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Protesters Killed in Bahrain; Adding Insult to Injury?; Heart Transplant Miscommunication; Knox Case Gets New Look

Aired February 16, 2011 - 23:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We begin with breaking news. Good evening, everyone.

A violent new police crackdown on protesters in the Middle East caught on tape as it happened blow by blow, this time the Gulf state of Bahrain, police there are swarming across the capital, trying to force protesters out of the Pearl Roundabout area of the city. According to one eyewitness, the attack was a cowardly one. He says the demonstrators, including women and children, were sleeping when police came in with stun grenades and tear gas. At least two people are dead.

One American correspondent, ABC's Miguel Marquez, was injured. He was on the phone describing the scene unfolding right in front of him.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CORRESPONDENT, ABC NEWS: There was a canister that looked like a -- help (INAUDIBLE) turned to me. No, no, no, no. Journalist, journalist -- journalist, journalist -- journalist, journalist.

No, no, no. Journalist, journalist, journalist, journalist.

All right, all right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go, go, go, go.

MARQUEZ: I'm going. I'm going. My bus is here.

I'm going. I'm going. I'm going. I'm going. I'm going. I'm going.

We're journalists here. I'm going. I'm going. I'm going. I'm going. I'm going. I'm hit. I'm going. I'm going.

I'm going to my hotel.

I just got beat rather badly by a gang of thugs. I'm now in a marketplace near our hotel where people are cowering in buildings. I mean, these people are not screwing around.


COOPER: CNN's Nic Robertson was on the scene as well when the tear gas hit. He joins us now. Nic, what do we know about what happened?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Anderson, we know that thousands of police in a military-style operation, they were wearing combat riot gear, helmets, wielding truncheons, wielding -- wielding riot shields, holding -- they also had tear gas guns.

We saw them firing the tear gas into the area of the Pearl Roundabout. I've just been in the main hospital here where all the casualties are being brought in. One health assistant there told us some 600 casualties. There are many with head wounds. I just talked to a young 15-year-old boy whose abdomen and arms are peppered with what appears to be large buckshot wounds.

The people there told us that they were sleeping when the police moved in, that they didn't realize the police were coming in to break up what until then had been a peaceful demonstration. And then they said essentially pandemonium.

People fled. Tear gas was firing. Shotguns were firing, and that the triage room at the hospital now, the doctors and nurses, they are struggling to keep up with the number of casualties coming in, Anderson. It is pandemonium at that hospital right now.

COOPER: Nic, what -- what is it that the -- the protesters are calling for in Bahrain?

ROBERTSON: This is a majority Shia-Sunni population here. The country is ruled by a Sunni ruling elite. The elite royal family has most of the important jobs in the government.

They would like now to have the regime overthrown. Just a couple of days ago, the king apologized when a protester was killed. Now they say the king apologizes one day, and this is what happens the next day. There's a hard crackdown. More people are killed.

They say that they would like more jobs. The economy is bad. They say they know the global economy is bad.

But, principally, this is about a Sunni -- about a Shia Muslim population that has been dominated by a Sunni royal family. And they have had their rights, they say, downtrodden. They want better rights. They want better access to better jobs. They want better access to government jobs, and they want more jobs in the security forces, which mostly they are pretty much shut out of right now, Anderson.

COOPER: And how long had protesters been in that square and are there protesters still in that square at this hour?

ROBERTSON: They had been there about three days. They had -- they had set up a camp. There were tents. I was in there just before the police moved in. There were families. There were women. There were children. There were people camping out on grass having picnics, smoking (INAUDIBLE) pipes. It was a very relaxed atmosphere. They had food. They were clearly staying there for a long time. They told me that this was their Tahrir Square, their Liberation Square, like Cairo. This is what they were emulating. They were well-organized. They had a place for people to charge their mobile phones.

They even had a media center with media center signs and an Internet hook-up they were offering there. So, this was well-organized and they said they were planning to stay. And they had only been there for three days. But clearly after a day of the police leaving them alone, the government decided very -- with a very firm hand to crack down.

And there is nobody there right now. Nobody can get into Tahrir Square -- into Pearl Roundabout. You can't even get close to that area. We were just turned back while I have been talking to you, turned back from a checkpoint here -- Anderson.

COOPER: Nic, so two people dead, you said hundreds in the hospital. Do we know how Miguel Marquez is doing?

ROBERTSON: We don't. And it was somewhat chaotic at that hospital. We were allowed in for a brief period and then -- and then we left.


ROBERTSON: So, it's not clear. We will need to make a return visit.

COOPER: Ok. Nic Robertson, I appreciate it.

He was continuing to report, so we hope he's ok.

