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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for October 2, 2000

Aired October 2, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: Hi, I'm Shelley Walcott. Another week of NEWSROOM is under way. Here's a look at Monday's agenda.

China's religious woes top today's show as Falun Gong followers take to the street.

From China to the United States, "Environment Desk" finds us on the farm.


TONY EVANS, MD. DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE: We're going to have our highest yield ever. We're looking at 150 bushels an acre.


WALCOTT: From farms to forests, "Worldview" examines big business versus big trees.

Finally, a question of leadership.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would say important qualities of a leader are ability to take charge at times, but also to kind of sit back and let others do things by themselves.


WALCOTT: In today's news, religious strife in China. Chinese police rounded up about 1,000 members of the outlawed Falun Gong spiritual sect Sunday. The arrests happened during a protest to mark China's National Day. The demonstration in Tiananmen Square was one of the biggest acts of civil disobedience by Falun Gong to date. It was intended to send the message that Falun Gong members won't be silenced, despite a 14-month crackdown by the Chinese government.

The Falun Gong protest was a huge embarrassment to Chinese leaders. This National Day, the country was celebrating its 51st anniversary of communist rule. The Chinese government considers Falun Gong a threat to communist rule. It outlawed the group in July of last year.

Lisa Weaver has more on the latest unrest.


LISA WEAVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Members of the Falun Gong religious sect slipped through security and, despite a heavy police presence, unfurled banners and passed out flyers. They chose the high patriotism of China's National Day to press for recognition from the government, which branded the sect an evil cult one year ago.

The group claims thousands poured into the capital from around the country. Of the hundreds who were made it to Tiananmen Square, many were pushed into vans and driven away in buses, some yelling their defiance. Others scuffled with police before being taken away.

(on camera): The religious sect had warned that it would mount protests today in an open letter to Chinese President Jiang Zemin. More extreme members of the group continue to defy the Chinese government despite routine arrests and, in some cases, claim supporters, torture and death at the hands of the Chinese authorities.

(voice-over): The problems began last year when some 10,000 people surrounded China's Communist Party headquarters in peaceful protest asking for recognition for the millions of members the group claims. It was the largest protest since the Tiananmen Square demonstrations more than a decade before. The authorities met the new challenge of free assembly by outlawing the Falun Gong.

The Falun Gong's leader, Li Hong Zhi, resides in the United States, stoking fear in Beijing that direction for the group is coming from abroad. The government has tempered hard tactics with a soft approach, convincing rank-and-file members that the sect's combination belief system of Chinese martial arts, Bhuddism and Taoism has led to death for many practitioners who turned to faith healing.

But the group's ability to organize from inside the country, as well from abroad, has surpassed the government's power of persuasion. Although the authorities were successful in quelling today's protest, the prospects of more in the future seems likely.

Lisa Weaver, CNN, Beijing.


WALCOTT: Chinese leaders not only had to deal with the embarrassment caused by the Falun Gong at Tiananmen Square, but they had to deal with an event in another square: St. Peters Square in Vatican City. There, Pope John Paul II declared 120 missionaries, martyrs and Chinese followers, saints. China calls their canonization an open insult.

Gayle Young reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) GAYLE YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Under gray clouds, Pope John Paul II created new saints and new controversy in St. Peters Square. The Chinese government said it was an insult to canonize 120 martyrs from China. They were European and Chinese nationals killed during a series of anti-Catholic purges that lasted until 1930.

The pope said the martyrs were role models. The Chinese contend that at least some of them were missionaries endangering traditional Chinese culture.

There is an official state-run Catholic church in China that exists alongside an underground Catholic church that oaths its allegiance to Rome. Chinese at the canonization ceremony were uncomfortable, not wanting to criticize their government or the church.

"The government is angry," said this man, "but the people do not care about these things." Most of the tens of thousands huddling under umbrellas at St. Peters Square were there to celebrate the canonization of an American, Katherine Drexel, a debutante turned nun who died in 1955. She spent her considerable fortune helping African and Native Americans throughout the southern United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was particularly devoted to the cause of African-Americans and also the Indians, so -- the Native Americans -- so she was an incredibly generous woman, she had a great fortune, all of which she devoted to charitable work.

