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CONNECT THE WORLD
Theoretical Higgs Boson Particle Discovered; Andy Murray Keeps British Hopes Alive
Aired July 4, 2012 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM CLANCY, HOST: Tonight on Connect the World, the Holy Grail of physics has been found. Scientists think that they've discovered the so- called god particle, helping them to unlock some of the universe's deepest secrets.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World.
CLANCY: It has been described as one of the greatest discoveries of our time, but really what does it all mean? Tonight, your questions answered.
Also this hour, the mystery deepens over Yasser Arafat's death after high levels of radiation are detected on the late Palestinian leader's clothes.
And a world first for the blade runner as the double amputee secures his place at London's Olympics.
An exciting day today, especially for scientists, a milestone in our understanding of nature. Today, those scientists from the CERN institute in Switzerland said they've identified a new subatomic particle considered one of the building blocks of the universe.
So what does it mean? Atika Schubert reports on what could be the discovery of the elusive Higgs Boson.
ROLF HEUER, CERN DIRECTOR GENERAL: As a layman I think I would say I think we have it. Do you agree?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
ATIKA SCHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Until today, the so-called god particle that's key to our understanding of the universe existed only in theory. That's not anymore. Collecting data like this, scientists at CERN have announced the discovery with 99.999 percent certainty that the Higgs Boson does exist, the so-called god particle.
Professor Peter Higgs, now 83 years old, who first theorized its existence in 1964 was in the audience for this historic moment.
PETER HIGGS, PHYSICIST, CERN: Really, I mean an incredible thing that has happened in my lifetime.
SCHUBERT: So what exactly is the Higgs Boson? And what does it do? Well, it gives matter mass. It's the stuff of our universe.
So how does it work exactly? A field of subatomic particles, let's imagine that those particles are actually people in a party. Somebody walks in who nobody knows. He has no problems crossing the room, because nobody stops to talk to him.
But what about somebody who is instantly recognizable, like President Obama? As he walks in, people are immediately attracted to him, a crowd gathers round. He finds it very difficult to cross the room.
This analogy, scientists say, is exactly like the Higgs Boson. As the Higgs Boson comes into this field, other particles are attracted to it and that's what creates mass. It's literally massive.
Now this, scientists say, was how the universe was able to be created in a sense, this is how stars, galaxies, planets, were able to spin themselves into existence. It's what led to you and me being here.
So how did scientists find it? Well, with a massive particle collider at CERN, 27 kilometers of tunnels under Switzerland and France. Researchers smashed particle beams together to see what's inside, effectively recreating the Big Bang trillions of times over and over.
And this is what they saw. Subatomic debris, including the decayed remains of what they say appears to be the Higgs Boson thereby proving its existence.
But the mysteries of the universe are not solved yet. Consider this, all those galaxies, planets, stars, everything we see, well they make up only 4 percent of the universe. There's still a lot more to discover. Finding the Higgs Boson, the god particle, just opens another door.
Atika Schubert, CNN, London.
CLANCY: Well, they've been searching for the elusive Higgs Boson since the 1960s and they have had several false starts. So why is it so significant now? I'm joined by Professor of Physics at University College London John Butterworth.
John, great to have you with us. And very cleverly tonight, because I barely passed -- I was lucky to have passed university physics. I've asked the viewers tonight in the show to weigh in here with some of their questions. We'll pass those right along to you. A young man named Peter Gogerell, I think he's young anyway, asked this "Why is the Higgs Boson so important?"
JOHN BUTTERWORTH, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON: Well, you heard of that in the piece just before. It lies behind the theory that we have a fundamental particles in the universe work. And we know that theory works really, really well, but we just don't know -- well, we know that in order to make it work, it required the existence of this field that fills the universe. And that's quite a big thing to ask -- all you need for your theory to work is to fill the whole universe with this field.
The trick is actually then proving that this field is there. And the only way to prove the field is there is to actually like excite a little wave in the field. And that's the Higgs Boson. And although the field is kind of -- if this is the right theory, the field is everywhere, proving that that theory is right -- you know, this is experimental science, this is not just about having a neat idea, this is about actually going and looking to see whether that's what nature really does. And what we found today is that there is something really going on in nature in our data that looks like it's a wave in this field and that means that this whole idea hangs together.
CLANCY: Now, John Martin has tweeted me and asked "does this discovery have any physical application in our daily lives?"
BUTTERWORTH: To be honest, at the moment no. But then most of the discoveries that we find about how the universe don't at the time they're made. Electricity no one knew what to do with it when it was discovered, but we found plenty of things to do with it since.
