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Political Battle Escalates Over America's Port Security; California Death Row Inmate Rescheduled For Execution

Aired February 21, 2006 - 20:00   ET


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everybody. And thanks for joining us tonight. Paula has the night off.
Tonight, the escalating political battle over America's port security.


COLLINS (voice-over): On the CNN "Security Watch" -- the rising tide of anger against Arab control of American ports.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The potential threat to our country is not imagined. It is real.

COLLINS: And a president determined to break blockades.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The transaction should go forward, in my judgment.

COLLINS: Plus, "Beyond the Headlines" -- just how safe are the country's harbors?

Tonight's "Eye Opener" -- pillow talk. Wait until you see what we found on these pillows.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It could be a trigger to set off an asthma attack.

COLLINS: What's in your bed? And should you lose any sleep over it?

And "Mysteries of the Mind" -- stuff, tons and tons of it. You will be amazed at how much one person can hoard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People have thrown my things away before. And I have actually gone back to the trash to get it.

COLLINS: Why can't some people bear to throw anything away?


COLLINS: We begin tonight on the "Security Watch" and the coast- to-coast outrage over the deal that would let a Middle Eastern company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates run six of America's major seaports. Tonight, the deal is nine days away from becoming reality. And we're in for a showdown, too. Republican and Democrats in Congress are joining forces to block it.

But, today, President Bush said he would veto any bill that would kill the deal.

Here's White House correspondent Dana Bash.


DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Flying home on Air Force One, a defiant president summoned reporters, threatened his first veto ever, then stopped for the cameras outside the White House to hammer his point home.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If there was any question as to whether or not this country would be less safe as a result of the transaction, it wouldn't go forward.

BASH: It is hard to overstate the drama. The president is now under attack by leaders of his party on his defining issue, homeland security, because of outrage over the administration's approval of a deal to give an Arab company management of six major U.S. ports -- that on top of mounting criticism from leaders in all the home states of those ports, like GOP Governors George Pataki of New York and Robert Ehrlich of Maryland.

GOV. ROBERT EHRLICH (R), MARYLAND: It takes a little added extra diligence, a little extra analysis, a little extra communication from the feds during wartime. In this case, in my view, that was lacking -- nothing more.

BASH: A top aide says, Mr. Bush was not aware of the deal until lawmakers publicly complained. It was approved after a 30-day secret review process by a 12-agency committee, which includes representatives from the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, State and Treasury.

In the face of what amounted to a GOP revolt that took the White House by surprise, a senior official said Mr. Bush was assured by his staff it was handled properly, and decided to personally return fire.

He said fear about U.S. security is misplaced.

BUSH: The company will not manage port security. The security of our ports will be -- continue to be managed by the Coast Guard and the Customs.

BASH: And Mr. Bush took on a major White House concern. Because the ports are already run by an overseas firm, a British company, objecting now to a deal with a company owned by the United Arab Emirates could be labeled discriminatory and risk alienating much- needed friends in the Arab world.

BUSH: This is a company that has played by the rules, that has been cooperative with the United States, from a country that's an ally on the war on terror. And it would send a terrible signal to friends and allies, not to let this transaction go through.


BASH: Now, a top official at the Department of Homeland Security did say, this was the first time that a government-owned company actually is going to take control of a U.S. port.

But he also said that is why there was greater scrutiny to this in their process that was secret, and they brought in intelligence agencies early on to make sure that this was going to be a safe deal. Expect a lot more of that maybe coming forward, in what had been secret deliberations, to try to calm the chorus of criticism now, Heidi, coming from Capitol Hill, and, really, all over the country.


And, on that note, Dana, is the White House surprised at all by the backlash from the Republican Party, specifically?

BASH: You know, I would have to say they are.

They -- as -- as the -- the -- the criticism was mounting yesterday, they -- they -- they started to sort of get their ducks in a row and explain why they thought that this was a good decision, because, as I mentioned, the president wasn't involved in this. The process really doesn't call for him to be involved, unless he's asked to stop the deal. Obviously, that didn't happen here.

But they did get a little bit of a heads-up from the Senate majority leader. They also got one from the House speaker. But the way this went down, so fast, definitely surprised them. And they really had to react quickly. It was on that plane, on his way home from Colorado today, Heidi that the president and his top -- his top aides decided, really, the only way to deal with this, if we're going to stick by our decision, is to have the president himself come out and fire back.

COLLINS: Dana Bash from the White House tonight -- Dana, thank you.

Now let's go to congressional correspondent Ed Henry. He has been tracking the growing chorus of condemnation over this deal as well.


