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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for July 25, 2000

Aired July 25, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: It's Tuesday. This is CNN NEWSROOM. Welcome. I'm Andy Jordan. Here's what's coming up.

In today's news, the contenders for the U.S. presidency are selecting their running mates. We'll have tips on choosing the number-two man on the ticket.

Next, in "Health Desk," DNA discoveries offer new hope to a family facing a deadly disease.


DAVE FROHNMAYER, FATHER OF AMY FROHNMAYER: We think that, based upon the best evidence from the best science, that it will be a reality. The question is, will it be in time?


JORDAN: Then in "Worldview," saving descendants of slaves from a life of slavery in Haiti.


JEAN ROBERT CADET, FORMER RESTAVEC: The worst thing was not being able to sit at the family at dinner time, to have dinner with them. That told me as a child that I was not a human being.


JORDAN: And in "Chronicle," more on the U.S. vice presidency. A look at what happens when the number-two man at the White House is suddenly number one.

Election days fall on Tuesday in the United States. And on this Tuesday, we'll likely know one more name that will appear on presidential election ballots this fall. When George W. Bush presumably accepts the Republican Party's nomination for president at the GOP convention, his name will appear next to his vice presidential pick. As of last night, all signs pointed to former U.S. Defense Secretary Dick Cheney. With the upcoming conventions, both Vice President Gore and Governor Bush have been in veep selection mode. Since Governor Bush's party convention is first, he's been under the gun to make a pick. The Republican Party convention will be held next week, July 31 through August 3 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Democratic convention follows, August 14 through 17 in Los Angeles, California.

Governor Bush has been wading through a short V.P. list that reportedly included former Senator John Danforth of Missouri and retired General Colin Powell. But it appears former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, who was heading Bush's vice presidential search, is poised to be the number-two man in the Texas governor's run for the presidency.

Bruce Morton looks at how past nominees have made their picks.


BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): How do you pick a running mate? Geography can matter. Dwight Eisenhower, war hero turned president of New York's Columbia University, picked Californian Richard Nixon in 1952. John Kennedy, knowing he'd need help in the South, picked Lyndon Johnson of Texas in 1960.

Sometimes it's expertise. Ex-Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter in 1976 picked a man who knew Washington: Minnesota's Senator Walter Mondale. Bill Clinton picked Al Gore, both from the mid-South, but again, one governor, one old Washington hand.

Sometimes it's just weird. In 1956, Democratic nominee Adlai Stephenson let the convention delegates choose. They picked Tennessee's Estes Kefauver over John Kennedy. And Kennedy, running for president four years later, would thank Kefauver backers for "saving my political career."

The Republican convention in Detroit in 1980 was a little weird, too. Delegates and pundits buzzed for a day over a rumor: Nominee Ronald Reagan would pick Gerald Ford, the un-elected president who'd lost to Jimmy Carter. It would be a kind of co-presidency, Ford advising the less-experienced Reagan on things like international affairs -- never happened, of course. The staunchly conservative Reagan picked George Bush, the establishment candidate who had been his most persistent opponent in the primaries.

But the oddest veepstakes ever had to be the Democrats in 1944. President Franklin Roosevelt, on a train headed for an overseas meeting, talked to the delegates about winning the war.


FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What is the job before us in 1944? First, to win the war.


MORTON: He didn't talk about the vice presidency. The sitting veep was Henry Wallace representing the party's left wing. But some folks wanted change. The South wanted Jimmy Burn, a Southerner. Others urged Missouri Senator Harry Truman, the second Missouri Compromise, they said. FDR blessed all three, but he wasn't there.

In Chicago, the delegates began a chant: "We want Wallace." Chicago Mayor Ed Kelly didn't, so he opened the doors and let crowds pour into the hall. Alderman Edward Burke, who's written a history of Chicago conventions, describes what happened next.

EDWARD BURKE, CHICAGO CONVENTIONS HISTORIAN: Mayor Kelly grabs a hold of the fire marshal, Anthony Melaney (ph). He said, Chief Melaney, this place is in violation of the fire code, shut it down. And just as Henry Wallace, his name is going to be placed in nomination by Senator Claude Pepper, the convention chairman raps the gavel and says, motion made to adjourn, all those in favor signify the usual sign of aye, the ayes have it, the convention is in recess till noon tomorrow.

