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Newsroom/World View

Newsroom for February 3, 2000

Aired February 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.

ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: Well, NEWSROOM's back on track for another Thursday. I'm one of your hosts, Andy Jordan.

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: And that would make me the other one, Shelley Walcott. Glad you could be here.

Today: politics and perceptions.

JORDAN: And robots to boot. Here's a quick look at what's ahead.

WALCOTT: The votes are counted. The first primary is history. U.S. presidential hopefuls are riding the campaign train. Next stop: South Carolina.

JORDAN: "Science Desk" is automatic. Robots may be the stuff of movies, but how far off is fiction from 21st century fact?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GARRICK UTLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Today, it's estimated that nearly one million robots are at work in the world, but robots do more than make things. They also take us places where humans could only dream to venture.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALCOTT: "Worldview" looks at the first war of the 20th century. Fought on South African soil, it lingers in South African minds. We'll look at the Anglo-Boer War and its legacy.

JORDAN: "Chronicle" delves into the world of teen drug use.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Once you get to the parties, and once you get to outside of school there's definitely, it's still very prevalent, and it's still definitely a big problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JORDAN: A problem or a perception? How prevalent are drugs among Generation Y? We'll tap into teen opinions in "Chronicle."

WALCOTT: In today's top story: plotting the next course in the race for the White House.

The first big test of this year's presidential campaign is over, but there was no time to savor the victory or agonize over defeat following the New Hampshire primary. The candidates have already moved on to campaign for other races. The Democrats get a five-week pause in major primary voting until March the 7th, but Republican candidates have several elections before that.

It starts on February 8th with the GOP primary in Delaware. That's followed by the South Carolina primary on February 19th. From there, it's on to Michigan and Arizona with Republican primaries on February 22nd. GOP primaries also take place in Virginia and Washington state on February 29th. A Republican caucus takes place in North Dakota that same day, and March 7th will be a big day for all the candidates. Thirteen GOP and 15 Democratic contests will be held on that day.

NEWSROOM will be keeping you up to date on all the political moving and shaking leading up this summer's political conventions.

We have two reports from the campaign trail, today, starting with Candy Crowley.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): John McCain's electric victory in New Hampshire jolted them on a college campus in Clinton, South Carolina.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My dear young friends, join me in this crusade. I promise you we will have fun and it will be a great, great ride.

CROWLEY: South Carolina is far more conservative than New Hampshire, its Republicans more traditional, and its primary history is to undo what New Hampshire has done.

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It feels a lot warmer here in the state of South Carolina, if you know what I mean.

CROWLEY: The largest crowd of the Bush campaign, upwards of 6,000 people, showed up to hear him speak at Bob Jones University in South Carolina, where the state watchword is conservative.

BUSH: I look forward to publicly defending our conservative philosophy, and I look forward to making it clear to the people of this state and other states that our conservative philosophy will lead to compassionate results.

CROWLEY: Bush's subtext is that John McCain is too liberal on too many core issues to be acceptable to conservative Republicans. McCain will not cede the conservative territory. Instead, he promises to expand it. MCCAIN: I'm a proud Republican conservative, will maintain my base, but with this message of reform we will attract to our banner people from all over the political spectrum

CROWLEY: Though shaken by the size of the New Hampshire loss, Bush remains confident South Carolina is terra firma. Bush's top strategist was asked how he plans to avoid another loss like New Hampshire, the reply: have South Carolinians vote.

Candy Crowley, CNN, Spartanburg.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Welcome to the day after New Hampshire, a very strange day in the Democratic race for president.

Bill Bradley is 0-for-2 after losing New Hampshire, and he desperately needs wins in the 15-state megaprimary five weeks from now. Bradley insisted back-to-back losses in New Hampshire and Iowa had only increased his determination to fight on.

BILL BRADLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The ball is bouncing on, the ball is bouncing on, the ball is bouncing on.

KING: The vice president took the extraordinary step of flying commercial back to Washington after being told there could be a tie vote on a Senate amendment important to abortion rights advocates.