YOUNG: Also canonized, Africa's first saint: a Sudanese woman brought as a slave to Italy in the 19th century. These celebrations were somewhat overshadowed, though, by the controversy with China. Observers say relations between the Vatican and Beijing, never warm, could turn very chilly. The Chinese were also angry the canonization coincided with China's National Day.

Perhaps the weather caused Pope John Paul II to look particularly tired, or perhaps it was secular politics weighing heavily on a deeply spiritual man.

Gayle Young, CNN, Rome.


RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: In the headlines, the future of music- sharing on the Internet rests in the hands of an appeals court, at least for now. Attorneys for Napster will be back in court today trying to hold off an injunction that would shut down the popular Internet music swapping system.


DON KNAPP, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's one of the fastest-growing Internet companies ever. In less than a year, an estimated 28 million people signed up with Napster, used it to find music, MP3 files on other people's computers, and downloaded as many as 14,000 songs a minute -- free music, or so it seemed.

But in July, a federal judge agreed with the Recording Industry Association of America, which claimed Napster violated copyright laws and ordered Napster shut down until the case went to court. Napster immediately appealed and won a temporary stay. Shared music continued to flow. Now the court will decide whether allowing Napster to operate will irreparably harm the music industry.

DAVID GIVEN, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ATTORNEY: The fundamentals of copyright law, I think, are sound, and I think that they do apply in the so-called "cyberworld." What's critical here is there needs to be a business approach that makes sense.

KNAPP: In attorney David Givens' opinion, Napster needs to figure out a way to charge users and pay copyright holders for music and other content that passes between personal computers. In fact, that's already in the business plan of a number of companies using the Napster model: computer-to-computer or pier-to-pier.

Flycode will allow computer users to share videos, but, unlike Napster, charge users a fee and pay artists a royalty. Napster's legacy, whatever the court's decision, seems assured: P2P, pier-to- pier file sharing, is here to stay.

Don Knapp, CNN, San Francisco.


WALCOTT: If you've ever planted anything, you know that seeds don't sprout and seedlings don't thrive without care. In our "Environment Desk" today, we check out the factors affecting plant growth. The main factors include water, sun, soil or nutrients and temperature. Each plant needs a specific quantity of these for it to achieve its maximum yield. In some parts of the eastern united states where there's been a lot of rain, farmers are expecting bumper crops this fall.

But there's a cloud behind all that rain, as Kathleen Koch explains.


KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A walk through a bone-dry Maryland cornfield was grim during the drought of 1999, the worst ever.

DAVE DOODY, FARMER: I don't think you could do much for the corn.

KOCH: This year, stalks tower overhead, some sprouting not the usual one, but three ears.

DOODY: You can't get much more on the end of that. That baby is chuck full.

KOCH: Maryland is expecting its best crop ever. EVANS: We're going to have our highest yield ever. We're looking at 150 bushels an acre.

KOCH: Unfortunately, the entire nation is expecting a record corn crop, up 10 percent over last year. It sent prices plummeting to below $2 a bushel. Combine that with the higher cost of diesel fuel and some farmers will actually lose money growing corn.

Third-generation Maryland farmer Dave Doody bagged and stored the meager 30 tons he harvested last year.

(on camera): You'll get that much off of one acre this year.

DOODY: Yes, I guarantee it.

KOCH (voice-over): Still, he's worried this, his best crop ever, may not bring any profits either.

DOODY: A year like this year, you should really feel good. But with the prices and the way things have been, you ain't got much different feeling than you had last year, to be honest with you.

KOCH: Some farmers growing sweet corn try roadside stands. Even there, the abundance keeps prices low. Still, most remain stoic.

JIM MCNEAL, MARYLAND FARMER: You cry with the bad years, and then you say hooray with the good years. And I hope the hogs taste good this year when you butcher them in the fall.

KOCH (on camera): Maryland corn growers say it will take two more years of good crops like this one to make up for the losses of last year's drought, and then only if demand and prices go up.

(voice-over): Nonetheless, the bumper crop provides some incentive to stick with their fields and their dreams.

DOODY: For a while, for a while, as long as my hair don't get too gray.

KOCH: Kathleen Koch for CNN, Union Bridge, Maryland.


WALCOTT: "Worldview" takes us to the United States for two very different views of the same state: California. We'll cruise Sunset Boulevard, and we'll visit forests full of majestic trees.

Culture and environment are coming right up, but first a look at Australia. As the Olympics ride off into the sunset, so does our reporter -- on a camel, of all things.

