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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for June 6, 2000

Aired June 6, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Welcome to this Tuesday edition of CNN NEWSROOM, everybody. I'm Tom Haynes. Let's get the show started.

We begin in today's news with the U.S. government's case against Microsoft.


WILLIAM KOVACIC, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIV.: I think Microsoft wants to postpone as long as possible the day when they put out a document that describes how they could be broken up.


HAYNES: In "Health Desk," we look at a very common and very serious ailment known as "the silent killer."


DR. ROBERT PHILIPS, MT. SINAI SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: For the most part, people don't have symptoms. You know, occasionally somebody will feel, you know, a little fatigued or sometimes a slight headache, but for the most part people don't feel anything.


HAYNES: In "Worldview," meet two sisters whose lives were completely changed by the Vietnam War.


NATALIE CRAPUCHETTES: It would have been totally different. We wouldn't have gotten the education we received and we probably would be working in the field.


HAYNES: And Social Security is the focus of our "Democracy in America" segment. If you think this is a topic just for older folks, think again.


BILL MANN, THE MOTLEY FOOL: It is a good thing for you to have the power over your own money and your own future. And you're the one who cares about it the most.


HAYNES: In today's top story, the battle between the U.S. government and Microsoft. In April, a federal judge ruled Microsoft violated U.S. antitrust laws. The government wants Microsoft split into two companies. Microsoft wants a full year to submit plans for that, but the U.S. Justice Department says no way.

Yesterday, antitrust lawyers filed court documents requesting Microsoft be given only four months after final judgment to come up with a breakup plan.

Mara Wilcox reports on how the software giant has landed on the chopping block.


MARA WILCOX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Do you know who Bill Gates is? Have you ever heard of him?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, the really rich guy.

WILCOX (voice-over): Bill Gates started programming computers when he was 13 years old. In the 32 years since, he has become the world's richest man by building the world's most powerful high-tech company -- Microsoft.

ERICK ACOSTA, AGE 18: I have a pretty good opinion about him because he's worked hard for his money. He's done a lot of things.

WILCOX: Gates and high school pal Paul Allen started Microsoft in 1975 while Gates was a student at Harvard University. Gates dropped out during his junior year to devote all of his time to Microsoft when it was still a tiny company creating software to run the first personal computers.

So what's the problem with Bill Gates and Microsoft? In what has become an epic court battle, the company is fighting charges by the federal government and 19 states that it has become a monopoly that has unlawfully tried to crush competitors.

WILCOX (on camera): Do you know what a monopoly is?

MICHAEL GRAHAM, AGE 19: Anyone who owns a company that has no decent competitor, where they can control the entire market.

WILCOX (voice-over): Antitrust law is designed to prevent one company from using its dominant power to fix prices, control markets, or prevent other companies from doing business. The case started with the charge that Microsoft tried to squash competitor Netscape, a Web browser company. So far, the judge has found Microsoft illegally pressured high-tech companies Intel, AOL, IBM, AT&T, Compaq, Intuit, Sun Microsystems, and Apple.

The judge ruled that Microsoft tried to prevent competitors from marketing products that might have competed against Microsoft's products. The Justice Department and states want Microsoft split in two. One company would sell Windows, the other would sell all of Microsoft's other products. There is no consensus among the American public about what should be done.

BRANDON MASLEN, AGE 21: I think for America to be successful it's important that government has -- there's free competition within the, you know, with in the economy.

JONATHAN MORILLO, AGE 18: To take this company that's going too far, you know?

DIANA TSUI, AGE 18: The government is partially right because it's true that Windows does have a monopoly over the computer industry, and most systems do operate on Windows.

WILCOX: Microsoft has maintained that it operated in a fair and legal manner. The company insists the judge should throw the idea of breaking up the company out the window.

STEVE BALLMER, MICROSOFT PRESIDENT AND CEO: There's never been a company that has grown through its own efforts that has been broken up in this country, and it would be a little bit like breaking up Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen because they won some titles.

