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White House Warned About Hurricane Katrina?; A Child Brings a Gun Into a Maryland Day Care Center; Survival at Sea; Man Survives Brush with Death in Pacific Ocean

Aired January 24, 2006 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Glad to have you all with us.
Tonight, a shocker that has many of us parents wondering if there is any safe haven for our kids.


ZAHN: Kids and guns -- the latest in a series of shootings in schools. And, this time, it has happened in a day care center.

LUCILLE BAUR, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, MONTGOMERY COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT: An 8-year-old boy brought a gun to his day care in a backpack -- 7-year-old girl who was accidentally shot.

ZAHN: And it doesn't seem to matter where you live.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a really -- a good neighborhood. And I have had no problems here. It's pretty -- it's a shock. It really is.

ZAHN: How safe is your child's school from the threat of deadly weapons?

Clinging to hope -- you have never seen a survivor story like this one -- desperate and adrift at sea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm under, barely getting to surface. I'm under.

ZAHN: Was it really a miracle that saved his life?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I literally said, God, why me? And I started bargaining with God.

ZAHN: His incredible true story.

And our "Eye Opener" -- dying to be thin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have always been overweight. I'm sick of it. I want to be thin.

ZAHN: You have heard about girls in the grip of this deadly obsession. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You get down to 80 pounds, you're going to drop dead at any time, and you don't realize that.

ZAHN: Tonight, cameras take you inside a world that has never been seen before.


ZAHN: And we begin tonight with a story that strikes fear in all of us who are parents who are close to children. If you have them, you probably sent them off to school this morning with a backpack stuffed with books, maybe a snack.

But, in a peaceful suburb of Washington, D.C., an 8-year-old boy carried a loaded .38-caliber handgun in his backpack. And, a little while later, he accidentally shot a 7-year-old classmate. Tonight, everyone's asking, how could this happen?

The story has been unfolding all day long in Germantown, Maryland.

And Deborah Feyerick is live with the very latest details.

Deborah, what do you got?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, that is the big question. How could this happen? All these parents dropped their kids off, thinking that this was a very safe place. Nobody expected that this little boy would do what he did.

But, unfortunately, at about 7:00 this morning, a shot rang out, and then everything changed.


FEYERICK (voice-over): The shooting happened at a suburban day care center north of Washington, D.C.

A 7-year-old girl who had been dropped off early to wait for the start of school was hit in the arm bay single bullet.

LUCILLE BAUR, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, MONTGOMERY COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT: An 8-year-old boy was in possession of a handgun, and a 7-year-old girl had been shot in the arm.

LORETTA FAVRET, PRINCIPAL, CHRISTA MCAULIFFE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: As the school staff, it didn't totally surprise us that a kid in this neighborhood -- that a home in this neighborhood might -- might have it.

FEYERICK (on camera): Would have access to a gun.

FAVRET: Yes. The fact that it was in the hands of a child, I think that is a little surprising.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Loretta Favret is principal at Christa McAuliffe Elementary School, next door to the day care center. The little girl who was shot attends the second grade there.

FAVRET: She's a very popular kid. It is not unusual to see her with a big group around her in the cafeteria or in the halls. She's very friendly and personable to kids and to adults.

FEYERICK: The little boy, who also waiting at the day care center, attends a different elementary school. At least one mom raced to check on her kids.

(on camera): What was that mother's reaction that her children were at the day care when the shooting took place? She must have been terrified?

FAVRET: Yes. And she just wanted to see her children.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Six children were at the For Kids We Care facility when the gun fired.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The children were calm. When I went in, they were watching a television program. The day care provider there did an excellent job of keeping the children safe and secure and calm.

FEYERICK: The state agency which monitors day care centers says the facility has no violations. And parents who had sent their kids there say, until now, it has always been a safe place.

KARON WILLIAMS, NEIGHBOR: My daughter actually used to go there. It is -- it was a really good day care. You know, it was no -- I have never had a problem over there.

FEYERICK: The boy, whose name is not being released, was questioned and taken into custody. His father was arrested. Police say he has a criminal record. Now they're trying to figure out why he had the gun and why it was so easy to fall into the hands of his son.


FEYERICK: Now, Paula, the little girl is in stable condition. She's expected to make a full recovery. As for the boy's father, he's been slapped with three charges, including illegally having a firearm, leaving it lying around, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

As for that 8-year-old boy, there's a possibility he, too, could face charges -- police considering that now. Now, we just received a statement from the little girl's father just moments ago. Let me read it to you from my BlackBerry.

