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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for October 27, 2000

Aired October 27, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: TGIF, everyone. I'm Shelley Walcott. It's Friday and NEWSROOM has a lot to cover. Let's get started.

Topping today's news, the investigation into the bombing of the USS Cole.

Next, we catch the volunteer spirit in "Editor's Desk" by profiling those lending a helping hand.

We make positive arrangements in "Worldview" when we check out the Chinese practice of Feng Shui.

Then we'll take a two-part journey in "Chronicle." We start on the Red Planet and end under the microscope for a virus encounter of the quizzical kind.

Two weeks after an apparent suicide attack on the USS Cole, the Federal Bureau of Investigation says it's done collecting forensic evidence aboard the U.S. Navy ship. More than 100 FBI agents were dispatched to Yemen. Some will remain there, but most are headed back to the United States where analysis will continue.

The USS Cole left its Norfolk, Virginia home base August 8 and was scheduled to return December 21. On October 12, 17 U.S. sailors were killed and 39 wounded in the attack on the Cole. The $1 billion warship received massive damage when an explosion ripped through its steel frame at the port of Aden, Yemen.

The Cole is a guided missile destroyer. Such ships perform anti- submarine, anti-air and anti-surface warfare duties. With missiles and harpoons, the Cole seemed invincible at sea. Yet at port, it was vulnerable. U.S. President Clinton plans to find whomever is responsible for damaging the ship and cutting short the lives of 17 sailors.

While the FBI searches for those behind the attack on the USS Cole, the Pentagon is reviewing the security procedures that are supposed to protect U.S. warships from terrorist attack.

Jamie McIntyre has more on that.


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN MILITARY AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The attack on the USS Cole showed the world what the U.S. Navy has tried not to publicize: that its warships, when operating in commercial waterways at home or abroad, are vulnerable to small boat attack, especially if there's no outward appearance of hostile intent.

The Navy is now taking a hard look at its current rules, which place no restrictions on small boats unless there is some intelligence warning of a possible threat. In the Gulf of Aden, the morning the USS Cole pulled in for refueling, there was a threat, along with a long list of protective measures that were supposed to be in effect.

SEN. CARL LEVIN (D-MI), ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: Measure 16 is -- provides that water taxis, ferries, bumboats, other harbor craft require special concern because they concern -- because they can serve as an ideal platform for terrorists.

MCINTYRE: The Cole was under Threat Condition Bravo, a warning of increased and more predictable threat of terrorist activity, but with no particular target specified.

The standard anti-terrorism measures for that threat level spell out that unauthorized craft should be kept away from the ship; the crew should identify and inspect work boats; prepare fire hoses for repelling boarders, small boats, and ultra-light aircraft; and prepare small boats and place crews on 15-minute alert. The small picket boats would be put in the water if needed to stop and inspect unauthorized small craft. A Pentagon investigation will determine if those procedures were followed and if they were adequate.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon insists that a CIA report released the day before the Cole attack and a National Security Agency report 12 hours afterward provided no red flag of a terrorist attack.

KEN BACON, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: The reports did not provide enough specificity to allow any skipper or military commander to make a decision to change behavior based on these reports.

MCINTYRE (on camera): Concerned about protecting U.S. forces from the growing threat of terrorism, Defense Secretary William Cohen and Joint Chiefs Chairman General Hugh Shelton convened a video conference call with all the top U.S. military commanders around the world. The message: even the best security can be made better.

Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.


WALCOTT: Do you ever volunteer in your neighborhood? It's a good way to meet people, help out and get experience in all kinds of things, plus make a difference in your world.

Back in 1961 when John F. Kennedy became president of the United States, he offered a call of service to Americans.


JOHN F. KENNEDY, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.


WALCOTT: He translated this vision to reality when he established the Peace Corps. Since that year, more than 161,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps and promoted peace, friendship and development for people in 134 nations around the world.

Now the Internet revolution is presenting a new opportunity to promote development while promoting goodwill.