WILCOX: Recently, the judge has been considering another suggestion, to split the company into three parts. That's because he fears Microsoft is so big that just cutting it in two might just create two new monopolies.

(on camera): The company has launched a massive public relations campaign to support its position. A recent CNN/Gallup poll shows that 54 percent of Americans oppose breaking up the company, while 34 percent favor it. A decision from the judge is expected soon.

Mara Wilcox, CNN NEWSROOM, New York.


HAYNES: Now, Microsoft has until tomorrow to respond to the Justice Department's motion. So far, the federal government and the states have rejected all but the smallest changes Microsoft has asked for in the plans for a breakup.

Steve Young reports.


STEVE YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Department of Justice agreed to insert a comma, but on the big issues it didn't budge. Microsoft wanted a year to outline a breakup plan, but the government insists it should have only four months to prepare that blueprint. KOVACIC: In preparing this kind of document and putting your name on it, it's almost as though you're giving credence to the idea that it is feasible, that it is practical, that it is something that could be carried out. And I think Microsoft wants to postpone as long as possible the day when they put out a document that describes how they could be broken up.

YOUNG: The Justice Department also agreed to stop calling the breakup a reorganization. It's adopted Microsoft's term "divestiture." The company's allies think the government asked the judge to allow this week's additional briefs to make the trial seem fairer than they think it was.

LARS LIEBELER, COMPUTING TECHNOLOGY IND. ASSN.: I don't think that that is going to have an effect one way or the other on whether the court of appeals or the Supreme Court, if they take it first, is going to uphold or to reverse Judge Jackson.

YOUNG: Microsoft has also argued that it would be needlessly burdensome to make the company keep all e-mails for several years. It said the government has never had a problem obtaining anything relevant.

So the government today released transcripts with new sections of Bill Gates' pretrial testimony: "Most people here delete most of the e-mail they receive every day. I don't keep most e-mail I receive," and, "I delete 98 percent of my e-mails."

A Microsoft spokesman says that's a red herring. "Of course, Gates and company retained sensitive documents, as required by the government."

(on camera): But that amounts to "trust us." And after this long, bitter trial, the one thing the government doesn't do is trust Microsoft.

Steve Young, CNN Financial News, Washington.


HAYNES: Let's talk about pressure. Not that pressure, your blood pressure. We've all heard of it, but do you know exactly what it is? Blood pressure results from two forces. One is created by the heart as it pumps blood into your arteries and through the circulatory system. The other force is that of the arteries as they resist the flow of blood.

Now, high blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a potentially dangerous condition that affects people of all ages. Left untreated, it increases your risk for heart disease and can lead to stroke, heart attacks and other serious conditions. The U.S. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute has issued a new clinical advisory about high blood pressure.

Dr. Steve Salvatore has the details.


DR. STEVE SALVATORE, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Seventy-five-year-old Henry Kaizman is one of the 50 million Americans who suffer from high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Henry takes a couple of different medicines daily to keep his blood pressure under control.

HENRY KAIZMAN, BLOOD PRESSURE PATIENT: I see the blood pressure works now good. I'm standing now in the right road to my blood pressure.

SALVATORE: Your blood pressure is a measurement of two numbers, like 140/90. The top number, in this case 140, is the systolic blood pressure; the lower number, 90, is the diastolic blood pressure.

For years, doctors thought it was normal for the systolic blood pressure to rise as we age due to hardening of the arteries, which can make them stiff. But the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute says, regardless of age, your blood pressure should be kept below 140/90, and it's the systolic blood pressure, that top number, that's most important.

DR. EDWARD ROCCELLA, NATIONAL HEART LUNG AND BLOOD INSTITUTE: Isolated systolic blood pressure increases the risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure, and renal disease. Lowering isolated systolic blood pressure has been shown to have benefit in reducing death and disability for these conditions.

SALVATORE: High blood pressure is sometimes called "the silent killer," because many people don't know they have it.

