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Soldier Sues Over Stop-Loss Policy; Candidates' Families Divided Over Gay Marriage

Aired August 18, 2004 - 19:00   ET


HEIDI COLLINS, HOST: Good evening from New York. I'm Heidi Collins. Anderson Cooper is off tonight.
Truce or trickery in Iraq?

360 begins right now.

Muqtada al-Sadr promises to pull his fighters out of a holy mosque. Is it an olive branch, or a bluff?

John Kerry takes the president to task over his plan to reorganize U.S. troops around the world. Dangerous strategy? Or playing politics?

The cross-examination of Amber Frey on hold for a new development in the Peterson case. We'll go inside the courtroom.

Seven malnourished American children found abandoned in an African orphanage. Where were their parents, and how did they get there?

Our special series, Teach Your Children. Tonight, illiteracy in America. Is your child reading below the grade level?

And adultery, not grounds for divorce? A judge rules wife must stay married despite husband's philandering.

ANNOUNCER: Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.

COLLINS: If progress in Iraq is measured by two steps forward and one step back, here is today's forward movement. In Baghdad, the Iraqi National Conference chose an interim council, part of preparations for free elections. And in Najaf, signs of a white flag from Muqtada al-Sadr one day after he rejected an ultimatum from the Iraqi government. Time will only tell whether there's another step back.

Here's CNN's John Vause.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The standoff in Najaf may have ended not with a bang, but a letter.

JALIL SHAMARI, SHI'ITE DAWN PARTY (through translator): We have news from matters of this, the approval of (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Muqtada al-Sadr for the conditions that the National Conference has suggested.

VAUSE: In a statement from his Baghdad office to the Iraqi National Conference, al-Sadr said he was ready to leave the Imam Ali Mosque, dissolve his Mehdi militia, and join the political process, demands by a peace delegation which never met with al-Sadr face to face.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Our duty is to deliver peace, and in my opinion, although the delegation's task did not reach a conclusive stage, it was successful, because it paved the way for a decisive conclusion.

VAUSE: In return, the Shi'ite cleric gets safe passage from the mosque and will not be arrested. But he wants a complete ceasefire, and U.S. and Iraqi forces to pull back before he orders his militia to stand down.

With 2,000 U.S. Marines and more than 1,000 Iraqi forces encircling the Imam Ali Mosque, Iraq's defense minister had earlier warned the clock was ticking. A military strike could have been just hours away.

HAZAN SHA'ALAN, IRAQ INTERIM DEFENSE MINISTER: (through translator): We'll teach these people a lesson in their lives which they will never forget.

VAUSE: If this peace deal holds, it will be a major success for the Iraqi National Conference, a meeting of more than 1,000 delegates in Baghdad. For three days they did little else but work on a negotiated end to the fighting in Najaf.

John Vause, CNN, Baghdad.


COLLINS: Not all the news from Iraq is encouraging, though. There is word of a new threat to kill an American hostage. Reuters is reporting that kidnappers have appeared in a videotape on Al Jazeera demanding a U.S. withdrawal from Najaf. We have chosen not to show the video. The Arab news network has identified the hostage in the footage as French journalist Micah Guerin (ph).

The U.S. embassy in Baghdad says Guerin has been reported missing, but there is no confirmation he was kidnapped.

To Cincinnati now. The Veterans of Foreign War heard from John Kerry today. On Monday, when President Bush spoke to the VFW, he announced a plan to reduce America's military presence around the world. Kerry used his turn at the podium to criticize that plan and to offer some ideas of his own.

CNN's Dan Lothian reports.


DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Connecting with veterans by touting his military service, Senator John Kerry also used his speech to some 15,000 VFW members in Cincinnati to lash out at the Bush redeployment proposal, saying withdrawing 70,000 troops from Asia and Europe is the wrong signal to send at the wrong time.

SEN. JOHN KERRY, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The president's vaguely stated plan does not strengthen our hand in the war on terror. It in no way relieves the strain on our overextended military personnel...

LOTHIAN (on camera): In the key battleground state of Ohio, Kerry is vying for the votes of veterans, just over a million here, 26 million nationwide. This crucial group, according to a CNN poll, has the candidates in a statistical tie, although veterans appear to be leaning toward the president.

(voice-over): Overwhelmingly, health care issues top their agenda, but military might and the war in Iraq are prominent on their radar. The Kerry campaign aims to show the senator can be strong on defense and be an effective commander in chief, touting a plan to add some 40,000 active duty troops and double the number of special forces personnel.

This, as Kerry continues to temper criticism of his actions after returning home from the Vietnam War.

