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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Continued Sectarian Violence In Iraq Has Raised Tension; What Will Be The Role Of American Troops In Iraq If Civil War Occurs?; Six Months After Hurricane Katrina, Waveland, Mississippi Is Relatively Unchanged; The Film "Unknown White Male" Explores Amnesia; Hurricane Katrina Survivors Caught In Second Wave Of Death; Breaks In Bank Heist Case; Children In The Hands Of African Rebels
Aired February 24, 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: Good evening from Waveland, Mississippi. Tonight, as I stand here surrounded by destruction caused by nature, made worse by man, American troops are facing perhaps a greater force -- the possible destruction of a nation, caused by man.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER (voice-over): Iraq on the brink as armed militia men terrorize the streets.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We can expect that the coming days will be intense.
ANNOUNCER: Is Iraq about to erupt into civil war? And what should U.S. troops do? Whose side are they on? We're covering all the angles.
Plus, six months after Katrina, still living in tents.
DOLORIS KING, RESIDENT OF "THE VILLAGE": Oh, Lord, have mercy! I had a bedroom, I had a living room, I had a kitchen.
ANNOUNCER: Why providing a trailer for everyone living in a Mississippi tent city seems mired in red tape, bureaucracy and other surprise obstacles.
And, as much as $90 million stolen in a bold robbery. Now, some of it's been recovered, but the mystery remains. Who did it and what happened to all that cash?
From across the U.S. and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360. Live from Waveland, Mississippi, here's Anderson Cooper.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And good evening again, we are back here along the Gulf Coast, nearly six months after Hurricane Katrina. And as you can see around me, not much here has changed. There is still a lot of work to be done.
For a moment, I just want to show you a live picture. And listen to the sounds on Bourbon Street in New Orleans right now.
COOPER: Mardi Gras celebration is in full swing. There is music and beads being thrown.
Now we come back here to Waveland. And listen and look at the sites and the sounds.
There is silence here in Waveland. There are no Mardi Gras beads to be seen, there is no music playing, there are no crowds. There are hundreds of volunteers elsewhere in this city, sleeping in tents tonight. They are here because they want to help.
Tonight, there are a lot of stories to tell -- a lot of human stories, stories of frustration, stories of hardship and stories of stress -- deadly stress, killing a large number of people who survived the storm. We're covering all of those stories shortly.
But we begin with another highly stressful situation, in Iraq, where American and Iraqi troops and the Iraqi government are trying desperately to hold the country together. Another daytime curfew has been set for tomorrow, after the strict one today helped quell the sectarian violence that has killed at least 132 people since a Shia shrine was bombed. Wednesday -- that's when that happened.
More troops are also walking the streets and manning checkpoints today. The U.S. military says there have been some rocket attacks and roadside bombings, but on the whole, Iraqis are complying with the curfew.
Yet, while things look calm, everyone knows that the anger is still there. And so is the threat of civil war.
CNN's Aneesh Raman reports on one particular group of Iraqis who have their fingers on the trigger.
ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Clad in black, guns raised -- these are the men who many say could bring civil war to Iraq. Unemployed, young -- they're the followers of anti-American Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
JUAN COLE, MIDDLE EAST ANALYST: The Mehdi militia is drawn mainly from yet ghetto youth.
RAMAN: Impoverished Shia youth, born into a desperate situation. Often looking for a fight, whether against the Americans, who they clashed with in 2004, killing nearly a dozen U.S. forces in the process; or against the rival Shia militia, the Badr brigade, who they battled repeatedly in the Shia south. They are, says an expert in the Middle East, committed.
COLE: A Puritanism of the Muqtada Sadr movement gives them something to do in life. Certainly, the Iraqi economy is a mess. RAMAN: Based in the slums of Sadr City, where the Iraqi security forces rarely go, the Mehdi militia has up until now not launched all out war on the Sunnis. In large part, because they've been told not to by Sadr and by the country's Shia spiritual leader, the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who have up until now told the Mehdi militia to show restraint. But that's no longer the case.
Wednesday's attack enraged Shia and sent the Mehdi militia on the attack against their Sunni foes. And now the question is, are they beyond control, out of control? The force that could push Iraq into a civil war.
RAMAN (on camera): And how big is the Mehdi militia? Anderson, rough estimates on the ground say there could be up to 10,000 armed supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr.
COOPER: You know, Aneesh, probably a lot of people who are seeing these pictures and say, look, you know, we've seen pictures like that from Iraq before. What is different now? I mean, you've spent so much time there. What is different? What are you seeing that is different? What are you feeling that is different?
RAMAN: What is different now is the Shia rage. What has kept civil war from happening has been a lack of large, violent response among the Shia. What we're seeing with the Mehdi militia, with other Shia militias is that they are going out there, terrorizing Sunni communities.