We've -- in actually on this kind of quest to understand it we certainly developed a lot of new technologies that have actually been already very beneficial. I mean, probably everyone knows I guess, but the worldwide web was developed as part of this collaborative exercise.
So there are benefits from the quest. We got those already. What we'll then do with the new knowledge that we've acquired just today? I'm not the right person to ask, you probably need to ask an entrepreneur in a few decades. But this is part of the cycle of finding out new stuff about how the universe works and that at some point making use of that new stuff later.
CLANCY: And Mucahit asks this on our Facebook page, "what will change after the discovery of this particle?" Now you touched on that already a little bit? Do you have other thoughts?
BUTTERWORTH: Well, for me things change. I mean, now after 15 years of being in search mode, now we're in study mode. Now we actually need to go and see what this thing looks like. But I think the answer to people's everyday life I think you know there's clearly not going to change everyone's daily life tomorrow that we just found this thing, but I think as I indicated before in the long-term these kind of -- these pieces of fundamental knowledge that we gain about the universe do in the end change people's lives.
CLANCY: You know they call it the god's particle. Does it really have anything to do with religion?
BUTTERWORTH: No it doesn't have -- it's a terrible name designed to annoy everyone who is involved in it from the scientists and religious people. It's nothing to do with god at all.
I mean, the only -- I guess there's an analogy in there somewhere. And as I said it underlies our theory and it makes the whole thing hang together and I guess if you're religious that's what god does, but it's a very weak analogy. And I wish no one had ever come up with the name for it.
CLANCY: Yeah, another quick question from me. We take a look, maybe we should put up the pictures of that huge collider that's there at CERN. And I'm just wondering, what do they start with? Do they put something in it as they begin this? You know, a slice of bread, a coin? What's being accelerated?
BUTTERWORTH: It's a gas bubble of hydrogen somewhere where this all starts from. So what we're colliding is protons which the hydrogen atom, which is a proton with a single electron going around it, and if you strip the electron off, of course, then you've just got the proton.
And what we do is we pull those protons out and there's a huge chain of accelerators that take the protons and gradually get them to higher and higher speeds and then slam them into this tunnel which is 27 kilometers around, really, really very big.
And in that tunnel then they're accelerated up to a higher and higher energy and then they're collided head on. But it all starts with a bubble of protons, a bubble of hydrogen.
CLANCY: So John, you're pretty excited today?
BUTTERWORTH: I'm very excited actually. That is quite late here, but yeah I'm excited. I'm very excited. It's been a fantastic -- well, a fantastic few years. Today is such a big, big step. It's just great. I'm on cloud nine.
CLANCY: All right. We don't know if we quite understand it all, but we're going to take your word for it. And there were a lot of the scientists that are very enthused about this. John Butterworth, I want to thank you very much for staying up late appreciate it.
All right, still to come, we've got to do a short break here. Time to face the music, Barclays ex-boss called to testify in the rate fixing scandal that cost him the job.
Also ahead, new scientific tests providing for old suspicious that late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat may have been poisoned.
And a mark Independence Day, America's most notorious street artist leave their mark. Where? In London.
All that and much more when Connect the World continues.
CLANCY: You're with CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Jim Clancy. And welcome back.
The former Barclays CEO told UK lawmakers that he felt, and I'm quoting here, physically ill when he found out about the scandal that is rocking the banking world. That all erupted a week ago. Barclays was fined $450 million for fiddling with the rates at which banks lend to each other. Now those rates -- OK, it's not just between the banks, because they affect how much interest people pay on everything from credit card debt, to mortgages, and student loans. The rest of us were affected. And then it was revealed that at least seven other major banks are under investigation for the same thing.
Well, today the former CEO Bob Diamond had to give evidence about the rate fixing that went on under his watch. Jim Boulden was there.
JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was not a happy Fourth of July for American born former Barclays bank CEO Bob Diamond. One day after resigning, Diamond fulfilled his promise to answer questions from British lawmakers over the growing interest rate setting scandal.
BOB DIAMOND, FRM. BARCLAYS CEO: And I worry that the world looks at Barclays in a small group of -- or a group of traders -- who had reprehensible behavior and that that is being put on Barclays in a way that is not representative.
BOULDEN: Last week, Barclays Bank was fined $450 million by UK and U.S. regulators. It's the first bank to be fined after admitting it submitted inaccurate interest rates in a system known as LIBOR, or the London Interbank Offered Rates. This took place from 2005 to 2009 and particularly during the height of the economic crisis in 2008.
GEORGE MUDIE, BRITISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: They were actually cheating pensioners, pension funds, cheating the ordinary public, cheating investors.
BOULDEN: Diamond said there was a misunderstanding within the bank as to whether regulators and politicians wanted Barclays to lower its rates.
