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Carriage Ride Through London Will Close Diamond Jubilee; Interview with London Mayor Boris Johnson

Aired June 5, 2012 - 08:00:00   ET


KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. And welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet. Now Britain celebrates the remarkable reign of Queen Elizabeth. And we will follow all the ceremonies in London.

We'll also look at the rest of the world news, including the arrest of the suspect in a series of grizzly murders.

And frustration builds over the UN's role in Syria.

Now 60 years of a royal reign and four days of pomp, pageantry, and parties. Queen Elizabeth II's diamond jubilee celebrations are reaching their grand finale. And the queen and the royal family are enjoying lunch at Westminster hall this hour. Now earlier on Tuesday they attended a thanksgiving service at St. Paul's Cathedral.

Now overcast skies and intermittent rain have not dampened the diamond jubilee celebrations. And Richard Quest joins us now from Trafalgar Square in London where today's royal carriage procession will pass.

And Richard, there must be a sense of anticipation there.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We are with one of the most important men in London at the moment, the mayor of London Boris Johnson who joins us.

Mr. Mayor, thank you for this.

BORIS JOHNSON, LONDON MAYOR: Well, my pleasure. But we're all really toe nails next to Her Majesty the Queen. This event a massive opportunity, I think, for the people of London to say thank you to her for 60 years of incredible service to this country. And I think it's been quite remarkable how united the country has been in getting that over to her.

QUEST: What has been so interesting is the way which the four days have all been very different and very different messages right through this morning at St. Paul's Cathedral.

JOHNSON: Yes, it was a great service this morning at St. Paul's. I think the concert last night was fantastic. The real standout thing for me was that incredible flotilla, that sort of jolly version of (inaudible) that we put on, a real...

QUEST: I stood there for four hours.

JOHNSON: ...balmy British event. But I think it was successful -- nevermind the rain. I mean it was a great, great success.

QUEST: And as for the queen, here she is, her home is in London, London is where it's best, although the country and the commonwealth. And the city has come together spectacularly.

JOHNSON: Yes, I mean if the queen is the star, London is the -- you know, the number two player in this. I mean, London has been -- has put on I think a fantastic performance. Everything has worked well. The transport system performed very well. And that's a good omen for me -- not pounding my chest -- that's a good omen for me in the run-up to the Olympic games.

QUEST: Let's talk about the Olympics briefly, because this is the run-up, although important, now you've really...

JOHNSON: Some people will say this is the important event.

QUEST: All right. But now we are going full helter skelter to the Olympics. Are we ready?

JOHNSON: We are. And as people may know around the world, we put a huge amount of good investment into London's transport networks, upgraded the tube, put in new lines. The Stratford site is going to be fantastic. The people will find a wonderful (inaudible) when they get here, new buses on the streets. So every...

QUEST: If they ever get out of the airport.

JOHNSON: And as you know there's a commitment to making sure that nobody waits more than 45 minutes getting through. The average wait of 25 minutes to get from the plane through the other side. So we're working very hard to make people's arrival as comfortable as possible.

QUEST: Many thanks, Mr. Mayor. A wonderful day here in London.

JOHNSON: It is. It's fantastic.

QUEST: What do you think when you look at all of this?

JOHNSON: I feel an almost incoherent sense of pride, but also responsibility.

QUEST: Mr. Mayor, thank you very much.

The mayor joining us here in London, always good to see Boris Johnson. And he certainly has his work cut out for him in the next few weeks. 85 days to be precise, Kristie, before we actually have the Olympics. And the Olympics are an even bigger event, this has certainly given everybody a chance, a rehearsal, a practice if you like getting to it.

This afternoon, we have that carriage procession. And nothing, nothing is going to prevent me from enjoying it.

LU STOUT: Love to see Boris Johnson, even love to see you interviewing Boris Johnson, two powerful personalities on air.

Now Richard, four days of jubilee celebrations, it all caps off today. I want to get your thoughts on the pomp and the spectacle and what has left the biggest impression on you so far.

QUEST: The choreography, the thing that more than -- besides the queen who has just been magnificent as a Brit and a subject you're not going to get anything other than praise and glory about the queen from me on that. But what you -- what we've seen over the four days is this, this juxtaposition between spectacle on Sunday and what we had racing personal interests on Saturday, spectacle on Sunday. Monday was concert and the younger generation. Today formal procession and ceremony. And it is just magnificent way that they brought it all together that I will take from this.

