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CNN International's World One

Aired March 23, 2011 - 05:00   ET


MONITA RAJPAL, CNN ANCHOR: Gunfire at dawn. Tripoli wakes up to the sound of explosions as allied planes police the no-fly zone.

ZAIN VERJEE, CNN ANCHOR: Moammar Gadhafi promising his supporters victory.

RAJPAL: Hello. It is 5:00 a.m. in Washington. It's 11:00 a.m. in Tripoli. I'm Monita Rajpal.

VERJEE: And I'm Zain Verjee. You're watching WORLD ONE live from London.

Also ahead --


VERJEE: That is the sound of defiance. Hundreds of protesters in Syria ignoring a crackdown by security forces and calling for an end to Bashar al-Assad's regime.

RAJPAL: Emergency workers evacuate the Fukushima nuclear plant again as the most seriously damaged reactor gives off smoke.

VERJEE: And it's not very fast and it isn't new, but when it comes to traveling in style, look at that -- Prince William and his future bride have made their choice clear.

RAJPAL: We begin this hour in the Libyan capital Tripoli. As dawn broke, loud explosions and heavy anti-aircraft fire resounded across the west of the city. We can't pin down the cause of the blast just yet, but we do know a large military base is nearby.

Here are pictures from very early Wednesday morning. They were taken onboard the USS Kearsarge in the Mediterranean Sea. You can clearly make of a Harrier jet taking off from the assault ship, bound for Libyan air space. As of Tuesday, the U.S. says a total of 108 strikes have been launched on Libyan targets and more than 160 missiles fired.

VERJEE: The strikes are all part of a U.N.-backed effort to stop Colonel Gadhafi's forces from attacking civilians, but Libya's leader is defiant. He's urging his people to resist what he calls fascist aggression.

Here he is at his first public appearance since Sunday, vowing to fight on to victory.


MOAMMAR GADHAFI, LIBYAN LEADER (through translator): We will be victorious in this fight. We will not give up. We -- they will not terrorize us. We are making fun of their rockets. The Libyans are laughing at these rockets.


VERJEE: The uprising in Libya started in the eastern city of Benghazi and spread across large parts of the country. The government's forces took back a lot of ground, but Benghazi is in the hands of the opposition still.

CNN's Reza Sayah is there now and he joins us.

Reza, give us an idea of the situation today there.

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, quite a different story in Benghazi than what we're hearing over the past 24 hours in Tripoli. And relatively calm, quiet, and peaceful here -- I think that's the case for the entire eastern front of this war. You're talking about from just east of Ajdabiya, to the Egyptian-Libyan border -- these are all opposition strongholds, they've been very peaceful.

We haven't seen any air strikes, any allied forces launching (INAUDIBLE) for the past 24 hours, and that's probably because there's not many pro-Gadhafi targets left on the ground in this region. So, that's the opportunity for the people of Benghazi and the opposition's stronghold to kind of get back to some sort of normality.

Here in Benghazi for the first time in a long time, some stores are opening for business. Streets are being cleaned. And I think people are still riding the high of this no-fly zone. This no-fly zone that has given these opposition forces a new life coming into Benghazi.

Many people still praising French President Nicolas Sarkozy on a number of occasions. Rebel fighters are asking me if I were French, because if you're French, they want to thank you. Even if you're not French, they say we thank French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

So, at this point, rebel forces starting to think about what's next, coming out with some ideas, still riding that high of this no-fly zone that saved their lives.

VERJEE: What are some of those ideas? What are rebels saying about where the battle will go next?

SAYAH: Well, I think all indications from what we're hearing from rebel forces is they're the not done. They want to turn the tables and move west towards Tripoli. At this point, it doesn't look like they have that capacity. They tried to move on to the pro-Gadhafi stronghold of Ajdabiya. They've been repelled back a number of times.

But there's no indication that they want to give up. Our Arwa Damon last night spoke to a military leader for the rebel forces, and he openly is asking allied forces for weapons. These rebel forces still think they're outmatched, outgunned by pro-Gadhafi forces and they want ally forces to provide them with weapons so they can take on the pro-Gadhafi forces or the Gadhafi loyalists.

That, obviously, pushed the coalition, this entire operation in a very sticky predicament because, of course, the design of this operation is to be neutral. It's to end the loss of civilian lives. If, indeed, the coalition does support these rebel forces in that manner, so providing them with weapons, backing them militarily -- there's going to be a lot of questions in the international community what the true intention of this operation is -- Zain.

