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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for June 28, 2000

Aired June 28, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: NEWSROOM rounds the bend into Wednesday. Glad you're along for the ride. I'm Rudi Bakhtiar.

ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: I'm Andy Jordan. There's lots ahead. We start with a look at the rundown.

BAKHTIAR: In today's top story, driven to distraction: Why mundane actions in the car could be deadly.


MARK EDWARD, AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION: Anything we do in a car other than driving is distracting. And we've really got to teach people how to not let that happen and manage that.


JORDAN: Next, in our "Business Desk," a legend at the Chicago Board of Trade steps out of the futures pits.


TOM BALDWIN, BOND TRADER: It just seems to me there's more opportunity in other places.


BAKHTIAR: From calling it quits to revving it up, "Worldview" looks at traffic jams in Russia.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It's horrible, these traffic jams. We need a cop. We're stuck.


JORDAN: Then in "Chronicle," a young investor in the wild world of stocks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KARL ABELE, INVESTOR: I've made about $105,000 this semester.


BAKHTIAR: It's summer and that means you're probably doing a lot of driving. Whether to and from your summer job, out to the mall, or even to the beach, driving, no doubt, is a big part of your life. Today we want to talk about what you do while you're driving. Now, we know there's lots going on when you're behind the wheel. Sometimes you may be paying attention to everything but the wheel.

A new report shows as many as half of all accidents could be caused by driver distractions. Seventy percent of people surveyed say they routinely talk to passengers while driving; 47 percent adjust things like the temperature and radio; and 19 percent talk on their cell phones.

Kathleen Koch now on a program designed to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.


KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's become a dangerous daily routine: drivers eating, reading the paper, putting on makeup as cars morph into rolling homes and offices.

TROOPER CYNTHIA BROWN, MARYLAND STATE POLICE: The number-one sign would be the weaving between lanes, not using your signal light, and just changing back and forth.

KOCH: Maryland state police trooper Cindy Brown thought she'd seen it all until she spotted a car driving on the shoulder.

BROWN: He was watching television when I pulled him over. So that was shocking. And he said, well, I couldn't miss the fight.

KOCH: It's estimated distracted driving plays a role in as many as half of all accidents at a cost of up to $75 billion a year. Novelist Stephen King was seriously injured last year when a driver trying to control his dog drifted off the road and struck him.

EDWARD: Anything we do in a car other than driving is distracting. And we've really got to teach people how to not let that happen and manage that.

KOCH: So a group of employers, including AAA and several cell phone companies, is launching a campaign using videotaped re- enactments to illustrate the danger.




(END VIDEO CLIP) KOCH (on camera): Law enforcement officials say this is prime time for distracted driving, rush hour, both in the morning and in the evening, when drivers are in a hurry and trying to do two things at once.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think it could be a hazard, obviously. But it's an awfully convenient way of communicating.

KOCH (voice-over): Cell phones, the most visible culprit, have been cited for quadrupling the risk of a collision. But the employer group's survey places eating, reading and passengers distracting drivers higher on the list.

CANDY CASTLE, AT&T WIRELESS SERVICES: What's happening with distraction is happening between your ears, not in your hands. And so what we really -- this program is designed to address is that mental distraction.

KOCH: Safety advice? Keep your eyes and your mind on the road or pull over.

Kathleen Koch for CNN, Washington.


TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Zimbabwe has a new parliament. And for the first time in a decade, the opposition will have a strong voice. The new balance of power follows a contentious voting process marred by intimidation and violence.


CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Zimbabweans awoke to the a new political reality. After delays in ballot counting and a long, slow night of vote counting and seesaw results, the announcement that Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF Party retained its absolute majority in the 150-seat parliament.

In an address to the nation, President Robert Mugabe congratulated both the winners and the losers, his speech in stark contrast to his stinging election rhetoric.

ROBERT MUGABE, ZIMBABWE PRESIDENT: I look forward to working with a new parliament as together we grapple with the pressing challenges of improving the livelihoods of our people and developing our nation.

HUNTER-GAULT: And while the nine-month-old opposition Movement for Democratic Change failed to gain the majority it sought, its stunning gains changed a political equation in which the opposition has held only three seats during the entire 20 years the president's party has been in power.

At a news conference shortly after the final results, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai had this to say. MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, OPPOSITION LEADER: I think Zimbabwe will never be the same again. For the first time, we have a balanced parliament, and I hope that will reflect in the debates in that parliament.

