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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for October 10, 2000

Aired October 10, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: NEWSROOM rolls into Tuesday. Welcome. I'm Rudi Bakhtiar.

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: And I'm Shelley Walcott. Let's get started.

BAKHTIAR: News from the Middle East tops today's show.


KOFI ANNAN, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: I have come to listen, to hear the leaders, to work with them, and to see how I can help, and how together we can work to find solution to this crisis.


WALCOTT: From political relationships to family relations in "Health Desk."

BAKHTIAR: "Worldview" is cleaning up in the City of Light.

WALCOTT: Then, back in the United States, "Chronicle" is taking samples and talking numbers.

BAKHTIAR: We begin with a crisis in the Middle East. Israel now says it will extend indefinitely a deadline for Palestinians to stop the violence. Monday, the most sacred of Jewish holidays, Yom Kippur, brought silence to some streets in Israel, but violence was not far away.

This was the scene Monday in the West Bank, where Palestinians and Israeli troops have clashed for the past 12 days. At least 88 people have died, most of them Palestinians. Leaders from Egypt to the United States are calling for Middle East peace talks to continue and for the fighting to stop.

The violence began last month after an Israeli opposition leader went to a contested Jerusalem shrine, holy to both Muslims and Jews. The visit angered many people in Jerusalem, a city of more than 500,000 people. Claim to Jerusalem and its holy sites is a major sticking point in the peace talks. Other issues include: the future of Palestinian refugees, the borders of an independent Palestinian state, and the future of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

WALCOTT: Arab nations are closely following the situation between Israel and the Palestinians. Some are concerned this latest violence could get even worse and destroy any progress that's been made in the ongoing Middle East peace process.

Walter Rodgers reports.


WALTER RODGERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Whatever short-term political gains these clashes with Israel may have for Palestinians, they are disturbing to much of the rest of the Arab world. It is a situation where everyone loses if events spin out of control.

PETER RODMAN, DIR., NATIONAL SECURITY PROGRAMS, NIXON CENTER: The moderate Arab governments really have an interest in winding this down quickly, the violence, because otherwise the radicals run away with it. You already see Hezbollah getting in the act.

RODGERS: All moderate Arab states have reason to be concerned: Egypt, Jordan, even Syria.

For Jordan's new King Abdullah, whose population is 60 percent Palestinian, this Middle East crisis is the first big test of his leadership.

Egypt's President Mubarak could find himself less relevant, analysts say, if the Arabs' dialogue with Israel collapses.

Syria's new president, Bashar Assad, might realize short-term gains. If the Israeli-Palestinian peace process dies, peace with Syria might become an Israeli priority again. But the untested Assad could face grave risks if he is forced into an unwanted military showdown with the stronger Israelis.

MICHAEL YOUNG, POLITICAL ANALYST: He's still at this stage trying to consolidate his power in Damascus. That's why I suspect the Syrians are very keen to avoid any kind of development in the south that may lead to that.

RODGERS: Palestinian President Yasser Arafat has maneuvered skillfully but at great risk. He has shown again he may be weak, but he is ever a mosquito in the Israeli elephant's eye.

RODMAN: He sees this U.N. vote on Saturday, where the Security Council voted a very one-sided resolution against Israel. And even the Untied States was afraid to veto it. So Arafat thinks the Israelis are on the run, and he's enjoying it.

RODGERS: But Arafat could lose, too, big time, if the Israeli prime minister forms a national unity government that includes Israeli right-wingers who would be far less flexible in future negotiations.

YOUNG: That would be a severe setback to Arafat.

RODGERS: Streets across the Arab world are again seeing violent anti-Israel demonstrations on a scale like those during the Gulf War.

(on camera): So for moderate Arab leaders who stake their futures on better relations with Israel, the events of recent days do not bode well for them.

Walter Rodgers, CNN, Beirut.


BAKHTIAR: In the headlines today, clear signs of the changing times in Yugoslavia. Yesterday, the European Union lifted sanctions against the country. In Belgrade, several key supporters of former leader Slobodan Milosevic quit, including the prime minister and the country's most powerful police chief.

Newly-installed President Vojislav Kostunica is putting his own people in key positions, and new elections for the Serbian parliament will be held in December.