At the moment, the queen is at lunch. The royal -- the king's suit, the royal house axillary are getting ready for their gun salute. We will have the band. We will have the mounted cavalry. All that is coming in the next couple of hours.

LU STOUT: And Prince Philip, he's not at the queen's side today. How has that affected the day so far?

QUEST: Well, I think because we know the closeness and the -- I suppose the only word is intimacy that exists between the two of them like a relationship from queen and consort, there have been moments when the queen has just looked very alone, because he has not been one pace behind as he always is. And during the service we saw that. She did noticeably brighten up when the St. Paul's choir did start singing, remembering that she was their age when the occupation took place -- Edward -- the day she knew she would be queen.

So from that point of view, the queen has looked a bit lonely. She's made the best of it. She's not let anyone down. But this afternoon in the carriage it will be the queen, the Prince Philip and the Duchess of Cornwall. The Cornwalls are with her going back to the palace.

LU STOUT: And that will be quite a site to behold. Enjoy the procession. Richard Quest reporting there. Thank you Richard.

Now crowds, they've been lining up along the procession route for hours hoping to catch a glimpse of the queen. And Zain Verjee was out on the mall waiting with the crowds. And right now she is at Buckingham Palace.

And Zain, set the scene for us.

ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They are so excited down at the mall. It's really incredible. People have been there for hours. I saw so many tents pitched in St. James' Park. People were happy to stay there overnight and weather any kind of elements that were thrown at them.

When I was there this morning, there were a lot of painted faces, lots of Union Jacks, top hats. I actually spotted a few bottles of champagne too, but people were having a really good time very early. Loads of kids there dancing and singing. People from all over the country. And they were absolutely adamant that they do not want to miss this historic moment.

Listen to what some people I met said.


VERJEE: Take a look at this, this is the scene on the mall right now. Thousands of people waiting for the queen to come by and watch the jubilee procession. Their waiting for glittering carriages, gleaming breastplates, the household cavalry, military bands, and oh my goodness, hi guys.

Got to fix your hair here a little bit, you know.


Are you excited?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely, it's fantastic.

VERJEE: You're the gang from Norwich here, right? Yeah?

What has this diamond jubilee meant to you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, it's just the whole occasion. The atmosphere, it's been fantastic. We've never come to anything like this before. We really want to make the effort.

VERJEE: How early did you come down?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We came down on Sunday morning at 8:00.

VERJEE: So you've been camping in one of these tents here?


UNIDENTIIFED FEMALE: Yeah, we booked it last August.

VERJEE: What do you hope to see when the queen comes by. What does it mean to you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's lovely, isn't it?

VERJEE: And hopefully it won't rain. But if it does, you've got a nice little top hat here to keep yourself dry.


VERJEE: What has this meant to you to be here today to witness all the amazing celebrations?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a true monarchist. I really love the monarchy. So yeah it means everything. First talking about to come up to one of jubilee events. So really happy to be here.

VERJEE: What does the queen coming by here in this moment going to mean for everyone when you take away -- and you go home and think, wow, I was here for the diamond jubilee.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's completely different to watch it on tele. Just seeing it in person is just fantastic. It's lovely. Really good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've watched everything. And when I watch the - - when I watched the wedding I just thought I've just got to be there. You know, I've always loved seeing -- watcher at Sandringham (ph). When she comes to Norfolk we see her. But to come here has been wonderful.

VERJEE: Completely different. The atmosphere is really electric. Everyone is waiting to have a fabulous time. And we're hoping the weather holds up, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah. Absolutely. If we get wet, we get wet.

VERJEE: We're all such for an aquatic adventure here on the mall if necessary. But we're always here for the queen who should be passing by in just a few hours.


VERJEE: Well, this is really a moment, Kristie, where the British people are really coming together to celebrate. In spite of the recession, in spite of wars, in spite of the major deficits that their facing in this country, the queen is a symbol that is still giving them hope. And today is a big day -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: You know, it's so wonderful to see these well wishers. And their spirit is absolutely amazing.

Right now we're looking at live pictures of it looks like some sort of procession that's underway even though that we know that the queen and the royal family are inside the halls of Westminster. Can you describe what's happening right now?

