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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for January 9, 2001

Aired January 9, 2001 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Welcome to NEWSROOM for Tuesday, everyone. I'm Tom Haynes. Glad you're with us. Here's what's coming up.

In today's news, with the end of his term near, U.S. President Clinton makes a last-ditch pitch for peace in the Middle East.

Then, in "Health Desk," how some patients are finding new ways to get more time with their doctors.

Next, in "Worldview," buckling down. We'll check out one physician's efforts to make seat belt use the law.

And finally, in "Chronicle," the one penny stamp. Why the least popular form of postage is finally having its day.

United States President Clinton pushes for peace in the Middle East. With only 11 days left in office, Mr. Clinton is running out of time to help forge an agreement. But the White House says it will not give up.

The Clinton administration is pushing for a final framework agreement. President Clinton's chief negotiator is on his way to the Middle East. Envoy Dennis Ross plans to meet with both Palestinian and Israeli leaders over the next several days in an attempt to help reconcile differences. President Clinton's proposing Israel withdraw from 95 percent of the West Bank and all of Gaza, and cede control of a key Jerusalem shrine important to Jews and Muslims. In exchange, Palestinians would drop a demand that almost 4 million refugees and their descendants be allowed to return home. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak faces an uphill fight to win reelection Feb. 6.

Israeli protesters turned out in force Monday against U.S. President Clinton's Middle East peace plan. The demonstrators are outraged over a proposal to give up control of a holy site in Jerusalem to Palestinians. Jews know the site as the Temple Mount, where the biblical temples once stood. Muslims call it the Noble Sanctuary and say the prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven from this spot.

Matthew Chance has more on Monday's rally.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A mass Israeli demonstration on the streets of Jerusalem beneath the ancient walls of the Old City. Tens of thousands of Jews from Israel and elsewhere came to show their opposition to the very idea of this city being divided with the Palestinians. The whole issue has been casting a shadow over efforts for a negotiated peace.

NATAN SHARANSKY, MEMBER OF ISRAELI PARLIAMENT: If somebody thinks the Jewish people, that the people of Israel are ready to accept the division of Jerusalem, that they are ready to accept giving away Temple Mount and the Old City, they are absolutely wrong. Israel, the people of Israel, will never accept it.

CHANCE: And emotions here are running high. Occupied in 1967, Israel's sovereignty over East Jerusalem and over the Old City has never been officially recognized by the international community, but it is popular among Israelis, and the overwhelming sentiment here is for the city to stay firmly united and in Israeli hands.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no reason to divide Jerusalem. It's one city, really.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a matter of priorities. And I think that our priorities for our most religious and our most holy place in the world for the Jews is this -- is the Temple Mount, and we just can't afford to lose it at any cost.

CHANCE: These are heartfelt moments for many.

(on camera): The mood here is joyous, even festive. The whole issue of a united Jerusalem continues to fire the emotions of the Israeli public. But not everybody is enjoying the event. Behind the walls of the Old City, the mood is very different.

(voice-over): Here in mainly Palestinian areas, the streets were quiet. Just a stone's throw from the rally, doors on the Old City market were tightly locked. Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. And from the few who would speak to us, words of disappointment, even anger with the rally outside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is very upsetting, like a tragedy in my heart.

CHANCE: Back at the rally, though, these people were in no mood for criticism; determined, instead, to celebrate a contentious city they believe to be rightfully theirs.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Jerusalem.


HAYNES: In the headlines today, a closer look at a political storm brewing in Washington. President-elect Bush is standing behind his choice for labor secretary. Linda Chavez is under fire from some Democrats because of revelations involving an illegal immigrant Chavez says she was just trying to help a person in need.

Wolf Blitzer has more.


LINDA CHAVEZ, LABOR SECRETARY DESIGNEE: Thank you very much, Mr. President-elect.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Linda Chavez was already under fire even before we learned that an illegal immigrant had lived at her home, did work for her, and was given some money in 1991 and '92. But if President-elect Bush is worried about her being confirmed, he certainly isn't showing it.

BUSH: I firmly believe she'll be a fine secretary of labor. And I've got confidence in Linda Chavez.

BLITZER: At issue is this woman: Marta Mercado, from Guatemala, who was then in the United States illegally. Through an aide, Chavez says she let Mercado stay in her home out of compassion, and did not know at the time she was in the country illegally.

