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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for February 16, 2000

Aired February 16, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


ANNOUNCER: Seen in classrooms the world over, this is CNN NEWSROOM.

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Hey, NEWSROOM takes a turn into Wednesday, everybody. Thanks for coming along. I'm Tom Haynes.

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: And I'm Rudi Bakhtiar. Here's what's coming up.

HAYNES: In today's top story, leading Internet companies get slapped with virtual reality. We'll tell you why the White House has joined the fight against cyber attacks.


"MUDGE", FORMER COMPUTER HACKER: I think what we're going to see is we're going to see out of this people not doing the duck and cover, the reactionary wait until it happens. We're starting to see that business and government and the academic communities are trying to join together.


BAKHTIAR: Then, in our "Business Desk," when investors say green, they may not be referring to cash. From the environment to worker's rights, we'll tell why Wall Street is becoming socially responsible. "


RITCHIE LOWRY, PRESIDENT, GOOD MONEY, INC.: That's a big issue now because more and more foreign corporations are moving to places like Indonesia and Mexico and so on and hiring 14-year-old girls and paying them a wage they can't live on.


HAYNES: From trends on the big board to social changes near the Great Wall: Why some young people in China choose to call the big city home.

BAKHTIAR: Urban reality is also the focus of today's "Chronicle." We'll check out some former gangsters who are using poetry to help fight crime. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

"ANGELA," HOMIS UNIDOS MEMBER: You just go through so much stuff on the streets. You sleep in abandoned buildings that are all filthy and you don't have nobody to help you, and all of a sudden there's a program called Homis Unidos, and they give you a hand.


HAYNES: In today's top story, cyber security for cyberspace. Silicon Valley executives, government officials and a hacker known as "Mudge" all went to the White House Tuesday in a move to stop the wave of Internet hacking that shut down some of the most popular Web sites last week. U.S. President Bill Clinton endorsed the creation of a national cyber security center where Internet and e-commerce companies can work together to fight against hacker attacks.

Last week's so-called "denial of service" attacks crippled Web sites like Yahoo!, eBay, and even The attacks are believed to have been launched from high-powered computers at West Coast universities, which themselves have been hacked into.

With more, here's Major Garrett.


MAJOR GARRETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fierce rivals outside the White House gates, these e-commerce chieftains joined hands with President Clinton to combat cyber attacks and the billions of Internet sales they jeopardize.

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: the trick is going to be how to do what needs to be done on security and privacy and let -- and still keep it flourishing and growing.

GARRETT: Eager to avoid more e-commerce paralysis, nearly 50 of the world's top computer and Internet firms emerged from the White House with an agreement to share information about cyber attacks and how to thwart them. The industry wants the government to help collect the information and set a worldwide example by keeping national security systems secure.

HARRIS MILLER, PRES., INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ASSN. OF AMERICA: This is not an issue where you somehow get some kind of competitive advantage over your competitor because you somehow have better security. Everyone realizes we're in this together.

GARRETT: Together, yes. Equally prepared and equally vigilant, no. It's now clear that many Web businesses, possibly preoccupied by Y2K, ignored warnings that an assault on e-commerce was coming. The FBI warned in a December 30 memo that various software programs could "render the targeted network or computer system inoperable." The FBI even offered software companies could download to protect themselves.

TERRY MILHOLLAND, CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER, ELECTRONIC DATA SYSTEMS: It was a failure of security at the companies that allowed that software to sit on their machines silent when they could have easily have detected them.

GARRETT: The banking industry, already on high alert to avoid a Y2K crash, swiftly erected new barriers to protect its software systems.

As for the future, a reformed hacker who goes by the code name "Mudge" offered his two bits to Mr. Clinton and industry heavyweights.

"MUDGE": I think what we're going to see is we're going to see out of this people not doing the duck and cover, the reactionary waiting until it happens. We're started to see that business and government and the academic communities are trying to join together.

GARRETT (on camera): For years, Internet businesses have been obsessed with terms like bandwidth. Now they're talking about banding together to fight a common enemy, one that threatens their stock prices and the very future of Internet commerce.

Major Garrett, CNN, the White House.


HAYNES: In Columbia, South Carolina, presidential hopefuls from the Republican Party squared off in a live debate on CNN. It was their final opportunity to debate the issues before the pivotal South Carolina primary on Saturday. The three tangled on a variety of issues from campaign finance reform to why they should be elected president.


ALAN KEYES (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The person who presents the Republican message best is sitting here, not sitting there, and it's about time we...

