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Protecting the Border; Baltimore's Disappearing Light Poles; President Bush to Make Latest Iraq War Pitch to Nation

Aired November 29, 2005 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: And good evening, everyone.
Tonight, a vital concern for all Americans -- is there a better way to protect a border that is thousands of miles long and doesn't seem to keep anyone out?


ZAHN (voice-over): They come by day, by night, illegally, and by the millions.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Illegal immigration is a serious challenge.

ZAHN: All they have to do to stay here legally is have one baby.

Pole thieves.

CHIP FRANKLIN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: How can we lose 130 light poles?

ZAHN: You heard right. Why would anyone steal a light pole?

FRANKLIN: And it would be embarrassing to have a press conference in the dark, you know with...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... where's that light? It was just in here.

ZAHN: A mystery that has left a city in the dark.

Webcam rescue. She owes her life to the tiny camera on her computer and an eagle-eyed son who was 7,000 miles away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have kind of a weird thing here. The lady that called was calling from Norway.

ZAHN: An amazing rescue that could only happen in our wired world.


ZAHN: And, tonight, we want to give you a head-start by beginning with what is likely to be the big story tomorrow, when President Bush makes his latest pitch to win back support for the war in Iraq and outlines conditions under which he might start to bring home some troops.

The war in Iraq is putting an awful lot of pressure on the White House. And, at the president's stop in Denver today, anti-war protesters greeted the White House press bus. And while the president may not have seen those demonstrators, we are now seeing some signs that he is getting the message, after taking a beating in the polls for weeks.

White House correspondent Dana Bash joins me now with the very latest on what we can expect tomorrow.

Hi, Dana.


Well, the message the White House says they're getting is that the American public doesn't necessarily think that the president has an actual clear plan to win in Iraq. So, the goal of tomorrow's speech and several others after that is to show that he does.


BASH (voice-over): In a preview of what the White House is billing as a major speech on Iraq, the president, while touring the border in El Paso, suggested troops could start coming home from Iraq soon, but warned too soon would be a terrible mistake.

BUSH: I want our troops to come home, but I don't want them to come home without having achieved victory. And we've got a strategy for victory.

BASH: The president will try to define that strategy, aides say, in more detail than ever before, focusing on progress Iraqis are making in securing their own country.

A senior official says Mr. Bush will admit it's taken more time than expected to properly train Iraqi security forces, but he will cite some 120 Iraqi battalions in the fight, 40 leading missions, and tout specific regions, like a road formerly known as Death Street, that are now safe and under Iraqi control.

The president will make clear more of what he calls Iraqi advances will mean U.S. troops can come home. When that can happen, he says, is still up to his military commanders.

BUSH: If they tell me that the Iraqis are ready to take more and more responsibility and we will be able to bring some Americans home, I will do that.

A Democrat just back from Iraq who wants U.S. troops to stay reports progress, but warns, it may be slow-going.

SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D), CONNECTICUT: The Iraqis are beginning to show much more self-sufficiency. They're a long way from being able to take it on their own.

BASH: The White House has tried several times before to turn around slumping support for Iraq with speeches billed as major. After Cindy Sheehan captured August headlines, Bush aides promised to explain their Iraq policy better with this VFW speech. That was two months after using the same tactic with this prime-time address.

BUSH: Is the sacrifice worth it? It is worth it.

BASH: Yet, they lost support. In June, 52 percent of Americans said it wasn't worth going to war -- two months later, 54 percent. Now 60 percent, six in 10 Americans, say Iraq wasn't worth it.

BILL MCINTURFF, PARTNER AND CO-FOUNDER, PUBLIC OPINION STRATEGIES: What the headlines say every day in Iraq is how many poor people got blown up and how many American soldiers were killed. That's the reality that's shaping opinions about Iraq.


BASH: And Bush officials say they believe Americans will be willing to stay in Iraq as long as they think they can win.

And that's why, that's a word we have already heard the president use more often, likely will continue to do in the next few weeks.

And, Paula, as I mentioned, they do concede here that the public needs to understand that there is actually plan in Iraq. And that's why, tomorrow morning, the White House is going to declassify a 20- plus-page document that shows, they will say, that they do have plan -- Paula.

ZAHN: Dana, it's -- it's pretty clear that the Democrats, so far, have not had a unified voice in reaction to the prosecution of this war. How are they likely to react to the president's speech tomorrow?

BASH: Well, you know, we have -- we're likely to hear from Senator John Kerry, the president's former opponent in 2004, and we are likely to hear from the Democratic leadership, probably talking about what they have said and even voted on in the Senate, which is that they do think it's important for the president to give some kind of general timetable for withdrawal of troops in Iraq.

