tv John King USA CNN August 24, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
>> good evening, everyone. tonight, we have two big breaks stories. one is hurricane irene now officially a major storm. the view here from space it is huge. category 3 and getting stronger this hour. now pointed straight at the carolinas and threatening the entire northeastern seaboard. we'll have a lot of details about that tonight. the other breaking story, of course, libya and the hunt for gadhafi. the opposition's already got his cap. this guy took it out of his palace. now they want that head that goes with it and they're willing to pay. $2.5 million for the dictator dead or alive, they say. one of his sons still at large is sending e-mails to our nick robertson. nick just got another one a few minutes ago and he joins us shortly. in the meantime, heavy fighting today in tripoli. take a look. [ gun fire ] >> running street battles all day. this is from the capital's eastern neighbors, not far from the airport. the field in opposition hands but still taking heavy shelling from loyalist fighters nearby,
some of it just within the last-mile-per-hour or two. the two side exchanging artillery throughout the day. opposition commanders say they've been trying to direct fire to minimize civilian casualties but it hasn't been easy because gadhafi forces are so intertwined amongst the local population. our arwa damon is there. we'll talk to her. in southern tripoli, similar disdain for civilian lives. reports all day of loyalists gunmen out in the streets taking pot shots at people. now to the east, new video of the damage that loyalist fighters are leaving behind as they retreat. these are the oil facilities in brega still burning nearly a week after they fled. before they did they fired shells into the tank, causing this inferno right there. and on the road from zawiya into tripoli, some group presumably loyalists kidnapping four italian journalists. 33 others including cnn's matthew chance went free today after that hair rowing ordeal held at gunpoint by loyalist thugs who did not know gadhafi was gone. here's how it played out. >> well, there's been some developments.
we're hoping that they've negotiated an end to this crisis, this terrible experience that we' all been through. we've managed to speak to the guys who have been charged to watch after us. and they've been given orders by the gadhafi regime to not let the journalists leave. and they've been carrying those orders out, even though the whole world for them has changed. hopefully now we'll get into the cars that are trying to get here and they're going to take us away from this. >> bye, bbc. bye, matthew. good luck. >> good luck. bye, guys. good luck. >> at one point, an assault rifle was thrown across the room into the kitchen, into the kitchens and the restaurant area and the whole situation changed.
all those guards there, the two guards were in the lobby of the hotel. gadhafi loyalists right up until the end. right up until beyond the end you could say. they basically came over to us and they said, look, we're not going to stop you from leaving anymore. all we had to do then was arrange some kind of transport. thankfully the icrc came across and they came up with four cars. and we're taking a civilian vehicle as well to get all the other journalists in. and we're now as we speak make our way to a safe location elsewhere in the city. >> she's not talking on camera. she's not doing it. >> it's the cnn camera. >> she was great. she was doing for all of us, all the journalists that were there. jamanah was crucial. she was doing much of the negotiation with the gadhafi gunmen down stairs in the lobby. she was taking it on her shoulders to do it. it was remarkable.
she's one amazing producer to produce us out of this crisis. i don't think we'd all be here now. i literally think she was that good. i don't think we'd be here now. if it weren't for her. >> it was just all of us talking and finding a coping mechanism for being in there, trying sometimes to just crack jokes and make the best out of one of the worst scenarios one can be in. >> we're going to green square now. dan is there. and so is sara. >> matthew's here now. yeah.
