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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for February 22, 2000

Aired February 22, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: It is Tuesday on NEWSROOM. Thanks for joining us. I'm Tom Haynes. Top on our agenda today: the race to the White House.

Our top story takes us to the United States, where Democratic presidential candidates square-off in the latest round of debates.

From political debates to medical debates in "Health Desk": Do flu shots work?


DR. KATHLEEN NEUZIL, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON: I think it's important because influenza is a potentially preventable disease.


HAYNES: We head to Kosovo is "Worldview," still reeling from the aftermath of war, its citizens struggling to make it through winter.


BESIM KACIU, KOSOVAR ALBANIAN (through translator): I thought that they would at least rebuild our home. Everybody knows what are the consequence of war. And here those consequences are very hard.


HAYNES: We continue our "Democracy in America" series in "Chronicle," with a look at the anatomy of a presidential campaign.


RON FENNEL, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: John McCain, no question, has the most unique campaign, allowing the unlimited access to the candidate, where Bush has a very well crafted message, and he has a very strong team of people who are advising him on all movements of the campaign.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HAYNES: In "Today's News," the early days of a U.S. presidential race. After that burst of attention given to the Republican primaries, we make part of today's focus the race for the Democratic nomination. Last night, both Vice President Al Gore and Bill Bradley had the opportunity to grab the attention of Democratic voters in a prime time debate seen live here on CNN.

The debate took place in New York City, a key state in the primary line-up. New York, along with several other states, will hold primaries March 7. The debate between Gore and Bradley took place at the Apollo Theater, the historic landmark where Ella Fitzgerald was discovered in 1934.

Last night, the gloves came off as Gore and Bradley sparred on a number of issues ranging from racial profiling to education.


VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The reason I have opposed vouchers is because I think they represent a big and historic mistake by draining money away from public schools at a time when we need to lift up the public schools.


Now, you're right that -- you're right that Senator Bradley voted for vouchers every single time they came up for a vote during his entire 18 years in the Senate. I think those votes were a mistake.



BILL BRADLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: in this election, what I have done is to advocate doubling Title I money, which is the largest federal program that goes to urban schools and to use that money to improve the quality of the teaching -- every teacher has to be qualified -- to hold schools accountable so that we reduce the disparity between minority and non-minority performance, and give parents, give parents the freedom to move from one public school to another public school if the second one is a better performing school. That's an investment in urban public education.


HAYNES: Gore and Bradley also said they would both sign an executive order eliminating racial profiling if elected. This is when police unfairly target minorities and suspect them of criminal behavior. Racial profiling has become a hotly debated topic after several incidents around the country and the New York City area. Both have a different approach on how they would stop racial profiling.


BRADLEY: In the sense of racial profiling that seeps into the mind of someone so that he sees a wallet in the hand of a white man as a wallet, but a wallet in the hand of a black man as a gun.


And we -- we have to change that. I would issue an executive order that would eliminate racial profiling at the federal level. I would try to pass a law to get information gathered at local levels so that we could see how the police departments are acting. I would make sure that the Justice Department was involved. And I would say quite clearly that white Americans can no longer deny the plight of black Americans.



GORE: If you entrust me with the presidency, the first civil rights act of the 21st century will be a national law outlawing racial profiling.


We have to recognize that racial profiling is a problem not only in law enforcement, but also in insurance, in banking, inside school rooms, inside people's hearts.



HAYNES: Now on to the Republican candidates for president, and their battles to win important primaries in two states. In Michigan and Arizona, voters will cast ballots for Texas Governor George W. Bush, Senator John McCain of Arizona and former ambassador Alan Keyes. The outcome of these primaries could make all the difference as to what happens next.

Bush told a youth rally in Michigan, he can smell the sweat scent of victory. McCain accused Bush of character assassination, and encouraged voters to reject the low road to the presidency and support the high road.

Stay with CNN for complete results of these primaries for the GOP. We will also have in depth coverage tomorrow, right here on NEWSROOM.

