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Spanish Miners Protest Austerity; Ronaldinho Fired From Coca-Cola After Appearing With Can Of Pepsi

Aired July 11, 2012 - 16:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: And tonight on Connect the World enough is enough, that is the message from Spanish protesters who clashed with police earlier furious after the government warns of more financial pain to come.

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

ANDERSON: In a country where one in four people is out of work, where Spanish families are struggling to survive. Tonight, the devastating impact on the most innocent victims country's kids.

Also this hour, in much of the U.S. it's too warm. Across the UK, it is too wet. So what is behind this crazy weather? Some answers this hour.

And only 100 years after Britain first saved the Olympics we're going to take a look at how both sport and society have changed.

First up tonight, the Spanish prime minister earlier today announcing a raft of sweeping budget cuts to try and plug a big black hole in the country's finances. Well, just hours after that announcement thousands of protesters, including a group of miners, marched on the capital flooding the streets of Madrid.

Let's get straight to our Madrid bureau chief, Al Goodman. And Al, ugly scenes earlier today. Things a little quiet I know now, but Spanish workers certainly making their feelings felt.

AL GOODMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: Especially these miners, Becky. You know the 76 people injured, 33 were police officers. These miners clearly not willing to take a step back. Now this protest this day comes after they've marched into Madrid over the last two weeks from the northern mining region, just a few hundred of them. But in the capital they were joined by thousands of other miners and their supporters doing marches.

Last night, this day they started right here in this plaza and moved up the main street to the industry ministry which is to protest the cutbacks in the government subsidies to the mining sector. They say that's a death knell.

Then the clashes here. We talked earlier with a miner who said what is at stake. Let's here what he said.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): For us and our families, what's at stake is a job and that you earn enough money every month to take care of your family. The government is putting in place some cutbacks that are just unbearable.


GOODMAN: He's got two children. His wife works as a hair dresser, but she says if the mines close her business will also be out -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Al, miners up in arms, many others in Spain also furious about the sort of austerity measures that the prime minister and is promising. What did we hear from him today?

GOODMAN: Well, this happened just a short while before the miners protest. The prime minister in parliament announcing an $80 billion new package of austerity cuts over the next couple of years. Spain under intense pressure from Europe to get its budget deficit down, dealing with a bank bailout for the most troubled banks. And the prime minister one of the most surprising announcements to many was an about face. He had said earlier and his aides had said earlier there will be no raising of the value-added tax, the sale tax. Well, this day he announced it would go up from 18 percent to 21 percent. Here's how he tried to explain that.


MARIANO RAOY, SPANISH PRIME MINISTER (through translator): I said I would decrease tax, but I'm increasing. I have not changed criteria. I will reduce them when it is possible, but circumstances have changed and I need to adapt.


GOODMAN: Now a snap poll in Spain's largest and some say most respected newspaper El Pais says that 62 percent of Spaniards reject this latest round of austerity cuts and tax hikes and 76 percent of them think it won't solve the economic crisis -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Al, tough times in Spain. Thank you for that. It is no wonder that sort of (inaudible) angry. I want just set some context for this for you. Take a look at these numbers. The unemployment rate there is over 25 percent, that is the highest in the European Union. Think of it this way -- walk down the street in Spain and one in every four people you walk past will be out of work.

It's even worse for the youngsters, one in two unemployed. In fact, for the first time kids are the poorest group in Spain according to UNICEF at least in just three years child poverty has shot up a massive 53 percent. The organization UNICEF spoke to a group of Spanish children earlier. What they had to say really underlines just how exposed they are. Have a listen to this.


GIRL (through translator): What is a recession? Business don't work. People have less money. And they lay off more people.

BOY (through translator): Well, it's the lack of money and work. It affects the country a lot, because there's no money to buy anything.

GIRL (through translator): We go out less often to the cinema, to restaurants. We go out a lot less often.

BOY (through translator): Kids are trying to get out of the crisis the same as their parents.

GIRL (through translator): I think the money should be given to businesses so they could move forward. If people have work and money they would buy and we wouldn't have a crisis anymore, I guess.


ANDERSON: You're watching Connect the World live from London. Our top story tonight, Spanish miners today hitting the streets to protest the governments latest austerity measures. In his defense, the prime minister says I know it's not pleasant, but it is necessary. Try telling that to a Spanish miner or a Spanish youngster facing little or no prospect of finding a job almost painfully one of those kids who in 2012 knows nothing but a life of poverty.

