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Inside the Pentagon on 9-11; Man Invents Table Saw That Protects Your Fingers; Small Museum Discovers New Kind of Dinosaur

Aired September 7, 2002 - 13:00   ET

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


ANNOUNCER: Today on NEXT@CNN: As the Pentagon came under attack last year, the command center inside kept running. The man who was in charge tells us what went on inside that bunker on September 11.
Also, a smart table saw that stops itself if it gets close to a finger.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It moves faster than the eye can see.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: And a big leap for a small museum.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We made a world class discovery.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Could this be a new kind of dinosaur?

All that, and more, on NEXT.

JAMES HATTORI, HOST: Hi, everybody, and welcome to NEXT@CNN. I'm James Hattori, taking in the spectacular vista overlooking San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, truly an American landmark.

It's been nearly a year since terrorists attacked two other American landmarks and attacked the American psyche, but as a jet crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, a number of people inside were too busy to be terrorized. The National Military Command Center kept working, coordinating military operations worldwide. Our Barbara Starr has an exclusive look at what happened inside that bunker on that fateful day.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): September 11 began as a routine day inside the National Military Command Center. The world appeared quiet -- then the world changed.

GEN. MONTAGUE WINFIELD, NATIONAL MILITARY COMMAND CENTER: We realized that the seemingly unrelated hijackings that the FAA was tracking were actually a part of a coordinated terrorist attack against the United States.

STARR: Brigadier General Montague Winfield was in command of the military's worldwide nerve center that morning, the center's logbook a record of the opening moments of the war: 8:48, first plane hits the World Trade Center; 9:02, second explosion at the World Trade Center; at 9:38, American Airlines Flight 77 slams into the Pentagon.

The Command Center is on the other side of the massive building. Winfield and his staff never feel the impact. They see the flames on television as alarms go off inside. Smoke soon reaches the Command Center. Still, the Command Center remains icy calm. Winfield is running a secure phone call with the White House, the FAA, and the North American Air Defense Command, NORAD.

WINFIELD: NORAD ordered all aircraft to battle stations and combat ready. It was like hitting a hornet's nest with a stick.

STARR: It is now 9:40, and one very big problem is out there: United Airlines Flight 93 has turned off its transponder. Officials believe it is headed for Washington, D.C.

WINFIELD: That is almost the exact same scenario that the other three hijackings had followed.

STARR: Fighter aircraft begin searching frantically. On a secure phone line, Vice President Cheney tells the military it has permission to shoot down any airliners threatening Washington.

WINFIELD: If you can imagine for a split second or two there was complete silence in the NMCC as the impact of those words sunk in.

STARR: Minutes later, the wreckage of Flight 93 is spotted in Pennsylvania. 10:10, all U.S. military forces ordered to Condition Delta, highest level. 10:30, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld enters the National Military Command Center. There are new worries.

WINFIELD: We received some reports to make us concerned the security of air force one was in question.

STARR: Fighters are sent to escort the president's plane. 1:50, NORAD reports its has 20 fighters over United States.

Still, it was the order to be ready to shoot down a civilian plane that was the most unsettling moment.

WINFIELD: That was pretty tough. To just think about that makes me -- it runs a chill down my spine, if you will.

STARR: Twenty hours after coming to work on September 11, General Winfield went home. The war on terrorism had begun.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HATTORI: The history of the war on terrorism is still being written, but what sources will historians rely on to tell the story of September 11? There's a project under way to preserve the messages ordinary people sent that day -- e-mails, voice mails, instant messages. Ann Kellan has that story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANN KELLAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "I'm fine." That first line of a Pentagon employee's e-mail is a message everyone hoped to hear that day, and one example of the many communications sent to friends and family during and after the September 11 attacks.

Historians always study what public figures did during major events. The folks at 911digitalarchive.org are working to provide historians additional resources by collecting and preserving personal communications of ordinary people, resources that reflect the digital nature of our time: Instant messages, e-mail, digital photographs.

TOM SCHEINFELDT, DIRECTOR, 911 DIGITAL ARCHIVE: All these digital objects are very fragile, and without the concerted efforts of historians and archivists, they'll be very easily lost, and it will be as easy as the touch of a delete key.

