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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT
Pope John Paul II Recovers From Tracheotomy; Bush Meets With Putin
Aired February 24, 2005 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT for Thursday, February 24. Here now for an hour of news, debate and opinion, sitting in for Lou Dobbs, Kitty Pilgrim.
KITTY PILGRIM, HOST: Good evening.
Tonight the pope is recovering in a Rome hospital after a successful operation to help him breathe more easily. The pope went to the hospital after suffering breathing problems and a relapse of the flu. Surgeons inserted a breathing tube into the pope's throat in a 30-minute operation.
A short time ago, President Bush issued a statement wishing the pope a speedy recovery.
Jim Bittermann is in Rome with our report -- Jim.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kitty.
The pope came out of surgery a little over three hours ago. And at least according to all reports, everything went according to plan. At least that's the initial reports that we got from Nicola Cerbino, who's the hospital spokesman. He read a carefully worded statement prepared at the Vatican.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLA CERBINO, HOSPITAL SPOKESMAN (through translator): The flu that led to the hospitalization of the pope in the Gemelli Hospital had some complications over the last few days, with episodes of lack of breathing, difficulty in breathing, which were already caused by stenosis.
This clinical situation led to a -- an elective tracheotomy. The result was positive, and the pope is fine, and he is going to spend the night in his room.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BITTERMANN: Just a short while after that, a spokesman for Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, visited the pope's suite. He came out also saying the pope was doing fine and was resting tranquilly, as he put it -- Kitty.
PILGRIM: Jim, all assurances aside, the pope has only been out of the hospital about 13 days. He does has extensive medical facilities at the Vatican. Does it not suggest that his condition was very serious for them to have removed him from the Vatican facilities to the hospital?
BITTERMANN: Well, I think it does, Kitty. And one of the things that is interesting about that, the Vatican statement, when they say that it was an elective tracheotomy, I think a number of doctors have said that you don't really elect to have a tracheotomy. A tracheotomy is something necessary to help you breathe properly.
And so they may have been trying to put a very positive spin on this, but clearly, the Vatican was worried by -- when they brought the pope over here. He does have a fully equipped clinic at the Vatican, and yet they still found it necessary to move him once again, again in the matter of two weeks from the last time he was here, bring him over again and make sure he gets treatment over here -- Kitty.
PILGRIM: Jim, you've been at the Vatican, and I believe you were there when John Paul was elected. Tell me, in terms of the amount of fuss that was caused, how this rates in terms of other medical crises. This man, after all, has had nine operations and many severe medical crises.
BITTERMANN: Well, John Paul II no doubt has been through a lot. And he's been in this hospital a lot. Nine different surgeries, as we've heard.
And I think that, you know, one of the things that always happens, and it's not the first time the Vatican has been very parsimonious with its information. One of the things they really do not give very freely information. This is not a democracy we're dealing with here. It's an absolute monarchy.
The people around the pope are quite closed-mouthed. And so as a consequence, we frequently find out things that were going on long after they were -- they happened.
When John Paul was elected, you're right, I mean, there was a moment when Paul VI died, just before John Paul was elected. We were told all throughout the day on the day that Paul VI he died that he was doing fine, just suffering from a slight stomach disorder. And about nine hours after the very first, very positive Vatican announcement, the pope was dead.
I'm not suggesting that's going for happen in this case, but the fact is the Vatican has had a track record of trying to put a very positive spin on things.
PILGRIM: Well, we are, of course, delighted that the pontiff is doing better. Thank you very much, Jim Bittermann.
Joining me now from CNN Center for more on the pope's operation, is our senior medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Sanjay, why do you think it was necessary to perform the emergency tracheotomy on the pope tonight? What's your medical opinion?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, medical opinion, I think, and this happens in hospitals all over the world, is that he was having significant difficulty breathing. A tracheotomy is a procedure performed in that situation.
What's interesting here, Kitty, is that typically what happens is patients have operations when they actually put a tube, a breathing tube -- a lot of people have heard of this -- from the mouth into the airway.
In the pope's case, they decided to go straight to the tracheotomy, bypassing the actual breathing tube. You can see there a diagram, the tracheotomy actually going in through the neck, a breathing tube going in through the mouth.
The reason probably because, Kitty, not only does he -- did he have the flu, but probably also had significant inflammation of his upper airway, and a breathing tube would not be able to be passed. But again, this is a common procedure done for people who are having significant difficulty breathing.
PILGRIM: Sanjay, what are the dangers during the recovery period for a patient of the pope's age? He is, after all, 84 years old.
GUPTA: Eighty-four and has significant other medical problems. It's a good question. It's a fair question, because it's important to remember that the operation itself really is a fairly straightforward operation. Took 30 minutes, commonly done around the world.
