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CONNECT THE WORLD
Feeling the Heat; Famine Escalates in Somalia; Yao Ming Announces Retirement From NBA; Yao's Net Worth; Tiger Woods Drops Caddy; Summit on EU Debt Crisis; Prospects of Solving Greek Debt Crisis Look Dim; Green Pioneer Urges Indian Farmers to Go Organic; The Wendi Tackle
Aired July 20, 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)
DAVID CAMERON, BRITAIN PRIME MINISTER: I am extremely sorry about the furor that it has caused.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Feeling the heat -- the U.K. prime minister is forced again to explain why he hired the former Murdoch man at the center of the phone hacking scandal.
But the dust refuses to settle on the global saga. Tonight, we ask who will end up shaping the future of one of the world's biggest media empires?
Also ahead, as a famine is declared in Somalia, the UK's top aid chief tells this program the global response has been, quote, "dangerously inadequate."
And the basketball player in the U.S. who inspired a generation of hoopsters in China and around the world -- why Yao Ming is hanging up his NBA shoes.
These stories and more tonight as we connect the world.
Well, confronting a crisis but refusing to apologize for his role in it -- British Prime Minister David Cameron faced a firing line in the House of Commons today, where more than 100 lawmakers grilled him over the course of two hours. In the spotlight, his relationships with people embroiled in the British phone hacking scandal at the "News of the World".
Mr. Cameron said he would not have hired a former executive from that newspaper to be his communications director if he had known then what he knows now. But he stopped short of actually apologizing for it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAMERON: I have said very clearly that if it turns out Andy Coulson knew about the hacking at the "News of the World," he will not only have lied to me, but he would have lied to the police, to his select committee, to the Press Complaints Commission and, of course, perjured himself in a court of law.
More to the point, if that comes to pass, he could also expect to face severe criminal charges.
I have an old-fashioned view about innocent until proven guilty.
CAMERON: But if it turns out I've been lied to, that would be a moment for a profound apology. And in that event, I can tell you, I will not fall short.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, that conditional apology is the first time Mr. Cameron has distanced himself from Andy Coulson. But it was not good enough for the opposition in what was a rowdy House of Commons.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED MILIBAND, OPPOSITION LEADER: It's not about hindsight, Mr. Speaker. It's not about whether Mr. Coulson lied to him. It is about all the information and warnings that the prime minister ignored.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, as Mr. Cameron fights the most serious scandal of his term as British prime minister, American investigators are turning up the heat on News Corp overseas.
CNN's Susan Candiotti is in New York with the details close from there -- Susan.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, ever since the FBI announced that it is investigating a report in a British tabloid owned by News Corp that it's possible that a New York private investigator was asked to hack into the phone records and voice-mails of 9/11 families. Well, those families have been asking for a personal meeting with the top law enforcer in the US. The U.S. attorney general, Eric Holder, and the head of the FBI.
Well, today the families got word that there will be a meeting between them and the Justice Department, as well as the FBI, so that they can talk about this ongoing investigation.
The families say they're very pleased about that because they wondered from the start ever since they heard about this report out of England that, in fact, hacking might -- we stress, might have taken place.
The -- the one thing about this, Becky, is that they are taking great pains to note, at the Justice Department, is that this meeting between the attorney general and the families will no exclusively deal with what they want to talk about, the suspected or possible phone hacking.
But they're saying this a broad-based meeting, we're happy to talk to them, but there will be other ongoing issues that we know the families always like to discusses with us.
So, to me, this signals that it is unlikely that, at this early stage of the investigation, that the FBI would be in a position to bluntly share whatever information they might have at this point, with the families to divulge that kind of information to them.
So we'll have to wait and see. But the families are tell the authorities, look, we want to cooperate in any way possible. If it will make it easy on you, we will provide to you our phone records willingly, we're willing to sign anything if that will help.
Susan, we thank you for that.
Susan Candiotti for you in New York.
Well, News Corp's image may be tarnished in the American psyche, but its share price, let me tell you, is starting to recover from a two week slide in the markets, at least in New York.
The slow climb began yesterday, as James and Rupert Murdoch answered questions at the British parliament hearing about the phone hacking scandal. And it continued its upward march -- take a look at this -- today, reaching more than $16.20 a share at one point.
That is significantly higher than it was. That is a long way from more than $18.50, where it was two weeks ago.
And as this stock struggles to recover, questions now swirling about whether the family at the helm can steer itself out of what is a burgeoning storm.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Rupert Murdoch was attacked in London, his family, led by wife, Wendi, rushed to his aid by going on the offense. During the hearing, father and son played defense, with survival of the family business at stake.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: For Rupert Murdoch, the testimony was less about him than it was about preserving News Corp in the Murdoch family. He's on his way out, but he has got to keep control so he can pass it to James and his other children.
ROTH: Rupert Murdoch, at times, was glad to have James, his fourth child and deputy News Corp executive, to take some of the heat.
RUPERT MURDOCH, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, NEWS CORPORATION: I think my son can perhaps answer that in more detail. He was a lot closer to that.
ROTH: Before the scandal, James Murdoch was seen as a likely heir to the CEO chair.
JAMES MURDOCH, DEPUTY COO AND CEO, NEWS CORPORATION: First of all, I would like to say, as well, just how sorry I am.
