CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Immigration Debate; Deadly Nightclub Fire

Aired January 28, 2013 - 22:00   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. It's 10:00 here on the East Coast.

And, tonight, the terror inside a packed nightclub that in a matter of minutes became a death trap, hundreds of people trapped inside an inferno. Some were trampled in the panic. More than 200 died. Arrests have been made. We will tell you what went wrong and who is responsible.

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

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

It 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, 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 have 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)

BLITZER: Senator McCain is talking about what some call Republicans' 27 percent problem. President Obama won reelection 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 have steadily been losing a growing share of the Latino vote. 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.

With Latinos the fastest growing demographic, it's an urgent calls for Republicans. Considering all that, what is probably the most interesting thing about today's announcement was how much it looks like earlier efforts at 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: I am not -- and I will never support -- never have and never will support any effort for grant blanket legalization amnesty to folks who have entered or stayed in this country illegally.

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

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

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, you will notice that ended with Senator McCain.

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 2005, he worked with the late Senator Ted Kennedy on an immigration bill 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...

(BOOING)

MCCAIN: ... 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: That bill ultimately collapsed in the Senate. Fast forward to January 2013, Senator McCain is really back where he started. As he said himself, look no further than the last election and you will see his party feels they need to change some things up, after CNN's latest polling shows more than half of Americans say allowing illegal immigrants to become legal should be the main focus of U.S. policy.

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

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 is so different this time around for Republicans? Is it simply the reality of November's election?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I think they're worried about their own survival as a political party.

One way to survive as a party is to broaden your base and not remain hostage to a single part of it. 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 reelection 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, 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 need it. And, fourth, Republicans need it."

Do you think that about sums it up?

CORNELL BELCHER, FORMER OBAMA CAMPAIGN POLLSTER: I do think it sums it up. Some of the clips you showed really showed the delusional misthinking that was put forth, the strategy that came out of the last presidential election, where they thought the electorate was actually going to be become less diverse, as opposed to growing more diverse.

I think this was this last election was a real wakeup call to say our electoral is not going to become less diverse. It's going to continue to grow diverse. And the long-term problem for Republicans is this. You have got 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 allowing illegal immigration is not tenable when you look at states like Colorado and Nevada being key battleground states moving forward.

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

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Politically opportunistic and seizing the moment.

Look, it would be much less convincing if Republicans didn't actually have a strong history of fighting for this. 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 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 is different now and what is key about today is 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 coalitions have come together and gotten stronger, frankly.

I call them Bibles, badges, and business, the evangelical community, who is really largely Hispanic, the badges, the law enforcement community is for this, and business is for this.

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

BORGER: 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, 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. 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-interests to do 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 will take over.

BELCHER: If I could jump in, I do think there is a bit of the evil work triangulation going on, because, look, listen to 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 a root canal, and so there is some triangulation going on even with the Senate, with the folks in the Senate vs. that going on in the House. 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, and I don't think we have 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: We didn't hear much about this from President Obama 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 on this.

We had this thing called the great economic recession where we were in a nosedive. I think the president was mostly focused on pushing a similar package through and sort of pulling our country out of the economic nosedive. I cut him a little slack for not focusing on immigration in the first two years.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Go ahead, Gloria.

BORGER: 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? It ain't over yet.

HOOVER: And it's not -- also, there's this sort of notion of 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 have people like Jeff Flake, who used to identify with that right plank, who is part of these Senate...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: But pretty much everybody running for president was on same page -- I mean, on the Republican side -- 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 Flake who was in favor of SB-1070, Jan Brewer's very controversial immigration law. He was in favor of that. He's in favor of this, he's in favor of these principles.

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

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

BELCHER: Margaret, do you think sort of House Republicans, where -- the Tea Party Caucus, as small as it may be, they really control what Speaker Boehner is doing. You had Representative Lamar smith coming out today calling it amnesty.

(CROSSTALK)

HOOVER: I wouldn't let the wing nuts define the party. I think you have Paul Ryan saying this is very reasonable legislation. You may not get the (INAUDIBLE) rule on this, but you're going to get mainstream Republicans.

(CROSSTALK)

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, Margaret Hoover. Thanks very much.

