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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Senate Takes Another Swing at Immigration Reform; Arrests in Connection with Deadly Brazil Nightclub Inferno; Mother Loses Fourth Child to Gun Violence

Aired January 28, 2013 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thanks.

Good evening, everyone. Tonight, the terror inside a packed nightclub that in a matter of minutes became a death trap. Hundreds of people trapped inside in the inferno. Some trampled to death in the panic. And more than 200 are dead. Arrests have now been made. What went wrong and who is responsible? We'll look into that tonight.

Also later, dodging the nasty norovirus that's sweeping the country. We'll tell you how it is spreading so fast and how to avoid the new strain of stomach bug.

We begin, though, as we do every night, "Keeping Them Honest," looking for facts, not trying to support Democrats or Republicans as they do on other cable news channels. Our goal is just reporting, finding the truth and calling out hypocrisy.

Now today, eight senators -- four Democrats and four Republicans -- floated a sweeping immigration reform plan that would among other things give illegal immigrants already in the United States a path to citizenship without first sending them home. They seemed to send a signal that mainstream Republicans may be willing to compromise on an issue President Obama calls a top priority for his second term.

Here is what Senator John McCain, and one of the senators behind the plan, said yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Look at the last election. Look at the last election. We are losing dramatically the Hispanic vote, which we think should be ours for a variety of reasons. And we've got to understand that. Second of all, this -- we can't go on forever with 11 million people living in this country in the shadows in an illegal status.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, Senator McCain is talking about what some call Republicans' 27 percent problem. President Obama won re-election with strong support from Latinos, as you know, 71 percent to Mitt Romney's 27 percent. And Romney's poor showing among Latino voters is part of a bigger trend. Republican presidential candidates, they've been steadily losing a growing share of the Latino support.

Romney had 27 percent, that was down from McCain's 31 percent in 2008, which was down from George Bush's 44 percent in 2004. Now with the Latinos as the fastest growing demographic, it's an urgent call for Republicans so considering all that, which by the most interesting thing about today's announcement was how much it looks like earlier efforts to end immigration reform. Earlier efforts that were hardly bipartisan with the main sticking point being the "A" word, amnesty.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: So I have not and I will never support, never have and never will support any efforts to grant blanket legalization amnesty to folks who have entered -- or stayed in this country illegally.

FMR. GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE (R), ARKANSAS: I don't support amnesty. I don't support special benefits.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Essentially, granting amnesty to many illegals, it's really outrageous.

MCCAIN: No amnesty. Many of them need to be sent back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, you'll notice that ended with Senator McCain. Now that's worth noting because before Senator McCain was supporting a plan that would allow illegal immigrants already here to stay, as he does now, you see there he was against it, but before that, he was for it. Back in 20005, he worked with the late Senator Ted Kennedy on an immigration bill that backed -- that was backed by the Bush White House. It would have included what critics call amnesty, only then McCain and others weren't calling it that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCAIN: I think we're off to a good start on immigration reform. I'm not running to do the easy things, so I defend, with no reservation, our proposal to offer the people who harvest our crops, tend our gardens, work in our restaurants, care for our children, and clean our homes a chance to be legal citizens of this country.

On the issue of illegal immigration, a position which -- which -- a position which obviously still provokes the outspoken opposition of many conservatives, I stood my ground, aware that my position would imperil my campaign.

At a moment of great difficulty in my campaign, when my critics said it would be political suicide for me to do so, I helped author with Senator Kennedy comprehensive immigration reform.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, that bill ultimately collapsed in the Senate. Fast forward to January 2013, Senator McCain is really back where he started. And as he said himself, look no further than the last election and you'll see his party feels they need to change some things up.

After CNN's latest polling shows that more than half of Americans say allowing illegal immigrants to become legal residents should be the main focus of U.S. policy.

Now all of this just a day before President Obama is set to release his own immigration reform proposal. He'll lay out his plan in Nevada tomorrow.

Here's -- let's talk about it right now, the "Raw Politics." Chief political analyst Gloria Borger, Democratic strategist and Obama 2012 pollster, Cornell Belcher, and political contributor and Republican consultant, Margaret Hoover.

Gloria, let me start with you. What's so different this time around for Republicans? Was -- I mean, is it simply the reality of November's election?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, they're worried about their own survival as a political party. You know, one way to survive as a party is to broaden your base and not remain hostage to a single part of it. And I think that has been the problem for the Republican Party.

When you talk about John McCain, when John McCain was challenged from the right in 2010, when he was running for re-election to the Senate, he became much more conservative on immigration policy. Now I think he's sort of unshackled and he's back to the position that he was in in 2005 and 2007.

