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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for April 18, 2000

Aired April 18, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

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

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: It's Tuesday and this is NEWSROOM. Welcome. I'm Shelley Walcott.

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: And I'm Tom Haynes. Here's a preview of today's show.

WALCOTT: In today's top story, stocks on Wall Street search for direction. We'll explain why investors are on a bumpy ride.

HAYNES: Next, in our "Health Desk," the battle over buckles. Why Michigan police are urging drivers to wear their seat belts.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TROOPER WILLIAM DAWSON, MICHIGAN STATE POLICE: We're trying to reduce fatalities. That's what this is all about: saving lives.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALCOTT: Next, in "Worldview," the debate over chocolate. Why British makers of the candy are tasting sweet victory.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANIEL BEAZER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When is chocolate not chocolate? To many purists, too much milk and not enough cocoa is the wrong recipe.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYNES: Then in "Chronicle," "Democracy in America": Today, a closer look at the history of political parties.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CADE JOINER, COLLEGE REPUBLICANS OF GEORGIA: The two-party system has evolved because we have a winner take all election system.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYNES: In today's news, what a difference a weekend makes. After Friday's tumble on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq composite index, U.S. investors anxiously awaited yesterday's opening bell. Their patience paid off with U.S. stocks posting an across the board rebound.

Investors spent much of the weekend wondering what yesterday's trading session would bring. Most bets were on another rough ride. After falling almost 100 points early in the session, the Nasdaq snapped back, and finished 217 points in the plus column. The same goes for the Dow, which posted gains of 276 points.

The Dow is an average of 30 key industrial stocks, considered a barometer of the U.S. economy. The Nasdaq is made up mostly of high- tech stocks, which many point to as the barometer for the so-called "new economy." Is there a rhyme or reason to explain economic ups and downs and the erratic behavior of the U.S. stock market?

Garrick Utley gives us his perspective.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARRICK UTLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the first stock market on Wall Street in 1792, when trading was conducted under the buttonwood tree, American investors have believed that only by accepting risk will the economy expand and they become wealthier. Of course, from the beginning, it didn't always work out that way.

PROF. RICHARD SCILLA, ECONOMIC HISTORIAN, NYU: The first crash on Wall Street was 1792. There was another one in 1819, 1837, 1857, 1873, 1884, 1893, 1907, 1929, 1962, 1987 and now in the year 2000.

UTLEY (on camera): And each time, the markets came back, driven not just by renewed risk taking, but also by unbridled optimism in new technology which creates new wealth. This is a monument to that, Grand Central Station in New York City. When the railroad start-ups of the 19th century, from the New York Central to the Union Pacific, held their IPOs, they were the Internet stocks of their day.

(voice-over): The value seen in a railroad stock was that each company was part of a larger rail network. Like the Internet, railroads were a network technology.

SCILLA: The railroads, in their early days, people got all excited about how this was going to change the world. Stocks went up through the roof and then there were crashes. But when the smoke cleared from the crash, the railroads were there.

UTLEY: Economists call that creative destruction. And it happened with automobiles at the start of the 20th century. In just four years, from 1904 to 1908, 241 automakers started up businesses backed by investors excited by the newest big thing.

What keeps bringing investors back to the market is not merely an appetite for risk, or confidence that the economy will grow, but also what was happening under that tree on Wall Street more than 200 years ago, the American belief that access to capital and the ability to make money, and lose it, on stock markets is a freedom that should be available to all.

SCILLA: The facilities for investment, for financing new ventures, entrepreneurship, were more widespread very early in U.S. history than in most other countries and it put us on a very high growth trajectory right down to our own time, and we are the largest economy in the world now.

UTLEY: So, somehow it works. Not predictably, not consistently, and not always agreeably. But as investors are learning again, that is what markets are for, to create wealth and then destroy it, and then create it again.

Garrick Utley, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALCOTT: Today's "Health Desk" takes us to the Michigan, where new safety laws are in place to help prevent traffic injuries. According to the National Highway Safety Traffic administration, every 14 seconds someone in the United States is injured in a traffic accident and every 12 minutes someone is killed.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages five to 15. And everyday an average of seven children are killed and another 866 are injured in motor vehicle accidents.

Authorities hope to change that with a new policy, as Ed Garsten reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED GARSTEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Click it or ticket: Not just a catch phrase, but a promise.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICEMAN: I've just issued a ticket for the seatbelt.

