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PAULA ZAHN NOW

Battle to Replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Begins

Aired July 1, 2005 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Heidi Collins, in for Paula Zahn tonight. Thanks so much for joining us.
Tonight, in a divided America, a new struggle over the future course of the country.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS (voice-over): A justice resigns and the battle begins...

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will select a Supreme Court justice that Americans can be proud of.

COLLINS: ... on the left and on the right over the future Supreme Court.

And, after he declared his own war on drug therapy, now she's firing back with a passionate personal account.

BROOKE SHIELDS, ACTRESS: It just seemed like it would never get better. The light would never come in my heart again.

COLLINS: Tonight, how Brooke Shields won the hardest fight of her life.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: And we begin with the big news out of Washington, the resignation of the Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. She did it with a short letter to the White House saying she will leave when a successor is confirmed and with a brief public statement saying she needs to spend more time with her husband, who is in the early stages of Alzheimer's.

O'Connor is 75 years old, the first woman to serve on America's highest court. And her vote has settled some of the most contentious cases in this country's culture wars. So, everyone is bracing for a brutal battle now over her replacement. We'll get to that tonight.

But, first, she's the focus of our "PEOPLE IN THE NEWS" profile with Jonathan Mann.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JONATHAN MANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For 24 years, Sandra Day O'Connor sat at the pinnacle of the nation's legal system, a trailblazer, the first woman on the Supreme Court and often the key swing vote in narrow decisions. It's a long way from her early childhood days on an Arizona ranch with no electricity or running water.

MARCI HAMILTON, FORMER O'CONNOR CLERK: Her early life was very hard. Her parents died. Her grandmother died. She was shuttled back and forth between the ranch and relatives in Texas to go to school.

MANN: By age 9, Sandra Day was driving a truck, roping calves and shooting a .22. At just 16, she was a student at Stanford. She breezed through law school in two years, graduating third in her class. Number one in the class was a Wisconsin boy named Bill Rehnquist. They dated briefly, and there paths would cross again.

But Sandra Day married another classmate, John J. O'Connor. They would go on to raise three sons. But as the family was getting started, her career was going nowhere. In the 1950s, law firms weren't interested in women lawyers.

NINA TOTENBERG, NPR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: She gave a speech once at a fancy L.A. law firm and was reminded that, the last time she'd been through the doors of that law firm, was when applying for a job as a lawyer. She was offered a job as a receptionist.

MANN: O'Connor opened her own private practice. She also won election to the Arizona State Senate. Local Republicans begged her to run for governor, but she instead became a judge in the state legal system. In 1981, it was another request that would change O'Connor's life and make Supreme Court history.

TOTENBERG: President Reagan promised that, if he had an opportunity to fill a vacancy in the court, he would name the first woman to the court. A Young Turk said, we've parsed out what you said. You didn't make an iron-clad promise. And he said, I meant what I said. I said what I meant. I'm going to do it. Now find me an appropriately conservative woman.

RONALD REAGAN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: She is truly a person for all seasons, possessing those unique qualities of temperament, fairness, intellectual capacity and devotion to the public good.

MANN: She's become one of the key swing voters on the Supreme Court. The nine members decide most major issues with five justices weighing in one way and four casting votes the opposite way. Early in her career, O'Connor voted along the conservative line. But, over time, she became less predictable.

SUSAN LOW BLOCH, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY LAW CENTER: Whichever she votes on usually wins. She's usually the fifth vote either on the conservative or the liberal side, depending on the issue. So, everyone argues toward her.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SR. LEGAL ANALYST: She single-handedly preserved affirmative action in the United States. She voted to preserve abortion rights. She has been, on some civil rights issues, with the more left side of the court. MANN: President Bush has repeatedly nominated conservative judges to lower courts. If O'Connor's replacement fits into the president's conservative line, the legal landscape could change dramatically. It's an ideological shift that would become even more pronounced by any future retirements from the aging court.

TOTENBERG: If Justice Stevens, for example, were to retire, it could make an enormous difference. And if more justice, like Justice Ginsburg, for example, were to retire, being in her 70s, there's an entire possibility that Roe vs. Wade would be reversed.

