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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for October 13, 2000

Aired October 13, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Welcome to your week-ending NEWSROOM. I'm Rudi Bakhtiar. Here's the rundown.

Unrest in the Middle East sparks repercussions around the world.

Then, from real world conflict to virtual reality, we're talking technology in "Editor's Desk."

"Worldview" delves into the annals of literature to discover a new face on an old favorite.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Booster ignition and liftoff of Discovery.


BAKHTIAR: And we're space station bound in "Chronicle."

In today's top story, the crisis in the Middle East intensifies. With tensions escalating between Israelis and Palestinians and a nervous world watching and wondering what next before peace.

The violence peaked Thursday when a Palestinian mob beat to death at least two Israeli soldiers in the West Bank town of Ramallah. Israeli troops retaliated using helicopter gunships and tanks. They blasted targets in Ramallah and Gaza City, including the residential compound of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat. Palestinians call the attack a declaration of war.

Israelis and Palestinians blame each other for the violence that's left dozens of people dead over the past two weeks. And many people believe the Middle East peace process may be among the casualties. World leaders are calling for an end to the fighting and a return to peace negotiations.


WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I call on both sides to undertake a ceasefire immediately, and immediately to condemn all acts of violence. KOFI ANNAN, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: There has been far too many needless deaths and we need to do whatever we can to stop it. I don't think anyone is going to win this game. Israelis are losers, Palestinians are losers, we all are losers in the region as well as the world.


BAKHTIAR: World markets stand to lose if the Middle East fighting continues. Wall Street is reacting to the growing tensions between Palestinians and Israelis. The Dow and Nasdaq saw significant drops Thursday while the price of crude oil rose.

Kitty Pilgrim will have more on that in a minute, but first Peter Viles brings us an hourly look at Thursday's violence and volatility.


PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 5:58 a.m., East Coast time: sketchy reports of escalating violence in the Middle East. Early reports say one Israeli soldier is dead.

7:01: The U.S. Navy says one of its destroyers has been attacked in Yemen.

LT. CMDR. DAREN PELKIE, U.S. NAVY FIFTH FLEET: They were refueling when an eyewitness, a U.S. Army major, saw a rubber raft type of craft run into the side of the ship and cause an explosion.

VILES: 7:06: Home Depot warns of a profit slowdown. But Wall Street is calm. Futures trading points to a bullish open.

7:44: The news from the West Bank is now clear. Two Israeli solders have been killed. These disturbing images would be broadcast hours later: An Israeli soldier, thrown from a police station window and attacked by the crowd below.

The death toll is now six: two Israelis and four Americans on the USS Cole.

8:59: CNN reports the Israeli army is retaliating, attacking by helicopter.

9:30: On Wall Street, despite the Home Depot news, the markets are fine. The Nasdaq gains 73 points in early trading; the Dow gains 40.

9:34: Stocks are still higher, but bond traders in Chicago sense trouble. Bonds rally sharply on tensions in the Middle East.

9:48: After oil prices had spiked in London, traders in New York follow suit. Oil jumps $2 a barrel on the violence in the Middle East.

10:11 a.m.: The selling finally hits stocks. The Dow industrials fall 230 points. The New York Stock Exchange slams on trading curbs. 10:46: Crude oil is still rising, now hitting $36 a barrel.

BILL O'GRADY, A.G. EDWARDS: Obviously, what's in everyone's mind is a repeat of the 1973 oil embargo. We don't think that's going to happen as long as the U.S. does not overtly show support for Israel, like they did in 1973.

VILES: 12:09: The Pentagon now says the attack on the USS Cole looks like a suicide bombing. The Dow is down 305 points.

1:49: President Clinton condemns the bombing.

CLINTON: If, as it now appears, this was an act of terrorism, it was a despicable and cowardly act. We will find out who was responsible and hold them accountable.

VILES: 2:43: The selling continues on Wall Street as Israeli Prime Minister Barak announces plans for a national emergency government.

EHUD BARAK, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL (through translator): This is necessary for the state of Israel, both in order to deal with the Palestinians -- this is not a game -- but also for the possibility of further development and escalation.