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Then why aren't you...

KEYES: Why -- Why should I have to...

KING: Why aren't you doing better?

KEYES: Why on Earth don't we want to send our best person to face Al Gore and Bill Bradley?

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Who can go to Washington with an agenda that's positive and hopeful and optimistic and convince people to follow? Who can gather up support necessary? Who is it that's got the capacity to stand up in the halls of Congress and say, follow me?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have had 234 major pieces of legislation amendments passed when I've been in the United States Senate and Congress, one of the most successful records, whether it be in the area of reform, whether it be in the important issues of telecommunications, or whether it be in every major foreign policy issue that has confronted this country. My credentials are well-known.

BUSH: I started talking about campaign finance reform last summer, and I said the following things: We ought to ban corporate soft money and we ought to ban labor union soft money. We ought to make sure, though, that labor bosses cannot spend union members' money without their permission.

MCCAIN: And I'll fight for reform until the breath I draw so that we can get the American people back connected with their government. I'm trying to change this party, to bring it into the 21st century as a reform party in the tradition of Theodore Roosevelt.

KEYES: When the politicians come in and say, think about this, they're going to control our ability to fund those processes through which we control their activities. And by controlling our funding, I presume they will utterly destroy our First Amendment right. There should be no such regulation by politicians of what we the people can do in our own political process.

KING: But the Supreme Court...


BAKHTIAR: In our "Business Desk" today, a look at increasing demands by investors to put their money into firms and funds they believe to be socially responsible. Social responsibility is the concept that business is a part of the larger society in which it exists and so it must act in a way that not only advances the firm but also serves society. Whether you call it ethical investing or social investing, it can be a powerful tool for shaping the way a business conducts itself.

A survey conducted in part by the "Wall Street Journal International" found ethics and values are the most important characteristics in assessing the reputation of a company. More than half of U.S. consumers surveyed said they always take into account a company's ethics and values.

Steve Young has more.


STEVE YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Alcohol, tobacco and gambling traditionally have been the big three no-nos for socially responsible investors. Their ethical concerns widened during the Vietnam war and when apartheid flourished in South Africa. Since then, many investors have added environmental issues and corporate policies on women and minorities, and how employees are treated.

LOWRY: That's a big issue now because more and more foreign corporations are moving to places like Indonesia and Mexico and so on and hiring 14-year-old girls and paying them a wage they can't live on.

YOUNG: There are more than 175 investment funds which screen for things ranging from weapons production to animal cruelty. Proponents say investing in socially responsible companies does not mean consumers must lower their expectations for returns.

ALISA GRAVITZ, VP, SOCIAL INVESTMENT FORUM: Social investing is a very powerful idea. The people who practice it love it. And then on top of that, there's the great good news that the performance has been really excellent.

YOUNG: Topping the list of the best performing SRI funds in 1999, Green Century Balanced Fund, which returned more than 76 percent, and Citizens Global Equity with a return of 74 percent.

Analysts say choosing a socially responsible fund or firm starts with choosing your issue. Check whether the company's or fund's screens are stringent enough. If not, find out if the company responds to activist shareholders.

Steve Young, CNN Financial News, New York.


HAYNES: Well, today in "Worldview," we examine economies, from the job market to the free market. Our world tour takes us to Europe and Asia. We'll check out China, where flocks of farmers are leaving their land and heading to the cities. What's behind the exodus? We'll explain. Then we turn our spotlight on Slovenia and surrounding countries to find out what the fall of the Iron Curtain means a decade after the wall came down.

BAKHTIAR: We begin our journey in Slovenia, a small mountainous country in Central Europe. Once a part of Yugoslavia, it gained independence in 1991. Slovenia is famous for its caves, the biggest caverns in Europe. And it's also renowned for its Lipizanner stallions. For more than 400 years, the horses have been raised in this region for a Spanish riding school in Vienna, Austria. A decade ago, the collapse of communist regimes was racing through Eastern Europe.

As the fences and walls were coming down, CNN's Richard Blystone was there tracing the Iron Curtain. Ten years later, he returned to follow the line, 3,200 kilometers long; a line faded but not forgotten.


RICHARD BLYSTONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The line that divided the world began with a beach on the Baltic Sea and ended with a trailer park on the Adriatic. Maybe that was a sign that, in the end, the old Iron Curtain's lingering imprint would be as tame as the trailer park's Tyrannosaur.

The Iron Curtain's menace petered out as it neared its end in the Yugoslav republic of Slovenia. Reformist Hungary and maverick Yugoslavia were looking westward well before the collapse of East European communism in 1989.

