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Connecticut Police Find Missing 15-Year-Old Girl; Summer Meltdown Approaching?

Aired June 6, 2007 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.
The last year of her life is a mystery to everybody, except herself and perhaps the three people now in custody tonight, a 15- year-old girl found in a secret room almost a year after she vanished. What happened to her, and what happens now? We will have that story.

Also tonight: corruption on Capitol Hill, the battle in Congress over what happened to the lawmaker known as Dollar Bill Jefferson for the $90 grand investigators found in his freezer, more important, why, even if he's convicted of the 16 counts against him, you could still be paying for his pension. We're "Keeping Them Honest"

And brutal heat, killing heat -- why hot weather, droughts, and hurricanes may become a bigger part of our future, starting this summer.

We begin tonight with what happened in a house in West Hartford, Connecticut, what happened to this 15-year-old girl found locked in a tiny room behind a dresser beneath the stairs. That's what police are trying to find out right now. What happened to her since she vanished nearly a year ago?

Already, the details are unsettling -- more from CNN's Jason Carroll.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Initially, police believed she had run away, again. Danielle Cramer went missing about a year ago. She was troubled and had done it before.

Then investigators began to suspect foul play, so they questioned Adam Gault several times. Gault was a business associate of Cramer's family, and police say he had a history of having inappropriate relationships with young girls. Police thought the worst had happened to Cramer.

Finally, this morning, while serving a search warrant at Gault's home, everything they had thought suddenly changed.

CAPTAIN JEFFREY BLATTER, BLOOMFIELD, CONNECTICUT, POLICE DEPARTMENT: One of the investigators moved a large bookcase and found a concealed room that had been secured and locked, and found the juvenile inside.

CARROLL: The hidden room was beneath a staircase. Detectives say it did not appear Cramer had been living in the room.

Police arrested Gault, his common law wife, Ann Murphy, and another woman, Kimberly Cray. Investigators said little about how the teenager seemed after being missing for a year.

BLATTER: I don't want to get into the specifics of her demeanor. To judge how she is right now, under these circumstances, would be unfair. She's 14 years old, under the influence of a 40-year-old.

CARROLL: A neighbor who lives across the street from Gault says he never saw a girl at the home, but was suspicious of the man who lived there.

VLADIMIR ROZVADOVSKY, NEIGHBOR OF ADAM GAULT: The guy, he was really weird. Whenever he walked, he -- he would keep to himself. And he would be like slouched over.

CARROLL: Cramer lived about 10 miles away. No one answered the door at her family home. Authorities say they're just relieved that they found Cramer and found her alive.


COOPER: Jason, this is such a bizarre story.

What were the three people charged with?

CARROLL: Well, the suspects are charged with several charges, including reckless endangerment and unlawful restraint. The victim in this particular case, the 15-year-old girl, still has to undergo a physical examination.

And, Anderson, perhaps at the end of that examination, these suspects could be facing even more charges.

COOPER: And have we heard from the family at all?

CARROLL: We do have a producer out at the family home located not too far away from here. They have been very quiet, Anderson. Someone at the family home said through the door simply: We're not going to talk about it. We're not going to comment at this time.

So, we're still waiting to hear what this girl's family has to say about this extraordinary development.

COOPER: So, what is it -- at this point, we don't -- I mean, there's so much we don't know. What is it we don't know exactly? I mean, the circumstances she's been living with, that would be the main thing, correct?

CARROLL: Absolutely.

You know, there are so many things we would like to know about her relationship with this man, Gault, how he was able to convince her to stay here for such a long period of time. We would like to know more about what was going on in the house. We would like to know more about her family and what her family thinks of all of this -- so, still a lot more to know.

Perhaps we will know a little bit more as this story continues to unfold.

COOPER: All right.

CARROLL: Anderson.

COOPER: Well, certainly a lot there.

Jason Carroll, thanks very much.

Whatever happened to Danielle Cramer, at least she has a future. Not every story of a missing girl ends that way, of course.

When a surveillance camera caught Kelsey Smith being abducted near Kansas City over the weekend, her parents had reason to fear the worst. And, today, their fears were confirmed.

Reporting for us tonight, CNN's David Mattingly.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She left behind a vivid electronic trail that raised hopes that Kelsey Smith would soon be found. But she was not found alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She could walk into a room of strangers and walk out with a room full of friends.

MATTINGLY: The 18-year-old disappeared Saturday evening in Overland Park, Kansas. Cameras watched Smith walk into a store, make a purchase, then walk outside to her car. Then there was this poor- quality image from a camera outside.

Watch as this blurry figure approaches the young woman at her car. Police believe this is the very moment she was abducted. But what happened next? Kelsey's cell phone held the clues.

DETECTIVE MATTHEW BREGEL, OVERLAND PARK POLICE DEPARTMENT: With the time frame that we have in here, it appears that the cell phone was traveling. So, we are focusing here, where it hit twice.

