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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for May 22, 2000

Aired May 22, 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.

ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: Welcome to another week of NEWSROOM. I'm Andy Jordan.

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: And I'm Rudi Bakhtiar. We have a lot to cover, so let's get started.

JORDAN: A question of trade tops today's news.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS BLACK, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: With one billion people and one of the world's fastest-growing economies, China represents big business for corporate America. But the future of trade between the United States and China is tearing Congress in two.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAKHTIAR: Next, we go looking for water: Do you know where most of the planet's water can be found? The answer's coming up in our "Environment Desk."

JORDAN: In "Worldview," a conversation with the champion of chimps.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JANE GOODALL: People are seeking for something a little bit more back to nature or spiritual or something. You feel it everywhere.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAKHTIAR: Finally:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just type in any song and get it. Everywhere you go on campus now, everyone has some sort of -- some kind of MP3 capability.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAHKTIAR: Be careful what you download because it could get you sued.

We get started with an alphabet soup of international trade. When it comes to trade relations between the United States and China, the key letters are typically MFN, Most Favored Nation, a status which requires annual reviews. Now, in the last big legislative push of his tenure, U.S. President Bill Clinton wants to give China PNTR status, permanent normal trade relations. The issue is up before the U.S. House of Representatives this week and the decision is rife with mixed emotions.

When the civil war in China ended in victory for the communists, China's leader, Mao Tse-tung, called the U.S. China's principal enemy. But by 1979, China and the U.S. had established diplomatic relations. Ten years later, relations faltered when Chinese troops attacked students during a pro-democracy demonstration in Tiananmen Square. Since then, the U.S. and China have repeatedly disagreed over human rights and democracy issues.

Despite that, U.S.-Chinese trade has been increasing. While China's communist system does not encourage nor support private enterprise or market competition, there are inklings of capitalism as more and more companies turn private. Many U.S. businesses want to be there when they do. Some teenagers in China seem to want the deal.

This 17-year-old says he might be able to buy cheaper things if the deal goes through.

This 11th grader says the U.S. should grant China PNTR. "The U.S. should treat China the same way it treats other countries," she says.

In the United States, human rights advocates and labor organizations are concerned. They are fearful of what it would mean to guarantee China the same access to U.S. markets that most other nations have.

Chris black breaks down the issues.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS BLACK, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With one billion people and one of the world's fastest-growing economies, China represents big business for corporate America. But the future of trade between the United States and China is tearing congress in two.

REP. ROBERT MATSUI, (D), CALIFORNIA: There's no question that the economic benefits are there.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), CALIFORNIA: China has never honored any of its trade agreements with the United States.

BLACK: This week, the House finally votes on granting China permanent normal trade relations. A yes vote would widen Chinese markets to U.S. goods and end the annual congressional review of China's trade and human rights policies. China sells five times more products to the United States than the U.S. sells in China, resulting in a trade deficit expected to top $80 billion this year. Supporters say China's pledge to open it's markets to the United States would dramatically reduce tariffs and other barriers on U.S. imports. The big winners: telecommunications, financial services and American farmers. President Clinton and his allies argue there are also national security considerations.

MATSUI: China has 22 percent of the world population. It's an industrial and potential military power. And what we need to do is make sure that we work closely, ultimately, with the Chinese people so that we can coexist peacefully in terms of the overall world peace issue.

BLACK: But opponents say American jobs will be lost to cheap labor in China, and cite China's track record on human rights.

PELOSI: Many in congress have been concerned for many years that China's violations of human rights in China, its brutal occupation of Tibet, its violations of agreements on proliferation of weapons of mass destruction -- and that, of course, is a national security issue. But on the basis of trade alone, this is a bad deal for the American people.

BLACK (on camera): With an agreement to create a new human rights commission on China, supporters say they are growing more optimistic. But they also say it is too soon to claim victory.

Chris Black, CNN, Capitol Hill.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JORDAN: In the headlines today, we head to the Middle East, where violent clashes between the Palestinians and Israelis have prompted Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak to cancel his trip to the United States. He is also recalling his negotiators from peace treaty talks with Palestinians.

