Return to Transcripts main page
CONNECT THE WORLD
Lives Hanging in the Balance in Pakistan; Progress vs. Preservation in Northeastern Turkey
Aired August 17, 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, HOST: Not enough aid and precious little time, as the U.N. says lives in Pakistan are hanging in the balance, tonight, battling donor fatigue -- just who is prepared to help the flood victims?
On CNN, this is the hour we connect the world.
Underfunded and too slow -- that is how the United Nations is classifying relief efforts in Pakistan. Tonight, we explore where the aid is or isn't coming from.
Then, progress versus preservation -- an age old battle is taking place right now in the beautiful mountains of Northeastern Turkey. It's the second installment of our two week series on earth's frontiers.
And a name most of you will recognize, tonight, the granddaughter of world-renowned marine biologist, Jacques Cousteau, answers your questions. Explorer Alexandra Cousteau is your Connector of the Day.
And my Twitter question tonight -- why has the world seemingly turned its back on Pakistan?
Aid is still slow. From some parts of the world, it is pitiful. My personal address I also atbeckycnn. Log on and join in the conversation.
Well, it is probably the biggest emergency on the planet today. Those chilling words coming from a UNICEF official about the monsoon floods that have put one fifth of Pakistan underwater.
So why are hundreds of thousands of people in the country still waiting for one drop of aid?
Sara Sidner is in hard hit Sukkur, where many are choosing to stay behind, even when rescue boats arrives.
Take a look at this.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The flooding in Pakistan is still so expansive, it's difficult to tell where the water ends and the sky begins. Search and rescue missions continue daily, this one by the Pakistani military.
Suddenly, on a tiny sliver of land, flood victims appear. They wade through floodwaters, their eyes fixed on the Pak Marines Hovercraft as it arrives.
These mostly women and children have been marooned here for two weeks now. They need everything from food to medicines.
"Look at our children. They are sick. Where can we go? We can't go anywhere."
"There is water all around us," grandmother Bachul Kahora (ph) pleas. The other women in her clan chime in, spilling out their many woes.
The Pak Navy Special Services group try to accommodate with the small bit of supplies they have. It's not enough. But the main thing on offer, a ride to safety, these villagers refuse to take. They tell us they will not leave their land for fear their enemies in a neighboring village will snatch it. So the craft pushes off, a single flood victim aboard.
LT. COMMANDER BADSHAH, PAKISTANI NAVY: They are thinking that if they leave this area, they will not be allowed to come back. That's also one of the reasons.
SIDNER (on camera): The Pak Marines say they have already rescued about 25,000 people in a 110 square kilometer area here in Sukkur. For those left behind, there isn't much help for them.
(voice-over): In all, more than 200,000 people have fled or been rescued from this area. Some end up in government camps. Others have made their own shelters atop the official dam with little help, fearing the predicted next wave of water officials say is rushing down from the north.
Sara Sidner, CNN, Sukkur, Pakistan.
ANDERSON: All right, well, the United Nations keeps track of how much aid different nations are giving to help Pakistan's flood victims. So here is a list of the top donors as we know it. The U.S. tops the list, with nearly $97 million. That is more than a third of the total.
The United Kingdom is number two, with just over $40 million.
Japan, third, with $14.4 million.
And Denmark coming in fourth, at about $10.5 million.
It's worth noting pledges from some nations are still in the pipeline and not included in this tally.
Well, in a moment we're going to talk to Amre Moussa, the secretary- general of the League of Arab States.
Before we go to him, here's what we do know about what has been pledged from the Arab world.
Syria will send 35 tons of food and medical supplies. So, too, Jordan, with an aircraft in Pakistan with three-and-a-half tons of medicine. From Saudi Arabia, $55 million has been pledged.
Well, traditionally, Arab nations don't funnel aid through the United Nations, opting instead to give directly to the country in need and very often through local based charities.
I want to bring in the head of the League of Arab States now, Amre Moussa, joining me now from -- by Skype from Egypt.
We just delineated what we know about what the Arab nations are providing to Pakistan at this point. As I say, traditionally, not funneled through the UN, so it's a bit more difficult to find out exactly how much is coming through. But to all intents and purposes, aid is slow from everywhere at this point.
Are you supply -- surprised by how slow it is from your region?
AMRE MOUSSA, SECRETARY-GENERAL, LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES: Well, as you have just mentioned, several of our countries have either pledged or sent already the necessary assistance. But now, we came to know that the dimensions are much wider and the situation is more serious. That is why I issued a formal appeal today, not only addressed to governments but to the private sector and the civil society, as well as individuals.
I called on all of them to contribute to the needs, to help Pakistan at this hour of need.
ANDERSON: Yes, and I've seen...
MOUSSA: And I'm sure...