Just ahead, describing really new disturbing details about the deadly nightclub fire in Brazil. More than 200 people died. The club was filled to twice its legal capacity. Imagine being stuck in a club like this when 2,000 people or so are inside. Police have made arrests. Eyewitnesses are describing the panic as the building went up in flames. We will 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. 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 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 is 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, they 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 club-goers end up in the bathroom, 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 to 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 sound of cell phones from the deceased echoed in the air, with one 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 was 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 precautions 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 have speculated, Anderson?

COOPER: At this point, it seems, Matt, that not even basic safety precautions were in place, right?

MATT GUTMAN, ABC NEWS: No, it doesn't seem like there were any basic safety precautions. 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 were a lot of regulations violated here.

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

DARLINGTON: Well, it's definitely a tough call, because even some of the survivors have said they were standing at the door and at first, the security guards thought they were just trying to get out without paying their bill. 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. You only pay at the end. 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 will 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: Matt, I understand this is a pretty small city. It's a college town. What kind of 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 are 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. That has hit so hard in this town.

It's really impossible to underestimate.

COOPER: Yes, it's such an unthinkable, horrible incident.

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

We will continue to follow that. You can read more about the deadly nightclub fire and the investigation into 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: Welcome back.

President Obama and Vice President Biden met with police chiefs and sheriffs from 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 to steps it hopes will prevent another mass shooting. Now, the police chiefs of Newtown, Connecticut, 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.

Just this weekend, nine people were killed in shootings across the country, 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 to ever go through this, ever.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: 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: The next day, he came back and he shot Carlos right on the street.

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

CHAMBERS: She was beautiful. She just -- she had it all. She was my baby, yes, LaToya.

ROWLANDS: LaToya 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 LaToya.

ROWLANDS: Then, three months after LaToya 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 Ronnie. 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. Ronnie 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.

LAVERNE SMITH, FAMILY FRIEND: He didn't ask nobody for nothing.

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

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

ROWLANDS (on camera): do you feel guilty?

CHAMBERS: I don't feel no guilt at all, because I did everything I possibly could for Ronnie. I was there for him. I was a good mother for him. I did anything. 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 are going to want someone to talk up for you. So, you need to say something.

Somebody has to do something. They have 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 of our town hall discussion. It's going to be this Thursday. We are 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 INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, 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.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Ninety-one days ago, Sandy struck a body blow against New York State and New Jersey. And, today, we finally struck back.

Passage of this bill will mean money for homeowners who lost everything and need to rebuild, small businesses whose doors are still causes, but who must reopen, and protections for our coastlines and vital infrastructures to make sure that next time a storm strikes, we're not hit that hard.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: 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 sounds.

A royal change in the Netherlands. Queen Beatrice announced she would abdicate her throne in late April to her oldest son, Prince William Alexander. The 75-year-old queen has reigned for 33 years.

And Iran says it successfully launched a monkey into space. The U.S. State Department says it has no way of confirming the report, but if adds, if it is true, it could mean it's developed long-range ballistic missiles.

And just for the record, the U.S. was the first to launch a monkey into space, and it send many, like this little guy, named Sam. The United States launched this little guy, Sam, into space in 1961.

COOPER: Thanks very much.

You probably heard the warnings about this year's flu outbreak reaching epidemic proportions. Well, now there's 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.

Also, escape from the FLDS Church. A former member of Warren Jeffs' polygamist sect tells us how she left and how she got her children out, as well.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Raging floodwaters force a mother to take desperate measures to save her young child. The story behind this dramatic video ahead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: "Up Close" tonight, a surprising new look at life inside the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints. That's the polygamist sect run by Warren Jeffs.

And we've reported on the reclusive community before many times. They revere Jeffs as a prophet and take orders from him, even as he sits behind bars, serving a life sentence, for sexually assaulting some of his sect'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 CORRESPONDENT: Twenty-six-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, FORMER FLDS CHURCH MEMBER: Fourteen.

TUCHMAN: And 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 FLDS 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 Hilldale, Utah, where most FLDS members live.

But taking children away from a husband who's 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 show Ruby being reunited with her children after this man, her husband, Evan Barlow (ph), had allegedly kept them away from her for weeks.

VICTORIA STAZIO, RUDY JESSOP'S ATTORNEY: Arizona law is very clear that one parent cannot keep another parent from their children regardless of their religions.