As Mike Hanna tells us, the explosive situation in the West Bank and Gaza has complicated the peace process.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIKE HANNA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A 2-year-old victim of violence being treated in hospital. The Israeli girl was critically burned when a firebomb was thrown at the car she was traveling in near the West Bank town of Jericho. And in Ramallah, a Palestinian victim of the conflict is buried. Issa Abed (ph) was shot in the head in a clash between demonstrators and Israeli troops on Friday.

But after eight days of mass protests and apparent reduction in the level of conflict Sunday, Palestinian police were out in force to prevent protesters from coming face to face with Israeli troops at checkpoints. And in an unusual move, the Israeli Army has forbidden civilians from traveling into areas under Palestinian control. In the deepest sign of displeasure yet, the Israeli prime minister has cut short peace talks in Stockholm, making clear Yasser Arafat must accept responsibility for the activities of his followers.

CHAIM RAMON, ISRAELI CABINET MINISTER: If President Arafat cannot control them, or, worse, if he allows to do so, all the negotiations between us and Chairman Arafat is under a big, big question mark.

HANNA: But the Palestinians argue the last eight days of demonstrations result from frustration with the apparent lack of progress in negotiations; in particular, the ongoing refusal of Israel to release prisoners the Palestinians regard as political detainees.

SAEB ERAKAT, CHIEF PALESTINIAN NEGOTIATOR: We urge the Israeli side to expedite the measures concerning the release of prisoners in order to remove the causes that led to the situation in the streets.

HANNA: Another complicating factor in the peace process: an upsurge in conflict in Lebanon. Here, Israeli jets attack tanks belonging to a radical Palestinian group in the Bekaa Valley near the border with Syria. The attack, says the Israeli government, also a warning to Syria not to hamper the planned Israeli troop withdrawal from occupied South Lebanon.

Another issue to be confronted: the brewing dissent within Ehud Barak's coalition government. The government's slim majority in the Knesset, or parliament, likely to be severely tested in coming days.

(on camera): The task facing Ehud Barak is huge. The challenge: to curb internal and external dissent to ensure a peaceful withdrawal from South Lebanon, and at the same time to keep the faltering peace process on track.

Mike Hanna, CNN, Jerusalem.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BAKHTIAR: Thirsty anyone? How about a cool refreshing cup of salt water? Doesn't quite do the trick, does it? Clearly, clean, fresh water is important for drinking and for many other things, but parts of the world are running out of freshwater. The planet's supply of freshwater is small. Less than 1 percent of it is in lakes and in the ground. Around 2 percent is in ice caps. The vast majority of the Earth's water is found in oceans -- more than 97 percent -- but it's all salt water.

The easy solution would seem to be desalination, which is the process of removing salt from water, but that can be costly. However, some developers in Tampa, Florida may have found a cheaper way to do it.

Sean Callebs explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): No longer a lazy beach-front city, the Tampa region is booming with a metropolitan feel. But this exponential growth is catching up with the Tampa Bay area and its 2 1/2 million residents.

SONNY VERGARA, SOUTHWEST FLORIDA WATER MGMT.: We're under high growth, and all of the traditional supplies have been tapped out, and so we have got to come up with alternative supplies.

CALLEBS: The area is being hurt by a prolonged drought and a diminishing underground water supply. So that alternative is turning this into this.

At a cost of $100 million, the Tampa Bay Water Authority wants to build a desalination plant here, alongside of the Big Ben (ph) power plant. The proposed facility would supply about 25 million gallons of water a day, or about one-tenth of the region's needs.

Desalination plants in Key West, Florida and Santa Barbara, California were moth-balled because they were simply too costly to operate. The Santa Barbara plant was only open three months before closing in 1992. Key West operated 13 years on and off before finally shutting down in 1980.

(on camera): Aside from the environmental concerns, other attempts at building large desalination plants in the United States simply haven't been cost-effective. But developers in Tampa Bay say new technology will allow them to produce affordable drinking water.

(voice-over): Private developers are operating a small prototype to take the salt out of brackish water, and are guaranteeing clean water at a little more than $2 per 1,000 gallons, an unheard of price for a desalination plant.

But a vocal group of critics called Save Our Bay and Canals is trying to stop the project, concerned the high salinity waste water pumped back into the bay will destroy wildlife.

