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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for January 19, 2001

Aired January 19, 2001 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Hello everyone. It's Friday here on CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rudi Bakhtiar. Thanks for rounding out the week with us. Here's what's coming up.

In today's news, a star-studded ceremony kicks off the Bush inauguration. We'll have a closer look at this ritual of democracy.

Next, in "Editor's Desk," putting a human face on the high-tech worker.

And another sign of the changing times is highlighted in "Worldview." We head to Vietnam, where capitalist fervor is taking off.

Then more on the Bush inauguration in "Chronicle."

Washington, D.C. is in celebration mode as the presidency prepares to change hands. Festivities leading to Saturday's inauguration of George W. Bush began Thursday at the Lincoln Memorial. Tens of thousands of people gathered to salute the president-elect and his wife Laura, and be entertained by a variety of American performers.

With protests planned, security personnel will be out in force Saturday, tighter than it's been at any other inauguration. The Secret Service and Washington Police plan to set up security check points that everyone who wants to watch the inaugural parade will have to go through.

Michael McManus looks back at past inaugurations and ahead to what we can expect this Saturday.


MICHAEL MCMANUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's an enduring ritual of democracy.


WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT-ELECT: I, William Jefferson Clinton, do solemnly swear... (END VIDEO CLIP)


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States...





MCMANUS: The inauguration of an American president highlights the beginning of one's term in office.

WILLIAM SEALE, HISTORIAN: It was a very simple matter originally, usually involving the militia, that much ceremony, ceremony at the Capitol, then the president went down Pennsylvania Avenue with the crowd following.

MCMANUS: The celebrations date back to George Washington. He was sworn in on the balcony of Federal Hall in New York City, setting the precedent of stating "so help me God" after the oath.

SEALE: And he was inaugurated in April on the front porch of that building, the first president of the United States under the new Constitution.

MCMANUS: In the 212 years of inaugurals, celebrations have grown to include parades, balls and concerts. President-elect Bush's schedule includes all three.

(on camera): Weather has played a big part in the inaugurals. On FDR's it rained. On JFK's it snowed. On Ronald Reagan's first inauguration, it was the warmest, 55 degrees. On his second, it was the coldest, with a low temperature that day of 7 degrees.

(voice-over): In fact, it was so cold outside on Jan. 20, 1985, President Reagan started his second term in office inside the rotunda of the Capitol, the first and only president to do so.

Another interesting inaugural was Andrew Jackson's. Following his swearing-in, he marched down Pennsylvania Avenue and into the White House. The crowd started coming in and soon filled the executive mansion. And we'll just let former President Ronald Reagan finish the story.


RONALD REAGAN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And everybody kind of got so work up over the punch he was serving that he had to bail out a White House window to escape.


SEALE: The party went on hours and hours. Finally the steward was clever enough to fill some washtubs with orange juice and whiskey and bring it -- put it out on the South Lawn, and the crowds began to follow.

MCMANUS: The president-elect's father, George Herbert Walker Bush's inaugural was a little less hectic. His day included a classic stroll down Pennsylvania Avenue, which is also in the schedule for his son's big day.

Though inaugurations have turned into well-timed Broadway productions, they continue to live on in many Americans as a show of promise, rebirth and reassurance.

Michael McManus, CNN NEWSROOM, Washington.


BAKHTIAR: The inaugural festivities are expected to cost more than $30 million dollars, with the biggest chunk of money coming from wealthy donors, lobbying groups and corporations.

Bob Beard has more on that, and on the benefits and drawbacks of the celebration on the Washington-area economy.


BOB BEARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A thumbs-up from the next president to kickoff a Texas-sized opening celebration, with celebrity headliners at the Lincoln Memorial. To pay for most of this four-day bash, inaugural organizers will raise $35 million to $39 million, the bulk from 250 well-healed individuals and groups, but with a $100,000 limit per contribution.

FRED MEYER, PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURAL COMMITTEE: That's about -- what, about $1 1/2 million a day, right? That takes a lot of phone calls.

BEARD: Donations came from a who's who of corporations, with Marriott International, for example, using eight subsidiaries to multiply its giving power to $750,000. Wall Street led the pack in inaugural cash, along with real estate, oil and gas, computer makers, electric utilities, and pharmaceutical firms.

