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CONNECT THE WORLD
Iraq's Power Sharing Agreement; G20 Divisions; Beauty in the Air
Aired November 11, 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: A shaky start for Iraq's new power sharing agreement, after politicians storm out of parliament. The U.S. says the deal is a big step forward.
But what does it mean for the drawdown of troops?
And just how much does Iran have a say in its neighbor's future?
Going beyond borders on the day's biggest stories on CNN, this is the hour we connect the world.
It's taken almost 250 days for Iraq's parties to come to an agreement. But with spiraling violence and outside interference, will Iraq really get the government it so desperately needs?
Joining the dots on what it means for the region and the world, I'm Becky Anderson in London for you.
Plus, remembering our war heroes as the world comes together to honor those who fight for our freedom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a very intense film to make. It's -- it's really dark.
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ANDERSON: As the last installment of the Harry Potter franchise gets its world premier, we'll put your questions to the cast and find out more and tell us what the films mean to you. Head to our Facebook page at Facebook.com/cnnconnect.
Well, it took eight months of cutting deals and making compromises, but Iraqis finally have a framework in place for a power sharing agreement -- framework, though, may be the key word here. There are still significant hurdles to clear before a new government is sworn in.
Arwa Damon joins us now from Baghdad -- Arwa, we understand there's been somewhat of a false start.
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky. It most certainly would appear to be that way. This power sharing agreement between all of the political blocs appears to be falling apart. And it could potentially result in a disastrous scenario that would see the formation of a new Iraqi government with adequate Sunni representation.
Parliament convened today, but then everything began coming off its hinges when members of the Iraqiyah bloc, led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, walked out.
The reason behind their walkout is that they wanted parliament to vote on this power sharing agreement. They wanted some sort of a guarantee that it would be implemented.
This agreement deals with a number of issues that are critical to Iraq's new population -- the de-Baathification issue, for example. Three members of the Iraqiyalists were banned from running in the election because of alleged ties to Saddam Hussein's now banned Baath Party.
The other key point that this agreement was supposed to deal with was the formation of a new council, the Council for Strategic Policies. This council would have the power to pass binding legislation. It was supposed to be headed by the leader of Iraqiyah, former prime minister, Ayad Allawi. We would also see the powers of his archenemy, Nouri al-Maliki, as prime minister for a second term, but with significantly reduced powers.
And the remaining members of parliament, though, after this walkout, did end up voting in President Jalal Talabani for a second tern. He then - - term. He then chose Nouri al-Maliki and told him to begin forming a cabinet.
Now, the U.S. -- a U.S. diplomat has just called these recent developments a small and minor hiccup. However, in the past, officials and observers have warned against forming a government that did not include the al-Iraqiyah bloc, saying that not including them, alienating the Sunni population, could, potentially lead to more violence -- back to you.
ANDERSON: Arwa Damon in Baghdad.
Arwa, we thank you for that.
Let's get a closer look at the leaders, then, in Iraq's proposed new government, as Arwa just delineated them.
Nouri al-Maliki remains prime minister, a post he's held since 2006. He's a Shia Muslim and a member of the Dawa Party.
Ayad Allawi will head a newly created National Council for Strategic Policies. He's a secular Shia Muslim who has strong Sunni support. The former prime minister headed Iraq's transitional government, you may remember, in 2004 and '05.
And Jalal Talabani remains president. He leads the powerful Kurdish voting bloc.
Well, the White House calls the power sharing deal, as Arwa suggested, a big step forward for Iraq. It has, of course, got a huge interest in seeing a stable government, because that could smooth the way for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops, as planned.
So let's bring in our Pentagon correspondent, Chris Lawrence, at this point.
A big step forward, possibly a couple of steps back at this point. The Americans are going to be pretty disappointed, aren't they, to see that this is somewhat of a false start?
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Becky, mainly because there has been a lot of talk here in the United States about the Iraqis at some point coming to U.S. officials to ask for a change in that agreement. Right now, it stands that all U.S. forces have to be out by the end of next year. But there's been some talk that that may be amended, some talk that, perhaps, Iraq would like more time for the U.S. military to train its air force, as well as help with protecting its borders.
But that would have to come from an established Iraqi government, which does not exist at this point. And now you're setting the clock going, because U.S. forces will continue to come home and rotate home over this next year.
In terms of al-Maliki, U.S. officials have had sort of a mixed relationship with him, very publicly backing him. But there have been some issues, as well. A recent government report that just came out about a week ago, raised at least the prospect that -- that al-Maliki had taken personal control of Iraq's Special Forces units. And that's something that the United States would like to see stay under the Defense Ministry, not under the control of one person.
So, again, it's been a complex relationship in that regard.
ANDERSON: Chris, at this point, we're 250 days in. We've seen a bit of a false storm here with -- with what's been going on today.
Who do the Americans pick up the phone to, when they want to talk to somebody of significance in Iraq today?
LAWRENCE: That's a good question. You know, I'm sure that -- that the -- on one level, it's been a -- you know, Vice President Joe Biden who said today he was very encouraged, somewhat, by -- by what happened initially in Iraq, when it looked like a deal might be on the table and that -- and that the sides had come together.