PATRICIA MITCHELL, ENVIRONMENTALIST: Discharging the world's largest desalination plant using sea water going into an estuary is not a proper discharge.

CALLEBS: The protesters' best hope to derail desalination is for the State Department of Environmental Protection to reject the permit. But if developers meet environmental regulations, the project moves ahead.

The proposed largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere has already got the attention of representatives from Singapore, Australia and other nations in dire need of water.

Sean Callebs, CNN, in Tampa.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JORDAN: We stay "green" in "Worldview" as we look at efforts to save our planet's plant and animal populations. We'll attend a conference on the international trade of endangered species. But first up, we meet a woman who's spent decades among the apes.

We begin in East Africa, the stomping grounds of the chimpanzee and, for more than 30 years, the home of chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall. From the time she was a little girl, Goodall dreamed of living with and writing about animals.

But it was years before she found her calling in Tanzania. When she met renowned anthropologist and paleontologist Dr. Louis Leakey, she was on her way. He picked her for a pioneering project involving wild chimpanzees. Her mission: to study the apes to gain insight into the evolutionary past of humans. She spent years and years with them in the forest, observing and chronicling their lives. Living among the chimpanzees in the wilds of Africa, Jane Goodall taught millions to see animals in a new light.

Today she's on the road preaching what she's practiced, in the hope that others will help save the habitat of our closest relatives, the chimps.

Charles Glass has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She grew up in England where, early on, she developed a fascination for Africa and the jungle. It's my honor to introduce Jane Goodall.

CHARLES GLASS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jane Goodall has launched an environmental crusade, traveling the world to teach young people how to preserve the natural environment.

GOODALL: Come on.

GLASS: For most of her life she's been not an activist, but an observer.

GOODALL: Right. I had some jolly good replies out there, which is good. You made me welcome. Otherwise, I'd have to have turned around and run away, so...

GLASS: In 1960, she saw something in an African rainforest that would change our view of what makes human beings human.

GOODALL: I saw this black shape crouched over one of the golden mounds, termite mounds, and it was quite clearly using grasses and fishing for termites. Then, soon after that, I saw a chimpanzee actually making a tool, stripping the leaves to make a suitable fishing probe, you know, down into the burrow and into the -- picking off the termites.

We all can make a difference, so thanks.

GLASS: Forty years later, Jane Goodall no longer lives among the chimpanzees of East Africa. These days, she's on the road most of the year...

GOODALL: Donations from kids.

GLASS: ... raising money for her projects, from saving orphan chimps to planting trees all over Africa. Goodall says that a 1986 conference on her book, "The Chimpanzees of Gombe," transformed her from observer to political agitator.

GOODALL: During that conference, we saw situation after situation across Africa, habitats destroyed, snares, hunting. We saw examples of chimpanzees in medical research in 22-by-22-inch cages. I came out with a mission, and that's, you know, the time has come to try and pay back something.

GLASS: For Jane Goodall, it was a short step from protecting the habitat of chimpanzees to preserving the environment at large. Her first aim was to raise young people's awareness of what they would lose if wildlife and rainforests disappeared.

GOODALL: Young people haven't yet got contaminated by greed and politics. And if we can just get this movement joined up with others like it around the world, people are seeking for something a little bit more back to nature or spiritual or something. You feel it everywhere.

I want everybody who's got a hand up who wants to make the world a better place to say, we want to make the world a better place.

AUDIENCE: We want to make the world a better place.

GOODALL: Right, thanks.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: We continue our look at environmental issues as we spotlight CITES. CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora. Fauna is a word for animals of a particular region, and flora is the term for the plants of a region. There are 13,000 known species of mammals and birds, thousands of reptiles, amphibians and fish, millions of invertebrates, and some 250,000 kinds of flowering plants.

With all this diversity, why is there a need for CITES? well, international trade is lucrative -- worth billions of dollars each year. It's already caused massive declines in the numbers of many species of animals and plants. So to protect wildlife against over- exploitation and to prevent international trade from threatening species with extinction, CITES went into force in 1975. It has a membership of 150 countries. They act by banning commercial international trade in an agreed list of endangered species.

