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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Storms to Come; Nagin's Plan; Hurricanes and Oil; Built for a Hurricane; Toxic Trailers; What's Taking so Long?; Opus Dei; Who are the Masons?; Saving Barbaro; Trouble in Afghanistan; Strawberry Festival

Aired May 22, 2006 - 23:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST (voice-over): ...13 to 16 named storms. Eight to 10 of those hurricanes. Four to six of those hurricanes, major category three or higher.

Katrina was a category three when it hit the U.S. So were Dennis, Rita and Wilma. There were 15 hurricanes last year, 28 named storms. Far more than predicted, and one of the deadliest in history.

MAX MAYFIELD, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER: If there is anything good that can come out of the last hurricane season, and that's pretty hard to find, I hope that the motivation to help create a culture of preparedness. We have got to do a better job than we've been doing.

MARCIANO: Absent that culture of preparedness, Katrina killed more than 1,500 people and caused an estimated $100 billion in damage. Now, it seems, everyone is preparing.

DAVID PAULISON, ACTING DIRECTOR, FEMA: What we've been doing in FEMA is fixing those issues that we saw that did not work well in Katrina, looking at our logistics, how having the right things at the right place at the right time is so important.

MARCIANO: But preparation isn't just about supplies. It's also understanding the risks posed by more hurricanes for at least a decade ahead.

MAYFIELD: It's not all about the numbers. It just takes that one hurricane over your house to make for a bad year. We're in this very active period for major hurricanes that may last at least another 10 or 20 years.

MARCIANO: So whether it's the 2006 hurricane season or the next 20, if you live in the path of hurricanes, the forecast does not look good.

Rob Marciano, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, one of the people strongly criticized for the way he handled Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath is getting a second chance.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin won reelection Saturday, beating his challenger Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu by a narrow margin.

The outspoken mayor didn't waste time telling people what he plans to do in his second term to get New Orleans back on track -- or to at least plan to get New Orleans back on track.

He's CNN's Gulf Coast Correspondent Susan Roesgen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN GULF COAST CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nine months after Hurricane Katrina, much of New Orleans is still a wasteland. But after the election, Mayor Ray Nagin says give him 100 days, and he'll figure out how to fix things.

ELLEN SCHULLY, HOMEOWNER: What does he think he's going to do in 100 days that he hasn't done in nine months? That's what I don't understand.

ROESGEN: Homeowner Ellen Schully says, look around. Her neighborhood flooded and is barely hanging on.

SCHULLY: They've moved. this one's moved, that one has moved. The next one, she moved.

ROESGEN: Ellen says her neighbors need help to move back and she's sick of seeing all the trash.

Mayor Nagin says he'll form a commission to spend the next 100 days focusing on trash collection and housing. But this isn't the first time he's asked a commission to come up with a game plan.

Back in January, the mayor's "Bring New Orleans Back Commission" recommended the city abandon the most badly damaged neighborhoods, to focus on protecting those on higher ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell it like it goes.

ROESGEN: But the outcry from some neighborhoods was so great, the mayor rejected his own commission's report.

On Saturday, Mayor Nagin narrowly won reelection, defeating Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu. Nagin got 80 percent of the black vote and just 20 percent of the white vote, but that 20 percent was vital. Political analysts say Nagin was able to convince conservative white voters that Landrieu was too liberal to be trusted, and that gave Nagin just enough of a boost to win.

RAY NAGIN, MAYOR, NEW ORLEANS: I want to thank all the wonderful people of the city of New Orleans for this encouragement, for this victory, for this time for us to set the stage for our recovery.

ROESGEN: Like Mayor Nagin, Ellen Schully is also hopeful for recovery. She just thinks 100 days to study the city's problems won't be enough to get things done.

SCHULLY: I think it's going to take five to 10 years to get it back the way it was. Unfortunately.

Susan Roesgen, CNN, New Orleans.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, when the Gulf Coast was hit last year, we all felt the effects, especially at the gas pump. The average price of a gallon of gas jumped over $3 last year after Katrina and Rita tore through a number of oil rigs. Right now gas prices are already nearing that and there is yet to be a major storm in the Gulf.

So CNN's Randi Kaye took a look at what oil companies are doing to prepare for this year's hurricane season.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're on our way to the Gulf of Mexico right now. This helicopter is going to take us out to the Ram- Powell oil platform. It's one of about a half a dozen deep-water floating platforms operated by Shell Oil out there. And this will be our first look at the damage that was done and the repairs still under way.

The hour-long flight takes us over the water, which is spotted with oil platforms that survived the terrible sisters -- Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

According to the U.S. Department of Interior, 113 structures were lost in the Gulf. Now, most of those were the older oil platforms that were in shallow water. But when those platforms toppled down, they did major damage to the pipelines and disrupted the flow of oil.

