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NEWSROOM for April 28, 2000Aired April 28, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Seen in classrooms the world over, this is CNN NEWSROOM.
ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: Happy Friday. I'm Andy Jordan. Your last NEWSROOM for the week is jam packed, so let's get things rolling.
First, the latest on the upheaval in Zimbabwe.
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MIKE HANNA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After a day's talks the British foreign secretary emerged to face the media alone. It was clear the talks with the Zimbabwean delegation had not gone smoothly.
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JORDAN: Get in step with today's "Editor's Desk," as we hook up with some real movers and shakers.
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JIM MORET, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are the visionaries who put the rhythm and moves into performing. From award shows, concerts and music videos, choreographers mastermind the look, the feel, the mood.
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JORDAN: "Worldview" treats us to a bit more singing and dancing, Norwegian teen style.
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MARION RAVEN, M2M SINGER: We were like singing with our hairbrush instead of playing with Barbies kind of. I dunno, we were just friends and we saw that we both like to sing.
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JORDAN: Finally, more memories of a conflict long past, but not forgotten.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MAX CLELAND, U.S. SOLDIER IN VIETNAM: Throughout the night we were receiving more mortar fire. One thing I did learn was that you really don't know what the hell's going on when you're under attack.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JORDAN: We head to the former British colony of Zimbabwe today, where we bear witness to a violent conflict between white farmers and black squatters. The controversy is over highly coveted fertile land, and is rooted in promises years old.
Several months ago, armed black squatters began looting and burning white-owned farms. Seven people have died in the attacks, and the president of Zimbabwe supports the occupations.
The tension stems back decades, and portrays a racial and economic divide in the country. Britain took over what's now Zimbabwe, then called Southern Rhodesia, in 1923. While it was self- governed, voting was later restricted to keep whites in power.
In 1965, Rhodesia declared independence. The British government said the act was illegal, and demanded a more representative voting process.
In 1980, the nation became Zimbabwe, after elections were held.
Amanda Kibel picks up the story from there.
AMANDA KIBEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lancaster House, London, April, 1980, an agreement is signed, laying the foundations for an end to white rule in Rhodesia and the birth of a new, independent Zimbabwe. Britain's then foreign secretary, Lord Carrington, spoke of new beginnings.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, APRIL, 1980)
LORD CARRINGTON, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: The people of Rhodesia will now be able to settle their future by peaceful means.
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KIBEL: Key to this peaceful future: land. Rhodesia's civil war was fought largely over land, and the people expected the new government to make it a priority.
For more than a hundred years, the country's best and most arable land has been occupied in one way or another by whites. When Britain colonized the area in 1923, it promised farms as incentives to British settlers. After World War II, British war veterans were given land in Zimbabwe as retirement packages.
(on camera): The Lancaster House Agreement set out a 10-year plan for the redistribution of this land. But, said the agreement, the land could only be bought at market value from willing sellers. On this basis, Britain and the U.S. agreed to fund these purchases.
(voice-over): So Zimbabwe's independence brought with it high expectations.
TODD MOSS, ECONOMIST INTELLIGENCE UNIT: But what happened was that the process was very quickly hijacked by politicians, and that the first farms that were redistributed went to top officials of the ruling party, to generals in the military, basically not to poor farmers.
KIBEL: Zimbabwe's government blamed the restrictions imposed by the Lancaster agreement for the slow pace of land distribution. But since 1990, when these conditions expired, there has been no real change or progress.
A referendum in February asked Zimbabweans to change the constitution to allow the government to seize white farms without paying for them. The people rejected it.
Analysts say the government is using the land issue to distract people from the country's economic problems and to intimidate its opponents ahead of elections expected within the next few months. And, they say, as long as land reform remains a political tool in Zimbabwe, the land will never really return to the people.
Amanda Kibel, CNN, London.
JORDAN: Well, in an effort to expedite that land reform, Britain promised back in 1998 to provide aid so blacks could have an equal chance at prime land. But it has held up the funding with claims that land was being distributed to the political elite.
Mike Hanna looks at how aid is playing into the current farm land crisis.
MIKE HANNA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After a day's talks the British foreign secretary emerged to face the media alone. It was clear the talks with the Zimbabwean delegation had not gone smoothly, that Britain had drawn a deep line in the diplomatic sand.
ROBIN COOK, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: I have refused to make any further progress or take any further steps until the first essential next step is taken, and that is for the occupations to come to an end.
HANNA (on camera): The deal the British government laid on the table was clear. More than $50 million would be provided for the land resettlement program in Zimbabwe. But first, Robert Mugabe's government has got to end the forced occupation of white-owned farms and set a date for Democratic elections.
