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CONNECT THE WORLD

French Police Chase Leads After String of Racial Attacks; Peyton Manning Signs 5-year $96 Million Contract with Denver; 7.4 Earthquake Hits Mexico

Aired March 20, 2012 - 17:00   ET

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


MAX FOSTER, HOST: Tonight on Connect the World. On high alert for a killer: the victims of a (inaudible) school (inaudible) carried away. France is warned the suspect could strike again.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London. This is Connect the World.

FOSTER: Three separate attacks, seven people killed, yet the motive remains a mystery.

Also tonight, as Iran's supreme leader warns the country will strike back if attacked, Israel's deputy prime minister tells me diplomacy could still save the day.

And Queen Elizabeth as you've never seen her before, the photographs kept under lock and key for more than half a century.

French authorities are trying to find the cold blooded serial killer before he could strike again. We begin with new details on the killings that have outraged the entire country and left it on edge.

Authorities say the gunman who killed four people at a Jewish school apparently wore a camera to record his crimes. They're scouring the internet to see if he may have posted any footage. Police believe the gunman also recently killed three soldiers who were ethnic minorities, shooting all seven of his victims at point-blank range.

Their investigating whether he might have Neo Nazi ties, calling his attacks racist and Antisemetic.

Now the bodies of the four victims at the Jewish school were taken from Toulouse to Paris today. They'll soon be flown for Israel for burial.

Diana Magnay is following all of these developments from Toulouse for us. And she joins us with an update. Take us through the day, Diana.

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Max.

Well, as you say a massive, man hunt underway for a serial killer who is still on the loose. There is very little that prosecutors really know about him now. From their latest press conference you really got the impression that they had a huge job underway, combing through 7,000 hours worth of CCTV footage to try and get answers.

Whist meanwhile at the school, a very somber day of reflection and memory as you say the bodies on route now to Israel.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MAGNAY: A moment of silence in schools across the country to remember the victims of Monday's attack, a strike at the heart of Toulouse's Jewish community: it's children.

NICOLAS SARKOZY, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): This happened in Toulouse, in a religious school, to children from Jewish families. But it could have happened here. It could have been the same assassin. These children are exactly like you, they are victims for nothing.

MAGNAY: A father and son walk shyly past the cameras to leave flowers by the school, the pain of a very private community on public display. Some too young to understand, others unable to contain their grief or their horror at what they'd been forced to witness.

MARC ALOU, VICTIM'S RELATIVE (through translator): The people who saw this are very scarred. I spoke with kids who are 16, 17-years-old who are carrying children in their arms trying to resuscitate them, giving them mouth-to-mouth.

MAGNAY: Mourners shield the faces of the bereaved as funeral cars wait to take the victims away. Then, one by one, they're brought out. The coffins of the four who died here shot at point blank range by an assassin who was wearing a camera strapped to his chest, the interior minister said, possibly to record his killing spree.

More coffins which speak of a terrible crime, the youngest just three years old, gunned down alongside his brother and his father. The bodies of all four victims now on their way to Israel to be buried there.

France's ministers of the interior and of defense left the memorial grim faced, their work cut out for them as the man hunt continues. Many leads out there, one that the killer may have been a paratrooper himself dismissed from the army for Neo Nazi leanings. One thing for sure, that he showed no mercy to his victims, sought out the prosecutor said, according to their race or religion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): All the victims were shot in the head at point blank. And we also found traces of burn marks as well.

MAGNAY: There are now 200 special investigators lead by anti-terror personnel searching every possible lead in the Toulouse region. Prosecutors say they have almost 8,000 hours worth of CCTV footage to watch from the three related attacks. The only real point of certainty at this stage that all were committed with the same gun.

But that is small comfort to a community in fear, the killer still on the loose.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MAGNAY: The coffins of the Jewish victims were flown to Charles de Gaulle where the French President Nicolas Sarkozy met them. They will be - - they are now en route to Jerusalem accompanied by the French Prime Minister Alain Juppe.

Max, tomorrow there will be also a special ceremony for the soldiers, the three soldiers who were killed. But there is a very real sense of fear here that there is a person, a person of killings every four days. And that the serial killer possibly made to feel more powerful by the fact that he hasn't been stopped yet will continue to kill, Max.

FOSTER: Diana, thank you very much.

Well, as French police investigate a possible far right motive behind these attacks, newspapers are speculating where the calls to tighten immigration rules by the country's presidential candidates may have played a part. The Figaro has this headline which translates into "Consternation and Revolt."

