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Health Care Heat Rising; Horror Over the Hudson River; Human Trafficking Danger; Jackson Investigation Latest

Aired August 10, 2009 - 23:00   ET



JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight: President Obama gets ready to wade into the bitter Town Hall fight over health care reform; your money, your future, your life.

But first briefly, another late development, authorities know how Michael Jackson died but they are not saying, not just yet anyways.

Ted Rowlands in Los Angeles working that story; he joins us now. Hey Ted, what do we know?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well John, after weeks the L.A. County coroner's office has finally come out and said that they are completely done and done with the death investigation into Michael Jackson. The toxicology is in, the cause of death is in.

And coming up a little later, we'll tell you when we're going to find out the details of that report that everybody has been waiting to find out what is in. The details of what killed Michael Jackson and we'll have that a little bit later.

Also a little bit later, a busy day in court: The fight over the estate continues. Coming up, we'll tell you why a judge today delayed the proceedings saying the Jackson children need their own lawyer in court. That, coming up later.

ROBERTS: All right, we'll see you then. Ted thanks so much for that.

Now, to health care reform: The President taking questions on it today in Guadalajara, Mexico where it was 72 degrees and mild. He'll face more questions tomorrow in New Hampshire at a Town Hall meeting, the kind where temps and tempers have hit the boiling point.

Today: North Arlington, New Jersey, just outside of New York protesters laying into Democratic Congressman Steve Rothman.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Quite honestly, we don't trust the government anymore to live up to it.


ROBERTS: Well, just outside Atlanta Democrat David Scott firing back saying, "Protesters could have made an appointment but chose an ambush instead."


REP. DAVID SCOTT, (D) GEORGIA: You want a meeting with me on health care? I'll give it to you.


ROBERTS: At an event outside of Detroit last week "Hitler Obama" signs outside, inside protesters shouting down Democrat John Dingle.




ROBERTS: Well, there are exceptions to all of this; an event today in rural Missouri went calmly. But we have seen a lot more heat than light. One reported death threat, a number of brawls, some of the anti-reform sound and fury carefully orchestrated.

However, much of the fear and loathing seems real. In just a moment, Gary Tuchman speaks with some of those New Jersey protesters.

First though, Tom Foreman is just back from a Town Hall and he joins us now live from Baltimore. What did you see, Tom?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was quite a night, John. A lot of people showed up, easily over 500 or maybe 600 or more than that. I'm not sure when you put all the people inside and all of the people outside who couldn't get in.

They started showing up several hours ahead of time to meet with U.S. Senator Ben Cardin from here in Maryland. Just outside of Baltimore here is where they were gathering for this meeting at a local university.

Clearly, clearly, clearly, many, many, many of these people were there to oppose the plan. There were some supporters, certainly, but an awful a lot of them were there and they were very vocal about why they were opposing this plan. And many because they feel it's being rushed too much. Many because they don't like the cost of it and many for a lot of other details, even as some try to defend it.

Take a listen to what was being said outside this hall at Towson University before it began.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is nobody who understands what it is. The Congressmen haven't even read this bill. Its 1,000 pages plus. They don't even know what is in it, themselves.

FOREMAN: So you don't see any transparency in this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a union guy, I'm big strong supporter of my union but I don't think that we should be forced into an option that you may or may not want.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm just an average citizen who believes that the people have to right to speak.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you compare the United States to a lot of developed western nations there are a number of things we're falling behind -- we're falling behind in -- life expectancy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why does everybody else from the world come here for health care then?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They come here because we have the good facilities. Now what I would do -- I would favor a system where it's kind a -- can you just let me speak, sir? Do you mind if I speak?


ROBERTS: A lot of passion there, Tom. And with what we've seen in other parts of the country, there must have been some concern that this meeting wouldn't even be possible, that there'd just be too much shouting, angry voices, that sort of thing. What about all that?

FOREMAN: Absolutely right, John. They brought on extra security here. They tried to be very orderly and very clear with people about how many people will get inside. There are about 500 people allowed inside, at least as many outside who were not able to get in.

So they tried to make that clear to people.

And then, inside a lot of that bubbling of the pot continued; the senator stood up there and listened and gave as good as he could while listening to the crowd there. By and large they let him speak. Listen to what happened inside.


SEN. BENJAMIN CARDIN (D) MARYLAND: I only have one more slide to go. And if I -- look, some of -- all, again, I ask is that if you give people a chance to have their questions heard and give a chance for a response I think it might be a little bit easier.


ROBERTS: Tom, how did the senator take all of that?

FOREMAN: Well, you know, he rolled with it pretty well. And so did the crowd, I have to say. People were very hot about this, there's very strong emotions; a lot of it one sided, people who were against the plan.

Nonetheless, by and large despite a lot of jeering and booing and carrying on, he generally was able to answer the questions. They generally permitted that in the crowd. And it did go the entire time to the appointed finish time at which point the senator left.

