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NEWSROOM for April 27, 2000Aired April 27, 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.
SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: Hi, I'm Shelley Walcott. Welcome to another day, another NEWSROOM.
ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: And a lot more news. I'm Andy Jordan. Let's get started.
WALCOTT: Our first stop: Mozambique, a nation counting the cost of a natural disaster.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRAIG DUFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In addition to the thousands of families who have lost everything, the government estimates that the floods have inundated more than 300,000 acres of Mozambique's crop land. Over 120,000 family farms have suffered a total loss.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JORDAN: Our "Science Desk" finds us in Texas, where we learn how a big discovery is leading to a big fight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN CORRICK, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE: What did it look like? How did it live? How is it related to other dinosaurs? We won't be able to answer any of those questions if it just lays out there in the desert and slowly erodes away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALCOTT: From the battle over bones to the war over water in "Worldview."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATRICIA KELLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There's hardly a region in the world which doesn't have difficulties connected with water.
(END VIDEO CLIP) JORDAN: Finally, we "Chronicle" the conflict and the controversy that was the Vietnam War.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the field, in Vietnam, we learned the truth for a price: You cannot cover this war for any length of time, a colleague said to me when I first arrived, without having people you have come to know and like pretty well get killed. And that was true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALCOTT: In today's top story, we turn our attention to flood- ravaged Mozambique. The United Nations is urging the world not to walk away from that African nation, which it says needs more than $400 million to rebuild its damaged infrastructure.
Before the floods, the former Portuguese colony had one of Africa's fastest growing economies. But weeks of torrential rain in February and March washed away almost all the country's gains. At least 640 people were killed and hundreds of thousands more were left homeless.
An international reconstruction conference for Mozambique is scheduled to take place in Rome, Italy, next Wednesday and Thursday. The conference aims to raise the money needed to rebuild the country.
With more on the flood's aftermath, here's Craig Duff.
CRAIG DUFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It will be a long time before many can put these images out of their minds: a nation battling a natural disaster. Now, weeks after the helicopter rescues and the flight to refugee camps, the long-term effects of the devastating floods in Mozambique are being tallied.
Most visible is the infrastructure: highways, bridges and utilities heavily damaged. These roads on the outskirts of the capital city of Maputo have washed away and cleanup continues. In the countryside, sites like this are common: a maize field soaked and ruined where water lilies now grow.
In addition to the thousands of families who have lost everything, the government estimates that the floods have inundated more than 300,000 acres of Mozambique's crop land. Over 120,000 family farms have suffered a total loss.
Though flood waters have receded in some areas, it will be a while before many subsistence farmers can return to their fields.
JOAO CARILHO, DEP. MINISTER, AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT: I think that at least two months and maybe three for them to go back. There are a lot of preparations to do before, all the sewage system is to be recovered, the water supply system needs to be cleaned. All these things need to be prepared before people move back.
DUFF: A study cosponsored by the U.N. Environment Program found agro-chemical spills in heavily flooded Chokwe town. It also determined that a cocktail of pollutants such as oils from service stations, dead animals and human waste could be an environmental hazard as people return to their homes.
BOIA EFRAIME, EXEC. DIR., REBUILDING HOPE: The major problems we are facing now has to do with skin diseases, with respiration diseases, and we have already some cases of cholera, and a lot of cases of -- malaria cases.
DUFF: Standing water continues to be a danger throughout the southern part of Mozambique. UNICEF reports that both malaria and diarrhea are on the increase. The World Bank estimates it could take up to $430 million to rebuild Mozambique and it will be years before the scars of flooding are no longer visible.
Craig Duff for CNN, Maputo, Mozambique.
RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Since he was rescued from the waters off the coast of Florida, Elian Gonzalez has captured hearts all over the world. The contentious battle over his fate continues, after a controversial move by the U.S. government that forcefully took him from the hands of his Miami relatives and returned him to his father.
