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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for November 22, 2000

Aired November 22, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Rudi Bakhtiar. Welcome to CNN NEWSROOM. Today's show is packed with holes, hand counts and holidays.

We begin in Florida, as that state's highest court decides on ballot recounts that could affect the outcome of the U.S. presidential election.

Then, moving on to "Business Desk," we have a double-feature with plans to eat out and hop on-line to do holiday shopping.

Next, we'll talk turkey in "Worldview." First, we travel to the country by that name. Then, get up close and personal with our favorite fowl.

And it's back to the United States in "Chronicle." We'll dig deep to bring you the "hole" truth.

The hand recount in Florida will continue. The state Supreme Court decided and announced Tuesday nigh that manual recounts must be included in the state's final tally of presidential ballots.


CRAIG WATERS, FLORIDA SUPREME COURT SPOKESMAN: The court has issued a 42-page opinion this evening in the presidential election cases. In its opinions, the court has reversed the two orders of the trial court. It did so based on longstanding rules that govern how to interpret a general statute, containing conflicting provisions, as is the case with Florida's election code.

In dealing with similar conflicts in the past, the court has consistently held that the right of the people to cast their vote is the paramount concern overriding all others.

To achieve this goal, the court holds that amended certifications, from the county canvassing boards must be accepted by the Election Canvassing Commission through 5:00 p.m. on November 26th, if the secretary of state's office is open for the special purpose of receiving amended certifications. If that office is not open for this purpose on that date, then the Elections Canvassing Commission must accept amended certifications until 9:00 a.m. on November 27th.

The opinion of the court is unanimous.



"What I'm concerned about ... is the rights of those voters who may not have their votes counted if we don't honor the recounted votes..."

-Chief Judge Charles Wells Florida Supreme Court


BAKHTIAR: The Supreme Court's decision is a major victory for the Gore campaign, but it's still uncertain who will win the White House. One thing that is pretty certain is that the eventual winner of election 2000 likely will ha his hands full making a transition to the next administration.

Eileen O'Connor reports.


EILEEN O'CONNOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's empty, locked up, and no one is getting the keys until a winner is declared. It's the headquarters for the transition, 90,000 square feet for 540 employees, designed for a government in waiting. Instead, everyone is waiting, a delay that Republicans and transition experts say will cause more practical problems for George W. Bush.

PROF WILLIAM GALSTON, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: Governor Bush, were he to become the president-elect, would be faced with the urgent task of replacing everybody of any significance in the executive branch.

O'CONNOR: It isn't an easy task in the best of times, some 3,000 jobs, 600 requiring Senate confirmation, and that is after lengthy background checks.

PAUL LIGHT, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: You go to the FBI, where they investigate the answers to your forms. There are only so many FBI agents available to do that.

O'CONNOR: Party strategists say the heightened emotions over this battle of the ballot means both men will have to reassess their top cabinet picks, putting pragmatism over politics.

KEN DUBERSTEIN, FORMER REAGAN CHIEF-OF-STAFF: If, in fact, he wants his honeymoon to be more than a honeymoon for a second marriage, he has to find people who are going to govern pragmatically, and that's the key.

O'CONNOR: By this time in November, most past presidents have been well into the process. Some, like Ronald Reagan had even announced their chief of staff. Most of his cabinet was filled by week seven.

Despite early criticism of Governor Bush for starting to work on picking his cabinet, even Gore advisers like Jack Quinn say the time to start is now.

JACK QUINN, GORE LEGAL ADVISER: I think both sides can make significant strides now toward getting some of the most important work done.

O'CONNOR (on camera): As important as their cabinet picks, party strategists say, is just how they plan to prioritize their policy initiatives for a honeymoon in Congress that could be over before it's begun.

Eileen O'Connor, CNN, Washington.


BAKHTIAR: Two weeks have passed since election day, and what an incredible two weeks it has been, with more yet to come.

Now, Bruce Morton takes a few steps back to ponder what might have been.


BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "May you live," the old Chinese curse or blessing goes, "In interesting times." Right. We're there.

Two weeks after the vote, we don't know who the next senator from Washington state will be. One House race in New Jersey is uncalled. And presidentially, of course, there's Florida. It didn't have to end there if Al Gore had carried his home state and maybe if he turned Bill Clinton loose in Arkansas and carried it, Gore would be the winner -- never mind what Florida.

