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CONNECT THE WORLD
Chad Won't Give Up Sudan's President to ICC; Interview With Tony Blair
Aired July 22, 2010 - 16:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, ANCHOR: Sudan's president (inaudible) a global arrest warrant by traveling outside the safety of his country to Chad. The International Criminal Court wants to try him for alleged war crimes in Darfur, but Chad won't give him up.
Tonight, the difficulty of bringing more criminals to justice when the court is meant to represent the world only counts half of them as members.
On CNN, this is hour we "Connect the World."
Will President Omar al-Bashir be the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the ICC on charges of genocide, and yet, he is traveling freely to an ICC member state. Does the court in the Hague have any teeth at all? We're going to talk to a man who helped setup the ICC.
Also, tonight, we got get rid of someone who is brutally oppressing many Muslims inside in his own country and gave the country a chance - Muslim country to elect its own government.
Tony Blair tonight on a rock on British politics and on Sudan amongst other things. He's former British prime minister is your "Connector of the Day."
And also this hour, in Israel, a man who lied about his religion while wooing a woman is convicted of rape. Now, this could happen elsewhere around the world.
And here is the story you won't want to miss. The Malaysia's got talent that not in a way you might expect. That story coming up. (Inaudible) the program out on Twitter at beckycnn, your thoughts and all of the stories that we are following more than welcome this evening.
First off, defying the International Criminal Court, Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir is wanted for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity stemming from the conflict in Darfur.
And now, he has traveled to a country, which should - should hand him over. The government of Chad is refusing. Let's kick off this part of the show with our CNN contributor tonight, Nema Albager (ph) with the story for you.
NEMA ALBAGER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in Chad. His Chadian counterpart is (inaudible) no expense for his visiting neighbor. They even gave him the key to the capital city.
Around the world, this is visit that's being watched closely because under International Law al-Bashir could have been arrested. It's the first trip Omar al-Bashir has made to a country that (inaudible) for the International Criminal Court as the ICC issued a warrant for his arrest on genocide charges.
The Sudanese government says their president's defiance has proven that the ICC and its warrants are toothless.
MOHAMMED ELTOM, HEAD OF MISSION, SUDAN EMBASSY U.K.: It's sending a message that the ICC holding - the African countries don't care and don't buy what the ICC is saying about the Darfur issue. This will discredit the ICC and actually (inaudible) is getting what he deserves through this kind of politicized kind of fooling.
ALBAGER: The court indicted al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur region in the west of Sudan where a conflict was raised since 2003. It's the first time the ICC has indicted a sitting president.
Sudan and the International Court had a lot of riding on this trip, but in this battle of will between the al-Bashir and the ICC, the advantage at the moment is definitely Sudan's. Nema Albager reporting for CNN, London.
ANDERSON: One hundred and eleven countries are part of the International Criminal Court including all of South America and much of Western Europe, but put aside the number of countries for a moment and consider who is not a signatory.
The U.S. and China are among the seven nations that voted against it and there are all the other non-members including India and Pakistan. Together, those countries account for about half the world's population.
Al-Bashir may be protected for now, but the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court says he is confident al-Bashir will face justice eventually.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUIS MORENO-OCAMPO, CHIEF PROSECUTOR, ICC: He cannot be proud to be two days in a country without being arrested so how (inaudible) to be proud to be free. So the destiny of al-Bashir is to be arrested, to face justice.
The court is a permanent court. We can wait. The victims, they cannot wait. The victims are dying today. Girls are being raped today in their (inaudible) that should stop today. Stopping the crimes is going to be important.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, the chief prosecutor then says al-Bashir will face, but when one ICC's own member states or refuses to cooperate. Questions are going to be raised about just what its powers are and what its point is.
I want to bring Attorney David Scheffer for you tonight. He's an expert of this subject. He's a former U.S. ambassador at large - for war crime issues. Let the U.S. delegation in U.N. talks establishing the ICC, and he joins me now live from Chicago.
(Inaudible), why isn't the U.S. a signatory, David?
DAVID SCHEFFER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR FOR WAR CRIMES: Well, actually, we did sign the treaty on December 31st of 2000 and we remain a signatory of the (inaudible) statute. The problem is actually achieving ratification of the statute so that we become a state party.
And during the Bush administration years, there was actually a real push back on that, a real opposition to the court for fear that it would come after the United States and that`s a long time fear because of our global military presence.
But we actually did an enormous amount in helping to build this court and frankly under the Obama administration and then in the latter years of the Bush administration, there's been a quite a bit of cooperation and goodwill towards the court particularly on the issue of Darfur.
ANDERSON: All right, let's talk about Darfur. Now, I want to get wider on this issue and al-Bashir goes to Chad. Chad is a signatory or is a member of the ICC. It says listen, you know, what, we ain't going to extradite him at this point despite the fact that there's an arrest warrant out there, which means what for the ICC? It doesn't look good, does it?
