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NEWSROOM for July 6, 2001

Aired July 6, 2001 - 04:30   ET


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

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Hello and welcome. From the CNN Center in Atlanta, this is CNN NEWSROOM. Glad to have you with us this Friday.

Here's a quick look at what's coming up.

In today's "Top Story," what do mobster John Gotti and General Manuel Noriega have in common: this guy, who's tapped to be the next head of the FBI. Then, in "Editor's Desk," redesigning the White House is not as easy as you think. Next, we go high tech in "Worldview" and see how technology is changing the lives of some students. And finally in "Chronicle," we go "Border to Border" with Jason Bellini to meet the young bucks.

United States President George W. Bush has tapped veteran Justice Department prosecutor Robert Mueller to head the FBI. If confirmed by the Senate, Mueller faces the daunting task of trying to restore confidence in the bureau which is still reeling from the Timothy McVeigh investigation and the Robert Hanssen spy case.

Justice correspondent Kelli Arena has more.


KELLI ARENA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's been the only horse in the race for weeks, but administration sources say President Bush took extra time to be sure Robert Mueller had the necessary stature to head the FBI.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Bob Mueller's term in office will last longer than my own. And the next 10 years will bring new forms of crime, new threats of terror from beyond our borders and within them.

ARENA: While not a household name, Mueller has directed some high-profile investigations, including the Pan Am 103 bombing while he headed the Justice Department's criminal division during the fist Bush administration. He was named to his current post as U.S. attorney in San Francisco by former President Clinton.

ROBERT MUELLER, FBI DIRECTOR NOMINEE: The FBI is the foremost law enforcement agency in the world. I look forward to the confirmation process.

ARENA: Mueller's nomination must be approved by the Senate, and he enjoys bipartisan support. But one longtime FBI critic, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, did express some caution, saying, quote: "I want to make sure he's equipped to take on the serious problems facing new leadership at the FBI. There's a management culture with an air about it that the FBI can do no wrong."

In the wake of a series of problems, including the mishandling of documents in the Timothy McVeigh case and the espionage charges brought against veteran FBI agent Robert Hanssen, the Bureau is under intense scrutiny.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D-NY), CHAIRMAN, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: They've become so big and have so many responsibilities, with terrorism, with drugs, with spying, that I think they've lost a little bit of their edge in management.

ARENA: Former colleagues say Mueller is well-equipped to deal with the challenge.

WILLIAM WELD, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: One thing about Bob Mueller is he's full-speed-ahead. He's a real Marine, and he is not going to trim or shade any decision that he would make because of a political consideration.

ARENA (on camera): FBI sources describe Mueller as, quote, "a known quantity," someone they're comfortable working with. But they point out, unlike Louis Freeh, Mueller is not a former agent, and that means he'll have an uphill battle in terms of gaining their complete trust.

Kelli Arena, CNN, Washington.


BAKHTIAR: It has been more than three months since a U.S. spy plane collided with a Chinese fighter jet, forcing the U.S. plane to make an emergency landing on China's Hainan Island. This week, a cargo plane brought the dismantled parts of the EP-3 spy plane back home. However, the standoff with China and the 11-day detention of the U.S. crew has made the Bush administration anxious for a safeguard.

David Ensor has more.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are airborne, flight number one.

DAVID ENSOR, NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It has the wing span of a 727 and can loiter for 24 hours at a time at 65,000 feet, 6,000 miles from where it took off, collecting pictures and, in the future, electronic eavesdropping.

The Global Hawk may be an ideal spy plane. And best of all, there is no one on board.

MAJOR CHRIS JELLA, U.S. AIR FORCE PILOT: The aircraft is mostly autonomous. The two commands we have to send to get it airborne is -- one is a taxi command to get it out to the runway. And the second is a takeoff command.

ENSOR: With the EP-3 surveillance plane standoff with China still fresh in its memory, the 11-day ordeal of the plane's crew, the Bush administration decided to more than double, to over $300 million, funds for the Air Force to fly Global Hawks -- four a year starting in two years time.

Will they replace the EP-3s? Experts say there are pros and cons to remotely piloted vehicles, or RPVs.

JOHN HAMRE, FORMER DEPUTY DEFENSE SECRETARY: If, off the coast of China, a Chinese interceptor hit an RPV, that airplane would have been lost, you know, whereas a pilot was able to save it and save the crew.

Now, the downside is, of course, then we had a pilot that had to land in -- on the Chinese island. And we had a political crisis associated with that. So there are trade-offs.