>> behind the scenes look of how it ended. matthew chance joins us now. matthew it is so nice to see you out of that hotel. so many people here and all around the world were concerned about all of you trapped in that hotel. as you look back on it now, what was the most difficult moment? and i know you can speak more freely now. what was the most difficult moment? >> reporter: well, first of all, we're really grateful, all of
us, all the journalists here, me and jamanah and all the journalists held against our will. grateful for the support we were getting on twitter and all the other messages that have come to us. it's been absolutely fantastic. really means a lot to us. it's difficult, anderson, to say which was the worst time. i think it was probably because there are so many of them. we were lying on our bellies at one point, hoping the shells that were coming into the compound weren't going to hit us. there were snipers firing into the hotel at various point during the fight, basically we were kept there against our will. but i think the worst time was when we realized quite early on in the situation we found
ourselves in that here we'd lost control of the situation, that all these scenarios started playing out in our heads. we started getting paranoid that we could be used as human shields if gadhafi's remnants of his army decided to use the hotel to make their last stand. maybe we were going to be taken prisoner properly. maybe we were going to be executed. we didn't know. all these things were ticking through our heads. it's when we realized that this could end really badly for us. and when that sank into us, i think that was the sort of turning point and it was early on in this situation. and from then we were kind of really focused on working out solutions and working out answers to various scenarios what we would do if such and such happened. and it was a very traumatic time throughout that period. it's difficult to pinpoint one
exact moment which was the worst. >> we were very careful on this program but i think everybody at cnn and many other networks not to use the word "hostage". not to say that you were being held hostage. now that it is over, looking back on it, at the time, were you being held hostage? >> reporter: you know, we certainly felt like we were. we certainly had had our right to leave taken away from us. we weren't being permitted to leave. and in that sense we were being held in captivity against our will. we felt like hostages. we felt like victims. we felt in a lot of danger. and it was also very frustrating because we were so cut off from the outside world and from tripoli that we couldn't even -- we didn't even know what was going on outside the walls of
the hotel in terms of what news developments were happening. and it was very difficult for us to get communications out, as you know. so we couldn't even do our work, which was what we were all there to do. so it was immensely frustrating. and yes, i think there was a sense in which we all felt that we were hostages. but we're still a little puzzled. we've got theories but we're a little puzzled as to why we were being held hostage in that way, why we weren't being permitted to leave. that's still a bit of a mystery to us. >> in this kind of situation you know better than anybody people do not act rationally and things happen which are not rational but nonetheless they happen and people suffer because of it. it was fascinating to see your producer negotiating, that shot of her negotiating. you saying she played an instrumental role in getting everybody out. what sort of discussions was she having with these gunmen who were controlling the hotel? >> reporter: well, jamanah is a very persuasive person. she's able to -- she's an arab. she's from jordan. and she speaks fantastic english, she speaks fantastic arabic. and she's able to connect with
the people in the arab world because she speaks the language, because she is an arab herself. and she was able to persuade eventually the gunmen who were in the lobby of the hotel, the gadhafi loyalists who were preventing us from leaving. she was able to persuade them that the situation outside the gates of the hotel were -- had changed, that the world had essentially changed for libya outside the gates of the hotel. i think jamanah was instrumental, looking back on our sort of ordeal over the past five or six days in the rixos hotel. she was instrumental in getting those gunmen to make that sort of transformation between -- from being these people who were kind of following the orders of colonel gadhafi for 42 years, that man's been the dictator of this country. everything he says is law. that transformation into people who realize that that was no longer the case, that he's no longer in power, that it didn't matter that they ordered them to keep us in the hotel because he was no longer in many ways no
longer relevant in libya. and once that transformation happened, the whole situation changed. the guards literally -- they gave us their weapons. they said we don't want them anymore and they apologized to us and said, you can go free now. so that was really important. jamanah was great in achieving that. we all worked towards that. but i think jamanah along with the other arabic speakers along with my colleagues in the rixos hotel played a part in achieving that very positive outcome. >> really briefly, do you know what has happened to those gunmen now? you said they gave up their weapons to you. have they just tried to kind of disappear? >> reporter: well, i hope so. i mean, certainly one or two of them were i think in the end very good people. they were following orders. this was their jobs.
they were just doing what they were told to do and they weren't very aggressive to us. there were others that were much more aggressive and much more hostile. so i certainly hope that they've managed to kind of melt away and sort of perhaps reinvent themselves in what is essentially a new libya, anderson. >> matthew chance, again, so remarkable and so great to see you. thank you very much, matthew. stay safe. be careful there. let us know what you think. we're on facebook. follow me on twitter @anderson cooper. next the battle for the airport is still going on as we speak. one of our correspondents right in the middle of it. also more on the $2.5 million question, where is muammar gadhafi? that's the bounty now that's been put on his head, dead or alive. we'll talk more about that new bounty and anyany newclues to h whereabouts.
