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NEWSROOM for October 3, 2000Aired October 3, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Seen in classrooms the world over, this is CNN NEWSROOM.
SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: Hi, I'm Shelley Walcott. It's Tuesday and we're talking politics. Here's the roster.
The politics of debate lead the show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: George Bush and Al Gore come into Boston with almost mirror image problems.
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WALCOTT: "Health Desk" is putting your brain on ice when it comes to strokes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. CAMILO GOMEZ, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM: Cooling the brain is sort of putting it down to sleep a little bit.
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WALCOTT: Germany is our first "Worldview" stop. We head there for a special anniversary.
We end up back in America where there's more politics on the agenda.
In today's news, the race for the White House at a critical juncture. Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore are no doubt putting the finishing touches on their policy positions. They meet tonight in Massachusetts for their first presidential debate. Political observers say the face-off could help determine who wins in November.
Candy Crowley looks at how each candidate plans to handle this high-stakes debate.
CROWLEY (voice-over): The stakes are in the numbers: 36 days until the vote, a 45-45 dead heat race, up to 80 million people watching, an audience the likes of which neither has ever seen. You have to ask what's at stake?
Everything's at stake -- or not.
MARK FABIANI, GORE DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR COMMUNICATIONS: Sometimes the debates are pivotal, other times they're not, and you never know until they actually happen. That's what makes them exciting to watch.
CROWLEY: OK, put it this way: Everything's at stake, and nothing might happen.
If history holds true, the evening will be equally as much about policy as about the personalities of those who propose them. George Bush and Al Gore come into Boston with almost mirror-image problems. Bush needs to show that the engaging guy you might like to invite for dinner understands government policy, that a guy who occasionally mangles the English language can handle the workings of Washington. In short, George Bush has to show that he's ready for the job.
KAREN HUGHES, BUSH CAMPAIGN COMMUNICATIONS DIR.: He has a comprehensive agenda for a better America. And I think he needs to outline that agenda, but also show that he's got the judgment and the sense of humor and the convictions that people want to have in their next president.
CROWLEY: For the vice president, the chore is to show that behind his wonk-like love of policy detail is a human being that can be in command without being condescending, that can be presidential without being remote.
FABIANI: I think the guy who came through at the convention, the Al Gore who spoke to people from his heart about the issues who was very detailed about the policies that he wanted to put forward, that's the Al Gore that people liked at the convention when he gave his speech. That's the one they've liked along the campaign trail. And the debate should be no different.
CROWLEY: Neither candidate lacks for advice. The papers, the pundits and the politicos are full of it, all of it ending with the No. 1 rule: Be yourself.
(on camera): The historical truth is that candidates don't so much win debates as their opponent lose them. So rule No. 2, if you can't win, don't lose.
Candy Crowley, CNN, Boston.
WALCOTT: The latest CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll show 63 percent of Americans say they're very likely to watch the first Gore/Bush debate.
John King now on whom the presidential candidates will be catering to on the big night: the "undecideds."
JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Like the candidates, these horses run through a few rehearsals before the big show, a chance to shake the jitters and test a few moves before the big crowd shows up.
Robin Steinmatz keeps things in order around this Ohio horse farm and promises to be watching when the candidates for president stage their first face-to-face showdown this week.
She's undecided: likes Governor Bush's support of private school vouchers, but is more in line with Vice President Gore when it comes to health care.
ROBIN STEINMATZ: My mom's almost 70 years old, and I know that just the other day we got another letter in the mail that her insurance will no longer carry her prescriptions. So now we have to start paying for that. And that's just taxing on a 70-year-old person on a pension.
KING: Morning fog is a fall trademark in these southern Ohio River towns. With little more than a month to go before Election Day, most have already decided who to root for.
BARB PHILLIPS: I'm going to vote for Bush, and strictly for a very silly reason, I feel like. But it's just because I wasn't happy with all of what went on in the Clinton administration. I felt like it was just a joke. And so I really, maybe unfairly to Gore, but I don't want them back in office.