ENSOR: But U.S. officials predict a big future for Global Hawks. Not only can they be outfitted to eavesdrop, they can also take pictures that America's spy satellites just cannot get.

JOHN PIKE, GLOBALSECURITY.ORG: The advantages that you have with aircraft is that, unlike satellites, you can't predict when they're going to show up. And unlike satellites, they can remain in a given area for an extended period of time. And both of those things make it harder to hide from an airplane than to hide from a satellite.

ENSOR: And Global Hawk's creators at Northrop Grumman say they hope to build an even larger unmanned spy plane soon, one that could go still farther and collect intelligence still longer.

David Ensor, CNN, Washington.


BAKHTIAR: Well, if you're trying to download a song from the Internet this week, don't count on using Napster. The popular song sharing-service is offline while the company tweaks the software. By the end of the summer, Napster says it will shift from a free to a subscription service, which includes new fingerprinting technology invented by a 20-year-old wiz kid.

CNN science correspondent Ann Kellan has the story.


SEAN WARD, RELATABLE, INC.: Well, I got my first computer when I was 8.


(voice-over): Twenty-year-old Sean Ward of Alexandria, Virginia has developed a unique way to identify music. It's not as dramatic as this, but in about a second his software can give a song like Metallica's "Unforgiven " a unique digital fingerprint.

WARD: This is what a fingerprint actually looks like. It's made up of hundreds of different numbers which describe different aspects of a piece of music or sound.

KELLAN: For example a live performance of Madonna's song "Vogue" and a studio version of the same song will produce two separate and unique prints. And you don't need to play the whole song to create a fingerprint.

WARD: It's very fast.

KELLAN: Napster purchased Ward's fingerprint software to help satisfy a court order and make its free music-sharing software charge people to download certain copyrighted songs.

(on camera): If I want to download a song using Napster, what I do is, I type in my request. Let's say Crash Test Dummies. And I do a search. My computer goes to other Napster users online looking for it and grabs it. Now, in the old days, that song would be mine. But, soon, Napster will pick a fingerprint of that song and compare it to a database of millions of other fingerprinted songs to make sure the song I requested is being downloaded and to make sure it's allowed.

(voice-over): The fingerprint identifies the song without using its name or title, so efforts to fool the system by changing or misspelling the name or title won't work. For example, this should be Metallica's "Unforgiven." But Ward says the system is not bullet- proof. The music is still vulnerable to theft.

WARD: You can still copy that music to a CD or whatnot. This isn't putting restrictions on music. All this is doing is simply identifying it.

KELLAN: Ward loves music. He's also a computer hacker who took a leave of absence from the University of Virginia to start this company -- big load for a 20-year-old.

WARD: It's a lot of pressure, obviously. And there's obviously times when it would be nice to not have that pressure, because it means you don't get to do as much things -- as many things that would be fun for someone my age. But the ability to be doing something that will have a mark on the world is valuable.

KELLAN: Ward developed the fingerprint system not to blow the whistle on music thieves but to recommend music. His software builds a profile of the songs you like, then recommends songs with similar fingerprints that you may never have heard of before.

Ward says he's been accused of helping kill free music on the Internet. He disagrees. WARD: I would say it's more about trying to let the party go on in a way that everybody can participate how they want.

KELLAN: A way to quickly identify music, and possibly, a way to help keep Napster alive.

Ann Kellan, CNN, Alexandria, Virginia.


BAKHTIAR: In today's "Editor's Desk," a new way of thinking about the White House. For more than 200 years, it has served as an important American symbol. But can you imagine a White House that's not necessarily White and doesn't even look much like a house? Well, that's the challenge facing some creative folks who have entered a redesign the White House contest.

Jeannie Moos has the story.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The White House, the White House, we're always hearing about the White House. Get out your paint brushes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Perhaps it doesn't have to be so white.

MOOS: Or so old.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This White House reeks of plantations and ancient Rome.

MOOS: A few months ago, the home design magazine "Dwell" asked readers to dwell on this: a contest to re-imagine the White House. Out with the sentimental West Wing look.

In with an egg-shaped White House, or a transparent White House. Imagine reporters doing their live shots in front of this, or this.

America's hood ornament, it's called. The contest rules were pretty simple.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In our instructions, we were saying, just give us this view of the White House.

