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CONNECT THE WORLD
A Wave of Anger in Greece; Informants Arrested; Lawsuit against President Barack Obama; Live From A NATO Assault Ship
Aired June 15, 2011 - 16:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MAX FOSTER, HOST: Bowing to pressure, Greece's prime minister says he'll form a new government. But it will have a tough job to placate his people, furious over the country's economic crisis.
Plus, the projects worth billions to get Afghanistan back on its feet.
But can the country afford to maintain them?
And heading to Hollywood -- so what sort of reception will the newlywed royals receive?
Those stories and more tonight, as we connect the world.
A wave of growing anger in Greece crashed down on the prime minister today, forcing George Papandreou to announce an imminent government reshuffle. It's a bold effort to push a new round of hugely unpopular austerity measures through parliament, even as those same measures caused chaos in the streets of Athens today.
A general strike brought public services and major transit networks to a halt and more than 25,000 workers or protesters took to the streets to rail against the austerity plan.
Despite its enormous unpopularity, the government says the austerity plan is crucial in order to secure the next slice of a bailout worked out last year. But even that won't be enough to prevent the country from sliding into default. And now the prime minister is taking drastic action.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE PAPANDREOU, GREEK PRIME MINISTER (through translator): I learned in my -- in my life to fight for the country, for the -- for the economy, for the people, for the values. Let's all people assume their responsibility in our actions toward -- in our responsibility toward the country. I will continue on the same way for carrying out my task together with my political party and we're together with the Greek people.
Tomorrow, I will create a new government. And then I will ask for a confidence vote from the government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: So what does that mean for the beleaguered government?
Well, Elinda Labropoulou is a journalist in Athens.
And she's been following all these developments today.
And she joins us now live.
Elinda, the prime minister is staying in power. So we know who's leading the country.
But what about the government?
ELINDA LABROPOULOU, JOURNALIST: Well, the government seems to be in turmoil at the moment. We had a lot of announcements today. The prime minister has also been holding talks with opposition leaders. We had a sudden announcement that there might be a unity government forming, a coalition government, if you like.
The prime minister did not speak about that when he addressed the nation later today. He just accused the opposition of using, effectively, media tricks in order to ask him to step down.
The truth is that the prime minister is under a lot of pressure from the opposition and even within his own party, largely because of the austerity measures that he's trying to push through, which are tremendously pop -- unpopular.
So it -- it seems like we're going to see a lot of developments in the near future. The reshuffle will show who the prime minister is putting most of his strength on, who he considers the strong card.
Will he be putting more technocrats, let's -- you know, it will give us an idea of how he plans on going ahead with leading the country.
FOSTER: The key priority, of course, is getting some sort of agreement amongst the -- the various parties in the government on what to do about the economy.
Is there agreement between them?
Can there be a truly unified government?
LABROPOULOU: It would seem difficult at this point. The issue here is that the situation is very serious. You know, to prevent Greece from defaulting or partially defaulting, a different solution must be found and put forward or the austerity measures and the recipe that the troika, Greece's lenders, the EU and the IMF, have been putting forward must be followed. So it's either the one or the other or a solution that this consensus will give.
So it would work to all -- to all's benefit to try and find that solution. How that will be done is -- it's very difficult to tell. And as to whether it's -- whether it's possible at all at this point, because the parties have not been agreeing on this for a very long time.
Elinda, thank you very much, indeed.
Well, while the future of the Greek prime minister remains uncertain, he wouldn't be the first European leader forced from office over a crumbling economy.
In February, the Irish prime minister stepped down after failing to stem the financial crisis gripping his country.
In March, a similar story out of Portugal. The prime minister there resigned after the Portuguese parliament rejected his latest austerity measures.
And in Spain, Prime Minister Zapatero may be governing on borrowed time after his party suffered heavy defeats in regional elections in May.
Will Papandreou be the next to go?
Kevin Featherstone is following this story from Athens.
He's a professor of contemporary Greek studies at the London School of Economics.
Thank you for joining us, Professor.
It's pretty incredible that the prime minister is in power, isn't it, at this point, considering the state of his economy?
KEVIN FEATHERSTONE, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: Well, I think he has made progress over the last year. The point is that both in terms of the external view and his critics domestically, it's a sense that the -- the speed and depth of reform has been inadequate. But he has, of course, been dealt a very tough hand. The situation changing almost weekly throughout the last year in terms of what he needs to respond to.
FOSTER: We got a pretty good impression from Elinda already that the government or politics in Greece is in some sort of chaos, because there isn't agreement on what to do next.
If there isn't any sort of political leadership, what does happen to the economy?
