Skip to main content /transcript


NEWSROOM for July 11, 2001

Aired July 11, 2001 - 04:30   ET


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

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Hello, everyone, and welcome to CNN NEWSROOM for Wednesday. I'm Tom Haynes.

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: And I'm Rudy Bakhtiar.

Here's a preview of today's show.

HAYNES: Coming up in our "Top Story," we'll survey your feelings about the Internet.

BAKHTIAR: From how you feel to how much you're worth, "Business Desk" explores how the stock market affects your net worth.

HAYNES: Then we travel to Paris as that city makes a bid for the 2008 Olympic Games.

BAKHTIAR: And finally, we'll chronicle the story of some kids for whom education is paying off in a very big way.

The growing popularity of the Internet is changing the way we live and putting valuable information at our fingertips. A new survey released by the Markle Foundation says 63 percent of United States residents have logged in at least once in their lifetimes. But despite its rapid growth and convenience, the Internet is the focus of some major concerns.

Anne Kellan explains.


ANN KELLAN, CNN SCIENCE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Garibaldi (ph) kids love sports -- all kinds. Giovanni (ph) is 12. Noah (ph) is 9, and Nina (ph), the gymnast, three. When the boys aren't outside...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we have two home runs.

KELLAN: ... they could very well be inside, online. In this household, whether it's kids, mom or dad, Internet means...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Information. it might be something as simple as a recipe that I don't have, for travel.

KELLAN: According to a Markle Foundation telephone and online survey of U.S. adults, the Garibaldis are right on the mark. Despite the hype about the online mall, only 5 percent said the best thing about the Internet was shopping. Sixty-one percent said the best thing was access to information.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For Black History Month, my mom helped me work on Jackie Robinson.

(on camera): Do you feel confident that the information you are getting is true?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, no, no. You see such widely disparate opinions. And, you know, you're just getting all kinds of stuff.

KELLAN (voice-over): Again, she's typical. Seventy percent question the truthfulness of most things they read online. For example, Giovanni found mistakes in some online sports scores. So now...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I watch the TV to find out if the scores and everything on the Internet are right.

KELLAN: It bothers Terry (ph) that her surfing behavior is often tracked.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So now I've been looking at flights, so now I get a popup ad from American Airlines, and how fast was that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It does bother me, because that means that people are keeping track of you in some subtle way.

KELLAN: Like Terry, more women than men are troubled by this, even though advertisers are just targeting a computer, not an individual -- while the loss of personal privacy has many more concerned.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But I don't put my Social Security number on the Internet, for instance.

KELLAN: That personal information, from bank accounts to medical records, in cyberspace, could end up in the wrong hands.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you went on the Internet and something just popped up and said, "Hey, how do you like this shirt -- do you want to buy it"? That would probably scare me.

KELLAN: Along with privacy, scams and fraud and children's access to adult material are the top concerns of adults surveyed online.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It just comes up, and it says it right there; it says it right there: It says "family filter."

KELLAN: The Garibaldis click on a box to filter certain material from their children's computer. Despite the worry, users have warm and positive feelings about the Net. Using the survey's image of a thermometer, they rank it at 77 degrees, while nine users are noncommittal at 53 -- not bad considering the U.S. Congress got a 55 and Microsoft a 66.

(on camera): Peoples' feelings about the Internet had nothing to do with age. According to the survey, the more time people spend on the Internet, the more positive their feelings about it.

(voice-over): But it's unclear whether people who like it stay on, or whether the longer they stay, the more they like it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mom, what's for dinner?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have to say I'm a little bit disappointed. It seems fairly disorganized to me. It seems that there's a lot of stuff, and a lot of it is junk.

KELLAN: In this family, Terry is more critical of the Net than husband Eduardo (ph), who shops, trades stocks, and even does banking online.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's great. It really has changed our lives. I'm pretty sure there's more to come.

KELLAN: Ann Kellan, CNN, Atlanta.


BAKHTIAR: In the wake of the dot-com explosion, many Internet advertisers have decided to invest and experiment, the results artsy, entertaining, sometimes annoying ads pop up, flying across and expanding on your computer screen.

Brian Nelson looks at some of these ads, which, by the way, help keep the Internet free for the masses.