MOOS: The Pennsylvania Avenue view seen on the back of the $20 bill. Now imagine this on the 20. The bronze cylinder is the Oval Office. Up on the roof there's a lap pool for the president. The magazine received about 80 entries.

KARRIE JACOBS, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "DWELL": Well, there was the one that was the White House as a Rubik's cube, so you could change the configuration every time you changed an administration.

MOOS: There was a White House with a 100-foot beacon of light. There was the very first entry that came with a letter saying it was the work of a mental patient. As for the winners...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Their entry was entitled "What if the White House were a crappy New York apartment?"

MOOS: Based on the experience of New York designers Rebecca Trump and Tom Koehl. Their White House included futuristic touches like interactive walls called "nerve ribbons" and work cubicles called "tree forts" that rise for privacy.

(on camera): This White House is never going to be built?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, that's true. It was understood from the beginning.

MOOS: Second place winner, Architect Brantley Hightower, wanted to put cameras all over the White House, so the happenings inside could be:

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Broadcast on billboards throughout the country. On the highways.

MOOS: Third place winner Doug Michaels put teflon arches over an underground White House.

(on camera): There's a lake in the White House?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, an underground lake.

MOOS: In the White House?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, in the White House.

MOOS (voice-over): That oval pod is the Oval Office, cantilevered over the lake.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the private living quarters, and these are backup offices, and that's the lake.

MOOS: Hey, if Woodrow Wilson could have sheep to trim the White House lawn, imagine:

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Depending on the situation, you could have some dolphins in there.

MOOS: They always say, life in the White House is a fishbowl.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BAKHTIAR: It was a closely guarded secret for nine months and had remained hidden for thousands of years, but now French archaeologists have revealed the discovery of a prehistoric cave dwelling and one of the richest findings of primitive engraving.

From Paris, CNN's Peter Humi has the story. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PETER HUMI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These pictures were taken by photographers working for France's Ministry of Culture. The outstanding collection of engravings carved onto the walls of the cave at Cussac in Southwest France were discovered by accident last September. But the French government is anxious to allow the experts all the time they need and so far, the public has not been allowed near the prehistoric site.

What archaeologists discovered, they claim, are some of the most important prehistoric engravings ever seen. The figures are largely of horses and other animals and could date, say the experts, to 28,000 years before Christ. It would not be the oldest such discovery. Evidence of prehistoric art dating back to 32,000 B.C. were found eight years ago in another cave in France. But archaeologists say the Cussac cave contains some unique examples of early art, notably, a silhouette of a woman, a rare expression of the female form from prehistory.

Another important discovery, seven graves containing the remains of at least four adults and possibly three adolescents, according to officials. Carbon dating us underway to determine whether the skeletons are as old as the engravings.

Locals knew of the existence of the cave, but it was an amateur potholer who stumbled across the hidden galleries of engravings. The 900-meter long network of caves had lain hidden behind a rock form probably for thousands of years.

Peter Humi, CNN, Paris.


BAKHTIAR: In "Worldview" today, discover how technology is helping kids in Argentina and India. Two different programs in two countries far apart are making the big difference in the lives of young people. And we'll also go to the Philippines where an underwater show is making a splash.

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: The Philippines is an island country in the Pacific Ocean. The country is made up of more than 7,000 islands, though only 900 of them are inhabited. Manila is the country's capital. It's also the nation's largest city and busiest port. The people of the Philippines are called Filipinos. Their ancestors were migrants from Indonesia and Malaysia.

Lately, the Philippines has been at the center of some very bad press, rebels there gained international attention after they raided an island resort and took hostages. It's this kind of negative publicity that threatens to take its toll on the Philippine tourism industry. But at least one hotel owner has come up with an innovative way to attract customers.

Andrew Brown has this report.


ANDREW BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every weeknight at the Guilin Hotel, there's a restaurant in the basement that gets packed out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's one of the best attractions of this hotel.

BROWN: He's not talking about the cuisine, although diners are impressed by what they put in the water here. The restaurant has a commanding view of the hotel pool. And as a dinnertime treat, the management presents something called Aqua Ballet.

Experts say this routine should not be confused with synchronized swimming, which is performed at least partly on the surface of the pool. An aqua ballet show takes place almost entirely underwater, with swimmers only coming up for air. Aqua ballet dancers point their toes just like they do in real ballet. And the ones who work for the Guilin Hotel also have delightful facial expressions.

Yes, these are tough times for the Philippines hospitality industry, but the Guilin isn't about to get stuck in the deep end.

