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Race for White House Wide Open; Jailed for Murdering a Black Teenager; Argentinean President Rebounds after Operation; German Authorities Investigate Arsonist

Aired January 4, 2012 - 16:00   ET



MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My goodness, what a squeaker. But it sure is nice to have a win, I'll tell you.


MAX FOSTER, HOST: A wafer thin win for Mitt Romney leaves the race to the White House wide open. So, as the contest moves on, can Rick Santorum steal the march on his Republican rival?

Live from London, I'm Max Foster.

Also tonight, two decades ago, it was a murder that scarred a nation. Now, as two men are sent to jail for killing a black teenager, how one case transformed race relations in Britain.

And as hundreds of thousands of women wait to discover whether their breast implants are safe, we'll look at whether it's time to cool the demand for plastic surgery.

First, though, tonight, new twists and turns in the Republican push for the White House after impossibly close results in the Iowa -- in Iowa reshaped the race.

Former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney and a few other candidates wasted no time getting to New Hampshire. They're already stumping for votes there ahead of that state's primary next week.

Romney squeaked out a win in Iowa, but only by eight votes. A last minute surge by Rick Santorum propelled the former senator to second place. It was the closest race in the history of Iowa's caucuses. Congressman Ron Paul finished a strong third, followed by former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

But for Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, the contest in the state where she was born was a bitter disappointment. She bowed out of the race today after placing sixth in Iowa.

New Hampshire is expected to be kind to Mitt Romney and give him what Iowa didn't. That's a commanding victory. Romney is way ahead in the polls there.

CNN learned some interesting things about the candidates from our exit polling in Iowa. Mitt Romney got high marks for electability, winning major support from voters whose biggest concern is defeating President Obama. Romney's background in business was also a key factor.


ROMNEY: I'm going to do just fine with the different groups in this country as long as I continue to -- to talk about my message of getting America stronger, getting our economy going, shrinking the size of the government and holding firm on the principles of freedom and opportunity that made the country the -- the hope of the earth.


FOSTER: Well, later polls show Rick Santorum's strength lies in his conservative values. He scored best amongst Evangelical Christians and voters who support the Tea Party movement.


FOSTER: Party maverick and third place finisher, Ron Paul, got a groundswell of support from young people and Independents who were attracted to his libertarian ideals. Paul says he'll do even better in New Hampshire.


REP. RON PAUL (R), TEXAS: And I think we -- we're in second place. And that's good where -- a good place to start. So I think we're going to have some momentum and we're going to continue to do what we're doing. It's a -- it's a -- it's a live free or die state. They're very freedom oriented. So that message will spread there and I'm confident we're going to do quite well.


FOSTER: Paul will join Santorum and Romney in New Hampshire this week. But let's not forget about Newt Gingdred -- Gingrich, who's already there and gunning for the frontrunner.

Mitt Romney, though, just pulled in a major endorsement from a face you might recognize.

Jim Acosta joins us now live from Peterborough, New Hampshire with details on that.

So who is it?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Max, it is John McCain. You'll remember, John McCain was the presidential candidate for the Republicans back in 2008. He actually beat Mitt Romney in this state four years ago. It -- it was that defeat of Mitt Romney that essentially drove the former Massachusetts governor out of this race. It was clear at that point that John McCain was going to go on and become the nominee.

And Mitt Romney brought back John McCain for a good reason today. That squeaker that you heard Mitt Romney talk about in his remarks earlier today, you know, it -- it was just another example that he does not have this thing locked up yet. He has not closed the deal with Republican voters. There are a lot of conservatives out there who are concerned that Mitt Romney is not consistent when it comes to the issues they care about, on the economy and on social issues.

And so bringing in John McCain, I think, was a strategic move on the - - on the part of the Romney campaign to sort of soothe those concerns among some Republicans, although you have to keep in mind, there are a lot of Republicans who think John McCain is as much a moderate as Mitt Romney is.

So it might be a mixed bag in terms of the overall long-term effect for the Romney campaign.

But John McCain came out and gave a very fiery speech, going right after the president, saying that Mitt Romney is the best person to beat President Obama come this fall.

Here's what he had to say.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Our message to President Barack Obama is you can run, but you can't hide from your record of making this country bankrupt, from destroying our national security and to making this nation one that we have to restore with Mitt Romney as president of the United States of America.


ACOSTA: So there you have it from John McCain, coming out and endorsing Mitt Romney today, not a huge surprise. And you're already hearing some of the other candidates in the field sort of taking aim at this endorsement. Rick Santorum, who Mitt Romney barely beat last night in the Iowa caucuses, he gave an interview to CNN in which he said that this was really no surprise, that John McCain would come out and endorse Mitt Romney, given the fact that their views are so similar. Essentially, it was a dig at both of them as sort of a moderate match made in heaven.

And you mentioned, Max, a few moments ago, it is going to get very busy up here in New Hampshire. Gingrich was already up here today. He took out a full page ad in the state's biggest newspaper, going after Mitt Romney, one of these super PACs that our international viewers may not know a whole lot about, but basically they're these outside groups that can spend unlimited amounts of money tearing up candidates. There is a pro- Gingrich super political action committee now airing a negative ad about Mitt Romney. So Romney is going to have his hands full up here -- Max.