SCHEFFER: Well, you know, I wouldn't say it doesn't look good. It is a problem -
ANDERSON: Well, no. It doesn't look good, David. I mean, you know, it doesn't look good. Let's face it. It doesn't look good.
SCHEFFER: Well, wait a minute, the International Criminal Court depends upon the cooperation of states parties. So these are positions that have to be made by national governments, government by government on how to cooperate with the court and when to do so.
They are obligated to do so, but just as with many other treaty regimes, you don't get full compliance by all of the states parties at all times with all of the terms of those treaties. Take the Nonproliferation Treaty for example.
So it's a problem, but it's one that has to be resolved and I think that Chad is on very, very thin ground here. It certainly has a very, very weak legal argument as to why it's not arresting President al-Bashir.
It appears to be an argument driven almost entirely with political reasons and a feeling that the court is only investigating African situations.
ANDERSON: All right, OK, and I want to get to that. Let me just put this point. The people watching the show tonight, they were saying what is the point of the ICC at present and in fact, they'll be supported to a certain extent by the U.S. ambassador or at least an envoy in Sudan at the moment.
Forgive me if I've got the title wrong, he says, listen it is better to have al-Bashir still around and working. The northern Sudanese beat at the moment than actually getting rid of him and leaving the country to what could be some sort of disaster. Do you buy that?
SCHEFFER: No, I thought that was an outrageous statement totally unacceptable and I would hope that the Obama administration would reject it outright. He has said things of similar character in that past and quite frankly, he needs to be brought into line.
I thought that what he said last week that you just quoted was a green light to President al-Bashir, go to Chad, just go and that is counterintuitive to the official U.S. policy and frankly, genocide makes a huge difference here.
The United States itself is a state party to the genocide convention, how can we have an envoy speaking in that character about a court that has very legitimately found reasonable grounds to charge him for genocide.
ANDERSON: I hear what you say, I think they'll still be viewed in the saying give them what you say. Why isn't or what are you encouraged to say it's just to sign - sign up or become member of the ICC at present. We've heard your argument for that, but it does seem slightly (inaudible).
Let me put this - leaving office three years ago, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as you know had been heavily involved in the initiative of good governance across Africa. I sat down with him, David, earlier today and asked about his reaction to Chad's refusal to arrest Omar al- Bashir. This is what he said. Have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY BLAIR, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I think in the end, the future for Africa will be determined by Africa. That's why present governance has the key question.
So I traveled day to Africa. I don't regret it. It was the right thing to do, but in the end, Africa will be sorted out by Africa and that means by proper government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Now, that was specifically in response to what has happened today. That wasn't a big picture Africa question from me. It was specific to what was going in chive with al-Bashir today and that was Tony Blair's reaction. Is he right?
SCHEFFER: No, he's not. If he wants Africans to comply with their legal obligations both under the Rome statute and other principals of International Law then African court should be prosecuting President al- Bashir.
It's not a question of somehow denying the rule of law particularly on the most heinous crimes imaginable and giving those individuals a free walk and saying, well, that's the African solution.
We've crossed that bridge a long time and African states in majority numbers including Chad signed on to the proposition that there's no immunity for senior officials of governments from these charges. No immunity whatsoever. No impunity.
And so you can't have it both ways and say that, when it's inconvenient for the rule of law to be enforced somehow we're going to say that's an African solution and then when it's convenient to have the rule of law, of course, because remember the African states invited the International Criminal Court to take on these other situations in Africa.
In Darfur that was the Security Council referral and quite frankly, I think the time has arrived in light of this situation in Chad for the Security Council to finally do the job it's supposed to be doing, which is it referred this matter to the court. Now, to the Security Council that needs to enforce the arrest warrants of the court.
ANDERSON: We've got about 30 seconds, David, do you see ICC redundant at this point?
SCHEFFER: No, it's not redundant at all. It would only be redundant if all national courts in all countries had full capability to prosecute and punish atrocity crimes. That is clearly not - it's not the case in Sudan.
They've proven that, which goes to the credibility of President al- Bashir himself. It's not the case in Chad either so until - and it's not the case in many countries of the world either.
Even here in United States we're still having to revise our law to make it capable to prosecute these atrocity crimes. Os it's a long road to go and the ICC is sort of the fail safe option if those national systems can't work. We still need the ICC to carry that burden.
ANDERSON: With that, we're going to leave it there. Fascinating stuff. We thank you very much indeed for joining us here on "Connect the World." David Scheffer for you or you heard.
Tony Blair, just a moment ago. Listen out for much from my interview with him. He is "Connector of the Day" today and he'll be answering your questions. So you're going to hear about his effort for peace in the Middle East. His involvement in the Iraq war and why he's been getting young people to express their faith on film? That's next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON (voice-over): In 1997, Tony Blair was the trendy and articulate prime minister. He was bringing labor back down in the street. He caught the popular mood of Britain at the time.