KERRY: I volunteered for the duty that we had. I didn't make it controversial. The war and the times were. And as too many of us know, it was a time when the war and the warriors became confused.

LOTHIAN: Kerry says for 35 years, he has stood up for veterans. Now he hopes they'll stand up for him.

Dan Lothian, CNN, with the Kerry campaign in Cincinnati.


COLLINS: The Republicans wasted no time counterattacking Kerry, pointing out a quote from a recent appearance by the Democratic candidate on ABC's "This Week" program. When asked about bringing troops home from Iraq, Kerry responded by saying this, "I think we can significantly change the deployment of troops, not just there, but elsewhere in the world, in the Korean peninsula, perhaps, in Europe, perhaps." No counterresponse yet from the Democrats.

Charles Kushner is a powerful New Jersey real estate magnate who helped get Governor James McGreevey elected. He raised a lot of money for McGreevey, who will soon resign. Kushner at one time also hired the man who accuses the governor now of sexual harassment. Now Kushner faces prison time after pleading guilty to a list of charges, from tax violations to messing with a federal witness.

The story now from CNN's Deborah Feyerick.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Governor McGreevey's name did not come up in federal court today, nor did the name of the man accusing the governor of sexual harassment. Yet the man pleading guilty to 18 felony counts knows them both.

Charles Kushner, a billionaire developer and major McGreevey campaign contributor, sponsored Golan Cipel when he first arrived in the U.S. from Israel five years ago, Kushner admitting he'd lied to the IRS, trying to claim $1 million in various campaign contributions as business expenses, Kushner also admitting he'd retaliated against his brother-in-law, who was helping prosecutors, by hiring a prostitute, filming his brother-in-law having sex with her, then sending that tape to his own sister.

Kushner's lawyer made clear that scandal had nothing to do with the scandal embroiling the governor.

BENJAMIN BRAFMAN, KUSHNER'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: He has nothing to do with the controversy surrounding Governor McGreevey, and regardless of how often I say that, people continue to write it. It is a baseless, false rumor with no factual premise to it whatsoever.

FEYERICK: In his plea deal, McGreevey's big donor does not have to help prosecutors in any way, as they investigate whether Golan Cipel tried to blackmail the governor.

CHRIS CHRISTIE, U.S. ATTORNEY: Let me be entirely clear. I have no comment on the investigation regarding Golan Cipel, and anything that arises from the investigation regarding Golan Cipel...


FEYERICK: As for the future of New Jersey politics, Senator Jon Corzine, who was considering a run for the governor if McGreevey stepped our early, released a statement just a short time ago.

He said he met with Governor McGreevey and said, quote, "The governor made clear in our conversation his absolute intent to serve until November 15, 2004. I accept that decision as final. In light of the governor's position, I want to make clear that my priority is to serve the people of New Jersey in the United States Senate," Jon Corzine saying he would not run for governor, leaving McGreevey to last out the next 90 days, Heidi.

COLLINS: November 15. All right, Deborah Feyerick, thanks so much for that.

People living on the Florida island of Sanibel did something today that they haven't done in a week. They went home. But for many of them, home isn't what it used to be. They were the first to be hit by Charley's 145-mile-per-hour winds. And this morning, they were among the very last to return.

Here's national correspondent Bob Franken.


BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At 7:00 a.m., the barriers to this barrier island went down.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, thank you, sir.

FRANKEN: For nearly six days, 6,000 full-time residents of Sanibel Island had been kept out. Fallen power lines and uprooted trees made the streets too dangerous. But now the largely well-to-do residents were returning to their well-constructed homes. The damage on Sanibel, though widespread, was relative.

SALLY DIZENERE, SANIBEL ISLAND RESIDENT: There you see what the pool looks like.

FRANKEN: It was worse nearby at Fort Myers Beach on Captiva Island, where many homes were nearly demolished by Charley.

BILL CHANDLER, CAPTIVA ISLAND RESIDENT: It's just amazing. It's like a bomb went off here. Just didn't expect it to be quite so devastating.

FRANKEN: Even where the houses have been spared, there is no power, no water. But with all this, the residents still say they remain fiercely attached to their tropical waterfront lifestyles.

SHERYL SIMS, CAPTIVA ISLAND RESIDENT: It's still the most beautiful place in the world.


FRANKEN: A place that they're able to afford, because they're quite wealthy. But as Mother Nature has shown once again, she does not play economic favor, Heidi.

COLLINS: Certainly not. All right, Bob Franken, thanks so much.

Five reporters are held in contempt of court for not revealing their sources. That story tops our look at news cross-country.