FOSTER: OK, Jim, thank you so much.

Great stuff.

Now, Mitt Romney may have received the most votes in Iowa, but the slimmest of margins. But some say Rick Santorum is the real winner. After all, it wasn't long ago that many pundits were -- they were writing him off in his campaign.

Fionnuala Sweeney turns up and tells us more about the dark horse turned serious contender.


FIONNUALA SWEENEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR (voice-over): Rick Santorum is a former senator and U.S. representative from the state of Pennsylvania. He's known for spearheading and helping to pass the welfare reform bill and a ban on a controversial second trimester abortion procedure. He also founded a Congressional working group on religious freedom.

He's a Roman Catholic with seven children. Santorum says he knows what Americans need.

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Bread and butter is bread and butter. And we'd better have a message that attracts all across the board. I do. And that's why I think we're the best candidate. And that's the reason I think the Obama administration fears us the most and does their best to ignore us as best they can.

SWEENEY: On the international front, Santorum objects to the Obama time line for withdrawal from Afghanistan. He says the U.S. should issue an ultimatum to Pakistan -- side with the U.S. or receive no American aid.

Santorum said he would work with Israel to, quote, "eliminate the Iranian nuclear threat immediately."


FOSTER: Well, as Santorum and the other contenders pack their bags to leave Iowa, Michele Bachmann remained behind to announce her exit from the race. She said the people of Iowa had spoken with a very clear voice, so she decided to step aside. The congresswoman got just 5 percent of the vote, but says she's very proud of her campaign.


MICHELE BACHMANN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And, of course, I'm deeply grateful to our entire campaign team here in Iowa, in South Carolina and everywhere. I have no regrets, none whatsoever. We never compromised our principles and we can leave this race knowing that we ran it with utmost integrity. We made a very important contribution to this race.


FOSTER: Well, Texas Governor Rick Perry, who placed fifth in Iowa, caused quite a stir when he announced last night that he was heading back to his home state of Texas to reassess his campaign. Many people thought he would drop out, but today he confirmed he's actually pressing ahead.

While Michele Bachmann called herself the true conservative in this race, she had a lot of supporters who will now have to sign onto another campaign.

So which candidate will most likely benefit?

Long-time political analyst, Bill Schneider, joins us now from Los Angeles with some perspective on that.

Which way do you think she's going to go -- Bill?

BILL SCHNEIDER, POLITICAL ANALYST: Michele Bachmann, her supporters will probably go to Rick Santorum. Her supporters are social conservatives. He's the leading social conservative in this race.

The question is whether he can rally both religious right voters, which he did in Iowa, and Tea Party supporters, which he competed with Ron Paul in Iowa for, whether they will join forces to try to stop Mitt Romney. And, of course, whether they'll be successful or not, that remains to be seen.

The key primary is not New Hampshire, where there are very few social conservatives, but South Carolina, which has always been a key primary for Republicans. That will be on January 21st.

FOSTER: I guess that it's about momentum at this point, right?

And going from Iowa into New Hampshire, are there -- what are the parallels there?

Can we see a similar type of race, because, you know, we thought it was predictable in Iowa and it wasn't, was it?

SCHNEIDER: No, it was not. And the prediction, the expectation in New Hampshire is that Mitt Romney should win there. He was the governor of a neighboring state, Massachusetts. He has a home in New Hampshire. He's got to win New Hampshire. If he doesn't, then that will be a very severe stumble. It may derail his path to the White House.

He's got to win New Hampshire. He's expected to win and is, as you know, in every presidential -- in every contest, in every election, there is a phantom candidate called expected. It's not enough to win. You've got to do better than expected. And in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney is expected to do very well.

FOSTER: And what about Rick Perry?

What do you think went on when he went back home and had those discussions?

SCHNEIDER: Well, he probably was talking to his wife, who had urged him to run for president, some of his big money backers in Texas. Apparently, they say he should press on because it's not a closed deal yet for Santorum.

But Perry did not make a very good impression on Republican voters. That was a big surprise. He -- when he first got into the race, there were high expectations for him. It just didn't pan out, because I think he had two problems.

One is people didn't think he was really into the race, he was not driven, he didn't have what we call in the United States the fire in the belly.

And the other part of it is, he reminded an awful lot of the voters of George W. Bush and they didn't want to go back to that.

FOSTER: And, Bill, so far, I know it's obviously very early days, but what are you reading into the psyche of the American people as they -- as they vote right now?

SCHNEIDER: They're confused. They're not crazy about Obama because of his record, although they continue to like him. I think the big winner in Iowa last night was Barack Obama. Barack Obama ended up with a leading contender for the Republicans, Mitt Romney, that Republicans have simply refused to rally behind. He didn't do any better this year than he did four years ago. And it's going to be a long struggle for them to convince themselves that he's the only alternative.

Rick Santorum is implausible as the Republican nominee, as is Newt Gingrich, as is Ron Paul.

So I think Barack Obama is pretty happy with that result.

