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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for July 24, 2000

Aired July 24, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


ANNOUNCER: Seen in classrooms the world over, this is CNN NEWSROOM.

ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: And welcome, everybody. I'm Andy Jordan. Monday finds NEWSROOM with a full agenda. Here's the rundown.

We begin with an ending -- the wrap-up of the G8 summit.


MARINA KAMIMURA, CNN TOKYO BUREAU CHIEF: Front and center of G8 efforts in Okinawa, a slew of initiatives aimed at leveling the playing field between the world's richest and poorest.


JORDAN: From talk of talks to waiting to exhale in today's "Environment Desk."


DAVID GEORGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The American Lung Association says there are hundreds of studies confirming the impact pollution has on health.



CAROLYN O'NEIL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh my God! I'm sorry. They've got my notes!


JORDAN: "Worldview" gets up close and personal on Kangaroo Island.

Finally, music legend Johnnie Billington gives us a taste of the Monday blues.


JOHN SINCLAIR, BLUES HISTORIAN: I think they should have people like that all over the place, taking the blues to the kids and explaining it to them.


JORDAN: In today's news, two summits and one world leader. From Japan to Maryland, President Bill Clinton is doing double duty. His presence at the G8 summit in Okinawa was overshadowed by his hand in ongoing Mideast peace talks at Camp David outside of Washington. The president rushed back to the summit Sunday to assess where the talks stood at day 13 and counting. He spent last night finding out if the talks had progressed since he left last week for the G8 summit.

This side note: It took 13 days in the 1978 Camp David talks for Israel and Egypt to hammer out a peace deal.

Under a news blackout he imposed, President Clinton found himself keeping mum when his counterparts at the G8 summit in Japan asked him about the progress of Mideast talks.

Marina Kamimura tells us what the leaders of the world's major industrialized countries were able to discuss.


MARINA KAMIMURA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Front and center of G8 efforts in Okinawa, a slew of initiatives aimed at leveling the playing field between the world's richest and poorest.

YOSHIRO MORI, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Including the development problem, needless to say, cannot be resolved by G8 countries alone, and therefore we would like to cooperate with countries that are not participating in this G8 grouping.

KAMIMURA: A task force to bridge a digital divide, a pledge to curb the rate of infection from diseases such as HIV/AIDS by 2010, a G8 endorsement of a goal to push for universal education by 2015 and a promise to work harder on past promises for debt relief.

The U.S. and Japan backed the goals with money, $300 million from the U.S. for a school lunch program for the developing world and $15 billion from Japan to better spread technology.

With no looming financial crises to nurture and keen to bury criticism that they've ignored the plight of the less fortunate for too long, the G8 were eager to dub Okinawa the development summit.

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is the first time, at least in my experience -- and this is my last G8 conference -- that there has been such a systematic focus on the developing world, on the problems of disease and the digital divide and education.

KAMIMURA: Traditional G8 issues such as trade and economics also got the nod, including a pledge to kick-start another round of talks on liberalizing global trade by the end of the year. And as the G8's original economic agenda continues to expand into the security realm, North Korea became the topic of the day, recent overtures, including talks with Russia's president, quote, "warmly welcomed."

(on camera): Critics say all the promises in the world mean little without any action. But leaders of the developing world were invited to bring their concerns directly to the G8, and that's something that's never happened before.

Marina Kamimura, CNN, Okinawa, Japan.


JORDAN: Well, depending on where you live, you may be experiencing smog alerts. Cities issue these alerts when the pollution level rises enough to bother people doing outside activities. But pollution can be much more than a bother. It can be a serious health hazard. Especially for the elderly.

Today we focus on measuring pollution. It's often measured in parts per million, or ppm. A part per million is the same as four drops of ink in 55 gallons of water. And just as that ink spreads out and colors the water, pollution spreads through our air.

David George has our "Environment Desk" report.


GEORGE (voice-over): Researchers with the Health Effects Institute in Massachusetts studied the air in America's 90 largest cities for over seven years. They found that only a tiny rise in pollution was enough to hike the death rate among old people by 1 percent; not a huge increase, but...

