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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for March 3, 2000

Aired March 3, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: Friday is here and so is NEWSROOM. Good to see you back. I'm Andy Jordan.

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: And I'm Shelley Walcott. Thanks for joining us. We begin today with a controversial homecoming.

In "Today's News," safe passage for a former Chilean military leader. Augusto Pinochet escapes extradition and returns to his native land.

WALCOTT: Then, finding rhythm in a fault line. In today's "Editor's Desk," we'll get to the point of making music from an earthquake.


ANDREW MICHAEL, SEISMOLOGIST: We might be able to sort of hook their interest with a piece of music and then get them to think a little about earthquake preparedness.


JORDAN: Couldn't get enough out of your trek to Europe? Why not take a piece home? In "Worldview," you can thanks to a couple of innovative tourists.


MIKE STOPKA, PRES., DESIGN TOSCANA: You hear the boat going down the Seine, and I actually told my wife, I said, "Pinch yourself, listen to this noise, listen to the experience." I said, "When we get back, this is the catalog I want to produce."


WALCOTT: And March is Women's History Month. Today in "Chronicle," meet a woman making a big difference for thousands of kids in the U.S.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROXANNE SPILLETT, PRESIDENT, BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB OF AMERICA: Every young child deserves a safe place to go, people who care, life- changing experiences that open opportunity.


JORDAN: We get started with a 17-hour journey across the Atlantic Ocean. It could end up being the last leg of a 16-month odyssey for General Augusto Pinochet, the former dictator of Chile. He's heading back to his homeland amid mixed cries of outrage and relief. Pinochet left England yesterday, putting the brakes on requests by four European countries that he be turned over to them for trial on charges of human rights abuses. Within hours of a British decision that he was mentally unfit to stand trial, he was on a plane headed to Chile. Its president says it's now up to the Chilean courts to decide what, if anything, should be done.

Pinochet has been suffering from poor health recently. In fact, his health was the reason he went to Britain back in October of 1998. He was recovering from minor surgery when English authorities arrested him by order of a Spanish judge. Spain was the first country to indicate it wanted to try Pinochet for his alleged involvement in crimes against humanity while he was Chile's ruler. His regime lasted from 1973 to 1990. During that time, more than 3,000 people, some Spanish, either died or disappeared in chile.

Under house arrest for a year-and-a-half, Pinochet is now essentially a free man, but his future is still uncertain.

Richard Blystone has more on the former dictator's exit from England.


RICHARD BLYSTONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One day a patient, the next day a prisoner. Augusto Pinochet, his rule in Chile nine years behind him, was arrested in October 1998 as he lay sedated after a back operation in a London clinic, his immunity as a senator in Chile no help here. A judge in Spain, Balthazar Garzon, had learned Pinochet was in London and was asking for extradition, trying to establish that at the end of the 20th century for those who commit some crimes there's no place to hide, crimes like murder, torture, and kidnapping during Pinochet's 17 years in power, some victims now living in Spain.

Less than two weeks after his arrest, Britain's high court ruled him immune as a former head of state, and the first of many appeals began. Pinochet stayed in custody and was moved to a private hospital, out of sight but not out of mind. Pro- and anti-Pinochet partisans had a furious confrontation at a London church. On November 25th, England's highest court, the law lords, ruled he was not immune, but that was set aside because one of the judges had ties to a human rights group connected to the case.

In December, the house arrest moved to a mansion outside London. Ex-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, grateful for Chile's help during the 1982 Falklands War against Argentina, visited and argued for his release.

MARGARET THATCHER, FMR. BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It is you who brought democracy to Chile.

BLYSTONE: In March, the law lords ruled again: He could be extradited to Spain, but only on reduced charges, torture and conspiracy torture, and only after December 1988, when the International Torture Convention became binding on Britain, Chile and Spain. To the frustration of pros and antis, the legal process ground on all last summer, and as fall drew on, Pinochet was charged on 35 counts.

But the ex-strongman didn't appear in court. His health was failing: heart trouble and two minor strokes. And just under a year after his arrest, Chile asked for his return on humanitarian grounds. Spain said it wouldn't appeal if Britain chose to free him. Pinochet's lawyers appealed the extradition ruling. The senator passed a second birthday in custody. He was now 84.

In January, a blue-ribbon medical team examined Pinochet, and after their report Home Secretary Jack Straw announced he was inclined to release him. While a Chilean plane waited to take him home, human rights groups and a new litigant, Belgium, challenged that decision twice, to no avail. Augusto Pinochet was free to leave for Chile, where more charges await.