VERJEE: CNN's Reza Sayah reporting from Benghazi.

RAJPAL: Adding to that, the commander of U.S. naval forces in the region says allied strikes have seriously undermined the strength of Libya's air force. But a lot of people are asking what happens next.

We want to bring in David Hartwell. He's a Middle East and North Africa analyst at the defense consultant, IHS Jane's.

Thank you very much for being with us, Mr. Hartwell.

So, the point of all of this -- the allied and coalition forces is to make sure, also to arm the rebel forces, to make sure it's easier for them to take control of their own country. Is that a possibility?

DAVID HARTWELL, IHS JANE'S: That would be a very flexible interpretation of the U.N. resolution because the U.N. resolution provides for the protection of civilians. I think the problem is, you know, (INAUDIBLE) what happens if the opposition goes on the offensive? What position does that put the coalition air force? Are they going to provide combat and air support for that defensive? Are they there to provide purely defensive neutrality?

I think that will be extremely problematic, I think, because then, as you say, it's the true nature of the U.N. resolution, the true nature of the coalition operation then becomes very, very different.


RAJPAL: Yes. From what you understand what is going on right now and based on the U.N. resolution, it's all very -- very gray. It's not black and white.

HARTWELL: It is. It's a very open-ended resolution. It's very broad resolution, which is being interpreted in very different ways by different countries I think. I think, certainly, the French and British are interpreting it in quite a hard line and it does allow for the measures approaching threatening Gadhafi's hold on power.

I think the Americas particularly are taking a much more neutral view, a neutral view on that and saying, well, it doesn't quite go that far. And that, you know, the resolution really is more about protecting civilians, not about toppling Gadhafi.

RAJPAL: What do you worry about in terms of what or how capable the opposition is?

HARTWELL: It's a very difficult question to answer. I think before -- whereas before we could've said, you know, they've captured equipment, they've captured equipment from defeated pro-Gadhafi forces, what the state of the actual army now is very, very difficult to assess because it's very doubtful that they have the capability to go on the offensive in a major way. Therefore, we could be in a standoff stalemate period for maybe a couple of weeks, maybe a couple of months before, you know, the next crucial move in any campaign is made.

RAJPAL: I want to broaden this out a little bit. A lot of people are talking about the -- I guess the West's actions right now. And the U.S.'s influence right now and, of course, U.S.., U.K., France, coalition, the allies working to try to bring the situation in Libya under control, to bring Gadhafi's forces under control.

But a lot of people will be asking, why are they -- why they chose Libya? There's so many other countries where we're seeing a humanitarian crises, we're seeing so many people that have been massacred in parts of the African continent. We look at Zimbabwe, (INAUDIBLE), the Ivory Coast, Sudan, the Darfur region, as well. Why haven't they gone in there?

HARTWELL: Unfortunately, there are double standards in the international community, and even though everyone says there aren't. And every state, every great power exercises those double standard, and state for intervening countries where --

RAJPAL: What does Libya have that they don't have?

HARTWELL: Well, it has oil. It has gas. It has -- one thing it also has is, there was a response to humanitarian need. There was a response to the wave of process that's threatened the Middle East in the last three months.

I think there was a feeling that if the process were allowed to stop in Libya, that somehow that would take the impetus out of the regional movement and that might be some form of -- that would take the steam out of the pro-democracy movements in Libya and Tunisia, for example. But, I mean, frankly, the states will intervene where they feel they can have an effect most quickly and most effectively. That's the bottom line.

RAJPAL: Mr. Hartwell, thank you very much.

VERJEE: Human rights groups say at least six people have been killed in an attack on a mosque in Syria. Eyewitnesses say security forces shot protesters in front of the Omari Mosque in the southern city of Daraa. Syrian state TV is quoting official sources who say that didn't happen.

CNN has not been able to verify independently.

That clash follows six days of anti-government protests. It's claimed that this YouTube video shows demonstrators taking refuge at the mosque, which have been turned into a makeshift hospital for injured civilians.

Our reporter Stan Grant joins me from Abu Dhabi. He's following any of the developments in Syria, and he'll bring us the latest.

Stan, this is the most serious challenge to Bashar al-Assad. It's kind of unprecedented in the 11 years that he's been in power, right? What are you hearing is the latest today?

STAN GRANT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That's right, Zain. You're talking about a country here that is very closed -- a country that keeps a very tight lid on any opposition. In fact, it jails people for opposition. There are emergency laws that have been place now since 1963 for 48 years to crush this type of uprising.