Washington, D.C., the reporters are refusing a federal judge's order to reveal the names of sources for stories about Wen Ho Lee. He's the former government scientist who was once accused of stealing secrets and spying. Lee's now suing the government and wants the identities of the sources.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg won't exactly greet protesters at the upcoming Republican convention with plates of cookies, but he says if they demonstrate peacefully, they can get discounts at restaurants, hotels, and even some Broadway shows.

Los Angeles, getting serious about silly string. The city council wants to ban kids from using it on Halloween. Silly string makes people crazy, they say. It starts fights, it's hard to clean up, and it's not biodegradable, so it's bad for the environment.

That's a look at stories cross-country tonight. 360 next, the Scott Peterson trial brought to a screeching halt. Find out why the murder case has come to a standstill.

Also tonight, adultery's not enough. Find out why a judge won't let an angry wife divorce her cheating husband.

And nightmare for the dream team, from awesome to average. That's our midweek crisis.

But first, your picks, the most popular stories on CNN.com right now.


COLLINS: Amber Frey's first day under cross-examination will have to wait. But that's not the big surprise from the Scott Peterson murder trial today. No, the real stunner is what everyone is still talking about, but for most of the day, nobody seemed to know.

CNN's Ted Rowlands has more now on the mystery.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Judge Alfred Delucchi apologized to the jury and then sent them home, saying a potential development had forced him to postpone the cross-examination of Amber Frey.

CNN has learned that the delay came after prosecutors tried to stop the defense from using taped conversations that have not already been introduced. A source close to the case tells CNN the judge has allowed the defense to use the tapes if they directly pertain to Frey's testimony. According to her lawyer. the delay was a complete surprise to Amber Frey.

GLORIA ALLRED, AMBER FREY'S ATTORNEY: It is, of course, frustrating to Amber, because she was ready. The delay causes a great deal more inconvenience for her and her family, and it's difficult.


ROWLANDS: Late this afternoon, the judge canceled court for tomorrow as well. It was expected that testimony would proceed while we waited on the Amber Frey cross with three witnesses. One of the scheduled witnesses for tomorrow was to be Scott Peterson's father, Lee Peterson.

He, while he has maintained that his son is completely innocent in this, he did testify in the preliminary hearing called by the prosecution to testify that he was unaware that Scott Peterson had purchased the boat in November that prosecutors believe was used in the disposal of Laci Peterson's body.

Heidi, we do expect Amber Frey still to be crossed on Monday, but in this case, nothing is certain.

COLLINS: That's for sure. All right, Ted Rowlands from Redwood City, California tonight. Ted, thanks a lot.

The tip-off was "The Star Spangled Banner." A Texas minister visiting a Nigerian orphanage last month came across seven children. They said they were Americans from Houston. They sang the National Anthem to him to prove it after telling the name of their adoptive mother. They were hungry, sick and covered in bug bites. How they got there and what happened to their mother are questions authorities are trying to answer.

Here's CNN's Eric Phillips.


ERIC PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The seven children, ranging from 8 to 16, were in an orphanage in Ibadan (ph), Nigeria. According to Texas Child Protective Services, they contracted malaria and typhoid, and were malnourished, with mosquito bites all over them.

ESTELLA OLGUIN, SPOKESWOMAN, CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES: They also have marks and scars from what they say, being hit with a cane or being hit with a switch.

PHILLIPS: Officials say last October, the children's adoptive mother, Mercury Liggins (ph), took the children from Houston, Texas, to Nigeria, where she left them with her fiance's brother while she returned to the states. A worker at a Houston boys and girls club remembers the incident.

MONA BATES, BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB: They came up to me and told me that their mom didn't want them anymore and that she was sending all of them to Africa. It was very sudden.

PHILLIPS: Months later, CPS officials say, the mother went to work as a contractor in Iraq. When she allegedly stopped sending money to Nigeria, the four girls and three boys were left abandoned in a shack. In late July, Nigerian officials placed them in an orphanage and alerted American authorities. A few days later, a Texas missionary visiting the orphanage saw the children.

REV. WARREN BEEMER, CORNERSTONE CHURCH: Not, I don't even know if I know an American that would put their dog there in what we saw, the conditions they lived in, sleeping on frames, springs with no mattresses, the smell of urine so strong it took your breath when you walked in the room.

PHILLIPS: He contacted his Texas church, which got politicians involved. Last Friday, the children were returned to Texas, where they are now in foster care, preparing to start school.

Child Protective Services tells CNN the children's mother says she didn't know the conditions the children were in. The lawyer identified by COMPUTERS as her attorney says he used to, but no longer represents her. No charges have been filed so far.