KELLAN: Like the real-time wireless e-mail record of co-workers checking on each other as they evacuated lower Manhattan. The e-mail from a woman who couldn't phone her mother in D.C. And the man who on that day had a very long journey home to New Jersey.

Not every account is a written one. A graph shows a man's spiking heart rate as he jogged across the Brooklyn Bridge and witnessed the attacks. Photos have been submitted that convey fond memories, as well as horror and sadness left in the attacks' wake. And at the memorials, the heartfelt notion that those taken are not forgotten.

Some people have produced short videos, like the one taped in a Brooklyn Arab-American neighborhood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I tried call my son. He's not at the desk. He's working on 71st floor. So I don't know what to do.

KELLAN: Digital Archive is working with the Library of Congress to preserve other 9/11 Web sites, like Interactive Publishing's collection of over 200 screen shots of news sites. The archive is collaborating on the Smithsonian's "Bearing Witness to History" commemorative exhibition that opens September 11.

And the archive will become the caretaker for National Public Radio's sonic memorial, a collection of over 700 audio clips about the World Trade Center.

So far, the archive has received more than 10,000 digital objects, and urges people to continue to send material for future historians to study.

SCHEINFELDT: These kinds of things will be required by them to get an accurate picture of what happened to the country and to the world on September 11.

(END VIDEOTAPE) HATTORI: Find out more about the 9/11 archive Web site and other stories on the program on our Web site, cnn.com/next.

If you use e-mail, you're probably sick of spam, I know I am. Those unwanted e-mails peddling products you really don't want. This week, as Elaine Quijano reports, a coalition of consumer groups is asking the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on spam.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Trish Butler has had enough.

TRISH BUTLER, SMALL-BUSINESS OWNER: It is aggravating. It's a waste of time.

QUIJANO: At her home-based business in Northern Virginia, Butler spends at least an hour a day deleting unsolicited commercial e-mail, or, as some call it, delighting spam.

BUTLER: It's an invasion. I mean, these people are invading my business environment and requiring me to spend time doing something that is useless for me.

QUIJANO: Consumer groups call the problem "an epidemic" and say junk e-mail accounts for about one out of every three e-mails.

SUSAN GRANT, NATIONAL CONSUMERS LEAGUE: Even if the product or service is legitimate, it's not fair to trick people into reading your messages by misleading them about who you are, where you are, and what you're selling.

QUIJANO: Now, the consumer groups want the Federal Trade Commission to make the distribution of some junk e-mail unlawful if it meets certain criteria.

(on camera): Those criteria include misrepresenting the sender or misrepresenting the subject. Also, not providing reliable contact information in the e-mail and not providing a way to opt out. All of those are suggestions the FTC says it will consider.

BRIAN HUSEMAN, FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION: We're looking forward to reviewing the petition and seeing what they have to say. Spam is a priority with the FTC.

QUIJANO (voice-over): For now, you can try using junk e-mail filters to cut down on the problem. But consumer groups say even that takes time. Instead, they and others like Trish Butler hope tighter rules and tougher enforcement will slow the flow of unwanted e-mail.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HATTORI: The Direct Marketing Association, which represents almost 5,000 companies worldwide says it already requires its members to follow many of the same practices suggested by the consumer groups. A British couple wants to have a microchip implanted in their 11- year-old daughter's arm. There's nothing light-hearted about the idea. The homing device is a way for police to track the girl if she ever goes missing, but the plan is sparking debate, as Robyn Curnow reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KEVIN WELLS: Your right to grow, to mature and to play, so cruelly denied in a sinister way.

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A poem by a grieving father, Kevin Wells, for his murdered daughter, Holly. The recent kidnapping and murder of Holly and her friend Jessica Chapman has so unnerved the British public that some parents now want to implant a new tracking device in their children's bodies. Paul and Wendy Duval want to do this with their 11-year-old daughter, Danielle.

DANIELLE DUVAL: I think it's going to be really good. It will make me a lot safer than I would be without it, and there is more chance of me not getting kidnapped than there would be if I didn't have it in my arm.

