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Aired January 17, 2002 - 04:30   ET


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


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

We begin in Afghanistan where U.S. officials are interrogating a man who they say may have helped fund al Qaeda. Military officials say the man turned himself in Tuesday at the Kandahar Airport claiming to be a high-ranking member of the Taliban.

Elsewhere, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell says the U.S. stands ready to help India and Pakistan resume talks. The South Asian neighbors have been at odds for years, but lately, tensions have been especially high.

MCMANUS: Mr. Powell arrived Wednesday in Islamabad. His mission to patch relations between Pakistan and India began with a meeting with Pakistan's Foreign Minister.

CNN's Andrea Koppel is traveling with Mr. Powell and has this report.


ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Secretary of State Powell arrived in Islamabad on a high-stakes diplomatic mission designed to defuse weeks of tension which have brought nuclear rivals Pakistan and India to the brink of war. In recent days following President Pervez Musharraf's televised addressed, that tension has eased a bit. In his speech, Musharraf pledged to tackle terrorism and has since detained over 1,900 extremists and banned 5 militant groups. Once again, Powell praised these steps and said he hoped to build upon them.

COLIN POWELL, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: And let's just see if we can keep the energy moving on the diplomatic and political track while we are finding ways that will permit de-escalation of both the rhetoric and of diplomatic steps that had previously been taken.

KOPPEL: What Powell did not say was that he would press India to withdraw its troops from the border when he meets with India's leaders later this week. Instead, Powell's aides say he planned to urge India to resume border crossings and allow overflights.

But with hundreds of thousands of Indian troops poised along his country's border, Pakistan's Foreign Minister insisted a speedy withdrawal was essential, concerned even a small, unintentional incident could spark a violent chain of events.

ABDUL SATTAR, PAKISTANI FOREIGN MINISTER: It is necessary as soon as possible to move, firstly, to stopping the escalation of the tension and of the forces on the borders, and secondly, to begin a process of de-escalation and disengagement.

KOPPEL: For its part, India insists more action is needed before it begins to withdraw any troops. In particular, India wants President Musharraf to end all incursions from Pakistan into Indian controlled Kashmir.

(on camera): Sensitive to any suggestion this might be an attempt by the U.S. to mediate the Indian-Pakistani dispute over Kashmir, Secretary Powell made clear the U.S. is ready to help get a dialog going but only if both sides ask. In the meantime, Powell's priority: to prevent the threat of war here on the subcontinent from becoming a reality.

Andrea Koppel, CNN, Islamabad.


MCMANUS: Mr. Powell's diplomatic efforts continue today in India. The turmoil between Pakistan and India is only the latest in a decade's old dispute.

Here's our Joel Hochmuth with a history of the fight for control of the Kashmir region.


JOEL HOCHMUTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In many ways, nothing has really changed in 50 years. Ever since 1947, the state of Kashmir has been at the center of the dispute between India and Pakistan. The two countries have already gone to war twice over Kashmir, and violence over the last 10 years or so has killed tens of thousands on both sides. What's all the fighting about? The answer is part history and part geography.

Kashmir lies at the northern end of the border between Pakistan and India. It's about one-third the size of Texas. Both countries have long claimed it as their own. When Britain left the region dividing its colony into independent India and Pakistan, Kashmir was the one state that wasn't merged into either country. It was ruled by a Hindu maharajah even though most Kashmiris are Muslim. When Pakistani Muslims invaded to take Kashmir by force, the maharajah turned to India for protection and made Kashmir part of India.

India and Pakistan were at war until the U.N. arranged a cease- fire in 1949. The U.N. established a cease-fire line that's today called a line of control. Pakistan controls most of the territory north of it; India, most of the area below it. China claimed territory in the north and east in 1959 and 1962.

What angers many Pakistanis to this day is that following the partition, the U.N. issued a resolution calling for a vote by Kashmiris to decide which side they preferred. In 1950, even India's first leader promised a vote. It never happened. India says both sides must pull out their troops before it will allow such a vote.

While the last war fought over Kashmir was in 1971, India has long accused Pakistan of training terrorists to continue the fight. It claims two Kashmiri militant groups were responsible for the deadly attack on its parliament last month that led to the current crisis. But in his landmark speech last weekend, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf announced he was cracking down on those two groups as well as others. Pakistan now implies that the ball is in India's court and that it must back down.

