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CONNECT THE WORLD

Did China Offer to Sell Weapons to Moammar Gadhafi?; Senior al Qaeda Leader Arrested in Pakistan; European Markets Fall; Rafael Nadal Takes A Tumble

Aired September 5, 2011 - 16:00   ET

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


MAX FOSTER, HOST: Tonight, in an unprecedented and powerful interview, former President George W. Bush reveals what went through his mind when he was told America is under attack on 9/11.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The people in 223 are moving to the two towers, a smaller plane into the North Tower.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: CNN begins a week of special coverage of the day nearly 10 years ago that shocked America and changed the world.

Plus, did China offer to sell weapons to Gadhafi in the final days of his regime?

New documents surface.

And...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just retire, will you, for God's sake?

Give us all a break.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Sharing a joke but their mission is serious. Two famous faces in the world of social activism speak out.

These stories and more tonight as we connect the world.

In just under a week, the world will join with the United States in marking a day that changed the course of history. Almost 3,000 people died in attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center 10 years ago on Sunday. All this week on CNN, we'll remember them with a series of special reports, analysis and interviews.

We begin our coverage on CONNECT THE WORLD with this man, the wartime president, George W. Bush.

In a chilling interview, he describes what went through his head the moment he learned that America was under attack.

Becky has spoken to the journalist who secured that unprecedented interview, Peter Schnall.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(ON SCREEN)

9/11 10 years later

Nearly 10 years after September 11th, George W. Bush looks back on the attacks that changed America.

This is his personal story of that day.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL)

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: September the 11th is -- was a monumental day in our nation's history. It was a significant day. And it was obviously, it changed my presidency.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The two planes flew into the two towers, a smaller plane into the North Tower.

BUSH: I went from being a -- a president that was primarily focused on domestic issues to a wartime president. It was something I never anticipated nor something that I ever wanted to be.

BECKY ANDERSON, HOST, "CONNECT THE WORLD" (voice-over): We have seen many times George W. Bush's reaction in a Florida classroom to news that America was under attack. But only now, 10 years ago, has the former U.S. president revealed in intimate detail how events unfolded that day.

He knew before entering the school that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.

BUSH: At first, I thought it was a -- a light aircraft. My reaction was, man, the -- you know, the weather was bad or something extraordinary happened to the pilot.

ANDERSON: But then, the second plane hit.

(VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: In the back of the classroom was a full press corps and staffers and some adults. And I had been attentively listening to the lesson.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These words are fascinating. Get ready.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

BUSH: And I felt a presence behind me. And Andy Card's Massachusetts accent was whispering in my ear, a second plane has hit the second tower. America is under attack.

ANDERSON: The unprecedented interview was secured by journalist and documentarian, Peter Schnall.

PETER SCHNALL, GEORGE W. BUSH DOCUMENTARIAN: And we wanted to give the president a chance to speak to those horrific days in September, you know, days that changed his presidencies. And we wanted him to do it in a manner that was personal, that was in-depth and that would speak to those events, perhaps, in a way that we haven't heard before.

They agreed to the format. They agreed to the manner in which we would conduct the interview, and that would be just one-on-one, the president sitting, you know, right across from me. And we just talk for almost five hours over the course of two days.

ANDERSON (on camera): What struck you most about what he said?

SCHNALL: What struck me the most was that during those -- those hours and the days of 9/11, the president was overwhelmed by the events, overwhelmed in the sense that -- and certainly in the first few hours of September 11th, they didn't really know who the enemy was. They didn't know if there were more attacks about to happen.

So he spoke about the fact that he was journeying through the fog of war, which I thought was a very interesting and powerful thing for a president to speak about.

ANDERSON: Do you think he remains troubled by that period?

SCHNALL: We could see in the interview, that the president was very taken by the events of that day. Obviously, it was a day that will forever be, you know, the -- the center from which his presidency changed. He was very emotional. He talked a few times about decisions that he had to make. Remember now, he's not in Washington. He's literally flying across the country. They are literally running from an unknown enemy. And they are having to make decisions at 40,000 feet in Air Force One.

And he talked about some of the decisions that he had to make. For example, ordering the Air Force to shoot down commercial planes that had not responded to the FAA demand to land. And those were decisions that he had to make and they troubled him then and I think they still trouble him now.

He talked about the fact that when Flight 93 went down in the fields of Pennsylvania -- remember, now, he's still on Air Force One. And the communication was not as good as it was supposed to have been. He talked about that. They weren't sure if that plane had gone down because of his order to shoot down commercial planes.

ANDERSON (voice-over): The other key decision that day amounted to what has been a lingering war on terror.

BUSH: Make no mistake, the United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts.

ANDERSON: That hunt culminated on May 2nd this year, with the death of Osama bin Laden. Coincidentally, it came as Schnall was preparing to interview the former president, who has never commented on the assassination.

SCHNALL: He told us that he wants sitting in a restaurant in -- in Dallas when the Secret Service told him that President Obama wanted to speak to him. He then learned about the assassination.