CURNOW (on camera): You're not overreacting?

PAUL DUVAL, FATHER: No, I don't think we are overreacting. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) 24-hour control over Danielle. It is just going to be used for emergencies.

CURNOW (voice-over): Finding her would be easy, says the man who developed the technology. The chip remains dormant until it's activated by a concerned parent. It then sends a signal back to a mobile phone network. The technology is simple, even if the ethical issues are not.

KEVIN WARWICK, CYBERNETICS PROFESSOR: I think, ethically, we really have to look seriously at the issues. There is an infringement of the liberty of the individual, but some children have died, and some children are still missing.

If this technology can help save just a few lives, if you're the parent of a child who is affected, then you would want such an implant. If you were the child yourself, you would want this. The technology is with us. Why shouldn't we use it?

CURNOW: But legal experts believe microchipping children is not the answer.

PAUL GILBERT, LAWYER: You are going to have parents who are now, perhaps understandably, very concerned about letting their children out of their sight, who are going to be driven to these extreme measures, whereas really what they should be looking at what can they do to educate their children.

But you know, the law says they have to act in the best interest of the child. And that doesn't mean immediately installing a homing device into it.

CURNOW: Danielle Duval hopes the chip will be implanted by the end of the year. It all depends on a local medical ethics committee. A decision that could give her parents peace of mind, but which leaves others mindful of worrying ethical issues.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HATTORI: Bad news this week for Napster, or what's left of it. A bankruptcy judge blocked Bertelsmann AG from buying the defunct music sharing service. The judge said Napster's CEO had split loyalties between Napster and Bertelsmann. That killed the deal and ended any chance that Napster could be revived. A Napster executive says the decision will probably force the company into liquidation.

ANNOUNCER: Up next on NEXT, a disappointing end for many to the Earth Summit in South Africa. And technology that could comfort every parent who has a child in shop class.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HATTORI: The World Summit on Sustainable Development wrapped up this week in South Africa. The conference ended with an action plan for easing poverty and protecting the environment, but included no binding agreements. Delegates from 174 countries attended, including 100 heads of state, but President Bush was not among them. He sent Secretary of State Colin Powell instead. Activists said Bush's absence showed a lack of U.S. commitment to environmental protection, and they displayed their anger during Powell's speech to the conference Wednesday, as Jeff Koinange reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you very much.

JEFF KOINANGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell wasn't having a good day at the World Summit, dodging a falling flag...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much.

KOINANGE: ... after a morning of hard knocks from hecklers.

And outside the convention center, protesters were already proclaiming the summit dead. And no sooner had he finished his speech, activists were out in force to protest what they believe is a lack of commitment by the U.S. to helping eradicate poverty and protect the environment.

JACOB SCHERR, NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL: Secretary Powell's speech makes clear that the Bush administration has written off the planet.

PAUL JOFFE, NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION: Instead of a rendezvous with destiny, the Bush administration has brought us a rendezvous with deadlock and the status quo. KOINANGE: Despite the jeers inside, Powell defended the U.S.' commitment to developing countries.

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: We have unveiled at this conference four new signature partnerships in water, energy, agriculture and farms (ph).

KOINANGE: But even U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan couldn't mask delegates' dissatisfaction at not achieving some of the summit's crucial objectives.

KOFI ANNAN, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: I know there are those who are disappointed, and we didn't get everything we expected to get here in Johannesburg.

KOINANGE: Principal among them, setting targets and timetables on increasing levels of renewable energy around the world.

There were some successes, and conference organizers were quick to claim victory.

NITIN DESAI, SUMMIT SECRETARY-GENERAL: So, we've got the action things that we want, from the program, as well as from partnerships, and most important, we've got the sense of urgency.

KOINANGE: Host President Thabo Mbeki summed up the challenges ahead.

PRES. THABO MBEKI, SOUTH AFRICA: You know what is wrong. You know what to do. Do it.

KOINANGE: Challenges that might prove more difficult to achieve than declare.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HATTORI: One of the partnerships Powell referred to in his speech involves Africa's Congo River basin. The United States will commit at least $36 million to protect the rainforest there. Part of that money will go to a new national park system under creation in Gabon.