But, as you say, six days of this now, these images coming out of security, apparently opening fire on people -- we've heard about official buildings that have been set on fire, that power and phones have been cut in the area, as well; that this sense of unease, the sense of unrest could be about to tip. It could be to the tipping point where it could actually escalate.

But, right now, we're dealing with this particular event, this event that claims that up to six people have been killed.

This is what one unidentified witness had to say when we spoke to him on CNN a little earlier.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via telephone): Six people, we have confirmation they are killed. There's a big number of injured people. Military trucks are taking the injured from a location to somewhere where -- which we don't know. Unfortunately, all communication in Daraa has been cut off.


GRANT: Now, he's talking there about Daraa, in the south of the country which is where we're seeing this violence. Now, of course, we must reiterate that CNN can't independently verify this, what we've just heard and what we've just seen.

But I have had a chance to talk to people inside the country, also analyst outside, and what's emerging here is a range of local issues, concerned about people who have been jailed for political unrest. They want to see political prisoners released. But also, they're broadening to the bigger question of democracy and freedom. What we're hearing is that Syria, a place where people have been crushed, where there's been fear about this uprising, is losing its fear -- Zain.

VERJEE: CNN's Stan Grant reporting. Thanks, Stan.

RAJPAL: Well, Zain, Syria's a country less familiar to most people than other places in the region. I just want to give you a bit of a background information on the country. It's got a population of 22 million, most of them are Sunni Muslims. And then, also, adding to that, there are about 1 million refugees, about Iraqi refugees, 500,000 are Palestinian refugees. Now, adding to that, we want to get the government, as well. There's been a lot of questions about the government. Syria's government is allied with Hezbollah in Lebanon. Plus, it is as we've known, of course, the situation in Syria's of grave concern, because the U.S. has designated it as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Of course, lots of questions surrounding Syria. And, of course, this is one area that we will be keeping our eye on as the unrest throughout the region continues.

You are watching WORLD ONE live from London.

More alarming news out of Japan. The race continues to prevent a nuclear meltdown. But now, a contamination crisis. We'll be live in Tokyo for that story.

VERJEE: Plus, going, going, gone -- the city that's lost 1/4 of its population in the last decade. You know what city that is? Well, find out why all these people are leaving a little later in our show.


VERJEE: This is WORLD ONE live from London.

RAJPAL: Our top stories this hour:

Loud explosions and anti-aircraft fire ripped through the skies above western Tripoli. It's not clear what was behind the blasts heard around dawn, but a military base is in the area. Coalition forces continue to enforce the U.N.-backed no-fly zone. More jets took off early on Wednesday to patrol Libyan air space.

VERJEE: Smoke or steam has been rising again from a damaged reactor at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant. Officials say that they don't know what's causing it, but they're evacuating some emergency workers.

Engineers are struggling to cool down the reactors and they are especially worried about number three. The type of fuel it contains could do greater harm if there's a meltdown. Power's been restored to five out of six reactors at the plant.

RAJPAL: Yes, those engineers are doing one of the most dangerous jobs possible under the gaze of the world's TV cameras. So, how are they coping at the Fukushima nuclear plant? We are now hearing from some of them for the very first time.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It has settled down quite a lot compared to the beginning and we could even begin to see a bright hope that maybe somehow it would work out in a little bit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are constantly switching over all the time since the work cannot be stopped.


VERJEE: There's fresh fear about the level of radiation in vegetables grown near the Fukushima plant. The government's saying that the radioactive material in some foods drastically exceeds legal limits.

To find out a little bit more about this, let's go to CNN's Anna Coren in Tokyo.

Anna, what is the latest that you're hearing? I mean, how dangerous is it for a person who consumes any kind of food with those kinds of radioactive levels?

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Zain, the government is saying it's not posing an immediate risk to your health. However, we've got some new information coming to us from the government, and that is about the water here in Tokyo. We are some 250 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

However, the government is saying that higher levels of iodine have been found in the drinking water in greater Tokyo. Of course, that's taking in a population of some 13 million people. And officials are telling parents not to give this water to their children, not to give them to infants. And that is using this water in baby formula.

Now, the reason being is that the limit for children -- and as far as the science goes, it's measured in Becquerels per liters as to how much radiation can be -- you can be exposed to. The limit for children has been 100. It has been measured at 110 at a purification plant. So, this is what is causing serious alarm, the levels are double of what an infant should take in.

