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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Amanda Knox is Convicted, Again, in Italy; Georgia Mayor takes Responsibility in Atlanta; Neurosurgeon Walks Miles to Operate; Documents Show Veterans Are Dying Due To Delays In Medical Screenings At VA Hospitals; Police: Justin Bieber Had Pot And Xanax In His System When Arrested In Miami Beach; The Beatles' British Invasion In The U.S.: Remembering "The Sixties"

Aired January 30, 2014 - 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: Good evening.

Tonight, the breaking news that plunges a young American woman back into the nightmare she thought she escaped. Inside the newest Amanda Knox verdict and the evidence with some called the bogus evidence behind it.

Also tonight, the latest on the mess in Atlanta and how at least some of the officials who got it so wrong are now owning up to their mistakes.

And later, he is the face of the deadly problem American combat vets who answered the call but can't get the VA to give them badly needed and in some cases life-saving medical care. We're keeping them honest.

We begin tonight with breaking news. Amanda Knox convicted of murder for the second time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: A judge in Florence, Italy reading the verdict. Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito guilty of murder in the alleged drug and sexual stabbing death of Meredith Kercher. More than six years ago as one that occurred in the Italian town of Perugia.

Now her sentence, 28 and a half years in prison, extradition a possibility, highly unlikely. Amanda Knox, if you recall, is already done hard time in Italy spending nearly four years in jail in prison until her first co conviction was overturned. She went home Seattle to try in live in normal life. She issued a statement this evening calling the verdict unjust, but hasn't spoken to cameras tonight. She did, however, talk with Britain's "Guardian Paper" earlier this week about what a guilty verdict would do to her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) AMANDA KNOX, CONVICTED MURDER IN ITALY: It would feel like a train wreck. They would order my arrest and the Italian government would approach the American government and say, extradite her and I don't know what would happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, Knox has also spoken with "NEW DAY's" Chris Cuomo about the possibility of going back to prison.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST, NEW DAY: Could you do more time?

KNOX: Me? Could I do more time?

CUOMO: Could you handle it? Could you handle it?

KNOX: I'm having to handle things. I have not been given a choice, and I think people sort of underestimate what that means and what effect that has had on me and my life. I have no choice but to face this, and I constantly ask myself why, why me? I have no choice but to confront this. And I don't know. I'm afraid, I'm so afraid.

CUOMO: If you go back, you may not wind upcoming back to America for a very long time.

KNOX: Yes. And I'm afraid of that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, in her statement tonight, she says she's indeed frightened by what would come next, even if she never sets foot in Italy again.

Now in a moment, we'll have more on the investigation that first landed her in prison and serious question about the evidence or lack of said evidence against her.

First, Erin McLaughlin in Florence of what went in today's verdict and what could come next.

So, explain what happened today in court. I mean, the verdict came far later than expected and talk about who this court is compared to other courts.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson.

We didn't really know what to expect from this court today going into this verdict. In the end, it took six jurors and two judges almost 12 hours to reach this decision when the presiding judge read the verdict out before a very packed courthouse, it was met with silence. Amanda Knox's lawyer later describing to CNN the moment he had to call his client in Seattle and inform her that once again she had been convicted of Meredith Kercher's death. Amanda Knox was understandably shocked, Anderson. COOPER: So she can appeal, though. I mean, this is not it.

MCLAUGHLIN: She can absolutely appeal this decision. In fact, the defense has already said they are planning on doing that. They'll appeal the decision to Italy's Supreme Court. But keep in mind that is the same Supreme Court that overturned the 2011 acquittal decision. Basically in the prosecutor's words, raising it to the ground, saying it was full of contradictions and deficiencies, send thing trial back to Florence, urging them to take a comprehensive look at all of the evidence. So at the moment, things really aren't looking too good for Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. That appeals process so, Anderson, could take months.

COOPER: All right, Erin McLaughlin, appreciate the update.

And her reaction to the verdict this evening, Amanda Knox called it the product of a quote "prejudice and narrow minded investigation."

Drew Griffin has managed to re-trace the steps that investigators took and how it, what many believer, the mistake that were made along the way? He spent hours talking to the original lead prosecutor. It's a rare opportunity to decide for yourself whether he was a crusader for justice, we are talking about the prosecutor, as critics say, a man obsessed. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Amanda Knox in this statement told police she was in the house the night of the murder and saw her boss, nightclub owner, Patrick Lumumba, and Meredith Kercher go into Meredith's room and she heard screams. Amanda's statement adds, I am very confused. I imagined what could have happened.