ALESSIO VINCI, CNN BELGRADE BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): To run Yugoslavia, President Vojislav Kostunica and his allies have to take over control of the government and parliament of Serbia, the dominant republic in the Yugoslav Federation. It is the Serbian government which controls the police, transportation, even many banks. So key allies of Kostunica, are pressuring Serbian President Milan Milutinovic and the Serb assembly to call for early elections, arguing the last federal elections and recent events in Belgrade have shifted the balance of power.

ZORAN DJINDJIC, OPPOSITION PARTY LEADER: We should try to bring all this democratic movement into institutions. Of course, only early elections can resolve our problem. Finally, we must try to keep control over the situation through this very difficult period from two months to elections.

VINCI: Djindjic also says a new panel of experts is ready to take over the Serbian government as early as Tuesday. If the Serbian government, controlled by former President Milosevic's allies, were to remain in power, it would be in a position to block Kostunica's programs of reforms.

Without waiting for the entire Serb government to resign, the Serbian interior minister stepped down, as did the federal prime minister, Momir Bulatovic, paving the way for Mr. Kostunica to begin asserting control on all levels of power across Yugoslavia.


WALCOTT: Family is a topic close to home and heart for many people, but family structures can be diverse. Some of you may live with a single parent or with step parents and step siblings. And some kids live with their parents' parents. As a matter of fact, grandparent-headed households are on the rise.

Jim Hill explains.


JIM HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When 4-year-old Devon (ph) falls down and his mom is there to pick him up, his grandmother is always there, too.

ANDREA ENGLANDER, GRANDMOTHER/MOTHER: You think a big old hug will fix it?

HILL: That's because Andrea Englander is both mother and grandmother to the child. She stepped in to raise young Devon when her son, Devon's dad, was jailed on drug charges and Devon's birth mother, alone and on welfare, couldn't care for the boy.

ENGLANDER: You cannot look at your grandchild, who is either being abused or neglected, and lay awake at night and wonder where they are and what's happening to them. That's not a choice -- to choose to take them out of that environment.

HILL: Little Devon is among the estimated 2 million U.S. children who are being raised totally by their grandparents or other relatives instead of their birth parents. Ask why and you open a Pandora's Box of social nightmares: incarcerated parents, divorce, poverty, drug abuse and alcoholism. The list goes on. All can leave parents unable or unwilling to provide for their own kids, and that leaves foster homes or grandparents to take over.

MARGARET HOLLIDGE, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF RETIRED PERSONS: Grandparents take this on because they love their grandchildren tremendously. Who else is better to love them and take care of them than a family member.

HILL: In Devon's case, Englander and her husband, Rob, changed jobs, gave up high-paying, high-stress careers to devote more time to their grandchild. They moved away from a trendy singles community to one that's family oriented.

ROB FRIEDENTHAL, GRANDFATHER/FATHER: It's a matter of really just staying by your word. We said we were taking him, we said we were going to take care of him, we were going to raise him. By God, that's what we're going to do.

HILL: When help is needed, it is available through organizations like Grandparents as Parents. Like this family, many need advice on the legal steps required and need support on the challenges of raising another generation.

(on camera): According to experts in this area, U.S. Census figures show the number of grandparents raising grandchildren has risen sharply for 30 years. They also expect new census data to show it is still growing.

Jim Hill, CNN, Los Angeles.


BAKHTIAR: Now get set for "Worldview," where our stories will feature culture, the environment and business. We'll journey to Germany, a nation looking for high-tech workers from beyond its borders, a search not without controversy. And from green cards to a green movement, we'll focus on France, where efforts are under way to clean up a renowned waterway. Plus, we'll point you to Panama for a cultural odyssey.

ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: We head to Panama, a bridge between North and South America and the connecting point between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. It's a culturally diverse country, a melting pot of traditions that stem from Indian tribes and West Indian groups. Swiss, North American and Yugoslav immigrants have also influenced the way of life in Panama. While Spanish is the official language, U.S. influence has helped make English the second language. Indian tribes also maintain their own language.

NEWSROOM's Tom Haynes spent some time with one such group of Indians in a culture indigenous to Panama in an area off the traditional beaten path.


TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST (voice-over): Scattered along 200 miles of Panama's Caribbean coastline, the San Blas Islands go virtually unknown and untraveled by most of the world. Getting to the archipelago is a relatively easy journey from Panama City: just a 30- minute flight to Porvenir, one of a handful of landing strips on the island chain.