MICHAEL WOLFF, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, "ADWEEK": I think James is -- is finished. I just don't think he is -- he has enough credibility left. The only -- the only thing is now whether he can stay out of jail, but he cannot run this company.
ROTH: Another son, Lachlan Murdoch, was once seen as the heir before quitting in 2005.
TOOBIN: Murdoch is very devoted to his children. But he's had a stormy relationship with them. Lachlan Murdoch once seemed like the heir apparent, but he had a falling out with his father and he's been off to Australia.
ROTH: Elizabeth Murdoch has denied reports she blamed her brother James or "News of the World" executive, Rebekah Brooks, for the damage the scandal has done to her father's company. She once started her own independent TV firm, only to be bought by her father for nearly $650 million.
VICKY WARD, WRITER, "VANITY FAIR": And this is a man who cares so much about his legacy, he once said to me, "All I want is for my kids to be decent people."
ROTH: They love their father, but keep an eye on replacing him when that day comes.
WOLFF: James very much -- very much wanted it. They all have wanted it. There was a period when Elizabeth wanted -- Elizabeth was the heir. And that didn't work out. And then Lachlan and James. So, actually, this rather continues the pattern.
ROTH: Keeping it all in the family. Rupert Murdoch told his questioners about his late father buying a small newspaper, rooting out scandals.
RUPERT MURDOCH: Which I remain very, very proud of.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think the students of history are well aware...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- of your family business.
RUPERT MURDOCH: And I would love to se my sons and daughters follow (INAUDIBLE), if they're interested.
ROTH: A hint from the father that the children may be less interested now that the company is embroiled in scandal.
Richard Roth, CNN, New York.
ANDERSON: Are they less interested, or, indeed, less likely to be offered the chance?
Well, Bloomberg News reports that News Corp is considering replacing Rupert Murdoch, not with one of his kids, but with chief operating officer Chase Carey. Now, he has been coo of News Corp since 2009 and is considered one of Murdoch's most trusted deputies.
He's also one of the few executives at the top of News Corp not involved in this phone hacking scandal.
But is he the future of the company?
Well, my next guest ought to know the answer, at least.
Paul McCartney is the author of "Inside Rupert's Brain," a biography of the media mogul. And let me tell you, there's not a lot of people who have been inside his brain.
He's also assistant managing editor at CNNMoney.com, joining me now live from New York.
Now, the stock price was up -- let's just be clear and transparent about this -- even before the testimony began, Paul.
But it certainly got a fillip on the back of it. Most people would suggest -- and I'd probably agree -- that that was because -- that the -- it wasn't that they did a bad job, it was that they basically looked as if they weren't in control of the company. I'm talking Rupert and James.
Do you agree?
PAUL LA MONICA, AUTHOR, "INSIDE RUPERT'S BRAIN," ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR, CNNMONEY.COM: I do. I think it is fair to say that Rupert in particular did not do a good job during the hearing. He came across as somewhat doddering, and, you know, people making light of, is he too old to run the company, which I think is probably a little bit ageist. I think he was just doing everything he could to be tight-lipped and not implicit himself, as opposed to someone who's now, you know, should be accused of being senile
LA MONICA: But the reason I think the stock went up is, as you pointed out, News Corp -- there is no concern, I think, that either Rupert or James said anything that implicates them directly in this scandal.
ANDERSON: Yes. But the point being nothing that implicates them. There's no -- there's no criminal complicity per se. Well, it certainly didn't look as if there was any. But they certainly didn't look as if they had a grip on the company, which, I guess, for News Corp investors equals change at the top, which could be a good thing.
LA MONICA: I think so. When you look -- even before the tabloid scandal really kind of catapulted Rupert Murdoch into the public consciousness for, you know, everyone, as opposed to just media junkies, News Corp he had some, you know, big misses in the past few years.
They, arguably, overpaid for Dow Jones, the publisher of "The Wall Street Journal." A lot of investors not happy about that.
They bought MySpace for, you know, nearly $600 million and then just recently sold it for $35 million because they failed to recognize that, oh, yes, there's this little company called Facebook that's making you irrelevant.
So a lot of decisions made by the Murdochs weren't really things that panned out.
And I think why everyone is excited about Chase Carey, he used to be the CEO of DirecTV, the big satellite broadcast success story in the US. He's not a newspaper guy.
LA MONICA: And that's what investors want right now.
LA MONICA: They don't want News Corp focusing all this attention on a tiny part of the business that is just a headache and has no financial reward.
ANDERSON: Yes, he's a big broadcasting man. And he doesn't seem to have been implicated in any way, shape or form in what is going on on this side of the pond, or, indeed, the potential for any fallout from the FBI and DOJ investigations.
So, which begs the next question, are we looking at the end of a Murdoch at senior levels at News Corp?
And I'm not necessarily talking about the moving on of -- of Rupert here.
But are we looking at the demise of any sense that his kids might be taking over at any significant level?
LA MONICA: I think that might be overstating it a little bit because the family still controls, you know, a huge chunk of the voting searches. What I think is the most likely scenario is that Rupert Murdoch, maybe sooner than he likes, gives up the CEO role, stays chairman, Carey gets elevated to the CEO spot and James is kind of in the penalty box until this scandal blows over, which could be several years away. And then once investors have forgiven and forgotten, then maybe he eventually gets the CEO role, after there's the, quote, unquote, adult supervision with, you know, Carey for a couple of years.
