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NEWSROOM for August 8, 2001

Aired August 8, 2001 - 04:30   ET


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

MICHAEL MCMANUS, CO-HOST: Hello, everyone, welcome to your Wednesday NEWSROOM. I'm Michael McManus.

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: And I'm Shelley Walcott.

The worlds of science and business fill up today's show. Here's a look at what's ahead.

MCMANUS: Cloning human beings: It's illegal in the U.S. but these doctors say they are going to do it somewhere. We'll have details in "Top Story."

WALCOTT: From science to business, our "Daily Desk" sends us to boot camp for the big boss.

MCMANUS: More business to take care of in "Worldview" -- this time we get a lesson in East African economics.

WALCOTT: Then, the debate over human cloning continues in "Chronicle."

MCMANUS: Medical science enters uncharted territories. Researchers push forward with their plans to clone humans. Scientists told a panel of experts in Washington Tuesday that they will be ready to begin cloning humans this year.


PANOS ZAVOS, FERTILITY EXPERT: We hope that in November we'll begin to -- to begin to do what we call the nuclear transfer, which is in actuality the transfer of the nucleus of a somatic cell, of a body cell, into the egg of a woman for the purpose of establishing an embryo. And that embryo will be transferred into the uterus to establish a pregnancy.


MCMANUS: Many researchers are skeptical, saying human cloning is unethical and very dangerous.

Walter Rodgers reports. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WALTER RODGERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The British scientists who created Dolly the sheep say it is just too soon to use the same procedures to clone a human being. One doctor, who helped clone Dolly, says Dr. Antinori's bid to clone upwards of 200 human beings is also too dangerous.

HARRY GRIFFIN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, ROSLIN INST.: He may be lucky, he may not get any pregnancy. He may be lucky and the pregnancy might go to term and the child would be normal. On the other hand, he may be -- and the woman and the father concerned might be very unlucky and the child doubly so in that they have a genetic defect. And that's the risk that he's taking.

RODGERS: The success British researchers had in cloning Dolly the sheep obscured the continuing failure rates. Only 1 percent of cloned animal embryos ever lead to a live birth and then there are the birth defects. The technology in cloning a human child is similar to that of cloning animals. A nucleus is taken from a cell belonging to a male and inserted into a woman's egg that's had the nucleus removed. Then the embryo is implanted in the woman's womb.

(on camera): The great skepticism about Dr. Antinori's experiment lies in his claim that he can genetically screen an embryo as it's developing in a mother. Those who clone animals, like Dolly the sheep, doubt his claim.

GRIFFIN: There is no screening method that will be able to check whether each and every key gene is appropriately reprogrammed. And it would be wholly irresponsible to use the technology at its present stage of development to clone a child.

LORD HUNT, HOUSE OF LORDS: If by using embryos we can learn how cells develop and work...

RODGERS (voice-over): Still, in January, the British House of Lords approved therapeutic cloning of embryos for research purposes.

HUNT: The only treatment that is likely to offer a chance of a real cure is one that is based on the person's own body, a treatment that is cell based and individual.

RODGERS: And scientists who oppose human cloning say they have a different view of that embryo research.

GRIFFIN: The ability to carry out a limited amount of research on human embryos in this area may well be critical.

RODGERS: It may be critical, but that enthusiasm, researchers say, does not yet extend to cloning cells for the reproduction of another human being.

Walter Rodgers, CNN, Edinburgh.

(END VIDEOTAPE) MCMANUS: The Italian doctor who's promising the first human clone is coming under fire at home. He has some powerful opponents in Rome, including the Vatican, fellow doctors and the government. But will they be able to stop him?

CNN's Chris Burns reports.


CHRIS BURNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Like other industrialized countries, Italy is struggling to raise its sagging birthrate. At his clinic here in Rome, Dr. Severino Antinori says he has one solution. He vows to become the first to help sterile men have children by cloning them. He calls it "therapeutic cloning."

"We can make humanity happier by producing a child in that way," he says, "a way to continue the species."

But in this deeply Catholic nation, Antinori faces searing criticism. Some call the flamboyant doctor a publicity hound seeking fame and fortune by becoming the first to photocopy babies. The Vatican has another word for cloning. They call it "eugenics" -- creating the perfect human being, as the Nazis tried.

"The Nazi attempt was eugenics," he said, "but they didn't have the scientific resources. Today, they can do worse than Hitler did."

