says, the city should go ahead and look for the bodies, and then ask FEMA to reimburse it for the $400,000 it costs. The cash- strapped city says, it needs the money first, because it only has enough cash to pay firefighters for emergency operations.

GLYNN: You know, I have talked to a number of officials. And it always just kind of seems to go in a circle. We -- we always end up right back where we started.

LAMONT MARRERO, NEW ORLEANS SPECIAL OPERATIONS UNIT CHIEF: And I don't -- I don't understand that.

CALLEBS: Lamont Marrero's invalid mother rode out the hurricane in her house. No one has seen her since. He's convinced she's buried in debris.

MARRERO: You have 58 bodies, and you're not trying to do anything. You're going to close a facility, and people haven't -- people are still looking for their family.

CALLEBS: That's right. The government spent $17 million to build this facility, but now is closing it before it has even figured out how to recover and identify the rest of the bodies still buried in the debris.

To families here, it all looks like yet another bureaucratic dead end.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CALLEBS: And live now in the city's Ninth Ward, where firefighters are eager to get back to work in a search-and-recovery operation.

I spoke with a FEMA representative in Washington early -- earlier today, and she said she's convinced the money will quickly be freed up, put firefighters back on the job, and, also, hopefully, end months of anguish for scores of families.

Meanwhile, about that $17 million morgue, Dr. Cataldie says, no one ever asked the state if they needed such a large facility in that area. But FEMA says it will take all the criticism people want to heap out at this point, saying, if they had under-built, and there had been hundreds or thousands more casualties, then they would have been criticized for not doing enough -- Heidi.

PHILLIPS: Sean Callebs live in New Orleans tonight -- Sean, thank you.

More outrage and a search for answers -- those empty mobile homes for Katrina survivors in Hope, Arkansas, are they sinking or not? FEMA let us go on site today. We will show you what we found. We're "Keeping Them Honest."

Plus, take the test, that is, if you're brave enough. How long will you live? A new quiz with 12 quick questions -- when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: As a House committee report on Katrina so bluntly shows, we can't keep them honest enough. So tonight, we return yet again to those empty mobile homes, nearly 11,000 of them sitting in Hope, Arkansas. In the last couple of days we've heard conflicting stories about what kind of shape they're in and whether they're even livable after all these months of sitting in the mud. We promised to get to the bottom of this. On Monday, FEMA refused to allow CNN onto the lot where the mobile homes are parked. But today, FEMA opened the gates and let us in. See for yourself with CNN's Susan Roesgen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So we're going to see about how many of these 10,777 mobile homes today on this walking tour?

JOHN MCDERMOTT, FEMA SPOKESMAN: As many as you want to see. This whole side is open to you today. We're going to take you all out and you can look at each one of them or all of them or just a few of them. As many as you want to see.

ROESGEN (voice-over): FEMA rep John McDermott walked us to what had been the off limits to CNN, the FEMA lot where nearly 11,000 mobile homes sit empty near the Hope Municipal Airport. This week the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security which oversees FEMA reported that the mobile homes had been damaged by sinking in the soft Arkansas soil and might have to be trashed.

GENERAL RICHARD SKINNER, DEPT. OF HOMELAND SECURITY INSP.: Insofar as many of these homes failed to meet FEMA specification requirements where FEMA has no qualified prearranged site location to place them, they may have to be disposed of.

ROESGEN (on camera): Since the inspector general for homeland security is the one who made these criticisms, shouldn't you be showing the folks from Homeland Security again what you're showing the media today? We just report what they report.

MCDERMOTT: Well, maybe they'll see it today.

ROESGEN (voice-over): This is what FEMA says it now wants everyone to see. Here are the mobile homes they showed us. In your opinion are these so bad by damaged they might have to be destroyed?

JERRY HALL, FEMA SITE MANAGER: There are no damaged trailers here. None. ROESGEN: FEA site manager Jerry Hall, says the homeland security inspectors spent half an hour on the 300 acre site and then went back to Washington with news that the mobile homes were in terrible shape. Hall says they are not in terrible shape but this group of 1,600 is a concerned. They're sagging if not sinking under their own weight. They're the largest mobile homes and FEMA is trying to prop them up. They brought in 6,5000 jacks to do just that.

But critics say why not just move them to the Gulf, their intended destination in the first place?

(on camera): When might we see some of these mobile homes moving out?

MCDERMOTT: Um, I don't know. I don't know. Largely depends on to find the sites to put them.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROESGEN: And that is the big sticking point, Heidi. FEMA continues to insist that Louisiana officials don't want these mobile homes here behind me, can't find a place to put them, while Louisiana officials say, yes, we do want them and we need FEMA's help to relax some of those floodplain rules so that the mobile homes can do down to Southeast Louisiana.

