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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for May 10, 2000

Aired May 10, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: It's Wednesday here on NEWSROOM. Thanks for joining us. I'm Tom Haynes.

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: And I'm Rudi Bakhtiar.

More violence in Sierra Leone. You know the situation there is just getting worse.

HAYNES: That's right. Plus, saving up for later in life, and cell phones today.

BAKHTIAR: Yes, they're popping up everywhere. Take a look.

HAYNES: In today's top story, more killing and violence as Sierra Leone plunges further into chaos. What went wrong with the peacekeeping mission?

BAKHTIAR: In "Biz Desk," it's never too early to start saving up for old age. But a retirement fund for children?


CISSIE CHRISCO, GRANDMOTHER: We wanted to make sure he had something, you know, because the later years -- that's when you get sick and you have the aches and pains.


HAYNES: We head to a youth center in South Africa for "Worldview" where juvenile delinquents learn the difference between right and wrong.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've changed a lot, to be honest, in different ways -- personality. I never thought of the way of being with people like I am right now.


BAKHTIAR: Then in "Chronicle," it used to be backpacks and Walkmans. But these days cell phones and pagers have become the accent gear of choice for students here in the United States. Why does that have experts worried?


ANNA THARRINGTON, STUDENT, UNIV. OF NORTH CAROLINA: Basically, my parents got it for me because, like, I do a lot of driving late at night and they were really worried.


HAYNES: We begin today with a story we've talked a lot about this week: the situation in Sierra Leone. Fighting in the West African nation between the army and rebels has escalated, causing thousands of civilians to flee. Sierra Leone has been on the brink of civil war since last week when rebels took hundreds of United Nations peacekeepers hostage. With the situation worsening, British troops are evacuating European Union residents to nearby Senegal. The United States is offering air support to those troops.

And the irony of this whole situation is that eight years of civil war just ended with a so-called peace agreement between rebel leaders and Sierra Leone's government. In-depth coverage of their relationship is provided in Monday's program, so check your NEWSROOM archives.

For more on late developments now, we turn to Ben Wedeman.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dozens wounded by gunmen from the Revolutionary United Front outside the villa where the most hated man in Freetown once lived.

(on camera): Until Monday, this was the home and headquarters of Revolutionary United Front leader Foday Sankoh. Now his whereabouts are unknown.

(voice-over): Sankoh disappeared in the chaos. From what he left behind, it's clear he styles himself as Sierra Leone's savior. But police detectives are sifting for clues in the event charges can be brought against him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we are doing preliminary collection of documents and other articles which might be of help to any investigation we might want to conduct.

WEDEMAN: Many in Freetown believe rumors the United Nations actually helped Sankoh escape, a charge the U.N. flatly denies.

DAVID WIMHURST, UNAMSIL SPOKESMAN: He left under circumstances that are not clear, but we had nothing to do with it.

WEDEMAN: With Sankoh on the run, Freetown is calm for now. Life appears to be getting back to normal, helped by the presence of hundreds of British paratroopers. British officers say Sankoh's forces had better stay out of their way.

LT. CMDR. TONY CRAMP, BRITISH ROYAL NAVY: However, I would strongly advise against any interference whatsoever with British operations. We've got an extremely capable force here and I wouldn't recommend anyone to come across them.

WEDEMAN: Concern is widespread, however. Freetown has not seen the last of the RUF or its leader.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Foday Sankoh has done more than the worst in this country: killing people, demoralizing people, raping and all sorts of things.

WEDEMAN: In the meantime, civilians here can enjoy a pause, however brief, from the threat of a return to civil war.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Freetown, Sierra Leone.


BAKHTIAR: At issue today, international law. We have occasion to talk about it in light of the worldwide odyssey of the "ILOVEYOU" computer virus. Philippine authorities have released a suspect. They say they do not have enough evidence to hold Reomel Ramones, and have 10 days to gather more evidence. While the Philippines will have first crack at prosecuting a suspect in that nation, other countries, including the United States, are likely to seek extradition.

As Charles Bierbauer tells us, there's little extradition precedent for this sort of crime.


CHARLES BIERBAUER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Philippines may have computer crimes, but there's not yet a computer crimes law. Philippine officials reportedly have found a law aimed at credit card fraud that might fit the crime and lead to a sentence of six to 20 years.

