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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for June 26, 2000

Aired June 26, 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: Hi there, everybody. I'm Andy Jordan. Hope you're ready for another week of NEWSROOM.

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: I'm Rudi Bakhtiar. Put on your walking shoes because we're all over the map today. We've got American politics, we'll get a global checkup, and I've got that story out of Iceland for you guys.

JORDAN: Yes. Look forward to it.

Our first stop, though, is on the Korean Peninsula.

BAKHTIAR: From the U.S. to Korea, the world marks the anniversary of the start of the Korean War.

JORDAN: The planet gets a report card in today's "Environment Desk."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL RENNER, WORLDWATCH INSTITUTE: The key finding is that we find enormous disparities among the world's people in terms of their wealth, their power, their opportunities, and even their survival prospects.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAKHTIAR: In "Worldview," our Shelley Walcott checks in from the zoo to tell us all about a recent convention centered around endangered animals.

JORDAN: Finally, we head to Colorado to "Chronicle" the convention of the Green Party.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're trying to show them that their forebears over the last 200 years took on the big guys and they made the country better and they made a difference, and Americans today can do the same.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAKHTIAR: We begin our week by marking the 50th anniversary of an invasion that led to the death of millions. It's often called the "forgotten war," but over the weekend veterans remembered North Korea's invasion of South Korea as a defining moment of the 20th century. The pomp and ceremony over the weekend displayed the Korean War's resonance 47 years after the fighting ended.

The events leading up to the North's invasion are not simple and involve a number of countries. We begin with Japan's formal surrender in 1945.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These proceedings are closed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARK LEFT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The end of World War II in the Pacific brought celebration in much of the world. Millions of American GIs quickly headed home to claim their share of civilian prosperity.

When the United States went through huge cuts in the military, labor battles with bosses and a growing fear of communism in the immediate post-war years, in much of Asia the fighting never stopped. The day Japan surrendered, Ho Chi Minh proclaimed a communist Republican in French Indochina. It would take him nine years of fighting to get it. China's leader, Chiang Kai Shek, went back to fighting Mao Zedong and his insurgent communist.

Soviet leader Josef Stalin didn't believe Mao could win and suggested he join Chiang in a coalition government. But in October 1949, Mao proclaimed a people's republic.

China, Russia and Japan had been fighting over neighboring Korea for centuries. During World War II, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt and Stalin had discussed temporarily divided and occupying the land Tokyo had controlled since 1905. When Japan surrendered, U.S. troops landed to take over Seoul and the South, while newly arrived Soviet troops patrolled north of 38 parallel.

Singman Ri (ph), a 70-year-old English-speaking expatriate, returned to run the South in a way many Koreans and Americans disliked.

North Korea had a communist leader cut from Stalin's mold: former guerrilla commander Kim Il Sung.

Kim Il Sung was confident he could attack South Korea and quickly spark a friendly revolution there. When he again talked to his communist allies:

WILLIAM STUECK, HISTORIAN: Stalin basically agreed on the attack because he felt that the North Koreans could win quickly -- Kim helped persuade him of that -- and that if he won quickly, the Americans would not intervene.

CHEN JIAN, HISTORIAN: When Kim Il Sung visited Beijing in May 1950, Mao offered help. Mao asked Kim Il Sung if he needed the Chinese communist to station several division of troops, and Kim Il Sung said, no, it was not necessary.

LEFT: Kim was wrong. The North Korean attack on a rainy June morning would soon bring China, the Soviet Union, the United States and the new United Nations into the century's next big war.

Mark Left, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BAKHTIAR: These days, there's a new mood of peace and cooperation between North and South Korea. Political observers say the recent summit between the nations was encouraging.

Last week, Kim Dae-jung became the first South Korean leader to visit communist North Korea, but the armed standoff that's been in place for decades is not expected to ease anytime soon.

We have two reports, starting with Major Garrett.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MAJOR GARRETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Remember with pride, plan with caution. For President Clinton, this ceremony offered time for both. He saluted Korean War veterans...

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Korea was not a police action or a crisis or a conflict or a clash, it was a war -- a hard brutal war. And the men and women who fought it were heroes.

