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Your World Today

Hurricane Felix Storms Ashore in Central America; Rawalpindi Blasts Kill at Least 25 People; Court Upholds Death Sentence for 'Chemical Ali'

Aired September 04, 2007 - 12:00   ET


JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Losing steam but still packing a wallop. The fury of Hurricane Felix storms ashore in Central America.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Carnage in Pakistan as dual blasts penetrate a city under tight security.

CLANCY: And if you could, would you want to know which disease is most likely to kill you? We have details on a genetic breakthrough and a man who knows a lot about that both on the professional and personal levels. He's joining us.

Plus this...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are paying with our public dollar for a religious school, a madrassa.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's no basis in fact for what they are saying.


CHURCH: Studying Arabic in the Big Apple, why a new language school is sparking anger.

CLANCY: It is 12:00 noon in New York City, 11:00 in the morning in Punta Gorda, Nicaragua.

Hello and welcome to our report broadcast around the globe.

I'm Jim Clancy.

CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church.

From Rawalpindi to Paris, Copenhagen to Baghdad, wherever you're watching, this is YOUR WORLD TODAY.

Well, Nicaragua, along with much of Central America, battens down on and holds down as Hurricane Felix pounds the region with strong winds and massive amounts of rain.

CLANCY: We're watching this very carefully as flood and tropical storm warnings are in effect from Puerto Cabezas, northward toward the border with Guatemala.

CHURCH: Now, Felix is expected to dump some five to 10 inches of rain on Honduras before moving on to soak Guatemala and Belize. The storm slammed ashore earlier, a Category 5 strength, packing winds of up to 160 miles an hour.

CLANCY: It is worth noting before this hurricane hit, tourist and locals evacuated most of the coastal regions. Hurricane Dean hit Central America just two weeks ago. This is the first time since 1886 that two Category 5 storms have made landfall in a single hurricane season.

CHURCH: Well, our Harris Whitbeck is in northern Honduras in the town of La Ceiba, where international aid and rescue workers are riding out the storm.

He comes to us now live.

Harris, give us an idea of what the situation is there.

HARRIS WHITBECK, CNN INTERNATIONAL COLLINS: Well, Rosemary, as you know, the storm is now lessening in intensity. I believe it is now a Category 3. And apparently, as it continues its path into the central part of Honduras, it will continue to lose steam. But that has not made any officials here breathe any easier. They are very concerned about the amount of rain that Hurricane Felix might dump on that part of Honduras.

Rescue workers, the government, and several international NGOs have staged people and supplies in different parts of Honduras and also in El Salvador. And they are ready to move them to the affected areas as soon as they feel it is safe enough to do so.

The area where the hurricane made landfall, which is across the border in Nicaragua, we spoke to a person there, the minister of health, who is there holed up in a hospital. And she described terrifying moments as very, very intense winds howled about her, as very, very strong rain fell.

She said that she saw how the roofs were ripped off two public schools that were being used as shelters. She even said that at one moment a baby boy was born in the hospital and that both he and his mother are OK.

So, very, very tense moments there. Again, the authorities now are waiting for the storm to pass through that area and make it safe enough for them to get in there.

Most of that area is -- it is practically inaccessible. The only way to get in is either by sea or by air. So conditions, of course, weather conditions, of course, are a very important factor as they decide when to get in there.

So that's the situation here in La Ceiba.

CHURCH: Harris, that's extraordinary. WHITBECK: The skies have been practically clear.

CHURCH: Right. What are the vulnerabilities there in Honduras, though, regarding -- you know, when you have got a storm of this Category, Category 3, approaching?

WHITBECK: Well, the main vulnerability, Rosemary, is the fact that 80 percent of this country lives below the poverty line. And obviously, they live -- many people live in very, very precarious conditions, very flimsy homes that can just be devastated by just a normal rainfall. So you can imagine what a hurricane could do.

This is a very mountainous country, so the potential for landslides is quite high. The memory of what occurred here nearly 10 years ago when Hurricane Mitch came ashore is still very, very fresh. When Hurricane Mitch came ashore, it actually sat over Honduras, Nicaragua, parts of Guatemala. It killed about 10,000 people. While the conditions now are a bit different, people still remember that quite vividly.

