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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for May 31, 2000

Aired May 31, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: And welcome to your Wednesday edition of NEWSROOM. I'm Shelley Walcott. Glad you're here. As always, we have lots ahead, so here's a look at the rundown.

In today's top story, President Clinton is in Portugal and gets a refresher course on the differences over issues facing the United States and Europe.


WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, we have a few stormy waters still to navigate. But we should do it with good hope, and we should do it together.


WALCOTT: Then, in "Business Desk," economic literacy: How young people are learning the ABCs of financial success.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm telling you, today, financial security is the key to survival.


WALCOTT: From a lesson in finances to the recipe for success, today's "Worldview" checks out the finer side of dining in Vietnam.


TOM MINTIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In one of the poorest nations on Earth, most cannot afford an evening out, much less at a five-star restaurant.


WALCOTT: Then, in "Chronicle," young cooks from across the United States chop, dice and roast their way through a competition that could lead to a sizzling scholarship. NEWSROOM begins this Wednesday on the trail of U.S. President Clinton. We head for Lisbon, Portugal where Mr. Clinton has begun a week-long European tour. The first U.S. President to visit Portugal in 15 years, he's spending three days there before heading to Germany, Russia, then Ukraine. In Russia, Mr. Clinton will meet with newly elected President Vladimir Putin. They're expected to engage in tough talks on nuclear weapons.

John King is traveling with the president and reports from Lisbon.


JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was hardly a picture of transatlantic tension, Portugal's warm welcome a reminder of one of diplomacy's golden rules: Friends air their differences in private and keep things polite in public.

CLINTON: Well, we have a few stormy waters still to navigate, but we should do it with good hope and we should do it together.

KING: Portugal's president was equally diplomatic, but his point, nonetheless, clear: Leading European nations object to U.S. plans for a new missile defense system and say Washington is straining the alliance by going it alone.

JORGE SAMPAIO, PRESIDENT OF PORTUGAL (through translator): We have many challenges ahead of us. I am certain that we will be able to handle them if we can combine our efforts and maintain a courageous defense of our common interests.

KING: If that wasn't enough, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres is just back from Moscow. Mr. Clinton heads there later this week and was told new Russian President Vladimir Putin remains firmly opposed to the planned U.S. missile shield.

Mr. Clinton crossed the Atlantic with a few complaints of his own and will air them at Wednesday's U.S.-European Union summit here in Lisbon. The United States objects to plans for a new European security force designed to operate independent of the NATO alliance, and to European subsidies for agriculture and the Airbus aircraft maker.

There's a more cooperative tone on other issues, including joint pledges to do more to fight the AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. But U.S. officials concede there is unlikely to be consensus on security issues.

(on camera): So administration officials say the best they can hope for in the short term is that European leaders tone down their criticism of the U.S. missile defense plan, at least long enough to give Mr. Clinton a chance to test his powers of persuasion at this weekend's Moscow summit with President Putin.

John King, CNN, Lisbon, Portugal.


WALCOTT: In the headlines today, a closer look at why the United States appears to be losing the war on drugs. The Clinton administration says congressional delays have forced U.S. backed anti- drug programs in Colombia to a virtual halt. A $1.3 billion emergency aid package has been held up in Senate for months, and it appears unlikely to move forward until at least midsummer.

David Ensor has the latest.


DAVID ENSOR, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The war on drugs in Colombia is not going well, says the Clinton administration. Fumigation flights to eradicate coca plants have been scaled back or halted in key areas. Special Colombian Army anti-drug units have yet to undertake any missions for lack of helicopters. Clinton administration officials say the problem is congressional delays, and they say the price of delay is high.

BARRY MCCAFFREY, NATIONAL DRUG POLICY DIR.: Huge impact. We're grinding to a halt. The drug problem in Colombia is going up 20 percent a year. Production is up to 520 metric tons. So right now, the spraying program, eradication by the Colombian Police, in danger, as well as the training of these counternarcotic battalions.

ENSOR: The problem is that when the House passed the emergency funding for Colombia's drug war, it attached billions of dollars worth of projects that congressmen wanted.

(on camera): To avoid such pork barrel politics, Senate Majority Leader Lott put the funds in the regular budget for next year. But now that budget is held up in an unrelated procedural dispute.