"Keeping Them Honest" now on the sickening attack on CBS News reporter Lara Logan. We're not talking about the assault Logan suffered at the hands of an Egyptian mob on Friday. We're talking about an online attack on her made yesterday by an American journalist and a fellow at New York University.

Here is what happened. Yesterday, CBS News released a statement and this picture revealing that on Friday in Cairo, Lara Logan, their chief foreign affairs correspondent, was caught up in a frenzied mob of several hundred men celebrating the fall of Mubarak.

Forcibly separated from her security and production team, she suffered in the words of a CBS News statement -- quote -- "a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers."

The statement also revealed Logan was in the hospital. Today she's back home in Washington and we learned President Obama telephoned her. It is hard to imagine anyone reacting to what happened to Logan with anything but concern and caring.

But this man, Nir Rosen, had a very different reaction. He repeatedly made jokes on Twitter about Logan's attack. Now, normally, we wouldn't pay attention to this kind of stuff, but Nir Rosen is not just some anonymous person. He's a journalist who has reported extensively from Iraq and a teacher at New York University. He had a fellowship at New York University's Center of Law -- on Law and Security.

He's now stepped down from that fellowship. Rosen has now apologized for his numerous offensive tweets, but he continues to claim that he did not know at the time that Logan was sexually assaulted. Numerous facts, however, seem to contradict that.

So we asked him on tonight to explain those contradictions. You can judge for yourself in a moment if he's being honest.

Here is what he said on Twitter yesterday. His first tweet about Logan's attack was this -- quote -- "Lara Logan had to outdo Anderson. Where was her buddy, McChrystal?"

He's referring to the much less severe attack I and my crew experienced in Egypt.

In this tweet, he also provides a link to the CBS News statement announcing the attack on Logan. By saying she had to outdo me, he clearly appears to be aware the attack on Logan was far more serious than the attack on me and my crew. The CBS statement he provides a link to also clearly states she was sexually assault and was in a hospital.

So it's hard to believe he sent out a link to a short statement that he himself, a journalist, never read. Remember, even now that he is apologizing, he claims he did not really know the horrific nature of her assault.

His second tweet from yesterday: "Yes, yes, it's wrong what happened to her, of course. I don't support that. But it would have been funny if it happened to Anderson, too."

Now, given he was obviously aware I had already been punched a few times, he seems to be saying it would be funny if I were sexually assaulted or more violently assaulted in some way than I had already been. Again, what appears to be a clear indication he knew what kind of attack Logan had suffered.

If all he knew about was the beating, not the sexual assault on Logan, wouldn't he have said something like, it was funny when it happened to Anderson, too?

Later, he tweeted about Logan -- quote -- "Jesus Christ. At a moment when she's going to become a martyr and glorified, we should at least remember her role as a major warmonger."

He started to get negative responses on Twitter and made a half- hearted apology in a following tweet. "Ah, F it," he said. "I apologize for being insensitive. It's always wrong. That's obvious. But I'm rolling my eyes at all the attention she will get."

Well, today, Nir Rosen, as I said, resigned from his fellowship at New York University. The university said he told them he didn't know Logan had been seriously attacked and sexually assaulted. And that's a claim he's also made in print online today.

But is that really true or is he continuing to lie trying to save his reputation by minimizing what he wrote, by claiming he wasn't fully informed? You can decide for yourself.

I spoke with Nir Rosen earlier tonight from the Middle East.


COOPER: Nir, how do you explain your tweets?

NIR ROSEN, JOURNALIST: I don't have an explanation. I was a jerk -- 2:00 in the morning, and I was being thoughtless, forgetting that I wasn't just talking to a couple of people, but I was talking, in theory, to hundreds of thousands of people.

COOPER: In your defense subsequent to this, you have said in a couple articles, in the one I read, I quote, you said: "I heard that Ms. Logan was roughed up like many other journalists. I had not realized it was something more serious."

That's hard to believe, though, reading your first two tweets. You clearly knew, it seems, what happened to her was sexual, because you said that she was trying to -- she had to outdo me, so clearly you knew I had just been punched a couple of times or roughed up a little bit. So you knew the attack on her was worse than that.

And in the second one, you said it would be funny if it happened to Anderson, meaning -- I can only assume you meant a sexual assault, because I had already been roughed up. So, didn't you -- you did know that there was a sexual assault involved?

ROSEN: At the time, I didn't know that. I have been in the Middle East and not really with much access to information.

And I just assumed that you were roughed up, and she was roughed up a bit more -- not that it's justifiable. No matter what, whether it's just roughed up, obviously, it's wrong. But had I known that it was a sexual assault then it is no laughing matter, especially for a man. And -- and there's no excuse for it. There's no defense. No matter I say or try to explain, I look like a jerk.

