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NEWSROOM for July 3, 2000Aired July 3, 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: Welcome to a new week on CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Tom Haynes. We're glad you're here, now let's get a look at today's show.
Mexico votes on a new president. Will Mexicans stay the course or forge new political ground?
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HARRIS WHITBECK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a decision many analysts here consider crucial to the continued democratization of the country.
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HAYNES: "Environment Desk" explains why islands off the East Coast of the U.S. could disappear in the next century. We'll look at the coming climate change.
"Worldview" heads on a 17th century voyage with 21st century perks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPTAIN CHIP REYNOLDS, "HALF MOON": They're calling the commands, running the watches, standing lookout. So, in essence, it's a little bit like a rite of passage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYNES: Then "Chronicle" visits the battlefield of the most decisive standoff of the U.S. Civil War. Find out why this tower has pitted opposing forces against each other on this land once again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOUG TOUMEY, TOURIST: It sticks out like a sore thumb.
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HAYNES: We begin our program today with a historic election in Mexico. This is the first time in more than a century that the outcome of Mexico's national election has not been predetermined. Mexico has been governed by the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, for 71 years. But for the first time, that party faced a challenge, and it appears it has been defeated. Late last night, Mexican election polls projected this man, Vicente Fox, as the winner of the country's presidential elections. Fox represents the National Action Party, and he congratulated voters for making it a peaceful transition.
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VICENTE FOX, PRESIDENT-ELECT, MEXICO (through translator): To all of the citizens of the country, to all of Mexico, I tell you that we are going towards this moment of transition, to a new political scene in the country in a peaceful way, in a stable way, in a calm way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYNES: Now, with more than 100 million people, Mexico is the world's most populous Spanish-speaking nation. The country's Constitution was signed in 1917, guaranteeing Mexican citizens personal freedoms and civil liberties. Voting rights, or suffrage, is mandatory for Mexican men an women over the age of 18.
Now for more on the significance of these historic elections, here's Harris Whitbeck.
WHITBECK (voice-over): This story actually begins in 1994 when Ernesto Zedillo became president of Mexico and vowed to make the democratization of his country his political legacy. Within months of taking office, he began whittling away at the power the official Revolutionary Institutional Party, the PRI, had amassed since it took control of the government in 1929.
In 1996, President Zedillo took the unususal step of giving up his constitutional authority to choose the mayor of Mexico City, setting up elections instead. For 71 years, the dream of Mexican opposition politicians has been what's called here "alternation of power." where all the political parties have a chance at governing. And never before had the opposition come so close.
FOX: You need to conduct the transit to a real democracy, so we are going to integrate a plural government with members of the difference parties that exist in Mexico.
WHITBECK: Encouraged by what happened in Mexico City, Vicente Fox embarked on his quest to become Mexico's first opposition president in more than seven decades. That was three years ago when he was still governor when he was still governor of the state of Guanajuato. The former Coca-Cola executive says he would take a pragmatic approach to government.
FOX: My challenge is to join everybody on the opposition and to invite pruistas (ph) that are honest, that have integrity, that are professionals, and that's why we are going to integrate in the new government.
WHITBECK: But charges of vote-buying and coercion by the official party abound, especially in Mexico's rural areas where many people are dependent on government assistance. One memorable picture published in a Mexico City newspaper shows PRI party members giving washing machines to housewives if they promise to vote for the ruling party's candidate, Francisco Labastida. Labastida denies fraud.
FRANCISO LABASTIDA, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translator): I am firmly committed to the democracy within the party, and I am firmly committed to the idea that the party be on the side of the people.
WHITBECK: Three years ago, the government granted autonomy to the Federal Electoral Institute, charging it with taking the corruption out of the election process. The institute took the job seriously. It has spend close to $1 billion on fixing the process, including installing a huge computer network to tally votes, educating voters on their rights, and to provide each political party with a minimum campaign war chest.
LABASTIDA (through translator): Today we are fundamentally growing towards the outside with our exports, but we also need to strengthen our internal markets to improve the low standards of living here.
WHITBECK: Poverty is only one issue in this campaign. Polls show Mexican voters also worried about crime and government corruption.