Hungary's joined NATO now, and not just for military reasons.

LT. COL. ISTVAN BEKESI, HUNGARIAN ARMY: It's a part of our process to be a European nation.

BLYSTONE: The lucky Slovenes won independence with a 10-day war in 1991. And while farther down the Balkans the unlucky are still writing their history in blood, Slovenia's built the highest income in the old East Bloc, can afford to revisit its old grandeur and get worked up over Lipizanner horses, whether it or Austria gets to keep the breed's official stud book.

MILAN BOZIC, SLOVENIAN NATIONAL STUD FARM: It is not only part of cultural heritage of Slovenia, it's also the part of cultural heritage of Europe.

BLYSTONE: Lining up for Europe is a theme that recurs along the old Iron curtain. The European Union, for ex-East Bloc countries in transition, looks like an economic lifeline, nor are there any Euro- skeptics among the thousands of illegal immigrants from a hundred countries whose dreams of a better life are dashed at the E.U.'s borders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the hope is finished.

BLYSTONE: The chief of this Hungarian detention camp calls it the silent war between rich and poor.

The Czech spa resort of Karlovy Vary, in communion with its pre- political past, when the real destiny of this part of the world was forged by springs from the belly of the Earth and coal from primeval forests.

Some rediscover their early history; others have rediscovered ethnic nationalism; paradoxically, at the very time the global village is supposed to be making it obsolete, part of the reason the town of Usti nad Labem built a wall between gypsies and Slavic Czechs.

Two generations going separate ways, East and West, seem to have made people deeply different. Some in the East have made it.

MICHAELA MALACOVA, CZECH FASHION MODEL: Now what to do with the rest of the people. They want to have it also.

BLYSTONE: And we heard over and over that most people and institutions east of the line won't catch up for another generation.

ERNST WACKERNAGEL, EX-WEST GERMAN BORDER POLICE: Because now responsibility, initiative is being asked and not everybody is yet prepared for that.

BLYSTONE: What really brought the fence down, said our guide at the top of the line:

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was not only the desire of the people for freedom, it was a rotten -- a real collapsed system that couldn't survive any longer.

BLYSTONE: For 10 years, ordinary people in the East have been learning that freedom's not a thing, but a way of life with its own pluses and minuses; part of the reason reruns of "Major Zeman," the communist cop, draw huge nostalgic audiences in former Czechoslovakia; part of the reason many East-siders told us life's no longer so secure, so congenial.

Free-market gifts like the car and the personal stereo are not designed for human closeness. Another paradox: Those who remember that warm sense of community seem to forget how members of that community spied on one another.

Memory has its work cut out. If you grew up with this, you thought if it ever ended, it would end in war not just evaporate.

WACKERNAGEL: Funny enough, but this is time, I think. Time really goes over people as the waves here on the beach go over the footprints.

BLYSTONE: And the memorials and historic sites that dot the old line rebuke the human urge to forget the whole monstrous, unnatural thing.

(on camera): We've seen that the petty walls of tyrants don't last, but Europe is learning that its history can't be pulled down or disposed of, nor should it be.

Richard Blystone, CNN, on the Adriatic, at the end of the old Iron Curtain.


ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: "Worldview"'s next port of call is China where about a fifth of the world's people live. Most of its citizens live in the crowded eastern third of the country. It's where China's fertile farms sit and where the major cities are. But China is the world's largest nation in terms of size, and most people live in rural areas.

Rebecca MacKinnon looks at trends taking more and more people out of the country.


REBECCA MACKINNON, CNN BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Generations of Chinese peasant farmers have grown up in this mountain village called Xiangtan. About 70 percent of China's nearly 1.3 billion people still call villages like this one home. But that's changing, and fast. The Wangs (ph) have their own fruit orchard. They get no help from their sons who have moved to Beijing.

But the Wangs say they don't mind. Their sons can make more money, and their grandson can have a future.

His future begins here in this cramped two-bedroom Beijing apartment, also shared by mom, dad and his uncle. His dad says nobody wants to stay in the countryside; there aren't any jobs.

According to government statistics, 100 million Chinese peasant farmers are now flocking to the cities in search of work, many taking jobs that more sophisticated urbanites refuse.

(on camera): By the year 2050, experts predict those numbers will flip with as many as 70 percent of China's 1.5 billion people living in cities. That will put tremendous strain on China's already stressed cities where unemployment is even now at record levels.