That's what Democrats in general do have consensus on. But you are exactly right. The one thing that the president, the White House, wants to exploit, if you will, with tomorrow's speech -- and they want to continue to do -- is what they see as very clear divides within the Democratic Party about just how to approach Iraq.

We saw that today, with Senator Joe Lieberman writing in "The Wall Street Journal" and coming out and talking to reporters, almost verbatim, saying the same things that President Bush has said about staying in Iraq, where, on the other hand, you have other Democrats saying the opposite, saying the troops should come home immediately. That is something that you are going to hear more and more from the White House about.

ZAHN: Politics always making strange bedfellows.


ZAHN: Dana Bash, thanks for the preview.

BASH: Thank you.

ZAHN: And you can get out of the rain now.

Now, Dana just mentioned the president's stop in El Paso to press for immigration reform. According to one recent study, one out of every 10 babies born in this country is born to illegal immigrant parents. Now, those children automatically get U.S. citizenship because they're born on American soil. And there is a move on to change all of that.

Here's Thelma Gutierrez.


THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A new life comes into the world on the U.S. side of the border. By birthright, these children are citizens of the United States. But not all of their parents are citizens.

In fact, some are illegal immigrants. Critics of birthright citizenship call these infants anchor babies, because they are entitled to social benefits that can lead to legal resident status for their families, the critics say, an incentive for illegal immigrants to give birth in the United States.

That fear has been fueled by a report released this year by the Center For Immigration Studies, a Washington think tank that wants stricter limits on immigration. It claims that 383,000, or 42 percent of births to immigrants, are to illegal immigrant mothers.

Steve Camarota was the author of the study.

STEVE CAMAROTA, DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH, CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES: One of the things we did was, we looked at birth certificate records. This is a source of information that's very valuable on immigrants, because it's one place where all immigrants, at least when they have children, come into contact with state authority.

GUTIERREZ: The study alleges that birth to illegals now account for nearly one out of every 10 births in the United States, a number disputed by a Mexican-American advocacy group.

JOHN TRASVINA, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT FOR LAW AND POLICY, MEXICAN- AMERICAN LEGAL DEFENSE FUND: It's really an exaggeration, both the number and the extent of this notion of anchor babies.

GUTIERREZ: John Trasvina says the study is flawed, because birth certificates don't reflect the citizenship of the parents, just their place of birth.

TRASVINA: I don't how they could come up with that number, because hospitals don't take into account the citizenship status of pregnant mothers who come in to have children at hospitals. So, how they get their number is really unclear to me and unclear to a lot of other demographers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... foreign and domestic.

GUTIERREZ: Whatever the facts, the results have touched off a national debate about who has the right to be an American and what so- called anchor babies cost the rest of American society.

But both sides agree, the debate should not be focused on the issue of birthright citizenship, but on reforming immigration altogether, the same issue that has challenged this country for generations.

Thelma Gutierrez, CNN, Los Angeles.


ZAHN: The idea that you can cross the border just to have a baby, who will be a U.S. citizen, and then stay in this country legally has a lot of people outraged.

And joining me now to debate this, Angelica Salas of the Coalition For Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, and Representative Tom Tancredo, a Republican from Colorado who serves on the bipartisan House Immigration Reform Caucus.

Good to have both of you with us tonight. Welcome.



ZAHN: Congressman Tancredo, how big of a problem is it that illegal immigrants are having children in this country...


ZAHN: ... so that those babies will become U.S. citizens?

TANCREDO: It's huge problem.

And it's growing every single day. There are people coming across the border specifically for the reason of having a child in the United States, having it anchored as a citizen, later on, then, to be able to have that child bring in their family, under family reunification.

So many people are doing that, Paula, that there are neonatal wards in hospitals around the country, especially in -- in the southern part of the country, southern part of the United States, along the border, that have closed their -- their neonatal unit. They can't handle it.

Get this. Over 60 percent of the -- of the births to mothers in the Los Angeles hospital district are -- are to people who are illegal aliens, over 60 percent of the births. So, to suggest that this is not a problem is -- well, is whistling past the graveyard.

ZAHN: Ms. Salas, do you even concede tonight that this is a problem and that this is a burden for U.S. taxpayers?

SALAS: Well, what I do know is that immigrants are coming to this country to work, that they are producing tax -- tax-based -- taxes that actually pay for these hospitals, and that...


ZAHN: But are you denying that they're having children simply so those babies will become U.S. citizens?

