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NEWSROOM for November 6, 2000Aired November 6, 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.
RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Welcome to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rudi Bakhtiar.
TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: And I'm Tom Haynes. Politics obviously dominating today's news. Here's the rundown.
BAKHTIAR: A whirlwind of last-minute campaigning is today's lead story.
HAYNES: Our "Environment Desk" finds us in North America contemplating the fate of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
BAKHTIAR: There's more environmental news in "Worldview," where we study the ozone.
HAYNES: And there's more politics in "Chronicle." We'll talk to your peers to find out who's voting and who's not.
BAKHTIAR: Election 2000 draws to a close and Americans prepare to head to the polls tomorrow to choose the 43rd president of the United States. Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush are working feverishly today, the last day of campaigning.
Over the weekend, Republican Bush and running mate Dick Cheney focused on two states rich in electoral votes -- 70 to be exact. While Cheney toured California, Bush campaigned in Florida where his brother is governor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The seniors of Florida must hear this loud and clear: A promise our nation has made will be a promise this nation keeps to the seniors. The Social Security Trust will be solid and sound.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAKHTIAR: Polls show Democrat Al Gore running strong in Florida, where 25 electoral votes are at stake.
While running mate Joe Lieberman toured the West, Gore continued his push for Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VICE PRES. AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And they say it's the closest election since John Kennedy beat Richard Nixon by an average of one vote per precinct. I'd like each of you to get me one more vote in your precinct.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAKHTIAR: Gore plans to campaign today in Iowa, Montana, Florida and Tennessee. Bush has stops scheduled in Tennessee, Iowa, Wisconsin and Texas.
HAYNES: In what has become one of the tightest presidential races in decades, candidates are urging supporters to get out and vote. While more than 80 percent of voters turned out for recent elections in Greece, Italy, Sweden and Australia, voter turnout in the U.S. is among the lowest of any democratic government in the world.
Garrick Utley has more.
GARRICK UTLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You want voter turnout? How about this: citizens of Belgrade storming their parliament building to throw out the government of Slobodan Milosevic, which had tried to steal the recent election. No voter apathy there.
But what about here in the United States? The get-out-the-vote effort is in full swing. Political parties and other special interest groups are all trying to get people to do what they should want to do.
(on camera): The good news is that as many as 100 million Americans may vote on election day. The bad news is that they will constitute barely half, if that, of the eligible voters, to which the puzzling question is, of course: Why?
(voice-over): Some point to four years ago, when only 49 percent of eligible voters voted, and see that as a continuation of the decline, which began in the 1970s.
But look at this: In 1932, when the nation was deep in depression and crisis, the turnout that elected Franklin Roosevelt was only 52 1/2 percent. It was during the Cold War years, when a president's finger on the nuclear trigger got people's attention, that voter participation increased.
From 1952 through 1968, the turnout hovered around 60 percent or better. So why has it declined since then? We hear many theories of how we as a nation have changed.
CURTIS GANS, CMTE. FOR THE STUDY OF THE AMER. ELECTORATE: Young people no longer study current events or get tested on them. A majority of young people are growing up in homes both of whose parents don't vote. A large majority don't discuss politics and a large minority are civically illiterate.
UTLEY: If there is less civic education in schools and at home, there is also something else at work.
BUSH: And I don't like it when the federal government tells us what to do.
UTLEY: Government plays less of a central role in the lives of Americans than it does in other countries where voter turnout is higher. So, there may be less of a sense of urgency to vote among those who feel distanced from their government.
(on camera): If the outcome of the election is uncertain, the pattern of who will vote is pretty well known. Voters will tend to be older rather than younger; the turnout will be higher among whites and African-Americans than among Latinos, and higher in some parts of the country than in others.
(voice-over): In 1996, the turnout in the presidential race in the Northeast was 50 percent; in the South and West, it was 48 percent; in the Middle West, 55 percent. And the Middle West has held that lead for decades.
So how many voters will the candidates attract this time?
GANS: What I expect to see on November 7 is a turnout about the level of what it was in '96, which was 49 percent of eligibles, the lowest turnout since 1924 and the second lowest since 1824.
UTLEY: Which says so much, and so little, about the vote.
Garrick Utley, CNN, New York.