FEATHERSTONE: Well, I think as you previously discussed, the situation here does seem to be very toxic both politically and socially. The kind of scenes that you've seen in the center of Athens on your TV screen shows much despondency, much sense of helplessness and alienation as to what's going to happen, a fear that what will come will be everyone's worst nightmare.
You're right that leadership is critical. But then if we put it in perspective, who, at the moment, if we look around Europe, are the strong popular leaders?
You've listed a number of governments in economic difficulty. But we see prime ministers in London, Berlin and Paris accused of weakness, U- turns, indecision, etc.
So I think there is some general climate at the moment of lack of leadership internationally.
FOSTER: But the problem for Greece is, of course, if they don't reach some sort of political agreement, then they won't get the next tranche of money that they need to keep the economy going. What I'm, I suppose, getting that is the economy will fail, won't it?
It will go bankrupt unless the government agrees on a plan which inevitably the people won't like, because it's going to have to be so tough?
FEATHERSTONE: Yes, as you say, it's absolutely crucial that there is a sense of direction restored. It's absolutely crucial in terms of Greece's reputation. French, German critics in the eurozone will look at the dramatic events of today in Greece and think rather like John McEnroe used to say, you cannot be serious.
This is not a way to handle a crisis when you're in such a -- a deep, deep mess. So I think the events of today do nothing in terms of Greece's reputation with its eurozone partners, as you say, currently negotiating a second bailout.
But the worry must also be that on the financial marketplace tomorrow, people will be looking at the Greek situation and having more doubts about the will and capability of Greece to deliver the reform which is currently being discussed.
It's, you know, it's a really bad day for Greece. And the -- the only way forward is to restore some sense of leadership and direction.
FOSTER: Professor Featherstone in Athens, thank you very much, indeed, for that.
The new austerity measures that enraged protesters in Athens today aim to raise more than $9 billion this year. They included reductions in pay for public workers and an increased focus on tax compliance. The measures will come up for a vote later this month.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.
When we come back, it's complicated -- the U.S. explains its relationship with Pakistan, after officials there say they've arrested informants who helped America take out Osama bin Laden.
Then, we look at the might behind the mission -- CNN gets unprecedented access to a French assault ship off the coast of Libya.
And later in the show, from Calgary to California, find out where Britain's favorite royal couple is heading and who's coming with them.
FOSTER: I'm Max Foster in London.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.
And here's a look at other stories we're following for you this hour.
Washington is defining its relationship with Pakistan as complicated, yet vital in combating terrorism. The White House statement follows the arrest of people who apparently helped the CIA track and kill Osama bin Laden.
Reza Sayah explains.
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Just when you thought the relationship between the U.S. And Pakistan couldn't get more twisted, tangled and complicated, we learn that the ISI, Pakistan's top spy agency, has arrested several suspected informants for the CIA. These are Pakistani men who allegedly fed information to the CIA and helped them before last month's big raid on the Bin Laden compound. This according to two Pakistani security officials.
It's not clear why these men have been arrested, where they are and what, if anything, they're being charged with.
One of the men is reportedly an army major who allegedly wrote down license plates of vehicles going in and out of the compound. But one of our sources, a security official, says that's not true, that none of the men arrested is an army officer. Security officials do tell us that some of the individuals in custody were staying at a safe house rented by the CIA to serve as a lookout onto the bin Laden compound.
These arrests, obviously, raise some questions again about Pakistan's top spy agency.
Why has the ISI been arresting informants for the CIA when they were supposed to be on board with U.S. Efforts to go after bin Laden?
You would think they would praise and commend these men instead of arresting them. Fact that they have arrested them suggests that they may not be happy with what they did.
We caution that there is not a lot of detail about these arrests. We still don't know why these men were picked up. But if, but, indeed, they're in trouble with Pakistani authorities, it's going to fuel suspicion again about Pakistan's commitment to the U.S. Fight against extremists. And, once again, it could ignite more questions about Pakistani's intelligence agency, whether it's a U.S. Friend or playing a deceptive double game.
Reza Sayah, CNN, Islamabad.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
FOSTER: Turkish and Syrian officials are meeting to discuss the growing number of refugees crossing the border. The Turkish side says more than 8,400 Syrians have crossed the border, nearly half of them children. The refugees are fleeing Syria's violent crackdown on demonstrators. U.N. goodwill ambassador, Angelina Jolie, is set to visit the refugee camps this week.
Troops in North and South Sudan are once again clashing in Abyei, despite a -- a new agreement to demilitarize the flashpoint border region. Aid groups estimate 60,000 people have now fled their homes to escape the fighting. Violence has spiked as the south gets ready to secede this summer, becoming the world's newest nation.