SALAS: That is not the reason that they're coming to this country....


ZAHN: But it's happening, isn't it?

TANCREDO: Oh, Ms. Salas, Ms. Salas, that is...

SALAS: When -- when individuals work...

TANCREDO: You know that is not true.

SALAS: ... and when they live in this country, they will, obviously, have families in this country. And that their children are born in this country and that they're citizens, it's because they're here working. And that's the reason people come. They don't come here to have...


TANCREDO: Ms. Salas, do you know -- Ms. Salas, do you know that there are people who show up and then -- I'm not talking about individual incidents. I'm talking about by the hundreds over a period of time.

There are people who show up at the border, sometimes in an -- in an -- in an ambulance, sometimes just in a car, about ready to give birth, in order to get into this country and have that birth in the United States. Are you telling me they're working here and just by -- just happened to be here at the time that they're pregnant? Of course not.

You know, ma'am, that this is happening. You cannot suggest that this is not a huge problem.

SALAS: I think that any parent wants the very best for their children. And if it means that, across the border, they are going to have a better life because they are citizens, I think any parent will want the best for their child. However, I do not concede that this is the reason that people...

ZAHN: All right.

SALAS: ... are coming to this country.

ZAHN: Let me ask you this, Congressman Tancredo. We know that it would be...


ZAHN: ... all but impossible to...

TANCREDO: Well, we don't even have a starting point here.

ZAHN: ... to round up 11 million undocumented workers. And there are folks that say that, if you did that, the U.S. economy would come to a grinding halt.

TANCREDO: OK. Let me -- could I have one more word on this anchor baby issue, however, for just a second?

ZAHN: Sure.

TANCREDO: You know, Paula, the fact is that the -- we are one of the last countries in the world to continue to do this.

Several other countries used to, but threw it away a long time ago. Mexico is the only other country now that allows it. And, really, they don't have much of a problem with people going there to have their babies.

But the reality is that it is a huge problem. It's an economic problem. It's also, I think, a -- it's a real issue, in terms of what citizenship really means in the United States. Is it just coming across the line to have your kid and -- and, then, citizenship expands, or is it something more important?

In terms of your question about the 11 to 20 million people...

ZAHN: Quickly here.

TANCREDO: I'm sorry -- I know we have got to close up on this.

In -- in fact, all you have to do is go after the employer, stop them from allowing -- I mean, from being the magnet. Don't employ these people, because it's against the law to do so. They will go home. You don't have to round up 11 million people.

ZAHN: Ms. Salas, final question for you tonight.

If a foreign diplomat has a child here in the United States, that child does not become a U.S. citizen. So, why shouldn't the -- the child of an illegal immigrant mirror the status of his or her parent?

SALAS: Because American values basically promote citizen -- birthright citizenship, because we are a nation of immigrants.

There have been generations of immigrants that have come to this nation. And birthright citizenship allows us to become -- to continue to be integrated as a nation, so that people from all over the world can actually be united under their citizenship. We are different from any other country in the world, because there is no other country that -- whose -- whose real beginning, its founding, is based on immigrants coming to this nation.

ZAHN: All right.

SALAS: And these are...


ZAHN: We have to leave the debate here this evening.

Angelica Salas, Representative Tancredo, thank you for both of your perspectives.

SALAS: Thank you.

TANCREDO: Thank you very much.

ZAHN: And we move on now.

Most thieves will take just about anything that isn't nailed down. But the ones we will hear about in a minute went above and beyond anything we have ever heard about before.


TONY WALLNOFER, MAINTENANCE DIVISION CHIEF, BALTIMORE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: To be so brazen as to actually go on to the street, set up a work zone, wear hardhats, wear safety vests.


ZAHN: So, the question is, why would anybody steal streetlight poles, and not just one or two? We're talking about more than 100.

And, a little bit later on, if you were a judge, how would you sentence a woman who abandoned nearly three dozen kittens? Nine of them ended up dying. We are going to hear from a judge who got very creative.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ted Rowlands in Southern California.

Coming up, an amazing story of how this Webcam may have saved this woman's life. Her family, halfway around the world, noticed that she collapsed. They called for help. It is an amazing story. We will have it coming up.



ZAHN: Tonight, when you look out your window tonight, you might be seeing streetlights. This is what we see as we look out on Columbus Circle on a dreary night. We, frankly, could live without the steady downpour out there.

But, if you're living in Baltimore, this is not what you are going to see, where, right now, police are very hard at work trying to solve a mystery: Who's been stealing the light poles right off the city streets, sometimes even in broad daylight?

