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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for August 22, 2000

Aired August 22, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: It's Tuesday here on NEWSROOM. Welcome, I'm Andy Jordan.

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: And I'm Rudi Bakhtiar.

From Russia to the United States, we have lots to cover.

JORDAN: Here's the agenda.

BAKHTIAR: News from the Barents Sea tops our show, as CNN continues to follow the story of the sunken Russian sub.

JORDAN: "Health Desk" finds us far from the halls of medicine, receiving intensive care by remote.


DR. BRIAN ROSENFELD, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, IC-USA: This is truly, you know, a quantum leap in care delivery for patients in the intensive care unit.


BAKHTIAR: "Worldview" gives us a history of the Red Cross after more than a century of service.

JORDAN: And we go to college in "Chronicle." How involved are young people in "Democracy in America"?


JENNIFER HUTCHINS, CNN STUDENT BUREAU (voice-over): But since 18-year-olds were given the vote three decades ago, fewer and fewer have been using their voting power. Michigan State University student groups are trying to change that trend.


JORDAN: In today's top story, Russia is mourning the deaths of 118 men aboard a submarine that lies at the bottom of the Barents Sea. Norwegian divers who reached the Kursk found no signs that anyone survived for long after the sub was ripped open by two powerful blasts.

The accident happened August 12th, during naval exercises off the coast of Norway. Moscow is seeking international help in funding a salvage operation expected to cost in excess of $100 million.

CNN will continue to monitor this story's developments. With more on the aftermath of the accident, here's Jill Dougherty.


JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After seven days of failed efforts, Russian rescuers could no longer avoid the bitter truth.

VICE ADM. MIKHAIL MOTSAK, RUSSIAN NORTHERN FLEET (through translator): Section nine of the submarine is flooded, and I think it's the same with the rest of the sub. There is no doubt the crew is dead.

DOUGHERTY: Norwegian divers made the sad discovery, prying off an escape hatch to the sunken submarine and finding the inside filled with seawater and sand. They also found a body, one of the 118 seamen who died when the submarine went down.

The Russian military claims some survived the initial accident, that rescuers heard tapping -- "SOS, water" -- up to two days later, then silence. Russia is asking the experienced Norwegian divers for help with recovering the crew's remains and salvaging the atomic- powered sub.

From President Vladimir Putin, under fire for a slow response to the tragedy, a pledge to help the families.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): We need to help the local authorities with the accommodation of relatives at the site, the organization of medical support, telephone calls, transportation, et cetera.

DOUGHERTY: But the Russian president isn't the only one under political attack.

GENNADY SELEZNYOV, RUSSIAN DUMA SPEAKER (through translator): I do not think our military gave full information to the president at the time of the accident.

DOUGHERTY: The Russian defense minister, meanwhile, is denying Russia was slow to ask for help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We responded immediately, and I can say with confidence there was no delay.

DOUGHERTY (on camera): The self-justification and the recriminations are now beginning with no one willing to take responsibility for the deaths of 118 men.

Jill Dougherty, CNN, Moscow. (END VIDEOTAPE)

BAKHTIAR: Until yesterday, the victims' families hoped their loved ones could somehow have survived the accident. But now, forced to face the grim truth, relatives are gathered in Murmansk, searching for answers and closure.

One of the big questions on their minds: why did the Russian government wait to ask for international help? Walter Rodgers is there and has this report.


WALTER RODGERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Kursk tragedy claimed many victims, the surviving relatives as well as the drowned Russian sailors.

"My nephew is lying down there," this man said, "his name is on the list."

A Russian oil company chartered a plane to fly more than 100 family members of the doomed submarine crew here to Murmansk, near the base from which the submarine had sailed. A social worker accompanied the families.

"Most of these people have been receiving negative information for some time and some are mentally prepared," she said. "But," she added, "others are in pretty bad shape."

When the families landed here their grief was compounded by dreadful uncertainties. At the Murmansk train station, the wife of one of the submariners lamented her imminent poverty.