It says: "She is doing well, and we're grateful that this tragic incident was not as serious as it could have been. She's in good condition and we hope to bring her home tomorrow" -- Paula.

ZAHN: Lucky little girl. Things could have been a whole lot worse.

Any other information investigators are sharing about the father of this young boy who has now been charged and anything else about this little boy?

FEYERICK: They are looking into the father's background. The little boy apparently has never done anything like this before. But, again, they're trying to piece everything together.

You know, when we spoke to the principal of the elementary school, she said what was so interesting is that the children really reacted very calmly. Several of them from the day care center actually went to the elementary school after this shooting took place.

They were very calm. The principal said it was really the parents who were very, very terrified, knowing just how tragic this could have been, given that this little girl was shot in the arm, the boy fiddling around with this gun. So, again, the children didn't understand the scope of this -- this potential tragedy, but that was avoided -- Paula.

ZAHN: Deborah Feyerick, thanks for the update.

Of course, it leaves us wondering how the heck the kid so easily got his hands on this weapon. And that causes all of us to ask the question right now, is this just an isolated incident? Or is there good reason to be worried about your own children's safety in school?


ZAHN (voice-over): Today, the day care center in Maryland, an 8- year-old boy with a gun.

WILLIAMS: I don't see how the parents didn't notice the kid taking the weapon out and how the day care didn't notice.

ZAHN: Yesterday, a high school in California, a 14-year-old boy with a gun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At least according to him, it was an accidental discharge.

ZAHN: The injuries in both shootings were minor, but the trend is alarming.

Check out these numbers. In the 25 years from 1974 to 1999, federal authorities studied only 37 shootings involving students that were deliberately staged on school ground. This doesn't include gang- or drug-related violence prevalent in some inner cities.

In 1999 came the moment forever seared in the nation's consciousness, Columbine, a suburban high school in Colorado, a tragedy that played out in front of all of our eyes. And that seemed to repeat itself at other schools around the country for the next five years.

The tragedy at Columbine brought with it a heightened awareness. According to the Department of Education, in one school year alone, from 2001 to 2002, 2,554 students were expelled for bringing firearms to school. Of those, 57 percent were high school students. Thirty percent were in junior high. And 13 percent were in elementary school. And these latest two shootings, in a span of two days, are reminders for parents who every day entrust their children to school systems around the country, school systems that can't tell when a student may arrive on any given morning with their backpack, their lunch box and maybe even a loaded gun.


ZAHN: So, the question tonight is, what can any of us do to lessen the risks to protect our children?

Let's ask Ann Pleshette Murphy. She's an authority on parenting, the author of "The Seven Stages Of Motherhood: Making the Most of Your Life as a Mum."

Always good to see you.


ZAHN: So, how big of a problem is this? We just heard what I think are some really scary statistics nationwide.

MURPHY: Well, I think the problem of guns being accessible to children is a huge problem. The problem of they're bringing them to a day care center, I think, happily, is still really a very, very rare occurrence. But I...

ZAHN: But we know that, what, 40 percent of all homes...

MURPHY: Yes...

ZAHN: ... have guns.

MURPHY: ... with children in the home...


MURPHY: ... have guns in the home.

And many of them -- I mean, most of them are not, you know, locked away, or they don't keep the bullets separately. And I think a lot of people also don't understand how enticing a gun is, particularly to a little boy. There have been lots of studies that look at how a little boy will act if you say, don't touch that gun, and you leave him alone. More than any other object you can put in front of a kid, they will go for that -- a boy will go for that gun.

So, we know that boys are at particular risk for wanting to play with guns and then doing harm to themselves or others. And, yet, we often don't supervise an 8-year-old boy. I mean, I let -- when my son was 8 years old, I -- you know, he didn't have a gun in the house, but I let him play alone much more in a way than I did my daughter, which is kind of ironic, because...

ZAHN: Well, I think we all fall prey to that. MURPHY: Yes. Right.

ZAHN: I mean, it's just the way society works.

But let's come back to what I think is -- is probably the most frightening thing you have just said, not only the fact that -- and, you know, obviously, people have the right to have guns in their homes.

MURPHY: Right.

ZAHN: But the -- the statistic you gave about many of those homes not having the ammunition separate from the gun and not having...

MURPHY: Right, and not having...

ZAHN: ... the weapons locked up at all.

MURPHY: Yes, exactly.

I mean, clearly, this boy, you know, brought this gun to school. He was not supervised. He somehow got ahold of this gun very easily. Ninety percent of school shootings, the guns that these kids used were obtained from parents or from relatives. They didn't say, mom, can I have your gun, or, dad, you know, can I borrow the rifle? But they were able to get them.

