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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for June 23, 2000

Aired June 23, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: Hi, there. Welcome to CNN NEWSROOM for Friday. I'm Andy Jordan. Sit tight for a look at what's coming up.

Today's news explores the significance of parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe, and the future of the country under the current president.


AMANDA KIBEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Whoever wins these elections, Mugabe's strategy has set Zimbabwe up for grim times ahead.


JORDAN: In today's "Daily Desk," learning from the pros.


THOM MOUNT, THE LOS ANGELES FILM SCHOOL: These people are not professors, they are working professionals in the industry.


JORDAN: Film students get tips from the top.

In "Worldview," war destroys a national treasure in Afghanistan.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Experts say it will cost at least a million dollars to complete restoration.


JORDAN: Then, in "Chronicle," how come these nuns decided to join the circus?


DANIEL KAISER, CIRCUS ELECTRICIAN: I still don't understand it, but I like it. (END VIDEO CLIP)

JORDAN: Voters in Zimbabwe go to the polls this weekend. While they are parliamentary elections, they really reflect on the power of the president, Robert Mugabe. Once seen as a freedom fighter and symbol of African liberation, he's now struggling to keep his party's power in place.

Zimbabwe was once called Southern Rhodesia, a British colony as of 1923. While forces inside that country declared independence as early as 1965, it wasn't until 1980 that the white-minority British government agreed to hold multiracial elections. Even though he was jailed for a decade by that government, Robert Mugabe was elected and imposed a one-party state in the country now named Zimbabwe.

A multiparty system took shape in 1990, a system that threatens to end Mr. Mugabe's 20-year hold on power. President Mugabe has failed to root out government corruption. Some watchers say he has supported recent farm occupations as a way of holding onto power. Ruling party militants have been seizing hundreds of white-owned commercial farms. Mr. Mugabe has promised to redistribute those farms to hundreds of thousands of landless blacks after the election.

Amanda Kibel looks at how the recent violence is playing into this election and Mr. Mugabe's power base.


KIBEL (voice-over): Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has been clear and quite consistent in his message to his country's former colonial rulers.

PRES. ROBERT MUGABE, ZIMBABWE: The U.K. is trying to teach us how to run our country. Naturally, we resist that. We do not accept. We are not a British colony any longer.

KIBEL: It is a message he has delivered both in words and in actions.

Despite a referendum against it, Mugabe went ahead and changed the Constitution to allow his government to seize white-owned farms without compensation and demanded that Britain should pay the compensation instead.

Mugabe's battle with Britain intensified even further when he said the seizure of all British and externally owned mines would be next. He intimated, too, that other industries may be subject to the same treatment.

RICHARD DOWDEN, "THE ECONOMIST": What he's cleverly done is link the political opposition with the white farmers with Britain and lump them all together and then re-fight the anti-colonial struggle. And that's what he's done. He's re-launched that war again.

KIBEL: Anti-colonialism may be a strategy that works in the short term. Despite a growing opposition in Zimbabwe's urban areas, Mugabe's Zanu-PF party is still expected to win enough votes from the rural electorate to hold its parliamentary majority. But analysts say whoever wins these elections, Mugabe's strategy has set Zimbabwe up for grim times ahead.

DOWDEN: Its economy is in very serious problems. The currency is just being held up at the moment, and after the election will devalue. There is very little prospect of an agreement with the IMF and the World Bank. Until the whole policy turns around, until they return to the rule of law, they're not going to get any aid from the donors, and they're not going to get any investment.

KIBEL: If Mugabe follows through on his threats to africanize mines and industry, the economy will suffer further. There are 400 British-owned companies in Zimbabwe, with a combined investment of more than $170 million. Much of this investment is in the country's mining industry, which accounts for almost half of Zimbabwe's annual exports and employs nearly 50,000 people.

Britain's response has been cautious. It has imposed an embargo on arms and military supplies, but has so far stopped short of full sanctions.

(on camera): Britain says it will work with any government that is elected freely and fairly. But with very little power to ensure that process, the question remains how Britain will react if these elections prove to be anything other than free and fair.

