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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for December 4, 2000

Aired December 4, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Another week of NEWSROOM beginning with your Monday show. Thanks for checking in. I am Tom Haynes.

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: Together again, Tom.

HAYNES: Yes, after a while.

WALCOTT: I am Shelley Walcott. Here is a look at today's run down.

HAYNES: The still undecided U.S. presidential race tops our agenda as our nation awaits the decision of the Supreme Court.

WALCOTT: Our next stop is "Environment Desk." We'll be tracking the trail of recycled rubber.

HAYNES: From roads to rooftops, "Worldview" travels to the U.S., where a new pollution-fighting idea is taking root.

WALCOTT: And we end by chronicling the life of a modern-day renaissance man.

HAYNES: The road to the White House winds back to Tallahassee as a Florida court hears arguments about the United States presidential dispute. Vice President Al Gore wants a manual recount of thousands of disputed ballots. But George W. Bush's team says the vote is over and certified.


BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): ... the U.S. Supreme Court would be leaving undisturbed the action by the Florida Supreme Court. Still, both sides would claim victory.

LAURENCE TRIBE, GORE CAMPAIGN ATTORNEY: Well, if it does, we've achieved our goal which was -- originally we said we didn't think there was any reason for the Supreme Court to get involved.

THEODORE OLSON, BUSH CAMPAIGN ATTORNEY: Well, they may not decide the case, and I don't predict what the Supreme Court is going to do. If they don't decide the case at all, George W. Bush has been certified as the winner of the election in Florida. And of course that is a satisfactory result.

FRANKEN (on camera): The Supreme Court has issued orders in some urgent cases within a day of arguments, within a few days in others.

Bob Franken, CNN, at the Supreme Court.


HAYNES: Normally, at this point, after a presidential election the transition would under way, the president-elect might be reaching out to the other party, speaking to world leaders, and even the current president. A Cabinet meeting would be forming, background checks would be underway and other symbolic events would be taking place.

Kelly Wallace looks at what other president-elects did during these precious days.


KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Both Vice President Gore and Texas Gov. Bush can contemplate an administration, but neither can take the symbolic steps that help transform a president-elect into the president. Think back to before Ronald Reagan took the oath of office when he met with President Carter at the White House and reached out Democratic leaders who opposed his candidacy.

1988, when President-elect Bush pledged to place women and minorities in his Cabinet.

And 1992, when President-elect Clinton conferred with the man he defeated at the White House, with Republicans on Capitol Hill, and with former President Reagan in California.

So far, no such courtesy calls by Gore or Bush, but Democrats say there is plenty of time.

LANNY DAVIS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE SPECIAL COUNSEL: We are only talking about a matter of weeks delay here, not months, not years. The American people are much more patient than the Washington insiders are giving them credit for.

WALLACE: Both men have met with their own party's congressional leaders and both promise to reach out to the other side for Cabinet appointments. Some Republicans say, despite a sharply-divided Congress and partisan ill-will surrounding the Florida recount, the next president could build the moral authority to govern if he focuses on three or four issues crucial to the American people, and then...

DICK THORNBURGH, FORMER BUSH ATTORNEY GENERAL: Fashions the kind of bipartisan coalition that is necessary to get those issues translated into action in a divided Congress.

WALLACE: If the election were not in dispute, Bush or Gore, would be concentrating on how to translate campaign promises into reality. (on camera): But neither man can really act until he is president-elect. And once that is established, he will have perhaps the biggest challenge of his political career, establishing his legitimacy after the first contested presidential election in modern history.

Kelly Wallace, CNN, the White House.


WALCOTT: In today's "Environment Desk," a closer look a recycling rubber. Ever wonder what happens to all of those tires that literally get beaten into the ground? Well, they turn up in places you would never expect. Recycling rubber is actually less toxic than making it, and that is because the initial process of hardening and molding rubber gives off lots of noxious fumes. And recent events at tire-maker Bridgestone/Firestone are keeping rubber recyclers extremely busy.

John Zarrella explains.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The folks at Florida Tire Recyclers don't hesitate to tell you that when it comes to tires, the only thing they don't recycle is the air. These days, the company is shredding, chipping and granulating more tires than ever. Sixty of the 75 Firestone stores in Florida are sending their recalled tires here to be disposed of, an estimated 600,000 tires.