There were some heated words, some very heated passions. But they managed to get through it all, John.

So afterwards, I asked the senator how he felt about it. And he said, by and large he supports the right of people to protest. By and large he feels like this bill is still very much in flux. And there's going to be a lot more talking both with the public and among lawmakers before this ever becomes law -- John.

ROBERTS: To say it's in flux is probably quite an understatement.

Tom Foreman for us in Baltimore tonight; Tom thanks so much.

Again, President Obama holds a Town Hall meeting tomorrow afternoon in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. CNN, of course, will be there; certainly the kind of mix of people that you saw with Tom in Towson and whom Gary Tuchman spoke with today in northern, New Jersey.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A packed senior center on the hottest day of the summer with an air conditioner that wasn't up to the task; the mood at this health care Town Hall in North Arlington, New Jersey, even hotter.

REP. STEVE ROTHMAN (D) NEW JERSEY: Who doesn't want massive changes to the health care? Ok.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is your job...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, sir.

TUCHMAN: Democratic Congressman Steve Rothman says he has some qualms with the health care reform proposal but he wants to see reform occur. However, the overwhelming majority here just want things left alone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's my opinion that we have the best health care in the world. People from Canada and Europe come here for life- saving procedures. Where are we going to go if this health care gets passed?

REP. STEVE ROTHMAN, (D) NEW JERSEY: One of the purposes of this health care reform or health insurance reform is to keep the insurance companies out of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep the government out.

TUCHMAN: There was also anger outside the building because the Town Hall was so full scores of folks were kept out. The numbers of people surprised even the mayor.

MAYOR PETER MASSA, (D) NORTH ARLINGTON, NEW JERSEY: We are not generally prepared for this type of turnout in light of the fact that there is this hot button issue. TUCHMAN: The Town Hall went longer than its scheduled time of two hours and things continued to heat up. When the Congressman talked about his health care goals he had a tough time convincing many in the crowd.

ROTHMAN: If the health care bill passes, will elective abortion be paid for by the government? Answer. No.

TUCHMAN: They doubted the Congressman's numbers.

ROTHMAN: Address in some way or another and improve the situation where we now have 47 million uninsured.

TUCHMAN: So why is all the yelling and screaming necessary?

ANDREW DERENZY, HEIGHTS, NEW JERSEY: They are taking our money and giving it to other people and we don't want to sit down and take it.

DOM LAROCCA, VALLEY STREAM, NEW JERSEY: If you were about to be hit by a bus and didn't see it coming would you like me to yell and get your attention?

TUCHMAN: I would definitely like you to yell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well we don't want you to...

LAROCCA: Well, this is a bus...

TUCHMAN: This is a slower process than a bus.

LAROCCA: It absolutely is. But this is where it starts.

TUCHMAN: This Town Hall meeting is similar in some ways to a boxing match. And most of the audience threw figurative punches the Congressman defends himself, throws a few jabs of his own. The room like a boxing ring gets hotter and hotter and the people get tired and sweaty but nobody wants to quit.

But finally after three and a half hours, 90 minutes longer than scheduled; it ended with the Congressman and most of his audience agreeing to disagree.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, North Arlington, New Jersey.


ROBERTS: The debate continues online at

And right here after the break our guests, two radio talkers hearing from and speaking for an awful a lot of people on both sides of the issue. Ron Reagan and Dana Loesch coming up.

Also, new developments in the aftermath of that midair collision above the New York's Hudson River: our Erica Hill goes airborne to survey the risk. And we hear for the first time, early word of that terrible moment. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An airplane just hit a helicopter. The helicopter went down into the water. The plane, I'm not sure what happened, where it is.



ROBERTS: Politics they say isn't a bean bag people play for keeps, health care politics especially. There's so much at stake for so many involving such wealth and deeply-vested interests but to calm public debate on the merits is almost unimaginable.

Yet today, President Obama called for just that. He's going to try it out tomorrow in New Hampshire.

He wants everyone to calm down just a little bit but as you've been seeing tonight and all last week at the moment it's a very potent mix out there.

Here to talk "Strategy" from the left and right, Ron Reagan of "Air America" and Dana Loesch also a radio show host and affiliated with the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition.

Dana, let's start with you. Why so much anger, mistrust and misinformation out there? We wonder has this whole thing devolved to the point where it's not only unproductive but frankly it could be potentially dangerous?

DANA LOESCH, ST. LOUISE RADIO HOST: I don't think it could be dangerous. I think Congress is responsible for setting the tone. And what we have seen is that Congress hasn't really allowed for discourse of one of the most important pieces of legislation in American history.

And I think that's what people are reacting to. They are tired of calling their legislator and leaving a message with an aide. They are tired of going to a Web site and filling out a form e-mail.

So what we're seeing at these Town Halls are people who -- they are flocking there because they have their elected official's ear and they want to express their concerns about the health care legislation.