PHILIPS: For the most part, people don't have symptoms. You know, occasionally somebody will feel, you know, a little fatigued or sometimes a slight headache. But for the most part, people don't feel anything.

SALVATORE: That's why it's important to see your doctor for a simple blood pressure check.

ROCCELLA: The sooner we get people into treatment, the sooner we get them to change their lifestyle to prevent blood pressures from rising, the better the chance of preventing an event, which we call a heart attack, or a stroke, or a kidney failure.

SALVATORE: The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute also wants to educate doctors and is encouraging them to treat their high blood pressure patients more aggressively, especially the elderly. If you'd like more information about the new blood pressure advisory, just check out their Web site at

Dr. Steve Salvatore, 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.

HAYNES: Get set to head back to the South Asian nation of Vietnam. Today in "Worldview," we hear from young people, some who left their homeland, and others who still live there. You'll find out how two orphans became part of a new family. And you'll see how kids of all ages cope with problems and changes.

ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: We continue "Worldview"'s week long look at Vietnam 25 years after the end of the war. Today, echoes of a painful past through the eyes of Vietnam's most vulnerable. Many children there carry the legacy of their parents' and grandparents' horror. The reality of the Vietnam War still reverberates in their lives.

NEWSROOM's "Classroom at Sea: The Millennium Voyage," docked in Vietnam last fall and caught up with some of them.


CHRIS BARTEE, CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY-LONG BEACH: You could tell right off that Vietnam was a fairly poor country -- the trash on the street. The housing is definitely substandard, if they even have housing.

JENNIFER INSERRA, EAST CAROLINA UNIVERSITY: That first day when we got there, Saigon was absolutely gorgeous. The tropical climate, everything was just green, and it was just beautiful.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Please, can you buy me some postcards.



UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: And they're just three dollars.

BARTEE: The kids we saw on the street were just rambunctious little kids. They had a lot of energy, they wanted to sell you things. They had a lot of life to them, but there was a certain sadness in there. I don't -- I can't really describe it.

INSERRA: We met, I mean, all different ages. They start out -- I mean, you've got little 5-year-olds coming up to you begging for you to buy postcards or begging for money.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Buy from me some.

INSERRA: I mean, they were very aggressive.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: You can't but you say you never have two hundred thousand.

INSERRA: Much more aggressive than you would think little kids could ever be, and it's so hard to say no to them.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: You buy for her and you buy for another boy, buy for another girl and I'm the one coming first, don't buy any from me.

BARTEE: They've also got this cuteness to them that you just -- you can't really resist.

INSERRA: They definitely know how to use it.

BARTEE: They're very persistent, yes. They're good at what they do.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: I sell cheap price.

INSERRA: They're selling postcards for a dollar, and most likely they're bringing that back to their families. I don't know, I think the average of a dollar a day is what they live on. They're not in school, most of them. They have to do it to support their families.

We went to the Christina Noble Children's Foundation to kind of see the support that's given to children in Ho Chi Minh City. And we got there, and Helenita, Christina Noble's daughter, was happy to show us around.


BARTEE: You see the kids and you just start to melt. The first floor was mostly infants, I think, toddlers and babies.

PISTOLAS: How are you doing?

BARTEE: Then you go up to the second floor and you see -- it was kind of older kids, but they were -- I think they were all handicapped.

PISTOLAS: But he has come a long way. Psychologically, he's come a long way.

INSERRA: Most of the younger kids were abandoned or abused. Christina Noble, the foundation, takes them in and just either, you know, nurses them back to until the family can take them back or tries to find a new family for them.

PISTOLAS: In my experience, 95 percent of the children that have been abandoned, and who are abandoned, are abandoned through love because the parents do not have the means to provide for their child.

BARTEE: Playing with the kids is actually a lot of fun. They seem -- they absolutely love watches. The beeping of the watch just drove them absolutely bonkers, and they just couldn't get enough of patty cake. The third floor of the foundation, there was children up there more in a day care type situation where their parents were out working. And instead of having the children on the street, either begging or working as kids selling postcards or whatever, the kids were being cared for in the foundation while their parents were out making money.

