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Aired October 10, 2001 - 04:30   ET

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


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL MCMANIS, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Michael McManis.

TOM HAYNES, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Tom Haynes. After three straight nights of air strikes, coalition forces declare air supremacy over Afghanistan. The United States Defense Department says we have 85 percent of the first military targets in Afghanistan have been destroyed.

That means operation Enduring Freedom can essentially be carried out around the clock.

MCMANIS: And meanwhile in the U.S., the Federal Bureau of Investigation is leading an investigation of anthrax contamination.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Since the September 11th terrorist attacks, there has been an increasing fear of bioterrorism. That fear intensified last week when a Florida man died of anthrax. One of his coworkers has tested positive for the bacteria, but is not exhibiting symptoms of the disease.

The FBI has sealed off the building where these men work. Hundreds of people who worked in the building have been tested for anthrax and offered antibiotics. Florida health officials are encouraging these people to take precautions rather than panic.

DR. JOHN AGWUNOBI, FLORIDA SECRETARY OF HEALTH: I'm asking the people of Florida to remain calm. All indications, all evidence that we have right now indicates that the only cases of anthrax are in the two individuals who work in that building and a keyboard that was contaminated within that building - Mr. Stevens' keyboard.

It seems to us that at this point in our investigation that there is nothing outside of the building that leads us to believe anyone else is at risk. However, our investigation is ongoing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anthrax is considered a potential agent for use in biological warfare. The FBI is investigating a possible link between the Florida anthrax cases and terrorism. They are looking at forensic evidence gathered since last month's terrorist attacks, especially items linked to the suspected hijackers. While anthrax is deadly, it is not contagious. CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on the spread and threat of anthrax.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is only a few microns in size, doesn't require many nutrients, and has the capability to kill millions.

It is common on in animals, but now the world is learning the effect anthrax can have on humans. First, it is grown in a laboratory. It will then be weaponized, that is dried or ground into particles small enough to float on air.

(on camera): The aim, to reach as many people as possible, perhaps through a car or a truck, driving around the city, spewing the deadly germ in its wake.

(voice-over): Or maybe a crop duster, any method to get it into the air. Then, into people's lungs where it passes through tissue called alveoli.

DR. LAURA O'TOOLE, JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR CIVILIAN BIODEFENSE STUDIES: The spore gets inhaled into the bottom of the lungs. It then moves to the lymph nodes in the chest, and as a result of reasons we don't understand, at some point that spore germinates. It starts multiplying. It enters the bloodstream and the usual reactions of the immune system and septic shock ensue.

GUPTA: Those spores can enter the body in three ways. They can be swallowed. They can infect the skin, and the most deadly way, they can be inhaled. The symptoms at first are like the flu including fevers, chills and weakness.

The victim may get better for awhile, but then will most certainly get worse. Over the next one to six days, serious breathing problems and shock can occur. The world has learned from past mistakes. Inhaled anthrax is usually fatal.

O'TOOLE: We know, for example, of an accidental release of anthrax from a Soviet production plant near Svirdlosk and that resulted in about 65 fatalities. But, a very tiny amount of this anthrax powder escaped from the plant in the middle of the night as a result of someone forgetting to replace an air filter, and it killed people and animals many kilometers down wind.

GUPTA: In animal and laboratory tests, the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin worked well at controlling symptoms and preventing deaths.

O'TOOLE: You treat people very early, preferably before they get symptoms. You can save them from anthrax.

GUPTA: But many doctors worry that patients might think they have anthrax when it may just be the flu and react by unnecessarily taking the antibiotic. There is also a vaccine for anthrax. It's about 93 percent effective. The CDC recommends it for soldiers, some farm workers and others who might be exposed to anthrax. It takes 18 months to complete the series of shots.

Justified fear or needless panic? The answer probably lies somewhere in between. Regardless, the decision whether to be vaccinated or to always carry Ciprofloxacin is a personal choice.

Experts do agree, however, the only truly reliable prevention is to stop such attacks before they come. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCMANIS: How prepared is your hometown for a bioterrorism attack? At a Tuesday hearing in Washington, medical experts told senators only 50 percent of U.S. states are ready to handle and contain such an event. Proposals to aid that shortfall include more funds for training and special equipment.

Well, as the senate hearing tackled America's preparedness, the biotech industry is already stepping up efforts in the defense against bioterror. Across the industry, scientists are intensifying research into vaccines and treatments for potential bio threats.

