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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for September 22, 2000

Aired September 22, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: And welcome to your Friday NEWSROOM. I'm Andy Jordan.

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: And I'm Rudi Bakhtiar. Sports, psychology and politics are on the agenda. Here's the rundown.

JORDAN: The politics of the energy crunch tops the show.


VICE PRES. AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not satisfied when the oil to heat your home becomes more a luxury and not a simple affordable necessity. I'm not satisfied when filling up your gas tank feels like a major purchase.


BAKHTIAR: We check out the mental fitness of Olympic athletes in "Editor's Desk."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I try not to think of anything negative. I mean, I think of all positive things because I'm not going to swim well if I have negative thoughts.


JORDAN: We travel from Australia to London to pop in on some folks playing a different kind of mind game.

BAKHTIAR: We end up in "Chronicle"...


GLORIA MOLINA, CHAIR, L.A. COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: ... to the Constitution of the United States.


BAKHTIAR: Where we meet a woman on a mission. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MOLINA: If what I'm doing today cannot change tomorrow, then all that I do today is meaningless.


JORDAN: We're back in the oil pit, and today politicians are the ones with grease on their hands. Rising gasoline prices and worries about a winter of depleted heating oil reserves have so far been heavy on the minds of consumers. Now it's becoming a political hot potato with candidates and parties both weighing in.

Chris Black reports while oil and solutions may be in short supply right now, there's plenty of blame to go around.


CHRIS BLACK, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On Capitol Hill, Republicans are blaming the Clinton-Gore administration for rising fuel prices. With home heating oil prices expected to hit $1.31 a gallon this winter, even a moderate Republican from New England got in his licks...

REP. CHRISTOPHER SHAYS (R), CONNECTICUT: The Energy Department, which doesn't have other distractions, I'm just interested why it wasn't giving the clarion call that we were going to be having this problem. Why -- as you admit, Mr. Richardson, why were -- why was the administration caught flat-footed on this?

BLACK: ... putting the administration's top energy man on the defensive.

BILL RICHARDSON, SECRETARY OF ENERGY: This is a political campaign. I am the secretary of Energy for the Clinton-Gore administration. I'm not interested in blaming anybody. I want to fix the problem.

BLACK: Last March, Richardson came out against using oil from the Strategic Petroleum Oil Reserve.

RICHARDSON: The reserve is very special. It's used for national emergencies: the Gulf War. I don't want to use it every time we need to interfere in the market.

BLACK: Now he says everything is on the table, and Mr. Clinton, under pressure from Democrats representing the Northeast, Al Gore's strongest region, will make a decision within days. Clinton administration officials say the Republican Congress has refused to approve their proposals for programs to increase energy efficiency and conservation.

CAROL BROWNER, U.S. EPA ADMINISTRATOR: If Congress had fully funded past requests for EPA's Energy Star programs, electricity demand this summer could have been up to 3,000 megawatts lower than it is currently. BLACK (on camera): In an election year, rising fuel prices are politically untenable. With Congress due to leave town in just weeks, there's not much time for congressional action, but a desire on both sides to dodge the blame.

Chris Black, CNN, Capitol Hill.


BAKHTIAR: The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is authorized to hold about a billion barrels of crude oil, but it's never held much more than half of that. The United States uses about 18.6 million barrels of oil a day. That means the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, at its current capacity, holds the equivalent of one month of oil imports.

Here's Bob Franken with more.


BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It grew out of the energy crisis of 1973 and '74 when an Arab oil embargo caused economic chaos in the United States: gas rationing, long lines at the pump.

In 1975, President Gerald Ford created the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a stockpile to protect against any similar emergency. Today, there are 571 million barrels of crude oil in the reserve, stored in huge salt caves along the Gulf Coast. It has been tapped only once. President Bush drew down a small portion during the 1991 Persian Gulf War so that Saddam Hussein would not be able to use Iraq's oil as a weapon.

But while policy experts debate whether this year's spike in oil prices merits dipping into the Strategic Oil Reserve, experts can only guess how much a drawdown might actually mean to the homeowners who heat with oil.

LLEWELLYN KING, PUBLISHER, "ENERGY DAILY": There are so many other factors affecting oil.

FRANKEN: Factors like oil-refining capacity -- many believe the U.S. right now is at maximum -- factors like the weather, and unpredictable oil commodity markets. All could affect how much the homeowner might save from using a small part of the reserve.

KING: It will cause the market to fall as much as a 10 percent saving. I much doubt it will be larger than that.