Allison Tom has the story of one nonprofit organization whose mission is the high-tech answer to the Peace Corps.


ALLISON TOM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is a high tech version of the Peace Corp. is a nonprofit organization based in the United States. Its aim is to expand the benefits of the Internet revolution to developing countries worldwide.

ETHAN ZUCKERMAN, GEEKCORPS.ORG: What were really focused on is creating great economic opportunities, chances for people to run businesses that compete in a world economy, make hard currency, and make people wealthier. And our hope is that by helping people create businesses, that's going to provide an incentive to bridge the digital divide.

TOM: Geekcorps' first mission is a volunteer project in Ghana. The company is sending six high-tech experts, including computer programmers, marketers and business professionals. Each volunteer will pair up with one technology company, offering them their technical skills and expertise.

DEVON MANELSKI, VOLUNTEER: It's great that I can do something that I love, which is technology, and I can go out there and I can use it to help people at the same time, and I can have a good time doing it and I can learn a lot.

TOM: Others say the project is a new form of philanthropy in the digital age.

DOUG AUERBACH, VOLUNTEER: There's a lot of people who have been very successful using the Internet, and financially successful. And this allows the people who have done so to give back to the community; not only to give back to their local community, as you might expect, but also to really spread that out to the rest of the world, to give back to the global community.

TOM: Integrated Computer Systems is located in the Ghanaian capital, Accra. It's one of the companies participating in the Geekcorps project and it hopes to further develop its e-commerce opportunities locally. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is one main thing that I hope to do, and also to help, you know, these companies to get an eventual capital fund, you know, to boost their companies, you know, because if you need to expand, then you need, you know, funding, you know, to help you to expand.

TOM: Eventually, Geekcorps says, it plans to build a global database to match nonprofit organizations with volunteers with the same goal in mind: to help bridge digital divide issues in the developing world.

Allison Tom, CNN.


WALCOTT: In "Worldview," tips on how to Feng Shui your way to harmony. We'll check out this ancient tradition, and we'll finish our week-long look at the United Nations with two stories, one on promoting responsible global citizenship, the other on the status of women.

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Women have made incredible strides around the world. Whether in politics, science, religion or sports, they've managed to overcome insurmountable odds to leave their marks in the world.

Mother Teresa, born to an Albanian grocer, would grow up to win the Nobel Prize for peace for her devotion to the poor and the destitute. Polish-born Marie Curie won the Nobel Prize twice, in physics and chemistry, for work on radioactivity, proving to be an immeasurable contribution in science. And then there's Amelia Earhart, who became the first woman to fly alone over the Atlantic Ocean.

But as far as women have come, they have much farther to go.

Margaret Lowrie reports on just how long the journey might be.


MARGARET LOWRIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Women are half the world's population, but, the U.N. says, they bear a disproportionate amount of its woes: likely to be less educated, less prosperous, less healthy; more likely to suffer violence or abuse, and generally less empowered than men. The U.N. says this gender inequality comes at a high cost, both in human and economic terms.

NAFIS SADIK, UNITED NATIONS POPULATION FUND: Some of the estimates are as high as 30 percent of economic growth perhaps has been reduced or not taken place because of the lack of investment in half the population to education and health.

LOWRIE: In its annual report, the U.N.'s Population Fund gives these statistics: At least one in three women has been physically or sexually abused, one in four during pregnancy; 60 million girls are what the report describes as missing, mostly in Asia, the result of neglect or infanticide.

The report estimates as many as 5,000 women and girls are murdered each year by their families in so-called "honor killings." The report says ignorance and lack of access to contraception means 80 million unwanted pregnancies annually. According to the report, a half a million women die each year from pregnancy-related problems, mostly in developing countries with little or no care before, during and after childbirth.

The U.N. says some governments aren't honoring pledges to spend a global total of nearly $3 billion by year's end to improve the position of women.

SADIK: We need to find the means to actually have action taken, not just at the national level, but at local levels.

