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NEWSROOM for September 6, 2000Aired September 6, 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: It's Wednesday. And this is CNN NEWSROOM. Welcome. I'm Shelley Walcott.
RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: And I'm Rudi Bakhtiar.
Talk of religion, business and censorship fill today's docket.
WALCOTT: Here's a preview.
BAKHTIAR: A gathering of world leaders tops "Today's News."
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KOFI ANNAN, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: I have no illusions that a single summit in itself can change the world, but I believe this meeting provides the unique opportunity for leaders to renew our mission and our purpose. And we have done our best to provide them with an agenda for action.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALCOTT: Then, the business of luring top employees is the focus of today's desk.
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DWIGHT HALL, THE LANDSTONE GROUP/MRI: I think a lot of it has to do with just the competitive field that's out there, in terms of trying to attract quality candidates.
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BAKHTIAR: Coming up in "Worldview," we examine a controversial paper problem in Yugoslavia.
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ALESSIO VINCI, CNN BELGRADE BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): The state-owned Matroz paper mill is producing 15 percent less than its total capacity. Management justifies the reduced production on the shortage of raw materials and fuel. (END VIDEO CLIP)
WALCOTT: And rounding out today's show, the logistics of holding a global summit.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you put all those vehicles in one congested area over on the east side there, it can get very complicated.
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BAKHTIAR: Kings, presidents, prime ministers and generals, leaders of 150 nations gather in New York. The United Nations Millennium Summit is being called the largest meeting of world leaders ever. Security is tight for the three-day event, which opens today with ambitious goals: cutting in half the rates of global poverty, ignorance and disease over the next few decades.
And expectations are high that bilateral talks, particularly between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, will bring progress to long brewing conflicts. Some notable attendees: President Fidel Castro of Cuba; President Jiang Zemin of China; and President Mohammed Khatami of Iran, all places involved in controversy with other nations. It'll be interesting to see what they bring to the peace table.
Richard Roth is at the U.N. for the summit.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): U.N. Secretary- General Kofi Annan rings the peace bell again, but this time that's not enough for the United Nations' senior diplomat.
He has convened the largest gathering ever of world leaders to talk and seek commitments on attaining global peace.
KOFI ANNAN, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: I'm telling the world leaders, not only come here and approve a plan of action, but I would expect each and every one of them will go back home and begin to do something about it.
ROTH: Limousines shuttle more than 150 kings, presidents and prime ministers.
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NARRATOR: The United Nations Millennium Summit; history is made here.
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ROTH: The secretary-general is concerned with the way history is developing, with widening gap between prosperous and poor countries, with deep poverty and an AIDS epidemic.
And he is inviting large corporations to work with the U.N. to raise living standards and provide jobs.
ANNAN: Governments can't do it alone and the U.N. cannot do it alone.
ROTH: Opponents cringe at the emerging U.N. business connection.
MARTIN KHORR, THIRD WORLD NETWORK: I think the secretary of the U.N. has tried to, in a way, join the model in order to give the U.N. relevance, and I think that's a very big mistake.
ROTH: North Korea says it won't come to the summit after all. Its delegation refused to fly to New York after a pat-down search by airline security.
LI HYONG CHOI, NORTH KOREAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: These acts by the U.S. security officials were rude, ignoring even primary morality and formality on the part of the host country.
JOE LOCKHART, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN: I think certainly the airlines, for their part, were following their own -- were following procedures.
QUESTION: Was there strip searching?
LOCKHART: There was no strip searching.
ROTH: A guest who confirmed late, President Fidel Castro of Cuba, who was greeted at his mission. He may be also be serenaded by protesters during the summit.
(on camera): The most notable encounter, so far, involved 20- year-old political enemies, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright sat in the same room with the president of Iran, Mohammed Khatami. She heard him urge dominant civilizations not to overlook traditional cultures.
Richard Roth, CNN, United Nations.
WALCOTT: As world leaders gather in New York to discuss global troubles, a new report from the U.S. State Department points to one in particular. The report finds a significant percentage of people from around the world do not have religious freedom. It's an issue that hits close to home for Chinese President Jiang Zemin.
