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NEWSROOM for January 12, 2001Aired January 12, 2001 - 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.
TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Welcome to NEWSROOM, everyone. I'm Tom Haynes. The week is winding down, but we still have lots to report. Here's the rundown.
We begin with American politics. As the outgoing president gets set for departure, the president-elect gets ready to govern.
Pull out your dictionary for "Editor's Desk." There are a lot of new words you can now look up.
Have you checked out this new superhero? His headquarters: the Vatican. That story's coming up in "Worldview."
Finally, in "Chronicle," a conversation with civil rights pioneer Coretta Scott King.
As United States President Clinton prepares to leave office next Saturday, President-elect George W. Bush gets ready to take over. The transition will present both men with an extremely busy week.
With eight days left in office, U.S. President Clinton says, in his words, "the last dog is still barking." On a farewell tour Thursday, Mr. Clinton made a nostalgic visit to New Hampshire, the state where, before the 1992 election, he vowed to keep fighting "until the last dog died."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I came here one last time as president to New Hampshire to thank you for making me the comeback kid. But more...
But more, and far important, to thank you for making America the comeback country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYNES: He'll wrap up his farewell tour next week with a visit to his native Arkansas. Meanwhile, President-elect George W. Bush is preparing for his move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Thursday, he nominated former Peace Corps Director Elaine Chao for labor secretary. And he named Robert Zoellick, a former Republican administration official, to serve as trade representative with Cabinet rank. The nominations come two days after Linda Chavez, Bush's first choice for labor secretary, bowed out.
U.S. President-elect George W. Bush is hoping his new labor secretary nominee will go down the road to confirmation more easily than Chavez. Chavez became embedded in controversy when it was discovered she housed an illegal immigrant 10 years ago and paid her for her chores.
Eileen O'Connor has more on Bush's latest pick for the position, Elaine Chao.
ELAINE CHAO, LABOR SECRETARY NOMINEE: I don't get a kiss?
EILEEN O'CONNOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Not quite, but Elaine Chao is seen by GOP Senators as a safe bet as labor secretary. First, she has a rags-to-riches story as an 8-year-old immigrant from Taiwan.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT-ELECT: Elaine Chao believes deeply in the American dream because she has lived it. She came to America at the age of eight not knowing a word of English.
O'CONNOR: Another plus: She'll be the first Asian-American woman to hold a Cabinet post. She's the wife of a senator, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. And, as deputy secretary of transportation in the administration of the president-elect's father, she's been through this process before. As head of the Peace Corps and, later, United Way, she has a charitable image, saying all the right things.
CHAO: And we must ensure that a disability never bars a qualified person from the workplace, and that parents have an easier time balancing the responsibilities of home and work.
O'CONNOR: One drawback: She's admittedly short on labor credentials. Despite that, her supporters and the president-elect say she's up to it.
BUSH: She brings to this post the qualities for which she is known and admired: strong executive talent, great compassion, and a commitment to helping people build better lives.
O'CONNOR: Her supporters say she also has the necessary conservative credentials.
SEN. BILL FRIST (R), TENNESSEE: Somebody who cherishes our great heritage, who appreciates our work force today, and will carry that responsibility out with the skill set that she's developed in the past: an appreciation of others carried out with compassion, with integrity, and with character.
O'CONNOR: Further proof that Chao is noncontroversial, John Sweeney, the president of the AFL-CIO, who's worked with Chao on the United Way campaign, issued a statement saying, "The AFL-CIO believes strongly that the continued strength of America's economy and the security of America's working families depends upon government, labor and management working together on important common issues. We will certainly support any nominee who shares this perspective."
(on camera): While some Democrats see the pick of Chao as a bow to the conservative right, they also say it's a clear indication that George W. Bush is preserving his political capital for battles looming over his nominations of John Ashcroft as attorney general and Gale Norton at interior.
Eileen O'Connor, CNN, the White House.
HAYNES: In contrast to the relatively smooth confirmation expected for Chao, there's some controversy surrounding Interior Secretary nominee Gale Norton. Her opponents are pointing to comments she made on states' rights and the Civil War.
Jonathan Karl gives us a closer look at that and how it might affect Norton's confirmation.
JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Facing an uphill battle to defeat George W. Bush's choice for interior secretary, environmental groups felt they struck political gold when they discovered on the Internet a speech she gave back in 1996.
DOUG KENDALL, COMMUNITY RIGHTS COUNSEL: We tried to figure out how to get this out in the best way possible. And we agreed that the best way would be to have one media organization get it so they could do a full treatment of the issue.
KARL: The now-famous speech by Gale Norton includes a passage where she says advocates of states' rights are too often put in a position of defending the indefensible. To dramatize that point, she invoked the Civil War, saying, quote, "We certainly had bad facts in that case where we were defending state sovereignty by defending slavery. But we lost too much."
