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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Nuclear Iran; Payroll Tax Battle
Aired December 5, 2011 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, HOST: Thanks, John. We're live from the Middle East tonight with our exclusive conversation with the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and the ruler of Dubai. Plus, in the United States the payroll tax war intensifies and here 50 miles from Iran, the "Bottom Line" on Ahmadinejad.
Let's go OUTFRONT.
I'm Erin Burnett and I'm OUTFRONT tonight live from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab of Emirates. Now it is America's biggest ally in the Middle East and we're really standing tonight just about 50 miles from Iran where U.S. officials today called an escalating conflict with America, quote, "urgent", an interesting word.
Now Iran claims that it shot down an American drone that looks a lot like the one that you see on your screen. It's an RQ-170 Sentinel (ph). That's a drone that is so secretive that its image can only be found on a few Web sites. It comes with the most sophisticated American spy technology that there is. It was used in the killing of Osama bin Laden.
If this really happened, that means that technology is in the hands of Iran which could mean the hands of other unfriendly countries. Now Defense Secretary Leon Panetta this weekend called Iran an international pariah. The situation is escalating rapidly, and we're hearing headlines left, right and center here in the United Arab Emirates. The clock ticking on Iran getting a nuclear weapon, which is something nobody in this region looks forward to.
So far recently we've had Israel threatening to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities, Iranians last week attacking the British Embassy, which had serious repercussions. You had countries like Britain, France and the Netherlands taking out their ambassadors or envoys from Iran on the heels of that. And then of course you've got American troops leaving Iraq, which leaves a hole in the region, all of which is contributing to a massive arms race here.
Iran is defiant, and a defiant Iran could mean surging oil prices, prices at the pump in the United States surging. That's why Iran has such a powerful hand. It trails only Saudi Arabia in exports for OPEC. And there really is no important -- more important foreign policy issue for the Republicans running for president than Iran and what is going to happen with that country.
Robin Mills is author of "The Myth of the Oil Crisis". Riad Kahwaji is the founder and CEO of INEGMA, the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis and both of them are here tonight with me in Abu Dhabi, so thanks so much to both of you for coming OUTFRONT tonight. And Riad let me start by asking you, why is Iran doing this right now, this very quick and very rapid escalation?
RIAD KAHWAJI, FOUNDER, INST. FOR NEAR EAST & Gulf MILITARY ANALYSIS: Iran feels a bit agitated by the ongoing developments around them. We have the situation most importantly in Syria. Syria right now, the regime there, an important member of the Iranian axis is on the verge of collapse.
KAHWAJI: So if the regime collapses and changes over there, that's a major breach in their front line.
BURNETT: So Robin, is it going to get worse and how much worse? I mean there are people now saying America is going to be forced to intervene in some way militarily in Iran.
ROBIN MILLS, AUTHOR, "THE MYTH OF THE OIL CRISIS": Well I think on the military side that remains to be seen. The big concern, of course, as you were saying is the effect on oil prices and have -- what effects any attack on Iran will have there. We're already seeing oil prices rising in response to these tensions and also in response to the sanctions at the U.S. and the Europeans are trying to impose on Iranian oil.
BURNETT: Now America has tried to make the point, hey, rest of the world, Europe, China get on board with us and stop buying Iranian oil. Now technically that's a difficult thing to do, but even if it happened, it might have an adverse effect, and that would be that well there's less oil on the market and that means the oil that's out there is worth more. That means pump prices in America go up. How much?
MILLS: Well, right, this is a huge problem, right. So if the sanctions are really effective and let's say that China does come on board, which is extremely unlikely, but let's say they did, then it'd be contagious. As you say, you would have taken the second biggest export of OPEC off the market. Then I would say prices might rise to $150 a barrel. So from where there are now, which is 100 to 110. That's (INAUDIBLE) the Saudis didn't step in. The Saudis could make up some of that, those lost exports.
BURNETT: Right. Well it's interesting, you know just to -- when you think about it, of what happened the last time oil was at $150 a barrel very briefly the summer of 2007 and what happened then? Well that was the peak for the real estate market in the United States and maybe the straw that broke the camel's back in terms of the global financial crisis. Riad, let me ask you, Sheik Mohammed (ph), the ruler of Dubai, we're going to hear from him later. I asked him about Iran. It's a complicated relationship here. It's America's biggest ally. We sell them a lot of weapons. They've got nuclear power, but Iran does a lot of business with Dubai. He doesn't think that Iran is going to get a nuclear weapon. What do you -- KAHWAJI: No, because (INAUDIBLE) views on this over here and you'll find varying views between officials in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi are a bit more hawkish when it comes to --
BURNETT: To Iran.
