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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for July 19, 2000

Aired July 19, 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. Here's what's coming up.

In today's news, as Middle East peace talks near their end at Camp David, what, if anything, will the two sides agree on?


ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT: The White House refuses to discuss the prospect of failure, or even a partial deal, insisting its focus is on getting a full deal.


WALCOTT: Our "Daily Desk" tackles issues involving business. We'll examine how technology could make signing your name with pen and ink obsolete.


TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: I'm Tom Haynes just gearing up to climb that wall over there. Coming up in "Worldview," we'll tell you how fitness fever is catching on around the world.


WALCOTT: And in "Chronicle," kids and money.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got on the Internet and looked up a couple Web sites and taught myself a little bit about investing.


WALCOTT: They're young, they're smart and they're cashing in.

Today's top story focuses on 'round-the-clock Middle East peace talks at Camp David, Maryland. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were locked in intense discussions yesterday trying to resolve some of the difficult snags blocking an agreement at the summit. The negotiators are working against the clock. They'd like to strike some sort of deal before President Clinton leaves today for a meeting in Japan of the group of eight industrialized nations.

Mr. Clinton has been hosting the talks at the presidential retreat with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat for just over a week now. Sources say negotiators are deadlocked on the crucial issue of Jerusalem, which both sides claim as their capital.

Andrea Koppel has more on the mounting pressure for all parties to reach a compromise.


KOPPEL (voice-over): As the clock ticked down to a summit deadline near Camp David, signs of encouragement and indications of last-minute showdowns.

AVRUM BURG, ISRAELI PARLIAMENT SPEAKER: I will say that the best or the perfect description of where we're at now is the eye of the storm.

KOPPEL: Caught in the cross winds, the Israeli prime minister and Palestinian leader as they struggle to hold longstanding positions against mounting U.S. pressure to compromise. Negotiations are running around the clock, President Clinton shuttling between the leaders until dawn hoping to get a deal in the summit's final hours.

JOE LOCKHART, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There is not an open- ended or unlimited amount of time so people understand the pressure that they're under because the stakes are high here and the issues are important.

KOPPEL: None more so than the fate of Jerusalem. Word from all sides: last-minute negotiations have stumbled over Palestinian claims to East Jerusalem as their future capital. Israel has suggested self- rule over Arab areas of the city rather than formal Palestinian sovereignty, an offer Yasser Arafat may find unacceptable.

NABIL KHATIB, ARAB JOURNALIST: I think he cannot afford not to have sovereignty on East Jerusalem; not necessarily all East Jerusalem, but at least those neighborhoods surrounding the old city, plus the old city.

KOPPEL: The White House refuses to discuss the prospect of failure, or even a partial deal, insisting its focus is on getting a full deal.

LOCKHART: Right now, the president is focused on trying to get an agreement and we're not spending a lot of time speculating about, you know, what could be or might be.

KOPPEL (on camera): Lockhart described the talks as alternating between moments of promise and frustration, but he said the president's mood remains "determined." As another aide explained, you don't play for partial success when you're working toward a broad agreement.

Andrea Koppel, CNN, near Camp David, Maryland.


WALCOTT: Hundreds of Palestinians are voicing their opinion on the talks. They demonstrated throughout the West Bank and Gaza yesterday, warning Yasser Arafat against making concessions to the Israelis.

Meantime, in Israel, fear is growing of possible repercussions should the talks fail.

Mike Hanna reports.


MIKE HANNA, CNN JERUSALEM BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): New defensive positions at an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. In the mounting tension surrounding the negotiation process, security around Jewish enclaves in Palestinian territories has been intensified in recent weeks. Some fear attacks on the settlements could be part of an intense escalation in conflict should negotiations break down.

EPHRAIM SNEH, ISRAELI DEPUTY DEFENSE MINISTER: It may bring us back to 1947, to the beginning of the war here. It's inconceivable. It will be a tragedy.

HANNA: In recent days, demonstrations in the Palestinian territories have been largely peaceful despite the sometimes threatening facade.

But a senior Israeli defense force source has reiterated the military view that the nature of the demonstrations is directly controlled by the Palestinian leadership.

