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Mississippi Anti-Smoking Programs Up in the Air; Elephants Face Environmental Challenges in Southeast Asia; Woman Murdered by Man Accused of Raping Her; Congress Sets Timetable For U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Iraq; YouTube Politics

Aired March 23, 2007 - 22:00   ET


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: I'm John Roberts in Washington. Good evening. Anderson is on assignment tonight.
We begin with breaking developments in perhaps the most heart- wrenching friendly-fire incident in years. Pat Tillman was an NFL star who became an Army Ranger. He died in Afghanistan, shot by American forces. Many on the scene, as well as his superiors and other high-ranking officers, knew about it. Yet, it was a month before the military told Corporal Tillman's family the true circumstances surrounding his death.

Tonight, the Associated Press is reporting the results of a Pentagon investigation.

CNN's Jamie McIntyre has been working his sources, and joins us now by phone.

What do you know, Jamie?

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, one source told me that the results of this investigation are very unflattering.

The Associated Press goes even further, saying that the Pentagon inspector general, which reviewed the three previous investigations, will actually fault nine officers for their conduct, including four of the general rank, for the way they dealt with the circumstances surrounding the death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman, and, in particular, how long they took to allow the facts to come forward in this case.

He was killed in April of 2004, and it wasn't until almost a month after his death that the Army publicly acknowledged that he was killed by his own soldiers in friendly fire, even though it was obvious to virtually everyone who was there at the scene at the time that that's what had happened.

And the family, the Tillman family, has complained all along that none of the three previous investigations were adequate. And the Army had asked for the Pentagon to step in, the Pentagon inspector general, to take another look at it. And it appears that these generals will come in for criticism.

It's not clear that they're going to have any real punishment. We will have to wait and see what the Army does. ROBERTS: You know, Jamie, he was awarded the Silver Star. He had a nationally televised funeral. And, even during that funeral, there were many people who knew the real circumstances of his death who just sat there and watched as the funeral went on.

These four generals who the Inspector General's Office suggests may be named in this case, obviously, they weren't in the field when this happened. What role might they have played? Are they suspected of covering it up?

MCINTYRE: Well, there's a couple of things that went on.

One was, of course, the processing of the Silver Star, which clearly Army officials admit that Pat Tillman does not fit the criteria for. He was very brave and acted with great valor, but you can only wear the Silver Star -- be awarded the Silver Star for engagement with the enemy.

But, mostly, I think it has to do -- so, there's the processing of that award. But, mostly, I think it has to do with the fact that they realized early on they had a problem. And part of the reaction was, we haven't handled this right. Let's make sure we get all the facts right by the time we actually come forward.

And, in doing that, they of course made the problem much worse. Since then, the Army says they have done a lot about changing the whole process for how people are informed and what they say while something is still under investigation.

But a lot of -- there were just a lot of bad judgments made that really made this into a public-relations fiasco, and of course was very hurtful to the Tillman family, and really gave the -- made the Army look like it was being disingenuous.

ROBERTS: Yes, well, it sounds like the Pentagon is finally getting to the bottom of it. And now I guess we will wait for reaction from Tillman's family to see if this satisfies them somewhat.

Jamie McIntyre, thanks very much. Appreciate it.

Now the latest shot in Washington's war over Iraq -- today, for the first time, Congress used its power over funding the war to attach a timetable for bringing the troops home. Call it a victory for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats, but only a narrow one, in fact, barely even that.


ROBERTS (voice-over): It took a week of arm-twisting and some outright vote-buying, but House Democrats managed to squeak out the 218 votes they needed for a measure to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq by September 2008.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: It voted no to giving a blank check to an open-ended commitment to war without end to the president of the United States, and yes to begin the end of the war and the redeployment of our troops.

ROBERTS: In the end, though, it was just so much posturing. Even if the bill makes it out of Congress, which is unlikely, the president has promised to veto it.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today's action in the House does only one thing. It delays the delivery of vital resources for our troops.

ROBERTS: The measure doesn't actually cut funding for the troops, but, unless the president signs it, he won't get the money he needs to fight the war. Democrats can drive him crazy without actually touching the purse strings.

And, for this Democratic ally, that shows a certain lack of political courage.

SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (I), CONNECTICUT: This is a time for acting in a way that's responsible. If you really want to stop the war, cut the funding. It does make you accountable for what happens thereafter, but you have done something as a matter of principle.

ROBERTS: What's also drawing fire is the way Democrats got the votes. The bill, says Tom Schatz of Citizens Against Government Waste, is stuffed with pork, $21 billion worth.