Dugout canoes take tourists to a place a world away from Panama's capital. You won't find lavish resorts here; no tennis courts or spas. The Kuna Indians who inhabit the San Blas keep them largely untouched and unspoiled.

In fact, life is much the same as it was when the Kunas' ancestors migrated here more than a century ago. Families live in thatched huts with dirt floors. Tradition is tightly woven into Kuna culture. And those adventuresome enough to come can be part of it all.

(on camera): There are over 370 islands in the San Blas archipelago, but only a handful actually allow people to come and stay.

(voice-over): The Kuna are a shy group, but are always up for a smile. Visitors to their paradise stay in open-air rooms with thatched roofs, bamboo walls, ceiling fans and, quite often, sandy floors. On our visit, I was treated to supper by a Kuna family. Fresh grouper, plantains and turtle were all on the menu. The fare is always what can be caught or grown in their limited space on the islands.

The Kuna women are known for their colorful dress and crafts. They still wear tattoos on their faces, as well as gold nose rings and beaded jewelry. These handcrafted moles are some of the hottest- selling souvenirs in Panama. They're offered as pillows, quilts, shirts and just about anything else to display their artistry.

But the best color of the island can be found in the surroundings themselves. For visitors to the San Blas, sandy beaches, rest and relaxation are all standard fare, but so is exposure to another way of life.

Tom Haynes, CNN, the San Blas Islands, Panama.


BAKHTIAR: On to France and its capital city, Paris. We look at a famous waterway, a principal access for the city, and one of France's largest rivers. It flows through Paris and into the English Channel.

For centuries, the River Seine provided a lifeline for the towns and villages on its banks: food in the form of fish, drinking water, and a means of transport. With the expansion of Paris and the coming of the Industrial Age, the river suffered, its waters polluted, its fish dead and, in Paris, its infrastructure crumbling.

But over the past few decades, Paris city officials have been cleaning up their act.

From Paris, Peter Humi has been testing the waters.


PETER HUMI, CNN PARIS BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): A flotilla of fishing boats steaming up river through Paris. The River Seine may be cleaner now than it has been in three centuries, but it will be some time before this becomes an everyday sight.

As for the fish the flotilla brought with it, all of it was from the Atlantic, and most of it frozen.

The boats and the fish are part of a promotion -- a promotion encouraged by city authorities who are trying to draw attention to the cleaning up of the River Seine.

"Every day, we're making progress," says city planner Olivier Nicoulaud (ph). "We're working with industries to stop waste getting into the river. But," he adds, "we're not quite at the stage where one can go swimming, say."

Swimming no, but drinking, yes. Parisians use about 100 million liters, or about 20 million gallons of river water every day. The water is filtered, of course, and regularly tested in laboratories.

"Not bad for water straight from the river," says the technician. Samples are taken from the river at Ivry, a suburb just upstream from the capital. Laboratory officials say pollution controls are strictly enforced, and have been for several years.

(on camera): A former mayor of Paris, who has since navigated the turgid waters of city politics to rise to even greater office, once promised he would clean the river and swim in it.

(voice-over): Jacques Chirac still hasn't kept his promise. And the present-day incumbent at city hall isn't making any rash statements.

"No, I'm prudent," says Mayor Jean Tiberi. "There's no doubt the water quality's improved," Tiberi adds, "but there's some work ahead, and my aim is to keep improving it".

Tiberi has released more than $60 million from the city coffers to help pay for the effort. Nineteenth century canals that once transported goods will be restored and cleaned to encourage a new commerce: tourism. And who knows? maybe the odd fisherman or two as well.

Peter Humi, CNN, Paris.


WALCOTT: On to Germany, a large country in central Europe. Germany has more people than any other European country except Russia.

Throughout history, Germans have made important contributions to culture. Authors like Thomas Mann penned masterpieces of literature. Composers like Ludwig Von Beethoven created some of the world's greatest music. And German scientists have made breakthroughs in the areas of chemistry, medicine and physics.

Fast forward to modern-day Germany, where the government has started looking for brain power beyond its borders, a move that could help boost the country's sagging economy.

Germany began handing out the first of about 20,000 so-called green cards to tech workers from abroad. But the program comes as anti-immigrant attacks are increasing, raising fears that skilled laborers may be scared off.