MARTHA STANSELL-GAMM, CHIEF OF COMPUTER CRIMES, JUSTICE DEPARTMENT: Laws against general kinds of damage or forgery or theft sometimes have been used by states to cooperate with us on these kinds of investigations.

BIERBAUER: U.S. officials expect such cooperation must go farther to prosecute hackers whose crimes defy international boundaries.

JANET RENO, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: It is clear now that crime on the Internet, crime in terms of hacking, crime in terms of those that would use the medium the wrong way, it's going to be an international effort.

BIERBAUER: There is an International Law of the Sea and treaties dealing with space, but no international treaty on cyberspace. GEORGE CLARK, CYBER LAW EXPERT: One of the things that people are trying to do is to get all countries which are using the Internet -- virtually everybody now -- to have a law against this type of offense so that you can have extradition, if necessary, if there is serious harm in one country.

BIERBAUER: The U.S. and the Philippines do have an extradition treaty. It requires the crime to be punishable in both countries. The Justice Department would have to ask the State Department to seek extradition. The U.S.'s Computer Fraud and Abuse Act treats hacking as a felony.

CLARK: You have a potential sentence of five years and a large fine for each offense, and here that's not just the startup of sending the virus, but that would be for each computer that was interfered with.

BIERBAUER: And this virus struck millions of computers.

(on camera): As the impact and costs of the "Love Bug" are counted, there may be dozens of countries lining up to press charges against a hacker in the Philippines alleged to have created the virus.

Charles Bierbauer, CNN, Washington.


BAKHTIAR: We continue riding the high-tech wave in "Chronicle" later in the show. Today, cell phones: who's buying them and how they're causing a number crunch. To get you thinking in cellular terms, here's something to chew on in the meantime. Rank these places in order of cell phone usage from the most usage to the least: Hong Kong and South Korea in Asia, Italy in Europe, and the United States in North America. Good luck. We'll have the answer later in "Chronicle."

HAYNES: Well, financial planners say it's never too early to start saving money, especially for later in life. There are even retirement funds for kids, which I did not know, by the way. That's because many people are worried Social Security won't be around when kids your age grow up. The Social Security Act was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on August 14, 1935. It was designed to pay workers 65 or older a continuing income after they retired.

Now, if you have a job, you're probably paying into Social Security right now. Look at the payroll taxes on your paycheck where it says FICA. But as retirees live longer and the cost of living rises, some say the system could go bankrupt long before you ever see any of its money.

So some people are taking action, as Bob Beard explains.


BOB BEARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mac Andrews of Washington, D.C., is just 3 years old, but he already has a retirement fund. Mac may seem a little young for retirement, but his grandmother Cissie Chrisco is concerned he will not have Social Security.

CHRISCO: We wanted to make sure that he had something, you know, because the later years is when you get sick and you have the aches and pains and, you know, you don't have the money coming in.

BEARD: Chrisco chose an investment called the RIC-E Trust. It requires an initial irrevocable gift of at least $5,000, which is invested in a variable annuity and grows tax-deferred until the child is ready to retire. The child cannot touch the money until he or she is at least 59 1/2. It's a long horizon, but that's just the point, says financial adviser Ric Edelman, who developed the trust.

RIC EDELMAN, EDELMAN FINANCIAL SERVICES: I said, all right, let's take five grand and set it aside at 10 percent for 18 years till your kid goes to college. That five grand would grow to $27,000. That won't pay for college. And every parent in America knows it.

BEARD: But invest the money for 59 years at the same rate of return and it grows to $1.3 million. The RIC-E Trust costs $300 to set up, and a hefty annual fee averaging about 2.5 percent of its value is automatically deducted to pay its administrators. If the trust is worth $1.3 million, the annual fee is more than $32,000.

On the plus side, the annuity's tax-deferred growth allows more money to accumulate over time. And because the child cannot touch the money, he or she won't have an opportunity to squander it.

Bob Beard, CNN Financial News, Washington.


BAKHTIAR: In "Worldview" today, we travel to three continents: Africa, Asia and Europe. We'll reflect on some saints and sinners, so to speak. We'll find out how one Catholic nun made a difference on the streets of India. Now her mission of mercy is sparking another mission. In South Africa, we visit a youth center where young offenders don't just do time, they spend time learning useful life skills. And we journey to Germany, to recall the Holocaust and some behind-the-scenes heroes.

