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Britain Floods; CNN/YouTube Debate; Buried By Mud; Atlanta Shooting; Enticing Home Buyers
Aired July 23, 2007 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Police that, as I said, it happened at about 7:00 a.m. just off of I-75, if you happen to know the area. Trying to get more information about this. And as Tony said earlier, not even sure if the suspect is in custody at this point or not. But as of right now, four people dead, two injured in a shooting in southeast Atlanta.
TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Historic flooding across the south of England. The government seemingly caught off-guard, now pressured to respond quickly to even more flooding. We get the story from ITN's John Sparks.
JOHN SPARKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over): The scale is extraordinary. Unprecedented even say the environment agency. Record levels of rainfall in May, June, and now July, nature's bounty pushing those charged with protecting us to the very limits. Unsurprisingly, the system is struggling to cope. And that system, a mixture of preventative and reactive services, under sustained criticism today.
With an estimated 2 billion pounds of damage on the books, the government is under pressure to show it takes the business of flood defense seriously. The agency responsible says more money is being spent, but admits that it hasn't done enough.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's no doubt about it, there are some communities without defenses or without adequate defenses at the moment that need them and the government's given us another 200 million pence a year to do that. But with this scale of floods, even our best defenses would have been over-topped. We had one that we just completed last year to a good standard, overtopped by the volume of water coming down the rivers.
SPARKS: Up to Napon (ph) Seven (ph). The banks have burst, temporary flood barriers failing to reach the Worcestershire (ph) village in time. Traffic congestion and logistical realities holding them up. Still, the government says that in the circumstances their response has been, well, not bad.
HILARY BENN, ENVIRONMENT SECRETARY: The government was prepared in the form of the emergency coordination that comes into operation when things like this happen, the goal (ph) come out of the system and that's meant that the emergency response and evacuating people, caring for them, giving advice, putting people into rest centers, making sure that they're looked after and cared for, that has worked pretty well. SPARKS: And why have the heavens descended? Well, it's all about the jet stream that normally brings unsettled weather to Iceland and Scandinavia, yet this summer it sat itself hundreds of miles south. So we get sustained rainfall, while southern Europe bakes in 40 degree Celsius heat. GRAHAM FORRESTER, METEOROLOGICAL OFFICE: It's a very warm that's in the southern part of Europe. And the relatively cool air that's to the north of the jet stream, that clash of these two different types of airs tends to be where you get the most active weather when you have that big temperature contrast.
SPARKS: Government policy, like the plan to build 70,000 new homes, also under fresh scrutiny. A leaked consultation document stating it is unrealistic to prevent new building on flood plains. The demands of public policy now pitched against an increasingly unpredictable weather system.
COLLINS: So we are talking about some pretty desperate people, stranded without drinking water or electricity in all of this, waiting to be rescued from those flood waters. One of those people is Joann. She is joining us now on the phone from Gloucester.
Joann or Joan, I just want to make sure I have your name right here.
COLLINS: Joann, tell us, what's going on where you are?
JOANN: Well, at the minute we've had (INAUDIBLE) part of the city of 600 people have been evacuated, waiting for the river to crest its banks. And the rains have set in again (INAUDIBLE) heavy. So we're just trying to get (INAUDIBLE) just to the north really, (INAUDIBLE) safe.
COLLINS: So how long have you been inside your home? I mean, can you not even open the door of your home?
JOANN: We're fine at the minute. We're a bit higher up than other people. So we're not too bad. But it's (INAUDIBLE) wait and see. And we've got no water or electricity. So we're trying to find out what's going on (INAUDIBLE) and we're just trying to find some information of that sort (ph).
COLLINS: All right. Well, we're having a little bit of trouble hearing you, Joann, but I want to try to keep you on the line if at all possible. Did you say you've been able to have any contact with anyone outside your home?
JOANN: Not really. Just the folks from your network. That was (INAUDIBLE) information for us.
COLLINS: OK. Well as we continue to look at this video that we're getting in now, it is an unbelievable amount of water that I'm sure you are very worried about and trying to get safe from. Boy, we certainly wish you the very best of luck. Joann, thanks for giving us some information today. We'll continue to follow this story. Thanks so much.
