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CONNECT THE WORLD
Scrambling to Save the Euro; Irish Prime Minister Warns of Tough Times Ahead; Russian Results; Tiger Woods Wins Again; Diamond Controversy; Blood Diamond Supply Chains Murky; How to Avoid Blood Diamonds; Bomb Attacks Kill Dozens of Iraqi Pilgrims; Iraq After the War: From Rule of Dictator to Rule of Law; Troops Reunite With Families; Gene Affects Sleep Needs; Parting Shots of $4 Million Car Crash
Aired December 5, 2011 - 16:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Scrambling to save the euro -- leaders race against time ahead of a crucial EU summit and proposals that could mean drastic changes for the future of Europe.
Live from London, hi.
I'm Zain Verjee.
Also tonight, the fifth sea of diamond shopping -- making sure the rock is conflict-free. But the definition is cloudy. And now one of the founding members is quitting the certification process -- what you need to know before you buy a diamond this Christmas.
VERJEE: Tiger out of the woods -- the golf great ends a two year drought. What's ahead for the fallen superstar?
Two powerful allies have united in their battle to save the euro. The leaders of France and Germany have agreed on a plan to present to the European Union this week. In Paris today, Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel announced that they want a new EU treaty by March. It would include tough budgets with automatic penalties for any countries that go into too much debt.
They want all 27 EU nations to sign up. But it would go ahead if -- if they can get the 17 strong Eurozone group on board.
CNN's Nina Dos Santos joins us now live from Paris -- hi, Nina.
Just run us through the main points.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the salient points, Zain -- I'm having a little bit of trouble hearing you, but let me try and run you through the salient points while we're at it here in Paris.
So, effectively, what they're going to be doing, Zain, is forcing these Eurozone countries, at least the Eurozone countries, that's Plan B. Hopefully, Germany wants all 27 countries within the EU to comply with really strict budget rules here. What we're talking about here is a golden rule to try and balance these budgets. Or, for these countries that aren't able to completely balance their budgets, at least they've got to get their deficits, which is the difference between their spending and also their tax income, between about 3 percent of GDP. Otherwise, they're going to be facing, according to these new plans, automatic sanctions that could involve, basically, a budget czar slapping them with some kind of fine.
The other thing that came out of this five point plan that Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel, as the heads of the two biggest economies inside the Eurozone, the other thing that came out of it is that they're going to be making the Eurozone bailout fund basically bigger and probably permanent, it seems -- and permanent year earlier than expected.
And that just gives you an idea of the gravity of what we're talking about.
Take a listen to what Angela Merkel had to say about trying to make this all encompassing, but if they don't agreement of all 27 heads of state, well, they'll settle for 17.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): As Mr. Sarkozy has said, either we have -- change the treaty for the 27, that would be the most logical approach. But we are also absolutely resolved that if there are difficulties there and if there are people who don't want to follow up, then we will say well, Europe -- the euro is so important that we will act with the 17 member countries who would be open to being joined by others.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOS SANTOS: So if you could hear there, it seems as though both of them are trying to go for the whole hog here. What they're going to be doing, Zain, is they're going to be trying to put this framework that they've come across with and come up with in place, in front of the 27 heads of the European Union. Remember, 10 of those don't share the euro, not -- are outside of the Eurozone as a result -- and trying to get them to agree to that.
But as you were hearing there from Angela Merkel -- and Sarkozy said it before in the same press conference -- if they don't get agreement from all 27, they'll certainly settle for 17.
VERJEE: Nina, how much compromise was there here, actually, because gaff have clashed before on how to deal with the crisis?
VERJEE: Nina dos Santos reporting from Paris.
Sorry, we lost her.
Seventeen countries are united by the euro, but divided by different ideas when it comes to managing their finances. And there's the problem.
CNN's Jim Boulden takes a look back at how the cracks started to show in the euro.
JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's easy to visualize Europe. Just show a horde of euro coins being minted. It is, after all, the very symbol of unity for the 17 countries that share one currency.
So why, then, is the same currency tearing at the very fabric of the Eurozone?
Euro skeptic Norman Lamont has always said the euro was a mistake.
NORMAN LAMONT, FORMER BRITISH FINANCE MINISTER: You see, when the euro was set up, a lot of people said, well, it's very good, you have a currency without a government. That's a plus part -- a plus point, not a minus point.
But, actually, it's turned out to be a minus point because no one is in charge.
BOULDEN: The euro did come with its own central bank, based in Frankfurt to placate a German citizenry giving up their beloved, strong and stable deutschemark. But the euro meant monetary union, not fiscal union. Each country retained their own tax policies, budgets, banks, financial markets, etc. And each country sells bonds.
