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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for January 28, 2000

Aired January 28, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Hi, guys, NEWSROOM cruises into Friday. Glad you could come along. I'm Tom Haynes.

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: And I'm Shelley Walcott. Here's a look at today's lineup.

HAYNES: In today's top story, President Clinton brings his vision of the future into focus. We'll have a primer on the State of the Union address.

WALCOTT: In today's "Editor's Desk," from the critics' choices to the commercial successes, we'll look at the top films of the 20th century.


PAUL DERGARABEDIAN, PRESIDENT, EXHIBITOR RELATIONS CO.: They are generally in the "G," "PG-13" category. I mean, they are not films that are just a hard "R" rating.


HAYNES: We leap from the big screen to take a peek behind the Iron Curtain. "Worldview" examines the relics of communism in Central Europe.


RICHARD BLYSTONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Budapest assembly rounded up these rejected totems for a different kind of re- education camp, a place to reflect on the doctrine and the system that gave them birth.


WALCOTT: And in today's "Millennium Voyage," our Semester at Sea students head home from their world tour.

In "Today's News": the U.S. Constitution in action. We head to the floor of the U.S. Capitol. Executive, legislative and judicial branches of the U.S. government gathered under one roof to hear from the U.S. president.

Think of it as an oral report card from the president. Last night's will likely be President Clinton's last State of the Union address, as he faces his final year in office.

In opening the speech, he looked to the past, to plan for the future.


WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are fortunate to be alive at this moment in history. Never before has our nation enjoyed at once, so much prosperity and social progress with so little internal crisis and so few external threats. Never before have we had such a blessed opportunity, and therefore, such a profound obligation, to build the more perfect union of our founders' dreams.


WALCOTT: The first State of the Union address came 210 years ago. George Washington gave it at what was then the nation's capital, New York.


(voice-over): The State of the Union address is the president's annual message to the Congress. The report is mandated by the Constitution, in the article that defines the president's powers.

Article Two, Section Three, says: "He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient."

The president has not always delivered the address in person, though. The first president, George Washington, and his successor, showed up. But the third president, Thomas Jefferson, submitted his address in writing in 1801.

Historians say he felt the practice was rooted in British tradition. Parliament there opens each session with a speech from the reigning monarch.

Every president after Thomas Jefferson followed his lead until 1913, when President Woodrow Wilson went back to Congress to deliver the speech.

In the 1930s, radio allowed Franklin Roosevelt to give his State of the Union address to the entire country, as he unveiled his "New Deal."

In the 1960s, television allowed the nation to hear and see John Kennedy's vision of a "new frontier."

While tradition may dictate politeness, it does not necessitate friendliness. Republican George Bush delivered four State of the Union addresses to Congresses controlled by Democrats. President Clinton has spent much of his two terms speaking to a Republican- controlled Congress.

We begin our highlights from Mr. Clinton's speech with a reference to presidential words a hundred years ago.


CLINTON: At the dawn of the last century, Theodore Roosevelt said, "The one characteristic more essential than any other is foresight. It should be the growing nation with a future that takes the long look ahead."

First and foremost, we need a 21st century revolution in education, guided by our faith that every single child can learn. Because education is more important than ever, more than the key to our children's' future, we must make sure all our children have that key. That means quality preschool and afterschool, the best trained teachers in the classroom, and college opportunities for all our children.

We know that children learn best in smaller classes with good teachers. For two years in a row, Congress has supported my plan to hire 100,000 new, qualified teachers to lower class size in the early grades. I thank you for that and I ask you to make it three in a row.

We also need a 21st century revolution to reward work and strengthen families by giving every parent the tools to succeed at work and at the most important work of all: raising children. That means making sure every family has health care and the support to care for aging parents, the tools to bring their children up right, and that no child grows up in poverty.

There are still more than 40 million or our fellow Americans without health insurance, more than there were in 1993. Tonight, I propose that we follow Vice President Gore's suggestion to make low income parents eligible for the insurance that covers their children.


WALCOTT: Although it's not in the Constitution, the opposing party traditionally gives a response. The Republicans had their own take on improving education and health care.


SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: As we enter the 21st century, every young American must be educated to adapt to a changing workplace, and many in our current work force must be provided with new skills to succeed in the new economy.

A good education is the ladder of opportunity. It turns dreams into reality. That's why education is at the top of the Republican agenda.

SEN. BILL FRIST (R), TENNESSEE: As Republicans in Congress, we're determined not to be guided by bigger government, but by your freedom to choose your kind of health care and to select the doctor of your choice.