MANN: One thing is certain. The 75-year-old justice's resignation will mean a shift in what goes on behind the doors of the Supreme Court, as well as the hot-button issues that have met controversy across the country.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: That was Jonathan Mann reporting tonight.

President Bush made a short statement this morning after the O'Connor announcement. But he did not name a replacement.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: The nation deserves and I will select a Supreme Court justice that Americans can be proud of. The nation also deserves a dignified process of confirmation in the United States Senate, characterized by fair treatment, a fair hearing and a fair vote.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: That remains to be seen.

And joining me now, someone who knows the Supreme Court very well, Edward Lazarus was a law clerk for former Justice Harry Blackmun. He's also written a book called "Closed Chamber: An inside Account of the Supreme Court."

Thanks so much for being with us. We appreciate your time here tonight.

Big day, at least in your business, that's for sure. Talk to us a little bit about what is to come. This has been talked about already as -- when this decision is made, it could be the most fierce, contentious battle. Your take on that?

EDWARD LAZARUS, FORMER SUPREME COURT CLERK: Well, I certainly agree with that.

It hearkens back to 1987, when Lewis Powell, also a centrist, stepped off the court and the potential was there to shift the court dramatically. And Robert Bork was nominated. And, as you recall, there was a tremendous battle over that. I think we're going to be in for very much the same thing this time around. COLLINS: Well, some politicians have actually echoed President Bush's words, actually the motto that he needs to be a uniter, not a divider. When we're talking about a Supreme Court justice, is he going to pick someone who is conservative or stick with this moderate conservative that Sandra Day O'Connor was known as?

LAZARUS: I think he's going to pick someone who is more conservative than Justice O'Connor. This is his opportunity to shift the balance of power of the court.

And this president has never backed off in this area from naming people who are very, very conservative. I don't expect him to this time.

COLLINS: So, who do you think is on that list, then?

LAZARUS: Well, that is the $64,000 question. I think he's going to make it as hard as possible on the Democrats. And that certainly increases the chance that he'll name a Hispanic.

That would be the first Hispanic appointment to the court. It's something historic. It's a key voting bloc for the Democrats. That would really put them -- put their political feet to the fire. He also might choose another woman. There are two conservative women jurists down in Texas, Edith Clement and Edith Jones. Or he could with some of the names that were circulated when it was thought that Chief Justice Rehnquist was going to retire, someone like a Michael Luttig off the 4th Circuit, who is very, very far off to the right, but extremely well respected as well.

COLLINS: And, in fact, that's -- that's an interesting point. I mean, this is a very different choice that he needs to make, now that we're talking about Sandra Day O'Connor, as opposed to Rehnquist, Rehnquist being conservative, she being moderate. Which is it. I mean, he could have two conservatives coming out.

LAZARUS: That's right.

And the stakes are so much higher with an O'Connor resignation than they would have been with Chief Justice Rehnquist. There, it's kind of a political wash. He would be naming one conservative to replace another. But here, there is, as I said, just that -- there's that opportunity to shift the balance of power at the court. And if he doesn't take it now, he's not guaranteed another opportunity before he leaves office.

COLLINS: Well, it will be interesting. And, as we have said, it's probably not going to happen next week with all the travel that he's got going on. So, we will wait to hear. That's for sure.

Edward Lazarus, thanks for your time tonight.

LAZARUS: Thank you, Heidi.

COLLINS: Coming up now, culture wars, the battle for the court, and a man who knows exactly what's coming. His name says it all. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT BORK, FORMER SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: My name became a verb. And I regard that as one form of immortality.

FRANK SESNO, CNN CONTRIBUTING CORRESPONDENT: To Bork means what?

BORK: I think to attack with -- to attack a person's reputation and views unfairly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Former Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork on getting Borked and what's wrong with the court.

Stay with us for that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: The fight will soon start over a replacement for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the battle lines, predictable, conservative vs. liberal.