Just last night, Salman Pak, southeast of the capitol, they surrounded a Sunni mosque, prevented worshipers from going in. A tense situation all night. So the civil war that has essentially been brewing, is now coming up a notch. And as the Shia leaders not telling people in moderation to stay at home, but allowing them to go out and protest, they're inflaming at some level the situation. So, at every level, we're seeing changes, especially among the Shia.
COOPER: Aneesh Raman, thanks. Stay safe.
As we've said, a lot of the peacekeeping in Iraq is ultimately falling on the shoulders of the young Americans serving out there. Earlier I discussed their role and their future role if there is a civil war with two CNN Military Analysts Retired Brigadier General David Grange and Retired Brigadier General James "Spider" Marks.
COOPER: General Grange, obviously the situation now presents unique challenges to the U.S. military forces on the ground. What should America's military role be?
BRIG. GEN. DAVID GRANGE, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, I think in a situation like this, the U.S. military, just like the other coalition forces, may try to take more of a little bit of a stand back posture. They'll protect critical infrastructure, critical lines of communication, but they will try not to get directly involved with any kind of population fighting between different sects. It may not be an opportunity to avoid it, but they'll try to be a little more standoffish, I believe.
COOPER: General Marks, what about you? I mean, that's got to be a hard thing. You already have Iraqis on both sides of this fight, saying the U.S. should get more involved.
BRIG. GEN. JAMES MARKS, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, the difficulty is there are a lot of challenges out there. And for the U.S. to get in between the fighting that's taking place right now, will inevitably lead for the U.S. or other coalition forces to take sides. And clearly at this point, that's something that needs to be avoided.
COOPER: General Grange, though, on the ground, though, I mean that's got to be really tough. I mean, I think back to Somalia and you know, sort of what started out as one mission, ended up, you know a hunt for Aidid for the streets of Mogadishu. How do U.S. troops stay on the sidelines? Do you stop patrolling? Do you just stay on base? How does that work?
GRANGE: I think you really -- you're not really up front in people's faces. You're still in the background. You're still -- your presence -- they're aware of your presence. It's there. That power is there. But what happens is, no matter how much the Sunni hate the Shia, the Shia hate the Sunni, or how bad that gets, you become the common enemy just because you're the other.
You know, you are something other than an Iraqi. And now, even though it's a very nationalistic country, for that part of the world, the brotherhood between the sects will be dominate, I believe, over the nationalism of being an Iraqi. And you will get pulled into that. It's very similar to what happened in Bosnia -- not in a combat situation, but in some very severe conflicts.
MARKS: Anderson, let me interject if I can. David's experience and my experience from the Balkans really was a shift from what we had learned when we were in the horn of Africa, and we applied that into the Balkans; and the military that's in place in Iraq right now, is taking those lessons learned, realizing that it's very difficult to get in between these fighting factions. And in some cases, we may have to, but you've got to be very, very careful. And this is what I would call a nuanced fight. But the soldiers and the troops we have on the ground, are up for that task.
COOPER: But I guess, I mean, General Grange, if the Iraqi military -- I mean, we all know it already has problems. If this sectarian violence continues, and then you have basically sort of a Balkanization within the Iraqi military or within the Iraqi police forces, then the only unified command are U.S. forces on the ground.
GRANGE: Well, that's right. What you'll have, you'll have some Iraqi police and military units that will support the government. But I think you'll have the majority who will probably take the side of that -- their particular sect, and they'll join that fray. What bothers me more than anything in this situation is the influence from Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia to instigate what's going on right now because it's in their advantage that this thing doesn't work in Iraq. And that's where we really got to finger in somebody's chest and say, back off and let this thing work. And I think that's a serious problem there that we haven't covered very well.
COOPER: What is also, though, so frustrating is that, I mean, this is exactly the strategy of the jihadists, of terrorists inside Iraq. I mean, it is so clearly part of a strategy, you know bomb Shia mosques so that the Shia then overreact and attack the Sunni and try to, you know, fan the flames of war. I mean, it is so textbook and yet, it works.
MARKS: Well, it will work and you're seeing the very start, kind of the incipient stages of a potential spiral into civil war. And again, it's too soon to say that civil war is upon Iraq. A lot of the indicators are there, but this is as Mark Kimmitt said from CENTCOM just the other day, this is a pothole, not just a speed bump. But frankly, Iraq is a country of potholes, and how the government gets about the business of repairing those potholes or choosing not to repair them, is going to demonstrate how they're going to move ahead.
COOPER: Well, in a moment, more from the Gulf and the people who nearly six months later still only have tents to call home.
Also, how after all this time, the storm continues to kill. Stress and worry and broken hearts are taking their toll.
Later, cracking one of the biggest stickups ever -- tens of millions of dollars. And now, a break in the case.
You're watching 360.