Can Secretary of State Colin Powell help both sides find a peaceful way out of the current showdown? If five decades of history teach anything, it's that it won't be easy.


FREIDMAN: Our "War News" today extends from Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and on to the Philippines. U.S. military commanders are sending more U.S. troops to the Philippines to help the military there fight an extremist group linked to the al Qaeda network. Philippine officials are counting on about 600 American forces overall. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the troops will also participate in training exercises.

Over to another island nation now, Cuba, specifically the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where al Qaeda and Taliban detainees are being held. Three of those prisoners are now claiming to be British citizens.

And as our Sheila MacVicar reports, concern for their well being is growing in England.


SHEILA MACVICAR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): As more detainees arrive at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo, Cuba there are more questions being asked about their treatment. Dozens of prisoner are housed here now. At least three of them claim to be British citizens.

The U.S. says they are illegal combatants. Now the U.N.'s Human Rights Commissioner has publicly disagreed and called them prisoners of war.

MARY ROBINSON, UNHCHR: Their status is defined and protected by the Geneva Conventions of 1949, that they are prisoners of war.

MACVICAR: In Britain, there is a growing chorus arguing the U.K. should more vigorously protect the rights of the detainees. CHARLES KENNEDY, LIBERAL DEMOCRAT LEADER: Would the Prime Minister make clear, where the British citizens are concerned, his views as to them being hooded, shackled, sedated, and kept in cages.

MACVICAR: In the House of Commons, the Prime Minister asked for time, saying representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross will visit the prison this week.

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I just think it is important, rather than believing exactly what is reported in the media straightaway, that we get to the truth of this. The International Red Cross will go and see them. British officials will see those people from Britain, but there should be no doubt about two things.

First of all as I say, we're dealing with very dangerous people. Secondly however, we are civilized people and we will treat prisoners in a proper and humane way.

MACVICAR: There is also concern for what seems to be a double standard, an American civilian trial for American Taliban John Walker. In an uncertain legal future, perhaps a military trial for those incarcerated at Guantanamo, including those who may prove to be British.

JEREMY CORBYN, BRITISH PARLIAMENT MEMBER: They should be extradited to this country, so that they could, if necessary, face trial here.

MACVICAR: The U.S. says U.K. officials will be able to see those claiming to be citizens, "as soon as possible." But the British Government has not yet been told when that will be, as the U.S. comes under increasing pressure to bring the question of the status of the detainees before a court.

Sheila MacVicar, CNN, London.


FREIDMAN: Afghanistan is a country in near ruin. The road to recovery and rebuilding will be a long one. But for many Afghans, rebuilding begins with returning home, a process sometimes complicated and bittersweet.

We bring to you two such stories beginning with Lisa Rose Weaver.


JAHED HAMRAH: OK, this was our family room. We used to sit here, the family, when they shoot the rocket. And the rocket hits, then it dispersed, right, the metal pieces. So these are the pieces of the shells from the rocket.

LISA ROSE WEAVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jahed Hamrah is coming home to walls that bear the scars of Kabul's wartime history.

HAMRAH: See these are bullet shots.

WEAVER: Gunfire tore through the decades, ruling factions made their mark by conquest, not by winning hearts. Still, for Jahed, there was a reason to return.

HAMRAH: For past 24 years that I have been away from Afghanistan, I always -- there was a piece that was missing inside me, you know. I've never been -- I wasn't in peace.

WEAVER: Neither was the Afghanistan he fled as a teenager. Jahed's father was a prominent doctor and a political figure who resisted the Afghan communist government. His father helped plan a coup, the plot was discovered and he was taken away in the night.

HAMRAH: We have no -- don't know where he was killed, where his body is. We have no idea, and that's the saddest part for me and my family.

WEAVER: In 1981, the family fled Kabul. Jahed became a doctor and settled outside Washington, D.C.

(on camera): The realities back here in Afghanistan couldn't be more different, more materially deprived, especially in the medical field. So our doctor took a tour of this Kabul hospital to see how he could help.