Police apparently didn't bother to check the facts about Lumumba. They immediately arrested Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito, and Patrick Lumumba for the murder of Meredith Kercher. (INAUDIBLE) Police announcing to the public, case solved.

Julianna Manini (ph) admitted to us, even without any evidence, he knew almost the moment he arrived and laid eyes on Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, they were involved in the murder.

Prior to the forensic investigation, prior to everything really, your intuition or your detective knowledge led you to Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): After the first few weeks, we were convinced because of the behavior of the two people and especially Amanda, that they were both involved in the crime.

GRIFFIN: But almost immediately after the arrests, Manini had a problem. The third suspect, Patrick Lumumba, had an airtight alibi. He was in his crowded bar that night. He could not have been involved. Then the actual forensic tests came back.

GREG HAMPIKIAN, FORENSIC BIOLOGIST: When I looked at it, I was horrified.

GRIFFIN: Greg Hampikian is a forensic biologist at Boise State University and director of Idaho's innocence project. He says Italian investigators did a good job processing the crime scene, collected excellent evidence, but clung to shakier evidence that proved their theory. A classic error, says Hampikian, a prosecutor who trusted his gut feeling instead of the science that at that time was pointing to another suspect.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: That's Drew Griffin reporting.

Now, the other suspect was a man named Rudy Guede, who was convicted and sent to prison. He implicated Knox and Sollecito, after which his sentence was reduced.

Joining us now is Amanda Knox's attorney, Ted Simon and Greg Hampikian who you just saw in Drew's report.

Ted, you saw this verdict as obviously a historic miscarriage of justice. What happens now? Because a lot of people are talking about her being extradited, but there's a lot of steps before anything like that. I mean, there's an appeal, correct?

THEODORE SIMON, AMANDA KNOX'S ATTORNEY: That's correct. And let's understand, some things haven't changed despite this unwelcomed verdict. You know, she was previously found innocent by another appellate court jury, not just not guilty, but actually found innocent. And that is why, when we think about that, and we realize there was no evidence back then and there's no different evidence today, why this is such a horrific miscarriage of justice, of really historic proportions. In fact, it's somewhat incomprehensible to understand how there can be a difference, how can there be a verdict other than what happened before?

COOPER: So, why do you think they made this decision, is it politics, face saving? What do you think?

SIMON: You know, look, the last appellate court jury did a searching inquiry, they reviewed all the evidence, independent experts were hired by the court that debunked the two key pieces of evidence, purportedly, you know, thought to be persuasive by the prosecution. They were eviscerated, evaporated, held to be without any probative value. And there was nothing else really in the case. So we left it to a discerning eye.

But I can tell you, a careful review of the evidence, you have to ask yourself, how is it possible that an appellate court jury found her actually innocent and now another jury of equal stature has reviewed the evidence again and there's no new or different or favorable evidence? In fact, now the knife was retested and the prosecution was basically throwing a hail Mary pass, hoping that they would find Meredith Kercher's profile on the blade. In fact, it was determined that she absolutely was not on the blade, you know. There was a finding that Amanda Knox was on the knife, but that was already the case and she had used that knife. So there's nothing unusual or significant about it. It simply remains no evidence.

COOPER: Let me bring in Greg. Because, Greg, you went to Italy to aid the defense team. You looked at all the evidence. You know about the retesting of the knife in the second trial. Is there any doubt in your mind that Amanda Knox did not commit this crime?

HAMPIKIAN: No, there is never any doubt about this case. We disputed the DNA evidence at the very beginning that was used to convict her.

COOPER: What did they get wrong about the DNA evidence?

HAMPIKIAN: Well, what they did was, they went way below where we look, so there's a level at which we set our instruments for sensitivity. And you don't want to go below that, because, frankly, there's DNA that comes into lab and chemicals or on gloves or small bits of transfer that can occur. That's one of the reasons. But if you want to go that far down, you have to demonstrate through a validation process that you can. So the normal level for those instruments was at a level called 200 relative fluorescent unit.

They took them down far below that. The FBI wouldn't even look at anything below 200 at that time to incriminate anybody. My lab would go maybe to 150. There was no DNA at that level. So we disputed it. The appellate court wisely said we're not going to hear from defense experts. We are not going to hear from the original prosecution experts. And the judge appointed two experts out of Rome, Italian experts. They independently tested the DNA evidence. And they agreed with the defense. And that's why she was freed. So science freed her.

SIMON: You know, Anderson --

COOPER: Ted, what happened now? I mean, where do you go now? Do you appeal?

