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Illegals for Hire; American Nightmare; McCain's Troubles; Ethanol Fuelishness?; Wolves to the Rescue; British Invasion

Aired July 13, 2007 - 23:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Also, a new look at ethanol made from American corn. Some are saying it's the answer to fighting and dying in the Middle East and paying big bucks at the pump for imported oil. But do the facts really support the hype? Tonight, you will find out.
We begin right now with illegal immigration and something all of us have to do when we apply for a job, show some I.D. that proves we're supposed to be in the country.

Yet, every year, millions of illegal aliens get jobs from companies large and small with missing or bogus documents. That sad record has now prompted lawmakers in Arizona to crack down on employers.

Two questions, though -- will it work? And, if it does, will the cure be worse than the disease?

CNN's Thelma Gutierrez tonight "Keeping them Honest."


THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With its long border, Arizona is at the center of the immigration debate.

A new state law means a business can be shut down if an illegal worker is found on the payroll.

REP. RUSSELL PEARCE (R), MESA: Enough's enough. The greatest enforcement tool we have are going after those businesses who -- who -- who cheat.

GUTIERREZ: But some Arizona business owners say that logic makes no sense.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a sad situation.

GUTIERREZ: Like Nan and Dick Walden, who run the largest pecan farm in the country. They say there's no way to guarantee that every employee is legal, and believe the law will lead to discrimination.

NAN STOCKHOLM WALDEN, PECAN GROWER: One of the first things that will happen is that employers will be afraid to hire people with Hispanic surnames. There's a -- there's a perfect consequence of a stupid law, and that would be very detrimental to our economy and to the many legal American citizens who happen to be of Hispanic descent. GUTIERREZ: One out of every four people in Arizona is Hispanic.

JASON LEVECKE, BUSINESS OWNER: When I heard this bill was proposed, I couldn't believe that they were serious. It's -- it's -- it's anti-Hispanic. It's anti-immigrant. It's anti-business.

GUTIERREZ (on camera): Business owners warn there will be an economic backlash to this law.

The owner of this franchise was about to open 45 new stores right here in Arizona, but now he says those plans have been scrapped.

(voice-over): Jason Levecke has 66 franchise restaurants in Arizona. He employs 1,200 people. He says he only hires employees with documents. But he worries that, if one illegal worker slips through the cracks, his business could be shut for 10 days. A second offense could get his business license revoked.

LEVECKE: There's no logic to it. It's going to destroy our economy.

GUTIERREZ: But Representative Russell Pearce, who authored the law, says it's Arizona's illegal immigrants who are destroying the economy.

PEARCE: Two billion dollar a year just in K through 12 for -- to educate illegal alien children and the children of illegal aliens.

GUTIERREZ: But that's not the whole picture. The real cost is just under $1.5 billion for health, education and a portion of law enforcement costs. So says a new study by the Udall Center for Public Policy at the University of Arizona.

And here's the other perspective -- the economic output of all those non-citizens far exceeds those costs. It's $29 billion.

STOCKHOLM WALDEN: We all came from somewhere else, unless we were Native American. I mean, my -- my grandparents came from Scandinavia. The -- the contribution of foreign workers in this country has always been important and vital.

GUTIERREZ: Pearce says his law is about saving Arizona's economy and protecting American jobs.

PEARCE: Wages are suppressed. Jobs are taken away from Americans.

GUTIERREZ: "Keeping them Honest," we looked at that, too. Truth is, Arizona's economy is booming, and unemployment here is below the national average, at 3.6 percent. In other words, employers will tell you, workers are hard to find.

Ask Sheridan Bailey. He runs a multimillion-dollar steel manufacturing business.

SHERIDAN BAILEY, BUSINESS OWNER: We're paying 35 percent more for structural steel fitters this year than what we were paying last year.

GUTIERREZ: He says he pays his steel fitters $20 an hour, with benefits, hardly cheap labor. And, yet, he says he has a hard time finding enough workers.

BAILEY: We've advertised on the Web. We have run ads in the newspaper. I have called relatives in Ohio.

GUTIERREZ: Bailey says, without a labor pool, and with the threat of employer sanctions, he may not be able to grow his business in Arizona.

BAILEY: We're looking at relocation into Mexico. We have looked at outsourcing in Canada, where they have better laws.

GUTIERREZ: If Bailey goes, he takes 85 jobs with him.

Thelma Gutierrez, CNN, Phoenix, Arizona.


COOPER: Joining me now is Arizona's House Speaker Jim Weiers.

Speaker Weiers, thanks for being with us.

You heard there business owners complaining about this bill, some saying they're going to have to relocate to New Mexico or not open up new businesses.

What do you say to them? Are you worried at all about a negative economic effect this bill will have on the business community?

JIM WEIERS (R), ARIZONA HOUSE SPEAKER: No. Arizona is one of the -- in fact, it is the fastest growing state right now in the union. And there's a reason for that.