He said to us, certainly, that there was no sense of jubilation, certainly no sense of happiness. If anything, he felt that finally there was a sense of closure.

ANDERSON: Do you get the sense that the former president, George W. Bush, has any regrets?

SCHNALL: You know, that's an interesting question. As we -- we often ask the people that we're interviewing, you know, is there anything you would do again?

Is there anything that you regret?

And he kind of looked at me and said, "I hate that damn question."

(LAUGHTER)

SCHNALL: And he -- he did not ever use the word regret. He did not every say that he would have done anything differently. He did say, in the interview, quite clearly, that have made decisions, decisions that were controversial and they still are controversial. I mean, look, we're still living through the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Those decisions that they made in September will forever have changed our life and the world today.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

FOSTER: You can catch "George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview," on National Geographic Channel. To find out what time it's airing in your part of the world, do head to natgeotv.com.

Now, CNN has obtained some newly released video from the attacks. It was taken just minutes after United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a Pennsylvania field. This is believed to the first -- to be the first known video showing the smoke cloud from that crash.

Despite the death of Al Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden, back in May, the hunt for the group's members goes on. Authorities in Pakistan say they've arrested a senior leader, Younis al Mauritani. The U.S. says the arrest is a blow to Al Qaeda and they're on track to cripple the terrorist network.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is in Islamabad.

He joins me now -- Nick, thanks for joining us.

So what can you tell us about this man?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Younis al Mauritani is said to have been involved in the plotting of some attacks in Europe, also said to have had a personal direct link to Osama bin Laden when he was alive, and by the Pakistani military today, is accused of having plotted attacks against U.S. economic targets and pipelines, oil infrastructure. Arrested recently by Pakistani intelligence agents in the southern town of Quetta, in its suburbs.

We understand, they say, also, from technical support from the U.S. intelligence agencies. One senior Pakistani intelligence source confirming there were no U.S. boots on the ground, no U.S. personnel there, but this man, Younis al Mauritani, is in their custody, being interrogated by them and may eventually be handed back to Mauritania, where he's from, if the Mauritanians want him.

Speculation then of what could happen to him then, and I'm sure there are so many people in the U.S. who would want to speak to him -- Max.

FOSTER: And what sort of impact would -- will it have, do you think, taking him out of the Al Qaeda network?

WALSH: Well, it's difficult to establish exactly what kind of functional role he had in the hierarchy. Certainly, the U.S. say his capture was a top priority, that he was a key leader. He's considered to be some sort of -- the foreign minister or the -- the external commander of Al Qaeda, responsible for attacks on other countries.

So certainly key in U.S. and Pakistani perception. Exactly how functional Al Qaeda remains as a network, whether it's a series of sort of franchise groups around the world or, in itself, a prepare network that actually discusses things and plans things together, nobody has really been sure. But clearly the U.S. absolutely keen in the last month or two to make it clear they believe they've delivered a series of almost knockout blows to the people originally behind 9/11.

So certainly this will add to that impression -- Max.

FOSTER: Nick in Islamabad.

Thank you very much, indeed, for that.

Well, do you remember that tragic day 10 years ago?

CNN has spoken to viewers across the world and even those who live far away from New York and Washington remember what they were doing the moment those planes struck.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the time, my wife was two weeks short of the term for her baby, for our first baby. And I remember in those days that followed, this overwhelming feeling of what sort of a world is this to bring a child into?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I said to my colleague, who was watching TV: "Why don't you turn off that movie?," and then I realized he was crying. And that's when the second tower was hit. It still gives me goose bumps just thinking about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: All this week on CNN, we have special coverage leading up to the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks in the United States. It includes full coverage each day on CONNECT THE WORLD, plus four new specials -- an encore presentation of the CNN documentary, "Inside the Mission: Getting bin Laden." That's at 10:00 p.m. Eastern tonight for our viewers in the Americas and Tuesday morning at 10:00 in Hong Kong.

Coming up on CONNECT THE WORLD, arriving at a court on a stretcher -- Egypt's ousted president faces claims he ordered the killing of democracy demonstrators.

That's next.

Then a painful press conference for Rafael Nadal. Find out what happened in around nine minutes.

And we're live in Libya, where rebels are poised to take on one of Gadhafi's last strongholds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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.

Fears of a debt crisis in Europe caused markets in the region to falter today. Germany's stock exchange was down to its lowest level in more than two years and banks were very hard hit.

CNN's Jim Boulden explains the reasons for the losses.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was an ugly market open for the week here in Europe, a combination of legal, economic and political problems proved toxic for investors. European banks continued their slide of recent months. Word that the U.S. mortgage regulator is looking to sue banks over the mortgage meltdown, that named six European banks. So the likes of Royal Bank of Scotland fell more than 12 percent. RBS said it will defend itself vigorously against the accusations. And Deutsche Bank was down nearly 9 percent.

Add to that no sign of growth here in the U.K. and in the eurozone, on top of worries over the U.S. economy, and European markets just got worse throughout the day.