Still to come tonight, a Syrian diplomats breaks ranks with the Syrian government. We're going to have the details of one of the most significant defections since the uprising began.

And lifting the lid on weather extremes: too much rain, too much shine. We're going to find out what is causing this wild weather around the world.

And feeding through the years, since the first London games in 1908 American runners have really picked up the pace. Find out how much faster they are after this.


ANDERSON: You're with CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome back. About 10 minutes past 9:00 in London.

Special envoy Kofi Annan says the UN security council is debating its next steps on the Syrian crisis and could reach a decision within days. Now Annan addressed the council today on his recent shuttle diplomacy to revise peace efforts. He says the Syrian president has chosen a mediator to negotiate with the opposition but offered no further details.

And in another development today, news of a major defection from the Syrian government. CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom has that part of the story from Abu Dhabi for you.


MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: In what's being called the highest ranking diplomatic defection since the uprising in Syria began, Syria's ambassador to Iraq, Nawaf Fares, has defected from the Syrian government, that's according to two members of the Syrian National Council opposition group. Dr. Hafan Shalabi (ph), a Syrian National Council member, told CNN he was working closely with his contacts in Iraq to coordinate with al Fares to secure his safety and added that al Fares is currently making his way to a safe area. Another SNC member said al Fares is still in Iraq.

Now according to Syria's news agency, Fares was sworn in as ambassador to Baghdad in September of 2008. And his appointment was called a crucial assignment given the important relations between Iraq and Syria. Fares also served as the head of the provincial branch of the Ba'ath Party in Deir ez-Zor from 1994 to 1998 and served as governor of three different provinces between the years of 1998 to 2008.

While the Iraqi government spokesman Ali Al Dabbagh, says the Iraqi government has no knowledge of the defection. This follows the apparent defection last week of a senior military figure, Brigadier General Manag Tlass in a protest of the killing of Sunnis in Syria.

Meanwhile in Syria, clashes were reported in the provinces of Daraa and Homs on Wednesday, that's according to the opposition local coordination committees. One amateur video posted online purports to show white smoke rising as a result of what is described as intense shelling of civilians areas of Zabadani (ph). Opposition activists say that on Wednesday, dozens were killed across the country.

Mohammed Jamjoom, CNN, Abu Dhabi.


ANDERSON: A look at some of the other stories that we are following for you tonight here on Connect the World. Egypt's president promising to resolve a tense power struggle through dialogue. Mohamed Morsi's standoff with the courts and with the military council reached a new crisis point yesterday when a court struck down his decree ordering parliament to reconvene. Now President Morsi says he will respect the court's decision and work with all parties to diffuse the situation.

Officials in Yemen are blaming al Qaeda for one of the deadliest bombings there in months. At least 10 people were killed today when a suicide bomber attacked a police academy in downtown Sanaa. The bomb went off as hundreds of cadets were leaving for the weekend. No one has claimed responsibility, but authorities believe al Qaeda militants are trying to intimidate people and discourage them from joining the security forces.

Thieves in the United States -- let me start that again -- the United States as a whole is easing long-time sanctions against Myanmar calling it a strong signal of support for political reform there. Now will also allow U.S. companies to do business in Myanmar for the first time since 1997, but sanctions do remain in place against military run firms. In a statement, U.S. president Barack Obama praised the country's recent steps towards democracy after decades of military rule.

Well, a son of one of the wealthiest men in the world is under arrest after his wife was found dead in their west London home. Hans Kristian Rausing, the heir to the Tetra Pak fortune is being questioned by police after they came across his wife's body while searching his house on a drugs charge. The death of Eva Rausing is so far unexplained.

Atika Schubert joins us with what more we do know on this story -- Atika.

ATIKA SCHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we know is that while Hans Rausing was arrested for questioning, he is now getting medical treatment. We know that he was pulled over yesterday for driving erratically. Police then arrested him on suspicion of drug possession and that's when they went into his home, the six story house in one of the wealthiest parts of London and found the body of Eva Rausing in an upstairs bedroom.

Now police have told us they do not know what she died of. They do not know how long the body was there. They're hoping to get more information in the next few days from a coroner's inquest.

ANDERSON: This is a very, very, very sad story. A couple of you sadly for them have been in the news in the past, again for all the wrong reasons.

