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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for January 10, 2001

Aired January 10, 2001 - 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: Hey, it's Wednesday on CNN NEWSROOM. Thanks for joining us. We got a lot ahead today. Here's the rundown.

In today's news, why U.S. President-elect Bush's choice for labor secretary no longer wants the job.

Then, in our "Business Desk," the calling cards sure have the collectors calling.

From the writing on business cards to the writing on the wall, "Worldview" checks out some nagging doubts in the cell phone industry.

Then, in "Chronicle," we look to the heavens for a rare event.

United States President-elect George W. Bush resumes his search for a labor secretary. His initial pick, Linda Chavez, has withdrawn her name. Chavez made the move after news broke that she housed an illegal immigrant from Guatemala several years ago.

Linda Chavez is out as U.S. President-elect Bush's choice for labor secretary. Chavez became embroiled in controversy this weekend when Bush officials confirmed she housed an illegal immigrant in the early 1990s and paid her for what she called "chores." The former labor secretary hopeful announced her withdrawal Tuesday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LINDA CHAVEZ, FORMER U.S. LABOR SECRETARY NOMINEE: I have decided that I am becoming a distraction, and therefore I have asked President Bush to withdraw my name for secretary of labor.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYNES: Chavez, an opponent of affirmative action and raising the minimum wage, served as head of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in the Reagan administration. Other prospects on Bush's list for the Labor Department include: former Republican Rep. Jim Talent of Missouri; Republican Rep. Jennifer Dunn of Washington State; and Eloise Anderson, the former director of California's Department of Welfare.

Linda Chavez is not the first presidential pick to run into trouble during the nomination or confirmation process.

Bruce Morton looks at a few reasons why some nominees never made it to the Cabinet.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): How does a president-elect lose a Cabinet pick? First, if they've broken the law. Zoe Baird never got to be Bill Clinton's attorney general because she had knowingly hired illegal immigrants as household workers and failed to pay their Social Security taxes.

Second, if it looks bad. Kimba Wood didn't get to become Bill Clinton's attorney general either. She had hired an illegal immigrant as a baby-sitter when it was legal, but she didn't tell the White House about it. The Clinton administration decided that showed a lack of candor and asked her to withdraw.

Then, it hurts if the other side can paint you as a radical. Bill Clinton withdrew his old friend Lani Guinier's nomination as assistant attorney general for civil rights because Republicans pounced on some articles she'd written on how to maximize black voting strength. She suggested things like cumulative voting. If there are five state legislators in your district, you could cast one vote each for five candidates or five votes for one candidate. Some corporations do that.

She suggested supermajorities for the passage of some laws, which is already true in the Senate, where you need 60 votes to break a threatened filibuster on just about anything. Still, Republicans labeled her a quota queen, and the political flap scared Clinton into dropping her nomination.

Gossip can do it. President Bush, the president-elect's father, nominated Texas Sen. John Tower for secretary of defense. Senators, members of the club, usually get confirmed easily, but Tower faced charges of boozing and womanizing based on secret FBI files about him. The FBI puts everything -- gossip, rumor, everything -- in its files, so Tower was stuck.

Senators would say, well, if you could read this -- and of course you can't -- you'd vote against him. Nobody was saying he was drunk on such and such a day, so Tower never faced specifics he could deny, just rumors. He lost.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: We want to shift focus now and call your attention to an anniversary in U.S. civil rights history. Forty years ago Tuesday, one of the oldest state universities in the United States started admitting African Americans. But the efforts of the University of Georgia have been seen as mixed. And now the school finds itself facing a new legal battle.

Steve Nettleton explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEVE NETTLETON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The first two African-American students at the University of Georgia arrived on campus in January 1961 to jeers and racial slurs after nearly two centuries of whites-only education at the state's flagship school.

Backed by a federal judge's order, Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter, now Charlayne Hunter-Gault, CNN South Africa bureau chief, defied riots and attended class, both graduating two years later.

Now, after four decades, blacks make up 6 percent of the student body. Overall, minorities account for 10 percent, in a state that is 30 percent African American.