GARRETT: ... and weighed signs of a diplomatic thaw.

CLINTON: Last week's summit between President Kim Dae-jung and Chairman Kim Jong Il, the first of its kind in 50 years, was a hopeful and historic step. It was courageous of President Kim to go to Pyongyang. He had no illusions, however, nor should we. There is still a wide gulf to be crossed.

GARRETT: Still, there have been several significant diplomatic developments besides the summit: The U.S. has lifted economic sanctions against North Korea, North Korea extended the moratorium on long-range missile tests, South Korea suspended production of missiles that could reach the North Korean capital, and Kim Jong Il's secret mission to China yielded praise for Beijing's economic reforms.

But the Korean Peninsula remains a dangerous place.

ROBERT MANNING, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: I think the dark side is the fact that all of their military activities that we've been worrying about have not changed at all. If anything, they have gotten worse.

GARRETT: North Korea maintains an army of 1 million soldiers. As a trip wire, the U.S. has 37,000 troops stationed on the South Korean border. The U.S. also accuses North Korea of supporting terrorism and selling nuclear weapons technology.

REP. DOUG BEREUTER (R-NE), CHMN., ASIA & THE PACIFIC SUBCOMMITTEE: One of the things we have to be concerned about is an overreaction on the part of Asians and the part of Americans, particularly on the part of the South Koreans, that they have a much more positive attitude about North Korea before any results are apparent.

GARRETT (on camera): Peace on the Korean Peninsula would diffuse the last powder keg of the Cold War and bring military and economic benefits not only to America, but to South Korea and most of Asia. But what was true 50 years ago remains true today: The North Koreans started the war and only they can end it.

Major Garrett, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SOHN JIE-AE, SEOUL BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Cannons fire round after round as thousands of veterans gathered in Seoul's war memorial bowed their heads in tribute for the millions who lost their lives during the Korean War.

The official ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the start of the Korean conflict was a low-keyed, solemn affair. The emphasis was on honoring the veterans, South Korean as well as representatives of those from 21 nations who fought under the United Nations command.

Bill McSweeney of the United States returned for the first time since fighting as an infantryman during the conflict.

BILL MCSWEENEY, KOREAN WAR VETERAN: The last time we saw Seoul it was destroyed. People were hungry. There were no lights. And now you see this wonderful capital and it's a great experience.

JIE-AE: This group of Koreans conducted guerrilla warfare behind enemy lines during the war. They lost their homes, left their family in the North and saw more than one-third of their fellow fighters fall.

KIM CHUNG-SAN, KOREAN WAR VETERAN (through translator): We paid so much for the freedom we have today. We cannot forget that freedom truly is not free.

JIE-AE: The ceremony was also marked by the effect of the summit between South and North Korea which occurred less than two weeks ago.

(on camera): Just a few days ago, the Seoul government decided to drastically scale down the ceremonies in light of the new mood of peace and cooperation with the North, the very country these Korean War veterans fought against.

(voice-over): South Korea's President Kim Dae-jung said he told the North Korean leader Kim Jong Il that if another war broke out today, the entire peninsula would be decimated.

PRES. KIM DAE-JUNG, SOUTH KOREA (through translator): The only road to national survival is through peaceful coexistence, peaceful exchanges and peaceful unification. The North shared this feeling.

JIE-AE: The ceremony served to remind many that the recent developments could not have happened without the sacrifices of those that were being honored.

Sohn Jie-Ae, CNN, Seoul.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JORDAN: Well, today in our "Environment Desk," the Earth gets a grade, and it's not an A. We'll find out how it stacks up environmentally and we'll look into what kind of homework needs to happen for things to improve.

Natalie Pawelski pinpoints the problems and the prospects for the future.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NATALIE PAWELSKI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The digital divide goes global, world population hits a new high, and alternative energies power up. Those are among the trends detailed in "Vital Signs 2000," an annual report card for the planet from the environmentally minded Worldwatch Institute.

RENNER: The key finding is that we find enormous disparities among the world's people in terms of their wealth, their power, their opportunities, and even their survival prospects.

PAWELSKI: That divide extends to the wired world, too. Worldwatch says more than a quarter billion people went online for the first time last year. But whether you can log on often depends on where you live.