FOSTER: And what is it that Santorum has actually tapped into here, do you think, apart from, you know, his clear policy, but is America leaning a particular way right now for particular reasons and he's benefiting from that?

SCHNEIDER: He's benefiting from the fact that there's a large contingency of religious conservatives in Iowa, religious right voters, Evangelicals. They're over represented in the Iowa caucuses because it's a meeting. It is not an election and it's public voting.

So the -- the Evangelicals always turn out in high numbers. They were about almost 60 percent of the Iowa voters. That's really not true anywhere else. It's close to that in South Carolina, but in the rest of the country, Evangelicals are just not that powerful. And some of them may have had problems with Mitt Romney because he's a Mormon and Evangelicals have been reluctant to support a Mormon candidate.

So I think he had a special circumstance in Iowa. His message, of course, is a continuation of the culture wars, which a lot of America -- a lot of Americans thought were -- they had put behind them for this election, where the economy seems to be the only issue. Rick Santorum's message is abortion, gay rights, there are a lot of other social issues that are unresolved.

FOSTER: OK, Bill Schneider, thank you very much, indeed, as ever, for your analysis on the -- the election coming up.

Now, a lot of exciting developments and the race is just getting started. You can learn more, There you'll find information on all the Republican candidates and what happens next in the race for the party's nomination. That and more at

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London.

Still to come, good news for Argentina, as the country's president undergoes successful thyroid surgery. We'll bring you a full update in just a moment.

Plus, Olympic tickets out of sync, as an administrative gap leads to thousands of oversold tickets for the London Olympics.

And later in the show, we look at the true meaning of exploration from one of our great adventurers.


FOSTER: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD on CNN, the world's news leader.

Welcome back to you.

Now, two men were jailed today for murdering a black teenager nearly 20 years ago in a case that changed race relations in Britain forever.

Gary Dobson and David Norris had been suspects in the stabbing since 1993. But it wasn't until new forensic techniques were developed a few years ago that investigators had enough evidence to convict them.

After the life sentences were announced today, the victim's mother spoke of her relief.


DOREEN LAWRENCE, STEPHEN LAWRENCE'S MOTHER: It's the beginning, I think, of starting a new life, because we've been in limbo for so long. So today is where we can look to start moving on and just, I don't know, try and get -- take control of my life once more.


FOSTER: And we're going to have much more on that story coming up in around 15 minutes, including a look at how the case was finally cracked.

But first, here's a look at some other stories connecting our world tonight.

The heads of the Arab League and the Arab Human Rights Council were expected to meet on Wednesday to discuss Syria. A mission by Arab League monitors is coming under fire for failing to stop the bloodshed. The leader of an anti-government resistance movement says the mission is a mockery and that his group is preparing huge operations against the government.

The Afghan government says it approves of proposed talks between Taliban insurgents and the United States. This comes after a statement purportedly from a Taliban spokesman that plans are in the works to set up an office in Qatar to facilitate negotiations.

A Yemeni diplomat says President Ali Abdullah Saleh will not be traveling to the United States. The move reverses his original plan to enter the U.S. for medical reasons. President Saleh says he's been asked to remain in Yemen to help end the state of turmoil in the country. U.S. officials are urging him to leave office immediately.

Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is recovering well after surgery for thyroid cancer. A spokesman says the procedure was carried out without any complication. Several supporters gathered outside the hospital, where the president is being treated.

Brian Byrnes has more from Buenos Aires.


BRIAN BYRNES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Argentine president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, has undergone successful surgery to remove a cancerous thyroid. The operation took place here at the Hospital Austral on Wednesday in the town of Pilar, about 60 kilometers north of the capital, Buenos Aires.

Her presidential spokesperson says the operation lasted about three- and-a-half hours. The president is now awake and expected to spend the next 72 hours in the hospital before flying south to El Calafate, her home in the Patagonian region. Hundreds of Kirchner supporters erupted in cheers upon hearing the news of the surgery's positive outcome. Many had held vigil outside the hospital here and around the country for the popular leader, who was reelected in October and sworn in for a second term on December 10th.

Kirchner's thyroid cancer was detected during a routine exam just 12 days later. Doctors said it had not spread to her lymph nodes and that her prognosis for a full recovery is strong.

(on camera): During the next three weeks, while she is on respite, her vice president, Amado Boudou, will be in charge. Boudou is not expected to make any serious policy decisions without first consulting President Kirchner.

Brian Byrnes, CNN, Buenos Aires.


FOSTER: Tourism industry workers in the Maldives are probably breathing a sigh of relief after the president overturned a ban on spas on Wednesday. The ban was put in place after Islamic groups claimed the spas were being used as a front for prostitution. The country's supreme court still has the final say but is expected to rule in favor of reversing the law.

A German man is set to appear in court in Los Angeles today in connection with one of the worst arsons in the city's history. Harry Burkhart is suspected of setting 52 fires in the area since Friday, causing $3 million worth of damage.

And as CNN's Frederik Pleitgen reports, police in his native Germany are investigating him for arson, too.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Investigations into Harry Burkhart and his mother, Dorothy, here in Germany have unearthed two things. Number one, he is no stranger, and neither is his mother, to German law enforcement authorities. And also, arson seems to also be in his repertoire over here.