We sent our Jason Carroll to Baltimore to find out more.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The city of Baltimore is just a little bit darker these nights, thanks to what law enforcement suspects is a small band of criminals that has found a way to steal the light.

WALLNOFER: You wake up every Day and you...


WALLNOFER: It gets -- it keeps you out of the routine, that's for sure.

CARROLL (on camera): It is odd, isn't it?

WALLNOFER: It is unusual, I have to admit. It's -- it's unusual, that somebody would do this.

CARROLL (voice-over): What they're doing is stealing light poles, 130 of them in just eight weeks. It's cost the city more than $150,000 to replace them.

Tony Wallnofer says, in his 30 years at the city's Department of Transportation, he's never seen anything like it.

WALLNOFER: Certainly, they have some knowledge of electrical circuitry, all right? So, they know what to do when they're down here, so that they don't electrocute themselves.

CARROLL: Wallnofer says the poles have disappeared from secluded streets at night and from busy streets during the day. The thieves have dressed up like city workers to steal them.

WALLNOFER: To be so brazen as to actually go on to the street, set up a work zone, wear hardhats, wear safety vests.

CARROLL: The city says The pole thieves use a chop saw, like this, to cut them down. It takes less than a minute. But the saws are very loud, and the 30-foot poles are heavy, 250 pounds each.

Still, the thieves have managed not to get caught.

(on camera): A spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department said investigators are looking at several people. He also said investigators do not want the department talking about the case, because they don't want the publicity.

FRANKLIN: How can we lose 130 light poles?

CARROLL (voice-over): Local talk radio host Chip Franklin says police have been shamed into silence. The FBI just ranked Baltimore the second most dangerous big city in the nation, behind Detroit. Franklin says police can't talk about catching pole thieves when they're having so much trouble controlling more serious crimes, like robbery and murder.

FRANKLIN: And it would be embarrassing to have a press conference in the dark, you know, with...


FRANKLIN: Where's that light? It was just in here.

CARROLL: There's humor and speculation about who's doing it and why -- one caller voicing a common theory: Drug addicts may be the culprits.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was not too far from being a down-and-out drug addict. And anything that you could do to hustle a buck, you would do it.


CARROLL: HBO's police drama "The Wire," set in Baltimore, explored the problem of drug addicts stealing metal to cash in for drugs. Mark (ph) Decker, a Baltimore strap metal owner, says the concept isn't new.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're on poles right now. But 10 years ago, they were on to copper, you know, breaking into houses and taking all the copper pipes out of houses.

CARROLL: Decker says the aluminum poles are worth about $100 each as scrap. He hasn't seen any at his business. In fact, police say they haven't turned up at any local scrapyards. They suspect the thieves are cashing in outside the city.

Tony Wallnofer doesn't think the crime spree will last.

WALLNOFER: I think, like any criminal or thief, they come back to the well too often, and, you know, that's what gets them caught.

CARROLL: In the meantime, the police are waiting for a lead that will shed some light on the case.

Jason Carroll, CNN, Baltimore, Maryland.


ZAHN: So, tonight, city officials are trying to keep up with these efficient criminals by actually replacing the missing aluminum light poles as fast as they can. And, at the same time, scrap metal dealers are on high alert.

The Vatican's long-awaited instruction on gays in the priesthood came out today. Just what does it mean? And will it cool the anger or end the scandals within the Catholic Church? We will debate that.

And, a little bit later on, a high-tech rescue that wouldn't have been possible just a few years ago, and may send you out to the nearest computer store.


ZAHN: Now on to the controversy raging tonight over gays in the Catholic Church.

The Vatican today released its long-awaited policy on gays entering the priesthood. And while the new rules have gay Catholics outraged, those opposed to homosexual priests are claiming a victory. The policy represents the first major ruling from the Vatican under Pope Benedict -- inside its eight pages, rules on who can enter seminaries, the training grounds to be a priests.

Banned are men who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called gay culture. Allowed are men with -- quoting now -- "a transitory problem they have overcome for three years."

What the policy doesn't do is call for a crackdown on homosexuals who are already in the priesthood. But people on both sides say the message is crystal clear: The church doesn't want gay priests.

I'm joined now by men on both side those of debate, Jeff Stone, who comes to us from Dignity USA, an organization of gay and lesbian Catholics, and William Donahue, president of the Catholic League.

Welcome to both of you.


ZAHN: So, as a gay Catholic, what do you find most offensive about this new ruling?

STONE: I think the most offensive thing, Paula, is the language which talks about deep-seated tendencies.

