Return to Transcripts main page
CONNECT THE WORLD
Britain Beefs Up London Airport and Railway Security Over Feared Terrorist Plot. Food From Germany Contaminated With Dioxin Spreads Across Europe. Wrap Up of Ashes Series in Australia. India and South Africa Cricket Rivalry Growing. Week on the Web. "Huckleberry Finn" and Other Books Censored Over the Years. Viewer Reaction to Assassination of Pakistani Provincial Governor. Parting Shots of the Unexpected.
Aired January 7, 2011 - 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: Pakistan's crisis-ridden government lives to fight another day, as a key political party rejoins the coalition. But it comes at a cost. The prime minister reverses fiscal reforms he believed would keep the economy afloat. But around the world, Pakistan's loaners (ph) aren't happy. "inefficient," says the IMF; "a mistake," says Hillary Clinton.
Sacrificing economic stability for political safety -- that's the accusation that Washington is leveling at a country with a nuclear arsenal and a war next door.
I'm Becky Anderson and this is CONNECT THE WORLD.
Also this hour, a fisherman's life is one of patience. But this one in South Sudan says he just can't wait to be part of a new country.
Germany blocks the sale of contaminated meat and eggs. But there are fears the contagion has already reached England.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And let's go and party and party and party and pert and pert and party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Celebrations through the night for the balmy army, as England's cricketers pound Australia in what's known as the Ashes Series.
That's CNN in the next 60 minutes.
First up for you this evening, Pakistan. Its prime minister has saved his country, or his government, at least, from collapse.
But at what cost to the economy?
The ruling party won back a key coalition partner on Friday after making concessions on unpopular price hikes. Those very concessions could not jeopardize billions of dollars in international loans.
We're going to kick off tonight with Chris Lawrence, who is in Islamabad -- Chris.
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky, a lot of people are saying that what looks to be a good move on the surface -- something that would provide Pakistan with some political stability -- might not, in the long-term, end up costing the country even more economic uncertainty.
LAWRENCE (voice-over): Crisis averted, but at what cost?
Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani showered with rose petals as he arrived in Karachi. But that red carpet was lined the day before, when Gilani conceded to the demands of his former allies. To rejoin the coalition, the leaders of MQM Party demanded Gilani reverse the recent increase in gas prices and he did.
The price of a liter of gas went from 93 cents back down to 85 cents. MQM argued that since Pakistan's rich landowners were exempted from taxes in their farming businesses, the price hike put all the burden on poor and middle class families.
MUHAMMAD ANWAR, MQM PARTY: We have concern for the people to whom we are answerable, who vote us, elect us. Therefore, we want the improvement in their living conditions.
LAWRENCE: Having forced this concession, political analyst Mosharraf Zaidi says MQM comes back to the coalition with more power.
MOSHARRAF ZAIDI, POLITICAL ANALYST: And it can advertise that, hey, you know, we saved the consumer, you know, the extra six or seven rupees that -- that the government was going to impose.
LAWRENCE: But Pakistan has one of the world's smallest tax bases and experts say without the gas hike, the government will have to print more money, which adds to a runaway inflation rate already topping 15 percent.
ZAIDI: I think a weak prime minister just got a little bit weaker.
LAWRENCE: Zaidi says a strong leader would have stood his ground and not caved to political demands.
ZAIDI: That's the kind of leadership Pakistan needed as it fights a war against terrorists, as it fights a war against extremism, a war against unemployment and inflation and an economy that's in the doldrums. There's really almost no crisis that isn't befalling the country right now. Unfortunately, that leader isn't the prime minister.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
LAWRENCE: But some say Gilani was fighting just to keep his job, considering that another minority party could have been pushing as early as this -- later this week -- to try to have a vote of no confidence taken against him -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Chris, stick with me, if you will.
I'm going to come back to you in just a moment.
First, we want to explain to our viewers just how that political compromise could hurt Pakistan's credibility with international donors. This is a really important part of the story, namely, the International Monetary Fund.
Now, back in 2008, the IMF rescued Pakistan from bankruptcy with a pledge of $11.3 billion in loans. Now, it's already delivered more than $7 billion, but has been withholding assistance since May of last year, urging Pakistan to slash spending and end costly energy subsidies.
Here's how the IMF reacted to news that Pakistan is reversing fuel price hikes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAROLINE ATKINSON, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND: Energy subsidies come a large part of the budget. They're inefficient and untargeted, so that the bulk of the energy -- of the benefit from the energy subsidy goes to higher income individuals and -- and large companies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: All right. Well, that's the IMF's line.
The United States, another major donor to Pakistan, was also none to happy about the news that promised economic reforms have been scrapped.
Have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: We have made it clear, as I did in a meeting with their ambassador, that we think it is a mistake to reverse the progress that was being made to provide a stronger economic base for Pakistan. And we will continue to express that opinion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Hillary Clinton for you.
Well, with so much outside opposition to Pakistan's reversal on key economic reforms, what does the political party that demanded it have to say?
Well, you're going to find out.
We're joined now by Farooq Sattar.
He's a parliamentary leader of MQM, Muttahida Quami Movement.
And I do hope I've pronounced that properly.
FAROOQ SATTAR, DEPUTY CONVENER, MQM: Yes.