KING: Most of the parents at this weekend fair in conservative suburban Cincinnati were Bush backers. The contest in Ohio and across the country is a dead heat. The debates could be the turning point, and Sophie Summers hopes the Texas governor warms to the challenge.
SOPHIE SUMMERS: I think that if he can keep just telling what he plans on doing and what he plans on running in his office, he will be a whole lot better.
KING: Pre-debate polls show just a tiny slice of the electorate still up for grabs.
(on camera): Those who say they're undecided tend to fall into two camps: voters who are just now tuning in, and those who say they've been following the campaign closely but are torn between the vice president and Governor Bush. Almost all say the upcoming series of debates will play a big role in helping them make up their mind.
(voice-over): Undecided voters like Mark Bixler could prove critical in such a close race, if they actually vote. The 36-year-old lumber salesman insists he will.
MARK BIXLER: If I don't cast a vote, I have no reason to -- no reason to complain. And that's a lot of wasted bar time. KING: Rose Mallory works the counter in a small-town country- western store. She favors Bush on issues like taxes and gun control, but the governor's stock fell when he criticized President Clinton for tapping into the country's emergency oil reserves.
ERIC SIEMER: Go ahead and pull the tire off.
KING: Bike shop owner and one-time Perot voter Eric Siemer laments there will be just two candidates on stage.
SIEMER: Nader's got a lot of good things to say. So does Buchanan. So we -- I really don't think it's fair that these guys are not allowed to participate in this presidential debate.
KING: And if he could ask a question?
SIEMER: I would ask them, why don't they keep their promises after the election.
KING: He's guessing the answers would fall flat.
John King, CNN, Corwin, Ohio.
RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Don't put your scorecard away yet. There's more politics headed your way. Does a good debater make a good president? That debate debate coming up a little later in "Chronicle."
WALCOTT: Someone experiences a stroke in the United States every minute. A stroke or brain attack occurs when a blood clot or broken blood vessel interrupts blood flow to an area of the brain. Possible signs of a stroke include sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; also, sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; and sudden trouble walking, or loss of balance.
New research shows an old idea may dramatically help stroke victims, as Rhonda Rowland explains.
RHONDA ROWLAND, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cleo Medders suffered a major stroke four years ago, but doctors saved him from possible death and brain damage. His wife says he was iced.
MARY MEDDERS: His whole left side went out. He couldn't see, he couldn't talk, he couldn't move anything on that side. And then they took him to intensive care and they drained -- I mean, his brain filled with blood, and I know they iced him.
ROWLAND: Indeed, doctors dropped Medders's body temperature four degrees for about a day. To put it simply, he was treated with hypothermia, a procedure not without risk. It can lead to deadly infections. GOMEZ: Cooling the brain is sort of putting it down to sleep a little bit.
ROWLAND: Dr. Camilo Gomez describes the cooling process.
GOMEZ: Essentially, we have two cooling blankets. What we do is we put one on the bottom of the patient and we have one on top.
ROWLAND: Doctors also inject ice-cold liquids into the patient's body. Hypothermia for stroke patients is still considered experimental, though a study done by researchers in Denmark shows mild hypothermia appears to be safe and save lives.
While awake, the body temperature was lowered just one degree Celsius in 17 patients. Each was treated within 12 hours of having a stroke. Six months later, 12 percent of the cooled patients had died, compared to 23 percent of the stroke patients who had not been chilled.
Earlier studies in animals suggest lower brain temperature reduces destruction of brain tissue.
GOMEZ: So, conceivable you could have a situation by which everyone with a stroke of moderate or severe degree would be treated with modest amount of hypothermia.
ROWLAND: Medders doesn't remember the cold. He was unconscious during the treatment.
CLEO MEDDERS: And the good Lord has been good to me. I wouldn't be here. It's a miracle.
ROWLAND: A little chilling, and he can still do most of the things he did before his stroke.
Rhonda Rowland, CNN.
WALCOTT: This December, CNN NEWSROOM will delve a little deeper into the minds of young people. This is NEWSROOM's Shelley Walcott. I'll have a two part series on the teen brain and explain why scientists say the adolescent mind is a work in progress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it used to be thought that the brain didn't change very much after about the age of 3 or 4. But by studying teens, we now know that the teenage brain is changing very dramatically and very dynamically.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALCOTT: That's come up in December on NEWSROOM.