Tsvangirai repeated his condemnation of the election process, insisting that the election was not free and fair. More than 30 people were murdered during the campaign, most MDC supporters. Many others were attacked and threatened. Tsvangirai Said his party would probably challenge some of the results in court.

(on camera): Still, Tsvangirai says he recognizes President Mugabe's government as legitimate. And while he lost his bid for a parliamentary seat, Tsvangirai said his followers intended to carry out what he saw as the voter's mandate for change.


JORDAN: Our "Business Desk" today provides a chance to bond, sort of. Actually, we enter the world of finance to meet a long-time bond trader.

What is a bond? A bond is a debt security similar to an IOU. When you purchase a bond, you are lending money to a government, municipality, corporation, federal agency or other entity known as the issuer. In return for the loan, the issuer promises to pay you a specified rate of interest during the life of the bond, and to repay the face value of the bond, the principal, when it matures or comes due.

So from a financial perspective, we can think of stocks and bonds as investments. Trading in either one is not for the faint of heart, as Ceci Rodgers explains.


CECI RODGERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tom Baldwin is an icon in Chicago's rough-and-tumble futures pits, known for nearly two decades as the biggest risk-taker on the bond floor. But he's leaving it all behind -- the shouting, the swearing and the sweating -- for another gut-wrenching game: trading Internet stocks online.

BALDWIN: It just seems to me there's more opportunity in other places.

RODGERS: Business is way down in the 30-year pit. There are fewer bonds available to trade as the Treasury uses the budget surplus to buy back long-term debt.

BALDWIN: The liquidity is not there like it used to be so it's difficult to trade. It's a lot riskier.

RODGERS: And that from the man who was the first independent trader to buy and sell thousands of bond futures at a time, in the process taking on giant financial institutions in the multitrillion- dollar government debt market. CHIP KENYON, BOND TRADER: If they were selling, he'd buy, and he'd say, I'll take some more, and he wasn't shy. And that was a guy trading his own money not the bank's capital. And it took a lot of guts, I think.

RODGERS: And with the guts came glory. Baldwin says he made $2 million to $3 million dollars on his best days and lost $5 million on his worst.

BALDWIN: I can remember days where I would be totally drenched in sweat; and I mean, you know, like it was a basketball game. That kind of a market hasn't happened in years.

RODGERS: Baldwin's departure is one more blow to the Chicago Board of Trade's once preeminent bond pit.

LES ROSENTHAL, ROSENTHAL COLLINS GROUP: He's an intellect and I think that it's significant that he's made the judgment that bond trading days are either starting to diminish or that it's over with.

RODGERS: Other prominent traders have already thrown in the towel, but not Chip Kenyon.

KENYON: I'm sticking around because what else is there? I mean, this is all we know.

RODGERS: But for Baldwin, the glory days are over, at least in the futures pit. He plans to trade stocks this summer by computer, and maybe 10-year notes after that. But that's not immediate. First:

BALDWIN: Probably go home and take a nap.

RODGERS: Ceci Rodgers, CNN Financial News, Chicago.


BAKHTIAR: OK, a quick NEWSROOM survey: Do you bring your lunch to school or buy it at the cafeteria? I used to eat at school. What can I say? I love to eat out. It can be fun: good food, cool surroundings, personal service. The question is: How much are you willing to spend for the experience?

Peter Viles has more.


PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New York gave America the million-dollar apartment and the $9 movie ticket, and now it`s breaking another financial barrier: the $500 dinner for two, the gift of renowned French Chef Alain Ducasse.

ALAIN DUCASSE, ALAIN DUCASSE AT THE ESSEX HOUSE (through translator): We have excellence in the art of the table, excellence in service, excellence in environment, and we have the excellence of spending a night that I hope will be memorable. That`s our proposition. VILES: If anyone can pull it off, Ducasse can. His restaurants in Paris and Monaco have both won three stars from Michelin and a worldwide following.

TIM ZAGAT, CO-FOUNDER, ZAGAT SURVEY: Wall Street traders are not going to be worrying about spending $200 for a dinner. Frankly, they use to spend that money to go to Paris and eat in his restaurant in Paris where is cost that much for lunch.

VILES: But most New Yorkers are not Wall Street traders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it would be absurd. There's no way that I would go to a $500 dinner.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would say that the American economy is doing very, very well and a lot of people feel like they've got a lot of stuff in here.