Now, Heidi, they did not tell us where we could or could not go today. We would wander around. But obviously on foot and in the back of the pickup truck we only saw a few dozen mobile homes, nowhere closes to the 10,777 that are out here.

COLLINS: Susan Roesgen, keeping them honest tonight. Thank you, Susan.

And Congressman Mike Ross, the Democrat from Arkansas, has a special interest in getting the trailer where's they need to do. He has seen the tremendous need for them on the ground. On February 9, six days ago, he toured the site where the mobile homes are parked and he's joining me now from Washington.

All right, congressman, we have a Homeland Security Department inspector saying the mobile homes are sinking in the mud. But acting FEMA director David Paulison told us the mobile homes are fine and tonight FEMA released that video of the site, the say they are not damaged. You toured the site. What did you see?

REP. MIKE ROSS, (D) AR: Heidi, just six days ago I toured the so- called FEMA staging area at the Hope Airport in Hope, Arkansas. I did not see any manufactured homes sinking in the mud. I did not see any manufactured homes being damaged at all. If you ask me, the inspector general needs to do a lot more inspecting.

COLLINS: Well, despite the confusion, though over the condition of these homes, the fact remains, there are 11,000 of them sitting on a lot with no people in them. Simply the height of bureaucratic red tape. ROSS: Heidi, it's reprehensible. It's inexcusable. And it's incompetence at its finest. That's what angers me, is seeing 10,777 brand new, fully-furnished manufactured homes sitting at the Hope Airport in a pasture while 12,000 people just this week were evicted from hotel rooms by FEMA.

COLLINS: So have you been able to figure out why they are still sitting on that lot in your state?

ROSS: You know, you talk to FEMA about it and they cite the fact this you've got to own property in order to receive a manufactured home. And quite frankly, most people who own property own property in a floodplain. And FEMA says they will not locate a manufactured home in a floodplain. And yet nearly everyone who lost their home and everything they own as a result of Hurricane Katrina lived in a floodplain. FEMA needs to change its own rules. They need to throw the playbook down, write a new playbook and use a good dose of common sense and coming up with a plan that will allow these manufactured homes to be placed with people who lost their homes and everything they own.

COLLINS: Well, in a statement released tonight, FEMA seemed to place part of the blame, though, on the State of Louisiana, saying they, quote, "had hoped for a better reception in the state." Do you have any idea what they meant by that statement?

ROSS: There are some parishes, as I understand it, in Louisiana that will not accept or will not zone for manufactured homes. However, there are a number of parishes in Louisiana that have zoned and will allow manufactured homes and yet 10,777 manufactured homes have entered that pasture near the Hope Airport, some 450 miles from the eye of the storm and yet not one, not one has left Hope destined for the Gulf Coast.

FEMA needs to get moving. FEMA needs to rewrite their policy that will allow some of the 12,000 people they evicted this week from hotel rooms to be able to receive one of these -- one of these manufactured homes.

Tomorrow morning I'll be talking by phone with acting director of FEMA, David Paulison. Earlier this week I spoke with former director of FEMA James Lee Witt. And in the morning I plan to speak with acting director Paulison about some ideas I have about getting the manufactured homes to the people who so desperately need them.

COLLINS: Congressman, quickly, did you speak to them already about changing the particular laws about the floodplain?

ROSS: I spoke to FEMA about that when I toured the facility. I'll be speaking with the acting director of FEMA, David Paulison, about that tomorrow morning.

COLLINS: So you'll ask him to rewrite it?

ROSS: I'm going to ask him to get those 11,000 manufactured homes out of the pasture in Hope, Arkansas. Right now FEMA has no plans to locate those homes for the people who need them. In fact, FEMA is now taking bit and getting ready to spend $6 to $8 million laying gravel to get these manufactured homes off the pasture and on to a gravel surface. They need to be spend that $6 to $8 million moving these homes to the people who so desperately need them.

COLLINS: Congressman Ross, we look forward to hearing to you tomorrow about your conversations. Thanks so much for your time here tonight.

ROSS: Thank you, Heidi.

COLLINS: Well, how long do you have to live? Coming up, take a new test said to be 81 percent accurate. Find out if you'll live to a long life, if you're brave enough.

Plus, at home, education where kids decide the curriculum and their schedule. Are we creating self-taught geniuses or sabotaging America's future? This is 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Coming up, take the new test find out how long you might live.

