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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for June 16, 2000

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


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

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: It's Friday and this is NEWSROOM. Welcome, I'm Shelley Walcott.

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: And I'm Tom Haynes. From building bridges to building houses, today's show is full of headlines and newsmakers. Here's the rundown.

WALCOTT: We begin with an ending of the summit of the Koreas.


MIKE CHINOY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The leaders of North and South Korea singing, "our hope is unification," taking the first steps towards reconciliation after half a century of conflict on this long- divided peninsula.


HAYNES: Then, we hit the road in "Editor's Desk" for drive-by advertising.


DON KNAPP, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Apparently there's no shortage of folks willing to drive around in a car with a big ad it for some easy money.


WALCOTT: "Worldview" focuses on memories of war immortalized on paper.


ANDREW CARROLL, FOUNDER, LEGACY PROJECT: "Dear Mom and Dad, I don't imagine you could ever guess where I am as I write this letter."


HAYNES: We move from the battlefield to the courtroom and the fight over music downloads. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DENNIS MICHAEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The appearance of MP3 audio files that can quickly and easily be transferred over the Internet wasn't even a blip.


WALCOTT: We close the week with an event that will likely merit a page or two in the history books. Leaders of the Korean Peninsula's two countries have parted ways after a first-of-its-kind summit. The talks brought the normally reclusive North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, into the international spotlight. The world is watching to see how he'll bring his country out of famine.

The end of the talks coincided with a U.S. announcement that it's donating another 50,000 metric tons of food aid to North Korea. But the United States was clear it wasn't a reward for the summit.

Mike Chinoy tells us now, there are some clouds attached to the silver lining.


CHINOY (voice-over): Three days that changed the course of history, but left many questions unanswered, the leaders of North and South Korea singing, "our hope is unification," taking the first steps toward reconciliation after half a century of conflict on this long- divided peninsula.

The formal climax of the summit, the signing of a communique pledging economic cooperation, efforts to reunite divided families, and eventual reunification. Of equal impact, though, the emergence of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on the international stage. Long feared as a dangerous, secretive eccentric, Kim's warmth, humor and statesmanship made a huge impact on the millions watching in South Korea, and may have changed his image around the world.

LEE CHONG MIN, YONSEI UNIVERSITY: I think he comes out a clear- cut winner. He comes out, number one, as a leader who is able to deal with his nemesis on a one-to-one face meeting. He comes out as someone who is, quote-unquote, "normal," who can tell jokes, very relaxed with himself, in full control of his posture. And he is able to tell the world that, look, I am not some type of an iconoclastic hermit.

CHINOY: The summit, which followed Kim Jong Il's visit to China and North Korean diplomatic overtures to several Western nations, made clear the long-isolated country is now reaching out to the rest of the world. For South Korea's president, Kim Dae-jung, the visit was a stunning vindication of his policy of engaging the North, Kim even securing a pledge from North Korea's Kim Jong Il to visit Seoul at an unspecified date.

But on a peninsula where more than a million soldiers still face each other across the demilitarized zone, many of the most volatile issues were left unresolved. Among them, North Korea's missile and nuclear program and the fate of the 37,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea.

One possible danger is that if the prevailing perception is, well, based on this summit, we have reached a breakthrough, a psychological breakthrough, then the prevailing notion could be, why is there a need to maintain an army of 670,000 troops? Why do we need 37,000 U.S. troops here in South Korea?

CHINOY: Also unclear, whether the North's external opening will produce meaningful reform at home, which many analysts believe is essential if Kim Jong Il's regime is to reverse the country's economic decline and disastrous food shortages. And with the South still in a state of euphoria, there's the issue of unrealistic expectations here.

(on camera): For two governments still, technically, in a state of war, what happened in Pyongyang exceeded anyone's wildest hopes. But unless the promises of reconciliation are turned into concrete achievements, those hopes could yet be dashed.

Mike Chinoy, CNN, Seoul.


HAYNES: We often talk about the difference between a true socialist and capitalist economic system. Free enterprise means private companies compete for a consumer's business. That's capitalism. In the 20th century, that competition has become fierce and has made advertising a multibillion dollar business. We're flooded with advertising pitches. And consider this: Americans view, on average, 32,000 TV commercials every year. That doesn't even count radio ads, print ads, billboards and the advertising that comes on clothing.