But it's not some routine inside-the-beltway thing. Justice O'Connor casts the deciding vote in cases that defined the cultural divide in America. Abortion is one example. According to a recent CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll, 65 percent of Americans want a new justice who would vote to uphold Roe vs. Wade. But now look at this question. Would you like a new justice to be more conservative, more liberal or the same? Forty-one percent say more conservative. Only 30 percent say more liberal.

The results of those two questions seem contradictory and may be a sign of a nasty battle ahead. Replacing Justice O'Connor will really be a fight over the moral direction of the country and who will shape the future.

Here's special contributor Frank Sesno.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SESNO (voice-over): The culture wars rage on, abortion, gay rights, the role of God in schools and public places, which is why the political battles over federal judges in the Senate confirmation process were so impassioned and just the warm-up for the real prize, the Supreme Court. Just ask this man.

BORK: I do, Mr. Chairman.

SESNO: Judge Robert Bork. A judicial conservative and outspoken critic of activist judges, his nomination to the Supreme Court in 1987 broke nasty new ground in America's culture wars.

I visited with him in his suburban Virginia home to get his take 18 years later on the court, culture and his own confirmation hearings. (on camera): How did that feel, personally, to be the first one out of the cannon?

BORK: Well, I knew what was happening. The core of the issue was, they were afraid I would vote to overrule Roe against Wade. And they were quite right.

SESNO: And your name became a verb.

BORK: My name became a verb. And I regard that as one form of immortality.

SESNO: To Bork means what?

BORK: I think to attack with -- to attack a person's reputation and views unfairly.

SESNO (voice-over): Bork on Bork. Like many conservatives, he feels the court is enacting law, not judging it, going way beyond what the framers intended or the Constitution allows.

BORK: The Supreme Court has become a major cultural force in this country. The court is clearly on the path to homosexual marriage as a constitutional right. They have been quite hostile to religion, driving it from the public square as much as they can.

SESNO: Whether it's court's decision striking down a ban on gay sex in Texas or forbidding organized prayer before high school football games, Bork says these justices for life have simply gone too far.

BORK: It's the one branch of government as to which there are no checks or balances.

SESNO: Separation of powers is being compromised, Bork argues, along with what he calls America's moral environment.

BORK: When they begin to say that the most blatant forms of pornography, including computer-simulated child pornography, is protected by free speech, they're changing the culture of this country.

SESNO: Sentiments which explain the passion and the frustration, especially among those conservatives who feel their political gains over the past two decades, from the White House to Congress to vast swathes of the country, have not been matched in the courts, a branch of government, they argue, out of sync with America.

So, White House officials have indicated they'll be looking for genuine judicial conservatives in the future, which is why Robert Bork believes his name will again become a verb in the national debate over the courts and culture and why interest groups and key senators have already mobilized along the same battle lines drawn nearly 20 years ago, when Planned Parenthood took out ads proclaiming Robert Bork's position on reproductive rights, "You don't have any," and some 180 civil rights and civil liberties groups joined forces to stop Bork. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The yeas are 42. The nays are 58. The nomination is not confirmed.

SESNO: And they succeeded.

BORK: Nobody had ever seen radio ads, television ads, newspaper ads, and so forth by -- particularly by these activist left-wing groups. I think that started it and I think caused a lot of bad feeling between the parties.

SESNO (on camera): What's the likely scenario for future Supreme Court nominees?

BORK: Agony.

SESNO: You know something about that.

(LAUGHTER)

SESNO: And is it inevitable that future Supreme Court nominees are going to get Borked?

BORK: Oh, yes.

SESNO: Part of the culture wars?

BORK: Yes.

SESNO: Wars that really are about America's future. Think of it this way. If the next justice serves as long as William Rehnquist...

CHIEF JUSTICE WILLIAM REHNQUIST, U.S. SUPREME COURT: Will you raise your right hand, Mr. President?

SESNO: He or she will still be writing opinions in 2038.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: That was Frank Sesno.

President Bush says he hopes to make his choice in time to have hearings and a vote done by the start of the court's next term, which is in October.