MORTON: Imagine: Without some Chicago street smart politics, somebody else -- not Harry Truman -- would have decided whether to drop the atomic bomb on Japan, would have had to deal with Stalin, the start of the Cold War, the Marshall Plan, NATO, the United Nations, and oh yes, the desegregation of the United States armed forces. Sometimes what happens at conventions really matters.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.


JORDAN: Bruce Morton returns later in "Chronicle." He'll look at U.S. vice presidents who were elected as the number-two man but ended up becoming number one. Presidential succession stories later in "Chronicle."

In "Health Desk, the story of how what's being called a scientific breakthrough is offering new hope to a 13-year-old in Oregon. Last month, we told you about scientists who say they've developed a working draft of the human genome.

A human genome, or gene, is the biological instruction for how an individual is formed and how the cells in the body function. Genes are sometimes called the recipe or blueprint for the human body. Researchers say decoding genes will revolutionize the prevention, detection and treatment of disease. It's a prediction being closely watched by an Oregon family dealing with an inherited disease that's already claimed two family members.

Jim Moret has the story.


JIM MORET, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thirteen-year-old Amy Frohnmayer is playing one of her favorite tunes. It's a piece she remembers her sister Katie playing nine years ago before Katie died of a rare blood disorder called Fanconi anemia. It's a genetic disease that also took the life of Amy's eldest sister Kirsten. It's a deadly disease that Amy lives with today.

AMY FROHNMAYER: Sometimes I'm really frightened. And whenever I hear that some of my friends, Fanconi anemia patients, are doing badly, I'm always scared.

LYNN FROHNMAYER, MOTHER OF AMY FROHNMAYER: Amy, unlike most children, knows that what she has can be very deadly. She's lost two sisters. She adored those sisters. She knows she has the very same disease, and she knows a lot about the disease.

A. FROHNMAYER: I feel like it's something that I really need to know because it's affecting me totally.

MORET: Amy and her family say they find hope with the major advancements in medical technology; particularly the mapping of the human genome. This enables researchers to pinpoint genes and may eventually lead to therapies for a variety of inherited diseases, including Fanconi anemia.

D. FROHNMAYER: A dozen years ago, I had a Nobel Prize winner tell me that doing gene therapy was like shooting a rifle at a star and expecting to hit it. But now very distinguished and reputable people are saying this is something that's within the grasp of modern medicine.

MORET (on camera): Do you feel like this is a race?

A. FROHNMAYER: Yes, it is a race. You know, it's a race against the clock for all the Fanconi anemia patients that I know.

MORET (voice-over): Amy is among 1,500 people known to have the rare disorder in the United States. Fanconi anemia patients experience bone marrow failure, leaving many susceptible to infections, fatigue and spontaneous hemorrhaging. Many develop leukemia and few of them reach adulthood.

Seventeen years ago, Dave Frohnmayer was Oregon's attorney general, Lynn was a clinical social worker, and they believed they had a healthy family.

D. FROHNMAYER: The future seemed rosy, and then all of a sudden this bombshell drops.

MORET: The Frohnmayer's discovered they each carried a recessive gene that when combined causes Fanconi anemia. This meant they had a 25 percent chance of passing the disease to a child.

L. FROHNMAYER: All you want when you're a parent is to nurture and protect and make every opportunity possible available to your children. And the last thing you want to do in any way is to harm your child.

D. FROHNMAYER: I think when it really comes down to the bottom line, you only have two choices: You become a victim yourself and just wait to get run over, or you fight back. And we said, we have to fight back. MORET: So the Frohnmayer's began a quest to learn about and try to conquer the disease, writing newsletters and a book, starting a family support group, and creating the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund. That fund has raised more than $8 million, helping researchers officially pinpoint three of the eight genes known to cause the disease. That's a start, but researchers still need to find out how to infiltrate the deadly cells to regenerate healthy ones.


