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NEWSROOM for May 11, 2001

Aired May 11, 2001 - 04:30   ET


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

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: And it's the week ending show. Glad you're with us. I'm Tom Haynes.

MICHAEL MCMANUS, CO-HOST: And I'm Michael McManus. Time for a look at the rundown.

HAYNES: First up, the U.S. Senate approves the nation's budget and provides a political win for President Bush.

MCMANUS: Warning, don't whack the TV with a fly swatter. "Editor's Desk" makes the most of bugs crawling across your screen.

HAYNES: In "Worldview," this guy makes the most of a bad hair day.

MCMANUS: And last today, but certainly not least, people in the United States say thanks to mom. Plus, some gifted kids and their incredible inventions.

HAYNES: But first today, in a 53 to 47 vote, the United States Senate approves a federal budget resolution for the year 2002. Thursday's vote sets a $1.97 trillion budget and advances President Bush's tax cut and spending restraint agenda.

Among the main components of the 2002 budget are plans for an 11 year, $1.35 trillion tax cut and an increase in spending for education and medical research. The Senate is split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats. While only two Republicans voted against the proposed budget, only five Democrats supported it. Many Democrats who opposed the measure were skeptical that the tax cuts would go to the wealthy.

Mr. Bush has pushed hard for the budget, saying Americans deserve a tax break. The new budget package calls for a $1.35 trillion tax cut over the next four years. That's less than the $1.6 trillion tax cut the president originally asked for. Along with allocating money for tax cuts, the budget plan also limits spending increases for most programs to four percent. Automatic payments like Medicaid and Medicare are not subjected to those limits. The budget is a guideline for lawmakers and does not need President Bush's signature.

Democrats, for the most part, have slammed the budget plan. Many say large tax cuts will come at the expense of the nation's schools, health care and other needs. Jonathan Karl has more on the budget vote and what Democratic senators are saying about it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's 53 yeas, 47 no's.

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Moderate Democrats proved critical as Congress moved a step closer to enacting the tax cuts, at the center of President Bush's domestic agenda. But only a handful of Senate Democrats chose to defy their party leaders by giving the Republican president a victory.

SEN. JOHN BREAUX (D), LOUISIANA: Is this budget a perfect document? Of course not. But does it advance the cause of governing in a democracy that is almost evenly divided among the two parties? I think the answer is yes, it does.

KARL: A month ago, Democratic leader Tom Daschle declared Louisiana Democrat John Breaux the MVP of the Senate Democrats for his role in whittling down the size of the Bush tax cut. But since then, the spending levels in the budget have been reduced, angering Democrats. As a result, Breaux now finds himself in the Democratic dog house as party leaders talk about the budget he made possible in dire terms.

SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MINORITY LEADER: I think this is a nuclear bomb for fiscal discipline in this country. You are going to -- I think the country will woe the day that this actually passed.

SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: We're taking a U-turn back to the 1980s. And mark my words, we'll be back here, maybe under the same president or maybe under a different president, having to fix the fiscal situation we're throwing our country in today.

KARL: In addition to Senator Breaux, the budget resolution was supported by Democrats Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Max Baucus of Montana, and Georgia's Max Cleland and Zell Miller. Two Republicans voted against, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and Jim Jeffords of Vermont.

SEN. TRENT LOTT (R-MS), MAJORITY LEADER: We received the vote on this final passage of five Democrats. And they showed courage. This was a bipartisan vote.

KARL (on camera): The five Democrats who voted for the budget may have been more concerned abour pressure from their constituents than pressure from their party leaders. All five come from states that voted overwhemingly for George Bush last Novemeber.

Jonathan Karl, CNN, Capitol Hill.


MCMANUS: It's known as one of the biggest killers worldwide. In the U.S. alone, cancer is expected to take more than half a million lives this year. Now, a new pill is offering new hope for those fighting a common form of adult leukemia and experts are calling the new medication astonishing. Rhonda Rowland has our story.