And the reason there is concern is because children absorb radiation much faster than adults.

So, this is a big story here. On top of the water issue here, of course, there are limits or restrictions, I should say, for water in Fukushima, and that is around the plant. Government officials are telling people do not drink it because of the high levels of iodine. And the food that you're talking about, raw milk and then the 11 leafy vegetables -- they have been banned from sale and also from shipment.

So, you know, the radiation contamination, it is certainly causing real concerns, and it does seem to be spreading, Zain.

VERJEE: Anna, one of the concerns too is that people are starting to hoard bottled water, right?

COREN: Yes, well, that's right. With the concern about, you know, the water here in Tokyo and in Fukushima, people are obviously stocking up, which is completely understandable.

We sent a crew down to monitor the situation and many of the shops had already sold out. So, from the people that we've spoken to at the Tokyo bureau, they tell us that a lot of people do drink bottled water. But considering this scare, considering the alert that the government has issued, people are stocking up, you know, at the moment, more so than ordinary.

But, Zain, I should also mention -- regarding the nuclear power plant, this is a -- this is also big news that we have just received in the last little while. There is smoke coming from reactor three. And I believe that TEPCO, the company that runs the power plant, they have put pictures of the smoke on their Web site. We might be able to bring you those pictures now.

But as you can see, you know, plumes of black smoke billowing from reactor three. This, of course, has been the problem reactor for authorities. This is where the explosion took place, the fire. There was a build-up of pressure. And then, of course, the fire --smoke, I should say, has been, you know, coming from reactors two and three for the past couple of days.

Earlier this morning, they thought that it was barely visible, that they had the situation under control. And, then, of course, this afternoon, that smoke whips up again. Officials say something definitely is burning, hence the color of it, but they don't know what it is. And that, of course, is sparking a concern.

Workers have been evacuated from around the site. We're trying to clarify to whether all 554 workers on this site have been evacuated. But certainly, TEPCO is monitoring the situation very closely, Zain.

VERJEE: CNN's Anna Coren in Tokyo.

RAJPAL: And monitoring very closely, the wind direction. Meteorologist Jennifer Delgado is at the world weather center with details on that.

And, Jen, we heard there from Anna talking about the smoke being seen from the nuclear power plant. And, of course, wind is going to play a huge factor.

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely. And today, it's actually going to play out right. We're actually going to be dealing with offshore winds, once again for today.

This right here is showing you a location from Fukushima, located about 20 kilometers to the west of the Fukushima power plant. Winds coming from the northwest at 26 kilometers per hour, very important because that offshore flow is going to push that radiation plume offshore, back into the Pacific Ocean.

Certainly, it's not going to be like what we saw earlier this week when we had the onshore wind flow. As I show you for today, as well as we go through Thursday, we're going to continue to see that westerly wind, which is good. By the time we roll into Friday, we are going to see an area of low pressure approaching. And on the backside of that, that is going to shift our winds once again from the Northeast. So, certainly, we want to see the situation being rectified very quickly. But the reality is right now, conditions are quiet, but we will see another storm system coming in very likely shifting those winds back offshore -- as I should say, onshore as we head into Friday.

For the forecast for today, for Sendai -- very cool temperatures, running about five to 10 degrees below average for this time of year. And you can see for Sendai, we're expecting the high today -- or I should say the high today was right around seven degrees for Friday into Saturday. Temperatures in Tokyo are going to be a bit warmer. We're expecting temperatures climb up to about 12 degrees. On average, should be about 14.

Zain, Monita, let's send it back over to you.

VERJEE: Jen Delgado, thank you.

RAJPAL: This is WORLD ONE live from London. Sports update is just ahead.

VERJEE: And you won't want to miss this from the NBA. A triple overtime thriller in Los Angeles, and there were so many twists and turns that even more than Hollywood can imagine. Don Riddell is going to tell us what happened.

RAJPAL: Don may be able to weigh on this one. Coming up a bit later, the search for America's smelliest sneakers?

VERJEE: He has a pair, I think.

RAJPAL: A panel of judges put some foul-smelling shoes to the test.



RAJPAL: The first quarterfinal of the cricket world cup is underway.

Don Riddle joins us now with details on this.

Remember there was a time I asked you, cricket, what's that about?

DON RIDDLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You've improved a lot.

RAJPAL: Come a long way.

RIDDLE: Thanks very much.

