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Aired November 20, 2001 - 04:30   ET


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

MICHAEL MCMANUS, CO-HOST: Welcome to CNN NEWSROOM for Tuesday. I'm Michael McManus.

SUSAN FREIDMAN, CO-HOST: And I'm Susan Freidman.

Despite recent losses, the Taliban hang on to two major cities, Konduz in northern Afghanistan and the southern stronghold Kandahar. U.S. air strikes are pounding Taliban positions in Konduz, and the Northern Alliance is planning to send a delegation there to negotiate a Taliban surrender.

Coming up, I'll tell you how some students are coping with all this talk of war.

MCMANUS: Thank you, Susan.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is increasing the number of special operations teams it has searching for Osama bin Laden. Officials are hoping the fugitive terrorist leader will be turned in by Afghani forces, perhaps even betrayed by one of his own.

More on the manhunt from CNN military affairs correspondent Jamie McIntyre at the Pentagon.


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sources say the best U.S. intelligence indicates Osama bin Laden and his protectors are still in Afghanistan, in the vicinity of Kandahar, but on the move.

DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: To try and think that we have them contained in some sort of a small area, I think, would be a misunderstanding of the difficulty of the task.

MCINTYRE: U.S. bombing is now concentrating on sealing caves and tunnels used by bin Laden's al Qaeda network, but the Pentagon says it is not conducting a cave-by-cave search. That would require a much different force than the small, but ever-growing number of American special forces now on the ground in Afghanistan.

Instead, the U.S. is banking on bounty hunters, lured by a $25 million reward, to give bin Laden up.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I told the American people right from the get go of this effort, it may take a month, it may take a year. Well, however long it takes, we'll succeed.

MCINTYRE: The Pentagon says fighting is currently stalemated around the last two Taliban strongholds, Kandahar in the south and Konduz in the north, as opposition forces try to negotiate a surrender by the most fanatical al Qaeda and Taliban troops.

In Konduz, U.S. intelligence reports say as many as 100 Taliban fighters have been killed by hard line Taliban and al Qaeda troops to prevent their surrender.

RUMSFELD: I have seen reports that people have been found with bullets in their heads, and not in the fronts.

MCINTYRE: The U.S. says it is not taking prisoners because of its small number of troops on the ground, and that the Taliban who want to give up, must surrender to opposition forces.

(on camera): And the Pentagon says it has no intention of allowing Taliban leader Mohammed Omar safe passage, no matter what kind of deal he cuts. Asked if the United States would knowingly allow Omar to slip out of Kandahar, Rumsfeld replied tersely, "no, we would not."

Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.


MCMANUS: After five years of Taliban control, the Afghan city Mazar-e-Sharif breathes new life. The Northern Alliance drove Taliban forces out of the strategic northern city about a week ago. Since that time, residents have been celebrating the demise of the Taliban's strict rules and enjoying their newfound freedom.

Alessio Vinci has their story.


ALESSIO VINCI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The holy shrine of Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan's second largest city, Ramadan has just begun, the end of the brutal Taliban regime here only a week old.

The Northern Alliance says it is in firm control here and these U.S. troops must feel the same, they roam freely in the streets and even find the time to shop for carpets, only shy to the presence of a CNN camera.

U.S. military personnel has been in northern Afghanistan for some time fighting the Taliban, but their precise mission in Mazar-e-Sharif is not known. Some of them are stationed behind the walls of this fortress outside town, home to General Abdul Rashid Dostum, one of the most powerful men in Mazar-e-Sharif. The future of this town largely depends on him and on how Northern Alliance commanders keep order in the city.

General Majeg Rougi (ph) is one of Dostum's deputies and the head of a joint military commission in charge of security. "In the years the Taliban controlled the city, the situation was very bad," he says. "Now we want people to feel safe and in good spirit."

But Mazar-e-Sharif is still filled with groups of armed men, some of whom have fought the Northern Alliance until recently before switching sides at the last moment. They are an element of instability in an otherwise calm city.

