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CONNECT THE WORLD

President Obama's British Visit; Tripoli Responds to Pressure from U.S. and Britain; An Underground Labyrinth; Who Will Lead the IMF?; Ash Cloud Over Germany

Aired May 25, 2011 - 16:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The time for our leadership is now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MAX FOSTER, HOST, "CONNECT THE WORLD": That was the message from the U.S. president to Britain's parliament and the world. He also turned up the heat on the Libyan leader, as the heaviest NATO air strikes yet pound Tripoli.

The worst is over, but Europe is not yet in the clear -- the latest on the ash cloud drifting across the continent.

And 25 years of Oprah -- after a quarter of a century on the air, the talk show queen bids her audience farewell.

These stories and more tonight, as we connect the world.

Well, speaking in the grand setting of Westminster Hall here in London, a privilege never before afforded to a U.S. president, Barack Obama called for a new era of cooperation in tackling the global economy and dismantling terrorism and protecting freedom.

On Libya, the president vowed to stand with those who struggle. But ultimately, he said, freedom must be won by the people.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: It would have been easy at the outset of the crackdown in Libya to say that none of this was our business, that a nation's sovereignty is more important than the slaughter of civilians within its borders. That argument carries weight with some. But we are different. We embrace a broader responsibility.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Well, it's been a busy couple of days for the president on his state visit to Britain. Early on Wednesday, he held talks with Prime Minister David Cameron at Ten Downing Street. Afterwards, they were joined by their wives at the barbecue in the prime minister's gardens. There, they met with military families, service members and veterans.

Shortly after, at a news conference, the two leaders vowed to turn up the heat on Moammar Gadhafi, with the president saying that ultimately, the Libyan leader would go.

It was then time for his historic speech addressing both houses of Britain's parliament. And right now, the president and first lady are holding a dinner in honor of the queen at the residence of the American ambassador in London.

CNN's senior White House correspondent, Ed Henry, has been following the president's visit to the UK.

He joins me live from Central London -- and, Ed, this is a rather longer European tour.

It's not just about London, is it?

But this was the key point in it for Obama, is that right?

ED HENRY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And, in fact, White House aides have been previewing -- his staff has been previewing that -- this speech to parliament. It was really going to be the centerpiece, if you will, of this whole European tour in terms of laying out his vision.

And I think you had it exactly right. What he was trying to say in that speech is that there may be rising powers like China, Brazil, others on the world stage, but that these U.S.-European alliances still matter in places like Libya, where he said he and Prime Minister Cameron, working with others, like President Sarkozy in France, stopped a massacre and saved lives and prevented a humanitarian crisis.

And that in Afghanistan, the fighting is hard and still difficult and there will be many tough months ahead, but that they are slowly but surely winding that war down -- Max.

FOSTER: Yes, Afghanistan picked up in the press here.

Let's listen to exactly what he had to say about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: During our discussions today, we reviewed our progress in Afghanistan, where our brave service men and women have fought side by side to break the Taliban's momentum and where we are preparing to turn a corner. We reaffirmed the importance of beginning the transition to Afghan lead for security this year and completing that transition by 2014.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: So, what, Ed, would you say we've learned about American foreign policy today?

HENRY: Well, I think in terms of Afghanistan, he certainly wanted to make clear that in the wake of killing Osama bin Laden, that he believes that he, Prime Minister Cameron and other key allies have made progress against al Qaeda, number one.

And I think, number two, he was also trying to make the point that these alliances that I was referring to earlier really do matter on the world stage right now, because while China, Brazil and others may be rising, they are not the ones who are going to ride to the rescue when you have a potential humanitarian crisis, as I noted, in Libya and that on that one, they were also very clear in saying that while there -- there have been tough days in Libya, that maybe this conflict has dragged on longer than some critics thought it would, that they are determined to stick it out until Colonel Gadhafi goes -- Max.

FOSTER: And you mentioned Brazil. He also mentioned India, didn't he, as -- as a growing power in the world. And interestingly saying that they're -- they're growing on a U.K.-US model.

What did he mean by that and how do you think that will be taken over there?

HENRY: I think -- yes. Well, I -- I think, among other things, one of the things they were talking about is how these leaders have come together for many months now in dealing with the global financial crisis and that he believes, the president wanting to make the case, that with Prime Minister Cameron's austerity measures right here in the U.K., some of the measures that President Obama has just started -- he's a little bit behind the curve on that one -- but that he's starting to consider various measures with the Republican Congress back in the United States to deal with the growing debt crisis there, as well, that he believes these allies are showing the way for the rest of the world to sort of dig out of this financial crisis that is still -- still looming. It still is not over.

And, frankly, that is going to be yet another topic they will be discussing at the president's next stop, which is France. Prime Minister Cameron will be there, obviously, as well, for the G8 summit. They'll be talking, among other things, on the sidelines, at least -- if not a key agenda item, it will certainly come up on the sidelines -- the future leadership of the International Monetary Fund, which is critical here, as well, in terms of digging out of the crisis -- Max.