(on camera): What kind of bacon we talking about here?

TOM SCHATZ, PRESIDENT, CITIZENS AGAINST GOVERNMENT WASTE: It's mostly in agriculture. We got spinach. We got the Milk Income Loss Contract program, and we got peanut storage costs.

ROBERTS (voice-over): Granted, some of projects may have merit, like $6 billion in Katrina disaster relief.

But look at this: $25 million to spinach growers to cover losses from the E. coli outbreak, $74 million to store peanuts, or how about $252 million for a milk program? It would create a surplus of milk that another government program would buy. That gem came right from David Obey, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

What does any of it have to do with Iraq? Why, nothing.

SCHATZ: It's a lot of politics. It's a lot of vote-buying, but it's business as usual, only more expensive.

ROBERTS: Next week, it's the Senate's turn to take up the spending bill, another timetable and more pork to suck up votes. Didn't Democrats say they were the party of change?

SCHATZ: They said fiscal discipline. So, maybe they really wanted to spend $40 billion, and they only spend $20 billion. But we won't know that.


ROBERTS: We may find out, though.

President Bush's says today's votes and others on the troop surge could jeopardize the war effort.

Columnist Tom Friedman of "The New York Times" disagrees, writing that Speaker Pelosi and company performed a useful function.

Here to talk about that and the latest on the ground is former Pentagon strategist Katherine Hicks. Currently, she's at the Center for Strategic and International Studies here in Washington.

Kathleen, is in fact Speaker Pelosi a useful foil for General Petraeus? Could he go to Nouri al-Maliki and say, look it, I have got a problem back home here; we have got this very powerful politician who doesn't like what we're doing over here; she's putting a lot of heat on me; I don't know how long I can continue to do this, unless the Iraqi government steps up to the plate?


I don't think you would find any military strategists who would support having timelines associated with a withdrawal. But the idea of having benchmarks associated with progress, and making sure that there are sticks for the Iraqis, in terms of their ability and willingness to step up to the plate, is absolutely helpful to the state of progress in Iraq.

ROBERTS: We should say that Michael Ware is joining us now live from our Baghdad bureau.

Michael Ware, I know that you're coming into this just a little bit late, but, just to set you up here, this idea that troops could be out by September of 2008, if the House of Representatives, the Democrats, at least, were to have their way, U.S. troops, of course, could pull out any time they wanted. But, if there is a timetable set to pull out by a date certain, September 2008, what do you think would happen there?

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that just gives America's enemies opportunities to strategically poise themselves for that moment.

It also allows America's enemies to use that moment as a block or a wedge, against which they can pressure America politically and indeed militarily. This just feeds those who are opposing the U.S. mission. Whether you were for this war or against this war, whether -- from the beginning, whether you want the troops home or not, it doesn't matter anymore.

This is the war that you have, and it needs to be fought, and it needs to be fought properly and to the end. And, by putting these unrealistic artificial caps of any kind on them, you are only playing to your opponents. ROBERTS: As we speak, Michael, there is some sort of evolution among the Mahdi militia, as I understand it, that they're breaking away into far more splinter groups than they had in the past. There's some question whether Muqtada al-Sadr even has control over many of the elements formerly of the Mahdi militia.

If he doesn't have any control over them, and U.S. forces were to pull out, what could be the possible result of that?

WARE: Well, someone else scoops them up.

And apart from the anarchy that would ensue, what we would see is that, from the turmoil, be it political or be it on the streets fighting, sort of what we're seeing underneath the surface now. You would see others moving into the gap to consolidate their power.

So, primarily, we're seeing some of the most powerful Shia blocs outside of Muqtada right now doing just that, consulting their power. So, all sorts of tempests would be unleashed if the U.S. forces left, from al Qaeda on the Sunni side, to the most hard-line Shia militias, backed by Iran's best Quds Force special operatives.

ROBERTS: Kathleen Hicks, all this talk about deadlines, the fight between the White House and Congress, what kind of an effect is that having on the military?

HICKS: I think the military expects the fight that they're seeing now.

And I think that, at all ranks of the military, you're seeing a great disenchantment with the political process in Washington, with the laying at the feet of the military the political strategy for winning Iraq. The only voice I have heard in the last month out of Iraq on the U.S. side is General Petraeus. And he's responsible for the military portion of the strategy in Iraq.

And we seem to have lost that distinction between the political ends that we're seeking and the military means that are but one piece of that strategy.