DAVID QUARTERSON, FLORIDA TIRE RECYCLERS: If this had happened five years ago, this would have been a disaster -- not just here in Florida, but all across the country. The reason for that is tire recyclers didn't have reliable markets to ship this stuff to five years ago.

ZARRELLA: Five years ago, the recalled Firestone tires, along with 270 million other scrap tires generated annually, might have ended up as mosquito breeding grounds in some unsightly, overinflated landfill.

Today, nearly 180 million of the tires discarded every year have an afterlife. Rubber that once met the road is now part of the road, as an additive to the asphalt. Some of the recycled tires take a different kind of beating. They're turned into rubber mats, ideal at gyms as a protective covering over floors that would otherwise get pounded by dropped weights.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it makes it a lot easier to work out because, like, when you do stuff it's not like a solid hit. It kind of gives you a little bounce.

ZARRELLA: Florida tire company likes to say that many of the tires it grinds up end up under foot, on athletic fields and running tracks. (on camera): The next time you take your children to the park, you might find instead of sand or mulch, shredded rubber in the play area. Some research indicates injuries from falls are less severe when you land on rubber.

(voice-over): The rubber industry says these and other new markets for old tires means the recalled Firestone tires will actually end up being put to good use. To the Bridgestone/Firestone company, in the midst of a financial and public relations nightmare, that may not be much to get pumped up about.

John Zarrella, CNN, Miami.


HAYNES: More on the environment now, as we head into "Worldview." Our stories takes us to the Ivory Coast, where we get the scoop on snails. And we will hear about solutions to pollution and overcrowding, as we check out two U.S. cities. We will also make a pit stop in a country that is a mecca of multiculturalism, that is Australia.

But first we head to the Middle East, where violence has flared with new intensity. Two Israeli soldiers were stabbed at a checkpoint just north of Jerusalem Sunday. So far, at least 294 Palestinians have been killed in nine weeks of bloodshed. And Prime Minister Ehud Barak, bowing to parliamentary pressure last week, agreed to an early election.

Jerrold Kessel reports, Christians in the region won't be celebrating Christmas as usual.


JERROLD KESSEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Now, more than ever, the holy land needs love, the message in the Sunday sermon adjacent to the Church of the Nativity, built over the place believed to be Jesus' birthplace. A service and hymns that are unchanged of prayers are perhaps more intense than usual, and the congregation is almost now exclusively made up of local Palestinians; only a sprinkling of Pilgrims, or tourists, unlike previous Decembers.

This year, Bethlehem won't be celebrating Christmas as usual, maybe not at all.

GERIA FREIJ, PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: It is going to be very sad. I don't believe that there will be any Christmas this year.

KESSEL: Bethlehem, like other Palestinian towns, is under a tight cordon. These priests among the few who can drive freely through the Israeli army road blocks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My very first Christmas without many people, without many pilgrims, without many prayer.

KESSEL: There will be no festive lights, no carol-singing this year, the millennium clock, frozen over empty Manger Square, which in the run-up to Christmas is generally all abustle.

This year, there will be no one to ask for a room at the inn with no visitors at all, restaurants and hotels closed, no one to bargain in the few souvenir shops open around the square and up Milgrato (ph) Street.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Through all the years of the business maybe, 75 years maybe.

KESSEL (on camera): Never like this Christmas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Never like this.

KESSEL (voice-over): They have only opened to let in a bit of fresh air, other shop keepers tell us, to try to relieve the gloom a little.

All of a sudden a rush, the first group of pilgrims this Sunday, the only ones, they are from Poland and Slovakia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the birth place of Christ. We should come here. We should not be discouraged.

KESSEL: Another rush of activity outside the 4th century basilica, a demonstration by children, husbands and wives of Palestinians.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know if we will have a Christmas tree, because there are lots of children victims, there are many families in war, they are running after their children.

KESSEL: They are demonstrating for peace, they say. There is a squabble after this Palestinian man has berated them.

"We appreciate your sympathy," he said, "but is your olive branch worth, when they are killing children."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From both sides, they are killing each other, and I think it will not bring peace to show these kind of pictures.