Eric Phillips, CNN, Atlanta. (END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Armed police officers stand guard as terror suspects appear in court. That tops our look at global stories in the uplink.

London, England, extremely tight security at the first court hearing for eight men charged with terrorism. One of them, the suspect, is Aisa al-Hindi, described by U.S. officials as a major al Qaeda operative. He's accused of possessing information about key American financial institutions. All eight are charged with conspiracy to murder.

Paris, France, what amounts to a slap on the wrist for a French man who called in a phony al Qaeda threat to the Eiffel Tower last month. Thousands had to be evacuated from the monument. The man said he was angry because his psychoanalyst was out of town. Sentence, one month in the cooler, and a fine.

At the Athens Olympics, Morocco comes from behind and beats Iraq two to one in a soccer match. The win sends Morocco to the quarterfinals, where it may face Iraq again. That squad already qualified for the soccer quarterfinals with victories over Portugal and Costa Rica.

That's tonight's uplink.

360 next, illiteracy in America, students making it through school without being able to read. Meet one girl who's taking action to get a decent education, part of the special series, Teach Your Children.

Also tonight, when duty to country has already been paid. A soldier fights the military to keep from going back to combat.

And a little later, the Bush twins at a gay wedding. When family fun and presidential policy collide, that's raw politics.


COLLINS: President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act created nationwide education goals. One example, students must learn to read by the third grade. Well, this year, the president pledged funding to expand literacy training to high school, something that might seem unnecessary, until you hear this report from Alina Cho, as we continue our series on education, Teach Your Children.




ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Zullay Sanabria is just like any other 19-year-old, except, until recently, she couldn't read.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Make the sound, and then read the letter, the word.

CHO: Zullay fell behind, she says, in the fifth grade.

SANABRIA: I just, like, really stopped paying attention. I just didn't understand, like, anything.

CHO: Yet Zullay made it all the way to the 12th grade by faking it.

LIZ CRAYNON, DIRECTOR, LINDAMOOD-BELL LEARNING PROCESSES: She's got this wonderful affect. She can make eye contact, she sparkles when you're looking at her, so it seems like she's getting it.

CHO: She didn't, and she's not alone. The U.S. Department of Education says 68 percent of the nation's fourth-graders are reading below proficiency. The same is true for 64 percent of high school seniors.

(on camera): Education experts say part of the problem is that traditionally, reading is only taught until the third grade. After that, kids are expected to know how to read, and those who don't, kids like Zullay, are left behind.

CINDY SADLER, INTERIM PRESIDENT, ALLIANCE FOR EXCELLENT EDUCATION: They indeed are just kind of dropped off into a chasm, where they are expected to do this on their own without any support from their teachers. That makes no sense.

CHO: Zullay was red-flagged in the fourth grade, but the system never followed through. And this year, her mother filed a complaint with New York City schools. An impartial hearing officer awarded her tutoring, about $22,000 worth, paid for by the schools. Eight weeks in, Zullay is making good progress and expects to graduate from high school next year.

SANABRIA: The experience of being in a and actually really doing the work, understanding it, reading it, like...

CHO: That will be new to you.


CHO: It will feel good.

SANABRIA: Definitely.

CHO: A first.

Alina Cho, CNN, New York.


COLLINS: And joining me now to discuss the connection between learning to read and brain development in children is Dr. Sally Shaywitz, a professor of pediatrics at Yale University, also the author of "Overcoming Dyslexia." Doctor, thanks so much for being here.

And speaking of dyslexia, obviously, you've worked with quite a few children who have this affliction. But if you don't have dyslexia, I mean, it's still possible that you aren't learning to read.

DR. SALLY SHAYWITZ, AUTHOR, "OVERCOMING DYSLEXIA": Absolutely. And, in fact, we know that there are tens of thousands of children in this country who aren't learning to read, primarily because they're not being taught.

COLLINS: How can that be?

SHAYWITZ: Well, that's a very good question. I think it's because until very recently, we really didn't know that much about reading. But now everything has changed. There's actually a science of reading, and we actually now have real evidence, just as when you go see a physician, you expect to be treated by something that's proven to be effective, we have that kind of evidence now that can guide how we teach children to read.

COLLINS: Tell me about that evidence. What are you seeing?

SHAYWITZ: Well, what we are learning is that there is a specific way that is the most effective, and, in fact, there have been national panels that have reviewed the evidence. So to teach children to read, you need to incorporate certain specific components and teach those components in a specific way. Would you like to go over (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

COLLINS: Yes, how do you, how do know that the child is actually picking it up? Because we just saw the story there by Alina Cho. The girl fell behind in fifth grade and made it all the way through to graduate. How come?