So, I think it's -- the whole situation is disheartening. But I'm not sure that the actual disagreements between the White House and the Congress are to blame for that.

ROBERTS: Michael Ware, I talked with Senator Joe Lieberman earlier, a former Democrat, now independent, caucuses with the Democrats. He's opposed to this whole idea of setting deadlines, saying it looks like there's a little bit of progress on the ground, and to start talking now about taking troops out is just the wrong thing to do.

Is he correct? Is the surge working?

WARE: Well, American generals themselves will say it's far, far too early to tell. You're talking about one or a little over one month or more into an operation that's going to take six months, perhaps nine months, 12 months. So, it's too early to tell. Yes, we have seen some positive signs. The number of sectarian murders, the number of executed bodies showing up on the streets of the capital each morning are down.

There were still 33 the other day, but they're down. You can't read too much more into that, particularly when you're seeing violence displaced to other areas, like Diyala Province to the north, and when militia and Sunni insurgent leaders, we know, are laying low, sitting back, and seeing where the new strategy takes them.

ROBERTS: Well, as we said at the top of this, another phase in the debate coming up, when the Senate takes up its measure next week.

Kathleen Hicks from CSIS, Michael Ware, as always, thanks very much.

HICKS: Thank you, John.

ROBERTS: Get ready for even more tension between Iran and the West.

With the U.N. Security Council set to vote tomorrow on new sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program, Iran's president today canceled his appearance at the United Nations.

Meantime, Iranian forces are now holding 15 British Royal Marines and sailors.

Once again, here's Jamie McIntyre with that.


MCINTYRE (voice-over): The last time Iran captured British seamen back in 2004, it paraded them blindfolded on television and made them apologize, before releasing all eight after just three days. Then, as now, the Iranians claimed the British navy violated their territorial waters near the Iran-Iraq border.

This time, the British frigate HMS Cornwall stopped a merchant ship suspected of smuggling cars, and dispatched 15 Royal Marines in two small boats to inspect the cargo.

The British commander on scene insists it was a routine boarding.

COMMODORE NICK LAMBERT, HMS CORNWALL: They stay, normally, inside their territorial waters doing their business, and we stay inside Iraqi territory, which is doing our business.

MCINTYRE: But what happened next in the northern Persian Gulf took the marines by surprise. As many as six vessels from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, not the regular Iranian navy, captured the Marines and took them away.

Experts say Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps is only loosely controlled by Iran's central government and often has its own agenda, such as smuggling arms or oil.

JONATHAN ALTERMAN, DIRECTOR OF MIDEAST PROGRAMS, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: But there certainly are economic interests that the IRGC has in smuggling that they are very, very jealous about protecting.

MCINTYRE: After hours of silence, Iran state television eventually claimed the British marines were captured in Iranian waters. That was long after the British Foreign Office lodged a formal protest with Iran's ambassador.

MARGARET BECKETT, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: I understand the meeting with my permanent secretary was brisk, but polite. But, as I say, we have left them in no doubt, we want our personnel and equipment back.

MCINTYRE: Iran's provocative action comes as the U.N. Security Council considers new sanctions over Tehran's refusal to halt uranium enrichment. But the U.S. insists that is unrelated.

SEAN MCCORMACK, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: We're not -- we're certainly not connecting those dots, and we support the British in their efforts to have their personnel and their equipment returned to them immediately.

MCINTYRE (on camera): The U.S. is flexing its military muscle in the Gulf as well, dispatching a second aircraft carrier within striking distance of Iran, and, in Iraq, holding at least five members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, on suspicion of helping Shia militias.

Is this a tit-for-tat response by Iran? The U.S. government says it doesn't see evidence of that, at least not yet.

Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.


ROBERTS: Well, coming up tonight: an exclusive look inside a world in which human beings are bought and sold, from the mean streets of Bangkok to Main Street U.S.

Also tonight: those darned spots.


ROBERTS (voice-over): It used to be simple.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm Mitt Romney, and I approved this message.




ROBERTS: So, who's in charge now? And who's behind those political ads that people can't stop talking about? YouTube politics, and how it's changing the way we choose our president.

Also: money to stop kids from smoking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, raise your hand if you know what the word addicted means.

ROBERTS: Hundreds of millions of dollars, but where is it really going? We're following the money and "Keeping Them Honest" -- ahead on 360.



ROBERTS: There are new questions tonight about how involved Attorney General Alberto Gonzales may have been in the firings of eight U.S. attorneys.

