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THE SITUATION ROOM

Pope Benedict XVI Resigns; New Details Emerge About Osama bin Laden's Death; Process of Choosing a New Pop; Pop Benedict XVI Resigns; No Loss of Life as Tornado Rips Through Mississippi Town; Fire Strands Cruise Ship Passengers; Mistakes Abound on Credit Reports

Aired February 11, 2013 - 17:59   ET

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


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Happening now, the Pope shocks the world. He's resigning. Stunning revelations from the Navy SEAL who reportedly killed Osama bin Laden. A fugitive ex-police officer, a new video providing new clues? A tornado carves a 75-mile path of destruction. And a fire leaves a cruise ship full of passengers adrift at sea.

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

For the first time in almost 600 years, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church is resigning. Pope Benedict XVI made the stunning announcement today, saying he's stepping down at the end of the month because of his age and his health. The news caught everyone off guard, including the men who helped select the next pope.

CNN's Deborah Feyerick is outside St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York.

Deb, what kind of reaction are you hearing there?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's so fascinating. I just asked one man about the resignation, which some people are now calling an abdication. And he said, no, I don't see it as a resignation or an abdication, I see it as an early retirement. And he was very sympathetic to the pope's plight and the amount of thinking he probably did in order to make this happen at this time.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have been blessed with almost eight years of his pontificate, and we pray for him and we pray for the church.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Without any warning, cardinals in New York, Washington, and across the United States received word virtually the same time as everyone else, getting calls from the Vatican that Pope Benedict XVI had resigned.

CARDINAL DONALD WUERL, ARCHBISHOP OF WASHINGTON: I was in my office at my residence at 5:00 this morning when I got the news. Actually, I was working on some -- some reflections for Lent because Wednesday is Ash Wednesday.

FEYERICK: Both the announcement and timing just before the start of the holy weeks leading to Easter took everyone by surprise.

ARCHBISHOP TIMOTHY DOLAN, ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW YORK: It's like watching your own dad get old and admit that he's not up to all the duties that being the head of a family involves. And there's a somberness there. There's a sadness there.

FEYERICK: The 85-year-old German-born pope said he no longer had the strength, mental or physical -- quote -- "I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me."

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, head of the New York Archdiocese and possible contender to fill the job, will also be among the nearly 120 cardinals to choose the new pope.

DOLAN: I myself am waiting for information, for instructions as to what we would do now as the College of Cardinals.

FEYERICK: The pope's reign has been tarnished by a child sex abuse scandal and the leaking of his private papers by a former butler. The resignation fueled speculation as to whether health was the only motivating factor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just a little bit skeptical, given all that's gone on with the Catholic Church.

FEYERICK: Others speculated on how a new pope might benefit the church.

KALEIGH FORST, STUDENT: I know my grandparents and stuff, I feel like think of the whole church a little bit differently than my generation does, and I feel like we could use somebody maybe a little more younger that has a -- the generation of a new perspective.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FEYERICK: Now, one cardinal noted that, yes, while this is unprecedented in modern history, choosing a pope is a 2,000-year-old tradition, and it is a tradition that will happen again in the coming months -- Wolf.

BLITZER: The next few weeks will be very, very important, Deb. Thank you.

Pope Benedict XVI was born Joseph Ratzinger in 1927 in Germany. He became a cardinal in 1977 and was chief theological adviser to Pope John Paul II. Following the death of John Paul he was elected pope back in 2005. He was 78, the oldest person to become pope in almost 300 years.

Little has been said publicly about his health, which made his resignation even more surprising since he said his strength has deteriorated recently.

Let's get some more now on the pope's health.

Our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, is joining us. Sanjay, what do we know about the pope's health as of late?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, not much that's new here, Wolf. And I think that's part of the reason this came as a surprise to so many people.

Certainly, we know his age, 85 years old, and as a physician there's all sorts of different things that you certainly worry about. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke. He had a hemorrhage in his brain they think back in 1991 that may have been due to a stroke, but a long time ago, and there was no evidence of anything recently along those lines. He had a fall where he broke his wrist in 2009.