The support of the Iraq and other choices that he made, made a controversial rain and he eventually sit down in 2007 clearing the way for Gordon Brown to become prime minister.
Since living down in the street, Blair has been anything, but in the background. He's been a prominent figure in the Middle East negotiations and serves as an envoy from the region.
He's also launched a series of charitable foundations including the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. This week, the organization hosted a global competition to encourage young people around the world to express their faith to a film.
The subject is particularly important Blair being converted to Catholicism in 2007. Always making headlines, Tony Blair is your "Connector of the Day."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Yes, he is. The matters of faith, instability to both unite and divide were the top of the agenda when I sat down with him earlier today. And I think asking your connector what you surprised you about some of the entries into this recent faith short film 2010 film competition. This is what he said.
BLAIR: I think the thing surprised me was the degree to which actually most of the people submitting the films even the ones that haven't won really think about their faith now in the context of other people of different faiths.
You know, people mixed with people with different faiths the whole time. If you take any workplace today, and the people who are sitting next to you work with Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Jews, Buddhist.
You know, it's a different type of world we live in. I mean, I was - I think, you know, probably 16, 17 before I was aware about the faith and I was actually 12 before I met my first black person. I mean, it's the extraordinary thing to think of now.
So the world we live in today, thrust people together. The question is will region pull them apart or give them a purpose in life.
ANDERSON: How big a role does faith play in your life, Tony?
BLAIR: I think if you ask someone of faith then it's the single most dominant purpose. It's what gets you up in the morning. It's what keeps you motivated.
ANDERSON: Norma asked how changing from being an Anglican to Catholicism made a difference in your life?
BLAIR: For me that was really a very personal thing about coming home in the sense because my family, my wife is Catholic. My kids were brought up as Catholic. I used to go to mass, but not take communion so it made sense for me to be in the church where I feel at home frankly.
But whether Anglican or Catholic, I still think it's fascinating, interesting and important to know about people of different faiths and some of the films actually show how many faith have some of the same basic concepts about love your neighbor, about justice and so there's a lot that brings them together.
ANDERSON: I wonder whether any of the films answers a question that Kara has. She says what do you say to those who say that religion causes more problems and divisiveness than it does solution?
BLAIR: Well, it's a really good question and my answer is one whether it does or it doesn't understanding religion is the really important part of understanding the modern world.
I mean, we in Europe, becoming less religious in many parts of the world that are becoming more religious so you have to understand it. And secondly, yes, religion causes a lot of conflict, a lot of division, a lot of bad things, but actually it also causes a lot of good things.
It causes people to do good works, good acts for other people and if you think of health care today in Africa, in the poorest part of Africa, around half is actually delivered by religious organizations.
So, you know, it's a good question. Yes, religion can be a negative. The point that we're trying to make through the foundation is that faith also inspires people to do things that are marvelous and positive.
ANDERSON: Smudge has a question for you, (inaudible) your role as an envoy in the Middle East (inaudible) faith to try and better the situation there if at all?
BLAIR: Well, I do see a very big (inaudible) between the Faith Foundation and what I'm trying to do in the Middle East. I mean, I know people say it's not about religion. It's about territory and politics.
But actually it is in the way about a faith that's predominantly Jewish living next door to a state that's predominantly Muslim. How can you make that happen and how can you do that in a way that gets people understanding each other not fearing each other, not sensing their difference as a reason for conflict. And of course, Jerusalem matters enormously to all three Abrahamic faith.
ANDERSON: Really interesting question from Greg. He says, without the nonreligious people of the world arrogantly trying to convert the religious, do you think the lives of Richard Dawkins can actually have some input in the promotion of religious global understanding?
BLAIR: Well, I mean, I think, you know, one of the things that people have faith should never be afraid of doing is debating with people who are against it, who says it's all rubbish and religions are basically a bad thing.
And I think we should have confidence in our spiritual commitment to be able to argue that case and I think that when people like Richard Dawkins raised these arguments, actually, it's helped a little in a way because it forces us to respond.
ANDERSON: Lizzie has written to us and says, how do you reconcile your faith with your actions in a Muslim country like Iraq?
BLAIR: Well, I would do that by saying that actually we got rid of someone who is brutally oppressing many Muslims inside his own country and gave the country a chance, Muslim country to elect its own government.
So, you know, I would say that the oppression is those people who commit acts of terrorism now not our soldiers or American soldiers or any other soldiers who are trying to help them.
ANDERSON: For those who believe it's an illegal war and we had so many submissions on (inaudible) it's a logical question. One as I say affected by many of our viewers. Those who believe it was an illegal war can't see how you can reconcile it to.
