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CONNECT THE WORLD
New WikiLeaks Revelations; America's Favorite Pastime Goes Green
Aired December 1, 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: First all week to bring you revelations that have rocked the world. Tonight, this hour here on CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Becky Anderson with the very latest from WikiLeaks. Amongst them, American diplomats reportedly accused the Sri Lankan president of possibly committing war crimes in crushing the Tamil uprising.
Also, allegations of dirty dealings in Moscow -- the cable that claims security forces are going after Russia's enemies at home and abroad.
Plus, we've learned senior Pakistani ministers privately supporting U.S. drone attacks within their borders -- not the line we normally get. But now, CNN gets you a rare admission from a Pakistani official.
And it's not over -- more WikiLeaks are expected this hour.
Going beyond borders on the day's biggest stories, on CNN, this is the hour we connect the world.
Well, we are following every twist and turn in the WikiLeaks document releases, bringing you the very latest information and reaction from cities around the world.
Tonight, CNN's Matthew Chance in Moscow following the latest leaks on Russia; Atika Shubert monitoring the England and the French media in London; and Fred Pleitgen is monitoring "Der Spiegel" at the CNN Center.
Well, we'll get to all of you in just a moment.
First, though, Matt, let's kick off with you and the very latest from Russia.
And it seems that Russia speaks with forked tongue.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly, look, we -- we've had some pretty devastating cables that have been put out onto the Internet by WikiLeaks over the course of the past hour or so.
I think by far the most significant one is the one which is marked "secret." It's written by the U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Beyrle. And it's dated on February the 12th, 2010, so just earlier this year.
And it's talking about what it calls a pyramid of corruption in the Moscow city government. It's looking at how close the involvement has been with Moscow city officials, not least the former mayor of -- of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov. Of course, at the time the cable was written, he was the current mayor of Moscow, saying that it -- it's sort of like a pyramid with Yuri Luzhkov at the top, with the security services, who are corrupt, forming a second tier, and then with ordinary criminals, it says, including corrupt government inspectors, at the bottom.
It's interesting because one of the things it says is that the way this works is that businessmen pay their bribes for kind of protection to these various people. And the interesting thing about it, it says, is that the corruption goes all the way to the top. So it virtually impacts the top Russian leadership -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Our Moscow correspondent, Matthew Chance, there for you with the very latest that's been dropping from WikiLeaks.
Let's get you to Washington, shall we?
The U.S. government calls WikiLeaks' disclosures unlawful and irresponsible. Let's talk specifics tonight with U.S. State Department spokesman, P.J. Crowley, joining us from Washington this evening.
And Matthew has just been delineating some of what we've heard on Russia from WikiLeaks. Let me throw you a couple of -- a couple of other lines.
American diplomats were certainly suggesting that the security forces are going after Russia's enemies at home and abroad.
You -- your thoughts?
P.J. CROWLEY, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: Well, I'm not going to talk about the contents of any classified cable. We treat them as classified. We regret the disclosure. We condemn what WikiLeaks is doing...
CROWLEY: -- and we are going to continue to hold those who are accountable for this release fully responsible.
ANDERSON: Why aren't you going to talk about the content?
You're not disputing the content isn't true, you're just saying it was illegal that the content is being offered to the result of -- to the result of us around the world.
And let me throw something else to you. The Web site suggesting the U.S. Defense secretary, Robert Gates, is quoted telling his French counterpart that, quote: "Russian democracy has disappeared and the government was -- was an oligarchy run by the security services."
Do you deny that?
CROWLEY: Well, again, I'm not going to talk about the contents of any particular cable. You know, we -- we have valuable relations with Russia, with France, with other countries in the Middle East -- are -- or in Europe and in the Middle East. The secretary of State is in Kazakhstan right now...
CROWLEY: -- engaged with these leaders, trying to solve world problems. That's what we're going to do.
But I'm not going to talk about any particular cable.
ANDERSON: All right. You'd do yourself a great service if you did for our viewers around the world. But if that's what you want to do, then -- then fine.
Let's talk about Sri Lanka then. I'm going to tell the viewers what the WikiLeaks documents allegedly suggest, and that is that there's a lack of progress toward a genuine Sri Lankan inquiry into how so many people were killed in crushing and uprising by Tamil rebels. That's what the WikiLeaks documents suggest.
So what is your current position on Sri Lanka?
And does it differ from that which we understand from WikiLeaks?
CROWLEY: We are working with the Sri Lankan government. We're looking -- we're working with other countries that have relations with Sri Lanka. We are encourage the new government to reach out to communities, including the Tamils in Sri Lanka. They've got a historic opportunity to - - to repair decades of conflict and move forward as one nation. And that is what our policy is and that's what the nature of our engagement with Sri Lanka remains today.
ANDERSON: OK, that's the official line.
Let's move on. According to "The Guardian" newspaper, one of the media organizations who's been filtering these documents from WikiLeaks, they say that the U.S. ambassador in Pakistan says that the Pakistani Army is covertly sponsoring four major militant groups. She allegedly warns, and I quote from WikiLeaks: "There is no chance that Pakistan will view enhanced assistance as sufficient compensation for abandoning support to these groups."
