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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for November 1, 2000

Aired November 1, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Hello, I'm Rudi Bakhtiar and you're tuned into CNN NEWSROOM. It's Wednesday, November 1. Let's get down to business.

We top things off with a look at election 2000 in the United States.

Up next, in "Business Desk," find out who's making music with Napster.

Then, it's a dog's life in "Worldview," where we'll find hope for the homeless canine.

And we have two for one in "Chronicle." First, we step back in time with the Vikings. Then we head back to the USA to look at a nation's future and check out kids getting interested in voting.

With six days to go, United States presidential candidates Al Gore and George W. Bush are fighting for every advantage and vote in a race still too close to call.

The Republican and Democratic contenders crisscrossed the West Coast Tuesday seeking supporters. Both spent time in California and Oregon. Gore told supporters in Portland that middle-class taxpayers would be better under his tax cut plan than Bush's.


VICE PRES. GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What he is actually proposing -- let's be plain about it -- is a massive redistribution of wealth from the middle-class to the wealthiest few.


BAKHTIAR: Later, the vice president traveled to Los Angeles for an appearance on "The Tonight Show," then Florida, where he'll campaign today.

Bush, meanwhile, focused on compassionate conservatism as he wrapped up his last campaign visit to California.


GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My challenge is to be able to encourage people to take advantage of the charitable choice provisions in the welfare law and assure people of faith that our government won't extinguish the flame that encourages them, the flame that shines so brightly that does change people's lives.


BAKHTIAR: From California, Bush traveled to Oregon and Washington. He's scheduled to be in Minnesota and Iowa today.

Now, this week, we've been discussing important issues in election 2000. Today we look at how rising oil prices may impact the race. Costly crude is driving up prices at the gas pump. Many small U.S. oil companies say they may be able to help if they get government support.

Mike Boettcher looks at the situation in the oil fields of Oklahoma.


MIKE BOETTCHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Twenty years ago in Oklahoma alone, there were almost 900 rigs in operation. Now there are less than 100. Almost a half million oilmen and women left the industry.

Paul Hale (ph) owns three rigs. He used to have 12. If the Exxons and OPECs of the world are "Big Oil," he is "Little Oil."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're a small oil company just fighting to make a living.

BOETTCHER: A living he sees as critical to the security of the United States. He believes the small independent oilman, with incentives from the U.S. government, can produce enough oil in the continental United States to provide a modest cushion against oil supply and price fluctuations created by OPEC producers, provided the next president doesn't place roadblocks in the way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The minute we start getting a profit, we know we're going to get nailed. We're afraid of what's going to happen next. And this thing's only been going on six months now and they're already talking about doing things to us. It's either going to be a tax, which is not going to help the consumer a lot.

BOETTCHER: Judy Dodson (ph), who works on Paul Hale's rigs, is the last woman mud engineer left in Oklahoma, and one of the few, male or female, still in the business. A mud engineer's responsibility is to protect the drill hole and bit with a special fluid that looks like mud. This oil patch survivor has one question for the candidates for the president of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need a message from the government that they want us to stay in this industry, that they want us to invest our money in this industry, and that we will get a decent price for our product whenever we bring it up out of the ground.

BOETTCHER: In the modern world of domestic drilling, the fictional oil baron J.R. Ewing is dead and buried, or at least has a new life selling cars. The survivors, lean, and they say now environmentally clean, don't want to be punished in good years and left to whither in bad. It is the issue that will decide their vote.

Mike Boettcher, CNN, Oklahoma City.


BAKHTIAR: Now, we've done a fair amount of reporting on Napster and the lawsuits brought against the Web site by the music industry. The case involves the legality of downloading music off the Internet for free and copyright infringement. Now one of the companies suing Napster says it will drop its case and instead join the Web site to develop a less controversial way of distributing music over the Net.

Bruce Francis has details.


BRUCE FRANCIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Inside Bertelsmann, executives thought a deal with Napster would have an explosive effect on the music industry, so they called negotiations Project Thunderball. Talks have been going on for eight weeks while Bertelsmann and others have been trying to shut Napster down in a lawsuit.

ANDREAS SCHMIDT, CEO, BERTELSMANN ECOMMERCE GROUP: So we decided to develop a model which we will take jointly to the rest of the industry to seek their support and their acceptance, and hopefully can build a great service.