Shell's Mars platform, which was the biggest producer in the Gulf was one of the hardest hit. Unable to land there, we stopped at the similar Ram-Powell oil platform.

This is what the rig looks like on Mars. It weighs as much as two 747s. The problem was that during Katrina, it actually toppled over and fell onto the processing area, putting oil production at a standstill.

GREG GUIDRY, SHELL OIL: For Hurricane Katrina, the clamps that clamp the rig down on Mars, they failed. And so the entire rig toppled over.

KAYE (voice-over): For this hurricane season, Shell has designed new clamps to withstand more than 2 million pounds of pressure -- enough to withstand another Katrina.

That's the oil well right there?

GUIDRY: That's it. KAYE: During last year's storms, drilling rigs also lost their moorings and floated aimlessly, dragging their anchors along the ocean floor.

An underwater robot like this one, never before used so deep, repaired this crack in 2,700 feet of water. Shell says it spent between $250 million and $300 million on Gulf recovery.

GUIDRY: We came back online, and by the end of 2005, we had about 70 percent to 75 percent of our production back on.

KAYE: And finally, starting today, Mars is producing oil and gas again. Before Katrina, it turned out 140,000 barrels of oil each day. It expects to reach those numbers again in June, just as the next hurricane season begins.

Still, 15 percent of the Gulf oil platforms are still down. But with an estimated 71 billion gallons of oil still out there, ready to be drilled, there was no question Shell and its competitors would rebuild. And it hopes when the next Katrina blows through, they'll be ready.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: So, Randi, it seems like most of these companies chose to rebuild in the Gulf and repair pretty quickly. How quickly did they need to make the decision, given the damage they suffered?

KAYE (on camera): Normally, Anderson, they have to make that decision in about six months. Within that time, they have to evaluate, repair and actually ramp up production. And if they don't, the federal government can actually take over control of that oil platform.

Now, being that Katrina and Rita were both so severe, these oil companies are getting a bit of an extension and they're working very hard, Anderson, from what we saw today. Already Shell has put in over 1 million man hours in Gulf recovery.

And they're also getting creative. We showed you how they're coming out with these new clamps now on the oil rigs for the next hurricane season, the one that's starting just in another week or so. They also are coming out with some new anchors, they've come up with those to try and keep those oil platforms in place.

And some of the oil companies are actually planning on using GPS on the oil rigs in case they break free. So they're trying to do this as quickly, but as efficiently as they possibly can.

COOPER: Randi Kaye, thanks.

The Gulf of Mexico is a major source for America's oil needs. Here's the data.

As Randi mentioned, oil reserves in the Gulf total an estimated 71 billion barrels -- 56 billion of those are in deeper waters. Before last year's storms, companies produced 1.5 million barrels a day. Barring future disruptions, it estimates at about 2 million barrels of oil a day will be produced.

So while the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico make preparations for the hurricane season, so is the National Weather Service. It's got to provide vital information, even when it's right in the middle of a storm.

So last October, in Key West, Florida, it opened a bunker, designed to keep operating even when Mother Nature is at its worst.

CNN's John Zarrella takes us inside.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Sloppy Joe's bar, the southernmost point in the U.S., a postcard sunset -- all are must- sees for anyone visiting Key West. And now, this...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ahead on the far left corner is the new location of the National Weather Service in Key West.

ZARRELLA: The new weather service bunker has made the famed constrained tour.

MATT STRAHAN, METEOROLOGIST-IN-CHARGE: I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about hurricanes. It's become such an obsession down here, and rightfully so.

ZARRELLA: The $5 million structure is designed to allow Matt Strahan and his staff of 21 to continue gathering data right through a category five hurricane.

JOHN RIZZO, METEOROLOGIST: We can't even hear, for the most part, that the storm is going on outside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good evening. And the launch from the corner of White Street and United is approved.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE Thank you very much. Launching in one minute.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roger.

ZARRELLA: Sending up last-minute data-gathering balloons, analyzing changes in the storm. It's the kind of information that emergency managers say could save lives here in the Keys if people listen.

BILLY WAGNER, MONROE COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGER: And I can assure you, if they don't pay attention to this, we're going to lose thousands of people if we have a three, four or five make landfall down here.

ZARRELLA: The bunker is made of concrete and steel. The windows are made to withstand winds of 165 miles an hour. If that's not enough, 500-pound storm shutters add protection.

(On camera): Now, if for whatever reason, this outer area should fail, the forecasters can retreat inside here. This is the safe room. The walls are 13 inches thick, poured concrete, steel reinforced. The door weighs 450 pounds. It opens to the inside so that it can't be blocked by debris. The entire room is designed to withstand winds of 255 miles an hour.

