Return to Transcripts main page


Syria Plunging Toward Regional Sectarian War; Usain Bolt Win Rome Championship; Weak U.S. Employment Numbers Cause Run On World Markets

Aired June 1, 2012 - 16:00:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.

BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Well, the numbers tell the story: red across the board as disappointing U.S. unemployment figures underscore an uncertain economic picture, while across the Atlantic, well it's business as usual -- dismal day for driving Europeans get lower and lower. That coming up.

Also tonight, Russia's president one of Syria's only allies takes his case for Europe denying his country is propping up the Assad regime.

And it's time to call in the cavalry as Britain gears up for the end of royal revelry.

Well, it's a dreadful end to the business week. Stock markets have been falling across the globe in response to what is the latest unemployment and manufacturing figures certainly out of the U.S. 69,000 jobs added last month. That was less than half of what had been predicted. America's jobless rate, and this is important, rose to 8.2 percent. And it was revealed the number of jobs created in March and April wasn't as good as first thought, revised down by 49,000.

Felicia Taylor in New York joining me now. These sort of numbers couldn't come at a worse time, really, for investors?

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely right, Becky. There's no question about it. You know they say that three months make a trend. And we've now seen three months of fairly dismal, disappointing job growth, or I should say sort of lack of job growth as reflected by these numbers.

You know, there's something on Wall Street called the whisper number, that's the number that traders really believe is going to be the number even though the consensus was for 150,000. We actually heard the whisper number was 130,000. Even that is almost half of what we actually got with that 69,000.

So the other component that's very worrisome here is the lack of wage growth. I mean obviously when it comes to spending the consumer needs to feel that they're going to get that paycheck, that it'll be consistent and that there is some kind of wage growth down the road. That, too, seems to be slowing down. So all in all even the president, President Obama had to admit that things aren't looking as great as they would like it to be. Take a listen.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The economy is growing again, but it's not growing as fast as we want it to grow. Our businesses have created almost 4.3 million new jobs over the last 27 months, but as we learned in today's jobs report we're still not creating them as fast as we want.

And just like at this time last year, our economy is still facing some serious headwinds.


TAYLOR: There's no doubt about it. I mean, the recent economic data that we've seen has been mixed at best, certainly more negative probably than, you know, the president, the administration would like. And of course as you well know, Becky, we're heading into, you know, the next few months where the election is going to start to really ramp up. And of course the president needs to be able to trade on the fact that the economy is moving in the right direction. His opponent, Mr. Romney of course, is going to be trading on the fact that it's not heading in the right direction.

And for economists and traders out there that are watching this all sort of play out it's really of concern as to what this future is going to be and whether or not the economy can turn around in time for the election. At least one analyst says not happening.


TOM PORCELLI, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS: Thinking that economy will gain momentum between now and the election is, I think, maybe wishful thinking. So you know the economy is much like a battleship, it takes a long time for it to make that turn. And at the end of the day what that suggests to us is that it's going to be very difficult for the economy to gain much in the way of meaningful momentum between now and the end of the year.


TAYLOR: So the real concern is, you know, where is the growth going to come from? Where is the stimulus going to come from? Is it up to the federal reserve now to step in and do another stimulus program which would be QE3. People are on the fence about this. I mean, that hasn't really worked so far. It's done wonders to prop up the stock market, but it hasn't done wonders to create jobs. And that's what we really need to see here is job growth. And frankly, you know, if we have another downwardly revised number in the month of June it's just not a good prognosis to be able to get any kind of job growth between now and the end of the year.

ANDERSON: All right, Felicia, so the U.S. number is not good for investors this Friday. The European numbers, well, as you know we're dealing with extreme austerity trying to reign in budget deficits doing nothing for the job market on this side of the Atlantic. The EuroZone unemployment rate is at a record high of 11 percent. There are almost 25 million -- 25 million people without a job across the EU. And this split between the strong economies and the weak is getting larger.

Let me just give you a sense of what is going on here across the continent. The countries with the lowest unemployment rates, well these are Germany, The Netherlands, and Austria. You can see here, The Netherlands 5.2 percent and Austria when we talk about almost level unemployment there -- down to 3.9 percent. That is the lowest in the EuroZone.

And then you've got those who are frankly in a jobs crisis: Spain, Portugal, and Greece.

Spain at 24.3 percent. Let me tell you that youth unemployment numbers there somewhat higher than 50 percent. Unbelievable numbers.