FRANKEN: So far, the average cost per home for heating oil is estimated at about $1,000 this winter, up from $700 last year. A 10 percent drop would reduce that by $100 if the president decides to tap into the reserve and decides soon.

WILFRED KOHL, ENERGY POLICY ANALYST, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV.: There's going to be, you know, at least a month, six-weeks delay, but it would, you know, presumably, if it was done early enough, it could still help in midwinter.

FRANKEN (on camera): While the focus now is on home heating oil, experts say the central cause of the shortage has yet to be addressed: the oil that is made into gasoline. The United States uses far too much of it.

Bob Franken, CNN, Washington.


JORDAN: Well, if you're watching the Olympics, you can probably guess how much time, effort and practice it took for the athletes to get there. However, mental preparation can be just as important as physical training. That's where sport psychology comes in. It's the study of the psychological factors that influence and are influenced by the participation and performance in sport, exercise and physical activity.

Sports psychologists can provide numerous services, including helping athletes overcome the pressure of competition, something world-class athletes know a lot about.

Ann Kellan explains.


ANN KELLAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The physical requirements are obvious, but winning a medal at the Olympics takes mental conditioning as well -- to handle the crowds, the media, the pressure.

RICARDO ROCKY JUAREZ, U.S. OLYMPIC BOXER: Nothing counts unless you win the Olympics.

SEAN MCCANN, USOC SPORTS PSYCHOLOGIST: It could mean being a hero, or it could mean that you came away with the, you know, the reputation of being a choker or a loser. Every athlete who wins in Sydney will have a good mental game plan.

KELLAN: This video is played to athletes at the U.S. Olympic training center to help develop that plan, including advice from winners.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I try not to think of anything negative. I mean, I think of all positive things because I'm not going to swim well if I have negative thoughts.


KELLAN: The night before a race, five-time gold medalist Jenny Thompson goes over the race in her head, imagining a problem, then figuring a way out of it.

JENNY THOMPSON, U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMER: And so then, if it actually happens, it's not a big deal.

KELLAN: Talk about pressure, a champion shooter hits the bullseye at least nine times out of 10.

TAMMIE FORSTER, USA NATIONAL TEAM ATHLETE: The biggest thing shooters work on is relaxation training and visualization training. So, I will take, typically, five deep breaths and that will slow every down -- everything down for me and help me focus.

KELLAN: This mind-over-body control takes years to learn. Some sports thrive on nervous energy.

JAROD SCHROEDER, SWIMMER: Basically, as a sprinter, it's kind of a controlled seizure.

KELLAN: At 33, Dara Torres, the first U.S. athlete to swim in four Olympics, is the oldest member of the U.S. Olympic swim team. She says age has helped her mental attitude.

DARA TORRES, U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMER: Well, when I was younger, I always used to worry about who was next to me in what lane and, oh my gosh, there's the world record holder, the American record holder, and I just wasted energy doing that. And I think now that I'm a little older, I have a totally different perspective on how to get ready for a race.

KELLAN: She does what we saw others do.

TORRES: And what I do is just put my Walkman on and listen to some music that really gets me upbeat and going. And when I go over to the blocks before I swim, I just like to look down my lane and just think about how I'm going to swim my race. And I think if you've done everything up to that point as far as training goes, you don't need to think too much about how you're going to do or what you're going to do, you just go out and do it.

KELLAN: And whether it's music or visualization or superstition, the one thing all athletes competing at this level have in common: they work their mind as hard as their body.

Ann Kellan, CNN, Colorado Springs, Colorado.


BAKHTIAR: OK, we just talked about how athletes mentally prepare for competition. In "Worldview," we take you to an Olympics which puts brains over brawn. Meet some champions of mind games as we head to Great Britain. Then, a whale of controversy around the world: We'll dive into environmental issues. Plus, art plays a part in African expression.

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Now for a look at the world through the eyes of an Ethiopian. Ethiopia is a country in northeastern Africa marked by rugged mountains and a high, fertile plateau. It's northern region, near the Red Sea, is one of the hottest places in the world. Ethiopia has been heated politically as well in recent decades. Changes in government leadership have been frequent. Border disputes with Eritrea and recurring famine have also generated struggles for the people of Ethiopia.

One native artist who has struggled alongside them is using his paintbrush to depict the feelings effected by these trials. He's also drawing inspiration from subjects abroad.

Stacey Wilkins gives us a glimpse.