KAHWAJI: To Iran.
KAHWAJI: We also heard today statements from the Saudi foreign minister raising alarms about the Iranian nuclear program as well. So and even -- and the wide belief is that even if Iran goes nuclear, it's going to maintain an OPEC policy. And you know and hardly you ever meet somebody over here who really has any doubts that Iran will eventually become a nuclear power.
BURNETT: And the arms race then just continues, Robin. Because we're in the midst here in this region of maybe the biggest arms race this region has ever had, and this is a region that you know isn't unfamiliar with that concept.
MILLS: That's the question, right, if Iran does nuclear (INAUDIBLE) to the Arab -- to some of the other Arab states, Saudi Arabia for example, do they also try to go nuclear and as you say, intensify the arms race or do they manage to put in place some (INAUDIBLE) with the backing of the U.S., some kind of Cold War (INAUDIBLE) containment of Iran say and somehow deal with the worst consequences -- prevent the worst consequences of an Iranian nuclear weapon.
BURNETT: All right. Well thanks very much to both of you. And obviously these scenarios all depend on stability in Saudi Arabia and stability here in the United Arab Emirates where literally tonight I'm standing on top of 10 percent of the world's oil, 50 miles from Iran. No more important story for Americans and energy prices than what's going on right here.
Well terrorism was also on the front burner here in the United Arab Emirates today. Police chiefs from around the world were gathering right here in Abu Dhabi at the LAPD and the Gulf States Global Police Symposium. Now Las Vegas Sheriff Doug Gillespie (ph) was here. He was telling me that there's 40 million tourists a year that come to Las Vegas, so he's extremely concerned about terrorist attacks. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF DOUG GILLESPIE, LAS VEGAS, NEVADA: The lone individual, the extremist, you know, that is the one that concerns us the most. I think they've demonstrated in other places in the world, you know, you don't necessarily need the sophisticated bomb and a variety of things to, you know, really impact and hurt people and, you know, accomplish what they want to.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: I asked him if the U.S. and Mideast police officials were actually sharing crucial information about extremists.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GILLESPIE: We're not where we need to be. You know, I've been involved in policing for many years. We've made significant strides, you know, since 9/11, but I don't think anyone would say we're where we need to be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Well, a lot of people wonder why Dubai, a place where burqas (ph), beer and extremely skimpy bathing wear mix in abundance hasn't actually ever been targeted by terrorists, especially given it's right here in the Middle East and I asked Sheikh Mohammed (ph) about that. He said he believes that people come here to make money. It's simple, an opportunity which trump extremism. People that might blow themselves up in other countries don't do it when they get here. Our exclusive conversation is coming up, but next, here's a quiz and please don't Google it. How many countries use the euro? For some of you, you say come on, that's second nature. But for others take a guess.
Plus Democrats pushing to extend that payroll tax cut and guess what happened here. Herman Cain gets out of the race, and I've got a job offer for Herman Cain right here in Abu Dhabi. And the story we couldn't believe from Kentucky. We told you about it. A church coming out and banning interracial marriage, it was shocking and disturbing it could happen in America today. A big development and the bride comes back OUTFRONT tonight.
BURNETT: All right there's big news in Europe. As Europe is struggling to survive and stay together, the two people who are making all the decisions, Angela Merkel of Germany and Nicolas Sarkozy of France and they're changing the rules and they say you know what, we're going to get tough. No more easy money (INAUDIBLE) euro to get whatever the heck you want. So here are a couple of big changes.
Automatic sanctions for member countries that fail to keep budget deficits at a certain level and that's three percent of GDP. That's a big, big problem well frankly for all European countries, even the big guys and also requiring countries that are in the euro to pass laws that require a commitment to a balanced budget. That's interesting, considering that's something in the United States that is a huge battle right now, especially in a time of economic duress, but they're pushing it in Europe.
Now the European bailout fund is also going to become permanent by the end of next year. So, we'll see what all of this means, but some of these are pretty stark and big changes for Europe, which brings us to our number tonight, 27, that's the answer for those of you who didn't cheat or Google or already know what the number of nations that are actually in the European Union. Merkel and Sarkozy are hoping to get all of those countries to sign on to new rules. Makes herding cats look I don't know like the easiest thing in the world, doesn't it?
Well we'll see. Right now 17 is the other number of the night. That's the number of countries that use the actual euro. Well speaking of money and deficits and the fact that there is no balanced budget amendment, let's talk about the United States and the big issue at home tonight is the payroll tax. Talk heated up in Washington, and the issue is pretty much everybody likes the payroll tax but they don't agree on how to pay for it.
