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NEWSROOM for July 18, 2001

Aired July 18, 2001 - 04:30   ET


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

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: Welcome to your Wednesday NEWSROOM. I'm Shelley Walcott.

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: And I'm Tom Haynes.

First up, renewed concern for interns working in the U.S. Capitol. Here's a look ahead.

WALCOTT: First, "In the News," how the Chandra Levy disappearance is making Washington interns rethink their safety.

HAYNES: Next, in "Biz Desk," some tips on tipping. Just how much should you leave on the table anyway?

WALCOTT: Then, in "Worldview," a lesson on Africa's newest nations through an award-winning poet.

HAYNES: Finally, in "Chronicle," remembering one of America's most influential women.

WALCOTT: Eleven weeks go by and still no sign of former federal intern Chandra Levy. The 24-year-old California native was last seen April 30 while canceling her gym membership in Washington, D.C. She had just completed an internship with the Federal Bureau of Prisons and was preparing to return home. Police are handling her disappearance as a missing person's case.

Investigators continue to pursue all possibilities hoping something will lead them to Chandra. During the past few days, police have been searching a couple of wooded parks in Washington. They also have looked through more than 240 buildings and so far, no clues have turned up.

Meanwhile, Congressman Gary Condit, who has been linked romantically to Levy, has been trying to go about his business. He attended committee meetings, Tuesday, on Capitol Hill.

Bob Franken has been following the case and has this report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Washington, D.C. police plan to release new details gleaned from Chandra Levy's computer the last time she logged on.

ASSISTANT CHIEF TERRANCE GAINER, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE: But it had sites in California. It had some sites, newspapers, both here and in California. She surfed the Web for plane and train information, as well as newspapers and some government sites where congressional committees were meeting.

FRANKEN: One of the sites Levy visited on May 1, the day after she was last seen, was the House Agriculture Committee Web page. Congressman Gary Condit is a member of that committee, and 11 weeks after she disappeared, he was in attendance, trailed by his usual retinue these days of reporters and cameras.

REP. SAXBY CHAMBLISS (R-GA), AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE: When we get this kind of national media attention for a farm bill, I think it really says something. I can't imagine why else they are here.

FRANKEN: The media were there, of course, to get any pictures they could of the California congressman.

REP. GARY CONDIT (D), CALIFORNIA: Could you not achieve that without that money?

FRANKEN: Condit's handlers have had little success convincing the media that their focus should move away from the congressman, despite investigators' insistence that he is not a suspect in the former intern's disappearance.

The visible police focus for a second day seemed to be on the careful search of Rock Creek Park, an area not far from Levy's apartment. Police say that Levy browsed a Web site that included information about the Klingle Mansion area. But after combing the woods for eight hours, they found little, recovering only a box- cutting knife and a pair of men's athletic shoes with no expected link to Levy's disappearance.

A simultaneous search across town at Fort Dupont Park also turned up nothing. Investigators did say they have now received the raw data from the polygraph test that Condit took last week. That test was administered by an expert hired by Condit's team. The material has now been sent to the FBI for analysis.

And Chief Terrance Gainer also disclosed the FBI is developing a personality profile of Chandra Levy.

TERRANCE GAINER, ASSISTANT CHIEF, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE: An insight into Chandra's mindset, as we've said all along, I think that would help us determine whether she was suicidal, whether she's ducking and trying to hide out from people.

FRANKEN (on camera): In addition to continuing their search, investigators are checking more than a hundred new tips and reinterviewing potential witnesses looking for anything they might have missed as they try and find Chandra Levy.

Bob Franken, CNN, Washington.


WALCOTT: The Chandra Levy case has raised the nation's awareness about missing adults, but it also has raised concerns about internships that require young adults to leave home. Is this so- called real world coming too soon for the college aged and is there anything parents can do to prepare their kids for the independence that comes along with moving away from home? Many interns say despite safety concerns, the experience they earn when venturing out for an internship is invaluable.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of the main reasons why I decided to come to Washington was to give me the chance to put what I've been learning in the classroom to use in the real world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Getting to go to the inauguration this year was an incredible experience. January 20 was just alive here.


WALCOTT: But for Chandra Levy's parents, heartache, as they plead with the public to offer any information that may help explain their daughter's disappearance.

Meantime, parents and interns alike are taking notice to stay vigilant and be safe.

Jonathan Aiken has this report.


JONATHAN AIKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every year thousands of interns come to Washington working not just in congressional offices, but federal agencies, interest groups, television networks. So, is Chandra Levy's disappearance giving these interns or their parents any second thoughts?