Pakistan had made a blistering start to their world cup quarterfinal against the West Indies. Within the last few minutes, the Windies have lost their opening pass men when Kevin Smith and Chris Gayle. They are currently reeling on just 16-3. Mohammed Hafeez has taken (INAUDIBLE). So, this stage, Pakistan are looking like big favorites for a place in the semifinals.

Now, the L.A. Lakers are hoping to win a third consecutive NBA title this season, and they're on quite a role, having won 13 of their last 14 games. They're also demonstrating that they can win the hard way. Last night, they clashed with the Phoenix Suns, a game that went to three periods of overtime and produced the biggest score of the season.

Kobe Bryant and the Lakers were looking for their seventh consecutive victory at home, and when Kobe made this long jumper late in the fourth, the Lakers were up by six, surely game over.

But the Suns weren't ready to set. Grant Hill hit a three to tie the game with 32 seconds remaining, and they could have won it, but Vince Carter missed in the dying seconds. Game into overtime.

Again, the Lakers went ahead, but Channing Frye was fouled, and tied the game by making all three of his free throws. And the Lakers could still have won it, but Lamar Odom missed the jumper into a second overtime.

Once again, the Lakers took the lead, up by one. And Steve Nash and Marcin Gortat combined to set up Frye for the three and the lead.

But with seven seconds left, Bryant drove forward, passed it to Pau Gasol, he was fouled, and his free throws tied up the score, setting up the first third period of overtime in L.A. for more than half a century.

So, here's Ron Artest, stealing the ball from Nash, making the fast break, does putting L.A. up by three, and then Artest with a jumper, increasing the Lakers' lead to five, although that was down to two before the Lakers finally put the game away with Bryant, part of his 42 points for the night and a huge final score of 139-137 for the Lakers.

What an epic game that was.

RAJPAL: It was pretty good.

RIDDLE: Very good.

RAJPAL: I would watch that.

RIDDLE: All right.

RAJPAL: All right, Don. Thank you very much.

VERJEE: You're watching WORLD ONE live from London.

In just a moment: the political combat behind the air strikes in Libya. Who's in charge now? Who should be leading the attack? We're going to look at that.


RAJPAL: Hello. This is WORLD ONE live from London. I'm Monita Rajpal.

VERJEE: And I'm Zain Verjee. Our top stories this hour:

A witness in the Libyan town of Misrata says it's coming under renewed attack from government forces. He says hospital beds -- or hospitals rather in the rebel-held territory are overflowing. And that water and electricity supplies have been just cut off.

Coalition forces are continuing to enforce the U.N.-backed no-fly zone. More jets took of early Wednesday to keep watch over Libyan air space.

RAJPAL: Human rights groups say security forces in Syria opened fire on a crowd of protesters at a mosque early Wednesday. Eyewitnesses say at least six people were killed following days of demonstrations in a southern city of Daraa. CNN cannot verify that account.

This YouTube video claims to show protesters taking refuge at the Al- Omari Mosque, which had been turned into a makeshift hospital for injured civilians.

The Egyptian stock exchange has opened for the first time in almost two months, only to close again just a few seconds later. To prevent extreme losses, trading is held automatically when the main index falls by 5 percent. That threshold was breached almost immediately after Wednesday's opening bell.

Well, despite the close coordination of coalition forces over Libya, there are major questions about who should ultimately be in charge of the operation.

Matthew Chance is joining us now from Downing Street to tell us about the political battle brewing behind the Libyan air war -- Matthew.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, a lot of unity, in fact, among the allies who are enforcing that U.N.-mandated no-fly zone over eastern Libya. The big question is, of course, who will take over command of that operation once the Americans pass it off? As I said, they want to do as quickly as possible.

There's been some concern on the French that they were worried about NATO taking it over. They're concerned, the French, that if NATO does that, then Arab countries whose support is seen as essential for the legitimacy of that U.N.-mandated campaign over Libya would be unwilling and reluctant to try as it were under the NATO banner.

The British have also been resisting the idea of an Anglo-French command structure. They want it to be under NATO's command. And so, they seem to have gotten their way in the sense of some kind of compromise deal being discussed at the moment at NATO headquarters in Brussels that would give NATO the command structure -- NATO military command structure, the day-to-day running overall charge of the military operations in eastern Libya.

But the political oversight provided not by the North Atlantic councilors (ph), normally the case in a NATO operation, but instead by the foreign ministers from an ad hoc, sort of coalition of countries taking part that could include Arab countries, as well. That's still being discussed. It's not clear what the final formulation will be.