And there's been pictures of him where he seems to maybe more increasingly use a cane, which the concern about arthritis and just difficulty getting around. But, you know, Wolf, it's interesting because a came as such a surprise even to people who are closer to him. It doesn't seem like there was any specific health event that happened recently or even things that progressed to the point where it suddenly became obvious.

This seems like more of a threshold just in terms of fatigue both -- as he put it, both physically and mentally, Wolf.

BLITZER: There's no doubt, Sanjay, that being the pope, the leader of, what, a billion Catholics around the world, it includes a lot of traveling, a lot of speaking. It's a very, very arduous job. Do you think that could have an impact on his health?

GUPTA: Yes. I think there's no doubt.

I mean, that kind of travel, just mass several times a week, traveling just even within Italy, let alone outside the country so many times, that takes a toll no matter what kind of resources you have. And as you get older, it just becomes increasingly difficult. You know, we talk about things that are problematic with travel, your increased propensity to develop blood clots, the increased stress, the weakened immune system as a result.

So even, you know, more innocuous problems or problems that don't seem as magnified can become worse as a result of that travel, also just the cognitive abilities. Again, there's been no suggestion other than what you have read that he wrote himself about his cognitive, you know, abilities, whether or not they have declined. But it becomes hard. Again, as a result of all that travel.

You know, he had a moving platform, for example. To even walk the 100 feet, for example, was becoming increasingly difficult. So I think that that, you know, certainly it plays a role and as you get older it plays a bigger role. Wolf, after the age of 45, you lose about a percent of your muscle mass every year after the age of 45. He's 85.

So 40 years, you know, he's been losing muscle mass about a percent a year. So it just is harder to get around.

BLITZER: He's almost 86. In April, he will be 86 years old. And you speak about stress and the impact that could have on someone's health. As Deb Feyerick pointed out, there have been some scandals, there have been some issues, serious issues that have plagued the Vatican over these past few years that he's been the pope. How much of an impact could stress have on his physical health?

GUPTA: You know, Wolf, it's interesting. I wanted to give you a very concise answer to that question. I was talking to some folks who are specialists in this area who focus on longevity and specifically study these issues in people who are in their eighth and ninth decades of life, and the answer is a little bit more complicated.

It basically is that everyone deals with it a little bit differently. So the impact on your physical health, on your physical life is just -- really truly is going to vary person to person. And I don't want to sort of give you a roundabout answer, but there are some people who deal with extraordinary amounts of stress, even thrive on it as they get older. And they're doing more than ever, whereas some people, as you're saying, Wolf, or alluding to, it could have an impact not only on their cognitive health, their ability to remember and recall things, but their physical health as well, their immune system.

They're more likely to get illnesses as a result of that stress. So it just varies. And again, you read the letter that he wrote. You can read between the lines of some of that. It sounds like it has all reached a threshold, as best I could describe it from reading that, Wolf.

BLITZER: It certainly does. We wish obviously the pope only the best. And good luck to him down the road. Appreciate you too as well, Sanjay Gupta.

GUPTA: You got it.

BLITZER: Later this hour, I'm going to be speaking with Cardinal Theodore McCarrick about -- he's in Rome right now. We will get his thoughts on this stunning development today.

A former member of the U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six is now breaking his silence about that May 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden. And what he's revealing about who fired the shots that killed the al Qaeda leader is, simply put, stunning.

Our Pentagon correspondent, Chris Lawrence, has been following this story for us.

Update our viewers, Chris. What's going on?

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Beyond the who, Wolf, he's talking about the fact that they used hand signals communicating, hardly talked at all on the raid, that the military dog who was with them was not a German shepherd, but a Belgian Malinois who had been shot in the chest on a previous mission and survived. So if you think that you have heard everything about those last crucial seconds leading into bin Laden's death, think again.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAWRENCE (voice-over): Who shot Osama bin Laden? And how did he die? We thought we knew from accounts of the real raid.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden.

LAWRENCE: To the Hollywood movie. But an "Esquire" magazine interview with a member of the SEAL team is raising new questions about what happened on that third floor of bin Laden's compound.

"Esquire" simply calls him the shooter and says he fired the shots that killed bin Laden.