KESSEL: And what of the decision not to celebrate Christmas as all?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People are sad and they don't feel like having a feast. But I told them you have to do it for your children.

KESSEL: But not the prevailing sentiment in a town from where seven people have in died in the clashes with Israel over the past nine weeks.

(on camera): While there is very little hope that there will be much cheer when Christmas comes three weeks from now, there is also very little hope that things will improve appreciably any time soon thereafter.

Jerrold Kessel, CNN, Bethlehem.


RUDI BAKHTAIR, CO-HOST: Located between the South Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean, Australia is the only country that is also a continent. Australia's first settlers were ancestors of today's Aborigines. They may have reached the continent as early as 65,000 years ago, coming from Asia via New Guinea. White settlers first arrived in 1788, following centuries of European exploration. Since then, Australia has been comprised mostly of Caucasians, particularly of English and Irish descent. But, in recent years, the population has mushroomed into a melting pot of nationalities and languages.

John Raedler explores diversity down under in the city of Sydney.


JOHN RAEDLER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Welcome to Sydney, where the residents come from virtually every country on Earth and practice virtually every religion, from Anglicanism, to Zoroastianism.

STEPAN KERKYASHARIAN, ETHNIC AFFAIRS COMMISSION: Sydney is unique, in terms of its diversity because two characteristics come together. Number one ,we have more than 82 languages spoken in Sydney; and number two, more than 26 percent of the people were born overseas.

RAEDLER: In Sydney, such diversity if called multiculturalism.

KERKYASHARIAN: This is a police of inclusiveness. This is a policy which says that everyone is equal, regardless of the language, race, religion and ethnicity.

RAEDLER (on camera): Although it has had its critics over the years, multiculturalism is now not only widely accepted in Sydney, it is an undeniable fact of life.

(voice-over): At this Sydney school, the parents of 80 percent of the students came from non-English speaking countries. A sampling of the students' views on multiculturalism.

EDWARD CHAN, PARENTS FROM CHINA AND VIETNAM: I am an Australian first. I may have Chinese background, but I am always an Australian first.

JIAN NIAN VAN, PARENTS FROM CAMBODIA: People that are from different nationalities or backgrounds say all like teach us stuff and they make good food.

RAEDLER: John Raedler, CNN, Sydney.


WALCOTT: Next stop, the Ivory Coast, a country along the west coast of Africa. It got its names from the ivory trade, which began to flourish in the late 1400s. It became a French colony in 1893, but gained its independence in 1960. Agriculture is the leading source of income for the Ivory Coat. its most important crops: coffee and cocoa. But today, we focus on another food item, one with tentacles. Our topic: snails mollusks protected by spiral shells. A snail secretes a slimy substance, and moves over it by contracting its muscular foot. There may be more than 80,000 kinds of snails and people eat many of them.

Feme Okay (ph) is on the trail of snails.


FEME OKAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the forests of cotevuay (ph) the snails are huge. They live in the undergrowth, keeping away from the sun, and can generally only be coaxed out by rainfall or snail hunters. In this part of Africa, snails are dinner.

Collecting escargot is a lucrative business. They are considered to be a delicacy and are as expensive as imported meet. Sold fresh by the side of the road or in the markets, they are eagerly snapped up.

Each year, 6,000 tons of snails are eaten, but such a large appetite for escargot it is not surprising that the snails are beginning to keep a low profile. High consumption and shrinking forest lands has driven them even further under ground.

However, one village has come up with a solution by starting a snail farm. The village makes the most profit by breeding them during the dry season when the market price is high.

How do you go about breeding a gastropod? Well, first, you take your breeding snails, which nest and produce eggs. The eggs are taken off to a nursery to be incubated. To do this, you make a small hole in the ground, cover it up, and water it to keep it down. The eggs develop in the heat, and 18 days later you have tiny snails.

So far, the village has produced more than 100 kilos of escargot all sold on the local market.

MARIE BLEGUI, SNAIL FARMER (through translator): If we want to sell some sales because we need some cash, we have a sale. We put any money we earn in the bank.