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: NASA will attempt to land the space shuttle Endeavour at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida today, but gusty cross-winds and clouds may force Endeavour to attempt a landing a Edwards Air Force Base in California. Bad weather is expected there too, and that could force the shuttle to touchdown at a seldom used landing site in New Mexico. A six-member multi-national crew is aboard Endeavour, which was launched February 11. Ad since then, the crew has mapped out more than 47 million square miles of the Earth's surface. The U.S. military will be the primary beneficiary of this project. Most of the high-resolution images probably will remain classified. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN SPACE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The crew of Endeavour lowered the boom on its radar mapping mission after nine days, six hours and 23 minutes of round-the-clock round-the-planet digital cartography.

MISSION CONTROL: Enveavour, Houston, we are evaluating the indication.

O'BRIEN: The only hitch came after the 200-foot mast was stowed inside its carrying canister bolted to the shuttle's payload bay, three latches designed to hold the lid on failed to engage.

JEFF BRANTLEY, SHUTTLE FLIGHT DIRECTOR: We can speculate as to the cause but there is an awful lot of cables and harnesses that have to get folded up, and they were probably fairly cold, and so one of the possibilities is that just compressing those was a little bit difficult.

O'BRIEN: The astronauts turned on some heaters and notched up the torque setting by 50 percent. The plan worked. Had it not, the crew would have had to jettison the $35 million mast, the longest rigid structure ever deployed in space.

The device will give scientists and the Pentagon by far the most accurate and comprehensive three-dimensional topographic map of the world. Here is an example, this dramatic view of the San Gabriel Mountains and the San Andreas Fault.

MICHAEL KUBRICK, NASA SCIENTIST: Now it is in, and hey, happy as a clam. Bring it on home.


BAKHTIAR: Stay tuned to CNN for live coverage of the shuttle landing seen at the times on your screen.

HAYNES: Well, flu season is in full swing. Maybe you have already had it? I know I just got over it. A cough, a soar throat, chills or fever; aching muscles and fatigue, lots of fun. But those are just some of the symptoms, it is a common, one some say is preventable however.

Elizabeth Cohen examines the issue in today's "Health Desk."


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every fall, Dr. Kathleen Neuzil gets flu shots for her three children. But why does she do it, considering that current health recommendations say healthy children like hers don't need the flu vaccine?

DR. KATHLEEN NEUZIL, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON: I think it's important because influenza is a potentially preventable disease. COHEN: Experts say the shot is safe. It occasionally causes mild side effects in children, but getting the flu can be devastating, especially for babies. In fact, Dr. Neuzil has written a study in "The New England Journal of Medicine" concluding that one out of every 150 healthy babies under age 1 is hospitalized for flu complications every year. That means healthy babies end up in the hospital as frequently as elderly people, who are routinely told to get flu shots.

NEUZIL: The reason that's important is because I don't think it was well-recognized in this country that young children are a high- risk group from influenza, and it will make us think about ways that we can possibly prevent influenza in these infants.

COHEN: An editorial in the journal entitled "Is It Time to Give Influenza Vaccine to Healthy Infants?" says more studies need to be done. The authors note that children already receive up to 16 injections by the time they're 2 and that it's unclear how well the flu shot works in children.

There are also economic reasons the flu shot isn't routinely given to healthy children: It would be expensive, given the size of the group.

(on camera): So even with this new study, the current recommendations still stand: Flu shots are recommended only for children with certain health problems, such as asthma or diabetes, but there's nothing wrong with parents getting flu shots for their healthy children, too.

Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, Atlanta.


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

HAYNES: Well, "Worldview" takes you center stage to a unique play today. You'll meet dedicated actors who face special challenges when it comes to performance. That story takes us to India, and we'll visit Yugoslavia and the Democratic Republic of Congo where our focus is rebuilding after years of conflict. Get set for a tour of three continents as we begin our "Worldview" journey.

