Census: U.S. gains new person every 11 seconds
Tonight on "360," we are looking mainly at two subjects: North Korea and the continuing Foley/GOP meltdown.
No doubt North Korea's claim it conducted a nuclear test in the far north will occupy a lot of our time in the days and weeks ahead. Tonight we'll start with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who as Clinton administration energy secretary shuttled to North Korea a number of times to deal with that country's nuclear ambitions.
We'll also hear from Robert Kaplan, a visiting professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, who wrote the cover story for the October Atlantic Monthly: "When North Korea Falls."
In part, Kaplan argues, if you think putting Iraq back together after the U.S. invasion has been difficult, then beware a complete leadership collapse in North Korea. He says it could result in a Titanic-sized humanitarian disaster, because the peninsula has been isolated and impoverished for decades.
And at 11 p.m., we are airing a fascinating documentary from CNN Presents about life inside North Korea, one of the world's most secretive nations. The documentary was shot by a number of folks with hidden cameras, and some scenes come from tapes that were originally smuggled out of the country.
Also tonight, we are beginning a population countdown clock. The U.S. population stands at 299 million and counting. After births, deaths, military deployments and immigration, the U.S. Census Bureau calculates the population increases by one person every 11 seconds. It is fast approaching the 300 million mark. This milestone is being greeted far differently than when the United States hit 200 million in 1967. At that time, President Lyndon Johnson trumpeted the news as proof of prosperity and growth and opportunity.
But think about 300 million. It is political quicksand: It means contentious debates about transportation, resources, the environment and greenhouse gases and health care and immigration. On immigration, in fact, 53 million of the 100 million gain in population since 1967 has come from recent immigrants, both legal and illegal, and their descendents. With the 300 million mark nearing, you can see why we're watching the population clock on our program.