CHURCH: All right.

Our Harris Whitbeck.

Thanks so much for that.


CLANCY: We are going to shift gears now and take a look in Europe. A major announcement coming from Danish officials. They say they prevented a terrorist act.

The director of the Danish intelligence service saying now that eight people have been arrested. They are accused of storing unstable explosives in a heavily populated part of Copenhagen.

The suspects are described as militant Islamists with international contacts. And that includes, according to police, leading members of the al Qaeda network. They are all between the ages of 19 and 29. They are of Afghan, Pakistani, Somali and Turkish origin.

CHURCH: Now, certainly at first glance, Copenhagen would seem an unlikely battleground for the war on terror. But Denmark has a history that makes it a hot spot.

This is what you need to know at this point.

True, there haven't been any terrorist attacks on Danish soil in two decades. But the attacks in London and Madrid spurred Danish authorities to action, as did last year's controversy over the publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed and the subsequent protests from the country's sizable Muslim population.

Now, Denmark has passed stiff laws against supporting terrorism or terrorists. A big step in a country otherwise known for its tolerance. Tuesday's arrest marks the third such crackdown on suspected terrorist networks since 2005.

CLANCY: Right now to Pakistan. More news. Two bombs exploding in Rawalpindi, leaving some two dozen people dead. Police still searching for any clues. The early morning blast shook the country, which is also dealing with a deepening political divide.

Inigo Gilmore has our report.


INIGO GILMORE, REPORTER (voice over): The first bomb ripped through this bus during morning rush hour. Pakistani officials say a suicide bomber climbed on board and detonated his explosives with devastating effect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The roof of the bus was blown away. Bits of flesh of other people hit my head and covered my clothes. It was a terrible situation. And it was difficult to get out of the bus.

GILMORE: Nearby, more carnage after another bomb, positively detonated by a suicide bomber, exploded near a busy market. Many of the victims were apparently working for the Defense Ministry. Rawalpindi is home to Pakistan's military headquarters and has some of the tightest security in the country.

The attacks deepen the mood of unease amid political uncertainty ahead of upcoming elections.

SHEIKH RASHID AHMAD, PAKISTANI CABINET MINISTER (through translator): Both civilians and security personnel were affected. Of course, this is part of a master plan to create instability in the country, and especially this bus has been targeted and anti-state elements are involved. This we can consider a conspiracy.

GILMORE: Precisely who these anti-state elements are it's hard to say, as no one has claimed responsibility for the latest blasts. There has, though, been an upsurge in militant violence since July, when a pact with Taliban-affiliated Islamists in tribal areas of Pakistan broke down. And with Pakistan moving uneasily into new, potentially treacherous political waters, the authorities are braced for more of the same.


CLANCY: Well, dozens have been killed in attacks since the breakdown with tribal elements that Inigo Gilmore was mentioning there -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: Well, the man known as "Chemical Ali" is now one more legal step toward execution. Ali Hussein al-Majid is the cousin of Saddam Hussein. He was convicted in the gassing death of thousands of civilians.

Now, Iraq's appellate court has upheld his death sentence and those of two co-defendants. A senior judge says that means the three will be executed within 30 days. The men were convicted for their roles in the Anfal campaign, an army offensive in the 1980s that killed up to 100,000 Kurds.

CLANCY: Well, by all appearances, his days are numbered now, but there was certainly a time that just the name "Chemical Ali" struck fear all across Iraq.

Richard Lui gives us a look at the man and how he gassed his way into Iraq's history books.


RICHARD LUI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): He was once one of the most feared men in Iraq. His name alone sparked terror.

Ali Hassan al-Majid rose to power as a notorious cousin of Iraq's former president, Saddam Hussein. It was al-Majid's job to crush uprisings against Hussein's government. And that's how he earned his grim nickname "Chemical Ali".

In the 1980s, he was in charge of smashing a Kurdish rebellion in northern Iraq. The military campaign against the Kurds was code name Anfal, or Spoils of War. But one of its most devastating symbols was not officially part of the campaign.

