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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for February 11, 2000

Aired February 11, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: Adding a little class to your classroom, it's the Friday edition of NEWSROOM. I'm Andy Jordan.

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: And I'm Shelley Walcott.

This weekend finds one less presidential candidate in the United States and one more baby in the world, sort of. Here's what's coming up.

The roster of U.S. presidential hopefuls just got smaller. Publisher Steve Forbes is calling it quits.


STEVE FORBES (R), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Today, I am withdrawing from the presidential contest, but I'm not withdrawing from the public square.


JORDAN: In today's "Editor's Desk," this baby does not need diapers, and you cannot burp him. Find out what makes him tick.


JOHN SPRING, ARTEM: The different thing about this is that it's a baby that is real sized, and normally we are making things sort of upscale.


WALCOTT: "Worldview" looks at the changing face of the South African workforce. One where women are mixing cement and building a new country.

JORDAN: African-American students in the United States are helping build a new frontier in the science world. In "Chronicle," the CNN Student Bureau looks beyond the looks to discover future scientists.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KORI BEVANS, GRADUATE STUDENT: It's a good feeling to let people know that hey I can be an engineer too, hey, you know, just because I look a certain way doesn't mean that I can't go and be a scientist.


WALCOTT: And then there were three. Today's top story focuses on the latest candidate to drop out of the U.S. Republican presidential race.

Yesterday, millionaire Steve Forbes announced he's quitting the 2000 contest for the GOP nomination. This, after his third-place showing in Tuesday's Delaware Republican primary. He finished second in Iowa, and third in New Hampshire.

Forbes has poured more than $65 million of his own money into presidential campaigns, both this year and in 1996. His departure narrows the Republican field to Texas Governor George W. Bush, Senator John McCain of Arizona, and talk show host Alan Keyes.

Meantime, the two Democratic contenders are taking their campaigns to the West Coast. Vice President Al Gore and former Senator Bill Bradley will share the spotlight at this weekend's California Democratic primary convention. Bradley is trailing Gore by a two-to-one margin in most states.

Bradley's campaign is surely giving him a taste of how difficult it can be to sell yourself as an alternative to a front-runner. A reality that finally got the best of Steve Forbes.

Gene Randall has more.


GENE RANDALL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just two days after a third place finish in Delaware's GOP primary, Steve Forbes once again became a former presidential candidate.

FORBES: Well, my friends, as my father once said when he lost a governor's race in New Jersey, we were nosed out by a landslide.

RANDALL: Despite spending tens of millions of his own dollars trying to sell himself as the conservative alternative to George W. Bush, Forbes barely made a dent in the national polls. This, as the Republican race was increasingly seen as a two-man contest between Bush and Senator John McCain of Arizona. Delaware was the final blow.

FORBES: I asked myself, how can we make this thing now work? where can we find an opening to make a breakthrough? and with considerable reluctance, I concluded that the opportunity did not appear to be there.

RANDALL: With two of his five daughters and his wife in tears at his side, Forbes said his campaign had created a new conservative agenda. FORBES: The messenger may have gotten a bit tripped up, battered in the electoral process. But if the message is good, then you can't regret making the effort.

RANDALL: Saying he wasn't ready to endorse anyone, Forbes joined a long list of GOP dropouts, the second in a week. The first was Gary Bauer. He and Forbes had both especially targeted social conservative voters with little success.

Will Forbes' departure have much of an effect? A respected, unaligned Republican consultant says no.

TONY FABRIZIO, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: Steve had such few voters left at the end of this game that the percentages that will divvy up and go either way are going to be very, very small, and unless these races are a point or two either way, it won't have a big impact.

RANDALL (on camera): What will Steve Forbes do now? He says he'll go back to publishing his magazine, but he also says he'll stay in the public arena. No details offered.

Gene Randall, CNN, Washington.


JORDAN: More than a thousand planes in the United States are getting a once over. The Federal Aviation Administration is ordering airliners to inspect all MD-80 series jets. The agency wants the owners to check for damage similar to what was found in wreckage from last month's crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261. That MD-83 slammed into the Pacific Ocean northwest of Los Angeles, California, killing all 88 people on board on a flight to San Francisco from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

The FAA now wants to see if there's a consistent problem. Carl Rochelle reports.