That's potentially explosive stuff, especially if taken out of context.
The Environmental Working Group gave the speech exclusively to the "Washington Post," earning front-page coverage for a story that might otherwise have fallen through the cracks. The group says it also gave it to National Public Radio on the condition they wouldn't air the story until it first appeared in the "Post."
KENNETH COOK, ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP: These are tactical matters. I'm sure the Bush administration is -- incoming administration is actively working on exclusives with newspapers and TV stations all around town right now. So this is just one of the tools in the tool kit of trying to get the word out.
KARL: The article zeroed in on Norton's comments about the Civil War. But her defenders say she wasn't defending the Confederacy, just making the case for limited federal government.
BUSH: She in no way, shape or form was talking about the -- any value to slavery. And, you know, what happens in this town is the voices of the special interests like to tear people down. That's just part of the process, I understand that. But this is a good, strong woman who's going to do a very good job as the interior secretary.
KARL: Even the opposition acknowledges she's unlikely to be defeated.
COOK: I don't think people are counting on defeating her nomination, but I do think they're counting on raising these important questions and having them fully debated.
KARL (on camera): The groups opposing Norton are hoping that civil rights organizations will join their opposition.
Jonathan Karl, CNN, Capitol Hill.
HAYNES: In our "Editor's Desk," we turn to the dictionary, something you probably do a lot for school. But here's something to think about: A dictionary of a living language can never really be complete because old words fall into disuse and new words are constantly created. English is one of the most common languages in the world. It's spoken by one out of every five people around the world. Last year, more than a billion people used English as the language of business and communication.
Who keeps track of all the new words that come up? A lexicographer, an author or editor of a dictionary. So, words you're familiar with could just be hitting the dictionary now. The "New American Heritage Dictionary" includes new words and definitions which reflect changes in modern society and politics.
Garrick Utley has some examples for us.
GARRICK UTLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What word would you choose to describe this? An argument? A rhubarb? Or in today's language, simply in your face, defined as a "defiant, aggressive manner."
(on camera): Dictionaries offer more than correct spelling and the roots of words. They show us how our lives are changing through the words and expressions that we use. For example, there is "reality check," "an assessment to determine if one's circumstances or expectations conform to reality."
(voice-over): The new, booming economy has also changed our language. Workers are not fired any more, they are "downsized" or "reengineered" right out of the company. Of course, we have been saying that for years, but now the dictionary accepts it as proper language, as it has quickly accepted "dot.com" and "domain name" as part of our evolving cyberlanguage.
Sometimes old words take on new meaning. To "surf" used to mean this; then it meant to do this through the sea of cable channels; and now through the flood of Web sites on the Internet.
(on camera): As these words and meanings fight their way into the dictionary, they tell us how our attitudes are changing. New technology, for example, can lead us to seek broader knowledge rather than deeper knowledge. Surfing, after all, means staying on the surface.
(voice-over): We hear how politics and television have created their own language. "Talking head" has been in dictionaries since 1968; "political spin" since 1984. And now a new entry in this year's "American Heritage Dictionary" defines those talking heads offering their pundits' spin. The word is "bloviate," as in he bloviates, she bloviates, they bloviate; "to discourse at length," which means it's time to stop bloviating.
Garrick Utley, CNN, New York.
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HAYNES: All right, I got one for you guys: What do the pope, bears and cows have in common? Not a thing that I can think of, except that they're all part of "Worldview" today. Our stories take us to Colombia, where cows are part of an unusual treatment for baldness, of all things. So is another remedy. And a word warning: You don't want to try it at home. We'll also journey to China for a report on bears and abuse. Be advised, it's a little bit disturbing. Plus, we'll head to Italy and a tiny independent state where the pope lives. Find out how he's become a comic book hero.
RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: You probably know that the pope is the head of the Roman Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II is the pope today. He is the 264th, the latest in a long line. The position is held for life and the papal residence is the Vatican Palace in Vatican City, an independent state within the city of Rome. John Paul II was elected in 1978, the first non-Italian pope since 1522. He's traveled more than any other pope in history, and he's having an impact in the world of music and literature, too, as Gayle Young explains.
GAYLE YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Perhaps not quite as adventurous as Batman, but certainly more squeaky clean than Archie, Pope John Paul II is the latest comic book hero. A religious publisher in Italy is serializing the papal life story for children and young readers. The first issue follows little Karol Wojtyla's childhood in prewar Poland where he played soccer and acted in a theater group.
The Italian-language comic book has been so successful, it sold out in a week, and the publisher is planning more editions in more languages.