HARRIS: And a muddy mess in a Colorado mountain town. The Alpine area reeling this morning from mud slides triggered by heavy rains. Mud in parts of the region six feet deep. More than two dozen homes reportedly were damaged. Cars smashed. At least 125 people fled their homes. Right now there is no words of any injuries. Authorities say it could take weeks to clean up the mess.
COLLINS: Unbelievable. All over the place, Jacqui.
HARRIS: Another story we're following now. The biological mother of a baby girl abducted at gunpoint faces kidnapping charges. Police say five-month old Madison Erickson was snatched from her adoptive mother during a home invasion in Mississippi. She was found later unharmed at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. Under arrest, Jamie Kiefer, the girl's biological mother, and the baby's aunt, Rikki Swann. Authorities are looking for a third woman and a man they say took part in the kidnapping.
COLLINS: Tragedy on the baseball diamond. A minor league coach killed by a foul ball. It happened in north Little Rock, Arkansas, last night. Mike Coolbaugh of the Tulsa Drillers was standing in the first base coach's box. A hard hit ball struck him in the head. He was given CPR but later died. Coolbaugh had a brief major league career. He was just 35 years old. He is survived by two young sons and his wife, who is expecting their third child in October.
HARRIS: The road to the White House paved by the information highway? Tonight, Democratic candidates field questions from the Internet. The forum hosted by CNN and YouTube. What's this YouTube anyway? Here's CNN's senior political analyst Bill Schneider.
Bill, this is -- look, let's face it, it is a bit of a groundbreaking debate. Journalists won't be asking the questions. And for a lot of folks, that will be reason enough to watch.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. It will be ordinary voters sending in the questions, taking their own questions and putting them on web cam, sending them in via YouTube, a web sharing service. And this is going to be directly a conversation between voters and candidates. Our Anderson Cooper will be there to moderate and his main job will be to make sure the candidates actually answer the questions that the voters submit.
HARRIS: So his main job is going to be to make sure the candidates answer the questions and then those tough follow-ups. What kind of questions, Bill, have you seen?
SCHNEIDER: Questions on everything. You know, we thought there would be an overwhelming number of questions about the war on Iraq. A lot of them do deal with Iraq, but a lot of them deal with matters of intense personal concern.
Questions about healthcare from voters who have suffered with the -- under the healthcare system. A woman with breast cancer writes in a question about preventative care, sends in that video. She actually removes her wig to dramatize her situation.
People asking questions about student loans and education. Some of the questions about very far-reaching events, fighting in Darfur, global warming.
And some very amusing questions, too. A pussycat is asking the question about who's going to protect her food supply? All kinds of questions.
HARRIS: OK. And you will be there to watch it all unfold. Bill Schneider for us.
Bill, thank you.
HARRIS: And, once again, Anderson Cooper hosts tonight's first of its kind debate, live and interactive on TV and online. The CNN/YouTube Democratic debate tonight at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. And you can see the Republican candidates debate on Monday, September 17th.
COLLINS: Also, the changing face of America's inner cities.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lots of youth (ph) communities across the country are experiencing this new migration at the same time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Latino families moving in. It's a national trend.
ROB MARCIANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And I'm Rob Marciano in the middle of the Colorado Rockies, where over the weekend part of that hillside came tumbling down and buried a small mountain town in mud. A live report is coming up in the NEWSROOM.
HARRIS: And still ahead, a Democratic senator wants to punish the president. Russ Feingold talking about censure resolutions. But will his own party support him?
COLLINS: Traffic in gridlock. A vintage plane hogs the road after making an emergency landing.
HARRIS: And good morning again, everyone. Welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Tony Harris.
A vacation in Hawaii turns bloody. Surviving eight feet of terror. Tiger shark attack. The story coming up for you in the NEWSROOM.
COLLINS: Surviving a predator. Shark attack in Hawaii. Harvey Miller was snorkeling 150 yards off a beach in Oahu when a tiger shark sunk its teeth into his left leg. The attorney from Ohio says he punched the shark twice and scared it away. His screams answered by a good Samaritan who helped him to shore. Reporters asked Miller what he was thinking when the shark struck.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARRY MILLER, SHARK BITE VICTIM: I just remember saying, oh, God, not like this. No way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: The attack at the particular beach was the first in almost 50 years.