ROBERTS: So Ron, what about this argument and these people -- they're not organized, it's a grassroots movement, these are merely Americans who want to get involved in the process and they are deeply concerned about health care because it affects each and everyone of us so much.

RON REAGAN, HOST, "THE RON REAGAN SHOW": Well, it's fine to get involved and it's good to show up at a Town Hall meeting and then have a conversation. But you have to have the conversation and you have the discussion.

And many of these people, not all, I'm sure, but many of these people are clearly showing up to shut the conversation down.

And they are being inspired by some members of Congress who are floating this rumor as certain talk show hosts do that Obama is all about killing the elderly and then there are these death panels, as Sarah Palin put it on her Facebook page.

And I don't know that it's going to get dangerous out there. I tend to think that a lot of these might calm down a little because they realize this is not good press for them.

LOESCH: Yes, yes, correct. Yes.

REAGAN: But let me just say, in Arizona today a gun dropped out of one of these people's pockets while they were hooting and hollering at one of these Town Hall meetings.

LOESCH: Maybe they had a concealed carry license.

ROBERTS: Well, maybe but you've got to wonder whether you really need to be packing the heat to go to a Town Hall meeting.

LOESCH: Well you know what? I'll tell you here at Russ Carnahan's Town Hall meeting, as a young woman looking back at a bunch of really big guys in SEIU shirts who are going at me I was a little bit afraid. I have to tell you and that's the stuff...

REAGAN: You really thinking that you're going to be coming to harm there Dana? I don't think so.

LOESCH: Well, I was just kind of gliding, just beating down in the parking lot afterwards so you know.

REAGAN: Yes, well, you know it's only a matter of time before somebody pulls out a gun and does something with it.

ROBERTS: Well, I don't know. It could be that this person could have a concealed carry license.


LOESCH: Yes, I mean, you can't immediately assign a negative simply because they may have had a concealed carry license. But it's interesting that the guy didn't pick up his gun and start shooting everybody with it.

REAGAN: Well let's hope not -- when that becomes the good news story of the day.

LOESCH: He was a responsible gun owner; he was demonstrating responsible fire arm ownership.

ROBERTS: I'm sure the gentleman jut picked up the gun and put it right back in his pocket where it is duly license to be.

And let me just Dana ask you about a point here...


ROBERTS: ...that Ron made just a second ago.


ROBERTS: President Obama did talk about this in Guadalajara, Mexico today. And he seemed to suggest that after the August recess that things might calm down a little bit. Let's listen to what he said.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I suspect that once we get into the fall and people look at the actual legislation that's being proposed, that more sensible and reasoned arguments will emerge and we're going to get this passed.


ROBERTS: Do you think that will happen?

LOESCH: Well, I think people already know what's in the legislation. And that's why they're going to these Town Hall meetings because they don't like the canned responses that they are getting from their elected officials.

I mean, these people who are going -- they are well-versed in what's going on with this legislation. They know what's in there. They're asking questions and they're wanting answers. And they are not getting the answers -- they are not getting answers, period.

I mean, at the Russ Carnahan Town Hall event, it was literally a PowerPoint presentation and some of the slides had like honey bees on them and sunflowers and one of them said, sunshine is a disinfectant. I mean, it's kind of like talking a little bit below the audience.

So I mean, I can kind of understand their frustration. I mean, anybody on their right mind will be frustrated.

ROBERTS: And this idea of too of talking to the audience and maybe talking down to the audience, Danny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi came out with that editorial when she said, "It was un-American to come out with dissenting views."

And, you know, there are people who have distanced themselves from that and they are from the White House. Ron, was that just over the top?

REAGAN: Well, if you are saying that it's un-American to have dissenting views that's clearly over the top. But it is un-American I think to take a Town Hall format and try and shut it down. That's not about airing dissenting views...

LOESCH: Well, I don't think anyone was trying to shut it down.

REAGAN: Well, yes they are. Sure they are, Dana.

LOESCH: No, I mean, no because...

REAGAN: We have the marching orders for these people. And that's what they're supposed to do.

LOESCH: ...if you look at it, it's been complete -- you want to talk about marching orders. How about Kathleen Sebelius' her conference call with SEIU? How about organizing for America, sending out e-mails telling people, let's roll up our shirt sleeves?


LOESCH: Let's show up in force at these things. I've received many of these e-mails.

REAGAN: Isn't the other side doing the same thing, Dana?


REAGAN: Yes. Yes, they are.

LOESCH: All we're doing is saying look, this is the time and the location and we're not saying as the president said during his campaign...

REAGAN: Fox News, here's all the Democratic Town Hall meetings. We would do the Republicans but we just don't have it.

LOESCH: Let's get in people faces, that's what he's already said and it's all over in YouTube.

I mean, so if you want to talk about who is getting marching orders, marching orders have clearly been laid out. In St. Louis alone there was an ad on Craigslist asking for paid progressive activists $90 a day to show up at these Town Hall forums.