ANDERSON: -- I've been seeing what you've been writing, sir. And you've also been Tweeting about it. You must be disappointed by how much has been pledged at this point, aren't you?
MOUSSA: It is not -- the question is not this. But the point that has been raised on your screen moments ago, that perhaps there is a kind of fatigue in donation and in addressing those problems and those crises caused by nature. But I believe that the visit of the secretary-general of the United Nations has helped focus the attention on the new dimensions -- the dangerous dimensions of what happened in Pakistan.
That's why my appeal and I use -- allow me to use this screen and this interview to call on all my fellow citizens in the Arab world and on the institutes -- institutions and private sector organizations, the chambers of commerce and all other organizations to develop -- to send whatever they can and as quickly as they can, to Pakistan.
ANDERSON: Why do you think you're seeing donor fatigue in your region?
MOUSSA: No, it's not a question -- of course, as you know, the -- the situation in Pakistan and then other areas also need assistance -- Arab assistance. But this is not the point. The point is now Pakistan is in need of quick assistance. And that's why I join you and call on all my fellow citizens and all organizations and governments to move quickly and as generously as they can (INAUDIBLE).
ANDERSON: Amre Moussa, let's face it, the people of Pakistan are restive. Nearly 10 percent of the population is displaced. Millions of dollars -- millions, if not billions of dollars worth of infrastructure has been destroyed. And the government is, frankly, weak.
How concerned are you about security at this point?
MOUSSA: Well, as you mentioned, the -- the destruction is vast. Therefore, the rebuilding in Pakistan will take time. Now, we need -- the Pakistanis need quick assistance, but later on, we'll have to assist on rebuilding the -- the structure, the -- the destroyed areas and the areas in need, villages and -- and schools and so on.
ANDERSON: are you hearing anything that might suggest that the Pakistani Taliban might or are or could take advantage of what is a dire situation?
MOUSSA: Well, let us concentrate now on humanitarian needs and the humanitarian situation and not the political dimensions or other threats, etc.
So now Pakistan is in a dire situation and there's an urgent need for assistance.
MOUSSA: And this is our job, yours and ours and all of us who have to stand together to help Pakistan at this time.
ANDERSON: And you make a very good point that it's a humanitarian disaster, as we speak. The question I put to you, though, is an important one. It's one we will follow up with you as -- as the days go on.
At this point, again, your appeal to Islamic nations to help Pakistan is simply what?
And with that, we're going to leave it there.
I think that was -- I think we've had that appeal and you've heard the words of Amre Moussa there of the Arab League.
I think we've just lost the technology.
Let me tell you what you've been writing. Let's go through some of the -- the blogs that are coming into CNN.com/connect, shall we, on Pakistan?
Cassidy2 writes: "When fellow humans are in need of help, there should be no countries, no race, no politics, just human beings helping human beings."
And Mzboy says: "This natural disaster is a test for everyone -- a test of brotherhood among Muslims and the rest of the world."
And finally, a viewer named Venurao says simply: "Please help. They are dying."
We want to hear from you. Head to the Web site, CNN.com/connect. And do not forget to let us know where you are writing in from.
This is CONNECT THE WORLD.
We're going to move on at this point for you.
I'm Becky Anderson in London.
Cowardly, vicious, unjustified -- well, the leaders using those words to describe the deadliest bombing in Baghdad in months. We're going to see why the timing of the attack is particularly troubling for Iraq's overwhelmed security forces. That coming up after this.
ANDERSON: Well, just two weeks before U.S. troops draw down in Iraq, a suicide bomber carries out the deadliest attack there in months. It's a troubling reminder, of course, of the enormous security challenges that U.S. combat troops are leaving behind.
CNN producer Jomana Karadsheh joins us now by phone from Baghdad with the details of today's bombing -- Jomana.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN PRODUCER: Hi, Becky.
According to Interior Ministry officials -- forces, at least 40 people were killed and 129 others were wounded. Most of these casualties were young men looking to join the Iraqi Army. Officials are telling CNN that the suicide bomber, who was wearing an explosives vest, struck outside the army recruitment center in Central Baghdad as hundreds were cuing up outside.
The attack took place at about 8:00 a.m. local time. This was during morning rush hour. And this was the last day of this recruitment drive. So you could imagine the hundreds of -- of recruits who were standing out there. These -- these recruitment centers have been a frequent target of insurgent attacks in the past. According to eyewitnesses and some of the injured recruits that we've talked to, dozens of men had actually men camped outside the center. They'd been sleeping there for nights, trying to be the first ones around in the morning to find out -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Jomana, what impact is this sort of attack going to have on Iraqi security forces?
KARADSHEH: Becky, this is going to have a great impact on Iraqi security forces. It comes, as we've seen over the past year, these sorts of attacks that are targeting the security forces, targeting government installations. They, no doubt, are increasing. The fears and concerns that many Iraqis we speak to have.
