Return to Transcripts main page

Your World Today

Worst Flooding in 60 Years in Parts of England; Widows in Iraq Struggle to Keep Families Together; Turkey Election

Aired July 23, 2007 - 12:00   ET


JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: When will it end? Unrelenting rains leave large areas of western England under water. And it could get even worse.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: A renewed mandate and a pledge for unity. Turkey's prime minister maps out the future after his party's election day victory.

CLANCY: "Made in China". A label seen all over the world facing scrutiny after a series of safety snafus, some of them deadly.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There clearly are questions that we, the journalists of mainstream media, would never think to ask in a presidential debate.


CHURCH: And it's a marriage made in cyberspace. CNN and YouTube join forces to stage a first-of-its-kind presidential debate.

It's noon in Charleston, South Carolina, midnight in Beijing.

Hello and welcome to our report broadcast all around the globe.

I'm Rosemary Church.

CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy.

From Beijing to Budapest, Charleston to Copenhagen, wherever you are, this is YOUR WORLD TODAY.

We begin in Britain, where the country's environment agency says the situation is looking critical and, in their words, the misery is set to continue.

CHURCH: That's right, the worst flooding to hit England in 60 years has already swamped entire towns, and more rain is in the forecast.

CLANCY: Now, the rising waters forcing thousands of people from their homes, knocking out power for many, many others. Now two major rivers are so swollen, they're threatening to burst their banks.

CHURCH: Now, the worst-hit areas are counties in western and central England. Nine severe flood warnings are in effect across the country.

Well, one of the biggest problems for people stranded in swamp towns may seem a bit ironic. As one daily put it, there's water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink. Emergency crews in boats are handing out clean water in the town of Tewkesbury after a water treatment plant fell victim to the floods.

James Blake has more.


JAMES BLAKE, REPORTER, ITN (voice over): Already, thousands have been evacuated, tens of thousands are now without water or electricity this lunchtime, and it may get worse. Floodwaters are just 30 centimeters from the top of the main barriers surrounding the River Severn at Gloucester, and emergency workers are racing to put up makeshift defenses around a nearby power station.

They've even asked local builders for giant sandbags to help the effort. If the power goes, it would affect hundreds of thousands of people.

In Tewkesbury, the Severn Trent Water Company sent 250 mini tankers to the town, a first response to deal with water shortages. The company warns Cheltenham itself is just 24 hours from having its water cut off.

The shortage has been caused by a water treatment plant completely flooded.

DAVID WICKENS, SEVERN TRENT WATER: Pumping is an essential part of treatment, and the pumps are under water. They run on electricity, and you get to a point where they submerge, when you can't carry on running them at all. So, in order to get it up and running, we need -- first of all, we need the river water to drop. We then need to pump it out, and the army are going to help us pump it out.

BLAKE: In Gloucestershire, the army has been drafted in to take food, water and medical supplies to towns and villages completely cut off by the rising waters. In Gloucester itself, the River Severn has swamped whole neighborhoods. Residents say it's the worst flooding they've ever experienced.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) floods when I was a little kid. It's pretty bad down there at the moment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We haven't been told anything. All they said is just evacuate, you know, and we pulled like different bits from the road outside that now apparently we have to move, though. So we don't know.

BLAKE: The prime minister came to Gloucester for a whistle stop tour of the affected areas this morning. He promised a review of flood defenses and drainage and more money for emergency relief work.

GORDON BROWN, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: What we saw was something that was quite unprecedented in the amount of rainfall that happened. That put enormous pressure on the water and the electricity services. And what we've seen is a magnificent effort by local people and the emergency services using resources from all over the country, including water pumps being brought from all over England. And at the same time, of course, the armed forces being brought in.

BLAKE: It was the worst flooding here for 60 years, and in most of the affected areas, it is still raining today, with more wet weather expected on Wednesday and again at the weekend.


CLANCY: All right. Let's go live now to Tewkesbury and get an update. Officials there are helping as many people as possible to get to dry land. Remember, they're all isolated now.

Alphonso Van Marsh, following the rescue efforts, joins us now live.

Alphonso, what is the situation like there today?