PHIL BRONSTEIN, "ESQUIRE": He was very unused to this idea of shooting up. So he wasn't prepared for somebody quite as tall as -- bin Laden was much taller than he expected. So he talks about having to aim his gun up.

LAWRENCE: The shooter says after his point man shot and missed from the second level, both men climbed the stairs to bin Laden's bedroom. As the point man peeled off in the hallway to subdue two of bin Laden's screaming wives, the shooter entered the room.

"There was bin Laden standing there. He had his hands on a woman's shoulders, pushing her ahead, not exactly toward me, but by me, maybe as a shield. I don't know. He's got a gun on a shelf right there, the short AK he's famous for."

BRONSTEIN: And he shot him once in the forehead and another time in the forehead as he was going down and then a third time in the forehead when he was at the foot of his bed, obviously probably already dead.

LAWRENCE: But that account conflicts with another SEAL on the raid, who spoke with "60 Minutes" last year.

QUESTION: So you're right behind the point man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And I kind of tried to look around him, hear him take a couple shots, kind of see ahead, somebody disappear back into the room.

LAWRENCE: In his book, Matt Bissonnette says when they entered the bedroom bin Laden was down on the floor, already dead -- quote -- "The point man's shots had entered the right side of his head."

CNN can't verify either story. But our sources say the shooter's account is more credible in that bin Laden was alive and standing when the SEALs entered the room. So why come forward now? Because President Obama got accolades for authorizing the mission. Bissonnette's book hit the bestseller list and "Zero Dark Thirty" raked in millions and awards.

But the shooter himself, he's out of the Navy and struggling to file a disability claim.

BRONSTEIN: He gets no pension, zero pension.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAWRENCE: So the shooter is looking for a job with a feeling of why is everyone else profiting off this kill? But he volunteered for SEAL training. He chose that risk. And every man and woman coming into the military knows that unless you get a serious injury on the job, a career is defined as 20 years. You have to do the 20 minimum to get the pension.

BLITZER: It's a riveting article in the new issue of "Esquire" magazine by Phil Bronstein. I couldn't put it down. Thanks very much, Chris Lawrence, for that report.

Possible clues left behind by that fugitive ex-cop wanted for murder. Was he captured by a surveillance camera? Stand by.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: The fired Los Angeles police officer who's the subject of that massive manhunt in Southern California has now been formally charged with murder. Christopher Dorner faces four counts in the shooting death of a police officer in Riverside, and he's suspected in two other killings, believed to be part of a vendetta against law enforcement.

CNN's Miguel Marquez is in Los Angeles. He's joining us now.

What's the latest, Miguel, that you're hearing out there?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Los Angeles police, Wolf, say that there are now 700 clues that have been called in from people across the area, the region out here with regard to Mr. Dorner, as fear grips Southern California.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Nervous students return. Schools finally reopened in Big Bear.

JONAH DELACHICA, STUDENT: There's a bad guy on the loose and we don't want to get shot by him.

MARQUEZ: Today, it's security, along with students.

LILIAN AYALA, GRANDMOTHER: Today, we feel much better. There's a lot of -- you can see a lot of police presence out here.

MARQUEZ: It's the Southern California new normal, life on high alert. ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA (D), MAYOR OF LOS ANGELES: We will not tolerate this reign of terror that has robbed us of the peace of mind that residents of Southern California deserve.

MARQUEZ: The search for Dorner stretching from Nevada to the Mexican border and now a warning from TSA to regional airports and airplane owners, Dorner has some flying experience, authorities concerned about an escape attempt or threat from the air.

Los Angeles police headquarters and its stations across the city remain under guard, the homes of more than 50 LAPD families threatened in Dorner's manifesto protected by police 24 hours a day, no end until the alleged killer is found.

CHARLIE BECK, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, POLICE CHIEF: We will capture Dorner. We will bring him to justice.

MARQUEZ: Investigators say the axle on Dorner's truck broke. He left weapons and camping gear behind, torching it all, perhaps a sign his plans went awry, forced to change course. In the mountains east of Los Angeles, some 600 cabins searched, that trail now cold.

