Aired September 27, 2001 - 04:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
TOM HAYNES, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone and welcome to CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Tom Haynes.
We begin today with financial fallout. The decline in airline travel since the September 11 terrorist attacks is taking a toll on the travel industry. Delta Airlines, Chairman and CEO Leo Mullin announced Wednesday that Delta will cut its scheduled operations and its work force.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEO MULLIN, CHAIRMAN AND CEO DELTA AIRLINES: Effective November 1, we will cut scheduled operations by approximately 15 percent. This will require the associated painful step of eliminating up to 13,000 employee positions. This is an extraordinarily difficult decision for us to make.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYNES: Delta is among other major airlines announcing cuts during the past two weeks. American Airlines and United Airlines each are cutting 20,000 jobs. Continental has announced job cuts of up to 12,000 and U.S. Airways plans to cut about 11,000 jobs. Hard times are spilling over into other travel related businesses like rental car companies.
Fred Katayama will tell us more about those woes in just a minute.
First, Brian Palmer takes some closer look at the airlines financial problems and some of those workers who are loosing their jobs.
BRIAN PALMER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Airlines say the financial damage caused by September 11 and the national fear of flying that resulted is in the billions. The major passenger carriers may start seeing cash as soon as next week from the $15 billion bailout approved by Congress but that's a little consolation to workers being laid off in the wake of the crisis, about 100,000 of them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've gotten a double whammy today. I have not only filled as of today, we still have my cousin missing, I'm also loosing my job.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's devastating. It's very painful for me to loose my job. I loved my job here.
PALMER: Ramp service worker Perry Espazito (ph) has worked at TWA for 16 years since he was 18.
PERRY ESPAZITO (ph): I see myself now starting all over again, and maybe even a different trade, maybe even a different industry. You know, starting from the bottom up again.
PALMER: His fiance also works for an airline.
EPAZITO (ph): She will walk away with nothing: not even severance pay, no medical, dental.
PALMER: Industry representatives say layoffs are a necessary emergency measure but many airlines were struggling financially before the attacks.
DAVID TREILET, AVIATION CONSULTANT: This shock still exacerbated what was already an adverse environment then created, you know, a disaster.
PALMER: The airlines hope the bailout will prevent bankruptcy and buy them time to win back frightened customers. More customers means fewer layoffs.
TREILET: The bailout helps keep the capacity flying to a greater level than it would without the bailout. That's the benefit that the average worker gets.
PALMER: The average worker who still has a job. The bailout doesn't contain any financial help for those getting laid off.
(on camera): A bill introduced in Congress would set aside close to $4 billion to extend unemployment benefits and fund retraining for these workers.
(voice-over): And some companies, among them US Airways and Continental had agreed to pay severance. Northwest Airlines and American say they will not. TWA, a subsidiary of American has yet to make a decision leaving Perry Espazito (ph) on standby wondering about his future.
Brian Palmer, CNN, New York.
FRED KATAYAMA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The day the terrorists attacked, stranded airline passengers drove cars off rental lots across the country but a few days later rentals tanked. No lines at Newark Airport Wednesday morning, some customers had Dollar but barren at Budget.
JOSEPH CAPPY, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, DOLLAR THRIFTY: After that initial surge, business really dropped off, somewhere between 40 to 60 percent in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy and we have seen that kind of comeback and it kind of bounced at around 38 percent down and it has improved since then.
KATAYAMA: But fewer air travelers mean fewer car renters. They're 90 percent of the business for some firms. Already two companies have warned that fallout from the attack will dent their earnings Dollar Thrifty which runs the Dollar and Thrifty brand and ANC rental which owns Alamo and National. Rental car stocks such as Budget and Dollar Thrifty have fallen since the attack, ANC nosedived 86 percent to 50 cents.
HENRY DIAMOND, CREDIT SUISSE FIRST BOSTON: There is a possibility that the company could face a liquidity crisis in the first-half of next year.
KATAYAMA: Hertz, the nation's largest, has already cut staff but wouldn't say how many. It's considering shrinking its fleet, so is ANC.
