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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

A New Figure Emerges in the CIA Leak Story; Bridge to Nowhere; Castro's Health; Secrets of Living Longer; Washington's War of Words on War in Iraq; Escapees Still At Large Without a Trace in Iowa Prison Break

Aired November 16, 2005 - 23:00   ET

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


ANNOUNCER: This is Anderson Cooper 360. Live from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks for joining us on the second hour of 360. A new figure emerges in the CIA leak story. That's coming up. But first, here's what's happening at this moment.

The war of words over Iraq is heating up again. This evening Vice President Dick Cheney said charges that the Bush administration manipulated prewar intelligence are, in his words, dishonest and reprehensible. Democrats responded quickly. Senator John Kerry says of Cheney, quote, "It is hard to name a government official with less credibility on Iraq?." As for the president, he's in South Korea. It's the second day of his eight-day visit to Asia. Tonight he and the South Korean president agreed to hold talks on replacing the armistice that ended the Korean War with a full peace treaty.

And at this moment the Pentagon pushes back on an allegation that U.S. troops used a fire-producing chemical on civilians in Fallujah last year. The chemical is white phosphorous. It's often used as a smokescreen. It can also be used on the battlefield. The Pentagon denies the charges.

And expect a heated confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Samuel Alito. Today Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says he has significant concerns. He calls Alito one of the most conservative judges in the U.S. and is troubled by a memo Alito wrote 20 years ago, saying there is no constitutional right to an abortion.

And now a shocker in the nation's capitol involving Washington Post Journalist Bob Woodward. Woodward, who for decades kept secret the name of Deep Throat, his source in the Watergate Scandal that brought down President Nixon, was apparently keeping secrets in another Washington controversy, the leak of a CIA operative's name. We learned today that a senior Bush administration official told Woodward about Valerie Plame two years ago. And before Former Staffer "Scooter" Libby discussed Plame with other reporters. Woodward says his source was not Libby. It's news that is already shaking up the investigation. CNN's Tom Foreman looks into it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The who gave up Valerie Plame game has bagged renowned Watergate journalist Bob Woodward. A month ago he implied he had no clue who in the White House had leaked Plame's identity as a secret CIA operative.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOB WOODWARD, JOURNALIST: I wish I did have a bombshell. I don't even have a firecracker. Sorry.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: Now he says a White House source told him about Plame two years ago and he's talked to the prosecutor investigating the leak. His boss says Woodward was protecting his source and the information about Plame was given only as background for a book deal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEONARD DOWNIE JR., EXECUTIVE EDITOR, WASHINGTON POST: Bob owed me and the newspaper an apology for not telling me, but if he had told me, I don't know what we would have been able to publish in the newspaper because of the confidentiality agreement under which this was stated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: Many assume the vice president's indicted chief of staff, "Scooter" Libby was the first to reveal Plame's secret in July 2003. But Woodward says another White House source, not Libby, told him about Plame a month earlier. It's reignited the question, did someone in the Bush inner-circle unmask Plame to get even with her husband who attacked the president's case for war? If so, whom? Republicans are playing defense.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BAY BUCHANAN, AMERICAN CAUSE: It's a legitimate story, but it is hyped and intensified and played over and over in the press and coming out of the words -- the mouths of Democrats because its an opportunity to get to the President of the United States George Bush and that's who they're after. That's the target.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: Maybe so, but Democrats say this is about war and the implications could be huge.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL BEGALA, DEMOCRAT STRATEGIST: And I think that's what it is, at the end of the day, you know, the Nixon administration dismissed Watergate as a third-rate burglary. You know, guys like me, it worked for Clinton, dismiss Whitewater as a failed land deal. It was. But the investigation led to revelations that Clinton had cheated on his wife and lied about it. This begins with something important, not something minor, and it's only grown. We are at war.

(END VIDEO CLIP) FOREMAN: The president has not been directly linked to this scandal, but each day seems to bring another attack on all this president's men. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, we talked a bit tonight about happens when the executive branch makes policy behind closed doors. The legislative branch does, of course, as well. And the vice president might say, does it big time. And when it does, the result is, well pork. So here now, pork.

The latest chapter on the story of the "Bridge to Nowhere." Your tax dollars, hard at work. Here's CNN's Ed Henry.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED HENRY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Alaska Senator Ted Stevens is known for volcanic eruptions. But this one was unusual.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED STEVENS (R), ALASKA: But I will put the Senate on notice. And I don't kid people. If the Senate decides to discriminate against our state and take money only from our state, I'll resign from this body.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY: The Republican was furious about efforts to strip the $223 million he had secured to build a small bridge connecting Ketchikan, Alaska to Gravina Island, which has only 50 residents. Since the residents can get back and forth on a five-minute ferry ride, critics dubbed it, the bridge to nowhere.