And I think that's something we really have to start looking at and saying, what can we do about this?

ZAHN: Yet another thing for all us parents to have to...


ZAHN: ... to worry about, unfortunately.

MURPHY: I -- I know.

ZAHN: Ann...

MURPHY: But it's really important.

ZAHN: ... thank you for your advice tonight.

MURPHY: Thank you.

ZAHN: Appreciate it.

Coming up next, the shocking report out tonight -- before Hurricane Katrina hit, was the White House warned that New Orleans could be destroyed? And what did the Bush administration do about that?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Sean Callebs. In the aftermath of Katrina, the legend of "Dead Patty" was born. Yes, she's still alive and kicking and stubborn as a mule. And you will want to hear her story.

That's when PAULA ZAHN NOW continues.


ZAHN: And a little bit later on, a story I think you're going to find absolutely astonishing. I know I did. You are going to meet a man who somehow managed to stay afloat and alive for more than five hours after he was tossed out of his boat in the Pacific with no life jacket, nothing to hang on to, but maybe a piece of driftwood or two.

We will be back with more.



BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Brooke Anderson, with an inside look at a strange and mysterious condition that is threatening millions of young American women.

I will have that coming up on PAULA ZAHN NOW.


ZAHN: And, tonight, I have got some eye-opening new information and some scathing criticism about the critical hours before Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans and about the response of the federal government to one of the worst natural disasters in American history.

Jeanne Meserve has the very latest on that.


JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The power and the destruction of Hurricane Katrina should not have been a surprise. The warnings came early.

July 24, 2004, a planning exercise called Hurricane Pam predicts that a Category 4 hurricane would top New Orleans' levees, destroy 600,000 buildings, and kill 60,000 people. A year later, August 27, 2005, Katrina is making a beeline for southeast Louisiana and is expected to hit in two days.

FEMA digs out the hurricane experiment for a PowerPoint presentation. According to newly released documents, it says Hurricane Pam's exercise projection is exceeded by Hurricane Katrina real-life impacts. In other words, Katrina is going to be worse.

August 28, with Katrina now a Category 5 storm, an analysis by the Department of Homeland Security predicts severe flooding and/or levee breaching, leaving the New Orleans metro area submerged for weeks or months. That, it says, is a conservative estimate.

August 29, less than five hours before Katrina makes landfall, a copy of that analysis is sent to the White House Situation Room. The White House has the prediction of how bad the storm will be before it hits.

Senator Joseph Lieberman is the ranking Democrat on a committee investigating the response to Katrina.

SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D), CONNECTICUT: Why was the president of the United States left so uninformed that he said three days later -- I quote -- "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees" -- end quote?

MESERVE: The administration says the president's comments have been misconstrued and refuses to say who saw the warnings or when they saw them.

SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I'm -- I'm not going to try to get into a play-by-play analysis of an ongoing look at the response efforts.

MESERVE: The administration says recognition of the storm's danger led the president to declare a state of emergency in Louisiana two-and-a-half days before Katrina hit and to a presidential appeal 24 hours before landfall that all residents should evacuate.

But Senator Lieberman says he wants more information about who knew what and when, and isn't getting it.

LIEBERMAN: The Department of Homeland Security has engaged in a strategy of slow-walking our investigation, in the hope that we would run out of time.


MESERVE: But DHS says it has provided 300,000 pages of documents and 60 witnesses and calls its cooperation unprecedented. The administration's own lessons-learned study is expected shortly -- Paula.

ZAHN: Jeanne, was there any discussion on where the government is tonight in its preparedness for another major hurricane?

MESERVE: Well, the Senate Homeland Security Committee was hearing from a panel of experts and officials this morning. And Senator Susan Collins of Maine asked that question: Are we prepared for hurricane season? The answer from every one of them was no. And the beginning of hurricane season is only 127 days away -- Paula.

ZAHN: A number that sends shudders down a lot of spines.

Jeanne Meserve, thanks so much.

Still ahead tonight, find out why this man owes his life to a helium balloon and a piece of driftwood -- an amazing story of survival on the open sea, though.

First, some of the other stories that we're working on at this hour from Headline News and Erica Hill.

Hi, Erica.


Late today, a stay of execution from the Supreme Court for Clarence Hill. The Florida death row inmate was scheduled to die at 6:00 p.m. for the 1982 killing of a police officer. Hill claims he is mentally retarded. And he is also challenging the drugs that would be used to execute him.