AMY BRAUDIS, INTERN: They talk to me about what to do when I'm out here. Be careful with who I interact with and what kind of situations I put myself in.

AIKEN: Amy Braudis is interning with the Washington, D.C. Government. Back home in Missouri, her parents watch the Levy case unfold.

RAY BRAUDIS FATHER: We had some concerns, but after thinking them through, but after thinking them through we thought it would be still a good opportunity to take advantage of the internship program.

AIKEN (on camera): Of course decisions like that are always balancing acts for parents as they consider the opportunities versus the risks for their children in the big city. But it should be obvious by now this is not the story of your average college intern.

(voice-over): Levy was 24, lived alone in an expensive Washington neighborhood, a college graduate who had just earned a masters degree. Her internship with the Bureau of Prisons was a paid position. Most Washington interns are younger, still in college and work, not for the money because there usually isn't any, but for the experience, which to the surprise of many people outside of Washington, can include spending time off the clock, with members of Congress.

CARRIE LANGDON, ADVICE COLUMNIST: That's just due to the nature of the job. You've got votes until midnight, 2:00 in the morning sometimes and the staffers are up in the office with their bosses. And it's not unheard of at all to go grab a beer with your boss.

AIKEN: Though not all internships work that way. One intern in Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison's office says they're under strict orders not to fraternize.

JEFF COOK, COLLEGE SENIOR: We can go out with our fellow interns. But as far as higher up on the level, as far as top staff and stuff, no, we can't.

AIKEN: And while one Capitol Hill Web site's survey of interns find few worried about their personal safety, interns like Amy Hoffman say calls from her dad suggest their parents still are.

AMY HOFFMAN, INDIANA UNIVERSITY: He's definitely worried. He asks me every time I talk to him if they have heard any information on the intern. Because you know she's the daughter of somebody, I'm a daughter of him and it's kind of personal for him.

AIKEN: For all parents, really.

Jonathan Aiken for CNN, Washington.


HAYNES: Most of us have eaten out at one time or another. And while it's always nice when our parents pick up the check, more often than not it's our own responsibility so no doubt you're familiar with the word gratuity. Defined: Gratuity means the amount of money you give as a gift over and above the amount of the check like a tip. For many in the restaurant business who often aren't paid even minimum wage, a tip is more than just a gift, it means financial survival.

So how much do you tip people? Well, the going rate in the U.S. is 15 to 20 percent. We'll learn about tipping etiquette in another country, but first, did you hear about a $16,000 tip left on a meal bill of less than nine bucks? That's what a British businessman left a restaurant in New York's Upper East Side earlier this year.

That put Liz George on the etiquette trail in London to find out how much and when you should tip.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) LIZ GEORGE, CNN FINANCIAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Here at the Charlotte Street Hotel, tipping is the norm. In fact, like many establishments, a 12.5 percent service charge is included in the bill but that doesn't necessarily stop the clientele here leaving extra.

JESSICA CRISP, CHARLOTTE STREET HOTEL: We've had occasions where we do have a lot of repeat guests. And just last week, for instance, it was one of our girl's birthday and somebody brought in a bottle of Coco Chanel for us. So there's a lot of personal factors, as well as sort of an extra monetary value.

GEORGE (voice-over): But, of course, tipping isn't compulsory, even if it is added to the bill. If you're not happy, don't pay it.

CAMILLA CECIL, HARPERS & QUEEN MAGAZINE: Anywhere between -- 10 percent is about the lowest you can go on a tip and 15 is probably about the highest. So depending on what you think of the service, anywhere between the two really.

GEORGE (on camera): So it seems there aren't any hard and fast rules when it comes to tipping, but there are some guidelines to give us a clue as to how much to leave and when we should actually leave a service tip on top of a bill. But it seems that there are also some cultural differences as well, and the British have got a reputation for being a little bit mean. So are we?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I leave 5 percent, 10 percent, whatever, yes, depends on the service I had.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People would -- always would pay for themselves sort of, whereas in the Russia, it is sort of viewed just like your -- you treat somebody for a dinner then they sort of treat you and so forth.

GEORGE (voice-over): So how about that $16,000 tip, a 200 percent thank you on the bill, just a generous gesture or a rash move?

CHARLES KIDD, DEBRETT'S PEERAGE: Everyone is allowed to be eccentric once in their life. Pity it wasn't for me.

GEORGE: Well, I guess we all think that, don't we.