Greek bonds always gave a little more back to investors, who happily bought them up, allowing Greece to happily increase its debt. After all, Greece shared the same currency as the Germans and certainly couldn't go bust.
Not true. Once the economic crisis hit in 2008, the euro cracks started to appear. And Europe's politicians are still trying to find the patch.
JACEK ROSTOWSKI, POLISH FINANCE MINISTER: That have taken too much time. It will take a bit more time. Fortunately, the European Central Bank has given us more time by intervening on the Italian and Spanish bond markets and providing a kind of protective shield while we can take the -- while the political process can work to bring about the decisions that are necessary.
BOULDEN: And it's clear time is running out.
ANDERS BORG, SWEDISH FINANCE MINISTER: This is a crossroads for Europe and there are some very heavy political decisions that will have a - - a long impact that will have to be made.
BOULDEN: It appears Europe has a stark choice -- change the rules and let countries leave the euro or go the whole way and create a fiscal union. In other words, one big budget -- or at least a budget czar of sorts that could veto spending in any country.
LAMONT: I think there are two alternatives. They are, bluntly put, cough up or break up.
BOULDEN: Clearly, muddling through is not an alternative.
Jim Boulden, CNN, London.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
VERJEE: Two debt-laden countries are getting ready for painful austerity measures. Just watch what happened as Italy's welfare minister outlined $41 billion in spending cuts, tax hikes and pension overhauls.
VERJEE: Elsa Fornero was overcome with emotion as she tried to say Italians are being asked to sacrifice today for future generations. And in Ireland, the prime minister addressed the nation, warning of tough times ahead, with $5 billion in new austerity measures. It's taking two days to deliver next year's budget in parliament instead of the usual one. Enda Kenny says Ireland spends $20 billion more each year than it earns.
For more on this, let's go live now to Dublin and speak to reporter Geraldine Lynagh.
Thank you so much for being with us.
Give us an idea, in practical terms, how severe these cuts are.
GERALDINE LYNAGH, CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Zain.
Yes, and actually, in fact, we only know the half of what's coming next here at the moment.
But, yes, just a few short hours ago, in this building here behind me, the Irish parliament, the minister for public expenditure outlined almost a 1.4 billion euro worth of cuts that he intends to make next year.
Now, it's arguable some of these cuts will hit some groups in the country a bit more than others who are (INAUDIBLE) with these changes (INAUDIBLE).
The unemployed, the (INAUDIBLE) and the elderly, which will be (INAUDIBLE) for six weeks every year, they simply won't get a fuel allowance. And job seekers who work part-time will see changes to their social welfare and (INAUDIBLE).
So some very serious measures there. And one group is particularly furious. It's students. They've seen their college registration fees jump by 250 euros every single year now. I talked to some students earlier and they say that there's no (INAUDIBLE) education (INAUDIBLE) believing that is not an option. Also, some students who are in college at the moment simply won't be able to afford to graduate. So that's a very serious issue there considering all of the knowledge base economy (INAUDIBLE). Producing highly skilled graduates every year. A very serious issue.
So a very serious budget cutting coming down the line. And we have more taxation measures to be done tomorrow. So we'll have to see where (INAUDIBLE).
VERJEE: Reporter Geraldine Lynagh trying to tell us what's going on, but our apologies. There was just a lot of noise there.
We're going to be keeping you up to date with every development in what will be a crucial week in Europe. On Wednesday, the Greek parliament votes on a budget plan and U.S. Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner meets with Mario Monti, the new Italian prime minister. And then on Thursday, the European Central Bank reveals its financial stability review and European Union leaders arrive for crucial talks in Brussels.
And then Friday, the big day -- the European Council's meeting -- David Cameron, Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy and Mario Monti will all be there.
And we want you to connect with us ahead of this summit.
Do you have a a message for one of the ells or a question you want to ask about the euro crisis?
Just head to our Facebook page and leave your questions, your comments there, too. And when CNN is at the summit later this week, we're going to do our best to put your questions to the people in the know and bring you the answers as we get them.
You can find us at Facebook.com/CNNconnect.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London.
Still to come, a double setback for Russia's prime minister as his party suffers big time in parliamentary elections and question swirl about whether the results were rigged.
Then it's back to his winning ways as Tiger Woods roars to victory.
And did someone die for that diamond?
How you can help end the trafficking of blood diamonds, when we come back.
VERJEE: You're watching CNN, the world's news leader.
And this is CONNECT THE WORLD.
A group that helped set up the method to take blood diamonds out of circulation now says that that system is seriously followed. Global Witness is withdrawing from the Kimberly Process. It says the system may go a good job of sorting out gems, funding civil wars and conflicts between countries, but it doesn't recognize diamonds that finance police states making war on their own people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE DAVIS, GLOBAL WITNESS: So we don't take this decision lightly. But we feel that we've now reached the juncture where, by continuing to participate, we are inadvertently lending legitimacy to a scheme which is really misleading people in the diamond trade, but mostly fundamentally, more consumers into thinking that there's a system in place which can guarantee that if they buy a diamond, there is no risk of any association with human rights abuses or other types of crime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VERJEE: We're going to have much more on that story coming up in about 15 minutes.