Greece up to 21.7 percent. That's the second highest in Europe. That largest increase in Europe.

And then in Portugal, a country struggling with its debt crisis at 15.2 percent. That's the 15th out of 17. And those figures don't tell the whole story.

I'd suggest about the youth unemployment numbers in Spain, the worst hit countries, the next generation suffering even more than their parents. Spain is something like 52 percent more, not good news for the future of the global economy.

Felicia is back with us. Felicia, so you look at the Dow today. Down 2 odd percent. You get the sense that there's a crisis of confidence not just in the U.S., but those investors on that side of the pond watching this European crisis unfold. When we get the sort of data we've had today, this does nothing to put people in a better mood as they go into the weekend, does it?

TAYLOR: Absolutely right. You couldn't have said it better, honestly Becky. And the truth is. I mean, when you look at the way the market played out today, a number of different times the market was trying to test at certain level. We broke through on the S&P, the last support level which was at 1280. We're now at 1275, I believe. And that was the level that we need it to stay at and close at today.

The next level of support is 1225. And basically, you know, you take a look at all the EuroZone concerns that are still out there, whether it's Greece and the political uncertainty, whether it's the banks in Spain, whether it's the lack of growth in some of these -- you know, what used to be considered world economies whether it's the United States, whether it's the UK, whether you know, Germany -- Germany is, probably the best of them -- or France or Italy or any of these. And you've got real concerns about global growth, that's what it comes down to. Whether it's young or old, if you can't find a job, you can't consume. And that means you're not spending money in the economy and helping to prop things up.

ANDERSON: What a stodgy old start to June this has been. Felicia Taylor always a pleasure in New York for you this evening.

You're watching Connect the World live from London. I'm Becky Anderson. You're top story this evening depressing Transatlantic data sends U.S. and European stocks reeling. The Dow closing at a 2012 low, mirroring a similar fall in European stocks this Friday, signaling a continued slide from (inaudible), another nail in the coffin for confidence in the global economic picture which remains at best iffy.

Coming up, key player in the Syrian conflict pays a visit to two western capitals. Is Vladimir Putin any closer to taking a tougher line with Damascus. Hear what he had to say coming up.

And a dawn dress rehearsal. Britain is gearing up for some right royal revelry. A diary of the upcoming jubilee festivities just ahead. And I'm going to take a look at the party's plans around the globe to celebrate her majesty. All that and much more when Connect the World continues.


ANDERSON: Well, for 15 months now I've been telling you about the crisis that's been ripping Syria apart. And the conflict that has shattered so many lives there. But it's not always easy to convey the level of human suffering and brutality that's actually taking place there. In this exclusive report, my colleague Ivan Watson shows us the town of Qusayr, an area repeatedly pounded by regime forces. Give us an inside look at what Syrians are experiencing on a day to day basis. I've got to warn you, some of this video is pretty disturbing.


IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: Al-Qusayr under attack: a tank shell strikes leaving wounded bleeding in the streets. These are the final moments of a local activist and cameraman names Abdul Hamid Indrusmatar (ph). He is rushed not to a hospital, but to this makeshift clinic. This is how Syria's opposition are forced to treat their wounded, because the country's hospitals are under government control.

In the garden of what used to be an ordinary house, doctors struggled to save Matar's (ph) life, but the wounds are just too deep. More casualties stream in and there's simply no place to put them. Some of the victims here are rebel fighters, others too young to even understand. The child's mother screams for a doctor and curses her president Bashar al- Assad.

For some, the scene here is just too much. An emergency worker lost on the floor of a kitchen that's now become an emergency room.

This is what the war looks like in Syria. And it's probably going to get much, much worse.

Ivan Watson, CNN.


ANDERSON: Well, the horror of the conflict was on display yet again. Activists say 12 factory workers from a border village were stopped by pro- government gangs while they were traveling in a bus, lined up, and executed. Word of this comes as the United Nations Human Rights Council has authorized what it calls a comprehensive inquiry into the Houla massacre last weekend. And as diplomats worry the situation could get even worse.


WILLIAM HAGUE, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: I think both the secretary general and I and the opposition in Syria think that Syria is on the edge, it is on the edge of a catastrophic situation if we can imagine one even worse than the current situation.


ANDERSON: Well, the fear is that Syria is teetering on the edge of a full-scale sectarian war and what started as a regional conflict could turn into a global one. Here to talk more about this is one of our friends of the show, a regular guest on the show, Fawaz Gerges, director of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics.