COOPER: But, again, it is hard to believe you didn't know it was a sexual assault. Not only did you say that she was trying to outdo me or -- and that it would be funny if it happened to me --


ROSEN: But that --

COOPER: -- but you -- but you also -- you also linked to the CBS News statement which clearly says it was a sexual assault.

ROSEN: Yes, I should have read it. I just heard the word assault, not that that's just -- no matter what I say, it doesn't sound good. An assault isn't justifiable either; an assault terrible. I just assumed you were roughed up, and she was roughed up a bit more, and now the mainstream media is going to make a big deal out of this, instead of focusing on other events.

COOPER: But -- but you honestly want people to believe that you were linking to a CBS News statement that you yourself had not read?

ROSEN: I just -- I -- I was sort of re-tweeting. I heard the word assault. I figured, ok, many journalists are being pushed around and roughed up. Here's one more.


COOPER: But did you read the CBS statement that you linked to?

ROSEN: Not at the time. I -- afterwards, I did, and I realized that I was going to be in a lot of trouble.

COOPER: You -- you tried to then delete a number of your early tweets. And then, clearly aware that some people were offended at you, you tweeted -- quote -- "F it. I apologize for being insensitive. It's always wrong. That's obvious. But my -- I'm rolling my eyes at all the attention she will get."

At that point, your apology there seems half-hearted at best, and you kind of sound just like sort of a bitter -- a bitter, jealous reporter, angry at some other reporter who is more well-known.

ROSEN: Yes, it sounds like that. That's not the case. But my point was that dozens of women suffered from this attack, and one of them is going to get all the attention because she's white and she's a celebrity correspondent. I'm not -- again, I'm not defending myself here or justifying it, but I was just explaining.

COOPER: You're also insisting now that you're a radical supporter of women's rights. But I -- I was talking to a lot of the women in my office, and all of them would say the same thing. They've never heard a radical supporter of women's rights make fun of a woman who has been sexually assaulted.

ROSEN: That's true. And at the time, I wasn't aware that she had been sexually assaulted. There's no justification for it.

I was trying to provoke a guy that I was on Twitter with. Just we banter about WikiLeaks, the morality of WikiLeaks --


COOPER: But if you didn't know -- let me just jump in. If you didn't know if -- if she had been sexually assaulted, how come you were saying she was outdoing me, and that it would be funny if the same thing happened to me? Because you already knew I had been attacked.

ROSEN: I didn't know very much about your attack either. There's no defense here. I just figured that this is going to be more attention and -- and is going to take away from events on the ground and from other people who were attacked because they weren't white, they weren't celebrities.

And it -- you know, you make fun of the celebrity culture of the mainstream media, and people try to outdo each other and make it about the correspondents, instead of the news.

In my defense, in terms of my record, if I may, I spent eight years risking my life trying to tell the stories of victims and condemn their oppressors. I spent today actually here -- I'm in the Middle East -- documenting sexual abuse against women by local security forces who are trained by the Americans. I mean, there's no way -- there's no defense for what I did.

COOPER: What people are going to have to decide is whether your apology is real and -- and heartfelt. And they'll do that based on whether they think you're being honest in your explanation of what happened.

So, again, I just want to ask you, are -- are you standing by the idea that you did not know she was sexually assaulted? Because, again, in your first tweet, it makes it sound like you were saying she was one- upping the minor assault that I had and that it would be funny if that happened to me.

And then you'd actually did link to the CBS News article that was very clear about the nature of her assault and the fact that she was in a hospital.

ROSEN: Yes, it doesn't look good. No, I didn't read the article. And I apologize to her and her family and to women everywhere. There's no excuse for what I did. I have ruined an eight-year record of taking risks in defense of justice and (AUDIO GAP) my own career and people and embarrassed myself and my family.

COOPER: Nir Rosen, I appreciate you being on the program.

ROSEN: Thanks.


COOPER: Well, again, you can decide for yourself what to make of Mr. Rosen's apology.

I want to bring in some other points of view, Joan Walsh of and Ashleigh Banfield of ABC News.

Joan, do -- do you -- when you first heard what Nir Rosen had said, what did you make of it?

JOAN WALSH, EDITOR IN CHIEF, SALON.COM: Well, I thought it was horrible, Anderson. And I assumed that he was making light of a sexual assault, since I had read the CBS short story as well, and it was pretty clear what happened.

So I'm not going to call him a liar. Only he knows what he knew. But -- but it was incredibly insensitive. And even, you know, aside from the sexual assault aspect, to be mocking someone that you don't like who's -- who has been injured and -- and mistreated, I would rather think that we don't have those responses, that we kind of put down the politics and just think, wow, I hope she's ok.

Maybe that's naive of me.

COOPER: Ashleigh Banfield, when you heard his tweets, what did you think?

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, ABC NEWS: Well, I think my first impression was that it was horrifying, but I, you know, wanted to withhold judgment until I knew the whole story.