Well, think the culture wars can get rough? They're gentle compared to what this woman does.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Once you put your skates on and you have your uniform on, you're not vulnerable, because people know that you're a girl who could kick their butts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Get out of the way, that's for sure. But stay tuned. Roller derby is back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Still to come, Brooke Shields furious with Tom Cruise, and it has nothing to do with acting.

Also, they have names like Ginger Snap and Margaret Thrasher. And trust us. You don't want to get in her way. That's for sure.

But before we strap on the roller-skates, which I didn't know we were doing, we need to update the top stories today. And here is Sophia Choi for that.

Hi, Sophia.

SOPHIA CHOI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Heidi. Nice to see you.

Well, the Pentagon has raised the death benefit for soldiers killed in combat. Families who lost a love one received about $12,400. They'll now get $100,000 tax-free, and the benefit is retroactive to the start of the war on terror, just after 9/11.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was sworn in today as mayor of Los Angeles. A landslide win six weeks ago made him L.A.'s first Latino mayor since 1872.

R&B singer Luther Vandross, whose Gospel roots and soul sound won him multiple Grammy Wards, has died. Vandross spent the last few years recovering from a severe stroke. He was 54.

And push comes to shove for Texas Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers. His confrontation with two TV cameramen will cost him a 20-game suspension. Commissioner Bud Selig called Rogers' behavior unprofessional and completely unacceptable.

And now more from the first 25 years of CNN. Here's Ali Velshi with some of the top business stories from the past quarter-century.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The top business stories of CNN's first 25 years. We asked the editors at Money magazine to come up with a list.

At number five, the death of inflation. In 1980, inflation was a scary word. Today, we aren't as intimidated.

STEPHEN GANDEL, STAFF WRITER, "MONEY": There's a fear that inflation will begin to rise again, but that's probably not going to be the case.

VELSHI: Number four is at our fingertips. The Internet has given us a virtual world with no boundaries.

As U.S. companies expand, the world keeps getting smaller. Globalization is number three.

ERIC SCHURENBERG, MANAGING EDITOR, MONEY MAGAZINE: It has created an atmosphere in which there are no economic borders.

VELSHI: Number two, the consumer is king. Low prices, freedom of choice and buying made easy.

Stay tuned as we count down to number one.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHOI: And those are the headlines -- Heidi.

COLLINS: We don't get to see number one?

(LAUGHTER)

CHOI: No, you got to wait for that one.

COLLINS: All right. Well, great. Sophia, we'll see you in about a half-hour. Thanks so much.

One of the actor Tom Cruise's targets is firing back. Coming up, Brooke Shields tells how therapy and drugs lifted her out of the blackest period of her life.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Today, actress Brooke Shields vented her feelings about Tom Cruise and his "Today Show" rant against her for using antidepressants.

Cruise, you probably remember, said there was no such thing as a chemical imbalance that needed drug treatment that depression could be treated with exercise and vitamins.

Shields used an op-ed in today's "New York Times," saying comments like those made by Tom Cruise are a disservice to mothers everywhere and show an utter lack of understanding about postpartum depression.

In her new book, Shields details a nearly suicidal battle with depression after the birth of her child and says antidepressants saved her.

Paula Zahn spoke with Shields about her struggle.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): She grew up before our eyes as an Ivory baby, a child prostitute in Louis Malle's "Pretty Baby."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AD)

BROOKE SHIELDS, ACTRESS: You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: A teen with nothing between her and her Calvins.

SHIELDS: And "Suddenly Susan" is my life.

ZAHN: Brooke Shields starred in the NBC sitcom "Suddenly Susan." She made motherhood look easy in the '80s film "The Blue Lagoon." Her marriage to tennis legend Andre Agassi in 1997 only lasted a couple of years. At 35, Brooke found the love of her life in comedy writer Chris Henchy. They married in 2001. Brooke immediately wanted to start a family.

(on camera): Walk us through that two-year period, when you took time off from work and you were solely focused on trying to get pregnant.

SHIELDS: It was very, very hard physically because of the amount of drugs that I had to take and medicines and sort of the schedules that I had to be on. And emotionally was really hard, because I didn't work for a few years. And so it all seemed like I was failing everywhere I looked.