There's an investigation going on by authorities near the town of Frankfurt into a fire that was started in a building there. And that house is owned by the Burkhart family, even though authorities say they're not sure whether harry or his mother Dorothy actually hold the deed.

ANNEMARIE WIED, PROSECUTOR SPOKESWOMAN: There is an ongoing investigation by the state prosecutors office of Marburg because of a fire in the early morning hours of October 14th, 2011 in the Schwam-Eider District (ph). In that night, an old house totally burned out. Because of the owner of the house, we have started the investigation.


PLEITGEN (on camera): The prosecutors say evidence inside that burned out house suggests that the fire was laid on purpose. And they believe that Harry Burkhart and his mother are trying to commit insurance fraud by setting that building on fire.

Meanwhile, inquiries into the past of Dorothy Burkhart have also unearthed that she is wanted here in Germany by an international arrest warrant for several cases of fraud. In total, it's 16 cases of fraud and three cases of embezzlement. Most of that took place in the real estate sector, where apparently she rented out apartments to people here in Germany, collected the deposit for those apartments and then never came up with the apartments themselves. Many people were defrauded in what the police say was a widespread scam, especially also in the Frankfurt area, again.

And other things that the prosecutors have told us is they say at this point in time, as we speak, they are putting together the paperwork to get Dorothy Burkhart deported from the U.S. back to Germany.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.


FOSTER: Zookeepers in London began a painstaking annual ritual today, taking stock of every single animal in the zoo in Regent's Park. Some of the world's most endangered species will be counted this year and the information will be shared with other zoos around the world to help breeding programs. Last year's official count, if you're wondering, 18,499 individual animals.

Up next, say it ain't so, Serena. With the year's first tennis major looming, the former world number one suffers an injury scare. Details ahead in sports.


FOSTER: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from London.

Welcome back.

I'm Max Foster.

Arguably, the biggest name in women's tennis is in danger of missing the Australian Open. The tournament Down Under begins in just under two weeks time. And 13 time grand slam winner, Serena Williams, faces a race against time to recover from a -- a badly twisted ankle she sustained at a warm-up tournament on Wednesday.

Pedro joins us now.

Bad news for the women's game, right?

PEDRO PINTO, CNN "WORLD SPORT" ANCHOR: It is, because they're hurting already to find a player that they can really market their game around. Serena and Venus Williams are the only ones that still kind of have that gravitas. And Serena missing possibly the Australian Open would be a huge blow for women's tennis, a huge blow, obviously, for her. She's looking for her 14th grand slam title.

And, Max, she's really had a -- a run of bad luck recently. She missed large parts of the 2010 and 2011 seasons. She played only 27 matches in the last year-and-a-half. Just to give you an idea, players normally play between 60 and 70 per season, so she's missed a huge chunk of the last two years. First, there was a broken glass, which she stepped on, hurt her foot, then a serious injury, a blood clot in her lung, a series of nig -- niggles at the end of last year forced her to miss some matches, as well. And now this.

So we hope she can recover in time, just under 12 days to get that left severely sprained ankle fixed.

FOSTER: OK. And synchronized swimming, I know this is your specialism. You were always very good at this in your younger years.


PINTO: This is...


PINTO: My younger years, yes.


FOSTER: I mean still, you know, weekends are spent...

PINTO: I still have my bathing suit.

FOSTER: -- synchronized swimming

PINTO: My -- my special pink bathing suit.

FOSTER: Yes. And...


FOSTER: -- nose clips, yes. I remember that.

PINTO: I'll -- I'll tell you what has been the story.

You want to tell it or I -- I'll tell it?

FOSTER: You go for it. You're the...

PINTO: I'll go for it.

FOSTER: You're the expert.

PINTO: OK. Basically, the story is, you know, the Olympics are, right, just eight months away now here in London. And the story today is that organizers basically messed up. I guess that -- that's the politically correct way to say it. They messed up...

FOSTER: It wasn't a computer system, right, it was people?

PINTO: No, it was -- it was a human data error...

FOSTER: Right.

PINTO: -- that's what they're saying. And they over sold the synchronized swimming sessions by 10,000 tickets. So basically what they've done now, they've asked people to return their tickets. They've promised, however, that they'll switch them over for other events. So I guess...

FOSTER: So they're hoping people come forward, right?

PINTO: Yes. They're hoping, but 10,000 -- they oversold by 10,000. I guess no one really noticed and people kept on applying and they kept on being accepted.

So a little bit of an embarrassment for the local organizing committee. But they hope they can sort it out. They've got enough time. They're making a million more tickets available in all events in May. So a lot of them still available. They'll just switch them out and maybe people who are going to synchronized swimming just because they -- that's the only thing they could get...


PINTO: -- maybe they'll even get something better.

FOSTER: They have another option.


FOSTER: I guess the positive about the human error is that it wasn't the computer systems, because that would, obviously, affect all of the events.

PINTO: Exactly. This was a particular glitch for this particular event.

FOSTER: A human glitch?

PINTO: Yes. One more thing before I go. Will have details on "WORLD SPORT" in -- in an hour's time. But Manchester United losing to Newcastle right now in the Premier League. Details about the results...