If you look at today's bombing, for example, this is an army recruitment center. Hundreds of people gather there every morning, a prime target for suicide bombers. And after such a devastating blow in the heart of Baghdad, the Iraqis are including concerned and asking, if a place like this, a government office, was not sufficiently protected, how can these security forces protect the people, especially as the U.S. military is gradually pulling out of Iraq, ending its mission and presence here?
And if they -- if these forces cannot protect themselves, how are they going to protect the market, the mosques and the people?
So definitely an attack like this will have a great impact on the people's confidence in their own security forces.
ANDERSON: Jomana, we appreciate your reporting tonight.
KARADSHEH: Thank you.
ANDERSON: CNN's producer on the ground there in Baghdad.
Well, another country at war is mandating greater control over security operations. Afghan President Hamid Karzai says all private security firms must disband within four months. Now, a Pentagon spokesman says that the U.S. shares his goal, but is concerned about the timeline.
Well, Jill Dougherty is in Kabul with the details for you.
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: President Hamid Karzai has now officially issued that order that all international and Afghan private security companies must shut down within four months.
What will happen to those people who are working for those companies?
Well, the president says that if they are qualified, they can join the Afghan security forces, the police.
Now, President Karzai had been talking about doing this for quite some time, but his time frame was much further out. He had been saying they should be phased out within about two years. This is a much, much more aggressive scenario.
There are 52 private security companies operating in Afghanistan that are registered with the government and there are far more that are not registered with the government. And the president was making the point that he believes that they have become a kind of parallel force operating outside of the control of the government.
Now, NATO, ISAF, the United States and others do agree with the president, ultimately, that the responsibility for security should be shifted over eventually to the government. However, many here do not believe that that is physically possible, to transfer and have those government forces take responsibility for the private security forces in that time frame of just four months. In fact, the Pentagon says that Afghanistan still represents a daunting security challenge.
Jill Dougherty, CNN Kabul.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: Well, a daunting security challenge -- those words certainly describe the situation in both Afghanistan and in Iraq, don't they?
But while the U.S. has set a definitive time frame for leaving Iraq, all troops are to be out by the end of the next year, of course, Afghanistan, well, that's more open-ended.
One of our big thinkers, Fawaz Gerges, joins us now to talk about all of this.
While the U.S. leadership is clearly dividend on strategy in Afghanistan, there is no confusion about strategy in Iraq. Let's start there this evening. The retreat from Iraq is on.
What are they leaving behind?
FAWAZ GERGES, CONNECT THE WORLD PANELIST: It's a huge mess. Becky, the American invasion of Iraq has opened the gates of hell in Iraq and it's going to take many, many years to really shut down the gates of hell.
Let me just give you an idea of what we're talking about. This is -- I mean it's been since 2003. On average, you have 50 Iraqi civilians who have been killed every week in 2010. In July, more than 500 people were killed. In April, 600 people, an average 8,000 people injured. This is the security situation.
Let's talk about the political situation. More than five months after the elections, there's still no new government in Iraq. This is, again, the problem the security situation really is basically fueled by an essentially political conflict, that is the Iraqi political parties deeply divided.
On top of the political fault line, there is also a sectarian fault line between the Sunnis and the Shias. And the current Iraqi government, unfortunately, is perceived to be, by a sizeable number of Iraqis, as a sectarian-based government.
So the security situation cannot really assess without taking into account the political and the sectarian problems.
ANDERSON: I think I'm right in saying there hasn't been a single piece of legislation passed in the last five months. This was an election that Iraqis were really determined they would go out and vote for. And, as you say, a complete vacuum now when it comes to politics and a mess when it comes to strategy.
But has Obama effectively got it right as far as -- as far as he's concerned, he's got it right in Iraq.
What's the alternative or what would the alternative have been at this point?
GERGES: Let's remember, Barack Obama resisted and opposed the war even before he became a presidential candidate. It was the most fundamental central planks of his basically candidacy. He pledged to pull out American troops. He said 12 months. He basically extended the deadline to 16 months.
And remember, and this is really -- there are elections coming up in November. And the liberal base -- Barack Obama's liberal base is very embittered and angry because Barack Obama has escalated the war in Afghanistan. Now you have almost more than 100,000 American troops in Iraq -- in Afghanistan. The U.S. is spending, on average, $100 billion in Afghanistan. And given the situation, the American economy is in hardship, unemployment is over 10 percent, Barack Obama had to convince -- has to convince his liberal base, listen, I pledged to pull out American troops from Iraq, I'm going to bring the troops home. And if I do so, I also might bring the American troops from Afghanistan, as well.
