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Young Girl's Triumphant Kidnapping Story; Bird Flu Closing in on United States?; Immigration Debate Dividing Republican Party; Sniper vs. Sniper; Madonna Irks Catholics With New Stunt

Aired May 24, 2006 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. Glad to have you with us tonight.
Here is what happening at this moment.

A Pakistani national has been convicted of plotting a bomb attack in New York City. Shahawar Siraj was heard on tape telling an undercover agent about his plans to bomb one of Manhattan's busiest subway stations. He could get life.

Iraq's new prime minister is predicting his troops should be able to secure the country on their own by the end of next year. Today, insurgents killed another American, the 54th soldier to die this month.

Now we're going to take a look at gas prices across the country in our "Crude Awakenings." The states with today's highest gas prices are in red, the lowest in green. Love it when that green outnumbers the red. The average today for unleaded regular is $2.87. That's the same as yesterday.

And our chart shows the general trend, as we get closer to the Memorial Day weekend. We hope it continues.

Tonight, though, we have two chilling developments from opposite sides of the globe in the battle against a potentially catastrophic outbreak of bird flew. Health officials fear a global outbreak could kill tens of millions of people.

And, tonight, both of these developments raise the level of concern that bird flu could be closing in on the U.S.

We get all the latest information now from Mary Snow, who just filed this report.


MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a sign that countries are worried, the Rumanian government has quarantined hundreds of residents in two districts of the capital of Bucharest, concerned they may have been exposed to birds with avian influenza -- so far, no confirmed sickness.

In Indonesia, six family members died in what health officials say is the largest known cluster of humans dying from bird flu, prompting the World Health Organization to make this sober statement:

PETER CORDINGLY, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: We have a team down there. They're examining what is going on. And they can't find an animal source of this infection. And that worries us. And in the absence of a known animal source, we have to treat this as possibly human-to-human transmission of the virus.

SNOW: Health officials stress that the H5N1 flu found in this family has not mutated in a way that is easily passed from person to person. It's not the first case of human-to-human transmission of avian flu, but officials say it's the largest. They are now investigating if anyone who had contact with the family may have contracted the disease.

DR. PAUL GULLY, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: Well, what we're trying to identify, if it has occurred, is what we call sustained human-to-human transmission, i.e., one human giving it to another and giving it to another, and so on and so forth, because that would indicate that we have the potential for a pandemic.

SNOW (on camera): If that were to happen, health officials say it would raise the level of pandemic plans. So, what would happen in the U.S.?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: If it occurs, then that would trigger a number of events of preparedness to the next level. And some of it might be and could be restriction of travel to a particular area where there seems to be rather easy spread from person to person, which is, again, I underscore, not the case that we're seeing now in Indonesia.

SNOW: Airline travel would be an obvious line of defense. The Air Transport Association says there's a heightened awareness following a SARS outbreak in Asia in 2003.

For example, one precaution: The captain of any airliner heading to the U.S. is required by law to report any passengers suspected of having avian flu. Upon arrival, those passengers would have to go to a quarantine station. The bigger plan is one that the industry says stresses precaution, not panic.

Mary Snow, CNN, New York.


ZAHN: And now we're going to give you an unprecedented look inside a federal lab that is critical to the nation's defense against bird flu. Scientists there have the very important job of testing birds to find out whether the virus has made its way to this country.

Senior medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta takes us "Beyond the Headlines" right now.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Take a look at these birds. They are swans. And they are dying. The strain of avian flu known as H5N1 has infected their bodies and their brains. They cannot walk. They cannot even hold their heads up.

These birds are not in the United States. But many people in this country are holding their breath, waiting, waiting for the birds and for the virus that has traveled much of the globe to arrive here.

Welcome to ground zero for bird flu. If -- scratch that -- when H5N1 is first found in the United States, it will likely be in a dead bird, and it will likely be confirmed right here. Here, they have been preparing for that moment for nearly 10 years.

DR. LARRY GRANGER, USDA NATIONAL VETERINARY SERVICES LABS: Whether or not this is H5N1 is a question that needs to be answered. This is where that question would be answered.

GUPTA (on camera): We've made our way to Ames, Iowa. And this is one the biggest laboratories around. And if there are bird flu samples, there's a good chance they'll actually end up here to be confirmed.

(voice-over): Luckily, we are not there yet. So, the USDA opened their doors to CNN for the first time. Cameras have never been allowed into this unassuming building -- a swipe card and a fingerprint just to get through the door.