PINTO: -- 2-0 is the score right now.

FOSTER: OK, Pedro, thank you very much.

Still to come on CONNECT THE WORLD, 20 years after a racist murder and a botched police investigation, two men are finally jailed for killing this teenager in London. How the case changed race relations in Britain forever, coming up.

And after a breast implant scandal which has left some women fearing for their lives, we'll debate whether plastic surgery is worth the risks.

And later, the art of exploring from a man who knows a thing or two about it. I sat down with legendary comedian and traveler, Michael Palin.


FOSTER: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD on CNN. time for a look at the world headlines.

A boost for the campaign of Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, a day after he squeaked out a victory in the Iowa Caucus. He won the endorsement of Senator John McCain, the party's nominee last time around.

A group of defectors from the Syrian military says it is planning, quote, "huge operations against the government." The threat comes amid growing frustration with Arab League monitors, who have been criticized for not stopping Syria's crackdown on dissent.


FOSTER: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD on CNN. Time for a look at the world headlines.

A boost for the campaign of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. A day after he squeaked out a victory in the Iowa caucuses, he won the endorsement of Senator John McCain, the party's nominee last time around.

A group of defectors from the Syrian military says it is planning, quote, "huge operations" against the government. The threat comes amid growing frustration with Arab League monitors who've been criticized for not stopping Syria's crackdown on dissent.

Iran's oil industry may soon face new pressure from Europe. EU ministers agreed in principle on Wednesday to ban Iranian oil imports. France's foreign minister says he hopes the EU can finalize the embargo later this month.

The Afghan government has given its support to the idea of talks between the Taliban and the US. This comes after a purported Taliban spokesman said the militant group had plans to set up an office in Qatar to facilitate negotiations.

Doctors in Argentina successfully removed the thyroid of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Ms. Fernandez has been battling thyroid cancer and doctors said there were no difficulties, and she'll spend the next three days recuperating.

Those are the headlines this hour.

Two men were jailed today in London for the murder of a black teenager nearly 20 years ago, one of the most notorious racist crimes in Britain's history, and one that forced and examination of race relations across the country.

The victim, Stephen Lawrence, was stabbed to death by a group of white teenagers near a bus stop in 1993. Police arrested five suspects within days of the murder, but all were eventually released due to lack of evidence.

What followed was nearly two decades of legal wrangling and an official inquiry into the police force itself, which found grave mistakes in how the case was handled.

Finally, in 2008, using advanced forensic techniques, investigators found DNA from the victim on clothing that belonged to two of the original suspects. Those two were charged with murder and after a six week trial, they were found guilty on Tuesday.

The convictions bring some closure to the family of Stephen Lawrence, but his parents say they want the other three suspects brought to justice as well. Richard Pallot reports.



RICHARD PALLOT, ITV CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There is nothing about this crime that makes you want to cheer. Nothing, perhaps, except that a dignified family can now start to move on.

DOREEN LAWRENCE, STEPHEN LAWRENCE'S MOTHER: It's a beginning, I think, of starting a new life. Because we've been in limbo for so long. So, today is where we can look to start moving on, and just -- trying to get -- take control of my life once more.

PALLOT: But the hard truth is that the convicted killers of her son may well serve less than the length of his life. Gary Dobson will be in jail for a minimum of 15 years 2 months. David Norris some 11 months less. Both mandatory life terms, both lessened because they were juveniles at the time.

NEVILLE LAWRNECE, STEPHEN LAWRENCE'S FATHER: One of my greatest hopes is that these people now realize that they've been found out and are now going to go and lay down in their beds and think that they weren't the only ones who were responsible for the death of my son. And they're going to give up the other rest of the people, so that I come out here again in a year's time and talk to you people again.

PALLOT: In sentencing, Mr. Justice Treacy said that "a totally innocent 18-year-old youth, on the threshold of a promising life, was brutally cut down in the street by a racist, thuggish gang."

He went on to say, the way in which the attack took place strongly suggests to me that your group, if not actively seeking out a victim, was prepared if the opportunity arose, to attack in the way in which you did."

He also remarked, "It did not matter if either of them had not held the knife," adding that neither had shown the slightest regret or remorse.


PALLOT: From almost day one, these five gang members were the chief suspects. With two now behind bars, what are the chances of further prosecutions of Neil Acourt, his brother Jamie, and Luke Knight, and perhaps even others there that evening.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I reckon every (expletive deleted: n....) should be chopped up, mate.

PALLOT: But despite covert police filming, there remains no hard evidence linking the other three to the murder.

BERNARD HOGAN-HOWE, COMMISSIONER, METROPOLITAN POLICE: The other people involved in the murder of Stephen Lawrence should not rest easily in their beds. We are still investigating this case.

PALLOT: But who wielded the knife that killed Stephen Lawrence may never be known unless either of those convicted confess and break the silence that still haunt so many.

Richard Pallot, ITV News.


FOSTER: London's Metropolitan Police came under heavy criticism as the murder remained unsolved for years. In fact, an official inquiry into how the case was handled resulted in the police force being branded, quote, "institutionally racist" for bungling evidence and failing to follow up on leads.

