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Hurricane Wilma Sets Record for Atlantic; Interview With Mayor of Punta Gorda, Florida; Courage Under Fire Aboard JetBlue Flight 292

Aired October 19, 2005 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, everyone. Glad you could join us tonight.
I can hardly believe it myself, but here we go again -- tonight, millions of Americans scrambling to avoid another natural disaster.


ZAHN (voice-over): The approaching storm -- in a season of terrible destruction, Wilma is the most powerful yet. Is it on a collision course with catastrophe?

Cage rage -- battered, bloody and wage beyond boxing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An organized street fight, that's what I would call it.

ZAHN: Jaw-dropping pictures you thought you would never see. Is cage fighting a sport or just a sadistic sideshow?

And shattered dreams -- we didn't forget this tragic school bus crash after it faded from the headlines.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sounds like -- it sounds like he did love you and you loved him back.


ZAHN: Tonight, a heart-wrenching story that hasn't been told.


ZAHN: There has never been a monster exactly like this one before. In a flash, Hurricane Wilma has morphed into an extremely dangerous Category 5. And, at one point, it was the most intense Atlantic storm ever on record.

Tonight, Wilma is forecast to barrel into the Gulf and take a right turn into Florida with fierce winds, relentless rain, and perhaps, most frightening of all, a storm surge that could reach 25 feet. People there are already beginning to get out of the Florida Keys, even though landfall probably won't come until this weekend. Cars have started crowding the only road out.

Right now, the storm's outer winds are lashing western Cuba. And amid fear of disastrous flooding, authorities are evacuating people who live on the coast.

We are going to get you live reports from both Florida and Cuba in just a moment, but, first, the very latest from our severe weather expert, Chad Myers.

Hi, Chad.


Let me tell you something. This storm has such large a -- wingspan, if you will. There are already clouds into parts of Florida. And, look, right now this storm is 600 miles from Miami. And there are already showers coming on shore, Key West, all the way to Cape Coral and Fort Myers and up to Port Saint Lucie.

And we are still almost five days away from any landfall, potential landfall, in the U.S. The storm is so large, it fills up the Caribbean. It goes all the way from Cuba back to Honduras, through the Yucatan, and even down south, through Nicaragua. That's how large the storm itself is.

And, for a while, it was the lowest-pressure hurricane ever on record. I'm -- I'm talking more pressure, lower pressure, than Camille, than Andrew, than Katrina, than Rita. Any storm you have ever heard of in the Atlantic Basin, this storm was deeper, was stronger than that storm, at least for a while, about 4:00 this morning all the way to about 9:00.

It's since got a little bit filled in, as we call it, a little bit less intense, but, still, Category 5. Winds are 160 miles per hour. And it does look like it could make landfall some time during the day on Saturday.

Here's an animation. We call them simulations or models. One of the in-house models actually has the storm moving right in to the Yucatan Peninsula. Here's how things changed over the day. Most of the morning hours, all of the computer models took the storm around Cuba and into Florida.

Well, the last couple of hours, the storms have been updating and updating. And now they are stopping the storm in the Yucatan, making huge damage for Cozumel and Cancun, all the way down to Playa del Carmen, and then taking the storm south of Cuba, which would be outstanding news for the U.S. and Florida, but not so good news for the people in Cuba -- Paula.

ZAHN: Chad Myers, thanks so much for the update.

At this moment, people in Cuba, as we have just seen in the map, are bracing for Wilma's fury.

Lucia Newman joins me now from Havana.

Is anyone being evacuated yet?

LUCIA NEWMAN, CNN HAVANA BUREAU CHIEF: Good evening, Paula. Absolutely. This is a country that takes evacuations and hurricanes very seriously. Just to give you an idea, in western Pinar del Rio Province, which is on the tip of Cuba, which is supposed to be hardest hit by this, at least a quarter-of-a-million people will be evacuated. And maybe as many as that could be evacuated here in Havana itself.

Now, these people are being taken to government shelters, in some cases. In others, they are told to go to the home of friends or relatives who live in safe houses. Tourists are being evacuated, of course, from beach resorts.

And apropos of evacuations, U.S. diplomats and their families here in Havana are being flown to Washington, Paula, on a voluntary basis. And I can tell you that I know of some who are leaving on the first flight out of here tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, here in Havana itself, people who can are boarding up their windows, their doors. Government buildings are also being boarded up. And people are stocking up on everything they can to face this emergency -- Paula.

ZAHN: And they have got to worry about two really bad things here -- not only the strength of the winds, but the storm surge.

And they are talking about a 25-foot storm surge, perhaps as much as 25 inches of rain. How big of a problem could flooding be?

NEWMAN: That's the biggest problem of all. It's certainly expected to cause the biggest damage here in Cuba.

