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NEWSROOM for June 5, 2000Aired June 5, 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.
TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: NEWSROOM kicks off a brand new week. Welcome, everybody. I'm Tom Haynes. There's lots lined up today, and we start with a look at the rundown.
In today's top story, the leaders of the United States and Russia meet in Moscow and discuss the threat of nuclear weapons.
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JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Arms control is a staple of U.S.- Russia summits, and this one was no different.
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HAYNES: Then, in our "Environment Desk," the latest on La Nina: We'll tell you why this power-packing weather system may be losing some of its punch.
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TONY BUSALACCHI, RESEARCH OCEANOGRAPHER, NASA: La Nina as we know it is not over at the present time, but we do expect it to decay and die out towards the summertime.
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HAYNES: Next, in "Worldview," a new generation comes to terms with the Vietnam War.
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JOHN JACOBUS, OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY: Dear Dad, visiting the country in which you risked your life has been an emotional experience for me.
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HAYNES: Then, in "Chronicle," student protesters speak out against what they say are sweatshops.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PROTESTERS: Hey, ho ho, sweatshops have got to go.
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HAYNES: We devote our attention in today's news to the U.S.- Russia summit. It's the first time newly elected president Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Bill Clinton have met under such formal circumstances. The meeting comes on the heels of a week-long trip by Mr. Clinton to Europe, which included stops in Portugal and Germany. In their meetings in Moscow, the two leaders focused largely on the threat of nuclear weapons.
The nuclear issue has dominated U.S.-Russia relations for decades. When Russia became a democracy after the fall of communism in 1991, and Boris Yeltsin was elected president, the relationship between the two countries evolved rapidly and talk of nuclear disarmament began to intensify. On January 3, 1993, progress was made with the signing of START II, an agreement between the U.S. and Russia that, among other things, set out to reduce nuclear weapons on each side by more than two-thirds. It took seven years for Russia's Duma to ratify that treaty, a recent accomplishment of Vladimir Putin, Russia's newly elected president.
Now, Presidents Putin and Clinton meet for the first time in Moscow to continue dialogue on the nuclear issue.
John King reports on what progress the two leaders have made and what has yet to be resolved.
KING (voice-over): It was a summit that opened a new era in U.S.-Russian relations but produced no breakthrough on the biggest obstacles to a major new arms control deal.
New Russian President Vladimir Putin moved a bit closer to his guest by acknowledging the growing threat of a rogue missile launch, but he stood firm in his opposition to a proposed U.S. missile defense system.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We're against having a cure which is worse than the disease.
KING: Arms control is a staple of U.S.-Russia summits, and this one was no different. This agreement calls for reprocessing 68 tons of nuclear weapons-grade plutonium for civilian use. The leaders also signed an unprecedented deal to build a new center at which U.S. and Russian military officers will share early warning data on missile and space launches.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is terribly important. It is the first permanent U.S.-Russia military operation ever.
KING: There were nearly nine hours of talks over two days of Kremlin summitry, but little movement on a big-ticket arms control deal, although both leaders want one. The START II agreement allows each country no more than 3,500 strategic warheads by 2007. Two- thousand to 2,500 has been the target for the next round, but Putin wants even deeper cuts, to 1,500. Mr. Clinton was skeptical and suggested he would think about it only if Russia agreed to the U.S. missile shield.
CLINTON: I'm eager to go below the START II levels, but I also want to try to solve the new threat as well.
KING: The Russian military campaign in Chechnya drew another public rebuke from Mr. Clinton. But in virtually the same breath, the president embraced the Putin economic reform plan and said it was time for U.S. investors to give Russia's economy another look.
CLINTON: I think he is fully capable of building a prosperous, strong Russia while preserving freedom and pluralism and the rule of law.
KING: No-nonsense handshakes replaced the hearty hugs of the Yeltsin years. And while there was no signature arms deal, the U.S. side came away impressed by Russia's new leader and his promised motto of cooperation, not confrontation.