But W. campaigned hard in Arkansas and Tennessee, and carried both. Should he have campaigned more in Florida? Did he rely too much on the state's having elected his brother governor? Could Gore have done anything different? His running mate, Joe Lieberman, the first Jewish vice presidential candidate, must have helped with the elderly Jewish voters who dominate counties from Palm Beach down to Miami.

Did Gore win or lose when he broke with his president, appearing to pander to Cuban-American voters over Elian Gonzales, the refugee who was saved from drowning off Miami just a year ago?

And you have to wonder, in passing, what the Cubans who welcomed Elian home make of the odd, lawyer-riddled Democratic process unfolding in the state he left behind.

We have enough what-ifs. What if Gore'd campaigned harder here, Bush there, to keep analysts busy for years. But that's history. The question now is, how does this end without doing real harm to the electoral process we've muddled along with for the past 200-plus years?

So far, nothing bad has happened. But the rhetoric is heating up. Accusations the Democrats don't want the men and women in the military to vote. Other charges, the Republicans could use their majority in the U.S. House to put Florida's electors, never mind the state's voters, any of them and so on.

(on camera): What we'll need, at some point -- and we'll know that point when we get to it -- is for a grown-up to appear. For whichever candidate seems to have lost, to say, right. I lost. I concede. It's over. That way, the process survives to work next time. Without it, we could do damage which would last for years.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.


BAKHTIAR: Now, to another country, where the transfer of presidential power is also hanging in the balance. After 10 years of rule, Peru's president, Alberto Fujimori, announced Monday he's stepping down, amid growing allegations of government corruption.

Fujimori emerged from four days of seclusion in a Tokyo hotel Wednesday. Here's what he had to say.


PRES. ALBERTO FUJIMORI, PERU: I feel sorry because of the confusion, uncertainty and even indignation that caused to Peruvian population, mainly to my followers. But I have some reasons that I cannot express right now, it's hard, and it will take maybe some time that the population may understand. But I have the same goals as I have been working for Peru.


BAKHTIAR: Fujimori also said he would like to remain in Japan, his ancestral homeland.

So who will take his place? Claudia Cisneros explains where Peru goes from here.


CLAUDIO CISNEROS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Second Vice- President Ricardo Marquez announced Monday night his resignation from the acting presidency. In a brief press conference at the Government House, Marquez said he thought his resignation would bring stability to the country and assured he will stay in office until Congress approves the next interim president.

This puts the opposition a step closer to assume the presidency. According to the Constitution, the next in line of succession, is the head of Congress, Valentin Paniagua. Unless, First Vice-President Francisco Tudela decides to withdraw his resignation, submitted last month, but not yet been approved by Congress. If he ratifies his resignation, then lawmakers are expected to approve Tuesday, in an extraordinary session, both the first and second vice-president's resignations.

The resignation letter submitted Monday by President Fujimori from the Japan will also be presented in Tuesday's congressional sessions. In his letter, Fujimori said he had come to the conclusion that he should resign to allow an orderly transition. But already a group of opposition legislators have announced their intentions of removing Fujimori from office on grounds of moral unfitness, rather than accepting his resignation. And furthermore, they will present a motion to prevent Fujimori from assuming any public position for the next 10 years.

Claudia Cisneros, for CNN, Lima, Peru.


BAKHTIAR: Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the United States, and many of us have our minds on food. One common recipe: eating out. Business is booming for the restaurant industry, which employs eight percent of the U.S. workforce. According to one recent survey, Americans ate out an average of 3.7 times a week last year. In fact, restaurant sales are expected to jump another 5 percent this year.

And as Beverly Schuch tells us, this increase is taking a bite out of consumer pocketbooks.


BEVERLY SCHUCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Americans love to eat out. And in these economically good times, they're doing it a lot more. The latest edition of "Zagat" shows here in New York alone, the pace of weekly restaurant visits has jumped more than 10 percent this year, and people are returning to the same establishments an average of almost nine times this year.

E. CHARLES HUNT, EXEC. V.P., NEW YORK STATE RESTAURANT ASSOC.: It's a busy world we live in, and restaurants provide a convenience for people that are too busy to dine at home. And, plus, it's a lot of fun.

SCHUCH: But with all that fun comes a price, which is rising.