A newly document released just tonight indicates that Gonzales attended a meeting on November 27 of 2006 in which plans for carrying out the dismissals were discussed. But Justice Department officials say participants at the meeting do not remember if the final list of attorneys to be fired was signed off on at that time.

On March 13, in explaining the firings, Gonzales told reporters that he was aware that some of the dismissals were being discussed, but was not involved in them.

And that's not the only development in our story.

Our "Raw Politics" segment has got more for you this evening.

Here's CNN's Joe Johns with that.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John, there's news tonight that Kyle Sampson, the former chief of staff for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.


JOHNS (voice-over): Sampson is viewed as a key figure in the firings of eight federal prosecutors that have gotten Democrats and some Republicans riled up on Capitol Hill. He's expected to testify in public and under oath.

How about this for a campaign fund-raising pitch? I need your money to show I can raise money. You could hear some more of that over the next week or so, as the fund-raising starts and the deadline approaches for presidential campaigns. Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign is already out with a fund-raising letter, calling on people to get out their wallets.

And guess what? The former fund-raiser in chief himself, Bill Clinton, is making the pitch.


WILLIAM J. CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I hope you will send in a contribution and support her campaign. And, please, do it by the March 31 deadline.


JOHNS: And, speaking of money and politics, the Jack Abramoff scandal is back on the radar. A former number-two official at the Interior Department has pleaded guilty to obstructing the Senate investigation into the Abramoff case.

The Justice Department said James Steven Griles concealed his relationship with the former super lobbyist. Griles apologized today in a statement today, and said, "When a Senate committee asks questions, they must be answered fully and completely. And it is not my place to decide whether those questions are relevant or too personal."

And, over on the House side of the Capitol, government spending watchdogs started howling today, when Congressman David Obey of Wisconsin slipped up trying to explain an item for NASA in the big Iraq spending bill. Obey had been asked why $35 million for this special project, or earmark, in Mississippi had been placed in the bill without any indication of who requested it.

REP. DAVID OBEY (D-WI), HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: The fact is that an earmark is something that is requested by an individual member. This item was not requested by any individual member. It was put in the bill by me.

JOHNS: Obey, of course, is a member of Congress. He's the chairman of the Appropriations Committee. According to his office, what he was really saying was, he wrote the provision himself, but he wasn't trying to benefit himself or his district.

The space center in Mississippi is a long way from Wisconsin. The money is to protect against hurricanes. And NASA asked for it.


JOHNS: John.

ROBERTS: John, I think that David Obey is still tied up from trying to explain their plan for Iraq from a couple of weeks back.


JOHNS: It's been a couple tough weeks.


ROBERTS: Yes. It's a shame when you're in control.

Thanks very much, Joe. Appreciate it. Have a good weekend.

Maybe you have seen the cartoon. "Gallery of the Great Presidential Campaign Strategists," the title reads. It shows Lee Atwater, James Carville, Karl Rove, and some guy sitting at his computer. Or maybe you have seen that Hillary "1984" video mash-up on YouTube.

Either way, as CNN's Tom Foreman tells us, you're looking at a brave new world.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Internet commercial portrays the sinister, all-controlling world of George Orwell's "1984," with Senator Clinton as big sister.




FOREMAN: And it ends with a plug for Senator Obama. Clinton supporters instantly called it an opposition attack, even though Obama denied involvement.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We don't have the technical capacity to create something like that.

FOREMAN: Of course, in a very Orwellian way, what he says is true and not true all at once.

This was originally an old Apple Computer commercial made for the 1984 Super Bowl for $1 million made by Ridley Scott, the director of "Gladiator." That original commercial, however, was altered on a computer and posted online by a man who says he wants to promote his private political views.

That said, he works for a technology company that happened to be under contract to the Obama campaign. Or, rather, he did work for them. He's been fired over the ad.

Confused yet? You ought to be. It's just one example of how people who face none of the accountability that campaigns must deal with are turning the Internet into a riot of political commentaries, commercials, and parodies.


UNIDENTIFIED MALES (singing): Have you had enough? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Of the rubber stamp?

UNIDENTIFIED MALES (singing): Have you had enough?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Of the wiretaps?


JACKI SCHECHNER, CNN INTERNET REPORTER: Compared to a few years ago, this has absolutely exploded. The technology is where it needs to be. The broadband is where it needs to be. So, it's very easy for somebody to create a video at home and post it online. And it's very easy for one of us to go online and find it very quickly. The speed is extraordinary. The scope is extraordinary. It's really just astounding.