That was in September, 2009.
What this suggests is that Washington doesn't trust Pakistan.
Is that true?
CROWLEY: We are building a strategic partnership with Pakistan based on the fact that insurgent elements in Pakistan are a threat to the West and a threat to Pakistan itself. We have encouraged Pakistan to take aggressive actions against these groups and we're continuing to encourage Pakistan to take aggressive action. And we're investing money in Pakistan on both the military side and the civilian side, to build up the capacity within Pakistan to have a different kind of relationship between the Pakistan government and the Pakistani people. If we're successful in helping Pakistan do that, there will be less room for these kinds of insurgencies that threaten Pakistan and the West, including the United States.
ANDERSON: We're expecting more of these leaks to come, P.J. In the next hour. This must be an incredibly uncomfortable time for the American government, isn't it?
CROWLEY: I -- I actually think, without commenting on any particular cable, what you see is the sweep of U.S. foreign policy, our willingness to engage around the world, our willingness to work constructive with other countries, our willingness to work to try to solve individual problems. That's what Secretary Clinton is doing in Kazakhstan. That's what Bill Burns will be doing next week in Geneva...
ANDERSON: All right...
CROWLEY: -- as we try to solve the riddle of Iran...
ANDERSON: P.J. what do you think...
CROWLEY: -- and we're not going to change what we do -- we're not going to change what we do because of these revelations. Our relations with countries around the world are based on mutual interests...
ANDERSON: All right...
CROWLEY: -- and we're continuing to pursue...
CROWLEY: -- foreign policy...
ANDERSON: And we understand that...
CROWLEY: -- and our common interests.
ANDERSON: And we understand that, P.J.
What are you going to do to prevent these sort of leaks in the future?
CROWLEY: Well, obviously, this reveals a gap in our security across the U.S. government. I will say, the leak did not happen here at the Department of State. It happened elsewhere. But we are -- we have already taken aggressive action and we'll take more action to do everything we can to prevent this from happening again.
ANDERSON: P.J. Crowley out -- out of Washington for you this evening.
P.J. We thank you very much indeed, for joining us.
Well, we mentioned one of the cables regarding Russia, where the U.S. Defense secretary says that democracy in the country has disappeared. Mr. Putin, a former spy chief, says Robert Gates is deeply misled. He told CNN's Larry King that the U.S. should respect the, quote, "sovereign choice of the Russian people."
Well, Mr. Putin also dismissed another cable that calls him "Batman" and President Dmitry Medvedev "Robin," a suggestion that Mr. Putin remains the true power in Russia. He said that comment was aimed to slander.
And you can watch Larry King's interview with President Putin on Thursday. That's at 10:00 in the morning in London, 11:00 in Central Europe here on CNN.
All right, let's get you up to date now with the very latest WikiLeaks revelations.
Let's get back to Matthew Chance in Moscow, Atika Shubert in London and Fred Pleitgen at CNN Center -- Fred, let's start with you.
What have you got at this point?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, at this point, we're actually, Becky, still waiting for new revelations to come out, for new cables to come out. This is the "Der Spiegel" Web site that you see right behind me. They're still talking about the -- the whole thing with Russia, about Putin, actually, also quoting very heavily from Larry King's interview with Putin.
So we're sort of waiting for new stuff to come out. But, meanwhile, what they're actually doing is they're talking about some of the effects that this is actually having. And though it's not surprisingly, on German politics, where one of the biggest German partners, that of foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, is apparently now looking for a mole who apparently supplied a lot of the information to the U.S. embassy in that country.
So, certainly, this is having quite a big effect on the relationships between Germany and America. And that's something that, of course, this magazine is talking about.
So we're still waiting for new stuff to come out. Meanwhile, of course, this is still their main focus of the day -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Thank you for that.
Matthew Chance is in Moscow, in a country which apparently, allegedly, according to these leaks, is run, so far as the U.S. is concerned, by a couple called Batman and Robin.
CHANCE: That's right, although that's been rejected as slanderous, of course, as you mentioned, by Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister.
I think the -- the leaks that have been now put out, that are new, on the WikiLeaks Web site, that I've managed to -- to access, are pretty devastating, in fact. I referred to them earlier when we spoke a few moments ago, before P.J. Crowley.
But, you know, they're -- they're talking about the system of corruption in the Moscow city government. And it's not just about Moscow. It's not just about the corruption of one city, or, indeed, the corruption of one man, allegedly, the former mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov.
The cable quotes a source, who isn't identified in the version of the cable that's been put on the Internet. But he says Luzhkov, as well as the other mayors and governors in the country, pay off key Kremlin insiders. People are paying bribes all the way to the top. So this isn't just, again, about the corruption of one city. This seems to be a whole national system of corruption, you know, that has been communicated in this top secret or this secret cable from the U.S. Embassy to the -- to -- to their bosses in -- in Washington -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating stuff.
Stick with it, Matthew.
We'll get back to you as and when we get more on WikiLeaks about Russia.
Thank you for that.