JIM ALBERTINE, AMERICAN LEAGUE OF LOBBYISTS: It's very important to get your message out. It's very important to educate the lawmakers as to what your message is, and it's very important for them to hear that.

MEYER: It will absolutely have no effect on him who contributes and who doesn't contribute.

BEARD: With tickets to most official events now sold out, a secondary market has popped up on one Web site, with inaugural ball tickets going for $750 and up. Taxpayers are footing $1 million for the swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol; $4 million for military logistics; and millions more for security and police overtime.

Still, as hotels fill, the D.C. region could see an inaugural economic boom of $75 to $90 million.

Still, as hotels fill, the D.C. region could see an inaugural economic boom of $75 million to $90 million.

(on camera): Organizers say inaugural costs were driven up by the Florida delay in deciding the election. They couldn't put some inaugural services out for competitive bids. Washington is now keeping a wary eye on the sky as bad weather would certainly blunt the economic impact.

Bob Beard, CNN Financial News, Washington.



MARK LEFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In 1833, Washington's March weather was too cold for the ailing Andrew Jackson to take his second oath of office outside. Aides moved the ceremony to the House chamber and canceled the public reception. Seventy-five years later, William Howard Taft had to brave a blizzard to get to his only inaugural. It also moved inside, because while Taft had his own insulation, organizers worried about 86-year-old Chief Justice Melville Fuller.

A constitutional amendment in 1933 moved inaugurations to Jan. 20. When it took effect with Franklin Roosevelt's reelection, the weather in January 1937 wasn't people friendly. But said Roosevelt, if they can take it, I can. Roosevelt later moved Thanksgiving up a week, but the people couldn't take that and he had to move it back.

And Ronald Reagan won reelection on the slogan, "it's morning in America." But his 1985 inaugural morning was bitterly cold. He became the first president to take the oath of office in the Capitol rotunda.

Mark Leff, CNN.


BAKHTIAR: OK, imagine the difference between reading about a person and actually seeing that person on video telling you about him or herself. If your face is "as a book," in the words of William Shakespeare, what could prospective employers learn about you by seeing you on tape? Would it make you stand out among those who sent a written resume? Or would it make you stand alone?

Don Knapp reports.


DON KNAPP, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A lot has to happen in just a few minutes if you're trying to land a job at the high-tech job fair in Santa Clara, California. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I see that you know HTML and Java Script.

KNAPP: Four-hundred companies offering 50,000 jobs, 10,000 workers seeking them. The right contact, the right resume and bingo, if employers like what they see.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The things that I've found most valuable, I believe, are the people that I work with.


KNAPP: This is what they see if they look at Megan Maynard's (ph) resume: her video resume attached to her regular one, in Brassring's database.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Perfect. You look great.

KNAPP: Video resume coaches give job seekers three takes. Chris Brenner wanted to show off her language skills.




MARK MCMILLAN, BRASSRING: It provides the candidate with the ability to sort of, to show their communications style, to show their energy. I think there's a lot of information on just seeing a person speak and talk and inflect.

KNAPP: That may not always be to a job seeker's advantage.

DALE PAAR, RECRUITER: I immediately knew that I did not want any of the people that I had looked at. I know that sounds very damaging, but the overall aspect is that it saves a lot of time to see the video resumes.

KNAPP: The video resumes also reveal race, age and general appearance. Brassring says that's legal, but advises companies viewing them to contact their own legal departments.

After a couple of takes, some wonder if the video resume was really their best shot.

ANDY MCELROY, JOB SEEKER: You wonder if you're, you know, twitching or looking right about it. But they have to expect that, so it's not a big deal.


KNAPP: Employers may be looking for resumes that show high levels of education, skills and experience. But for candidates to meet the other requirements, a two-minute hard sell on video can't hurt.

Don Knapp, CNN, Santa Clara, California.



BAKHTIAR: As the United States prepares for a new president, more hellos and goodbyes in "Worldview," this time in the world of entertainment. We'll hear about beginnings and an end to a popular play, "Miss Saigon." And we'll go behind the scenes to learn about the staging of this mega-musical. Those stories take us to the Philippines and to the United States. We'll also travel to Vietnam past and present. But first, the curtain goes up in the Philippines.