A sexual orientation, by definition, is a deep-seated tendency. And, so, to say men that -- that men who are gay, who have a deep- seated tendency, who intend to be celibate, that they are not suitable for the priesthood, I think, is very insulting to the many gay priests that we already have who are faithfully serving the church.

ZAHN: Do you have a problem with that, what he's saying? These -- these are priests who pledge to lead celibate lives.


ZAHN: So, why should their own gender -- their own description of their sexuality affect that?

DONAHUE: In the particular passage, what Jeff is talking about, they also talk about practicing homosexuals and those who support the gay culture -- I would say the subculture, in other words, this.

If -- if priest is gay, and he's gay incidentally, and his master status is that of a priest, and he doesn't have any confusion there, there's room for him in the priesthood. I have met gay priests. They're wonderful priests. I have never been opposed -- in fact, I would be opposed to the Vatican if they had an absolute ban.

I like the idea of a little bit of wiggle room. But let's face this, Paula. We have not a pedophilia crisis in the Catholic Church. It's been a homosexual crisis. Look at the national review board, what they have said. Look at the John Jay report. Eighty-one percent of the victims are male. Most of them are postpubescent.

Now, most gay priests are not molesters. But most of the molesters have been gay. Something had to be done.

ZAHN: But you say this is absolutely the wrong way of going about it.



ZAHN: So, how -- how do you counter those numbers...

STONE: When you look at...

ZAHN: ... that Bill just threw out?

STONE: When you look at the -- at studies of -- of human sexuality, of -- of pedophilia, first of all, pedophilia and homosexuality are not related in any way, as any credible expert on human sexuality will say. These issues that Bill...

ZAHN: But you would argue that most pedophiles are gay, wouldn't you?

DONAHUE: No, no. I'm saying in the Catholic Church.

I think -- I -- yes, you cannot say that, because you're a homosexual, that you have a natural tendency to be a pedophile. That is absolutely insane. I'm simply saying this, that most of the molestation that took place amongst priests in the Catholic Church, they were hitting on adolescent boys. That is a homosexual problem, no matter how you cut it.

STONE: I would say that...

ZAHN: Do you concede that?

STONE: I would say that, if -- if a high school teacher, a man, has an affair with a -- a student of his, is that a heterosexual problem? That is a problem of behavior. And it is totally inappropriate. And we're as outraged by it as anybody is.

But somebody who is psychologically and sexually mature does not want to have sex with young people, with...

ZAHN: All right.

So, the question I want both of you to rest right now, as we close this off, is, will this new ruling stop the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church?

DONAHUE: I -- I think it -- the sex abuse scandal has already been cleaned up, because the message went out a long time ago, "Hey, fellows, the party is over."

The Catholic Church deserves the blame on this for what they did in the '60s and '70s and some of the books that were taught encouraging people to practice sexual expression in the most deviant lifestyle. And then the Catholic Church said, I wonder why we have this problem?

I think the message has been received. I also want this applied to straight priests. I don't want some straight priest out there hitting on some woman and saying it doesn't apply to me.

ZAHN: Will this really solve anything as far as you're concerned? Will it stop the abuse of either men or women?

STONE: It is not going to stop the sexual abuse crisis. That has to be done by the bishops, and they have not taken responsibility for it. We are still seeing the crisis unfolding in Los Angeles, in Philadelphia and other places.

ZAHN: Jeff Stone, William Donahue. Thank you for dropping by.

Stay with us and meet one of the most creative judges around. If you've ever done anything wrong, you better not end up in his courtroom.

Wait until you hear how he sentenced a woman who abandoned dozens of helpless kittens, nine of them ended up dying.

Later on, we'll give dog fans some equal time. Check him out. Do you have one that's uglier than this? Because there's an opening.


ZAHN: Some big news from the Supreme Court to share with you tonight. Creativity is constitutional. A convicted mail thief was ordered to stand in front of a post office for 100 hours wearing a sign that read, "I have stolen mail. This is my punishment."

He appealed that to the high court, calling it cruel and unusual punishment. Just this week, the justices turned him down.

Now, the judge we're all about to meet didn't hand out that particular sentence, but he could probably give creativity seminars for anyone who's interested.


ZAHN (voice over): We heard hear the slogan over and over again, you do the crime you do the time. But if Judge Cicconetti is on the bench, you may end up doing something rather more creative. Michelle Murray abandoned 35 kittens in local parks. Nine of them died.

JUDGE MICHAEL CICCONETTI, MUNICIPAL COURT JUDGE: How would you like be to dumped off in a metro park, late at night, spend the night, listen to the coyotes coming upon you, listening to the raccoons around you in the dark of night?