VERJEE: Well, just a few moments ago the household cavalry came by Buckingham Palace. So they're just getting ready for the big, glamorous pageant jubilee procession that will be filled with pomp and pageantry and patriotism. They came by in beautiful black horses and gold jackets as well as with their instruments.

So we're going to see a lot of that. And as it were -- and when the queen comes by that will of course be the big moment. But no one does it better than this country, that kind of choreography is pretty amazing. So people are going to be really excited to see that.

Kristie, the other thing, too, I was looking at was an opinion poll that was done recently about the popularity of the queen. And the conclusion was that the queen is the favorite monarch of all-time. She beat Queen Victoria, Elizabeth I, Henry VIII and Henry V. So she is number one.

And today is really a recognition of all the achievements that she's made and everything that she has lived through.

LU STOUT: Yeah. And her popularity would explain just the sheer numbers of all these people lining up the streets of London getting a chance to see the ceremonial carriage that -- and we're waiting that after this lunch in Westminster.

And Zain, is it true that some of the crowds at the mall, they began camping out on Monday night just to get a good view today?

VERJEE: Yeah. I mean, they want the best possible view. So they have stayed there for as long as they've could. They have come from far and wide, from all over the country, with their families. You have seen so many different generations -- grandmas, mothers, their babies, everyone is out there. They want to get the best view they can possibly get.

And there are also a lot of TV screens that are all along the mall and in parks as well. So people are going to gather wherever they possibly can to get the best possible view. And they can't wait. There's just a couple more hours to go.

LU STOUT: All right. Well, enjoy the show. Zain Verjee there reporting for us live. Thank you very much indeed.

We are looking at live pictures there from London. Wow the Royal Cavalry. All the pomp and spectacle. And we will keep our eyes on all the events in London today, but next we'll take a look at other world news. And a fugitive has been caught. How a man wanted for a gruesome murder in Canada was captured in Germany. We'll have that story ahead.

And also the trouble in Syria: with no perceivable end to the fighting, diplomatic leaders at a loss, is Syria heading for civil war?


LU STOUT: Now we are keeping our eye on diamond jubilee celebrations in the UK. And it is the fourth and final day of festivities honor Queen Elizabeth II's 60 years on the British throne. Now the queen and the royal family have attended a thanksgiving service at St. Paul's Cathedral. And now they are currently at a lunch at Westminster Hall.

Now they head back to Buckingham Palace in style in the next hour in horse drawn carriages through the streets of London.

Now to other news now. And it is a case that has captured headlines around the world. A Canadian porn actor accused of murdering a Chinese student, dismembering the body, posting a video of the act on the internet, and mailing the parts, the body parts to politicians.

Now despite an international manhunt it was a vigilant internet cafe employee in Berlin who spotted the fugitive and alerted German police.

Now the accused man Luka Rocco Magnotta is now in German custody. He faces extradition to Canada and multiple charges. Joining me now with the latest on the investigation and the details of Magnotta's past is CNN's Diana Magnay live in Berlin for us.

And Diana, it is absolutely incredible how Magnotta was tracked down there in Germany.

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it seems that he's been here since last Friday when he took a bus from Paris. But it was actually luck that this man in the internet cafe spotted him when he came in. He said, you know, he'd been reading all the papers, he's seen this man in the picture. And as soon as this guy put his glasses on his head, the man in the internet cafe said he was pretty sure it was the man that Interpol was looking for. He then alerted the police.

And Magnotta gave up with very little resistance, tried to talk his way out of it, but then when he realized that the game was up he said, OK, you've got me.

He was kept in solitary confinement last night. He's right now before a judge who is really setting things like whether this is really Luka Magnotta and explaining him the whole extradition process. He'll also be assigned a lawyer at some point today.

And the extradition process, you know, it could take a very short time if Magnotta decides not to contest it. But if he decides to appeal his extradition it could take quite awhile, a matter of months if not many months. And seeing that this is a man who courts attention, who courts publicity, he may well choose to keep his name in the papers rather than going back to Canada to face justice with as little fuss as possible, Kristie.

LU STOUT: We await details of the extradition. Diana Magnay reporting live for us from Berlin. Thank you.

Now as Syria's conflict spirals, so too does the diplomatic tit-for- tat. Now Damascus has declared 11 western diplomats persona non grata. Now they are from the same countries that expelled Syrian officials in response to that massacre in Houla. Now despite international efforts to send the ongoing violence in Syria, many fear the country is getting dangerously close to all out civil war.