ANDERSON: Yes, but bringing the troops in from Iraq -- and I'm glad you pointed that out, isn't -- isn't direct because many of those troops, of course, are going to Afghanistan. The problem there, it seems to me, is not that the Taliban are particularly strong, it is that there was a very weak government.
Now, the U.S. and NATO forces can't do anything about that.
We're certainly not doing anything about that at this point, are we?
GERGES: The problem is, you're talking about really what I call the limits of great power intervention. In fact, in Iraq, American power exacerbated the political situation. And even in Afghanistan, the United States does not have a magical key to either nation building or institutional building.
As you suggested, Afghanistan is a broken country. Afghanistan has been engulfed in conflict since the late 1970s. And the Afghanistan is an institutional wasteland. There is no legitimate central government. You have the Taliban, which is rising, in addition to full intervention both America and Pakistan, in addition to India.
So, really, you have multiple fault lines and here you have the United States, the greatest power in the world -- it's powerful militarily, it does not have the cultural and social means to resolve the problem.
ANDERSON: Has the U.S. and NATO intervention ultimately, in Iraq and Afghanistan, do you think, exacerbated or diminished the tempo of conflict?
GERGES: Well, in Iraq, we know what the American invasion has done. You have hundreds of thousands of casualties. It is a country that is in turmoil. Afghanistan is a broken country. The jury is still out there. I would argue, this is a very, very complex and difficult situation in Afghanistan.
I would also make a prediction here -- and I could be wrong -- that four or five years from now, we're going to be talking about Afghanistan in the same way we're talking about Iraq today.
ANDERSON: Fascinating stuff.
One of our big thinkers on this show.
We thank you very much, as always, for coming in.
After the break, a sacrifice for the greater good or an environmental tragedy?
As Turkey strives for energy independence, we're going to take a look at the hydroelectric project planned in a biodiversity hot spot.
That's coming up.
Stay with us.
ANDERSON: Well, the unseen and the unexplored -- if you were watching at this time yesterday, you'll know that we here on CONNECT THE WORLD are taking you around the globe over the next fortnight to some of the most incredible places on earth. We're going to be looking at preservation versus progress and the science behind nature's wonders.
Now, on Monday, we were in Ecuador's Yasuni National Park. The country's government is offering the world a trade -- the untapped one billion barrels of crude that lie beneath the park will stay off limits, they say, if developed nations are willing to pay compensation.
Well, someone that I'm betting you -- you have never heard of has one of the most important jobs in the world when it comes to protecting nature. His name is Ahmed Djoghlaf. And he is the U.N. biodiversity chief and a panelist, in fact, on this month's CNN's Frontiers. Well, Djoghlaf warns that nations risk economic collapse and a loss of culture if we fail to protect the natural world. You're going to hear from him directly a little later in this series.
Tonight, though, we're in Turkey and we're taking a look at a UN- designated biodiversity hot spot that's under threat in the Katchcar Mountains. But it's the country's economic drive for clean energy that's putting this fragile environment at risk.
MUSTAFA YIKILMAZ, TEMA: My name is Mustafa. I am working for Tema (ph), which is an NGO in Turkey. I -- I'm a local person from Yusufeli and I -- I love it very much. I describe Yusufeli as an undiscovered heaven.
Here is the Coruh River. Fifteen dams will be built on this river. After the dam is built, the whole town will be flooded. This is a one of the biodiversity hot spots in the world. That's because you can see so many important species of animals inside -- bears, butterflies and birds in this region.
ANDERSON: (voice-over): The Coruh River is at the heart of Turkey's ambitious plans for hydropower. Fifteen dams will be built here -- part of a national project that will eventually see 3,000 working dams all over the country. One tent of Turkey's electricity will eventually come from this river.
YIKILMAZ: And we are not against these kind of hydroelectric power plants and hydroelectric dams. As you see here in the Borska Dam. And its plant that was built is the same kind of dam as in Yusufeli. It's important for our country's future, for the world's future, because the hydroelectric power is not very expensive. It's cheap. And it's one of the cleanest ways of producing electricity.
The problem is about biological diversity and (INAUDIBLE) in nature. You can do something like (INAUDIBLE) like dams, but you shouldn't damage the area.
ANDERSON: Yusufeli has its own micro climate and fertile soils. Thousands of plants and animals and insects, some of them endemic, live in these mountains; on the upper slopes, brown bears.
For the state, embracing hydropower is a necessary commitment to the future and it's clean.
EMRE NEBIOGLU, GOVERNOR OF YUSUFELI: The world is changing. Turkey is changing, too. The state never intends to harm nature. The aim here is to utilize the water which would otherwise be wasted and transform it into energy.
YIKILMAZ: As you see here, nature and people live close to each other. Here people are very careful about it. While farming, they don't use some chemical things and they try to help the nature in this area.
RIZA TOPCU, FARMER: We do protect our crops a little, but when the bear enters and eats things, we just say bon apetite!