A volcano in Chile is still causing travel troubles halfway around the world. Ash spewing from the volcano is once again forcing some air routes to be canceled in Australia. Though closer to home, rain cut through enough on Wednesday for flights to resume in Argentina's capital. Volcanic ash makes it dangerous to fly because it can cause jet engines to stop.
Now, from domestic violence to devastating poverty, women face a number of threats globally. A new survey ranks the most dangerous countries for women. The poll comes from Trust Law, a legal news service run by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
CNN's Isha Sesay that's a look at the top five.
ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Violence, dismal health care and brutal poverty make Afghanistan the most dangerous country for women, according to the Trust Law Survey.
Another factor -- sky high maternal mortality rates.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're talking about one in 11 women risking death through childbirth. Anything between 10 and 20 percent of the women here being illiterate and a large number, one survey suggesting as much as 70 percent, being forced into marriage here.
SESAY: The Democratic Republic of Congo comes in a close second due to staggering levels of sexual violence. The U.N. calls it the rape capital of the world. More than 400,000 women are raped in the country each year.
MONIQUE VILLA, CEO, THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION: You have not only the obvious dangers for women, which are rape or crime or violence, you have also all the hidden dangers. And the hidden dangers are mostly consequences of poverty.
SESAY: Pakistan, India and Somalia rank third, fourth and fifth respectively. In Pakistan, some 1,000 women and girls die each year in so- called honor killings, usually committed by members of the victim's family. In India, reports of as many as 50 million girls may have been the victims of female infanticide over the past century. And in Somalia, 95 percent of girls face genital mutilation, most of them just four to 11 years old.
Isha Sesay, CNN.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
FOSTER: Afghanistan is also in the news today, because of concerns over its financial future. The U.S. has spent billions to build infrastructure there.
But can Afghanistan afford to maintain it all once the Americans are gone?
Also ahead, the legal showdown over Libya. Some U.S. lawmakers say President Barack Obama has overstepped his authority and they're taking his administration to court.
FOSTER: NATO is ramping up operations in Libya even as some members face growing criticism of the mission at home. War planes launched powerful air strikes late on Tuesday, ending a brief lull in attacks. NATO says it hit an air defense support facility in Tripoli, among other targets. State TV says one NATO strike in the town of Kikla hit a bus, killing 12 passengers. NATO hasn't commented yet on that report.
The United States plays a key role in the NATO mission. But some U.S. lawmakers say President Barack Obama had no business getting the country involved in that war. They are filing a lawsuit against his administration, but the White House is standing its ground.
Let's get more details from senior Congressional correspondent, Dana Bash -- first of all, Dana, tell us about the lawsuit and what that's saying.
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. This lawsuit is very interesting because this is a group of lawmakers, Democrats and Republicans, who are historically anti-war. And their issue is that they believe that the president is -- is and has been breaking the law here in the United States because they say he is violating the War Powers Act.
What is that?
It's a 1973 law that says that the president has to come to Congress, where I am right now, the U.S. Congress, and get approval for any military action that he is engaged in. And if he doesn't do so in 60 days, then troops have to begin to come home.
So what this lawsuit is saying is that the president is -- has already violated that, because there has been no authorization here from Congress. And they are saying that he is actually misusing funds, U.S. funds, because he is using funds that the Congress has already approved in order to help fulfill or at least support this NATO mission in Libya.
FOSTER: But, Dana, isn't the War Powers Act pretty clear?
Don't they have a point away from whether or not he's been using the money wrongly?
BASH: It does appear to be clear. I mean, it really -- it really does seem to be pretty cut and dry that it simply says that the president has to come to Congress.
Now, I will tell you that part of the issue is -- is Congress and that Congress has not -- has not actually acted alone and acted themselves to -- to deal with this whole idea of -- of authorization. So it's not just, I think it's fair to say, not just the president's fault. It's also leaders from the Democratic and Republican Parties.
But I'll just tell you real fast, that the White House actually has been pressured more by leaders here in Congress. And so they're putting out a report this afternoon explaining why they don't think that they are in violation of the War Powers Act, saying that the U.S. is simply in a support role for NATO, that there are no real boots on the ground and things like that. That's why they are saying that -- that they feel that they are in keeping with the law. But there's a lot of people who think that that is just not true.
And the thing that we're watching right now is Sunday, because Sunday is the day, according to the law, if the president had gotten authorization, it is the 30 day mark that he has to bring the troops out of this mission. And so that's why there is a lot of pressure on the president now, from people who have been saying that he's wrong-headed to begin with on this -- on this mission, that he's got to be more clear and he's going to get authorization or those troops are going to have to come home.