SCHUBERT: Yeah, I mean, this is a couple that was very well known in London's wealthiest circles. They were known as devoted philanthropists, but also to have struggled with drugs. They met in rehab. And then in 2008 both Hans and Eva Rausing were arrested for possession of heroin and crack cocaine. Rausing attempted to enter a party in the U.S. embassy by smuggling in drugs.

So it's -- they were a couple with a history of battle drug addiction and it does appear that Eva Rausing may have lost that battle.

ANDERSON: Atika Schubert on the story for you out of London this evening. Atika, thank you for that.

Well, the captain of the wrecked Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia says he is sorry for the disaster the killed 32 people. In his first full television interview since the January accident, Francesco Schettino said that he was distracted at the time of the crash and thinks about the victims every day. He told (inaudible) television when there is an accident it's not just the ship that's identified or the company, the captain is identified and so it's normal that I should apologize as a representative of this system.

Story in Japan, the first giant panda to be born there in 24 years had died just a week after locals celebrated its rare birth. The six day old unnamed cub died from pneumonia after its mother's milk accidentally entered his airway at Tokyo's zoo where it was born. The cub caused huge excitement in Japan with zoo official holding daily press conferences since its birth.

We're going to take a very short break here on CNN. When we come back on Connect the World Ronaldinho may be a big football star, but here why a cold beverage has got him in hot water. That after this.


ANDERSON: This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson out of London. 19 minutes past 9:00. Time for your sports news and more. Trouble for world's football's governing body. Court documents say FIFA's former president -- not its current president, but its former president received enormous bribes from his discredited former marketing company. It never rains, but it pours for FIFA. Mark McKay has got more on this developing story out of CNN Center. And what a surprise.

MARK MCKAY, CNN SPORTS CORREPSONDENT: Allegations of corruption, Becky, and FIFA seem to go hand in hand. And here comes another one and this one is pretty resounding involving Joao Havelange, the former president of FIFA, the one, the gentleman that Mr. Sepp Blatter succeeded is being revealed in court documents that Mr. Havelange and executive committee member Recardo Teixeira had received big bribes for FIFA's discredited former marketing company International Sport and Leisure. It's alleged that they, both men, received millions of dollars from ISL, a company which collapsed in 2001 with debts around $300 million.

Now FIFA published the Swiss court's report and its documents on its website tonight. And in a statement said that while Havelange and Texieira were identified, FIFA's current president Sepp Blatter was not.

Of course, the question now comes in who knew what and when? And we will endeavor to find out more about that when we open up the story even more at the bottom of the next hour on World Sport, Becky.

Becky, but you're right, another black eye for FIFA when it comes to allegations of corruption.

ANDERSON: Yeah. It is either this organization is very, very, very unfortunate or it is riddled who corruption. Who knows what. But anyway, let's leave it to you guys. You know the stuff.

Half past 10:00 of course London time, Mark will be back with World Sport.

But let's move on from the FIFA story that I know you're going to cover at the bottom of the next hour. I want to talk about the Olympics. I know that there's been big controversy over whether Saudi will or will not allows athletes -- female athletes to compete in the Olympics or whether they will bar them. What's the latest on that story?

MCKAY: The latest that we have as of Wednesday, Becky, is that Saudi Arabia will sent women athletes to the London games if they receive an invitation by the International Olympic Committee. As you said, this has been an issue that has been out there. Saudi Arabia under huge pressure from many sides to end the practice of sending all male teams to Olypmics and international competitions.

Just weeks before the games begin now, 17 days, rights groups have criticized Saudi Arabia to ever send female athletes to the games, so it's an issue that's still out there and still unresolved, Becky, and Saudi Arabia says that women athletes will be invited if the IOC invites them. Of course the IOC wants to clear this up before the opening ceremony, don't they?

ANDERSON: Of course it does. And that's 16 days away.

Mark, is it clear at this point just how many Saudi female athletes could conceivably compete, how many would compete competitively as it were?

MCKAY: You know, not many. It's one of these things where it's probably very symbolic as well. It's one of these things where no women will be included on the team that will compete equestrian, athletics and weightlifting a Saudi Arabian newspaper had reported. It's one of these things that maybe just one or two, but won't that send a huge statement? I mean that would make even if one or two were included on the team. But as of tonight we don't have an answer as to whether Saudi Arabia will allow it.