ZAHN (voice-over): Brooke would go through seven in-vitro fertilization treatments over the course of two years.

SHIELDS: The difficulty of IVF or of any fertility issues is the hope and the shattered hope, the dream that it might happen this time and then it doesn't happen.

ZAHN: Each attempt at getting pregnant would bring with it a flood of emotions and disappointment.

SHIELDS: You just start getting hardened and jaded. And then you start not really being happy for all the people that are having babies. And people stop inviting you to baby showers, because they think it is too hard for you. And, in a way, it is. And you just think, what have I done wrong that I'm being punished? What have I -- what don't I deserve? Why can't I be normal? Why is everybody else lucky and I'm not?

ZAHN: But Brooke and Chris did get lucky in December 2001. However, just three months into her pregnancy, a devastating blow. Brooke miscarried.

SHIELDS: That is when the anger for me hit the hardest, in that period. I just didn't want to believe that it wasn't going to happen for me. But what kept me going is I just -- I saw, I saw me as a mother. I've always seen myself as a mother.

ZAHN: Brooke went through more fertility treatments, more ups and downs, until finally good news. She was pregnant again. Brooke felt great. She had a wonderful pregnancy. But all that would change when Rowan Francis Henchy was born on May 15, 2003.

(on camera): You went through hell, basically to have this beautiful baby girl. And yet when she came into your life, it was though she was completely disconnected from you.

SHIELDS: I remember staring at her and saying, come on, let's feel it. Where's the thing? Where's the birds? Where's the fairy dust? Where's the birds? Come on. I was frantic because it was right there in front of me, and I had nothing.

ZAHN: So when you picked her up, what were you feeling?

SHIELDS: I had no warmth to her. And I've had warmth to every single infant i've ever laid my eyes on. And all of a sudden, my own, I would practically faint at the thought of her.

ZAHN: When you were at your absolute nadir, how dark were your days?

SHIELDS: It seemed like the like it would never come in my heart again.

ZAHN: You mentioned several times that you had suicidal thoughts. You said I was scared to be alone. I thought I would try to escape or wouldn't be able to stop myself from swallowing a bottle of pills. How much of a temptation was it to kill yourself?

SHIELDS: It wasn't the scene in the movie where you want to end it all and you run to your cabinet and you just take it all or you do anything rash. It was, how can I fade so far into the background that I no longer exist? How can I do it? And how can I just not be anymore?

ZAHN (voice-over): But it was only when friends and family pushed her to get help, Brooke realized something was terribly wrong.

SHIELDS: First, what you hear is, oh, it's just the baby blues, you'll get over it. So, that's the first cause for shame, because all these other mothers are getting over it. So it's you.

Then, when you get passed that and there's talk of postpartum depression, the first reaction is, no, no, those are the women that you read about in the newspapers that do horrible things to their children, that's not me.

Then when it was suggested that I take medicine, that was a whole other hurdle I had to get over, because only crazy people and really weak people took medicine.

ZAHN (voice-over): Medicine was Brooke's last resort. On her doctor's advice she began taking Paxil.

SHIELDS: It wasn't that the sunshine didn't come out and everything was happy go-lucky because I was still a mother of an infant, which is not easy.

ZAHN (on camera): Having had three of them, I understand. The utter exhaustion.

SHIELDS: Yes. The thing that's sort of even more upsetting about it is even when you're feeling, so to speak, better, it's still really hard. So, it wasn't as if I was a new me. I was able to appreciate the good and get through the bad knowing that it wasn't forever.

ZAHN: When you reflect on how troubled you were. And what you put your family through -- and more specifically, what you put your husband through, are you stunned he hung in there?

SHIELDS: I'm stunned of the capacity that I had to do damage to our relationship. Now, two years later, if I have a bad day, I see fear flash across his face. Oh, is she -- is it happening again? You know, it took a really long time for him to want to have another child. He just didn't want to go through it again, didn't want to see me do that. He was terrified of that. Now, that's damage.

ZAHN (voice-over): But it's only now that Brooke is beginning to understand her depression.

