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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for February 24, 2000

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


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

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: And we are kicking off a Thursday edition of NEWSROOM. Glad to have you here. I'm Shelley Walcott.

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: And I'm Tom Haynes. From the war in Chechnya to the war on drugs, we have it all for you today. But we begin with a dominating topic these days: the U.S. presidential race.

WALCOTT: In today's top story, it's full steam ahead into the next round of Republican primaries.


BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's up, he's down, he's winning, he's losing. This is the most exciting presidential campaign since, well, it makes you think.


WALCOTT: We'll give you a break down of the top candidates.

HAYNES: In "Science Desk," virtual reality a virtual go for air traffic controllers.


BARRY SCOTT, NASA AMES: Within a few minutes, you're controlling aircraft just as if you were in a tower facility somewhere. It's so real.


WALCOTT: We head to Chechnya in "Worldview," where in spite of the Russian army's lack of technology, the destruction is massive.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): My house is destroyed, my husband was taken away, I live in the basement with my mother, who is blind, and I have no money.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HAYNES: Then in "Chronicle," we continue our series on "Drugs: Perceptions, Realities." Our CNN Student Bureau gives us the low down on beating addiction.


LISSETTE DOMINGUEZ, KATHAROS CLIENT: I didn't want help. I didn't want to be here in this specific place. I wanted to be clean, but I didn't.


HAYNES: Today's top story zeroes in on election 2000. One day after Republican primaries in Michigan and Arizona, candidates from both the GOP and Democratic parties were running hard again in the race for their party's presidential nomination.

The candidates brought their campaigns to the four corners of the United States. Senator John McCain spent the day in Washington State, whose GOP primary is six days away. McCain, still celebrating Tuesday's wins in his home state of Arizona and Michigan, reached out to a group he hopes to win over: fellow Republicans.

During a speech at Gonzaga University, McCain urged the Republican Party establishment to join his efforts to make the party more inclusive.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I compare myself with great immodesty to Luke Skywalker trying to get out of the Death Star. We're headed out, we've been hit, they're shooting at us from all directions. The establishment is coming after us, the iron triangle of big money, lobbyists and legislation in Washington, they are all coming after us.


HAYNES: George W. Bush spent the day in Los Angeles. The Texas governor blamed Democrats for his loss in Michigan's open primary.


GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Last night I won the Republican and independent vote combined in that state. Last night, I lost the liberal Democrat vote of people who were coming into our primary to try to hijack the election, to hijack the primary to help Al Gore.

Our party needs somebody who can unite us all, a reformer who has gotten results.


HAYNES: Bush predicted he'll do better against McCain in upcoming states that require voters to cast ballots for their party members.

As for the Democrats, Vice President Al Gore used a speech to Florida senior citizens to make a push for his expanded health care plan for older Americans. He also discussed aspects of his education plan.


VICE PRES. AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We've got the biggest generation in history flooding into the schools, overcrowding them. And we've got an information age that has left 60 percent of our businesses with good jobs open that they can't find enough educated people to fill.

Well, one of those is a problem, the other is an opportunity. We need to do a better job of educating these children so they can move into these good jobs.


HAYNES: Bill Bradley spent the day in New York City. During a speech at Columbia University, the former New Jersey senator outlined a plan to help poor people get computers. Bradley says his programs would ensure that those living below the poverty line are not on the outside looking in.


BILL BRADLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There are also too many people in America lacking the education and skills that will be required for economic success in a technology-led information age. We will not have true prosperity in the country until all our citizens share in the benefits of our economic growth.


HAYNES: And this time around we have a bona fide race for the White House. How does it stack up with some of the more memorable presidential campaigns in recent history? We knew the man to ask. He's covered his fair share of campaigns, our Bruce Morton.


MORTON (voice-over): He's up, he's down, he's winning, he's losing. This is the most exciting presidential campaign since -- well, it makes you think. Something new made 1960 exciting -- televised debates. And a question: would American elect a Roman Catholic president? By the skinniest of margins, they did.

