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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for August 8, 2000

Aired August 8, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

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

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: And I am Tom Haynes. Here's what we have planned for today.

WALCOTT: Vice President Gore picks the man he hopes will take his current job.


SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D-CT), VICE PRES. CANDIDATE: It's my honor. I'm humbled, I'm grateful, I'm proud, and I'm excited.


HAYNES: In "Health Desk," taking a puff in the United States may have you hitting the streets: How the pastime may be becoming passe.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten years from now, well, we're probably going to have to go find a hole somewhere to hide in to smoke, you know.


WALCOTT: "Worldview" heads to Africa, where traditional healers hold court with modern doctors: How for some, herbs, roots and leaves are replacing prescription drugs when it comes to AIDS.

HAYNES: Then "Chronicle" returns to the news of the day and the Democratic vice presidential choice.


KEATING HOLLAND, CNN POLLING DIRECTOR: Forty years ago, a majority of Americans felt perfectly free to say that they would never vote for a Jew for president. Today, only about 3 percent say they would never vote for a Jew for president.


HAYNES: We zero in today on the man Al Gore has chosen to be his vice presidential running mate. Joseph Lieberman, a United States senator from Connecticut, was contacted yesterday by the vice president and eagerly accepted his invitation.

The choice is historic. If elected, Lieberman would be the first Jewish vice president in U.S. history. Many say by choosing Lieberman, Vice President Gore can distance himself from President Clinton's past controversies. The senator was an outspoken critic of Mr. Clinton's during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Other background info on Senator Lieberman: He's a senator from Connecticut; he has been since 1988. He calls himself a New Democrat and is chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council. And he's credited with his reputation for bipartisanship.

Our in-depth coverage of the Democrats' choice for vice president begins with John King.


JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The 58-year-old senator settled into his new job even before the vice president called with the official offer.

Running mates have two basic roles: attack the opposition...

LIEBERMAN: The bottom line: When the working people of America look for a helping hand from the other party and the other ticket, they too often will receive the back of their hand.

KING: ... and plug the man atop the ticket.

LIEBERMAN: This choice is an easy choice, this contest is no contest. The right choice is Al Gore and the Democratic Party in the year 2000.

KING: The vice president settled on Lieberman late Sunday night and officially extended the offer early Monday afternoon.

LIEBERMAN: He asked me to -- if I would be his running mate this year. I said I was honored, I was humbled, I was grateful and I was excited to accept his offer.

KING: But Gore was playing coy until Tuesday's official announcement.

VICE PRES. AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'll pick someone who shares my values, who can be a good partner for me and who will join me in fighting for people and not the powerful.

KING: Lieberman will be the first Jew on a major party national ticket, a bold stroke Gore hopes helps him shed a cautious, play-it- safe image. Senior Democratic and campaign sources tell CNN Gore's pick was shaped by the tone of the Republican National Convention, the efforts by the Bush-Cheney ticket to taint Gore with the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

RICHARD B. CHENEY (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Mr. Gore will try to separate himself from his leader's shadow, but somehow we will never see one without thinking of the other.

KING: Lieberman was the first major Democrat to publicly condemn the president's conduct.


LIEBERMAN: Such behavior is not just inappropriate, it is immoral and it is harmful, for it is sends a message of what is acceptable behavior to the larger American family, particularly to our children.


KING: The senator's criticism of gratuitous sex and violence in the television and music industries is also viewed by Gore as a plus in reaching suburban mothers.

PETER HART, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: More than anything else, it helps Al Gore establish his own set of values. And by picking Joe Lieberman, he says, I'm choosing somebody who is willing to stand up and be counted on moral issues.

KING: Sources familiar with the vice president's thinking say he decided in the end that Lieberman had more appeal to independents and moderate Republicans than the three other Democratic senators on his short list.

Those passed over did their best to mask any disappointment.

SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D), NORTH CAROLINA: He's a great consumer advocate, believes in the environment, fiscal responsibility. I mean, these are things that I strongly believe in, so I think he's a great choice.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: A different model -- I think that's the way to phrase it. And I respect that. And he asked me to be involved, and I obviously will continue to be involved.

KING: The vice president hopes his pick helps blunt the post- convention momentum of the Bush-Cheney ticket.