Amanda Kibel, CNN, London.


JORDAN: Seen a lot of movies? Know a lot about them? OK, tell me about genre theory or audio composition. Filmmaking is complicated, with countless steps involved. That means lots of jobs and lots of people wanting to break in. Some spend years and tens of thousands of dollars getting a film degree. Others skip school and get on-the-job training.

One of Hollywood's best knows what it takes to move up quickly. He's running a crash course in Los Angeles, showing the ropes to aspiring filmmakers.

Gloria Hillard explains.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the bywords that we have around here is "be a pro": do it like a professional.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You better pay up or we're going to mess you up real good!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In order to get your effect, you just add water.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a set decorum, there's a set protocol.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're just working all the time. When you're not shooting, you're developing a project to shoot and you're trying to coordinate a production, and then you shoot and then you're in post-production.

GLORIA HILLARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): And all the while, you're in school. Welcome to the Los Angeles Film School, which offers a 10-month curriculum at a cost of $21,000, with classes in all aspects of movie making: cinematography, editing, directing and producing.

MOUNT: Over 75 percent of this movie takes place in a single room. How are you going to handle that? What are you going to do with it?

HILLARD: These students are in a producing class, something the teacher knows all about. In fact, when he was about the age of the students here, he was president of Universal Pictures. Thom Mount is also one of the school's founders.

MOUNT: When they leave here, we believe they'll be equipped to go make pictures as opposed to talk about making pictures. These people are not professors. They are working professionals in the industry. These young men and women get exposed to people that they otherwise would be standing in line outside someone's office to see.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are a couple of ways that you can also deal with that.

HILLARD: Don Cambern has edited 40 feature films.

DAN CAMBERN, FILM EDITOR: Once you've gained experience, you want to pass it on, and teaching is a wonderful way to do it.

This is the first scene in the movie. Give it a little...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My long-term goal is to own my own production company.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ultimately, I'd love to write and direct a film.

HILLARD: What distinguishes this school from others, they say, is not only its hands-on but foot-in-the-door philosophy, with an opportunity to observe real productions.

AMEDEO D'ADAMO, DEAN, L.A. FILM SCHOOL: We tell them, hey, make business cards. When you're on these shoots, when you're in these places, hand them out, get known, smile.

MOUNT: Next week, we're going to put Roman on the phone with you and you're all going explain to him how you're going to produce his movie.

HILLARD: They'll be talking to director Roman Polanski.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am so nervous, you don't even understand.

MOUNT: So don't anybody chicken out.

HILLARD: It's probably more nerve-wracking than a final exam from one of those academic film schools.

Gloria Hillard, CNN Entertainment News, Los Angeles.


JORDAN: "Worldview" is all about art today. Our tour takes us to Asia and Europe. Afghanistan works to protect and preserve its culture and reclaim relics. How can it get back its pilfered treasures and stolen history? In Russia and in Great Britain, singing's the thing. You'll hear voices raised for health and in humor.

We begin with "The Sound of Music."

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: It's been called one of America's favorite movies, and now it's taking on a cult following in Great Britain. Released in 1965, "The Sound of Music" tells the story of the Von Trapp family and their escape from advancing German Nazis. Beloved by millions for its singing and breathtaking scenery, the film is catching on with a new generation.

But as Richard Blystone reports, the new fans don't necessarily take the film as seriously.


RICHARD BLYSTONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Straight from the office, and now you've got five minutes to transform yourself in public into "ray, a drop of golden sun," because Fridays and Sundays at London's Prince Charles Theater, it's the audience that's in costume.

(singing): Weirdoes and beardoes and sisters in wimples, young crones with cell phones and damsels with dimples.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're normal, we're just decked out.

BLYSTONE: Normal? Or maybe soon will be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About everybody I know is doing this. It's really, like, catching on. Everybody's either talking about it or they've read something about it.

BLYSTONE: If you still haven't caught on, maybe it's because you're younger than, say, 40 and you've never been exposed to...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE SOUND OF MUSIC") JULIE ANDREWS, ACTRESS (singing): The hills are alive with the sound of music.