KIRSTIN FROHNMAYER: Katie and I need a bone marrow transplant and this is our best hope.


MORET: When Amy's sisters were diagnosed, there was a desperate search to find bone marrow donors. It inspired Dave Frohnmayer to co- found the National Bone Marrow Registry, which has grown to nearly 4 million potential donors today.

The family went to Nova Scotia to track down distant relatives in hopes of finding a match. They were unsuccessful.


KATIE FROHNMAYER: When I grow up, I hope to be a doctor.


MORET: After being hospitalized 14 times in 18 months, and after multiple strokes, Katie died in 1991. She was 12.


KIRSTIN FROHNMAYER: I've learned to appreciate what I've got.


MORET: Kirsten, the Frohnmayer's oldest child, underwent a bone marrow transplant from a donor who was not an exact match. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford in 1995. Two years later, Kirsten died. She was 24.

L. FROHNMAYER: To know that they weren't given the chance for a full life span, that's a thought that's just painful beyond belief.

A. FROHNMAYER: I always have to think, you know, we're going to get this. This is going to end. We're going to find a cure for Fanconi anemia. You always have to have that because it just keeps you going. I have so much hope for the future.

MORET: Jim Moret, CNN, Eugene, Oregon.


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

JORDAN: We focus on health and welfare issues in "Worldview." We head to India for a look at an unusual approach to fighting disease. It could give you pause or bring on applause. In the Philippines, we check out kids working in a risky business. They're mining with mercury. And we'll head to Haiti for a look at more young laborers.

If you thought slavery in the Western Hemisphere ended with President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, think again. A form of slavery still exists in the Caribbean nation of Haiti, and those being abused are children.

Haiti remains one of the poorest nations on Earth where, due to poor diet and medical care, the average lifespan is only about 50 years. Most of the people living there are descendants of black Africans brought to Haiti centuries ago as slaves. Now, some of those descendants of slaves are, in effect, sending their own children into a life of slavery.

Kathy Slobogin brings us the story of one man who grew up under those conditions and now is fighting to prevent other children from suffering the same fate.


KATHY SLOBOGIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the city where Jean Robert Cadet (ph) grew up. This is the street where he lived.

CADET: This is the house where I used to live.

SLOBOGIN: But his childhood memories bring him nothing but pain.

CADET: The worst thing was not being able to sit at the family at dinner time to have dinner with them. That told me as a child that I was not a human being.

SLOBOGIN: Cadet says he spent his childhood as a slave. From the age of 4, he lived here with the family he was forced to serve. His day began at dawn when he had to empty the family chamber pots.

CADET: Every morning at 5:00, I had to get up to water all those plants and sweep the yard, wash the car. The car has to be washed twice a day, in the morning and the afternoon.

SLOBOGIN: Cadet was a restavec, a child who works as an unpaid domestic servant. Now a French teacher living in Cincinnati, Cadet is back in Haiti to give a voice to the tens of thousands of children who still live the life he has managed to escape. He has written a book about his childhood that he hopes will wake up Haitian society.

In a country that is one of the poorest in the Western Hemisphere, where the average family exists on $250 a year, restavecs are a century-old tradition. In Creole, restavec means "to stay with." Poor families give up their children to stay with wealthier families, hoping it will provide them with an escape from poverty and a chance for an education.

CADET: In exchange for a child, the wealthier family would promise that the child would be taken care of, the child would be sent to school. And then once that child is acquired, the promises are not kept. The child becomes a slave child.

SLOBOGIN: Today, at least 300,000 Haitian children are restavecs, according to UNICEF and other international aid groups. But few people outside Haiti know of their existence.

Marcia Ayuganio (ph) oversees international child issues for the U.S. Labor Department.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These are the invisible children because they work in families in homes. They're not the children that you see working in the streets or the children that are working in footwear factories or working making soccer balls. They're more hidden in a way, and that makes it more difficult for people to even realize that this is a problem.

SLOBOGIN: As a restavec, Cadet had to sleep under the kitchen table from the time he was 4. He had to address other children in the family as "sir" and "miss."

CADET: It's hell because you see yourself in the home. You're living in a house, but it's not your house. You can't say, I belong here, because you don't.


RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Now on to the Republic of the Philippines, located in the southwest Pacific Ocean. The country is comprised of more than 7,000 tropical islands. Of those islands, less than half of them have names and only about 900 of them are inhabited.

The Filipinos' ancestors were migrants from Indonesia and Malaysia who formed various communities throughout the islands, each group developing its own culture. The result is a country filled with a potpourri of languages, customs and ways of life.

The Philippines was colonized by Spanish explorers in the 1500s, who named the islands after King Philip II of Spain and converted most of the Filipinos to Christianity.

Now we head to the Philippines to look at a controversial issue plaguing the country today: child labor and mining. The problem is compounded because the nature of the mining jobs puts the children at risk for mercury poisoning. Mercury is considered a cumulative poison, which means the body has difficulty eliminating it. Thus the mercury may accumulate over a long period of time, reaching dangerous levels.

Mimi Mees takes us to the Philippines to meet some child miners who could be at risk.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MIMI MEES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The sound of a motorboat fills the air in the Philippine town of Paracale on the island of Luzon. A short distance away on the riverbank, it gets even noisier when a man fires up an air compressor and everyone gets down to work.

Victor Pardo puts on a mask, sticks a tube into his mouth and heads underground, into a hole as deep as 10 meters. For hours, he'll stay at the bottom of the pit in search of gold deposits. He puts the soil into a pail which is lifted out by a pulley. Pardo says he's been doing this since he was 9 years old.

VICTOR PARDO, MINER (through translator): First, you're blind when you're inside. You don't see anything. You have to feel your way through.

MEES: Above ground, children as young as 3 play a key role in the operation, washing the pails and using water laced with mercury to separate the gold dust.

There are more than 3 million child laborers in the Philippines. Twelve-year-old Jennifer Mago explains why she pans for gold despite the risk of mercury poisoning.

JENNIFER MAGO, MINER (through translator): I'm helping my mother because we've hardly got any food to eat.

MEES: The income is meager, but to poor families like hers, the money makes a big difference. Jennifer's mother says she's aware of the hardship.

NIEVES MAGO, MOTHER OF CHILD MINERS (through translator): If I had my way, I wouldn't want my children mining. I know the effects of mercury poisoning. But because we're so poor, our kids have to work or we'll die of starvation.

MEES: Countless teenagers risk their lives by working underground at small-scale mining operations which are technically illegal. Local authorities say that as long as there is poverty and the prospect of quick cash, prospecting will remain a livelihood for young and old alike.

Mimi Mees, CNN.


TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Next, to India, the world's second most populous country after China. India occupies the greater part of South Asia. Throughout its history, India's geographic significance as the coastal crossroads between the Middle East and Asia made it desirable to those seeking maritime supremacy.

The most notable occupant of India were the British in the mid- 1800s. After almost a century of British rule, India gained its independence in 1947. The legacy of British occupation can be seen to this day, especially in India's parliamentary system of government. Its history is vast and rich. India remains one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world.

In today's report, we'll meet some Indian people who have stopped going to the doctors. Why? Their health, they say, lies in their own hands -- literally.

James Martone reports.


JAMES MARTONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's only 6:00 a.m., but Mr. Krishan Bajaz (ph) is clapping down the street. He's soon joined by others. They are his followers, those who, like Bajaz, believe clapping is the cure to sicknesses.

(on camera): Mr. Bajaz says that among the different ailments that clapping can heal are depression, blindness and even baldness.

(voice-over): Bajaz says he makes the rounds every day in different neighborhoods of New Delhi, teaching the benefits of clapping he says he learned from a Hindu holy man two years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Two years back, I heard a saint saying that by clapping your blood circulation increases and you can cure diseases. By clapping, the lines of fate in your hands change.

MARTONE: Bajaz says he cured himself of blindness by clapping every morning in the park for one and a half years. Now, he's on a mission to heal others.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I had tumors on my arms and I met Mr. Bajaz two years ago and started clapping. And then my daughter was asking me, where are your tumors? And I said, they're all gone.