VICE PRES. AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm honored to stand with this group of champions for a woman's right to choose.

KING: In the end, the Republicans refused to play along, lifted a leadership call for a party line vote and there was no tie for the vice president to break.

GORE: On this vote there are 80 yeas, 17 nays.

And hello Buckeyes, it's great to be here.

KING: So it was onto Ohio, one of the biggest prizes in the March 7 voting. Gore hopes his national organizing edge leaves him the only Democrat left standing on March 8.

GORE: You can make the decisive difference.

KING: Bradley now wants weekly debates, as he seeks forums to call the vice president's trustworthiness into question.

(on camera): The Gore campaign responded to that challenge Wednesday with a cautious maybe, saying the vice president is more than willing to debate but wants to negotiate the ground rules before making any firm commitments.

John King, CNN, Columbus, Ohio.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JORDAN: In today's "Science Desk" we look at robots. For example, you can check out the robotic cameras we use here at CNN. That's just one of the many examples of how robots impact our daily lives.

So, what is a robot? The dictionary says a robot is a machine that looks like a human being and performs various complex acts, or a device that automatically performs complicated, often repetitive tasks. There are different kinds of robots. An android is a mobile robot, usually with a human form. You can think of it as a synthetic human.

With more on robots, the vision and the varieties, here's Garrick Utley.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "The Jetsons")

SINGING: Meet George Jetson!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UTLEY (voice-over): It was one of the unfulfilled dreams of the 20th century, robot servants that would do the housework, and not only in the Jetson family: machines created by humans to make life easier for humans.

In modern times, a satire and commentary on the machine age, Charlie Chaplin is driven mad by his work on the assembly line. It seemed people existed to serve machines and the growing industrial machine that threatened to crush the individual, the soul. Yes, the new production lines were efficient, but there were concerns that one day machines would replace workers.

Today, it's estimated that nearly one million robots are at work in the world, but robots do more than make things. They also take us places where humans could only dream to venture: The adventure of going to Mars, courtesy of Pathfinder, the ability to see and sense an alien world. Robots have taken us to the bottom of the seas, a world that is no longer out of sight, hidden in the deep. And now they are even operating inside us. A surgeon can control a robot which performs an operation, including coronary bypass, with a steadier hand than a human's.

(on camera): Part of the wonder of robots is the fun of speculating what they may be able to do next, but there's also a tension between humans and these creatures that we've created. Who, after all, controls whom or what? And because of this unease, we often try to endow these machines with human traits to make them seem more like us. Right?

ROBOT: Right! (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "The Wizard of Oz")

"TIN MAN": Just because I'm presuming that I could be kind of human if I only had a heart.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UTLEY (voice-over): Was the tin man in "The Wizard of Oz" a man or a metal machine that talked and walked? His, or its, dream, after all, was to have a heart.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "The Invisible Boy")

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Come on, Robby.

ROBOT: Yes, master.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UTLEY: The creators of science fiction understood the desire to give robots a spark of life, as in the 1957 film "The Invisible Boy," who created a robot to have a friend.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "2001, A Space Odyssey")

"HAL": We are all, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UTLEY: And from "2001, A Space Odyssey" through "Star Wars," computerized robots have had to have a voice and mind of their own.

HANS MORAVEC, CARNEGIE MELLON ROBOTICS INST.: It's true that there's an element of fear, because these entities do somewhat resemble strangers, people coming in from an outside tribe, you know, maybe to take over our territory. I personally have found a different way of feeling about it, and it's to view these machines as offspring, because we are making them in our own image. They share our goals and carry our hopes.

UTLEY: An example of how much humans want to tame machines is Aibo, a robotic dog developed by Sony. It's been designed to interact and coexist with people. Like a real dog, it reacts to external stimulation and uses its own computer-driven judgment.

If robots are becoming lifelike, can they be expected to behave like people? Science fiction writer Isaac Asimov said, yes. His three commandments for robots state that: one, a robot must not injure a human being; two, a robot must obey orders of a human being, but not one that would violate the first principle; and three -- and here is the loophole -- a robot does have the right to protect itself.

