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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for October 17, 2000

Aired October 17, 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.

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: We are winding our way through the week. Hi, everyone. I'm Tom Haynes. Health, politics, immigration all on the agenda today. Here's the rundown.

We begin with world leaders trying to forge peace in the Middle East.

In "Health Desk," the difficulty in diagnosing ADHD.

Things are heating up in "Worldview" as we track the global fight against smoking.

And moving on, folks are still coming to America. We end chronicling U.S. immigration.

World leaders are gathering in Egypt for an emergency Middle East summit, but can any amount of talking end more than two weeks of bloodshed? U.S. President Clinton and other world leaders arrived at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh Monday for a round of talks with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, their primary goal to find a way to stop the violence that's claimed more than 100 lives.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The future of the peoples involved here, the future of the peace process and the stability of the region are at stake. We cannot afford to fail here. In order to succeed, though, once again, we have a situation piled high with grievance, we have got to move beyond blame.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYNES: While leaders sat down in Egypt, marchers in Gaza and the West Bank protested the summit and more violence erupted in those areas. A Palestinian teenager in the West Bank and a Palestinian police officer in Gaza were both killed. Dozens of others were injured.

Besides putting an end to the violence, world leaders at the Middle East summit also hope to find out exactly what led to it so it doesn't happen again. And they hope to restore peace negotiations, a goal many people in the Middle East see as a lost cause.

Ben Wedeman has that story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Arabs and Jews of Jerusalem don't agree on much, but the people of this ancient city do share one thing: pessimism.

In predominantly Jewish West Jerusalem, optimism, hope seem to have evaporated.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I really believed in the peace process and everything. And it changed. I don't really believe now that it is possible.

WEDEMAN: Attitudes have changed, hardened. Absolutist demands replace the language of compromise.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to see the Palestinians stop their violence and accept that this is our country. If they are ready to accept this, so peace can be. If not, we'll have to be in war with them and kill them until they understand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just look around, see how many people are afraid to go out, see the lynch of the Arabs. It's not human. You can't do peace with beasts.

WEDEMAN: Anger and frustration is echoed in the streets of Arab East Jerusalem, where many see the Sharm el-Sheikh summit as another opportunity for Israel and the United States to shove an agreement down the Palestinians' throat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good for Palestinians it's not. But for Israel and America it's good.

WEDEMAN: "I am pessimistic about the summit," says this man. "It undermines the Palestinian intifada and it undermines the Palestinian position."

And following closing behind pessimism is extremism.

"If we don't get want we want," says this laborer, "we will launch a jihad, a holy way, to liberate the land."

Angry words the peacemakers at Sharm el-Sheikh cannot ignore.

(on camera): More than two weeks of violence have shattered faith in the peace process on both sides. And all of President Clinton's famous powers of persuasion and all of his men may not be able to put that faith together again.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Jerusalem.

(END VIDEOTAPE) HAYNES: With just a few weeks left before the U.S. presidential election, many wonder what impact, if any, unrest in the Middle East will have on voters when they go to the polls November 7. Will either major party candidate benefit from an international crisis.

Bill Schneider uses a bit of history to come up with a possible answer.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): Voters give Al Gore a slight edge as the candidate better able to handle the crisis in the Middle East. They give Bush a slight edge as the candidate better able to respond to the attack on the USS Cole.

Overall, it's a dead heat when voters are asked, which candidate would do a better job handling world affairs?

But what if President Clinton responds militarily to the attack on the USS Cole. How would the voters react? Remember August 17, 1998 when President Clinton confessed to the American people about the Lewinsky affair?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AUGUST 17, 1998)

CLINTON: I misled people, including even my wife. I deeply regret that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHNEIDER: Three days later, he ordered air strikes against suspected terrorist bases in Sudan and Afghanistan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AUGUST 20, 1998)

CLINTON: My fellow Americans, our battle against terrorism did not begin with the bombing of our embassies in Africa, nor will it end with today's strike.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHNEIDER: The president's opponents called the air strikes a political diversion from his domestic problems. But that's not how the American people saw it. They saw it as doing his job. The decline in his job rating abruptly halted.

