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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for August 1, 2000

Aired August 1, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: And NEWSROOM weaves its way into Tuesday. Thanks for joining us. I'm Shelley Walcott. We begin with politics in the United States.

In today's top story, the Republican convention opens with optimism about the party's prospects for winning back the White House.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Chairman, delegates, I proudly place the name of the current governor of the great state of Texas and the next president of the United States into nomination, George W. Bush.


WALCOTT: For some people, summer is all about catching rays. But before you indulge in that fun in the sun, be sure to check out today's "Health Desk."

Then, the world's record on children's rights goes under the microscope in "Worldview."

And in "Chronicle," the Republican convention father and son style.


STEVEN BELTRAM: My dad has a favorite saying. He says, if you're young and you're not a liberal, you don't have a heart.

RICK BELTRAM: And when you're older and not conservative, you don't have a brain.


WALCOTT: In today's news, it's official. Delegates at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania have places Texas Governor George W. Bush's name in nomination as their presidential candidate. No other candidates were even mentioned. Also during opening sessions yesterday, delegates approved the party's platform, which reaches out to immigrants and minorities. And they heard speeches from a parade of candidates for the Senate and House of Representatives. Speeches were also given by Governor Bush's wife Laura and former U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman retired General Colin Powell.

The four-day convention is a unique mix of parties, pep rallies, political networking, and lots of fund raising on the side. It provides a showcase for the party's star, in this case Bush, and emerging GOP leaders who want to make a good impression on the party faithful.

Jeanne Meserve now with a closer look at some of the faces behind the Grand Old Party membership.


JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just who does the Republican Party suit? It's largest and most faithful constituency: religious conservatives who are mostly fundamentalist Protestants.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pray that God will have his way.

MESERVE: They have voted Republican by as much as 80 percent in some elections.

GEOFF GARIN, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: They've gone from being a pressure group within the Republican Party to being the heart of the Republican Party.

MESERVE: Republicans are strongest in the South, Southwest, Rocky Mountain and plain states. Polling tells us 95 percent of Republicans are white, 54 percent are male. They tend to have higher incomes than Democrats do and they are very often married.

The majority of Republicans support the death penalty and oppose both abortion rights and stronger gun laws. But there are fractures within the Republican Party.

STEPHEN WAYNE, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: There's been a fight for the soul of the Republican Party between the Christian Coalition, who are active in the primaries, and the moderate Republicans who feel increasingly disenfranchised by the representation they have in Washington. Bush was viewed as the consolidation candidate.


GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: For me, tax cutting is not some abstract cause. I have a plan, but I also have a record.


GARIN: Taxes is a red-meat issue for Republicans. And they're going to -- and the core of the party is going to love that George W. Bush wants to slash federal taxes. MESERVE: Bush has, however, been reaching beyond the boundaries that usually define his party. He has made a point of talking to minorities. And with his compassionate conservatism, he has been making a bid for moderates, especially women whose votes are so crucial in this election.

In the view of some analysts, Bush is trying to do more than change the image of his party, he is trying to reposition it by reclaiming the center and redefining who is a Republican.

Jeanne Meserve, CNN, Philadelphia.


WALCOTT: More on the convention later in "Chronicle." Kate Snow will have the story of a father and son and their views of the convention from opposite sides of the political fence.

ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, has been reelected in a landslide vote. While the country has enjoyed relative political stability and basic democracy since the 1950s, President Chavez faces formidable challenges. Most of the country lives in poverty and the poor majority came to the polls in support of the man they see as giving them hope.

The country is transitioning from a poor agrarian to a rapidly urbanizing economy. The capital has been plagued with an exploding population and soaring crime is a problem for the entire nation.


CAROLINE CAYAZZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A huge crowd gathered outside the Presidential Palace where President Hugo Chavez will remain in office with a fresh mandate to continue his political, social and economic reforms.

HUGO CHAVEZ, VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I want to point out the result to my fellow countrymen and the entire world that this result will bring justice to the Venezuelan people.