In London, the FT-100 ended down more than 3.5 percent.

Germany's DAX hit a 22 month low, closing down more than 5 percent. Chancellor Merkel lost yet another regional election.

While banks and auto stocks dragged down Paris more than 4.5 percent.

Markets are also still digesting unfinished business in terms of Greece's austerity and budget targets. So the euro fell, along with Monday's shares.

Well, it could not help or hurt, the U.S. market was closed Monday for a holiday.

Jim Boulden, CNN, London.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

FOSTER: The United Nations says a record four million people in Somalia are now in need of humanitarian aid and three quarters of a million are facing imminent starvation. The famine has now spread to Somalia's Bay Region. That's the sixth area in the country suffering from severe food shortages.

Aid officials expect the crisis to worsen.

A police officer points the finger of blame as the trial of Hosni Mubarak briefly resumed in Cairo. Egypt's ousted president was transported to and from court on a stretcher. But this time, the judge didn't allow TV cameras to film the proceedings inside.

A senior police official testified that the head of anti-riot forces, not Mubarak, gave instructions to protect the Interior Ministry with automatic weapons.

Mubarak himself is charged with ordering the killing of pro-democracy demonstrators. His trial resumes and Wednesday.

The Red Cross has been granted access to a Syrian detention facility for the first time since the country's unrest started. The announcement came after the International Red Cross's president met with Syrian leader, Bashar al-Assad on Monday. A Red Cross spokesman says they've helped thousands of people in Syria, but they don't have access to everyone.

The corruption trial of former French President Jacques Chirac is going on in Paris without him. The court ruled it could proceed even though the 78 -year-old can't attend because he's suffering from severe memory lapses. The former president is accused of abusing public funds during his time as the mayor of Paris. He denies any wrongdoing.

Still in France, and Carla Bruni, the wife of current president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has vowed to do whatever she can to protect her baby from public view. The first lady is due to give birth next month, but won't say if the baby is a boy or a girl Bruni says she'll keep the child out of the spotlight, saying any decision about seeking the public eye should be one for an adult, not a child.

A penguin turned celebrity is on the first day of his long swim home. Happy Feet was released after two months of rehabilitation at New Zealand's Wellington Zoo. He was found near death on a beach in late June. Happy Feet cleared off the bank of a ship just north of Antarctica to begin his 2,000 kilometer swim to the breeding grounds. It took a little coaxing, but once in the water, the wayward penguin was on his way. Happy Feet has been fitted with a micro chip for satellite tracking, so we'll be able to tell you if he gets there.

Up next, Rafael Nadal takes a tumble off the courts.

But what caused this dramatic collapse?

The answer is with Pedro and he's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: We really do have some astonishing pictures to show you right now from the U.S. Open, where Rafael Nadal has caused quite a scare. The world's number two had just secured his place in the fourth round under the searing New York heat when this happened during the press conference.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The press conference in English.

(VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Moments ago...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: -- slumps in his chair after suffering severe cramps. As you can see, very painful. He appears to be in a lot of pain, stretching out his entire body before sliding onto the floor. Officials rushed to his aid, massaging his leg. Eventually, Nadal is helped the his feet, telling onlookers that it will not affect preparations for his next match.

Pedro was watching that, along with the rest of us.

PEDRO PINTO, CNN "WORLD SPORT" ANCHOR: Yes.

FOSTER: Extraordinary scenes, but that's cramps.

PINTO: Yes. You really can't do much to predict when a cramp is coming. I think we've felt it when we play our amateur sports. I think when professional athletes feel it, since the muscles are 10 times bigger, the effects are 10 times bigger, as well.

It was pretty scary, because you normally don't see a top athlete suffer cramps like that in a press conference. I can't really remember the last time it happened.

Fortunately for him, there's no serious injury and it is just a case of -- of recovering, of eating a few bananas, I think, is...

(CROSSTALK)

PINTO: -- some potassium, to get some potassium in. And, I mean, I - - I know Rafael quite well. I've had the -- the pleasure of interviewing him various times. I know he's a fighter. He's a gladiator. He'll be back.

It's just a case whether he'll be sore, because what happens with cramps is that they might not occur again in the next match necessarily -- and he says he'll be OK. But the fact is that you do feel sore from them and they can affect your mobility and your elasticity, as well, especially in...

FOSTER: Yes.

PINTO: -- in a best of five match like a grand slam.

FOSTER: Not so common so long after the match, though.

I think that's the question, isn't it?

PINTO: Yes.

FOSTER: You expect to see it on the court.

PINTO: You know, they blamed the heat for this. And it's amazing, the amount of players that have retired from their matches -- 18 in the U.S. Open through the first eight, nine days. And these numbers are -- are spectacular. A lot of people are blaming the calendar. A lot of people are blaming the -- the fact that these -- these players are -- just have too many hours out there on the court.

But the specialists there in New York are saying that it doesn't necessarily have to do with that, because players are used to having 60, 70, 80 matches a year. It's just that the heat has caused the body -- the bodies to become more dehydrated.