RHONDA ROWLAND, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The new cancer pill, Gleevec, has been called astonishing. Studies show the pill, formerly known as STI571, works in the majority of patients with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, a common form of adult leukemia, results almost unheard of in cancer therapy.

DR. HARMON EYRE, AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY: It is a major breakthrough. On a scale of one to 10, I'd put this at an eight or a nine.

ROWLAND: Patients like Virginia Garner, who had been at the brink of death, have seen their lives turn around within weeks of taking the pill just once a day.

VIRGINIA GARNER, LEUKEMIA PATIENT: I just have a feeling about this new drug, that it's going to turn out to be something that everyone is going to be amazed at.

ROWLAND: A prediction made more than two years ago. Today, Garner's in remission with no signs of leukemia. But while studies show most patients like Garner and others remain in remission after one year of treatment, researchers say it's too early to talk about cure.

DR. BRIAN DRUKER, OREGON HEALTH SCIENCES: We've only had two years of experience at effective doses and we need more experience before we can say that we've completely eradicated this leukemia.

ROWLAND: What makes Gleevec so amazing is that, unlike traditional chemotherapy which attacks all cells scattershot, killing cancer cells randomly, this drug blocks the action of an enzyme that causes leukemia, leaving healthy cells untouched.

DRUKER: That's why, in our clinical trials, we've seen such remarkable benefits with very few side effects.

ROWLAND: Side effects may include mild nausea, swelling and muscle cramps.

(on camera): There's also evidence Gleevec is effective in treating a type of intestinal cancer. Studies are under way to see if it helps patients with brain tumors and lung and prostate cancer. So patients may wonder, if the drug is now available to treat leukemia, why not go ahead and use to treat these other types of cancers?

(voice-over): Scientists say, until more research is completed, it's not a good idea to use the pill in all cancers.

EYRE: However, doctors can, given the right circumstance, prescribe the drug for individuals with cancers in whom there's some evidence in the literature that it might work.

ROWLAND: While Gleevec may not help every type of cancer, researchers say the pill ushers in a new era for cancer treatment, targeting what goes wrong in each particular cancer and finding a way to stop it.

Rhonda Rowland, CNN, Atlanta.


MCMANUS: Cell phones, laptops and pagers, inventions of convenience that were supposed to make life a little easier. More and more, these electronic devices are being blamed for an increasing number of car accidents, including one in Atlanta here last month that left model Nikki Taylor with severe internal injuries.

Wolf Blitzer looks at how the U.S. government is addressing this new road hazard.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Eating, drinking, reading, talking and talking and talking: all the ways we pass the time behind the wheel. But do they mix with driving?

ROBERT SHELTON, NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION: To drive safely, a driver needs to pay full attention to the driving task. Even a momentary distraction can lead to a crash.

BLITZER: The agency responsible for highway safety is now investigating driver use of high-tech devices like cell phones, navigation systems, and computers that provide e-mail and Internet connections to see how much of a distraction they really cause.

But should the government step in to protect drivers from themselves? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says, not yet.

SHELTON: We believe it's premature to push for federal legislation in this area.

BLITZER: Still, Shelton says talking on cell phones while driving is a significant safety concern. He says it's the talking, even if using a hands-free device, that causes drivers to lose their focus.

The accident last month that critically injured model Niki Taylor renewed attention to the issue. Her friend driving the car blamed a cell phone for distracting him. But the cell phone industry says cell phones can also save lives.

TOM WHEELER, CELLULAR & INTERNET ASSOCIATION: The wireless phone is the greatest safety tool since the development of 911; 120,000 times a day somebody uses their wireless phone to help somebody else.

BLITZER: The National Highway Traffic Safety Admisntration estimates that driver inattention causes between 20 and 30 percent of all accidents.

Wolf Blitzer, CNN, Washington.