(voice-over): The staff here need everything. Equipment is more than 30 years old. Doctors in the internal medicine ward cope with other ailments like infection because there's no place else to put these patients. The most basic things just aren't here.

HAMRAH: They don't have a stethoscope, enough (UNINTELLIGIBLE). They don't have (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

WEAVER: Jahed hopes to find supplies from countries in the region. His main problem, getting it flown in to Kabul. He's looking to the U.S. for help, and considering moving back here for good to start where his father left off.

Lisa Rose Weaver, CNN, Kabul.



MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the face of collateral damage, and this was Mohammed Shaker Padres' home. His father built it 50 years ago, a grand home in an upper-class Kabul neighborhood: until the morning of October 17th, when a stray bomb, thought to have been a stray American bomb, destroyed it. His wife and four children, by a stroke of luck, were in the back.

MOHAMMED SHAKER PADRES, BOMBINGS VICTIM: God forbid, when you hear that your wife is injured and there is no news of your children and your house is bombed, I fainted with grief. HOLMES: Today, Mohammed's family lives in a tiny rented apartment. His wife, Naji'bah, six months pregnant and still suffering from the head injuries she sustained that day in October. Mohammed, imprisoned and tortured during the Soviet occupation for not joining the communist party, is a walking example of humility and forgiveness. He does not blame the U.S. for the moment that changed his life.

PADRES: We suffered damage, but to us it was fate. I wasn't Taliban, but this wasn't an intentional act. This was my bad luck.

HOLMES: Today in Kabul, four Americans, relatives of victims of September 11th, seeking to join Afghans in grief.

EVA RUPP, RELATIVE OF SEPT. 11TH VICTIM: We just want to show our respect and compassion for other human beings who have gone through the same suffering that we've gone through.

HOLMES: Eva Rupp lost her sister on United Airlines flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania. Kelly Campbell lost her brother at the Pentagon.

SHELLY CAMPBELL, RELATIVE OF SEPT. 11 VICTIM: We are expecting to have some sort of positive effect on people here, and to educate people in America and around the world about people here who are suffering, and what we can do to help them.

HOLMES: Victims meeting victims: the Americans being greeted by Mohammed and his family. In the group, 70-year-old Rita Lasar, who lost her brother in the World Trade Center when he refused to leave a paraplegic friend.

RITA LASAR, RELATIVE OF SEPT. 11 VICTIM: I'm going to hope that they understand that Americans care about them, and that we are sorry. And if they don't, I'm going to convince them.

PADRES (through translator): I am very angry with what happened on September 11th, and it was the right of Americans to attack Al Qaeda and Taliban, and these people who lost their family members can understand our heart, and we can understand theirs.

HOLMES: Mohammed can't rebuild his home. Like all civil servants here, he hasn't been paid in six months; he simply can't afford it.

(on camera): This victim-to-victim exchange will go on for several days. The 9/11 group will visit hospitals. They will visit children who lost their parents to American bombs. And there are even plans to, quite literally, help an Afghan family their home. They, and people like Mohammed, say they now share a bond, a bond built on mutual loss.

Michael Holmes, CNN, Kabul.

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MCMANUS: "In the Headlines" now, a key figure in the Enron scandal talks to Congress. Former Enron auditor David Duncan was fired by accounting firm Arthur Andersen on Tuesday. The company says he organized the destruction of key Enron documents after learning the government wanted to see them; however, a spokesman for Duncan says he was simply following instructions from the accounting firm.

Enron filed for bankruptcy last month, but some employees and shareholders say top executives knew about the financial troubles before that. One Enron executive, Sherron Watkins, says she warned the company's Chairman Kenneth Lay last August about possible financial trouble.

Here's what her attorney had to say bout that warning letter.


PHILLIP HILDER, ATTORNEY FOR SHERRON WATKINS: The letter was authored, it was for in-house purposes only, and the only reason -- and the only way it became public was, as I understand it, through a congressional committee released it the other day. When the communication was authored, it was in no way meant to be released outside of Enron.


MCMANUS: Many people are worried about the ripple effects of the Enron fallout. And as Ed Lavandera reports, those effects are already being felt by former Enron employees and others in the former energy giant's Houston headquarters.