(voice-over): Lott has always said he favors the money for Colombia.

SEN. TRENT LOTT (R-MS), MAJORITY LEADER: We're not looking for this to drag out into the fall or into next year.

ENSOR: But that was in March. Now administration officials say the money for the war on drugs is unlikely to start flowing until at least midsummer. Meantime, officials say guerrilla groups are greatly increasing their presence, guarding the coca cultivation areas where a bumper crop is growing.

David Ensor, CNN, Washington.


WALCOTT: Have you ever heard anyone say: I can't be overdrawn, I still have checks left? Worse yet, did you believe it? If you did, don't feel bad. A lot of people, including adults, just don't know what they need to know about economics. Simply put, economics is the study of how individuals and societies make decisions between needs and wants. Here are some basics: Number one, people choose. Number two, people's choices involve costs. Number three, people's choices have consequences for the future.

Being knowledgeable or literate about economics is what provides you with the tools to make good choices for your financial future. And providing that education is the goal of one Los Angeles-based organization, as Casey Wian explains.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do other companies make a similar product?

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Marita Gomez (ph) is 13 years old, an 8th-grader taking her first steps toward becoming an entrepreneur.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about a bow?

WIAN: Marita comes from East Los Angeles, far from Wall Street or Silicon Valley. But she and 200 other teenage girls are at a conference learning how to make money and keep it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You turn it this way, you're in the desert, see the cactus here. Turn it this way, you're back in the past. You've got prehistoric dinosaurs. You turn it this way, you block your mom out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Next we have the colorful gel layers. Now, you know, black and white, everybody loves gel. So we just slap the gel along like this and slick it back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know we laugh, but this is exactly how new products happen. They become really wacko ideas that you end up buying.

WIAN: The products these girls create today may not last the afternoon, but organizers hope the lessons will last a lifetime.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From the very beginning of college I was swamped with credit cards. I was -- you know, I was anxious, I was glad, you know, I wanted a better life. I'd never got those things. I was trying to hide behind the credit card and it only got me in trouble. I dug deeper and deeper. I have a bad, bad shopping habit.

WIAN: Nicole Collins Pierre (ph) knows the value of economic literacy. A child of the projects in Chicago, she's now finished college and works to promote economic literacy training for girls.

PIERRE: So I'm telling you today, financial security is the key to survival. Confidence in what you do with your life and who you are is the key to a successful life.

WIAN: The U.S. Census Bureau says mothers head nearly 20 percent of all families with children, yet they are twice as likely to live in poverty. L.A.'s Collaborative for the Economic Empowerment of Women hopes that practical training like this will prepare girls to become self-sufficient women, to understand how to earn and manage their own income, and to understand the vital role that money and economics play in making smart and profitable choices.

Casey Wian, CNN Financial News, Los Angeles.


WALCOTT: We set sail on adventure in "Worldview" today. We'll crisscross the ocean for a taste of food and music. And we'll hit the high seas for real life drama. We'll check out Brazil, a country with a long and rich culture, listen to the sounds of the past as they blend with its future. And we'll also visit Vietnam. We'll take you to a restaurant with sumptuous fare and a surprising location. Then, we'll ride along with the U.S. Coast Guard on a mission to protect and patrol.

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: We begin with a look at the U.S. Coast Guard, a branch of the armed services and the country's oldest continuous seagoing force. It protects ships and ports and rescues victims of sea disasters such as shipwrecks or floods.

Over the years, the U.S. Coast Guard has rescued hundreds of thousands of people and saved billions of dollars of property. It's also helped in environmental cleanups from oil spills. Its ships, or cutters, patrol oceans and waterways to help enforce laws. Established in 1790 to help stamp out smuggling and piracy along the U.S. coast, the Coast Guard still guards the shores, and it's involved in a new way of fighting the drug war.

As Susan Candiotti reports, the Coast Guard is now using armed helicopters aboard cutters to show drug boats they mean business. CNN was the only news organization given an inside look at the operation.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You're watching a routine patrol in the Caribbean that, until last year, was unheard of: The U.S. Coast Guard demonstrating how it's unleashing its firepower against suspected traffickers who regularly used to outrun them.