In December 1998, just before the House of Representatives voted to impeach the president, he ordered air strikes against Iraq.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, DECEMBER 1998)

CLINTON: Then yesterday morning I gave the order, because I believe that we cannot allow Saddam Hussein to dismantle UNSCOM and resume the production of weapons of mass destruction with impunity.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SCHNEIDER: The president's opponents again howled: another political diversion. But that's not how the American people saw it. They saw it as doing his job.

Two days later, the House of Representatives voted for impeachment. And the president's job rating soared 10 points.

In the current crisis, Vice President Gore has called for retaliation.

VICE PRES. AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The United States will not rest until the perpetrators are held accountable.

SCHNEIDER: So has Gov. Bush.

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I hope we can gather enough intelligence to figure out who did the act and take the necessary action.

SCHNEIDER: The provocation is clear. The political groundwork has been laid for a military retaliation. Would the voters respond cynically? The likely answer is no. Americans would rally to support their commander-in-chief.

It happened to President Kennedy after the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962; to President Carter after the seizure of American hostages in Iran in November 1979; to President Reagan after the twin crises in Lebanon and Grenada in October 1983; and to President Bush when Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990.

They all saw their job ratings go up, at least temporarily.

(on camera): But would it help Gore? The record shows that any political impact would be small and short-term. But the vice president just needs a small amount of help. And with the election less than a month away, the short term is all that matters.

Bill Schneider, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: The U.S. surgeon general recently released recommendations for research, treatment and diagnosis of children's mental health conditions, specifically ADHD. Now, ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Also known as ADD, the condition is estimated to affect 4 to 6 percent of the U.S. population. Yet there are other conditions that exhibit similar symptoms.

Because of that ADHD is often underdiagnosed and overdiagnosed, a concern to parents, patients and medical professionals as well. The problem has led researchers to look for better diagnostic tools.

Rhonda Rowland fills us in on that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) RHONDA ROWLAND, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For now, detecting ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, requires two to three doctor visits as well as reports or opinions from teachers and parents.

So scientists looking for an objective or foolproof diagnostic tool are studying the brains of people with ADHD to see if they can detect it with a single brain scan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is going to be administering the altrapane intravenously here.

ROWLAND: One approach, a chemical called altrapane. Studies show it can distinguish between the brains of adults with ADHD and those that are normal. Altrapane goes to a part of the brain known to be smaller in ADHD patients. It's then measured by a device called a SPECT scan.

RUSSEL BARKLEY, UNIV. OF MASSACHUSETTS: It could become the first objective lab measure that has ever had this degree of promise associated with it for diagnosis of a mental disorder.

ROWLAND: But whether altrapane will work in children and be safe enough, since it uses some radiation, is still an open question.

VINCENT MONASTRA, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST, ATTENTION DISORDERS CLINIC: Look what it did up here to the EEG, to the brain waves.

ROWLAND: Other researchers are examining the use of simple EEG brain scans to distinguish ADHD children from normal children.

But the government's chief ADHD researcher cautions no brain imaging test is ready yet for routine use in children suspected of having ADHD.

DR. F. XAVIER CASTELLANOS, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH: We're trying to understand what the disorder is. And once we have a better understanding, then we'll be able to use this and other techniques for improving our ability to diagnose the condition.

ROWLAND: That improvement in ADHD diagnosis may be just three to five years away.

(on camera): In the meantime, experts say, if a child shows signs of ADHD, such as persistent inattention, hyperactivity and academic underachievement, start with a thorough medical evaluation. If it's done right, it should last one to two hours.

Rhonda Rowland, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYES: In "Worldview," efforts to snuff out smoking take us around the globe and to Mexico today. We'll also head to the jungles of Africa to see how elephants are making a comeback in Angola. And find out how Western cuisine is influencing Asian diets. We head to China next, the most populous country in the world. The current Chinese population is estimated to be nearly 1.3 billion people. About 60 percent of the workers there are farmers, making agriculture China's leading economic activity. Traditionally, the main foods eaten in China are grains, particularly rice and wheat, which is made into bread and noodles. Vegetables rank as the second most common food item, and include cabbage, tofu and roasted sweet potatoes. The customary Chinese beverage: tea.