GIL FERRER, GUILIN RESTAURANT MANAGER: Some of our regular guests have invited other people so that they can watch the show.

BROWN: Aqua Ballet isn't something you can just drift into. Head swimmer Lucille Salvador puts team members through a rigorous training program.

Rosa Alcantera (ph), a new recruit, is one of those rare naturals.

LUCILLE SALVADOR, HEAD SWIMMER: Some get it in two weeks, like Rosa, and others one month.

BROWN: And others will never get the hang of it. Aqua ballet dancers aren't allowed to use protective plugs or clips, which can lead to problems in the water.

SALVADOR: It will get into your nose.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I've had enough.

BROWN: It's hard to know where aqua ballet will go from here. It has already inspired philosophical discussions.

(on camera): Is it art or sport?

BROWN: It's been used to extol national pride.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It exposes our culture.

BROWN: And as a metaphor for an entire country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the only thing synchronized in the Philippines.

BROWN: The Guilin hotel is laughing, too. This show is proving an easy sell. And no wonder, where else can you see what is going on at bottom of Swan Lake.

Andrew Brown, CNN, Manila.


TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Next, we head to India, a nation situated on a peninsula extending into the Indian Ocean. To the west of the nation is the Arabian Sea. To the east, the Bay of Bengal. India is a vast nation with about one billion people living in 25 states. Jobs there run the gamut from traditional village farming to information technology. Industry, manufacturing and the software sector have expanded rapidly over the last several years. In many areas, the so- called digital divide is narrowing.

Suhasini Haidar tells us about one program that's putting computers in the hands of kids who are willing and wanting to learn.


SUHASINI HAIDAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's called noninvasive education. In this case, kids from poor homes are given access to computers, but absolutely no guidance on how it use them.

What they learn by themselves is startling. Pooja Patil is all of five. She spends more than six hours a week at this computer kiosk in a not-so-well-off New Delhi locality called Madangil (ph). She can now write her name using this paint brush program. Pooja does go to school, but her parents could never afford the luxury of a computer. Now Pooja and her neighbors spend all their time curiously poking around one.

POOJA PATIL, PROGRAM PARTICIPANT (through translator): I like to paint, to play games, and to watch cartoons.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I feel free to see what I like here. I also learned by watching others.

HAIDAR: This little boy is just checking to see if anyone's watching. The funny thing, somebody actually is.

SUGATA MITRA, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: This is a screen that shows these live shots from New Delhi.

HAIDAR: Sugata Mitra is the founder of the project. He believes that kids learn some things better on their own. Two years ago, he put this computer in a Delhi slum, behind a glass screen, with an improvised mouse, and called it "the hole-in-the-wall experiment."

MITRA: Everyone expected that it would fail, fail meaning the computer would be broken or stolen, or the children would not be able to do anything without a teacher. HAIDAR: But without a teacher, these kids taught themselves the basics of the computer literacy. Mitra, says all that he wants is to build their confidence.

MITRA: All that I they wish to produce -- and this experiment seems to be producing -- are children who cannot be intimidated by a computer, and I think that that is important, that nonintimidation is important to close the digital divide.

HAIDAR: The divide's been narrowed for kids like Pooja Patil, whose father, a vegetable seller, says he's thrilled.

ASHOK PATIL, FATHER OF POOJA (through translator): I'm really happy with this project. I want my kids to succeed and have a brighter future.

HAIDAR: It's a future that's been improved by a small hole in the wall.

Suhasini Haidar, CNN, New Delhi.


WALCOTT: Argentina, the second largest country in South America in area. The county looks very long on a map. It actually occupies most of the southern part of South America. Buenos Aires is the country's capital and largest city. It's also a leading center of industry, trade and culture. These days, the Argentineans are making advancements in other areas. A rehabilitation center for kids is taking a digital approach to learning. The association and defense of the neurological child uses modern technology to help students overcome their disabilities in the classroom.

Allison Tom takes a look.


ALLISON TOM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just like kids around the world, the pupils in this Argentine classroom like to chat. They just do it differently, using high tech to conquer disabilities that might otherwise have left them low achievers.

ALEJANDRA GIL, SPEECH THERAPIST (through translator): It allows our kids who cannot speak or who cannot use their hands to communicate, to write, to draw, to play, to do exactly what we all do with a computer on a daily basis.

TOM: It's especially helpful when communicating with others.

