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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for May 26, 2000

Aired May 26, 2000 - 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.

ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: And welcome. I'm Andy Jordan. It's NEWSROOM on a dress-down Friday.

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Thanks for joining us. I'm Rudi Bakhtiar. Let's get rolling. Here's what's coming up.

JORDAN: In today's news, the last Israeli soldier leaves Lebanon as celebrations fill formally occupied streets. So do guns. What will the future hold for the Israeli-Lebanon border?

BAKHTIAR: In "Editor's Desk," this hummingbird may not sing, but it does perform stunts.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM GREENALL, MECHANICAL DESIGNER: He was only used for the one commercial so far. We've had, you know -- I'm sure there's not a lot of hummingbirds out there, so hopefully we'll be able to get him working again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JORDAN: "Worldview" recaptures the horrific images of Cambodia's killing fields and talks with one man who captured those images and froze them in time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AL ROCKOFF, PHOTOGRAPHER: Somebody must record it. I'm not a writer. You can write it from somewhere else. You can't photograph it from somewhere else.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAKHTIAR: "Chronicle" recalls the philanthropy of a classical composer and a modern-day commemoration of his compassion.

In today's top story, after two decades of occupation, Israel has withdrawn its last troops from Lebanon. In celebration, Lebanese took to the streets Thursday declaring it a national holiday. Israel invaded southern Lebanon in 1982 to drive out Palestinian forces. After that, Israeli troops established and occupied what they called a "security zone" in southern Lebanon along the border with Israel.

Since then, Hezbollah guerrillas, backed by Iran and Syria, have fought for Israel's withdrawal. They point to a United Nations resolution calling for Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon as justification for their attacks. Lebanon's prime minister says Hezbollah guerrillas would not interfere with a deployment of United Nations peacekeepers to the area in the wake of the Israeli withdrawal.

Brent Sadler looks at the role Hezbollah is likely to play in the future of Lebanon.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRENT SADLER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Israelis are gone. Lebanese enjoy their new-found freedom.

A Druze mountain village relishes this day with dance and gunfire. Like most of Lebanon's religious sects, the Druze once had their own civil war militia, disbanded a decade ago. But in scenes reminiscent of the bad old days here, heavy weapons may be falling into wrong hands. Two tanks fly the flags of a one-time Lebanese war lord and gunman belonging to a staunchly pro-Syrian Lebanese political party set up a checkpoint, their own captured tanks and armor parked nearby. Putting a stop to the free-for-all weapons bonanza is a crucial step for both United Nations peacekeepers and the Lebanese government to take.

(on camera): This "feel good" factor is sweeping across communities throughout South Lebanon in the wake of the Israeli withdrawal. But as the dust begins to settle, there are nagging doubts about how long this mood might last.

(voice-over): The next crunch may be over Lebanon's demand that territory at the foot of Mount Hermon on the Golan Heights, be relinquished. The region, known as the Sheba Farms has been barred to the Lebanese for more than 30 years. An electrified Israeli fence marks the start of what Lebanon says is a continuing occupation. A Lebanese villager collects water in an eerie kind of no-man's land, within range of Israeli guns on the hillside.

As she calmly rides away, another local explains: there's always danger here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you wait just right for 10 minutes, then you would see the IDF would come because they have a lot of places here they can watch us. And I am sure now they have seen us, which is why we must leave before they come.

SADLER: Israel watches and listens over the actual village of Sheba. There's now hope here the land they say they once worked will be given up.

Because it's our soil, you know. Sheba here, the village, is our body, but our soul is there. A sentiment around which there's national consensus on this their celebration day. Brent Sadler, CNN, Sheba, South Lebanon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BAKHTIAR: With the withdrawal from Lebanon, some Israelis are concerned their country may be open to attack. Thursday, the Israeli prime minister told them to get Lebanon out of their system.

Mike Hanna has that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIKE HANNA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ehud Barak comes to reassure people in the far north of Israel and finds both support and opposition for his decision to withdraw the army from South Lebanon. He's in Kiryat Shmona to address an extraordinary sitting of Israel's Knesset, or parliament; for the first time in more than 50 years, a formal session held outside Jerusalem.