The court, though, could still lift that stay, allowing Florida to carry out the death sentence.

The man who will most likely be the next member of the nation's highest court, Judge Samuel Alito, won his first vote today from the Senate Judiciary Committee. President Bush's pick was approved along party lines, 10 Republicans supporting Alito, all eight Democrats opposing.

Next comes a vote by the full Senate. And that could happen as early as the end of the week.

Jill Carroll, the American journalist abducted in Iraq, is getting some unexpected support -- the militant Palestinian group Hamas calling now for Carroll's release. That's according to "The Christian Science Monitor," the newspaper Carroll worked for.

A top Hamas official says his organization has always been -- quote -- "totally against kidnapping civilians."

Millions -- and, meantime, millions of Americans who now use prescription inhalers such as Primatene Mist -- but an advisory panel today recommending that the Food and Drug Administration pan those epinephrine inhalers. The main complaint here, that the inhalers use propellants can that harm the ozone layer.

And at Christie's auction house, no sale for this rare drawing by Michelangelo. It is not that nobody wanted it. The bidding reached as high as $3.2 million. But it turns out the owner, an anonymous European,, had actually been guaranteed an even higher price -- so, holding out, apparently, for a little bit more cash, Paula.


ZAHN: And guess what, Erica? He or she will probably get it at the next auction.

HILL: I think you're right, but probably not from either one of us.


ZAHN: No. I don't think we will be bidding on that any time soon. Thanks, Erica. See you a little bit later on.

Just ahead, she may be the most stubborn woman you will ever meet. I will tell you why in just a moment.

But also ahead, say farewell to UPN and the WB and hello to CW, the new network coming to a TV near you.

But, before we get to all that, we're counting down to the 10 most popular stories on Today, number 10, Mario Lemieux -- Lemieux -- excuse me -- one of hockey's greatest players, retired Tuesday for the second time.

At number nine, "Survivor" winner Richard Hatch. His name is a little bit easier to say. He didn't pay taxes on the $1 million he won in 2000 because, he says, he thought the show's producers had paid them.

Stick around for the rest of the top 10.

We will be right back.



TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ted Rowlands, off the coast of Southern California. And this is Craig McCabe. He has an amazing story of survival at sea. He says he is alive today because of divine intervention. You decide yourself. We will have the whole story coming up -- as PAULA ZAHN NOW continues.


ZAHN: Well, right now, I want you to listen to this story. It is also about a survivor, but someone who may be one of the most stubborn people in the world. She has never married, has no kids, has always been on her own.

And now, almost six months after Hurricane Katrina wiped out her home, her farm, her town, she just won't quit.

Here's Sean Callebs, reporting tonight from Port Sulphur, Louisiana.


PATTY VOGT, PORT SULPHUR RESIDENT: The same tree I found my mama's diamond ring.

CALLEBS: By all rights, Patty Vogt shouldn't be alive to tell her story. And her cattle should be dead, too. But now there's a sneaking suspicion in Plaquemines Parish that Patty is too stubborn to die. And FEMA's finding out firsthand just how stubborn she can be.

VOGT: I had 12 inspectors come out, said my place is feasible, but they don't give FEMA trailers until electricity. CALLEBS: Hurricane Katrina destroyed her family farm, wiped out her home town of Port Sulphur, and brought out Patty Vogt's true colors. The rumor got around she was dead, drowned in the flood.

VOGT: Yes. Everybody was calling me "Dead Patty," because they said I was the first person they had picked up, positively identified me with the sheriff's department.

CALLEBS: The rumors lasted a lot longer than the storm.

VOGT: Put me in a body bag, and they found me floating face down. And, evidently, they must have got their wires a little crossed or mixed up.

CALLEBS: The truth is, Patty Vogt got out of the parish just as Katrina was coming ashore. And, days later, when she strolled into a shelter, all her friends and neighbors thought she was a ghost.

She was alive, all right, but the name stuck, "Dead Patty." Then she went out to her farm, her house flattened, the fields destroyed, and her cows were stuck in the middle of the flood.

VOGT: I always did love cattle, you know? They're just like human beings.

CALLEBS: After Katrina, the weather was hot, tempers were short. And the water, it was pretty much poisonous.

VOGT: This is pitiful.

CALLEBS: Her cattle, some 300 head, were trapped on the highest ground, the top of the levee. They were drinking the floodwater and dying. That's when "Dead Patty"'s stubbornness came in again. Over countless hours, every day, she rode out to feed and water her cattle.