But first, Erica Hill from Headline News joining us now with some of the other business stories that we are following tonight. Hi, once again, Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Hi again, Heidi. And we start off with a threat of another interest rate hike. Today the new Federal Reserve chairman saying it may be a distinct possibility. On Capitol Hill Ben Bernanke testified interest rates may have to rise again to prevent inflation. Since 2004 the Fed has raised rates 14 times.

Overseas new security measures for Israel's national airline. Sources say El Al planes have been installed with anti-missile systems. That's' a first for any airline carrier. The system would release flares designed to divert heat-seeking missiles.

In Colorado, a massive judgment to people who may have been exposed to nuclear contamination. Today a federal jury awarded residents living near the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant $554 million. The jury found two companies, Dow Chemical and the former Rockwell International Corporation were negligent.

And a possible trouble tied to common household item. Today an adviser panel recommended the Environmental Protection Agency -- to the EPA that a chemical used to make Teflon should be considered a likely carcinogen.

And we told you about it before on CNN. The chemical is commonly known as PFOA. The board say the carcinogen is also found in other nonstick and stain resistant products like Teflon, but a 3M scientist accused the panel of making selective use of information to make an unwarranted recommendation, Heidi.

COLLINS: Just to be safe we probably shouldn't cook anymore at all.

HILL: Just eat raw food, there you go.

COLLINS: Someone else can cook it. Anyway, Erica, we'll talk to you later on. Thanks.

Fair warning now if you find that your talking about your own demise as unnerving, close your ear for just a sec. But if you ever wished that you could know how long you might live, go ahead and get your pencil ready. We have a test that you can take that may tell you. Here's CNN's Elizabeth Cohen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Reporter: how would you like the look into a crystal ball and know how long you have to live? Authors of a new test published in this week's "Journal of the American Medical Association" say they can predict with astonishing accuracy the chances you will die in the next four years. It's a matter of answering 12 simple questions.

(on camera): Do you want to take a test to find out your likelihood of dying in the next four years?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. Sounds like fun.

COHEN (voice-over): We gave the test to Jeff, Roy and Carolyn while they had lunch today.

(on camera): Has your doctor ever told you that you have diabetes or high blood sugar?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

COHEN: No. OK. You get zero points. That's good because points are bad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.

COHEN: You want zeroes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like golf.

COHEN: Like golf, exactly. Roy got two points for this question.

Because of a health or a memory problem, do you have any difficulty managing your money such as paying your bills and keeping track of expenses?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes I do.

COHEN: If you have a hard time pushing a chair across a room, that's one point. If you have difficulty walking several blocks, that's two points right there. And being male will get you two points. Sorry.

(voice-over): Doctors at the V.A. medical center in San Francisco thought a quiz like this would be useful.

DR. SEI LEE, VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL CENTER: One of the most natural questions in the world is, what's gonna happen to me, doc? And unfortunately I found myself reluctant to answer that because I wasn't sure. And I didn't want to be wrong.

COHEN: So they asked the 12 questions of nearly 20,000 people over the age of 50, followed them for four years, and found it worked with 81 percent accuracy. So how did our people do? So, Roy, you have a 15 percent chance of dying sometime in the next four years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's pretty high, that's pretty slim odds, though, isn't it?

COHEN: Fifteen percent, that's not bad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's very good.

COHEN (voice-over): As for Carolyn.

(on camera): You know, what Carolyn, you got zero points. You don't even register.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So I'm not gonna die within if next four years?

COLLINS: You have a less than four percent chance of dying within the next four years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good.

COHEN (voice-over): Jeff smokes and is male, even so the study claims his chance of dig soon were less than four percent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's good, I'm going to celebrate tonight then.

COHEN (on camera): By drinking and smoking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drinking and smoking and red meat and that kind of thing.

COHEN (voice-over): Of course, that's not the message study authors want to give. They want the study to help people figure out how long they have to live and how they could live even longer.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COHEN (on camera): Now, this test is really intend end for people 50 and older. But some of the questions do pertain to people under 50. No matter what your age, grab the pen and we can do this test together and see how you score. Now the first question is very simple and that just has to do with your age. So Heidi, I hope you're playing along with us here.

COLLINS: I'm ready.

COHEN: If you're under 60, Heidi, I'm going to guess your under 60, I don't know for sure that's zero points. You can see the points go up as you're getting older. Male or female. Sorry, guys, females get zero points, males get two points. Remember, points in this game are bad, you don't want them.

If your BMI is under 25, that's one point. That means you're basically underweight for this study, they found underweight people over age 50 have a higher chance of dying. Malnourishment, those kinds of issues.