ANDERSON: You've heard what the IMF and certainly the U.S., who are a great and important partner for Pakistan at this point, have to say about the reversal of these reforms. You might call it a sort of reconciliation government at the moment. But what they will see is concessions, conceding by what was a minority government by the weekend.
How do you defend this position?
SATTAR: Truly, the decision that we have made today to rejoin the tragedy ventures (ph) and the parliament, it is still not that we are joining the cabinet, the federal government. We were not joining them, the federal government, at least for the -- for the time being.
And the decision that we took today was very painstaking, very thoughtful. And what not -- not -- was not very simple. In fact, we have made a sacrifice. And this sacrifice is for landing a stable -- trying to stability and democracy in Pakistan and to avert the threats that are coming to stability and democracy...
ANDERSON: All right, let me...
SATTAR: -- and the -- and the threats that are coming from the newly emerging wave (ph) and challenge of religious extremism and fanaticism...
SATTAR: -- with the brutal assassination of Salman Tassel, the governor of Punjab.
ANDERSON: And let's come into that.
At this point, though, the decisions to repeal these laws effectively don't make economic sense. It's no good for Pakistan. So I understand what you're saying. We can come on to what's going on in Pakistan in a moment. But this doesn't make economic sense.
SATTAR: No, on -- on the economic side, my dilemma is that I have never been consulted. I have been in the government for the last three years.
What is the nitty-gritty of the IMF package?
What deal was just struck?
ANDERSON: Well, it's $11 billion.
SATTAR: It was.
ANDERSON: You got $7 billion.
SATTAR: But -- but what...
ANDERSON: They ain't going to give you the other $4 billion at this point.
SATTAR: Yes, but what were the conditions?
And how does -- how conveniently the shoodol (ph) -- the -- the parliament and the government rife with feudals and tribal lots. And the ruling elite, for the last 60 years, has been passing the buck onto the common man through the indirect mode of taxation, VAT or sales taxes (INAUDIBLE)...
ANDERSON: Let me ask you this question.
SATTAR: -- that affects more -- more of them.
ANDERSON: Are you prepared -- no, no, no, no. Let me ask you this question.
Are you -- are you prepared to bankrupt Pakistan to pander to what you see as a wave of popular extremism on the streets?
Because, forgive my naivete, but that's certainly what it seems like as a person looking from the outside in.
SATTAR: The inflation averages 15 percent. The economy which has registered at the sluggish growth rate of not more than 2 percent for the last two years. Petroleum prices last -- three months ago -- also, already, there was a rise in it. The electricity and gas tariffs have already been increased.
So given all these inflationary factors, can you imagine that what havoc it is wreaking on the common man, how difficult it has made to make them need their both hands?
ANDERSON: With respect, though, I can...
SATTAR: The life...
ANDERSON: -- because every other country around the world...
ANDERSON: -- is going through...
SATTAR: But -- but...
ANDERSON: Hang on a minute. Every other country around the world...
SATTAR: Yes, but...
ANDERSON: -- is engaged in austerity measures at present. I can understand how difficult it is...
SATTAR: I can very effectively...
ANDERSON: -- for people...
SATTAR: -- I can very effectively...
ANDERSON: -- but if you were to bankrupt the country...
SATTAR: -- confidence. No. I can...
ANDERSON: -- what's the point?
SATTAR: I can very effectively and very -- through a concerted and organized effort, I've got an alternate model of a nine point proposal that given to the government. Had we been considered right from the day one and had we been confronted by the IMF -- I'm ready to defend my country and my case, that we are for complete economic sovereignty, freedom and independence of Pakistan. And that will only come about if the big agriculturalists, their big incomes, if the wealthy people, their incomes are taxed...
ANDERSON: All right.
SATTAR: -- 20 percent of the economy is agriculture and that contributes only 1 percent to the pool of the tax. The rest of the 80 percent, the portion of -- the -- the economy -- is contributing the total taxes of Pakistan.
ANDERSON: Let me ask you one question here...
SATTAR: So why are they over burdening the people who are already paying taxes, the salaried class, the ordinary man, the common man?
ANDERSON: And that we understand...
SATTAR: So this is unjust and discriminatory to begin with.
ANDERSON: Let me ask you one question at this point.
There are many people around the world who fear for not just the future of this government in Pakistan, but for the future of Pakistan at this point.
How worried are you?
SATTAR: That's why I'm saying that if inflation goes up to 20 to 25 percent, price hikes, if things become non-affordable, if people are ending -- the markup rate is 14.5 percent. In the wake of this -- the -- the arduous activity we are imposing, which if -- if we impose, is going to yield 80 to 200 billion dol -- rupees in two -- in two years time down the road.
So what will happen that with every that's an increase in markup rate, because the economy, to start off the -- the funds in the banks, they are not -- there is no investment taking place.
ANDERSON: One question -- do you fear for the future of Pakistan?
SATTAR: So unemployment -- unemployment...
ANDERSON: Yes or no?
SATTAR: -- and poverty alleviation are part of (INAUDIBLE) dreams.
So how are we going to address those?
No social economic reform is in there, no land reforms, no comprehensive farming...
ANDERSON: You're worried.