How far will robots integrate or infiltrate into our lives? Ask this six-foot-four, 450-pound robotic security guard.

ROBOT: This is a restricted area. Your presence has been reported to security.

UTLEY: If there is a problem, the robot reports to a live security guard, who can speak through the machine.

And how smart will these robots be?

MORAVEC: We will have machines that can reason as well as human beings, in fact better in many areas, so I think we will have our equals and ultimately our superiors.

UTLEY: Perhaps, but there will still be that human desire and need to control what we create, at least we can hope.

(on camera): Thank you very much.

ROBOT: You're very welcome, Garrick.

Garrick Utley, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALCOTT: We leave the world of high tech behind in today's edition of "Worldview." We'll head to small town USA to find out what makes such cities tick and click. And we'll hear from Americans of all ages eager to share the secrets of what makes their hometown special. And we'll revisit history in South Africa, where putting the past into perspective is helping a country move toward its future.

(BEGIN INFORMATION PLEASE...)

A Boer is a South African of Dutch descent,

(END INFORMATION PLEASE...)

WALCOTT: South Africa's Boer War began in 1899 and officially ended in 1902, but it wasn't until February 3, 1915, that the last of the Boer rebels were defeated. These days, South Africans are coming together to commemorate that war, a struggle that changed the course of their history. It also left a legacy of recrimination and bitterness, one the government is trying to change, as Charlayne Hunter-Gault explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a military farewell that has been played for generations, but this time there was a difference: The British and the Boers were remembered, but so were black South Africans. For them, it was the first time, and they got more than equal time.

Throughout history, the Anglo-Boer was known as The White Man's War, the British fighting to establish hegemony over South Africa, especially its newly-discovered gold, the Boers fighting to protect their fatherland. Starting in 1899, for close to 31 months the rag- tag guerrilla army of Boer farmers held out against the numerically- superior and conventional British army. But eventually the British changed tactics, pursuing the first scorched-earth policy that also targeted for the first time civilians, including women and children. The British also for the first time set up concentration camps, where they sent over 100,000 people. Some 40,000, mostly women and children, died in the camps, but some historians estimate that up to half of those may have been black, but up to now, the deaths, as well as the role blacks played fighting for both the British and the Boers, have been hidden from history.

But the main program kicking off the centennial commemoration was held on grounds where black South Africans were buried, some 75 discovered only months ago, with the help of 104-year-old Elise Chopo (ph). Some of her relatives perished in the conflict.

South African President Thabo Mbeki spoke about a shared history.

PRES. THABO MBEKI, SOUTH AFRICA: There is no one among us whom our common past has not hurt and who has not been harmed by some whose past actions helped to define our common history.

HUNTER-GAULT (on camera): This more-inclusive commemoration will go on for the next three years, but it's part of a larger effort aimed at recasting the nation's past to include the role of black people in every aspect of South African life. Streets, buildings, statues, airports, the nation's coat of arms are changing to reflect not black or white South Africa, but one South Africa that is struggling through its tortured history to be born.

Charlayne Hunter-Gault, CNN, Brandford, South Africa.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JORDAN: Next stop in "Worldview": the U.S. state of Virginia and a valley that sits between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains. The Shenandoah Valley got its name from an ancient Native American legend about the valley and a river that runs through it. Local legend has it that the stars rejoiced in the valley and named it "The Daughter of the Stars." While the Shenandoah River flows into the Potomac, which dissects the U.S. capital city, the spirit that permeates one area along the Shenandoah River is unmistakably small town America.

Larry Woods has a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LARRY WOODS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the new millennium descends on us with great expectations and historic pomp, let us move forward by looking back -- looking back on one of the touchstones of our social evolution, small-town America.

Under the microscope, Harrisonburg, Virginia, founded in 1780, and today a bucolic backdrop to farms and homes, places of worship, and steadfast businesses, a community where 33,000 people work through the calendar of time in reasonable harmony and economic stability.