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

SAM BROWER, AUTHOR/PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: The children were ecstatic to see their mother. They were all smiles. They were -- it was wonderful to see the looks on their faces when they saw their mom. TUCHMAN: 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 alter, Ruby was in ninth grade. She never went back to school.

(on camera): I just want to know if you Haven Barlow.

(voice-over): But we talked to his neighbor, who friend. A far as the roommate goes, Ruby is filing for divorce from Harley Barlow? How does that make a man who delivers would company Makes Broccoli v

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) a man she says she never loved. We went to the house they shared to try to get her husband's response to all this.

Mr. Barlow? Everybody who is loyal to Warren Jeffs puts above their doors, "Zion." it shows they're still devoted. We weren't able to find him.

(on camera): I just want to ask you if you know Haven Barlow.

TUCHMAN: Ruby's mother is still there, and so are almost all her siblings. But her sister, Flora, left the church many was ago and has been to his neighbor. To get -- as far as Ruby goes, he's not so found of her.

The county investigator, who has devoted years to trying to help people who learn to read the FLDS says 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 and the FLDS community, known as the Marshall's Office, has actively worked to stop other parents from leaving the community with their children. And now the Arizona attorney general says he's conducting a criminal investigation of that news department.

TOM HORNE, ARIZONA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Extremely outraged. I think it's the biggest injustice that I know that's gone on in my state.

TUCHMAN: The cops in the marshal's office never talk to reporters. But the attorney representing them sent us an e-mail, saying in part, "There has been no plea for evidence of any type of wrongdoing whatsoever.

Ruby Jessop says there's a lot of wrong-doing 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 Jessop said that from jail? So you were not allowed to have relations with your husband any more for the last few months?

JESSOP: For the last year.

TUCHMAN: Last year.

JESSOP: The last year. The only relations you could have with your husband is a handshake, and no longer than 3 seconds.

TUCHMAN: A three-second handshake?

JESSOP: Unh-hmm.

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 says 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: Are you happy today?

JESSOP: I am. I am very happy.

TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN, Phoenix.

COOPER: Tom Sheehan is a sheriff in Mohave County, Arizona, where many of the FLDS members live. He joins us now.

So Sheriff, Ruby Jessop was able to get her kid, get them help from your office. Are more people from that community reaching out for help from your office or the attorney general's office?

TOM SHEEHAN, SHERIFF, 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: And one of the things that's always amazed me about the FLDS is that this area continues to live, really, under its own rules, under its own law or at least tries to. Your department, you know, started patrolling the area. What are the biggest challenges you face there?

SHEEHAN: Well, the biggest challenge we have is the -- 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 mean, I think that's what surprises a lot of people on the outside.

SHEEHAN: 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've lost their ability to continue to be law enforcement officers. They've 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've been involved themselves in child molestations.

So you know, 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: I mean, it's obviously very isolated in many different ways, and people don't watch television, but if somehow, some members of the community are able to see or hear this segment tonight, what would you say to them?

SHEEHAN: They can contact the Mohave County Sheriff's Office at any time and we will make sure they're protected from the people in the church, from the marshal's office. We're there to provide them fair and unbiased law enforcement services.

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

SHEEHAN: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: Still ahead, if you're not sick right now, chances are you know somebody 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 what might work.

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: So we all know what the flu is. And this flu season has been nasty, but there's something else going around that's making a lot of people sick right now. It's called norovirus. It's very contagious, and unlike the flu, which is a respiratory illness, norovivus is, without getting too much graphic, a stomach thing. Some people call it food poisoning or a stomach bug. Let's just say if you catch the norovirus, you'll spend some time in the bathroom. A new strain called the Sydney strain is sweeping across the United States. And the CDC says you can get it from another person, contaminated food or water even by just touching contaminated surfaces.

In order to find out more now, we've got 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta. So what exactly is norovirus, and how do you know if you have if or just some other kind of a stomach bug?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, there's all sorts of different viruses out there, as you point out: the flu virus. This is another sort of category of viruses.

You don't always know if you have this versus another stomach flu, but I can tell you, as you sort of alluded to, it comes on very suddenly, and you really get quite sick from this. Usually, it lasts two to three days. If you have a more mild sort of thing or it just lasts overnight or something, it's probably not the norovirus.