MOLLY SHEEHAN, WORLDWATCH INSTITUTE: Here in the U.S. we have about 40 percent of our population online. The digital divide is actually much starker in global terms where you have about 4 percent of the world's people online.

PAWELSKI: Earth got 77 million new residents in 1999. That's like adding another Philippines. Among the new arrivals, symbolic person number 6 billion, born in Bosnia, visited by the United Nations secretary-general.

SHEEHAN: With growing populations, governments have a much harder time getting basic services to people. And also on an environmental front, more people means, basically, more stress on the planet. PAWELSKI: On the other hand, Earth's growing population reflects the fact that people are living longer lives than ever before.

On the energy front, "Vital Signs 2000" details a 39 percent jump in wind power capacity around the world.

RENNER: You're finally seeing the beginnings of a process where over the next 10 to 20 years, the alternative energy sources will provide a very substantial source of the total energy mix.

PAWELSKI (on camera): In many ways, "Vital Signs 2000" is a tale of two worlds: one getting richer and more powerful, the other growing poorer and less self-sufficient. Worldwatch argues that's no way to run a planet.

Natalie Pawelski, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BAKHTIAR: Well, after 20 years in captivity, Keiko the whale is getting ready to set free. He was 2 when he was plucked from the Icelandic waters to perform tricks, but it was his movie "Free Willy" that brought international recognition to the lovable whale and his dire living conditions.

A movement began to get Keiko returned to his natural habitat in September of 1998. He was moved back to the waters of Iceland. There, scientists in the Westman Islands are in the process of rehabilitating him.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): It's not unlike taking a dog for a walk. The Ocean Futures staff who is overseeing Keiko's return to the wild in the Westman Islands of Iceland have begun luring him out to the open seas. They call these ventures "ocean walks."

CHARLES VINICK, OCEAN FUTURES: We're continually adding new stimulation to him, we're adding new experiences for him, and we're letting him explore his own environment in a way that allows him to be comfortable in it.

BAKHTIAR: During these ocean walks, Keiko has been conditioned to follow this particular vessel. The longest walk so far was last week: 30 hours on the open seas. Keiko actually went off on his own for two hours but returned when the staff gave the signal.

ROBIN FRIDAY, OCEAN FUTURES: Through the whole process, we've always allowed Keiko's response to dictate to us what our next steps are. And it will be the same thing through this.

BAKHTIAR: The walks are just another stage in expanding Keiko's horizons, as well as his swimming and hunting capabilities. He spends most of his time in a bay where his original holding pen is located. Already, his new lifestyle is changing his physiology. He's developed a lot more muscle and his dorsal fin has changed positions from all of the swimming.

(on camera): So far, Keiko has crossed paths with other whales, but has not interacted with them. That will be the next step: Getting Keiko to interact and integrate with other orkas.

(voice-over): Ocean Futures says that when Keiko does eventually go off on his own, they will keep a small support group in the Westmans for up to two months in case he changes his mind. They have also equipped him with a satellite tracking device that will help them monitor his whereabouts for about another year.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BAKHTIAR: Unfortunately, I never actually got up close and personal with Keiko. As part of the rehab process, human contact is limited. If Keiko is successfully reintroduced to his natural habitat, it will be the first time that a captive whale has been returned to the ocean.

More environment news in "Worldview." Our stories take us to the United States where the welcome mat is out for certain immigrants. And we visit England, where an unlikely friendship has sprung up between a pooch and a primate. We'll learn about endangered animals around the world. We warn you, some of the video is disturbing.

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: The rhinoceros, the African wild dog, the California condor -- know what all these animals have in common? Well, they're all endangered species. In our world, there are about 13,000 species of mammals and birds.

There are thousands of reptiles, fish, amphibians and over 250,000 flowering plants. Extinction is a natural feature of life on Earth. But in recent times, humans have been responsible for the loss of most of the animals and plants that have disappeared.

Members of the Convention on International Trade and Endangered Species met in Nairobi, Kenya this year to discuss which endangered animals should be protected from trade.

