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NEWSROOM for November 14, 2000Aired November 14, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Seen in classrooms the world over, this is CNN NEWSROOM.
SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: Thanks for tuning into CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Shelley Walcott. Politics and health are in today's lineup. Here's a sneak peek.
Topping our news agenda, all eyes are on the U.S. presidential race that's still too close to call.
The jury's in for our "Health Desk." The verdict: diabetes is a growing, serious health risk for teens.
"Worldview" hits a high note when we listen to Latin jazz.
And finally, we "Chronicle" the many reasons reading is fundamental.
It's been a week since voters took to the polls, but the United States is still without a president-elect. Election 2000 has turned into a political and legal storm centered in Florida. Complaints about what some people say was a confusing ballot and disqualified votes is forcing the election into overtime.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's a vote for George Bush.
WALCOTT (voice-over): The presidential race appears to hinge on the Florida recount. Monday, a federal judge blocked the Bush campaign's effort to stop the manual recount in four counties. The judge said the matter belongs in state not federal court.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here is one vote for Al Gore.
WALCOTT: Still, the recounts may not be completed before today's deadline.
BOB CRAWFORD, FLORIDA CERTIFICATION OFFICIAL: On Tuesday at 5:00, we will certify the state election results. On Friday by 5:00, we will have the ballots into the local supervisors. And shortly thereafter, it may be the following day, we will know who won the election.
WALCOTT: Gore advisers say the deadline is unreasonable, indicating they need more time.
WALCOTT: No matter who eventually wins the White House, about eight out of 10 Americans say the new president will be legitimate despite the controversial election.
Bob Franken has details.
BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Never mind the scattered protests, never mind the breathless media, the widespread feeling throughout the United States is that this election crisis is not a crisis.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Going through this tedious process in Florida I think will actually benefit the country in the long term. I think they should be doing everything that they are doing in order for us to say we did it right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Its really exciting, all this. You sort of feel like the democratic process is working, that there will be a final answer and we will move on, and it's really exciting right now.
FRANKEN: According to the latest CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll, only 15 percent believe this has reached crisis proportions, although nearly half, 49 percent, say the United States has a major problem.
Sooner or later, one candidate or the other will emerge from all this as the man who is sworn in on January 20 to replace Bill Clinton. And the public sentiment seems to contradict the hand wringing by the commentators who worried that whoever prevails will have trouble rallying any support.
Again, the CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll: Would you accept Gore as legitimate president? Yes, 82 percent. Would you accept Bush as legitimate president? 79 percent, Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think, you know, the eyes are really going to be on this individual whomever it may be, and there's going to be a lot more communication, I think, between a lot of people who normally would not have gotten involved in the process.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do think in four years we're going to see a rematch sort of like in "Rocky II," so I'm pretty much resigned that whatever the process, whichever candidate becomes the victor, I'm pretty resigned to accept that.
FRANKEN: Not that anyone is particularly happy about all this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that, unfortunately, it's putting the nation through probably a lot of embarrassment and we just don't look like the most powerful nation in the world when it comes to just running simple elections. FRANKEN: The election confusion doesn't seem to be that much of a surprise around the country, reflecting perhaps the traditional skepticism that people of the United States feel toward government.
Bob Franken, CNN, Atlanta.
WALCOTT: At the United Nations, diplomats used to seeing disputed elections in other parts of the world are surprised at the confusion over the United States election, which raises a question: Should U.N. observers be brought in to verify the vote count in Florida?
Richard Roth looks at that issue.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The 189 countries of the United Nations can agree on one thing: the United States presidential deadlock is riveting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cliffhanger.
ROTH: New democracies shake their heads.
(on camera): So the Ukraine ballot you think is easier to understand than the Florida ballot in the U.S.?
VOLODYMYR YELCHENKO, UKRAINIAN AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: Yes, it's much easier, it's much easier.
ROTH (voice-over): While Palm Beach counts, diplomats wait.
ARNOLDO LISTRE, ARGENTINIAN AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: The whole world wants that this process ends quickly in order to have a new announcement of who will be the new president of the United States.
ROTH: The U.S. reminds there is still a president of the United States in office.
RICHARD HOLBROOKE, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: I do not believe it poses any problem for the national strength of the United States or our ability to conduct foreign policy in anyway at all at this point.
ROTH: Perhaps the United Nations should be brought in to settle the U.S. election nightmare, forging a peace where two parties don't get along.