SATTAR: -- no micro finance or these -- or small loans effort. No SMEs organized...
ANDERSON: All right. OK.
SATTAR: -- that fact is also not being supported.
So the war on terror will be -- if we are going to win it in this party and this piecemeal effort in South Waziristan or -- but it is spreading all over Pakistan.
ANDERSON: You're worried.
SATTAR: These are (INAUDIBLE)...
ANDERSON: OK, I have to leave it there.
SATTAR: -- organizer for (INAUDIBLE).
ANDERSON: You're concerned?
ANDERSON: I'm going to leave it there.
We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.
SATTAR: Thank you very much.
ANDERSON: I hate to cut you off.
We're going to take a very short break.
But before we do that, let's go back to, quickly, to Chris Lawrence.
He's currently reporting from Islamabad, but he's also one of your Pentagon correspondents -- Chris, you've heard my conversation here.
Why should the world care about Pakistan's fiscal problems?
How do they -- how do they affect us all?
LAWRENCE: Well, Becky, you know, the WikiLeaks documents captured one U.S. official saying that without nuclear weapons, Pakistan would be nothing more than the Chicago. In other words, sort of a -- a secondary irrelevant state.
But the fact is, it does have nuclear weapons and strategically, it's located between both Afghanistan and India. So that does make it important.
Extremism is on the rise here. A lot of the hard line voices are drowning out the moderates.
The fear on the U.S. side and some of the other Western nations is that a severe economic collapse could drive even more people to militancy, to -- to make even more of the population amenable to -- to that hard line version of Islam, such to a point that it would be politically almost impossible for the Pakistani military to then take a hard line against militants -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Chris Lawrence reporting for you from Islamabad.
Well, political tensions in Pakistan have been, as you know, high all week, after a -- a huge profile assassination exposed a deep divide between the country's secular and religious forces. I just want to bring you some new pictures of Pakistan's mourning of the death of Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab Province, who was killed on Tuesday, allegedly by his own bodyguard, for his criticism of Pakistan's blasphemy law.
Taseer was also one of the most outspoken voices against extremist Islam, in stark contrast to these images of grief and a pretty huge swell of support for Taseer's alleged assassin. Crowds gathered at his residence in Rawalpindi on Friday, chanting slogans, waving flags, holding flowers, even hoisting his father into the air.
The religious right in Pakistan has hailed Mukmat (ph) -- I'm sorry -- Muhammad Momtar's cadre as a hero for silencing a man they saw as an enemy of Islam.
More powerful than words, pictures that show Pakistan's current divide.
you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN.
It's 15 minutes past 9:00 in London.
Still to come, first they were pulled from German shelves. Now, the tainted egg scare moves to the U.K.
So what products are at risk and are we?
That's up next.
But first this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Elijo has fished this river his entire life. But during the bloody civil war, northerners held this river and this land. Now, Elijo and southerners say they want their land back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: A fisherman's dream of freedom.
But will it become a reality?
We're just days from finding out, as Sudan prepares for what is an historic vote.
Do stay with us.
You're watching CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No one can predict what will happen. The Carter Center has been involved here since 1989 and we've seen times of war and times of peace agreements and times of cease-fires and times of renewed conflict. But I think the last six years has been encouraging.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Former U.S. president, Jimmy Carter, there speaking with some hopes that a long awaited referendum will finally bring peace to war torn Sudan. Now the vote on Southern Sudan's independence begins on Sunday and it's prompted a pilgrimage as people who fled north during the conflict head back to their ancestral homes in the south.
CNN has reported from parts of the country for you, as you would expect for the historic week long poll.
Let's kick off in Khartoum, where Ben Wedeman joins us live -- Ben, the latest from there?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's Friday here, the traditional day off during the week. So it's been fairly quiet. But the mood is -- is glum one of sort of resi -- resignation to the inevitability that the vote that's going to begin and go for one week on Sunday will probably result in a majority voting in favor of splitting the country in half.
ANDERSON: I see.
WEDEMAN: Now, we were, this afternoon, with a group of Sufi mystics who were -- who were doing their usual weekly ceremony. And I spoke to some of them. Some of them said they were praying to God to convince the southerners not to vote to separate. But others, one man, for instance, he was a civil administrator who normally worked in Darfur. He said he's seen the displaced people. He's seen war there and it's just too much for Sudan to take to continue this state of belligerency. He said it's better for Sudan to be a small country in peace than a big country at war -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Ben, what is it that the North think they are going to miss out on, as it were?
Why are people in the North so glum?
WEDEMAN: Well, the southern part of the country, even though it's very underdeveloped, has much of, for instance, the oil resources. Eighty percent of Sudan's oil is in the southern part of the country. It also has important mineral resources like gold that, of course, the northern part of the country will have -- no longer have access to.
So, really, it's going to be an economic blow to the northern part of the country for the south to break away.
At the same time, all of that oil in the south must go through the north. Therefore, they're -- it's simply built into the system that they have to work together. And that's one of the reasons why people are saying the north isn't happy to see the south break away, but there's a chance for them to work together after some sort of final decision on the fate of the southern part of the country -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes, all right.
Ben Wedeman is in Khartoum for you this evening.
Ben, we thank you for that.
Well, in South Sudan, separation has long been a dream.