Richard Blystone, CNN, London.


TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Pinochet's release sparked global reaction from both his detractors and supporters.


ABEL MATUTES, SPANISH FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): We did what we had to do, which was to defend Spain's interest and uphold our privileged relations with Latin America and especially with Chile.

CHILEAN PROTESTER: There is a criminal now who can live free and who will never be judged in Chile.

VIVIANA DIAZ, PRESIDENT, FAMILIES OF THE DISAPPEARED (through translator): What really triumphed here were the pressures exerted by our government, which asked that Pinochet return, arguing he could be tried in Chile.

LOUIS CORTES VILLA, DIRECTOR, PINOCHET FOUNDATION (through translator): We don't believe they've been winners or losers. The big loser is my general's health and the dignity and sovereignty of Chile.

VINCENT DEL BUONO, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: The courts of the United Kingdom have confirmed that people accused of crimes such as torture can be prosecuted anywhere in the world.


WALCOTT: We turn now to the world of U.S. politics, where the setup was a little different for Thursday night's Republican presidential debate in Los Angeles.

Texas Governor George W. Bush and Alan Keyes took questions in person, but Arizona Senator John McCain participated via satellite from a campaign stop in St. Louis, Missouri. McCain possibly could win the popular vote in California's primary next Tuesday, but recent polls show Bush is leading McCain among Republicans, and only GOP ballots will count towards delegates. During Thursday night's debate, each candidate reiterated why he should be elected president.


ALAN KEYES (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That one question that came up tonight is worth answering: Why am I here. You know what, the reason that I'm honestly here is because with the majority of people in the Republican Party, I'm the sentimental favorite. I'm the one you all listen to, you know I'm saying what's in your heart, you know that I speak the truth of true, the true bedrock conservatism, do it better than anybody who has appeared in these debates.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I assure you, and I commit to you that I will restore honor and dignity to the White House, and then I will inspire a generation of young Americans to commit themselves to causes greater than their self-interest. I am very proud of this campaign. I'm very proud of the fact that we have tried to build America up and tear no one down.

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have a plan that says the American dream will touch every willing heart by making sure every child gets educated, no child gets left behind. I've got a record of reforming education in the state of Texas; I'm going to take that record to Washington, D.C. I've got a plan that strengthens the military to keep the peace.


WALCOTT: And the Democratic presidential hopefuls also made sure they were seen and heard on Thursday. Vice President Al Gore spent part of his day reading to school kids in two key primary states, New York and Maryland. And in delegate-rich New York, Bill Bradley had a little campaign fun on the campaign trail. He served up hot dogs to hungry potential voters at a food stand in New York City.

JORDAN: When you think of rock and roll, what do you think of? Probably music, right? Well, some people think of earthquakes. Get it: rock and roll? Well, still others think of both. Look at how they're blending the two ideas to help people learn more about earthquake safety. It goes to show that artists can find inspiration just about anywhere.

Rusty Dornin has our report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What we hear during an earthquake are usually the consequences, but the actual shake, rattle and roll of this 1992 California tremor was music to the ears of seismologist Andrew Michael.

ANDREW MICHAEL, SEISMOLOGIST: We just take, basically, our seismograms, turn them into a compact disc, and then play them out the loud speakers, but we then make the motion go much faster so that we can actually hear it, and it gets up into the pitches that our ears can deal with.

DORNIN: A musician, Michael used the quake's frequencies to compose the earthquake quartet. Tremors from a trombone, vocals, cello, and notes from the hard rock of the California quake.

Michael uses the piece when he lectures.

MICHAEL: When we're doing these sort of smeared notes, it's trying to symbolize the strain building up in the Earth, and it's repeatedly interrupted by earthquakes, and earthquakes give off energy from that strain.

DORNIN: A researcher for the U.S. Geological Survey, Michael says there are tens of earthquakes daily in California alone. He hopes the notes here will make the impact of these notes much clearer.

MICHAEL: There are people who are going around sort of as the happy culture, not listening to those earthquakes in the background, and maybe they're interested in music, and we might be able to sort of hook their interest with the piece of music and then get them to think a little about earthquake preparedness.

DORNIN: Awareness of the possibilities through earthshaking rhythms.

Rusty Dornin, CNN, San Francisco.