SHAYWITZ: Unfortunately, that's not a rare story. But what we now know is that it's important to include five specific elements, teaching children about the sounds of spoken words, teaching them how letters represent these sounds, teaching them not only how to read accurately, but how to read rapidly and with good understanding, teaching children about the meaning of words, and what strategies to use to understand what they read, and to do these in a very systematic and comprehensive way.

COLLINS: In fact, in this study that you did, you have actually seen a change in the brain, I mean, a physiological change. You did some MRIs, right?

SHAYWITZ: Exactly. It's really remarkable. What our research group was able to do is study groups of children before an experimental reading intervention, right after a year-long intervention, and a year later. And what we found was that children who had been provided with a kind of intervention that's been proven to be effective, not only did they become better readers, but their brains changed. Their brains changed so that a year after...

COLLINS: We're looking at some of those images right now.

SHAYWITZ: Right. And what you're seeing is certain areas of the brain that are activated during reading. And these children, who have received this evidence-based intervention, a year after the intervention had ended, the brain activation patterns looked comparable to children who had never had a reading problem.

COLLINS: Now, does any of this apply to adults?

SHAYWITZ: Well, we all learn to read in the same way, so it does apply to adults, in terms of they use the same systems, and there are difficulties within the same systems. What we know is, we can -- that all people can be helped, but it's far better if you do it earlier.

Schools have to get on the ball to really be able to identify children earlier and to give all children reading programs that work and not to allow something to happen as we just saw.

COLLINS: Dr. Sally Shaywitz, fascinating study. Thanks so much for your time here tonight.

SHAYWITZ: My pleasure.

COLLINS: Nice to meet you.


COLLINS: Tomorrow night, we will continue our special sears, Teach Your Children, with a look at single-sex schools, the pros and the cons. Is it the best environment for your child?

Then Friday, Deep Springs College, where students call the shots. Find out why it's being called the most successful experiment in higher education in U.S. history.

You can also see our report on America's changing classroom at CNN.com/school.

John Kerry takes the president to task over his plan to reorganize U.S. troops around the world. Dangerous strategy, or playing politics?

And adultery, not grounds for divorce? A judge rules wife must stay married despite husband's philandering.

360 continues.


COLLINS, HOST: The race for president, a brand new poll just out. Find out who's on top in the key battleground states. "360" next.


COLLINS: "360" next, the voters that could decide who will be the next president. We've got the latest poll.

Plus, forced to stay married. Why a judge won't allow an angry wife to divorce her cheating husband.

But first let's check our top stories in "The Reset."

An Army investigation of prison abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison will recommend disciplinary action against nearly two dozen military personnel. A report is expected to be released next week. Military sources tell CNN the report concludes abuse of prisoners was not ordered by senior commanders.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's on the offensive about a missile defense system. He told a conference in Alabama that the first ground base U.S. interceptor missile installed in Fort Greeley in Alaska is a triumph over pessimists who say the system is costly and unproven.

Relief is coming to passengers frustrated by flight delays at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. The government and the airlines have agreed to cut the number of planes arriving during peak hours of the day from 100 down to 88. That starts on November 1.

Today, John Kerry brought his campaign to Ohio with a stump speech at the VFW national convention.

Both Kerry and Bush have spent a lot of time and a lot of money in the Buckeye State, with good reason. It's a battleground state with 20 electoral votes.

And in the latest CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll among registered voters in Ohio, Kerry has a slight lead now with 50 percent supporting him, 41 percent for Bush. But the race is too close call when you factor in those most likely to vote in Ohio.

Tonight at 8 Eastern on CNN, Paula Zahn hosts "The Undecided Vote: A Town Hall Meeting" in Canton, Ohio. She's joining us now with a preview tonight.

Paula, this is a huge battleground state. Do you think the undecideds are going to be able to rally here?

PAULA ZAHN, HOST, "PAULA ZAHN NOW": Not only are they going to rally, they could be pivotal in deciding who our next president is.

You know, the voters of Ohio, since 1892, have backed the winning president with the exception of two elections.

The reason why we are here tonight is that those 20 electoral votes you're talking about that are up for grabs. And we have in our audience tonight a mixture of Republicans, Democrats and those key undecideds. And there is a reason, Heidi, when you mentioned the tremendous involvement both candidates have in the state. There's a tremendous reason for that, and that is because the election could ride on the undecided vote in Ohio.

A lot of critical issues for us to address tonight and we're going to allow the audience members to ask representatives of both campaigns some very specific questions. It should be interesting.