ANDERSON: The Turkish government says the dam will go ahead, but cannot say when. As the profile of Yusufeli as a biodiversity hot spot grows, European financial backers have withdrawn their support. The state hydraulic company refused our interviews, calling the situation sensitive. For the 30,000 people who will be displaced, this is difficult.
EYUF AYTEKIN, MAYOR OF YUSUFELI: The question, do you want Yusufeli Dam?, is one that hurts everyone's feelings. It's similar to the question, do you want to die? None of us wants to die, but we also know that we are going to die.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: Economy versus ecology -- Turkey's dilemma in the Katchcar Mountains.
Now, will t nation's push for hydropower win over -- out -- win out over the environment? W
Tomorrow, we're going to head to Isthu (ph) in France. Another issue there, aviation engineers taking nature's lead. They're in the final stages of designing a micro drone which follows the patterns that dragonflies trace through the air. That's tomorrow right here on CONNECT THE WORLD, as we continue with our look at Earth's Frontiers.
Well, trading with the enemy -- that's what British bank Barclays has admitted after a decade of dealings with countries the United States, at least, has put under economic sanctions. We're going to tell you the price the bank must pay, up next.
ANDERSON: Just after 9:30 out of London, just looking at the clock. You're back with CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson here in London. Coming up, making a mockery of US sanctions. We're going to look at the price that Barclay's bank has to pay for deals with five countries facing economic sanctions by the United States.
Also, the price you have to pay for tea. It's among many products that are costing us more and more. So what is behind the hikes?
And then, exploring the deep blue. She's granddaughter of that diving legend, and a prominent environmentalist in her own right. Alexandra Cousteau highlights the world's water woes as your Connector of the Day. Those stories ahead in the next 30 minutes. First, let's get you a quick check of the headlines, shall we?
Turkish officials say a Palestinian man armed with a knife broke into the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv today, demanding asylum. They say he was, quote, "incapacitated by a security guard." Other reports say the man was shot and wounded.
United Nations is pleading to donors and nations around the world to send in aid to Pakistan. Aid officials say relief dollars poured in quickly following Haiti's devastating earthquake in January, but they say funds are only trickling in for victims of Pakistan's floods. They say this may be because the flooding has been a slowly evolving disaster.
A suicide bomber killed at least 48 people and wounded 129 more outside an Iraqi army recruitment center in Baghdad earlier this Tuesday. Recruitment centers have become frequent targets of extremists who want to take advantage of Iraq's ongoing political stalemate. Your headlines.
The British bank Barclay's has paid dearly for making a mockery of US sanctions after breaching the so-called Trading with the Enemy Act. As Jim Boulden now explains, the sly dealing with five banned countries went on unchecked for a decade.
JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Another European bank will pay up for violating US sanctions law. Federal court documents reveal that London-based Barclay's Bank has agreed to pay nearly $300 million in fines.
US authorities accused Barclay's of moving hundreds of millions of dollars through the US on behalf of banks from Cuba, Iran, Libya, Sudan, and Myanmar, or Burma. The US states employees of Barclay's willfully hid the details of said payments before the bank itself voluntarily came forward.
In a written statement, Barclay's said there is a proposed agreement, quote, "involving countries, persons and entities subject to US economic sanctions," but would not confirm details, since the agreement was still pending before the court.
Barclay's joins a growing list of European banks that paid fines after US authorities say they took steps to hide similar transactions earlier in the decade. Dutch bank ABN Amro, now part of the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyd's Bank, and Credit Suisse have all reached settlements over transactions mainly involving Iran.
Since these fines, sanctions on Iran have stiffened, though, of course, Western companies can now freely work in Libya.
BOULDEN (on camera): As part of the settlement, Barclay's Bank must certify by this time next year that it's staff has undergone comprehensive training when it comes to the sanctions laws of the UN, the EU and, of course, the US. Jim Boulden, CNN, London.
ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Becky Anderson in London for you now. I want to return for a moment to one of the major stories that we are committed to following here on CONNECT THE WORLD. And that is the story of human trafficking.
We're watching one of the world's leading experts, Harvard University's Siddharth Kara, as he travels through south Asia, documenting cases of debt bondage, modern slavery, or human trafficking, whatever you want to call it. His latest exclusive blog for us describes the horrible conditions facing young children brought to work in India's carpet factories.
Now, you're also letting us know what you think needs to be done. American6 writing to us, saying, "Quit buying from these countries, or they will not learn anything."
Myview2009 noting that this is happening all over the world, adding, "The underlying issue is poverty and a lack of government will in those countries."
Well, I've got to say, it seems that the debate is quite polarized, from looking at it. We want to know what you think. Read Siddharth's blog, join in the discussion, and we will put your questions and comments to him when I interview him later in the week. On the Trail of Human Trafficking begins at cnn.com/connect.