The Italian order of doctors is even threatening to bar him from practice, but the order says it can't until Antinori actually starts his project. That's not expected until November. Italian law remains unclear though authorities are warning Antinori.

"Reproductive cloning is forbidden," he said. "Therapeutic reproduction is deferred, since the results from animal testing have yet to prove we can proceed."

Antinori first made an international name for himself in 1994, when he claimed a 62 year-old woman patient of his had a child -- no law against that either, though it sparked outrage here.

Outrage is mixed with apprehension this time, apprehension over how cloning could change society and whether it's medically safe.

"Science must advance," she said, "but I'm afraid."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It's against nature. You don't know what the results would be.

BURNS (on camera): Doctors, governments and the church may try to stop him but Antinori vows to forge ahead. He says he will carry out his plan in a remote country or in international waters if necessary.

Chris Burns, CNN, Rome.

(END VIDEOTAPE) MCMANUS: Coming up in "Chronicle," we will take a look at how science fiction has taught us some myths and realities about cloning.

WALCOTT: In a separate medical issue, U.S. President Bush is weighing whether to permit federal funding of stem cell research. Scientists say the research holds promise for treating serious diseases, but many critics are highly opposed to harvesting stem cells from human embryos and some religious activists say the process takes human life because embryos must be destroyed to harvest the stem cells.

John King looks at how ethics, science and politics intersect in the debate over stem cell research.


JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Soon, but not today.

BUSH: I'll be making that decision -- I'll be making that announcement when I'm ready to make the announcement.

KING: Whether to support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research is a question the president has grappled with for months now. Administration and other sources familiar with the president's deliberations say it is clear Mr. Bush opposes creating embryos in laboratories specifically for medical research and developing embryos by cloning human cells.

At issue is whether to support stem cell research on leftover embryos developed during fertility treatments, embryos that otherwise would be discarded. A majority of Americans support stem cell research in that case: on embryos left over in fertility clinics. But support is weaker among key Bush constituency. Forty-five percent of self-described conservatives support this type of stem cell research, 42 percent of weekly churchgoers, and 35 percent of those who oppose abortion rights. Mr. Bush calls it an agonizing moral question and insists politics will play no part in his decision. Yet the longer he takes, the higher the political stakes.

BILL MCINTURFF, GOP POLLSTER: That is a consequence of the administration's attempt to deal with this issue and to be as thoughtful as possible. It has probably unfortunately helped contribute to making this an even bigger deal than it might have been.

KING: This public lecture from the Pope John Paul II will be remembered as a signature moment in the stem cell debate and in the debate over the president's handling of the issue.

JOHN PODESTA, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: That's just not a position you want to put the president into. So I kind of scratch my head and wonder, you know, how they got themselves put into that. I think it would have been a lot better if he had just made the decision before he went to Rome.

KING: But others see virtue in the president's indecision. REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: Several times in meetings, for instance, even on the Patients' Bill of Rights, he'll make a reference to stem cell research, so you can tell this is really on his mind. And it's something that, in many ways, it may define his presidency, but also it will show, I think, the intensity and thought that he puts into a decision such as this.

KING: Mr. Bush promises a decision before Congress returns to work in September.

(on camera): And as that deadline approaches, the lobbying is intensifying. Many advocates of stem cell research say the president could dramatically boost his standing among moderates and independents, but cultural conservatives are reminding Mr. Bush he is already on record opposing federal funding. And they say any change of heart would be tantamount to his father's abandoning his "no new taxes" pledge.

John King, CNN, The White House.


WALCOTT: Today's "Business Desk" is all about the organizations and trends that steer trade and commerce, but it's also about people. And in any business organization, there's usually one person ultimately responsible for the direction that company takes. In the case of most corporations that person is the CEO. A CEO is the executive who is responsible for a company's operations, usually the president or the chairman of the board.

If you have ever been in a position of leadership, you know that no matter how much you know there's always more to learn about your position of power. It's no different for CEOs, so some of them take a crash course in running companies.

Here's Peter Viles with the story.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's show them -- halt!

PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's been called CEO boot camp, if such a thing can exist inside a Park Avenue mansion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't feel as much banged around as at some boot camps I've been at.

VILES: It's more like a finishing school run by the M&A group, and a very expensive one -- $10,000 to spend one day learning from veteran executives like Larry Bossidy.

KEVIN SHARER, CEO, AMGEN: Larry started out by saying that in the last 15 to 18 months, 38 or 200 top CEOs have left under other than normal circumstances, so it's a high mortality job.