STACEY WILKINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A vision of the world transferred to canvas. Ethiopian artist Daniel Taye creates striking images that are capturing the attention of the international art world.

DANIEL TAYE, ETHIOPIAN ARTIST (through translator): The hidden feelings are what I paint. They are diseases people have lived with for thousands and thousands of years.

WILKINS: The 32-year-old's work is being shown in the United States for the first time. The exhibition "Daniel's Eye" is a passionate look at the world. The images are universal: beauty, pain, anger, sadness. Taye says his goal is to help people understand buried feelings.

TAYE (through translator): My goal is not to be an artist, my goal is to examine complicated feelings. Paint is what gives expression to these emotions. I will paint as long I feel the need to find a solution for this problem.

WILKINS (on camera): Daniel Taye's talent caught the attention of his homeland when he was just a child. He won first place in a government-sponsored art contest. After that, he decided to devote his life to art.

(voice-over): Taye grew up in a nation in conflict. He lived through Ethiopia's communist regime, and most recently his country's two-year border conflict with Eritrea. He saw millions left homeless by the war, many permanently maimed by land-mines. Some say that history is reflected in his work.

JOSEPH JORDAN, AFRICAN ART EXPERT: As you look at his work, you'll see that some of the changes that his country has gone through, some for the good. But some that have to deal with this issue of war and conflict between neighbors is really, really very much present in what he does.

WILKINS: But much of Taye's inspiration comes from places far outside Ethiopia. His interest in people that society shuns has resulted in paintings with subjects that resonate with people around the world.

MERAT KEBEDE, ETHIOPIAN ART EXPERT: He's Ethiopian, but his artwork is very global. So I can identify some of his work with some European paintings, some Asian, some African, some Ethiopian. So it's not just typical of Ethiopia.

WILKINS: Taye plans to return to his home in Addis Ababa. He wants to turn an abandoned military building into a creative arts center to help give other artists an opportunity to display their work.

Stacey Wilkins, CNN, Atlanta.


SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: Next stop, under the sea for a closer look at whales. The whale is a huge sea animal that looks a lot like a fish. But whales aren't fish at all. In fact, they belong to the group of animals called mammals.

Most whales are enormous. One kind, the blue whale, is the largest animal that has ever lived. Blue whales can grow up to 100 feet or 30 meters long and can weigh over 150 short tons. That's 135 metric tons.

But despite their imposing presence, many larger kinds of whales have been threatened with extinction because of commercial whaling. In 1946, the International Whaling Commission was formed to protect whales from over-hunting. But conservationists say, these days, the IWC has been defeating its own purpose.

Natalie Pawelski explains.


NATALIE PAWELSKI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Minke whales are smaller and faster swimmers than their more endangered cousins, like the blue whale. And that helped keep them out of the gun sights of harpooners during the heyday of commercial whaling. But as other species were hunted to the brink of extinction, minkes became a favorite target, until the International Whaling Commission voted to ban all commercial whaling in the 1980s.

Now the IWC has set the stage for a whaling comeback. The commission's scientists say the minke whale population is so healthy, there's no ecological reason to keep the animals off limits. The commission cleared the way for a vote next year on resuming commercial whale hunting, with minkes as the prime targets.

JOJI MORISHITA, JAPAN WHALING ASSOCIATION: This is what Japan has been maintaining for a long time, so I welcome the decision.

PAWELSKI: But that idea doesn't float with activist groups who continue to oppose any commercial whaling on humane grounds. They say strong opposition to whaling from the United Kingdom and others may be weakening.

ANDY OTTAWAY, CAMPAIGN WHALE: We are very concerned that there's a central core of governments that were once upon a time staunchly anti-whaling that seem to be moving to a more compromised position. PAWELSKI: Fishing fleets from Japan, Norway and Iceland have kept some whaling alive during the 16-year-old ban by using a loophole that allows taking whales for scientific research. Conservationists fear that a full-fledged resumption of commercial whaling, if it's approved next year, could threaten to unravel one of their most cherished victories and renew one of the world's longest-running environmental battles.

Natalie Pawelski, CNN.


JORDAN: The 2000 summer Olympics, of course, are under way in Sydney, Australia featuring top athletes from around the world who've spent years in training and exercise. Half a world away, Olympics of a different sort have wrapped up in London. These games featured competitors who've been exercising their minds rather than their bodies.

Kasra Naji has the story.