We head to the Philippines to turn the spotlight on a world- renowned musical, "Miss Saigon." The show ends a successful run on Broadway this month. In fact, it's one of Broadway's longest running productions. But as it ends its run in New York, it's playing to a new crowd in the Philippines.

And as Maria Ressa explains, it has sentimental and historical value for its producers, writers and audience.


MARIA RESSA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a victory of sorts, a homecoming for the West End and Broadway musical that helped instill pride in the Filipino talent.

CLAUDE MICHEL-SCHONBERG, COMPOSER: This show has always a strong connection with the Philippines because of the fact that without the Filipinos, this show was impossible to be on stage in London when we started the show.

RESSA: Recreating the role that launched her international career, Tony Award winner Lea Salonga returns to play Kim.

LEA SALONGA, "KIM": It's intimidating. After my having done this particular show in London and in New York, I'm sure people will be wondering, OK, what exactly did she do over there that, you know, that makes us proud or whatever? Was it so big? Was it really such a big deal?

RESSA: During the days before the fall of Saigon, Kim falls in love with Chris, an American GI. But soon after, he's forced to evacuate, leaving her behind. She turns her back on a marriage arranged by her parents. Believing in Chris's love, she bears his son. No one can stop what I must do.


But Chris has create a new life, complete with a new wife. The climax of the musical comes when these two lives meet.

(on camera): More than a decade after it launched careers of numerous Filipinos, "Miss Saigon" finally opened in Manila, surprisingly amid some controversy, some complaining about how Asians are portrayed in the show, others saying the musical is taking away resources from homegrown projects.

(voice-over): It's an ambitious project, the largest production of "Miss Saigon" worldwide, slated for a six month run in Manila's premier theater. That riled ballet and theater companies whose productions were bumped off.

ARMANDO ALLEGRE, PRODUCER: "Miss Saigon" rekindles a sense of pride and self-dignity, dignity in all of us.

RESSA: And for the first time, the musical written by Caucasians about Asians will play to a predominantly Asian audience. Producers say tickets are sold out for the first three months. Filipinos are lining up to see whether the musical that launched one of their own is everything it was said to be.

Maria Ressa, CNN, Manila.


TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: More on "Miss Saigon," the musical love story of a young Vietnamese woman and an American soldier set during the fall of Saigon in 1975. The play premiered in London in 1989, and on Broadway in 1991. Its touring companies have taken it around the world to 10 countries now. And it's been seen by more than 28 million people around the globe.

Taking the show on the road is a technical feat, and the show itself is a marvel of technology.

Kathy Nellis takes a look back at the making and moving of "Miss Saigon."


KATHY NELLIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "Miss Saigon is a spectacular production, a touching story of love and sacrifice. But it's more than a smash at the box office. Look behind the scenes to discover a triumph of technology.

LOIS GRIFFIN, "MISS SAIGON": It takes 12 computers to run the show. That includes sound computers and light computers and scenery computers.

NELLIS: Staging "Miss Saigon" is a lesson in logistics. It takes 18 trucks to bring in the show, 50 tons worth of props and scenery. Just getting set up is a challenge. Stage crews work feverishly to build the set, a complex undertaking in light of the show's massive scale.

One of the biggest tasks, unloading the huge statue of Ho Chi Minh, 500 pounds of golden fiberglass, a duplicate of one erected in Vietnam. It's a heavy responsibility for the crew. DAVID BENKIN, "MISS SAIGON": We have structural engineers that are on our payroll that we have to bring into theaters to make sure we're not, you know, that the theater's safe enough to handle the loads for this show, because it's bigger than anything else that's out there right now.

NELLIS: The original Broadway show took three months to load in. But David Benkin and his crew have roughly two days to move in the traveling show. The key? Modular design.

BENKIN: All the computers and the racks and the motor drives, all this stuff is built into units. It comes in put together already.

NELLIS: Production stage manager Lois Griffin says the show adapts new industrial technologies that have never been used in theater. She believes those innovations will change the future of traveling productions.