Let's get to Atika Shubert, who's working the story in London for us - - Atika.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, "The Guardian" has just -- they're going with this headline: "WikiLeaks' Web Site pulled by Amazon after U.S. Political Pressure." This isn't one of the leaked cables, but this is news that's just been happening. We've actually confirmed this, as well, with Senator Lieberman's office -- Joseph Lieberman's office. He, of course, is the influential senator in the United States who's chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. And he called for a boycott of Amazon because its servers were hosting the WikiLeaks cable site.
And, clearly, Amazon seems to have buckled under the pressure. They are no longer hosting that -- that site. And WikiLeaks itself actually put out a Twitter posting saying that it had been ousted -- "WikiLeaks' servers at Amazon ousted. Free speech in the land of the free. Fine. Our dollars are now spent to employ people in Europe."
So, WikiLeaks there trying to -- trying to deal with all kinds of attacks on its Web site, including, it now seems, pressure from Amazon.
ANDERSON: Fascinating stuff.
OK, your correspondents here at CNN working this story for us.
As and when we get more, we will bring it to you.
One thing that we've learned from WikiLeaks, what's said in public often doesn't match what's said behind closed doors. Coming up, some admissions that you won't have heard before from officials in Pakistan. On the record, the government is angry over U.S. drone attacks on militant strongholds. But we're going to hear from one official who says, well, that is not the whole story.
Stay with us.
ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN.
I'm Becky Anderson in London.
Let's get you back to these WikiLeaks disclosures.
Some of the biggest revelations to surface so far this week exposed persistent U.S. fears about Pakistan. One document talks about the safety of the country's nuclear weapons. The U.S. ambassador in Islamabad was reportedly concerned over a supply of highly enrich uranium, enough to build several dirty bombs, and whether that might fall into the wrong hands.
Well, another cable says some Pakistani officials support U.S. drone attacks on militant strongholds, despite what those officials may say to the contrary in public. It also says that Pakistan has secretly allowed small groups of U.S. special operatives to enter its soil and operate there.
Well, another revelation. The U.S. ambassador to Pakistan at the time told Washington that, quote, "No amount of money would stop Pakistan's military from supporting Islamist groups that it fears or viewed as a -- a buffer against India, including the Afghan Taliban."
Well, very, very strong statements there.
So we wanted to get some response from Islamabad.
I talked earlier to the spokeswoman for the Pakistan Peoples Party.
Fauzia Wahab says she speaks for her party, which is the ruling party, of course, in the country, but not for the government itself.
I began by asking about the safety of the country's nuclear arsenal.
FAUZIA WAHAB, PAKISTAN PEOPLES PARTY: I think the nuclear installations are in safe hands, as far as Pakistan is concerned.
ANDERSON: Not so far as London and Washington are concerned.
ANDERSON: They are extremely concerned about whether the materials are in safe hands at this point.
Why, do you think?
WAHAB: Well, this is a question that you should ask the Americans, not to me. And I am nobody to make any comment on it. But as far as Pakistan is concerned or Pakistani people are concerned, well, we don't think so, that all these reports have any basis or we can take this report as something serious.
ANDERSON: All right, well, there is more, of course. Let's pursue what we've heard in WikiLeaks. We now know for sure that U.S. troops have been operating secretly inside Pakistan's tribal areas and, indeed, that senior ministers have privately supported U.S. drone attacks.
Do you deny that?
WAHAB: Well, there is a segment in the country who -- who support the drone attacks and they feel that drone attacks have been helpful in eliminating many of the militants. So this is one point of view. And, of course, there's another point of view in the country who do not favor the drone attacks and they think that drone attacks are in -- intervention and it is violating our sovereignty.
Well, there are two -- two points of view.
ANDERSON: We know for sure now, post these WikiLeaks, that U.S. troops have been operating secretly inside Pakistan's borders.
Does the government deny that?
WAHAB: You have to ask the government. I represent my party and I don't think so, that we have seen the U.S. troops anywhere in the country.
ANDERSON: Washington's ambassador to Islamabad in 2009, this is Anne Patterson, of course, explicitly wrote -- and I quote her -- that "no amount of money from the U.S. would stop the Pakistani Army backing Islamist militants."
What do you have to say for that?
WAHAB: Well, the lady has a point of view and there are elements of - - in every institution, unfortunately, who favor or who have sought a corner for the militants. Yes, unfortunately, we have these elements everywhere.
ANDERSON: You've said that there are factions of the Pakistani Army who support Islamist militants.
Is that something the government supports?
WAHAB: No. The government does not support those who are -- who are close to the militants or who are on the same paradigm as far as the militants are concerned. No, the government does not support them. And the government -- the government is -- is resolute as far as defeating the terrorist element and the militants are concerned.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: Fauzia Wahab there, a spokeswoman for Pakistan's ruling party, the PPP.
Let me just remind you of the admissions that she made to me here on CNN.
First, there is some soft support for militants in every institution in Pakistan, including the military.
Second, there are some factions in the government that actually support U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan.
Again, Mss. Wahab says she doesn't actually speak for the government. She is, though, the spokesperson for the PPP, the head of which is the president of the country, of course.