MATTINGLY: Investigators were able to trace a series of pings, the moments Kelsey's phone made contact with nearby towers. This happens whenever a cell phone sends or receives a call.

In all, there were five pings from Kelsey's phone, all of them from people trying to reach her, the first two not far from the Target store where she was apparently abducted. The last came 46 minutes after she was taken, about 20 miles away, near the large public park where searchers found her body.

Police aren't prepared yet to name a suspect, but they still want to find this man, also captured on tape leaving the Target store. Could he be that indistinct figure on video approaching Kelsey in the parking lot?

JOHN DOUGLASS, OVERLAND PARK POLICE CHIEF: We continue to look for individuals who resemble the photograph of a person of interest. That person has not been locked down. We have talked to numerous people, but to assume that we have got the right person that we're talking to right now is not correct.

MATTINGLY (on camera): Police are also looking for a black Chevrolet pickup truck that was seen on tape parking in the same row near Kelsey Smith's car. Public tips are being encouraged. And police say they have received so far hundreds of calls.

(voice-over): The electronic trail of evidence in this case began with Kelsey Smith's last moments of freedom, and ended with the discovery of her body. Police now want to know if that same evidence can lead them to her killer.

David Mattingly, CNN, Atlanta.


COOPER: Well, the overwhelming majority of children reported missing are found safe and sound. Still, the numbers are troubling.

Here's the "Raw Data."

In the most recent year surveyed by the Justice Department, they estimate more than 58,000 kids were abducted by non-family members. Law enforcement was eventually notified of most of those abductions, but, rather strangely, in only 21 percent of the cases were the police told while the child was actually still missing.

Here's another number for you, 230 years. That is the sentence that Democratic Congressman William Jefferson of New Orleans could draw if convicted of all 16 federal counts, federal charges against him, corruption charges.

Remember him? Ninety thousand dollars was found in his freezer in $10,000 bundles camouflaged in frozen food packaging? Well, today, his colleagues voted to speed up the investigation that could make him an ex-congressman, but -- get this -- not without a fight, one that included allegations of Republican hypocrisy and questions about whether Democrats really meant what they said when they promised to clean up Washington.

CNN's Joe Johns tonight is "Keeping Them Honest."


JOE JOHNS, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A day after Bill Jefferson was indicted for bribery, freshman Democrats who ran against the so-called culture of corruption are fit to be tied.

REP. NANCY BOYDA (D), KANSAS: Did we mean it last November when we said we would change Congress, or were our words just mere election-year slogans? JOHNS: Republicans, who took a beating in the midterm elections because of congressmen on the take, are glad to have a Democrat on the rack.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: The Ethics Committee should reignite its investigation of Mr. Jefferson, find out whether he's violated rules of the House -- that's different than whether he violated laws -- and then, in fact, hold him accountable.

JOHNS: So, it seems pretty simple, right? Indictment equals expulsion. Don't count on it. Why? Because Jefferson hasn't been convicted of anything. He hasn't admitted anything either. He says he's not guilty. And it looks like he's digging in to fight.

Jefferson has even hired Monica Lewinsky's public-relations rep, Judy Smith, to help out with the message. And, anyway, it takes a two-thirds-majority vote to expel a member of the House. And Jefferson still has people who are quietly saying, don't rush to judgment.

Josephine Hearn covers the House for

JOSEPHINE HEARN, STAFF REPORTER, "THE POLITICO": There are people who are defending Bill Jefferson right now. There are some members of the Black Caucus. There are some members who are not in the Black Caucus. They're simply just good friends of Mr. Jefferson, or feel that we can't set a precedent here of expelling a member before they have actually been found guilty of something.

JOHNS (on camera): So, you, as the taxpayer, will keep paying Jefferson's salary as long as he stays in the House. And, as it stands now, when he leaves the House, taxpayers will pay his pension, too, even if he's convicted or pleads guilty and goes to jail. Shocking as it sounds, former members of Congress are cashing in from the big house.

REP. MARK KIRK (R), ILLINOIS: Last month, several former members of Congress cashed in their taxpayer-funded retirement checks from jail. After indictment and conviction beyond a shadow of a doubt, they are still paid each month by the taxpayers they betrayed.

JOHNS (voice-over): There is legislation to change that, but it's still a long way from final passage. So, for now, crime still pays, at least in the U.S. Congress.

Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Not only does it pay; it continues to pay.

Until that changes, you're paying for William Jefferson, if he's convicted, and a whole rogues' gallery of crooked congressmen. We picked up on this story back in January. For months, lawmakers have been promising to do something about it. We have been trying to hold them to their word. CNN's Drew Griffin tonight also "Keeping Them Honest."


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every single one of these former members of Congress either pleaded guilty to or was convicted of at least one serious crime. Yet, every one of them is estimated to be receiving that dollar amount next to their picture every year, their congressional pension based on their years in office, you, the taxpayers, paying the pension of crooks.

(on camera): Even if they take you out of Washington in handcuffs and throw you in prison, Congress still gets its pension.