MCMANUS: Today in "Editor's Desk," we're exploring the effects of advertising on consumers. Let me ask you this, how many times have you found yourself watching a commercial and thinking, "I've just got to have that?" Well, commercials are designed to do that, make their products look so cool, you want to run out and buy them. But a new age of advertising is on the horizon and it may have you doing just more than shopping.

Here's Jeanne Moos with the details -- and we warn you, don't whack your TV screen.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Don't be surprised if your TV starts looking like a roach motel.


ANNOUNCER: On the wings of a legend, he senses your arrival, Pegasus.


MOOS: Orkin exterminators are at it again, with their second season of what they call "fake-out" commercials.

MARTHA MAY, ORKIN PEST CONTROL: We did have a lady who hit her TV with a pocketbook. So, they're still being fooled. I don't know why.

MOOS: You'd think folks would have learned their lesson last year when Orkin first unleashed it's fake-out ads.

MAY: A man shot his television set with a .357 Magnum.

MOOS: Sounds suspicious to us, but the Orkin folks swear the stories are true.

MAY: Last year I took the call from the woman in Tampa who threw her motorcycle helmet, and she crashed her TV screen. She was not happy at all.

MOOS: Orkin did not pay for her set. Just when we'd gotten wise to the fake-out ads, this happened. CNN's John Zarrella was reporting on a space probe designed to look for signs of life on Mars.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: ... reporting live from Cape Canaveral, Florida.


STEPHEN FRAZIER, CNN ANCHOR: John, you've just described life.


FRAZIER: What was that going across the screen?

KAGAN: Speaking of life, you've got bugs coming across your camera there, John.

FRAZIER: You've got cucarachas, John.



MOOS: Nope, apparently not a cockroach.

ZARRELLA: It was a hard-shelled bug. I know that. It was a beetle of some kind, much tougher than many of the interview subjects that we have.

MOOS: The bug that flew onto CNN's lens was real. The fake Orkin roach is designed to appear life size on a 32-inch screen. But if your screen is bigger...

MAY: It's the size of a Buick. If you've got a big-screen TV, you've got a big screen roach. Wouldn't it occur to you that that's not real. Hello -- it's television.

MOOS: Ah, for the innocent days when commercials sang to you, rather than fooled you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): I'm Otto the Orkin man, I'm Otto the Orkin man.


MOOS: These days they're running the "Orkin Got Me" sweepstakes. Folks describe how they got taken to qualify for a drawing for a free TV. And it's not just people who fall for the ads. A Virginia man was perched on an exercise bike.

MAY: He has a parrot who sits on his shoulder when he exercises and the parrot was fooled. The parrot flew into the TV after the roach.

MOOS: At least for once we get to treat the press like the pests we sometimes are.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


HAYNES: In "Worldview" today, we count people, point to pollution and take you to the circus. Get ready to clown around with a performer whose hair is his trademark -- wait until you see this guy. And from trademarks to trends, we'll focus on the melting pot that is California. Plus, troubled waters in America -- what's causing the problem?

"Worldview" heads to the United States for some old man river talk. When you think of U.S. rivers, one of the most famous that comes to mind is the Mississippi River. It's the second longest river in the U.S. Only the Missouri River is longer. The Mississippi River is North America's chief inland waterway. From agricultural goods to industrial products to raw materials, ships carry supplies up and down the mighty Mississippi.

The waterway spans 2,340 miles. That's 3,766 kilometers from its source in the northwest part of Minnesota through middle America, south to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico. It's also played a vital role in U.S. history, providing a route for Spanish and French explorers in the 1500s and 1600s. But other rivers in the United States aren't doing so well.

Now, Natalie Pawelski takes a look at some endangered rivers that are feeling the pain of the energy crunch.


NATALIE PAWELSKI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rivers are paying the price for America's energy appetite. That's the theme of a new report from the environmental group American Rivers.

