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PAULA ZAHN NOW
Keeping Kids Safe at School; President Bush Under Fire Over Gas Prices
Aired April 25, 2006 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks so much. Good evening, everyone. Glad to have you with us tonight.
Here's what's happening at this moment. Tonight, analysts are poring over the newest video of the most wanted man in Iraq. Al Qaeda and leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has a $25 million price on his head. He happened to pop up on a Web site bragging about powerful new weapons. That comes just two days after Osama bin Laden's latest audiotape.
Now, just over an hour ago, a jury in Sacramento, California, found a former farm worker guilty of supporting terrorism by attending an al Qaeda training camp in Pakistan. Twenty-three-year-old Hamid Hayat is a U.S. citizen. A mistrial was declared for his father, who could face retrial.
And the president says he will veto a huge Senate spending bill to pay for ongoing military operations and Hurricane Katrina repairs, unless it's scaled back to the White House's original request.
Now, again tonight, we are all living through the horrible anxiety that every one of us parents suffer through when we hear yet another report about possible school violence. Yes, there's yet another one tonight. It is at the same Minnesota school where a student shot and killed seven people last year, before killing himself.
After weeks of rumors that someone was making new threats, there are reports that authorities have now arrested a ninth grader. The principal says only that extra police officers carrying weapons will now be on patrol.
What is going on in our nation's schools? And how can we keep our children safe? Well, tonight, we're highlighting some things that are absolutely vital to all of our children's safety, because their schools could be in the headlines next, like all of these schools just this month alone.
ZAHN (voice-over): The news reports are coming from every corner of the nation. They're frightening, and they seem to be coming more often.
Riverton, Kansas: Five boys are charged with plotting a shooting spree at their high school. In Puyallup, Washington, a 16-year-old is accused of plotting an attack at his school. Police say he sent computer messages about his desire to finally go out in a blaze of hatred and fury.
In North Pole, Alaska, six students are arrested for allegedly plotting an attack at their middle school, seventh-graders, accused of planning a massacre.
In Camden, New Jersey, four boys are charged with terrorism. Police say they planned to attack their school and had a hit list of 25 people, including students and teachers.
In all these cases, a common thread is the shock and fear of parents, teachers and students.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a shame you can't send your kids to school without worrying about them getting injured or killed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I walk through the halls. I see the people. You know, they all look like good people, but I guess they're really not, not all of them.
ZAHN: These are the images burned into the consciousness of every parent and student.
On April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School, near Denver, 18- year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold shot and killed 12 of their fellow students and one teacher, before committing suicide in the school library.
But Columbine wasn't the beginning, nor the end of school violence in the U.S. In the decade between 1992 and 2002, there were 462 violent deaths at elementary and high schools in the U.S., including 261 homicides and 55 suicides. Crime experts say, from all these cases, clear patterns have emerged.
A school killer is usually a boy 18-and-a-half years old, and there are warning signs. Students prone to violence feel isolated or rejected. They can't control their tempers. They're fascinated with guns and other weapon. They have been bullied, or they bully others, and they do badly in school.
High schools are the most likely places for violence, but middle schools are more likely to report racial tension, bullying and classroom disorder. Not everyone, of course, who is bullied or moody or gets bad grades turns into a killer. And even if troubled students don't talk with their parents, they usually with will talk with other young people.
That's important, because there's another common thread here. The alleged plots in New Jersey, Kansas, Washington, and Alaska all came unraveled when authorities were tipped off by other young people who found out what was going on.
(END VIDEOTAPE) ZAHN: And, as a parent, I know how hard it is to keep track of what any child is doing these days, who their friends are, even if they're at home in their own rooms, because, of course, more often than not, their doors are closed.
And, of course, the Internet has made it almost impossible to tell who they are sending messages to or exactly what they're reading about.
Investigative correspondent Drew Griffin takes a closer look at how the Web played a big part in several of these recent plots and in their undoing.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The student arrested at a Washington state high school had in his home weapons, including a homemade bomb. He also had a downloaded Internet copy of "The Anarchist's Cookbook," with instructions on how to make a bomb.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's kind of scary that, actually, somebody would actually think about doing that to us.
GRIFFIN: The 16-year-old suspect's blog on the popular personal information site called MySpace.com had a warning. The last entry: "Let me give you reason to shun me and call me evil. I am feared. I am hated. I have lost it, and I am nothing.