DAVID RUFFLEY, BRITISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: You as chief executive why on Earth didn't you know that this was going on, on your watch?
BOULDEN: Diamond said time and time again he was not aware that Barclays was purposefully setting inaccurate lower interest rates. Diamond also said since he was a witness in the internal investigation that cost Barclays more than $150 million, he did not learn all the details until late last month, particularly emails between some of the traders on Barclays interest rate trading desk.
DIAMOND: And as I got it downloaded and I started going through it and I got to some of the emails, I got physically ill.
BOULDEN: In three hours of testimony, Diamond continually reminded lawmakers other banks were involved and that it took place several years ago.
DIAMOND: I'm not excusing that behavior, but I think it's also appropriate for the committee to step back and say that it was a financial crisis and that there are broader industry implications. And all I'm saying is look at the behavior for Barclays in the context of what we did about it once we found out, the management team was decisive and unbending and fast and willing to invest and open and the regulators applaud them for that.
BOULDEN: Other banks were under investigation from the UK, the continent and New York. More fines are expected.
And Parliament is likely to widen its investigation into this scandal and others involving Britain's massive financial sector.
Jim Boulden, CNN, London.
CLANCY: All right. There's a lot of other stories out there connecting our world tonight. Let's get straight to them.
An attempted eviction in Germany left five people dead including the presumed gunman. Police say a man barricaded himself inside his apartment building when a bailiff and others came to evict him. He took them hostage at gunpoint leading to a standoff with police. Their bodies were found when police stormed the building, which had been set ablaze.
Turkey has located the bodies of the two pilots killed after their plane was shot down by Syria. The military reports the bodies were found at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. Efforts are being made to recover them. Diplomatic tensions continue to simmer. The violence within Syria also continues. Activists report at least 67 people killed this Wednesday. The head of the UN supervision mission in Syria called for more concrete action to halt the bloodshed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAJ. GEN. ROBERT MOOD, HEAD OF UN MONITORING MISSION IN SYRIA: There is this feeling that it's too much talk in nice hotels in nice meetings and too little action to move forward and stop the violence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CLANCY: The final report into the Air France flight that crashed off the coast of Brazil has blamed both technical and human error according to the AFP news agency. Flight Air France 447 came down in 2009 killing all 228 people aboard. The official report is due out tomorrow.
There's outrage in Ukraine over a new language bill. Riot police had to use tear gas to break up angry crowds protesting the measure which elevates the status of Russian. Now demonstrators see it as a potential threat to Ukrainian sovereignty after 20 years of independence from the former Soviet Union.
Famed British football team Manchester United has a new goal, it's aiming to raise $100 million through an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The club says it will use some of that IPO cash to reduce its heavy debt load. Roger Blitz of the Financial Times telling CNN they should focus on investing in their team.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROGER BLITZ, FINANCIAL TIMES: The hope for some of the fans is it actually paying down the debt does make the club more in a position to invest in players, in bigger transfer wages, that is one way of looking at it. The other way, of course, is to look at whether the Glazers are really in it for the long-term or maybe looking to position the club for an eventual sale at some point.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CLANCY: Now the U.S. has approved the first test that allows people to test themselves for HIV and find out their status at home using a saliva sample from the gums its able to detect if the virus is present within about 20 or 40 minutes. The FDA has stressed the test is not perfect. It is able to detect HIV in carriers 92 percent of the time.
We're going to take a short break now, but when we come back, he's known as the blade runner. Hear what Oscar Pistorius is about to do that's never been done before.
CLANCY: You're watching Connect the World. We're live from the CNN Center in Atlanta. Welcome back everyone. I'm Jim Clancy.
The Olympic dream of Oscar Pistorius, well it appears to be coming true. The double amputee is going to have a chance to run in two events at this month's summer Olympic games in London. Obviously there's been a lot of controversy around his case. Not everybody is happy. And Don Riddell is here to help to tell us why -- Don.
DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: First of all, congratulations to Oscar Pistorius. I think it's an incredibly...
CLANCY: He stuck with it.
RIDDELL: ...and he's hugely inspirational. He's a hugely inspirational figure. But he does remain contentious, of course. A few years ago the carbon fiber blades that he was running on he was told that he couldn't run with those in an able bodied games because it was considered that they gave him an unfair advantage. And on the face of it you can perhaps see why his critics would say that. Of course these are very light blades, they're very springy, they don't weigh as much as...
CLANCY: They actually give you a little propulsion.
RIDDELL: Well, they do. But then of course he's seriously disadvantaged very obviously in other ways. And so when the case was overturned a few years ago and he was allowed to try and compete for able bodied events it really was decided that there was no real net advantage to be gained, because he's so seriously disadvantaged in many other ways.