(on camera): The question now is whether this businesslike spirit can be translated into major progress before Mr. Clinton leaves office seven months from now, or whether the still-significant differences on missile defense and other issues will carry over to the next U.S. president.
John King, CNN, Moscow.
HAYNES: Well, if you've been paying attention to weather patterns at all over the past couple of years, chances are you've heard of El Nino. It's the weather system that brought terrible drought and fire to some parts of the world, torrential flooding and stronger-than-usual hurricanes to others. Now we're in La Nina. U.S. government forecasters say La Nina brings nearly the opposite effect of El Nino. In the United States, La Nina brings wetter-than-normal conditions across the Pacific Northwest and dryer and warmer-than- normal conditions across much of the southern tier.
Now forecasters say the once-powerful system maybe losing some of its punch.
Natalie Pawelski reports.
NATALIE PAWELSKI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The weather system blamed for flooding parts of Africa and South America, drying out the American South and adding danger to hurricane season is running out of steam, according to NASA.
BUSALACCHI: La Nina as we know it is not over at the present time, but we do expect it to return and die out towards the summertime.
PAWELSKI: The La Nina weather system followed its more famous brother, El Nino, which is characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the tropical Pacific. La Nina is the opposite, featuring a band of cold ocean temperatures. Now NASA's data shows parts of the Pacific warming up again. And the big question is, how long will it take for the world's weather to return to normal?
VERN KOUSKY, RESEARCH METEOROLOGIST, NOAA: Historically, techniques for forecasting El Nino and La Nina have had a very difficult time predicting things through the spring months. So I think it's maybe a little bit early to kiss it off or say goodbye to it this year.
PAWELSKI: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it may take up to half a year for La Nina to die. NASA's best guess is closer to three months. The difference could be important for hurricane season, which lasts into the autumn, since La Nina makes it more likely that hurricanes, once born, will make landfall.
KOUSKY: Everybody should keep their eyes focussed on the tropical storm season.
BUSALACCHI: Expect hurricane season to be slightly above normal, but probably not as strong as last year, and then with the effects of La Nina dying out into the second half of the hurricane season.
PAWELSKI: This La Nina turns two this summer, but La Ninas can last for up to three years. Victims of its droughts, floods and hurricanes are hoping this La Nina, the worst in half a century, makes a relatively early exit.
Natalie Pawelski, CNN.
HAYNES: We continue our "Environment Desk" now. At one time, the giant panda were widespread in parts of Asia. But the destruction of the Panda's natural habitat became a major threat to its survival. Now there are only about 1,000 giant pandas left. All can be found in the bamboo forests of southwestern China. The scarcity of pandas has made them a much sought-after commodity for many zoos who are willing to buck the red tape and raise big money.
Rusty Dornin explains.
UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Look at him.
RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): No zoo exhibit can draw crowds quite like a giant panda.
UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: ... looks so cute.
UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: I know. DORNIN: Getting one nowadays is no easy feat for U.S. zoos. When Zoo Atlanta decided it had to have one, the paperwork just wouldn't stop.
GAIL EATON, ZOO ATLANTA: It took us 12 years from the point of our beginning the project to actually having pandas here in Atlanta.
DORNIN: Twelve years and a bill from China: a million dollars per panda per year for conservation efforts there, an expensive, bureaucratic, sometimes nightmarish process that a number of zoos can't wait to begin.
JOE PARROTT, OAKLAND ZOO: We have 500 acres here at the Oakland Zoo, so we have a green belt that we can access.
DORNIN: The Oakland Zoo has only jumped through the first hoop of the panda process. Zoo officials went to China recently and signed a $20 million non-binding agreement for a pair of pandas. Because the bears are an endangered species, zoos must first get a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
(on camera): When applying for permits, the zoos must prove the pandas won't be just on display, that there will be ongoing conservation and research, and sometimes even breeding programs.
(voice-over): At the San Diego Zoo, one of two U.S. zoos with pandas, research focuses on how pandas recognize each other through smell. The hope is to gain more information about pandas in the wild.
In China, habitat destruction and poaching continues to take its toll.