Tonight, high tea, higher costs. Ahead, is the price of tea rising, or why is it rising, in fact? We're going to examine that question and look at the overall trend of rising food prices around the world. What can we expect in the months and years ahead. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: All sorts of foodstuffs cost more these days, don't they? And tea is no exception. If you drink a lot of it, you've probably noticed a big hike in the price of certain Chinese teas. I'm going to kick off this part of the show with Eunice Yoon, who's going to tell us exactly why that might be.
EUNICE YOON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A hot cup of tea, a quiet ritual enjoyed around the world. This year, due to circumstances in China, tea drinkers might find themselves paying more for their daily dose.
YOON (on camera): This is Silver Needle tea. It's from Fujian Province in southern China, and bad weather has hurt yields. So prices have gone up by as much as 30 percent.
CAL JUN, CHINA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (through translator): "Last year, we experienced drought, and the first half of this year was cold, which reduced supply," says Cal Jun, who oversees the tea trade for China's chamber of commerce.
YOON (voice-over): The bad weather has only exacerbated pricing pressure, though suppliers and buyers say Chinese tea prices have been going up for the past few years as labor costs rise and the yuan strengthens against major currencies.
Some high-end teas are still picked by hand, leaving farmers to compete for labor with China's booming factories.
Vivian Mak runs MingCha, a premium tea company based in Hong Kong. Depending on the variety, she's paying 10 to 50 percent more for teas this year, and it's a cost she doesn't want to pass on to customers.
VIVAN MAK, DIRECTOR, MINGCHA: People come to get the tea with the expectation they pay for that, and then they get the quality -- that quality. So we try not to increase. We actually haven't increased anything except the premium-quality Longjing.
YOON (voice-over): Mak says this year's supply stands up to past years in quality. She hopes by educating more people about the value of fine tea, she can gain customers and make up for any sacrifice in margin.
MAK: Those people who really look for something that is so good and tasty, I think they would talk themselves into the state that they're willing to pay a little bit more. But they get good stuff.
YOON (voice-over): A tea-lover's dilemma, deciding whether the next cup is worth it. Eunice Yoon, CNN, Hong Kong.
ANDERSON: I'll tell you, it's not just the tea in China, the price of which is going up. Food prices are up across the globe. Flooding in Pakistan has boost the prices across that country and in neighboring Afghanistan, which imports flour and cooking oil from Pakistan.
In Russia, you'll notice, this is a story we've been doing here on CNN, a heatwave, drought, and massive wildfires causing wheat prices to spike. Russia may have lost more than 20 percent of its crop this year.
Grocery costs have shot up in Britain, for example. Lentils and beans saw the biggest cost increase, almost 60 percent since 2007. Experts say worries about Britain's financial future are to blame there.
And in Yemen and around the Muslim world, food prices typically rise during Ramadan. It's often seen simply as an issue of supply and demand.
So, food prices are rising all over the place. Will the trend continue? That's the important thing, isn't it? Let me talk about this, the future of prices, with Johanna Nesseth Tuttle. She's director of the global Food Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and she joins me now from Washington. What is going on here?
JOHANNA NESSETH TUTTLE, DIRECTOR, CSIS GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY PROJECT: I think that your previous segment hit the mark when they talked about the change in supply and demand patterns. In 2008, we saw a massive food price spike around the world, and this was driven by a number of factors.
One factor, similar to what we see now in Russia, was that there was a drought in Australia, and the wheat crop, actually, was not as good as had been expected. In addition, big structural changes in demand have occurred, as you saw in the tea segment. People in China and India have more money to spend, and what they start with is buying better quality food, meat and dairy products.
ANDERSON: So we are seeing a fundamental shift or change in the demand-supply -- or supply and demand equation. In the developed world, of course, we worry much more about the inflationary impact of the rising cost of food. In the developing world, of course, it is a case of life or death. If the price of food goes up, you simply don't eat.
ANDERSON: And this is why we talk about this as an issue of food security. What is being done to address this problem? Because it isn't the first time that we've seen it in the past decade. We went through this in 2007, 2008 of course.
TUTTLE: Well, actually, since 2008, there's been a tremendous amount of movement on what the US and the developed world is doing on food security. For many years, starting in the 1980s, investments in ag development and ag programs in poor countries had really declined.
So the United States, the G-8 countries have made significant pledges. There's a World Bank, multi-national fund to invest in ag development plans in the poorest countries. There's also a lot of research and development going on for new crops and drought-resistant crops that are going to be more successful in Africa, which the green revolution largely missed.
So there's a lot of movement afoot. But still, there's a lot of work to be done.
ANDERSON: The developing world will also tell you that there's been not -- not being done to encourage their food exports in order that their prices aren't held high, for example, on quotas and various other things. To a certain extent it's as much a developed world problem, I think, as it is a developing world problem.