VILES: 3:55: The Dow weakens as the closing bell approaches, dropping close to the 10000 level, only to close at 10034: a loss for the day of 379 points.

Peter Viles, CNN Financial News, New York.



KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a glaring example of the wrong things in the wrong place at the wrong time: violence in the Mideast when oil is in tight supply.

The markets erupted on news of the attack on a U.S. Navy ship in Yemen and intensified fighting in Israel. That drove light sweet crude to $36 a barrel, a one-day hike of more than 8 percent.

RICHARD SCHAEFFER, ABN AMRO BANK: There's extreme, extreme volatility out there. Everybody's really nervous of an all-out war. And it's beginning to look more and more like the potential for continued conflict is there. That will keep oil prices going higher.

PILGRIM: It's the wrong time because the global oil supply is already tight. So much so the United States is tapping its Strategic Petroleum Reserves. It's the wrong place because the conflict is so close to the bulk of the world's crude oil reserves. Traders are worried about a supply disruption, concerns shared by strategic policy experts, including former National Security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski. ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: This is a complex and incendiary problem and it could explode. We are on the brink of a very major crisis.

PILGRIM: The site of the terrorist bombing of the USS Cole is in the strategic route one of one of the five so-called "choke points" for world oil shipping. Crude coming from the Persian Gulf passes through the Strait of Hormuz and then into the Red Sea and the Suez Canal to reach Europe.

If this shortcut is cut off, the only alternative is to send tankers all the way around Africa via the Cape of Good Hope. Most of this oil, 3 1/2 million barrels a day, supplies Europe, but some continues to North America.

(on camera): That in itself is not a large amount of oil. After all, the world uses 77 million barrels a day. But because supplies are so tight, there's very little room for anything to go wrong.

Kitty Pilgrim, CNN Financial News, New York.


BAKHTIAR: The carnage from the explosion that ripped a U.S. ship refueling in Yemen is still being assessed in terms of lives lost and missing. The attacks on Israeli soldiers in Ramallah is raising questions as to why. And just one day before Israel's retaliation strikes against the Palestinians, there had been talk of renewed peace negotiations. Now it seems the only talk is of war.

But that hasn't deterred some Israelis, who say peace is still a goal that can be achieved.

Our Christiane Amanpour has the story from Jerusalem.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With news of each new escalation, even the most Dovish Israeli fears the next move.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't know exactly where we are going. We are afraid from the peace process, but we want it.

AMANPOUR: Indeed, even as it looks like war, up until now, the majority of Israelis say they still back the peace process, but they wonder whether Yasser Arafat is still the man with whom to deal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been a little bit confused about the partner, I mean, like, not the idea. I still want peace, I still think it's the only thing we can live with. About Arafat, I don't know, I'm confused.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've changed my mind about the possibility of a true peace with the Palestinians.

AMANPOUR: For veterans of the peace movement here, these are tough times.

(on camera): Even before the formal peace process began seven years ago, Israeli peace activists were pursuing their own grassroots path towards peace, often at odds with the feelings of the majority here. Today, many of those peace activists are feeling bewildered and betrayed by the sudden and vicious outbreak of violence.

AMIRAM GOLDBLUM, PEACE NOW: On the other hand, I think all of have to remember that in every peace process in the last 50 years, and more than that, there have been the most violent and terrible clashes between nations have been just before the final signing of a peace agreement or a peace treaty.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Away from the violence, in a project called the Oasis of Peace, near Jerusalem, from the earliest age, Palestinians and Jews are taught how to share. Even now, it's a dream these Palestinian teachers won't abandon.

DIANA SHALUFI-RIZIK, SCHOOL PRINCIPAL: Both sides are really exist here in this country, in this piece of land. And there's a place for both sides and we have to share this piece of land.

AMANPOUR: Her Jewish colleague says the values they teach here will eventually triumph.

BOAZ KITAI, SCHOOL PRINCIPAL: Because I can see here what happens. Sometimes people are very angry with each other, cannot accept one each other. And after a day, a week or a month, we can live together.

AMANPOUR: Avirum Goldblum says that's what the peace negotiators will have to do, too.