The U.S. government demands zoos make sure the money sent to the Chinese is going toward saving the species.
KENNETH STANSELL, U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE; Our policy requires that they actually identify specific projects, be it a refuge, maybe anti-poaching, research on the ground in China, activities that would directly relate to the conservation of pandas.
DORNIN: Big time and big money for a crowd-drawing exhibit -- an international agreement that zoos like Oakland soon hope to get in black and white.
Rusty Dornin, CNN, Oakland, California.
ANNOUNCER: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, seen in schools around the world, because learning never stops, and neither does the news.
HAYNES: Today we begin our "Worldview" special, "Vietnam: 25 Years Later." All week long, we'll look at the influences and impact of the Vietnam War.
Our stories take us to Vietnam, but also around the globe. Today we'll take a journey with a young American who revisits Vietnam, a land where his father fought a quarter of a century ago. What lessons does he learn? We'll look at the long-term fallout from a devastating war, where history is all too real.
RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: First we head to the tropical country of Vietnam in Southeast Asia. In the late 1800s, the country fell under the control of France until World War II, when Japan occupied it. After Japan's defeat in 1945, France tried to regain control of Vietnam, but the Vietminh, a group controlled by communists and headed by Ho Chi Minh, came to power in the North. Fighting broke out between the French forces and Viet Minh in 1946, and ended with France's defeat.
Subsequently, Vietnam was divided into two zones. The communists gained control of the northern zone, North Vietnam, and noncommunists Vietnamese gained control of the southern zone, South Vietnam. But in 1957, Vietminh members in the South began to rebel against the South Vietnamese government. What ensued became one of the most controversial wars in history: the Vietnam War.
Communist countries like China and the Soviet Union aided the Vietnamese communists, while noncommunist countries supported South Vietnam. The U.S. became the chief ally to the South, sending supplies and hundreds of thousands of troops to the war zone. But despite U.S. efforts, the South fell to the communists in 1976, and the North and the South were unified into what is now known as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Though years have past since the Vietnam War ended, the scars from the war still run deep.
Richard Blystone looks at those still living the tragedy 25 years later. We warn you that some of the images may be disturbing.
RICHARD BLYSTONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Heavy fighting on Highway 1, June 8, 1972, just the kind of day when accidents will happen. Frozen on Nik Ut's electronic contact sheet, a South Vietnamese Skyraider. A napalm canister tumbles earthward. The rest is beyond words.
HUYNH CONG "NIK" UT, VIETNAM WAR PHOTOGRAPHER: And I hear somebody say, Too hot, too hot, and I look that way -- black smoke.
BLYSTONE: This day, Nik Ut revisits Trang Bang. With him, a handful of legends of the Vietnam press corps: combat photographer Dang Van Phuoc (ph), who paid for his daring with an eye -- got a glass one, and went back to the field; two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Horst Faas, then-AP photo chief in Saigon.
HORST FAAS, FORMER AP PHOTO CHIEF: When I looked through the film for the first time, I knew that was one of the great pictures of the war.
RICHARD PYLE, FORMER AP SAIGON BUREAU CHIEF: Horst walked out of the darkroom at one point, and he held the film up like this, and said, we have got another Pulitzer Prize.
BLYSTONE: This was the picture. It continues to define the war for generations born after it ended.
FAAS: The picture moved. We were lucky to get it across the shaky radio waves.
BLYSTONE: It moved the world. And it won a Pulitzer prize for the 21-year-old who had stepped into the boots of his older brother, Win Tan Mi (ph), after he was killed covering the war.
In 1972, the Fon (ph) children had been hiding in this Cowdide (ph). A bomb scared them out just in time to be hit by the napalm. It killed two of them. That's Fon Tan Tom (ph). He was 12. Today, just a small burn scar around one eye, he runs a roadside cafe a few yards from where the firebomb him. His sister, Kim Fuh (ph), was 9 and terribly burned.
UT: Then after I took a picture of Kim running, I just left my camera on highway. I don't want she die.