COOPER: And we are in Waveland, Mississippi, nearly six months after Katrina. And as you can tell by the pictures, it looks awfully similar to what it did some six months ago.
A lot of people from around here are living elsewhere. Some are waiting -- still waiting -- for a FEMA trailer or a mobile home. As a result, many are living -- still living -- in tents.
CNN's Randi Kaye shows us why.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Like the dozens of tents here, Tent F9 is a temporary, simple shelter. But what to do with the mother and daughter who live in it, is anything but simple.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi.
KAYE (on camera): How are you? May I come in?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
KAYE: I'm Randi Kaye with CNN.
(voice-over): For months, Doloris King who is 76, her daughter Deborah who is 50, their three Chihuahuas and a cockatiel named Tweety Bird, have lived in this tent city, called "The Village."
The Navy built it, the city runs it, and FEMA pays the bills -- at least for now.
(on camera): "The Village" is made up of 74 tents. At one point there were more than 200 people living here. These days, it's down to 83. Now, the tents are actually bigger than FEMA trailers. They measure 16 by 32 feet. Up to four people can live inside each one.
Compare your house, if you would before the storm to life in this tent.
DOLORIS KING, RESIDENT OF "THE VILLAGE": Oh, Lord, have mercy! I had a bedroom, I had a living room, I had a kitchen, I had a washroom.
KAYE: Pretty different?
KING: Yes. I had a ramp to go up and down to my mailbox, you know.
KAYE (voice-over): It was far better than life in the "The Village."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Something.
KAYE: Here there is a daycare tent, a laundry tent, a medical clinic, a meal tent, even a school bus stop for "The Village."
But the tents have no windows or kitchens or bathrooms. There are only outdoor sinks and shared restrooms.
(on camera): What is it like for you to have to share restrooms and showers with people you've never even met?
DEBORAH LEWIS, RESIDENT OF "THE VILLAGE": Like I go to the restroom and somebody will try to get in. And like the showers over there, you know, you never know if somebody's coming in. You try to hurry up. And at home, it's a lot different. You feel more safe.
KAYE (voice-over): Doloris and her daughter both applied for FEMA trailers six months ago, right after Katrina struck. But now, only Doloris has been approved for one.
LEWIS: They said that I was on the delivery list, and that was a week ago Monday. And I'm still waiting. KAYE: This is the part of the story where red tape and bureaucracy and most of all FEMA, usually get blamed. But remember, it's not that simple. Doloris and Deborah don't want just any trailers.
(on camera): What is the process in terms of deciding who should get one? Because I've talked to some people here who say, why does she have one and I don't have one? We put our names on the list at the same time.
ERIC GENTRY, FEMA SPOKESPERSON: Right. Well in some cases, it's need. I mean, obviously early on that was based upon, you know, medical needs. It may have been based upon needs as far as some people had no place to go.
KAYE: FEMA's Eric Gentry says with privacy laws, he's not allowed to talk specifics about this mother/daughter case. But Debbie says she and her mom need to have trailers placed next to each other.
The stress of the storm has only worsened her depression and her panic attacks. Her mom depends on her for help with chronic asthma. They say FEMA should accommodate them. That's why Doloris won't take a trailer someplace else.
KING: I can go on now, but I would deserting her. I can't do that.
KAYE: But what does it mean, you'll work with them? Does that mean you'll get her a trailer?
GENTRY: It means, again, if the situation -- in other words, if her property -- in some cases there's not room on individuals' pieces of property.
KAYE (voice-over): And that's exactly what Debbie and Doloris want. Two trailers, placed side by side on her brother's property -- not trailers in different counties, even though that may be what's available now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go ahead and talk with them. They'll be contacting all the families that are in...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you want to -- you want to actually go over to the Hancock...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no, no, no. I want to go to Harrison County beside my mom.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
KAYE: So even though FEMA has delivered 36,000 trailers to Mississippi, and only last week moved 30 families out of "The Village" and into trailers, Doloris and Debbie won't budge from Tent F9.
KING: I live one day at a time, just hoping and praying.
KAYE (on camera): I spoke with Deborah Lewis late this afternoon and she told me that shortly after we left "The Village," FEMA called her and promised her that she will get her trailer. They will place it on her brother's property, right next to her mother's trailer within the next five days, just as Debbie and her mom had requested.
COOPER: So, how much does it cost to operate this tent city and how much longer are they going to operate it for? Because, I mean, they can't do it indefinitely.
KAYE: No, they can't. FEMA pays the bills, and it costs about $25,000 a day to run "The Village." Now, FEMA was supposed to cut off funding back in January. The city requested that they extend it. They have done so, but come March 15, FEMA now says, that's it.
They're going to cut off all the funding. The city can't afford to pay the bill, so hopefully all of the people left in "The Village" will have either a trailer by then or a relative or somewhere creative to live. FEMA is promising that these people won't be homeless, but that of course remains to be seen.
