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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for March 20, 2000

Aired March 20, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

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

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: NEWSROOM kicks off a brand new week. Glad you're here. I'm Shelley Walcott.

ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: I'm Andy Jordan. Here's a look at what's ahead.

WALCOTT: In today's top story, the eyes of the world turn to Asia, after the election of a pro-independence government in Taiwan.

JORDAN: Then, in our "Environment Desk," the effort to preserve African-American history on Georgia's Cumberland Island.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARSHA WALTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On an island roughly 18 miles long and three miles wide, sand dunes, salt marshes, abundant wildlife, and dense forests make Cumberland an ecological treasure, while the remains of several historic communities are an archaeologist's dream.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALCOTT: Next, in "Worldview," a view of the world: We'll look at the history of map-making.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GARRICK UTLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Without maps, where would we be? Maps help to make sense of our world, a sense of place, of belonging, they give us the ability to point to a place on a map and say: This is my homeland, this is where I have traveled, and this is where I still want to go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JORDAN: And in today's "Chronicle" segment, a story about going to bat for your beliefs. We'll have a profile of the woman who helped change the face of little league.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JENNY FULLE, AGE 37: Just know that anything is possible and don't necessarily take no for an answer.

It makes me very sentimental when I see the little girls playing. It makes me definitely feel me a sense of pride too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALCOTT: Taiwan goes through democratic growing pains in today's top story. With a new independence-minded president waiting in the wings, it's a period of transition for the island nation, one which China considers a renegade province.

How the people of Taiwan view themselves is less clear. As a nation unaccustomed to political violence, loyalists to the Nationalist Party found themselves picking up placards, and hurling eggs in protest. They're angry that their party leader failed to orchestrate a win in this weekend's presidential election.

Taiwan has been transforming over the last decade from an authoritarian state to a democracy. And as it prepares for a new leader, the Taiwanese people are re-evaluating the effect of their past on their future.

Japan gave the island of Taiwan back to China in 1945 at the end of World War II. Chinese nationalists took refuge there in 1949, when they were defeated in a civil war with the Communist Party, which still rules China.

Nationalists have ruled Taiwan since 1945, throughout a period of rollercoaster relations with China, which has threatened to invade if Taiwan declares independence.

Lee Teng-hui, the nationalist leader who is currently president of Taiwan, has led the nation through the transition to democracy. Now, he is resigning as party leader and forming a committee to oversee the change of government, expected in May.

He will move over for Chen Shui-bian, the first non-nationalist leader in Taiwan's history. Chen was a political prisoner in the 1980s, and also has been mayor of Taiwan's capital, Taipei. What his leadership will mean for the prospects of war remain to be seen.

We have two reports beginning with Karuna Shinsho.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KARUNA SHINSHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a heated contest, but when the votes were counted, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party's Chen Shui-bian emerged victorious. The victory came despite threats from Beijing and the ruling Kuomintang Party that choosing Chen would mean war with mainland China.

Voter turnout was high, 82 percent. Of the 11 million people that went to the polling booths, 39 percent supported Chen, 37 percent backed independent candidate James Soong, and the ruling KMT's Lien Chan was soundly defeated with only 23 percent of the vote. Chen's party advocates independence for Taiwan, but prior to the elections, Chen tried to distance himself from that position, saying he would not declare independence for the island unless China attacked. And at his victory speech, he restated his policy of engagement with the mainland.

CHEN SHUI-BIAN, TAIWAN PRESIDENT-ELECT (through translator): In the future, we will go forth with the most positive and friendly gestures and with determination to build a broad, constructive communication and dialogue.

SHINSHO: As Chen basked in the glory of toppling the 50-year rule of the KMT, Vice President Lien Chan wished him well and promised to change the party's ways.

LIEN CHAN, TAIWAN VICE PRESIDENT (through translator): From today on, we will use all our power to reassess ourselves and reform. We still have a long way to go before we see you again.

SHINSHO (on camera): As supporters celebrate his stunning victory, Chen Shui-bian now has other challenges to address.