LARODERICK DEXTER, UGA STUDENT: As much as I believe that the university has come a long way since then, there's still a lot to learn, there's still a lot to know, and there's still so much more room for the university to grow.

ART DUNNING, VICE PRES., SERVICE & OUTREACH, UNIV. OF GEORGIA: We need to fully understand that, for 175 years, this university was separate, and we've only desegregated for the last 40 years. So that has kind of a -- some issues that are still out there percolating.

NETTLETON: One of those issues could percolate all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Until last summer, the University of Georgia used race, among other factors like family legacy and athletic ability, in admitting between 10 to 15 percent of students. UGA is one of a handful of universities across the country defending this practice, citing a 1978 Supreme Court opinion that said a school can consider race to create a more diverse learning environment.

Some, like Aimee Bogrow, call it a case of reverse discrimination. Bogrow says she was denied admission to the university last academic year because of a preference given to males and blacks.

AIMEE BOGROW, UGA STUDENT: This is still segregation. This is discrimination against whites and females. So, honestly, we're just fighting desegregation by segregating another person.

LEE A. PARKS, BOGROW ATTORNEY: The hype of this has been, well, this is benign discrimination. We're trying to help. But then you have to look at the people that didn't get their life choice granted when they have the qualifications and they worked very hard for 18 years to make that life choice happen, and wonder, how do you respond to those people? Are they acceptable casualties?

NETTLETON: Bogrow and two other white women sued the university and won admission. As a result, the university was forced to suspend its affirmative action program. But it plans to stand by its policy on appeal.

KAREN HOLBROOK, PROVOST, UGA: This is a learning environment, and learning about people who are different from you is just as important about -- as learning things from a textbook. NETTLETON: If the case eventually makes it before the nation's highest court, the University of Georgia may find that 40 years after dismantling segregation, it has become the focal point in determining the future of affirmative action.

Steve Nettleton, CNN, Athens, Georgia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: In our "Business Desk, we look at collectibles such as stamps or CDs. A collectible is an item which has value due to its rarity and desirability. Baseball cards are one example. Lots of collectors would like the Honus Wagner card. One recently sold on the Internet for more than a million bucks. It's believed only 50 to 60 were distributed in the early 1900s.

Today we look at a different kind of card: a business card, kind of like this one. I got one, of course, to hand out to my business acquaintances. It has my business phone number, my address, my e-mail address and my fax number in case you want to shoot me a fax.

But some business cards are collected for another reason, as Jeanne Moos explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If you think your business card is sought after...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I can have one of yours?

MOOS (on camera): Yes.

(voice-over): ... imagine having one of these.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ernest Hemingway. This is Mr. and Mrs. Jules Verne.

MOOS (on camera): I like this: Professor Dr. Albert Einstein.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is one of my favorites. This is Mr. Charles Dickens.

MOOS: That's incredible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're absolutely phenomenal.

MOOS (voice-over): So what if they don't have phone numbers. They barely had phones back then. From a famed Civil War general...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Gen. Sherman.

MOOS: ... to the scientist we can thank for pasteurized milk, Louis Pasteur, these are calling cards sure to have collectors calling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So how much do you want for this sucker?

MOOS: This literature-loving lawyer couldn't decide if he preferred the card belonging to Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, or the one belonging to Ernest Hemingway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He crossed out "Mr." because evidently he knew the people. And he penned a little note.

MOOS: Even artists had cards, from the painter Matisse to the sculptor Rodin. Thomas Edison signed the back of his card.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His signature is fantastic.

MOOS: The owners, a collectibles company called "Gotta Have It!," is best known for paying over a million bucks for the dress Marilyn Monroe wore to sing "Happy Birthday" to President Kennedy. No presidents in this group, but there is a prime minister: Winston Churchill.

Most folks we showed the cards to seemed skeptical.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No kidding? I'm a little leery about these things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's really snappy!

MOOS: Maybe not as snappy as modern-day business cards. Seems like everybody's got a card these days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This baby has a business card?