And he did compete in the world championships in Dagu (ph) last year, making it to the semifinals in the 400 meters. Now he's going to be competing in the 400 and the 4 by 400 relay at the Olympics and also in the Paralympics.
CLANCY: No wait a minute, how can he be -- look it's one thing -- OK, you're in the Olympics. If you're in the Olympics you can't be in the Paralympics. You're in the Paralympics you can't be in the Olympics.
RIDDELL: This has never happened before. This has never been a problem before. You know, he remains an inspirational figure to disabled athletes and disabled people all over the world. So I think it will be perhaps rather harsh to throw him out of the Paralympics, but I can see where you're coming from. And some people might say this is detrimental to the Paralympics, because of course he is their big star and all the attention is going to be on him in the main games earlier in the season.
CLANCY: He's going to get tired. He's going to be giving so many interviews.
But I want to get an update from you if we can on the F1 tragedy that we saw.
RIDDELL: Very, very sad to report that Maria Di Villota who crashed in testing yesterday, she was operated on overnight, because she sustained those horrific head and facial injuries, Jim. She has unfortunately lost the sight in her right eye. The latest medical update we have was that she was in a critical, but stable condition. A lot of people in the world of motorsport praying for her to make the best recovery she can from this point.
But I mean this is really desperately sad. This was her first outing in the Marussia car. Only four months ago she was given the job as one of their test drivers and now you'd have to say her motor racing career is over.
CLANCY: Yeah, sadly, you know, I think that's pretty clear.
Finally, on to Wimbledon. Let's just go to the headline. How did Andy do?
RIDDELL: Headline for you and for all British tennis fans. Andy Murray is into the semifinals. He had to come from behind against David Ferrer today. He lost the first set, but he came through in four. He'll play Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semifinal. But the other semifinal is the match that a lot of people are getting really excited about: Roger Federer is into his 32nd grand slam final, Jim, that is a record. He's going to be playing the world number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic. These two have played 26 times already. They've played in some great semifinals recently, but they've never played on grass where, of course, Federer has won six of his major titles. He's going for a record seven this year.
And some people are saying whoever wins this match is going to go on and win the whole thing, but that's been rather unfair to...
CLANCY: There's a lot of people out there. And as we've seen in Wimbledon before a lot of things can happen.
How's the weather holding up?
RIDDELL: It's been raining on and off.
CLANCY: It's Britain.
RIDDELL: Is that a rhetorical question? You knew the answer.
CLANCY: Don Riddell, thanks so much for being with us.
As always you're going to be along with World Sport?
RIDDELL: Just over an hour's time.
CLANCY: All right. We'll be watching. Thanks.
And still to come right here on Connect the World, eight years after his death the mystery seems to deepen. We're going to see why Palestinians may soon exhume the body of Yasser Arafat.
And as America marks Independence Day, some of the country's street artists bring their rebellion back to London.
CLANCY: A warm welcome to our viewers across Europe and around the world for that matter. I'm Jim Clancy. And these are the latest headlines at world quarters here at CNN
Scientists at the CERN Institute in Switzerland discovering a subatomic particle they say is likely to be the so-called god particle. This is to say the Higgs Boson, if that's what it is, gives matter its mass and creates the physical universe.
The former CEO of Barclays Bank telling a UK panel of lawmakers that the behavior of traders involved in rate fixing at the bank was reprehensible and wrong. Bob Diamond who resigned Tuesday in the wake of the scandal said everybody was doing it. He says Barclays had been unfairly singled out by being the first to own up to its mistakes.
An eviction attempt in Germany has left five people dead, including the gunman. Police say a man barricaded himself and others inside the flat when a bailiff came to evict him. They say he shot and killed his captives before turning his gun on himself.
Turkey has found the bodies of two pilots whose plane was shot down by the Syrian military. Authorities are working to recover the bodies. They were found at the bottom of the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Did he die naturally, or was he murdered? New scientific tests are reviving old suspicions about the death of Yasser Arafat. A Swiss laboratory says it found unusually high levels of a radioactive substance on his belongings, but stopped short of saying the late president leader -- Palestinian leader was poisoned. Elise Labott is following the story for us tonight from Jerusalem. Elise?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN WORLD AFFAIRS CORRESPONDET: Well, that's right, Jim. No conclusive evidence just yet, but there have been a lot of conspiracy theories in the eight years since Yasser Arafat died of that mysterious illness. How did it happen? For the Palestinians, these results confirm what their suspicions were all along.