ED HENRY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A stunning broadside from two of the president's strongest Republican allies, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House speaker Dennis Hastert, both demanding the White House stop the port deal.

They raise sharp concerns about national security, with the speaker firing off a letter to the president, declaring, he wants an immediate moratorium on the deal and a more extensive review. If not, Frist warned, Republican leaders are prepared to defy the president and pass legislation blocking the transaction.

The chorus of criticism increased from Republicans across the country. In New York, the Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Peter King, joined forces with Democrat Chuck Schumer, revealing, they have emergency legislation to stop the port deal.

REP. PETE KING (R-NY), HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: My office today has received more phone calls on this than any issue in the 14 years that I have been in the United States Congress. And every one of them is in support of what Senator Schumer and I are doing.

HENRY: In Florida, Republican Mark Foley was joined by New York Republican Vito Fossella at the Port of Miami to denounce the deal.

REP. VITO FOSSELLA (R), NEW YORK: I say we should put the breaks on.

HENRY: Also in Florida, Republicans Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Clay Shaw split with the White House.

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN (R), FLORIDA: So, we have from now to Tuesday, March 2, to ask a lot of questions, demand some answers, and shed some light about this -- these transactions.

HENRY: On the West Coast, California Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman joined Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins to introduce a joint resolution expressing disapproval.

REP. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: The more I learn, the more questions and concerns that I have. I'm troubled by the national security implications of allowing the transaction to proceed.


HENRY: Now, the president has threatened a veto to block any legislation that would stop this deal, but Democrat Chuck Schumer declared, the legislation will rush through Congress next, in his words, like a hot knife through butter, meaning there may be overwhelming bipartisan majorities to override the president's veto -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Ed Henry from Capitol Hill tonight -- Ed, thank you.

And we do have a statement tonight from the chief operating officer of Dubai Ports World. He says his company has followed U.S. law, and -- quote -- "We will work"-- "We will continue to work," that is, "with the U.S. government in maintaining the highest standards of security at U.S. ports, and will fully cooperate in putting into place whatever is necessary to protect the terminals."

It's still an open question, of course, whether this deal is really risky for American security. But here's one thing that may surprise you. Foreign companies already run much of America's cargo operations.

Homeland Security correspondent Jeanne Meserve takes us "Beyond the Headlines."


JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Though ports are the major arteries of the American economy, the vast majority of their facilities are already operated by foreigners.

In Los Angeles, for instance, the nation's busiest port, all seven container terminals are leased to companies from China, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore and Denmark. But most experts don't lose sleep over that.

STEWART VERDERY, ADJUNCT FELLOW, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES HOMELAND SECURITY PROGRAM: Remember, no matter who owns the port, whether it's a foreign government, a foreign company, a U.S. company, or U.S. government, it is Customs and Border Protection, federal agents, who do the inspections. It's the Coast Guard, federal agents, who do the patrolling of the -- of the -- of the waterways. It's the FBI and the rest of our apparatus that does criminal and terrorist investigations.

MESERVE: More worrisome to security experts are the nine million cargo containers that arrive in U.S. ports every year. Eighty percent of cargo is screened in foreign ports before shipment to the U.S., but the quality of the screening is inconsistent.

The cargo manifests of all ships are analyzed at the National Targeting Center to determine which containers should be opened or X- rayed, typically around 6 or 7 percent.

But nobody, including the former commandant of the Coast Guard, thinks the system is failsafe.

ADMIRAL JAMES LOY (RET.), U.S. COAST GUARD: I certainly cannot sit here and assure you that all the information we think we need to lock up the notion of security of our ports is now being flowing -- is now flowing day after day after day into the National Targeting Center for its use. So, that -- that is work still to be finished.

MESERVE: Technology that could detect cargo tampering is still in the development phase, as is an electronic card system to verify the identities of the thousands of people who work at ports or drive through them.

VERDERY: There has been a lot of in-fighting about whether these should be centrally produced or locally produced. Should they have biometrics, these kind of things? And it seems it has fallen off the radar screen.

MESERVE: And though the Coast Guard has seen increases in its budget, few experts think it has what it needs to track threats and respond to them over, on, or under the water. LOY: I will never be a commandant, ex or otherwise, that sits and tells you that -- that that terrific service has everything that it needs. It does not.

MESERVE: But some think the current fury could refocus attention and resources on security questions above and beyond who owns the real estate.

Jeanne Meserve, CNN, Washington.



COLLINS: Joining me now to talk a little bit more about this tonight is Lou Dobbs.