MOOS: Yep, at the age of two months.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It says "Veronica Dorothea Kramer, Baby, In business since July 5."

MOOS: Veronica's mom is a graphic designer who sent out business cards as an amusing birth announcement.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you happy with your card? You like it? Oh, good.

MOOS: The quest for the classiest business card was parodied in "American Psycho."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "AMERICAN PSYCHO")

CHRISTIAN BALE, ACTOR: Oh my God, it even has a watermark.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MOOS: These days, cards have phone, fax and e-mail. All the inventor of the airplane had was his name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Orville Wright. A little stain over his name over there, but we'll take it anyways.

MOOS: Veronica's card may likewise end up stained.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, sweetie.

MOOS (on camera): She sneezed on her business card.

(voice-over): Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: The business beat goes on in "Worldview." Have you ever owed anyone money? We head to England to find out about a debt that took over 100 years to pay off. We'll also head to Finland. It's the home of Nokia, the cell phone giant. The company's stock took a hit this week as it reported sales figures below expectations. But that hasn't been the case in recent years.

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Come along to Finland, a country in Northern Europe. Its capital and largest city is Helsinki. Finland is bordered by Sweden, Norway and Russia. It was controlled by Russia from 1809 until 1917 when it declared its independence.

Known for its beautiful scenery and outdoor sports, it's also recognized for its many welfare services. It's a good place for workers. If you remain at the same job for a year, you get 26 days of vacation, plenty of time to go play or ski in Finland's spectacular outdoors. Much of the country's wealth comes from its huge forests, but technology is also a far-reaching industry.

And as James Hattori explains, you may be very familiar with one of Finland's most famous products without even knowing it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAMES HATTORI, CO-HOST (voice-over): Everyone in Finland, it seems, as a mobile phone: men and women, old, and especially the young. They call them connish (ph), meaning extensions of the hand.

(on-camera): Do you all call each other everyday? How many times?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: About five.

HATTORI (voice-over): Who knew Finland was so high-tech? It is one of the largest and most remote countries in Europe, bordering Norway, Sweden and Russia, and just about as big as the state of California. But not many people; only about 5 million.

It's a country of extremes with little daylight in the winter, yet bright sun well passed midnight in the summer, allowing Fins more time for a favorite pastime: dancing their version of the tango.

And this is the home of a company perhaps better known than Finland itself: Nokia. But it wasn't always that way. In fact, a lot of people used to think Nokia was just another Japanese company. JORMA OLLILA, CEO, NOKIA: There are less and less such people.

HATTORI: That's because over the last two years, Nokia has come to dominate the mobile phone industry with a 28 percent worldwide market share, nearly double that of its nearest rival, Motorola; triple that of its Swedish neighbor, Ericsson.

But to understand Nokia today, you first have to understand its history.

(on-camera): This is the company's namesake, the town of Nokia, population 27,000, a couple of hours drive north of Helsinki. It was here in 1865 that an engineer founded a pulp mill that would eventually become the Nokia company.

(voice-over): By the end of World War II, Nokia had evolved into a large conglomerate, selling everything from toilet paper to tires, even diapers and electricity.

For years, the company sold rubber boots to the Soviet Army. Russia was Finland's biggest trading partner. But the collapse of the Soviet Union a decade ago sent Finland's economy into a tailspin, along with Nokia. The company's then CEO committed suicide. To survive, Nokia had little choice but to start selling off its assets and some of its rich history. The man at the crossroads was the new CEO, Jorma Ollila.

OLLILA: It was pretty emotional because, you know, to prepare to take the position to take to the board, and then everybody's saying, well, you know, you're taking our heart away and selling that. You know, why don't you start with something else?

HATTORI: Ollila, a London-educated banker who joined Nokia in the mid-1980s just as it entered the mobile phone business, decided on a radical strategy. He bet the corporate farm on a new digital mobile phone and dumped everything else.

OLLILA: We felt very strongly that it is this digital technology that will really take the industry.