I guess the simple question is this. Are things going to get better or worse going forward as we increase the population around the world?
TUTTLE: I don't know that they'll get better or worse. I think that we're going to find different ways to tackle the problem. We're going to find better ways to manage exports and imports, we're going to have a lot of new research and new technology that's going to enable crops to be grown where it hasn't been grown before. Or enable crops to be grown with less water and on less arable land.
So I think that there are a lot of potential opportunities, but it's going to take a concerted effort, and it's going to take a longtime focus, so we don't forget that food prices are rising, will continue to rise, and there's a large and growing global population to feed.
ANDERSON: And before we solve the problem, very briefly, we're going to see the prices on the supermarket shelves in some parts of the world going higher, I assume.
TUTTLE: I think we'll see intermittent spikes, as we saw in 2008, and they'll come down a little bit. But the trend has been for the past several years a steady increase in prices. So we've gotten a little bit more used to them, but prices are still higher than they were, say, in 2004, 2005.
ANDERSON: We'll leave it there. We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. Your expert this evening on food security around the world. We'll see certainly, we will see the rise in prices, whether it's going to continue that bothers us all.
After the break, she's part of one of the world's most famous environmental dynasties. Our Connector of the Day is Alexandra Cousteau, and she's going to talk about her latest project, "Blue Legacy," and what she really thinks about President Obama's handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Don't go away.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Explorer Alexandra Cousteau is a member of one of the world's most famous environmental dynasties. Her late grandfather, the world-renowned marine biologist Jacques-Yves Cousteau, started teaching her to dive when she was seven.
And it's her love of the ocean that's right at the heart of her work today. Protecting the world's oceans is the focus for Alexandra's 2008 initiative called "Blue Legacy." Her brother, Philippe Cousteau is also a prominent environmentalist. They've both been involved in helping with the cleanup operation in the Gulf of Mexico after the worst oil spill in US history.
Alexandra is currently on an expedition with Blue Legacy, traveling more than 14,000 miles across North America. Her mission, to investigate global water issues in one of the world's leading economies.
Alexandra may have a famous surname but, for many, she's a leading environmentalist in her own right. Hitting the road and the waterways with her green campaign, Alexandra Cousteau is your Connector of the Day.
ANDERSON: That's right, and she is in Washington this week, where she explained just what she is up to with this latest project. This is what she said.
ALEXANDRA COUSTEAU, ENVIRONMENTALIST: Expedition Blue Planet North America is a follow-up to last year's expedition, which was a global journey around the world investigating water issues. And this year, we've taken on North America, so we're traveling through Mexico, the United States, and Canada, and we're looking at some of these global issues that are happening here in North America and that are impacting people just as much as elsewhere.
ANDERSON: And what do you mean when you talk about water issues?
COUSTEAU: One of the most important things that I've found is that we forget that our water resources are interconnected. And that the life cycle is driven by something called the water cycle that we've all learned about as children, but that we forget about as we grow older. And the management of our water resources globally is very fragmented.
And so this is really stories about how our water is connected and how our -- we are connected through our water cycle. And so that means looking at water systems from the head waters all the way to the streams and the rivers down to where the deltas connect with the ocean.
ANDERSON: And what have you found?
COUSTEAU: We have found that there are a lot of challenges facing us. The same challenges that are facing the rest of the world. Water is being diverted to growing cities. It's being disconnected from a lot of the places that it needs to go, such as deltas and estuaries. Farmers are experiencing problems with droughts and we're having increased floods.
All of this is connected to the fragmentation of our water systems and growing challenges, like climate change and population growth.
ANDERSON: Jurgen wants to know what you think about the UN's work to get developing countries to implement environmentally sound policies and practices?
COUSTEAU: The UN's work with the millennium development goals and projects that they have implemented in countries across the globe is one of the more important and more hopeful initiatives that has been taken on at a global level. And I think we need to do more to support them and make sure that they have the funding necessary.
Because we are globally connected through our water. It is the one thing that connects all of us. It is a resource that knows no borders. And so, as we work together to make sure that water is flowing across borders and is made available to people, it -- I think it is one of the most hopeful things that we'll see.
ANDERSON: Let's talk about the Gulf of Mexico, oil spill specifically. How has President Obama done, do you think?
COUSTEAU: The truth is that the oil spill here in the Gulf of Mexico is one enormous experiment. It's an experiment that never should have happened. But the problems that created the situation started well before Obama's presidency.
And the truth is, no one knows what to do. Do we use dispersants? Do we not use dispersants? What will happen to the marine life? How do we clean it up? What are the best ways to do that?