(voice-over): Analysts say one of those challenges will be for the DPP to form a government virtually from scratch, after being in the opposition for all of its life. They also say it'll face an uphill battle getting legislation passed in parliament, which is dominated by the Nationalists. But Chen supporters say that isn't a concern. They say he's ready to tackle the problems that ail Taiwan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want Chen Shui-bian to get rid of corruption, because this the way to get the country more strong.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The KMT has been in power for over 50 years. It should let the DPP try. This is democracy.

SHINSHO: But the question remains: Is this a democratic choice that China will accept?

Karuna Shinsho, CNN, Taipei.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REBECCA MACKINNON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Taiwan, a former dissident who once went to prison for his political views has now been elected president. In Beijing, the dissidents who aren't in jail are celebrating.

HE DEPU, CHINA DEMOCRATIC PARTY (throough translator): The Chinese Communist Party should draw a lesson from this. They want to stay in power forever and don't allow an opposition party to criticize them. They still have a primitive way of thinking, which needs to be discarded.

MACKINNON: Others say not so fast.

XU SHIQUAN, ACADEMY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES: I don't think the Taiwan elections will have any impact on the democratic evolution on the mainland. The mainland is resolved to further develop its democratic system and I should say a democratic system with Chinese characteristics.

MACKINNON: In China's state controlled newspapers, results of the provincial election barely made it onto the front page. TV anchors read a uniform statement that Beijing is waiting to see what president-elect Chen Shui-bian says and does, reminding him that Taiwan independence is unacceptable.

But Chinese now have a new source of information from the outside, the Internet. As soon as the results came out on Saturday night, Beijing's cyber cafes were buzzing. Some worried about war if Chen fails to find common ground with Beijing. Others were more philosophical. Chen got the most votes, says this student. That's the will of the people.

(on camera): Chinese analysts point out that Chen only got 39 percent of the vote in Taiwan, which makes the meaning of his victory less clear. But it is a fact that the party that once ruled Taiwan with an iron fist has now been kicked out of the presidential office. What impact that fact will have on people here is a matter of debate for those who dare.

Rebecca MacKinnon, CNN, Beijing.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: In the headlines today, U.S. President Bill Clinton's historic visit to South Asia. It's the first time an American president has visited the region in 22 years. Mr. Clinton arrived in New Delhi, India Sunday, with his daughter and mother-in- law. The six-day journey includes stops in Bangladesh and Pakistan.

But there have been security concerns. A planned visit to a rural village in Bangladesh was canceled after the Secret Service said they could not guarantee the president's safety.

Mr. Clinton says the primary goal of his trip is to ease escalating tensions between the region's nuclear rivals, India and Pakistan.

JORDAN: Today we journey to a small island off the coast of Georgia, Cumberland Island. It's escaped the sprawl of the suburbs and the development that lines so many American waterfronts. But in other ways, time has taken a toll on the island. We look at efforts to preserve the natural habitat and the legacy of African Americans who lived there.

Archaeologists say a site there is one of the most significant and well-preserved slave settlements anywhere. Marsha Walton uncovers the past.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARSHA WALTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Protected as a national seashore since 1972, nature thrives on Cumberland Island. But many of the historic buildings are falling down. The National Park Service recognizes this issue has some people upset.

DENIS DAVIS, SUPERINTENDENT, CUMBERLAND ISLAND NATIONAL SEASHORE: The current planning effort that we are engaged in has been a scene for conflict and almost battle from various groups.

WALTON: On an island roughly 18 miles long and three miles wide, sand dunes, salt marshes, abundant wildlife and dense forests make Cumberland an ecological treasure, while the remains of several historic communities are an archaeologist's dream.

DAVIS: There are sites of two English forts from the early 1700s. The Spanish occupied prior to that and you have structures from, oh, around the late 1700s. You have other plantations that were on the island, and you also have ruins of slave cabins and slave houses that were on the island.

WALTON: For decades, Cumberland was home to wealthy families like the Carnegies, Coca-Cola's Candler family, and plantation owner Robert Stafford. But Cumberland was also home to many African Americans, descendants of slaves who became landowners.

DAVIS: Owners of the hotel operations on the north end of Cumberland wanted a stable labor force, and so they subdivided five acres into small plots and sold them to blacks, and they developed those.

WALTON: Over time, the land and family home in Cumberland's High Point district passed through generations, as was done with George Merrow, a man born on Cumberland Island, where he lived for 51 years with his wife Audrey.