David McKenzie met one man, a fisherman, who has been waiting a lifetime to cast this one vote.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): Elijo Tombek has been fishing this stretch of the Nile all his life. But it wasn't always this peaceful. "I would hear the big guns when I was fishing," he tells me. "Each time I heard the guns fire, I would run to find my kids and protect them. If the guns went silent, I came back to fish.
The guns never stayed silent long enough. His 5-year-old son was killed by what Elijo calls an Arab bullet.
(on camera): Elijo has fished this river his entire life. But during the bloody civil war, northerners held this river and this land. Now, Elijo and southerners say they want their land back.
(voice-over): Southerners will also tell you that this won't be a vote for unity or separation, it will be a vote for freedom -- a chance to break free of their shackles.
JOHN DUKU, SOUTHERN SUDAN AMBASSADOR: Over the years, the unity has imposed war on us, the unity has imposed (INAUDIBLE) on us. The unity has imposed slavery on us.
So what is the meaning of unity?
For people of the south, it only means war.
MCKENZIE: They've been talking, dreaming and breathing separation here, impatiently counting down to their moment in history.
But a fisherman needs patience to catch his fish and Elijo carefully mixes seed and mud to lure his modest catch. He's been waiting a lifetime for his moment. "As a fisherman, I have to be patient to catch fish," he says. "On Sunday, the referendum is finally coming. I've been waiting for it to come. With God's grace, I hope we can get our freedom."
Along his river, tainted with tragedy, Elijo could soon have it.
David McKenzie, CNN, Juba, Southern Sudan.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.
I'm Becky Anderson in London.
Lots more coming up for you.
Do stay with us.
A very short break.
ANDERSON: Well, five million deaths a year -- that according to the World Health Organization is the global toll of tobacco. Smokers and passive smokers alike paying the price of a habit that the world is battling to kick.
Well, all this week on this show, we've been looking at how laws are helping us butt out, how different countries are dealing with bans that pit the rights of those who do smoke against those who don't.
Well, tonight, we are taking the debate to China.
As Stan Grant explains, it's a country that's bucking the mounting push for a smoke-free world.
STAN GRANT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Stan Grant in Beijing.
I'm here at a local restaurant having my lunch. And, as you can see, there are people smoking cigarettes, which means that right now, I'm one of the three quarters of people who choose not to smoke in this country who actually breathe in secondhand smoke -- passive smoking.
You can't avoid cigarette smoking in China. It is everywhere. It's in restaurants like this one. It's in coffee shops. I've even seen it in hospital waiting rooms.
It's endemic to China. There are 300 million -- 300 million cigarette smokers in China. The numbers here are astronomical. Last year, cigarette production topped $2 trillion. And there are more than one million smoking-related deaths each year. That's according to the Center for Disease Control.
By their own statistics, that number will rise to about three million by 2030.
It is an enormous business. There is very few warnings, very little advertising about the dangerous that smoking can pose to your health. If you look at cigarette packets, you don't see those warnings that you see elsewhere in the world about the dangerous of smoke cigarettes.
And then, of course, there is the money that's generated from tobacco companies. And it is enormous -- an enormous source of revenue for the government.
Now, there are bans on smoking in public places. There are local bans. But without a national law, those bans simply are ignored or not enforced. Without that national law, with so many people smoking, with so much money being generated, you may as well try to stop people eating as try to stop people smoking in China.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: Stan Grant reporting.
Well, anti-smoking campaigners might have their work cut out for them in China. But in other parts of the world there is mounting support for prohibition. We've been hearing some of your views on our Facebook page.
Richard from the Netherlands writes: "Sure, smokers have the right to smoke, but non-smokers have the right to enjoy clean air."
Kahu thinks: "Bans should extend to outdoors" and says "there should be designated areas in parks for smokers."
And one of our Facebook friends from Karachi goes even further, saying that because of passive smoking, he thinks it needs to be banned in outdoor areas in public entirely"
Ronald writes in from Columbia: "Smoking is not a matter of civil rights. Smoking is more related to public health."
And we also heard from somebody who goes by the name of Tosboy. He writes: "Smoking around schools, hospitals and maternity homes should be completely banned."
Well, you can find our report this week at Facebook.com/cnnconnect. Do become a friend if you're not one. There you will find a way to get in touch with the show, of course, as well. Facebook.com/cnnconnect.
Still to come, England fans rejoice, Australia's fans despair -- the post-mortem is on for the Aussies, as England win the holy grail of cricket.
All that and your world headlines, up next.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: This is CONNECT THE WORLD on a Friday evening in London. It's just after half past nine, I'm Becky Anderson. Coming up, allegedly contaminated food from Germany spreads across Europe. We're going to be asking how it got out and what's being done to stop it.
Then, we'll head off to Australia. England to wrap up what's known as the Ashes series Down Under, but is an even bigger cricket rivalry about to take off?
And a flash mob with a twist. What were these people waiting to see in a Boston shopping mall? The answer for you in the next 30 minutes. At this point, though, let's get you a quick update of the headlines, shall we?
Police have evacuated a postal facility in the US capital after at least one envelope ignited. Federal agents have been sent to the scene. It comes a day after two packages ignited in mailing rooms of local government buildings in neighboring Maryland.