Diabetes, two points. Cancer, these are people if you currently have these diseases, two points. Currently have chronic lung disease, two points. Currently have congestive heart failure, there's another two points. If you currently smoke cigarettes or have in the past week, another two points. If you have difficulty bathing for physical issues, that's another two points. If you have difficulty managing your money because you have memory problems, that's another two points.

If you have difficulty walking several blocks, talked about that in the story, that's another two points if you have difficulty pushing, say, a chair across a room, that is one point.

So add up your score, give you a couple of seconds here to do the math and here's what the score means. And then Heidi, I'm going do ask you your score in a minute if. If your score is under five you have a less than four percent chance of dying in the next four years. If it is six to nine you have a 15 percent chance of dying in the next four years. If it's 10 to 13, you have a 42 percent chance of dying in the next four years. If it's 14 or higher you have more than a 64 percent chance of dying in the next four years. That would kind of be depressing. So Heidi, please tell me you got a low score.

COLLINS: Well, I got a big fat zero, which is good but there was no question about like, you know, getting hit by a truck or anything. We don't really know, right?

COHEN: That's right. You can't control for that. These are only known, not the unknowns.

COLLINS: Yes. Well, it's fascinating. Interesting stuff. Elizabeth Cohen, thank you and thank you, at least for me, for the good news. You can always download a free copy of this particular test by going to the Web site of the "Journal of the American Medical Association," that's jama.ama-assn.org. And thank goodness that's one's on the screen. It's a toughie.

Questions of life and death are grist for most religions but not all and certainly not one of the newest. This religion forbids faith and presumes no answers to any of life's big questions. So, what is its selling point and how long will it last? We'll talk about that.

Plus, could man's best friend be the next best weapon in the war against cancer? Could you dog's sense of smell save your life? Coming up on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COLLINS: Most of the world's religions have one thing in common, they are old, very old, even ancient. Each one, though, was an upstart before it caught on. Of course, the world was a much different place when they were taking root, which made us wonder, what's it like to be an up start religion in the 21st century? Well, for one thing, there's the "Seinfeld" factor. Once again, here's CNN's Tom Foreman.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the heart of Alabama iron country where faith runs generations deep, a new religion is being forged, but heaven, hell, even God don't matter much here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This will be the first meeting of the new year.

FOREMAN: Because Universism is all about tin ability of anyone to know anything. That's the inspiration of medical student, philosopher, founder Ford Vox.

FORD VOX, UNIVERSIST MOVEMENT: The idea is that there is no external truth, that there is no objective truth that we should all strive to adhere to. Rather, there is an ongoing, continuing search for truth.

FOREMAN: The Universist Web site display as lengthy manifesto, pages of press coverage, even rings with a flashy hurricane-like logo. The three-year-old group claims 10,000 members, including atheists, agnostics and people who are disillusioned with traditional faith. Like Lindsey Tillery (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A religion shouldn't be the rituals you do on Sunday.

FOREMAN: She grew up a strict Southern Baptist, but was never comfortable with church doctrine or leaders.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't believe that someone else that's a human being that's never spoken with God can be able to tell me what I need to do to get closer to that god, any more than I could tell them.

FOREMAN: By definition and custom, Universism may not be a religion at all. Consider, almost every religion has some deity, a set of rules or even laws.

CHRIS LELAND, FOCUS ON THE FAMILY: And they have normal religious rites and rituals. This doesn't follow that. It's more of a philosophic or sort of theologic group then it is actually a religion, at least in my mind.

FOREMAN: John Armstrong, Universist theologian of sorts say it is certainly a religion, just not like others.

(on camera): Are you against established religions?

JOHN ARMSTRONG, MEDIA RELATIONS, UNIVERSIST: We are against faith. We are against the imposition ...

FOREMAN: What does that mean, against faith?

ARMSTRONG: Faith basically we define as letting other people think for you. Basically saying here are the established truths of that govern this universe and you need to just have faith. In other words, don't question them. You should simply believe them.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Nothing on faith, no truth trusted? Sounds familiar.

JERRY SEINFELD, COMEDIAN: So we go into NBC and we tell them we've got an idea for a show about nothing.

JASON ALEXANDER, COMEDIAN: Exactly.

SEINFELD: They say what's your show about? I say nothing.

ALEXANDER: There you go.

SEINFELD: I think you may have something here.

FOREMAN: Some call Universism the "Seinfeld" of religion, no ministers, no real rules, nothing except endless evening talks on politics, life, death, love, all questions, no answers.

(on camera): Some people would say this religion already exists and it's called college.