CARL ROCHELLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Officials are ordering the inspections because of concern there may be a connection between the crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261 and damaged jackscrews. The FAA action was taken after voluntary inspection by Alaska Airlines turned up two planes -- one in Seattle, the other in Portland -- with metal filings and fibers around the jackscrew, not unlike the metal found enmeshed in the jackscrew recovered from Alaska Airlines Flight 261.

JACK EVANS, ALASKA AIRLINES SPOKESMAN: As soon as we identified the problem with these two aircraft, we contacted the NTSB. They asked us to quarantine the aircraft. And so we stopped all work on the aircraft.

ROCHELLE: The FAA, NTSB and the planes' manufacturer, Boeing, will examine the planes. LEE DICKINSON, AIR SAFETY EXPERT: What they need to do is compare what they find on these two airplanes to what they may be finding on the accident airplane.

ROCHELLE: U.S. airlines will have two to three days to complete the inspection of their MD-80 series aircraft. There are about 1,100 of them in the U.S.: DC-9s; MD-80s, 90s; and Boeing 717s.

The FAA is not grounding them at the present time, so it is unclear whether there will be flight delays.

The planes being inspected all use the same type of jackscrew. The jackscrew is threaded through the horizontal stabilizer and the screw's rotation helps control the up and down movement of the plane's nose.

NTSB officials say the metal fibers found on the jackscrew from Flight 261 are from the nut that attaches it to the horizontal stabilizer. But they still don't know whether the damage was done before the crash or during it.

Salvage operations continue, but so far, officials have not found the right-hand side of the horizontal stabilizer.

(on camera): A number of airlines -- including American, Delta and Northwest -- began conducting inspections voluntarily. The FAA action now makes it mandatory for all U.S. airlines to check their fleets by the end of the weekend.

Carl Rochelle, CNN, Washington.


WALCOTT: In our "Editor's Desk" today, a baby robot. It's the creation of a British company and it could help change the commercial and entertainment industries.

The first modern industrial robots were Unimates, developed by George Devol and Joe Engelberger back in the late 1950s and early '60s. Engelberger was the first to market robots and is called the father of robotics.

For more on robots check your NEWSROOM archives for February 3.

Now here's Allard Beutel with today's "Editor's Desk."


ALLARD BEUTEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This little guy could someday become a big movie and TV star. He's called "Gameboy," and his creators say he's the first life-sized robot baby.

Gameboy is making his first appearance in a commercial for a Dutch computer company. The British special effects designers who made Gameboy say size is the key to their creation. JOHN SPRING, ARTEM: The different thing about this is that it's a baby that is real-sized, and normally we are making things sort of upscale. So we have got plenty of room to pack the head or the body with lots of mechanics and electronics to make it move. But with a real-sized baby and the head you've got the size of a small grapefruit to work in. So a tremendous amount of detail went into this one.

BEUTEL: Artem says its bouncing baby bot is based on the same technology used by Hollywood to create animal characters. Gameboy has silicone skin and a range of 16 facial expressions.

Artem hopes these animatronic actors will eventually be able to replace real children in a lot more TV and movie roles.

Allard Beutel, CNN.


JORDAN: Well, imagine life without a television in you home or a radio in your car, or a CD player in your room. One-hundred years ago, the technological gadgets we take for granted were unheard of. And 100 years from now, people may have a hard time remembering what they were.

Dennis Michael reports on the rapidly changing face of mass media.


DENNIS MICHAEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The inventor of the electric light, Thomas Edison, placed the 20th century in its groove as early as 1877 by reciting "Mary Had a Little Lamb" into an early cylinder recorder and capturing sound for the first time.

As demonstrated here, this modest piece of technology started a wide ranging revolution.


THOMAS EDISON: It is nothing else but a cylinder groove upon a shaft with a fly wheel.


MICHAEL: Edison also replaced the kinescope with a running strip of film and created one of the first movie cameras. As Edison was devising these curious gadgets, Guillermo Marconi was working in Italy to create a wireless communication system he called radio. That invention was ready in 1895, just in time to join the phonograph and the movie camera in changing the 20th century. But radio gave rise to improvements in recording sound and music, and soon Edison's cylinder was replaced by a flat disk called a record.