And it's not because of cheap labor and hiring illegals. It's because of the climate for business. And it's also the weather. And, as the people come into the state, those jobs will be able to be absorbed by the new people coming in.

COOPER: Representative Russell Pearce in the piece was saying that this bill is about protecting American jobs. But unemployment rates in Arizona are really low, far below the national average.

WEIERS: They are, but as I have stated, the fastest growing state right now. People are coming in by the thousands every day. And those jobs that are going to be vacated because you hire illegals, they'll be able to be taken up by the people coming in.

COOPER: This is, of course, is already a law on the books the federal government has. Are they simply not enforcing it?


WEIERS: No, they're not enforcing it. And there's severability within the federal law that says states can come back and enforce. And the only way that we can do it is to be able to take something that has been granted by the state. And that's the business license.

COOPER: So -- so, how is it going to work? One business owner was saying, if he makes one mistake, his business could be shut for 10 days. How does someone actually go through the process of checking whether their worker is legal or not?

WEIERS: No. Within the bill and the law that was signed in by the governor, there's a basic pilot program that is required. Once you have done that, and you get a clean bill of health, you have no -- no reason to worry.

COOPER: What does that mean, a basic pilot program? What do you actually have -- what does a business have to do?

WEIERS: It's -- it's on the Web. It's based on the Internet. It's been run by the federal government for years. It basically matches up the name and Social Security numbers. And, once they give you an OK, you don't have a problem with it.

Also, under federal law, I believe that, if you have hired somebody, you cannot come back in through the basic program. So, if you have got documentation that shows that they are legal, you have got the I-9s, you have got the Social Security numbers, these people are not going to be at risk.

And, again, this is that you have got to be shown to have done it knowingly and willfully. And somebody who makes a mistake simply because of fraudulent documentation is not going to be harmed. It goes through the courts. It's not an admin judge. We have done everything that we can to make sure that businesses are not harmed in this.

But we still have to keep clear that the law is the law, and if you are not going to follow the law, then do away with it. But, if you are going to have the law, let's enforce it.

COOPER: Critics of this will say, look, this is anti-Hispanic. This could end up hurting legal citizens as well, that -- that -- that businesses are going to be more closely looking at people with a Hispanic last name.

WEIERS: You know, the only color that is involved in this is black and white, and that's right and wrong. If you're going to follow the law, do it. And, if not, when you put it into the system, it has absolutely nothing to do with the last name. It has to do with Social Security numbers and the names that -- and the addresses and the information put with it.

So, lots of Hispanic surnames in Arizona, certainly lots of people here legally. But you have got a number of people that have come in that are doing what they're doing, as far as working, they're illegally hired. And there's a lot of people out here who are hiring illegally. It's not fair to the companies that do everything they're supposed to. They're operating at a level that is far, far less than an even playing field. And...

COOPER: When does this all start?

WEIERS: It takes effect the 1st of January.

So, there's still six months. And I understand that there was a filing today for a temporary restraining order to look at the constitutionality of this. So, we have -- we have got a ways to go, and there's going to be some court challenges as we go through this.

COOPER: No doubt we will be following it.

Speaker Weiers, appreciate your time. Thank you, sir.

WEIERS: I appreciate you. Thank you very much.

COOPER: No matter what you do in the battle over immigration, there are going to be unintended casualties, because families are involved. And that often -- those families often get divided, and because bureaucracy plays a part, and bureaucrats sometimes take actions that make no sense, as we all know. And sometimes, as you're about to see, because of secrets, secrets that turn American dreams into nightmares.

More on that from CNN's Dan Simon.



DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Zoila Meyer decided her town needed more parks for kids, she ran for city council. She had no idea she'd win, let alone that her new job would ruin her life.

MEYER: I have always loved politics, and I always wanted to do something for people.

Come on, Nicole (ph).

SIMON: Meyer, who has four kids, was loving her new office, when, just 10 weeks into the job, she was suddenly forced to resign.

There was a secret in her past, a secret buried so deep, she swears she didn't even know it herself.

(on camera): What went through your mind when they told you, sorry, you're -- you're not an American citizen?

MEYER: At that point, I just didn't know who I was anymore. It was heartbreaking. My whole world, after that day, everything was just torn apart.

SIMON (voice-over): Meyer was born in Cuba. Her family moved to the U.S. when she was just a year-old. She says her parents got her a green card, but never enrolled her for citizenship. Meyer says she always believed she was American, had no reason to believe otherwise, so the truth about her past was devastating.

MEYER: You have to be a citizen to get, you know, a good job, to vote, to run for office. You know, all my -- everything that you're entitled to as an American wasn't mine anymore.

SIMON: In fact, though Meyer says she didn't know it, she was a permanent resident, eligible to live in the U.S., but not to vote, let alone run for office.