GOLDBLUM: It is a very bad turning of events right now, but we will all go back, maybe hurt and maybe very wounded, but we will have to go back and come back to our senses together finally.

AMANPOUR: The peace camp may be battered, but it remains unbowed.

Christiane Amanpour, CNN, Jerusalem.


BAKHTIAR: The 1969 creation of ARPANET, an experimental four- computer network designed by the U.S. Defense Department, led to the birth of the Internet, a system an estimated 200 million people now use to communicate around the world.

This invention of our modern world is bringing some ancient cultures into the 21st century and enabling craftsmen to earn a living at the same time.

Mary Pflum explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MARY PFLUM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The ancient and modern worlds are meeting in cyberspace. For the first time ever, these villagers in Tensan (ph), Nepal can see their crafts on the cyber-screen. The Internet continues to bridge technological and cultural gaps by bringing goods from old world into the new.

MICHELLE LONG, CO-FOUNDER, WORLD2MARKET.COM: The Internet also allows us to get the tools and the information that developing community entrepreneurs need to compete equitably in a global scale.

PFLUM: This 21st century approach to international assistance did not spring up overnight. With the support of organizers like the World Bank Institute and the Artisan Enterprise Network, companies like World2Market and Aid to Artisans ensure that goods are successfully marketed on the Web. Partnership with local fair trade organizations, like the ACP, also ensure that workers are not exploited, that there are decent working conditions, and...

MEERA BHATTARAI, ASSOCIATION FOR CRAFT PRODUCERS: We have to teach them not only how to earn, but also how to save, how to spend their money. Not only that, how to take care of the children's education.

PFLUM: With the market for the goods growing, some workers salaries have also increased. For these people, this technological revolution is more than just a tool to bring their goods to the world, the Internet has brought many of them back to their families.

GOPI RAM BISHOKARAMA, COPPERSMITH (through translator): I went to India for some time. I worked in Bhopal. And when I heard there was an opportunity open to copper producers, I came back to work here.

PFLUM: Program organizers say that their ultimate mission is:

LONG: To be able to change how people live without changing the culture, but yet still live where they're happy. And I think we're really able to do that with the Internet.

PFLUM: Since program organizers launched this Web effort last year, millions of people have visited the sites. They say they hope to see millions more shoppers helping others while helping themselves.

Mary Pflum, CNN.


BAKHTIAR: "Worldview" has everything from pack animals to packed classrooms today. Find out what school's like for kids in Iraq. And what do you think of when you think of milk? Probably cows. But guess again, and try a different mammal this time, like a camel. That story takes us to Mauritania. Plus "Macbeth"'s in the spotlight as actors put a new twist on the tale.

Edinburgh, Scotland is about 5,755 miles or 9,261 kilometers from Tokyo, Japan, and worlds away in culture, it would seem. But a play by a famous English playwright is bridging the gap between these two countries. William Shakespeare, known for such famous works as "Romeo and Juliet," "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Hamlet," is generally considered the finest poet who has written in the English language.

Our next story focuses on "Macbeth," Shakespeare's bloody tragedy of a man's conscience. "Macbeth" is set in Scotland and stars an English nobleman, but not in this version of the play. A Japanese drama company has transformed Shakespeare's "Macbeth" into a Japanese tale.

Denise Dillon sets the stage for the cultural blend of this classic.


DENISE DILLON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The year: 1000 A.D. The play: "Macbeth." But this time, Shakespeare's infamous villain isn't a Scottish King, he's a Japanese shogun. The setting is northern Japan.

The players of the Japanese Shakespeare Company brought a unique variation of the classic play to the Fringe Arts Festival in Edinburgh. The company's artistic director wanted to dramatize Scotland and Japan's similarities.

KAZUMI SHIMODATE, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR (through translator): We're from the north of Japan, you see, and we have a style called North Japanese. It features the region's vibrant dialect and fascinating adaptions. Since we're from the North, the Scottish people's minds will echo with ours. It is quite natural for us.

DILLON: The company hoped audiences would appreciate the cultural similarities.