COOPER: And just -- you know, it is the easiest thing in the world to bash FEMA. I mean, they're this huge bureaucracy and, you know, so many people's hopes and dreams are pinned up with them. You know, everyone -- it's very easy to criticize them.
I will say that every official I've met down here, everyone who really interacts with FEMA says good things about the individuals from FEMA who are down here and say, look, they're good people, they're working hard, you know...
KAYE: They really are.
COOPER: ... they're trying to do their best. But it's just this huge bureaucracy. And often they don't have decision-making powers. It's got to go back to Washington.
KAYE: They are. We talked to that one guy, Eric Gentry from FEMA, and he told me he's had two days off since Katrina hit. He's gone home for two days. He doesn't live in Mississippi. He's seen his family twice in the last six months. So that gives you an idea of how hard they really are working and trying their best to get people some type of housing.
COOPER: Randi, thanks. Randi Kaye.
Erica Hill, from "HEADLINE NEWS," joins us with some of the other stories we're following -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Hi Anderson.
We start off in Saudi Arabia, where al Qaeda is claiming responsibility for an attempted attack on one of the world's largest oil processing facilities -- or the largest. The attack involved suicide bombers whose cars exploded outside the plant's gate when security forces fired on them. Two people were killed, 10 others injured.
Back on States side, another hitch in the president's plan to turn over the running of six major American ports to a company based in the United Arab Emirates. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey filed suit today to prevent Dubai Ports World from taking control of the New York Container Terminal.
Now, the suit does not directly address the controversy. Instead, it charges the companies currently in control of the port with defaulting on their lease agreements by failing to notify the Port Authority of their deal with DPW.
South Dakota today, passing a bill which would ban nearly all abortions in state except in the case where the mother's life is at risk. It also defines life as beginning at the time of conception. The state's governor is expected to sign it into law. Planned Parenthood, already planning to sue. Supporters, though, say they are prepared to take this fight for the bill all the way to the Supreme Court.
And a little cell time for the boyfriend of the so-called cell phone bandit. Dave Williams of Virginia apologized profusely for helping Candice Martinez rob four Wachovia bank branches last year. But he was not able to convince the judge that he deserved 1,000 hours of community service instead of jail time. Williams was sentenced to 12 years.
A little bit of a lesson there maybe.
COOPER: Wow. Yes, man, 12 years of a lesson. All right, thanks very much, Erica.
Just ahead, picture this. You wake up in a strange place and that stranger is you because you have zero recollection of who you are. It can happen. It does happen. It's not just in movies. It is the total loss of one's so-called biological memories.
Look at this man. Is he a victim? He's the subject of a new documentary. That is coming up.
Plus, what is killing so many survivors of Hurricane Katrina? Locals say it's as if a second wave of death is washing over them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Initially, everybody throughout the country is going to respond to this devastation. I'm hoping that three months from now they'll realize we still need people to respond.
COOPER: We still need people to respond. Very true indeed. And here in Waveland and all around the Gulf and in New Orleans, they still need money and they still need volunteers. And, you know, there are a lot of people around the country who kind of say, man, I wish I could do something. Well, there is something you could do. There are hundreds of volunteers who are down here in Waveland right now.
And whatever progress has been made here, the mayor of this town, who I talked to today, Tommy Longo, he credits a lot a that goes to the volunteers who are here. There's some Amish folks in town who just came down right after the storm and have been building houses for free, just building really well made houses right back where they once were. So there's a lot of work that still needs to be done.
We have a fascinating story coming up about amnesia. Is it really possible that people can wake up and not remember who they are? Sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but no more. "Unknown White Male" is the title of a controversial, much buzzed about, Sundance Film documentary that explores the case of one John Doe. It opens today in select cities.
CNN's Senior Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta examined the case.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One summer morning three years ago, Doug Bruce suddenly woke up on a New York subway.
DOUG BRUCE, SUFFERS FROM AMNESIA: I didn't know where I was going, so -- and I -- and suddenly, you know, I felt, you know, where have I just come from? And then I finally realized, you know, I didn't know who I was.
GUPTA: Doug couldn't remember anything about himself. Not his name, not where he came from, not his family. In fact, he couldn't even remember getting on the subway.
BRUCE: In a place where you don't have any bearings or -- you don't anything. It's frightening.
GUPTA: The 35-year-old British ex-stockbroker was diagnosed with a severe case of retrograde amnesia, an exceedingly rare disorder that wipes out biographical memories.
DR. NORMAN RELKIN, MEMORY DISORDER SPECIALIST: The person loses their entire memory of self. In this case, a complete loss, dating back to his childhood.
I can really count on one hand the number of cases I've seen in the last 10 to 15 years.