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: Today's "Worldview" starts with a look back at a time of great human horror and sadness known as the Holocaust. The Holocaust was the systematic, state-sponsored murder of Jews and others by the Nazis during World War II. German dictator Adolf Hitler sought to eliminate Jews and others he considered racially inferior.

Hitler came to power in 1933. At that time, Germany was still reeling from its defeat in the first world war. Hitler blamed Jews for the nation's problems and made anti-Semitism a government policy. In 1941, Hitler issued the Nazis' "final solution of the Jewish question." This policy called for the murder of every Jew under German rule. By the end of World War II in 1945, 6 million Jews were killed, plus millions of others. Though the number of Holocaust victims is staggering, there is another story that often goes untold: the story of the scores who escaped and the heroes who helped them.

Richard Roth brings us the tale of men who risked their jobs to save lives.


RICHARD ROTH, CNN SR. U.N. CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Europe, 60 years ago, the Nazis storm across Europe; mass murderers claim they were just following orders. Diplomats also used to following orders defy their own governments and risk their lives to save an estimated 300,000 Jews. The envoys did it by issuing visas without permission from back home.

KATHARINA POLAK, VISA RECIPIENT: And I found it among my father's papers. I never knew we were saved by this.

ROTH: For the first time, in an exhibit called "Visas For Life," the United Nations honors who it calls the "righteous diplomats."

ERIC SAUL, CURATOR, "VISAS FOR LIFE: THE RIGHTEOUS DIPLOMATS": We know about Himmler, we know about the monsters who killed millions, but we don't know about the heroes.

ROTH: Heroes such as Carl Lutz (ph), the Swiss counsel in Budapest who saved 30,000 Jews.

AGNES HIRSCHI, DIPLOMAT'S STEPDAUGHTER: He was the right man in the right place.

ROTH: Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara (ph) found himself in Lithuania issuing thousands of visas against instructions from Tokyo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is Zalman Mushavsky (ph). I received a visa from Chiune Sugihara in Kovno (ph) in the summer of 1940, and that's why I survived. Thank you.

MASHA LEON, HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR: Even when he was at the train station after the consulate had been closed down, he was writing these handwritten visas and throwing them out of the train window. It was an extraordinary act, it was extraordinary heroism, but he was an extraordinary man.

ROTH: The heroes are almost all gone now. Ninety-year-old Jan Karski (ph) was at the U.N. ceremony. A diplomatic scout, his one-man crusade to alert Western leaders of the Holocaust was met with indifference. Despite their deeds, some of the diplomats were later fired and died destitute. That's what happened to Portuguese counsel- general Aristide de Sousa Mendez (ph), who wrote nearly 30,000 visas 24 hours straight for three days.

JOHN PAUL ABRANCHES, PORTUGUESE DIPLOMAT'S SON: My father did what he did because, as he said, I would rather be with God against man than with man against God. ROTH: Richard Roth, CNN, United Nations.


HAYNES: Six years ago today, Nelson Mandela was sworn in as South Africa's first black president. It was the first time South Africa held free elections in the country's 90-year history -- a significant event considering the nation is still reshaping itself after years of racial segregation. South Africa is the African continent's richest country. Black people make up the majority of the population but own very little of the wealth. Its smaller white population owns most of it. That inequity is best explained by South Africa's longstanding implementation of racial segregation called apartheid. Mandela was a leader in the fight against apartheid -- a quest that would make him a political prisoner for 27 years.

In 1990, he was released, and the following year apartheid was abolished. By 1994, South Africa held its first all-race elections, and Mandela was elected president. Since then, South Africans have talked of forgiveness and reconciliation. But the country still has its problems. Crime and unemployment stand as major obstacles for many citizens.

Jessica Pitchford reports on an effort to rehabilitate some of South Africa's youthful offenders.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've sinned against heaven and against you. I'm no longer worthy to be called your son.

JESSICA PITCHFORD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Four-hundred teenage boys trying to learn the difference between right and wrong. After being arrested, they're brought here to the Dyambu Youth Centre west of Johannesburg. Some of the boys have been awaiting trial for more than two years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When days are dark, friends are few.

PITCHFORD: This boy, known as Kappie (ph), says he was caught stealing a car. He's been awaiting trial since August last year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I come from a society that our role models are drug dealers and car thieves. But the time that we're looking at them we don't see the bad things, we only see the good things -- they drive flashy cars, have nice rings. We also want it. That's the reason why we do it.