FRANCIS: For Bertelsmann, a service built around a formidable catalog, including Santana. The new business model is short on details, but Napster says that users will always be able to share music files.

HANK BARRY, CEO, NAPSTER: It's always going to be a free aspect to the service. There's always going to be something that's a membership aspect that's going to have some kind of dues associated with it. And whether that's $1.95, $4.95, whatever, we haven't really worked the metrics on that yet.

FRANCIS: Bertelsmann says that once the final details are worked out and the new membership services are launched, it will drop its copyright infringement lawsuit against Napster. Bertelsmann will give Napster a loan to help cover development costs of the new services and will receive warrants to purchase an unspecified stake in Napster. Experts applaud the move but caution that the hard work of delivering a solution that satisfies Napster users, artists and the labels is just beginning.

ARAM SINNREICH, JUPITER RESEARCH: So there are a lot of different components that have to come together in this case, and just inking a deal between one of the five majors and Napster does not a paid service make.

FRANCIS (on camera): Napster tells CNNfn that they are in discussion with other major music labels, with the exception of Time Warner, the parent of CNN.

Bruce Francis, CNN Financial News, New York.


BAKHTIAR: In "Worldview," a tale of dogs. Find out how some military dogs may be getting a reprieve. And learn how some animals are getting a second chance in an unusual program -- from prison to pets today in "Worldview."

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Dogs are often referred to as "man's best friend," a phrase seemingly reflected by statistics. In the United States alone, there are more than 43 million dog owners who own nearly 62 million dogs; 41 percent of these owners display pictures of their "best friends" at home. Nearly 29 million owners buy Christmas gifts for their dogs, and about 10 million celebrate their dogs' birthdays.

But for all the dogs with owners, there are many without. Each year, in fact, U.S. animal shelters take in an estimated 8 to 12 million animals. Of course, space is limited at these shelters. So what to do with all the unclaimed dogs when the shelters get full? The answer for one shelter is more hopeful than you might think.

Larry Woods explains.


LARRY WOODS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the Ashland County Human Care Center in Mansfield, Ohio, it can be the best of times and the worst of times. Some of the animals are sure candidates for adoption, almost as soon as they are picked up as strays. Others, who remain timid, unresponsive and go unchosen after several months, confront, because of space demands, a harsher fate.

It's part of the job kennel manager Dawn Burkett says she hates the most.

(on camera): They try very hard to avoid putting the unwanted animals to sleep here at the shelter. What they do is give the pets a sort of reprieve.

But then -- then they send them to prison.

(voice-over): About twice monthly, Roma Paulson (ph), who works at the Mansfield Correctional Institution, picks up the kennel's rejects, transports them behind the walls of the sprawling state prison.

Paulson, who joined the staff of the 2,000-man maximum-security prison 13 years ago, is a moving force behind helping save the lives of animals and returning them to the community. Here, as the inmates jokingly put it, the "death row dogs" become part of a training program run by the inmates that not only spares the pet's life, but assures its adoption.

Jerry Jackson, who will be paroled in October after serving 14 years, has worked with the dogs since the program started in 1998.

JERRY JACKSON, INMATE: I was surprised how much I missed this. Giving a little love to somebody, you know?

WOODS: Inmates like Eric Roberson, who volunteer to care for an animal, are carefully screened. They agree to be responsible for the pet 24 hours a day, every day.

ERIC ROBERSON, INMATE: Come here, this is your new home, OK. The bed is off limits to you, and so is my food.

WOODS: Taking care of a dog in five-by-10 cell with a roommate requires planning.

ROBERSON: Usually when I get a new dog, I don't feed him past six o'clock in the evening, that way I can make sure there's no mistakes in the cell, because it is very difficult to try to get out after we lock up at nine o'clock.

WOODS: Roberson has two little girls at home. He received a life sentence eight years ago and already has trained a dozen mutts.

ROBERSON: It's actually -- it's a beautiful thing. Well, I can't be there to take care of the -- my daughters, but here I am taking care of a dog, which is -- can't be compared to but is similar to taking care of a child.

WOODS: Charlie Mercer, another lifer who's done 18 years so far, and his cellmate Cylus Vance (ph), the day we dropped in, were making stuffed bears for a local police association to auction off. Together, the two men take turns caring for their dog, Lightning. Both say this is their small way of giving something back to society, something intangible.

