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NEWSROOM for November 16, 2000Aired November 16, 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: And welcome to your Thursday edition of NEWSROOM. I'm Shelley Walcott. Here's a look at today's lineup.
Making today's headlines, more legal wrangling in the still undetermined outcome of the U.S. presidential election. Find out what young people have to say on the matter.
Up next, we dive into "Science Desk" for a trip to an underwater sea lab.
More news from Earth coming your way in "Worldview." We'll get up close and personal with some fine, feathered friends.
And finally, it's NEWSROOM on ice in "Chronicle." Find out everything you ever wanted to know about the Zamboni.
Well, election 2000 in the United States is still undecided and both Republicans and Democrats are looking to the courts to resolve questions about Florida's ballot battle over the presidential election.
Katherine Harris, Florida's Republican secretary of state, asked the state supreme court Wednesday to stop all manual recounts. The court denied that request and also refused to transfer all election lawsuits to a county court in the state capital, Tallahassee.
Late Wednesday, Harris announced she would not allow Florida counties to amend vote totals that were submitted the day before. However, overseas absentee ballots, due late Friday, will be considered.
Bush spoke shortly after Harris made her announcement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As we work to conclude this election, we should be guided by three principles: This process must be fair, this process must be accurate, and this process must be final.
WALCOTT: Gore also spoke briefly to the media before Harris made her announcement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VICE PRES. AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I propose that Gov. Bush and I meet personally, one-on-one, as soon as possible, before the vote count is finished, not to negotiate, but to improve the tone of our dialogue in America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALCOTT: Well, U.S. President Clinton has kept relatively quiet during the past week about the election controversy. But Wednesday at a summit of Asia and Pacific Rim leaders, he said people should be more careful about making predictions concerning U.S. elections. And despite uncertainty over who his successor will be, he safely predicted this would be his last APEC summit.
Chris Black now on what the rest of Capitol Hill is saying about the election.
CHRIS BLACK, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On Capitol Hill, the partisan knives are out.
REP. CHRISTOPHER SHAYS (R), CONNECTICUT: The vice president's people are trying to undo that election.
REP. PETER DEUTSCH (D), FLORIDA: The only thing I think that Vice President Gore has wanted, the only thing that the American people, I believe, want is a fair and accurate count.
BLACK: One Republican from Texas compares Vice President Al Gore to the Yugoslav strongman, Slobodan Milosevic...
SEN. PHIL GRAMM (R), TEXAS: I think people are nervous. I think they're nervous. You know, Milosevic wanted to keep counting votes when he lost.
BLACK: ... and mocks the Gore strategy with his own version of the old Johnny Carson routine of mind reader, Carnac the Magnificent.
GRAMM: Now, yes, they voted for George Bush, but we know they wanted to vote for Al Gore.
BLACK: The frustration, building since the Senate acquitted Bill Clinton of impeachment charges two years ago, is bubbling over.
REP. DAVID WELDON (R), FLORIDA: If this is not somebody trying to steal an election, I don't know what is.
BLACK: Democratic leader Tom Daschle is calling for Florida's secretary of state, Katherine Harris, a Bush supporter, to step aside.
SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MINORITY LEADER: You have this problem, this perception problem, of a high-level Bush official running this entire effort.
BLACK: George W. Bush's liaison to House Republicans says some of his colleagues expressed fears earlier this week Bush was underestimating the Democratic tactics.
REP. ROY BLUNT (R), MISSOURI: Only to find out that you hadn't been invited to a tea party, you'd been invited to a knife fight.
BLACK: He says GOP members are heartened by the Bush campaign's more aggressive posture, but still are warning the Texas governor to stay on guard.
And the former leader of House Republicans says it is will be tough for whoever wins.
NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: And who the next president is, they have to, I think, be very creative at knitting together an ability to solve problems and an ability to govern from day one. He's going to arrive without any national mandate because that's the reality where the country is.
BLACK (on camera): The recount is heightening and heartening partisan tensions, so Democrats and Republicans are wondering how they put the knives away in January to get anything accomplished in the 107th Congress.
Chris Black, CNN, Capitol Hill.
WALCOTT: All of this post-election fury is making for quite a civics lesson. It's a chapter in American history that, no doubt, will be studied by future generations. So what does the current generation of young people think about events of the past week?
Our Joel Hochmuth visited a high school in Palm Beach County, Florida to gauge the view of students who are taking it all in.
JOEL HOCHMUTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): West Palm Beach, Florida is the eye of a political hurricane. Controversy has swirled there for a week now over disputed ballots and vote recounts. Just a short drive away is Wellington High School, where students are taking notice.