They write that, "one thing is certain, the murderer is concerned with advertising its barbarity. The presidential candidates have suspended their campaign. The political debate and its games are on hold. But France, grieving, hurt, dismayed, must not remain powerless."

In Britain, race, religion and murder is the headline on an article in The Guardian. It says, "not even Sarkozy, who has most politically to lose in these killings, is trying to hide the link with race and religion. He yesterday called on the French people to stand up against hate, having spent the past few months manically stirring it."

Then finally in Israel there's commentary in the Jerusalem Post. The headline "Protecting France's Jews." It says, "France's presidential election campaign is being marred with xenophobic elements that have not helped create a particularly welcoming atmosphere for Jews or Muslims. Inflammatory campaign rhetoric in France' presidential elections must be toned down."

I spoke about that kind of rhetoric a short time ago with Israel's deputy prime minister Dan Meridor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAN MERIDOR, ISRAELI DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: There are things you don't do even to win elections. But some rhetoric that may incite racism or incite violence should (inaudible). I'm not saying it was, but it shouldn't be used.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Well, Dan Meridor and I also talked at length about Iran and its controversial nuclear program. You can hear that part of the interview a little later in the show.

Some experts say we should not draw a link between anti-foreigner rhetoric in France and the recent spate of killings. I spoke earlier with Jean-Yves Camus. He's a political analyst and a research fellow at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations. We talked first about the rise of anti-Semitism in France.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEAN-YVES CAMUS, INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AND STRATEGIC RELATIONS: The French community in France is probably the largest in western Europe. It's about 500,000 to 600,000 people, most -- half of them living in the Paris area. Since the start of the second intifada in -- back in 2000 there has been a high level of anti-Semitism, many attacks. We recorded almost 400 last year. It's a little bit lower than it was in 2010, but still Synagogues and Jewish schools and (inaudible) are all on high security and since at least they (inaudible) up to 2000s, so this is really an incredible situation.

And of course the government has done its best to protect the Jewish community, but still seems that action by the police and by the judiciary is not enough to calm this wave of anti-Semitism.

FOSTER: And so many communities in France, the problems being made worse here, this feeling of anti-Semitism. A lot of the rhetoric in the presidential campaign, hasn't it. Do you think -- do you think the country is becoming less tolerant?

CAMUS: No, I really think that the anti-foreigner rhetoric in the presidential campaign on the one hand and the killings in Toulouse on the other are two separate problems. I'm personally very unhappy about the way some of our politicians talk about the Jewish community and the Muslim community as well. But really we should not make a link between what was said and those actions.

Obviously, the man who killed in Toulouse is motivated by some kind of hatred and extreme ideology. And what President Sarkozy said, for example, about the both the Jewish and the Muslim community is not extreme.

(END VIDETOAPE)

FOSTER: Our top story tonight, then, French authorities says serial killer on the loose is cold, calculated, and very determined and may strike again. They're investigating whether he has Neo Nazi ties, but aren't yet ready to officially declare a motive.

You're watching Connect the World live from London. Still to come, ringing in the Persian new year with escalating rhetoric. What the supreme leader of Iran is saying.

A wave of bombings in Iraq on the ninth anniversary of the U.S. invasion. We ask who's responsible and what this means for Iraq's security.

Plus, a party and a pat on the back for Ireland's prime minister from Barack Obama.

All that and much more when Connect the World continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me, Max Foster. Welcome back to you.

Now, no immediate reports of deaths or injuries after an earthquake rattled residents in parts of Mexico. The quake's magnitude is being measured at 7.4. Tourists and residents say they were shaken in Acapulco. The people ran into the streets of Mexico City when it hit.

CNN's meteorologist Jennifer Delgado joins us now live from the international weather center -- Jennifer.

JENNIFER DELGADO, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Max. You're right. And we do know now that is a 7.4. Initially came out as a 7.9. And we do know the depth at 20 kilometers.

Now to give you an idea -- here is the epicenter. And we want to point out to you it's kind of situated in between the middle of say Acapulco as well as Mexico City.

We're going to zoom in a bit more for you, but again the location roughly about 25 kilometers away from Ometepec, that's the city with roughly about 50,000 residents there. And as I show you in our graphic here, this is the 7.4 earthquake. Anywhere you're seeing yellow dots as well as red dots those signal after shocks. And we've had roughly about six of those over the last couple of hours ranging from about 4.8 to about 5.3.

But again here is the town of Ometepec again. That is the closest big city to the epicenter.