SHIEDS: The very damaging, frightening part of postpartum is the lack of perspective and the lack of priority and understanding what is really important. But when you're in it, it's only your world. It's only about you. It's only about the despair that you are engaged so fully in. But he was able to see somewhere inside there the woman that he claims he knew and does know. And I'm just so thankful that he persevered.

ZAHN: And Brooke Shields has persevered. She's gone from the depths of depression to the joys of motherhood.

(on camera): What does motherhood mean to you now?

SHIELDS: It still doesn't mean sleep which is unbelievable. She actually peels my eyes back in the morning and says wake up. It means being in my life fully, good and bad, and knowing it's not picture- perfect. But she's perfect to me.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Paula's interview with Brooke Shields.

Another note on this story, today, the Food and Drug Administration issued a public alert about antidepressants and a potential link with suicidal behavior in adults. The FDA has already concluded the drug's increase the risk for children, but today's warning recommends close monitoring of adult patients as well.

Coming up, a sport that's fast and furious, and you probably didn't know it was still around.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I skate under Margaret Thrasher, Prime Minister of Your Demise.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Stay with us for sex, violence and roller skates. Roller Derby lives.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: She-Devils, Reservoir Dolls, Mob Squad: Just a few of the names of Roller Derby teams that have sprung up in at least 20 states. Yes, that wonderful combination of sex, violence and roller skates is back. Here's Paula Zahn.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN (voice-over): Equal parts, grit and glamour, elbows and attitude: roller derby is sport and spectacle.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Baby Ruthless. I'm with the Manhattan Mayhem.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE; I skate under Margaret Thrasher, Prime Minister of Your Demise.

ZAHN: These are the Gotham Girls, New York's first all-female roller derby league. With names like Carbon Monoxide, CC Bullets and Susan Hotrod, these girls mean business, and they're out to recreate Roller Derby's heyday.

For Natalie Blair aka...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gingersnap!

ZAHN: Going derby was instictive.

NATALIE BLAIR, GINGERSNAP: You don't become a derby girl, really, you realize that you are one already.

ZAHN: Ginger's epiphany came last summer.

BLAIR: I all of a sudden realized that I had a derby girl inside of me that was screaming to get out, and I know that sounds stupid, but I saw them at the mermaid parade in Coney Island. There were about seven girls, on skates, beating each other up on the street in the parade. And I saw them, and I was transfixed.

ZAHN: Transfixed and hooked. It was only a matter of time before Ginger's husband, David Hyatt, caught the fever too.

Now, David is head referee, or rules monkey for the Gotham Girls. His moniker -- Hambone.

DAVID HYATT: There was a kid in school who was known as Hambone. I always thought it was a great name.

ZAHN: By day, Ginger Snap is a graphic artist. But three nights a week, Ginger is at the rink, sporting fishnets and putting on her gear.

BLAIR: Once you put your skates on, and you have your uniform on, you're not vulnerable, because people know that you are a girl that can kick your butt.

ZAHN: Kick butt they do.

The fascination of Roller Derby is nothing new. America's first spectacle sport evolved from skating races during the Depression, when promoters Leo Seltzer realized it was the collisions between skaters that the fans really loved.

BLAIR: To see a woman who is powerful and aggressive and sexy and feminine all at the same time is kind of like a big knot in people's head. And they can't get their heads around it. So, they are fascinated.

ZAHN: Through the '50s, '60s and '70s, roller derby grew into a TV staple. Even the subject of movies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get in here you big, fat big mouth.

ZAHN: But eventually, the country moved on. Tastes changed. Today, slowly, roller derby is being revived.

The Gotham Girls are relatively small, only 28 skaters. But they join more than two dozen women's leagues that have sprung up around the country within the last four years.

The L.A. Derby Dolls have about 60 skaters. So do the Lone Star Roller Girls from Austin, Texas, the subject of an upcoming cable reality show.

The object of the game is simple. Each play is called a jam, and lasts no longer than two minutes. The defensive players, or blockers from both teams, form a pack. When the first whistle blows, they take off.

Jammers, one from each team, score the points. They wait behind the pack for the second whistle, then take off furiously to break through the pack. After that, every opponent a jammer passes, a point is scored.