"People are poor, and I let the family's only breadwinner go and join up when there was a potential risk," she said.

The families of the drowned crew can expect little help from the cash-strapped Russian government. Among ordinary Russians, recriminations did not wait for the mourning to end. Russian President Vladimir Putin was a prime target. This man denounced Putin for -- quote -- "resting at a Black Sea resort while sailors were suffocating. It's a disgrace," he said. But, this man asks, "What could the president have done up here?" Many blame severe military budget cuts as a possible cause of the Kursk's sinking.

This Russian navy captain said the job of bringing up the corpses of the submarine's crew will not be easy. He was vague about when the costly task of raising the submarine would begin.

(on camera): A cash shortage would seem to lie at the heart of this entire tragedy. Now, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klevanov says Moscow alone cannot afford to pay to raise the Kursk and its two nuclear reactors from the ocean floor, so Klevanov is calling on other countries to help pay for it.

Walter Rodgers, CNN, Murmansk. (END VIDEOTAPE)

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: A two-week strike affecting 25 million phone users in the United States appears to be nearing an end. The nation's largest local phone company, Verizon, has settled a strike with about two-thirds of its union workers. While 36,000 union workers in the mid-Atlantic are still off the job, most workers headed back yesterday, with a new contract agreement in hand.


BOB BEARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The tentative three- year settlement reached Sunday includes something for both sides: for the unions, the right to organize workers at Verizon Wireless without a lengthy union election, reductions in mandatory overtime and limits on job transference, plus a 12 percent wage increase over three years, a 14 percent increase in pensions and 100 stock options per worker.

MYLES CALVEY, IBEW NEGOTIATOR: Simply keeping our jobs in Boston, keeping jobs in New York, that was our focus, and that was really the framework of the contract.

BEARD: Verizon retains the flexibility to use overtime and the right to choose which union workers install its DSL lines. Analysts see the strike and settlement's impact trimming Verizon's public image more than its bottom line.

LARRY BABBIO, VICE CHAIRMAN, VERIZON: We're not doing anything with respect to changing our financial targets as a result of this settlement. They will all stay the same.

BEARD: Faced with a running tally of about 80,000 repair requests and 200,000 orders for new phone service, union workers have agreed to waive overtime limits for seven days to get Verizon service back to normal. The company said that could take about a month.


JORDAN: It's no secret that the Internet is revolutionizing the way many of us live. From buying groceries to trading stocks, we can go on-line for just about anything, including medical attention.

In the United States, the Internet is even changing the way doctors treat the seriously ill. Remote intensive care units made up of doctors, nurses and administrators are using video and the Internet to monitor and direct the care of ICU patients 24 hours a day.

Ann Kellan has the story.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get me his nurse on the phone.

ANN KELLAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An intensive care patient is in trouble, a doctor, seven miles away, advises the nurse what to do. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many units?

KELLAN: Dr. Gene Burke (ph) works in one of the United States' first remote intensive care units, run by IC-USA.

DR. BRIAN ROSENFELD, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, IC-USA: This is truly a quantum leap in care delivery for patients in the intensive care unit.


KELLAN: Here's how it works: Like most doctors, this one makes rounds in the morning, then leaves the hospital, available by phone or page. That's when a three-member, remote intensive care team, made up of a doctor, nurse and administrator, step in, from seven miles away.

They're briefed on each patient. Remote control video cameras let them look at the patient, monitors feed back vital signs, and detailed medical records are available on computers.

SHEILA FOOTE, INTENSIVE CARE NURSE: Patient develops acute respiratory distress. I called out and said "Call the doc in the box," and he picked up the phone, called, buzzed into the room, cameraed into the room, and within a minute the problem was solved.

KELLAN: That instead of losing time, waiting for a physician to answer a page.

Tens of thousands die every year in U.S. hospitals from avoidable complications. This system is designed to reduce errors and treat problems earlier, before serious complications develop.

While some doctors welcome the assistance, others are more skeptical of the system's effectiveness. Hospital administrators claim it won't replace the doctor at the bedside.