But for now, here's a look at some of the other stories connecting our world this hour.
Controversy continues over the loss of a U.S. drone aircraft. Iran says it shot down an RQ-170 Sentinel unmanned aircraft over its air space. The U.S. says operators lost control of an unarmed reconnaissance drone last week as it was flying a mission along Afghanistan's western border.
But it isn't confirming that it's the same aircraft Iran claims to have downed.
Syria says it will allow observers in to monitor protests against the government. But there's some pretty hefty strings attached. There were more deadly deaths Monday after a weekend in which 63 people were reported killed in clashes across the country. The Syrian government says it will agree to observers, but only if the league immediately ends its sanctions and agrees to other measures it rejected before.
Vladimir Putin's United Russia Party took the biggest share of votes in parliamentary elections, but in a setback for the Russian prime minister, the party is actually losing a lot of seats it already holds and election observers are reporting irregularities.
Senior international correspondent Matthew Chance has more.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is a severe blow to Vladimir Putin's standing, the United Russia Party he leads, which dominated the last parliament. This time, struggling to win even 50 percent of the vote.
The votes surging for other parties, like the Cists. Russians clearly voicing their opposition to the corruption, the economic stagnation many feel the -- the ruling party embodies.
There's also been lots of concern expressed about the way the elections were carried out. Independent monitors recording thousands of irregularities from the stuffing of ballot boxes to voter intimidation across the country, all adding to a sense that even though these elections were flawed, the ruling party still struggled.
The timing significant, too, because it's the first chance that Russians have had to comment on Putin's decision to run or return to the Kremlin next year.
At the moment, those presidential ambitions appear intact, but those election results were hardly a ringing endorsement.
Matthew Chance, CNN, London.
VERJEE: The fallout from a recent deadly firefight on the Pakistan border is casting a big shadow over a conference on the future of Afghanistan. At the meeting in Bonn, Afghan President Hamid Karzai warned that unless the government receives continued international support, the Taliban could once again take control of the country.
But the U.S. seems more worried with Pakistan's absence from the conference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: The entire region has a stake in Afghanistan's future and much to lose if the country again becomes a source of terrorism and instability. And that is why we would, of course, have benefited from Pakistan's contribution to this conference.
And to that end, nobody in this hall is more concerned than the United States is about getting an accurate picture of what occurred in the recent border incident.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VERJEE: Laurent Gbagbo became the first former head of state to appear before the International Criminal Court judges on Monday. The former Ivory Coast president is accused of crimes against humanity for his alleged role in a post-election power struggle. The court says a hearing will take place in June to determine whether there's enough evidence to justify a trial.
WikiLeaks found Julian Assange has won the right to appeal his extradition. His case will now be heard in Britain's Supreme Court. If he loses, he faces being sent to Sweden to answer questions over sexual assault claims.
But Assange says that he's done nothing wrong and the allegations are politically motivated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JULIAN ASSANGE, WIKILEAKS FOUNDER: Today, the high court has decided that an issue that arises from my own case is of general public importance and may be of assistance to other cases and should be heard by the Supreme Court.
I think that is a correct decision and I am thankful. The long struggle for justice for me and others continues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VERJEE: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.
When we come back, is Tiger finally out of the woods?
A long awaited moment for golf's fallen hero.
VERJEE: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London.
I'm Zain Verjee.
To golf now and a victory that couldn't come soon enough for one of the game's greats.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And there it is!
VERJEE: Finally, oh, my goodness, he did it!
Former world number one, Tiger Woods, won his first tournament in more than two years on Sunday. Woods narrowly beat Zach Johnson to clinch the title at the Chevron World Challenge. And that ends a victory drought from November 2009.
You can see from that video, it is all big smiles and cheers there. But it's been a rocky couple of years for Tiger. Questions over his private life began swirling when "The National Enquirer" alleged that he had had an affair with a New York nightclub manager.
Two days later, Woods crashed his car outside his Florida home, adding to reports of a rift with his then wife, Elin Nordegren.
Things got worse for Tiger when he was dropped by several major sponsors after more than a dozen women claimed they'd had affairs with him. And in February last year, Woods publicly admitted to multiple infidelities at an official PGA press conference. And then a month later, he and Elin were divorced. Things were -- things went just as badly on the golf course. Tiger unable to win and sinking to 58th in the PGA rankings. That's his lowest ever position.