CHARLIE MERCER, INMATE: I love animals. And I kind of feel good about what I'm doing. It's -- the dogs have changed my whole outlook. And besides that, they make me feel better inside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody line up for the figure-eight.

WOODS: A laid-back training session for dogs and handlers is conducted weekly. Some pups are quick learners and stay for only three to four weeks before finding a new home. On average, most stay about three months to bone up on the basics. It's not the New York Kennel Club, but the dogs are taught to obey commands and behave around other dogs.

Even when they are slow to respond, they are smothered with affection.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, come here. Here, give me a kiss. Yes.

WOODS: On this day, Roberson stood in for the absent correctional officer who normally leads the dog training.

ROBERSON: I know a lot of these dogs are new and a lot of them are shell-shocked. Well, let's work with them.


WOODS: They work with them. And they are patient. Elton Moore's sassy dalmation, Sasha, is the net result of both.

ELTON MOORE, INMATE: Speak, Sasha, speak. Good girl. Sasha, speak. Down. Good girl. Up. Give me five. Up. Yes, that's a good girl. Give me five. She's a good girl.

WOODS: Some 100 dogs have come through the program over the past 20 months. Every inmate has a different take on its worth.

WILLIAM PHILPOT, INMATE: By inmates having dogs, it matures them. It matures them, too, by taking care of a dog in here.

MICHAEL BREWER, INMATE: I think it's because I've been away from them so long and I appreciate them, you know what I mean?

WOODS: Junior Davis is training his dog for more personal reasons. It's for a grandson he's never seen.

JUNIOR DAVIS, INMATE: This can be his little buddy. And whenever he thinks about -- sit down Blizzard, sit down, all right -- whenever he thinks about how much Blizzard means to him, he can think about grandpa, who got it for him.

WOODS: Davis is serving a maximum 140 years for robbery and assault.

ROBERSON: It's amazing. I never thought in a million years some of these guys could show so much compassion when they've showed nothing but hate for so long.

WOODS: The idea for the experiment originated with Deputy Warden Jesse Williams and his staff. He wanted to confront the idleness and boredom of the prisoners.

JESSE WILLIAMS, DEPUTY WARDEN: It gives them the opportunity to have ownership for something, to help raise up something that's going to be going back into the community. So it's really had a calming effect for the overall population of inmate -- and also staff -- inside the institution during our workday also.

WOODS: And how does Dawn Burkett, who was leery at first sending even condemned dogs to prison, feel about all of this?

DAWN BURKETT, ASHLAND COUNTY HUMANE CARE CENTER: After seeing the program in -- and work, I think it's been -- I don't have any doubts about it. And the handlers have been great. The feedback with what they do with the animals has just been fantastic, seeing the -- they have a log that they keep on each of the animals, so you know that this is a positive program for them. And this gives them something to really look forward to.

WOODS: Twelve-year-old Jolene Rice (ph), a seventh-grader, has something to look forward to every day. Her parents bought her a dog the inmates had trained named Purdy (ph). And we were curious why she chose the brown-eyed part-Labrador.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because the other ones were jumping around and she came down and sat between my legs and rolled over for me.

WOODS: Ah, the link between child and prison, where promising men have gone bad, where violent men have been put away.

But give a man a dog and he becomes a boy again.

Larry Woods, CNN, Mansfield, Ohio.


HAYNES: And some other dogs could also get a reprieve: military dogs. Under old Pentagon policy, military dogs could not be adopted at the end of their service. Instead, they were released to civilian law enforcement agencies or sometimes euthanized when they got too old or too sick to work.

But a bill is in the works in the United States Congress to change all that, to allow the dogs to be adopted. Since World War II, more than 30,000 dogs have served in the military. There are about 1,800 dogs in service right now.

BAKHTIAR: A thousand years ago, the Vikings sailed the North Atlantic ocean terrorizing much of Europe. Who were they? What prompted them to go to other countries to raid and loot? And what eventually became of them?

Earlier this year, I went to Scandinavia to seek out the legacy of the Vikings. Here's what I found.