DAN GREENBAUM, HEALTH EFFECTS INSTITUTE: When you apply that across the whole nation to 250 million people, then you are talking about a substantial increase over time in deaths related to something that we can prevent; that is, air pollution.

GEORGE: The scientists studied pollution from vehicles, smokestacks, construction sites, even road dust, and concluded that a pollution increase of only 20 micrograms per cubic meter of air was enough to cause potentially fatal health problems in the elderly.

(on camera): A cubic meter of air would fill a box about this wide and this high and just about as deep. Now, as far as that 20 micrograms of pollution that the report mentions, think of it this way: Take one of these pieces of candy. It weighs about one gram. Chop this piece of candy up into a million microscopic pieces, take 20 of those million pieces on your finger, flick out into that box of air in front of us. That's all the extra pollution those scientists are talking about.

(voice-over): Later this year, the Supreme Court will hear a case challenging the EPA's authority to impose air pollution standards, which industry says are too strict.

The American Lung Association says there are hundreds of studies confirming the impact pollution has on health, but more study is needed to determine just how and why air pollution causes some people to get sick and others to die.

RONALD WHITE, AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION: We certainly have some leads as to how these particles are causing these effects, but we don't have the exact mechanism identified by the science just yet.

GEORGE: The Massachusetts researchers also caution that their study won't answer whether there's any level of air pollution that is safe for the elderly.

David George, CNN, Atlanta.


JORDAN: Well, we have more on the environment in our "Worldview" segment. Our stories today take us to South America, Asia and Australia. In the Land Down Under, we'll meet a mammal that's a marsupial and a macropod. Can you guess what it is? In Turkey, we turn our attention to the chimpanzee. And we'll also travel to Brazil to discover the diversity of wildlife there.

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: We begin in South America, home to the amazing Amazon River. Its the second longest river in the world. Only the Nile in Africa is longer. This important waterway is 4,000 miles long. That's 6,437 kilometers. And get this: It carries more water than any other river -- more than America's mighty Mississippi, China's Yangtze and Egypt's Nile put together.

The Amazon River basin includes the world's largest tropical rain forest. It contains an incredible array of wildlife from alligators and anacondas to parrots and flesh-eating piranha. In fact, it contains a wider variety of plant and animal life than any other spot in the world.

Gary Strieker takes us on a journey to the Amazon River.


GARY STRIEKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the Amazon Basin, people have always counted on the abundance of life in these waters. Compared to just a few dozen species of fish in European rivers and lakes, the Amazon has more than 3,000: an incredible diversity that scientists are just beginning to explore.

WILLIAM CRAMPTON, MAMIRAUA PROJECT: The jaw's opening up. It looks like a prehistoric monster. And in this region so far, I've found 400 or so species of fish, and that could represent one of the most diverse fish faunas on Earth.

STRIEKER: In the western Brazilian Amazon, the Mamiraua Reserve embraces a vast rainforest, a unique area transformed every year by floodwaters rising up to 12 meters, some 40 feet. In Mamiraua, everything depends on the ebb and flow of the river system.

(on camera): Most conservation work in the Amazon seems focussed on the rainforest and its wildlife, but here scientists are taking much of their research underwater, studying life in these rivers and lakes.

(voice-over): One study has found that as much as 90 percent of biomass underwater here consists of electric fish.

CRAMPTON: I've got two electrodes at the bottom. These are electric fish. They're passing by the electrode at the bottom. That's a medium-frequency species.

STRIEKER: This kind of research produces new information about the food chain that supports major commercial fisheries in the Amazon.

GALIA ELY, MAMIRAUA PROJECT: One clean, pink, very pink animal. It's a calf.

STRIEKER: In another project, researchers study pink river dolphins, capturing and marking nearly 200 of them and tracking some with radio transmitters.

GERMAN SOLER, MAMIRAUA PROJECT: River dolphins are in great danger...

ELY: All over the world.

SOLER: ... all over the world. And this is one of the few populations that are doing fairly OK in the Amazon basin and Orinoco basin.

STRIEKER: What they learn here about these animals is essential data for conservation plans to guarantee their survival and could help to save endangered populations of river dolphins in Asia.