KATE SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Elian and his father spent another day hidden behind the trees on the banks of the Wye River. While the Coast Guard patrolled the waters to keep onlookers away, the legal battle over the boy intensified.
Elian's father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, went on the offensive Wednesday, against efforts by the boy's great uncle in Miami. In an emergency motion, the father called on the appeals court to explicitly give him the right to speak for his son, removing great uncle Lazaro Gonzalez from any legal standing in the case. The court is currently considering the issue of asylum for the 6-year-old.
The motion sharply rejected as harmful. Legal efforts by Miami relatives seeking access to the child, it cited report by a government-appointed psychiatrist. Dr. Paulina Kernberg spent two and a half hours with Elian and his family on Tuesday. She concluded a reunion with the Miami relatives would not be advisable in their current state of mind. They would likely be disruptive.
But a child psychiatrist who was present on the morning Elian was taken and is supportive of the Miami relatives disputes Kernberg's findings.
DR. LYDIA USATEGUI, CHILD PSYCHIATRIST: She never saw Elian before the whole raid, she never met the family for an evaluation process, she never spoke to the psychologist that had been treating Elian, she never looked at the reports of the psychological testing that was available on Elian, and now she gets together for two hours and makes this recommendation.
SNOW: Nearly 200 Cuban-American women dressed all in black held silent vigils outside the Justice Department, the White House and the Cuban Interests Section in Washington.
JORDAN: Well, neck bones of what may be the largest dinosaur ever found in North America have been discovered in Texas. And those big bones are creating a big controversy in Big Bend National Park. It's located on the border with Mexico along the Rio Grande River. The park covers over 801,000 acres, where the river makes a sharp turn, or a big bend. But there's not much bending going on between two groups arguing about the dinosaur discovery.
Charles Zewe digs into the dilemma.
CHARLES ZEWE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the vast and rugged Big Bend National Park, researcher James Carter found fossilized neck bones of a 68-million-year-old dinosaur.
PROF. JAMES CARTER, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT DALLAS: This is a very unique bone that has never been found before.
ZEWE: Ten vertebrae of an alamosaurus, stretching almost 23 feet, were unearthed, along with new questions about how long dinosaurs lived.
CARTER: These giant dinosaurs were thought to have died out about 30 million years before this large neck was discovered.
ZEWE: Three vertebrae were taken to a university lab, where rock was chipped away and the bones reassembled.
Based on just the neck bones, Carter, on the left here, laying next to the vertebrae, says the dinosaur was massive.
While scientists are unsure exactly what the four-legged creature looked like, it probably resembled, they say, this giant sauropod from "Jurassic Park," except bigger, 100-feet long by 30-feet tall.
Carter now wants to dig up the other vertebrae. But some Big Bend residents want any further excavation blocked.
Jan Forte, co-owner of a rafting company in nearby Lajitas, accuses the National Park Service of allowing grave-robbing in a park where removal of a single pebble is prohibited.
JAN FORTE, BIG BEND RIVER TOURS: Why not leave it in its natural environment, build a display and let people come from all over the world to see this magnificent creature?
ZEWE: Like the Dinosaur National Monument in Utah, where hundreds of bones can be seen in rock walls.
Doing that, scientists say, could leave many mysteries.
DAN CORRICK, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE: What did it look like? How did it live? How's it related to other dinosaurs? We won't be able to answer any of those questions if it just lays out there in the desert and slowly erodes away.
ZEWE: Or is stolen. Rare dinosaur fossils can fetch millions from private collectors.
(on camera): The National Park Service says it will decide by late summer what to do with the fossils. Whether they're taken to a lab or left in place, one scientist says that, in the end, they may well help fill in a missing page in the book of life.
Charles Zewe, CNN, Big Bend National Park, Texas.
ANNOUNCER: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, seen in schools around the world, because learning never stops, and neither does the news.