(voice-over): Case in point, Randall "Duke" Cunningham -- he pleaded guilty to using his congressional office to accept bribes, kickbacks, money from the contractors he was voting to give government business.

Cunningham right now is sitting in this federal prison in North Carolina, and getting his government pension, an estimated $64,000 a year, sent to a congressional felon sitting in the can.

JOHN BERTHOUD, NATIONAL TAXPAYERS UNION: Cunningham has to be the classic example.

GRIFFIN: John Berthoud is president of the National Taxpayers Union. It's a watchdog lobbying group, mostly interested in cutting the size of government, cutting waste and cutting taxes.

Because federal pensions are secret, all of the figures you have seen in this report are estimates based on the Taxpayers Union's calculations. Berthoud can think of no better example of government waste than sending $64,000 a year to Duke Cunningham.

BERTHOUD: But all of us are still paying this guy $64,000 a year, roughly, while he sits in prison. And, you know, I think the vast majority of Americans think that that is really, really wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congressman, what are you going to tell the judge today?

GRIFFIN: And Cunningham is hardly alone.

JAMES TRAFICANT, FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: I'm not going to admit to crimes I did not do.

GRIFFIN: James Traficant, the Ohio congressman convicted of bribery and sentenced to eight years, is collecting an estimated $40,000 a year sitting in this federal prison in Minnesota.

Traficant and Cunningham didn't respond to our letters, and former Minnesota Congressman Dave Durenberger didn't want to talk to us either.

DAVE DURENBERGER, FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: The Department of Justice has charged me...

GRIFFIN: He pleaded guilty to fraud in 1995, did a year's probation, and paid a fine. Now we pay him an estimated pension of $86,000 a year.

(on camera): And who among the convicted felons of Congress is getting the most out of his retirement? That would be the guy who lives in this Chicago building and owns this car. Take a look at the license plate, retired member of Congress. That big "R" stands for the big guy, Chairman Daniel Rostenkowski, usually not shy about talking to the media, except when it comes to his estimated $126,000- a-year taxpayer funded pension.

(voice-over): The former chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee told us on the phone he has nothing to say. And, in fact, Rostenkowski, who was sent to prison for mail fraud, may have good reason not to answer his door.

Just a month ago, the state of Illinois used its felony conviction clause to take away the pension of former Governor George Ryan, who was convicted and sentenced to six-and-a-half years for mail fraud, money laundering, and extortion. But that's state law.

Under federal law, the only grounds for stripping a congressman of his pension is if he's convicted of treason. The National Taxpayers Union for years has been calling for a tougher conviction clause, a simple change says Taxpayers Union president Berthoud: If you are convicted of any felony while in office, you forfeit your right to get paid.

BERTHOUD: It's hard, unless maybe you're a member of Congress or a former member of Congress, for anybody to understand how on earth you could ask taxpayers to pay pensions for people like that.

GRIFFIN: Now two dozen watchdog groups have joined the campaign, sending this letter to the incoming Democrats who vowed to drain the swamp, asking them to at least drain the felons from the swamp.


COOPER: CNN's Drew Griffin looking out for your money tonight.

Just ahead: the immigration battle, raw emotions and "Raw Politics" in Spanish.

Also tonight, these stories:


COOPER (voice-over): They want your vote. They're trying to speak your language.








COOPER: Democrats and Republicans may be using similar words to get to the White House, but we will look at what they're really saying about the issues that Americans care about.

Also tonight, get ready for extreme weather, and get used to it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now I realize that normal is just a cycle on a washing machine. We're no longer living in a normal world.

COOPER: From record drought to, killer heat, to monster storms, how forecasters say the world is changing, and how it could change your life -- 360 tonight.



COOPER: Well, tonight, we have a much clearer picture of what the battle for the 2008 White House might look like. We have the debates in New Hampshire to thank for that.

On Sunday, of course, it was the Democrats, last night, the Republicans, same stage, same state, 18 presidential hopefuls trying to stand out from the crowd -- not easy.

What did stand out most, however, was the differences between the parties.

With that, here's CNN's John King.


JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): First, eight Democrats, then 10 Republicans, two New Hampshire debates, and two very different approaches.

SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D-DE), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ladies and gentlemen, you're going to end this war when you elect a Democratic president.

KING: Most striking is the Iraq divide. All of the Democrats favor reducing troop levels immediately. All of the leading Republicans call that a recipe for disaster. GIULIANI: Iraq is part of the overall terrorist war against the United States. The problem the Democrats make is, they're in denial.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is long and hard and tough. But I think we can succeed.

KING: The Democrats are more in tune with overall public opinion on Iraq, but the primaries come first.

ANDREW SMITH, POLLING DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE: Republicans in New Hampshire, the voters, are still behind Bush and they're still behind support for the war.

KING: The big immigration proposal before Congress is another dividing line.

ROMNEY: And what it allows is people who have come here illegally to stay here for the rest of their lives.

OBAMA: I think most Americans will support that if they have some sense that the border is also being secured.