(on camera): All of the presidential candidates have vowed to eradicate crime and corruption, and they generally agree economic policy. Choice for the voters is whether to continue with what has largely been a one-party system or whether to bring about that alternation of power the opposition so badly wants.
(voice-over): It's a decision many analysts here continue crucial to the continued democratization of the country.
ENRIQUE KRAUZE, HISTORIAN (through translator): Alternation in the executive branch is the last chapter that we're missing. It might happen, it might not, but, at any rate, the changes have already been substantial, and we as Mexicans should congratulate ourselves on that.
WHITBECK: So Mexicans will be voting on not only who will lead them for the next six years, but on whether to continue the political reforms that have already brought those extraordinary changes.
Harris Whitbeck, CNN, Mexico City.
HAYNES: As America celebrates its birthday on the fourth of July, one of America's most beloved symbols is being unveiled following a multimillion-dollar renovation. Though on display, the Washington Monument won't be open to the public until July 31. The festivities come in the wake of a new report that questions the security of the monuments and memorials in the nation's capital.
KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the newly renovated Washington Monument, some of the most visible and visited monuments in the U.S. But a new report commissioned by the National Park Service concludes these national treasures, along with six others in the nation's capital, could be easy targets for terrorist attacks.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A third of the building has been blown away.
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WALLACE: Attacks such as the bombings of the federal building in Oklahoma City and the World Trade Center in Manhattan.
LT. JOHN KMETZ, U.S. PARK POLICE: We know the threats are there. It's just a matter of when, as far as we're concerned. But we believe that the monuments and memorials are safe.
WALLACE: The report said the U.S. Park Police, which is charged with protecting the monuments and the people who visit them, is understaffed and underfunded. The Park Police say they need $80 million over the next seven years to fix some problems, including a lack of manpower, poor communications equipment and inadequate security perimeters.
Security has been tightened in Washington in recent years. Barriers went up around the U.S. Capitol after the World Trade Center bombing. Just a month after the Oklahoma City attack, this stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House was closed to traffic. And since 1998, these barriers have been in place around the Washington Monument.
(on camera): The key issue is finding a balance between protecting the public and keeping the monuments open and accessible, a challenge that becomes more difficult as the United States faces an increase in threats around the world.
HAYNES: If you listen to weather forecasts, you know the weather is always changing. Here in Georgia, matter of fact, we're experiencing a drought, a long dry spell with little rain. Getting enough water is a problem for everyone. That's because only 3 percent of the Earth's water is fresh. Much of that water is stuck in icebergs and glaciers. Scientists say global warming will release some of this fresh water, but that's not all good news, because ice melts water level rise, changing global climate in unpredictable ways. In fact, scientists say, if all the glaciers melted today, seas would rise 260 feet.
For now, water is still scarce in many parts of the world, and the sun plays its part by evaporating 1 trillion tons of water every day.
Natalie Pawelski has more on the ebb and flow of our water and our climate in today's "Environment Desk."
NATALIE PAWELSKI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): East Coast islands sinking under rising oceans, Rocky Mountain meadows disappearing, Pacific Northwest forests thriving. That could be the future of America, according to the first "National Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on the United States."
TOM KARL, U.S. GLOBAL CHANGE RESEARCH PROGRAM: We see substantial rises, 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, in annual average temperatures by the end of the century, and the consequent increases in, for example, heat index, combination of temperature and humidity. We certainly see the potential for large changes in natural ecosystems with some breaking up, potentially being lost.
PAWELSKI: The draft report, put together by a government advisory panel, predicts average U.S. temperatures will rise between 5 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century as greenhouse gasses, notably carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels, form an atmospheric blanket that traps the sun's energy and heats the Earth.
Farmers could benefit. It's expected crop yields will rise. And some forests would enjoy a few good decades because of warmer temperatures and higher levels of carbon dioxide. But other trees, like the sugar maples of New England, are not expected to survive the heat. And the big forests of the Southeast may be broken up into a tapestry of grasslands and woods.