BRIAN NELSON, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Remember those early days of TV? Black-and-white ads were, at times, painfully plain, the music, not much better, bordering on adult nursery rhymes. Well, viewers said, so what, TV is free!

Well, much the same story today on the Internet. The Web sites we visit are free because advertisers fund them and in return, they hope we'll notice their ads. But when advertising dollars dried up during the dot-com implosion last year, many sites died, and the survivors had to innovate.

And Yahoo!, one of the Web's biggest survivors, led the way this spring. It teamed up with an Internet design agency called OneMedia and they created a successful series of test-bed ads that were engaging, interactive, and pushed the artistic envelope.

LUANNE CALVERT, MEDIA DIRECTOR, YAHOO!: When we've shown the ads that are available to people in advertising agencies and to creative people, the reaction has been, oh my gosh, I didn't know that you could do this on the Internet.

NELSON: Other ads in this new generation act as trip wires and explode, sort of.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I roll over it and the ad expands and it's really like a micro Web site within the banner ad.

NELSON: The now-maligned banner ad is growing up, too. It's mushrooming into a larger and more noticeable rectangle and into something called a skyscraper.

Another newcomer is the sometimes annoying pop-up ad that loads while you're visiting a page and then hangs around after you've moved on. So far, they're not winning universal acceptance.

MICHAEL KOZIOL, CEO, ANT FARM INTERACTIVE: Because you're so eager to get rid of these ads and just click them to make them go away, you rarely remember who the advertiser was.

NELSON (on camera): So do these new ads work? Are they succeeding in drawing in new eyeballs? It's still too early to say, but the Internet community is pretty confident they will.

(voice-over): In fact, BMW coughed up an estimated $3 million to put Madonna into the back of one of its cars for a five-minute entertainment ad. That kind of investment is what Internet dot-coms and advertisers are hoping is a sign of things to come.

Brian Nelson, CNN, Atlanta.


HAYNES: OK, what are you worth? Frankly, none of my business, right? But as an individual, you are a unique package that, of course, makes you priceless, in terms of your talents and relationships with others. But in economic terms, some people categorize themselves by their net worth. Net worth is defined as total assets minus total liabilities of an individual or a company -- or simple put, your net worth is what you own minus what you owe.

Many factors can affect a person's, family's or corporation's net worth. Is the stock market one of those?

Frank Buckley tells us.


FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Frieda Libaw has seen her share of dog days in the stock market during 81 years of life and like many investors in the market, she's seen her investment portfolio drop in value -- with it, her net worth. It has caused her to consider changing some of her investments.

FRIEDA LIBAW, INVESTOR: I'm wondering if I shouldn't take money out of a mutual fund and put it in a CD or something like that.

BUCKLEY: Gary Moody has had similar thoughts.

GARY MOODY, INVESTOR: Probably almost every day or every other day I think that, you know, oh, my God. Am I doing this right? Maybe I should just pull out and go hide in a CD someplace.

BUCKLEY: Moody's investment portfolio has taken a hit during the past year.

MOODY: Now I have the bad news for another day.

BUCKLEY: His household net worth, like Frieda Libaw's, also down. And they are not alone. The Federal Reserve board says household net worth across the U.S. went down last year for the first time in 55 years, dropping 2 percent.

RICHARD RIPPE, CHIEF ECONOMIST, PRUDENTIAL: The net worth change is a significant development in the economic picture. It did contribute to the slowdown of the economy, and there's a danger that if the stock market decline intensified that it could be enough to actually kick consumer demand into a declining trend. If that happened, we would certainly have a recession.

BUCKLEY: Neither Gary nor Frieda say they intend to change their spending patterns for now, and both are taking the advice of their financial planner, Ellen Holden, when it comes to their investments. She says the stock market is still a good place to be over the long term, and she asks her clients to consider what their net worth would be if they had avoided the market before the bulls began their last run.

ELLEN HOLDEN, FINANCIAL PLANNER: Compare what you were worth in January 1994 to what you're worth right now. If you really had significant holdings in the stock market that early, you did great through this period of the bull market we've had. You've got to remember if you hadn't been in the stock market, you wouldn't have had that growth.

BUCKLEY: Frieda Libaw understands that, and this 81-year-old experienced investor is confident the dog days will someday see the return of the bulls.