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Australia is surrounded by water, just like an island. But because it's so big, it's classed instead as a continent.

Deserts cover about one-third of Australia. One popular tourist attraction is Uluru National Park in central Australia. It's the site of a famous landmark called Ayers Rock, or Uluru in the aboriginal language. The rock is about one and half miles or 2.4 kilometers long. It rises 1,142 feet or 348 meters above the desert. It has many small caves, some covered with rock paintings made by early aborigines.

Stephanie Oswald takes us on a safari to Uluru.


STEPHANIE OSWALD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The first view is intoxicating, a scene that becomes etched in your memory. This symbolizes Australia's heart.

MATT LEDUC, ULURU-KATA TJUTA NATIONAL PARK: Geographically it's almost in the center of Australia. It is such an icon. I mean, everything to do with Australia is always related to or touched to Uluru.

OSWALD: More than 600 million years old, this massive sandstone fascinates visitors and Australia natives with its sheer magnitude.

ETHAN LEEDS, POET AND GUIDE: And the colors, when we have these clear skies or occasional clouds with the breaks on the horizon so long as the sun peeps through, it's just magical. It just lightens up and it's just the way to start a day or finish a day.

OSWALD: After witnessing the magic of sunset, we couldn't resist an adventure that began before dawn atop these noisy creatures.

ADAM PEPPER, FRONTIER CAMEL TOURS: He likes to moan and groan.

OSWALD (on camera): What does it feel like?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, it's quite solid at the moment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And quite high.


OSWALD: Whose idea was it to come on this tour?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mine probably, yes.

OSWALD: And why'd you want to do it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like camels. But you don't really get that many in London, so it's kind of -- it's nice to sort of actually be on one, you know?

PEPPER: This fellow can be headstrong.

OSWALD (voice-over): The safari set out, racing the sun to Ayer's Rock. (on camera): This is one of the most extraordinary ways to visit the Outback: a camel tour at sunrise. The camels in this part of the world have one hump and are called dromedaries.

(voice-over): It's a bumpy ride at times, but somehow soothing as the camel parade crosses the sand and dawn breaks on Uluru.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The sunrise is beautiful. It's a beautiful thing to see and we're very lucky to have that out here.

OSWALD (on camera): What do you think about the camels?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think, Luis? Cool?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: A bit disgusting.

OSWALD: What do you mean?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: They spit, they pooh and wee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know, it's not like a horse.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a lot more kind of...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot higher up, very high.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very high up. And it moves a lot more, as well. I think it sort of sways and rocks.

OSWALD (voice-over): The most important tip to remember:

PEPPER: Just to relax and enjoy yourself, let the camel move underneath you and you move with it.

OSWALD: Stephanie Oswald, CNN, Uluru, Australia.


WALCOTT: From deserts to forests, our next stop is the United States; specifically, the Sierra Nevada Mountains in eastern California, a stretch about 400 miles or 645 kilometers long. The highest peak is Mount Whitney, which tops out at 14,495 feet or 4,418 meters. That's nearly three miles tall. It's the highest point in the continental United States outside of Alaska.

It's located in the Sequoia National Park, known for its mighty redwoods and giant sequoias, both huge evergreens. The trees are valued for their reddish, decay-resistant wood, which makes them popular for construction. They're protected in the parks.

Other, nearby trees aren't faring so well and environmentalists are concerned that forests are being cut down too quickly by the lumber industry.

Don Knapp Explains.


KNAPP (voice-over): Sierra Pacific Industries makes no apology for plans to eventually clear-cut practically all of its 1 1/2 million acres of trees, mainly in the foothill regions of California's Sierra Nevada Mountains, and replant them with seedlings. The clear-cutting enrages environmentalists, who say it will forever change the character of the Sierra forest.

CRAIG THOMAS, SIERRA NEVADA FOREST PROTECTION CAMPAIGN: The forest that's still intact out beyond it has a diversity of species.

KNAPP: Environmentalist Craig Thomas claims the company's new forests are designed to maximize wood at the expense of wildlife and the forest ecosystem.

THOMAS: They're logging it out. They're going to turn these into tree farms just the same way we grow corn in Iowa, only we're going to grow that corn to 80 years and then come back and cut it here. That's -- that will dramatically, permanently change this landscape.