So it's a real constitutional battle here in the United States.
FOSTER: All right, thank you very much, indeed.
When is a war not a war?
Well, other NATO members are also encountering growing skepticism at home over the Libyan mission. A few days ago, the head of the British Navy suggested the country's military may be stretched too thin, questioning how long it could stay involved in Libya.
Today, British Prime Minister David Cameron looked to extinguish any doubt. He met with NATO's secretary-general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in London for talks on the Libyan mission.
Earlier, he said this to parliament.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID CAMERON, BRITAIN PRIME MINISTER: We can sustain this mission as long as we need to. And that is exactly the words the chief of the defense staff used yesterday, because we are doing the right thing. And I want one simple message to go out from every part of this government, and, indeed, every part of this House of Commons. And that is that time is on our side. We have got NATO. We've got the United Nations. We've got the Arab League. We have right on our side. The pressure is building militarily, diplomatically, politically and time is running out for Gadhafi.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Well, Britain and France have recently added a powerful new weapon in the fight against Gadhafi -- attack helicopters. They allow for better accuracy, but also can put troops at greater risk.
Our Jim Bittermann visited an assault ship that's staging -- that's a staging ground for the operation.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If Libya's Colonel Gadhafi is feeling the heat just a little more these days, the pilots of the French Helicopter Strike Group from the assault ship Panera (ph) are part of the reason. And they, along with British helicopters, went into operation against Libyan targets earlier this month. The attack helicopters have been flying missions most every night against targets that are harder to identify or harder to hit from fixed wing aircraft.
But while the helicopters can target small vehicles and even individual soldiers with wire-guided missiles and .30 millimeter cannon, they also fly lower and slower than the jets, and are much more vulnerable to even small arms fire from the ground -- something the pilots, none of whom can be identified by name -- are keenly aware of.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The intensity of the mission, the engagement with the enemy, it's the whole collection of things that makes this mission difficult.
BITTERMANN: The Helicopter Assault Group commander says it's risky, but doable.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've studied this level of risk very, very accurately. And our TTPs, our techniques, tactics and procedures make us quite certain we can assume this level of risk.
BITTERMANN: So far, the colonel has been proven right. The gunships have been in action practically each night since June 3rd without being hit by ground fire, night after night, attacking specific targets as well as targets of opportunity as they appear. That, says the ship's commander, is what makes the helicopters so valuable.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're more precise. We're acting more locally. And we're acting in a very short loop at the very tactical level above the ground.
BITTERMANN: And are you raising the pressure on Gadhafi?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are able to move very quickly from one point to another and to apply pressure wherever we have objectives to achieve.
BITTERMANN: Among the army airmen on this navy ship, there's little question the helicopters they've brought into this fight are making a difference.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To go to the enemy, to see him and to tell him we'll beat you. So it's -- it's a real -- a real fight between two soldiers.
BITTERMANN: One French officer said that on this mission, they're behaving a bit like vampires -- relaxing by day and going on the attack at night. And each night, the French command believes they are draining more and more of the strength from Gadhafi's forces.
Jim Bittermann, CNN, aboard the BPS Ton Air off the coast of Libya.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
FOSTER: Do stay with us here on CONNECT THE WORLD.
In just a moment, investing in Afghanistan -- the U.S. has outlaid billions of dollars for projects.
But will it be money well spent?
And then we get the details on the royal tour -- find out more of where the duke and duchess are heading and who's in the entourage.
And he's the last designer -- Daniel Libeskind's name is in the cement of iconic buildings around the world. This architectural genius is coming up in around 20 minutes as your Connector of the Day.
FOSTER: You're back with CONNECT THE WORLD. Let's get a check of the headlines this hour.
With a crippling debt crisis hanging over his head, the Greek prime minister says his country -- says his country -- says to his country that he will form a new government on Thursday and ask for a vote of confidence. The request comes as massive protests unfold in Athens, some of them violent.
Some Washington lawmakers are suing the Obama administration over US participation in the NATO air strikes in Libya. The bipartisan group says US military action there is unconstitutional. The White House is set to deliver a report to Congress on the mission on Wednesday, saying President Obama has not overstepped his powers.
Pakistani officials say the country's intelligence agency has arrested several people who helped the CIA track and kill Osama bin Laden. One allegedly rented a safe house to CIA agents in Abbottabad near bin Laden's compound. The White House calls its relationship with Pakistan "complicated," but vital to security.
