Aired November 6, 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, CO-HOST: Hello, everybody, welcome to CNN NEWSROOM for Tuesday. I'm Tom Haynes.
SUSAN FREIDMAN, CO-HOST: And I'm Susan Freidman.
The American-led bombing campaign, now in its fifth week, intensifies in Afghanistan, hitting a number of targets in both the north and the south. The strikes are helping prepare the way for the opposition Northern Alliance to move against the Taliban.
HAYNES: That's right. A Northern Alliance spokesman says its troops could advance soon if the heavy bombing continues, and CNN's Matthew Chance spent some time with those troops as they demonstrated their readiness. And we'll hear from him after a closer look at the progress being made in the bombing campaign.
Meantime, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the bombing is more precise now that the U.S. has more guidance from the ground. We get more on that from David Ensor.
DAVID ENSOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After meetings with Indian officials in New Delhi, Secretary Rumsfeld told reporters the U.S. bombing campaign in Afghanistan is becoming more effective because more U.S. special forces are now on the ground pinpointing Taliban and al Qaeda targets.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD RUMSFELD, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: We now have some larger number of teams of people on the ground that are assisting with resupply and humanitarian assistance as well as targeting, and the effectiveness of the bombing is improving every day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ENSOR: Over the weekend he said later, two and a half times more American soldiers were deployed into Afghanistan. U.S. special forces are now in four different locations and -- quote -- "maybe more" mostly in the north. As a result, U.S. bombs and missiles are hitting more tanks and troops as well as bombing shut caves and tunnels used by al Qaeda and the Taliban.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUMSFELD: Do I think Afghanistan will take years? No, I don't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ENSOR: Concerning the American helicopter that crash landed in Afghanistan Friday in bad weather and was later deliberately destroyed by U.S. warplanes so the Taliban couldn't get it, Rumsfeld said he was in frequent contact from his traveling plane with worried commanders during the roughly six hours that the team on board that helicopter, including four injured men, were on the ground. One fear was that they might be attacked by Taliban forces. It did not happen. Once the weather cleared, another chopper was able to rescue the four who had suffered back injuries during the crash landing, which was forced by storm conditions.
The Secretary said coordination of the bombing with anti-Taliban forces is improving rapidly. Better communication is inevitable, Rumsfeld said, now that American soldiers and Afghan fighters are -- quote -- "spending evenings sitting around the fire."
David Ensor, CNN, traveling with the U.S. Secretary of Defense.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They fought the Taliban for years and lost. But this once rag-tag force suddenly looks more professional and more serious.
De-facto allies of the United States, these Northern Alliance fighters have new uniforms, new swing in their step. Their sights are set on the Afghan capital. Addressing the troops, President Rabani told them they're the only Afghans battling terrorism, that they must continue to fight the Taliban. They also paid tribute to their assassinated military commander, Ahmed Shah Massoud, whose name is now a battle cry for these men.
They have the United States behind them, quite literally. A plume of black smoke in the distance, a moral boosting air strike on the Taliban frontlines. The new commander told us these fighters will sweep to Kabul to push the Taliban from power.
UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER (through translator): This parade is intended to demonstrate the military power of the Islamic state of Afghanistan. If the order upon attack is given, we are confident these troops will achieve their mission.
CHANCE: Light fire exercise for the benefit of those in command -- there's been no timetable set for an advance on Kabul. But this is the kind of rocket and tank firepower these troops have at their disposal. They look formidable, but here there is no one firing back.
(on camera): This is the biggest show of force we have seen the Northern Alliance stage. These troops say they are fired up and ready for a fight. The big question is, though, whether the Taliban have been weakened enough for these forces to advance and to take the capital.
(voice-over): The clear intended message of this military show is that they are. The real test is still ahead.
Matthew Chance, CNN, northern Afghanistan.
HAYNES: Well reporters in and around Afghanistan have had a challenging time reporting and filing stories from the region. In fact, our own Nic Robertson has been able to report without censorship, but the Taliban escort him to areas they would like him to see.
So what is it like for a reporter who has to walk a fine line between fact and possible fiction? It's time now for our "Reporter's Notebook."