(on camera): Dollar Thrifty says it is cutting its fleet by roughly 25 percent. These moves deal another blow to the automakers since the fleet business accounts for up to one-fifth of their sales. DaimlerChrysler, Dollar's chief supplier, says it is adjusting its production schedule.
Fred Katayama, CNN Financial News, Newark, New Jersey.
HAYNES: Well, the airlines and auto rental companies aren't the only ones feeling the crunch. With consumer spending down and unemployment up many financial experts are predicting an economic recession. The Dow Jones industrial average and the technology weight at Nasdaq composite both dropped on Wednesday. The U.S. government is encouraging consumers to spend.
But as Kathleen Hayes reports, faith in the economy is still somewhat shaky.
KATHLEEN HAYES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even before the attacks that terrorized Wall Street, consumer confidence was under siege. Confidence suffered its biggest one-month drop since the Gulf War, according to the latest survey of 5,000 households by New York's Conference Board, conducted right before the attacks took place. A special follow-up survey showed that confidence continued to decline in the days following the tragedy. The big question now, how long will it take to rebuild the consumer's post attack psyche?
DELOS SMITH, ECONOMIST: When you are in trauma, I mean, all the old formulas just don't work. You have the healing processes, the psychological; it really does not have to do with recessions or economics because you've stopped the whole society.
HAYES: A deteriorating job market is the number one factor eroding confidence, economists say, along with a steady drop in the stock market that has arrayed trillions of dollars as well. A seemingly unquenchable U.S. consumer was until recently the economy's number one defense against recession. If shoppers loose their appetite, experts fear the economy will loose its footing.
MIKE NIEMIRA, ECONOMIST AT BANK OF TOKYO-MITSUBISHI LTD: Certainly, we've seen that the big hit now on the willingness to spend slide and it will remain to be seen how it plays out on the ability to spend.
HAYES: Policy makers are hoping tax cuts; government relief dollars and aggressive Fed rate cuts will reassure the consumer and revive the ailing economy.
WAYNE ANGELL, CHIEF ECONOMIST, BEAR STEARNS: I think the people would worry if the Fed were asleep or the Fed nonresponsive. So I think it's a very encouraging thing to see the Federal Reserve continue to bank on that cause this is the most rapid decline in interest rates that we've seen.
HAYES (on camera): With sales of department stores sagging across the nation and many auto dealerships all but empty, economists say the Federal Reserve is sure to cut its key short-term interest rates when it meets again on October 2.
Kathleen Hayes, CNN Financial News, New York.
HAYNES: During this time of economic hardship and consumer skepticism, some industries are actually thriving, for example in Lower Manhattan cleaning crews have more business then they need or ever would have hoped for.
Beth Nissen brings us a closer look at the demand for industrial strength cleanup of buildings near the World Trade Center.
BETH NISSEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Max Gersh is busy; he is the president of Maxons Restorations the largest disaster cleanup company in Manhattan.
MAX GERSH, PRESIDENT, MAXONS RESTORATIONS: 10-4. I understand they opened ten buildings over in Battery Park City so I expect an onslaught today.
NISSEN: His company already has cleanup crews working in 500 apartments in Lower Manhattan, working to remove a heavy coating of fine dust. From windows, sofas, floors, tabletops, windowsills.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh God, look at that.
GERSH: You could feel it's a gritty concrete dust; everything that the World Trade Center was constructed of is in this material.
NISSEN: A mix of pulverized concrete, particles of glass, steel, asbestos, ash and soot. The collapse of the World Trade Center towers blew more than two million tones of dust and debris into the air in an immense dense plume.
HOWARD WHITE, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, MAXONS RESTORATIONS: The plume was so big; it just went through every building. It went through convectors, it went trough elevator shafts, it came in through air ducts, it goes into the upholstery of the -- in computers, fax machines, stereo equipment, in closets on people's clothing, it's going to be in kitchen cabinets. We haven't seen anything that wasn't covered in dust.
NISSEN: Buildings adjacent to the World Trade Center were hardest hit. This apartment looked out at the South Tower and now looks out at what's left of it. Three inches of dust and debris makes a room into a 21st century Pompeii. Maxons's clean-up workers are undaunted by even this level of destruction.