AUDIENCE (singing): The hills are alive with the sound of music.

BLYSTONE: It's "The Sound of Music," Jim, but not as we know it: with subtitles for the few here who don't already know all the words.

The picture may be dated, the lyrics corny, but sing along with "The Sound of Music" is the new camp karaoke cult here.

AUDIENCE (singing): Ray, a drop of golden sun. Me, a name I call myself. Far, a long, long way to run. Sew, a needle pulling thread...

BLYSTONE: A chance not just to see a movie, but to be one, to fling aside those British inhibitions, find naughty bits in the dialogue.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: We should have put a cow bell around her neck.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Have you tried to barn? You know how much she adores the animals.



BLYSTONE: And do what you wanted to do at a lot of other movies.

A mother superior T-shirt is pretty modest amid the style explosion here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's about being a child again. It's about children, being allowed to be a child.

AUDIENCE (singing): Tea, a drink with jam and bread.

BLYSTONE: And you know, if nothing else, you might learn to sing.

Richard Blystone, CNN, London.


TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: And now we head to Russia for more singing. This former republic of the Soviet Union has a long musical history. Folk music and religious songs were all the rage in Russia up until the mid-1700s when secular music and Italian opera became more popular. The world's largest country is probably best known, though, for the classical music and ballet scores -- three composers in particular. Peter Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Igor Stravinsky gained international recognition for their musical works of art in the late 1800 and 1900s.

Now, one century later, the value of music in Russia is still high. And as Jill Dougherty reports, it's being passed from mother to child.



JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "I love my horsy. I brush it smooth. I comb its tail and ride to see my friends." It seems like a simple song, but Dr. Mikhail Lazaryev believes it has deep resonance with children -- even with children in the womb.

If children, before they're born, hear the right music sung by their mothers, he says, they'll be healthier, stronger, and develop faster. And it's not just Mozart.

DR. MIKHAIL LAZARYEV, SINGING TEACHER (through translator): In spite of all Mozart's genius, a mother's voice goes deeper. It affects the child as the mother breathes. The child gets a complete powerful stimulation, something a recording can never do.

DOUGHERTY: Zenya, who is eight months pregnant, thinks the music is working.

ZENYA, MOTHER-TO-BE (through translator): My second baby is much more active than the first. I don't know how much it depends on the singing classes, but I do feel the difference.

DOUGHERTY: Dr. Lazaryev has written 1,000 songs, some of them based on Russian poetry, some even in English.

LAZARYEV (singing): Together, together, together everyday. Together, together, we work and play.

DOUGHERTY: He holds singing classes in cities across Russia. Some mothers in the class say their babies already know what kind of music they like.

LUSYA LOPUSHOVA, MOTHER-TO-BE (through translator): The ultrasound showed he's got big ears. I think it's because he listens to his mom singing. He loves fast and rhythmic music, especially African music. And when it plays, he moves with the beat.

DOUGHERTY: Classical music is fine, Dr. Lazaryev believes. Mozart, he says, is good. So is Chopin. And even some of Beethoven. But please, he says, no violins and no Wagner.

Jill Dougherty, CNN, Moscow.


HAYNES: Afghanistan is a landlocked country in Southwest Asia. Iran, Pakistan, China and Tajikistan are among its neighbors. Afghanistan is one of the world's least developed countries, and farming is the primary source of income for 85 percent of all its workers.

Although 99 percent of Afghanistan's population is Muslim, there are about 20 ethnic groups in the country, each with their own language and customs. As a result, Afghanistan is no stranger to civil war. Afghanistan was also embroiled in a 10-year war with the former Soviet Union, which wanted to annex the country as part of its empire.

The Soviet Union retreated in 1989, but since that time Afghanistan has not been able to establish a permanent, stable government. Currently, the country is ruled by the Taliban, a conservative Islamic group that's been criticized internationally for its oppressive treatment of women.

Although consensus has been elusive in the past, Nic Robertson reports on how some groups are trying to work together for the sake of history.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): Scarred and pockmarked from years of shelling in the country's ongoing civil war, Afghanistan's National Museum in Kabul is now poised to begin a revival. But workers starting the restoration are less concerned with the condition of the building than the relics plundered from inside: a collection that documents more than 50,000 years of Afghanistan's history.