So we -- we sought a response from the Pakistani ambassador to the U.K., Wajid Hasan.
And I began by asking him whether it's true that there is, indeed, support for these U.S. drone attacks within the Pakistani government.
WAJID HASAN, PAKISTANI AMBASSADOR TO U.K.: Yes, everybody has got his own point of view. There must be like that. A lot of journalists who support him. There are a lot of media people who support it. But the fact is...
ANDERSON: Not ministers?
HASAN: Ministers, maybe, I don't know, because she's the spokesperson of the party and she must be knowing better. But so far as I know, in public, no minister has ever come on in regard that they are not opposed to these attacks. They are opposed to these attacks, because it causes an infringement on our sovereignty, which is a very sensitive issue.
ANDERSON: Let's, sir, explore another of these cables.
Washington's ambassador to Islamabad in 2009, a lady called Anne Patterson, explicitly wrote that -- and I quoted her: "No amount of money from the United States will stop the Pakistani Army backing Islamist militants."
What have you got to say to that?
HASAN: Well, this is, you know, her own assessment. And I don't -- I can't add, you know, add anything extensive to it. And I can't even support it, because it is her assessment. And as far as I am concerned, I know the Pakistan Army will do, carry on doing whatever the government of Pakistan, the elected government of Pakistan, will ask them to do, because the elected government is supported by the parliament, and parliament is sovereign in the country. And the Pakistan parliament decides whatever has to be done in the country.
ANDERSON: OK. Let's -- let's take a -- a look at some of the other leaks that we've got from the organization.
We now know for sure that U.S. troops have been operating secretly inside Pakistan's borders.
True or false?
Can you deny it?
HASAN: Well, you know, all these various countries do operate in various countries, though, right?
ANDERSON: But the government has never openly admitted before...
HASAN: No, again...
ANDERSON: -- that U.S. troops were...
HASAN: -- (INAUDIBLE) you...
ANDERSON: -- operating within Pakistan's borders.
HASAN: No, troops are not operating within Pakistan. They are -- they are carrying on operations in the bordering areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The drone attacks are taking place almost every weekend. So you can imagine that they are -- in that way, they are cooperating.
But the fact is they're not fighting hand to hand with anybody in Pakistan.
ANDERSON: But they are operating inside Pakistan's borders?
You don't deny that?
HASAN: Well, in our -- Pakistan and Afghanistan border, yes. Yes. Yes.
ANDERSON: You're telling me that you deny, effectively, the content of...
HASAN: I deny it.
ANDERSON: -- much of these...
ANDERSON: -- WikiLeaks.
HASAN: -- emphatically deny it.
ANDERSON: Why don't you think the Americans are denying the content?
They don't like the fact that it's got out. They're suggesting it's - - it's criminal activity that these things have been leaked. But they're not...
HASAN: This is...
ANDERSON: -- denying the content.
HASAN: This is a -- this is a -- obviously, a criminal activity. I heard Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday (INAUDIBLE)...
ANDERSON: But nobody is denying, from the U.S., the content of these...
HASAN: -- again, again...
ANDERSON: -- secret documents...
HASAN: -- this is -- this...
ANDERSON: -- isn't true.
HASAN: -- this is not secret documents. These are the gossips -- bizarre gossips taken together...
ANDERSON: No, these are secret documents.
ANDERSON: This is a cache of secret documents.
HASAN: Well, I doubt -- I doubt, because, again, it will come out soon. But I have not seen the report yet. I have not had the full report in front of me. I can't make a comment on it. The government of Pakistan will have it and we'll discuss it. We'll study it and then come out with a full comment on it.
HASAN: But the fact is that this has been happening in the past. WikiLeaks has been, in the past, and they're all -- they were highly substantive. They were quoting Tom, Dick and Harrys without naming any particular person.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: That's the response from the Pakistan government, as far as we could get it tonight, to what was enclosed in these WikiLeaks documents.
Interesting stuff, isn't it?
I'm not sure I'm getting a -- a sort of complete narrative here. But anyway, we'll bring it to you as we get it. We're not done with this story tonight. With -- with more classified documents being published, we're going to bring back our team for analysis of what's coming up.
First, though, a Green Week continues here on CONNECT THE WORLD, in the U.S., with a whole new ball game. We'll show you how a 100-year-old team in Boston is embracing new technology.
ANDERSON: All this week on CNN, war are looking at how our actions today might impact us all tomorrow.
We began Monday in Yemen, a country torn between a valuable cash crop and a disappearing water supply.
On Tuesday, we turned to Brazil, where one man's trash is turning into another man's plan for the future.
And tonight, we're taking you out to the ball game to show you how America's favorite pastime and sort of its most legendary teams are going green.
Mark McKay has the story for you.
MARK MCKAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The sights and sounds of this Florida construction site are typical. So are the tools and tradesmen. What's different is the color. It's green.
SID PERKINS, CONSTRUCTION MANAGER, MARLINS BALLPARK SITE: We separate all of our onsite trash, anything that's recyclable in the way of metals goes into a metal dumpster. In the past, about 40 percent of the national landfills have been taken up by construction materials. At this point in time, we're recycling 98 percent of the trash coming off this job site.