TIM ZAGAT, CO-FOUNDER, ZAGAT SURVEY: This year, the average restaurant meal went up about 5.8 percent; and among the 20 highest- priced restaurants, it went up over 9 percent, the first time there's been a real, real jump. And I think that's largely a result of the fact that times are good and people are willing to spend that much.

SCHUCH: But what are you getting for that price? According to the survey, ambience and real estate. But Zagat also says whether it's high-end or the diner on the corner, it's always the food that brings them back, a fact many theme restaurants learn too late. ZAGAT: Planet Hollywood, you're going to go in there and it's fun to see all of the celebrity stuff and the exhibits and the stuff from the various shows. But once you've seen it, there's no reason to go back unless the food is really good. And so far, a lot of the theme restaurants have not managed to have decent food. They've been so focusing on their theme that they've lost sight of the fact that they're a restaurant.

SCHUCH: As new restaurants continue to open, the customer gets more choices, so eating out at any price will never go out of style.

That's YOUR MONEY, Beverly Schuch, CNN Financial News, New York.


BAKHTIAR: OK, dinner's over and now you're stuffed. So what's next on your holiday to-do list? Could it be shopping? Now, traditionally, the day after Thanksgiving is known as the biggest shopping day of the year. But instead of heading to the mall, many of you are hitting the Net. This year, online holiday shopping sales are expected to reach an estimated $10 billion.

So before you or your folks logon to get your sister that new CD she's been hinting at, check out Laura Rowley's tips to make sure your cybershopping is secure.


LAURA ROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Last year's holiday season was a disaster for some online retailers. The government slapped hefty fines on several sites for poor customer service.

TRAVIS MORGAN, PRESIDENT & CO-FOUNDER, WEBASSURED.COM: We'd like to think that there'll be some improvement this year over last year. There's a new variable this year, though, in that there are a lot of companies sort of teetering on the brink. So I think there is some risk this season that some consumers will be left holding the bag.

ROWLEY: So in this religious season, here are the commandments of online shopping. First, know thy e-tailer.

MORGAN: Where they're physically located, how long they've been in business, how you can get in touch with the company directly, and most importantly what their customer service track record has been like.

ROWLEY: puts its seal of approval on e-merchants who agree to meet service standards and participate in a dispute resolution service. If a consumer gets burned by one of them, WebAssured will refund the money directly. is another site that reviews e-merchants. The second commandment: Thou shall only shop sites that have secure servers.

DON WILLMOTT, TECHNOLOGY EDITOR, YAHOO! INTERNET LIFE: On your browser, you'll see a little padlock or a key depending on which browser you use. And the key is either turned or the padlock is closed, and that's your sign on the browser that you do have a secure connection.

ROWLEY: Commandment three: Thou shall not e-mail thy credit card number.

WILLMOTT: E-mail is not as secure. So if you're shopping and someone for some reason says, could you e-mail us your credit card number, that's something you should never do.

ROWLEY: The fourth commandment: Thou shall consider e-tailers with bricks and mortar locations.

WILLMOTT: In most cases, you can return or exchange the item at the physical store. So you don't need to schlep down to the mall to shop at the Gap. But if you do have to return something or the recipient wants to return it, then it's pretty much easy for them.

ROWLEY (on camera): And the last commandment: Thou shall shop by December 10 or pay for expensive delivery services.

That's YOUR MONEY, Laura Rowley, CNN Financial News, New York.


BAKHTIAR: Now, last Friday, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission sent letters to 100 e-tailers who promise shipment in 24 to 48 hours. The FTC reminded them that, by law, if they're not able to meet promised shipment deadlines, they have to notify consumers and give them the option to cancel.

In "Worldview" today, we're all about turkey, the bird and the country. As you watch the close presidential race between Gov. Bush and Vice President Al Gore, we remind you of another contest that went neck-and-neck. It involved a turkey. That story takes us to the United States. But we'll also visit another country to learn about a practice rescue mission and count its people.

Our next story is about a Middle Eastern country that lies both in Europe and Asia. Some of its neighbors include Bulgaria, Greece and Iran. Along its coast you'll find the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. It's national motto is, "Peace at home, peace in the world." And it adopted its constitution in 1982. Can you name this country? The country is Turkey and it's capital is Ankara.