But it does still look like things are looking up for the former number one. His victory on Sunday making the headlines, this time for all the right reasons.
Joining me now for more is "WORLD SPORT'S" Alex Thomas -- hi, Alex.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Zain.
VERJEE: So this was a big boost.
I mean had people written him off or what?
THOMAS: Yes, it was, actually. A -- a slight correction to our copy there. He -- he got 58th in the world rankings. It would have been even worse if he'd got 58 just in the PGA of America rankings. But either way...
VERJEE: But, finally, he did it.
THOMAS: He'd promised it...
THOMAS: -- because he was world number one for years and years and years. This was the man that was going to break every record in the golf book and still has broken many of the records. He still hasn't got past that record of 18 major championship victories from Jack Nicklaus, who, before Tiger, was the greatest ever.
And suddenly we thought, would he ever do it?
Would he ever regain his magic touch?
Certainly, I don't think he's ever going to get back to the days where his rivals quiver and crumble just in his near presence in the field. But at least he showed here, as we've seen from that action on our screens, that he can hold those cinch putts when it matters most, on the final day, on the final green with, you know, nothing to spare between him and his rivals.
All the work he's doing on his new golf swings, Zain, seems to be paying off. And suddenly, we're left with the delicious prospect in 2012 of a resurgent Tiger Woods.
VERJEE: Has the world missed him the last couple of years?
THOMAS: We haven't missed all the shame he brought on the world of golf. I think many people with -- inside the sport would say. But it's maybe not a bad thing that Tiger has suffered a bit of humbling, if you like. And he's come back. He's realized that he needs golf as much as golf needs him and maybe the balance was the wrong way around a bit earlier.
This was his reaction to the tournament victory, though.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIGER WOODS, 95TH WORLDWIDE TOURNAMENT WIN: I know it's been -- been a while, but also for some reason, it feels like it -- it hasn't, because when I was coming down the stretch there, I felt so comfortable. I felt comfortable in Aus, I felt comfort at Augusta. You know, and when I've -- I'm putting myself there in these positions, it -- it is -- it is comfortable.
I -- I pulled it off with one down with two to go. And to go birdie- birdie is as good as it gets.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS: and the bottom line is, he does get tremendous TV ratings even when he was playing rubbish and now he's a bookmakers favorite to win all four golf majors next year. I think that's going to be beyond him, but it's great to see him back.
VERJEE: What about the fans?
I mean there -- is there still a lot of support for him or do people feel alienated because of what happened?
THOMAS: I mean you could hear from the cheers on that action there had always been huge support for him back in the United States. In fact, whenever you would write a blog about maybe Tiger is shaming the game, you would get hundreds of critical comments posted after it. Even at his lowest ebb, people still liked him, although there was some murmurs of disagreement at some courses around the world.
But I think people would say forgive and forget now. It's nice to see him back playing good golf. And as long as he doesn't quite dominate the sport in the same way, it's maybe not a bad thing.
VERJEE: Alex Thomas, thanks so much.
Still to come here on CONNECT THE WORLD, why the dazzling diamonds sparkling in that holiday display may be the end result of a long chain of misery and even death.
Also ahead, one final task for a group of U.S. soldiers -- find out how they're moving past feelings of revenge toward a demand for justice.
And if you think you're not getting enough sleep, it may not be your fault. Researchers have identified the gene that makes some people need more sleep than others -- how to tell if you have it, coming up.
VERJEE: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. Time now for a check on the world headlines.
France's Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany's Angela Merkel are calling for a new European Union treaty by March. They hope a strict budget and penalties for rule breakers will end the European debt crisis. They'll take the plan to an EU leaders summit in Brussels on Friday.
More violence in Syria. A human rights group says at least seven civilians were killed on Monday. That follows a weekend in which 63 people were reported dead in clashes across the country.
A diplomatic dog fight over a downed US self drone. Iran says it shot it down over its air space. The US acknowledges that it lost control of a drone last week along Afghanistan's western border, but it will not confirm whether that's the same one Iran claims to have downed.
A blow to Russia's prime minister, Vladimir Putin, and his political party. United Russia won nearly half of the votes in Sunday's elections, but it ultimately lost 77 seats in the lower house of parliament.
It's rarely rare to find a truly flawless diamond, so perhaps it's only natural that the system set up to screen blood diamonds or conflict diamonds, gems used to fund wars, is also flawed. Dan Rivers takes a look at the current controversy about Kimberley Process and what it means to diamond buyers this holiday season.
DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's often seen as the ultimate gift, and diamond merchants in London's Hatton Garden are gearing up for a busy Christmas. But how do you know that very special present is not funding a war in Africa?
Well, if it's certified by the Kimberley Process, it's touted as conflict-free. But now, that process has been called into doubt after Global Witness, one of the charities that founded it, decided to pull out. And that may take the sparkle off the festive trade.