He's made numerous trips to Iraq. I -- I was with him, probably about this time last year, when he was in Iraq. And he's sort of been the administration's point person in trying to reconcile some of the -- the factions there in Iraq. And, obviously, he's going to be very, very close to what's happening right now.
ANDERSON: Chris Lawrence is at the Pentagon for you this evening.
Chris, we thank you for that.
Many of Iraq's neighbors have had an influence in the shape of what is a new government. Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Syria all players in what is a game of political chess. But it could very well be Iran playing what is a checkmate move.
Reza Sayah picks up that part of the story for you.
REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If Iraq's power sharing agreement sticks, Iraq's neighbor, the Islamic Republic of Iran, could take a major step toward holding sway over the Iraqi government and delivering a delivering a blow to Washington's influence in the region.
Here's why. Based on this power sharing agreement, the man and the political parties backed by Iran are coming out winners. Nouri al-Maliki is going to be prime minister again. And he's going to be strongly supported by Muqtada al-Sadr, the Iranian backed Shia cleric and his Shia bloc.
The man analysts say who could be sidelined in this power sharing agreement, even though he's technically part of this agreement, is Washington's man, Ayad Allawi, who leads the mostly Sunni anti-Iranian bloc. Obviously, if he is sidelined, that's going to mean Washington's influence in Iraq could erode and the U.S. could have a lot trouble if it plans to keep forces in Iraq beyond 2011.
It is possible that taking place behind the scenes are negotiations between Tehran and Washington. Remember, this is what Iran wanted in Iraq. But Washington wants something from Iran, too, and that's concessions in its nuclear program.
Could what's happening in Iraq be part of a larger deal between Washington and Tehran that involves Iran's nuclear program?
It's not clear at this point, but the upcoming talks between Iran, Washington and Western powers in the coming weeks could give us some clues.
Reza Sayah, CNN, Islamabad.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: All right, it's a good question that Reza put there. So let's put it to our next guest. He's an expert on the subject.
Joost Hiltermann is a Middle East analyst the with International Crisis Group.
It's a great question, isn't it?
What's going on behind the scenes here?
Are -- are we getting some deals cut between the States and -- Washington and Tehran at this point?
JOOST HILTERMANN, INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP: Well, you know, there's been quite a bit of talk over the past couple of months that there was a deal between Tehran and Washington about the shape of the new Iraqi government. But I think it was more a tactic understanding that Mr. Maliki would have to be prime minister. But otherwise, the two countries don't really see eye to eye over the future of -- of the Iraqi government, the shape of the Iraqi government or the future of Iraq.
I think Iran would like to have a Shiite dominated government and I think that Washington would like to see a -- a true power sharing agreement between the main lists of Mr. Maliki and Mr. Allawi.
ANDERSON: There's no doubt that a new government and a decent government is important to the Iraqi people. That is in no doubt.
Why is a new decent, functioning government important to the rest of us?
HILTERMANN: Well, I think the -- a -- a well functioning government is important for stability in the region. And the stability of the region is important to all of us. If there is no functioning government, then the possibility of the situation reverting to civil war arises. And that would -- it could bring in the -- the neighboring states.
So I think it's very important, first of all, that we have a government that is inclusive and it is based on power sharing; and, secondly, a government that can also function and govern and produce services to its own people and hold the country together.
ANDERSON: If Iran has played somewhat of a -- a decent poker hand in the formation of this new government, how about the likes of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Syria?
Will they feel like they've lost out?
HILTERMANN: Well, it seems for now -- and, anyway, it's not over yet. We don't have a government yet. But it seems for now that Iran has done better and that the government that is emerging is, in fact, a Shiite- dominated one, with possibly significant Sunni involvement. That we have to wait and see.
Turkey and the Arab states wanted a government that had Allawi as prime minister. That's not going to happen. The United States was somewhere in between. And we will have to see whether the preferred American scenario of a power sharing government is going to come to pass.
ANDERSON: Two steps forward, one step back, or one step forward, two steps back, at this point?
HILTERMANN: Hard to say. But the -- the non-deal that was agreed on yesterday is -- is busy unraveling as we speak. We have a -- a process now with procedures, a president, an appointed prime minister designate. But we also have a walkout by the Iraqi party of Mr. Allawi and without that party in government, we have a very unstable, skewed government that could spell trouble for Iraq.
ANDERSON: Joost Hiltermann is your expert on the subject tonight.
Sir, we thank you very much, indeed, for joining us here on CONNECT THE WORLD.
This is, of course, CONNECT THE WORLD out of London.
I'm Becky Anderson.
It's 13 minutes past 9:00.
After the break, dividend they stand in Seoul, as G20 leaders meet to work out a global economic action plan, currency disputes are proving to be the first major hurdle to finding a unified solution.
And they're the British space buffs who managed to launch a paper plane into the stratosphere. Find out how and, more importantly, why they did it.
That in just a moment.
ANDERSON: And a warm welcome back.
This is CONNECT THE WORLD.
