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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for October 19, 2000

Aired October 19, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Welcome to NEWSROOM for this Thursday, everybody. I'm Tom Haynes. We've got a lot on the agenda today so let's get it started.

Topping today's show, remembering the victims of the USS Cole attack.

Up next in "Science Desk" today, we have big news about something very small.

From inner space to cyberspace, our "Worldview" focuses today on the World Wide Web.

Then we head back to the United States for a "Chronicle" double- header. First at bat: immigration. Also in the lineup, politics and the great American pastime.

An emotional farewell for the 17 Americans who were killed aboard the USS Cole as U.S. President Clinton vows those responsible for last week's attack in Yemen will be caught.

It was a day wrapped in sorrow and remembrance as thousands of sailors and grieving families joined President Clinton at the Cole's home port in Norfolk, Virginia. Mr. Clinton paid tribute to the 39 wounded crew members and praised the fallen as patriots.


WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let us give them their meaning; their meaning of peace and freedom, of reconciliation and love, of service, endurance and hope. After all they have given us, we must give them their meaning.


HAYNES: The investigation into the USS Cole bombing is moving forward. U.S. and Yemeni authorities say they're making progress and are following several significant leads.

Jamie McIntyre has more on that, and efforts to prevent another attack like the one on the Cole. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN MILITARY AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the dead were mourned in Norfolk, Virginia, eight more bodies began the long journey home from the port of Aden. The remains of four other sailors are still inside the twisted wreckage of the ship's mangled midsection.

In a videotaped message to families back home, the commanding officer of the Cole said the ship came close to sinking in the minutes and hours after the attack.

CMDR. KIRK LIPPOLD, COMMANDING OFFICER, USS COLE: When the explosion occurred, the immediate actions of the crew saved this ship and saved the lives of many, many of the crew members on board. The courageousness that was shown by them was unbelievable.

MCINTYRE: With the arrival of the U.S. amphibious assault ship Tarawa with 2,000 marines, the United States has taken over more of the harbor security that initially was being provided by the government of Yemen. Sources say the Pentagon will announce that two retired four-stars will head up a separate investigation into force protection procedures for U.S. warships.

Adm. Hal Gehman, recently retired Joint Forces commander, was picked for his experience with surface warfare ships; and former Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. William Crouch was tapped for his experience providing force protection for U.S. troops on the ground in the Balkans.

Pentagon officials say the need to make modifications to a huge floating dry dock will delay the ship's arrival in Aden until the end of next week. The privately-owned Blue Marlin will eventually bring the crippled Cole back to the U.S. for repairs.

(on camera): Pentagon officials say the FBI is putting a tight hold on any information about the progress of the criminal investigation. But a senior official here confirms reports from Yemen that significant leads have been uncovered, including a boat trailer that might have been used in the attack, and a nearby apartment where the bomb may have been assembled.

Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.


HAYNES: We put today's "Daily Desk" under the microscope. That's because we're talking about microscopic technology; specifically nanotechnology. Now, you've probably thrown the word "nano" around a couple of times, as in nanoseconds or a nanometer. Do you know how big or small a nano really is? Well, a nano signifies one billionth of something. How's that for small?

Today we focus on how the word nano is becoming a significant component of genetic research.

Marsha Walton has that story.


MARSHA WALTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Northwestern University chemistry professor Chad Mirkin has developed a new test for DNA.

PROF. CHAD MIRKIN, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY: We can do that in a way that is much simpler than what's currently used.

WALTON: It now takes several steps and several days to detect if blood or other samples match. This new test works with as few as 60 molecules of a DNA sample. Tiny gold particles act as signals of perfect DNA matches. The procedure takes advantage of nanotechnology, a rapidly growing field that uses nature's basic building blocks, atoms and molecules, as raw materials.

MIRKIN: You need tools to get down there and look at how atoms behave on an atom-by-atom basis, or molecules behave on a molecule-by- molecule basis, and you need to be able to manipulate them.

WALTON (on camera): The structures being manipulated are usually 100 nanometers or smaller. To give you an idea just how tiny that is, a human hair is about 10,000 nanometers thick.

