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Crisis in Italy and Greece; Mexican Official Killed; Violent Week in Syria; Clashes Between Rival Groups in Libya; Libyan Interim Prime Minister Has Tough Road Restoring Peace; New Seven Wonders of Nature; 1,000 Nude Israelis Pose for Artist in Dead Sea; New Life in Dead Sea Could Lead to Medical Breakthrough; Art Restorer Discovers Da Vinci "Copy" Actually Original; Parting Shots: 11/11/11

Aired November 11, 2011 - 16:00   ET


JONATHAN MANN, HOST: As the new Greek prime minister gets down to business, there are cheers in Italy for the man who could take over the top job there.

But with neither elected, is Europe now facing a crisis of democracy?

Live from the CNN Center, I'm Jonathan Mann.

Also tonight, with the fight against Gadhafi over, how regional rivalries in Libya are threatening to block the path to peace.

And they may be a world apart, but why millions across the globe think they're a wonder to behold.

Thanks for joining us.

Signs of progress and a global sigh of relief. Today, the troubled governments of Italy and Greece both took steps toward stability, calming the rattled nerves within their borders and around the world.

The Italian senate passed a wave of new austerity measures and economic reforms which helped bring government bond yields down to 6.5 percent, after rocketing well above seven earlier in the week.

That austerity approval cleared the way for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to leave power, as he promised, and for a successor to be named.

MANN: Today, Mario Monti, a former European commissioner considered a likely candidate to take over, got a warm welcome from lawmakers in the Italian prime minister.

Over in Greece, meantime, a new leadership taking shape, as well, with Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and his cabinet sworn into power in Athens.

Signs of stability from two of Europe's most troubled economies cheered markets on both sides of the Atlantic. All of a major indices closed up after days of turmoil.

But the crisis is still far from over, as CNN's Matthew Chance reports from Rome.



Matthew Chance, CNN, Rome.


MANN: Italy isn't the only Eurozone country dealing with a change in its leadership. In fact, Silvio Berlusconi is just the latest in a growing line of politicians forced out of office since the crisis began.

CNN's Emily Reuben reports.


EMILY REUBEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For almost two decades, Italy's prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, was rich picking for the political satirist. But this week, the consummate survivor of scandal, both political and sexual, appears to be on his way out, one of the biggest victims yet of the Eurozone crisis.

JOHN PRIDEAUX, "THE ECONOMIST": Italy is very uncomfortable if you're somebody who, you know, likes democracy and would wish it triumph in un- democratic places like China. And Silvio Berlusconi has effectively been forced out by the bond market rather than by Italian voters.

REUBEN: Prime Minister Berlusconi's offering to step down after parliament approves new austerity measures was aimed at averting a Eurozone bond market meltdown. But critics say it should be up to the people to vote leaders in and out rather than what they see as political change brought about to save the euro.

Berlusconi could be the second leader to fall victim to the crisis in the past few days. Greece's prime minister, George Papandreou, has gone. But before his exit, he tried to put the bailout question to voters, calling for a referendum on the country's EU-IMF rescue package.

It outraged European leaders and caused turmoil in the markets. Papandreou reversed course and headed for the door.

MATS PERSSON, DIRECTOR, OPEN EUROPE: We see in Greece that the Greek government cannot -- it has become sort of an implementing institution. It's implementing policies that have been already decided by politicians official -- and officials sitting in other countries. And as a voter, then, it becomes an extremely frustrating situation. And at the end of the day, you wonder how long that can hold, because if you, as a voter, if you feel that the entire political class is just sort of going in one direction and -- and doesn't really respond to voters' concerns, the voters will look for alternatives.

REUBEN: But supporters of the European project say rather than the crisis threatening democracy, it's democracy in action, stronger countries like Germany and France pulling together to help weaker member states, like Portugal and Greece, and sometimes paying a political price with their own voters.

ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): I think it is very important and it seems to be the case that Italy regains its credibility, that the austerity package is being implemented and that the political leadership is clarified fast. That is, I believe, very important for the credibility of Italy.

Germany has had only one aim for months now, since we've had the euro debt crisis, to stabilize the Eurozone as it is now.

REUBEN: But since this euro family photo session, the faces are changing pretty fast. Italy's prime minister is almost out. The Greek prime minister gone. Portugal's prime minister resigned earlier this year and Spain Zapatero won't stand again, with austerity measures eroding support for his party.

The Eurozone crisis is sweeping away the old faces. But by the time the ink dries, no one yet knows what the new European landscape will really look like or for how long it might last.

Emily Reuben, CNN, London.


MANN: Some experts say the seeds of this crisis were planted more than a decade ago, in fact, when the common currency was first introduced.