REAGAN: Well, good maybe they'll bring their guns too.

REAGAN: And Sarah Palin...

LOESCH: No, they don't believe in guns, remember?

REAGAN: No, that's true we have peaceful people there.

ROBERTS: And Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska...

LOESCH: Right, right.

ROBERTS: ...came out and calling for a civil...

LOESCH: That's why all those protests are the most violent.

ROBERTS: Dana if I can just get in here for a second...

LOESCH: Yes, I'm sorry, go ahead, go ahead.

ROBERTS: Former governor of Alaska Sarah Palin came out today calling for civil discourse in the health care proposal, just days after she characterized the plan as down right evil and suggested that there would be death panels that would decide who gets health care and who doesn't.

Newt Gingrich over the weekend was talking about the slippery slope toward euthanasia. All of this Dana, I mean, is it just scaring people?

LOESCH: I don't think its scaring people. I think, I mean, definitely there is a concern about health care rationing.

REAGAN: I mean, there is nothing in the bill -- there's nothing in any of the bills about death panels. There's nothing in any of the bills about euthanasia.

LOESCH: Well, it's all about perspective. I mean, it's all about perspective, I mean when you're talking -- when you're talking about insuring 46,47 million Americans with health care and not raising the cost where is the cost control coming from?And especially when you have Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuelle, who is one of the advisors to the President who has some like very questionable ethics with regards to health care.

I mean, definitely that's going to raise some red flags.

ROBERTS: Quick final word, Ron.

REAGAN: Well, something is going to be passed in the fall. We'll see what it is. We're not going to get what we really need in this country which is universal single payer. We might, if we're very, very lucky get a strong option that will compete with the private plans. And let's...

LOESCH: But not with the government owning -- not with the government calling the shots. It's like owning a football team...

ROBERTS: All right, well, we see where...

REAGAN: Like they do with Medicare and the VA.

ROBERTS: We'll see where all of this goes. We've got to run folks. Dana Loesch and Ron Reagan.

LOESCH: Thanks so much.

REAGAN: Thank you.

ROBERTS: Thanks for being with us tonight. I really appreciate it Ron, I know it's been roughly a long day for you.

REAGAN: To you too.

ROBERTS: And as always there is a lot more online at

With all the shouting about not wanting this country to turn into France, Great Britain or heaven forbid, Canada. You can log on and see how those other countries compare in terms of quality coverage and costs. It's a place for you to get an awful a lot of information.

Tomorrow night on 360, answering critics who say we should focus first on doing something about all the money we waste on health care before we start spending money to reform it. We're "Keeping them Honest" on that.

And coming up tonight: watch Secretary of State Hillary Clinton get a little undiplomatic when she thought she was asked about former President Clinton.

And what's holding up answers in the Michael Jackson case? We'll check it back in with our Ted Rowlands.

Just ahead on 360.


ROBERTS: Coming up on 360, Mexico's drug cartels have found a new way to make billions of dollars smuggling people across the border, collecting ransoms for some, selling others who can't pay into slavery. Michael Ware investigates.

But first Erica Hill joins us now with the "360 News and Business Bulletin." Hi Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John good to see you.

Explosions across Iraq today killing 50 people and wounding more than 200; most of the victims were civilians in Shiite areas. Today's attack follows a series of deadly bombings on Friday which also mainly targeted Shia. An Iraqi official tells CNN, al Qaeda in Iraq is behind the increasing violence which is intended to stir up sectarian tension.

In Congo, four part of her Africa tour, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton uncharacteristically losing her diplomatic cool. It happened at a Town Hall meeting in Kinshasa a male university student asked her what President Obama would think about Congo's financial dealings with China.

One problem though, the translator apparently made a mistake and instead relayed the question as asking what did the Secretary think Mr. Clinton would think. And here is how the Secretary responded.


HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: You want me to tell you what my husband thinks? My husband is not the Secretary of State. I am. So you ask my opinion. I will tell you my opinion. I'm not going to be channeling my husband.


HILL: Starting tomorrow, more than 225 General Motors dealers in California is going to try a little something new; it's selling their vehicles through EBay. It's a four-week trial which let's consumers bargain with dealers virtually using the online auction site.

Dramatic pictures from Taiwan: video cameras capturing the collapse of a hotel at one of southern Taiwan's oldest and most famous hot springs resort. Flood waters from a typhoon washed out the soil and the land under that building's foundation. Now, it's believed the hotel have been completely evacuated before the collapsed.

ROBERTS: That's pretty dramatic video there.

HILL: Very.

ROBERTS: And the whole thing with the Secretary of State as I understand it ended well.

HILL: Yes.

ROBERTS: That the translator said, oops, I goofed, I'm sorry.

HILL: We've got it all fixed but clearly she's not going to tell you what her husband thinks.

ROBERTS: I would say that's pretty clear.