GARSTEN: Police in Michigan can now stop and ticket a driver or passenger for not wearing a seatbelt. Officers can also issue a ticket if a child under four is not sitting in a federally approved child seat.

TROOPER WILLIAM DAWSON, MICHIGAN STATE POLICE: We're trying to reduce fatalities. That's what this is all about: saving lives.

GARSTEN: The concept is called primary enforcement, allowing an officer to stop a motorist solely for failing to buckle up, not merely in conjunction with another infraction. Michigan joins 14 other states and the District of Columbia with a primary enforcement law.

(on camera): Nationally, 70 percent of drivers and passengers use their seatbelts. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater says primary enforcement laws like Michigan's will go a long way toward reaching a goal set by President Clinton of raising that usage rate to 90 percent by the year 2005. (voice-over): In Louisiana, seatbelt usage was only 50 percent before primary enforcement went into effect. Two years later, usage rose to 86 percent.

In Maryland, primary enforcement increased seatbelt usage from 70 to 83 percent in just one year.

The federal government estimates that if all 50 states had primary enforcement, up to 6,800 lives, more than 130,000 injuries, and $8.8 billion in related costs could be save annually.

Still, drivers are divided on how they feel about the stiffer seatbelt enforcement.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sure, that'll be helpful to save lives, and I always wear seatbelt.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just going to be too many stops.

GARSTEN: But many drivers and passengers still choose not to wear their seatbelts. Now in Michigan, that choice could cost them money and time.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICEMAN: I noticed you're not wearing your seatbelt. Why isn't your passenger wearing a seatbelt?

GARSTEN: Ed Garsten, CNN, Detroit.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: In today's "Health Desk Extra," the important role the environment plays in our health, especially when it comes to water. Where do we get our drinking water?

Well, here in the United States, sources vary within communities. Nationwide, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, approximately 53 percent of all drinking water comes from the ground sources. The remaining 47 percent comes from surface water sources, such as rivers and lakes.

In light of a water shortage in California, officials in Los Angeles are taking recycling to a whole new level. It's called the "toilet to tap program," and as uninviting as it sounds, officials say it really works.

But as Anne McDermott explains, some Californian's are finding it hard to stomach the idea.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNE MCDERMOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You know where dogs go when they're thirsty, don't you? Right. But wait, in Los Angeles, some tap water will eventually be coming from the very same source.

But not for awhile. The years-long purification system involves cleaning sewage water in a system like this. And it does get clean, see? Then it percolates through the earth to ground water basins.

BILL VAN WAGONER, LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER: It takes the water about five years to travel 6,000 feet, better than a mile, before it reaches our first production wells.

MCDERMOTT: Then it mingles with other water sources, and will eventually be pumped out into the taps in certain San Fernando Valley homes. And yes, say the experts, it will be absolutely safe to drink. People have been drinking such water in other parts of the state, and similar water reclamation programs are also underway in Virginia, Texas, and Florida.

Why Los Angeles? Well, Southern California is basically a desert. It needs water. And most of the water it does have comes from Mono Lake, but a few years ago, officials cut back on L.A.'s allotment, and reclaiming water is one way to make up the difference, and even save water for future droughts.

But some residents don't like this toilet to tap idea because of what might be called the "ugh" factor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, I keep a pretty clean toilet but, you know, it's still -- that's pretty disgusting.

MCDERMOTT: In fact, the "ugh" factor prompted San Diego authorities to drop their toilet to tap proposal, but she thinks it'll be good for L.A.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Still, I get bottled water. I don't drink the water that comes out of the tap anyway. Well, in L.A., even some dogs drink bottled water, but not when they're home. And soon, in a much more high-tech and hygienic manner, their masters may one day be joining them.

Anne McDermott, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, seen in schools around the world, because learning never stops, and neither does the news.

In "Worldview," we investigate dangers to man and beast and give you a taste of a popular treat. Our stories take us to Africa, Europe and North America, so get set for some globe-hopping.

Can you control your appetite? Well, I hope so because our show is chock full of chocolate. We'll investigate the ingredients that make it so good. And we'll journey to Canada to check on grizzly bears. Is animal control getting out of control?

First, a somber story about a country dealing with a plethora of problems: Mozambique.