Historian Niall Ferguson said this week that voters who tried to block the implementation of the euro were right all along.


NIALL FERGUSON, HISTORIAN AND BUSINESS PROFESSOR, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: I think it's a -- a crisis of a lack of democracy, because the creation of the euro was one of the least democratic acts in modern European history. I don't think many voters really enthusiastically embraced it. On many of the milestones toward monetary union, referendums were held and then held again when the first result was wrong.

And -- and my sense is that what we're, in fact, witnessing are the consequences of a profoundly un-democratic process.

Now, this is really nemesis for European elites, who promised voters, we should have a single currency, this will be good for Europe, it will be good for you, it will increase European integration and everybody will benefit.

This was completely wrong. What, in fact, has happened since the euro was created has been a story of economic disintegration. For example, if you just look at the labor market, there's been a sustained divergence between the cost of labor in terms of unit labor costs in Germany, and the costs in the periphery, which is one reason these countries have such high unemployment right now.

So it's really a crisis of the European elites. And democracy is taking a terrible revenge. The euro has turned into a government killing machine. Every single government that is involved in this system is going down. And we must be heading toward the point at which a majority of -- of the governments that were in office back in 2007, when the financial crisis began, are no more. I mean Spain is nixed to lose -- to lose Zapatero, the prime minister there.

And my sense is that this process will just carry on, as government after government pays the price for having ignored popular wariness about the idea of a single currency. The people were right about this. It was a bad idea.


MANN: In fact, some people are so convinced the Eurozone was a bad idea, that they're placing bets on when and how it's going to break up.

CNN's Atika Shubert went to look at the odds with, who else, a London bookie.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you've been reading all about the Eurozone turmoil, but for a different perspective on whether or not the Eurozone is really going to break up and who might go first, we decided to come here, to William Hill, as advertised, the home of betting, to ask them who they think is going to go and why.


SHUBERT (voice-over): Meet Joe Crilly from William Hill. He runs us through the odds.

JOE CRILLY, WILLIAM HILL: This market here is to break up before 2012, the end of 2012. And we're going there one to six. That means that for every six pounds that you put on, you get a profit of one pound.

So we kind of think that it won't break up in that time, but you never know. It's like a house of cards. Once one country gets into real difficulty, the whole thing could come tumbling down.

SHUBERT: How do you determine here, you've got which country will leave the Eurozone first?

Greece, obviously, most likely. Then you've got Italy, Portugal and Spain there with some interesting odds.

How -- how are you calculating those?

CRILLY: Well, Greece have been in difficulty since 2009 and so their problems are well documented. So we've got them at a one to four favorite.

Then we've got Italy. Now they lost Berlusconi a couple of days ago. They're also increasing debts, increasing interest on their debts, as well. And the amount of GDP isn't actually covering the interest on their debts. So we've got Italy there. They'll probably get a loan at some point, which should just about help them out.

But, as I'm sure you're aware, more loan means more interest. So we've got Italy there as the second favorite. Now Portugal and Spain, their interest debts are increasing, as well. And so we've got them at 10 to one and 12 to one.

SHUBERT: And Germany is like practically the euro -- holding things together at this point and that's why I'm taking it as that six.

(voice-over): All good and well, but doesn't this sound a little bit like gloating by British pound holders?

CRILLY: We've always been an anti-euro coun -- country. And people are looking and -- and seeing that maybe we were perhaps right to stay out of the euro.

In terms of gloating, I won't say that we're gloating...


CRILLY: -- but it does look as though the euro is in difficulty.

SHUBERT: Yes, and I guess this is sort of a fun way to take the edge off some of the tension that's already building.

CRILLY: Yes. And with Christmas coming up, as well, it might be worth making an extra couple of pounds.


MANN: Take the edge off.

Our top story tonight, markets heaving a sigh of relief as the governments of Italy and Greece appear to stabilize after weeks of political turmoil. The action will roll on through the weekend, when Italy's lower house of parliament is expected to formally approve another austerity package. That would pave the way for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to officially leave office and a new leader to be in place as early as Monday.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

Straight ahead, human rights activists say serious crackdown on dissent amounts to crimes against humanity. They're demanding the Arab League take action. Details on an emergency meeting in Cairo coming up.

Scandal-rocked Penn State held its own emergency meeting. We'll take you there live as students gear up for a vigil at an American university in crisis.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was kind of exhausting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hard to part with it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, terrible. It was like break -- it was like a break-up.


MANN: And the pain of parting with a masterpiece -- a restorer describes her time with a painting that turned out to be worth millions.


MANN: Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice at 11:00 a.m. Friday, people across the United Kingdom from offices to classrooms, tube stations to train platforms, paused for two minutes of silence to remember those who gave their lives serving their country.