Britain has apparently beefed up security for airports and railway stations in London after fears of a potential terror plot. CNN International Correspondent Matthew Chance has more.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well, I'm here at Kings Cross train station in London, one of the major transport hubs that British security officials have placed on a higher state of alert.
The terrorist threat level here and in other key train stations and airports across the country have been raised from substantial to severe. Officials say it's a precaution, and that there's no intelligence of an imminent attack.
But there is an increased police presence, as you can see, here. And the thousands of commuters that pass through every hour are being warned to be vigilant.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we live in London, and this is just something that we live with. I don't expect that I feel more panicky today than I have done on other days.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's something you think about all the time after what happened a few years ago. So, yes, I suppose I am a bit more concerned.
CHANCE: Well, Kings Cross has been targeted by bombers in the past, most recently, in July 2005. In fact, the whole of Britain has remained on a general severe threat level for the past year, amid fears of a Mumbai- style gun attack in Europe, possibly here, in the British capital. Matthew Chance, CNN, London.
ANDERSON: In other news, the political crisis in Pakistan is over. For now, at least. An important coalition partner rejoined the government on Friday after the prime minster reversed a steep fuel price hike. That means Pakistan's ruling party once again has a majority in parliament.
The floodwaters in Queensland are receding a bit, but for farmers, the situation is grim. Ruined harvests and blocked roads have made it nearly impossible to get their food and goods to market.
Well, almost 5,000 German farms have been quarantined over fears that animal feed was contaminated with dioxins. Now, the food scare has spread to the UK after it was revealed that products containing eggs from these German farms were sold to British supermarkets.
In a moment, I'm going to find out whether they pose a health risk. Should we be concerned? But first, Fred Pleitgen picks up the German side of the story from Berlin.
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): German authorities say the company at the heart of the dioxin scandal here in this country knew as early as March, 2010 -- so, about 10 months ago -- that the dioxin levels in some of its products were well above the allowed maximum of the European Union.
Now, the authorities tell us that, at that point that the company found this out in lab tests in March of 2010, they would have had to do things. One of them is, take these products out of commission. They never should have gotten into the food chain. And, of course, immediately notify the authorities.
The company did not do either of these things and, therefore, the German prosecutors are telling us that they've launched criminal investigations against the company that's at the heart of where the dioxin appears to be coming from.
We've not been able to reach this company for comment. However, apparently in other German media, they say that this seems to have been an accident. So, they're denying that there was any criminal intent. That certainly is ongoing.
Meanwhile, the number of farms that have been quarantined here in this country has risen to 4,700. Not only chicken farms. Also, other poultry farms as well as hog farms. And, so, certainly a lot of product that right now are not getting into the marketplace.
Of course, we also know that some of the products that might have been tainted also made it to the United Kingdom, as well as eggs that made it to the Netherlands. So, certainly, right now, it appears as though all of this is still widening.
The authorities are saying they don't believe that there is a health risk from any of these products, because they believe the dioxin that was originally in the ingredient for animal feed would have been diluted when it was processed into other products, that there probably isn't a health risk. However, that's not something that's very comforting to a lot of consumers here in Germany and, possibly, in other countries in Europe. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.
ANDERSON: OK. The question, though, does still remain, just how did these German eggs enter Britain's food supply? Earlier, I put that Terry Donohoe from the UK's Food Standards Agency. This is what he said.
TERRY DONOHOE, UK FOOD STANDARDS AGENCY: What we know is that Germany, a batch of oil that was never intended to be used in either food or feed was incorporated into animal feed. That animal feed was then used to feed poultry and pigs in Germany.
From some of the chickens who were fed the contaminated feed, eggs were produced, some of which were sent to a company in the Netherlands that makes what's called pasteurized liquid whole egg, which is a liquid egg that is used in baking.
Some of that product was then sent to a couple of companies in the UK, who made it -- who used it to make quiches and cakes, which were distributed to various supermarkets in the UK.
When we were made aware of it, we contacted the companies who had been -- sent the egg. They took action to identify where it had gone, contacted the customers. The customers have identified how much product is left. These are all short-life products, so any product that hasn't already been eaten and is still on shelves is being voluntarily removed by the supermarkets.
ANDERSON: So, what if I had eaten one of those products?
DONOHOE: On the basis of a risk assessment carried out by our toxicologist, there is nothing to worry about. The levels of dioxins in those cakes is very, very low and nothing to worry about.
ANDERSON: Even if, as experts have been saying over the last 24 hours, I was pregnant?
DONOHOE: Even if you were pregnant. There is -- there are low levels of dioxins in the environment anyway. This is not increasing your risk in terms of pregnant women or anybody else who has eaten those cakes.
ANDERSON: What don't we know at this point?
DONOHOE: The German authorities are still carrying out further investigations as to how this happened, where the oil came from, why things happened the way they did.
That's been closely monitored by the European Commission, and they have a network throughout Europe of informing all member states, including the UK, of what's happening. So, they are making sure that the German authorities take the necessary action.
ANDERSON: How do you ensure that this doesn't happen again?
DONOHOE: There is Europe-wide legislation that puts the responsibility on manufacturers to make sure that they comply with European law. And it's against European law to supply products that are contaminated with things like dioxins.