AUDREY MERROW, FMR. RESIDENT, CUMBERLAND ISLAND: The black people at High Point, they had property. That was their own property. George's daddy owned his land -- nine acres. George's daddy owned his house, his land.

WALTON: What remains of their community can still be found on the island's north end, also the site of what has become the island's most famous structure, the first African Baptist church.

DAVIS: It was really the center and focal point of that thriving community.

WALTON: Today, there are no blacks left on Cumberland. In 1972, along with many descendants of the Carnegie and Candler families, the remaining African Americans sold their land to the government in an effort to protect the natural and cultural history on the island.

MERROW: Everybody sold to the state. The Carnegie's and the Candler's and all sold to the state. WALTON: Now 82, Mrs. Merrow moved to the mainland in the 1980s, and recalls that the church was the focal point of the African- American community.

MERROW: Singing and praying, we used to use lamp light and candles. It's a little church, but it would be full on first Sunday night.

WALTON: Park service officials feel this museum of structures is worth preserving and say that after past mistakes they are now better equipped to do the job.

DAVIS: We've received a great deal of funding for cultural resource preservation and made some great strides in that area.

BRIAN PETERS, CUMBERLAND ISLAND NATL. SEASHORE: We have to balance the natural environment and the man-made environment and try to do the best of maintaining both.

WALTON: The hope is that as nature thrives, the legacy of a people who added color to Cumberland is not reduced to memories as well.

Marsha Walton, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, seen in schools around the world, because learning never stops, and neither does the news.

WALCOTT: We put more places and faces on the map in "Worldview." In fact, today we learn about the science of cartography. We'll chart the course of this ancient art. We'll also travel around the world to meet a menagerie of mammals. In the U.S., we'll say goodbye to a gorilla. Then we venture to Australia to meet some baby koalas. Do you know what they're called? First, we spot some leopards in China.

BAKHTIAR: The leopard is the third largest cat in the Eastern Hemisphere; only the lion and tiger are larger. Leopards are extremely cunning hunters. Their prey includes jackals, sheep and goats. These cats are as powerful as they are smart. They've been known to carry large prey up trees 12 to 20 feet high. That's four to six meters. It's the leopard's spotted coat that makes it distinctive and valuable. It's been so widely hunted for its fur that some species are nearly extinct. But in some Asian nations, like China, poachers have found a very different but equally lucrative market for these endangered animals.

Marina Kolbe explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARINA KOLBE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This young spotted leopard got lucky. The 8-month-old cub is back in the Chinese wilderness healthy again after an encounter with a trap. This compassionate farmer is responsible for the cub's good fortune. He was only trying to catch a wild rabbit or boar when the endangered spotted leopard turned up in the snares. The farmer put the cub in an abandoned well and summoned workers from a local zoo to treat her.

The cub's freedom came at a price for the farmer who found her. As valuable as the leopard is to the Chinese ecosystem, it is almost as valuable on the Chinese black market. Many rare and endangered species bring a high price for their usefulness in traditional medicine.

GRACE GE GABRIEL, COUNTRY DIR., INTL. FUND FOR ANIMAL WELFARE: The idea of protecting endangered species is relatively new, and the economic development is making a lot of people trying to get a quick buck. So they can get it by catching wildlife, selling wildlife. So poaching, hunting is rampant and it is putting a lot of pressure on not just endangered species but wildlife in general in China.

KOLBE: Conservation often loses out to cash here. The world's most populous nation is also one of the poorest, where economics often forces people to be more concerned with feeding their families than with saving their environment.

Marina Kolbe, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JORDAN: Next stop, Australia, a country and a continent. It's a place known for its unusual animals -- animals which developed very differently from those on other continents. Australia is home to such exotics as the kangaroo and the platypus. And don't forget the koala, an Australia mammal which looks like a teddy bear. While it's often called a koala bear, it is not related to any kind of bear. Koalas are marsupials, mammals that carry their young in external pouches. Kangaroos and possums are other marsupials.