(on camera): I've got all my garb on now. These is just an overall. These are gloves, my booties down here, obviously, safety glasses back up here, and a hair net.

The whole goal, I think, more than anything else, is to protect me from the chickens. And, now, these chickens are not hot, meaning they don't have highly pathogenic avian influenza. But, if they did, I would probably have to take off all my clothes. I would have to put on some scrubs, be a little bit more sophisticated in my protection, and probably have to take a shower on my way out.

We might not even be able to get some of the images that we're getting right now, because the camera could be a potential problem as well.

(voice-over): The protective gear makes me feel at least a little more safe. The doors and the rooms are air-locked. Nothing gets in. Nothing gets out.

(on camera): OK, this is the room that I've been talking about. This is the room where the actual chickens are located. Now, let me show you this. I mean, these are some of the chickens that are probably going to have some of the first cases of avian flu in the country. If there's a case of avian flu, those chickens may very well end up here.

Now, I want to give you a sense of what really happens up to a chicken that has avian flu. A lot of people ask me about this. What typically happens is, the chicken may develop Sinusitis, which is just inflammation of the sinuses. And then they start to develop swelling of the head and of the neck. And it actually grows to several times its size.

Then, eventually, the -- the -- the limbs you see there and the claws, they're yellow now, but they'll actually turn blue from lack of oxygen. Eventually, the lungs will fail, and that's what will kill the chicken.

And I'll tell you what the most striking thing is, to me, when I heard this, is that entire process that I just described could take place anywhere from 14 hours to 7 days. These chickens can go from being perfectly healthy to dead in a very short amount of time.

And that's why we're here today, to try to figure out exactly what happens when bird flu infects these birds, and, more importantly, what happens when that virus becomes something that is spread among humans.

(voice-over): And, so, the fight has begun, lab workers hurriedly preparing. Here, they use chicken eggs with nine-day-old embryos. Yes, that is a living embryo.

They showed me how to drill a hole in the top of the egg. They've been injected with the virus -- the goal, to let the virus multiply so they can identify H5N1 and fight it even better.

Right now, the virus is still primarily located in birds. Here in Ames, Iowa, they are hoping, with all of their work, it stays that way.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Ames, Iowa.


ZAHN: And you can see more of the good doctor's reports regularly on "A.C. 360" at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

Now we move on to our countdown of the top 10 stories on today. More than 18 million of you went to our Web site.

At number 10 -- the case of the cat accused of reckless endangerment. Lewis -- yes, that's his name -- of Bridgeport, Connecticut, has allegedly been attacking his owner's neighbors. Well, now he and his owner are facing trial. They're due back in court next month -- Lewis currently under house arrest. Stay away from that guy.

Number nine -- a new report out today says the FBI missed many chances to uncover a suspected spy for China and her American lover, who was an FBI agent. The agency first became concerned about her way back in the late 1980s. The two were finally arrested in 2003.

Numbers eight and seven straight ahead, along with a white-hot controversy that has many voters outraged and their elected representatives scrambling for cover.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ZAHN (voice-over): It's the year's most explosive political issue. As the immigration bill reaches a critical moment of decision, could millions of illegal immigrants really be deported, or can there be a compromise on citizenship?

And the "Eye Opener" -- this amazing girl could be one of the smartest kids you will ever meet. She was kidnapped and terrorized, but she didn't get scared. She got even -- all that and more just ahead.



ZAHN: There was an amazing showdown today in a Maryland courtroom. What happened when the two snipers who terrorized the Washington, D.C., area a few years ago faced off against each other?

Here is, though, what is happening at the moment. The U.N. is again urging Iran to return to talks with France, Britain and Germany over limiting its nuclear enrichment program. Iran walked away from those talks back in February.

Senator John McCain is returning $20,000 in contributions from a very wealthy Texas family now under investigation because of offshore tax shelters. The Wiley (ph) family hosted a McCain fund-raiser last week in Dallas.

And the president's fund-raising visit to Philadelphia triggered some excitement in the skies, a small plane that violated a Secret Service no-fly zone. But fighter jets were scrambled and the president's visit continued without incident.

Tonight, supporters of immigration reform -- and that includes President Bush -- are on the eve, it appears, of a major victory. The U.S. Senate is in session as we speak, trying to wind up its debate on immigration reform. All day, a coalition of Democrats and Republicans has fought off challenges to a compromise that strengthens border security, and gives most of the 12 million illegal immigrants in this country a chance to stay.