Words of reassurance that those in the North will not be put at risk by the withdrawal, but also a passionate plea to the president of Lebanon.

EHUD BARAK, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): I call upon you, President Emile Lahoud. Israel extends its hand of peace towards the future of cooperation, a better future for the children of our two peoples. Let us use this hour to talk peace.

HANNA: It was generally peaceful on the border. And apart from the occasional patrol along the fence, the Israeli Army kept well back from Lebanese demonstrators. Israel's public security minister came to look at the new front line for himself. Shlomo Ben-Ami has been heading negotiations aimed at securing a peace settlement with the Palestinian Authority, and he believes the withdrawal should have a positive impact on those talks.

SCHLOMO BEN-AMI, ISRAELI PUBLIC SECURITY MINISTER: The message to the Palestinians is, indeed, that what they saw here is a policy of peace, is a policy of peace that is directed at all the parties in the Middle East, the Syrians, the Lebanese and the Palestinians alike.

HANNA (on camera): The withdrawal from South Lebanon is, in the Israeli view, part of a wider process. The apparent intention, by linking several strands of negotiation that have taken place in recent months, to create a whole stronger than each part; to forge a new dynamic that has as its end a wide-ranging peace to replace isolated areas of conflict.

Mike Hanna, CNN, on the Israel-Lebanon border.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JORDAN: OK, after you watch a movie, do you ever stick around to read the credits? Well, if so, you might see disclaimers saying, no animals were hurt in the making of the movie. While many films feature animals trained to do stunts, they take care to be sure the animals aren't injured or put at risk. Some production companies are going a step further, entering the world of animatronics. Animatronic means of, relating to, or being a puppet or similar figure animated by means of electromechanical devices.

Animatronic characters are mechanized, often life-like creations which stand in as doubles for live animals when the scenes could be dangerous.

Gloria Hillard takes us behind the scenes.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GLORIA HILLARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These dogs and cats and frogs on the shelf aren't for sale. They work in show business. Think of them as stunt doubles and stand-ins for the animal stars.

JIM BOULDEN, ANIMAL MAKERS: How are stuff is shot is live animals, fake animals, live animals, fake animals. And our work, we'll do the stunts. We'll do some of the special effect things: a paw that comes up like this.

HILLARD: This bear was the stand-in for the real bear in the film "Legends of the Fall."

BOULDEN: Oh, here's a little swimmer that opened up "Lake Placid."

HILLARD: Boulden says his fake animals keep the real ones out of harm's way. And if a script comes in...

BOULDEN: If it glorifies harm to animals, we don't do it.

HILLARD: His animals often work in conjunction with computer- generated animals, and his styled and sculpted creatures provide something the computer images can't.

BOULDEN: There's energy that happens between the puppeteer and the performer. I mean, there's a synergy that happens there that's different than -- with the computer graphics, I've got to carry the whole performance. There's a little juice there, you know.

Yes, you, yes. You're gorgeous. Yes, you are.

HILLARD: This eagle starred in the film "Almost Heroes" and this hummingbird in a shampoo commercial.

GREENALL: He was only used for the one commercial so far. We've had -- you know, I'm sure there's not a lot of hummingbirds out there, so hopefully we'll be able to get him working again.

HILLARD: And this is what happened when a real chicken met his stand-in. Well, we've seen some of that with human actors as well.

This alligator was the star of a TV commercial for a skin lotion. He hasn't worked in a feature film. Then again, not to say he couldn't carry a big-screen story.

Gloria Hillard, CNN Entertainment News, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

BAKHTIAR: In "Worldview" today, comedy and tragedy as we travel around the globe. We'll touch down in Europe and Asia for our stories. Meet a circus performer at the height of his long and daring career. Then we'll journey to Germany to go inside the big top. And we'll find out about a family business in Belgium: clothes for clergymen.

But first a somber story from Cambodia as we revisit a terrible era in history.