REBECCA WODDER, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN RIVERS: Things like damming, drilling, digging, burning, all of these things have impacts and they have them first and worst on our nation's rivers.

PAWELSKI: The report, called "America's Most Endangered Rivers," is designed to focus attention on waterways facing critical decisions in the next 12 months.

WODDER: This is not a list of the nation's worst rivers. It is a list of rivers that are in danger.

PAWELSKI: Topping the list, the Missouri. The Army Corps of Engineers is deciding whether to change how it operates dams in order to help endangered fish and birds.

WODDER: This really just has to do with whether or not the river is going to be allowed to have a more natural flow, be a little bit higher in the spring and importantly, lower in the summer.

PAWELSKI: The fight over drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge lands Alaska's Caning River (ph) in the No. 2 spot. Worries include spills, accidents and routine pollution in industrial water use. Number three on the list, California's Eel River (ph), where hydropower dams could threaten the future of fish species.

Next comes New York's Hudson River, polluted by PCBs from factories that made electrical transformers. The EPA will soon decide whether the manufacturer, General Electric, will have to pay for the toxic chemicals to be dredged up or whether the PCBs will be left in place in the riverbed.

Other rivers with an energy connection, the Big Sandy River along the West Virginia/Kentucky border, last year smothered under 250 million gallons of coal sludge; the Powder River in the middle of a natural gas drilling boom in Wyoming and Virginia's Paine River, damaged by acid rain blamed on power plants. Rivers from sea to sea caught between the United States' growing need for energy and the other things, from recreation to wildlife habitat, a river can provide.

Natalie Pawelski, CNN.


HAYNES: The United States has long been known as a melting pot. Well, that's because throughout its history people from different countries and cultures have chosen the U.S. to live and work. Today our look inside North America takes us to California, the largest state by population in the United States. And speaking of melting pot, one could say California epitomizes the term. Millions of people from around the world live in the Golden State. So it comes as no surprise to many that the 2000 census recently put Caucasians officially in the minority. They now make up less than half of California's population.

James Hattori paints a picture of the changing times.


JAMES HATTORI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Take a look at the new face of California. Two-day-old Abel Chavez, Jr., could be poster child for the surge in Hispanic population, which is changing the social fabric of the Golden State. His mother, Tannia, was born to Costa Rican parents. Abel Sr. emigrated from Jalisco (ph), Mexico.

ABEL CHAVEZ, FATHER: Well, my uncle told me there's a lot of good stuff here, you know, you can grow up a lot, you can learn a lot of things.

HATTORI: According to new U.S. Census figures, Hispanics account for more than 75 percent of the state's population growth over the last decade.

(on camera): California is giving birth to a whole new demographic reality, joining Hawaii, New Mexico, and the District of Columbia, all areas where whites are not in the majority.

MARK BALDASSARE, SOCIOLOGIST: The change that's occurring in this state is happening at a lot faster pace than any of us had imagined.

HATTORI (voice-over): Changes embodied by the Sadsad (ph) family and newborn Riana (ph). Asians are the fastest-growing minority in the state, largely from new immigration. Grandmother Delores Mercado came to San Francisco from the Philippines in 1972.

DELORES MERCADO, GRANDMOTHER: Whatever your race or nationality, it's welcome to California.

HATTORI: The Golden State is a melting pot like no other. Whites now make up almost 47 percent, Hispanics 32 percent, Asians almost 11 percent, and blacks about 6 percent. The changing demographics are not without challenges, like satisfying new demands for political influence.

BALDASSARE: In many of the areas where Latino and Asian population has been growing the fastest, are areas in which African- Americans have typically held political power in this state.

HATTORI: The other major population shift, Californians fleeing the crowded and expensive Los Angeles and San Francisco metropolitan areas.

BALDASSARE: So many people have moved to the counties surrounding Los Angeles and to the Central Valley area.

HATTORI: Still, many, like the Chavez family, couldn't imagine living anywhere but California.