KING: Senator John McCain is the immigration exception. He sides with the Democrats in favoring a compromise he concedes is far from perfect.

MCCAIN: It's our job to do the hard things.

KING: More differences on pocketbook issues.

CLINTON: I'm thrilled that the universal health care is back on the national agenda.

EDWARDS: I would pay for it by getting rid of Bush's tax cuts for people who make over $200,000 a year.

RICHARDSON: Number one, my plan is mandatory.

KING: To Republicans, all that adds up to higher taxes and bigger government.

GIULIANI: What the Democrats suggested on this stage two nights ago was socialized medicine.

KING: Not one of the Republicans raised his hand when asked if gay Americans should be allowed to serve openly in the military. The leading Democrats have a different view.

CLINTON: Barry Goldwater once said, you don't have to be straight to shoot straight. And I think he was right.

KING: The Democrats were much more personal in taking issue with each other, to the point that the front-runner tried to change the focus.

CLINTON: This is George Bush's war. He is responsible for this war. He started the war. He mismanaged the war. He escalated the war. And he refuses to end the war.

KING: Two nights later, Senator McCain took issue with that, along the way, hoping to show Republicans he's up to debating Senator Clinton, if it comes to that.

MCCAIN: What Senator Clinton doesn't understand, that presidents don't lose wars; political parties don't lose wars. Nations lose wars. And nations lose the -- have the consequences of failure.



COOPER: John King joins us now, along with conservative analyst Amy Holmes and Democratic strategist Lisa Caputo.

Amy, during the debates, you know, we saw the stark contrast on Iraq between the two parties. If the situation, though, doesn't improve on the ground, how much are the Republicans completely linked to that?

AMY HOLMES, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, Senator Mitch McConnell, who is the minority leader of the Senate Republicans, has said that, if -- if the situation does not improve, we're going to need to see changes.

But I think one of the contrasts you saw between the Republicans and the Democrats is that, last night, Republicans talked about the consequences of Iraq withdrawal, what will happen, what is the Middle East policy in a more holistic approach.

What you heard Democrats talking about was timetables, withdrawal, without even addressing what would be the regional impact of those decisions.

COOPER: Lisa, do you buy that?

LISA CAPUTO, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Actually, I differ slightly.

I think, Anderson, the fundamental difference here is on Iraq. And that is a central issue in this election. And I think that what you're seeing is, the Democrats absolutely do not want to prolong the war. They want to get out altogether. And that's where the American public is.

And what you saw last night was, I think, all of the Republican candidates distancing themselves from the president, not talking specifics. And, quite frankly, I think that they're in a bind, and looking to have an arm's length from the president.

COOPER: John King, distancing themselves from the president, but, at the same time, they are very linked to the president on Iraq.

KING: Of course they are, Anderson. And the distance came in looking back, if you will, saying the president, after the fall of Saddam Hussein, did a horrible job managing the war, didn't have the right number of troops. They

They didn't get into it in great detail, but they said badly managed the war. But they are with the president from this point forward, saying they support the increase in troop levels, and they think it would be a disaster to pull out of Iraq now. They all say they want to get the troops out as soon as possible.

But their threshold is essentially the same as the president's, a stable central government in Iraq that can take over most of the security responsibilities. So, they might not like the way the president got them to this point, but they are linked with him from here on out.

COOPER: Lisa, we heard God talked about a lot on the stage last night, did not hear it from -- during the Democratic debate nearly as much. We heard it from the Sojourners event the night -- the night after.

Are Democrats still wary of -- of speaking so openly about God?

CAPUTO: I think they are, in many respects, Anderson.

I mean, when you look back on the previous election, and you peel back the exit polls, God, gays and guns was a defining factor in the last election. And I think there's a bit of a reticence here to wearing it on your sleeve.

And I think you saw Senator Clinton, the night after the debate, talk about her own faith and spirituality. And -- and I think it's -- it's a very delicate line one has to walk.

COOPER: It's interesting, Amy, you know, comparing the Democrats' response to the gays-in-the-military question and the Republican' response to gays in the military. I mean, you could not get any different responses.

Is that going to become, you know, one of those wedge issues, one of those issues which is brought up in this election, as it was, you know, in past elections?

HOLMES: You know what? I don't think so, Anderson.

I think both parties would prefer for that issue to go away. And, actually, last night, I was surprised by how Republicans really wanted to get away from it. They just wanted to say the policy, as it is, is working. They talked about, you know, the code of ethics for the military. They really did not want to be discussing whether or not homosexuals and lesbians should be out or not serving in the military whatsoever.

But, actually, that question, to me, created one of the most sort of bizarre responses from Mitt Romney, is that he actually offered up another example of him flip-flopping. He said that he was against the don't-ask/don't-tell policy when Wolf asked him about him previously supporting gays serving openly, and then he said, but now I'm for it. Now I think it's the right policy. So, I -- I thought that was strange, that he handed ammunition to more conservative candidate -- opposition in his party.

COOPER: Lisa, do you buy that it's not going to become a wedge issue coming down the pike?