In "Worldview," we crisscross the globe from the Caribbean to Asia and Europe. We'll visit the Bahamas for a taste of culture and seafood. Then we'll turn to Thailand, where elephants are gaining a starring role, and robots are surging into the spotlight. First, though, we head to Germany where, today, celebrations mark the 10th anniversary of the reunification of that country.
Back in 1989, there were political protests in East Germany and many people left the country. Those events helped lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall, allowing unrestricted travel between the East and the West.
The East German government held free parliamentary elections in March of 1990 when non-communists gained control of the government, ending communist rule there and setting the stage for the unification of the two Germanys on October 3, 1990.
But as Kimberly Abbott tells us, some Germans still have a taste for the past.
KIMBERLY ABBOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Few markets in Berlin stock the cake mix Manuela Wandelt likes, the kind she grew up with. So she shops at Intershop 2000, which sells only rare products from the former communist East Germany.
MANUELA WANDELT, CUSTOMER (through translator): I used them before reunification, and I still use it all the time because I trust this product. I don't have to wade through the variety of products out there I don't know.
ABBOTT: She sticks to the colas, detergents and snacks she could get before the capitalist wonderland arrived.
(on camera): When the wall came down a decade ago, few imagined such Eastern relics would have this kind of appeal. But when reunification euphoria waned, what locals call "ostalgie" set in.
(voice-over): A growing number of Easterners yearn for the simple things that marked their daily culture for 40 years.
REGINA HERGETT, CUSTOMER (through translator): It's the memories. I remember those times, in DDR times when there were few things.
ABBOTT: Elke Matz, who grew up in the West, saw the market for memories and opened the first Intershop 2000 two years ago. It's not just Easterners, even Westerners, historians and tourists go for ostalgie.
ELKE MATZ, OWNER, INTERSHOP 2000: When they find their own products, like Nudossi (ph) or the Spreewaffel, they must be happy. And the West people, myself, how was it? I want to taste it.
ABBOTT: The products are still a rare find, even for Matz. Most of the old factories have been taken over or driven out of business by Western firms. An exception: Spreewaffel, one of the few factories in East Berlin still owned by Easterners. The company has sold its cookies and crackers to East Germans for generations.
KARIN MICHALK-RICHTER, MARKETING DIR., SPREEWAFFEL (through translator): The consumer increasingly prefers the products that he used to buy in the past. We did not experiment, but we kept the flavor and the recipe that the customer has always liked.
ABBOTT: But with a market share below 5 percent, even in Eastern Germany, marketing experts suggest low demand will keep production down.
SEBASTIAN TURNER, CEO, SCHOLTZ & FRIENDS: There are some brands of the East who survived unification, who survived the implosion of communism, and those brands sometimes are successful, but most of them have disappeared.
ABBOTT: And the survivors have updated. Packaging is snazzier and more colorful, but the taste is still the same, just right for those craving a reminder of the past.
Kimberly Abbott, CNN, Berlin,
WALCOTT: A chain of 3,000 islands make up the Bahamas, a country in the West Indies. The islands stretch over more than 500 miles or 800 kilometers. They rest about 50 miles or 80 kilometers off eastern Florida to Cuba. New Providence and Grand Bahama are the two islands most of the residents live on. The beautiful landscape and weather of the Bahamas help make tourism an important part of the country's economy. Many Bahamians work in hotels or other businesses related to the tourism industry. And for about 25 years, many of the locals have made the staple of their economy a part of their lifestyle.
Kalin Thomas-Samuel explains.
KALIN THOMAS-SAMUEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bahamians say, beyond the sun, sand and sea, their country's biggest asset is its people. So in 1975, after seeing Jamaica's Meet the People program, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism started People-to-people.
Priscilla Williams is the assistant manager of the program and a volunteer herself. She took me on a carriage ride, or what the locals call a surrey around downtown Nassau.