As we saw with Katrina, it's not usually the wind. It's actually the flooding, the enormous amount of water that's poured onto a country. And you have to remember that Havana -- or, rather, Cuba -- the island of Cuba -- is already drenched from Hurricane Rita. They're -- the reservoirs are already full. Rivers are swollen already.

In the east of the country, there have already been houses that have collapsed, rivers that have overflown. So, it's a very, very serious problem. And it is, of course, an island. It's surrounded by water.

ZAHN: And, of course, it makes it very vulnerable. And the construction there doesn't help either, does it?

NEWMAN: Absolutely. You have been here, Paula, I think. You know just how fragile, how flimsy is the construction, especially here in Havana.

It's the most vulnerable part of the country, really. These are buildings, many of them here that collapse in just a shower -- after a shower. A lot of the roofs leak. People, you know, just live in very flimsy quarters. So, it's a very, very big problem.

ZAHN: Well, we are hoping you find a very safe place to stay once the storm hits.

Lucia Newman, thank you.

And we turn now to Punta Gorda on the southwest coast of Florida. It is one of the places that could get the worst of Wilma, according to one storm track prediction. We just saw the variety of predictions from Chad Myers' report. But Punta Gorda was hit very hard last year by Hurricane Charley. That was a Category 4 storm.

And joining me now is the mayor, Steve Fabian.

Good of us -- good of you to join us, sir.

ZAHN: So, do you expect...


ZAHN: Do you expect that you're going to have to have some mandatory evacuations by the end of the week?

FABIAN: We are not -- we are not quite sure yet. We -- we did an emergency resolution this morning. The county will be doing theirs tomorrow at 3:00. And we will follow their lead. And, until we know then, we -- we don't know what the evacuation will be at this time.

ZAHN: But, tomorrow, you will start to evacuate some of the elderly and sick, right?

FABIAN: I understand that they will be looking by -- at least by Friday morning, looking at the special-needs people that will have to be evacuated.

ZAHN: A lot of different municipalities have learned a tremendous amount from Hurricane Katrina. What do you think Florida is doing right now at this hour to prepare for potentially a very devastating storm?

FABIAN: Well, I think, from the state level, all the way down through the counties and the cities, we are now -- everybody is on alert. Everybody is prepared and getting ready for this storm or -- depending on where it hits.

ZAHN: I understand, the state has already put some 200 semi- tractor trailers in place with water, 60,000 meals, potentially, to serve for folks in shelters.

What kind of shape is -- is your town in? Are you going to have enough shelters?

FABIAN: Well -- yes -- well, we don't have any shelters in the city itself because of our elevation.

So -- so, any shelters would actually -- actually be in the -- in maybe one of the schools. Or we would have to take them out of the county. ZAHN: And probably the saddest thing is that you already have people living in FEMA villages. They're living in -- in trailers. These are the folks victimized by Hurricane Charley. What do you plan to do to keep them safe?

FABIAN: Well, I -- I -- I was just talking to somebody. And I understand that they are looking -- getting ready to -- to repair -- if they have to evacuate, then they are getting some buses in here to get these people out.

ZAHN: Well, we wish you luck, sir. Mayor Steve Fabian, we know you have got a lot of work to do. Thanks for spending some time with us tonight.

FABIAN: Thank you.

ZAHN: Our pleasure.

And we want to remind all of you to keep right it here on CNN, your hurricane headquarters, for the very latest on this very dangerous storm.

Meanwhile, police in Northern California say they have talked to more than 100 people so far about the murder of Pamela Vitale. But, so far, they don't have any suspects. As you might know, Vitale's body was found on Saturday by her husband, defense lawyer Daniel Horowitz, in the couple's home.

Ted Rowlands has been following the investigation.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Daniel Horowitz was allowed to return to his 12-acre Northern California estate this morning, after investigators finished three days of processing the crime scene, where his wife Pamela Vitale was found dead.

DANIEL HOROWITZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: All I can say is that, even though it was horrible all the other times I was there, this time, I just sort of felt -- you could -- you could almost smell us in there. You could -- it's like you are really there with the person you love. So, that was -- it made me feel good, in a way.

ROWLANDS: In a television interview yesterday, Horowitz said he's cooperating fully with investigators.

Sources close to the investigation tell CNN that detectives watched the Horowitz interview as part of the investigation. Friend and fellow defense attorney Michael Cardoza says investigators may still be looking at Horowitz as a potential suspect.

MICHAEL CARDOZA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The police are still looking at Mr. Horowitz. They still are looking to him to see if he may be implicated in this. I personally don't think so, having known Dan for the last 15 years, that he's, in any way, involved in this. ROWLANDS: A spokesman with the sheriff's office says an arrest in the case is not expected tonight. Investigators are still waiting for forensic test results from crime scene evidence.