WHITE: When we see really a badly damaged apartment we say, OK, we can clean this up; let's get to work.
NISSEN: Their work is laborious. The heaviest debris is shoveled out or vacuumed up. Every surface is repeatedly wiped with specially treated sponges and clogs and finally polished. It took this worker 11 minutes to clean one nightstand. It is taking an average of 12 hours for a team of five to clean a small one-bedroom apartment. Average cost $1,500 usually paid by building management or owner's insurance.
Many cloth items, stuffed toys, pillows, mattresses are so permeated by dust they must be thrown away. Still most residents are determined to get the job done and soon.
ANNABEL MANNING, GROUND ZERO RESIDENT: I want to come back. I want to be in my neighborhood. I want to be with my neighbors.
WHITE: We want to make them comfortable again. I mean there's no place like home, so that's where people want to be and we want to give that back to them.
NISSEN: That's a huge job. More than 270,000 people live in Southern Manhattan in the area surrounding ground zero.
Beth Nissen, CNN, New York.
HAYNES: From dusty books to an ancient book, the Quran, the sacred book of Islam. For sometime now President Bush has stressed that the war on terrorism is not a case of west versus Islam. What do we really know about Islam? Well it turns out Christians, Jews, and Muslims to share deep roots.
Bill Delaney on how deep those roots go. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Their genre of a medieval way of thinking to say that now again the Christian west and the Islamic east confront each other. We should be many centuries beyond that we think and anyway the west is not all Christian nor the east monolithically Islam, and yet in age old misunderstanding roots of violence flourish to not know how close Christians and Muslims are, to allow alleged distance further drive us apart.
REV. RAY HELMICK, BOSTON COLLEGE: Jesus is spoken off in the Quran: Mary responds to the angel saying, You have done to me according to your will. That is very Islamic. The acceptant submission to the will of God, that's what it's about.
DELANEY: What it's about? How few non-Muslims know how honored Jesus is in Islam? And how Jews too are called people of the book? Muhammed, the prophet born in 570 in what's now Saudi Arabia, was a businessman to the age of 40 then devout, but illiterate -- he had a revelation and mysteriously began to pour forth the profound poetry of the Quran.
QAMAR UL-HUDA, BOSTON COLLEGE: First he panicked, but all he could see was the angel Gabriel telling him to recite the name of God. Many people thought he was a magician of some sort, some sort sage, a false sage. And so he was persecuted and the people who started to believe in him and follow his message and lets remember it's the message, not following him. They were submitters to this message, and they're called Muslims. What he was saying at the very beginning of his prophecy and towards the very end is a very basic reiteration of the message that there's only one God. Remember that this one God is a source of everything.
DELANEY: Most Muslims know what most Christians do not. That early in Muhammed's ministry a Christian king and his followers by sheltering the then persecuted prophet saved his life.
HELMICK: Mystical part of this is always interesting. When you find among the various religions people who have come along to mystical experience that's very direct experience of God asking in their souls and the differences tend to become very unimportant at that point.
DELANEY: And yet among Christians, Muslims, Jews, differences and anger so horrific, calls for jihad, holy war. Though here too say Islamic scholars driving apart perverting what real jihad is.
UL-HUDA: The book contains over 6,000 verses. There are over - there are 114 chapters. I don't know how many references there are to the actual word "jihad," maybe less than five or six. It's referring to groups of people to work on their spiritual enlightenment, their inner connection to God, to self-disclosure and then there is specific (INAUDIBLE) phrase, do not turn your backs on the cause of God.
DELANEY: That through history one side or another didn't try to understand the other, declared the cause of God theirs alone, why so many wars were born and may yet be born?
HELMICK: In any of our faiths we're inclined to think we've got the whole thing, nobody else has it and a rival claim is treated as something hostile.
UL-HUDA: It's dangerous when one thing that's mine is better than yours. But I don't think it's dangerous to believe in something and be committed to it.
BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The razor's edge, west and east now walk again. Though the map for this difficult passage can perhaps be already read in the compassion that unites not divides great faiths, sprung from the same desert, watered by the same God.
Bill Delaney, CNN, Boston.
