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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for January 26, 2001

Aired January 26, 2001 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Welcome to your last NEWSROOM of the week, everyone. I'm Tom Haynes. Let's get rolling with a look at what's ahead.

Is it lights out for the state of California? That state's power crunch tops our agenda.

From energy to information, "Editor's Desk" asks, what do kids need to know?

Then smile for the camera. "Worldview" has some celebrity snapshots.

We end up in "Chronicle" saying goodbye to an old favorite, on and off the court.

All right, first up today, California lawmakers search for a long-term solution to the state's power crisis. Gov. Gray Davis says dozens of bids have come in from power suppliers willing to sell electricity to the state. But that doesn't mean California is out of the woods just yet.

A power crisis surges through California, bringing daily threats of blackouts to homes and businesses across the state. For more than a week, California has been on a Stage 3 power alert, meaning levels of available power have been extremely low.

Desperate to find supplies of electricity at a reasonable price, the state held a power auction. Gov. Gray Davis says 39 bidders offered, on average, a price of $69 per megawatt. Officials had hoped for $55, but it's still much lower than the $600 per megawatt California has paid on the open market. Davis wants to find a solution to the crisis before the state exhausts a $400 emergency fund it set aside to buy power on the open market.

U.S. President Bush is looking for ways to help California. However, he also is also making it clear to the Golden State that they shouldn't look to Washington for a solution. Gov. Gray Davis says he believes the state can keep its lights on without going broke.

Charles Feldman has the story. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHARLES FELDMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is not exactly what California Gov. Gray Davis seemed to hope for when we talked with him a few weeks back.

GOV. GRAY DAVIS (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, I have already talked to President-elect Bush. I have dealt with him in the past. We were fellow governors. So I believe he will approach this in a practical problem-solving fashion.

FELDMAN: But with President Bush saying California must fix its own power mess, and with talk of a Davis presidential bid in 2004, at least one political analyst thinks the president may be using the power crisis to cut short a potential Democratic challenger.

ANNE KRIEGLER, POLITICAL ANALYST: It's a nice side effect of the energy shortage. And he can eviscerate Davis' chances if Davis is not able to hand this situation well.

FELDMAN: And so the clock, hopefully battery powered, is now ticking. Some business leaders appealed in this newspaper ad for a fast resolution to the problem. All eyes are on the state legislature and the governor to see whether they can generate a viable power plan before the two week emergency order ends.

(on camera): But the constant threat of rolling blackouts has people here on edge. And for politicians, that is not a very good place for voters to be.

Charles Feldman, CNN, Los Angeles.


HAYNES: In "Editor's Desk," a familiar subject: the Internet. The Net actually has its origins in the U.S. Defense Department. In 1969, the department created a program called ARPANET to provide a secure communications network for organizations engaged in defense- related research. Since then, the Internet has permeated almost every aspect of our lives, even in our schools, for better or for worse.

Garrick Utley explains.


GARRICK UTLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ask Paul Viggiano what his students need to learn today to be prepared for tomorrow and you get a familiar answer.

PAUL VIGGIANO, COMPUTER SCIENCE TEACHER: Certainly the three "R"s are on the top. If you can't read, if you can't write, if you can't spell, you can't go anywhere.

UTLEY: And there is now a fourth "R" in middle school 318 in Brooklyn, New York: how to research and learn on the Internet.

VIGGIANO: What I do teach them is I want them to go out and find additional information on their own about what I've given them.

UTLEY: Nearly two-thirds of American public school classrooms are now connected to the Internet and more than half the teachers in those classrooms tell their students to seek information and answers on the Web, which has been called the new blackboard of learning.

But for all its power, are there limits to what technology can teach?

(on camera): Anyone who has sat in math class has faced the ordeal of memorizing multiplication tables. Then someone asks, why not save time and give students a calculator and let it tell you that six times seven is 42?

The problem, of course, is that technology does not always improve learning, does not tell you why six times seven is 42.

(voice-over): But educators now believe the Internet is different.

ROBERT BERNE, VICE PRESIDENT, ACADEMIC AFFAIRS, NEW YORK UNIV.: Many people are afraid that technology would take away the thought process, and I think there's the potential that technology can enrich the thought process.

UTLEY: There are certain never-changing basics that children should learn: something about the world they live in, its geography and people; something about the past that shapes their present. But those growing up with the power of the Internet can be much more independent about what they want to learn.

Jeff Kubel, who has taught in this school for 33 years, faces that every day.