In Kansas, this 18-year-old and four younger high school students are accused of plotting an attack to mark the anniversary of Adolf Hitler's birth and the deadly shooting at Colorado's Columbine High. They communicated via the Internet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those are serious allegations. And they scare me. And, you know, I was frightened as I read those. So, I have to be mindful of the public safety.
GRIFFIN: One of the things linking these and other potential tragedies together is that the same high-tech communication that may have helped launch their planning also revealed warnings that helped police stop them.
In Washington state, a text message alerted a friend, who then alerted police. In Kansas, the would-be attackers put out a much more public warning, a posting on MySpace.com.
LARRY MAGID, BLOGSAFETY.COM: It's a good thing that these kids in Kansas put this information on the Internet, so that a -- an alert woman in North Carolina could find it and turn them in. The Internet, in this case, was a hero. It prevented the tragedy.
GRIFFIN: Larry Magid is a technology consultant and co-founder of BlogSafety.com. He advocates the safe and monitored use of the Internet for our children, and, like most of us, is shocked by what those children can find here. Take a look at what we found in just five minutes of searching: how to build a bomb, how to build a suicide belt, how to buy an AK-47, how to find friends who like Adolf Hitler. Magid says, it is all here and then some, but if you can think you can ban information from the Internet or stop people from posting ways to blow up a school, you are simply fooling yourself.
MAGID: Well, blaming the Internet is like blaming the messenger. Kids are on the Internet. And there's really nothing we can do about it. Even if we shut them off at home, they will find a way to get on somewhere, from a cell phone or a friend's house or a library. So, blocking the Internet is not really the solution, at least not for your average kid.
GRIFFIN: What will work, he says, is knowing what your kids are thinking, as well as what they're looking at and who they're talking to over the Internet.
STACA URIE, NATIONAL CENTER FOR MISSING AND EXPLOITED CHILDREN: It's probably a better idea to take a proactive approach with children and teens. Educate them about what the risks are. Educate them about what they may encounter online, how to avoid them, and empower them to have a safer online experience that way.
GRIFFIN: And yes, says Magid, parents should conduct their own Internet searches on their own children.
MAGID: You can search. You can search for them on Google or other search engines. And you can go into MySpace and search for the name. And, believe it or not, you may find their name, because kids are encouraged to use their own names. Or look at their school Web page on MySpace to see if you can locate them to kind of check in with them and see what they're saying to the rest of the world.
GRIFFIN: It was just that kind of warning to the rest of the world that stopped at least two potential tragedies in just the last week.
Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.
ZAHN: So, the question for all of us is, how do we keep our schools and our children safe?
Let's turn to Scott Poland. He's a child violence expert who has been on emergency response teams that helped after a number of school shootings around the country.
Thanks so much for joining us tonight.
So, Dr. Poland, you have at least six school shooting plots uncovered in the last six weeks, and then this past week, four of these plots uncovered. What is going on here?
SCOTT POLAND, SCHOOL CRISIS EXPERT: Well, I think we have to recognize that, by the spring in the school year, many frustrations have built up. Some students know they have not been successful. They have been bullied all year. They don't feel connected to school.
So, we need to be highly vigilant during the springtime.
ZAHN: Is there anything to the timing of all of these plots?
POLAND: Well, I think, absolutely, the anniversary of Columbine, Hitler's birthday, the bombing in Oklahoma City, all of those things occurring in April, many young people who are troubled are aware of that.
ZAHN: You have to admit that we live in a country where people make an awful lot of excuses for their behaviors, but you were just talking about the high incidents of these kids who have been bullied. So, in your judgment, is this an extreme form of revenge we're talking about here or something even more profound than that?
POLAND: Well, the Secret Service study of school violence did find that the majority were bullied. They were angry at the school and the people in them. And the majority of them were suicidal. And these have obvious implications for prevention.
ZAHN: So, compare what we're seeing today perhaps to any trends that we saw 40 years ago. Is this just a reflection of a more violent society?
POLAND: Well, the difference today is that we have multiple homicides. We don't have a kid angry at one other kid. They're angry at everyone.
And, very importantly, we have to get all the stakeholders involved. Here at Nova Southeastern University, we have important training sessions for school resource officers, administrators, and police hostage negotiators.
ZAHN: So, clearly, there are a lot of cries for help out there and red flags going up we pay -- we need to pay more attention to.
Dr. Poland, thank you so much for your insights tonight.
POLAND: You're welcome.
ZAHN: And more than 18 million of you logged on to our Web site today.
Our countdown of the top 10 stories on CNN.com starts with controversial Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney getting ready to run for reelection. As you probably remember, she was recently caught on tape criticizing a senior staffer. And a grand jury is now weighing whether to bring criminal charges against McKinney for a run- in with Capitol Hill Police.