(on camera): The leadership holds both ends of the rope, says the source. It can either set the fires of violence or dampen them down.

(voice-over): Earlier this year, violence erupted during protests marking the day Palestinians call "Al Naqba," or "the great tragedy," the anniversary of the founding of the Israeli state. Order was restored only when the Israeli military threatened to fire from attack helicopters and to deploy tanks. On that day, the epicenter of the violence was the West Bank town of Ramallah, a few miles down the road from Jerusalem.

But today, while the talks continue, all is peaceful in the region. The Israeli and Palestinian flags flutter side by side, a calm if watchful coexistence that many on both sides hope will not be followed by a storm.

Mike Hanna, CNN, Jerusalem.

(END VIDEOTAPE) WALCOTT: In today's "Business Desk," we learn about contracts. A contract is a promise which has become legally enforceable. For a contract to be binding and enforceable, it must include several elements, such as mutual assent: an offer and acceptance. Another element, capacity of all of the parties. For example, all parties must be of legal age and sound mind. Then there's consideration of the parties, which means money or other valuable consideration exchanges hands. And finally comes legality. The contract must meet specific legal specifications.

Usually, mutual assent is indicated by the signatures of the participants. For example, if you're buying a house or getting a loan, there are lots of papers to sign. But a new U.S. bill could cut down on all those papers. Just a few weeks ago, President Clinton signed a bill allowing the use of technology to form and sign contracts.

But as Rick Lockridge explains, the process has its critics.


REP. DICK ARMEY (R-TX), MAJORITY LEADER: And just as the Good Book says that a child shall lead them...

RICK LOCKRIDGE, CNN TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When middle schooler Sean Milligan (ph) goes to sign his first mortgage a few years from now, will he use a digital signature, as in this photo op with politicians pushing the technology?

Would a federal law legitimizing digital signatures make e- commerce so convenient that new customers would flock to Michael Hogan's online brokerage?

MICHAEL HOGAN, GENERAL COUNSEL, DLJ DIRECT: We'll simply go forward with the customer relationship. All the paperwork will be gone.

LOCKRIDGE: Or is the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act a step backwards, offering less protection than pen and ink signatures give us now?

MARGOT SAUNDERS, NATIONAL CONSUMER LAW CENTER: It certainly seems to disadvantage people who don't have computers, who are going to be the elderly and low income people.

LOCKRIDGE (on camera): Just what is a digital signature anyway? Is it your actual signature recorded electronically? Is it a PIN number like the one you use with your bank card, only longer, say 32 numbers and letters instead of four? Or could it be an image of your thumbprint or iris, a so-called biometric signature?

Actually, it could be any of those technologies and more, according to the law, which would let businesses decide which methods work best for them. Consumers uncomfortable with the technology could demand pen and paper, or just walk away from the deal. HARRIS MILLER, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA: So it cuts down the cost of these transactions, takes what -- so-called friction out of these transactions, makes them faster and less expensive for consumers and businesses.

LOCKRIDGE (voice-over): But Margot Saunders and a long list of her fellow consumer watchdogs say they can't sign off on a digital signature law until some additional protections are written into it.

SAUNDERS: Right now in the use of credit cards, we have tremendous protections, and industry has benefited as a result. We will have -- consumers will have no protections on the use -- from the illegitimate use of electronic signatures.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody else would be able to log on other than the user.

LOCKRIDGE: Finally, how will consumers react to signing over their identities to a machine? After all, signing one's name is an intensely personal act.

But what do you want to bet Sean and his classmates growing up in the digital age never even notice the missing ink?

Rick Lockridge, CNN.


WALCOTT: Time to give you the business in "Worldview." Our stories look at trends and tourism. We'll take you to France and provide tips on trips. We'll also travel to the United Kingdom and the United States to check out health clubs and fitness technology. And we'll have some off-the-wall fun with our very own Tom Haynes. We'll also see what strides women are making in the world of sports and beyond.

Our report takes us to Iraq. First, a footnote from history.


On this date in history, July 19, 1848, the first women's rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York, U.S.


RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: They're doctors, lawyers, politicians and athletes. Yes, women have come a long way in the past 50 years. Or have they? In some countries, especially in the Middle East, women are still struggling for equality.