ERICK VALDES, AGE 18: It's kind of like awe-inspiring, like that you -- this whole thing is going on and you don't really realize how close to home it is, until, like, we went downtown the other day and you see all these people down there and how big a deal it really is.
HOCHMUTH: We sat down with a group of seven students to see what kind of impact the election controversy is having on campus.
RICK BOSLEY, AGE 18: I think, unless you're 18, like a lot of the underclassmen you can't vote, they don't bother learning about it because, really, they had nothing to do with it. That's kind of what I felt around the school. People are saying, hey, yes, who's the president? I don't know. And that's about as detailed as they get.
AMANDA HALL, AGE 17: I feel almost left out, like we made history but I wasn't old enough to vote yet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, me too.
HOCHMUTH (on camera): How many of you are old enough to vote? And how many of you voted?
(voice-over): Those who could have voted and didn't are naturally kicking themselves. Rick Bosley would have voted for George W. Bush.
BOSLEY: So I waited too long and now it's -- now I'm regretting it big time, especially that Palm Beach County is the deciding factor. It should be 301 that Bush is up, not 300.
Ertan Firat would have voted for Al Gore.
ERTAN FIRAT, AGE 18: And since the race is so close, I could have made a difference even after the revotes. I could have made a difference so, yes, I kind of regret it too.
HOCHMUTH (on camera): Do you think this is going to change your attitude about voting next time around?
FIRAT: Yes, absolutely.
HALL: This is going to change everyone's viewpoint on voting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody's.
HALL: Not just the people who didn't vote but the people who did vote are going to take it more seriously and realize that their vote counts.
MATT AUSTIN, AGE 17: I used to think I wouldn't really vote when I got older because there's so many people in the nation, you know, you never think it's going to come down to hundreds or thousands of votes. And now this election's definitely changed my thought of it. Now even if it's a landslide, I'm going to go out and vote.
HOCHMUTH (voice-over): One irony not lost on this group is that if it weren't for the Electoral College, no one would really care about the results in Florida since Gore won the national popular vote.
HALL: It almost destroys my faith in the system, especially -- not just in Florida, but in like New Mexico where it comes up to a tie and they might decide the president of the United States by a card game or a flip of a coin. We should have a better system, a system more accurate, that's decided on the people's vote and not up to chance.
HOCHMUTH: Students say it's important to unite behind whichever candidate is the eventual winner.
TRIPP ROBB, AGE 16: So, I mean, either one of them, whoever gets elected won't do a bad job, so, I mean, eventually people will come around.
KIMBERLY OLDHAM, AGE 18: I think that, too, by the time this whole "who's the president?" is over, I think that a large majority of people will just accept it because it's, like, it's done.
ROBB: But if Bush wins, then more people are going to have to get over it because more people voted for Gore.
HOCHMUTH: Despite all the controversy surrounding this election, among this group at least, faith in democracy remains unshaken.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes,
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes.
AUSTIN: Yes, at least we get to argue about who we're choosing and not arguing about who was chosen for us.
VALDES: I think definitely more young people will start voting now because they see how -- before, like, to me, being young and stuff, you don't think that your voice will be heard. But seeing how close and down to the wire this election really was, that more young people will get involved and see that they can be heard and that they can have an effect on the outcome.
WALCOTT: In "Science Desk," the pressure facing scientists who work under the sea. These scientists, called aquanauts, work in a submarine that doubles as a research station.
Subs are made of very strong steel. That prevents them from being crushed by the pressure of the water around them.
Natalie Pawelski chronicles the adventure from an undersea lab off the Florida coast.
NATALIE PAWELSKI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It looks like a yellow submarine that's put down roots. Aquarius is the only undersea research station in the world; the only place where scientists can live and work underwater for weeks at a time.
CELIA SMITH, UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII: It's a tremendous opportunity. It's kind of like having Christmas for a scientist. PAWELSKI: Boats make daily deliveries of food, towels, and equipment, packed in waterproof pots. In one of the pots this trip, a low-tech experiment.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can we put these in? I want to see how the Pringles do.
PAWELSKI: More on those potato chips later. Time to suit up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eighty minutes surface to surface.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Got it.
PAWELSKI: Normally, 80 minutes is all you get scuba diving 50 feet down. But as long as they don't return to the surface, scientists diving from the Aquarius can stay underwater for hours a day before returning to habitat.
Celia Smith is leading this particular mission: 10 days observing a sand-making seaweed. Today she watched it release gametes, a kind of algae orgy.