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: There's a new threat to residents of the African nation of Mozambique. Devastating floods there in February left at least 640 people dead and hundreds of thousands homeless. While waters there are receding, they've displaced landmines left over from the country's 16-year civil war. Worldwide, about 20,000 people are killed or injured by landmines each year. In Mozambique, about four die every month. Until the floods, the country had been making some progress in clearing the mines, thanks in part to a U.N. program. Now there's fear much of that progress has been washed away.

CNN's Charlayne Hunter-Gault reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's early morning and already Sonia, a seven-year veteran of landmine detection, has found what looks like a deadly landmine. But it's actually harmless, a warm-up routine used to prepare dogs like Sonia for the real thing. And today's exercise is the real thing.

The company hired to repair these flood-damaged power lines has refused to begin work until the area is swept for mines -- more than idle paranoia.

JACKY DALMEIDA, DIRECTOR, MOZAMBIQUE DEMINING PROGRAM: That bridge that you saw there was reported to be mined. Now there is nothing there. Where they are those mines?

HUNTER-GAULT: Dalmeida has been heading the national demining effort operating since 1995, aimed at accelerating mine clearance and increasing mine awareness.

Former guerrillas on both sides are now working as deminers. This one lost his right leg doing mine clearance nearby. Limited resources led them to establish priorities, like clearing land that could be turned into productive farms for desperately poor people.

(AUDIO GAP)

... since the war ended, this was not one of those areas. Now, with the prospect of hundreds if not thousands of mines floating from their known locations, priorities are changing almost daily.

DALMEIDA: This is going to be a nightmare.

HUNTER-GAULT: Dalmeida says the government is urgently preparing pamphlets and other graphic information warning the public about this newly unleashed danger. But he's worried.

DALMEIDA: We're going to hear about those mines in the next 10 days, in the next 10 years. You never know when you're going to stop to hear about those mines.

HUNTER-GAULT: Meanwhile, the deminers have a established a narrow zone of protection for power line repairmen, their work crucial to restoring electricity to the area where these vulnerable farmers live.

(on camera): But the zone of protection doesn't extend to them. For officials, the priority is the power line. For the farmers, the priority is to eat during the coming dry season in the next few months. For that, they have to plant now and hope for the best.

Charlayne Hunter-Gault, CNN, Moamba, Mozambique.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: We switch gears now and indulge in a story about chocolate -- rich, delicious chocolate. Now that we have your attention, chocolate's been around for centuries. Its milk-chocolatey taste wasn't perfected until around 1700 when the English changed the taste of chocolate by adding milk.

Chocolate is made from the kernels of fermented and roasted cocoa beans. The kernels are ground to form a paste called chocolate liqueur, which can then be hardened into chocolate molds. In Europe, the exact science of making chocolate has been debated for years, with Britain having its rendition and other European nations having theirs.

Daniel Beazer (ph) reports on an apparent meeting of the chocolate minds.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DANIEL BEAZER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When is chocolate not chocolate? To many purists, too much milk and not enough cocoa is the wrong recipe. But no matter. After 27 years of often bitter debate, Europe has decreed that British chocolate, with its mix of more milk and vegetable oil, can be sold on continental shelves, right along side Belgian and French delicacies; along side, but still different.

ARTHUR MARTIN, "CHOCOLATE" MAGAZINE: One of the problems with English chocolate is it puts vegetable oil in, takes some of the cocoa butter out, and it has a higher milk content level. So it's a different style of chocolate.

BEAZER: In London's fashionable Chelsea district, Rococo doesn't sell chocolate made from the British formula, even if some of the locals don't always go for the French variety, and even if some defend the good old British chocolate bar.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But it's lovely, absolutely. I mean, we like it. I mean, why is it not chocolate just because it doesn't have enough cocoa in it?

BEAZER: Chocoholics will tell you there is a clear difference between continental and British chocolate. And to Rococo's owner, Europeans won't take long to choose between the two.

CHANTAL COADY, ROCOCO CHOCOLATES: They will have a choice. And they'll have the benefit of having started off eating the good kind of chocolate. So hopefully they'll be able to discriminate a little bit more than maybe some of the people in this country.

BEAZER: Britain's biggest chocolate maker, Cadbury's, is thrilled it will finally be able to sell its domestic variety on the continent. But there is a fudge: It will have to be labeled "family milk chocolate." To some, that's a hint to continental palates that the British fare is somehow less appetizing.