Like most small towns anchored to a proud past, a past that's been preserved to validate the antiquity of a people and place caught up in the vagaries of early 20th century growth pains and promises, gauging the rationale for lifestyle and location in the Shenandoah Valley comes quick and easy for our local folk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, one thing, Harrisonburg is known as a friendly town.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our economy is very strong. We have a diverse economy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I just really don't know, I can go anywhere I want to and get back in five minutes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is where I want to raise my kids. This is a great place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's always been an incredible diversity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know everybody and we know their problems. When they have problems, we're there to be with them and to assist.

WOODS: Many who have grown up in a small-town ethos say the experience spawns strong values, manners, character, a lasting work ethic, concern for others. To revere such attributes is readily explained.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a very good family system at home, and I rely on my parents, and my parents rely on me a lot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's more or less the closeness in families and neighbors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have relatives, both real close relatives and distant relatives.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are able to a little better degree enjoy what's going on around us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, it's a good place to raise your family too. Crime is very low, and not crowded.

NOLEN MCCOMB (ph), HARRISONBURG RESIDENT: The stockyards have bid...

WOODS: But you know what's high on the list of men like Nolen McComb, a lifelong resident of Harrisonburg? Lifelong friends. Each year, as a new one advances, he hosts a down-home buffet at his construction workshop for business associates, employees, and good old boys he's treasured since childhood.

MCCOMB: And if you're a friend here, your -- it's sort of a responsibility. You're supposed to stay a friend.

WOODS: Caring comes in unsuspecting ways in small-town America. Artist Ken Schuler (ph) gave 60 percent of his liver last year to save the life of Deborah Parka (ph), a young woman he never knew until he saw her father on television cry for help. He immediately picked up the phone.

KEN SCHULER, ARTIST: Because I had a 20-year-old daughter, and I thought if she was in that predicament, I would want somebody to help me. And I just got up and went right straight to the phone.

WOODS: At Harrisonburg High School, small gestures of help out too. Stephanie Spangler (ph), a senior, and Lucien Riddles (ph), a varsity athlete, are part of a pal program that identifies and works with students often excluded from teenage inner circles.

LUCIEN RIDDLES, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: Once you talk to them, they're just totally different than what they may seem like.

WOODS: Earlier this year, one such student considered suicide. The girl's depression frightened Stephanie.

STEPHANIE SPANGLER, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: We got her some help, and she's a lot better now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think this is the garden spot of them all.

WOODS: Boosterism is not restricted to the chamber of commerce, not when merchants are keeping faith on Main Street, trying desperately to survive the malling of America, not when James Madison University offers educational highways to a host of dreams and ambitions, not when local historian Bob Sullivan underscores the obvious.

BOB SULLIVAN, HARRISONBURG HISTORIAN: You know people by their face, by their first name. And, of course, sometimes you know a whole lot more about them than maybe we should.

WOODS (on camera): Now, every small town in America aspires to or must have bragging rights about something, regardless. In Harrisonburg, it's the turkey. That's right, the turkey.

(voice-over): Don't grin. This noble fowl primed Virginia's economic pump in 1999 with $200 million in gross income. Thus the title, the Turkey Capital of the Nation.

But once smallish Harrisonburg is starting to sprawl. New faces, new neighbors, traffic and more traffic. Sound familiar? Some concerns are contemporary and real.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This city is growing rather rapidly, and I think some people might prefer that it not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drugs is probably the big thing that worries most of us.

WOODS: Some lament the way they were.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Families don't sit down to eat any more at 6:00 in the evening or whenever it is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Back in -- oh, in the late '40s, I knew most everybody in Harrisonburg.

WOODS: Everything's changed, but nothing's changed, not all that much in small-town America.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JORDAN: Today in "Chronicle," we begin a series of reports that focus on teenage drug use in the United States.

NEWSROOM's Tom Haynes has been working the story for us and is here now -- Tom.

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Andy, thanks a lot.