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Out in the desert, it's a sure-fire way of getting attention. The Taliban have their own way of hurrying journalists along. Each stop feels more rushed than the last, and there never seems enough time to fully explore.
But all is not as it seems. Our guard, provided to protect us, we are told, gladly hands over his gun to a trigger-happy journalist. Wiser officials intervene to stop the frivolity, but the action is indicative of this Taliban tour.
Surprisingly, given they're under attack, no heavy-handed enforcement of rigid rules; rather a chaotic confusion, created by the Taliban's apparent lack of understanding of how journalists need to work. Our needs, clashing with their orders, to make sure we get through the list of sites deemed by Taliban leaders to be necessary for us to report about civilian suffering.
The message the Taliban want to get out is clear: That civilians suffer and the country is united behind them. But in their eagerness to provide what they see as proof of their viewpoint, the Taliban's deluge of images, after what, for these journalists, has been a drought of information, cooped up in hotels in neighboring Pakistan, all but sweeps most off of their feet.
Before the end of the first day, some were begging to be allowed to go and file their stories. But still, the information kept coming -- a late-evening press conference by the foreign minister, almost causing some journalists to miss deadlines.
By working to dawn, we put out, what we believe, to be a balanced report, reflecting not just what we were shown, but more importantly, what we saw for ourselves en route to the designated sites. A chaotic chase across the dusty desert started day two, much as day one had ended. Only now, the hours in the car, much needed for sleep, to compensate for the token shut-eye we've had in bed. Mercifully, our Taliban guides were lost and forced to ask directions at each village, buying us more slumber time, until we arrived at the place, they said, 92 civilians died.
Faced with rubble and little else to go on, we demanded and got the time to thoroughly look around. However, that alone could not verify the Taliban claims. Destruction, yes; deaths, likely. But who and how many? The verdict has to be unknown.
In the city market a day later, and free from Taliban officials, we were able to garner plenty of opinions, as many seemed delighted to talk with us.
"Send in the ground troops," he says, "we'll be ready for them."
"Why are the Americans bombing us?" she says. "Don't they know the Taliban and Arabs are out of town?"
But push anyone on who they'll back, and most will say the Taliban. And while civilian deaths appear to have driven them behind the hard-line Islamic rulers for now, they are still friendly to CNN and other journalists.
Next stop, the city hospital, and we find the regional governor visiting with patients. It smacked of a photo-op, but we had gone there of our own free will at a time of our choosing. And for a country without television, and a leader, whose sophistication is best described by those who have met him as rural, maybe, just maybe, the Taliban were getting savvy about media manipulation; but maybe not, because the other two big broadcasters on the trip chose not to go to the hospital, and missed the access to a key official.
Most of the Taliban, and the name means student, got their education in remote religious schools. Without the gun, their childlike quality could be likable. Their commanders, however, appear somewhat wiser, but equally friendly. This one invited us in for a snack, which at our request, turned into an interview.
It's at this point, their hard image somewhat softens. That is, until you listen to what their commanders say about fighting until the last drop of blood.
(on camera): By the end of our four-day tour, we had had little real freedom, not even been allowed to have our passports. However, we did, we believe, report our story, not theirs. We parlayed a government tour into an independent, if somewhat limited, snapshot of the thinking and mood on the other side of the border.
Nic Robertson, CNN, Quetta, Pakistan.
HAYNES: Since the war on terrorism began nearly five weeks ago, the U.S. has made tremendous diplomatic efforts to hold together a fragile coalition of Arab nations. U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has traveled to the region on more than one occasion and America's Secretary of State Colin Powell has been there as well. But are these diplomatic missions paying dividends?
Our Joel Hochmuth tells us about one country where the answer is yes.
JOEL HOCHMUTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The United States is getting a strong show of support in its fight against suspected terrorists from an old friend in the Muslim world. Turkey is sending 90 of its own special forces to join the U.S.-led fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan. In doing so, Turkey becomes the only Muslim nation to commit troops to the military campaign.