FOSTER: And we should remember, it's not the first time it's happened.

PINTO: It's not the first time it's happened. Now, the press conference, you know, we can't remember it -- it like this. But when I saw this happening to Rafael Nadal, I thought of one person. That was Caroline Wozniacki back in October of 2009 at the WTO champ -- the WTA Tour Championships in Doha, where it was also quite hot. I remember her twitching as she was cramping out there on the court in a match against Vera Zvonareva. I think we've got some pictures that -- that we're showing. And she was in an incredible amount of pain.

And, Max, it seemed like a little bit like the pain from "The Exorcist"...

FOSTER: Yes.

PINTO: -- when she was really (AUDIO GAP).

FOSTER: It makes the doll look really tough.

(LAUGHTER)

PINTO: It does. And the fact is that...

FOSTER: (INAUDIBLE).

PINTO: -- when -- this isn't an injury...

FOSTER: Yes.

PINTO: -- compared to others. It's not a strain. It's not a break. It's not anything like that. It's just a twitching. You can't do anything, really, to -- to get away from it.

FOSTER: So back to Nadal.

What's he got coming up, then?

PINTO: Well, it doesn't stop for him, does it?

And -- and these guys are really victims of their own success. And he'll be out there on the court on Tuesday at Flushing Meadows.

Let's give you the latest on what's happening.

On Monday, we have some results to give you, the latest action from the U.S. Open. And the men, a few matches going on now. Novak Djokovic was just involved in a first set tie break with Dolgopolov there. We could have an upset, at least in the first set.

Roger Federer will be in action at Arthur Ashe Stadium later on Monday.

One result to confirm, Janko Tipsarevic moving on from the fourth round.

Mardy Fish, the top ranked American, he's leading Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the Wimbledon finalist.

As far as the women are concerned, Serena Williams, wow!

Who's going to stop her?

She continued to saunter through the draw with a straight sets win over former world number one, Ana Ivanovic. She's looking great, is the American.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova with an upset on number seven seed Francesca Schiavone. And the top seed, Caroline Wozniaki, we were just talking about. She will be playing in the evening session.

Let me update you on another story that's making the headlines on this Monday evening, and that's football related. The Italian Serie A season will kick off on Friday after the union of Italian clubs agreed to sign a new collective bargaining agreement with the players union. The first round of matches had been wiped out on the 27th and 28th of August due to industrial action. Fortunately, the international break this past weekend meant that only one round of fixtures was affected.

Now that a new contract has been worked out, I can tell you that the first match of the 2011-2012 Serie A campaign will be taking place on Friday. It will feature the defending champions, AC Milan, taking on Lazio.

We'll have more on this story coming up on "WORLD SPORT" in about an hour's time -- Max.

FOSTER: We'll watch that.

Pedro, thank you very much, indeed.

Now, prepared to strike, but hoping for surrender -- anti-Gadhafi fighters in Libya are locked in a waiting game that won't last forever. A live update coming up for you.

In 15 minutes, terrifying moments that saved Japan forever. We'll speak to a tsunami survivor who captured this incredible footage on a cell phone.

Then, a passion for peace that just won't retire. We'll talk with Nobel laureate, Desmond Tutu.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: You are back with CONNECT THE WORLD, the world's news leader.

Let's get a check on the headlines for you this hour.

The U.N. says the famine in Somalia has spread to a sixth region and that the crisis there could grow even worse. Officials say a record four million people in Somalia need humanitarian aid and 750,000 people are in danger of imminent starvation.

An Egyptian court has adjourned the trial of ousted president, Hosni Mubarak and his sons until Wednesday. Mubarak, who arrived at court on a stretcher on Monday, is accused of ordering the killings of protesters during the demonstrations that brought him down.

A French court will proceed with the corruption trial of Jacques Chirac even though the 78 -year-old former French president won't be attending. A medical report says he's too sick and sufferers from frequent memory loss.

Honda is recalling 900,000 cars (AUDIO GAP) models have a design flaw in the windows that could potentially spark electrical fires. No injuries have been reported from the problem, though.

The green flag of Moammar Gadhafi's regime still flies over a few Libyan towns.

The question is, or how long?

Anti-Gadhafi fighters have Bani Walid in their sights. They're surrounding the town, hoping Gadhafi loyalists will surrender. But negotiations broke down over the weekend.

Fighters say they believe Gadhafi soldiers are holding civilians hostage, prepared to use them as human shields if the town is attacked.

Libya's new rulers are giving loyalists in Bani Walid and a few other Gadhafi strongholds until Saturday to surrender, although it seems they may be running out of patience.

Documents seized at the Libyan intelligence headquarters are providing an unprecedented look at Gadhafi's regime, meanwhile, and its secret dealings. Now some Western countries have some explaining to do.

The documents reveal close cooperation between Libya and Western intelligence agencies, including the CIA and Britain's MI6. Today, a British inquiry announced it will investigate new claims that MI6 was involved in the rendition of terror suspects to Libya.