(voice-over): While DNA testing is known for use in the courtroom, advances like mapping of the human genome could make this an important tool for detecting illnesses early on.

WALTON: So what's next? Perhaps catalysts that could break up toxic spills, solar cells that could more efficiently convert sunlight to electricity. IBM physicist Don Eigler sees a day when molecules will provide computing power.

DON EIGLER, IBM PHYSICIST: Nanoscience is just an extension of what we've always been doing in the realm of science, is trying to understand the fundamental aspects of nature.

WALTON: Controlling atoms may still be mind-boggling, but it has many researchers confident of a big future.

Marsha Walton, CNN, Evanston, Illinois.


HAYNES: In "Worldview" today, we travel to Africa, a land of contrasts. Catherine Bond will take us to Kenya, a country ravaged by drought and struggling to get up to speed on the Internet. And we'll focus on immigration in the United States, a topic we'll have more on later in "Chronicle." But we begin looking at a community known as Little Saigon.

One sign of the changing face of immigrants into the United States is the increasing number from Asia. Today among the U.S. foreign-born population, Asians make up the second largest group behind Latin Americans. According to the latest figures, in 1998, about 18,000 came from Vietnam in particular. They join a long stream of Vietnamese immigrants who've left that country following the end of the Vietnam war 25 years ago.

As Gloria Hillard reports, many have settled in an around Los Angeles, changing the look and sound of communities there.


GLORIA HILLARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's just an hour south of Los Angeles, a place called Little Saigon, an intersection of East meets West in strip malls with plastic signs and shops, and on every block the sound of music.

Twenty-five years after the fall of Saigon, this area has become not only home to the largest Vietnamese community in the United States, but to a flourishing entertainment industry.

Asia Productions has signed more than a dozen musical artists, singers, like Le Tam and Lam Tien. Both were born in Vietnam but grew up here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would love to be an actor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do music videos and stuff like that and we try to get a little acting going.


HILLARD: They call Lam Tien the Vietnamese Ricky Martin. And maybe one day they, too, will be discovered and become Hollywood stars.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That would be good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, you know, that's our dream.

HILLARD: Deejay Viet Dzung came here 25 years ago, a boat refugee. His radio program is broadcast in three cities, aimed at two generations, the older non-English-speaking Vietnamese-Americans and their children.

VIET DZUNG, RADIO BOLSA: They want to join the mainstream on all the activities, including music and film.

HILLARD: Vietnamese actress Kieu Chinh was on one of the last flights out of Saigon. She is probably best known for her role in "The Joy Luck Club." Chinh says most of the movies that have been made about Vietnam have dealt with the war; films like "Platoon."

KIEU CHINH, ACTRESS: Not many of them is talking on the point of view of Vietnamese and about the people. I put all my hope on this young generation.

HILLARD: Like Vietnamese-American filmmaker Tony Bui. His film "Three Seasons" was a big winner at last year's Sundance. TONY BUI, DIRECTOR, "THREE SEASONS": Having grown up in America, even though I was born in Vietnam, I never read or learned about Vietnam the way I saw it when I ended going there when I was 19 years old for the first time.

CHINH: After 25 years, the Vietnam War is over, there are still many, many stories to be told.

HILLARD: The sounds of "Little Saigon" tell a story: the sounds of the future and the past.

Gloria Hillard, CNN, Westminster, California.


SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: Next stop Kenya, an African nation facing a major problem. Since gaining independence from Britain in 1963, the Kenyan economy has centered around agriculture. But, ironically, the country's main challenge is finding ways to feed its growing population. Only about one-fifth of Kenya's land is suitable for farming. Now, to make matters even worse, parts of Kenya are suffering through its longest drought in decades.

A drought occurs when it doesn't rain in an area for a very long time, often resulting in extensive damage to food crops. Droughts can happen all over the world, in every type of climate. International aid workers say more than 3 million people in Kenya will need food aid at least until Christmas, if not longer.

Catherine Bond has the story.