WALCOTT: It's sun and surf in "Worldview" today. And as we spin the globe, we make our way to Asia and points beyond. We'll cyber- surf through India, a nation making Web waves as its technology takes off. And we'll explore political ripples as countries around the world ponder what to do about a global water problem. And we'll take in a celebration of spring. That story takes us to Iraq.
BAKHTIAR: We begin in Iraq, in classical times called Mesopotamia, meaning "land between the rivers." It was home to one of the world's earliest civilizations. It wasn't until the seventh century that it became known as Iraq. Modern Iraq came to be in the aftermath of World War I, gaining independence in 1932. Iraq is one of the world's leading oil producers and has used oil revenues to build one of the most powerful armed forces in the Middle East.
It's strength was tested during the eight year war with Iran and the subsequent invasion of Kuwait in 1990. The latter aggression drew the U.S. and its allies into all-out war with Iraq. the Iraqi forces were defeated, but with that defeat came trade sanctions which have been detrimental to the country's economy. In spite of the country's predicament, the Iraqi people celebrated the coming of spring, masking worries of their dire circumstances.
James Martone reports.
JAMES MARTONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Iraqis commemorating the beginning of spring, or Neyruz (ph), a Persian word meaning "new light." Neyruz is a public holiday in Iraq.
Iraqi Kurds like these say Neyruz also celebrates the legendary overthrowing of an ancient tyrant. Many Kurds in government- controlled territory say publicly that today's tyrant is the U.N. and U.S. and an embargo they say will also be overthrown.
"If it does not end by itself, we will end it," says Kurdish merchant Kasar Ghareeb (ph).
But despite such public displays of defiance, Iraqis of all backgrounds admit privately that almost 10 years of economic sanctions have exhausted them.
(on camera): Some people here said that after so many years, they were accustomed to sanctions, but that that didn't make it any easier getting by on salaries worth as little as $1.50 per month.
(voice-over): They said life had become so expensive and inflation so high that even what were once the most inexpensive of pleasures -- a glass of date alcohol or water-pipe tobacco -- are harder and harder to pay for.
There's dancing and laughter at this Neyruz celebration, but Iraqis say such fun now is overshadowed by worries over how to survive.
"Somehow, we are always under pressure, always preoccupied," says 17-year-old Nora Samir (ph), an Iraqi Christian. "Yes, we laugh and we dance, but not from inside."
Emad Girgis (ph) is 32 years old. He's better off than many Iraqis. His salary as a repairman allows him to support relatives as well as his wife and son.
"God is merciful and I thank him," he said about his 5,000-dinar- a-day income. That's about $75 U.S. a month. "This spring," he said, "that's a fortune not shared by many."
James Martone, CNN, Baghdad.
TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Water is one of the most common and most important substances on Earth. Throughout history, civilizations have risen where water was plentiful and floundered when water disappeared. The world's demand for water is constantly increasing, and this year demand is expected to have doubled from what is was in the 1980s. So how much water do people use? That's our pop quiz question today. How much water does a person use every day?
Our answer is based on the average consumption in the United States. So what's your guess? Well, on average, each person in the U.S. uses more than 100 gallons, or 380 liters, of water each day. That really adds up, especially when you consider that, around the world, only 3 percent of our water is fresh, and part of that is tied up in glaciers and icecaps. Many parts of the world have a constant water shortage, so countries around the world are talking about the water problem.
Patricia Kelly reports on one such recent meeting.
PATRICIA KELLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This dance is supposed to simulate women washing laundry on a river bank. The reality is less entertaining.
ISMAIL SERAGELDIN, WORLD COMMISSION ON WATER: We have a billion people who have no access to drinking water. We have -- safe drinking water. We have about 3 billion people who have no access to adequate sanitation.
KELLY: Disputes about water can lead to war.
BERTRAND CHARTIER, GREEN CROSS: Mr. Barak said to Mr. Gorbachev, even if we sign any peace agreement with the Palestinians, if the water question is not solved forever with the group, with everybody, we'll be at war in 10 years. And the same speech was made by Mr. Arafat and by the king, Abdullah.