Erica thanks so much. We'll see you a bit later on.

Next on 360, horror above the Hudson: new details on that midair collision over the weekend. Did the crowded air space contribute to the tragedy? Erica takes you up in a helicopter flight "Keeping them Honest."

And later, dealing in drugs and lives, Mexico's cartels aren't just sending narcotics into America. Michael Ware reports on their human trafficking business.

When 360 continues.


ROBERTS: Divers return to the Hudson River tomorrow to search for the ninth victim of Saturday's midair collision between a plane and a helicopter. They found an eighth body today; it was in the submerged plane.

Tonight, investigators are looking for clues as to what caused the accident. They are studying the wreckage; they're also talking with witnesses.

Here is one 911 call moments after the impact.


OPERATOR: 911 Operator 132, what is your emergency?

911 CALLER: I just saw an airplane hit a helicopter in the Hudson River here. The location is River Road and Fourth, approximately.

OPERATOR: River Road and Fourth Street?

911 CALLER: Yes.

OPERATOR: And you said...

911 CALLER: An airplane just hit a helicopter. The helicopter went down into the water. The plane I'm not sure what happened, where it is. I can't see it from my window.


ROBERTS: Now, the air space above the Hudson may have played a factor. It's a very busy corridor. One pilot has a name for it the "Wild West" he calls it. But is it really?

"Keeping them Honest" tonight, here's Erica Hill.


HILL (voice-over): Every bit of New York is a tourist destination including the skies. Sightseeing companies run helicopter tours up and down both sides of Manhattan mixing with private aircraft and business charters it all adds up to some very crowded air space.

Pete Zanlunghi has been a helicopter pilot for 26 years. He says the only problems above the Hudson are pilots who aren't paying attention.

PETE ZANLUNGHI, HELICOPTER PILOT: What you have on the weekend is you have people that are out sightseeing. They are not paying attention. They are trying to explain to the other people on the airplane. So they make erratic moves to people like us.

HILL: Moves that can happen so quickly there isn't time to respond which many speculate may have caused Saturday's deadly crash. When a small private plane and a sightseeing helicopter simply didn't see one another and collided.

(on camera): One of the main thing pilots rely on an airspace like this one up and down the Hudson is not necessarily a radio or air traffic control tower because of the altitude they're flying at. Instead, it is their own eyes, something you call the see-and-avoid tactic, basically looking out for everything around you.

ZANLUNGHI: You see I just picked up a helicopter about 500 feet below us. It's similar to being in a car, you're always looking around. If you're not looking around you're going to get bumped.

HILL: There's also a dedicated radio frequency for the air space below 1100 feet. Pilots register their location as they pass well- known landmarks.

ZANLUNGHI: That's the Statue of Liberty right off to our right.

Three helicopters just left here. We were all in contact with each other, letting each other know that we see them. That is the way it's supposed to be done on the river. HILL: Supposed to be, but it isn't required. While this pilot doesn't see the Hudson as an especially crowded area, after Saturday's midair collision there are definitely more eyes on this air space.

REP. JERROLD NADLER (D), NEW YORK: It is unconscionable that the Federal Aviation Administration, the FAA, permits unregulated flights in a crowded air space, in a major metropolitan area. The Hudson River flight corridor must not continue to be the Wild West.

HILL: But the Pete's and (INAUDIBLE) is not any more wild than the roadway. Still he wouldn't mind a few changes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like to see airplanes stay at or above 800 feet, so the helicopters can have 700 feet below and all the other helicopters because we're landing on the rivers. These helicopters are operated for 50 years without a problem really.

HILL: And this pilot would like it to stay that way.


ROBERTS: Erica, you were telling me that was your first time up in a helicopter.

HILL: It was, yes.

ROBERTS: A busy corridor to go up in a helicopter in, I should say.

HILL: Yes. Although, it was interesting today, I asked him what it is like on a normal day because today there's still that temporary flight restrictions in place. We also went up just before the Yankees game started. And interestingly enough, there are other flight restrictions an hour before and an hour after. It was a little quiet.

ROBERTS: On a normal day how many does he see?

HILL: On a normal day he said he'd see probably 10 to 15 aircraft which he doesn't consider to be very busy.

ROBERTS: Over the course of an entire day, only 10 to 15?

HILL: Well, when he's flying that particular -- keep in mind you're not in that space for too long.

ROBERTS: Or every time he is up?

HILL: He said that would be sort of an average day when he's going up and down that space.

ROBERTS: All right. So every time he's up there's 10 to 15 other aircraft in the area, correct?

HILL: But that's an average because you have to keep in mind, today we saw maybe three or four other aircraft. It was also later in the day. It was probably around 6:30, 7:00. So all these things come into play... ROBERTS: Lots determine this.

HILL: It is.

But he does say the busiest days are absolutely weekends when you have not just official sightseeing tours but more people taking their private planes up doing unofficial sight-seeing tours for friends and family members.