(on camera): After the news, Meyer counted her losses and soon began the process of becoming a naturalized citizen. But that's not how the story ends.

Now three years later, it started over again, and is now much, much worse. Out of the blue, she was arrested. She was shocked to learn that immigration officials had begun deportation proceedings against her.

MEYER: I'm thinking in my head, what does this mean? What are you guys talking about? I mean, that sounds crazy, to deport me where? This is where I'm from.

SIMON (voice-over): The question, of course, is how the information came out. Meyer believes after she won her election, an angry relative, suspicious of her history, notified local authorities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was an important case for us, from the perspective, if you're not a citizen, you're not entitled to hold office.

SIMON: The charge against her, voter fraud. Meyer pleaded no contest and paid a small fine. End of story? Nope. Who knew illegally voting is a deportable offense?

TRISTAN PELAYES, FORMER MAYOR OF ADELANTO, CALIFORNIA: When did this country become such a machine that we're in the business now of tearing up families?

SIMON: Tristan Pelayes is an attorney and former mayor of Meyer's town, Adelanto, in Southern California.

PELAYES: Certainly, she behaved like more of a citizen than a lot of citizens that we currently have in this country. So, I don't think we should take the approach of, we do not make exceptions at all when it comes to citizenship.

SIMON: If Meyer ultimately does get deported, federal officials tell us she wouldn't be sent back to Cuba. The U.S. doesn't do that. Instead, she will be shipped to Canada, because that is apparently where her parents entered the U.S. 39 years ago.

MEYER: At this point, my life is in the government's hands. What they do with me, I don't know. And what would Canada do with me? I don't know.

SIMON: A woman who just wanted to raise her family and improve her community, now on the verge of being torn away from both.

Dan Simon, CNN, Los Angeles.


COOPER: The battle on the border continues.

Straight ahead, you ever wonder what politicians whisper about to each other? Tonight, you are going to what Hillary Clinton and John Edwards had to say when they didn't know that people were listening. And it's got some of the other candidates hopping mad. Details in "Raw Politics."

Also ahead, the raw truth about John McCain's sinking campaign.


COOPER (voice-over): He's had it tough before.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And in the words of Chairman Mao (ph), it's always darkest before it's totally black.

COOPER: But black's not the problem. Red and green are. Too much red ink, not enough money. What happened to the man a lot of people expected to waltz down the campaign trail, not fight every inch of the way?

Later tonight, it's supposed to be the homegrown answer to our addiction to expensive imported oil.

TOMMY THOMPSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ethanol, ladies and gentlemen.

COOPER: Not so fast.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ethanol is not here to replace foreign oil.

COOPER: But people are making millions of dollars -- your dollars -- on it anyway. And we're "Keeping them Honest," only on 360.


COOPER (on camera): Presidential -- presidential hopeful John McCain, of course, campaigning today in New Hampshire.

Nearly eight years ago, you may remember that he won the state's primary election. Today, there's concern that he won't even make it to next year's primaries.

To say the least, it has been a rough week for the McCain camp, and there are signs that the troubles are nowhere near over. While he may be down, the Senator insists he is not out.

Here's CNN's Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He is broke, his staff is skeletal, his poll numbers are sagging, but John McCain is standing.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We go to the town hall meetings. We fix our financial difficulties. And we win.

CROWLEY: In New Hampshire, on his first campaign trip since the departure of top advisers, McCain signaled his presidential bid will go back to the future, the template of 2000, when his maverick campaign stunned the political world, and he beat George Bush in the New Hampshire primary.

Even close friends wonder if anything can save this campaign, but McCain says he's hard-pressed to think of anything that will stop him.

MCCAIN: Contracting a fatal disease.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anything short of that?

MCCAIN: Not that I know of.

CROWLEY: Even as he spoke, other top aides in the McCain campaign were preparing to leave. And the details of second-quarter fundraising and spending are about to be made public. McCain is down to his last $250,000, a campaign pittance.

He hangs in with old jokes.

MCCAIN: You mean, in the words of Chairman Mao (ph), it's always darkest before it's totally black?

CROWLEY: Of all the changes that have and will take place in Camp McCain, the one thing that hasn't changed is the candidate. He is, in some sense, a man without a constituency.

His positions on immigration and campaign finance reform infuriate conservatives, who make up the core of the Republican primary vote. At the same time, Independents, so vital to McCain's 2000 campaign, have left him in droves over his hawkish stance over the war in Iraq.

MCCAIN: Democratic candidates for president will argue for the course of cutting our losses and withdrawing from the threat in the vain hope it will not follow us here. I cannot join them in such wishful and very dangerous thinking.

CROWLEY: McCain, just back from a Fourth of July trip to Iraq, went to New Hampshire to deliver a tough no-retreat speech. Criticizing what he called defeatism, he asked voters to give the surge a chance. He asked them to give him one, too. MCCAIN: I will stand where I stand today and trust you to give me a fair hearing. There's too much at stake in this election for any candidate to do less.