(voice-over): On this last issue, at least there appeared to be some consensus: a commitment from Zimbabwe that a date would be announced as soon as a commission defining the boundaries of electoral constituencies had finished its work.
COOK: We have offered to help build a peaceful and a prosperous future for Zimbabwe. We now look to the government of Zimbabwe to take the steps on its side in order to make that future a reality.
HANNA: Robert Mugabe has publicly backed the taking of white- owned land, saying he believes the attackers are reclaiming what is rightfully theirs. But the message from London is clear: There will no financial assistance if he does not withdraw his support.
Mike Hanna, CNN, London.
JORDAN: Well, you know how some songs make you want to get up and dance? When you watch singers and entertainers on music videos, their moves look smooth and easy. But a lot of work goes into those dances. They're carefully choreographed.
Choreograph means to design or plan the movements of a dance. In today's "Editor's Desk," we'll meet some creative choreographers.
Jim Moret takes us behind the scenes of dance.
JAMIE KING, CHOREOGRAPHER: You go ba ba boom, turn around yourself, down, up.
DEBBIE ALLEN, CHOREOGRAPHER: I like the dance masses. I love it when dance is living and breathing well.
JIM MORET, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are the visionaries who put the rhythm and moves into performing. From award shows, concerts, and music videos, choreographers mastermind the look, the feel, the mood.
Jamie King is a mere 23 years old, but his roster of clients includes Latin singing sensation Ricky Martin and The Artist.
KING: I had Prince as kind of my instructor. He actually encouraged me to do my first choreography gig.
MORET: His influence...
KING: I was a big fan of the "Fame," Debbie Allen days. And I wanted to be Leroy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "FAME")
"LEROY": I'm gonna be a dancer -- a good dancer!
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MORET: King faced a rare challenge when working with pop diva Madonna on her video for "Human Nature."
KING: She has done almost everything, so when she offered me a chance to do a video and she said: Just do whatever you want, I hung up the phone and I was like: Oh, OK.
MORET: A recent challenge paired the master of dance with the newly discovered ladies of "Nobody's Angel."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think because he makes it look so easy, they don't understand how hard it is.
MORET: Darrin Henson made some magic when he worked with Christina Aguilera for her debut video "Genie in a Bottle."
DARRIN HENSON, CHOREOGRAPHER: She was very, very shy at first, and I had to figure out what her personality was like.
MORET: At the recent American Music Awards, Henson put the boys of N'Sync in sync with each other.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Darrin teaches us the all the choreography in, like, two days and then he forgets it.
HENSON: They make my job easy because what I do is I get tapes or CDs of the work, and I in turn create the dance, and I go in and teach it to 'em.
MORET: Tina Landon is the queen of choreography. Janet Jackson gave the former Laker Girl her big break.
TINA LANDON, CHOREOGRAPHER: With people like Janet, they brought the dance to a different audience, and I think people are really starting to finally get it.
MORET: The 1980s film "Flashdance" inspired the future mover and shaker.
LANDON: We played the music and we did that stupid thing where you rubbed your legs.
MORET: Landon has worked with practically every big name in the business, except?
LENNY KRAVITZ: American woman, get away from me...
LANDON: Lenny, I would love to work with you. I mean, it's just -- you cannot sit still to his music.
MORET: Jim Moret, CNN Entertainment News, Hollywood.
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.
JORDAN: Well, we turn from dance to art and music in "Worldview." Today's reports take us to Africa and Europe. We'll meet two teenagers from Norway making a name for themselves around the world. Their story, and their songs are just ahead. And we'll head to Kenya to check out trunkfuls of art which rolled into town. Or maybe it's best described as art full of trunks. You'll find out why.
TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: The African nation of Kenya is home to one of the widest varieties of wildlife anywhere. Thousands of tourists flock there each year to catch a glimpse of the elephants, giraffes, lions, rhinos, zebras and more. Typically, you have to travel out to one of the country's national parks to see them. Recently, though, there was a stampede of elephants of sorts into the capital city of Nairobi.
Alphonso Van Marsh has the story.
ALPHONSO VAN MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was an unusual sight in the city streets of Kenya, where traffic jams, pollution, crime and billboard advertising are the norm: two truck beds of art -- 10 metal elephants -- chugging along to a roundabout near Nairobi's international airport.
The elephants are the inspiration of Kenyan artist Kioko Mwitiki and accounting firm KPMG and are part of the city's beautification program. Mwitiki spent nine months collecting scrap metal to build the life-size structures. Elephants are often a must-see on safari at Kenya's numerous game parks.