It also prompted a major police overhaul, and is now seen as a milestone for race relations here in the UK. Diane Abbott is a British member of Parliament and the first black woman elected to the House of Commons. I spoke with her a short time ago and began by asking why this is such a huge story even nearly 20 years after the murder.


DIANE ABBOTT, BRITISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: I've been involved with the Stephen Lawrence campaign from the beginning, and for years, the family soldiered on without any public interest.

But after a few years, first of all, a new Labour government ordered an inquiry -- an official inquiry. And one of our major tabloids, the "Daily Mail," splashed the pictures of five suspects on its front page and called them "murderers."

I think for the first time, middle England, white, middle class people, empathized with urban families like the Lawrences, and that really was a change.

FOSTER: What was the big concern, here? That someone, a good man, was killed for no reason? Although there's premeditation involved here, but it wasn't personal. Or is it the massive failure on behalf of the police to take it seriously, it seemed?

ABBOTT: The concern was partly a young man who wasn't in a gang, who was just waiting by a bus stop, got stabbed to death. But then the bigger concern was the police simply didn't do their jobs.

FOSTER: And just describe that. How did they fail? Because they've admitted it.

ABBOTT: The friend of Stephen's that was with him at the time said that he, who was a witness, was treated more like a defendant than a victim. They failed to make the arrests. They failed to move, although dozens of people contacted them anonymously and told them who the suspects were.

For them, it was just another young black man, and they didn't move quickly enough. Had they done their job properly, Doreen is in doubt that all five of the suspects would be behind bars today.

FOSTER: And that's the point, isn't it? Two of the suspects behind bars, 14 and 15 years respectively. People will say that that's not long enough. And what about the other three? So, it's not over.

ABBOTT: No, it's not over. There were five young men who were widely believed at the time to have been involved in the murder. Sadly, 20 years later, because the police messed up so many investigations, 20 years later, there's still only the forensics to nail two of them.

But we hope that even at this late stage, the other people that were involved in killing Stephen will come forward and lay the issue to rest.

FOSTER: And you mentioned Doreen Lawrence, a remarkable person. A campaign, really, since Stephen died, not just for justice for him, but to address a core problem in British society, which I know that you think is also a global problem. So, describe the problem here.

ABBOTT: I think Doreen felt that the police and the authorities were too riddled with prejudice and were not giving ordinary people justice. And she set out nearly 20 years ago to get justice for her family.

A very tragic case. I remember her telling me years ago, no one expects to bury their child. And it's a story that any mother anywhere in the world can empathize with.

FOSTER: And "ordinary" is the right word, isn't it? Because she talks about how people at the extremes of society get support. So, very underprivileged people with lots of problems get support, and people who are privileged get support. But the people in the middle, the Stephens, don't get the support.

ABBOTT: The problem was that the police then, and perhaps still a little bit now, assume that all young black men are gang members or in some way outlaws. But Stephen and his family were a very ordinary middle income family.

And we need to do more for families like that, and we need to offer people justice, whatever their skin color.


FOSTER: Diane Abbot, a British member of Parliament and also campaigner following Stephen Lawrence's death.

Now, up next, hundreds of thousands of women may be at risk after dangerous chemicals were found inside some breast implants. We debate whether the high stakes are worth the risks of plastic surgery.


FOSTER: A British government review of faulty breast implants made by the French company PIP has so far not found evidence they must be removed. The UK Health Secretary told the BBC that he hopes to be able to give evidence -- or give definitive advice by the end of the week.

But some private providers are yet to release information. New safety data suggest their rate of rupture could be higher than previously reported.

The French company that made these implants has now been shut down, but still, approximately 300,000 women have had them inserted across 65 countries.

In France, it affects around 30,000 women. Authorities are now paying to have the implants removed, but only for those who've had the implants after a mastectomy.

In Britain, estimates show more than 40,000 women have had the implants. As we mentioned, the government is reviewing the risks.

Venezuela says it will offer free removal for anyone, but it won't pay to replace them. Across the border, Brazil's health ministry says around 24,000 implants were sold. Further south, Argentina imported thousands of the French breast implants between 2007 and 2010.

And in Australia, where some 4,500 women have had the implants, an expert panel says there's no evidence yet to suggest they have a higher rupture rate.

It all begs the question, is cosmetic surgery worth the risk? I brought in two experts on the issue to find out. Charlie Nduka is a consultant plastic surgeon here in London, and Susie Orbach is a leading psychotherapist and specialist on body image.

I spoke to them just a short time ago, starting with their thoughts on this latest health scare. Here's what Susie had to say first.


SUSIE ORBACH, PSYCHOTHERAPIST AND WRITER: I think that we've had cosmetic surgery experienced and sold to the public as a trivial and life- enhancement procedure and being all good. And the critics being silenced.

And in a way, it being -- sort of sanitized, as though it isn't major surgery and there aren't extraordinary risks of a medical and an emotional nature associated with it.

And now what we've got is a story that's not that far off the kind of irresponsibility of serious oil spills or what we saw with BP last year, where actually we're ruining women's bodies just as we're marauding the sea.