CAPUTO: I actually think it will become an issue in this election. And I think that's why you saw the Democrats, almost in unison, don't ask, don't tell was a first step, a transitional policy, but we need to go further.

And, last night, you saw the Republicans really not want to touch it with a 10-foot pole.

COOPER: John, is that -- is -- the Democrats doing that because they think the country has changed from back when this issue was in the forefront, or is it -- is it politics?

KING: Well, the Democrats are doing it right now because, A, they believe in that position. But, B, they believe it is the best place for them to be in the primary election season, because of the liberal base of the party.

But I think what was most striking about those answers, Anderson, on the Republican side is, George Bush ran every time, including the midterm elections, to the base. Run a base campaign, turn out your base supporters, that was the Bush-Karl Rove formula for victory. That formula collapsed in 2006.

And you heard Mayor Giuliani, Senator McCain, and Governor Romney last night saying, I can do what Ronald Reagan did. I can reach out to independent voters and conservative Democrats.

Those three leading Republican candidates clearly think that the win -- to win next time, you can't only rely on your base. You're going to have to win in the middle. That's why they don't want to talk about things like gays in the military.

COOPER: All right. We're going to leave it there.

Lisa Caputo, Amy Holmes, John King, thanks.


COOPER: Join us for our next debate. It is the first one where all of you get to submit your questions to the candidates through our debate partners YouTube and It's going to take place next month in South Carolina. We will have more details in the days and weeks ahead.

Right now, Erica Hill joins us now with a 360 bulletin -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a sad milestone in Iraq. The death toll for American troops now tops 3,500 -- the military announcing four more deaths today, to bring that total to 3,501, this as a spike in sectarian violence continues in Baghdad. In the first six days of June, police have found 167 bodies across the city.

Strong words from former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev -- in an interview with CNN, he blasted U.S. plans to build a missile defense shield in Europe, warning it could usher in a new Cold War. Over the weekend, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he may aim nuclear weapons at European targets if that shield is built. Putin and President Bush are in Germany, where the G8 Summit began today.

A cyclone is bearing down on southeastern Iran, after battering the coast of Oman, where thousands were forced from their homes and oil installations were shut down. Cyclones are pretty rare in the Middle East. This one is expected to make landfall, Anderson, late Thursday, so, everybody keeping an eye on that one.

A lot of people keeping an eye on this next one, too. It's the "What Were They Thinking?" portion of our show now. And the logo for the 2012 London Olympics unveiled this week.

Take -- first, take a look at it.


HILL: There -- yes.


HILL: Busting out into the logo.

Now, in case you can't tell...

COOPER: Not since the "What is it?" has so much excitement been building.

HILL: I mean, it's true. I mean, "What is it?" really was a fine piece of mascot there.

The four jagged pieces are, of course, supposed to represent the numbers 2012. But the people, it turns out they are not feeling it. More than 40,000 have now signed an online petition. They want a new design. Olympic organizers call the logo modern and flexible. Critics, they say it's hideous, among other things.

And it reminded some folks of something we have seen before. You see a resemblance there with the MTV logo, some of the movements? No? Maybe a little?

COOPER: Not to this band, certainly.

HILL: Not to the band. That was Michael Jackson.


HILL: So, I don't really see a resemblance there.

There are some friends of ours, the 2004 Athens Olympics.

COOPER: OK. There you go. Yes.

HILL: Yes.


COOPER: I kind of like those ones.

HILL: I think they're kind of sweet, actually.


HILL: They look very welcoming, don't they?


HILL: They're cute. Yes.


HILL: Yes.

It turns, by the way, out things got a little worse in London yesterday. They actually had to remove the animated promotion for the logo from the Web site, because of concerns it was triggering epileptic seizures.

COOPER: Oh, no. You're kidding?

HILL: No, I'm serious.

No word yet on whether it will actually get a makeover.

But I have one last thing to show you.


HILL: One London woman says she has got two alternatives. One was reportedly drawn by a monkey, the other by a blind woman.


HILL: So, really, a lot of love for the 2012 logo right now, huh?

COOPER: There you go.

HILL: Yes.

COOPER: Well, we will see what happens.

Erica, thanks.

Now here's Kiran Chetry with what's coming up tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KIRAN CHETRY, CO-HOST, "AMERICAN MORNING": Anderson, what if your property suddenly became sacred ground? Well, the owner of the land in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, is now taking donations, trying to get $10 million for his land to build the memorial to Flight 93. Some say he's gone over the line, but others say it's his land to sell.

We are going to take a look at both sides tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING." It all begins 6:00 a.m. Eastern -- Anderson, back to you.


COOPER: Up next on the program tonight, "Raw Politics": the next steps on the presidential campaign trail. Who is keeping a key stop, and who is preparing for a fight?

Also ahead: sun, smog, and sprawl. Thought your summer last year was hot? Wait until you hear what is expected this time around.