Turkey is famous for its beautiful mosques. A mosque is a Muslim place of worship. Most of the people of Turkey are Muslim. More than 90 percent speak Turkish, and about 6 percent speak Kurdish. The Kurds are the country's largest minority group. It's estimated they make up about one-tenth of the population.

The government recently set out to track Turkey's population by taking a census. Now, a census is an official count of population and recording of age, sex, economic status, and so on.

Jennifer Eccleston looks at Turkey's latest count.


JENNIFER ECCLESTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Istanbul, Turkey's largest and normally bustling city, quiet, a day-long curfew in effect here and across the country. It's National Census Day and nearly a million officials go door to door to count Turkey's population and determine its economic status.

The 43-point questionnaire ranged from the level of education to whether the home had running water. As was the case in previous years, there was no question about ethnic origins, a sore point for the country's Kurdish population, who dominate southeastern Turkey. The record does not count them as a distinct, ethnic group.

The empty streets were welcomed by tourists.

SAMY KACY, SWEDISH TOURIST: It's not a problem for us because we could grab a taxi and there's no one in the street, so it doesn't change anything. It's good.

ECCLESTON: But even they could not escape the census takers. Municipal funding is based on head count, whether those heads are Turkish or tourists. Some 250,000 international visitors in the Mediterranean town of Antalya were counted along with its inhabitants.

LENE KONRUP, DANISH TOURIST: I find it a fascinating way to count the people of this country, but I have it difficult to understand how you do it.

ECCLESTON: The last census, carried out in November 1997, counted more than 62 million inhabitants. In three years since then, Turkey has seen great upheavals, most notably the 1999 earthquakes that killed at least 17,000 and left hundreds of thousands homeless in the northwest.

Turkish authorities have promised that this will be the last census held under curfew. A computer system is expected to do the job next time.

Jennifer Eccleston, CNN, London.


SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: More from Turkey as we look at its role in NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a military alliance organized to safeguard the Atlantic community. Turkey became a member of NATO in 1952. Today we take a look at a recent training mission off the coast of Turkey. It's a NATO exercise between the U.S., Turkey and Italy, focusing on rehearsing the rescue of allied submarines.

Richard Blystone has our report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) RICHARD BLYSTONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When something goes wrong and the water that hides you becomes your enemy, then you know what lonely is.

Diving to the rescue, a mini submarine called Sierra III (ph). But it's not over yet.


It started like this: The Turkish sub Sakaria (ph) simulates an emergency 82 meters beneath the surface of the Mediterranean. The Italian rescue ship Anteo (ph) gets the Turkish call for help and launches its mini sub.

Nearby, off the Turkish coast, a couple of dozen similar training exercises. It may be training, but nothing can make it routine. The Sierra III has equipment problems. Good luck.

The simulated emergency leaves the Sakaria able to communicate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Position is 36...

BLYSTONE: The standard language between Turk and Italian is English. Standard, too, the markings on the sub, and the procedures.

Sierra III Pilot Lieutenant Bruno Russo inches toward the target, sweltering in the tiny sub he approaches again and again. After an hour and a dozen tries...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sakaria, this is the Sierra III!

BLYSTONE: ... ships of two NATO nations clasp hatches in friendship. Three Turkish submariners climb into the minisub. In practice, at least, it worked.

Richard Blystone, CNN, in the Eastern Mediterranean.


TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: It's Thanksgiving time in the United States, a national holiday commemorating the Pilgrim's feast in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621.

Now, as early as 1789, President George Washington wanted to proclaim a national day of thanksgiving. And in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln did so. In the U.S., it's customary to have a big Thanksgiving dinner, a reminder of the feast the Pilgrims shared with Native Americans who helped them to survive their first harsh winter in the New World.

Today turkey is a popular part of that meal. In fact, on average, people in the U.S. eat about 18 pounds, or 8 kilograms, of turkey per person per year.

Today we head to the "Wild Kingdom," to talk what else? Turkey.

Kathy Nellis is our guide.


KATHY NELLIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Turkeys are large, North American birds, related to the pheasant and partridge. Centuries ago, millions of wild turkeys roamed the plains and forests, feathered forbearers of the birds we know today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, basically, there is only one species of turkey, but there's like 15 different breeds. They are a combination, but they all go back to the main wild strain of turkey. The only other strain other than the eastern strain of the wild turkey is what they call the black Spanish turkey, which was brought here by the Spanish people that came to Florida.