SIMON: Well, yes. There's certainly an appeal. But you know, when you look at the case, and I know you're familiar with the case, and this was a horrific, bloody murder. And if Amanda had participated in any way, part of herself would have been left in the room or on the person of Meredith Kercher. No hair, fibers, footprint, shoeprint, handprint, palm print, sweat, DNA, saliva of any sort of Amanda Knox was found in that room. And you simply can't remove what you can't see. That in and of itself is absolutely unassailable, unquestioned evidence that shows she could not have been involved. That has never changed.

COOPER: Ted, what does it mean for Amanda Knox in terms of -- I mean, obviously she's not going to travel to Italy. That would not be wise. What about if she traveled somewhere outside of the United States, is that a concern?

SIMON: Well, you know, I know people ask a question ant extradition. But it's really not in play right now, because first of all, she has another appeal to the Supreme Court of Italy. In Italy, under their system, you're still actually presumed innocent until that third final stage. COOPER: So they wouldn't request of extradition of her?

SIMON: No. It would be way, way premature. And the prosecution asked for cautionary or provisional arrest warrant today, it was rejected. The court recognized she's lawfully in the United States. She was never required to attend these proceedings, in this form of proceeding. So she has done everything lawful. Everything correct. She's abiding by all court orders, and her appearance then was not necessary, and it's not in issue today.

If it ever becomes an issue, you can rest assured there are very substantial defenses that can be interposed. But, you know, I think we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves. The bottom line is, there is no evidence, there was no evidence, and there never will be any evidence, and that's why this is such a gross miscarriage of justice.

COOPER: Ted Simon, I'm glad to have you on. Greg --

HAMPIKIAN: In fact, they retested --

COOPER: Go ahead, Greg.

HAMPIKIAN: We in fact have new evidence, which is this test reported just in November, ordered by the court, which confirms once again that the evidence we disputed, the DNA was not reliable. There's no evidence of the victim on the knife. That's new, and that came out in November. For the court to ignore that and to increase her sentence when Rudy Guede, whose DNA is in the victim's body is all over that, his hand prints are there, they lowered his sentence. It has nothing to do with science.

COOPER: Yes, Rudy guide, they lowered his sentence.

Ted Simon, Greg Hampikian, I do appreciate you guys being on. Thank you.

You can follow me on twitter. Let me know what you think about this case @andersoncooper, the twitter hand out. Tweet me using #AC360.

All right, up next, getting one of America's biggest cities rolling again, we'll take you out on the streets and show you how the public servant who has finally taking responsibility for one of the biggest traffic jams on record in city of Atlanta.

And later, delays in diagnosis and treatment at VA hospitals. This is an important story. Veterans put their lives on the line for all of us and they are dying. We're "Keeping Them Honest."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Welcome back.

Atlanta area schools will be closed again tomorrow, in part because they're still towing buses back to garages and cleaning facilities that were used as makeshift dormitories during the storm. Meantime, tow trucks also spent the day dealing with more than 2,000 private cars that were abandoned during the storm and traffic jam that followed.

Now, in our "Keeping Them Honest" reporting last night, we highlighted how public officials failed to take the action or at least issue the kind of full throated warning that could have prevented a good deal of the misery. We also called the attention of the finger pointing and excuses that followed because "Keeping Them Honest" is about holding public servants accountable for bad public service.

Conversely and all too rarely, "Keeping Them Honest" also means calling attention to public servants who get it right by accepting responsibility and accepting accountability. So tonight, we recognized Georgia's governor Nathan Deal who today got it right after first getting it very wrong. He first said the storm was unexpected when it was not. Then later, he tried to suggest the forecasting was unclear.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. NATHAN DEAL, GEORGIA: I did not mean to imply that we didn't know something was coming. What I was referring to was, the national weather service had continually had their modeling showing that the city of Atlanta would not be the primary area where the storm would hit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, in fact, this forecast, which came out 12 full hours before things got bad was plain to see. So today Governor Deal was singing a very different tune.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEAL: I want to start out by apologizing to those individuals who were stranded on our roadways, to those parents whose children were unable to return home in a timely fashion. I accept responsibility for the fact that we did not make preparation early enough to avoid these consequences. I'm not going to look for a scapegoat. I'm the governor. The buck stops with me. I accept the responsibility for it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: I accept responsibility for it. That's what he said. And some really amazing when you think about how rarely we actually hear politicians say that. But for all the apologies, Atlanta is still face a big mess today and will again tonight, aiming thousands of cars, thousands of this morning still sat abandoned all around the Atlanta area.