BAKHTIAR: The race for president is a close one and both candidates are driving home the importance of voter turnout. In Wisconsin, a key battleground state, local Democrats are making a final get-out-the-vote drive both on the street and on the phone.
Jeff Flock reports. s (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
JERRY WALLACE, GORE CAMPAIGN VOLUNTEER: Hi, Dorothy. My name is Jerry. I'm a volunteer with the Gore-Lieberman campaign.
JEFF FLOCK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Meet 72-year-old Jerry Wallace, working the phones and the streets...
WALLACE: Everybody back to the car. We'll drive to the next block.
FLOCK: ... to get out the vote for his man Al Gore in the crucial battleground that is Wisconsin.
(on camera): You seem to care.
WALLACE: I care deeply.
FLOCK (voice-over): Don't tell him there's no passion in this election.
WALLACE: When this campaign started, I just decided from Labor Day on I was -- that this was going to be my new job.
FLOCK: Sunday morning starts early. Wallace leaves home for a rally of fellow Democratic Party get-out-the-vote volunteers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got a shirt to help identify all of us in the community, because we are the Milwaukee Gore corps. Let's hear it.
FLOCK (on camera): This is where it all starts, the very root of the grassroots, this painters union parking lot in Milwaukee, where about 120 volunteers gathered to get their marching orders before heading out into the neighborhoods.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody got their T-shirts?
FLOCK (voice-over): A semi-retired business consultant, Wallace stands in line for a T-shirt, then for a bag of campaign literature and a ward map of where to hand it out.
WALLACE: It's mostly just a reminder of how important it is to vote.
FLOCK: He hits the street with three generations. That's grandson Jason, while Jason's mom works the next block.
JODY WALLACE-BINDER, VOLUNTEER: My first memory is helping my father, who was the chairman of the Kennedy campaign in '60.
FLOCK: She even gets her opposition party husband to help this time.
BILL BINDER, VOLUNTEER: Three generations of Democrats, and I'm the only Republican for Gore.
FLOCK: Speaking of Republicans, Wallace has written off his own, wealthy, suburban Milwaukee neighborhood, where the only Gore- Lieberman signs are on his own lawn. But he's cheered by the fact that Sunday there were so many phone-bank volunteers they set up a makeshift cell-phone bank in the headquarters parking lot.
(on camera): What's your gut tell you?
WALLACE: That we're going to win Wisconsin.
FLOCK (voice-over): But only if they get out the vote, which is why Jerry Wallace's job has only just begun.
I'm Jeff Flock, CNN... WALLACE: I'll call back later.
WALLACE: Thank you.
HAYNES: Our "Environment Desk" today takes us to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a spot designated as a refuge back in 1960.
The refuge consists of nearly 9 million acres of coastal plains and mountains in Northeast Alaska. It contains more than 160 bird species, 36 kinds of land mammals, nine marine mammal species, and 36 types of fish. But it's also estimated to contain close to 9 1/2 billion barrels of oil, and that's causing controversy. Should the land be left alone or should it be drilled for oil.
The battle lines are clearly drawn. Drilling in the Arctic is a big issue this election season, as we hear from both presidential candidates.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: When that field is online, it will produce a million barrels a day.
GORE: I don't think it's a fair price to pay to destroy precious parts of America's environment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYNES: And when U.S. voters go to the polls tomorrow, environmental issues are just one concern.
Meantime, here's Mark Potter with more on the fate of the wild.
MARK POTTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fenton Rexford, an Inupiat Eskimo, prepares for the autumn whale hunt in the Arctic Ocean. Like many villagers in Kaktovik, Alaska, he still clings to the age-old tradition of hunting for food.
But in other ways, Kaktovik is very different now than it was just a few decades ago when it was a collection of unheated shacks with no electricity or running water. There are new homes, a police department, a modern school, health care and other services. The reason: oil.
(on camera): So how do you look at oil?
REXFORD: Keeps me warm. Keeps me warm and keeps my outboard motor running to go after our food from the sea, from the ocean.
POTTER (voice-over): In fact, Fenton Rexford is not only a whale hunter, he's chairman of Kaktovik's village corporation, an Eskimo company that owns 92,000 acres of coastal tundra, which Rexford wants to develop.