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: The Democratic Republic of Congo is a hot, humid country in Africa located just south of the equator. Over the years, it's had more of its share of political turmoil. In 1955, a former army colonel seized power from a military coup and renamed the country Zaire. The Congo's dictatorship would come to an end thanks in part to a political conflict that spilled over from neighboring Rwanda. About 90 percent of Rwanda's people belong to the Hutu ethnic group. About five percent are Tutsi.

Civil war broke out in Rwanda in 1994, leading to a vicious feud between the two ethnic groups hundreds of thousands of people were killed, most of them from the Tutsi minority.

Charlayne Hunter-Gault explains how the Rwandan civil war sparked political reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The roots of the current conflict can be traced back to this man. For 30 years, the Congo had been ruled by the iron-fisted Mobutu Sese Seko, a former Army colonel who came to power in a coup d'etat in 1965. He renamed the former Belgian colony Zaire.

Because the West used him as a bulwark against communism during the Cold War, Mobutu was able to get away literally with murder of his country, his people the primary victims.

CLAUDE KABINDA, CENTER FOR POLICY STUDIES: He never built one school, never built one clinic. His system, obviously, was based on corruption, and there was no moral value.

HUNTER-GAULT: The roots of Mobutu's undoing lay in the conflict in neighboring Rwanda where some 800,000 people, mostly from the Tutsi minority, were slaughtered in what the world eventually recognized as genocide. An avenging Tutsi-led army regained control in Rwanda. Extremist Hutu militias who carried out the genocide fled into refugee camps on the border between Rwanda and Congo. They used the camps to launch attacks on Rwanda.

In early 1997, the Tutsi-led Rwandan military retaliated, disbanding the camps and dealing a severe blow to the Hutu extremists. Rwanda joined Uganda in backing an odd coalition of rebels fighting to overthrow Mobutu. In May, Mobutu, weakened by cancer, his army decimated by the rebel onslaught, fled the country.

Enter Laurent Kabila, an obscure 30-year enemy of Mobutu, promising reform. He renamed the country the Democratic Republic of Congo. The roots of his undoing lay in promises never kept and expulsion of ethnic Tutsis whom he feared. They rebelled, ultimately gaining a large portion of a country half the size of Europe.

Kabila sought help from neighboring Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia, widening the war.

(on camera): After several false starts, a peace accord was signed in late 1999. But so far in the bush, the war is continuing, along with the misery, death and destruction of a country that could be an economic power house for all of Central Africa.

Charlayne Hunter-Gault, CNN, Johannesburg.


ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: "Worldview" moves to Europe and a region also plagued with conflict over the years. Modern-day Yugoslavia has two republics: Serbia and Montenegro. Serbia is rebuilding after punishing NATO attacks from last year. NATO bombed when Serbia tried to rid its Kosovo province of ethnic Albanians. The campaign forced a massive refugee movement which displaced thousands of Kosovars. It also destroyed countless homes and buildings in Kosovo. Now that refugees have come home, they're finding, in may cases, there isn't much to come to.

Nic Robertson takes a look.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Besim Kaciu looks around his old house destroyed by Serbs in Kosovo's war last summer. He is too poor now to repair it alone.

BESIM KACIU, KOSOVAR ALBANIAN (through translator): I thought that they would at least rebuild our home. Everybody knows what are the consequences of a war, and here those consequences are very hard.

ROBERTSON: Last summer, when he and his family returned from a refugee program in America, they were heartbroken when the first saw the destruction, but believed the coalition that helped them win the war would also help them rebuild their house. They live now in two tiny rooms because international assessors say their house must be pulled down.

Naimi (ph), Besim's wife, said last year that, despite losing everything, it was better to come back. Now she talks of the good conditions in America. Here, she says, they have no place to wash or for the children to play. She wishes they'd stayed in America.

But in some parts of Kosovo, reconstruction aid is now getting through, although not quick enough to beat the bad weather. But it is still not enough for this homeowner.