ROWLANDS: And, late today, the coroner released the body of Pamela Vitale to the family. Funeral arrangements have been made. They are going to have a private funeral tomorrow, Thursday, here in the San Francisco Bay area -- Paula.

ZAHN: Ted Rowlands, thanks so much for that update.

I'm joined now by a man who has been a colleague of Daniel Horowitz's for some 13 years. Ivan Golde, in fact, is co-defense counsel in the Susan Polk murder case. He also knew Daniel Horowitz's wife, Pamela Vitale.

Thank you so much for joining us tonight.


ZAHN: I don't know whether you just heard the preceding report. But Mr. Cardoza, I know an attorney that you are very familiar with...

GOLDE: Yes, I am.

ZAHN: ... made it very clear that investigators are still looking at Mr. Horowitz as a potential suspect. Your reaction to that.

GOLDE: It's -- it's ridiculous. Dan Horowitz has absolutely nothing to do with this whatsoever.

In fact, Mr. Horowitz is actually working with the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department, working together with them, to make sure this investigation moves forward and the person who committed this crime is brought to justice. And they are working with Daniel Horowitz.

Daniel Horowitz has absolutely nothing to do with this. He is grieving. Please, let these families grieve. The funeral is tomorrow.

ZAHN: Why do you think police now are taking a very careful look at one of the interviews Mr. Horowitz conducted on television? What are they looking for?

GOLDE: As part as any investigation -- the police, as your report said, they have interviewed over 100 people. They have to hear everything, talk to everyone, see everything. This is a very thorough investigation.

The person who committed this crime will be brought to justice.

ZAHN: Far be it from any of us to try to judge someone else's grief, but can you explain to us tonight why it was so important for Mr. Horowitz to conduct all these television interviews he's done so soon after his wife's death?

GOLDE: Mr. Horowitz wants to keep this case in the media, because he wants to make sure the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department feels the pressure to finish this investigation.

That's one beautiful thing about the media. The media can make things happens. If the media is focusing on this case, like they have been, the investigation will continue to move forward and continue to effectively get resolved.

ZAHN: But the investigators are telling us tonight, they are no more closer to an arrest than they were this time last night.

GOLDE: That is...

ZAHN: What does that mean to you?

GOLDE: That -- that's par for the course. The investigators are not going to tell the media anything.

They are working 24 hours a day on this. They need to get the forensic results back from the lab. Then, then, they will find out, hopefully, and bring somebody to justice, find out who committed this crime. But they are not going to show their cards. They are not going to tip their hand. They never do. That's not what -- what the -- what the investigators are in the business for, to tip their hand. They are in the business to solve crimes.

ZAHN: Ivan, I know you have had some very difficult conversations with your good friend about this tragedy.

And, earlier this evening, he said on television that he was convinced that someone at the crime scene tried to clean it up. Has he talked to you about that and why he so strongly believes that?

GOLDE: Mr. Horowitz believes that. We have talked about that. That is his view. He is a very experienced criminal lawyer. He's seen many crime scenes, worked on many crime scenes. That is his view of the evidence.

And, if Mr. Horowitz says that's the case, I believe that to be the case. He was there. He found his wife murdered. He is grieving. He feels the evidence was cleaned. And that's why he is saying that to the investigators, so they can conduct their investigation along those lines.

ZAHN: Has he told you who he thought might be responsible for his wife's death?

GOLDE: We have discussed that. The authorities have interviewed many people, as your report indicated. There is one gentleman on the property who lives very close to this -- to where Mr. Horowitz lived. And he's BEGALA: focused and zeroed in on by the police. There were some disputes. There was a restraining order. Mr. Horowitz tried help this man, get him into a drug rehab center. He's had mental problems, drug problems. There was an exchange of property for money. That could be a motive here. But, again, it's inappropriate for me to specifically point to anybody. But the police are taking a very hard look at someone right on the property.

ZAHN: But, Ivan, you have just pointed to somebody.


ZAHN: And this is a man who denies he has anything to do with her mad -- murder. And you mentioned this restraining order. Authorities say that was never enforced...

GOLDE: It was never enforced.

ZAHN: ... or even processed, for that matter.

GOLDE: It was never enforced because Daniel Horowitz wanted to help this person. He hired counsel for this person. He sent this person to a drug rehab center. That is why it wasn't enforced.

It was Mr. Horowitz's decision -- decision not to enforce it.

ZAHN: And are you confident, in closing tonight, that this case will be solved and solved any time soon?

GOLDE: I am confident that the sheriff's department in Contra Costa County is doing everything possible. And yes, yes, I believe this case will be solved. And I certainly hope so.