But it's a whole series of these disputes between the various allies, particularly Italy who has been saying if NATO does not take control of this operation, they withdraw for use their air bases that are currently crucial in the air campaign, Monita.

RAJPAL: Matthew, if Arab support is crucial and is crucial in this situation, who are they saying they would rather see take the lead in this?

CHANCE: Well, it's not clear. Obviously, the Arab League wants to make sure that they have some kind of involvement in this. There's reluctance on the part of the Arab countries, particularly the Arab League to contribute forces to a mission that would be run by the NATO military alliance because of the negative associations that NATO alliance has with its campaign in Afghanistan and involvements in other wars, as well.

And so, the idea is to find a way to try and get Arab countries to be involved on a political level in all of this, and to -- and to move away a little bit from the idea this is a NATO operation, a Western operation against another Arab state.

RAJPAL: Matthew Chance at Downing Street -- thank you.

VERJEE: It was a nightmare story, but with a happy ending. A mechanical problem onboard a coalition jet sent it spinning out of control over Libya, but the pilots managed to eject in time before becoming separated.

Diana Magnay is aboard the ship that helped rescue them and she joins us now.

Hi there, Diana. Tell us what happened.

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I apologize for the noise. Obviously, we are onboard a vessel which is carrying a lot of the Harrier jets that have been carrying out regular strike missions into eastern Libya as part of Operation Odyssey Freedom. And one of them just down there, in the moment, is conducting a high-speed turn, so they're basically testing out the engine, which is why you're hearing this noise.

What happened was that on Monday night, this F-15E fighter jet, U.S. fighter jet, suffered mechanical problems over eastern Libya. The pilot and his weapons officer were forced to eject. Because of the speeds that they were flying at, they ejected and landed in two completely separate locations.

And so, a rescue mission was launched from the Kearsarge, from this vessel. Two Osprey, sort of helicopters, strut plane (ph) aircraft, and two support Super Stallion helicopters, with a team of 30 Marines went out to try and recover the pilot. He was picked up, brought back here in the very early hours of Tuesday morning, and is currently in the medical facilities here onboard. And we also know that his weapons officer picked up by rebel forces and looked after by them has also been recovered and is currently in a hospital in Aviano, which is a U.S. Air Force Base up in the north of Italy, Zain.

VERJEE: Diana, what are the troops onboard the ship that you're on telling you about what they think of the Libya operation?

MAGNAY: Well, it's interesting. There are around 700 Marines onboard this vessel. And generally, it's used for launching and supporting Marine deployments. But, obviously, this is not a war that involves U.S. forces on the ground. No feet on the ground.

So, these Marines are very much sitting and waiting just in their deployment. And these strike missions with the Harrier jets that are onboard this vessel. But, certainly, those fighter pilots we've spoken to who have taken part on these sorties over the last few nights say that they were pleased to see the morale of the Libyan rebels boosted by the fact that people came in to help them on Saturday night and that they seem to have taken some of the momentum out of Gadhafi's move into cities like Benghazi, Ajdabiya and that -- and those cities, Zain.

VERJEE: CNN's Diana Magnay reporting.

RAJPAL: This is WORLD ONE live from London.

It will be their first journey as a married couple in the eyes of the world will be upon them.

VERJEE: What happens after love and marriage? You have a horse and carriage, right? Well, that's what's going to happen when Prince William and his bride board the royal carriage after their wedding. We'll tell you what happens then.


MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What's your biggest worry?

MARTIN OAKES: The wheel pulls off. Then, obviously, I will possibly lose my job. So, that is a bit of a worry.

FOSTER: So, you're constantly checking the wheels.

OAKES: Wheels, they're a big problem.


RAJPAL: So, a worry hanging by a thread. They've called it the curse of Spider-Man and it's claimed another victim on Broadway. That's just ahead.


RAJPAL: Welcome back. You are watching WORLD ONE.

It will be the start of their journey as husband and wife. The moment Prince William and his bride step out of Westminster Abbey and into their carriage. And it's also bringing back memories of the prince's mother as Max Foster explains. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If you live in a palace, you need a garage to match, and this is what's known as the "Royal Mews" behind Buckingham Palace. It's where the queen keeps her carriages, horses, and cars. All eight state limousines will be used on the wedding day. Kate will be traveling to the abbey in one like this, but with a glass roof in the back.