We have more on that now from Gary Tuchman.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Army National Guard Humbles in the streets and highways in an around Atlanta. It's emergency duty, as the military and police shuttle people back to the hundreds of cars that remain abandoned on roadways after the snow and isles of Tuesday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What kind of vehicle was it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a 2008 grand prix.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's on Windy Ridge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know if it's still there or not?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I'm not sure. It was yesterday.

They're going to put you in a Humbee (ph) and take you out it to.

TUCHMAN: Many people have retrieved their cars on the road. Others have not because many roadways remain troches and icy. Jihan Johnston took the Humbee (ph) ride.

JIHAN JOHNSTON, ATLANTA RESIDENT: It was ice. My car was sliding backwards, and it just would not go.

TUCHMAN: She normally has a 40-minute ride from work to home. She spent 20 hours in her car.

JOHNSTON: It's a red Altima up the hill. By the track of trailers, it is red car on the left.

TUCHMAN: What made this debacle even worse in the Atlanta area is this is a very hilly region. There are many abandoned cars in this particular street. The reason? It's very steep and people were afraid they would end up in a crevice, like this one. And this is the street just west of Atlanta where Jihan's red car was. But her saga wasn't over yet. The battery was dead.

JOHNSTON: It won't start.

TUCHMAN: But a battery jump-start is part of the deal, too and it came quickly. As she let her engine warm up and prepared to go home. She told us what it was like trying to sleep in her car, afraid to abandon it in the middle of the night, afraid of keeping the heat on because of worries about carbon monoxide.

JOHNSTON: I was scared. I was petrified. I would turn my car on for five minutes then I would turn it off and just snuggle very closely with my blankets until I felt cold again and then start it up for another five minutes and then cut if off.

TUCHMAN: Like many Atlantans, Jihan says she'll try to avoid driving when snow is in the forecast. But she's driving now, home to her 5- year-old son.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: We're happy for her.

Gary joins us now. Are there still a lot of abandoned vehicles on the road right now? TUCHMAN: There's still a lot of abandoned vehicles on the highways around Atlanta, Anderson. The reason is that there's still icy patches on the road and a lot of people whose cars are on the highways are concerned about leaving their homes. \

And because of that, there is a whole new problem. You can see there's lots of traffic, lots of people who have come out right now. And because of the cars on the shoulders and in some cases lanes, there's a lot of danger that these people can hit those cars. So because of that, about 40 minutes from now at 9:00 eastern time, state police are going to start towing all the cars that remain on the highways. But the good news for the people that have their cars towed is the Atlanta police, the drug state police of the jurisdiction here say when you recover your car, when you go get it where it is impounded, you will not have to pay a dime for it. It will be free.

COOPER: That's good news. Gary, appreciate it. Thanks.

My next guest may say that he was just doing his job. Don't believe it for just a minute. You are doing a lot more than that. There is nothing a neurosurgeon's job description that calls for walking nearly six miles in the cold wearing your scrubs, windbreaker and a pair of crocs to get your next procedure.

Dr. Zenko Hrynkiw is in the Brookwood medical center in icy Birmingham, Alabama Tuesday morning when he learned he was needed to perform emergency brain surgery at another local hospital. Driving was impossible. The doctor set off on foot, did the surgery, saved a life and joins us tonight with this remarkable story.

Doctor Zenko, so Tuesday morning you were trying to get to the hospital to perform emergency brain surgery. The snowstorm made it impossible to get there. What happened next?

DR. ZENKO HRYNKIW, NEUROSURGEON: Well, I just left my car on the side of the driveway. Rolled and walked down a big hill and started walking.

COOPER: How far away from the hospital were you?

HRYNKIW: Approximately anywhere between six or eight miles.

COOPER: You make it sound like it was an easy walk. I mean, six to eight miles, it's cold out, it is windy, hilly terrain. Were you dressed warmly?

HRYNKIW: No, I had my scrubs on and my lip-on shoes that I sued in the operating room, but I had a jacket.

COOPER: Wait, you had slip-on shoes and scrubs?

HRYNKIW: Yes.

COOPER: That's pretty incredible. I mean, there's not a lot of people I know that would walk six to eight miles in slip-on shoes and scrubs through a snowstorm like this. How long did it take for you to get there?

HRYNKIW: Probably under two hours.

COOPER: You must have been freezing?