GUPTA: Doug didn't know who his parents were, who his sisters or friends were. He couldn't recognize them and didn't feel any emotional connection to them.
The day after his amnesia struck, he asked an old girlfriend who picked him up at the hospital about his family.
NADINE, DOUG'S FORMER GIRLFRIEND: He was like, where's -- where's my mother? And it was -- it was so -- I had to tell him that his mother had passed away and it was really -- and I started crying and he started crying and we were both kind of there.
GUPTA: He was overwhelmed when he realized he had no mother.
His father and sister, he learned, had moved from England to Spain. So he traveled to meet them.
IVAN BRUCE, DOUG'S DAD: There I was playing the loving father, you know. Douglas, you know, I am your father. I love you. I'm always there. You know, whatever you need, let me know. And whatever. And he looked at me with his usual big grin and he said, well it's nice to meet you.
GUPTA: His sister, Christine, had to remind him of what a workaholic he once was.
CHRISTINE, DOUG'S SISTER: You were quite driven to making money for whatever reasons. But you were never happy, you were so stressed out. And you'd be like, you'd come back from after work, you'd be pacing on the kitchen.
D. BRUCE: Oh wow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's you.
GUPTA: Lifelong friends from England sent Doug home videos so he could watch images of his former self. Images of a confident work hard, play hard kind of guy.
D. BRUCE: ... it's all because I'm actually in the pictures and in the -- but I don't really feel any direct connection to it at all. I don't feel any connection to this character because, I mean, I don't feel that I look like that. It's just really like viewing a movie. I find it sad, you know, just watching this.
GUPTA: But even though he still hasn't recovered his memory, Doug has had uplifting moments, like experiencing the ocean for the first time.
D. BRUCE: It just felt absolutely amazing.
GUPTA: The sweet taste of chocolate. Marveling at the majesty of Buckingham Palace. The world was new and unknown to him. Much like it is for a child.
Some journalists have found Doug's memory loss to incredible to be true, calling his story a hoax.
But Dr. Isabelle Germano, a neurosurgeon who teaches at Mount Sinai Medical School, who has treated him for almost two years, has no doubts.
DR. ISABELLE GERMANO, MOUNT SINAI MEDICAL SCHOOL: There's never been any question in my mind that whatever he's telling me is the truth and only the truth. So I have no reason to believe that he's lying.
GUPTA: And Memory Disorder Specialist Dr. Norman Relkin agrees.
RELKIN: But I will say that looking at this movie, his symptoms ring true.
GUPTA: But a haunting question remains. What caused Doug's amnesia? Was it physical trauma? An injury to the head? Doug did have a cyst on his pituitary gland that burst a year after the amnesia and it may have leaked prior to that, triggering his memory loss.
Dr. Germano said the cyst was located near two brain structures involved in memory.
GERMANO: It is definitely possible that because of the location of the lesions, some of those memory sensors were altered and the retrograde amnesia did start.
GUPTA: But others believe Bruce's memory loss is psychological. Dr. Relkin believes Doug is more likely suffering from dissociative amnesia.
RELKIN: It's a flight or an escape from a very severe, unbearable psychological trauma. It's not a loss of memory in the traditional sense. A person's memories are still there. They're suppressing them.
GUPTA: Doug was very close to his mother. And the trauma of her death may have triggered the dissociative amnesia, according to Dr. Relkin. He says it may have been a more recent personal loss or rejection that his family and friends were unaware of.
Doug was advised to go through psychotherapy and hypnosis, which has helped dissociative amnesiacs recover their memory. But he decided not to, which Dr. Relkin thinks is a grave mistake.
RELKIN: When he does come out of the state of dissociative amnesia, he'll be facing whatever trauma it was that first initiated it. He'll be facing it without the supports of psychiatric care and I think that makes him something of a ticking time bomb.
GUPTA: But Rupert Murray, the films director defends Doug's choices.
RUPERT MURRAY, DIRECTOR, "UNKNOWN WHITE MALE": Say look, no one can give me any answers. I'm just going to -- I'm going to move on. This has happened to me. I'm just going to accept it. And I'm going to move forward in my life. And that's what he did.
GUPTA: Doug has rebuilt the relationships with his family and friends. He's in love. His career as a photographer is thriving. And he tells people quite honestly that it doesn't matter if he ever gets his memory back.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, New York.
COOPER: It is a fascinating case.
We have another medical story when we come back. This one, sadly not a mystery when you stop and think about it. Why are so many otherwise pretty healthy people down here dying?
And later, did police get their man and woman or are the people behind a mega million dollar holdup still holed up with the loot?
From the Gulf Coast, this is 360.
COOPER: And that is the scene -- a live picture from Bourbon Street in New Orleans. A lot of beads being thrown. Probably a fair amount of alcohol being consumed. I'm not sure about that, but I'm just guessing. It is going to be a very long weekend. Thousands of people there on the streets of Bourbon Street.