(Voice-over): On one wall are pictures drawn by schoolchildren who went through Hurricane Wilma last October. One child wrote, my house had two feet of water. My room was destroyed.

Another said, Wilma destroyed everything.

But Wilma wasn't the big one. Forecasters say if the big one does hit, though, they'll be here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The forecast for the lower and middle keys, including Key West in Marathon.

ZARRELLA: Tracking the storm, even if they're in the middle of it.

John Zarrella, CNN, Key West.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, if anyone were to adhere to federal safety standards, you'd think it would be the federal government. Just ask folks living in those infamous FEMA trailers. Turns out that some of the people who got them have also been getting sick from them. We'll tell you why.

Plus, this weekend's mining tragedy was exactly the kind that talking heads and politicians vowed wouldn't happen. We'll look at why it happened again.

Also, step into the real world of Opus Dei. In the "The Da Vinci Code," the religious groups is painted as powerful and corrupt. We'll meet some real-life members, and can you judge for yourself, when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Some of the trailers for Hurricane Katrina victims have been occupied and provide shelter, of course, but they also offer something else. High levels, in some cases very high levels of toxic gas.

Soledad O'Brien first reported this potential danger on "AMERICAN MORNING."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Paul and Melody Stewart's home used to sit near the Mississippi Bay. Then Hurricane Katrina turned their neighborhood into a trailer park, with 30-foot FEMA campers providing temporary shelter and long-term hope.

PAUL STEWART, LIVEDI N FEMA TRAILER: But once we got it, we were very excited because we were able to move home. And that's a bit deal. Moving home is a big deal.

O'BRIEN: For the Stewarts, home became just another headache when they were forced to abandon their trailer because they say the fumes were overwhelming.

MELODY STEWART, LIVED IN FEMA TRAILER: You would wake up. You could feel -- like a weight on your chest. I mean, you could feel that you couldn't breathe.

PAUL STEWART: We went on the Internet and I started looking up health issues, campers, so forth and came across a lot of threads and a lot of, you know, talk about formaldehyde inside.

O'BRIEN: Paul reported his suspicions to a FEMA maintenance subcontractor --twice. He says he got no response. So he did his own test on the air in his camper and he was shocked by what he found -- a formaldehyde concentration of 0.22 parts per million in the air. The EPA says anything over 0.1 parts per million can harm the respiratory system and may even cause cancer.

MELODY STEWART: I don't know how we were going to do it, but we knew we had to get out.

O'BRIEN: FEMA believes the Stewarts' problem is an isolated case in an otherwise successful half a billion dollar trailer program that gave 100,000 families a place to live in record time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is absolutely the largest disaster the United States has ever faced. With that has come the largest emergency housing mission and I think it is safe to assume that there will be a number of families who will be staying in these travel trailers longer than in previous disasters.

O'BRIEN: Displaced residents are living in trailers made for camping. They are often built with particle board, with contains formaldehyde, to support the bedding and the seats and the counters.

CNN conducted air tests on two other FEMA trailers. Four children live in this one, which tested 80 percent higher than federal recommendations.

This one tested 50 percent higher. We tagged along with the Stewarts and some local environmentalists as they testing 31 FEMA trailers; 29 tested above the federal standard.

FEMA says it hands out fliers to warn people to ventilate their new trailers. No one we spoke to said they'd gotten a flier.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my eyes just ran a lot more and I had that hacking like everybody's got around here. Just that hacking cough.

O'BRIEN: At this FEMA trailer camp, at least a dozen people told us they have complained to FEMA about the irritating fumes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The know it already. Everybody's had that same complaint.

O'BRIEN: Darlene Bullock's trailer tested 30 percent above the federal standard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They had to take the bid, and now just because of the plywood...

O'BRIEN: The Cavalier trailers are manufactured by Gulf Stream. The company says they received no complaints of illnesses and that they use "low formaldehyde emission building materials." Gulf Stream also says that "especially under closed and/or stored conditions formaldehyde from a variety of common building products may be present," but that levels will dissipate with proper ventilation.

Dick Lemen was the nation's assistant surgeon general under two administrations.

DICK LEMEN, AIR QUALITY EXPERT: General knowledge was adequately available about the issues concerning formaldehyde, their irritant effects and should have been addressed in buying the trailers.

O'BRIEN: FEMA says they've used these very trailers to house thousands of people after disasters for years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would question whether they are unsafe or whether this is for a few people a nuisance. We've not found formaldehyde to be an issue in the past, but we remain concerned.