The senators are on track for a final vote tomorrow. But this fight still has a very long way to go. Immigration reform may end up looking very different or even die altogether.

As chief national correspondent John King shows us, it's because of a very unusual split in the Republican Party.


JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There is the Senate view of the Republican Party's election-year challenge...

SEN. NORM COLEMAN (R), MINNESOTA: It's important that we get some things done here, get an immigration bill done. KING: ... and the very different House view.

REP. ROY BLUNT (R-MS), HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP: Many of our members have come to me and said, we believe the House position is the best position between here and the November election.

KING: With the Senate poised to pass a major immigration bill that includes a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants, the question for Republicans is whether to compromise...

SEN. BILL FRIST (R-TN), MAJORITY LEADER: We're on a glide path to complete the immigration bill, a comprehensive bill.

KING: ... or hold firm.

REP. STEVE CHABOT (R), OHIO: Anything that approaches amnesty is wrong, and I think they are going to have a hard time getting enough votes in the House to pass such a bill.

KING: For the second time in a week, Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove visited House Republicans, in search of a formula for compromise. And for the second time in a week, his upbeat assessment was not shared by most of those in the meeting.

REP. TOM DELAY (R), TEXAS: If the Senate or the president insist on an amnesty-type path to citizenship, it's a nonstarter, and you won't get a bill.

KING: More proof of a party divided over both immigration policy and immigration politics.


KING: One side worries, allowing those who broke the law to not only stay in the United States, but eventually get citizenship, would infuriate grassroots conservatives, critical to Republican chances this November.

NEIL NEWHOUSE, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: The anger is so strong and the frustration is so strong on this issue that I -- you know, I don't -- I think, perhaps, the White House may have missed that -- that kind of intensity.

KING: The other side thinks the bigger long-term risk is an anti-immigrant tone that drives away the growing Latino vote.

GROVER NORQUIST, PRESIDENT, AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM: This is why George W. Bush's presidency is not only important to the country, but important to the Republican Party, in making sure that the Republican Party continues to get 40, 50 percent of the Hispanic vote.

KING: The president's plan to send National Guard troops to the border was one step toward the tougher approach favored by the House.

And the Senate embraced a few more steps, including new fencing and other border security measures, and tougher penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants. But the guest-worker program, allowing those who enter the United States illegally to stay and get citizenship, remains the Republican fault line. The question now, whether a weakened president can somehow find a way to lead his divided party from confrontation to an immigration compromise.

John King, CNN, Washington.


ZAHN: And even though the immigration debate is a long way from being settled, help will be arriving soon along the U.S.-Mexican border. Today, the head of the National Guard told Congress that the first wave of about 800 Guard troops will head to the border next week.

Now, while Washington debates immigration, the president of Mexico is in Washington state tonight, very carefully trying to influence people's attitudes. Roughly half of the illegal immigrants now in the U.S. come from Mexico. But President Vicente Fox says that his country wants to be part of the immigration solution, and that a wall along the border simply won't help.

Ed Lavandera filed this report from Salt Lake City, where President Fox delivered his message a little bit earlier this afternoon.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mexican President Vicente Fox stepped right into the immigration hornet's nest, walking past protesters before speaking to Utah lawmakers, where Fox called on the United States to adopt a more open-border policy.

VICENTE FOX, MEXICAN PRESIDENT: The government of Mexico has promoted the establishment of a new system that regulates the movement of people across, back and forth, our border in a manner which is legal, is safe, and it's orderly.

LAVANDERA: Fox acknowledges, his country needs to do a better job of creating economic opportunities in Mexico, but he warns against building walls along the border and only focusing on catching illegal immigrants, saying that won't solve the problem. Fox says the United States alone can't secure the border.

FOX: We are your partners in security against terrorism. We are your allies in the war on drugs and crime. Let us work together.

LAVANDERA: Even though, inside, Vicente Fox has found a friendly political audience here in Utah, outside, there's a vocal opposition following his every move.

ROBBI HVIDSTON, PROTESTER: (INAUDIBLE) the United States as his own welfare state and encourages them to come to our country, where American citizens are forced to educate, take care of the health care, and even incarcerate those that break laws. LAVANDERA: Some say Utah is becoming a popular place for illegal immigrants to live, because it's a religious and compassionate state. Vicente Fox understands that and is making an emotional plea for Americans to remember the plight of poor families, only looking for a better way to live.