China is one of the countries cited for persecuting religious groups. Just last week, China helped block Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, from attending a meeting of religious leaders in New York. Pro-Tibetan groups protested the Dalai Lama's exclusion. And it was a similar scene yesterday, as sympathizers of one religious sect rallied against the Chinese president in New York.
With more, here's Andrea Koppel.
ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Videotape like this showing Chinese police detaining members of the Falun Gong meditation group may be difficult to get, but the U.S. government says religious persecution in China has become all too common. A new State Department report claims the Chinese government's respect for religious freedom deteriorated markedly over the last 12 months, especially for members of Falun Gong and Tibetan Buddhists.
The report also says there were "credible reports of religious detainees being beaten and tortured."
BOB SEIPLE, U.S. AMBASSADOR AT LARGE FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: A Falun Gong woman was arrested and she died in prison, and her daughter was asked to come and pick up the body. Her body was totally covered with bruises. She had dried blood in the ears, the eyes, the nose. She had all of her teeth broken.
KOPPEL: China is just one of five countries designated by the United States as countries of particular concern. The others include Burma, Sudan, Iraq, and Iran: all countries the U.S. says "engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom."
But perhaps due to China's sheer size or the global reach of groups like Falun Gong, it is China's stepped-up campaign against these groups that seems to get the most attention.
LUCY ZHOU, FALUN GONG PROTESTER: We want to appeal to the world, to the leaders of all the governments and to the media, and also to the people around the world to support us, and to, you know, and to call for justice.
KOPPEL: U.S. officials say one of the key items on President Clinton's agenda when he meets with Chinese President Jiang Zemin later this week will be China's deteriorating record of religious tolerance.
MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Religious liberty is far more than an American ideal. It is a fundamental part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
KOPPEL (on camera): As another senior U.S. official put it, "The question isn't whether this report makes a difference on a day-to-day basis, but rather to give the voiceless in China and elsewhere hope that someone is listening."
Andrea Koppel, CNN, New York.
BAKHTIAR: Today's headlines continue along the theme of global peace efforts. Yesterday, Jordan's King Abdullah and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak met in New York city, to discuss the possibility of a new round of Middle East peace talks involving Israel and the Palestinians.
Peace negotiations have been at a virtual standstill since the U.S. sponsored talks at Camp David in Maryland ended without a deal in July. And now, the pressure is on. There's a deadline for a final treaty on September 13th. That's when Palestinians say they may unilaterally declare themselves a country.
Mike Hanna reports.
MIKE HANNA, CNN JERUSALEM BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): With numerous roads blocked off, the traffic on Manhattan's East Side is at a virtual standstill. But the heads of state manage to get around New York City. Among them: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, arriving for one of the many bilateral meetings taking place on the fringes of the U.N. Millennium Summit.
This, a meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah. Under discussion: the Middle East negotiations and the possibility of reconvening a peace summit.
President Clinton will later meet separately with Mr. Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in a bid to break the present deadlock in the peace process, to gauge whether there is any point in calling another Camp David-type meeting.
EHUD BARAK, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: I do hope and I pray, but I don't know.
HANNA: Among the negotiators, the sense they have done all they can: that before another round of talks about details can take place, the leaders have to agree on principles.
AHMAD QOREI, PALESTINIAN NEGOTIATOR: All the positions are quite clear for everybody, and now it's the time for the positions of the leaders learn how to go and how to proceed. And I believe, from my point of view, that the position is on the Israeli side.
HANNA: Not so, say the Israelis.
DAN MERIDOR, ISRAELI NEGOTIATOR: Had there been an agreement on Arafat's side a month ago at Camp David, we would have been on a track for election on that agreement.
Well, now Arafat might have missed this opportunity. We can't wait forever for him to say OK.
HANNA: The most prominent point of disagreement remains the question of Jerusalem. The Israelis insist their sovereignty over the city is not a matter for discussion.
MERIDOR: Mr. Arafat has to understand either take it or leave it. There's a very wonderful package. Jerusalem, sovereign Israeli Jerusalem, is not part of the deal.
HANNA: But, says the other side, Palestinian sovereignty over East Jerusalem is a nonnegotiable.
QOREI: Agreed that East Jerusalem is part of the occupied territories. Let's sit together to speak about Jerusalem as a whole. Or let's go for all Jerusalem, east and west, as an international city.