LABOTT (voice-over): A mausoleum under construction. An uneasy resting place for Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat. Eight years after he died from a mysterious illness, a shocking report: traces of the deadly radioactive substance, polonium-210, found on his personal effects.
FRANCOIS BOCHUD, DIRECTOR, INSTITUT DE RADIOPHYSIQUE: What we discovered is an unexplained level of polonium-210 in some samples of Mr. Arafat. And what disturbed us a little bit was that the highest activities were actually contained on clothes.
Generally, we see that we have a higher activity on these samples, rather than all the other samples that we measured in the same bag.
LABOTT: The study, the product of an investigative documentary by Al Jazeera. The network and his widow, Suha, asked the Swiss institute to test his clothing and toothbrush, along with medical records from the days leading up to his death in a French hospital.
The researchers found abnormal levels of polonium, but said his symptoms were inconsistent with the substance, and they cannot conclude that Arafat was, in fact, poisoned.
CNN cannot confirm the integrity of the testing or the methods in which the evidence was kept over the years. But the Palestinian leadership says the findings prove what they feared, as their leader suddenly deteriorated before their eyes and died within days.
HANAN ASHRAWI, PLO COMMITTEE MEMBER: This report, in many ways, tells us our suspicions are founded, that there is sufficient evidence to say that he was killed. And of course, the party that has repeatedly wanted to kill him and has said they want to get rid of him. And that clearly points to Israel.
LABOTT (on camera): This square was named after Yasser Arafat who, eight years after his death, is still considered the father of the Palestinian people. But here on the streets of Ramallah, there was always a suspicion that he didn't die of natural causes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think who is going to get the benefit of killing Yasser Arafat? Are they the Palestinians? Impossible. The Arabs? Impossible. Other people? The Israelis have the benefit of killing Yasser Arafat.
LABOTT (voice-over): PLO says it will honor a request from his widow to exhume his body for further testing, even though researchers say after eight years, the results may never be conclusive.
ASHRAWI: Yasser Arafat was no ordinary man. And to all Palestinians, he's symbolic, he's emotional. We call him the father of the nation. People want to know how he was killed. And that's why the PLO is going to cooperate.
LABOTT: Israeli officials call the accusations baseless and say the PLO can clear up the mystery surrounding Arafat's death by releasing his medical records that have been sealed for eight years.
LABOTT: And even though those traces of this substance were found on Yasser Arafat's body, what the researchers were saying is that, Jim, doesn't mean that he was poisoned, because some of the symptoms he was showing close to his death were not consistent with this type of -- radioactive substance.
For instance, he wasn't losing his hair, his bone density was not consistent with this type of poisoning. So, they really don't know what happened. As we said, they moved to exhume the body, but it's been eight years since he died, and those results, even if they do do further testing, may never be conclusive, Jim.
CLANCY: Elise Labott, reporting to us, there, live from Jerusalem tonight. Thanks.
Well, just a few months ago, our Becky Anderson talked to Arafat's widow, Suha. Here's what she said. This was back in March, before these latest developments were announced.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Would you have wanted a full autopsy done on his body, though?
SUHA ARAFAT, YASSER ARAFAT'S WIDOW: Yes. But this was the decision of the Palestinian Authority, and I respected their decision. Maybe Yasser died with his secrets with him. Nobody can reveal, nobody can know the truth now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CLANCY: Now, if it's proven -- if -- that's a big if -- that Yasser Arafat, the president of Palestine, died of polonium poisoning, we still won't know who did it. But we do know that a very few people can get their hands on this kind of rare radioactive substance. Matthew Chance reminds us of the one high-profile case that really stunned the world.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The grim picture of the only person known to have been murdered with polonium-210. Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian spy-turned-dissident, was killed in London in 2006, two years after Yasser Arafat died.
Investigators say he was administered a massive dose of the radioactive isotope. His death was agonizing and slow.
Word the same substance may now have been detected on the clothes worn by Yasser Arafat raises the possibility the late Palestinian leaders was killed in a similar way, though the Swiss scientist who conducted the tests told CNN direct comparisons were difficult to make.
BOCHUD: While it's hard to compare directly with Litvinenko because Mr. Litvinenko was diagnosed as being poisoned by polonium as he was alive, so that means the activities were huge. In the case of Mr. Arafat, we just suspect a potential poisoning by polonium, but we are at the other end, one million time factor down. So, it's hard to do the measurements.
CHANCE: It would be an astonishing revelation if this rare radioactive substance were in any way linked to the Palestinian leader's death.
CHANCE (on camera): Firstly, polonium-210 is extremely difficult to produce, 97 percent of the global supply is made in Russian nuclear reactors, then sold to US companies for use. And they say it's unlikely anyone except a state-backed agent would be able to get hold of enough of it to kill.