FOX: Mexico is proud of its people here, whose working spirit, moral and family values, contribute every day to the economy and to community of this great nation.

LAVANDERA (on camera): By humanizing the immigration issue, Vicente Fox and his supporters hope it will influence lawmakers in Washington to adopt immigration policy that will make it easier to Mexicans to work in the United States.

But critics say emotion should be left out of the debate, that this is an issue of law and security.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, Salt Lake City, Utah.


ZAHN: And the last stop on President Fox's U.S. visit is California.

And, today, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told reporters they will focus on three issues: trade, the environment, and border security.

A fascinating study could have you looking at your dog with a whole new sense of respect. Can your four-legged friend actually smell cancer early enough to save your life?

Also, one of the bravest little girls you will ever meet -- how did she gather evidence against the man who kidnapped her? How did she get away? How did she learn any of what she did to get away? You will find out shortly.

But, in the meantime, we move on to number eight on our countdown. NASA says its spacecraft Voyager 2 could reach the edge of the solar system within the next year. Voyager 2 was launched back in August of 1977.

Number seven, a dramatic day in court at the sniper trial in Maryland, which we touched on a little bit earlier tonight. Accused killer John Muhammad, who is defending himself, questioned his accomplice, a man he called his son, Lee Boyd Malvo. Kathleen Koch has been in court all day long. She will have the very latest for us.

We will also have numbers six and five on our list straight out of the break. Please stay with us.


ZAHN: We go "Outside the Law" now to a Maryland courtroom, where a jury heard riveting testimony today, as an accused killer cross- examined his accomplice. The man on trial and acting as his own attorney is John Allen Muhammad, a name you might remember, along with Lee Boyd Malvo, who terrorized the Washington, D.C. area four years ago with a series of deadly sniper attacks.

Kathleen Koch withdraw the drama unfold today in court. Her report is just in for tonight's "Outside the Law."


KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the moment the two set foot in the courtroom, it seemed Lee Boyd Malvo was determined to stand up to his former mentor and father figure.

Suspect John Allen Muhammad quizzed Malvo on details of the 13 Washington-area sniper shootings in 2002. Ten of them were fatal -- quote -- "Can you show me where the vehicle was allegedly parked?"

"Not allegedly. The vehicle was parked right there."

Muhammad challenged Malvo's contention that the two agreed Malvo would confess to the crimes if they were caught, since he was a minor -- quote -- "So, you said, basically, we was planning to get caught?"

"You did the planning, Mr. Muhammad."

Muhammad, several times, slipped up and called Malvo "son," something the judge had warned him not to do.

Finally, it was Malvo, now 21, who spoke up -- quote -- "I would prefer you address me by my name."

Muhammad asked about Malvo's plea of not guilty by reason of insanity in the Virginia shootings -- quote -- "Who decided you was insane?"

"It was a plea of indoctrination. There were experts who say I was indoctrinated."

Muhammad asked Malvo to define that -- quote -- "Indoctrination is a process under which the person who, myself, who came under your influence, is brought to do things he would not have done on his own."

Muhammad tried to prove Malvo followed him willingly. He asked Malvo whether he treated him differently than he treated his own children -- quote -- "You say the way I treated you was the way you wanted to be treated?"

"Yes, for a period of time, yes."

When asked by the prosecutor to elaborate, Malvo explained -- quote -- "Mr. Muhammad did not use and get his children to murder other people."

Muhammad implied Malvo may have been coached or made promises to get him to testify in such detail against Muhammad and plead guilty for his role in the Maryland murders -- quote -- "Let me understand, you made a plea deal with no benefit to you at all?"

"That is correct."

Prosecutor Kay (ph) Winfree asked Malvo where he got the information he testified to -- quote -- "I was there. He was there. And I knew what we both did."

(on camera): While this trial has been high on drama, it will be low on impact. It won't change the fact that both men have already been tried and convicted of sniper murders in Virginia, Muhammad sentenced to death, Malvo to life in prison.

Kathleen Koch, CNN, Rockville, Maryland.


ZAHN: And, as Kathleen was just talking about, the prosecution rested its case today, and Muhammad began calling his witnesses. The case could go to the jury by the end of the week.