MARTA MERCADO, FMR. CHAVEZ HOME RESIDENT: And so I cannot be sure when she knew that I was illegal.

BLITZER: Critics, already angered by her position against affirmative action and an increase in the minimum wage, are using this latest controversy to build opposition to Chavez's confirmation.

GERALD MCENTEE, PRESIDENT, AFSCME: Every time we look at her record and see more of her record, we believe, for working families, it's more negative. You know, it's not more positive.

BLITZER: A spokesman for Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, the ranking Democrat on the committee which will hold the Chavez confirmation hearings, says this, quote: "These new disclosures are very disturbing. The cloud over her nomination is certainly getting darker."

Wolf Blitzer, CNN, Washington.


ANNOUNCER: Teachers, make the most of CNN NEWSROOM with our free daily classroom guide to the program. There you'll find a rundown of each day's show so you choose just the program segments that fit your lesson plan. Plus, there are discussion questions and activities, and the guide highlights key people, places and news terms. Each day, find hot links to other online resources and previews of upcoming desk segments. It's all at this Web address, where you can also sign up to have the guide automatically e-mailed directly to you each day. It's easy, it's free, it's your curriculum connection to the news. After all, the news never stops, and neither does learning.

HAYNES: When most patients visit the doctor, they'd like to spend as much time as possible with their doctor. In fact, there was a time when physicians came to you. They made house calls. Today, that kind of personal attention is a rarity.

In the early 1970s, HMOs came about as a way to manage the health care system in the United States. Managed care calls for a system of health care that aims to control costs by controlling fees for service, monitoring the need for medical procedures, and stressing preventative care.

Many patients under managed care say they're not getting enough time with their doctors. But as Rusty Dornin reports, some are finding a way to change that.


DR. HERB BROSBE, PHYSICIAN: I'm coming to you, that's pretty impressive, don't you think?

RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Dr. Herb Brosbe takes a pulse these days, it's an old-fashioned house call. Brosbe quit his physicians group after feeling pressure, he says, to increase efficiency, which he claims cost his patients time and quality care.

BROSBE: There's a difference between treating a patient and caring for a patient.

DORNIN: He's not alone. As doctors struggle with the problem of money versus time spent with patients, some are prescribing alternatives. Stuart Berman made his appointment at the last minute.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those are pretty equal, and then wrist up.

DORNIN: But he'll get 90 minutes with his doctor today, along with 10 other patients with similar problems -- a group appointment.

STUART BERMAN, PATIENT: Even though there were a bunch of other people around, I was having the time to describe what happened, what's going on with my particular illness.

DORNIN: Patients have their vitals taken individually.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What problem did you want Dr. Liu (ph) to discuss today?

DORNIN: And can schedule a one-on-one with the doctor after the group.

Group appointment advocate and psychologist Ed Noffsinger says it gets doctors and patients off the clock.

ED NOFFSINGER, GROUP APPOINTMENT CREATOR: It's almost unheard of in this day and age to be able sit down with your doctor for 90 minutes. And, granted, there's other people in the room, and, granted, there's some tradeoffs in terms of confidentiality because other people are there, but it really brings back that old-time relationship.

DORNIN: Patients say it's not just the relationship with their doctor. After all, misery sometimes likes a little company.

DAVID FALUSECK, PATIENT: It always helps me when I see someone that's worse off than I am.

GLORIA RHODES, PATIENT: It's good to have your private time with your physician, but you do learn other things from other people's experiences.

DORNIN (on camera): Experiences never spoken of in a crowded waiting room, and one way some are finding to beat the rush of the modern medical appointment.

Rusty Dornin, CNN, San Francisco.


HAYNES: Moving on now, attention deficit disorder, or ADD, is a behavioral syndrome that affects many children. Its symptoms include inattention and distractibility, restlessness, and difficulty concentrating on one thing. Although the cause of hyperactivity is unknown, doctors have found the stimulant Ritalin helps treat children with the disorder.

As Linda Ciampa tells us, some college students are misusing Ritalin, and the ramifications could be deadly.


LINDA CIAMPA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Marly Malm began college, she struggled to pass her courses. But when a classmate gave her a sample of the drug Ritalin, things changed.

MARLY MALM, STUDENT: I have never felt like that kind of control over myself before, like being able to just relax and do something that needed to be done.

CIAMPA: Malm was later diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, a condition commonly treated with Ritalin.