She says she got no federal help or anything from the parish. Everyone thought the cattle were a lost cause, Not "Dead Patty." She got a neighbor to bring over a bulldozer and clear a path, so Patty could walk her animals off the levee.

VOGT: I got 54 head of cattle out. Five months later, I got 53 head of cattle.

CALLEBS: Here they are today, about three hours north of Plaquemines Parish. They will never make it back to her old farm. "Dead Patty"'s not sure she ever will, but she's trying.

VOGT: Fourth generation, and always made a living on this land. Between the cattle, the grocery store and the orange business, we always made a good living.

CALLEBS: The saltwater destroyed her orchard, killed all the trees, the home her grandfather built, a total loss.

VOGT: The water here was over 20 feet high. I got logs in the top of my house. CALLEBS: She guesses she lost more than $1 million in property. Only the house was insured. But "Dead Patty" still lives for a good fight. She's taking on FEMA and the parish. She wants that trailer.

VOGT: I mean, we're begging to get trailers, everybody, when people could come back. If you wait too long, people's not coming back.

CALLEBS: FEMA says, she doesn't qualify. Some of her neighbors think she will have to leave. But a woman who saved her cattle against all the odds, who came back from the dead, is probably stubborn enough to cut through the red tape and get a trailer from the government.

Sean Callebs, CNN, Port Sulphur, in Plaquemines Parish.


ZAHN: And I don't think too many people are betting against "Dead Patty" at this point.

And in case Patty's farm in Port Sulphur, though, doesn't make it, she and her brother are building a house about two hours north of her old place.

Coming up, a man survives more than five hours adrift in the Pacific Ocean, no life jacket, no help in sight. How did he do it? He will tell us his story.

And, a little bit later on, an intimate and eye-opening look inside the world of young girls getting help with a deadly obsession, the urge to be thin at all costs. That's ahead.

But, first, number eight on's most popular, the Web site has been sold to a group of anonymous buyers for about $12 million in cash and stock.

At number seven, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales goes to bat for the domestic spying program, amid protests at Georgetown Law School in Washington.

We will be right back.


ZAHN: Tonight we've got an absolutely amazing story for you about one man's astonishing brush with death in the cold Pacific Ocean. He was tossed out of a boat almost two weeks ago, and he says he owes his life to a helium balloon, a piece of driftwood, and a miracle.

He had no life jacket on. It's a story, I think, that captured a lot of attention in our news room when we heard about it. And just listen yourself to this remarkable survivor tell his story to Ted Rowlands.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Back on board his 65-foot yacht, Craig McCabe tells his incredible story of survival.

CRAIG MCCABE, SURVIVOR: The water was calm, but it was about a 10-foot swell.

ROWLANDS: Craig was alone on a foggy morning checking something on the side of his boat when a wave hit.

CRAIG MCCABE: I lost my traction. I did a perfect somersault, and my head hit this rail right here. Next thing I knew I was in the water.

ROWLANDS: Instead of circling, which boats usually do when nobody is steering, Craig watched his yacht speed away in a straight line. He was alone, in the cold Pacific Ocean, miles from shore, without a life jacket. But within an hour, Craig says he thought he'd been saved when he saw a fishing boat.

CRAIG MCCABE: I could hear the guys talking. Oh, I was just screaming, you know, screaming, help, help, help, I'm sinking, I'm drowning.

ROWLANDS: But the men on board apparently didn't hear Craig. And he says eventually they were gone.

CRAIG MCCABE: Now, I thought I was going to die for the first time.

ROWLANDS: Worried about death, Craig says he started to pray.

CRAIG MCCABE: Suddenly I spot this crazy, you know, kid's helium balloon. It's bright blue with stars. And it's kind of floating around on the surface.

ROWLANDS: With just enough strength left to grab the balloon, Craig says he stuffed it into his shirt.

CRAIG MCCABE: And I stick it in down here and it floats up right up under my chin.

ROWLANDS: He worked out a survival plan, swim to a buoy that he could see in the distance.

CRAIG MCCABE: That was my goal. That was my goal. With the sun out and the balloon I was very confident.

ROWLANDS: But the effort was wearing Craig down. He was exhausted. And over the next few hours, he fell asleep, until suddenly in a panic, he woke up.

CRAIG MCCABE: And I am drowning. I mean, I'm going under, barely getting to the surface, going under. Barely getting to the surface ... ROWLANDS: The balloon had deflated. And Craig once again thought this was it, until, after more prayers, a piece of wood floated by.

CRAIG MCCABE: Right off my left hand was a 2x2. I grabbed it, I put in it the jacket where the balloon had been, and I stopped drowning.

