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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for May 1, 2000

Aired May 1, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: And welcome to NEWSROOM for Monday, the first Monday for May, 2000. I'm Andy Jordan. Here's what's up.

In the news, the future of Microsoft: If the U.S. government succeeds in splitting up the computer giant:


JOEL KLEIN, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: Consumers will be able to choose for themselves the products they want in a free and competitive marketplace.

BILL GATES, CHAIRMAN, MICROSOFT: These proposals would have a chilling effect on innovation in the high technology industry.


JORDAN: Check out today's "Daily Desk" for news from the environment. Today, hunting re-defined.


KATHY MCCOLLUM, ECO-TOURIST: Oh, it's neat. Its neat. It sort of stops your blood cold right there.


JORDAN: We'll stay outdoors in "Worldview" and head for the streets of Hong Kong.


CHRISTINE LOH, HONG KONG LEGISLATOR: I'm living here. I'm breathing this air. I'm getting sick and affected every day.


JORDAN: How come a breath of fresh air is becoming so hard to find?

Back in the states for "Chronicle" to find out from teens what it means to be Latino.


FELICE GORORDO, AGE 16: It's kind of, like, trendy. Everybody wants to be here "Livin' la Vida Loca" or something.


JORDAN: A butting of heads in today's news. On one end, the U.S. government and several U.S. states; on the other, Microsoft. The U.S. Justice Department wants to split up the world's largest computer software company. Both sides are digging in for what could be a drawn-out legal fight. Several weeks ago, a federal judge said Microsoft had formed an illegal monopoly, which is exclusive control over a product, commodity or service. The judge said the company had violated federal antitrust laws which are designed to protect trade and commerce from price fixing, monopolies and activities that prevent competition.

The case goes back to 1998 when the federal government, 19 states and the District of Columbia took Microsoft to court, accusing it of illegally linking its Web browser to its popular Windows operating system. Early last month, a federal judge agreed. Now the prosecutors who brought the case are making a remedy recommendation -- one that could spell breakup.

Charles Bierbauer has details.


CHARLES BIERBAUER, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): The Justice Department says two competitive software companies would be better then one monopolistic Microsoft.

KLEIN: Under our proposal filed today, neither the heavy hand of ongoing government regulation nor the self interest of an entrenched monopolist will decide what is in the best interest of consumers.

BIERBAUER: Under the proposal, Microsoft would be broken up by severing the Windows operating system that gives Microsoft its monopolistic power in the industry from the software applications, such as Microsoft Office and the Internet Explorer browser. It was the browser that Microsoft bundled into Windows in the hope of excluding competing Net browsers.

The new Windows company would be permitted to install Internet Explorer for those customers who want it, but Windows would not own it.

KLEIN: There would be a prohibition on collusion that would last for 10 years. And at that point, of course, I think the companies would be fully independent and on their own.

BIERBAUER: Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates says the proposed remedy would not do what Justice expects it to. GATES: These proposals would have a chilling effect on innovation in the high-technology industry. Microsoft could never have developed Windows under these rules.

BIERBAUER: Gates and top Microsoft executives would be restricted to work for and hold shares in one company or the other. Microsoft's regular shareholders would receive stock in both. In a letter to shareholders, Bill Gates wrote, "We remain open to a fair and reasonable settlement. But if litigation continues, we believe that the courts will ultimately rule that Microsoft's actions were both legal and good for consumers."

But Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ruled earlier this month that Microsoft was "monopolistic and anti-competitive," and "oppressive" to boot. On May 24, Judge Jackson will hear arguments on the remedy and rule sometime after that. Because this is an antitrust case, an appeal could be expedited to the Supreme Court.

(on camera): The Justice Department's antitrust chief says he expects the breakup proposal to survive. But Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says he's confident his company will not be broken up. One of them must be wrong.

Charles Bierbauer, CNN, Washington.


SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: Making the headlines today, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome and a new, high-profile plan to fight it. More than 16 million people have died from AIDS since the 1980s, and about 60 percent of them in sub-Saharan Africa. AIDS has shortened life expectancy significantly in many countries. In Namibia, for example, people without AIDS are expected to live about 70.1 years. When you factor in the disease, that life expectancy falls to 38.9 years.

But AIDS isn't just Africa's problem. It's an epidemic that has the whole world on a heightened state of alert. And now, the United States is getting more involved in the battle against the disease.