VILES: Once he had their attention, Bossidy preached the importance of time management.

LAWRENCE BOSSIDY, FORMER CEO, ALLIED SIGNAL: I tell them to set their own agenda, and spend time on the things which are priorities for you and for the business. Don't let somebody else set the agenda.

VILES: Joseph Nacchio of Qwest had similar advice.

JOSEPH NACCHIO, CEO, QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: If you say: "I'm available, who wants to talk to me or have me work on to something," I mean, you'll never get to everything. The hardest thing is to decide what you're not going to work on. Because there's lot of important stuff you're not going to work on.

VILES: Another lesson: get to know the people who control your fate, your board of directors.

FRANCIS SCRICCIO, CEO, ARROW ELECTRONICS: I made a note that I've got to discipline myself to basically have more frequent interactions with my board members. I made a note and said, gee, you know what? I'm going to try and call at least one board member every week.

VILES (on camera): The old wisdom is that it's lonely at the top, and lately it's awfully hard to stay there. CEOs are now on call 24 hours a day in a global economy that changes all the time. Investors are demanding and impatient, competition is cut-throat, but most of the people at this school tell us the job they have is actually a lot of fun.

SCRICCIO: Not many people get a chance to do these kind of jobs. It's worth every single minute of it.

RICHARD SYRON, CEO, THERMAL ELECTRON: If you look at the questions that come to you as a challenge, not just as a problem -- and you like to solve puzzles, and think, how do we work our way through this? -- then it's a lot of fun.

VILES: It's also fun because of the perks like having renowned portrait artist Richard Avedon take your class pictures.

Peter Viles, CNN Financial News, New York.


WALCOTT: Many MBA students started their programs at the height of the economic boom when employers tried just about anything to lure talented workers, but what a difference two years makes. The economy has hit a rut and companies not only have to be laying off workers, they've been rescinding job offers as well. Now at least one school is reaching to alumni for help.

Lisa Leiter reports from Chicago.


LISA LEITER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Some of Kellogg's Business School graduates not only left Northwestern with a degree, about 50 of them also left with deferral letters. They managed to find jobs, but employers pushed back their start dates to as late as fall 2002. It's an alarming trend facing graduates nationwide.

JOHN CHALLENGER, CHALLENGER, GRAY & CHRISTMAS: This is unprecedented. It's never happened before. Companies have never pulled offers from grads in this kind of way.

LEITER: So Kellogg's dean on Friday sent an e-mail plea for help to alumni, asking them to consider hiring these students, quote, "on a temporary consulting basis," and that, quote, "They need to have an income to pay for rent, food and to begin repaying their loans."

Kellogg alum Tim Urquhart received the e-mail, but said his company may not be able to help.

TIM URQUHART, FIRST ANALYSIS CORPORATION: It's hard to hire someone knowing they're going to leave in six or nine months.

LEITER: Jobs of some sort are available, but they might not require a master's degree.

DIANE SWONK, CHIEF ECONOMIST, BANK ONE: These kids could also do a lot of other things in the interim, and that's important as well. I mean, certainly when I graduated from my masters, not my MBA, but when I got my master's, I was willing to wait tables and do all kinds of things, and those jobs are still out there.

LEITER (on camera): The question is whether companies will honor their job offers for somewhat better positions if business doesn't bounce back a few months down the road.

Lisa Leiter, CNN Financial News, Chicago.


MCMANUS: More business news as we head into "Worldview." We'll touch on travel, trade and timber. You've probably heard a lot about deforestation, but today, we take you to a country that might not come to mind when you think of this environmental problem. Think again as we journey to Japan. We'll check out Kenya's push to push its products around the world. And we'll go back in history to the early days of flight.

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: I can't believe that in just a couple of years we'll be marking the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers historic flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in the United States. It was the first time man ever flew. Now look how far we've come with advances in aviation technology. The fact that you can fly from New York to London in a little more than three hours, the space shuttle blasting off into outer space. It's amazing.

The date was December 17, 1903 when Orville Wright became the first man ever to fly in an airplane. He flew a whopping 120 feet -- in those days, an astronomical achievement. When you take a plane trip or see a jet streak past, maybe you'll recall the Wright brothers accomplishment. Meantime, the anniversary of the Wright brothers first flight has inspired several aviation groups to try to replicate what they did back in 1903.

Keith Oppenheim has the story of two entrepreneurs who are trying to recreate a flight that changed the face and pace of transportation.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It changed our lives. They changed the world.

KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They are Wilbur and Orville Wright, two brothers who, in December of 1903, were the first to fly a plane powered by an engine and controlled by a pilot.

This is Mark Miller and his partner Tom Norton, two guys attempting to be the first to successfully build and fly a plane just like the one the Wright brothers made. That original plane, mind you, hangs at the Air and Space Museum, in Washington, but it's been changed so much, it's no longer flyable.

Two years ago, Norton and his son asked Miller to help with a high school project, to build a replica of a Wright brothers glider. After that, Miller got the bug and wanted to recreate the first plane.

MARK MILLER: I couldn't get it out of my mind. It just seemed like a really interesting phenomenal project.

OPPENHEIM (on camera): Eventually Norton and Miller got the attention of Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry, which is now supporting the project. The plan is on the 100th anniversary of the historic flight, December 17, 2003, the Norton and Miller replica will be flown right in front of this building, and will later be displayed inside the museum.

(voice-over): Until that day, the builders have mysteries to solve and questions to answer.

TOM NORTON: What was it in that wing? What was it in that engine? What was it in that fabric and the way they put it together that got the kind of performance that they got that day? No one has ever really figured that out.

Will we? I'm not sure, but we're having a lot of fun trying.

OPPENHEIM: Keith Oppenheim, CNN, Chicago.


WALCOTT: The East African country of Kenya is on its way up the economic ladder. The country's developing economy is fueled largely by agriculture and manufacturing. It also relies on coffee, tea and petroleum exports and turns a significant profit from tourism. But Kenyan authorities say the region's economic power remains untapped. Investment from overseas, they say, is key to the economy's growth. Last year, then U.S. President Bill Clinton signed legislation designed to boost trade between the U.S. and Africa.

Alfonso Van Marsh looks now at how that relationship is progressing.


ALFONSO VAN MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Joan Lucy Kimani is setting up shop for business in the United States. The Kenya native sells African handicrafts to European clients. But she knows little about U.S. markets, and they don't know she exists.

JOAN LUCY KIMANI, KENYAN ENTREPRENEUR: The U.S. people, they need to know about Kenyan products. How do I get to know these people? So I need some information.

MARSH: And that's why Kimani is offering her wares in Atlanta, Georgia. She's attending a trade summit designed to match U.S. businesses with those from the newly formed East Africa community trading bloc. Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya are members. The community's secretary general says, given the investment and development tools, a united east African economy would flourish.

NUWE AMANYA-MUSHEGA, SECRETARY GENERAL, EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY: It is rich in resources, and our primary goal is to show that these resources are developed.

MARSH: When Bill Clinton signed the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, or AGOA Act last May, virtually all products from 48 sub-Saharan countries became eligible for duty-free access to U.S. markets, provided that they follow open market reforms and respect human rights.

(on camera): Thirty-five sub-Saharan African countries have qualified for AGOA benefits -- batiks, African jewelry, even picture frames made from banana leaves -- these are some of the more than 2,000 products small African businesses want to send to the rest of the world.

(voice-over): Looking for a window of opportunity, these Kenyan textile manufacturers meet with potential U.S. investors. Kenyan officials say since it qualified for the incentives, Kenyan textile exports to the U.S. increased from 7 million to $27 million. Kenya's trade minister said it could be more if investors didn't think of Africa as a giant war zone.

NICHOLAS BIWOTT, KENYA MINISTeR, TRADE, INDUSTRY AND TOURISM: Our biggest problem in trade is the mindset where Africa is perceived to be the den of every evil.

MARSH: Joan Lucy Kimani says she's hopeful that U.S. consumers will overcome that ignorance one order at a time.

Alfonso Van Marsh, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE) RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Japan is a country off the east coast of Asia. Its capital is Tokyo. It's one of the world's most densely populated nations and its huge crush of people means Japan faces social, environmental and economic problems. In the global market for international timber, Japan is the world's biggest importer, criticized as a major force in the destruction of the world's forests.

But as CNN's Gary Strieker reports, the rules of international trade may leave Japan with no other choice.


GARY STRIEKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Japan is in a severe economic slump. But every year, there are more than a million housing starts here, a market second only to the United States - a huge market for wood products. With just 2 percent of the world's population, Japan imports more than a third of internationally traded wood products, a level of consumption some describe as wasteful and excessive, marking Japan as the greatest contributor to global deforestation.