JASON CHURCH, U.S. COAST GUARD PILOT: They pretty much mocked us and they just kept on going. And sometimes they wouldn't even look at you.

CANDIOTTI: They may be looking now.

CAPT. JEFF KARONIS, U.S. COAST GUARD SENECA: For once, we've made the go-fast fear us.

CANDIOTTI: Fear, they claim, from an arsenal. The Coast Guard is now authorized to spray machine guns, drop sting grenades, and blast laser-equipped 50 caliber rifles to disable engines of fleeing suspects. Cutters work in pairs, in this case the Seneca and Gallatin along with two armed helicopters patrolling the Caribbean. KARONIS: If we find him, we will stop him.

CANDIOTTI: Here's the real thing: A go-fast boat packed with suspected cocaine up front and fuel barrels in the stern ignores warning shots until a sharpshooter disables the engine.

KARONIS: For once, we have the tools, we have the tactics, and we have the resources and training to do it.

CANDIOTTI (on camera): Law enforcement authorities figure about 400 go-fast boats make successful drug runs each year. On average, that's more than one a day. The Coast Guard estimates it stops 10 to 12 percent of those drug deliveries. Is it worth the effort?

TIM TOBIAS, U.S. COAST GUARD PILOT: A ton is still a ton. Anything we seize, anything that we stop from getting into our country is worth our effort.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): After about 10 months, operation New Frontier says of the six boats it went after, all were caught, netting arrests and seizures totaling $120 million for a program that cost $9 million to launch, an effort the U.S. Coast Guard says it hopes will continue and expand.

Susan Candiotti, CNN, aboard the U.S Coast Guard cutter Seneca.


ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: We head to Southeast Asia, to Vietnam. The tropical country was governed by China from about 100 B.C. until 900 A.D., when the Vietnamese established an independent state. But France gained control of Vietnam in the late 1800s and governed the country until Japan occupied it during World War II. After Japan's defeat in 1945, France tried to regain control, but the Vietminh, a group controlled by communists and headed by Ho Chi Minh, came to power in the north.

Fighting broke out between the French forces and Vietminh in 1946 and ended with France's defeat. Subsequently, the country was divided into two zones. The communists gained control of the northern zone-- North Vietnam -- and noncommunist Vietnamese gained control of the southern zone -- South Vietnam.

But in 1957, Vietminh members living in the South began to rebel against the South Vietnamese government. The war which ensued became one of the biggest scars in the history of another country a world away: the United States.

Communist countries like China and the Soviet Union aided the Vietnamese communists while noncommunist countries supported South Vietnam. The U.S. became the chief ally to the South, sending supplies and hundreds of thousands of troops to the war zone. It was the longest war in U.S. history, and it was the only war the U.S. did not win.

In 1973, a cease-fire was called. The U.S. withdrew its last combat troops two years later. But the communists soon resumed their war efforts and finally defeated South Vietnam in 1976. North and South Vietnam were unified in what is now called the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Although the scars are deep, many U.S. war veterans go back to visit the country so far away from home which holds so many painful memories. Once there, they're finding one restaurant which is bringing the taste of America to the Vietnamese.

Tom Mintier takes a look.


TOM MINTIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Opening a restaurant in Vietnam is not easy. In one of the poorest nations on Earth, most cannot afford an evening out, much less at a five-star restaurant.

Bobby Chinn came to Hanoi four years ago from San Francisco. He is the chef at the Red Onion, probably one of the city's best restaurants.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He wasn't sure he could eat the vegetables. I assured him this is a clean restaurant.

MINTIER: Not only clean, but sitting here, you often forget where you are. The skyline could be New York or L.A., but this is Hanoi. His clients are mostly businessmen, his location a bit unique. The Red Onion overlooks the remains of the so-called "Hanoi Hilton" prison that once housed captured American pilots during the Vietnam War.

BOBBY CHINN, CHEF: We have a lot of POWs who come back here just to look over the prison. It's an emotional place. And, you know, we send them out free deserts and name dishes after them, so...

MINTIER: A long cry from bread and water, the Red Onion has become renowned in the expat community for a taste of home.