FOREMAN: And it is all happening very quickly. That anti- Clinton ad has been morphed online to target Obama now. And, no doubt, more are on the way. 1984? Hardly. It's a brave new world.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


ROBERTS: You knew that was coming. You knew it was coming.

Up next on 360: It was one of the biggest legal battles in history, and big tobacco lost, to the tune of $246 billion. The money is supposed to go to treating and preventing tobacco illnesses. But is it? We're "Keeping Them Honest."

Plus: Anderson in Cambodia, up close and personal with some of the largest animals on Earth. They're gentle giants -- most of the time.






ROBERTS: Two hundred and forty-six billion dollars, that's how much the tobacco companies said that they would pay over 25 years to help treat sick smokers and help teach kids about the dangers of cigarettes.

The companies pay the states, and the states spend the money. The billion-dollar question, though, is: How are they spending it, and on what?

CNN's Drew Griffin is "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?



DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was one of the biggest legal battles in history, big tobacco against just about every state in the nation.

And these two men were on opposite sides. Haley Barbour, a Republican operative, was lobbying Congress for the tobacco companies. Mike Moore, then Mississippi's Democratic attorney general, was leading the nation's attorneys general in the fight against big tobacco.

In the end, Moore won. And the tobacco companies lost. Cigarette makers agreed to pay the states a total of $246 billion over 25 years, just part of the cost of treating people for tobacco-related illnesses.

MIKE MOORE, FORMER MISSISSIPPI ATTORNEY GENERAL: So, what we thought is, could we recover some money to try to help repay that cost, but also take a portion of the money and prevent young people from ever smoking in the first place?

GRIFFIN: But, instead of spending the money on preventing and treating tobacco addiction, most states, according to the nonprofit Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, spent it on regular bills, dumping the money year after year into their general funds. Some states even used the money for pet projects, sprinklers for a golf course in New York, college scholarships in Michigan, a horse park in North Carolina.

One state that, year after year, has used some of the money to fight tobacco use was Mississippi. But now that former tobacco lobbyist is Mississippi's governor, and he wants to change how his state spends its tobacco money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, raise your hand if you know what the word addicted means.

GRIFFIN: And that would end this award winning anti-smoking program.

Next year, the fourth-grade students at Jackson, Mississippi's, Van Winkle Elementary School most likely will not get this lesson.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I go all over the state of Mississippi, talking to kids just like you all about all the bad stuff that tobacco can do to you.

GRIFFIN: School programs like this, combined with TV and print ads, have helped reduce teen smoking in this state by 40 percent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Raise your hand if you think the answer is "A."

GRIFFIN: Great news, right? Remember the bad news.

SANDRA SHELSON, PARTNERSHIP FOR A HEALTHY TOMORROW (ph): When the end of this school year comes, I don't know that we'll be able to do any of this.

GRIFFIN: Not because the tobacco money has run out. In fact, Mississippi keeps getting more, about $180 million this year from the settlement and tobacco taxes, including $20 million the courts set aside for the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, the independent agency that has run the state's anti-smoking program.

But the governor has another plan. Haley Barbour says the state should control the tobacco money, not an independent agency. And he sued to get that $20 million back.

The partnership, he said in a statement last year, "has done some good work, but Mississippi's taxpayers have not gotten their money's worth."

(on camera) So what does Governor Haley Barbour want to do to stop kids in Mississippi from smoking? We came here to the capitol in Jackson to find out.

But do you know a member of his staff told us the governor would never be able to talk to CNN about anti-smoking initiatives, no matter when we came to Mississippi.

(voice-over) We've been trying now for two months.

MIKE MOORE, FORMER MISSISSIPPI ATTORNEY GENERAL: It's really short-sightedness to turn off a program with such great success.

GRIFFIN: Mike Moore, the former Democratic attorney general, who launched the big tobacco suit, is now the partnership's chairman. Some say it all boils down to politics between the Republican governor and his longtime Democratic rival.

In a statement last year, the governor accused the partnership of misusing money for what he called political purposes. He pointed to $2.9 million of tobacco money spent on a mentoring program in Mississippi's lowest performing schools.

The program was developed by the all Democratic Congressional Black Caucus. Governor Barbour called that politicizing public health.

The partnership denies any money was misspent. It does say the governor's lawsuit is putting it out of business, because that $20 million is tied up in court.

Its anti-smoking commercials have stopped running, billboards have been taken down and by next year, the school programs will end.