I mean, you know, I spent a lot of time with him on that Straight Talk Express when he was running for the presidency in 2007. And I remember him telling me that he was stunned at the vitriolic reaction within his own party to immigration. Now it's about survival, so that's why you see them getting together with the Democrats.

COOPER: Cornell, I mean, this is how Senator Menendez explained this bipartisan push yesterday. He said, "First of all, Americans support it in poll after poll, secondly, Latino voters expect it. Thirdly, Democrats want it. And fourth, Republicans need it."

Do you think that about sums it up?

CORNELL BELCHER, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I do think it sums it up. Look, I -- in some of those clips that you showed, you know, will know the delusional, you know, misthinking that was put forth, the strategy that came out of the last presidential election where they thought that the electorate was actually -- then become less diverse as opposed to growing more diverse.

I think this was -- this last election was a really wake-up call to say look, our electorate is not going to become less diverse. It's going to continue to go diverse. And the long-term problem for Republicans is this, you know, more and more younger Latinos entering the voting age, and they're increasingly identifying with the Democratic Party. Long-term, you know, Democrat-Republican, just long-term as a strategy, their position around illegal immigration is not tenable when you look at states like Colorado and Nevada being key battleground states moving forward.

COOPER: So Margaret, I mean, from a Republican standpoint, how do you convince Latino voters that you honestly have had a change of heart on immigration issues and this isn't just some sort of political calculation.

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Political opportunistic. Seizing the moment. Look, it would be much less convincing if Republicans didn't actually have a strong history of fighting for this. When I was in George Bush's administration when we put serious reforms on the table and tried very, very hard to get this through. Ultimately, we lost to the right flank. But we also lost Democrats who were in no position and no mood to do any favors for George Bush at the time or leave him a legacy piece.

What's different now and what is key about today is that this is a bipartisan congressional effort and it was Congress' and the Senate's effort to get in front of the president because if this becomes too identified with the president, the president is a polarizing guy, these are polarizing times, it can't be Obama's immigration package. It has to be bipartisan from the beginning and then we really stand a chance.

Because enough has changed since 2007 and enough new coalitions have come together and gotten stronger, frankly. I call them bibles, badges, and business. You have evangelical community, who's really largely Hispanic, you know, the badges of the law enforcement community is for this, and business is for this.

COOPER: Do you -- Gloria, do you agree with that? That President Obama is too closely associated with it, some folks in Congress is just going back away from?

BORGER: Well -- well, one of the reasons the White House is waiting because, first of all, these people seem to be doing kind of well on their own. It's sort of the opposite of health care. You know, the -- nobody wants the White House to present a bill now. Lots of people wanted him to present a bill on health care reform, and he didn't. Now so long as they're working together, why spook Republicans?

You know, just sit back. I mean, the White House is ready to pounce at any given moment if this all falls apart because the Democrats really want to push immigration reform, because quite frankly, it's in their own self interest to do so. So the White House right now, the strategy is sit back, let these folks try and work this out. Don't spook the Republicans in the House. And let's see if they can do it. If not, we'll take over.

BELCHER: But I do think there is a -- if I could jump in. I do think there is a bit of the evil work triangulation going on because look, listen -- listen to Senator McCain and some other Senate Republicans talk about the spirit of bipartisanship around this issue in the Senate. I think those guys over there also see that Congress is less popular than, what, a root canal, and so there is some triangulation going on even with the Senate -- with the folks in the Senate versus that going on -- going on in the house. So I think there is some triangulation going on even among the Democrats and Republicans on the Senate side.

And they're both speaking, which is remarkable, I don't think I've ever seen this before, both Democrat and Republican senators are basically speaking from the same set of talking points around immigration, talking about a sort of fair but tough pathway. You never see Democrats and Republicans talking from the exact same talking points.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: But Cornell, we didn't hear much about this --

BORGER: Well, and they're kind of split.

COOPER: We didn't hear much about this from President Obama -- you know, during the first two years he was in office, and you know, they had Democrats in Congress.

BELCHER: Well, you know, a little context here. We had this thing called the great economic sort of recession where we were in a nose dive. I think the president was mostly focused on pushing a stimulus package through and sort of pulling our country out of the economic nose dive. So I -- I cut him a little slack for not focusing on immigration in the first two years.

(CROSSTALK)

HOOVER: Yes, Gloria --

COOPER: Go ahead, Gloria.

BORGER: You know, Anderson, I have to say that, you know, this could fall apart. I mean, you know, there are a lot of holes to be filled in here if you look at this proposal, because it's not legislation. And you know, citizenship is contingent upon enforcement. That's a big thing as far as Republicans are concerned. Well, how do you in the end say, OK, our borders are enforced, and therefore we can establish a pathway to citizenship?