But a group of women in Iraq are not letting the status quo get in the way of their dreams. Before we tell you about them, here's a little history on Iraq.

You'll remember Iraq from the Persian Gulf War when Iraq invaded and occupied its neighboring country Kuwait. Iraq accused Kuwait of violating oil production limits set by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, causing the worldwide price of oil to fall. After Iraq's invasion, the United Nations called for them to withdraw, but to no avail.

A coalition of 39 countries, including the United States and Canada, sent armed forces to the Persian Gulf. And on January 17 of 1991, allied forces attacked Iraq.

Iraq was defeated. However, the war had a devastating effect on Iraq. Many soldiers and civilians were killed. Allied air raids destroyed roads, bridges and factories, and a U.N. trade embargo caused serious economic problems.

But our story today centers on moving forward. And that's just what a special group of women are doing.

James Martone explains.


JAMES MARTONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These women say they have been around a long time, but until now they were on the sidelines of an all-male game.

"We are Middle Eastern and so it is a little hard for some of us to see a woman playing football," says 20-year-old Lisa Rostam (ph).

Lisa and her colleagues are part of a new project, an all-women's team to represent Iraq in international competitions.

Football is Iraq's favorite sport. It has 24 local teams and one national team that plays in tournaments abroad. All of those are men. The country has experimented in female football before, but never has there been a national team for women. The idea is Oday Saddam Hussein's, the eldest son of the president.

Mona Salem (ph), a one-time handball star who's helping coach the team, says the idea was in response to the demand of the women's families.

"The families were asking for a team of women. They wanted to know why our teams were only men," she says.

Appointed women's coach and former soccer champion, Shidrak Youssef, says Iraqi women are already good at some sports, but that teaching them to kick well will take some time.

SHIDRAK YOUSSEF, COACH: Women, they used to play basketball, they used to play volleyball, they used to play handball, so it's very difficult to bring them in to play football.

MARTONE: The women, some of whom have played before on poorly organized college teams, say they have a mission.

"We must prove to ourselves and then to the rest of Iraq that we can do it," says 23-year-old Halud Abdel Kareem (ph). That is easier said than done. Asked if he'd like his own sisters to play, 18-year-old Huder (ph) said, "no, never, my sister. What are you saying?"

Fivel (ph), 21, said, "I would not allow it, but perhaps someone else would."

That someone else was among this extended family enjoying a day at the park.

"Isn't the daughter of Mohammed Ali Clay a boxer?" asked Haba Hammed (ph), 18. "If a woman can box," she says, "then certainly she can play football."

James Martone, CNN, Baghdad.



HAYNES: This rock wall is 60 feet tall. It takes plenty of strength and stamina to get up this thing. Kelly Bussell's been doing it for six years.

Kelly, what does it take to actually climb this wall?

KELLY BUSSELL, CLIMBER: A lot of people will assume that it's all in the arms, but it's more about your legs and your feet placement. You try to climb the wall as efficiently as possible and push your way up.

HAYNES (voice-over): OK, so I decided to give it a shot. Kelly made sure my equipment was ready to go, and I was all set in my first climb.

It's fun, but also hard work. Hey, ignore that kid on the right. She's just showing off. I can't believe they put me up for this. It's starting to feel like "Mission Impossible."

(on camera): Now, while I'm learning the ropes of rock-climbing, Christian Mahne explains how the fitness industry is reaching new heights, just like me.



CHRISTIAN MAHNE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Upward mobility with a difference. The rock is among the latest in fitness technology. The U.K. and Germany are the leaders in European health club membership, but in relative terms, only the Netherlands compares with the U.S. North America may be the market leader, but the stock market favors smaller numbers of higher price clubs, as in the U.K.

STUART DAVIS, CONVENTION ORGANIZER: We're finding that the U.K. clubs are very, very attractive on the market at the moment. They are gaining great multiples. We've seen a lot of capital investment, program rolling up, taking a lot more new sites on. The Americans are very, very surprised with what we're able to turn around. The key benefit of the U.K. market is the pricing. They hold a good price, they offer excellent service. It's much the big thing the U.K. operators want to do is hold on to members rather than just keep selling memberships.