MCKAY: The new home of the Florida Marlins will have a retractable roof, but its commitment to the environment will be unmoving.
PERKINS: These restrooms will utilize a waterless urinal, which one waterless urinal is projected to save 45,000 gallons of water a year. All of the urinals within the building will be waterless.
MCKAY: That saves more than 11 million gallons of water a year for the Marlins, as they attempt to get their stadium certified lead silver, a designation awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council when a structure takes leadership in energy and environmental design.
CLAUDE DELORME, MARLINS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT: From solar lights to basically charging stations in our parking garages to putting in a recycling program that will be second to none. And we want to be leaders in this -- in this field.
MCKAY: It's a field that just a few years ago, they would have had all to themselves.
BRAD CLARK, POPULOUS ARCHITECT: There's no question that it's changed substantially, particularly over the last five years, but starting even before that. I mean 15 years ago, 20 years ago, if we did one of these projects, there would be literally no discussion about sustainability.
JON KNIGHT, POPULOUS ARCHITECT: Owners -- operators are starting to realize that being smart about design can actually go to the bottom line and make buildings less expensive to operate over the life of the building.
MCKAY: Brad Clark and Jon Knight are architects at Populous, a Kansas City design firm at the forefront of a stadium building boom in the U.S. over the past 15 years.
KNIGHT: There are some clients that say, we -- we don't want to do it if it costs money. And those are the ones you really have to work on and educate and help them understand that it really doesn't cost that much more money.
CLARK: What we might have said was 4 or 5 percent of the premium five years ago as an estimate, we're finding is now maybe .5 percent, 1 percent.
MCKAY: Now installing environmentally friendly systems that once took arm twisting of owners and operators is suddenly all the rage and some day soon may even be mandatory.
KNIGHT: It will just become part of our practice. It won't be -- it won't be lead anymore. It will become part of building code.
MCKAY (on camera): While it makes perfect sense for new stadiums and arenas around the sports world to think green, even one of baseball's grand old ballparks is onboard. That's right. The Green Monster is getting greener.
(voice-over): The 98-year-old home to the Boston Red Sox has installed solar panels on the roof. Enough to help heat 37 percent of the stadium's water. It's a minor step, but it shows how teams are willing to start taking steps, and let's designers wonder what those steps could lead to.
KNIGHT: I think it'd be fun to figure out how to sort of capture the energy of all the fans in a stadium and figure out how each one of those can be sort of a -- an energy plant in some way.
CLARK: If you could harness the energy of the fans, that's -- it seems that's like a sort of a holy grail in a way.
MCKAY (voice-over): And whoever discovers how to do that will have the entire sports and construction worlds turning green as well. With envy. Mark McKay, CNN, Boston.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Pipe dream, perhaps, but a good one. Actually, Going Green week continues tomorrow. Tonight, we'll be right back.
ANDERSON: You're back with CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. I'm Becky Anderson in London. Coming up, we're back with those revelations that have got everybody talking. The documents just keep coming from WikiLeaks, and we've got a team poring over them for you. Analysis from them coming up.
Then, some short-term positives for the euro, but in the long run, do European nations face the possibility of more bailouts?
And today is World AIDS Day. We're going to bring in our Connector of the Day to tell us why she and other celebrities are going silent to draw attention to the fight against the disease.
Those stories are just ahead. As ever at this point, though, let me get you a quick check of the headlines this hour.
A spokeswoman for Pakistan's ruling party has told us there is some support in her country for US drone attacks on militant strongholds. That supports a statement made in one of the US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks. Publicly, Pakistani officials have come out strongly against those strikes.
A Muslim brotherhood says it will boycott Egypt's parliamentary runoff elections on Sunday. The opposition party lost all 88 of its seats in parliament in last Sunday's first round. A party member says the boycott is protesting election irregularities.
Belarus says it plans to get rid of its stock of highly enriched uranium by 2012. The move was announced at the summit for the organization of security and cooperation in Europe as part of a US-led effort to rid the world of materials that could be used to make nuclear weapons.
Concern about nuclear weapons, particularly fissile materials in Pakistan, part of the rhetoric that we've heard from the WikiLeaks disclosures this week. Let's get you the very latest revelations. We're joined again by Matthew Chance in Moscow, Atika Shubert in London, and Fred Pleitgen at CNN Center.
Matt, let's start with you. Some cables, frankly, won't sit well with the Russian government, surely.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No. In fact, much of the content of these cables, and particularly the one looking at corruption in the country won't come as much of a surprise to those of us who have been closely monitoring the situation in Russia. But to see it laid out in this frank way is pretty unprecedented, and it will, I think, send shockwaves through the Russian government.
What the cable says is that there is a system in the Moscow city government, which is a kind of pyramid of corruption with the mayor at the top of it, and then security forces -- security officials forming a second tier, then with ordinary criminals at the bottom. And this is a system, which takes bribes from businesses, who pay the security services for protection instead of criminal gangs, because they've got more guns, according to the cable, and are protected by the law as well.