All of those questions are up in the air because there simply wasn't enough investment in preventing this from happening or in mitigating this kind of an accident should it happen. And I think that those were all issues that happened before his presidency. He's faced a lot of challenges, there are probably a lot of things he could have done better, but it's always 20/20 when we're looking at things in hindsight.
My hope is that A, we'll take care of cleaning up the Gulf as quickly and as efficiently as possible, getting some of these communities back on their feet, helping to revive the economies of people who have been very hard-hit by this.
But we also need to look very, very carefully at the kinds of policies we're putting in place, what we expect from industry, what we expect from government. How we make decisions that -- communally on public risk associated with energy production and, finally, that we invest in research and development to make sure that this never happens again. That if and when it does, we know how to clean it up.
ANDERSON: Your grandfather taught you to dive at the age of seven. You've spent most of your life in the water. Where's the best place for you? Where do you feel at home? Where's the best waterway, as it were, in the world?
COUSTEAU: Many of the places that I've been to are starting to disappear. But there are still beautiful places everywhere. The more people can explore and have conversations with each other about what they've seen and why it's worth protecting, the less we'll lose. And that's when we'll have more to gain.
ANDERSON: Who's the better diver, you or your brother?
COUSTEAU: (laughter) Well, that's a good question.
ANDERSON: Who's got better buoyancy?
COUSTEAU: I think he would differ with me. I have better buoyancy. And I'm a dive master, he's just a rescue diver. He still has a ways to go to catch up with me.
ANDERSON: Whoa, Philippe, there you go. That's what your sister says about you. And you'll need to get your buoyancy better. Tomorrow's Connector was the youngest and first ever black man to play cricket for Zimbabwe. Henry Olonga made his international debut in a Test match more than 15 years ago, leading his country to its first Test victory in the game. He is now a successful cricket commentator and also, maybe, surprisingly, a talented singer. He's up for you tomorrow. Tonight, at 55 minutes past the hour in London, we will be right back.
ANDERSON: Back in the 1960s, Beatlemania ruled the world. For some of us, it still does. Before they became the Beatles, the lads from Liverpool set up shop in Hamburg in Germany. Frederik Pleitgen shows us how the city is now honoring the group that are known as the Fab Four.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A Beatles square with a Beatles art installation and a Beatles museum. Beatlemania right in the middle of Hamburg's red light district, St. Pauli. Many here feel the Fab Four belong to this city as much as they belong to Liverpool.
The Beatles lived and played here from 1960 to 1962, before they became famous. They had to stay in a storage room in this building, which was a cinema at the time. Peter Petzold lived around the corner. Today, he conducts tours of the area.
PETER PETZOLD, BEATLES TOURS, HAMBURG: And I'd see the band over the street many times here. When they'd come out, they asked us what is stuff in German, and I realized that two years later it was the Beatles.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and at the time, Stuart Sutcliffe on bass and Pete Best on drums, were hired to entertain guests at local clubs. Horst Fascher was the manager and bouncer at one of them.
PLEITGEN (on camera): And did they seem like a great band to you at the time?
HORST FASCHER, FORMER STRIP CLUB MANAGER: No, not at all. They were 17. When they played the first night in the club, I was even disappointed.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): But the band matured, playing seven nights a week, several hours a night.
PLEITGEN (on camera): The Beatles always say that their time in Hamburg was their apprenticeship, where they learned to play. Did they get a lot better as time went on?
FASCHER: Yes. They had the chance her to play every night, and they had the chance here to rehearse every day, which they did.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): The Beatles got their first record deal in Hamburg and, eventually, their trademark haircuts. In a city of sin, it was Fascher's job to keep the then teenaged young men out of trouble. He says it was not always easy.
FASCHER: It certainly was a big laugh. In the club, I turned around, there was John Lennon on stage, naked only pants on and his boots. And a toilet seat over his neck --
PLEITGEN: A toilet seat over his neck?
FASCHER: Yes. He broke the toilet piece and he put it over his neck and he went on stage and took the guitar and started his set, started to play.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Fifty years after their first concert, Hamburg is honoring its famous, well, stepsons, with a series of concerts and events. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Hamburg, Germany.
ANDERSON: Before we close out tonight, let's here what some of you have been saying about our top story on the devastation in Pakistan. At the top of this hour, I asked you on Twitter, why has the world seemingly turned its back on Pakistan?
Here is how some of you have been responding. Monkfish1978 says, "Sadly, Ms. Anderson, the poor are overlooked not by outsiders, but by their own people as well." Griole71 (ph) writing in tonight saying, "Could it be that Pakistan is a nuclear nation and therefore can afford to feed their citizens themselves?"
It's a story that runs and runs, sadly. You can get your voices heard on CNN. Head to the website, cnn.com/connect or @beckycnn is my Twitter address. I am Becky Anderson, that is your world connected this evening. "BackStory" up next here on CNN after this very quick check of the headlines.