FOSTER: OK, Ed Henry in London.

Thank you very much.

And we'll join you as you go from France and beyond.

Thank you, Ed.

Well, as the two leaders vowed to keep up the pressure on Moammar Gadhafi in Tripoli, a government official told CNN it's up to the Libyan people to decide when and if Colonel Gadhafi should go.

Nima Elbagir has more reaction for us now from Libya's capital.

Expand a bit on that, if you can, because it's been a big topic here in London today, as well -- Nima.

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This has been the Libyan position, Max, throughout all of this, that they believe that the interpretation that President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron are putting on the U.N. resolution that the only way to truly protect civilians is to bring about the removal of power -- from power of Colonel Gadhafi and his family is one that they have maintained here in Tripoli is an illegal and illegitimate interpretation.

So today, they were just reiterating that.

Now, what was interesting is that they received support in that stance from the Russian foreign ministry, a statement today talking about the illegitimacy of targeting what the Russians are calling non-military targets in the last few days, some of the heaviest air strikes have been at what NATO has referred to as a vehicle storage facilities -- facility. The Libyans have said that it is not a vehicle storage facility, that it is a center for Libyan auxiliary forces supporting the army, but themselves civilians.

The Russians are now stepping into that fray and saying they believe Libya.

It -- it's been quite a studied show of defiance throughout all this. But as the strikes intensify, two very heavy nights and even here while we've been on the air talking to you, I can hear the NATO jets circling overhead.

But the question is, with the promise of even more to come here in Tripoli, whether they will be able to maintain that defiance -- Max.

FOSTER: And, Nima, just bring us up to date on how the two sides are faring currently in Libya, who's -- who's gaining the upper hand, if anyone?

ELBAGIR: Well, that has been a big part of the criticism of the -- of -- of the NATO involvement in this, is that the rebels are still very much stalemated with the government in spite of the NATO air cover that's been provided. There really hasn't been that much of a shift in terms of territorial hold. And that's -- you know, that's one of the things that's given people a lot of pause for thought. Today, Cameron and Obama ruling out completely any presence of boots on the ground, which many had been viewing as perhaps would be the only way to break that stalemate -- Max.

FOSTER: OK, Nima, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us in Tripoli.

Well, in Western Libya, families have been forced to take shelter from intense shelling by hiding out in the country's ancient caves.

Senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson, shows us around an underground labyrinth on the outskirts of the rebel-held town of Zintan.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He's taking us to see some caves where we're told families have been hiding here from the shelling.

We've yet to see the caves, but we're certainly seeing a lot of children. And this is the only place in Zintan we have seen children. Look at them here -- families of children. They've deserted the streets of the city and they're living out here on the edge.

The caves, we're told, haven't been lived in by people for about 60 years. But because of the random shelling, they're now going back to hiding in them again. This is the old part of Zintan, right on the hills on the edge.

Down here?

Steep. You can really feel like you're going into the ancient city here. This is quite incredible. Look up here. These ancient homes here, but you can see the power cable now running inside here so people can have electricity, some lights at night.

This is a whole underground labyrinth of caves. The roof is blackened by soot from fires, years of fires. It's all black.

And then you come out here into this. And then you are out of here, there's a ladder. It's an absolute labyrinth every side you look -- an entrance here, here, here, here, another one here with a light bulb. This wasn't here 60 years ago.

Blanket in there, if you take a look, blankets, carpet, space for people to live and hide from the shelling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the guards come in, I think that all the families will be (INAUDIBLE). Libya, I think, between, I think, under 12 families.

ROBERTSON: There's a lot of people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) that house is there.

ROBERTSON: (INAUDIBLE)?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They come in here.

ROBERTSON: And this is why people, it's safe to keep their children in Zintan, because you can hide here. You can hide here from the Grads and be safe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're -- the underground, the (INAUDIBLE).

ROBERTSON: What about the children?

What happens to the children?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They can stay together here.

ROBERTSON: They stay here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

ROBERTSON: Do the children...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes crying sometimes.

ROBERTSON: But the young children, sometimes they're crying?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

ROBERTSON: When they hear the rockets?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. It's very, very sad.

ROBERTSON: Very sad. Yes. I was going to say...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very sad.

ROBERTSON: Well, this room -- I don't know if you'll be able to see in, but I'm going to walk it out -- one, two, three, four, five, six, seven paces to the back. My hand is on the ceiling so it's about seven foot high. And the width across one, two -- it's a good three paces across.

So that's about 25 feet long, about 12 feet across and seven or eight feet on the ceiling. And this is all covered in soot, black soot, from years of fire. The heavy strong door -- anyone inside there is going to be very safe from the types of missiles that we've seen falling just the last few hours, those Grad rockets.