The governor has proposed his own plan: $5 million to the University of Mississippi's Cancer Research Institute, $5 million to state drug enforcement agents, $5 million to hire more school nurses who implement anti-smoking programs and just $5 million specifically to fight smoking for an anti-tobacco ad campaign targeting children.

"The health of Minnesota's kids is at risk for many factors," Barbour said in a statement, "whether it is cigarette smoking or exposure to illegal drugs."

Republicans in the state legislature agree Mississippi should control all Mississippi's tobacco money, but Senate leaders say the state still needs a focused anti-smoking campaign.

ALAN NUNNELEE, MISSISSIPPI STATE SENATE: The Senate's position is that we want to put this in the Department of Health. We want to ask them to be the lead agency, to be responsible and accountable for reducing smoking in the state.

The governor was going to fragment that through three or four different state agencies. I feel that you really do need to put one agency in charge.

GRIFFIN: The governor hasn't said whether he'll go along with the Senate plan or a competing House proposal.

While they all tangle over how to spend the tobacco money, the program that has been so effective in stopping smoking is shutting down.

MOORE: That was down in Florida.

GRIFFIN: The original dragon slayer of big tobacco is wondering where the billions of dollars in his record settlement has gone.

MOORE: Most states have taken their money, forgot about what the fight was about, and spent it on highways or a bad deficit that they might have or something else.

MATT MYERS, CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO FREE KIDS: It's a stung failure on the part of the state.

GRIFFIN: Last year, the National Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids estimated less than 2.7 percent of the tobacco money was actually used fighting tobacco addiction. The group's president says it's no coincidence an eight-year trend has ended.

MYERS: We're no longer seeing a decline in youth smoking rates.

MOORE: Everywhere in this country where they've tried a comprehensive tobacco prevention program, it has worked and worked very, very well. So why do we stop doing things that work?

GRIFFIN: Back in Mississippi, the state with the fourth highest smoking death rate has a decision to make about next year's fourth grade class. When school lets out, will the youngsters remember not to smoke or will the tobacco companies get the last word?

Drew Griffin, CNN, Jackson, Mississippi.


ROBERTS: "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.

In a moment, some answers in the poison pet food mystery about what's making cats and dogs deathly ill and how you can find out whether the food you've got is tainted.

Plus these stories.


ROBERTS (voice-over): Sometimes a story really grabs you.


ROBERTS: Anderson and Jeff Corwin, where saving endangered elephants is a contact sport.

Later, a woman slashed to death.

SELEMA DELEON, VICTIM'S AUNT: She's a baby who's come to this country to make a better life, and this is what happened.

ROBERTS: What happened and why her alleged killer was out on the street at all might make you wonder. Then again, it might also make you mad, when 360 continues.


ROBERTS: Anderson and wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin spent much of this week looking at the illegal wildlife trade in Southeast Asia. They showed us endangered manuals sold in open markets in Bangkok and slaughtered for profit in Myanmar.

Yesterday, they went to a rescue center in Cambodia, a visit that, for Jeff, ended in the hospital. Take a look.


COOPER (voice-over): He's only about a year and half old, but already, this Asian elephant has seen a lifetime of pain.

One of his feet is missing, ripped off, likely trying to escape a poacher's snare. A bloody stump is all that remains. He's found sanctuary here in Cambodia's Phnom Tamal (ph) rescue center. They call him Chupe (ph). He arrived some two weeks ago and is still badly malnourished and in great pain.

Conservationists with the Wildlife Alliance are trying to save him, but his wounds are serious. He may not survive.

(on camera) Once the veterinarians here sedate this young elephants, they use this blowgun to shoot a dart into him. It's the only way they can safely treat his wounds.

(voice-over) It takes about ten minutes for the sedative to take hold.

CORWIN: Is he going down?

This elephant is a wild creature. She would totally stress out if you tried to manhandle her. Plus, she is very, very strong. This elephant is weighing in at 500 pounds.

COOPER (on camera): And what are you doing now? You're peeling the skin off?

CORWIN: Basically just dressing the wound. And they have to do this every week, even if this wound is actually able to heal, the skin is able to overcome it. There's still serious issues with the joint, with the shoulder.

And again, this is a young animal, only weighs about 500 pounds. What is its physical state going to be in three or four years when it's weighing thousands of pounds?

COOPER: They've just given him a shot to reverse the effects of the sedative. They've bandaged the wound, make sure it's tight so the elephant is not able to just rip off the bandage when he wakes up.

Now this -- because of the shot, he should wake up in about ten minutes.