Lou, I -- you have been following this story really closely on your program. In fact, you have said that this is, just plain, a failure at every level, a failure of leadership. What -- what has you so outraged?

LOU DOBBS, HOST, "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT": Well, the -- the first thing that has us outraged, obviously, is, this a complete breakdown in national security.

The -- a great deal is being made of the politics of this. But, if this administration thinks this is the way in which to govern this country, we're in deep, deep trouble. On any level you wish to look at this, this is the wrong decision for the United States of America. It is the wrong decision, in terms of the national interests, national security, and the American people.

And it doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican. This is as wrongheaded as it gets.

COLLINS: Yes. We have heard a lot from both sides of the fence. That's for sure.

But Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff said that the necessary safeguards for checking all of this out, the entire process, has been gone through...

DOBBS: Oh, please.

COLLINS: ... and that it is safe.

DOBBS: Please.

To hear Michael Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, who presided over the Katrina response disaster, who had the temerity to suggest that, as he put it, urgent concerns about the war on terrorism should be balanced with robust globalization, to hear this from a secretary of homeland security?

Heidi, this is just the -- it -- it's an absurdity. And don't tell me, trust me, if you're in this administration, talking about national security. You show me, and you show the American people.

COLLINS: What about the other foreign firms, a -- a British one that has been in charge of -- of our ports. I mean, is this really about the fact that it's an Arab-owned company?

DOBBS: It is not about the fact that it is simply an Arab-owned company.

But Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation, the British-owned company, is a public company. It is a company not associated with the British government. The Dubai Ports World is owned by the United Arab Emirates. It is an arm of a government, a foreign government, an Arab government, a government over a -- the United Arab Emirates that had two of the hijackers of September 11 originate from their soil.

They also have been implicated in the transfer of nuclear technology and parts in the Middle East. This is a remarkable statement.

COLLINS: All right. So, we also heard from President Bush today.

He said, this deal is going to go through, and he's going to veto anything to cancel it. So, is it a done deal?

DOBBS: It is a done deal, as far as the president is concerned, but not according to the -- the -- what has been a rubber-stamp Congress for this administration.

So, this is -- for the first time, we are seeing a divide between the Republican leadership of Congress and a president who is adamant to move forward, despite the fact that the leaders of both parties say it is a bad idea.

COLLINS: Lou Dobbs, nice to have you on the program.

DOBBS: Good to be with you, Heidi.

COLLINS: Thank you.


COLLINS: And a reminder -- you can see "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT" weekdays at 6:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

The debate over port security is focusing -- focusing a lot of attention on the United Arab Emirates. But be honest now. Do you even know where it is? And is it a good friend to the U.S.?

Plus, last night, in California, some doctors actually stopped an execution on ethical grounds. Why was a convicted killer allow to live? And will he die tonight?

And do you have trouble throwing anything away? Why do some people hoard everything?

First, more than 18 million of you went to our Web site today.

Our countdown of the top 10 most popular stories on begins with growing concerns about teens using Police in one Connecticut town are investigating reports that some girls may have been assaulted by men they met on the site.

At number nine, Iran and Russia hold talks to try to end a diplomatic standoff over Iran's nuclear program. The U.S. and Europe suspect that program really has a military purpose.

Eight and seven on our countdown right after this.


COLLINS: Could you live with this kind of mess? There are hundreds of thousands of people who just can't throw anything away. What's wrong with them? We will talk about that.

But, first, before all the controversy over the deal that would allow a company in the United Arab Emirates to manage six U.S. ports, had you even heard of the United Arab Emirates? It is right in the middle of one of the world's most volatile regions.

And, like a lot of countries in that area, the Emirates straddle a fine line between Islamic fundamentalism and modern development, as you will see, as we go "Beyond the Headlines."


COLLINS (voice-over): What do we know about the United Arab Emirates? To start, it's a tiny country on the Arabian Peninsula, slightly smaller than the state of Maine. The country is a monarchy. The majority of the UAE's citizens, as well as its rulers, are Sunni Muslims. Yet, it's considered one of the most liberal counties in the Arab world.

CAROLINE FARAJ, EDITOR, CNNARABIC.COM: The United Arab Emirates, it is -- it is more of a cosmopolitan society. You can't even believe, sometimes, that you are living in -- in an Arab Muslim country. It is -- it is more of a European style, European -- European life, and everything -- everything is there, and everything is safe.

COLLINS: Fishing and the pearling industry were once the mainstays of the UAE economy, but not anymore. When oil was discovered in the 1950s, the country's society and economy were transformed.

