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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for March 8, 2001

Aired March 8, 2001 - 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.

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Another day to be informed. Hi, everyone. I'm Tom Haynes and here's what's coming up today.

In today's news, foot-and-mouth disease has Europeans up in arms. We'll look at the steps health officials are taking trying to stop the crisis.

Then, in "Science Desk," try this one on for size: new technology that virtually changes the way you buy clothes online.

More signs of the changing times are ahead in "Worldview." Today, a closer look at International Women's Day.

And, finally, in "Chronicle": leading voice for children's rights. We'll profile Marian Wright Edelman.

But first today: The European Union places new restrictions on livestock to prevent the spread of foot-and-mouth disease. EU ministers have closed all livestock markets and shows for two weeks and have banned the export of meat, livestock and dairy products from Britain.

Foot-and-mouth disease does not harm humans, but it causes blisters on the hooves and mouths of sheep, pigs, cattle and goats, decreasing their value. The first case of the incurable disease was reported in Britain last month. Since then, the country has slaughtered and buried 80,000 infected or possibly exposed animals. Cases of foot-and-mouth disease are rising in Britain, but there have been no confirmed cases in the rest of Europe.

Italy has escaped the outbreak. And it's determined to keep it that way. The country has banned all imports of livestock through the end of the month. The United States has issued an alert to airport inspectors and has banned the import of British meat. Veterinary experts say using vaccines to counter the spread of foot-and-mouth disease would be too costly and drastic at this time.

Britain's foot-and-mouth crisis is not just affecting agriculture; it's taking a toll on some sports, such as horse racing. After a temporary ban, racing has resumed in parts of England. But concerns about foot-and-mouth disease are far from gone. Amanda Kibel has more on the precautions Britain and other European nations are taking to prevent further infection.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMANDA KIBEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the first time in a week, horses took to the tracks at Lingfield Park, one of Britain's oldest racecourses. Horse racing across the country had been canceled for fear of spreading foot-and-mouth disease. British farmers say it's too early to relax the controls. But Britain's Jockey Club insists risk-assessment reports from the Ministry of Agriculture have given the sport permission to resume.

But with new cases of the disease emerging daily around Britain, racetrack owners were taking precautions to prevent infections. All horses and vehicles were disinfected as they arrived and as they left the Lingfield Park track. British agriculture officials say they believe the mass slaughtering and quarantine of at-risk animals are bringing the disease under control.

HELENE HAYMAN, BRITISH MINISTER OF STATE FOR AGRICULTURE: Everyone hopes that what we are seeing is the disease emerging that had been spread prior to the movement restrictions, and if that is so, and with limited lateral spread, then that those restrictions will have been effective. But we're all watching the situation very carefully and not jumping to any conclusions.

KIBEL: The movement of livestock from herds certified free of foot-and-mouth has resumed. And some meat from disease-free animals can now be found in British supermarkets. But the crisis is far from over and the cullings of infected animals continue.

At this infected farm in the north of England, 9,500 sheep and more than 300 cattle from were slaughtered and then burned in massive trenches. It was the largest culling in Britain so far. Amid fears the disease could spread across the English Channel, farmers in Lyon, France began preparing trenches for the incineration of sheep imported from Britain. The sheep are suspected of being infected.

Meanwhile, the European Union has ordered its members to close all livestock markets for two weeks and has extended its ban on British livestock meat and milk products until March 27.

Amanda Kibel, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: A CNN viewer wants to know: How serious of a threat is the foot-and-mouth disease to the U.S.?

WALTER RODGERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The United States last experienced an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in 1929. This is a disease which principally affects hoofed animals: cattle, sheep, goats, pigs. If you were to consume an animal that indeed had contracted the disease, it is not something that effects human beings, as a rule. So there's almost no chance at all human beings can get this foot-and-mouth disease.