Correspondents Peter Viles and Bruce Francis look into the business of biotech.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The anthrax scare in Florida shedding light on a festering government problem -- Washington's continuing inability to produce an anthrax vaccine under government contract. Americans who want the vaccine for personal use and call the sole licensed manufacturer will hear this message.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the anthrax vaccine information hotline. All the stockpile that currently exists is owned by the Department of Defense.

VILES: The military first used the vaccine extensively during the Gulf War and its useless controversial, fearing side effects, hundreds of soldiers refused the shots. The Pentagon pushed on. In 1998, it set out to vaccinate all military personnel by the year 2005.

Now, three years into the program, only 520,000 personnel have received shots - less than a quarter of the military work force.

SEN. TIM HUTCHINSON (R), ARKANSAS: Our troops are unprotected, and our civilian population is unprotected from a vaccine standpoint and I think there's some conclusions. We can not have a sole source for vaccine.

VILES: That sole source is BioPort, privately held based in Lansing, Michigan. Its lab has repeatedly failed government inspections and currently does not have clearance to release the vaccine and may not get it for four to six months.

KIM BRENNAN-ROOT, BIOPORT SPOKESPERSON: There is a formidable stockpile available. When we have FDA approval for our renovated anthrax vaccine manufacturing facility, we are prepared to release vaccine.

VILES: With the vaccine unavailable, attention has turned to antibiotics to treat anthrax after exposure. Bayer's Ciprofloxacin is the leading product - a billion a year drug used for various infections. Sales surged in New York even prior to the Florida scare, but Bayer says supplies are adequate, telling "Moneyline" it can handle what it terms a -- quote -- "moderate increase in prescriptions".

"We have fulfilled every government order that we have received this year," Bayer said in a statement, "and have fulfilled every commercial order to date."

Meantime, federal officials mindful of e-mails, like this one, have been urging Americans not to hoard drugs like Cipro.

SUE BAILEY, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: There's not anything they can do. They should not run out to get Cipro and think about masks.

VILES (on camera): The government has a stockpile of drugs stored at eight locations around the country. In total, it has enough antibiotics to treat two million cases of anthrax. In fact, drugs from that stockpile were sent here to New York immediately after the attacks of September the 11th.

Peter Viles, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRUCE FRANCIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These mice may just be the ground forces in the defense against bio terror. They've been genetically modified to produce human antibodies by Abgenix of northern California, and the company is now accelerating its work with the U.S. Army.

GEOFFREY DAVIS, CHIEF SCIENTIFIC OFFICER, ABGENIX: We are providing mice to an investigator there who is using the mice to make antibodies to some of the lead candidates of infectious agents that might be used in a biowarfare kind of scenario.

FRANCIS: Across the biotech industry, scientists are intensifying research into diagnostics, vaccines and treatments for potential bioterror threats. Money from Washington will help.

SEN. TOM HARKIN (D), IOWA: We're going to have about a $20- billion antiterrorism bill come through. I believe that a good portion of that is going to be used to help and make sure that we're ready for any bioterrorism that occurs in America.

FRANCIS: Although most of that money will go towards beefing up the public health system, the biotech industry expects that more money will be available for research as well. Current projects include vaccines in pill form from Allergenics in south San Francisco.

Most vaccines now have to be refrigerated and then injected. SRI of Menlo Park, California is working on a lightweight testing device that can help detect toxic chemicals and microbes in the field. And Alnis BioSciences of Emeryville, California is working on technology to help synthesize antibodies for bioterror agents.

Industry groups say that the response is still in its early stages and that the medical dividends from the research will help many fields.

(on camera): Biotech companies are aware that a huge increase in the scale of demand drastically changes the dynamics of the industry, creating potentially huge markets where there had been only small niches.

Bruce Francis, CNN Financial News, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCMANIS: Those drugs being manufactured are sitting in boxes waiting for that phone call. Once a bio threat has been confirmed, they would immediately be shipped to the scene of the attack.

CNN Medical Correspondent Rhonda Rowland has an inside look at America's most coveted pharmaceutical stockpile.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RHONDA ROWLAND, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They're called push-packs -- lifesaving drugs, antidotes ,and other medical supplies stockpiled and strategically placed at distribution centers throughout the United States. The CDC's national pharmaceutical stockpile program's primary goal - to insure availability and rapid deployment of these medical supplies to any U.S. location that may need them in the event of a biological or chemical attack.

Here's how it works. When the need for more medical supplies exceeds what local and state resources can provide, the state would request federal existence. The director of the CDC in consultation with various government officials including HHS, FEMA, and the FBI would then order the deployment of stockpile resources.