Stargazers in parts of the world have been watching the first total lunar eclipses of 2011. A total lunar eclipse happens when the Earth casts a shadow across the surface of the moon. This is the longest lunar eclipse in 11 years.
A new report ranked Afghanistan as the most dangerous country in the world for women. The study by the Thompson Reuters Foundation says high maternal mortality rates and lack of access to health care and education contributed to the finding.
Tonight we'll be putting Afghanistan firmly in the spotlight. First up, let's talk about leadership. President Hamid Karzai had now privately announced he intends to step down in 2014. That is according the US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who told a Senate panel on Wednesday.
The country's constitution limits presidents to two terms in office. Hamid Karzai was reelected back in 2009 after his chief rival dropped out of the runoff. That election was marred by widespread fraud claims.
Now, we're looking at aid. 2014, as it turns out, will be a key year for Afghanistan. It's when the US hopes to hand over authority and when many of its 100,000 troops should be back on home soil.
In the meantime, America has spent billions there trying to rebuild and develop. But in a country torn apart by decades of war, do good intentions necessarily mean good investments? Nick Paton Walsh takes a look.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A generous state- of-the-art gift from the American people to keep the lights on in Kabul. A power plant magnificent in design and in cost, $300 million before anyone had even switched it on.
But American planners forgot one thing. Could Afghanistan afford the fuel to keep it going?
WALSH (on camera): You can listen to the answer here. Much of the time, the plant stays silent. That's because the diesel fuel that it runs on is so expensive that to run it at even half capacity could cost the Afghan government up to $100 million a year.
WALSH (voice-over): It's high-tech turbines are on about seven percent the amount planned. A white elephant some say, but its sponsors say its occasional backup power is vital.
JOHN HANSEN, USAID: What I think the person on the street would probably tell you is that he or she is pretty satisfied by the fact that power, which was available two to four hours a day in 2009 is now largely available 24 hours a day.
WALSH: But to many, it's a symbol of the billions that America's spent here without asking itself, will Afghans be able to pay for this once we're gone?
Same question about this, a huge network of highways built for over $2.5 billion.
WALSH (on camera): It's a vast project running around the country through some of its least safe areas, meant to breathe the life of trade between cities.
WALSH (voice-over): There's a few glitches, though. Much of it's made of asphalt, which some US officials admit is very hard to repair here.
And then, there's the burden of maintaining it for heavy use. USAID
"The roads are very broken," this trucker says, "because of the large loads they carry."
In real terms for Afghans working here, the $3,600 Haji Villa (ph) earns in a year is equivalent to the cost of maintaining just 100 meters of road.
It's one thing if power plants and roads run out of money when the Americans leave. It's another when medical care is affected. People in central Kabul's hospital will feel it hard. Care is free here, but these high-tech devices that America paid for are not, and without continued huge input of cash from donors, they could stay off permanently.
America's gifts so costly, Afghanistan so broke, that the bid to give them everything risks coming to nothing. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Kabul.
FOSTER: Dozens of countries have pledged billions since the conflict in Afghanistan began in 2001, but there's a big difference between pledging and actually paying up.
Now, according to review by the Afghan Finance Ministry, a total of $62 billion was pledged between 2001 and 2009, but only $36 billion was actually paid.
The US remains by far the biggest donors, spending something like $23.4 billion over the eight-year period. That's still short of what was pledged by more than $5 billion, though.
Sweden puts its money where its mouth is, and it's translating 90 percent of pledges into concrete funding, so a good example of actually keeping up with promises. And in 2009, they spent $92 million in aid.
And the United Kingdom, also a generous donor, and is increasing aid from $812 million to $1.1 billion by 2014.
But will it be money spent wisely? We're going to talk a bit more about that with Michael Semple. He's a former deputy to the European Union, special representative to Afghanistan, and he's with us now from Boston in Massachusetts.
These projects they've been spending on have been -- you can't discredit them, because they're a great idea. But was it done in the wrong way? Was the money spent in an appropriate manner?
MICHAEL SEMPLE, HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL: Well, first of all, I think you have to put it into perspective, because now we're looking at the civilian assistance. The civilian assistance has only been about one tenth of the total spending in Afghanistan in the period that you were talking about, up to 2009.
Nine times more than that was actually being spent on the military program. So, yes, it's a challenge to run the civilian aid programs properly, but it's important to do.
And in the long run, I think that we're going to be seeing a running down of the military spending as the troops come home and to maintain stability in Afghanistan into the future, I think that people are going to be relying on the civilian assistance program. All of which is why it's so important to get it right.