CROWLEY: John McCain will play the hand he dealt himself.


COOPER: Candy Crowley joins me now, along with Jennifer Donahue of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.

Candy, you talked in the piece about Senator McCain going back to the future. What exactly does that mean? I mean, how does he try to revive his campaign?

CROWLEY (on camera): Well, he becomes the insurgent again, the maverick.

A lot of what the Independents saw when they looked at John McCain was a mainstream candidate. He tried to be sort of the Bush of the 2008 campaign.

Now, that said, most of the problem the Independents have with John McCain is, of course, the war in Iraq. So, whether or not you can catch this lightning in a bottle, as the Senator used to say, again still really remains to be seen.

But that's their game plan, is to settle on these three states -- South Carolina, Iowa, and New Hampshire -- and do the kind of retail politicking that, frankly, you can do for free.

COOPER: Jennifer, there seem to be -- they plan to rely on independents who are out there, but a lot of independents are alienated over his support for the war in Iraq and his positions.

Can he raise the money in New Hampshire? I mean, are there a lot of people out there in New Hampshire who -- who still support him?


I just came from an event where he met with the family of Erin Flanagan, who lost her brother, and asked that in the CNN debate, and asked about what he was going to do in the war. And he talked to this family in real-time, spent an hour, hour-and-a-half with them, didn't have press in.

And he talked some straight talk to them. And I talked to Mike Dennehy, one of his senior staffers. And, clearly, they're going to work New Hampshire hard. They're going to build it like they did in 2000. I think it's vastly premature to rule out McCain doing well here.

COOPER: Candy, you now have two leading Republican Senators, Richard Lugar, John Warner, introducing an amendment demanding that the president issue a plan for reducing U.S. forces by the -- by the end of the year.

How does that impact a Republican candidate like McCain, who has clearly stood behind the president on the so-called surge strategy?

CROWLEY: I can say, with a good deal of certainty, that probably the one candidate out here that you can count on who is not going to change his position on the war is John McCain, which is to say that he believes the surge should be given a chance.

As for whether General Petraeus in September could say something that would make him change his mind, he leaves that open. But John McCain, at this point, is the biggest hawk out there, other than the president. He actually can't change his position on the war, regardless of what those other Republicans do.

COOPER: And Jennifer, Senator Clinton was in New Hampshire today in an event with her husband. I think it was the first time the former president has been to New Hampshire since his wife announced.

What -- what kind of buzz is there building around the state right now for them?

DONAHUE: Well, I think it's a double-edged sword. I mean, there wasn't a huge turnout at the event I went to in Nashua, about 400 people. That's about the about -- amount that Obama got at a rally last week, a low number for a former president.

I think what Bill Clinton is doing is sort of getting the resume out there, making the case for his wife. Then she comes in and kind of hits Bush. So, it's an interesting strategy.

If they didn't bring him out here, people would wonder where he was. So, they have to do it, but there's baggage attached to it.

And I think -- I talked to a lot of people leaving that event who are still undecided. Obama has got a presence here. You can't really capture why, but it's huge. And it's a two-front race. I mean, it's got Obama and Hillary Clinton. And I don't think Bill Clinton factors in as much as you might think.

COOPER: Candy, do you agree with that?


I think they're trying to make judicious use of Bill Clinton, because he's still hugely popular among the Democratic base in New Hampshire, in Iowa. So, they do want to sort of bring him out, because she can't deny she's married to him. But they want to use him judiciously, because the problem is, number one, he can upstage her pretty easily, just because of who he is. And, number two, she doesn't want to look as though she's in his shadow or that she's relying on him to bring in the crowds.

So, they're being very careful about this, because, after this, actually, New Hampshire day with the two of them together, he's -- he's back to his day job for a while. COOPER: All right, Candy Crowley, Jennifer Donahue, thanks.

Back to his day job.

More politics ahead, delivered raw, of course, including an open mike catching two presidential wannabes conspiring against the little guys. Yikes.

Also, a YouTube debate preview. One taxpayer was inspired to do a little strumming. That's next on 360.






COOPER: That's another contender for a theme song for our 360 political cover. It's the Boss, of course there. It comes in from Cathy (ph) in Moorpark, California.

We want to have you keep those suggestions coming. Just got to You may hear your pick on the air.

And that, tonight, gets us to the "Raw Politics" and word that some of the big guns are maybe ganging up on the small fry.

Here's Tom Foreman to explain.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Oh, Anderson, the dangers of an open microphone -- Hillary Clinton and John Edwards caught playing "Raw Politics."

(voice-over): After a candidate forum that featured some of their less known Democratic challengers, the two were picked up apparently talking about thinning the field for future forums.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Senator Joseph Biden. Again, thank you so much.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: We got to talk because they are -- they are just being trivialized.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much for coming. Have a great afternoon. FOREMAN: A slap at the little guys? Clinton and Edwards both say, no, just wondering if smaller groups would let everyone talk more.