I hesitate to say this could turn into a full-scale sectarian civil conflict, because my sense is that that is what it's been for some time now.

FAWAZ GERGES, DIR, MIDDLE EAST CENTRE, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: I think you are absolutely correct. I think Syria really is on the brink, is on the verge of all out sectarian slide, Becky. I think my take on it is that it is -- has not reached that tipping point yet, even though it's very close.

The significance of massacres like the Houla massacre and other massacres that they escalate and intensify sectarian tensions, they pour gasoline on the raging fire. And the longer the conflict continues, the more bloodshed, the more Syria most likely launch into all out sectarian strife.

ANDERSON: Fawaz, as we cover the events that are taking place in Syria, we want to remind our viewers at the death toll since the conflict began. And the numbers we are reporting come from opposition groups. CNN is unable to confirm the exact numbers because of restrictions in reporting from the country. But we have got a toll running on the right-hand side of our screens as you and I talk.

We are well away that Russia plays a potential sort of lynch pin or king maker position in what goes on going forward. Western governments putting pressure on Russia to take a tougher line with Damascus.

Earlier, Mr. Putin of course met the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, then it was off to Paris to talk to his French counterpart. I think we've got some sound from what he said earlier on today. It's been interesting, so pretty much this is the first time we've heard from President Putin since he took over.

Francois Hollande stressing that no solution is possible in Syria without the departure of Bashar al-Assad. Mr. Putin reiterating Moscow's position against military intervention. Have a listen to what he said denying the Kremlin is propping up the Assad regime.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): As I said no (inaudible) we're not trying to make the situation worse, but as we said (inaudible) America and Europe, we are calling for a dialogue.


ANDERSON: That's President Putin. I've -- well, I've got the sense that we're not hearing anything different from Russia that we haven't heard before at this point. The west seems to be desperate for them to get on board.

GERGES: There has not been a pronounced shift in the Russian position. The Russian position is not the same. This is civil strike. We have two camps, those of the opposition and the Assad regime are responsible.

My take on the Russian position, Becky, is that Russia is the most significant player in the Syrian crisis. It has neutralized security council. It has emboldened the Assad regime. It has prevented any kind of coalition to exert pressure on Presidetn Assad. In fact, without Russia being on board I would argue there is no military solution, because none of the European leaders nor President Barack Obama would basically plunge into the Syrian conflict without the Security Council authorization. And that's why Russia is very important.

The Russian-American rivalry over Syria is very critical because Syria has become a battlefield, a war by proxy. So you have now the Security Council to neutralize and also regionally. We are not focusing on the region itself, the Syrian crisis has been caught in a fierce regional conflict between Iran on the one hand and Saudi Arabia on the other hand, and that's why the Syrian crisis is so complicated and so difficult.

ANDERSON: Let's come back to the sort of micro story, because the macro story is the one that we have to concentrate here, but the micro story is the one where we see people dying on a daily basis day by day by day. Let me just stop you for one second, let me come back to you, because the numbers on the right-hand side of the screen for viewers to see.

As we mentioned earlier, the conflict was defined by brutality from the very start. Take a look at how that death toll that you're seeing on the screen has risen since the crisis first began. One again we want to warn you some of these pictures you may find disturbing.


GERGES: Becky, the reason why I believe Syria is so close to the tipping point because the writing is on the wall. I became conscious myself in Lebanon in 1975. I was a teen when the civil war started in Lebanon. And Syria today resembles Lebanon in 1975 -- massacres, assassinations, car bombings, what have you. If there is one point really that need to stress to our viewers the opposition has made it very clear they do not really want a civil war, no doubt about it. The credit really goes to the opposition stressing this is a political crisis.

But the reason why civil takes place not because the opposition wants the civil war, when bridges of trust basically collapse, when huge quantities of blood basically are still, what you have communities turn against each other overnight. That's exactly what happened in my old community in Lebanon. And that's why I fear that the rot has set in, in Syria and that's why the massacres that we are witnessing in Syria basically are pouring gasoline on this raging fire and that's why Syria is so close to all out sectarian strife not only to Sryia itself, it will have major impact on neighboring countries Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan.

And that's why the international community, and that's why the western powers and the United States are reluctant to intervene militarily in Syria because western military intervention could easily plunge Syrian into all out sectarian war and have spillover in fact into neighboring countries.