The money was included in the mass of $286 billion highway bill, signed into law in August by President Bush. In the home district of a beaming House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It accomplishes goals in a fiscally responsible way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY: Fiscally responsible? After Katrina hit, conservatives said no. Demanding to know how republicans could justify the bridge at a time of tragedy. Republican Tom Colburn took up the cause, trying to shift the Alaska money to repair a New Orleans bridge.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TOM COLBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: We had the worst natural disaster to hit our country that we've ever experienced. We are in a war, we added $600 billion to our national debt. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY: That's when Ted Stevens stepped in.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVENS: If one senator can decide he'll take all the money from one state to solve a problem of another, that is not a union.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY: Eighty-one senators sided with Stevens. Only 14 backed Colburn. And the Port Project lived. But then, everything changed. On November 6, "Parade" magazine, which reaches almost 35 million homes, ran a cover story blasting the bridge.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When, and it doesn't have a political preference. You know, it's neutral, "Parade." And so when politicians see that a subject comes up in "Parade," they know that everybody's talking about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY: Already nervous, Republicans feared this would add to the anti-incumbent sterns, ahead of next year's elections.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEITH ASHDOWN, TAXPAYERS FOR COMMON SENSE: "Parade" magazine covered this. The late-night comedy talk shows have been covering it. John Stewart covered it. Everyone's been -- this -- these projects have been a butt of a lot of jokes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY: So Speaker Hastert and other leaders finally stripped the bridge money -- sort of. Alaska will get the same amount of money, but it won't be earmarked for the bridge. The state can spend it on other projects. So Congress can say it's not funding the bridge -- even though it's really not saving a dame.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HENRY: Now that the bridge has been defunded, will Ted Stevens resign? No way, he told me today. He only promised to quit if the money got taken away from his state. Since Alaska gets to keep the $223 million, he's sticking around. And you can bet he's going to bring home even more bacon -- Anderson.

COOPER: Well, I mean, you know, with all these headlines saying, oh the Bridge to Nowhere is no longer, you know, it's no longer happening, but that's simply not true. The same money is going there. We're not -- the taxpayers aren't saving any money. They can use that money however they want. They can build that bridge for all we know. HENRY: That's right. Alaska could actually use the $223 million to build the bridge. Stevens and others think they will not, they'll end up using it for other transportation money. But you're right, the taxpayers are not saving any money, number one. And number two, there actually was a second bridge -- about $209 million --

COOPER: Right - that was the bridge to the airport, right?

HENRY: That's right. A second bridge -- $209 million, pushed by Stevens and Congressmen Don Young, named the Don Young Way. So you had these two bridges, well over $400 million. All that money is still being funneled to Alaska. And, you know, Senator Colburn took a look at it, Anderson. If you looked at just the Bridge to Nowhere, $223 million -- that's $4.46 million per each of those 50 residents on that small island. And with that $4 million each, they could each buy a leer jet.

COOPER: So, what Don Young not only got the money for the bridge, he decided to name it after himself?

HENRY: That's right. Not a bad deal. When you're in Congress, you get to bring home the bacon and name it for yourself as well.

COOPER: Man, must be nice. Ed Henry, thanks.

HENRY: Thank you.

COOPER: We'll keep following it.

Somebody once asked a famous economist what will happen in the long run? In the long run, he replied, well we'll all be dead. All of us, even Cuba's President Fidel Castro. The question is, how's he doing in the short run?

Tonight we learn that the CIA believes that he's doing poorly, suffering from Parkinson's disease and that he's in the later stages of it. Mr. Castro is 79. His brother, an heir apparent, is 74.

The new assessment sent a buzz through the exiled community in Miami today. And in Havana, well, here's CNN's Lucia Newman.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LUCIA NEWMAN, CNN HAVANA BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Few heads of state have been the target of so many death and health rumors as Cuba's Fidel Castro. Probably because no one else has been in power that long.

Eight years ago, after disappearing from view for weeks, Castro reappeared, looking thin and gaunt, but defiant, insisting on speaking even under the pouring rain.

The imperialist can say goodbye to their hopes, he said. Referring to widespread rumors that he'd died.

In the last decade, speculation about his health has increased, especially after his highly publicized fainting spell while making a speech under the blazing the sun.

More recently, there was his dramatic fall while walking off stage.

Some claim he suffers from Parkinson's disease. Others adhere to the more common belief, that he's had several strokes and has prostate cancer. None of these has ever been confirmed.