It is theoretically possible to transmit foot-and-mouth disease from a farm in Britain to the United States. You have to walk around in the mud on a farm in Britain. If that mud remains on your boots, cool and wet, and you go pretty quickly to a farm in the United States within two weeks, you could theoretically infect the animals on an American farm.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: We log on in "Science Desk" to check out new technology making it easier to buy clothes online. You know, one of the biggest problems about shopping for clothes on the Web has been that you can't try them on before you buy them. Well, now e-tailers are trying to solve that problem with a virtual 3-D model of -- guess who? -- you.

Ann Kellan reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANN KELLAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Browsing the racks is easy. But getting the perfect fit?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's the worst thing about shopping is trying on clothes.

KELLAN: When you shop online, you can't even do that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's one of my biggest things about not shopping online because I need to try my clothes on.

KELLAN: If only it was this easy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COMPUTERIZED VOICE: No, no, no - too complicated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLAN: We're getting closer to this "Jetsons"-age technology. With the right software, a 3-D image of your body can appear on a computer screen so you can virtually try on clothes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That sounds good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'd love that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just as long as it was a good picture.

KELLAN: First, you step into a box set up at a mall or a store and get scanned. This one is owned by Lands' End, but there are others, like this from Eastman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a light picture, thousands of points of light in different places of space that form a 3-D image.

MIKE FRALIX, TEXTILE/CLOTHING TECH. CORP: Around the world, other people are trying to solve the same issue because fit clearly is a major problem in the clothing industry.

KELLAN: With special software, you can use that body scan or just type in your dimensions to create a 3-D image of yourself on your computer. You can even adjust the skin and hair color.

This system, available mostly in Europe is called Browzewear. A different system is available at landsend.com. Good idea?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, provided it's just me looking at it, not the entire Internet.

KELLAN: As for security, Lands' End stores your virtual model at their site, so it knows your measurements but only makes them available with a password. Competitor Browzewear's image, on the other hand, lives on your PC's hard drive.

Considering only about 5 percent of clothes are purchased through catalogues or online, some analysts don't expect 3-D technology to radically change the way we buy clothes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like coming to the mall.

KELLAN: But others say, before heading to the mall, future generations will likely try this on for size first.

Ann Kellan, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: All right, good stuff.

From cyberspace to outer space, a little extra from the "Science Desk" today: Crewmembers aboard the International Space Station are about to come home. Space shuttle Discovery was set to lift off today to deliver a new crew to the space station, along with supplies and hardware.

Miles O'Brien has more on the space swap.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The view might be stunning, but there was little time to savor it. The vanguard Alpha team awaits the space shuttle Discovery: their ride home to loved ones and grateful mission managers.

How did they do on a scale of one to 10?

ROCK LABRODE, SPACE STATION FLIGHT DIRECTOR: I'd give them 11. They've done a great job, they really have. They've -- we've asked a tremendous amount of them. O'BRIEN: They will no doubt be asking a lot of the second expedition crew. The commander, cosmonaut Yuri Usachev, is joined by NASA astronauts Jim Voss and Susan Helms. The new station residents will be joined by four shuttle crewmen. Discovery is also toting an Italian-built module that serves as a space moving van -- in it, some telephone booth-size racks that house experiments destined for the Destiny Science Lab.

Two station-improving space walks are also planned. The departing Alpha crew will return to Earth in specially designed reclining seats. Sitting beside them as they feel the tug of gravity once again, Discovery crewmember Andy Thomas, who spent 141 days aboard the Russian Space Station Mir three years ago.

ANDY THOMAS, DISCOVERY CREW: They would be amazed that people are able to do things like walk and pick up their legs, because it will be so difficult for them and so unnatural.

O'BRIEN: NASA has a comprehensive plan to nurse them back to equilibrium. Walking, stretching, swimming, whirlpools and massages fill their first week after landing. Life's rough on the high frontier.