SMITH: No one has actually ever recorded that for science before, so that is just the thrill of a lifetime. I think the really important thing for a lot of us to realize is how much we don't know about the ocean.
PAWELSKI: An Aquarius mission is also a physics lesson in action.
SMITH: I want to find out what happened to my Pringles can. Our atmosphere is a little bit heavier down here.
PAWELSKI: The pressure down here is 2 1/2 times what it is on the surface. There are other pressures here, too, like six people sharing close quarters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been on other missions where people snore and you just kind of kick their bunk.
PAWELSKI: The best part, aquanauts say, is the scenery.
(on camera): The view from these office windows can be mesmerizing. Looking out of these viewports, it's sometimes hard to tell whether you're watching the fish or the fish are watching you.
(voice-over): Up on the surface, they are watching us, and the clock.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. We'll give you a 10-minute warning.
PAWELSKI: Visiting hour is over.
The ocean covers 70 percent of the Earth. People have explored only a tiny portion of it. And only on one reef in Florida are researchers keeping vigil, living on the floor of the sea.
Natalie Pawelski, CNN, off Conch Reef, Florida.
WALCOTT: In "Worldview," stories on the environment and health. We'll travel to both coasts of the United States for a look at embattled birds and a Civil War find that's been undersea for over a century. Plus, a mental workout in India and a physical workout in Great Britain.
But first a health note from scientists in Norway. A new report shows female smokers are more likely to suffer from wheezing, asthma and a bad cough than males. Researchers say women could be more affected because they have a smaller trachea and lungs, yet another reason to snuff the habit today on the Great American Smokeout.
Next stop India, the second most populated country in the world. At last count, India's population topped 1 billion people. Only China has more residents. Besides an impressive head count, India also boasts the mighty snowcapped Himalayas, the world's tallest mountain system. The people of India belong to a variety of ethnic groups and speak hundreds of dialects and languages, though Hindi is the national language.
The Indian people also practice a number of religions, but the vast majority of people are Hindus. Buddhism was founded in India around 500 B.C. and later spread to other countries. These days, some people who practice Buddhism are using the Himalayas as a backdrop for spiritual meditation.
Ram Ramgopal reports.
RAM RAMGOPAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the traveler in search of spiritual enlightenment, this could be your dream destination. Thousands of people come to this valley in the Indian state of Jamu in Kashmir each year to visit a religious center in the foothills of the mighty Himalayan mountains.
The Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre in Modar (ph) provides meditation training for tourists. Here, they can learn from experts how to contemplate the mysteries of life through meditation. The center was founded by venerable Vikshu Sangusana (ph), a Verasvada monk. It has a simple aim: to promote harmonious communication between different Buddhist sects.
Spokesman Lobsang Vesuda (ph) says the Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre offers several courses each year, especially for international tourists.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was started with the main purpose of promoting meditation in this region, especially when lots of tourists came here, asked about a place where they could study Buddhism and also practice meditation. RAMGOPAL: Monks from different Buddhist traditions and from all over Asia teach at the center. There are monks from Myanmar, Korea, Tibet, and other parts of India. It's also one of the four Buddhist nunneries in Modar where woman are ordained into religious orders.
Over the years, the center has grown into one of the largest non- governmental social organizations in the region, with a school and a charitable hospital.
Tourists come here on a spiritual quest to ponder the universe and gain a greater understanding of the Buddhist faith.
Ram Ramgopal, CNN.
WALCOTT: We travel now to the northwest United States to examine the plight of a group of owls. The owl a type of bird found in tropical, temperate and subarctic regions of the world. It usually lives alone and hunts at night for its food, which consists of harmful rodents. Scientists have identified 145 species of owls, but our focus today is on the northern spotted owl, under attack by another breed of owl, the barred owl.
Northern spotted owls once fought for their survival against logging in Pacific Northwest forests. Now they are threatened by birds of a feather, so to speak.
Don Knapp explains.
DON KNAPP, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Wildlife biologist Stan Sovern shows how he calls in northern spotted owls close enough to be counted. But more and more, Sovern says, it's another owl that answers his call.
STAN SOVERN, WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST: That's a barred.
KNAPP: After a few more calls, a short hike and a little patience, a large barred owl lands on a branch within feet of our camera, then it swoops down to take a mouse biologist Sovern placed on the ground. Barred owls migrated from the Eastern United States and are turning up throughout the spotted owl's range in the Pacific Northwest.
(on camera): What little scientists know about the barred owl invasion, they've learned incidentally from monitoring spotted owl populations. And it seems when barred owls appear, spotted owls disappear.