The baby koala, or joey, grows and develops in its mother's pouch for about seven months. It spends another six months riding around on her back. These furry animals spend most of their time in trees. They eat eucalyptus leaves for food and get most of their liquids from the leaves as well. In fact, wild koalas rarely drink water. The word koala comes from an Aborigine word meaning "no drink."

These are the world's first known identical koala twins, presented to the public for the first time last month at the University of Queensland's veterinary science farm. The school has a koala hospital and research facility which specializes in care for ill koalas and the development of new treatments.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRANK CARRICK, KOALA STUDY PROGRAM: The major source of the funding for the koala hospital comes from an annual grant from Brisbane City Council who's been helping us out for the last four or five years with that support.

(END VIDEO CLIP) JORDAN: Koalas were nearly wiped out for their fur, but they are now protected by law. Still, their numbers are in decline. Much of their forests have been cut down. Many are hit by cars, and they often suffer from infection from the bacteria chlamydia, which can cause blindness, infertility and pneumonia. Conservationists are working to help koalas recover from the disease.

WALCOTT: From one fuzzy creature to another, only this one's much bigger: the gorilla. The gorilla is the largest of the apes. It can grow to six feet or 1.8 meters tall. Most gorillas live in Central Africa, but their survival is threatened. In 1911, the first gorilla was exhibited in a U.S. zoo. Scientists have found them to be highly intelligent creatures. One of the best examples, a female gorilla named Koko who learned sign language. She used several hundred signs to communicate.

Another gorilla who communicated in a very different way: Willie B. He helped to bring about enormous change in one U.S. zoo. He died earlier this year in Atlanta, Georgia.

David Lewis reflects on the wonder that was Willie.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID LEWIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He was a celebrity whose fame never faded, a star who never jilted his fans.

He lived his life in the limelight but never behaved like a beast. Well, at least he wasn't beastly.

Willie B. died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 41, father of five, significant other to four, troop leader, hero to animal lovers everywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The king of this zoo was Willie B., and he will always be the king. He was maybe the biggest celebrity in Atlanta.

LEWIS (on camera): You might think Willie B. was just a local attraction, an animal loved and now mourned by kids and adults alike. But Willie B. was much more than that. Willie B. was a symbol.

(voice-over): Zoo Atlanta, now regarded as one of the leading zoos in the country, was once identified as one of the worst. Willie B. came here in 1961 after being captured in Africa. He lived behind bars for 27 years. After the city became ashamed of its zoo, Willie B. became the poster child for change.

In 1988, Willie B. edged into a new home, a natural habitat paid for by corporate sponsors.

TERRY MAPLE, PRES. & CEO, ZOO ATLANTA: Willie is truly a symbol of this zoo and the will of this community to make this zoo not just good, but great.

LEWIS: The success with Willie B. became a model for zoos nationwide.

After being confined and away from other gorillas all his life, Willie B.'s romantic adventures in his new habitat became a subject of fascination.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Several of the children were quite interested in what was going on.

MAPLE: The guy seemed to know what to do.

LEWIS: His offspring include one male, who will be called Willie B. Jr. All of his children have helped extend the lives of this endangered species, as Willie B. helped recreate this zoo in the public eye.

David Lewis, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: This a map of our world. But the world didn't always look like this to early map-makers. After all, map- making is an ancient art, and the world and its borders are constantly changing. One of the oldest existing maps is on a clay tablet. It was drawn about 2500 B.C. in Babylonia, which is now part of Iraq. Egyptians were also early map-makers. Historians believe they used the maps to help reestablish property boundaries after the Nile flooded each year.

There are many different kinds of maps, and Garrick Utley maps out mankind's fascination with them.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARRICK UTLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They are a picture of our world: maps -- from the latest endeavor in orbit to the oldest maps, which were as much works of art as geography. And some find maps even older than these.

ALICE HUDSON, CURATOR, MAPS COLLECTION, NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY: I have no problem with the concept that cave drawings are maps, essentially, saying that the herd of deer is that away.

UTLEY: Early maps depicted the unknown as well as the newly discovered. A map from one of Columbus's voyages to the new world could only guess at the shape, the green area, of the North and South American continents.

HUDSON: So this is very early knowledge of the new world. And what did they know best? They knew the Caribbean best. So the islands in the Caribbean are visible and understandable: Here's Cuba, here's Hispaniola.