FOSTER: Yes. On a positive note, give us an example, though, of where aid money has actually been really effectively spent and has made a huge difference.
SEMPLE: I'll give you -- I'll give you two examples. The -- I think that your segment was saying that somehow Afghans might not be able to afford their roads.
I think after the troops have gone home, one of the things that Afghans will rate favorable and said the United States did well while it was here will be precisely this network of roads ringing around the country, even though many of them are surfaced with asphalt. And I think that Afghans will find it a priority to maintain those roads and to keep up with the asphalt.
But the roads are sort of like very big and fancy projects. Some of the money has gone into much smaller projects, which happen at a civilian - - at a village level where it's groups of 25 or 30 families get together.
It's a program called the National Solidarity Program, which has helped communities across the country build small irrigation schemes, put in small generators to offer light at night to villages and even build their local school. Most of the money which has gone into that program has been well-spent and most Afghans that I and many other people had a chance to ask about are satisfied with the way that's gone.
FOSTER: In terms of those big infrastructure projects, though, are you worried? Are people worried, experts worried that over time, they will gradually degrade from very good standards right now, just because the Afghans won't be able to keep up with maintenance?
SEMPLE: Well, the hope is that if there is any kind of stability in Afghanistan, then the government will at least have the capacity to maintain the basic infrastructure, like putting on a surface on the roads. Now, of course, that depends -- yes, that depends on something like peace in Afghanistan.
Some of us, oh, during the period of the 80s watched the -- their infrastructure that the Soviets had put in, the national road system the Soviets had helped build, we saw it gradually degrade, not because the country inherently couldn't afford to maintain them, but because there was a war on which stopped anyone maintaining them.
If we can manage to bring the war to an end, then there's a chance that the Afghan government will maintain its infrastructure.
FOSTER: OK, Michael Semple, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us, discussing there the great problems, long-term, on keeping up with restructuring those infrastructure projects in Afghanistan.
Now, elsewhere, every year in Nepal, thousands of young girls are trafficked into the sex industry. On June the 26th, we'll share their stories with you in a compelling CNN Freedom Project documentary "Nepal's Stolen Children."
Actress Demi Moore, who is a passionate advocate for victims of human trafficking, partners with CNN as a special contributor for this project. She travels to Nepal to meet the 2010 CNN Hero and some of the thousands of girls that an organization has rescued from forced prostitution.
The children, some as young as 11, share their emotional firsthand experiences with Demi Moore. How are these girls smuggled and where are they taken? What is Nepal doing to stop it?
Find out in the world premier of "Nepal's Stolen Children," a CNN Freedom Project documentary. That's on Sunday, June the 26th, 20:00 local time in London and Berlin, 22:00 in Abu Dhabi. Only here on CNN.
Coming up on CONNECT THE WORLD, though, a royal visit to the Golden State. California is getting ready to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The trip isn't just glitz and glamor, though. Find out what's on their agenda next on CONNECT THE WORLD.
FOSTER: Royal newlyweds the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are gearing up for their first official overseas engagement, and now we know a little bit more about their highly anticipated trip.
An entourage of seven staff will accompany William and Catherine on their 11-day tour to Canada and the US. Let's hope they're feeling full of energy, because the couple will travel more than 22,000 kilometers in 11 days. Just take a look at their journey.
Kicking off in Ottawa, taking in Prince Edward Island, Calgary, and finishing up in the Golden State of California. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge plan to combine red carpet glamor with serious charity work during their visit to California. Here's a sneak peak at what they'll be up to.
FOSTER (voice-over): For a couple that so closely guard their privacy, it came as some surprise that they chose the entertainment capital of the world as part of their first official overseas tour.
On their first night, VIPs are invited to Hancock Park, where the duke and duchess are staying. Traveling with the couple are a team of five, including an assistant hairdresser for Catherine.
The following morning, on Saturday, July 9th, more VIPs invited to watch the prince play in a charity polo match at Santa Barbara. Tickets cost $4,000.
Later that evening, the duke and duchess hit the red carpet. A glitzy affair hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. A chance for British talent to hobnob with Hollywood stars and studio execs.
The schedule is so tight, though, there'll be no time to hook up with friends living locally.
DAVID BECKHAM, MIDFIELDER, LOS ANGELES GALAXY: We know, obviously, they're going over to the States, but I'm sure their diary's more than full for them to be doing so many events. So, it's going to be exciting for them, I'm sure. They've got many other things going on in their lives, but it's incredible to have them together and have them married.
FOSTER: On Sunday, a very different scene. Catherine and William head to Skid Row, home to a vast homeless population and a cause close to the prince's heart, as it was to his mother, Diana.