KNAPP: But Sierra Pacific says it must clear-cut to survive. The company says years of selective logging eliminated bigger, more profitable trees on lands they've acquired. Now, retooled mills with computer-controlled saws get the maximum wood from smaller trees taken from clear-cuts.

(on camera): There is little debate about the fact that a clear- cut is one ugly piece of land. The dispute is about the long-term consequences of removing every single tree from the ground.

(voice-over): Sierra Pacific took our CNN crew by helicopter over its lands about 40 miles west of Lake Tahoe. The company says what environmentalists call "old forest" sprang up from the barren ground of clear-cuts about 100 years ago. Poor management and fire suppression, the company claims, left forests overgrown with brush and a fire hazard.

Sierra Pacific says cutting and replanting is the best way to fix Sierra forest problems.

TIM FELLER, SIERRA PACIFIC INDUSTRIES: We know that clear-cuts aren't the prettiest things when they're originally planted, but this is what they look like after about 16 years.

KNAPP: This Sierra Pacific computer sequence shows how it expects its forest to change over the next century. But environmentalists complain it's too much change on too much land, and makes the production of lumber the primary function of a huge chunk of Sierra forest.

Don Knapp, CNN, Eldorado County, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE) HAYNES: Hollywood, California is synonymous with the American Motion Picture Industry. Located in Los Angeles in Southern California, Hollywood was seen by movie-making pioneers as an ideal blend of mild climate, sunshine and varied terrain.

Today, Hollywood represents more than just movie making. It's a haven for star-seeking tourists from around the world. Come along as we cruise one of the hippest streets in America. We drive down Sunset Boulevard to see why this slice of Hollywood life is once again cool for hotels, restaurants and the night scene.


CAROLYN O'NEIL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It starts with the wheels.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You want to drive down the strip.

O'NEIL: And if you want to drive in style, you can rent a luxury model right on Sunset for about, oh, $300 a day plus mileage.

RICK CANIZALEZ, OPERATIONS MANAGER, BUDGET ON SUNSET: Well, because we have everybody from the music industry, the film industry, even wealthy tourists coming around, they want to drive around in a car. You want to go comfortably and looking as nice as possible, I suppose.

O'NEIL (on camera): And there's a noticeable new energy in the hotel scene along Sunset Boulevard, where sleek, contemporary designs that may look hauntingly familiar to those of you who remember the interiors of the '60s and '70s. But there's an attitude here that's totally today.

(voice-over): The Standard is another new addition along the Sunset strip. Here, retro is in and high prices are out. Rooms start at $99 a night.

ANDRE BALAZS, OWNER, THE STANDARD: I've found that there are plenty of luxury hotels that are very unique and interesting, but there's really very little that's affordable and still an interesting experience.

O'NEIL: Bean bags are just one feature in spacious, modern rooms. Many offer city views overlooking the pool where the significance of blue is reflected in the water and in the surrounding astroturf. Guests are welcome to hang out in the lobby or maybe discuss a screenplay over a meal in the 24-hour diner, or get a cool cut at the in-house barber shop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the last few years, Sunset and Hollywood has actually become a really, like, great place for people to go.

O'NEIL: While Sunset Boulevard winds some 25 miles through Los Angeles, its most historic section, the Sunset Strip, is less than two miles long. But it does connect two of the world's most famous towns. HILLARY SELVIN, PRESIDENT & CEO, WEST HOLLYWOOD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: The movie stars, they did their movies in Hollywood and then they took the strip down to their homes in Beverly Hills. And eventually people started building restaurants and hotels here to accommodate the people on their way home.

O'NEIL: After falling into decline in the mid-20th century, Sunset started to make a comeback in the 1980s. Eddie Kerkhofs was one of the early entrepreneurs.

EDDY KERKHOFS, OWNER, LE DOME: How about Jean-Claude van Damme. Is he coming, too?

O'NEIL: His elegant restaurant, Le Dome, has been serving classical cuisine to the movers and shakers and out-of-towners for more than 20 years.

KERKHOFS: Well, when we find this location here in 1977, you know, we were -- we discovered a place on the Sunset Strip that was completely dead. All these little shops were half empty. Right now, it's phenomenal. I've never seen it like this. It's, you know, it's getting better every, every single season. When I say season, every summer.

