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U.S. Special Forces Iraq Mission; More Sick Yazidis Evacuated; Counterstrike Threatens Cease-Fire; Journalists Arrested in Ferguson, MO; Protests Under Way in Ferguson, MO; Ebola Patient's Husband Speaks Out; Lauren Bacall, the Legacy of a Legend; New Williams Movies Coming to Theaters

Aired August 13, 2014 - 21:00   ET



WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening again. I'm Wolf Blitzer in for Anderson. Breaking news on two fronts in this extended edition of 360. Israeli air strikes and Palestinian rocket fire even as negotiators appear to make some progress toward a long-term peace deal.

And late details of a risky American military operation inside Iraq. Special Forces home safe now after 24 hours on top of that mountain where all those people have been driven by fanatic ISIS fighters. The mission has just wrapped up, just about three hours or so ago, the team uncovered some crucial intelligence about how people are still on the mountain, help evacuate a numbers of them as well.

Jim Sciutto is working the story for us. He's joining us now with more. Jim the Pentagon announcing the U.S. rescue mission is in their words, far less likely than it had been previously thought. What are we learning tonight?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, and that's because of what that team of special forces found on the mountain when they went to the top of Mount Sinjar where these Yazidi people had been people seeking shelter. First thing they found was that there were far fewer refugees there than believed. They say in the low thousands, several thousands as supposed to some of the estimates that had been reported of 10,000 to 20,000. In addition to that those lower number they found that one -- the people there are getting the food and water they need, that the humanitarian airdrops that the U.S. has done is getting to those people so that their not starving to death. They are not dying of thirst.

They also found that some people want to stay, that their homes are on the mountains. And for the people who do not want to stay that what has been happening so far has been successfully getting those people off the mountain. And that is a combination of one, U.S. air strikes to push back ISIS fighters. And two, efforts on the ground by Kurdish forces, the so called Peshmerga Militia to escort those people who still want to leave off the mountain. And I'm told by a Pentagon official that's happening at the rate of about a thousand a night. So because of all those things together, the Pentagon making a judgment now no longer necessary to bring in a mass air or ground evacuation that might have involved many more U.S. troops on the ground there.

BLITZER: That pretty encouraging news right there. Jim, what about the administration's plan said to do more on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the ground. Should we expect to see more U.S. airdrops?

SCIUTTO: Yes, airdrops and air strikes. Airdrops to get the humanitarian aide there because apparently it's getting to the people who need it, its working. And air strikes because those are still necessary to hold ISIS at bay. Brett McGurk speaking to you just a short time ago said that the 12 air strikes they have done so far have been very successful. They've pushed back ISIS fighters. They have destroyed ISIS positions and that what the U.S. has found is that those ISIS fighters have not returned. So they've been able to hold them back and they call that a success in Brett McGurk's words. He's the administrations point man really on Iraq, the Deputy Assistance Secretary of the State, in his words the siege of Mount Sinjar has been broken.

BLITZER: Jim Sciutto reporting for us. Thanks Jim very much. And more information of those air strikes are from Brett McGurk. Listen to this.


BRETT MCGURK, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE: The President said when he spoke to the American people that we're going to break the siege of this mountain and we broke the siege of the mountain. In the meantime, we kept people alive with humanitarian air drops, delivering tens of thousands of meals, tens of thousands of gallons of water every night. There'll be another one tonight. And so, we managed to keep people alive. And on the north side of the mountain we've conducted between the past five and six days, about a dozen air strikes which have been extremely effective.

So the ISIL formations that were there and checkpoints and other columns, they're no longer there, they've been killed, and ISIL columns have not come back. This has opened up a corridor which has allowed thousands of people to escape from the reports that I've seen from the assessment team which is just back. And so the siege has been broken but we are going to remain vigilant.


BLITZER: The operations adds yet another new dimension t the Iraq story and America's growing mission there. Some perspective now from military analyst, retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona, also of Quartz, managing editor Bobby Ghosh, and Security Consultant, former Delta Force Officer Jeff Beatty.

Jeff, let me start with you. You served as a Delta Force Officer. This Special Force Team, they assessed that there are far fewer Yazidis on top of that mountain and previously thoughts or it's not like there's going to be an actual U.S. rescue mission. So what goes into this kind determination, the 24 hours that those Special Forces guys were up on top of that Mountain? JEFF BEATTY, SECURITY CONSULTANT & FORMER DELTA FORCE OFFICER: Well I'll tell you Wolf, its very encouraging to see that we have reestablish the fact that Americanize on the target are key prior to committing any American Forces. And, you know, unfortunately we didn't do that back in 2003 when first went into Iraq. We have no Americanize on mobile weapons labs. Here before, you know, a day or so ago people were saying it's a huge catastrophe. We have to get ready to send in possibly U.S. Troops to help relieve this really crisis situation. But because we put U.S. eyes on the target who are skilled in conducting an assessment, they provide us the information to inform our decision leaders an accurate picture. So that we don't go ahead again with poor information and commit a strategic and tactical set of mistakes.