There's something very serious going on here, which this -- these substandard silicon implants has exposed.

FOSTER: And Charles, this all started, of course, with some faulty goods. And the rest of it in the industry is really having to, in a way, carry the can, because everyone's discussing now whether or not cosmetic surgery is a good idea. Do you feel like it's an industry under fire? Do you feel under fire?

CHARLES NDUKA, CONSULTANT PLASTIC SURGEON: I don't sulk an honest flame. In fact, I echo a lot of Susie's comments. Myself, me and my colleagues have been concerned a great deal about the trivialization of surgery. We've had everything from Groupon deals, cosmetic surgery as prizes.

I think one thing the public hasn't been told is that there are almost two faces of cosmetic surgery. You have the commercial clinics, the likes of which advertise heavily on the underground or on the back of magazines.

And then you have surgeons such as myself and my colleagues who have gone through a long training, 15 years post-medical school in reconstructive surgery, but also perform surgery to enhance the appearance of people who aren't unwell. I think that the benefits for those patients, as long as the surgery's done safely, are clear.

However, I'm very worried that young and particularly vulnerable women have been sold surgery, have been told that they should have this operation, they could pay for it.

I spoke yesterday to a lady, a young woman, she's five months pregnant, she has two of these PIP implants in place. Both have ruptured. She went back to her High Street clinic, and they told her off, want her to pay another 3,000 pounds to have them removed.

She's terrified. She's due to give birth in a few months time. She wants to breastfeed, but these implants have ruptured. And I think that's wrong. So, I am concerned myself.

Having said that, we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water, because actually, if done correctly, cosmetic surgery can improve the emotional and physical well-being of patients.

FOSTER: Well, it's sparked a fierce debate, this, and not least on our Facebook page. If I could, Susie, put one of the comments to you. Ina May says, "If people want to live artificial lives, they have to deal with the health consequences that occur."

I mean, it's a simplified argument, isn't it? Which is a very complicated debate. But what are your thoughts on it?

ORBACH: I do think that we need to think very carefully about what we're expecting bodies to do for us, and not seeing our bodies as a place we live from, but seeing them as a product that we have to produce and create within certain parameters.

That's really not what that great skill of the surgeons was there for. And yes, it is there for reconstruction, for serious medical problems. And yes, there are a few people for whom the psychological damage of feeling very terrible means that they require cosmetic surgery.

But the -- the numbers don't stack up for serious psychological difficulty, unless we ask how come society got itself into this place?

FOSTER: OK, well, if I could, then, let me put this to you from Tori Rhoades. "I think people should concern themselves with only that which affects them and leave such personal decisions to those making them." Should we be even having this debate?

ORBACH: If you look at the propaganda of certain cosmetic surgery clinics, the mantra is, start early, do often, and to normalize the whole process. So, it isn't actually an individual situation.

Of course, it's an individual choice, but once you're advertising on the underground and you're having lots of feature pieces about how marvelous it is, it's a social phenomenon that is sold to people as a solution to a set of problems, and they have nothing to do with the way they look.

NDUKA: Let's go back to one situation, a lady I saw yesterday in my clinic. Now, this young woman, she was born with one breast which was barely fitting an A cup on one side, and a large and heavy C cup on the other.

Now, few people would deny that that would cause some functional issues, such as going to the beach with friends or wearing certain clothing, as well as, obviously, social and relationship issues. Few people would deny that person would be amenable to have treatments.

She isn't eligible for treatment on the inner chest, and so she had her treatment privately with myself. So I don't think we should confuse the two. There are people who are having cosmetic treatments for both functional and cosmetic reasons, and there shouldn't really be any judgments made on people wanting to improve part of their lives.


FOSTER: Plastic surgeon Charles Nduka, there, speaking to me. Also, Susie Orbach, the commentator on body image.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Still to come, the British funny man takes us on a journey of discovery at Buckingham Palace, no less.


FOSTER: Britain's Queen Elizabeth is the most traveled monarch in the world. It's possibly no surprise, then, that Her Majesty recently delved into the royal collection to put together an exhibition of some of the most famous expeditions.

Invited to the Buckingham Palace do, the nation's greatest living adventurers. I went along, too, and caught up with one of the queen's globe-trotting guests, Michael Palin.


MICHAEL PALIN, COMEDIAN/EXPLORER: In the afternoons, Stanley came here with Sir Henry Rawlinson (ph), even ventured the queen. "He is a rough-looking little man, but is very agreeable and personable."

I wouldn't mind people saying that about me. That fellow Palin, he's a rough-looking little man, but very agreeable."


PALIN: He said they've already got one!


FOSTER (voice-over): More than agreeable, Michael Palin as a member of the Monty Python comedy team, he's been making us laugh for decades. Films such as "They Holy Grail" and "Life of Brian" still capable of raising a titter.


PALIN: What is all this insolence? You will find yourself in gladiator school very quickly with rotten behavior like that.


FOSTER: After the Python years, Palin turned to exploring, documenting his epic travels around the world in books and on television, his adventurous spirit ensuring he was on the guest list of the recent Buckingham Palace reception for British explorers.