Other studies in Mamiraua focus on turtles and caimans, animals that were nearly wiped out by poachers and are now making dramatic recoveries under protection in the reserve. And researchers are trying to find ways to save endangered river manatees. After their mothers were killed by poachers, these orphans were raised in captivity and will soon be released back to a river system that is very fragile against human exploitation but still teeming with life like no other.

Gary Strieker, CNN, in the Mamiraua Reserve, Brazil.


TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Today's "Wild Kingdom" examines the plight of the chimpanzee. Chimpanzees live in areas ranging from the dry grasslands to humid rainforests. In their normal habitats, they can live between 30 and 40 years.

Chimps' natural enemies include leopards and large eagles. But man is the biggest threat to the mammal. In some areas of the world, chimps are hunted for food or even captured for use as pets. In the 1970s, a shrinking chimp population led to restrictions on the international trade of the animals. Despite those restrictions, the illegal trade continues. In turkey, conservationists are less worried about poaching within their nation's borders. That's because their fight is with smugglers bringing the endangered animals into the country.

Mary Pflum explains.


MARY PFLUM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Meet Sansler (ph) and Kinali (ph). They're the latest additions to Turkey's recently established chimpanzee habitat at Istanbul's Bosphorous Zoo. They're also symbols, officials say, of Turkey's ongoing primate problems. Both were smuggled into Turkey from Africa and put up for sale on the black market.

ALLISON CRONIN, SCIENCE DIRECTOR, MONKEY WORLD: It's horrific. What happens in the wild is that to get one of these babies away from their mothers they actually have to shoot and kill the family group to take the baby away. It's a nationwide problem. We're actually finding baby chimpanzees and monkeys all across Turkey.

PFLUM: Allison Cronin is the science director of Monkey World, a primate rescue center based in Britain. For the past two years, she and her husband, Jim, have been lobbying to stop the monkey business in Turkey. But sales of the animals continue. At fault, says Bosphorous Zoo owner Faruk Yalain, are African sailors who reportedly bring primates to Istanbul's Central Harbor in suitcases aboard small ships.

FARUK YALAIN, OWNER, BOSPHOROUS ZOO: The guilty are the African people. They bring them without showing the customs, etcetera.

PFLUM: Turkish officials say they try to follow the CITES agreement, an international treaty which prohibits the sale of endangered animals, chimpanzees included. But no national law in Turkey forbids the sale or ownership of primates.

(on camera): It doesn't take the average observer long to figure out why people are willing to pay thousands of dollars for a baby chimp. They are adorable. But in a matter of five years, this chimp will be six times as strong as me and capable of throwing me across a room.

(voice-over): Even if Turkey succeeds in cracking down on the number of primates imported, what's to become of the animals already there? The Turkish government wants to establish an endangered animal refuge in 2001. In the meantime, they're turning to private zoo owners like Yalain for help. But Yalain says his primate quarters are full.

Sansler and Kinali got in when the going was good. It seems other primates in Turkey are out of luck.

Mary Pflum for CNN, Istanbul, Turkey.

(END VIDEOTAPE) JORDAN: Next stop, the Land Down Under: Australia. You probably know it as the site of the year 2000 summer Olympics. But there's more afoot than sports. Australia is known for its exotic animals. Today we visit an island off the coast of South Australia: Kangaroo Island. Its name gives away one of its most intriguing inhabitants.

The kangaroo is a type of furry mammal known as a marsupial. The female has a pouch for carrying its young. The kangaroo is also a macropod, a word that means "large foot."

There are 55 species of macropods, all of them native to Australia, New Guinea or nearby islands. Today we head to kangaroo island to meet a menagerie of mammals.

Our tour guide is Carolyn O'Neil.


O'NEIL (voice-over): The landscape is a patchwork of tiny towns, wilderness and farmland forming Australia's third largest island. It lies off the coast of South Australia, about a half-hour flight from the city of Adelaide. Kangaroo Island has one remarkable feature after another.

CRAIG WICKHAM, ADVENTURE CHARTERS OF KANGAROO ISLAND: Yes, a lot of people say that it's everything they expected all of Australia to be. You know, there's lots of open space, all the wildlife they're expecting.

O'NEIL: While 4,000 people live on Kangaroo Island, animals dominate: 800,000 sheep are raised here and there are 251 recorded species of birds.

