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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for February 23, 2001

Aired February 23, 2001 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: It's Friday, February the 23rd. I'm Shelley Walcott. Glad you're rounding out the week with us. Here's what's coming up.

In today's top story, a familiar name in a familiar situation. We'll tell you about the latest pardon problems facing the Clintons.

Then, in our "Editor's Desk," it's can be the scourge of a happy vacation: photos that don't live up to your expectation. Some tips to help you take better pictures.

Speaking of vacations, "Worldview" heads to a tropical paradise. We meet a woman who built a business with her own two hands.

And in "Chronicle," more on the celebration of Black History Month. Today we'll meet recipients of the Trumpet Award.

The investigation into former United States President Clinton's pardons heats up. Sources tell CNN a federal grand jury has subpoenaed records detailing donations to the Clinton Presidential Library.

The William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation has confirmed that financier Marc Rich's former wife, Denise Rich, gave almost half a million dollars to the Clinton Presidential Library. Investigators want to know if her contributions had anything to do with the pardon. A House committee is requesting information on everyone who committed or pledged more than $5,000 to the Clinton foundation. Foundation attorney David Kendall says that request violates the Constitution.

Former President Clinton says he granted the Marc Rich pardon based on the merits of the case, and he says he acted within the law. A president is given the power to pardon criminals in Article II of the Constitution. A pardon basically gives back to the person many of the rights lost after being convicted of a felony. The Constitution also gives the president the authority to show mercy on convicted felons by reducing all or part of their prison sentences.

Another pardon and a clemency are being questioned because Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's brother, Hugh Rodham, was involved in obtaining them. Attorney Hugh Rodham says he did nothing wrong in working for his clients, and has since returned the fee he was paid.

The Clintons say they had no knowledge of Rodham's activities or any payments made to him.

Eileen O'Connor has more on this developing story.


EILEEN O'CONNOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hillary Rodham Clinton says she learned just Monday night that her brother, Hugh Rodham, had been paid $400,000 to help along two clemency applications.

SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: I was heartbroken and shocked by it and, you know, immediately said that, you know, this was a terrible misjudgment and the money had to be returned.

O'CONNOR: Sources say the former president also does not recall any conversations with his brother-in-law concerning the applications of Carlos Vignali Jr. for a commutation of his drug-related sentence and that of Almon Glenn Braswell, a multimillionaire businessmen who was granted a pardon while still under investigation by the U.S. attorney.

Sources say the Justice Department was bypassed on the Braswell case and would have argued against it, as it had with the commutation of Vignali's sentence.

Rodham did contact Bruce Lindsey, the former deputy White House counsel, about Vignali, but sources say Lindsey, too, did not know Rodham was being paid.

Senator Clinton admitted passing on information about pardons people had given her. But on another front, she denied knowing anything about clemency applications backed by the treasurer of her campaign, William Cunningham III, a lawyer. She said his involvement was proper, unlike her brother, another lawyer, but also a family member.

CLINTON: I know lawyers prepare and process pardon applications.

... please ask you to make a distinction between a gentleman with, you know, Mr. Cunningham's background and experience, and my brother, who, you know, as a family member should not have been involved in this situation.

O'CONNOR: As for the pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich, she says ask her husband.

CLINTON: I knew nothing about the Marc Rich pardon until after it happened.

O'CONNOR: And the former president is willing to answer some questions about that controversy by giving Republican Dan Burton's committee documents on Thursday relating to donations made by Denise Rich to the foundation for the Clinton library. According to the foundation's lawyer, David Kendall, it will not comply with a part of the subpoena asking for lists of all donors with pledges of more than $5,000, calling that intrusive and a "classic fishing expedition" in a letter to the committee.

Congressman Burton calls that unacceptable, saying in a statement: "Until President Clinton releases this information and waives all claims of privilege over the testimony of his former staff, this committee and the public will believe that he has something to hide."

(on camera): That isn't the only subpoena the Clintons have to answer. Sources say they've also received a subpoena for those same donor lists from the U.S. attorney in New York, Mary Jo White, who is also investigating the Marc Rich pardon. Such a grand jury demand may prove harder to fight.

Eileen O'Connor, CNN, Washington.



LAUREN PIKE, MENDON, VERMONT: Hi, I'm Lauren Pike and I'm from Mendon, Vermont, and I'd like to ask CNN this question: Can you give me the origin of the process that allows a president before he leaves his administration to grant pardons?

KELLEY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: A president is given the power to pardon in Article II of the Constitution. And an individual who receives a presidential pardon basically recovers a range of rights he or she lost after being convicted of a felony.

Now, there is an office in the Justice Department, the office of the pardon attorney, that basically handles and investigates most requests for presidential clemency. The Justice Department then typically sends recommendations over to the White House. In the end, the recommendations are given to the president, who ultimately makes the final decision.