The scene here in Waveland, of course, very different indeed. It is a very quiet night here. You can hear some crickets. You can hear the breeze blowing through the scattered remains of people's homes.
There's a lot of people who are trying to forget the toll of Katrina. And now there's growing evidence that nearly six months later, the storm, well is hard to forget. It is still taking a human toll through stress on humans and perhaps the healthcare system too. The hurricane remains a killer storm, as CNN's Chris Lawrence found out.
CHRISTOPHER LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The levees break, the city floods. Thousands are rescued. But six months later, a lot of them who made it through the storm are dead.
DR. JAMES AIKENS, EMERGENCY MEDICINE: You find a lot of people who survived the evacuation, only to go to sleep in a hotel room and not wake up.
LAWRENCE: We hear it from doctors and funeral directors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The death rate is definitely up.
LAWRENCE: Katrina survivors, caught up in a second wave of death.
FRANKLIN MINYARD, NEW ORLEANS PARISH CORONER: Just this morning, a friend of mine called me. Just out of the clear blue he said, man, you notice all the people dying.
LAWRENCE (on camera): We went to the New Orleans Parish Coroner to ask him.
Indirectly, is Katrina still killing people today?
MINYARD: Exactly. And you pick up the newspaper every day and you see the pictures and names of people. We have the same number now as we had when we had a half a million people. Now we have maybe 100,000 people at the most.
LAWRENCE (voice-over): Before Katrina, Ronald Chisom's mother was 84 years old, but healthy.
RONALD CHISOM, EVACUEE: She would go out. She would, you know, go visit a friend. She'd have her girlfriends over, you know.
LAWRENCE: When her home flooded, Evelyn was airlifted out by helicopter, then put on a bus to Austin, Texas. For 10 days she was alone in a shelter, then shuttled to Houston.
CHISOM: She's determined, you know, she believes in doing it for herself, but something broke down during that period of time.
LAWRENCE: In a strange place with family, but no friends. Evelyn stopped taking her medicine. She got depressed. She died.
CHISOM: And so, you know, it definitely -- Katrina definitely played a role -- in -- with my mother and with the stress and we think it's a contributing factor in the death of my mother.
LAWRENCE: It's not an isolated case.
Rosalyn Laventhal was evacuated all the way to Maryland. She was buried one week shy of the storm's six-month mark.
DR. JAMES BARBEE, LSU ANXIETY CLINIC: Stress changes the ability of the body to cope with infection and other physiologic processes.
LAWRENCE: Some of these victims are elderly. And there are fewer funeral homes open since the storm.
BILLY HENRY, FUNERAL DIRECTOR: This is wonderful.
LAWRENCE: But Billy Henry says that can't account for this kind of business. Thirty funerals a month before Katrina, 90 a month now.
(on camera): Officially, they say Katrina killed a little more than 1,300 people. But unofficially...
HENRY: They probably killed hundreds more than that. Hundreds more than that.
LAWRENCE (voice-over): The coroner has asked the state Health Department to pull records of natural deaths from the past few years. He says those numbers will show a dramatic spike in the death rate and prove that Katrina-related stress is still killing the storm's survivors.
LAWRENCE (on camera): It is hard to put a number on it, but you've got doctors, families, funeral directors, people with nothing in common, and they're all saying the same thing -- Anderson. COOPER: Yes, it is unbelievable. Chris, thanks very much. Chris Lawrence reporting from New Orleans tonight.
Coming up, how one army is using children -- children -- to fight its battles. Kidnapped children at that. A story out of Africa about the youngest soldiers of war and the horrors that they are made to endure.
Also tonight, the great bank robbery. As much as $90 million may have been stolen. Will new clues help cops break the case?
From Waveland and around the world, you're watching 360.
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BUSH: There is no way to imagine America without New Orleans. And this great city will rise again.
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COOPER: We'll have a lot more from New Orleans and from Waveland shortly.
But first, a story from overseas. Two days after the eight Powerball winners stepped forward to claim their prize, another mega million jackpot is making news and it has nothing to do with luck. What may be the biggest bank robbery in history was committed in England this week.
An armed gang made off with perhaps as much as $90 million -- $90 million. All of it in cash. But there have been a couple of breaks in the case.
CNN's Paula Newton reports from London.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It could be a crucial link in cracking this case. A white delivery van, abandoned in a parking lot. Exhibit A on the money trail.
ADRIAN LEPPARD, ASSISTANT CHIEF CONSTABLE, KENT POLICE: We have found cash in that van. I'm as keen to you as you, to know exactly how much cash. But we just do not know at this stage.
NEWTON: Two black bags, weighing almost 300 pounds each, stuffed with bills. And much more. Key forensic evidence. Police say poring over that is more important right now than counting the cash.