HARRIS: A resort area buried by thick, gooey mud. Dozens of people around Alpine, Colorado, out of their homes this morning after heavy rains triggered mud slides. CNN's Rob Marciano is there.
And, Rob, boy, the toll here is pretty immense. We're talking about dozens of homes damaged, cars smashed, we understand. At least, what, 125 people had to run for their lives and flee their homes. What have you seen?
ROB MARCIANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we haven't seen much this morning, I can tell you that. Because not only is the media not allowed in there right now, but the residents aren't either. But hopefully that will change today for the residents' sake when they deem it's safe to go back into that area that was buried by mud.
Here near the continental divide, in the middle of the Colorado Rockies, while water flows downhill in a hurry. Snow melts and rain from heavy thunderstorms like we saw over the weekend can often take not only water, but land along with it. And that's exactly what we saw Saturday night when they got a bunch of rain in a short amount of time in very, very rugged terrain in that area, about two miles up the river from here. Listen to how one woman who lives there describes her home now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In our driveway alone, we probably have two and a half, maybe three feet of mud that came down with rocks and twigs. And two trees came down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARCIANO: What you can see from my vantage point is the majesty of what is the Colorado Rockies. And the problem that is the Colorado Rockies is with this steeped rugged terrain. Not only during the wintertime do you have the threat from an ongoing avalanche, but here in the summertime you've got landslides. And when you've got rain compounding that sort of -- like Jacqui described, this chalky type of soil, the National Weather Service describes it as being very flashy, meaning it's very susceptible to flash floods, and, in this case, mud slides. And that's exactly what we saw over the weekend.
We mentioned, Tony, that no one was hurt with this. No one was killed. Thousands of people around the world are killed by mud slides every year. So for this to happened over the weekend here in a fairly populated area of Colorado and for nobody to get hurt is a fairly small miracle.
The threat's going to be ongoing though because we're in what we call the monsoon season, where afternoon thunderstorms are prevalent in the mountains hit and miss. But when they do hit, as you saw over the weekend, they come with a bunch of rain and that can be quite dangerous from time to time.
HARRIS: Just absolutely devastating. Rob Marciano for us this morning.
Rob, appreciate it. Thank you.
Look, when weather becomes the news, we want you to be safe, but you can also play a role and help us with our reporting on the story. If you see severe weather happening in your area, send us an iReport. Just go to cnn.com and click on iReport or type firstname.lastname@example.org into your cell phone and share your photos or your video.
COLLINS: Deadly floods engulfing large parts of Southern China today. Flooding and landslides have killed at least 150 people just since last week. Severe storms expected to bring even more flooding to the area. At least 400 people have been killed in flooding since China's rainy season began two months ago.
HARRIS: Candidates get the questions. Hear from one of the voters asking them ahead of tonight's groundbreaking debate on CNN.
GERRI WILLS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Gerri Willis.
The housing market is in trouble. And if you're looking for buyers in all the wrong places, well, we'll tell you what you need to do. That's next on "Top Tips" in the NEWSROOM.
HARRIS: And right now let's get you some of those unfolding developments. We've been telling you about a horrible murder scene in southeast Atlanta this morning. Judy Pal is on the line with us. She is with the Atlanta Police Department.
And, Judy, instead of me sort of describing the news accounts of what your officers found this morning and what they responded to, why don't you tell us in fact what unfolded this morning in the 100 block of Mt. Zion Road, again, in southeast Atlanta. Thanks for your time.
JUDY PAL, ATLANTA POLICE: Thanks. Good morning, Tony.
Around 7:00 we were called to a person shot call. When police arrived, we found -- and it's a single-dwelling home -- we found four people dead, two others were rushed to hospital after an apparent murder/suicide. One of the persons deceased, we believe, is the man who was the shooter. He was 52 years of age. Also deceased at the scene were two of the victims. One was 26 years of age and the other victim age is still unknown. We believe them to be in their 20s.
Two of the other victims were taken to Grady Hospital where a 28- year-old died. And there is another victim, age 27, who remains there in critical condition. And I think a lot of the media were talking about a three-year-old boy. He has been taken to Eggleston Children's Hospital in critical condition.