ZAHN: Ivan Golde, thank you for joining us at this very difficult time.

GOLDE: Thank you for having me.

ZAHN: Again, I want to mention that police say they are still interviewing people, analyzing the evidence, and have not publicly named any suspects in this case.

Coming up next, I know I was transfixed a few weeks ago. Do you remember this, when that JetBlue flight circled for hours with a landing gear problem? Well, tonight, we are going to hear what was happening inside the cockpit when no one on board had any clue as to what might happen to them.

And, a little bit later on, the story behind that horrible bus crash that made the headlines and tore the heart out of a town in Wisconsin.


ZAHN: So, if you were one of the millions out there watching four weeks ago tonight, I'm sure you are not going to forget the breathtaking drama we brought you live, a JetBlue airliner on a nail- biting approach to L.A. with a broken landing gear. I was riveted, watched it for hours, like the rest of you, waiting to see what would happen, to see if this plane would ever land safely.

And, at the time, we didn't know exactly what was going on inside the cockpit during the crisis. Well, tonight, we find out.

Here's Kathleen Koch's report.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: JetBlue 292 has a -- a problem here.


KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just minutes after taking off from Burbank, California, pilot Scott Burke finds his plane's landing gear won't retract. He asks the control tower for help.


SCOTT BURKE, PILOT, JETBLUE FLIGHT 292: We want to do a visual, low-altitude fly by the tower, please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is it you want the tower to look for?

BURKE: There's a possibility -- I repeat, possibility only -- that the nose gear may be cocked 90 degrees off -- off center.


KOCH: He doesn't have to wait long for the bad news.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you see on the gear?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the tower perspective, the gear was canted 90 degrees to the left, instead of the tires being aligned down the runway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. That's what we needed to know. Thank you. We will get back to you with a plan.


KOCH: Pilots of A-320s have to have a plan. Most of them know this problem has happened to six A-320s before this one.

Still, pilots who have flown the Airbus and dealt with similar emergencies say this is where all the practice and experience pays off.

CAPTAIN CHRIS BEEBE, VICE PRESIDENT, AIRLINE PILOTS ASSOCIATION: But we don't grab the yoke all of a sudden or grab the side-stick controller in this case, and say, oh, my gosh, we have got a -- Houston, we have a problem. Not to be calm in the situation is to give yourself an impediment you don't need. A pilot is trained to set the tone.

KOCH: Captain Burke tries to reassure his passengers. It works until Sam Meza and others start to watch the drama on their on-board satellite TVs.

SAM MEZA, PASSENGER ON JETBLUE FLIGHT 292: The anxiety was growing. And -- and -- and, you know, even though it was calm, still, you saw people, their anxiety in their eyes, the fear in their eyes.

KOCH: For three hours, the plane flies on burning fuel to empty its tanks.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do request emergency equipment to be standing by at this time. This is an inbound emergency aircraft.


KOCH: Meza is stunned at the pilot's cool demeanor on the tapes.

MEZA: His calm, his ability to keep focused, you know, and just to really seize the moment there and do his job the right way.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Runway 2-5 left, clear to land.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clear to land, 2-5 left. JetBlue 292.


KOCH: Finally, the plane lands, dramatically, but safely.

MEZA: I will tell you, we didn't feel it. It was like angels dropped us right -- right there. It was in -- incredible.

KOCH: The government is considering requiring inspections of all A-320s' landing gear, though Airbus insists the gear is safe. The JetBlue pilot, Scott Burke, still has not told his story publicly. But Captain Beebe, who has been there, knows how he must have felt.

BEEBE: It's satisfying to feel that you have -- you have safely gotten your passengers on the ground. It helps to train you that -- that almost every issue in an airplane is -- is surmountable.


ZAHN: And those passengers were very lucky just to have such cool and experienced pilots on board.

That was Kathleen Koch reporting. There's still a lot more ahead tonight, including some amazing pictures of a controversial and brutal new sport -- if you can call it that. Remember the film "Fight Club"? Well, this is the real thing.

Also, why supermodel Kate Moss, who made the heroin chic look, look famous, now finds her career in jeopardy. Can she ever make a comeback?

First, though, at 22 minutes past the hour, time for a look at the hour's other top stories from Christi Paul at Headline News -- Christi.


One of the most powerful Republicans in Washington will undergo fingerprinting and a police mug shot -- all the result of an arrest warrant issued today in Texas for Congressman Tom DeLay. DeLay is already planning to answer a Texas grand jury's charges of conspiracy and money-laundering on Friday. He calls it a political vendetta.

The Senate Judiciary Committee sets November 7 for the start of Harriet Miers' Supreme Court confirmation hearing. Senators are also demanding, the White House release more information on the president's Supreme Court nominee.