In March of 1988, Iraqi fighter jets swooped over the dusty farming town of Halabja, 11 kilometers from Iraq's border with Iran. The planes sprayed the town with a deadly cocktail of mustard gas and nerve agents. An estimated 5,000 people were killed. Most were women and children. Thousands more Kurds died in other poison gas attacks against their villages and in deportations and executions.

He was captured by U.S. forces in August 2003.

Al-Majid admitted during the Anfal trial that he had ordered troops to execute Kurds who refused to leave their villages, but he denied ordering the use of chemical weapons. That, however, is little comfort for northern Iraq's Kurdish residents, grieving still for their loved ones. They say they will celebrate when Chemical Ali is dead.

Richard Lui, CNN, Atlanta.


CHURCH: We're going to take a short break now. But after that, we are going to tell you about a major scientific breakthrough.

CLANCY: That's right. Renowned scientist Craig Venter has bared his genetic code to the world. But does it really tell him too much about his genetic future?

Venter himself is going to be here to talk about that moral dilemma coming up.

CHURCH: Plus, redrawing the world. Map makers say they have proof of just how much humankind is altering the world around us.

Stay with us for that.


CLANCY: Hello, everyone, and welcome back to CNN International and YOUR WORLD TODAY.

CHURCH: Where we are covering the news the world wants to know.

CLANCY: Well, science bringing us once again a promising development that's accompanied by what's really an ethical, even a philosophical dilemma.

CHURCH: It is. And it is now theoretically possible to predict which disease you will die of. The question is, do you really want to know?

CLANCY: Yes, that is the question.

The most comprehensive human genome of a single person has just been published. Biologist Craig Venter was a member of the team that first sequenced the human genome. That was back in 2001.

He's now one of the first people to have 96 percent of his own personal genetic code sequence. Not only that, Rosemary, it has been published now by a scientific journal.

CHURCH: It has. And 96 percent of a human's genetic code is represented by almost six billion letters. So they worked hard on this.

Venter's team also found that individual DNA differences among humans are greater than previously thought.

Well, now let's talk with the man at the center of this latest genetic breakthrough.

Craig Venter joins us live from Washington.

Thanks so much for talking with us.

This is fascinating, but explain to us what sort of benefits there are with this and where it goes from here.

J. CRAIG VENTER, DNA RESEARCH PIONEER: Well, we're at the early stages of truly interpreting the human genome, but we're actually in the position where we can start to, as you said, predict the future to some extent. At least knowing what we're at risk for. And if we know what we are at risk for, in many cases we can do something about it in altering those risks.

CHURCH: Like what, though? If we find out that we are vulnerable to blindness or perhaps dementia, what can we do to allay that? Just prepare ourselves for that possibility? VENTER: Well, as was found in my genetic code, I have a risk for both cardiovascular disease and potentially Alzheimer's disease. There's been recent news that statins not only are helpful with cardiovascular disease, but may play a preventive role in Alzheimer's disease. A study out yesterday showed that people who smoke have a much higher incidence of Alzheimer's disease.

So there's a lot of things we can change in our environment to maybe change what some might view as destiny from our genetic code and changing that destiny.

CHURCH: All right. So should we all be racing out now and getting our DNA mapped out? And is it even possible to do that?

VENTER: Well, I think a lot of people want to do that, and it's becoming more possible every day.

The federal program a few years ago cost $3 billion to $5 billion to do. That got lowered to $100 million at Celera. Now many people have technologies that are $100,000 or less.

And the goal within a few years is to be down to $1,000. So, I think over the next three to five years, we will have as many as 10,000 human genomes done.

CHURCH: What are the health insurance consequences of something like this? Let's say we find out we have a particular vulnerability to a disease and our health insurance says, well, I'm not covering you for that? Is that possible, do you think?

VENTER: Well, it is a theoretical possibility right now. And there's bills that have been pending in Congress to make it so it's not legal to do that. But the insurance industry seems sort of split over if this information will be useful for them at all.

I think it only becomes useful after we have maybe millions or tens of millions of genomes where we can predict the exact likelihoods of different diseases actually materializing. Right now, it's just interesting information that gives us probabilities to help us change the course of our lives.

CHURCH: Just very quickly, do you think there is a time here though where we will know too much about our future?