PRISCILLA WILLIAMS, ASST. MANAGER, PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE PROGRAM: We arrange for people to meet who share the same interest or profession. There are people who want to see where we live. There are people who want to talk about our food and our culture. What do you do after dark? What do you do on weekends? So these are the kind of people that we look for.
THOMAS-SAMUEL: Touring with a local allows you to learn a few tidbits about the country's history, like what this public library used to be. WILLIAMS: The building over there to the left, pink with green shutters, used to house the slaves in the days of the slave trading. This is Bay Street and Main Street, and this is where most of the shopping is done, for tourists in particular.
THOMAS-SAMUEL (on camera): You know, I really enjoyed that tour of downtown. But now that I've seen all the shops, I think I'm going to get Priscilla to take me to do my favorite pastime: shopping.
(voice-over): We head straight for the straw market for souvenirs made by the locals and a lesson in the fine art of bargaining.
(on camera): How much is this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's $22, but I'll give it to you for $20.
THOMAS-SAMUEL: Not a bad bargain. What if I get two hats? Can we bargain for two?
(voice-over): In fact, just having Priscilla around meant better bargains. I got a dress, a hat and a straw centerpiece for just $25.
(on camera): Good bargain.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, you did get a deal on it. You got a steal.
THOMAS-SAMUEL (voice-over): Not everything sold at the straw market is Bahamian made, So Priscilla steers me toward items like these fruit baskets.
WILLIAMS: These are made in Andros. These are handmade in Andros. They're very sturdy and they last forever.
THOMAS-SAMUEL: And she points out that the market is less crowded when there are no cruise ships in port. I worked up an appetite shopping, so I got a tip from one of the locals to visit one of their hangouts. Arawak Cay is a strip of colorful, wooden restaurants better known as conch shacks among the Bahamians. The national fish is conch, so I went to Goldie's Place to see how the popular conch salad is made.
(on camera): Perfect, perfect. I love it!
"GOLDIE," OWNER, GOLDIE'S PLACE: I think for people who come to the Bahamas, or any island you go to or any place in the world you go to, you would want to come out and see what the locals do and, you know, try different stuff.
THOMAS-SAMUEL: For a home-cooked meal, I went back to a People- to-People volunteer. Valderine Barnett has hosted visitors from all over the world.
VALDERINE BARNETT, VOLUNTEER, PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE PROGRAM: Eating with us allows them to taste a part of our culture. They won't get it in the hotels. And even if they get certain dishes, certain Bahamian dishes in the hotel, it would not be prepared the way we prepare it.
THOMAS-SAMUEL: Valderine prepared a feast of spicy chicken, fried grouper, conch chowder, and what the locals call peas and rice...
(on camera): Mmm, that smells good.
(voice-over): ... dishes Valderine says you couldn't get from the younger locals.
BARNETT: As the older people die, most of our culture is dying with them because the younger people prefer McDonald's and Kentucky Fried and things like that.
WILLIAMS: It's an excellent program. I wish I could just record all the thank-yous that are sent to us. It makes your heart glad to know that people will come and take part and really appreciate it.
THOMAS-SAMUEL (on camera): Why do you like doing this?
BARNETT: I'm just a people person. I like meeting people.
THOMAS-SAMUEL (voice-over): And that's the objective of the People-to-People program: to help foster international friendships.
Kalin Thomas-Samuel, CNN, Nassau, the Bahamas.
TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Now for a visit to Thailand, a tropical country in Southeast Asia. Known until 1939 as Siam, Thailand is the only nation in Southeast Asia that has never been ruled by a Western power. People have lived in this land for thousands of years, yet the people of Thailand date their history from the founding of the Sukhothai Kingdom in 1238. Those who established the kingdom called themselves Thai, which means "free."
We go now to Thailand to check out a different type of inhabitant: its elephants. The elephant is the world's largest land- dwelling animal. There are two main types of elephants: the African elephant and the Indian elephant, also known as the Asian elephant. Indian elephants live only in southern and southeastern Asia. Most have light gray skin and may have pink or white spots. They also have two humps on their foreheads, and ears half the size of an African elephant's ears.
