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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for January 14, 2000

Aired January 14, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Hi, everyone, NEWSROOM cruises into Friday. Thanks for joining us. I'm Rudi Bakhtiar.

ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: And I'm Andy Jordan. Here's a look at today's lineup.

BAKHTIAR: In today's top story, there's a little monkey business going on in the world of cloning.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Meet Tetra, the cloned monkey. She may become as famous as Dolly, the cloned sheep.


JORDAN: In today's "Editor's Desk," faithful fans pay tribute to the "Chairman of the Board."


BILL TUSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The walls of Shirak's museum are full, well, partially full, of items chronicling the singer's illustrious career.


BAKHTIAR: From Ol' Blue Eyes to the blues of Eastern Europe. "Worldview" examines how the collapse of communism left Czechoslovakia divided.


RICHARD BLYSTONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ethnic animosity, frozen for 40 years, was surfacing in the spring thaw.


JORDAN: Next stop: Egypt, where our "Millennium Voyage" takes in one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.


THE SPHINX: The world fears time, but time fears the pyramids.


BAKHTIAR: If good things come in twos, today's story could bode well for scientists. They are the driving force behind the latest genetic cloning. The subject this time is a monkey, and researchers mean business. They hope to use cloning technology in the war against disease. What makes this experiment different from Dolly the sheep's a few years ago, goes back to biology.

When you're talking DNA, monkeys are closer to humans. And as the monkey embryos split, researchers say the implications for human health expand. We'll look at the history of cloning coming up.

First, Elizabeth Cohen tells us about a little monkey named Tetra.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tetra, a four-month old rhesus monkey is indistinguishable from her playmates, but she's special, the first monkey cloned using a process called "embryo splitting." So is she like Dolly, the cloned she? No.

ARTHUR CAPLAN, MEDICAL ETHICIST: It's very exciting news that a monkey has been cloned. It's important, however, to keep in mind that there are really two kinds of cloning.

COHEN: Dolly came from one parent and is a genetic replica of that parent. Tetra, on the other hand, is a clone of her sisters. All four of them came from the same original embryo.

Here's how scientists created Tetra. They obtained an egg from a female monkey and sperm from a male monkey, put them together and created an embryo. That embryo then divided into eight cells. Researchers split that embryo into four two-celled embryos. Those four embryos were then implanted into surrogate mothers. Only one embryo survived, and Tetra was born.

(on camera): Researchers here at the Oregon Health Sciences University say they're not quite sure why Tetra's sisters died. It might have something to do with their unique beginnings, but it might not -- embryos implanted into surrogate mothers often die.

COHEN (voice-over): Since Tetra's other clones died, the scientists here have high hopes for the next set of clones, two sets of identical twins due to be born in May.

Mass-produced genetically identical monkeys would be invaluable to medical science. When testing a new drug, researchers want to eliminate variables among study subjects so they can pinpoint the drug's effect. With multiple clones, there are no variables -- the animals are exactly the same. DR. JOHN STRANDBERG, NIH: If you have a population of animals that would be a reliable test subject, it would help cut down the numbers of those animals that are being used.

COHEN: Cloned monkeys could eventually be used to find cures for all sorts of diseases, from Alzheimer's and AIDS to heart disease and cancer.

Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, Portland, Oregon.



DR. STEVE SALVATORE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Remember Dolly? Dr. Ian Wilmut introduced the world's first cloned mammal in February of 1997. Dolly was developed from an adult animal cell using a technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer. It was a feat many believed was impossible, but, once proven, spurred fear, debate and new legislation around the world. President Clinton issued a moratorium banning the use of federal dollars for any project relating to human cloning and asked his national bioethics advisory board to look into the legal and ethical issues.

Later that year came Gene, a cloned bull. Gene started life as a collection of very basic fetal cells. They were grown until ready to be put inside a specially-prepared cow's egg. This egg, with completely-new genetic content, was implanted into a cow. Months later, Gene was born.