The problem, though, if you don't do something about it, Syria is already gradually and slowly descending into that nightmare scenario.

ANDERSON: Pessimistic, but my sense is absolutely correct. Fawaz Gerges with you this evening.

We're going to take a very short break. When we come back the coach of four-time world champions Italy ready to pull his squad out of the upcoming European championship. Details on that up ahead.


ANDERSON: Your watching CNN. This is connect the world. I'm Becky Anderson for you. Welcome back.

With the European championship, Euro 2012 kicking off Friday of next week, Italy's coach says he would have no problem with his squad pulling out of the tournament amid a max -- a match fixing scandal -- Max up later on the jubilee of course.

Patrick Snell joins us from CNN Center. This is pretty shocking an admission by the coach of a football power like Italy. Would they really not pitch up?

PATRICK SNELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I find it very hard to believe, Becky.

I think what Coach Prandelli is actually saying is, look, if push comes to shove if we are told -- if it's deemed that the Azzurri should not for whatever reason take part in Euro 2012 as far as he is concerned at least that, yes, it's perhaps not too devastating a thing if we have to pull out. It is -- I don't think it's going to happen at all, I have to say. I think he is saying the right things now, that these things need to be said perhaps after what once again Italian football is being put through. Another batch of allegations over match fixing really, really harming the image of the beautiful game in Italy. This is the land of the four-time World Cup champions, I don't think there's any question at all they will compete in Euro 2012. I think these are just unwanted distraction for their players.

And remember, Becky, you remember you and I were both in Germany for the World Cup, the FIFA World Cup in 2006 the last time we had these serious, serious corruption allegations made against the Italian squad, the responded by winning the tournament beating France in the final in Berlin.

ANDERSON: I was just thinking the exactly the same thing, but I was also thinking that in 2012 I wonder whether he'd rather not pitch up given they've got a pretty (inaudible) anyway.

SNELL: That's another story.

ANDERSON: I'm going to get lots and lots of tweets from Italians about that.

All right, let's move on. A video about the Olympics in London going forward. There was some concerns about Usain Bolt's form of late. But he quickly put those aside apparently in Rome on Thursday, right?

SNELL: Apparently if you believe reports he's off form and yeah write off his chances completely -- not.

Look at the way he's responded. This is Usain Bolt we're talking about. And this is what he performed. I warn you, blink, and you may well miss this, Becky. This is in Rome Thursday night. And he just kicks on. This is the 100 meters. Powering ahead of his compatriot from Jamaica Safa Powell and the European champion Christoph Lemaitre as well. The time for me is highly significant, look at that, 9.76. And that is the fastest time in the world this year. And this man Bolt, the reigning Olympic champion said he could run even quicker. That is really scary.

He's been talking with CNN, actually, CNN's Olympic pundit, Linford Christie the 1992 Olympic champion, speaking with him for our network and asking him, you know how does he handle the celebrity lifestyle he now has to suffer, if that's the right word. Let's take a listen.


USAIN BOLT, 2008 OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: I'm a person, I stay inside. So I chill. I don't try to go out. You mean, London I was really good (inaudible) once I could go out, go shopping, that's off the table now.

But sometimes amazing we go out and so much people know you, you get recognized. So it's been good and it's been off, sometimes you just want to be left alone, at times you're just tired you come off a flight and you're really -- I really just want to sit down and relax for a minute. And then it's kind of bothering, but it's the kind of work have you done you get (inaudible), because the fans made you who you are.


SNELL: I know the feeling Usain.

Look, Becky a lot more we'll be hearing from the Jamaican sprint king in world sports coming your way in just over an hour from right now. If you join me for that.

ANDERSON: You struggled in London, which is why you moved to Atlanta because it was just too -- yeah...

SNELL: I couldn't go out at night. I couldn't walk out of that bureau there.

ANDERSON: You couldn't sprint quickly enough away from (inaudible). All right, mate. OK.

Patrick Snell back with World Sport in an hour from now.

Still to come on Connect the World, what are young royals been up to on a beach holiday? Well, up next a home movie of Prince Charles and his sister like you've never seen them before.

And we go behind the scenes with Andrew Lloyd Webber, co-writer of the jubilee single.


ANDERSON: Very warm (INAUDIBLE) across Europe and around the world, I'm Becky Anderson. These are the latest world news headlines from CNN.