And I certainly think, Anderson, you and I and everybody else in this business, we're using a lot of electronics to get information out as fast as we can nowadays before we can really digest the ramifications of what we say, and also perhaps the background to which we're referring.

And so I'm -- I'm certainly not going to cast aspersions on Mr. Rosen. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. But I -- I hope that for his sake he's certainly going to make amends and -- and think before he tweets next time.

COOPER: Joan, this wasn't just one tweet that was sent out, though, late at night between some friends.


COOPER: This was multiple tweets over time with some very clear arguments being made about -- about Ms. Logan, in addition to the snide comments and in addition to the kind of inappropriate what I guess he would say was -- was an attempt at joking comments about -- about the assault.

Do you believe, though, that -- that -- that at -- that an experienced journalist would tweet out a statement -- would tweet out a CBS News statement, tweet a link to it without having read it? It's a two- paragraph or three-paragraph statement --


WALSH: Right. It is short. It's short.

COOPER: -- that he is having multiple comments about. I find it hard to believe frankly that he didn't read that statement.

WALSH: I -- I find it hard to believe. But, again, I'm not going to call him a liar.

Listen, Anderson, he's written for Salon. He's done -- he's done some good work. He's done a bad thing here. You know, I -- I continue to hear, even as he talks to you, his -- his final self-defense, which is, well, it's terrible that it happened to her, but what happens to a white celebrity reporter is now going to obscure what happens to Egyptian women and non-celebrities. I think that's pretty poor, too. I think that -- that it's our job to care about injustice and mistreatment wherever it happens. I certainly -- I know that you and I and Ashleigh care about the plight of Egyptian women and we would be bringing that to the world's attention if we knew about those stories. Just because she's white and just because she is a celebrity is really no reason to lose compassion.

If I can also just jump in and say, though, there are a lot of people on the right, who are not getting half the attention of Nir Rosen, who have said some pretty despicable things and are sticking by them.

There's a whole wave of people on the blogosphere, Gateway Pundit and Debbie Schlussel who are basically blaming Lara Logan for her -- for what happened to her because she dared to go report on Islam, rather than treating it as this sexist, brutal religion.

And I -- and I'd like to see those people come in for a little bit of -- of criticism and examination, too. It's not just what Nir said on Twitter.

COOPER: We've got to leave it there.

Joan Walsh, I appreciate you being on and Ashleigh Banfield as well.

Let us know what you think. The live chat is up and running right now at

Just ahead, an Arizona man whose heart is failing denied a lifesaving transplant under a new state law. But now the state says he can have a transplant after all. His family, though -- the problem is -- his family says no one informed them of that reversal for months. And precious time has been wasted.

And later, the Amanda Knox case takes another bizarre turn -- why Italian police are now going after the young American's mom. You're going to hear an interview with the mom ahead tonight.

And Isha Sesay is following another story -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown is revealing some long hidden secrets in a memoir set to be published next week. When we come back, I'll explain why Brown says he hopes people will be inspired by his book's message -- that and more just ahead.


COOPER: A quick update on ABC News correspondent Miguel Marquez, who got caught up in a crackdown in Bahrain. I got a word from ABC just right now that he's doing ok. He and his producer are -- are fine and safe. That's the update.

In a moment, you're going to meet Doug Gravagna. He lives in Arizona. And unless he gets a heart transplant, he could very well die there. In October, Arizona's version of Medicaid, which was going to pay for his transplant, sent him a letter saying in so many words you're no longer covered because the state can't afford it. They sent that letter to him and nearly 100 others who had been waiting for organs. Several have since died.

By January, when he came on this program, Gravagna was losing hope.


COOPER: What have you been told about what will happen without a transplant? I mean, how urgent is the transplant for you?

DOUGLAS GRAVAGNA, WAITING FOR HEART TRANSPLANT: It's urgent for me, Anderson. I -- I'll die. My condition is getting worse each day.


COOPER: Well, Doug's story and others touching off an outcry in Arizona and across the country. But here's where things got even stranger. Arizona Medicaid officials are now saying they will pay for Doug's heart transplant and they say they made the decision known last November 1st.

Doug and his family say no one told them. And for more than three months, they say they have been in agony, unsure what to do to save Doug's life.

Here's how he and his sister Kim Vega found out. January 31st, Vega says she got a call from Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's office saying a mistake may have been made about dropping him from the list.

Then on the 3rd of this month, after Gravagna appeared at a news conference with other transplant patients, she says the governor's office called again saying to expect a letter. The letter apologizes for -- quote -- "miscommunication", saying that Doug and Kim should have been notified back in November that a phone call was made; a call no one in Doug's family say they ever got.