COOPER: A couple days after what most political analysts considered a pretty good showing at the CNN sponsored debate in New Hampshire, Barack Obama has not slowed down. Today he gave a speech at Hampton University Ministers Conference in Virginia.

In it he talked largely about bringing hope to places where there is none. But he also said something else that really caught our ear. He talked about Hurricane Katrina and how after disasters after it, the government and everyone else pretty much moves on.

And then he said this...


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And nothing really changes except the news coverage quiets down, and Anderson Cooper moves on to something else.


COOPER: Now I got to tell you, we were surprised to hear the senator say that, because with all due respect, Senator Obama, unlike everyone else in the media except NBC, we have not moved on to something else.

We spent nearly five weeks along the Gulf Coast in the dark days after Katrina, and since then, we've anchored around 20 programs from there, easily more than any other national newscast.

We made a promise not to forget, not to move on, and we're honoring that promise. We continue to.

Now, some viewers and, in fact, much of the country may say they have Katrina fatigue, but we think the only people who have a right to be fatigued are the people in Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast who are still trying to rebuild, still waiting for help and still hoping to move back home.

We will continue to visit New Orleans and Mississippi, telling the people's stories and keeping politicians honest about the promises they've made and the promises that they have not kept.

And we will be back there soon. And when we go, we'd like to invite you, Senator Obama, to join us. We hope you will.

Clearly, the New Hampshire debates are history, for now anyway. Like Obama, the 2008 presidential candidates are moving on to their next campaign stops.

That's where "Raw Politics" begins tonight. Here's CNN's Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Anderson, the front runners are running through the field of Iowa, and who knows where they will stop?

(voice-over) Hey, no straw for some of the big Republicans. First Rudy Giuliani said he is skipping the Iowa straw poll this summer. And after hearing that, John McCain said now he's out, too.

This informal vote by Republicans in the Hawkeye State has long helped decide which candidates should go on and which ones should go home. Both men, however, say they will take part in the Iowa caucus later.

Out front for the Dems, Hillary Clinton has a new campaign director in Iowa, bracing for a full-on turf war with her rivals.

The "Law & Order" watch. Fred Thompson has a brand new web site. OK, it's not much. But other Republicans are being pelted with questions about it.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think Fred Thompson is a great potential candidate. Talk about a Hollywood aura.

FOREMAN: Talk about dragging out your entrance. Still no word on whether Thompson will join the race.

(on camera) Wink.

(voice-over) A big hairy deal over immigration. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to shut down debate on the new immigration measure this week. Republicans want more time, threatening to filibuster. But Reid says, let's go, up or down, right now.

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: This is a bill that will never, ever make a majority of the Republicans happy. It doesn't matter what we do.

FOREMAN: Expect fireworks either way the vote goes.

And pardon my Spanish.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ): Well, first of all, mucho gracias.

FOREMAN: Univision, the nation's largest Spanish TV network has invited all the presidential candidates to attend debates in September, in Spanish. If they want a translator, they can have one. But the big candidates will likely avoid the whole thing.

(on camera) Yes, they would like Latino votes. But there's just a little bit too much risk in this kind of thing, even for those who play (speaking Spanish). That's "Raw Politics" -- Anderson.


COOPER: Tom, thanks.

Don't miss "Raw Politics" and today's headlines with the 360 daily podcast. You don't need an iPod. You can watch it on your computer at Or get it from the iTunes store where it is a -- a top download.

Straight ahead tonight, a summer forecast so hot it is downright chilling.


COOPER (voice-over): Get ready for extreme weather and get used to it.

BILL PATZERT, NASA CLIMATOLOGIST: Now I realize that normal is just a cycle on a washing machine. We're no longer living in a normal world.

COOPER: From record drought to killer heat to monster storms, how forecasters say the world is changing and how it could change your life.

Plus, the lunge that could have changed history. We'll show you the target and tell you what happened to the man who made a leap at faith. That's "The Shot", ahead on 360.



COOPER: Coming up in our next hour, Andrew Speaker and his wife will join us. The man who set off a worldwide health scare testified today at a Senate hearing from his hospital room in Denver, where he's being treated for a dangerous form of TB. He was also a guest on "LARRY KING LIVE" via satellite.

Speaker is adamant. He says the CDC officials did not tell him he was a threat to others, including his family, when they met with them before he flew overseas. Take a look.


ANDREW SPEAKER, TB TRAVELER: If I was a threat to anyone, long before even a consideration of putting strangers in jeopardy, wouldn't I have made sure that my own daughter and my wife were not in jeopardy? And my parents, my father and my father-in-law at that meeting, would they have let me put their lives in jeopardy, if they had said, "You're a risk to your family"?

They never said any of that. And if they're going to say now that I was a threat, then they should have said that a long time ago so I could protect my wife and my child.


COOPER: That's not how the CDC remembers it now. We'll have more on both sides of the story in the next hour of 360.

First, some new video just in to CNN. A tornado touching down about five miles near the town of Kyle, South Dakota, near Rapid City. Not many details so far about any damage or injuries, if there is any. But look at that image. There are tornado warnings and watches up tonight all across the state.