MAHNE: In Europe's fast-growing market, U.S. players are planning expansion at top speed.

RICHARD CARO JR., SPECTRUM CLUBS: The United States has about a $9 billion health club industry at this point, growing fast each year. The U.K. companies are also showing us how easy it is to cross borders and create successful clubs in other countries.

MAHNE: Fitness technology is pushing hard, health club growth pressing harder.

MIKE BALFOUR, FITNESS FIRST: We're a long way from saturation. We've got many, many more years of growth. The thing that holds us back growing in Europe, generally, is finding sites. That's something, even if the Americans do come across to Europe, they will find out that it is very difficult to find sites and go through all the different planning and building controls and so on.

MAHNE: Just walking into the European fitness market will take more than sweat.

Christian Mahne, CNN Financial News, London.



HAYNES: Talk about sweat. This thing is killing me.

Biz news continues now in "Worldview."


ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: Next up: France. It's one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. History, art, culture and entertainment combine in a mix that draws millions to the European country every year. Paris is the capital of the most popular tourist destination in the country. It is also home to a number of world- renowned museums and landmarks.

This NEWSROOM reporter just got back from a vacation to France, and included the famous Notre Dame in my itinerary. It's a must-see for anyone visiting Paris, as one of the oldest churches in the world, and the site of Napoleon's coronation.

No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe along the Champs-Elysees. Other high points of my trip included stops along the Seine River, where you can catch the Baton Mouche. Just outside of Paris is a historical building you may have read a thing or two about: the palace of Versailles.

Jim Bittermann tells us there's more that draws tourists to France than the landmarks and obvious tourist sights.


JIM BITTERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Last year, more than 60 million people visited France. There were more tourists here than French. And while there are plenty of reasons why this country is the world's most popular tourist destination, at least two of them are because there's so much to see and it's so easy to see it.

Still, picking up a little advice from your fellow travelers is never a bad thing.

DAVIS VOSS, TOURIST: It's about as far as from there to there, just over there a little bit.


VOSS: Is that all right? Can we walk it?

BITTERMANN: David Voss and his family were finding their way with no problems at all. So what was the smartest thing they did before charging off on their holiday?

VOSS: We actually used the Internet extensively, took a look at a lot of different chateaus in France, and also the hotels here. They're on the Internet. You actually get breaks on the price if you do that, as well.

BITTERMANN: But planning can actually cost you money for some things, and money is one of them. Worrying about getting change or buying traveler's checks in advance is often more costly than doing what the Stroups of Florida were doing: living on their credit cards and ATM machines, and avoiding the expense of changing American cash to francs.

There are all sorts of ways to keep the losses to a minimum. Dining out the way most French do at simple, neighborhood restaurants is one way, staying at one of the city's hundreds of small hotels is another.

And there could be few complaints either about the transportation option. Ride the subway and buy 10 tickets at a time, as Natalie Ryan (ph) did for her family, and the price goes down to 80 cents a ride.

Up on the surface, there are other ways to get around, including on the surface of the Seine. There are the tour boats, of course, but a more cost-effective river ride is aboard a bus boat. One $10 ticket gets you on and off all day long. And there's the same flexibility on one of the guided tour buses, although at twice the price.

Still, many Americans in Paris these days are not that concerned about prices. Of course, exchange rates and multi-ride bargains are an attraction, but it's the distractions that draw tourists to Paris; temporary ones, like a ride on the big millennium ferris wheel, and the unchanging variety: the monuments and museums, which, like watching an artist at work, cost little or nothing at all.

Jim Bittermann, CNN, Paris.



HAYNES: That's it for "Worldview" today, and that's the end of my climb. There I go. While I recover, it's time to send you back to Shelley at CNN headquarters. There's lots more NEWSROOM To come.


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

WALCOTT: In the 1970s, many young people in the United States couldn't wait for the right to vote. But today, voter apathy among young people and students is at its highest levels. So why the change?

Well, to answer that, it might help to understand what's happened in the years since 18-year-olds gained their voting rights.

CNN Student Bureau reporter Nir Eyal (ph) takes a look.