(on camera): But his choice of Lieberman was also a reminder of the vice president's delicate political challenge: convincing voters he deserves a share of the credit for the strong economy and other Clinton administration successes, but not the blame for the president's personal failings.

John King, CNN, Nashville. (END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: Word of Vice President Gore's choice to complete his presidential ticket reverberated in the Middle East. The United States has been a heavy hand in ongoing peace talks between Israel, the world's only Jewish state, and Palestinians.


RABBI MICHAEL MELCHIOR, ISRAELI MINISTER OF DIASPORA AFFAIRS: I am very proud that the American society has matured to this point that a Jew who is a conscious Jew, a religious Jew, can be a candidate for this high position.

HANAN ASHRAWI, PALESTINIAN SPOKESWOMAN: I just hope that issues of Israeli relations don't become paramount and that the Democratic Party and Mr. Gore will try to be evenhanded in the peace process.


HAYNES: Brian Palmer now looks at reaction in the U.S. to the Gore-Lieberman ticket.


BRIAN PALMER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 1960: The question was, would Americans vote a Catholic into the White House?


JOHN F. KENNEDY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think it'll be a matter of discussion, and I think it'll be in the press, and among political leaders it'll be a matter of substantial discussion. Among the voters, I would think it's a matter of less importance.


PALMER: Forty years later, they're being asked if they're ready to elect a Jewish person to the second-highest office in the land: Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman.

LIEBERMAN: My faith is part of me. It's at the center of who I've been all my life. I mean, I know that without, you know, God, I wouldn't be here. So, that's where it all begins.

PALMER: Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, is forbidden from working and using certain forms of transportation on the Sabbath, but that hasn't interfered with his duties, say supporters.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Will he miss a few days campaigning for religious observance this fall, for the Jewish high holy days? Yes, and I think people will respect that.

PALMER: There are also exceptions.

ABRAHAM FOXMAN, NATIONAL DIRECTOR, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: The church tradition puts a value on -- a very significant value on security and life, and therefore you can even violate some of the precepts of the Sabbath if it is to save life or to act on behalf of the security of the nation.

PALMER: For some, the big issue is a non-issue in the voting booth.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I wasn't going to vote for Gore, but I am now, because that means he's very inclusive. For the first time, we see someone who says, Let me see what this man has done, let me see his background, and then let me choose him.

PALMER: But skeptics say an angry minority might vote against the Gore-Lieberman ticket.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel that his choice of a Jewish person is going to cost Al Gore the election because there's so much hate groups, anti-Semitism in this country.

MALCOLM HOENLEIN, CONFERENCE OF PRESIDENTS OF MAJOR AMERICAN JEWISH ORGANIZATION: Will there be a backlash? Certainly there could be one, but I think that racists and bigots and anti-Semites don't need excuses. They're there. Maybe they'll come out from under the rocks and the sunlight will do them some good.

PALMER (on camera): One indicator of how Lieberman may fare on the national stage is the past. In a state where 3 percent of the population is Jewish, Lieberman won reelection with 67 percent of all ballots cast.

Brian Palmer, CNN, New York.


HAYNES: OK, let's put your political know-how to the test? Can you name the Jewish-American appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1962? We'll tell you who it was later in "Chronicle" as we examine more political firsts.

WALCOTT: The United States has been the scene of some aggressive anti-smoking campaigns, and recent events haven't been good for the tobacco industry.

Florida's landmark punitive damages verdict of $145 billion against tobacco companies was handed down last month. And back in February, U.S. President Bill Clinton proposed the tobacco industry pay $3,000 for every smoker under the age of 18 and that the tax on cigarettes be raised another 25 cents per pack.

Statistics show that the earlier people start smoking the harder it is to quit when they're older. People who start smoking in their teenage years run the risk of becoming lifelong smokers. One third to half of young people who try cigarettes go on to be daily smokers. The U.S. Public Health Service says nicotine addiction is the most widespread example of drug dependence in the country. In fact, experts say it takes an average of five attempts for an adult to successfully quit smoking. Yet people are kicking the habit.

Rusty Dornin takes a look at a trend that's becoming more clear.


RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They stand out on street corners and huddle in doorways, forced outside to indulge their habit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got to smoke outside. Way, way, far away, across the street, even.