Number nine -- Emily Lyons, who lost an eye when Eric Rudolph bombed an Alabama abortion clinic eight years ago, has received her share of the supposed $2.3 million he was ordered to pay the victims. Lyons got exactly $57.69. Rudolph said he didn't have the money to pay what was ordered -- numbers eight and seven just ahead.
Also coming up, the White House response to drivers who are fed up when they fill up.
ZAHN (voice-over): The president takes dramatic steps to ease the high price of gas. But will it make any difference at all? And wait until you see the way some people have come up with to avoid going to the gas pumps.
And the "Eye Opener" -- borderline insanity. The immigration debate takes a turn for the worse, with real death threats and virtual killing games. We will show you who's behind them and much more when we come back.
ZAHN: A former Duke lacrosse player has some new legal problems tonight, other than the rape investigation. Why was he in court today?
Well, I guess we're all wondering how high the price of gas is going to go to. The average across the country is just under $3 a gallon tonight. That is about double what it was when the Iraq war started three years ago. And, as you can see from this map, prices in California and New York, marked in dark red, are among the highest, over $3.25 a gallon. Hawaii is $3.50.
The lowest prices in the country, green on the map. Every U.S. president knows they get hurt when gas prices go up like this. President Bush certainly knows that, and today announced four steps to try to keep gas prices down.
White House Suzanne Malveaux, part of the best political team in TV, has the details for us now.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): First, Mr. Bush ordered an investigation into whether energy companies are unfairly manipulating gas prices.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The first thing is to make sure that the American consumers are treated fairly at the gas pump.
MALVEAUX: While the administration was unable to cite any evidence of price-gouging now, it did investigate instances shortly after Hurricane Katrina, with mixed results.
DANIEL LASHOF, SCIENCE DIRECTOR, NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL CLIMATE CENTER: There was a lot of hand-wringing about price gouging at that time, and, again, after the hearings were over, everybody went back to business as usual.
MALVEAUX: Second, Mr. Bush pledged to boost the supply of U.S. crude oil and gasoline by temporarily suspending deposits into the country's Strategic Oil Reserve.
BUSH: So, by deferring deposits until the fall, we will leave a little more oil on the market. Every little bit helps.
MALVEAUX: But energy analysts say that's not likely to lower gas prices.
LASHOF: It is something within the president's jurisdiction, and I think it's largely symbolic.
MALVEAUX: The president also made another push to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.
Third, the president is promoting greater fuel efficiency by urging Congress to extend tax credits for all who purchase hybrid or clean-diesel vehicles.
BUSH: Ethanol is good for the whole country.
MALVEAUX: And, fourth, Mr. Bush is encouraging investment in alternative sources of energy, like ethanol, to wean Americans off of foreign oil. But that's considered a long ways off to resolving the pain at the pump.
LASHOF: I don't think there's anything in the president's plan that will have a short-term impact on gas prices.
ZAHN: All right, Suzanne, as we know, pain in the pump usually translates to pain at the polls, or in the polling that's done on one's popularity. What's with the timing of this? Is this all political?
MALVEAUX: Well, certainly, very much of it, Paula, is political.
As you know, of course, those gas price goes up. The job approval of the president, of course, has gone way down, in the low 30s or so. The president says, look, this is not the federal government's fault. This is something where he says Americans are addicted to oil.
But what you're seeing here is that consumers' frustration really is fueling a Republican fear that they're going to pay for all of this when it comes to November midterm elections. So, what you see are the Democrats, who are looking at this plan, saying, here is what it doesn't include, those stringent measures to conserve energy or even protect the environment.
Republicans are saying, look, this isn't our fault. We will get back and even put forward another energy bill, if necessary, to show that we are protecting consumers. But both sides, back and forth, don't want to have anything to do with these high gas prices -- and the president, of course, caught in the middle.
ZAHN: Well, of course, both sides can't ignore the -- the polling results that show 69 percent of the public claims that they're being hurt by this.
So, we will continue to watch this.
You got the white-shirt memo tonight, Suzanne.
ZAHN: Nice going. You actually...
MALVEAUX: Good. Hey.
ZAHN: ... read your e-mails.
MALVEAUX: I like matching.
ZAHN: All right. Thanks again for the update.
Now, the sudden jump in gas prices is clearly hurting most Americans. Take a look at these numbers from a CNN poll conducted by Opinion Research Corporation. That's the one I just made reference to. Nearly seven out of 10 of us say that rising gas prices are causing hardship.