The biggest concern, really, the anesthesia. How is he going to wake up from the anesthesia? We've heard he's already awake. But how much is he going to fully recover from the anesthesia? How long about it take?
Biggest concerns still are his heart and his brain. Did he have any periods of low blood pressure or slow heart rate while he was in the operation? Were there ever any periods of time where his brain wasn't getting enough oxygenated blood?
These are the sort of things that will probably declare themselves. If they happened -- no one is saying they did, but if they did happen, will declare themselves over the next few days, Kitty.
PILGRIM: What we do now is that he had a relapse of the flu. How dangerous is a relapse of the flu? And can it occur again?
GUPTA: You know, I mean, a relapse of the flu in someone in his 80s is not that uncommon. With the pope, obviously, everything's a little bit different.
One of the things, as Jim was just talking about, the Vatican itself has pretty sophisticated medical facilities. So as soon as they take him from the Vatican to a hospital, it raises all of our antennas a bit, and the fact, of course, that he had this operation also makes it a bit more serious than normal.
It's not to say that he couldn't get back to where he was before. My impression, Kitty, is that this is the second hospitalization in a month. He probably never really fully recovered the first time around, Kitty.
PILGRIM: Thanks very much, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
GUPTA: Thank you.
PILGRIM: Well, let's return to Rome for more on the developing story Joining me now is the CNN Vatican analyst, Delia Gallagher.
Delia, thanks for joining us. There's something I wanted to ask you. In the Lenten message, John Paul spoke about age and infirmity. And this very much reveals his psychological approach to how he's dealing with illness. Tell us a little bit about that.
DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN ANALYST: Well, that's right. It's a very poignant message at this time for him. Because his message was, you know, that in a modern society, we tend to discard the elderly and the infirm. And that's not something that we should do. And he's showing us that in the first person.
I mean, I think that this is a pope who even tonight there was a very interesting comment from Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's undersecretary, Letta, when he said that the pope raised his hand in a sort of gesticulating mode towards the doctors and attempted speak, and the doctors had to remind him he wasn't supposed to speak.
We've already seen some small indication, if that's the case, that this pope has this great will and this great desire to continue. And I think that's what he's trying to show, in continuing with this very severe suffering for him on a world stage. He hasn't shied away from showing his face every time he comes out of the hospital.
PILGRIM: One of the great things that he still has left is his voice. If for some reason he should lose that and not be able to continue to preach, well, there's no modern precedent for a pope resigning, but could that happen?
And what do you think, given his book that was published yesterday, he talks very strongly about his mission. And do you think it's a likely thing that the pope would opt to resign?
GALLAGHER: I think it's very unlikely that he would resign. He has said on numerous occasions before that this is a vocation for him and it's a lifetime vocation given to him by God, and God will take it away from him. It's not just a job for the pope from which he can resign. So that's his personal feeling, as far as he has stated it up until last year. And there's no reason to think that he's changed that.
However, he could resign. It is within church law that a pope can resign. And it would be unto his conscience, as the cardinal secretary of state said just a few days ago. Most of the cardinals, I think, and most of the world would probably understand if he did want to. But this is a pope who gives every indication of having no -- no desire to resign.
PILGRIM: All right. Thank you very much, Delia Gallagher.
We'll have much more on this developing story and an update on the pope's condition later in the broadcast. We'll keep you fully up to speed on what's happening.
In other news, President Bush is tonight traveling back to Washington after a summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Europe. President Bush and President Putin emphasized their shared interest in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. They also exchanged some frank views on Russia's commitment to democracy.
President Bush and President Putin held their summit in the east European country of Slovakia, and John King reports from Bratislava.
JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The post-meeting news conference turned into a spirited seminar on democracy and trust. Russia's Putin forcefully rebutting those who say he has turned away from reform and rule of law.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): This is our final choice and we have no way back. Any kind of turn towards totalitarianism for Russia would be impossible due to the condition of the Russian society.
KING: Mr. Putin said his critics do not understand him, Russian culture or his country's difficult and continuing transition from the days of the Soviet Union.
PUTIN (through translator): The implementation of the principles and norms of democracy should not be accompanied by the collapse of the state and the impoverishment of the people.
KING: President Bush said he raised a number of concerns in private, including, aides say, Kremlin media restrictions and prosecutions of Putin critics the White House says undermine confidence in Russia's political and investment climates.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think Vladimir heard me loud and clear and he explained why he made decisions he made.
KING: Mr. Bush entered the meeting held at a scenic hillside castle in Slovakia, under pressure from some conservatives back home to take a tougher line with the man he calls "friend" in Vladimir. But the president stood by his first impression four years ago when he spoke of peering into Mr. Putin's soul and finding him trustworthy.