ABDALLAH BAALI, ALGERIAN AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: I don't think it's possible and it's advisable.
SHASHI THAROOR, U.N. DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS: No, not really. In fact, we do observe elections, but only when we've been invited to by the governments concerned and this has been blessed by the U.N. as a whole. I don't think the U.S. is about to be sending out an SOS to Kofi Annan.
ROTH: From Nicaragua to Eritrea, the U.N. has observed more than 50 elections, making sure the voting is free and fair. No invitation has been received so far at the U.N. Electoral Assistance Office, but the deputy director offers one guarantee.
NOUR EDDINE DRISS, DEP. DIRECTOR, U.N. ELECTORAL ASSISTANCE DIV.: We know how to count I think we can use.
ROTH (on camera): They won't say it publicly, but a majority of diplomats here favor Al Gore for past support on U.N. issues and his overall global experience. But since the United States is the largest power on the block, everybody says they're ready to work with whoever wins the White House.
Richard Roth, CNN, United Nations.
WALCOTT: We all know it's important to eat the right foods and exercise regularly, but an unhealthy lifestyle is leading to a rise in diabetes among U.S. teens. Diabetes means that your blood sugar level is too high. Normally, your pancreas produces insulin, which helps turn food into glucose, or sugar. Your body uses this sugar for energy. And when you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its insulin as well as it should. This causes sugar to build up in the blood.
Diabetes can lead to serious health complications, including heart disease, blindness and kidney failure.
Holly Firfer introduces us to a teen diabetic facing the risks of this increasingly common condition.
HOLLY FIRFER, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Most kids can't wait to grow up, but 19-year-old Nigel Estick says he grew up way too fast. Four years ago, he was diagnosed with type II diabetes, the type that primarily hits adults, often after years of unhealthy living.
NIGEL ESTICK, PATIENT: I've heard about diabetes before, but I basically thought it's an old people's disease, it's something my grandmother probably have, you know. Which teenager gets diabetes?
FIRFER: He was that teenager, and he's not alone.
DR. HOLLY SCHACHNER, NAOMI BERRIE DIABETES CENTER: In the past, it's been said that 10 percent of the children with diabetes have type II diabetes. In recent years, estimates have been increasing to 25 percent and in some centers up to 40 percent.
FIRFER: Alarming statistics of a preventable disease that puts children at risk of developing kidney and heart disease, losing their eyesight, and nerve degeneration in their arms and legs, a chronic disease they now must live with the rest of their lives.
ESTICK: And you have to inject yourself every morning, you know, take my shots, take my pills. It gets kind of depressing sometimes.
FIRFER: Doctors blame society's changing lifestyle.
DR. WILLIAM DIETZ, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL: An increased reliance on foods consumed outside the home, increased rates of skipping breakfast, increased consumption of soft drinks, and increased consumption of fast foods, reductions in PE classes in schools, and elimination of recess in schools.
FIRFER: Nigel says his problem was a poor diet and lack of exercise.
ESTICK: I think my highest weight I can actually remember walking around being was about 230.
FIRFER: Health experts say parents need to take control.
SCHACHNER: They should take the steps. We should walk the extra blocks instead of taking the car. We need to turn off the TVs for our children. We need to cook healthy meals. And at least when we go to fast food restaurants, there are healthy choices, and help our children learn to make healthy choices that can last a lifetime.
FIRFER: A lifetime Nigel hopes will be a long one.
ESTICK: Knowing that there's no cure for it, knowing that it's incurable and just try not to think about it and just live life.
FIRFER: Holly Firfer, CNN, Atlanta.
WALCOTT: It's all about culture in "Worldview." We head to the United States to visit an Indian reservation located in one of the most scenic spots in the country. And more from the U.S. as we look at the impact of Latin music on jazz. Fans say it's a beat hard to beat.
It's said that the United States is a melting pot, a country influenced by peoples and cultures from around the world. One of the best examples of that is in its music. For instance, what happens when you take traditional jazz music, pour in a little salsa and add a pinch of Latin flavoring from Cuba and Brazil? Well, you get a combination called Latin jazz, an art form that started in New York City decades ago.
But as Jim Moret reports, it's now heard across the country and seems to be more popular than ever.
JIM MORET, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The fiery rhythms of Latin jazz are crossing cultural borders around the world. Take Los Angeles' ritzy Bel Air community, where drummer Alex Acuna recently wowed fans.