DR. ROD HOCHMAN, SENIOR VICE PRES., SENTARA HEALTHCARE: I need to emphasize there's nothing like personal touch and being next to a patient, talking to a patient face to face. What this let's us do is really leverage what's a very limited resource that we have sometimes, which are intensive care physicians.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to help you breathe until we can get more fluid out of your lungs.

KELLAN: Thanks, among other things, to early burnout, there's a severe shortage of ICU doctors. Half of all intensive care patients in the U.S. do not have access to specialists now. Rosenfeld says remote intensive care may be the only way to spread their expertise around the world.

Ann Kellan, CNN, Norfolk, Virginia,


BAKHTIAR: In "Worldview," problems and solutions to disease and disasters plaguing the world. We'll visit India to examine AIDS and find out how a high illiteracy rate hampers efforts to help. And come along as we explore various agencies making a difference around the globe, from Save the Children in Mongolia to UNICEF in Bangladesh, and the International Red Cross, which got its start in Switzerland.

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: On this day in history, August 22, 1864, the Geneva Convention for Protection of the Wounded was founded. It adopted the sign of a red cross as a symbol of neutral aid. The idea came about because of a Swiss citizen who witnessed suffering on the battlefield.

Kathy Nellis has more.


KATHY NELLIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The International Red Cross is part of a humanitarian movement with its roots in 19th century war-torn Europe. Henry Dunant, a young Swiss businessman, wrote about the horrors of war, describing a battlefield in Italy where 40,000 troops were killed or wounded and left without help in 1859.

A few years later, the International Committee of the Red Cross was born. On its heels came the Geneva Conventions, international treaties designed to protect injured war victims and prisoners of war.

(on camera): The convention adopted a red cross on a white ground as an emblem so that ambulances, hospitals, doctors and nurses could be identified on the battlefield. The Red Cross flag is simply the Swiss flag with the colors reversed.

(voice-over): The International Red Cross is a neutral organization with a humanitarian mission to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and disaster. Workers distribute food and medicine and provide help to those left homeless, hungry or hurt.

There are more than 145 national societies that make up the league of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Today, the sign of the Red Cross is a symbol of compassion and help worldwide.

Kathy Nellis, CNN, reporting.


JORDAN: From one humanitarian group to another, next we look at the Save the Children Organization, a child assistance and community development agency. Based in Westport, Connecticut in the United States, Save the Children has been making positive changes for families and communities since 1932. Its projects include emergency relief, health care, early childhood education and skills training. Save the children currently serves 38 countries, including our next stop, Mongolia.

Mongolia is a country in East Central Asia, between Russia and China. Formerly a communist country, Mongolians demonstrated for more freedoms in early 1990. The result, the country's ruling communist party, the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, surrendered its control. Mongolia then adopted a multiparty system and took steps toward free enterprise. Mongolians have since been struggling with the economic transition.

Dalton Tanonaka (ph) introduces us to a few younger Mongolians who have been hit hard by the changes in their country and some organizations trying to help.


DALTON TANONAKA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Street children were an almost unheard of phenomenon in communist Mongolia. For 70 years, the government took care of nearly everything. But the financial hardship that accompanied the collapse of communism in 1990 has made homeless kids an all too common sight.

These boys are among the 10,000 children who beg for a living on the streets of the capital, Ulaanbaatar. They're running from poverty, abuse and neglect. Many have parents who are chronic alcoholics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There's absolutely nothing positive. Nothing. We left our homes because of what our lives were then. Our family is very poor and has no food or money. We were starving, that's why we left. If we were rich and had money, do you think we would have left?

TANONAKA: Many make their home underground. Sewage and hot water pipes keep them warm in Mongolia's sub-zero winter temperatures, but there's a constant threat of danger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The big guys come here and drink a lot of vodka. They try to come into our hole and demand money. If we don't give it to them, they threaten us with knives and beat us. We fight with them and then run away to tell the police, but the police don't do anything for us.