Daniel Beazer, CNN Financial News, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALCOTT: Canada is the second largest country in the world in area. It is also one of the most sparsely populated. The country has several large and distinct forests. And some of those forests are home to grizzlies. Grizzlies are large brown bears. An adult grizzly can grow eight feet or 2.5 meters tall, and it can weigh as much as 900 pounds. That's 410 kilograms. But some Canadian grizzlies haven't been growing to their full potential lately. That's because they're facing a shortage of food.

Rick Lockridge explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICK LOCKRIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Canada's Great Bear Rain Forest hasn't been so great for bears recently. Many are starving because of a collapse in salmon stocks and their search for food is forcing confrontations with humans.

JIM FULTON, DAVID SUZUKI FOUNDATION: They wouldn't run away when dogs were attacking them. They literally were hanging around the houses, and around the school, right in the downtown part of the community.

LOCKRIDGE: At least a dozen bears have been shot, either by conservation officers or by frightened townspeople. Some of them were black bears like these, but most of them were grizzlies, attracted by garbage around homes and in the local landfill.

MATT AUSTIN, CANADIAN ENVIRONMENT MINISTRY: The landfill can serve as a school of bad habits to teach bears that they can associate people with food and to lose their fear of people.

LOCKRIDGE: For two decades, the salmon shortage has been a growing concern. This remote community, the Owekino (ph) Indian Nation, also depends on the fish for food. Environmentalists attribute the shortage to overfishing and poor logging practices that allow mud to run into streams.

FULTON: I think it's clear that it's more than coincidence that large-scale industrial over-cutting in that area has played a role in the decline of the salmon resource.

LOCKRIDGE: Conservation officers are also worried that most bears went into hibernation last year undernourished and may cause even bigger problems when they emerge this spring.

AUSTIN: They had very little fat on them, and this was in October, at a time of year when we would expect them to be almost at their maximum weight.

LOCKRIDGE: Wildlife officials and environmentalists do agree that something has to be done to control the animals, but some feel that killing the bears is unnecessary.

FULTON: This large number of grizzlies simply should not have been shot on the spot the way they were. There were alternatives.

LOCKRIDGE: Like relocation. Some environmentalists see this as a viable alternative to killing the animals. But British Columbia's environment division disagrees.

AUSTIN: We're really just shuffling the problem around as opposed to dealing with the root cause, unfortunately.

LOCKRIDGE: Wildlife officials say most relocated bears try to return. Others become stressed, usually do not mate, and routinely become a nuisance in the area where they are transplanted. Experts also feel that without natural food supplies, relocating the bears merely postpones the inevitable, causing a slower, more painful death.

AUSTIN: It's really a tragic situation from our perspective, something we're very concerned about.

LOCKRIDGE: But wildlife officials say people can improve the situation.

AUSTIN: There are things that we can do about how we manage our garbage, how we manage composts and things of that nature.

LOCKRIDGE: The Owekino Nation is considering a proposal to clean up the landfill. However, this will not solve the salmon shortage. That will take a years-long government effort.

But with bears about to emerge from hibernation, time may be something these animals don't have.

Rick Lockridge, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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 segments that fit 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.

WALCOTT: In our look at "Democracy in America," we're back on the U.S. presidential campaign trail, which lately has been spotted with a caucus and a primary here and there. The District of Columbia has its Democratic and Republican primaries in a couple of weeks. That is how U.S. citizens choose a president.

But as our Andy Jordan tells us, it hasn't always been that way.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST (voice-over): Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura may have run under the Reform Party ticket, but now he's a man without a party. U.S. representative from Vermont, Bernard Sanders, has no convention to go to in election years. Both hold an elected office in government and are not members of any political party. American history has other examples. Its first president, George Washington, was convinced the U.S. could survive without them.

ROBERT DRAKE, KENNESAW STATE UNIVERSITY: The U.S. government would go on. We would still elect a president. George Washington was elected without a party. We would still elect senators and congressmen and they would continue to play the same role they do now.

JORDAN: In fact, the U.S. Constitution doesn't even mention political parties. Thomas Jefferson started the Democratic Party in the 1780s. The first contested election involving parties was in 1800, pitting the Democratic Republican Jefferson with the Federalist John Adams. Adams represented manufacturing interests, Jefferson the noble farmers. The competing interests coalesced into parties, and the system has evolved ever since.