Trade imbalances, financial regulation and currency wars -- these are the key issues bringing the leaders of the world's top economies together. The G20 members are meeting in Seoul, trying to hammer out a unified action plan to keep the global financial recovery on track.
But as Stan Grant now reports, there's one particular battlefield that's creating deep divisions and raising doubts about what exactly will be accomplished.
STAN GRANT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This was the seventh face-to-face meeting between Barack Obama and Hu Jintao and it lasted over 80 minutes, almost all of that time taken up with the discussion of currencies. This has been a major bone of contention between the two countries, the United States long maintaining that China deliberately keeps its currency low to boost exports and take American jobs.
China also pointing the finger back at the United States, saying its latest round of quantitative easing, the Federal Reserve pumping $600 billion into the banks, is also artificially lowering the U.S. currency.
In the lead up to these talks, China has made it clear it won't carry the can for the U.S. economic woes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CUI TIANKAI, CHINESE VICE FOREIGN MINISTER: Their problems are not caused by the value of the Chinese currency. They have to look at their own economic structure, their own macroeconomic policies to find, to identify the real causes of their problems and then come up with -- with real solutions.
GRANT: President Hu says he will visit Washington in January for another round of talks. He's also hopeful of a positive outcome at this G20 meeting.
Now, the G20 leaders are meeting at a time of rising fears of all-out currency war and a rise of beggar thy neighbor protectionism. The theme here is shared growth after crisis. It may well just be growth at each other's expense.
Stan Grant, CNN, Beijing.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: All right. Well, it does none of us any harm to be reminded why we care about a weaker currency. Well, it -- it cheapens the price of a country's exports, of course, making them more attractive to international buyers.
Now, if we look at two primarily export driven economies, say, Japan and China, one's economy has grown at a staggering sped; the other, well, it's found itself losing steam.
Well, take a look at this. This is the yen against the U.S. dollar over just six months. That peak there in September is a 15-year high against the dollar.
Two of Asia's super economies with markedly different stories to tell us.
Kyung Lah picks up for us with the perfect comparison of just how these countries are faring.
Meet the twins leading two very opposite lives.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Toshiko Kubo lives in Tokyo. She's 30 years old, with a graduate degree in art history. Her sister, Fuyoko, lives in Beijing, an architect with a master's in contemporary art. Look closely -- they're twins. But their lives are anything but identical.
(on camera): Was it your dream to work with art in your life?
"It was," says Toshiko, as we spoke in her Tokyo apartment. "But dreams don't get you a job in Japan."
Toshiko says she is lucky by today's standards. She has a full-time job to go to -- but it's just that, a job. Twenty to 30 year olds in Japan have only known a weak Japanese economy, mired in two decades of stagnation. Approximately one third of 20 to 30 year olds don't have full- time jobs.
"Japan is a difficult place to live for young people," says Toshiko. "Young people don't have goals. We can't have dreams. Even if we have a dream, there's no way to make it come true."
Her twin, Fuyoko, decided in high school to study abroad and learn English in the U.K. She returned to Japan after graduation and got a job, but lost it during Japan's recent recession.
While her sister was content to stay in Japan, Fuyoko decided to leave and go to where the jobs are, China. We spoke via Skype.
(on camera): So what happened when you moved to Beijing?
FUYOKO KUBO, BEIJING RESIDENT: I found a job.
LAH: Right away?
F. KUBO: Yes, actually. It was right away.
LAH (voice-over): Three days, to be exact, before Fuyoko interviewed and was hired by a design firm in the field of her choice in a fulfilling job in a fast-paced economy.
F. KUBO: You can feel a lot of op -- optimistic, energetic feels here. People are so optimistic, actually, and really, really powerful because everyone knows that the economy is doing really well.
LAH: How different is that from Japan?
F. KUBO: Japan is the opposite. It's sort of going down.
LAH: What would you tell someone who is your age who isn't necessarily happy in Japan?
F. KUBO: I think people should go out.
LAH: You think people should leave the country?
F. KUBO: I think so. I think so
LAH: That's a dark statement to Japan's policymakers, who fear brain drain. Ten years ago, nearly 46,000 Japanese called China home. Today, that figure has tripled, to 127,000. Meanwhile, Japan's economy is flat. Its population aging faster than any other country on the planet.
KATHY MATSUI, GOLDMAN SACHS JAPAN: The number of young people supporting one elderly is going to be two to one in the very near future. With the new rule, with the new normal that Japan is facing, can it afford just to say, oh, we can't change because we've done things always this way?
I think the younger generation, especially, is beginning to question whether those old morays are really applicable, you know, to Japan's future going forward.
LAH: So what is this room?
This was her sister's, says Toshiko in Tokyo, before she moved to China. Toshiko wishes Japan offered her twin a better prospect.
As for her own?
"It will be worse in 20 to 30 years," she says, "but nobody knows what to do about it."
(on camera): Do you think that you'll move back to Japan?
F. KUBO: I think if I have a choice, I would rather not to go back.
LAH (voice-over): Twin sisters who now live apart, one in Asia's old economy, one in the new, divided by country and outlook of their futures.