COOPER: Right.

BORGER: So it ain't over yet.

HOOVER: And it's not, also, there's this sort of notion, how are you going to get Republicans on board? Look, Republicans -- mainstream Republicans have been for some kind of comprehensive immigration reform for a long time. It was the right plank of the party that really derailed it last time. You've got people like Jeff Blake who used to identify with that right plank who is part of this Senate -- (CROSSTALK)

COOPER: But pretty much everybody running for president was on the same -- I mean, on the Republican side.

HOOVER: Right.

COOPER: Was pretty much on the same page about this. We haven't heard from these other Republicans.

HOOVER: But this new phase is really interesting because you have Jeff Blake who was in favor of SB 1070. Jan Brewer's, you know, very controversial immigration law. He was in favor of that. He's in favor of this, he's in favor of these principles. So you have --

COOPER: But --

HOOVER: You know, and -- Sean Hannity, right-wing talk radio folks, are saying well, let's hear what Marco Rubio says. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt.

BELCHER: But, Margaret, do you think --

HOOVER: So I do think you have a real chance of actually getting something done.

BELCHER: But Margaret, you think sort of House Republicans, where the tea -- where Tea Party caucus, as small as it may be, they really control what Speaker Boehner was doing. You have Representative Lamar Smith coming out, they're saying, calling it --

HOOVER: I do know.

BELCHER: Calling it amnesty.

(CROSSTALK)

BELCHER: I think we got a long way to go on the House.

HOOVER: But I don't know. You just -- I wouldn't let -- I wouldn't let the wing nuts define the policy. I think you've got Paul Ryan saying this is very reasonable legislation. And look, you may not get the House to rule on this, but you're going to get mainstream Republicans.

COOPER: All right.

(CROSSTALK)

BORGER: Paul Ryan is trying to write a bill.

BELCHER: No, that's interesting (INAUDIBLE).

BORGER: Paul Ryan is trying to write a bill. Paul Ryan voted, you know, not to go over the fiscal cliff. Paul Ryan is probably running for president and he sees the writing on the wall. That's why he wants to get a deal on immigration reform.

COOPER: All right. Gloria, appreciate it. Cornell Belcher and Margaret Hoover, thanks very much.

Just ahead, describing -- really new disturbing details about that deadly nightclub fire in Brazil. More than 200 people died. Club was filled to twice its legal capacity. Imagine being stuck in a club like this when 2,000 people are still inside. Police have made arrests. Eye witnesses describing the panic as the building went up in flames. We'll take you there.

Also ahead, it's hard for any parent to imagine losing a child to gun violence, but you're going to meet a mom, Shirley Chambers, who has lost all four of her children, gunned down in the Chicago streets.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: We're getting word of arrests in Brazil following that deadly nightclub fire in the southern city of Santa Maria. At least 231 people died as flames quickly engulfed this nightclub. Now the fire may have started because of pyrotechnics used by the band playing on the stage at the time.

Today is the first day of an official three-day mourning period in Brazil. It was marked by dozens of funerals in the town of Santa Maria. Here's a look at just how quickly a night of fun turned into an unimaginable tragedy for so many people.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): At 2:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, the Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria is jammed with young people. A band has been performing for about 20 minutes, finishing off one of its songs with a pyrotechnics show, shooting sparks up into the air. The acoustic foam insulation on the ceiling catches fire and quickly spreads.

As hot glowing embers start to fall, the partygoers realize something is wrong, a stampede breaks out. The club is packed to nearly twice its legal capacity. Some 2,000 revelers in their late teens and 20s, according to state officials.

But there's only one exit, down a dark, narrow hallway that soon jammed with people trying to escape and quickly filling up with smoke. People fall to the ground and are trampled. Security guards at first block the exit.

MATHEUS VARGAS, SURVIVOR (Through Translator): When I was trying to get out, the staff stopped me, and I yelled fire, fire, but the security guards were not realizing what was going on. I think many of them thought they were just riots or the people were trying to get out without paying.

COOPER: The crowd panics and finally pushes past the guards, just as parts of the roof begin to collapse. But now the building is split with hundreds still trapped inside. Some clubgoers end up in the bathrooms, perhaps looking for another way to get out. Eyewitnesses outside the club say they hear screams of people trying to escape the building.

Volunteers with sticks and bats try to break through the nightclub's thick walls, a desperate attempt to help. Survivors of the fire say once they were outside, they went back to the jammed entrance to try and pull people to safety. Some say they pulled people out by their hair.

In the end, 231 people are dead. Most by smoke inhalation. Some were trampled. A guard says it took just two minutes for the fire to spread to the entire club.