Democrats want to tax the wealthy, particularly millionaires and billionaires. Republicans want to pay for it by maybe freezing federal salaries or something like that. Here's what President Obama said today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now I know many Republicans have sworn an oath never to raise taxes as long as they live. How can it be that the only time there is a catch is when it comes to raising taxes on middle class families? How can you fight tooth and nail to protect high-end tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and yet barely lift a finger to prevent taxes going up for 160 million Americans who really need the help? It doesn't make sense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. Of course, it's not that simple, as we've pointed out many times. If you let the Bush tax cuts go away for people who make over $250,000, you raise $670 billion. If you let them go away for everyone you raise 2.8 trillion. There are going to be a lot of tough choices to be made no matter what the bottom line is. Gloria Borger joins us now along with Paul Begala and Dan Mitchell and thanks for both of you, all three of you for being with us, but let me start with you, Gloria. What do you think is going to be the outcome of this payroll tax given that well nobody really wants to not have it extended by the end of year?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. I think in the end they're probably going to extend it. And the president is on terafirma (ph) because he goes out there and he wants to extend these tax cuts for the middle class and seven out of 10 Americans, Erin, are with him on that. Also, the Democrats came out with what they say is a compromise.
They say, look, this surtax on millionaires; we're going to make it temporary. We're only going to have it for 10 years. And they also proposed some cuts on the spending side. So politically at least, Erin, I think they're really on very solid ground. I mean my question to Dan would be, how do Republicans, Dan, argue they're for tax cuts except for this one?
DAN MITCHELL, SENIOR FELLOW, CATO INSTITUTE: I think Obama had a pretty good dig at them. Republicans fight correctly in my view against higher tax rates in terms of the Bush tax cuts, and yet they were a little bit reluctant to get out front and they let the Democrats actually outflank them to the right on middle class tax cuts. Now Republicans are back on the tax cut reservation, and now instead we're fighting over how to, quote, "pay for these tax cuts". The Democrats want some class warfare tax hikes, and the Republicans want to slightly reduce the growth rate of government spending.
BORGER: So Paul, I mean why not more substantial spending cuts from the Democrats, and then they can really claim the high ground here?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well first off, let me just correct the record, 27 Republicans, the majority of Republicans in the Senate voted against the Republican way to pay for it. They voted against the salary freeze, which was an Obama initiative. They want to extend that. The Republicans did and spending cuts. So the majority of Republicans in the Senate don't even want to pay for this tax cut the way the Republican leadership does. They just don't want it.
Now why? They supported every tax cut since 1776 or whenever they were created I guess under Abraham Lincoln, why this one? I think -- and this is kind of a mean thing to say. I honestly believe that Republicans are acting like they'd rather hurt the economy in order to hurt Obama politically, but what they're doing is hurting themselves politically actually. I mean this -- if this Obama middle class tax cut is killed by the Republicans --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
BEGALA: -- it could cost a million jobs according to independent analysts. It could take two percent off our GDP, according to a JPMorgan report. This is a big deal economically. And I fear the Republicans are making the calculation, saying look, we as one Republican aide said, we can't afford to give Obama a win. That was a different issue, but that's what I think is going on here. They're trying to tank the economy in order to hurt Obama.
BORGER: Erin, it seems to me that the president's got himself a pretty good campaign issue here, doesn't he?
MITCHELL: He has a good campaign issue --
BURNETT: I think you're absolutely right about that, especially when you get Dan to admit that. Let me ask each of you one more thing. I just wanted to switch it over and talk about Donald Trump. The kissing of the ring, I can't resist. Even here everyone is talking about it. Newt Gingrich goes and meets with Donald Trump. When is going to endorse, and how important is that endorsement, Gloria?
BORGER: I don't think -- you know honestly, I think it's a side show. I think some may show up at Donald Trump's debate, but I think in a general election if you're a Republican nominee, you don't want to be seen as being too close to Donald Trump, who after all is a birther and that doesn't work too well with independent voters, so I kind of think it's just a reality show, right?
BURNETT: I guess that's kind -- I guess that's kind of true. Interesting you know, one final thing, Dan. I always find it like you get -- Chris Christie gets out of the race, makes his endorsement immediately for Mitt Romney and everyone thought that endorsement would matter so much, but it didn't even move the needle.
MITCHELL: Republicans are very hungry for someone to adopt the mantle of Ronald Reagan, and so far it doesn't seem like there's a Reagan in the race. They might have to wait until 2016 for Rubio or Ryan or something like that.
BURNETT: All right. Paul, bottom line, you think Newt's got it in the polls now for the next three weeks, or are we going to see another swap? This is kind of like an over/under question.