ARMSTRONG: I had never thought of it that way before.

FOREMAN: Is it possible?

(voice-over): Still, believers like it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like the fact that I can go in this group and be an individual. I don't have to pretend like I believe what everyone else believes because that's what you're supposed to believe.

FOREMAN (on camera): The Universists know they have a long way to go. Most of the world's great religions are hundreds in some cases thousands of years old. But who knows, maybe a lot of them looked like this in the beginning.

(voice-over): A diverse group of disaffected souls heading out into the world with the gospel of uncertainty. Tom Foreman, CNN, Birmingham, Alabama.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: And on that note we want to thank you international viewers for watching tonight.

Coming up on 360, Vice President Dick Cheney says, "I'm the one who pulled the trigger." Today he took full responsibility for the shooting accident that has the White House doing some damage control. We'll have the very latest. Also tonight, they could be involved in a sting operation you may never have imagined. Are these insects the newest weapon on war on terror? Tonight, find out how wasps, yes wasps may protect you and your family when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: As a House committee report on Katrina so bluntly shows, we can't keep them honest enough. So tonight, we return yet again to those empty mobile homes, nearly 11,000 of them sitting in Hope, Arkansas. In the last couple of days we've heard conflicting stories about what kind of shape they're in and whether they're even livable after all these months of sitting in the mud. We promised to get to the bottom of this. On Monday, FEMA refused to allow CNN onto the lot where the mobile homes are parked. But today, FEMA opened the gates and let us in. See for yourself with CNN's Susan Roesgen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So we're going to see about how many of these 10,777 mobile homes today on this walking tour?

JOHN MCDERMOTT, FEMA SPOKESMAN: As many as you want to see. This whole side is open to you today. We're going to take you all out and you can look at each one of them or all of them or just a few of them. As many as you want to see.

ROESGEN (voice-over): FEMA rep John McDermott walked us to what had been the off limits to CNN, the FEMA lot where nearly 11,000 mobile homes sit empty near the Hope Municipal Airport. This week the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security which oversees FEMA reported that the mobile homes had been damaged by sinking in the soft Arkansas soil and might have to be trashed.

GENERAL RICHARD SKINNER, DEPT. OF HOMELAND SECURITY INSP.: Insofar as many of these homes failed to meet FEMA specification requirements where FEMA has no qualified prearranged site location to place them, they may have to be disposed of.

ROESGEN (on camera): Since the inspector general for homeland security is the one who made these criticisms, shouldn't you be showing the folks from Homeland Security again what you're showing the media today? We just report what they report.

MCDERMOTT: Well, maybe they'll see it today.

ROESGEN (voice-over): This is what FEMA says it now wants everyone to see. Here are the mobile homes they showed us. In your opinion are these so bad by damaged they might have to be destroyed?

JERRY HALL, FEMA SITE MANAGER: There are no damaged trailers here. None.

ROESGEN: FEA site manager Jerry Hall, says the homeland security inspectors spent half an hour on the 300 acre site and then went back to Washington with news that the mobile homes were in terrible shape. Hall says they are not in terrible shape but this group of 1,600 is a concerned. They're sagging if not sinking under their own weight. They're the largest mobile homes and FEMA is trying to prop them up. They brought in 6,5000 jacks to do just that.

But critics say why not just move them to the Gulf, their intended destination in the first place?

(on camera): When might we see some of these mobile homes moving out?

MCDERMOTT: Um, I don't know. I don't know. Largely depends on to find the sites to put them.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROESGEN: And that is the big sticking point, Heidi. FEMA continues to insist that Louisiana officials don't want these mobile homes here behind me, can't find a place to put them, while Louisiana officials say, yes, we do want them and we need FEMA's help to relax some of those floodplain rules so that the mobile homes can do down to Southeast Louisiana.

Now, Heidi, they did not tell us where we could or could not go today. We would wander around. But obviously on foot and in the back of the pickup truck we only saw a few dozen mobile homes, nowhere closes to the 10,777 that are out here.

COLLINS: Susan Roesgen, keeping them honest tonight. Thank you, Susan.

And Congressman Mike Ross, the Democrat from Arkansas, has a special interest in getting the trailer where's they need to do. He has seen the tremendous need for them on the ground. On February 9, six days ago, he toured the site where the mobile homes are parked and he's joining me now from Washington.

All right, congressman, we have a Homeland Security Department inspector saying the mobile homes are sinking in the mud. But acting FEMA director David Paulison told us the mobile homes are fine and tonight FEMA released that video of the site, the say they are not damaged. You toured the site. What did you see?