REXFORD: I want the oil, I want the gas, natural gas. If I had the power to do it, I'd go out and drill right now.
POTTER: And that has put Rexford and his fellow Eskimos at odds with another native Alaskan culture, the Gwich'in Indians, who live 100 miles away on the south edge of the refuge. They, too, are hunters and fear oil development will threaten their way of life and ruin the land they hold sacred.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In our language, we call it the sacred place where life begins.
POTTER: With its braided rivers, rugged mountains, and coastal plain, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, known as ANWR, is one of America's most spectacular and untamed places, still barely touched by man. Its narrow coastal plain is also the calving ground for a 130,000-strong migratory caribou herd.
CLARK: The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is just an incredible jewel. It is the wildest place left in America.
SEN. FRANK MURKOWSKI (R), ALASKA: They don't accept the responsibility of where our oil is going to come from. Well, is it going to come from Colombia or is it going to come from Saddam Hussein? That's not in their ballpark. It happens to be in mine.
BAKHTIAR: In our "Environment Desk," you learned about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. We'll have a complete in-depth report on this wilderness area right here on CNN NEWSROOM's "Worldview" next week. Watch for it Wednesday, November 15.
And we'll have more environment news today in "Worldview" as we examine a huge whole in the ozone layer. We'll also travel back in time to the days of the pirates and explore a shipwreck off the coast of the United States. Plus, we'll journey to Asia to learn about one country's traditional music.
SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: We head to India, one of the largest and most densely populated countries in the world. India is a land of stark contrasts. The country is home to a growing number of scientists and engineers, yet a large part of the population is unable to read or write. Wealthy or poor, tradition is still a fundamental part of the Indian life. Today, we profile one Indian teen making a name for herself in the world of classical Indian music. Her instrument of choice: the sitar.
The sitar resembles an oddly shaped guitar. It was first developed around 1200 A.D. and reached its present form during the 1800s and 1900s. The instrument became more familiar in the West during the 1960s after the Beatles and other rock groups in their music. Stacey Wilkins has more.
STACEY WILKINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Anoushka Shankar is carrying on a musical tradition. The 19-year-old virtuoso has taken up the classical Indian string instrument, the sitar. But she says it wasn't love at first sight.
ANOUSHKA SHANKAR, MUSICIAN: I started when I was about 8 or 9. And I can't say I loved it too much at the beginning. It was just more something that I did.
WILKINS: Anoushka's father, Ravi, introduced an international audience to the sitar when he played with former Beatle George Harrison in the 1960s. Harrison says Ravi's fame could be hard for the teenage to face.
GEORGE HARRISON, MUSICIAN: I felt very sorry for her. I mean, I was happy that she was going to be learning the sitar, but sorry for her that there was no way of escaping from Ravi.
RAVI SHANKAR, MUSICIAN: That's a good one.
WILKINS: The 80-year-old father is ready to pass the torch. Ravi wants Anoushka to take over the family tradition, but admits there is one aspect of his career he doesn't want her to experience.
R. SHANKAR: I was so scared that it would be like the old days at the rock festivals: you know, very, very disturbing.
WILKINS: Anoushka keeps herself removed from a 60s drug-culture- like environment in her peaceful Southern California home. The London-born teen has been preparing to tour to promote her new CD, Anourag, which contains original compositions written by her father.
A. SHANKAR: And I've played mostly my father's compositions. What's really special is he's played with me on one track, which is very unusual. I don't think he's ever done that before. Yes, kind of, I think it's pretty good.
WILKINS (on camera): Anoushka Shankar will have to be pretty good to sell out concert halls. Famous father or not, she'll have to fill a lot of empty seats in big city venues across the United States.
(voice-over): But Ravi did pull some strings for his daughter in New York.
R. SHANKAR: It's a great joy, as always, to play in Carnegie Hall.
WILKINS: In a rare appearance, the fragile father joined his daughter on stage, mentor and protege bringing Indian classical music to different generations of fans. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's wonderful that she's perpetuating that music and the culture.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's encouraging, I guess, for we older people with gray beards and gray hair to still hear 19-, 20-year-olds that good.
WILKINS: The performance was also a personal validation for Anoushka, that she's much more than daddy's little girl.
Stacey Wilkins, CNN.