As for Castro, he relishes taunting his enemies about his health. As he did a few weeks ago in an interview with Former Argentine Sarkastar (ph), turned TV Talk Show Host Diego Armando Maridona (ph).

Look at this, a pulse rate of 64, how unfortunate. I must be on the verge of a stroke, he joked. Boasting he had ideal blood pressure.

Castro watchers point out he's not only slower and stiffer than in the past, but also at times looks exhausted and speaks with difficulty. On the other hand, even now, he continues to break records for making non-stop speeches -- for one, two, three, up to seven hours -- with an energy men much younger would envy.

All the talk about his health is understandable, considering Castro's been in power for almost half a century. This designated successor is his brother, Defense Minister Raul Castro. But he's only five years younger.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NEWMAN: So while every day there is more and more speculation, really Fidel -- it's only Fidel Castro's tightest inner circle that really knows the truth about how he's doing and the reason is very simple. Like so many other things here, the president's health is a state secret -- Anderson.

COOPER: But, I mean, the CIA is saying it looks like he has Parkinson's, and the later stages of it. It seems odd for somebody to have that and yet he's able to make speeches that last for, you know, seven hours.

NEWMAN: Absolutely, Anderson. I mean, I can't tell you whether he has Parkinson's or not. I've been watching him for many, many years. What I can say is that this is a man who burns the candle at both ends. In fact, he told me when he sleeps a lot, he sleeps up to three hours, which would explain the big bags under his eyes. So there's a lot of reasons that could account for him sometimes stumbling and mumbling. We really don't know and we probably won't get any confirmation about the CIA diagnosis from this end either, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. I think I'm known to stumble and mumble myself sometimes. Lucia Newman, thanks very much for that, from Havana tonight

360 next. Two escaped prisoners armed and dangerous and on the run tonight. The could be anywhere in the country by now. We'll have the latest on the manhunt.

Plus, what are the secrets to living a longer life? We went around the world to find the answers, literally. We're going to tell you what we found out and we'll take your calls, your questions to our experts, toll free 1-877-648-3639. Give us a call.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: The last hour we set off around the globe to discover the secrets of living longer, a journey inspired by the cover story in this month's "National Geographic" magazine on newsstands now. In "The Secrets of Living Longer," writer Dan Buettner visits three continents, in search of answers. Our first stop is Okinawa, a Japanese island where people have the longest life expectancy in the world. And it seems none of the usual fears of growing old. So what are their secrets? CNN's Atika Shubert found out.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Zenei Nakamura has been fishing for most of his life. This is no leisurely hobby. Fishing on Okinawa means swimming in the open sea and diving about 12 feet under water to chase fish into wading nets. He then hauls the heavy catch aboard his tiny boat, a process he repeats over and over until mid afternoon every day.

He sees no reason to give it up now just because he's about to turn 90 years old.

ZENEI NAKAMURA, 89-YEAR OLD FISHERMAN: My children tell me to stop fishing, but it's fun. I feel more powerful doing it. I think they're pleased that I'm still fishing. I deliver fresh seafood to every family member. I should hope they like it.

SHUBERT: Doctors have warned Zenei that fishing like this is too strenuous for someone his age and say he should stop. But his family says if you take away his fishing, then you take away his Ikigai, a Japanese word that means reason for living.

Instead, family members have painted a telephone number on the side of his boat. If he's lost at sea, they say at least he'll have been doing what he loves best.

Zenei has plenty of company his age in Okinawa. The island has the world's highest ration of centenarians -- people who live to 100 or older -- and the longest life expectancy anywhere.

DAN BUETTNER, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (on camera): Okinawa, we call the longevity hotspot of the world.

SHUBERT: Okinawans have low rates of heart disease, cancer, bone loss, memory loss and other problems associated with old age.

BUETTNER: If you want to live a long healthy life, I believe you emulate the lifestyle of Okinawans. SHUBERT: Some believe genes determine longevity, but studies show that lifestyle, exercise, friendships and activities can play as great a role.

Case in point, Ushi Okushima, who lives in another village nearby. She's 103 years old and still showing up for work every day, selling the island's famous tropical fruits, small green oranges to tourists. Ushi is something of a tourist attraction, herself. Visitors ask to touch her snowy hair and marvel at her good health. Everyone it seems wants to know how she does it.

USHI OKUSHIMA, 103 YEARS OLD: We worked for long hours in the fields. We grew and ate our own vegetables. We never spent our money on extra food. I think that's why I live so healthy.

SHUBERT: In fact, that is part of Okinawa's secret, says Dr. Craig Willcox, co-author of a 20-year study on the island's centenarians.