VENTER: I don't think that will be possible. I think what we have to remember that, while we are genetic animals, we also depend totally on our environment. Even identical twins have very different outcomes with the same genetic code. So we can interpret a lot from the genetic code, and that's something we can measure right now. But until we can measure all the environmental influences, we won't know the whole picture.

CHURCH: I do want to squeeze one more question in. We are nearly out of time.

Anything about this that makes you feel uneasy, that possibly frightens you a little bit?

VENTER: Actually, I'm more nervous about publishing my autobiography next month than I am about my complete genetic code at this stage.

CHURCH: Oh, you got your plug in. All right.

Craig Venter, thanks so much for talking with us. Appreciate it.

VENTER: Nice to be with you.


CLANCY: A fascinating case. It's going to change a lot of things for a lot of people.

Well, there has been a controversy that's been going around, and perhaps you've read about it on the Internet. Now word coming from Beijing, China denying a report in a U.S. newspaper that it has been attacking the United States in cyberspace.

"The Financial Times' reports the People's Liberation Army hacked into a computer system in the office of the U.S. defense secretary. That was back in June. The paper cited unnamed officials.

Now, China's government calls the allegations groundless, stressing that it is opposed to all forms of cyber crime. "The Financial Times" says the Pentagon is still investigating how much information may have been stolen but it believes most of that was unclassified.

CHURCH: Well, coming up, British rockers face the music.

CLANCY: Amy Winehouse, Pete Doherty living in the fast lane, even by rock star standards.

CHURCH: That's right. What part of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll did they not understand?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are absolutely going to be focused on what's going on in the school. And if anything inappropriate happens, there will be consequences.


CLANCY: New York neighbors declaring a fatwa of their own against an Arabic language school they say would be a breeding ground for terrorists.


(NEWSBREAK) CLANCY: Hello. Welcome back. Thanks for looking in wherever you are. This is YOUR WORLD TODAY. I'm Jim Clancy.

CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church. Here are the top stories we have been following.

Hurricane Felix is now a Category 3 storm. Earlier it slammed into the northeastern coast of Nicaragua with winds up to 260 kilometers an hour, making it a Category 5. Portions of Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala are now under tropical storm warnings. And flooding and mudslides are of prime concern.

CLANCY: At least 25 people are dead after two suicide bombs ripped through a bus and market near the Pakistani army headquarters in Rawalpindi. The blast comes at a time of rising militants and as well as political uncertainty in Pakistan ahead of national elections.

CHURCH: Iraqi appeals court has upheld the death sentence for Chemical Ali, the cousin of Saddam Hussein, and two other former government members. They are to be executed within 30 days. They were convicted for their roles in an army offensive in the 1980s that killed up to 100,000 Kurds.

CLANCY: Britain mourning the death of a woman who defied the odds and raised millions of dollars for the fight against cancer. Jane Tomlinson had cancer herself. Her doctors had given her just months to live. But as Alphonso Van Marsh tells us, she fought back, beating expectations at nearly every turn.


ALPHONSO VAN MARSH, CNN INTL. CORRESPONDENT: Battling intense pain, Jane Tomlinson's last public confrontation with the cancer that would claim her life, took her 4,200 miles from San Francisco to New York.

JANE TOMLINSON, CANCER PATIENT: Hi, it is Jane Tomlinson. I'm relaxing after the start of my ride across America.

VAN MARSH: This is the 43-year-old's home video of her bike challenge for cancer charities last year. Just one of the endurance races she chose to face after doctors diagnosed her with cancer way back in 1990.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think it is going to be a big and a little bit of a holiday at the same time?

TOMLINSON: It is going to be an awfully lot of hard work. So, it's going to be a huge challenge. But it is going to be an adventure. I think we will enjoy it and hopefully we will look back on it as a time together that we all really enjoyed.

VAN MARSH: Seven years ago the doctors said Jane's cancer was terminal, that she had just months to live. Instead of giving up, she fought the disease with physical challenges. Running London marathons, even triathlons and iron man competitions, and pedaling through cities like Rome into the international spotlight.

TOMLINSON: To show that I'm still here, that I'm still alive.

VAN MARSH: Over the years, she raised cancer awareness and more than $3 million.