Across the article, U.S. President Barack Obama declared that the tide of war is receding. Mr. Obama highlighted troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the end of Libya's Moammar Gadhafi. The president also paid tribute to U.S. forces during the annual Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

I'm Jonathan Mann at CNN Center.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

Here's a look now at some other stories making headlines this hour.

The man overseeing Mexico's war against drug traffickers is dead. Interior Minister Jose Francisco Blake Mora was killed only hours ago when his helicopter crashed south of Mexico City. Everyone on board with him was also killed.

We go live to CNN's Luis Carlos Velez, who's following this story.

Thanks so much for talking with us.

We've got to ask you, first of all, what happened?

And especially given the fact that this man was the interior minister, making his job to fight organized crime, the criminals, the cartels.

Has anyone talked about foul play?


How are you?

This is a huge story in Mexico. Mexico's interior minister, Jose Francisco Blake Mora, was killed in a helicopter crash this morning. He was Mexico's second highest official. President Felipe Calderon just told Mexicans the incident occurred in cloudy conditions and that it was possibly an accident. The government said he was on board a super Puma helicopter flying over the Josemico (ph) area -- Sochimico (ph) area, south of Mexico City. A total of nine people died in the crash.

Sources tell CNN that this same helicopter was going to be used by Mexican President Felipe Calderon later on this evening.

Blake Mora received all security efforts against drug cartels in Mexico, so that's why the big question remains -- John.

MANN: Well, another question, a coincidence, Calderon's first interior minister also died in an air crash almost exactly three years ago. A strange coincidence, really.

VELEZ: That's true. It's definitely raising some eyebrows. Mora is the second interior minister who has died in an aircraft-related accident. In 2008, Juan Camila Mourino died in his plane when his plane crashed in a crowded street in Mexico City. Investigators concluded that day that Mourino's plane had been flying too close to a much bigger jet plane headed to Mexico City's airport.

MANN: Luis Carlos Velez, thanks very much.

No word yet on why a ferry has been hijacked in waters off of Western Turkey. CNN Turk reports that the boat was commandeered while on its way to the city of Izmit, carrying 17 passengers and four crew members. At least one hijacker claims to be on board, armed with explosives.

Investigators are trying to find exactly how many hijackers really are involved.

Human rights activists say Syria is making a mockery of Arab League- brokered peace deals and insists there have to be consequences. Opposition groups say at least -- or rather, as many as 30 people were killed across Syria today, most of them civilians in the city of Homs. Human Rights Watch says security forces have killed more than 100 people in Homs alone since Syria agreed last week to end its crackdown on dissent.

The Arab League is holding an emergency meeting in Cairo tomorrow to discuss the crisis.

Government forces have been pounding Southwestern Yemen. Rescuers and other witnesses say 10 people have been killed, more than 30 wounded. Some medical workers in Yemen's Taiz Province say the shelling is so fierce, they can't reach the wounded. Clashes have intensified in recent days, as protesters demand the ouster of Yemen's president, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Seven weeks of debate couldn't break the deadlock in the U.N. Security Council over a Palestinian statehood bid. Today, the Council said it failed to reach agreement on whether Palestinians should be granted full U.N. membership. The Palestinians need nine Council votes for their bid to pass, but that seems unlike.

The Palestinians' U.N. representative says they were always aware it would be an uphill struggle, citing the threat of a U.S. veto.


RIYAD H. MANSOUR, PALESTINIAN AMBASSADOR TO UN: We knew from the beginning, when we've submitted our application, that we might not be able to succeed in the Security Council, because there is a powerful country that has the veto power that expressed that it will not allow us to prevail.


MANN: On a lighter note, the start of the college basketball season is always pretty big deal here in the US. But this year's first big game will make history. It's actually being played on water. That's right. Where F-18s are normally catapulted into the sky, players from North Carolina and Michigan State will be facing off literally on the flight deck. About 7,000 fans will be aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson, hosting the game pier side at San Diego Naval Base in honor of Veterans Day.

You're with CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN.

I'm Jonathan Mann.

Just ahead, the world's most famous golfer is on fire at a major tournament.

After two years in the wilderness, is Tiger finally out of the woods?


MANN: Welcome back.

A growing scandal, ruined lives, lost legacies -- tonight, Penn State is tackling the ugly fallout of a child sex abuse scandal. The American university's interim president just announced that a specially created panel to investigate the allegations will report to him. Many students are gearing up for a Friday night vigil. They want to show support for the victims.

The scandal has rocked the Pennsylvania campus and ended the career of long-time coach, Joe Paterno. He's not facing any charges over the scandal, but questions remain over whether Paterno's response to the alleged sexual abuse of young boys by a former assistant coach was enough.