As Gary Strieker reports, environmentalists say Gabon's move is a major victory for Africa's wildlife.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY STRIEKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The rain forest in Gabon shelter large populations of central Africa's distinctive wildlife, including endangered species like Gorillas, chimpanzees and forest elephants. But many important forest habitats in the country have been threatened by rapidly expanding logging operations and a growing commercial market for bush meat. And conservationists have worked with Gabonese authority to identify and survey areas for permanent protection. LEE WHITE, WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY: Basically, go the government has adopted our proposal as it strategy and has taken the decision to set aside all of the proposed areas of national parks.

STRIEKER: The government says there will be 13 new national parks in the system, spread across the country, covering than 10,000 square miles, about the size of Maryland, almost as large as Belgium. The parks will protect a wide diversity species, even sea turtles, and hump back whales in coastal waters.

(on camera): Added together, the parks will exceed 10 percent of Gabon's total land area. Costa Rica is the only country with a higher percentage, although the total size of its parks is a great deal smaller.

(voice-over): The government's announcement was made this week by Gabon's president Omar Bongo. Conservationists are calling his decision courageous, setting a new standard for wildlife protection in central Africa, a standard they hope other nations will follow.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HATTORI: Now, efforts to save another eco-system. In Maryland this week, state environmental officials sprayed poison into a small pond to kill off a school of northern snakeheads. The fish, native to China, are voracious and can walk on land, threatening fish and small land animals. The school grew from a pair of fish a local resident dumped into the pond. The poison will also kill off thousands of native fish, but the toxin breaks down rapidly, and the owners of the pond will be able to restock it.

Keiko the killer whale has spent the summer swimming free since he left his pen in Iceland in July, but now he's turned up in a fjord in Norway. Seems he prefers humans to whales. Area residents have been swimming with Keiko and feeding him, despite warnings from the whale's trainers that this could interfere with his adjustment to the wild. Keiko's trainers say the orca can clearly survive on his own, since he didn't lose any weight during his journey. They say other than his continuing affinity for people, he's doing extremely well.

ANNOUNCER: Coming up, researchers dig up a dinosaur that could put their museum on the map.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HATTORI: A French researcher has found the skeleton of a Neanderthal baby who lived about 40,000 years ago. The skeleton was originally discovered in 1914, but was lost in a museum for more than 80 years. It's one of the most complete Neanderthal skeletons ever found. Scientists called it "an exceptional discovery that will improve our understanding of Neanderthals and their relationship to modern humans." The research was published in the journal "Nature."

A recently discovered dinosaur skeleton could boost a small Illinois museum into the major leagues. Scientists there hope the dinosaur they call Jane will settle a dispute about whether Tyrannosaurus Rex had a smaller cousin. Keith Oppenheim has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's called the Burpee Museum of Natural History, and a couple of years ago, they sent crews to eastern Montana to go find a dinosaur. They found one, and called her Jane.

JOE PETERSEN, PALEONTOLOGIST: We got to her just in time, when just one of her toes was sticking out, and the rest of her was still encased in her rocky tomb.

OPPENHEIM: But, wait a sec. Jane first appeared to be a young Tyrannosaurus Rex. Yet, she was too small, and, eventually, the paleontologists believed they had what is a largely hypothesized creature called a Nanotyrannus. This scaled drawing shows a nano would be larger than a modern polar bear, but dwarfed by its Cretaceous contemporary, the T-Rex.

MIKE HENDERSON, PALEONTOLOGIST: Just like a fox is different than a wolf, a Nanotyrannus is different than a Tyrannosaurus.

OPPENHEIM: Some scientists question whether nanos ever existed, and might say this find is more likely a young T-Rex, but Burpee staff say the bones are the best evidence. They point to clues, like a fused spinal column, a sign Jane was no youngster. It will, by the way, take a good year to clean Jane's bones.

(on camera): And probably another year after that to create a permanent exhibit, but the hope at the Burpee is Jane, whether she's a young T-Rex or an all new nano, will put this museum on the map.