(VIDEO OF CHILDREN)

ROBERTSON: I think this is a -- a little impromptu reenactment for us, with chorus and verse, how they're not afraid of the grads and the missiles that have been fired by Gadhafi. But what they're doing is showing us how the kids can get in here when the rockets are coming and they've got to go. They've got to show a bravado. But this is what the rebels want us to see -- these caves and how the families are being kept safe. And this is the only part of town that we've seen any children in around here with the caves. Everywhere else you go, the streets are deserted -- no women, no children. But where the caves are, that's where you find the children.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Zintan, Libya.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

FOSTER: You're welcome with CONNECT THE WORLD.

Just ahead, we have traveled the tempec (ph). Christine Lagarde tells us why she's ready to be the first woman to run the International Monetary Fund.

Then, from the French finance minister to America's first lady, it's all about realizing your potential. We were with Michelle Obama during her inspirational day in Oxford.

And the queen of inspiration signs off -- Oprah Winfrey and her legacy of 25 years as one of the world's most influential women.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: "The worst is over" -- those are the words that travelers have been waiting to hear, as Iceland's latest ash cloud decides to clear out. Affected airports in parts of Europe are starting to get back to normal. We're in Berlin just ahead and also at the CNN in the Weather Center to track where the ash cloud may be heading next.

I'm Max Foster in London.

You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

And here's a look at other stories we're following for you this hour.

U.S. forecasters say another major outbreak is expected today in what's become known as Tornado Alley, the twister-prone South-Central region of the US. Ferocious thunderstorms are bearing down on the area and they could become more tornadoes. This is just one of the twisters that killed at least 16 people on Tuesday in Arkansas and Kansas -- Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma. A 3 -year-old boy is still missing. More than 500 peopled have died from tornadoes this season, making it the deadliest in nearly 60 years.

Fears are growing of an all-out civil war in Yemen. Just in recent hours, we've heard that fighting in the capital has forced the airport to divert all flights.

Witnesses say anti-government tribesmen have also taken over the government's news agency compound and the tourism ministry. Street fighting on Tuesday killed as many as 41 people and wounded dozens more. The situation has deteriorated since the weekend, when President Ali Abdullah Saleh again backed off an agreement to leave power.

Ahead on the show, CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom will join us with the latest on that.

"I expect others to shine." With those words, French finance minister, Christine Lagarde, declared why she should lead the International Monetary Fund. Former chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, resigned in the wake of an attempted rape charge which he denies. Lagarde would be the first woman to run the IMF and she's backed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the first female leader of Europe's largest economy.

Jim Bittermann caught up with Lagarde.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The French finance minister officially declaring her candidacy for the top job at the International Monetary Fund, saying to a news conference that unlike the two previous directors, who were forced to resign early, she would stay the entire five years and avoid any kind of scandal. She also said she'd work for gender equality within the International Monetary Fund.

In an interview after the news conference, I sat down with her and asked her why she thought she was qualified for the job.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTINE LAGARDE, FRENCH FINANCE MINISTER: I'm a lawyer by background. And I have that set of legal skills. I'm a leader by temper and attitude and professional experience. I'm also a person that can reach out and reach consensus. I'm a person that expects others to shine and bring their talent to resolving problems. On the top of which, having been 25 years in private practice and having led a very large institution over in the private sector, Baker-McKenzie, one of the largest law firms in the world.

I've been the minister of finance for France for the last four years. And, you know, we've traveled the tempest not too badly.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

BITTERMANN: Lagarde has now received the support of most major European governments and across the Atlantic in the United States, Timothy Geithner, the Treasury secretary, says that, in fact, she is one of two serious candidates. The other one being Agustin Carstens of Mexico -- two serious candidates for the top job at the International Monetary Fund.

Candidates who want to run for the job must present themselves before the 10th of June and the selection by the Board of Governors of the IMF will take place on the 30th of June.

Jim Bittermann, CNN, Paris.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

FOSTER: Two of the damaged reactors at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant could be plagued with holes. That's according to a report from the plant's owner, TEPCO. The report states there is a high probability of radioactive material leaking into the reactor building, but this can't be confirmed since no one has been able to enter the damaged area.

TEPCO added that the shutdown of the plant is still five to eight months away because of problems in creating a cooling system.

You're with CONNECT THE WORLD.

Coming up, more violence erupts in Yemen -- new clashes could push the death toll even higher.

Then, is the waiting finally over?

Travelers hope to get back in the air after the new volcanic ash cloud starts to clear.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: The worst is over -- that's the word from Iceland on its latest volcanic ash cloud. That message will probably feel like balm to travelers still having a hard time getting from A to B. Some affected airports in Northern Germany are just reopening and Britain saw 500 flights canceled on Tuesday.