COLLINS: Speaking of the issues, Paula, in Ohio, what are the issues? The key issues there? I mean, do they lean domestically in their concerns?

ZAHN: I would say it would be the economy. You take a look at a number of polls that have been done over the last several months, and they would indicate the economy is at the top of the list.

Ohio is a state that has lost some 200,000 manufacturing jobs since the year 2000, 12,000 of those jobs lost right here in the Canton, Ohio, area.

So I am sure that our guests will be peppered with some pretty hot questions tonight about what either one of the candidates are going to do to help them find jobs. A number of unemployed people here in Stark County.

COLLINS: All right. Lots of questions coming up just about 20 minutes from now. Have a great show. We'll be watching, Paula. Thanks.

ZAHN: We're glad you're going to join us then. Thanks.

COLLINS: Moving on now. The military calls it stop-loss. Opponents call it a backdoor draft. Members of the National Guard who are not being allowed to leave the service at the end of their enlistment period call it just unfair.

Now one soldier in that position has decided to sue.

Here's Miguel Marquez.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He is now in the National Guard, Company B of the 1st of the 184th in Dublin, California. His lawyers say he served nine years of active duty in the Marines and Army and that he got awards for his combat service.

But now he's anonymously suing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who his lawyers claim is keeping him from getting out of the military.

MICHAEL SORGEN, PLAINTIFF'S LAWYER: He is challenging the stop- loss policy because it's really unfair. And it's unfair, because what it does is it extends the enlistments involuntarily. MARQUEZ: The soldier, known only as John Doe, has filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to allow him to leave the military when his obligation ends in December.

But because of the Pentagon's stop-loss program, put into effect by President Bush in the days following September 11, John Doe is headed to Iraq again.

Groups opposed to the Iraq war, like the Military Law Task Force, call stop-loss a backdoor draft.

MARGUERITE HIKEN, MILITARY LAW TASK FORCE: Daily, we in the Military Law Task Force and those on the GRI top line deal with and recognize the depth of dissatisfaction and anger with those serving in Iraq.

MARQUEZ: The lawsuit contends that when President Bush put stop- loss into effect it was to assist in the war on terror, and now that Iraq has been declared a sovereign nation with questionable ties to al Qaeda, the order should be declared invalid.

The dean of Golden Gate University Law School says good luck.

PETER KEANE, DEAN, GOLDEN GATE UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL: The likelihood of the courts wanting to go ahead and get in there and start interpreting what the powers of the commander in chief of the United States is as president are about zilch.


MARQUEZ: An Army spokeswoman says about 20,000 soldiers are now serving because of the stop-loss program.

The military also says that they have no response to the lawsuit, because their lawyers haven't even seen it yet. But they said the idea behind the stop-loss program is to have trained soldiers taking positions and remaining in their positions, because if they had untrained soldiers or new soldiers coming in all the time, it does nothing for unit cohesion -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Miguel Marquez. Miguel, thanks so much for that.

On the domestic front now, one of the big hot-button issues in this year's election campaign is gay marriage. Not only has it divided the public. But it seems to have divided the families of both candidates, which sometimes happens in raw politics.


COLLINS (voice-over): Officially, the Bush-Cheney political family wants to ban same-sex marriage.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I believe a marriage is between a man and a woman.

COLLINS: But it is a marriage between two men that the president's twin daughters have been invited to celebrate, and according to Barbara and Jenna's gay pals, who invited them, the twins say they, quote, "will try to make it."

When contacted by CNN, a campaign spokesperson for the twins refused to comment about the invitation to a same-sex marriage reception.

Jenna and Barbara Bush would not be the only family members, though, to privately contradict their parents' public stances on the issue of gay marriage.

If Dick Cheney's family was united on the issue in 2000...

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: People should be free to enter into any relationship they want to enter on into.

COLLINS: ... they are now divided.

The vice president supports a federal ban on same-sex marriage. His daughter, Mary, a lesbian, opposes it, and so does his wife Lynn, saying it should be left up to the states.

Lynn once wrote a novel that included a racy scene about lesbian coupling.

And it's not just Republicans. Vanessa Kerry supports gay marriage. Her father, John Kerry, does not.

CARLOS WATSON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's actually not unusual in American politics for presidential candidates and their families to disagree. In the past we've seen it over civil rights, the Vietnam War, and today it's not a surprise that gay marriage, one of the most controversial issues in the country, is also dividing the first and even the second family.

COLLINS: Sometimes your own personal family can contradict your own political stance, inside the closet of raw politics.