It is a massive, massive scandal for a game that America takes more seriously than life itself. College football is bigger than a lot of professional sports in this country. Penn State was a powerhouse. Joe Paterno was much loved.

We have a game coming up on Saturday -- 170,000 fans. But just ahead of this, we have death threats against the whistleblower, the man who let authorities know that there was sexual abuse being committed. And we had a riot around Penn State just the other night. A hundred and seventy thousand people...

MARK MCKAY, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: And it's all happening in the span of a week, John.

MANN: Right.

MCKAY: And that's what's amazing.

Specifically about the game, this is Senior Day. This is a day that was already going to be very emotional for these Penn State seniors, playing their last home game against Nebraska.

So having to come together and, after all that's gone on on that university campus this week, their coach, their long-time head coach, the legendary coach, Joe Paterno, not in charge. An assistant now taking the reigns. It will be very interesting how this team responds this coming weekend.


MCKAY: Yes, and it's amazing how what has happened in the span of one week for a university that, here in the United States, was, you know, revered when it comes to college football.

MANN: It had...

MCKAY: It racked up a lot of profits, as well, John.

This is a much, much bigger story about this sport, that man and this crime. But, you know, one of the things sports journalists always tell us, and you among them, they like to come out here and talk about sports, not about criminals...

MANN: -- not about scandal.


MANN: Let's do that. Let's talk about football and the European qualifiers.

MCKAY: We do have European qualifiers qual -- across Europe this evening. It's been an interesting scenario, as these teams all look to get in via playoffs their first and second leg matches in these European qualifiers. And while we were hoping to bring you some video here, we -- we can tell you that early on, that it was Croatia playing a match in Turkey tonight. And it was really one-sided. This was a -- a Croatia team that came to Turkey with a bunch of revenge on their mind against the team that had knocked him out previously.

And it was, again, one-sided traffic. The Turkish fans going home tonight, wondering what happened, John, because this was a one-sided match that saw Croatia come away 3-0 victors.

So what happens is Croatia heads home with an incredible amount of confidence. The return leg is next week. You could basically say that Croatia has one foot in next year's European championships after they went to Istanbul tonight and basically thumped Turkey.

We will have the other results from the European championship playoff matches coming up on "WORLD SPORT" in about an hour and five minutes. But a very intriguing night, indeed, as these teams now, this is their last opportunity to make next year's European football championships.

MANN: Another figure at the intersection of sport and scandal, Tiger Woods.


MANN: But we're just talking about golf this time. He's back on the leaderboard making quite an impression.

MCKAY: And he has the confidence, as well. You mentioned the confidence that Croatia has. Tiger has a whole lot of confidence now, as he has his first tournament lead, John, in a while. In fact, the first tournament lead since last December.

Woods is playing in Australia, at the Australian Open. Round three is underway in Sydney as we speak. Tiger Woods, he'll tee off in a few hours. The 14 time major winner went out and fought a -- shot a 500 par round 67 on Saturday. He has a one stroke lead. He says he is basically pulling the way -- his game together the way he plays at home. It's all coming together now.

John, you may remember, he had swing changes. He had to get adapted to that. He was injured. But he's not won a tournament since the 2009 Master's. And as we look at the month of November, and those of us that remember it well, it was November of 2009, when Tiger Woods' life and -- as he knew it -- came crashing down.

Is he now making steps to get back as the golfer that we once knew?

We'll see if he can take the confidence, you know, say he goes on and wins this tournament and wraps up the year with a victory, could that give him the confidence he needs to get that ranking, which is 58 in the world.

Would you ever think that Tiger Woods would be ranked 58th in the world?

That's where he is currently.

MANN: OK. Mark McKay, thanks very much.

MCKAY: OK, John.

MANN: We've been talking about Penn State, the scandal, the vigil tonight.

Mary Snow joins us now with the latest -- Mary, I can't -- I can't get over this, death threats against the whistleblower. Even after the first crimes, this story keeps moving.

Where do things stand now?

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jonathan, we just heard from the interim president of Penn State that Mark McCreary, the assistant coach, who had received those threats, is now on administrative leave.

This follows after increasing scrutiny about in that grand jury report. It came to light that McCreary had eye -- witnessed an alleged rape involving Jerry Sandusky of a 10-year-old-boy. McCreary had gone to Joe Paterno, according to this report, and other Penn State officials.

But after Paterno had been fired, along with Penn State's president, there were questions about McCreary. He came under scrutiny, with questions about why he didn't do more.

And just a short while ago, it was announced that he is now put on leave indefinitely. It's a paid leave, but that's under discussion at this point -- Jonathan.

MANN: A strange development, maybe, for his own safety, maybe because of his place in the scandal.