HANNA (on camera): The peace process began in Oslo seven years ago. Since then, negotiations have been ongoing in several countries and cities, culminating in the failure of the Camp David summit. Now, in the gridlock of New York, yet another attempt to get the peace process, at least, on the move.
Mike Hanna, CNN, New York.
WALCOTT: If you're in high school, chances are a job or college is in the not-too-distant future. And for college grads, business news is upbeat. The National Association of Colleges and Employers points to some big salary increases. Average starting offers for business administration students hover close to $36,000, a jump of 6 1/2 percent from a year ago. Starting salaries for computer science grads average almost $49,000, up 9.9 percent since last year. And liberal arts majors in fields such as English and literature averaged starting salaries of close to $30,000, up 10 1/2 percent.
The job market is hot and many companies are offering incredible deals to lure new employees.
Beverly Schuch shows us what students are facing as they prepare for the real world.
BEVERLY SCHUCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Exotic vacation packages, new cars, stock options. In a tight labor market, companies are pulling out all the stops to get people to work for them. For example, Cisco Systems is offering its interns stock options if they agree to join the company after graduation.
Why all this, and why now?
DWIGHT HALL, THE LANDSTONE GROUP/MRI: I think a lot of it has to do with just the competitive field that's out there in terms of trying to attract, you know, quality candidates. So if you get these people while they're at the college level, you want to try to hold onto them, particularly if they're good.
SCHUCH: College students are a hot commodity, and some feel they're in the driver's seat when it comes to job offers. But some career planners are preaching caution.
TRUDY STEINFELD, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: This generation that's graduating now has really never lived through a recessive economy. The last economy that was recessive was about 10 years ago. They were all about 10, 11 years old. It really didn't impact them. So they don't understand fully that things could change and that the economy could slow and there maybe won't be all those choices. And so I think it is creating a sense that they're somewhat invincible or they're more willing to take risks.
SCHUCH: So as college seniors prepare for the real world, they have a lot to think about. Like the stock market, the job market has its ups and downs, and there's no telling what lies ahead. The best advice is, proceed with caution.
That's YOUR MONEY. Beverly Schuch, CNN Financial News, New York.
BAKHTIAR: In "Worldview," we travel to Asia and Europe. What's black and white and read all over? The answer to the riddle is newspapers. OK, that's a really old one. We promise to come up with new riddles next time.
But a riddle remains in Yugoslavia, where the cause of a shortage of newsprint is under debate. We also head to China for a story on bears. A word of warning: Some of the abuse you'll see and hear about is disturbing.
But first, we begin in Belgium, where our report is simply magic.
TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: If you look closely enough at this world map, you can just make out the location of our next stop, Belgium. It's one of the smallest and most densely populated countries in Europe and is sandwiched right between Germany, France and the Netherlands. For that reason, the country's population consists mainly of people from all over Europe.
Recently, Belgium's capital, Brussels, played host to more than 250 kids from around the world. They came to play cards. No joke here. It was a competition involving high stakes with big money on the line; a game so popular, its seen regularly on sports channels and played at both amateur and professional levels.
Patricia Kelly takes us inside the contest and introduces us to its winner and the world champion.
PATRICIA KELLY, CNN BRUSSELS BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): This student from New Jersey in the United States is working his way through university by playing cards. He's not gambling, it's not poker or blackjack, it's a trading card game called Magic: The Gathering.
JON FINKEL, "MAGIC" PLAYER: I don't really have any job besides playing Magic. And it's a really great job. I get to travel around the world, make a lot of money, have a nice car, a nice apartment.
KELLY: Magic is a battle of wits. The cards, illustrated by the world's top fantasy artists, picture fantasy monsters and magic worlds. As in football or soccer or chess, the game relies on attack and defense strategies. The cards allow players to control magic creatures and cast spells on their opponents. Two players start with scores of 20 and the first one to reduce the other's score to zero wins.
(on camera): You've got to think fast to be able to play this game and have the ability to reason logically, according to the inventor, a former professor of mathematics.
(voice-over): Magic and the trading card game concept turned Richard Garfield into a multimillionaire. The best selling Pokemon was a spin-off. His magic creation was published in 1993 and now boasts 7 million players in 52 countries.