O'NEIL: Le Dome and other successful small businesses share the credit for this rebirth, along with such giants as The House of Blues. Every night, this flagship of the popular nightclub and music venue attracts a diverse crowd. The House of Blues has helped make Sunset cool again.

ARICH BERGHAMMER, GENERAL MANAGER, HOUSE OF BLUES: The real passion that we have has got a lot of depth of music. We've done from your hardest core hip hop and rap all the way to probably the most elegant music you can do.

O'NEIL: The changes on Sunset reflect a trend throughout the United States where a strong economy and a commitment to renewal have pumped new life into many urban areas.

Carolyn O'Neil, CNN, Los Angeles.


WALCOTT: In the United States, the presidential debates kick off tomorrow. For many voters, the debates will play an important role in choosing the country's new leader. It's a good time to think about what makes a leader. And even if you can't vote yet, you probably have your own ideas about what it takes.

Kathy Nellis explores the issue.


KATHY NELLIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When you hear the word leader, what comes to mind? Maybe someone like U.S. President Bill Clinton, the leader of a country. Or maybe you think of an athlete, say Tiger Woods, who leads other when it comes to golf. Perhaps you think of somebody at your school, a class officer or a club president.

The dictionary defines a leader as one that leads, a guiding head. But that doesn't really explain what it takes to be a leader, so we turned to students and teachers for the answer.

MIKE ROBINSON, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: To me, being a leader would mean good listening skills, responsibility, and the courage to step up and take charge when needed.

AARON TALBERT, HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR: Being able to speak out and, like, show what you want and how you think things should be done.

AMANDA WESTON, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: But you have to have confidence in yourself and you have to be trustworthy.

MARY SUE POLLEYS, MUSCOGEE COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION: I think the most important quality is the desire to give back to society, to actually serve through leading. And of the many skills necessary, I'd listening is the most important skill of all.

NELLIS: Now, you might not think listening is an important quality for a leader, but participants at a recent leadership seminar give it high marks.

EBONY BRANT, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: To be an effective leader, you should have great communication skills as well as good listening skills, also, so you can communicate well and listen to other people's ideas also.

NELLIS: Communication is the key, say the students and business leaders who paired up to talk about leadership skills.

DANA HOLMES, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: You wouldn't want anybody bossing you around, telling you this and talking down to you. So once you become a leader, you want to be compassionate and lead with compassion.

NELLIS: Another key factor, getting along with others despite differences.

JEREMY CLIFTON, HIGH SCHOOL SOPHOMORE: You need to be able to work well with people.

BETH ALLGOOD MCKINNON, TEACHER: About how to work with people that you don't know or that are different from you.

NELLIS: And that includes dealing with diversity, a lesson played out in a skit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, whenever there's diversity, some people may feel like they're outsiders or they may be discriminated against.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here's an example of discrimination:

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, guys. Can I join your circle?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're an O, we're Xs. You're too different.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're all different, but we're the same.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, you're going to mess up our chain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Xs and Os can be together. There's nothing wrong with that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I've never heard of that before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We should all be together as one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I don't think so.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think so, no. Sorry.

HOLMES: I learned that diversity is a major part in being a leader and that you have to be aware of diversity and be able to know how to be a part of it and know how to accept it.

NELLIS: The big lesson here: Anybody can be a leader, says the program director.

BOB WATSON, DIR., 21ST CENTURY LEADERS: The important thing to remember about leadership is that it's not the province of a few predetermined, predestined, few individuals. Leadership is a set of skills that can be observed, can be studied, can be taught and can be practiced.

NELLIS (on camera): Who are the 21st century leaders? They're young people committed to helping others and improving themselves. They're a voice for youth and for the future.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, this example showed that all the Xs which were similar in characteristics would not accept the O in their group. And usually in cases like this, Os are rejected because of their looks, beliefs and/or religion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Also, we were informed of the major obstacles, including the ones we face as teens, to truly value diversity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And lastly, we have learned how to more productively lead a more diverse group of people.

NELLIS (voice-over): Simply put, leading is just showing the way.


WALCOTT: Can you think of some leaders you would consider heroes? Heroism is the topic of a special edition of NEWSROOM this Wednesday. From mythological characters to pop icons and everyday people, we'll profile the many faces of a hero. That's coming up this Wednesday, October 4.

And that's it for today. We'll see you right back tomorrow.



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