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NEWSROOM for May 7, 2001

Aired May 7, 2001 - 04:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Seen in classrooms the world over, this is CNN NEWSROOM.

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Hey. Thanks for starting your week with us. I'm Tom Haynes.

And look who's here. It's NEWSROOM's Washington correspondent Mike McManus.

Hey, Mike.

MIKE MCMANUS, CO-HOST: Tom, it's really good to be here. I'm really looking forward to it. And I'll be here for the next two weeks.

HAYNES: Good. Good to have you. Want to see what's coming up?

MCMANUS: Absolutely. Let's go.

HAYNES: All right. Here's a preview.

First up today, back on terra firma: A space tourist tells all about his trip to paradise.

MCMANUS: News from the environment in the "Desk." First it was foot-and-mouth; now there's another contagious disease to worry about.

HAYNES: More from the environment in "Worldview," as we tell you where you can catch a glimpse of these cute little guys.

MCMANUS: We wrap it up in "Chronicle" and witness a little role reversal between two cultures.

HAYNES: But first today: The world's first paying space tourist is back here on Earth; 60-year-old Dennis Tito and his fellow cosmonauts touched down Sunday after an eight-day space adventure.

A journey to paradise is what American millionaire Dennis Tito called his trip to the International Space Station Alpha. The Soyuz capsule carrying him and two Russian cosmonauts touched down near Arkalyk, about 250 miles southwest of Kazakstan's capital, Astana. Despite gusty crosswinds, the Soyuz landing apparently went off without a hitch. Once on Earth, the crew was taken to a medical tent for checkups. Tito was a bit unsteady, so two men carried him in a chair.

Tito underwent months of preparation and paid the Russian space agency a reported $20 million for the trip. But he says it was well worth it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DENNIS TITO, SPACE TOURIST: There's really nothing like it. I mean, being weightless for eight days, it's like having a different life -- and then looking at the Earth, going around the Earth once every 90 minutes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HAYNES: After landing, Tito and the Russian cosmonauts were flown back to the Russian cosmonaut training facility outside Moscow. Tito is expected to remain in Russia for about 10 days.

NASA had strongly objected to Tito's journey into space. And the agency said it was not safe to send a civilian to the International Space Station. But he got a lot of support from his fellow cosmonauts.

Steve Harrigan reports Tito hopes other private citizens will follow in his footsteps.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEVE HARRIGAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Inside a tiny round spaceship on the plains of Kazakstan were two cosmonauts and 60- year-old tourist, hugged and carried out into the open air one by one. Dennis Tito, the California millionaire, came out smiling, ready to talk.

(LAUGHTER)

DENNIS TITO, SPACE TOURIST: Great landing.

HARRIGAN: After months of training together, then six days on board the International Space Station, cosmonauts had high praise for the man who paid the Russian Space Agency $20 million to make the trip.

TALGAT MUSABAEV, COSMONAUT: It was great in ISS because he was not young, but very strong, a very proud man.

HARRIGAN (on camera): Dennis Tito tried to put a controversy to rest when he said, "This is a great day for NASA" -- the space agency that originally opposed his trip.

TITO: I've had my dream.

HARRIGAN (voice-over): After a quick check by doctors in the field, Tito stood on his own to a hero's welcome in the Kazak capital, and a welcome back to Earth hug from the president.

TITO: I was worried that I might not feel well in space. I turned out to feel the best I've felt in my entire life.

HARRIGAN: Next on the agenda for Tito, a possible business venture to open up space for ordinary people who can pay for it.

Steve Harrigan, CNN, Northern Kazakstan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCMANUS: Kazakstan's president told Dennis Tito -- quote -- "In the past, it was only in science fiction novels that you could read about ordinary people being able to go to space. But you laid the foundation for space tourism" -- end quote.

Anne McDermott reports on the potential of space vacations.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNE MCDERMOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is what it's all about.

TITO: I love space.

MCDERMOTT: And Dennis Tito isn't alone. People have been in love with space since "War of the Worlds," since "Star Wars" and "Star Trek." In fact, on "Star Trek," regular joes sometimes turned up on the Enterprise, and some thought that might soon happen for real. After all, once man went to the moon Pan Am began taking reservations for lunar flights -- flights that never took off.

So some settled for less, like "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry, and noted trip-taker Timothy Leary, they had their ashes sent into orbit. But it's obviously much more fun to take Tito's trip. Trouble is, you need $20 million. Now, "Titanic" director James Cameron says he's interested in going into space. Can you say king of the cosmos?