Liz George, CNN Financial News, London.


HAYNES: My dad used to tell me a penny saved is a penny earned, but somehow, I never hit it big saving all those pennies. Instead, the penny has given me one headache after another. Needing one but never having one, having many but not needing any. So what to do with the penny? Well, Congress may consider doing away with the penny altogether.

Candy Crowley has that story.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What can you do with a penny anyway?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I often leave them on the ground or leave them hanging out in my -- the bottom of my bag.

CROWLEY: You walk by them when you see them, can't find them when you need them, give them back when you've got them. Is it time for them to go?

REP. JIM KOLBE (R), ARIZONA: They don't really have any real value anymore and so we just want to acknowledge that and get rid of them.

CROWLEY: Arizona Congressman Jim Kolbe has introduced legislation which would eliminate pennies in cash transactions by rounding up or down to the nearest nickel, thus a $34.41 bill becomes $34.40, $92.99 becomes $93.

Penny for your thoughts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Yes. Carry around enough garbage in my purse, as it is, the less -- the less weight the better.

CROWLEY: Kolbe says it's about resources and the base of the problem is not people trying to get rid of their pennies but the other people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I usually take them home and put them in a big jar of pennies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Put them in a thing on my dresser.

CROWLEY: Because so many people hoard pennies, the U.S. government is spending a mint to keep the things in circulation -- 14.3 billion pennies were minted last year. Kolbe says the production capacity would be more profitable making other coins.

But you knew there'd be a flip side to the penny story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only time I paid with pennies was when I was in college and I was broke and I had to.

CROWLEY: Critics say pennies matter for their symbolism and their economics. They say retailers will find a way to round up more than down.

MARK WELLER, AMERICANS FOR COMMON CENTS: What we're talking about is a $600 million tax on consumers from those cash transactions. Not only is there that overall direct effect, but you're disproportionately hurting the poor and those that can least afford it.

CROWLEY: And pro-penny-ites say polls show most people want to keep the penny in use. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here's my two cents worth. Pennies have their place.

CROWLEY: And there's more to it than dollars and cents.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I give them to my son. There is a little box at home and I just drop them in there, and he puts them together, goes to the bank and those are his.

CROWLEY: The Kolbe bill would not eliminate the penny. People could still use 5 for a nickel, 10 for a dime and so on. Pennies would be legal but unnecessary and somehow lose their luster. A penny saved is a penny earned, not a nickel. And would the lucky pennies out there lose their charm and what about all those dreams?

Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.



ANNOUNCER: Chris Platts asks: Who is the richest person in the world?

KERRY DOLAN, SENIOR EDITOR, "FORBES": For the seventh year in a row, Bill Gates of Microsoft is the richest person in the world with a fortune this year of $58.7 billion. That puts him about $26 billion higher than the number two on the list, who is Warren Buffett, who made his money by investments in his publicly traded company, Berkshire Hathaway.

And we compile the list by using stock prices and currency rates from May 21 this year for those with publicly traded holdings. For people with private companies, we try and figure out what those companies would be worth if they were public.


WALCOTT: I'm still thinking about that huge tip in our "Business Desk" story. We'll have more tips in "Worldview" but not the money kind. Instead, find out how to keep culture alive. We head to Eritrea to meet a poet doing just that. And in South Africa and Namibia, radio is playing a role in preserving the past. More cultural carrying on in the United States where Muslim students put in extra hours to hear about their heritage.

HAYNES: Do you have plans for this weekend? Well, if you are one of the four million or so Muslims living in the United States, there's a good chance you might be going to school to learn more about your faith. Muslims are followers of Islam, the name given to the religion preached by the profit Mohammed nearly 1,500 years ago. Today, about 20 percent of the world's population claim to be Muslim making Islam the second largest religion in the world behind Christianity. Most live across Northern Africa, the Middle East and Central and Southeast Asia, but there's a growing population in the United States as well. And as Student Bureau reporter Mia Nessely (ph) found out, they are eager to dispel some of the stereotypes outsiders have about them.


MIA NESSELY, CNN STUDENT BUREAU REPORTER (voice-over): Coming to grips with an identity that contrasts with a larger society can be difficult for students.

SERENE HAWASLI, AGE 16: Muslims are really -- it's a peaceful religion but they make it -- in America the media makes it seem like it's not.

RANIA MULKI, AGE 18: It's very hard to balance both being a Muslim and being American because you want to do what's right, but you also want to be accepted by society -- Western society.