CRAIG WILLCOX, AUTHOR, THE OKINAWAN WAY: They eat a lot of vegetables, these green leafy vegetables which are very high in antioxidants which help control the aging process.

SHUBERT: Also important, keeping active.

WILLCOX: And these people are active. They're out in their gardens, they're out walking, they're out socializing.

SHUBERT: Ushi's social life is plenty. She even has a new boyfriend, who at 76 is 27 years her junior. The ability to find romance at any age could factor into Ushi's longevity. The Okinawan Study shows that elders here often have higher levels of sex hormones, suggesting that romance can help you live longer.

Ushi's advice to aging gracefully, get a young man -- the younger the better. I can set you up with some good candidates, she offers. It turns out her cheeky humor is another secret to long life.

WILLCOX: I noticed here in Okinawa a kind of a very, how would I say it, optimistic, almost a happy-go-lucky sense of (inaudible).

SHUBERT: Optimism is everywhere. And Zenei's family celebrates a new great-grandson with more than 60 relatives. Singing, dancing and tasting Zenei's freshly caught fish. The youngest here is just a month old; the eldest are in their 90's. Both get a place of honor at the table, which it turns out is yet another factor when it comes to living a long life. This is a society that does not turn away its elders.

BUETTNER: In America we have this culture of youth. You know, we celebrate young, beautiful bodies and new rock 'n roll. Here it's sort of the opposite, that the older you get, the more respected you are.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would like to live like my grandparents, doing something I really want to do, enjoying life. Looking at them, I think that is the secret to longevity.

SHUBERT: Okinawa's secret to long life seems simple enough -- healthy food, exercise, a little romance, a sunny outlook. Then, find something you like to do. Zenei's been practicing that for years. And it looks like he'll have lots more ahead. Atika Shubert, CNN, Okinawa, Japan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: It's nice to know a sense of humor helps.

Coming up next on 360, unraveling the mystery of why some people live to be 100 or more and yet seem decades younger. We're going to take a look at their secrets in another place you might not have expected.

When we're through unlocking their secrets, we'll take your questions. You can email us at cnn.com/360, click on the instant feedback link or call us 1-877-648-3639, that's 1-877-648-3639. Our age experts will be here to answer your questions.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Back to a question we've been exploring all night. Can we eat, drink and exercise our way to a better and longer life or do our genes trump everything in the end? Researchers are just beginning to answer the question. And some of the strongest clues are coming from corners of the earth, where living a long and rich life is not at all unusual.

We've shown you Loma Linda, California. We've shown you Okinawa. "National Geographic" magazine visits all these extraordinary places in its cover story, "The Secrets of Living Longer." It's on newsstands now. The island of Sardinia is where we go next. It's off the coast of Italy. CNN's Alessio Vinci when there for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALESSION VINCI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One of the great secrets of longevity lies here in the remote hills of Sardinia. In fact, it's a few secrets. It's about vigorous work, a hearty diet and strong family values.

In this region, with a population of one and a half million, there are more than 100 Sardinians who are currently 100 or older. Rafaela (ph), 107 years old, is believed to be the oldest woman on the island. Her grandniece, Sylvia (ph), is 105 years younger.

In this village of only 2,400, locals say over the last century, 91 people lived past 100. But these facts mean nothing to Tonino Tola, a 75-year old farmer. Longevity, he says, is something he rarely thinks about. What keeps him going is a passion for work and the well-being of his family.

TONINO TOLA, FARMER: Of course, I don't like the idea of dying. I like to live. VINCI: Tonino believes every day at dawn. By mid-morning he has already milked the cows, walked miles to reach the pastures, and chopped enough wood for his brick oven back at home.

Here, he takes his first break of the day. Givan Nehi's (ph) 70- year old wife is in charge of breakfast and as is tradition here, of everything else around the house. Tonino has time to relax.

He doesn't even have to stir his own coffee. Coffee is usually followed by homemade pecorino cheese, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and a glass or two of the red wine Tonino makes in his small vineyard.

Tonino's healthy, low-stress rural lifestyle may explain why here in Sardinia there is roughly an equal number of male and female centenarians; whereas, in the U.S., for example, women outlive men by four to one, after the age of 95.

By mid-afternoon, Tonino is back at work, climbing hills with the agility of someone far younger.

(On camera): Watching Tonino at work, one definitely gets the impression that people here age at a slower pace. The environmental factors clearly play a role. But you can find good weather and good food in many of the parts of Italy and there people don't necessarily live any longer.

(Voice-over): And that is why scientists believe the secret of longevity here may also be hidden in the genes. And that brings us to the second secret.