And that's what they did. I think it's outstanding. And the fact that they left Wolf, indicates to me, you know, normally you leave reconnaissance. You leave eyes on the target. The fact that they were able t feel comfortable enough to leave means to me that they feel comfortable enough that the security situation is permissive enough for them in fact to come back any time they need to. So a very encouraging 24 hours of based on from that the work they do in that mountain.

BLITZER: Yeah, sometimes you actually have to go and look physically, boots on the ground as they say as supposed to reconnaissance aircraft or whatever to try to get a picture of what's going on. Colonel Francona, you say this clearly does not going to solve the problem that it's treating the symptoms not the disease. Tell us what you mean by that.

LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: We're conducting these humanitarian operations. That's good. We pushed a corridor back, that's good. And we're protecting Erbil. We're striking those targets. We're keeping the fighters at bay. But we're not going after the organization itself. It's still growing. It's still moving. They're still taking towns.

They're still taking territory. Until we decide we decide what were going to do about that this is going to continue to grow. We are just barely holding our own there. We need to go after ISIS. At some point they are going to be a threat to the United States. We're going to have to deal with them now or we're going to have to deal with them later.

BLITZER: Bobby , you know, a lot of us think that yes, the U.S. could do it, send in a lot of ground forces that could crash ISIS. But why not the Iraqi Military -- we trained them for a decade. We invested hundreds of billions of dollars in Iraq. They have the force of a few hundred thousand troops yet they ran away in the face of some ISIS guys coming in. Why can't they go protect their fellow Iraqis?

BOBBY GHOSH, QUARTZ, MANAGING EDITOR: Well there are a couple of things there. First of all, I don't think that sending large of Americans boots are necessarily the solution to the problem. The Iraqis have to be the solution. When they -- when the troops had melted away from Muslin, other northern parts when ISIS came and took them over Kelly (ph) felt that they had nothing at stake they were most Shias from the south. They didn't feel that their government in Baghdad necessarily had anything at stake in the North. That's got to change. It's got to change in Bagdad. There has to be a government there that represents all of Iraqis and can communicate that, not only to Iraqis but specifically to the military to say that your job is to defend all of Iraq not just the Shia part of Iraq or the Sunni part of Iraq.

And you have to follow the lead of the politicians. We represent everybody. That was absent. I think a lot of soldiers simply felt that this was not their job, that this was -- that they were not getting direct or indirect instructions from higher up that made them feel that they were there to defend the Kurd's, the City of Mosul, the civilian Sunni populations. They simply didn't feel that they belong.

BLITZER: Colonel, what about the argument that some in the administration make that U.S. boots on the ground in a kind of Syria's combat role would actually be a rallying cry for Islamist militants, like even back fire if you will.

FRANCONA: I think that's a fair assessment. I think if you put more Americans in there that will drive up the recruitment because it just cases more resentment among the Sunni Community and it looks like we a siding with the Shia and it just exacerbates the situation. I think Bobby is right. We need a more inclusive government that can communicate to he military, more important can communicate to the Sunnis. I just wonder if there's time to do that before ISIS is at the gates of Baghdad. So, you know, what we're fighting a time game here. So hopefully this can fall into place. And in the meantime the air strikes are going to have to be our option to give the Iraqi Military time to stand up.

BLITZER: Is Nouri Al-Maliki, Bobby, going to fade away or is he going to resist all the efforts to get rid of him?

GHOSH: Well it's hard to see how he can survive. Iran has said they're done with him. Ayatollah Sistani, the most senior Shia leader -- religious leader in the country has said he needs to go. The only question now is whether he has any loyalty in the Iraqi Army, any units, any commanders who will essentially mount a coup on his behalf. And it's not looking good. He is trying to hold on by the skin of his teeth at this point. But if I had to take a guess I think he's only days away from a final exit.

BLITZER: All right, Bobby Ghosh thank very much. Jeff Beatty, Colonel Francona, guys, thank very much. Perhaps the iconic image of this entire set episode has been the tearful, terrified face of a young Yazidi girl being evacuated on a helicopter. Her father is still somewhere in danger on the ground. Ivan Watson was on that chopper with her. He and we did not forget her tonight.