Mary Snow, thanks very much.

Once a unified rebel force, the men who over the weekend Moammar Gadhafi are regrouping into rival militias. We'll see what the new Libyan government is doing to try to keep the peace. then, tourists flock to an underground river in the Philippines ever year, but did it make the cut as one of the new seven natural wonders of the world?

And eleventh heaven for lovers tying the knot -- a rare calendar date sparks a rush up the aisle.


JONATHAN MANN, HOST: You're back with CONNECT THE WORLD on CNN, the world's news leader. Let's get a check of the headlines this hour.

Italy looks set to fast track its budget reforms. Friday, the Italian Senate approved new austerity measures by a landslide. The vote goes to the lower house of parliament Saturday. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has promised to resign when the measures pass.

In Greece, Lucacas -- or rather, Lucas Papademos has taken on the prime minister's post and the country's massive debt crisis. Mr. Papademos and his cabinet must get tough budget cuts approved to secure the next round of European bailout money.

Mexico's interior minister and eight others have died in a helicopter crash near Mexico City. Jose Francisco Blake Mora, who's responsible for leading the war against drug traffickers, was among the seven passengers and two crew who perished.

Yemen security forces reportedly hit civilians hard in the southwestern city of Taiz Friday. Medics said the attack killed 10 people and wounded 32 others. A resident said the president attacked the city because it's a launching pad for protests.

Opposition activists say dozens of people were killed across Syria Friday. That regime keeps up its violent crackdown on dissent, despite signing a peace agreement last week. Ben Wedeman is following developments tonight from Cairo.

BEN WEDEMEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Jonathan, a bloody week in Syria has come to an end. The opposition says as many as 30 people were killed around the country as the regime of Bashar al-Assad struggled to crush this eight-month-old uprising.

The toll of this uprising has been graphically documented by Human Rights Watch, which has issued a report on the central Syrian province of Homs, where it says more than 500 civilians have been killed, where it says arrest and torture have occurred on a massive scale.

Now, earlier this month, the Arab League convinced Syria to sign onto an action plan to diffuse the crisis, but so far, progress in the implementation of that plan has been very limited. Saturday,t he Arab League will meet to discuss that plan, but as the Secretary General of the Arab League said in an interview with CNN, the League's persuasive powers are severely limited.


NABIL ALARABI, SECRETARY-GENERAL, ARAB LEAGUE: What can we do more than that? You see, I'm not defending anyone, any country, or the Arab League or anything like that, but there are facts of life.

If you want to tell a government, any government in the world, to stop what they are doing and they are not persuaded, and if you need to enforce, it's outside our league. We don't do that.


WEDEMAN: Saturday, the League may suspend Syria from the organization, but at best, it's a symbolic gesture unlikely to stop the bloodshed in the streets of Homs and other Syrian cities. Jonathan?

MANN: Ben Wedeman.

They came together from different backgrounds and different loyalties, unified by the desire to overthrow Libya's longtime dictator.

The rebels succeeded, of course, but now that the war is over, the country is learning that it's not so easy to keep the peace. Jomana Karadsheh reports now from Tripoli.




JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They were welcomed as liberators in August, fighters from around the country who converged on Tripoli to free the capital.

But today, with the country officially liberated, the capital relatively stable, many feel it is time for the heavily-armed men roaming their streets to leave.

HUSSAM NAJJAIR, FORMER REBEL, TRIPOLI BRIGADES: As civilians, they are welcome, and they can be part of this new Tripoli. We're not shutting them out. But weapons and heavy weapons on the street, I've seen guys going around to the shops with anti-aircraft gun, and it's -- it needs to end.

KARADSHEH (on camera): Tensions have been running high between various militias operating in Tripoli. At times, the former allies have turned their guns on each other, resulting in some of the most serious clashes in weeks.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Tripoli Central Hospital was the scene of one of those incidents. Staff here say their hospital was turned into a battlefield after members of one group stormed the hospital and tried to kill a wounded member of a rival militia. Doctors say they're caught in the middle.

SONDOS BEN ALEWO, LIBYAN DOCTOR: We are all exposed here. We are working under treating. We don't know how to be secured. We don't know whether if we have to forgo our work, how to manage this case, how to be safe.

KARADSHEH: The occasional violence has mainly involved fighters from Tripoli and militia men from the western mountain city of Zintan. While both groups publicly downplay these incidents and blame them on rogue elements, some worry about a serious outbreak of violence.

NAJJAIR: All it takes is one proper flashpoint -- and if a couple of people, if they die or lose a life, it turns into a life for a life kind of a thing.

KARADSHEH: Najjair blames much of the tensions on a historic last of trust created by the Gadhafi regime. He says many parts of the country felt left out as money was poured into the capital.