HRYNKIW: No, no. Actually, traffic was just stopped. There was no place to go. At one point in time there was an ambulance that would just sitting on lake shore drive. I knocked on the window and got in there and sat there and warmed up for a little bit. Then I kept on, left the ambulance and kept on walking.

COOPER: Can you be my doctor? This is amazing to me. You made it in --

HRYNKIW: Do you need brain surgery?

COOPER: Well, no, no. Hopefully not. So, I won't need those services, hopefully. But maybe if I do, I will certainly call on you. You made it on time to the hospital to perform surgery, yes?

HRYNKIW: Yes, we were in contact the whole time, texting, looking at cat scans, getting medications order, getting the patient prepared, head has being shaved. So when I got there, the patient was ready to go. I talked to the family, and took him to surgery and battled a demon there for a while. But it all worked out OK.

COOPER: I understand you've been in the hospital since the snowstorm hit, and basically the hospital is so short staffed. How are you holding up?

HRYNKIW: Well, everyone is doing the same thing. Everyone is pitching in. The nurses are staying overnight. So, you know, you've got to do what you've got to do.

COOPER: And the hospital staff are saying this patient would have very easily died and most likely have died if you hadn't made it there.

HRYNKIW: Yes, it was a very, very large hemorrhage in the brain, and the patient was actually losing consciousness. And by the time I got to the hospital, the patient had lost consciousness. And they had about a 90 percent statistical chance of dying. But I think they're going to make it.

COOPER: That's incredible. Well, I know to you this is maybe just another day. But I think it's an extraordinary day and I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. Thank you.

HRYNKIW: Thank you.

COOPER: Pretty cool.

As always, you can find more on the story at CNN.com.

Just ahead a 360 exclusive, an important story. U.S. veterans dying because of delays in diagnosis and treatment at VA hospitals. They served their country, they served all of us. So why isn't the government, the VA keeping its promise to care for them? We have been asking the VA and they are not talking to us. We're "Keeping Them Honest" ahead tonight.

Also, what drug test found in Justin Bieber's system the night of his arrest in Miami? Dr. Drew Pinsky weighs in on how serious pop star's drug use may be.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Tonight, an AC360 exclusive, documents that call into question this country's commitment to some of its military veterans. CNN has learned as many as 82 vets across the country are dead, dying or had suffered serious injuries because they were denied care or had to wait to get care at Veterans Administration hospitals. What's worse despite the V.A.'s own admission, it's unclear whether anyone responsible has been fired, been demoted or even admonished.

Our investigative correspondent, Drew Griffin, has been covering the lack of care at some V.A. hospitals for the past year. Tonight, this keeping them honest report is his.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): U.S. veterans are dying because of delays in diagnosis and treatment at V.A. hospitals. This internal V.A. document obtained exclusively by CNN says that at least 19 veterans have died because of delays in simple medical screenings, like colonoscopies or endoscopies. And the document also shows the number of vets adversely affected could be much larger.

It shows that least 82 vets suffered serious injuries as a result of delays in medical care. It's not clear how many are still alive. In the South Carolina and Georgia region alone, ten veterans are dead and 29 families have been notified their loved ones had serious adverse events, according to the V.A., because of delayed care.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just try to live every day like it's my last day.

GRIFFIN: Barry Cotes, a 44-year-old gulf war vet, waited a year to get a colonoscopy while his V.A. doctors in South Carolina were telling him he had hemorrhoids. When he underwent the procedure, doctors found a baseball-sized tumor and cancer that has spread. He is diagnosed with stage four cancers spreading to his lungs and liver. And he's hardly alone.

As CNN has previously reported, as many as 7,000 veterans were on a backlog list waiting too long for colonoscopies or endoscopies. At just two V.A. facilities in Columbia, South Carolina, and Augusta, Georgia, after CNN's detailed accounting of delayed related deaths, a bipartisan group of congressmen visited the hospitals to demand answers.

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BARROW (D), GEORGIA: We have a duty to make sure that the veterans who have served here get the best health care possible and it is very obvious that for too long and for too many folks that hasn't happened.

GRIFFIN: The V.A. says the backlog at these two hospitals has been solved. But that is not a good enough explanation for the chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to know why and we want to know who made the decisions.

GRIFFIN: Congressman Jeff Miller says the V A. from the top down has consistently ignored his committee's requests to find out who is responsible. And despite the delays in care, which have led to deaths and serious injuries, Miller says not a single person has been fired or even demoted. And in fact, some of those responsible may have gotten bonuses.