Here's Dan Lothian on how some Americans are already cutting back.
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN BOSTON BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): It started with a trickle. Now it seems like a gush. Filling an empty tank is leaving a lot of wallets empty.
LOU SERANO, DRIVER: You do what you have to do, you know? Just work hard and pay gas.
SERANO: That's basically what it is all about.
LOTHIAN: But commuters Kevin Rudden and Jim Cantania are both finding detours around the high gas prices. One got a new job.
KEVIN RUDDEN, COMMUTER: I looked for a job closer to home.
LOTHIAN: The other got new wheels.
JIM CANTANIA, COMMUTER: I ride it rain or shine.
LOTHIAN: Rudden, a public-relations consultant, says he used to travel 100 miles, round-trip, to work.
RUDDEN: It was approaching $400 a month in gas. You can't just go to your boss and say, gee, gas jumped 20 cents a gallon. Can I have a raise? They will look at you like you're crazy. And...
LOTHIAN: So, he quit his job for a 10-minute commute.
RUDDEN: You know, after a while, a 20-cent, 30-cent-a-gallon increase, when you have a long commute, starts taking a big chunk out of your income.
LOTHIAN: Jim Cantania just bought a motorized bike on eBay. He says he gets 87 miles a gallon and now fills up just once every three weeks.
CANTANIA: If you can avoid the highway and, you know, you got a 15 -- maybe 15- to 20-mile max ride, then it's great.
LOTHIAN (on camera): There is growing frustration across the country, as people spend more to fill up and spend less on the other things they need.
(voice-over): A poll released before the most recent spike shows, 54 percent of Americans are cutting back significantly on household spending because of higher gas prices.
RUDDEN: It doesn't make you happy when you hear that the president of ExxonMobil walks away with $400 million retirement package, and you have to think that somebody's getting rich off of you.
LOTHIAN: Many are wondering how much higher gas prices will go and how much more they can take.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, definitely. It's -- it's too high.
LOTHIAN: That's why many commuters are changing their routines, in order to get more out of every gallon.
Dan Lothian, CNN, Boston.
ZAHN: That's one of the good things about New York, where you're forced to walk, particularly during gridlock.
So, do you think you have got it bad when you pull up to the gas pump? Wait until you see our next report. What lengths are some people going to just to get money for a tank of gas? You are not going to believe these stories, but they are true.
And can you believe how mean-spirited the immigration fight is getting, perhaps even violent? We have found a computer game that's a real "Eye Opener."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Jason Carroll in Durham, North Carolina. One of the Duke lacrosse players accused of raping a young woman appeared in court today, but it wasn't here. And his court appearance didn't have anything to do with the rape charge. I will have that complete story coming up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: And our CNN.com countdown continues with number eight. It's a New York judge's decision that workers shouldn't be punished for serving the suffering the Web on the job. The ruling came after a New York City employee was punished for his Internet activity.
Number seven, Barbra Streisand lashes out at her latest biographer. She's calling Christopher Anderson's book "Barbra: The Way She Is" -- quote -- "vicious, mean-spirited mythology." Streisand posted her comments on her Web site.
Don't move -- numbers six and five straight ahead.
ZAHN: I guess you don't need me to tell you there's a lot of anger out there about gas prices. Just about all of us are hurting because of the crazy rise in those prices. But we can be thankful we're not reliving the days of endless lines at gas stations and fuel- rationing. But, still, when people start selling their prized possessions to pay for gas, you know it's really tough out there.
Gary Tuchman takes us "Beyond the Headlines" tonight.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lynn Wilson drives a 1991 Jaguar that only cost him 3,000 bucks, but he can't afford to drive it anymore. So, he has come to a pawnshop in Norcross, Georgia...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will give you 500 out of that check.
TUCHMAN: ... where he has decided to use his car as collateral for a loan, and where he's decided to pawn this.
LYNN WILSON, PAWNSHOP CUSTOMER: I'm selling this Bulova watch, which was made in the early 1900s.
TUCHMAN (on camera): It's a beautiful watch.
(voice-over): Pawnshops around the country are reporting a significant increase in business from people who say they need money for gas.
WILSON: It was made in 1906. TUCHMAN (on camera): So, this watch is 100 years old?
WILSON: One hundred years old.
TUCHMAN: And you're -- you're feeling like you have to sell it.
WILSON: Well, I don't have any choice, because I'm a -- I'm a veteran, and I only get a check once a month.
