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World - Europe

China acknowledges environmental pollution problem, vows to clean up act

Paper mill pollution contaminates the Bala River in China's Guizhou Province  

In this story:

Slovene, Singapore broadcasters raise other environmental concerns

Polish troops head to Albania

Armenian, South Korean broadcasters offer historical perspective

Danish-American woman hopes to play for Denmark


By Scott Herron CNN World Report

China is taking new steps to control widespread pollution.

The China Daily Business Weekly recently reported that officials plan to phase out price controls that favor the country's coal industry. It also says there are plans to close a number of coal mines.

This new accent on environmental awareness was made clear in a recent contribution by China Central Television to CNN World Report. The official Chinese network took its cameras to Guizhou province to examine pollution in the Bala River.

The source of the problem is the Kaili paper mill, which employs 2,000 people in the province and produces 20,000 tons of paper a year.

CCTV reports that despite efforts to upgrade the plant's water purification facilities, the paper mill dumps 100 tons of environmentally unsafe chemical waste into the river each year.

CCTV reporter Han Bin summed up by saying: "This paper mill is just one example of how today's modern industry improves our standard of living, but also puts an enormous strain on the environment. It's an unfortunate contradiction of values that many countries face."

Slovene, Singapore broadcasters raise other environmental concerns

Another CNN World Report contributor raised a similar issue over plans to build a hydropower plant in a pristine area of southern Slovenia noted for its virgin forests and diverse animal and plant life.

Despite opposition from environmentalists and members of parliament, a private investor is taking advantage of an existing law that forces the state to buy all power generated by small hydropower plants regardless of whether the energy is needed.

TV Slovenia warns that if construction of the power plant is completed the unique environmental quality of the region will be lost.

Air pollution from vehicles and other sources make life hazardous in Manila   

The Television Corporation of Singapore traveled to Manila in the Philippines to report on an environmental problem and efforts to solve it.

Manila correspondent Geraldine Goh reports that Manila is one of the most polluted cities in the world, with air pollutants reaching a level five times higher than what's recommended by the World Health Organization.

To change that, Filipino legislators are trying to force oil firms to reduce sulfur levels in diesel and phase out the use of leaded gasoline.

But Goh reports that environmentalists believe there will be little improvement in air quality if the government goes ahead with plans to liberalize the importation of used vehicles to make them more affordable to lower income groups.

Polish troops head to Albania

Polish troops march off to protect NATO command

Watch the first half of the CNN special program with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan
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Watch the second half of the CNN special program with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan
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Annan defends U.N. refugee aid, says agency 'overwhelmed'

Many television stations around the world are covering the crisis in Kosovo , among them three CNN World Report contributors with three very different perspectives.

Polish Television recently provided a report on 140 Polish troops being sent to Albania to protect the NATO command there. It quoted Poland's defense minister, Janusz Onyszkiewicz, as saying, "We should join the common great effort to help those hundreds of thousands of people who are seeking to escape from the horrors going on in Kosovo."

Greece's Antenna TV filed a story on the potential environmental and ecological hazards posed by NATO's air campaign over Yugoslavia . Recalling the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster in Ukraine 13 years ago, Antenna TV raised concerns that the bombing might unleash toxic or radioactive contamination.

The Turkish television network NTV is paying particularly close attention to the crisis in Kosovo. Turkey is a member of NATO, and it has historic and cultural ties to the ethnic Albanian population that made up 90 percent of Kosovo's population before the crisis began.

In its most recent contribution to CNN World Report, NTV told of the efforts of the Turkish Red Crescent society to help the Kosovo refugees by establishing tent cities in Albania, Macedonia and Turkey. NTV also detailed private fund-raising efforts in Turkey to help pay for refugee relief.

Armenian, South Korean broadcasters offer historical perspective

The aim of CNN World Report is to provide different perspectives on international events and news around the world, and two particular contributors, MIR TV in Armenia and Arirang News in South Korea , recently touched on sensitive issues in their countries.

MIR reported on the 84th anniversary of what people in Armenia refer to as the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Turks.

MIR described what it called the "systematic, premeditated genocide of the Armenian people," in which many Armenians believe Turkish troops exterminated or caused the deaths of about 1.5 million people in 1915.

Turkey has long denied that so many Armenians died, or that genocide occurred. And it says more Muslims than Armenians were killed in clashes between the two sides at that point in history.

A dramatic event in Korean history earlier this century is the source of similar bitterness and controversy: the forcible annexation of Korea by Japan in 1910.

Arirang News' report focused on the efforts of a former law professor, Choi Tae-young, to rewrite Korean history. He maintains that much of what many people know about the subject is the work of historians during the Japanese colonial era, and it is not historically accurate.

Choi will be 100 years old in 2000, and he hopes to publish his second history book in both English and Korean by 2002.

Danish-American woman hopes to play for Denmark

A Danish-American woman, Mikka Hansen, is trying to write her own name into the history books.

She's been invited to play on Denmark's national women's soccer team and hopes to play in June in the World Cup in the United States. Denmark Radio Television told her story for CNN World Report.

Mads Clausen from Denmark Radio TV brings us the story of this World Cup hopeful
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World Report Archive:
Women and children make news despite war, politics and crime
April 29, 1999
World's broadcasters focus on Kosovo but other conflicts still rage
April 22, 1999

More about CNN World Report:
  • World Report
  • World Report Transcripts
  • CNN World Report Television Archive At Texas Tech University
  • First Chapter: CNN Making News in the Global Market
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