But if you can't scrape up $20 million, you can do what Miami businessman Alan Wolnek did: experience brief periods of zero gravity aboard a Russian cosmonaut training flight for only about $5,000.

ALAN WOLNEK, SPACE ENTHUSIAST: It's exhilarating. It almost makes you want to yell from the exhilaration.

MCDERMOTT: There are a handful of ultimate vacation entrepreneurs that offer such adventures, and some are already taking orders for sub-orbital voyages that they hope to make available in the next few years at a cost of about $100,000 or so. Still, others envision a day when space tourists will stay in hotels up there. It's already on the drawing boards.

JAMES GEORGE, SPACE FRONTIER FOUNDATION: And I believe that the human species must expand past the earth. It's our destiny to become a space-faring species. It's out next evolutionary step.

MCDERMOTT: Well, it's not for everyone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because I don't even go on roller coasters.

MCDERMOTT: How about you guys?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You'd like to go into space, wouldn't you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hell yes, man. Yes. Be like "Star Wars," man.

MCDERMOTT: Well, maybe not, man. But it would be something; and it seems we're on our way.

Anne McDermott, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: "In the Headlines" today: A writer's strike is averted in Los Angeles, as movie studios and TV networks reach a tentative contract agreement. In it, writers get more control over their work. The contract also addresses payment issues for programming on the Internet. The Writers Guild of America represents more than 11,000 writers, the people who help create most of the television shows and movies you see. The agreement is expected to be approved.

MCMANUS: Now to a place where the motion picture business isn't so good: Russia, where kenua (ph) is the word for movie. Russia's movie industry was one of the world's most prolific and critically acclaimed. But in recent years, it has fallen into a steep decline.

Matthew Chance reports on the problems of cinema in a democratic Russia.

A word of caution: One of the movie clips in this story contains some violent footage.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It could be Russia's next movie failure in the making. This latest low-budget production is a comedy with some big Russian stars. But with rare exceptions, lack of money and interest has pushed Russia's film industry into steep decline. Few movies now shot at the once prestigious Mosfilm production house in Moscow are even released.

(on camera): These cavernous film studios were once among the most prolific in the world and the venue for some of the most critically acclaimed movies ever made. But now this film institution, this pillar of Russian popular culture, may be under threat.

(voice-over): Filmmakers immersed in Russian movies for decades have witnessed the industry's fall from the days of the Soviet Union. And with the rise in popularity of Hollywood blockbusters, Russian cinema can hardly compete.

IVAICHNY, RUSSIAN FILMMAKER (through translator): For me, the biggest irony, the biggest difference between a movie before and a movie now, is that then you couldn't say anything directly critical, yet the films were good. Now, when we can say whatever we want, our films are generally rubbish.

CHANCE: Classics like "Battleship Potemkin" by Sergei Eisenstein stunned viewers and critics across the ideological divide. This so- called Odessa stairs sequence is one of the most celebrated moments in film history, symbolism and technical expertise throughout still seen as revolutionary.

Old movies are still popular in Russia. But while these were proud monuments to communism, the new ideology is profit. And the government is privatizing the entire state-owned business.

MIK SHVYDKOI, RUSSIAN MINISTER OF CULTURE: Just during the Stalin time, Stalin dreamed that industry may -- must make just five movie. But everything in these first five movie must be masterpieces. I am not so crazy personally, no. And I understand if you want to make five masterpieces, we must make 150 or even 200 movie per year. This is normal. But today, without real private money, it's impossible.

CHANCE: Critics say the new private owners may kill off what's left of Russia's movie business for the sake of cash. But the hope is, this once-celebrated film industry can recapture the success of its past.

Matthew Chance, CNN, at the studios of Mosfilm in Moscow.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: Much attention has been focused this year on Britain's struggle to contain a massive outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. As we've seen, the financially devastating livestock virus is highly contagious and easily spread from farm to farm and even country to country if certain precautions are not taken. The outbreak has prompted the world to take a closer look at animal diseases and how they affect what we eat.

Bill Delaney reports on one particular disease you probably haven't heard of and what's being done to combat it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The waters off Maine's jigsaw puzzle northern coast, seemingly about as pure as nature gets. These days, though, troubled waters since an incurable disease, infectious salmon anemia, turned up in February in a single farm-grown Maine salmon of the state's 10 million or so.