But it's not just about the corruption of one man, Yuri Luzhkov, the former mayor of Moscow, nor about one city. What the cable says, quoting an unnamed source in the WikiLeaks document, is that Luzhkov, as well as other mayors and governors around the country, pay off key Kremlin insiders. People are paying bribes all the way to the top, the cable says.
So, the cable going pretty far towards implicating the top leadership in this sort of national system of corruption that the cable outlines, Becky.
ANDERSON: We've already got a sense of how Vladimir Putin felt about the initial cables that were released. Should we expect some sort of response from the Russian government in the next -- I don't know, 24, 48 hours?
CHANCE: Undoubtedly, when there's an opportunity for journalists to ask a Russian official, there will be some kind of response, although, of course, the Russians are never first off the mark. They're never quickest off the mark when it comes to responding to these kinds of allegations.
But we certainly know that the Kremlin has reacted pretty negatively so far to the disclosures that have been made already by WikiLeaks. Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, describing this "scandalous" at the suggestion that he was Batman to President Medvedev's Robin. And so, I think this -- these cables, these latest cables will be treated in a similar vein, Becky.
ANDERSON: Not doing relations any good whatsoever, one assumes. All right, Matthew, thank you for that.
A couple of other correspondents working this story for you so we've got it covered for you. Fred Pleitgen is in -- is at CNN Center for you, covering "Der Spiegel," which is the German media organization which has been part and party to these leaks. Fred, what have you got?
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, actually, it's interesting, because they just published another report that's based on these WikiLeaks, of course, as well. And it also pertains to Russia. And it's, if you will, sort of furthers that Batman and Robin theme that Matthew was talking about.
So, in the report they say that the US embassy in Moscow, through its sources, very much knew that Vladimir Putin, even though Medvedev was now in the spotlight, that Vladimir Putin was pretty much still at the wheel.
And, of course, "Der Spiegel" being a German publication, they also got some information out of those cables of where the US embassy was actually getting information from the German ambassador to Moscow as well.
And the German ambassador, apparently, also had a source within the Kremlin, and from this cable, which is quoted in here, it says that he told the German ambassador that Vladimir Putin was very taken aback because of Medvedev's failure to react accordingly to Georgia's attack on Southern Ossetia. This, of course, was the war that took place in 2008, and that the US embassy came to the conclusion that Medvedev was not prepared for the Georgian War.
So, therefore, a very scathing sort of recognition there. And also, it appears as though this seems to outline some sort of divide between Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev there. Of course, this is something that they've been disputing, as Matt just said. But certainly, some very interesting information in that new report pertaining to that Russia theme that we've sort of been going through throughout this show, Becky.
ANDERSON: All right, Fred, stick with it. Come back with us when you've got more. Atika Shubert is working the story in London. Atika?
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, "The Guardian" also, know, has those cables. "Cables Expose Putin's Mafia State" is the headline there, saying that top officials collect bribes like, quote, "a personal taxation system."
And "Le Monde," the French newspaper also focusing, but this time, the headline is "Russian Power in the Eyes of Americans." And again, a focus there on the reservations Americans had about the mediation of President Sarkozy in Georgia during the war there.
But I want to draw your attention, actually, to WikiLeaks itself. They just posted some of these Twitter messages. They're clearly very upset about being ousted from the Amazon servers, as they put it. They just put, "WikiLeaks is the first global Samizdat movement." That, of course, is the movement in the Soviet Union to reproduce censored material. "The truth will surface even in the face of total annihilation."
And a little further down the Twitter posting, "If Amazon are so uncomfortable with the first amendment, they should get out of the business of selling books." So, clearly, WikiLeaks lashing out at the fact that they were no longer hosted by Amazon servers.
ANDERSON: Yes, interesting stuff. All right, to Atika, to Fred, and to Matthew in Moscow, guys, thank you very much, indeed, for bringing us bang up to date on what is a story which has global impact for you here on CONNECT THE WORLD.
Be sure to join us on Friday for a special edition of the show. We'll dig even deeper into the WikiLeaks controversy as we examine the effect these documents are having on policy for a number of key issues, including North Korea and Iran. We're going to take a broader look at the impact on diplomacy itself. That's Friday right here, this time, on CONNECT THE WORLD.
From cuts to bailouts, the euro zone has lurched from one crisis to another, hasn't it? Up next, I'm going to ask the CEO of the world's biggest bond house how he is betting on the euro.
ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. I'm Becky Anderson in London for you, at 43 minutes past nine.
Well, it's been a torrid time over -- for the euro over the past few weeks, but today, finally, there was just a little bit of a respite. The single currency rebounded following speculation that the European Central Bank will announce tomorrow that it's stepping up its purchases of euro zone bonds.
Now, that help pushed the euro back up above the 1.31 mark against the dollar. Peripheral sovereign bonds also rallying with yields falling on ten-year government debt in Ireland, Greece, Portugal, and Spain.
However, across the euro zone, fears do persist that more countries will be forced to seek a bailout. Earlier, I spoke with Mohamed El-Erian, who is the CEO of the world's biggest bond house. It's a company called PIMCO, and he has compared Europe's slow debt crisis -- or Europe's debt crisis, sorry, to a slow-motion wreck. I asked him what he meant by that.