As radio empires were rising on the East Coast, the movie industry journeyed West to build its kingdoms and Hollywood was born. An even bigger technological combination was looming on the horizon. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Television, I understand, is a combination of radio and pictures.


MICHAEL: Inventor Philo T. Farnsworth's television system was patented in 1927. A demonstration of television was done at the 1936 Olympics and it was displayed to the public for the first time at the 1939 World's Fair. By 1975, the concept of being able to watch films in the privacy of your own home was put into practice with the invention of the VCR. It was technology that rocked the television and film business to the core. Hollywood's fears proved groundless. Home video became a financial mainstay of the movie business.

Up to this point, all recording from the Edison cylinder to VHS tape was based on analog technology. But as computers moved into the mainstream, a number based system, digital technology, emerged. In fact, the final replacement for Edison's cylinder recorder may be no physical format at all. Century's end has devices that play from memory banks with no moving parts. Transistors followed by microchips made entertainment pocket sized. Now entertainment travels with its audience.

Movies may travel without film reels and exist only as digital video files, moving from maker to viewer over the Internet, with the actual film becoming obsolete. And with hundreds of entertainment channels and dozens of ways to access them, the end of the century may be bringing the end of the mass-media culture, or the beginning of a new kind of mass culture.

QUENTIN TARANTINO, FILMMAKER: I think all our technology is stopping us from the shared experience. I actually think this might be the last gasp of movies or, you know, we might be saying good-bye to the art form.

MICHAEL: Perhaps it's good-bye to the art form, but not to art.

JOHN LASSETER, PIXAR: What's exciting is the tools are getting in the hands of lots and lots of people. but how they use the tool, that's the key to the future. That's been the key to the past and that's the key to the future. It's not going to change.

MICHAEL: If that's true, it may be the only thing that doesn't change.

Dennis Michael, CNN, Los Angeles.


ANNOUNCER: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, seen in schools around the world, because learning never stops, and neither does the news.

WALCOTT: Put on your mittens on and keep warm. "Worldview" heads to the ski slopes today. We'll be swishing our way through Switzerland. Join us as we check in with the ski patrol hot on the trails of trouble. First, blazing trails for the future, we turn to South Africa where the women are laying a strong foundation brick by brick.

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: South Africa is the richest country on the African continent. Although blacks make up the majority of its people, they possess very little of the country's wealth. South Africa's white minority owns most of it. Whites dominated South Africa's government for years, maintaining policies of racial segregation called apartheid.

Internally, opposition to apartheid was strong and became embodied in a political prisoner named Nelson Mandela. Mandela spent 27 years in jail, refusing to renounce his anti-apartheid stance. But on this day in 1990, Mandela was released. The following year, apartheid was abolished. And by 1994, Mandela was elected president in the country's first all-race elections. Since then, South Africa has been working to rebuild itself as a better, integrated society.

Charlayne Hunter-Gault reports on the role many black women are beginning to play in the new South Africa.


CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Meet 49- year-old Thandi Ciciwezi. Her first job every day is the traditional one for South African women: Making breakfast for her family. But nowadays, Ciciwezi has another job. She's helping to build a new South Africa, in more ways than one.

Over the past few months, Ciciwezi has worked in construction, mixing cement, setting up wall frames and laying brick. She's worked on 153 low-income houses, part of the promise of the black-led government of post-apartheid South Africa. But Ciciwezi is also part of the promise of a more gender-conscious South Africa: a black woman able to pursue her dreams as far as her abilities will take her.

Already, in just one year, she's become a star, at least in the eyes of the local cement company with whom she does business.


THANDI CICIWEZI, CONTRACTOR: I use Alpha all-purpose cement.


HUNTER-GAULT: Ciciwezi has come a long way from the years of apartheid when the choices for all black women were limited, mostly to farm, factory or domestic work. Ciciwezi chose the latter, but the work was far away from the rural areas where most black people were forced to live and where the majority still do -- women, by and large, without men.

That was the case for Ciciwezi whose husband, a mine worker, had a fatal accident, leaving her as the sole bread-winner for their three sons. CICIWEZI: After my husband died, I had to leave the children at home, leave them alone at the rural area, come into Johannesburg. The children took care of themselves.