(on camera): Soon after the Northern Alliance took control of Mazar-e-Sharif, the commanders in charge ordered the troops back to the outskirts of the city and agreed in the near future to replace military rule with a civilian administration.

(voice-over): Mohmmed Atta (ph) is one of generals who conquered Mazar-e-Sharif. He says this city will have a civilian governor within weeks.

"All the responsible soldiers must leave the city," he says, "and those who fought to the front lines and captured Mazar, now their duty is finished."

But for some of the fighters in Mazar-e-Sharif, the hard part will be adapting to civilian life. For some of them, fighting is all they know.

Alessio Vinci, CNN, Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan.


MCMANUS: Each country around the world has its own history, civil unrest, revolutions, political upheaval. Over time, a complex historical tapestry is painted.

CNN correspondent Bruce Burkhardt takes a look at Afghanistan's rich but troubled history and lays it all out for us beginning with a simple piece of white paper and some paint.


BRUCE BURKHARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It may not look like it now, but this is a map of Afghanistan, it just hasn't been drawn yet. We're going to fill it in just the way history has filled it in.

As human culture evolved, so did ethnic groups. Tribes that began to put down roots and lay claim to their part of the land, land that we now call Afghanistan. And through the middle of it all, an important line called the Silk Road was the first of many lines that would be drawn on this map. From all points on the compass throughout history, would-be conquerors have come here, from Alexander the Great to Genghis Khan.

Over time, something else came here, a religion, Islam. And for tribes accustomed to ferocious battles amongst themselves, Islam was the only unifying factor, but tribal loyalty often won out over religious loyalty and that tension continues today.

Here are the Hazaras. They are mostly Shae (ph) Muslims like their neighbors in Iran who also share a similar Persian language. The other groups tend to be Suni Muslims and speak a variety of languages. The Uzbeks are generally in this area and the Turkmen over here. Here are the Tajiks.

Now there's a lot of smaller groups just intermingled in this area, but down here are the Pashtuns. That's a name you may have heard recently, the Taliban are mostly Pashtuns. For most of history this is how it's been, just a mishmash of ethnic groups often locked in battle.

But in 1893, something significant happened. A British diplomat named Duran (ph) drew out a line. He wanted to separate what was then the British Colony of India from the rougher, tougher crowd to the north. He did this. He created a border, a border that may have made sense to him but had absolutely nothing to do with the natural groupings that were already there. Most notably, it cut right through the middle of the Pashtun territory.

This Duran Line (ph), which is now pretty much the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, was the first of many lines drawn on this map by outsiders who pretty much ignored the natural ethnic groupings. The scholars and historians say the Duran line is the most problematic and volatile.

Before this recent war, there were an estimated 12 million Pashtuns in Afghanistan, another 14 million in Pakistan. The Pashtuns have even called for the formation of their own country, Pashtunistan, if you will. Not very farfetched when you consider that Pakistan itself is an acronym for the various peoples who live there, Punjab, Afghan, Kashmiri and Iranian.

These lines and these colors are what anyone has to deal with when they think of the future of Afghanistan. Nation building is an art much more complex then painting in regions or drawing lines and even all the bombs in the world or the most able peacemaker can't turn this back into a blank page.

Bruce Burkhardt, CNN, Atlanta.


MCMANUS: As you see, Afghanistan's history involves tribal loyalty, religion and war. Unfortunately over time, countless victims have played part in a country rated the poorest outside Africa. Many Afghans are now left to ponder what lies ahead, what picture will take shape in Afghanistan as power again changes hands?

Christiane Amanpour attempts to answer that question.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Imagine being born in Afghanistan. You have a 25 percent chance of dying before you reach your fifth birthday.

Imagine being pregnant. Every 15 minutes, a woman dies giving birth from entirely preventable causes.

Eighteen percent of Afghan babies will die before they reach the age of one. And those who do make it beyond that, as well as their parents -- in all, half the country's 20 million people -- can look forward to a life entirely dependent on handouts from the international community.

"Our minds are in a bad state," says Abdul Latif. "Even our children are suffering from nervous disorders."