UTLEY: Nearly 300 years later, the world had taken its shape.

HUDSON: This is 1780 and it's pretty good. By this time, we have most of the world mapped. So Africa has a very nice shape, Asia's filled in.

UTLEY: But along the way, maps sometimes showed more fantasy than fact.

(on camera): This is a very early map of Virginia, 1652. We're looking west. This is the Atlantic, the Chesapeake Bay.

HUDSON: Right.

UTLEY: And what does it tells us, this map?

HUDSON: It tells us, on this very narrow strip of land of Virginia, that the Pacific Ocean is only a 10-days march away.

If you don't want to march 10 days over these mountains that are portrayed here, you could perhaps take this wonderful Hudson River which meets with a river that flows right into the Pacific.

UTLEY: Without maps, where would we be? Maps help to make sense of our world -- a sense of place, of belonging. They give us the ability to point to a place on a map and say, this is my homeland, this is where I've traveled, and this is where I still want to go.

(voice-over): The problem for map makers is not that the Earth changes, but that borders shift and empires rise and fall.

In the 1990s alone, the Soviet Union disappeared, Germany was reunited, Yugoslavia disintegrated and Hong Kong was handed back to China faster than publishers of atlases could bring out new editions.

Today, computers make it easier for cartographers to keep maps up to date and for users of maps to get the most detailed information quickly. What does that mean for the art of map-making with pen and paper?

HUDSON: The traditional map, I think, is probably gone. Map- makers are converting over to computers.

UTLEY: And in those computers will be highly accurate maps from space. Like all that have preceded them, they may not tell us who we are, but they will show us where we are.

Garrick Utley, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JORDAN: Well, we all have our heroes, whether an athlete, a political figure or someone you know. We need that special person to be inspired by, to aspire to be like.

F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, "Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy." Well, obviously he never met the hero in our next story.

From Mill Valley, California, Rusty Dornin introduces us to a woman who, years ago, blazed the trail for young girls in little league.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In 1972, 10-year- old Jenny Fulle wanted to play ball -- little league ball, that is. In those days, girls weren't allowed to step up to the plate with the boys.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1972)

JENNY FULLE, AGE 10: It's not fair because I'm a girl and, you know, just because they're boys they can play.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DORNIN: Then the ACLU and the National Organization for Women pitched in and Fulle went to court and won. In 1973, Fulle not only played ball, she led the league in Mill Valley, California in home runs.

Now 37, Fulle made a triumphant return to the town that once tried to keep her off the field.

JENNY FULLE, AGE 37: Just know that anything is possible, and don't necessarily take no for an answer.

It makes me very sentimental when I see little girls playing. It makes me definitely feel a sense of pride, too.

DORNIN: John Allen faced Fulle at the plate in '73. He says the boys took her seriously.

JOHN ALLEN, FORMER LITTLE LEAGUE PLAYER: She was bigger than a lot of us, so you didn't really want to make fun of her. And she could play.

DORNIN: The young girl who went to bat for the belief that she was just as good.

(on camera): Twenty-seven years later, the girls who get to play the field recognize what Jenny Fulle did for them.

CASSANDRA BELL: I really appreciate it, because it's -- baseball's a big deal to me. I've been playing for five years.

RACHEL SIBBITT: If she hadn't changed that, I don't think many other girls would have had the guts to do it.

DORNIN (voice-over): It may be a new millennium, but boys can still be boys.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Sometimes people always say, like, oh, look at that little girl over there. And then all I have to do is I go and strike them out, and then they be quiet.

DORNIN (on camera): Do any girls play better than you? UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Yes, a lot of them.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Sometimes their hitting accuracy is better, and catching.

DORNIN (voice-over): Fulle's achievement gave girls a chance to run the bases just like the boys, and for many parents a chance for their daughters to hit a homer.

BOB SIBBITT, DAD: I think she altered sports for everybody. You know, now women can go and compete, girls can compete at any level they want.

DORNIN: A young girl who refused to take no for an answer for the love of the game.

Rusty Dornin, CNN, Mill Valley, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JORDAN: And more power to her.

We'll see you back here tomorrow.

WALCOTT: Have a great day. Bye-bye.

JORDAN: Bye.

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