CLARK KENT ERVIN, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: As the oil revenues flowed in, especially in the '60s and '70s, it absolutely transformed this region. And now the UAE has one of the most dynamic economies in the world.

COLLINS: The influx of money can be seen all around. Billions of dollars have been pumped into chic hotels and skyscrapers. With a booming oil industry, as well as banking and tourism, a large influx of foreign workers now live in the UAE. In fact, three- quarters of the population is made up of foreigners.

FARAJ: More than 50 percent of the population are from India. The -- second comes the Iranians, and then Pakistanis.

COLLINS: But while the UAE has turned into a land of opportunity for business, some fear, it is also a land of opportunity for terrorism.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A lot of money passes through there. So, the -- the terrorists, if you will, can hide in the open. They can -- if they're dressed normally, look normal, they can use the -- the airports, the transit -- transit through Dubai, and go relatively unnoticed, because there are so many people passing through -- and the same with the money.

They can move money through Dubai, if they can get away with it, because there is so much money passing through that country. That may make just tracking small amounts, that may make it very, very difficult.

COLLINS: Two of the 9/11 hijackers were from the UAE. And, according to the 9/11 Commission, the UAE served as a hub of financial activity to fund the entire plot.

What's more, U.S. officials have said, the UAE was an important transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components sent to Iran, North Korea, and Libya by a Pakistani scientist.

Even so, the Bush administration says, the UAE is a key ally in the war on terror -- case in point, when they arrested and handed over Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the mastermind of the attack on the USS Cole.

But some say, that's not enough.

ERVIN: It is one thing to say that the government, the ruling family, of UAE is close to the United States, and an ally of ours. That's true. But, of course, the government is not in control of every single element in the country.

It takes only one collaborator. If there's only one person who is involved in this company that would take over operations at the port who is hostile to the interests of the United States, it only takes one person in order to perpetrate, be implicated in a catastrophe.


COLLINS: Our next guest says bigotry and misinformation are behind the pressure to kill the port deal.

So, joining me now is Hussein Ibish. He's the executive director of the Foundation for Arab-American Leadership.

Thanks for being...


COLLINS: ... us tonight.

IBISH: Sure.

COLLINS: I want to start with this. Can you understand the backlash against the ports deal? We just heard in the report about two of the 9/11 hijackers...


COLLINS: ... being from the UAE...

IBISH: Sure.

COLLINS: ... and that the country was used as a financial hub during the planning of that horrific attack.

IBISH: Of course.

I can understand the concerns of ordinary people, when, especially the way this has been presented to them by some demagogic politicians, in fact, a whole parade of them now today, and by many people in the media, who are saying this is a potential security threat.

It's not, because the U.S. government controls the security operations in all U.S. ports, whether they're owned by and operated by American companies, British companies, Chinese companies, Taiwanese companies, or now this company, a giant multinational, whose ultimate owners will now no -- no longer be in London, but be in Dubai.

It is not going to be anyone other than the U.S. government in charge of security.


IBISH: So, this is not a security issue.

COLLINS: Forgive the interruption, but it sounds to me like you're saying that, if 9/11 didn't happen, you think that this would be a completely different reaction?

IBISH: Yes. Oh, absolutely.

What we have seen is the development of a climate of fear and hostility to do with the Arab world generally. And what Americans have been told is, an Arab country is going to take over the security at six major ports.

COLLINS: No, I don't think...

(CROSSTALK) IBISH: That's not true at all.

COLLINS: At least not on our air, sir.


IBISH: I think they have.

COLLINS: I think that we have been very, very clear...

IBISH: Oh, I...


COLLINS: ... about the fact that...


IBISH: I don't think so.

COLLINS: ... they will still go through the same security.

IBISH: I think there has been a lot of confused -- certainly, there have been a -- a parade of politicians who have come forward to say that this is a security issue and to imply that there's going to be some kind of control over security here.

I think, furthermore, that what people are -- don't know is the extent to which the UAE is important to the United States, and has been singled out repeatedly by the Bush administration for praise to do with the war on terror, and that the fact that this is a company owned by the government of the UAE suggests even more reason to be sort of confident about this operation, rather than a private corporation.

This is a country that is also very important to us, in terms of oil pricing, keeping people's heating costs and gas prices down, and -- and is a major military and intelligence ally of the United States.

And, if we treat our friends in Middle East like this, and -- and sort of backhand our -- one of our very closest allies...

COLLINS: But, sir...

IBISH: ... we are going to end up with very few friends left, I think.

COLLINS: Quickly, before we let you go...