After 20 crushing years of war, Afghanistan's children are virtually a lost generation. By 1998, the U.N. declared the nation's education system totally collapsed. Ninety percent of girls and two- thirds of boys are not enrolled in school. Barely a school remains intact.

(on camera): It's almost unbelievable, but this is these elementary students' classroom. There are no tables, no chairs, and this is all that's left of the blackboard.

(voice-over): No doors, windows or walls either.

We asked this group to show us how they took class. Eleven-year- old Abdul Salid (ph) lined up his classmates on the wintry concrete floor.

We asked him how he imagined schools in America would look like.

"They would have tables and chairs and real lessons. And the teacher would come to school every day," he says. Here, this is all they know.

They don't know about clean water, either. Only 12 percent of the country has access to that. And only a third has access to health care.

The International Red Cross is among the biggest providers, especially in rehabilitating victims of one of Afghanistan's most vicious killers -- land mines.

Forty thousand wounded, 400,000 dead since 1979. Mines have been left everywhere, near homes, in cities and in fertile fields. Even if there were no new victims, Alberto Cairo (ph) expects his prosthetics center to be here another 50 years, treating existing patients.

But he does think that finally there may be a bright side to this dark vision.

ALBERTO CAIRO (ph): All the world is looking at Afghanistan. And before, I remember speaking to friends in Italy. Some of them, they did not even know where Afghanistan was. Now, everybody knows. So there are great expectations.


AMANPOUR: Expectations at the maternity hospital that they may update their 25-year-old operating rooms. Expectations that if things were different, they may have been able to save another life. As it is, they have struggled in vain to keep this mother from losing her newborn child.


ANNOUNCER: Janet Miller from Boston, Massachusetts asks: How do war bonds work?

GEOFFREY COLVIN, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, "FORTUNE": War bonds are really just government bonds. There's nothing too unusual about them except for the fact that they're generally available in small denominations as opposed to typical government bonds which have to be bought in much larger denominations, typically $1,000 or multiples of $1,000.

So they have all the same effects of normal government bonds which is they pay a relatively low interest rate because the issuer, the U.S. government, is the most stable issuer in the world. The real appeal, the real reason for war bonds is to help individuals contribute to the effort, to, in this case, the war effort. It makes it easy for all of us to pitch in a little bit.


MCMANUS: Thanksgiving is just a couple days away. For many, a holiday from work or school and an occasion to spend with family. To retailers, though, it kicks off the holiday rush where in just over one month stores and merchants, historically, make most of their profit for the year. With the economy faltering and many out of work, some say this holiday season will be less materialistic and more meaningful.

Garrick Utley explains.


GARRICK UTLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There we are, consumers, 285 million engines of the economy, each with a mouth to feed, a wish to fulfill, a need to satisfy. The fate of the $10 trillion American economy, we are told, is in our hands and credit lines.

(on camera): So what are we going to do about it this holiday season? We know the state of the economy. We know the state of mind since 11 September, and we know that consumers are rethinking their priorities about what they really want in life.

(voice-over): And so at advertising agencies, where the eternal cat-and-mouse game is played out between those who make things and those who buy them, they are being very careful.

CARL JOHNSON, TBWA ADVERTISING: Don't fake it, don't overclaim, don't trivialize. Where does this product, this brand, fit in people's lives? Come on, it's only a beer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where can you leave reality behind.

UTLEY: When it comes to getting your dollars, perhaps Las Vegas can sell itself as an escape from reality. But what's in store for those of us back in the real world?

J. WALKER SMITH, YANKELOVICH PARTNERS: I think the age of extreme hype is over. I think consumers are going to be looking for things that are a little more understated and with a lot more straight talk.

BRITTNEY SPEARS (singing): ...the joy of Pepsi...

UTLEY: Is it possible that hype and spin could be history? Perhaps, as long as Americans are taking a hard look at how they balance work and family and whatever else is important in their lives.

JOHNSON: Do you want time or money? Would you rather work a little bit harder, earn a bit more, or go home and see your kids play soccer?

UTLEY (on camera): Which raises a question of possible heresy in this ultimate consumer society, where too much has never seemed to be enough. Is it possible, that we have reached a point where, at least for the moment, most people have most of what they really need and want?