ANDERSON: Yeah, no, you make a very good point. It doesn't really matter how many there are. It'll be interesting to know the point is -- it's the point that's being made.

All right, Mark, before you go what is Ronaldinho up to at the moment? I believe he's got into a little bit of trouble. Is it because of Cola?

MCKAY: Coca-Cola, Pepsi, he's a Coca-Cola spokesman, or I should say was, Becky, because at a news conference where he was introduced at his new team Atletico Mineiro, look what he has right there a can of Pepsi, that's the cardinal sin. In fact, the Coca-Cola's marketing chief says the fact the player appeared with a can of Pepsi was the straw the broke the camel's back. The sponsorship had become embarrassing, it was worth about $750,000 to the Brazilian footballer. You could say he was canned for doing the cardinal sin. Don't do that.

ANDERSON: And you wouldn't say that, because that would just be silly wouldn't it?

MCKAY: It would be.

ANDERSON: Did I hear you say it?

Mark McKay in the house for you this evening with your sports news. Back with World Sport at the bottom of this hour.

You're watching Connect the World here on CNN.

Scorching heat to heavy rains and why one town is suing over a bad forecast. I bet you wish you'd done that in the past. The world weather wrap is just ahead.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Coming straight down at me. Stop. Stop. Stop.


ANDERSON: Taking charge of traffic control on the ground out of Healthrow with less than three weeks to go until the London Olympics the cities' airports are gearing up for an influx of passengers. So I went to hell power, that is coming up.

And we take a look back at how much has changed since London hosted its first games 104 years ago. That and your headlines coming up.


ANDERSON: A warm welcome to our viewers across Europe and around the world. I'm Becky Anderson. These are the latest world news headlines for you here on CNN.

Police used rubber bullets and batons to break up anti-austerity protests in Madrid earlier on. Medics report 76 injuries, none of those seriously thankfully. The protests came as Spain's prime minister announced harsh new austerity measures including raises in the value-added tax.

Syrian opposition forces told CNN that Syria's ambassador to Iraq has defected. They say Nawaf al Fares is currently making his way to a safe area. He would be the highest ranking diplomat to defect from the Syrian government since the start of the uprising there.

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi says he will respect the courts decision to reconvene parliament. Military rulers order parliament disbanded last month after a court ruled it was invalid. The president said he wants to resolve the power struggle through dialogue.

And the United States is easing some sanctions to allow U.S. companies to do business with Myanmar. In a statement the president Barack Obama appointed to continued political and economic reforms for the reasons for the move.

There's your headlines this hour.

Another day of scalding temperatures in the United States. Today oppressive heat warnings have been issued for many states across the mid and southwest. Mercury soaring to triple digits in many places as temperatures ion California and Nevada reaching record highs. Residents struggling to stay cool, many seeking refuge at local pools and cooling stations.

Well, it is, let me tell you, a very different story in the UK, where we are trying to dry off from the wettest June ever. You can see crowds at Wimbledon finals getting soaked last week, and the story similar today. July is not faring much better. Some areas have had 250 percent more rain than is usual this month so far. Can you believe it?

Well, you will -- or would if you lived here. June was the second month this year on record-breaking rains in Britain. Conditions in the US also breaking norms. The past 12 months were the hottest ever there since recordkeeping began.

So, what on Earth is going on? Joining us now with some perspective on what is this extreme weather is Jenny Harrison from the CNN World Weather Center. Jen, I'm leaving it to you. What's going on, and is there any break in what is this freak weather?

JENNY HARRISON, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I knew you'd ask me about the break in the weather, and there is in some areas, not in others, Becky. But let me start, as you say, breaking it down and just talking about what we've seen so far, what we've experienced.

And as you've said, of course, the figures in June, but also April was the wettest month across the UK, so the three months combined, April, May, and June, became the three wettest months ever recorded. You can see what the amount actually was and the average, so it was double overall.

And then, if you break it down and you can see, obviously, you've got Scotland, Wales, England, and Northern Ireland. The area that saw, perhaps, the least amount of excess water was Scotland, 152 percent. And you can see here, 227 percent in England, Wales 238, and Ireland 235 percent.

So, of course, you want to know, well, why did that happen? Well, this is why. It's all to do with the jet stream. This is what determines the actual routes that these areas of low pressure take. These areas of low pressure -- and of course, we refer to the jet stream as the sort of highway of the storms.