O'BRIEN: FEMA offered Paul and Melody Stewart a new trailer after he complained. The Stewarts claim the replacement was infested with bugs. They took out a second mortgage on their non-existent home and have bought their own trailer.

MELODY STEWART: If you haven't gotten one of these campers yet, the ones that FEMA gave us, thank God.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: But only Soledad O'Brien on "AMERICAN MORNING" weekdays, starting at 6:00 a.m., Eastern right here on CNN.

So, there's been an unusual number of mining accidents so far this year, and that has awakened lawmakers to the need for safety reforms -- we hope. This weekend's deadly accident proved they are not moving fast enough. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CECIL ROBERTS, UNITED MINE WORKERS: You're much safer in a coal mine in Canada and Australia than you are in the United States of America. And everyone standing right here today should be embarrassed by that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, that is a fact. Coming up, we'll take a look at what is taking so long for change to come.

Also, the religious group, depicted in "The Da Vinci Code," is on a mission to counteract how the movie portrays its cause.

All that and more, when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: After 12 miners died in an accident in Sago, West Virginia, last January, state and federal lawmakers promised that new legislation would prevent such disasters.

This weekend in Kentucky, however, another sadly similar tragedy. Again, only one survivor. And the miners not killed by the explosion died of suffocation.

The question many people are asking is, why isn't Congress making changes?

CNN's Joe Johns, tonight, "Keeping them Honest."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A deadly year in coal mining, and it's only half over. So far, more Americans have died in coal mines during 2006 than all of last year or the year before, or even the year before that.

The investigators, the operators, the regulators, and even the lawmakers say they're baffled by it.

Congressman Charlie Norwood chairs the House subcommittee that oversees mine safety.

(On camera): Why do you think there have been so many deaths this year?

REP. CHARLES NORWOOD (R), GEORGIA: I do not know. I mean, you know, we're trying -- I'm trying very hard to find out precisely what's going on. And I'm getting briefings every week.

JOHNS (voice-over): Critics have claimed that lax regulations or lax enforcement, coupled with greater demand and production of coal have increased the risk for coal miners.

But the fact is that after the Sago Mine tragedy in January, the federal government announced rules to increase the number of emergency air supplies in mines, along with extra training for the people who may need such equipment.

State legislatures, like the one in West Virginia, have passed new mine safety laws, but the U.S. Congress has taken no decisive action. Though it's coming under increasing pressure to do something.

CECIL ROBERTS, UNITED MINE WORKERS: You're much safer in a coal mine in Canada and Australia than you are in the United States of America. And everyone standing right here today should be embarrassed by that.

JOHNS: Just last week on Capitol Hill, only a few days before the disaster in Kentucky, the head of the United Mine Workers union joined family members of miners killed in West Virginia's Sago disaster, demanding new safety measures, including more air supply in the mines, safety chambers, better communications for miners underground. And why do you think some say the Congress has waited?

DEBBIE HAMNER, WIDOW OF GEORGE HAMNER: The real question, I believe, is that it's that corporations' profits are more important than safety of our miners. And we're in this energy crisis right now, and coal can certainly play a factor in that, but we've got to mine this coal safely.

JOHNS: Congressman Norwood defends the time it's taken to get to this point.

NORWOOD: If I had lost a son or a father in one of those mines, I would be just like they are. I would be hammering the tables, saying why aren't you doing something in Washington? But the truth is, when we do do something, it needs to be the right thing. End of the day, I think they'll forgive us for being slow-producing legislation because we really are trying to get the right legislation.

JOHNS: And as far as the issue of corporate profits goes, Norwood says the wrong regulations intended to make safer mines could have unintended effects.

NORWOOD: It doesn't promote anybody's best interests to be so unreasonable that you put these people -- these miners out of work. That's not good for them.

JOHNS: Under pressure from miners' families, Congress is picking up the pace. Norwood hopes to put the finishing touches on his plan as early as this week.

Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: We'll be watching.

If you saw the movie or read the book, the words "Opus Dei" are familiar ones. In "The Da Vinci Code" Opus Dei is a dark force. We're going to meet some real-life members of the group and you can judge for yourself.

Plus, the Masons also known as Free Masons, we'll go into their history, see what their mission is.

And the battle to save the life of Barbaro. We'll show you what's involved and how the Kentucky Derby winner is doing today.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You do not understand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are in the middle of a war.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, "The Da Vinci Code" has become Hollywood's newest blockbuster, taking in $224 million worldwide in its first three days of release. That's unbelievable.

If you have seen the film or read the novel, you know that a dark force in the story is a Catholic group, known as Opus Dei. The story is fiction, but Opus Dei is not. And no surprise, its members are not too happy with the way they're being portrayed.