Now, when you were 12 years old, did you have any idea what you wanted to be when you grew up? Well, we have found an absolutely remarkable little girl who wants to be a detective. How did she use her crime fighting skills to get away from a kidnapper and actually help police catch him?

And then, in the fight against cancer, what does your dog know about your health? You might be surprised by the latest study when it comes to early stages of cancer.

And a big question for you: Have you seen what Madonna's been doing lately in her new concert tour? Well, she hangs herself on a cross this time. Check out what's on the top of her head. And you can only imagine what church leaders are saying about this image. And I'm going to speak with pretty -- a pretty irate one coming up.

Number six on our countdown -- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today addressed a joint meeting of Congress. He called Iran a threat to Israel and said he's ready to move ahead with his plan to remove most of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Number five -- a massive fire sweeps through a cargo area at Turkey's largest airport, near Istanbul. About 2,000 people had to be evacuated. Officials blame the fire on sparks from a welder's torch -- number four straight ahead.

Please stay with us.


ZAHN: Coming up in this half hour, it could be a medical marvel. Can your dog actually smell cancer? An amazing new report out about that.

And why is Madonna, who you'll see here shortly -- I guess you're not going to see her -- now you can see here. Why the heck is she crucifying herself? Can anything justify this stunt on her latest tour?

And at the top of the hour, Republican Senator John McCain on some of the hottest issues of the day. And of course, is he running for president? Yes, like he's going to answer that one.

But here's what's happening at this moment. Tonight the military says a second investigation has begun into allegations that U.S. marines killed Iraqis last month near Baghdad. Another investigation already underway into the deaths of 15 civilians, including women and children, in Haditha last November.

Well, the barn walls came tumbling down on a Detroit horse farm today. The latest move in the search for Teamsters boss, or his remains, of Jimmy Hoffa. The FBI could begin digging beneath the barn floor sometime tomorrow.

Howard Stern and CBS have reportedly settled a breach of contract lawsuit filed against him. CBS had accused Stern of promoting his $500 million move to satellite radio while he was still working for CBS.

Now, when you see this next story, ask yourself if you could do what this little girl did after she was attacked and kidnapped at the age of nine. She had the brains, the guts, and the presence of mind not just to survive, but to take what she had learned watching cop shows on T.V. and outsmart her kidnapper. And then actually help the cops lock him up. Kareen Wynter has her amazing story in tonight's "Eye Opener."


KAREEN WYNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over) The last time 12- year-old Jennette Tamayo walked up to this northern California liquor store was nearly three years ago at the end of an ordeal that no child should ever have to suffer.

JENNETTE TAMAYO, RESCUED FROM KIDNAPPING: I remember being dropped off, just crying.

WYNTER: It's painful, but Jennette needed to come back.

TAMAYO: I'm sorry. I feel like throwing up.

WYNTER: Her story began in this San Jose house on a quiet summer afternoon in 2003. She was alone. A neighbor's grainy surveillance video captured Jennette coming home from school. Moments later, the same video shows a stranger approaching the house. He forced his way in and raped Jennette. The video also shows the attacker about to drive off with Jennette, when her mother and older brother Pablo came home. That's when he attacked them.

TAMAYO: I saw him beat up my brother and heard my brother yelling, please don't kill me. And I said please leave my brother alone, it's me that you want.

WYNTER: The stranger used a frying pan to beat Jennette's mother.

TAMAYO: And he got into the car and I saw blood on his face and I said, did you kill my mom? And he started to laugh, and the man grabbed a screwdriver and started stabbing me on my forehead and on my neck and on my chest. And that's when I looked down, and I said to myself, there's no way I'm going to get out of here alive.

WYNTER: With Jennette in his car, the attacker fled. He took her to a home that turned out to be just a few blocks away.

TAMAYO: And he grabs me, he took me upstairs to a room where you have to have a key in order to get in and out.

DISPATCHER: San Jose emergency, what are you reporting?

NEIGHBOR: Can you please send cops over here because something happened to my neighbor's daughter.

WYNTER: Over the next two days, her abductor sometimes let Jennette watch television. That's how she found out there was an intense police search underway. She saw her own missing poster on the news.

TAMAYO: When I saw my brother and my mom, I said, OK, I can get out of here.

WYNTER: The fourth grader's survival instincts kicked in. Jennette found a way to slip in and out of her handcuffs.

TAMAYO: I started gaining his trust, and then we started talking, and when I started asking for things, he would go downstairs and while he was downstairs, I would grab evidence. When I would hear him come back up the stairs, I would put the handcuffs back on me and lay back in bed.