Scientists say the Grimsvoetn volcano is now in pause mode and no longer erupting. But travelers flying into and out of Poland are still a bit nervous about possible ash cloud disruptions. If you're headed to Warsaw, it won't hurt to check with your airline, of course. The same goes for Germany.

Our Frederik Pleitgen is in Berlin with that part of the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The ash cloud over Germany seems to have dissipated. However, German airports, especially in the northern part of the country, still saw cancellations and massive delays until well into the evening hours.

The airports that were most affected were the airports in Hamburg and Bremen, as well as the two major international gaps here in the Berlin area.

Now, none of these are really Germany's biggest gaps. Those would be Frankfurt and Munich. And if those would have seen massive cancellations and delays, certainly, there would have been a lot more chaos than there actually was.

But nevertheless, there were thousands of German passengers who remained stranded. Also, others who had to cope with major delays, as there -- there was travel chaos here in this country, especially in the early morning hours.

Now, nevertheless, German authorities say that the ash concentration here in the sky above Germany seems to have gone away a lot quicker than many people would have thought, and a lot of people -- a lot of experts saying they thought that the ash was going to stick around until the evening hours.

However, by the afternoon hours, the concentration was low enough for planes to be able to fly.

One of the things that the German government had implemented is a blanket ceiling level for the amount of ash concentration in the air where planes are allowed to fly. Now, that ceiling level is two milligrams of ash per cubic meter of air. That level seems to have been exceeded in the early morning hours here in Germany, but has since dropped considerably. And according to weather forecasts here for this country, they believe that there will not be another major ash cloud above Germany in the next couple of days.

So it seems as though air travel might be safe, to try and travel into tourist destinations, especially in the southern part of Germany. There still seem to be some delays, especially for flights into Northern Europe.

Frederik Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

FOSTER: Well, it's not over until it's over.

Let's check where the ash cloud is heading next with Guillermo.

He's at the CNN International Weather Center -- Guillermo, it's still there, isn't it?

It hasn't disappeared?

GUILLERMO ARDUINO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Exactly. And the other question mark is how do they know that it's not going to happen again?

Because we can forecast volcanic activity unless we go back in time and we see, with historical values, what has happened, what kind of behavior this volcano has.

So I'm going to show you first, the forecast into tomorrow morning. So you see in here that practically Britain, Germany, huge parts of Scandinavia are in the clear. So these areas are fine. But again, it's only a limited, a short-term forecast, because this year, they are going to -- they are taking it a little bit more conservatively, especially in light of what happened last year.

And when we go to the Met offices around the world and we see the volcanic activities and the charts, it says this chart assumes that the volcano will continue to erupt at the same intensity, in this case, none.

However, volcanic activity can change at any time and this is not reflected in this charge and therefore -- chart. And, therefore, the distribution of ash may change.

I think that is -- that is precisely clear. So it may change.

So we have it here into 12:00 p.m. GMT tomorrow. And you see that most of it, because, again, the low concentration of ash is not a problem - - a problem. Medium, you know, questionable and high out of the question.

But we don't have any significant high in here and when we look, actually, at the winds, as well, we see that things are much better.

Altitude is another factor that we take into account. Cruising altitude is 39,000, 33,000 feet for jets. And in this case, we are fine so far, because the winds are more favorable at that altitude. And when we look at the lower level winds at 10,000 feet, it looks OK again because usually mostly what you see here, the winds are pushed -- are pushing the whatever we have in there northward. So we will be OK.

So you have to stay with CNN, Max, because things may change at any time.

FOSTER: OK. Guillermo, thank you very much, indeed.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

Coming up, being smart is cooler than anything in the world -- wise words from Michelle Obama as she pays a visit to a great British institution.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: You're back with CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Max Foster in London.

Coming up, "Dream big," the lady -- the first lady tells British school children. Take inspiration from one of the world's most powerful women up next.

Plus, a revealing story about how Osama bin Laden bankrolled his terror network. Find out about Hawala Banking.

And talk show royalty. It's the end of an era for Oprah Winfrey.

All those stories ahead in the show for you but, first, let's check the headlines this hour.

New clashes have erupted in Yemen's capital, with some government buildings coming under attack. CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom joins us now live from Abu Dhabi in the UAE. Mohammed?

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, Max, we've heard from government officials in Sanaa that, in fact, Sanaa International Airport has been shut down. All inbound and outbound flights have been diverted. All flights coming into Sanaa have been diverted to the southern port city of Aden.

Now, this comes as clashes have been intensifying close to the airport between tribesmen loyal to Sadiq al-Ahmar. They've been battling government forces the past few days.

In fact, we've heard from eyewitnesses in the past couple of days that five ministries in the capital city of Yemen have fallen to those tribesmen, who are now basically engaged in open warfare with the president's forces.