BLAIR: I know, but here's where it's important to take a step back and see what I can and can't do. There will be people who profoundly disagree with the decision on Iraq or indeed on Afghanistan.
The first military action I ever took as prime minister was actually in respect of Kosovo, which I've visited recently. That was a Muslim country, you know, oppressed by actually a Christian orthodox neighbor.
Now, it's not about religion. You know, it was about security. It was about humanitarian concern. Whatever people may thing whether they agree or disagree with those policy decisions, it doesn't alter the fact that people of different faith need to get along together.
And sure there will be people who disagree on both sides whether they're Christian or Muslim, but there were also be people who agree. That's not the purpose of the foundation. I can't resolve that political argument. I'm not going to persuade people who are against, you know, this war or that military conflict.
What I can do though is put forward programs that today try and bring of different faith closer together like linking up schools across the world using the internet of different faiths, which we now are doing about 12 or 15 countries.
ANDERSON: Last question to you, Eugene asking that knowing what you do now and given the work what you're doing with your charitable foundation like this one, do you feel inspired to being a rock and roll musician?
BLAIR: No, I'm afraid I had to give up that up a long, long time ago. Basically when I was about 20 and realized that whatever else I was good at, in rock and roll I wasn't.
ANDERSON: Good stuff. Your "Connector of the Day" today was Tony Blair. This week, we have put your questions to the likes of Bill Clinton, Bill Gates and the (doors) among so these big names in politics, technology and music.
And tomorrow's connector is the biggest name in (inaudible) for a generation, Dita Von Tease is credited with bringing back the glamour and allure of all the Hollywood stars, the (inaudible) routine.
She has put up performances to good use most recently helping to raise funds at a charity concert at the World Aids Conference in (Vienna). We covered here for you this week. Well, start sending your questions in.
Do remember where you are (inaudible) cnn.com/connect and do remember what we want we hear who you want to be our connector of the day. It's up to you. It's your part of the show.
By now, the (inaudible) is familiar. That's all about the show Imamuda (ph) or Young Imam shares what it's worth in (inaudible). What is it? What does it share? We're going to look at a program that is all of Malaysia talking up next.
And later, a controversial case from the Middle East, allegations of rape by deception. That is all ahead on this show here on CNN. I'm Becky Anderson in London. You're with us. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: Islam is the official religion of Malaysia. It's also the theme of the nation's hottest new TV show. Dan Rivers is going to tell us the creators of "Immamuda" have found what's the creative way of getting the attention of the key audience that is young Muslims.
DAN RIVERS (voice-over): It may look like "American Idol" or "X- Factor," but the contestants aren't vying for money or a record deal. This is "Immamuda" or young Imam, Malaysia's TV talent show where contestants compete to become a Muslim (inaudible).
A big claim, but the producers were determined to break the rules of traditional religious programming.
IZELAN BASAR, CHANNEL MANAGER, ASTRO OASIS: The purpose is how we want to make it interesting for the young because for any region to affect the young closer to the (inaudible) is a big, huge challenge.
RIVERS: Ten finalists try to maintain sincerity. Difficult under the glare of the studio lights. The winner will get a job at a prestigious mosque, a scholarship in Saudi Arabia and an all expenses paid pilgrimage to Mecca.
(on camera): The producers say the show is a reflection of Malaysia's modern and open form of Islam. It's designed to provoke debate among Muslims, but also importantly to draw in young viewers with a slick set and dramatic elimination rounds.
RIVERS (voice-over): Each week, one or two contestants are voted off if they don't make the grade. The producers claim this isn't reality TV. But for who want to be Imam, Nuri Ali Arbain. It sure feels like it.
NURI ALI ARBAIN, CONTESTANT: So far, (inaudible) because I didn't know - I did the best in my exam.
RIVERS: Some of the practical test of being tough preparing HIV positive corpses for burial and helping families through difficult times.
There's no Simon Cowell instead a former grand Mufti equivalent to an archbishop is one of the judges. He insists the show is education as well as entertaining.
Millions are expected to tune in on July 30th to find out -
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who will be crowned with the title of "Immamuda?"
RIVERS: For a religion that is often portrayed as stayed and conservative, this kind of TV show is nothing short of revolutionary. Dan Rivers, CNN, Kuala Lumpur.
ANDERSON: It isn't the first time I've said it, but I want to say it again. It's your show, this is "Connect the World" so do get involved in our stories. We are planning a special themed week here and we are hoping to look at TV shows around the world.
How they become national icons and how they are cultural exports that connect nations. If you've got any ideas from your country, do send them in. Our e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org and of course, you know the web site cnn.com/connect (inaudible)@beckycnn.
The headlines up next, stay with us.
ANDERSON: Half past nine in London, you're back with CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. I'm Becky Anderson.
Coming up, this Arab man had sex with an Israeli woman. She says it was consensual, so why was he convicted of rape?