ISMAIL CEM, TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER: We believe that in Turkey this is not a war of United States, this is not a war that belongs to the United States alone, it's our war, Turkey's war as well and therefore this is the main concern, this is the main significance of what we are trying to do.
HOCHMUTH: Turkey's show of support comes as no huge surprise, it's been friends with the U.S. since the early days of the Cold War.
Following World War II, the Soviet Union was demanding control of territory in eastern Turkey and wanted to build military bases along the Straits, those are the Turkish waters that link the Black Sea with the Mediterranean. Turkey turned to the U.S. for help. In 1947 it responded with the Truman Doctrine under which the U.S. provided aid to any country threatened by communism. The U.S. gave Turkey millions of dollars in economic and military aid, in turn, Turkey let the U.S. build and operate military bases within its borders. Then after sending troops to join U.N. forces in the Korean Conflict, Turkey joined NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, in 1952. It remains the only largely Muslim nation in that alliance.
While it may be a Muslim nation, Turkey is vastly different than Afghanistan. It's an officially secular democracy as opposed to the fundamentalist Taliban regime which imposes its beliefs at all levels of government. In fact, the Turkish Prime Minister has condemned the Taliban as a -- quote -- "archaic regime that poses a threat to Turkey and the whole world." Turkey does have close ethnic ties to the Uzbek minority in northern Afghanistan, part of the Northern Alliance fighting against the Taliban.
It appears part of the mission of the Turkish special forces will be to train some of those rebel forces. They have much to offer since they've been fighting their own terrorists, Kurdish separatists in the southeastern part of Turkey in terrain similar to Afghanistan. Still, not everyone is convinced this deployment is a good idea.
OYA AKGONENC, TURKISH PARLIAMENT MEMBER: It's really open-ended, meaning government now will send any number of troops according to the demand and this makes us feel very uncomfortable. HOCHMUTH: Turkey's foreign minister isn't ruling out that possibility of sending in more troops, especially once the Taliban are gone. His government wants to insure there's a moderate Muslim presence in a region now infamous for its extremism.
HAYNES: Well more on coalition building now as we turn to Africa. U.S. President Bush recently hosted the leader of Nigeria at the White House. Mr. Bush referred to Olusegun Obasanjo as his steadfast friend and he assured him that the U.S.-led campaign is against terror and evil, not against Muslims. This is key because of the large number of Muslims living in Nigeria.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OLUSEGUN OBASANJO, PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA: We are unique in a way because we have the highest population of Muslims in Africa. We are also unique in the fact that almost 50 percent of our population are Muslims and almost 50 percent are Christians. That has advantage and also has disadvantage. It is up to us to let our people, citizens of our country know that whatever 50 they belong to they are not (INAUDIBLE) as long as we allow terrorism to take hold of the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYNES: And African and American business and political leaders are also working together to boost trade and investment. Alphonso Van Marsh brings us more on that from a special business summit.
ALPHONSO VAN MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Remi Olukoya is working this Philadelphia barroom like a seasoned politician. He's not running for office, Olukoya is looking for American investors for his latest Nigeria-based computer technology company. Last year, trade between Africa and the U.S. totaled around $30 billion. African and U.S. business leaders say receptions like these are ground zero for investment in Africa.
(on camera): There's a lot of mingling, a lot of talking about business down there, but away from it all there are some concerns, concerns about terrorism. Before the September 11 attacks on the United States, there was growing U.S. interest in investing in Africa. But now there are some fears, fears that the economic impact of terrorism and the U.S.-led coalition to fight it may mean that there's less U.S. interest and fewer U.S. dollars going towards investment and development in Africa.
(voice-over): Networking is part of a U.S.-Africa Business Summit originally set for September but rescheduled after the terrorist attacks. Summit organizers are positive about the future of African development but...
MAURICE TEMPLESMAN, CHAIRMAN, CORPORATE COUNCIL ON AFRICA: The madness and sadness of this terrorist act which there's no justification, of course the world has to do more, had to do more in order to bring to (ph) developing world along, but I think this is a setback.