BLYSTONE: He took her to a hospital and has looked after her ever since.
Fan Thi Kim Fuh (ph) lives in Canada now. She's been made a United Nations goodwill ambassador and has children of her own. They all keep in touch with Uncle Nik.
(on camera): But there are thousands of other victims of the wars accidents, most of them condemned to live out their tragedies in obscurity.
Duk (ph) is in tenth grade and does well. His separated Siamese twin Vyet (ph) does nothing. They come from an area sprayed from the air with agent orange to clear the jungle. Their mother was found to have the poison dioxin in her blood. It was wasn't intended to poison people, but study after study has linked it with birth defects, cancer, diabetes.
U.S. quit using dioxin and has quit using napalm.
UT: You know, napalm is a terrible, sort of burning, you know, the children. You could see in the Vietnam War how many people died by napalm. A lot, many.
BLYSTONE: Many people witnessed the blind brutality of war. Not many can think that they might have made a difference.
Richard Blystone, CNN, Trang Ban, Vietnam.
ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: Looking at the Vietnamese countryside today, it's hard to imagine the violence that raged here. At the peak of the war in 1969, more than 1 1/2 million troops were involved: 800,000 from South Vietnam 543,000 from the U.S., and over 300,000 from North Vietnam and the Viet Cong, although the exact number is unknown.
For one American college student, visiting the land where his father had fought brought on mixed emotions. He tells us his own story as he visits Vietnam during a unique around-the-world educational experience called "Semester at Sea."
JACOBUS (voice-over): Dear Dad, visiting the country in which you risked your life has been an emotional experience for me. I can only hope it has given me a better understanding of who you are and what your generation went through when you were my age.
When we first arrived, the Vietnam I saw was beautiful, but I thought I would encounter people who didn't like Americans. I was even a little nervous abut how safe I would be in Vietnam. Still, I was hoping Vietnam would embrace me as I wanted to embrace it.
We took a bus into town, and once we got off we were immediately mobbed by people who couldn't have been more excited to see Americans.
UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: My name is Ha (ph).
JACOBUS (on camera): Ha? I'm John.
UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: John, nice to meet you.
JACOBUS: Nice to meet you too.
(voice-over): They greeted us with smiles as opposed to the harsh looks I was expecting.
(on camera): So how many kids do you have?
(voice-over): I was astonished to find that many who fought for the South Vietnamese Army are now working as cyclo drivers. They seemed reluctant to talk about the war, but they did show me the scars on their bodies.
(on camera): You were in the hospital for two years because of that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The war museum -- American.
JACOBUS (voice-over): They knew Americans who come to Vietnam usually want to revisit the war, so they took us to the War Remnants Museum where American tanks, helicopters and fighter planes were on display. In the museum, I was shocked and disgusted at the violence portrayed in the photographs and the way American soldiers were depicted as blood thirsty monsters with no conscience. Any American would get a knot in their stomach from this museum.
Dad, I would never want you to see this place even though you have told me that both sides committed horrible acts. In fact, you were the first person to help me understand how devastating a war can be on all parties involved. I just think about the people who died and the children who were made to suffer, and I ask myself, why? It seems like the war should never have happened.
At the museum, I spoke with an amputee who was injured in the war when he stepped on an American landmine. He had fought for the Viet Cong. Here was a man permanently disabled by my country, and what he wanted was not revenge but for me to buy something. He showed me pictures of his family. And while he was doing this, all I could think about was hugging him.
After the emotional tour of the museum, we set off in search of the Reunification Palace which used to be the Independence Palace. It looks almost the same today as it did on April 30, 1975 when North Vietnamese tanks crashed down the gates and reunified the country back into one.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, the basement used to be the headquarters of the South Vietnamese Army, and a bomb shelter also.
JACOBUS: I realized this was the building American troops were defending from the communists.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They could communicate to everywhere; even to Washington.
JACOBUS: In a way, this was why more than 58,000 Americans gave their lives. As an American, I did not enjoy my tour of the palace, but I respected its significance.