President Bush and Bono have lunch at the White House today. The lead singer of U2 is continuing his campaign to get the wealthiest nations to do more for the poorest.

And those are the headlines right now -- Paula.

ZAHN: Thanks so much, Christi. Appreciate it.

Still ahead, a small town mourns after a deadly school bus crash -- the story behind the story, how one person made such a difference to so many people.

And, then, a little bit later on, millions of people have waited years for this day and the sight of Saddam Hussein on trial in a courtroom in Iraq.


ZAHN: Right now, I want to take you inside a story that made headlines a few days ago, a tragedy that sent the town of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, absolutely reeling.

Tonight, three closed caskets have been placed in the high school gym for a service called a visitation. They hold the bodies of three family members. They were among five people killed in a bus crash on the way home from a school outing.

Here's Keith Oppenheim.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Chippewa Falls High School Marching Cardinals.


KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is Saturday night, October 15. At a statewide competition for high school bands, the Marching cardinals of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, take the field.

The 173 students are doing what they do best, playing music as they march, following a well-rehearsed, tightly-choreographed pattern. Everything seems to go going just right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: By the end of the thing, you are just so exhausted.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Drained. You just can not even catch your breath. There's...


OPPENHEIM (on camera): And you loved it?





OPPENHEIM (voice-over): Chippewa Falls High School seniors Craig Shipley (ph), Brianna Heffler (ph) and Amanda Stole (ph) explain to me why they loved being in the band. It had a lot to do with this man, Doug Greenhalgh, the band director. The kids called him G.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's his name.




OPPENHEIM (on camera): You said, hi, G.?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. It's, G., how's it going? G., what are we doing today?

OPPENHEIM (voice-over): The nickname was just one way that, during his 22 years as a teacher, Doug Greenhalgh made band a lot of fun.

DR. JIM SAUTER, PRINCIPAL, CHIPPEWA FALLS HIGH SCHOOL: But he also held them to very high expectations. And just the quality of the -- the program was really second to none, I feel. We just have one of the best -- we had -- we have one of the best band programs in the state of Wisconsin.

OPPENHEIM: On Saturday, with more than 20 bands competing, the Marching Cardinals got a high score, taking third place overall.


OPPENHEIM (on camera): Then, just hours after taking a trophy, the feelings of victory would be shattered. In the middle of the night, the band was heading home in a caravan of four buses. At around 2:00 a.m., they were all nearly home, when, suddenly, everything came to a stop.

The students I spoke with, Craig (ph), Brianna (ph), and Amanda (ph), were on the third bus and woke up to find out there had been an accident.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then they started asking to pass up our blankets, our pillows, and our shoes and everything. Then we knew it was serious. Then we knew it was bad.

OPPENHEIM: It was very bad.

The driver of a tractor-trailer jackknifed on I-94, just in front of the first band bus, which then rammed into the fallen truck. The front of the bus crumpled. At least 28 people were injured. Five died. The bus driver, Paul Rasmus, the band student teacher, Branden Atherton, an 11-year-old girl, her grandmother, and her grandfather, the band's director, Doug Greenhalgh.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were just so close to him. Like, he was the kind of teacher, like -- like, right before the state competition, he and Brianna (ph) are sitting there. And he took both of us under his arms and gave us a kiss on top of the head.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He told us he loved us.

OPPENHEIM (on camera): It sounds like -- it sounds like he did love you and you loved him back.


OPPENHEIM (voice-over): The tears are just the beginning of a grieving process new to many so young.

Now the high school is filled with tributes. In the band room, inside Doug Greenhalgh's time-keeping drum are drumsticks inscribed with messages. In his absence, there is a feeling of Doug Greenhalgh's presence.

(on camera): My sense is that he kind of made the band sort of a central place for the school?

DENNIS JENKE, BIOLOGY TEACHER: I think so, yes. It made the community, you know, kind of gel with him. He just was real popular. And he was popular because he was just a great, great guy.

Reporter: Now, the task ahead is to say good-bye. At a memorial service for Doug Greenhall (ph), his wife and granddaughter, band members ask if they could play a piece from their last performance. If anything, they said, he would have wanted them to keep playing music.

OPPENHEIM: Are you ready?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE STUDENT: I think it's going to be hard, but I think we'll do it. But afterwards, we're just going to bawl and cry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE STUDENT: Everyone will just break down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE STUDENT: But I think we will hold it together for the most part for the show to do it for him and Atherton (ph) and everybody else.

ZAHN: What an inspiring legacy. That was Keith Oppenheim reporting.

Coming up next, a dramatic scene: Inside the courtroom as Saddam Hussein goes on trial and finally faces justice.

Also, a bloody sport. Beyond boxing: two men, a cage and absolutely raw violence. Would you call this a sport? The controversy over cage fighting.