We'll keep watching that.

You might want to get ready for more of the same, as well as a whole menu of other kind of extreme weather this summer. Tonight, with President Bush and other world leaders meeting to talk about global warming, we're taking a look at the potential effects here at home. We're calling our coverage "Summer Meltdown".

CNN's Randi Kaye has that grim forecast.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Southern Californians call it the perfect storm: extreme heat, dry brush, power and lots of it. This summer, conditions are ripe.

(on camera) Paint the picture for me of what this summer is going to look like.

PATZERT: It's going to be dry. It's going to be fiery. It's going to be smoggy. And it's going to be steamy.

KAYE (voice-over): Bill Patzert is a climatologist for NASA. He looks at the past to predict the future. Analyzing the last 100 years of California temperatures, Patzert found daytime averages jumped five degrees. Nighttime averages, seven degrees.

PATZERT: We're no longer living in a normal world. We're living in a warmer world.

KAYE: So warm, Patzert says, annual extreme heat days, those over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, have multiplied by 12. Each summer brings three to five more heat waves.

PATZERT: Our summers have turned into scorchers.

KAYE: Last summer here, temperatures soared well above 100 degrees. The power grid collapsed in some areas, like the ever- expanding inland empire of San Bernardino Valley. In all, more than a million customers had no electricity for more than a week.

This is Southern California Edison's war room.

The company is already cranking out nearly 23,000 mega watts. One mega watt powers 650 homes. But mega homes being built in hotter inland areas are draining the system.

PATZERT: All this population, urban and suburban, industrial development has definitely done an extreme makeover on the surface of southern California.

KAYE: The result: dominoes falling. More ozone trapped in the atmosphere, more smog and with the brush literally baking, more fires. Eight hundred acres of L.A.'s Griffith Park burned in May. A fire on Catalina Island burned that week.

L.A. County Fire Chief John Todd says the brush fire season, which used to be a few months, is now year round.

(on camera) So this certainly is an area of concern.

CHIEF JOHN TODD, L.A. COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT, FORESTRY DIVISION: Well, when you've got this kind of vegetation like this, with all these small twigs and all this -- all these leaves and stuff, you have a lot of surface area.

And not only is it dry, just like we were talking about, it's like kindling. And if you get wind on this, this will just basically explode, and the fire will move through this very easily.

KAYE: And there's more bad news. Infectious disease experts suggest extreme heat this summer could bring tropical diseases to Southern California. The flu, which circulates year round in the tropics, could do the same here.

And mosquitoes, look out. They like to bite at night, and the warm nighttime temperatures could keep them very busy. Not exactly life at the beach.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Los Angeles.


COOPER: Up next, another weather woe. Extreme drought has turned tens of thousands of acres of farmland brown. The hardest hit areas haven't seen enough rain for seven summers. People there say their livelihood is literally being sucked dry, and no one is paying attention. That story, next.


COOPER: More now on the scorching heat the U.S. is expected to face in the months ahead. Take a look at this map.

The highlighted areas of America are experiencing abnormally dry conditions or are suffering through droughts, some extreme. As you can see, it's a widespread crisis. It is growing.

One of the hardest areas is in South Dakota, where livelihoods and lives are literally wasting away.

CNN's Gary Tuchman continues our "Summer Meltdown" report.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It has happened right before their eyes. Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln have been watching this part of South Dakota turn brown.

For seven straight summers, the southwestern part of South Dakota has been in a drought, and the forecast for this summer is it will only get worse. Ranchers are struggling.

JOE FALKENBURG, RANCHER: Well, I haven't taken a long walk with my rifle one way, but it occasionally crosses a person's mind. It's depressing.

TUCHMAN: Joe Falkenburg and his family own a 60,000-acre ranch in Fall River County on South Dakota's border with Nebraska and Wyoming.

The family makes their living selling beef cattle, but the drought has left the grass barely growing, so the cattle are hungry.

This photo shows the way a dam on the ranch used to look. Now the dam is empty, so the cattle get thirsty. It all means the cows don't grow as much.

(on camera) Before the drought, a typical calf would weigh 600 pounds?

FALKENBURG: Six hundred, 650, somewhere around there.

TUCHMAN: And how much is the typical calf weighing now.

FALKENBURG: Five fifty, probably would be more like it.

TUCHMAN: So you're losing 100 pounds.


TUCHMAN: Which is almost 20 percent of your income.

FALKENBURG: That's right.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): The rancher has hundreds fewer cattle than he used to have, because he can no longer feed all of them. Joe, his wife Sarah, their children and grandchildren, can barely make a living.

FALKENBURG: I think this is our Katrina. Seriously, we're a small group of people, but we're just as affected.

TUCHMAN: The government's drought map shows many areas of the country dangerously dry. But East of the Mississippi, summer improvement is expected. But in much of the west it's not.

More dangerous wildfires are feared in Southern California, where the large population leads to a lot of attention. In sparsely populated South Dakota, not much national attention.