HAYNES: There are many people in the United States with many different religious beliefs. Sikhism is one of them. Since the terrorist attacks, many Sikh men have been harassed and attacked around the United States simply because they wear turbans.
Rusty Dornin visits with one American family who hasn't been targeted yet, but fear the possibility.
RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Born in the USA, 8-year-old Janjar Singh like most American kids loves baseball.
JAJHINDAR SINGH: OK, you really want me to?
DORNIN: But since that attack, the only place his parents will let him play is in his own backyard.
SINGH: I can't play basketball; I can't go on the street. I have to be really extra careful.
DORNIN: Extra careful because Janjar (ph) and his 6-year-old brother are Sikhs. The religion formed 500 years ago in India. In public, Sikh men and some women wear turbans. Turbans that often mean they are mistaken for Muslims.
SINGH: I used to say, it's called a turban and we don't cut our hair because we're Sikhs and we believe in one God.
DR. CHARON KAMAL SINGH, MOTHER: They look different with their little turbans and their dark skin and I just don't want anybody randomly coming by in a car and either yelling out something at them or you know, my big fear is of shooting.
J. J. SINGH, FATHER: Right now, they're not allowed outdoors at all. Whether it be basketball or a walk in the park or going to a friend's house. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I went to recess.
DORNIN: Everyday their mother Charon meets them at school on foot and walks them to the car. Then it's off to karate or computer class. She used to run errands during class. Now she parks herself right at the front door.
JAJHINDAR SINGH: Well, she sometimes stays with us instead of going?
DORNIN: You know why?
SINGH: Because somebody might shoot us or something.
DORNIN: At home a well-loved scooter stands idle, bicycles hung up indefinitely. The reasons don't make sense to an 8-year-old.
SINGH: Just because they look different, doesn't mean -- or they have a beard or something, doesn't mean they're bad. Even if we were Muslims, it doesn't matter. If one person did it, does that mean all the Muslims are bad.
DORNIN: Inside four walls, the family makes the best of it while sometimes imagining the worst.
KAMAL SINGH: It is claustrophobic to some extent. It is shocking, it is just unnerving and to imagine it happening here with freedom of everything and liberty, it's scary.
SINGH: Hi, Daddy.
DORNIN: For the Singhs, it's the current cost of living the American dream in troubled times. Rusty Dornin, CNN, Menlo Park, California.
HAYNES: In one way or another, we've all been affected by the events of September 11. How has it affected you? Well, with some observations, here's CNN's Jonathan Mann with international journalist Ed Vulliamy, U.S. bureau chief of "The Observer," a London paper.
ED VULLIAMY, U.S. BUREAU CHIEF, "THE OBSERVER": It's strange. I've heard a lot of people say that nothing will ever be the same again and I've heard a lot Europeans say well don't be so absurd -- that's melodrama. But it's true nothing will be the same again. This country I think has been profoundly changed by this experience in very interesting ways. I think it's expressed most interestingly in the way that this country is now covered in flags. The flag means everything. There's no black in New York, there's no black flags, no black ties. Though it's a flag of mourning and grief, but most importantly defiance that it's what kind of American are you? And everyone's reflecting on that in the way that they, I don't think did before.
You can be a conservative American and that's your flag. You can be a peacenik American, and even very importantly unlike 25 years ago, that's your flag. You can be a hardhat union American, an African- American this is your flag. What kind of American am I? But it's always I'm an American and it's very interesting to watch this sober reflection going on.
This is a country that although the good times roll here. It comes from sober origins. That's one thing. The other thing is that it's a country born out of a war with Britain. It went to war with itself 150 years ago. It's fought in wars, Vietnam, Korea, going back Second World War and so on. But the war never really came here and now it's come here more suddenly and more atrociously than anyone could ever have imagined. How can you possibly not be a little different after that?
JONATHAN MANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the flags, which you're saying -- obviously there's something wholesome about all of it, but is there anything in what you see it that's hateful, that is warmongering, that has a lust for revenge that would trouble people like you?