WYNTER: Jennette hid evidence like the man's watch and Play Doh she'd been given to play with in various places around the house, including this pizza box. She made marks on the wall to prove she was there. Jennette said her abductor tried suffocating her several times with a pillow, but she convinced him to stop.

TAMAYO: The feed on fear, so it's just a matter of staying calm and communicating with them.

WYNTER: And eventually on the third day, she talked him into letting her go.

TAMAYO: And he dropped me off at a liquor store and said to me, "If you tell anyone this," he grabbed me by my hair and he said, "If you tell anybody about this, I will come back for you."

WYNTER: As incredible as it seems, at that crucial moment, Jennette remembered the need for evidence.

TAMAYO: I asked him for money and that's how I got his fingerprints. LT. LAURENCE RYAN, SAN JOSE POLICE DEPARTMENT: For her to come forward and provide us with all this information, it was something I've never seen before and probably will never see again.

WYNTER (on camera): It wasn't enough for Jennette to simply describe the horror of what happened. She wanted to lead police back to the scene of the crime and her attacker, who was still there, hiding in the attic.

RYAN: And as we got close to the residence where she was held, she started getting more visibly upset, and more excited.

WYNTER (voice-over): Her abductor turned out to be 23-year-old David Cruz (ph), an illegal immigrant. He was convicted of kidnapping and sexual assault and sentenced to life in prison.

TAMAYO: I remember everything and I wanted to get that man in jail for what he had done. So I stopped being nervous and helped them find him. And I didn't want him out so he can hurt other children.

WYNTER: In court, prosecutors used some of the evidence Jennette collected during her captivity. Jennette Tamayo is a seventh grader now, and says she wants to be a detective.

TAMAYO: This happened for a reason and I'm pretty much moving on, but I'm going to take care of as many children that need my help.

WYNTER: For three years, Jennette has wanted to thank the people who helped her find her way home. A homeless man, Larry, who stood guard by the door where she was left by her attacker.

TAMAYO: I want to say thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're welcome. I would do it again for you, OK?

WYNTER: And a store clerk Isa (ph), who comforted her and called the police for help. This reunion is a reminder of those horrible three days, but it's helping Jennette to start to think about a future that's full of possibilities. Kareen Wynter, CNN, San Jose, California.


ZAHN: She certainly has herself to thank for that promise. One more thing, Jennette says one of her most cherished possession is a diary she got as a gift shortly after her rescue. She said it has helped her turn some of her fear into poetry, and she plans to write a book someday about her very scary ordeal.

Researchers may have discovered an unexpected weapon in the fight against cancer. When it comes to early detection is a dog more than ever your best friend? Wait until you hear the latest research.

And check out this image, and you can decide, has Madonna really gone too far this time on tour? So what is the message she's trying to send this time with her anti-Catholic, anti-Christian icons? Imagery here? Well, we have a religious clergyman sounding off, coming up. Stay tuned for that.

Now no. 4 on our countdown we covered a little bit earlier on tonight. The Senate is moving closer to passing an immigration bill that calls for tougher border security, and an eventual path to citizenship for close to 12 million people who are here in the U.S. illegally.

No. 3, straight out of the break. Don't go away.


ZAHN: We have an amazing story for you tonight. One of the most intriguing new weapons in the fight against cancer may be wagging its tail at you right now. We know that dogs' noses are small miracles. They can sniff out drugs, explosives, and now maybe even early signs of cancer. Here's medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We live with them...


COHEN: ... play with them, and rely on them. But a new study is making extraordinary claims that just may change the way you think about your four-legged friend and that curious wet nose.

That's because dogs could be the newest weapon in the war against cancer. Researchers in California say they trained five dogs to smell the disease on a person's breath, with an amazing degree of accuracy, 99 percent of the time with lung cancer, 88 percent of the time with breast cancer, results that are raising hopes, creating international headlines, and making stars out of the dogs involved in the study.

Michael McCulloch was leader researcher.

(on camera): Were you surprised by how accurate the dogs were?

MICHAEL MCCULLOCH, RESEARCH DIRECTOR, PINE STREET FOUNDATION: We were very surprised by how accurate they were. The dogs were spot on. They were identifying who had cancer, and they were also saying who didn't.