YU DECHANG, RURAL DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE (through translator): Under the old controlled economy, people weren't allowed to move around. In a market economy, you have to let people float. But if you let too many people into the cities too quickly, the cities can't take it. We don't yet have enough transportation, housing or social services.

MACKINNON (voice-over): To be sure, plenty of migrant workers are falling through the cracks, but for the Wang brothers, at least there's comfort knowing they still have mom, dad and the farm to go back to if they run out of luck. But with the rate of exodus from the countryside, by the time their children grow up, many villages like Xiangtan won't exist.

Rebecca MacKinnon, CNN, Beijing.


ANNOUNCER: Teachers, make the most of CNN NEWSROOM with our free daily classroom guide to the program. There you'll find a rundown of each day's show, so you choose just the program segments that fit your lesson plan. Plus, there are discussion questions and activities, and the guide highlights key people, places and news terms. Each day, finds hot links to other online resources and previews of upcoming desk segments. It's all at this Web address, where you can also sign up to have the guide automatically e-mailed directly to you each day. It's easy, it's free, it's your curriculum connection to the news. After all, the news never stops, and neither does learning.

BAKHTIAR: Now, we all have different ways of expressing ourselves. The way we dress is just one of them. But who determines your sense of style? A favorite singer or athlete, perhaps.

CNN Student Bureau's Sharonda Hunter takes us to this year's sports show in Atlanta to show us the latest trends in sportswear.


SHARONDA HUNTER, CNN STUDENT BUREAU (voice-over): Shoes can make or break your style.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is nice. I guess I like the way the two colors fade in, like the blue and then the white. It fades into the blue, and then this material.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it looks good and gets the job done, then I'll get it -- not too expensive either.

HUNTER: Who taught us that sports shoes make the young person's wardrobe? Advertisers? Our best friend? The message has set in. Bob Corliss watches the trends for his business.

BOB CORLISS, CEO/PRESIDENT, THE ATHLETE'S FOOT: The teenage population is clearly the largest segment for athletic footwear marketers and brands and companies, retailers like us. Not only for the fact that they are involved in sports, but also it's a fashion item for many, many, many, many kids.

HUNTER: Fashion was certainly a push at this year's sports super show in Atlanta, an exhibit of everything from sunglasses to sports shoes.

Mike May is one of the organizers.

MIKE MAY, SPORTING GOODS MANUFACTURERS ASSOC.: We're seeing innovations in all three major categories: equipment, sports apparel and athletic footwear. We need a sneaker that's more lightweight, more durable, more attractive, and will give you the performance qualities that the athlete needs.

HUNTER (on camera): Manufacturers and consumers both agree that style does matter, but so does performance. What's likely to be hot and popular first appears at the super show.

(voice-over): Sports writer Mark Tedeschi says sports marketers try very hard to guess what the young market likes.

MARK TEDESCHI, FOOTWEAR EDITOR, "SPORTING GOODS BUSINESS": The manufacturers are going to be offering what they think is the hot look. But if the public doesn't buy it, that shoe is gone. If the public does buy it, they're going to evolve that same look the following season.

HUNTER: Experts tell us the design is not just for looks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we feel that this podular idea is one of the most innovative ideas in running in a long time.

TOM BRUNICK, THE ATHLETE'S FOOT DEVELOPMENT CENTER: You don't want to buy a shoe because your friend liked it or you saw it on a famous athlete, you want to buy it because it fit your foot.

HUNTER: But that may not stop some shoppers from going after looks.

Sharonda Hunter, CNN Student Bureau, Atlanta.


HAYNES: Well, when you think of poetry, names like William Blake or Emily Dickinson might come to mind. But poetry comes in many shapes and sizes. Shakespeare had the sonnet, the Japanese have the haiku.

Siobhan Darrow brings us the story of a group of reforming gang members in Los Angeles who have their own brand of verse. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A place where no boy is going to scream at you or get in your face, where the homis could come and take their gangster mask off and let out the feelings they have inside without worrying about being laughed at, being called...

SIOBHAN DARROW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are the Homis. They have the look, the tattoos, the attire of gangsters. But instead of creating crime in the streets, they are composing poetry in a church.

"CLEVER," HOMIS UNIDOS ORGANIZER: It's amazing how poetry could change somebody's lives and how easy it is to do.

DARROW: One-time members of a L.A. street gang called MS, now they are part of a gang-prevention program called Homis Unidos started by ex-gang member Alex Sanchez.