LEONARDO DICAPRIO AS DANNY ARCHER, "BLOOD DIAMOND": He's only going to try and sell it yourself. To who, and for what price, my friend?
RIVERS: The work of Global Witness inspired the Hollywood blockbuster "Blood Diamond." Now, it's had enough.
MIKE DAVIS, GLOBAL WITNESS: Well, the Kimberley Process has in recent years staggered from one crisis to another. It's shown itself repeatedly incapable of taking on politically difficult issues.
RIVERS (on camera): But some in the diamond industry say the Kimberley Process was designed to stop civil wars being fueled by diamond sales. It was never intended to stop some unsavory regimes from cashing in on their diamond reserves.
RIVERS (voice-over): A flaw in the system that was designed to bless the flawless. Global Witness is particularly concerned the Kimberley Process has green-lighted the export of diamonds from Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe, the same regime which was involved in white-owned farm occupations is now involved in diamond mining, with its characteristic violence.
Like the violence on the farms, Mugabe's government denies involvement. Unlike diamonds from elsewhere in Africa, Zimbabwean gems are not perpetuating a civil war, and therefore not strictly blood diamonds, even if blood has been spilt to mine them.
TIM HUGHES, SOUTH AFRICAN INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: It is, if you like, the legitimate government and the legitimate military and defense force, and security apparatuses of the Zimbabwe government and ZANU-PF.
So, this is a particular case in which the Kimberley Process is probably not definitionally or legally qualified to find on the matter. So Global Witness is, in a sense, asking the Kimberley Process to redefine what is meant and understood to be a blood diamond or a conflict diamond.
RIVERS: But Global Witness says diamonds in Zimbabwe will bankroll electoral fraud and intimidation.
DAVIS: And we think that the Kimberley Process and the world at large needs to wake up to the fact there's an action around the corner. It's going to involve violence.
Violence is costly, and one of the best ways of preventing it is to look at the money chain and think where's that money going to come from and how can we prevent this getting out of hand. And that's where diamonds come in.
RIVERS: In other words, according to Global Witness, blood diamonds don't have to come from war zones.
Dan Rivers, CNN, London.
VERJEE: The Kimberley Process wants to stop so-called blood diamonds from flooding the market. And I just want you to take a look at this map, OK? The scheme was launched back in 2003, and you can see here in yellow, there are 75 countries, and they take part in it, including the United States and the European Union.
But, now look at this. Global Witness claims a handful of diamond- producing countries are not compliant. The group singles out three. You've got the Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe as well as Venezuela. You can see them in orange, here, on the map.
Just keep in mind, about 65 percent of the world's diamonds come from African countries, and that makes about $8.5 billion a year.
Annie Dunnebacke of Global Witness is here. She joins us now, and she's going to give us a little advice on how you can buy diamonds next and make sure that it is actually conflict-free. I bought these lovely diamonds. How do I know that they weren't conflict -- blood diamonds?
ANNIE DUNNEBACKE, SENIOR CAMPAIGNER, GLOBAL WITNESS: Well, if the Kimberley Process was working properly and achieving its aim to break the links between diamonds and violence, if the diamond industry was doing checks on their supply chain to understand whether they'd fueled conflict or human rights abuses through their purchases, then you could probably say with confidence that they were not blood diamonds.
But unfortunately today, there are no easy answers for consumers.
VERJEE: So, when I go into a shop, though, or any consumer this Christmas wanting to buy a great big rock for someone or for themselves, what should they ask? What should they -- what should be their own mental process?
DUNNEBACKE: Well, they're unlikely to get very good answers from retailers --
DUNNEBACKE: -- but it's very important for consumers to ask the questions. At this point in time, there's very little traceability in the diamond supply chain, and that's because industry is not taking responsibility for finding out where they're buying the diamonds from and who they're buying them from and what's been happening along the supply chain.
So, consumers should keep asking those questions, but unfortunately for the moment, they may not get very clear answers.
VERJEE: Then how is that helpful if consumers ask questions and the retailers aren't asking the questions to give to the consumers, what are we supposed to do?
DUNNEBACKE: Well, we found through our research that there is quite a range of attitudes that retailers have.
Some retailers tend to be unwilling to talk about the problem of blood diamonds, and consumers may not want to buy from them. Other retailers are quite up front about the fact that they don't have the answers yet, but they're trying as hard as they can.
But consumers should really push retailers. If they want the industry to change and they want to have answers and be able to buy clean diamonds, they should really push for guarantees as to where the diamonds come from.
VERJEE: Just walk us through the supply chain and why it's so terrible.