1964: the Republicans tore themselves apart, booing moderate Nelson Rockefeller, cheering their conservative hero, Barry Goldwater.


BARRY GOLDWATER (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Moderation, in the pursuit of justice, is no virtue. (APPLAUSE)


MORTON: Lyndon Johnson won the general election in a landslide. Sometimes, not often, one issue dominates. 1968: Robert Kennedy murdered, anti-Vietnam war demonstrators beaten outside the Chicago convention by the city's police.

Sometimes a moment defines a campaign. Ronald Reagan never looked back after this New Hampshire moment in 1980.


RONALD REAGAN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am paying for this microphone, Mr. Green.


MORTON: Never mind the line was from an old Spencer Tracy movie. Sometimes, lately, it's been scandal. Gary Hart's 1988 campaign falling apart after stories about him and Donna Rice and a boat called the Monkey Business appeared.


GARY HART (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know I could have been a very good president, particularly for these times. But apparently now, we'll never know.


MORTON: Most of the recent ones, though, have been boring. Bush and Dukakis in '88? Come on! Clinton and Bush? Yawn. Clinton and Dole? Kind of like watching a funeral. This time, it's exciting! The Democrats have had some moments -- Gore and Bradley in the Apollo Theater, though it was probably better when Duke Ellington topped the bill.

But those Republicans! McCain wins New Hampshire. Bush comes storming back. McCain comes counterstorming back. And turnout, because it is close and exciting, turnout is up.

(on camera): McCain keeps saying he wants to give government back to the people. This campaign is doing that, in a way, by getting more people to participate. And we still don't know who's going to win. You have to like that.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.


HAYNES: The man who ran two successful presidential campaigns himself, and who will hand the mantle of power to the winner of the 2000 presidential election had a message for young Americans yesterday: Get out there and vote. WALCOTT: In today's "Science Desk," we get a reality check, a virtual reality check that is. Virtual reality is an artificial environment which is experienced through sensory stimuli, such as sights and sounds, provided by a computer and in which one's actions partially determine what happens in the environment.

Well, you got all that? Well, for something to be virtual, it has to have two components. It must involve, as we said, sights sounds, and even touch controlled by a computer. And it must be open- ended, have one's actions partially determine the course the simulation takes.

You may have played virtual reality games. But did you know that virtual reality is gaining use in many fields such as medicine, the military and even air traffic control?

Well, Kim Hunter has our report.


KIM HUNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The typical hectic holiday crunch at San Francisco International Airport. Crowds of people and planes coming and going at a pace choreographed by air traffic controllers.

Twenty-two miles away, another set of controllers is also surveying the same airport. Not the real one, but a simulated version at a place called Future Flight Central, the world's first full-scale virtual control tower.

NANCY DORIGHI, FUTURE FLIGHT CENTRAL: Well, we thought, why not build a very high fidelity airport simulation facility where we could test things in a safe setting, have a lot of control of the parameters, be able to measure the impact, all without impacting real operations.

HUNTER: The FAA and NASA Ames Research Center spent $10 million on this nondescript two-story facility that on the inside looks, feels, and operates just like the real thing. The purpose: not to train the controllers, but to test new technology, proposed airport improvements, or emergency plans.

These planes are actually computer images projected on giant television screens. They are fake pilots, but real air traffic controllers. Engineers orchestrate and monitor each test.

BARRY SCOTT, NASA AMES: Within a few minutes, you're controlling aircraft just as if you were in a tower facility somewhere. It's so real.

DORIGHI: We could recreate a runway incursion or an accident and allow analysis of that.

HUNTER: Previously, such testing was done on computer models. Retired controller Jim McClenahen says he wishes he had access to this technology during his 32 years on the job. JIM MCCLENAHEN, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL ANALYST: I don't know how many different programs that I was involved with, but by the time we got it to the field it was only about 50 percent usable.

HUNTER (on camera): Right now, Future Flight Central can only simulate San Francisco. Eventually, managers hope to test scenarios at all the nation's major airports. The ultimate goal: safer, quicker air travel.