HATTORI: The company's 2100 series phone was an incredible success. In 1994, the goal was to sell 500,000 units. Nokia sold 20 million.

OLLILA: I think coming from a modest background in terms of how the country fairs among the major trading nations, you know, it makes you try just that little bit harder.

HATTORI: Trying harder has made Nokia one of the 10 best known brands in the world.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, NOKIA AD)

ANNOUNCER: Nokia. Connecting people.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MATTI ALA HUHTA, PRESIDENT, MOBILE PHONE DIV., NOKIA: There are a few good reasons why we have become No. 1.

HATTORI: Matti Ala Huhta, president of the Mobile Phone Division, which covers 140 countries, says technology is only part of what keeps Nokia going.

HUHTA: I would say that the key success factor in the mobile phone industry is understanding end-user needs.

HATTORI: Believe it or not, mobile phones can make a fashion statement, much like a sports or luxury car.

(on-camera): Who does this fashion phone appeal to? What kind of customer?

HUHTA: It appeals to people who want to, let's say, express their personality also in the form of mobile phone they are carrying. They want to have a cool phone.

HATTORI: A cool phone.

HUHTA: Yes.

HATTORI: This is a cool little red phone.

HUHTA: Yes, this is a cool phone, that's right.

HATTORI (voice-over): It's hard to argue with Nokia's success. Its stock has risen 2,300 percent over the last six years. A $10,000 investment in 1994 has grown to as much as one-half-million dollars.

YRJO NEUVO, NOKIA TECHNOLOGY SCIENTIST: There will be certain quite unique, third-generation, specific services that are created.

HATTORI: Yrjo Neuvo, a former university scientist who has an asteroid named after him, is Nokia's technology guru. He modernized mobile phones, adding bigger screens, menus and scrolls. And you can credit or blame him for those chirpy melodies.

NEUVO: The size of the screen...

HATTORI: He's now overseeing the company's role in so-called "3G," third-generation or high-speed digital services. Nokia wants to turn the mobile phone into a combination mini computer that will let you surf the Web, watch TV and get e-mail, all while talking on the phone.

NEUVO: The cellular phones will be kind of always on, so things are coming and going as they go so you don't really need to make a call to receive an e-mail. So that e-mail just comes like it comes to your network PC today.

WALTER PIECYK, INDUSTRY ANALYST: Nokia realized in the early 1990s that the focus on digital wireless technology would enable them to gain market share from their competitors. HATTORI: Walter Piecyk, industry analyst, says Nokia stock tumbled because its new Internet phones are late to market. Still, he believes that shouldn't hurt the company in the long run.

PIECYK: They've been basically purging their product line of some of the older products, which obviously had a near-term impact on the profits.

HATTORI: Even with the threat of growing competition from Japan and Korea, Nokia is confident its wireless strategy will pay off.

OLLILA: In three to five years time span, we will see a tremendous impact with mobility and Internet coming together.

HATTORI: The Fins at Nokia are single-mindedly looking to the future, even if some things never change.

(on-camera): Who do you send messages to?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To my wife.

HATTORI: Your wife. Was she checking up on you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: Before our next story, let's take time for a quick quiz. Do you know who wrote the novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray"? It's the story of a man whose portrait grows old and ugly while he himself appears never to change. Need another clue? This author also wrote "The Importance of Being Earnest."

The answer is Oscar Wilde, an Irish author, playwright and wit who lived from 1854 to 1900. The final chapter in a long-running saga involving Oscar Wilde recently drew to a close. His last bad debt was settled out of the blue 100 years after his death.

Christian Mahne has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTIAN MAHNE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Time passes slowly at Lock's. Since 1676, this shop has been selling hats to London's high society, and a few of its dark horses, too.

JANET TAYLOR, JAMES LOCK HATTERS: Wilde, Oscar, three pounds and five shillings. And that would have been his bad debt in the year 1895.

MAHNE: When the playwright was unavoidably detained in Reading jail later that year, Lock's decided that discretion was the better part of account management. TAYLOR: We'd drawn a line firmly through the account and thought that after Oscar Wilde's detention at Reading jail, it was the gentlemanly thing to do to leave the account as it was. And to actually receive a check 100 years later on the centenary of his death came as a great shock to us all.