There are eight identical push packages, prepackaged and stored in aircraft cargo containers, ready to be dispatched.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCMANIS: Some of that stockpile you just saw was sent to Florida a couple of days ago to help treat workers exposed to anthrax inside an office building. The CDC has said it already has allocated millions of dollars in next year's budget to help increase the supply of bio terror pharmaceuticals.

HAYNES: U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the first three days of strikes against targets in Afghanistan have been successful. He says the daytime and nighttime attacks have done a lot of damage to the Taliban's air defenses.

CNN's Joy Chen spoke with retired Air Force Major General Don Shepperd on Tuesday and he explained the significance of some satellite photos taken before and after Monday's attacks including one of a terrorist training camp.

(BEGIN VIDEOCLIP)

MAJ. GEN. DON SHEPPERD, CNN MILITARY ANALYST (voice-over): This is a fairly -- a substantial complex and you're right, we have before and after pictures. We watch them all the time with satellites. This would be a typical training camp where you could set up an array of buildings.

This would be one where you can see how to take down an air field or a military. You -- notice bunkers down here. People could be taught how to attack those bumpers -- bunkers, perhaps, with nuclear storage in them -- that type of thing.

Up here you see a large complex. It could be an air field or an airport -- very useful to teach terrorists how to do this. We have similar type training camps in this state -- in this area, and if we can look at the after picture here. You can see it's essentially wiped out.

Now all that takes time and money to build, so you, again, by taking away their money to rebuild this, you deny them the ability to train. I wouldn't want to be in that camp now or trying to conduct training there Joy.

(END VIDEOCLIP)

HAYNES: The retired general also reviewed the before and after photos of an Afghan surface-to-air missile site.

(BEGIN VIDEOCLIP)

SHEPPERD (voice-over): This is an SA-3 site -- a SAM missile SA-3. It's an older Soviet missile. It's good at medium altitudes, let's say roughly 30,000 feet and below. Right here what you see is the low brow -- blow radar. It's an acquisition and tracking radar that locks onto our airplanes. Once it locks onto our airplanes, missiles are fired from these areas -- one, two, three. On each one of these sites is what we call a TEL -- a transporter elector -- erector launcher and it has three missiles.

This is a low blow radar and these are GOA missiles that are fired at our aircraft and they are very, very good. Even though these may be old missiles and they may or may not be well maintained, if it's shot at you as a pilot, this is serious stuff. We have to take these out before our people can operate at high altitudes during the day here.

JOY CHEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): And so you thought that these were critical. And then take -- take a look at there -- an after picture there. SHEPPERD (voice-over): Yeah, it's gone.

(END VIDEOCLIP)

MCMANIS: Among the objectives in this multifaceted war against terrorism, to reach out to Afghan civilians, not only in a form of humanitarian aid, but through communication. An important goal is to convince the people of Afghanistan that the war against terrorism is not a war against them or their religion.

David George reports on how this mission is being carried out.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID GEORGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The arsenal deployed against Afghanistan's Taliban and Osama bin Laden now includes weapons of mass communication. Six EC-130s like this one, an airborne radio and television transmitter packed with millions of dollars worth of electronics are already in the area, set to broadcast to the Afghan people.

U.S. officials say deliveries of food and humanitarian aid to Afghanistan will include hand-cranked transistor radios -- that don't need batteries. Radios can be a more potent weapon than rockets when the objective is the hearts and minds of a people.

GEN. DAVID GRANGE, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: There has to be some kind of communication in order to build trust. You don't get the trust unless you have the communication.

GEORGE (voice-over): The giveaway of radios during hostilities goes back at least to the Vietnam War when U.S. forces distributed radios in Cambodia. And radios were dropped by the boxload on Haiti during Operation Restored Democracy in 1994.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Radios like this one, it's say just a small AM and FM radio, I'm sure that it's going to be a big hit with many Haitians tomorrow - a gift from the U.S. military.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE (voice-over): Similar gifts will soon be showing up in Afghanistan where radios are scarce, the truth even scarcer, with some people depending on street corner loud speakers -- for news.

David George, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: Americans of all persuasions have been riveted to news coverage of the terrorist attacks and the military response. Hispanic Americans are no exception. Many are getting their information from CNN en Espanol. The network and others like it are just one sign of the growing influence of the Spanish language. We get two reports from Newsroom's Joel Hochmuth.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): (Spanish)

JOEL HOCHMUTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Spanish speakers in the United States are finding they can get information in other ways than the traditional English language newscasts.