NAJJAIR: They feel like, this is our chance. If we don't get in here now, we're going to be pushed aside. And I'd like to -- I'd like to put their minds at ease and their hearts at ease that I don't think that that's the goal of anyone from Tripoli.

KARADSHEH: Mukhtar Fernana commands the thousands of men who operate in the western part of the country. He says an agreement has been reached between the various commanders. They're pulling the heavy weaponry off the streets.

Fernana adds that 25 percent of fighters have already pulled out of Tripoli. More could follow fi the capital is secure enough. But a complete withdrawal would only happen when the country's police and military are ready to take over.

Rebuilding the country's security forces and disarming militias might be one of the toughest tasks ahead for a soon to be formed interim government. But a bigger challenge might be trying to build trust between these groups.


KARADSHEH: And Jonathan, just last night, we are being told by sources that heavy fighting broke out west of Tripoli outside the city of Zawiya. We are told that these heavy clashes involve two groups of rival fighter groups. We're also hearing that there were casualties in these clashes, Jonathan.

MANN: Jomana, none of this is a secret. Even the new prime minister knows he has a problem. He himself, we're told, faced an angry crowd of fighters demanding jobs and back pay. So, what is he going to do about all of these men and all of these guns?

KARADSHEH: Well, Jonathan, we've heard Prime Minister Abdurrahim El- Keib saying in recent interviews since he was selected less than two weeks ago that he plans to deal with this not using force.

This is not going to be as simple as walking up to the fighters and just telling them to hand in their weapons. This is something that is going to take time, and it's going to be done through programs and not by force. It is expected that it will take months.

At the same time, the prime minister says that these programs that will -- to try and disarm these fighters will need funding. It's going to need a lot of money to fund these programs.

Libya is a rich country, but at the same time, it has a lot of frozen assets, and that is where they hope that the international community would be able to help with the funding, Jonathan.

MANN: And it still doesn't even really have a government yet. It has a prime minister, but where are we on the formation of a cabinet and the beginnings of Libya's next government?

KARADSHEH: Well, this transitional government, Jonathan, is -- has a deadline of being put together, coming together by the 23rd of this month.

We heard from the prime minister the night he was selected that he would take about two weeks, he expected to have a cabinet, which we'll have to see how inclusive Libya's first transitional government is going to be. So, possibly in the next few days, we might hear news of the government formation

Jonathan, almost everyone we speak to here has a long wish list for this government. A lot of hope is riding on this transitional government that will oversee the drawing -- drafting of a new constitution for Libya and walk the country to national elections in about eight months during its -- at the end of its term.

But the prime minister has cautioned that he will not -- and his cabinet will not -- be able to deliver miracles.

MANN: Jomana Karadsheh in Tripoli. Thanks very much.

The chaotic aftermath of the war has consequences far beyond Libya's borders. According to the Reuter news agency, Israel is speeding up the installation of anti-missile defenses on its airliners after reports that Hamas militants in Gaza have smuggled advanced weapons looted from Libyan military warehouses.

Coming up, it's in the running to be one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and with good reason. What scientists have found at the bottom of the Dead Sea that's making them rethink what they know about underwater life.


MANN: It's the only living thing that can be seen from outer space. Made up of 600 continental islands and a reef that stretches more than 2,000 kilometers, Australia's Great Barrier Reef is breathtaking. But for all its beauty, it seems this world heritage site didn't make the cut.

Welcome back, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. The votes are in, and the provisional results are out. Here are the new seven wonders of nature in alphabetical order.

We start with the Amazon in South America. No surprise, a haven of biodiversity, one of the greatest natural resources on our planet.

How about Halong Bay in Vietnam? A cluster of some 3,000 limestone monolithic islands, each topped with jungle, and many containing ancient caves.

Iguazu Falls, resting in between Brazil and Argentina, one of the most popular tourist destinations in South America. Said to be the most beautiful falls in the world.

Jeju Island in South Korea, also known as the island of the gods. It's got some incredible greens, perfect for hosting European golf tournament last year.

Komodo National Park in Indonesia, famous, of course, to the -- home, rather, to the famous Komodo Dragon, the world's largest living lizard. Look at that thing.

The Puerto Princesa underground river in the Philippines. And underground river. One of the most important biodiversity conservation areas in the country.

And finally, Table Mountain in South Africa, the backdrop to the city of Cape Town. Its national park has thriving colonies of African penguins.

Now, all of this is the brainchild of Bernard Weber, the president and founder of New Seven Wonders. We spoke to him just a short time ago from Zurich, Switzerland, and started off by whether he saw any surprises in the final seven.