MARTONE: Mr. Bajaz admits that clap curing has not been subjected to clinical analysis, but his followers say that clapping healed what their medical doctors could not.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): For the past eight months, I have been clapping and my eyesight has stabilized and my arthritis has sort of improved.

MARTONE: Good effects of clapping can be enhanced, say believers in the cure, by a little bit of mustard seed oil and by chanting the names of Hindu gods and goddesses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel that I am much younger than from the last 10 years.

MARTONE: Most followers say they don't expect clapping to replace major surgery operations. It's enough that it makes them feel good.

James Martone, CNN, New Delhi.


JORDAN: Well, we dive back into today's top story for "Chronicle." Choosing a U.S. vice president can be a politically strategic move for a presidential hopeful, as we saw. But what exactly is the job description for the veep? Chief among the duties: standing in for the chief executive in the event the president dies or is otherwise disabled from performing the duties as proscribed by the Constitution.

Once again, here's Bruce Morton with past examples of vice presidents who came to office in that post and left as president.


MORTON (voice-over): The first time was when William Henry Harrison delivered a very long inaugural speech in the rain, caught pneumonia and died a month later without ever really having worked at the job. John Tyler took over and announced that he was president and would serve out his term. Nobody argued.

What was the worst succession? Maybe when John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln, a Republican and a gifted politician. His replacement, Andrew Johnson: Southern, stubborn, a very bad politician.

HANS TREFOUSSE, BROOKLYN COLLEGE: Johnson was determined to keep the South a white man's country. He was a bitter racist, there's no questions about that.

MORTON: Lincoln might have been able to work with both sides, rights for Southern blacks, but a place for defeated Southern whites, too -- not Johnson.

PROF. JOHN PAVIA, QUINNIPIAC COLLEGE: If he had worked with that moderate wing of both parties, he wouldn't have had a problem in 1868. His problem was he would not bend. And as we saw in 1868, the Republicans sought their revenge.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: In the name of the House of Representatives and of all the people of the United States, we do impeach Andrew Johnson, president of the United States, of high crimes and misdemeanors.


MORTON: That's from the movie, "Tennessee Johnson," but the radical Republicans did impeach him. He was barely acquitted by the Senate, served out his term as the lamest of ducks. Radical Republicans imposed military reconstruction on the South, which then retaliated with the Ku Klux Klan and legal segregation, which lasted for another 100 years.

It was left to murdered John Kennedy's vice president, Lyndon Johnson of Texas, to bring those segregated walls tumbling down. ROBERT DALLEK, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Lyndon Johnson succeeding John Kennedy. Of course, he failed in the Vietnam War, but he was very, very well-qualified to be president, as is testified to by the extraordinary burst of domestic reform legislation that he drove through the Congress.

MORTON: Including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which enfranchised black Southerners and changed the region and its politics forever.

But Johnson couldn't solve Vietnam and didn't run in 1968.


LYNDON JOHNSON (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I shall not seek and I will not accept the nomination of my party for another term as your president.


MORTON: Johnson's vice president, Hubert Humphrey, ran and lost. Richard Nixon, Eisenhower's vice president, ran and won the office he had lost to Kennedy in 1960.

Nixon's vice president? Former Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew, who made more succession history. Agnew pleaded no contest to a felony and resigned the vice presidency in 1973. A 1967 constitutional amendment gave the president power to nominate a V.P. who would take office if Congress approved. Nixon chose House Republican leader Gerald Ford, Congress approved. Then Nixon resigned to escape impeachment over Watergate.


RICHARD NIXON (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow.


MORTON: So Nixon resigned and Gerald Ford became an un-elected president. "Our long national nightmare is over," he told Americans. And to prove it, he pardoned Nixon so that the former president, out of office, could not be tried for anything he might have done in office. Many criticized the pardon. It may have cost Ford the presidency in 1976 when he lost narrowly to Democrat Jimmy Carter.

Vice presidents do succeed to office, sometimes in very strange ways.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.


JORDAN: And of course CNN and NEWSROOM will have all of the buzz from the convention floors beginning next week in Philadelphia.

We'll see you back here tomorrow. Bye.



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