Here's CNN's Delia Gallagher with a report first seen on "PAULA ZAHN NOW."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are in the middle of the a war to protect a secret so powerful, that if revealed it would devastate the very foundations of mankind.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): But a war being waged off screen pits Hollywood against Christianity, raising the question, how far should fiction intrude on fact?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Witness the biggest cover-up in human history.

GALLAGHER: At the center of the controversy is a real-life group called Opus Dei, unwillingly cast as the villains in Dan Brown's book and brought to life on film by an evil bishop and a killer monk who lurks in shadows and whips himself bloody.

But what is Opus Dei? Opus Dei describes itself as a Catholic organization whose mission is to enable people to serve God through work and everyday life. But in "The Da Vinci Code," Brown describes it as a deeply devout Catholic sect, a brainwashing cult and a secret society.

From the first page of the book, Brown sets the stage for his tale of conspiracy inside it's $47 million headquarters on Lexington Avenue.

This is the actual building. It's 17 stories tall, with separate entrances for men and women. Inside separate facilities divide male and female members called numeraries. They make a lifelong commitment to celibacy and to living in an Opus Dei residence. There are his and her chapels, dining rooms, classrooms and fitness centers. TONA VARELA, OPUS DEI NUMERARY: This is the exercise room, also known as the torture chamber.

GALLAGHER (on-camera): The real torture chamber.

VARELA: Yes.

(voice over): Tona Varela has been a numerary for 25 years.

VARELA: In Opus Dei, we are about holiness. And holiness -- you need to be free to love God.

GALLAGHER (on-camera): Do you feel brainwashed? Do you feel like you belong to a cult?

VARELA: I hope I don't look brainwashed to you. And I am completely free. I am very happy and free.

GALLAGHER (voice over): Not all members of Opus Dei are celibate. The majority of the roughly 3,000 American members are what's called super numeraries. They can marry, have children and live in their own home.

Terri Carron is one of them. A wife, mother of four and public relations consultant, Terri is one of several members the group has been providing to the media in recent months.

(on-camera): What is the biggest myth perpetrated by the book or the movie about Opus Dei?

TERRI CARRON, OPUS DEI SUPERNUMERARY: I think the biggest myth about Opus Dei is that it is some kind of religious organization, you know, involved in conspiracy to find some elusive holy grail, and the reality is much more down to earth. You know, we are just people, lay Catholics looking for God in our everyday life.

GALLAGHER (voice over): For all the debate about the book and the movie, neither Dan Brown, nor the filmmakers are the first to portray Opus Dei in a negative light. Some former members have told stories of fear, entrapment and brainwashing on this Web site, The Opus Dei Awareness Network, which claims to describe the group's questionable practices in vivid detail.

COLLEEN, FMR. NUMERARY ASST.: Opus Dei is a cult. And, you know, I want people to know that a year ago I would have never said that.

GALLAGHER: Colleen says she was expected to practice strict rituals like corporal mortification, striking herself with a knotted whip called a discipline and wearing a spiked metal chain called a cilice as a reminder of Christ suffering.

COLLEEN: We believed that the more you mortified yourself, the more graces you would win for people.

GALLAGHER (on camera): The Albino monk in "The Da Vinci Code" wears a cilice so tightly, he makes himself bleed. This is an actual cilice worn by numeraries around their bare thighs for two hours a day. You can see for yourself just how sharp these spikes are. Depending on how tightly you tie it, it could be pretty painful.

REV. MICHAEL BARRETT, OPUS DEI PRIEST: Corporal mortification is harmless to your health. It doesn't cause any physical damage whatsoever.

GALLAGHER: It doesn't make you bleed?

BARRETT: Not a bit.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Reverend Michael Barrett insists that Opus Dei is not a cult and thinks that "The Da Vinci Code" Director Ron Howard should have left out any mention of Opus Dei in the movie.

(On camera): What would you say to moviegoers of "The Da Vinci Code?"

BARRETT: I'd say, to see the movie with your eyes open, not to just take things in as though everything presented is fact and true.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Delia Gallagher, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, another group mentioned in "The Da Vinci Code" is the Free Masons, and its members might just be as misunderstood as those in Opus Dei. You probably recognize the name, but many people don't realize exactly what they stand for.

So, here again, Delia Gallagher.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GALLAGHER: The Grand Masonic Lodge in New York City and a once secret ceremony, the installation of a new grand master. It is steeped in tradition, ritual and history.

NEILS BURDICK, GRAND MASTER: We try to see ourselves back for the stone Masons that worked in a guild system, under which there were several levels of learning and experience that the men were imbued with.

GALLAGHER: Masons, also known as Free Masons, go back centuries to the master craftsmen who carved the stone of the churches in buildings of Europe.