BEGALA: Yes. Look, I mean you know you're a financial expert. You know the volatility index they have in the stock market; we need a pix (ph), a political volatility index, a PVIX (ph) or something. I've never seen anything like this. It's actually an open question. Can Newt hold a lead for three weeks? That would be a long time in this race.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well and --
BEGALA: It's amazing.
BORGER: And by the way, I mean I was talking to Republicans today, Erin, and the question they're saying to me is, will Newt implode, and if he implodes, when is he going to implode? Will he do that before he gets the nomination, if he gets it, or will he do it after he gets the nomination? There's a lot of fear on the Republican side about Newt Gingrich.
BURNETT: All right. Well, I want you all to know that over here I found this great magazine in Arabic, because I knew you know Herman Cain is looking to do something now, right? Perfect timing, see if this shows on camera here. The magazine is called "999", the "999" magazine, Herman Cain, editor-in-chief.
BEGALA: Outstanding, Erin. You could --
BURNETT: I couldn't resist. All right --
BEGALA: Be the headhunter there for Mr. Cain.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sure.
BURNETT: Thanks so much to all three of you. I really appreciate your taking the time. All right, well ahead, a lot of people say hey look, there is no Arab Spring in the United Arab Emirates, right? It's way too wealthy, but that's not quite the case. Amnesty International calls them the UAE Five, five men who dared to speak up, ended up spending some time in prison. Well we're going to have a frank conversation with the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed, about that very issue. But first here's Ahmed Mansour (ph). I met with him, one of the UAE Five.
BURNETT: In honor of its 40th anniversary, the United Arab Emirates has had a lot of cultural events over the past few days including quite a few that have something to do with camels. And since every day feels like a hump day when you haven't slept in a few days like our team, we think it's fair to do a "Camel Report" from Abu Dhabi.
So we found Eberhim Hamidi (ph), the director of the Emirates Heritage Center and asked him three questions. So Eberhim (ph) how many words are there for camel in Arabic?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Arabic there are more than 100.
BURNETT: Wow. Why is that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) about the father and mother of the camel and the area that the camel was born.
BURNETT: Now, when you see a camel in the desert --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
BURNETT: -- is it wild?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Because every camel, every owner has a special mark (INAUDIBLE) on the camel. It's called alazid (ph).
BURNETT: Alazid (ph), a mark on the camel. OK, third question. I know you're getting ready in Abu Dhabi for a beauty contest for camels.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Yes.
BURNETT: Winning camel can win $1 million --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes
BURNETT: Is Tufan (ph) here pretty enough?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, this is for the racing only. And (INAUDIBLE) we use it for the tourists (INAUDIBLE) for the students also. A special camel for the beauty is called almadihein (ph) is a black one.
BURNETT: A black one. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
BURNETT: Those are the most beautiful?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
BURNETT: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
BURNETT: All right Tufan (ph) may not be beautiful enough, but don't worry. We'll introduce you to some of those beautiful, black camels on another day.
But next, we're going to talk to Sheikh Mohammed. He has a lot of camels and also one of the most expensive horses -- horse collection in the country. Often races in the Kentucky Derby, he's the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, ruler of Dubai, the Arab Spring, democracy, (INAUDIBLE) protesters. All of that is on the table after this. Plus, a possible 28,000 job cuts if the Postal Service goes ahead with big cuts. Do you still support it? That's next OUTFRONT.
BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of our show where we make the calls, do the reporting and find the "OutFront 5".
And number one tonight is Iran. Tensions rising, escalating quickly, U.S. officials saying it is an urgent situation in Iran tonight. We're standing 50 miles away from there live in the United Arab Emirates, the capital Abu Dhabi. Iran reportedly shooting down a U.S. drone, the RQ-170 (ph). We'll show you a picture. It's supposedly one of the most advanced spy technologies that the Americans have. Now it's unclear exactly what happened to the drone and who may get a hold of the technology, if indeed this happened.
Analysts we've been talking to tonight, including Robin Mills who came OUTFRONT here in Abu Dhabi say oil prices could as high as $150 or $200 a barrel if there is a disruption in Iranian oil supply.
Number two, Syria agreed today to allow Arab League observers into the country, but they demanded sanctions be dropped in exchange. Now, this is a very interesting story because sources here in the United Arab Emirate say there's a lot of Arab governments are going along with the sanctions because they think they have to, because the United States wants them to and the international community wants them to. But they pick up the phone and decide, they call Bashar al-Assad regime and they say, you know what, we'll keep doing business as usual.