Dorner sightings pouring in. A Los Angeles Lowe's home store was emptied Sunday after a false alarm. Shoppers forced out single file. Heavy police response. No Dorner, but plenty of frayed nerves.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUEZ: One thing police are saying out here, Wolf, is that if someone does see Mr. Dorner immediately right now to call 911, don't call their tip line. But they really don't at the moment have anything to tell people who are just worried and concerned across Southern California. They're basically just asking the public, hoping the public can help them catch this guy -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And they're doing everything they possibly can. It doesn't seem to me, and I spoke to the mayor of Los Angeles in the last hour, that they are -- they're on anybody's hot trail right now as they say, that they got a lot of tips, they got a lot of clues. But it doesn't look like anything necessarily is panning out.

MARQUEZ: Yes. That's the sense in talking to investigators right now. Sometimes, they're just keeping everything very close to the vest. That is not my sense at the moment. It seems that they have a lot of information they're sifting through, but they don't have any of those really hot leads that they might be tracking down.

Certainly, if there was something a brew, there are so many reporters and so many people out there watching this, we would know pretty quickly, Wolf.

BLITZER: Miguel Marquez in L.A. working the story, thank you.

One clue found in an alley behind an auto parts store near San Diego. CNN has obtained this exclusive video that shows a man fitting Dorner's description dropping something in a dumpster. And listen to what a store employee found inside.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAJID YAHYAI, PLATINUM AUTO SPORTS: One of the employees, he came back with a clip, like a magazine full of bullets, a belt, a military belt and a helmet.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Investigators now have those items and they have the surveillance tape as well. We will update you on new information as it comes into THE SITUATION ROOM.

Three people are dead following a wild gun battle inside a courthouse. We have new details on that when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

BLITZER: All right, so all eyes are on the Vatican right now. In the coming weeks, they will be looking for the smoke that will signal the selection of a new pope. We have details of the secretive process. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: The surprise resignation of Pope Benedict XVI sets an ancient and secretive process into motion. Cardinals from around the world will come to Rome soon. One of them will be chosen to be the next pope.

CNN's Tom Foreman is here with a closer look at how all of this will unfold.

It's sort of complicated, Tom. So walk us through what we know.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's complicated and it's a procedure that many of us will only get to see a time or two in our lives because these popes can be in for a very, very long time.

The beginning of the process, 120 cardinals from more than 50 countries all around the globe will come together for a conclave in the Sistine Chapel. This word is the appropriate word because it means with a key in Latin. And, essentially, they're going to be locked in until they can come up with a new leader, a new leader for the more than one billion Catholics all around the planet.

The cardinals are sworn to secrecy about this vote. And they will not have any real contact with the outside world while they deliberate who's going to get the job and exactly what issues he will probably face. Two-thirds vote plus one is necessary for an election, two-thirds majority plus one.

They will have four votes per day. They start with one single vote, but after that, two votes in the morning, two in the afternoon. And they have to produce this advantage. However, however, if this goes on for 12 or 13 days, they can decide to reduce it to a simple majority vote.

Beyond that, how does the vote itself proceed? Well, what they do is they each receive a piece of paper on the top of which is written "eligo in summum pontificem." That's Latin for "I elect a supreme pontiff." And then they have a blank and each person will write a name there, each cardinal. Then he will fold it and carry that piece of paper forward to the altar, holding it up. He will drop it onto a plate, which in turn is used to tip it into a chalice. That way everyone can see one vote per person.

Then they have a committee of the cardinals who have the job of counting these votes. They are called the scrutineers. They're selected randomly each day. And what they have to do is count all the ballots to make sure there's the same number of ballots as cardinals in the room so everyone knows it's a fair vote. Second, then they have to go through them, and each one reads to ascertain which names were written.

As each ballot is recorded -- this is fascinating to me -- they take a piece of thread with a needle, and they stick it through the ballot and they thread each one of these ballots. So they can see this one has now been threaded. It cannot be accidentally counted again or dropped or anything else. And they go through until they're all done, and then they knot that to produce one record of the vote. And the results are announced to the room.

If they have not produced a pontiff or if they have, they burn the ballots either way. The bottom line is, if they have not selected a pope, they add a chemical or wet straw to the ballots as they burn them, and dark smoke comes out of the chimney up here so people can know they have not reached a result.