So, all these lows come in, and they're the systems that bring the rain. So, normally, we would have the jet stream up here, we'd have dry, mild, pleasant early summer conditions. That hasn't happened. So, there's a normal summer. That isn't -- as I say, it's not what's happened.

This normally, it keeps all the rain away, because the position of the jet stream, the systems go much further north. But what has happened this year is that that jet stream has actually dipped much further south, so that means the rain has also dipped southward.

Now, not only that -- so, not only have we had just continuous areas of low pressure coming in, because it's been so much further south, the waters are a lot warmer, so it's picking up a lot of almost tropical temperature water, because it's just off the coast over the Bay of Biscay.

So, it's that warm water, as well, that has been fueling these areas of low pressure and producing these really strong thunderstorms.

ANDERSON: All right.

HARRISON: Then -- oh, Becky. I think you're about to say something.


HARRISON: Well, OK, so then I want to --

ANDERSON: No, go on.

HARRISON: Then I want to talk to you about Russia, because this is a very different scenario to what's going on in the UK. So, what we've had here, we had nearly six months of rain in 24 hours, and we know what this did. This was a deadly weather system that came across the region.

Now, actually, is it to do with the jet stream as well? Because it's been further north, it's been drier and warmer than usual across this region, but this area of low pressure was very, very slow moving. It really had nothing to steer it. It was also being blocked to the one side, so it couldn't move out of the picture. So, it's picking up all this moisture from the Black Sea.

Now, as well as that, the temperature was much warmer than average, up to four degrees Celsius above average. That is really very warm. So, the warmer the water, the more water vapor, and then it has to come down. That is why we have so much rain.

Then, we're going to head quickly to the US. Again, the records that have been broken, they're into their hundreds, as you can see, temperatures well above the average. Again, it's to do with the jet stream. We've had high pressure in control, clear skies, blue skies, blocking all the systems. Temperatures have just been way above the average, Becky.

ANDERSON: Your one stop shop. Thank goodness for Jenny Harrison. Jen, you totally sorted me out on what I hadn't understood for about, I don't know, three or four months here in the UK. I've got some viewer questions for you from all over the world, a number -- questions coming in, and I've just picked a few out. Quickfire questions to you.

Gardenia asks, "How long are these temperatures from heat waves and flooding from rains going to continue?

HARRISON: Well, when it comes to the heat wave, that is something which is sort of -- it ebbs and flows, like a lot of this, like the jet stream does as well.

But the heat across the US, I'm going to show you this chart, because the last 12 months, yes, it's been the warmest ever on record. Not the just past 12 months. The last 12 months period. So, the last 12 years since 1895, the last three years the temperature's been well above the average.

What happens in a heat wave, of course, right now that you're really referring to, Becky, it will come and go. So, it's actually easing already across the west as we head towards the weekend, but there's quite a bit of evidence here that says we've had just the 12 warmest years ever on record.

ANDERSON: Tina asks, "Is the jet stream behind it all, or are changes on the poles -- or have changes on the poles got something to do with it?" Do you understand that?

HARRISON: Yes, I do know what she says, because again --


HARRISON: -- we talk about the poles, the jet stream is actually governed by a few things. A couple of things, really. Here it is, of course, it's further south. This is what's been bringing the rain, as I've just been saying, but it ebbs and flows, the jet stream. It moves to the north, it moves to the south.

It's called differential heating, and what happens, of course, you've got the sun heating the tropics, it's cooler at the poles, and the spin of the Earth, there's a few things combined. So, really what's going to happen, it is the jet stream that's been really bringing the weather across the northwest of Europe. Also, to a certain extent, the heat in the US. Also the conditions in the southeast of Europe.

So, really, until this moves, nothing is going to change. And really, it's just to do with the jet stream, not so much the temperature at the poles. But I know why she asked that.

ANDERSON: Right. OK. And Ken sent us this question. "Are all the weather changes in the world related to global warming?" he asks. "Or is it a cycle or a pattern that it happens every, what, 400, 500 years?"

HARRISON: Good question, isn't it, Becky? Yes, that's the one that we all want to know, the $64 million question. What we can say, when we're talking about climate change, and we really are now talking about it very, very seriously, what happens, events like this.

The event in Russia, with the really tremendous amount of rain, the downpours, the heat across the US, the heat in Europe. What happens is we see an increased frequency of these sort of events. That is the clue that some sort of climate change is actually taking place.