BERNARD WEBER, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER, NEW7WONDERS: There were some surprises, because there some less-known, less iconic sites in there, like Puerta Princesa, the underground river, that hardly anybody has heard of before.

There was also Commodore Islands with the famous dragon that people have not known so far, so it's a cross-cut between iconic sites and less- known sites, which makes me very happy.

MANN: There were also the Iguazu Falls, which I'd never heard of. Was that part of the point, to make places like these better known?

WEBER: Well, it was also -- the idea was also to educate people, not only present them with iconic sites, but making this into a learning process.

MANN: Well, I think you've succeeded, but let me ask you, because one of the extraordinary things isn't just the site, it's the numbers of people who took part. I heard one description of this as the "largest poll ever conducted." Tell us about the numbers and the scale of this?

WEBER: Well, it's -- it's huge numbers. It's many, many, many hundreds of millions of votes. We will disclose the numbers once they're all verified and checked. So, please hold onto that. But I can guarantee you, it is many, many hundreds of millions of votes.

MANN: Now, did it differ from region to region? Did people in one particular part of the world vote for their own favorite places over and over again? Was group of people more active in trying to set a new wonder for their home nation.

WEBER: Yes, of course. It's like in any election campaign, it's the candidate who knows most stimulate the voters who wins at the end. So, of course we had huge participation in Asia. We had big participation in South America, and Middle East, even Africa, was very big this time.

So -- it's the upcoming countries. It's the people where they are still eager, whether they want to show what they have to present to the rest of the world.


MANN: Bernard Weber talking to us a short time ago.

There are some incredible places that only made the top 14, some even going a little above and beyond to get some last-minute attention. Have a look at this. Not too closely, though.

This is the Dead Sea in Israel, where more than 1,000 nude Israelis posed for US art photographer Spencer Tunick.

A thousand nude Israelis? You don't see that every day.

The Dead Sea is known as being not only home for those naked Israelis, but it's the saltiest body of water on Earth. Despite its apparent barrenness because of all that salt, scientists have discovered there's actually new life underwater, life that in fact could lead to an important medical breakthrough. CNN's Kevin Flower explains.


KEVIN FLOWER, CNN JERUSALEM BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): On the rocky shores of this large body of water, biologists prepare themselves for a dive in an ongoing research expedition. They tread into the still waters and carefully make the plunge into the world below.

At first glance, it looks like you're standard underwater dive. But look closer, and you'll see what's missing. There are no fish and there are no plants here, and nor will there ever be any. For this is the Dead Sea, the saltiest body of water on the planet.

So, you ask, what are these marine biologists doing here? They are here making what they say is the first of its kind scientific diving expedition to study fresh and saltwater springs at the bottom of the Dead Sea, where new forms of life have recently been discovered. A find that may significant implications for medical research.

The initial discovery was made during the course of an underwater hydrology project to measure the flow of discharge from the springs.

DANNY IONESCU, DOCTOR, MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE: We found a large diversity of bacteria of microorganisms, several types of algae, and none of these organisms have been described previously from the Dead Sea. And that's fascinating.

And most of them, to the best of our knowledge at the moment, as we did preliminary data attends, are not known to science in general.

FLOWER: The team of scientists working with Ben-Gurion University had to make multiple dives for their research and found that Dead Sea diving, which requires 35 kilos of extra weight, took some getting used to.

STEFAN HAEUSLER, MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE: The difference is when you go to the water, then you're really heavy, and you almost fall in. When you're in, it's not that different. Your skin starts to burn after a while, so I did now two dives and everything is itchy and burning.

FLOWER: Thirty meters below the surface, the researches collect samples of sediment, which they measure back on land. They hope to learn more about the chemical composition of the spring that allows for the microorganisms to live in such extreme environments.

IAN DOUGLAS, ABERDEEN UNIVERSITY: They generally give very interesting metabolites, new compounds which have the potential to be used in therapeutics. But we're really looking for first head drugged new compound that can be used as antibiotics or antifungals, anti-cancer.

FLOWER: From the depths of the Dead Sea springs life that one day may help save lives back on land.

Keven Flower, CNN, Jerusalem.


MANN: Coming up on CONNECT THE WORLD, what it's like to live with Leonardo's Christ. A restorer of a famous painting describes the moment she realized it was the work of a genius.


MANN: Welcome back, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

Imagine you're an art restorer and you've been given a beautiful copy of a painting by Leonardo Da Vinci. But the more work you do on the piece, the more you realize, it could actually be the real thing. A masterpiece. Nick Glass has the extraordinary story.



NICK GLASS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dianne Dwyer Modestini has spent six years off and on living with Leonardo's Christ, cleaning him, restoring him, retouching him, resuscitating him. Just working on the eyes took two months.