As Jim Clancy reports, there are reasons to believe that won't happen.


JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The continued carnage in Syria elicits repeated warnings the country is surging headlong into civil war.

KOFI ANNAN, U.N.-ARAB LEAGUE SPECIAL ENVOY ON SYRIA: I am not telling you any secret when I tell you that there is a profound concern that the country could otherwise descend into full civil war.

CLANCY: The warnings are certainly clear on the ground. The massacre of men, women, and children in Houla was a frightening reminder of what a sectarian civil war would look like. President Bashar al-Assad says an Arab and world conspiracy is forcing war on Syria.

BASHAR AL-ASSAD, PRESIDENT OF SYRIA (through translator): We are now (inaudible) conspiracy, a worldwide conspiracy that this depends on what is happening in the Arab world.

CLANCY: Gulf states are allegedly furnishing arms to Assad's opponents, while Russia and Iran funnel weapons and advisers to prop up the regime. But there are compelling reasons why civil war may not be in Syria's future. First and foremost, the opposition doesn't want it.

ABU FARES, AUTHOR: We want a better future for Syria. We want a build an advanced, modern state. This can't be done after a civil war.

CLANCY: The opposition contends civil war would invite terror groups into the conflict and make building any new state more difficult. That, they argue, is what President Assad is trying to do.

Another compelling reason Syria will avoid civil war, Iraq. More than 1 million Iraqis fled to Syia bearing unforgettable tails of the terror of sectarian war in their country. Christians and other minorities witnessed the decimation of historic communities. Across all sects, Syrians say they are deeply opposed to becoming another Iraq. Analysts contend a full blown conflict is not inevitable.

RAMI KHOURI, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT: I don't think it'll go into an all out civil war, because I think the government will collapse before that happens. The Syrians are too sophisticated to allow that to happen. They don't have a history of it. There are strong forces working in the opposition to put together a transition package that prevents a civil war from happening.

CLANCY: While the killing continues, so too do peaceful demonstrations calling on Assad to quit. UN observers are sharing their frustrations with members of the Free Syrian Army encouraging them to hold their fire. It was once unthinkable Bashar al-Assad would be forced out, now it is a waiting game, and a deadly one at that.

Jim Clancy, CNN.


LU STOUT: Now next on News Stream, we will continue our coverage of the royal jubilee. Crowds are out in force. So what is the weather forecast hold for London? Find out next.


LU STOUT: As crowds gather for the final day of the queen's diamond jubilee, do they need their umbrellas? Let's get an answer now with Mari Ramos. She joins us from the world weather center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie. Short answer -- yes. You know why? Because even though it's been OK over the last few hours for some of the parades that we've seen this morning, it's not look pretty when we see the radar right over here. So I'm guessing within the hour we're going to start to see a sprinkles move in -- actually sprinkles now and then rain within the hour across the London -- greater London area.

You can see it, some of this is not just rain, we're also seeing some thunderstorms coming through. So not a good place to be is outside for a lot of people. So let's just hope the thunderstorms go away and all we get is the rain, because it could go downhill very, very quickly for the crowds that are standing outside.

I'm going to go ahead and just guess already that it's going to be a closed top carriage that the royal family will be traveling on as we head through the next few hours over -- across the London area. A notice, then back by 3:00 I think that's going to be the time when we have the heaviest rain across this area. And then it's going to move out of the way pretty quickly. So it's all going to be a matter of timing and how quickly, or how when this parade actually takes place where the queen is going to be in that carriage going through the streets of London. And if they can delay it a little bit, it might actually be better instead of having it so early. But as you can see, Kristie, the rain expected to move in to the London area in the next hour or so is what I'm guessing.

Temperature wise it hasn't been too bad, but once people start getting wet, once it gets soggy, it is going to feel a bit more uncomfortable. 14 right now in London, cloudy skies, rain on the way, closed top carriage, have the umbrella and the ponchos ready to go.

Back to you.

RAMOS: All right. We got it. Mari Ramos there.

And that is News Stream as CNN's coverage of the jubilee continues next. Join Pierce Morgan, Brook Baldwin and more as we wait for the carriage procession that will carry the royal family back to Buckingham Palace. That coming up in just a few minutes. I leave you now with a few live pictures of what's happening right now in London. The queen's royal cavalry and their procession, just a taste of what's to come. Stick around.