With more, here's Gary Strieker.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY STRIEKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For some threatened species, protection by international law has been reaffirmed; for others, denied. At this conference in Nairobi, some 150 official delegations, each from a country that has signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, known as CITES. On the agenda were proposals affecting trade in many kinds of animals and plants, none more controversial than elephants.

International trade in elephant ivory has been banned by CITES for more than a decade, but at this conference, four southern African countries with large elephant populations applied for approval to sell ivory every year to Japan, an application opposed by Kenya and others. NEHEMIAH ROTICH, KENYA WILDLIFE SERVICE: The ivory trade would stimulate laundering of ivory through all the illegal markets across the world.

STRIEKER: Finally, in a remarkable compromise, the southern Africans withdrew their ivory proposals. African delegates agreed to monitor elephants poaching until the ivory question is raised again at the next CITES conference in two years.

Another divisive subject was whales. Japan and Norway sought approval for commercial hunting of some populations of gray whales and minke whales, but delegates here said, no.

NAOKO FUNAHASHI, INTERNATIONAL FUND FOR ANIMAL WELFARE: I'm very pleased to see none of the proposals got even simple majority -- quite a big vote against them.

STRIEKER: In another rejection, Cuba was refused permission to sell a stockpile of hawksbill turtle shells to Japan. All international trade in marine turtles is illegal under the CITES treaty. But it was conservationists who lost when delegates rejected proposals for trade restrictions on three shark species: whale sharks, basking sharks, and the great white.

PETER PEUSCHEL, GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL: It's really frustrating to see that major fishing industries from Asia, Scandinavia and Latin America are really pushing countries' delegates to not accept the necessity for protection of sharks.

STRIEKER: The conference considered many other wildlife trade issues, including those affecting tigers, bears, and, in central Africa, the growing commercial trade in bush meat that threatens wild populations of gorillas and chimpanzees. Most of these are critical wildlife conservation issues that will be on the agenda again at the next CITES conference in 2002.

Gary Strieker, CNN, Nairobi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALCOTT: And now, a closer look at another endangered species: the orangutan. These large, red-haired apes are usually found in tropical rainforests in Southeast Asia. The male orangutan stands about 4 1/2 feet tall. That's some 140 centimeters. And it ways about 180 pounds, or 80 kilograms.

Orangutans have become endangered for several reasons. They've been hunted, much of their natural habitat has been destroyed, and they've been collected for zoos.

Orangutans aren't known for being affectionate animals, but one young ape in England is learning a lesson in tender loving care from another member of the animal kingdom.

Eric MacInnes reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERIC MACINNES, ITN REPORTER (voice-over): Bugsy and Malone -- a friendship forged across the species divide.

At Twycross Zoo, Bugsy, the 9-year-old French bull dog is known as the babysitter. His latest charge, Malone, is a 6-month-old orangutan abandoned by his mother.

An ideal world, Malone would have taken his place among the others in the mother and toddler group. But now, he'll have to wait until he's grown to join his primates.

(on camera): Malone is only the latest orphan at Twycross Zoo who's had the benefits of Bugsy's child-minding skills. The sad thing is that in two years time, they'll have to be parted. But for now, this little fellow's just happy to have a friend.

MOLLY BADHAM, TWYCROSS ZOO: He's always been a dog like that: very gentle and really quite crazy about the babies. But at 9 years old, he's beginning to feel his age a bit now.

MACINNES (voice-over): Despite that age, Bugsy is still more than happy to share play time with his young friend. It may not be as rough and tumble as it used to be, but there's always plenty of much- needed affection for an ape without a mum.

Eric MacInnes, ITN, Twycross Zoo, Leicestershire.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BAKHTIAR: The United States has a long immigrant history. The first people to settle America after its discovery by Europeans were immigrants, and that was just the beginning.

Many of the early 20th century immigrants made their first stop in the U.S. at Ellis Island in New York Harbor near the Statue of Liberty. From 1892 to 1954, 12 million immigrants passed through medical and legal processing there, the largest human migration in modern history.

Today, a museum recalls their journey to a new world, a heritage shared by many people. More than 40 percent or over 100 million Americans can trace their roots to an ancestor who came through Ellis Island. Over time, Immigrants have been both welcomed and reviled.