But if they have selected a new pope, they add nothing. They simply burn the ballots, and white smoke comes out, and the world knows that a new pope has been chosen -- Wolf.

BLITZER: A lot of tradition. A lot of precise tradition in that whole process. Tom, thanks very much.

Even inside the Vatican itself there was shock at the news of the pope's resignation, including at the highest levels of the church leadership.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: And Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is joining us now from Rome. He's the former cardinal, the archbishop of Washington, D.C. He's the archbishop emeritus right now.

Your Eminence, thank you so much for joining us on this day. How surprised were you when you -- when you heard the news about Pope Benedict XVI?

CARDINAL THEODORE MCCARRICK, ARCHBISHOP EMERITUS, WASHINGTON D.C.: Well, I think we all were very surprised. We had no -- we had no prior -- at least I had no prior warning. I -- I was in Rome by accident. The Catholic Conference of the United States is beginning to do some more work to help the church in Africa, and that's what I was here, trying to set this up in Rome.

But I turned on the -- the radio, and I didn't hear anything. And then I got a phone call saying, "Turn on the television." And then we heard it. Extraordinary news. Startling and historic.

BLITZER: Very historic indeed. Tell us what you can about the pope's health. What do we know about that?

MCCARRICK: Well, I probably know less than you do. But as far as I know, he has looked -- he has looked tired sometimes, more often in the last few times I've seen him on television. But he always speaks well. He's -- what he says makes a lot of sense. And he's very, very thoughtful and seems fine.

He does appear tired, though, now. And I guess that is -- that's a sign of age and a sign of the fact that he's worked so hard over the years, that he's -- he's now maybe needing to have some time to rest, some time to pray more.

I think also that it's a possibility that he would want to give everything he had, and he would want to be able to do everything that the church wanted him to do. And so I think if he felt -- I believe he said once or twice if he felt he could no longer serve, then he probably would step down. And I think this is probably his own -- his own decision after a long prayerful study of it. He wants what's best for the church.

And at this point I guess he feels that he is not able to do all the things that he feels the church needs in today's difficult and challenging world.

BLITZER: He is 85, almost 86 years old. He'll be 86 in April. What's been the reaction amongst your peers, amongst your colleagues there in -- at the Vatican?

MCCARRICK: Well, I've been -- it was a rainy day today. It was not a day to go out and chat among the brothers. So I don't have any -- any other information than you do, probably. I've been listening to the television and hearing some remarks by some of the cardinals, and I think they are as surprised as I am.

And I think the feeling, generally, is that this has been an extraordinary man who's been our pope for the last almost eight years. A holy man, a humble man, a man who is a great theologian. Perhaps one of the finest theologians in hundreds of years that have sat on the throne of Peter.

And so I think he -- he has done so many great things in the era of faith that we're in today. He was the brainchild of -- the prayer child of his holiness. So that a lot of -- a lot of good things have come from the Holy Father over the last eight years. And I guess he -- maybe he feels that now he's not able to do that as much as he could in the past. And so he doesn't want to stand in the way of church's moving forward, as I said before, in a very challenging time, in a much more challenging world that we've ever had before, I think.

BLITZER: Cardinal McCarrick, thank you so much, Your Eminence, for joining us. We really appreciated this. And I hope we'll be able to stay in close touch over the next several weeks. If not, we'll see you definitely back here in Washington. Thank you.

MCCARRICK: I'm certainly looking forward to talking to you more. Let's pray for the Holy Father and for the future of the church.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: By the way, I had a chance to meet with Pope Benedict XVI when he visited the Catholic University of America back in 2008. Here's a picture of when I met with Pope Benedict. That was then the president of Catholic University in between us, Father David O'Connell, who's now a bishop in Trenton, the archdiocese in Trenton. It was a very, very exciting moment to meet with Pope Benedict XVI at Catholic University in 2008.

And let me take this opportunity to wish him only, only the best in these coming weeks, months, and years, especially now that he's announced he's retiring because of his health and his age.

Coming up, a vacation at sea ruined when a cruise ship catches fire, leaving thousands trapped at sea living like, quote, "a bunch of savages."