Now, in the case of the controversial pardon for fugitive financier Marc Rich, the Justice Department's pardon attorney told a congressional hearing Wednesday that he did not find out about the request for Marc Rich until 12 hours before former President Clinton was to leave the White House.


ROGER ADAMS, U.S. PARDON ATTORNEY: If the president decides to not follow the procedures, as is any president's right -- in other words, if he doesn't want input from the Justice Department, if he doesn't want an investigation from my office, you know, I can't force one down his throat.


WALLACE: A Senate committee is currently reviewing the president's power to pardon.


WALCOTT: How many rolls of film have you wasted shooting vacation pictures that are out of focus or have your subject too small? And how many times have you resolved to take better pictures?

Lori Waffenschmidt turns to an expert for tips on the art of taking great travel pictures.


LORI WAFFENSCHMIDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You've taken the big trip and have rolls of film to prove it. But the final product, photos from faraway places or traveling companions, just didn't turn out the way you expected. That's a common complaint, according to professional travel photographer Richard I'Anson.

RICHARD I'ANSON, PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER: The image they've created in their mind's eye has not been translated successfully onto film.

WAFFENSCHMIDT: A common error many photographers make is not getting close enough, either physically or with a zoom lens.

I'ANSON: They see something in the distance, the human eye tends to magnify what it is they're looking at, but the camera doesn't do that. And so when the prints come back or the slides come back, the subject matter is too small and people wonder why they're looking at this picture.

WAFFENSCHMIDT: I'Anson says when it comes to taking pictures of people, it's important to fill the view finder with the subject, concentrating on the eyes.

I'ANSON: If the eye's out of focus, the picture will have failed. If the eye's in focus, other parts of the image can be out of focus.

WAFFENSCHMIDT: He also recommends capturing action in your pictures, instead of having travel companions stand and pose. Another tip: resist framing shots with extraneous objects, like a bush.

I'ANSON: All the bush does is get in the way. It confuses the viewer and it doesn't add anything to the image at all.

WAFFENSCHMIDT: Add variety to the typical landmark or icon photo by trying a new technique. Zoom in on just one part of it.

I'ANSON: This is such a familiar landmark that you actually don't need the whole bridge for it to be known as the Golden Gate Bridge.

WAFFENSCHMIDT: It's a different approach, but one that may increase the number of successful pictures from your travels.

Lori Waffenschmidt, CNN.


ANNOUNCER: Teachers, make the most of CNN NEWSROOM with our free daily classroom guide to the program. There you'll find a rundown of each day's show so you choose just the program segments that fit your lesson plan. Plus, there are discussion questions and activities, and the guide highlights key people, places and news terms. Each day, find hot links to other online resources and previews of upcoming desk segments. It's all at this Web address, where you can also sign up to have the guide automatically e-mailed directly to you each day. It's easy, it's free, it's your curriculum connection to the news. After all, the news never stops, and neither does learning.

WALCOTT: C is the letter of the day in "Worldview." We'll check out Catholics, clay and cats. We head to Jamaica to see how one woman uses ceramics to depict her culture. And we find out how the pope is focusing on diversity among his cardinals, increasing the chance that the next pope could come from the developing world. Thursday, the pope gave the new cardinals their rings of office.

So today we begin in Brazil, where jaguars are in crisis.

You could say the "B" in Brazil stands for big. Brazil is the biggest country in South America. In fact, it's one of the biggest countries in the world in terms of its size.

Inside Brazil lies part of the biggest river systems in the world, the Amazon. Brazil is big on natural resources, too. It boasts some of the most fertile farmland in South America and most extensive regions of tropical rainforests.

Today we take issue with an endangered species in Brazil and the big headache it's causing for cattle farmers there. That species: the jaguar. Jaguars live in thick cover in woods or swamps. They hunt mainly on ground, but are also accomplished swimmers.

Gary Strieker has more on this striking and increasingly scarce animal.


GARY STRIEKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In southwestern Brazil, cattle ranching is big business. But because of low prices for beef, most ranchers are losing money and they have no tolerance for anything that causes more loss, especially jaguars.

Cowhands on this ranch say jaguars are always killing calves here.

"The only answer," this one says, "is to eliminate jaguars."

The largest wildcats in the Americas, jaguars are larger here in the Pantanal than anywhere else. An endangered species threatened by loss of habitat and illegal hunting, their numbers are declining almost everywhere they're still found, except in this cattle country, where there are so many jaguars they're a problem for ranchers.

(on camera): For generations here in the Pantanal, ranchers have followed a very simple policy to deal with jaguars: They hunt down the big cats and they kill them.

(voice-over): Conservationists are concerned that ranchers could quickly wipe out the jaguar population here, and they say it's not justified.