TUCHMAN: And you're selling it basically for gas money.
WILSON: I'm selling it for gas -- for gas money. I mean, it's not food or anything like that. I mean, this is strictly gas.
TUCHMAN: How much are you selling it for?
WILSON: Two hundred dollars.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): They sell most anything. The owner of this pawnshop says business is up about 30 percent because of people who need gas money.
(on camera): What's the most expensive thing you think you have gotten pawned for gas money?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rolexes.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): The cheapest gas in the neighborhood is at this station. But it has still gone up a lot in just the last few days.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I remember, when I moved to Georgia, back in '96, when I got out of the military, I was paying 99 cents a gallon. Look at this now. This is ridiculous.
TUCHMAN: Far more ridiculous is the price a station owner in Brooklyn, New York, was charging, $4.14 a gallon. And that was for the cheapest gas. In Northern California, only one-tenth of a penny separates premium gas from the $4 mark.
And, in Chicago, only one-tenth of a penny separates the cheapest gas from the $3 mark.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Honestly, we need to start looking at opening up Alaska or something. I mean, we have to become more self- sufficient and quit relying on the Middle East.
TUCHMAN: Speaking of Alaska, a gas station in Barrow, Alaska, which is only 200 miles way from the nation's largest inland petroleum reserve, is at $3.95 a gallon.
(on camera): In the attempt to rationalize high gas prices, many people point out that a gallon of milk is still more expensive than a gallon of gasoline. And, indeed, in many cases, it's still true. I just bought this gallon of milk for $3.25. But, practically speaking, it's not too often that you go into a grocery store and buy 15, 20 or 25 gallons of this stuff.
(voice-over): A recent ABC News/"Washington Post" poll shows, a large majority of people blame the White House for the high cost of gas. Nearly three-quarters of respondents say they disapprove of the way the president is handling the situation with gas prices. Democrats see this as benefiting them.
MORRIS REID, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think the Democrats have to be careful how they use this, but it should be used as a political football, and they should be able to gain some seats. I'm not for sure if it's going to change the House of Representatives or it flips the Senate, but it certainly could be something they can position for 2008.
TUCHMAN: Back at the pawnshop, Lynn Wilson believes there is plenty of blame to go around.
WILSON: I don't feel good about it. And I have got several more antique watches. And if I have to, you know, I will sell those as well.
TUCHMAN: He leaves in his beloved Jaguar with his $200, which won't even buy him four tanks of gas.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Norcross, Georgia.
But, as you're about to see, gas prices aren't the only thing that are getting people riled up these days. Wait until you see some of the video games we found. Whose side would you take on in games about illegal immigration? Some of them are pretty darn violent.
We have also got some fascinating pictures. OK. Check this out. Does this look familiar to you? Is this what your partner looks like, thrashing around while he's trying to sleep? Well, you know what? It could be a sign of something very dangerous. We will explain later in the show.
Right now, though, let's move on to number six on our CNN.com countdown -- the latest court appearance today for the one of the suspects in the Duke rape case. But this one had nothing to do with that investigation. We are going to tell you why he was there.
Coming up, number five on our list, a story we covered just a few minutes ago, and one that I'm sure you're feeling pretty badly. The president tries to ease the pain of soaring gas prices, the president announcing a temporary halt in deposits to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. He has also ordered an investigation into possible price gouging.
Number four when we come back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ZAHN: Welcome back. Here's what's happening "At This Moment." Homeland Security is beginning immediate background checks for all 400,000 workers at U.S. ports, all part of a program ordered three years ago. Workers will eventually carry cards with fingerprint and other biometric information.
Senator Hillary Clinton wants a group of retired generals to tell the Senate why they think Donald Rumsfeld should resign. She also says the hearings should include Rumsfeld supporters.
And 10 big city mayors want the federal government to crack down on illegal guns smuggled across the boarder from states with less restrictive gun laws.
Well, the divisive debate over illegal immigration is taking a very sharp turn for the worse tonight with death threats in California and vile, hate-filled video games showing up on the Internet.
Now, this comes as political leaders meeting at the White House today were trying to patch together an immigration reform compromise that fell apart two weeks ago. And six days from now, immigrants' rights groups are calling for a nationwide, one-day strike of immigrants.
Now we have two examples for you tonight of the vicious anger it's all causing. First to California, where prominent Hispanic politicians are now becoming the targets of death threats.
Here's Chris Lawrence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This country was built on the backs of immigrants.
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The battle over immigration policy has been loud, it's been heated, and now for some California politicians, personal.