But across college campuses, some students are taking Ritalin without a prescription illegally, and they're using it to fuel everything, from all-night study sessions to all-night parties. Last summer, a survey at the University of Wisconsin found that 20 percent of college students had taken Ritalin without a prescription.

Dr. ERIC HEILIGENSTEIN, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN: People find the drug enticing because they can get their academic work done quicker or do more in a shorter period of time. So for students who have put off work or are not very strong academically, we find some are using it to kind of counteract or remedy their problems.

CIAMPA: Ritalin is now on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's list of the top most stolen drugs. And doctors warn Ritalin is a powerful, potentially dangerous drug, especially if it's crushed up and inhaled. DR. LAWRENCE DILLER, AUTHOR, "RUNNING ON RITALIN": What that means is, in rare situations, in rare situations, the person is placed at risk primarily for a cardiac arrhythmia. That means irregular beating of the heart, which can cause sudden death, and it does.

CIAMPA: And it's not only college kids who are misusing Ritalin. New reports suggest there is a growing trend of Ritalin abuse among adults, using the drug to get more done at work and keep up with a fast-paced lifestyle.

Malm, however, gives much of the credit for her academic success to Ritalin. She'll graduate next spring with a B average. She says although the way she first got the drug was wrong, the eventual diagnosis of ADHD and treatment has made a world of difference.

Linda Ciampa, CNN, Atlanta.


HAYNES: On Tuesdays, as you know, NEWSROOM highlights health. Well, we continue that theme in "Worldview" as we head to Thailand. We'll find out how a program to help the disabled is mushrooming into a success story. And we'll visit the United States to spotlight seat belt safety.

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: We head now to New Hampshire, a small northern state which ranks 44th in size out of 50 U.S. states. New Hampshire was first settled in 1623 and gained statehood in 1788. It was the first of the 13 original colonies to adopt its own Constitution. Local governments are said to flourish as one of the purest forms of democracy.

Its 221 towns, or little republics, have almost complete self- government. New Hampshire has a strong sense of wanting to keep the federal government out of its affairs. In fact, the state motto is, "Live Free or Die."

And as Perri Peltz explains, it's a philosophy that some believe is impacting health and safety.


PERRI PELTZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dr. Joseph Sabato is an emergency care physician in Derry, New Hampshire, a town of 3,000 people.

DR. JOSEPH SABATO, PHYSICIAN: And I need the radiologist for a CT scan.

PELTZ: He moved here from Boston to get away from the big city and enjoy Derry's more peaceful rural setting.

But instead of the quiet life, Sabato found himself in a fierce battle, taking on New Hampshire's unique free spirit with a mission to make seat belt use the law. Dr. Sabato says his passion comes from years of treating those who chose not to buckle up. It's only an hour into Dr. Sabato's shift, and he's already treating a car crash victim.

SABATO: What happened in the crash?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I basically didn't have nothing to brace myself against. I slid underneath the dash when we hit.

SABATO: So you weren't wearing a seat belt?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wasn't wearing a seat belt, unfortunately.

SABATO: Will that change after today?


PELTZ: This patient is lucky; many are not. And five years ago, one of those victims had a lasting impact.

SABATO: The worst experience that I've had, and it was part of what triggered me to get involved in this, was that there was a teenager that was killed in a car crash. And when the police came to the hospital and tried to break the news to the family, I realized that the teenager was somebody that I actually knew, and knew his family.

PELTZ: And that was only one of nearly a dozen teenage fatalities which took place in one year. It rocked this close-knit rural town and sparked a remarkable discovery.

SABATO: We realized that of the 11 fatal car crashes, none of the victims wore seat belts.

It's every parent's nightmare to get the phone call at 1:30 in the morning from...

PELTZ: That launched Dr. Sabato on his mission for change. He founded a citizen action group, lobbied hard, and two years later achieved partial victory. The legislature passed a law that made it compulsory for everyone under 18 to buckle up.

SABATO: And we went from 40 percent seat belt use by teenagers in our area to over 70 percent.

PELTZ: But that was for children under 18. Adult drivers were another story. And lobbying for a law to cover them is a struggle in New Hampshire, a state which proudly wears its slogan "Live Free or Die" on its license plates.

(on camera): Every state in this nation has a seat belt law except New Hampshire. What is with New Hampshire?

SABATO: Well, New Hampshire likes to dance to its own drum beat, do what it feels is in New Hampshire's interest. I think people in New Hampshire are proud of their own decisions and their ability to influence the legislature.