JEFF KUBEL, MATH TEACHER: Years ago, you would say to a kid, this is the problem, this is the way you do it, and that's it. Now you get kids who say, what do I need this for? Why do I need this?

UTLEY: What does that mean for teacher and student when the teacher and the traditional textbook are no longer the sole sources of knowledge in the classroom?

BERNE: The traditional presentation of material, the way in which the curriculum is presented, the materials that we use and the skills that are taught need to be different now based on the fact that a child can do things in a middle school that maybe only a college student could do 15 or 20 years ago in terms of research.

UTLEY: Paul Viggiano welcomes that because the Internet provides the excitement of discovery and learning.

VIGGIANO: Education should be fun. It shouldn't be a hard- nosed, drudgery, disciplined kind of thing. You should enjoy what you're doing, and I think if you enjoy what you're doing you learn more.

UTLEY: And teach better.

Garrick Utley, CNN, New York.


HAYNES: In "Worldview," we get up close with a celebrity photographer. We'll travel to the United States for a look behind the lens. And we'll spotlight the Middle East to get the big picture on a long-running conflict. Israel is on the brink of elections, and in the Middle East peace negotiations with Palestinians. What's it like to be part of the negotiating team?

Andrea Koppel provides a behind-the-scenes look.


ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's been almost nine years since Israelis and Palestinians first broke the ice and began the arduous process of negotiating a permanent peace.

Since then, prime ministers and presidents may have come and gone, but behind the scenes some familiar faces remained. No one more so than the man who has spent the last 12 years working for peace: lead U.S. mediator Dennis Ross. His mantra for peace,"It can be done," placed on the edge of his desk.

(on camera): Do you usually face it out towards people who are sitting in your office?


KOPPEL: You don't use it as inspiration?

ROSS: No, no. I already believe it, so the question is when they come in, they have to believe it, too.

KOPPEL (voice-over): Another true believer, Ross' deputy, Aaron Miller.

AARON MILLER, U.S. MIDEAST NEGOTIATOR: I think that notion that you don't have to accept the world the way it is -- it can't always be the way you want it to be, but, again, finding the balance between the way the world is on one hand and the way we want it to be on the other, that's something that actually my mother and my father both instilled in me.

KOPPEL: An historian by training, Miller's unfailing optimism has sustained him through ups and countless downs. That as well as a personal commitment to do whatever he can to bring about a permanent peace.

MILLER: As long as you never forget that the Arab-Israeli conflict is not a conflict between right or wrong, between black and white, that it is a complex historical conflict in which both sides have competing needs and requirements, and in a way it's a competing search for justice, for security by both -- as long as you never forget that, then the personal relationships really help sensitize you, in my judgment, and allow you to do a much more effective and a much more productive job. It's not just paper we're talking about, it's people's lives.

YASSER ARAFAT, PLO PRESIDENT (through translator): And within two weeks we will receive the 6 percent.

KOPPEL: Egyptian-born Gamal Helal's many insights into the lives and mindset of Arabs in the Middle East have over the years made him an invaluable member of the U.S. peace team, serving as translator and special adviser.

GAMAL HELAL, U.S. MIDEAST ADVISER: I sort of like have this special feel of what they're trying to tell us. And that's what I try to do by working with my team or this side, is trying to add an additional meaning to the words that we hear from both sides.

KOPPEL: Most recently, Helal was seen with Yasser Arafat in photographs taken at last summer's Camp David summit.

HELAL: You deal with the very complicated issues; you deal with very emotional issues. When you look at the hard-core substance, that's one thing. But if you really ignore the emotional attachment that -- it is so heavy on the minds and hearts of not only the negotiators, but also the people that these negotiators represent.

ROSS: Camp David had moments of great significance that will be very memorable to me because I sat there and, in conversations with the negotiators and with the leaders, I saw people wearing the weight of history on their shoulders much more clearly than at any other time. They knew they were contemplating historic decisions.

KOPPEL: Decisions which have yet to be made. And now, after months of violent clashes during the latest Palestinian uprising, many in the region believe Camp David was a huge mistake. Ross defends the decision, calling it necessary to head off a September deadline, then only two months away, for a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.

ROSS: If we had not gone to Camp David, given the Sept. 13 date that was looming, you would have had the explosion much earlier and the explosion might have been much worse. And you would not have been in a position where you had advanced the process in any way, shape or form.