OKAY: Home grown snails are making a tasty profit. And also helping to reduce the risk of wild snails from disappearing from the forest. For these villages who love escargot, the success of the snail farm is sweet.

Femi Okay, CNN.


WALCOTT: With a population of about three million, Chicago, Illinois is the third largest city in the United States, behind New York and Los Angles. Like any major metropolitan area, it has its share of environmental woes, especially air pollution from car and factory emissions. Another factor are all of the high rise buildings downtown. Chicago boasts some of the world's tallest. They help heat up the air, especially in summer, making the pollution problem even worse. But a new idea is sprouting there that could bring some relief.

Patty Davis has the story.


PATTY DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Chicago, the term urban jungle, is taking on new meaning.

MAYOR RICHARD DALEY, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: Chicagoans know that a city doesn't have to fight against nature, a city is part of nature, nature is part of our city.

DAVIS: High atop city hall, Mayor Richard Daley is cultivating a huge rooftop garden. Well-known for his efforts to beautify Chicago with thousands of trees and flowers, Mayor Daley's aim this time isn't just looks, it's science.

(on camera): Skyscraper rooftops like this one are part of what's called an "urban heat island." Dark manmade surfaces, like roofs and roads absorb the hot sun and heat up the air.

(voice-over): That heat reacts with auto and factory emissions and boosts pollution. Chicago is part of a federal government experiment to see if rooftop trees and flowers can help cool things down.

NASA computer models show that compared with the countryside, city temperatures are often as much as 8 degrees warmer.

JEFF LUVALL, NASA SENIOR RESEARCH SCIENTIST: Plants -- you can maybe say they sweat -- essentially what they do is they lose water, and by losing that water, and that water is evaporated, it actually cools the air.

DAVIS: Chicago is putting more than 20,000 plants and two trees to the test, and city managers are hoping for an added benefit: lower energy bills. They estimate the city hall rooftop garden, the first of three, will save $3,000-$4,000 a year in air conditioning costs.

Although the effect won't be known for a while, Chicago hopes at the very least its rooftop garden will take root, transforming this urban jungle into an urban oasis.

Patty Davis, CNN, Chicago.


HAYNES: We turn now to another U.S. city dealing with environmental issues, specifically space. San Francisco is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the U.S. It provides a spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge. It is also famous for its bustling Chinatown. one of the largest Chinese communities outside Asia. Cable cars add to the charm of this historic city by the sea. San Francisco is built on and around more than 40 hills. The downtown area is packed and construction has changed the face and skyline of the city.

Greg Lefevre examines one of the problems the city is experiencing from this lack of space.


GREG LEFEVRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Henry Ford would be proud. Andrew Hallidie, inventor of the cable car, would be horrified.

By the dozens, owners of San Francisco's Victorian homes are jacking them up and installing garages beneath.

FRED PAVINA, ADD-A-GARAGE: Parking gets very difficult in the city.

LEFEVRE: In a city notorious for impossible parking, folks are making their own. Flush with cash, entrepreneurs spend up to a million dollars to store their $30,000 vehicles.

This home sat on bedrock which was chiseled away. The garage is two cars wide but will hold a pair of lift racks for two more.

KEN BLOCH, ADD-A-GARAGE: One car drives on one of the lifts, and it goes up. And a second car will go underneath it.

LEFEVRE: Demand is high for garage builders who can dig, drill, shore up and earthquake-proof a place to stash the family wheels.

KELLY NYHAKKEN, HOMEOWNER: We started the process about six weeks before we even purchased the house.

LEFEVRE: The trend is so hot, companies specialize in garages only.

PAVINA: So I pretty well know the geological formation of the city and how to support a building and excavation and shoring.

LEFEVRE: Most old homes built before the automobile era sit on aging foundations that need replacement anyway.

BLOCH: We have a lot of jobs that are waiting for permits and waiting for designs, so we're pretty booked.

LEFEVRE: Official figures show San Francisco has more than four cars for every three places to put them. The legendary parking squeeze is the subject of an annual contest to find a legal parking space.

For more money than most Americans pay for a whole house, San Franciscans get a garage -- and are glad for it.

NYHAKKEN: It made perfect sense.

LEFEVRE: Greg Lefevre, CNN, San Francisco.