VILES: The prix fixe for dinner at Alain Ducasse at the Essex House is a $160. Add 20 more for cocktails and 80 for a modest bottle of wine and tax and a 15-percent tip and you've spent $517.

(on camera): The critics still haven`t weighed in on this restaurant, but New Yorkers aren't waiting for them. If you wait for the critics, you'll never get a table. Already, the restaurant's booked solid through October.

(voice-over): If you do get in, there's only one sitting a night, so you can sit as long as you like in a room decorated with 2,000 roses. You'll be waited on by a staff of 55 and treated like a celebrity. But you will not meet the world most acclaimed chief because Alain Ducasse believes his place is in the kitchen and not the dinning room.

Peter Viles, CNN Financial News, New York.


BAKHTIAR: We continue our business beat in "Worldview." While Andy and I are hard at work here at CNN, our very own Tom Haynes and Shelley Walcott are out in the field bringing you more news. So keep an eye out. They'll be joining us soon.

Our stories take us to Nepal and Tibet, Russia and the United States, where we'll scale mountains, feed man's best friend, and put the pedal to the metal.

HAYNES: "Worldview" begins today in Russia, the world's largest country in terms of territory. After the collapse of communism in 1992, Russia implemented a free-market economy -- one driven by supply and demand. The privatization process wasn't easy and many Russian's found it hard getting used to a completely new way of conducting business.

One thing that apparently wasn't hard getting used to, however, was the increased availability of cars to Russian commuters. It seems the roads in Russia's capital, Moscow, are getting downright crowded.

And as Jill Dougherty reports, that's not only grinding on the nerves of Russian drivers, but it could be impacting the countries environment as well.


JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): It's 10:00 a.m. at the Belorusski Station traffic circle. If you're trying to get somewhere fast, you don't want to be here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It's horrible, these traffic jams. We need a cop. We're stuck.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): How long will it take me to get through the light? Oh, 10 minutes, 15 minutes.

DOUGHERTY: Actually it took her more than 20.

Across town, Vladimir says the worst time is "chas pik," the rush hour.

(on camera): Moscow is being overrun by cars. Ten years ago, this city of 10 million people had just 700,000 cars. Now it has 2 1/2 million and their number is increasing by nearly 800 cars a day.

ALEXANDR ISHKOV, STATE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION CMTE. (through translator): This is one of the paradoxes of our economy's development: On the one hand, there's been economic collapse, but people still have some money.

DOUGHERTY (voice-over): And a lot of pent-up demand.

In the old Soviet Union, even if you had the money for a car, you couldn't get one. People waited years. Now, Mercedes, Japanese cars, Russian cars -- take your pick.

Moscow's extensive public transportation system is no match for the lure of driving your own car. But Moscow's paying a price.

ANDREI POLYAKOV, MOSCOW ECOLOGY POLICE (through translator): Eighty percent of the pollution in the city is caused by cars. Some cars have been on the road for 30 years, and 30 years ago emissions standards were completely different.

DOUGHERTY: Moscow recently completed a major "ring" road around the capital and is now building another one in the center. But the cars and student drivers just keep on coming.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nowadays, it's normal to have a car and everyone is trying to get his own car, and that's the reason.

DOUGHERTY: Jill Dougherty, CNN, Moscow.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: This is Stone Mountain, a huge rock dome in the southeastern United States near the city of Atlanta, Georgia. This popular tourist attraction is 825 feet tall. That's about 247 meters. It's the world's largest relief carving on the world's largest mass of exposed granite. The carved area covers about three acres, but this massive monument is dwarfed by many of the world's mighty mountains.

Today, we head to Asia, site of the Himalayas, a great mountain range which contains the world's tallest peak -- Mount Everest. It's located on the border of Nepal and Tibet, and the summit was first conquered back in 1953.

That was the beginning of a booming business in mountain climbing, as Stacey Wilkins explains.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hopefully four days from right now, we'll be at the summit.

STACEY WILKINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ed Viesturs (ph) says his office has the best view in the world. But the commute is a killer. The 40-year-old American is a professional climber, his workplace an 8,000-meter mountain. He's in tiptop shape, of course. But it takes more than athletic prowess to be a successful mountaineer these days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It took me about 16 years of climbing and calling companies and meeting people and networking until I finally kind of broke that barrier, so that people could say, hey, here's a person we would want to sponsor. We can attach our name to this climber.