BUSH: Sometimes in politics "yes" means maybe and "no" means if. This is the kind of fellow, when he says yes, he means yes, and when he says no, he means no. KING: Both governments cited new agreements as proof of a friendship that can be productive, even at times of tension. The commitments were designed to reinvigorate cooperation on several fronts, including dismantling and securing Russian nuclear materials, improving security and nuclear facilities, preventing illicit sales of shoulder-fired missiles, and exploring sales of more Russian oil and natural gas to the United States.
And while the two leaders have tactical differences, both said it is critical that Iran and North Korea agree to forswear nuclear weapons.
(on camera): This was the 14th face-to-face meeting between the two leaders. And they will see each other at least three more times this year, providing ample opportunity to test those promises of cooperation and to continue their debate about democracy.
John King, CNN, Bratislava, Slovakia.
PILGRIM: In Iraq, two more American soldiers have been killed in combat. The military says the soldiers were killed in separate roadside bombings in northern Iraq. Insurgents also killed 12 Iraqi police officers in the city of Tikrit today. Now, Tikrit is Saddam Hussein's home town.
American soldiers and Iraqi police immediately launched a major security operation in the area. Officials said a suicide bomber was responsible for the attack.
Another suicide car bomb today killed two Iraqi police officers in a town south of Baghdad. Eight other people were wounded.
Still to come, the battle to stop illegal aliens and terrorists from obtaining U.S. drivers' licenses. There are new developments tonight in one of this country's biggest states.
And, of course, we're following the latest developments on the pope's condition.
We'll be right back. Stay with us.
PILGRIM: New developments tonight in the fight to keep drivers' licenses out of the hands of the millions of illegal aliens in this country. New York State says it will appeal a decision that critics say could make it easier for illegal aliens who have drivers' licenses to renew them. Bill Tucker reports.
BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You won't get your driver's license renewed in New York State unless you can prove you're living here legally. New York appealing an order from a state judge blocking the Department of Motor Vehicles from requiring a Social Security number as proof of legal status. Immigration groups charge that the agency is out of line.
CHUNG-WHA HONG, NY IMMIGRATION COALITION: They're definitely overstepping their authority because their job is to check the identity and residency of people and to give licenses to people who have passed a road test and the written test. This is not about immigration status.
TUCKER: A spokesman for New York's Department of Motor Vehicles says, "The DMV is not in the business of immigration enforcement. We are just attempting to make sure that the people we issue drivers' licenses to are who they say they are. The DMV doesn't make the rules," it says, "it follows the rules set by the state legislature, which wants the driver's license secured as a form of identification."
MATTHEW MIRONES, NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY: It's a given that once you present that driver's license, you're stating who you are. And I think, again, if we overlook the importance of that, and making sure that we cross-reference via the Social Security information, we're shortchanging our security.
TUCKER: Now, today, under the program, New York State has suspended 1,700 noncommercial licenses and 4,000 commercial licenses, Kitty, for failure to provide a Social Security number.
PILGRIM: Thanks very much. Bill Tucker.
That does bring us to the subject of tonight's poll. Do you believe illegal aliens should be given the privilege to drive legally in this country? That's a "yes" or "no" question. Cast your vote at LouDobbs.com. We'll bring you the results later in the show.
Now, we have reported on the many states battling to keep drivers' licenses out of the hands of illegal aliens. And one of them, Utah, has a new plan that is drawing a lot of attention. Utah's Governor Jon Huntsman will join us to tell us all about that program still ahead here tonight.
The Homeland Security Department says it has made a high-level arrest near the U.S. border with Mexico. Texas officials captured the suspected leader of a violent Central American gang called MS13. Now, he is also expected in a bus massacre two months ago in Honduras. Twenty-eight people were shot to death in that.
The arrest comes after the FBI and local police launched a crackdown on the gang. They say the gang is recruiting new members in this country.
Kelli Arena reports.
KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE DEPT. CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's early evening in Northern Virginia. And these members of the gang task force are getting ready to head out into the streets.
Their targets are young, at times, as young as 7 or 8. And dangerous. Earlier in the week, an alleged gang member wielding a machete cut three fingers off his victim's left hand. And this night could bring similar violence.
TROOPER VEGA, NORTH VIRGINIA GANG TASK FORCE: Some hand signs for flesh. Hand signs to see whether they're friend or foe. And if they're foe, that's where your get assaults.
ARENA: Both men, who work undercover and wanted their faces hidden, give extra scrutiny to young Latinos. That's because they are primarily on the hunt for members of the Latin street gang known as MS13.
The ATF, which has been fighting gangs for decades, says the increased use of violence by MS13 and others is alarming.
MIKE BOUCHARD, ATF: They're arming themselves much better than before. In fact, in many cases they're arming themselves better than the police.