"If they had brought us doors and windows with this roof," he says, "we could have moved in. Without them, we can't."

(on camera): Rebuilding destroyed houses was a priority for aid workers helping refugees return. But U.N. administrators now running Kosovo say that is only a small part of the reconstruction needed. The priority now, they say, is getting industries going, providing jobs, and ensuring a stable economy.

(voice-over): But the international community inherited an economy that had been in decline for years before being ravaged by last year's war.

JOLY DIXON, UNMIK, HEAD OF RECONSTRUCTION: Many of the institutions and many of the administrative -- the senior administrators, of course, left as well. So we had a -- we inherited an economy which, as I like to put it, had lost its head and had a really badly damaged body from 10 years of neglect.

ROBERTSON: Trading is well-established again in Kosovo, but there are no industries. Electricity supplies are intermittent. And to make matters worse, the U.N.'s reconstruction budget for this year has had no cash put into its account so far, money they say they need to keep the Kosovars confidence in their work because their strategy is to bring prosperity that they hope will lead to stability.

For Besim now, that seems a distant hope. But even he admits if he can get work, then he can rebuild his house himself.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Ljupce, Kosovo.


BAKHTIAR: The French writer Honore de Balzac once said, "There is no such thing as great talent without great will power."

This is certainly true for the performers in our next story. Denise Dillon tells us about a very special group of actors in India who are overcoming insurmountable odds to share their message with the world.


DENISE DILLON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This play has been getting rave reviews in India. But these are not typical actors. All the people on this stage are blind. The actors are members of an all-blind drama school. The schools founder says he thought it would be a way to give representation to what is often a neglected group in society.

PRASANTA CHATTERJEE, FOUNDER, SHYAMBAZAR BLIND OPERA: All the blind persons has one crisis, that is identity crisis, because they are always looked at as marginal.

DILLON: Many of the actors say they use the stage as a way to communicate with the world.

RAJA FAIZ ALAM, ACTOR: We decided to form a platform where we can introduce ourselves, where we can show our problems, our needs to the general people.

DILLON: The actors had to make some adjustments. They can't rely on eye contact or marks on the stage floor to find their positions like sighted actors do. So they used sound and touch systems, including setting up boundaries on stage with ropes, to get used to the concept of space.

This play is about a talking white crow who arrives in a country of the blind. The actors say they don't earn a lot of money, they earn something much more valuable: respect.

Denise Dillon, CNN.


HAYNES: During the political season in the United States, we bring you our weekly installment "Democracy in America." Today, a look at what it takes to run for the U.S. presidency, a subject you heard a lot about in today's top story. So far, the candidates have spent millions of dollars to ensure their place in the race. Just look at these numbers right here: More than $120 million combined in campaign spending, and the November election is more than eight months away still.

Now, believe it or not, money isn't everything in a presidential campaign. Our Andy Jordan endeavors to find out what else it takes.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think we finally have a poll without a margin of error.

JORDAN (voice-over): His grin belies his grit. As a former prisoner of war, John McCain is used to suffering. Victory seems more his style.

MCCAIN: And we have sent a powerful message to Washington that change is coming.

JORDAN: A New Hampshire primary win put the former senator front and center in the media spotlight, but McCain is comfortable with the attention.

RON FENNEL, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: John McCain, no question, has the most unique campaign, allowing the unlimited access to the candidate that he prefers, a style, really, I don't think I've seen for a presidential candidate in a long time. Bill Clinton had the closest in '92. He made sure he encompassed and incorporated in everything he did and element of communication.


GOV. WILLIAM J. CLINTON (D-AR), 1992 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I'll be there for you till the last dog dies.


JORDAN: Where McCain is comfortable, other candidates are cautious, enough to defer the matter of public access to a team of campaign strategists.

FENNEL: George Bush has a very well-crafted message and he has a very strong team of people who are advising him on all movements of the campaign, and I think he made a calculated decision to follow those recommendations. So that cocoons him away from the opportunities for repartee with the media.