SANDRA CAVALCANTI, WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY: They should know that this is not a jaguar kill. Every time that they find a jaguar kill it's like a really big deal. But sometimes you find an animal that died in the field from another cause and it doesn't get that much attention.

It's pretty loud, and then all of a sudden you don't hear anything. That also means the animal is going under and up some vegetation.

STRIEKER: In a study that's just beginning on this ranch, researchers will try to find out how much damage jaguars are actually causing here. They're capturing jaguars, fitting them with radio collars, and keeping detailed records of their habits and movements.

CAVALCANTI: And the idea is to try to figure out what their predation dynamics is. I mean, are there any problem animals, or pretty much any animal will do the killing given the chance?

STRIEKER: With enough information like that, it might be possible to find ways to change how ranchers manage their cattle to minimize losses caused by jaguars.

But now, many in the Pantanal feel it's impossible for cattle and jaguars to coexist.

This rancher says jaguars kill 5 percent of his calves every year. He wants the government to make it legal to hunt jaguars, like it used to be years ago.

Sources here say even without changes in the law, many ranchers are killing jaguars whenever they see them.

Gary Strieker, CNN, in the southern Pantanal, Brazil.


RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: There are 1,25,585,000 people practicing the Catholic religion throughout the world. That's nearly 20 percent of the world's population. There is only one pope to lead them. Called to assist the pope, the College of Cardinals.

Personally chosen by the pope, cardinals serve as his principal assistants and advisers in the central administration of the Catholic Church. Cardinals under the age of 80 also elect the pope when the position becomes vacant, a duty bestowed on them in 1059 A.D.

Today, Catholic cardinals are increasing representative of the church's global membership.

Wolf Achtner (ph) reports on the newest additions to this important post.


WOLF ACHTNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Speaking from the window of his apartment overlooking St. Peter's Square, Pope John Paul said the list of new cardinals reflects the universality of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes 10 men from Latin America, three from the U.S., several Europeans and one Vietnamese.

Cardinals have traditionally been known as princes of the church because of their special devotion and holiness, and are called upon to assist the pope in the governance of the church. John Paul pointed out the list includes both men who belong to the Vatican's hierarchy and others who've been chosen for their pastoral work.

Some experts say, back in 1978, many cardinals believed reforms enacted after the second Vatican Council had been taken too far, that the Vatican had lost much of its power, and that a strong hand was needed to regain control. And so the cardinals elected Karol Wojtila because they believed he was the best man to bring the Roman Catholic Church into the next millennium.

Today, the vast majority of Catholics live outside of Europe. Many cardinals believe the church must acknowledge this new reality and are convinced the Vatican must also learn to share its power with its representatives around the world.

"It's impossible for one man alone to govern a church that has over 1 billion faithful all around the world," says this Vatican expert. The No. 1 priority, from the Vatican's point of view, is to increase participation in the governing of the church.

The inclusion of 10 Latin Americans on the list is a clear indication that John Paul knows how important Latin America is for the future of the Roman Catholic Church.

(on camera): One hundred and eighteen of the 129 cardinals eligible to vote for the next pope have been hand picked by Pope John Paul, making it very likely his successor will share his conservative views.

Wolf Achtner, for CNN, Rome.


WALCOTT: We head now to a tropical paradise, an island nation in the Caribbean Sea. Jamaica is part of the Greater Antilles, a group of islands located in the West Indies. Christopher Columbus arrived there in 1494 and claimed the island for Spain. In 1655, the British invaded. Jamaica didn't become an independent nation until 1962, though, more than three centuries later.

The island's name comes from an Indian word meaning "land of wood and water." It's a place famous for its beautiful beaches, and tourism is an important industry. So is agriculture, and sugar cane is a major crop.

But today we focus on one woman who's built a business with her own two hands. Her clay sculptures depict different aspects of Jamaican life.

Carol Francis of Television Jamaica provides this report.


CAROL FRANCIS, TELEVISION JAMAICA REPORTER (voice-over): A single parent with nine children, Merdina Redding (ph) says she was forced to reexamine her life when she began to experience some amount of financial difficulties.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One day in the '70s when you have a lot of poor courts and all that and it was very, very hard. And at the time I had my kids at home. I had to go home. Every day you go to work, you go home, that thing. So I said to my boss one day, you know, you've just got to find me something to do. I'm not going home because I have my kids to look after and I need to earn some money. He said, well, just go and do something.

FRANCIS: Issued the challenge, Merdina decided she would use clay to recreate the biblical loaves and fishes. She showed the finished product to her boss.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He thought it was good. And if I tell you, now that I can look back, I think that's where I was blessed.

FRANCIS: Inspired, she began making more figures from clay.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Feeling forms like going out in the fields, looking on trees, seeing faces. I'd start working with it.