But traditional eating habits are changing for the Chinese people as lifestyles and the economy evolve.

Gordon Robison (ph) tells us how the change is weighing in on China's younger generation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GORDON ROBISON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a growing problem in China, the way that some of the country's children are growing, and this is one solution: boot camp for kids.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Yes, I do want to lose weight. I guess it doesn't look good. But my classmates don't make fun of me, though.

ROBISON: This camp has been around since 1998. It's sponsored by a dietary supplement company. Thirty-five youngsters are attending this session, one of three offered. Each four-day boot camp puts the kids through a rigorous program of military-style exercise and training. The idea is to change lifestyles.

There are no restrictions on the children's diets during the camp, but the instructors hope they'll come away from the camp with new, healthier eating habits and a love of exercise.

The popular program is one answer to a growing obesity problem in China, one some parents say is caused by stress at school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The school workload is extremely heavy. She's always stressed out. It's so bad that during the school year, she only sleeps five or six hours at the most. Since there's so much pressure, she binges for comfort. She's so pitiful, I can't bring myself to stop her from eating.

ROBISON: But experts who have studied the problem say it is part of a broader trend, one marked by changes in the Chinese diet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The portion of income that is spent on food has steadily dropped. So now food seems very cheap and people are eating more and better. As a result, Chinese people's dietary habits have fundamentally changed. Now we eat less grains and vegetables and more proteins such as meat and other food with higher calorie counts.

ROBISON: This four-day camp ended with only mixed results. None of the students lost much weight. But despite the obvious rigors, some seem to have had a good time.

Gordon Robison, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: The African nation of Angola may seem an unlikely place for elephants to try to make a comeback. Much of the country's wildlife has been wiped out in a 25-year-old civil war fought since it gained its independence from Portugal. Rebel troops have killed huge numbers of elephants and rhinos for their tusks and horns. The ivory was sold to help the rebels finance their war against government troops.

Now South Africa is exporting part of its excess elephant population to Angola in hopes of revitalizing Angola's national parks and, in turn, the economy. But some animal welfare activists are calling the operation a bad move. They say because Angola is still in a state of civil war and because so many landmines are buried there, there's no way the country can guarantee the elephants' safety.

Zane Verjee (ph) reports, despite such concerns, the experiment is under way.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZANE VERJEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Kissama Plains used to be home to hundreds of elephants, but poaching virtually wiped out all major wildlife. Now, a new initiative called Operation Noah's Ark is bringing elephants back to the plains just south of the capital, Luanda.

A family of elephants living in the Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa were darted with a tranquilizer from a helicopter, loaded into containers and flown to Angola.

On their arrival at a military air base in northwestern Angola, they were taken to the Kissama Plains and released into the bush. Angola is taking precautions to make sure the elephants don't fall victim to poachers.

WOUTER VAN HOVEN, PRESIDENT, KISSAMA FOUNDATION: These elephants, in fact, are going to be probably the most protected elephants in all of Africa. On average, there will be two guards per elephant. So then we've got horse patrols, motorcycles, vehicles, and we've got patrol boats on the river and lookout points on the hills.

VERJEE: The elephants are between three months and 15 years old. They are to form the nucleus of a new breeding herd that can live on the Kissama Plains in safety for years to come, whether the country is at war or not.

Zane Verjee, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Next, a topic you've probably heard plenty about: smoking. Smoking is a growing concern, especially when it comes to young people. Experts say 17 percent of U.S. high school seniors smoke every day. And they say 90 percent of smokers began the habit as teenagers.

Anti-smoking campaigns are nothing new, but as tobacco companies come under fire, are they dousing such campaigns? A report by the World Health Organization has accused cigarette makers of secretly trying to undermine efforts to stop people from smoking, and that's causing controversy around the world.

More from Amanda Kibel in London.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMANDA KIBEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The World Health Organization has long targeted smoking as a health risk. Now a WHO report claims tobacco companies have for years systematically and subversively tried to target WHO by undermining its anti-smoking efforts.

