Preview -- World News Tonight 04/05/01

Good Afternoon.

By day in Washington, by night (our time) in Beijing — in the last 24 hours the pace of diplomatic activity has quickened dramatically.

At one point today an official told us to get ready for a Hawaii welcome for the crew of that EP-3 plane, still waiting for their release from Hainan Island.

Most officials were not quite as hopeful, but certainly something is brewing. Tonight we'll report from Beijing — where the Chinese jet-fighter pilot is being memorialized in the press, and where the tone seemed lighter today; from the White House, where President Bush said he not only "regrets" the incident but that the Chinese pilot's family is in his prayers; and we'll go to Hainan Island — our David Wright is one of the few reporters there. We also have a report from Martha Raddatz at the Pentagon: why the United States is invoking Tom Cruise when it talks about the Chinese pilot.

From education correspondent Michele Norris, another unfortunate story about the nation's schools. We would like to think the words "bomb," "swat team" and "schools" would never belong in the same sentence. Michele reports, among other things, that in the last couple of weeks alone, more than 100 bomb threats have disrupted schools across the country.

We take a Closer Look at the college campus, free speech, and political correctness. The latter is a loaded phrase, of course, but there is a real debate under way about what reporter Dan Harris characterizes as the "balance between free speech and sensitivity" on campuses today. Dan reports from Cambridge, Mass. tonight on the story that sparked the debate, and the broader issues behind it.

And finally, Jim Wooten reports from London on the woman at the top of the charts. You may not know Eva Cassidy. Watch and listen tonight. You won't soon forget her.

We hope you'll join us.

Peter Jennings

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