Her story has a new a chapter and Ivan has details.


IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the chaos of an evacuation from Sinjar Mountain several faces stood out, a 16 month old baby and two very frightened sisters named Asiza and Dunya. Two days after their airborne escape we found their older brother Ketam who is also on the helicopter. He led us to the place where they found refuge.

Can we see? Yeah.

After fleeing ISIS this is how thousands of Iraqis are living.

KAREEM HAMID: You no have food. You no have drink. You no have sleep. It is very, very poor. It's no good.

WATSON: Up on the third floor of this derelict building we find our friends from the helicopter.

Hi guys. Look at you. I remember you. Hi.

It turns out 16 month old Henin is a cousin of the teenage sister Dunya and Asiza.

Asiza, hi. It's good to see you.

Dunya says she had mixed feelings when she escaped to board the chopper.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was happy we survived. But I was sad and worried about my father.

WATSON: The ordeal began a week and a half ago when every one in the City of Sinjar immediately fled upon hearing news that ISIS militants were fast approaching. A mid the panic Dunya's older brother says his father refuse to leave.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all tried hard to convince my dad but he refused to go. He said that to be humiliation, I decided I couldn't let them capture the girls and women so we left.

WATSON: The family didn't make it far in their car before they ran into ISIS fighters shooting at fleeing civilians on a bridge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "I jumped out of the car and off the bridge," Asiza says because I was scared of ISIS. The family of 12 fled on foot up Sinjar Mountain from the frying pan into the fire.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If we were able to find a tree where we could rest in the shade we were lucky. For the first four days we have no food, only water. Any bread we found we fed to the little kids to keep them alive.

WATSON: The family lasted a few more days thanks to aide drops from the sky and several sheep that they caught and slaughtered. But they realized they wouldn't survive much longer unless they escaped. The family says they tried and failed several times to get on board a helicopter to escape the mountain. When our chopper landed they say they were lucky that they were the only people around in that particular area. But the fact that in that chaos all of them were able to get on board the aircraft is just of miracle. Now safe in Iraqi Kurdistan the Hamid family lives like thousands of other refugees on a few square feet of a bare concrete. On Tuesday the family got amazing news, a phone call from their missing father. He escaped ISIS and made it up to Sinjar Mountain. Like thousands of Iraqis on the run the Hamid family story is one of grit and survival against terrifying odds. It is a story that's far from over.


BLITZER: Ivan you were there when Asiza's family was rescued on the helicopter but there are many more who weren't that lucky. Do you know how many people are actually left on that mountain?

WATSON: We saw hundreds of people trapped on the mountain and it does appear that some have been evacuated over land to neighboring Syria. But that is a dangerous and arduous journey that is killing people as they make that marathon trek through the desert.

BLITZER: Ivan, just describe a little bit how dire the situation is up on top of that Sinjar Mountain.

WATSON: Well it was chaotic. That was definite. It did look like that some people were getting some aide. Some people did not want to be evacuated. The air crew was trying to call people over to the helicopter and some people ran up and took bags of food and then did want to get on, perhaps because they don't want to be split up from their families.

BLITZER: Ivan Watson doing some amazing reporting for all us. Ivan, thanks very much.

WATSON: Thanks Wolf.

BLITZER: Our other breaking story tonight, the on again and off again ceasefire, the war that's been going on between Israel and Hamas. Tonight it appears to be both. Fred Pleitgen has got the latest for us. He is joining us now live from Gaza City. What is going on right now on the ground? What do you seeing, Fred?

FREDERICK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well I think you're absolutely right, Wolf. And that on the one hand the ceasefire is still appears to be holding but there are still hostilities that are taking place. At this point and time and it's fairly early in the morning hours here. We (inaudible) drones overhead, we're also hearing some jets overhead as well.

And while the ceasefire is still in place, we've seen some rocket fire that was outgoing and at least in one or two cases we could see a clear sort of change of events that happen. We were here from advantage point. We saw a rocket go out, only a few seconds later one of those iron dome missile interceptor systems went up into the air and pick that rocket off and a huge fireball in the sky.

And then a couple of minutes later again, an Israeli jet came by and seemed to bomb the position from where that rocket was fired off here in Gaza. So what you have right now is that the ceasefire still appears to be holding, there seems to be some smaller violations all that ceasefire with those air strikes that are taking place and also those rockets being fired here from Gaza but by and large, what's going is that the Israeli seemed to be taking out directly those positions from where the rockets are being fired on -- fired upon and not trying to attack Hamas on a larger scale.