ROLANDO SANTOS, PRESIDENT, CNN EN ESPANOL: A lot of Hispanics are simulated into the U.S. population, but a lot are not. And for those who are not, this provides the subtleties, the nuances of the language that maybe they understand in general terms what's going on in English.

HOCHMUTH: CNN en Espanol reaches about 11 million subscribers in the U.S. and Latin America. You won't find any subtitles here.

SANTOS: It's incredibly satisfying to look up there and you see a report in Afghanistan and you look at the TV screen right next to it in my office, and there's my guy doing the same thing, live at the same instance, the difference being it's in our language.

HOCHMUTH: CNN en Espanol is not alone. Telemundo and Univision are among several competitors. They all offer more than just a different language. Their coverage of the strikes against terrorist targets in Afghanistan is unique.

SANTOS: We bring in the Latin American perspective. You know, we will tell you what's going on with the president of Mexico, what the reaction is in Argentina, what the reaction is in Colombia. So, we'll bring you what's happening from your home country -- if you're a Hispanic -- in your language.

HOCHMUTH: Santos, himself a Mexican American, says he and other Hispanics in the U.S. are a loyal people - loyal to their beliefs and their culture.

SANTOS: But most of all they're loyal to their country, whether it's their home country of Mexico or whether they are in Latin America, but to their adopted country especially.

HOCHMUTH: But the popularity of CNN en Espanol and other Spanish language medias suggests the full adoption of American culture isn't complete, at least not yet. We look more closely at that in the city where the Spanish language dominates one medium - Los Angeles.

(MUSIC)

HOCHMUTH: Perhaps nowhere else is the changing face of America more obvious than the streets of Los Angeles - 4.2 million Latinos call LA County home, the largest Hispanic concentration in the entire United States. While the Latin population has forever changed the look of the city, it is also forever changing its sound - from the marketplace

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)

HOCHMUTH: to the airways

RENAN ALMENDAREZ COELLO, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

HOCHMUTH: Renan Almendarez Coello is the undisputed king of Los Angeles radio, better known as "El Cucuy" or "The Boogie Man," he immigrated from Honduras nearly 20 years ago and has been on the air ever since.

ALMENDAREZ COELLO: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

HOCHMUTH: His Spanish language morning talk show brings in an audience three times the size of LA's top English language radio stations. One big reason, the huge numbers of Spanish speakers in the LA area.

ALMENDAREZ COELLO (through translator): They hear this crazy guy talking and he may be saying something that catches their interest or that motivates them or that makes them laugh amid sadness they carry. Because they just arrived -- because when you first arrive in this country, you feel very sad, abandoned and lonely. I identified with them.

HOCHMUTH: Now broadcast in 15 markets around the U.S., Almendarez says Americans should get used to the sound of Spanish.

ALMENDAREZ COELLO (through translator): The only thing they have to do is to recognize and say -- the Spanish language is the second language of the United States. They should say it now. They should talk about it and write about it. They shouldn't just whisper about it or question whether it's a fact or not. No. It is true. It's a reality.

MAURO MUJICA, U.S. ENGLISH: Outside of the United States, people feel or think that it's an English speaking country, and it ain't so now.

HOCHMUTH: Mauro Mujica is an immigrant from Chile who heads U.S. English, a group lobbying for official English laws across the country. He's afraid the U.S. could eventually become like Canada, a nation split by language.

MUJICA: Now, we're beginning to divide ourselves to split along linguistic lines. You know we're beginning to see pockets of people who speak other languages and no English whatsoever.

HOCHMUTH: That's certainly true in parts of Los Angeles. In fact, in many neighborhoods, it's easy to find those who speak little or no English, even successful business owners.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

HOCHMUTH): Mexican immigrant Olivia Marroquin Galano has run this beauty shop in Royal Heights for 10 years.

OLIVIA MARROQUIN GALANO, BUSINESSWOMAN (through translator): We can say about 97 percent of our customers speak Spanish. It's very rare if you get someone that speaks only English, very rarely. Only if they come from very far away or by someone's recommendation.

HOCHMUTH: Has she ever tried to learn English?

GALANO (through translator): Of course, yes, I have. In the past I have attended school in the mornings. I would attend school for six months and then stop because I have to take care of my house and my work too. So I don't have much time left. It's because of that.

HOCHMUTH: Still experts contend that examples like Marroquin don't tell the whole story.