CAYAZZO: This is a six-year term. But according to a new Constitution, with Chavez's push through, he could run for another six-year term which could keep him in office until the year 2011. Chavez defeated Francisco Arias who pledged to become the opposition leader.

With an unemployment rate above 15 percent and at least 50 percent of the people living in poverty, some analysts say it is time to deliver.

ALFREDO KELLER, POLITICAL ANALYST (through translator): Chavez will have to rebuild the country's institutional framework which he himself helped destroy. He'll have to generate international confidence in Venezuela, which he himself helped to undermine. He'll have to become a leader, a statesman, and less of a military man, a belligerent soldier. Otherwise, in a few years, Venezuela will be asking for the head of President Chavez.

CAYAZZO: During the campaign, Chavez lashed out at the business sector, bankers and the Catholic Church, charging them with making up a ruling oligarchy.

(on camera): Chavez said that, this Wednesday, he will present a plan for reviving the economy.


WALCOTT: One of the best parts of summer is kicking back and catching some rays. But the sun is so intense, you won't catch me without sunscreen. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is changing the way sunscreens are labelled in the hopes of avoiding confusion for consumers. Among the new rules to be implemented by December 31, 2002, the highest SPF label you'll see is 30-plus. Even those labels will carry a warning that, while you may not burn, with sun exposure you're still at risk of developing skin cancer.

And young people need to take extra precaution: 80 percent of lifetime sun exposure is estimated to occur before the age of 18. On average, children get three times more sun exposure than adults, and just one bad, blistering sunburn during childhood can double the risk of skin cancer later in life.

Holly Firfer has more now on how scientist make sure sunscreens work.


HOLLY FIRFER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Four, eight, 15, 30 -- choosing a sunscreen can seem like picking numbers in the lottery, but it's not random. It's a science for researchers in Winnipeg, Canada; not a sun or beach haven, but:

WENDY LAZAR, HILLTOP RESEARCHING: You need, basically, virgin skin, skin that has not seen much sun. So we have a very short summer here and we have a lot of fair-skinned people here, two critical factors to be able to test the products under these conditions.

FIRFER: Conditions built into a laboratory where researchers simulate sun exposure to test if the product's advertised SPF, or sun protection factor, meets FDA standards. After applying different sunscreens to areas of the back, a small beam of light from a sun lamp zaps the skin.

JOELLE POTREBKA, HILL TOP RESEARCH, INC.: The tests themselves don't really cause severe sunburns, just to the point where they get real faint pinkness on their back.

FIRFER: Across the room, volunteers soak in a hot tub before the sun lamp to test water resistant claims.

POTREBKA: They go in and out of the water twice, 20 minute intervals. The very water resistant, you're in and out of the water four times. So it's just a bit of a stronger claim. FIRFER: If the sunscreen stays on.

(on camera): Once a year, an independent contractor, usually a physicist, will come to labs like this one in Winnipeg to make sure all light sources are calibrated to government standards. That way they can be sure that all of their results are consistent.

(voice-over): These FDA standards assure consumers that an SPF factor, no matter what brand you buy, is standardized. There are, however, different standards of testing for sunscreens in Europe and Asia.

Keep in mind, dermatologists warn, no matter which SPF you chose, you must reapply it every hour to get the maximum protection when in the sun. But they say the best protection is to stay out of the sun.

Holly Firfer, CNN, Winnipeg, Canada.


WALCOTT: We continue our week-long special "Youth 2000" in "Worldview." We'll check out the power of your pocketbook, what effect do you have on the marketplace and in the workforce. And how do young people rate as consumers. We'll also examine the world's record on child rights.

JORDAN: You hear a lot about human rights, but did you ever stop to think human rights are also child rights. The international community recognizes the need to address this matter and to speak out for the rights of all children everywhere. Today we look at the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a groundbreaking human rights treaty ratified by 191 countries around the world.