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: We begin today in Cambodia, a small country in Southeast Asia sandwiched between Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. Cambodia was once the center of the Khmer empire, which extended throughout most of the Southeast Asian mainland. In the 1970s, Cambodia experienced a devastating civil war. The victors of that war, a communist faction called the Khmer Rouge, took control of the country in 1975.

The Khmer Rouge was an oppressive dictatorship that controlled every aspect of the lives of Cambodia's citizens, from where they lived to where they worked and to how they dressed. An estimated one million Cambodians died from execution, starvation, disease or hard labor during the reign of the Khmer Rouge. Now, over 20 years since the fall of the Khmer Rouge, the world is bearing witness to images from that dark time.

Mike Chinoy has our report, which contains some disturbing images.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIKE CHINOY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The passage of time has not blunted the power of the images or the passion of the man who took them.

ROCKOFF: It 's an obsession. Somebody has to witness it. Somebody must record it. I'm not a writer. You can write it from somewhere else. You can't photograph it from somewhere else.

CHINOY: For 25 years, Al Rockoff's harrowing pictures of the destruction of Cambodia and the fall of Phnom Penh have gone largely unseen. Portrayed by John Malkovich in the Academy Award-winning film "The Killing Fields," the legendary photographer, who was wounded nine times covering combat in Cambodia, has stayed out of the public eye.

Now, at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Phnom Penh, his work is on public display for the first time. ROCKOFF: The first hour or two Khmer Rouge were moving around this city, I could hitchhike on vehicles. Most people were clapping, smiling, very nervous smiles -- not happy smiles, nervous smiles. At that time, we did not know what to expect. Maybe 9:00, 10:00, the mood of the Khmer started to change and they were stopping people from moving around.

CHINOY: Rockoff then made his way to a nearby hospital overrun with casualties where he was detained by Khmer Rouge soldiers.

ROCKOFF: As one is taking the camera equipment off my neck and from my shoulder -- the camera bag, the gear -- another one put a pistol to my right temple, and I saw the two -- well, I sensed the two Khmer Rouge behind me move to the side to get away from the splatter.

CHINOY: Several hours later, Rockoff was released and photographed this chilling encounter between the Khmer Rouge and officials of the old regime.

ROCKOFF: These government functionaries were taken behind the Ministry of Information. They were bludgeoned to death on the tennis courts.

CHINOY: After three weeks holed up in the French embassy, Rockoff was expelled from a country that soon dropped off the international radar screen. That changed a decade later with the release of "The Killing Fields." But while acknowledging the film's impact, Rockoff remains bitter over the way he was portrayed, especially the suggestion that Cambodian journalist Dith Pran was unable to flee because Rockoff botched an attempt to doctor a passport photo.

ROCKOFF: Excuse me, there's not one scene about me in that movie that is accurate, not a one. They blame me for Dith Pran not getting out.

CHINOY: Unlike many other journalists who moved on to new assignments, Rockoff stayed involved with Cambodia, now spending more than six months a year here photographing a country at peace that he refused to abandon in war.

Mike Chinoy, CNN, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JORDAN: Next, we head to Belgium to peek into a unique family- owned business. Belgium is a small country in northwestern Europe bordering France, the Netherlands and Germany. Throughout the centuries, many countries have ruled Belgium. It became a state in 1830 after winning independence from the Netherlands.

Belgium is known for its production of steel, chemicals and textiles. Yet a smaller industry fills another need by providing ceremonial garments for religious leaders. You may have seen them at church: pastors in pulpit robes with stoles draped over their shoulders, priests in white linen robes called albs. You've probably even seen the pope wearing a large headdress called a miter. So where do the pope and other religious leaders get their clothes? You're about to find out.

Here's Patricia Kelley to tell you more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PATRICIA KELLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This workshop is Dirk Slabbinck's kingdom, according to his family, and it's full of saints and angels all designed by Dirk.

DIRK SLABBINCK, DESIGNER: For Easter itself, the resurrection, this is for a stole, so we have the two sides of the stole.