ALBERTO BOBBIO, AUTHOR (through translator): The life of John Paul II is exceptional, an example to all those who follow him.
YOUNG: For someone whose image graces postcards and any number of souvenirs and religious items, it's not surprising he's now featured in a comic book. In his years as head of the Roman Catholic Church, the pope has become a cultural icon, instantly recognizable and extremely popular with his fans. His recording of religious hymns and prayers went platinum, topping the charts along with pop singers and rapsters. And only recently he was made an honorary Harlem Globe Trotter by members of the U.S. basketball team.
Young people who snapped up the comic say they like the pope.
"He's been everywhere in the world," says this young woman.
John Paul II has specifically reached out to young Catholics during his pontificate. Perhaps he hopes that if youngsters see him as music star, celebrity or comic book hero, they will hear his message as well.
Gayle Young, CNN, Rome.
HAYNES: Next, we journey to the wild kingdom to meet up with some Asiatic black bears. They live in forests in southern and eastern Asia where they are often hunted. Many Chinese believe the bears' bones and meat have magical healing powers.
This species is fiercer than most other bears. They sometimes attack people and often kill livestock. They are sometimes called moon bears because of a crescent-shaped mark on their chests.
Asiatic bears grow to be about 5 feet tall. That's about 1.5 meters. And they weigh about 250 pounds, or 113 kilograms.
Alphonso Van Marsh weighs in on the fate of these beleaguered creatures.
ALPHONSO VAN MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Veterinarians are operating on this Asian black bear to remove a dirty metal catheter that is infecting its gallbladder. The bear's owners implanted the catheter to harvest bile, a substance used in traditional Chinese medicine. But in the future, the practice should end. Under a new agreement between Chinese authorities and animal rights activists, bear farming will be banned within 15 years.
GONG JIEN, WILDLIFE CONSERVATION DIV., SICHUAN FORESTRY DEPT. (through translator): Illegal bear farming and bear tortures will be stopped because it is in our wildlife protection law now. Our policy will be consistent. We will crack down on law breakers and put an end to the cruel practice of farming of these animals.
VAN MARSH: These are the first steps of freedom in a long time for Andrew, one of 500 bears released to a rescue center in China's Sichuan Province. The farmers cram the bears into steel cages, where they are often traumatized by their confinement, injure themselves out of frustration or are subject to disease. It is a difficult existence for the animals but lucrative for the farmers.
Bear bile sells for as much as $10 a teaspoonful and is used to treat fever, liver illnesses and sore eyes. Animal rights activists say there are other treatments for such ailments.
JILL ROBINSON, ANIMAL ASIA FOUNDATION: The very fact is, the fundamental point is that bear bile can be replaced by herbs, by synthetics which are out there in abundance. There is no more any need, no longer any need to keep beautiful animals like this captive.
VAN MARSH: The bears will spend only a brief time at the rescue center. The foundation that operates the center has acquired some land where it plans to create a natural sanctuary for once captive animals.
Alphonso Van Marsh, CNN.
SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: We turn now to South America and the country of Colombia. Colombia is the only country on that continent with a coast on both the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. Colombia has a wide-ranging climate. The equator runs through Colombia, a country which also contains the snow-capped Andes mountains. The capital of Colombia is Bogota. Did you know that Colombia was named after Christopher Columbus?
The country's official language is Spanish, and its basic monetary unit is the peso. Colombia is a developing country and its economy depends heavily on agriculture.
Today we look at cattle, but not as a farm product. These cows are part of a hair-raising story, one that has customers hoofing it to the region. What's up?
Kim Underwood has this on an unusual treatment for baldness.
KIM UNDERWOOD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One Colombian hairdresser says he's got baldness licked.
The Institute for Capillary Health and Beauty in Pereira is offering an unusual treatment for hair loss that includes a special tonic and a massage with the tongue of a cow. Owner Ancizar Duque says he's had to experiment to create his offbeat scalp treatment, starting with the animal he uses.
ANCIZAR DUQUE, HAIR DRESSER (through translator): I said to one customer, let's try the treatment again on your hair. But he said, which cow? I already killed it. He made it into meat. He killed the cow. I wondered what I was going to do. So I tried out a baby cow. But, you know, the baby cow was like a child. He had no concentration. He starts licking and then he wants to leave. It is very difficult. I tried and tried. I also tried with goats. I thought maybe a goat would work. It can be maneuvered easily, right? No, no. I then tried with horses. No, no.
UNDERWOOD: Duque's theory is that hair loss is partly to blame on men not drying their hair properly. He says most men towel dry their hair, trapping water in hair follicles, and that combined with pollution makes the hair fall out. The hairdresser also formulated a special tonic he calls simply "More Hair." It includes 15 different plants, including some from the Amazon.