Now as I show you probably noticing some of this yellow shading here, this is indicating the shaking that was felt there. As you notice on here, it's showing you roughly a strong shaking and in some locations very strong shaking. But anywhere in yellow we're talking mainly about moderate damage.

Now for the structures that aren't built very strong we certainly could see some pockets of moderate to heavy damage across that region.

As we zoom back out again, and as I tell you again, just want to point out to you, those are the aftershocks. And say if you compared this to one that happened in Haiti as well as in Japan, we saw a lot of aftershocks coming really very quickly after the initial earthquake. And since then these have been coming in a little bit slower, so that is good news, but we are hearing that there's been damage reported from cities as far away as Mexico City and that's roughly about 330 kilometers away from the epicenter as well as Acapulco.

Of course that is a very popular resort city. And that's located about 180 kilometers away.

And if you're wondering what this red line is, that is the Cocos Plate (ph). And again, this is the area just to the west of that, of course, is the Pacific Plate.

So again, we will be following this, but it looks like even as we go through the next couple of months we're talking the potential for aftershocks are going to be great. And to give you an idea of some of these aftershocks and what we see typically here, we see about seven with a range of 7.9. We usually see about 15 of these earthquakes popping up typically for an annual average. And as I mentioned before the aftershocks were going to continue to see the potential. And some of those could be quite strong. You typically see about one ranging at 6.4 and 10 at 5.4 -- Max.

FOSTER: Jennifer, thank you very much indeed.

Here's a look at some other stories connecting our world tonight.

A wave of bombings and shootings killed at least 45 people in Iraq and wounded more than 200. An Iraq official says the attacks were coordinated by al Qaeda and were meant to send a message. The violence comes on the ninth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion and just a week before the first Arab League meeting in Baghdad in decades.

Mohammed Jamjoom has been monitoring developments for us from CNN Abu Dhabi.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Max, a wave of deadly bombings across Iraq killed dozens and wounded hundreds today. The ninth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion and just days before the nation hosts a meeting of the Arab League.

The attacks happened in Baghdad, Kirkuk, Karbala, Helaa (ph), Tikrit, Beji (ph), Ramadi, and Fallujah. Some targeting police and government facilities.

While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, a senior interior ministry official blamed al Qaeda in Iraq. And went on to say the blasts were meant to send a message that despite gains made by Iraqi security forces, the militant group is still able to carry out attacks.

Iraqi officials have expressed concern that the continued violence can cast a shadow as the country prepares to host the next Arab League summit on March 29.

Today's violence was the worst since February 23 when nearly 50 people were killed, more than 200 wounded in a string of car bombs, roadside bombs and shootings across the country -- Max.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: The top commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan says the war strategy remains on track. The announcement comes despite a series of recent instances in Afghanistan that has sparked anger and violence towards U.S. troops. But General Allen says he remains optimistic about eventual success.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEN. JOHN ALLEN, COMMANDER, U.S. FORCES AFGHANISTAN: Each of these events is heart wrenching. And my thoughts and my prayers go out to all of those affected by this violence -- coalition and Afghan alike. But I assure you the relationship between the coalition and our Afghan security forces remains strong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: One of those events General Allen was referring to was the killing of 16 Afghans allegedly by U.S. Staff Sergeant Robert Bales. The soldier's attorney said Monday that Bales doesn't remember what happened and is in shock.

The pope of the Coptic church has been laid to rest after a funeral in Cairo. Thousands flooded into Egyptian capital's Coptic Cathedral to pay their last respects to Pope Shenouda III who led the Coptic church for more than 40 years. The pope died on Saturday, aged 88.

With banners flying and trumpets blaring, Queen Elizabeth II pledged to rededicate herself to the service of her people. Earlier today, the British monarch entered Westminster Hall surrounded by regal pomp and circumstance. She then gave a speech to both houses of parliament as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations marking her 60 years on the throne.

Queen Victoria was the only other British monarch to enjoy a Diamond Jubilee, an event not lost on the current sovereign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUEEN ELIZABETH II, QUEEN OF ENGLAND: History links monarchs and parliament, a connecting thread from one period to the next. So in an era when the regular, worthy rhythm of life is less eye catching then doing something extraordinary, I'm reassured that I'm merely the second sovereign to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: And from a big speech to an even bigger present -- presence, Queen Elizabeth was honored with a stained-glass window paid for by British lawmakers and peers.

Well, Britain's queen is the very picture of regal poise. But at one stage in her life, she was very young and very new to the job. We'll show you the pictures to prove it. That's still to come on Connect the World.