I mean the only other way that maybe a Murdoch comes in is if Lauchlan decides he wants the job again. He is still on the board. Elizabeth, as was mentioned, is back within the fold, having had her company bought by News Corp.
So it's possible that Lachlan or Elizabeth could emerge. They're both older. They haven't really been touched as much as James has in this scandal. But my money is on Carey as the eventual CEO. He kind of babysits the job until people forget that James had this awful involvement in this hacking scandal.
ANDERSON: Yes. Good stuff.
Paul, we thank you for that.
Paul La Monica. And he's got inside the head of Mr. Rupert Murdoch.
Well, Rupert Murdoch said Tuesday that he is the best person to clean up the mess. We're going to stick with the story in the months and weeks ahead -- or weeks and months ahead -- to see whether he is right in what he said.
Well, just ahead, hacking of a different sort -- the Taliban say someone got into their systems and sent out some phony messages. That story just three minutes away here on CONNECT THE WORLD.
Plus, burying his 4 -year-old daughter -- just one of the desperate faces as a famine is declared in Somalia.
And the EU gets ready for tough talks, searching for the elusive solution to Greece's debt crisis.
That is ahead in just less than 30 minutes.
You're watching CNN.
Stay with us.
ANDERSON: Well, I'm Becky Anderson in London.
Sixteen minutes past 9:00.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD, the world's leader here, CNN.
A look at some of the other headlines that we are watching for you at this hour.
And the last major war crimes suspect from the former Yugoslavia is a fugitive no longer. Serbia announced the arrest of Goran Hadzic today. The former Croatian-Serb rebel leader is accused of mass murder and other crimes against humanity during the 1990s. He is expected to be transferred to a U.N. war crimes tribunal in the Hague within days.
Serbian president, Boris Tadic, calls it the end of a dark and difficult chapter in Serbia's history.
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BORIS TADIC, SERBIAN PRESIDENT: If I have to remind yourself about other cases, internationally very well known and recognized. For example, the case about Osama bin Laden. And the work on that very issue was very long and very hard, almost one decade. And at the end of the day, that was fruitful and it was very efficient.
That is the same situation. We've been working very hard. We've been working systematically. At the end of the day, we're finished.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, the European Union praised the arrest of Hadzic, calling it "an important step for Serbia's European Union membership bid.
Well, France says one possible resolution to the Libyan war would be allowing Moammar Gadhafi to stay in the country if he promises to quit politics. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe also says that Gadhafi must formally surrender his military and civilian leadership roles a part of any cease-fire deal.
Moammar Gadhafi has repeatedly said he will not step down nor will he be forced into exile.
A Taliban spokesman is denying reports that the group's Afghan leader, Mullah Omar, is dead. The spokesman says the Taliban's phones and Web sit were hacked and phony text messages were sent from them.
Well, NATO says it has no knowledge of Omar's condition or his whereabouts. The U.S. has offered $10 million for information leading to his capture.
Well, it's time to lead -- that was the message from Hillary Clinton to India today on the second day of her visit to the South Asian giant. The U.S. secretary of State said India needs to show more political strength to match its economic clout. Juppe said India should use its economy to assist struggling neighbors in the region.
Well, the warning couldn't be more dire -- if the world doesn't intervene immediately, tens of thousands more people may die.
Coming up in two minutes, you're going to see where the United Nations has officially declared a famine.
And later, with China's -- or he was China's first sports superstar to go global. Now, Yao Ming is throwing in the towel.
That's coming up.
Stay with us.
ANDERSON: Well, parts of Somalia are suffering the worst food crisis in a generation. Unless the world takes urgent action, many more people may die.
Well, that is the warning today from the United Nations, officially declaring a famine in two Somali regions. It says 3.7 million people, nearly half the country's population, are now in danger.
The worst drought in more than a half a century has decimated harvests compounded by years of war and neglect.
Well, the problem certainly isn't Somalia's alone, sadly. The drought has also affected Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Djibouti -- more than 11 million people in all.
But Southern Somalia has the most pressing needs. And you're going to see the regions of Bakool and Larashebelle (ph), where the U.N. has declared a famine. Thousands of Somalis have left home in search of food and water, many trekking for days to reach refugee camps across the board.
Well, David McKenzie is at one such camp in Kenya.
Joining us now live -- David.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, yes, it's definitely a crisis situation here in Northern Kenya. And effectively, it's taken in the major brunt of the Somalia refugees coming across the border.
There are many statistics in this terrible story. One is two million -- two million children who are in desperate need of food assistance in this region. And that number might be hard to grasp for people, but it comes down to individuals -- individual children like Sarah.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): Aden Ibrahim carries the limp body of Sarah, his dead child. She drew her last breath at dawn.
Sarah was just four. Facing Mecca, they pray for her soul and bury her.
Severely malnourished, Ibrahim tried to get Sarah to the nearest hospital. But a ride costs just over $1 here, more than any of these new refugees could afford.
Sarah's uncle says they fled here hoping for better.