KELLY: Much of what the pope wears on his trips abroad originates from here. It's a family business which has been going for nearly a century. It supplies Christian churches of every denomination worldwide, as well as the Vatican, with lavishly embroidered clothing, tapestries and other ceremonial hangings.

MARC SLABBINCK, COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR: Sometimes we have to make a chaspah (ph) with a patron saint we never heard about. So now we have to look up, you know, what the patron saint was, find symbols and so forth. So it's very pleasant and very surprising sometimes.

KELLY: On display are antique embroideries, copies of religious paintings using a technique known as painting with a needle.

MATHIAS SLABBINCK, SALES MANAGER: Altogether, we've calculated that it cost about 4,800 man hours just to embroider this. Now, technically, nowadays it's still possible to do it, only at today's labor's costs it will become very, very expensive. So this is really a unique piece.

KELLY: Founder Hendrick Slabbinck kept the company going during World War II, when many Belgian workers were used in German armaments factories as forced labor.

VIKTOR SLABBINCK, ADVERTISING MANAGER: My grandfather had a great idea. He went to some bishops and they placed some fake orders so that we could ask our workers to stay here. And that enabled us after the second world war to continue doing what we were doing because, elsewise, this company might have stopped.

KELLY: The company employs more than 60 people and is rapidly expanding.

MIRABEL SLABBINCK, PRODUCTION MANAGER: Most of the people who work here are working here for a long time, like 20 years, 25 years. So they know everything about the job. So when new people arrive, they train them themselves. So they don't go anywhere for special training, it happens here.

KELLY: Much of the work is done by hand. Real gold is used in restorations, some of them hundreds of years old and priceless.

MYRIAM DE BRACKER, SEAMSTRESS: We have to clean everything, and then we lay some paper on it.

KELLY: The pattern is placed onto new fabric, although as much of the old embroidery as possible is preserved.

(on camera): And business is booming, especially in France and the United States, a sign, says the family, that religion is making a comeback.

(voice-over): Patricia Kelly, CNN, Bruges, Belgium.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: Ever been to a circus? If you have, you'll know it's one heck of a show. A circus usually features daring acts by a cast of acrobats, animal trainers and other performers. Clowns in funny makeup and zany outfits usually provide a little slapstick comedy. And the ringmaster, the circus band and dancers in elaborate costumes, add an extra burst of color and excitement. "Worldview"'s next stop is Germany, home of one of the world's oldest circus performers.

Denise Dillon introduces us to a high-wire performer for whom the show must go on.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DENISE DILLON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At a time when most people would be in a rocking chair, Konrad Thurano is twirling himself around a high-wire. Thurano is 91 years old and performs daily with the Apollo Circus in Dusseldorf, Germany with two shows on weekends.

Thurano's circus career began at the age of 15. High-wire artists from the Apollo Circus spotted him doing balancing acts at a neighborhood playground. They signed him up, and one week later he did his first performance in front of a live audience. Seventy-six years later, that same audience keeps him going.

KONRAD THURANO, HIGHWIRE ARTIST (through translator): When the curtain raises, the music starts playing and the lights go on and the audience is applauding, you cannot imagine the feeling. You have to have experienced it yourself. The more the audience gets going, the better we get.

DILLON: Thurano has experienced audience enthusiasm around the world. He spent several years performing in South Africa, the Middle East and America. And now he is back in Germany performing with his son. When you watch the strength this man has, just in his two fingers, it's hard to believe he's 91 years old. And, still, he's not ready to let go of performing. He says he honestly doesn't know when he'll retire.

THURANO (through translator): Only God knows. I still feel pretty good. If it's up to me, I could go on for a while longer.

DILLON: Every time the curtain closes, he begins to look forward to his next show with a brand new audience to amaze and entertain.

Denise Dillon, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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.

