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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for January 24, 2000

Aired January 24, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


ANNOUNCER: Seen in classrooms the world over, this is CNN NEWSROOM.

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Welcome to the Monday show, everybody, I'm Tom Haynes.

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: And I'm Rudi Bakhtiar, thanks for watching.

We start with the politics in the United States.

HAYNES: In "Today's News," U.S. presidential candidates on the campaign trail. People in Iowa get set to cast votes in the state's all important caucus.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This place has seen virtually every candidate go by.


BAKHTIAR: Monday means our "Environment Desk." We'll tell you why an eviction notice is going out to some California wildlife.


BILL BUSHING, CATALINA ISLAND CONSERVANCY: The goats have done such severe damage to this island that none of us really know what it should look like.


HAYNES: In "Worldview," is life on Earth nearing the end?


THOMAS LOVEJOY, THE WORLD BANK: There is unanimity in the community of biological scientists that this is happening.


BAKHTIAR: Then in "Chronicle," kids talk about their parents' long hours at the office. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that I would want them to have no sort of residue of work carrying over into our relationship.


BAKHTIAR: In "Today's News," we head to a state which sits in the center of the United States, and at the beginning of the U.S. presidential election process. The Iowa caucuses takes center stage today as political parties start gathering in meetings. The task at hand is to select a candidate who will represent their party in the general presidential election this November.

For now, the attention focuses on the state where the first votes of the 2000 election will be cast.

Bob Franken begins our coverage at State Center, Iowa.


BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sunday in Rural Iowa still looks like Sunday. People can be found in church worshipping. The rest of the week they gather in the local diners and beauty shops, talking with neighbors they've known all their lives.

But one night, every four years, the routine changes. At exactly 7:00 p.m. local time, those who want to, will trek through the snow to their caucus meetings in schools, grange halls, restaurants, wherever party leaders decide, and begin the national process of selecting a president.

(on camera): In today's high-tech, fast-moving world, these Iowa caucuses conjure up descriptive words like quaint, old fashioned. But the stakes are high, and for all the candidates in each of the 2,131 precincts, the first challenge is to make sure their supporters to show up.

PAULA EATON, HEALTH CARE WORKER: I know we've been getting a lot of information in the mail, and I've had a lot of phone calls, and even had a message from Al Gore's campaign on our answering machine when I got home from work.

FRANKEN (voice-over): The rules of the game are complicated.

BILL BRADLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But then the mystery of the Iowa caucus is a little bit like the mystery of the college of cardinals, right? You don't quite know how that decision is made.

FRANKEN: Actually, it depends on whether it's the Democrats or the GOP. Republicans choose their candidate by secret ballot at their caucuses. On the Democratic side, voters split into candidate preference groups. In most precincts, any candidate who gets less than 15 percent is eliminated, and his voters are persuaded to join another group. Delegates to a county convention are awarded based on the size of each group. Then, based on that number, the party figures out how many state convention delegates each candidate has won. The candidate estimated to have the most state delegates is the night's winner. There can be a lot of yelling.

MATT JOHNSON, FARMER: Yes, there's a lot of that, there's a whole lot of that, which I don't like. I mean, you don't have to put somebody else down to make yourself look better.

FRANKEN: But within an hour or two, all the shouting is over, and life in Iowa returns to normal, for another four years.

Bob Franken, CNN, State Center, Iowa.


BAKHTIAR: Of course, Iowa is the first voting domino to fall in the U.S. presidential election process. Another big barometer of candidate support comes in the New Hampshire primary, February 1.

In a CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll, likely voters in that state's Democratic primary indicate they would give Vice President Al Gore 50 percent of the vote to Bill Bradley's 45 percent.

The same poll held over the last few days indicates voters in New Hampshire would give John McCain the nod with 42 percent of the vote, with Texas Governor George W. Bush trailing with 33 percent.

As Bruce Morton tells us, the first caucuses and primaries don't always predict the nominee.


BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Well, they're good for the state, all those reporters and technicians, all those satellite trucks and rented cars, steaming around and spending money. But do they matter? Well, they can. It is arithmetically true that no one has been nominated in years without finishing in the top three here, but you could say "so what?"

The first year Iowa had early caucuses, 1972, a handful of reporters showed up, and we all wrote that George McGovern had finished a surprisingly close second to then front-runner Ed Muskie. That helped McGovern, who was even closer in New Hampshire, won Wisconsin, and never looked back.

Four years later, in 1976, Jimmy Carter won here and went on to be the nominee. He couldn't have done it if he'd had a job, but he was an unemployed ex-governor, and he came here and lived. "Jimmy slept at the house, you know," folks would tell you.


GEORGE H.W. BUSH, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I promise you this if the momentum you have given me, the inspiration that you've given me, the part of yourselves that you've given me. We're not going to forget it. We're going to take it into New Hampshire.


MORTON: In 1980 on the Republican side, George Bush, the Texas governor's father, beat Ronald Reagan, but Reagan was the nominee. Democrat Edward Kennedy's insurgent challenge to President Carter fell far short, Carter won renomination.

In 1984, Walter Mondale clobbered Gary Hart here, something like 51 to 16 percent.


WALTER MONDALE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When I hear your new ideas I'm reminded of that ad, "Where's the beef?"


MORTON: But Hart somehow went on to win New Hampshire. Backward bounce, maybe. Mondale won the nomination, but only after a fight. In 1988, George Bush finished third here, behind Bob Dole and the Reverend Pat Robertson, but Bush was the nominee. Michael Dukakis finished third and was the eventual Democratic choice.

In 1992, the Republicans had an incumbent president, and no Democrat wanted to spend money here to finish second to Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, who was running.



BOB DOLE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're charged up, getting in the home stretch.


MORTON: Bob Dole won here and won the nomination, though it was South Carolina that really sent him on a roll.

(on camera): So, the caucuses often don't pick the winner, but they do winnow the field some. I remember a candidate in, I think, 1976 exalting, "The winnowing has begun and I've been winnowed in."

My eight-grade grammar teacher, Edna Anderson, would have explained to him that was wrong. Things got winnowed out, not in. And she'd have been right in another sense -- out was exactly where this guy wound up a primary or two later.

Still, it does make money for the state and it's fun, let the winnowing begin. I'm Bruce Morton.


CNN's live coverage of the Iowa caucus 2000 continues throughout the day. And tune into NEWSROOM tomorrow for a wrap-up of the caucuses. We'll also put the caucus and primary season into perspective in the next installment of our "Democracy in America" segments, which will run every Tuesday until the election.

ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: It took southerners by surprise. A winter storm dumped snow and ice in many Southeastern states, wreaking havoc from Georgia to Virginia. Georgia's governor declared a state of emergency Sunday for several counties. The Red Cross opened shelters around the state for people who had no heat, because of power outages. Although Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport remained open, many flights were delayed or canceled.


ERIC HORNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In much of the South, a wintry mess, snow and freezing rain through Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas, causing headaches for those accustomed to relatively docile winters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's awful. It's a big mess.

HORNG: In Charlotte, a U.S. Airways jet skids off the runaway. None of the 142 passengers on board is injured. In Atlanta and surrounding counties, power is knocked out to hundreds of thousands of people. And on interstates and local roads throughout the Southeast, icy hazards abound.

Authorities temporarily closed off slick interstate ramps near Atlanta, slowing traffic to a crawl, but the spin outs continue, and one police officer while aiding a stranded motorist found himself in need of help as well.

Officer Warren Hinsman (ph) suffers a broken leg, when two vehicles collide and skid off the road. Hinsman is struck by a minivan, but is able to gingerly limp from the scene.

Elsewhere in Georgia, crews worked feverishly to restore power to more than 300,000 people, many without heat. The state's first frozen precipitation of the season snapping tree branches and downing powerlines.