NESSELY: Islamic weekend schools are helping students, like these, embrace their religious identities. More than four million people claim Islam as their religion. Many mosques in the U.S. are now increasingly offering these schools. Dar-Un-Noor in Atlanta is one of them.

NABILAH HAWASLI, CO-DIRECTOR, DAR-UN-NOOR SCHOOL: I felt we need to serve the community and we need to teach the children the principles of Islam and to be proud who they are living in this country.

NESSELY: Nearly 400 students in over 7 levels are enrolled in Dar-Un-Noor's weekend school with Arabic speaking students attending on Saturdays and English speaking students attending on Sundays.

SAMMY KIBBE, AGE 7: Well, we learn about God. We learn about profits and we learn how to speak Arabic and we learn how to read Arabic.

FERAS AKBIK, AGE 16: Well, it started with my dad, we all came as little kids, but we kept going because we learned more about our culture and it became like more of a social experience during the weekend.

NESSELY: By instructing students on how to pray and read the Koran, Islam's holy text, teachers feel they can provide students with a better understanding of the religion. Despite the stigma some attach to Islam, students of the Dar-Un-Noor School take pride in learning and practicing the pillars that govern their faith.

Mia Nessely, CNN Student Bureau, Atlanta.


RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Now, "Worldview" heads to the world's second largest continent: Africa. Only Asia covers a larger area and has more people. Africa is also home to the world's largest desert, the Sahara, and the world's longest river, the Nile. The continent is divided into 53 independent countries and has 800 ethnic groups, each with its own language, religion and way of life. But in the face of modernization, some of these ethnic groups are struggling to keep their cultures alive.

And as CNN's Cynde Strand reports, one community in South Africa is using a modern tool to hold on to the past.


CYNDE STRAND, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The first voices of the African continent introducing the latest hits.

Radio XK broadcasts in !Xu and Khwe -- two of the earliest languages to emerge in Africa; the languages of the two bushmen clans living here.

The deejays also play some of mankind's earliest songs.


STRAND: The South African Broadcasting Corporation set up Radio XK for this marginalized community to get news and information in their own languages.

Once hunters and gatherers, these sand people worked as trackers for the old South African army in what is now Namibia. When the former white regime's war there failed, the bushmen feared reprisal, and were given a chance to resettle in South Africa.

But resettlement brought them little. For 11 years, home has been this dusty tent city. Isolated and poverty-stricken, few have jobs, and the community is plagued by alcohol abuse.

For many, the past was in danger of becoming a hazy blur -- their memories of the great hunt, their way of life, their tradition and language swept away by winds of change.

The Khwe deejay, Marcus Dtembru (ph), says now that won't happen.

"One day," he says, "when the old people die, the language will still exist. The children will get it from the radio."

"My language, Kudi Djejo Mpongu (ph), has very few words, but many clicks."

Because it is not a written language, they translate the news on the fly from Afrikaans.

The leader of this sand community says the radio station is filling the gap until an alphabet is developed and their languages are written down.

Often, the old ones come to the station and broadcast the stories they remember from their childhoods. Fly Jepepa (ph) told us the tale of a clever rabbit outsmarting the sand hunters.

(on camera): Radio XK is keeping stories like Fly Jepepa's (ph) alive. But the hope is that one day, the legends will be written down in their language. And no matter where members of this community go, their past will always be part of their future.

Cynde Strand, CNN, Schmidtsdrift, South Africa.


BAKHTIAR: More on African language as we turn to Eritrea. Eritrea is Africa's newest nation. This, after a war of independence with Ethiopia that lasted nearly three decades. Eritrea is home to several ethnic groups, each with its own culture and language.

During the long struggle to establish their own country, Eritrea's different ethnic groups forged a bond that gave them a subnational unity. And now that peace has been established, the Eritrean people are trying to overcome their language and cultural differences. The goal, they say, is to try to help a nation that's been scarred by years of drought, neglect and war. It's a task that has been taken up by one award-winning poet, a man on a mission to teach the world about Eritrea through poetry.

Sally Graham has this profile.


DR. REESOM HAILE, ERITREAN POET LAUREATE: Welcome to our language. Taste the sauce with spicy melted butter.

SALLY GRAHAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dr. Reesom Haile is Eritrea's poet laureate, but he calls himself a joiner of words and worlds. He's on a mission to celebrate and preserve Tigrinya, his native language.

HAILE: Through the language -- you see, your mother tongue basically gives you all the codes to live by.