HAYNES: In "Worldview," we now turn our attention towards the Earth's stratosphere to focus on the ozone layer.
Ozone is made up as the same components as the oxygen we breathe with one big exception. The molecular structure of the oxygen we breathe contains two atoms of oxygen. But in ozone, the molecular structure contains three atoms of oxygen. It may seem like a small thing, but it makes a big difference.
Ozone is an irritating, pale blue gas that is explosive and toxic, even at low concentrations. However, it's crucial to our existence. Ozone, which occurs naturally in small amounts in the Earth's stratosphere, is responsible for absorbing solar, ultraviolet radiation that would otherwise cause severe damage to living organisms. But some ozone-destroying chemicals have created a hole in the Earth's ozone layer.
Natalie Pawelski has more.
NATALIE PAWELSKI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): NASA announces the largest ozone hole ever measured: more than 11 million square miles, three times the size of the United States. Scientists blame ozone-destroying chemicals in the stratosphere and a high-level air current called the polar vortex.
PAUL NEWMAN, NASA: It circulates all the way around Antarctica. And this polar vortex is a little bit bigger this year. The polar vortex acts to contain the ozone hole. And so the fact that it's a little bit bigger creates a bigger ozone hole.
PAWELSKI: The hole, actually an area of severe thinning in Earth's protective ozone layer, opens up over the South Pole each Antarctic winter, allowing more of the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays to reach Earth. That can translate into higher rates of skin cancer and cataracts.
But despite this year's record ozone hole, researchers say levels of ozone-destroying chemicals in the atmosphere are beginning to stabilize. Diplomacy gets the credit. Back in 1987, dozens of countries agreed to phase out chloroflourocarbons and other chemicals blamed for depleting the ozone layer.
NEWMAN: We've stopped the pollution that's causing the problem. Now, nature will heal itself, but it's going to take a long time to happen.
PAWELSKI: If the chemical crackdown stays in place, researchers say, the ozone layer could repair itself by the end of the century.
Natalie Pawelski, CNN.
HAYNES: When you were a little kid, did you ever dress up as a pirate? Did you throw on a hat, carry a plastic sword and have a bird perched on your shoulder?
Well, that's the way most people picture pirates, but what's the real story? Well, a pirate's defined as one who attacks and robs ships. The history of pirates dates back to ancient times. The greatest period of piracy occurred from the 1500s through the 1700s on the Mediterranean and Caribbean seas.
While widespread piracy no longer exists, the fascination with pirates still does. In the U.S., searchers are combing the waters off the coast of North Carolina hoping to find some very special pirate treasures.
Brian Cabell explains.
BRIAN CABELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Divers are searching for treasure off the North Carolina coast -- archaeological treasure, that is. Queen Anne's Revenge, the flagship of the notorious pirate Blackbeard, went aground here about a mile and a half from land in 1718.
The remains of the ship lie 25 feet down. When the water is calm, you can clearly see the anchor, a remarkable sight. So are the two-dozen cannon that Blackbeard once used to terrorize the crews of ocean-going vessels. The entire wreckage of Queen Anne's Revenge -- a classic, heavily armed pirate ship -- sits there densely packed in an area 200 feet long, almost three centuries after the ship sank.
MARK WILDE-RAMSING, DIR., QUEEN ANNE'S REVENGE PROJECT.: The significance of the Queen Anne's Revenge probably ranks up at the top half dozen wrecks that -- in the world that might be found.
CABELL: It's especially exciting for archaeologists because Blackbeard, whose name was actually Edward Teach or Thatch, was perhaps the most infamous pirate of all, his ships the most feared. And yet, although he sank or burned several ships and marooned their crews, his reputation may have been exaggerated.
DAVID MOORE, ARCHAEOLOGIST, QUEEN ANNE'S REVENGE. PROJ.: We don't have one single document that even suggests, or certainly doesn't indicate, that Blackbeard ever actually killed anybody.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a cannonball in here.
CABELL: The artifacts are coming up one by one. The entire salvage operation, funded by the state and private donations, may take another five years. But already, history buffs can inspect items from the ship at a nearby museum: the brass barrel from a blunderbuss, a bell, a pewter plate, cannonballs, gold flakes, and a syringe apparently used in the treatment of venereal disease.