Of the survivors, hundreds were injured and taken to the local hospital. Authorities say piles of bodies were found inside the bathrooms. Eyewitnesses call it a scene from a horror film. By daylight, hospitals in Santa Maria were packed with people looking for family members among the survivors. And a makeshift morgue was set up to identify the bodies.

Rescue workers said the sounds of ringing cell phones from the deceased echoed in the air with one cell phone showing over 100 missed calls.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Shasta Darlington is in Santa Maria, along with ABC News correspondent Matt Gutman.

Shasta, what can you tell us about the arrests so far?

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, today, they announced this is the big news today. These four arrests. Two of the people are owners of this club where this huge inferno took place, and the other two people were actually members of the band that were playing and that put on a big pyrotechnics show when the fire started.

So it's pretty clear this is the direction the investigation is going. They want to take a look at the evacuation precaution set up at the club, whether or not the people could get in and out safely, and also what caused the fire. Was it the pyrotechnics show as so many people has speculated -- Anderson.

COOPER: So -- I mean, at this point, though, it seems, Matt, that not even basic safety precautions were in place, right?

MATT GUTMAN, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: No, it doesn't seem like there were any basic safety precautions, Anderson. The fire extinguisher that that band tried to use to douse -- to put out that fire up on the ceiling, it didn't work. There was one exit in and out. The place was way over fire capacity. There was only one way in and out. There were no fire escapes. And even when people tried to escape when that fire first started raging, those bodyguards at the very entrance pushed them away, thinking that people were just trying to get out of the building without paying the bill. So clearly, there are a lot of regulations violated here.

COOPER: Shasta, do you think more people are going to be arrested? I mean, do some of these security guards that wouldn't let people out or is that just considered, you know, an accident?

DARLINGTON: Well, it's definitely a tough call because even some of the survivors have said that they were standing at the door and at first, the security guards thought they were just trying to get out without paying the bill. You know, here in Brazil, when you go to these nightclubs, you basically -- you get a ticket at the door, and with each drink, they give you a little point. And you only pay at the end.

And they say it wouldn't be the first time that fights broke out at this club and they tried to get out without paying. So I don't know how much they'll be held responsible. It might be a bigger picture, what was the club doing to set up an establishment that was safe in these kind of emergency situations -- Anderson.

COOPER: So, Matt, I understand this is a pretty small city, it's a college town. What kind of an impact has this had there?

GUTMAN: You can't underestimate the impact here, Anderson. Right now I'm in a crowd of several thousand people. They're starting to march down the street towards that Kiss nightclub. Chants are starting right now. Everybody you ask in this town knows somebody or knows of somebody who was either in that nightclub or was killed.

All along this boulevard here, we saw people crying, hugging each other, holding on to each other. It seems that in this town of about 250,000 people, no one has escaped the impact. It's also a town of innocence. This is a college town. People were celebrating the commencement of a new school year. Some people were graduating. That's what that party was for, and those 2,000 people were there to celebrate, and not to die. And that has hit so hard in this town. It is really impossible to underestimate.

COOPER: Yes. Such an unthinkable and horrible incident.

Matt Gutman, I appreciate it. Shasta Darlington, thank you very much.

We'll continue to follow that. You can read more about the deadly nightclub fire and the investigation to what caused it on CNN.com.

Up next, one mother's battle against guns. She has lost all four of her children to gun violence. The latest just this past weekend. What she has to say about the push to change gun laws ahead.

Plus, reports of a monkey in space and back on planet earth tonight. Why the State Department is concerned. Coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, there's a nasty virus sweeping the country. It's called the norovirus. It's very contagious. I'll talk to Dr. Sanjay Gupta about why this bug is so hard to contain and what if anything you can do to keep from getting it, ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Welcome back. President Obama and Vice President Biden met with police chiefs and sheriffs across America at the White House today to discuss ways to curb gun violence. The White House is pushing Congress to approve an assault weapons ban and other steps that hopes will prevent another mass shootings.

Now the police chiefs of Newtown, Connecticut, and Aurora, Colorado, and Oak Creek, Wisconsin, who obviously each faced deadly shooting sprees in the last year, they were at the meeting.

Also there, the police chief of Chicago where too many people are dying due to gun violence. There were more than 500 homicides in Chicago last year, and that's up more than 30 percent from the year before. So far this year, 40 deaths, and we're not even out of January yet.

And just this weekend, nine people were killed in shootings across the city. Among them, a 33-year-old man. His mom is mourning his loss tonight, and she knows the pain all too well. This is her fourth child to die due to gun violence. She spoke to our Ted Rowlands. Here's his report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHIRLEY CHAMBERS, MOTHER: It's hard. It's very hard. I want no mother, no father ever go through this, ever.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is hour Shirley Chambers likes to remember her children, four happy kids and a mother beyond proud. But then in 1995, she began losing them. One by one. Not to disease, not to car accidents, but to gun violence, all right in her own neighborhood.