REPRESENTATIVE JEFF MILLER (R), VETERANS' AFFAIRS CHAIRMAN: And nobody was held accountable. That's why we've asked the question again today, with members of the South Carolina delegation and members of the Georgia delegation, tell us exactly who was disciplined and now.

GRIFFIN: CNN has made repeated requests for interviews with top officials at the V.A., including the president's appointed head of the Veterans Administration. Repeated requests denied or ignored.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: No veteran should have to fill out a 23-page claim to get care or wait months, even years to get an appointment at the V.A.

GRIFFIN: In August 2007, Candidate Barack Obama gave this campaign speech to veterans. Specifically addressing wait lists, denied care and poor treatment of vets. He promised his administration would be different.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: When we fail to keep faith with our veterans, the bond between our nation and our nation's heroes becomes frayed. When a veteran is denied care, we're all dishonoured.

GRIFFIN: For Barry Cotes and other vets who have had to wait for procedures, the speech is an empty promise.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many more lives are we going to lose from this?

GRIFFIN: Cotes is now fighting for his life and so far no one at the V.A. can explain why.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: So Drew, you've reached out to the V.A., they just didn't want to talk about it, right?

GRIFFIN: Anderson, we've been reporting on your program on these delays and poor care at these hospitals for the last year. The only person at the V.A. who has spoken to us is the director of that Augusta V.A. he did apologize for the delays. As far as the national leadership in Washington, we've repeatedly asked to speak to the director and the press office has told it there won't be an interview. It's not going to happen. We want to know just what the members of Congress want to know, who is responsible and what has happened to them?

COOPER: It is amazing that no one will talk. Nothing has happened to them. No one has been held accountable, right?

GRIFFIN: To our knowledge, not a single person has been fired for these delays.

COOPER: All right, Drew, we'll stay on. Thanks, Drew. It's pretty unbelievable. Just ahead, after months of speculation, an answer on whether Boston bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will face the death penalty.

Also this, Justin Bieber's fans don't seemed to mind his growing rap sheet, two arrests in barely two weeks. And now new details of the drugs found in his system the night he was booked in Miami.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: "Crime and Punishment" tonight, new details about what drugs were in Justin Bieber's system the night of his arrest last week in Miami Beach. Police documents show he tested positive for marijuana, Xanax and alcohol. His eyes were described by police as blood shot, his speech mumbled. The pop star allegedly told police he had been smoking pot all night in the recording studio. He posted bond the next day, waved to crowds.

A week later, just yesterday, he turned himself in to a Toronto police station where he was charged with assault. He is accused of hitting his limousine driver last month. In California, he's under investigation for throwing eggs at his neighbour's house.

So the question is what is this new information about the drugs actually in his system? What does that add to the picture? Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of HLN's "Dr. Drew On Call" joins me tonight. So what do you make of this combination that Bieber allegedly now has.

DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST, HLN'S "DR. DREW ON CALL": You know, the police recognized that he was intoxicated far beyond the alcohol levels they measured. So they found the cannabis and the Xanax. My fear -- my concern is that there's recklessness to the combination of medicines here.

COOPER: What does it do? I mean, if you have Xanax and marijuana --

PINSKY: They're all kind of downers and so they make you altered obviously. Your central nervous system depressed --

COOPER: The thing is, again, I don't know when you see -- this is a 19-year-old, more money than anyone can probably imagine. Is this just what a 19-year-old does, the growing pains of anybody and it's just happening in the public eye or something more?

PINSKY: Right. That's the big question and I don't know. Is it not just, you know, public eye with power and money, but also, didn't develop normally.

COOPER: And has been working and earning money --

PINSKY: My greatest fear for him, whether this is just a psychological problem or a medical problem, addiction problem or something else, is that he's going to get special care. When celebrities get special care --

COOPER: You're talking about a Conrad Murray situation.

PINSKY: You end up with a Conrad Murray situation. If he needs treatment, again, we don't know, but say this is addiction, he needs to not work and focus on treatment and get good standard care, not special care.

COOPER: I'm all for very conservative doctors that you having to go to --

PINSKY: That's how it works. They are good especially for an addict who has trouble with these things.

COOPER: I don't want a doctor that's going out to the disco with the patient. That doesn't seem like a good idea.

PINSKY: That is not a good idea. I'm glad you see that, but more over for somebody with psychiatric problems, it's an especially bad idea, because for instance, addicts cannot maintain dual relationships. You can't be somebody's doctor and friend. That becomes immediately a problem and it ill serves the patients. You end up with a dead patient like our friend, Michael Jackson.