CATHERINE BOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Women weaving baskets as fast as they can because it's their only way to make money. There's drought in a part of Kenya where usually enough food's grown to eat and sell to the cities as well.

"There's not enough for us now," Teresia (ph) says, "because of drought."

Though a few showers have fallen in this market garden area, locals say it's two years since it rained hard here. The landscape is tinder-dry, the cattle skinny, and terraced farms that in wetter years grow vegetables and fruit are bare.

Relief agencies say the long drought means more than 3 million people in Kenya need food aid. Here, there's white corn from government stocks, as well as international gifts of vegetable oil; more corn and peas. But there's not enough for everyone so it's up to each village to decide who needs help most.

WINNIE NZOIKI, KENYA RED CROSS: We've really done our best to see that it's being done fairly, but the beneficiaries are still saying that there are more people out there who still need more food.

BOND: Weaving baskets brings in money, but not much. A week's work, one basket sells locally for 50 shillings -- under a dollar.

"If I'm not making baskets," says Teresia, "we have to go to bed hungry."

Drought, they say, has forced more people to migrate. Jacinta (ph) says her daughters have gone to look for work in bigger towns, leaving their children with her.

And we're hungry," she says," so bring us food. They'll eat anything they're given: beans, corn, flour."

Julianna (ph) says she's not eating for days at a time, and Teresia says, at home, her children aren't faring very well because they lack a balanced diet.

Relief workers say aid like this is needed every month.

NZOIKI: We know that we are going to do this until December, as of now.

BOND: But, they say, the international community hasn't helped Kenya with enough extra food to last that long.

Catherine Bond, CNN, Nairobi.


RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Kenya is a country of many faces. And while drought is bringing hard times to many people, it's a different story and seemingly a different world in Kenya's capital.

Nairobi is a modern metropolis and the largest city and economic center in Kenya. It's also the heart and hub of the country's communication transformation, as Catherine Bond explains.


BOND (voice-over): An Internet cafe in Nairobi. Here, sending an e-mail costs about the same price as a coke.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At the same time here, we usually come to eat and drink here, so it's so easy to compose here or to browse here.

BOND: And like the fast-food business, service is relatively quick.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The service is excellent. I mean, now we're talking technology. I mean, you've got to be where the technology is. You can't be left out now.

BOND: E-Touch, affordable, public access to e-mail and the Internet, is, says the company marketing it, the key to expanding Internet use and e-commerce in Africa.

AYISI MAKATIANI, CEO, AFRICA ONLINE: When we started our business, we focused very much on people who could afford computers. The problem with that particular clique of people is they are only the elite in most of these countries.

BOND: South Africa excluded, Africa's said to have about the same number of Internet hosts as the tiny Baltic state of Latvia, population 2.5 million.

RICK ASHLEY, STOCKBROKER: The computer penetration figures really mean that one has to look at other ways of reaching the vast number of people in Africa who haven't got a computer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Your message has been sent to the following recipient." So it is already there.



BOND: People like these teachers can keep in touch with friends in Europe and the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my first experience. I haven't heard much about e-mail, but now I have just experienced that one can send and immediately someone you send to receives, and that's, to me, a wonder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I don't have a computer in my home, so I go to the E-Touch centers and I use the -- what -- I access the Internet, I access my mail.

BOND: Mostly personal now, this E-Touch center has just opened. And it's thought soon more people will come to do business here as well.

Catherine Bond, CNN, Nairobi.


HAYNES: Today we continue our series on immigration. As immigrants continue pouring into the United States, they're starting to settle in places off the beaten track. Traditionally, they headed for states such as California, New York and Texas. But it appears that's changing. North Carolina now has the fastest growing immigrant population.

Joel Hochmuth looks at how those immigrants are being received.


JOEL HOCHMUTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): La Fiesta del Pueblo is just another sign Hispanic immigrants are changing the look of North Carolina. In the last 10 years, the state's Latino population has more than doubled to about 175,000, one of the fastest growth rates in the country. But while this festival in Chapel Hill is a time to party, it masks emerging racial tensions.