Already, because of Republican efforts, 5 million more children now have access to health care; if you change jobs, you can now take your health insurance with you; new mothers can leave the hospital when their doctor, not some bureaucrat, says they're ready; and we're doubling medical research for more and better cures.


HAYNES: Well, it's time for our editor's desk. And today we go to the movies. Or at least Rudi goes to the movies. Shelly and I have to stick around here and work for a living. But Rudi's downstairs at the CNN Center movie theater.

Rudi, take it away.

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Thanks, Hey, Tom. You know, this week, the Golden Globes were announced. And that got me thinking about the greatest hits of all time. Which ones did best at the box office?

Paul Vercammen has our story and I have my ticket.


PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rhett didn't care in the end. But it's clear, moviegoers adored "Gone with the Wind," released in 1939.

PATRICIA KING HANSON, FILM HISTORIAN, AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE: The novel was just an enormous success, so that certainly spurred it and just the interest of who's going to play Rhett Butler and who's going to play Scarlett O'Hara.

VERCAMMEN: Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh got the roles, and the Civil War saga is the number-one domestic blockbuster of all time -- taking in almost a billion dollars adjusted for inflation, 200 million tickets sold. It's followed by "Star Wars," "The Sound of Music," and "E.T." "Titanic" is the most recent film in this top ten, "Snow White" the oldest, released in 1937.

But "Titanic" wins in total dollars made, an unadjusted $600 million in the United States and Canada, $1.8 billion around the globe.

Critics see a similarity with Jack and Rose, Rhett and Scarlett.

ANNE THOMPSON, WEST COAST EDITOR, "PREMIERE" MAGAZINE: They are great romances, which appeals to the women especially, but to everyone. They are set against an historical backdrop: the Civil War and the sinking of the Titanic.

VERCAMMEN: Twentieth Century Fox boasts the most super- blockbusters: "Titanic" in conjunction with Paramount, "The Sound of Music, and the "Star Wars" films. Initially, Fox way underestimated "Star Wars," which made that whopping inflation-adjusted $863 million. In 1977, the original was first released in just 32 theaters.

TOM SHERAK, CHAIRMAN, FOX DOMESTIC FILMS: You ask anybody who saw "Star Wars" in 1977 and where they saw it. They can tell you the theater they saw it in, they can tell you who they were with, and they could tell you whether they liked it or not.

VERCAMMEN: A broad appeal from the grandparents down to junior created the top-ten blockbusters.

PAUL DERGARABEDIAN, PRESIDENT, EXHIBITOR RELATIONS CO.: Of the all-time top films, they are generally in the "G," "PG-13" category. I mean, they're not films that are just a hard "R" rating.

VERCAMMEN: Experts predict someday, with re-issues, "Titanic" could also break the adjusted-for-inflation record and scream:


LEONARDO DICAPRIO, ACTOR: I'm the king of the world.


VERCAMMEN: Paul Vercammen, CNN Entertainment News, Hollywood.




Well, you know, a few of those movies made my top-10 list. Well, got my drink, got my popcorn. All I need is some company, so hurry down, Tom.

HAYNES: Can I leave now? No?

All right, Rudi, I'll be right down. You better save me some popcorn.

WALCOTT: Well, that's just great: Tom gets popcorn and I get Hungary -- the country, that is. That's where today's "Worldview" journey takes us. Instead of finding out about Golden Globes, we learn about bronze statues, mementos of the past.

BAKHTIAR: Hungary is a small, landlocked country in Central Europe. Great economic and social changes have occurred in Hungary in the last 60 years. In the late 1940s, most of the country's income came from agriculture, and Hungarian communists ruled the government. Today, most Hungarians work in manufacturing and other industries, and non-communist parties are in control.

In the past 10 years, Central European communism has been mostly swept out of sight. But here and there, some of its relics and artifacts have survived.

Richard Blystone explains. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICHARD BLYSTONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a chill season for the icons of socialism. The red-hot ideology is cold to the touch and most Hungarians are remembering the thousands who died and the 200,000 who fled when their rebellion was put down in 1956. In fact, Hungary's careful campaign of liberalization that followed had by 1989 made the system and the statues largely irrelevant.

The Budapest Assembly rounded up these rejected totems for a different kind of reeducation camp -- a place to reflect on the doctrine and the system that gave them birth.

MARIA SULYOK, HUNGARIAN TEACHER: You can't destroy your history. You always learn from your history, you just can't say that it didn't happen at all.