So there's no open warfare at this point in time. It seems as that the both sides are trying to give the ceasefire a chance Wolf.

BLITZER: Is there any sense who was actually firing those rockets form Gaza into Israel? Is Hamas for example publicly taking credit for?

PLEITGEN: Yes. That's a very good question because one of the things that of course we've seen to the past is that a several other groups have fired rockets as well but of course the Israeli always say since Hamas is in control of this territory, they're responsible for anyone who fires those rockets. That's not the case this time. Hamas says that specifically did not fire those rockets. It's unclear who did whether it might Islamic Jihad for instance and the Israelis are seemed to be respecting that as well. There is saying, let's not jump to any conclusions. Wolf.

BLITZER: Let's see if that ceasefire can hold and I hope it can. All right, Fred thanks very much. Fred Pleitgen is in Gaza.

A quick reminder, make sure to set your DVR so you can watch 360 whenever you want to watch 360 but up next, some breaking news from the latest protest outside Saint Louis, the killing of the young African-American man by a police officer there.


BLITZER: Looking at pictures there from moments ago, out on the streets of Ferguson Missouri. That's outside Saint Louis, heavenly around an armored riot police confronting sit down strikers, protesting the killing of the young African-American man, Michael Brown by one of their brother officers and there's breaking news out of that protest involving the people covering it and police.

Two reporters were arrested tonight under what sounds like some strange circumstances. Our senior media correspondent Brian Stelter has been working his sources. He is joining us now with some late information. These two reporters Brian, first of all, what do we know about them? What do we know what happen?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN HOST, "RELIABLE SOURCE": Well, they're two of the most prominent journalist who have been on the scene in Ferguson, Wesley Lowery Washington Post and Ryan Reilly of the Huffington Post. I've been following them on Twitter because they've been among the most active reporters on the scene, posting pictures and stories and quotes from people there who are protesting. At about 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, police came into the McDonalds where both of them working, filing their stories, charging their batteries that sort of thing. And these police officers told them to leave and then arrested them. They went silent online for about 45 minutes which concerned their bosses of the Washington Post and Huffington Post and obviously can turn a lot of their fans and followers on Twitter. So they have resurfaced. They say they were both release without an HR, they said not even any paper work. They say they were roughed up but they're OK. But Wolf, this is a pretty serious escalation and tension not between the community there which we've seen four days now between the community in place but between journalist and the police.

There've been a couple of other cases of journalist have been told to leave the scene but we haven't seen any arrest at least until tonight.

BLITZER: So they've been released, where they've give any explanation at all why they were detained in the first place?

STETLER: You know, I was just looking to Wesley Lowery's detailed explanation on his Twitter feed He says, "No explanation at any point about why we were in custody other than we were "transparency" out of McDonalds where they were customers." I got a good credit to these journals by the way, even though they were roughed up and in fact one of them use the word assaulted, they have turned the story back to the others that were in that police van with them.

They describe one person is screaming in the back of the police van who was - be calling out for the paramedics. They say that those calls were refused and we're actually (inaudible) the police. So like good journalist, they are putting the spotlight back on the others who are protesting. That others - the people who are there of course, they are covering the protestors who - they are trying to tell the stories about tonight.

BLITZER: All right Brian, thanks very much. Brian Stelter reporting for some more now in a key fact in this story. Some say the key fact -- in factor the one that has clearly not made things better in Ferguson like many other times across the country and the population is a majority African-American but as David Mattingly reports, the police forces overwhelmingly white.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible), black shirt, please turn around. Walk away.

DAVID MATINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Even U.S. census numbers spell it out in black and white. African-Americans in Ferguson Missouri outnumber white residence more than two to one. At the same time, the lack of diversity on the Ferguson Police Department is astonishing. Fifty-three officers, just three African-American. The death of Michael Brown of the hands of a white police officer pushes the issue front and center.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe the police department as most effective when its officers reflect the racial, culture and make-up off the community (inaudible). MATINGLY: Police Chief Thomas Jackson says, "Recruiting African- American officers is difficult."

THOMAS JACKSON, FERGUSON POLICE CHIEF: I promoted the first two ever African-American sergeants on the Ferguson Police Department but we lost a few officers to higher paying departments and so forth and officers leave. And so we're constantly trying to recruit.

MATINGLY: The questions coincide with an apparent racial divide in enforcement. The results from a study by the Missouri attorney general show African-Americans in Ferguson are much more likely to get pulled over. They are count for 86 percent of city traffic stops and they are more than twice as likely to be arrested than whites who have been pulled over. John Gaskin is with the Local NAACP.