Kyung Lah, CNN, Tokyo.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: A good way to tell it.
Well, coming up next, an astonishing view from up in the air. We're going to show you how an extraordinary design team used very ordinary tools to capture pictures that are out of this world.
And later, the hottest couple at Hogwarts -- I caught up with this one and we're going to see the other one -- oh, well, it was the wrong wheezy (ph), anyway -- just before the London premier of "Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows."
That's coming up.
ANDERSON: A warm welcome back.
It's 23 minutes past 9:00 in London.
Global terror alerts and cargo security threats, strikes, corruption and mechanical problems -- it seems lately the world of aviation is constantly facing one or all of those challenges. And this week on the show, we're bringing you in-depth coverage of how airlines are coping and keeping you safe.
Well, we began Monday in Islamabad, where our Reza Sayah tracked a registered parcel minute by minute around the world, testing just how much information anyone can gain access to online.
Well, Tuesday, we delved into an air freight loophole that neither technology nor added security can prevent -- corruption. We followed the case of a global shipper which is admitting bribing government officials all over the world.
And on Wednesday, you saw how the cargo bomb found in England two weeks ago may have detonated -- or could have detonated over the United States.
Well, tonight, we want to look at the world of aviation from an entirely different angle for you, courtesy of a team from the technology and science Web site, The Register. A design team from that site sent a paper plane into space last month, fitted with cameras and even a -- a plastic pilot. And the images they got back serve as a reminder that there is beauty up in the air.
News editor John Oates told us how it all came together.
Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN OATES, NEWS EDITOR, "THE REGISTER": We began by writing stories about our early design attempts. We got a lot of feedback from readers making different suggestions. We had the idea of putting a camera onto a balloon and sending it up into space. And they suggested we attach it to a paper plane.
It took Lester -- Lester Haynes in Spain the best part of six months, gluing together straws and bits of paper and then finally painting the plane. He built the whole thing in his shed in Spain.
It's about three foot wing span. It's made of paper straws which are glued together and then covered in paper. And it was based on the design of the D-Day landing gliders at the end of the Second World War.
It was launched from about 1,900 meters up a mountain near Avila, which is just west of Madrid. We went over about a week before in order to test the parachute and all the other equipment and make sure we were -- we were ready to go.
The plane is attached to a box which is attached to a balloon. And the box contained all the cameras which took the pictures as the plane actually launched.
We tracked it using an APRS radio antenna. It's basically a tiny little piece of equipment which sends out a sort of "I am here" signal every 30 seconds. Then you use a directional antenna to find out where the signal is coming from and -- and find it like that.
It flew for about 45 minutes. We found the main payload first, which had a GPS unit it in and came down with a parachute. And then we managed to get some faint radio signals and we backtracked along the flight path until we got a loud enough signal that we could actually get a -- a fix on the direction the plane was going. And then we just walked following a compass for about half an hour or so.
We found it in the woods. We managed to miss reservoir and a safari park with a large lion enclosure. So we were very lucky with where it landed and that it wasn't completely smashed up. It had one small hole in the left wing and otherwise it was completely undamaged.
I was amazed that we found either the plane or the main payload, to be honest. I -- I thought we could get them into space, but to get them back again and to find them, that as a miracle.
As far as I know, we flew the paper plane the highest that a paper plane has ever been flown. And once we collected all the cameras, we had to take them back to the base and recharge them, so we didn't see any pictures until quite later on in the evening. But when we saw the video clip of the plane and the pilot leaving the main payload and flying back toward earth, that was -- that was and incredible moment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Isn't that fantastic?
Well, you may not be able to go into space yourself, but if you have your eye on a holiday destination, join us tomorrow as we wrap up our aviation week.
Well, it's been a very busy year in the industry. Massive strikes, security scares, volcanic ash -- you've had it all, haven't you?
All of that eating into airlines' profits.
So how will it affect your holiday plans?
We're going to tell you a little bit more about that tomorrow at this time here on the show.
Tonight, though, German authorities believe he's linked to al Qaeda and inspires followers to jihad. But their hands are legally tied when it comes to dealing with a radical imam in Hamburg. That story amongst others straight ahead in another CNN exclusive for you.
Stay with us.
ANDERSON: At just about half past the hour in London, you're back with CONNECT THE WORLD.
I'm Becky Anderson in London.
Coming up, a Hamburg terror dilemma -- police have shut down this controversial mosque, but was it a good idea?
We look at Germany's battle to keep an eye on local extremists.
Then a moment of salience -- countries around the world pay tribute to the men and women who have fought and continue to fight for our freedoms.
And then, a dark, wet night in London for the premier of the darkest episode yet of Harry Potter. We're going to take you on the red carpet to meet the stars.
Those stories are ahead in the next 30 minutes.
First, as ever at this point, let me get you a quick check of the headlines this hour.
More division between Iraqi politicians even as they try to implement a new power-sharing agreement. A key faction walked out of an ongoing parliament session, including the man elected parliament's speaker, just hours before he later returned.