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to do this right. gadhafi forces have been stationed to the east. they have for quite some time now the last few days attempting to regain control of this airport. >> if you need to take cover do it. >> i think that's outgoing as far as i can tell. so i think we're pretty okay where we are right now. that is rebel fighters shooting out of the airport complex. now, what they're trying to do is push these gadhafi fighters back. they've entrenched themselves in these villages along the eastern part of the airport. >> that's our arwa damon just this morning in the middle of the battle to hold onto tripoli's international airport. as you saw at the top, the opposition took it yesterday. they control it now. but they're still fighting to
keep it. they've been exchanging artillery and gunfire all day with new shelling reported just within the last hour or so. a big problem loyalist forces are firing from populated areas as we mentioned earlier. returning fire obviously then puts civilians at risk. arwa damon has been there through it all. she joins us now. arwa you've been in the thick of this all day. what's the latest there? is the opposition still struggling to keep a hold of the airport? >> reporter: well, anderson, the incoming artillery, the incoming rocket fire was just so intense that we actually had to move our live position inside. the rounds were coming too frequently and too close. at one point they did manage to hit it would seem one of the aircraft on the tarmac. it went up in flames. there was an explosion. there was heavy exchanging of machine gunfire. it was relentless. and it intensified throughout the night. it's really only just slightly calmed down in the last hour or so. and the commanders here believe that the reason why there's been such an effort by gadhafi forces to try to retake control over this airport is because he
believes that gadhafi loyalists are trying to clear a route for gadhafi and his family members to somehow escape. the rebels do not control the area to the east of the airport. there's two military bases located there. it is populated with gadhafi loyalists, we are being told. nor do the rebels control the chunk of highway that runs south from tripoli to the airport complex here, anderson. >> now, is the fighting there strictly between the opposition forces, the opposition and forces loyal to gadhafi, or it nato involved as well? or are these grad rocket batteries in two civilian areas for nato to actually try to take care of? >> reporter: yeah. we've been hearing the nato jets overhead pretty much ever since we got here a few days ago. but when it comes to what was happening today we were hearing the jets overhead then as well. but the opposition fighters were telling us that the nato jets
were unable to fire on these particular locations because these gadhafi forces are literally using these villages for cover and there are great concerns about civilian casualties. but it's so frustrating for the rebels who are based here because they're so bogged down in trying to protect the airport that they haven't been able, they say, to get out there, go after the gadhafi loyalists. more importantly, try to go after gadhafi himself. >> arwa, one other quick question. if there's a no fly zone which there is, you're saying some senior commanders believe maybe they're trying to fight to retake airport so that gadhafi or family members could get out
by aircraft. but if there's a no fly zone wouldn't nato jets be able to shoot down any aircraft that took off from there? >> reporter: well, it's not necessarily that they could actually retake the airport and then fly one of the planes that's located here. it's more so that they can clear a land escape route for them. they're speculating that gadhafi would be trying to via land either go to the central south or swing up to his hometown sirt located just to the east. >> i want to also bring in -- arwa stay with us but i want to bring in from the "new york times" john burns who's spent a lot of time in libya, reported from there a lot of time. john, do you think there's a good chance that gadhafi may have actually been at the rixos hotel where all those journalists, matthew chance and others were being held. why do you think that? >> well, first of all let's say something clearly here about gadhafi. we're dealing with a man who is delusional, who has been in the estimate of a number of people who have met him in the last 20 years bordering on edge at times of insanity. i personally was kicked out of libya a few weeks ago for using the word whacko in a piece about
gadhafi's behavior. so trying to project what he might do or where he may be is extremely difficult. the best we can say is this is an extremely quirky character who might do anything. but if you ask me to bet, we know now that he's very unlikely to be in the rixos. that was a possibility until the last guards keeping those journalists there in effect defected and handed over their weapons. that makes it highly unlikely that he would be in any sub terranean complex there close to the family's ties are to that hotel. his son, said islam gadhafi was actually the one who caused that hotel to be built, completed 18 months ago. i would say look at gadhafi, what's he saying? he's saying in effect, i hate to draw the analogy because in scope and scale and murderousness there's no comparison. but gadhafi shared one characteristic in common with adolf hitler, who died in his own bunker by his own hand,