"We didn't come with money from Somalia. We didn't come with anything," he says. "We're refugees, but we're dying because we don't get enough help."
Ibrahim's family arrived tired and hungry, but he says they were forced to beg for food for two weeks. When they finally got given it, it didn't help.
"We haven't been given enough help," he says. "We've been given only flower and maize. And a child who is sick will not get better on that. She needed more help."
Now he worries that he could lose another child. And his daughter Deka is dangerously thin.
"It's in God's hands," he says. "It's not in mine. But if it stays this bad, more people will die."
They call this place Bola Bagti. It means carcass. It's where people leave their animals to die. But Sarah's father says they protected her well. The hyenas won't be able to reach her, he says. She's already in paradise.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
MCKENZIE: Frankly, the great tragedy of Sarah's story and of many others in the Horn of Africa is that this crisis could have been prevented. The agencies were talking about the hunger in this region from early this year. And donor countries, including the U.S., including rich European countries, didn't give the money that they had pledged or that the agencies had hoped for.
And also, Al Shabab, the militant group in Southern Somalia which controls access for groups like the World Food Programme, hasn't allowed them to go in there in recent years to give that food.
And so what is basically a manmade famine is, you know, pushing people over the budget and over the edge.
ANDERSON: Yes. We're going to take a look at the all of that, David.
We thank you very much, indeed for joining us.
(INAUDIBLE) weeks, doesn't it?
Well, aid agencies are making a desperate plea for more money. Let me just take you through the numbers as they stand at present, because this is pretty frightening stuff.
The U.N. is appealing for $1.87 billion in humanitarian aid for the region. Well, that's what's needed and this is what they've got so far. The U.S. and other countries have contributed just over a billion. This is how things stand as far as other aid efforts are concerned. And I'm talking here about extra aid efforts, really, that are needed for what is, as you see, a really desperate situation.
The U.K. has pledged $145 million from another $35 million from the EU, $28 million more from the U.S., $10 million from Spain, $8.5 million from Germany.
But this is the number I want you to look at this evening.
Now I'm just going to give you that. France, Denmark and Italy, nothing extra coming. The aid group Oxfam says several rich governments are guilty of, quote, "willful neglect" as the drought relief effort limps along.
Oxfam calls their response to the crisis "morally indefensible."
Well, earlier, I spoke with Andrew Mitchell, Britain's international development secretary.
And I began by asking him how he would describe the relative lack of action from what are some of the richest countries in the world.
This is what he said.
ANDREW MITCHELL, U.K. INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT SECRETARY: I think that the -- the response from some countries who are in a position to help has been derisory. I think it's been dangerously inadequate. And it's now important that everyone who can put their shoulder to the wheel to help should do so...
ANDERSON: And do...
MITCHELL: -- we are on...
ANDERSON: -- derisory and dangerously...
MITCHELL: -- the cusp now of...
ANDERSON: -- inadequate. Just tell us who you're talking about.
MITCHELL: I'm talking about those countries which have so far not put their shoulder to the wheel. And if they do not do so, we will then see what is already a humanitarian disaster turn into a humanitarian catastrophe. Now is the time when the international community must react with vigor to ensuring that huge numbers of people who are already very dangerously mal -- malnourished, particularly children, do not die as a result of this (INAUDIBLE).
ANDERSON: Let me fill in the gaps for our viewers then -- Denmark, Italy and France, for example?
MITCHELL: I think everyone can do more.
ANDERSON: How much more?
MITCHELL: Well, as I say, it's not my job as the British development secretary. Britain has set a lead. I'm very proud not only of the way the British government has reacted, very speedily, to help people caught up in this crisis, but also the way people across Britain, in their support for the disaster's emergency committee appeal, have come forward -- thousands and thousands of pounds raised in the last few days, more than 20 million since last Friday.
And Britain's example, I'm sure, will be copied around the world, as governments see the scale of what is happening and the urgent need for them to put their shoulders to the wheel to ensure that we have a real effect now, as the world, in combatting this.
ANDERSON: You're making real sense here.
How will the money be spent?
What's the local capacity, Andrew?
And how can people who are watching this show be sure that the Al Shababs of this world on -- on the ground aren't getting what they are sending, that the money is getting to the right place?
MITCHELL: Well, we won't -- we won't pay tax or do deals with Al Shabab. Al Shabab have made it clear that they are welcoming the international humanitarian relief effort and will stand aside and -- and that is the basis upon which we are proceeding.
And the World Food Programme has a huge role to play. The brilliant British charity, Save the Children, already engaged in urgently helping very malnourished children in parts of Somalia which are severely affected.
There are many actors on the ground who now, so long as the international community gets behind them, will be able to have a huge effect on -- on what is happening.
But now is the critical moment.
ANDERSON: Twenty years ago, the world waited too long, of course. But the economic cycle was a slightly different one.
Is the financial crisis here in Europe, do you think, a good effort excuse to prevent countries like Italy, France, for example, from pledging extra aid to Africa now?
MITCHELL: Well, of course not. We're talking about a scale of poverty and deprivation in the Horn of Africa out of all proportion to any of the economic travails that we face in Europe. And the -- and the evidence, too, from Britain -- and there's no ran to believe why citizens in other countries don't take the same view -- is that as the economic situation under the last government deteriorated, so the generosity to organizations like Comic Relief, increased. And that happened again this year.