It's going to be interesting to see how this all plays out. More than 4,000 have died in the Syrian protests since late February. Number three, the post office. I mention this, we could be seeing massive job cuts, up to 28,000 in part due to cost-reducing measures which might include getting rid of next day delivery in some areas. Dropping to five days is also on the table, 28,000 workers could lose their jobs. As I indicated 100,000 Americans could lose their jobs by 2015.
The National Association of Letter Writers tells OUTFRONT, quote, "Degrading standards not only hurts the public and the businesses we serve, it's also counter-productive for the Postal Service because it will drive more people away."
Well, number four: big meetings in Europe. But today, Standard & Poor's put the euro zone countries, 15 of them, on a negative credit watch. That means there's a 50 percent chance they could get a downgrade in the next 90 days.
Some of those people might have been laughing at the United States back in August. Maybe not so much now. High government debt, not working together, political dysfunction -- the same problems in the U.S.
Among the countries on the list, France and Germany, those are the two everyone expects to pay for the bailout.
Well, pot meet kettle.
It has been 122 days since America lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back?
BURNETT (voice-over): The United Arab Emirates just celebrated its 40th anniversary, and I had a rare chance to spend the day with the prime minister of UAE and ruler of Dubai, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum. He's known here as "His Highness." He's the man who dreamed up and delivered Dubai to the world.
He took me on a 35-minute trip to an Emirati cabinet meeting where I noticed four women ministers.
Now, despite Dubai's massive real estate crash where prices plunged 60 percent, the city still has indoor skiing, the world's tallest building and there's an Atlantis on a manmade palm-shaped island.
But you can't come here now without feeling the crash. Many buildings are empty, with projects on hold and sand singing back to the sea.
But Dubai's fate matters to the U.S. Experts tell me the UAE is America's biggest ally in the Middle East, and Abu Dhabi sits on 10 percent of the world's oil, raking in $10 billion a month. Some of the money goes to America.
The Emirates is one of the biggest buyers of American weapons. But this is not a democracy. In a wide-ranging conversation that included the Arab spring, dissent in the UAE and Iran, I began by asking the sheikh if his ambitions for Dubai have changed since the real estate crisis.
HH SHEIKH MOHAMMED BIN RASHID AL MAKTOUM, RULER OF DUBAI: I don't call it a crisis. It's a challenge. This is a challenge. You know, when everybody -- all good leaders when things are all right, but you take a good leader to come, you know, in a crisis like that.
BURNETT (on camera): What about the real estate market here? The Europeans own a lot of real estate in Dubai. When you're here, you see a lot of Europeans on vacation, Europeans buying property. Is the European crisis affecting Dubai?
SHEIK MOHAMMED: Of course. I mean, even the American crisis or European crisis affecting the market. But we're here better than anyone else. We get out of the crisis, and we're back building again.
But just remind me, when the crisis, you know, the tallest building we completed, the metro we completed, the (INAUDIBLE) we completed, all was in the crisis. So, all the big projects, we did not stop. We only stop some projects in the paper for a year or two.
BURNETT: I was surprised when I was here in May at the graduation at American University in Dubai, and I made a comment about I was covering Tahrir Square during the revolution. The students in the audience were cheering, and you were supportive of them.
And I wasn't sure whether you would be supportive of them. I didn't know exactly how you would react. So, what is your view of the Arab Spring?
SHEIKH MOHAMMED: I said that in 2004. I said please change or you will be changed.
BURNETT: You were talking about the Arab governments.
SHEIKH MOHAMMED: The Arab governments. The Arab Spring is the people who waited for a long time, and some governments are saving themselves and not saving their people. And their people want to work.
BURNETT: You look at Egypt with the first round of elections. They have democracy, but democracy is going to elect the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis, very conservative Muslim groups. Some people have said they're worried that Egypt, which is so the important to the Arab world could become like Iran. That they could democratically choose to be like Iran with a ayatollah, with a totally religious society.
Do you have that fear at all?
SHEIKH MOHAMMED: No. I don't, because Egypt has a very strong army. They're watching what's happening and giving the lead for this party.
BURNETT: And what about in Syria? What do you think is going to happen in Syria?
SHEIKH MOHAMMED: I think Syria is a more complicated than Egypt or Libya because they have Iran around them, they have Lebanon, they have -- you know, all that. So it is different than everywhere else. Their people want jobs, they want opportunities. And they're asking for it.
Unless the shah changed and start making things good for the people, or they will carry on like that.
BURNETT: Or he'll go -- I mean, if he doesn't change?
SHEIKH MOHAMMED: Yes.