Des Fitzgerald's company, Atlantic Salmon of Maine, moved quickly to destroy 45,000 of its young salmon, a loss of $450,000, though the disease poses no risk to humans,

DES FITZGERALD, ATLANTIC SALMON OF MAINE: It can spread very rapidly. So if we have infected fish, we want to get them out of the water.

It's important for us to do the right thing and apply the right biosecurity measures.

DELANEY: Like visitors now at European cattle farms, ravaged by foot-and-mouth disease, anyone near Maine aquaculture must step in a disinfectant solution.

FITZGERALD: Fish disease is part of this business. If you're dealing with animals, if you're growing animals, whether it's a land animal or a fish, disease is part of the deal. And you work with it. You've got to.

DELANEY: Salmon anemia, first identified in Norway in the 1980s, reached Canada four years ago. Maine salmon farmers, like Dave Miller, say they expect to contain the outbreak because they've long expected it and imposed precautions, the sort of measures many European cattle farmers put in place only recently.

DAVE MILLER, ATLANTIC SALMON OF MAINE: I don't think they had disinfection protocols in place that were stringent enough. So once the disease was detected, then they had to go through a rapid response and get them in place. And by the time that was in place, then it had spread further. It wasn't contained.

DELANEY: Fish farming, itself, isn't blamed for the disease, which also appears in a variety of fish in the wild.

(on camera): Though incurable now, infectious salmon anemia may not always be. The disease's virus protein and gene segment have been identified. And Norwegian scientists say they're making good progress toward a vaccine.

(voice-over): Still, the threat now to Maine's $60 million-a- year salmon-farming industry a reminder of how fragile the food we eat can be, even off Maine's immaculate coast.

Bill Delaney, CNN, off Swan Island, Maine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCMANUS: We have more on the environment in "Worldview" -- plus, a look at dealing with disabilities. That story takes us to Kenya, where we'll meet a woman with courage and a creative spirit. We also take a look at some creative workspaces. Imagine where and how you could work in the future. And we'll take a trip to a wildlife ranch in the U.S.

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: When you think of a safari, what comes to mind? Probably lions and giraffes and plenty of other African wildlife -- but you don't have to travel to Africa to have an animal adventure. Our destination today: the United States and Texas, the 28th state admitted to the Union. It's nickname is the Lone Star State. You might be familiar with some of its geography like the Rio Grande River or some of its history. Remember the Alamo?

Today, we explore a different tourist destination. You'll meet the menagerie, of sorts.

Stephanie Oswald is our guide.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHANIE OSWALD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On any given day here, events might include an injured deer learning to walk again, a rhinoceros getting an ultrasound.

UNIDENTIFIED GUIDE: We can even document pregnancy in animals at about 30 days.

OSWALD: Or, a herd of giraffes eating out of the palm of your hand. These activities are par for the course at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center just outside Glen Rose, Texas, about a 90 minute drive southwest of Dallas.

(on camera): For the visitors who come here, is there a typical experience?

BRUCE WILLIAMS, FOSSIL RIM V.P. OF CONSERVATION: I think that the typical experience for our guests is to just be blown away by driving through and seeing the type of animals we have and the type of environment that they get to live in. And a lot of the animals that we have, people have seen them. They're real familiar with them. But they've never seen them in a context like this where apparently they're just free and roaming around.

OSWALD (voice-over): I went on safari with Fossil Rim Vice President of Conservation, Bruce Williams. We toured the 1,500 acre not for profit center by jeep. At one point, we were surrounded by curious giraffes. It was not only an incredible experience, but also a bit unnerving.

(on camera): Now, should I be afraid at all right now?

WILLIAMS: No.

OSWALD: OK. And I'm guessing that this is probably something you can't do in Africa. Let's see if he wants to stick his tongue out. Let's see that -- oh, that is long. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh.

(LAUGHTER)

WILLIAMS: My heavens.

(voice-over): One surprising truth about Fossil Rim, it wasn't built as a tourist attraction. In fact, it was once known as Waterfall Ranch. An oil magnate purchased it as a home for exotic and later endangered species. He never planned to have the animals meet visitors. His motivation was preservation.

(on camera): So, Fossil Rim started out as a private reserve, owned by a wealthy man with a simple passion for wildlife. In 1984, it opened to the public and has evolved into a world class center for research, education and conservation.