JORDAN: The point? A highly crafted and expensive message can quickly go awry with one off-the-cuff remark or questionable campaign appearance.

Flash to George W. Bush's appearance at Bob Jones University, a school which bans interracial dating on campus. Enter damage control. The mantra of political strategists consists of the four "M"s: the media, the message, money, and the masses.

FENNEL: You craft a message based on what you have learned, number one, about your candidate, number two, about the electorate that you're attempting to persuade, whether it's a candidate or an issue; and third, you make sure that you craft your message based on the polling data. JORDAN: And of all those, perhaps the biggest challenge, money, fund-raising. It's reality that you can't win a presidential campaign without massive financial support for the ad campaigns on TV. But even if you have it, it does not mean success. Take Ross Perot, for example, in the '96 campaign, or Steve Forbes in this one. He just dropped out of the race recently.

FENNEL: Steve Forbes proved you can have all the money, no message and no traction, and someone like McCain can come out of nowhere and overtake them with less money.

JORDAN: With money in place, a candidate must sculpt a message. Enter an animal unparalleled in public life: purveyors of the press, officionados of spin. Campaign strategists aren't always as colorful as the "raging Cajun," James Carville.


JAMES CARVILLE, CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: Only thing he told me, he wasn't going to appoint me secretary of state. And I said, darn it, missed again.


FENNEL: He remembers almost everything, having an encyclopedia knowledge of current American politics -- I say current, the last 30 years -- and then applying lessons learned and putting it in a simple phrase with a clever touch in a clever twist is his brilliance.

JORDAN: With the prominence of issue-oriented campaigns, strategist are coming ready-made, complete with a loyal following. Ralph Reed parlayed his stint as president of the conservative Christian Coalition into a political consulting post, but has found the transition turbulent.

FENNEL: I think he's finding the rough and tumble of being the campaign strategist in the broader scope outside of the Republican primary where he has had some really incredible success to be more challenging for him.

JORDAN: The rough and tumble is par for the course and part of the campaign protocol we rarely get to see.

FENNEL: So the part that you might not have seen is those -- in those discussions is how the personalities of the individuals who come together for a limited project, i.e, this election, don't always agree, they don't always come to the table with the same interests.

JORDAN: Behind closed doors in campaign war rooms, strategists devise campaigns within campaigns, with many words debated before the last word reaches the campaign trail.

Andy Jordan, CNN NEWSROOM, Atlanta.


WALCOTT: It's about the electoral process.

JORDAN: Image making to exit polls.

BAKHTIAR: It's about the political process.

HAYNES: From how you can get involved to the presidential debates.

WALCOTT: It's about the political parties.

JORDAN: It's about public opinion and the polls.

BAKHTIAR: It's about the power of voting.

HAYNES: It's about "Democracy in America."

Sure is.

Listen, while we're on the subject of politics, a new survey finds President Clinton is just about average when compared to other presidents. Mr. Clinton got mostly middle-of-the-pack marks from a group of historians surveyed by C-SPAN. C-SPAN, you know, is a cable public affairs television network. The academics were asked to rank the presidents in several areas. President Clinton came in 21st of the 41 men who have occupied the Oval Office. As far as the nation's top presidents, historians rated Abraham Lincoln the best, followed by Franklin Roosevelt, George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt and Harry Truman.

Well, when it comes to ranking schools that have raised money for UNICEF -- that's the United Nations Children's Fund -- number one is Varner Elementary School in Powder Springs, Georgia. The results of 1999s Trick or Treat for UNICEF campaign have been tallied, and Varner Elementary was the school that collected the most money -- $4,200 U.S. Varner students collected loose change, donated their ice cream money and went trick-or-treating for UNICEF. The money they raised is being used to help young earthquake victims in the nation of Turkey.

That's it for us, guys. We'll see you here again tomorrow. Take care.


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