The U.N. Human Rights Council has voted to authorize an independent investigation into a massacre last week in Houla in Syria. The commissioner, Navi Pillay, heard (INAUDIBLE) for crime against humanity.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is firing back at his critics during a joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande in Paris.

Mr. Putin said Moscow is not making the Syrian situation worse. Western governments putting more pressure on Russia to take a tougher line with Damascus.

U.S. stocks have suffered their worst loss so far this year. It comes off the back of damaging unemployment data in the U.S. and in Europe. In the United States the jobless rate has risen to 8.2 percent while Eurozone unemployment has hit a record 11 percent.

Ireland has voted yes, though, in a referendum on Europe's fiscal pact. The new rules, they bring stricter fiscal discipline to member states, more than 60 percent of voters in favor of (INAUDIBLE).

The headlines this hour.

Well, while many of us here in London were still asleep, a full dress rehearsal took place ahead of Tuesday's carriage procession to celebrate the queen's Diamond Jubilee. It is the weekend she has been looking forward to for 60 years.

Hundreds of soldiers marched through the empty streets of London at dawn earlier on Friday. The run-through even simulating firing a 60-gun salute.

And firing on all cylinders despite that dawn wake-up call, our royal correspondent, Mr. Max Foster is live for you tonight in London Trafalgar Square.

And what a weekend we have this weekend -- Max.

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. And it's certainly true to say, I think, that people across Britain and parts of the Commonwealth are getting excited by this now. Around London there are Union flags everywhere in the shop windows, and out in the villages of England and Wales as well, particularly you're seeing street parties organized.

Here in London there was a street party a little earlier today, one of the first ones, but there will be many more over the weekend. And this is something that the queen really wanted to see, communities getting involved in this. She has mentioned the word "community," so community is a big part of it.

But there are a big series of events, Becky, of course, over the weekend. She's going to the races tomorrow. So that's a slow start. But the big day, the big first day, the pageant, which is on Sunday, 1,000 rivers of all -- 1,000 boats of all shapes and sizes going down the river, lots of music, cannons firing, and then a big concert on Monday.

And then on Tuesday, Becky, a carriage procession a la the royal wedding last year, and a balcony moment. So lots to look forward to.

And the polls are certainly showing that the British are behind this, more than 60 percent in the recent poll saying they are going to watch it on TV. Only 30 percent said they watched the royal wedding on TV. So there's the comparison.

ANDERSON: All right. Max, stay with me. I just want to get our viewers a sense of more details on exactly what you've been speaking about here, which is hours away from a four-day British bash.

A look at the festivities, as Max said, starting on Sunday when the queen -- well, it starts Saturday, when the queen will attend the Epsom Derby horse race, one of her majesty's favorite pastimes.

Get ready to be blown away, not by the weather, I hope, but by the spectacle of the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant, a flotilla of 1,000 boats from around the world sailing down the River Thames.

The queen, naturally, will be on her own boat, a royal barge, getting her (INAUDIBLE).

Monday, plenty of street parties continuing, and in the evening a star-studded concert held around the Queen Victoria Memorial, right in front of Buckingham Palace, if you've seen the changing of the guard, you'll recognize that monument.

The line-up includes Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, and Kylie Minogue. And (INAUDIBLE) thanksgiving service at St. Paul's Cathedral on Tuesday.

You will then get a chance to see the British royal pageantry at its finest, the royal carriage procession. Here today's dress rehearsal. And that's not all. There will be a fly-past by the world-famous Red Arrows. And 12 beacons will be lit across the British Isles.

A delightful and rare video to show you now. It's actually a home movie of the queen's kids when they were young. The clip part of a TV tribute to her majesty by the prince of Wales. Have a look at this.


CHARLES, PRINCE OF WALES: We used to sometimes go down in the winter as well. But this is summer time.


ANDERSON: But what is wonderful about that (INAUDIBLE) -- look at the corgi there, is that it shows the royal family having fun just like any other family on a holiday.

Robert Hardman is with me here in the studio, a writer for the British newspaper The Daily Mail. He has had extensive access, of course, to the royal family. His latest book "Our Queen" is a big seller.

I think I've got Max still with us, have I, down at Trafalgar Square as well. Max, I'll bring you up as well.

Just to the both of you, Max is the royal correspondent here at CNN, not quite as much experience, although extensive over the last couple of years though, as you have, Robert, of this family.

When you saw that video -- you just said to me, I haven't seen this before.