How do you fix this?

JOHN GASKIN, ST. LOUIS COUTY NAACP: People have got to vote. People have got to get out in the elections. That's a big part of it.

MATINGLY: In Ferguson the majority population is vastly underrepresented inside city government on a city council of six, there is only one African-American. This is from the city's website.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, the whole city is kind of like the bar cheers, you know, that this is the place where everybody knows your name.

MATINGLY: Ferguson's white mayor run for reelection on a post and says he was originally elective with support from the African-American community.

JAMES KNOWLES, FERGUSON MAYOR: We don't get a lot of people that even want to run for city councils to be honest with you. The last few elections have been, you know, uncontested and so it happens. I mean people are happy with the leadership, if they're happy with the direction they're going, you know, they're not going to go out and take the time and effort to run just so they can put somebody's different face on the city.

MATINGLY: David Mattingly, CNN, Ferguson, Missouri.


BLITZER: So that is a backdrop in lots of other towns like Ferguson out there. There are certainly a lot to discuss. Joining us now, legal analyst Sunny Hostin, Mark O'Mara. Sunny is a former federal prosecutor. Mark in Florida defense attorney, best known for depending George Zimmerman. And also joining us Syracuse University, Boyce Watkins. He's founder of

Boyce, what do you make of the disparity of Ferguson Missouri, 65 percent of the population African-American yet only three out of 53 police officers are African-American?

BOYCE WATKINS, PROFESSOR, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY: Well, you know, it is what exactly what it looks like. I mean if you have a situation where the community is predominantly black and the police forces predominantly white, you have to ask yourself, are you really doing community policing in that environment or are you running a police state? I'm an officer once and I have a lot of respect for good officers. My dad was officer for 25 years but, you know, an officer will explain to me once he said, you know, our job is not really to protect and serve everybody.

Our job is to protect the rich from the poor, sometimes the white from the black and he said there is a certain line in the county that we were in. He said, "If I seen in you and you're poor, and you're black and you're across that line, I'm probably going to stop you." And these are the realities on many police force across the country don't just happen in Ferguson. So we don't look at it for what it really is. We're going to miss the entire point.

BLITZER: Well, let me just ask you Boyce. What do you mean by police state?

WATKINS: Police state, basically where your job is to control and oppress certain people, keep them contained in a certain location, keep them from bothering anybody else and, you know, the idea that they can murder this kid. And I'm going to have to start using the word murder because that's what starting to look like. Killed this kid in the street and leave his body out there and not feel they have to explain this to anybody, not to the journalist, not to people across the country and that's a serious problem.

They haven't even release the officer's name. And I can tell you what, if Michael Brown had been suspected of killing a police officer, his name would have been release even before all the evidence was out. So there's no excuse for this kind of behavior.

BLITZER: All right. Sunny, you agree with Boyce on those obviously pretty sensitive issues?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I certainly agree in terms of releasing the officer's name. I mean I think that what it's doing Wolf, the lack of releasing the name is sort of giving this case a lack of transparency. And again, we are living in this sort of post Zimmerman, post Trayvon Martin case world and there is a lack of an appetite in the African-American community quite frankly for this kind of thing to be happening over and over and over again.

I feel like I'm on CNN. Every single month, every single day, talking either about the murder of Trayvon Martin or the murder of Jordan Davis or the murder of Renisha Mcbride, I mean it goes on and on and on and I for one, I'm tired of it. And I think that is what we are seeing when we've seen these protest and I've got tell you, I'm flabbergasted at sort of the police responds. I mean you have people that are peacefully protesting and you have SWAT teams out there.

I've never seen anything like this before in this day and age in the fact that journalist are being, you know, arrested for trying to tell the story. Again, makes me believe that there's a lack of transparency and perhaps even a cover up of what relay happens here. BLITZER: Well, what do you think Mark?

MARK O'MARA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, there is a huge insensitivity to the idea of doing this transparently. If in fact, there was a no fly zone for even 45 minutes, keeping news cameras away or to reporters get stopped and detained because all they're doing is reporting, that type of behavior is very, very suspect, so we need to be very careful about it. Again, and we talked about this before, my concern is that we're very (inaudible) in an investigation that has an enormous amount of national focus.

The national focus is great and I know they were asking people to be patience when they're tired to being patience, when young black males are being shot but we need to give time for the investigation to be done properly because we don't want to be infected with information coming out to soon.

HOSTIN: Can I say something here though Wolf.

BLITZER: Go ahead.