LEW CRAMPTON, PRESIDENT, BURPEE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY: It's nice to be the museum that could, and we made a world class discovery, one that will reverberate throughout the paleontology field for years to come.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Ahead in our next half hour, a mixture of soil and polyester fibers keeps hillsides from turning into landslides. We'll show you how it works.

And some tasty Web sites that feature recipes and cooking tips. Those stories and a lot more are coming right up. First, we'll take a break, and then get the latest headlines from the CNN newsroom. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HATTORI: Welcome back to NEXT@CNN. How do you hold up a hillside? Well, if you're building a road or a house near a steep slope, that's a pretty important question. The conventional wisdom is to surround the hillside with a concrete retaining wall. But as Andrew Brown reports, a Hong Kong engineering firm has another idea.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDREW BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every year, billions of tons of soil are washed away by floods that destroy farmland and entire hillsides are undermined by violent storms. To combat this potentially catastrophic erosion, governments around the world have used giant walls of concrete and stone to prop up mountains and reinforce riverbanks.

William Louey thinks there may be a better approach. Louey runs a Hong Kong engineering company that claims success with an environmentally friendly material called Geofiber. Instead of burying nature in concrete, engineers are using Geofiber to make slopes like this strong enough to resist landslides yet fertile so they can support vegetation and wildlife.

WILLIAM LOUEY, HONG KONG CONSTRUCTION GROUP: Geofiber is actually a soil mixed with fiber and the fiber is weaved into the soil so the soil is not that mobile.

BROWN: A high pressure jet sprays the fiber and soil onto the ground where they form a matrix. Even though the fiber, which is made out of polyester, is not biodegradable, you can barely see it once plants germinate on the slope. Louey says the technology is used extensively as a reinforcing material for the Japanese highway system.

LOUEY: That's the only product which is endorsed by the Japanese government.

BROWN: Geofiber has other advantages. While water may become trapped behind concrete and damage it, Louey claims Geofiber allows water to drain naturally which reduces pressure on a slope. But Geofiber suffers one major drawback, cost.

LOUEY: The price is a little bit too high and that stops them from using it right away.

BROWN: In Hong Kong, a customer pays 40 percent more for a Geofiber slope than for a concrete one and that means it's hard to get a project like this off the ground.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HATTORI: Compared to Geofiber, wood seems pretty low-tech, but an international woodworking show recently highlighted some innovations for big construction projects and for the home hobbyist. Woodstock is a new product from Dow that's billed as an environmentally alternative to fiber board for home wood workers and for building projects like shelving, cabinets and ready-to-assemble furniture. It's made from straw that's left in the field after farmers harvest wheat. The straw is usually either piled under or burned off, but now the straw can be harvested and processed into large sheets held together with a resin that is formaldehyde-free.

Professional wood worker Rick Rosenthal (ph) says it doesn't have the moisture contact of the comparable fiber board product, making it more consistent and flexible for home craft projects. The Styles (ph) company set up several mini-factories on the show floor, demonstrating how computer-aided manufacturing and robotics are being used to improve productivity in the industry. These machines making worktops for office furniture complete several tasks, including getting rid of the scraps, without being touched by a human hand.

Human hands and how to protect them took front and center at another of the show's exhibit. Can (ph) Technology helped create a new level of safety in a power tool. A physicist turned inventor says it can. Ann Kellan looks at the finger-saving potential of saw stop.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KELLAN (voice-over): If the fate of hundreds of teenage fingers were in your hands...

(on camera): How many of you have cut your hand sawing? Anybody?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I almost cut my hand off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the way through, push it all the way through.

KELLAN (voice-over): Wouldn't it be comforting to have a table saw that shuts off when it comes in contact with skin? Imagine the hot dog is your finger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It moves faster than the eye can see.

KELLAN: Let's see that again. Put simply, the blade emits an electrical charge. If you touch the blade, your body naturally absorbs some of that charge, sending a signal to the saw to stop.

RICHARD ELDER, HIGH SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION TEACHER: The blade not only is -- stops, it drops, totally out of the way. I was amazed when I saw that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So here it goes.

KELLAN: And what he didn't see is how the blade stops cold. The inventor showed off their finger-saving technology at a recent woodworking show in Atlanta.