Kim Hunter for CNN, San Francisco.


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

HAYNES: We explore technology, turtles and tourism in "Worldview," the three "T"s. Our trek takes us to three countries around the world. Here's what's coming up as we spin the globe.

We'll head to South America and the Amazon rain forest, find out how some struggling creatures are getting a helping hand in Brazil. And from shelled creatures to shelling out, we head to France where tourists are snapping up the souvenirs. You'll get an Eiffel eyeful. And we'll rush to Russia where technology is leaving some people shell-shocked in a war-ravaged region.

ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: "Worldview" gets started in Russia. When Russia's predecessor, the Soviet Union, collapsed in 1991, Chechnya was among many republics eager to seek independence. The Chechens are, for the most part, an ancient Muslim people isolated among the Caucas Mountains. A former Soviet air force general became president of Chechnya in 1991 and declared it independent. Russian President Boris Yeltsin declared war on Chechnya and in 1994 sent in thousands of troops. Some estimates say as many as 100,000 people died in that war. It ended with a peace deal in 1996. Chechnya would run itself, but the official future of the republic's status would be left in question until 2001. That's left the door open for renewed conflicts which reignited last fall, when Russia began what it sees as a campaign to root out Islamic rebels. Those left behind are struggling to survive.

Steve Harrigan reports.


STEVE HARRIGAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It takes a good part of the morning to prepare 300 missiles for launching, then to load them onto trucks, but less than a minute to fire them. There are no computer screens or smart bombs in the low-tech world of the Russian Army, just steel and smoke, pencil and paper, bending and lifting. Men do the menial part; the work of destruction is done by simple machines.

In the part of Grozny now under Russian control, that work is complete. Hardly a building has been missed. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): My house is destroyed, my husband was taken away, I live in the basement with my mother who is blind and I have no money.

HARRIGAN: Russian control over this section of Chechnya means control over a battlefield the opponent has fled; control over houses without windows, hospitals without heat, children without parents; control that, time and again, somehow slips away. In such a world, a quiet corner is the best some could hope for.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It doesn't matter if the Russians are here or if the rebels come back. The only thing worse than the past 10 years is death.

HARRIGAN: That verdict comes from a history teacher with no school who spends his days alone mending soles.

Steve Harrigan, CNN, Grozny, Chechnya.


RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Next, we head to France to check out a Parisian landmark that's also a technological masterpiece: Tour Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower. Completed in 1889, it was unlike anything that had ever been built at that time. Standing at 984 feet, or 300 meters, it was twice as high as the dome of St. Peter's in Rome, or the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Gustave Eiffel, the man behind the masterpiece, won a competition organized by the French government which, at the time, was looking for a monument to celebrate the centenary of the French Revolution. Ever since it was erected, its magnificent open-lattice wrought-iron structure has inspired writers, painters and sculptors alike.

Peter Humi reports on the latest commemoration of this Parisian landmark.


PETER HUMI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "Not only can you see it from everywhere, you can find it everywhere," wrote French author and poet Guy de Maupassant. He added, "It's an unavoidable, excruciating nightmare."

Guy de Maupassant wrote those scathing words just one year after construction of, arguably, the world's most famous landmark for the 1889 Paris Exhibition. What the poet found a nightmare was a collector's dream. Over a quarter of a century, a Parisian couple gathered 2,000 items related to the tower and the international fair.

"The tower was meant to be demolished afterwards," explains Andre Fetro (ph), who put together the collection's catalog, "even though it was the highlight of the show," he says.

Debate raged at the time, but the tower survived, of course, and became a tourist magnet almost immediately. The collection may not be expensive -- there are just a few objects that will make much more than 1,000 francs, about $175 -- but they have historical value.

FRANCOIS TAJAN, AUCTIONEER: It shows quite very well the decorative arts of the beginning of the century.

HUMI: These matching chairs with the Eiffel Tower carved into the back rest were found in a bar in Vietnam.

(on camera): And then there's this monumental work, almost as impressive as the real thing, and it took 10 times as long to build.