EILEEN O'CONNOR, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With intelligence estimates projecting a quarter of Southern Africa's population is likely to die of AIDS, the Clinton administration is declaring the disease a national security threat.

SANDRA THURMAN, CO-CHAIR, NATIONAL AIDS POLICY: We're beginning to understand that this epidemic not only has health implications, but has implications as a fundamental development issue, an economic issue, and a stability and security issue.

O'CONNOR: The U.N. points to rising infection rates in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and parts of Asia, particularly India, as potentially destabilizing. U.S. intelligence reports say the high death rates could threaten fledgling democracies and touch off ethnic conflicts. The Clinton administration wants to double the budget for fighting AIDS overseas to $254 million, and say by declaring the disease a threat to national security, they can bring more resources to the problem.


JORDAN: In our "Environment Desk" today, we learn about a practice that's helping to save sea horses, whales, pandas, and now wolves. It's eco-tourism, the practice of touring natural habitats in a manner meant to minimize ecological impact. It's the concept that an animal is more valuable alive than dead. The idea took hold back in the 1980s when a study showed that a rain forest was worth nearly twice as much left alone as if it were chopped down. The "green movement" has flourished, and today people are fascinated with wildlife, and willing to pay to see it.

David George takes us to the woods on a different kind of wolf hunt.


DAVID GEORGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Travis Bullock isn't usually so domestic. Bullock is an outfitter, a hunting guide. For 15 years he's been flying hunting parties to his camp deep in the Idaho mountains to bag big game like elk and deer. After wolves were reintroduced to Idaho five years ago, the elk population began to decline. Some wildlife experts say the decrease is just part of nature's cycle. But Bullock and other hunters blame the wolves.

So, in a classic case of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em," Travis Bullock figured a way to make money off the wolves by running eco-tours for wolf lovers. It all began...

TRAVIS BULLOCK, MILE HIGH OUTFITTERS: As a joke. We all got to laughing about it and said, boy, wouldn't it be funny if we put a bunch of people out there on the hill and howled like a wolf, and maybe we could get people to come out and look at them.

GEORGE: And come they do -- from all over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm really intrigued by the wolf and so I came out on this trip. He's the only outfitter that does this, so we came out here to hope we get a glimpse of them.

GEORGE: But the chance of actually seeing a wolf on one of these trips is pretty slim. Tenderfoot tourists are more likely to see evidence that wolves have been nearby.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We found this track about a couple miles from here. This is an actual wolf track that was taken when we took a molding cast of the print. The tourists are shown how to make their own castings of tracks left by wolves who have recently devoured an elk killed just a few hundred yards from camp.

Though these eco-tourists have yet to see a wolf, they've heard one in the middle of the night. ELIZABETH FEELEY, ECO-TOURIST: Well, it was 4:30 in the morning, to be exact, and it was astonishing. And even Travis said, wow, first night out. That's great. That's really good.

GEORGE: There's something about hearing a wolf in the wild.

MCCOLLUM: Oh, it's neat. It's neat. It sort of stops your blood cold right there. It's really, like, mystical and it makes you, like, be in awe for a long time afterwards.

GEORGE: Travis Bullock says eco-trips don't pay as well as hunting trips, but with the elk population in apparent decline, the wolf trips help pay his bills. He has at least one more eco-trip already scheduled for later this year.

For CNN "EARTH MATTERS," I'm David George.


ANNOUNCER: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, seen in schools around the world, because learning never stops, and neither does the news.

JORDAN: In "Worldview" today, we head to Asia and Australia. Bet you didn't know Australia is both a country and a continent -- and it's a hot spot for travel this year. You'll find out why, and how it's bridging cultures. We'll also head to Indonesia for an environmental tiger tale. And more environment news in Hong Kong.

WALCOTT: Our first stop is Hong Kong, a Chinese territory that lies just off the coast of mainland China. Hong Kong is a major port of Asia. It is also a center of trade, finance and tourism. About 1 1/2 million people live in Hong Kong, making it one of the most crowded cities in the world. Hong Kong averages about 15,800 people per square mile. And the burgeoning population is taking a toll on the territory's environment.

Mike Chinoy explains.


MIKE CHINOY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hong Kong's famous skyline has been shrouded in smog, the highest pollution levels ever recorded here, people choking on the streets, those with heart and respiratory problems urged to stay indoors, school activities canceled, growing public anxiety that Hong Kong is becoming one of the most polluted cities in Asia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very serious. Very bad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sometimes I think that I can't breathe very freely.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Harder to breathe and very dusty.