But first, one of American football's best ever players has found a new team. We'll tell you where he's landed next on Connect the World.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: Now one of the greatest players in the history of professional American football is resuming his career in a new city. Peyton Manning, who didn't play last season due to neck surgery, was released by the Indianapolis Colts after 14 seasons with the team, but now he has found a new home and his new salary isn't bad either. Patrick Snell joins us live from CNN Center with the details. So he's going to tell us the team and what he's making, Patrick.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, look at the size of him. He's huge. I mean, just the back of that shirt there, Max.

Quite incredible. Peyton Manning is going to be a Denver Broncos quarterback now after his career, his esteemed career at Indianapolis. There you go. This was in Denver, Colorado on Tuesday.

Peyton Manning signing on a staggering deal, Max. A five year contract, if he gets that far of course, because not far away from turning 36, worth a staggering $96 million U.S. dollars. Now that contract has all kinds of built in stipulations. He has to pass a physical in 2013 to make the guaranteed $20 million for next year. And then in 2014, he has to pass more physicals to earn his salary in 2015 and 2016. So they're clearly taking into consideration that this player missed the whole of last season due to neck surgery and they don't want the neck injury to become a factor again.

Enough from me, let's hear from the man of the moment himself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PEYTON MANNING, NFL QUARTERBACK: This is all new to me. I mean, you're talking about a guy that was with one team for 14 years, the only team that I worked out for, really, for the draft, the only team that I took a visit to. And so that's the only thing -- Indianapolis Colts are the only team I've ever known.

So -- and I've told John and Coach Fox that I'm going to need their help to help me kind of get through this transition. I know they're going to help me in that process.

So I think the sooner that I get started going to work, going to lift weights, getting into my new locker, putting on some Denver Broncos gear, getting going, that's all going to make this process easier for me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SNELL: So what does it mean for Tim Tebow? He was the Broncos quarterback last season. Well, it looks as though he'll be looking for a new franchise now, Max.

So looking like the end of the road there, Max, for Tim Tebow at the Broncos at least for now.

FOSTER: Yeah, amazing figures there.

And another type of football, here in England calls for a better medical testing for footballers in the wake of Fabrice Muamba's collapse on the pitch. So what's the latest on his condition. Is it going better?

SNELL: Yeah, by the sounds of it, according to reports, Max, it remains encouraging for Fabrice Muamba. Of course, the 23-year-old who suffered cardiac arrest over the weekend, that was during the English FA Cup match between his team Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur.

We're getting reports now that he's definitely off that ventilator, reportedly able to communicate with friends and family as well, which is just wonderful to see. And just great to see the prayer communities and the supporter, the well wishes coming in from all corners of the globs in reaction to this.

But there are still concerns that not enough is being done in the UK, that the current medical screening process is just not stringent enough. And that's the opinion of one high profile manager indeed. Manchester City's Roberto Mancini.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTO MANCINI, MANCHESTER CITY MANAGER: I think that here in England that is the best championship in the world, everything is fantastic, but we need to improve our medical for the players. We need to screen the players often, maybe four times a year, and more accurate -- more accurate, because we don't do this.

And when I saw our medical, I was really worried two years ago. And I said we need to do better, the medical.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SNELL: Encouraging signs for Fabrice Muamba. Max, we'll keep you posted, of course.

FOSTER: Yeah, good stuff. Thank you very much indeed, Patrick.

Now still to come on Connect the World, with the attention of Tehran's nuclear program a message of peace from Israeli citizens to Iranians.

Now celebrities like Renee Zellweger love her designs, find out why in our leading women series coming up on the show.

And some words of wisdom from Ireland's new president Michael Higgins tells us why his country is rebounding from the financial crisis.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: A warm welcome to our viewers across Europe and around the world. I'm Max Foster, and these are the latest world headlines from CNN.

A major earthquake has struck southern Mexico near Acapulco and Oaxaca. No deaths or serious injuries have been reported, but houses have reportedly collapsed. The quake's magnitude is being measured at 7.4. Tourists and residents say they were shaken in Acapulco and in Mexico City.

The bodies of four people killed at a Jewish school in France are now en route to Israel for burial. French police say a serial killer is behind that shooting and two similar attacks on minorities, warning he could strike again.

At least 45 people are dead and 216 wounded following a string of car bombings across Iraq on Tuesday. It is the 9th anniversary of the US invasion. No one has claimed responsibility so far, but an Interior Ministry official described the attacks as "coordinated."