MAYOR ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA (D), LOS ANGELES: Let me confirm that there have been threats against me.
LAWRENCE: On Tuesday, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wouldn't say how his security has changed, if at all. He says there's nothing to fear but ...
VILLARAIGOSA: Threats like this are always taken seriously, as was mentioned by the governor. The FBI was involved in this most recent threat.
LAWRENCE: In the middle of a national debate on immigration, death threats are being made against prominent public officials, all of them of Mexican heritage. On Tuesday, California Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante got a letter that called him an obscenity and asked, "What is it you do not understand about the word illegal"? He'd already received a postcard that said, quote, "All you dirty Mexicans should go back to Mexico. The only good Mexican is a dead Mexican."
GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA: These alarming incidents of threats and hate crimes are not limited to just our prominent leaders.
LAWRENCE: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger pointed to a Mexican restaurant near San Diego, where vandals spray-painted obscenities on the front door, then soaked the place with gasoline and set it on fire.
SCHWARZENEGGER: The greatness of California is its rich diversity. Hate, racism and intolerance are never accepted in our public debates.
LAWRENCE: The governor has said he opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants, but called deporting millions already here unrealistic. He's asking district attorneys throughout the state to be vigilant when prosecuting the threats.
(on camera): Several other politicians of Hispanic background have also been targeted, including the chairman of the Democratic party here in California and the speaker of the State Assembly.
Chris Lawrence, CNN, Los Angeles.
ZAHN: Now even more disturbing than those death threats may be this: a small but apparently growing industry of hate-filled, racist computer games. And the object of one of them is to kill Mexicans trying to get into the U.S.
Here's Dan Simon with tonight's "Eye Opener."
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The creators of a video game called "Border Patrol" won't win any awards for graphics or creativity, but could take home a prize for bad taste.
(on camera): This isn't some expensive game for the Xbox. It's simple, free and on the Internet and, according to the Anti-Defamation League, dangerous.
JONATHAN BERNSTEIN, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: It puts in the mind of the player that they should be resorting to violence.
SIMON (voice-over): The objective? To shoot and kill Mexicans crossing into the U.S. The game's targets? Mexican nationalists, drug smugglers and most outrageous, breeders, pregnant women running with children. The more you kill, the higher your score.
CRIS FRANCO, COMEDIAN/SATIRIST: You're killing a pregnant woman, and if you can feel good about that, well, have at it.
SIMON: Sarcasm comes naturally to Latino comedian Cris Franco. All joking aside, though, Franco was concerned when we showed him the game.
FRANCO: What sort of makes it innocuous is sort of the thing that makes it so very dangerous, is that you might have kids getting up there and they're killing Mexicans. You know? And now that's a fun thing to do I gather, in our world. I think most people of conscience would not think this was a good way to spend your time.
SIMON: "Border Patrol" has become a showcase on hate group Web sites, alongside other games that target African-Americans, homosexuals and Jews. USC professor Peter Vorderer has written books about the aspects of video games on society.
PETER VORDERER, UNIV. OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: I don't think that a game like this would attract anybody who is serious player, other than those who share that sentiment or attitude.
SIMON: Still, Vorderer says that certain children can be swayed by such violent images.
VORDERER: If somebody knows nothing, let's say, about a specific ethnic group and the only way he or she learns about that ethnic group is through the media -- in this case, through a video game -- then this video game has a great potential of, you know, impacting that person's view about this ethnic group.
SIMON: And that fits right in with the goals of the National Alliance, a white supremacist group. Shaun Walker calls himself the chairman and CEO. He says teenagers who might not read his books instead will buy one of its games.
SHAUN WALKER, WHITE SUPREMACIST: We gain several thousand new customers immediately that we wouldn't have had contact with.
SIMON: Walker's group is behind a game called "Ethnic Cleansing." The goal? To kill anybody who isn't white. The National Alliance says it has fulfilled a niche for people who want their entertainment skewed toward their racist ideology.
WALKER: This allowed all the racially conscious white people that play video games to suddenly have a pro-white video game. So it was unique, and it's proven to be successful.
SIMON: How successful, the group won't say, but the game sells for $15. As for "Border Patrol," it's unknown who created the game. But what some call entertainment, others are calling violent and racist propaganda.
Dan Simon, CNN, Los Angeles.
ZAHN: Pretty disturbing choices out there to make these days. When the year started, a young man was going to a top university, playing on a championship sports team, almost considered a hero to some on campus. Were there signs of trouble even back then? Why was he in court again today? We'll answer some of those questions for you in a little bit.