which is that he identifies himself with the libyan people. he is utterly resistant to any idea that there could be any separation of those two entities. he is libya. and he has said repeatedly that it is the duty of the people, something hitler also said in effect to die for him. my guess is that in his delusional state, as hard as it is to project what he might do, he'd be most likely to stay somewhere in that subterranean complex that is beneath and fans out from his command complex. but frankly who knows? >> arwa, if gadhafi did want to escape tripoli, you talked about a possible land route near the arm, what are his options? >> reporter: well, he most certainly would have to obviously be heavily reliant on a network of loyalists that would already be in place, and also currently have to navigate his way to make sure that he's
not crossing through rebel-controlled territory. that being said, that is why rebel commanders also think that it is highly likely that he's wanting to go through the area to the east of this location because the rebels do not have control over it. and actually the rebel fighters were telling us that last night they believe they spotted a convoy that had an armored mercedes in it. they believe that gadhafi could have been traveling in that kind of a convoy. but again he would have to be incredibly reliant on a network of very, very loyal individuals to try to make his way through this country. because the rebels control a good amount of land here. they don't control all of it. but again it would have to be a very carefully planned and orchestrated operation. >> john, how important do you believe gadhafi being caught and captured and either killed or brought to trial is? i mean, both logistically but also symbolically how important is it?
>> i think it's symbolically essential. and in fact, practically essential as well. this rebellion has been all about one thing and that's getting rid of muammar gadhafi. until he is gone, dead or alive, captured, that problem will not be solved. there will be the possibility, though i think it's remote, of the kind of fightback that saddam mounted from his underground, ultimately literally underground position near tikrit in 2003. that analogy can be very quickly overdrawn. because saddam after all had a call on a very large group of his in the iraqi population, the sunni particularly, sunni militants in what became very quickly a sectarian conflict. gadhafi in my experience does have of course the support of a fanatical entourage. but he had lost the support of the vast majority of the people of libya, including tripoli, including many of those people who have been closest to him for the last 40 years, and including one very senior official who defected the other day and himself used the word "delusional" referring to the
gadhafi he has known in recent years. so i don't think that gadhafi really has that kind of support to call upon. and that's another reason why i think he would stick in libya. give the man credit if you can call it that for one thing. he has a gigantic pride, a gigantic spence of his own accomplishment and importance. he's not going to put himself in the position readily where he can be accused of going out with a whimper rather than a bang, where his pride could be so low as to hide himself in the trunk of an automobile. and as for the fly out option, i think that's absolutely impossible. because what country is going to take him? there's the shoot down possibility. it would be anybody who supported him in that flying out of libya would be in effect doing something so illegal under international law since he's indicted by the international
criminal court. now, i think it's all together likely that he will make what will pass for some kind of modest stand. and i think it would be more likely in the end that we'll end up with muammar gadhafi killed than captured. >> john burns, i appreciate you joining us. thank you. coming up, saadi gadhafi one of the three sons who was said to be in opposition custody is apparently at large. he sent an e-mail to cnn's nick robertson talking about a sea of blood. nick just got another e-mail from him. we're talking about literally a short time ago, right before we went on air. we'll talk to nick after the break about what saadi gadhafi is allegedly saying to nick in these e-mails. also ahead, the u.s. is bracing for hurricane irene. the entire east coast being told to get ready including new york, philadelphia, boston, cities that don't often see the eye of
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>> reporter: i am concerned just as a person being here. i am concerned about the residents. because with all of this gunfire, even if it's celebratory, this gunfire, these bullets and these cannons and these mortars, they have to fall somewhere. and this is not a large open-spaced area. this is an urban setting. and we're starting to see residents come out.