However, back in November, Arizona Medicaid did manage to notify someone that Doug's transplant would once again be covered. They sent a letter -- we have a copy of the letter dated November 1st -- to Doug's doctors, but somehow the family says word never got back to them.

Now, this gets tricky because we can't ask his doctors what they told him, and privacy laws don't allow that. And Arizona officials say they can't comment on Doug's specific case. But they do say that, in general, they issue notifications like his by phone to save money. Yet when they dropped him originally, they did that by mail.

Now, when most states send out any kind of important official notification, it usually comes by mail and sometimes by registered mail. And you might think letting a guy know he might have a second shot at life would be important enough to spend 44 cents.

When reached for comment, here's what a spokesman for Arizona AHCCCS -- or Access -- told us. "I have never heard of this agency not notifying someone that they were approved for a transplant. It's not something that just -- that just slips through the cracks." She says they log all such notification calls, who was reached and what was discussed.

She offered to show it to us if we got permission from Doug Gravagna. The family claims they sent such permission this afternoon, but the e- mail got bounced back to them. I spoke with Doug and Kim Vega earlier this evening.


COOPER: Douglas, the last time we spoke, you -- you said your condition was getting worse every day. How are you doing now?

GRAVAGNA: It's the same.

COOPER: The same?

GRAVAGNA: Yes, I don't know if I will wake up the next day, Mr. Cooper. You know, I'm -- my dizziness -- and I have been in and -- in and out of the hospital. I was in the hospital last Monday and they CAT-scanned my brain, because I was in a mall. And there's just a lot of -- a lot of stress.


Douglas, in October, the state sent you a letter saying they are not going to pay for your heart transplant, but they actually reversed their -- that decision in November. You say, though, you were never told about the reversal until this month, right?

GRAVAGNA: That's true, Mr. Cooper.

COOPER: How can that be?

GRAVAGNA: I don't know. It's -- it sounds like something that bureaucratic, or -- but I never received any information.

COOPER: Did something in your condition change to suddenly make you eligible for heart transplant funding?

GRAVAGNA: No. I have the same condition, sir.

KIM VEGA, BROTHER OF DOUGLAS GRAVAGNA: At least to our knowledge, ok? On October 7th, when he was denied transplant, it clearly indicated it was due to him having non-ischemic cardiomyopathy.

If their approval was founded on something other than that, once again, we were not notified. And as far as we know, Douglas attends his physicians every month. He's on -- he's being closely watched, and nothing has ever been disclosed that there has been a change in his decision --


COOPER: So Kim --

VEGA: -- you know, in his condition, rather.

COOPER: -- so, Kim, the state is saying that they sent this notification to -- to the doctors and they say that -- that somebody contacted someone in your family in November. And they told us it's -- quote -- "not something that just slips through the cracks."

You say, though, that no one in your family ever received a phone call or a letter, right?

VEGA: Not at all, Anderson.

As a matter of fact, ok, the dire straits that my family was in at that moment in time, purely out of fear and desperate measure, ok, I turned to the National Transplant Assistance Fund to try to raise funds for Douglas, you know, to reach out to the community and do it privately, because we were under the impression that, you know what, there was no coverage. He was cut, just like everybody else.


COOPER: And -- and no --

VEGA: -- we have not received --


COOPER: I'm sorry, go ahead.

VEGA: -- any communication whatsoever stating, ok, that Douglas was reinstated.

COOPER: So -- so, essentially, Douglas, you lost a -- a good amount of time that you could have been on the transplant waiting list, right?

GRAVAGNA: That is correct, sir.


COOPER: And Kim, time -- time is of the essence?

GRAVAGNA: That's true.

VEGA: It most definitely is, ok?


VEGA: I will be very blunt in stating, ok, this holiday season, our family collectively, ok, we -- we embraced it, not knowing if Douglas would be around for another holiday to spend with us.

There is no way that I would have put forth the effort to reach out to the community and -- and ask for help, if -- if we -- if we knew that, you know what? He's got coverage. (CROSS TALK)

COOPER: Kim this is --

VEGA: This is absurd.

COOPER: -- the -- the state Medicaid official told us it's their policy to make phone calls, not send letters, because they have over a million patients, and -- and it's a cost and efficiency issue.

But again, you're saying you never received and no one in your family received a phone call?

VEGA: Anderson, this is the year 2011. We live in a time that, if you don't have something in black and white, it's hearsay. We had nothing in black and white. There was no verbal communication, nothing to substantiate that, you know what? This boy could have been put on the list.

And what angers us even more is the fact that you know what? How do I know or how does he know that a heart hasn't come and gone?


COOPER: And -- and --

VEGA: And the duress. Ok, he's been in the -- he's been in the media forefront pleading for his life, Anderson. He was on your show pleading for his life, pleading to the governor.