SHERMAN PACKARD, NEW HAMPSHIRE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: It all has to do with government continually stepping into people's lives, all for the "better of society."

PELTZ (voice-over): Sherman Packard is vehemently opposed to seat belt laws. He heads a majority of New Hampshire legislators who feel the same way. He's been chairman of the state House of Representatives Transportation Committee for 10 years.

PELTZ (on camera): How do you feel about the seat belt law as it stands right now?

PACKARD: Seat belts save lives and they do reduce injuries. But I do not believe it's government's job to tell people that they have to protect themselves against themselves. And that's what I believe the seat belt law does.

PELTZ: Do you wear a seat belt, sir?

PACKARD: I do most of the time. Do I wear it all the time? No, I don't.

PELTZ (voice-over): And in the state of New Hampshire, Packard's choice to drive without a seat belt is perfectly legal. In the rest of the country, seat belt laws have made a dramatic difference.

According to the Department of Transportation, safety belts cut the risk of fatal injury by almost half. Seat belt use nationwide has risen every year since 1994 to now over 70 percent. But in New Hampshire where there are no adult laws, seat belt use actually dropped to 56 percent. And road deaths there have increased every year since 1995.

PELTZ (on camera): What we have been told is that if a seat belt law were to be put on the records, that compliance would probably jump an additional 20 percent.

PACKARD: To say that their compliance is going to automatically go skyrocketing, I don't believe that's true.

PELTZ: But even a little jump, would that not be worth it?

PACKARD: Not to me.

PELTZ: Dr. Sabato, they say, my choice, leave me alone, Let me make my own decision. I'm not bothering anybody else if I don't buckle up.

SABATO: Well, that's not true. The cost to society. The rest of the people are paying the freight for that.

PELTZ (voice-over): Dr. Sabato claims that for anyone involved in a crash who is admitted to the hospital, each admission costs $5,000 more than those who were buckled up.

(on camera): But what about the cost to society: sick days from work, increased cost to insurance, increased hospitalization bills. Doesn't all of that affect all of us? PACKARD: So doesn't smoking. The cost to society in smoking is probably 100 times greater than it is for somebody not wearing a seat belt. So if we're going to talk about cost to society, then why don't we start at the top and not at the bottom.

PELTZ (voice-over): Dr. Sabato and his supporters will continue their campaign. They cite states like California where people buckle up close to 90 percent of the time.

(on camera): What do you say to people who think that you are some kind of crazy crusader around these parts intruding on everyone's privacy? Does that bother you?

SABATO: No, because I'm not doing something that's going to hurt anybody. They may have their lives saved.

PELTZ: Do you think you have to change the slogan on the license plate if in fact you're able to get a law passed here in New Hampshire? "Live Free or Die," does it work?

SABATO: Well, there's no reason that you have to change the slogan, just there'd be more people who'd be living free and not dying.


BAKHTIAR: Do you always buckle up? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts are the most effective safety devices in vehicles today, estimated to save 9,500 lives a year in the U.S. alone. Every hour, at least one American dies because he or she didn't buckle up. Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death and injury to children up to age 15. Young people ages 16 to 25 are the age group least likely to buckle up, yet they are the highest risk drivers, with more impaired driving, more speeding and more crashes. Seat belt use in many countries in the world reaches 90 percent. But in the U.S., it's only about 70 percent.

HAYNES: Thailand is a country in transition, where ancient traditions still flourish among one of the fastest growing economies in the world. While its biggest city, Bangkok, has exploded to nearly 6 million people, most people in Thailand still live in small, rural villages. It's a country where old attitudes die hard, especially when it comes to the disabled.

In Thai society, many still believe that disabilities come from having performed evil deeds in past lives, or that disabled people carry bad luck. But that's slowly changing now.

Alphonso Van Marsh looks at a unique program in Thailand that's giving some disabled people new hope.


ALPHONSO VAN MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When a car accident paralyzed 20-year-old Oradee Silachai, she said she could do nothing without the use of her legs. But now she runs a mushroom business in northern Thailand, and she thanks the farmer training program that teaches the disabled how to be self-reliant.

ORADEE SILACHAI, STUDENT (through translator): I want to tell disabled people everywhere: don't hide or overlook your potential. Come out of your shell.