We did locate a weapon at the scene. All the victims are believed to be related. It's very early, even though this happened at 7:00 and it's now 10:30. It is early in the investigation. We have police there. We have crime scene technicians on scene.
HARRIS: So talk us through what the next steps are. I imagine you processed the scene, of course. But are your and your officers conducting interviews of neighbors to try to get a sense -- you're trying to answer the big question as to why something as horrible as this could take place.
PAL: Yes, absolutely. But, unfortunately, in a lot of these cases, we really never find out. You know, it's very hard to understand why something like this might happen, you know, especially when the person who was doing the killing has ended up killing themselves. It's a very tragic situation. There's probably a lot of folks that will know these people. It's going to be very, very sad days for a lot of folks.
We have a big job ahead of us with so many people that were involved in this shooting. We'll be talking to folks around that area. And our crime scene technician, obviously, will be trying to figure out the order of events.
Judy, you mentioned a 52-year-old male.
HARRIS: You believe that 52-year-old made was the shooter?
HARRIS: Do you know if he was, let's say, the head of that household? Father? Grandfather?
PAL: You know what, I don't want to speculate at this point. The public affairs staff, as I'm sure you realize, aren't allowed into the crime scene to chat with the folks. We're going to let the officers do their work. And once the incident commander comes out and provides us with a little bit of information, we'll get it out to you as soon as possible.
HARRIS: OK. Judy Pal of the Atlanta Police Department.
Judy, thanks for the information this morning.
PAL: Thanks so much, Tony, we appreciate it.
COLLINS: Home sales, the lowest in five years? If you are selling, you're scrambling, that's for sure. Here with the best ways to entice -- yes, I like this -- to entice a buyer. CNN personal finance editor Gerri Willis.
Gerri, great to see you.
WILLIS: Good to see you.
HARRIS: Boy, this is an issue you talk about on the big "Open House" show a lot.
HARRIS: So where do we start here? What's the best way to sort of entice someone to buy your home. You need to move it.
WILLIS: That's right. Well, you know, some people are very desperate at this point and you have to understand that getting the money together to put down a down payment on a house is the biggest stumbling block for first-time home buyers. And considering how much harder it may be to qualify for a mortgage right now, buyers will be even more attracted by financial incentives you can offer. You can offer to pay the whole down payment or part of the down payment and that can make all of the difference.
Look, paying a buyers down payment is no small fee. It can be expensive. But this may be the only option if you're in a very stressed housing market.
HARRIS: Well, if I look ahead here, it even gets more expensive. If you look at your tips two here, think about taking on the closing costs?
WILLIS: Yes, you know, I'm telling you, people out there are trying to move these homes.
HARRIS: Gerri, this is getting pricey here.
WILLIS: Indeed it is. Closing costs can add up to quite a bit of money. We're talking about title insurance and taxes. Closing costs can make up two to three percent of the loan amount, and that may be thousands of dollars out of the seller's pocket as they reimburse the buyer. So this is another way to get people to buy that house that you're trying to unload. Some people don't have a lot of flexibility when they have to sell.
HARRIS: What do you mean when you say pay with points?
WILLIS: Well, you know, a buyer is always looking at their bottom line for a home. But in an environment where interest rates are rising, hey, getting a mortgage with an attractive interest rate is really important. People selling their homes today can entice buyers by offering to pay mortgage points. These are the points - they are fees, actually. The buyers generally pay to get the lender to cut the interest rate. So, instead of having an interest rate at, say, 6.5 percent, which you might right now, a seller may be able to pay points so that the rate is 5.5 percent, say, for the first year. Now paying those points for the buyer can be a big benefit and big, you know, incentive.
HARRIS: What do you think about the idea -- would it help me entice a buyer if I can say to that buyer, look, I've got this fabulous home warranty here that will cover everything?
WILLIS: Yes. People like these things. More home sellers are taking out home warranties. And a warranty is really just an insurance plan the seller takes out on the home and it acts just like a regular old-fashioned insurance plan, but it covers the major mechanicals like the furnace or the cooling system. This way the buyer goes in and they know if anything happens to the appliances, air conditioning units, hey, it's going to be repaired or replaced. Now it's not free. It costs about $500 to $750 for a one-year policy but it really can put buyers minds at ease, particularly if they are buying an older home.