KIOKO MWITIKI, ARTIST: We don't see any art, so this country can be mistaken as a place for dumping things while we know there's so much creativity here. So I'm happy to be involved in a project like this where we have a new face for the city coming up.
VAN MARSH: A new face that turned heads as soon as workers unloaded the elephants off the trucks, a new face Mwitiki hopes that will show Kenya is a country of wildlife and art.
Alphonso Van Marsh, CNN, Nairobi.
RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: We travel to the European continent for our next story from Norway, a long and narrow country that shares borders with Sweden, Finland and Russia. The northernmost portion of Norway lies within the Arctic Circle, and as a result, that area of the country, dubbed the "land of the midnight sun," experiences daylight 24 hours a day for 10 weeks out of the year. Norway, along with Denmark and Sweden, is one of the Scandinavian countries that Vikings used to call home. But now it seems Vikings aren't the only Norwegians taking the world by storm.
As Rachel Wells explains, a new teen pop twosome is sending their sweet sounds across the sea.
MARION RAVEN, M2M SINGER: Oh, we just didn't really know what to be named. We thought of like M&M, since we're two Ms. But, you know, it's candy, and so we just ran this contest and this girl wrote in with the name M2M, and we loved it.
RACHEL WELLS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You guys are what? How old are you?
MARIT LARSEN, M2M SINGER: Fifteen and 16.
WELLS: And you've been playing music for how long?
RAVEN: We met when we were 5 years old and we always loved music. And we were, like, singing with our hairbrush instead of playing with Barbies kind of. I don't know, we were just friends and we saw that both liked to sing.
WELLS: And your first album was a children's release in Norway?
WELLS: You won the equivalent of a Grammy in Norway. What's it called there?
LARSEN: We were actually just nominated. It's called Spellemans Pris.
WELLS: Oh, you were just nominated. I'm sorry!
LARSEN: No, but we were like the first kids ever nominated, so it was really cool.
RAVEN: We didn't write anything on that album, so that's why we moved over to pop, and we like to write our own songs.
WELLS: The album is called "Shades of Purple."
LARSEN: Purple is like, yes, my favorite color, I guess.
RAVEN: We designed our own Web site. We decide which -- how it's going to look like, so it's purple.
WELLS: Now, you've got a little single that's on the "Pokemon" soundtrack.
RAVEN: It's called "Don't You Love Me?" It's like just about how you don't have to rush into anything just because the boy says, I love you, and stuff like that.
WELLS: Still best friends?
LARSEN: We're like sisters. I mean, we have a lot of fun together, and we work really well together, too.
WELLS (voice-over): Rachel Wells, CNN Entertainment News, New York.
ANNOUNCER: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, seen in schools around the world, because learning never stops, and neither does the news.
JORDAN: It was one of the most divisive issues in U.S. history: the Vietnam War. Sunday marks 25 years since the fall of Saigon. For more information on the conflict, check out Wednesday's show when we took an in-depth look at how it all began.
Now, Richard Blystone takes us to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, 25 years later.
RICHARD BLYSTONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's been a pawn in the Cold War chess game, a testing ground for Asian communism and the goal of a capitalist gold rush. Now, a quarter century after the war, it is starting to look like a normal 21st century city.
At first sight, it's hard to believe the war ever happened or that the communist government in Hanoi sought to stamp its ways on this unruly town officially named Ho Chi Minh City after the revolutionary leader but which still defiantly calls itself Saigon.
"It's community, not communism," she says.
Vietnam's southern capital has always made Hanoi look like a monastery, a city with attitude, with steam and sting and sizzle, with the discipline of a soccer riot and the intellectual tone of Las Vegas.
In the 1980s, the government gave up trying to convert Saigon. In the loosening up that followed, there was a little boom, investors chasing quick and illusory riches. Now the pace of change is more orderly.
"It's 10 times better than it was 10 years ago," says this man, "spiritually, economically, touristically -- every way."
Look hard and you can find artifacts of the war. In this market, the jungle fighter's pith helmet from one side, from the other a collection of aircraft instruments, dog tags obtained no one will tell us where. But what's called here the "American War" is history to that half of the people who were born since it ended.
Saigon's prosperity starts in the mud. And, recently, this earth has been good to those who work it in the Mekong River Delta south of Saigon, Vietnam's horn of plenty.
Instead of neon, the vibrant colors of fruits and flowers here in Metaw (ph), where this year people have money to spend.
This man says he's been able to buy a motorbike.