LIBAW: I don't know how long it will take, but I'm not in any screaming hurry.

BUCKLEY: Frank Buckley, CNN, Los Angeles.



ANNOUNCER: A CNN viewer wants to know, "Why is the United States' money called the dollar, and where did that come from?"

JASON ZWEIG, "MONEY": Well, Alpha, the U.S. dollar originates in Bohemia, in Czechoslovakia, in the 16th century. That's where silver was first mined and minted into silver coins, and the place where the silver was mined was called Joachimsthal, and the coins were called talers.

In 1792, shortly after the United States became independent, Congress wanted a name for our money and settled on dollars, based on the old taler that came from Eastern Europe.


HAYNES: More business news now in "Worldview," as we check out why employees are feeling overworked.

How about you? Are you feeling overworked? Are you racking up too many hours on the job? We'll examine that trend.

We will also focus on child soldiers in countries like Sudan, Sierra Leone, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Earlier this year, strides were made to cut the number of youngsters in combat, and we'll look back at that progress and ahead at steps which still need to be taken in a refresher on February's arms lay-down.

But first to France. Paris is pushing to host the 2008 Olympic Games, along with chief rivals Toronto and Beijing. The International Olympic Committee will decide that on Friday. Will France be the winner?

Peter Humi has a little insight.


PETER HUMI, CNN PARIS BUREAU CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: "Oui Paris": The campaign ad for the Games of 2008.

CLAUDE BEBEAR, PARIS 2008 BID PRESIDENT: You have to consider one thing. What is the best offer for the athletes first. Secondly, what is the best offer for the visiting people and third, what is the best offer for the people watching their TV.

HUMI: And according to the bid committee, Paris already has 60 percent of all the sites required to stage the modern Games. As to what needs to be built, graphic artists have been hard at work.

Some of Paris' better known landmarks will be adapted temporarily to accommodate some of the events.

BEBEAR: Some of the views are exceptional now, jumping in front of Les Invalides, fencing in La Grand Palais. The Eiffel Tower -- you will have the beach volley under the Eiffel Tower. You will have cycling on the Champs-Elysees around the Etoile, which is something that nobody can offer.

HUMI: In fact, say the organizers, the Games would with the exception of the sailing, all be held within greater Paris. An efficient transport system already exists and will be improved, allowing easy access to the various sites for athletes and spectators alike.

As to finance, the French say they've got plenty. Most of the estimated $3.3 billion it will cost to prepare and stage the Games will come from sponsors and private business. The rest from the French taxpayer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to only be for people who make big bucks about it, and as people in Paris, I won't take any advantage in that, so I don't really care.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It has to be Paris. It's good for France. It's good for us.

HUMI: Paris would seem to be the perfect choice if it weren't for one thing -- recent Olympic history.

(on camera): Paris hasn't staged the Summer Olympics since 1924, but Athens Greece is the site for the Games of 2004, which might put paid to Paris' bid for 2008.

(voice-over): Ever since 1952, no two consecutive Summer Olympics have been held on the same continent.

BEBEAR: Bejing had the Olympics in 1984, which is very recent. France has been part of the Olympics since the beginning.

HUMI: And has been trying to stage the Summer Games, so far without success, for more than a decade.

Peter Humi, CNN, Paris.


HAYNES: There is a glimmer of hope amid the violent landscape of the African nation of Sudan. For 18 years now, the country has been torn by civil war which has killed nearly 2 million people and displaced 4 million more. Rebel troops from the largely black south have been fighting government troops from the north, a largely Arabic- speaking region that has tried to impose Islamic law over the entire country.

Many of the rebel troops are in their teens and even younger. But earlier this year, thanks to international agencies, many put their weapons down, leaving the fighting to others.

Alfonso Van Marsh has the story.


ALFONSO VAN MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the last military order these Sudanese children will likely follow -- more than 2,500 child soldiers, all between eight and 18 years old, illegally recruited by the Sudan People's Liberation Army to fight in a decades- old civil war against Sudan's Muslim-led government -- many simply because there is little else to do. RIAK GARANG BOL, 16-YEAR-OLD CHILD SOLDIER (through translator): My brothers and I left home to join the fighting because there was no good school in my area.