REP. MIKE ROSS, (D) AR: Heidi, just six days ago I toured the so- called FEMA staging area at the Hope Airport in Hope, Arkansas. I did not see any manufactured homes sinking in the mud. I did not see any manufactured homes being damaged at all. If you ask me, the inspector general needs to do a lot more inspecting.

COLLINS: Well, despite the confusion, though over the condition of these homes, the fact remains, there are 11,000 of them sitting on a lot with no people in them. Simply the height of bureaucratic red tape.

ROSS: Heidi, it's reprehensible. It's inexcusable. And it's incompetence at its finest. That's what angers me, is seeing 10,777 brand new, fully-furnished manufactured homes sitting at the Hope Airport in a pasture while 12,000 people just this week were evicted from hotel rooms by FEMA.

COLLINS: So have you been able to figure out why they are still sitting on that lot in your state?

ROSS: You know, you talk to FEMA about it and they cite the fact this you've got to own property in order to receive a manufactured home. And quite frankly, most people who own property own property in a floodplain. And FEMA says they will not locate a manufactured home in a floodplain. And yet nearly everyone who lost their home and everything they own as a result of Hurricane Katrina lived in a floodplain. FEMA needs to change its own rules. They need to throw the playbook down, write a new playbook and use a good dose of common sense and coming up with a plan that will allow these manufactured homes to be placed with people who lost their homes and everything they own.

COLLINS: Well, in a statement released tonight, FEMA seemed to place part of the blame, though, on the State of Louisiana, saying they, quote, "had hoped for a better reception in the state." Do you have any idea what they meant by that statement?

ROSS: There are some parishes, as I understand it, in Louisiana that will not accept or will not zone for manufactured homes. However, there are a number of parishes in Louisiana that have zoned and will allow manufactured homes and yet 10,777 manufactured homes have entered that pasture near the Hope Airport, some 450 miles from the eye of the storm and yet not one, not one has left Hope destined for the Gulf Coast.

FEMA needs to get moving. FEMA needs to rewrite their policy that will allow some of the 12,000 people they evicted this week from hotel rooms to be able to receive one of these -- one of these manufactured homes.

Tomorrow morning I'll be talking by phone with acting director of FEMA, David Paulison. Earlier this week I spoke with former director of FEMA James Lee Witt. And in the morning I plan to speak with acting director Paulison about some ideas I have about getting the manufactured homes to the people who so desperately need them.

COLLINS: Congressman, quickly, did you speak to them already about changing the particular laws about the floodplain?

ROSS: I spoke to FEMA about that when I toured the facility. I'll be speaking with the acting director of FEMA, David Paulison, about that tomorrow morning.

COLLINS: So you'll ask him to rewrite it?

ROSS: I'm going to ask him to get those 11,000 manufactured homes out of the pasture in Hope, Arkansas. Right now FEMA has no plans to locate those homes for the people who need them. In fact, FEMA is now taking bit and getting ready to spend $6 to $8 million laying gravel to get these manufactured homes off the pasture and on to a gravel surface. They need to be spend that $6 to $8 million moving these homes to the people who so desperately need them.

COLLINS: Congressman Ross, we look forward to hearing to you tomorrow about your conversations. Thanks so much for your time here tonight.

ROSS: Thank you, Heidi.

COLLINS: Well, how long do you have to live? Coming up, take a new test said to be 81 percent accurate. Find out if you'll live to a long life, if you're brave enough.

Plus, at home, education where kids decide the curriculum and their schedule. Are we creating self-taught geniuses or sabotaging America's future? This is 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Coming up, take the new test find out how long you might live.

But first, Erica Hill from Headline News joining us now with some of the other business stories that we are following tonight. Hi, once again, Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Hi again, Heidi. And we start off with a threat of another interest rate hike. Today the new Federal Reserve chairman saying it may be a distinct possibility. On Capitol Hill Ben Bernanke testified interest rates may have to rise again to prevent inflation. Since 2004 the Fed has raised rates 14 times.

Overseas new security measures for Israel's national airline. Sources say El Al planes have been installed with anti-missile systems. That's' a first for any airline carrier. The system would release flares designed to divert heat-seeking missiles.

In Colorado, a massive judgment to people who may have been exposed to nuclear contamination. Today a federal jury awarded residents living near the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant $554 million. The jury found two companies, Dow Chemical and the former Rockwell International Corporation were negligent.

And a possible trouble tied to common household item. Today an adviser panel recommended the Environmental Protection Agency -- to the EPA that a chemical used to make Teflon should be considered a likely carcinogen.