ROWLANDS: As Craig was trying to swim to the buoy, about 20 miles away his boat ran ashore on Catalina Island. It just missed a group of children and got the attention of the Coast Guard. An off duty Harbor Patrol Officer listening to the radio recognized the name of the boat and got word to Craig's brother Lance.

LANCE MCCABE, BROTHER: I got the message. I then called the Coast Guard and got confirmation that it was Craig's boat.

ROWLANDS: As the Coast Guard and Harbor Patrol started looking for Craig, Lance and a group of friends also went out. By now, Craig had been in the water for five hours.

L. MCCABE: As you're looking, you're just overwhelmed by what an impossible task this is, how small a head is and how vast the ocean is. It is just staggering.

CHRISTINE MCCABE, MOTHER: And after when we realized that Craig must have been in the water at least five hours, then I was beginning -- I was sure they'd find him, but I wasn't sure they'd find him alive.

ROWLANDS: Craig was alive. In fact, he finally made it to the buoy. But there was a problem. Sitting on the buoy, a group of sea lions, including a very large, angry male.

CRAIG MCCABE: Big male. Big teeth. There was a handle I might have been able to grab and hold at least for awhile, but I knew if I did he was going to bite my hand off. And I also realized if I went any closer to the buoy, he was going to come in and bite me.

ROWLANDS: Again, Craig says, he thought he was going to die. That's when he looked up and saw his brother.

L. MCCABE: That's a moment of joy, I'll tell you, when I realized it was actually him.

ROWLANDS: In less than an hour, in the middle of miles of open water, Lance and his friends had found Craig. They pulled him from the water and waited for help. Lance called his mother.

CHRISTINE MCCABE: He said, no, you're not going to believe it. We found him and he's alive. Just that time, you know, you've been holding back all the tears, but they all burst out at that time.

ROWLANDS: Craig's boat also survived, aside for some damage to the bottom. In fact, both Craig and his yacht were back in the water a week after the accident. Craig, an attorney, says what happened to him has change his life. He's convinced that God was trying to teach him a lesson, saying that every time he prayed for help, he got it. First the balloon, then the wood and then his brother.

CRAIG MCCABE: Let people decide. I'm just telling you what happened. And I'm telling it to you straight.

ROWLANDS: Ted Rowlands, CNN, Newport Beach, California.


ROWLANDS: And there's one more thing. McCabe says he's already started to write a book about his experience. No doubt, a lot of us will read it.

Coming up next, young girls literally dying to be thin. We're going to take you where you've never been before, inside a treatment program for young girls risking their lives just to be thin.

And a little bit later on, big changes coming to your TV -- a whole new network.

And then at the top of the hour, "LARRY KING LIVE" on the honeymooner who vanished from a cruise ship. Larry's guests include one of the forensic experts who examined the missing man's cabin just yesterday.

But right now, number six on our countdown of the ten most popular stories on, today, a story we told you about a little bit earlier on. Senators taking the White House on, taking them to task for not heeding a warning about the potential impact, catastrophic impact of Hurricane Katrina.

At number five, the airline passenger who allegedly bit another traveler on a jet at Ft. Lauderdale airport, and then jumped from the plane as it was about to take off. Be right back.


ZAHN: You're looking at a live picture tonight from Main Street in Park City, Utah. Looks fun. They're about halfway through the annual Sundance Film Festival there. And who hasn't seen or heard a story lately about a celebrity battling bulimia or trying to starve herself to be thin?

But what you're about to see next is far from the glamour of Hollywood. In fact, I'm pretty sure a lot of the pictures you are about to see will disturb you. They show young women in a desperate struggle with their minds and bodies, part of a new film that made a huge emotional impact at the Sundance Film Festival.

Watch now as Brooke Anderson takes you inside a special treatment center, where young girls come very close to killing themselves.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've always been overweight and I'm never going to be thin. I was always overweight.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She's dying to be thin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to be thin. I want to be thin.

ANDERSON: Brittany (ph) suffers from the eating disorder anorexia nervosa. So do Polly (ph), Alisa (ph) and Shelly (ph). The new documentary "Thin" provides an intimate and shocking look at these four women and their battles with body image.

LAUREN GREENFIELD, FILMMAKER: I want to learn what it's like to have an eating disorder, what the day-to-day reality. That's it's not the glamorous illness that we sometimes see in the magazines that celebrities have.

ANDERSON: Photographer-turned-filmmaker Lauren Greenfield gained unprecedented access into a Florida treatment center. For ten weeks, her cameras captured the gritty reality of the recovery process.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're going to drop dead at any time and you don't realize that.