HAYNES: In today's "Environment Desk," a problem that pits plants against animals against people. In this case of nature, it's goats who are getting people's goats. And we're not kidding around.

All right, enough of the puns and everything. We travel to California and an island called Santa Catalina. At first, it looked as though herds of troublesome goats would have to be shot to protect native plants. But people came up with another solution to the environmental dilemma.

Jim Hill has our cliffhanger.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JIM HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They can be stubborn as mules, hungry as horses, and sensitive as an emotional child. But the wild goat herds of Santa Catalina are also devouring this California island preserve.

BILL BUSHING, CATALINA ISLAND CONSERVANCY: The goats have done such severe damage to this island that none of us really know what it should look like.

HILL: The people charged with protecting Catalina planned to shoot the goats, but quickly drew fire themselves.

DEBBIE AVALLANA, CATALINA RESIDENT: There's got to be a way, aside from shooting animals, to control them. And they're -- I take it personally because they're like my friends. That's part of the reason I live here.

HILL: To make Catalina goatless and bloodless, teams of professional herders and their dogs spread out to coax the billies, nannies and kids out of their rocky strongholds.

Wild goats often die from stress if they're not handled carefully. But in the knowing hands of Oscar (ph), Adam (ph) and Felix (ph), many of the frisky goats calm down quickly. The more skittish were gently carried up long, steep trails.

TERRI HOLLEMAN OYARZUN, GOAT RANCHER: They work very hard at what they do. Their spirit is in it. It -- the reward for them is when they do a live capture and they have the goat. They've made one more, and it's a good thing for them spiritually.

HILL: When a similar round-up was tried 20 years ago, nearly 90 percent of the goats died from stress. This time only two of the 124 captured animals died, and one pregnant nannie even gave birth in transit.

Catalina's goats date from the early 1800s when ranchers brought them from the mainland. With no predators to keep them in check, they multiplied to nearly 40,000.

BILL DYER, IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS: Man brought the goats to the island in the first place, and we feel that man has a responsibility to them.

HILL: With the pounding of their cloven hooves, the captured goats were shipped ashore, then trucked to Orinda, California. There, they'll join other herds in the Goats "R" Us company, loaned out to create fire breaks by chewing up brush to their hearts' content.

Jim Hill, CNN, reporting.


ANNOUNCER: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, seen in schools around the world, because learning never stops, and neither does the news. BAKHTIAR: On to environmental issues in "Worldview." Our topic today: animals which are becoming extinct. Extinct means to no longer exist. And it's not just something that happened back in the Ice Ages, it's going on today all around the world.

When we think of extinction, many of us think of the dinosaurs. But the truth is, many species that existed in the year 1000 do not exist in the year 2000.

And Gary Strieker warns that in this new millennium, the list of extinct species could grow at an alarming rate. It's a problem that threatens animal and human populations around the world. Scientists say we're at the onset of a disaster they call the sixth extinction.


GARY STRIEKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The tiger, the rhinoceros, the blue whale and the giant panda, familiar endangered species, their numbers now so small they seem destined for extinction and could soon vanish from the Earth.

While losing these unique creatures would be a tragedy, scientists tell us it is nothing compared with the mounting crisis of extinction threatening all life on our planet.

STUART PIMM, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Nothing humanity has ever done has been as dramatic as this. If this rate of extinction continues, we will lose perhaps 40 percent, 50 percent of all life on Earth.

STRIEKER: It might sound in incredible, but as many as half of all plant and animal species face extinction in the next 50 to 100 years. And this is no wild theory, there is no disagreement among experts.

THOMAS LOVEJOY, THE WORLD BANK: There is unanimity in the community of biological scientists that this is happening. There really is no biologist who disagrees with this imminent crisis, there just isn't one.