ZAHN: In addition to two weeks in jail, he sentenced her to spend a night in that very same park, and it snowed.

Cicconetti is a municipal court judge in Paynesville, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland. He's known for unusual sentences, like the time he ordered a man who called a police officer a pig to spend a couple of hours penned up with the real thing. Along with sign that read, this is not a police officer.

Another time a man who ran away from the police, was ordered to enter a five mile road race.

CICCONETTI: It's what I always -- I've always termed as being relevant justice, make it appropriate to the offense.

ZAHN: Cicconetti once ordered man who blasted his car stereo to sit in the woods, where it's quiet. A couple that vandalized a nativity display got to march through town with the donkey.

The judge says, back when he was an attorney, he learned that jail just doesn't faze some folks, but carefully thought out punishment does.

CICCONETTI: Oftentimes, it's not the punishment, it's the fear of punishment teaches people a lesson.

ZAHN: Remember the lady who abandoned the kittens? She wasn't really left to fend for herself. Judge Cicconetti made sure park rangers were checking up on her.

CICCONETTI: She will be protected. We'll ensure her safety. Nothing will happen. I can't allow that to happen.

ZAHN: As it turned out, the judge left her in the snowy woods less than four hours. She did the rest of her sentence as home detention and jail cell, where it was nice and warm.


(on camera): Judge Michael Cicconetti does something else that for many judges isn't just creative, it's down right daring, he does live interviews. Good to see you, judge. Thank you for joining us tonight.

CICCONETTI: Good evening, Paula.

ZAHN: How much heat have you taken over the years for sentences your critics would suggest are humiliating and overly harsh?

CICCONETTI: Surprisingly very little.

ZAHN: What do they say?

CICCONETTI: This last sentence some people say it was cruel and unusual to put her out in the woods. People didn't understand, we took all precaution, we had a backup plan, we strategy meetings with the park rangers. We didn't want anything to happen to her. It couldn't happen to her. As the forecast changed throughout that evening, we made adjustments and we had to bring her in early.

Had it been 50 degrees, she'd still be out there.

ZAHN: Is there any evidence this taught her a lesson in a way she wouldn't have gotten from sitting in jail exclusively?

CICCONETTI: Enough time hadn't passed to find out what effect it has done to her individually. In the past, these alternative creative sentences I've passed out, they work. We don't see the people come back. When you find a way of justice that works, you stick with it.

ZAHN: How do you decide what is a relative sentence? A relative justice?

CICCONETTI: As I've said before, the punishment must fit the crime. That's a basic legal maxim that we have to follow. It's so easy to sit on a bench and pound your gavel and say, okay, three days in jail, $100 fine, whatever the case may be, go on out of here.

That doesn't work. I've seen it over time. It does not work. If you let them feel maybe a little bit of embarrassment, a little bit of humiliation, along with a sentence. There's also probation to ensure they follow up, find out. I don't see these people come back; you don't see it.

ZAHN: Is there any real proof that it works any better than simply slamming them in jail?

CICCONETTI: If you can take my word for it, if you would check my records with the people that have come into our court, I'll guarantee you it works.

ZAHN: I think I've learned my lesson, I'm not messing with you, judge.

CICCONETTI: I don't think I have to worry about you, Paula.

ZAHN: I hope you don't. Judge Michael Cicconetti, thank you for talking to us tonight, judge. Appreciate it.

ZAHN: And there is some breaking news now, on a story we've been following more than a week. You'll remember this as soon as you see the pictures. I'm talking about those brazen attacks on two liquor stores in Oakland, California.

Apparently vandals, vigilantes as some are accused of being, getting rid of them because they simply don't want liquor sold in their neighborhoods.

Tonight, police have gotten a break and there have been some arrests. Let's turn to Rusty Dornin who has the very latest. She joins us by telephone. Who did they nab tonight, Rusty?

RUSTY DORNIN; CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, they said that they had identified at least six of the men you see on that surveillance tape. Now they have arrested two of them: One 23 years old, and another 73 years old. The 23 year old Yusuf Bey is a grandson of a man who splintered off from the Nation of Islam and started his own Muslim group. They're now saying both of those suspects were members of that group.

Now if you remember, the nation of Islam, people thought that they had been associated with it, because you saw these outfits, these fashions of the suit coats with the bow ties. But apparently these two men belonged to some kind of splinter group. Police are not giving a lot more details, but they say, expect more arrests.

ZAHN: But at the core of this issue is their frustration, whether warranted it or not, that too many of these liquor stores have moved into their neighborhoods, and they're highly profitable, aren't they, Rusty?