WALCOTT: One of America's pioneering photographers recently celebrated his 88th birthday. Throughout his career, Gordon Parks chronicled the American experience through the lens of his camera. Now Parks is being celebrated in a new documentary about his extraordinary life and works.

CNN's Phil Hirschkorn has this profile.


PHIL HIRSCHKORN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The photographs of Gordon Parks are gripping for their range and their honesty: children at an interracial camp, a grease worker, a beggar in Paris, or portraits of icons like Muhammad Ali, Duke Ellington or Ingrid Bergman.

From Parks' point of view, a successful picture starts by having respect for your subject matter.

GORDON PARKS, PHOTOGRAPHER: If they don't want to give to you, you're not going to get good photographs of them. If they don't trust you at that moment, they are not going to give you the expressions and things that you want.

HIRSCHKORN: One of Parks' first photos was of his father, a farmer in rural Fort Scott, Kansas. Born in 1913, Parks was the youngest of 15 children. His mother and father were poor, but Parks says he never felt deprived.

PARKS: I had a lot of love, but there was discrimination, there was poverty all around us, and segregated schools. You couldn't eat in certain drugs stores or certainly not restaurants. And at the theaters, if you took your little girlfriend to the theater, you had to eat upstairs. My mother and father wouldn't allow me to let that stop me. They said, a white boy can do it, you can do it, and I demand that you do it better.

HIRSCHKORN (on camera): When Gordon Parks saw pictures of people suffering during the Depression, he realized if those photographs could attack poverty, then he could attack racism. So Parks decided to learn how to use his camera as a weapon.

(voice-over): Parks spend $7 1/2 on a used camera and taught himself how to work it. At his first steady job as a government photographer, Parks produced this picture of a struggling cleaning lady posing in front of the American flag. He called it "American Gothic," just like the famous painting by Grant Wood.

PARKS: The important thing about trying to show bigotry with a camera was that you just couldn't photograph a bigot and write "bigot" underneath the photograph, you had to go to the source of bigotry, which was how people lived and what they were suffering. HIRSCHKORN: In 1948, "Life" magazine hired Parks, its first black photographer. He stayed on the staff until 1970. This work was part of a retrospective by the museum of the city of New York that toured the U.S. for two years.

Even when capturing just a moment in life, Parks is a storyteller. His essays on gang violence, American Muslims, or segregation in the South focus on real people, like Willie Causey (ph) and his family in Alabama. Parks shines a light on inequality anywhere, showing rich diners in Portugal and the beggars right down the street. He personalized the slums of Brazil in images of an ailing little boy named Flavio. Magazine readers often responded to his work.

PARKS: In Flavio's instance, $30,000 were sent in by people in America in the first three weeks after the story came out.

HIRSCHKORN: Parks bought Flavio a house in Brazil.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're still strong.

PARKS: How are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm fine, thank you. And you?


HIRSCHKORN: Visiting him there in 1999, the first time they'd seen each other in 22 years, a moment captured in HBO's film.

Gordon Parks hasn't shared only other people's lives, but his own. He has written numerous books of fiction, non fiction,and poetry, starting with the best-selling autobiographical novel "The Learning Tree."

In 1969, Warner Brothers asked Parks to direct a film version of his story, and in doing so he became the first black director for a major Hollywood studio movie. Two years later, Parks directed "Shaft," a huge box office hit about a police detective. On three of his other movies, Parks even composed the music.

Though he's never formally studied music, Parks has written a piano concerto, a symphony, and music for a ballet about the life of Martin Luther King.

PARKS: So many people could do so many things if they just tried. But they're frightened off because they haven't been trained to do this or trained to do that. I wasn't trained to do either one of the things I'm doing. I wasn't trained in photography necessarily. I just picked up a $7.50 camera and went to work.

HIRSCHKORN: And never placed limits on himself. As Parks likes to say, if you want to do something, just try.

Phil Hirschkorn, CNN NEWSROOM, New York City.


HAYNES: And that is your Monday NEWSROOM. Shelley, have a good week.

WALCOTT: And you too, Tom, have fun on the road. It was good seeing you again.

HAYNES: Good to see you. Take care.




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