Prime Minister David Cameron addressed the controversy in a speech before parliament.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID CAMERON, PRIME MINSITER OF GREAT BRITAIN: It was because of accusations of potential complicity by the British security services in the mistreatment of detainees overseas, including rendition that I took steps in July last year to try and sort this whole problem out.

As the House will remember, we acted to bring to an end the large number of court cases being brought against the government by former inmates of Guantanamo.

We've issued new guidance to security and intelligence services personnel on how to deal with detainees held by other countries, and we've asked the retired judge, Sir Peter Gibson, to examine issues around the detention and treatment of terror suspects overseas, and this inquiry has already said it will look at these latest accusations very carefully.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: And it's not just the West. China is also facing tough questions about its dealings with Gadhafi's regime. Documents found in a trash can revealed a highly controversial offer. Eunice Yoon picks up the story in Beijing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

EUNICE YOON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These documents are at the center of a firestorm brewing between the new leadership in Libya and China.

MOHAMED SAYEH, NATIONAL TRANSITIONAL COUNCIL: This deal is a real deal, and we have seen the official documents that were signed by Chinese officials, and it was to send the guns and artillery to Libya through Algiers.

YOON: Discovered by a reporter at Canada's "Globe and Mail," these memos outline how, in the final days of fighting, Chinese companies offered to sell an estimated $200 million worth of weapons to Moammar Gadhafi's regime, a longtime ally of Beijing.

ABDULRAHMAN BUSIN, NTC MILITARY COUNCIL: That's still not clear, whether that exact lists of that document actually was delivered or not, that is not clear.

But there are many things that were on that last that are here, and these are brand new equipment, brand new weapons, brand new boxes of ammunitions that haven't even been opened yet that were clearly delivered only in the last few months.

YOON: Delivered, according to the new rulers of Libya, when sanctions were in place. The Chinese government says it strictly adheres to the United Nations' arms ban, though it acknowledged Gadhafi representatives did visit this country during the fighting.

JIANG YU, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY (though translator): The Gadhafi regime sent people to China to engage in contact with certain individuals of relevant Chinese companies in July without the knowledge of Chinese government departments.

Chinese companies have not signed any military trade contracts with Libya, let alone provide military exports to Libya.

YOON: None of the three companies named in the memos have responded to calls or e-mails sent by CNN. For years, China has been an important investor in Libya. It didn't veto the Western-led military campaign, though heavily criticized the action.

Now, China's past relationship with Gadhafi appears to be wearing on its future ties with the transitional government.

BUSIN: Our chairman of the NTC, Mustafa Abdul Jalil made it very, very clear that anybody who has helped and supported and stood by Gadhafi over the months will not be greeted well.

YOON (on camera): The stakes are very high for Beijing, potentially losing the oil that new Libya could provide, as well as the business opportunities.

Eunice Yoon, CNN, Beijing.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Well, let's get an update for you on the situation on the ground, now, in Libya. Fred Pleitgen joins us from Misrata, to the north of Bani Walid, where all the interest is, really, right now.

What's the situation on the ground? Are they likely to go into Bani Walid anytime soon, Fred?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they certainly could do so if they wanted to. That certainly is the message they've been sending us, Max.

Yesterday, I was able to get to the outskirts of Bani Walid, it was quite interesting, because we were actually at the very sign that says "Welcome to Bani Walid," and behind that sign, you could see the houses inside that town, and they are still all flying the green flag, which of course is the symbol of loyalty to Moammar Gadhafi.

So, it certainly seems as though that town still is, in fact, in the hands of Gadhafi supporters.

Now, one of the things that the rebels have said is that even if the negotiations have broken down between the National Transitional Council and the people in Bani Walid to try and resolve all of this through negotiations, they still hope that perhaps there could be an uprising inside Bani Walid, that perhaps people who are with the revolution will rise up there and oust the pro-Gadhafi forces.

But at this point in time, they say, Max, there are still 500 to 600 pro-Gadhafi fighters in there. They say they don't want to go in there to try and oust those fighters, but if they get the call, then that's what they're going to do, Max.

FOSTER: The risk with that, of course, is that civilians are going to get caught up in the crossfire and some suggestion that they're going to be used as human shields by the pro-Gadhafi forces. How are the rebels going to deal with that, get around that?

PLEITGEN: Well, that certainly is one of their main concerns, and one of the ways they do want to do deal with that is they want to try and keep in touch with the people that they have in Bani Walid to try and get them to stage an uprising of their own to at least be received when they come in there in a way that would deal with all of this without any fighting that is too heavy.

But certainly, that is something that is on their mind. They don't want any further bloodshed. One of the things, obviously, that they're afraid of is that there could be further civilian casualties, but also that there could be quite high casualties among their own people.

A lot of the guys that we've been traveling with are from the town of Misrata, a town that has seen a lot of violence here in the six-month long civil conflict, and they say they really don't want to go on killing Libyans, and they certainly don't want to lose any more of their own guys.