KASRA NAJI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is not a casino, but these contestants at the Mind Sport Olympiade are playing poker. It's one of the 19 fields in which contestants can win glory. What's happening here is a celebration of human brain power; a display of how powerful our brains can be.

DAVID LEVY, ORGANIZER OF MIND SPORTS, OLYMPIADE: When I was a younger, I was an international chess player. And the event I used to enjoy most of all was called Chess Olympiade where people go to represent their countries. You don't play for money, you just play for the honor of representing your country. And one day, the idea suddenly came to me, if it's so much fun doing this for chess, why don't we do it for all mind sports together and make a gigantic Olympiade.

DOMINIC O'BRIEN, WORLD'S MEMORY CHAMPION: King of diamonds, queen of hearts, the queen of clubs.

NAJI (on camera): Well done.

(voice-over): Dominic O'Brien has just become world's memory champion for the seventh year in a row. He can remember, in correct sequence, all the playing cards stacked in more than 18 decks of cards.

O'BRIEN: Unfortunately, I'm barred from most casinos in the United Kingdom. Because I've got a trained memory it helps concentration, so I was I was able to follow the run of the cards in blackjack and I could calculate what was left in the shoe. So if I knew there were pictures and aces coming out, I'd put lots of money down, and that's when I get the tap on the shoulder from the casino manager. NAJI: Here, thinking of his next move, is the 6-year-old Xingwue (ph), who has been invited from China to play one of the world's most difficult board games: Go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's already been moved by the Chinese authorities from his parent's home to a family where they teach them Go, and he studies about six hours a day. He's already a very, very, strong player.

NAJI: But he's just lost a game. He says he lost it because he started to fight early in the game. He can play the game all day if he was allowed.

For many of these participants at the Mind Sport Olympiade, playing all day is precisely the point.

Kasra Naji, CNN, at the Mind Sport Olympiade in London.


WALCOTT: This December, CNN NEWSROOM will delve a little deeper into the minds of young people. This is NEWSROOM's Shelley Walcott. I'll have a two-part series on the teen brain and explain why scientists say the adolescent mind is a work in progress.


DR. JAY GEIDD, NEUROSCIENTIST: Well, it used to be thought that the brain didn't change very much after about the age of 3 or 4. But by studying teens, we now know that the teenage brain is changing very dramatically and very dynamically.


WALCOTT: That's coming up in December on NEWSROOM.

JORDAN: Well, last week we told you about Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States, time set aside to celebrate the accomplishments of people of Latin American descent. Today we introduce you to a woman striving to make a difference for people of all backgrounds.

Janice McDonald (ph) has her story.


JANICE MCDONALD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Her days are long and hectic, there are meetings to attend, ceremonies to be part of, and stacks and stacks of paperwork to go through. So Gloria Molina does not waste time by leaving anyone questioning how she feels on a subject.

MOLINA: One of the things that was my own limitation from the very first day that I ran is being fairly opinionated. I've always been against politics, anti-establishment. I mean, I was part of a student movement, an anti-war movement. We basically opposed all that was going on in politics.

MCDONALD: Her candor and desire to work for the people, not the politicians, has paid off. Some would even argue this Los Angeles native and daughter of Mexican immigrants is the most influential Latina in the United States. This summer, she vice-chaired the Democratic National Convention held in Los Angeles. But her full-time job is serving more than 10-million constituents as the chairman of the L.A County Board of Supervisors.



MCDONALD: The eldest of 10 children, Molina wanted a career as a social worker. But she moved from working behind the scenes in 1982 when her passion for issues prompted her to seek a seat in the California state legislature. Not everyone thought a Hispanic woman should run or could even win.

MOLINA: There was a lot of opposition, some of it ingrained machismo, some of it with people who just had never seen anyone in that role so they consequently they couldn't envision how someone would be their advocate, their representative. But luckily I was able to win.

MCDONALD: At a time when there were few women in the legislature, she was the first of Hispanic descent and she quickly built a reputation as being an advocate for the people.


MOLINA: No consideration that there are schools and neighborhoods less than a mile away, there are child care centers within blocks of that particular site.


MCDONALD: In 1987, she found herself campaigning for the L.A. City Council. Again, she became the first Latina to be elected there. Four years later, another first.


MOLINA: That I will bear true faith and allegiance...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the state of California.

MOLINA: ... to the Constitution of the United States...


MCDONALD: Gloria Molina was elected to the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors. Now its chair, she is humble when admitting she has opened doors for other women and minorities. She says her daughter is her inspiration to continue to break barriers, and she wants to use her influence to help other Latinos and, in particular, young people.