So people in the richer world are very anxious, I believe, to help and expect their governments to step up and ensure that they have the impact that is so desperately needed.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: Andrew Mitchell speaking to me earlier.
This is a story that is not going away. You may live half a world away from Somalia. You can, though, be part of the solution. Do log onto CNN's Impact Your World Web site for ideas on how you can help victims of East Africa's famine. That his CNN.com/impact.
You're watching CNN and CONNECT THE WORLD here at 29 minutes past 9:00 in London.
I'm Becky Anderson.
Just ahead, holding court -- why China's favorite son is saying good- bye to the career that made him a global star.
Plus, five minutes away, a fairly stark warning with global implications. The EU tries to come to grips with this escalating debt crisis. In 10 minutes, we're live in Brussels on the eve of what is a crucial summit.
And in 15, it's the tackle that set social media on fire. You know you want to see it again, and it's coming up for you. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD, stay with us.
ANDERSON: You're back with CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN, the world's news leader. Let's get you a check of the headlines this hour.
A lawyer representing relatives of 9/11 victims say the families will meet with the FBI to discuss allegations that their relatives' phones may have been hacked by the "News of the World" newspaper.
The announcement comes on the day British prime minister David Cameron took heat in the House of Commons for hiring a former executive from that newspaper to be his communications director.
The persistent drought in Somalia has triggered a declaration of famine by the United Nations. Half the country's population is at risk. Thousands of Somalis suffering from malnutrition are spilling into refugee camps in Kenya and in Ethiopia for help.
Well, the Taliban are blaming hackers for sending text messages saying that their leader is dead. A Taliban spokesman tells CNN that Mullah Mohammed Omar is alive and well. The spokesman says the Taliban's phones and Web site were cyber attacked.
Serbian authorities have captured the last major war crimes suspect from the 1990s conflict in the Balkans. Former Croatian-Serb rebel leader Goran Hadzic is expected to be transferred to the Hague within days.
And those are your headlines this hour.
He caused a global stir when he joined the NBA, bringing basketball to a whole new audience and inspiring an entire generation in China to take up the game. Now, after a career which made him one of the country's most famous sporting exports, Yao Ming is calling it quits. Stan Grant explains.
STAN GRANT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It ended where it all began, Shanghai. China's favorite son, back home to say good-bye to a career that has made him a truly global star.
On announcing a personal decision today, he said "As a basketball player, I'm ending my athletic career and formally retire."
As always, Yao Ming dominated the room. That massive seven feet six inch frame has cast such a long shadow over basketball courts the world over. In the end, that body simply gave out. Yao has succumbed to constant foot and ankle injuries that have plagued him for years.
In an announcement mostly in Mandarin, Yao thanked his family and his fans, especially in China, then he paused briefly in English to pay tribute to his adopted home, Houston.
YAO MING, FORMER HOUSTON ROCKETS PLAYER: Especially the fans in Houston. I'd like to thank you for giving me a great nine years during my NBA career.
Nine years ago, I came to Houston as a young, tall, skinny player, and the entire city and the team changed me to a grown man.
GRANT (on camera): And CNN played its own small part in Yao's journey. In 2002, that tall, skinny kid came here to the Beijing bureau to listen to the NBA draft that would launch his career. Back then, he certainly blocked out the doorways.
GRANT (voice-over): Back then, his English wasn't as polished and his game was still raw. He had it all in front of him.
YAO: I'm very happy to join to the Houston Rockets. Hi, Houston, I'm coming.
GRANT: And come he did. He was voted an all-star player eight times while playing for the Houston Rockets, and he helped the team reach the playoffs four times. He's represented China and played at the Olympics.
Off the court, he's turned hundreds of millions of Chinese onto basketball and turned himself into what many call a billion-dollar brand. Now the question, who's the next Yao Ming?
YAO: It's always taking some of the legacy from your older player, and you get it, you can experience from that and make your own success. And I believe in the future, there is more players follow in our footprints and will be moving forward and moving even farther, and I truly believe that.
GRANT: But that is for another day, another era. Today was the end of the Ming Dynasty. Stan Grant, CNN, Beijing.
ANDERSON: I guess it's hard to overestimate just how big a deal this guy is, so let's do it with the numbers, shall we? Telly, show me the money.
DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Oh, I wish could personally show you the money. This guy is phenomenal.
He's an absolute giant, as you know. I think seven foot five. And he's made a huge impact in the NBA and, of course, in China. And he's made himself one of few -- one or two bucks while he's at it.
He signed with the Houston Rockets in 2002. In fact, he was the first guy I reported on when I joined CNN --
RIDDELL: -- so, we both kind of made the news at the same time, if you like.
RIDDELL: He signed two multi-year contracts with the Houston Rockets, earning him a total of $93 million. He's got numerous sponsorship deals, Becky, with Reebok, McDonald's, Apple, Gatorade, and Visa. And the intelligence firm Wealth-X estimates that they bring in another 25 million bucks.
A couple of years ago, he bought his former team in China, the Shanghai Sharks. Wealth-X estimates that his stake is worth at least $8 million.