As Rusty Dornin explains, there's plenty of interest in immigrants these days.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): How times have changed: emotional street demonstrations in '94 after California voters passed Proposition 187, a ballot measure that was to stop state assistance to illegal immigrants. It was ultimately declared unconstitutional, never took effect.

Six years later, boom times, and signs the "welcome" mat is out once again for immigrants.

ROBERT RUBIN, COMMITTEE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS: Americans and American leaders tend to be more optimistic about immigrants when the economy is strong.

DORNIN: Strong enough, Vice President Al Gore wants to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants of good moral character who've been in the U.S. since 1986, the date of the last amnesty.

Kirbal Bajwa missed that opportunity on a technicality. Here since 1981, now he hopes good times mean he'll have a chance to stay here permanently and legally.

KIRBAL BAJWA, IMMIGRANT: We don't know what is our future for being so long here, and we are pretty much feel American here already.

DORNIN (on camera): While Bajwa hangs in limbo, more new immigrants with high-tech skills may get the green light to come here.

(voice-over): Critics say politicians favoring increased immigration are being shortsighted.

YEH LING-LING, DIVERSITY ALLIANCE FOR A SUSTAINABLE AMERICA: We are not advocating stopping immigration. We're saying, let's reduce immigration substantially to a level that would not add more pressure to our schools, infrastructure, to our social fabric.

DORNIN: Both sides know the pendulum will swing once again.

PETER SCHEY, CTR. FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: I think that the moment the economy takes a nose dive, the moment there are divisive political issues, political leaders will once again point to the immigrant community as the scapegoats for those problems.

DORNIN: Bajwa still has his eyes on the American dream.

BAJWA: Since it's Silicon Valley and there's a lot of job openings, I hope I can get a good job.

DORNIN: But for now, the door remains shut.

Rusty Dornin, CNN, San Jose, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

JORDAN: With more than a dozen political parities in the U.S., the debates could get crowded. But the Federal Election Commission requires presidential candidates to score at least 15 percent in national opinion polls to participate.

Ralph Nader, who was officially nominated by the Green Party yesterday, wants to be a part of those debates. According to its platform, the Green Party advocates "grassroots political and economic democracy...nonviolence, social justice and ecological sustainability."

Kate Snow reports from the party's national convention in Denver.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who do you trust to stand up to the downsizes, the corporate welfare bombs, the merger maniacs, the polluters and the Gucci-clad lobbyists?

CROWD (shouting): Ralph Nader!

KATE SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nader needs a ticket and the Green Party needs a voice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And 10 votes for a great American hero, Ralph Nader.

SNOW: More than 300 delegates packed a ballroom to choose him as their candidate.

RALPH NADER, GREEN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Again and again, the will of the people has been thwarted, and the will and the voice of the people to protect their interests and to protest has been muted.

SNOW: Nader doesn't spend a lot of time on Green environmental issues. Instead, he talks about universal health care and protecting American workers. He is almost always on the attack.

NADER: There are about 47 million people in this country who don't have health care insurance to begin with. This is not only embarrassing, it's unacceptable.

SNOW: Ralph Nader is, to say the least, not your average politician. On the campaign trail, he rarely stops to shake hands. And he doesn't work the room, preferring to grab a microphone to address a crowd.

Aides say his people skills are getting better and his appeal is growing, but he admits he needs more exposure. He's challenged Al Gore and George W. Bush to open up this fall's televised presidential debates to include him and Reform candidate Pat Buchanan.

Nader is now on the ballot in 20 states and the District of Columbia. By November, he hopes to be included on all 50.

(on camera): Nader says he wants Americans to know there is another option. And even if that means helping George W. Bush and hurting Al Gore, he says it's worth it to get the message across.

Kate Snow, CNN, Denver.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JORDAN: Well, this summer's political conventions continue with the Republicans meeting next month. The Reform and Democratic parties follow in August.

BAKHTIAR: Tomorrow, we feature our regular installment of "Democracy in America." We'll look at presidential debates in the U.S. That's it for now.

JORDAN: That'll do it for us today.

BAKHTIAR: We'll sign off.

JORDAN: Bye.

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