ZAHN: It's a moment a lot of you have been waiting for. It finally arrived in a Baghdad courtroom today. Saddam Hussein went on trial pleading, as you might imagine, not guilty to charges involving the murder of 143 people in an Iraqi town.

But Hussein was defiant, refusing to give his name, insisting that he is still the real president of Iraq. Chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour was one of the few reporters there.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Saddam Hussein shuffled slowly as he was escorted into the court, the last defendant to appear.

Among his seven co-defendants was his half-brother, Barzan Al Tikriti, the feared former head of Iraqi secret intelligence. There was also former vice president, Taha Yasin Ramadan, almost unrecognizable out of his regime regalia. The co-defendants all wore informal Arab dress and plastic sandals. Not so, Saddam Hussein. In a suit, he likes to present a more presidential figure, which he believes he still is.

SADDAM HUSSEIN, FORMER IRAQI LEADER (through translator): Excuse me, I did not say former, no.

I said I'm the president of the Republic of Iraq.

AMANPOUR: Defiance -- some might say delusions -- aside, to this reporter, who witnessed his first court hearing 15 months ago, today, Saddam seems more demoralized, more tired, weaker.

Still, Saddam will not go meekly. He refused to recognize the court's jurisdiction. He sat when all others stood as the judge entered the court. And he stayed seated when the judge asked him to enter his plea.

HUSSEIN (through translator): I said what I said. And I'm not guilty.

AMANPOUR: Innocent, Saddam said, of ordering 143 Shiite men from the village of Dujail executed after a botched assassination attempt 23 years ago.

Innocent, said co-defendant Awad Haman al-Bander, who was chief of the revolutionary court that sentenced them to death.

Innocent, said each of the eight men in the dock.

One of the rare moments of color came during a recess when the cameras were off. Saddam Hussein turned to his co-defendants and started to smile and chat with them. He hadn't seen any of his former colleagues since he was captured nearly two years ago.

When he tried to leave the courtroom briefly during that recess, immediately four guards came and tried to assist him out holding onto his arms. He refused to have them touch them. He basically stared them down and waited until they left him alone. Eventually, he walked out unassisted.

Defendants, the chief prosecutor and defense lawyers kept getting up to be heard. And there was a sense that legal procedure in this first Iraqi trial of its kind still needs to be ironed out.

RICHARD DICKER, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: It seemed as if there were no ground rules that anybody had agreed on. And it was almost as if anything goes. It's essential that this tribunal get it right.

AMANPOUR: But just seeing Saddam facing trial for all the agony he inflicted on his people, for many, made up for the procedural pitfalls.

His next date with justice: November 28, when the trial resumes.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ZAHN: Christiane Amanpour, reporting from Baghdad.

Ahead, we change our focus quite dramatically: the brutal and continue new sport called cage fighting.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A street fight, an organized street fight. That's what I would call them.

ZAHN: Here's how it works. Two men in a cage, raw violence, rowdy crowds. Critics say it's a formula for disaster, maybe even death.

And the "heroin chic" look made Kate Moss a super model. Well, now, allegations of drug use threaten to bring her down. We'll have more on what lies ahead.


ZAHN: All right, I want you to watch our next story and see if you think such a thing should be allowed. It's called cage fighting, and fans say it is a legitimate sport. But critics say it's just an excuse for beer-stoked crowds to indulge in blood lust. And now some people want it band all together. Here's Sean Callebs.


SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The punches are real. The violence is raw. And the fans are rowdy. This is the world of cage fighting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just, you know, kept going, kept going. I was tired as hell. My arm hurts.

CALLEBS: And that comes from the winner. Three rounds, two men, few rules.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's face it, in these type of event, you are going to get people that just come here because they have a blood lust and they don't know a thing about it. They are the type of people who scream kill him on the side of the cage like I'm going to kill somebody.

CALLEBS: Here in South Dakota, the home of the cage, Lee Lohff is a big fish in a small pond. Chris Christianson owns and operates The Cage, Incorporated, and he says Lohff is the deadliest spider around.

CHRIS CHRISTIANSON, CAGE FIGHTER: He's a good athlete, and he's all about the showmanship of it. And some people detest that he is as cocky as he is, but he can back it up.

CALLEBS: Loaf, an Army veteran, served two tours in Afghanistan. He began studying martial arts in the service, and he's racked up a record of 19-0, making him the local star. But he's also known as the cocky guy, the person a lot of fans want to see thrashed. And that's what gets Lee Lohff motivated.

LEE LOHFF, CAGE FIGHTER: More than anything right now, I'm just looking to get the crap kicked of me, so I'm ready to go on Saturday. The more I sweat now the less I'll bleed come Saturday.