Don Knapp looks at why some drivers in San Francisco, California are adding to that consumer deluge.


KNAPP (voice-over): Billy Dulin collects $200 a month just for driving around with an ad on the side of his car.

BILLY DULIN, CAR OWNER: Who doesn't like 200 bucks a month? That's $200 I didn't have, and it's more play money. It helps to pay the car payment and the insurance.

KNAPP: Two hundred dollars a month for ads has allowed Deborah Williams-Taki to drop her part-time second job.

DEBORAH WILLIAMS-TAKI, CAR OWNER: You know, the bay area is so expensive, and, you know, a little here and a little there is how you kind of get ahead.

KNAPP: An owner-driver can get $400 a month for a car fully wrapped with ads. Why? DANIEL SHIFRIN, AUTOWRAPS.COM: Outdoor advertising space is very difficult to get. It's expensive and it's very difficult, and I guess the new-economy dot.coms have really raised the prices.

KNAPP: Visitors to Daniel Shifrin's Web site can list their cars and commute routes anywhere in the country.

(on camera): Apparently, there's no shortage of folks willing to drive around in a car with a big ad on it for some easy money. Some 5,000 have already signed up on the company's Web site.

(voice-over): Dreyer's ice cream wanted Volkswagen bugs that commuted over the Golden Gate Bridge.

DAVE RITTERBUSH, DREYER'S ICE CREAM: Literally, the bug looked to us a little bit like a pint of ice cream down the road, and we saw it as three-dimensional advertising.

KNAPP: For really big jobs, Autowraps covers its own SUVs with ads. Clients pay $15,000 a month and get use of the car, driver and wireless laptop.

ADRIENNE KOLOWICH, LUCKYSURF.COM: It was a great way to hit people early in the morning before they log onto their computers.

KNAPP: But do car ads really work?

SHIFRIN: We have a client, Yahoo!, and people -- the Yahoo! drivers, all the time, people drive by them and say, Yahoo! all the time. So...

KNAPP (on camera): Is that good for Yahoo!?

SHIFRIN: That must be great for Yahoo!.

KNAPP (voice-over): Not bad for the drivers, either.

Don Knapp, CNN, San Francisco.


WALCOTT: Do you like getting mail? I do. It's fun to hear from friends and family around the world. Letters can also provide a glimpse into history. And that's the focus of "Worldview" today. A word of warning, though: Some of the letters we're about to hear tell disturbing tales of death camps and the horrors of war.

HAYNES: You're, no doubt, familiar with voice mail and e-mail, modern forms of communication. Well, today we look at some other mail: a legacy of letters from around the world and across time. Some of them date back to the Revolutionary War. They're part of the Legacy Project, an effort to save American war letters. We'll introduce you to the man who started the effort to rescue these precious mementos from hundreds of attics and basements.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CARROLL: "Dear Mom and Dad, I don't imagine you could ever guess where I am as I write this letter."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Writing the letter was traumatic because I would remember the people who died and the screaming.

CARROLL: "Dear Betty Ann, I saw something today that makes me realize why we're over here fighting this war."

HORACE EVERS, WORLD WAR II VETERAN: The greatest thing in the world for a soldier is to get letters. That's the only tie you had with anything except the rotten life you were living.

CARROLL: "They would herd the Muslim men into the parking lot and just spray them with gunfire."

EMMA SWEENEY, WAR VETERAN'S DAUGHTER: It's his voice that comes through and it's a sense of who the real person was and his vulnerabilities.

CARROLL: The organization is called the Legacy Project and the whole purpose, our whole mission is to encourage people from all across the country to go through their attics, their basements, their closets and try and find letters that they have written during wartime. In these letters are extraordinary stories about what they saw, what they experienced. And that's what letters can do is they put you in the front row of history.

This is by far, I think, the most extraordinary letter we've received. This was written from Hitler's apartment in May 1945 just days after Hitler committed suicide.

EVERS: The 2nd of May, 1945. "Dearest Mom and Lou, a year ago today, I was sweating out shells on the Anzio beachhead; today I'm sitting in Hitler's luxuriously furnished apartment writing a few lines home -- what a contrast."