(voice-over): A behind-the-scenes tour offers a deeper look at special projects dedicated to threatened and endangered animals such as the southern black rhino, the Mexican gray wolf, the Atwater prairie chicken, native to Texas with only about 50 birds left in the wild, and the cheetah. We had extra special clearance and several trainers with us when we met the playful cub you saw earlier in the show.

Fossil Rim staffers were thrilled when Sapphire (ph) was born at the center in August. My personal favorite, however, was this proportionately tiny creature named Jabu (ph).

(on camera): How are you?

(voice-over): A 3-week-old white rhino calf. We watched her for a while running around in the protection of her mother.

WILLIAMS: The white rhinos are threatened. All the other four species are endangered. And it's a result of poachers. People come in and they kill them and they cut the horns off. That's what, that's all they're taking. It's not for meat, it's not for hide. They're coming in and they're simply killing them to cut that horn off.

OSWALD: And, at the end of the day, a scene such as this puts an exclamation point on the purpose of this wildlife refuge, creating a haven where the deer and the antelope play and tourists get a dose of safari fun along with a serious lesson in environmental awareness.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: Profound innovations in technology and changes in lifestyle over the past decade have dramatically blurred the distinction between work and home. Workers now have the ability to work 24/7 from virtually anywhere in the world. Those higher expectations are one of the challenges for workers in the 21st century. The promise and the perils of the modern workplace and that of the future were recently on display in an exhibit called "Workspheres" at New York's Museum of Modern Art.

Susan Lisovicz reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There is the bed in business, in which the pillows multi-task as keyboards and speakers, the vending machine that dispenses seeds enhancing creativity and concentration. And there is the cafeteria/boardroom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The digital place mat gives access to the World-Wide Web.

LISOVICZ: These are prototypes of the future workplace as displayed at New York's Museum of Modern Art. Ergonomically-correct tools are but a minor theme in the exhibit "Workspheres." Ada Tolla says the lack of privacy in the workplace was one reason for the module her studio calls Inspi-retainer (ph).

ADA TOLLA, DESIGNER, LOT/EK: You can go from a very isolated position in which you are by yourself working to a joined position, where a team of people can work together and collaborate and share information and share images.

LISOVICZ (on camera): Workspheres takes the position that while work determines our lives, in the future, the way we live may help shape the way we work. That means designers had to examine some of the most common trends of the 21st century: working at home, working from the road, and working in the age of the corporate cubicle.

(voice-over): In personal skies, the worker can personalize a communal workspace by dialing up a specific ceiling, while the chair assumes the characteristics of the person sitting in it.

But perhaps the most profound change in the modern workplace is that work can go anywhere.

HANI RASHID, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: The work sphere has become our kind of -- our environment that we carry with us everywhere we go. In fact, we turn our airplane seats into work environments, we bring our work home with us, we, in fact, are immersed in our work sphere.

LISOVICZ: And that blurring boundary between work and life has created new problems.

PAULA ANTONELLI, CURATOR, WORKSPHERES: There's a sense of inadequacy or incapability of organizing one's life. That's why one of commissions in particular was devoted to having a new way to schedule appointments, and to schedule life.

LISOVICZ: Which is why some designs in "Workspheres" employ a low- tech device, a door for fatigued workers to get away from it all.

Susan Lisovicz, CNN Financial News, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALCOTT: Next stop, Kenya, a nation on the east coast of Africa. Anthropologists believe that humans lived in the region some two million years ago. Today, it's the homeland of a courageous woman who can give a little inspiration to all of us. She's overcome tremendous difficulties to fulfill a dream.

Denise Dillon has her story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DENISE DILLON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These paintings tell stories of hope, despair, unlimited passion. More than just colors on a canvass, the paintings tell the story of a woman who has ignored the tragic circumstances in her life to find happiness and fulfillment. At just 6 years old, polio destroyed the muscles in Mary Wanja's arms and legs.

MARY WANJA, ARTIST: And I stayed in the hospital for about 10 years. And I saw no one in my family, apart from my mother.

DILLON: It was there in the hospital where Mary met another patient who changed her life.

WANJA: He had lost the use of all his arms. And still, he is dependent on a machine to breathe. And still he had the idea to go on in life. And he would tell me, "You are much better because you can sit and you can live on your own. You have to paint if you want to have your own life and lead a normal life like any other person."