What makes this even more interesting and volatile is that President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen is from the Hashed tribe, and these Hashed tribesmen are battling his government forces. So, a battle going on for power in Yemen right now. Nobody knows how it will turn out.

This is the scenario that everybody's been fearing since there's been so much volatility in Yemen, that there would be open warfare between different factions of tribes in the streets of the capital. That's what's happened in the past couple of days. Nobody knows when the fighting will stop.

And this all comes on the heels of the fact that a regionally-brokered deal that they were trying to get through to get everybody to sign in the past few days in Yemen fell through. Since then, clashes have been erupting on the streets of the capital. And as of now, it looks it will be intensified. Max?

FOSTER: Mohammed, thank you.

US president Barack Obama told British politicians the time for our leadership is now. In a rare address to both houses of Parliament in London, the president spoke of a new era of cooperation for the challenging times ahead.

Mr. Obama also said there will be no letup in NATO air strikes in Libya. This a day after war planes hammered Moammar Gadhafi's compound in Tripoli. A Libyan official says at least 19 people were killed and 150 wounded.

The French finance minister is making a bid to become the first woman to lead the International Monetary Fund. Christine Lagarde wants to succeed Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who is facing sexual assault charges in the US. She has strong support from Germany and from Britain.

The worst is over. That message from Iceland's prime minister after the troublesome Grimsvotn volcano stopped spewing ash. The days of eruptions forced around 1100 flights to be canceled this week in northern Europe.

A federal judge in Arizona has ruled that Jared Lee Loughner is not competent to stand trial on charges he tried to assassinate Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in January. The judge said his ruling is based on medical evaluations done by two separate doctors.

The US president wasn't the only Obama with important stops in Britain today. First lady Michelle had a reunion with some special friends she met two years ago. She gave some relationship advice, shared some funny stories but, most importantly, encouraged dreams for the future.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome to the stage the first lady of the United States of America --

(CROWD CHEERS)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mrs. Michelle --

(CROWD CHEERS)

FOSTER (voice-over): The moment Britain fell for America's first lady. In 2009, Michele Obama came to his inner city London school and formed a lasting bond with the children and their country.

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: It is important for the world to know that there are wonderful girls like you all over the world.

FOSTER: And she later invited some of them to the White House.

FOSTER (on camera): And now, she's taking them on a school trip to one of the grandest universities in the world, Oxford.

M. OBAMA: My visit to your school two years ago --

FOSTER (voice-over): Inside, the first lady spoke of a girl from humble beginnings who went onto an elite university.

M. OBAMA: I worried that I wouldn't fit in somewhere so different from where I'd grown up or with people whose backgrounds were so different from mine.

But after a few months in college away from home on my own, I realized that I was just as capable and I had just as much to offer any of my classmates.

FOSTER: She was asked about meeting the president and went on to give some relationship advice.

M. OBAMA: There are a lot of women who have the boxes. Is he -- did he go to the right school? What is his income? It was none of that. It was how he felt about his mother. The love that he felt for his mother. His relationship to women. His work ethic. And when you couple that with talent and he's cute --

(LAUGHTER)

M. OBAMA: I always thought he would be useful.

(LAUGHTER)

M. OBAMA: But I had no idea he would be president.

(CLAPPING)

CLARISSA PABI, OXFORD STUDENT: Thank you, Mrs. Obama.

FOSTER: This is what it's all about, though, for Michelle Obama, a girl from an inner city state school who's actually made it to Oxford.

PABI: To even be kind of mentioned in the same sentence as her by her was unbelievable. So, I really respect her and admire her.

FOSTER: Oxford is known for its dreaming spires, but the first lady wants to turn the dream to reality for teenagers who would normally feel out of place here.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Michelle Obama earlier today.

Well, today is the last day of the Obama's state visit to the UK. Tomorrow, the president goes solo to France, where he will attend the G-8 summit. That starts on Thursday and runs for two days.

Friday night is off to Poland, the last stop on his European tour. It's actually a makeup visit after the president was prevented from making the trip last year due to the volcanic ash cloud, would you believe. Mr. Obama then flies back to Washington on Saturday.

Now, it's quick, it's efficient, and it's untraceable. Some call it a banking system built for terrorists. Coming up, we'll step into the shadowy world of Hawala, an ancient method of transferring cash. It's legal in some cases, but also attracts criminals of all kinds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: How can you transfer money across the world almost in an instant without leaving a trail? Welcome to the world of Hawala, an ancient banking system that operates entirely on trust. As Stan Grant reports, its clients range from ordinary people to the world's most notorious terror networks.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STAN GRANT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We're on the trail of something that's been branded "terrorist banking." It doesn't take long for people to get nervous.

We're outside the uncomfortably named but unconnected Osama Money Exchange. These men don't want us here. We can't say they're hiding anything but, according to those who know, if you want to trace the black money trail, this is the type of place to start.

GRANT (on camera): This is the sort of place where these transactions are carried out?