The Pakistani Taliban are claiming responsibility for a suicide car bombing in the city of Karachi. At least 15 people were killed and more than 100 wounded in the blast at a police facility. An official says gunmen fired on security personnel, and then the vehicle rammed into the building.
Mass protests marked the first day of the G20 summit in Seoul in South Korea. One woman tried to set herself on fire, but was stopped by police outside the entrance to the hall, where world leaders were meeting.
After meeting with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, and I quote, "We are going to find a way forward on a Middle East peace agreement." The meeting comes a day after Clinton said the US is deeply disappointed in Israel's plans to build new houses in East Jerusalem.
Mumbai-style attacks in Europe. According to intelligence services, that's the threat being made and prepared for by jihadists linked to a terror cell based in Hamburg. Yesterday on CONNECT THE WORLD, we showed you a CNN exclusive. German spy bosses talked to CNN's Nic Robertson about the men allegedly behind a terror plot that triggered a major travel warning recently.
Today, we continue that coverage with terror concerns traced back to Hamburg. German intelligence officials say they spied on radicals in a mosque used by 9/11 attacker, Mohamed Atta. They succeeded in shutting down the mosque, but haven't been able to silent -- silent? -- silence its radical imam. Again, here's Nic Robertson with a CNN exclusive.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): By the time police moved in to shut down the Taiba mosque in central Hamburg, it had become the destination of choice for Islamic extremists from Germany and Europe. Among them, nine men who prayed here, and then left for jihadi training camps in Pakistan in March, 2009. It was the final straw for German officials.
ROBERTSON (on camera): Closing down the Taiba mosque was good and bad for German intelligence authorities. It got rid of a radical hub, but at the same time, it allowed the men praying her to disperse, making it much harder for security officials to keep track of them and what they're planning.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): And that worries them, because they had the mosque and its radical imam under surveillance for years.
MANFRED MURCK, HAMBURG INTELLIGENCE CHIEF: We still believe that he was and maybe still is a kind of representative of al Qaeda.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): He is Imam Mamoun Darkazanli, a German citizen of Syrian descent. Back in 2001, he knew several of the 9/11 conspirators. He says that was coincidence.
ROBERTSON (on camera): Today, Darkazanli lives in the same place he did back then, this smart, middle-class neighborhood in the center of Hamburg. We tried to talk with him several times, but with no success. The 9/11 Commission says he was associated with fundraising for al Qaeda, and intelligence sources here say that he allowed radicalization inside the mosque, even inspired the group to go to Pakistan. However, the source adds that the group was under very close surveillance.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Spain tried to extradite him on charges that he was linked to al Qaeda operatives there. Hamburg's intelligence chief says he inspires people to jihad.
MURCK: The way he is preaching is understood by the members in the mosque, and they feel, somehow, emotionalized, and they feel strong in their beliefs, and they somehow feel committed to international jihad.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): So radical were the discussions, authorities used the intelligence gleaned here to deport 15 extremists but, because of German law, were unable to stop Darkazanli's preaching.
AUGUST HANNING, FORMER GERMAN INTELLIGENCE CHIEF: It's very difficult in Germany to forbid them under our German legal framework. It's not illegal to do this, because if you try to make propaganda for all these groups, that's not forbidden under our German constitutional law. That's a problem for us.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): A problem that has come back to haunt Hamburg. The decision to close the mosque was only taken after the last terror plotters left last year.
MURCK: We thought if this happens, also, we are watching them close, also we have expelled several of them. It doesn't seem to be enough. And so, then we had to decide to close it.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): It took another 15 months of legal wrangling before the Taiba mosque doors were finally locked in August. By then, one of its members had been arrested in Afghanistan, linked to a new terror plot aimed at Europe.
As for Darkazanli, he is free to open another mosque. Nic Robertson, CNN, Hamburg, Germany.
ANDERSON: Nic Robertson with the second part of his CNN exclusive for you. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Still to come, Big Ben marks the moment. Tributes paid around the world from London and Europe to Australia and South Korea. We remember, after this.
(BIG BEN CHIMING)
ANDERSON: The 11th day of the 11th month, the day when millions around the world pause at the 11th hour to remember those who have fought and died for their country. Phil Black begins our global coverage by reflecting on the tribute paid here in the UK.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A field of remembrance. Thousands of small crosses, each honoring a life lost in conflict. Bridny McIntosh left one to remember her friend, Andrew Griffiths, a British Army captain who suffered facial injuries in Afghanistan about two months ago.
BRIDNY MCINTOSH, FRIEND: He loved his job, and he led his soldiers very proudly. And I just miss him so much, and I think everyone really, really does. But it's wonderful to be able to celebrate his life.
BLACK (voice-over): The story of one fallen soldier on a day to remember them all. On this site, by London's Westminster Abbey, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip, led the traditional two minutes of silence.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.
AUDIENCE: We will remember them.
(BIG BEN CHIMES)
BLACK (voice-over): It was observed in cities and villages across Britain, and by British soldiers in Afghanistan. These soldiers know they have lost 110 of their colleagues since last pausing to remember, one year ago.