DILLON: Mary listened to him and started painting. Her work portrays various passages in her life. Some of her paintings have been published in a book along with other artists who use only their mouths or feet to paint.

Mary also teaches others to paint. One of her pupils, John (ph), has cerebral palsy. She's teaching him how to manipulate a brush with his feet. Mary says she dreams of starting a home for the disabled. She wants to teach them to paint with their mouths and feet. She knows, through painting, they will not just learn a new skill, but will find happiness and fulfillment.

Denise Dillon, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: Where's the center of your universe? Well, in "Chronicle" today, we focus on what seemed like the center of the universe a long, long time ago. Check out this map of ancient Greece. Many say language and culture centered around Greece and the Greek language during that time. But as you can imagine, things have changed.

Our report comes from the CNN Student Bureau.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEFANIA LAFTSIDOU, CNN STUDENT BUREAU CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): The ancient Greek culture served as the cradle for much of the world's modern cultures and languages.

MICHAEL VARLAS, GREEK HISTORIAN: Some centuries ago, Greek people or Greek-educated people were the dominant people in the world, like Alexander.

LAFTSIDOU: Students all over the world study Greek philosophy. Many English words are based on Greek.

ELIZABETH HOLOPOULOU, GREEK ENGLISH TEACHER: At one time or the other, both languages have become the predominant. I mean, they were the prevalent languages of a time. Greek was in the ancient times. I mean, in the past and now, it's the English language.

LAFTSIDOU: With American products sold worldwide and with the explosion of the Internet, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in English, the roles are reversed.

HOLOPOULOU: Greek -- the Greek language is only spoken by a very limited number of people. So we have to learn a widely spoken language so that we can communicate with the rest of the world.

LAFTSIDOU: Because of this, Grecian majors study English for hours each week. Most attend after-school English classes for at least five years. Without English, it would be tough to get a job.

VARLAS: I think we live in -- we live American lives. We all live American lives. We dress ourselves like Americans. We wear jeans. We eat sometimes like Americans. I go very often to McDonald's.

LAFTSIDOU: The influence of the American culture is spreading with its language.

Although Grecian majors wear American clothes, eat American hamburgers and are learning English, Grecian still learn first language and culture.

HOLOPOULOU: We want to identify ourselves with our culture. and I think a way to do it, to preserve the culture is to preserve the language.

VARLAS: Cultural identity ever changes, but never stops, never dies. This is, I think, a rule of the life.

LAFTSIDOU (on camera): The Greek language is a way of surviving invasions. The Romans and later the Turks came into my country. They control it for hundreds of years. But the Greeks remain Greek.

Stefania Laftsidou, CNN Student Bureau, Thessaloniki, Greece.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCMANUS: U.S. President George Bush was signing baseballs instead of bills at the inaugural White House T-ball game over the weekend. The lineup put the Satchel Paige Memphis Red Sox -- go Red Sox -- up against the Capitol City Rockies.

CNN's Kelly Wallace was on the sidelines.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A day for the history books, the first ever "Field of Dreams" at the White House, with two pint-size teams hailed like major league all-stars.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Welcome to baseball at the White House.

WALLACE: President Bush, a former Little Leaguer who dreamed of the majors, not the presidency, kicks off T-ball on the South Lawn.

BUSH: All right, let's play ball.

WALLACE: The Capitol City Rockies, in red, take the field first; the Memphis Red Sox, in blue, on deck, with sportscaster Bob Costas providing the play-by-play. BOB COSTAS, SPORTSCASTER: Makida (ph) getting ready, but in no rush. Hits one toward the pitcher. It takes a wicked, crazy hop, and there is no play at first base.

WALLACE: One by one, these 5-, 6-, 7- and 8-year-olds strut their stuff, with the commander in chief cheering them on.

COSTAS: What does he want to be when he grows up? He says just like his daddy.

WALLACE: There are no outs in T-ball, and everyone gets a chance to bat.

COSTAS: And here's the Rockies' first baseman, Claire Devaney. Hopped again towards Omar, blocks it, throws to first...

WALLACE: And when it was over, there was no winner or loser, just lots of handshakes all around: a gift from Mr. Bush, an autographed baseball, and memories that could last a lifetime.

(on camera): What was your favorite part about today.

COREY DIRKS, CAPITOL HILL ROCKIES: That I got to meet the president.

WALLACE (voice-over): Kelly Wallace, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: See you tomorrow, guys. Take care.

MCMANUS: Goodbye.

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