He's a part owner of Yao restaurant and bar in Houston, Texas, and he's got a stake in Orca Digital, operators of the Top100.cn, that's a Web site that provides music downloads in China. But he doesn't just spend all the money on his oversize suits. He also runs his own charitable foundations. So, good for him.
ANDERSON: Well, we love him. Absolutely. It is the end of an era in basketball.
RIDDELL: There'll never be another Yao Ming.
ANDERSON: Yes, all right, good stuff. An inspiration to people around the world and players around the world, as well, kids.
ANDERSON: Listen, there is another really good story out there tonight, and it concerns our Mr. Tiger Woods. Tell us about it.
RIDDELL: Yes, he's been making the headlines for the last 18 months for all the wrong reasons as you know. Within the last hour, we've heard that he's dropped his caddy, Steve Williams.
Now, these two formed an absolutely formidable partnership in golf. They worked together for 12 years, they won 13 major titles together. They won a total of 63 PGA tour events, if you include the PGA tour and the majors. That is just phenomenal.
They both became very, very rich, and they were a great team. But as you know, everything's gone wrong for Tiger in the last 18 months. He's dropped his caddy.
We're still working on the background of all of this and, of course, Tiger said, "we had a great relationship," and he's really paid him a lot of respect with his parting statement, but Steve Williams has not taken it very well, and from the statement he's released, this would appear not to be an amicable split.
He said, and I quote, "After 13 years of loyal service, needless to say, this came as a shock. Given the circumstances of the past 18 months, working through Tiger's scandal, a new coach, and with it, major swing changes, and Tiger battling through injuries, I'm very disappointed to end our very successful partnership at this time."
Now, of course, Tiger hasn't played for a little while now because he remains injured and, during that time, Steve Williams has been working with the Australian golfer Adam Scott, and he says that that is who he's going to continue working with, and he's very excited about that.
But I think we're going to hear a whole lot more about this in the coming days.
ANDERSON: I was going to say, I mean, this guy's going to find a job anywhere. He knows that. But we have no idea as of yet really why this has happened. Is that what you're saying? I know you'll be working towards a --
RIDDELL: Well, they were a great team, but they had their moments. And they weren't always best mates, and in a high-pressure relationship like that, you're going to have the odd kind of bicker on the golf course.
But a couple of months ago Tiger did make some comments which were interpreted as being very critical of Steve Williams, and so perhaps that's played a part in this. But of course, they haven't actually worked together for a few months now.
But these guys, I mean, they lived in each other's pockets for 12 years. They were on tour together for 30 weeks of the year. They must've known each other pretty intimately. Be very interesting to see what our Steve Williams comes out with. And we'll have more on that in "World Sport."
ANDERSON: Yes, I know you're doing the digging and, of course, you're back in about -- what is it? In about 50 minutes, 5-0 minutes time.
RIDDELL: Exactly 50 minutes.
ANDERSON: Just about then. Excellent. Excellent. Good stuff.
RIDDELL: All right.
ANDERSON: Don Riddell, my partner in crime here on CNN this evening. Up next, coming together to stop their union from falling apart. A crucial EU summit aims to tackle the spiraling debt crisis. Why the stakes could not be higher for Europe. That is after this short break, 20 minutes to 10:00 here in London. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: Welcome back to CNN, the world's news leader. This is CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Becky Anderson.
Now tonight, the situation is very serious. A top EU official tells the euro zone to get its financial house in order once and for all or the whole world could feel the shockwaves.
European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso made his stark warning as the leaders of France and Germany hammer out details for Thursday's main event, the EU summit on the debt crisis. The sticking point, how to keep Greece from defaulting.
Now, Athens, as you probably are aware, needs a second bailout. That is about $156 billion. Not only Mr. Barroso thinks that it is time to break the deadlock over financing the rescue. Germany wants the private sector to lend a hand, and that has sparked some, well, let's say heated conversations.
There's also been plenty of white-hot anger on the streets of Greece. Citizens fed up with what they see as dithering over their future. Well, Greece's prime minister voicing concern about the bigger picture. He says Thursday's summit could be a make or break moment for the entire euro zone.
Spanish and Italian ten-year bonds slumped early in the week with investors watching for the big meeting. So, what can we expect tomorrow in Brussels?
Let's go there, my colleague Jim Boulden is in the Belgian capital. Jim, it's either Super Thursday, isn't it, or Black Friday? What do you think?
JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It may actually turn out to be very important from Thursday into Friday. We're being told tomorrow for Thursday to expect a very, very long day, could go past midnight, because the leaders are here for this extraordinary meeting.
They didn't plan to have this meeting two weeks ago, but it was thought that it was necessary, now, because of all the problems in the markets.
And boy, you know, they're here, they need to hash out something, don't they, Becky? Are they going to raise a tax on banks and give that money to Greece? Are they going to allow Greece to have some sort of default but not use the word "default," and will private bond holders have to suffer some of the pain?
What will voters in Germany think? What will happen in the Netherlands? These people don't want that to happen. So, there's so many things that have to be hashed out.
I have a feeling, though, whatever happened in Berlin today between Mr. Sarkozy and Mrs. Merkel will have a big impact on what happens here tomorrow in Brussels.
