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CNN BREAKING NEWS

U.S. Officials Meet With Detained Crewmembers

Aired April 10, 2001 - 08:27   ET

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


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
COLLEEN MCEDWARDS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we want to go over to Carol Lin now. We've got some breaking news.

CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: That's right, Colleen, as you reported earlier, that fifth meeting between the U.S. military attache and the 24 Navy crewmembers in Hainan, China, just wrapped up.

CNN's Lisa Weaver standing by in Hainan after, hopefully, being briefed by the brigadier general -- Lisa.

LISA ROSE WEAVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. The brigadier general was able to conduct now the fifth meeting. He met all 24 crewmembers. It was -- fell into the category of what he was calling unfettered access. He got to go straight to see the crewmembers. Not having to first meet with Chinese officials.

He reported that the crewmembers are in very good health. They are able to do exercise inside the compounds where they are being held. They are getting e-mail messages, printed copies of e-mail messages. However, that is one-way communication. They are not able to give notes to come out the other way.

The Chinese have provided cigarettes to those who smoke. They are well-fed. They are in good condition. Now, the fact that there are now frequent meetings and that the crew appears to be in very good shape is sort of no longer news. That part of it is routine.

The question now is how are the other issues being discussed? How much are the U.S. officials able to find out from the crew what really happened during that collision more than a one week ago? And are the Americans trying to ascertain what the Chinese were trying to find out from the crew.

Now, the Chinese government said several days ago that it had questioned the crew as a part of China's investigation. Those broader issues are just not as clear as more immediate information about the physical health of the 24 Americans, and, of course, the fact that U.S. officials very much want a quick release.

LIN: Certainly. Thank you very much, Lisa Rose Weaver, reporting live, after being briefed by the military attache, Brigadier General Neal Sealock.

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