GRAHAM: Haile's early lessons in language provided him with a firm foundation, lessons he drew upon while in exile as his country struggled for independence. A cheering crowd welcomed him home for the 1998 cultural festival.

HAILE: Everybody is a poet. There are no sort of experts of poetry. And everybody tries. And it is really at the center of community, at the center of society. It's a means for social development.

GRAHAM: Dr. Haile holds a Ph.D. in communications. Before becoming a full-time poet, he worked as a consultant for U.N. agencies and other groups. Now he feels the responsibility to...

HAILE: Somehow give hope, I think, give inspiration, give courage.

GRAHAM: To promising poets like youth radio host, Saba Kidane, known for her fiery performances.

SABA KIDANE, ERITREAN POET: You know, the doctor is my father in art. And I want to relax myself. I see his point.

GRAHAM: Haile says poetry is music first, and that's how he creates his art.

HAILE: Sometimes I'm -- you know, I wake up in the morning and this tune comes, this song comes. And basically, I really do start from the song or the percussion, what I call "zim, boom, boom." And the words start coming in.

GRAHAM: Dr. Reesom, as he's known to Eritreans around the world, is giving a contemporary voice to a traditional art and helping to secure the survival of one African language.

Sally Graham, CNN.


HAYNES: The woman behind the growth and success of "The Washington Post" has died. Former publisher Katharine Graham had been unconscious since falling and hitting her head last weekend in Idaho. The 84-year-old led "The Washington Post" to fame by publishing the top secret Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam era and supporting the newspaper's reporters and editors when they broke the Watergate scandal.

Bruce Morton has more on the life of this legend.


BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Katharine Graham was born in 1917. Her high school yearbook predicted, "Kay's a big shot in the newspaper racket." But it wasn't that simple. She was a rich girl, but not a spoiled one.


KATHARINE GRAHAM, FORMER "WASHINGTON POST" PUBLISHER: The word money was never mentioned. We had fewer possessions or clothes than other people, and much was expected of us.


MORTON: She did newspaper work, but when she married, her father gave control of "The Washington Post" to her husband, Philip, because, he said, "no man should be in the position of working for his wife."

She became, she said, a "doormat wife, tail to his kite." But Philip was manic depressive and, in 1963, while undergoing therapy, he killed himself.


GRAHAM: He got them to give him a day off, which there was a lot of argument about, a lot of sensitivity about, but finally he got the day off, and we went down to the country and that's where he killed himself. (END VIDEO CLIP)

MORTON: The business went to Katharine.


GRAHAM: I didn't want to run it, because I didn't think I could. I really knew that I owned the controlling shares and that, therefore, responsibly, I should try to learn about it.


MORTON: She learned. "The Washington Post," she said, "should serve its readers, not private interests. The newspaper shall not be an ally of any special interests, but shall be free and fair in its outlook on public affairs and public men."

She hired gifted people, like editor Ben Bradlee, and backed them.

BEN BRADLEE, "WASHINGTON POST": She was set out on such a difficult voyage. I mean, to take command of this newspaper under the circumstances involved in her husband's death, when she'd had no training for it. She learned very well and very fast and, you know, she learned the way the rest of us learned, by making mistakes and not being scared of saying so.

MORTON: She succeeded on the business side, expanding, adding radio and TV interests, succeeded editorially by being tough. Courts stopped "The New York Times" after it published one part of the Pentagon Papers, a classified study of the Vietnam War. "The Post" then published more.


GRAHAM: And the lawyers were telling us not to. The business people were very hesitant, and the editorial people were desperate to publish.


MORTON: She published. The Supreme Court ruled for the newspapers, not the government. And then Watergate, the scandal which eventually forced Richard Nixon to resign the presidency. "The Post" broke a lot of those stories, ensuring its own place in history.


GRAHAM: I used to go down there and say, are we being sure we're being fair, we're being accurate? Are we sure we're not being misled so somebody can cut us off at the knees? And Ben's answers were very good to that.


MORTON: "The Post" became one of America's most powerful papers, mentioned in the same breath as "The New York Times." Katharine Graham became one of Washington's stars, friend of presidents and celebrities. She turned control of "The Post" company over to her son Donald in 1993. She remained a Washington legend.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.


WALCOTT: Truly a legend of this industry.

HAYNES: Yes. An amazing life and an amazing career.


And that wraps up our show for today.

HAYNES: We'll see you back here tomorrow.

WALCOTT: Bye-bye.



4:30pm ET, 4/16

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