and they're literally walking around with bowls on their head made of seal hoping not to get hit with anything. >> sara sidner doing remarkable work on the lastself days from tripoli. one of muammar gadhafi's son says he wants to negotiate a ceasefire to save tripoli from a sea of blood. that's from an e-mail that saadi gadhafi wrote to cnn international correspondent nick robertson. he just got another e mail from saadi one of the three gadhafi sons that opposition said it had captured over the weekend. it seems he's now out at large. how that happened we don't know. same goes for saif gadhafi showed up outside that hotel in tripoli monday night. the opposition says the third son mohammad also escaped. nick robertson joins us live in libya with more on his exchange with saadi gadhafi. nick, what is he saying in these e-mails? what is he saying? >> reporter: it started off i sent him e-mails asking him can you talk? i want to talk to you.
and i was kind of surprised hearing that he'd been captured to get an answer back. and he said, look, i want to negotiate a ceasefire in tripoli, a city of 2 million people. he said, i don't want this to turn into somalia. i want this to be -- i don't want there to be seas of blood here in the coming days. and i want to help in these negotiations. he said he has reached out to washington, has reached out to nato. and this is -- and he want help in doing, this anderson. >> and now he's just sent you another e-mail. what does that say? >> reporter: well, there have been reports this afternoon that in tripoli he was about to be captured. rebel forces had gone into one of the big hotels in the center of the city, the corinthia, to try to hunt him down. i sent a message saying, so what happened? and his reply was, they didn't get here in time. or they didn't get there in time. i don't know if he's telling me straight up but he was there and they just missed him or he's just playing around. but clearly this is a guy the
rebels said they had. they're still looking for him. he's still on the loose. in a way he's cocking his nose at them if you will. but not clear if he's trying to negotiate on what terms, he won't tell me the terms. and it doesn't seem to me at least that he can negotiate from a position of strength. he's on the run. but he says government forces still will, and there's a potential for more bloodshed. >> how do you know or are you confident that this is in fact from him, that these e-mails are, in fact, from him? >> reporter: when i was in tripoli earlier this year, i was there for about six weeks, the end of february, the beginning of the nato bombing through march and early april. and over that period i got to meet and talk with saadi gadhafi on a number of occasions. that's how i came to have his e-mail address. the response that i had, the
language that he's used, to me it seems very clearly that it's him. that perhaps the spelling errors, the grammatical use of language, the sentence structure, those things are exactly the same way that he would speak. of course it could be somebody very clever mimicking him. but it was me that reached out to him on his e-mail address. and the indication toss me, i haven't seen anything contrary to believe it's not him, anderson. >> it's fascinating because yet another example where we've heard from opposition forces that this guy's in custody and then yet again like these well now three of gadhafi's sons, that is clearly not the case, if it ever was the case. was he a player in his father's regime? and would he have the power to negotiate something? >> reporter: you know, he was the person who was perhaps within the regime more behind
the release of that woman who was raped and got into the hotel with a journalist and then was beaten and dragged off and locked up again. and we got to talk to her after she was released. he was i'll reliably informed involved in her release. he told us at the time that he wanted to help. he seemed to have something of a humanitarian streak. but i don't know if he was just doing that for our benefit or if that's really the way he was. certainly the rebels believe that he's been responsible for many, many deaths and part of an abusive regime. he was one of his father's sons. and the family held the power. if you were a gadhafi here then you had power and authority and influence and money, which he did. he had all of those things. could he overrule his brothers? it seemed to me from our conversations as the war got going proper it was the family sticking together. and he was basically told to be
quiet, sit on the sidelines and let saif run the show. anderson? >> nick robertson, appreciate it. thanks for the reporting. keep us updated on any more e-mails. fascinating turn of events. al badi has made it safely to the united states where she is now living. turning to a major concern we haven't heard much about, wmd. gadhafi did have them. nato has started talking about how to secure gadhafi's supply of mustard gas. fran townsend is a member of the cia external advisory committee. in may of 2010 she visited high-ranking libyan officials at the libya's invitation. also joining us is james spider" marks. first of all, mustard gas, what is it and how dead is it? >> well, it is deadly. and the issue is that he has well over i think the specific amount now is about 25,000 pounds of this stuff. i don't know for sure. last count inventory before it was starting to be reduced and rendered safe, he had close to 23 tons of this stuff. so the fact is he also has precursers for sarin gas. he's got yellow cake and low-enriched uranium.