(voice-over) By the time Chupe (ph) comes to, he's clearly scared, but some fruit and affection calm him quickly.

A century ago, there were thousands of Asian elephants in this part of the world. Now, there are only hundreds. Elephants are social animals. Even those harmed by poachers or treated poorly can remain affectionate. And as we found out, they're curious towards people.

COOPER: They're smelling with it?

CORWIN: Absolutely, he's smelling you. And they have an incredibly heightened sense of smell. You know, this is called the snap.

All you have to say is uncle.

COOPER (voice-over): There are dozens of species at Phnom Tamal (ph), all of them victims to the black-market animal trade or habitat loss. These tigers were cubs when they were caught by a trafficker who tried to sell them on the black market.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wildlife trade is hugely cruel. And we see the results of it. And very, very badly injured animals, animals that have been in snares. We have to deal with that.

And it's run by very wealthy, very rich people. And it isn't poor, subsistence guys we're hitting. It's big wealthy traders, and it's a huge, huge traffic.

CORWIN: No, no, no!

COOPER: As you can see, not everything goes as planned when you're working with animals.

At the end of the day, we helped bathe the elephants in a nearby pond. Despite their traumatic experiences, they are incredibly playful.

But as Jeff himself had warned me, they don't know their own strength. Take a look at what happens. Watch Jeff's left arm.

CORWIN: The numbers -- ow!

COOPER: One of the elephants gets a hold of Jeff's arm with his mouth. It happened so fast, but it could have been much worse.

CORWIN: Elephants, despite their good nature, forget how strong they are and play a little rough. My arm got twisted. In the end, you can see where his muscle -- his mouth grabbed on to it right there and gave it a good twist.

I don't think it's broken. I think it's fine, maybe a little strained. And now I know what it's like to be a circus peanut going down the gullet of an elephant.

COOPER: Jeff was lucky. His arm is OK. The incident, though, is a reminder of the difficult position these animals are now in. Forced from their natural habitat, they're no longer wild, but they're certainly not tame. They've been separated from what they know and have to learn to survive in an ever shrinking world.


ROBERTS: Update for you, Jeff Corwin has a sore arm in a sling to hold it. Apparently, may have a couple of crushed tendon, perhaps a torn tendon. He'll get it checked out when he gets back stateside. No serious injuries, though. He's going to be fine, we're relieved to say.

And you can find out more on the story on the blog. Just go to Look around, even drop us a line.

Next up on 360, he was her alleged rapist. Now he's her accused killer. And some say the justice system is to blame, when 360 continues.


ROBERTS: All she wanted to do was tell the truth. For that, police say, someone took her life. Her family is certain of two things, who killed her, and who did nothing to stop it.

CNN's Jason Carroll has more on this troubling case.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Natasha Ramen's family used to look at her photos with pride, seeing a portrait of the American dream. The 20-year-old emigrated from Guyana, got married, and was studying to become a nurse.

Now, when they look at her pictures, they think of injustice. All they feel is sadness and anger.

DELEON: It's a hard thing to talk about.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's gone. She's 20 years old. It's not fair.

CARROLL: Last week, right here in front of her home, Ramen was murdered, her throat brutally slashed. Police arrested Hermant Megnath, who it turns out is the same man who was charged with raping Ramen two years ago. He was out on bail.

Ramen's family says Megnath killed her to prevent her from testifying against him.

DELEON: She's 20 years old. She's a baby, who comes to this country to make a better life, to go back to school, to make herself better, to support her family, and this is what happened.

CARROLL (on camera): Natasha Ramen's family says she was victimized by her attacker and by a judicial system that failed to protect her. And they say two district attorneys are to blame, one in Brooklyn and one in Queens.

(voice-over) After Megnath was charged with her rape, Ramen's family says he threatened them. Last October, police arrested him for harassment, but he was let go. A spokesman for the Queens district attorney says the family didn't pursue charges.

The Brooklyn's D.A.'s office received the information Megnath was harassing the family but did not ask the judge for higher bail, which the family says might have taken him off the streets.

DAVID BOOKSTAVER, NEW YORK STATE COURT SPOKESMAN: Judges cannot simply on their own, su aspante (ph), if you will, raise bail. That's -- the obligation of the district attorney's office is to raise the attention to the judge of a change of circumstance.

CARROLL: A spokesman for the Brooklyn D.A. told CNN that office would have no comment.

DELEON: I don't know what went wrong, but whatever went wrong is between the Brooklyn and Queens D.A.s office.

CARROLL: Ramen was buried today in her native Guyana.