PITCHFORD: Like many other boys here, Kappie is on the road to being fully rehabilitated. But he still has to be sentenced and may have to serve time in an ordinary prison.

PETER SADIE, PRINCIPAL, DYAMBU YOUTH CENTRE: At the moment, the conditions in prison mean that boys are basically being trained not to get caught the next time. But it's a school for criminals. It's not really helping to address the problem of boys recommitting the same offenses.

PITCHFORD: In contrast, awaiting-trial youth centers like this one focus on real life skills.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gents, first of all, in the workshop, the first thing you have to know is you have to know all the tools. You must know all the tools.

PITCHFORD: Each workshop is run as a small business and finished products are sold outside the confines of the center. Most of the boys have never had routine in their lives. On arrival at the center, they have to commit to an individual development program and are closely monitored to ensure that they achieve their objectives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've changed a lot, to be honest, in different ways -- personality. I've never thought of the way of being with people like I am right now.

PITCHFORD: Reggie Matodie (ph), once arrested for carjacking, is one of the lucky ones. He learned his trade here while awaiting trial. Now he's been accepted back as a member of staff and as a talented tailor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So it's nice to work because I can see that I can have a future.

PITCHFORD: Something most of these boys only dream of.

I'm Jessica Pitchford in South Africa for CNN "WORLD REPORT."


ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: Many considered the late Mother Teresa a living saint when she was alive. The Catholic nun made Calcutta, India the base for her mission of mercy and compassion. While many there already consider her a saint, the Catholic process of officially becoming a saint is quite involved. There are traditionally seven steps. One of those is the declaration of a miracle credited to your name after you die. Once that happens, you're beatified by the pope. When one more miracle happens in your name after beatification, you're canonized, and finally a saint.

As Satinder Bindra tells us, while reaching sainthood can normally take about 50 years, in Mother Teresa's case, the process is going in fast forward.


SATINDER BINDRA, CNN NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): It's called the Home for the Dying, a place where some of Calcutta's poorest people hope to die with dignity. Many here have been picked off the streets by the Missionaries of Charity, an order established in 1949 by Mother Teresa.

RAJU DASS, PATIENT (through translator): If I hadn't been picked up, I would have continued living on the streets, completely dependent on God. My fate would then only have been in his hands.

BINDRA: Several people here are in the final stages of tuberculosis and AIDS. All her life, Mother Teresa worked in the Home for the Dying. She fed the sick, washed them, even offered them her own bed. To showcase that selflessness, the Vatican has now put Mother Teresa on what you might call the fast track to sainthood.

FR. BRIAN KOLODLEJCHUK, CHURCH OFFICIAL: We need other people who can encourage us, to inspire us, and we can say, well, here is someone who is a hero, someone who can really inspire us in the life we live.

BINDRA: Normally, the Vatican waits five years after a person's death to start the process of canonization. In Mother Teresa's case, the church waited just two years after her death because she has such a widespread and vocal public following.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's living in us so she can never die and nobody can forget her.

BINDRA: Despite Mother Teresa's popularity, the church says it must have proof she brought about two miracles after her death before she can be declared a saint. The Vatican says the process could still take years, but the people of Calcutta have already made up their minds. In their minds, Mother Teresa is already a saint.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was next to God. She was the messenger of God.

BINDRA: Every day, dozens make the pilgrimage to Mother Teresa's grave.

(on camera): People come here to remember Mother Teresa's love for the poor -- a quality Calcuttans say they can never forget.

Satinder Bindra, CNN, Calcutta.


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

HAYNES: We begin our "Chronicle" segment today by focusing on drug use; particularly use of heroin among American teenagers. In February, I reported on the drug issue in our series, "Drugs: Perceptions, Realities." Check our program and guide for Thursdays in February.

In our reports, we found more and more teenagers turned off by drug use. The same trend may apply to heroin. Figures show that in 1999, 3 percent of teenagers said they tried heroin, and that's down from 1998. But those numbers are still disturbing.

One teen shares his story of addiction with Deborah Feyerick.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Michael Nevins was a popular teenager growing up in a middle-class suburb on Long Island. Four years ago, at the age of 13, he tried heroin.

MICHAEL NEVINS, RECOVERING HEROIN ADDICT: It grabbed a hold of me. I couldn't loosen the grip.

FEYERICK: He started by sniffing it, then a year later injecting it, a $1,000-a-week habit which he says he paid for by selling other drugs, burglarizing cars, even robbing his own home.