The report says climate change probably won't do much damage to the nation's economy as a whole before some Americans, like coastal residents trying to live on land threatened by rising sea levels, a warming Earth could bring a lot of trouble.
Natalie Pawelski, CNN.
HAYNES: We set sail on an adventure in "Worldview" today. Come along for the journey as we seek out lost cities, discover a stolen generation, and relive explorations on the high seas. We travel to Australia on a quest for racial harmony, and we head to the U.S. as we herald back to the days of Henry Hudson. We'll also explore Egypt and underwater wonders.
But first to Denmark where tragedy struck over the weekend at one of Europe's largest rock festivals.
Here's Chris Burns. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
CHRIS BURNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At Europe's version of Woodstock on a farm outside Copenhagen, a music festival turned deadly. As the U.S. band Pearl Jam played on the largest of seven stages at Roskilde, thousands of fans pushed toward the stage. Up in front, fans slipped on the muddy, rain-soaked ground and were crushed or trampled.
The band urged the crowd to move back. Loudspeakers repeated the call, but for some it was too late. Ambulances rushed the injured to nearby hospitals while officials tried to identify the dead.
Pearl Jam broke off their performance, and the next band, the Cure, canceled. It was one of Europe's worst concert tragedies and it raised questions about security and crowd control at Europe's largest annual music performance, selling 100,000 tickets at the four-day event and featuring 170 artists.
Two decades after 11 people were trampled to death at a performance by The Who in Cincinnati, concerts can still be deadly events. An estimated 70 people died last year at concerts, more than 50 of them at one in Minsk, Belarus. Most of them were teenage girls, crushed in a stampede into a subway station from a hail storm.
(on camera): If Cincinnati banned festival seating, mega-events like the one here in Roskilde will have to think of other ways to ensure security and to save lives.
Chris Burns, CNN, Roskilde, Denmark.
ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: It's being called the most exciting find in the history of marine archaeology. The discover offers a new look into the world of ancient Egypt. It's a culture historians already know much about thanks to the many well-preserved pyramids in Egypt, dating back thousands of years before Christ. But the recent discoveries were made off the coast in the Mediterranean Sea. There, divers found the ruins of three lost cities, probably built during the waning days of the pharaohs in the seventh or sixth century B.C. It was only through Greek tragedies and legends that anyone even knew the cities existed, until now.
Glenn Van Zutpin reports.
GLENN VAN ZUTPIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They're among the cities described in Greek tragedies. And after two years of searching, archaeologists have finally found the so-called "lost cities" off the northern coast of Egypt.
The maritime explorers, led by a French archaeologist, uncovered statues, houses and temples where the ancient cities of Herakleion, Canopus, and Menouthis once stood. Among the relics divers pulled from the floor of the Mediterranean Sea, a life-sized black granite statue of the fertility goddess Isis.
FRANCK GODDIO, ARCHAEOLOGIST: It's one of the most beautiful Isis ever discovered, and she was close to very big structures that we could date back from late Pharaonic period or Ptolemaic period. And maybe this could be close from the Temple of Isis which has been totally destroyed early fifth century A.D.
VAN ZUTPIN: Researchers believe the so-called "lost cities" were destroyed by earthquakes before being engulfed by the sea in the seventh or eighth century A.D. Proof of their timeline was found on the sea bed in Islamic and Byzantine coins and jewelry of the period. Archaeologists have known about the cities for some time, but until now have been unable to identify their exact location.
GABALLA ALI GABALLA, SECY. GEN., EGYPTIAN SUPREME COUNCIL OF ANTIQUITIES: We are not talking about one city, we are talking about ancient Canopus, we're talking about Menouthis, and we are talking about Herakleion. We knew about Canopus, but we are talking about -- and we also knew something about Menouthis, but we didn't even know where Herakleion was. And this -- that's why we consider it a major discovery. We knew it from literature, but now we are having physical evidence that literature was not all fiction.
VAN ZUTPIN: The find is the first physical proof of the existence of the cities, and Egyptian authorities have promised to keep most of these submerged cities untouched.
Glenn Van Zutpin, CNN.