In January of 1998, a scientist in Chicago caused an uproar when he announced plans to attempt human cloning. Dr. Richard Seed said he planned to use the same kind of technology used to produce Dolly.

DR. RICHARD SEED, BIO PHYSICIST: When I was seven years old, I was brilliant and crazy. I don't mind being called crazy.

SALVATORE: The White House has asked for government and private industry to comply with the ban on human cloning, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced its authority to regulate human cloning, making it against federal law to try to clone a human being using the cell transfer method that yielded Dolly.

Still, no one can be sure that human cloning activity isn't under way in the private sector. Dr. Richard Seed, in fact, has declared he will attempt human cloning in the future.

Cloning experiments using frogs and tadpoles date back to the 1970s. The late '90s saw the progression to mammals, including cloned calves George and Charlie, cloned sheep Molly and Polly and the cloning of multiple generations of mice.

(on camera): Researchers hope to use cloning as a faster, more efficient way to study drugs and fight diseases. While they admit there's tremendous potential for medical advances using this technology, they say that value has to be weighed against the fears of those who say cloning will bring disastrous results.

Dr. Steve Salvatore, CNN, reporting.


JORDAN: Well, in today's "Editor's Desk," we check out a musician and actor who may have been a favorite of your parents or your grandparents.

Ready for a pop quiz? Who cut his first record back in 1939 and was nicknamed "Old Blue Eyes"? Who made 1,800 recordings and won nine Grammys and an Academy Award? Who produced 51 top-40 albums, more than any other artist, including "The King," Elvis Presley? Well, the answer: Frank Sinatra.

He died in May, 1998, at age 82. Sinatra still has many loyal fans and today we meet one who grew up and lives in the singer's birthplace: Hoboken, New Jersey. This fan has even built a museum in Sinatra's honor. And just like his idol, he did it his way.

Bill Tush takes us on a tour.


BILL TUSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Frank Sinatra left his Hoboken, New Jersey roots a long time ago, but Hoboken never let him go. The town was proud to boast it was the home of professional baseball and Sinatra. Ed Shirak has been a lifelong fan and even has a little shrine to Frankie in his corner chocolate shop. He also sells a book he wrote about his association with the "Chairman of the Board." But that wasn't enough. Shirak rented the building next door to what was Sinatra's home and built an unauthorized museum.

(on camera): Just between you and me, I don't know what's behind those doors, but we're going to find out.

(voice-over): It's called "From Here to Eternity," aptly named after the 1953 film that brought Sinatra an Oscar.

ED SHIRAK, MUSEUM FOUNDER: This used to be a candy store bakery, where young Frank used to come in here. This is one of the first places that he sang in. This is 417 Monroe St., and as you saw outside, the star is where he was born 415 Monroe St.

TUSH: The walls of Shirak's museum are full, well, partially full of items chronicling the singer's illustrious career.

(on camera): This picture of Frank actually hung in Rome, and now it's hanging here. It's sort of a mobile, but it's going to have a permanent place. Am I right?

SHIRAK: Yes, sir. That is correct.

TUSH (voice-over): In 1947, when they were still calling him "Bones," Hoboken proclaimed it Sinatra Day and gave him a key to the city. This is not that key. SHIRAK: That's a replica of the actual key, but that was carved for me by a gentlemen by the name of Joe Lesum (ph), who was a very close friends with Frank who's still alive.

TUSH: And here's a replica of the Rustic Cabin menu, a one-time Jersey hot spot.

SHIRAK: That's really where it began, at the Rustic Cabin, which began Mr. Sinatra's great, great career.

TUSH: Now, this is real, an actual thank-you letter to candy maker Shirak.

SHIRAK: "My thanks for the marvelous chocolate piece presented at the Sands. It was truly a masterpiece, and my wife Barbara truly loved it. All the best, Frank Sinatra."

TUSH: And there's Frank's suit.

SHIRAK: This we know in the lapel is Frank Sinatra's name in there from Beverly Hills.

TUSH (on camera): Oops! Geez, dropped Frank's pants.

(voice-over): Say what you will, but how many museums provide a floor show?