Gary Strieker has this report card.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY STRIEKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Many scientists say it's the most serious crisis facing humanity: mass extinction threatening biodiversity, the web of life on Earth -- a crisis caused by expanding populations of humans. It could wipe out more than half of all species of plants and animals before the end of this century.

KLAUS TOEPFER, EXEC. DIR., U.N. ENVIRONMENT PROGRAM: We are still losing, year by year, day by day, an incredible amount of biodiversity, and we have to do whatever is possible to stop it.

STRIEKER: These are people who face this crisis on the front lines: scientists, government officials and conservationists, representing some 150 countries and 100 private groups, delegates at the Conference on International Trade in Endangered Species. The conference convenes on a regular basis to carry out terms of an international treaty called CITES, monitoring wildlife trade ranging from elephant ivory to tiger skins, turtle shells and mahogany.

Among the delegates, some see real progress.

JAMES PERRAN ROSS, WORLD CONSERVATION UNION: We're not winning the battle yet, but I think we're winning little pieces of it.

GINETTE HEMLEY WORLD WILDLIFE FUND: CITES has shown that, over the course of three decades, countries of the world can come together and really hammer out compromises on protecting endangered species, while at the same time addressing the human needs that are all- important.

STRIEKER: Others are not so sure. They think ground is being lost.

BERNARD ROND, FRENCH DELEGATION: I think we're worse than in the '70s. In the '70s, the world wanted, really, to do something to save the endangered species.

STRIEKER: And some are disgusted by the horse-trading and politicking at a conference like this -- a process they say minimizes the drastic action needed to save endangered species.

VALMIK THAPAR, CONSERVATION ACTIVIST: It's my first experience at CITES. I will never come again here. But I've learned something. I've learned about international political playing and the horrors and nightmares which animals face with their so-called human beings at these meetings trying to support them.

STRIEKER: Different opinions, but sharing a common theme supported by just about everyone here.

NEHEIAH ROTICH, KENYA WILDLIFE SERVICE: I would say that, perhaps, we have barely made a scratch on the surface of what we need to do.

STRIEKER: This conference ends, the delegates go home, many other crises overwhelm us, and the quiet crisis of extinction continues.

Gary Strieker, CNN, Nairobi. (END VIDEOTAPE)

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

BAKHTIAR: Today, with the click of a button, music fans can download music onto their computers and potentially make their own CDs for free. All you need is a program called Napster. But Napster doesn't come without controversy. Last week, a Chicago business banned its employees from using the program. Company officials said the program was sapping the company's resources. But businesses are not alone in dealing with this.

CNN Student Bureau's Jeremiah Johnson reports on how some tech- savvy students are getting their schools in trouble by using this latest technology.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEREMIAH JOHNSON, CNN STUDENT BUREAU (voice-over): Students at Indiana University know what they want and they know how to get it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just type in any song and get it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everywhere you go on campus now, everyone has some kind of MP3 capability.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can just get the MP3. Well, why not?

JOHNSON: Possibly because the band Metallica has turned the tables on these college downloaders and filed suit against, among others, Napster.com and Indiana University.

ATTY. MARSHALL LEAFFER, INDIANA UNIVERSITY LAW PROF.: It's clear that when you download copyrighted music, you are violating the Copyright Act.

JOHNSON: According to the telecommunications office, Napster once accounted for 61 percent of the network bandwidth; a startling number, but not so startling when you talk to some residence hall students.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three-thousand, maybe. I ended up with like over 500 MP3s on my computer.

JOHNSON: And with so many students pointing and clicking, Metallica fears people won't be purchasing their CDs.

(on camera): Since you found out about Napster, how many CDs would you say you've purchased?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A couple, man. Only bands I really like, that I respect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I was an artist myself, I would kind of be worried about it because I would want to get my money -- my hard- earned money, you know what I'm saying, that I put into making a CD.

JOHNSON (voice-over): While the lawsuit has scared some students...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This kid across the hall from me took off all his Metallica downloads because he was scared.

JOHNSON: ... they see no end to the music madness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no way you could possibly stop everything that comes along that's like Napster.