DAVID FANNING, INVENTOR: Now, you can see, this is a brake cartridge, just like this. It's mounted into saw on a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) pin, just sits there, right next to the blade, very close to the blade, and it just sits there in the saw. It may sit there for five years, seven years without doing anything. It's kind of like an air bag. Sits there ready when you need it.

After the impact, you can see how the blade has cut into the aluminum.

KELLAN (on camera): Now, with the regular table saw blade, it will take about five or 10 seconds for it to stop. I've already turned off the stop button; it's still going. With saw stop, if a finger gets in the way, that thing will stop in a matter of milliseconds.

TODD CULPEPPER: I heard it come on and I tried to get away, but it got me. And it was real slow -- and just snapped six of my fingers off.

KELLAN (voice-over): Todd Culpepper knows firsthand the cut of a blade. He lost his fingers in a sawing accident a year and a half ago. They've since been reattached and rebuilt. As you can imagine, he endorses the finger-saving technology.

CULPEPPER: I would have never lost my fingers if it were on that machine, sure, absolutely. I think -- it's a must, if you ask me.

ELDER: That would eliminate a lot of cut fingers.

KELLAN: Richard Elder teaches shop at Carver high school in Atlanta.

(on camera): How many of you would buy this saw if it was on the market?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would.

KELLAN (voice-over): Every year, table saws cause about 30,000 injuries in the U.S. And while the Consumer Product Safety Commission commended saw stop for its innovative technology, saw manufacturers have not incorporated the feature into their saws.

Some of the issues raised -- who would be liable if something went wrong? Would wood workers get more careless, relying solely on the saw to stop? And will people pay more for the added safety?

CULPEPPER: If I had the money, I would, sure. And I think -- I think a lot of people would, you know, if they could afford it.

KELLAN: We'll soon find out. Saw stop is now manufacturing commercial and consumer-size table saws, due out next spring. Compared to similar saws, the finger-saving technology will add about $150 to the price, which, give or take, is about 15 percent more for your typical saw.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Just ahead, the quest for water in one of the world's driest cities. That and more as NEXT@CNN continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HATTORI: In the United States, many people have water delivered to their homes as a luxury. In the Middle East country of Jordan, water delivery is a necessity. Richard Roth reports on a growing nation that has already outstripped its water supply.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Delivery day. Not of a luxury item but a basic necessity of life -- water. Tanker drivers rush through the city of Amman with precious cargo. Amman is under the most restricted water controls of any large city in the world.

Residents receive water pumped only once a week by the city. If they want more, they have to buy it. Jordan's surgeon Saeb Hammoudi provides a nice home for his family of five, along with the maid. But he still must buy more water from the government.

SAEB HAMMOUDI, AMMAN RESIDENT: It's not enough. Once weekly for a household, maybe it's not enough. We need more than that. But then the government has to find the water to pump daily.

ROTH: Many other families in Jordan can't afford to purchase extra quantities of water.

"Everything involving water is a problem," Nasara (ph) says. She saves every drop for cooking and cleaning in an extended family household of 17 people.

Even delivering extra water in Jordan is no easy task. Hauling water to a branch of the Bank of Jordan resembles a daring daylight robbery. Leaks in the house, though, are an example of how water is lost due to poor infrastructure.

Finding water in Jordan is like looking for a needle in the desert. Jordan receives about four inches of rain annually. A bad drought has added to the woes of a dry land.

PROF. ELIAS SALABH, JORDAN UNIVERSITY: We don't have enough (UNINTELLIGIBLE). The geography dictates whatever water resources we have.

ROTH: In order to survive, Jordan has had to rely on its neighbors in what is a tough neighborhood.

But hope is not dead. At the Earth Summit, Jordan and Israel reached an agreement to build a pipeline to pump water from the Red Sea in order to save the Dead Sea, which is rapidly ebbing away.

And also, eventually a dam, similar to this one, to be called the Unity Dam, will be built. Water, the currency for a deal between Israel and Jordan, and then providing electricity for Syria.

But analysts say the struggle for water will continue to be a source of political and economic tensions, especially in the Middle East. And Jordan has little to bargain with.