Miles O'Brien, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: Today is International Women's Day: a good time to reflect on the progress and problems of women. Today we'll look at working women in Asia. And that takes us to China and South Korea. And we'll focus on the women's movement around the world as well.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Throughout history, societies have often held women in an inferior status compared to men. This most likely resulted from women's role as childbearers. That affected the division of labor, with women most often assuming the major responsibilities for child care and men working outside the home. But times and attitudes are changing, be it ever so slowly in some places.

As Kathy Nellis explains, women are making progress, but there's still plenty of room for improvement.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KATHY NELLIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The idea of an International Women's Day arose around 1910, just after the turn of the century. Women have come a long way, but nearly 100 years later, they're still struggling for equality and equity. Certainly there's been progress.

In 1893, New Zealand granted women full voting rights, the first nation to do so. Others followed suit in the early 1900s: Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Canada and Britain, to name a few. (on camera): In 1920, the United States adopted the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting American women the right to vote. And suffrage movements were going on around the world.

(voice-over): Suffrage is defined as the right of voting or the exercise of such a right. For some countries, it took longer to get that right. China, India, France, Italy, Japan and Greece enacted women's suffrage during the mid-1900s, after World War II changed many countries' notions of what women could do.

Women could vote in most nations by 1990 -- most, but not all. For example, in Kuwait, women still do not have the right to vote, though there have been attempts to grant that right. International Women's Day is a good time to recognize both advances and obstacles. Dr. Tammy Corley, an instructor in women's studies, says women's status should not be the status quo.

TAMMY CORLEY, WOMEN'S STUDIES PROGRAM, UNIV. OF CORLEY: Well, we're obviously better off, right, than we were in the 1920s, '40s. I think now oppression is so subtle that I think we are at a standstill for now.

NELLIS: While women have made inroads in the work force, for the most part, poverty still has a feminine face. According to the United Nations, the majority of the 1.5 billion people living on $1 a day or less are women. And women's education is still lagging behind. Of the 875 million illiterate adults in the world, two-thirds are women.

MARJANNE GOOZE, ASSOCIATE PROF., UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA: Well, I think, in terms of politics and individual rights, women in Afghanistan at the moment are in the worst position. We've heard about the Taleban closing schools for girls, not allowing girls to go to school at all. When you look at those statistics, the countries that seem to do the best in terms of women, it's usually Scandinavian countries: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland.

They have achieved equality and parity on a lot of fronts: women's educational opportunities, job opportunities, women in politics.

NELLIS: Advocates believe the best way for women to make a difference is to speak up and speak out.

GOOZE: International Women's Day is an important learning tool to learn about people across the world and listen to other women's voices.

NELLIS: To put it in the words of one social reformer who saw American women get the vote: "There will never be a new world order until women are part of it."

International Women's Day recognizes that spirit, that struggle, that necessity.

Kathy Nellis, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: We continue our look at women around the world as we head to Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China.

Dealing with conflict is a way of life for Hong Kong's working women. But their opponents aren't people they meet on the job or even at home. The wars they fight are within themselves: over whether to put career or family first.

Hope Goh (ph) looks at the dilemma and the solution for many of these working women.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HOPE GOH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's 7:30 in the morning and the beginning of a long day for Winnie Chun (ph), group communications manager for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. Her 5- year-old son has a sore throat, and she wants to make sure he's well enough to go to school before she leaves for work herself. Winnie doesn't see him again until night time.

Rose Leng, regional marketing director for Microsoft's consumer group in Asia, is in the same situation. She admits she has little time to join in her daughter's activities.

ROSE LENG, MICROSOFT CONSUMER PROD., ASIA: It is tough when she has school activities like sports day or fun fair that she would like me to go to. I try to take time off to go to those special events if I can, if I'm in town, if I'm not stuck in a meeting. But otherwise, if it's a regular, you know, helping her out in her reading in class, it's frankly something that I'm not able to do.

SIUMI MARIA TAM, CHINESE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG: A lot of them do feel the frustration that there isn't enough time, that there isn't enough energy. They simply can't do it physically because it's so taxing.