COLLINS: ... isn't it fair to say that we really shouldn't be turning over strategic assets, when we cannot guarantee the stability of a country that is in the Middle East?

IBISH: Well, this is a multinational corporation, first of all. So, it -- it operates on a global level. I think we have can have a reasonable debate about whether ports -- U.S. ports should be operated by any foreign companies, and whether U.S. ports should even be operated by private companies at all. And maybe they all should be operated by the government.

But I think to say to our closest Arab friends, you're a second- or third-class global citizen, the British can own things, the Dutch can own things, you can't own them, you are all suspect, no matter how close you are to us, is -- is really an awful message.


IBISH: And, you know, at a time when we're trying to build our image in -- in the Arab world, this, I think, could be worse than almost anything, other than the invasion of Iraq.

COLLINS: Keeping in...

IBISH: Certainly, this can be worse than Abu Ghraib...

COLLINS: Well...

IBISH: ... I believe.

COLLINS: ... keeping in mind, the British company was a publicly traded company.

And, sir...

IBISH: Yes. And that is -- it is better that this is a government-owned company.

COLLINS: ... thank you.


COLLINS: Thank you very much for your time.

IBISH: Thank you.

COLLINS: We appreciate it, Hussein Ibish.

IBISH: What a pleasure. Thank you.

COLLINS: Thank you again.

Right now, number eight on our countdown. In Iraq, a car bomb killed 20 people at a marketplace in the Southern Baghdad suburb of Dora. At least 25 people were wounded.

And, at seven, Mexican rescuers are still working to reach 65 miners trapped in deep coal shafts for more than two days.

Stay with us -- numbers six and five just ahead. During the night in California, a couple of doctors refused to take part in an execution. Why did they do it? And will the condemned man die tonight?


COLLINS: You are looking at a live shot there at the California state prison, San Quentin, California, where, two hours from now, a convicted murderer and rapist is scheduled to die in the death chamber there, less than one day after a bizarre temporary reprieve.

Michael Morales was supposed to die early this morning, but the execution was delayed when two anesthesiologists refused to take part. It is a strange story "Outside the Law."

And Peter Viles is joining me now live from San Quentin with more -- Peter.

PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Boy, strange is right, Heidi, and, quite possibly, from a legal perspective, precedent-setting.

What is happening here is, effectively, a federal court is micromanaging the exact terms and conditions of this execution. But that court this afternoon did give its permission for the execution of Michael Morales to take place tonight at this prison behind me in about two hours.


VILES (voice-over): Terri Winchell was 17-years-old when she was beaten, raped, stabbed and left to die in a remote vineyard in central California. Her family has waited 25 years for justice for the man who confessed to the killing, to be put to death.

MACK WINCHELL, FATHER OF TERRI WINCHELL: It would give us closure because then we'd know that justice has been served, even if it took this long.

VILES: But last night inside San Quentin Prison, a final shock to the Winchell family. The execution of Michael Morales was delayed because of an effort to make certain he does not feel any pain when he dies.

WINCHELL: I just think the whole judicial system has went to hell in my book. I can't understand it.

VILES: California uses a three-drug cocktail for lethal injection. First, a powerful sedative, then drugs that cause paralysis and heart attack. Lawyers for Morales argue the second and third drugs are painful and some inmates feel that pain. To make sure there was no pain, a federal judge ordered that an anesthesiologists be in the death chamber to make sure the sedative worked before and during the lethal injections. But at the last minute, the anesthesiologist refused to take part.

VERNELL CRITTENDON, SAN QUENTIN PRISON: Any such intervention would clearly be medically unethical. As a result, we have withdrawn from participation in the current process.

VILES: The state now says it will use a lethal dose of the sedative, sodium thiopental, a method the state has never used before.

REP. JOE NATION (D), CALIFORNIA: What we're doing is an experiment. We don't know how anyone will respond to a massive dose of sodium pentothal. We think that it will take 30-to-45 minutes for that person to die, but we're not certain because this process has never been practiced or attempted in California.


VILES: The state has acknowledged that it could take as long as 30 minutes, Heidi, for the inmate Michael Morales to die after he is injected with this single drug. That's why the state prefers to use three drugs instead of one. That said, it is not as if he would suffer for 30 minutes. In fact, the state contends that he will be out cold after one minute, as it contends most inmates are during executions. But it would take some time after that, Heidi, for him to actually die.

COLLINS: A story you just could never imagine. Peter Viles, thank you.

Now, it's time for an update on this hour's top stories. Erica Hill is at "Headline News." Erica?