COLLINS: "360" next, divorce denied in court, despite a cheating husband, the wife speaks out.

Plus, U.S. men's basketball looking nothing like a Dream Team at the Olympics. Our mid-week crisis.

And a dining experience like you've never seen before. We'll take you to the cat cafe.


COLLINS: A cheating husband, a wife who wants a divorce and a judge who's forcing them to stay together. "360" next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COLLINS: Most states, all you need to say is "irreconcilable differences," and you get a divorce. Well, it's not that easy in New York.

Gail Ozhan wants to divorce her husband of 17 years, who admits he had an affair, but a judge says, well, that's not enough.

Gail is here to talk more about her legal battle, plus celebrity divorce attorney Raoul Felder, who's helping us sort out the legalese in all of this. Of course, I want to remind you, Mr. Felder is not Mrs. Ozhan's attorney.

To the both of you, thanks for being with us tonight. Gail, I want to ask you, your husband allegedly admitted to this affair, though in court he pleaded the Fifth. What is your best understanding of what happened here?

GAIL OZHAN, WANTS DIVORCE: My best understanding is, according to the judge's decision, is that I did not prove that I am -- that he had the affair.

What happened was when he came back from Europe, he promised that we were going to reconcile our marriage and everything was going -- we were trying to make it work.

And meanwhile, you know, we resumed marital relations, and after that, after I found out that the affair was still going to.

COLLINS: So he had told you that the affair was over.

OZHAN: Yes. And because the affair was still going on, which I found out about, then I served him with divorce papers. I filed in September, but I actually served him in January of the following year.

COLLINS: So you had resumed, and pardon the prying here, but you had resumed your marital relations, in other words, sexual relations...

OZHAN: Of course.

COLLINS: ... after thinking that this affair was over.


COLLINS: Had you forgiven him at that point?

OZHAN: I was trying -- yes. I was trying to forgive him. I was trying to save my marriage. And we have two children and businesses and, you know, a home and, you know, after 17 years, I didn't want to just dissolve the marriage; and I wanted to try to make it work.

COLLINS: Well, weigh in here, forgiving him, that's the problem?

RAOUL FELDER, CELEBRITY DIVORCE ATTORNEY: This is a kind of legal absurdity, but it happens more than people think. As a matter of fact, there's a name for it. They call it a holy deadlock, not holy wedlock but holy deadlock.

And the theory is something like this. Adultery is a sexual act, and it could be forgiven by another sexual act. And that's the problem, and the judge said it was condoned.

COLLINS: It doesn't seem very humanlike.

FELDER: No, you're condemning two people to live together who may not want to live together.

And it also lays open the ground for sort of a kind of legal blackmail, where one party could say to the other, "Well, I will give you a divorce." You empower one party. "I will give you a divorce if you take less money or you give up some visitation with the kids or something like that."

It's bad, but it's happening all over America.

COLLINS: What other states are we talking about?

FELDER: Any state that has a fault ground as opposed to a non- fault ground, irreconcilable differences. And there are quite a few. But any state that's a fault ground is prone to have this happen.

COLLINS: Now Gail, back to you for a moment. You say or have explained that your husband has gone off or at least spends a lot of time with this same girlfriend now.


COLLINS: Why does he not want a divorce?

OZHAN: For financial reasons, basically. He -- he would grant me a divorce if I'd settle for less than what is my actual worth in the marriage.

COLLINS: So in your eyes this comes down to money?

OZHAN: Definitely. Definitely. He said, you know, he would divorce me, but he does -- he refuses to give up, you know, most of his assets or not most of his assets, 50 percent, which is in New York state.

COLLINS: It's got to be...


COLLINS: It's got to be very difficult for you, but you know, I think about the children. I know you have children.


COLLINS: And I just wonder in talking about whether or not this will ever be changed in New York, how the children are affected?

OZHAN: Well, the children are devastated. I mean, they're, you know, they're just -- right now their life is not as it should be. You know, it's hard. My husband comes and goes as he pleases, and you know -- and whenever he comes home, it's very stressful on all of us.

COLLINS: We appreciate you sharing your story with very us. Gail Ozhan and Raoul Felder, thanks for figuring it all out for us, as best as we could.

Well, we did try to reach the judge and the lawyer for Gail's husband for comment, of course, and did not hear back from them tonight.

The ball isn't bouncing the way it should for the U.S. men's basketball team. That's for sure. Next on "360," the superstar athletes are struggling in Greece. Will they get their game face on in time? Our "Midweek Crisis."


COLLINS: What do you get when you mix a bunch of incredibly talented and highly paid basketball superstars with a format that requires them to be selfless team players?