VAN MARSH: But now these children, in a special ceremony attended by journalists, are laying down their arms, literally walking away from military training camps.

Liberation leadership and the United Nations Children's Fund brokered the release.

MARTIN DAWES, UNICEF SPOKESMAN: You can see here they're in uniform for a special ceremony on their last day in the army, but these guys know how to handle guns. They know how to drill. These are not child games.

VAN MARSH: Many of these kids, like the estimated 9,000 child soldiers fighting in the region, have already seen battle. But now they wear the uniform for the last time. An emergency airlift takes the children from southern Sudan's main battle zone, Bahr el Ghazal.

Further south, aid organizations will try to trace their families, give them food, and offer a vocational job training. Aid officials say some will be reunited with their families in the next six months, but most will need psychological counselling to deal with their war experience.

Alfonso Van Marsh, CNN.


BAKHTIAR: More now on child soldiers, an issue that is causing concern around the world. Although an agreement between UNICEF and rebel forces prompted a demobilization of thousands of child soldiers from age eight to 18 in Sudan, the use of child soldiers continues around the globe. A global treaty on child soldiers will bar youngsters under 18 from involvement in actual conflict, but so far, only five countries have ratified it.

Jim Clancy has more on the problem.


JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Southern Sudan, more than 2,500 child soldiers from the Sudan People's Liberation Army were handed over to UNICEF and airlifted out of the combat zone. The demobilization and airlift last February was only one of many such events in the last year, a small sign of progress.

JEAN-CLAUD LEGRAND, UNICEF SENIOR ADVISER: Today, there is around 120,000 children, you know, today fighting. Meaning that hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of have been involved in fighting over the last 10 years.

CLANCY: Measured in just numbers, it would seem little progress has been made, but experts say numbers aren't the only measure. RORY MUNGOVEN, ANTI-CHILD SOLDIER COALITION: Today, we can't avoid the images on our TV screens. We're surrounded by images from conflicts across the world, of children as young as 8 and 9 on checkpoints, carrying rifles that are bigger than themselves, often fighting in the front line of conflict. As that has happened, more governments and armed groups have come to realize that there's a cost to this, a cost to them politically, a cost to their communities long term.

CLANCY: In Sierra Leone, hundreds of children have been released by the Revolutionary United Front Rebel Group, children forced to fight and forced to commit atrocities. Hospitals in the country still hold the victims. Despite talk of bringing charges against some older child soldiers, the top U.N. official in Sierra Leone says it's being recognized they, too, are victims.

OLUYEMI ADENJI, SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL: These children, most of them don't know what the war is all about. They don't know what a gun is until these things were thrust into their hands and they were trained. And in many cases, they were not only trained in the use of guns, they were also drugged to make sure that they become almost like robots, fire on the fire.

CLANCY: Many of these so-called soldiers have been robbed of their childhoods. Giving back what has been taken isn't easy, but the U.N. and non-governmental organizations say they are learning more about how to counsel child soldiers and give them new opportunities.

MUNGOVEN: They're not monsters. You know, these are normal kids. I've played checkers with war criminals. You know, I've played checkers with kids who have been responsible for incredible atrocities. At heart, they are children.

CLANCY: Much work remains to be done. The Democratic Republic of Congo recently signed the optional protocols that give children more rights and protection. But from the Congo to Sudan and Sierra Leone, the truth is that militia leaders who are returning children today are, in fact, done with the child soldiers. They've already served their purpose. Most agree that until and unless those who force children to take up arms and fight are brought before criminal courts, tried and punished, the problem isn't going away.

Jim Clancy, CNN.


BAKHTIAR: Now for a global look at hours of labor. It might surprise you to know that historically speaking the standard 40-hour workweek is relatively new. Until the 1700s, most laborers worked from dawn until dusk. The Industrial Revolution led to a shift from 14-hour workdays, common in Britain and the United States, to 10-hour workdays. The movement for the eight-hour workday originated in Australia in 1856 and was soon adopted by labor forces in Britain and the United States.

Shorter hours meant increased productivity, improved employee health, and more jobs to go around.

Many countries also moved to a shorter week, including the Soviet Union, which, in 1967, reduced its workweek from six days to five.