GREGORY RODRIGUEZ, NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION: This process of immigrant enclaves and linguistic enclaves is an -- is an age-old American process. I mean we've all heard the quote from Benjamin Franklin, his concern that German America would never assimilate. These concerns have been -- are as old as the American republic.

HOCHMUTH: But while German and other languages eventually faded from use in the U.S., few are predicting that will happen with Spanish. Never before in U.S. history have so many people spoken a language other than English. Across the United States, nearly 27 million people speak Spanish at home.

It's about 10 percent of the entire population and 10 million more than just a decade ago. And with hundreds of thousands of new Spanish speakers arriving each year, businesses of all sorts see dollar signs.

VIBIANA ANDRADE, MEXICAN AMERICAN LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATION FUND: Those folks are about money, and companies are investing and that are broadcasting. Absolutely, it is about money and the -- and the dollars that Latinos -- that Latinoes spend is circulating in the economy.

HOCHMUTH: While businesses that cater to Spanish speakers are flourishing here ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

HOCHMUTH (on camera): That's not necessarily true everywhere in the city. This theater in Huntington Park is one of just seven left in the entire Metropolitan area still showing movies with Spanish subtitles. Fifteen years ago, there were dozens of these. Experts say the market for such films is drying up as immigrants assimilate and learn English.

RODRIGUEZ: Spanish is here to stay, but again, that does not mean it'll impead the children and grandchildren of Spanish speaking immigrants from learning English, which is the nation's primary language. That -- that we will have pockets of persistence of Spanish, but it'll be a second - as a second language.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Repeat one more time. OK, this is 'next to.'

CLASSROOM: Next to.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, OK. Across from.

CLASSROOM: Across from ...

HOCHMUTH (voice-over): And there's little evidence to suggest Spanish could ever challenge the importance of English in America. Throughout Los Angeles, schools at a variety of levels are full of recent immigrants desperate to learn English. Evans Community Adult School holds classes for some 20,000 at any one time. At times, the waiting list exceeds 5,000.

ANDRADE: Most immigrants who come to the United States want to learn English. I think that that's their goal. And they recognize then in order to get a good paying job, and in order to create the American dream, for themselves and their families, they learn to read and write and speak English.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The car is a Honda.

HOCHMUTH: Most high school aged immigrants are eager to learn too. Most in this classroom at Bell High School have been in the United States less than a year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a beautiful house he lived with his girlfriend, father and mother.

HOCHMUTH: Already they've learned some basic phrases.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name. How are you? I'm fine. No more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is your name? Where do you live?

HOCHMUTH: Still, for now to really express themselves, it's Spanish.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): If I return to my country, there is nothing. Here I have my family (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I have my grandmother in El Salvador still. Also, I miss her. I think it is worth the sacrifice to go ahead with life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I think that there are many that are interested in learning English. Otherwise, what would be the point for them to come here without being interested in learning English. Then, it will be the same as staying in our countries where we will get the low-pay job. RODRIGUEZ: There is a myth that somehow immigrants come to the most powerfully - again, economically the most powerful country in the world simply to resist its cultural embrace and - but that is what it is. It is a myth.

HOCHMUTH: Census figures show that by the third generation end, two-thirds of Latino children speak English exclusively and no Spanish at all. But that doesn't mean it's going away. In the years ahead, the influence of Spanish will be unmistakable and unprecedented.

RODRIGUEZ: We will begin to speak English in Southern California and the Southwest with more of a Mexican cadence. We will start using words like cheese may (ph) for gossip or a siesta for nap. We will - Spanish, portions of the language will become part and parcel of the - of the regional English that we use.

HOCHMUTH: Still, the fear persists among many that language will divide.

MUJICA: We begin suffering as a nation. We're no longer able to communicate with all the other Americans out there. For the good of the country, we have to keep a common language, a way for all of us Americans to talk to each other.

ANDRADE: No, I don't see huge schisms in our society forming because people communicate in different languages. The reality is that our world has changed. We've grown and we continue to grow, and we continue to evolve into a nation that is sophisticated and that is tolerant.

And that we hope creates the opportunities for all of its children.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: Los Angeles, of course, isn't the only place experiencing an explosion in the use of Spanish. In and around St. Louis, Missouri, public services of all kinds are changing the way they do business including the police.

MCMANIS: That's right Tom and to check out that story, click onto cnnfyi.com. You'll find that videostream on the site.

HAYNES: And that is CNN NEWSROOM for Wednesday.

MCMANIS: I'm Michael McManis.

HAYNES: I'm Tom Haynes. We'll see you later.

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