(voice-over): More than seven feet tall and made of 18,000 match sticks built over nearly two decades by someone who can, at best, be described as patient. Another tower, this one made entirely of foil used in cigarette packs.

"Turn-of-the-century souvenirs," says Andre Fetro, "were more practical than today's."

There are bottles for perfume, for liqueurs, even baby bottles -- this one was condemned as a health hazard in 1910, but it sold in its thousands by then -- scissors, plates, glasses and even a bell the form of the tower to summon the help.

And what would Monsieur Gustave Eiffel have made of all of this? He would have been delighted, says Fetro. He was first and foremost a businessman, after all, he says, and one whose biggest gamble paid off handsomely.

Peter Humi, CNN, Paris.


HAYNES: We head for South America next, the fourth largest continent on Earth. Much of South America is covered by lush rain forest. The huge Amazon region is the world's largest, with the Amazon River stretching more than 1,700 miles. But there's growing concern over the loss of the rain forests around the world, and their wildlife.

Gary Strieker reports from Brazil, on a place in the Amazon where some smaller creatures now have a second chance at survival, thanks to some help from the people who live there.


GARY STRIEKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is a special beach on the Jaraua. It's a nesting beach for turtles and it's hatching time.

For children from the local village, it's a chance to learn about these animals: yellow-spotted, side-necked turtles.

Their teacher says most people who live here have never seen hatchling turtles. They just eat the eggs and the big turtles they catch in the river. In some areas of the Amazon basin, entire populations of turtle species have been wiped out. RICHARD VOGT, MAMIRAUA PROJECT: The populations of turtles here were harvested by the Indians for hundreds of years. It was when the Europeans came in the last century and began harvesting turtles by the millions that the populations were then destroyed.

STRIEKER: For years, there were few hatchlings leaving this beach. Almost all the eggs were dug up and eaten by human predators, and the future for turtles here seemed hopeless.

(on camera): In situations like this, it is sometimes possible to work out conservation plans with local people, where they take what they need from wildlife while at the same time protecting it for the future. It's what conservationists call "sustainable management."

(voice-over): That is what started three years ago here in the Mamiraua Reserve. Part of this beach is now a protected area. Some lakes are also off-limits to fishermen and hunters. In other areas, villagers can still harvest eggs and adult turtles, but they're discouraged from taking breeding females, a basic plan for sustainable management monitored by scientists. It's already allowed the turtle population here to start recovering, and for these people, that could mean a higher standard of living in the years ahead.

VOGT: The people can then begin selling part of the turtle population again, selling it in the markets or selling it in the restaurants.

STRIEKER: But that will only happen if children like these learn the value of sustainable management.

This teacher says, "They need to know they cannot consume everything, that some of the resources around them must be protected."

Bonding with baby turtles like this could be a start.

Gary Strieker, CNN, on the Jaraua River, in Amazonas, Brazil.


WALCOTT: In "Chronicle" today, we continue our series on teens and drugs. So far, we've focused on the misperceptions surrounding teenage drug use and the personal stories of two teens on the road to recovery. Today, the many options to becoming drug-free. A number of programs offer help: Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, treatment centers and counseling, just to name a few.

CNN Student Bureau reporter Chris Stone tells us about one program that's making a difference.


LISSETTE DOMINGUEZ, KATHAROS CLIENT: My name is Lissette Dominguez. I'm 16 and I've been here for 18 months.

CHRIS STONE, CNN STUDENT BUREAU (voice-over): Call it a home away from home, Katharos, the house where these teenage girls tackle bigger problems than household chores. They are learning to kick drugs.

(on camera): Katharos is an ancient Greek word that means pure and clean. In Georgia, it is a place teenagers go to get clean. Few people beat addictions on their own. For many, specialized programs offer the best hope for recovery.

(voice-over): This residential drug treatment program in Griffin is especially for 14- to 17-year-old girls.

DOMINGUEZ: You deal with your addiction here, you're here 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When you get on certain levels, though, you get to go home on weekends. You just -- you learn how to deal with your problems.