MOHAMED EL-ERIAN, CEO, PIMCO: The authorities as yet have not been able to get ahead of the crisis. So what we see is a set of partial responses that delay the problem but do not solve it. And as the problem gets delayed, other areas get infected.
So, it's a little bit like watching a slow-motion train wreck in that one car after another after another gets into trouble, but it doesn't happen very fast. It happens slowly because the policy emphasis right now is to delay rather than solve the problem.
ANDERSON: You're betting for or against the euro at this point?
EL-ERIAN: We think the euro survives. We think the euro has a lot of things going for it. It's going to be a very volatile currency until the core countries decide how they want their problems in the periphery.
But as a currency, we're not buyers of the view that the euro will not survive. We think the euro survives. We think euro zone may look different in five year's time, but the euro as a currency will still be there.
ANDERSON: Let's talk about who should bear the cost of this crisis, the brunt of the cost of this crisis. Are the banks who were shameless enough to get involved in dealing with debt with some of these sovereign nations who couldn't afford it -- and I draw the analogy to those who where shameless enough to sell debt to investors who couldn't afford subprime mortgages -- shouldn't they bear some of the brunt of the cost of this crisis? Not just the taxpayers in these countries.
EL-ERIAN: Oh, absolutely. We have said repeatedly that the current burden-sharing, which places all the burden on taxpayers, is unsustainable. You cannot have a situation that privatizes gains and then socializes losses. There has to be a fairer burden-sharing.
Now, the European officials believe that there's too much risk involved in spreading the burden among creditors. That is a political choice that the Europeans have made. I do not believe that that choice is sustainable. I think that you're going to have to have a much broader burden-sharing going forward.
ANDERSON: How would that work?
EL-ERIAN: As it has worked in many other countries, hopefully by preemptively restructuring in an orderly fashion, so that you go through the creditors in the banks, you go through the equity holders in the banks, and you say, "Here's the situation. It's in everybody's interest to normalize the banking system. It is in everybody's interest for Ireland, for Greece, for Portugal to resume growing again." And the best way of doing that is through a preemptive, orderly restructuring
EL-ERIAN: On their contingent claims, if you like, on the banks.
ANDERSON: You watch these markets closer than, perhaps, anybody else. I want to find out from you what you think will happen next. It was the banks and the governments who caused this crisis. What's next?
EL-ERIAN: I think we are in a very volatile time. You will see markets go up and down dramatically, depending on what the latest signal out of Brussels, out of Frankfurt, out of the national capitals are.
But fundamentally, if you look over this daily volatility, we are going towards a period where balance sheets are going to have to be realigned, where we are going to see attempts over time to deal with the debt overhang, and it's going to take some time. It's going to be a very bumpy process. But at the end of the day, we need a cleansing of balance sheets in these peripheral European economies.
ANDERSON: That's a man who has something like $1.3 trillion under management, so he is a man who knows his bond markets.
Up next, our Connector of the Day today, Alicia Keys. Best known for her music, but right now, her focus is on activism. She's going to share the details on what is an important day for her after this.
ANDERSON: Today is World AIDS Day, and we have both promising and discouraging new figures to report for you. The United Nations says new HIV infections have dropped by almost 20 percent worldwide over the last decade.
But at the same time, in several Asian countries, the number of children living with HIV or AIDS has nearly doubled. Nearly two million people died from the disease last year, and the UN says demand for resources to fight it is still greater than supply. Really bad, isn't it, that?
Well, tonight's Connector of the Day is part of a celebrity movement to turn awareness into real action. Alicia Keys is one superstar who's going through a virtual death to get the point across.
ANDERSON (voice-over): It's an issue that unites people in both grief and support. And today, the whole world is coming together to fight HIV/AIDS. Digital Life Sacrifice is a new initiative backed by a group of celebrities who are simulating a digital death in order to raise money for World AIDS Day.
One of the main leaders of the campaign is singer Alicia Keys. Known for her Grammy-Award-winning tunes, Keys has spent years devoting extensive time to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
(MUSIC - "Another Way to Die")
ANDERSON (voice-over): In 2003, she co-founded the Keep a Child Alive Foundation, which is currently supporting thousands of HIV victims around the world.
ALICIA KEYS, MUSICIAN: You cannot sit by any longer while the poor in Africa, who are desperate for AIDS treatment, cannot access it or afford it.
ANDERSON (voice-over): She's also traveled to Africa and created a documentary about her work there.
KEYS (singing): Can you send an angel?
ANDERSON (voice-over): I spoke to Keys and her co-founder about the inspiration for digital death.
KEYS: The Buy Life campaign is a brand-new campaign that is spearheaded by Keep a Child Alive. What the concept of Buy Life is that we have asked -- I have asked all of my artist friends, we've galvanized the artistic community to come together and sacrifice their digital life.
So we've asked them to die digitally so that on Facebook and Twitter, they will no longer post, they won't do tweets anymore. And we're standing in solidarity to all the people who will have already died because they do not have access to the treatment that can keep them alive, or will die.