Chris Burns has the story.


CHRIS BURNS, CNN BERLIN BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): After winning a vicious political battle, the government used great fanfare to issue its first green card to an Indonesian man, the first of 20,000 recipients, a stopgap as Germany tries to fill an estimated 75,000 Internet technology jobs.

It's the first time Germany is inviting immigrant labor since the 1960s and 1970s, when the booming economy was hungry for help. A total of 2.4 million so-called guest workers were accepted, most of them Turks and southern Europeans.

(on camera): This time it's different. Now Germany seeks skilled brain power from abroad, but attracting it has become more difficult. Not only are salaries lower and taxes higher here than in the U.S., but rising attacks on immigrants have caused concern.

(voice-over): Neo-Nazi skinheads are blamed for many of the attacks and the government is cracking down. In one of the latest cases, three skinheads are to go on trial for the slaying of an African immigrant in eastern Germany.

ELKE HOUBEN, GERMAN EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION: This might frighten people, of course, and we have had certain statements of German politicians that have already kept some Indians from applying in Germany.

BURNS: Namely, a conservative candidate in a state election campaign this year protested the green card legislation with a call for kinder statt inder, or "children instead of Indians" -- train German youth so you don't need immigrants.

Polls indicate at least half of those surveyed think Germany has too many immigrants. About two-thirds think so in former communist eastern Germany, where unemployment is 17 percent, double the national average. There are now increasing concerns that non-German professionals and investors may avoid or even leave that region.

Government officials say, despite the violence, 20,000 have applied for green card jobs -- jobs that could help fight unemployment.

KLAUS ACHENBACH, DEPUTY LABOR MINISTER (through translator): People from India, Pakistan, Romania, Russia are needed. Germans must realize that their own jobs are dependent upon the presence of highly skilled foreign workers.

BURNS: Immigrants make up 9 percent of the country's population, a common figure for an industrialized nation. Experts say more will be needed as populations age, and that this limited green card program should only be the beginning, a concept that will require a new mindset among Germans even beyond the rightist fringe.

Chris Burns, CNN, Berlin.


WALCOTT: Just 28 days left until the U.S. presidential election. And for those of you who have yet to be won over by either Democratic or Republican candidate, you'll get another chance to size up those contenders tomorrow in the second round of presidential debates.

The latest CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup tracking poll shows Bush leading Gore in a survey of likely voters, Bush's third straight day in the lead. But what do these polls really mean?

Here's Garrick Utley to tell us what all the polling is about. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Clinton is handling his job as president?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would like to get your overall opinion of some people in the news.

GARRICK UTLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In political polls, we are all just a number: a telephone number in the computers of the counters of public opinion, including the Gallup organization, which conducts the presidential campaign polls for CNN and "USA Today."

FRANK NEWPORT, EDITOR IN CHIEF, GALLUP POLL: The key to telephone sampling is that every single residential phone number in America is on your list, so that when you randomly select you everybody with an equal probability of falling into the sample.

UTLEY: But in a nation of millions of opinionated people, you might wonder: Why hasn't anyone ever asked me?

(on camera): The answer, of course, is that pollsters say they can find out what everyone thinks by asking just a few of us. The trick is reducing that famous margin of error, a calculation only a statistician could love. For example, ask the first 10 people you meet on a street corner here in New York City whom they would vote for today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Al Gore, of course. Who else?



UTLEY: The result of this poll: four for Gore, three for Bush, three undecided. But since we asked only 10 people, the margin of error was plus or minus at least 30 percent -- not much accuracy there.

(voice-over): If you ask 100 people across the nation at random, the margin of error drops to 10 percent. Ask 1,000, a standard size of polls today, and the error is reduced to 3 percent. There is safety in numbers.

NEWPORT: But after about 1,200 people, you really don't gain that much in terms of reduction of margin of error, even if you double or triple the sample.

UTLEY: But how do you find the right 1,000 people to learn who is leading in the presidential race? By asking only those who say they are likely to vote.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And are you now registered to vote in your precinct or election?

UTLEY: And how do you make sure the questions don't influence the answers? By keeping them free of political bias.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hillary Rodham Clinton: favorable or unfavorable? Al Gore?

UTLEY: The problem for pollsters is that people are getting tired of answering questions.