But the first Grand Lodge was organized in England in the 18th century. It is a fraternity, no women allowed. And the men who are members share at least one common characteristic, a belief in a higher power.

JOHN HAMILL, UNITED GRAND LODGE OF ENGLAND: The prime qualification for admission is to have a belief in a supreme being, a belief in God. Whether you're a Christian or whatever denomination, a Muslim, a Jew, a Hindu, a Sikh, it doesn't matter. It's irrelevant, provided you have a belief in a supreme being, in God.

GALLAGHER: It takes years for a member to learn all of the society's secrets. But Lifelong Member John Hamill helped unravel some of the Masonic mysteries for us, starting with the right of initiation.

A new member must first prove that he is a man by rolling up a pant leg and exposing his left breast, and that he comes into the group free of worldly possessions.

HAMILL: He comes in blindfold, which is slightly dramatic. It's done rather like the medieval mystery plays. The first degree is he has a noose around his neck. Which, again, is part of the symbolism. It's a reminder to him of the seriousness of the promises that he's making.

GALLAGHER: Though some ceremonies and some symbols can vary from lodge to lodge, all new Masons receive an apron, white lambskin first, but as they rise through the ranks, the aprons become more ornate, covered with regalia. And then more of the mysteries are revealed.

HAMILL: He is given the secrets, which everybody has great fun about, the passwords and the handshakes.

GALLAGHER: The passwords, handshakes and codes are all designed to show other Masons from other lodges that you are a brother. But keeping them secret proves something more.

HAMILL: We regard that as a basic test of a person's trustworthiness. If they can't keep a simple promise to preserve those, then what sort of trust can we put in them?

GALLAGHER: Even the surroundings in a Masonic Lodge are ripe with symbolism, all modeled after the temple of King Solomon. Every Masonic room is designed in exactly the same way. You enter from the west. The grand master is seated at the east. There are two columns in one corner, and somewhere in every room, there is a "G". Some say it represents geometry. Others say it represents God.

Despite their belief in a supreme being, some religions, like Catholicism, discourage their members from becoming Masons.

Despite the secrecy or maybe because of it, the Masons have attracted rich and powerful members. Mozart was a Mason. His opera, "The Magic Flute," was filled with Masonic imagery.

Many of America's founding fathers were Masons, including Benjamin Franklin. Nine signers of the Declaration of Independence were Masons, as were 14 presidents. Among them, George Washington.

In fact, the bible used at his inauguration is the property of the Masons. And some modern presidents have been sworn in on it.

(On camera): Just like in the United States, so, too in Britain, many influential members of society have been Masons. In fact, their current grand master is a member of the royal family, the Duke of Kent.

(Voice-over): Many of the men who joined the Masons say they do it in part for the camaraderie, but also for the chance to serve their communities and be with others who share their high standards and old- fashioned morality. But what they take away can be just as important.

HAMILL: It's a journey of self-knowledge, self-discovery. In a rather trite way. Some Free Masons say, Free Masonry takes a good man and makes him better. I think it's rather deeper than that as you progress through about yourself and as you start to study the ritual and the meaning behind the ritual. For a lot of people, it gives them confidence.

GALLAGHER: Masons say their mission today is to attract new, young members. And being featured in the book and film, "The Da Vinci Code," hasn't hurt.

HAMILL: I think that's got a lot of people to look more at these societies. I think it's made an impact in that way.

GALLAGHER: And, they say, they are happy to lift the veil, at least a little, and uncover some of the mysteries so that modern Masons will be known not for their funny handshakes, but for their good works.

Delia Gallagher, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, coming up, what is in a domain name, you ask? Well, quite a lot if it's XXX. The company that wants net domain for pornography has failed once. Now it's trying again, suing the federal government. We'll talk about that.

Plus, he is out of surgery and in the recovery ward. Perhaps that should be the recovery stall. The Kentucky Derby Champion Barbaro is facing the fight of his life. His life is hanging in the balance right now. We're going to look at his prognosis, ahead on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Coming up, the battle to save Barbaro, the champion horse, the broken leg. But first, Erica Hill, from "HEADLINE NEWS," has some of the business stories we're following -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, more losses on Wall Street to start out the week. The Dow closed down 18 points. The S&P dropped nearly five, and the NASDAQ fell 21, to its lowest level this year. The investors are still worried about inflation after the latest round of earnings reports.

And after a nine-month investigation, the Federal Trade Commission finds there was some price gouging after Hurricane Katrina, but the agency says there wasn't a wide spread effort by the oil industry to manipulate the market. Instead, the FTC links soaring prices last September to regional or local market trends. Some lawmakers are blasting the report and promise tough questioning at a hearing tomorrow.