Wherever we went, any town, anytime we went into line, somebody picks up the place where the command post is going to be. In Munich at the end of the war, they set us up in Hitler's apartment.

Well, the apartment itself had a big, long meeting table in it you could write letters on, do whatever you wanted. I wrote a lot of letters. A lot of people got that stationery.

"The still greater contrast is that between his quarters here and the living hell of Dachau concentration camp only 10 miles from here. I had the misfortune of seeing the camp yesterday, and I still find it hard to believe what my eyes told me. The first boxcar I came to had about 30 what were once humans in it. All were just bone with a layer of skin over them.

"And then into the camp itself: filthy barracks suitable for about 200 persons, held 1,500. There is a gas chamber and furnished room in one barracks. Two rooms were full of bodies waiting to be cremated. In one room, they were all nude, and the other they had prison clothes on as filthy as dirt itself."

Sometimes I felt we were making a movie or something. It was almost like a movie. And other times I thought, I hope this is just a big dream.

Eisenhower had ordered any troops near any of those death camps to see what they were fighting for so they could take it home and know that they didn't just waste their time over there. You can't put up with stuff like that, you know. I took pictures of the boxcars and the camp itself. And when they were developed, I had thought about it and thought about it, and I took them and I tore every one of them up. I wouldn't send them home to my wife. I wouldn't send them. I didn't want her to see what I had taken. It was so -- it was just terrible.

"Well, enough for now. Miss you all very much. Your son, Horace."

CARROLL: Hey there, I just want to thank you so much for sending those letters.

We've received about 10,000 or 20,000 contributions of letters.

And also not just from World War II. If you've got friends who were in Korea or Vietnam, or even the Gulf, we'd love to see them.

Through the handwriting, through the paper you get a sense of the immediacy of that time, even if it's from 200 years ago, from the American Revolution, or their Civil War letters, to see the spots of mud, the little flecks of blood that are often on some of these letters. It brings it alive.

Some of the most agonizing letters we've received have been from the Vietnam War. And I especially want to make sure that that war is remembered, the emotional costs those men endured and still live with to this day. One example we have is from a man, Bob Leahy, who was in battle, an extraordinary battle, and he wrote a letter to the sister of one of his friends who was killed in combat.

BOB LEAHY, VIETNAM WAR VETERAN: "Dear Carol, the following is my recollection of your brother's death. On Thursday, June 12, 1969, our company was walking down a mountain path in Vietnam when someone opened fire on our point man with a .51-caliber machine gun."

Asking people to walk to their death and to watch people die when you're 20 is fairly soul-searching. If you want to see a true measure of a man's character, you watch him as he faces his death.

"We were in heavy jungle. When we advanced again, they opened fire. We assaulted the bunkers time after time and we lost men each time. The lead platoon was basically wiped out."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get medivac up there. I want to get these boys out now, over.


LEAHY: When it ran out of men, my platoon was brought in to take over. We might have been 120, but they were probably 500, so we were 5-1 in the wrong direction.

"Steve was less than 20 yards from the bunker and he was trying to toss a one-pound grenade into a small opening about six inches high. The task is especially difficult because the man inside is doing his very best to kill you. Steve evidently crouched up too high when someone opened fire from the second bunker. In any case, he was seen and shot several times with an AK-47. The platoon medic, who was right next to me, started working on Steve. All he could do was basically make him comfortable.

"A battle is a very noisy affair. The machine guns, the rifles, the grenades, mortars all make a great deal of noise. In addition, there are screams from the wounded. There was too much noise to hear Steve during the peak, but during each of the lulls I could hear him laboring to breathe. The wounds in his chest had punctured both lungs and the lungs were filling up with blood. Our lieutenant told us to carry Steve down to the medivac area and leave him there. I did so and I never saw him again."

It's not the sort of thing that I will ever forget. You know, enormous numbers of people died for nothing and I can't see any way of forgetting that. You can cut out a liver, you can cut out a finger, you can cut out a kidney, but you can't cut out a memory.

"Sincerely, Bob Leahy."

CARROLL: Hey there, it's Andy Carroll with the Legacy Project.

We work mostly as a conduit so that when people send us letters, we then help them get them to museums, historical societies, archives throughout the country. And that way, scholars and people from all walks of life will have access to these letters and insight from these letters, and realize what these men and women gave up and what they sacrificed.