ALEX ACUNA, LATIN JAZZ MUSICIAN: Even like Japan has clubs for Latin jazz; oh yes, very much. And a month ago, I was in Nashville and they had a Latin jazz band in a club in Nashville.
MORET: The hard-charging sound may seem like something new, but it actually started in New York City with Dizzy Gillespie and other pioneers in the 1940s.
LALO SCHIFRIN, LATIN JAZZ COMPOSER: When jazz musicians started to discover the rhythms of the Afro-Cubans and Afro-Brazilians, something else happened. It was like a chemistry, a combustion.
MORET: Over the years, bands led by percussionist Poncho Sanchez, Cuban-American musician Cachao, and the late Tito Puente, have helped keep that fire going.
Now, Latin jazz is burning up the airwaves across the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On America's jazz station, 88.1 KLON...
MORET: Southern California Radio host Jose Rizo, says, in the last 10 years, Latin jazz has exploded in popularity, although some people still confuse it with salsa.
JOSE RIZO, LATIN JAZZ RADIO HOST: It's different from salsa in the sense of the jazz phrasing, the jazz phrasing that's used on it, and also the degree of improvisation.
MORET: Acclaimed musician Bobby Rodriguez says the reason Latin jazz is so hot is because once you hear it, you're hooked.
BOBBY RODRIGUEZ, LATIN JAZZ MUSICIAN: When they hear it, they start to say, hey, it feels good. What is that? Latin jazz.
MORET: Fans of all ages stayed on their feet at the Fourth Annual Los Angeles Latin Jazz Festival.
CHICO O'FARRILL, LATIN JAZZ COMPOSER: Our audience is changing almost every day, getting younger and younger, and it makes me very happy because I see them very excited.
MORET: A point these teenage musicians hit home.
JARED SCHONIG, STUDENT MUSICIAN: Hip-hop is cool, but like, jazz is so much more advanced like, harmonically and rhythmically.
MORET: The students showed off their skills at the Latin Jazz Festival, proving this traditional music can also be cool.
Jim Moret, CNN Entertainment News, Hollywood.
(END VIDEOTAPE) TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Having been to the Grand Canyon, I can tell you the very sight of it literally takes your breath away. It's a miracle of nature, one that was formed millions of years ago by the flowing waters of the Colorado River. It's called the Grand Canyon because of its deep canyons, some sinking more than a mile. Although its impressive beauty is the major attraction for tourists from around the world, its most valuable asset lies in the story it tells about the Earth's geologic history.
Today, we look at an aspect of the canyon few might consider. It involves getting mail to the indigenous people who live at the base of the canyon.
Larry Woods reports on how one critter is making that happen.
LARRY WOODS, CNN ACROSS AMERICA (voice-over): Three thousand feet below the rim of the Grand Canyon in northeast Arizona, the sturdy and resourceful Havasupai Indians live in quiet harmony on a remote, dusty reservation. Their ancestors were here 1,000 years ago, historians say.
Today, the Havasupais' existence -- all 639 of them -- is dependent on a lifeline of supplies carted into the village the old- fashioned way: pack animals, sure-footed mules and horses contracted by the United States Post Office to deliver the goods. It's been a sustaining service to the tribe since 1896.
From Pop Tarts to potatoes, from Cokes to cornbread, beans, bananas, and brownies, it all comes through the Peach Springs, Arizona, Post Office, where each workday morning shipments arrive for distribution. As one truck is unloaded and the goods, already weighed, are checked off and marked, a second driver hurriedly carts the items to his vehicle.
On this day, some 8,000 pounds of food and supplies, including medicine, were processed for delivery.
If the Havasupai order it, it will come, says mail clerk Connie Olson.
(on camera): What's the most unusual thing you folks have had to ship down there?
CONNIE OLSON, POSTAL CLERK: The most unusual thing I shipped was a Christmas tree.
WOODS: A Christmas tree.
OLSON: A live Christmas tree.
WOODS (voice-over): Oh, yes, they process a little mail, too, at the small branch office on old, historic Route 66.
By 9:30, Larry Moore (ph), a delivery contractor and part-time preacher, is on the road, headed for the canyon 65 miles away.
At the rim, the supplies are carefully packed onto mules and horses. The men know from years of experience how much each animal can carry down the torturous eight-mile trail.
On average, it takes about two to three hours for the mule wranglers, as they are called, to descend the canyon.