BURNETT: So, explain how government works here because the United Arab Emirates is different. You have accomplished things that other countries have not, but it's not a democracy either. So, explain how it works.
SHEIKH MOHAMMED: We're in tribes. We must save our people. We must get the education, the universities here, the hospitals, housing, and no tax here. The government has the wealth to spend on the people.
BURNETT: No tax? A lot a lot of people on the street love that. I say, what do you like about Dubai? No tax, no tax.
SHEIKH MOHAMMED: Yes, no tax. The government is working like today in the cabinet. We made the program. We have our vision. And we go through it, and we're achieving that vision, you know?
The dream. We are getting there. It's different. When everybody can come to the ruler and say, well, I didn't get that or that, or this department or this ministry. Give me my rights.
BURNETT: They come to you
SHEIKH MOHAMMED: They come to me.
BURNETT: And they directly ask you, you didn't do this, or I want that. And then you have to answer to the individual person.
SHEIKH MOHAMMED: Yes. And they will explain about that one ministry, so I get ahold of the minister and say, why don't you do your job? So, the government hear (ph) more, you know?
BURNETT: There were five activists recently here in the UAE, some of them dissidents, a blogger, they were sentenced to two or three years in jail. They were pardoned on national day. Amnesty International is calling them the UAE 5.
How did that happen? My understanding is they were -- one of them was saying that all of the free things in the UAE, the free health care, the free education, no taxes, he said it was buying off the people, trying to give them money so they're happy so they don't demand change in like in Egypt, like in Syria. So, what's your view of what happened and whether it's OK to say something like that here?
SHEIKH MOHAMMED: If you are a criminal, you go to court. Not everybody is rarely perfect, and we are not perfect, you know? We're doing a lot for our people. We're still having more to do. We hope all this five also will become a better citizen for their own good and for their people.
BURNETT: It just leads to the question of one thing over the year covering the UAE, people will say the press isn't totally free. People can't really say everything that they think. Do you think that that's part how in this society you need to govern?
SHEIKH MOHAMMED: As long as they don't say something wrong about a person or what authorities, they can say anything they want. As I told you, we are not perfect. We are still learning. We're trying to do our job right and trying to help our people.
We have our own democracy. You cannot transport your democracy to us. We are different.
And, for example, our democracy coming from the Koran, and you know, as long as you don't step on somebody else, you are free to do what you like.
BURNETT: When people look at you, they say, OK, your family has ruled Dubai for 200 years.
SHEIKH MOHAMMED: Yes.
BURNETT: Your son Hamdan will rule after you, father to son. Will that continue forever, do you think?
SHEIKH MOHAMMED: As long as the people want that. Our tribe, are really ruling a bigger tribe because they're accepted us to do that. So --
BURNETT: So, do you think that there will be more countries where governments fall in the Arab Spring?
SHEIKH MOHAMMED: I think it's a period of time, you know? In 100 years, this might happen again, you know? Well, you have to be careful. You don't know what happen, you know, here or there. But I think the gulf state is safe for the time being.
BURNETT: The issue I'm curious about with the welfare system, it's an amazing thing to have free health care and free education and no taxes. It's a good thing.
But it also sometimes could be not a good thing, because maybe people are a little complacent, where they get a little bit lazy because they know someone is going to take care of them. So, instead of starting a new business or working really hard, they know that there's a safety net there.
Do you ever worry about that?
SHEIKH MOHAMMED: Not really. Not really, because this is only the basic.
People want more. They want a better life. They want a better job. So they have to work harder.
BURNETT: So, Dubai's had some problems, but you're going ahead? So you're showing people that you can take risks. You can have failures. You can stand up and keep going.
SHEIKH MOHAMMED: Yes. And don't stop when somebody doubts you. Once you make up your mind, then go full speed. And that's what we think, and that's what we believe, and that's what is going to happen.
You know, I'm not looking for the last spring. I'm looking for the next spring.
BURNETT: All right. You'll see more of Sheikh Mohammed as you see our full day that we spent with him.
But where we are standing tonight, 50 miles from Iran. And it's a really important relationship for this country, which sort of has two minds about it. They don't want Iran to move forward, but it's an important economic partner for the UAE, very important in particular for Dubai where 15 percent of the property according to experts I know is owned by Iranians.
Well, Sheikh Mohammed said he doesn't think that Iran will get a nuclear weapon. And it was a nuance, not that he didn't think that they couldn't necessarily, but that they wouldn't, because he said they know that Israel or United States would bomb them right back. Well, we shall see.
But in the meantime, "ANDERSON COOPER 360" is coming up in just a few minutes. Anderson, what's on docket tonight?