HARRIS: Hey, what about if I -- let's see, I've got this great room that I've finished, I put my home gym in there, hey, can we make this deal work if I include the gym?
WILLIS: Well, maybe, you know, I mean, of course there have been deals where sellers offer flat-screen TVs, free cars, exotic vacation. We've heard everything, I'm telling you. But people are really looking for a house when they're shopping for a house, not a trip to Paris.
HARRIS: Yes, that's true.
WILLIS: You really are better off spending your time fixing your home's warts, like repairing the crumbling stairs or replacing appliances instead of going for all the bells and whistles.
And, of course, Tony, if your viewers have a question, send it to us at email@example.com. We answer them right here every Friday and we love to hear from your very smart viewers.
HARRIS: There you go. Good Monday to you, Gerri. Great to see you.
WILLIS: Great to see you.
COLLINS: Trapped by floods. British towns cut off from the world. Islands in a sea of flooding. Desperate rescues underway today.
Also, towering flames and thick smoke. Parts of the west dealing with some big wildfires this morning. One of the hardest-hit areas, central Utah.
And celebrations in Baghdad. Sunni, Shiites and Kurds united for a common cause, cheering on their new national heroes.
CHURCH: Welcome back to our viewers joining us from more than 200 countries and territories all around the globe, including the United States. This is YOUR WORLD TODAY. I'm Rosemary Church.
CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy. These are some of the stories making headlines on YOUR WORLD TODAY.
More rain in the forecast for England, as if they need it. England itself trying to weather the worst flooding in 60 years, rising waters swamping entire towns, cutting off power, drinking water, and forcing thousands of people from their homes.
CHURCH: Turkey's prime minister is pushing for national unity after his party won re-election by a wide margin. Now the governing AKP must face a presidential election. Their last nominee had an Islamist background. He was strongly opposed by Turkey's secular elite, which led to a political crisis and Sunday's early election.
CLANCY: In Baghdad, four car bombings, killing at least 16 people. Another 40 wounded. Three of attacks happened in a mainly Shia neighborhood. The Iraqi government reports the last bombing hit a popular restaurant near the green zone.
CHURCH: People around the world rely heavily on exports from China, so much so that every day China sells an estimated $2.6 billion worth of goods, that's every day.
CLANCY: Now the country's safety standards, though, coming under intense scrutiny worldwide, as news of tainted and dangerous products emerges.
CHURCH: That's right. All this week we are looking at the scope of the problem, and how Beijing is reacting in our "Made In China" series.
CLANCY: Now, for one little girl, the response from Beijing to all of this has come far too late. John Vause introduces us now to her grieving parents.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTL. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): They thought they were doing the right thing. They thought the Chinese-made antibiotic, prescribed by their doctor would help their little girl's tonsil infection, but the Lius (ph) were wrong, dead wrong. GAO PING, LUI SICHEN'S MOTHER (through translator): Twenty minutes after using the antibiotic, she started to shiver and her temperature went up. I felt my daughter shivering very fiercely. Her lips turned purple and her face changed color and she told me a lot of times she felt cold.
VAUSE: A their six-year-old Lui Sichen, their only child, fell into a coma her parents rushed her to this hospital. Three days later she was dead and the last words she ever said --
GAO PING (through translator): "Mama, it really hurts."
VAUSE: That was a year ago this month, and every day since her parents have lived with the guilt that the medicine they gave her, killed her.
GAO PING (through translator): If I hadn't tried to cure my daughter, hadn't given her that medicine, she would have got better by herself. She wouldn't have died.
VAUSE: But it wasn't her fault. Government investigators found the state-controlled manufacturer, Shanghai World Best Pharmaceutical, had cut corners, reducing the time and lowering the temperature at which the drug was sterilized, allowing it to become contaminated. The Luis cling to the bottle, still half filled with the drug that killed her daughter.
GAO PING (through translator): Every time I look at that medicine I'm filled with hate.