Eating up oil. We've witnessed the frantic cleanup operation of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, all eyes are on how microbes can stop the spread of sludge after another oil spill in China.
And death row for dogs and cats. The ugly reality facing unwanted animals in Japan. That story up in the next 30 minutes along with the others. First, I want to get you a very quick check of the headlines here on CNN.
Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez says he is slashing all relations with neighboring Colombia. The announcement comes as Colombia brings charges against Venezuela before the Organization of American States. Colombia accuses Venezuela of harboring anti-Colombian rebels. Mr. Chavez calls his neighboring President Alvaro Uribe crazed and puppet of the US.
The United Nations' highest court sides with Kosovo. The International Court of Justice finds Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia to be legal. The court ruling is non-binding. It comes 11 years after NATO drove Serbian forces from the province.
Already soaked southern China is in for much more rain. Tropical Storm Chanthu has made landfall in Guangdong province. China undergoing its worst flooding in a decade. More than 700 people have been killed across the country to date.
The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court says Sudan's president remains a fugitive, and it's just a matter of time before he faces justice. The remark followed news that Omar al-Bashir was in Chad this week for a regional conference. Chad refuses to arrest al-Bashir, who's accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
It's a case that is making international legal history and is sparking claims of racism. An Israeli court has sentenced a Palestinian man to 18 months behind bars. His crime, rape by deception, for pretending to be Jewish before having relations with an Israeli woman. We kick off with Ben Wedeman, who's in Jerusalem for you.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's been under house arrest for the past two years. His name is Saber Kashour, a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem, he goes by a very Israeli nickname, Dudu, and speaks flawless Hebrew.
Kashour was recently sentenced to 18 months for rape. He didn't force himself on his alleged victim, however. Both concede that the sex was consensual. He was charged with rape by deception, because he managed to seduce the woman, who has not been identified, by claiming to be unmarried and Jewish.
As it turns out, in addition to being Palestinian, he is married and has two children.
WEDEMAN (on camera): The two met outside a shop on this street in central Jerusalem. They chatted just for fifteen minutes, then went into a nearby building and did the deed, then parted ways.
A month and a half later, the woman went to the police and claimed Kashour had raped her.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): The case has sparked accusations of racism. Civil rights lawyer, Leah Tsemel, has defended Palestinians in Israeli courts for decades. To her, Kashour was just trying to get by, and get a few sexual perks on the side, in an environment where Palestinians are viewed with suspicion.
LEAH TSEMEL, ISRAELI CIVIL RIGHTS LAWYER: Of course, it's very clear for every Palestinian that they'd better not look like Palestinian, not be accepted -- not be seen a Palestinian. Otherwise, they will be stopped in every roadblock, by every policeman in the street, by every young soldier.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Dana Pugach runs a victims' legal aid center. To her, it's a cut and dried case of deception, and the verdict is fair.
DANA PUGACH, VICTIMS' RIGHTS ADVOCATE: He did say he was single when he was married, and actually, the court decision emphasized much more the fact that he claimed to be single than the fact that he claimed to be Jewish.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Kashour rejects the notion he raped the woman, but concedes he has done harm.
SABER KASHOUR, DEFENDANT (through translator): "The only people I hurt," he told Israeli Channel Two, "are my wife and children. I hurt them badly."
Israel does have harsh rape laws, and there are previous cases where Israeli men have been convicted of rape for misrepresenting themselves to gain sexual favors. A practice that is hardly unique to Israel, it should be added. Ben Wedeman, CNN, Jerusalem.
ANDERSON: Well, as Ben mentioned, a number of Israelis have been convicted for rape for misrepresenting themselves. They include one man who pretended to work for the Housing Ministry and promised women apartments in return for sexual favors.
Israel's not the only place where rape can be a crime of fraud. Under California's penal code, someone can commit rape when the victim is not, quote, "aware of the essential characteristics of the act due the perpetrator's fraud."
Similarly, in the US state of Tennessee, rape can happen if it's accomplished by fraud. Canada also makes rape by fraud a crime.
Let's try and join the dots on this global story for you, shall we? Professor Kenneth Mann was Israel's first chief public defender and teaches law at the Tel Aviv University, and he joins me now, live from Tel Aviv.
You're view on the decision in this case, firstly?
KENNETH MANN, FORMER ISRAELI CHIEF PUBLIC DEFENDER: I think the result is unfortunate. I think the idea that a person can be convicted of rape for misrepresenting his religion or national identity or race is not something that we would like to have in the criminal law.
As you did mention, this idea does appear in laws of several countries. Israel is not unique that way. Misrepresentation is a basis for convicting people of rape. It's a broadening of the rape law. Rape law was originally meant to focus on compulsion, on consent, or the lack of consent, which was the basis for the prosecution, where a person used force, often violence.