SHIRAK: If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere...

TUSH: Bill Tush, CNN Entertainment News, Hoboken, New Jersey.


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

BAKHTIAR: In "Worldview" today, singing the political blues in Europe, and rocking on stage in Asia. We check out North Korea where one of the Clintons was sounding off by singing; and more sounding off about hard times in Slovakia.

Ten years ago, the collapse of communism was gathering speed down the length of Europe. For some countries, revolutionary changes were in the works; for others, not. Today, in our look "Beyond the Iron Curtain," we move into a country that didn't even exist a decade ago: Slovakia.

Richard Blystone takes us on our tour.


RICHARD BLYSTONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even as Czechoslovak soldiers were peeling the thorny rind from their border with Austria, here in the eastern part of the country, Slovakia, ethnic animosity frozen for 40 years was surfacing in the spring thaw.

A fisherman showed us a newspaper once printed in Czech, now in Slovak. "Now they let us get the truth," he said.

Today, Czechs and Slovaks are forgetting each other's very similar languages. Slovakia and the Czech Republic parted seven years ago, and an international border runs down the middle of what was Czechoslovakia.

"Ten years ago, we used to play soldiers on the borders," says a Czech customs inspector. "Now, at least it's just about import duties."

The divorce has been mostly amicable, but it's clear who got the best settlement. Look away from the Slovak capital's restored old town, and the more recent past owns the horizon, the brooding bulk of what they call the Bronx of Bratislava: grim socialist file cabinets, a breeding ground for crime and despair.

(on camera): Of all of the countries east of the old line, Slovakia reminds you most of the communist days.

(voice-over): What's new here is one worker in five is out of a job; under socialism, unheard of. And people are complaining about gangsters everywhere -- Slovaks, Ukrainians, Russians -- running drugs, grabbing a quarter of the take from Bratislava (AUDIO GAP) and bars.

"The Mafia's even made its way into government," says Stefan Hajadin (ph). He's a border bridge keeper who sees Austria over there as a few meters, and a generation, away.

"Our laws are too weak," he says. "Politicians saw the changes as a chance to get rich. They haven't matured yet."

New Slovakia's first prime minister was a hero of the heartland and a Slovak nationalist with a machine politico's idea of reform. He was voted out, but a poll says 27 percent still like him best. The European Union likes the swathe being cut by new Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda, a painful sweep to clear the way for the future.

But the economic blessings of EU membership are still a long way off, complicated by issues like Bohunice Nuclear Power Plant. Under EU pressure, Slovakia's moved up the scrapping of two old Soviet-made reactors. The power company insists there's no danger. Slovak Greenpeace claims there is.

MARTIN HOJSIK, SLOVAK GREENPEACE: The problem is that this is not, from the design point of view, upgradeable to the European standards.

BLYSTONE: Slovakia itself yearns for an upgrade to European standards. But with inflation at 15 percent, salaries at $250 a month, social welfare shrinking, the lure of imported luxuries only teases the majority who can afford only to look. The walls of Bratislava shout a troubled chorus; stress-related counseling cases have doubled.

TOM NICHOLSON, EDITOR, "SLOVAK SPECTATOR": Drug addiction is up, schizophrenia is up. It's going through a lot of stress because no one really provided the script for how things were supposed to go after communism fell apart.

BLYSTONE: Back at his bridge, Stefan Hajadin recalls, "When we were confined here, we stuck together. Now everyone's playing in his own sandbox; nobody's interested in other people. We won't catch up with them over there," he says. "Maybe our children will."

Richard Blystone, CNN, Slovakia.


JORDAN: Thirty-seven thousand U.S. troops are poised in South Korea ready to face an aggressor that sits, in some places, just a stone's throw away across the demilitarized "no man's land" that separates North and South Korea. They've been there since the Cold War era.

When Japan lost control of Korea at the end of World War II, communist troops from the North clashed with capitalist forces in the South. The conflict gave way to one of history's bloodiest wars with the U.S. supporting the South. Although a truce ended the fighting, the two Koreas are still technically at war.