Armistice Day was born to commemorate the end of fighting on the western front in World War I. Poppies became the symbol of remembrance, because the flowers had thrived in the torn earth of that battlefield. Now, the symbol and the day also honor all the soldiers who have died in every conflict since.
MCINTOSH: I just think it's so important to keep on remembering this day. It's recognizing soldiers from all countries around the world and, really, it's a beautiful thing to come together like that.
BLACK (voice-over): Phil Black, CNN, London.
ANDERSON: Let's take a look at other tributes that have been paid around the world today.
In France, an Armistice Day ceremony was held under the Arc de Triumph in Paris. President Nicolas Sarkozy was there to meet with veterans.
And that was an allied service in South Korea, where world leaders are meeting for the G20 summit. Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper was among those to lay a wreath in Seoul.
So, too, new Australian prime minister Julia Gillard, paying tribute to her country's fallen men and women.
There were upbeat scenes at a US army base in South Korea as President Barack Obama thanked American soldiers for serving on the peninsula there. His wife received a similar welcome in Germany. The first lady paying a visit there to soldiers at Ramstein Air Base.
Indeed, in the US, November the 11th isn't so much a day of somber tribute but, rather, an opportunity to honor living veterans. Memorial Day in May is when Americans tend to remember their fallen.
One American soldier has been given his country's greatest tribute, the Medal of Honor. Sergeant Salvatore Giunta is the first living serviceman to be decorated for such a high level of bravery since the Vietnam War. Our Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr traces his heroic tale to Afghanistan.
SAL GIUNTA, STAFF SERGEANT, MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT: The whole time frame, maybe, lasted anywhere between two minutes, three minutes, and five or six lifetimes. I don't know.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): But in those two, three minutes, army staff sergeant Sal Giunta went from a self- described mediocre soldier to a hero.
STARR (on camera): We've come to Afghanistan to find the men that Sal Giunta fought with. Many of them are here on this remote combat outpost, but their thoughts and memories are with Sal and what happened that night.
STARR (voice-over): That October night, Giunta was walking along a ridge line with other members of his unit, assigned to protect other soldiers as they were walking back to their base.
FRANKLIN ECKRODE, SERGEANT, US ARMY: We opened up into a small clearing out of a lightly forested area, and a single shot rang out.
STARR (voice-over): It was what the military calls an "L-shaped ambush," sprung by the Taliban, which means Taliban fighters are both in front of the men and to their side.
GIUNTA: There's not just one of them, and it's not two of them, and it's not ten of them. It's probably more than ten, and they're really not that far away.
ERICK GALLARDO, STAFF SERGEANT, US ARMY: He'd actually watched the guy pulling the trigger who was aiming at you.
GIUNTA: It seems like your world is exploding in bullets and RPGs and everything.
ECKRODE: Just, bad situation.
GIUNTA: We looked, and it was along our whole side. It was along our flank.
STARR (voice-over): Every soldier that night was shot.
GASSARDO: I got shot running backwards shooting at the enemy, I could see them.
ECKRODE: They started coming out of the trees and getting closer. I shoved over a berm on my back and got hit a fourth time.
STARR (voice-over): Hit eight times was the man in front, walking point, as the military says, Sergeant Josh Brennan of McFarland, Wisconsin. He'd talked to his dad, Mike, only a few days before.
MIKE BRENNAN, FATHER: Actually, he had volunteered for that mission that day.
STARR (voice-over): On that ridge line, Josh Brennan was downed, severely wounded. Sal Giunta raced ahead into the face of Taliban fire.
ECKRODE: He got to the front, he killed one of the guys that was dragging my team leader away, Sergeant Brennan. Wounded another one. Recovered Sergeant Brennan, brought him back to an area where we could secure him and continue to fight. Started the aid on him.
For all intents and purposes, with the amount of fire that was still going on in the conflict at the time, he shouldn't be alive right now.
STARR (voice-over): Six hours later, Josh Brennan died. Also killed that night was the medic, Hugo Mendoza, of El Paso, Texas. It's that act of bravery that was above and beyond, with Sal Giunta running into enemy fire and getting to Josh to help save him.
GIUNTA: I think about it, and it hurts, but to say it out loud makes it that much more real. And I feel like I've said it enough. I know it's real, but sometimes I can trick myself and just not think about it for a while.
It's very bittersweet. I mean, it's such a huge honor, it's a great thing. But it is a great thing that has come at a personal loss to myself and so many other families.
STARR (on camera): And that is what you want people to know.
STARR (voice-over): Extraordinary. And Staff Sergeant Sal Giunta would want you to know, part of an extraordinary group of soldiers. Barbara Starr, CNN, Afghanistan.
ANDERSON: The Medal of Honor has been awarded since 1861, authorized by then President Abraham Lincoln. Since that date, over 34 million soldiers have served in America's armed forces, and only 3,448 have been decorated with the Medal of Honor. A great many of them have been rewarded posthumously, and there are only 86 recipients actually alive today. Most are from the Vietnam and Korean wars, but 18 hail from World War II.