CHINOY: The main source of the smog, with the highest vehicle density in the region, taxis and buses are belching noxious diesel fumes into the air; that compounded by industrial pollution from across the border in mainland China and no wind to clear the air.

As the readings at monitoring stations remain high, critics say government inaction has fueled the problem, especially an unwillingness to punish the worst vehicle polluters for fear of offending vested business interests.

LOH: How are we going to see improvements when even little measures like putting up penalties haven't actually gone through the legislature?

CHINOY: For its part, the administration of Chief Executive Tung Chee-Hwa has acknowledged the problems but insists there has been progress.

RAYMOND LEUNG, HONG KONG ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION BUREAU: We have taken all the measures that's been taken elsewhere in the world to try to reduce our emissions. And that's why we also are seeing some improvement in terms of annual pollution levels.

CHINOY: Environmentalists say that's just hot air.

LOH: I'm living here. I'm breathing the air. I'm getting sick and affected every day. I have no sympathy for that kind of excuse.

CHINOY: If Hong Kong fails to deal with this problem, its ambitions to be Asia's premier business center could be in jeopardy as pollution prompts companies to relocate staff or choose other regional hubs.

(on camera): And there's the ongoing human cost: widespread health problems, including one of the highest asthma rates in Asia, and, officials say, more than 2,000 premature deaths a year due to pollution-related causes.

Mike Chinoy, CNN, Hong Kong.


TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: We turn our attention now to Indonesia and the illegal trade of tigers. Deep in Indonesia's forests, one of the last remaining species of tigers is in danger. Environmentalists say demand across Asia for the skins, teeth and claws of tigers is endangering the great cats, particularly the Sumatran tiger. Tiger parts have long been used by Asian peoples. The Chinese have used tiger parts in medicines and potions to treat rheumatism, rat bites and various diseases. Tiger hunting was outlawed in most countries in the 1970s, but the problem still exists today.

Tom Mintier reports, and teachers may want to pre-screen this report.


TOM MINTIER, CNN LONDON BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): The Sumatran tiger: the last species found roaming the jungles of Indonesia, but maybe not for long. During the last two years, 66 Sumatran tigers have been slaughtered for their skins, bones and teeth.

STUART CHAPMAN, WORLD WILDLIFE FUND: For an animal so endangered as the tiger, anything that's sold openly, in the cases that we've found in certain countries in Asia, is bad news for the tiger because there are so few of them left. They are one of the world's most endangered species. And this open trade in skin and novelties or charms is just another nail in the coffin for the species in the wild.

MINTIER: The problem in Indonesia represents one in every five remaining tigers being killed during the past 24 months. In years past, much of the tiger slaughter was destined for the Chinese medicine market. Now, they are becoming ornaments in living rooms.

CHAPMAN: What we have seen now is the expansion of another area of the market that we had thought was confined to the history books, which is the skin trade. And now, for an adult male tiger, all of his components parts in the black market, the retail value is somewhere in the region of U.S. $70,000.

MINTIER: The tiger trade is still flourishing in countries like Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos, according to the World Wildlife Fund. This, despite local laws protecting the tiger, laws that the WWF says are not being enforced.

With natural forests on the decline, there are few remaining places for the wild tiger to hide. With a price on their head for their skins, live tigers may soon be a thing of the past.

(on camera): Over the past 100 years, the tiger numbers have dwindled. At the start of the 20th century, more than 100,000 wild tigers roamed the earth. Now, with poachers and entire forests being hacked away, the numbers are small -- less than 7,500. The fear is that by the end of this century, the only tigers left will be pictures in the history books.

Tom Mintier, CNN, London.


RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Onto another locale known for its exotic wildlife: Australia. But today we check out adventures, not animals. The capital is Canberra, but our trip takes us to Sydney, the largest and oldest city in the country. It's the site of the Olympic games later this year, and it's already rising to the occasion, preparing for the many tourists who are making Australia a vacation destination.

Carolyn O'Neil takes us on tour of a top attraction.


CAROLYN O'NEIL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Built in 1932, the Sydney Harbor Bridge is a dramatic sight, with graceful steel girders arching 440 feet above the water below.