So this is one of the first of this big 12-city tour that I'm doing. And I kind of call it the "Grateful Ed Tour."

WILKINS: Viesturs is showing his sponsors how grateful he really is by hitting the road to promote companies who support his expeditions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I kind of can tell people what it means to me climbing mountains.

WILKINS: The 14 highest mountains in the world are located in Asia. An 8,000-meter-plus climb on mountains such as Annapurna and Choi-Oh (ph) averages $20,000. An expedition to the world's second- highest peak, K-2, runs around $50,000. And Mount Everest, the world's tallest mountain, has the tallest price: $65,000 a summit.

A person can't get there without dropping an average of $5,000 on gear. Retailers say people want...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... better fit, better performance...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... high-tech fiber selection... UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... heavy-duty ballistic cloth, fabric that's got PVC backing.

WILKINS (on camera): In the end, all the tough training, expensive equipment and costly guided tours is not enough to get you to the top. You still have to climb that mountain.

Stacey Wilkins, CNN, Atlanta.


HAYNES: If your prized pooch or cuddly kitten's the apple of your eye, you are not alone. The American Pet Association estimates there are over 136 million pets in the U.S. alone. That means almost 60 percent of all American households have pets. And make no mistake: These pets and their doting owners are getting along quite famously, thank you. Almost 13 million cats get birthday gifts, while 28 million dog owners think of Fido at Christmas time.

But holidays aren't the only occasion when pet purchases are made. Day-to-day necessities and treats account for most of the money that's being spent. With sales of food to toys to leashes to fish tanks, the pet product industry has grown to $23 billion a year.

Lauren Thierry recently visited two men who are hoping the boom continues.


LAUREN THIERRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If you think these cookies look good enough to eat, you're right, especially if you're a dog.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, he knows what to do, doesn't he?

THIERRY: These gourmet goodies are made by Three Dog Bakery in Kansas City, Missouri. Entrepreneurs Dan Dye and Mark Beckloff started rolling out cookie treats on their kitchen table in 1989.

MARK BECKLOFF, CO-FOUNDER, THREE DOG BAKERY: Both of us were unsatisfied with our real jobs and we wanted to be unleashed from that dog-eat-dog corporate world.

THIERRY: From the beginning, it was an enterprise fueled by passion and serendipity: love for dogs and a Christmas gift.

DAN DYE, CO-FOUNDER, THREE DOG BAKERY: We had a very passionate love for dogs.

THIERRY: The partners owned three dogs: Gracie, Dottie and Sarah. When Gracie wouldn't eat, a vet suggested cooking for her.

DYE: It was that savory home cooking that started bringing back her appetite. That very Christmas, my partner, Mark Beckloff, his mother had given him a bone-shaped cookie cutter in his Christmas stocking just as a gag. BECKLOFF: Something just clicked that we should start making homemade treats for dogs.

DYE: We really could make great, all-natural dog biscuits and see if people want to buy them.

THIERRY: Sarah, Gracie, and Dottie tested every batch their masters cooked up.

DYE: They were not the most picky of connoisseurs. We learned early on their opinion was not to be trusted because they loved everything.

THIERRY: The treats kept the pooches drooling and their owners begging for more. And that encouraged the canine cooks to turn the wholesale operation into a totally unique retail experience.

BECKLOFF: We want to create a fun, whimsical atmosphere through the names, through the packaging, through the feeling of the stores. Your dog can get married at a Three Dog Bakery and have the complete event here, including a three-tiered wedding cake.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His first birthday is May 2. And then Dorrissey (ph), being the special guest of honor, will have a big cake for himself.

THIERRY: Customers loved the concept. They lapped up the puppy puns and dog-friendly service. Even the mailman is a fan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's my favorite place to deliver. None have bit me here. As a matter of fact, they smile when I come in.

THIERRY: Packaged goodies are distributed to all the stores. But each shop also bakes fresh pastries, cookies and cakes every day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't have any children so our dog is our child.

THIERRY: Mark and Dan have hooked into a growing trend where dog owners consider their pets part of their family.

BECKLOFF: We feel a lot of success with Three Dog is allowing people to express that love that they have for their dog.

THIERRY: Lauren Thierry, CNN Financial News.


HAYNES: Come on.

We'll have more dog tales later this week. Find out why some little guys like these have really long names. In "Worldview" Friday, we're calling all dogs, but just wait till you hear what they're called.