It's certainly not a medal given out easily. Even President Theodore Roosevelt had to wait 103 years for his Medal of Honor after distinguishing himself in battle way back in 1898.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. We have kept you waiting long enough, but I promise you will not be disappointed. Part two of our "Harry Potter" special is up next, with some of your favorite stars of the series.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUPERT GRINT, ACTOR, RON WEASLEY: For Ron, there's a lot going on with him, because he's kind of -- he doesn't quite trust Harry, he's kind of jealous because Harry and Hermione are getting quite close. And he's missing his family and -- yes. There's a lot kind of paranoia. And that was quite cool to do all that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Actor Rupert Grint, the lovable Ron Weasley, and the Muggle-born Hermione Granger, Emma Watson, up after this.
ANDERSON: From gusting winds to lashing rain, I tell you, there was nothing that would stop diehard fans from missing this world premiere, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One." They pitched tents, slept in sleeping bags, and lined up for days, all to catch a glimpse of their favorite movie stars.
The atmosphere on the red carpet in London was truly electric earlier on today. Here's a look at some of the highlights for you.
ANDERSON (on camera): How do you feel about the "Potter" movie, guys?
ANDERSON: Just a little more than an hour to go, as they say, until the cast turns up. Let's hope the weather holds just for the time being.
So, you are a "Harry Potter" fan himself. What about you, who's your favorite?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Probably Daniel Radcliffe, the Harry Potter.
ANDERSON: What about Voldemort.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's ama -- no.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, he isn't so cool.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. He's a bad one.
ANDERSON: Can I just say -- camera man -- you look amazing.
EMMA WATSON, ACTRESS, HERMIONE GRANGER: Thank you, very much.
ANDERSON: Who designed it?
WATSON: Well, actually, the fun thing about this dress is that it's a vintage dress that's been reworked.
DANIEL RADCLIFFE, ACTOR, HARRY POTTER: I got very, very lucky. I was in the right place at the right time, and I always maintain they cast me more out of desperation than anything else, because they were two months away from filming and they hadn't got a lead actor. So that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
OLIVER PHELPS, ACTOR, GEORGE WEASLEY: There's more people here than I think I've ever seen here. And soon as we get out of the car, the wall of noise just hits you. And as you say, the popularity is still there. If anything, it's bigger than it ever has been.
CLEMENCE POESY, ACTRESS, FLEUR DELACOUR: I cried at every single one of the books.
ANDERSON: You are despised by so many of the people here tonight, the fans.
IMELDA STAUNTON, ACTRESS, DOLORES UMBRIDGE: I know.
ANDERSON: How does it feel?
STAUNTON: Great. Absolutely marvelous.
ANDERSON: And now is the second part of our special three-day coverage, starting with the glamorous and very talented Emma Watson.
ANDERSON (voice-over): She was the envy of young girls around the world when, at the age of nine, Emma Watson was chosen to portray "Harry Potter" heroine Hermione Granger.
HERMIONE GRANGER: Ron's right, Harry. You're going to need your strength today.
ANDERSON (voice-over): At the time, she wasn't sure how much she had in common with the studio's witch.
WATSON: I'm not top form goody two-shoes, no. But I'd like to be top of form.
ANDERSON (voice-over): But as the films have evolved, so has Emma's character and fame. She's well-known in Hollywood, and has become a star in the fashion world.
HARRY POTTER: Help me!
ANDERSON (voice-over): As part one of the final "Harry Potter" film comes to theaters this month, Watson will soon have to depart from her character of ten years.
She spoke with me about the filming process and the most memorable moments.
WATSON: I guess I'll never forget doing that torture scene with Helena Bonham Carter. That will stay with me forever. That was pretty intense. Having to kiss Dan. We never forget that, either. And then more fun moments, like the wedding was really lovely.
VOLDEMORT: They are coming. They are coming.
ANDERSON (on camera): Lulu has written to us, and she asks, "When you were little, you said that you weren't too much like your character. Do you think that's changed?"
WATSON: Yes. I think I've become less defensive about being compared to her, mainly because I think she's awesome. And I think she's an amazing, amazing character, really. So, I don't mind -- I'm not quite so defensive anymore. But we are different people. We are different people, but I certainly don't mind comparisons being made anymore.
ANDERSON: Charlotte asks, "Do you get very nervous before watching a film for the first time?"
WATSON: Oh, very. I was -- honestly, I saw the film last Friday, and I was just in bits. I was just kind of like, so nervous. I think when you see something that you've been working on for a year and a half put on the screen in front of you, it's going to be nerve-wracking. So, yes, definitely.
ANDERSON: Aimee asks, "Did you read the books, or do you read the books, before filming?"
WATSON: Yes. I read the books before I even auditioned, and I usually read each book before I do each film, just because I'm sort of a -- I'm a "Harry Potter" purist, and I think the closer they get to the books, the better, really.
ANDERSON: What's it been like, Emma, switching directors. Does it feel like a different franchise every time?
WATSON: It does. I think it's been really nice that David did the last -- oh, my goodness, has he done four now? It'll be four. So, I think that's been really nice, actually, because there's been, like, a continuity towards the end, bringing in a director for the last one or two, I think, would've been really hard.