JIM JOHNSON, DEMOGRAPHER: The new immigrants are phenotypically different. They are, for the most part, people of color who cannot change that reality.

HOCHMUTH: Perhaps no one understands those tensions better than Jim Johnson, a demographer who studies population trends for the University of North Carolina.

J. JOHNSON: The South is dramatically changing and we're not handling it too well right now. That has been pretty unsettling to people. There's -- I think it's safe to say there's been a nativist backlash to the influx.

HOCHMUTH: His best example is Siler City in nearby Chatham County. Until about five years ago, it was a quiet town of about 5,500. Since then, an estimated 3,000 Hispanic immigrants, mostly from Latin America and other parts of the U.S., have moved in.

J. JOHNSON: No one likes change. I mean, you know, Chatham County and to a certain extent North Caroline for years was kind of a sleepy backwater. No one likes change, and particularly at the rate at which this change has occurred. I mean, it kind of hit us upside the head without, you know, any forewarning.

HOCHMUTH: Most Hispanics are drawn to the area by jobs at two poultry processing plants; jobs that pay about $7 per hour. Many earn more in a day here than in two weeks or more back home. Although these workers and their paychecks have helped revive an otherwise declining downtown, immigrants have not always felt welcome here.

LLANA DUBESTER, HISPANIC LIAISON, SILER CITY, NORTH CAROLINA: I think Siler City is a town that is happy with the way it was, and it's no longer what it was 10 years ago even.

HOCHMUTH: One big sore spot for longtime residents has been Siler City Elementary School. Just seven years ago, most of the students were white with a small black minority. Today, nearly half are Hispanic and less than 20 percent are white as immigrants have moved in and other parents have pulled their children out.

Off camera, they charge their children were getting less attention as teachers' time was taken up dealing with students who couldn't speak English. The school's principal says that's just not true, and that the real problem is simply fear.

RANDY JOHNSON, PRINCIPAL: Sometimes, you know, we're afraid of the unknown. A lot of times people have not been -- they have not been in the middle of what's going on with other races and populations, people from different countries.

DAVID DUKE, FORMER KKK LEADER: Would you rather have me here or would you rather have the Mexicans here? Let me know.

HOCHMUTH: Tensions came to a boiling point in February when a local businessman organized an anti-Hispanic rally led by David Duke, onetime head of the KKK. By one estimate, only 100 or so supporters showed up. They were met by a vocal group of anti-Duke demonstrators.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I think if David Duke had to walk one day in the shoes of Mexican migrants as they worked some of the fields, he would be a different person.

HOCHMUTH (on camera): It's not clear just how many of David Duke's supporters at the rally were actually from Siler City. Local officials contend most came in from out of town and their views are held by only a small minority here. Still, that rally sparked fear in the Hispanic community.

MURRAY COHEN, TEACHER: In the shoe store...

HOCHMUTH (voice-over): Murray Cohen is a farmer who moonlights teaching English to new immigrants two nights each week. He says attendance has dropped by 50 percent in the weeks and months since Duke was here.

COHEN: They're fearful because they don't understand something of freedom of speech. During the David Duke thing, some of the students said, Maestro, we want to go there and shoot him. Why can't we just go ahead and do that? In Mexico, if we didn't like what he had to say, we'd go there and shoot him. I said, he has a freedom of speech. He can speak anything he'd like to say. That's one of the rights that we're granted in this country.

HOCHMUTH: That fear, though, is subsiding as Hispanics begin to realize that there are many others in town like Cohen who support and welcome them.

Even Rick Givens, chairman of the County Commission, has had a change of heart. Last year, out of frustration with problems created by so many illegal immigrants in the community, he asked the INS for help deporting them, writing, quote, "we need your help in getting these folk properly documented or routed back to their homes."

That letter left the Hispanic community in an uproar.

RICK GIVENS, CHAIRMAN, CHATHAM COUNTY COMMISSIONERS: I did cause a pretty big stink here and it wasn't intentional, and I certainly didn't want to take the children out of school and the mothers and send them home. That wasn't the intent.