LOWRIE: The U.N. stresses gender inequality may be reinforced by poverty, but it arises from deep-seeded cultural stereotypes and misconceptions, and governments need the political and social will to fund and enforce changes.

Margaret Lowrie, CNN, London.


WALCOTT: Honest business or a deal with the devil? That was the lingering question after United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan met with corporate leaders from around the world. The goal of the meeting: to promote all the U.N. standards to big business leaders, kind of a reminder that human rights must prevail within the walls of their companies. Items on the agenda included worker's rights, the elimination of sweatshops, and unions.

With more on the talks, here's Richard Roth.


RICHARD ROTH, CNN UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was not business as usual at the United Nations. Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed not diplomats, but titans from the corporate world. More than 40 companies came to U.N. headquarters pledging to promote the values of the U.N.

PHIL WATTS, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL GROUP: As I say to my colleagues in business, what are we going to do on Monday morning? First of all, the best way to promote responsible, global citizenship is to live it, actually do it every day.

ROTH: The companies have agreed to join the U.N.'s Global Compact. They vow to eliminate child labor, protect human rights, and even honor the ability of workers to unionize. They must post their progress in applying nine principles of good international behavior once a year on a special U.N. Web site.

Worried about free-market expansion trampling on human rights, especially in developing countries, the U.N. secretary-general was spurred to act also by the disturbances in Seattle at the World Trade Conference. He never got to deliver his speech there on the perils of globalization.

KOFI ANNAN, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: What we must do instead is to ensure that global market is embedded in broadly shared values and practices that reflect global, social needs.

ROTH: Some of the multinational corporations present here, such as Nike, have been criticized for abuses in factories overseas.

PHIL KNIGHT, CHAIRMAN, NIKE CO.: Real solutions that improve people's lives will result if we can make this partnership work.

ROTH: Opponents say too little, too late.

JOHN CAVANAGH, DIR., INST. FOR POLICY STUDIES: It think these companies jumped at this opportunity because they realized, one, it would make them look good, they will say publicly in front of a global audience that they are for rights, but they also knew that there's no enforcement.

ROTH: But the U.N. believes big business can have more influence in shaping the lives of billions of people than its own members.

ANNAN: We cannot wait for governments to do it all. Globalizations operates on Internet time.

ROTH (on camera): Skeptics question whether it's proper for the United Nations to do business with big business, some here even equating it to a deal with the devil. But the secretary-general counters that the era of globalization is here to stay: better to engage corporations, he says, than to do nothing at all.

Richard Roth, CNN, United Nations.


TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: As our United Nations special week comes to a close on our show, we turn now from our push for peace around the world. Our journey takes us full circle to your own backyard, wherever that may be. This time we search for inner peace, a search that can have its roots in culture.

Anne McDermott examines an ancient Chinese practice.


ANNE MCDERMOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What is this woman doing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These are protectors of the home and they should be facing each other.

MCDERMOTT: She's practicing Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of arranging the environment to create positive energy, or chi. Feng Shui consultant Angi Ma Wong begins from the outside in; for example, analyzing a home's entrance and its relationship to a couple of drains.

WONG, FENG SHUI CONSULTANT: This symbolizes your wealth going right -- literally right down the drain.

MCDERMOTT: Her solution? Mirrors to deflect the flow. And inside, elements, colors, even the points of the compass are aligned.

WONG: It's a lucky kitchen, because wood is nurtured by water, and the sink, which is a water source, is exactly in the east. This represents health and harmony and family life.

MCDERMOTT: Feng Shui is not a religion, but it can get complicated, which may explain why Wong charges about $250 an hour, and some practitioners get thousands. For what?

WONG: To bring in good energy to your life.

MCDERMOTT: OK, but some people think Feng Shui is just a bunch of processed meat. Still, actor Rob Lowe Feng Shui-ed his dressing room. Donald Trump Feng Shui-ed an entire hotel. But of course he's a rich guy. What about the average homeowner with big chi problems?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And that's where you find out how involved they are. Are they willing to move the front door? Some are.