VAUSE (on camera): The government investigation found the Lui Sichen was among 11 people who died after taking the tainted medication. Even so, the drug maker is still in business today, no longer allowed to produce antibiotics, and it was fined, but no criminal charges have ever been laid.
(Voice over): According to the company's website, it still makes vitamin C and the company says those ingredients are also exported to, quote, "foreign countries including the United States."
This is the pile of legal documents the Lius have filed during a year-long search for justice. Earlier this year the drug maker gave them about $2,700 U.S. compensation, much less, they say, than their expenses so far, and twice the courts have turned down their appeals.
GAO PING (through translator): There is no happiness no, no hope, no future for this family. We have no meaning in our lives.
VAUSE: When the pain gets too much, the Lius go to the river their daughter loved, and they throw petals on the water. They believe that will help Sichen find her way to heaven. Their little girl is gone, and all that's left now is agony, despair, and memories. John Vause, CNN, Harbin.
CHURCH: And you can find out much more about the safety of goods made in China.
CLANCY: That's right, by going to our website cnn.com/madeinchina. That's cnn.com/madeinchina.
CHURCH: And for our viewers outside the United States, tune in for our special report "Made In China". John Vause takes a closer look at Chinese products, how safe or unsafe are they? Join us for that on Thursday at 11:30 GMT, and the special will then re-air three hours later at 14:30 GMT.
CLANCY: For the very first time, Israel approves a textbook that describes the country's 1948 war of independence as -- and we're quoting here -- "A catastrophe for the Arab population." The text approved for use in Arabic schools also says this. "Some of the Palestinians fled, and some were expelled following the war of independence," and we're quoting again here, "many Arab-owned lands were confiscated."
Now, this is a move and a change in text that addresses long- standing concerns of the country's Arabs who make up about 20 percent of Israel's population. It immediately, however, garnered criticism from right-wing politicians and calls for the education minister to be sacked.
CHURCH: Well, Britain's former prime minister, Tony Blair, has stepped into his new role, that of Middle East envoy, with factional conflict between the Palestinians on top of the long-term problems between Palestinians and Israelis, he's certainly got his work cut out for him. Ben Wedeman makes a look.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTL. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): What better way to retire from a stressful, demanding job than to come to the Middle East, to help sort this mess out. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is the latest in a long line of Middle East envoys. Remember, these former envoys, Dennis Ross, George Tenet, Anthony Zinni, George Mitchell, James Wolfensohn. They gave it all a go. They all failed. But the United States insists, once again, this time it really is serious about peace in the Middle East.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We must show that, in the face of extremism and violence, we stand on the side of tolerance and decency. In the face of chaos and murder, we stand on the side of law and justice. And in the face of terror and cynicism and anger, we stand on the side of peace in the Holy Land.
(CROWD CHANTING IN ARABIC)
WEDEMAN: With Iraq imploding, many in the region wonder if the Bush administration in its waning months has the energy and determination to drag peace, kicking and screaming, out of the maelstrom of the Middle East.
The political climate in the region is hardly encouraging. The Palestinians are profoundly and violently split between the defiant Hamas-led government in Gaza, and a shaky U.S.-backed Fatah government in the West Bank.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is distracted by coalition wrangling and scandals, and the risks of another summer war with Hezbollah -- and the perceived threat from increasingly assertive Iran.
Blair's mandate is limited, to help reform Palestinian institutions, and advance the peace process. But bringing the two sides together could prove to be mission impossible.
MARTIN SHERMAN, TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY: It's an insolvable structure. I think the maximum that the Israelis can offer, they'll probably always fall short of the minimum the Palestinians feel they can accept. I feel that will be the problem Blair will run into.
WEDEMAN (on camera): If he was looking for a challenging job he won't be disappointed. Welcome to the Middle East, Mr. Blair, and good luck. Ben Wedeman, CNN, Qaiandiya Checkpoint, on the West Bank.
CLANCY: This just coming in to CNN. The White House announcing that polyps removed from U.S. President George W. Bush, over the weekend, were not cancerous. Mr. Bush will have his next routine colonoscopy in three years' time.
CHURCH: All right, for those of you who say the Internet is changing the face of politics, well, tonight may prove the case.