VULLIAMY: Yes. It's there. Of course, it's there. I mean my sort of shopping list of just now, you know, would include anyone, you know, if you are a kind of, you know, (INAUDIBLE) flag-waver, that's your flag too. The odd thing is I've heard about it and I've read about it. But I haven't heard much of it in New York. I think part of the diabolical scheme of things in the -- what these barbarians did to New York, they had many plans.
One of which is to seed -- to plant fertile seeds of militancy among Muslims in America, which they don't have at the moment. And there's no better way of doing that than to provoke a backlash against Muslims in America. So, I mean, that's, you know, one of the, I think, more diabolical ingredients on their menu and I'm sure that is there too.
I personally have not come across it much, there are some pretty bellicose slogans up, mixed in with the peacenik stuff in Union Square and it's bound to be there, I think. But I think most Americans disapprove of it. I think people are thinking -- that I'm listening to -- are thinking, something has to be done, the right thing has to be done. Let's hope it's done properly, justly, efficiently, effectively. But I haven't heard revenge for its own sake as much as I think is being trumpeted.
MANN: The scale of what we saw in New York and in Washington clearly exceeds most -- probably all of the terrorism that the world has suffered, but the there have been terrorist attacks in other places. You have lived in places that have known terrorist attacks? Any comparison you can draw? Is the United States just waking up, in fact, to a kind of violence and a kind of tragedy that is familiar elsewhere?
VULLIAMY: It's strange this -- there's a sort of -- there's an undercurrent of feeling in Europe that I find very distasteful indeed, and it says something like, well, you know, you've never had it, you've never felt it. We have, you know, welcome to the club. I find that obnoxious, frankly. However, what most of our seniors in Europe can recall were Berlin, Hamburg, London, Liverpool, Netherlands, Stalingrad, and Leningrad, you know, these places have been bombed and shelled to bits.
But that was in time of war, this is something else. The only crime those people committed was to go work one morning. This came completely, literally out of the blue and that makes it different. In my own experience, it's entirely different. I mean, for what its worth the stench of charred masonry and even rotting bodies, I'm no stranger to that.
I personally have covered the wars in Northern Ireland and the Middle East, Lebanon, Iraq, Croatia, Bosnia. So I know these smells and these sights very well indeed at very close range. But it's, you know, it's different when the war comes to you, very different indeed. My local pizza place over the road is now the wall of the missing, covered with hundreds of faces of people were lost somewhere under that rubble and the sidewalk is lined with candles. That college where I go to Spanish lessons is where the families went to find out about those missing. They were weeping on my doorstep; they were coming up for a pee in my bathroom. Off the line there -- when it comes -- when that which is very familiar to you becomes strangely and horribly unfamiliar in one stroke, it's very, very different and I think that is what has happened to New York, that is what has happened to America as well.
And that's the difference, that's what is uniquely and horribly special about this atrocity and that's what I think has changed the way people think. That's the way people have become more reflective. The good times will take a very long time to roll again I think.
MANN: One last question to ask you, there is a political component to this. People are rallying around their leaders. We've seen it in the case of the mayor of New York, but also and obviously so around President George W. Bush who was elected with a lot of this country, a lot of the world thinking that he was a bit of a lightweight. He has now assumed an enormous mantle. He has embraced this cause as probably the defining cause, the defining campaign of his life. Is he the right man, do you think, for the world to turn to at a time like this?
VULLIAMY: I think he became a president all of a sudden atop that mountain of rubble with the fireman actually. He looked much more comfortable declaring war at Camp David the following day than he did when he was weeping those tears in the Oval Office a few days before hand. He shamefully disappeared for a day during America's darkest time and now he seems to be, you know, right at the helm of things.
But I think it's part of what I was saying earlier. I don't think this is necessarily Bush, this is the American people or almost all of them identifying with their country in a way that is not nationalist but patriotic. He is the president of this country, you can hate him. But there's something about what has to be done that you have to back in the light of what has happened, hoping to God that it is done sensibly, justly, and in a way which doesn't produce the backlash which would, of course, be the worst thing.
MANN: Ed Vulliamy of "The Observer." Thank you so much for talking with us.
VULLIAMY: Thank you, Jon.
HAYNES: And that is CNN NEWSROOM for Thursday. Thanks for watching and we'll see you back here tomorrow.
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