So, it is a major concern. But on the other hand, one of the things that we have to keep in mind about these forces that are fighting here in Libya right now is none of them have ever been trained in urban guerrilla warfare, so certainly, these are not units that have any sort of special tactics or strategies to go in to a town.

So, if indeed there is a big battle in the town of Bani Walid, one could assume that it would be quite bloody, Max.

FOSTER: OK, thank you very much, Fred, from near Bani Walid.

Well, let's get more, now, on how countries' relationships with Gadhafi could affect future tires with Libya's new rulers. Also, latest strategies. Let's talk to Ali Suleiman Aujali. He's the National Transitional Council's representative to the United States. Thank you so much for joining us.

If I could just start with Bani Walid, what's the strategy there? Are you just holding off until you do get some sort of uprising in the town, or are you going to go in there at some point anyway?

ALI SULEIMAN AUJALI, NATIONAL TRANSITIONAL COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVE TO THE US: As a hear the report, it is a delicate situation. We don't want more casualties because this murderers are still holding the cities and the citizens in that city. I think we want to minimize as much as we can the casualties.

At the same time that we are also waiting for some disturbance from the citizens against these murderers who are holding them.

Unfortunate that the negotiations did not succeed. But I think we're still hoping that maybe something will happen before that we're really engaged with them in real fighting.

FOSTER: If it doesn't, how long will you wait?

AUJALI: Well, this is a very important for me, at least. I look to the Bani Walid, it is a city which has many of their members, they've been involved with the old regime, and some of them, not really the majority, but very few members, they are really criminals.

They killed people, they are responsible for murder, they're responsible for terrorist action. That they took Bani Walid as a shelter and took the citizens as hostages, I believe that also the TNC is under pressure. They have to decide, they have to -- they have other more serious issues to deal with.

I believe they give them all two or three days. That's it. And otherwise, that the TNC, they did everything, they'll not be blamed for anything that's happened in this city.

FOSTER: OK. And you're based in Washington, of course. I just wonder what sort of conversations you've been having with the US authorities since these documents have suggested that British and American secret services were somehow complicit with the Gadhafi services on this issue of extraordinary rendition. It must have been quite shocking to you.

AUJALI: Well, of course, since we restored the relations, Gadhafi's regime and the Western countries, they have some secret cooperation.

But I cannot blame that the, for example, when a member of the al Qaeda were in the Guantanamo and they'd been handed to the Libyan secret service, back then, it was very clear to tell them that they have to take them -- take care of them, to give them their treatment, they should not be abused.

If Gadhafi's regime, they break this agreement, then this is the responsibility of the regime.

FOSTER: OK. And in terms of China, I just want to ask you about that, as well, because we didn't manage to get to the bottom of what happened in this alleged deal between China and the Gadhafi regime and weaponry that may have ended up on their side.

AUJALI: Well, I have seen the document, but also I have -- I heard one of the leaders on the ground, he's confirming that there are weapons, they are new, there are new boxes, they have just been received maybe a matter of weeks.

And if this has happened, it is really sad, because China, as a member, a permanent member of the Security Council, they have to observe the commitment on their shoulder.

They have also to look to what's happening in Libya. I think the material relation by itself will not help.

I'm sad to see, also, the reading of the Chinese to the Libyan crisis, not very accurate. It's not really to the standard which a country, a member of the Security Council, look at it. Because they still believe that the Gadhafi regime, they can succeed. I think this is sad.

But what do we want from China? We have seen some -- complication through the United Nations and when we try to release some of the frozen money, I want to ask the Chinese leaders through CNN that they have to look for these people who've been suffering for the last 42 years.

These people, they are determined that they are not going back. Then let us -- be reasonable for our relation. Let us -- we will not forget, of course, countries who will support us and countries who are against us, and countries who have no stand at all.

But at the same time, we can forgive. We want a good relations with the neighboring countries. A good relations with the Western countries.

We want good relations with the Chinese country. But at the same time, this country, they have to -- they have to look to the Libyan people's interest. They have to help the Libyan people to get over, now, the last 6 months of fighting between them and between Gadhafi.

We want to build a democratic country, and we -- it is really, also, I want to see the Chinese, not all the time, just siding some which I can describe them as dictator regimes. We want a country like China to come forward with their capacity and with their power and with their financial power to help the people to make their dreams true.

FOSTER: Well, they certainly got the message now, I'm sure. We'll see if they respond. Ali Suleiman Aujali, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us from the NTC.

Now, coming up next, witnessing disaster. He saw Japan's tsunami coming and captured what happened next on his cell phone. We catch up with one survivor six months on.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: The speed and power of Japan's tsunami taking out everything in its path. This is the port city of Miyako on March 11th, under water in a matter of seconds.

Across Japan's Pacific coastline, thousands of people lives and livelihoods were destroyed. Six months on, those who survived are still trying to rebuild their lives.

All this week on CNN, we'll be hearing from the people who lost everything and find out what life holds for them now. Kyung Lah met a man who witnessed the terrifying moment the raging torrent engulfed his town.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The people on the hill are screaming, "Hurry! Hurry!"