Like most people in these remote villages, Tonino married a local. A general wariness of outsiders following centuries of foreign occupation means most Sardinians are believed to descend from a few founding families, making Sardinia essentially an island of genetic purity.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUETTNER: Well, what you have here is a bronze-age culture that has been pushed by fanicians (ph) and Romans, actually, up into these highlands of Sardinia, where they remained isolated for about 2,000 years and they intermarried, which created what I think of as a sort of a genetic incubator of sorts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VINCI: And this is secret number three: An endlessly upbeat attitude towards life.

TOLA: If you don't drink to avoid dying, if you don't eat to avoid dying, if you don't smoke to avoid dying, and if you see a beautiful woman and you don't go after her, well then you may as well be buried alive.

VINCI: A weekend lunch is a big affair here. A 90-year old relative is put to work making fresh ravioli. Davona (ph) takes care of the bread. Each family member, young and old, contributes to a feeling of togetherness that gives them all a sense they are protected.

To put him in a hospice away from all this, Tonino says, would be like digging his grave.

Alessio Vinci, CNN, in Sardinia, Italy.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: I want that guy's lifestyle. We've taken you to three continents tonight, looking for the secrets of living a longer and better life and now it's your turn to be in the driver seat. Here to answer your questions is Dr. Thomas Pearls (ph), professor of medicine at Boston University Medical Center and director of the New England Centenarian -- did I say that right? Yes. Centenarian Study. There you go. And here with me in New York is Dan Buettner, who wrote the cover story for National Geo. "The Secrets of Living Longer," is in this month's issue, on newsstands now. He's also the founder of bluezones.com, a website devoted to the study of longevity.

Dan, based on what you saw in Sardinia, Okinawa, and Loma Linda, what's the biggest takeaway for you?

BUETTNER: Well, we found about a dozen really extraordinary things in the article, but I'll tell you the top three. Number one, we've all heard of the Atkins Diet, but the cultures of longevity, the blue zones, as we call them, eat almost always a plant-based diet. Lots of legumes, almost no meat. I think a big takeaway is minimizing meat in your diet.

COOPER: Interesting.

BUETTNER: Number two, we tend to exercise in great exuberant bursts -- 85,000 people signed up for the marathon -- New York marathon last weekend. Cultures of longevity do sort of daily, kind of low-intensity exercise. The Sardinians, we just saw, were shepherds, who take long walks. The Okinawans garden a couple hours a day. I think the best level of physical activity is probably a 40- minute walk everyday.

COOPER: And exercise seems to be built into their lifestyle.

BUETTNER: Right it was sort of encoded in their culture. So it wasn't regimented, it just happened naturally.

COOPER: Dr. Perls, say you are listening to this, you are 50 years old, you're cranky, you are a meat-eater, you are a smoker, is it still possible to extend your life at this point, or the damage already done?

PERLS: No, actually, 50s, even 60s, I think the horse isn't out of the barn at all. And some of the things that have already been talked about, clearly, benefit people. I would say even things like exercise, both your body and your brain, benefit people into their 90s. COOPER: You have a thing which you spell out as aging, it is sort of a formula for living longer, A-G-E-I-N-G. Let's just quickly run through. A is for attitude. You need a positive attitude?

PERLS: Absolutely. I think what was also said in the Okinawan piece about having a cause that gets you up in the morning. It is really important for these people. There are a couple of other things. It centenarians, the raise the bar for the rest of us so that I think when people start thinking about getting to their 80s it is not such a big deal.

COOPER: But what about genetics? I mean, genetics, G, is the next in your AGEING chart. I mean, I worry my dad died when he was 50 years old. I kind of wonder how much I can really do to overcome genetics?

PERLS: I think looking at the longevity in your family is really important. If you have people living into your 90s, or even 100. That is really good news. You may even be able to indulge a bit. On the other hand if people are passing away in their 60s and 70s then you know it is really important for those people to enter into a good program of prevention and screening with their doctor.

COOPER: Hey, Dan, also exercise you talked about a lot, being a key in this. Also, interest, I mean people maintaining an active life with a lot of different interests.

BUETTNER: Yes, in America we tend to break up our adult lives into two phases. The working phase and the retirement phase. In Okinawa it is ekigi (ph), this sense of purpose, the reason for which they wake up in the morning that sort of propels them through, into their 100s in many cases.

COOPER: Doctor what do you think about that? What is the next one, we have two more, we have nutrition and --

PERLS: Well, just one more thing about the interest. You know, we'll be talking about exercise in a minute. But we also want to exercise our brains. And learning new things that are also complex. The most powerful would be learning a musical instrument or learning a language. This exercises the brain, it gives it more function reserve. It actually means a delay in things like Alzheimer's disease, for those who are prone to it. It means a delay in problems with your memory.