CLANCY: That's right, and coming up, a sea of new faces entering U.S. presidential debates, courtesy of YouTube.
CHURCH: And a warm welcome back to you. You are watching YOUR WORLD TODAY here on CNN International.
CLANCY: Seen live in more than 200 countries and territories around the world, including yours.
Several hours from now, the first of our U.S. presidential debates getting under way and the questions, interestingly enough, were submitted to YouTube.
CHURCH: That's right. One task for the producers sorting through thousands of questions.
CLANCY: So what kind of questions are the ones that are getting picked?
CHURCH: Normally, we'd issue a spoiler alert at this point, but even our own Tom Foreman couldn't pry the list of winners from the judges' hands.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is your opinion of America's image abroad?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Various campaign --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What will you do to counteract the --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My question is this --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If elected --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How would you use your powers?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Hundreds of questions from all over, to be seen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I sort of like that.
FOREMAN: And sorted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's certainly different.
FOREMAN: And selected.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You like this one?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like this one a lot, absolutely.
FOREMAN: High inside our New York offices, locked away in this private room, this small group is taking on that task, led by Senior Vice President David Bohrman.
DAVID BOHRMAN, CNN SR. VICE PRESIDENT: I just think it's a little touchy feely.
FOREMAN: And Sam Feist, our political director, both delighted at the quantity and quality of questions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, my question is, wouldn't you --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you going to help to stop --
FOREMAN: A small number of submissions involves special productions.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to be sure that you have an escape plans, or just --
FOREMAN: Most are simply people talking to a camera.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Women are not included in the United States Constitution.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How often do your religious beliefs impact --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's bring this question out in the open.
BOHRMAN: We're finding these questions to camera from senior citizens and middle-aged people, and young people from all around the country. So because it's so simple and easy to do, we're getting a really broad spectrum.
FOREMAN: They are all graded. Some more cleverness, others for earnestness.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, I really liked that one.
FOREMAN: Some because they ought to be asked.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My fear is that it just lends itself to a stump speech.
FOREMAN: Some because they haven't been asked before.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It puts candidates in a bind on No Child Left Behind.
BOHRMAN: There clearly are questions that we, the journalists, mainstream media would never think to ask in a presidential debate.
FOREMAN (on camera): Like what?
BOHRMAN: I'm not going to tell you.
FOREMAN: He's smiling.
BOHRMAN: Really? I'm not.
FOREMAN: But not kidding.
(on camera): Only about 50 videos will make it into the debate, and exactly how they are being chosen is a secret -- even around here.
BOHRMAN: He focuses with some context, right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a vein of questions in a lot of these that occur.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The questions that we're getting on health care.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He asks this, and then they're going to --
FOREMAN (voice over): And when the selection is done, only these folks, host Anderson Cooper, and a handful of others will know which of your questions will be heard by someone who might become president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was a really good question.
FOREMAN: Tom Forman, CNN, New York.
CLANCY: All right, the questions, some of them really good. What will the answers be like? Are the Democrats preparing any differently for tonight's debate because of those style of questions? And what about those thousands of questions. and what makes the cut and what doesn't? Candy Crowley joins us live from the site of tonight's event, that's up in Charleston, South Carolina.
Candy, I don't know what to ask you first. Because a lot of it does depend on the answers. Some of the candidates are able, aren't they, to get out there and take a look at everything on YouTube and have all of their, you know, their campaign workers looking ahead. What are they telling you?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what's interesting is, they're telling me that they're sort of viewing this as a town hall meeting. Most of these candidates have done town hall meetings all the way across the country. Others are sort of sort of boning up with their consultants, saying well what about this, knowing there are going to be different kinds of questions coming up, maybe subjects they haven't addressed before.
By and large, you're right. They have people who are going through these YouTube some 3,000 of them, these YouTube videos. So the candidates have people going through them, looking for them. Specifically, I think, if there are any questions directed at a particular candidate.
They do have time to kind of look at them, but I think that the nature of how this is presented, the kind of personal nature of these questions that are being asked, does give candidates a way to show a different side of themselves, Jim.