In fact, only two countries have not ratified the treaty. And that is our pop quiz today: Which two countries have not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The answer coming up after this report by Kathy Nellis.


KATHY NELLIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Convention on the Rights of the Child is a human rights treaty adopted by the United Nations in 1989. Its goal: to promote the rights of young people and to set out standards for the world. These include protection from violence and abuse, protection from hazardous employment and exploitation, adequate nutrition, adequate health care, free compulsory primary education, equal treatment regardless of gender, race or cultural background.

And that's just part of the list. As you can see, there's a lot to consider. The U.N. says the Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history.

CHARLES LYONS, PRESIDENT, U.N. FUND FOR UNICEF: It's been ratified by 191 countries. There are only 193 countries on the planet. So in that sense, the convention represents a huge forward step in respect for children's rights. That doesn't make up for the fact that over 30,000 children die every single day around the world of largely preventable causes.

NELLIS: There are many problems to overcome, critical issues that need urgent attention.

JOHN GATES, TASK FORCE FOR CHILD SURVIVAL AND DEVELOPMENT: The overall goal is to try to improve the quality of life of children throughout the world by preventing disease and promoting optimal health and functioning.

NELLIS: Experts believe that issues of children's welfare are gaining attention and support around the world.

LYONS: I think it's very important for people to recognize the progress that's been achieved. We've made more progress for children in the last 25 years than in the previous 200 years in terms of getting them immunized, getting them nourished.

NELLIS: Organizations around the world are spearheading the movement. For example: UNICEF, Save the Children and the Carter Center Task Force for Child Survival and Development and its collaborative Center for Child Well-Being.

GATES: I can only believe that it's going to get better. Our knowledge is expanding. We are becoming more and more of a global community. There is a growing mutual interest, I think, in elevating the health and well-being of people everywhere.

NELLIS: And while that's good news, children's agencies around the world say there is still a need for donations, for volunteers, for more public awareness about these issues.

LYONS: Around the world, as long as there are that number of children dying of preventable causes, we're not doing enough. It's not a question of whether there's enough money, it's a question of whether there are enough people demanding certain levels of care, respect for rights, safety, security for kids. And we obviously can and must do better.

Kathy Nellis, CNN.


JORDAN: OK, time now for the answer to our pop quiz. Which two countries have not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child? Those two countries are Somalia and the United States.

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Some of you probably have jobs to earn extra money to buy the things you want. But many young people around the world work because they have to help support their families. The International Labor Organization says about 120 million children ages 5 to 14 work full-time and another 130 million work part-time.

Most children work because of poverty. They bring in about one- fourth of their family income. But they often miss out on education and many suffer from exploitation. We head now to Africa and Asia, the two continents with the greatest number of working children.

Riz Khan has our story.


RIZ KHAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The range of work that young children are put to is large. It can be anything from hard labor involving hazardous substances, to working on farms, to simply having a job after school to earn some pocket money. This is what makes dealing with the problem so difficult. The Convention on the Rights of the Child sets a guideline: The work must not expose the children to economic exploitation or interfere with the child's education. The convention calls for states to take measures against those exploiting children, from sanctions to penalties.

But UNICEF stresses that though these can apply pressure on governments, the sweeping nature of the measures can only affect export sectors which are relatively small exploiters of child labor. UNICEF also describes sanctions and such penalties as "blunt instruments" with long-term consequences that can actually harm rather than help children.

So which countries have significant numbers of children in the workforce? A sample from the international labor organization shows Mali as having more than half of the workforce age 10 to 14 -- 54 percent. Other African nations also feature highly. For example: Uganda 45 percent, and Kenya 41 percent.

Asia has 61 percent of the world's child labor, though, according to the ILO, with Bangladesh using children between 10 and 14 for 30 percent of their workforce; Pakistan 18 percent, India 14 percent, and China 12 percent. Those who take a more cautious approach to dealing with child labor say that stopping it altogether could be disastrous because of the economic implications for families.