We receive a lot of love letters, and we're often asked, what relevance do love letters have to warfare? But to me, the love letters, in many ways, are the most important because they put a human face on the soldier.

EMMA SWEENEY, WAR VETERAN'S DAUGHTER: "To the best wife a man ever had, honey, I am writing this letter to you to say a few things that I might leave unsaid if I should depart this world unexpectedly. In this flying business, you never can tell when you might all of a sudden get mighty unlucky and wake up dead some morning."

My father was a squadron officer and he was sent to Bermuda in '56 with my mother and my four brothers. She was five months pregnant with me.

"First of all, let's face one fact: Everybody ends up dead. Even if I should die the day after writing this, I still claim I am one of the luckiest people who ever lived, and you know it."

There were quite a few reasons why, before he left, he might have written my mother that letter saying that it was dangerous. This was sort of a Cold War mission. His objective was to travel up the Atlantic sort of running parallel to the Eastern seaboard looking for Russian submarines.

"I've got a lot to live for as I write this. When I count up all the blessing I've had, I can see that I've already lived a lot. When you come right down to it, I've done just about everything I've wanted to do and seen about everything I've wanted to see."

My brother John was 7, and he was helping my mother make pancakes, and the two men came to the door in the navy, dark blue suits. And he said that my mother then just sat down on the couch and started to cry.

"Sure, I'd like to stick around while the boys are growing up and to have fun with you again when we have time after they grow up, but you and I agree so closely on how to raise a family, the boys are going to be all right, I'm sure of that. And I've had enough fun with you to last anybody a lifetime."

I didn't know anything about my father growing up because my mother remarried when I was 4, and it was, I'm sure, her feeling that I should, you know, become part of this new family. I was about 10 years old and I was in the basement of the house that we had moved into and I came across this letter.

"Don't let the memories of me keep you from marrying again if you run across somebody fit to be your husband, which would be hard to find, I know. But your much to wonderful a wife and mother to waste yourself as a widow."

It was the first time I had ever heard his voice. I kind of had a sense that maybe I did come from somewhere, you know?

"Life is for the living. That's not original, I'm sure. So get that smile back on your face, put on some lipstick and a new dress and show me what you can do toward building a new life."

These are letters that tell the whole story. They're like the whole person. I can tell you how many medals my father has, I can tell you now how many battles he fought in, but that doesn't tell you who he was. These letters say who he was.

CARROLL: Reading through these letters you learn a tremendous amount about human nature, about perseverance, about sacrifice, but also how much we can endure. People have a lot of different reasons they want to send us letters and one of them is to, in many ways, bring back to life the people whom they loved and knew. And that's something we hope to do is to preserve their memory and to keep them alive through their own words.


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

HAYNES: We've been hearing a lot about the debate over downloading music from the Internet. It's centered around music sharing and download services such as Napster and MP3. On May 22, CNN Student Bureau reported on the controversy of downloading music at Indiana University. Check your archives for more on that case.

Now the future of Napster may be up in the air. The outlook for MP3, however, may be brighter.

Dennis Michael tells us why.


MICHAEL (voice-over): Last week, download leader settled a lawsuit with the Warner Music Group and BMG Entertainment to the tune of $100 million, but little else is settled. This week, the Recording Industry Association of America sought an injunction against the established record industry's chief headache, Napster.

Tuesday, Napster's CEO claimed the Web site and software, which allows easy trading of MP3 files on the Internet, does nothing illegal, that sharing files is a legitimate practice. This defense startled some, but probably not the members of Metallica.

LARS ULRICH, DRUMMER, METALLICA: When we served them with a lawsuit, they basically held up their hands and smiled innocently, and said, well, we're not doing anything illegal, we're just providing a service.

MICHAEL: The appearance of MP3 audio files that can quickly and easily be transferred over the Internet wasn't even a blip on the traditional music industry's radar as recently as a year ago.

BRUCE HARRING, AUTHOR, "BEYOND THE CHARTS": The way that most record industry executives found out about online music trading was their interns told them.