VAN MARSH: Business seeking delegates face a number of challenges, including a recent United Nations world investment report that shows a $1.4 billion decline in foreign direct investment or FDI in Africa last year. Business leaders, however, are putting a positive spin on the news.
MAGNUS KAPAKOL, NIGERIAN PRESIDENTIAL ECONOMIC ADVISOR: If there is a moderation of the -- of the rate of increase in FDI activity, it may be because we are also making it shift (ph) from just having too much emphasis on oil to opening up other sectors of the economy and making it a little bit more diverse.
VAN MARSH: According to a News Ogvi (ph) international poll, tourism, telecommunications and information technology are the most attractive African sectors for international investment despite negative opinions about the African infrastructure needed to develop them.
The U.S. government says it's answering the call with programs like the African Growth and Opportunities Act. Addressing African business leaders before the summit, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell praised that act's ability to open U.S. markets to African goods.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COLIN POWELL, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Our common goal -- our common goal is for African nations to reach the point of self- propelled development where their citizens are able not just to survive but to thrive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN MARSH: The U.S. administration also announced a $200 million program for loans and risk insurance for sub-Saharan investment projects. There's another 15 million for programs like this one, it pairs up African and U.S. entrepreneurs.
These two business partners are finalizing plans for a canning factory in Morocco. It will create some 200 jobs.
JAMAL BELCAID, CO-OPERATING FACTORY IN MOROCCO: There's a lot of opportunities in effect (ph) now and if you have patience, the right people, you know, then you can succeed.
VAN MARSH: Some say succeed even if images of deadly demonstrations against the U.S.-led campaign on terrorism add to western perceptions that Africa is an unstable place.
HIDIPO HAMUTENY, NAMBIAN TRADE AND INDUSTRY MINISTER: We know that (INAUDIBLE) is not always to coward. American capital is going to a place like Angola where there has been a war. It goes to areas where (INAUDIBLE) but (INAUDIBLE) it go there. VAN MARSH: Now medium and smaller businesses are going there, too. It's standing room only at a workshop titled "How to do Business in Nigeria."
Nigerian Remi Olukoya already has a U.S. partner. They were introduced at the same summit last year.
REMI OLUKOYA, NIGERIAN COMPUTER SPECIALIST: I realize that with the rate at which and the pace at which technology was growing, I couldn't cope on my own and I needed strategic alliances to deliver (INAUDIBLE) technology to my folks back there.
VAN MARSH: Despite a decrease in foreign investment across the continent, entrepreneurs say strategic alliances are the only way to ensure Africa stays open for business.
Alphonso Van Marsh, CNN, Philadelphia.
HAYNES: And we will have more on Africa beginning on November the 26th. Join us for our special series: "The Other Side of Africa." Come along on a timeless, ageless adventure to the Dark Continent as reported by our own Rudi Bakhtiar. We'll travel from the diamond mines of South Africa to Africa's ancient cultural center, Timbuktu. All that and more, right here on CNN NEWSROOM later on this month.
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FREIDMAN: The United States has been on alert for anthrax since a number of envelopes containing the substance turned up at political and media offices, but America isn't the only country being affected by the deadly bacteria. A newspaper office in Pakistan received a letter containing a white powdery substance on October 23, and the office has since been relocated. More on that in a few minutes.
But first to Russia, where Colleen McEdwards tells us about a former Soviet Union's research that led to some of the deadliest anthrax in the world.
COLLEEN MCEDWARDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This contraption was designed to sterilize beer bottles and test tubes. Now, it could end up in U.S. post offices. DR. YURY KOTOV, RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES: This electron beam accelerator in my opinion very simple, very cheap.
MCEDWARDS: Dr. Yury Kotov at the Russian Academy of Sciences says it's also fast. It can process 75,000 pieces of mail a day.
"The letters move by conveyer and are completely sterilized by the electron pulse," he says. It was first developed in the '70s, perfected in the '90s. and Russian scientists say it will be ready for mass production in about four months.
"It's the baby of my scientific career," says Genadiy Mesiats (ph). "The United States has told us, guys, make it less expensive, and we'll talk about industrial production."