BLYSTONE: The peak of the pantheon: Karl Marx and Friedrick Engels, Vladimir Illych Lenin in his classic pose, faceless clones and muscle-bound Soviet superheroes, figures of fear now mute and helpless, unable to lower their arms and sidle into the shadows.

One peril of freezing your heroes of the day in bronze is that they might last long enough to be ridiculed. The brochure says mockery is absolutely not the aim, but there is no "thank you for not gloating" sign. And disrespectful captions force their way to the lips: Thanks ever so much, comrade, for invading our country. Where'd I get this vest? I got it over there. Some indignities can't be avoided, and the gift shop doesn't even try.

Musical hits of the Soviet era, tins of the last breath of communism. And then the T-shirts, the counter icons, the wearable wisecracks, the walking graffiti.

(on camera): For the last word, there's nothing like a T-shirt.

Richard Blystone, CNN, Budapest, Hungary.


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

HAYNES: In "Chronicle," we mark the end of an eye-opening journey; a journey that provided a window on the world. We followed a group of students who spent a "Semester at Sea." They gave us a unique perspective into different cultures around the world.

NEWSROOM's Charles Tsai went along for the trip and provides this video postcard.


CHARLES TSAI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dear students, we're now in Morocco, our last stop before Miami.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, don't kiss the cobra, they say. Oh, OK, sure, we'll just go kiss the cobra.

TSAI: By now, many of us have become seasoned travelers, unafraid and uninhibited. We can easily find our way to any town, in this case Marrakech (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Marrakech stands as the finishing touch to a picture of timeless beauty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's no toilet.

TSAI: Find a room for any price...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We paid $6 for this room.

TSAI: ... and figure out what to do and see.

(on camera): So the acrobats are supposed to come out at four.

(voice-over): We're brave enough to try the local cuisine, and we can laugh about the maggots in our food.


TSAI: Even if they do turn our stomachs, as always, there is much to explore, but many of us are tired.

LORIE PECK, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY: Personally, I feel more detached from this one than any others than I've been to, and I think it's because we are going home.

TSAI: We're exhausted from all the traveling we've done in the last 85 days: on trains in Japan, motorcycles in Vietnam, auto rickshaws in India, camels in Egypt.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of walking, minicabs, cabs, trains.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rickshaws, cyclos. Those cyclo things, that was creepy. I said a prayer. I told someone when we were pulling out, I said, if I don't make it back, tell my mother I love her.

TSAI: We're overwhelmed, too, by all that we've seen: the modern cities, the ancient ruins, and all the people we've met. It is they who gave meaning to our experience and a reason not to let go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You meet some people that feel like you're close family. That doesn't happen very often.

TSAI: Around dinner tables or on the streets, they've talked to us about their way of life, about the Indian way of love and the Balkan way of hate. In the process, they've taught us something about the world and ourselves.

JASON BROCK, UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH: I think something that I've learned is that you have to get over your preconceptions of a place and stereotypes of people. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think I've learned that there is, like, a universal humanity. We've seen so many religions and seen them practiced in so many different ways. There's something that, like, we all share a belief in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, what kind of music was that?


TSAI: There may have been language barriers, but we found ways to overcome them.

ALYSSA BERMAN, CENTRAL MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY: It's amazing how a smile means the same thing wherever you go. You can not speak a word of the same language to each other and still get your feelings across.

TSAI: Not everyone or everything made sense. Some of the most powerful experiences did not.

JESSICA KNIGHT UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH: It was probably the Cu Chi Tunnels (ph) in Vietnam and being there; and we had an opportunity to fire off M-16s, or whatever they were.

KARI REDMOND, COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY: You could pay a dollar to fire off a gun where our dads and our uncles and whoever fought, and I just don't know why you would want to do that, and students did -- Americans did that.

KNIGHT: We don't have time to process what it all means right now. It's going to take months.

TSAI: That's why many of us are looking forward to going home, so we can figure some things out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need everybody's passport.

TSAI: And when it came time to leave, some were ready...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Coming to America.

TSAI: ... but some were not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm excited to see my family and friends, but I don't want to leave all my family and friends on the trip.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to go home at all.

TSAI: Many of us waited till the last possible moment to get on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't want to go on this ship anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I enjoyed climbing the pyramids. I don't enjoy climbing this gangway. I got to go home.

TSAI: And as the ship pulled away... UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Don't cry for me Casablanca.

TSAI: We braced ourselves for the final leg of this journey, our last 11 days on the SS Universe Explorer.