And an Internet battle is heating up. The backers of a bid to create an Internet domain for porn are now suing the federal government. ICM Registry wants access to government documents. It claims those papers will show the State Department and Commerce Department lobbied for the new Internet address to be rejected. Some strong claims there. I'm sure it's not the last we've heard of it -- Anderson.

COOPER: Porn on the Internet. Who knew? Erica, thanks.

So on Saturday, we saw the tragic end to a very promising career. Kentucky Derby Champion Barbaro broke his leg. And despite his very best medical care, at this point it's not a sure bet that he's even going to survive.

CNN's Jason Carroll has the latest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This 3-year-old colt, named Barbaro, was a rising star. Good-looking, strong, and very fast.

ANNOUNCER: Barbaro wins by seven!

CARROLL: Just a few weeks ago, he won the Kentucky Derby, and Barbaro would have done something that hasn't been done since Affirm did it in 1978.

ANNOUNCER: Affirm's got a nose in front as they come onto the wire!

CARROLL: Capture their triple crown, winning the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and Belmont stakes. On Saturday, Barbaro was favored to win the Preakness. But in a world where everything is measured in seconds, the dream ended in one agonizing moment.

ANNOUNCER: Barbaro, Barbaro, I believe he's been pulled out.

CARROLL: At the start of the race, Barbaro broke his leg. The cause is still unclear. He limped off the track. His hind leg clearly hurt. Doctors say his bone was shattered in more than 20 pieces. Veterinarians at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton center for large animals, operated for hours to repair it.

DR. DEAN RICHARDSON, BARBARO'S SURGEON: This is just the absolute first step in any type of case like this. I mean, getting the horse up is a big step. But it is not the last step by any means.

MICHAEL MATZ, TRAINER: It's just amazing to see him walk like that. And the first thing he went in and started eating hay. So they did a terrific job.

CARROLL: Barbaro looked alert after his surgery, but his condition is still uncertain.

(On camera): At horse farms all over the country like this one in Long Island, New York, owners and trainers are really pulling for Barbaro's full recovery.

(Voice-over): Horse owner Joe Lostritto is back on his farm after the Preakness. His horse, Platinum Couple, was next to Barbaro when he was injured.

JOE LOSTRITTO, HORSE OWNER: My heart dropped. You cannot describe the moment. It's like you lost all your breath. You know, you just -- you cannot describe it.

CARROLL: Lostritto and his family know the pain of putting down a horse injured in a race. It happened to them twice. They believe Barbaro will pull through.

LEIGH BERKOWITZ: He was committed to winning all his races. And I think he's a strong-minded animal. And I think he will make it.

CARROLL: A champion who faces his toughest challenge.

Jason Carroll, CNN, Long Island, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, earlier I spoke with Veterinary Surgeon Dr. Celeste Kunz, who brought along another horse, named Half-Life (ph), to show us exactly where and how Barbaro was injured.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. CELESTE KUNZ, VETERINARY SURGEON: The fracture was to the cannon bone. It involved the ankle. So we call it the condylar fracture. Destabilization of the joint occurred, so the pastern was fractured. This is the pastern of the horse. There was also a fracture of the sesemoid. Sesemoids are located in the back of the ankle.

COOPER: And the actual joint was dislocated?

KUNZ: Yes. There was destabilization. So it was actually a two-phased injury. First, the cannon bone fractures and that destabilization causes the fracture of the pastern. And then it spirals downhill from there.

COOPER: We're looking at an X-ray of Barbaro's leg. And I know you've seen it before. I mean, it's kind of a shocking picture. There's a pin, there's 23 screws. What are all those screws for?

KUNZ: Those screws are to hold the metal plate to the bone. So, he's virtually standing with the assistance of that plate. Now, over time, his bones will fuse. So there will be no motion in that joint, but that will be fine. He can still walk, run and play. That's providing that we don't have any complications.

COOPER: What are doctors most worried about right now that the surgery is over?

KUNZ: Well, there's a lot of hardware in that joint. So we're hoping that we can prevent infection. He has some very strong pharmaceuticals onboard in order to prevent that. We're watching his temperament. We want him to be just like he would be on a regular basis. We want him to eat well, we want him to nicker to other horses, we want him to lay down, get up, walk around the stall. He has to be able to use all four legs. He has to be able to distribute his weight equally.

COOPER: Now, the horse behind you kind of shifting around. And I know for horses who have been injured, it's particularly important that their weight is evenly distributed, correct?

KUNZ: That's true because the horse's whole physiology is based around their circulation of their lower limb. So his gastrointestinal system, the circulatory system, is dependent upon his mobility. It's much different than for us or much different for a small animal.

COOPER: And how can you tell that the horse may be in pain?