CADE JOINER, COLLEGE REPUBLICANS OF GEORGIA: I think that the Democratic Party is the party of people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and not necessarily people like Thomas Jefferson who were forefathers of our country. I think that they tended to go a little left in their views, and that's not really mainstream with how some of the people in this country feel. And I think that's going to be proven in November, I really do.

DAVID DREYER, YOUNG DEMOCRATS OF GEORGIA: At the same time, I could say the Republican Party is the party of Ralph Reed and the Christian Coalition. But, I mean, both parties are going to have their extreme members.

JORDAN: The U.S. is a two-party, winner-takes-all election system.

DRAKE: When a third party comes up, it's usually based on a single idea or a single personality. And one or the other of those parties will co-opt that idea, which then brings those voters back into the mainstream parties.

JORDAN: I.e., Ross Perot in 1992 when he created the Reform Party. His big ticket issue was the federal budget deficit. It became an issue for Republican candidate Bush and the Democratic candidate, Clinton.

DREYER: As far as the presidential election goes, back in '92, if we had had a system like Germany, the Reform Party would have had about 20 percent of the seats in Congress. It's just proportional to how many votes you get. You get 20 percent of the votes, that's how many votes you get in Congress. So that's a drastic difference. And I think in that regard, it doesn't leave a lot of room for, you know, eight or nine parties. So what it does is it gives more room for the parties that represent the majority of the view. JOINER: I know the Republican Party has a very strong grassroots base all the way down to precinct captains, on up to county chairmen, on up to state chairmen of the Republican Party. So there is a strong grassroots effort that helps these people get elected. They don't do it on their own. And I think in some of the third parties, that they're definitely lacking that grassroots support.

JORDAN: But do two parties fit the bill, though?

NICOLE LEWIS, AGE 18: Not really. I don't think so. I think there's a lot of people who don't agree with either. I've had a lot of people who may not go to vote because they don't agree with, you know, who's running for either party.

DAISY CHAKKALAKAL, AGE 17: The abortion issue, you know, I don't agree with the Democrats and I agree with the Republicans. But then there's also a lot of other issues that I agree with the Democrats with. So it's kind of like they should have an in-between party for me.

REGINA CHERRY, AGE 17: I don't think anyone can actually say they actually 100 percent back their party, you know, because people feel different and have different opinions.

JORDAN: The two parties the U.S. does have differ in agendas and structure. For instance, the Democrats send about twice as many delegates to their convention as the Republicans do.

DREYER: The Democratic Party says, hey, you know, we want to open this up to everybody. We want to have African Americans, we want to have folks of Asian descent, we want to have women, we want to have a very diverse crowd representing...

JOINER: If you do that, how come you don't have a convention that picks them in each state? We pick our delegates. We let the Republicans in this state vote on who they think needs to go. Why do you have Al Gore and Bill Clinton earmarking their delegates, or these super delegates, in the DNC picking ahead of time, saying, oh, I want the governor of this state to go because I know he'll support Gore or I know he'll support Bradley? Why? Answer me that question.

DREYER: I'll be happy to answer you that question. I think you're clearly misrepresenting the process. What happens is folks go in, they vote. I went in on primary day, I voted for who I wanted to go to the White House, OK. That vote counts. That vote -- the governor's vote doesn't count any more.

JORDAN (on camera): So will parties survive? With the high cost of winning, a system that facilitates finding a successful candidate seems logical. But there is a trend which does not bode well for U.S. political parties.

DRAKE: Voters increasingly feel that they're independents, they're neither Democratic nor Republican, which means that both parties, in order to survive and to be stronger, are going to have to make their key issues clearer and clearer. DREYER: The parties will continue to stay somewhat centrist because we don't want someone to the far extremes running the country.

JORDAN (voice-over): A country of baseball and apple pie, emphasis on baseball; a country where that competitive streak bleeds into the political fabric.

JOINER: Well, there's always been a competition and that's because we are a two-party system, for the most part, because it's us against them. And, I mean, we all fall into that trap from time to time.

JORDAN: For now, though, it seems lively, passionate debate will remain a fixture in this American democracy.

Andy Jordan, CNN, NEWSROOM.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALCOTT: And that wraps it up for us here today.

HAYNES: It sure does. We'll see you back here tomorrow. Take care.

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