DORNIN: California was the first state to launch an anti-smoking crusade in 1989 by slapping a hefty tax on cigarettes, and didn't stop there. The state targeted smokers by attacking the tobacco companies.


ANNOUNCER: For more than 40 years, tobacco executives have denied that smoking is harmful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALES: Not addictive, not addictive, not addictive...


STAN GLANTZ, CIGARETTE SMOKING RESEARCHER: The program took on the tobacco industry frontally. It stressed clean indoor air and second-hand smoke.

DIANA BONTA, CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES: There was this groundswell to really say, enough's enough, we want to be able to enjoy public places without smoking.

DORNIN: In the last two decades, cigarette consumption has been cut almost in half in California, and nationally only Utah and Minnesota have a lower percentage of smokers. California's anti- smoking campaign has become a national model, and smoking in the U.S. has dropped from 42 percent of adults in 1965 to 22 percent in 1998.

(on camera): Many states try to curb smoking through higher taxes. New York has doubled its cigarette tax from 56 cents to $1.11 this year, and a growing number of states ban smoking in work places, restaurants, and even bars.

(voice-over): Smokers are being forced to step outside.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you want to smoke, you've got to go somewhere really inconvenient.

DORNIN: That makes smokers think twice about the habit, say anti-smoking advocates. And if they don't quit, they may start to cut down. Even in places like Georgia, where cigarette taxes are still only 12 cents a pack, many smokers feel like outcasts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the embarrassment of people being rejected from smokers now. Used to everybody -- you know, it was pretty well acceptable, but now it's not so.

DORNIN: Ostracism that some smokers say can only get worse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten years from now, well, we're probably going to have to find a hole somewhere to go hide in to smoke, you know.

DORNIN: A once-glamorous habit that may now be more than a little passe.

Rusty Dornin, CNN, San Francisco.


HAYNES: Oh, man. Something smells in "Worldview" today. So hold your nose and hold your breath. We're taking you to Hong Kong for a Chinese delicacy, or not, depending on your nose. On to Italian regions and Vatican City for some secrets from the past. And we head to Africa for health matters.

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: It's difficult to understate the human toll AIDS and HIV are taking around the world, especially in Africa. The disease is now the leading cause of death on the continent. It's estimated one in four people will die of the disease. More than 2 million fell victim last year alone. Left behind are millions of orphans. Some experts predict that if current trends continue, nearly 28 million children in Africa will have lost at least one of their parents by the year 2010. Who will pay for their care?

As Eileen O'Connor reports, one answer may be in the form of low- cost loans from the international community.


EILEEN O'CONNOR, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: 2.2 million people died from AIDS in Africa in 1999, leaving behind 10.4 million children under 15, many now orphans with both parents victims of this pandemic.

ZAINABU SALEH MSOMOKA (through translator): The young generation are leaving behind their kids and it is a big battle for the old people like us.

O'CONNOR: Zainabu Saleh Msomoka's eldest son and daughter-in-law died, leaving her with four children to care for. Selling off her government food allotment gave her one dollar to start a roadside stand selling roasted sweet potatoes. She, like so many other women in Africa, says her savior from starvation came in the form of a $65- microcredit loan she used to expand her business to a restaurant, enabling her to feed her grandchildren.

MSOMOKA (through translator): I wouldn't have been able to educate them, I wouldn't be able to feed them.

O'CONNOR: The Foundation for International Community Assistance, or FINCA, has provided over $40 million and says these loans are now proving crucial in the battle against the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

LAWRENCE YANOVITCH, FINCA INTERNATIONAL: As long as these women are really desperately poor, they don't have time to come and listen to the education messages.

O'CONNOR: Critics say these programs only work if well- administered, and only if partnered with access to better health care and AIDS education. Administers say a repayment rate of 98 percent and the benefits to African economies make this an investment that pays off.

Eileen O'Connor, CNN, Washington.


HAYNES: As AIDS continues to sweep across Africa, millions there are desperate for a cure. Many are putting their hope not in modern medicine, but in traditional healers who have gained a level of respectability in Africa. For the first time, traditional healers were invited to participate in the annual International AIDS Conference, just recently completed.

Charlayne Hunter-Gault reports.


CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Traditional leaders on the march for acceptance. With their herbs, roots, leaves, and other natural things, traditional healers are consulted by up to 90 percent of Africans, turning to them now because of AIDS, a key point made during this workshop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody in his right sense of mind goes to a modern hospital if he has HIV/AIDS except he wants to die.

HUNTER-GAULT: But one medical doctor argued that traditional healers are also killing people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because they've been giving medicines which have damaged their kidneys and die a very bad death.

HUNTER-GAULT (on camera): It is here, in and around these hills, that traditional healers live and work among the people.

(voice-over): Those who are HIV positive, those who see traditional healers as their only hope. They line up here from sunup to sundown, where 64-year-old Yanga Ingobani (ph) sells for about $3 muti (ph), a concoction made of herbs, which he says heals AIDS victims.

He collaborates with the virology lab at the Natal Medical School, where he sends saliva samples for HIV testing.

The collaboration allows for more scientific exploration, a check on practices that could be harmful, and it gives Ingobani a bridge to the scientific community. PROF. ALAN SMITH, UNIVERSITY OF NATAL: I think science should and I think government should make use of these people whenever possible, both in education and the application of treatment.

HUNTER-GAULT: Professor Smith says he has seen some of Ingobani's patients get better, though he needs more scientific evidence.

This women, collecting muti for four people, doesn't.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This medicine is very good for the people.

HUNTER-GAULT: The healers agree and are fighting to get official government recognition.

MERCY NOBESUTHU-MANCI, TRADITIONAL HEALER: English write on the paper that this is to amend, this is all that. We recognize the traditional healers.

HUNTER-GAULT: Traditional healers are being utilized by the South African government, but as for official recognition:

DR. NONO SIMELELA, S. AFRICA HIV/AIDS PROGRAM: Many methods are different. How they claim to cure is different. What they use to cure is different. So how do you start to regulate such -- it's difficult.

HUNTER-GAULT: But Ingobani says he's been helped by government in recognizing how HIV/AIDS started, in taking precautions, and in realizing the seriousness of the disease as a holocaust. And he, for one, is hoping for greater collaboration between his way and modern science to help in the scourge that is on his doorstep.

Charlayne Hunter-Gault, CNN, Umlazi, South Africa.


WALCOTT: Vatican City is the smallest independent country in the world. Covering a mere one 109 acres, the Vatican, as it's commonly known, lies completely within the Italian city of Rome. But don't let the size fool you. The Vatican is the spiritual and governmental center of the Roman Catholic Church, the largest Christian church in the world. Vatican City has its own postage stamps, coins and license plates. It also operates an archive of important religious and historical documents and a library, which houses one of the largest and most valuable collections of early manuscripts and books from around the world.

In our next report, Gayle Young explains how the Vatican is opening up its archives to shed light on a secret that was born near a shrine in Portugal 80 years ago.


GAYLE YOUNG, CNN ROME BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): The Vatican believes the newly released text of the so-called "Third Secret of Fatima" will show that faith changed the course of a bullet and the course of history.

The "Third Secret" which was revealed by John Paul II last May in Fatima, is that the Virgin Mary, in 1917, predicted the 1981 assassination attempt against him in St. Peter's Square. A vision of the virgin is believed to have revealed three secrets in Fatima to three Portuguese children, only one of whom is still alive. The now 93-year-old Sister Lucia wrote down the secrets in the early 1940s. One was a vision of Hell. The second was said to have predicted World War II. The third was kept in a Vatican vault and was the subject of intense speculation.

According to the just-released text, the children saw a vision of a pope struggling up a hill of corpses toward a cross. He was shot to death by soldiers. Bishops and priests were also killed. Vatican theologians say it was a vision of the fate of the Roman Catholic Church, if not for a renewal of faith by its adherence.

The pope believes the virgin Mary guided the bullet and saved his life that May 13 in 1981. It was the date of the Virgin's feast and the date she first appeared to the children. Sister Lucia reportedly concurs with the interpretation. The Catholic faithful are likely to embrace it. Others may find it harder to believe.

Gayle Young, CNN, Rome.