ANDERSON: Intensely private family therapy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel so weak compared to her, so stupid compared to her.

ANDERSON: Emotional group sessions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I see so many thin girls and I'm not one of them and I can't take it anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's been so honest.

ANDERSON: Even heart-wrenching art therapy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you think looking at this now?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I see problem areas.

ANDERSON: All caught on tape.

GREENFIELD: I think societal pressures and media pressures about body image are a big reason that we're seeing such high numbers of girls with eating disorders now.

ANDERSON (on camera): Greenfield says this documentary grew from the pages of her acclaimed photo book "Girl Culture." For five years she tracked the relationship between women and their bodies and what she discovered is disturbing.

GREENFIELD: I think the body has become a very powerful vehicle for girls to use. One girl who was in my book "Girl Culture," Erin (ph), said that she didn't know how to use her voice so she used her body instead.

ANDERSON: The women in Greenfield's film are far from alone. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, as many as 10 million females and one million males are fighting a life and death battle with an eating disorder.

GREENFIELD: It's hard to witness girls with eating disorders because it is a slow suicide. Polly was saying today that she has the bones of a 65-year-old at 31 years old. Alisa has two children. And at one point in the film, she says all she cares about being thin and that was her whole goal and if it takes dying to get there, so be it.

ANDERSON: Ultimately, the women in Greenfield's film hope that sharing their pain will help others.

GREENFIELD: It's so difficult to have this illness. It's such misery at times. And they felt that if this film could help one parent or one -- one parent identify their daughter with an eating disorder, they wanted to do it if it could make a difference in someone else's life.

ANDERSON: As for Lauren Greenfield, if the film affects just one person or maybe saves one life, all the work, all the effort, will have been worth it.


ANDERSON: Greenfield also told me this was really a collaboration with the girls, that if at any point they felt embarrassed or uncomfortable and wanted the camera turned off, she would immediately do so. She said That was part of their agreement and how she ultimately gained their full trust. They knew that she didn't want them to be uncomfortable and that their recovery was paramount to any film.

"Thin" will air on HBO this fall. Lauren Greenfield is also working on a book of photographs to go along with this film. It, too, is titled "Thin" -- Paula.

ZAHN: Well, I certainly think it will wake a lot of people up. We certainly have heard the staggering numbers, 10 million of us fighting in this country. But when you see them being rehabilitated, it's really quite shocking.

Brooke Anderson, thank you.

Still ahead tonight, why WB and UPN add up to C.W. in the brave new television world.


ZAHN: "LARRY KING LIVE" gets under way about 14 minutes from now. We all have been following the story of that honeymoon cruise that went awry. Larry, you have a very important guest who's a key part of that investigation, don't you? LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: He sure is. Dr. Henry Lee, one of the world's foremost forensic scientists, was allowed to board that ship. And we'll discover what he discovered. We'll also meet representatives of the cruise line, representatives of both families involved, the groom and the bride, and we'll meet top legal and prosecutorial experts to discuss it all. "The Missing Groom," tonight at 9:00 Eastern Time immediately following the lovely Paula Zahn, who is wearing -- what is that? Is that rust?

ZAHN: So we got one part coordinated tonight, the tie and the turtleneck. We had this, like, black thing going. A very New York looking thing. We're on to the next color scheme here.

KING: What are you doing tomorrow?

ZAHN: Should we go for lavender?

KING: Got it!

ZAHN: Lavender it will be.

KING: Write it down.

ZAHN: Larry, have a good show. I got to tell you, so many people were freaked out about what happened on the boat, particularly folks that want to go on cruises. So it will be interesting to see what you dig up tonight. We'll be watching.

KING: Thanks, Paula.

ZAHN: Bye, Larry. Coming up next, couch potatoes listen up. You'll soon have a brand new network to add to your channel surfing routine. Stay with us.

But first, number four on our most popular countdown, popular stories of the day.

Canadian voters have picked conservative Stephen Harper to be their next prime minister.

Number three, parts of New England are digging out after a winter storm that dumped heavy snow across the region. Stick around. We're going to have more of the rest of top ten, coming up.


ZANHn: For those of you who watch the show, we always send Jeanne Moos where no other reporter has ever set foot. She set out to answer this critical question today. Is there any room left in the 500-channel universe for yet another TV network? From A to Z, here's exactly what she found.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Our TV diet consists of alphabet soup. CBS, MSNBC, ESPN. We don't just span the alphabet we C-span it. Now, just what we need, a new network.