The U.S. recently eased long-standing sanctions against the North, but as Rebecca MacKinnon tells us, there are other acts of engagement going on between the two countries.


REBECCA MACKINNON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Roger Clinton sang the blues in North Korea. While the audience didn't look like it would rush out to buy his recordings, the good vibes were strong.

In another historic first, the show included performances by pop stars from South Korea, divided from the North by an uneasy truce since the Korean War more than four decades ago. But the brother of the president of the United States had more than just music in mind:

ROGER CLINTON, PRESIDENT CLINTON'S BROTHER: I would like to thank the following three people: General Kim Jong Il, President Kim Dae Jung, and my brother, President Bill Clinton. Without their courage, without their cooperation, without their leadership, this would have never happened.

MACKINNON (on camera): He's no diplomat and he's no politician, but officials here hope Roger Clinton's visit will help improve relations between the United States and North Korea.

CLINTON: I made a couple of pretty powerful statements last night on stage that my brother would probably say, you know, that took some guts. But I think it did take some guts. But it's going to take guts from everybody involved with wanting this peace process to continue.

MACKINNON (voice-over): As a private citizen, Roger Clinton did things few U.S. official would do, like bow at various memorials to Kim Il Sung, the founder of the North Korean state with which the United States is still technically at war. North Korean hosts expect visitors to do this as a gesture of respect for their country.

At a banquet in Clinton's honor, secretary of the ruling Workers Party of Korea, Kim Dae Jung, toasted him as an emissary of goodwill.

For rockin' Roger, the hope of easing decades of mistrust between the U.S. and North Korea was something to sing about.

Rebecca MacKinnon, CNN, Pyongyang, North Korea.


JORDAN: In today's "Chronicle," we catch up with our "Millennium Voyage." Last fall, CNN's Charles Tsai set sail with 600 students for a semester at sea. They began their journey in Canada and have since traveled to Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam and India. Today, we join them on their latest adventure in Egypt.

The Egyptian culture dates back 5,000 years. The Egyptians parented the first national government, as well as early forms of writing and mathematics. Egypt is Africa's second largest country in population, of which about 90 percent practice Islam.

Now let's join "Semester at Sea" on its trek to one of the seven ancient wonders of the world.


CHARLES TSAI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ancient Egyptians would be proud if they saw the trouble all of us went through to see their pyramids. From our ship anchored in the Red Sea, we had to use tenders to get to dry land. It took several hours and some help from the students just to get 700 of us to the dock.

PAULA ZECCHINI, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-RIVERSIDE: I will be driving the boat that takes us from the ship into Ogat (ph), into the port.

TSAI: Once on land, we boarded 18 buses headed for Cairo. Our convoy was escorted by armed guards just in case terrorists might try to attack us. After a brief lesson in Arabic...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From the north, we have the Mediterranean Sea...

TSAI: ... and a crash course on Egypt, we were on our way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Within two hours, you will have the chance to see the pyramids of Egypt, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

TSAI: Soon we arrived in Cairo, the most crowded city in the Middle East. And after crossing the River Nile, the longest river in the world, we caught a glimpse of the pyramids. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you expected to find the pyramids in the middle of the desert.

TSAI (on camera): Our convoy was late getting to Cairo, but we did make it for the sound and light show, and that's where we are right now.

(voice-over): We didn't see the pyramids very well, but we got an earful from the Sphinx...

THE SPHINX: I am he, the pharaoh.

TSAI: ... who recounted for us the history of these ancient tombs going back 4,500 years.

THE SPHINX: The world fears time, but time fears the pyramids.

TSAI: The next morning, we got up before dawn and headed for the pyramids to see the sunrise, a view we will never forget. And who can forget the camel drivers who took many of us for a ride, in more ways than one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They would not let us off the camel. It was awful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, I don't want to ride the camel.

TSAI: They knew every trick in the book to get money from tourists.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He wanted to take my picture.

TSAI: That's why everyone should have one of these:

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's for all the camel drivers because they're kind of rude.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our camel has some issues.