COOPER: You also say nutrition and then G, getting rid of smoking. But, Dan, you know, in a lot of these places, people are smoking all over the place and you are getting exposed to second hand smoke in Okinawa and Sardinia?

BUETTNER: Not the centenarians. A very tiny percentage of centenarians that we interviewed for the story smoke, maybe 1 or 2 percent.

COOPER: OK.

BUETTNER: So smoking is definitely -- I think the biggest thing most Americans do to live longer is to cut out smoking.

COOPER: Doctor Perls, you have a web site, livingto100.com. You have a longevity calculator. I actually did the test earlier. It said I'm going to live to 87. I said that is sort of my target. One of the factors that was flossing. Why is flossing so important?

PERLS: There is a good link between gum disease and the inflammation associated with it and heart disease. So, good gum health is good for your heart. It is good for your sex life, all kinds of things.

COOPER: Dan, is there something that you changed in your life after doing this story.

BUETTNER: I quit eating a lot of meat. I took up yoga. And I invest more time in my family.

COOPER: That's the other thing that really struck me. Especially, the incorporation of elderly with young people in these families. It is so important, Dan.

BUETTNER: That was a huge finding. The attitude towards elders. When people get old in our country, frail, we tend to warehouse them. But in Sardinia 95 percent of the centenarians live with their family. And when you are living with your family you have better care. You loved and you are expected to love. And there is even something called the grandmother effect. And children who live in households with grandparents do better than children living with no grandparents.

(CROSS TALK)

COOPER: We've got to talk more about this after the break. We're going to take your calls at home, also your e-mails. You can send us an e-mail at cnn.com/360. You can click on the instant feedback link. Or call us at 1-877-648-3639. You can put your questions to Dan and the good doctor. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: So we're taking your calls right now, and your e-mails about living longer and any questions you may have. You can ask to Doctor Thomas Perls, professor of medicine at Boston University Medical Center, and director of the New England Centenarian Study. And here with me, in New York, Dan Buettner, he wrote the cover story in "National Geographic" this month, "The Secrets of Living Longer". It is on the newsstands right now. He is also the founder of Bluezones.com, a web site devoted to the study of longevity.

Our first caller is Lorraine in North Carolina. Lorraine, good evening. What's your question?

CALLER: Yes. I was wondering what the doctor thinks about piece of mind. I'm 86 and I think I'm doing very, very well. I'm very active in my mind and my body. And I wondered if peace of mind has a lot to do with it.

COOPER: It's a great point. What about it, Doctor.

PERLS: A lot of these people, it is not so much the amount of stress that they've had in their lives, it is that they manage it so very well. And we see that all the time among these folks. They don't dwell on these things. They don't internalize stuff that would be stressful. They seem to just be able to let go. And as Dan said, yoga is a great way to do that if it doesn't come naturally. Other things are like Ti Chi, other forms of meditation. Even knowing I need to take a deep breath now and then -- and spirituality. I think what the Seventh Day Adventists, the spirituality in their lives probably plays a role. And having that kind of peace of mind that you are talking about, it is very important.

COOPER: Well, Dan, one of the Seventh Day Adventists, we were hearing from earlier and Gary talked to in his piece, was saying about going to sleep at night sort of feeling good about what you've done throughout the day and not sort of tossing and turning. And all the people in the piece seemed very content with their lives.

BUETTNER: The Adventists, encoded in their religion is 24 hours, sunset Friday to sunset Saturday, where they take a sanctuary in time. No matter how busy, no matter how stressed out they are, they take 24 hours to focus on their religion, on their family, and then to actually take -- they prescribe to take walks in nature.

COOPER: That's cool. There are so many -- this -- I'm glad we're this, because I completely don't live this lifestyle and I really now am more motivated to do it more than ever.

We have another question from Brandy in Massachusetts. Brandy, good evening. And what's your question?

CALLER: Hi, Anderson. I love your show.

COOPER: Thanks.

CALLER: My questions concerns climate. The people being interviewed seem to be from a warmer climate. Does that have anything to do with living longer, perhaps?

COOPER: Dan, what did you find?

BUETTNER: Well, that was true of Okinawa and Sardinia, but the Seventh Day Adventists, they are all over the United States, in fact, they are all over the world. And this Adventists health study, out of Loma Linda, showed that men can live as much as 11 years longer than their American counterparts. So this is purely lifestyle and it doesn't have anything to do with climate.

COOPER: Dr. Perls, do you have anything to add on that.