HOCHMUTH: Since then, he went on a sensitivity building trip to Mexico and now says he better appreciates the plight of both legal and illegal immigrants.

GIVENS: Humanity had to kick in. Anyone that had any compassion would see that these people are really in trouble in Mexico and they're really doing a lot better here than they are there.

HOCHMUTH: Givens remains adamantly opposed to illegal immigration, but says the racial hatred of David Duke is not the answer.

GIVENS: My red neck comes out every once in a while, too. You know, I'm not immune to that and you're going to have that, but there's a right way and a wrong way to approach issues, and that was definitely a wrong way to approach this issue. HOCHMUTH: Of course, not all attitudes in town will change quickly. After all, this is a place where feelings run deep, but few people want to talk about them.

J. JOHNSON: And they still have to live in those communities in many instances. So no one wants to be on CNN and then go outside the next day and see all of these people that they have bastardized, you know, on your show. It's just not -- it's uncomfortable for them.

HOCHMUTH: Despite such ill feelings, Siler City's newest residents are here to stay. And as immigrants continue arriving here and in communities across the United States, the question remains: Can we all get along?

J. JOHNSON: Our challenge is, in this window of enormous prosperity, is to follow -- is to be able to facilitate this transition to a more diverse society. Otherwise I fear L.A. of 1992 could repeat itself, even in a place like Siler City.


HAYNES: All right, we close out "Chronicle" today exploring two traditions at the core of American culture. One shapes the country's democracy while the other shapes the dreams of many faithful fans.

With less than three weeks before the U.S. presidential election and just days away from the beginning of the World Series, Bruce Morton looks at the historical connection between the game of politics and the politics of baseball.


BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was another time, another country, another game. Just 48 states back then: Alaska and Hawaii hadn't joined yet. The interstate highway system was the coming thing. "See the USA," ads sang, "in your Chevrolet." And people did.

Dwight Eisenhower was the war hero president, elected big in 1952. His opponent, Adlai Stevenson, carried just nine states. And Ike was the heavy favorite in 1956, correctly, it turned out. Stevenson, running again, like, say, the Chicago Cubs, won only seven states in the rematch. No Sammy Sosa's on the Democratic team.

Baseball? No Wild Cards back then, no playoffs. Just eight teams in each league, and the pennant winners in each league played the World Series. Three teams in New York, back then: the Yankees, the New York Giants, who would move to San Francisco, and the Brooklyn Dodgers, who would move to Los Angeles.

In the 10 seasons between 1947 and 1956, those three teams played seven Subway Series. Mostly, the Yankees played the Dodgers. Mostly, the Yankees won: won in 1952, Eisenhower's first presidential victory, beating Brooklyn four games to three; won in 1956, like Ike again, beating Brooklyn -- again -- in seven games -- again. Heroes played then: Yankees like Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, and a pitcher named Don Larsen, who, in that 1956 series, pitched a perfect game; no hits, no walks, no errors, no Dodger as far as first base. No one had ever done that. No one's done it since. Even Eisenhower couldn't match it.

But the Giants had heroes too, like Willie Mays. The Dodgers, first team to integrate, to play black players in the Major Leagues, had Jackie Robinson, who'd first broken the barrier; '56 would be his last year as a player. For baseball, maybe this was the greatest generation.

It's different now: designated hitters, short and long relievers, pitchers working every five days instead of every four. And the games are too long. It's different politically, too. Neither of these guys looks like a landslide winner.

Still, for all the changes, we have what you want in October: a World Series and a presidential election, each one too close to call.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.


HAYNES: Politics and baseball going hand-in-hand.

All right, if neither politics nor baseball is for you, maybe science is your thing. If so, mark your calendars for October 24. presents "Virus Encounters," a virtual field trip to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Log on and ask the experts anything and everything you want to ever know about health. For a schedule of events, head to

And if you can't get enough there, set your VCRs for October 25 through the 27th, when CNN NEWSROOM will have a virus encounter of our own. We'll cover topics from bacteria to viruses and everything in between. That's coming up next week.

For now, that's it for us. Have a good one. We'll see you back here tomorrow. Take care.



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