MAHNE: Oscar Wilde can still count on his friends, it seems, a mysterious benefactor paying just under $5 to settle the bill of one of England's great eccentrics.

ALAN TITCHARD, OSCAR WILDE DEVOTEE: He was wholly irresponsible with money. Wilde had a very simple philosophy with money: The purpose of money is to buy things. Therefore, not to spend it is clearly a waste of money. The very idea that you would save it, invest it, I mean, just would never have occurred to the man.

MAHNE: Just as well Lock's isn't insisting on interest, then. Otherwise, the three pounds and five shillings would have grown to almost $300 now.

(on camera): After 324 years, Lock's are about to switch from ledgers accounts to computers. So its unlikely that many 21st century customers, however flamboyant, will be able to claim Oscar Wilde's credit terms.

Christian Mahne, CNN Financial News, London.

(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.

HAYNES: Today, U.S. President Clinton unveils an addition to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C. It's a statue of the late president in a wheelchair, something deliberately left out of the original design.

Kathleen Koch tells us how this change came about.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Critics say it was a monumental omission. The sprawling memorial to Franklin Delano Roosevelt completed in 1997 portrayed the polio-stricken president seated, but never in his wheelchair. The Memorial Commission insisted that was in keeping with FDR's lifelong effort to conceal his condition from the public. But the disability community was outraged, and President Clinton, recovering from knee surgery, joined them. So Congress voted to add this statue.

ALAN REICH, NATL. ORGANIZATION ON DISABILITY: This is a great victory for the disability community. But, you know, it's also a larger victory for the many people who, in their lives in one way or another, triumph over adversity.

KOCH: The statue will be part of a new room at the start of the 7 1/2 acre memorial. Though only two photos exist of FDR in a wheelchair, historians say depicting his disability is essential.

GEOFFREY WARD, ROOSEVELT BIOGRAPHER: I don't think you can understand FDR without understanding up front that while he was president for 12 years, he could not walk across the room. It makes all of his achievements greater.

FDR grandson David Roosevelt initially opposed the new statue. Even he has changed his mind.

DAVID ROOSEVELT, GRANDSON: A young person who goes to visit the FDR Memorial who perhaps is in a wheelchair herself or himself, when they first see the entrance, and when they see FDR in a wheelchair, they will say, I can do that too.

KOCH: As to whether FDR would approve, well, his wishes have already been disregarded.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: At least 4 million have been given employment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOCH: The president who led the country out of the Depression and to victory in World War II only wanted a simple stone memorial the size of his desk.

Kathleen Koch for CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: A celestial treat over parts of the Eastern Hemisphere. The moon dipped behind the Earth's shadow Tuesday for the first lunar eclipse of this year.

Ann Kellan tells us more about this special phenomenon.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANN KELLAN, CNN SCIENCE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth gets between the sun and the moon, throwing the moon into shadow, except for rays of sunlight that sneak around the Earth, sometimes casting a red glow on the moon. If clouds and atmospheric dust don't get in the way, the red, glowing moon could be quite a sight.

FRED ESPENAK, NASA GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER: Of course, the paramount thing is to have clear weather on the night of the lunar eclipse to get a good view of it. If you can get away from some of the brighter city lights, you'll get a better view of the eclipse.

KELLAN: To see it, you don't really need special gear or protection for your eyes. Just find a dark area and look up. A pair of binoculars might enhance the show.

ESPENAK: For a lunar eclipse, it's completely safe. The only danger might be tripping over something in the dark.

KELLAN: Because there hasn't been a major volcanic eruption in years to cloud the atmosphere, scientists say this lunar eclipse has the potential to be spectacular. So don't miss the opportunity. The next total lunar eclipse won't occur until May 16, 2003.

Ann Kellan, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: Cool stuff.

That's CNN NEWSROOM for a Wednesday. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you back here tomorrow. Take care.

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