The Spiritual leader of Egypt's Coptic Christians was buried today following an emotional funeral in Cairo. Pope Shenouda III died over the weekend after a long illness. He was 88 and led the Coptics for more than four decades.

A warning to the Western world from Iran's supreme leader. In a speech marking the Persian New Year, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed suspicions Tehran is developing an atomic bomb and outlined Iran's response if it were attacked.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AYATOLLAH ALI KHAMENEI, SUPREME LEADER OF IRAN (through translator): We do not have nuclear weapons, and we shall not build nuclear weapons. But should the enemy be aggressive towards us, whether it's the United States or the Zionist regime, we will respond and reciprocate proportionally.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Israel had hinted at preemptive strikes on Iranian nuclear plants. For now, the US is hoping sanctions will resolve the issue. With no sign of the tension easing, Fionnuala Sweeney now reports Israeli citizens are expressing their concerns online.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FIONNUALA SWEENEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Could this herald the Summer of Love, 21st century-style? Global tensions over Iran's nuclear program and the potential for an Israeli missile strike prompted one enterprising Israeli couple to create this.

RONNY EDRY, ISRAELI GRAPHIC DESIGNER: I'm not that naive. I'm sure that I'm not changing the world, but I'm helping people to see it the other way.

SWEENEY: Using the slogan "Israelis love Iranians, we don't want to bomb you," graphic artist Ronny and his wife Michal posted their message of peace on Facebook. Within days, the couple had enlisted help from friends to manage the thousands of messages, not only from Israel, but also from Iran and elsewhere.

ADI BINDER, ISRAELI COMPUTER ANALYST: It's like a snowball that started rolling, and it's just getting bigger, and I don't think it's going to be stopped anytime soon.

SWEENEY: The messages offer deeply personal views on the tough issues recently discussed by President Obama and Israeli prime minister Netanyahu at the White House.

While Mr. Obama said all options are on the table, he urged Israel to give newly reinvigorated sanctions against Tehran time to work, the most recent being the targeting of Iranian banks by the banning of their use of swift codes for international money transfers, a move that will make it difficult for Iran to conduct basic transactions crucial to the economy.

MEIR JAVEDANFAR, HERZILYA INTERDISCIPLINARY CENTER: Since the imposition of sanctions a month ago, the value of the real has halved, which has caused great damage to the Iranian economy. And since the imposition of the swift banking sanctions, the Iranian press has gone very quiet on the potential impact of the recent sanctions

SWEENEY: Nevertheless, despite the US overture at the White House meeting to give sanctions more time to work, Mr. Netanyahu delivered an unrepentant speech about Israel's red lines for taking military action.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: Ladies and gentlemen, if it looks like a duck, if it walks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck, then what is it? What is it?

CROWD: A duck!

NETANYAHU: That's right. It's a duck. But this duck is a nuclear duck.

SWEENEY: Back in the Edry household, amusement at the arrival of a message from Iran with a unique take on Prime Minister Netanyahu's duck metaphor.

EDRY: This one is nice, actually. It's a nice take-off. "Israeli duck, the Iranian duck do not like any war with any country. By the way, this is not -- there is no such thing as a nuclear duck in our family."

SWEENEY (on camera): Metaphors aside, there's no public signal that Israel has taken a decision to attack Iran. The question is, how much will sanctions figure in their deliberations?

Fionnuala Sweeney, CNN, Jerusalem.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Israel's deputy prime minister is also the Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy. I spoke with Dan Meridor about Iran's nuclear program and what options Israel is considering to deal with it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: If you could build on something that the Israeli Defense Minister Barak said today, that it appears unambiguous that Iran's nuclear program also has a military purpose. Could you just build around that comment a bit more for us?

DAN MERIDOR, ISRAELI DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: Yes, I think so. I think you can read the report of the International Atomic Agency of the United Nations in Vienna. They issued a report, very detailed report, last November, and the reiterated it last week.

It's clear that Iran is after a nuclear weapon, not only a --

(CROSSTALK)

FOSTER: They're building a nuclear weapons program --

MERIDOR: Yes, no doubt.

FOSTER: You believe that.

MERIDOR: No doubt. They say it -- not we say it, they say it. And they are --

FOSTER: And you take it on board, and that's now your view?

MERIDOR: Well, they are enriching uranium every day. They have now over five tons of rich uranium.

FOSTER: But they say it's for peaceful purposes, but you don't believe that?