NIR EYAL, CNN STUDENT BUREAU REPORTER (voice-over): In the 1996 presidential election, less than one third of 18- to 24-year-olds voted. Only 15 percent voted in the 1998 congressional elections.

Young people vote less than any other age group, but it wasn't always that way. It was in 1971 that the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18. After years of protesting the Vietnam War, college students went to the polls en masse in the 1972 presidential elections.

FRANK NEWPORT, EDITOR IN CHIEF, GALLUP POLL: Clearly, 1972 was a high-water mark in terms of a little more monolithic vote. That's the year in which 18-to 29-year-olds very disproportionately voted for the Democratic candidate George McGovern, senator from South Dakota, who was clearly and precisely running on an anti-war platform at that point.

EYAL: McGovern galvanized youth support around a single issue: ending the war in Vietnam. Despite the largest youth voter turnout in history, McGovern lost to Richard Nixon. And since then, youth voter turnout has steadily declined.

Brian Elms, director of the Youth in Action Campaign, thinks he knows why. BRIAN ELMS, DIRECTOR, YOUTH IN ACTION CAMPAIGN: Politicians have gone around creating laws for young people that directly affect them, but without ever asking them what they feel about it. If politicians aren't, you know, directly catering to certain types of young people or certain types of demographics, people just stop going to the polls.

But there may be another more practical reason why young people are not voting.

NEWPORT: Part of the reason is voting is an act that is related to stability. Younger people are more likely to be mobile. They move a lot, they change jobs, they change apartments, they change cities, and therefore they're less likely to even know where they should vote.

EYAL: New technologies like the Internet may offer hope. Arizona conducted this year's Democratic primary online, setting new turnout records.

NEWPORT: Young people are more likely to be active on the Internet. It's kind of a way of life. So if you put the two together, yes, there's every possibility that if you can get young people into being able to vote on the Internet, which is something they do naturally, you might increase, to some degree, their participation.

EYAL: Still, online voting is years away from widespread use, and voting trends may not be the best indication of what young people today care about.

ELMS: In the past few years, we've seen a push towards labor rights. Schools around the country are participating in labor rights activism. And as we move to a more global push, young people are going to feel more connected to these things. And young people have a buying power that's larger than any other buying power of any other demographic, and they're looking at who's making it and what they're getting paid.

EYAL (on camera): Another indicator of how much America's youth care about their society is this: 70 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds say they spend time volunteering in their community. That's higher than any previous generation.

Nir Eyal, CNN Student Bureau, Atlanta.


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: It's summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and for many of you that means banking your cash with a summer job. The question is, what are you doing with all that extra dough?

Our next report may give you some good ideas. Valerie Morris has the story of a young entrepreneur making it easy for his peers to invest.


VALERIE MORRIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Chris Stallman of Bradley, Illinois is not your typical teenager. He's a 16-year-old investor who runs a Web site that helps other kids take advantage of the stock market.

He and a buddy of his launched a little less than a year ago.

CHRIS STALLMAN, CO-FOUNDER, YOUNGMONTHLY.COM: We thought it'd be a great idea to create a newsletter that would help educate young investors and teach them how to take advantage of the stock market.

MORRIS: Most kids, however, are not as financially savvy. In fact, 66 percent of high school students tested by the National Council on Economic Education last year failed a basic test on economic principles.

ROBERT F. DUVALL, PRES. & CEO, NATL. COUNCIL ON ECONOMIC EDUCATION: It's certainly true that the earlier you teach children the importance of saving and investing, and make it not an abstraction but something where they can see the results and experience the rewards, you're going to be having more successful adults.

MORRIS: There are several mutual funds that are kid-friendly and make it easy to teach kids about investing. Among them: Stein Roe's Young Investor Fund and USAA's First Start Growth Fund. There's also a wealth of information accessible via the Internet. Salomon Smith Barney has a Young Investor Network, and CIBC has a Smart Start youth site.

So how did Chris Stallman do it? Some encouragement from his parents and a little research of his own.

STALLMAN: So I got on the Internet and looked up a couple Web sites and taught myself a little bit about investing.

MORRIS: Valerie Morris, CNN Financial News, New York.


WALCOTT: And that wraps up today's show. We'll see you back here tomorrow.



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