ALPHONSO VAN MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a very unusual situation, as you mentioned. Emergency officials doing everything that they can to bring those that need help -- to bring that help to them. Just a few moments ago we actually saw emergency vehicles coming through this way on a raft with a senior citizen, someone who had been trapped in their home, one of hundreds of people who had been affected and rescue and evacuated from this part of the country.

As you can see here, the water is almost about knee deep. Officials saying in some parts and western parts of this country, 15 feet higher than normal.

As it is, officials saying that the water fall that's come down in terms of rain, two and a half times what would usually be coming down at this time of the year. As we heard in that report just before I'm coming to you now here live, the prime minister saying he's going to put at least $1.6 billion towards rescue assistance.

As we mentioned earlier on, officials saying this is the worst flooding in some 60 years, some 50,000 homes in this area alone without electricity. Some 150,000 homes without water. And as we understand from officials, the clock is ticking. If something isn't done soon, it is very well possible that they may run out of water for many people in this area within 20 hours -- Jim.

CLANCY: Well, you know, one of the reports that I was reading a little bit earlier said that, as you noted, 150,000 homes without water, but 350,000 people. Now, all right, they want to distribute water to them. They do bring out some bottled water, but that can't reach everyone and that can't nearly be enough.

VAN MARSH: That's 100 percent right. We've had military bridge in some 600 tanks of water. People saying, officials telling people that live in this part of the country that they need to go steady, they need to take it easy, try to conserve water the best they can. And as you mentioned a little bit earlier on, I mean, take a look around me. It seems that there's water all over the place, and none of it people can drink.

Now, what's interesting is the Royal Air Force is joining with other officials again to rescue hundreds of people who need to get to drier land. Unfortunately, what we're also hearing about, that there are some trying to make an opportunity out of this very unfortunate situation, buying bottles of water wholesale and selling them for $10 per bottle -- Jim.

CLANCY: You know, maybe the cameraman can go over there. Some people having what looks like some fun. It probably isn't fun for their parents, but the people in that little raft behind you, the two young people.

VAN MARSH: Yes, and that's the interesting thing. Over here, to our viewers' right, you have children's school just got out in the past couple of weeks, and despite who knows what's floating in this water, some kids seem to be making the best out of it, their parents letting them just have a little time off under very stressful situations. And then over -- you can see on this side, people making do with whatever may be available to try to float through the water.

Now, on a more serious side, we should note that we've seen rescue officials coming through these same pathways. Again, about 15 minutes ago, we did see rescue officials bring a very senior citizen, a very -- an older gentleman to safer areas. He had a look of fright on him. But, of course, a little bit of relief finally to make it to dry land.

And then on the opposite end of the scale, we also saw rescue officials 19 minutes ago bring a fish tank to drier land -- Jim.

CLANCY: That about sums it up. A real look at what is happening in Britain today there live.

Alphonso Van Marsh in Tewkesbury -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: Well, storms have triggered powerful flashfloods in China as well. Rain is expected to batter much of China again today. Floods, landslides and lightning killed more than 150 people across the country last week.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced out of their homes. And at least 15 people have been killed in floods in Bangladesh, triggered by heavy monsoon rains over the past three days. Emergency crews say nearly half a million people are stranded in their homes.

Well, we want to see your pictures of the floods. Send us your photos, video and comments about it. Just go to and click on the I-Report logo there.

CLANCY: All right. Let's check some of the other stories that are making news around the globe right now. CHURCH: All right. Let's do that.

And we begin with a hostage crisis in Afghanistan. Taliban forces holding 23 South Korean Christian aid workers hostage have once again extended a deadline, after which they threatened to kill those captives.

The South Koreans were kidnapped last Thursday. The Taliban demand that the government release insurgents now being held in Afghan prisons.

CLANCY: Copies of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" flying off the store shelves, as if by magic, should we say? Scholastic, the U.S. publisher of "Harry Potter," says 8.3 million copies of the seventh final book sold in the first 24 hours of its release.

Now, that is a record for the book publishing industry.

CHURCH: Well, it didn't take long to find a flaw in Apple's new iPhone. "The International Herald Tribune" reports a security company discovered a flaw that allows a remote user to take control of that device. The firm alerted Apple, which says it's looking into that problem.