ROBERT HARDMAN, AUTHOR, "OUR QUEEN": This is one of many, many special moments that are coming out for this Jubilee. Prince Charles has been plundering the family photo album and the (INAUDIBLE) reels, and has presented this delightful insight to the world.

And it's just building up to this feel that this is a family occasion as well as a global one.

ANDERSON: Max, you've been on this beat sort of hour by hour, week by week, year by year, as it were now. It has been an enlightening, I know, for you. You've spent a lot of time around the royal family over the past couple of years.

What is your sense of their preps for what is a huge weekend for them this weekend?

FOSTER: Yes, it's really the last year that I've been focused on it. And there has been this explosion of interest really since the royal wedding. But Robert has got all of that back history.

So he has got the comparison really. And it has been interesting to see how they've been handling actually the Jubilee. There is no doubt that the whole family is looking at the queen as the figurehead of this family. And this is their big moment. They don't want William, Harry, or Catherine to steal the limelight here.

And they have handled it in an interesting way. They've given a handful of interviews just to three or four people. And Robert is one of them. And it's about managing a message, but as Robert is saying, showing the softer side, the personal side of the queen throughout this process, not just the big pomp and pageantry that we're used to.

And it's an interesting message. And Robert is probably in a better position to understand what has changed over the last few years in terms of.

ANDERSON: He's throwing back to you, Robert.

FOSTER: . the message that they're putting out.

ANDERSON: Good for you, mate. I'm going back to Robert in the studio -- thank you, Max.

And Robert is with us, still. Max, stay with us there at Trafalgar Square. I've got to take a very, very short break. But I'm coning back to you to discuss the things that Max has just been suggesting.

Because I think many people have seen, you know, the royal family in the past, what, year or so since the wedding of William and Catherine. But, of course, (INAUDIBLE) for a lot longer than that. So we'll get some background from you after this short break.

Coming up, we're going to hear from music maestro Andrew Lloyd Webber as well, who co-authored the Jubilee single "Sing."



DAN CARRUTHERS, BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION BARBADOS: God bless you, we wish you many more years, and congratulations on your Diamond Jubilee.

ANN ROBBIE, COUNTRY CLUB JOHANNESBURG: We would like to wish the queen and her family a joyous and wonderful Jubilee. We feel very strongly that she put her country and duty way before herself, which is very similar to what Nelson Mandela did.

SEAN BOYLE, THE BRITISH CLUB, SINGAPORE: Your Majesty, it has been wonderful pleasure. We're honored and delighted to be celebrating these events whilst you won't be here, but we send you our dearest and best wishes.


ANDERSON: Well, there you go. Well, it's not just Britain that is paying tribute to the queen. Her majesty, of course, is the head of the Commonwealth of Nations, that includes over 2 billion people across the world. And she is the presiding queen and head of state of 16 of those countries, the ones highlighted in gold, as it were, on the map. So we thought we would -- fitting, isn't it?

So at least a third of the world will be celebrating her 60 years on the throne this weekend.

Well, earlier I caught up with the musical maestro Andrew Lloyd Webber, who, along with Gary Barlow of Take That fame, produced a song featuring the Commonwealth dedicated to the queen. Have a listen to this.


ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER, COMPOSER: I was asked if I would write something for the flotilla. And Gary Barlow is producing the concert at Buckingham Palace, and it suddenly occurred to me that there was a horrible possibility that he was going to do a song and I was going to do a song.

So what we decided to do was to join forces. We decided the theme was going to have to be about the Commonwealth because obviously that's something that the queen is immensely proud of, and rightly.

And Gary was going to do a documentary about the Commonwealth anyway. So we used the documentary as a possibility of where to find the artists.

We had an hysterical afternoon, wrote it. And then we got really quite serious about it, because Gary went off, did a draft of the lyrics, and then I -- he emailed it to me from various places around the world.

And I then looked over it and added in a couple of things. You know, I knew that the queen was particularly pleased with the.


WEBBER: Well, I think one of things she was -- you know, she is also proud of is the fact that she is the faith, as it were. She is the Church of England. I felt we just needed to touch on that, that she kept her faith, because she did.

And for 60 years she has been constant to the nation. And that's something we really wanted to achieve.

ANDERSON: And there are, therefore, influences from around the world.

WEBBER: Everywhere, yes, around the world. I sadly could not join the finding of the artists around the world because I have two shows opening back-to-back on Broadway. I have "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Evita."