HUNTER-GAULT: But times have changed, at least for Ciciwezi and a growing number of women interested in construction, thanks to a two- year-old group, South African Women in Construction, which is partly funded by the Development Bank of Southern Africa, which has assisted a number of women's projects. Ciciwezi was able to get technical help and advice to pursue a dream she'd had since childhood when she used to tag along with her father to his job as a bricklayer. She says women were always builders in Africa.

CICIWEZI: I can say our African culture, women that time, all of the men used to come to Johannesburg to the mines, then the mothers used to build the houses.

HUNTER-GAULT: Ciciwezi's desire to build houses is also fueled by conditions in shantytowns like this one where she used to live before her name came up on the waiting list and she got one of the new houses she built. One of her four male business partners still lives here in Thembisa. She gets along well with her partners, but she says men in general have problem with a woman in what they regard as a man's world.

CICIWEZI: It's a challenge to us when we're to move women working with men. Some, they don't like it.

HUNTER-GAULT: Not only is it still a man's world, says Ciciwezi, but it's often a white man's world.

CICIWEZI: You can't be the boss in the white areas, but they do get the jobs in our areas; they see the opportunities their way.

HUNTER-GAULT (on camera): If attitudes haven't changed, neither has the reality for the vast majority of working women in South Africa. Most are still working either in the informal sector, on farms, or as domestics. A new law gives them more protection, but up until now there's been nothing to give them more mobility.

(voice-over): A new employment equity bill currently being debated in Parliament is designed to require private companies to offer more opportunities for targeting, training and promoting women.

LIESL GERNHOLTZ, GENDER COMMISSION SPOKESPERSON: I think that where real change needs to happen is in the private sector and in the families.

HUNTER-GAULT: Women's rights activists say that meeting the challenge is going to require that government back up its gender- friendly words with strong action.

GERNHOLTZ: The legislative framework is a very, very good and progressive one and, if it is implemented properly, should benefit women.

HUNTER-GAULT: As for women like Thandi Ciciwezi...

CICIWEZI: If the women can stand firm and fight for their rights and go for it, it's going to be right, we're going to have rights to (UNINTELLIGIBLE), although it's not going to be easy. It's not going to be easy, but it's going to be right.

HUNTER-GAULT: Charlayne Hunter-Gault, CNN, Thembisa, South Africa.


RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Next up, a story from "CNN WORLD REPORT," a program which presents the news from the perspectives of broadcasters around the world. Our destination today: Switzerland.

Switzerland is located in the heart of Central Europe. It's a small country in both size and number. Less people live in Switzerland than in New York City. But the Swiss people hold an honor on the world stage. They earn more income per capita than the rest of the industrialized world.

Now, many know Switzerland best for its majestic mountain range, the Swiss Alps. Thousands flock to the Alps each year to take advantage of their ideal skiing conditions.

Michael Morris reports on what it's like ensuring the safety of all those skiers.


MICHAEL MORRIS, SWISS TELEVISION REPORTER (voice-over): Daybreak in the Swiss Alps: 7:00 am at 3,600 meters, the beginning of a days work for the ski rescue patrol of Saas Fee. For the time being, all's quiet, but soon the slopes are milling with skiers. In the Saas Fee region alone, there can be 10,000 in a day. The 15-person rescue team is on alert.

It's 9:30. Hans Stadler gets his first call. After 27 years if the business, he's one of the most experienced.

This man explains what happened to him. Fortunately, it's more his pride that's hurt, and it's a simple, straightforward affair for Hans Stadler. Half an hour later, Hans gets a call from Sepp Herger, head of the rescue team.

"Hans, bring the sledge to the half-pipe. Someone's badly hurt."

A boy tried skiing on a half pipe for snowboarders. He fell head-first on hard, frozen snow. Severe concussion could be the result, so he's carefully taken for a checkup.

HANS STADLER, MEMBER, RESCUE TEAM (through translator): It happens, but many have themselves to blame. They just go too fast.

MORRIS: Emotional support for those close by is also an important part of the rescue team's job. A sign to get the message across. Written warnings appear to have little effect, like in the case where the sign was ignored by three adult snowboarders who had to be rescued from this exact spot.