CLANCY: All right. Now to the war in Iraq.

Today, a rare meeting between the U.S. and Iranian ambassadors. They scheduled security talks in Baghdad for Tuesday even though the two countries do not have diplomatic relations. The United States has accused Iran of interfering in the war by supplying Shia militants with weapons and training.

Well, meantime, four car bombs exploded around Baghdad Monday. At least 16 people were killed, dozens more wounded. Most of the bombings happened in a predominantly Shia district.

CHURCH: And all this violence in Iraq is turning more and more wives into widows.

CLANCY: And for many, their sorrow matched only by their struggle. The struggle, to try and hold their families together.

CHURCH: That's right.

Arwa Damon reports on one among the tens of thousands of them.


ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This is nothing compared to the pain that this 5-year-old carries inside. The last time Hiba (ph) saw her father alive, he was being led out of their home with a gun to his head. She was sobbing, clinging to his leg.

His body was found two days later.

"Since her father died, she cannot sleep. She used to sleep in his arms," her mother Ahlam (ph) says. Ahlam (ph) and her three children are Shias. She believes her husband was murdered by insurgents in their Sunni neighborhood.

Since then, they fled, only to live like this. But their nightmare won't end.

"The other day, the neighbors found my youngest boy weeping, clutching his father's picture," she remembers. "The oldest dreams about his dad almost every night."

Ahlam's (ph) loneliness consumes her. Even her children's occasional shrieks and laughter outside bring little comfort.

"This is a slow death," she says. "I am a dead person whose body just walks on the ground. It would have been much better if we had just died with him at the same time."

Instead, she struggles to live. With virtually no social services to speak of, Ahlam (ph) took a job as a cleaner just to try and survive.

"I miss you. I need you," she says to the husband she lost seven months ago.

Whatever Iraq's future brings, it won't bring back the man she loved.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Baghdad.


CLANCY: Well, just ahead here on YOUR WORLD TODAY, we're going to look at the push and the pull of Turkish politics.

CHURCH: We'll do that.

On Sunday, the Islamist-rooted AK Party scored election day victory. But what does Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan plan to do with his new mandate?

CLANCY: And then a bit later, the former British prime minister, Tony Blair, starting his new job. Can he solve an old, bitter intractable standoff?

CHURCH: And think of it as a political meter (ph) test in the U.S. An entirely new type of candidate debate is about to make history.


CLANCY: On an island chain that owes its very existence to volcanoes like this one, this is still a sight that hasn't been seen in 15 years. Lava once again pouring from an area just east of Hawaii's Pu'u O'o crater. Scientists say the lava is spewing from a relatively small crack -- still that measure almost two kilometers long. The eruption, while spectacular, has not forced any new closures at the nearby Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Welcome back to CNN International and YOUR WORLD TODAY.

We're covering the news that the world wants to know and giving you some perspective that goes a bit deeper into the stories of the day -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: Thanks, Jim.

Well, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is pushing for national unity one day after the governing party won reelection by a landslide. The Islamic-rooted pro-business AK Party received almost 47 percent of the vote as supporters celebrated in the streets. But the party faces a series of challenges. Among them, electing a new president.

Well, Turkey's secular elite strongly opposed an AKP attempt in April to make a former Islamist president. His nomination sparked massive protests from Turks who feared the AKP was trying to turn their country into an Islamic state.

Well, the political crisis cooled down when Mr. Erdogan called for earlier elections.

Jennifer Eccleston is in Istanbul with more on the aftermath of Sunday's vote.


JENNIFER ECCLESTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It is a good day for Mohikan Tugai (ph) and his extended family. They are Kurds, pius and poor, but their party won Sunday's parliamentary election.

"The AKP is good. It's for poor people."

People like Mohikan (ph) help the Islamic-influenced Justice and Develop Party, the AKP, hold on to its majority in Turkey's national assembly. It reaffirms the mandate of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, continuing liberal economic and political reforms which the European Union demands if Turkey is to join the EU as it wants.