HOSTIN: I think what shocking to me and, you know, I've conducted a lot of investigations during my legal career. This is not a difficult case. This is not a who done it. We have an officer who admittedly shot a young black unarmed teen and we have an eye witness, Dorian Johnson who Wolf, you interviewed. We have eye witnesses all around. So I don't understand why in fact that this is sort of being called discomplex case because it just -- it isn't.

BLITZER: Well let me bring Boyce back (inaudible) hold on a second Boyce, let me just bring Boyce in because the original explanation was the police officer was being resisted by the young teenager who was going after his gun. His face supposedly was injured and he went to the hospital. What do you make of that Boyce, that's the argument from the other side.

WATKINS: Well, let me tell you what, most of the time when an officer ends up killing somebody there's usually going to be a story whether it's a story or not. In many cases, the officer it gets the benefit of the doubt even though in some cities, many cities across America, the police have become the big street gang in the entire community. And many officers feel that they're above bellow. They don't feel like they're going to get caught.

I don't think that Ferguson expected this kind of attention to beat the rest on this case. And I think that's why they're being so slow to release information. When the truth becomes your enemy, then that is another sign of guilt. And I think right now, they're not telling anyone hardly anything. And they're being very defensive which tells me that this kid might have been murder in cold blood.

Police officers murder people all the time. There are great caps out here, they should be applauded, they should be rewarded, they should be respected. But there are some dirty cops and we have to smoke that out.

BLITZER: All right, very quickly of Mark O'Mara, I give you the last world.

O'MARA: Just as simply, if acknowledge with this investigation even if there's only two dozen or three dozen witnesses to be looked at and we know there it doesn't on the scene (inaudible) talk to, why will we rush the investigation fold that out and peace (inaudible) when what we wanted is a complete investigation.

BLITZER: Let's do what the investigation results in. All right guys, thanks very much. Sunny Hostin, Mark O'Mara, Boyce Watkins, thanks for that conversation.

In just ahead, an update on the American missionary who is now battling Ebola. Our own Elizabeth Cohen talked to Nancy Writebol's husband, who is still in quarantine himself. He shared new details about his wife's condition.


BLITZER: Today the world health organization had the deadly is the Ebola outbreak and recorded history has now infected nearly 2,000 people on nearly half of them have died. With the death toll raising a panel convened by the WHO decided just this week that it is ethical to use experimental treatment and vaccines to flight the deadly virus.

Two Americans who contracted Ebola in Liberia receive one of those unproven treatments Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol are now being at treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

Our Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen spoke to Nancy Writebol's husband today. Elizabeth is joining us now. Elizabeth, the big question in everyone's mind, how is Nancy doing?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: David Writebol says, Wolf, that his wife is doing better but still she says she is not out of the woods yet. And he says he is looking forward to the day when he can finally hug his wife again.


COHEN: When Nancy Writebol contracted Ebola in Africa her husband David, the man she spend the last 40 years with couldn't even touch her. Today, he told that story for the first time.

It must be so hard not to be able to hug or to touch or hold your wife. Do you remember the last time you got to hug her or hold here?

DAVID WRITEBOL, NANCY WRITEBOL'S HUSBAND: Yeah. I was able to be in the personal protection equipment and I patted her just, just to let her know that I was there, that I love her.

COHEN: How Nancy Writebol got Ebola have remain a mystery. Part of her work as a missionary included cleaning hospital equipment.

WRITEBOL: She was very detailed and meticulous about that her work. She also trained others to do the decontamination work, the doctors, and staffs are well trained. They were following a protocol is very carefully and we kind of walk through where their mind have been a difficulty in it. At the stage, I think still too early to really it certain what exactly happened.

COHEN: Nancy is recovering from Ebola at a hospital in Atlanta. She remains one of a few people to have been even the experimental drug ZMapp, but is it working?

WRITEBOL: Each time I talk to her, I get a sense her voices clearer and brighter. So, I'm imagining that she's getting stronger and she tells me that she is feeling better and getting stronger, still very weak. It's moving in the right direction let say that.

COHEN: David feels fine but just in case, he was exposed to Ebola in Africa he and other missionaries are under quarantine in Charlotte, North Carolina being monitored for any symptoms.

WRITEBOL: Well, it's like being in your favorite, you know, your favorite camp around in the wood, you know, and we are together as community that we where in Liberia. We just don't have the beach like we had there in Liberia.

COHEN: He hopes to be reunited with Nancy soon after more than a week apart.

WRITEBOL: I think I have a little bit of reputation of being a patient person. So, I'm content to wait it out and it will be a great day when we get back together. So, I want to see here, I want to be with her.