(voice-over): For example, have you noticed the sprouting of self-storage businesses around your community? They have tripled in little over a decade. Americans have accumulated so much stuff, that its spilling out of attics, basements and garages. Perhaps enough is enough.

So, as advertising agencies plan and CEO's pray. What will consumers be buying this holiday season, in the shadow of terrorism and recession?

SMITH: Intimacy, I think, will be a very important part of this. I think we will see a rise in small, personal gifts and things, you know, as simple as picture frames.

UTLEY (on camera): Picture frames? They're not exactly the big- ticket items that drive an economy, but, then, intimacy is not your usual leading economic indicator. Right now, though, it is the leading human one.

Garrick Utley, CNN,


FREIDMAN: Children have many questions and concerns about the crisis sparked by the September 11 attacks. The war on Afghanistan and the plight of the Afghan people have become familiar classroom topics. There's no doubt life in America has changed and it's rattled many kids' sense of security. Elina Fuhrman spoke with some students about the crisis and what they're doing to make this world a better place.



ELINA FUHRMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a wake-up call for many young Americans.

ANDRE LEDGISTER, STUDENT: It was just like, you know, fictitious, pretty much for the whole day. At least in my mind, it just like that wasn't actually happening because I never thought that could and, you know, would ever happen, at least not here, you know, in the United States. I thought we were pretty much immune.

FUHRMAN: Until two months ago, they never had it so good. Now the generation that once had it all, peace, prosperity, even the dot- com dream of retiring at 30 faces its defining moment. Gone are the days when there was no cause to believe in and the dreams were about dollar signs.

JOSH GRAPNERZ, STUDENT: This has given us something, you know, life and death. Seeing something like this happen, especially in our own country, has really changed the way we go about our lives, you know, the new set of priorities and new goals, more of a focus on like our families and thinking about, you know, loved ones and close friends and our personal safety too, a lot more paranoia.

FUHRMAN: For today's students, or the so-called "Millennials", those born after 1982, the sense of vulnerability is entirely new.

KURT KEPPLER, DEAN OF STUDENTS, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY: There's a lot of anxiety and it's been difficult, I think, to focus sometimes on assignments and tests and papers.

FUHRMAN: They have never lived at a time when the United States was not the world's only superpower. They were accused of being materialistic, apathetic and ignorant, but in one day, for many of them all that changed.

(on camera): The cynics have now become flag-waving, anthem- singing patriots. The slackers have organized blood drives, raised money for victims, read newspapers, followed international politics and enlisted in the military. Even the most uninvolved students understood that they could no longer ignore what was happening on the other side of the world.

LEDGISTER: And a lot of people has taken a lot more, you know, interest in what's happening elsewhere. You know people, you know, keeping track of the news, you know, reading papers and stuff more, trying to actually find out, you know, about different cultures.

KEPPLER: We've had vigils, candlelight vigils, we've had speakers. We've had a lot of activities surrounding the events. FUHRMAN (voice-over): Even though life on American campuses is returning to normal, students now have different priorities like these three fraternity brothers who want to go work for the government, maybe joining the CIA or the FBI.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: : I want to wake up everyday and know I'm doing the right thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's more to life than just making money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something I can do that would keep me occupied and interested but also, you know, have results besides zeros on a paycheck.

FUHRMAN: Thoughts not too common just a short time ago.

Elina Fuhrman, CNN, Atlanta.


FREIDMAN: As you see, young people like you can take an active role in making a difference in your own neighborhood and around the world. And today is a good day to remember that, today is Universal Children's Day.

Earlier in our show, you heard about how difficult life is for children in Afghanistan. But as the Taliban are defeated, things can change for those young people, according to UNICEF officials.


CAROL BELLAMY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UNICEF: I think one of the exciting things is the opportunity now for children to go to school. It's interesting, most of the trained teachers in Afghanistan are actually women. They were not allowed to work under the Taliban. Now they'll be able to come back, we hope, and teach, not only the boys but also the girls. This is an exciting prospect.