Just outside, I encountered a group of Vietnamese students playing games. They were about my age and were studying law at a local university. They invited us to play games with them right in front of the palace, and I couldn't help but think how unimaginable this would have been a generation ago.
Dad, Vietnam today belongs to a new generation: 65 percent of the population was born after 1975 and have no direct experience with the American war. Maybe that's why the people are as friendly as they are. The students I talked to all said they would like to visit our country some day.
Vietnam may remind us of the tragedy of war, but it's also a source of hope that people can forgive over time. We may be Americans and they may be Vietnamese, and we may look different, but, in the end, we are all humans and life is precious. That's the lesson I will take from Vietnam.
Your loving son, John.
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 segment that fits 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.
HAYNES: Strength in numbers: It's a phrase that applies to our next story. Protests have been part of American culture since the days of colonial America and the Boston Tea Party. Since then, the art of the protest has come a long way and taken on a lot of different issues. On May 4, we focussed on student protests and the issues that generate such emotional forms of expression from student activists.
Today, it seems sweatshops are getting the attention of student protesters from around the U.S. Sweatshops employ workers for long hours at low wages and unhealthy conditions.
Jim Moret reports on how the sweatshop issue is taking shape at a school in Oregon.
JIM MORET, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): College students around the nation say their university logos should not appear on clothes made in sweatshops.
PROTESTERS: Hey, hey, ho, ho, sweatshops have got to go!
MORET: So some are pressuring their schools to join the Worker Rights Consortium, a watchdog group pushing for stricter oversight of overseas factories. But when the University of Oregon joined, membership came at a high price. Its largest donor severed ties with his alma mater.
MITRA ANOUSHIRAVANI, STUDENT BODY V.P.: We're sorry to be losing $30 million, but this decision was not a personal attack on Phil Knight or his corporation.
MORET: Knight is the founder and CEO of Nike. He was going to give $30 million to renovate the university's football stadium, but abruptly changed his plans, saying, quote, "the bonds of trust have been shredded."
VADA MANAGER, NIKE SPOKESMAN: We believe the WRC's areas do not necessarily agree with where we stand, particularly in the area of wages, particularly in the area of the way they conduct their monitoring.
MORET: Knight's decision shocked many because of his long, personal relationship with the university and its president.
DAVE FROHNMAYER, PRESIDENT, UNIV. OF OREGON: What's important to me at this point is the relationship, and making it clear that that relationship is important to us even if not another single dollar is forthcoming. MORET: Knight has donated $50 million to the university's academic and athletic programs over 10 years. The centerpiece of any university, the library, bears his name, and the new law building is named after his father.
DUNCAN MCDONALD, V.P., UNIV. OF OREGON: We have always thought about this as a bit of a family dispute. And I think families get very passionate when they have their discussions or even arguments, but I also think families work things out, and we're very hopeful about that.
MORET: Some Oregon students and alumni say they're worried other donors will stop giving. Ten percent of the university's budget comes from private contributions.
RICHARD HORSWELL, ALUMNI VOLUNTEER: I think the faster the president of the U. of O. pulls out of the WRC, the faster the healing can begin with the majority of the alumni who are very upset with this decision.
MORET: That decision did not come quickly. Oregon debated for a year before joining more than 50 other colleges and universities in the Worker Rights Consortium. After Brown and the University of Michigan joined, Nike ended its relationship with them. But the sportswear giant says it was because of contract disputes, not WRC membership.
MANAGER: For anyone to suggest that Nike is either punishing or retaliating against universities that belong to one or either organization is simply incorrect.
MORET: Nike has partnerships with about 200 universities, some of which do belong to the WRC.
For now, Nike apparel will remain in University of Oregon stores and continue to be worn by student athletes. An existing contract ends in 2003.
ANOUSHIRAVANI: The initial step in any kind of major social movement is never easy, and so I think that we've made the right decision. I will walk away from this feeling like we did the right thing.
HAYNES: Strength in numbers applied.
That's NEWSROOM for this Monday, guys. We'll see you back here for tomorrow's show. Take care.
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