Carlos was first, then 18 years old, it happened after an argument with a friend at school.

CHAMBERS: Next day, he came back and he shot Carlos on the street.

ROWLANDS: Five years later in April of 2000, it was 15-year-old La Toya, Shirley's only daughter.

CHAMBERS: She was beautiful. She just -- she had it all. She was my baby. Yes. La Toya.

ROWLANDS: La Toya was accidentally shot by a 13-year-old who had somehow gotten ahold of a gun.

CHAMBERS: He was trying to shoot someone else and he shot -- hit La Toya.

ROWLANDS: Then three months after La Toya was killed, Shirley's oldest son Jerome was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting.

CHAMBERS: Jerome was 23 when he got killed. ROWLANDS: At that point, all she had left was Ronny. They stuck together for more than a decade, pulling each other through the tough times, and then last weekend in front of this tree on Chicago's near southwest side, he, too, was killed. Gunned down while sitting in a car. Ronny was 33. He had been living with Shirley, which is the way she wanted it.

CHAMBERS: I wanted to keep him close because he was the only one left.

LOVERNE SMITH, NEIGHBOR: He didn't ask nobody for nothing.

ROWLANDS: Loverne Smith has known the Chamber family all her life and describes Shirley as a good mother.

SMITH: Let me tell you something, that woman was the best mother out there. That woman did everything in -- in the world for her children. It's not her. It's the people out here.

ROWLANDS (on camera): You feel guilty?

CHAMBERS: I feel no guilt at all because I did everything I possibly could for Ronny. I was there for him. I was a good mother for him. I did everything. He knew he could depend on me. He could come to me for anything.

ROWLANDS (voice-over): Shirley says solving gun violence requires stronger sentences for people convicted of gun violence, and in her community, she says people who witness shootings need to tell police what they know.

CHAMBERS: They're going to be in the same situation one day and you want someone to say something for you. So you need to say something. Somebody has to do something. They got to do something. This is crazy. This is getting out of hand.

ROWLANDS: Ted Rowlands, CNN, Chicago.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, what should be done? That's the focus for our town hall discussion. Tune in this Thursday. We're going to have representatives of all sides of the debate, 8:00 p.m. on 360 Thursday night. I hope you join us for that. A lot more happening tonight. Isha is here with the "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, nearly three months after Superstorm Sandy slammed into the northeast, today, the U.S. Senate approved more than $50 billion in aid for victims of the storm. The bill got caught up in bipartisan fighting for weeks.

Israel's former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is showing, quote, significant brain activity when family members speak to him even though he's been comatose for seven years. That's according to doctors treating the 84-year-old. Medical experts warn it's not proof Sharon will wake up or that he's conscious of the familiar sounds. A royal change in the Netherlands. Queen Beatrix announced today she will abdicate her throne in late April to her oldest son, Prince William Alexander. The 75-year-old queen has reigned for 33 years.

And then to the Iran says it successfully launched a monkey into space. The U.S. State Department says it has no way of confirming the report but it says it is concerned because if true that could me it's developed long-range ballistic missiles. Just for the record, the U.S. was the first to launch a monkey into space and has sent many like this little guy and some named Sam back in 1959.

COOPER: All right, Isha, thanks very much. You probably heard the warnings about this year's flu outbreak reaching epidemic proportions. Now there are concerns about the spread of the Norovirus. If you don't know what it is, believe me, you do not want to get it. Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins me with why it's so easy to spread and how to avoid it.

And also, a escape from the FLDS church, a former member of Warren Jeffs' polygamist sect tells why she left and how she got her children out as well.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Rising floodwaters forced a mother to take desperate measures to save her young child. The story behind this dramatic video ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Up close tonight, a surprising new look at life inside the fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints. It's a polygamist sect led by Warren Jeffs. Now we've reported on the reclusive community before many times.

They revered Jeffs as a prophet and take orders from him even as he sits behind bars serving a life sentence for sexually assaulting some of church's youngest members. Jeffs is also accused of forcing children into marriage.

Ruby Jessop was once an FLDS child bride, and her story of leaving the church is something we have rarely seen. Gary Tuchman spoke with her and went back inside the FLDS community to find out what Jeffs' followers have to say about it now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The 26- year-old Ruby Jessop has accomplished something very few women in Warren Jeffs' fundamentalist polygamist church have done. Late last week, she escaped.

(on camera): How old were you when you got married?