FREIDMAN: Another exciting prospect, the chance for you to speak out about issues that affect children around the world -- issues like education and health and poverty. Whether you're a teenage boy in Russia, a girl in India or a student in the United States, you and all young people everywhere are being asked to add your voice to the global movement for children.

Our Kathy Nellis explains.


KATHY NELLIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): By the box load and the bag full and by computer, ballots pour in from 168 nations around the globe, a campaign by children to change the world for children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All the children should have homes, like they shouldn't be homeless, and they should have something to eat.

NELLIS: It's called "Say Yes for Children." The focus: protecting the rights and improving the lives of children everywhere.


CORRINE WOODS, PROJECT DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL SAY YES FOR CHILDREN CAMPAIGN: We believe that children's voices are important and they have the power to change the world and government leaders will listen to them.

NELLIS: Those government leaders will be listening during the United Nations Special Session on Children this spring. But first, the U.N. is asking you to tell them what you think matters most.

Start at the Web page for UNICEF -- You can see the goals of the campaign, including educating every child, protecting them from war and protecting the earth for children. You can even vote for the three issues you consider most urgent in your country. No computer? You can get a paper ballot by calling 1-800-FOR-KIDS or write Say Yes for Children, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 333 East 38th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10016.

(on camera): Say Yes is more than a simple signup campaign, it's focusing attention on the serious issues facing children today. Millions of pledges are already in, but there is still time to add your voice.

(voice-over): Kids are helping to count the votes and standing up to be counted.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Take care of the poor people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Education is very important for, like, children our age because, like, once we grow up to be adults -- I mean all ages, I mean because when we grow up to be adults, you know, we'll have like a good job and we'll have little children that looks up to us and maybe they'll do stuff good in their lives also.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should we educate every child and should we listen to children? Now I would hope that every single person in the world would say we need to fight poverty, we need to fight HIV/AIDS, we need listen to children, and if so, you need to sign the pledge.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Global movement for children. Say Yes for Children. Now your name please.




MANDELA: Nelson Mandela.


WOODS: Nelson Mandela, who was one of the first people to pledge, he sat in his garden and he pledged on his Web site -- on the -- on the Web site in his garden, he chose his three priorities. He will be coming to the special session, and he has said he wants to take the voices of the world, hand them over to the Secretary-General Kofi Annan and then let the leaders hear.

MANDELA: Any country, any society which does not care for its children is no nation at all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Grown-ups have their time being children and now they're all grown up. And us children need our lives as children and we need to grow up and be what we need to be.

NELLIS: Celebrities around the world are helping to spread the word and taking the pledge.


YUE SAL KAN, SAY YES CELEBRITY: I think it's wonderful to do things for children. We always say children is -- were (ph) children is our future and we have to take care of them. And normally we don't really take care of them. It's wonderful to be able to do it for them, and this is the first time we have a chance to do it on a global basis.

CHILDREN: Say yes to children. Say yes to children.

NELLIS: A simple declaration aimed to make a complex world a better place.

Kathy Nellis, CNN, the United Nations.


MCMANUS: Though Turkey Day isn't here yet, we know of someone or rather something giving a thanks a little early. Liberty, the Thanksgiving Turkey, was granted an unconditional presidential pardon yesterday. President Bush granted the pardon at a ceremony held in the White House Rose Garden. The turkey pardoning is an annual event that began in 1947 with President Harry Truman.

And, Susan, what follows Thanksgiving?

FREIDMAN: Christmas, and it is in that spirit we present the Museum of Natural History's origami Christmas tree lighting. The ceremony is an annual event, and this year's tree is dedicated to the victims of September 11. Origami, by the way, is the Japanese art of paper folding.

MCMANUS: And finally, we leave you with this, the lighting of the Olympic torch for the 2002 Winter Games. The flame was lit in Greece and it will make its way to Salt Lake City, Utah where the games will be held. Susan, 80 days and counting.

FREIDMAN: Wow. OK, well, have a great day. I'm Susan Freidman.

MCMANUS: And I'm Michael McManus. We'll see you tomorrow.




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