ANDERSON: All right, Jim. Jim Boulden's in Brussels for you. Thanks for that.
Even if Greece ducks a bullet and avoids default, Athens' debt crisis could still contaminate the entire euro region. That is what, at least, the IMF is saying.
Earlier, I talked with my colleague Richard Quest, and I asked him what he thought the prospect of an agreement that could put a lid on the risk of a Greek default really was. This is what he -- this is what he said.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There is absolutely no way that they're going to be able to solve this in some magical fashion in this one meeting.
You've got the Greek debt crisis. Frankly, nothing has changed, Becky. The ECB still says it won't accept Greek debt if it defaults.
They're still talking about some selective defaults, as if that can be managed. We now know, for example, that the other countries, like Italy, have had to introduce austerity budgets.
So, everywhere you look, the facts haven't changed. The only thing that's changed is they think they can solve it this time.
ANDERSON: All right. So, we've got a very toxic situation as far as what is the periphery of Europe at the moment. What chance of contamination or contagion to the core of Europe?
QUEST: Oh, no, the core, as in Germany or France, the northern countries, virtually none. Absolutely, not in those situations.
But if you're talking about the next line, if you like, Spain is very much -- Spain's been good. Spain -- the government there introduced its austerity measures, and it looks as if the fire has skirted it. Spain's bonds are not rising, CDSes are under control. Spain is contained.
Italy. When Italy, the CDSes, and when Italy's bond rise -- yield suddenly started to rise, that scared the bejeebies out of everybody, because Italy's debt, not only the GDP, but absolute debt, dwarfs everything else that's out there.
ANDERSON: It's a bit like the US debt, the GDP, actually, at the moment, doesn't it?
QUEST: Well, it's worse.
ANDERSON: But I want to ask you one question here, because those who are watching this who don't necessarily live in Europe will be asking themselves, "why do I care?" What's the global impact of all of this?
QUEST: Oh, tremendous. Because at the moment, it's contained. At the moment, the fire is not raging. There's something burning over there, and something burning over there, and fireman Barroso and ECB are willing to put it out as fast as they can.
But if this thing really takes hold and suddenly, Europe is engulfed in a conflagration of collapsing debt and euro -- I don't think it's going to happen. Let me make it clear. I don't think that's going to happen. But if that were to happen, then you would start to see some extremely serious ramifications.
What is the most disturbing part about this? It's the way in which, month after month, the European leaders try to deal with this and fail. They have not got ahead of the curve and, frankly, I don't think they're ahead of it at the moment.
ANDERSON: I think I agree with Richard there. They are talking the talk, it's time to walk the walk in Europe. That meeting, of course, crucial in Brussels tomorrow.
Up next, we're going to go green to meet a pioneer who is urging India's farmers to cut out the cop sprayers and go organic. That's coming up, stay with us.
ANDERSON: A very warm welcome back. This is CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Becky Anderson in London, 49 minutes past 9:00 here in the UK.
Well, all this week on CNN, we are showcasing Green Pioneers, people who are tackling tough environmental challenges in what we hope you will consider innovative ways.
In Bali, businessman John Hardy is planting the seedlings of change in one young mind at a time. He's set up a green school, where students have classes outside and learn extensively about the environment.
From Indonesia, we traveled all the way to Argentina earlier this week to meet a family of sheep farmers who are going back to nature to save the region's fragile grasslands.
Well today, we're going to introduce you to Vandana Shiva, named by "Forbes" as one of the seven most influential women in the world. Mallika Kapur, my colleague, went to find out why she is urging Indian farmers to ditch chemicals and go back to basics.
MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the foothills of the Himalayas, it's back to basics.
VANDANA SHIVA, FOUNDER, NAVDANYA: Behind me, where the bullocks are plowing the field, we have a model farm. A small farm.
KAPUR: A farm that practices multi-cropping, where farmers collect seeds, earthworms make natural fertilizers, and no chemicals are used at all.
SHIVA: If you start spraying for pests, you don't just kill the one target pest you wanted to kill, you kill beneficial species, you kill the spiders that control pests. You kill the bees and butterflies that pollinate for us, and 70 percent of the bees have disappeared.
KAPUR: Vandana Shiva founded Navdanya 25 years ago. Since then, she's been leading the charge for organic farming in India. She's trained more than 500,000 farmers to practice organic farming and collect seeds.
SHIVA: This is finger millet.
KAPUR: She walks us through a seed bank on her farm. She's preserved 650 varieties of rice here.
SHIVA: The reason we must save this diversity of our crops is first, because the seed must remain in farmers' hands. Seeds today have become the ultimate property and if nothing is done, one company will control the seed supply of the world.
We'll have more frequent crop failure, but we'll have higher rates of debt, because the reason corporations are getting into the seed business is to collect royalties. Royalties means farmers' debt, farmers' debt means suicide.
KAPUR: Convincing farmers to go organic isn't easy. Through the 1960s and 70s, India encouraged farmers to use chemicals to increase yields as part of what was then called the Green Revolution, an effort to transform Indian agricultural practices.
The chemicals depleted water tables and soil fertility, led farmers into debt. Some committed suicide as a result.
But many farmers still practice this method. Tako Das (ph) grows a variety of crops on his farm. Right here, mangoes. Under the ground, turmeric and ginger. In this portion, mint leaves.