An intriguing history is slowly unfolding here in the warm waters of the Beaufort Inlet. The legendary pirate and his crew who once plundered the colonial coast are making news again almost 300 years later.
(on camera): As for Blackbeard himself, about five months after his ship sank here, he was killed in a fierce battle up the coast and beheaded. His head was a trophy for the British Royal Navy.
Brian Cabell, CNN, off the coast of Beaufort, North Carolina.
ANNOUNCER: Teachers, make the most of CNN NEWSROOM with our free daily classroom guide to the program. There you'll find a rundown of each day's show so you choose just the program segments that fit your lesson plan. Plus, there are discussion questions and activities, and the guide highlights key people, places and news terms. Each day, find hot links to other online resources and previews of upcoming desk segments. It's all a this Web address, where you can also sign up to have the guide automatically e-mailed directly to you each day. It's easy, it's free, it's your curriculum connection to the news. After all, the news never stops, and neither does learning.
HAYNES: Well, back to the U.S. presidential election. We're now just hours away from the opening of the polls and it's still too close to call. Who will be the 43rd president of the United States? Well, a lot of that depends on how voters turn out.
As CNN Student Bureau reports, a lot of young people will not be taking part.
LEAH VERMEER, CNN STUDENT BUREAU (voice-over): Traditionally, Americans make their political statements by voting. However, many young adults are voicing their opinions by not showing up at the polls.
Nineteen-year-old Amy Galante is frustrated with politics in general. Even though the crime rate has recently decreased, she is still dissatisfied.
AMY GALANTE, AGE 18: I don't feel that they're taking the initiative into stopping it. You've just seen so many things out there that the candidates say that they're going to do and you just don't see any of that happening. So I guess I don't want to vote until I see a change in the world and I see something happening.
VERMEER (on camera): These feelings help contribute to a major national trend. The voter turnout among young Americans is significantly lower than that of other age groups.
(voice-over): In the 1996 federal election, 47 percent of America's 45- to 64-year-olds voted; only 17 percent of 21- to- 24- year-olds voted; and 14 percent of America's 18- to 20-year-olds showed up at the polls.
Although young-American voter turnout is low, 19-year-old Christian Pillsbury does plan to vote in the upcoming election.
CHRISTIAN PILLSBURY, AGE 19: They feel you can make just as much a statement from not voting as you can with voting, but I feel that I should vote.
PHONG NGUYEN, FIRST-TIME VOTER: I think it's every citizen's duty to vote. And by voting, you show your voice in the government.
PILLSBURY: I think that every vote can make a difference.
NGUYEN: Because if, say, a certain population group decides not to vote, notably, in part, us teenagers or ultraconservatives or whatnot, they might get under-represented.
VERMEER: Political candidates also claim to be concerned with the apathy of young adults.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you address that?
GORE: We've got to change it. I've spent a good deal of time talking to young people. And in my standard speech out there on the stump, I usually end my speech by saying, I want to ask you for something and I want to direct it especially to the young people in the audience.
BUSH: What I think needs to happen in order to encourage the young to become involved is to shoot straight, is to set aside the partisan...
GALANTE: No, I don't think they don't care about my vote. I don't think they care about that, the candidates, no.
PILLSBURY: And they're not intimate enough to understand what the youth needs to hear.
VERMEER: Leah Vermeer, CNN Student Bureau, St. Petersburg, Florida.
HAYNES: And speaking of young voters, here are the results of the National Student Mock Election, which you may have seen on the Internet just a couple of days ago. Out of the approximately 5 million ballots cast via phone or e-mail, Bush was the clear winner with 2.3 million votes. Gore received about 1.8 million votes.
The National Student Vote 2000 is a combined effort of CNN Youth- e-Vote 2000 and the National Student/Parent Mock Election, and it's the first time the vote was held on the Internet.
BAKHTIAR: Yes, and now a look at another hotly contested race: Thousands of runners took part in the New York City marathon Sunday. The winner by a decisive margin on the men's side was Abdelkhader El Mouaziz of Morocco. The women's winner was Ludmila Petrova of Russia.
HAYNES: Nice job with that.
And that does it for us here on NEWSROOM.
HAYNES: Yes, we got to go. We'll see you back here tomorrow.
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