ANDERSON: But you can't tell me you can ensure this isn't going to happen again?
DONOHOE: We can't ensure anything, but the onus is on the manufacturer to make sure they have the systems in place to protect the public.
ANDERSON: So, your message tonight to consumers of these products is?
DONOHOE: Is, don't worry. The wider investigations are continuing, and if we have any further information, then we will pass that on.
ANDERSON: That was Terry Donohoe from the UK's Food Standards Agency.
Up next, English cricket fans have something to smile about. Well, quite a lot to smile about, actually, after their team steals the Ashes series in Australia. They might just have got a new dance move to try, as well. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW STRAUSS, ENGLAND CRICKET CAPTAIN: When you look back at the history of Ashes confrontations, what we've achieved here will be pretty -- remembered pretty fondly, I think.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Yes, it will. He certainly got that right. England's Barmy Army of cricket fans are celebrating the first Ashes series victory on Australian soil for -- get this -- nearly a quarter of a decade. It's 24 years, to be precise.
It was a brilliant series from Andrew Strauss's men. It's safe to say, there'll be a few sore English heads in Sydney this morning.
The Australians aren't feeling too pretty, either, after that defeat. For them, the postmortem begins today after what can only be described as a dismal display. England sealed the series with another big win. That gives them full bragging rights in one of the world's hottest cricket rivalries.
Michael Clarke, standing in as captain for the injured Ricky Ponting, summed up the Aussie misery.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL CLARKE, STAND IN AUSTRALIA CRICKET CAPTAIN: This is probably as close to rock bottom as it gets. I think the Australian public and fans can certainly only see us going forward. I know as players, we feel the disappointment right now, but we see -- we do see potential. We do think we got some talent in that change, and we do think we have better cricketers than what we were showing at the moment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, you have to know a bit of cricket history to understand why this is such a crushing blow for the Australians. The last time England won an Ashes series Down Under was 1986. Mike Gatting was the England captain then. He says Australia have a lot of problems to sort out before the two teams meet again, including their controversial captain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE GATTING, FORMER ENGLAND CRICKET CAPTAIN: You won't hear me feeling sorry for them, because we've been walloped too many times. You only have to look back four years ago when McGrath and Warne were parading around the ground.
Look. Australia have got a bit of thinking to do. It does hurt, and it's something that they're going to have to come back from. They have done in the past, and I'm sure they will. They'll have -- it'll probably take them a bit longer this time, because they haven't quite got the -- what I'd say the quality of players ready to come in.
And they really have got a lot of conundrums. Obviously, Ricky Ponting being one of them, whether to play him or just leave him out totally. Too good a player, in my view, to leave out totally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Former England captain Mike Gatting. Well, the Ashes may be a big deal, but millions of cricket fans were glued to another series on another continent this week. India against South Africa. They're the world number one and two, respectively, and this year's match were -- match-ups were so good that the head of South African cricket thinks it deserves the same iconic status as the Ashes.
This series finished in a draw, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman saw India home on the last day of the third and final test. That meant the two teams shared the spoils. India has still never won a series in South Africa, but this rivalry is going to keep growing and growing.
It's quite a week for cricket fans all over the world. Some teams on the rise, others on the ebb. At their lowest ebb, some of them. Wherever the action's been taking place, Don Riddell's been following it.
Let's leave the Ashes out of it for the time being, because there are people around the world who believe that the India-South Africa game was more important. I don't and you don't, but anyway, let's give it to them. It was a good test.
DON RIDDELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was. And these two sides have played each other home and away, now, and both series have been drawn. So, I think the jury is still out on who is the best of those two teams. But of course, India are the best test team in the world. They're still there at the top of the rankings.
If they took test cricket a little bit more seriously, they might have won this series. They have absolutely no preparation going into the first match, and they were thrashed by South Africa, and they managed to turn it around. But if they'd prepared a bit harder and taken it a bit more seriously, they could have won.
ANDERSON: Let me just stick with you for that, briefly. Is that because they saw the Twenty20 and one day cricket as they become so much more of a spectacle in India, that they're taking that more seriously than the old style and traditional, what was always the game of cricket, would you say?
RIDDELL: I think that's true. And, of course, they're co-hosting the World Cup coming up in a few months time, or two months time. And I think they'll be among the favorites, if not the favorites for that.
The future of one day cricket, I think, is very much in doubt, because Twenty20 has become so popular. And if one day kind of ends up disappearing off to the sidelines, maybe India will really take test cricket seriously.
It's worth pointing out, they were a little bit defensive in this series, and I think that would worry their fans, who want to see them stay at the top.
ANDERSON: OK, I've been watching the clock, that is exactly 54 seconds on the India-South Africa series. Forgive us for all of you viewers who really do --
RIDDELL: Just want to talk about the Ashes, all right?
ANDERSON: Truly believe that that's more important. And it probably is, because they're one and two. But this Ashes series was quite phenomenal. Not only because a good England team have won it, but because a really lousy Australian team have thrown it away.
RIDDELL: At home.
RIDDELL: In front of their fans, in front of their media, who are absolutely berating them, now. Australia just got it all wrong. They certainly looked --
ANDERSON: They were arrogant sods.