On one thing I would say, I don't like people taking aim at the parents. So you just create more victims in all of this. I'm sure they know there's trouble. I'm sure they are concerned. His mom has had substance and the depression and gets what's going on here. Believe me, when it comes to the treatment of an adult child for substances, you don't have a lot of resources.

COOPER: It's weird though, because this is a kid who years ago, I remember -- I've interviewed his mom, you know, is grandfather used to travel with him. It always seemed like this responsible young kid. Then all of a sudden, you know, turns 18, 19 and all this stuff starts to happen. Part of me thinks this is just -- you've been working for your entire childhood essentially. This is bound to happen.

PINSKY: Could be, could be, or you could say 18 to 25 is the window when major psychiatric problems start to manifest. Maybe there's something more going on here. The real serious question is will he get the proper treatment or does he just need to be yanked in?

The fact that he's going to Toronto and doing what he needs to do to clean up his side of the street so to speak, I think is a good sign, the fact that he's taking the arrested for what he's did in Toronto. That is being responsible. Let's see if this is the beginning of a good trend.

COOPER: All right, Dr. Drew, thanks.

PINSKY: You bet.

COOPER: You can see more on the story coming up at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on "Dr. Drew On Call," on HLN.

Up next tonight on the program, who is President Obama picking in the Super Bowl? See what he told Jake Tapper.

Also ahead, potentially life changing news for millions of parents and kids, doctors may have found a way to cure deadly peanut allergies in surprising new research next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Let's get a quick check of some headlines with Susan Hendricks in the 360 Bulletin -- Susan.

SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, in an exclusive interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, President Obama said some of the nation's largest companies have signed on to a White House plan to boost hiring of the long-term unemployed. The White House will make a formal announcement tomorrow. But that's not all Jake asked the president about. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE TAPPER, HOST, CNN'S "THE LEAD": I'm going to give you a choice. You just have to pick one. I'll give you two. Hillary versus Biden or Broncos versus Seahawks, you have to tell me you have to pick one and give me the winner.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENDRICKS: To find out how the president answered, watch more of Jake's interview tomorrow morning on "NEW DAY" and at 4 p.m. Eastern on "THE LEAD."

Attorney General Eric Holder says federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston marathon bombing suspect. Now three people died and 250 others were injured in the attack last April. A police officer was killed three days later while he and his brother were still at large.

New York police have arrested 18 people accused of running a high-end drug and prostitution ring, which allegedly targeted wealthy customers for large events, including Sunday's Super Bowl, selling them party packs of cocaine and sex.

Researchers in the UK are reporting some success with treating peanut allergies. Over six months, they gave 99 children increasing doses of peanut flour mixed in with their food. At the end of the trial, 80 percent of the kids were able to eat peanuts without having a reaction. The researchers now plan to test the treatment in larger groups, which of course, could be huge.

COOPER: That would be amazing. Susan, thanks very much.

Tonight, a taste of Beatlemania and an inside look at the band's journey to America. At the top of the hour, CNN is going to air the special, "The 60s, The British Invasion." It was 50 years ago the Beatles came to the United States. Their first appearance on the "Ed Sullivan Show," that show was on February 9, 1964, setting off Beatle mania in the United States.

Before that, earlier in the 60s, the fab four already huge in Britain, but here not so much, they did have a very early champion in the states, George Harrison's sister for one. Louise Harrison is the author of "My Kid Brother's Band, The Beatles." She joins me now.

So in the 1960s, when the Beatles weren't before they were known here in the United States, you were living here in the United States. I understand you used to try to get them radio play. How did you do that?

LOUISE HARRISON, GEORGE HARRISON'S SISTER: It wasn't easy, believe me. When I found out that my kid brother was in a band, I thought, OK, let's see what we can do here. So I had most of this country in March of '63, and my mom was sending me all of the records. So I thought, OK, let's get them on the air.

COOPER: Did you know their music was great?

HARRISON: Well, my mom told me it was, and she was not one to exaggerate.

COOPER: OK.

HARRISON: So I thought if she really thinks it's good then it must be. So I started going on the radio stations and taking the singles with me saying this is my kid brother's band and they're number one in England. I didn't want to say Beatles because this would freak people out. So I subscribed to the Cash Box Billboard and Variety in order to learn all about the American music.

COOPER: You're a good sister.

HARRISON: That's the way I was brought up, you know, that you care about who is in your family and do the best for them. So I started doing all this research. You see, in England it's so different. If you played on the BBC, that's all you need. But in this country, back then, there were about 6,000 independent radio stations. There's a lot more now. I said you really need to get them on a bigger label.