For their last engagement, the couple attend a jobs fair for war veterans. The duke makes a major speech and, with the duchess, he meets bereaved families.
FOSTER: Tinsel Town is rolling out the red carpet, the royal red carpet, no less. For more on the Hollywood hype, I'm joined by Ken Baker, chief news correspondent for E! Entertainment. And I guess I've been looking at this from the London perspective. Is LA as excited as I'm implying?
KEN BAKER, E! ENTERTAINMENT: Very excited. In fact, you mentioned a red carpet, I think a lot of us were a little bit shocked that there's actually -- it's a trip that's devoid of red carpet per se, because they're not doing any real glamorous events. Perhaps the most glamorous thing being this dinner, but that's not the kind of celebrity red carpet even that we're hoping to see more of.
I think that this is relatively, for Hollywood standards, is a pretty subdued trip. There's a lot of -- they're visiting homeless shelter and doing a lot of more charitable business-related type of things. Of course, the charity event up in Santa Barbara is for a very good cause that Will and Harry very much believe in.
So, I think it's a mix of a little bit of glamor, but a lot of just responsibility. And so, I think people are a little bit surprised, thought maybe they would have a little bit more fun, let their hair down a little bit. So, that doesn't seem to be happening.
FOSTER: The palace very keen to point out this is a working trip, it's about promoting British interests. It's not about meeting celebrities. Do you think they somehow have got caught between the rock and a hard place, because they're going to LA, which is the home of entertainment, but they're not really throwing themselves in?
BAKER: Sort of. I mean, it's hard -- you could just bump into a celebrity going to get a slice of pizza around here, so I think it's hard for them not to. And of course, they will, at the BAFTA event, they will be amongst a lot of celebrities.
So, whether or not they call it a trip for business or pleasure, I think they're going to have a lot of fun, and they are going to see a lot of celebrities and be around a lot of people that maybe they wouldn't otherwise be exposed to.
But everyone here is just really excited. For us, they are not so much a royal couple as just celebrities. Really beautiful, famous, glamorous, interesting people, and we're treating this as such. I know everyone at E! is very excited. We'll be covering it very, very closely.
FOSTER: And is the interest more in the duchess or the duke?
BAKER: You know, I would say that certainly Kate is just so fashionable, and I think she's really captured everyone's imagination. Not that Will is old news, but he sort of is, let's face it. She's definitely a fresh face and people are very fascinated by here, so I think she has a leg up.
FOSTER: It's all about the duchess. Shame we won't hear her speak at all. Apparently not. Thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. Palace says she's not confident about public speaking just yet.
Well, still to come, the man tasked with creating a new landmark at Ground Zero. Architect Daniel Libeskind is your Connector of the Day, and we ask what message does his vision for the site send to the world?
FOSTER: His canvas is the heart of a city and a place of infamous tragedy. Daniel Libeskind is the architect tasked with rebuilding Ground Zero. A monumental project it may be, but it's just one of the many that your Connector of the Day can put his name to around the globe.
FOSTER (voice-over): From centers of learning in Hong Kong and business hubs in South Korea to museums in Germany and residential towers in Brazil. The list of iconic structures goes on for Daniel Libeskind, an architect who only completed his first building 13 years ago at the age of 52.
A prolific and visionary designer with projects in more than 15 countries, Libeskind is known for creating buildings that promote peace and understanding. Most famously, he designed the master plan for the rebuild at the former site of the World Trade Center.
But Libeskind, an architect of Polish-Jewish descent first cemented his reputation in 2001 for his work on the Jewish museum in Berlin.
He's since returned to Germany for another high-profile project, a redesign of the military history museum in Dresden.
I asked your Connector of the Day how he hopes his transformation of the site will be interpreted by future generations.
DANIEL LIBESKIND, ARCHITECT: Of course, people will have their own interpretations. Like any art, you have to provide the structure, the meaning and, of course, the National Military History Museum in Dresden is an incredible story. It's something radically new.
It's not just the old museum where you see weapons and medals and maps. It's a complete disruption of that notion, and it's bringing people close to why is there violence? Why are there wars?
What happened in Germany in those tragic times? How was the city of Dresden itself firebombed? How does it reflect other cities which were bombed from that point? And how does a democracy deal with military history?
Because you have to remember that, of course, this is not just another museum of objects. It's a museum that poses human questions, and I think that's something really, really new.
FOSTER (on camera): And these buildings, your buildings, become part of the national fabric inevitably, and Richard Waite asks, "What do you think about the listing of modern commercial buildings?" I think that's a particularly British term, but "such as the 1980s Broadgate office development in London. Should it be protected from being demolished?"