But Dennis Kucinich called their behavior repugnant. Huzzah!

On the battle front, two big Republican Senators, John Warner and Richard Lugar, have a bill to make the president come up with a better plan for Iraq by mid-October. The "Raw Politics" read, Democrats are unlikely to support it -- too little, too late, no teeth.

The case of the missing lawmaker -- Louisiana's David Vitter has dropped out of sight following his public apology for a "serious sin" when his number was found in the phone records of the alleged D.C. madam. He's expected back in D.C. next week.

Has he hurt the Republicans?

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MINORITY LEADER: He has not been here this week. You'd have to address that question to him.

FOREMAN: And filmmaker Michael Moore says American health care is a mess. Republican contender Mike Huckabee suggests Moore should help by getting on the treadmill.

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's not that we have a health care crisis. We have a health crisis in America. If we started, as Americans, making significant changes in the way we live, our economy would change as it relates to health care.

FOREMAN (on camera): Huckabee says he didn't mean to make this a personal attack on Moore, but he once lost 100 pounds himself and he saved a bundle on health care ever since -- Anderson.


COOPER: That is "Raw Politics."

Tom, thanks.

Counting down to the CNN/YouTube debate, just around the corner. It's going to be really exciting. July 23, all the Democratic contenders are going to be answering your questions.

There is still time for you to send us some videos. You have up until the day before the debate, frankly, up until July 22.

We have got a sample tonight, a very cool one that resonated with the 360 crew -- should for a lot of American taxpayers. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This here's a two-part question.



COOPER: You don't have to be that clever, but that was certainly clever.

Keep sending us your questions. You don't even have to sing. Just keep them under 30 seconds. It's easy to do. All the information you need is at It's right on their home page. Just click on it. It will give you all the information.

The debate is Monday, July 23. You have until July 22 to submit those videos. Let's get them in.

Tom Foreman joins us again with a 360 bulletin -- Tom.

FOREMAN: Hi, Anderson.

In New York, police head off a potentially deadly attack at a high school. Two Long Island teenagers are charged with planning it for the anniversary of the Columbine shootings. Police say one of the teens produced a threatening video and wrote the names of potential victims in a journal. One of the teens also allegedly tried to buy guns online.

Cars stranded in mid-street, all this from a massive water main break -- water up to four feet deep shutting down a freeway outside Detroit. Some stranded drivers had to climb up on their roofs -- look at that -- to stay relatively dry. It took crews about two hours to shut off the water to the damaged main.

And it wasn't so much the elephants that got people upset; it was the noise. Seems two massive pachyderms got away from a traveling circus in the wee hours of the morning.

They wandered into a neighborhood outside of Toronto, taking advantage of their freedom to snack on the trees, causing quite a racket. That woke up a few of the towns folk and before long the elephants, Bunny and Suzy, were back in their pens at the circus.

COOPER: The elephants were named Bunny and Suzy?

FOREMAN: Bunny and Suzy.


FOREMAN: Bunny and Suzy.

Well now -- now, after that, we're on to our segment of "What They Were Thinking."


FOREMAN: You know how they say it ain't rocket science? Well, this part is. A smooth rollout to the launch pad this week for the Space Shuttle Endeavour, getting into position for next month's mission. But here is where the less than rocket science comes in. Take a close look at that banner. Uh-oh. Mission control, we've got a problem. Endeavour, in this case, is supposed to be spelled with a "U." So NASA got busy correcting the issue.

You know, all that scientific stuff they've got lying around there. Take a look at this. A quick run through spell check and voila, faster than you can say spelling bee, a NASA worker ran out with a new sign. So how is that for a quick fix?

What do you expect from a multi-billion-dollar space agency? That's your tax dollars at work, right there.

Incidentally, the -- the shuttle, incidentally, got its typically British spelling due to the fact that it's named for the ship commanded by English Explorer James Cook, who mapped a big chunk of the world back in the 18th century and was known for his difficulty with spelling.

COOPER: I did not know that, Tom.


COOPER: Thanks for that.

Let's check in with Kiran Chetry with what's coming up tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING."



Monday, it's the most news in the morning, including a promise made 20 years ago. An offer of a free college education to an entire class of inner city kids. There were a lot of twists and turns in their lives. It's a testament to the generosity of the donor, but also to the dedication of the kids. We'll show you the reunion two decades in the making.

So wake up to the most news in the morning, 6 a.m., Eastern, right here on CNN.

Anderson, back to you.


COOPER: I forgot it was Friday today. That's what happens, I guess, when you work every day.

Later tonight, see what happens when you fill a hot tub full of ramen noodles. Broth and people. Mmm, ramen.

Also tonight, ethanol. Mmm, ethanol.