Who in their right mind would subject a family member that is so desperately ill to that level of scrutiny out there with the media and all if, you know what, we knew he had coverage?

COOPER: So, what do you think went on here, Kim?

VEGA: What I think went on here? I think someone needs to be held accountable. I'm concerned with the fact that there are 90 plus other people in this state that are comparable to illness with Douglas, if not worse. And how do they know that maybe that, you know what? They weren't notified. They're under the misconception that they don't have any insurance.

It's so -- I don't know if we're a victim of the system, all right, but you know what? If you apply for anything, you get approval or denial letter. Knowing that these letters went out telling these individuals that they were cut from access, there would be no chance in getting a transplant, don't you think it would have been the responsibility of that same entity to ensure that these people were put at ease to know that you will be covered.

COOPER: What I don't get is they sent you a very detailed letter telling you -- telling you, Douglas, when you were cut off, when you were taken off this list, when you weren't eligible for this transplant, according to the state. I don't understand why they wouldn't send an equally detailed letter explaining, "Oh, actually -- you're actually now eligible for this.

VEGA: You had no problem sending out those 90 plus letters to these people telling them that they were denied. I think it would be the responsibility then to send out notification, especially if there was a change, ok, in their status with your insurance company. If you approve them, you make sure these people know.

COOPER: Douglas, bottom line, you've lost a few months of eligibility. Are you optimistic that you're going to get a heart transplant?

GRAVAGNA: I certainly hope so. I need to get on the list, Mr. Cooper, and we'll go from there, one step at a time. But I'm elated that I've been approved.

COOPER: Douglas Gravagna, we'll continue to follow your case. Appreciate you being with us again. Kim Vega, as well. Thanks, Kim.

GRAVAGNA: Thank you, sir.

VEGA: Thank you.

COOPER: Still ahead tonight, how far Congresswoman Gabby Giffords has come in her recovery. One of her closest staffers describes her boss' progress in detail tonight.

Plus, a startling revelation about Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown about what he says happened to him in his childhood.


COOPER: Just ahead, the Amanda Knox story takes another incredible turn. She's the young American woman convicted of murdering her roommate in Italy. Italian police are targeting her mom now and her mom is speaking out. You're going to hear from her in a moment.

First, Isha Sesay has a "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.

SESAY: Anderson, a Somali man will spend nearly 34 years in prison for his role in the hijacking of a U.S. flag ship as it cruised past the Horn of Africa in 2009. He pleaded guilty in a New York federal court to the hijacking after taking the ship's captain hostage.

Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown tells CBS News he was sexually abused as a child. In an interview to air Sunday on "60 Minutes", Brown said he kept the sexual abuse a secret even from his mother and wife. He's also describing the event in a new memoir.

And new details about the progress of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the progress she's making in rehab. Here's what her chief of staff, Pia Carusone, told CBS News today.


PIA CARUSONE, REP. GIFFORDS' CHIEF OF STAFF: There's various words in her vocabulary that are -- that are coming back and new words every day that we hear; short phrases, simple thoughts.

She -- there's no doubt she understands what's happening around her, and you know, she's just working really hard and progressing. It's paying off, and every day there's new progress that you see. So, you know, we feel very hopeful at her recovery.


COOPER: Yes. We certainly wish her the best.

A quick programming note, Isha, tomorrow, 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta gives us a first-hand look at what Giffords' days are like in rehab. He went to the Houston facility where she is being treated. He was allowed to be kind of a patient and actually go through the rehab program that someone like Giffords typically receives. It's a fascinating look. It's going to be tomorrow on 360.

New developments in the case that people have a lot of strong opinions about: Amanda Knox; as the young American woman gets ready to appeal her own murder conviction in Italy, brand-new charges against her parents. And we're actually going to hear from Amanda's mother tonight on the program in just a moment.


COOPER: Tonight, in "Crime & Punishment", brand-new developments in the Amanda Knox story. Knox, of course, is the young American woman convicted of murdering her roommate in Italy. Now the Italian justice system is going after her parents, in a strange twist.

In a few minutes, we're going to hear from Amanda's mom, who's charged with libel for what she said about how Italian police treated her daughter.

If the Knox story sounds like a Lifetime movie waiting to happen, the wait is over. A Lifetime movie starring Hayden Panettiere as Amanda and Marcia Gay Harden as her mom is premiering on Monday. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amanda Knox is being tried for murder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We suspect that it started as some sort of sex game.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe Amanda orchestrated the attack.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Foxy Knoxy swept into court like an invitee to a gala event.

MARCIA GAY HARDEN, ACTRESS: You have no evidence.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Amanda Knox is appealing her conviction. Her mom says that libel charges will not stop her from telling her story. We'll have more on that in a moment. We're going to hear from her.