(voice-over): Researchers have documented about 15-20 cases of hybrid owls, offspring of a mixed marriage between spotteds and barreds, and one case of a barred owl killing a spotted owl.
A decade ago, the federal government declared spotted owls a threatened species and dramatically reduced logging on 7 million acres of public lands to protect spotted owl habitat.
SOVERN: This is one of those variables that sort of argues for being conservative when you start coming up with management plans. There's always unknown things with other species that you can't possibly predict.
KNAPP: It's not yet clear what if any impact the arrival of the larger, more aggressive barred owls will have on logging restrictions designed to protect spotted owls.
NED BROWN, UNIV. OF CALIF. BERKELEY: In some areas of Washington, the barred owl has moved into very dense, deep woods, OK, the same kind of woods that are opened up or destroyed by logging that adversely influences the spotted owls.
KNAPP: No one knows why barred owls are moving into spotted owl country, but scientists say it's not likely anything can stop them.
Don Knapp, CNN, Wenatchee National Forest, Washington.
WALCOTT: Scientists and archaeologists are pouring over one of the most exciting finds ever from the American Civil War. One of the world's first submarines has been raised from the ocean floor off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina.
The H.L. Hunley, named for the man who financed its construction, presented the cutting edge of naval technology when it sank in 1864. The Confederate vessel was about 40 feet long and was powered by hand cranks turned by the crewmen. It went down shortly after attacking a Union ship, but to this day no one really knows why.
As Brian Cabell reports, that's just one mystery researchers are hoping to solve.
BRIAN CABELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One-hundred thirty-six years after it sank on a cold, dark night, the H.L. Hunley, a Confederate submarine decades ahead of its time, was raised from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Charleston. It was the first sub to ever sink an enemy ship in battle. But after doing so, it and its crew of nine men mysteriously disappeared.
Clive Cussler, the novelist who led the expedition and discovered the Hunley five years ago, was gratified to see the 40-foot vessel come up in one piece.
CLIVE CUSSLER, NOVELIST: It's a great thrill, because we looked, searched for so long, you know, off and on for 15 years, and we ran 1,159 miles of, you know, line, you know, when we searched with the magnetometer. So to see this happen is just an incredible experience.
CABELL: Divers and engineers had worked at the site both on the water and under it. Using a large steel truss, heavy-duty straps and bags of foam to cradle the Hunley, engineers operated a crane to lift the sub out of the water and onto a barge. Scientists then got a chance to examine it close up.
MARK REGALBUTO, FRIENDS OF THE HUNLEY: She's not leaking any water or any sediment, and none of the archaeological materials that we so desperately want to find will be lost, and we will be able to get those once we get her into the lab.
CABELL: On the way to the lab, the Hunley was saluted by thousands who lined the shores and hundreds of boats the that filled Charleston Harbor.
It will take months now for scientists to excavate the Hunley, which is encrusted in a heavy rock-like coating and filled with sediment inside. There they expect to find the remains of the nine crewmen who will be buried at a Charleston cemetery. Their clothes and other artifacts, such as coins or weapons, are also likely to be found. Historians are hoping to discover why it sank. But already those who led the project to salvage the Hunley are gushing with enthusiasm.
GLENN MCCONNELL, CHMN., HUNLEY COMMISSION: Absolutely remarkable design. They were light years ahead of themselves. And the Americans developed the modern submarine. I think the Hunley ends that question. There sits the grandmama of all modern subs.
Brian Cabell, CNN, Charleston, South Carolina.
TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Now on to Great Britain and companies cashing in on calorie counters. Health clubs in the United Kingdom are getting a workout and turning over millions of dollars as gym junkies sweat their way to the body beautiful. Muscles aren't all that's bulking up; so are the profits.
But as Christian Mahne explains, there are threats to keeping this market pumped.
CHRISTIAN MAHNE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Spending hard to lose pounds. The fitness craze has outlived fad status, over the last six years demand steadily outstripping supply. In Britain alone, pumping iron is now a $2 billion industry, double the size it was in 1994.
That's an impressive gain, but can the gyms hang onto all their new found customers?
SIMON GELLER, EDITOR, "MEN'S HEALTH": Well, that's a big problem. That industry has a huge retention problem. They get lots of members piling in traditionally in January. That's just a classic time of year. But they do have a lot of trouble making them all stay. But the main reason they don't stay is that it gets boring. It's boring running on a treadmill; it's boring cycling. So they're trying to make them increasing kind of leisure centers.