Now, at least, there is much more of a sense of what each side can live with and can't live with. Now, at least, instead of looking at issues like Jerusalem only from the standpoint of generalities, there's a much greater appreciation of what might be possible. The same applies to refugees, the same applies to borders, the same applies to settlement blocks. You know, all of these issues have been dealt with in a way that they were never dealt with prior to that time.

KOPPEL (on camera): What does the historian in you tell you about this period and how this moment in the Arab-Israeli conflict will be remembered?

MILLER: There's a great sense of loss, because if you look at the last several months, I mean, how many Israelis and Palestinians have been killed and wounded? How much of the partnership have been shattered and undermined? And for what? For what?

KOPPEL (voice-over): In Israel, voters are disillusioned by the peace process and appear set to elect hard-line opposition party leader Ariel Sharon in elections next month, while in the Palestinian territories the uprising goes on.

And in an unusual move this week, Palestinian negotiators took off the gloves, releasing a written critique of the U.S. mediating role during the Clinton administration. In particular, they said under U.S. supervision the peace process had become more important than achieving peace itself. Perhaps underscoring this point, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held high-level peace talks this week in Egypt without inviting U.S. mediators to join them.

But Ross had already made the decision to leave government, his last day coinciding with the inauguration of George W. Bush.

(on camera): Did you think it's going to be hard to let go?

ROSS: Well, you never know until you're on the outside. I will not walk away from this issue. I'm not going to be the negotiator any longer. I will care about this issue, I will write about this issue, I will speak about this issue, I will still try to affect it in terms of the public climate. But it's time for me, at least, to move on.

This is the kind of job that takes a real toll, not only personally and not only on the family, but it's also the kind of job that just is with you all the time. There's no relief from it. And even when I'm not getting called, I'm thinking about it, I'm preoccupied with it. And I'm at a point where, you know, I feel I have also done what I can do, at least as a negotiator.

KOPPEL (voice-over): There's no word yet as to who will be on the Bush administration's peace team. Regardless, Aaron Miller, the eternal optimist, is wistful about what the future holds.

MILLER: They will come back at some point to the place where they were because the history and geography will drive them there. And then they'll have to go through this again. And that, I think, in one sense, is optimistic, but it also underscores the loss -- sense of loss about what was possible.

KOPPEL: What most frustrates this Middle East peace team is that they believe the Israelis and Palestinians were closer than they'd ever been to finally closing a deal. But eventually time under Bill Clinton's watch ran out.

Andrea Koppel, CNN, the State Department.



JASON BELLINI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm CNN NEWSROOM reporter Jason Bellini. As the Middle East peace process drags on and violence continues, young people, both Palestinian and Israeli, try to carry on with their everyday lives. For two weeks, I travelled in the region getting to know Palestinian and Israeli young people. See and hear their stories coming up Feb. 5.


HAYNES: I love to take pictures. In fact, here's one of British pop star Sting and me training to take a ride in a Navy fighter jet. Or how about this one of me and CNN photographer Bobby Couch (ph) standing in front of the Panama Canal.

It's always fun to look through pictures for the first time right after they're developed. You either say, boy do I look great, or, yuck, this one's got to go!

Photography's been around since the mid 1800s when the French recorded the first picture. Since then, pictures have come a long way. We've gone from black and whites to color photos, and now there's digital. Celebrity photographs are always fun to look at. But don't you wonder how professional photographer make the stars look so good?

Well, ask no more. Today we'll meet Harry Langdon, a legendary photographer in Hollywood known for his creativity and always snapping that winning shot.

Gayla Hope introduces us.


GAYLA HOPE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His subjects are smiling because they`re supposed to. The celebrity photographer Harry Langdon smiles along with them because he`s having fun.

HARRY LANGDON, PHOTOGRAPHER: The sheer satisfaction of doing something creative like we`re doing today, it really -- when you go home at night, you think, wow, that was amazing. I don`t think about how much money I made, I don`t think about anything else, I just -- that satisfaction.

HOPE: Today he's photographing Sheree Wilson, a star on the Chuck Norris show "Walker Texas Ranger."

SHEREE WILSON, ACTRESS: I had the great fortune as a very young actor coming to Hollywood to land a part on "Dallas" and Victoria Principal and Linda Gray had already worked with Harry, and so for the show and for the PR I got introduced to Harry and I had the great fortune of working with him. Harry was like the king of making women glamorous.