MOLINA: I want to be able to influence decisions that is going to make their life easier, that it's not going to be as tough as it was for many of us. We want to inspire people to go beyond what they think they can do and to really challenge themselves and to make do with what they have and learn how to challenge themselves and really make our world a little different, a little better, a little stronger.

MCDONALD: She hopes she's leading by example. She keeps her eyes on the issues as she finds herself talking policy with celebrities and hosting presidents.

MOLINA: I do feel a duty and a responsibility that sometimes is fairly burdensome. But at the same time, it is great. If you can motivate someone out there to challenge themselves, to challenge the system, to say maybe I can do it, too, then I think it is a welcomed burden. If what I'm doing today cannot change tomorrow, then all that I do today is meaningless.

MCDONALD: And Gloria Molina says she wants to continue working for those changes for a long time to come.

Janice McDonald, CNN NEWSROOM, Los Angeles.


BAKHTIAR: Well, now it's time to say goodbye to one of the pillars of our show. Our very own Andy Jordan is leaving us to move on to bigger and better things. And while we're very happy for him, we'll miss the way he lit up the set with his ever-so-engaging smile and challenged our minds with his intricate Web of words that is his specialty.

Here now, a look back on some of Andy's finest moments.


JORDAN: ... chasing these storms for a couple of hours now. The whole area is under a tornado watch. But this storm here to my left is weakening because its energy is being drained from this storm to my right, which is building.

Perhaps no other storm in nature's arsenal of bad weather elicits such a spectrum of human emotion than a tornado. On one end is the rage that comes in a twister's aftermath. On the other, the awe in the face of 250-mile-an-hour winds and the raw, erratic brute force that is the tornado's signature



JORDAN: With the mobile launch pad and space shuttle on top, the crawler is hauling about 17 million pounds, moving at approximately one mile per hour. It takes about six hours for the whole thing to go to 4.2 miles to launch pad 39B. This space shuttle will not be winning any races even though its tail might think otherwise. The trek is a modest journey by car, but a more formidable one for the shuttle. When it gets to the pad, the crawler is equipped with a leveling system so the shuttle will stay upright while its platform heads of the 5 percent grade that leads to the shuttle's perch.



JORDAN: Do you think there's a sense of being born with certain gifts or talents and making the most of those?


JORDAN: Her name evokes irony.

MANKILLER: When people give me a hard time, I say it's a nickname and I earned it.

JORDAN: But spend any amount of time with the first woman ever elected principal chief of the Cherokee Indian Nation, and the name Wilma Mankiller resonates in less obvious ways. In tribal tradition, the mankiller was someone who watched over the villages. That she has done, and revolutionized the idea of women and leadership.



JORDAN: While there is an overall decline in school-related violence nationwide, administrators face the daunting odds that at some school this year, a student will bring a gun to campus. The hope here is that the latest in technology can keep pace with what mojo cannot keep in check.

You may not see it in Permian High School's hallways, but students and staff say you can see it. They call it "mojo."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a feeling that you never give up, you never give in, you never quit.

JORDAN: What is seen here has cast the school of 2,100 students into a national spotlight. The school is a bedrock for Odessa, a Texas oil town in the heart of football country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are not any special exception. We are pretty much the mainstream.

JORDAN: Noting that typicality, a national laboratory gave the school a $75,000 grant to showcase and share the school's technological know-how developed to lock down nuclear facilities.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were working with nuclear weapons. We tested cameras, found out what they could do, what they couldn't do. We tested sensors, we tested fences.

JORDAN: All research Permian High is using to be proactive in the battle against school violence.



A special thanks to Andy Jordan for these stories and many others. Best Wishes.

Turner Learning & CNN NEWSROOM


JORDAN: Wow, thanks guys. Is that an obituary?


That's more of an evolution of hair styles than talent, I think.

BAKHTIAR: Evolution is right. So where do you go from here?

JORDAN: Well, I'm going to a different show here on CNN called CNNdotCOM. It's on Saturdays at 12:30, Sundays 1:30 Eastern time. And I'm really excited.

And thanks so much for letting me come into your classrooms over the years. It's been a wild ride and time for a new journey.

BAKHTIAR: Well, on behalf of all the children you've touched and everyone on the show, best of luck.


BAKHTIAR: You will be missed.

JORDAN: Yes, I'll see you in cyberspace.

BAKHTIAR: And we will see you next week.

JORDAN: All right, thanks, guys.



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