BAKHTIAR: Hong Kong consists of a peninsula attached to China and more than 235 islands. About 6 1/2 million people call Hong Kong home, and 98 percent of them have Chinese ancestry. As a result, the language and customs of China have a prominent place in the lives of Hong Kong's citizens today. One area where the similarities are most obvious is cuisine.

People in Hong Kong eat large quantities of rice, vegetables, fish and meat, but they also have a taste for something that smells.

Mike Chinoy has the details.


MIKE CHINOY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is, to some anyway, one of the great Chinese delicacies: chou doufu, literally, "stinky bean curd," fermented, deep fried, served with chili or black bean sauce, eaten on a stick. To its devotees, its taste is as unforgettable as its odor.

"I love it," says this man. "Those who aren't used to it think it smells, but it's really great."

(on camera): But for some in this neighborhood, the stinky bean curd got a little too stinky, which is why it landed the owners of this shop in court.

(voice-over): Mr. and Mrs. Mo have run this chou doufu stall for years. But in one of Hong Kong's most crowded districts, the neighbors complained that bean curd fumes were spoiling their laundry and their apartments. A police summons accused the Mo's of "air pollution" and led to a modest fine.

"These people who complain, sure, they can smell the bean curd," says Mr. Mo, "but they can't prove it's harmful. And if you're talking about pollution here, what about all those car exhaust fumes?"

The Mos spent thousands on a new ventilation system, but the pungent odor is still there.

"I don't like it," says this woman. "It stinks." Fans say that's just the point.

"The smellier it is, the better," says this man. Adds his friend: "I wouldn't mind if there was a stinky doufu shop where we live."

Indeed, since the court case, the customers have been pouring in. Causing a stink seems to be good for business.

Mike Chinoy, CNN, Hong Kong.


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

WALCOTT: Were you able to answer the quiz we gave you earlier? We asked if you could name the Jewish-American appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court back in 1962. Give up? Well, the answer is Arthur J. Goldberg. He served as associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1962 to 1965. Goldberg was appointed by President John F. Kennedy, who was also an example of a political first.

With more, here's Bruce Morton.


BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Democrat Al Smith was the first Roman Catholic presidential nominee in 1928. He lost.

John Kennedy was the second in 1960.


KENNEDY: And I will be worthy of your trust. We will carry the fight to the people in the fall and we shall win.


MORTON: And he did win, though he had to go to Texas and assure a gathering of Protestant ministers that, as president, he would not take orders from the pope.

We've seen black candidates run and win statewide -- Douglas Wilder as governor of Virginia, for example, though he won by much less than the polls predicted.

HOLLAND: Almost inevitably, you have to take three or four points, sometimes five or six points, off of where that candidate is in the last poll in order to get an accurate assessment of how many votes he's actually going to pick up.

MORTON: The first woman on a national ticket? Geraldine Ferraro, Walter Mondale's running mate against Ronald Reagan in 1984. But she was something of a special case: relatively inexperienced, dogged by questions about her husband's business dealings.

STUART ROTHENBERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think when a selection is clearly a token pick, I think the voters see right through that. In fact, I think the Ferraro pick may have hurt the Democratic chances in the presidential race.

MORTON: Now comes Joe Lieberman, clearly no token, the first Jew ever on a national ticket. Will that matter?

HOLLAND: Forty years ago, a majority of Americans felt perfectly free to say that they would never vote for a Jew for president. Today, only about 3 percent say that they would never vote for a Jew for president. The same is true for Catholics, blacks, women. Part of the reason is, I'm sure, that the country has gotten more tolerant. Part of the reason also is probably that respondents to polls have gotten a little more touchy about giving a socially unacceptable answer on a telephone to a stranger.

ROTHENBERG: I think there will be a handful of voters who will hold Joe Lieberman's religion against him, but I think for the electorate as a whole that will be a factor far, far down the line. And I think that in an interesting, odd way, Al Gore can be said to have done something bold and assertive, have demonstrated some leadership in an area where he's been weak by picking Lieberman.

MORTON: One other point: Lieberman is today's headline, but presidential elections have almost always been about the candidates for president, not their running mates, and there's no great reason to think this one will be different.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.


HAYNES: No doubt history will be made this time around in presidential politics.

WALCOTT: Well, remains to be seen.


WALCOTT: That's it for us. We'll see you back here tomorrow.

HAYNES: Take care.



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