RICHARD GARFIELD, "MAGIC" INVENTOR: What I want for Magic is for it to be a stable, classic game that doesn't rise up, peak and then fall off, but just becomes more like bridge or chess.
KELLY: In China, Magic has been given official status as a recognized national non-Olympic sport.
CUI SHAN, CHINA STATE, SPORTS-FOR-ALL-CENTER (through translator): It's a very exciting, intellectual sport that has a lot of deep strategy that people can really sink their mind into. And secondly, the properties of the game itself are just very attractive and fun to play.
KELLY: There are currently 4,000 magic cards on the market and 500 new ones published each year, thus constantly changing the game and challenging the players and keeping them hooked on the Magic formula until the U.S. company, Wizards of the Coast, which markets the game, runs out of Magic ideas.
Patricia Kelly, CNN, Brussels.
ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: Our next story takes us to China, the country with the world's oldest living civilization. China's written history dates to nearly 3,500 years ago. The Chinese were the first to develop the compass, paper, porcelain and silk cloth.
Perhaps, even more well known is China's panda population. Yet a lesser known bear in China is struggling against human interference: the Asiatic black bear. Asiatic black bears are nocturnal and are found throughout southern Asia, usually in heavily forested areas. The bears are at risk of extinction.
Because of their importance to the Asian medicinal market, their population has been devastated by poachers and bear farmers. Now some leaders are working to protect the health and survival of these bears.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER (voice-over): The signing of this agreement between China and a Hong Kong-based animal rights group marks a milestone in a long campaign to save the Asiatic black bear. It's designed to put an end to the practice of keeping bears in cages so small they can barely move, in order to harvest the bear's bile for use as Chinese medicine.
The animals are caught from the wild when young. Catheters are surgically inserted into their gall bladders. The bears are then milked twice daily until they die.
When Jill Robinson of the Animals Asia Foundation began her campaign seven years ago, she visited some of these bear farms and was horrified by what she saw.
JILL ROBINSON, FOUNDER, ANIMALS ASIA FOUNDATION: Many of them bang their heads against the bars of the cage. We see head wounds on their heads from where they do that just to stimulate their dull, bored minds. We see repetitive weaving, backwards and forwards. Some of them we see with broken and worn down teeth because all they can do is just chew the bars in frustrations. So, really, for a lot of these bears, the only way they get to stimulate their boring lives is by degrading and hurting their own bodies.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Bear bile is a highly valued element in Chinese traditional medicine. It contains an acid that's used to treat a wide range of illnesses from gall stones to cancer. For thousands of years, bears were killed for their bile, but dwindling numbers led the Chinese to look for alternative ways.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): So, at first they were killed for bile, but then we moved them into bear farms. And since we can extract bile from a single bear several times, in that sense, one single bear can save lots of others from being killed or caught. This was our original thought.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Now, the Chinese authorities, along with the Animals Asia Foundation, will begin rescuing hundreds of bears in Sichuan Province where the greatest number of farms are situated. The campaign includes promoting the use of herbal and synthetic alternatives. Both sides know that it won't be an easy task.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We face a lot of difficulties, but there are two major ones: first of all, the Chinese way of thinking. They believe bile is good for the human body and is a precious Chinese medicine. If they stop using it or find other substitutes, it will cause a lot or problems for us. Secondly, the compensation problem: Closing down all the bear farms and relocating the farmers into other income-generating outlets is very hard for a developing country like China.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The first stage of the rescue operation is to build a sanctuary where the released bears can be treated for their wounds and rehabilitated. The ultimate goal is to bring an end to bear farming altogether within the next 20 years.
BAKHTIAR: Yugoslavia is apparently not a good place to be if you're looking for a job as a journalist. That country remains under the control of President Slobodan Milosevic, despite calls for his removal by many Western nations.
Milosevic is wanted for trial for alleged war crimes by his forces against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo last year. This spring, his police forces took over independent television and radio stations in Serbia, the largest of Yugoslavia's two republics. Milosevic claims the stations were advocating his overthrow.
Now, leading newspapers may be his next targets. They're running out of newsprint. But is it because the country has a paper shortage or is this another form of censorship?
Alessio Vinci has the story.
ALESSIO VINCI, CNN BELGRADE BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): It should be a normal thing to do: early morning hours, buy your favorite newspaper on the way to work. But in recent weeks at newsstands across Serbia, the number of copies available of non-government newspapers and magazines have diminished because there is not enough paper to print them.