MASOODI, MUSEUM WORKER (through translator): Our main demand of the world, and UNESCO in particular, is to help us in the return of relics that are in overseas museums. We also want our neighboring countries to prevent export, trafficking and sale of the items.

ROBERTSON: And it's not just international help in tracking down the stolen treasures that's needed. Experts say it will cost at least a million dollars to complete restoration of the country's once leading center of cultural heritage -- money the Taliban running this part of the impoverished country say they don't have.

In a move that may help the Taliban get that international support, they appear ready to work with historians intent on recovering Afghanistan's lost treasures.

BRIGITTE NEUBACHER, UNOCHA: We have excellent relations with the Taliban. You know, they say that, finally now, they will tell us what is missing and we can put it up on the Internet, you know, and make a big international campaign and say, this is missing, everybody please give it back, you know. Maybe they give it back without this convention, maybe they don't give it back.

ROBERTSON: Any appeal for honesty will be a huge task. The pillage of valuable artifacts during more than two decades of Afghan conflict has become big business, scattering the treasures worldwide. Smugglers have profited from a ready market of buyers waiting beyond the war-torn country's borders, often passing goods through border towns like Peshawar in Pakistan, whose trade in legal antiques attracts international interest.

Some of the stolen relics are large and, experts predict, may easily be recovered. But the thousands of smaller items may never be seen again.

Nic Robertson for "Inside Asia."


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

JORDAN: In today's "Chronicle," the story of two nuns in an unlikely place. When these sisters turn their eyes to the sky, it may not necessarily be in prayer. They could be catching the high-wire act of one of their colleagues under the big top.

Jeanne Meserve has the story.


ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages...

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the Roberts Brothers Circus, a new day means a new town and hours of muscle- numbing labor unpacking, unrolling, unfurling the big top.

Working along with the grunting, grimy, tattooed, young men, a prim middle-aged woman with a cross around her neck. She is Sister Dorothy Fabritze, one of two nuns travelling with the circus this year.

KAISER: I have a problem understanding why two nuns would come travel with the show. And I still don't understand, but I like it.

MESERVE: Sister Dorothy and Sister Bernard Overkamp pray daily in a small chapel they've created in their travel trailer.

SISTER DOROTHY FABRITZE, M.S.C.: But only say the word and I shall be healed.

SISTER BERNARD OVERKAMP, M.S.C.: But only say the word and I shall be healed.

FABRITZE: The body of Christ.


MESERVE: They are missionary sisters who spent years in Papua New Guinea. They are here on religious assignment to spread the word of God to the circus people. Because of their life on the road, some members of the troupe have not been able to practice religion.

FABRITZE: Really would like them to firmly believe in a God who loves.

MESERVE (on camera): Do you think there are people here who think God does not?


MESERVE (voice-over): At first, Sister Bernard acknowledges, she was reluctant to take up the challenges of this nomadic life.

OVERKAMP: The sister approached me one day and said, do you think this would be, you know, something for you? And I said, no, I don't think so. I don't think this is, you know, something for me.

MESERVE: Some members of the circus also had doubts about just what the nuns would add.

CHRIS CONNERS, RINGMASTER: Last year when we were told that there was going to be sisters on the circus, right away, everybody had a: well, are we going to act different? Are we going to talk different? Are we going to -- oh, there's going to be church services every day. We're going to have a prayer before every meal.

MESERVE: But the hard-core religion stays in the trailer. The sisters are practicing what they call a ministry of presence.

FABRITZE: I want to live among them, be with them, work with them, learn the circus life, be available for them if and when they are asking for spiritual help at all.

MESERVE: And so, as Sister Dorothy pitches the tent, Sister Bernard cooks up meals for the 38 members of the show and crew in a cramped kitchen.

OVERKAMP: Three tickets? Two-twenty-five, ma'am.

MESERVE: Later, she will sell tickets for Midway Attractions.

FABRITZE: Welcome to the Roberts Brothers Circus.