But first, Joe Johns has a look at how Amanda Knox got where she is now.


JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She was painted as a homicidal she-devil by prosecutors, who claimed it was some sort of perverted game that led Amanda Knox to encourage her boyfriend and another man to sexually assault Meredith Kercher. The court found that as they held Kercher down, Knox stabbed her in the throat with a kitchen knife.

CANDACE DEMPSEY, AUTHOR, "MURDER IN ITALY": The prosecution first claimed that it was kind of an orgy going on and that kind of thing. And gradually, they come -- there was satanic rituals attached to that, and they gradually backed away from the satanic part. But they still kind of link it to Halloween, and there was craziness going on.

JOHNS: What made the story all the more fascinating was Amanda Knox herself, a fresh-faced, innocent-looking young woman. Through all the brutal accusations, she seemed poised but admitted she was struggling to deal with her emotions.

AMANDA KNOX, CONVICTED OF MURDER (through translator): I am not calm. During these days, I wrote on paper in front of me that I am afraid.

JOHNS: Now with her appeal, Italian authorities are expected to take a second look at the case and the sentences: 26 years for Knox and 25 for her Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito. The second man, Rudy Guede, has already appealed once and gotten his sentence reduced from 30 to 16 years.

Knox's lawyers hope that, on closer review, she looks less like a killer and more like the face of innocence. In the first place, her attorneys have raised questions whether Knox and Sollecito were even in the house at the time Meredith was stabbed and slashed to death.

In a written statement for the Italian authorities, Knox at first admitted she was there, but made it clear that she didn't kill Meredith. She later said her admission had essentially been coerced.

DEMPSEY: She first of all says that she did this under great pressure, that the police hit her on the back of the head. They kept her there all night. They didn't give her food or water, and they asked her to imagine different scenarios.

JOHNS: There are other weaknesses in the case against her. DNA evidence found at the scene pointed to Guede as the perpetrator, an Ivory Coast immigrant with a police record.

EDDA MELLAS, AMANDA KNOX'S MOTHER: We know that his DNA is all over the room, in the victim's blood, on the victim's body. His footprints are in her blood all over the room. His DNA is in her purse.

After the crime, he all of a sudden had money that he didn't have earlier in the day. He went out partying, and then he fled the country.

JOHNS: By contrast, a small amount of Knox's DNA was found on the knife allegedly used to kill Meredith. Knox's lawyer said that was no major revelation, because the knife was a cooking utensil that Knox used to prepare food.

The appeal system in Italy is said to be very fair, so it may be that once a higher court hears the case on March 12, this case, already so full of surprises, could take another dramatic turn.

Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Well, even before that hearing, the story has taken a dramatic new turn with charges against Amanda Knox's parents. Her parents have been indicted on charges of libeling Italian police, stemming from an interview with the "Sunday Times of London".

They told the paper that Amanda Knox wasn't given food or water after her arrest and that police had physically and verbally abused her.

Drew Griffin of the Special Investigations Unit has been working on a special about Amanda Knox spoke with her mom. He joins us now live from Seattle.

Drew, Amanda's mom told you she feels the libel case against her and Amanda's father, quote, "feels very personal". Does she believe that someone in Italy is somehow -- I mean what does she mean by that?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, she believes that there's certainly a piling on going on, an animosity towards her family, and a vindictiveness maybe, I would say, in these charges.

You know, I spoke with her last night here in Seattle, Anderson, just hours after these charges were filed, and even though she knew the charges were coming, I think there's some disbelief that the Italians actually did it.


GRIFFIN: If you look at it as the Italian justice system versus your family, this almost feels like persecution, not prosecution -- going now after the parents.

MELLAS: Uh-huh. Well, and I wouldn't say the Italian justice system. I would say a few people in Perugia, definitely. It feels very personal now. It feels like, OK, you're after our daughter; you're after, you know, us.

Someone today commented on the radio it's almost like they try to wear them down. Maybe if we keep at them, they'll go away or, you know, go bankrupt or whatever. But it's not stopping us.

GRIFFIN: Will you?

MELLAS: Probably eventually. Yes.

GRIFFIN: Go bankrupt?

MELLAS: Well, you know, I think we've mortgaged just about everything we can mortgage.


COOPER: They could face jail time, though, if they're found guilty of libel, right?

GRIFFIN: Yes, they could, but I didn't get the sense that they thought this was that serious. Certainly, the sentence for libel is nowhere near the sentence that her daughter is now serving. They intend to fight it all the way, as much as they can, as much as their money will string them out.

The first hearing is in July of this summer, Anderson. And they said, with appeals and everything, what they know about the Italian justice system now; their libel case could go on for years.

COOPER: Drew, appreciate the reporting. Thanks.

A lot more happening tonight. Prince William and Kate Middleton announce where their first official tour will be after they marry this spring. We have details of that.