ARENA: The Justice Department estimates there are more than 21,000 gangs nationwide.
(on camera) And the FBI says juvenile gang murders have shot up 25 percent since 2000. CNN has learned, as a result, the FBI is preparing a new gang offensive.
(voice-over) Among the changes, to reclassify gangs as criminal organizations, just like traditional organized crime families.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are organized. They do keep notes in their meeting. They do collect dues. They do have bank accounts where they're pay in canteen funds for members that are locked up.
ARENA: Part of the gang offensive includes outreach. Many task force members work with organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. This Aberdeen, Maryland, chapter sponsored a roundtable discussion after an alleged gang related murder in the area.
JEFF HAIRSTON, BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB: When gangs present themselves before you, tell them, "I don't want to be a loser; I want to be a winner." Because a loser took my best friend's life.
ARENA: Some of the young people in this room have been asked to join gangs.
DAYRON WINCHESTER, STUDENT: Still cuss at me, I mean, a little bit, flip me off, cuss, try to hurt my feelings, you know what I mean, because I didn't join them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm gang free.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm gang free.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm gang free.
ARENA: These kids are well aware of the problem. Often, their parents are not.
INVESTIGATOR SHURMA, NORTH VIRGINIA GANG TASK FORCE: A lot of these parents have no idea. Or they say they have no idea that their child is involved in that stuff. And that's what shocks me.
ARENA: Both gang task force members are parents, too, fathers of young children, making their battle a very personal one.
Kelli Arena, CNN, Washington.
PILGRIM: Tonight, a new plan designed to help the government learn more about what causes airplanes to crash, how the FAA wants to improve the so-called black boxes.
Plus, we'll also go live to Rome for an update on the pope's condition tonight following his surgery.
Stay with us.
PILGRIM: The Federal Aviation Administration has announced a plan to improve airline flight voice and data recorders. They're also known as black boxes. The FAA says the changes will help investigators better understand what went wrong in the event of an accident.
Kathleen Koch reports from Washington.
KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Alaska Air Flight 261 it crashed off the coast of California in 2000, investigators checking the cockpit voice recorder heard pilots already well into wrestling with an emergency situation. Such scenarios could now change as The Federal Aviation Administration proposes the recorders hold not just 15 or 30 minutes, as they do today, but two hours of audio.
MARION BLAKEY, FAA ADMINISTRATOR: We are going to have a much longer period of time in which we will actually know what was said, what transpired in the cockpit. That's critically important.
KOCH: Other improvements, 10 minutes of backup power will be required so voice recorders keep taping when the pain power fails. Flight data recorders will have to hold 25 hours of data instead of just eight, and they'll take measurements much more frequently.
Instead of measuring the movements of aircraft components like the rudder every quarter or half-second, or pilot maneuvers once a second, those measurements will be taken every 16th of a second. The FAA says besides providing more clues to solve crashes, the changes will make flying safer.
JOHN HICKEY, FAA DIRECTOR, AIRCRAFT CERTIFICATION: The sooner I can get a cause to the accident, the quicker I can respond to that safety issue in the existing fleet.
KOCH: The FAA has no plans to require cameras in the cockpit. Pilots oppose them. But experts believe they are critical in solving small plane accidents like the 2002 crash that killed Senator Paul Wellstone.
FRED FRANCIS, FMR. NTSB VICE CHAIRMAN: Having video recorders in that kind of an airplane, where they do not have cockpit voice recorders, where they do not have flight data recorders, is something that should be a high priority.
KOCH: The improvements in the recorders, often referred to as black boxes, will cost airlines $256 million, but they won't start showing up in aircraft until 2008 at the earliest -- Kitty.
PILGRIM: All right. Thanks very much, Kathleen Koch.
Coming up next, we'll have the latest developments on Pope John Paul II, who's recovering from surgery. We'll have a live report from Rome.
Plus, a new practice for doctors could save thousands of lives and billions of dollars each year. Next, why more doctors aren't using it.
PILGRIM: In a moment, why the governor of Utah supports a law to give driving privileges to illegal aliens. He's my guest.
First, though, let's take a look at these stories.
Rescuers in Malibu, California, today struggled to free this 1,200-pound horse from mud. That's after a week of rain and mudslides there. The county fire department said the horse was in mud up to its chest. It was eventually pulled to safety, and emergency crews across the state are now working to clean up after that rain. Well, that's a public works official who says that it could take weeks to do that.
"The New York Times" is hailing a judge's ruling today which said the newspaper has a first amendment right to protect its sources. The judge said "The New York Times" is allowed to keep its phone records secret in certain cases.