MICHAEL: But the real effect downloadable music has had on the industry's bottom line is in debate. A recent study, sponsored significantly by the Recording Industry Association of America, suggests record sales have dipped in areas near colleges where students have access to high-speed Internet connections and Napster is highly popular.

HARRING: A lot of the studies that have claimed that Napster is hurting sales seem to fly in the face of the logic that's going on right now, which is the record industry is enjoying one of its biggest boom times ever. I mean, they're setting sales records every week. If Napster was such a dire threat, we wouldn't see that.

MICHAEL: Even so, artists are worried about their income, present and future.

DR. DRE, RAPPER: Straight up, like I said, this is how I make a living. And if you're going to try to stop me from making a living, I'm going to have to fight you to the death, straight up.

MICHAEL: Madonna's new single, "Music," is already circulating on Napster long before its official release, signaling the industry's eroding control over its own product. Industry leaders met in Los Angeles Tuesday night for a seminar on the thorny problem of downloadable music. Some managed to see a silver lining.

PETER STANDISH, V.P., MARKETING, WARNER BROS. RECORDS: I think we're in the top of the first inning. I think it's really early in the development and there's a lot of things to shake out.

MICHAEL: But many are critical of how the industry is handling the shakeout. CEO Michael Robertson this week called the industry's handling of digital downloads a disaster, and Bruce Harring agrees.

HARRING: They may have brought the problem on themselves by being a little late to it, but now they're exacerbating the problem by, instead of trying to work with technology, they're working against it and trying to litigate against it, which is not a good strategy.

MICHAEL: But coming up with a better strategy is difficult as the battlefield shifts at Internet speed.

Dennis Michael, CNN Entertainment News, Hollywood.


ANNOUNCER: Teachers, make the most of CNN NEWSROOM with our free daily classroom guide to the program. There you'll find a rundown of each day's show so you choose just the program segments that fit your lesson plan. Plus, there are discussion questions and activities, and the guide highlights key people, places and news terms. Each day, 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.

WALCOTT: Are you good with your hands? If you are, Habitat for Humanity could probably use you. Habitat for Humanity seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness around the world. The group invites people of all backgrounds to build houses for families in need. Habitat for Humanity has built more than 90,000 houses. One of its latest projects is in the state of Georgia.

CNN Student Bureau's Julia Levy reports.


JULIA LEVY, CNN STUDENT BUREAU (voice-over): In 64 nations around the world, volunteers build houses with Habitat for Humanity. Instead of sleeping in on a Saturday morning, these high school teens awoke early to join in on the building.

INGRID KUEGEMAN, AGE 18: It's different from anything else I do, you know. I'm in a lot of service project clubs and stuff like that, but this is like you can physically make a difference, you know. You can see your work being done, like, right before your eyes, and so it's just really special to actually see the results of your work.

LEVY: Now in their fourth year of building, Walton High School can remember when it was not so easy.

JOE LOVISKA, COBB COUNTY, HABITAT FOR HUMANITY: In all honesty, we ran it because nobody else volunteered, because we didn't have any experience with working with a high school before and everybody was kind of scared that you'd have a bunch of young kids out here and they won't keep their focus. Well, this is the fourth year right now the SPMs stand in line to run this house.

LEVY: This year, through school clubs, three high school Habitat houses are being built on adjoining lots.

CAROL BOWSER, TEACHER, WALTON HIGH SCHOOL: It's one of the few clubs that you're really giving back to somebody else and the reward is coming from inside you.

LEVY (on camera): Like the walls supporting the houses, these high schoolers have discovered that giving back establishes a solid foundation.

MARK PATTON, AGE 15: I think the more people do good, it's going to, like, go around in circles, I think.

KUEGEMAN: Just to know that, you know, you've provided a house for someone, you know, that maybe has never had their own house before, it's an amazing feeling, really.

LOVISKA: Mostly, I hope they have a good time and feel that they got a chance to give something back, and that we've planted the seed in them to continue when they get older.

LEVY (voice-over): Julia Levy, CNN Student Bureau, Marietta, Georgia.


WALCOTT: If you'd like to be a part of the CNN Student Bureau, call 1-800-622-3419 in the United States.

HAYNES: That's right. Or you can log onto the Turner Learning Web site at

WALCOTT: And that wraps it up for us today. Have a great weekend.

HAYNES: Take care.



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