KELLY: Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev joined delegates at this international water conference, attempting to put safe water and an increasing shortage of it worldwide at the top of the global agenda.
MIKHAIL GORBACHEV, FORMER SOVIET PRESIDENT (through translator): When God was creating the Earth, including rivers, and when God was giving certain direction to those rivers, he did not know that we would create nation states and national borders. And therefore, today, we have the problem of shared basins, shared water resources, and possible conflicts.
KELLY: Apart from war, more than 7 million people die every year of diseases caused by water shortage or polluted water. There's hardly a region in the world which doesn't have difficulties connected with water. Even Northern Europe may face supply problems with fresh water supplies polluted by fertilizers.
The World Water Commission is urging governments to scrap water subsidies which encourage waste and turn to private investment to fix water problems. But that has its critics.
DAVID BOYS, PUBLIC SERVICES INTERNATIONAL: We feel if the corporations end up owning and running water, that there will be serious harm in the developing world.
KELLY: Even as they attempt to raise public awareness, there are no easy solutions in sight.
(on camera): People and governments should be taught water must not be taken for granted. That, say delegates here, will help conserve supplies and make sure countries don't go to war for water.
Patricia Kelly, CNN, The Hague.
WALCOTT: India is a land of extremes. It's the world's second most populous country, and also one of the poorest. It's home to about 900 million people. Many live in extreme poverty. Until recently, technology was a foreign concept there. Just 30 years ago, there were only an estimated 100 computers in the entire country. Today there are about 5 million. India's computer and software industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy.
The growth is changing the face of cities like Hyderabad, as Satinder Bindra reports.
SATINDER BINDRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Once a small, sleepy town in South India, Hyderabad is in the midst of a major makeover. Transforming the area's economy are thousands of computer professionals. They make only a fraction of what their counterparts earn in the U.S., but last year these programmers exported $135 million of software.
With so much skilled manpower, Hyderabad is beginning to attract investors. The U.S. alone has invested about $60 million here.
BINDRA: Chandra Babu Naidu is the region's top elected politician, a man whose mantra is information technology. With U.S. help, Naidu recently set up a high-tech university to churn out more qualified programmers. Naidu also thinks of the poor. To take technology to the common man, he set up special cybercenters. Here, citizens can pay their utility bills, property taxes and even get their driving licenses. The scheme makes Naidu's government more accessible, and those who run the cybercenters have jobs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am also a part of the transformation that is taking place in the street. So, really, it feels good when something of that sort happens.
BINDRA: Naidu says he now wants to use the Internet to spread literacy and health care.
CHANDRA BABU NAIDU, CHIEF MINISTER, ANDHRA PRADESIN, INDIA: I'm going to build up Internet in all the villages. E-governments, e- commerce, all these things will be available for the common man.
BINDRA: Naidu says his dream is only three years away.
(on camera): Many here believe in what Naidu is trying to do. They say if Hyderabad can play to its strength, developing Internet technology, it will quickly create wealth and help the region leapfrog into the future.
Satinder Bindra, CNN, Hyderabad, South India.
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.
(BEGIN POP QUIZ)
Vietnam was once a colony of which European country?
(END POP QUIZ)
JORDAN: Well, Sunday marks the 25th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, a conflict that lasted more than a decade and cost tens of thousands of lives. With the war's end in 1975, Vietnam was left still divided into North and South. It then reunited a year later under communist control.
Bruce Morton, who covered the war, offers his perspective and provides a clue to the answer to today's "Pop Quiz."
BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was our longest war, but no one is quite sure when it started. John Kennedy increased the number of American advisers in what was then South Vietnam. Maybe that was the start. Perhaps the real start was earlier, when Ho Chi Minh freed Hanoi from the Japanese at the end of World War II. The Allied commanders asked what they should do. France's Charles De Gaulle said Indochina is French, and the Allies, on orders, drove Ho out.
Ho didn't stop, of course. His army, led by Vo Nguyen Giap, laid siege to the French at Dien Bien Phu. Hell, one writer titled a book about it, in a very small place.