And international experts are expecting the safety measures at chicken farms in Asia where the Bird Flu has affected poultry in eight countries, killed nearly 45 people. And now, with fears of a global outbreak, the United States is set to test a vaccine for the deadly disease. Let's return now to our top story, the pope's operation to help him breathe more easily. Jim Bittermann is in Rome following the latest developments. Jim, what is the latest on the pope's condition?
BITTERMANN: Well, Kitty, now we've heard from the Vatican spokesman, the hospital spokesman and the spokesman for the prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, who was here a little earlier, visiting the hospital suites, and they say successfully that the pope's operation was a success, that he is fine, and that he is tranquil, as Silvio Berlusconi's spokesman put it. So basically we think he's going to rest the night here. He is in the 10th floor suite of rooms. He's not in the intensive care ward, but the suite is so well-equipped it's probably not much different than intensive care. We expect the next medical bulletin sometime before it's midmorning local time tomorrow.
PILGRIM: Thank you very much, Jim Bittermann.
Well, let's turn now to our special report on our "Overmedicated Nation." Doctors write three billion prescriptions every year. New technology has emerged that would cut down on human error caused by handwriting on those prescriptions. And you know how bad it can be. Medical professionals estimate that electronic prescriptions could save thousands of lives and billions of dollars every year, but doctors are resisting the technology because of the cost. Casey Wian reports from Baldwin Park, California.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nine-year-old Carlos has a bad ear ache, and is hundreds of miles away from home visiting his grandfather.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How can I help you today, Carlos?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My ear's hurting a lot.
WIAN: Though he's never seen this doctor, electronic health records allow immediate access to the boy's medical history. Prescribing an antibiotic is as simple as pointing and clicking. The pharmacy gets an e-message, and 15 minutes later, Carlos gets his medicine.
DR. ROBERT RIEWERTS, KAISER PERMANENTE: The patients love it. They just get the feeling that things are being kept in a more efficient as well as accurate manner.
WIAN: E-prescription technology isn't new. In 1998, the "Journal of American Medicine" recommended eliminating paper prescriptions by 2003, but today fewer than 10 percent of the nation's three billion prescriptions are filled electronically.
(on camera): According to a nonprofit group called the E-Health Initiative, adopting electronic prescriptions nationwide could save $27 billion a year.
(voice-over): Plus thousands of lives. E-prescriptions reduce sometimes fatal errors from human mistakes or lack of information.
DR. ALLISON FOLEY, ST. JUDE HERITAGE MEDICAL CENTER: I was seeing a new patient for the first time, and I decided that this patient needed an antibiotic for a respiratory infection. I decided to choose the medication from the penicillin family, and immediately the system alerted me that this patient had had a life-threatening reaction to penicillin in the past.
WIAN: When the FDA pulled Vioxx from the market, warning letters went out to 1,600 St. Jude patients within two hours. E-prescribing is growing among large health care companies, but the cost, in the tens of thousands of dollars, has deterred many private practitioners.
DR. DAVID BRAILER, HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES DEPARTMENT: Small doctors' offices face financial barriers, but the benefits come back to patients in terms of better health status, fewer deaths, fewer errors, fewer times being spent admitted to the hospital, and so we're looking at what we can do to help physicians along.
WIAN: The Bush administration, who is considering financial incentives, is encouraging e-prescribing as part of the new Medicare prescription drug benefit, and has more than doubled its budget requests for medical records technology projects.
Casey Wian, CNN, Baldwin Park, California.
PILGRIM: A controversial piece of legislation is widely expected to pass in Utah. It would give illegal aliens the same right given to citizens of this country; this bill would allow illegal aliens to obtain a driving privilege charge. Well, my next guest says the governor of Utah, who plans to sign the bill when it reaches his desk as early as next week. So joining me now from Salt Lake City, Utah is Governor Jon Huntsman. Thanks very much for being here.
GOV. JON HUNTSMAN (R), UTAH: Thank you, Kitty. Honored to be with you.
PILGRIM: This is a sort of driving card. Why do you think that this is a good solution to the millions of illegal aliens that are here in this country, or the ones that are in Utah?
HUNTSMAN: Well, I don't see it as an all or nothing kind of debate here. Already our state, along with probably 11 other states, issues a traditional driver's license, which we have found is subject to abuse when it comes to identification card use, for example. What we're looking at doing instead is issuing a driving privilege card, which also states thereon that it is not good for identification. We have to, I think, recognize reality, Kitty, which is that we have many tens of thousands of -- of itinerant workers here, or undocumented aliens who still require mobility. You simply can't wave a magic wand and expect everyone to go home. And it doesn't matter whether it's someone here working or it's somebody who is studying from another country. Anyone who is looking for a driving privilege would get this driving privilege card instead of a traditional driver's license, which has been the practice in the past.
PILGRIM: Are you of the opinion that it would help secure the borders by making this distinction?