COHEN: He clearly adores his wife.

WRITEBOL: Nancy is - if you had an opportunity to meet here you would instantly recognize that she is concern about other people and just relating to them and encouraging them and loving them. Everyone that needs her just falls in love with her. And she just such a charming beautiful person, I have the privilege of getting to hang around her for the last four year. So that's a great thing.

COHEN: The Writebol's people of deep faith aren't angry that will they are trying to save life in Africa Nancy is life almost ended.

WRITEBOL: So Nancy contracted the Ebola virus disease, we did not see that as a failure on God's part. The reality is that God's proposes are higher than our pain.


BLITZER: And Elizabeth is joining us now. Elizabeth, Nancy got -- received that experimental medicine. Well, Africans who have contracted Ebola have access to any of these treatments?

COHEN: You know, Wolf, there's a very little supply we're told of this medicine. And so, it's really unclear whether there's enough to distribute and how you would decide how to prioritize who should get it. Now it is interesting this week, we did get news that Canada is going to send 100 of doses of an Ebola vaccine to try to help prevent the disease.

Again, this vaccine just like the medicine that Nancy Writebol got has not been tested, not known if it's going to work, not known if it's safe.

BLITZER: Elizabeth Cohen, reporting for us. Elizabeth, thanks very much.

Coming up, remembering Lauren Bacall and her partner on screen and then life, Humphrey Bogart, what made Bogey and Bacall one of the most honoring couples in Hollywood of all time? That's next.


BLITZER: The death of silver screen legend Lauren Bacall at the age of 89 has brought back memories of the golden age of Hollywood. Bacall was not only an icon and in -- of herself, she was also one- half of a golden couple of that time Deborah Feyerick has the story of Bogey and Bacall onscreen and off.


LAUREN BACALL, HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS: You know how to whistle, don't you Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: She as mesmerizing, seductive, salutary and just 19 years old. The first Lauren Bacall appeared on screen in the 1944 Classic, "To Have and Have Not".

BACALL: Sometimes, I know exactly what you're going to say, most of the times. The other times -- the other times, you're just a stinky.

FEYERICK: The chemistry between Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall was undeniable despite her initial shyness.

BACALL: I was so nervous. He would play along with me and you know, and we kid around a lot and we really got along well and I never thought anything about it. He was married and that was it. So I was do is cuddle him out of the blue.

FEYERICK: Lovers on screen then off. Their affair began three weeks into filming.

BACALL: He had character, more character than anyone I've ever known, aside of my mother.

FEYERICK: Bogart divorced his third wife and he and Bacall married a year later. She was 20, he was 45.

UNIDENDIFIED MALE: Was he tough to live with?

BACALL: Only if I -- it look so I might veer off the straighten arrow for five seconds and it would be tough.

FEYERICK: He called her "Baby", she called him "Bogey", sharing an interest in politics testifying on Capitol Hill against the Hollywood Black list. The couple appeared completely in love and in think and part of the Hollywood elite.

BOGART: You find anything.

BACALL: No. No Steve, there is no strings tie to you. Not yet.

FEYERICK: Bogey and Bacall as they became known start in a total of four movies in the five years. There was The Big Sleep.

BACALL: Speaking of horses, I like to play them myself, but I like to see them work out a little first. See if they're front running or come from behind.

FEYERICK: "Dark Passage" and "Key Largo".

BOGART: She lost everything to remind you of what happen that night.

FEYERICK: Weeks before they were to start in their fifth film together, Bogart was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus.

BACALL: We didn't do the movie and then he went to the hospital, he was operated on and he lived for almost a year.

UNIDENDIFIED FEMALE: Bacall was 32 when Bogart died. He was 57. A 12-year marriage and a love affair that became a stuff of dreams.

BACALL: Find to say to pick you up in the road. It's like crazy to let you stay here.


BLITZER: Turner Classic Movie host, Ben Mankiewicz joins me.

Hey Ben, it's amazing to think that Bacall was widowed at 32, was remarried to Jason Robards, went on to live a full life for decades and yet the story that endorse is Bogey and Bacall, explain.

BEN MANKIEWICZ, HOST, TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES: Well, it's a little bit tough to explain but I think the whole mystic that went with that romance. It was being discovered at age 19 by Howard Hawks' wife, you know, with their photo on the cover of the magazine, Look Magazine.