CALLEBS: Almost anything goes in a cage. There are exceptions. No biting, no intentional spinal injuries, no head butts or twisting fingers, but choke holds, kicks, and near bare knuckle punches are not only legal, but the way to win.

VERNON BROWN, SIOUX FALLS CITY COUNCIL MEMBER: A street fight, an organized street fight. That's what I would call them.

CALLEBS: Vernon Brown is a Sioux Falls city council member and he's doing everything he can to get it banned here.

BROWN: When those cage fighters get in the ring, they are connected to people that are in the crowd. Their friends, their family are there. That's just a bad mix with alcohol.

CALLEBS: City leaders worry that violence could spread to the stands.

(on camera): Hundreds of people will come here tonight to watch 15 different fights. But in many ways, this, the cage, is the star attraction. Nineteen-and-a-half feet across, seven feet high, it pens the fighters in, creating an almost gladiator-like atmosphere.

(voice-over): Cage fighting is still legal in Sioux Falls, but the promoter admits, bad press is hurting attendance. While some professional fighters duking it out on TV in a cage-like setting could make hundreds and thousands in prize money, the winners here might get $100 and the hope of something better.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've heard it before. You know, why do you get in there and beat each other up? But once you educate the people and they understand, this will be looked at a lot more as a sport than just getting in there and fighting.

CALLEBS: Many like Zach Schroeder (ph) are experienced wrestlers. Others study martial arts. Fighters proudly boast, this is a blue collar sport and say they thrive on the adrenaline of a one- on-one match. But critics like Vernon Brown won't even concede this is even a sport.

BROWN: There's no group governing. This is not a sanctioned event.

CHRISTIANSON: It's not all out street brawling.

CALLEBS: It sometimes comes pretty close. At the end of a beer- soaked night -- and by the way, the promoters don't get a cut of alcohol sales -- it's time for the marquis event featuring Lee Lohff. But no clash of titans tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had a setback. The guy that was supposed to fight apparently sprained his ankle in training.

CALLEBS: So John Wesley (ph) is rounded up as a last-minute replacement. It isn't pretty. Wesley has never trained, never fought, and really has no chance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Never been in a ring not even until tonight.

CALLEBS (on camera): And how much did you get?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nothing. A couple lumps on the head.

CALLEBS (voice-over): Wesley is so battered and dazed he has to lean against the wall to speak to us. But, he wants to do this again. Lohff is all smiles.

LOHFF: I want to give them their money's worth. So I'm glad it went well.

CALLEBS: Lee Lohff gets less than $100 for the win. The sponsor is a little ticked that he gave Wesley such a beating. It might mean more bad publicity. But at the same time, it gave the fans what they came for, the kind of entertainment that keeps cage rage going.


ZAHN: Of course, that's depending on your point of view, as Sean made very clear in his reporting.

Coming up, are Kate Moss's troubles exposing the fashion industry's dirty secret? Rampant drug use? Hard to stay thin.

And you have to see this. The case of the cat with two tongues. Yes, that's right, two tongues. First, though, tonight's headline news business break with Christi Paul -- Christi.


ZAHN: Thanks so much, Christi. Appreciate it.

Coming up next, Kate Moss. You know her, that rail thin supermodel. Well, she became a star with the heroine chic look, so why is her career threatened now over long-standing drug allegations? The controversy over models and drugs.

And, check this out -- not that, not that, hang on. There we go. Yes, this cat has two tongues. Jeanne Moos will explain why. We'll be right back.


ZAHN: All right, so when I mention Kate Moss's name, what comes to mind? Probably super thin, star model, so thin some people called her look heroin chic. Well, now her career is threatened not because she looks like a drug addict, but because of pictures that may show her using cocaine. And her story has some people saying it's time for the fashion industry to face up to a serious drug problem. Here's entertainment correspondent Sibila Vargas.


SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a world of larger-than-life super models, Christy, Linda, Cindy and Naomi, Kate Moss burst onto the scene like an anointed David in a land of Goliaths. At a mere 5'8, Moss redefined a slender, almost emaciated look, at look that came to be known as heroine chic.

KATE MOSS, MODEL: Between love and madness, lies Obsession.

VARGAS: The fashion world was obsessed with Kate Moss.

KATE BETTS, TIME STYLE & DESIGN: You could say that Kate Moss sort of peaked with the whole heroine chic thing in the Calvin Klein campaign when she was appearing on fashion runways about ten years ago. But her career has actually continued very strongly for the past ten years.

VARGAS: Now Moss's career is in peril all because of pictures accomplished in the London's "Daily Mirror" of the model allegedly snorting cocaine. Pictures that sparked an international fire storm costing Moss millions of dollars in endorsement deals: Chanel, Burberry, Dior and H&M all cut their ties with the super model.