JORDAN: For centuries, music lovers have listened to and appreciated the music of Antonio Vivaldi. Born in Venice, Italy in the 1600s, Vivaldi became an accomplished composer in the Baroque style, which is marked by regular rhythm and elaborate melody. Vivaldi is renowned for his concertos, pieces of music for one or more soloists and an orchestra. Vivaldi wrote many concertos for the girls orchestra at the orphanage where he taught. "The Four Seasons" is one of the most famous of those concertos.

Now an all-girl orchestra in the U.S. capital is recapturing the magic of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" in a one-time performance. Have a listen as we talk to some of the girls and their conductor.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHEN SIMON, CONDUCTOR: From the 500 tapes that we get, we select 40. So they come in Friday, they audition, we choose the program, we rehearse all day Saturday, have the dress rehearsal at the Kennedy Center on Sunday morning. The concert's Sunday afternoon.

ALEXIS KENDE, VIOLINIST: People from all over the country are coming together and we all have the common interest in music. And it's great to meet other people.

SHANA DOUGLAS, VIOLINIST: It's all girls. I think that's kind of cool because, a lot of times, orchestras are really heavily weighted on the side of men players, and so it's great for women to have a chance.

SIMON: It's great music. It is fun. It is fun music to listen to, it's fun music to play. Vivaldi sells because it's easy to listen to.

I have six boys, so working with 40 girls is a real treat for a change.

MELANIE DOUGLAS, VIOLINIST: It's sort of historically significant, recreating Vivaldi's orchestra that he had at his orphanage that orphan's played. It just really feels great to have just played in an orchestra where there's like great musicians surrounding you everywhere.

ANI BUKUJIAN, VIOLINIST: I'm 7. Playing with the orchestra, this is my first time.

SIMON: I think the talent is just unbelievable. This is the only competition that I know of in the world where nobody loses.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BAKHTIAR: Well, many of you have a long weekend coming up. Monday is Memorial Day in the United States, a time when the nation reflects on sacrifices made by war veterans. One of America's most painful wars was also its longest. The United States began sending ground combat troops to Vietnam in 1965, bombing communist forces in North Vietnam. American participation continued until 1973 and peaked in 1969 at 540,000 troops.

Between 1 1/2 million to 2 million Vietnamese troops died. Countless civilians were killed; 58,000 American military personnel died in the war; 300,000 were wounded. To commemorate that loss, a traveling Vietnam veterans memorial wall is touring the U.S.

CNN Student Bureau reporter Kailyn Reid (ph) looks at what impact it's having in Omaha, Nebraska.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAILYN REID, CNN STUDENT BUREAU (voice-over): Fifty-eight- thousand names can be seen on the wall that heals, a half-size replica of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. The wall is made possible by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, a nonprofit organization.

Recently, the wall traveled to the Strategic Air Command Museum in Omaha, Nebraska. About four hours of preparation time is needed to construct the 250-foot wall.

AL DINZOLE, STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND MUSEUM: I think the most significant thing about the wall is that you don't realize it until it's up and you stand in front of it, and the impact it has on you when you start to thinking about it. And those people who are on the wall, of course, were all killed in action in Vietnam. It has quite an impact on you.

REID: For many, the wall provides a sense of comfort to war veterans and their families.

HAROLD WHEELER, STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND MUSEUM: There's three specific close relationships to it. And just to view the wall brings back a lot of memories about the individuals, what they were and what they did for us.

REID: Since 1996, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund has continued its tradition of preserving the legacy of the wall that heals.

Kailyn Reid, CNN Student Bureau, Omaha, Nebraska. (END VIDEOTAPE)

JORDAN: And the week of June 5, NEWSROOM will air "Vietnam: 25 Years Later." Each day, the entire "Worldview" segment will be dedicated to Vietnam, the country and the conflict.

BAKHTIAR: We'll discuss MIAs, talk to female veterans and visit modern-day Vietnam -- all that and more starting June 5.

JORDAN: In the meantime, don't look for us this coming Monday. We'll be off for Memorial Day.

BAKHTIAR: That's right.

JORDAN: We'll see you back here Tuesday.

BAKHTIAR: Have a great weekend, guys.

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