And we told you about it before on CNN. The chemical is commonly known as PFOA. The board say the carcinogen is also found in other nonstick and stain resistant products like Teflon, but a 3M scientist accused the panel of making selective use of information to make an unwarranted recommendation, Heidi.

COLLINS: Just to be safe we probably shouldn't cook anymore at all.

HILL: Just eat raw food, there you go.

COLLINS: Someone else can cook it. Anyway, Erica, we'll talk to you later on. Thanks.

Fair warning now if you find that your talking about your own demise as unnerving, close your ear for just a sec. But if you ever wished that you could know how long you might live, go ahead and get your pencil ready. We have a test that you can take that may tell you. Here's CNN's Elizabeth Cohen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Reporter: how would you like the look into a crystal ball and know how long you have to live? Authors of a new test published in this week's "Journal of the American Medical Association" say they can predict with astonishing accuracy the chances you will die in the next four years. It's a matter of answering 12 simple questions.

(on camera): Do you want to take a test to find out your likelihood of dying in the next four years?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. Sounds like fun.

COHEN (voice-over): We gave the test to Jeff, Roy and Carolyn while they had lunch today.

(on camera): Has your doctor ever told you that you have diabetes or high blood sugar?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

COHEN: No. OK. You get zero points. That's good because points are bad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.

COHEN: You want zeroes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like golf.

COHEN: Like golf, exactly. Roy got two points for this question.

Because of a health or a memory problem, do you have any difficulty managing your money such as paying your bills and keeping track of expenses?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes I do.

COHEN: If you have a hard time pushing a chair across a room, that's one point. If you have difficulty walking several blocks, that's two points right there. And being male will get you two points. Sorry.

(voice-over): Doctors at the V.A. medical center in San Francisco thought a quiz like this would be useful.

DR. SEI LEE, VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL CENTER: One of the most natural questions in the world is, what's gonna happen to me, doc? And unfortunately I found myself reluctant to answer that because I wasn't sure. And I didn't want to be wrong.

COHEN: So they asked the 12 questions of nearly 20,000 people over the age of 50, followed them for four years, and found it worked with 81 percent accuracy. So how did our people do? So, Roy, you have a 15 percent chance of dying sometime in the next four years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's pretty high, that's pretty slim odds, though, isn't it?

COHEN: Fifteen percent, that's not bad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's very good.

COHEN (voice-over): As for Carolyn.

(on camera): You know, what Carolyn, you got zero points. You don't even register.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So I'm not gonna die within if next four years?

COLLINS: You have a less than four percent chance of dying within the next four years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good.

COHEN (voice-over): Jeff smokes and is male, even so the study claims his chance of dig soon were less than four percent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's good, I'm going to celebrate tonight then.

COHEN (on camera): By drinking and smoking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drinking and smoking and red meat and that kind of thing.

COHEN (voice-over): Of course, that's not the message study authors want to give. They want the study to help people figure out how long they have to live and how they could live even longer.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COHEN (on camera): Now, this test is really intend end for people 50 and older. But some of the questions do pertain to people under 50. No matter what your age, grab the pen and we can do this test together and see how you score. Now the first question is very simple and that just has to do with your age. So Heidi, I hope you're playing along with us here.

COLLINS: I'm ready.

COHEN: If you're under 60, Heidi, I'm going to guess your under 60, I don't know for sure that's zero points. You can see the points go up as you're getting older. Male or female. Sorry, guys, females get zero points, males get two points. Remember, points in this game are bad, you don't want them. If your BMI is under 25, that's one point. That means you're basically underweight for this study, they found underweight people over age 50 have a higher chance of dying. Malnourishment, those kinds of issues.

Diabetes, two points. Cancer, these are people if you currently have these diseases, two points. Currently have chronic lung disease, two points. Currently have congestive heart failure, there's another two points. If you currently smoke cigarettes or have in the past week, another two points. If you have difficulty bathing for physical issues, that's another two points. If you have difficulty managing your money because you have memory problems, that's another two points.

If you have difficulty walking several blocks, talked about that in the story, that's another two points if you have difficulty pushing, say, a chair across a room, that is one point.

So add up your score, give you a couple of seconds here to do the math and here's what the score means. And then Heidi, I'm going do ask you your score in a minute if. If your score is under five you have a less than four percent chance of dying in the next four years. If it is six to nine you have a 15 percent chance of dying in the next four years. If it's 10 to 13, you have a 42 percent chance of dying in the next four years. If it's 14 or higher you have more than a 64 percent chance of dying in the next four years. That would kind of be depressing. So Heidi, please tell me you got a low score.