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Heidi, in Ohio, three men indicted today on terrorism charges including a threat on the life of President Bush. The indictments announced in Cleveland and Toledo, accuse the men of plotting to kill U.S. military personnel in Iraq and elsewhere. All three pleaded not guilty, one of the men is Lebanese, two are U.S. citizens.

In Cairo, Secretary of State Condoleezza rice and Egypt's foreign minister say relations between their countries are fine, despite differing views on the new Hamas-led Palestinian government. The U.S. is asking Egypt and Saudi Arabia to pressure Hamas to accept Israel.

The FDA says the use of carbon monoxide gas to give meat a bright red color is acceptable. The treatment keeps meat from turning brown even if it is left unrefrigerated for days. Opponents warn though it could mislead shoppers.

And a former Sago Mine foreman has been charged with falsifying inspection reports at the mine two years ago. The indictment is not related to the January 2nd mine explosion. It does charge however that the foreman was never legally certified for inspections.

And Heidi, that's a look at the headlines at this hour, back over to you.

COLLINS: Thanks, Erica, we'll talk to you again soon.

And here now is No. 6 on our countdown. The Supreme Court will consider reinstating a federal ban on a specific type of late-term abortion.

And five, the controversy over a giant telescope being built in Mexico. The Mexican and U.S. governments are funding the project, but now some Mexican officials are concerned because most of the U.S. money comes from the Defense Department. The U.S. says the telescope will not be used for military purposes.

And don't move, No. 4. is just a few minutes away.

Meanwhile, we've got a story that will change the way you look at your bedroom. Do you know what lives in your pillows? Wait until you see what you're sleeping with that probably weren't invited.

Also ahead...


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ted Rowlands in DeKalb, Illinois, and this is Kathleen Haskin. She is one of hundreds of thousands of hoarders in the United States. She keeps things, lots of things. Coming up, we'll go inside her house and you will be shocked to see how much stuff she really has, as PAULA ZAHN NOW continues.



COLLINS: So you're looking forward to that moment tonight when you put your head down on your pillow and drift nicely off to sleep? Who isn't? But you are bound to be shocked when you find out what you're really sleeping with. Here's Gary Tuchman with tonight's "Eye Opener."


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The young, the old, and all those in-between sleep. And while most rest their heads on a comfortable pillow to do so, few realize that while they're dreaming, their feeding an entire ecosystem.

DR. DAVID DENNING, UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER: We lose a lot of skin scales every day and we sweat in our beds, so that combination of product, if you like, drives both the house dust mite and the fungus.

TUCHMAN: Those house mites and fungi are feeding and reproducing from our body's castoffs, creating a legion of fungus and bacteria that could potentially make you sick.

ASHLEY WOODCOCK, UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER: We also know that fungi produce toxins occasionally. And we really have no idea of the health effects of the exposure of fungal toxins directly in front of your face. What I'm worried about is fungi in your lungs.

TUCHMAN: After reading Doctors David Denning and Ashley Woodcock's study on pillow problems, we decided to do our own test. We took pillows from an airplane, two posh New York hotels, a retired couple, the CNN producer I worked with on this story, and several pillows from the Kleinberg (ph) family of New York City. The Kleinbergs (ph) were particularly interested in participating, because with two small girls at home, colds are fast and furious, and the father Josh has asthma.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's always a concern of mine, making sure that things are not going to be triggering my asthma.

TUCHMAN: So Josh's wife gave us pillows from their room; his daughter Shana's bed...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you give me that pillow?


TUCHMAN: And a 20-year-old big fellow they call Marvin, who is virtually a member of the family.

All three pillows never to be seen again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time to say goodbye, uncle Marvin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Goodbye, uncle Marvin.


TUCHMAN: We bagged up all the pillows, including Marvin, and shipped them off to the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, where they put our pillows to the test. Three tests, in fact.

One used an Anderson air sampler, which uses air to suck out the bacteria and fungi from the pillows. Two other tests involve a culture broth and a bulk (ph) culture of both the inside and the outside of the pillows. Then we waited two weeks to see what lurked inside them.

ANNETTE FOTHERGILL, FUNGUS TESTING DIRECTOR: The results, I thought, were surprising.

TUCHMAN: Annette Fothergill is the technical director of the fungus testing lab that conducted the tests for us. She found thousands of bacteria and fungi in nearly everything we sent her. With names like Penicillium, Rhizopus, Aureobasidium pullulans, Cladosporium, Aspergillus niger. All sound pretty scary.

(on camera): Let's say you have severe allergies and your pillow has a lot of these organisms on them. What could happen?