TANONAKA: The humanitarian group Save the Children has been trying to help these kids since the mid-1990s. It provides two meals a day and a basic education. But the children also need to enjoy just being kids, and that's where the Canadian traveling circus, Cirque Du Soleil, comes in. The performers have set up camp in Mongolia. They were invited by Save the Children to teach street kids how to regain their self-esteem through art and exercise.

CECILE TRUFFAULT, CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: First, we work on things which are fun to work. Kids really want to do it. So that's one of the things -- why they accept some kind of discipline. Some kids will always be in a bit like in a riot, their life is a riot for them. And they suddenly accept the discipline because they want to do something.

TANONAKA: Many children here reveal their longing for a normal family life through their paintings. Six-year-old Budja (ph) was rescued from the streets of Ulaanbaatar after being abandoned by his parents. They couldn't afford to feed him and he's developed rickets from malnutrition, but he still dreams of rejoining his family.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): When I grow up, I want some money because I want to buy a flat with four rooms. I want my mom and dad to come live with me, and also my brother and sister.

TANONAKA: But for now, Budja's dreams will remain just that.

Dalton Tanonaka, CNN.


BAKHTIAR: We travel to Bangladesh for yet another look at an organization providing help to the needy, the United Nations Children's Fund, also known as UNICEF. Much of Bangladesh is bordered by India and it has its coastline along the Bay of Bengal. Our focus today: health.

Bangladesh is one of the few polio endemic countries in the world, along with its neighbors India and Pakistan. One of the world's top models is making it her mission to help stamp out the potentially crippling disease.

Riz Khan has the details.


RIZ KHAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Claudia Schiffer stepped off the plane and into a world far removed from her own. She was there, she said, to bring hope to the poor and defenseless of Bangladesh.

CLAUDIA SCHIFFER, MODEL: I've been very fortunate in my life. I've had a really happy childhood. I wasn't missing anything at all. And I want to volunteer my time to give back some of that to other children in need, other people that haven't been as fortunate as I've been.

KHAN: Schiffer's visit to Bangladesh was on behalf of the United Nations' Children's Fund, or UNICEF. And she took advantage of being in the South Asian nation to educate herself, whether through listening to the stories of adults and children or by helping to feed the malnourished and distribute much needed medicine.

SCHIFFER: I grew up with, actually, the images of UNICEF being all over Germany. And, for example, in school, we used to get the little boxes where you give your small change to UNICEF. And I've been growing up with these images in my mind thinking that, one day, I wish or I hope I can help, as well.

And then when Audrey Hepburn, for example, came into the picture, she's always been an idol, like. I've admired her for such a long time. And when she started working with UNICEF, I thought, my God, what a great team to be working: from one hand, you know, a person who's not only beautiful from the outside, but beautiful from the inside, together with UNICEF, who is a really serious organization, we can change so much in the world. KHAN: At the opening of the Progress of Nations 2000 gathering, Schiffer noted that when a plane crashes in the U.S. it receives enormous media coverage. Few, she pointed out, ever hear about the number or children in Bangladesh dying every day from disease, especially polio.

SCHIFFER: There's so much progress that UNICEF, the government and its partners have already made. In 1988, for example, there have been 350,000 reported cases of polio. And in '99, it went down to 7,000. So enormous progress has already been made and we're so close to it with education, it would be crazy to stop now.


WALCOTT: On to India, a country in southern Asia. India is the second largest country in population and home to more than one-sixth of the world's people. But India's huge population is making it difficult for officials to get the word out about the growing threat of AIDS.

AIDS is the final life-threatening stage of infection for people with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV. The disease severely damages the body's immune system, its most important defense against disease.

Satinder Bindra reports from India on efforts to care for some of the youngest victims of AIDS.


SATINDER BINDRA, CNN NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): They laugh and play, too young to understand the AIDS virus that wracks their bodies. But doctors are worried. They say children like Prasant (ph) and Alvin (ph), both infected at birth, live only a few years.

According to the U.N., 160,000 Indian children are HIV-positive.