Anyway, so Gary masterminded it back in London, and I put my (INAUDIBLE). But it was great. And we played it to the queen now. And she has allowed us to say that she is delighted with it. So I think Gary and I are very proud.

ANDERSON: The royal family themselves, a little involved. Certainly Prince Harry is.

WEBBER: Well, he plays the tambourine. It's very moving.

ANDERSON: Is he any good?

WEBBER: Well, he played the tambourine, like that. And it's extremely moving (INAUDIBLE).

ANDERSON: It's called "Sing."

WEBBER: It's called "Sing" and that's what it is. That's something that we would hope everybody will sing out loud to.

ANDERSON: How does the melody start?

WEBBER: Well, I had an idea, which is quite simple, and I'm going to play it in the wrong octave because you're sitting where the octave should be. But it was just simple.


WEBBER: Because I thought that would sound lovely in the open air. And then we have a little melody that goes with it which goes like -- oh no, see, I'm a bad pianist.


WEBBER: It sounds wrong up there, but it goes.


WEBBER: And it's beautiful. And everything comes together in a kind of glorious sort of counterpoint at the end.


ANDERSON: Well, Mr. Hardman is with me in the studio here. Max Foster is in Trafalgar Square. I'm Becky Anderson in London.

The world today very different from what it was when a young Elizabeth to the reins as queen from 60 years ago. How has she managed to stay so relevant to a generation?

Robert, the song, certainly Andrew Lloyd Webber told me that he was allowed to say she enjoyed it. Would she enjoy something like that?

HARDMAN: Oh, I think she would. I mean, she loved to see Prince Harry playing the tambourine, I'm sure.

ANDERSON: However badly.

HARDMAN: Splendid bit of tambourine playing there.

ANDERSON: Oh, take me to the Tower.

HARDMAN: Great talent. But she loves her Commonwealth. The fact that Gary Barlow has been right 'round the Commonwealth and there are all these Commonwealth influences in there, it's often forgotten that she inherited all the other bits, you know, the castles and the title and throne and the crown jewels and all that.

The Commonwealth is her creation. So I think for that to be the focus of the song is a big deal.

ANDERSON: It would be bereft of us to say the royal family hadn't struggled at times for public sort of support. Certainly over the period that Diana died and during her funeral and the period after that, there was -- if you had asked -- if you had run polls in the U.K., you might have got a lot less support for the.



ROBBIE: I think for some South Africans (INAUDIBLE) because there are so many that are of British descent. In addition to that, the queen came to South Africa in 1947 when she was both princess and (INAUDIBLE). She was seeing the debates at that time (INAUDIBLE).

DAVID FLINT, AUSTRALIANS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY: Australians, I think, realize that the crown gives us leadership beyond politics. It's an intrinsic completely necessary part of our Westminster system. We have a federal Westminster system. And Australians do love the royal family.

BOYLE: This is the British Club. And what's nice about it, we've got a lot of people who are not British, who are Singaporeans who are also very interested in it too. Because don't forget, this used to be one of our old colonial places going back years ago, and still part of the Commonwealth.

One of the lovely things that we're giving, and this is courtesy of Churchill back home there in Stoke-on-Trent, they've made these beautiful commemorative plate for all of our events here at the club. See how beautiful they are.

ELIZABETH NGURARU, TREE TOPS LODGE, KENYA: We did launch a "Jubilee Forest" in commemoration of this particular special year for the queen. And we hope to rehabilitate the forest around tree tops and plant about 110,000 trees.

CARRUTHERS: We're having a Diamond Jubilee party on Saturday. We invited our friends around. And we're really looking forward to doing that. It has broadened out, I would say, to not just the British community, it's, of course, Barbadians because the queen is their head of state.

But also Americans and others that are really getting interested in what's going on.


ANDERSON: Right, what are you looking forward to most this weekend?

HARDMAN: Greatest scene on the River Thames since the reign of Charles II. Unbeatable, whatever the weather.

ANDERSON: Thousands -- a thousand ships, lovely.

HARDMAN: A thousand ships.

ANDERSON: Max, you're working all weekend, I'm doing part of it. What are you looking forward to most?

FOSTER: I think the River Pageant, as Robert was saying, is going to be interesting, because it hasn't been done for so long. And it's unusual. There is all tradition around it.

But it's going to be a spectacular display. The procession we have sort of seen before, but that's going to be the really different thing.