all of these facilities sadly are not being addressed in a very, very visible way which needs to be job one at this point, anderson. this transition is all about ensuring that this stuff doesn't end up in the wrong hands. and it doesn't seem to be getting the discussion and the emphasis that it needs to have. >> fran, a lot of people probably roll their eyes when they hear wmd because this is a loaded term from what happened in iraq. but it's not just skuds and mustard gas, it's also shoulder-fired missiles. >> that's right. >> which i remember in the wake of afghanistan back in the 80s when cia was handing these out to the mujahidin. for year, the cia tried to track down every single one of these things and get them back because of their potential lethality. the idea of a lot of missiles floating around in libya, that to me is incredibly scary about where this end up. >> that's right. as you point out there had been
for years what we call a buyback program, trying to buy actually them back, the ones that were out there. those programs were closed down over time. this is the sort of thing, though, especially when you think of the shoulder-fired missiles, we expect we probably would have seen them. nato has flown well over 7500 air sorties. you would expect if they could they would have done it by now. we've seen two scuds fired off. it's not clear to me how much of that stuff is left. during the bush administration they handed over the nuclear weapons program. but there's a lot of this stuff out there. things like the mustard gas were of less concern not because -- this is a deadly weapon. the fact is, the way it was security, where it was, how far it was, the circumstances of it, and there are intelligence and military methods in order to surveil and do reconnaissance to monitor those. you didn't anticipate complete chaos. >> general, you can either put
people on the ground to secure these locations, in the interim you can observe them from whatever intelligence capabilities we have. but there's also intelligence gathering that needs to be done. do we know, is that being done? is the national transitional council, i mean, are they on board with trying to track this stuff down quickly? >> anderson, you just laid out what needs to take place. as i've stated earlier, i'm the guy who was responsible for tracking wmd in iraq. and let me tell you how that turned out. only because we didn't have suffolks on the ground, individuals of very robust human intelligence network that was surveying and going over to each one of those facilities that we knew about. we certainly had national technical means where we could do it from standoff but that didn't turn out very well you. needed to knock on the door, open the door, walk in the facility and start to inventory the stuff.