It's been more than three days since the biggest, boldest bank robbery in British history. And the details read like a Hollywood script.
It happened about 30 miles southeast of London. Tonbridge, County Kent, at a cash depot where they collect, count and recycle huge amounts of money.
LEPPARD: The manager at the cash depot left his work at about 6:00 p.m.
NEWTON: Colin Dixon was driving towards home, but on the way, he's flagged down by two men in a blue Volvo.
LEPPARD: And he thought they were police officers, and he got into their car.
NEWTON: At about the same time, a few miles away, two other men, also posing as police, knock on Dixon's door. They find his wife, Lynn, and their 8-year-old son.
LEPPARD: And this is the most traumatic part of this crime for me. You know, a young woman and her young son, an 8-year-old son, were held at gunpoint in a vehicle for up to six hours and driven around.
NEWTON: At about 8:00 p.m., the family is reunited in another car, only to find out they're in real danger. Told they'll die if they don't cooperate.
At about 1:00 in the morning, they all head back to the cash depot, a gun to Colin Dixon's head, as he lets at least six masked gunmen inside, where 14 security task employees are overpowered and the cash is theirs. A white transport truck is ready for loading.
LEPPARD: I'm not to glorify the gang. As far as I'm concerned, they count as criminals and need to be caught, frankly.
NEWTON: Police have had some breaks in the case. The bogus police car, torched and found abandoned. The manager's car, discovered in a parking lot. And a red mail truck, the police say was used to terrorize the family, also abandoned in a parking lot.
RICKY CLARK, PUB OWNER: We thought it might have been something to do with the kidnapping up at Stockbury, which is about two and a half, three miles away from here. But then after a while, we just thought, well it might have been just a coincidence, but inertly, that she was something to do with it. So we was quite shocked, to be honest.
NEWTON: And there's more. A sketch of one of the men who allegedly posed as a police officer and abducted the Dixon family. One of him in a disguise, the other showing what he might look like without it. If just one thread of evidence can unravel a case, police are hoping this one will come apart at the scenes and soon.
LEPPARD: If you start to think you know who's committed this crime, you could earn that three million pound reward.
NEWTON: That's $3.5 million. Greed can be a strong incentive. Police are counting on it.
(on camera): But all these abandoned cars, one with cash, the thieves are either desperate or the very opposite -- cleverly planting distractions, decoys and netting the police only bit players of this crime.
(voice-over): While there have been three arrests -- a man and two women -- all have been released on bail. And that could mean that the real masterminds are getting away with the crime and the cash.
Paula Newton, CNN, London.
Erica Hill, from "HEADLINE NEWS," joins us with some business stories we're following -- Erica.
HILL: Hi Anderson.
The Dow down just slightly after a decline in orders for durable goods. That decline may be because when you set aside the drop in aircraft orders, other sectors were actually up a little more than half a percent. And if it sounds like gobbledygook, the good news here is, it was all better than expected. Durable goods, by the way, are those high ticket items that are made to last three years or more.
Meantime, economists say a jump in canceled orders for new homes signals investors who flip properties might be getting out of the market. Luxury Home Builder Toll Brothers says their cancellation rate in the most recent quarter was up more than 3 percent.
And talk about a great way to head into the weekend. A Michigan teen bought the one billionth download at Apple's iTune's music store. He ended up, though, with a lot more than the song. Apple gave him a 20-inch iMac computer, 10 iPods, a $10,000 iTune's gift certificate. And also, Anderson, they are naming a scholarship after him at Juilliard. Not too shabby.
COOPER: Wow. Not too shabby at all. Erica, thanks.
Much more from Waveland in a moment. A people, a region, still reeling from Hurricane Katrina.
Also, they're the children of war and they've suffered through unspeakable horror. Thousands have been kidnapped, forced to fight in a long and bloody battle, and forced to do things you will not believe. Tonight, hear one young survivor's story.
COOPER: A story on our 360 blog has received so many hits. Hundreds of thousands. Now we're bringing you the video version. All around the world tonight there are children afraid of the dark. But there's something going on in Uganda that should make us all afraid. And unless concerned people act, today's presidential election is unlikely to change that.
Here's CNN's Jeff Koinange.
JEFF KOINANGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's night time in Gulu, in northern Uganda. And the dusty roads leading into the town are busy with the patter of tiny feet rushing as if to beat a curfew.
They are coming from small villages far and wide, heading to the relative comfort and safety of the big town. Running away from a man they've never seen, but who's reputation inspires terror.
His name is Joseph Kony, who operates in such secrecy, the only pictures we could find of him was this Polaroid given to us by the Ugandan military. He leads a rebel group that calls itself the Lord's Resistance Army, or LRA, and which claims to base its principles on the 10 commandments.