When we started down, trail boss Charlie Chamberlain, riding behind me, said the dangerous switchbacks could be unnerving. He was right.
CHARLIE CHAMBERLAIN, TRAIL BOSS: About six weeks ago, I had a horse fall off right here off to your left, go off the edge. Didn't have a rider on him, though.
WOODS: And to think this is the way it's been done for over 100 years.
CHAMBERLAIN: Mule John, Mitka (ph).
WOODS: Once on the reservation, the supplies are placed in front of the tiny post office, where people simply come and pick them up.
The Havasupai tribal council pays the postage, between $2,000 to $5,000 a week, for the parcels, depending on number and weight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Through generation to generations, and...
WOODS: Council chairman, Augustine Hanna (ph), and tribal co- council Bernice Wadahomagee (ph), agree the Postal Service is doing a good job. It also provides much-needed jobs for some of the men in the village.
HANNA: I just see this just staying the way it is.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was meant to be like that. It was meant to be packed in. So that's the way it's always been, and it's going to be like that.
WOODS: And it's that kind of confidence and commitment foreman Charlie Chamberlain believes he and his men have earned.
CHAMBERLAIN: When something works, why mess with it?
WOODS (on camera): If it's not broke, don't fix it, right?
CHAMBERLAIN: Really. I mean, it -- you know, you can bring it in, you know, other ways, but it's going to be expensive, and there's always going to be a problem.
WOODS (voice-over): In all of his 21 years supplying the village with the necessities of life, Chamberlain has missed only two deadlines.
CHAMBERLAIN: And that was due to the real severe flooding that we had here a couple years ago, where it flooded so bad and it eroded the dirt so deep in some places, you just couldn't get a horse to jump up. It was just way over his head.
WOODS: The Havasupai were once nomadic farmers. Today, their children are educated on the reservation through the eighth grade and then sent to boarding school. They have accepted Christianity but retain ancient prayers and traditions, and they point with pride to photographs of ancestors who were alive when the first mule train began bringing in supplies.
(on camera): There is much that is layered with the dust of history on this small patch of earth. The Havasupai say they will never leave. And why should they? This is home. At the end of a day or on a moonlit night, they can come down and gaze at one of the natural beauties of the world right in their own back yard.
(voice-over): The tribe owns 188,000 acres on the canyon floor. Thousands of backpackers and hikers annually find their way to the 140-foot Havasu Falls. And if that's not enough grandeur, there's Mooney Falls, a 190-foot-high torrent that flows into the Colorado River.
And there's the mule train, a century-old tradition not found anywhere else in the United States.
Larry Woods, CNN, on the Havasupai Reservation.
WALCOTT: Haunted by the repercussions of recent oil-production increases, the Organization of Oil Producing and Exporting Nations, also called OPEC, has been meeting in Vienna, Austria. It refused to give in to consumer pressure and bolster crude output. Instead, it changed course, rubber stamping a deal that would freeze crude production at current levels.
Got all that? If not, here's Christian Mahne with details.
CHRISTIAN MAHNE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Amidst heavy security, OPEC ministers decided that enough was enough. Calls from oil consuming nations for OPEC to pump more crude were rejected. Also scrapped, the automatic output mechanism intended to keep target prices for crude between $22 and $28 a barrel.
OPEC's worried increased now will result in a price crash next spring once heating fuel demand tails off.
ABDULLAH BIN HAMAD AL ATTIYAH, QATARI OIL MINISTER: I believe, you know, to increase production where the demand -- the supply is very high, it will effect negatively so, so you have to be very careful here, because it's easy to increase, but it's very difficult to cut production.
MAHNE: OPEC believes that the 3.7 million barrels a day, some 16 percent of the total it's already added to production this year, will be enough to rebuild petroleum stockpiles. But the other big question, who will replace Rilwanu Lukman as secretary general, was resolved. Venezuelan oil minister Ali Rodriguez gets the job. His three-year tenure will start on January the 1st, and there'll be a new OPEC president, too, Algeria's Chakib Khelil taking that post.
(on camera): OPEC meets again on January 17. By then, the severity of this year's winter will be known and the wisdom of OPEC's gamble not to raise output can be assessed.
Christian Mahne, CNN Financial News, London.
WALCOTT: It's Children's Book Week in the United States, an annual event which runs this year from November 13 through Sunday. This year's theme is "Fuel Your Mind". It's a great time to read a new book or pick up an old favorite.