and the second most important thing is that we knew that list was only as good as the very first interrogation we were going to conduct. you start to round up the senior people in gadhafi's regime, you interrogate those boys and you start to determine what truth looks like in terms of these weapon system. >> and it's essential to do that quickly now before they can get out to the borders, they dissipate, they disappear. >> that's right. these gadhafi forces that seem to have melted away, when you look at gadhafi's compound being entered yesterday, those are the people who would have known where those stores are. the most senior people like sunusi still at large, saif islam they know where these are and they have the ability to have their forces go get those weapons if people aren't securing it as spider points out. this is why you're hearing a lot of concern from the washington and nato. next hurricane irene. the latest on this major storm taking aim at the u.s., when it may make landfall, how strong it is right now, how strong it could get, where it may go. also we're going to look at
the damage past hurricanes have done in new york and points north. also in crime and punishment tonight, a new twist in the disappearance of that american woman in aruba, robyn gardner. a big insurance policy. and guess who was the beneficiary of it? we'll explain ahead. if something is simply the color of gold, is it really worth more? we don't think so. chase sapphire preferred is a card of a different color. unlike others, you get twice the points on travel, and twice the points on dining, and no foreign transaction fees. call now or apply at chasesapphire.com/preferred. new splenda® essentials™ no calorie sweetener with b vitamins, the first and only one to help support a healthy metabolism. three smart new ways to sweeten. same great taste. new splenda® essentials™. a living, breathing intelligence that's helping drive the future of business.
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breaking news tonight. the entire east coast is being warned to get ready for hurricane irene. the two big questions right now are where will it hit and how strong will it be when it does hit? right now it's a category 3 with wind up to 120 miles per hour. come this weekend it could threaten everywhere from the carolinas to the northeast. we can't be more precise at this moment than that. people in the carolinas of
course are pretty used to this by now, but it's been decades since the northeast took a direct hit from a hurricane. in a moment we're going to talk to chad myers about what we can expect and when we can expect it. first let's take a look at what happens when a hurricane makes a rare stop in the northeast. >> you're watching pictures of the last major hurricane to hit the northeast coast exactly 20 years ago. this is hurricane bob back in august of 1991. the eye of the storm passed over rhode island before making landfall as a strong category 2 with wind of 115 miles per hour. bob was blamed for over $1 billion in damage in 18 storm-related deaths. just two months later, hurricane grace also threatened as a category two storm before being absorbed by an unusual weather system that led to the hallowe'en nor'easter of 1991. later called the perfect storm. this storm lashed the east coast of the united states with pounding waves and coastal flooding, causing significant
damage in massachusetts, maine, new hampshire and new jersey. nine people were killed in the storm which produced 100-foot waves equivalent to a 10-story building. it inspired the novel by author sebastien younger which later became a movie. then there's the so-called storm of the century. hurricane gloria in september of 1985 recorded winds of up to 150 miles per hour. gloria made landfall as a powerful category 3 storm in the outer banks of north carolina before rapidly moving up the east coast, making a second landfall on long island, then another in connecticut, causing significant damage up and down the east coast and eight storm-related deaths. hurricanes in the northeast are rare, but as hurricane irene approaches meteorologists warn it could turn northward, threatening much of the east coast with another potentially dangerous storm. let's get latest on hurricane irene meteorologist chad myers joins us live from atlanta.
chad, what is the latest? where is it headed? do we know when it's going to hit? >> it is headed over the bahamas right now. it will be very close to nassau, a little east of there by about 8:00 tonight. and it will eventually kind of turn up to the northeast. the turn is what we're waiting for. it's that big turn, it's that right turn. and without the right turn it slams right into the carolinas. but it has been forecast for about ten days now for this to make that turn. and we're watching a little bit of the more toward -- just a little bit of a movement to the north here in the past i would say hour and a half. and that is probably the turn that we're waiting for. this is still going to be a category four hurricane off the coast of florida. 135 miles per hour over the bahamas. waves are still going to be enormous. and the coastal flooding will still be great. we'll probably lose homes in some of these areas just through erosion itself. then we move away from florida and into a very close brush if not right on land maybe moorhead