DORNIN: Yes, and I spoke to the sister, just moments ago, of one of the suspects that was arrested. She said, "look, I'm not going to comment, I don't believe my brother did this. I can understand and I do believe this is wrong."

So she supported, she said "I want our city supporting the idea that these liquor stores should not be in these neighborhoods." so the sister of one of the suspects didn't want to comment on his arrest, but she was saying that she understood how something like this could happen in these neighborhoods.

ZAHN: Well, it will be hard for anybody to ignore the power of that video tape. Rusty Dornin, thanks so much for bringing us that breaking news.

And in just a minute, I'm going to play one of the most unusual 9/11 calls you're ever going to hear. It involves a woman in California and members of her family, who were halfway around the world.


TAMMY JORDAL, WEB CAM RESCUE: Her other son lives in the Philippines, and they have a cam on. A live cam, and she's on the floor.


ZAHN: She was on the floor, thousands and thousands of miles from where her family was actually watching her. Coming up, how a tiny camera helped save her life.

And then a little bit later on, a story that only Jeanne Moos could do justice to. If you've got an uglier dog than this, your big chance may be just around the corner. Woof, woof.


ZAHN: Welcome back. "LARRY KING LIVE" is just ahead at the top of the hour. Larry is going to be joined by Hugh Hefner. Will any of his babes be joining the two of you tonight?

LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: They will, Paula. Are you jealous?

ZAHN: Not particularly, but every single man in the studio is.

KING: Anyway, Hugh Hefner will be with us, as will Holly and Bridget and Kendra. And we shall talk with all of them about Hugh's show, reality show. We'll talk about lots of other things, literary as well, including look at the latest issue of "Playboy."

ZAHN: I knew there had to be a picture hook in there, Larry.

KING: They're all here.

ZAHN: Just don't open it to the centerfold.

KING: I'm not a centerfold guy. You don't believe this, Paula. I am not a centerfold guy. I'm an interview guy and an article guy.

ZAHN: That's what everybody says. Yes, I believe that, Lar. Have fun with Hugh.

KING: Thank you, Paula.

ZAHN: And the rest of those lovely women. See you at the top of the hour.

So imagine that you're home alone when a medical emergency leaves you absolutely helpless. Still, help is on the way thanks to a family keeping tabs on you from all across the globe. It happened just two weeks ago to a woman who tonight, just thankful she has a vigilant son who invested in a very tiny piece of computer hardware. Ted Rowlands has their story.


KARIN JORDAL, DIABETIC: When I woke up, my living room was filled of all these with paramedics. And I wondered what was going on.

ROWLANDS: Karin Jordal says she'd be dead had it not been for this, a Web camera, on top of her home computer.

JORDAL: My son put it up for me.

ROWLANDS: Both her sons, Tore (ph) and Ole live thousands of miles away overseas. They use Web cameras to stay close to their mother and to save money on long distance bills. Luckily, Karin's camera was left on the afternoon she went into insulin shock.

JORDAL: When you're into an insulin shock, you can't even take the phone and call anybody. You can't.

ROWLANDS: She was out cold all alone in her remote California home, in need of immediate medical care. More than 7,000 miles away in the Philippines, her son Tore noticed his mother lying in a strange position on her couch.

TORE JORDAL, SON OF DIABETIC (on phone): It was terrifying. I knew she was sick and I knew we had to get an ambulance because I've seen her sick like that before and I'm diabetic, too.

ROWLANDS: Unable to call 9-11 from the Philippines, Tore called his brother Ole in Norway, whose wife eventually got through to the San Bernardino County sheriff's department.

DISPATCH: Has she been ill?

TAMMY JORDAL: Has she been ill?

OLE JORDAL: I don't know.

T. JORDAL: She's diabetic. Her other son lives in the Philippines and they have a cam on, a live cam, and she's on the floor.

DISPATCH: OK, what is her name?

T. JORDAL: Karin.

ROWLANDS: The call was a first for the operator.


SHERIFF'S DISPATCH: Hi. We have kind of a weird thing here. The lady that called was calling from Norway. They have a live cam to their mother-in-law's house, at this house here. She's a diabetic and she's on the floor.

ROWLANDS: Captain Doug Nelson and his crew were sent on the call. CPT. DOUG NELSON, SAN BERNARDINO FIRE DEPARTMENT: The most unusual medical aid call I've been on.

ROWLANDS: Tore, who was still watching from the Philippines, was sending computer messages to the rescue crew. Captain Nelson heard the messages coming in and then saw the camera.