AMANDA BRINGANS, MACMILLAN CANCER SUPPORT: What a cracking woman. For so many years, she went out there showing that despite the fact that she had cancer, she could undertake most fantastic fund- raising challenges.

VAN MARSH: The queen recognized Miss Tomlinson's achievements. She was twice honored.

TOMLINSON: It means a lot to me and my family. It a recognition not just of my work, but my family's work as well. We've all worked very hard.

VAN MARSH: After Jane Tomlinson passed away, Prime Minister Gordon Brown paid her this tribute.

GORDON BROWN, PRIME MINISTER, GREAT BRITAIN: She is an inspirational figure and her inspirational work in raising money for cancer charities but also over seven years in battling the disease of cancer. It is something that has commanded itself to people not just in this country but all around the world.

VAN MARSH: Jane Tomlinson leaves behind a husband and three children, and millions of admirers. Alphonso Van Marsh, CNN, London.


CHURCH: What a brave and extraordinary woman there.

A highly symbolic legal victory for Palestinians in Israel's supreme court. A three-judge panel has ordered part of the controversial West Bank barrier rerouted. Now the section at issue has become a potent symbol of Palestinian resistance to the construction. Residents of a West Bank village argued the barrier kept them from reaching their fields and orchards. The court rejected the Israeli arguments it was needed to protect residents of a nearby settlement.

CLANCY: From reading, writing, and arithmetic -- to Arabic? A New York public school sparking some controversy by including the Arabic language and Arabic culture in its curriculum. Some feel that it was an opportunity for students to try to improve their understanding of the Middle East and their language skills. Others said it might be a breeding ground for extremism. Let's get the story from Richard Roth.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come on, lady. Help me out here.

RICHARD ROTH, CNN INTL. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): When New York City announced plans for a public school that would teach Arabic language and culture, Carmen Colon saw a great opportunity for her 11- year-old son.

CARMEN COLON, PARENT: I know for a fact that any American who learns Arabic will make tons of money, whether it is translation, whether it is in the customer service area. I thought it was the best advantage I could give my son.

ROTH: Some are outraged over the school.

PAMELA HALL, STOP THE MADRASSA: We are paying with our public dollar for a religious school, a madrassa.

ROTH: Pamela Hall is with Stop the Madrassa. The group believes the Kahlil Gibran International Academy will impose a radical Islamist agenda in its classrooms.

HALL: The Arabic immigrant students will be isolated, whether that materializes instantly into terrorists, that's a huge statement to make. But are these students not assimilating and becoming part of the American fabric? And is that potentially a problem? We think so, yes.

DEBORAH HOWARD, KGIA DESIGN TEAM: There's no basis for what they are saying.

ROTH: Deborah Howard and Reyad Farraj, both parents of Brooklyn public school students, worked on the design team for the academy and say it is not a religious school.

HOWARD: In terms of curriculum, if it is a New York City public school, it has to go by New York City standards. I'm Jewish. I would never be a part of a school that would in any way be involved with Islamic fundamentalists.

ROTH: Much of the criticism was directed at the school's Arab- American founding principal. Debbie Almontaser. Two local papers reported claims that she had ties to Islamic extremist organizations. The controversy reached a fever pitch when Almontaser was quoted defending the use of the word "intifada" on a T-shirt. She said in Arabic it simply means "shaking off". Soon after Almontaser resigned and the city replaced her with a Jewish principal that does not speak Arabic.

REYAD FARRAJ, KGIA DESIGN TEAM: To be attacked, so viciously -- has been unbelievably unfair, and quite sad.

ROTH: The verbal attacks caused Colon to pull her son out of the school.

COLON: The people so against the school who, for me, seem more like the terrorists, by terrorizing the community, and making us feel that it is unsafe for our children to be there. They are the ones who are terrorizing us. Not the school, not the principal, and not the administration.


CLANCY: Fascinating story. Our Richard Roth joins us now. He's live from Brooklyn.

Richard, Kahlil Gibran was a Christian, a beautiful writer, a man who is schooled in Arabic and Syrian. He brought all of this out. Yet, what do we have here? Who is right?