Independent journalists and publishers are blaming the government for trying to shut them down by making it difficult for them to buy printing paper from the only paper mill in the country, which is state-owned. The editor of the influential magazine, "Nin," says, every week he is more concerned about finding printing paper than a good story to write.
STEVAN NIKSIC, EDITOR, "NIN": They could be in position to have some technical difficulties, but the point is that they also have some sort of priority list. They're supposed to supply, first of all, the regime media, and, simply, they don't have enough paper. If they don't have enough paper, they don't have enough for us.
VINCI: The state-owned Matroz paper mill is producing 15 percent less than its total capacity. Management justifies the reduced production on the shortage of raw materials and fuel. Still, they say, there is enough paper to satisfy demand of all buyers independently from their political orientation.
(on camera): Editors at the state-controlled newspaper "Politika" told us they also have some problems with the shortage of paper. However, that appears to have not affected the quantity or quality of their copies available to buy.
(voice-over): The editor of another independent daily says the government is turning down their request to buy paper from abroad. The result is that recent issues of his newspaper have been printed on a rough, dark gray paper intended for grocery bags. Good quality paper, the editor says, is available only on the black market at twice the price.
DRAGAN VIAHOVIC, EDITOR, "GLAS JAVNOVSTI" (through translators): Other newspapers close to the regime are getting everything they need. And for them, the price is twice cheaper. So the question is not about economic hardship, but about economic terrorism. We are ready to import paper, but they are not allowing us to do it.
VINCI: Publishing houses wishing to import printing paper must apply for a license with the trade ministry. But that request, private publishers say, is routinely turned down or ignored.
Alessio Vinci, CNN, Belgrade.
WALCOTT: "Chronicle" returns to the news of the day: the Millennium Summit at the United Nations.
On the day before the official beginning of the massive gathering, thousands of protesters were out in force. And the president of the Republic of Congo visited the Bronx Zoo. It was all enough to provide New York City drivers with a headache and security detail with a glimpse of what the summit could bring.
Here's Frank Buckley.
FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The summit is taking place in a city where traffic gridlock can turn a couple of miles into an infuriating half hour. And the presence of an unheard of number of motorcades going to the same place at the same time promises to make Manhattan extremely undesirable for drivers who aren't in motorcades.
BERNARD KERIK, NEW YORK POLICE COMMISSIONER: There will be about 170 motorcades involving 1,300 vehicles.
BUCKLEY: Demonstrations surrounding the Millennium Summit could make it even worse. At least 91 separate protests are planned. New Yorkers are being warned to avoid the east side of Manhattan and to expect major delays.
But the mayor of New York, who has previously complained about diplomats using immunity to get out of parking tickets, joked the summit presents an opportunity.
MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI (R), NEW YORK: We thought of using this whole thing as a sting operation to collect parking tickets, but then we thought that that would be in very bad taste.
BUCKLEY: The city is serious in its security preparations. Barriers are up around the U.N. and hotels playing host to world leaders. Up to 6,000 police officers of the city's 41,000-member police force will be deployed for the summit at one time. Inside the summit, security considerations have resulted in the moving of some meetings from the elegant, economic and social chamber to smaller conference rooms in the basement, some diplomats taking it in stride.
JEREMY GREENSTOCK, BRITISH AMB. TO U.N.: It doesn't matter if we're downstairs. It's who else is there, what's being said, how they interact. BUCKLEY: But there are other headaches for the hosts, juggling delicate questions like, who speaks first? Who sits by whom? And how long can each leader speak? It's enough to make the most diplomatic of spokesmen, the U.N.'s Fred Eckhard, describe things in less than diplomatic terms.
FRED ECKHARD, U.N. SPOKESMAN: It's going to be the week from hell.
BUCKLEY (on camera): A week in which more than 150 heads of state and heads of government will gather together, creating inconvenience for some of New York's 8 million citizens, while aspiring to make the world a better place for the globe's 6 billion citizens.
Frank Buckley, CNN, United Nations.
BAKHTIAR: All I can say to those New Yorkers is hang in there. It's all in the name of peace.
WALCOTT: And that wraps up today's show. We'll see you back here tomorrow.
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