TSAI: Even with all the hassles, this felt like a dream come true.

DAVID SCHWARTZ, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON: Rockies got nothing on this, Charles.

TSAI: And at the foot of the pyramids, more than a few of us got a little carried away.

KAREN BURNS, TRIP LEADER: The sign that says "no climbing" means that there is no climbing. Get down off the pyramids.

SCHWARTZ: I never saw a sign, I never saw a sign. I don't know what sign they're talking about.

BURNS: Anybody that doesn't start climbing down right now is getting dock time. TSAI (on camera): And what is dock time, to people who don't know?

BURNS: Well, dock time is you can't get off the ship when we get into the next port. And so getting dock time is a big thing for students.

SCHWARTZ: Once dock time's thrown out, you know, you don't want to get dock time on a ship like this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that camel dung on your pant leg?


TSAI (voice over): After a few more distractions, we got down to official business and learned about the three pyramids at Giza: the tombs of King Cheops, Chephren, and Mycerinus, all dating back to 2500 B.C.

(on camera): This is the Great Pyramid, and it's the largest of the three here at Giza. And at the very base, it measures 755 feet, which is about two and a half football fields.

How would you describe the pyramids to people back home?


JILL KROLIKOWSKI, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: You can never understand how huge they are until you actually go up and see it. And I kept even, like, driving past them. I kept saying: Oh, they're not that big, they're not that big, until you get up next to it and the stones are half your size, and then you're, like, wow, how did they do that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five-thousand years old. And now we're going to descend into the tombs.

TSAI (voice-over): Many students were able to go into the Pyramid of Mycerinus, but anyone expecting to see mummies and buried treasures will be disappointed. Many of the artifacts have been stolen; the rest are in museums.

(on camera): What was in the room?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nothing. It was just empty space. But it's kind of -- you have to think about it in the aspect that you're inside the pyramid, that you're actually in it.

TSAI: What's amazing about these big pyramids at Giza is that each took about 2,300,000 stones to make, and each stone weighs about two and a half tons.

(voice-over): How they were built without the benefit of cranes or pulleys is still a mystery. What we do know is that each pyramid took about 20 years to construct, using 100,000 men working three months a year. HANY GAWFIK, EGYPTOLOGIST: There is a much bigger miracle behind managing the work there; administrative miracle, I mean. You have to imagine that all the Egyptians at that time were farmers. They were not builders -- they were not quite trained builders, but the pharaohs trained them to be good builders. How could they train 100,000? How could they -- even the very simple things: How could they provide them with their meals three times a day in proper way?

TSAI: These and other questions may never be answered -- another reason why the pyramids are called ancient wonders.

GAWFIK: The pyramids will always be charming unless we uncover all the secrets around them. Since they are still mysterious, they will be always charming.

TSAI (on camera): Aside from these pyramids at Giza, there are about 100 others left in Egypt that survived from the ancient times, and we're told that most of them are situated on the west bank of the Nile because that's where the sun sets, and that symbolizes death.

(voice-over): But the pyramids themselves symbolize life and our dreams of immortality. Whether or not we have conquered death, at least the pyramids have. And just as Cleopatra walked past them 2,000 years ago, and we today, so might future generations 2,000 years hence.


JORDAN: Well, you know, that's something I never heard from my mom: Get off the pyramids.

BAKHTIAR: What a dream. You know, that's the kind of education you just don't get in a classroom.

JORDAN: I know, and those images -- it's captivating...

BAKHTIAR: It's beautiful.

JORDAN: ... it's beautiful.

BAKHTIAR: I'd love to go there someday.

JORDAN: Yes, some day we will.

Our "Millennium Voyage" continues in a country you may know more for its history of war.

BAKHTIAR: In our next voyage, we'll look at the Croatia of today and see how a legacy of ethnic strife festers. That's coming up next Friday here on NEWSROOM.

JORDAN: For now, we'll say goodbye. Have a great weekend.

BAKHTIAR: We'll see you Monday.

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.


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