JOHN ZOGBY, PRESIDENT & CEO, ZOGBY INTERNATIONAL: When I started in this business in 1984, the typical response rate for a poll, a political poll or any other kind of poll, was about 65 percent. And the long-distance phone call was still a cultural event in the home. Now it's more than likely to be a telemarketer or a nuisance of some sort. We are now averaging about 33, 34 percent.

UTLEY: There are at least 12 presidential polls being published during this campaign. Do we need them? Without polls, the candidates would be free to make their own claims of who's leading in the race. And, yes, politics is about popularity. Polls are the ever-changing scorecard for the biggest game in the country.

ZOGBY: People want to feel connected with each other. We work in our cubicles. We drive home in our cubicles. We come home to the privacy of our homes. More and more of us want to know just where do we fit in with society at large.

UTLEY: And so we follow the polls and report on them, and will until Election Day, when the margin of error is reduced to zero.

Garrick Utley, CNN, New York.


ANNOUNCER: Teachers, make the most of CNN NEWSROOM with our free daily classroom guide to the program. There you'll find a rundown of each day's show so you choose just the program segments that fit your lesson plans. Plus, there are discussion questions and activities, and the guide highlights key people, places, and news terms. Each day, find hot links to other online resources and previews of upcoming desk segments. It's all at this Web address, where you can also sign up to have the guide automatically e-mailed directly to you each day. It's easy, it's free, it's your curriculum connection to the news. After all, the news never stops, and neither does learning.

BAKHTIAR: We've been hearing a lot about education in the U.S. 2000 presidential campaign. Both Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore have made improving the quality of education a top priority. Many teachers welcome that attention. Some are reaching into their own pockets just to get supplies into their classrooms.

But not in one district in suburban Chicago.

Ceci Rodgers reports on this completely different scenario.


CECI RODGERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Armed with Palm Pilot electronic organizers, these students in suburban Chicago are on the cutting edge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I turn this Palm on, what I'm -- what it's doing right now is recording the PH of the solution -- of the storage solution that that's in.

C. RODGERS: Analyzing how many fat grams they consumed at lunch and beaming homework assignments into their teachers' Palm Pilots.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're real convenient, because it helps you with your homework.

C. RODGERS: In all, Illinois school district 230 has deployed 3,000 Palm Pilots in its three high schools.

With the number of students outstripping desktop computers by about six to one, the school district was looking for a way to close the gap.

DARRELL WALERY, SCHOOL DISTRICT 230: When we starting experimenting with Palm Pilots and we saw what their capabilities were, we thought, wow, maybe this is how we can really get a lot of technology into the hands of a lot of students and really make it cost effective.

C. RODGERS: Students pay $225 each to buy a Palm Pilot, or they can rent one for $75 for the year. Those who cannot afford either option can use Palm Pilots kept in each classroom.

Parents may be skeptical...

DEBRA MARKHAM, PARENT: I know technology is going that way, but I still -- I don't know. We've gone so long without them.

C. RODGERS: But for the most part, students like using the devices.

DYAN MARICH, ANDREWS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: It's kind of getting us used to, like, future technology and getting used to having something that we're going to be using for probably the rest of our lives.

C. RODGERS (on camera): That's music to the ears of Palm, which began its marketing push with educators only after going public this spring. And THE guy in charge of Palm's efforts just came from Apple Computer, the top supplier to U.S. schools.

MIKE LORION, PALM, INC.: When you add teachers in both higher education and K-12 and the student population, it provides for a large market opportunity for hand-held technology, very similar to what we see in the mobile professional market, which totals between 80 and 90 million people nationwide.

C. RODGERS (voice-over): But whether Palm Pilots gain widespread acceptance in education circles remains to be seen.

ANNE BRYANT, NATIONAL SCHOOLBOARDS ASSOCIATION: At this moment in time, the Palm Pilot doesn't give students or teachers the real equipment they need to expand A student's learning skills.

C. RODGERS: And that's the challenge at Palm: to elevate its hand-helds to more than just fun gadgets for students.

Ceci Rodgers, CNN Financial News, Chicago.


WALCOTT: Sign of the changing times. They never had anything like that when I was in school.

BAKHTIAR: Me either.

And that'll do it for us here on NEWSROOM. We'll see you back here tomorrow.

WALCOTT: Have a good day.



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