WALCOTT: Today, in "Worldview," we check out art, its inspirations and its bottom line. Art is a form of communication, but it's also big business. We'll head to China to meet a young artist who faces creative challenges, but who is making a name for himself as he rises above them. And we'll learn more about the art reproduction business, see how some of the treasures of Europe could wind up in your own home, well, replicas anyway.

If you've ever had the chance to visit Europe, you probably found it's hard to leave its treasures behind. The Mona Lisa in Paris, the gargoyles of the Roman Gothic churches, the ruins in Athens. Well, now, you might just be able to buy a taste of Europe. A new world is taking on old art. What you're about to see provides trick and treats for the eyes. The treats is the art itself. The trick, that it's a copy.

But as John Dobosz found out, people are paying good money to be fooled.


JOHN DOBOSZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The images are ageless. A hit parade from ancient Greece and classical Rome seasoned with a touch of the Gothic. A Swiss clock keeps time, while the head of David keeps watch out front.

Are we in Paris? Florence? how about a showroom just outside of Chicago?

MIKE STOPKA, PRES., DESIGN TOSCANO: Be it in college, or middle age, or when you retire, Americans love Europe. And I thought, I enjoy it. It's like an adult Disney World.

DOBOSZ: Ten years ago, Mike Stopka founded Design Toscano, a $25 million a year catalog business based in Arlington Heights, Illinois. The company sells reproductions of European art to Americans by catalog and through three retail stores.

STOPKA: With the minister of culture of France, we got the rights to make a cast of the actual gargoyle of Notre Dame. So this is, literally, a casting right from the piece that's on the west facade of Notre Dame.

DOBOSZ: Stopka and his wife, Marilyn, cultivated their own fondness for European culture, courtesy of frequent flyer miles Mike racked up during his former career as a consultant.

Inspiration for the business hit Stopka after a few glasses of wine, as he and his wife stood on the banks of the Seine River in the center of Paris.

STOPKA: It was midnight. I mean, it's just packed with August crowds, and I'm standing there, the bells are ringing, I'm feeling really good. You hear the boat going down the Seine, and I actually told my wife, I said, "Pinch yourself, listen to this noise, listen to the experience." I said, "When we get back, this is the catalog I want to produce."

MARILYN STOPKA, VICE PRES., DESIGN TOSCANO: We've just always been drawn to European themes. The trend, traveling to Europe, had become more and more popular, and just seeming, whenever we would go places, people were there too interested in the same things, and so we just figured, you know, we would just try it as a hobby.

DOBOSZ: Mike's hobby at the time was cycling, and that's how he met Fabio Orlandi, the third generation family owner of the Orlandi Statuary on the west side of Chicago.

FABIO ORLANDI, PRES., ORLANDI STATUARY: We've been using these tools since 1911. This one's really worn out, made in Italy, same tool that my grandpa would have been using to clean up the seams on the statues.

DOBOSZ: Orlandi and his dozens of craftsmen were happy casting a moderate volume of statues, a process that's by its nature very labor intensive. But Stopka spotted opportunity in mass marketing Orlandi's statues, and persuaded Fabio to give it a go.

ORLANDI: We would ride our bikes together, that's how we met, and he always threatened to want to start selling these statues because, you know, they were interesting to him. They were something he liked. He had similar pieces in his house.

DOBOSZ: Stopka produced a simple black and white catalog of the statuary's existing inventory. Orlandi's art was a hit with customers. Design Toscano's sales in its first year topped $80,000, and Orlandi grew in turn. Stopka leveraged his $6,000 investment by having Orlandi fill orders as they came in and drop ship the statues directly to the customer. There was no need to finance inventory, and the hobby quickly turned into a full-time job.

MARILYN STOPKA: It just grew, to a point that I actually quit my own job and started just working out of the basement myself.

DOBOSZ: Today, Marilyn runs Design Toscano's day-to-day operations at company headquarters. Mike didn't quit his consulting job until 1994, when the company was already up to $3 million a year in sales. That same year, gargoyles became a huge fad. Toscano continued to boom. But Stopka demonstrated some strategic discipline and decided to diversify his offerings, instead of just focusing on gargoyles.

MIKE STOPKA: Marketing 101 is that you can't base a marketing campaign and a strategy on a one-dimensional approach, and I could have probably even gone deeper and made more short-term money but, I mean, in the long-term, I had to diversify and use this base as a means to grow.