MERIDOR: Yes, but they -- yes but -- not that we don't believe. The guardian of the world for this, the United Nations agency that does it, Mr. Amano, who's heading this agency, has checked it, and he came out with a very detailed report of the plan of the people who did it, the organization did it.

We want to slow them down, want to stop them from getting there. It's not only we, I think. You see a very rare combination. Most of the Arab countries are crying to stop it. They don't want the domination of Iran.

The West does it, Europe, the United States of America, President Obama spoke earlier, two weeks ago, "We will not contain a nuclear Iran, we will prevent a nuclear Iran."

It's a very dangerous development. It will change the Middle East and the rules of the game in the world. So, they're in this coalition --

(CROSSTALK)

FOSTER: It's an act of war, from Israel's point of view.

MERIDOR: Well --

FOSTER: This evidence.

MERIDOR: We need it to be stopped, because Iran is not Great Britain. They have nuclear weapons, who cares? You have a regime that thinks he knows the word of God and works for God, and he knows what is right and what is wrong for all the rest of us, and says we should not exist because Israel has no legitimacy.

And they will develop nuclear weapons. This is a rare combination. We need to take it seriously.

FOSTER: So, how do you mean, take it seriously? What is your response to that, then? Because --

(CROSSTALK)

MERIDOR: I think the response is we are now focused on the diplomatic action, and Iran, is not North Korea. They're not isolated, they're not autarky. They need the world, they're connected with the world.

So, sanctions of an economic nature and diplomatic nature may have an effect. The value of the currency is 50 percent lower now. They are under stress, they haven't changed their mind yet.

But we need to continue in making it very clear to them that the world is determined. The world is persisting until they stop this plan and they stop developing nuclear weapons, because it is a different world we don't want to be in.

FOSTER: The world wants to know how likely is an Israeli attack on Iran? Can you give us any sense of that?

MERIDOR: The world will want to know it, but will not get an answer from me. I think it's wrong, and I'm afraid not all my colleagues agree with me, I think it's wrong to speak of --

(CROSSTALK)

FOSTER: It just seems more likely now --

MERIDOR: -- of the -- no. I --

FOSTER: -- when you're so worried about this evidence.

MERIDOR: -- I think we're talking of it will not help you. Remember this great American movie? "If you want to shoot, shoot, don't talk." I'm not in the business of talking about war.

We are now in the middle of an international effort, unprecedentedly important, by America, Europe, other countries, the Arab world, to stop Iran from getting nuclear -- military nuclear power. And this needs to succeed.

FOSTER: There's been a Facebook page set up to promote peace between Israel and Iran. Is this something you approve of?

MERIDOR: I haven't seen that Facebook thing, but I think we have no problem with the Iranian people. We're very good friends with them until this crazy regime came to power. As they say, the counselor's tomb is through the roofs on their lease.

This is unacceptable. And if you see this regime and you have them with this ideology and with this nuclear weapon that they want to develop, we need to stop it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Dan Meridor speaking to me a short time ago.

Now, women at the top of their game. But what's their recipe for success? Find out next as our Leading Women series continues right here on CONNECT THE WORLD.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: At the top of their game, our Leading Women series connects you with some extraordinary women. Weili Dai is the co-founder of a multibillion-dollar chip making company. Caroline Herrera is at the helm of a fashion design empire that extends to more than 100 countries. Two very different fields, but together as Leading Women, they are at the very forefront of innovation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WEILI DAI, CO-FOUNCER, MARVELL TECHNOLOGY: Hello, hello, hello. Hello, pleasure meeting you.

All girls, I want to tell you, you are the future of our country, of our world.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Words of wisdom from a woman in a position to know. An audience of schoolgirls transfixed. We're with Weili Dai as she speaks to future leaders.

DAI: If person like me came here and in this beautiful country and be able to co-found a world leading semiconductor or high-tech company, so guess what? All of you guys, absolutely anything is possible.

STOUT: For Dai, this moment is at the heart of who she is, a tech geek born in China who settled in this California neighborhood in 1979, received a top-notch education, and today gladly offers her recipe for success.

DAI: The technology to me is a foundation. Using my own experience, today I see women or girls are really capable of leading our industry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning.

DAI: Good morning, good morning, good morning. Good morning.

STOUT: And she ought to know. Dai co-founded Marvell Technology in 1995 with her husband of 26 years. The company now boasts 7500 employees designing a product that benefits millions.

Dai has no problem sharing the credit for her company's success.

DAI: I am a true believer of teamwork. I'm a true believer of how do we leverage the natural talent of woman and man to accomplish more?