ANDERSON: Yes. Good stuff.

All right. Max Foster there in Trafalgar Square. Max, we'll see you at the weekend, I'll be at the party in Piccadilly -- the massive street party (INAUDIBLE).

You'll be out and about as well. We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

HARDMAN: Thank you.

ANDERSON: And we'll talk to you over the period of the festivities.

Stay with CNN for special coverage focusing on Queen Elizabeth. It's her Diamond Jubilee, of course, be part of the celebrations all weekend with your ticket to Sunday's Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, a flotilla comprised of up to 1,000 boats from around the world.

See that live Sunday starting at 4:00 p.m. in London.


ANDERSON: Right. All this week we've got our eye on Poland ahead of next week's Euro 2012 competition as the country gears up to co-host a football extravaganza, we've been taking a look at readiness, football- wise, and some of the hidden gems it has got to offer, from energy to shipping.

Poland is a rising star in the international scene. And tonight we're going to take a look at some of the country's other kinds of stars.


JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a flash, any of these up and coming Polish models could become an international face.

(on camera): While it may all start here in Warsaw, for instance, these two models have only been professional for a few months, we are seeing more Polish models on the international fashion stage.

(voice-over): Anja Rubik was ranked the third top model in the world by in 2011. Polish-born Rubik now lives in New York. Though Poland is no longer home, Rubik is still the face of modeling here at Warsaw-based agency D'Vision.

Lucy Szymanska founded the agency 20 years ago.

LUCY SZYMANSKA, FOUNDER, D'VISION: When Anja first time came to my agency, I was sure that she was a very special girl. And not only about her beauty, but also about her character. She was a very ambitious girl from the beginning. She knew that she wanted to be on the top.

BOULDEN: Rubik comes back from time to time to help inspire the young women competing on the TV show "Poland's Next Top Model." Olga won the last cycle. Szymanska says it's not the classic Slavic look that helps her models stand out.

SZYMANSKA: I think more important than beauty is character. The girl has to be smart and intelligent.

BOULDEN: She says a Polish work ethic combined with strong family ties and education helps them deal with the rigors and rejections of modeling.

Zuzanna has already graced the front of French Vogue, and is the face of Alexander McQueen's 2012 spring collection. She turns 18 in June.

ZUZANNA BIJOCH, MODEL: For now I'm really focused also at school. So I'm kind of, you know, living back in my home town, in (INAUDIBLE). And I'm just like traveling around the world and always coming back. But one day for sure I don't -- I mean, I would like to move to New York.

BOULDEN: Poland's modeling market is not very big. For a young model to get to the next level, she has to travel the world. Lucy Szymanska helps make sure they also stay grounded to the values of the country where it all starts.

Jim Boulden, CNN, Warsaw.


ANDERSON: And that's closing out our "Eye on Poland" series this week.

Right, before we go, what's on your mind? The team at CONNECT THE WORLD always wants to hear from you, Of course, you can tweet me @BeckyCNN, anything, Jubilee, are you coming? Where are you going to watch? What do you want to see? What do you want us to say? Anything, @BeckyCNN.

I'm Becky Anderson, and that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for watching. World news headlines up after this.


ANDERSON: This is CNN, the world's news leader. The headlines this hour, the U.N. Human Rights Council has voted to authorize an independent investigation into the massacre last week in Houla in Syria. Commissioner Navi Pillay says the killings could amount to a crime against humanity.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is firing back at his critics. During a joint press conference with the French president in Paris, Mr. Putin said Moscow is not making the Syrian situation worse. Western governments putting more pressure on Russian to take a tougher with Damascus.

U.S. stocks have suffered their worse loss so far this year. It comes off the back of damaging unemployment data in the U.S. and in Europe. The United States jobless rate has risen to 8.2 percent while unemployment in Eurozone has hit a record level of 11 percent.

Ireland has voted yes in a referendum on Europe's fiscal pact. The new rules aim to bring stricter fiscal discipline to member states. More than 60 percent voted in favor of the treaty. European Council President Herman Van Rompuy says it's an important step towards recovery and stability.

And those are the latest headlines from CNN, the world's news leader. It's a big weekend here in London. It's Jubilee weekend -- Diamond Jubilee weekend. So we look forward to seeing you from here.

I'm Becky Anderson with the team at CONNECT THE WORLD. Have a very good evening. "AMANPOUR" starts right now.