HUNTSMAN: Well, I think it's going to help in our state maintain and manage our economic situation, which is something that I'm first and foremost interested in. The federal government has to deal with the border situation. All I know in this state is that we have undocumented aliens here. We have to work realistically and pragmatically with the issue. We have mobility concerns that we have to worry about.
We're also talking about issues of driver insurance, for example. Our uninsurance rates have gone from 22 percent uninsured down to about 3 percent uninsured. For every driver on the road, that happens to be a good thing. And so for us, and for some of us who are public policy makers, this isn't an all or nothing kind of thing. We're finding a middle ground, good, sound, public policy solution going forward.
PILGRIM: What can you not use this card for? What is it not good for?
HUNTSMAN: Well, this card is only good for driving. It's good for driving privileges. Now, if a bank, for example, wanted to accept it as a form of identification to open up a bank account, that would be up to them as a private institution, but it could not be used as a form of identification, which is the problem we have with the driver's license today. And in some cases, we had folks from out of state who were coming into Utah, getting a Utah driver's license and using it nefariously for identification purposes. This would state specifically that it is not good for identification purposes, and would not be recognized as such.
PILGRIM: All right, thank you very much, Governor Jon Huntsman. Thank you.
HUNTSMAN: Thank you, Kitty.
PILGRIM: Let's remind you to vote in tonight's poll. Do you believe that illegal aliens should be given the privilege to drive legally in this country? Yes or no? You can cast your vote, loudobbs.com. We'll bring you the results a little bit later in the broadcast.
Well, President Bush is tonight on his way home from Europe. The president appears to have upset his hosts in Slovakia with what they consider a breach of protocol. Now, at issue is the president's decision to keep his gloves on when he shook hands with Slovak officials at Bratislava Airport on Wednesday night. That courtesy was a necessary formality also in the United States, but customs have relaxed a bit in practice. Apparently not, however, in Bratislava. Local customs still requires people to shake hands with bare hands, even in freezing weather. It's not clear if President Bush was aware his hosts expected him to remove his gloves. In any event, the White House tonight is maintaining a diplomatic silence on this apparently very touchy subject.
Well, more issues tonight in the purchase of IBM's PC business by the Chinese company Lenovo. Published reports suggest IBM is building a wall between itself and its Chinese owner to ease mounting concerns over national security. Christine Romans is here with the report -- Christine.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kitty, now, IBM won't say if it's trying to indeed build some sort of Chinese wall between some of its operations and China's Lenovo to appease Washington, but the heat is rising in Washington over the national security of this deal.
ROMANS (voice-over): The powerful Committee on Foreign Investments inside the Treasury Department is reviewing this deal to decide whether Lenovo's purchase of IBM's PC business could jeopardizes national security. Analysts and trade lawyers say concessions are likely needed to get this deal through.
WILLIAM BIERGE, OUTSOURCING-LAW.COM: There's money on the table, there's prestige involved, there's technology. Our prestige, their prestige, and in Chinese terms it's a question of saving face. So somebody's got to find a way to make this deal work. And so there's going to be some very frank dialogue about what's in, what's out, and why.
ROMANS: The published reports today have IBM offering to seal off buildings from Lenovo employees in a shared office complex, to move thousands of other workers, and prevent Lenovo from learning the names of IBM's U.S. government customers.
The administration has until the middle of next month to kill the deal, or accept concessions from IBM.
SIMON YATES, FORRESTER RESEARCH: From a business standpoint, you know, if I was running the new company, I would put up that Chinese wall anyway, so how big of a concession it is, you know, I don't really believe it is such a big concession. I think it makes a lot of business sense if that's what they decide to do.
ROMANS: IBM will not comment on whether it has offered those concessions to get this deal done, but says it is cooperating fully and is confident in the process and the outcome.
A spokesman for the Committee on Foreign Investments says it would be illegal to comment.
But there is fear that the Chinese government, which owns a big stake in Lenovo, could use the purchase to spy in the U.S.
ROMANS: And Kitty, those fears highlighted by Congressman Henry Hyde, Don Manzullo and Duncan Hunter. They demanded a full investigation and a briefing on this process in a letter late last month. Now, Congressman Manzullo's office tells us there has still not been a briefing, those questions are still unanswered. There was a curt response from the Treasury Department, that said that letter had been received. But there are those on Capitol Hill who have a lot of questions about this deal, and want to make sure that there is a full and fair review under way.
PILGRIM: Thanks very much, Christine Romans.
Well, coming up, how special operations forces are taking on a larger role in U.S. Military operations around it is globe. "Grange on Point" is next.