M. NEVINS: I needed help. I didn't even want to go out and get it. I was too scared. I was too scared to let my family and my friends and the rest of the world know that I'm a heroin addict. I shoot heroin. I stick needles in my arm.

FEYERICK: Michael Nevins is not alone. Figures show a small but striking number of suburban teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 are trying heroin, becoming addicted to the morphine-based narcotic right under their parents noses.

LOIS NEVINS, MICHAEL'S MOTHER: I was totally shocked and very upset, more with myself than anything.

M. NEVINS: My name is Michael. I'm a recovering heroin addict.

FEYERICK: The Senate caucus on international narcotics held hearings to find out how widespread heroin use is in the suburbs. Nevins and other recovering addicts testified that heroin is easy to find and cheap to buy, and that parents and teachers remain unaware.

KATHRYN LOGAN, RECOVERING HEROIN ADDICT: I don't think they wanted to believe that people from a rich community would ever do heroin.

FEYERICK: Nevins, like the others who testified, is now in rehab at the Phoenix House. He's been sober for 10 months. But experts say he'll have a long struggle.

DR. CHARLES O'BRIEN, TREATMENT RESEARCH CTR., UNIV. OF PENN.: It's a bad habit that changes the brain. And the younger you learn it, the harder it is to stop.

FEYERICK: Though federal legislation is in the works to stem drug trafficking and heroin use, Michael Nevins says he knows that, if he wanted, he could find a heroin fix just a car ride away.

Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.


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 plans. 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.

BAKHTIAR: Well, back in the days when I was in college, backpacks and Walkmans were the accessories of choice. But a quick walk across any campus these days -- at least in the United States -- will confirm cell phones and pagers are standard gear for many of today's college students -- which brings us to our quiz: Put these places in order of cell phone usage. Those are your choices. Take a look.

Are you ready for the answer? Here it is: Of the choice of locations we gave you, the United States comes out on top with around 70 million cell phone users, followed not so closely by Italy, South Korea and Hong Kong.

Technology's popularity may be its downfall, though. Students with wireless connections are contributing to the fast consumption of available phone numbers, and experts say that could mean big problems a lot sooner than we think.

CNN Student Bureau's Jason Morrell explains.


JASON MORRELL, CNN STUDENT BUREAU (voice-over): They're inescapable these days. And with 28,000 people signing up for cellular service every day, it's not hard to see that cell phones have taken over.

But with convenience comes a price.

Erin Duffey, attorney with the state public utilities commission in Raleigh, says the explosion of new technologies like cell phones and pagers is endangering one of the most basic forms of communication: the telephone number.

ERIN DUFFEY, ATTORNEY, N.C. PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION: Some of the more frightening statistics indicate that the whole North American numbering plan could exhaust as early as 2006.

MORRELL: Fearing that could happen, the Federal Communications Commission on March 17 warned that a new system must be put in place to allot telephone numbers.

(on camera): Adding to the problem of diminishing area codes, consumers continue to purchase cell phones and pagers at a phenomenal rate. One of the biggest consumers: the college student.

LAINE SEELY, AREA MARKETING MANAGER, BELLSOUTH MOBILITY: Twenty- five to 35 percent of our new wireless customers are new to the category. I mean, they've not had service before. And probably a majority of that 25 to 35 percent are students. MORRELL: Laine Seely, area marketing manager of BellSouth Mobility, says because of their convenience, low price, and even cool colors, cell phones are simply a must-have for many college students. And they seem to agree.

KIA SCOTT, STUDENT, UNIV. OF NORTH CAROLINA: A lot of my friends have cell phones. We need them because we travel a lot. And so I see them talking on campus. I see people everywhere -- in the middle of the street, on buses -- talking on cell phones.

THARRINGTON: Basically, my parents got it for me because, like, I do a lot of driving, like, late at night and they were really worried about emergencies and stuff like that. So it originally started out as an emergency thing and now it's kind of turned into a social thing, like calling your friends and stuff like that.

MORRELL: Perhaps a new system for allotting telephone numbers is the only answer in slowing their decline, because it appears the number of cell phones will only continue to rise.

Jason Morrell, CNN Student Bureau, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


HAYNES: Head to to learn more about the CNN Student Bureau.

BAKHTIAR: In the meantime, we're out of here. See you tomorrow.

HAYNES: See you.



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