Because of their large size, as much as 8,000 pounds, or 3,600 kilograms, Indian elephants are sometimes used in the logging industry to carry heavy loads. But the Thai film industry has cast them in a new role.
John Raedler explains.
JOHN RAEDLER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Extras and elephants take part in this great creation of an epic war fought in the mid-1500s, when Burma, now Myanmar, attacked the capital of Siam, now Thailand. It's the biggest movie project ever in Thailand, six years in the making, 5,000 extras and 100 elephants, an attempt to portray Thai history by Thais for Thais.
PRINCE CHATRICHALERM YUKALA, FILM DIRECTOR: The students don't learn about our history anymore, so we don't know where 0we came from or who we are.
RAEDLER: One thing all Thais do know is that the elephant is the most revered beast in their culture, not least for it's indispensable role in war. It carried heavy equipment and it provided a strategic vantage point in battle.
YUKALA: When you're sitting on top of an elephant, you can use gun or arrow and shooting down.
RAEDLER: Also, it participated in the fight, using it's trunk to hurl enemy solders to the ground, then crushing them under foot.
(on camera): One historian has described the war elephant as the forerunner of the modern armored tank, noting the elephant's size and ferocity had a psychological as well as physical effect on the enemy.
(voice-over): These domesticated pachyderms, though, a far cry from the ferocious beasts from battles past. In several takes of this scene, the director said the elephants looked too lazy. So he offered to reward the elephant handlers if they could get their animals to be more animated. That produced the desired result.
John Raedler, CNN, Surin, Thailand.
HAYNES: More from Thailand now as we turn to technology. And just wait until you see these computerized creatures. Here's a beetle robot, an eye-catching invention which was part of an unusual robot demonstration in Bangkok recently. A group of Thai students say they've built the world's first armed robot security guard which can open fire while being controlled through the Internet. Pretty scary.
Their invention is made entirely of scrap metal bought at junkyards. It's equipped with a camera and sensors that track movement and heat, and armed with a pistol that can be programmed to shoot automatically or receive an order to fire that can be sent from anywhere in the world through the Internet. The system is designed to provide security for museums and other public institutions. The security robot was designed by students at the Thai Institute of Technology.
WALCOTT: In today's look at "Democracy in America, the event of the moment: the presidential debate. Today's political face-off is getting a lot of attention. It also raises an important question: Will a good debater make a good president?
Chris Black looks for the answer. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
CHRIS BLACK, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Presidential debates are about scoring points.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1980)
RONALD REAGAN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Are you better off than you were four years ago?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACK: And sometimes about making mistakes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1975)
GERALD FORD, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and there never will be under a Ford administration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACK: But do they have anything to do with the business of governing? Former President George Bush, a veteran of five nationally televised presidential debates, says no.
GEORGE BUSH, FMR. U.S. PRESIDENT: If there was a guy that stuttered and couldn't say -- finish a sentence and yet is brilliant, contribution as a public servant or an academic or whatever. I mean, why should that one thing be mandatory?
BLACK: Bush isn't alone in asking that question. Among experts in debates and the presidency, opinion is also divided. Some say debating skills have little to do with the day-to-day job. But others say debates reveal important clues about what kind of president a contender might become.
BLACK: An author of four books on presidential debates insists the skills required to be a good debater are virtually required of a good president.
PROF. ALAN LICHTMAN, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: It seems to me that if you're articulate and if you know how to organize, present an argument, I think that those are skills that we want in a president.
BLACK: Finally, the candidate who got the better of Mr. Bush in 1992 said debates had everything to do with what kind of president he became.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am convinced that the debates that I went through, especially those three in 1992, actually helped me to be a better president.
BLACK (on camera): All the experts agree on one thing: Debates are politically important. And in a close election, they can prove to be decisive. Chris Black, CNN, Washington.
WALCOTT: Looking forward to that debate. Be sure to stay tuned to CNN for complete coverage of the debates and the rest of election 2000.
But in the meantime, we'll see you back here tomorrow. Have a great day.
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