GOH: Still, the professional women agree their careers would not be possible without live-in domestic helpers, who are in abundance here. There are nearly 190,000 maids in Hong Kong, most of them from the Philippines. Many have college degrees but have been unable to find work at home.

Though these women earn less than U.S. $500 a month, their salaries make a considerable contribution to the Hong Kong economy.

LEO DEOCADIZ, PUBLISHER, THE SUN: We did a survey among our readers, and we found out that they send about two-thirds of their salaries home and retain a third, which becomes disposable income, basically, here. If you consider that there are 160,000 people here, 160,000 Filipinos here, that translates to about U.S. $30 million every month.

GOH: It may not be the perfect family model, but it enables one group of women to earn a livelihood while the other pursues careers.

Hope Goh, CNN, Hong Kong.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BAKHTIAR: More on women and business as we head to another Asian location: South Korea. This time we take a look at a phenomenon many women face. It's called the glass ceiling. The glass ceiling is an upper limit to professional advancement, as especially imposed upon women, that is not readily perceived or openly acknowledged.

It's the barrier women hit as they attempt to move into positions of power or advancement, a barrier that may be invisible, but is nonetheless real.

Sohn Jie-ae explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SOHN JIE-AE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You could say Kim Sung-joo hit the glass ceiling the moment she was born a female into one of South Korea's family-owned conglomerates, the chaebols.

KIM SUNG-JOO, SUNJOO INTERNATIONAL: All the brothers, right after their college, they enter father's business automatically and immediately. Meanwhile, I had to start from scratches, from the bottom.

JIE-AE: But succeed she did, building a $30 million-a-year company, owner of well-known franchises such as Marks & Spencer and Gucci in South Korea. And Kim is determined to help other Korean women beat what she calls the big boy's club in the corporate world.

SUNG-JOO: And every evening, you have to go out for drinking parties, sometimes sauna, even playing cards. That's the way you exchange all the internal information, making your linkages stronger.

JIE-AE: Kim's written a best-seller book, a wake-up call for women to break through social and economic barriers. And she's about to launch an Internet portal, called iwillb.com, which will target young career women.

(on camera): But Kim is definitely the exception in a society where less than 20 percent of college-educated women are employed. But there is good news. The rise of the Internet industry may have given Korean women just the outlook they had been looking for.

(voice-over): Women compose about 40 percent of those going online and are more quickly becoming entrepreneurs than their male counterparts. While the Internet may not open all doors for Korean women, people like Kim Sung-joo say it is surely helping to level the playing field.

Sohn Jie-ae, CNN, Seoul.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: She's a woman who's dedicated her life to helping those who couldn't always help themselves, a calling that's made her the leading voice for disadvantaged children in the United States. She's Marian Wright Edelman, a name followed by a list of accomplishments.

Our Rudi Bakhtiar had the chance to meet her.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARION WRIGHT EDELMAN, PRES., CHILDREN'S DEFENSE FUND: I have always felt blessed to be born who I was, where I was, when I was, and with the parents I had. As a black girl growing up in a small segregated Southern town, I could never take anything for granted, and never for a moment lacked a purpose worth fighting, living and dying for.

BAKHTIAR (voice-over): She was born Marian Wright in the small segregated town of Bennettsville, South Carolina on June 6 in 1939. She was the last of five children born to Reverend Arthur Jerome and Maggie Leola Bowen Wright (ph) in a time when the South was deeply divided and impassioned with hate.

EDELMAN: Despite those external messages from white segregationists and from the law and from the political system that said I, as a little black girl, wasn't worth much, I had counter- voices. My parents said it wasn't so. My church leader said it wasn't so. My teachers in the segregated schools said it wasn't so. So I knew it was not so.

BAKHTIAR: Educated and devoted to public service, her parents were committed to creating a loving and nurturing environment for their children, stressing the importance of education. So when the time came, Wright headed to Atlanta to attend Spelman College. There, her mentors were the likes of Dr. Benjamin Mayes and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr..