Let's face it, guys, drug use is something many teenagers confront at some point in their lives. But the real story here is that, over the past couple of years, studies show a majority of American teens aren't using drugs. So why is there this lingering perception among teenagers that drug use is more common than it really is?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): High school, a world where image means everything: the way you look, the way you dress, and the music you listen to, what's in, what's not. Attitudes change, and that seems to be the case when it comes to drugs.

(on camera): The latest surveys say teenage drug use is down in America. Why? Because kids say it's not cool anymore. But the studies also say kids think drug use is normal and that everyone does it. Are these accurate portrayals? Lets go in and find out.

(voice-over): Teenagers we spoke to from Walton High School in Atlanta say they think drugs are dangerous. Still, lots of kids use them.

(on camera): If you guys wanted it, how easy would it be for you to go out and get marijuana?

HEATHER FARLEY, AGE 17: I think it'd be very easy...

HAYNES: Why?

FARLEY: ... I mean, because you do know who does it and who doesn't, you know, and all you have to do is -- exactly. They know people who know people, and it's just a big, long chain.

HAYNES: Brian, how easy?

BRYAN ARMSTRONG, AGE 17: Very easy. You would be surprised. Like, I mean, you go up to your buddy, say, can I get some by a certain date, and he'll get it to you. I mean, it's that easy.

HAYNES (voice-over): But this perception of pervasive drug use and availability by most teens may not be entirely accurate. Surveys over the past few years show a majority of American teens have never even tried illegal drugs.

Bill Modzeleski studies the issue for the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

BILL MODZELESKI, DIR., SAFE AND DRUG-FREE SCHOOLS PROGRAM: Unfortunately, I think, is that we've built this misperception around the number of kids that use drugs. We've built the misperception that using drugs is cool. I think that we really need to turn that around.

HAYNES: Over the past few years, both public and private organizations have been successful doing that. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America has enlisted popular role models to advocate their message.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHUCK D.: This is Chuck D.

MEREDITH BROOKS: I'm Meredith Brooks.

DIXIE CHICKS: Hi, you all, we're the Dixie Chicks!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've never seen a winner in the drug game.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYNES: Teenagers reported the ads have a positive effect in learning about the risks of drugs. And 40 percent went so far to say that kids who are really cool don't use drugs.

GINNA MARSTON, EXEC. V.P., PARTNERSHIP FOR A DRUG-FREE AMERICA: We're trying to break that age-old stereotype of sex, drugs, rock-'n'- roll going together with everything cool, and saying that drug use is not cool, and most people are not doing it, and even some of the coolest people that you look up to like Lauryn Hill or Dixie Chicks are willing to come forward and say, we're drug-free. So that's a very different message for kids that makes it a valid option not to use drugs and know that you're in the majority, because that's the truth.

HAYNES: The group at Walton High seem to think another reason for the shift in attitudes is that teens no longer feel pressured to try drugs, a theory supported in nationwide surveys. Eighty-nine percent of teens said they wouldn't find it hard to say no if asked to smoke marijuana.

FARLEY: I was offered some and both of us just looked at each other and left. And I think that was kind of like a victorious thing.

HAYNES (on camera): Katy, are kids who don't use drugs like considered nerdy or geeks or something?

KATY BOYLE, AGE 16: I don't think so. I mean, I don't. And like, I mean, they'd probably ask you like once or twice and if you say no, they're not going to bother you, I mean, because it's them. You know, they don't care about anybody else that's doing it. RASHELE STOKES, AGE 17: Like, I don't do drugs just because I like talking -- I enjoy my parents, personally. I like my parents. And so if I do something and I can't tell them about it, it's like it didn't happen.

HAYNES: Brian, I am going to put you in a party right now and offer you a joint. What are you going to say?

ARMSTRONG: No, I'm good, thanks. I mean, I don't have to do that stuff.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: And as we continue our series, next Thursday, we focus on the role parents can play when it comes to kids and drugs.

Guys, back to you.

JORDAN: Yes, we look forward to it.

HAYNES: Good.

WALCOTT: Yes, that was a great package, Tom.

HAYNES: Thanks so much.

WALCOTT: And that's it for us here on NEWSROOM. We'll see you tomorrow.

JORDAN: Bye.

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