France asked for American air strikes. Then-Vice President Richard Nixon was for it, but congressional leaders, including Lyndon Johnson, said no, and President Eisenhower agreed. It is wonderful history if you like irony. Johnson, who said no to bombing in the '50s, was the president who kicked the war into high gear in the '60s.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LYNDON B. JOHNSON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Why must young Americans, born into a land exultant with hope and with golden promise, toil and suffer and sometimes die in such a remote and distant place? The answer, like the war itself, is not an easy one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORTON: In fact, we now know Johnson himself was unsure why Americans were there but thought he couldn't just cut and run. One senator's suggestion: declare victory and leave.
No one was wise enough to actually do that. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We wish to emphasize we seek no wider war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORTON: Oh, but they did. They did. Three hundred thousand Americans, 400,000, 500,000 -- McNamara and the rest kept saying they saw lights at the end of the tunnel. The light, poet Robert Lowell wrote, is the light of an oncoming train.
Vietnam destroyed Lyndon Johnson's presidency. Vietnam sent actress Jane Fonda to Hanoi to root for Ho Chi Minh, sent American youths into the streets to protest the war. "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids have you killed today," one chant went.
At the 1968 Democratic convention, anti-war protesters battled police in what a report later would label a "police riot." Republican Richard Nixon won the election, saying he had a plan to end the war. But it went on.
The United States dropped more bombs on Vietnam than during all of World War II. It tried to kill the jungles with a defoliant called Agent Orange. Its victims included American soldiers as well as trees.
And the government lied about how the war was going. And when reporters told the truth, the government said we lied. Keep the reporters away from the front, was a maxim during the Gulf War, a generation later.
(on camera): In the field in Vietnam, we learned the truth for a price. You cannot cover this war for any length of time, a colleague said to me when I first arrived, without having people you have come to know and like pretty well get killed. And that was true.
(voice-over): Almost 60,000 Americans died, and their families and friends still mourn at Washington's black wall, still leave mementos, sometimes cry.
And then it ended. There was supposed to be a domino effect. Vietnam would conquer the countries around it: Thailand, Malaysia. Instead, those countries prospered while Vietnam stayed poor. They'd lost somewhere between one and two million people, maybe 300,000 missing in action, never to be found. But slowly, keeping the communist rhetoric, they changed.
I was in Hue for the 20th anniversary of the war's end in 1995. The corporate sponsor of the holiday boat races was Pepsi-Cola, and you knew that things had changed.
Vietnam and the U.S. have ambassadors in each other's countries now. American veterans tour Vietnamese battlefields and march in Memorial Day parades -- honored now, not despised. But think how many died.
In Vietnam during the war, a soldier was a "grunt" and he didn't get killed he got "wasted." There was a lot of waste.
Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.
JORDAN: Well, before Bruce Morton's report, we had a "Pop quiz." Here's the question again. Vietnam was a colony of which European country?
WALCOTT: The answer you've been eagerly awaiting is France. As we just saw, the '60s and '70s were a turbulent time when politics and emotion often couldn't be separated. The war in Vietnam prompted young people around the United States to mobilize and stand up for what they believed in.
JORDAN: At Kent State University in Ohio, students opposed to the war staged a protest. When things turned violent, the National Guard was called in and shots were fired. Four students were killed and student activism took on a whole new meaning.
WALCOTT: Some say young people of this era are apathetic and uninterested in politics, or anything else for that matter. On May 4, the 30th anniversary of the shootings at Kent State, we'll look at the state of student activism, then and now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How far would I go? Well, it depends on what you're talking about. I won't -- I mean, I wouldn't hurt anybody. I would never do anything that would put anybody else's life in danger or physically harm anybody, but I will do what it takes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JORDAN: And you can look for that story next week.
WALCOTT: And that wraps it up for us here today.
JORDAN: See you back here tomorrow. Bye-bye.
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