RUBY JESSOP, ESCAPED FROM FLDS: I'm 14.

TUCHMAN: How old were you when you had your first baby?

JESSOP: I was 16.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): And Ruby escaped with those babies, six of them. Babies she had with a husband that is still in the church. The children are now 10, 8, 7, 6, 4 and 2.

(on camera): Do you still believe that Warren Jeffs is the prophet?

JESSOP: No.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Warren Jeffs, the self-professed prophet of the FLDA since 2002 is now serving a life sentence in prison, but he continues to rule the religion with an iron fist from his cell. He made many of the laws here and forced countless young girls like Ruby Jessop into marriage.

Most never leave, but Ruby said she always dreamed of leaving. Hoping to get out of the twin towns of Colorado City, Arizona, and Hillsdale, Utah, where most FLDS members live.

But taking children away from a husband who is obedient to the church and Warren Jeffs is extraordinarily difficult. Just days ago, this was the emotional scene, Ruby receiving temporary custody of the children from a county court judge, these pictures showing Ruby being reunited with her children after this man, her husband, Haven Barlow, had allegedly kept them away from her for weeks.

JESSOP: Arizona law is very clear that one parent cannot keep another apparent from their children regardless of their religion.

TUCHMAN: Ruby then took her children and escaped into the outside world. Author and private investigator Sam Brower shot the photographs.

SAM BROWER, AUTHOR, "PROPHET'S PREY": The children were ecstatic to see their mother. They were all smiles. It was wonderful to see the looks on their faces when they saw their mom.

TUCHMAN (on camera): Ruby Jessop was raised by her father, mother, and two sister wives. She has 30 brothers and sisters. The man she was forced to marry is her second cousin. The man who presided over the wedding is Warren Jeffs. When she went to the altar, Ruby was in ninth grade. She never went back to school.

(voice-over): Ruby is filing for divorced from Haven Barlow, a man she said she never loved. We went to the house they shared to try to get her husband's response to all this.

(on camera): Mr. Barlow? Everybody who is loyal to Warren Jeffs puts before their doors, Zion, it shows they're still devoted.

(voice-over): We weren't able to find him.

(on camera): I want to ask if you know Haven Barlow. (voice-over): But we talked to his neighbor who said he's a fine father. As far as Ruby goes, he's not so found of her.

(on camera): She says she doesn't believe that Warren Jeffs is the prophet anymore. How does it make a man like you who believes that Warren Jeffs is the prophet feel?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's full of crap. She knows he is.

JESSOP: I'm sure that if I went back to the community, I would not be welcomed.

TUCHMAN: How does that make you feel?

JESSOP: In a way, really good. In a way, I'm very sad.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Ruby's mother is still there and so are almost all of her siblings. But her sister, Flora, left the church many years ago and has been working for years to get Ruby out.

FLORA JESSOP, RUBY'S SISTER: I am just in awe that I have her. It's the most amazing thing in this whole world.

TUCHMAN: The county investigator who has devoted years to try and help people who want to leave the FLDS said the court ruling is a landmark moment.

GARY ENGELS, MOHAVE COUNTY INVESTIGATOR: I think it's going to serve as an example to them that maybe they can get out, maybe they can seek help.

TUCHMAN: There have long been allegations that the local police in the FLDS community known as the "Marshall's Office" have actively worked to stop other parents in the community from leaving with their children. Now the Arizona attorney general said he's conducting a criminal investigation of that police department.

TOM HORNE, ARIZONA ATTORNEY GENERAL: I'm extremely outraged and I think it's the biggest injustice I know that's going on in my state.

TUCHMAN: The cops in the marshal's office never talked to reporters, but the attorney representing them sent us an e-mail saying in part, there has been no proof or evidence of any type of wrongdoing whatsoever.

Ruby Jessop said there's a lot of wrongdoing to go around, led by Warren Jeffs, who continues to utter bizarre revelations.

JESSOP: He did not want any child to be born in this wicked generation.

TUCHMAN (on camera): Warren Jeffs said that from jail?

JESSOP: Yes.

TUCHMAN: So you were not allowed to have relations with your husband anymore for the last few months.

JESSOP: The last year.

TUCHMAN: The last year?

JESSOP: The last year. The only relations you could have with your husband is a handshake and no longer than three seconds.

TUCHMAN: A three-second hand shake?

JESSOP: Yes.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Ruby and her children are currently living in her sister's house in Phoenix. She has no job, no high school diploma, and little knowledge of the outside world, but she said there's no turning back.

JESSOP: I want to raise my kids. I want to be free. Be able to make my own choices, to be happy.

TUCHMAN (on camera): Are you happy today?