STRIEKER: Extinction is said to be necessary in the process of evolution: old species vanish, new ones take their place. During hundreds of millions of years, scientists say, mass extinctions have periodically wiped out most forms of life. The causes are unknown: possibly huge volcanic eruptions, or climate change.

Sixty-five million years ago, a collision with an asteroid is believed to have caused a global die-off that included all dinosaurs. Scientists recognize five such mass extinctions in history, and they say we are now at the onset of the sixth.

ANDREW KNOLL, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: These are rates of extinction that can only really be compared with these brief moments in the past when biological diversity has come crashing down.

STRIEKER: Biological diversity is the web of life on the planet, the total variety of plant and animal species, all living things. And like the others, this sixth mass extinction is a biological diversity crash.

EDWARD O. WILSON, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Not just big animals, but little animals, down to insects and plants, too, are disappearing. And we're in the middle of a species extinction crisis that is unique, for the last few tens of millions of years.

STRIEKER: But there is a big difference between this mass extinction, and those in the past.

PIMM: In the past, the causes of extinction were unavoidable, perhaps a collision with an asteroid, or a massive volcanic eruption. This sixth extinction has only one cause, and it's us.

STRIEKER: Mass extinction caused by an expanding population of humans, industry and agriculture consuming natural habitats, contamination poisoning the food chain.

KATHARINE FULLER, WORLD WILDLIFE FUND: It's happening everywhere. It's happening in our own backyards, and it's happening in the most far-flung corners of the planet, from Antarctica to the depths of the seas, from the tropical rain forests of Brazil to the deserts of Chihuahua.

LOVEJOY: The loss of biological diversity is essentially the bottom line of what we're doing to the planet. You can fix physical problems like pollution, but you can never replace massive number of species lost to extinction.

STRIEKER: Most extinctions are now concentrated in a few critical areas around the world. Scientists call them hot spots.

WILSON: And a hot spot is a place where there are large numbers of animal and plants species that are found nowhere else, and where that entire area of natural environment is itself endangered so that when that environment is destroyed, a lot of species go extinct -- there's a mass extinction.

STRIEKER: A new study has investigated hot spots like the forests in Indonesia and Madagascar. The study shows 25 major hot spots covering less than two percent of the Earth's land area, shelter nearly two-thirds of all plant and animal species.

KNOLL: Mother nature has put her eggs in a very few baskets.

STRIEKER: And most of those baskets are hot spots of tropical forests where vast areas are chopped down or burned every year.

KNOLL: The rate at which we're destroying rain forests worldwide is such that almost all of the rain forests will be gone within 50 years or so. And it's that, more than any other factor that leads us to believe that we could lose so much of biological diversity.

STRIEKER: Mass extinction in habitats as rich as these sweeps away not only more familiar species like the orang utan in Southeast Asia and many endangered birds in Hawaii, but also hundreds of thousands of others, many still undiscovered. KENTON MILLER, WORLD RESOURCES INSTITUTE: It's subtle. We can't put the dead bodies of species extinction on the table and look at them because most things don't even have names yet, but we know it's happening and we can see the forest being reduced.

JANET ABRAMOVITZ, WORLDWATCH INSTITUTE: We are losing, in essence, pages and volumes from nature's library before we've even had chance to know the titles of these books, much less to know their contents and their importance.

WILSON: As unglamorous as these creatures, these weeds and creepy-crawlies may seem at first glance, in the aggregate, they are what sustain us. They really make up the bulk of the biosphere that our very lives depend upon.

MILLER: That's what we depend upon as people for our life support system. That's what puts food on the table, water in the tap, and lets us breathe. This is a massive industry of many component parts, all doing different things to make life possible on this planet. Those are the things that keep the planet alive and humming.

STRIEKER: And that is the real threat from the sixth extinction. We rely on all other species around us for food, for medicines, for clean air and water. How would our future be affected by such a massive loss of life on Earth?