EDELMAN: The first time I ever heard Dr. King speak at Spelman College, in my sisters chapel, he preached on the importance of having faith, of taking the first step even if you couldn't see the whole stairway.

BAKHTIAR: But one of her most eye-opening experiences would come when Wright went to study in Europe on a scholarship at the age of 18.

EDELMAN: In the morning, I woke up in Paris without chaperones, without parents, with no sense that I couldn't go anywhere. I knew what freedom felt like.

BAKHTIAR: That taste of freedom would fuel the fire of her dreams.

EDELMAN: I was waiting and hungry to find a way to strike out against segregation.

BAKHTIAR: The black struggle for equality gained momentum. And even though they planned non-violent action, violence ensued: in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, Birmingham, and in Jackson. While getting her law degree at Yale, Wright took a trip to Mississippi, where civil rights leaders were desperately trying get black people to register to vote.

EDELMAN: Everybody got beat, shot at. People were being killed.

BAKHTIAR: She carried that experience with her throughout her remaining years at Yale. After finishing law school, she would return to Mississippi to become the first black woman to pass the Mississippi bar.

EDELMAN: You know, courage isn't courage unless you're terrified and do your -- what you've got to do anyway.

BAKHTIAR: Mississippi, 1964: The quiet beauty of its cotton fields hid a racially divided society plagued with violence and injustice. Mississippi was one of the poorest states of the Union. Over 80 percent of blacks were poor. Wright, a young civil rights lawyer, was part of a program named Head Start, which provided health care, hot meals and creative teaching to poor children.

When powerful politicians tried to dismantle Head Start, Wright was there to lead the fight against them. In 1967, she testified before a Senate subcommittee overseeing the poverty program.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1967)

EDELMAN: They're starving. They're starving. And those who can get the bus fare to go north are trying to go north. But there is absolutely nothing for them to do. There's nowhere to go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

EDELMAN: And I asked the senators to come with me up to the Delta and to see for themselves. And Robert Kennedy said, "Well, my goodness, if people are starving, then I will do it."

And he did.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ROBERT KENNEDY (D), NEW YORK: What did you have for lunch?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We didn't have (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

KENNEDY: You haven't had lunch yet?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAKHTIAR: The scenes of starvation and poverty that Wright showed Senator Kennedy moved him to immediate action.

EDELMAN: That Robert Kennedy visit, and his anger and his follow-through, set into place a chain of events which led to the dramatic expansions of child and family nutrition programs throughout the country. BAKHTIAR: It was Senator Kennedy that urged Wright to help Dr. king organize a poor-peoples campaign that demanded immediate action for all the poor and an end to hunger.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER: Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAKHTIAR: Two months before the campaign was to take place, Dr. King was assassinated. But the march would go on without hi, Led by Dr. Ralph Abernathy, Andrew Young and Marian Wright. Wright would remain in Washington to become a permanent voice for children. She had found her life's work.

But she had also found her life's partner, Peter Edelman, whom she married a year later. Together they had three sons: Jonah, Joshua and Ezra.

EDELMAN: How many of you have been given the chronology of CDF's history?

BAKHTIAR: Today Marian Wright Edelman is the president of the Children's Defense Fund, which has grown into one of the nation's foremost child-advocacy groups since she helped found it in 1973.

EDELMAN: I just want do the schedule for a little minute and to see what's left on Texas.

BAKHTIAR: Under her direction, the CDF has flourished, pushing for federal legislation guaranteeing disabled children the right to attend public school, building coalitions that have led to safe, affordable child care for millions of children each year, and helping to pass a bipartisan $48 billion child health fund.

EDELMAN: There should be not one hungry child in America. There should be not one poor child in America. There need be no children in this world who die from poverty or hunger or sickness. And I think we can do this. I think this is a magical moment in history: a new millennium, a new century, a globalizing world. This is the time to have a new dialogue about what is important and to redefine the measure of success.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: A living inspiration.

That's CNN NEWSROOM for Thursday. Thanks for joining us. And we'll see you back here tomorrow. Take care.

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