HAYNES: Next, a chance for some students to step back in time. All aboard the Half Moon, a 17th century ship sailed by English explorer and sea Captain Henry Hudson. A select group of students from the U.S. state of New Jersey spent five days on the ship. Its one-time master earned recognition by braving the waters of the Arctic four times hoping to find a northern shortcut between Europe and Asia. He never found it, but sailed farther north than any previous explorer. Hudson also explored numerous waterways of North America. Three of those are now named after him: the Hudson River, the Hudson Bay, and the Hudson Strait.
Kathleen Koch profiles the modern-day crew that's reliving the explorer's adventures.
KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They sailed on a Monday, landlubbers all -- 12 winners of a contest re-creating life aboard Henry Hudson's ship the Half Moon that sailed into the Delaware Bay back in 1609.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, heave on the capstan. Keep it going. Everybody heave.
KOCH: Once under way, reality. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Martinet overhauled. Sheets hauled.
KOCH: Crewing a 100-foot vessel with five square miles of sails isn't for the meek or the weak.
MARINA WISCOTT, STUDENT: It hurts your hands when it's, like, a heavy load and you have to pull down. And sometimes it's heavier than me.
KOCH: Students go on bilge and fire watch, scale the rigging and share their experiences via a uniquely modern technology: the Internet.
KELSEY HERFORTH, STUDENT: I think it was a fun day because we got to climb on the rigging up on the top deck. And that was neat because you could see, like, everything from up there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Beans?
KOCH: Meals differ from the 17th-century fare students sampled before departure.
POLLY DAVIS-GALL, PENNVILLE MIDDLE SCHOOL: We had ship's biscuits, kippered herring, which the Dutch sailors preferred, dried beef, which the English sailors preferred.
KOCH: Also different: working conditions.
MELISSA BENNETT, STUDENT: I think it was probably darker because they didn't have electricity. They only had, like, candlelight. And it was easier to run aground because you didn't, like, have maps and stuff that showed where it was shallower.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, let's fold into our watch rotations.
KOCH: The captain says the program, run by the Delaware River and Bay Authority since 1997, transforms participants.
REYNOLDS: They're calling the commands, running the watches, standing lookout. So, in essence, it's a little bit like a rite of passage.
BRIAN ATKINSON, STUDENT: We just learned how to make it work and how all the team work and all of us can make it work together.
KOCH: Their five-day voyage from New Castle to Lewes, Delaware over, now-seasoned crewmates say farewell, but not goodbye.
BIRELLE RICKETS, STUDENT: Any chance I get I'm going to come back and stay on the ship as long as I can. As long as they'll let me and put up with me, I'm going to stay.
KOCH: Kathleen Koch for CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEOTAPE) SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: Australia is the only country with the double distinction of being a continent. British settlers came to the island nation in 1788 in search of land that could be used as a penal colony. But the land was already occupied by a group of people called the Aborigine. These dark-skinned people are believed to be the original inhabitants of Australia.
The word "Aborigine" comes from a Latin phrase that means "from the beginning." Aborigines have suffered a fate similar to Native Americans in the United States, and many other indigenous groups. Thousands were killed or forced to leave their homes and their land. Others were made to give up their traditions and assimilate into white, Australian society. While the government has many programs to help the Aborigines these days, many still want a greater voice in their own affairs.
But as Hugh Williams explains, some Australians, both black and white, are working to build bridges between the races.
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER: What do we want?
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER: When do we want it?
HUGH WILLIAMS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Across Sydney Harbor, a symbolic walk to help bridge the gap between black and white Australians. Over 100,000 march in an unprecedented display of unity and support for reconciliation with the nations' indigenous population.
Flying the red, black and gold colors of the Aboriginal flag, both above and below the bridge, Australians march to offer a symbolic apology for the mistreatment of Aborigines over the past two centuries.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The people of Australia can live together and work together peacefully. There's no need for (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And this is a great hope for the whole country, I think.
WILLIAMS: Prime Minister John Howard has acknowledged wrongdoing by previous administrations, but so far has refused to apologize, drawing harsh criticism from both white and black Australians. He was heckled and jeered by audience members at an earlier reconciliation ceremony...