VICTORIA CAMPOS DE ROHM, A.E.D.I.N. (through translator): It used to be very difficult to understand what these kids were trying to say. Bear in mind that writing was not a viable alternative for them to communicate given their impediments with their arms and hands.

TOM: High-tech tools like a modified mouse or a joystick operate with equipment that's widely available. BRAUN POLLEDO, APPLE SOUTHERN CONE (through translator): It's standard equipment that anyone can buy and use. For example, this Apple iMac which has nothing special about it, technically speaking, but it's a particularly easy machine to use. Anyone can use it.

TOM: Occupational therapists say computing has made it easier for students to do their schoolwork.

BERNARDITA CARDENAS, OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST (through translator): In some of the classrooms, they work using computers most of the morning like kids in normal classrooms -- at a different pace, of course. They don't use a mouse or keyboard because they can't, but they use a large pushbutton, like this one, which replaces the mouse. They don't move it but simply click on it, thus substituting the movement of the mouse on the screen.

TOM: Many say technology is a valuable tool teaching students new skills. And on a personal level, they can build new relationships with the kids around them.

Allison Tom, CNN.


BAKHTIAR: CNN NEWSROOM's Jason Bellini continues down the road in our "Border to Border" series. During a visit to Santa Fe, New Mexico, Jason talked to a young man with a flair for a very dangerous event: bull riding.

Jason takes us to the rodeo for that story.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know anything about this horse?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I've been on him before.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's one of the best horses in the world right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What makes him a good horse?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's just a hard bucking son of a gun.

JASON BELLINI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Shannon earned zero points for this bucking bronco ride, not holding on long enough to score but sufficient time to break a couple of ribs. At 19 years old, Shannon will be the first to tell you , the life of a cowboy isn't supposed to be easy.

SHANNON MILLER, AGE 19: Get used to it. I've broke 40 something bones.

BELLINI: His is an attitude shared by the new generation of rodeo cowboys. Many of the youngest among them choosing to compete in professional rodeos' most dangerous events: bareback riding and bull riding.

Shannon drove more than five hours to come to the Santa Fe Rodeo. So even with his broken ribs, he'll take his chances once again, riding this time on the back of an unsympathetic bull.

Again, disappointment, pain and no points.

MILLER: You pay your fees and you have one shot and that's just how it is.

BELLINI: Sometimes that one shot pays off. Around $2,000 goes to the winner of the bucking bronco contest. The winner in Santa Fe is just 22 years old.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm happy. Won me a little check, so I'm happy.

BELLINI: Professional rodeos is bucking skeptic's claims that with fewer and fewer families raising children on ranches, the sport has no future. In fact, the Professional Rodeo Association says the sport is growing. In 2001, around $34 million in prize money will be won at 700 plus events. That's $3 million more than last year.

With more bucks available to the folks getting banged around in rodeos, does that mean this sport is attracting a new breed -- competitors more excited by money than cowboy tradition?

Billy makes his share of money in the rodeo biz. He expects to win $75,000 this year from bull riding. But while profiting from the sport, Billy's certain he's no poser.

BILLY JACKSON, AGE 19: My neck is as red as the next guy.

BELLINI: Nor he believes are his competitors.

JACKSON: Ninety-eight percent of the guys back there are real hard working cowboys.

BELLINI: Billy dreamed of making a career in rodeo from the first time his parents had him riding the backs of sheep. He was three years old his first time.

JACKSON: It's a lot of fun to watch those kids getting into it knowing that that might be a next world champion bull rider right there.

BELLINI: Now 19, riding bulls is his passion.

JACKSON: It's the biggest rush you'll ever, ever, ever deal with.

BELLINI: A tough, dangerous life, but Billy and Shannon say they can think of nothing they'd rather do then spend their summer rodeo hopping. JACKSON: Some people here have never seen bull riding. They've never seen rodeo. They've never seen anything, and now we're still keeping it alive so they can.

MILLER: I've done it all my life and I'll do it as long as my body'll let me.

BELLINI (on camera): At the end of the day, rodeo for these young bull and buck riders is far more than an adventure sport, it's a way of life that's very much alive -- not some dusty remnant of an America that once was.

Jason Bellini, CNN NEWSROOM, Santa Fe, New Mexico.


BAKHTIAR: And that's a wrap for us here on CNN NEWSROOM. Have a great weekend and we'll see you back here on Monday, same time, same place.

ANNOUNCER: CNN NEWSROOM is part of Cable in the Classroom, a service of the cable television industry and your local cable company.



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