But when blockers try to prevent them from passing, that's when the fun begins, and that's what the crowd loves.

But how real is it?

HYATT: There's absolutely no knowing before a game who's going to win, how many points they are going to have. That's all absolutely legitimate. If somebody, you know, gets a little hit hard, they'll come back and start a fight. They are not really hating each other. But don't let that get out.

ZAHN: Pain is part of the game. And despite all the protective gear, skaters get hurt. Just ask Ginger Snap.

BLAIR: I was whipping this girl around the corner, and she started to fall. And then I started to fall. And somebody said they heard it snap. ZAHN: She broke her wrist and got her derby name, Ginger Snap. After two operations, she was back in the rink.

BLAIR: Couldn't keep me away from it. It is all worth it, strangely enough.

ZAHN: So why would smart, professional women want to do this?

THRASHER: I'm Margaret Thrasher.

ZAHN: Actress Ashley Atkinson was never into sports until she skated with the Gotham Girls.

ASHLEY ATKINSON, ACTRESS: (INAUDIBLE)

ZAHN: She became empowered and found camaraderie.

ATKINSON: I started skating. And I was like, I kind of like my body. And I kind of like what it can do, you know. And that was a really powerful thing. That, and I thought I would never need more girlfriends. And then, of course, I ended up with, like, 35 more girlfriends.

ZAHN: For Ginger Snap, it's all that, and the pure love of the game.

BLAIR: It is -- it's the best thing ever. My husband says that it's the third best thing in life. Our engagement, and our wedding, and then roller derby.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: I wonder if they wore skates to the wedding. I don't know.

Well, hey, if you have roller derby dreams, New York's Gotham Girls are looking for new recruits. Don't worry if you can't skate, there's a three-month training period, but you probably want to make sure you have some pretty good health insurance.

So did you get paid today? How much did you make? And how much will you spend this weekend? Coming up, we'll show you what it's like for 21 percent of the world's population. They live on $1 a day.

Stay with us, and see what passes for normal in much of the world.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: They're billing it as the greatest concert ever. More than a billion people are expected to catch one of the Live 8 shows tomorrow in 10 locations around the world.

But it isn't about the music. It's about people like these. They live on less than $1 a day. And if you can't imagine what that's like, stay tuned. But first, time now for another look at the latest headlines with Sophia Choi of HEADLINE NEWS.

CHOI: Thanks, Heidi.

Well, it's happened again along the Florida Gulf Coast. Another teenager attacked by a shark today, this time, an Austrian tourist, flown to a hospital after his foot was nipped by a shark near Boca Grande, Florida. In the last few weeks, shark attacks along the Gulf Coast have killed one teenager; another lost his leg.

Long lines at the major airports began what could be the busiest holiday weekend ever in the U.S. Even with the rising cost of fuel, AAA expects more than 40 million Americans to fly, drive or travel some other way this 4th of July weekend.

This isn't the movie "War of the Worlds." It's NASA's animation of a comet-busting deep impact satellite. Early Monday morning, it will slam into a comet 83 million miles away in an attempt to get a sample of the core.

And this just takes the cake. It's part of a 4th of July freedom celebration in Connecticut, a tasty Old Glory made of 3,000 cupcakes.

Those are the headlines. Heidi, have a good one.

COLLINS: All right, Sophia, thanks.

Just five years, the world's rich nations promised to cut global poverty in half by the year 2015. Well, this week, we got a shocking report card. Unless something changes, we're going to miss that deadline by about 135 years. In just a moment, Christiane Amanpour previews an important CNN special.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Is this clean water? Is it good water?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It's very bad.

AMANPOUR: You get sick?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Stay with us and see what it's like to live on $1 a day.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Final preparations are under way for this weekend's Live 8 concerts. Some of the world's most popular bands will perform in 10 cities around the globe. The concerts get their name from the upcoming G-8 summit. President Bush and other leaders of the world's eight industrial powers meet next week in Scotland, to talk about fighting extreme poverty. Those are people who live on less than $1 a day, people like the ones Christiane Amanpour met recently in Ethiopia.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR (voice-over): It's early morning in Kararo (ph). A mother gets up to start her day. Young girls set off to fetch water. A shepherd tends his flock, and fathers start another day breaking rocks for building.