"ROCKY," HOMIS UNIDOS MEMBER: I always looked up to him regardless, you know. And I mean it was him doing bad, so I was doing bad. So now that he's started doing good, I mean, that's the same respect that I got for him. So now he's doing good, so I'm still following him. And I really changed my life a lot because now I'm working now. I go to school.

"BECKY," HOMIS UNIDOS MEMBER: I used to be bad. I used gang- bang and do all kinds of stuff, and I just didn't care, you know? So when he, you know, he would tell me, you know, go to our program, go to our program, I'm like, no, no, you know. It's OK, it's OK, my wallets will get me in.

DARROW: A Salvadoran illegal, Sanchez spent almost a decade in prison for car theft, gun possession and other gang activities. But after the birth of his son, he turned his life around and works to get other gang members to do the same.

ALEX SANCHEZ, HOMIS UNIDOS LEADER: If I was able to make a change, I think other youth have the chance to do it. Nobody came to me with positive ways or alternatives.

DARROW: But now Sanchez is back in detention and threatened with deportation. Almost three weeks ago, he was picked up by the LAPD's anti-gang crash unit on an old immigration warrant.

PROTESTERS: Free Alex Sanchez! Free Alex Sanchez!

DARROW: Many of those he's helped off the streets took to the streets in front of the Rampart police station in a show of support, filling out complaints against the officer who arrested Sanchez.

TOM HAYDEN, CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE: Somehow the crash unit's view of the war on gangs does not leave room for peace activists.

DARROW: The Homis say the crash unit is retaliating because Sanchez and others testified before a California Senate hearing on police harassment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They put me and my kid against the wall.

DARROW: State senator Tom Hayden believes Sanchez's work is so important that he put up $50,000 bail to get Sanchez moved from prison to INS detention, and has asked the INS to make an exception and allow Sanchez to stay in the U.S.

HAYDEN: His very existence says peace is possible, another way is possible, some rehabilitation is possible, miracles are possible. And it presents people with the challenge of having to humanize the gang member.

DARROW: But the captain of Rampart police station, already under fire for corruption of officers in his division, has little faith that a gang member can ever really be reformed.

CAPTAIN ROBERT HANSOHN, LOS ANGELES POLICE: I don't think it happens through attending rap sessions. I think it happens through somebody telling them to wake up and take responsibility for what they did and get out of the gang.

DARROW: Reverend Frank Alton, whose church hosts the weekly writing sessions of Homis, explains Sanchez's method of rehabilitation takes patience.

REV. FRANK ALTON, IMMANUEL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: Alex's approach, as any kind of approach that is transformational, restitutive, is slower. It's a lot faster to put them away.

DARROW (on camera): There is a mural in the heart of L.A.'s gang territory which in many ways tells Alex Sanchez's story. It depicts the struggle of many who fled the chaos of Central America, coming to the U.S. in search of freedom and a better life only to find trouble and jail at the end of their journey.

(voice-over): Homis Unidos is an alternative to that life, offering counseling, job assistance and education to anyone who needs it.

"ANGELA": You just go through so much stuff on the streets. It's like you sleep in abandoned buildings that are all filthy, you don't have nobody to help you. And all of a sudden, there's a program like Homis Unidos, and they give you a hand.

DARROW: With Alex behind bars, his disciple, know as "Clever," keeps the group going.

"CLEVER": We take them out to camping trips, Dodger Stadium, museums, the beach, stuff like that, stuff so they can see that there's another world out there.

You got to just go out there and see what's out there, not just in here, you know? Not just live like right here like a caged animal.

DARROW: Sanchez worries about the message his incarceration sends.

SANCHEZ: They'll see that even if you do good, you know, they won't believe you. So what gives them a chance to change? They should go tell them that they don't have a future, that it don't matter what they do, they will always be gang members, they will always be targeted.

DARROW: Fighting not only to change their lives, but so that others won't take their tough facade so literally.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Staying away from incarceration, because after all, we are the next generation.

Siobhan Darrow, CNN, Los Angeles.


HAYNES: All right, sounds like an important program in Los Angeles.

BAKHTIAR: Yes, it does.

HAYNES: Real quick before we go, a quick note about what's in the works tomorrow on NEWSROOM.

BAKHTIAR: That's right. Our series, "Drugs: Perceptions, Realities" continues with insight from you.

HAYNES: Yes, the CNN Student Bureau profiles a 19-year-old who gave years of her life to drugs and now lives every day aware of her choices from the past.

BAKHTIAR: Make sure you check it out tomorrow right here on NEWSROOM.

And with that, we'll call it a day.

HAYNES: We sure will. Have a good one, everybody.


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