FULLER: We face a planet that is despoiled and impoverished. We face the threat to all life on Earth, including our own, if we continue to destroy species at the rate that has been occurring. This is an interrelated, intricately woven web of life. And at some point, when you pull out one too many threads, the whole fabric disintegrates.

STRIEKER: But before that happens, say the experts, there is still a chance to stop mass extinction.

PETER SELIGMAN, CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL: There's a period today that perhaps -- there's a window today, perhaps, of 50 years in which we are going to have to be wise enough and smart enough to protect these hot spots, these places where life is concentrated.

PIMM: It requires us to double -- merely double the amount of land that we have in protected areas. If we do that, we can prevent the sixth extinction from taking place.

STRIEKER (on camera): But that kind of urgent action requires cooperation at local, national and international levels, and that can only happen if there's widespread recognition that something critical is at stake, not just a few unique endangered species.

(voice-over): Some believe there's a powerful moral argument that could bring all nations together in this crisis.

WILSON: There's just something I think everybody has a gut feeling about that it's wrong to carelessly wipe out a large part of the remainder of life on Earth. STRIEKER: It could be the biggest challenge of the next millennium, reversing the course of the sixth extinction, a catastrophe that could eventually make even the human species extinct.

Gary Strieker, CNN.


ANNOUNCER: Teachers, make the most of CNN NEWSROOM with our free daily classroom guide to the program. There you'll find a rundown of each day's show so you choose just the program segments that fit your lesson plan. Plus, there are discussion questions and activities, and the guide highlights key people, places and news terms. Each day, find hot links to other online resources and previews of upcoming desk segments. It's all at this Web address, where you can also sign up to have the guide automatically e-mailed directly to you each day. It's easy, it's free, it's your curriculum connection to the news. After all, the news never stops, and neither does learning.

HAYNES: All right, like many of you do during class, "Chronicle" turns its attention to after-school. An estimated 28-million school- age children in the United States have parents who work. Now, of those, as many as seven million are latchkey children who have no adult supervision at home when they get out of school. A new study looks at how kids feel about their parents' long hours.

Pat Etheridge has the story.


PAT ETHERIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ask working parents what they worry about most:

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I treasure my children. They are my heart, and to know that time is just flying, you know, I regret that.

ETHERIDGE: But a long-range study, the first of its kind, called "Ask the Children" reveals a remarkably different point of view.

ELLEN GALINSKY: It's as if parents and children are looking through a picture window but seeing an entirely different landscape.

ETHERIDGE: Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute, spent years interviewing more than 1,000 children in third through 12th grades. Their greatest wish is not necessarily more time with their parents, but less stress.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that I would want them to have no sort of residue of work carrying over into our relationship, in that when they came home, they would be sort of free and clear of stress.

ETHERIDGE: Other findings: More than 60 percent of parents say they like their work, but only about 40 percent of the children see things that way, in part because parents may be more apt to complain about a bad day than to play up the rewards.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Many times I hear my parents unhappy with their work and unpleased with how things have gone during the day.

ETHERIDGE: Another surprising difference: 23 percent of kids want their parents to make more money, but only 14 percent of parents think that's important to their children. And while a big majority of youngsters, 74 percent, see their mothers as very successful at managing work and family, only about one-third of the moms give themselves the same high marks.

Children's views about their working parents generally are positive, and they want grownups to hear what they have to say.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the children need to be asked because family and what happens at work affects them, too.

GALINSKY: By adding children's voices to this discussion, I hope that we change the discussion for ever.

ETHERIDGE: So take time to ask the children, and they just might make you feel better about your day.

Pat Etheridge, CNN, Atlanta.


BAKHTIAR: That's good, the children speaking up on the issue, being home by themselves.

HAYNES: I'm doing a series now on parents involvement in their kids' lives, and, overwhelmingly, they said their parents make a big difference in their life. So, it's true.

BAKHTIAR: Absolutely. I know mine did in mine.


Guys, we'll see you tomorrow right here on NEWSROOM. Have a good day.



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