MAKIKO HOSHI, "LADY MACBETH" (through translator): There are similarities between North Japanese languages and Scottish, so I want the audience to enjoy those similarities. Our spirits are very similar. I'm so glad that I can be here and take part in this play.

DILLON: International audiences and critics have responded enthusiastically.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought it was absolutely fantastic. Even though it was in Japanese, it was very easy to follow, very vivid, very flamboyant, very imaginative. I mean, it's a long time since I've read the text myself, but I could still very easily follow what was going on. Just absolutely fantastic. Very well done.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought it was wonderful. And it's not necessarily the sort of show I would have chosen to go to, but my niece chose it and I loved it. I thought it was wonderful, every moment of it.

I thought it was spectacular. It was really exciting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, for one thing, my degree is in theater so I'm very familiar with Shakespeare and it was really interesting to see the Eastern interpretation of it. I've also studied a little bit of Japanese theater, some Kabuki and Japanese No theater, and they really did an interesting blend of the Eastern and the Western styles.

DILLON: Many cast members felt the performances were the high point of their careers. Chances are, the bard would approve.

Denise Dillon, CNN.


TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Camels have been a popular mode of transportation in Africa and the Middle East for thousands of years. For one thing, they boast great fuel economy. Your typical camel can go for days without food or water, perfect for those long stretches of desert where there can be little to eat or drink for hundreds of miles.

But contrary to popular belief, camels don't store water in their humps, they store it in their bloodstream, thanks to their unique metabolism. Their humps really are mounds of fatty tissue, a source of energy when food is hard to find.

While camels have long been valued for their endurance, entrepreneurs in the West African nation of Mauritania value them for another reason. As it turns out, camels, to borrow a popular advertising slogan, "got milk," milk that they say, in many ways, is more nutritious and better for you than typical cow's milk. But will it sell?

Femi Oke has the story.


FEMI OKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the nomads of Africa's driest regions, camels are not just an important mode of transport, they're an important source of food, too. Their meat is a little on the chewy side, but low-cholesterol and it tastes like beef. And to top off the daily dose of vitamins in the desert, you can't beat camel's milk.

In Mauritania in West Africa, the thick, sweet drink has gained a high profile recently. It's all thanks to Nancy Abeiderrahman, an entrepreneur in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott.

Mauritanians have been drinking camel's milk for centuries. And in parts of the Middle East, it has been sold in supermarkets for many years. But in Mauritania, packaging and selling milk is a new idea, one that met at first with some opposition.

NANCY ABEIDERRAHMAN, DAIRY OWNER: There was prejudice on the side of suppliers because, traditionally, milk was something you gave away, and it was very shameful to even think of selling it. It would be like selling air or water or something. And also, their was prejudice on the side of consumers because they thought foreign products were so much better. So it was very difficult.

OKE: In the dairy's early days, camel's milk was trying to compete with cheap imports of long-life and powdered milk. But when you compare the two products, camel's milk turns out to be a rather tasty package. It has as much protein as cow's milk, but 40 percent less cholesterol. It's high in minerals and vitamins and regular drinkers have found it to be good for the liver and complexion.

With these selling obvious points, the Mauritanian dairy is developing products for the European market. The dairy's intent on expanding its capacity, milking its success for everything it's worth.

Femi Oke, CNN.


BAKHTIAR: Now we head to Iraq, an Arab country located at the top of the Persian Gulf in southwestern Asia. The world's first known civilization developed along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in what is now Iraq. Iraq absorbed the Arab Muslim culture and became part of the Arab empire in the 600s. Today, about 75 percent of Iraq's people are Arabs.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, President Saddam Hussein involved Iraq in two wars, including an eight-year battle with Iran in the 80s, and in 1990 the invasion and occupation of neighboring Kuwait. The wars had a devastating effect on Iraq. Since international sanctions were imposed 10 years ago, Iraqis have seen their standard of living plummet.

But even in tumultuous times, school must go on. Iraqi law requires all children from ages 6 to 12 to attend school. School can be tough under any circumstances. It's even more difficult now for Iraqi children.