(PEOPLE SCREAMING IN JAPANESE)

LAH: The tsunami is flooding the parking lot of the hotel. The man recording the video runs further up the hill and turns to see his friends disappear in the water below the bus and cars now sweeping above them.

(MAN SCREAMING)

LAH: Satoshi Ito dropped his cell phone and moaned. "They're all dead," he thought.

(MAN SHOUTING IN JAPANESE)

"I screamed, 'hurry, hurry,'" Ito remembers, "but they were moving so slowly, it was unreal. Running towards the hill in the black kimono was the hotel owner, Akiko Iwasaki.

"I was here," she says. "I thought I made it, but I was already in the water. I was caught in the whirlpool, the bus, cars, and houses were over my head. I felt pain, but I kept swimming and saw the light from the sky."

LAH (on camera): Did you know you were going to survive at that point?

AKIKO IWASAKI, JAPANESE TSUNAMI SURVIVOR (through translator): I thought if I could only reach that hill, I could climb out of the water.

LAH (voice-over): She did.

IWASAKI (through translator): I just wanted to survive. I had no fear. I just wanted to live.

(MAN SCREAMING)

LAH: "All that happened in a split second," says Ito. "That moment completely changed our lives."

Ito, who worked at the hotel, lost his job when the hotel was destroyed. He lost friends and relatives and his home. He's now living in temporary housing provided by the government.

Just a few trailers down, his boss, Iwasaki, also lives in temporary housing. She not only lost her business, but her home and her closest friends, as well.

The tsunami stole so much of their lives six months ago, along with their city. Nearly all of Kamaishi's downtown was destroyed.

LAH (on camera): Six months later, downtown Kamaishi has changed somewhat. The debris in the foreground is gone, but the buildings themselves are still empty, destroyed, shells.

Much of downtown Kamaishi looks like this. The businesses have not been able to return, along with them, the people. It's difficult to imagine exactly how long it'll take for any of this, if it's ever going to come back.

LAH (voice-over): That slow progress has left survivors like Ito frustrated.

"This entire region was damaged, and our lives haven't recovered at all," he says." But I have this strong belief that we have to keep moving forward."

Iwasaki has just begun rebuilding her hotel. She doesn't know if tourists will ever come back, but this is her beginning, she says, hoping by moving on, it will eventually answer why.

LAH (on camera): Looking back now, do you feel like there was a reason that you survived?

LAH (voice-over): "I think about it every day. Every day," she says. "This is a gift. I ask every day what is the meaning of my life and my role on this earth. I don't have an answer, but I'm searching."

Kyung Lah, CNN, Kamaishi, Japan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Well, like the two survivors in that story, many in Japan had to adapt to life in temporary housing. 75,000 people who lived in the shadow the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant are still unable to return to their homes because of radiation fears.

A piece of good news today, though. TEPCO president Toshio Nishizawa says efforts to stabilize the plant are running ahead of schedule. He told CNN his top priorities are the restoration of the crippled facility and the compensation of victims.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOSHIO NISHIZAWA, PRESIDENT, TEPCO (through translator): I recognize January is the deadline for completing the cold shutdown. I would like to bring it earlier, if possible. The temperature of the reactors has been stably coming down, recording below 100 Celsius on some reactors. I would say the reactors are cooling down stably.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Well, Nishizawa took the reins of TEPCO in June. His predecessor stepped down after the company reported a $50 billion annual loss.

Japan is having to contend with a new natural disaster, as well. One of the deadliest tropical storms in years, Typhoon Talas, hit the country's west this weekend, triggering floods and landslides that claimed dozens of lives. Jenny Harrison joins us now from the World Weather Center for more on the situation there. Hi, Jenny.

JENNY HARRISON, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hey, Max. Yes, the worst is certainly over in terms of the forecast, but let me just stand out of the way and show you some more images, which came in over the weekend.

And again, it really is about the power of the water, just like the tsunami. We're looking at there, look at there's a massive construction, here, this bridge, this road, completely washed away, as I say, again, by the power of the water.

But this was a massive storm. This is the satellite just taken literally as the outer bands are beginning to come onshore in Japan. You can barely see Japan already. It is just up here under all that cloud.

But look at the size of this storm, 4,000 kilometers from north to south, and about 1300 from one side to the other from east to west. And of course, bringing with it some torrential amounts of rain, incredible amounts of rain, just since Thursday.

This, as you can see there, for the town of Kamikatayama, and nearly - - well, over 1.5 meters of rain. And that is more than the total rainfall in Tokyo for the entire year. That gives you just an idea of just how fast and furious the rain was coming down.

And of course, you put with that tropical storm force winds, and it is no wonder we have seen the damage that we have.

Here are some other totals, and again, getting on from a meter of rain, when that storm actually began to come onshore and then, of course, as I say, passed across the country.

Now, there is still some more rain in the forecast. It's much further towards the north, and a lot of this is just generally remnants, but not even really just that. It's just the wind direction picking up some of the moisture from the Sea of Japan. But mainly, it is a fine and dry picture, thankfully, over the next couple of days.