MCDERMOTT: This tea emporium has been Feng Shui-ed. But as the sign says, customers' cell phones were interfering with the energy. Did customers laugh? Nope. They took their cell phones outside.

But will people always be so tolerant? Will Feng Shui go the way of, say, crystals? Wong says no.

WONG: About 20 years ago, you couldn't even practice acupuncture here in the United States.

MCDERMOTT: Now you can, along with Feng Shui. These apples? Good chi. The water? Good chi. The cat? Not really. The dog?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's very good chi. He's a great guy.

MCDERMOTT: But is he a believer?

Anne McDermott, CNN, Los Angeles.


WALCOTT: The first joint Russian-American space crew is set to blast off to the International Space Station on Monday. CNN plans live coverage of this event. Also on NASA's to-do list, a very down- to-earth approach for upcoming missions to Mars. Officials at the space center say they're reworking their Mars exploration plans after two failed missions last year that cost the agency almost $300 million.

With more, here's John Zarrella.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN MIAMI BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): When it comes to the exploration of Mars, NASA's old approach, "faster, better, cheaper," is out. NASA officials say they are prepared to embark on a new, unparalleled Mars campaign. No longer just a collection of preordained missions, the new program will allow engineers and scientists time to design missions based on the results of a previous trip.

ED WEILER, NASA DEPUTY DIRECTOR: We have to assume that Mars will continue to surprise us. We're launching an orbiter mission to Mars next spring. We're launching two rover missions to Mars in 2003. I have a feeling those missions may uncover something that we brilliant humans haven't thought of yet.

ZARRELLA: The new approach calls for spacing out Mars robotic lander missions, one every four years beginning with twin rovers scheduled for a 2003 liftoff. In 2007, NASA hopes to launch the first smart lander with a collision-avoidance system and a highly sophisticated rover. In between the landers, orbiters will be sent to map Mars and gather data from above.

But NASA says none of missions will be so cutting-edge that they become too risky.

FIROUZ NADEN, MARS PROGRAM MANAGER: If I may borrow from the adage, you know, every mission will have, you know, "something old, something new, something borrowed," and definitely a few things bold.

ZARRELLA: One major setback comes in NASA's bold plan for a mission to return samples of Mars back to Earth. It won't fly now until, at the earliest, 2011, a delay of more than six years.

(on camera): The new Mars program is the result of a seven-month review that followed the recent failures of the Mars Polar Lander and the Climate Orbiter. In both instances, the old philosophy, "cheaper, better, faster," may have contributed to the mission disasters.

(voice-over): While the new Mars program appears ambitious, the money is only a fraction of what's dedicated to the space shuttle and space station. Those programs get $7 billion a year. Mars exploration: $400 million.

John Zarrella, CNN, Miami.


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 plan. 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.

WALCOTT: For the past couple of days, CNN medical correspondent Holly Firfer has been telling us about infectious disease, sort of a primer on viruses and bacteria, the germs that surround us in our world.

Today, a health quiz to see if you know how to defend yourself and your loved ones against different types of illnesses.

Here again is Holly.


HOLLY FIRFER, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When he was 11 years old, Damien Heersink (ph) ate an undercooked hamburger that was tainted with the bacteria E. coli 0157:H7. He almost died.

Four years ago, Halle Bernstein (ph) had a salad for lunch and ended up in the hospital for 14 weeks. She, too, had been infected by the E. coli bacteria. On average, 20,000 Americans die each year from complications related to the flu. In Africa, one-fourth of all pregnant women are HIV positive. Of those, more than 25 percent will pass the virus on to their children.

Damien and Halle didn't have to get sick. People don't need to die from the flu or the AIDS virus. All of these situations are preventable.

(on camera): With just one ounce of effort, prevention can keep you and those around you safe. So, let's see how much you know about staying healthy. Ready to take a quiz?