Look high into the trees and you may spot one of the island's 5,000 koalas. This famous marsupial sleeps 20 hours a day and eats exclusively from the gum or eucalyptus tree.

(on camera): And, of course, there are kangaroos on Kangaroo Island, an exciting sight for first-time visitors. In fact, there are so many here, the drivers have to watch out for them.

Oh my God. I'm sorry. They've got my notes.

(voice-over): And obviously not afraid to approach humans. The temptation to touch is hard to resist. It's an ongoing struggle balancing the enthusiasm of visitors without disrupting the animals and their natural behaviors.

A drive to see one kind of animal often leads to sightings of others.

WICKHAM: A wallaby is simply just a small species of kangaroo.

O'NEIL: We also spotted this prickly creature, the echidna, or spiny anteater. It's an egg-laying mammal. Then on to Seal Bay Conservation Park. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was shocked. They're just everywhere. And they're big. But it's quite impressive. I didn't realize you could get that close.

O'NEIL: Carolyn O'Neil, CNN, Kangaroo Island, Australia.


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

JORDAN: Well, the blues is experiencing a resurgence in popularity around the world. It is also alive and kicking in Mississippi, thanks to one man working to keep the soul of America alive in the Delta.


WALCOTT (voice-over): The Mississippi Delta has produced some of the greatest blues musicians of our time: artists like the late, great Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, and living legends like John Lee Hooker and B.B. King.

The Delta is also home to another great bluesman, who's as authentic and unspoiled as his surroundings. His name is Johnnie Billington. Known as Mr. Johnnie to his friends and neighbors in Lambert, Mississippi, Mr. Johnnie is a Delta original. The 64-year- old musician and singer was born in nearby Clarksdale. He taught himself how to play the guitar and sing the blues while still in his teens. While still a young man, Mr. Johnnie moved to Chicago. He ran an auto repair shop by day and at night performed with blues greats like Muddy Waters and Earl Hooker.

Mr. Johnnie returned to his Mississippi roots in 1977. Since then, he has taken on something perhaps even more challenging than the professional music scene. Every day after school, Mr. Johnnie gathers local kids to teach them the basics of the blues through his Delta Blues education program. The goal is to encourage kids raised on hip- hop to reclaim their Delta heritage.

JOHNNIE BILLINGTON, BLUES TEACHER: The reason that kids, I think, should learn about it is because it's an inheritance of their ancestors, started the blues. It's kind of like planting a tree. And the tree grows up, it's just one branch. But if the tree grows and gets grown, it grows out on many branches, grows off of that root. So my idea has been, as it goes, is to try to keep the root alive. And if you don't keep the root alive, the whole tree dies.

WALCOTT: Besides a lesson on roots, the music classes also keep kids in this economically depressed area of the South out of trouble by keeping them off the streets and, as Mr. Johnnie would say, keeping guitars in their hands instead of guns. The music lessons are free of charge, funded by private and public grants. The students play on donated instruments, some almost as big as the kids themselves. They gather every weekday afternoon at Mr. Johnnie's school -- a small club located on an all-but-abandoned street in downtown Lambert. (on camera): Looks like some children have been here.

BILLINGTON: Yes, well, that was some of my idea when I came over here, is to try to at least make it look a little bit better by convincing the city, the mayor's office to let's at least buy some plyboards and board up the windows and let some kids come in and do some painting.

WALCOTT (voice-over): Mr. Johnnie travels all over the Southeast to teach kids about the blues. He often brings along his band of teenage bluesmen to perform. His work is earning him rave reviews across the Southeast.

SINCLAIR: Yes, I think they should have people like that all over the place, taking the blues to the kids and explaining it to them; not only how to play it, but what it's about and where it came from and what it meant historically; the whole thing, you know. To transmit this to a generation of youths, particularly of today's world, it's quite a remarkable achievement.

BILLINGTON: Get those big, old scarf off your head, boy, you ain't going to freeze to death.

WALCOTT: Mr. Johnnie has raised seven children of his own, but he says his family is much bigger than that because he often acts as a surrogate father to the kids he teaches.

BILLINGTON: What we talk about is when we go to a store, you all are supposed to do what? Wait until what?