ALEXANDER GARTY, TRANSPORT MANAGER: It's actually designed with visibility in mind. So, you actually, probably get a better view in the Rolls Royce she's using than a closed carriage.

FOSTER: This is the car. It was attacked by protesters when Charles and Camilla were using it in December. It's been undergoing repairs.

After the wedding, Kate and William will leave the abbey in this carriage, it's the queen's favorite. It was also used by Charles and Diana on their wedding way. It is the 1902 State Landau.

If it's raining though, the couple were revert to the glass coach, which has a hard roof.

Four other carriages, like this one, will be used to carry the prince's four guests, including, of course, the queen.

(on camera): What's your biggest worry.

OAKES: The wheel pulls off. Then, obviously, I will possibly lose my job. So, that is a bit of a worry.

FOSTER: So, you're constantly checking the wheels.

OAKES: Wheel is a big problem.

FOSTER: In the big day you'll notice bay horses, these brown ones, but also greys. Windsor Greys only normally ever pull the sovereign and the queen but on the wedding day, they'll also be pulling the bridal party.

(voice-over): Preeminent among the greys is Daniel.

JACK HARGREAVES, HEAD COACHMAN: Daniel is just a good steady horse. No horse is guaranteed 100 percent. But he's one of those that you do trust, you do have faith in.

He doesn't worry about big noises. He doesn't worry about sudden movements. And that's what we want from all of the horses really.

FOSTER: Which is why Daniel has a key role pulling the bride and bridegroom.

Kate isn't used to travelling by carriage, so she will need some practice in the art of getting in and out gracefully.

TOBY BROWNE, CROWN EQUERRY: I think she will wish to probably practice getting in and out of the carriages because, obviously, on the day she will be wearing a dress with a large train and it's quite a difficult event to get in the carriage and get settled. And so, it all looks perfect. But I think she's very excited about it.

FOSTER: And so are all of the staff behind the palace walls as they frantically prepare to make what is in all but name a full-state occasion.

Max Foster, CNN, Buckingham Palace, London.


VERJEE: Here's some of the other stories we're all talking about today.

Cursed or just very unlucky? Whatever the reason Broadway's accident- prone production of "Spider-Man" has lost another cast member to injury. The show's female lead was hurt in a battle scene. Actress T.V. Carpio is going to be replaced by her understudy. It was the latest in the string of accidents that have given rise to all these rumors that the most expensive show in Broadway history is cursed.

Here's a little numbers quiz for you, OK? If you knew four people living in Detroit 10 years ago, how many people do you think live there now? Well, the chances are at least one of them has moved out.

The Motor City lost a quarter of its population between 2000 and 2010, dropping to a little over 700,000. That is the lowest level in a century. The exodus was blamed mostly on the decline of the U.S. auto industry.

The universal library containing every single book ever published, it's a dream that now seems destined to be just that, a dream -- after a U.S. judge rejected a deal that would have brought Google Books one step closer to reality. Google has got now more than 12 million publications in its archive. But there are fears over copyrights. And that has led to so many complaints. And so, the judge concluded that the settlement Google had reached with publishers was neither fair nor adequate.

RAJPAL: You're watching WORLD ONE live from London.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Doctors say the immediate risk to the elderly is that they're more susceptible to disease in the evacuation centers. The longer term problem is this -- how at age 70, 80, and 90, do they rebuild all of this? And who will take care of them?


RAJPAL: With medicine in short supply and a lifetime's worth of rebuilding ahead of them, what now for Japan's older victims? We'll have that story in just a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) RAJPAL: Welcome back. This is WORLD ONE, live from London.

VERJEE: Well, coming up on 6:00 a.m. in New York, 11:00 a.m. in Berlin, 7:00 p.m. in Tokyo, here are our top stories right now:

Loud explosions and anti-aircraft fire have resounded through the skies above western Tripoli. Now, it's not clear what was behind the blast heard around dawn. But a military base is in the area. Coalition forces continued to enforce the U.N.-backed no-fly zone. More jets took of early Wednesday to patrol the Libyan air space.

RAJPAL: Human rights groups say security forces opened fire on a crowd of protesters at a mosque in Syria early Wednesday. Eyewitnesses say at least six people were killed in the attack following days of demonstrations in the southern city of Daraa. CNN could not independently verify that report. This YouTube video shows protesters taking refuge at the old Al-Omari Mosque which had been turned into a makeshift hospital for injured civilians.