But first, No. 4 in our CNN.com countdown. A Harvard student whose debut novel has been getting an awful lot of buzz admits she unintentionally borrowed material from another novel she read in high school. Kaavya Viswanathan says she'll change future editions of her novel "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life." No. 3 right after this.
ZAHN: We go "Outside the Law" now with a sudden new development related to the Duke rape scandal. Tonight one of the athletes charged in that case is facing yet another trial for an earlier arrest. Jason Carroll looks into his growing legal problems, a case that takes us "Outside the Law."
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He is one of two Duke University lacrosse players charged with sexually assaulting a young woman. But the trouble Collin Finnerty faced in a Washington D.C. courtroom today was entirely different. The 19-year-old is charged in an assault stemming from a fight outside a bar involving Finnerty and another man months ago. The man alleges Finnerty used gay slurs. Finnerty and his attorney deny that.
STEVEN J. MCCOOL, ATTORNEY FOR COLLIN FINNERTY: This incident has been grossly mischaracterized. This is not and has not been charged as a bias-related allegation.
CARROLL: Finnerty had previously pleaded guilty to assault and agreed to perform 25 hours of community service. He also agreed to stay out of trouble during his six months probation. But because of the Duke case, D.C. Judge John Bayly revoked Finnerty's plea agreement and set a trial date on the assault charge for July 10th. Both the Duke and D.C. cases come as a surprise to those who know Finnerty. He attended Chaminade High School in Long Island, New York, a private Catholic school for boys. Arthur Conte, a student there, remembers him as a gifted lacrosse player and a good person.
ARTHUR CONTE, FRIEND: I don't think he did it. From the get-go, from the start, since the allegations came out, I never wanted to believe it. I like Duke, because I'm a fan of the school, but I'm also a fan of Collin. I knew him on a personal level. It's just not right. If he's innocent, then something's wrong.
CARROLL: Finnerty comes from this upscale neighborhood in Garden City, New York, a place where lacrosse nets in yards are common. His parents donated money to help Duke University renovate an off-campus home into a Catholic student center. It's just a few blocks from the house where an exotic dancer says Finnerty, Reade Seligmann and a third player raped her during a party. Finnerty's high school coach says he was the model athlete and student.
JACK MORAN, FINNERTY'S HIGH SCHOOL COACH: He was a very good student, and he was never in any trouble here. He was a good teammate. He was a fit-in type of kid on the field.
CARROLL: Here at Duke, students have hung innocent signs at the dorm where Finnerty and Reade Seligmann live, support for the two players who now find themselves with far more attention and far more trouble than they probably ever expected. Jason Carroll, CNN, Durham, North Carolina.
ZAHN: And we will keep on top of that story in the days and weeks to come. Now time for Erica Hill with the Headline News Business Break.
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ZAHN: "LARRY KING LIVE" coming your way just about 13 minutes from now. Larry, you've got a big exclusive with the man known as "Deep Throat." What I want to know is how he hid his identity from his family for so many years.
LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, he did, though, he did. And he will tell you how. It was amazing. We went up to his home where he's lived for many years, about six to eight weeks ago and taped about a half hour interview with him.
And we'll surround that interview at the top of the hour with his daughter, his lawyer, with Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, Ben Bradlee and his grandson. He's 92 now. We can't say he's swift of mind, but you'll get a unique glimpse into an extraordinary figure in American history. And this will be his only interview ever. That's the top of the hour.
ZAHN: Way to go, Larry King, see you at the top, thanks.
ZAHN: When you wake up, are you just as tired as when you go sleep? Well then you may have a problem that's a lot more serious than you know. Is this what your hubby or partner looks like when he sleeps at night? Well guess what? It could be dangerous if he does.
First on to No. 3 in our CNN.com countdown. President Bush battling record low approval ratings. The latest CNN poll conducted by Opinion Research Corporation shows fewer than a third of Americans approve of the way the president is handling his job. And a lot of it has to do with rising oil prices. No. 2 on our list is next.
ZAHN: We're going to explore one of the mysteries of the mind tonight. Try to imagine what it would be like to go without a single good night's sleep for more than a decade, and to know that when you do drift off, you could unknowingly do violence to yourself or to the ones you love. Well, you're about to meet a man who is living through that ordeal right now. Researchers say most of us have some trouble sleeping, but it is nothing like the disorder this man is battling. Here's Allan Chernoff with tonight's mysteries of the mind.