Anderson, about 20 million people, it's estimated, will get this in the United States alone. So it's something that, you know, a lot of people are going to experience. I think even secretary of state, the former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, you know, when we talked about her fainting episode, a stomach bug, she'd been sick for couple of days, they speculated that was norovirus then, as well. So it's quite common.

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

GUPTA: Yes. It is -- it is really contagious, and it is ubiquitous. It's just everywhere. It can live on surfaces. It can live on your clothes and food, so it's something that's really all around us.

So it is definitely hard to protect yourself. I mean, people talk about washing your hands, which we talk about all the time. But also think about your food, think about your laundry, think about surfaces around you, making sure you're cleaning those things, as well.

I'll give you one quick little thing I learned. Hand washing dishes, for example, may not be good enough, because you can't get the water hot enough to actually kill this virus. So eating off dishes that have actually been washed in a dishwasher with hot water, same thing with the laundry. So it just gives you an idea of how tough this virus is to kill.

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, the HBMT (ph) that we were talking about before, but with this, it seems somewhat resistant. So -- and you really have to scrub your hands quite hard. You know, you and I talked about the fact that singing "Happy Birthday" twice in your head as you're washing your hands. But soap and water seems to be the best bet.

But again, the idea of touching things, then touching your nose and your mouth. We all do this subconsciously a couple hundred times a day. You've got to pay more attention to that, because that's one of the more common ways you get sick.

COOPER: And if you do come down with it or think you've come down with it, what do you do? I mean, is there treatment for it? Do you take antibiotics?

GUPTA: No. You know, that's something. Antibiotics are really for bacterial infections. This is a viral infection. There are a few antivirals out there, but we've looked into this. They're 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 try and 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 because of that dehydration.

So unfortunately, there's no particular medication. You know, try and get as many fluids down as you can, and stay home so you're not, you know, infecting other people.

One thing I'll point out, Anderson: you start to become contagious even before you get sick. So you have to assume that you're always potentially contagious and act accordingly.

COOPER: Wow. Now that we've completely freaked people out, I guess the good news is it only lasts two or three days.

GUPTA: Yes. It lasts two or three days, and again, you'll sort of know it if you have it, but try not to infect others. And keep the fluids down. That's going to be your best bet.

COOPER: All right. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks.

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 includes hundreds of Eagle Scouts mailing back their medals.

The family of snowmobiler Caleb Moore says he is 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 snowmobile 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 Saeed (ph), 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 Catherine, 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 the 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. And the safest way to get it into the chopper, as you see there, was in a bag.

COOPER: Oh, my God.

SESAY: Yes, I know.

COOPER: Wow.

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

COOPER: Well, yes, of course.

SESAY: Yes.

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

SESAY: Yes.

COOPER: All right. Time now for "The Shot." 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: Zach, what is that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Run, Zach.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is it? Are you scared?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Run! Run!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Aww!

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

COOPER: Poor kid. That's not nice. All right.

Coming up, Isha, a case of marijuana theft with a very unlikely perp. "The RidicuList" is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Time now for "The RidicuList." And tonight it seems some evidence has 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)

LT. DOUG NOLTE, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, WICHITA POLICE DEPARTMENT: We had evidence clerks that were 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)

NOLTE: We do have a sketch artist that came. And did a rendering of who we believe is responsible for the marijuana heist. So we are currently looking for someone 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 darn alert, and if I've watched anything by watching "Dan Rather Reports," it's how to spot a stoned mouse.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAN RATHER, JOURNALIST: This mouse, the control mouse, has eaten nothing but his normal food, and he's 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 say, "This mouse is definitely high." I'm thinking about making that my ring tone.

But back to the cat and mouse between the stoned rodents and the Wichita Police Department. Our favorite lieutenant explains what they think happened after conducting a very thorough -- you know this is coming -- joint investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NOLTE: 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 and a 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 that hard to find them, though. You can look for the empty Doritos bags, the tiny little earbuds blasting Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon," perhaps, and you know what? Forget cheese. That's very passe. I think we may have just stumbled upon a way to build a better mouse trap on "The RidicuList."

That's it for us. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.