Ben Wedeman explains.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The flag goes up at Al-Razi elementary school and school begins with the national anthem and the ubiquitous chant of loyalty to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The mere mention of his name is followed by applause.

This school in the working-class Baghdad suburb of Madinat al- Huriya, Arabic for "the City of Freedom," has seen better days. After 10 years of international sanctions, it has been hurt by a lack of new equipment and funds. Desks designed for one student must now accommodate two.

"They're uncomfortable," says Ahmed (ph). "It's hard to write on them."

Before, students were provided with a free lunch. No more, under sanctions. Before, they received new books every year. Now, at least half the books are old. And computers? Sixth-grader Kawkab (ph) has never seen one, let alone touched a computer.

(on camera): Education in Iraq remains free, but parents are encouraged to donate at least a few dollars to the schools their children attend.

(voice-over): And a few dollars is a small fortune to ordinary Iraqis. Before sanctions, a teacher's monthly salary was as much as $500. Today, they're lucky if they make three.

To get by, most teachers have second or even third jobs.

"We see children elsewhere have lots of encouragement to study," says Fatima Hassan (ph), both a teacher and a mother. "But here, it's all up to the parents to do all they can for their children to succeed."

Teachers aren't the only ones who have to find work. Every year, more than a 100,000 children drop out of school to find jobs to help support their families, a fate these children are hoping to avoid.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Baghdad.


BAKHTIAR: A NASA engineer who spotted a four-inch pin wedged against space shuttle Discovery's fuel tank will get a medal for possibly saving the lives of the seven crew members now on their way to the International Space Station. He spotted the pin shortly before the shuttle was supposed to take off Tuesday and the mission was scrubbed.

However, Discovery blasted off successfully Wednesday night for NASA's 100th shuttle launch.

Miles O'Brien has more on the mission.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Booster ignition and lift off of Discovery!

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN SPACE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was just one launch in 100, but odds are there haven't been many as spectacular. The space shuttle Discovery roared into the Florida sky at nightfall leaving a bright orange trail as the sun illuminated its plume.

MIKE LEINBACH, NASA LAUNCH DIRECTOR: And we're extremely proud and pleased to be on orbit.

O'BRIEN: The seven-member crew is on its way to a docking with the International Space Station, where they will conduct four consecutive spacewalks to link two large components: a docking port for future shuttle rendezvous, and a large lattice-like exterior structure called the Z-1 Truss.

PAM MELROY, DISCOVERY PILOT: The Z-1 Truss is probably not the prettiest segment of the International Space Station. We actually kind of made a little bit of fun of it the first time we saw it.

O'BRIEN: Ugly, yes, but the Z-1 truss will support the huge U.S. solar arrays due to arrive on the next shuttle visit.

BRIAN DUFFY, DISCOVERY COMMANDER: We do need to lay this piece so that the P-6 solar array can be added, so that that can be -- then provide power to the lab and we can continue to grow.

O'BRIEN: The station grows as NASA looks back on it's near 20- year history of launching orbiters. In the early days, the space agency promised a shuttle flight every other week. But any lingering hope of such routine access to space ended with the Challenger disaster in January of 1986.

DUFFY: I would say that, yes, it's taken us this long to fly 100 flights, but getting here hasn't been, in itself, hasn't been a goal. What's been a goal is getting here safely.

O'BRIEN: A series of safety concerns delayed the launch by nearly a week. The crowning blow came during Tuesday's countdown when an inspection team spotted an errant scaffolding pin lodged on a strut that links the orbiter and its external tank.

RON DITTEMORE, SHUTTLE PROGRAM MANAGER: I don't want to sugar- coat anything for you here, either. It was a mistake. There's a mistake involved here. We just don't understand yet what the root cause is, and we'll withhold judgment until we do.

O'BRIEN (on camera): Perhaps that frustration has faded now that the 100th shuttle mission is under way. But NASA is embarking on its most aggressive launch schedule in years. The workforce here will be tested and the margin for error will be slimmer than ever.

Miles O'Brien, CNN, at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida.


BAKHTIAR: One hundred and counting.

And it's time for us to blast off out of here. You have a great weekend. We'll see you back here Monday.



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