STOUT: A one-time semi-pro basketball player, Dai credits the game for her early discipline in life. She often makes basketball analogies when talking about business.

DAI: For any company to be successful, it's not about one or two people, it's about a team there with complimentary skills. Even at the top management level, we all have to kind of chip in, playing slightly different positions, but together we are playing championship for the basketball.

CAROLINA HERRERA, FOUNDER, CAROLINA HERRARA NEW YORK & CH: I'm so happy!

FELCIA TAYLOR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): I'm Felicia Taylor. Like Weili Dai, Venezuelan-born fashion empress Carolina Herrera views teamwork as fundamental in business.

HERRERA: If I don't have my team behind me, I wouldn't be sitting here. Fashion is a collaboration with many people. I have a fantastic precedent for the company who takes care of the numbers of the company. If you ask me to take care of that side, I would be sitting there crying, because I don't know what to do.

Oh, perfect!

TAYLOR: We were in New York recently during Fashion Week as she got ready to present the 40 pieces in her Fall 2012 collection.

TAYLOR (on camera): So, this is how the creative process happens?

HERRERA: This is the -- this is the beginning.

TAYLOR: These colors are --

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HERRERA: We started with the colors, so the whole beginning of the collection is quite something with navy blue and black, and I use different materials for that. And then, the evening is very glamorous.

TAYLOR (voice-over): And nothing speaks to glamour more than the dress designed for the show's grand finale, a dramatic silk ball gown with a velvet wrap belt. Treated like a star every step of the way.

Backstage at the show, we find movie star Renee Zellweger.

TAYLOR (on camera): Tell me what you love most about Carolina's designs.

HERRERA: Oh, no, no --

TAYLOR: Oh, come on, they're gorgeous!

RENEE ZELLWEGER, ACTRESS: Classic elegance. But they're always fun. She finds a way to make it fun.

TAYLOR (voice-over): Always savvy, Herrera understands that while the runway abounds in pageantry and glitz, at the end of the day, what matters is the sell.

HERRERA: You might be the best designer, and you are so creative and you have the most beautiful ideas, but if they all stay in your room and they don't go out to be worn by someone, then you are not in business.

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FOSTER: Well, still to come on CONNECT THE WORLD, Queen Elizabeth as you've never seen her. We'll show you how a photographer from the East End of London kept it real behind the gates of Buckingham Palace.

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FOSTER: Good cheer and a good pint as US president Obama makes the most of St. Patrick's Day at a Capitol Hill pub. But the party's not over. Celebrations continue tonight at the White House, where the president and first lady are extending the wearing of the green with a reception to honor Ireland's prime minister.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Obama welcomed Enda Kenny to the Oval Office, where he praised the Irish leader for his country's recovery from the effects of the eurozone debt crisis.

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BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is my great pleasure to welcome once again the Taoiseach Mr. Kenny, who has done, I think, extraordinary work during a very difficult time over the last several years.

We've been able to strike up a friendship and you'll notice that even though technically it is not St. Patrick's Day, we like to prolong the party around here.

EDNA KENNY, PRIME MINISTER OF IRELAND: The reputation of our country has been restored internationally that the unique relationship that we've always had with the United States for so many reasons is exceptionally strong.

And I've told the president of the great work we've done by Ambassador Rooney, but also that Ireland respects America for what it does, both in our own context, but also to keep the world a safer place.

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FOSTER: Now, the Irish were amongst the first settlers of the United States and, today, 36.9 million American citizens claim Irish ancestry. That's more than eight times the population of Ireland itself.

But links between the two countries remain strong and, in a recent interview with Irish president Michael Higgins, Becky found out why maintaining those links is proving so crucial.

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MICHAEL HIGGINS, PRESIDENT OF IRELAND: I think that very recently, President Clinton chaired a seminar that was attended by some major investors, about 270 people, who identified not only with Ireland in the sense of saying "We are Irish," but who want to invest in Ireland.

And the foreign direct investment in Ireland is increasing. The United States has been leading very much in terms of foreign direct investment, and it's important I think to reduce the unemployment figures.

In the short term, if one had to single project upon which one had to concentrate, and we all have, in different ways, it is to recreate jobs.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Let me stop you there, because Ireland's certainly addressing its problems better, perhaps, than other eurozone countries who are in a state of economic turmoil at the moment. What lessons do you think other eurozone countries can learn from Ireland's experience?

HIGGINS: Well, if I might say this, but what strikes me about the Irish people is their resilience, their commitment, their solidarity, their ability to pull together. That's in the culture. But there are lessons that are there for the eurozone that I can't really answer, but I think I have expressed concern about.