COHEN (voice-over): Dogs' sense of smell is legendary, so strong, so reliable, that we count on it to sniff out bombs, detect drugs, and find the missing and deceased when no human can.

So, researchers like McCulloch say it's entirely possible that, sometimes, dogs know our bodies better than we do.

MCCULLOCH: Because a dog may be telling the person something about them that they don't know yet. COHEN: This is Kobe (ph), a walking, wagging, tumor detective, and one of five dogs McCulloch and his team trained to sniff out cancer. How did they do it?

We asked McCulloch and his team to stage a sample test, so we could see for ourselves. It starts with five people, four healthy and one with cancer, exhaling into plastic tubes like these.

Inside the tubes, fibers capture microscopic particles from their breath. The tubes are then placed in bowls one yard apart from each other, while dog and handler wait outside. The rest is up to Kobe (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go to work. Let's go to work.

COHEN: Time after time after time, six times out of six attempts, Kobe (ph) gets it right, sitting at the cancer sample to mark his discovery.

(on camera): These rates are actually higher than mammograms, higher than Pap smears.

MCCULLOCH: Well, the results were just so high, we were just astounded.

Donald Berry, the head of biostatistics at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, has authored more than 200 articles on cancer.

DR. DONALD BERRY, HEAD OF BIOSTATISTICS, M.D. ANDERSON CANCER CENTER: It may be true. I would be astounded if it were true. It's not impossible. It's just quite unlikely.

COHEN: But wait. Is this just Western establishment medicine looking down their noses at a study done by a small alternative medicine clinic?


COHEN: That's what Nancy Best thinks.

BEST: That I'm sitting here alive today to tell you that, if it weren't for Mia (ph), I would be gone.

Mia (ph), good girl.

COHEN: Mia (ph) is Nancy's dog, an untrained yellow Lab who she says sniffed and sniffed at Nancy's right breast, until she finally paid attention.

BEST: Mia (ph) came running in, and jumped up on my lap, and dove with her nose into my chest. And that's when I found the lump, because it hurt when she pressed her nose there.

COHEN: Sure enough, a lab confirmed Nancy had cancer, stage-two carcinoma in the exact spot where Mia (ph) had sniffed. Nancy needed surgery and chemotherapy. (on camera): That must have blown your mind, when you...

BEST: That blew my mind away when the diagnosis came back positive. And, then, I -- it really hit me, that this was what she had been trying to tell me all along, was that I had cancer. And I just wasn't listening.

COHEN (voice-over): That was six years ago. Today, Nancy is cancer free, she says, because of the early detection.

(on camera): Did Mia (ph) save your life?

BEST: Yes, she did. I know she did.

COHEN (voice-over): Researchers admit there's a lot of more work to be done. But if dogs can actually sniff out cancer before it spreads, it would certainly give new meaning to the term man's best friend.

Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, San Anselmo, California.


ZAHN: So fascinating.

Still ahead, Madonna says she's getting on a cross on her tour to make a point. So what is that point? Should Christians be outraged or simply look the other way as her tour is supposed to rake in some $200 million? That's gross.


ZAHN: All right. So Madonna has a very long history of trying to shock and offend people. My next guest is about ready to explode. This time, is this image the last straw? can anything justify getting on a cross during a concert? That's coming up.

First, number three on our countdown, growing bipartisan fury over that FBI raid on Capitol Hill. House leaders of both parties demanding that the FBI return documents seized from representative William Jefferson's office last weekend. The Louisiana Democrat is under investigation for bribery.

Number two on our list, straight ahead.


ZAHN: If you've seen any pictures of Madonna lately and her new tour, it's clear she's going back to her old roots. Doing things that seem calculated to offend. She's made Christianity a target before, but never quite like what she's doing on stage in her latest tour. Entertainment Correspondent Sibila Vargas has tonight's "What Was She Thinking?"

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SIBILA VARGAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Madonna's latest tale goes something like this. The 47 year old pop star kicked off her new world tour this week in Los Angeles during which she sings a song "Live to Tell" handcuffed to a giant mirrored cross wearing a crown of thorns. Not surprising the Material Girl's on stage crucifiction is getting some bad reviews. The Catholic League's Bill Donohue is not happy.

BILL DONAHUE, CATHOLIC LEAGUE: Here she is now she's pushing 50, she's still going back to the same well of anti-Catholicism. She says she's a mother. She's a mother all right.

VARGAS: Also upset is the Church of England, which had this to say, "Why would someone with so much talent seem to feel the need to promote herself by offending so many people?"