The bird's-eye view via helicopter is thrilling, but a closer look along the top shows you there are people up there. As I was about to find out, they climbed over 1,300 steps to join this adventure. It all begins with a breathalyzer test.

(on camera): I passed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course you did.

O'NEIL (voice-over): Other safety measures: special gray suits to minimize distracting drivers below, and harnesses with safety latches, which attach to lines on the bridge. Even hats are secured.

Groups are led along a catwalk under the bridge and then the ascent. An amazing view of the harbor and the opera house awaits climbers coming up steep ladders -- that is if they can take their eyes off the steps.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You hear so much about it, and you just want to do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is great, ain't it? Hi, mom. Don't worry. I'll be home safe, I promise.

O'NEIL: The remaining trip is as easy as climbing stairs, built originally for workers who maintain the bridge.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But the great think about coming up here is that the further up you get, the more spectacular the view becomes.

O'NEIL (on camera): It is a spectacular view. I think we can see all of Sydney, Australia. And I can't believe I did it. We're at the top.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congratulations. Well done.

O'NEIL: Now, are you're going to tell me that going down is the hardest part?

(voice-over): Climb leaders photograph triumphant groups, followed by a round of celebratory cheers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is fantastic. I climbed my bridge.

O'NEIL: More guides will be added to handle crowds expected to be looking for that winning feeling during the Olympic games.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you sir. Appreciate it.

O'NEIL: They'll see that you don't need nerves of steel to walk into the sky above Sydney and the top of the Harbor Bridge.

Carolyn O'Neil, CNN, Sydney, Australia.


BAKHTIAR: We'll have more on Australia later this week. Tomorrow, we'll meet a special swimmer who has his sights set on Sydney. And Friday, check out new technology that's blazing a trail in the coming Olympic games. ANNOUNCER: 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, find 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.

JORDAN: Well, the 2000 census is in full swing throughout the United States. When the results are in, they're expected to confirm what experts have been saying for years: The U.S. is in the middle of a population revolution. By the year 2005, Hispanic Americans are projected to surpass African Americans as the nation's largest minority group. All this week, we'll bring you "Viviendo en America," or "Living in America," a series we first aired last fall.

Our Joel Hochmuth takes a look at key issues facing the U.S. during this transformation. Today, he talks with some Miami teenagers about their Hispanic heritage.


JOEL HOCHMUTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Perhaps no place shows off Hispanic culture in the United States quite like Miami.

GORORDO: It's got its own flavor to it. It's like a big melting pot.

CHRISTINA GUERRA, AGE 17: I always really use the same expression because it really is. I mean, you find everything here. There -- I -- you meet people from all over the world. I love this place.

MARIA MONTANO, AGE 16: You know, I feel it still. Like, the Latin public, we're all together and, like, it's really nice. It's a warm feeling to live here. I love it.

HOCHMUTH: We tracked down four teenage friends growing up here to talk about their heritage. Felice Gorordo and Christina Guerra have Cuban roots. Maria Montano's dad is from Guatemala. Her mom is from Ecuador. Rodrigo Tefel was born in Mexico. Although they all speak Spanish, they don't agree on what to call themselves.

MONTANO: I was born in Miami, but I consider myself -- I always go everywhere and I put myself as Hispanic, like, it's like who I am. I've grown up that way -- my morals, my family, everything they have taught me, the way, like, they are.

GORORDO: I don't -- I personally don't like that term, "Hispanic." I do, I mean, to put us in a group, in a general group all together, but I think it's more -- I mean, we're all different -- all cultures. Hispanics, in general, each culture is so very different. It's like saying whether an apple's a fruit or whether an apple's an apple. It's a fruit and it's an apple. It's both at the same time. Hey, I consider myself 100 percent American and 100 percent Cuban.

GUERRA: If you ask me, I am Hispanic, I am not American. I am -- I am Cuban-American -- sometimes I'll say Cuban-American, but to me I'm Cuban. And I'm second-generation because my parents are even born here. So to me, that -- I will always be Hispanic.

HOCHMUTH (on camera): You know, some people are going to be offended by that. If you've lived in America your whole life, you should feel like an American.

GUERRA: I am very grateful. I wanted to clear that up. I mean, I may have sounded ungrateful to this country before. I'm not at all. I look -- I -- if Castro now fell and we could go back to Cuba, I know I wouldn't. I can't. I love what I have here and I would come back to visit and I would love to see where my roots are, but this is my home.