COLLINS: Well, I got a big fat zero, which is good but there was no question about like, you know, getting hit by a truck or anything. We don't really know, right?

COHEN: That's right. You can't control for that. These are only known, not the unknowns.

COLLINS: Yes. Well, it's fascinating. Interesting stuff. Elizabeth Cohen, thank you and thank you, at least for me, for the good news. You can always download a free copy of this particular test by going to the Web site of the "Journal of the American Medical Association," that's jama.ama-assn.org. And thank goodness that's one's on the screen. It's a toughie.

Questions of life and death are grist for most religions but not all and certainly not one of the newest. This religion forbids faith and presumes no answers to any of life's big questions. So, what is its selling point and how long will it last? We'll talk about that.

Plus, could man's best friend be the next best weapon in the war against cancer? Could you dog's sense of smell save your life? Coming up on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Most of the world's religions have one thing in common, they are old, very old, even ancient. Each one, though, was an upstart before it caught on. Of course, the world was a much different place when they were taking root, which made us wonder, what's it like to be an up start religion in the 21st century? Well, for one thing, there's the "Seinfeld" factor. Once again, here's CNN's Tom Foreman.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the heart of Alabama iron country where faith runs generations deep, a new religion is being forged, but heaven, hell, even God don't matter much here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This will be the first meeting of the new year.

FOREMAN: Because Universism is all about the ability of anyone to know anything. That's the inspiration of medical student, philosopher, founder Ford Vox.

FORD VOX, UNIVERSIST MOVEMENT: The idea is that there is no external truth, that there is no objective truth that we should all strive to adhere to. Rather, there is an ongoing, continuing search for truth.

FOREMAN: The Universist Web site display as lengthy manifesto, pages of press coverage, even rings with a flashy hurricane-like logo. The three-year-old group claims 10,000 members, including atheists, agnostics and people who are disillusioned with traditional faith. Like Lindsey Tillery (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A religion shouldn't be the rituals you do on Sunday.

FOREMAN: She grew up a strict Southern Baptist, but was never comfortable with church doctrine or leaders.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't believe that someone else that's a human being that's never spoken with God can be able to tell me what I need to do to get closer to that god, any more than I could tell them.

FOREMAN: By definition and custom, Universism may not be a religion at all. Consider, almost every religion has some deity, a set of rules or even laws.

CHRIS LELAND, FOCUS ON THE FAMILY: And they have normal religious rites and rituals. This doesn't follow that. It's more of a philosophic or sort of theologic group then it is actually a religion, at least in my mind.

FOREMAN: John Armstrong, Universist theologian of sorts say it is certainly a religion, just not like others.

(on camera): Are you against established religions?

JOHN ARMSTRONG, MEDIA RELATIONS, UNIVERSIST: We are against faith. We are against the imposition ...

FOREMAN: What does that mean, against faith?

ARMSTRONG: Faith basically we define as letting other people think for you. Basically saying here are the established truths of that govern this universe and you need to just have faith. In other words, don't question them. You should simply believe them.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Nothing on faith, no truth trusted? Sounds familiar.

JERRY SEINFELD, ACTOR: So we go into NBC and we tell them we've got an idea for a show about nothing.

JASON ALEXANDER, COMEDIAN: Exactly.

SEINFELD: They say what's your show about? I say nothing.

ALEXANDER: There you go.

SEINFELD: I think you may have something here.

FOREMAN: Some call Universism the "Seinfeld" of religion, no ministers, no real rules, nothing except endless evening talks on politics, life, death, love, all questions, no answers.

(on camera): Some people would say this religion already exists and it's called college.

ARMSTRONG: I had never thought of it that way before.

FOREMAN: Is it possible?

(voice-over): Still, believers like it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like the fact that I can go in this group and be an individual. I don't have to pretend like I believe what everyone else believes because that's what you're supposed to believe.

FOREMAN (on camera): The Universists know they have a long way to go. Most of the world's great religions are hundreds in some cases thousands of years old. But who knows, maybe a lot of them looked like this in the beginning.

(voice-over): A diverse group of disaffected souls heading out into the world with the gospel of uncertainty. Tom Foreman, CNN, Birmingham, Alabama.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: And on that note we want to thank you international viewers for watching tonight.

Coming up on 360, Vice President Dick Cheney says, "I'm the one who pulled the trigger." Today he took full responsibility for the shooting accident that has the White House doing some damage control. We'll have the very latest.

Also tonight, they could be involved in a sting operation you may never have imagined. Are these insects the newest weapon on war on terror? Tonight, find out how wasps, yes wasps may protect you and your family when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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