LES MOONVES, PRES., CBS TELEVISION: It will be called the CW network.

MOOS: C for CBS combined with W for Warner Brothers.

MOONVES: We couldn't call it the WC for obviously reasons.

MOOS: You can bet water closet wouldn't hold water with the marketing department. The new network means the demise of two old one. The WB and UPN, not that anyone knows what UPN means.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Urban Programming Network?


MOOS: Actually it's United Paramount Network, or was. But even the simplest initials.

(on camera): How about CBS?


(voice-over): Are meaningless to many.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Central Broadcasting System.

MOOS: If they don't know the Columbia Broadcasting System how do they know MSNBC?



MOOS: The name that everyone did know was B.E.T. Even white people knew it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Black entertainment.

MOOS: Black Entertainment Television. But the meaning of ESPN was a mystery.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know what the hell that means.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I watch it because my husband has clickitis. You can translate for me.

MOOS (on camera): That would be Entertainment and Sports Programming Network. Who remembers that CNBC once meant Consumer News Business Channel or VH-1 is Video Hits One and now there aren't just initials for networks, there are initials for shows. CSI on CBS.

MOOS: CSI, crime --



(voice-over): From CSI to QVC.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Queer vacationing in Cancun.

MOOS: Forgive him. He has no TV.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know that, that one's a shopping station. Okay, who is q?

MOOS (on camera): Quality. Value. Convenience. Also quickly vanishing cash.

(voice -over): How could anyone get this wrong?

(on camera): I work for this one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, the Clinton news network.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Central news? I don't know.

MOOS: In the early days of CNN people always thought I was from the Christian news network. A

(voice-over): Or even chicken noodle news. At least Cable News Network is easier than ESPN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Extra special pornography network.

MOOS: With all the initial confusion, no wonder MSNBC is said to be thinking of letting the MS get swallowed up. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


ZAHN: Just a thought, no one would ever name a serious network after some kind of animal, would they? Of course not.

At the top of the hour, Larry King takes on the mystery of the missing groom who vanished from a cruise ship. But right now here is number two on the countdown of the top stories on today.

In Carlsbad, California, four people on board a private jet were killed when the plane overshot a runway and crashed into a building.

We'll have number one for you in just a short bit. You're not going to believe what it is. It certainly captured your attention today.


We're about to show you some absolutely incredible surveillance tape that will give you a very good idea what it is like to be in a bus crash. The passengers in this city bus in Miami were rocked yesterday when a dump truck hit the bus head on. Twenty-two people were hurt, including the bus driver, who had to be airlifted to a hospital with leg injuries. It's tough to watch. The truck drive her a minor head injury and was also sent to a hospital.

Police say the crash happened when the truck driver tried to turn left in front of the bus but didn't make it in time. Witnesses say it sounded like an explosion. The dump truck driver may eventually face charges.

Now, it's time to get your take on some of the story we put on the air. We heard from a lot of you about a report on the chronic school nurse shortage around the country and about the woman whose son died after he had an asthma attack at his school while the nurse was at another school. Here's what you had to say.

CALLER: Hi, Paula. My name is Sharon. I have a five-year-old son who has been diabetic since he was three. So I can totally relate to what these parents are going through. And after watching your show, I have the idea of moving ahead and pushing toward new legislation.

There are so many children who have specialized needs and they should not be uncared for. And I feel so bad for the woman whose son died. It was just a tragedy. And I fear, too, that other children will die before new legislation is passed. Thank you so much for airing this important story.

ZAHN: And thank you for your nice compliments about the very thorough piece that Elizabeth Cohen did for us last night.

You also happened to weigh in on our story by the former stripper and adult film star who has formed a missionary group called Jesus Christ's Girls, which tries to get other sex workers out of the industry. And here's what you had to say.

"I'm watching your report on JC's girls. It was an incredible story. And they are doing a remarkable thing. It's funny to see people tear them down for their attempts to reach those who few people truly attempt to reach out to. Good reporting."

Again, thank you. We always want to know what you have to say about the stories we're covering here on the show. Please leave us a voice mail. 1-877-PAULANOW. You can email us as well as Always appreciate your feedback and we'll try to share as much of it with you in the days that come before us.

Before we go, number one on our countdown of's top stories today, our lead story, the seven-year-old girl shot at a day care center when a gun that was brought by an eight-year-old boy accidentally went off. His father is under arrest tonight.

We'll continue to follow that story for you. Thanks for joining us, appreciate your being with us. We'll be back same time, same place tomorrow night. Good night.


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