(voice-over): "From the fury of the Norsemen, deliver us, oh Lord," a desperate prayer uttered frequently at the turn of the new millennium. From the late 700s to about 1100, the Vikings invoked a reign of terror in Europe that would last for 300 years.

The sea almost surrounded the Vikings' Scandinavian homelands, hundred of fjords cutting into their coastline. The best shipbuilders of their time, they produced strong seaworthy vessels able to quell the curiosities of their restless hearts, making their excursions around the world boundless.

And so they sailed to England, France, Spain, Russia. The Viking warship was built so that it sailed well in either rough seas or calm waters. ARNI CHRISTENSEN, VIKING SHIP MUSEUM: It's built flexible and light. Even a ship as large as this, 24 meters long, could be beached by the crew, could be pulled ashore. So in -- it's very contrary to modern belief where you build a ship strong enough to go through the sea. This vessel cooperated with the sea, bent, gave a little and worked with the waves instead of against them.

BAKHTIAR: On a river, rowers powered the boat. At sea, the Vikings depended mainly on the wind and the ship's large woolen sail for power.

(on camera): The adoption of the sail opened enormous new opportunities which the Vikings were quick to exploit. It's argued they didn't perfect the technique until the 8th century, which could explain their sudden burst into European history during that time.

(voice-over): Scholars believe that there were several reasons for the start of the Viking rampage. For one, a growing population was leading to a shortage of farmland. Then family feuds and local wars were making life increasingly difficult for the young Vikings. Poor and without land to call their own, they saw raiding and conquering as a means to obtain wealth and honor.

Known for their surprise attacks and quick retreats, they could row their light, swift ships into shallow rivers and then drag them ashore. Carrying rounded shields for protection, the Viking leaders wore helmets and metal armor.

MARGARET VEA, PROJECT MANAGER, AVALDNESS PROJECT: The favorite weapon of the Vikings, it was the axes. It was something no other people down in Europe had, and so it was scary, especially when the axes had this size, this size like this.

BAKHTIAR: Often, they struck so quickly, their victims sometimes had no time to defend themselves.

The first recorded raid came in June of 793, when Norwegian raiders attacked and looted a monastery of Lindisfarne on an island off the east coast of England. A wave of Norwegian raids against England, Ireland and Scotland soon followed. They attacked and looted fertile farms for food and livestock, and rich churches and monasteries were targeted for money, precious metals and stones.

Turgeis, a Norwegian pirate chief, terrorized Ireland from 839 to 845. He founded the town of Dublin and used it as his headquarters. At around the same time, the Danish Vikings were beginning their raids on the coasts of what are now Belgium, France, the Netherlands and England.

In 886, King Charles the Fat of France paid the Vikings a huge treasure to end their year-long siege of Paris. He also granted the Vikings control of much of the area in France now know as Normandy.

In the late 800s, the Vikings turned their attention from Europe to the North Atlantic and began migrating to Iceland at around 870. In 982, Eirik the Red, a Norwegian who had been living in Iceland, persuaded several hundred Icelanders to join his family in a move to Greenland. The absence of good crop land there prompted Lief Eriksson, the son of Eirik the Red, to lead an expedition westward from Greenland around the year 1000. The journey took him all the way to North America, where he and his men became the first known European settlers on Vinland, an area now called Newfoundland.

Though the Vikings themselves would not survive the test of time, Europe of today is a reflection of their influences. The Vikings were responsible for the establishment of Normandy in France, a region which would be the source of conflict between England and France for years.

The Viking invasions of England in the 800 and 900s helped unify and strengthen England. And their homelands of Iceland and Scandinavia still pay homage to the lasting legacy of the Norsemen.


BAKHTIAR: We'll have more on the Vikings and what became of them tomorrow on NEWSROOM.

Now, back to the future: the future of the U.S. presidency.

We're in the final week before the election and it's still a tossup. While the presidential candidates are campaigning hard, the American people are trying to decide who they'll pick to lead the country into the 21st century. Even those who aren't eligible to vote are getting involved.

NEWSROOM's Joel Hochmuth has that.


JOEL HOCHMUTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): High school juniors Sarah Thorpe and Donny Banks have a budding romance. No, not with each other, but with politics.

DONNY BANKS, AGE 16: My parents talk about it a lot, I guess I'd say, and that I'm an opinionated person to begin with.