HOCHMUTH: As a Mexican, do you feel like a minority?

RODRIGO TEFEL, AGE 16: At school, yes. I'm like the only Mexican at school. It's like 160 Cubans and like one Mexican. It's like -- it's all right, though.

HOCHMUTH: What is it exactly that bonds all Hispanics together?

GORORDO: The language.

MONTANO: Language.

GUERRA: The language.

GORORDO: Language is a big part.

GUERRA: The language.

MONTANO: Language.

GORORDO: Also, there's -- one of the biggest traditions is the family together -- always together. Everything is with family.


GORORDO: Every -- I mean, if you want to -- if you want to go out with your boyfriend or your girlfriend or your best friend or whatever, invite them over to the family; invite them over to the house.


GUERRA: I started going out with him and, like, my family started calling, who is this new boyfriend? (SPEAKING IN SPANISH) And then my great-grandmother's calling me, like -- I told my mother and now the entire family's calling me: So when are we going to meet him. And that's how we are.

HOCHMUTH (voice-over): It's obvious these teens don't just accept their heritage, they embrace it. And whether Hispanic or Latino or something else, their label isn't nearly as important as recognition. They're flattered by all the attention in the press recently.

GUERRA: I guess, in a way, it does surprise me because when we first came over, there were so many people prejudiced against us. And I know that my family faced such rough times because, you know, they felt like we were invading the country. But I think that it's only justice that they find out that, you know, we're as unique as everyone else and we're a culture just like any other culture.

HOCHMUTH (on camera): What do you say to people who are afraid, you know, Latins are going to take over?

MONTANO: I personally don't like that term, "we're taking over"...

GUERRA: Like aliens are taking over.

MONTANO: ... because we're just coming out of our culture. We are who we are and I don't think people should just, like, take it like an alien encounter in that we're like coming out and like attacking everybody.

GORORDO: It's kind of, like, trendy. Everyone wants to be -- everyone wants to be "Livin' La Vida Loca" or something.




HOCHMUTH (voice-over): Speaking of Ricky Martin, this group is proud of the success he and other Latin stars are enjoying. But is he a role model?

MONTANO: Ricky Martin is great and everything, but the way people idolize him, they can't, like, judge us that we're the only people who do that because it's -- he's a singer and he's, like, successful and he's Hispanic and we're very proud of him, but we don't go crazy like people think.




GUERRA: For me, a lot more important are people like Gloria Estefan or (UNINTELLIGIBLE). And I think it means a lot to me that someone that has overcome so much, and I think that means a lot to our culture and that's a lot to me.

TEFEL: I like the example of De La Hoya, because in Mexico, like, he was born in Mexico. He was a good -- he is a good boxer, but if he were to have stayed in Mexico he would have been nowhere. Like, I can kind of relate to that because my dad, he's an accountant. And then, in Mexico, we were, like, living in an apartment, like, smaller than, like, this patio out here. It's, like, horrible. And now we're living in a big house and we have two cars. It's, like, perfect. So he was smart to move over here.

GORORDO: My role models, personally, for me, would be my great- aunt and my great-uncle and my father. To be able to throw away -- literally throw away the life you had once, everything you knew, to come to a new land with a new language and a whole new obstacle to overcome, that's better than any role model I can ever picture, and I'm thankful.

HOCHMUTH: While it's obvious these teens appreciate their Hispanic heritage, they're thankful times have changed. They're enjoying a level of acceptance their parents and grandparents never knew.

GUERRA: When my mom was born, you know, my grandparents just came over and they were struggling to make a life for themselves here, and they had to fit in. We don't really have to fit in. We don't have to because we're in Miami and we're in our essence, so we really don't have to worry about much in that -- in that sense.

GORORDO: I believe we are more accepted. I would hope to say we're more open-minded as a generation, but I think there's still a little bit way to go to break down all the stereotypes. But then that's a perfect society which I don't know if we'll ever reach.


JORDAN: Well, tomorrow on "Viviendo en America," we look at the changing face of one American city in particular.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It used to be that Latinos were in four states: Florida, California, New York and Texas. And now we're seeing all along the Eastern seaboard pockets of Latinos gravitating towards areas that are expanding: Nashville and Charlotte. Atlanta is a good example.


JORDAN: That's tomorrow on CNN NEWSROOM. We'll see you back here then. Have a great Monday.



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