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRIME MINISTER (through translator): We'll continue to work to realize our republic's ideal of European Union membership. As before, we'll continue to have our public's interest and requests of change as our guidance.

ECCLESTON: Erdogan is an observant Muslim. His wife and wives of other senior AK Party officials wear headscarves. For them, this expression of faith is a tenet of a true democracy. But liberal leftist parties like the Republican People's Party, or CHP, say it's a symbol of the government's real intention, chipping away at Turkey's decades-old code of separation of mosque and state.

But the CHP got just one-fifth of the votes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): This is a total disappointment and not good for Turkey.

ECCLESTON: Despite the vote, the CHP vows to block any policy altering Turkey's secular and democratic principles. While the CHP did not fare well, it was a good night for the far right National Movement Party, or MHP. It won a bloc of seats on a tough anti-terror platform promising to press for military action against Kurdish rebels in neighboring northern Iraq if cross-border attacks continue.

The Erdogan government decided against a pre-election strike on the rebels, and that may be one reason his party won significant support from Turkey's ethnic Kurds.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Workers, women and youth, you will be the creators of democracy.

ECCLESTON: But pro-Kurdish independents did well, too. For the first time in a decade, they'll join the parliament in significant numbers.

So what's the next step for Turkey's democracy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the parliament to form itself, what that means is for the parliament to meet and organize itself, elect a speaker, and a governing board. And then they can start considering problems, including the election of a president.


CHURCH: All right.

Our Jennifer Eccelston has been covering this story in Istanbul there.

Jennifer, no surprise, really, on the outcome, although a landslide wasn't really expected, was it?

ECCLESTON: Well, they expected him to get upwards of 40 percent of the vote. Depending on the opinion polls, depending on which newspaper you read, which analyst you spoke to, because everyone seems to have some sort of an agenda when you speak to them here, they imagine that this -- that he could would definitely have the majority of votes, that he would retain a fair lead in the parliament, and that he would have no problems putting through legislation. Forty-six 47 percent, almost 50 percent, if he crossed that 50 percent border, that would have been a major, major leap in this country, and I think people would be a lot more nervous than they are now.

CHURCH: So, Jennifer, give us an idea on what he's going to do now with his great mandate.

ECCLESTON: Well, he's going to continue the great mandate that he began four and a half years ago -- economic and social reforms, trying to speed up the entry process to the European Union. He'd like to give more rights to ethnic minorities here in Turkey. He'd like to build bridges not only with the East, with other Middle Eastern countries that surround Turkey -- Iraq, Iran, Syria, also Georgia. He also would like to reach out beyond the European Union to his great ally, he likes to say, in the United States, President George Bush.

So, he's got a lot on his agenda. Nothing terribly new than what he had in the past four and a half years, except this key issue of the presidency.

That's the major issue they have to tackle right now. It's finding that consensus candidate who will be the next president, because if they don't, Rosemary, f they don't go through the necessary channels to pick that president, they could end up in the same situation they were in earlier this year, a few months back, and have to call elections yet again. And nobody here really wants to do that -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: Indeed. Quite a challenge.

Jennifer Eccelston reporting there from Istanbul.

Thanks so much -- Jim.

CLANCY: Well, now to Thailand, where there was a rare protest against the military. Police now looking for eight organizers of what was termed an anti-coup protest, a protest that turned violent.

The alleged ringleader and five others have already been detained. At least 100 officers and demonstrators were injured with rocks and bottles being thrown as police lines.

The protest was against Thailand's military-installed government, and it took place outside the home of the ousted former prime minister. They accuse him of masterminding last year's bloodless coup against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

CHURCH: Well, medicine is supposed to heal, but if it's not made correctly it can kill.

CLANCY: That's right. And just ahead right here on YOUR WORLD TODAY, our special "Made in China" continues. We're going to talk with a family coping with the deadly consequences of using tainted drugs.

CHURCH: And later, India's street children eke out a living at the bottom of the barrel. Now there's a new scheme to protect their meager earnings.

That story after the break.



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 That's

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.


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: 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.

Thanks, Candy.

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.


AUDIO VOICE: People look to you for advice.

You add a little mystery to life.

You really know how to take a compliment.


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.