When you're talking about the U.S. men's basketball team and the Olympics, you have the perfect recipe for a "Midweek Crisis."


COLLINS (voice-over): It was supposed to look like this. Awestruck opponents, lopsided scores, a collective world embrace, ultimately ending in gold.

But since the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, the first year the U.S. sent NBA players to the Olympics, the so-called Dream Team has become, well, something less dreamy.

This year's team is, at best, squeaking by host nation Greece. At worst, being run off the court by the likes of Puerto Rico. That's right, the same island with a population of about 3 1/2 million people beat this collection of all-stars with combined contracts worth more than $300 million.

How in the name of James Naismith is this happening to the country who invented the game? The players aren't so sure, but they do seem bewildered.

ALLEN IVERSON, U.S. OLYMPIC BASKETBALL TEAM: You can't just -- like, you know, just worry about what you got on paper, you know, your roster. You got to go out there and play like it. You got to play with a sense of urgency.

LEBRON JAMES, U.S. OLYMPIC BASKETBALL TEAM: It's just like playing it, man. People are making it such a big deal, but it's really not.

COLLINS: To be fair, this isn't the USA's best. Many of the top players stayed home, citing security concerns. But most agree, this was bound to happen.

The NBA, in fact, has gone out of its way to promote the game internationally, and now some of its stars are foreign-born. Simply put, the world is catching up. But still, barely beating Greece?

JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW": I want to make something very clear. It wasn't even the Greek Olympic basketball team; it was a consortium of diner owners. Literally, old men whenever they scored would go "span copitia (ph)"!

COLLINS: Memo to Michael Jordan: we've got a "Midweek Crisis" on our hands. How does that fourth comeback sound?


COLLINS: Spanicoca (ph) what?

Well, it's one of New York's hottest, newest and most exclusive restaurants. The service is attentive, the decor, quite colorful. And when the notoriously fickle customers start rolling on the floor and licking their paws, you know the food must be good.

Jeanne Moos explains.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Oh, waiter! There's a cat on my table!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, Calvin. This is "What's the Catch?"

MOOS: The catch is that you can open a cat cafe, but you can't force them to eat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mommy brought you all of the way here and you don't want to eat?

MOOS: You'd be annoyed too, if you couldn't read the menu, which featured items like Filet Meow for cats and its counterpart, Beef on Baguette for humans.

There were cats on the red carpet, cats in chi-chi bags and cat paraphernalia for sale all over the place.

RICHARD THOMPSON, CEO, MEOW MIX: There's 83 million cats in America and they have nowhere to go.

MOOS (on camera): Cats don't want to go out of the house.

THOMPSON: I disagree with that.

MOOS (voice-over): So the CEO of Meow Mix set up a temporary cat cafe on New York's Fifth Avenue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's the dumbest thing I've ever seen. I really do. MOOS: Meow Mix calls it experimental. The company hopes to franchise the cafes in cities around the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nice big smile.

MOOS: Forget the smile, we want to hear Eartha Kitt growl.


MOOS (on camera): You never get sick of making the cat noise?

KITT: No. Everybody knows it's Eartha Kitt when they hear "growl."

MOOS: Give me a good one.

KITT: Growl! It keeps me alive.

MOOS (voice-over): The cats all survive the cafe experience, though one kitty was injured when he poked his eye on a menu.

Humans passed the time playing hair ball toss.

(on camera) You know, there already is a Meow Mix.

THOMPSON: Yes, but that's the wrong Meow Mix, and they are in violation of my trademark, but we love those people, too.

(voice-over) Those people at Meow Mix, one of New York's lesbian bars.

THOMPSON: Well, I go down there and I go to the bar from time to time and I have a few drinks.

MOOS (on camera): Cool cat!

(voice-over) But recently, the lesbian Meow Mix closed down, a bad omen perhaps for the feline Meow Mix?

KITT: Growl!


MOOS (on camera): Maybe you're too realistic.

(voice-over) From the looks of it, you might need a doggy bag at the cat cafe.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


COLLINS: "360" next, today's "Buzz": "Do you support President Bush's plan to withdraw 70,000 troops from Asia and Europe?" Log on to CNN.com/360 to vote now. Results when we come back.


COLLINS: Time now for the "Buzz."

Earlier, we asked, "Do you support President Bush's plan to withdraw 70,000 troops from Asia and Europe?" Sixty-four percent said yes; 36 percent voted no.

Not a scientific poll, but it is your "Buzz."

I'm Heidi Collins, in for Anderson Cooper. I'll be back at 7 a.m. Eastern tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING."

2004 Aug 18