JOHN ALLARIO, FORMER ENRON EMPLOYEE: I'm a man (ph), and I am also trying to work this meeting here.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): John Allario is working the phones trying to get his professional career back on track. He is one of 4,000 former Enron employees looking for a new job.

ALLARIO: I had a little bit of time on my hands, and I...

LAVANDERA: So Allario's imagination took him online.

ALLARIO: I sat up or I founded this Web site, which kind of pokes fun. LAVANDERA: That Web site,, spelled L-A-Y-D-O-F-F, as for the head of Enron, Kenneth Lay, has become his best source of income, selling T-shirts.

ALLARIO: The big seller in Texas is the Texas styled justice, which is "investigate him, prosecute him and incarcerate him."

LAVANDERA: Allario found out he was wired while sitting at his desk. The phone rang, and the voice on the other end told him he had 30 minutes to leave the building. That wasn't as painful as watching his retirement savings melt away; 40 percent of his 401K was tied into Enron stock.

ALLARIO: It was incredible to sit there -- actually sitting in your desk, looking up and watching the stock fall $10 at a time, sometimes within five minutes.

LAVANDERA (on camera): Dreams of financial security, stock options and big bonuses lured thousands of people to Enron during the 1990s. They could have bailed last year during the slide, but no one ever really thought this company could collapse. Now, almost every former employee you talk to is just trying to salvage whatever they can.

(voice-over): The Enron layoffs didn't just hit the rank-and- file. Allan Sommer was a vice president in charge of a 220-person department. On the day Enron declared bankruptcy...

ALLAN SOMMER, FORMER ENRON EMPLOYEE: We were getting by fax actually. Nobody came over with it. We'd get it by fax, written instructions on what to say.

LAVANDERA: ... he summoned 220 people into an auditorium and told everyone their careers at Enron were over. Seven days later, someone else told him the same thing. In Sommer's words, he was kept on long enough to do the dirty work.

SOMMER: I had never been in a situation where I experienced this much pressure. I've never been in a situation where there has been so little regard for the human side of people.

LAVANDERA: John Allario, who was a Georgetown University graduate, now selling T-shirts on the Internet at $14 apiece. He says he feels like a kid opening a lemonade stand on the street corner.

ALLARIO: And it's simple, but it gets to the point.

LAVANDERA: Ed Lavandera, CNN, Houston.



ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John Ho (ph) struck gold two years ago when he opened Bouray's burrito restaurant in the shadows of Enron's headquarters. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) trickles in these days. LAVANDERA (on camera): You can tell by the number of cups you have left here that ...


LAVANDERA: ... how much your business has affected.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Everyday we are finished, finished (ph).

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Enron trader John Ho (ph) has lost 50 percent of his business. Customers have disappeared.

(on camera): So all these tables should be filled.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Filled by (UNINTELLIGIBLE) people in a line.

LAVANDERA: And there should be a line out the door.


LAVANDERA: And instead you've got a lot of empty tables.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Empty tables and no people in a line.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): It's the same throughout the neighborhood, but nearby businesses aren't the only ones feeling the pinch. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)fill the void left by the millions of dollars Enron donates. The company gave 1.4 million to the fine arts museum, more than $5 million to United Way, and 5.6 million to a cancer research center. But most people now talk about Enron in the past tense.

PATRICK MULVEY, ANDERON CANCER CENTER: Enron certainly raised the bar when it came to philanthropy in the community, as well as volunteerism. That was a corporation that people looked at and said that's really what a corporate citizen should do.

PETER MARZIO, DIRECTOR, HOUSTON FINE ARTS MUSEUM: Enron's real role in the city was not the amount of money, it was the leadership and the attitude that went with it.

LAVANDERA (on camera): Enron's collapse has affected Houston life in many ways. One small anecdote illustrates that point, now that 4,000 people are no longer working in downtown Houston, some say traffic is flowing smoother than ever.

(voice-over): Enron's signature is stamped on the Houston baseball stadium. The company agreed to a naming rights deal worth $100 million. Officials say Enron is up on its payments, but if it doesn't keep paying, the stadium could be looking for a new sponsor.


LAVANDERA: John Ho (ph) only mission is to save the family restaurant name. The smile on his face will help him sell those (ph) burritos.