ATTIQ-UR-REHMAN, PAKISTANI ACADEMIC: We can say it's this type of place, because I've told you --

GRANT (voice-over): Attiq-ur-Rehman is a Pakistani academic who tracks the workings of al Qaeda. He zeroed in on Osama bin Laden's financing. Bankrolling his terror network, he says, ran into the tens of millions of dollars each year.

How to do it? Something called Hawala Banking, a centuries-old system of transferring cash. Money is pledged in one location and collected immediately from a broker, or hawalada, sometimes in completely different countries. All that's needed is the secret code. A fee is collected at both ends.

REHMAN: Because this business is totally based on their reputation, their good will.

GRANT (on camera): And trust, yes? Trust. So, it's quick? Money can be moved --

REHMAN: Reliable. Reliable.

GRANT: Reliable.

REHMAN: Cheaper.

GRANT: Cheaper.

REHMAN: Swifter. And left --

GRANT: But also open to corruption.

REHMAN: Yes.

GRANT (voice-over): Rehman says some transactions can run into the millions of dollars. Governments simply cannot trace the money. It thrives in third world countries where ordinary people prefer this simple, traditional system.

So do terrorists.

REHMAN: The terrorists all over the world, they prefer this system.

GRANT (on camera): They prefer this system?

REHMAN: They prefer this system all over the world. Wherever they are working, wherever they are, they prefer this system.

GRANT: So, we can't stop them. There is no way that use this system --

REHMAN: We can't stop them, but we can take action against the people who are operating the system.

GRANT (voice-over): That is what Pakistan is trying to do. The government has set up legitimate Hawala transfers, incorporating it into their regulated banking.

Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, has made it his mission to go after the black money trail. They've made arrests and set up a special task force to crack down on the brokers. But he says it's a battle they can't win alone.

MALIK, REHMAN: My appeal to the international community, that please, help us in identifying those people worldwide who are dealing with Hawala. Because there's the other end. We can handle this in, but we need the help from the other end.

GRANT: Hawala runs on trust, and criminals and terrorists have their own code. They won't give up their secrets easily.

GRANT (on camera): We're now being told to leave.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are not allowed.

GRANT: They don't want us to film -- we're not allowed to film here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are not allowed here.

GRANT: OK. We're about to leave, this is clearly a sensitive area and a sensitive subject, so --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

GRANT: -- we're going to leave right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

GRANT: Thank you. Thank you.

GRANT (voice-over): Stan Grant, CNN, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Well, as Stan mentioned, Hawala was used by some of bin Laden's terror network. That network, of course, took a huge hit after US commandos killed bin Laden and uncovered a treasure trove of documents at his compound.

Or at least we understood them to be. Today, British prime minister David Cameron said this about al Qaeda with the US president by his side.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID CAMERON, PRIME MINISTER OF GREAT BRITAIN: We must continue to destroy their terrorist network, and I congratulate the president on his operation against bin Laden. This was not just a victory for justice, but a strike right at the heart of international terrorism.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Well, strong words. "A strike at the heart of international terrorism." But will it prove to be a fatal blow, or will al Qaeda simply regroup? A US Congressional committee called in experts today to ask whether America is now safer.

CNN's terrorism analyst Peter Bergen was one of them, and he joins us, now, from Washington. Peter, thank you for joining us. I guess the question is, was it really a treasure trove of information that they found? I know that you've been answering that today to politicians. What did you tell them?

PETER BERGEN, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I mean, yes, it was a treasure trove of information. It was everything that Osama bin Laden's accumulated for at least a decade.

And since he was in charge of al Qaeda, the leader of -- the unquestioned leader, the guide that people had sworn an oath of allegiance to, it clearly will be very useful for historians and, to some degree, useful for counter-terrorism professionals.

There's nothing so far to indicate, Max, that there was any material there about some operation that was imminent. I think if we -- if that was the case, we would have had the kinds of terrorism alerts we'd seen either in this country, in the United States, or in Europe in the past, if it was something of -- some kind of really imminent plot on the West.

But clearly there was a lot of material and the United States government has made that very clear, and I think part of the -- one of the questions that was had at this hearing today, Max, was why did the US government make it so clear that so much information was recovered?

And I think part of that was imply to tell al Qaeda we have this information and hope that people start making mistakes, start moving, start communicating with their buddies, the kinds of things that get them exposed.

FOSTER: Is the message here that we now know how your system works, so you need to break up if you want to continue in some sort of way. Is that the idea here? Because as you say, there isn't an imminent threat, but what the Americans are saying is they do understand how the system works better.

BERGEN: Yes. It puts al Qaeda in sort of a catch-22, which is communicate with your colleagues and you may be discovered, or kind of go to ground completely, in which case you become irrelevant.