PILGRIM: In "Grange on Point" tonight, the increasing role of American special operations troops in the global war on terror, the "The Washington Post" today reported, the Pentagon wants to give special operations troops new flexibility to hunt down terrorists in foreign countries. The Pentagon is also building up its human intelligence capabilities. Well, joining me from Chicago to talk about that is General David Grange. Thanks for being with us, sir.
BRIG. GEN. DAVID GRANGE (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Thank you.
PILGRIM: What do you make of this report, it is a "The Washington Post" article. The Pentagon is disputing certain points of it, but what do you think, in theory, of this plan?
GRANGE: Well, I think what is true, is that the U.S. special operating forces are trying to improve the flexibility of their organizations. Any adaptability of its personnel to actually conduct operations around the world as it is today or into the future, not like it was.
PILGRIM: What sort of missions could you envision them doing?
GRANGE: Well, special operating forces, and they change from Green Beret Special forces to Navy SEALS, to rangers, to counterterrorism forces. There's this -- every service has some type of special operating force to add to quite an extensive capability of our country. The type of stuff they would is, for instance, mainly reconnaissance. Reconnaissance of specific areas or areas in general that future operations may take place.
And what they call this reconnaissance or other tactics is to shape an environment for future operations. Special operating forces are an enabling for general purpose forces. They are a -- they can conduct operations unilaterally, but they also enable general purpose forces to accomplish their missions more successfully.
PILGRIM: Now the CIA, also, has paramilitary forces. How might you see this compete or work with?
GRANGE: Well, hopefully not compete. Sometimes some of that goes on in the interagencies our a government. The idea here is that they -- it would enhance the Department of Defense only, not take the place of agency operations.
The agency has more of a covert, other words, hide the sponsor type of requirement. Where military special operating forces have a more clandestine. In other words, they just hide the act, like, they're sneaking into a place. They're parachuting in. They're swimming, whatever the case may be. And so they're not going to compete. But it's very important that all of the governmental agencies have a robust capability. And the type of enemies this country faces today, it's essentially to our success.
PILGRIM: We're talking about counterinsurgency operations basically. One fine point on this, and you just touched on this point, there's a discussion over whether there should be, what they call, explicit concurrence of the U.S. ambassadors in those countries, that they know that they're going in. Do you think that is quite an important point, isn't it?
GRANGE: Well, it is an important point. And the ambassador of a particular country is the honcho, they're in charge. Now, what is probably happening is that the Department of Defense and the Department of State is doing pre-approval of certain types of operations to streamline the process. Because in today's environment, today's world, as fast as things happen, the military in particular has to be able to do things quickly. And you can't wait weeks for an approval process to take place. So they're front-ending, I would imagine, a lot of these types of requests. And they're giving a stamp of approval through the Department of State and those ambassadors in those specific countries to OK those type of missions for special operating forces.
PILGRIM: General grange, do you think they're front-ending anything at this point? Anything being planned that you could...
GRANGE: Oh, I think so, yes. And I would hope so, because it's prudent to stay ahead of the enemy. And when you're dealing with places like, let's take Syria, I mean, they're training terrorists right now in Syria to go into Iraq. And I would hope that we're doing something to counter that. And one of the best tools that we have at our disposal is special operating forces.
PILGRIM: Thank you so much, General David Grange.
Well, next, the gender gap in math and science at our nation's leading schools, two sisters have excelled in science. And they'll share their experience. Stay with us.
PILGRIM: Well, as we have reported, Harvard President Lawrence Summers created worldwide controversy with his comments on women and science. Summers suggested that one reason why women are underrepresented in the science departments of top schools, is because of a different in, quote, "Intrinsic aptitude between men and women."
Well, joining me now for a little bit more on this debate are three women who have extraordinary insight into the role of women in science and also higher education. Rebecca Goldin is an assistant professor of mathematical sciences at Georgetown -- George Mason University. She joins us from Washington. And it may be no surprise that her sister has excelled in science too. Andrea Foulkes is the assistant professor of biostatics at University of Massachusetts at Amherst. And she joins us from Boston.
ANDREA FOULKES, UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS: Hi.
PILGRIM: Both of them did attend Harvard. And from North Carolina, Donna Lisker is the director of Duke University Women's Center. Thanks all for being here.
I want to start with you, Andrea, because it's an interesting story, and you told us when we were talking too a little bit earlier in the day that you grew up playing with dolls, your sister liked spaceships, you both went to Harvard, you both went on to tenured positions at a major university. You certainly know a good bit about science, about aptitude, and about differences. What is your impression of the comments that were made? And are there intrinsic differences between men and women in their ability to do math and science?
FOULKES: I was quite disturbed, actually, by the comments that were made. I think certainly there are intrinsic differences between boys and girls. However, I haven't seen any evidence to suggest that those differences are in any way going to predict who will excel in mathematics or science at the higher levels. And, in fact, I don't think that standardized test scores in any way are going to tell us who is going to be the next female or male Einstein.