And see why New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is on tonight's "RidicuList". It has nothing to do with politics. We'll tell you what it's about, ahead.


COOPER: Ahead, see who wants to evict the cast of the "Jersey Shore", and the battle lands on tonight's "RidicuList." But first, Isha Sesay is back with a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Isha.

SESAY: Anderson, new White House press secretary Jay Carney held his first press briefing today. He covered a number of topics including President Obama's proposed 2012 budget and the uprisings in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, Bill Burton, who lost out to Carney for the job, announced he's resigning. Burton was the second in command under former press secretary Robert Gibbs.

Borders has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and plans to close about 200 stores. The retailer is the second largest bookstore chain in America behind Barnes and Noble.

Prince William and Kate Middleton are planning a trip to Canada. They'll tour much of the country over nine days in June and July. It will be their first official world trip after they marry in April.

And Anderson, the cast of the hit TV show "Glee" has made music history. They've had the most songs on Billboard's top 100 Chart -- 113 songs. Here they are singing one of their hits, Journey's "Don't Stop Believing". It's a goody. With this new honor, they've topped Elvis Presley, who had 108.

COOPER: Is that really true? That's amazing.

SESAY: Yes, I know. Isn't that -- it blows my mind. But it is a great show.


SESAY: Are you a Gleek? You can tell me.

COOPER: Honestly, I've only seen one episode. Yes.

SESAY: I think you'd look great.

COOPER: I'm a little behind in my TV viewing.

SESAY: You do, but you'd look great in a Sue Sylvester track suit.

COOPER: I'm not sure what that means.

SESAY: Don't worry. We'll make up -- you'll see.

COOPER: All right. Time for -- oh, yes, OK, now I see. Yes.

Time for the "RidicuList"; another program we're talking about. Tonight we're adding a new name. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie makes the list, not for any political reason or, frankly, any important reason.

No, Christie's on tonight's list because he dared to blaspheme the masterpiece there of our time. I'm speaking, of course, about "Jersey Shore". Christie said that the show is giving New Jersey a bad name by sending out-of-control New Yorkers to Seaside Heights to act rowdy.

He singles out "The Situation", who was born in Staten Island, New York and Snooki, who's from Poughkeepsie, New York. At a town-hall meeting, Christie said he wants New York to reclaim them and get them out of Jersey.


CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY: Take them back. Take them back. We don't want them.


COOPER: Well, I think I speak for all of New York when I say, we totally want them. But wait a minute, Governor Christie, you don't like people from New York coming to your state and drinking and puking and making trouble. I hate to say it, but a couple of people from New Jersey have been known to come to New York and do the exact same thing, and that happens every single weekend. Now, we don't call you up at 4:00 in the morning and ask you to take them back, do we?

Anyway, we're proud to count Snooki and "The Situation" among our own. Snooki is a best-selling author, for crying out loud. Oh, yes, "The Situation", he has a book, too. It's six-pack-tastic (ph). The abs on the cover are free. You're really paying for the guide to, quote, "creeping on chicks, avoiding grenades, and getting in your GTL on the Jersey Shore". GTL, that would be gym-tan-laundry.

And yes, I think it's kind of sad that I know that.

The point is Snooki and The Sitch are just partiers; they're authors -- they're not just partiers; they're authors. I know of another group of New Yorkers who liked to drink a little bit. It was a little group called the Algonquin Roundtable.

I mean, just listen to Snooki waxing poetic on the concept of drinking at work. She might as well be Dorothy Parker with a kooky hairdo.


NICOLE "SNOOKI" POLIZZI, REALITY TV STAR: Every time I try and steal a beer, Danny catches me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nicole, where are you going now?

POLIZZI: I'm going to pee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, you're not. You're going to have a beer.

POLIZZI: If I want to have a beer, I'm allowed to have a beer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's it, you're staying all night.

POLIZZI: This isn't like law school. This is a T-shirt shop.


COOPER: Oh, Snooki, you always slur it like it is.

In any event, Governor Christie, you won't have Snooki and company to kick around much longer. I don't know if you've heard, but the next season of "Jersey Shore" isn't going to be filmed anywhere near Jersey. Apparently, the cast has drained Seaside Heights of every last drop of tequila and tanning spray, so like a march of drunken penguins stumbling toward their ancestral breeding grounds, yes, the next season is going to be filmed in Italy.

I bet Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will welcome them with open arms. He has something of a reputation for liking the occasional party. He actually might not want to give them back at all.

And yes, Governor Christie, I know you were kind of kidding, but a rule is a rule. You bad mouth Snooki you get a spot on the "RidicuList."

We'll be right back.


COOPER: That's it for 360. Thanks for watching.

"PIERS MORGAN" starts now.