city in cape hatteras all the way back over to here in the outer banks of north carolina. and this is where it gets very scary. this is where it gets very bob-like. hurricane bob-like, where this thing could be anywhere as a category 2, 100-mile-per-hour storm. on the left side of this cone it could be all the way to scranton. it could be right over new york city. if it's on the right side it's a complete gutter ball and it's a miss. this would be the best case for everybody, obviously. it may hit nova scotia of even iceland from there. but if you found the middle, the middle's right there through providence, rhode island, as a category 2 storm eventually making its way even into atlantic canada. how do we get this cone? well, we get the cone by running all the computer models. we call them spaghetti models because it kind of looks like
fettucini or something here. through north carolina most of them left and right half of them i would say, say out to say, half of them say on shore. so 50-50 shot of probably a landfall there. then you look at this. this even gets scarier as we get closer and closer. earlier today we had a bunch of models out in the ocean. this latest model run has not had very many in the ocean if any at off. there's boston. there's the cape. there's new york city. and there's the potential for 100-mile-an-hour storms in any of these cities. >> wow. obviously we're going to be tracking this thing very closely for the next couple of days. assessing the damage from yesterday's east coast earthquake, the washington monument taking a serious hit. details on that. plus a new and possibly key development in the case of the american woman, robyn gardner, who vanished in aruba a few weeks ago. also the willie wonka of computers is stepping down. why steve jobs of apple is resigning as ceo of apple. a ne. in here, the planned combination of at&t and t-mobile would deliver our next generation mobile broadband experience to 55 million more americans, many in small towns and rural communities, giving them a new choice. we'll deliver better service, with thousands of new cell sites... for greater access to all the things you want, whenever you want them.
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crime and punishment tonight, a new twist in the disappearance in aruba of 35-year-old robyn gardner. cnn's martin savidge has learned from the country solicitor general that the man who traveled with gardner to aruba, met her online and was with her the day she disappeared and claims she was in the water is the beneficiary of her $1.5 million accidental death policy. a policy he himself took out. gary giordano is his name. he's seen with gardner in this photo. the picture was released august 2nd.
that's the day giordano told investigators that gardner disappeared while snorkeling with him. he's being held by police in aruba as a suspect in the case. martin savidge joins me from aruba. >> martin, we've reported that they each took out insurance policies before their trip. he definitely is the beneficiary of her policy? >> reporter: that's right, yes. this is the first time authorities have come out and admitted that information. it was about a week ago i got ahold of the statement that gary giordano told authorities. one thing they asked him about these insurance policies. he admitted they had the insurance policies, two $1.5 million each. they said who's the beneficiary? he said in my case the beneficiary is my mother. but what was left out of that statement was well then who's going to benefit say if robyn gardner turns up missing or dead. well, today the authorities said, you know what, it's gary giordano, which now you understand to the authorities this is huge. this is the motive that they believe is behind all of what has taken place here. they say if anybody was going to make money on this, it's gary
giordano. the question i had was she would have signed and named him as the beneficiary. was it a forged signature or do you think she signed this willingly? the authorities wouldn't comment, anderson. >> it raises a whole heck of a lot of questions. these photos that have been released, where are they from? do we know who took them? how did they come to be? >> reporter: these are pretty interesting photos. these are photos taken at the rum reef bar and grill. this is where they were having their meal. and you are watching as gary and robyn walk away. and this, by the way, is the last time we will see robyn gardner. and i asked the authorities first of all they're releasing them because they hope that people on the island which see these, see them in the clothes they were wearing and this will have more eyewitnesses come forward and tell them how they may have seen this couple later. but i said, well, who took these pictures. i mean, who takes pictures of people walking away? the authorities said actually it was a worker at the bar whose daughter has tattoos noticed the tattoos that robyn gardner has, which are quite prolific, and decided to take photos as she walked away. it sounds a bit bizarre, but those are the photographs and they're out there now.
and that is, as i say, we watch robyn walk away to a fate as yet unknown. >> they're still searching for robyn gardner? >> reporter: yes, they are. and in fact they are looking on land, even though gary giordano had said it was at sea where she was lost on a snorkeling accident. they had a very extensive search on the southern part of that island that lasted six hours and found nothing. >> well, so sad. martin savidge, thanks very much. we'll be right back with the latest in the resignation of apple ceo steve jobs.
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