COOPER: So you were hoping if they had a big record company in the United States, they would get radio play.

HARRISON: Yes, yes. Just by going and say thing is my kid brother's band, I got a couple of places to play, but they were little. COOPER: They were in Germany and Hamburg, performing all the time.

HARRISON: Yes, eight, nine hours in front of a bunch of drunken sailors.

COOPER: A lot of families would be concerned about and think you have to buckle down and get a real job.

HARRISON: No.

COOPER: Your mom was supportive?

HARRISON: Yes, and my dad. You know, that whole thing was they were such free spirits themselves, my mom and dad. That's why I write a lot about them in the book. If anybody had a feeling that they liked George then it's important that they know how he became the way he was.

COOPER: When they came to the United States and they were on the Ed Sullivan show, you actually were backstage.

HARRISON: Yes.

COOPER: But you weren't so concerned about the kind of what this meant, you were concerned about your brother, he was sick.

HARRISON: Yes. He had strep throat and the doctor at the hotel, who had seen George on the Friday night, when he first came in from Paris, he wanted to put him in hospital.

COOPER: Wow.

HARRISON: His temperature was 104, and his throat was to the point where he could hardly talk. Immediately Brian said no, no, we can't let the press know there's anything wrong with any of them.

COOPER: Because he was worried that might hurt their performance.

HARRISON: Exactly!

COOPER: When you hear the music, you obviously hear it in a different way than anybody else, so it must trigger all sorts of memories.

HARRISON: It does for everybody. Everywhere I go, I am being told about how this person was impacted. I found that it's been a great privilege to be part of the inner part of that Beatle family. I've loved every minute of it.

COOPER: It's a joy to talk to you. Thank you.

HARRISON: Thanks a lot.

COOPER: Be sure tune in for "The 60s, The British Invasion" at the top of hour, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern here on CNN. Coming up, you saw the weather channel reporter who defended his live shot from I guess a rambunctious college student. Now hear the rest of the story. The "Ridiculist" is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Time now for the "Ridiculist." Now you might have seen the following video, we showed it on the program from last night. But watch it again anyway because it's still inspiring.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have not gotten into the worst part of this storm yet. That is to come a little later on tonight. So obviously here at the college of Charleston, they're already having a good time.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: That was intrepid reporter Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel. He was reporting from the College of Charleston and executed a perfect live shot defence, a classic knee jerk reaction. There's the knee, then the jerk on the left. There were reports that he got kneed in the groin, but it's actually the stomach if you examine the video closely, which we did because, you know, we're professionals.

As already fine journalist at our affiliate WCSC, who actually got an interview with the college student who took in the name of glory.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were just walking by and we saw that he was about to start filming live, took my chance to get on TV. He probably thought I was trying to tackle him or something, but I was just trying to run into the frame and he put up a swift knee to defend himself. You know, he got me good. I would 100 percent do it again?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why not? This is my 15 minutes of fame. You don't get this very often.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Really? Aim high. He's right, you hardly ever get to see this kind of thing except nearly every time someone is reporting on the weather, like this time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: We're live for the next two hours and then Larry King is live. We have much more coverage of Hurricane Ike still coming up. There are a lot of people in Houston, a couple of bars are still open.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Yes, that's a guy in a chicken suit or like this time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No shortage of incredibly I'll bite my tongue, people, coming out, dozens of people who have walked by me. To be honest, I'm speechless.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: But what were those guys' thought processes? I mean, we don't exactly know. This latest one is the only time I can remember getting some insight on what makes these people tick.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had spoken to them earlier in the day. We got a photo with them and everything, and we went back again later and got on TV, and now everyone loves it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Not everyone. So let me just get this straight, college dude. He was nice enough to pose for a photo with you, and yet you felt it was OK to interrupt him at work? Yes, that makes sense to me. His mom, I'm sure, loved that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She texted me this morning, like, that's a great way to get arrested. I don't think you're very funny, even though you might.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: I've got to say I'm with mom on this one. That wasn't very funny. This is very funny.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've been on a couple of hours getting the building cleared.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's cold out here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some people are just out of their minds. What are you going to do? Its nuts!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: I mean, OK, that guy was funny. I've actually met that guy, believe it or not. Just proves my theory. When you're out reporting live on the weather, no matter forecast, there's always a chance of meatballs on the "Ridiculist." Thanks for watching. CNN's Original series, "The Sixties: The British Invasion" starts now.