PERLS: I would agree that it has actually been this whole mystique about this thing called Shangri-La and we equate these very high places in the hills of Pakistan, off the Chinese border and places like that, the Hunza (ph) region. And would agree with Dan, it is more myth than it is more lifestyle that counts. COOPER: Another question, Cathy in California, has a call. Cathy what's your question?

CALLER: Hi, Anderson. Love your show. And hi, Dan. I tried to reach you. I'm Margie Tuton's (ph) daughter in law.

BUETTNER: Oh, we love you.

CALLER: I know, well, she loves you. And anyway I was just talking to her and she said she'd call, you'd call. And one thing I wanted to add about my mother in law that is so remarkable and it is her spirit for loving and giving to everyone in her family, everyone that she meets. She never, ever has nothing to do. And I, being her daughter in law, it has been a tough act to follow. She's a remarkable person.

COOPER: Well, that really gets to attitude. I mean, that's a key thing.

BUETTNER: Yes, Marge was a poster girl for living well, for these centenarians. You know, we interviewed over 100 of them. And uniformly, you find these people are consummately likeable people. We all know seniors who you are with them for five minutes and you are looking at your watch. People like Marge are not only interesting but their interested. And they become likeable, I don't know if they're born that way, or they've made the effort. But at the end of the day, they are surrounded by a social network, they get better care. They have lower levels of stress and they stay sharper than people who are not likable.

COOPER: We got an e-mail from Linda Banks, in Boulder, Colorado. Linda wrote in, "What was learned about the role diet plays. I'm a vegetarian. I eat lots of soy, although I've been reading bad things about soy."

Dan, anything? You talk about greens and legumes.

BUETTNER: Yes, the Okinawan eat about eight times more tofu than Americans do. I think that is really kind of a complete super food in many ways. The Seventh Day Adventists found that people who eat nuts, four times a week, at least two ounces, were living as much as three years longer than people who weren't eating nuts. They don't know why. But certainly, a plant-based diet.

COOPER: Doctor Perls what about soy?

PERLS: I think Dan's earlier point about the fact that they don't eat red meat, so they're replacing that with these soy products. And it is the iron in the red meat. I think iron plays a really important role in the basic biology of aging. And perhaps there is less iron in your diet. And the main source of iron in our diet is red meat.

So, I think the other really important thing about nutrition is you would look at most of these centenarians and they're thin, especially among the men. You rarely see fat centenarians. So the other important component of the diet is that they're mostly thin.

COOPER: It is a fascinating topic. It is in the "National Geographic" on the newsstands now. Doctor Thomas Perls, thanks. And Dan Buettner, you wrote the article, thanks. It is great talking to you.

BUETTNER: Great. Thanks.

PERLS: Thank you.

COOPER: Coming up next tonight on 360 just a short time ago President Bush responded to vice president's tough words tonight against critics of the Iraq war. We're going to have the latest, a live report, from his stop in South Korea.

Also, tonight, they are armed and dangerous. They could be anywhere in the United States, the latest on the frantic search for two prison escapees, when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: It has been a nasty night in Washington where Vice President Dick Cheney and the Democrats have been trading a war of words over the war in Iraq. Democrats say the White House mislead the American people by manipulating intelligence. Here's what he vice president said earlier tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What we're hearing now is some politicians, contradicting their own statements and making a play for political advantage, in the middle of a war. The saddest part is that our people in uniform have been subjected to these cynical and pernicious falsehoods day in and day out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Like I said, it is getting pretty nasty. Now President Bush is entering the fray, all the way from South Korea. CNN's Dana Bash is live in South Korea this morning.

Dana, what has he said?

DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, sometimes when you travel around the world with the president he wants to get away from some of the issues troubling him back home, and sometimes he doesn't. And just a short while ago in a press conference with his host, President Rho Moo-hyun, from South Korea, the president made it pretty clear this is a time that he's still willing to engage back home. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

QUESTION: Mr. President, Vice President Cheney called it reprehensible for critics to question how you took the country to war, but Senator Hagel says it is patriotic to ask those kinds of questions. Who do you think is right?

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Vice president.

QUESTION: Why?

BUSH: Well, look, our is a country where people ought to be able to disagree and I expect there to be criticism, but when Democrats say that I deliberately mislead the Congress and the people, that is irresponsible.

They looked at the same intelligence I did. And they voted -- many of them voted to support the decision I made. It is irresponsible to use politics. This is serious business -- making -- winning this war. But it is irresponsible to do what they've done. So, I agree with the vice president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BASH: No surprise there, the president agreeing with his vice president, because they are obviously reading from the same playbook on this strategy; 7,000 plus miles from Washington, the president is still very much willing to engage.