TANNIA CHAVEZ, MOTHER: My older son, he says he wants to learn his next language, he wants to learn Chinese. He wants to learn how to write Chinese.

HATTORI: From Spanish to English to Mandarin -- only in California.

James Hattori, CNN, San Francisco.


SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: It's known for daring acrobats, zany clowns and trained animal routines. It, of course, is that spectacle under the big top, the circus. There is the ring master, the circus band and dancers in elaborate costumes, all adding to the overall color and excitement. The word circus actually comes from the Latin word for circle or oval. For thousands of years, circus type entertainments have been presented in circular structures like arenas or stadiums in Europe and Asia. But for our next story, we head to New York, where Jeanne Moos introduces us to a circus performer who has become a real curiosity.


MOOS (voice-over): His name is Bello, and his hair shakes like jello.

BELLO NOCK, CIRCUS PERFORMER: I can even wave goodbye. Goodbye.

MOOS: Bello Nock is the star of this year's Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey circus. He's the guy who rides a motorcycle on the high wire, who cavorts with Bo the elephant, who sways on a 90-foot pole without a net, while the kids chant "Jump."

UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN: Jump, jump, jump! MOOS: And if that's not hair-raising enough -- Bello has raised his hair to new heights.

NOCK: Seven.

MOOS (on camera): Seven inches.

NOCK: And I just got it cut yesterday.

MOOS: Do you think that's his real hair?


MOOS (voice-over): Oh, it's his, all right.

NOCK: I blow-dry it upside down like this.

MOOS: But how does he get it to stay through gyrations that would give other hairdos whiplash?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he uses a hot comb and water.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A vacuum cleaner.

MOOS: Close.

NOCK: Blow, Bo, blow!

MOOS: Bello has a repertoire of hair gags.

NOCK: See, it works.

MOOS (on camera): It's great.

(voice-over): From hair spray labeled Viagra to height jokes.

NOCK: Without my hair, I'm only 4 foot tall.

MOOS: Bello comes from a circus family. He's worn his hair this way since he was 15.

(on camera): For any occasion, do you kind of like -- like a funeral or something, do you tame it then?

NOCK: No. For my dad's funeral, my mom even requested that I had it up, because my dad loved my hair.

JENNY NOCK, BELLO'S WIFE: The only time he doesn't wear it is when he's driving, because we found that police officers tend to think there's something wrong with him.

MOOS (voice-over): His wife and kids are used to dad attracting stares.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, yeah, what's with the hair?

MOOS: He did seem to fit in, though, amid the varied hairstyles of New York.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did you get your hair like that?

NOCK: Can you keep a secret?


NOCK: So can I.

MOOS: But we can't. Bello uses gel, hair spray and a blow dryer.

NOCK: Well, all right. You see, it works.

MOOS (on camera): It's in my ear.

NOCK: Oh, don't worry.

MOOS: What is it?

NOCK: Bo, you want to get it out?

MOOS (voice-over): Bello's orangey-red hair graces everything from mugs to popcorn boxes to dolls.

(on camera): Did you see this?

(voice-over): Kids kept bringing up someone else's name.





NOCK: I'm like a living cartoon.


BRAVO: Man, I'm pretty.


MOOS: Bravo for Bello. Whichever way he's heading, his hair gets there first.

NOCK: It's me, hi. MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


MCMANUS: As many of you know, Sunday is Mother's Day. In a recent report assessing the well-being of mothers, the group Save The Children highlighted issues critical to women. Among them, the importance of prenatal car, modern contraception and expanded educational opportunities. These and several other factors put Sweden at the top of the list of 94 countries in the State of the World's Mothers Index. The U.S. ranks behind Canada, Australia and eight European countries.

Now, as a salute to women worldwide; Garrick Utley reports on the birth of Mother's Day in America.