But polonium has advantages as a weapon. We've seen its devastating impact on Litvinenko. It is a reliable killer. It's also very hard to detect, requiring specialist equipment, and it decays extremely quickly. It has a half life -- it halves in quantity -- every 138 days. The evidence, in other words, can simply disappear.
CHANCE (voice-over): But once detected, experts say polonium-210 can easily be traced to its source, though that's not necessarily a flaw.
CHAM DALLAS, TOXICOLOGIST, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA: The only reason I can think of that somebody would want to use such a rare and easily traceable element is that they would want someone to know that they were using it. They would want to make a political statement or some kind of bold statement.
CHANCE: Alexander Litvinenko, it's said, had powerful, vengeful enemies. Yasser Arafat, of course, may have had many more.
Matthew Chance, CNN, London.
CLANCY: So, as you can see, a lot more questions than answers at this point. And I want to bring in Fawaz Gerges for some perspective in all of this. He's director of the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics. He's a frequent contributor here on CONNECT THE WORLD. Great to see you, Fawaz.
FAWAZ GERGES, DIRECTOR, MIDDLE EAST CENTRE, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: Thank you, Jim.
CLANCY: What is this really going to prove? Because I think -- three fourths or even more of the Middle East already believes that Yasser Arafat was assassinated and by the Israelis.
GERGES: I think you're absolutely correct. From the start, from day one, may Palestinians and many Arabs believed there was a foul play. They did not believe in the official story about the stroke and the death of Arafat. They believed either Israel or members, even, of the Palestinian Authority, the current members of the Palestinian Authority were in cahoots with Israel in order to get rid of Arafat.
I think, as you suggest, Jim, the new scientific, at least, findings will likely reinforce the belief of many Palestinians and Arabs that basically Israel has a hidden hand in the death of Arafat more than seven years ago.
CLANCY: But that doesn't mean, of course, that it's true. It just says that most people believe it. And I -- the reason I bring this up is the "New York Times" did an investigation. And I knew Yasser Arafat. This man led a very hard life.
GERGES: Well, Jim, absolutely. I think first of all, even the Swiss institute has made it very clear it's a potential poisoning case, as opposed to really credible, iron-clad evidence. I think the challenge is to exhume the body of Yasser Arafat and to basically begin the process of finding the truth.
First of all, we have to wait and see if the Palestinian Authority will do so. Suha Arafat, as you know, has already asked the Palestinian Authority to do so.
I think the truth is very important, because if Arafat is not -- was not poisoned, this would really go a long way to basically showing the Palestinians and public opinion in the Arab world that basically it was natural death as opposed to Israel being the basically perpetrators.
Remember, Jim, the reason why many Palestinians and many Arabs believe that Israel basically had a hand in the death of Arafat, because over the years, as we all know, Israel has assassinated and killed many Palestinian leaders.
So, the belief that the fact that the Palestinians believe so is really basically is an extension of the bloody conflict that has taken place in that part of the world for the last 60 years.
CLANCY: I saw a lot of discussion on the internet today, people wondering would this set back any progress in the peace talks, which I think you would agree is rather irrelevant. I'm wondering what it might do to talks between Fatah and Hamas.
GERGES: Well, I think the first point to highlight, as you suggested, the peace process is frozen. There is now credible peace process, and even President Barack Obama seems to have given up, at least in his first term of office.
The reality is, the evidence, the scientific -- the new scientific evidence, will most likely deepen the divide between not only the Palestinians and Israelis, but also between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
I don't know if you know this, Jim: over the last seven years, the Palestinian Authority is a very bickering lot, and many of the current and former members of the Palestinian Authority have accused one another of plotting with Israel to get rid of Arafat.
So, the reality is, Hamas will likely emerge as the winner out of this particular new finding. But let's hope the Palestinian Authority carries out its promise and exhumes the body of Arafat. Let the Palestinian public opinion know the facts, let the truth come out once and for all.
And I think this would serve, I think, the interest of the Palestinians and also the interest of the truth, when it comes to Arafat. Because again, as Hanan Ashrawi has made it very clear, Arafat is not just another Palestinian.
He's an icon, a symbol, of the Palestinian struggle for independence and self-determination. He's the founder of the modern Palestinian resistance movement. He really is, in many ways, to many Palestinians, the founder and the father of the Palestinian nation, the potential Palestinian nation.
CLANCY: As we look at that, one of the things that he accomplished was not just to put the Palestinian people on the map, literally, but to unify them. He was a unifying force. Will this probe have that effect, do you think, on Palestinians, as once again they ponder just what happened to their first president?