PAIGE FISCHER, PACIFIC ENVIRONMENT: And what Japan should be doing right now is reducing consumption and implementing policies to make sure that the consumption that does take place is sustainable and that forest products that it imports comes from sustainable sources.

STRIEKER: Japan's massive timber imports were triggered more than 30 years ago by tariff reductions and explosive economic growth. Its enormous demand drove sweeping logging operations through tropical rain forests in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. But mounting criticism has persuaded some local governments here to limit the use of tropical timber in public construction.

Recently, tropical imports have been reduced, replaced by timber from temperate forests in North and South America, Russia and Australia. Many Japanese consumers believe these wood products are environmentally friendly because they are not from tropical rain forests. But conservationists say logging for timber in old growth forests outside the tropics is equally destructive.

MIKIKO FUKUDA, GREENPEACE JAPAN: It's quite shocking for the Japanese consumers because they never expect that the timber they are using is destroying the ancient forest outside of Japan.

STRIEKER: There is wide support among political leaders here for a policy favoring wood products from Japanese forests, for some limits on cheap timber imports. But Japan's trading partners, including the United States, say their access to the Japanese market is protected under the rules of the World Trade Organization.

CHARLES BARNES, ENGINEERED WOOD ASSOCIATION: They can't have it both ways. If they want to export around the world, if they want the U.S., for example, or Canada, or any other country in the world to buy their electronics products or their cars or whatever, it has to be a two-way street. STRIEKER (on camera): So while Japan might be willing to find ways to reduce its timber imports, it might be impossible to do that against increasing pressure from its trading partners and restrictions imposed by the WTO.

(voice-over): Restrictions now being negotiated that would eliminate remaining barriers to global free timber trade, opening the Japanese market to an even greater volume of timber imports.

Gary Strieker, CNN, Tokyo.


WALCOTT: Well, we return to the topic of cloning in today's "Chronicle." The idea of cloning humans has gradually weaved its way into our real lives through tales of fiction.

MCMANUS: But science that once was a figment of the imagination has become a frightening reality. Why are so many people so very afraid of human cloning? And are their fears justified?

Garrick Utley takes a look.


GARRICK UTLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It doesn't take a sidewalk philosopher to tell us why cloning pushes our most human button. Cloning challenges our identity as individuals, so when scientists claim they want to genetically replicate us as they did again today, it gets our attention.

DR. PANAYIOTIS ZAVOS: We are not perfect but we are trying to get there as perfectly as we can.

UTLEY (on camera): At the heart of the debate over cloning is a tension that exists right here. Part of us says we want to be part of the crowd like everyone else, we want to be accepted. Another part says, hey, I'm me. And don't make me like anyone else.

(voice-over): That is why any attempt to artificially create life has been as a dangerous Frankenstein game, as a subject for the dark comedy of a Woody Allen.


WOODY ALLEN, ACTOR: We are going to make an attempt to clone the patient directly into his suit, that way he'll be completely dressed at the end of the operation.


UTLEY: And then there is the question of whether evil could be cloned as with the young Hitlers and the boys from Brazil.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: You are the living duplicate of the greatest man of history.


UTLEY: Of course, one person's evil may be another person's perfection. The Nazis were not the only ones to seek racial purity or improve the human race through artificial means. In the first half of 20th century America, most state legislatures passed eugenics laws, authorizing the sterilization of those considered to be "defective."

President Theodore Roosevelt after leaving office wrote, "I wish very much that the wrong people to be prevented entirely from breeding."

(on camera): Which brings us back to the basic question of where cloning should lead us. As humans are we content with our imperfections? After all we've come a long way in the past few million years, or do we want something more?

(voice-over): Certainly we want to improve our lives, our bodies and minds. Today a heart transplant is common. But if one day we could have a brain transplant, would we be the same person? Should it be allowed?

Some lines are being drawn. The House of Representatives has approved a bill banning human cloning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table.

UTLEY: You don't have to be a genetic scientist to know that cloning cells can cross the line between improving life and determining life -- and identity.

A truly existential question -- human cloning -- no longer limited to poets and philosophers or scientists.


MCMANUS: Something we'll be keeping our eye on here at CNN NEWSROOM, Shelley.

WALCOTT: That's right. And for more information on cloning, you could head to

And that wraps up today's show.

MCMANUS: We'll see you tomorrow.

WALCOTT: Bye-bye.

CNN NEWSROOM is part of Cable in the Classroom, a service of the cable television industry and your local cable company.



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