DELEON: They failed her once. They failed her twice. And she's gone now. CARROLL: If convicted for her murder, Megnath faces life in prison. His attorney says Megnath maintains his innocence, but Ramen's loved ones say they hope the system doesn't fail her again.

Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.


ROBERTS: A tragic story.

Next up on 360, Simon says. The man behind "American Idol" tells us about the very, very intimate performance that he was asked to judge.

Speaking of judging, the results are in for "Inmate Idle". We'll have the jailbird finalists when 360 continues.





ROBERTS: Each week, millions of viewers tune into "American Idol". It's one of the most popular television shows of all time.

Much of its success comes from one man, Simon Cowell. He created "Idol". He's also the judge who brings contestants to tears, gets things thrown at him from time-to-time, as well.

Recently, Anderson interviewed Simon for "60 Minutes". We'll bring it to you in full on Monday, but for the moment, here's a preview.


COOPER (voice-over): Cowell's gotten used to private planes and constant attention. Wherever he goes, he attracts a crowd. And apparently, it's not just singers who want Cowell's critique.

(on camera) I read some story that people come up to you and ask you to criticize them.

SIMON COWELL, JUDGE, FOX'S "AMERICAN IDOL": I was once offered money to judge somebody in bed, yes, a couple.

COOPER: They wanted you to watch them in bed.


COOPER: And critique them?


COOPER: While they were making love?

COWELL: Yes. And I stupidly turned it down.

COOPER: How much did they offer you?

COWELL: About 100 grand. And I should have -- I should have taken the money, yes. Because it would be a much more interesting story now, other than I didn't.


ROBERTS: We're going to have that full story for you on Monday.

And just ahead on 360, they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So Simon Cowell, take notes. There's another "Idol" out there. This one is called "Inmate Idle" -- I-D-L-E. And the contestants are all serving time behind bars.

The final round of judging was tonight. Simon Cowell wasn't there, but Alice Cooper reportedly was. First, though, Erica Hill from Headline News joins us with the "360 Bulletin".

Hey, Erica.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: John, a chemical used in rat poison has been found in samples of recalled pet food produced by Menu Foods.

At least 16 cats and dogs that ate the food have died. The deaths led to a recall of 16 million cans and pouches of pet food sold under 95 brand names.

A complete list is posted online at Company officials say they don't know how that food became tainted.

U.S. stocks rose again today, fueled by an unexpected strength in home sales. The S&P 500 finished up at least 3.5 percent. That is the biggest weekly gain in four years.

The NASDAQ also rose 3.5 percent over the last five days. The Dow gained just over 3 percent.

In Chicago, authorities are investigating whether anyone tried to bribe or threaten the victim of a beating caught on tape to keep her from pressing charges. Police say the man shown punching her is an off-duty officer whom she purportedly refused to serve.

Investigators are also looking into whether police acted properly while arresting the suspect.

And finally, relatives of legendary escape artist Harry Houdini want his body exhumed to find out if he may have been poisoned. Houdini's death 80 years ago was attributed to a ruptured appendix, but an autopsy was never performed. And now a new biography suggests he may have been murdered by supporters of a religious movement popular at the time -- John. ROBERTS: Wow. You know, there's all this intrigue. But I'll tell you, if he gets up out of that grave, that will be the greatest escape ever. What do you think?

HILL: Indeed, it will.

ROBERTS: Erica, time now for "The Shot", once again from Maricopa County, Arizona. You're going to love this.

Last night, we showed you the finalists of "Inmate Idle". That's I-D-L-E. The contestants are all behind bars. Earlier tonight, the final six faced off in front of the judges, who included Alice Cooper and incredibly, Elvis himself, back from the grave.

HILL: Elvis made it? Wait. Maybe Houdini should be there.




ROBERTS: And in the end, the title went to -- well, let's just listen again.




ROBERTS: I wonder what Simon Cowell would say about that?

HILL: Oh, come on, it was so well-deserved, dawg.

ROBERTS: That's the worst I've heard. But who knows? This could be the start of something really big, Erica.

HILL: It could be. And to think we brought it to the people tonight.

ROBERTS: We showed it to you here first.

HILL: There you go.


Erica, thanks, have a good weekend.

HILL: Thanks, John. You, too.

ROBERTS: You know, you'd think you would have heard a lot more rap music. Rap sheet -- never mind.

Up next, Congress comes up with a deadline on Iraq.

And human sex slavery hiding in plain sight, a 360 exclusive, "Invisible Chains", next.



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