"Rolling Stone"'s Nathan Brackett offers this answer.

NATHAN BRACKETT, "ROLLING SHONE" MAGAZINE: People expect this from Madonna. I don't think anyone's really surprised when she plays with religious imagery. Even the United States Catholic Leaders are saying, isn't she over this?

VARGAS: It's no secret Madonna's many controversies have helped the aging diva stay in the headlines. She riled many by burning crosses and depicting a black Jesus in the video for "Like a Prayer." During her "Blonde Ambition" tour she got so friendly with herself, the Pope called for a boycott. And then was her book, "Sex," where for about $50 fans could see all of Madonna.

But that was then. The new millennium has delivered us this Madonna.

MADONNA: I never thought I would write children's book.

VARGAS: Children's book author, cabalist, wife and mother. Madonna's been singing a new tune for a while now.

(on camera): As for this latest controversy, a spokeswoman for Madonna tells CNN this time she was raising eyebrows to raise awareness, choosing the crucifiction scene to shine the light on the AIDS crisis in Africa.

Adding, "Madonna does not think that Jesus would mind that she is trying to deliver one of his most important messages. "Love Thy Neighbor."

(voice-over): During her performance, fans see images of African children and Web sites where they can go to help. As for Madonna, her tour is expected to set the all-time sales record for a female artist, bringing in $200 million, further cementing the queen of pop's place, controversial or not, in music history.

Sibila Vargas, CNN, Hollywood.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ZAHN: Joining me now, someone we just heard from in Sibila's report, William Donohue, one of our favorite guests, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, never a guy who minces words. Always good to see you. You heard what Madonna's camp had to say this time. The simple message of putting herself up on the cross is supposed to convey love thy neighbor.

DONOHUE: It's a nice spin job but nobody's going to believe it, not even people who have no religion at all will believe it. This is a woman who two years ago gave a TV interview said that she was a selfish person and exhibitionist and she also said that it is her goal in life is to be liberated, what is she trying to be liberated from? Why is it always the Catholic religion? I'll tell you why.

Our religion is based on the idea of restraint. The idea of sexual reticence in important in people's lives. She's trying to say that a person is free to the extent that you reject restraint altogether. It's not a very good message to be sent. She's a crude woman. She's has a very limited repertoire. It reminds me of Hollywood, all they do any more in Hollywood is remake the old movies, make movies into plays, plays into movies, and here we go back to the same well the same repertoire she had 20 years ago.

ZAHN: And just two years ago wasn't it in her documentary that she had a cardinal, or a man dressed as a cardinal, grabbing his crotch. If this is the same old thing over and over again, and if it is as pathetic as you say it is, don't you think you might have more impact if you just ignored her and considered her irrelevant?

DONAHUE: I don't think you can. She's bigger than life. She's an icon. If this was the Madonna wannabe, I could ignore it, but you can't. We are going to protest this. If she tried it with some other religions, she may lose more than her shirt. These people want to keep pushing the envelope. They are looking for a more violent response from Catholics. They are not going to get it.

ZAHN: Isn't that her right as an artist? That's what she would argue. She can do anything she wants on stage. She's going to sell out this tour, make $200 million from it.

DONAHUE: She does have a legal right to insult my religion, she has no moral right to do so. I have a First amendment right and obligation to protest what she's doing. The fact of the matter is she won't choose another religion. She's a member of Kabbalah. Will she go against that religion? She certainly won't bother the Muslims, I think we all know why that is. Why is she going to choose us?

Because she sees in the Catholic Church the thou shalt not. This is a narcissist. This is a woman whose idea of liberty is nihilism. Let's rip at the Catholic Church and we'll all be free. No you won't. You'll be physiologically, socially and psychologically and spiritually dead.

ZAHN: William Donohue, you won't be dying any $400 tickets to her latest tour, will you?

Thanks for dropping by.

Number two on our countdown, a two year old girl who is one of five people hit by a car outside a McDonald's in Georgia has died. Police say the driver intentionally ran into the group. Fortunately the other victims survived the attack. The driver is being held without bail tonight.

Why are these two women at the top of our countdown tonight? Wait until you hear what they are accused of doing. We'll be right back.


ZAHN: Number one on I want to remind you, I'll be reporting from Washington D.C. tomorrow night for special live coverage of President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair's joint news conference. Please join us then. Thanks for being with us tonight.


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