Business is business, that's, you know, a cold, hard thing to say, I know. But they don't have a choice. She's a role model. And they are not going to stand for it.

VARGAS: Janice Dickinson knows the fashion world. The author and self-described world's first supermodel has spoken frankly about her own history with drugs. I caught up with her at a fashion show in L.A. to talk about Moss. She says it's time to face the issue, drug use is the modelling industry's dirty little secret.

JANICE DICKINSON, MODEL: It's everywhere. It's all around us. Keep an eye on those girls coming in and out of the bathrooms. And they are just wiping the noses still. Girls are taking ecstasy. They're taking different types of designer drugs now. Because everyone's touchy, touchy, feely, feely in the clubs after they do their fashion shows. It's like, whoa. There's nothing new that's, there's drug abuse out there right now.

VARGAS: Dickinson told me she thinks modelling agencies look the other way.

DICKINSON: It fuels the agency, and the agency makes money off of a girl who has a lot of energy, because she does a lot of drugs.

VARGAS: She's outraged at the industry who have turned their backs on Kate Moss, and had a message for the designers who dropped Moss from their campaigns.

DICKINSON: You should be spanked, OK. You should regive her back her contracts after she gets out of rehab and that's enough of it. And that's what I have to say to you. Rather than assisting a girl who has problems with drug, you want to go and punish her.

VARGAS: Dickinson who served as consultant to the critically acclaimed biopic "Gia" says Moss's story reminds her of model Gia Carangi, a heroine addict who died of AIDS.

DICKINSON: Everyone's being made a scape-goat: Kate, myself, Gia, we are the bad girls of modeling.

VARGAS: Supermodel Naomi Campbell, who has admitted using drugs herself in the pass, has also come to Moss' defense.

NAOMI CAMPBELL, MODEL: I think everyone, like, is bantering (ph) her and it's too much. It's like, she hasn't killed anybody.

VARGAS: Moss is under investigation for her alleged drug use by British authorities. Although no charges have been brought against her. She is said to have checked herself into a drug rehap clinic in Arizona. In a statement last month she said, quote, "I accept that there are various personal issue that I need to address and have started taking the difficult yet necessary steps to resolve them."

But can this one-time fashion icon rise to the top again?

BETTS: I think she can come back. I think it depends on how she handles it and how she talks about it. I think everybody loves a comeback story and especially in the fashion world.


ZAHN: And of course, our country is a great land of second opportunities. We've seen it over and over again in a lot of different businesses. That was entertainment correspondent Sibila Vargas.

Coming up next, what got a hold of this cat's tongue?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody laughs at me until they see her. They don't laugh no more.


ZAHN: Not sure you are going to laugh either when you see more of the cat with not one tongue, but two.


ZAHN: So there's only one thing to do when you hear something about a cat like two tongues. You send Jeanne Moos to find it.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kids do it to catch snowflakes, apes do it to catch rain drops, snakes do it, models do it, even geniuses do it. So when a cat does it, what's the big deal? BILL WHITTINGTON, CAT OWNER: Everybody laughs at me until they see her. They don't laugh no more.

MOOS: Forget nine lives, we are talking two tongues. The last time we saw something like this was at a sword swallower's convention where a guy named lizard man was showing off his fork tongue practicing tongue twisters like leg scissors.

But lizard man's tongue was surgically altered. the Cat was born this way, named five toes because she has one extra. It took several years for her owners to realize that five toes had two tongues.

WHITTINGTON: She flicked them tongues out, and with a yell, I let out. In the middle of the night in a dimly-lit bathroom, and you see a cat flick out two tongues, what would you do?

MOOS: Tongues can be a meal ticket. Take Mr. Winkal, Famed For a tongue that seems perpetually stuck, hanging out whether he's getting bathed or getting blow dried. Would Mr. Winkal have a stuffed animal in his image if it weren't for his tongue?

And if your dog's tongue is inadequate, there's always Humunga Tongue, a prize-winning doggy toy sold on the Moody Pet Web site.

Michelle Lavan dreamed it up inspired by her own dog's tongue, or lack thereof.

(on camera): The company slogan, a ball and a tongue all in one. They sold over 350,000 of these things.

(voice-over): Bite your tongue, or bad things can happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are going to stick your tongue at that girl. Oh, look at that.

MOOS: From the Rolling Stones, to Kiss, tongues are wagging. Rumor has it that Gene Simmons' tongue was actually a cow's tongue grafted on. Don't believe it.

The next edition of Riply's Believe It Or Not will feature the cat who must be twice as well groomed. Maybe she's allergic to publicity. Cat got your tongues?


ZAHN: And only Jeanne Moos could unearth.

Thanks for joining us tonight. See you tomorrow night.


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