"There you can see where the three snowboarder were stuck, just above those ice patches. None of them were allowed to make a move, otherwise they'd have tumbled right down to the stream."

The rescued snowboarders had incredible luck and were even picked up with their boards still attached.

"They'll probably have a hefty fine to pay. I hope the ordeal has taught them something."

It's 4:30. The temperature is minus-15 degrees. Time for the last peace control of the day. For Sepp Herger and his team, it's time to go home, after eight casualties and a normal day's work.

This is Michael Morris of Swiss Television and Swiss Radio International for "CNN WORLD REPORT."


JORDAN: When you think of great scientists, Albert Einstein's name inevitably comes up. Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur just a couple of the scientists who affect our lives here today in one way or another. The scientists you study came from many countries and diverse backgrounds. While they may fit the profile of what you think a scientist looks like, the CNN Student Bureau shows us there's no scientific formula when it comes to the future scientists of the United States.



AZIZA BACCOUCHE, CNN STUDENT BUREAU (voice-over): And he's got skills, but he's not banking on these skills to make a living.

OLUSAYI: Hello, my name is Hakeem Olusayi. I am a graduate student in physics at Stanford University and I study astrophysics.

BACCOUCHE: His life has had its share of ups and downs.

OLUSAYI: When I was an undergraduate, I actually dropped out of college. I was doing not too good. I dropped out of college and I came in and I did a lot better. And I had some difficulties here at Stanford, you know, when I first came in. I got the worst grades I ever had in my life. I had some transitional difficulties. But like I said, I raised my game to the level because I believed in myself, I didn't quit and I didn't let it get me down. Well, it got me down, but I got back up.

BACCOUCHE: What's his key to success?

OLUSAYI: Believe in yourself, you know, believe in yourself, and that's where, I think, sometimes we get lost, you know. We have an idea and it gets tough and we wonder if we can do it, you know, and you can. It's all about doing it.

RANDLE PINKETT, GRADUATE STUDENT: My name is Randle Pinkett and I'm a graduate student in media arts and sciences at MIT.

BACCOUCHE: His accomplishments include three masters degrees: business administration, computer science and electrical engineering. He owns his own business and he's also a Rhodes Scholar. And while working on his PhD, in his spare time, Randle teaches kids from Boston's inner-city neighborhoods how to use computers.

PINKETT: We try to introduce kids to computers, and we try to do it in a way that it gives them a chance to explore, to be builders and to be constructors. You see kids creating art, you see kids doing movies, doing digital editing. You see kids working with different kinds of graphical programming languages, working with physical objects where they can embed computation and embed programming. And I always encourage kids to get involved in as many activities as they possibly can to find what their passion is, because if you're not passionate about something, then you're really not going to want to invest the time it takes to bring yourself to the next level.

BACCOUCHE: Kori Bevans is into auto mechanics, photography, modeling, and she also hosts a TV show. Could she possibly be a scientist?

KORI BEVANS, GRADUATE STUDENT: It's always funny when I meet people and we talk for a while and they say, so what do you do? And I say, I'm studying mechanical engineering. They're just floored. They're just taken aback. And so it's a good feeling to let people know that, hey, I can be an engineer too. Hey, you know, just because I look a certain way doesn't mean that I can't go and be a scientist. Aside from the things that you impose upon yourself, all those things you say, I don't know if I can do this, there are people also telling you that you can't. So you really have to just believe that you can do it and believe that if you try hard enough, you can do it.

BACCOUCHE: Hakeem, Randle and Kori are three young people who don't quite fit the image of a typical scientist, but scientists they are. They are in their own way changing the perception of what a scientist looks like and of what a scientist can do.

Aziza Baccouche, CNN Student Bureau, Washington.


WALCOTT: And if you'd like to learn more about CNN Student Bureau, head for this Web site. You can find all the information you need at

JORDAN: And be sure to tune in Monday for the latest installment of our ongoing series for Black History Month in the United States. Our Joel Hochmuth will explore the under-representation of blacks in the fields of math and science.

WALCOTT: And that wraps it up for us here today. Have a great weekend.

JORDAN: We'll see you.


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