Then it was the romance with Bogey of course but even prior to that, her nervousness in developing that look that she had accidentally, keeping her chin down and then looking up. And then the voice. So, she had this three sort of, there was a Lauren Bacall allure and then you just sort of cement it with this marriage to Bogey. And it is easy to be cynical about that if we want to that she was a 19 year old who latched on to a man. But that -- it really obscures reality. This was a genuine Hollywood romance. It was Bogey and Bacall that helped him nearly as much as it helped her.

BLITZER: Certainly did. And you say she actually had to work to reinvent herself outside of being part of that Bogey and Bacall, right?

MANKIEWICZ: Completely, I mean you know the movie career didn't hum along smoothly after Bogey's death. But, then all of a sudden, in the 1960, she becomes this Broadway star and she won two Tony's in musicals. That woman with that look and that voice to all of a sudden to the people who know here knew that she could do that. But to most people the idea is that she would won't two Tony's in musicals is, I think remarkable and it says something about her ability to perform.

BLITZER: That come hither stare that you mentioned, so many others have mentioned is known as that look. I read that it actually came from the fear of acting in front of the camera, right?

MANKIEWICZ: Yeah. Yeah, that's completely right. She was afraid. She was incredibly nervous. She was worried that she'd been seen trembling and way to keep her face from shaking which she feared would be to sort of lower her chin which that steadied herself and then look up. When I'm doing it here, it's not quite a sexy as when Lauren Bacall did.

I don't know. You know what? Maybe you'd be the judge of that.

BLITZER: No, not quite as sexy as accurate but you're an accurate journalist. By many accounts she - it was certainly true I think that she didn't suffer (inaudible) gladly, right?

MANKIEWICZ: Yeah. And again that was to me something that made her so appealing to me because what is lacking often in today's day and age whether it's nearly every time you watch local news or when you see most celebrity interviews and it's lacking in politicians too with sort of fake talking points.

And there's a - we need authenticity. We're filled with an authenticity. So, a star like Lauren Bacall, a personality like Lauren Bacall, when she would sort of -- for her to show distained for a question or a manner of questioning or a way of life, that I think triggered something that at least told us well, she maybe being harsh at this point, but she's being real and she's being honest. And I, you know, I yearn for that in public life.

BLITZER: Certainly true, indeed. And Ben Mankiewicz, thanks very much for joining us.

MANKIEWICZ: And Wolf thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

BLITZER: And coming up, the untimely death of another legend Robin Williams. Williams worked on several films that haven't come out yet. The first one is set to be release in just a couple of months.

We'll have more on that. That's next.


BLITZER: Hollywood is still absorbing the devastating loss of Robin Williams. His legacy of course will live on and not just in a memories we have of this electrifying appearances on late night television or in the stage not just in Moroccan and Mehndi re-runs either or the remarkable movies he made.

His legacy will grow in movies that he was part of but haven't even been released yet. Ted Rowlands reports.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Robin Williams may be gone but movie fans haven't seen the last of him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why other shotgun pellets in my chicken? Dad?

ROBIN WILLIAMS, ACTOR: Because it's squirrel.

ROLLINS: Merry Friggin' Christmas in which Williams plays an eccentric father spending awkward holiday time with his son is due out in November. One of four yet to be released films, starring the late Oscar winner.

WILLIAMS: Good to see you lad.

ROLLINS: In December, Williams will be back as Teddy Roosevelt in Night at the Museum, Secret of the Tomb. Boulevard which they've viewed at the Tribeca film festival last year and absolutely anything which is imposed production also featured Williams who now joins a growing list of actors like Heath Ledger, James Gandolfini and Philip Seymour Hoffman who all tragically died before their final films premiered in theaters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got three hours to apprehend the (inaudible).

MATTHEW BELLONI, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: I think there is a real interest among fans to see him on screen one last time. I think that it may also hurt these movies. And there is a segment of the audience that might feel a doubt by the prospect of going to see a movie starring someone who recently died.

ROLLINS: Since his death gossips sites like Radar Online have speculated about Williams' financial situation. His 640-acre Napa Valley ranch which is for $30 million has been on the market since April. But people close to Williams tells CNN that any suggestion he had financial trouble is completely unfounded.

In addition to his comedy and television work, Robin Williams appeared in nearly 50 movies that according grossed more than $5 billion. Sadly, his next ones will be his last.

Ted Rowlands, CNN, Los Angeles.


BLITZER: Sadly indeed. And we'll be right back.


BLITZER: The lights were dimmed on Broadway this evening in honor of Robin Williams. He had most recent appeared on Broadway in 2011 in a play called "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo." From Broadway to Hollywood all points in between he will be missed.

"CNN TONIGHT" starts right now.