COOPER (voice-over): It's supposed to be the homegrown answer to our addiction to expensive imported oil.

TOMMY THOMPSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ethanol, ladies and gentlemen.

COOPER: Not so fast.

SCOTT ZABLER, PINE LAKE CORN PROCESSORS: Ethanol is not here to replace foreign oil.

COOPER: But people are making millions of dollars -- your dollars -- on it anyway. We're "Keeping them Honest".

Later, the wolves of Yellowstone. Bring them back and the trees grow taller, and that's not all. See how the return of a predator changes the balance of life in ways you've never imagined. Ahead on 360.


COOPER (on camera): Those large vats are brewing what some hope are the magic fuel to save the U.S. from its foreign oil dependence. It's called ethanol, and a number of states, including here in California, have passed measures requiring that it be added to the gasoline that we all buy.

No doubt the hype surrounding the alternative fuel has been huge. But if you dig down and look at the actual benefits, they don't exactly match up.

Once again, here's CNN's Tom Foreman, "Keeping them Honest."


FOREMAN (voice-over): No other state grows corn like Iowa, and Iowa has never done it like this. Just ask Ag Expert Bruce Babcock from Iowa State.

(on camera): Have they ever grown this much corn in the state before?

BRUCE BABCOCK, IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY: No, this is an all-time record.

FOREMAN (voice-over): A record harvest driven by ethanol plants, springing up everywhere, turning corn into the alternative fuel hailed by Washington as an important step toward energy independence.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Obviously, ethanol is one of them.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are producing as much ethanol as possible.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ethanol makes a lot of sense.

TOMMY THOMPSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ethanol, ladies and gentlemen.

FOREMAN: But "Keeping them Honest," we went to ethanol country and listened to the first thing Scott Zabler told us at the plant he runs.

ZABLER: Ethanol is not here to replace foreign oil. That's never going to happen.

FOREMAN: Why? Planting, harvesting and converting all that corn to ethanol takes fuel. How much is debated. Government researchers say you can produce a gallon of ethanol with about three quarters of a gallon of fossil fuel. Other researchers say, no way.

DAVID PIMENTAL, CORNELL UNIVERSITY: It takes more than a gallon of oil to produce one gallon of ethanol. So we're actually importing oil from Saudi Arabia and elsewhere to produce the ethanol.

FOREMAN: Other issues. Pipelines are the cheapest way to move fuel, but are no good for ethanol, which absorbs impurities in the pipes. It must go by train or truck.

And even if we planted all of our farmland in corn for ethanol, we could not replace all the gas we get from oil.

BABCOCK: We can't grow enough ethanol from corn to replace all of the fuel that we use. That's 100 percent true.

FOREMAN: So how much oil could we replace?

BABCOCK: About 10 percent is where we think we're headed under the current set of incentives and the current technologies that we have for ethanol.

FOREMAN: And that's not free. The ethanol boom is driving corn prices up. But that means more expensive food. And feed.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you're a hog farmer, you're getting tired of seeing the corn prices go up. If you're a corn farmer, it's a nice feeling to see the prices go up.

FOREMAN: Ethanol is great for much of the rural economy. High corn prices mean many farmers, like Larry Meints, are not collecting crop subsidies. That's good for taxpayers.

LARRY MEINTS, FARMER: I think it's one of the biggest things that I've seen in my career of farming. Absolutely.

FOREMAN: But "Keeping them Honest," even the politicians have to admit corn-based ethanol alone is a very limited part of America's quest for greater energy independence.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Steamboat Rock, Iowa.


COOPER: We'll have more on ethanol further down the road. Still ahead tonight, they don't have a cutesy couple nickname yet, but the paparazzi rolled out the welcome lenses today here in L.A. for David Beckham and Posh Spice, or Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham. We'll try to figure that out.

Also tonight, death bringing new life to Yellowstone Park. How the reintroduction of grey wolves has rejuvenated the park's ecosystem. A "Planet in Peril" success story, next on 360.


COOPER: Earlier this week, I was pretty far away from the city life you see behind me. I was out in the woods on the hunt for a killer at Yellowstone National Park, on the lookout for grey wolves as part of our "Planet in Peril" series.

Now the wolves were once near extinction. They're now back at the park and thriving. And while they're killing other animals, they're also bringing new life to the ecosystem. Take a look.


COOPER (voice-over): When you're watching for wolves in Yellowstone Park, there's a lot of running, hiding and waiting.


COOPER: When you finally see them -- if you're lucky enough to see them -- they're usually eating something. In this case, a bison.

SMITH: That's a wolf eating at it. That's the alpha male.

COOPER: The pack will feed on this bison for about 48 hours, but other animals will also enjoy the kill. And that simple fact represents a real change in Yellowstone.

(on camera): The reintroduction of grey wolves to Yellowstone Park began in 1995. A total of 41 wolves were brought back here. Their numbers have increased steadily since then, and they've had a major impact on the ecosystem.