INSERRA: The foundation provides medical services to as many as 600 children each month.

After visiting the foundation, we went to the boys shelter and spoke with two of the boys about their life there. When we asked them if they preferred being at the shelter or at home with their families, both of them responded that they enjoyed being at the shelter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Both of us, we have problems with families. So our families very difficult, so we leave family and come here.

INSERRA: One of the boys came up to me and pointed at the necklace that he was wearing. And he took it off and he put it around my neck.

PISTOLAS: Lita (ph) says she found the boy in Fon Be Lau (ph), and he was involved in quite a very, very bad accident where he suffered a lot of -- quite a bit of brain damage. It's a very, very hard life on the streets.

BARTEE: And when they leave the shelter, where do they go?

PISTOLAS: Some go back on the streets, some will come back to the shelters a few months later, and some go home. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't work.

INSERRA: After visiting the boys shelter, we went to the girls shelter to get a different view. We walked in there and they were just screaming. I mean, little girls scream a lot, but these girls were out of control.

BARTEE: And we joined in with some games that we had no idea how to play, but it was a whole lot of fun because of their energy, just running around screaming and yelling. I think it was a pleasant surprise to see how much fun and how much life they have for, you know, what they could be doing.


BARTEE: Yes, what their life should be like in that situation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Do we have poor children in the U.S.?


INSERRA: They just wanted to know if their was anyone in their situation in other countries and how they were handled, and I told them, basically, that there's girls all over with the same kinds of difficulties that they have, and there's shelters available to them also. They want to know that there's a security, that they're not the only ones and they're not alone.

It's a real eye-opener; shows what goes on in other countries. It really makes you appreciate everything that we have and that they don't.


SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: The Vietnam War killed countless numbers of civilians in North and South Vietnam. It also left thousands of children homeless. At the end of that conflict, some young Vietnamese found homes in the United States.

Jim Moret reports.


JIM MORET, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The fall of Saigon: It signaled the end of a long and costly conflict. But for some Vietnamese orphans, it marked a new beginning.

N. CRAPUCHETTES: We got a chance -- a second chance at life, you know, coming over here. Who knows if we could have survived or not over there?

MORET: Natalie and Michelle Crapuchettes grew up in Southern California, but their lives began in Vietnam as Tuyet (ph) and Thuy Nguyen (ph). Although they don't know their actual birthday, the twin sisters were about 3 years old in 1975. They were suffering from malnutrition. Their birth mother left them in the care of a Da Nang hospital. She never returned. This picture is all they have from their homeland.

(on camera): What are your memories, if any, of Vietnam?

N. CRAPUCHETTES: I remember two things. One is -- and I'm not sure if it's the orphanage or the hospital we were at, I just remember like a white building, a big white building, and the other is when we were in the airplane flying over, eating rice and babies crying.

MORET: You remember the plane?

MICHELLE CRAPUCHETTES: Yes, I remember the noise and all the babies crying.

MORET (voice-over): That plane was one of several which carried Vietnamese infants and children to the United States in the final month of the war.

When the twins were adopted by the Crapuchettes family, their lives began again as Natalie and Michelle.

M. CRAPUCHETTES: We felt that we were definitely welcomed in the family. Our brothers we had, they were very friendly. They never made us feel like we were not part of the family. MORET: Raised in a Pasadena suburb, the sisters describe theirs as a typically American childhood: memories of family gatherings, first pets and after-school sports.

M. CRAPUCHETTES: I don't remember having any bad dreams of the war or anything. It's kind of bliss.

MORET: Now 28, Natalie is a graphic design artist; Michelle is a nurse. The sisters have not returned to Vietnam, but they plan to someday, in part drawn by a distant cultural tie, but mainly out of curiosity.

N. CRAPUCHETTES: I think I'd like to see where the orphanage was and maybe even the hospital that we were at being treated for malnutrition.