DEREK YACH, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: Well, it details how the tobacco companies have, for several years, several decades, had a systematic plan of action to try and ensure that public policies to control tobacco were effectively thwarted.

KIBEL: The 240-page report charges the tobacco industry tried to turn other United Nations agencies against the WHO, tried to discredit the organization and redirect funding earmarked for its programs. The report also accuses tobacco companies of hiring supposedly independent experts who knowingly distorted results of scientific research.

The report, commissioned by the WHO draws much of its evidence from the tobacco industry's own documents made public during lawsuits brought against the industry in the United States.

Two tobacco companies named in the report did not deny the allegations, but said whatever happened happened in the past.

MICHAEL PRIDEAUX, BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO COMPANY: We see no point in remaining fighting the old battles of the past. It's exactly the same tactic that the plaintiffs' lawyers used in the United States. It's rather disappointing to see the WHO going down the same line.

DAVID DAVIES, VICE PRESIDENT, PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL: Essentially, that period of time was one which was characterized by a great deal of rancor and a great deal of conflict. What we are saying is that if we can substitute consensus for conflict, if we can substitute dialog for criticism...

KIBEL: But the World Health Organization disagrees. The past, it says, is still very much a part of the present.

YACH: We are certainly aware that many of the practices have not stopped. We still have massive marketing of tobacco products to children around the world, particularly in the developing countries. KIBEL: The World Health Organization says it will continue its campaign against tobacco use and will continue to push for a treaty governing worldwide sale, use and advertising of tobacco products.

Amanda Kibel, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: More on the fight against smoking now as we turn to Mexico. Recently, anti-smoking crusaders in Mexico won a key battle as the government, taking a page from the U.S. anti-smoking movement, banned cigarette smoking in public places all over the country.

The ban, which prohibits smoking in all public areas, from government offices to restaurants, is meeting with mixed reaction, as Harris Whitbeck reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIS WHITBECK, CNN MEXICO CITY BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): This Mexico City airport policeman has just added a new task to his many duties. The nationwide ban is part of the Mexican government's efforts to curb endemic smoking.

"Our primary objective is not to punish but to protect those who do not smoke and to make people aware of the risks associated with smoking," he said.

Health authorities estimate some 13 1/2 million people in Mexico smoke tobacco products, and they say tobacco-related illnesses are the No. 1 preventable cause of death. The ban on smoking in public places would, according to health ministry projections, reduce the public's exposure to tobacco smoke by at least 30 percent.

But some of the residents of Mexico City don't see how that will make them healthier.

This woman says cigarette smoke isn't the problem, it is smog and air pollution.

But this man says it is a matter of citizen rights. "One man's right to smoke doesn't give him the right to invade my space with tobacco," he said.

Whatever their stance on public smoking, those who do choose to light up will have to be careful about where they chose to do so.

Harris Whitbeck, CNN, Mexico City.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: The tide of immigration into the United States is turning. Forty years ago, immigrants mainly came from Europe. Today, they come mostly from Latin America or Asia, and they're coming in near record numbers. As a result, the face of America is forever changing and once again sparking the debate over how welcoming the United States should be.

Joel Hochmuth has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOEL HOCHMUTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the changing face of America. Berkmar High School in suburban Atlanta represents, in many ways, the nation's growing ethnic diversity. In just six short years, the student body has been transformed from about 80 percent Caucasian to just over 40.

JIM MARKHAM, PRINCIPAL, BERKMAR HIGH SCHOOL: Rather than call it the browning, I would call it the blending of America. We celebrate the international flavor of our school. And, basically, we are exactly what the Statue of Liberty is talking about.

HOCHMUTH: While for some the growing diversity is cause for celebration, for others it's a cause for concern. Many of these students are here as a direct result of the largest sustained wave of immigration in United States history.

DAN STEIN, FEDERATION FOR AMERICAN IMMIGRATION REFORM: A lot of people ask, what's wrong with immigration policy today? And the answer is very simple: We the American people don't have any say in it. It's going on on autopilot by itself as immigrants bring relatives, who turn around and bring more relatives, who turn around and bring more relatives.