(voice-over): OK, question No. 1: If I feel like I have a cold I should insist my doctor prescribe antibiotics? True or false?

Well, the answer is false.

DR. HARRY KEYSERLING, PEDIATRICIAN: Most colds are due to viral infections and antibiotics have no benefit at all in that situation.

FIRFER: Doctors add, each time you take an antibiotic, bacteria are killed. And if you use an antibiotic unnecessarily, the bacteria can mutate and learn how to outsmart the drugs. And the next time you really might need those drugs, they won't work.

No. 2: When I feel better, I don't need to take any more medication like antibiotics? True or false?

KEYSERLING: That's false. It's really important, even though you feel better after a few days, to complete the entire course of therapy, and that's so the infection won't come back.

FIRFER: Moving on, if I find a dead animal, since it's dead, I can't catch a disease from it? True or false?

The answer is false. KEYSERLING: Often, animals that have infections may die and you could become infected just by touching the animal.

FIRFER: Staying in the animal kingdom, most of you have heard that animals foaming at the mouth could be infected with rabies. If a wild animal is not foaming at the mouth, well, then it's not dangerous to me. True or false?

KEYSERLING: That's false. A wild animal doesn't have to be foaming at the mouth to have rabies. It's not a good idea to try to pet a wild animal.

FIRFER: How many people have been infected with HIV worldwide? Is it 4 million, 10 million or 42 million?

KEYSERLING: The answer to that would be about 42 million. And most of the disease is in countries that are developing, particularly in Africa and in Southeast Asia.

FIRFER: Do you know what the No. 1 global killer is? Is it heart disease, infectious disease or cancer?

KEYSERLING: The No. 1 killer in the world is infectious diseases. The two very common worldwide problems are malaria, which we don't see in the United States, and this particularly is a problem for young children, and tuberculosis for adults.

FIRFER: Here's another: I don't need to get any more immunizations if I had them when I was a baby? True or false?

Sorry everyone, the answer is false. There is no outgrowing shots.

KEYSERLING: We need to have boosters against diphtheria and tetanus about every 10 years.

FIRFER: Doctors also recommend a yearly flu shot, and for college kids an immunization for meningitis.

OK, let's get to a popular topic: food. To properly defrost my hamburger meat, I should, A) put in the refrigerator; B) put it in the microwave; C) set it out on the counter?

Well, this was a trick question. The answers are A and B.

KEYSERLING: The problem about setting it out on the counter is that if the hamburger meat is contaminated, the bacteria, as it gets to room temperature, the bacteria start growing and can taint the meat.

FIRFER: Now, before handling any food, you should, A) rinse your hands in warm water; B) scrub your hands with soap and warm water; or C) wash my hands?

The answer is B. KEYSERLING: If your hands are not clean, you could contaminate the food. But it's actually even more important to wash your hands after you've finished preparing the food.

FIRFER: This is so you don't contaminate other foods, especially those foods that don't get cooked and where bacteria wouldn't be killed.

Time to make the burgers, but how much do they need to be cooked: to 120 degrees, 165 degrees, or if it looks cooked it's fine?

KEYSERLING: Well, 165 degrees would be the right answer. You really shouldn't eat hamburgers that are raw or medium rare.

FIRFER: Those burgers could have bacteria on the inside that wasn't killed. So be sure it's not pink in the middle and the juices run clear.

OK, the last question: Which of the following is safe to eat: raw cookie dough, pancake or waffle batter, or sunny side up eggs?

Well, guess what? None of those are safe. Sorry.

KEYSERLING: All those foods contain eggs, so we can never really be sure that the eggs weren't contaminated with salmonellas as one of the bacteria that causes problems.

FIRFER (on camera): So how'd you do? Did you get all the answers correct? If not, now you know.

I'm Holly Firfer, CNN, Atlanta.


WALCOTT: So if any of you get food poisoning this weekend, it is not our fault.

And that wraps up today's show. Have a great weekend. We'll see you Monday.



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