SARAH THORPE, AGE 16: I've always just been really opinionated. And, I don't know, I think it's really fun to fight and argue all the time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you concerned that Ralph Nader is going to...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... have an impact on -- they're saying eight states.

THORPE: Eight states.

HOCHMUTH: Theirs is a unique relationship. To get a sense of what it's all about, we visited their study hall at Providence Day School, a private school in Charlotte, North Carolina. In a room where you might expect to find students throwing spit wads, they're throwing out arguments in favor of their favorite presidential candidates. Sarah is for Al Gore, Donny is for George W. Bush.

BANKS: Well, I'd like to point out that Texas is No. 1 in terms of cleaning up toxic waste. In fact, they're No. 1 by 43 million pounds. That speaks for itself.

THORPE: Yet they're No. 1 in air pollution in Houston. I mean, obviously he's not doing enough. I mean, if you're No. 1 in air pollution, there's a problem there.

HOCHMUTH: Despite their differing political opinions, Donny actually asked Sarah to the homecoming dance this year. Bad idea. That was their final date. Their opinions were just too different. To this day, they can't even sit down for an interview without arguing.

BANKS: Of course I disagree with -- about being qualified. He's been governor six years. He would be eight if he weren't running for president.

THORPE: But the governor of Texas doesn't -- I mean...

BANKS: What does the vice president do, Sarah? What does the vice president -- he gets to vote.

THORPE: Governor of Texas, president of the U.S....

BANKS: He gets to vote when there's a tie. How often is there a tie? Not often.

THORPE: He's been in Congress.


THORPE: He has, and people in Congress do a lot more than the governor of Texas does.

BANKS: OK, fine.

THORPE: Still, they've managed to remain friends. In fact, their heated debates caught the ear of a teacher who suggested they take their act to younger grades at their school. Their audience this day a class of fifth graders.

BANKS: He hasn't been in politics as long a time, that doesn't mean he's not as qualified. It just means he's going to bring a fresh change.

THORPE: Actually...

BANKS: Al Gore has already been exposed to these...

THORPE: Actually, it does bother me when the man -- you all know that people from Greece are called Greeks, you know? He calls them Grecians. It bothers me that he doesn't at least know what to call them.

Most people at our school are Republican. I mean, I don't know, I'm not expecting to convert any people to the Democratic Party or anything, but if it happens, hey. But, I mean, I think they should at least know why their parents are Republican or something.

BANKS: Obviously the voter turnouts right now, they're just not what they should be, you know? So I think if we talk to some fifth graders, get them more involved in politics, then when they get of voting age, they'll be more likely to vote.

HOCHMUTH: Donny and Sarah realize their interest in politics is an exception to the rule. Most young people seem apathetic. Less than one-third of all 18- to 24-year-olds voted in the last presidential election.

THORPE: You don't have a thing like Vietnam or like civil rights or anything -- I mean, it's not...

BANKS: Yes, everything's going pretty well.

THORPE: Like, you don't have any teenagers that feel like they're trying to make the world righteous or something anymore. It's just kind of like, that's politics.

HOCHMUTH: Both Donny and Sarah are actually considering careers in politics. College is still a couple of years off, leaving plenty of time for more arguments.

BANKS: I don't understand how you can like Al Gore. OK, he's like a block of...

THORPE: I didn't say -- I don't...

BANKS: This is basically how I see him. He's an arrogant, condescending...

THORPE: I'd much, much rather have someone who's arrogant, but then they have a right to be.

HOCHMUTH: One thing they do agree on: the need to get involved.

BANKS: The more interested the people are in politics, then the more the politicians have to listen to us and it's going to be more democratic.

THORPE: Well, I don't think people should take their right to vote and be involved for granted. Like, I mean, that's a really big deal. And it's not only like our right, I mean, it's our duty to be involved, I think.

HOCHMUTH: Joel Hochmuth, CNN NEWSROOM, Charlotte, North Carolina.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BAKHTIAR: If you want to get involved in the political process, be sure to check out tomorrow, November 2. It'll be hosting a live webcast from noon to 8:00 p.m. Eastern featuring the National Student/Parent Mock Election and Youth e-Vote. This marks the first time the mock elections will be held simultaneously in schools and on the Internet. So be sure to click on.

For now, we're out of here. See you tomorrow.



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