And so, either way, the US government and its allies around the world are sort of a winner by advertising the fact that there is this sort of treasure trove of material that's been discovered in the compound in Abbottabad that we're seeing on the screen.

FOSTER: Is it your suspicion that there were imminent attacks, or there could have been plans, at least, which Obama -- Osama didn't know about, Osama bin Laden wasn't aware of, and that he wasn't the figurehead that many people think he was?

BERGEN: I think the stuff that's been publicly discussed is stuff that was sort of stuff that was on the drawing board. They talk about potential -- Osama bin Laden was thinking about attacks in New York and Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles. Stuff that is kind of unsurprising. After all, they'd been thinking about these kinds of plans for more than a decade.

So, that's the kind of material that's been discovered so far.

FOSTER: And in terms of Osama bin Laden, what do you think the Americans made of him in the end, in terms of a figurehead?

BERGEN: Well, I think he was more than a figurehead. When you joined al Qaeda, you swore a personal oath of allegiance to bin Laden, similar to Nazi party members who, when they joined the Nazi party, didn't swear an oath of allegiance to Nazism, they swore a personal oath of allegiance to Adolf Hitler.

When Hitler died, Nazism died with him. Now that bin Laden is dead, al Qaedaism, bin Ladenism will continue, but al Qaeda is a much less potent organization as a result of his death. Whoever takes over won't have the same kind of "stature," quote-unquote, that bin Laden did -- has.

And the events in the Middle East, I think, underline that the al Qaeda ideology is also -- very few takers for that. None of the protesters in Cairo or Benghazi or Bahrain are members of bin Laden's crew, nor are they clamoring for a Taliban-style theocracy, which is al Qaeda's preferred end goal in the region.

And so, between the death of bin Laden and the Arab Spring, you have a -- two large nails in the coffin of al Qaeda the organization and also al Qaeda the ideology, Max.

FOSTER: OK, Peter. Peter, thank you very much to you for joining us for that.

BERGEN: Thank you very much.

FOSTER: Now, coming up right here on CONNECT THE WORLD, after 25 years, the talk show queen has taken her final bow.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OPRAH WINFREY, HOST, "THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW": Oh, yes!

(CLAPPING)

(MUSIC - "BEAUTIFUL GOODBYE")

(CLAPPING)

WINFREY: Thank you! Thank you!

(CROWD CHEERS)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: The legacy, the power, and the global brand of Oprah Winfrey. It's all coming up for you ahead on the program.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was really emotional. I had tears in my yes myself.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She said right off the bat, "I'm not giving away any cars, no guests."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were there, but in the audience.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I sat right on the side of Stedman. And also, Gail was on the other side of there, and Maria Shriver. In the back of me was Bebe Winans and Cicely Tyson was right on the other side.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She had so many guests.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Not only is she a famous talk show host, she's a global brand, a political campaigner, a philanthropist, and the most influential black woman on the planet, apparently. I can only be talking, of course, about Oprah Winfrey.

After a quarter of a century, her talk show has now come to an end. Kareen Wynter has more on her big farewell.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAREEN WYNTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Oprah wanted to go out the way she wanted to go out, and it was a star-studded, spectacular last week, and she enjoyed that.

But today, it was very, very subdued. Very emotional. One-on-one with the audience, taped at her studios. It was taped yesterday. We've already seen it here in Chicago. You'll see it later on today on the East and West Coast.

But it was really Oprah, no stars. Sure, she had Cicely Tyson there, and Tyler Perry. But it wasn't that blockbuster event that we saw last week. It was her doing what Oprah does best, addressing the audience, really connecting with them, thanking them for just really sticking by here the last two decades.

She talked about what she's learned from so many guests. It was an empowering way to go out. She told the audience, "Just because I'm not going to be with you every day in your living rooms doesn't mean that you can't keep fighting the good fight." And so, she really, really touched on that.

And the show ended, again, such an emotional note. She walked offstage, she was hugging her staff. And as she walked back through the hallways of Harpo, she picked up her little dog, she kicked off her heels, and she walked into her office and she said, "We did it."

She'll be focusing on the Oprah Winfrey Network, her big network she launched in January. The ratings aren't where they should be, and Oprah has been very candid about that and said, now that she's finished her syndicated daytime talk show, she's going to focus on that, getting the network where it needs to be.

All the new shows, Rosie O'Donnell has a new show that'll be debuting later this fall. It's going to be about real people and real issues. Rosie, by the way, will be moving into Harpo Studios, here, so Chicagoans will still have a piece of Oprah here.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Twenty-five years, countless lives changed, but what will Oprah Winfrey's legacy really be? Alina Cho spoke to some of the people who know her best.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(CROWD CHEERS)

WINFREY: You get a car! You get a car!

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She's given away cars, sat with stars, even had a hand in the presidential election. Oprah Winfrey's favorite things are our favorite things. The people she likes, we love, Like Dr. Oz.