JOHNSON: I'm Jeremiah Johnson for CNN Student Bureau, Bloomington, Indiana.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BAKHTIAR: In reaction to the lawsuit, Indiana University recently blocked Napster.com from its network. Citing unclear copyright issues and a belief in protecting intellectual property, they join the more than 100 universities that currently prevent student use of the site.

JORDAN: Well, December 7, 1941: the day the United States entered World War II. What provoked American participation was Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, where the U.S. houses its naval operations. About 3,700 Americans died in the attack. Many lives were saved, though, in part by the work of men on a tugboat -- one which is currently rotting, and preservationists want to restore.

Larry Woods has the story of Hoga.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LARRY WOODS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Suisun Bay, 75 miles north of Oakland, California, an aging armada, once part of the Navy's arsenal in World War II, lies quietly off shore, tied side by side like giant toys in a shallow pond.

Nestled among the hulks of steel is the 60-year-old tugboat, the U.S.S. Hoga, the only naval vessel still afloat that survived the attack on Pearl Harbor.

On that infamous morning of December 7, 1941, the 100-foot-long Hoga and her crew of 10 raced to the aid of badly damaged and burning ships clogging Battleship Row. In addition to saving numerous lives, historians credit the Hoga with helping to save the remaining fleet by pushing the sinking U.S.S. Nevada out the main channel, thus allowing many ships to escape the Japanese attack.

After the war, the Hoga was leased to the Port of Oakland, where she served as a fireboat until forced into retirement in 1993.

Now, with rust threatening her hull and exterior, and time an unfriendly factor, there is growing sentiment to save the tiny tug as a national relic. (on camera): Like a lot of vessels anchored here in this bay -- many with badges of historical honor -- the Hoga can make a strong case for restoration, but it's going to take a lot of money and a lot of work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not in that bad of condition. I mean, I'd be willing to bet that the majority of this equipment operates.

WOODS (voice-over): Navy veteran Don Dunn (ph), who's assigned to the mothballed fleet, gave us a tour of the old tug, often using only a flashlight to find our way below deck and in the steering room.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wouldn't take much to get the engine room fired up and everything, because when they lay them up, in most cases, everything's ready to go.

WOODS: In nearby Sausalito, Bob Yates (ph), who served six years in the Pacific aboard the tug U.S.S. Molala, uses his office as president of the National Association of Fleet Tugboat Sailors to advocate saving the Hoga.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two or three months ago I was talking to a child, a teenager, and he didn't know what December 7 was -- never heard of it.

WOODS: Yates, spry and salty at 82, lives with his wife, Pat, aboard a small craft docked in Sausalito Bay. Together, they publish monthly "The Towline," a small booklet dealing with past and present naval interests.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirteen years as a pilot of the fireboat.

WOODS: For sentimental reasons and for the love of the little boat that could, retired Oakland fireman Ron Graham (ph) wants the Hoga restored too. Graham has 19 years of memories invested in the tug, and 13 as pilot of the boat when it was attached to the Oakland Fire Department. It wasn't all smoke and fire. When the queen of England visited the bay area and was greeted by President Reagan, Graham and crew sprayed their voice of approval. At big regattas, the tug would stand by in case of accidents.

When Joe McManus (ph), original skipper of the Hoga, came aboard a few years ago, Graham played host and admirer.

The ex-fireman said Oakland authorities have occasionally discussed restoring the tug, but the estimated $2 million needed for the project has never materialized.

So where should the tug be located if it is restored?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My belief, as well as my fellow firefighters that worked on it, we all feel it should be over in Pearl Harbor near the Arizona.

WOODS: And what better place than the hallowed waters of Hawaii for the Hoga to stand vigil over the mighty warships and the men it tried so valiantly to save 58 years ago.

Larry Woods, CNN, "Across America."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BAKHTIAR: Well, the shuttle is hooked up just two days after blasting off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The space shuttle Atlantis made a flawless link-up with the International Space Station.

JORDAN: Atlantis will spend five days docked with the space station to make much-needed repairs to it. The first on the astronauts' "to do" list was a space walk to fix broken equipment on the outside of the space station. Some great pictures there.

BAKHTIAR: Those are some spectacular shots.

We'll leave you with those shots. We'll see you right back here tomorrow.

JORDAN: See you then. Bye.

BAKHTIAR: Bye.

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