ROTH: He would probably be very curious to see all of the television cameras and live trucks outside the school. Right now I'm in Manhattan, at city hall in New York City. Just over the famed Brooklyn Bridge where a group of protesters has staged a press conference calling mayor of New York to hold the school accountable, to open up more information on its curriculum.

At the school, earlier today, I was there, it was very peaceful really and orderly. There was larger security but this controversy has been whipped up by some newspapers in New York, religious groups, and some political leaders. The mayor supports the school. You really wouldn't know if you woke up anywhere in New York that there is a big fuss about this particular school. These are sixth graders, there are 60 slots, 55 of them are taken by the school.

Educators said that despite the controversy, there has been an increase in enrollment. The school educators deny that there is any private agenda, as the protesters behind me allege. But the stark differences between the two on display in the two locations.


FRANK GAFFNEY, CENTER FOR SECURITY POLICY: So we're here to oppose this action. Our efforts to oppose it in this school are only beginning and they will be redoubled to ensure that in fact this model is not allowed to replicate like a cancer across America.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No I am not nervous about her coming to this school. I'm very excited. And I hope she learns a lot.

ROTH (on camera): Why so excited?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because it's something different. It is something that hasn't been offered in Brooklyn before.


ROTH: You are seeing, Jim, a lot of the hubbub and differences that always come on church and state issues, religious matters in schools. But certainly now with the backdrop of 9/11, which is just a few yards from here in Downtown Manhattan. That's also fueling this.

These protesters say they are going to form a national movement and keep the heat on. The educators would like the glare to go away and let the students just learn a dual language that they say will give them more opportunities later in their life.

ROBERTS: All right. Very interesting story, especially since Homeland Security and the National Security Agency are all looking for Arabic speakers. Richard Roth there in Manhattan. Thank you.

CHURCH: Certainly true. All right, let's take a break now. And they say the good die young.

CLANCY: Maybe that is why these two British rock stars are still around.


CHURCH: Well, because of the U.S. Labor Day holiday on Monday, it was all play and no work for most Americans. But the presidential candidates couldn't afford a day off. CNN's Candy Crowley reports on how the 2008 hopefuls spent the day revving up the rhetoric and kicking off the election campaign.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It is Labor Day and you know what that means, full-throttle politics.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you doing, sir?


CROWLEY: From Iowa to New Hampshire to Pennsylvania, much of the 2008 presidential field was out holiday shopping for votes, and putting a little punch in the rhetoric.

OBAMA: There are those that tout their experience working the system in Washington. The problem is that the system in Washington isn't working for us. And it hasn't been for a very long time.

CROWLEY: He's talking about Hillary Clinton.

(on camera): You think she's old hat, basically?

OBAMA: What I think is that we have a message that speaks to the American future.

CROWLEY: It is the fall version of summer's story. He paints her as status quo. She frames him as not ready for the job. Change versus experience.

CLINTON: For my time in the White House and in the Senate, I have learned that you bring change by working the system established by our Constitution, not pretending the system doesn't exist.

CROWLEY: Also in the fray Camp Edwards where aides say they are delighted Clinton is defending a system that has failed to do anything about things like health care and global warming. Edwards spent the most traditional of Labor Days in Pittsburgh picking up some big ticket endorsements, The United Mine workers and United Steel Workers.

JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: America wasn't built on Wall Street. America was built by men and women who were steel workers and who were mine workers.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Welcome to a wonderful Labor Day parade.

CROWLEY: Facing their most hostile political environment in decades, Republicans also did the Labor Day rounds. Kansas Senator Sam Brownback looking for traction. Arizona's John McCain searching for mojo. And former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney chasing poll numbers to match his bulging campaign coffers.

Things get more complicated this week with the arrival of Fred Thompson who will join the race nine months later than most of the others. Not that anyone resents the buzz he's generated without breaking a sweat.

ROMNEY: Well, I guess the only comment I would make to Fred Thompson is, why the hurry? Why not -- why not take a little longer to think this over?

CROWLEY (on camera): Let me ask you a question. You are here at the parade, lots of politicians here. Who has made up their mind about who they are going to vote for in January?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not me. I haven't made up my mind yet.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is an incredible amount of hype that comes with a presidential campaign, that you can trust.

CROWLEY: Sixteen weeks until the voting begins. Not long, but there is time. Candy Crowley, CNN, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.