And so, this treatment is available, and we do want people to have access to it, so we are dying in solidarity of that. And we're asking all of our fans and our followers to help buy our life back.
ANDERSON (on camera): Great innovative and creative way to get people involved. One of our viewers, Health, though, brings up an interesting point, Alicia. He says, "A lot of celebrities on your list could just donate the million dollars you're trying to raise themselves." He says, "So why do you think this is a more effective way of going about things?" It's a good point.
KEYS: I appreciate that question, and I feel like this is far more effective, because we're able to engage the world. We're able to engage the world to show you that we can all become a part of changing things. We don't have to just look at it and say, "What am I supposed to do?" or "This is so horrible, but what to do?" We can be a part of it.
And also, we're utilizing something that we do every day. Every day, we text on our cell phones, every day we hop on our Twitter, hop on our Facebook and we connect with our families and friends. And this is our way to say, let's come together and really do something about this. So, let's buy life.
Another thing that we love about it is that anyone can do it. So even you, you go on your Twitter, you go on your Facebook. It doesn't matter if you have 200 followers or 5,000 followers, or 500. You ask them, "Hey, help me out and donate to this so that we can raise as much as we can." So, it's engaging. Let's engage each other.
ANDERSON: Absolutely. All right, I get that. Leigh, we have been talking about HIV/AIDS for -- I think about 25 years? I may be wrong there, it may be even 30 years at this point. And yet, today, in 2010 --
LEIGH BLAKE, CO-FOUNDER, KEEP A CHILD ALIVE: Thirty years next year.
ANDERSON: Thirty years next year. And yet, in 2010, we are still reaching out. What do you think of the world efforts to combat HIV/AIDS at this point? What more do we need to do?
BLAKE: Well, this is why galvanizing the people is such a critical part of bringing about the end of AIDS. Because, as we know, our politicians and the powers that be tend to act if they think that people -- although, lately, that might not be as much of a given as we like -- as we'd like it to be.
But once the public makes an effort to stand up for something and be involved with something, it's very hard for our global leaders to ignore it.
On the other hand, saying that, I began my AIDS work in 1989, back over there in the UK. And it still shocks me to my core that we're sitting here today and we're still struggling and struggling. And I think it has to do with a few things. I think that to many people, poor Africans are irrelevant. And we focus on many other things that distract us from what's really going on in our world.
As the great philosopher, Russel Brand, said last week on CNN, celebrities have become a distraction for us to really be focused on what's really going on in the world. And I think this group of celebrities agree with that and don't want that to be the case and have traveled the world and are compassionate people and want to do something with all of that fame and all of that power. The fame effect is an enormous, enormous engagement tool.
ANDERSON: Good stuff. And K. Davidson says, "Your talent is endless. How do you find a perfect balance between your music and your new family life, of course -- and congratulations on the little one -- and your charitable interests?"
KEYS: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Ensuring that you give a hundred percent dedication to everything. Is it tough?
KEYS: I find that when you love something, you do it, and it's easy because you love it. And obviously, to be able to find the time, it's easy when you're passionate about something.
It's not about the time, it's about all of the people that I know, that I've met before, that I've seen, that I feel like, when I see my mother, when I see my son, when I see my friends, my family, I want someone to care. I would want someone to care if it was me or if it was them. So, that makes it very easy to pay attention to.
And especially having an amazing woman like Leigh Blake --
KEYS: Who is running the organization and really ensuring that everything is happening. That's a partnership that makes it very invigorating and inspiring to be a part of.
ANDERSON: Alicia Keys talking to you on what is World AIDS Day. It would be nice to say in, what, another decade that we wouldn't have to have a World AIDS Day. But we do still, and it's an important day.
Tomorrow's Connector of the Day says she'll always be a Spice Girl. Mel B. looks back on her life with the legendary super group and talks about her world afterwards. Send us your questions for our Connectors. Remember to tell us where you're writing to us from. Head to cnn.com/connect.
Before we go, one last look at our top story, the barrage of documents coming from WikiLeaks. In between all of the disclosures about major players on the world stage, those leaked cables have other interesting revelations that are worth highlighting for you.
For instance, Kuwait's interior minister reportedly telling a US ambassador that his country does not want to see the return of Kuwaiti terror suspects held in Guantanamo Bay. He said, and I quote, "If they are rotten, they are rotten, and the best thing to do is to get rid of them."
Another cable talks about Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. He reportedly advised the US to forget about democracy in Iraq and instead install a new dictator there who would stand up to Iran.
And then, there's Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. The US embassy in Tripoli allegedly sent a cable discussing his, quote, "proclivities and phobias." It says, "He obsessively relies on a 38-year-old voluptuous blonde nurse, fears flying over water, and insists on staying on the first floor of any building.
These leaks are still coming through. Be sure to join us Friday for a special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD. We're going to dig even deeper into the controversy and take a broader look at the impact on diplomacy itself. Friday, right here on CONNECT THE WORLD.
I'm Becky Anderson, that is your world connected here on CNN. "BackStory" is up next, right after a very quick check of the headlines after this short break. Stay with us.