CHRIS CANNIZZARO, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Hi, my name is Chris Cannizzaro from Los Angeles, California. And I'd like to know how dangerous it is reporting from the frontlines in Afghanistan?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CAIRO BUREAU CHIEF: It's not a safe environment up at the frontlines. It's chaotic. There's no protection in terms of places to hide, necessarily. You have to wear your flack jacket, your helmet, but the fighting can be very chaotic here because neither side has trained soldiers. These are essentially just people from the village who have lived all their lives carrying automatic weapons, and they don't necessarily fire them with the most precision.

Another danger, of course, is that, God forbid, in the event that somebody is hurt, there are no medical facilities. I have never seen a Northern Alliance medic, for instance. Their field hospitals, I'm told, are quite ghastly. So if by chance you're hurt here, you're in big trouble.


MCMANUS: Trips with government officials are commonplace for the Washington Press Corp. During my own eight years in CNN's D.C. bureau, I went on my fair share of political trips. It's an interesting adventure every time. Interesting if you like frozen meals, 14-hour flights, early calls and endless stakeouts. That's just a part of what it's like.

And our much traveled Andrea Koppel returns to give us an inside look.


ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 7:00 a.m. Tuesday morning outside the U.S. State Department, this is where our journey begins. Actually, for most of us, our journey began much earlier.

(on camera): I get my newspapers because I'm definitely going to have plenty of time to read them.

(voice-over): Before long, though, we're at Andrews Air Force Base, going through security and waiting for Secretary Powell to arrive.

(on camera): If you learn nothing else here, it's the importance of what is about to happen.

(voice-over): That means it's time to choose seat assignments.

One colleague, Alan Cyprus (ph) of "The Washington Post," thinks we're all ridiculous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've just gotten so soft as reporters. The folks are out there worried about if there's going to electricity to hook up their computers, how many days they have on go until they can get a shower, whether they're going to have a fifth meal of rice. And we are worried about whether our business class seats are quiet or not. That's journalism?

KOPPEL: There's time for one last cigarette. And before we know it, we're on our way. It will be another 15 hours before we arrive in Pakistan.

While some store their carry-on bags, Secretary Powell walks to the back of the plane to say hello to the traveling press, something he does almost every trip.

(on camera): And here is the galley, where they prepare about 1,000 delicious meals during the course of the next week.

So, Chip, what is for dinner tonight?


KOPPEL: Filet mignon. Uh-oh, the bosses don't want to hear that.

(voice-over): Now, as the veterans will tell you, there are some simple trips that can make these trips a little easier. Just ask this "USA Today"'s Barbara Slavin, who won't leave home without a neck pillow, eye shades or ear plugs, or even...

(on camera): Where are the sleeping pills?

There is something that we usually don't want our bosses to know back home that takes place these (ph) planes. We really don't spend much time watching them, but we do get to see movies. Not all of them are very good, in fact, most of them aren't.

(voice-over): As we make our way toward the front of plane, we pass the secretary's senior staff.

(on camera): "Vanity Fair" is the most classified that we are seeing.

(voice-over): But the piece de resistance is the secretary of state's cabin. There's a bed, a bathroom and a closet. And we also learned the secretary likes to listen to music here.

(on camera): ABBA?

POWELL: ABBA's greatest hits album (ph).


KOPPEL: The things you learn.


POWELL: I can sing it if you need me ... KOPPEL (voice-over): But with another especially long day ahead of us, most try to grab a few hours of shut-eye. As for me, I found my own cozy corner to curl up in.

Andrea Koppel, CNN, on the road with Secretary Powell.


FREIDMAN: An interesting story.

How about you, Mike, do you have any favorite tales from the road?

MCMANUS: I'd have to say my favorite was when I was in San Francisco with then presidential candidate John McCain. We were on the West Coast and my deadline was on the East Coast, and I ended up being three hours late for my deadline. And I...


MCMANUS: ... was really, really chewed out that day.

FREIDMAN: Well, we don't want you to miss anything so be sure to hit our Web site to see more on Powell's diplomatic mission.

MCMANUS: That's right, head to for all the details as well as some other great stuff.

In the meantime, I'm Michael McManus.

FREIDMAN: And I'm Susan Freidman. Have a great day.




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