ROBERTS: Great firsthand look for us tonight. Erica thanks so much.

HILL: Thanks.

ROBERTS: And let us know what you think. Join the live chat happening right now at

Coming up next, kidnapping on the border: Mexican drug cartels have a brutal new tactic, selling people for money.

Also, new developments in the Michael Jackson death investigation and the new battle lines in the fight over his estate when 360 continues.


ROBERTS: President Obama wrapped up the North American Leaders' Summit today in Guadalajara, Mexico. At the meeting, he defended Mexican President Felipe Calderon's battle against the drug cartels. There have been accusations from some in Washington that Calderon's government is sacrificing human rights to win the war.

Here is President Obama's response.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am confident that as the national police are trained, as the coordination between the military and local officials is improved there is going to be increased transparency and accountability and that human rights will be observed.

The biggest by far violators of human rights right now are the cartels themselves that are kidnapping people and extorting people and encouraging corruption in these regions. That's what needs to be stopped.


ROBERTS: The President also touched on immigration, calling it a broken system. For the cartels however, illegal immigration is a booming industry and a bloody one at that. They are not just smuggling narcotics across the border.

With tonight's "Crime & Punishment" report, here is CNN's Michael Ware.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MICHAEL WARE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is a tale of kidnap, imprisonment and worse, much worse. It's the story of those who fall prey to Mexico's drug cartels because of their hope to come to America.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (speaking in foreign language): Because they didn't let me free, they raped me.

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): I cannot tell you her name nor anyone else's in this story. Nor can I show you their faces or tell you where I met them. Because if I did, they say, they would almost certainly be killed.

That's because the violent drug cartels have a new and lucrative business. Think of it as a hostile takeover, the people smuggling business.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (speaking in foreign language): We were very scared because these men were very bad. They don't have a soul. They can just kill an immigrant without a thought because to them, we don't count for anything.

WARE: This woman fled the poverty of her hometown, the seventh of 12 children. As hundreds do every week in Central America, she headed north for Mexico, bound for the U.S., only to be seized by one of the most brutal cartels in the business, Los Zetas.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (speaking in foreign language): We boarded the train, when the train arrived to (INAUDIBLE), many vans drove by with members of Los Zetas. They kidnapped us and took us to a secret location.

WARE: The cartel ransom them off for whatever they can get, selling them back to families who barely could pay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They control all the routes. They have the infrastructure. They have the money. They have the people. They have the guns. They have everything right now to control everything.

WARE: This man is one of few working with the cartel's victims. He tells us the cartel's new business, human trafficking is flourishing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. This is not only a drugs issue. It's getting money. Where come from, the money, they don't care.

WARE: And some of the money is used for bribery. When the car carrying the young woman in our story arrived at an immigration police checkpoint, she hoped her ordeal with the cartel was over. She said the immigration officials were in on it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (speaking in foreign language): I was telling myself, thank God, something is going to happen the instant an immigration officer approaches. But the kidnapper in the car said he was a member of an organization without name, and made some hand signal, and the immigration officer said, "OK, go through." WARE: This is another woman who was held by a cartel. Her family was unable to pay a ransom, so for four months she was forced to work, cooking for the other hostages and the cartel kidnappers themselves.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (speaking foreign language): While I was kept in the safehouse I found out a lot of things about the cartel, because being the cook, I had to serve them. I had to attend to them, bring them their beer and their food when they were in their meetings.

WARE: She says she was also ordered to take food to prisoners, shackled in makeshift torture chambers, and to wash the clothes of the cartel jailers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (speaking foreign language): Because I washed their clothes, it was always bloody. I didn't realize why. But then I realized the people tied and cuffed, they chopped them into pieces, then burned so there was no evidence of that.

WARE: The men chopped into pieces, she says, were hostages who could not pay or more often, they were the men they called coyotes, the Mexicans who specialize in smuggling people across the U.S. border; the cartels literally butchering their competition.

And anything that makes cartels like Los Zetas stronger is a threat to America, particularly when there are new means of importing more drugs.

RALPH REYES, DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION: The Zetas are a prime example of an organization that has, from a traditional perspective, looked into other areas of making money, specifically with the human smuggling situation. It is a means of introducing drugs into the United States.

WARE: And that means only one thing -- many more horror stories to come.


ROBERTS: Michael Ware joins us now from Guadalajara.

And Michael, the women in your piece, do we know what will happen next to them?

WARE: The short answer to that, John, is no. They don't know what will become of them. The people caring for them don't know what will become of them.

They're caught in a limbo, John. They can't move forward to the United States. They can't move backwards to their impoverished families. They are literally caught in the middle.

So we are going to have to monitor their fate and see what becomes of them, because they are very much a barometer of the human tragedy that is now about to unfold for those who are trying to get to the United States through Mexico -- John. ROBERTS: And these cartels, Michael, first drug smuggling, now human trafficking. Is there any business that they won't get into as long as there's money to be made?