SMITH: OK, I think we'll just head right.

COOPER (voice-over): Doug Smith is the leader of the Wolf Restoration Project in Yellowstone. He takes me to the site of another wolf kill.

SMITH: This kill is one week exactly.

COOPER (on camera): After the wolves are done -- after the wolves kill the elk and they eat a certain percentage of it, and then they leave and other creatures come?

SMITH: Correct. Actually, sometimes simultaneously. The ravens and the magpies arrive instantly. They're right here. Sometimes the wolf's at one end, the raven's at the other end. And then the wolves feed and they can eat up to 20 pounds in one meal. They gorge themselves and then they typically move off. And then other animals come in -- coyotes, black bears, maybe even a grizzly bear.

COOPER (voice-over): And it's not just the animals. The ripple effect extends to the park's plant life, too.

(on camera): This is a stand of willows?

SMITH: Yes, it is. And this stand has grown up in the last 10 years since wolves were reintroduced.

COOPER: So why is it that introducing wolves would have an impact on trees or on bushes?

SMITH: What we think is happening is that wolves pose a risk of predation to elk. And elk eat willows. And so having wolves back on the landscape after being absent for 70 years has changed elk behavior.

COOPER: Because of the wolves now, the elk have less time to graze, and also there are fewer of them. So the willows are growing. What impact do the willows have?

SMITH: Right now, Anderson, I'm sitting, listening to numerous songbirds in this stand of willow. There's a flycatcher there. I've heard a warbler, some sparrows. They're all using this stand of willows, for this type of habitat is very important to some songbirds.

COOPER (voice-over): And the cascade continues. Doug says the reintroduction has increased the beaver population in one part of the park 10 times over, and beaver dams create ponds, which support water foul and native trout and so on and so on.

A single species reintroduced. A dramatic effect on Yellowstone's more than 2 million acres.

Back at the bison kill, with the sun setting, there's a report of a battle between a bear and a wolf.

(on camera): And this is exactly what you had hoped for all along with the reintroduction, would be this kind of active natural cycle?

SMITH: Yes, absolutely. Wolves fighting with black bears is natural. And eating bison carcasses is natural. And it restores Yellowstone to what it used to be.


COOPER: Such a great experience being there.

Up next on 360, a new British invasion. Posh, Becks, 5,000 fans, hundreds of reporters and photographers at a news conference here in L.A. And you got to believe this is only the beginning.



DAVID BECKHAM, SOCCER STAR: To me, the most important thing is my family. The second thing is the foot -- is the soccer. I'll get used to that at some point. I'm sorry.


COOPER: Almost saying football there.

It's the latest British invasion, Team Becks and Posh rolling into L.A. with a pack of fans and paparazzi in tow. That is, of course, the soccer powerhouse David Beckham and his wife, Victoria, the former Spice Girl. I guess they're now reuniting, so it is -- I guess you can still say she's a Spice Girl.

She's got fancy new digs. They've got plenty of money to burn. They're Tinseltown's newest power couple.

Our Randi Kaye has their story.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There is a new star in the Hollywood galaxy.


KAYE: The newest player for the L.A. Galaxy has arrived, straight from Europe, where he led his teams to nearly a dozen championships and became the biggest marketing machine in world soccer.

And it's all paid off. Beckham and his wife Victoria, Posh Spice from the Spice Girls, bought this posh pad, a $22 million, 13,000- square-foot Beverly Hills mansion.

Paying the bills shouldn't be a problem. Beckham is guaranteed $32.5 million over five years with the team and could earn another $200 million plus from endorsements and profit sharing.

BECKHAM: We're going to enjoy it, you know. What better place to live?

KAYE: The British-born couple is already being treated like Hollywood royalty -- celebrity photographers at the airport, magazine spreads. Move over, Brangelina, Becks and Posh are in town. And fans like these young soccer players are excited.

(on camera): Are they, do you think, the next power couple here in America?

SHANNON SHIER, SOCCER FAN: I think they're a really good couple.

KAYE: Even though he's a soccer star, do you think he'll be a Hollywood star?


KAYE (voice-over): "Sports Illustrated's" Grant Wahl has written extensively about Beckham.

(on camera): Does he see himself as the big celebrity that everybody else sees him as?

GRANT WAHL, SR. WRITER, "SPORTS ILLUSTRATED": Probably not. I mean, I think he enjoys it and he doesn't seem to be too bothered by it.

KAYE (voice-over): Apparently not, since the Beckhams are already palling around with A-list stars.

(on camera): Come July 21st, when Beckham takes the field as a player for the Galaxy for the first time, his new best friend, Actor Tom Cruise, will reportedly be watching. Not from home, but from a private box. Becks has apparently turned Cruise into a soccer fan.