VERJEE: Smoke or steam has been rising again from a damaged reactor at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant. Officials say that they don't really know what's causing it, but they evacuated some emergency workers. The Japanese government has put more restrictions on the sale of milk and vegetables from the Fukushima area. Radiation was found to be above legal limits in 11 types of vegetables, and people in Tokyo have been told not to give tap water to infants.

Life has been incredibly difficult for those lucky enough to survive the quake and the tsunami. But some people are finding it a lot harder than others. There's a huge percentage of people who lived in Japan's northeast that were elderly. And some of them are wondering whether they'll be able to survive, even in the aftermath -- as CNN's Kyung Lah reports.


LAH (voice-over): Ninety-three-year-old Matsui Iwahana (ph) only moans when her granddaughter talks to her. She's been this way since they barely escaped the tsunami and things are getting worse by the day.

"I don't know what to do," says Emiko Sato. "I'm just trying to take this day-by-day." To think beyond that, overwhelms her.

Sato is the sole caretaker of her 73-year-old father, a stroke victim, and her sick grandmother. Their possessions are gone. They're living in a school gym needing constant medical care that just isn't there.

"It is a cruel truth about this disaster," say emergency health workers treating the elderly across the tsunami zone. In this region, 30 percent of the population is over the age of 65.

"This 81-year-old man has that high fever," says the Red Cross, making door-to-doorstops to the elderly who can't walk out. No power or water for more than a week means this sick man is at grave risk.

Dr. Takahiko Naruko is part of an emergency team from Osaka.

(on camera): What is a particular challenge with the elderly in Japan?

(voice-over): "There are so many of them, particularly in this area," says Dr. Naruko. "The number of young people has been falling for years."

(on camera): Doctors say the immediate risk to the elderly is they're more susceptible to disease in the evacuation centers. The longer term problem is this -- how at age 70, 80, and 90, do they rebuild all of this? And who will take care of them?

The Kawasakis are relying on each other for now. A 79-year-old Grakudo Kawasaki (ph) has prostate cancer and his wife doesn't know what she can do unless she gets him his medicine lost in the tsunami.

"We're just doing our best to help each other," she says.

"It's really difficult," says Emiko Sato. "But when I look around this room, it's the same for everybody."

"And that's the hard part," say relief workers, "so many elderly to treat, and not enough help to save them all."

Kyung Lah, CNN, Kamaishi, Japan.


RAJPAL: Let's take a look now at what's trending on social media right now.

At number three: Tokyo's radioactive tap water. The level of radioactive iodine in the water supply is a concern for many people. Officials are saying infants should not be given tap water. But it is safe for adults.

At number two: the Tomahawk missile. The cost of the weapons being used in Libya is creating a lot of debate online. It costs $1.4 million U.S. to fire just one missile at Libyan air defenses. And the U.S. says 160 have been launched in the last few days.

And at number one: protests in Syria, uprisings in the Arab world have dominated trends on social media. And right now, the focus is on Syria. Witnesses say security forces there opened fire into a crowd of demonstrators in front of a mosque early this Wednesday.

Of course, we'll keep you updated in Syria and around the world. You can also visit our Facebook page for more of the top stories at

VERJEE: Before we go, there's a contest of a different kind here, OK? It is the search for America's stinkiest sneakers.




BRINKERHOFF: -- in the irrigation ditches (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what's in there?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've got that very putrid smell and then that -- that gets in your nose and hangs and burns and, you know, brings -- makes your eyes water.


VERJEE: Hangs and it burns. You know, 9-year-old Sterling Brinkerhoff from Utah actually won the Rotten National Sneaker Contest in Montpelier Vermont. And he took home a $2,500 prize. Yes, you actually have money for those sneakers.

Eight finalists between seven and 13 wore their offensive shoes for a panel of judges. And he really did take a whiff of that up close. And the sneakers were judged on the condition of the sole, heel, laces, or Velcro, but most importantly -- take a deep breath -- the odor.

Monita, I don't know about those sneakers. At least I'm wearing excellent stilettos.

RAJPAL: His mom must be so proud.

VERJEE: You're watching WORLD ONE live from London. I'm Zain Verjee.

RAJPAL: I'm Monita Rajpal. Thanks for joining us.

And we want to give another look at this amazing video.

VERJEE: It's home video. It was shot by Jennifer Walsh (ph). Take a look at it. It shows a tornado touching down in Iowa. This is Creston.

You're watching WORLD ONE on CNN.