I hate to say it, but at this stage, one of the most disappointing moral failures of my lifetime has been the failure, if you like, to put humanity and human welfare other than at the mercy of uncontrollable monetary flows. And the price has been paid by people in Ireland in terms of rising unemployment, contraction, and spending.

ANDERSON: What you call a brain drain these days, once again?

HIGGINS: You are right about the brain drain, but our hope is, when people left in the 80s, many of them came back, and they are now leaving to form companies. I hope that many people will return.

ANDERSON: What legacy would you like to leave as president?

HIGGINS: Well, I would like it to be a presidency of transformation, and I'd like it to be an inclusive citizenship. That's what I have campaigned on in every sense with respect and participation in a creative society.

ANDERSON: Queen Elizabeth II, of course, made her first visit to Ireland last year since the Republic was established. Do you expect Buckingham Palace to reciprocate and invite you on an official visit to the United Kingdom?

HIGGINS: I believe that it is very likely, and should such an invitation issue, it would be dealt with speedily and very warmly. I think that her visit was an extraordinarily successful one. I'm in a position to remember my father and my uncles were in the war of independence. President -- as president, I -- if I am to return the visit, I will be returning it with that memory.

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FOSTER: Well, from last year's history-making trip to Ireland to today's landmark speech to Parliament, Queen Elizabeth is keen to let the UK know that she's rededicating herself to her people. Now, CNN's Nick Glass introduces us to the queen as we've never seen her before.

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NICK GLASS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A varied if largely unexciting selection of antiques at an auction room in the northeast of England. But the face on the catalog is a surprise.

The star lot is in a glass cabinet, unpublished photographs of the young Queen Elizabeth shortly after her accession to the throne 60 years ago. Until now, only a handful of people even knew these photos existed.

The Feature Press Photo Agency was run by two brothers. Ken and Burt Clayton took photos for commerce and industry, from offices in Manor Park in the East End of London.

Photographing the queen at Buckingham Palace was an unexpected commission, to say the least. But that's what the 30-year-old Ken Clayton did, although he was required to keep the shoot a secret.

The queen looked relaxed and a little vulnerable, still in mourning just a few weeks after the king's death. She had been extremely close to her father. Her makeup is spare. She wears just two strings of pearls. The dress is probably satin or silk.

STEVEN MOORE, ANDERSON & GARLAND AUCTIONEERS: My female colleagues all said that the quality is quite low, the skirt's kind of open. And I think she was, she was a rookie queen, if you like.

GLASS: The photographs were strictly not for publication. They were simply taken as reference for a society portrait painter commissioned to paint the new royal family.

The fashion photographer Cecil Beaton, who famously took the coronation pictures, simply idealized the queen. This was majesty for posterity.

The society photographer Dorothy Wilding did much the same, retouching and tinting her portraits.

In contrast, Ken Clayton was just a working news agency photographer, a jobbing photographer, as they say over here.

GLASS (on camera): This is the young queen as we've never really seen her before. We understand that the photo session in Buckingham Palace in 1952 lasted about an hour, and it's absolutely clear that none of these pictures were retouched. There's no theatricality about them, there's no artifice. There's no coloring. The queen is as she was.

GLASS (voice-over): In close-up, there seemed to be a few tiny skin blemishes. The new queen is lovely, but not perfect. Ken Clayton also had a session with Prince Philip. It must have been short. The prince looks furious. We have absolutely no idea why.

The children are in their party best. Does this little boy look familiar? Prince Charles, age three, with a very blonde Princess Anne, age one and a half. Ken Clayton rattled his keys to grab their attention, and a royal nanny supplied toys.

But naturally, our main interest remains the new queen.

MOORE: This is that crucial, fragile moment when she is queen, she's not yet crowned, she's still learning the ropes, and that's captured that moment in a way someone like Wilding or Beaton maybe wouldn't wanted to have captured.

GLASS: At the end of the session, Ken Clayton photographed himself and the children with his bulky speed graphic camera in a mirror in a palace corridor. Perhaps he couldn't quite believe it and wanted proof that he'd been inside Buckingham Palace.

He was told that none of the pictures could be published for 30 years. They've gathered dust in a folder for rather longer than that, 60 years, only emerging as the queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee.

Nick Glass, CNN, Newcastle upon Tyne.

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FOSTER: Amazing. Now, I'm Max Foster, that was CONNECT THE WORLD for you, thank you so much for watching. The world headlines are up next after a short break.

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