BILLINGTON: Yes, but what about we out of town? See, remember I tried to teach you all that? We out of town, you all walk out the store and somebody grab you, and then what am I going tell your mamma when I get back to Lambert?

WALCOTT: Mr. Johnnie's work hasn't gone unrecognized. He was awarded master folk artist status by the Mississippi Arts Commission in 1993. And in 1995, he received the W.C. Handy Keeping the Blues Alive in Education Award for excellence in the blues industry. Mr. Johnnie knows his work is uncommon, since most blues preservationists are white. In fact, for every Johnnie Billington, there are probably 100 more white blues promoters, authors and DJs.

BILLINGTON: The only thing blacks own, actually, originally owned in America, he owns the blues. And yet they're kind of letting that kind of slip through their fingers.

WALCOTT: For his part, Johnnie Billington has managed to keep the blues torch lit in Mississippi. Many of his former students have gone on to become professional musicians. And all have received a precious legacy: the gift of music from their ancestors.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ANNOUNCER: Teachers, make the most of CNN NEWSROOM with our free daily classroom guide to the program. There you'll find a rundown of each day's show, so you choose just the program segments that fit your lesson plan. Plus, there are discussion questions and activities, and the guide highlights key people, places and news terms. Each day, find hot links to other online resources and previews of upcoming "Desk" segments. It's all at this Web address, where you can also sign up to have the guide automatically e-mailed directly to you each day. It's easy, it's free, it's your curriculum connection to the news. After all, the news never stops, and neither does learning.

JORDAN: Jack Nicklaus was the last one to do it, and he did it back in 1966, when he was 26. Well, this is 2000 and the man of the moment is a 24-year-old named Tiger. Over the weekend in Scotland, he became the youngest golfer ever to win all four tournaments making up golf's Grand Slam.

As Don Knapp tells us, fans of Tiger Woods are in awe.


DON KNAPP, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): About the only difficulty Tiger Woods had on his way to winning the British Open was getting past a swarm of enthusiastic fans.

They may be golf fans at St. Andrews, but many across the United States are simply Tiger Woods fans.

(on camera): Is that your Tiger?


KNAPP (voice-over): James Wilmore, a hair stylist, was playing at San Francisco's Presidio Golf Course about the time Tiger Woods was finishing up in Scotland.

WILMORE: Golf is 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical, and he's about 100 percent mental.

KNAPP: San Franciscan James Deslaurier, an Internet worker, says Tiger Woods is a new image for golf.

JAMES DESLAURIER, TIGER WOODS FAN: I think he's definitely broken away from kind of the mold of the typical golfer, you know, the -- growing up we always thought of golfers as old, fat guys, right? And now he's this -- he's a true athlete.

AUGUST LAIA, INTERNET WORKER: I think the best thing is he's a gentleman. You know, you see a lot of sports stars today they can pretty much do anything they want, and he's taken the high road. I think that's the best thing he's done for the game.

KNAPP: New Yorker Patricia Grayson has become a Tiger Woods golf fan.

PATRICIA GRAYSON, TIGER WOODS FAN: And I think that the fact that golf is the sport that he's involved in as opposed to perhaps basketball is an indication that, again, people of color can transcend just basketball and entertainment.

KNAPP: Golfer Bill Butler is a sporting goods salesman in Los Angeles.

BILL BUTLER, SPORTING GOODS SALESMAN: He can play great golf, and that makes it -- anybody can do probably anything. If Tiger Woods can play great golf, I mean, why can't I play great golf, or why can't I be a good salesman or whatever?

MIGUEL CASTRO, COMPUTER WORKER: More people are playing, you know, minorities, women. It's just lifted the game up, bigger purses for everybody. It's great.

KNAPP: And apparently a lot of fans trying to follow his example.

Don Knapp, CNN, San Francisco.


JORDAN: Well, it was a big weekend for sports fans and for the athletes, too. Tiger Woods wasn't the only one celebrating. As the young golfer grabbed another trophy, a cycling hero was also triumphant. Lance Armstrong won his second Tour de France. The cancer survivor dominated the big race, crossing the finish line more than six minutes ahead of his nearest competitor.

And it's time for us to roll on out of here. We'll see you back here tomorrow. Have a great one.



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