LANGDON: Yes, that`s charming. HOPE: Wilson is striking a pose for some new publicity shots and the cover of "Beverly Hills 213," a weekly magazine. Langdon shoots all the covers.

LANGDON: Sometimes we do two or three sessions a week for them. We just photographed Barbara Sinatra. We`re only told two days ahead of time that we`re going to do it so it`s a window of opportunity that certain people have. We -- you know, I have to respect that, you know. It doesn`t matter about my time, it`s their time that`s very valuable.

HOPE: His studio in Beverly Hills is prominent and so are his clients. In the business more than 30 years, Langdon has shot some true legends, like Richard Burton, the notorious Rat Pack, Sonny and Cher, disco queen Donna Summers, and Motown diva Diana Ross. Current clients include Oscar De La Hoya, Jenny Garth, the Dixie Chicks, Rush Limbaugh and Hallie Berry.

LANGDON: We do a lot of work for "Ebony" magazine, and especially with Hallie Berry. She usually ask for me to be the photographer in her sessions.

HOPE: Harry Langdon says he's photographed thousands of people in his career, and each picture has a story, including this magazine cover shot of Jay Leno with a hot car.

LANGDON: He took this car for a test drive, and it`s a brand new Ferrari. And he took it up to Mt. Wilson and he blew a tire in the back. So he called back and said, you know, where`s the spare tire? And they said, there`s no room for a spare tire. We`ll have to drive one up there.

Danielle Steel is one of my clients too. This was taken in her home in San Francisco.

These are the Reagans. This was especially eventful session where -- it was right when he got his presidency.

This is Sandal Bergman, who was an actress that co-starred in one of his films. Arnold was just on the brink of tremendous success then. I like photographing people when their star's on the ascendant and they`re just going up there.

HOPE: Arnold Schwarzenneger`s star ascended, but so has Harry Langdon`s. Session fees range from $750 to $7,500. Commercial projects run even higher.

LANGDON: There are some sessions that we can charge $20,000 for. If it`s for an airline, if it`s just going to be international advertising and publicity. I pride myself with always coming up with fresh ideas.

HOPE: Langdon brings more to his shoots than just cameras and film.

LANGDON: I try to find out a little bit about the person prior to the session. Nowadays you can watch them on television. Or recently I photographed a woman who is up for an Academy Award, so I just went to see one of her films. So I find out a little bit about them before hand. Everybody has a cause or something that gets them inspired or stimulated. If not, we just turn the music up real loud and hope for the best. You know, there`s always something that gets people excited, you know.

HOPE: He credits primal instincts with finding his niche in the photography business.

LANGDON: It`s a survival thing, really. My dad died when I was 10 years old. And my dad was a very famous comedian, you know, and so I thought when I was a kid it was going to be really easy. You know, I would want for nothing. He was going -- on grease tracks I was going to go right into the motion picture business.

HOPE: It didn`t quite work out that way. Langdon was a carpenter for many years before turning his hobby into a business. Carpentry and a great imagination proved helpful for Langdon`s creative set designs. So at age 30, Harry Langdon put his camera to work.

LANGDON: When I first started photography and I had my own studio, I started photographing friends of mine that were actors. And they all had agents and, you know, they're usually models or aspiring actors. And the pictures got to a few agents that represented big- name people. And Diana Ross became one of my clients. Ann-Margret became one of my clients, Suzanne Pleshette. And these women were so happy with their photographs that the word spread like wildfire and my business has been pretty much run by word of mouth ever since.


HOPE: Langdon is a fan of all who enter his studio. His biggest fan is wife Lynn.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The set looked great.

HOPE: She`s in charge of new projects. A book with 30 years of photos to choose from and, of course, Langdon`s many session stories is at the top of the list.

(on-camera): A successful photographer has to be good with a camera, but it`s his rapport with the client that makes the picture.

DASH, STUDIO MANAGER, HARRY LANGDON PHOTOGRAPHY: He knows how to put everyone at ease. He has this pixie dance for zeroing in on whatever makes that person tick, what they need to talk about that day, what they need to not talk about that day aside from the technical aspects of it, you know, which I`m sure a lot of other photographers would love to be privy to. It`s instinctual.

HOPE: Just like in the movies lights, camera and...

LANGDON: OK, kids, here we go. Good.

HOPE: All set designs are custom made for each client, like this makeshift chain-link fence made with blue tape.

LANGDON: One more for your fans out there.

HOPE: Harry Langdon`s energetic, childlike enthusiasm for his work captures the heart of everyone.