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

JORDAN: OK, it's time for some money talk. They say you're never to young to start investing. But because of the recent volatility in the stock market, it may seem like a pretty scary place to be right now.

CNN's Boston bureau chief, Bill Delaney, though, found one young man who's making good money in the market, and making it seem like a cinch.


BILL DELANEY, CNN BOSTON BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): So, to risk or not to risk your hard-earned money in the stock market now that Wall Street's rising and falling like the Atlantic Ocean in a scene from "The Perfect Storm."

Well, out beside the tranquil waters of the Cape Cod Canal, consider the case of 22-year-old Karl Abele.

ABELE: I started this January with about $50,000 that I had, you know, had accumulated from the prior year. I've made about $105,000 this semester.

DELANEY: Semester, because Karl just finished up at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, worth more than $155,000 accumulated in three years as a student playing the market, starting as a sophomore with just $1,000 he earned painting houses.

ABELE: I sit at my computer -- I spend a lot of time on my computer just reading the market.

DELANEY (on camera): You make it sound easy.

ABELE: Well, it's been relatively easy. I mean, it's a lot of work, but, you know, I figured it out. I don't follow the crowd, I guess. You know, I try to, like, use contrarian-type indicators. I don't -- you know, if everybody thinks it's the right way, then I do it differently.

DELANEY (voice-over): Karl's economics professor, Ed McGrath, says the real secret, his prize pupil's plain old determination.

ED MCGRATH, ECONOMICS PROFESSOR: And he understands that what he's doing is very risky, and he's now discovered it's an awful lot of work. It's not the strategy I would recommend for your typical, you know, amateur, novice investor.

DELANEY: The market has burned Abele, especially as he got started, knocks he says he learned from, helping him make the most of $20,000 he earned a year ago in a work-study program, money he's now increased 700 percent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I try to cut my losses quickly and hold my winners.

DELANEY: Hey, Wall Street, what's all the fuss about?

Bill Delaney, CNN, Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts.


JORDAN: Recently we told you about Habitat for Humanity, a charitable group building homes for needy families across the United States. Today, a story along the same vein. City officials in East Palo Alto, California are facing an unusual problem: what to do with houses that some of the town's wealthier residents are giving away.

Don Knapp reports.


DON KNAPP, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This old house is still in pretty good shape, but its newly rich owners wanted something bigger and better on their expensive Los Altos lot. Instead of bulldozing the house as other newly rich Silicon Valley owners have been doing lately, they decided to give it away to the city of East Palo Alto.

ROGER GAW, HOMEOWNER: We paid a lot of money to have the house moved here, but -- and then someone gets a home. So it works for everybody.

KNAPP: The idea quickly caught on: a tax break for well-to-do home builders and a nearly free home for a needy family add up to good business for real estate agents.

CHRISTINA LUIZ, REAL ESTATE AGENT: I personally own two homes that could be used. I talked to one of my other builders and they said they, too, would be willing to donate the homes that are in perfect condition. And I said, how could I do this? How can it be accomplished? And then East Palo Alto told me, well, we're getting calls from people who want to donate for tax reasons.

KNAPP: In no time, the city of East Palo Alto found itself with eight donated houses.

MAYOR SHARIFA WILSON, EAST PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA: Well, one of the dilemmas that East Palo Alto has is that we don't own any property. So the dilemma is: What do we do with these houses that people are offering us?

KNAPP: Over the past few decades, East Palo Alto has been an island of difficulty in a world of affluence. Poverty, drugs and drive-by shootings earned it the title "murder capital" a few years back. Now it's benefiting from a trickle-down effect from its wealthy neighbors, once it figures out how to handle the windfall and share the wealth.

WILSON: I can just imagine at some point that everybody will be screaming, well, give me the house, give me the house -- this kind of thing. So, that's the only thing that I'm a little bit leery about.

KNAPP: For East Palo Alto, it's an embarrassment of riches: more houses than they know what to do with.

Don Knapp, CNN, San Francisco.


BAKHTIAR: And before we leave you today, the Olympic torch heads down under -- under water, that is.

JORDAN: That's right. The torch is being taken to Sydney, Australia for opening ceremonies at the summer Olympic games, which begin in September. This torchbearer completed this leg of the journey under water at the Great Barrier Reef.

How about that? Look at that.

That'll do it for us today. We'll see you back here tomorrow.





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