DR. CHINKOLAL THANGSING, AIDS CAREGIVER: The future is, I think, really dark and it's very bleak unless the government really takes it as a real task, as a national calamity.

BINDRA: The U.N. estimates just fewer than 4 millions Indians are HIV-positive. As the number of Indian women with AIDS rises, doctors say they're noticing an increase in transmission from mother to child.

Alvin's mother, Nisha, contracted the virus from her husband. He's now dead. Nisha survives doing odd jobs at an AIDS clinic and worries about her child's future.

NISHA, AIDS PATIENT (through translator): My little child has seen nothing of this world, but he has endured pain ever since birth.

BINDRA: Health care officials say AIDS is just one of the problems affecting Indian children. (on camera): Millions of Indian children still die of malnutrition, tuberculosis and other diseases. So the Indian government says it's not willing to divert all its resources to help HIV-infected children. Health officials say what they've done now is launch a massive AIDS education campaign.

(voice-over): But officials concede it may be years before the message reaches 1 billion Indians.

B.K. CHATURVEDI, HEALTH OFFICIAL: There is a huge amount of illiteracy, there is a tremendous amount -- amongst women in particular there is 50 percent illiteracy. So if we have to reach that section, I think we have to start the campaign in larger and in larger way.

BINDRA: Educational campaigns cannot help children like 5-year- old Prasant. What he needs is more medical care, nutrition and support. His brother and parents all died of AIDS a few months ago.

Satinder Bindra, CNN, New Delhi.


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: Every Tuesday during this political season in the United States, we devote our "Chronicle" segment to politics in America. Today's report comes to us from CNN Student Bureau.

At Michigan State University, a group of politically active students is joining the effort to stem voter apathy among young people. Are their efforts paying off?

Here's Jennifer Hutchins.


JENNIFER HUTCHINS, CNN STUDENT BUREAU (voice-over): When the U.S. chooses a new president this year, many young Americans will want their voices to be heard.

KYLE OLSON, AGE 21: The people that we elect are the people that are essentially, you know, setting the rules for us to follow.

HUTCHINS: But since 18-year-olds were given the vote three decades ago, fewer and fewer have been using their voting power. Michigan State University student groups are trying to change that trend. Student political groups on campus have organized over the years. One of their goals is to reduce voter apathy.

CURTIS HERTEL, AGE 22: Well, right now, we're doing a mass mailing. We do protests when candidates that are not pro-student come to campus, and we basically tell students who isn't pro-student. We, like, tell students who's voted wrong on their issues, and that's really important to us.

HUTCHINS (on camera): The major presidential campaigns are now organizing on college campuses, competing for the young voters.

SCOTT RISNER, AGE 19: I'm definitely supporting Al Gore for his strong stance on education. He has a great record on a lot of issues, education being foremost. He has a strong stance on gun control, abortion's very important, his protection of the environment is great. He's definitely the best candidate in the race.

ERIN MITCHELL, AGE 20: I'm sick of having a president that constantly disgraces us, that disgraces our nation and makes it embarrassing to say that you're from the United States. I want someone that can lead our country with honor and dignity and will stand for education, for more security.

JODIE WALKER, AGE 19: I really like his attitude and his beliefs. I think that his value system and the things that he wants to do with this country he can achieve.

HUTCHINS: College students, with their energy and enthusiasm, traditionally make up an important work force for political campaigns.

REID KINDE, AGE 19: I think it's important that students start to get involved with the political process, because that way maybe more of the candidates will focus more issues around students, on issues that are important to the students.

HUTCHINS: So far this political year, college campuses like Michigan State have proven to be major battlegrounds for presidential campaigns, where student groups are active politically. That is likely to continue throughout the campaign season.

Jennifer Hutchins, CNN Student Bureau, East Lansing, Michigan.


BAKHTIAR: It's good to see kids getting so involved in politics this year.

JORDAN: Yes, and we'll see how it all fleshes out with the candidates and young people as we get further along in this campaign.

We'll see you back here tomorrow.




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