Later in the development of the law, this idea that a person can say something which is not true and --
ANDERSON: Yes, I get that, and I understand what you're saying. Do you think, then, that this is a cultural and religious issue more than a legal one, this case we're talking about?
MANN: When you -- Indeed, there is a cultural and religious aspect to this. One has to pay attention to the impact of this kind of decision. It is a way of making a loud message into the community. Putting a loud message into the community that religion and race are very sensitive. In social relations, if you do something which is wrong in respect to religion and race, you misrepresent, you may end up in prison for that. And I think the message that the criminal law puts out, the courts put out if they do this is to make social relations among different groups more difficult and more sensitive.
I want to point out --
ANDERSON: This is a show -- Hold on a minute. This is a show where we try and take a story in one part of the world and show how it resonates elsewhere. So I want to just get a little bit wider at this point. We've talked about where rape is a crime of fraud in some parts of the world. Given the legal determination in this case, ought it to set a precedent for cases elsewhere? And, perhaps, the wider question is this. Should rape be a crime of fraud?
MANN: Well, I want to point out that this case was settled and plea- bargained. It's not a completely full determination by the court. It's going to go to the Supreme Court. So we have yet to know what really the Israeli law will be on this issue. I don't think that it's come up before in Israeli law the question of whether misrepresenting one's membership in a religious or racial community can be the basis for fraud.
When two people get together, they represent many things about themselves. Perhaps their wealth, their family pedigree, their health. And one wants to ask whether we can use rape law to penalize people in situations where consent is received on the basis of misrepresentation in regard to these issues.
I think there's a major problem in Europe. Europe is facing it, Israel is facing it, whether the courts will allow misrepresentation of race or religious community to be a trigger for the criminal law. I would hope that the courts would back from off this, would not allow this very negative message to the community where the coming together of these groups is an important social goal.
ANDERSON: And with that, we're going to leave it there. We do appreciate you joining us this evening here on CONNECT THE WORLD. Fascinating stuff, Kenneth Mann, for you, an expert on the subject.
Two oil spills in two parts of the world. Next, we're going to head to China for you. And, indeed, to the Gulf of Mexico. We're going to learn about an unusual method to clean up the mess.
ANDERSON: Let's get you an update on an oil spill, not from the Gulf of Mexico this time, but from China. Officials there are battling to contain a spill off the northeast coast amid reports that it's spreading. It happened last Friday after two pipelines exploded at an oil depot, sparking a massive fire. A Greenpeace activist reports tourist beaches are awash in sludge, with the smell of acid and oil in the air. There's growing concern the spill could impact the environment for years to come. That sounds familiar, doesn't it?
Bad weather complicating cleanup efforts. Our Emily Chang has more from Beijing.
EMILY CHANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Chinese crews are battling some tough weather to clean up this oil spill. Winds and choppy water have been hampering cleanup efforts and causing the oil to spread. It is all happening in the northeastern port of Dalian after two pipelines exploded. What officials are really hoping to do is prevent the oil from spreading out of the harbor and into the Yellow Sea and international waters.
But it is incredibly difficult work. One soldier has already been killed. He was swept away in the oily waves. Another soldier is still in the hospital. More than 800 fishing boats manned with volunteers are also helping out with the cleanup effort, along with the Chinese biotechnology firm that's dumping more than 30 tons of oil-eating bacteria into the harbor every day.
Now, to put this in perspective, the Chinese government says about 1500 tons of oil spilled in this particular case, but that the leak was stopped within about 24 hours. That is just a fraction of one percent of the amount of oil that has spilled in the BP spill in the Gulf. The Chinese spill has now spread over more than 400 square kilometers, but still, it's just six percent of the surface area of the Gulf oil spill.
So by comparison, this oil spill here in China is still much smaller, though it is certainly already impacting wildlife. There's a concern it could very negatively impact fishing in the area, which is one of the major industries. And experts are saying this spill could take months to clean up, but that the longer-term effects could last more than a decade.
Emily Chang, CNN, Beijing.
ANDERSON: All right, let's get you an update, then, on the other oil spill, in the Gulf of Mexico, of course. Officials there casting a nervous eye to the east, where a tropical depression forms near the Bahamas. If it intensifies, they tell us, and moves into the Gulf, it could significantly impact current cleanup operations.
BP has already decided to delay a so-called casing procedure on one of its relief wells. Weather permitting, engineers could try a tactic called static kill, where mud is pumped into the ruptured well to force oil into the reservoir.
Well, Emily Chang just told us the Chinese vessels are using oil- eating microbes for the spill there. So far, microbes have not been used in the Gulf of Mexico. And we're what? Nearly a hundred days in or more. John Zarrella wonders if that will change anytime soon.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the Gulf of Mexico. Did you know there are bugs out there? Yes. Billions of them. And a lot of them like -- no, love -- eating oil.