But all of those seeking a solution agree that there is one key factor that can help in the fight to protect the rights of children: education. UNICEF points out that 30 percent of children in developing countries enrolling in primary education don't complete it, and that figure rises to 60 percent in some countries. Education, says UNICEF, has to be more relevant to children and their parents, being more flexible in order to adapt to the circumstances that drive children into forced labor in the first place.

Riz Khan, CNN.


TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: As you've seen, many young people around the world are part of the workforce. But if you work, you're not just part of the job market, you're part of the marketplace. How are you spending your time and money? Major companies are constantly seeking the answers to that question. Cartoon Network, a Time Warner owned network just like CNN, teamed up with a research group to take a 14- country survey from South Korea to Australia. Almost 8,000 kids were polled. Lorraine Hahn as the details.


LORRAINE HAHN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They're young, they're savvy, and more than ever they know just what they want. They are the region's 7- to 18-year-olds. And the latest survey by Cartoon Network and AC Nielsen finds these so-called "New GenerAsians" are getting richer.

ANTHONY DOBSON, TURNER INTERNATIONAL ASIA PACIFIC: In this survey, what we saw was a relative increase in the spending power of children, the biggest increases coming in markets where the economic downturn affected least.

HAHN: Thailand's young people had just a 3 to 4 percent increase in spending power, while Taiwan's rocketed more than 60 percent. But across the board, technology is now seen as an essential part of the young Asian lifestyle. More kids are getting connected to the Internet and mobile phones. Just over half of the 16- to 18-year-olds surveyed in Hong Kong own a mobile phone, with Nokia the most popular brand among young cell phone users.

STEVE GARTON, AC NIELSEN: International brands have become even stronger, more important to kids in their lifestyle, whether it's Nike or Coke or major cell phone brands like Nokia or Motorola. These things are more important to kids now than perhaps even two years ago. So for local brands it's a bit of a struggle.

HAHN: The local brands may be losing out in some countries, but not everyone in the survey rates designer brands as important. Interest in designer brands is highest in countries like India, but surprisingly, lowest among 7- to 18-year-olds in Hong Kong.

GARTON: I'm sure kids are still very interested in what they wear and brands are very important to them, but not designer brands. They've rejected that. They've moved on from that stage. And perhaps we'll see kids in India in a few years time saying the same thing as kids in Hong Kong are saying today.

HAHN: Whatever the brand, it's not just the kids' spending power that's important. Many have quite a bit of "pester power" -- the ability to influence their parents' buying decisions.

DOBSON: Kids have a lot of influence over things like the home computer. If the household is going to buy a computer, then the child influences the parents' brand purchase decision. So kids don't just influence things that you traditionally associate with kids. Technology items are particularly important when it comes to kids and recommending brands to their parents.


WALCOTT: More on young consumers now as we head to Europe; specifically Great Britain. Once again, we check out how young people are spending their time and their money. And we'll fill you in on the typical allowance of British teens. How do you stack up?

Sanjay Singh has our story.


SANJAY SINGH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Choosing what they should do in their spare time is probably one of the most popular talking points for youngsters in Britain; from playing computer games when they're not doing their homework, to hanging out with their friends at local arcades, or even eating out at a fast-food restaurant like McDonald's, many young British teens have a diverse range of interests to keep them busy -- activities which don't involve underage drinking or adult movies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The type of things that I like to do in my spare time: I either build computers up -- PCs -- go to skate parks or go out for a meal with my friends.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In my spare time, I enjoy going out with my friends and shopping.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I spend my spare time with my friends at Hollywood Bowl in North London. It's an arcade place. I like playing arcades.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I spend my leisure time visiting my relatives and going out with my friends. I spend it most in the library because I work there.

SINGH: And working for some extra money in their spare time gives some older teenagers greater spending power.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I spend my money on clothes, CDs. And I'm also saving for a car when I'm 18, so I put a little bit of money aside for that -- put it in the account that I won't touch until like I'm 18.