DOBOSZ: Today, Design Toscano's 150 employees pick, pack, and ship hundreds of products that might be inspired by Europe, but are very likely made in Asia. Toscano sources everything from British telephone booths to pieces of ornate furniture from global suppliers, whose low costs of production outweigh logistical headaches in shipping.

MIKE STOPKA: The Indonesians do good carving work at a price that's perfect for the American market. It's definitely not like dealing with an American manufacturer. Back orders have been large. Over-ordering has been a function, but the margins are extremely high.

DOBOSZ: Design Toscano does a thriving business in tapestries and European wall art, selling reproductions of paintings, posters, and carvings from the classic to the contemporary.

MIKE STOPKA: French art posters have done quite well. And what's quite fun about French art posters, besides their size, is their color. It's become a very strong collectible. Originals are running out, and replicas have taken over a good chunk of the market. And they're fun.

DOBOSZ: Stopka likes his art a little on the risque side. And because he's bootstrapped the business without outside investors, financing rapid growth has been an art in itself.

MIKE STOPKA: With very little capital, it's always a day-to-day type thing, making sure that you make payroll, your cashflow.

Actually, there's been times, up to about four years ago, to make payroll you take out $30,000 on a credit card for a week. You could be the most successful growth company and still be bankrupt if you don't get control of your business, and we're trying to do that.

DOBOSZ: Over at the Orlandi Statuary, Toscano's business accounts for more than half of the company's sales. Craftsmen there stay busy pouring plaster into an ever-expanding stock of molds. With both Orlandi's and Stopka's family businesses booming, the two entrepreneurs find they have less time to ride their bikes.

ORLANDI: At the beginning, it was two friends riding that happen to be in similar businesses. But now we keep a little bit of distance between us. But he's still a good guy.

DOBOSZ: Stopka's no slacker. When he's not traveling to Asia to find new suppliers or to Europe to find new ideas, he's cutting deals to bring in new business, or making sure the company stays liquid.

MIKE STOPKA: Literally, it is seven days a week, just about every day. I mean, Christmas I'm in here working on spreadsheets.

DOBOSZ: Marilyn makes sure operations run smoothly, and also manages the transportation needs of the Stopka's three kids. Meanwhile, Mike says he would make more money as a consultant, but that growing a company has its own rewards.

MIKE STOPKA: It's the freedom. It's the challenge. It's almost like a sporting event. I mean, you go back and you see your kids playing soccer, and once they get into the business world, many people, the competition ends. And being your own boss, it's kind of fun to control your own destiny.

DOBOSZ: Controlling his destiny with a lot of help from family and friends.

John Dobosz, CNN Financial News.


HAYNES: For an artist, the source of inspiration can come from anywhere. Observe a work of art by Degas or Renoir, and you can only imagine what they were thinking when creating their masterpieces centuries ago. Today, we travel to China to observe the works of an up-and-coming artist who draws his inspiration from another art form.

Claire Young (ph) explains.


CLAIRE YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Beijing-born artist Luo Zheng rarely exhibits his work, which is exactly why there was so much excitement in Shanghai when his exhibition, titled "Music Turned Visible," came to town. Born in 1965 with Down's Syndrome, Luo Zheng only started to paint eight years ago, and in that time he has displayed an exceptional talent.

KATALIJN VERSTRAETE, BIZART: We wanted to introduce Luo Zheng as a painter and not necessarily as a retarded -- retarded person. Of course, both of it cannot be, you know, separated from each other, otherwise he wouldn't make such a pure work.

YOUNG: Luo Zheng began painting by accident. A pair of black circles painted with calligraphy brushes led an artist friend to suggest buying oil paints. And encouraged by his highly-musical family -- his father is a composer, his mother a soprano singer and his sister a pianist -- Luo asked one day if he could paint his father's string quartet.

LOU ZHENGRONG, LUO ZHENG'S FATHER (through translator): Luo Zheng's world is filled with music; for him, the musical world is the real world.

YOUNG: Luo Zheng inhabits a world of music. His visual images of music are compelling in their use of daring colors and express a soaring state of mind. His best known painting, Gygory Ligeti (ph), inspired an enthusiastic response from the composer himself, who was deeply moved by the connection with his music. He has painted some of the greats, like Vivaldi's "Four Seasons and Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata."

LOU: (through translator): It usually takes about one to three hours to finish one painting. When he paints, he puts his whole heart and soul into it.