FRANCIS: Merdina Redding is recognized across the Caribbean for her hand-crafted figurines made from clay which comes from St. Catherine, Kingston and St. Mary. The clay is washed, strained, then put to dry. Once dried, it's wedged or kneaded to get rid of air pockets.

She makes patterns out of cardboard using dressmaking skills handed down from her mother. The patterns are placed on the clay, which is cut using a knife made from hacksaw blades. She combines the pieces using her thumb to get the desired form.

The hand-molded figures are put to dry, then bisque fired. A glaze is then applied before it's fired again. The finishing touches are added using acrylic paint.

The figurines, which depict various aspects of Jamaican life, all have typical Jamaican names, such as "Big Bottom Doris," "Baby Mother," "Calypso Street Girl," "Banana Boy" and "Higla" (ph).

Despite the success of her craft, Merdina has had to endure a number of personal struggles. She was recently involved in an motor vehicle accident which left her with a number of permanent injuries.

Others are copying her work, but she remains undaunted.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As a God-fearing person, I just keep rolling on.

FRANCIS: This is Carol Francis of Television Jamaica for the CNN "WORLD REPORT."


WALCOTT: Tiger Woods, Coretta Scott King, Ray Charles. Know what all these people have in common? Well, they're all recipients of the Trumpet Awards. The awards are presented every year by Turner Broadcasting, part of the AOL Time Warner conglomerate that owns CNN. They recognize people who overcame obstacles and went on to make important contributions to society.

Here's a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the idea came from the fact that it was Black History Month and the speaker was talking to the children about black history and black history makers. And it was a mixed group, black and white children and they knew so little. And the speaker asked them about certain books. They didn't know about the books. And it seemed like there was just a lot of ignorance prevailing.

I was feeling so pained when I left there. But the main thing is I realized that a lot of older people didn't know about the contributions of black Americans.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Trumpet Awards are very, very special because they delineate the history of our people; not just past history, but history that is in the making today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So I thought that we could put something out here that would entertain, enlighten, inform, invigorate and inspire. It would be a great opportunity to do a great service.


TED TURNER, CNN FOUNDER: Most of all, I got to thank Zinona (ph). She said, let's do this, and I said, that's a great idea, let's do it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I saw the trumpet as really sending out a message. You know, when the trumpet blows, you hear. And I wanted that to be the symbol of the Trumpet Awards. We want it to be loud. We want to be clear.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our next honoree is Mr. Smokey Robinson.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. Dorothy Irene Height, president of the National Council of Negro Women.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're not looking for just personal success with the Trumpet Awards, not someone who just popped up and made a million dollars. They're successful, but they haven't done anything with it. We're talking about people who have made a success of their goals and ambitions, who have taken that and spread it and blared it and trumpet it to the good and the benefit of others.


ANNOUNCER: Welcome back to the First Annual Turner Trumpet Awards.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ladies and gentlemen, the Trumpet Award to James Earl Jones.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We had 31 people that first night, which we did a very tasteful job, I think, of bringing in that many people and making them feel special.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Rev. Jesse Jackson.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what we've shown in nine years, headed for 10, that these are just a few.

What we wanted to do is to be sure that we included everybody. We have blacks and whites sitting together at dinner and total inclusion, and young people, older people. And I know for certain that once we sit down together, commune together, dine together, participate together, we're going to go away with something bigger and better than what we came here with.


ANNOUNCER: From teenagers who had a desire to create, to icons who create and inspire, Carmen Delavala (ph) and Geoffrey Holder continue to enrich all of us.

GEOFFREY HOLDER, ACTOR: I love this award. And when I leave here and I go to heaven -- and I'm barely going to go to heaven -- I'm taking this with me, my Trumpet Award. The angel Gabriel is going to be furious. He is going to be jealous. Ha ha ha. Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of my goals was hopefully to have this educate and open minds and hearts. And people open up and see a clearer vision of what we as a people have been doing. That's enough to keep going.

The Trumpet Awards is telling the story in its fullest sense, a sense that makes us understand a culture of a people hopefully to do what Dr. King said to bring about a better understanding. When people know the culture of another people, it's the first step toward loving them. Of course we would hope that this program be a big step toward people coming together, learning about each other, then loving each other. And then we can have that Great Society.


WALCOTT: For viewers in the Americas, be sure to check out the Trumpet Awards at 8:05 Eastern on TBS.

And next week, tune into NEWSROOM to meet some of the Trumpet Award honorees. We'll introduce you to music executive Clive Davis, a man responsible for the careers of some of the biggest names in music. We'll also catch up with pioneering singer and actress Leslie Uggams. Then we'll reach for the stars with NASA engineer Jacqueline Mims.

And that wraps up today's show. We'll see you on Monday. Bye bye.



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