And, Anderson, not only is this something that the Republicans at the White House think is necessary, to hit back against Democrats, it is also given them a little bit of a lift after being, quite frankly, depressed at the White House, and elsewhere in Washington, about the Harriet Miers nomination, about the Scooter Libby indictment.

This is giving Republicans and the White House something to rally around, a real purpose, and that is, essentially, raw politics.

COOPER: As you said, earlier tonight on this program, it is like they are all in campaign mode and they are coming out swinging. Dana Bash, thanks very much.

Coming up next on 360, two violent criminals escapees from a maximum security prison, now on the run. Police from several states are on the hunt. We'll bring you the very latest. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Tonight police in Iowa are checking every lead they have trying to catch two convicts who broke free from a maximum security prison on Monday. They are dangerous guys serving life sentences for murder and attempted murder. So far, no tip has panned out. Officers from neighboring states are helping out.

By now the convicts could be anywhere. The police in the community where the breakout happened are asking folks to take every precaution and to check on their friends and their neighbors. CNN's Keith Oppenheim has been following the case.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Two convicts maybe on the loose somewhere in this idyllic town, Fort Madison, Iowa. Convicts alluding police for a second day after escaping from the state prison here. And people who live here are scared.

RICK BERRY, FORT MADISON RESIDENT: These guys have nothing to loose so it is a great possibility that if they were cornered they could hurt someone.

OPPENHEIM: Schools were locked down and residents were locking their doors, too. Trudi Eid has seven children.

TRUDI EID, FORT MADISON RESIDENT: They're a little scared. My oldest one got -- was in lock down for about five hours yesterday. So he was a little freaked out with that one yesterday.

OPPENHEIM: Police say, 34-year-old Martin Shane Moon and 27- year-old Robert Joseph Legendre scaled a wall and escaped Monday from the Iowa State Penitentiary. Moon, has been serving a life sentence for murdering his roommate in Iowa, 15 years ago. Legendre was doing life for kidnapping and attempted murder of a female taxicab driver in Las Vegas. He was transferred to Iowa last year.

Authorities say the men had been working in a prison furniture shop and used upholstery webbing to scale the wall. Investigators believe one of them stole a bicycle then rode it to this Fort Madison neighborhood, about a mile and a half away.

(On camera): Police say a 1995 gold Pontiac Bonneville was outside on the street, no one was in it, but it was running because the owner of that vehicle made a quick stop at a friend's house. Detectives say the escapees, Moon and Legendre, left in that car and they question is, why hasn't that vehicle been spotted since?

GENE MEYER, IOWA DIVISION OF CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION: I would have thought we would have had a sighting of the vehicle by now. We haven't.

OPPENHEIM (voice over): The search for the escapees has gone nationwide. Meanwhile, some Iowa lawmakers say the prison wasn't secure. State Senator Gene Fraise says budget cuts lead to installing security wires rather than manning all watch towers at all times. The tower, near the southwest wall, was unmanned when Moon and Legendre scaled the wall there.

STATE SEN. GENE FRAISE (D), FORT MADISON: If we had had someone in those towers, the chance of them getting over the wall is about a chance of winning the lottery.

OPPENHEIM: Authorities keep warning the public.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because they'll do anything to keep from returning to the penitentiary.

OPPENHEIM: The escapees could be armed and dangerous.

(END VIDEOTAPE) OPPENHEIM: The Iowa State Penitentiary is an aging facility. It was build, Anderson, in 1839, and it is the oldest prison in the U.S. West of the Mississippi. Despite that, there hasn't been a lot of escapes here. The last one was in 1979, 26 years ago. When, get this, five prisoners left in a garbage truck, and were found at the county landfill. It was resolved pretty quickly.

Not so, this time around though. There aren't any strong leads, at least that we know of that police have right now, to solve where the escapees are. Back to you.

COOPER: Yes, Keith, it is amazing that they haven't found the car at this point, because there are so many people looking for that car. And it is, you know, a pretty identifiable car you would think. Either they've hidden it or if they are still in it.

I understand they had about a half a tank of gas, that would have gotten them about 250 miles or so. That would have put them across state lines in some cases, depending on where they went, right?

OPPENHEIM: That's true. We're not far from the state border here, at all. But not only are they following tips in a case like this they are also going to use probable places that they might go. People who they know in their lives. So, they try to look at a profile of these prisoners and figure out where would they go for support in order to be able to survive with all that police pressure.

COOPER: All right. Keith, thanks very much.

Coming up next on 360, well, a lot more. Be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: That's it for 360, Larry King is next.

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