GRIFFIN: New lighting instruments have been invented for this show. The very use of computers to run a show was created with "Miss Saigon." And I know that a lot of this technology that's being used to make this show tour quickly will go into other shows and really will change the ability of Broadway shows to tour that haven't been able to before.

NELLIS: A high point in this production, preparing for the elaborate helicopter scene.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see how close that is to everything up here. Spent quite a lot of time getting those rotors to the point where they just miss everything. You know, it's a sequence of moves that are all programmed. Every one of those moves back and forth.

Are you clear, Rick?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm clear. Let me know when you're ready to come in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's probably the biggest effect of any show touring out there right now. And it's a challenge keeping it running.

NELLIS: At one time, "Miss Saigon" was consider too big to tour. But producers found a way to fit the mega-musical into theaters around the world -- even those with smaller stages.

GRIFFIN: If you don't have room to spread out, you have to go up. So all the scenery flies into the air to keep it confined into a certain space, and it literally stacks like stories of a building. Even the stage manager is 35 feet in the air to call the show.

NELLIS: Now that's high-tech.

The show, which has plenty of automated special effects, has been called the most technically complex play ever produced. Certainly the engineering wizardry is a dazzling backdrop to a moving story.

Kathy Nellis, CNN, Atlanta.


SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: You heard about Saigon, Vietnam earlier in our show, but these days it's called Ho Chi Minh City. It was renamed after Ho Chi Minh, a Vietnamese leader, and is Vietnam's largest city today.

Vietnam's capital is Hanoi. It's a country marked by political turmoil. During World War II, the country was occupied by Japanese troops. In 1954, Vietnam was divided into two territories, with a communist government in control of North Vietnam and a noncommunist government in control of the South. But communist forces in the South rebelled against the government. The fighting developed into the Vietnam War, an extraordinarily long conflict that didn't end until the mid-1970s.

Now one nation, Vietnam is tightly controlled by leaders of the Communist Party. But the socialist system is feeling the lure of capitalist ventures.

Richard Blystone has this report.


RICHARD BLYSTONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They're off. They imported hundreds of thousands of these in the war to sop up dollars U.S. intervention poured into South Vietnam. Today, a new motorbike costs up to 10 months pay, but Vietnam's buying 1 1/2 million.

RAIF MATTHAIS, INVESTMENT CONSULTANT: Future, future, future. They want whatever the West has. And in a way, they sort of want it today. They're capitalists at heart.

BLYSTONE: The capital may be up in Hanoi, but here is where the hustle makes the muscle. The new stock exchange has just eight listings, but it's up 50 percent since July. Match that, Dow Jones.


BLYSTONE: Dang Hang (ph), 13, spends six hours a week in school and sells postcards on the street.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to learn English and study hard and so then I can go to the United States and have a job there.

BLYSTONE: In Ho Chi Minh City, opportunity's an art form. This poor man's Louvre will turn you out a masterpiece for the price of a pair of jeans. And if a middle-aged ex-GI wants a portrait of himself, can do, says the artist.

That attitude is making this town what it might have been without a war: a rowdy, raucous and raunchy dynamo that drowns out the dry doctrines of communism and tries not to think about this, what's left of the South Vietnamese cemetery at Bien Hoa; 20,000 were buried here. (on camera): Some volunteered, many more had no choice. Some believed in their cause, others didn't care. Some fought bravely, others just tried to stay alive. But it all came to the same thing in the end.

(voice-over): The soldiers of the so-called "puppet regime" are forgotten men. Only the monsoon rain sheds pity on Tran Dinh Tanh (ph). A mine took his leg while he fought for South Vietnam. Now he sells raincoats on the street, one of the few jobs open to the defeated.

The new regime does nothing for him, he says, but neither did the old one. Working with the U.S. Marines might have put Le Van Thinh (ph) on the road to a good career. But after 10 years reeducation, there was only, if you're lucky, maybe $7 a day. If not...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No lucky, you no money.

BLYSTONE: But two-thirds of Thinh's countrymen are under 30. His generation is the past.

Richard Blystone, CNN, Ho Chi Minh City.