WARE: Absolutely not. One would imagine, as the DEA tells us, that the cartels are under pressure from the Mexican government's military operations, from interdiction by U.S. forces at the border. So they're looking for other revenue streams.

However, other people will tell you that, in hard economic times, like any good company following any decent business model, the cartels are diversifying their business interests.

So from here on in, it's virtually fair game for any illicit and sometimes legal businesses that are operating in areas controlled by the cartels. Soon it will be the taxis, the hotels and goodness knows what next -- John.

ROBERTS: Well, so far, though, not exactly a decent business model. Michael Ware for us in Guadalajara; Michael thanks so much.

Mexico's drug cartels are now operating all across America. Go to to see a map of their expanding network.

And still to come tonight, Michael Jackson's autopsy is complete but his estate is far from settled. We'll have the latest on that angle. And will there be a movie made from his final rehearsals? Some answers ahead.

Also ahead, reality star mom, Kate Gosselin breaks her silence and sheds some tears. What she revealed, tonight on 360.


ROBERTS: Tonight's "360 Follow," the latest in the Michael Jackson investigation. As Ted Rowlands reported at the top of the hour, authorities now know how Jackson died. They confirmed today the coroner's report has been completed. But investigators are not making that report public, at least not just yet, and there are other new developments tonight to tell you about, as well.

Ted Rowlands joins us again from Los Angeles.

Hi, Ted.



You can get the feeling that the coroner's office would love to share their findings after weeks of not only holding people off, saying, "We should be finished next week. Next week. Next week."

They really do in their press release say that they've done a thorough investigation, and they've come to a conclusion in terms of their death investigation. But they are not going to release any of this information to the public until the LAPD gives them the go ahead.

And the LAPD has asked the coroner's office for now to hold that information and keep it out of the public view until their criminal investigation or their death investigation, which could turn criminal, is complete.

So obviously, the LAPD has served search warrants in Houston, Las Vegas. We understand there could be more warrants down the line. Until they're finished they're not allowing the coroner to release the information, therefore not allowing the public to find out exactly how Michael Jackson died and what was in Michael Jackson's system at the time of his death.

ROBERTS: And Ted, there's also new information about control of Michael Jackson's estate. What are we finding out about that?

ROWLANDS: Another day in court on that front. Katherine Jackson and her lawyers there, along with the executors of this will and the estate.

And what they're hammering out is basically what deals to take on to make some money for the estate. And the judge today said, "You know what? I don't feel comfortable any more unless there's a lawyer here that represents the best interests for the children." He did ok Sony Pictures and Columbia Pictures to make a movie, a documentary, using the rehearsal footage that Michael Jackson compiled in the days leading up to his death. That's going to be released in October.

That's a done deal; Sony paid $60 million for it. They expect to get all of that back and more.

But what the judge said is there are some other things out there, a memorabilia tour of different cities, and some concerts next year in London that start in July. The judge said, "I'm not going to rule on this until we appoint another lawyer for the children's benefit."

And if you think about it, a year from now, a memorabilia tour, does that really help the children? So they're going to appoint the lawyer, and they're going to tackle those things next week.

ROBERTS: All right. Ted Rowlands for us tonight from Las Angeles. Ted thanks so much.

A lot of moving pieces to this story; let's dig deeper on it now with our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin.

Plenty of cases in the past, Jeff, where the cause of death has been released, toxicology reports, whatever, and the police investigation continues. So why in this particular case has the LAPD told the coroner, "Don't tell anybody how he died?"

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Because they are concerned that witnesses, presumably starting with Dr. Murray, the chief suspect in this case, will line up their stories with what they know the scientific evidence shows. They want the witnesses to tell the truth and then see if it really is the truth, because they have the scientific proof on the other side.

ROBERTS: So we're six weeks into this investigation. He died about six weeks ago. And the longer this goes on, what are the likelihood that charges might be filed against Dr. Conrad Murray? If you've got a pretty good case, don't you file charges close to, if not right away, you know, just a couple, three weeks out?

TOOBIN: It's certainly one of the truisms of criminal law that cases don't get better with time. You should -- you should file a case as soon as you have good evidence. But this is a complicated case. There's a lot of scientific evidence involved: the issue of cause of death. Michael Jackson's access to drugs is really a complicated one.

And Conrad Murray is not a fugitive. He's not going to go anywhere. So I do think it makes a lot of sense to make sure you have the best case you possibly can before you file any charges.

ROBERTS: Does it suggest uncertainty? And if there is uncertainty how much in Dr. Murray's favor might that play should he be charged?

OOBIN: Well, certainly, uncertainty will always play in a defendant's favor. I don't think six weeks is that long. Given the complexity of this investigation, I wouldn't draw any real conclusions, one way or the other, based on the fact that they haven't charged -- charged him yet.