And check out this incredible video of a huge tornado as it slams into a populated Mississippi town. What happens next? We'll share with you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: We're just getting this into THE SITUATION ROOM. The former vice president, Dick Cheney, has some pretty harsh assessments of President Obama's defense secretary nominee, Chuck Hagel. Listen to what he told CBS News.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: With respect to Chuck Hagel and Brennan, defense and CIA, just in the last week, their performance in front of the committees that have to confirm them has been pretty poor. And that's, you know, not my judgment. That's the judgment, as well, of senators on both sides of the aisle.

My guess is, if you look at what the president's motives are for picking Chuck Hagel, I think he wants a Republican to go be the foil, if you will, for what he wants to do to the Defense Department, which is to do serious, serious damage to our military capabilities. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Strong words from the former vice president. The Senate Armed Services Committee, by the way, will vote on Hagel's nomination tomorrow.

All right. Take a look at this tornado ripping through Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The National Weather Service has just rated this an EF-4 on a scale of 5, with winds up to 170 miles an hour.

CNN's David Mattingly is there. He's got the latest on the fallout.

Pretty awful what we're seeing, David.

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. The National Weather Service just upgrading that storm just within the last hour. The damage you see behind me is just a fraction of what that tornado did here in this city. But the headline out of Mississippi tonight is remarkable. No loss of life.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTINGLY: Are you all right?

JOAN STEVENS, TORNADO SURVIVOR: They're just trees. You've got to be careful.

MATTINGLY: OK. There you go.

(voice-over): Joan Stevens and her husband, Ray, survived the tornado that blackened the skies over Hattiesburg, caught on amateur video. The funnel was one of several tornadoes to batter this part of Mississippi. The Stevens' house is in pieces, but they made it out without a scratch.

(on camera): The two of you were just...

J. STEVENS: Right here. And Aggie was right here, our dog.

RAY STEVENS, TORNADO SURVIVOR: And I just got her under me and I was laying on her.

J. STEVENS: And we were just literally all right here on the floor and just covered up on each other.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): It could have been so much worse for so many. Two hundred houses and 100 apartments were damaged or destroyed. But in the immediate aftermath there were no deaths. Only two were seriously injured. The Stevens credit warning sirens the city installed just two years ago.

J. STEVENS: We had been watching television since we got home from church.

MATTINGLY (on camera): So you were ready for this? J. STEVENS: We were ready as ready could be.

MATTINGLY: The Stevens say they had just a matter of minutes from the time they first heard the alarm to when the storm actually hit. Afterward, when they came out and saw all of this damage, they realized that that warning was just enough for people to take cover, because when they started checking on their neighbors, no one on this street, in spite of all this damage, was hurt.

(voice-over): The National Weather Service says parts of Hattiesburg had up to 30 minutes' warning before the tornado touched down. City officials also say the timing of the storm was fortunate.

On a Sunday afternoon the local high school was almost empty when it hit, and the University of Southern Mississippi, one historic building badly damaged, had fewer than usual students on campus because of a Mardi Gras holiday.

Still, all across the tornado's path there were countless close calls. Hattiesburg's mayor was one of them.

(on camera): This was all going on in a matter of seconds.

JOHNNY DUPREE, MAYOR: Oh, this is seconds.

MATTINGLY: You were running for your life.

DUPREE: Literally for my life.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Mayor Johnny Dupree managed to get inside his house just in time. The 100-year-old home and the neighborhood took a beating.

(on camera): Looking at all the damage, is there one thing that really, really hurts today?

DUPREE: Here?

MATTINGLY: Here, in your house.

DUPREE: No. Because we're going to replace all this. I mean, nothing hurts. I mean, not here.

I'm relishing the fact that nobody in Hattiesburg was killed. No fatalities. The rest of this can be replaced.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MATTINGLY: But they're not quite out of the woods yet here, because the rain hasn't stopped. We're looking at possibly hours more of rain. Some possible flash flooding here. But the goal right now is to get all of the roads cleared and get the power restored to at least about 4,000 people, Wolf, who still do not have electricity right now.

BLITZER: Yes. As you point out, it could have been so much worse. David, thank you.