BAKHTIAR: As we mentioned earlier, this Saturday George W. Bush will be sworn in as the 43rd U.S. president. After the swearing-in, he'll give his inaugural address to the nation. It's a tradition George Washington started and has been played out by every president since. It signifies not only the passing of the torch from one president to another, but the transfer of power from one administration to the next.

Our Jason Bellini has more on what this changing of the guard means for the nation's capital.


JASON BELLINI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So you've seen how many administrations come and go?


BELLINI (voice-over): George Winnett won't be here on the parade route on inauguration day. Too many people, too much noise. After four years in Washington, he'd rather watch it on television.

WINNETT: I come down to be able to see the -- what the inaugural reviewing stand is like.

BELLINI: As someone who worked for 40 years as a civil servant in Washington, Winnett has seen not only presidents come and go from here, but also the throngs of people each brings with him, through appointments to posts at the White House and the federal agencies headquartered in Washington. (on camera): Does the city change each time?

WINNETT: The city itself doesn't change. The people that work in government. It's a total of around 6,000 people that come to the city that haven't been here before, probably.

BELLINI (voice-over): The city knows they'll be coming, this time from Texas. Some are happy to see them coming, some not, usually based on stereotypes.

A taxi driver:

CALHOUN WILSON, TAXI DRIVER: Southerners are not real good tippers.

BELLINI (on camera): Ah.

WILSON: No, they're not. It's not traditionally their thing.

BELLINI (voice-over): A real estate agent.

MICHAEL RANKINI, REAL ESTATE AGENT: I think they're more surprised at the lack of supply, of what they don't get for $1 million in Washington.

BELLINI: A suit salesman at Brooks Brothers.

(on camera): So you've got all these Texans coming to town.

FRED CAMPBELL, BROOKS BROTHERS SALESPERSON: Oh, yes. We don't have any cowboy boots or cowboy hats, but we'll help them as best we can. We'll put them in traditional clothes.

BELLINI (voice-over): Washington also says goodbye to a lot of folks whose very desks will be vacant by Saturday.

WINNETT: They've been at the top of the ladder leading world politics for eight years now, so, sure, it's going to be a letdown for them. More than said. They'll be crying faces the last time they come out of that gate.

BELLINI (on camera): The new White House team won't wait until Monday to move in and set up shop. They have some time to celebrate on Saturday, but not a whole lot. Because by noon, they'll have inherited responsibility for running the country.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: And there will be a moment, probably at 12:01, right after -- right as George W. Bush is taking the oath of office when his people will start manning the phones at the White House. There will be that -- literally that minute of transition. It happens exactly that precisely.

BELLINI: Is there going to be a moment when it hits you: I'm working in the White House right now.

HARRY WOLFF, BUSH TRANSITION TEAM WORKER: I'm sure it is. I'm sure that first day walking in it's going to start to sink in. And it's definitely a strange feeling, but it's going to be fun.

BELLINI (voice-over): Loyal, hard-working campaign workers like Harry Wolff, who's 21, get awarded with a job when their guy wins. He'll be a press assistant to President Bush. Harry's from San Antonio.

WOLFF: Oh, big city atmosphere is different from anything I'm used to. I'm used to kind of, you know, neighborhood type feelings and wide streets and that kind of stuff, and houses. And it's kind of a different world.

BELLINI: It's a cycle in Washington: the young coming for an opportunity of a lifetime, one not to last forever.

Jill Dougherty in 1993, when Bush Sr. was replaced by Bill Clinton.


JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And at the end of the day, the young press office staff came out to say farewell to the press corps.


WOLFF: I mean, I just know everybody is so excited to be here and so eager to get to work. I think it's going to be a lot of fun.

Jason Bellini, CNN NEWSROOM, Washington.


BAKHTIAR: Be sure to tune into NEWSROOM Monday. We'll have this weekend's inauguration all wrapped up from the U.S. capital.

Until then, we leave you with more sights and sounds from the festivities already under way, and a word from William Jefferson Clinton, in his final presidential address to the nation. Goodbye and have a great weekend.


WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My days in this office are nearly through, but my days of service, I hope, are not. In the years ahead, I will never hold a position higher or a covenant more sacred than that of president of the United States.





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