MAHNE: The increasing shift towards full feature gyms is just one way of attracting new clients. Many companies negotiate discounted gym membership for their employees. That may tempt more people through the changing room doors, but it carries risks.
HARM TEGELAARS, CEO, CANNONS GYMS: We're not awfully keen on getting very large groups, because very large groups can come, they can also go, and that cause jolts to our membership levels. We're much more keen to persuade the individuals to join our clubs and to service them one-on-one.
MAHNE: Another change in the fitness landscape, increasing emphasis on the gray market. Health awareness campaigns and adept marketing are starting to draw in the over-45s. At present, only 5 percent of British adults have gym membership, but their numbers are rising steadily. Market saturation, like that elusive perfect physique, is still some way off.
Christian Mahne, CNN Financial News, London.
WALCOTT: Our next story caters to all you ice-hockey and ice- skating fans out there. In many parts of the country, the weather is perfect for lacing up those ice-skating boots and taking to the rink. But as any skater, like me, will tell you, you can't do it without the Zamboni.
Now CNN Student Bureau's Tracy Armbruster gives us a little dose of Zamboni history.
TRACY ARMBRUSTER, CNN STUDENT BUREAU (voice-over): It's a familiar sight at just about any ice rink in the world. Skaters leave the ice and a big machine like this one makes its lumbering appearance to start making repairs to the surface. It's called an ice resurfacer and that's just what it does. But most people call it by another name: Zamboni.
(on camera): Before the Zamboni, it took a minimum of an hour and a half to prepare the ice. The first resurfacing machine was built in 1949 in Paramount, California by Frank Zamboni.
RICHARD ZAMBONI, SON OF ZAMBONI INVENTOR: Well, this is the original Zamboni machine. It took years to -- of and error before my father Frank came up with this machine as it is today.
ARMBRUSTER: Richard Zamboni still works in what is very much a family business. He says that early machine differs very little from present-day machines.
ZAMBONI: Surprisingly, it's practically the same thing: a shaving blade that takes a very light thin cut of the ice, it collects the snow, puts its into a hopper, as it was in the original machine, as it is today.
ARMBRUSTER: And while that's happening, the ice is being washed and vacuumed in a sense, while a towel lays clean, hot water down to do the actual resurfacing.
The first machine was built in an effort to save time and manpower at the Zamboni family's own ice rink. Then a neighboring rink commissioned a second one.
The idea of regular use of resurfacing machines took off when Olympic figure skater Sonja Henji (ph) bought one for her own show. Before long, the Zamboni's were turning out machines for the Ice Capades and the devices were no longer seen as a luxury.
ZAMBONI: The ice rink operators soon realized it was just really a necessity to have something you could get out there when you wanted to, you didn't have to go around looking for people to help you do this job, which is really time consuming.
ARMBRUSTER: Now the Zamboni factory makes regular shipments of new machines to rinks throughout the world. More than 6,500 have been made in the last five decades. And as in the past, each is made individually.
Operating one and learning to get the right mix of blades and water on the ice is an art unto itself.
MATTHEW KRULL, ZAMBONI DRIVER: There's a blade in the machine that shaves the ice, and you can turn that blade too much or not have it down enough and you won't take up any of the old snow. You take off too much, you know, or put your blade down too far you'll have a rippling effect in the ice.
JAVITS BRITT, ZAMBONI DRIVER: Too much water actually tends to make the puck freeze to the ice surface itself or slow down. If you're taking too much ice off, you've got too thin of an ice surface out there, so the players can actually cut through the ice down to the concrete floor, which is not a good thing.
ARMBRUSTER: Just ask the professionals the difference it can make.
DEAN SYLVESTOR, ATLANTA THRASHERS PLAYER: It definitely makes the game faster and slower. If you have good, hard ice, the game is definitely going to be a lot quicker, a lot faster. But with the softer ice, it's going to slow it down a little.
ARMBRUSTER: And an expert driver can know what shape the ice is in just by watching the skaters.
BRITT: You can tell by looking at the shaving of the ice during the game. If its big chunks of ice coming up, your ice is too hard. If its real fine powder snow, that's actually what you're looking for.
ARMBRUSTER: Spectators may not know the difference, but the skaters and the drivers can. And the drivers know just what is needed to keep it in top form with the aid of their trusty Zamboni.
Tracy Armbruster for CNN Student Bureau, Atlanta.
WALCOTT: There you have it: everything you've ever wanted to know about the Zamboni, only on NEWSROOM.
That wraps up today's show. We'll see you tomorrow. Bye-bye.
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