The unorthodox treatment includes burning the tips of the hair as well as a scalp-stimulating bovine tongue massage. Duque says he has over 200 customers who are willing to pay about $30 U.S. for the treatment, which includes a dozen cow licks. The hair tonic and shampoo run an extra $25 for a large bottle.
Though Duque says he can't promise men they'll regain the hair of their youth, he says customers do notice the difference. And this man says he's never felt better.
HENRY GOMEZ, CUSTOMER (through translator): I feel more manly, more attractive to women. Everything looks good on me now. I feel better. My friends even say, what are you doing? You have more hair. You look younger.
UNDERWOOD: Sometimes Duque is on the move, taking his hair restoration treatment out into the field. He drafts local cows to handle the massage part of the treatment. Duque cozies up to each cow with a hug, saying that helps improve their licking power.
As for the scalp massage, it's hard to tell who's enjoying it more: the customers or the cows.
Kim Underwood, CNN.
HAYNES: Monday is Martin Luther King Day in the United States, commemorating what would have been the 72nd birthday of the slain civil rights leader. One of the high points of his life came almost 40 years ago in his "I Have a Dream" speech from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. In it, he expressed hope that someday African Americans would be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the "content of their character.
His widow, Coretta Scott King, sat down with us to talk about that dream and other aspects of her husband's work.
CORETTA SCOTT KING: Martin Luther King Jr. was, of course, the preeminent civil rights leader. And I always like to say he was a human rights leader as well because everything he did was to liberate people who were oppressed in any way.
C.S. KING: We knew it was wrong, we knew it was unjust, and we felt that somehow things could change and the method to change that we used was getting an education. That was our pathway to freedom, so to speak, through education. But we were determined. And we also felt that one day things would change, but we didn't know how they would change. I always believed that somehow things were going to change, but I didn't know how. I had no idea that I would be a part of that change.
Martin Luther King's Dream
C.S. KING: I think it's certainly more true today than it was when he said it, but I'd like to say that we still are not quite there, unfortunately. The biggest barrier to the achievement of full equality for African Americans -- and I'm speaking of African Americans, but I think of others as well -- is the fact that we have a long way to go before we achieve economic parity.
How Can Schools Fight Racism Today?
C.S. KING: We have to learn about each other. We have to -- I think our curriculum in school has to be revised, and the history of this country has to be rewritten, and particularly where African Americans are concerned and the contributions that have been made. I think we have to rewrite the history books the way it happened.
How can individuals Fight Racism Today?
C.S. KING: Young people will respect each other no matter what their color if they get to know each other and have a chance to be with each other and to grow together. And I just think we have such a great opportunity in this country, you know, to be the model community in the world. Maybe we're ahead of many countries, but the fact is that we're not where we should be.
HAYNES: In keeping with the U.S. holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr., NEWSROOM will be off Monday. But we'll be back on Tuesday, and we'll see you then. Have a great weekend, as we leave you in New Hampshire with President Clinton having some fun as he say's good-bye to the nation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One more.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excellent. Thank you.
JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was here he dubbed himself the "Comeback Kid." Here, the nation first got a glimpse of now legendary survival skills. So there could be no Clinton farewell tour without some New Hampshire nostalgia.
CLINTON: Thank you for lifting me up in 1992. Thank you...
... thank you -- thank you for voting for me and Al Gore in 1992 and in 1996. Thank you. And don't forget, even though I won't be president, I'll always be with you till the last dog dies.
J. KING: It was a reminder of a cold Dover night nine years ago, just before the 1992 New Hampshire presidential primary. Mr. Clinton was Arkansas governor then, reeling from allegations of draft-dodging and marital infidelity, falling fast in the polls.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1992)
CLINTON: If you'll give it to me, I won't be like George Bush. I'll never forget who gave me a second chance and I'll be there for you till the last dog dies. And I want you to remember...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
J. KING: He campaigned frantically in those final days and wanted to revisit some old haunts before leaving office. New Hampshire was mired in a punishing recession back in 1992, but is thriving now. This trip another effort by the president to blow his own horn a little in an effort to shape history's judgment.
CLINTON: The stuff that was in this little book people made fun of me about is now real in the lives of the American people. The ideas...
... the ideas have taken hold and America is at the top of its game. And I just hope that we will continue the progress and prosperity of the last eight years.
J. KING: The final stop of the farewell tour is next week, back home in Arkansas.
(on camera): It is worth remembering that Mr. Clinton didn't win the 1992 New Hampshire primary, but his second-place finish was enough to survive. And like him or not, the resilience demonstrated here would become a trademark of the Clinton presidency.
John King, CNN, Dover, New Hampshire.
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