As we traveled around the world, this ship has been our constant companion, our home away from home. We will miss her, maybe even more than we'll miss the countries.

CHRIS HANNA, SOUTHWEST TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY: There's nothing greater, more inspiring for a romantic to be able to go out to the front of a ship and watch us split threw the waves, not being able to tell, sitting on the edge of the ship, where the ocean ends and the sky begins.

TSAI: From one port to another, she gave proof that there is unimaginable beauty everywhere, and made us treasure each sunrise, each sunset.

HANNA: It just reminds me it's all about the search, it's all about just preparing yourself for what's next and looking at the world in a new and different way everyday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's nothing in my house. My wife, Danielle (ph), who's gone...

TSAI: She showed us a world so different from the one we've known that we often wonder if it's real. Our friends back home would say it's not.

PROFESSOR JACK HARRIS, SEMESTER AT SEA: Do not fall into the trap that this voyage is a break from the real world, because this is the real world; this is the real world, yes. And, you know, if it isn't, damn it, it ought to be.

TSAI: And why shouldn't it? Why shouldn't we live in a world where differences are celebrated, food is plentiful, friendships are easy, and we all dance to the same songs; a world in which authorities don't take themselves too seriously, and all rivalry is in good fun. Yes, this has been our reality, but so were the countries that we visited, and they were anything but utopian.

PECK: You revisited the place where your uncles, fathers and brothers fought, died, survived the Vietnam War. You met soldiers of Bosnia, trekked through Sarajevo, got lost in Italy, saw poverty in China, witnessed diseases in India that you thought only existed in books. You touched the untouchables, laughed with the locals, cried for the children, and held on to each other.

TSAI: They were so complex and sometimes so difficult that they made us think, they made us feel, and they made us want to change our ways.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we definitely can no longer be ignorant or, you know, turn our heads from things. It would be really ignorant of us to forget about them. TSAI: There are the reasons why we went on this journey in the first place.

JULIE KIEFER, UNIVERSITY OF INDIANAPOLIS: As an education major, this trip is going to be wonderful. Whenever one of the 10 countries on the itinerary is mentioned, I can pull out my pictures and I can pull out everything I've saved from the countries, the candy bar wrappers, the maps, the stickers, and I can say, look, I've been there. I can give the students an insight that's more than just what's in the textbooks.

TSAI: And what insights have we gained from this around-the- world trip? For me, personally, I have come to believe more than before that the world is our home, not just the city or country we live in. And as citizens of the world, we have responsibilities to each other in good times and bad, in India and in Bosnia. I have learned our lives can be fascinating because our world is fascinating. And we should embrace this life and always fill it with new adventures.

Unfortunately, this adventure is about to end. And we could not have asked for a better ending than a beautiful sunset and the brightest moon in 133 years.

PROF. FLORENCE DEE BOODAKIAN, SEMESTER AT SEA: Stay intoxicated with the spirit you feel tonight. Honor it for the next 133 years. Keep awake, keep peace and keep sailing.

CAROL PINTA, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO, BOULDER (singing): An act of desperation is putting it all into words, summing up feelings this strong, such an overwhelming urge. Want to leave you tonight with something dancing in the air. I've fallen in love with this life as it stands. Do you believe what you feel, is real what we have shared? Opened up worlds inside, and I was hoping you would care to give me just one last memory, just one last breath of the moon. The sun is drowning out the stars, and it'll all be over too soon. It's an act of desperation, this race against the day. I'll tell you everything just to say what I need to say. Gonna leave you tonight with something dancing in the air. I've fallen in love with this life as it stands. I've lived my wildest dreams, you helped me prove that I can. From now there'll be nothing; I'll surrender, no chance left to the wind. This will be the one beginning that's never going to end.

TSAI: And as I leave this ship, I take with me many fond memories and a life jacket from the Universe Explorer. Let it serve as a reminder of all that is miraculous. Let it save me from the routines of everyday life.

Thanks for joining us on our "Semester at Sea," the last voyage of the millennium. Good luck on all your journeys ahead.



HAYNES: Could there be a better way to learn about the world. WALCOTT: It's really a lifetime's experience in a matter of months.

HAYNES: And a lifetime of memories I'm sure those guys will take with them.

WALCOTT: That was a great job by our reporter Charles Tsai.

HAYNES: And Dave Timco (ph), by the way, who put all those pieces together. They ran really smoothly. Just a great job by the two of them.

WALCOTT: And that's it for us. We wish you all a great Super Bowl weekend.

HAYNES: We'll see you back here on Monday. Take care, guys.



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