FOTHERGILL: This could be a trigger to set off an asthma attack.

TUCHMAN: Our worst offender was something of a surprise.

FOTHERGILL: That's the most that we saw from any of the organisms, 34 on a one-centimeter square.

TUCHMAN: It was my producer's pillow.

FOTHERGILL: Nothing else was that high.

TUCHMAN (on camera): So that's not great?

FOTHERGILL: If I tested my pillow and it had 34 penicillium, I'd think, OK, fine, I'll just get a new one.

TUCHMAN: But before you throw out all your pillows, a colleague of Annette's cautions that fungus is normal, and not always harmful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's nowhere on earth where there is a pillow where there isn't fungus. The nature of this fungi is that they are truly ubiquitous. They are everywhere.

WOODCOCK: You spend eight hours of every 24, a third of your life, with your face in your pillow. We think there might be a specific risk which could be quite large.

TUCHMAN: Age of the pillow didn't seem to matter in the Kleinberg (ph) house. We had Shana put her hands over her ears as we told the family her pillow, less than six months old, was teeming with bacteria and allergy-producing fungi, in the same amounts and types as 20-year-old Marvin.

(on camera): Are you surprised at the results?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With the older pillow, not terribly surprised. But with the newer ones, I am very surprised.

TUCHMAN: The Kleinbergs (ph) vow to put an extra pillowcase on their pillows, and at least surface clean them more regularly, which is exactly what the experts advise to anyone who wants to get a healthier night's sleep.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, New York.


COLLINS: And one more thing, wondering what you can do to have healthier pillows? Probably you are. It is a good idea to have an extra case between the pillowcase and the pillow, so you can take it off and clean it often.

So are your closets full of stuff you haven't worn in years? Well, find out why some people just can't throw anything away.

Now, number four on our countdown. The president visits the nation's top renewable energy lab after 32 workers were laid off and then reinstated because of a budget mix-up. Mr. Bush has been promoting alternative energy this week.

And three, in Pennsylvania, jury selection begins in the murder trial of a convicted bank robber who prosecutors say killed two men and buried their bodies in his backyard. Number two when we come back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: In tonight's "Mysteries of the Mind," extreme hoarding. Now, I'm not talking about the usual cluttered closets or a teenager's dirty laundry littering the bedroom floor. You are about to enter the homes of some people who simply cannot help hoarding piles of pretty much everything. They almost never throw anything away. Ted Rowlands explores this strange compulsion, one of the "Mysteries of the Mind."


ROWLANDS (voice-over): From the outside, this home seems to fit its suburban Illinois neighborhood. But inside, you immediately see that Kathleen Haskin has a problem.

KATHLEEN HASKIN, HOARDER: My paperwork's over in this direction. Some of this is books that I just recently got, because I definitely hoard books.

ROWLANDS: Kathleen is a hoarder. Nearly every room in her house is stacked with things she's collected and won't let go. Clothes she's never worn, presents she's never given, knickknacks, furniture. It's endless.

HASKIN: I also hoard -- I love tapes, I love music. I like any self-help stuff, development things. So I have a lot of tapes. Haven't put all the holiday decorations away yet, so I've got a pile there.

You know, the things have a tendency to get knocked over.

ROWLANDS: There's laundry on the floor, some of it clean; the kitchen is overflowing. Even Kathleen's bed is full of stuff.

(on camera): How do you sleep in this bed? Where do you -- how do you do it?

HASKIN: Well, what I usually do, when it's time to go to bed, I just move the stuff. This stuff I put on the bed as I'm sorting, but I just move everything off usually like this.

ROWLANDS (voice-over): Kathleen says last summer she slept outside on this swing, because her house was so full. She says over the years, people have tried to help her.

HASKIN: People have thrown my things away before, and I've actually gone back to the trash to get it, to retrieve it, and brought like the whole trashbag in and gone through it. And one time, I even climbed in a dumpster because they threw my things in a dumpster.

ROWLANDS: Kathleen is a nurse, twice divorced, and mother of five. Her 13-year-old daughter is the only child still living at home. Kathleen says her hoarding has not affected her job, but has hurt her family. Her son Abraham left home at the age of 14 to live with an older sister. Kathleen says before he left, he told her he wished that she was a drug addict. HASKIN: He actually said to me, I wish you were, because then they'd have a reason to take me away from you. That's how strong he felt about the clutter.

PETER BELANGER, KATHLEEN'S SON: We're all trying to help my mom progress in what -- in her situation, trying to get her out from the hole that she's in.