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER 360": Erin, it's a story we first brought you on Friday. A school for underprivileged kids in America denied admission for a 13-year-old child, an honor student, because he's HIV positive. They admitted that's why they're denying him.
The move has outraged many, including Ryan White's mom who said so little has changed in the 26 years since her son went through this. You're going to hear from her tonight. We're keeping them honest. Plus, you'll also hear from the 13-year-old, his response to my questions.
Plus, raw politics, will it be Newt versus Mitt? Newt Gingrich continuing to lead the GOP presidential hopefuls. But doesn't his campaign have any staying power? What about his recent comments about four kids and their work ethics? Well, there's a new plan tonight, it involves Donald Trump. We'll explain. And a young man proud to make the prestigious marching band of Florida A&M University dies. Police suspect hazing is to blame. A problem alleged at the university for years. We're digging deeper on that tonight.
Those stories, plus our "Ridiculist" at the top of the hour -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Anderson. We're looking forward to that.
Up next, we're going to talk about a terrible story that it seems we hear too much of. Seven-year-old girl kidnapped and found in a dumpster. Why do we keep hearing these stories? Why do they keep happening? We're going to talk about that and go straight to the story.
Plus, the story that we were so passionate about last week. The woman -- a church banned her and her fiance from coming to the church. Why? Because she's white and he's black. We have a new development and Stella Harville comes OUTFRONT again with us tonight.
BURNETT: All right. We do this at the same time every time, our "Outer Circle." We reach out to our sources around the world. And because I'm in Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates, we're going to the United States.
And we begin tonight in Connecticut where jurors are deciding whether to sentence Joshua Komisarjevsky to death. You may remember that story back in 2007, the absolutely impossible to imagine Connecticut home invasion and brutal murder of a mother and her daughters.
Deborah Feyerick is outside the courthouse in New Haven.
And, Deb, what is the jury discussing?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, the jury is looking at the overall life of the convicted killer to determine if he should be spared death by lethal injection. For example, they're considering that he's got a 9-year-old daughter, and that he himself was a victim of sexual abuse as a child, something that triggered mental problems later on. The jurors got to weigh that and more against the brutal home invasion that left a mom and her two daughters dead following a night of torture -- Erin.
BURNETT: Well, that story is just still so impossible to imagine. But still, there are children that are abducted, murdered, raped every day in this country. Obviously, it seems that way sometimes when you hear stories like this one.
For two days, Georgia authorities and FBI have been searching for a 7-year-old Jorely Rivera. Now, she disappeared from a playground in Canton, Georgia. Now, tonight, that nightmare became a horrific reality, because investigators found Jorely murdered in a dumpster near her family's apartment.
Holly Firfer is working the story in Canton and is here with us now.
And, what can you tell us, Holly?
HOLLY FIRFER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, as you can tell, everybody here in this neighborhood is shocked and saddened. Right behind me right now, at the playground where she was last seen, they're holding a candlelight vigil. This is a very tight-knit community and apartment complex where people thought they were safe.
Here's what we know: That she was last seen on the playground by herself unsupervised on Friday evening and then she went missing. Her mom called the authorities about 7:00, and they could not find her. They found her unfortunately today in a dumpster.
Authorities are focusing on this apartment complex right now. Could it have been somebody here? They did say that there were some empty apartment buildings. They may have found some evidence in one of them. So, they're keeping a search here.
GBI officials are going door to door searching apartments, searching cars and asking any of the neighbors if they've seen anything or know anything -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much.
Well, Erin Runnion lost her daughter Samantha in 2002. She was 5 years old at the time. She was found sexually abused and murdered.
She's now an advocate for protecting children from these horrible situations and horrible deaths situations.
And, Erin, thanks for being OUTFRONT with us tonight.
ERIN RUNNION, FOUNDER OF THE JOYFUL CHILD FOUNDATION: My pleasure.
BURNETT: Hearing this case, obviously, we heard Holly said there's no suspects. They're checking the sex offenders in the area. And I'm curious from all the people that you've worked with, from what you've seen -- is it true that these cases usually happen at the hands of already convicted or known-about sex offenders? Or is that just perception?
RUNNION: I think that's really actually just perception. The vast majority of child molesters are never caught. They're never accused, much less than convicted of their crimes. It's estimated that fewer than 10 percent of child molesters are ever caught.
So, it is important that they check after those who are registered.
BURNETT: Fewer than 10 percent, are you serious? RUNNION: I'm serious, yes. These are one of the most underreported crimes in the country. Most children do not disclose when somebody is inappropriate with them. They don't have the words or the context to say that this person touched me inappropriately.