(on camera): Jordan is on a top 10 list it would rather not be on, among those countries with the least available amount of water. Twenty-five years ago, the Wahde (ph) River surged through here in the capital. Now it's all dried up.

(voice-over): Looking into a future that's not so sunny is Jordan's minister of water and irrigation. He can see rooftops covered not just with satellite dishes, but water storage tanks. And he knows Jordan's population will double by the year 2020, far outstripping water demand and supply.

HAZIM EL-NASER, JORDANIAN MINISTER OF WATER AND IRRIGATION: The biggest challenge is to have enough water resources for all sectors, and to have clean water for people in the right time and in the right place.

ROTH: TV public service spots warn there's no good place for abusing the country's low water supply.

AZZA HAMMOUDI, AMMAN RESIDENT: My family lives in Canada. When I go there, I really got frustrated there, because the water's always running, and I get stressed about it. You know, the water's running, close the taps. And they say, what's your problem?

ROTH: Jordan is working hard to manage the scarcity of water. The prime minister opened a new multimillion-dollar expanded sewage treatment center. Turning waste water into a renewable resource is part of sustaining basic needs here. If successful, something to write home about.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: If you've got an appetite for cooking, we've got the Web sites for you. Find out where to click for the best recipes, cooking tips and more, when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HATTORI: Time for our kitchen segment here on NEXT. Whether you're a seasoned cook or a novice, preparing something in a pinch, the Internet has a lot of sites that can help you with your next gourmet dinner. Natalie Pawelski talked with consumer tech expert Marc Saltzman to get some cooking tools over the Web.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NATALIE PAWELSKI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, Marc, they tell me that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Can the Web help me out with that?

MARC SALTZMAN, CONSUMER TECH GURU: Absolutely. The Internet has the world's biggest cookbooks, and they're all completely free. So why don't we take a look at epicurious.com. This is probably the most popular one. It's the home to both "Gourmet" and "Bon Appetit" magazine.

PAWELSKI: So are all these sort of formal, fancy -- I mean, that sounds like really complicated recipes?

SALTZMAN: Well, some of them are. They'll have some simple ones, they'll have some more complicated ones, you know, maybe pulled from the pages of the magazine. Then, there's actually a forum where you can type in, hey, does anybody know a good tuna casserole out there? And then you can swap recipes that way.

PAWELSKI: Let's try one. It's hot outside; let's try gazpacho.

SALTZMAN: And we'll see how many entries they've got.

PAWELSKI: Oh, my.

SALTZMAN: Look at that, 25.

PAWELSKI: Twenty-five kinds of gazpacho. Shrimp gazpacho with basil croutons, white gazpacho, creamy cucumber gazpacho. I didn't even know that was still gazpacho.

SALTZMAN: There you go.

So let's take a look at one of them here. Mom's gazpacho. As you can see, it has got the full recipe here, exactly what you need. The top, if you take a look at it, it says "save to your recipe box," you can view all the content of your box. E-mail that to a friend right from the Web site.

PAWELSKI: So, like, if you're going over to somebody who doesn't cook very well, you can say, make me this?

SALTZMAN: Subtle hint.

Last but not least, you can print out the recipe. A lot of us are not going to log our computers to the kitchen, so you can copy it over to a PDA like a Palm, or you can print it off and, using a printer, bring it into the kitchen.

You know, one thing that Epicurious does that I like is that you can click off ingredients that you may have in your kitchen, and it will spit out a recipe for you. So let's click off garlic, and then let's say, mushrooms and pasta. So you open your cupboards, OK, I for sure have those ingredients. Then you can go to "must include all those selections," and then you hit submit. And what it's going to do is immediately search through a database and make sure it has got all those ingredients.

And here we go, 1,870 options for you. So it's a nice little addition to the already huge database that it has.

PAWELSKI: Well, let's say you're in a rut, but you like it there. Let's say you like your McDonald's hamburgers, or your blooming onions.

SALTZMAN: Right. You have no need for health food and you want to copy your favorite fast food recipes. Well, there are a few Web sites on the net that actually reveal these top-secret recipes from your favorite restaurants.