MEHMET OZ, HOST, "THE DR. OZ SHOW": And Oprah touched my life.

CHO: Mehmet Oz, who some are calling the next Oprah, says what he learned from the queen of talk was to listen.

OZ: I'm getting this tutorial in this.

WINFREY: OK.

OZ: My biggest weakness of all, without any question, listen, I'm a guy, and I'm a surgeon. That's two strikes. I don't listen well.

CHO: Oz says Oprah taught him to stop trying to fix the problem and let the audience be heard.

OZ: I think what Oprah understood was that Marcus Welby was dead. Those doctors weren't practicing anymore. And so, we needed to create a very different genre of healer that understood the role of the patient.

NATE BERKUS, HOST, "THE NATE BERKUS SHOW": You could be anywhere.

CHO: Like Dr. Oz, Nate Berkus, Oprah's decorator, also has his own show. But what he remembers most is coming on as a guest just weeks after he survived the Asian tsunami.

BERKUS: Sorry.

CHO: His partner, Fernando, did not.

BERKUS: The entire community of viewers of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" rallied around me, got out their checkbooks, and made donations.

CHO: Millions of dollars. Why he decided to bare his soul and show his pain so soon after his loss. Berkus says he would not have done it anywhere else.

CHO (on camera): Will there ever be another Oprah?

BERKUS: There -- please, take it from me. There will never, under any circumstances, there won't be a funnier Oprah, there won't be a kinder Oprah, there'll never be anybody like Oprah.

(CROWD CHEERS)

WINFREY: That is so cool!

CHO: And as Oprah signs off, Mehmet Oz moves in. On Thursday, the Dr. Oz Show slides to Oprah's old slot, 4:00 PM, in a number of key markets. But the mood is bittersweet.

OZ: So, Oprah, I love you dearly, I wish you the best.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Well, Oprah's success and bigger-than-life persona has inspired many other talk show hosts around the world, as we've been hearing. In China, Chen Luyu draws in millions of viewers, for example. Her guests may not jump on the coach, but they are queuing up to be on her show.

Chen's inspiration? Well, it is the remarkable Oprah Winfrey.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHEN LUYU, HOST, "A DATE WITH LUYU": I first heard about her, I think, 15, 16 years ago. That's when I first watching her show. And she sort of got me thinking, well, maybe one day I want to do a show like that. So, she sort of planted a little seed in my heart.

I was very happy to be invited on -- to be on her show, that was two years ago. I was in Beijing in my studio and talking to her via satellite, and she was in Chicago studio with the other guests. So, we would talk about our lives, how to deal with fame, how to deal with the tabloid and paparazzi, things like that. It was very much fun.

She has this natural ability to make people really relax and to feel close to her. And she has this special bond with her viewers and her guests.

That's something I've been trying to learn and something I've been trying to master, because in order to do a talk show well, you have to have that special bond with people, with your viewers, with your guests.

A lot of people here in China know her name. Know Oprah. In Chinese, we say "Op-ra-lah." But people, they have never watched the Oprah show, somehow, they know the name. They know that, oh, she's a remarkable woman.

If 10 years ago you'd asked me, "Well, do you want to be as successful as Oprah?" my answer would be yes. But now, if you ask me the same question, my answer would be, "Well, maybe, I don't know, or no."

Because I know, first, nobody can be that successful. Second, they have to have extremely -- well, enormous amount of wisdom and confidence or strength to be happy and at the same time to be that successful.

I don't think -- I'm not that wise or strong to be like her. And I really hope that someday she will do another talk show. Otherwise, I will feel kind of lonely.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Well, she's probably not the only one hoping Oprah returns to the screen at some point.

Well, you saw in Alina's package a clip of one of Oprah's most talked- about shows in 2005. Every member of the audience received a gift box, only one of which supposedly contained a key to a car. In tonight's Parting Shots, we couldn't help but show you a bit more from that biggest giveaway in "Oprah Show" history. Here is what happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WINFREY: All right, open your boxes.

(DRUM ROLL)

WINFREY: Open your boxes, one, two, three --

(CROWD SCREAMING)

WINFREY: You get a car! You get a car! You get a car! You get a car! You get a car! You get a car! You get a car! You get a car! Everybody gets a car!

(CROWD SCREAMING)

WINFREY: Everybody gets a car! Everybody gets a car!

(CROWD SCREAMING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Obviously a big reaction like that. Well, all the cars were actually waiting for them outside the studios. They got happier, would you believe?

I'm Max Foster, that is your world connected. Thank you for watching. The world headlines and "BackStory" will shallow -- follow this short break.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CROWD SCREAMING)

WINFREY: You get a car! You get a car! You get a car! You get a car! Everybody gets a car!

(CROWD SCREAMING)

WINFREY: Everybody gets a car! Everybody gets a car! Everybody gets a --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

END