GERGES: You're absolutely correct. I think Arafat has many flaws, as you know. Arafat made some major mistakes, and many Palestinians, many of his supporters, say so.
But the reality is, he was the founding father of the Palestinian resistance movement. He was a unifier. He spent his life trying to bring about political emancipation, the emancipation of the Palestinian people under occupation.
And that's why, if the Palestinian Authority exhumes his body, if the truth comes out, this will go a great deal to healing some of the wounds that many Palestinians feel after the death of Arafat more than seven years ago.
CLANCY: Fawaz Gerges, I want to thank you very much for being with us once again here on CONNECT THE WORLD.
CLANCY: Well, the 2012 Olympic Games just -- seems hard to believe -- three weeks away. It's not going to be fun and games, though, for everyone. London's already busy airports, they are going to be working flat-out. We'll have more on that after a short break.
CLANCY: Welcome back wherever you are. This is CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Jim Clancy. And London is gearing up for the 2012 Olympics. Thousands of people are going to be flying in for the Games, and that means a lot of extra traffic for London's already busy, busy airports.
Our own Becky Anderson went to Heathrow to find out how one of the world's busiest of all the Gateways is coping.
ANDERSON (voice-over): London's Heathrow Airport began life in 1946 as a small grass airfield that serviced 63,000 passengers. Today, it's a very different picture.
ANDERSON (on camera): With 17 million passengers a year, Heathrow is one of the world's busiest airports. And yet, surprisingly, it only has two runways.
ANDERSON (voice-over): At 99.2 percent capacity, Heathrow is literally bursting at the seems. Choreographing the sheer number of planes that transit through here is a real challenge.
ADY DOLAN, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: That's 73 first left, follow the victor.
On a single day, there could be up to 5,000 aircraft using the London terminal area, which makes it the busiest airspace in the world.
When aircraft take off from Heathrow, they zoom off in all different directions, which means that we can depart them every minute. On a day like today, as soon as one aircraft's wheels have left the ground, the next one can be cleared for takeoff. So, that minute actually comes down to about 45 seconds.
ANDERSON: The solution, according to Heathrow's boss, is a third runway. It's one of many politically sensitive options for the UK's so- called aviation crisis.
COLIN MATTHEWS, CEO, BAA: Connections with growing markets in India, in China, in Brazil, are ever more important. And for those -- for the UK to be directly connected to those markets, we need to have the hub with enough capacity.
ANDERSON: Some space, if not capacity, is being created. Heathrow is getting a brand-new terminal in 2014. Costing around $2 billion, it will host 20 million passengers a year.
JOANNE WHITE, PROGRAM DIRECTOR, TERMINAL 2: This new facility is going to be at least 40 percent more efficient than the facility that it's replaced. We've included things like solar panels on the roof.
We've done a lot to improve the amount of natural solar gain within the building. If you don't build the heat up, you don't have to use mechanical methods to remove the heat in the building, and that's good for the carbon footprint.
ANDERSON: T2 will be light, bright, and calm, just like Heathrow's other architectural pride. Mike Davies designed Terminal 5.
MIKE DAVIES, ARCHITECT, TERMINAL 5: You look around the building, there is a sense of lightness. It's a huge, 180-meter across span, but it doesn't feel dark inside. There's light streaming through the roof. There's light streaming through the sides, the sun coming in, you don't feel enclosed, you feel as open as possible.
If you look at this building, none of the interior touches the outside wall. One of the reasons for the big span is to make sure there's not a single column which affects anything you want to do in the interior. So the fundamental message of this building is flexibility for growth and change.
And that's the fundamental difference between these buildings and what you might call more conventional architecture, is they're in a state of continuous change.
ANDERSON: Heathrow is a hub with an evolving identity. The look and feel of an airport is crucial. Ultimately, it's smooth operations that count. Bringing goods and people in and out is, after all, the purpose of a successful gateway.
CLANCY: You're watching CONNEC THE WORLD, and when we come back, it's the politics of the pipeline. Our Eye on Ukraine series continues with a closer look at the country's attempt to redefine its relationship with its Russian neighbor.
CLANCY: All this week, we've had our Eye on Ukraine, the country with some big ambitions, from the success of Euro 2012 and promoting Ukranian football, to the internet company that deals in lonely hearts.
Hello, everyone. Welcome back to CONNECT THE WORLD. Tonight, it's the country coming in from the cold, as Ukraine searches for new energy sources. CNN's Phil Black finds a nation looking to break its dependency on Russia and oversee a revolution in energy production.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Early this year, Ukraine and much of Europe was caught in a long, deep cold snap.