And so, that's why we do parent education and empower children to stop these crimes before they happen, because the very first sign of resistance from a child is usually enough to stop a child molester. These people don't -- they're not out there looking for a challenge, that's why they're preying on kids. They're looking for easy opportunities.
BURNETT: Yes, oh.
Well, let me ask you about this case in Georgia, because it seems like from what Holly is talking about, maybe the child was being taken care of by a teenager. And that's the case in a lot of families and extended families. You have a teenager watch your kid, right? That's part of growing up. We all were baby-sitters.
But is that part of the problem here?
RUNNION: I don't think it is. You know, vulnerability in and of itself isn't a bad thing if there aren't bad people looking for opportunities to take advantage of it. So, you know, we can't be there 24/7 watching our children, but it is important that we do be as vigilant and provide as much supervision as we can.
In lots of communities where there's communal living like apartment complexes and condominium communities like where we live, when my daughter was taken, it was the same type of scenario. There was a central courtyard where all of the children played. And I remember standing out there after she was taken.
And I knew all of these children but I didn't know half of the parents. And I said, it should not take a tragedy like this to bring us together as a community to protect our children. There's so much more that we can do.
So, hopefully, Jorelys' legacy will help us to bring parents together and talk about how each neighborhood can better protect their kids.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Erin, thank you very much for coming OUTFRONT and sharing your story. I know you've gone out and made a big difference in the back of the tragedy in your life.
But one of the most amazing things she just said, for those of you -- only 10 percent. Just absolutely stunning.
Well, thanks again, Erin. I really appreciate you taking the time.
Well, that shocking story that we really couldn't -- a church banning an interracial couple from coming to the church because they were interracial. She's black -- she's white, he's black. They're engaged to be married.
Well, there's a big development in this case about a church in eastern Kentucky.
And Stella Harville, the bride, comes OUTFRONT again to tell us about it.
BURNETT: You may remember a story that we were really passionate about last week. I really couldn't believe it when I heard it. This is a church in eastern Kentucky that had voted to ban interracial couples from being part of the church all because of one couple who came to sing at the church.
Well, as we told you, the vote at the time for the Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church in Kentucky was 96. Well, that changed this weekend. And the church's new pastor, Stacey Stepp, characterized the vote this way.
(BEGIN VIDOE CLIP)
STACEY STEPP, PASTOR: A vote to accept all people regardless of race, creed or color, and to accept everyone into the fellowship of Christ.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Stella Harville joins us again now. Stella is a woman who is engaged to a black man.
And, Stella, let me just ask you -- what's your reaction to this new vote? Do you feel relieved, happy, vindicated? What do you feel?
STELLA HARVILLE, BANNED FROM CHURCH DUE TO INTERRACIAL RELATIONSHIP: Oh, yes. Ticha and I, we are definitely relieved to hear this overturned. However, you know, we're still hurt by this, but at least, you know, we've taken a step in the positive direction and we can move on with our lives.
BURNETT: So what are you going to do now? Are you going to go back to the church? Are your parents, who I know were members of the congregation, going to be going back to the church, singing as they used to?
HARVILLE: My parents have expressed that they will return back to the church to support Pastor Stacy because he's, you know, stood by us and supported us throughout all this. So, they want to help support him in trying to rebuild the church.
But as for Ticha and I, it won't be any time soon. It's just -- it's going to take a lot, a lot of time for us to forgive them. I mean, Stacy, we know that we're welcomed by Stacy, but it's still hurtful.
BURNETT: Yes, and what about how this vote went down? You said there were two people who abstained in this recent vote this weekend. You said before that's what upset you the most, was the people who didn't bother to vote. Do you know who abstained and how do you feel about them?
HARVILLE: This shouldn't be a question of debate for a church to accept all people of every race, every color. That shouldn't even be a debate. And, you know, if they have a hard time accepting that -- I mean, I really hope they re-evaluate their faith, and all I can do is just, you know, pray to God that they just be open to God's love because they're not the true -- they're not exhibiting the true representation of Christ.
BURNETT: Well, thank you so much for being with us and for sharing your story. And I'm so glad that it was resolved in this way and that maybe other people can learn from what happened to you. Stella Harville, thank you so much.
All right. Thanks so much for watching our show here at live from United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. We're going to put our interview with Sheikh Mohammed, the prime minister of the country and the ruler of Dubai on our Web site.
And we look forward to your comments about what you think about democracy and ruling, and what you think about Dubai. Please let us know. We're looking forward to hearing that.
And one quick thing just to keep in mind -- did you know that the number one country in the Middle East for American exports is the United Arab Emirates? Not even Saudi Arabia.
Anderson Cooper starts now.