FLORENCE LAKOR, WOLD VISION, UGANDA: Their stories are really horrible. We have heard cases of children who were ordered to cook human beings, said to cut the body into pieces and cook it up. Then they will blaze the village. The government eats the cooked body.
KOINANGE: Around here the children are simply known as night commuters. Leaving their vulnerable villages each evening because the LRA has a reputation for attacking after dark. The night commuters range in age from 5 to 16 years old. Poor, frightened and hungry, children like 8-year-old Alfred (ph), 12-year-old Anek (ph) and 10- year-old Peter, carrying his baby brother, Paul, on his back, and many, many more, all with one daily goal in mind -- just to make it through another night.
(on camera): And it's in shelters like this that these children come to every night. Tonight we understand there's about 350 of them. This place, appropriately called the Noah's Ark Center, where the children come to seek a little comfort, a little care, a little security from what they call the madness, right outside these walls.
(voice-over): I asked the children how many of them know of someone who's been abducted. Almost every hand is raised.
But the center is both ill-equipped and under-funded. The only comfort the children get is a canvas roof, a cold hard floor and if they are lucky, a blanket. But all they're looking for, it seems, is a place to lie down without having to worry about being the next group of child slaves.
And in the morning, the are up early, ready to take the long walk back home to their villages. No breakfast, no shower, no change of clothes.
At a rehabilitation center for escapees, not far from Noah's Ark, former kidnapped victims gather for a morning prayer session.
Many of these girls, bearing the physical scars of rape; and the boys, the mental scars of torture. (MUSIC)
Among them, 19-year-old Alice Abalo, who recently escaped from the LRA with her 4-year-old daughter, Nancy, a product of rape. Alice shows us the physical scars of her eight years in captivity. Bullet wounds on her leg, shrapnel scars on her chest. Her younger sister was kidnapped along with her, but she later died in the hands of the rebels.
Years as a sex slave to the LRA have left Alice traumatized. But after a while, she warms up, telling us bone-chilling stories of her past.
ALICE ABALO, FORMER KIDNAPPING VICTIM (through translator): One day the group we were in had just killed about six people and proceeded to decapitate them. Then, I was asked to light a wood fire, using the victims' heads as support, the same way one would use three stones. I still have nightmares of their burning hair and brains oozing out of the burning heads. It was horrible.
KOINANGE: As you can imagine, Alice has recurring nightmares. She attends counseling sessions twice a day at the World Vision Center in Gulu. Alice and the other kidnapped victims are allowed to stay here for 45 days, a brief period to adjust, before going home. That is, if their home has survived the rebels.
As for the others who've managed to evade the Lord's Resistance Army, the tiny feet of the night commuters remain on the move.
COOPER: Jeff, that is just an extraordinary piece and not only just beautifully written, but beautifully shot as well.
You know, this story has been out there for so long, this struggle going on for so long. Why can't they catch this guy? Uganda's not that big a country.
KOINANGE: That is such a good question. In fact, Anderson, the United Nations call this the world's worst forgotten war. Why can't they catch him? Well, he's been so elusive for a long time. He would go into the country right next door in the north, Sudan, and hide there, come back, raid the villages and go back.
Since there's an agreement between Uganda and Sudan, they've cut off ties with him, and he's still on the run. Still has a ragtag army, still has a lot of force, a lot of influence. And the Ugandans keep saying we are -- the net is closing in. The noose is tightening. But still, 20 years later, this man remains elusive -- Anderson.
COOPER: And to think, every night those children, hundreds of children, making that trek for safety, just to get through the night. It is just extraordinary that this has been going on for that long amount of time.
Jeff, great work, as always. Thank you very much, Jeff, and also to your Cameraman Simon. Thank you.
Finally tonight, "On the Radar," many comments were posted on our blog, even before this story aired, from people familiar with this nightmare. Here's a quick sample.
From Mark in Jacksonville, Florida, "please do not drop this story," he says. "Run with it daily. Morally, how can the media spend 500 TV news hours examining every detail of a high profile murder case -- Peterson, Holloway, et cetera -- and 10 minutes a month discussing thousands of innocent children being enslaved, tortured and murdered?
It is a very good question.
And Ashley in Santa Monica, California, wants to know, "Why is the world so blind to true horrors such as this? What can we do to help these children and their families?"
Sad to say, Ashley, the children who most need help may be the hardest to help. Still, if you go to the unicef.org or worldvision.org Web sites, you can find some things that you can do.
And a final note from Waveland when we come back.
COOPER: I want to thank the mayor, Tony Longo, for showing us around today, and all the people here in Waveland for being so hospitable.
A reminder, we'll be reporting live from New Orleans Monday and Tuesday. "LARRY KING" is next. His guest, Hollywood star Goldie Hawn. See you Monday.
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