He says ever since he began this multi-cropping organic method of farming around nine years ago, his output has more than doubled.
SHIVA: It's not an accident that, in today's world, one billion people are structurally hungry. And of the one billion, five hundred million are producers of food.
Why do producers of food go hungry? Because they buy chemicals on credit, they buy seed on credit, they grow a commodity which they don't eat, they have to pay back the debt. And then, they go buy the same amount of food at four times the price and can't afford to buy it.
KAPUR: Shiva believes organic farming can feed not just the farmers, but the whole world, because it produces more food and nutrition than conventional methods.
SHIVA: Our calculations on the basis of our farming practices and the farming practices our members have shown that we can feed two Indias with adequate nutrition.
KAPUR: Critics disagree, saying organic farming can't feed everyone, only rich customers in big cities willing to pay premium prices. Certified organic farming accounts for just around one percent of India's overall agricultural production.
In response, Shiva has this comeback. Twenty-five years ago, she points out, it barely even existed. Mallika Kapur, CNN, Dehradun, India.
ANDERSON: Beautiful last shot, there. Tune into CONNECT THE WORLD all week. Each day, we'll meet a pioneer creating a change by making a difference. That is all week, right here on CNN, check out cnn.com/connect for more on that as we are gearing up all week for this Going Green special series of reports.
And coming up on the show tonight, you won't want to miss this. Again. The Wendi tackle. Don't go away.
ANDERSON: Well, as the old adage goes, behind every good man, there is a great woman. I think I might have just played with that a little bit. Anyway, I believe it.
It also helps if she has a good right hook, I reckon, don't you? So, you know what I'm talking about, and you know you want to see it again. Wendi Deng in action for you. Take it away.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Wendi Murdoch was easy to pick out in pink. When you're 38 years younger than your husband, it's nice to rub his back and pour him water before he testifies.
She even restrained him when he pounded the table too much.
RUPERT MURDOCH, CEO AND CHAIRMAN, NEWS CORP: Who are prior and --
MOOS: But she didn't restrain herself when this happened.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh!
MOOS: An activist pulled a foam-filled plastic pie plate out of a plastic bag. Some of that foam landed on CNN producer Jonathan Wald as the attacker --
JONATHAN WALD, CNN PRODUCER: Plunges it squarely into the face of Rupert Murdoch.
MOOS: And that's when his wife, Wendi, whacked the guy, even picked up the plate.
WALD: Hit him back with it. It was all extremely dramatic.
MOOS: Sort of reminds us of the woman who used her purse to try and knock the gun out of a hostage-taker's hand.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No! No, don't!
MOOS: At a school board meeting.
GINGER LITTLETON, ATTACKED GUNMAN WITH PURSE: This is the weapon.
MOOS: Apart from shaving cream, all Rupert Murdoch got was a tongue- lashing from his attacker.
WALD: "You're a greedy billionaire."
MOOS: The activist, who British media identified as Johnnie Marbles, had just sent a tweet saying, "It is a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before, hash tag splat."
MOOS (on camera): It may have been more than a close shave for Rupert Murdoch, but at least he avoided major embarrassment by getting his faceful off camera.
MOOS (voice-over): Unlike pie targets like Ann Coulter, and Ralph Nader, who managed to throw his pie back at his attacker.
Bill Gates got splattered, and then his image got splattered for eternity all over the internet. Anita Bryant got pied by a gay demonstrator.
ANITA BRYANT, ANTI-GAY ACTIVIST: Every --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh!
(CAMERA SHUTTERS GOING OFF)
BRYANT: Well, at least it's a fruit pie.
BOB GREEN, ANITA BRYANT'S HUSBAND: Let's pray for him right now.
MOOS: First her husband prayed for the attacker, then he went outside and splattered him back.
Wendi Murdoch was praised by a member of Parliament.
TOM WATSON, BRITISH MP: Your wife has a very good left hook.
MOOS: Or was it her right? Regardless, the prankster temporarily changed her Wikipedia entry to say "Wendi used her ninja background to ward off an attacker." The move is now is now being referred to as the "Crouching Wendi, Hidden Dragon."
After the attack, Wendi tenderly cleaned off her husband.
WALD: Carefully wiping the foam off his jacket and his face. She was smiling and seemed quite happy that she had managed to score a blow.
MOOS: We watched her crossing her arms and crossing her legs, but it was the right cross we won't forget. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
ANDERSON: And again, and again. Wendi Deng, you will not be surprised to hear, is dominating discussion about the phone-hacking scandal in China, at least.
Over the past 24 hours, photos and videos of the 43-year-old Deng springing into action have made the Chinese-born woman something of a national hero.
On Chinese social media sites, many are praising her and saying that this incident has changed their opinion of her.
On China's most popular micro blog, Sina Weibo, many users have begun referring to Deng as the "slapdown sister." She's been trending high on the site since the incident in London. One more for Daddy, as they say.
I'm Becky Anderson, that is it from the show, at least, this evening in London. It's just before 10:00 here in Britain. You're watching CNN, the world's news leader. "BackStory" is up next after a very quick check of your headlines this hour.
From the team at CONNECT THE WORLD, it is a very good evening. From me, your headlines follow this.