CLANCY: Yeah, it depends I guess on how the candidates come out here. One thing about the question, maybe you can help us out here. There's always a lot of people that live around the world that say the President of the United States doesn't only affect the lives of the people in the United States. Are there going to be any international viewers, any international contributions that are included?
CROWLEY: I can tell you that there have been some submitted. I can't tell you what's been included, but there definitely were people who submitted questions that were not American citizens. Everyone was invited to go ahead and do it. There are others where an American citizen has brought in a non-American citizen to say do you have a question, so there definitely were questions and you should watch for them tonight.
CLANCY: All right. Candy Crowley there. We'll be watching along with Candy and see how everything comes out. This should be interesting.
CLANCY: Just a reminder about tonight's debate, the Democrats are up live at 23:00, Greenwich Mean Time, host Anderson Cooper will be with them. That's 7:00 p.m. Eastern, for our viewers in the United States.
The Republican are going to take the stage on September the 17th, so watch for that, too.
CLANCY: There are literally millions of them, and now we're going to take a closer look at India's needy children, children literally banking on each other.
CHURCH: That's right. They may scratch a living by picking up garbage or just begging on the city streets, but now, Delhi street children have found a way to make their money do more.
CLANCY: That's right and Delia Gallagher has their story.
DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN INTL. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It's a familiar scene here in India, children picking through trash in the hopes of finding a bottle or scrap of plastic that can be sold to recycling centers for a few rupis.
They're street kids, 12, 13, 14 years old, runaways, some abandoned by their parents, others sent to the big city to send money back to their impoverished villages.
This is what they do during the day, but wait till you see where they go at night.
To the bank, yes, a bank, owned and operated by Delhi street kids. Meet the bank manager, 13-year-old Saresh (ph), sweating under the pressure of managing Children's Development Bank's main branch he feels the weight of his duties.
"When I grow up I want to be a farmer," he says. There's too much pressure in the bank. He might make a mistake with the money. The bank pays depositors 3.5 percent interest on the savings. It also makes interest-free loans.
Rita Panicker is the founder of Butterflies, the group that helped the boys start the bank.
RITA PANICKER, DIRECTOR, BUTTERFLIES: It's a lifeline for these children, a lifeline because the children know that, with this bank, they have multiple choices in life.
GALLAGHER: Delit Kumar (ph) banked about 21,000 rupis, about $525. He used to pick up scraps. Last year with the help of Butterflies he interned as a cook at one of Delhi's most famous five- star hotels.
"Before I would never have even dared to stand in front of that hotel," he says, "Much less walk through the doors." Now, he cooks, and helps run a kitchen with other boys to feed the younger ones still out on the street.
(on camera): Now critics say doesn't a program like this just encourage child labor? Shouldn't these kids be in school? Well, innovators in this unique program say they're being realistic. There's a lot to be done to get rid of child labor, but in the meantime offering the kids a safe place to keep their money, they're teaching them about personal responsibility.
(Voice over): They also teach them to have fun, hosting a cultural gathering once a month, where the kids can forget the street, and the pressures of survival.
PANICKER: I decided that I would work with street kids, but it will not be an institutional program. We will base it on democratic values, where we will give the space for children to decide.
GALLAGHER: So 6,400 kids have accounts at the Children's Bank in India. The program has been copied in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal. There's even a branch opening in New York in September.
Giving the same small hands that pick garbage for a living, a chance to write their own future. Delia Gallagher, CNN, Delhi.
CHURCH: You know we seem to live in a world where everyone's in a hurry and no one has time to be nice.
CLANCY: No compliments, how refreshing it would be to get an unexpected one, like those kids deserve.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AUDIO VOICE: People look to you for advice.
You add a little mystery to life.
You really know how to take a compliment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CLANCY: Now you don't have to go fishing for those compliments anyway. They're right there.
CHURCH: That's right. But you certainly have to find the right spot. A small white box located on 14th Street in Washington.
CLANCY: Creator Tom Grieves (ph), an artist, says he just wanted to explore the idea of how people would respond to active acts of -- random acts of kindness.
CHURCH: Now, he cautions the compliments themselves are random. Of course they may or may not apply to you.
CLANCY: But until you find out otherwise, they do. That's our report for now.
CHURCH: I'm Rosemary Church.
CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy.
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