HOCHMUTH: Technically, Congress limits the number of immigrants to the U.S. to about 700,000 from all countries combined each year. But in practice, that limit is often exceeded since there is an exemption which allows recently naturalized citizens and some greencard holders to bring in immediate relatives. Figure in illegal immigrants and about 1 million people are entering the U.S. each year.

It's been at that level for more than a decade, boosting the country's foreign-born population to over 26 million, the highest in history.

STEIN: The numbers are extraordinarily high. They are helping to create kind of a two-tiered society with waves upon waves of poor and uneducated immigrants living in barrios that are swelling and overcrowded and overpopulated.

HOCHMUTH: To some experts, though, the rise in poor Hispanic neighborhoods is no cause for alarm, it's simply reminiscent of the ethnic communities of the early 1900s. Then, the vast majority of immigrants came from Europe. Today, more than half are from Latin America.

CHIP GALLAGHER, SOCIOLOGIST, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY: Every group has been accused: the Germans, the Irish, the Italians, the Poles. Everyone said, you've built your own churches, you have your own communities and you're going to wind up living in a pluralistic culture within society. The fact is, two generations in, people leave the ethnic ghetto, they get an education and they live in the suburbs. HOCHMUTH: Still, if immigration into the United States continues at current levels, the census bureau projects, by the year 2050, the nation's population will surpass 400 million, 50 percent higher than today.

STEIN: Where are the roads? How are you going to handle the traffic? Where are the schools? Where's the housing? Where's the infrastructure? How are we -- what are we going to do, pave over all our prime farmland? Are we going to turn the country into one big parking lot from sea to shining sea?

GALLAGHER: Where are people going to go? You're right. Between -- if you look at the East and West Coast, the middle is pretty empty, except for Chicago. The fact is that, if you look at Europe, how densely settled parts of Europe are, the United States is pretty open and empty.

Historically, a political backlash has often followed big waves of immigration. Following the mass immigration of the early 1900s, Congress passed some of the most restrictive laws ever in 1921 and 1924. By the depths of the Depression in the 1930s, less than 30,000 people were entering the U.S. each year.

STEIN: The history of immigration has been you get a wave and then you take a breather to absorb and assimilate the immigrants who have come. We need a timeout and a breather to absorb the incredible amount of immigration we've taken since 1975. Unless you take a breather, a timeout periodically in American history, you lose complete control of the process.

GALLAGHER: You know, we need to have sensible immigration. I'm not sure what exactly what that might mean, but it doesn't seem like we've had a whole lot of problems absorbing the populations that have come in here in the last 25 years. If anything, we're better for it.

HOCHMUTH: To date, the leading presidential candidates have all but ignored the immigration issue, in part because the economy remains so strong. Immigrant workers are desperately needed in jobs like construction and agriculture. When the INS tried to round up illegal immigrants in Georgia onion fields a year ago, two of the state's senators and three of its congressmen fired off letters of protest.

GALLAGHER: My guess is that you're going to see immigration restrictions start to be part of the political discourse when we have a recession, when folks find themselves out of work and they look around and they say, how come my son can't have that job, or why is that person that I don't define as a real American working there when that could be a job for a real white or black American?

STEIN: The hallmark of statesmanship is to try to make the changes, to bring the numbers down now before the economy tanks to prevent a political backlash that's going to be very ugly.

HOCHMUTH: For now, it appears America's door will remain open. Is it time to start closing it? Until the economy starts failing, the debate will remain largely philosophical. STEIN: The question is whether we formulate an immigration policy based on the desires of immigrants who want to come, legally or illegally, or whether we decide this based on what is in the best interest of our people today and our children and grandchildren.

GALLAGHER: That's what people are scared of. They're basically scared of sharing America in many ways. That's the fear. That's the American dream. It's about embracing the idea that we're an inclusionary society that's open, that provides equal opportunity to everyone. And that's the idea of the American dream.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: All right, tomorrow, Joel introduces us to a teenager and her family who came to the United States after the fall of the Soviet Union. We'll find out how they're adjusting to their new lives.

And that's it for us. We're out of time. Come on back tomorrow, won't you? Take care.

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