DIANNE MODESTINI, CONSERVATOR: It was very important to help it as much as you could, and not in any way suppress this extraordinary spiritual quality that it had.

GLASS: Her labor of love began after the art dealer Robert Simon brought the painting around to her home one evening. An immediate problem was the wood panel on which Christ had been painted.

It was badly fractured, although by some miracle, the crack was down the costume and not across the face.

GLASS (on camera): So, I understand, painted originally on a single walnut panel.


GLASS: Over the years, it fractures and it -- there is an infill. But during the process of restoration, you're saying the panel is actually fragmented.


GLASS: Into two or more parts.


GLASS: And has to be stuck together.

MODESTINI: Has to be stuck together, yes.

GLASS (voice-over): They didn't really have any idea what they'd stumbled across.

MODESTINI: Leonardo was -- it was not even remotely in my mind. I could see that it was a painting of real quality from a -- particularly from the blessing hand. And --

GLASS (on camera): Which is beautiful.

MODESTINI: It's beautiful, yes. And now people say, well, of course it's by Leonardo. How could you ever have doubted it? Just look at the hand.

GLASS (voice-over): Modestini examined the painting under a microscope. Special x-rays were taken. And these revealed other small changes. The V in Christ's garment had been moved slightly downwards. A pendant had been shifted to the left.

And then, there was just the way the tiniest details were painted. Take the rock crystal in Christ's left hand.

By magnifying the image, you could see that the artist had painted each air bubble with the most delicate of touches. An arc of white, a dash of black for shadow. An under paint and a glaze typical of Leonardo all to create an effect.

She had already noticed that Christ's curls were similar to John the Baptist's in the Leonardo painting in the Louvre.

There was another clue. Leonardo pioneered a painting effect known as sfumato, that imperceptible drift in and out of light and shadow.

MODESTINI: Looking very carefully at the way the paint was applied, the transitions, which are invisible, where the paint -- the shadow just is so thin that it's as if it was just blown on with this little -- with a tiny puff.

GLASS: Any doubts were finally removed when Modestini made comparisons with Leonardo's most famous painting. The Mona Lisa is about the same size as the Christ painting. They may well have been painted at around the same time.

With a high resolution image, you can see the crackleurs, the pattern of cracks around the Mona Lisa's mouth. The paint around Christ's lower lip had dried in much the same way.

MODESTINI: Then, I was convinced. It really is -- it really is Leonardo. In that moment, I was sure. I was just completely sure.

GLASS: Parting with the picture has not been easy.

MODESTINI: I was sort of emotionally so involved with it that it was kind of exhausting.

GLASS (on camera): Hard to part with it?

MODESTINI: Oh, terrible. It was like break -- it was like a breakup. Yes. It was -- terrible.


MANN: The discovery is prompting speculation that more Leonardo paintings could still be out there. One professor of art says there are probably no more than 20 paintings by the artist in the whole world. That suggests there could be five more just waiting to be discovered.

Well, CNN provides you rare access to the amazing Da Vinci discovery on our special, "Leonardo: The Lost Painting." It airs several times this weekend, including Saturday night at 9:30 in London, 10:30 in Berlin, right here on CNN.

And finally, once in a lifetime, a singular date comes along. In tonight's Parting Shots, check out how people around the world are making the most of it.


UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: It's the 11th day of the 11th month of 2011, and the triple 11 factor has people around the world abuzz. At 11:11:11 on 11/11/11, the time and date are a perfect same-numbered palindrome, reading the same backwards as forwards. It'll be hundred years before the world sees another 11/11/11.

Lottery sales are through the roof, with people around the world looking for a lucky payday. In Germany and spots across the globe, thousands of couples are getting married at exactly 11 past 11:00, seeing the date as an auspicious time to tie the knot.

Nearly 1,000 couples married in a mass ceremony in Malaysia. In China, today is celebrated as Super Singles Day, where the 11/11/11 date literally means bear sticks, also a Chinese slang term for bachelors.

Across Asia, many mothers planned to keep their date with good fortune by opting for a cesarean delivery, ensuring their babies are born exactly 11 minutes past 11:00, or at the very least, on the special day. And many job applicants plan to mail their resumes at exactly 11:11 AM.

But not everyone was smiling for today's date. Authorities in Egypt closed down the largest of the Great Pyramids of Giza, following rumors that worshipers planned to hold spiritual ceremonies on the ancient site.

If you weren't able to cash in on the power of the triple 11s, don't lose heart. Astrologers say the next date to cast your eye on isn't that far away. It's the 12th of December, 2012.


MANN: I'm Jonathan Mann. While we've been watching the calendar, thanks for watching us. The world headlines and "BackStory" are coming up after this break.