It's bad enough to lose power and water when you're at home. But when you're stranded at sea with 4,000 other people, things can get pretty ugly. CNN's Sandra Endo reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SANDRA ENDO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Snapshots of a ruined vacation. This Carnival cruise ship adrift at sea, stuck in the Gulf of Mexico.

BRETT NUTT, HUSBAND OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGER (via phone): It's a big mess. I mean, there's no power. There's no toilets. There's no food. It's like a bunch of savages on there.

ENDO: That's how one husband says his wife described the situation when she called to tell him a fire knocked out the engine on board Sunday about 150 miles off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.

The fire broke out as the "Triumph" was heading back to Galveston, Texas, after a four-day voyage to Cozumel. Carnival Cruises says the emergency generator kicked on once the fire occurred, but half the ship's toilets and some elevators weren't working.

NUTT: She was crying and all and everything, and she just wants off the ship. And I mean, it's horrible. They're having to use the restroom in buckets and bags.

ENDO: Two sister ships restocked the Triumph with extra food and drinks. Carnival says there's limited hot food and coffee for guests. A Coast Guard cutter and two tug boats met the ship Monday so the vessel could be towed to the nearest port, Progreso, Mexico.

GREGORY MAGEE JR., COMMANDER, USCG CUTTER VIGOROUS (via phone): Right now we believe everything here is safe and secure. The communications with the master has been open and honest.

ENDO: A similar engine failure happened just two years ago when Carnival Splendor lost power and was adrift for days off the coast of Mexico. One passenger reflects on his experience.

MARQUIS HORACE, PASSENGER ON SPLENDOR, NOVEMBER 2010: Since it was a vacation, I feel like it was a waste of my time pretty much and money to save up for it and then actually go on a trip. I think that the worst part about this experience for me was the food was starting to spoil and it was just god-awful smells coming from their kitchen areas. God-awful smells coming from the bathrooms. Overflowing toilets.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: A report from Sandra Endo.

The Triumph, by the way, is expected to make it to shore by Wednesday. Those on board will be flown back to their respective home towns or wherever. They'll get full credit for their travel expenses. So millions are plagued by errors on credit reports. Why they could be so costly, and why they could be so hard to fix.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: The federal government says as many as 42 million people have errors on their credit records, errors that can cost them a loan or even a job. CNN personal finance correspondent, Zain Asher, is joining us with details.

Zain, this is a pretty serious report.

ZAIN ASHER, CNN PERSONAL FINANCE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, hi, Wolf. This is certainly pretty troubling for anyone looking to do something like get a mortgage or lock in a row interest rate or get a loan. A mistake on your report can really hurt your score.

Now, the good news, if you can call it that, is that not all errors will affect somebody's ability to get credit, and only about 2 percent of the reports had mistakes that were serious enough to lower people's credit scores or increase the interest rate they were quoted.

But, you know, that still works out to roughly 10 million Americans being denied loans or getting stuck with high rates, thanks to errors on their reports.

Now Equifax, Experion, Transunion are the three main credit bureaus here in the U.S. And most credit-card accounts, car loans, personal loans, and mortgages are approved based on data from them. So, you know, if there's a mistake, it can have pretty serious consequences.

Most mistakes, by the way, I have to say, are pretty immaterial. I mean, it's things like -- I don't know -- a misspelled street name or a wrong middle name. But other mistakes can be pretty serious. They can be things as bad as a bad debt that belongs to someone else or a missed payment that you actually did pay on time.

The FTC report showed that many consumers had a tough time getting the more serious errors fixed, with 42 percent saying their reports had been modified, but in actual fact, errors did still remain -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Zain, so what do consumers need to know if they want to get their reports fixed?

ASHER: Well, first of all, I really can't check this enough. I mean, it's so important to look at your credit score from all three bureaus and make sure line by line that everything is correct.

Now, every American is actually entitled to a free credit report. But guess what? Only one in five consumers actually do this. You can get your free credit report by going to AnnualCreditReport.com. I'm going to say that again, AnnualCreditReport.com.