STONE: Before they came to Katharos, Lissette ran away from home and got involved in gangs. Devyn became a drug dealer who masked her addiction with good grades.

DEVYN, KATHAROS CLIENT: I was one of those smooth operators.

DOMINGUEZ: We all used to be like a bunch of negative people and, like, not do anything Katharos told us to do, and now this room's, like, it's really calm and collected. We just come in here and chill. All the other rooms are pretty, like, wild and stuff.

DEVYN: Oh my gosh, they are so loud. It's like, if you want some peace, come to our room.

DOMINGUEZ: In fourth grade, I started drinking with my friends, I started huffing -- which is, like, you know, spray paint, freon -- and I started smoking cigarettes.

DEVYN: I got started when I was at a concert. Someone just handed me acid and I was like, OK.

DOMINGUEZ: I didn't want help, I didn't want to be here in this specific place. I wanted to be clean, but I didn't. But at the same time I didn't want to be clean. I wanted my old friends, I pitched fits all the time, I yelled at staff all the time. Oh, gosh, I was a mess. I came to the point where I didn't like getting high anymore. It was like, but I did like it at the same time. I chased after the next high. The next high was the only thing that was on my mind all day long.

STONE: Katharos Director Dr. William Preston treats addiction like a chronic disease that can be managed, but not overnight. Studies show 80 percent of addicts relapse within one year of treatment.

DR. WILLIAM PRESTON, KATHAROS DIRECTOR: They can start with outpatient treatment where themselves and their families are taking part in education, prevention and treatment. Relapse is a legitimate concern across the board for every individual that has a problem with substances.

STONE: More serious drug-abuse cases end up in long-term treatment. The typical Katharos resident has used drugs two years and has tried many treatment alternatives. Nothing worked for them.

PRESTON: I think the success rate is greater, naturally, with a residential treatment because the kids are in treatment longer, the professionals have a longer time in order to find out what their problems are.

STONE: Oddly enough, the temptation to use often comes from friends.

ANDREA, KATHAROS CLIENT: Everybody wants to be popular in school, and I think that was one of my biggest problems: I did everything I could to be accepted by people, and I used drugs and I did all that, and I bought the clothes and I did all those things, and it led me here, you know. I did everything I could to look cool, you know, thought doing bad things was cool. And, I mean, I'm in here and I'm happy and I want to go to college now.

STONE: Treatment turned Andrea around.

ANDREA: They teach you new things here and your mind sort of changes and you get a conscience.

STONE: Education is key to recovery at Katharos. These classes show the girls how drugs work and how they hurt, that the recovery process never really ends.

PRESTON: No, they're not cured. You have received treatment and recovery to a point where you can deal with it, you can handle it, but it's a day-to-day process, one day at a time.

DOMINGUEZ: That one day at a time thing is the only thing that's keeping me clean, because if you start thinking about tomorrow, you don't know if you're going to survive. You don't know if God's going to allow you another day.


WALCOTT: Lots of options out there for recovering addicts.

Next week, Tom, our series finale.

HAYNES: Yes, you said it. And just wait until you see how we cap it off, guys.

Now, if you know anything about skateboarding...

Do you know anything about skateboarding?

WALCOTT: Fell off one once.

HAYNES: ... I don't have to tell you who Andy Macdonald is. I caught up with the championship skateboarder at his home in San Diego, California to talk about his success and positive influence.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANDY MACDONALD, CHAMPIONSHIP SKATEBOARDER: I don't want to be like a preacher, like, I don't want to be like, well, you have to do everything that I do because I make bad decisions too, you know? I want everybody to understand that, you know, it's their life and it's their decisions to make. Here's some of the ones that I've made that I feel like have been a positive -- have had a positive effect in my life, and educate them as far as whether its the right or wrong thing for them.


HAYNES: Boy, it was a lot of fun to hang out with him. That's coming up next Tuesday right here on NEWSROOM.

WALCOTT: And that wraps up this edition. We'll see you tomorrow.

HAYNES: Yes, we'll see you tomorrow.


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