RIDDELL: Well, cricket Australia, I think, is in denial that they need to move on, pick new, different players, and basically just rip the thing up and start again. They have dominated cricket for so long that perhaps you're right. Perhaps there was an element of arrogance.
But they ran into an England team that was absolutely organized. They prepared to the Nth degree, and the beat the Aussies in every single department. Tactics, captaincy, fielding, bowling. Batting, England were absolutely phenomenal. They scored 500 or more on four separate occasions in this series. Only three teams have ever done that before.
They beat the Australians on their own turf by an innings in three of the five matches. That is an absolute thrashing.
ANDERSON: That's what I was going to say, for those viewers who don't entirely understand the game of cricket. Beating them with an innings, that is -- that's trouncing them. This is serious --
RIDDELL: That's beating them with one hand tied behind them.
ANDERSON: Listen, if you've been watching the Ashes, you might have seen the England players dancing a little bit, shall we say? Strangely. Take a look at this.
ANDERSON: Well, any fans of bad dance moves will recognize that one. They're calling it "the sprinkler." And when England bowler Graeme Swann asked fans to send in their own videos, he got thousands of replies from "sprinklers" around the world. Here's one of them.
ANDERSON: Well, that is -- oh, dear. That is a long, long way from sunny Australia, doing "the sprinkler" during winter might not be quite so much fun. This next dancer might have been taking the sprinkler theme, well, just a little -- a bit literally.
ANDERSON: Well, at least they got to clean the car at the same time. Don, what do you make of all of this?
RIDDELL: Well, it's great fun, isn't it? If you're English. I mean, on a serious note, it really points to the spirit within the England camp. Because they were in such a buoyant mood, and this really, I think, just summed it up. It was in all of Graeme Swann's video diaries throughout the tour, and the fans just absolutely love it. When the players finished off the test in Sydney yesterday morning, they all came out in front of the fans and they all did it. And it went something like -- this.
ANDERSON: Get the camera on him, go on.
RIDDELL: Oh, if you missed it, too bad.
RIDDELL: No, but it's just fantastic.
RIDDELL: Graeme Swann didn't invent it, but he certainly brought it to England cricket.
ANDERSON: Listen, last question to you. We -- you and I have lived through, what? It's been a decade or a decade and a half of pretty rubbish cricket for England. I know we have won the Ashes here in the UK some years ago. But it's been pretty dire.
The Australians have had a super team. You've talked about the fact that they probably have to rip up the book at this point and start again. What of Ponting at this point? Because he has had the most phenomenal career. It's so sad to see somebody go out like that.
RIDDELL: Well you say -- yes, he has had a phenomenal career, and he has overseen Australia --
ANDERSON: He's a -- captain, of course.
RIDDELL: He's become the first Australian captain to lose the Ashes three times.
ANDERSON: Oh, yes.
RIDDELL: That is -- did you forget that?
RIDDELL: He hasn't forgotten that.
RIDDELL: And he is a controversial captain. He really does polarize opinion. And I think, as we heard Mike Gatting say earlier on, he's still too good a player to drop. But should he be the captain going forward? I don't think so.
ANDERSON: It's good to see Mike Gatting as well, isn't it?
ANDERSON: And we're off with him. Lovely. Thank you very much, indeed.
RIDDELL: All right.
ANDERSON: It's a Friday evening in London. Don Riddell with your sports news. We're not totally done with dance moves tonight. We're going to be looking at another week on the web in just a moment, and what happens next.
(MUSIC - "No Mountain High Enough")
ANDERSON: It might have been a busy shopping day, but this mall was about to see something totally unexpected. Don't spoil it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some day, it will begin to happen again on Earth, that men and women who are married --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: This is CONNECT THE WORLD. It's ten to 10:00 in London. For the first time in 2011, it's time to look at the week in viral videos. Phil Han, for you, been watching the weird and wonderful goings on in the world of social media. You have to see this. What up.
PHIL HAN, CNN DIGITAL PRODUCER (on camera): It's been another great week across social media, and lots of really exciting stories really stand out. Now, this is the place where you can catch up on everything that's making headlines during the past week on the web.
First up, though, let's take a look at this amazing machine. Now, it's been dubbed the hybrid air vehicle, and this British invention could literally take flying to the next level. Filled with helium, this is part airship and airplane, and what you're looking at right now is a test flight of the blimp.
Now, this is only a small version. But by summer, the final one could stretch as long as 1,000 feet and fly in the air for up to three weeks at a time. Even more special, it doesn't even need a runway, so it could literally land on any spot on the globe.
This -- this isn't a toy, but it's actually a dog named Boo. He's become a huge internet celebrity, and his Facebook page has over 700,000 fans.
HAN: Now, he doesn't have any special tricks and can't do anything really fancy, but he's really only famous for his costume dress-up photos and funny videos. Some have even dubbed him the cutest dog on Earth.
Next up, this may seem to be an unlikely choice for a hugely popular video on YouTube, but this clip of American John Jacobson teaching people to dance online already has more than 1.3 million hits. Here's a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN JACOBSON, DANCE TEACHER: Chin! Shoulder! And pat. Double dream hands! And -- thumbs to yourself, once again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAN: He's not only invented this dance, which he calls "double dream hands," but he's also created the song that you're hearing, called "Planet Rock."