M. CRAPUCHETTES: We were born in Jiadin (ph), which is a small village. I don't know if it still exists.

MORET (on camera): Do you ever reflect on: I wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn't come to America, hadn't come to the United States?

N. CRAPUCHETTES: Yes, oh yes. It would have been totally different. I mean, we wouldn't have gotten the education that we received, and we probably would be working in the field, or you know...

M. CRAPUCHETTES: Probably be married by now. Who knows?


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

HAYNES: Well, for those of you with jobs, you know there's nothing like picking up that pay check. And if you live in the United States, you've probably noticed something missing from it: the deduction for that old Social Security.

Do you wonder if you'll ever get that money back? Well, Congress enacted the Social Security law in 1935. It set out to provide for the general welfare of Americans by establishing benefits for older people, the blind, handicapped children, child welfare and public health. Now, how to manage Social Security is becoming a hot topic in the race for president.

Jonathan Karl previews where the candidates stand.


JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For most of the 65 years since FDR signed the Social Security Act, the program has been extremely popular and politically untouchable. Now George W. Bush is betting that the politics of the issue has fundamentally changed. GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Right now, the real return people get from what they put in Social Security is a dismal 2 percent a year.

KARL: Bush's aides cite the emergence of a new "investor class" of young and middle-aged workers who have more faith in the stock market than Social Security, like the 2 million people who visit the online investment firm The Motley Fool, which, despite the name, has a serious attitude about long-term investing.

MANN: If you look at the statistics of who is in the market now, more than 50 percent of all American households own some stock, and more than 80 percent of the households of people who are 35 and younger own some stock, be it in mutual funds, be it through their 401(k) or in individual equities.

KARL: Those young investors are exactly the kind of people the Bush campaign believes would be enthusiastic about investing part of their payroll taxes in the stock market.

MANN: It is a good thing for you to have the power over your own money and your own future, and you're the one who cares about it the most. So we're very -- we'd be very positive for those types of proposals.

KARL: In fact, 70 percent of voters under age 50 say they favor the idea of allowing workers to invest part of their Social Security taxes in the stock market. But the generational divide is deep. Only 36 percent of those 65 and older favor the idea, and seniors have consistently proven Social Security is an issue they will vote on, unlike the young workers Bush is targeting, who see the issue as a lower priority.

VICE PRES. AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The Bush privatization plan would take the security out of Social Security.

KARL: That is why Democrats think Al Gore can score by attacking Bush's proposal: young people may like the idea, but seniors don't.

VICKI SHABO, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: Gore has an advantage on Social Security. I think Gore has a good argument to make, and Bush has some weaknesses here, and the Gore campaign needs to exploit those weaknesses.

KARL: By a double-digit margin, those over 50 say Gore would do a better job on the issue in a recent CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll. Although among voters under age 50, Gore's advantage disappears.

Gore believes the key to keeping Social Security solvent is to pay down the national debt, but he has proposed no structural changes in the program. The challenge for the vice president is to reach out to the voters under age 50 who overwhelmingly find the idea of private investment attractive. To win over those voters, even the senior advocacy group AARP says Gore may have to do more than attack Bush's proposals. MARTIN CORRY, AARP: I think what's important is that we not just hear criticism of what one candidate is proposing, but we also hear from both candidates what would they would do. I think what the public is tiring of is the finger pointing and the exclusive resort to criticizing the other candidate.

KARL (on camera): Bush's aides acknowledge he must find a way to convince seniors they will not be hurt by his ideas on Social Security reform. That's because regardless of the support Bush may gain among younger voters, older voters vote in much larger numbers.

Jonathan Karl, CNN, Washington.


HAYNES: OK, so you're all caught up on Social Security and its impact on campaign 2000? Good, because tomorrow we're going to tell you all about your prospects for earning a paycheck. Learn the ins and outs of the summer job market in our "Chronicle" segment.

And tomorrow is when we'll see you here again. Have a good one. Take care.



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