LIBESKIND: Well, I can't speak specifically, because I don't know enough about that particular project, but I think we have to balance the need of great architecture and moving a city forward.
And of course, if a building has a great story to tell, if it's very memorable, if it's beautiful, if it has registered in the hearts of citizens, then it should be kept. But if it's just a pedestrian building which would make way for a new development, then I'm all for that, as well.
So, it's a very delicate, very sensitive questions which has to be really asked in a very practical, analytical, and philosophical way.
FOSTER: And I guess a building that's described as or felt to be ugly in one decade might be seen as beautiful the following decade, so you need to protect what we see as ugly buildings sometimes.
LIBESKIND: Well, look. We see the Mona Lisa differently today than it was seen during the Renaissance. But it continues to be an enigmatic, beautiful, mysterious -- it's a work of art.
So, architecture is also a work of art. It's a civic work of art, it's not made by one person. The architect can design it, but it's really produced by thousands of people, particularly neighborhood or a large complex.
So, I think we have to really study, is the building a great piece of architecture? And that can be answered, I think. That's not a subjective answer. That's an objective answer.
FOSTER: About the World Trade Center obviously very interesting project for the whole world. I just want to ask you how you got involved in that project there?
LIBESKIND: Well, there was a competition. Thousands of architects subscribed to it, and I thought, as a New Yorker, somebody who grew up in New York at a site which I saw as a student.
I was a student of architecture in New York when I saw the World Trade Center being constructed. And we all sort of marveled at this mega-towers. Of course, I subscribed and I entered the competition.
FOSTER: How are you going to get it right? Because this is going to be an iconic building, very close to the heart of Americans, and very recognizable to the world. How are you going to get it right?
LIBESKIND: Well, it's more than just one building. You know, as a master planner of Ground Zero, my task is how to shape the entire site. How to create public spaces. How to balance the needs of memory and the needs of a vital city.
I often compare the master planning job to a tree. The leaves will be the individual buildings, but the tree, the entire structure, how high are the buildings? Where are they located? Where are the streets? What do you do with traffic? What is invisible, like the roots of the tree?
That's the master plan, which really was an open question when I started. Nobody really knew exactly, what do we do with this site? How do we commemorate? How do we rebuild? So the master plan is the structure that provides, really, the guide for the rebuilding of all the diversified buildings, memorial, and so on.
FOSTER: And everyone has a view. James Wilkinson writing into us saying the best way to describe the Twin Towers is "unapologetic, a statement of power." He believes the replacement building doesn't illustrate the same confidence and might. Was that on purpose, do you just disagree with his statement?
LIBESKIND: Well, it's certainly a very different time, a very different project. This is no longer just a piece of real estate. This is a place of memory where thousands of people perished.
So, one has to really recreate a new neighborhood here. It's no longer about just a mega-structure, what was there. It's about what happens to public spaces? How do you create streets based on the human scale? How do you create buildings that have a symbolic significance?
Because, of course, this is now a site which will forever sort of refer to September 11th. And at the same time, how do you use that bedrock to really generate new life and assert that this is a site of life? This is a site of freedom and of liberty.
And of course, that's very powerful in its own terms. But it's a very different composition, very different place in the city than the Twin Towers were.
FOSTER: Your Connector of the Day Daniel Libeskind, there. Well, tomorrow night, the Hollywood star who's made a pledge for kids.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF BRIDGES, ACTOR: I can only imagine how terrible it would feel if I couldn't provide for my kids, so I want to do everything I can to make sure that families know about these programs that are available.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: The star of "Tron," Jeff Bridges, fights for a future without hunger. That's tomorrow night on Connector of the Day.
To find out more, head to cnn.com/connect. Remember, this is your part of the show. It's where you get to ask the questions.
Now, for our Parting Shots tonight, in an -- it's an unnerving case of Feline fatal attraction. This is Angie, a lovely American lioness from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado who seems quite taken with one-year-old Trent.
But is she thinking friendship or food? It does look a bit like the latter, if you look at this video. This video we found on YouTube with the rather catchy title, "Lioness tries to eat baby at zoo." It was posted by his parents, and it's been getting tens of thousands of hits.
Thankfully for Mum and Dad, the glass stopped Angie from taking things further, much to her dismay. At least Trent looked like he was having a good time, though. I wonder if he's going to ask Santa for a lion for Christmas. Fell over at the end.
Well, it's time we came to. I'm Max Foster, thanks for watching. The world headlines and "BackStory" follow this short break.