Letter-zapping technology in the United States is still considered slow, and the electron beam on some of the machines is too small to penetrate all kinds of mail. The Russian version has an adjustable beam, and the Russians say it's going to be much cheaper. They're eager to ink a deal, but admit there's nothing in place yet.
They say it could be used in Russian post offices as well, where workers are taking extra care with the mail these days.
"Any scientist wants their inventions to be appreciated," Dr. Kotov says, "We've been working on this machine for a long time and it's good to know our machine is also known in the U.S."
And consider the irony, at a research center in the Urals, a place that used to do Soviet military research during the Cold War, a new weapon for a whole new war has been born and may actually be shared.
Colleen McEdwards, CNN, Yekaterinburg.
SHEILA MACVICAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is a story that has become all too familiar: Nervous, antibiotic-taking journalists, relocated to an uncontaminated library, reporting on themselves.
Down the hall, the abandoned news room of Pakistan's largest circulation newspaper. Here, at the "Daily Jang," it all began on the 23rd of October when a reporter opened an envelope.
ZAHID HUSSAIN, EDITOR, "DAILY JANG": He found something was coming out, a white powder, and shouted, I've found something suspicious, the white powder. And then excitement. All the people around rush to him.
MACVICAR: Tests at the local hospital show that white powder was suggestive of anthrax bacillus, the second time powder tested here has produced results that could mean anthrax. MAHMOOD SHAM, GROUP EDITOR, "DAILY JANG": They were scared. Their families are scared. They say symptoms can emerge later on also.
MACVICAR: This is the latest in a flurry of anthrax scares that began at the British high commission in mid-October, and hit banks and computer companies.
At the National Institute of Health, the final word here on whether there is anthrax in the post or not, they are waiting to receive the powder found at the "Daily Jang." They're still testing other samples.
The executive director of the institute says so far, none of the powders they have tested have produced positive results.
ATHAR BAEED OIL, PAKISTANI NATL. INST. HEALTH: No positive powder, environmental sample, or even an exposed person.
MACVICAR: But with two suggestive results from a well-respected hospital, Pakistan's government has been left trying to figure out just what that means and what priority to give to anthrax.
PRES. PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, PAKISTAN: Let me tell you, in so many problems around, we do not consider it such a serious problem as it is considered maybe in the United States. I haven't gone into the details.
MACVICAR: At the post office, which handles millions of pieces of mail every day, officials are trying to determine if the mail is safe and what to do to protect the workers. There is a deep sense of unease, and officials are talking about latex gloves and masks. That's the most sophisticated technology they have available.
AGHA MASOOD HASSAN, DIR. GENERAL PAKISTAN POST: Precautions are necessary because of the world over they are taking the precautions in the case of the Postal (UNINTELLIGIBLE), so we are also taking the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) .
MACVICAR (on camera): Government officials say there is no private lab here, no private individual with the expertise, the technology, or the access to laboratory samples of anthrax. If there is anthrax in the mail here, they say, it must have been produced outside the country and brought into Pakistan with the intention of killing.
Sheila MacVicar, CNN, Islamabad.
FREIDMAN: Finally today, the World Series, played the way it should be with the winning runs coming in at the bottom of the ninth in the final game.
HAYNES: It was a stunning comeback by the Arizona Diamondbacks over the New York Yankees. Luis Gonzalez clinched the game by hitting the winning single and triggering an on-field celebration.
(VIDEO CLIP OF WORLD SERIES)
HAYNES: And by the way, the Diamondbacks won their first World Series in only their fourth year of existence.
FREIDMAN: Not only that, Tom, but they stopped the Yankees from their 27th Series title and 4th championship in a row. By the way, if you caught any part of Sunday night's game, you were among the nearly 40 million people who watched the Arizona Diamondbacks win over the New York Yankees.
HAYNES: And what a great game it was and well worth watching, too.
Well that is it for CNN NEWSROOM for Tuesday. Thanks for watching us today. I'm Tom Haynes.
FREIDMAN: And I'm Susan Freidman. We'll see you back here tomorrow.
HAYNES: Take care.
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