NELSON: At that point, I sat down, or kneeled down at the computer, and continued to talk with the family in the Philippines, trying to get as much information from them as I could about their mom.

ROWLANDS: The text of the instant messages from the Philippines is still on Karin's computer, the desperate attempts from a son trying to contact his mother, to a heartfelt thank you to paramedics.

Karin spent three days in the hospital. Her blood sugar level was so low, doctors say if help hadn't arrived when it did, she would have most likely suffered serious brain damage. Now home and healthy, Karin is back on the computer, talking to her sons, saving money with the Web camera that she says saved her life. Ted Rowlands, CNN, Pinion Hills, California.


ZAHN: What an amazing story. The family says Karin had already been unconscious for two hours when her son saw her. He happened to check in, in just the nick of time. And as you heard just from the emergency crews, it's a miracle she survived that diabetic seizure.

I think you'll agree the subject of our next story was one of the most remarkable champions we've seen all year.


SUSIE LOCKHEED, DOG OWNER: He is a very cranky person, but he likes to say hello.


ZAHN: Well, he happened to be the world's ugliest dog. Oh, he's hard to look at, isn't he? Coming up, the end of his tale.


ZAHN: I don't think anyone could have expected the overwhelming outpouring of grief since the death of a canine known as the world's ugliest dog. The spectacularly unattractive animal passed away a little over week ago. According to his owner, millions of people have been visiting the dog's Web site to reminisce and pay their respects. Here is Jeannie Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There is there one less dog at Susie Lockheed's house. An empty dog bed and dog bowl and owner who feels empty. Crying one minute and laughing the next.

SUSIE LOCKHEED; SAM'S OWNER: Really, it's almost like a world leader passed away. I'm overwhelmed.

MOOS: If looks could kill Sam would have been a mass murderer. Named World's Ugliest Dog at California's Sonoma-Marin fair.

LOCKHEED: 2003, 2004, 2005.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was the world's ugliest dog. He died.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's not very nice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He won it three years in a row.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's say I didn't like the way you looked, would I say you're the ugliest woman in a world.

MOOS: Sam's ugliness won him fans worldwide. When he died, put to sleep, it was in his owner's arms.

LOCKHEED: From the moment of life to the moment of death, he had the exact same look in his eyes, because he always looked like death warmed over.

MOOS: There was nothing warmed over about Susie and Sam's relationship. She took him in from a shelter when he was nine and considered unadoptable. He slept in her bed and now she's been sleeping with his favorite toy.

LOCKHEED: There was some joking, going around on the Internet about having him taxidermied for the Smithsonian Institution. He's actually being cremated.

MOOS: Sam's oak box will join her five other cremated pets. In the wake of his death, Sam's Web site has gotten as many as six million hits in one day. Condolence cards and e-mails like this one slugged, "ugly is only skin deep," have poured in from all over the world.

LOCKHEED: Someone made this for Sam. This really chokes me up because -- oh, I miss my dog.

MOOS: At a fan Web site, Sam has been given angel wings.


MOOS: Sam was only 15. What finally got him, heart failure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He probably looked in a mirror.

MOOS: Susie thinks Sam's gift was to make people laugh. If she ever wants to hear Sam, all she has to do is dial her own phone.

LOCKHEED: Please leave your message at the sound of the growl. MOOS: Though Sam didn't make it through the holidays, you can catch him in his Santa's outfit, representing December, 2006, just be careful where you put the ugliest dog calendar. Don't want to ruin your dog's appetite. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


ZAHN: Sam, we miss that growl.

Time now to hear your thoughts on some of the stories we covered here tonight. After our story about thieves stealing light polls in Baltimore, we received quite a few e-mails like this one. "I don't think drug addicts would have the patience and competency to steal that many light polls, over 100 of them. I hope the police do not sleep on this and CIA and FBI are on the case. And wouldn't these structures be capable of being made into some type of terrorist weapon."

On a more serious note, everybody liked the judge who hands out creative sentences. Brad from Mississippi writes, "I enjoyed the story tonight about Judge Michael Cicconetti. I think creative judgment saves the taxpayers money from unnecessary jail time for petty crimes. Keep up the good work." For example, he sentenced a young woman accused of abandoning 35 cats, he actually made her sit in a park one night in the cold, and he thinks, although this happened a short while ago, that she ultimately will get the lesson down the road.

As always, we want you to know what you think, send us an e-mail to That wraps it up for all of us tonight. Thanks so much for being with us. We'll be back the same time, same place tomorrow night. "LARRY KING LIVE" starts right now with his very special guest, Hugh Heffner and some of his friends.


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