But we are watching this disturbance. This is another tropical storm, it's called Noru, but it is well to the east of Japan, already in some fairly cool water, so it should be weakening, and it should safely pass, as I say, towards the east. So, finally some better news with that storm system, Max.

FOSTER: Absolutely. Good stuff. Thank you, Jenny. Now, up next, retired but still fighting for peace, Desmond Tutu talks CONNECT THE WORLD about fostering the next generation of leaders and why he's teaming up with Bob Geldof.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: Archbishop Desmond Tutu has long been outspoken, and even though he's officially retired from public life, the South African icon is still being heard. Just a month before his 80th birthday, Tutu has attended the One Young World summit to mentor future leaders.

In an exclusive interview, Becky spoke to the Nobel Peace Laureate and fellow humanitarian, Bob Geldof. She began by asking the archbishop why he just can't stay retired.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DESMOND TUTU, NOBEL LAUREATE: I am retired. This is how I retire. But I -- no. I couldn't possibly have missed out on the opportunity of meeting with quite fantastic young people.

They really believe that it is possible for us to have a world where we do care for one another as members of a family, that hunger in one part of the world is sure going to provoke instability somewhere.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bob, let's talk about making poverty history. You've been at this for about two decades. Are you optimistic that we can, indeed, make poverty history?

BOB GELDOF, SINGER/ACTOR/ACTIVIST: It is in our own self interest that we do it. Economically, it is absolutely preposterous that we allow extreme poverty to exist, because if they're not allowed, if they're not --

If people aren't capable of getting to a point where they can produce goods that they sell to us and therefore make money to have health and education, they also don't have the money to buy our stuff. And while we're busy trying to export ourselves out of problems, it's not working. We're going to exhaust the markets.

And the markets are there. Three million -- billion people are living on less than $1.80 a day. Becky, you can't live. You can't live on less than $1.80 a day, and it is preposterous that half the population can't buy our stuff, we can't buy theirs.

Will that anomaly be -- and it is an anomaly -- be extinguished at one point? Ultimately, yes. Will there be poor people with us? Yes. But not so that we can't deal with that.

ANDERSON: Desmond, we are not seeing a lot of support from the African nations for the international community's efforts in Libya. What more should the West be doing to garner Africa's support, particularly South Africa's support?

TUTU: people get pretty prickly when they think you are invading their turf. And -- the AU, which has not been exactly successful in too many parts, it didn't do badly in the Sudan. They say they had a road map for Libya, and South Africa was in the forefront of that.

And I think they will -- they're upset that they've been upstaged. They -- the powerful West has again appeared to be the know-all and proscriptive.

ANDERSON: So, I take it that you don't agree with the African Union's position right now?

TUTU: No. Hello? You --

(LAUGHTER)

TUTU: One of the things is -- one has to keep reminding, say, the so- called West -- you guys gave the world two world wars. You produced Nazism, fascism, Communism. Don't strut around being hoity-toity. You've made some horrendous mistakes.

ANDERSON: The man sitting next to you is celebrating his 80th birthday next month. Any early birthday messages?

GELDOF: Yes. Just retire, will you, for God's sake? Give us all a break and --

(LAUGHTER)

GELDOF: Whoever gets his shirts, stop -- is that hating him?

(LAUGHTER)

GELDOF: What is it? He doesn't even know designer shirts.

(LAUGHTER)

GELDOF: No, he's -- it's very odd for me. He is, as I've often said, a tiny little fellow, but he is a giant of history and certainly to see this young priest walk amongst the insane and angered beyond crazed and to see him stop them killing one another to remove the necklaces from people's heads and tell them to go back to their homes, is to see this giant who is unafraid.

Unafraid of government, unafraid of the people he's supported, unafraid of his enemies, who said exactly what he believed, which he believed to be the message of God. And -- but a great privilege. He is a man of history.

ANDERSON: And has it been a good 80 years?

TUTU: It's been wonderful. I mean, being -- being an active individual, to have had a free South Africa, to have -- to have been able to see goodness flourish in so many places. It's been fantastic, yes. I wouldn't want to have changed it.

I wouldn't have met this guy. Oh, no, no, no. That makes me --

GELDOF: My birthday is two days before his. I just want to be clear. Is the world celebrating? No. And it's outrageous, Becky.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Very upset, Bob Geldof, there, speaking with Desmond Tutu to Becky, of course.

Our Parting Shots tonight, a tribute to the man, the music, and the mustache.

(MUSIC - "DON'T STOP ME NOW," QUEEN)

FOSTER: Queen legend Freddie Mercury would have turned 65 today. He lost his long battle with AIDS in 1991, though. This is search engine Google's singing and dancing tribute to the late singer, famous for his tight, white trousers and, I quote, "bountiful chest hair."

(MUSIC - "DON'T STOP ME NOW," QUEEN)

FOSTER: The timeless Freddie Mercury remembered today. I'm Max Foster, thank you for watching. The world headlines and "BackStory" follow this short break.

END