JOE LEPO, MICROBIOLOGIST, UNIVERSITY OF WEST FLORIDA: They're ubiquitous in the ocean and on the sand, they're everywhere.
ZARRELLA (voice-over): Microbiologist Joe Lepo is an expert when it comes to these naturally-occurring microscopic oil-eating bacteria.
LEPO: That's .45.
ZARRELLA (voice-over): These days, for good reason, Lepo is bombarded with questions about the bugs. But here's the twist. It's not so much the bugs in nature everyone is clamoring over, but oil-munchers grown in laboratories. Companies like Osprey Biotechnics in Sarasota, Florida, believe their bugs, applied to the oil along the shoreline and maybe in the water in concentrated amounts, would accelerate the cleanup.
VICTORIA FINLEY, OPSREY BIOTECHNICS: It will degrade residue, absolutely. What cannot be removed manually or mechanically can be bioremediated with Munox formulation.
ZARRELLA (voice-over): Florida's governor, Charlie Crist, so interested, he visited the Sarasota lab.
CHARLIE CRIST, GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA: I'm very impressed by what I've seen.
ZARRELLA (voice-over): From what he's read, Jeff Sokol, a Louisiana man, is so convinced they are the answer, he's set up a website expounding the virtues of oil-eating bacteria.
JEFF SOKOL, GULF COAST RESIDENT: Because I care. I became a proponent of bioremediation because I saw that this technique has worked in the past.
ZARRELLA (voice-over): Bugs, naturally occurring in Prince William Sound, did work after Exxon Valdez, when fertilized with nitrogen and phosphorous, they got busy cleaning up oil that couldn't be removed by hand or machines.
LEPO: Give them what they're missing, and they suddenly go crazy. They grow exponentially.
ZARRELLA (voice-over): But what about the ones grown in the labs?
FINLEY: Nature uses microbes to degrade petroleum. I think BP should, too.
ZARRELLA (voice-over): Why isn't BP introducing them to give those in nature a little help?
ZARRELLA (on camera): After days of asking questions, the unified command finally got back to us, saying microbes had not been, quote, "required to meet operational needs." What that means, they wouldn't say.
The use of microbes hasn't been ruled in or out, but remains, they said, a potential tool if the situation dictates.
ZARRELLA (voice-over): Some scientists say lab microbes might work, polishing off remnant shoreline oil, but in open water would simply get washed or blown off.
LEOP: We tested about 20 of these for EPA. And, essentially, all of them claimed to have efficacy on open water. We couldn't get any of them to work.
ZARRELLA (voice-over): Experts say stimulating the naturally- occurring microbes might be the best bet. Give them a little fertilizer and they'll treat the oil like an all-you-can-eat buffet. John Zarrella, CNN, Pensacola, Florida.
ANDERSON: Connecting the world here on CNN, I'm Becky Anderson in London for you.
In Japan, pets are part of a $12 billion industry, and the more cute and cuddly the cats and dogs are, the better. But when owners abandon their animals, the consequences are far from pretty. Up next, we're going to visit a center where unwanted pets are put down.
ANDERSON: A very warm welcome back. All this week on the show we are focusing on our furry friends. On Monday, we measured the carbon paw print of your pets and told you how feeding your animals may be increasing our greenhouse gas emissions.
And on the subject of gas, we know that cows and sheep produce a lot of methane, but what we discovered on Monday is that the key to reducing those emissions could be -- wait for it -- curry.
On Tuesday, we investigated China's appetite for cat and dog meat, following the trade from cage to kitchen to ala carte main course.
And yesterday, we met some pampered pooches making the most of New York's booming pet care businesses. We watched as they checked into canine accommodations and tucked into treats good enough for humans to eat.
Well, the pets that we are going to show you today aren't nearly so lucky, unfortunately. Far from the lap of luxury, these animals have been abandoned by their owners. And, sadly, they end up on a death row for stray cats and dogs. I want to warn you, this may be quite upsetting for some of you.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Designer dog clothing. Doggie clothing. Two, three, even $10,000 uber-small rare breeds. Pets are a $12.6 billion-a-year industry in Japan and growing. In this fad- obsessed country, cute and cuddly is a social status symbol.
But there's an ugly reality beneath the veneer. This is the Fukuoka City Animal Center. Arriving today, a young, healthy, and apparently purebred dalmatian.
In the next cage, this toy poodle, the latest fad in Japan. It was turned in, discarded by its owner because its leg is hurt. The center says it's clearly been neglected.
LAH (on camera): How many does this dog have left?
LAH (voice-over): "Friday," says veterinarian Tetsuya Honkawa.
This dog and this fluffy mixed breed have been at the center more than a week. When the time is up, they go in this box. The lid closes, and then fills with carbon monoxide, killing up to eight dogs at a time. Honkawa says they suffer a painful death.