GARRICK UTLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Perhaps you have heard of Anna Jarvis, whose mission and obsession in life was to honor her mother and all others. She was raised in this home in West Virginia in a United States where women didn't yet have the vote. But in 1914, they got Mother's Day, as President Woodrow Wilson officially proclaimed that it would be observed on the second Sunday of May.

But since there's no sentiment that cannot be marketed, Mother's Day was an idea quickly exploited by business, which could play on the indisputable fact that everyone has had a mother. The most popular gifts are cards -- 132 million of which will be sold this year -- followed by flowers, and then by taking Mom out to brunch.

From its very beginnings, the commercialization of the holiday enraged Anna Jarvis, who filed lawsuits and was arrested for disturbing the peace as she valiantly, but vainly, defended the purity of her Mother's Day vision.

Today, mothers with young children have the ultimate inescapable 24/7 job. But of all the gifts that will be given, perhaps the most cherished is the one we seem unable to give: 24 hours of peace and quiet.

(on camera): And what would Anna Jarvis make of Mother's Day today? We know the answer: She spent all her money fighting the commercialization of the day she created.

(voice-over): She died at 84, penniless and childless. She was never a mother.

Garrick Utley, CNN, New York.


HAYNES: And "Chronicle" continues. You know, the old saying goes great minds think alike. Well, not in this case. We found a group of teenage thinkers who've created some very different, cutting edge science projects, kids who can't get enough of things scientific. They are competing in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in San Jose, California, and that's where we find CNN's Rusty Dornin.


RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You might call it the sons and daughters of invention convention, from 43 countries, 1,200 scientific creations of the next generation.

DAVID HAGEN, INVENTOR: This device will make rocket fuel on Mars.

ALEXI KOMAROV, INVENTOR: We have made a super computer from Internet.

CHRISTINA ADAMS, INVENTOR: Because I designed this wheelchair seat to help reduce the causes of pressure sores.

DORNIN: The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in San Jose, California. Out of one million competitors worldwide, the best and brightest. Sixteen-year-old Ryan Patterson saw deaf customers in a fast food restaurant forced to use human translators to order food. He came up with a glove that sends electronic signals to translate American Sign Language.

RYAN PATTERSON, INVENTOR: This is a circuit board that waits for your hand to stabilize, which means that it needs to translate that sign.

DORNIN: You can't get more spaced out than 15-year-old David Hagen's design, taking the Martian atmosphere and turning it into rocket fuel for a space vehicle to return to earth. But who says brilliant discoveries have to be about the future? John Curtis says he knows why some Civil War soldiers were documented with wounds that glowed.

JOHN CURTIS, HISTORICAL INVESTIGATOR: The reason why these wounds glowed and why the soldiers had a better survival rate was because of a bacteria, federabdosuminescence (ph).

DORNIN: From this pair of Russians, another concept in parallel processing.

KOMAROV: You just go to our site, you turn off your monitor and we are using the power of your processor.

DORNIN: To these Irishmen who claim they can help a local poultry factory.

PADDY DONNEL, INVENTOR: You actually put this inside the heart of the gut in the oven and that will take the temperature inside the bird.

DORNIN: Inventions already attracting more than a blue ribbon.

ADAMS: I filed for a patent and I've been able to present it to a company based out of Tulsa.

DORNIN: All competing for $3 million in scholarships and awards. Many of their peers are fascinated by their accomplishments, but...

UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT: Some of them are actually kind of hard to understand.


UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT: Yeah, I don't really understand most of these projects.

DORNIN: Brilliance left for the judges to understand.

Rusty Dornin, CNN, San Jose, California.


HAYNES: All right, that's CNN NEWSROOM for Friday.

MCMANUS: Absolutely. Tom, thanks for sharing the desk with me this week.


MCMANUS: Have a great time.

HAYNES: Have a good week next week.

MCMANUS: Thank you very much.

HAYNES: All right.

MCMANUS: Happy Mother's Day mom and everyone else. Bye-bye.



4:30pm ET, 4/16

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