PILGRIM: So SATs and standardized tests are not the particular criteria that you can use to develop aptitude?
FOULKES: I don't believe that they are. I think that Einstein is really an outlier, he's an anomaly. And I don't think that anybody would expect him to be in any way similar to the typical boy or girl. So in my opinion, it doesn't -- it simply doesn't make sense to use information about average children to make conclusions about who's going to succeed at high levels in mathematics.
PILGRIM: Let me have your sibling weigh in on this, I think in all fairness.
REBECCA GOLDIN, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES: Absolutely, I agree with what she said. And let me add something else. When you're looking at test scores, you're really measuring something very specific. You're trying to measure something about how a student can perform on basic mathematics in a time-pressured environment. So you have got some measurement of this. And what Summers did was extract something about that to imply something about how we do mathematics and science at the highest levels, which are usually involving deep and difficult problems that you have to think about over several months or even years.
And the talents that are involved in solving those kinds of problems are much more complex than just being able to do basic mathematics, so he made a real leap of faith there.
PILGRIM: There are ways to measure the mental processes of men and women, and there are demonstrable differences, are there not? Anyone who wants to jump in on that can go right ahead.
DONNA LISKER, DIRECTOR, DUKE UNIVERSITY WOMEN'S CENTER: I would say that although it's interesting to talk about difference, until we know what the factors that socialization -- the factor that socialization plays and the factor that discrimination plays in women in math and science, that the talk about difference might mask a more important conversation, because there are things that we can be doing to socialize our girls and our boys differently. There are things we can be doing to end sexism and discrimination. And that I think is the more important conversation for us to be having.
PILGRIM: Donna, I wanted to follow up a question with you, because you have a very intriguing program, in that you are running single-sex classrooms and a single-sex program for certain subjects at Duke. Tell us a little bit about that, and why you thought that would be a positive development for the women studying in those programs.
LISKER: We had done a research project at Duke in the 2002-2003 school year called the women's initiative, that assessed the social climate for our undergraduate women at Duke, and the academic climate as well. And what we heard from undergraduate women was that they felt that they were being held to two standards of achievement, both a traditionally male standard of grades and success in career, but also the traditionally female standard of beauty and looks and thinness, and they were being expected to do it all. And they asked for an environment in which it could be just women, where they could focus on their intellectual development, their career development, without having to worry about all of those other issues.
And so we've begun this new program called the Baldwin Scholars, that takes 18 women per year and puts them in a program that has an academic component, a residential component and a co-curricular component, so that they get the best of both worlds. They get some of the benefits of a single-sex education, as well as the thoroughly co- educational experience at Duke University.
PILGRIM: You know, single-sex women's colleges used to be ubiquitous. Let's get the opinion of Rebecca on this. Do you think this is a positive development? And what do you have to add about the development of women in math and science? What do you think would be helpful?
GOLDIN: I think it's an inevitable development, that there are some women who try to structure their environment to get away from some of these social issues and what I would call social discrimination. And I absolutely agree with Donna, that this is a really big issue. In fact, almost all of the research about why it is that girls and boys don't do as well in the highest levels of achievements in math and science point to social issues or discriminatory issues as the reason behind that. So I think it's absolutely inevitable. You know, it's difficult to say for any particular woman or any particular girl whether that's the solution that will work for them, or whether something else will work for them.
PILGRIM: Andrea, go ahead -- and I do want to follow up with a quick question on tenure, because we're seeing a real gap in the number of women who get doctorates and the number who are offered tenure. Why is that?
FOULKES: Well, I'm not sure that I can speak to that directly, but to follow up on what Rebecca has just commented, I think that she's absolutely right, that really the differences that we've seen on the biological variability between boys and girls is really dwarfed by the social and cultural phenomenon that exists in this country, that was certainly perpetuated, unfortunately, with Larry Summers' comments a few weeks ago.
PILGRIM: Well, it will be continued to be discussed, I'm sure. And thank you very much for joining us tonight to talk about it. Andrea Foulkes.
GOLDIN: Thank you.
PILGRIM: Rebecca Goldin.
FOULKES: Thank you.
PILGRIM: And Donna Lisker. Thank you.
LISKER: Thank you.
PILGRIM: Still ahead, the results of tonight's poll and a preview of what's ahead tomorrow.
PILGRIM: Now the results of tonight's poll -- 92 percent of you believe illegal aliens should not be given the privilege to drive legally in this country.
Thanks for being with us tonight. Please join us tomorrow. "Overmedicated Nation," avoiding dangerous doctors. How President Bush's budget will affect the nation's veterans. The secretary of veterans affairs will join us.
And for all of us here, good night from New York. "ANDERSON COOPER 360" is next.
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