ROBERTS: And so what do you make of the fact that the judge today said, "Michael Jackson's three children, I want you to have legal representation." Katherine Jackson is the guardian of these children. Would she not look after their best interest legally?

TOOBIN: Well, I think the judge is acting prudently because it's interesting what Katherine Jackson is doing here. She's not challenging the will, because if she challenges the will, she loses all of the money.

But she's sort of challenging the procedures in administering the will so far. She's raising a lot of questions. She's asking to see more documents. She's asking for more time.

At some point her interests may conflict with the children's, who are the major beneficiaries of the will. So the judge is doing what judges often do, which is let's make sure everybody has their own representatives, especially when you're dealing with kids who can't represent themselves.

ROBERTS: You've got Katherine Jackson who's looking after the kids, but now you have an attorney who's going to be looking after the kids' best interest. There are so many potential points of conflict are emerging now through all this.

TOOBIN: That's just the reason. Because at some point if Katherine Jackson becomes an obstruction, that could -- that could challenge the children's interests; that could hurt the children's financial interests. So they want -- the judge wants a lawyer to say, "Hey, let's make sure that the kids get as much money as they can down the road."

ROBERTS: When we first started talking about this, you told me probably three -- two to three years to figure it all out? You want to revise that?

TOOBIN: Well, I think three is looking more likely than two. The lawyers will certainly do well.

ROBERTS: Jeff, it's always great to see you. Thanks for stopping by tonight. Appreciate it.

Still ahead on 360, one half of "Jon & Kate," minus the eight, speaking out about why she's still wearing her wedding ring. You know you've been wondering, even if you'd rather not admit it. Tonight we've got the answer for you.

Plus, they were presumably looking for a thrill, not sheer terror. Two dozen people trapped in a roller coaster 80 feet up. We'll show you the dramatic rescue pictures in just a moment.


ROBERTS: A lot happening tonight. Let's get the latest now on some of the other stories that we're following. Erica Hill joins us again with the "360 Bulletin."

Hi, Erica.

HILL: And John, a bit of a "360 Follow" to start for you. The U.S. government now convinced the top Taliban commander in Pakistan is, in fact, dead. Senior officials confirming Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a CIA missile strike last Wednesday. Clinching VID (ph), they say he was spotted just before that strike on the roof, getting treatment for his diabetic legs.

They were left hanging, some for nearly six hours. Two dozen people stuck on the "Invertigo" roller coaster at the Great American Theme Park just south of San Francisco. The ride stops near the high point, which in 98-degree heat became a low point. Frankly, I rarely think being stuck at the high point is ever a high point. Luckily, no one was hurt.

Kate Gosselin is speaking out, explaining why the "Jon & Kate Plus 8" co-star is still wearing her wedding ring, despite the announcement of a divorce.




GOSSELIN: I don't want to upset them. While I have been very real and as honest as I need to be, I don't want to shock them. I've walked slowly through this with them.


HILL: And they're obviously speaking about her eight children.

And your canine companion may be smarter than you think. A study shows the average dog has the same I.Q. as a 2-year-old. In fact, it can count up to five and learn more than 165 words. The honor students among the breeds: border collies, poodles and German shepherds, in that order, John. The not so bright bulbs are apparently hounds and some beagles, which is bad news for my father. He's a big beagle lover.

ROBERTS: I know a few beagle owners myself. I had a golden -- I've had Golden Retrievers for much of my adult life.

HILL: And where do you believe they fall?

ROBERTS: I don't think they can count to five, and I've never heard any one of them ever speak a word. So I don't think they're too good in the vocabulary though.

HILL: Yes, the 165 words, I'm a little cautious.

ROBERTS: Yes. They mostly know food, food, food.

Thanks, Erica.

Still ahead, a new video from "Auto Tune the News." Those are the folks who found the way to make the most boring C-SPAN speeches absolutely captivating, even dare we say, danceable.


ROBERTS: Tonight's "Shot" comes from the folks at, Erica. They've made a new video. You know the drill, maybe not. More than a handful of 360 staffers were baffled when they were asked about that.

HILL: Me included.

ROBERTS: Including Erica. Basically, the idea is you take real news and real newsmakers, and you put them through an auto tune. Take a look.




ROBERTS: Now are those guys clever or what?

HILL: I like it.

ROBERTS: The Gregory brothers. I talked to them about a week ago.

HILL: Yes. Do they have favorite people that they like to auto tune? ROBERTS: Yes. Michelle Bachmann from Minnesota.

HILL: Really?

ROBERTS: Yes. John Boehner, as well. She apparently works very well. And they also liked Hillary Clinton.

HILL: They have some new material from Secretary Clinton now.

ROBERTS: Yes, they do. They get new material each and every day, no question of that.

HILL: Yes. Never a lack of it.

ROBERTS: Thanks, Erica.

You can see all the most recent "Shots" at our Web site at

That does it for this edition of 360. Thanks for watching.