JOHN HOWARD, PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA: ... the tragedies and the sadness and the pain and the hurt and the cruelty of the past, to accept the... WILLIAMS: ... with hundreds also turning their back on him as an insult during his speech. The prime minister declined to join the march.
Between 1910 and 1970, part-Aboriginal children were removed from their homes in a policy of forced assimilation, producing what has come to be known as the "stolen generation." Survivors of that generation want the government to make a symbolic apology so the reconciliation effort can move ahead.
JACKIE HUGGINS, ABORIGINAL ACTIVIST: So reconciliation is about building bridges. It's about forming partnerships and working together, but really acknowledging the truth of our history, our shared history, and our past, but moving on in the spirit of reconciliation so that we all share in this wonderful country, this place that we all call home, and to enjoy equal responsibilities, rights and opportunities.
WILLIAMS: Aboriginal leaders and supporters called the events a show of unity and a landmark on the road to reconciliation. But others say there's still a long road again.
Hugh Williams for CNN, Sydney.
WALCOTT: We'll have more on the issues of race coming this Friday. We'll look at discrimination and ethnic divisions around the globe. And we'll explore a problem that has plagued mankind for generations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE BURKHARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And Why? One-hundred- thirty-seven years after Abraham Lincoln emancipated the slaves and 37 years after Martin Luther King stood here on these very steps and delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech, why does the union that Lincoln fought so hard to save still struggle with issues of race? All the more perplexing since, scientifically speaking, there is no such thing as race.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, seen is schools around the world, because learning never stops, and neither does the news.
HAYNES: Well, it was 137 years ago today Americans ended a battle regarded as the turning point of the U.S. Civil War. Confederate General Robert E. Lee had decided to invade the North. But on this day in 1863, his troops started retreating after three days of fighting. Around 23,000 Union troops and more than 20,000 Confederate troops were killed, injured or went missing in that one battle. The battlefield became a national military park in 1895 and became part of the National Park Service in 1933.
Bob Franken looks at the fate of a landmark overlooking this historic battlefield.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, if you follow me, please...
BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Now it's tourists who swarm over these grounds. Exactly 137 years ago, these killing fields were bristling with Union and Confederate forces.
Thousands died in the first days of July in 1863. Gettysburg was the most decisive battle of the Civil War. The visitors pay their respects where Abraham Lincoln came in November of 1863 to dedicate this cemetery nearby with his Gettysburg Address. And there, just outside the cemetery, this is what they see. But not for long. The 307-foot observation tower will be coming down.
KATIE LAWHORN, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE: They're using explosives and it's going to fall like a tree.
FRANKEN: Since 1974, the tower gave the public the best view of the entire Gettysburg battle zone. But it also outraged the preservationists.
BARBARA FINTROCK, FRIENDS OF NATIONAL PARKS AT GETTYSBURG: We think it is an eyesore. Everywhere that one goes on the battlefield to interpret where these brave men fought and died and bled, one sees the intrusion of this tower.
FRANKEN: After years of controversy, the federal government took the tower away from the private businessmen who owned it, believed in it.
HANS ENGGREN, TOWER LAND OWNER: This is alive. This is something you can see for yourself with your own eyes.
FRANKEN: And what of those who care enough to visit Gettysburg?
TOUMEY: It sticks out like a sore thumb, like it shouldn't be there. It's out of place, and basically I don't think it should be here.
FRANKEN: But many others feel it serves a purpose.
RENA MACMOYLE, TOURIST: The only way you can see in this area probably is by -- observing the full battlefield is probably by air. Very few people probably could take an air flight around the battlefield, so that would be the closest thing that we could do.
FRANKEN (on camera): The debate is over. On the anniversary of Pickett's Charge, when General George Pickett's rebel forces were routed, the tower will become history, and no longer, according to those who complained about it, will it interfere with history.
Bob Franken, CNN, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
(END VIDEOTAPE) HAYNES: A little American history.
And speaking of American history, tomorrow, as you know, is the 4th of July here in the U.S., so NEWSROOM's taking a little break, as I'm sure many of you are. We'll see you back here on Wednesday. Take care, guys.
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