This is a place where 5,000 people live in abject poverty, poverty measured not in income, but in hostile soil, hunger, disease and dirty water.

Maza (ph) and her children have walked an hour to fetch water from this rain hole. It's where they wash, and where their animals drink, too.

(on camera): Is this clean water? Is it good water?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It's very bad.

AMANPOUR: You get sick?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Yes.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): But it's all they have.

(on camera): What would make your life better?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Clean water.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Maza (ph) heaves the dirty water onto her back, ties it around her shoulders, and walks another hour home. She does this four times a day.

That's what all Kararo's (ph) women do every day, fetch water, grind maize by hand, try to provide for their family.

Liti (ph) prepares engera, traditional Ethiopian bread. This will last her and her five children all day.

(on camera): Are your children hungry?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Yes.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): And they usually go to school hungry.

At the school, I asked them about their diet.

(on camera): Raise your hands if you have three meals a day.

(voice-over): No hands go up, nor when I ask about two meals.

(on camera): One meal? How many of you are hungry?

Why are they laughing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we are hungry. That's what -- we are hungry.

AMANPOUR: It's just normal?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): But even on empty stomachs, they come to school.

Khastoum (ph) teaches seventh-grade outdoors, because Kararo (ph) doesn't have enough classrooms.

(on camera): Put your hands up if you want to go to eighth grade.

(voice-over): But there is no eighth grade here.

(on camera): How far away is the next village or the next school that has an eighth grade?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three to four hours from here.

AMANPOUR: Three to four hours walking?

(voice-over): The village has no vehicle.

The children spend only half a day in school, and the rest at work, even the smallest ones. After class, they run down the hill to the riverbed, where slowly, under a burning mid-day sun, they fill sacks, tins, and whatever they can find with sand, to make mortar for the new school rooms their fathers will build from the rocks they crush every morning.

On the way back up the hill, 7-year-old Arizia's (ph) bag breaks. And for a moment, he's at a loss.

(on camera): Is it hard work?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Yes.

AMANPOUR: Do you think it's normal for a 7-year-old boy to work like you do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Yes.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): We asked young Amachao (ph).

(on camera): What do you think you're going to be when you grow up? When do you think you're going to get married?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I don't want to get married. I want to be a teacher. AMANPOUR: Why don't you want to get married?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It's bad when you are a child and have a baby. It's a bad situation.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Amachao (ph) is only 9.

(on camera): Do you think your parents will force you to get married?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I don't know.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Typically, parents marry off their little girls when they can no longer afford to feed them. More than half Kararo's (ph) 1,500 children are severely malnourished. A simple illness, a mosquito bite, can kill them.

Life expectancy in Kararo (ph) is 40. Liti (ph) is 37. The bread she showed us earlier will also be dinner, for six.

(on camera): When was the last time you had meat or you gave your children meat to eat?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Three months ago. It was a holiday, and we had chicken.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): I asked her oldest son.

(on camera): Is this enough for you, this little piece of bread?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): What I can do, whether it's enough or not.

AMANPOUR: How much do you think we eat in America for dinner?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

AMANPOUR: What?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Until they're full.

AMANPOUR: Until they're full.

(voice-over): But Liti's (ph) 14-year-old daughter thinks she'll have a better life.

(on camera): What do you want most in the world?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): To finish school.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): After a long day of chores at dawn, school and more chores, this is how the children of Kararo (ph) end their day, doing homework by the light of a kerosene lamp.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COLLINS: Christiane Amanpour will have much more on the G-8 summit and the fight against global poverty. It's a special report called "Can We Save Them?" You can see it tomorrow at 7:00 p.m., and again on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.

Thanks so much for watching, everybody. We certainly appreciate your time tonight. Have a great 4th of July weekend. Paula will be back on Monday, with a special hour-long program on infertility and the extremes some couples go to to have a baby. "LARRY KING LIVE" is next.

END

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