JESSOP: I am. I am very happy.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Gary Tuchman, CNN, Phoenix.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Tom Sheahan is the sheriff from Mohave County, Arizona where many of the FLDS members live. He joins us now. Sheriff, Ruby Jessop was able to get her kids with help from your office. Are more people from that community reaching out for help from your office or the attorney general's office?

SHERIFF TOM SHEAHAN, MOHAVE COUNTY, ARIZONA: We believe they will, Anderson. What has happened is we were able to show that we are helping those that want to get out of that community and help Ruby get her children away from that culture. And I think that's going to be opening the doors for allowing others to get out of the community.

COOPER: One of the things that has always amazed me about the FLDS is that this area continues to live really under its own rules, its own law, or at least tries to. Your department started patrolling the area. What are the biggest challenges you face?

SHEAHAN: Well, the biggest challenge is what they call the marshal's office, the city police department. Colorado City is an incorporated city, have their own city government, police department, fire department, and municipal services.

And the marshal's office or city police department, as I call it so we don't get confused are nothing, but an extension of the security service for the church. When people want to leave the church and get away from that type of living, they try to stop them. They hide them out, and they conspire with the elders in the church to keep this from happening. COOPER: How has this been sort of allowed to continue in 2013? I think that's what surprises a lot of people on the outside.

SHEAHAN: In Arizona, it's unique, or maybe it's not unique to other states. There's no really mechanism available to decertify or do away with the entire police department. Now, many of the officers that have worked there have been decertified over the years and they have lost their ability to continue to be law enforcement officers.

They have been involved with Warren Jeffs, communicating with him when he was on the run and on the ten most wanted list for the FBI. They refused to testify before a grand jury. They have been involved themselves in child molestation.

So the attorney general is assisting us with a grant to provide extra law enforcement up there. It's been a great help, and we're making probably the most advancement that we have in that area in the last couple years, and have been in 100 years.

COOPER: It's obviously very isolated in many ways and people don't watch television, but if some members of the community are able to see or hear this segment tonight, what would you say to them.

SHEAHAN: They can contact the Mojave County sheriff's office at any time and we'll make sure they're protected from the people in the church, from the marshal's office. We're there to provide fair and unbiased law enforcement services.

COOPER: Sheriff Sheahan, I appreciate you being with us. Thank you.

SHEAHAN: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: Still ahead, if you're not sick right now, chances are you know someone who is or has been. A new strain of Norovirus, often called the stomach flu is going around. Washing your hands isn't enough to avoid it. Dr. Sanjay Gupta tells us what might work.

Plus, dramatic video of an amazing rescue involving a baby, a duffel bag, and rising floodwaters.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: We all know what the flu is. This flu season has been nasty, but there's something else going around making a lot of people sick. It's called Norovirus. It's very contagious, and unlike the flu that is a respiratory virus, Norovirus is without getting too graphic, a stomach bug.

If you get the Norovirus, you'll spend some time in the bathroom. A new strain is sweeping across the United States, and the CDC says you can get it from another person, contaminated food or water even just touching contaminated services.

We're going to find out more. We have Dr. Sanjay Gupta. So what exactly is Norovirus and how do you know if you have if or another kind of a stomach bug?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, there are all sorts of different viruses out there as you point out, the flu virus. This is another category of viruses. You don't always know if you have this versus another form of flu, but it comes on very suddenly, and you really get quite sick from this.

It usually lasts two to three days or if you have a mild thing where it lasts overnight or something, it's probably not the Norovirus. Anderson, you know, about 20 million people, it's estimated, will get this in the United States alone. It's something that a lot of people are going to experience.

I think even secretary of state, former Secretary of State Clinton, when we talk about her fainting episode, a stomach bug, they speculated it was Norovirus then. It's quite common.

COOPER: How easily is it spread? I read something from the CDC saying it can live on surfaces for up to a couple weeks?

GUPTA: It is really contagious and it is everywhere, it can live on surfaces, on your clothes and food. It's something that is really all around us. It is definitely hard to protect yourself. People talk about washing your hands, which we talk about all the time.

But also think about your food, your laundry, think about surfaces around you, making sure you're cleaning those things as well. I'll give you one thing I learned. Hand washing dishes, for example, may not be good enough because you can't get the water hot enough to kill this virus, eating off dishes that have been washed in a dishwasher with hot water, same thing with the laundry.

COOPER: Do hand sanitizers work to kill it?

GUPTA: They don't work really well. It's interesting because they work pretty well against the flu virus that we were talking about before, but with this, it seems somewhat resistant and you really have to scrub your hands quite hard.