DUNNEBACKE: Well, diamonds are mined in, obviously, diamond-producing countries, in Africa, but also elsewhere. Then, they go to intermediary countries, eventually make their way to cutting and polishing centers where they're mixed with other diamonds. And then finally, through more buyers and sellers to the High Street. So, it's quite a long supply chain.
But when you have a situation like we've seen in Zimbabwe, for example, in recent years, with very high levels of human rights abuses, with hundreds of miners being killed in the mines by the Zimbabwean army at the peak of the violence, understandably, consumers don't want to be buying those diamonds and putting money towards that.
So, the diamond industry has to get to grips with their supply chain to make sure they're not causing harm through their purchases.
VERJEE: Zimbabwe a big problem area. Where else?
DUNNEBACKE: Zimbabwe really is the biggest at the moment. It's the place where we're seeing the most conflict diamonds --
VERJEE: The Marange? The area --
DUNNEBACKE: The Marange area in eastern Zimbabwe, that's right, yes. There are other countries where I would say there's a risk of diamonds fueling violations. Angola is a place where over the past few years we've seen hot spots with violence committed by the authorities in the diamond mines.
VERJEE: Is there any way to know what proportion or percentage of the diamonds out on the High Streets or on Main Street are actually blood diamonds?
DUNNEBACKE: Unfortunately at this stage, largely because there's so little visibility into the diamond supply chain, we don't have those figures.
But to give you an idea, we've heard figures given out by the diamond industry in the last couple of years saying that the diamonds in the ground in Marange, in eastern Zimbabwe -- so, the potential that's there -- could, if it's exploited fully, represent 30 to 40 percent of global rough diamond supply. So, that's potentially huge.
VERJEE: So, just to be clear, if I want to buy a diamond and I go into a shop and I say, "Where did these diamonds come from?" And they say, "We don't know, it's difficult to get information," do I buy the diamond or do I not buy the diamond?
DUNNEBACKE: I can't make decisions for individual consumers. We're not calling for a boycott on diamonds. We wouldn't want to see a situation where all the diamond mining communities in Africa, for example, are out of a livelihood as a result of this.
VERJEE: Thank you so much. Appreciate it.
DUNNEBACKE: Thank you.
VERJEE: Annie Dunnebacke with Global Witness giving us some good advice. Thanks.
It's a sad irony that the diamond, to many, the ultimate symbol of life and love, has also become associated in some cases with death and deceit. So, how can you avoid buying a blood diamond?
As we've just heard, the Kimberley Process is not flawless, but it is a place to start. Canada and Australia, they've got even tougher standards in vetting their gems. And of course, you can always buy antique jewelry, no problem with that.
In fact, any stone mined before 1990, when most of the wars began in Western Africa, is generally considered conflict-free.
Coming up here on CONNECT THE WORLD, reunited after months apart, a soldier returns home from Iraq for the very last time. We're back in 90 seconds.
VERJEE: Bomb attacks against pilgrims in Iraq have killed dozens of people. Crowds of people in Iraq's Hilla City were celebrating Ashura when they were hit. The festival commemorates the death of Prophet Mohammed's grandson.
Pilgrims were also targeted in the capital Baghdad. The attacks point to Iraq's fragile security situation as the last US troops withdraw from the country.
All this week, CONNECT THE WORLD is looking at the final hours of the Iraq War. A lot's changed nearly nine years after the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein. Tonight, Martin Savidge reports on how some US troops have moved from feelings of revenge to justice.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Like many American service members in Iraq, these soldiers of the First Armored Division are ready to go home. But before they can go, there's one more thing they have to do.
Armed and in full-body armor, they head toward a building in Kirkuk, and CNN was there as the soldiers went after the man suspected of killing one of their own.
Twenty-five-year-old First Lieutenant Dustin Vincent of Mesquite, Texas, always wanted to be a soldier, a dream that tore at his mother's heart.
MARTY VINCENT, MOTHER: So, I'd tell him, I said, I don't agree with it, but I'm here to support you.
SAVIDGE: Iraq was Vincent's first tour of duty. But a sniper's bullet ended the mission in early November and shattered the life of his high school sweetheart, who Vincent married just two days before he deployed.
Insurgents posted this video online claiming it showed the attack. Set to music and recorded over a long distance, it shows a military convoy stopped on a street. There's a gun shot --
SAVIDGE: -- and a soldier drops from view. There's no way to know if this video is the actual killing of Lieutenant Vincent.
Meanwhile, word has reached the men of Vincent's squad that the alleged gunman's been captured. They come to the courthouse in Kirkuk not for revenge, but justice. You see, Lieutenant's Vincent's death is being handled as a homicide.
FRANKLIN D. ROSENBLATT, MAJOR, ATTORNEY: There was a crime committed, and because of that crime, a lieutenant was killed, and so everyone wants to see justice done.