CHINN: That's good. It just needs seasoning, though -- salt and pepper.

MINTIER: The most difficult thing has been to train the Vietnamese staff how to prepare food for the Western palette.

CHINN: They can distinguish like 12 different types of fish sauce, where to me it all tastes the same. For them to taste wasabi, mashed potatoes, or ginger sauce, or demi-glace, that's difficult.

MINTIER: In the kitchen, Bobby Chinn barks the orders to his staff like he's selling stock on Wall Street -- something he once did.

CHINN: Go, go, go, go, go, go, go. Table three, position three and four.

MINTIER: Teaching his Vietnamese staff to prepare items they have difficulty pronouncing, much less taking the order for, is a challenge.

CHINN: Hot, spicy and chips. What's that mean? Who's this?

It's a little difficult for those who don't speak English. It's pantomiming. It's like a Charlie Chaplin film.

MINTIER: Away from the kitchen, Bobby Chinn relaxes at his second job. He put together a jazz band in Hanoi -- not the French quarter in New Orleans, but if you blink your eyes, it is difficult to remember you are in Vietnam.

Many businessmen have found working in Vietnam difficult. Many have pulled out and decided to invest elsewhere. Bobby Chinn is not one of them. He's found a taste of success here and believes Vietnam will soon roar as an economic dragon. He's banking on it.

Tom Mintier, CNN, Hanoi, Vietnam.


WALCOTT: We head to South America and the country of Brazil, the largest nation on that continent. The Portuguese landed on the northeastern shores of Bahia, Brazil 500 years ago. In the centuries to follow, more than a million West Africans were captured and shipped to Brazil as slaves. A good many worked on sugar plantations in the Bahia state. Today, African descendants account for 80 percent of Bahia's two million inhabitants. As a result, the region's food, dress, religion, and especially music, is steeped in African traditions.

Debra Daugherty reports from the state where Brazil was born.


DEBRA DAUGHERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They call it Africa in Brazil. In their long journey from West Africa to the New World, many of Brazil's more than one million slaves first saw South America at Salvador, Brazil's first capital; a capital lined with colonial mansions and Catholic churches. And more than any other region, the inhabitants of Bahia have retained their heritage. Even now, four out of five Salvadorans trace their ancestry to Africa.

The white turban and dress worn by Bahian women recalls a West African Yoruban tradition. The language is Portuguese, the culture is African.

CAETANO VELOSO, GRAMMY AWARD WINNER: They were co-colonizers, co-creators of Brazil, and that's the way I see them, or us, because I am partly black too. Consequently, our music is just as black.

DAUGHERTY: Local bands called bloco afros pound their way through Salvador's streets.

GILBERTO GIL, GRAMMY AWARD WINNER: Music was based on the Afro- inherited things that we have, rhythms, especially because of the religion brought from the Yoruba land, Yoruba area in Nigeria and Daume (ph). When they reproduced lots of drumming and chanting and that sort of thing, then that kind of spread, you know, over the city of Salvador.

DAUGHERTY: Their rhythm, called afoxe, is both the sound of the street festival and the pulse of the Afro-Brazilian religion called Candomble.

MARCELO CASTRO BRANCO, PRESIDENT, POLYGRAM: The music from Bahia, you know, is responsible in Brazil nowadays for almost 15 to 20 million records sold per year, you know. And they, most of them, are really -- now are really superstars.

DAUGHERTY: For many in this poor corner of Brazil, music is an escape from the reality of everyday life. Yet poverty has inspired some of Bahia's greatest musicians.

Virginia Rodrigues' haunting voice, backed by powerful percussion in "Noite de Temporal" made her one of world music's best-selling performers last year. Her journey began in Salvador's slums.

VIRGINIA RODRIGUES, SINGER (through translator): Being poor was really difficult. You can't do what you want. You can't even study music without means. When you're poor in Brazil, music classes are a luxury.

DAUGHERTY: The original name of Salvador referred to its being on the "bay of all the saints." And this city has lived up to that appellation. For, musically, there are many saints watching over Bahia, including Oxala, the African goddess of the sea.

Debra Daugherty, CNN, Salvador, Brazil.