ALAN CHERNOFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His arms thrash wildly and so do his legs. Every night this is how Billy Sheehan sleeps, or tries to sleep.
BILLY SHEEHAN, SLEEP DISORDER PATIENT: A good night's sleep, been years, 15 years. It's terrible. I toss, I turn. I'm up, I'm down. I'll fall asleep, I'll roll off the bed, I'll hit my head.
CHERNOFF: He's turned his bedroom into a battlefield, broken three lamps and a TV set while he was sleeping. Billy, now 49, never used to be so violent at night, but as he's aged, he says his sleep has deteriorated. And he's become more destructive. Four years ago his wife Kathy decided to get out of the line of fire for her own safety.
KATHY SHEEHAN, WIFE: I sleep in a chair now. A Lazy Boy chair. And I'm going to get a new one.
SHEEHAN: I'm not giving up the bed. I'm going to fight her till the end.
CHERNOFF: But often Billy gets out of bed and ends up asleep standing or sitting in the kitchen. One night he says he crushed his nose on the kitchen countertop.
SHEEHAN: I woke up and I could feel the bang on my nose and it was bleeding internally and externally, my eyes, I couldn't even see straight. So I broke it. I broke my nose.
CHERNOFF: The problem has affected the entire family.
SHEEHAN: Oh, what are you going to do?
CHERNOFF: Billy works as a mechanic, has so little energy that he can't leave the house to take his six year old son Billy Jr to a ball game or the zoo. Finally, Billy turned to a sleep expert at New York Methodist Hospital. Here at the Sleep Research Center, Billy gets wired before bedtime so technicians can monitor him through the night from eye movements to breathing.
The analysis reveals that Billy's nighttime violence is only a symptom of a much bigger danger. Sleep Center director Dr. Gerard Lombardo says Billy suffers from severe sleep apnea, meaning he often stops breathing during the night.
DR. GERALD LOMBARDO, NY METHODIST HOSP. SLEEP CLINIC: The back of the throat closes during sleep and no air enters into the lung and into the heart and brain.
CHERNOFF (on camera): What happens to Billy when he relaxes during sleep is that the rear of his tongue right here moves back and his soft palate, that's the tissue at the back of the mouth, comes down. Together they're effectively blocking his airway. He can be in that state for as long as 90 seconds and his oxygen level has fallen to half of what it should be. At that point, his brain is saying, give me air, and Billy responds violently. He's fighting for breath.
LOMBARDO: His brain is trying to wake him up to breathe. So that's where you see the sudden violent activity. The brain is saying, if you don't breathe, this is it. And as a last resuscitative gasp to clear the airway. And this happens 400 times a night.
CHERNOFF: So a violent fight or flight during sleep?
LOMBARDO: It is a fight or flight that has no business being in the sleep period. Fight or flight is for daytime.
CHERNOFF: As scary as it seems, sleep apnea is relatively common. Dr. Lombardo says as many as 10 percent of Americans suffer some type of the disorder. Though few people are as violent as Billy.
LOMBARDO: Tonight we'll start right from the beginning.
SHEEHAN: With the mask?
CHERNOFF: A mask that delivers a flow of air through Billy's nose.
LOMBARDO: It gently moves the tissue aside. If you see Billy's treatment video, perfect sleep. No violence, every breath clear.
CHERNOFF: Billy says he recently started sleeping normally, eight hours a night for the first time in years. Kathy still spends the night in the Lazy Boy, but if Billy remains under control at night, she intends to finally rejoin her husband in bed. Allan Chernoff, CNN, New York.
ZAHN: Too bad he couldn't have gotten that help ten years ago.
Coming up at the top of the hour, "LARRY KING LIVE" exclusive. You'll hear from deep throat himself. One-time FBI agent Mark Felt. Now, on to number two on our CNN.com countdown, sources tell CNN that FOX News anchor Tony Snow will accept the job of White House press secretary. Scott McClellan, the current press secretary, resigned last week.
Our number one story has nothing to do with politics, everything to do with a top model you might recognize from "Sports Illustrated" swimsuit fame. She didn't have this many clothes on. But what I want to know is what dangerous or outrageous behavior is she accused of on an airplane that could get her deported from the U.S.?
ZAHN: We close with the number one story on CNN.com. You probably don't recognize that face because that's not what she looks like when she's working. Immigration officials won't let former "Sports Illustrated" swimsuit model Mae Anderson enter the U.S. She is accused of hitting a flight attendant on a plane into Miami last Thursday, charged with assault. She is in federal custody.
Thanks so much for joining us, see you again tomorrow night.
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