HASKIN: Kathleen's son Peter is in college. He's planning to move in with his mother during his summer break. He says the mess may be an issue.

BELANGER: You don't want to take the average person to your house and show them, this is what my house looks like.

ROWLANDS (on camera): Kathleen is by no means alone. It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of others in the United States are suffering from the same problem, including Richard Duffield. Richard has not allowed anybody into his house in 33 years, until now. He's allowing us to see it for the first time.

(voice over): Richard's hoarding problem is with paper.

RICHARD DUFFIELD, HOARDER: Mainly books, trade papers, Variety, Hollywood Reporter.

ROWLANDS: Richard lives alone in Los Angeles. For years he's been saving newspaper articles, magazines and any other document he finds interesting.

DUFFIELD: This is a file of opera reviews.

ROWLANDS: Richard says he has a problem with procrastination.

DUFFIELD: I bought these lamps at a friend's yard sale. Wonderful lamps, I'll use those someday. Here they are seven, eight years later because I'm too busy getting more or avoiding them.

ROWLANDS: Richard also avoids his kitchen, which he says he hasn't used for six years.

DUFFIELD: Around the year 2000, it became of no interest to me and obviously too cluttered and too much bother. I went about my business and ignored it.

ROWLANDS: Richard also ignored his roof. For years it was leaking. But instead of getting it fixed, Richard said he just put buckets down to catch the water. Richard says he wanted to fix his roof but couldn't decide who he should hire.

DUFFIELD: I would have estimates but then deciding which one it should be? I might make a mistake.

ROWLANDS: Both Richard and Kathleen acknowledge they have a problem. Kathleen said she used to keep a clean house. She's not sure if her problem is due to heredity. She says she has an aunt who broke her hip stumbling over clutter.

Kathleen bruised her ankle the same way the day before our interview. Kathleen says she buys most of her stuff from dollar stores and garage sales, constantly fighting the urge to buy more.

HASKIN: I'm going like three different thrift stores and two dollar stores and it's just like if an alcoholic is going by a bar and they want another drink. I want to go in and buy more.

ROWLANDS: Kathleen is trying to help herself through an Internet self-help group, but acknowledges she hasn't made much progress when it comes to cleaning her house.

DUFFIELD: I threw away 60 empty boxes a month ago from the living room. Looks like there are a lot in there now but there were 60 more.

ROWLANDS: Richard said it was a big decision to let us into his home after keeping it a secret from family and friends for 33 years. He's seeing Karron Maidment, a therapist with the UCLA Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder Program.

KARRON MAIDMENT, UCLA OCD PROGRAM: What is your anxiety level there?

DUFFIELD: Seven, eight.

MAIDMENT: OK. It hasn't been that high for a long time.

DUFFIELD: That's right.

ROWLANDS: Richard's therapy is focused on teaching him how to get rid of things he thinks are important.

MAIDMENT: We want people with compulsive hoarding to throw away things that feel special or important and see if it really is as catastrophic as they think it's going to be.

ROWLANDS: According to some experts, hoarding is the most difficult obsessive-compulsive disorder to treat, with only about half of those who seek treatment having success. Richard says throwing some things away is so difficult, he actually has a physical reaction to it.

DUFFIELD: You feel a constriction in the throat, a fast beating of the heart, something in the stomach, sometimes a bit of nausea.

ROWLANDS: Since getting help a few months ago, Richard has made progress. He's cleared a hallway and his bedroom of clutter. After getting four estimates he finally hired someone to fix his roof.

Kathleen says she works a few hours a week clearing different zones in her house. She's hoping that eventually with the help of her Internet group and a few close friends she can someday get her house in order and her family back. Ted Rowlands, CNN, De Kalb, Illinois.


COLLINS: One more thing, if you or someone you know needs some help battling hoarding, you can do an Internet search for the Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation for consult your doctor.


COLLINS: At the top of the hour on "LARRY KING LIVE." A remarkable woman. Her boyfriend destroyed her face and killed her mother. How she's putting her life back together.

First, number two on our countdown. Britain's Prince Charles sues a London newspaper for printing excerpts from his diaries. He says, they were copied by a former staff member and given to the paper. We'll have number one right after this.


COLLINS: And now, number one on our countdown. An update on a story we told you about earlier tonight. A federal appeals court has now indefinitely postponed the execution of California death row inmate Michael Morales. He was originally scheduled to be executed early this morning. That was delayed after two doctors backed out because of ethical concerns.

CNN will have much more on this story as soon as more information is made available.

That is it for us tonight, everybody. Paula's back tomorrow and "LARRY KING: LIVE" starts right now.


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