NELLIS: Bill Wheeler (ph) has raised turkeys ever since he was a young boy. He says the birds are quite personable, but not too smart.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A baby turkey, if it starts raining, he'll look up to see what the rain is and, basically, he'll drown himself. I mean, they're not real intelligent.

NELLIS: Male turkeys are called toms. They gobble and strut and are larger and heavier than females, or hens. Males also have large, red waddles on their heads. That's the loose piece of skin that extends along the jaw and neck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a two-year-old hen. She'll lay this year for the first time. They'll usually hatch anywhere from 50 to 60 eggs a year. That's what they'll hatch out.

NELLIS: Wheeler's turkeys are part business, part hobby and part family. Some of the birds have been hand raised and act more like pets than poultry.

Turkeys have a long toe hold in American history. They were raised by the Indians as food as early as the year 1000.

(on camera): The turkey nearly became the national bird of the United States. Scientist and statesmen, Benjamin Franklin, was for the turkey, which was native to all 13 states in the union, at the time. But the turkey lost to the eagle by one vote in the congressional ballot.

(voice-over): Wild turkeys live in flocks in the forest. They eat berries, and bugs, seeds and nuts. While tom turkeys can weigh from 10 to 16 pounds, but their strong wings and legs help them fly and run quickly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Turkeys fly very well. They'll fly up to 25 to 30 miles a hour and they fly low to the ground, 10 to 15 feet above the ground, and they can fly very well. Fly through dense cold without a problem.

It's just a real, pretty, native bird that's been in the country before people was here. They was here when the Indians were here and before the Indians came here. They have been a staple food for everybody for a long time.

NELLIS: In the end, domestic or wild, turkeys are food. But don't cry fowl, these turkeys have something to be thankful for. This holiday the Wheelers are having roast beef.

Kathy Nellis, CNN, Jackson, Georgia.


BAKHTIAR: With all the re-counting going on in the United States presidential election, there's been a whole lotta talk about "holes," specifically chad.

Jeanne Moos reports.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For days on end, you've watched the story. Now we bring you the hole story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a beautiful one.

MOOS: From Swiss cheese to tunnels, from funnels to colanders, other guys may appreciate a hole in one, but Achille Varzi is one with holes.

ACHILLE VARZI, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: This is a prototypical hole. This one. Is this one single split hole or is it two holes? In this case the shape seems to matter a lot.

MOOS: Professor Varzi teaches philosophy at Columbia and he's co-authored a book about holes called "Holes and Other Superficialities." Note the cover.

VARZI: This is a book that comes with it's own subject matter, some samples of what it is about.

MOOS: Imagine Professor Varzi's reaction when ballot counters checking holes ended up being front-page news. The humble hole's not so humble anymore.

VARZI: All of a sudden we realized that the destiny of the United States, if not the destiny of the entire world, depends on our criteria for counting holes.

MOOS (on camera): Down in Florida, they call this the sunshine test, though generally it's performed on ballots, not Swiss cheese.

VARZI: Is this one hole or two, right? Are they two holes that merged?

MOOS (voice-over): After an hour with Professor Varzi, you may never suck a lifesaver.

VARZI: The hole goes out of existence. VARZI: Or munch on a doughnut without pondering the metaphysics of holes. This is a philosopher who finds meaning in Munchkins, the so-called doughnut hole treat.

VARZI: These are the parts that have been removed from the doughnut before it became a doughnut. Now, of course, this is not the hole. The hole is what's not there anymore.

MOOS: But doughnuts pale compare to ballots.


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: That have yet to be counted in the state as a whole.


MOOS: Did she say hole?

VARZI: And then of course we have the crucial one -- is this a hole or not?

MOOS: Maybe all the talk of hanging chad has your eyes as glazed as doughnuts.

VARZI: Would this be a doughnut with the hole filled?

MOOS: Chad, at least, has fewer calories. Remember how George W. got in trouble referring to a hole?


BUSH: He's a major league asshole.



MOOS: At least the hole is something the American public can get behind wholeheartedly.

VARZI: Half a hole or a whole hole?

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BAKHTIAR: And that is our whole show for today. Have a great Thanksgiving. We'll see you back here Monday.



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