KUNZ: Well, we want to manage his discomfort. If you've ever had -- if you've ever broken your leg -- I know I have -- it's uncomfortable. But we give him certain pharmaceuticals so that we can manage him. We don't want him so comfortable that he wants to jog in his stall, but we want him to be able to manage that. And he's an amazing horse. Not only is he an amazing athlete, but he's a great patient, and he's very tolerant. And that's important. The temperament of the horse, the individual, is very important for the outcome of this surgery as well.

COOPER: And I mean, we've been hearing a lot that horses with injuries like this -- and it's an uncommon injury -- are typically euthanized. Is that true?

KUNZ: Well, he was on a scale of one to 10, he was a 9.9. He was in that small gray zone that we can actually cheat death, if you will. But in my experience, we have done this procedure not only on top-class horses, but on some horses of very modest value. We, as track veterinarians, our mission is to try to save every horse.

And we approach every injury exactly the same. We evaluate it. We manage it. On the racetrack, we try to reduce the fracture as they did in Maryland. Move him, by horsing him out to a safe place, reevaluate with X-rays, and see what our options are.

And luckily, we are left with some raw materials to work with.

COOPER: Well, it's an incredible procedure, and a complicated one. Dr. Kunz, appreciate you talking about it. Thank you.

Coming up, a disturbing development in the war on terror. Signs that the Taliban are getting stronger. We'll take to you Afghanistan for that report when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: New indications that trouble is brewing in the war on terror in Afghanistan. In the past week, U.S. military efforts to root out the Taliban have triggered the worst carnage in four years of intermittent fighting.

Already there's finger-pointing between Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan over who exactly is to blame for the Taliban's renewed strength there.

CNN's Jamie McIntyre investigates.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For days now, U.S. troops have been involved in fierce fighting in southern Afghanistan, where American commanders say the Taliban has come back stronger this year than last.

Intimidating the locals, showing off more money and weapons, and attacking more often with Iraq-style roadside bombs.

For the third time in a week, U.S. troops attacked and killed a large number of suspected Taliban fighters near the village of Azizi in Kandahar, one of three southern provinces where Taliban forces have been flooding in.

The U.S.-led coalition says a combination of attacks by Air Force A10s and ground forces Sunday night and Monday morning resulted in the deaths of up to 80 suspected Taliban, including what it says were 20 confirmed Taliban fighters, as well as 60 additional casualties with suspected terrorist ties.

But local officials say some of the casualties, at least 16, were civilians caught in the fighting when Taliban forces took up positions on their roofs and in their houses.

This man says, there were 24 victims among them. Two men were killed, and one woman. The rest were all children.

The U.S. acknowledged some civilians might have been killed, but a statement issued by the U.S. Coalition said, "The Coalition only targeted armed resistance, compounds and buildings known to harbor extremists." The U.S. says it's taking the fight to the Taliban, in part, to pave the way for some 6,000 NATO troops who will take over security efforts in the south this summer.

But don't look for big U.S. troop cuts. American forces will still lead the hunt for Taliban and al Qaeda.

(On camera): The U.S. military says body counts are the wrong measure of success in a military campaign. Nevertheless, U.S. commanders point out that the Taliban have suffered what they call extraordinary losses in the last three or four weeks. Several hundred Taliban fighters killed, along with the capture of what they describe as a midlevel Taliban commander.

Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: A lot of feedback coming in on our reports for the hunt for Polygamy Leader Warren Jeffs, who is on the FBI's most wanted list. That's what's on the radar and on our blog.

Liz White, Newton, Massachusetts, asks, "Why doesn't Jeffs come forward? If he was a Christian, he would know he was not above the law. If he really believes he is doing nothing wrong, the coward would turn himself in. No religion is above the law.

And a viewer in New York City writes, "I think polygamy is just fine as long as everyone is a consenting adult. And as long as children are protected. The world sure needs more loving relationships, whatever their flavor." Different point of view.

That's what's "On the Radar" tonight.

More of 360 in a moment. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: So, you'll no doubt remind the Sago Mine tragedy earlier this year. Well, in the town of Buckhannon, West Virginia, where it occurred, this weekend there was a sign of better days. A sign of a community still standing strong together.

The people of Buckhannon just wrapped the week long 65th West Virginia Strawberry Festival. Thousands of people attended. Our friend Jodi Light (ph) sent us these photos. I had planned to attend the festival, but was unable to because of work, but it is certainly nice to see the strength of this community.

The highlight, I am told, was Saturday's grand feature parade. The celebrations also included sports competitions, street parties, and free strawberry short cake. Mmm. Strawberry shortcake.

"LARRY KING" is next. The best political team on TV has the scoop on immigration, domestic spying uproar, and more.

See you tomorrow.

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