SINGH: But for those who are unable or unwilling to work to get more spending money, pocket money is the only option. On average, children who receive money from their parents can hope to get up to 25 pounds, or about $40, per week.

So, what do teenagers do with their money? According to British government statistics, at least 30 percent of teenagers spend their money and clothes and footwear. But when broken down, nearly three times as many girls as boys bought clothes and footwear. Girls also spent more on personal goods and services such as grooming products. Boys, on the other hand, tended to spend more than girls when it comes to leisure goods such as video games and CDs. One leisure-time product that British boys are crazy about involves a popular sport.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The thing that I think right now is popular is definitely wrestling. Everyone's into it and they always speak about it.

SINGH: Statistics also show interesting differences in one of the most basic teenage pursuits -- reading.

(on camera): When it comes to what they prefer reading during their spare time, British teenagers are divided along gender lines. Boys prefer reading newspapers such as "The Sun," the news of the world, but nearly half of all girls surveyed preferred reading the magazine "Sugar."

(voice-over): According to "Sugar"'s editorial director, Lysanne Sampson (ph), the popularity of her top-selling teenage magazine is no surprise. And she is only too aware of the differences in interests between her female readers and young boys.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Teenage girls are far more interested in nattering with their friends and gossiping and shopping. I mean, boys are getting more like that, too. They're quite label-conscious, you know. They like their clothes to be designer and they're very impressed with Nike and, you know, the trainer, the sportswear brands. But girls are very much more into, yes, just the friendship angle.

SINGH: While there are distinct differences between boys and girls on how they spend their leisure time and their money, one thing remains common for British youngsters of both genders: They're intent on having fun their way.

Sanjay Singh, CNN, London.


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

WALCOTT: "Chronicle" focuses on the other side of the Republican convention, Thousands of activists have been protesting near the convention hall. They are rallying to raise awareness on several issues, including homelessness and an end to the death penalty. They are causes that have really hit home for one father and son, who are taking the convention from very different vantage points.

Kate Snow has their story.


KATE SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rick Beltram packed his patriotic ties. His son, Steven, packed his guitar.





SNOW: They spend Sunday night together at a Republican dinner, but beyond that they won't see a lot of each other.

S. BELTRAM: Justice now! Justice now!

SNOW: This is how Steven will spend most of his time in Philadelphia, wearing Birkenstocks, holding signs and fighting to be heard. The 17-year-old high-school student has some strong opinions.

S. BELTRAM: Power should come from the people and not from money. Corporate globalization is a big thing. Environmental, and you know, economic rights. The death penalty. And those are all the things that, you know, we need to raise awareness to the Republican Party.

SNOW: It's the same party represented by the senior Beltram. Here's how Rick Beltram spent his morning as an alternate delegate from South Carolina.

R. BELTRAM: We agreed ahead of time that we're going to disagree but not be disagreeable, and I think it's almost like a sport.


R. BELTRAM: He's been there. He's seen it.

S. BELTRAM: The death penalty is...


SNOW: Steven grew up debating politics with his father. They don't agree on much: not abortion, not the death penalty, definitely not George W. Bush.

PROTESTERS: People united will never be defeated! The people united...

SNOW: But despite his son's politics, a father will always be a father.


S. BELTRAM: Yes, all right.


SNOW: About every hour dad calls to check in.


S. BELTRAM: Yes, OK. Can I call you later?


SNOW (on camera): Rick Beltram says the one thing he asked of his son this week is that he not break the law. While he's here at the convention, he does not want to get a call from police.


S. BELTRAM: Where are you from?



SNOW (voice-over): Rick Beltram is convinced once his son is a little older he'll come around.

S. BELTRAM: My dad has a favorite saying. He says, if you're young and you're not a liberal, you don't have a heart.

R. BELTRAM: And when you're older and not conservative, you don't have a brain. I think that's...

SNOW: Kate Snow, CNN, Philadelphia.


WALCOTT: And we'll have more on the Republican convention on tomorrow's show. That wraps it up for us here today. We'll see you back here tomorrow.



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