SAVIDGE (on camera): Time was, an attack on American forces would have resulted in an air strike or a firefight. Instead, the lieutenant's death has triggered a trial in an Iraqi court.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): The soldiers meet with the prosecutor to testify about what happened. They go over the evidence, including the video. It's a sign of just how much things have changed, and US officials say the Iraqis are delivering real results.
ROSENBLATT: They have been willing to take on the cases of the terrorists who have attacked the US troops, and I think that's a really good sign.
SAVIDGE: Outside Kirkuk, at the base where he was stationed, Lieutenant Vincent's been added to the wall dedicated to fallen US service members. Each name, a painful reminder of the sacrifice that has taken this part of Iraq from the rule of a dictator and, in this case, to the rule of law.
Martin Savidge, CNN, Baghdad.
VERJEE: Thousands of US soldiers are already home with their families just in time for Christmas. CNN's Chris Lawrence went to Fort Hood in Texas to see some of the incredible reunions.
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Zain, this deployment was very different, because in years past, it was always a matter of when, not if, the troops would be going back to Iraq. Now they know there is no going back. And I think a lot of them had a real sense of history at being some of the very last American troops to come home from the war.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dismissed!
LAWRENCE (voice-over): At the first glimpse of her father in nearly a year, Alexandria Frey showed us just how fast a 14-year-old can move. She started high school while her dad was gone. Her mom had to do everything alone.
MICHELLE FREY, WIFE OF RETURNING SOLDIER: It has been a very long ten months. I'm glad it's over.
LAWRENCE (on camera): Is there any way to describe what it feels like to have your dad back after so long?
ALEXANDRIA FREY, DAD BACK FROM IRAQ: No. I don't know. It's good.
LAWRENCE: What did you miss most about him?
A. FREY: He was really my best friend, so, yes.
LAWRENCE: Now you've got your best friend back?
A. FREY: Yes. I have more of a bond with him than anything, so --
LAWRENCE: Go enjoy your time.
LAWRENCE (voice-over): The last few hours of waiting were the toughest.
LAWRENCE: Then, the plane full of soldiers finally landed, and the troops got a welcome home fit for rock stars. Christmas wishes were answered, the fight in Iraq finished. For Sergeant Major Erik Frey, it's bittersweet.
ERIK FREY, SERGEANT MAJOR, JUST BACK FROM IRAQ: I guess in once sense I feel happy that it's over with and that we're getting all of our -- the rest of our service members out. But then you kind of look back at the sacrifices that our soldiers have made and our family members have made.
LAWRENCE: Both in blood and money.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Watch out!
LAWRENCE: At one point, the US was spending $5,000 per second in Iraq. The war took nearly 4,500 American lives, and 32,000 troops came home wounded.
But these are some of the last Americans to leave Iraq, and they won't be going back.
MIKE IANNUCCILLI, MAJOR, US ARMY: This is my third deployment, first one with both of these guys, and it was a lot harder, but it just makes it that much sweeter coming home.
LAWRENCE: Yes, just some incredible reunions. Now, right now, there are a little over 10,000 American troops still in Iraq, although that number is literally changing by the hour. Although the deadline to get out is the end of the year, in reality, most American troops will be home in the next couple weeks, well before Christmas. Zain?
VERJEE: Chris Lawrence reporting. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London. When we come back, do you think you could use some extra shut-eye? Well, scientists might just be able to tell you why. Stay with us.
VERJEE: Do you ever feel like you could use a little bit more sleep in the morning? Well, yes, enjoying a lie-in could actually be genetic. Now, that's according to experts at the University of Edinburgh and Ludwig Maximillans University in Munich.
They published the study in the molecular psychiatry journal, and it's shown that a gene known as ABCC9 affects how much sleep we need to function. This can lead to some of us needing an average of 30 minutes more sleep than others.
Researchers measured the sleep patterns of thousands of people in Europe, and they also took samples of their DNA. Results showed that sleep behavior often runs in families, and an estimated one in five people is genetically prone to sleeping longer. Are you that one?
So, how much sleep do we actually think we really need? Well, CNN took to the streets to find out just how long people like to spend in the land of nod.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Three hours a night only because of what I study at uni, so -- architecture. No sleep.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes I get a full eight hours, and sometimes I get less than that, maybe six. So, I find if I have it in four hours, so eight hours, I have a nice amount of sleep, and if it's six hours, then I tend to wake up a bit --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I probably get about eight hours a night, but I should probably need about ten.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The average, six hours. I can get by with six hours pretty much. Don't need -- go on. I don't need to have eight hours, so --
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: And there aren't any other interruptions during the night with the little one?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, she's pretty good. She sleeps through, now. First two and a half months were pretty bad, but now it's like pretty much throughout the night, doesn't wake up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, actually, I probably get about ten hours of sleep a night, so -- I don't know, I don't really do well, less than eight and I'm not doing well.