But I think it's been nice that all the way through we've had different takes on it, definitely.
ANDERSON: Did you enjoy it this time?
WATSON: I did. It was a very intense film to make. It's really dark. So, it maybe wasn't the most fun, because it really, it took a lot out of me to play this role. But it was very rewarding and challenging and interesting, and it really pushed me. So, it was really good to work on in a different way than the others one had been.
ANDERSON (voice-over): "Harry Potter" fans know that where Hermione goes, Ron will soon follow. Rupert Grint claims he scored the role of beloved Ron Weasley in no small part because of his ginger hair.
RON WEASLEY: Do you mind? Everywhere else is full.
POTTER: Not at all.
ANDERSON (voice-over): His audition for the original 2001 "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was his first ever film audition. And, apparently, he nailed it.
WEASLEY: So, it's true. I mean, do you really have the -- the --
POTTER: The what?
ANDERSON (voice-over): The film earned the then 10-year-old Grint a series of awards.
WEASLEY: All right.
ANDERSON (voice-over): And gave millions of fans around the world a face to put to Harry Potter's best friend.
In this last film, Ron and Harry battle jealousies, doubt and, of course, the bad guy in an attempt to save the wizarding world.
WEASLEY: We have to do something!
ANDERSON (voice-over): Rupert spoke to me about the greatest challenges, and how similar he is to his character.
GRINT: I always kind of thought I could kind of relate to him. Obviously, we're both ginger. And, yes, just having a big family and stuff. I always kind of like the underdog.
ANDERSON (on camera): Sindhu asks, "If you could play another 'Harry Potter' character, what would it be and why?"
GRINT: I don't know. Maybe, like -- maybe Malfoy would be quite cool.
GRINT: I don't know. Because he's -- I quite like the -- I quite like to be playing someone who's quite bad. Yes, or, maybe Dobby. He's quite cool.
ANDERSON: I like Dobby, too. Listen, Muyi has written in and asks, "What was the greatest challenge shooting this movie?"
GRINT: For Ron, there's a lot going on with him, because he's kind of -- he doesn't quite trust Harry, he's kind of jealous because Harry and Hermione and getting quite close.
POTTER: You've got to know how this feels!
WEASLEY: No, you don't know how it feels! Your parents are dead! You have no family!
GRINT: And he's losing his family and -- yes, there's a lot kind of paranoia, and that was quite cool to do all that. Kind of a side of Ron we really see that often, and it was nice to do that.
ANDERSON: How do you think these last two films, which are, of course, the last story, how do you think these two films stack up against the rest of the franchise?
GRINT: I think the decision to do it in two parts was really kind of clever, because I think we can get much more of the book into them. We kind of all felt quite a bit of pressure to really make this the best one yet, as it is the last one. We kind of want to go off on a high. Yes, I think it will happen.
ANDERSON: And no one director directing all of the movies. David, of course, has done three. Is that difficult?
GRINT: Yes. It used to be difficult having a different director each time. Once you really kind of get to know someone and then, sadly, they go off. That used to be quite tricky. But, yes, I really love David. He's been great.
ANDERSON: How in love with Hermione are you?
GRINT: Ron is very, very in love with Hermione. Yes, I've had a small part, too, we kind of see them really get together.
ANDERSON: And Rupert would take her or leave her.
GRINT: No. Emma's -- yes. We're kind of like sisters -- brother and sister, kind of.
ANDERSON: Oh, yes. A brief reminder here, the "Harry Potter" movies, of course, are made by Warner Brothers, part of CNN's parent company, Time- Warner. And don't forget to stay tuned tomorrow, part three of this epic event. We've got two more stars that probably aren't the most-loved characters in the book. The Malfoys, both father and son, will be on the show. And we've also scored the film's director for you, David Yates.
Here are your connections to the "Harry Potter" series. You can head to our Facebook page. If you're not already a fan or a follower, do join up. It's facebook.com/CNNconnect. We're pretty new at the old Facebook environment, but we want you as a fan. Tonight, we'll be right back.
ANDERSON: Our Parting Shot tonight comes courtesy of a rather irate cruise ship passenger. Perhaps listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUIS HORACE, CRUISE SHIP PASSENGER: It was absolutely deplorable. My expectations were completely -- fell through the floor. I expected a really nice time, and it was like "Gilligan's Island" or something. I felt, like, marooned on a prison ship, I guess you can call it that, because I was in the dark and I had mayo sandwiches and backed up toilets. It was just bad. It was really bad all the way around.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Goodness. Well, you'd probably be upset, too, wouldn't you? Go on a cruise, you do expect to spend a bit of time at sea, of course, but you also expect to be cruising, not stopping in the middle of the big blue.
Well, after three days, more than 4,000 passengers onboard crippled ship "Carnival Splendor" are finally back on terra firma, no doubt headed for the nearest hot shower and meal. How gruesome.
I'm Becky Anderson, that is your world connected this Thursday out of London. "BackStory" is up next, right after a very quick check of the headlines here on CNN.