MESERVE: Sister Dorothy will collect tickets for the show. And as they do these things, conversations begin -- conversations which can become counseling sessions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is just to kill time until I open my...

FABRITZE: Your business.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... Internet coffee shop.


TERESA EARL, WIFE OF CO-OWNER: A couple of the employees have had some serious problems that the sisters have been able to talk them through and help them sort out, deal with, and that sort of stuff. So, that mission alone is a wonderful thing.

MESERVE: There hard work and good humor have brought acceptance for the nuns and change to the circus.

EARL: They guys do seem a little more reserved, I guess, a little more gentlemanly.

MESERVE: The one public manifestation of the nuns' religion: a prayer opening every show.

FABRITZE: We praise you, God, our creator, and we ask that our performers will be safe during the show.

MESERVE: With this, the sisters hope they are changing the public's perception of the circus.

FABRITZE: I hope I've brought a presence of love, joy and peace. If that's different from what they've had experience of, yes, maybe I've changed it.

ANNOUNCER: Yes, a circus has it all.

MESERVE: Nuns with a circus: It may be as amazing as any act here.

FABRITZE: Thank you for coming.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was very good. We loved it.

FABRITZE: I'm glad you liked it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I'm glad you started with a prayer.

FABRITZE: Thank you. I'm glad you appreciated it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We did. We'll pray for you.

MESERVE: Jeanne Meserve for "CNN NEWSSTAND," Hancock, Maryland.


JORDAN: Well, countless numbers of Americans stay in shelters every week. Others may be found in local jails or hospitals. And some sleep in public buildings or parks. The stories of those who call the street their home is disheartening, but occasionally perseverance triumphs and breeds hope.

Today we have such a story; a story of five homeless teenagers who have beat the odds of living on the streets.

Steve Bosh of affiliate KUSI explains.


STEVE BOSH, KUSI REPORTER (voice-over): Monarch High School is uniquely different. Located downtown, it gives homeless teenagers what their parents cannot.

SUSAN ARMENTA, HEAD TEACHER: There are insurmountable obstacles that they're hopping over. You know, I think most people would be stopped dead in their tracks by some of the stuff that these kids go through.

BOSH (on camera): This is an art project depicting the life experience of some of the students here. Here, Esther writes: "I saw a man commit suicide in front of the trolley last week. It upset me a lot because I also saw a man get killed in my living room."

(voice-over): These life experiences were then transferred to canvas, and the kids were the artists.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We got evicted from our house in Lemon Grove.

BOSH: From there to a cheap hotel downtown. Jennifer had been to a regular school, but this one was very different.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you have Payless shoes, you get teased at a regular school, or you have the free-lunch card. But at this school, all the other kids have already been through that and nobody teases each other.

BOSH: The students range in age from 12 to 19. The ones who come here enroll themselves.

ARMENTA: What they have in common is that they're in an extremely tenuous situation. They're in profound crisis when they enroll.

BOSH: The school provides everything from clothing to medical care. Perhaps most important is a caring attitude.

KRISUNA HOLBROOK, STUDENT: I'll be the first one in my family to get a high school diploma.

BOSH: One of the five students graduating will join the military. The other four will go to college.

HOLBROOK: I feel good. I'm proud of myself.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to open my own group home so I'm going to take psychology and business at college.

BOSH: There will be a graduation ceremony on Friday, and the school's first prom.

HOLBROOK: At the regular school they have a prom and everything. And we just wanted something similar.

ARMENTA: We've got some dresses donated and some tuxedos donated, and we're going to have a graduation ceremony, and then we're going to have a prom. BOSH: They're also going to have a dinner and a limo, just like a regular school. The only difference will be the graduates themselves.


JORDAN: Next Friday, we'll also be talking about some other students getting a leg up from an organization helping those struggling with hardships.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I got this scholarship, I was -- I had this idea in me that I was the only one; I was the only person in the world that was overcoming adversity.


JORDAN: Hear all about the Horatio Alger Foundation next week right here on NEWSROOM.

That'll do it for your Friday. Have a great weekend. We'll see you back here Monday. Bye.



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