VAN MARSH: Mushrooms are a cultural staple in Thailand, and growing them is good business. That's why the Food and Agricultural Organization and the Thai government is focussing on cultivating mushrooms at a disabled farmer training facility. Here, disabled people learn about the low-cost startup business, as well as other ways to improve their quality of life.

Silachai says she wishes all disabled people could have access to the program.

SILACHAI (through translator): Find something new in your life. If you've always stayed at home, now you should attend a training course or show just what you can do.

VAN MARSH: And show that good business savvy knows no disability.

Alphonso Van Marsh, CNN.



MICHAEL SIMMONS, ROME, GEORGIA: Hello, my name is Michael Simmons. I'm from Rome, Georgia. And my question for CNN is, what is the process by which new stamps are chosen?

JUDY DE TOROK, MGR., MEDIA RELATIONS, U.S. POSTAL SERVICE: That's an excellent question. In fact, nearly all of our stamp subjects are suggested from the public. Each year, about 50,000 proposals are reviewed by the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee. The committee's comprised of about 15 different individuals from many diverse backgrounds. It's their job to recommend 25 to 35 different commemorative stamp designs to the post master general. Their focus is on developing a well-rounded, educational and informative stamp program, one that best represents the diverse people places and history of the United States.

Now, if you have a stamp design proposal, please send it to: c/o of the United States Postal Service, Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee, 475 L'Enfant Plaza, Washington, D.C., 20260-2437.

And remember, it takes about three years for a stamp to go through the production and design process.


HAYNES: Well, from stamp pictures to stamp prices: Sunday, the U.S. Postal Service raised the cost of mailing a letter from 33 to 34 cents. And this rate hike is managing to raise the status of the 1 cent stamp.

Jeanne Moos checks out the sudden penny postal popularity.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If you're looking for postage with prestige, the humble 1 cent stamp has been a loser -- until now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anyone in that line just need 1 cent stamps, 1 cent stamps?

MOOS: Suddenly, the lowly 1 cent is in its glory.






MOOS: We saw a guy buying 3,000 of them for $30 to resell at his candy store.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is its marriage now. It gets married to the 33 cent stamp.

MOOS: Do you take this 1 cent stamp to be your partner till postal rates do you part? All those leftover 33 cent stamps are nothing without the 1.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every couple of years, you know, 15 minutes of fame, you know.

MOOS: Eventually, we'll all buy the new 34 cent stamps. They come in three versions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where is the price for this stamp?


MOOS (on camera): They didn't write it on it because they had to make the stamp before they knew how much the rate increase was going to be.

(voice-over): While many had heard about the rate increase...

(on camera): Hold it, hold it. How much do you have on it?


MOOS: Oh, you did it. I was going to give -- I was...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's all right.

MOOS: ... stamp Samaritan here.

(voice-over): A few folks needed the Good Samaritan of stamps.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, that's very sweet of you. I don't want this coming back. These are bills, you know.

MOOS: This guy was mailing a letter with a 32 cent stamp.

(on camera): You're really behind the times.


MOOS: You need two stamps. You know there was a postal increase. I can't believe you're two years behind.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I was just 2 cents behind.

MOOS (voice-over): The Postal Service says it allows a grace period of a couple of days.

(on camera): Do people ever tape on one penny?

PAT MCGOVERN, U.S. POSTAL SERVICE: That happens, but that's returned to sender.

MOOS (voice-over): By the way, the bird on the 1 cent stamp is North America's smallest falcon, the American Kestrel.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, it's very festive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The American Kestrel, how majestic.

MOOS (on camera): I think that's an American Kestrel, isn't it?


MOOS: Did you ever see that bird around here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no. Not in New York.

MOOS (voice-over): The Indiana artist who painted the kestrel told us he wishes his work were displayed on a more widely circulated stamp. Sounds like the character in Fargo who was disappointed his duck design was selected for a measly 3 cent stamp.


JOHN CARROLL LYNCH, ACTOR: People don't much use the 3-cent.

FRANCES MCDORMAND, ACTRESS: Whenever they raise the postage, people need the little stamps.

LYNCH: Yeah?

MCDORMAND: When they're stuck with a bunch of the old ones.


MOOS: And if you're stuck with a bunch of 1 cents, just make sure they add up to 34.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


HAYNES: Make sure to get that 1 cent stamp.

That's CNN NEWSROOM for Tuesday. We'll see you back here tomorrow. Have a good day.



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