The first one is aptly named TopSecretRecipes.com. If you want to find out how to make a Starbucks frapuccino or an Outback's blooming onion or McDonald's secret sauce, this Web site, TopSecretRecipes, will have what you're looking for. And there's another Web site that's similar to TopSecretRecipes.com that also aims to recreate those famous restaurant recipes. And it's called Copykat.com, and that's kat, with a "k."

PAWELSKI: Chefs on TV is just a such big thing these days. Do they have Web sites?

SALTZMAN: Absolutely. Well, all the Food Network chefs are all at Foodtv.com. So fans of Emeril can kick it up a notch at www.foodtv.com. Naturally, it lists all of the episodes and all the shows there, and you can scroll by show, or you can use the handy search engine and type exactly what you're looking for.

They've got forums and chat groups so people can -- fans of the TV network can get together online and chat about a particular dish or show. You take a look here, we've got these step by step recipes, and they've got videos for each of the different formats that people have on their PC -- QuickTime, RealVideo and Windows Media.

PAWELSKI: Well, Marc, it looks like you can go online, and learn how to make everything from hamburgers to barbecue, and if all else fails, I guess, you can go online and make reservations.

SALTZMAN: That, too.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HATTORI: For more on the cooking Web sites and other stories on our program, check out our Web site, cnn.com/next.

ANNOUNCER: Still ahead, a convenience store with no one behind the counter. In fact, there is no counter. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HATTORI: There's a new business in a trendy Washington, D.C. neighborhood that's kind of hard to categorize. It could be described as a store with no employees inside, or perhaps the world's biggest vending machine. Our Bob Franken, quarters in hand, checked it out.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Look at all the business we do these days without ever dealing with the living human. Audix. We all love voice mail.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome to Audix. For help at any time, press star "h."

FRANKEN: ATMs. Who remembers bank tellers? Travel is becoming almost inhuman. Reservations are booked on the Internet. Boarding passes picked up at electronic ticket kiosks.

And now, an automated convenience store.

(on camera): Is this going to replace the convenience store?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope so. I think it'd be -- I think it's a great thing.

FRANKEN (voice-over): The selection ranges from the proverbial soup to nuts, from condiments to condoms, about 200 items, compared to the more than 2,000 in a typical convenience store, like the one a couple of blocks from here.

But that's not the biggest difference.

RICK HUSSAIN, 7-11 OWNER: I think of the people, the employees, where they come, they talk to and they got -- they are greeted by the employees and they got help from them.

FRANKEN: But many prefer no help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's convenient. You don't have to deal with a sort of surly clerk, and I'm just as happy with it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is very easy. It's -- for me, it's better. It's better. I don't have to ask, I don't have to wait, I come and go. It's very easy.

FRANKEN (on camera): The machine delivered these eggs without breaking them, so it worked. And an employee is hanging out nearby for when it doesn't to provide help, as the song goes, for people who need people.

ARUN DEV, VENDING MACHINE OPERATOR: You know what, our goal is to have it work 100 percent of the time. I'd say right now it's pretty darn close. It's working very, very well. But we want to be very, very careful before you go any farther with this.

FRANKEN (voice-over): These are more common in Europe and Asia, but this is the only one in the United States.

Most of New York's food automats of decades past were driven out of business by the fast food chains. The irony is that the behind- the-scenes owner of this new-age automat is McDonald's. "It is a one- machine test, said a McDonald spokesman. We'll see what happens."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HATTORI: I don't know about this. Sounds like they're taking all the charm out of going to a convenience store.

Well, we're all out of time. Here's a look at what's coming up next week. The future of the endangered hawksbill turtle is looking brighter, but some craftsmen may be looking for work. We'll explain.

And we'll visit with R2D2. Well, a miniature version of the "Star Wars" robot. Daniel Sieberg will tell you how to get into dance and play games. All it takes is battery and a little discipline.

All that and a lot more coming up on NEXT. Until then, let us know how we're doing. You can drop us an e-mail. Our address is next@cnn.com.

Thanks so much for joining us this week. For all of us on the sci-tech beat, I'm James Hattori. We'll see you next time.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com



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