These hours are still common practice in many countries, but a study funded by some of America's largest businesses found that even today, many workers are pushed beyond their limits.

Kitty Pilgrim has the story.


KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tired of the rat race? Hey, join the club. About half the people in a recent survey felt overwhelmed by work in the past three months. People are working a lot more than a standard 40-hour week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I work about 70 hours a week, including Saturdays.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Six. You know, I usually work one day out of the weekend.

PILGRIM: The Families and Work Institute survey of a thousand workers found 28 percent said they often felt overworked; 24 percent work 50 or more hours a week. And 22 percent work six to seven days a week. And it gets worse: 41 percent very often use a cell phone, beeper, pager, computer or e-mail during their nonwork hours, and a quarter don't take all their vacation time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes you can have a vacation booked, and you know, your managers will come and say unbook it.

PILGRIM: All this because, in this economy, companies are squeezing profitability out of every worker, every minute of the working day.

ELLEN GALINSKY, FAMILIES AND WORK INSTITUTE: The economy has an important role in people feeling overworked. When companies are downsizing, people feel more overworked. When companies are having a harder time hiring people, people feel more overworked. Both of those things are happening now.

PILGRIM: All this generates a host of conditions that are ultimately counterproductive and hurt the bottom line. Overworked employees make more mistakes, suffer more health-related problems, call in sick more often, and even job hop more frequently: all very costly to a business.

(on camera): So the conclusion of this survey is perhaps the biggest surprise of all. This kind of pressure on employees should be discouraged. In short, the boss wants you to take some time off and relax.

Kitty Pilgrim, CNN Financial News, New York.


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 segment that fits 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.

BAKHTIAR: Ten years ago, he made a promise to a group of young Massachusetts students, and now he's about to fulfill it. The kids are getting ready to enter college, but they aren't going to have to pay for it; a man named George Weiss is.



BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A reunion forged on a promise a decade ago.

WEISS: Going to spend that money, huh?



DELANEY: When philanthropist George Weiss vowed to pay the college tuition of then second graders at a school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His only condition, earning a high school diploma. This summer, 49 of the Cambridge second-graders wait to begin college funded by George Weiss.

Sandra Sousa is headed for Suffolk University.

SANDRA SOUSA, HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE: We didn't know what college meant. We didn't know we were getting a free education. We didn't know what that meant. But over the years, the past 10 years, we got to know exactly what that meant.

DELANEY: Nothing less for low-income children than a new lease on the rest of their lives.

(on camera): George Weiss has now made his promise to 316 children, 157 going on to college. From Philadelphia, Hartford, Connecticut and now Cambridge. He won't say how much he spent. Others estimate at least $20 million.

(voice-over): Weiss says he always just loved working with inner city kids, even as a college student himself, well before he made his fortune as a financier. WEISS: They're great kids. They just don't have, you know, the same advantages as some of the kids from the suburbs. And what I try to do is level the playing field, and it's a great feeling. It's what -- you know, it motivates me, what drives me.

DELANEY: Gary Davis, headed for St. Joseph's College in Maine, says realizing around sixth grade the rare chance he had changed everything.

GARY DAVIS, HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE: I was ecstatic. It was unbelievable, because this set no limitations, you know? Like costs no longer matter, and that was unbelievable.

WEISS: One of the things that I have learned, it's about raising expectations. The problem in the inner city is people shoot low. The teachers shoot low, the parents shoot low. Everybody shoots low, and the kids end up not reaching their total expectation.

Here's the guy, here.

DELANEY: Weiss says he now expects to focus on even younger children, and even begin funding parents who want to go back to college, too.

Bill Delaney, CNN, Boston.


BAKHTIAR: I wish I'd met him a few years ago.

HAYNES: Yes, college would have been a lot cheaper.

BAKHTIAR: And easier.

HAYNES: That is CNN NEWSROOM for Wednesday. Thanks for watching.

BAKHTIAR: We'll see you tomorrow.

ANNOUNCER: CNN NEWSROOM, here for you 12 months a year and it's free. Educators need to enroll once a year and it's easy. In the U.S., call 1-800-344-6219; outside the U.S., 44207-637-6912; or on the Internet at

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



4:30pm ET, 4/16

Back to the top