But it's rice, hauled and hoisted by men but nurtured by women. As in most rice-eating countries, rice is queen here. There were times after the war when Vietnam had none to export. Then the reforms of the '80s brought back private enterprise. In 1989, a million tons went abroad. This year, more than three times that. Vietnam is now one of the world's biggest rice exporters. Who cares that the government is strict and stern when there's a cash reward for all the planting and transplanting and tilling and weeding and harvesting that rice demands.
(on camera): When your whole life marches to the orders of queen rice, freedom is kind of relative.
Richard Blystone, CNN, in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam.
JORDAN: Our look at the legacy of the Vietnam War continues with a personal journey captured on film. The camera operator is Max Cleland, now a U.S. senator from Georgia, then a U.S. soldier serving in Vietnam. Recently, Senator Cleland gave two students from Emory University, as reporters in CNN Student Bureau, permission to re-edit his film. We now bring you their product, the Vietnam video diary of Max Cleland.
MAX CLELAND, U.S. SOLDIER IN VIETNAM: Dear folks, bought me a tape recorder today. I really -- I'm looking forward to using it, watching my spindle go around. So if you hear any unusual noises, no sweat. I'm relaxing on the hill right behind us. Spotted a couple V.C. and scared them away.
I went up to Chu Li (ph) about two days ago. They got a beautiful view up there overlooking the beach. It's the epitome of everything you would think a South Sea island would be, I mean, complete with palm trees and the sand and the sun and all this good stuff. So I really enjoyed that. I relaxed for a while.
I'm glad I'm over here, but yet I'd still like to be back there swinging with the old gang.
On another personal note, I had a real eye-opening experience today. I visited a Vietnamese hospital. It looked like to me that it just walked right out of the pages of history in the Middle Ages. It had two sections; one medical, one surgical. And the medical ward, there are various rooms with people just laying out on the hard, wooden slabs covered or not covered, flies, stench and people with diarrhea just going to the bathroom right there in the ward. The Vietnamese that's in the hospital have to have somebody from home come and feed him if he can't walk to the chow lines, which is rice for chow. And if they don't have somebody to minister to them, then they just don't get ministered to, that's all.
I ran back inside the tent, whipped out my .45 and double-timed over to the bunker, still in my underwear. And about that time, two mortar rounds came in within about 100, 150 meters away and they fell in the medic area, down where the medivac choppers. They had one WIA, one wounded in action, and cut our telephone line to them. And throughout the night, we were receiving mortar fire. One thing I did learn was that you really don't know what the hell's going on when you're under attack. You can't tell. Sometimes you can tell whether it's your artillery or theirs, but about the only way you tell it's incoming is when the ground starts shaking. If you hear a short whistle and a big boom and the ground shakes, they're incoming.
I traveled this street without joy, and believe you me, it was quite a revealing experience. Two things caught my eye. Probably the first was the extreme beauty of the drive, the beauty of the countryside. But right next to that were the extreme horror that you found right beside such an exultant beauty. And even after -- a month after the destruction, there are still Vietnamese picking among the rubble trying to put together the life they once knew.
I can sympathize with the Vietnamese people because this is the way they live and this is their home and they can't go out to sea and they can't leave. They just have to reconcile themselves to whatever fate comes their way. And I think this is one of the big reasons why neither the N.V.A. or the Americans can rouse the Vietnamese very much either one way or the other, is that deep down, I think, there's not really a despair, just a hardened sort of veil of tears-type attitude toward it all, and a sort of a helpless feeling of being a small part in a very big chess game where you are never sure of winning anything and are virtually sure of losing everything at least once or twice.
When I get ready to go, I'll leave with mixed feelings. You do attach yourself here to what's going on. You get very attached to it and you tend to see it as the world's greatest cause. At least for the time being, it's your cause, and the little details, the day-by- day details that mean something here. You sort of feel like everybody's interested in them though they're really not. And you can't pull yourself away or leave without feeling like you've left a part of yourself over here. And Vietnam really changes a fellow because if you come back the same person you left as, you really haven't gained anything. And I'm definitely coming back a little bit differently than I arrived here.
JORDAN: Well, just days after that last image, Max Cleland would be a changed man. He went in with the first wave of the Tet Offensive during which he lost both legs and an arm. A grenade from a fellow soldier's jacket fell out and exploded. Today, Cleland is a triple amputee, a U.S. senator and a survivor of one of last century's most tragic chapters.
For more about the senator's Vietnam experience, head for cnn.com, where there's much more on this anniversary as well.
Hope you have a great weekend. See you back here Monday.
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