People were freezing to death. Energy demand spiked, and Russia accused Ukraine of stealing gas from its transit pipes that was meant for Western Europe. Not true, said Ukraine. It was another example of Ukraine and Russia's fraught, dependent relationship.
Ukraine needs Russian gas. Russia needs Ukraine's transit pipeline to export west. In 2009, contract negotiations between the countries broke down completely, and for two weeks, Russia stopped pumping gas to Ukraine and Europe.
They eventually reached a deal, but Ukraine's prime minister, Mykola Azarov, tells me it is deeply unfair.
MYKOLA AZAROV, PRIME MINISTER OF UKRAINE (through translator): Americans pay $70 for 1,000 cubic meters of gas, when Ukraine pays $550 to Russia for the same amount. It means almost ten times more. Tell me, what kind of economy can take this?
BLACK: But while Ukraine tries to negotiate better terms with Russia, it's also working to break its dependency on Russian gas and diversify its sources of energy.
A key part of the plan is to import liquid natural gas from other countries, which will be processes at a terminal being built near Odessa on the Black Sea. The head of the project says by 2018, it should replace 30 percent of existing Russian gas imports.
VITALY DEMYANIN, HEAD OF NATIONAL LNG PROJECT: We will have 10 billion cubic meters alternative gas. It will help us to negotiate with our main supplier.
BLACK: Energy minister Yury Boiko is also excited about shale gas exploration in western Ukraine.
YURY BOIKO, UKRAINIAN ENERGY MINISTER: I think we have a realized potential.
BLACK: Ukraine is also investing in green energy and will burn more coal instead of gas to produce electricity, but analysts say the strategy needs greater focus on saving energy.
BLACK (on camera): One of the reasons Ukraine is so energy hungry is that its buildings, its infrastructure, most of them date back to the Soviet Union, so experts believe one of the easiest and most effective ways of improving the country's energy security will be to focus more heavily on improving its energy efficiency.
BLACK (voice-over): While Ukraine looks to other energy supplies, Russia is looking for other ways to get its gas to Europe. It's already built one pipeline which bypasses Ukraine, and it's building another. The projects threaten to strip Ukraine of billions in revenue and any remaining leverage over gas prices.
So, Ukraine is proposing a new model that would allow Europe, Russian, and Ukraine equal control of its transit system.
BOIKO: So, the consumers, the seller, the supply and the transit country is together. It's a good model and it's convenient for everybody.
BLACK: Ukraine's government believes major energy reform is the only way to change Russia's position in future negotiations and transform the country's economic future.
Phil Black, CNN, Kiev.
CLANCY: Interesting. Well, before we go, I've got a Parting Shot for you from some of America's most iconic -- if not controversial -- street artists. Is their work really art, or is it just vandalism? They say it's freedom of expression about American culture, and it is Independence Day here in the US.
Erin McLaughlin found that they've marked Independence Day by taking their messages to an old London tunnel known as the Black Rat Gallery.
RISK, STREET ARTIST: This piece is about your dreams and aspirations about the American dream. It's very iconic. Neon lights and license plates. Those are all things that to me represent Americana icon. We are so independent that we can -- our future, our destiny is up to us. We can go wherever we want to go.
SABER, STREET ARTIST: Basically, I'm an American artist who suffers from epilepsy, who has been denied access to comprehensive health care in America. Now, this piece represents what I've been through and what I see on the streets about people's livelihood and health care.
So, this flag has been shifted upside down as a signal of distress. What you have written on here is "profit over life," is the number one title. Profit over life. Bankruptcy. Denied, denied, denied. Preexisting condition. So, you have these rhetoric that's basically part of the privatized health care system that is hurting us.
RON ENGLISH, STREET ARTIST: It's free art, but it's kind of specific kind called culture jamming, and kind of with culture jamming, you go into a situation and -- usually, it's advertising or something -- and you do the same thing they're doing, but to subvert the message that's put out there.
Like, these are signs that I put in supermarkets. So, in the front of the supermarket, they put all these big signs of whatever's on sale, like milk, meat. And basically, I'm saying the same thing, just in a different way.
I'm trying to make people think about what they're seeing everyday, I think, in a -- to question advertising and what are they selling and how are they selling it?
CLANCY: Well, that was a nice-looking pig, wasn't it? There were so many things there that were interesting, including that guy's name. He's an American, he's gone over to Britain, and his name is English. There's a lot of things that connect the world in all of this.
Today, we're marking winning the Revolutionary War, the American Declaration of Independence. Don't worry if you're watching from Britain tonight: we're over it. Hope you are, too.
I'm Jim Clancy. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks a lot for being with us. We'll have the headlines for you up next after a very short break.