(voice-over): When Cruise can't make it to Beckham's games, like this one in Madrid, he watches them on TV.

WAHL: Tom Cruise is sending text messages to David Beckham after all of his Spanish League games, telling him what a great game it was.

KAYE: No doubt, the Beckhams are making friends, putting down roots, maybe even planning a baby?

BECKHAM: I'd love a little girl at some point or two little girls at some point. You never know. I've always loved -- and wanted big families, but we've got three beautiful boys at the moment, and we'll see.

KAYE: They named their children after places they've been. So who knows? There might be a Beverly in the future, as in Beverly Hills. Wouldn't the paparazzi love that?

Randi Kaye, CNN, Carson, California.


COOPER: Well, welcome to America.

Our "Shot of the Day" is coming up. Who needs a massage when you have ramen? That's right. The strange new trend in relaxation. You kind of have to -- that's like swimming in soup. Yikes!

First, that's "The Shot of the Day." That's a little teaser right there, at this time. I think Tom Foreman was in the middle of that.

Tom joins us with another "360 Bulletin" -- Tom.

FOREMAN: Oh, my. Talk about adding seasoning there. Hi, Anderson. Let's start with nukes in North Korea and signs tonight the north might finally be ready to shut down its reactor and scale back its nuclear program. International inspectors will be there in a few hours. So will the first shipment of oil, part of the economic aid package that North Korea will get for scrapping its nuclear weapons plans.

The prosecution rested today in the case of one-time alleged dirty bomber Jose Padilla and two co-defendants. He's now charged with far less, of providing material support for al Qaeda.

Oscar, meet Felix. Felix, Oscar. The world's tallest man and the guy who claims to be the shortest have now met. One is nearly eight feet tall, the other is two foot something. Don't know how they missed each other, though. They're from the same neck of the woods -- inner Mongolia. Take a look at that. That's a big difference, those guys.

COOPER: He's a -- he's a primordial dwarf.

FOREMAN: I don't know what that means. But...

COOPER: That's -- anyway.

FOREMAN: Yes, small guy.

COOPER: You know, Tom, I know you've been working hard tonight. I know that last story confused you.

FOREMAN: It did.

COOPER: If you're looking for a way to maybe unwind, take out -- check out the "Shot of the Day." It's the latest spa craze -- at least we're told -- in Japan. Ramen. That's right, the stuff we existed on in college because we couldn't get real food. These people are soaking in it. These noodles apparently are not edible for sanitary reasons -- thank goodness. But the broth is the real thing. That is so disgusting. Take a dip. It costs about $30 to soak in the ramen noodle bath. Yes.

FOREMAN: But -- but, if you get the soup bath, afterwards they'll -- for the same money they'll rub you down with a sandwich.

COOPER: I'm sorry. You know those children ate some of those ramen noodles. I'm sorry. There's no way those kids did not put ramen noodles in their mouth.


FOREMAN: There are many long-term effects of this that we don't even want to talk about.

COOPER: Do we have -- can we show the picture, Mario? Can we -- can we -- no?

FOREMAN: There they are. COOPER: There we go.

FOREMAN: Soy sauce. That makes it perfect.

COOPER: Oh, yes, yes. It's near her mouth. Almost, I think. Yes.

Yes, yes. There's nothing better than stewing in some ramen noodles.

FOREMAN: Yes, yes. You know what would be good? Beef barley. A beef barley bath. That would be good. Oh, yes.

COOPER: That would be good. Yes, there's a whole host of things. Let's see if it comes here to America. We'll be watching.

Toms, thanks very much. Have a good weekend.

We want you to send us your "Shot" ideas. If you see people stewing in a vat of anything, take a picture of it, let us know. Send it to us at It can be ramen. It can be barley soup. It can be pea soup. That would be attractive. We'll put some of the best clips on the air. Mmm, noodles.

Up next, your feedback. A check of the 360 blog. It's what's "On the Radar," when 360 continues.


COOPER: Let's take a look at what's "On the Radar" on the 360 blog. Apparently some of you aren't too excited about our way to get your feedback through video mail or v-mail.

Cynthia from Covington, Georgia, writes: Is Anderson going to stop reading our comments from the blog on the air and just do these v-mail things? Because really I could care less about being on TV on taking the time to do a video and uploading it.

Tina in Santa Fe says: I don't think v-mail is a bad thing, but I hope those of us who want to comment but don't have the equipment or desire to be seen on TV aren't left in the dust.

Now, Tina, Cynthia, don't worry. You won't be left in the proverbial dust. We'll still read your e-mails. We'll still put them on TV. But we also want to see you at times, so give v-mail a chance. Come on!

Our question, do you think the so-called surge in Iraq is working? Go to and click on the v-mail link. Hey, this is good practice for those at the YouTube Debate. I promise, you won't regret it.

For our international viewers, "CNN TODAY" is next. Here in America, "LARRY KING" is coming up.