Now, as we know, records only go back a certain time. Did it happen 400, 500 even beyond that years ago? It quite possibly did. But we are now seeing and what we talk about when we talk about climate change is an increase in the frequency of these hot, dry events, and also these really heavy rains that cause the flooding around the world.

ANDERSON: Jenny, don't go away. No one likes a rainy forecast, of course. We hate it when you give us one. But a seaside town in Belgium is so unhappy with its summer forecast that it is suing.

Tourism officials from Knokke-Heist say they received hundreds of cancellations from tourists after a private weather agency predicted bad weather in August. They say that the forecast will cost them millions in lost revenue. The town's mayor spoke to CNN earlier. He defended their action.


LEOPOLD LIPPENS, MAYOR, KNOKKE-HEIST (via telephone): I'd like to see NASA in the United States giving the weather forecast for two months ahead. Everybody would laugh his head off.


ANDERSON: Jen, we were told in the UK to expect a drought this year. The hosepipe bans have only just been lifted. It is absolutely ridiculous. When these Meteos get it wrong, can they be sued? Is it -- is it realistic?

HARRISON: I need to say something in defense of this particular met team that were doing this, it's actually a public -- a private company within Belgium.


HARRISON: But you know what's interesting? The mayor there, Mr. Mayor, he referred to NASA. Well, NASA doesn't do any forecasting. NASA are the people who do stuff in the sky, they're all the space exploration people.

Nowhere -- and they do do long-range forecasts. And guess what? The US does, the UK does. Many, many countries around the world do these long- range forecasts. This is what --

ANDERSON: So, why often do they get them wrong?

HARRISON: Well -- but are they wrong, Becky? This is what I want to show you. This particular Belgian company, they weren't wrong. They said temperatures would be a bit above normal. They did say the rain would be 135 percent of normal.

Well, guess what? When we look at the figures and we look at the towns, we break it down, from the 1st to the 10th of July, here are the average temperatures. We've taken Brussels and Oostende. It was indeed so far this month, it has been above average.

Here's the rainfall they've both had. Guess what, Becky? They have had above average rainfall. And what they say, this particular private met company is that there's a disclaimer -- well, not a disclaimer, but they do say these things are not set in stone, and there's a 65 percent chance of this being right.

So far, they are actually right. Things have been above normal. We will wait and see.

ANDERSON: What you're saying is read the small print --


HARRISON: Well, actually --

ANDERSON: or the tea leaves --

HARRISON: Well, you know --

ANDERSON: -- or the puzzles, or --

HARRISON: -- what I'm also saying -- no, it's far more scientific than that. What I'm actually saying, Becky, is if they get it right, they get a nice bonus. There's also getting it right and bringing in the tourism. You see, it's easy, always, isn't it, just to bash the messenger, you see.

ANDERSON: When's it going to stop raining here?

HARRISON: Well, Becky, that jet stream has to move. Until that moves, you're going to get more of the same.

ANDERSON: Sitting on the fence. Jenny Harrison with a fabulous jacket on this evening. Jen, always a pleasure, thanks very much, indeed.

Many of CNN's iReporters have also sent us some incredible pictures and video of wild weather all over the world. Platt Shaun from Texas sending these pictures of enormous hailstones after a storm there. The baseball-sized -- can you imagine that? -- the baseball-sized stones broke windows in cars and shop fronts, unsurprisingly.

Phillapinas sent us this picture from Manila in the Philippines. Cause -- heavy rains causing flooding in the crowded streets, there. You can see cars and bikes trying to plow their way through the daily commute.

And finally, a video that brilliantly showcases just how hot it is in Nashville, Tennessee. The scorching 42 degree heat inspired this contributor to try to bake cookies on her dashboard. The experiment paid off.


HLYNNN7600, IREPORTER: They were flat. And they're starting to bake.


ANDERSON: She said they were delicious. Isn't that remarkable? Be a part of our iReport by going to -- .cnn. There, you can share your stories, take part in assignments, share your cookies, even showcase your reports, for iReports.

Stay up to date with all the weather, of course, by visiting the website, as well. There, we've got coverage on weather all across the world, and you can see what's going on and how you can stay prepared,

Coming up on CONNECT THE WORLD here with me, Becky Anderson. Tonight -- do not give up the day job, Beck. Well, it's not as easy as it seems, I promise you. I went to London's busiest airport to find out what is involved in marshaling a plane.