Alongside the likes of Sir David Attenborough, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, and chief scout Bear Grylls, he was treated to a rare look at artifacts that follow British footsteps from Everest to Antarctica, and from the Arctic to Africa. Footsteps that Palin has endeavored to trace, including those of David Livingstone.

PALIN: I just can't see that there wonderful picture of the Victoria Falls. I don't think I've ever been there, but I've seen the Victoria Falls, one of the most extraordinary physical features I've ever seen. Just you've got to get to the top, there, and look down. I mean, it doesn't quite steam like that, but it does send up a terrific cloud of spray.

FOSTER (on camera): But you bring TV pictures back from these places.


FOSTER: And at the time, this is what people would have had.

PALIN: Yes, yes.

FOSTER: That sort of experience.

PALIN: Yes. And he was, in theory, anyway, as far as I know, the first European to see the Victoria Falls. I mean, it's OK crossing land here and there or managing to get through a forest. That's simple enough. But to be the first person to see these magnificent -- this magnificent waterfall, that must have been quite something.



FOSTER: -- when you go back, and you rediscover --


FOSTER: -- what are you doing as an explorer, if I can call you that?

PALIN: Well, I'm always comparing their experiences with my own, because these are the pioneers, these are the people who saw lands for the very first time, apart from people who actually lived there, and brought the stories back for the very first time.

I'm a second, third, fourth, fifth-hand traveler, and I -- I just like to compare my reactions with what they felt was important to write about and see how things have changed.

Sometimes they haven't at all. I mean, with the Victoria Falls, there's nothing much you can say that's changed. They are epic. They are gigantic. And it's nice to feel that your reaction is very similar to the person that saw them the first time.

FOSTER (voice-over): Palin remembers well seeing this newspaper headline for the very first time.


FOSTER: He was just 10 years old when Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first known men to conquer the world's highest peak, a triumph that helped ignite Palin's own passion for discovery.

PALIN: My father said they were great patriots, so Everest was climbed on the -- was it the queen's accession, there, or something like that in 1953? Everything seemed to come together. A great British triumph. Although, of course, the two climbers were Tibetan and New Zealand. But it was a British-organized expedition.

This meant a lot to me, and I got close to Everest at one time when we were doing a journey, got up to about 18,000 feet, and we could see the peak. And it looked, oh, you just -- just carry on walking, you'll get up there. But of course the last 2,000 or 3,000 feet are kind of what they call the death zone where there isn't enough oxygen to keep you alive.

FOSTER: Indeed, Everest has claimed many lives over the decades. Among them, two of the first British explorers to attempt the climb, George Mallory and Andrew Irvine. Photographs from their ill-fated expedition in 1924 also part of the royal collection.

PALIN: They went up, and they may have got to the top of Everest. And they disappeared into this cloud. And no one to this days knows whether they actually made it or not. So, people might have climbed Everest, actually, 50 years before -- 40 years before --

FOSTER (on camera): And we don't know --

PALIN: Very intensive. We don't know. So, that's an epic expedition. But look at the -- I mean, they're just wearing like they're going for a tramp in the countryside.

FOSTER: They were tough guys.

PALIN: They were tough guys. Look at them. Well-battered.

FOSTER: So, when people have seen every part of the world, every corner of the globe, what is left for exploration, would you say? Because it's still a business?

PALIN: Yes, I think it is. I mean, exploration can mean lots of things. It can mean being the first person to see something, or it can mean discovering something about that place that no one else has ever discovered.

There are lots of parts of the world we don't quite understand why the geography is the way it is. We have the oceans, for instance. We have no idea, really, what's under the oceans. That's a huge area of exploration.

But I think we'll still go back to places and learn more about them and learn why they are the way they are. That's exploring. It's not just being the first person ever to get there. And of course, we must remember in many cases, we're not the first people to get there. There have been people throughout history who've lived there.

But Everest, I think, we probably were the first because no one would bother climbing up there unless they were completely mad.


FOSTER: The remarkable Michael Palin.

In tonight's Parting Shots, love her or loathe her, the new film about Margaret Thatcher is creating plenty of Oscar buzz. As "The Iron Lady" makes its European premier in London, bookies have given Meryl Streep even odds to win her third Academy Award for her portrayal of the controversial British prime minister.


ROGER ALLAM AS GORDON REECE, "THE IRON LADY": That hat has got to go. And the pearls. But the main thing is your voice. It's too high and it has no authority.

MERYL STREEP AS MARGARET THATCHER, "THE IRON LADY": I may be persuaded to surrender the hat. The pearls, however, are absolutely non- negotiable.

That's the tone that we want to strike.


FOSTER: While the film gives one portrayal of Thatcher, we will be bringing you another rare view on Friday. Becky is sitting down with photographer Jason Fraser, who followed the former British prime minister throughout her leadership. He'll be unveiling photos never before seen that show the so-called Iron Lady in a very different light.

You can catch that interview this Friday on CONNECT THE WORLD, 9:00 PM in London, 10:00 PM in Berlin.

I'm Max Foster, that is your world connected. Thanks for watching. The world headlines and "BackStory" are up next after this short break.