LANGDON: Thanks, Sheree.

HOPE: Gayla Hope, CNN Financial News, Beverly Hills, California.


HAYNES: In "Chronicle," an athletic shoe that reached icon status in the United States is no more. Converse will no longer produce shoes in North America. Instead, it will license other companies to produce its Chuck Taylor All Star shoes in Asia.

Bill Delaney reports on a page from the annals of American fashion history.


BILL DELANEY, CNN BOSTON BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): In just one more measure of the death of civilization as we have known it, sneakers, $100-plus, with more arches, contours and supports than the Golden Gate Bridge, a far cry from these, the flat-footed canvas- topped Turkey, beloved by many millions, the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star.

When Converse filed for bankruptcy this week, closing all plants in the United States, something of a simpler time went with it, say millions of loyalists like Kevin Salvi, who still has the first pair he ever bought for $4.

KEVIN SALVI, REFEREE: Still kept them from high school. Use them for clam digging down the Cape. And every time I look at them in the closet, I just think back to my high school days, about being a basketball player. So...

DELANEY: An eras end, almost.

MEL KRAVITZ, SHOE SALESMAN: It says All Star right on here.

DELANEY: Veteran high-top salesman Mel Kravitz says its a relief Taylors will still be made in Asia, because there's still a high-top type.

KRAVITZ: They're very laid-back customers, the nicest people. There's something about them.

DELANEY: But if there's a Chuck Taylor type, who the heck was Chuck Taylor?

(on camera): Chuck Taylor chose Converse as his sneaker when he played for the Akron Firestones and the Buffalo Germans. Then, in 1921, he joined Converse as a salesman. (voice-over): An early intermarriage of basketball and business, though Chuck never juggled numbers like these.

ADOYAH MILLER, BASKETBALL PLAYER: They were 150. They were one of those, but I waited until they went down and I bought them for like about 100.

DELANEY: But will this young man's sneakers linger in the closet, emblems of innocence, for a bit of clam digging around the year 2030 or so?

Bill Delaney, CNN, Brookline, Massachusetts.


HAYNES: And finally from us today, imagine being promised free college tuition. All you'd have to do is graduate from high school. Now picture that promise being snatched away just before graduation. It happened to students in Washington, D.C., but it didn't stop them from reaching for their dreams and a higher education.

Christy Feig has their story.


CHRISTY FEIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Kenneth Webb was in the sixth grade, a man came to his school. He promised to pay for the college education of every student in Webb's class who graduated from a public high school in Washington, D.C.

KENNETH WEBB, CARDOZO HIGH SCHOOL: It was real important because, you know, I wanted to be the first person out of my house to go to college.

FEIG: Webb and more than 40 of his classmates lived up to their end of the bargain. They're graduating this coming June.

LAWRENCE WASHINGTON, CARDOZO HIGH SCHOOL: It wasn't an easy thing to do because you got a lot of negative things around you, draw you, you know, to do negative things.

FEIG: But when they started applying to colleges, they found out the money wasn't there.

(on camera): George Able (ph), the head of the Phoenix Foundation (ph) who promised the money, said his organization went under several years ago.

(voice-over): Able says he's sorry he could not raise the money, but he insists the school failed to get him the contact information for the eligible students. "The principal never sent on any lists," he says. "I had no way to reach the parents. There was no list."

When Webb's mother found out the money wasn't there, she was devastated.

SANDRA WEBB, KENNETH'S MOTHER: I knew I didn't have the money to send my child to school and he wanted a better education.

FEIG: She took up the fight working the phones, calling other parents and the school administration.

S. WEBB: This wasn't just about me and being soaky-eyed and concerned about my son, it was all about the kids.

FEIG: And now universities and colleges have begun offering scholarships. And community organizations are raising money. One group, Fight for Children, is pledging $500,000 to make up whatever is left.

REV. JOHN ENZLER, FIGHT FOR CHILDREN: If they have met their requirement of graduation, we need to meet our requirement now of making sure that these young people are not left behind, and we'll do that.

FEIG: Enzler says the students can trust the organization because it's spent 10 years raising money for children in Washington.

WASHINGTON: I didn't think so many people cared.

FEIG: Kenneth's mother said he's always had big dreams, and she doesn't want him and the other students to settle for less.

Christy Feig, CNN, Washington.


HAYNES: That's NEWSROOM for Friday. Have a good weekend. See you back here Monday.



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