FALKENBURG: Yes, it seems like we're a forgotten people.

TUCHMAN: So you might not have heard about this. These are prairie dogs. In a drought, these rodents can get away from predators more easily in the short grass, so there are a lot more of them. They end up building mounds with huge holes in the ground, making ranchers' and farmers' land look like crater filled moonscapes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Once you put cattle in a pasture that has those prairie dogs, the time you can leave them there is drastically reduced, because the prairie dogs all consume the grass the cows would have used.

TUCHMAN (on camera): It's been more than four weeks since a drop of rain fell on this ranch. The forecast for the next seven days, grim. And this is the rainy season.

(voice-over) State agriculture experts don't exactly have inspirational words for the people in this part of South Dakota.

MARK FANNING, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY: This is the end of the line. It's that critical.

TUCHMAN: The Falkenburgs are trying to cut costs but still worry whether they can make it if the drought continues.

FALKENBURG: We've been praying a lot. That serious, we have had some prayers. Guess we'll see.

TUCHMAN: What they'd like to see is rain.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, Fall River County, South Dakota.


COOPER: And let's hope they get it.

Still ahead on the program tonight, more on that story in Connecticut. A teenage girl found after spending nearly a year locked in a secret room under a staircase. We're going to have a live report.

But first, some frightening moments for the pope when a man tries to jump into the Popemobile. That's our "Shot of the Day", next.


COOPER: "Shot of the Day" is coming up. Some tense moments for the pope and his security detail. But first Erica Hill from Headline News joins us for the "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Anderson, a major step forward tonight for stem cell research. Three independent teams of scientists have found a way to get ordinary skin cells in mice to behave like stem cells.

Now, it's still uncertain whether it can actually be done with humans cells. But if it can, scientists believe the research will lead to medical breakthroughs but not the controversial destruction of embryos.

On Capitol Hill, the head of the FDA under fire from some members of Congress. The agency is accused of not doing enough to study the alleged heart attack risks associated with the diabetes drug Avandia. The chief says the FDA did conduct, quote, "rigorous post marketing surveillance" but acknowledges the study was not specifically designed for heart attacks.

Five Ford vehicles earning top quality awards in a new survey by J.D. Power and Associates. They are the Mustang, Mercury Milan, Lincoln MKZ, Lincoln Mark LT and the Mazda MX5.

As to the overall best brand, that's Porsche for the second year in a row.

And a new federal government report shows those trendy roller sneakers are responsible for 1,600 E.R. visits last year, so parents, might want to keep that in mind.

COOPER: I'm not going to wear the roller sneakers anymore. And I thought it was Porsche...

HILL: Or you could just do it safely.

COOPER: I didn't know it was Porsh-uh.

HILL: See, here's the thing. I'll be honest. I never really knew. I thought Porsh-uh was the full name, and the cool people just said Porsche. But, you know, what do I know?

COOPER: Is it Target or Tar-jay, you know?

HILL: It's Target in my book.

COOPER: Yes, my book, as well.


COOPER: Here's the "Shot of the Day". Pope Benedict was making his way through the Vatican today in this open vehicle, the Popemobile, heading to St. Peter's Square for his weekly address, when that guy lunged at him.

HILL: Woo!

COOPER: A photographer caught the attacker in mid leap. He's said to be a German man with a history of mental illness. He was unarmed. The Swiss Guard wrestled him to the ground and is now being -- the guy is now being held in a local hospital. Could have been much worse.

HILL: Scary stuff.


HILL: By the way, I'm not making light of this Popemobile incident, but it's not a Porsche.

COOPER: It's not a Porsche? It's a Porsh-uh.

HILL: In case you were wondering.

COOPER: I didn't know.

HILL: No, the Popemobile itself.


HILL: I'm just going to shut up now and let you do your show.

COOPER: Please. All right. OK, got to go.

We want you to send us your "Shot" ideas. If you see some amazing video, tell us about it: We'll put some of your best clips on the air.

Up next on our next hour, an incredible twist in the case of a missing teenager. Where she was found alive nearly a year after she vanished.

Also ahead, police investigating the abduction of this teen make a major discovery. Is the mystery finally solved?

And the TB traveler tells his side of the story. Andrew Speaker and his wife will join us live, next.


COOPER: You're watching the only live newscast on cable right now.

Tonight, the hidden room that police discovered in a house in Connecticut and the missing girl they found inside it, a girl missing since last June.

Also, Andrew Speaker and his wife join us live. Hear what they've got to say about his deadly disease, why he traveled around the world with it, and why he's taking exception to what health officials are saying about his actions.

Plus, faith and politics. Why Democrat or Republican debates these days are sounding a lot more like revival meetings.

We begin tonight with today's discovery of a teenager, missing for almost a year, in a house in West Hartford, Connecticut. Frankly, there are more questions right now than answers tonight. And the early answers are disturbing. Two adults are in custody tonight, and one child is safe.

Late developments now from CNN's Jason Carroll.


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