YOUNG: To date, he has completed 300 works, all of which are totally unique. As well as music, much of his inspiration comes from travel, like this piece of "The Watery Blues of Fontainebleau" and these haunting shapes of the "Terra-Cotta Warriors of Xian." But many of his paintings are simply called "Untitled," and these are the works which perhaps show the deepest insight into Luo Zheng's inner world of imagination, a world which reaches out to people in its sincerity and purity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I have seldom seen this kind of expression. I think it's great; it's so direct.

YOUNG: Luo Zheng's work has never been sold. Instead, the family are hoping to set up a foundation where they can display the work in an environment surrounded by music and nature. In the meantime, Luo Zheng plans to exhibit in Japan next year at the Asian Composer Society, where his father will perform a piece of music inspired by one of his son's paintings.

Claire Young, SPN China, for CNN "WORLD REPORT."


JORDAN: Well, there's an old saying that goes: in politics, if you want anything said, ask a man, if you want anything done, ask a woman.

WALCOTT: Today, we kick off Women's History Month with a tribute to those who've been asked and have answered in a variety of fields ranging from science to literature to business, all around the world.

NEWSROOM's Rudi Bakhtiar begins our series with the tory of a woman who's changed the lives of thousands of children.


UNIDENTIFIED BOY (singing): I believe I can fly. I believe I can touch the sky.

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He is nine-year- old Malek Leggett (ph), member of the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club in the South Bronx, and if this little boy believes he can fly it's due in no small part to this woman.

She is Roxanne Spillett, president of the Boys and Girls Club of America. She heads the fastest-growing youth-development program in the U.S., serving three million boys and girls, 23,000 clubs worldwide.

ROXANNE SPILLETT, PRESIDENT, BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB OF AMERICA: Every young child deserves a safe place to go, people who care, life- changing experiences, and hope and opportunity.

BAKHTIAR: Spillett has led the B&GCA through a period of phenomenal growth, thanks to her finesse for soliciting funds: $5 million from Nike, 1.5 million from Taco Bell, and from the U.S. government:

SPILLETT: Twenty million dollars to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to invest in our children and our future. Thank you.


Just last year we chartered 261 new clubs. This year, I think it will be 286 new clubs. Our growth has been remarkable.

BAKHTIAR: This room, the Boys and Girls Club Hall of Fame, records notable former members of the club, the likes of Michael Jordan, Denzel Washington and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

SPILLETT: It doesn't take rocket science to figure out that if young people are going to succeed in the world that awaits them, they need a good education, they need access to technology, they need an opportunity to explore careers and they need to be able to get along in a diverse world.

BAKHTIAR: Spillett has devoted her entire professional career to the health and welfare of children. Her appointment in 1996 to president of the Boys and Girls Club of America marks the culmination of a career spanning more than 20 years in Boys and Girls Club work.

But Spillett's commitment to youth began a long time ago. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in education from the State University of New York and studied guidance and counseling in graduate school at Saint Lawrence University. Spillett joined the B&GCA as director of the National health Project in 1978 at a time when the club did not include girls.

SPILLETT: We were started in 1860. Our first club was in Hartford, Connecticut. It was a boys club, and it was started by two women. And we were really a boys club movement for 120 years.

BAKHTIAR: What's it like being a woman in such a powerful position?

SPILLETT: People expect things of you based on who they see, not on who you are, and although I didn't internalize it until a little later, I always had this feeling that people have expectations of me based on the fact that I'm female or based on the fact that I'm this or that. But that is not what defines me; what defines me comes from inside of me.

BAKHTIAR: It's not surprising that when asked about her future the Boys and Girls Club of America was top on the agenda.

SPILLETT: Every day in anything I do it's uncovering opportunities and getting people involved in this cause, which I believe can not only change a child's life but can change the future of the country.

BAKHTIAR (on camera): And the world.

SPILLETT: And the world.

BAKHTIAR (voice-over): Her message to teens who might want to follow in her larger-than-life footsteps?

SPILLETT: Dream big. Anything is possible.


WALCOTT: And our next "Woman Making History" is Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Indian Nation. You'll meet her on March 10th.

JORDAN: On the 17th, Rear Admiral Evelyn Fields steps into the spotlight. She's the director of the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations.

WALCOTT: And we'll finish Women's History Month with a profile of America's youngest bank CEO, Rebeca Romero.

JORDAN: Yes, actually, I spent last week with Wilma Mankiller. Fascinating woman. That's coming up for you next week.

WALCOTT: And we look forward to it. Thank you. Bye-bye.


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