But it depends, doesn't it? I mean, if I go out drinking, then I probably get four hours sleep, but then a caffeine-fueled day and I can get through it. That's pretty much my average sleep.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VERJEE: To help us make sense of just how much sleep we all need, I'm joined now by Dr. Michael Breus. He is a sleep expert in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Dr. Breus, aren't we all sleep experts?
MICHAEL BREUS, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST AND AUTHOR: Well, we're all -- we all experience sleep, hopefully, but I don't know about necessarily being experts. These researchers --
VERJEE: How much sleep do you get?
BREUS: Well, I personally have been a six-and-a-half to seven-hour guy my whole life. My wife, on the other hand, needs about eight and half to nine hours. So, there's a big difference between the two of us. And of course, we have to adjust our schedules accordingly.
VERJEE: Tell us a little bit about the research here. I'm more on your wife's side. I need at least eight or nine hours before I feel human or fresh, which isn't very often. So, the research tells us what about sleep?
BREUS: Well, the research was done, really, in two phases. First was they actually interviewed thousands of people across many countries in Europe and looked at their sleep patterns and then related it to their genetic makeup. So, they took blood from them, and then related it to this questionnaire.
Once they were able to identify the ABCC9 gene, they then looked at knocking that out in an animal study and seeing what happened. What was interesting was, when they actually did that in the animal study, people went sleepless. Meaning that they didn't get nearly as much sleep as they once did.
Now, the question becomes, if you have this genetic propensity, does that really mean that you don't need as much sleep? As we all know, sleep is variable in each one of us as individuals, and it's going to change with the season. It's also going to change with different times in your developmental cycle.
So, as a young child, you may need more. As an adult, you may need less. It really is just going to be dependent on you.
VERJEE: Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister, needed four hours of sleep. Albert Einstein needed, I think it's something like 11 hours of sleep. Now, I'm no Einstein, may come as a surprise to you, but how much sleep does the average person need to be functional?
BREUS: What I recommend for my patients is usually approximately seven and a half hours of sleep, and here's why. The average sleep cycle is approximately 90 minutes long, and the average person has 5 of those. So, 5 times the 90 minutes is 450 minutes, or roughly seven and a half hours worth of sleep.
So, what I oftentimes tell my patients to do is if you wake up at 6:30, I want lights out by 10:45, 11:00.
VERJEE: But it's really easy to say that. What if someone's stressed out or having a crisis or there's something going on in someone's life? I mean, even if you instruct that, they can't just nod off.
BREUS: No, they can't. And one of the things that's really important to realize here is that the number one complaint that I get from people is they can't turn off their brain, right? So, just like what you were saying, you get in bed, and all of sudden, something's happening in your life and you can't stop thinking about it.
So, one of the things that we do is we teach people different behavioral techniques or tips or tricks to be able to get them to be able to sleep better and not think as much, because that can be a major factor.
VERJEE: Well, what are the tricks? Is counting sheep still a trick, or are there others that work --
BREUS: You know, it's funny that you mention that. It's funny -- it is, it's funny that you mention that, because I have a technique that I teach people all the time, everybody can use it, even tonight. It's a variation on counting sheep, but it's a lot more difficult. I ask people to count backwards from 300 by threes.
VERJEE: Oh, my God --
BREUS: Try that for a second --
VERJEE: -- that -- no! That's -- that sounds difficult. Count back --
BREUS: It is, it's very difficult, and it's so doggone boring, you're out like a light.
VERJEE: Can people train themselves to sleep less based on their genes?
BREUS: You know, it would be great if I could tell you that you could do a blood test and figure out, hey, I only need to sleep four hours a night like Margaret Thatcher, but the chances are that over the course of your lifetime, you're going to probably need a lot more sleep.
However, sleep does run in families. So, if your mother was a short sleeper and your sister's a short sleeper, then you could very well be a short sleeper. So, I would like to your family tree to try and get some of those answers.
VERJEE: (Yawns) Dr. Michael Breus, you put me to sleep for sure.
VERJEE: I'm just teasing you, you were great. We'll try that little trick of yours, OK? Thank you very much.
For tonight's Parting Shots, we want to show you what could be the most expensive car crash ever. Now, don't worry about this, OK? All the drivers escaped without any serious injury, but the same can't be said for the eight Ferraris, three Mercedes Benzes, and one Lamborghini involved in the pileup in Japan.
The drivers were car enthusiasts on a our of the area. It's thought that speed -- surprise, surprise -- may have been a factor in the crash. The bill for the damage, nearly $4 million.
I'm Zain Verjee, and that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks so much for watching. The world headlines and "BACKSTORY" are up next after this short break. Stay with CNN.