Reading opens doors and worlds, as Kathy Nellis explains.
MIKE SCIROCCO, ENGLISH TEACHER: We are one.
UNIDENTIFIED STUDENTS: We are one.
SCIROCCO: We are family.
UNIDENTIFIED STUDENTS: We are family.
UNIDENTIFIED STUDENTS: Ooh.
KATHY NELLIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Expect the unexpected in Mike Scirroco's English class. He's been teaching for 20 years. His goal, to make books come alive for his students.
SCIROCCO: I'll do anything in the classroom to get them juiced up about literature.
We romped until the pans slid from the kitchen shelf.
UNIDENTIFIED STUDENTS: We romped until the pans slid from the kitchen shelf.
NELLIS: You've heard the slogans, "reading is fun and fundamental." Experts say reading is directly linked to school success.
ROBIN TANIS, LIBRARIAN: It has been shown that SAT scores do go up when they read.
NELLIS: But reading is about more than doing well in school, it's a fascinating hobby with multiple rewards. TESSA ELLIOTT, AGE 16: When you read, you see other people's points of view and you can understand things differently, so you don't just see things the same way all the time.
TANIS: It makes you aware of other places, other cultural -- other cultures, people that are different from you. It's just an enriching, opening experience.
NELLIS: A study by the Young Adult Library Services and Smartgirl.com shows that most teens enjoy reading but have a hard time fitting it into their busy schedules. Homework and extracurricular activities take up a lot of their time. Forty-six percent of teens, nearly half, said they didn't have much time to read for pleasure.
But when it comes to recreational reading, more page-turners are girls.
(on camera): Fifty percent of girls but only 32 percent of boys say they do most of their reading just for the fun of it.
ANGIE LEE, AGE 17: I read right before I go to sleep and it's comforting and it just relaxes me and makes me feel better.
NATALIE BRUBAKER, AGE 16: It's kind of hard to find time to fit in time to read, but whenever I do it's, you know, it's fun. It's a lot better -- I think it's a lot better than, like, watching TV because you kind of like develop your own imagination instead of like actually seeing it.
NELLIS: What kinds of things should kids be reading? There are plenty of recommended lists available from schools and libraries. And books are just one source of reading pleasure.
SCIROCCO: It can be from magazines articles, it could be poetry, it could be novels, it could be nonfiction, it could be fiction, plays, it doesn't -- what I want them to do is read as much as possible. I want them to have that passion for reading.
JEREMY LONG, AGE 17: The books I would read would be suspense and thrillers, because those are the things that I enjoy. And when I read, I want to read something that I enjoy. And so reading -- and suspense and action keeps me on my toes. It's almost like watching a movie but you get to imagine it and create the characters.
NELLIS: Surveys show teens reach out beyond books; 59 percent read the newspaper, and about two-thirds read magazines.
NANCY DOLGETTA, AGE 15: I have my magazines that I read and I get on the Internet, whether for research or just personal, just entertainment. I try and spend at least three days a week reading.
NELLIS (on camera): Mysteries are the most popular books among teenagers, followed by adventure, horror and true stories.
TANIS: It's just fun to read. It's fun to get into a book and get into another world or another time and place and just get lost in a book.
NELLIS (voice-over): Losing yourself sometimes helps you find yourself. Take poetry, for example.
MATT SOLIK, AGE 17: I like poetry because it's like, you know, you can read it once and it means something to you, especially at a special time in your life, and then you read it later on, maybe even a few weeks later, and it means something else. And, I don't know, every time I read it just sometimes it's right what you need at that point in time.
MIMI KELLY, AGE 16: I like poetry because it's such an expression of emotion, you know. Everybody can express different things in different ways.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's all about the poet's word selection.
NELLIS: The message from these students: Hit the library and browse. Read all kinds of things. You never know what you'll like until you try it.
SCIROCCO: Because once you get a book that resonates with them, then they spend the rest of their life looking for books like that. They want to read. Oh, reading is good, reading is exciting, reading is an adventurous, magical experience. Reading is the key to understanding who we are.
UNIDENTIFIED STUDENTS: Then he walks me off to bed still clinging to your shirt.
NELLIS: Kathy Nellis, CNN, NEWSROOM.
WALCOTT: And that wraps up this chapter of NEWSROOM. We'll see you back here tomorrow. Bye-bye.
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