Cats don't get as much time. This kitten was brought in today, tossed in this burlap bag.
"I don't want to do this," says Honkawa, whose job is supposed to save animals' lives. But today will be this kitten's last day, he says.
This is where the cats go. It takes 30 minutes for the gas to put down a kitten because their lungs are so small.
More than 330,000 cats and dogs are brought to centers like this across Japan every year. Eighty-seven percent of them are euthanized. Compare that to the US, where half of the animals in shelters are adopted.
But in Japan, adoption is still uncommon. Pet owners want the latest breed, the latest trend.
"I want pet owners to know about this place," says Honkawa. "I want them to understand the reality about the pet industry, and that it's human selfishness that leads to this.
LAH (on camera): Once a dog arrives, a date is marked on the outside. This little guy has been here just about a week. He only has a few more days before he's put down. And the center says, so far, there have been no offers to adopt him.
LAH (voice-over): The shelter believes this Shih Tzu was a product of over-breeding, a continued problem in Japan because of the demand for small, cute breeds.
Fumichika Nobori is the person who cares for the dogs all week once they arrive. Most of this job is educating owners, breeders, and pet shop owners, and getting the animals adopted. He is hoping these dogs, especially this fluffy one, will find a home.
But on Friday, the dogs were still here. Nobori (ph) helped lead them, one by one, into the metal box.
This one, dragged.
And in the case of the toy poodle, carried.
Then, Nobori turned on the gas.
"I would like your viewers to understand how valuable life is," Nobori tells me afterwards. He says pets normally live 10 to 15 years, and it's the owner's responsibility.
Nobori would like nothing better than to have this part of his job go away. And as they clean the now empty cages, another batch of dogs, like this one, has just arrived. A cycle that the center believes will continue until the consumer demand in Japan's lucrative pet industry ends. Kyung Lah, CNN, Fukuoka, Japan.
ANDERSON: In the spotlight on Friday, Sri Lanka's street dogs, often malnourished and sick, they are rarely adopted. But now, a former model embarks on a campaign to make the strays fashionable, even taking the dogs onto the catwalk in Colombo. It's a great story. We're going to bring you that this time on tomorrow's program.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. I'm Becky Anderson. A check of the world headlines coming right up.
ANDERSON: On the move as we go through the lens this evening. Our World in Pictures starts in New York. Wounded veterans from the US military and the Israeli defense forces participate in what's known as the Wounded Warrior Project.
The ball bouncing in Rafa in Gaza. Palestinian kids try to break the Guinness World Record of 7,500 basket balls dribbled simultaneously. And I'm sorry, I can't tell you whether they actually beat it. We'll have to Google that one, won't we?
Aboriginal dancers perform a work called "Feather" during final rehearsal at the Sydney Opera House.
And, OK, no one is moving very fast in this massive traffic jam in Dhaka in Bangladesh. A study says easing congestion in the capital would significantly boost the economy.
And finally, this contraption looks like it is going -- well, it may be going to move fairly soon. It's a Transformers-like robot on display at the Indonesia International Motor Show in Jakarta. Kind of cheated on the last one, didn't we?
A moveable, or at least semi-moveable face in your World in Pictures this evening.
Before we close out this show and get you the headlines, I want to return to the controversial story of rape by deception. In one of the stories that we covered in this show this evening, our Ben Wedeman told you about a Palestinian man who's been sentenced to 18 months in prison in Israel for lying about being Jewish before having sex with a Jewish woman.
Now, the comments we are getting on the website about this are almost uniform in their support of the guy.
Rafaelandoli writes in, "This is about racism in its purist form. It is very serious and very sad."
And someone who goes by the name of Guest says, "Sounds like something that would have happened in the 50s in the US South, only with a white woman and a black man. Well, if this were applied to our society, half of the men in the US would be in prison," he or she says.
Ahurbs had this comment. "Rape by deception?" Question mark. "Imagine how many women must be guilty of this, wearing heels, pushup bras, makeup." Well, I'm not sure everybody's going to agree with that one. "Obviously this is about religion and race, though, and not about deception. This is racism pure and simple."
And Cyberquill wants to know, "How about seducing someone by feigning genuine love? Wouldn't that be rape by deception, too?"
This obviously got you going, this story, and so it should. Let's get more from you guys. I want to hear from you. Head to the website, cnn.com/connect. That is where you can write in.
Lots of you have been tweeting in during the show following my interview with former British prime minister Tony Blair. Unfortunately, for someone named kiddi_mat, he missed our Connector of the Day interview, but says, "I hope I can watch the replay maybe." Well, he can, and you can too. Visit the cnn.com/ website to watch that full interview. And, of course, you can tweet me, you can find me @beckycnn.
And that is it. That is your world, connected, this Thursday evening in London. "BackStory" is up right after this quick check of the headlines for you.