As you can imagine, there's been tons of copycat videos on YouTube. This one is from the Hanford High School Dance Team in Washington state in the US.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACOBSON: Chin! Shoulder! And -- double dream hands! Now, jazz hands!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAN: And finally, one of the hottest and most controversial topics this week across social media has been the debate surrounding Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn." Now, the publishers NewSouth Books say the new edition will not include any instances of the "N"-word and, instead, it will be replaced by the word "slave."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - TRAILER, "Huckleberry Finn")
HUCK FINN: I've come a long way since I've seen you last, ma'am. And further I got and the more human beings I met, the more I got to feel that no human being has a right to own another human being. And we'uns make enough mess out of their own lives without messing another human being's.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAN: Now, as you can imagine, there's been a huge uproar on this, especially online, and it has been one of the most trending topics on Twitter all week. Here are just a few Tweets from both sides of the argument.
Laura Donohue in Melbourne, Australia, tweets, "If they're deleting the 'N'-word from 'Huckleberry Finn,' they might as well delete all other profanity in English literature."
Stacey Lee Patton from London also tweeted, "'Huckleberry Finn' is about racism. Censoring the 'N'-word is not a bold move, it's an ignorant one."
And finally, Donier Tyler is a bit more positive about the move, tweeting that "censoring historic literature bothers me greatly, but the removal of the 'N'-word anywhere is a start."
Well, that's a quick wrap-up of all the big news from social media over the past seven days. If you think we've missed anything, leave us your comments on our Facebook page, visit facebook.com/CNNconnect. I'm Phil Han in London for CNN.
ANDERSON: OK, here's a challenge to you. I'm sure he's missed something, so do get in touch. He really, really means that. Phil.firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is far from the first time that "Huck Finn's" faced editing and censorship. The same year as "Huck Finn's" 1985 (sic) publication in the US, it was banned in a public library in Massachusetts. And "Huck" is just one of a number of books that have faced this over time.
Within two weeks of the release "The Catcher in the Rye" in 1951, JD Salinger's novel rocketed to number one on the "New York Times" bestseller list, but ever since, the book has been a favorite of censors for its vulgar language and themes, according to the American Library Association.
Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" was written in 1931. It was also challenged in US schools and libraries and banned in Ireland in 1932.
It's ironic that "1984" joined the American Library Association's list of commonly challenged books, given the book's bleak warning of totalitarian censorship. Pretty ironic, isn't it?
And finally, in 2001, "Harry Potter" faced an old-fashioned book burning to torch a series of books parents claim were "promoting violence, witchcraft, and devil worship."
More CONNECT THE WORLD just over a couple of minutes. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: We've got a couple of minutes left, just time to get your feedback, in fact, on one of out top stories this week, the assassination of the Pakistani provincial governor, Salman Taseer. Now, he was gunned down, allegedly, because of his criticism of Pakistan's blasphemy law. Now, that law orders death for insulting the prophet Muhammed. Some Pakistanis are mourning Taseer, others are saluting his assassin.
Barry 77 writes on our blog, "The fact that they don't know whether this murderer du jour is a villain or a hero tells you all you need to know about Islam."
Ameenjohn says, "Violence against people like Taseer, who argue a point that may endanger the fragile status quo of society is neither isolated in Muslim countries, nor is it rare anywhere in the world."
Clearrick writes, "Stop trying to defend the indefensible. Only in backward countries is killing an elected official seen as a good thing."
This from LoudSilence. "The world has lost yet another moderate Muslim. Rest in peace, Mr. Taseer."
Those are your thoughts, and we love to get them, so do get your voice heard on CNN. Head the website, cnn.com/connect. You can find us at Facebook, of course, CNNconnect. Do become a fan.
A programming note for you. A special series starts next week right here on CONNECT THE WORLD. Zain Verjee takes look inside the world of modern-day pirates.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Somali pirates keep their money in cash or use it to make legitimate investments in neighboring Kenya in places like Eastleigh or Mombasa.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are many, many men and women who are being held hostage, and no one deals with it. No one cares about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: High Risk on the High Seas. Zain Verjee's series starts airing next week right here on CONNECT THE WORLD. Do stick with us for that.
Now, before we go this freaky Friday, something unexpected in tonight's Parting Shots for you. And unexpected is the only way to describe this orange alligator. Florida residents snapped the reptile while it was sunbathing. But this is no suntan. Experts think it probably got coated in something.
And here's a brave chap. Who needs a footpath when you can zoom down a major highway in your electric wheelchair. The unusual road user was caught on traffic cameras, but it was his lucky day. He whizzed away without a ticket.
We saved the best for last. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHOIR (singing): Ain't no mountain high enough, ain't no valley low enough, ain't no river wide enough to keep me from getting to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: This couple has given a whole new meaning to the term "wedding crashers." Shoppers in Boston were going about their business when something wonderful happened. Out of nowhere, there was singing and dancing, and then a wedding, which they were all invited to. The unexpected in tonight's Parting Shots. Much cheaper than the one I had.
I'm Becky Anderson. That is your world connected. "BackStory" is up next, right after a very quick check of the headlines. Don't go away.