We talked about the fact that you sing happy birthday twice in your head as you wash your hands, but soap and water seems to be your best bet, but again, the idea of touching things and then touching your nose and mouth. We all do this subconsciously a couple hundred times a day. You have to pay more attention to that because that's one of the more common ways to get sick.

COOPER: If you do come down with it or thing you've come down with it, what do you do? Is there treatment, do you take antibiotics?

GUPTA: That's the thing. Antibiotics are for bacterial infections, this is a viral infection. There are a few anti-virals out there, but you know, we look into this. They are not really effective against this virus.

The big problem with this is that people become dehydrated. So as hard as it is, you have to keep as much fluids down as you can. This is particularly true for the elderly. There are hundreds of people who die from this every year, and usually it's from dehydration.

Unfortunately, there's no particular medication. Try to get as many fluids down as you can and stay home so you're not infecting other people. One thing I'll point out, you start to get contagious before you get sick.

COOPER: Now that we have completely freaked people out, the good news is it only lasts two or three days.

GUPTA: It lasts two or three days and again, you'll sort of know it if you have it, but try not to infect others.

COOPER: Thank you.

GUPTA: You got it, Anderson.

COOPER: Let's get you caught up on some of the other stories we're following. Isha is back with another "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.

SESAY: Anderson, the Boy Scouts of America say they're considering changing their long-standing policy of banning openly gay scouts and leaders. This comes after nationwide protests that include hundreds of eagle scouts mailing back their medals.

The family of (inaudible) said he's in critical condition after one of the most frightening moments at the X Games. Moore slammed into the ground while attempting a flip, and then the out of control snow mobile sped toward the audience. His grandfather tells the "Denver Post" Monday, the prognosis does not look good.

The first night of deadly riots in Egypt, hundreds of people flooding the streets in the city of Port Said, violating the government's curfew put in place after dozens died in previous nights of violence. At least one person was killed today.

A pair of Australian radio jocks who prank called the hospital treating Katherine, Duchess of Cambridge are now off the air for good. They were initially suspended after a nurse who answered the call committed suicide.

And Anderson, an incredible rescue caught on tape. This is a scene in Queensland, Australia where rescuers needed to air lift two women and a baby out of a truck that was stuck in rising floodwater. The baby went first. The safest way to get it into the chopper, as you see there, was in a bag.

COOPER: My God, wow.

SESAY: Wow, all three made it to safety, but the child was seriously freaked out, as you would imagine.

COOPER: Yes, of course. That's great that they got them all to safety, though.

SESAY: Yes.

COOPER: All right, time now for the shout out. Like many kids his age, 2 1/2-year-old Zach loves dinosaurs. So his parents took him to a park exhibit they thought he might enjoy. They didn't expect this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Run, Zach.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you scared?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Run! Run!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: Poor little thing. Look at him go. He's like, I didn't sign up for this, poor baby.

COOPER: Poor kid. Not nice. All right, coming up, Isha, a case of marijuana with a very unlikely perp. The "Ridiculist" is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Time now for the "Ridiculist." Tonight, it seems some evidence that been disappearing from a police storage facility in Wichita, Kansas. Not just any evidence, though. Here's a public information officer for the Wichita Police Department.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had evidence clerks doing their job and noticed that one of the packages had been gotten into and that particular package had some marijuana evidence in there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Serious stuff, someone is stealing marijuana from an evidence storage facility. Luckily, the police have an idea of who's behind it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do have a sketch artist that came and did a rendering of who we believe is responsible for the marijuana heist. We're currently looking for something that resembles a mouse like this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Lieutenant Doug Nolte, a.k.a., the greatest public information officer in the world. I love the sketch artist rendering of the suspect, although that mouse looks pretty alert, and if I have watched anything from watching Dan Rather reports, it's how to spot a stoned mouse.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This mouse is doing what a mouse normally does, but this mouse just had a dose of THC, and he's not going anywhere. This mouse is definitely high.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: There was a lot of science in there about how marijuana affects the brain. Personally, I just like hearing Dan Rather saying, this mouse is definitely high. I'm thinking about making that my ring tone.

Our favorite lieutenant explains what they think happened after conducting a very thorough, you know this is coming, joint investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We believe what happened are mice that were looking for a place to stay or perhaps some food, decided to choose those packages. They chewed through the packaging, and in the process, there were at least three packages that were damaged in the small amount of marijuana was evident to have come out of the packages.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: So the mice are either living in or feasting on said marijuana. It really shouldn't be hard to find them. You can look for the empty Doritos bags, and forget cheese. That's very passe. I think we may have stumbled upon a way to build a better mouse trap on the "Ridiculist."

That's it for us. We'll be back one hour from now another edition of 360 at 10 p.m. Eastern. Join us then. "PIERS MORGAN" starts right now.