If there is an error, you should dispute it with both the credit bureau and the source that provided the information, i.e. the lender. So if you see a mistake on your Experion report related to, I don't know, a Macy's account or a Bloomingdale's account, reach out to both places. Tell them what's wrong and why. Show them any supporting documents. Just know in advance there's no guarantee of a quick fix. Both sides have to look thoroughly into the dispute. And you know what? That can take time -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Good advice. Zain, thanks very much for sharing it with our viewers.

CNN's Erin Burnett is going "OUTFRONT" tonight on the manhunt down in Southern California. Erin joining us now with details.

Erin, give us a preview.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Well, you know, Wolf, it's been pretty amazing what you've been hearing on talk radio, some talk radio in Los Angeles. Some incredibly angry words, and some of them on behalf of the alleged shooter, Christopher Dorner.

And today, the LAPD chief -- LAPD chief weighing in, saying -- I'm going to quote him here -- "The ghosts of the past of the LAPD." He hears that people think there could be something to the allegations that Dorner has put forth about racism and bias in the LAPD, and the LAPD is looking into it. We have a special report tonight on the LAPD.

And we're also going to talking to Jay Paterno, of course, the son of Joe Paterno. He has come out with a report saying that his father was blameless in the Jerry Sandusky child rape case.

That is coming up at the top of the hour. Back to you.

BLITZER: We'll see you then. Thank you. By the way, the L.A. Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa was here in the last hour. Here's what he had to say directly to Christopher Dorner.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA, MAYOR OF LOS ANGELES: Christopher, turn yourself in. You've caused a lot of pain and anguish to too many families. You've got to turn yourself in. If you really are someone who was innocently accused in the way that you say you were, then please, you've done enough harm.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: There's now a $1 million reward for information leading to Dorner.

When we come back, a very different subject, a big event that dogs New York this time each year.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: So, New York is going to the dogs. Here's Jeanne Moos. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Who hasn't had an important occasion when you want to look your very best, and you venture outside only to discover it's a dreaded bad hair day?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, it is. It was. We had to buy an umbrella and a poncho outside of the hotel to get him here.

MOOS (on camera): You put the poncho on him or you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Him.

MOOS (voice-over): Day one of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York was rainy, foggy, slushy, enough to curl even a show dog's hair.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They can curl, they can go frizzy on you, just like you ladies that can have a bad hair day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And his hair is going "chhhh," and soaking this up.

MOOS: Rain left this long-haired Dachshund with ridges. They blow-dried him, then used a special comb to try and smooth him out.

(on camera): Whose hair got it worse? His or yours?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mine doesn't count.

MOOS (voice-over): Sure, there are worse things that can happen than getting rained on. Your dog carrier could crash. But rainy weather is a big deal to a dog with dreadlocks.

(on camera): So they're naturally occurring dreadlocks?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

MOOS (voice-over): Or a bearded collie.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you look good coming out of the shower, then come out of the shower, but if you don't, then dry your hair.

MOOS: Denny, the cavalier King Charles Spaniel, required flat irons.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything wants to go the wrong direction.

MOOS (on camera): I just came from makeup, and they just did that to me.

(voice-over): But if rain makes for a bad dog hair day, this looks counterintuitive.

(on camera): What is this thing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's actually a fog machine, but it gets them soaking wet. Sorry.

MOOS (voice-over): First, she soaked Beowulf, then she blow- dried and fluffed him to give him more volume.

Then there are dogs like Violet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A curling iron...

MOOS (on camera): The rain didn't do this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

MOOS (voice-over): Violet never left the indoors.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's having a good hair day.

MOOS: Sure, the dog show pales next to world events.

(on camera): You ever met any dogs named Benedict or Pope?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not yet.

MOOS: But news of the pope's retirement penetrated Westminster.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's going to the old folks' home.

MOOS: And just as his aides hold an umbrella to shield the pope, Rudy the English sheep dog got the same treatment on his way to the dog show.

When it's a bad dog hair day, you can always get rid of the bad hair.

(on camera): Can I have it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, you may.

MOOS (voice-over): Jeanne Moos, CNN...

(DOG BARKING)

MOOS: ... New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: Jeanne loves those stories about the dogs in New York.

That's it for me. Thanks very much for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.