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

WALCOTT: We begin "Chronicle" with a history lesson of sorts of a man who lived more than a century ago. Jesse James is known as a Wild West outlaw who began his life of crime after the Civil War. Today, experts are trying to determine where and when James died.

The investigation is going on in Granbury, Texas, as Jeff Crilley of CNN affiliate KDFW explains.


JEFF CRILLEY, KDFW REPORTER (voice-over): There are many who believe that Jesse James played a hoax on history; that he faked his own death and that he actually lived to be 103 and died in Grandbury, Texas. This is the grave in Grandbury. It reads: Jesse Woodson James, died August 15, 1951, supposedly killed in 1882.

BUD HARDCASTLE, JESSE JAMES HISTORIAN: In 1948 -- May 19, 1948, the "Lawton Constitution" came out on the front page that Jesse James was still alive. CRILLEY: Bud Hardcastle is considered by many to be one of the leading Jesse James historians in the country.

(on camera): You're saying Jesse James is buried in Grandbury.

HARDCASTLE: I've been saying that for a long time.

CRILLEY (voice-over): Yes, but what about that 1995 DNA study done in Missouri? That's the one in which they exhumed the official grave and found through DNA testing that the remains belonged to Jesse James. Hardcastle says that study was flawed because it was based on DNA from a tooth that didn't come from the grave.

HARDCASTLE: I think what they proved was that they'd go to no limits to say that that's Jesse up there.

CRILLEY (on camera): There's a lot of people who say he was an outlaw, this happened 100 years ago, what different does it make whether he was buried here or there?

HARDCASTLE: Well, history for one thing. It's going to change a lot of history.

CRILLEY: All those history books kids are reading?

HARDCASTLE: That's right. If we're going to have kids read it, let's have them read it right.

CRILLEY (voice-over): Hardcastle says when you age a young Jesse James with the help of a computer, you end up with the man buried in Grandbury.

HARDCASTLE: The eyes, nose, ears, mouth all match perfectly. And the chances of it being anybody else would be astronomical.

CRILLEY: Soon they will have their answer.


WALCOTT: Emeril Lagassi, Julia Childs -- sound familiar? If so, you probably know your way around the kitchen because both of the people I just mentioned are famous chefs. On the other hand, maybe you couldn't tell the difference between a colander and a crockpot. If so, you should take notice: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists culinary professions as one of the fastest growing occupations, a fact not lost on some young people.

CNN Student Bureau reporter Mike Mebach (ph) reports.


MIKE MEBACH, CNN STUDENT BUREAU (voice-over): Twenty-two of the most talented young chefs in the nation chopped, diced, sauteed and roasted a three-course meal all in hopes of winning a $25,000 scholarship to the culinary school of their choice. The Art Institute of Colorado was host to the first annual competition where students were allotted three hours to prepare a Caesar salad, crab cakes, various vegetables, and a roasted tenderloin. The meals were then judged by six of the most well-known chefs and culinary faculty members in the nation.

Former U.S. Olympic culinary team captain Klaus Friedenreich:

KLAUS FRIEDENREICH, COOK-OFF JUDGE: The fact that these are high school students, we look for, first of all, sanitation, you know, the practice of sanitation, that they work clean. Then the next item is an item called mise en place, you know, where they get ready to set up their stations, to cut everything and to do all the things that they need for their meal. And they're doing great jobs with that.

MEBACH: Family and friends were able to view the final product, but only the judges were allowed to indulge in the meals. Once the meals were tasted and judged, the winner was announced.

BRENT LEWIS, COOK-OFF WINNER: When I heard the other kid's name called out for second place, I just jumped up and started hugging my parents, and it just meant so much to have them here this time. And it's just -- it still doesn't even feel like it's happened yet.

MEBACH: Members of the Culinary Institute hope this national competition sparks the interest in young chefs like Brent across the nation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The main thing is just looking at these students as high school students, trying to praise them and get them excited about their careers through competitions and seminars such as this.

Mike Mebach, CNN Student Bureau, Denver.


WALCOTT: More interested in making videos than making omelets? Then click on over to this Web address to learn how to become a part of CNN Student Bureau.


CNN Student Bureau


WALCOTT: And we're all out of videos for today. We'll see you back here tomorrow. Have a good one.



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