CLANCY: Let's take a look at the face of the Earth. It is constantly changing.

CHURCH: It is. This is a fascinating story, actually, some blame it on global warming, some on natural disasters, others on human conflict.

CLANCY: Really, whatever the cause, cartographers have the daunting task of keeping up with all those alterations.

CHURCH: Lawrence McGinty shows us some of the challenges facing map makers.


LAWRENCE MCGINTY, CNN INTL. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): You may think the world doesn't change physically that much. But you would be wrong. Zoom in to the heart of Africa, to Lake Chad. The satellite images show a lake that shrunk by 95 percent over the past 40 years. This is how the lake appears in the new edition of "The Times Atlas". The 1960s it was much bigger. It shrunk because more people are taking water for agriculture and because of climate change.

When I visited Lake Chad last year, local fishermen were struggling to cope with those changes.

(On camera): What remains of Lake Chad is still pretty impressive. You can barely see where the water ends and the sky begins. But look away, because most of Lake Chad is very shallow. At its deepest part, there's only 25 feet of water.

(Voice over): The maps are changing all over the world. This was ROC in Asia, in the 1960s. The satellite picture shows the fourth biggest lake in the world. Now it is almost split into two lakes. The atlases have to be redrawn more and more often.

In the Arctic melting sea ice means the coastal towns are more open to wind and storms. As a result, they are disappearing.

MICK ASHWORTH, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "TIMES ATLAS": The pack ice isn't there for as long in the year. There's a place called Shishmarath (ph), in northwestern Alaska, which is now open to the elements and is seeing rapid erosion of its coastline and the town is directly under threat. They think that may be the first U.S. town to have to be relocated as a direct result of climate change.

MCGINTY: In China, too, coastlines are changing. The Yellow River is silting up so much, its delta is actually growing. The real world is changing so fast that the map makers can hardly keep up. Lawrence McGinty, ITV News.


CHURCH: Amazing. All right, we've heard all about America's celebrity meltdowns.

CLANCY: Not all, there are a couple of tabloid favorites in Britain that may have Britney and Lindsay beat the story of their troubled lives just ahead.


CLANCY: Welcome back, everybody. It may surprise you Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears don't have a monopoly on bad behavior in Hollywood.

CHURCH: Very surprised. Two popular British performers Amy Winehouse and Peter Doherty are not far behind with accusations of drugs and alcohol abuse.

CLANCY: Let's hear more about this. Paula Hancocks has the story.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (SINGING): He's gonna make me go to rehab. I wouldn't go, go, go!

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTL. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A sad case of life imitating art for Amy Winehouse. The troubled musician has been in and out of rehab in recent months and amid reports of alcohol and drug abuse. Her personal life overshadowing her professional life, her music is still critically acclaimed, but Winehouse has canceled a string of performances and appearances.

Pete Doherty is a friend of Winehouse and a self-declared heroin addict. His band, Babyshambles, has released a new single, "Delivery". But he's better known as is on again and off again relationship with model Kate Moss, and his string of court appearances on drug charges.

DR. LINDA PAPADOPOLOUS, CELEBRITY PSYCHOLOGIST: That type of personality is very likely to be risk taking; he's very likely to be rebellious and to want to push boundaries. And as a consequence and we see a lot more of these traits clustering. Now, you add that on to the fact that things become very, very accessible once you become both wealthy and famous.

HANCOCKS: Winehouse is nominated for the prestigious Mercury prize for a second time. Betting agent William Hill takes around $200,000 in bets on who will win. But that's not the only bet for Winehouse and Doherty.

RUPERT ADAMS, SPOKESMAN, WILLIAM HILL: Which one of the two will go to prison first. Obviously, in the case of Doherty being in caught so many times and seems to get off every single time, it is quite extraordinary.

On paper, he should be the red hot favorite to be the first to spend custodial time. We are actually making Amy Winehouse the favorite because he has got away with it so many times that we think he'll carry on getting away with it.


CLANCY: Doherty on his way to rehab, even as we speak. And well, what more can we say? That's it for this hour. I'm Jim Clancy.

CHURCH: I'm Rosemary Church. This is CNN. Stay with us.