ANDERSON: At the best of times, London's Heathrow Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. Over 69 million passengers passed through its doors last year. But even more are expected this year, with London hosting the 2012 Olympic Games.

Well, while most of us can sit back and relax on a flight, the logistics behind it are all a lot more stressful. I went to find out just exactly what's involved.


ANDERSON (voice-over): It's known as the "Heathrow Minute." It's the average time between a plane landing and taking off here at what is London's largest Gateway.

More than 1300 aircraft carrying passengers and cargo arrive and depart this airport every day. It's a logistical challenge unrivaled in terms of safety and precision. Glenn Palmer's worked here in airfield operations for 25 years. He's about to show me how to marshal a plane.

ANDERSON (on camera): So, how many planes are taking off and landing at this time of day? Because I feel as if things are happening all around.

GLENN PALMER, AIRFIELD OPERATIONS OFFICER: So, one aircraft about every minute, a flight shifting every 60 seconds. Basically, I'll guide the aircraft on where there is guidance only, but we're bringing aircraft on safely so it comes to a safe stop.

ANDERSON: Were you a spotter?

PALMER: A spotter? Well, I am a spotter. But I call myself an aviologist.


ANDERSON: An aviologist?

PALMER: And aviologist.

ANDERSON (voice-over): First up, I practiced by marshaling a car.

PALMER: And, let's give it a start. Wait and finish. Cut the engine. It's happening. Away. Turn and watch the center line.

ANDERSON (on camera): All right.

PALMER: Now, straight ahead, both bats.

ANDERSON: Right, both bats. Here he comes, coming straight down at me. Stop! Stop!

PALMER: Now, your bats will go over.


PALMER: Oh, enough.

ANDERSON: Oh, to here?


ANDERSON: To here?

PALMER: Ease -- there.

ANDERSON: Oh, yes. How did I do? Not bad, huh?

PALMER: Good. Yes, we're getting there.

ANDERSON: All right, we're getting there, good.

PALMER: Room for improvement.

ANDERSON: Room -- what? You ever marshal a Concord in?


ANDERSON: Did you?

PALMER: Many times. Loved it.


ANDERSON (voice-over): This is a British Airways A320 aircraft with around 160 passengers onboard. I'm about to help the pilot park up.

PALMER: Take that right. Lift on, keep that one going. That's it.

ANDERSON: Get him on the line.

PALMER: No, keep coming around.

ANDERSON: Keep bringing him around.

PALMER: Keep coming around.

ANDERSON: Keep bringing him around.

PALMER: Keep coming -- straight and up, now! Straight down the center line!

ANDERSON: Oh, I'm on that line! Oh, come on!

PALMER: There, it's good. It's right on the center line.

ANDERSON: Come on, baby.

PALMER: Both bats.

ANDERSON: Walking back.

PALMER: Start walking back --

ANDERSON: Walking away from the plane.

PALMER: Start walking back. Keep going. That's good. Keep coming back. Two more strokes. Stop -- there! Excellent!

ANDERSON: Very good! Oh! I've done it!

PALMER: Really good. Not bad at all. On the center line, just past the stop mark, there, but the signals are getting clearer. It's been a bit wooden, but we're getting there.


PALMER: You're good!

ANDERSON: It is a more terrifying experience than I possibly imagined it would be, and you feel very, very responsible, indeed.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Although Glenn and his colleagues are friendly and fun, they take their jobs very seriously. Around 70 million passengers and 1.5 million metric tons of cargo transit Heathrow every year, with no small thanks to the team out here on the airfield.


ANDERSON: Part of the Gateway series this month. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. When we come back, how the Olympic and British culture have changed since we first staged the Games way back when in 1908. Not as obvious, though, as it might seem.


ANDERSON: All this week, we on CONNECT THE WORLD, we've got a whole series of reports for you, shining a light on Green Pioneers, inspiring individuals enhancing our planet. Now, with just 16 days until the London Olympics, we met the man who is making sure the city hosts the world's first sustainable Games.

And today, our Green Pioneer is the princess whose childhood passion has become her life's work. Her Highness Sayyida Tania al Said of Oman founded her country's only environmental NGO. And despite her royal upbringing, she is not afraid to get her hands dirty.


SCHAMS ELWAZER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the waters of the Gulf of Oman, this environmental advocate feels perfectly at home.

SAYYIDA TANIA AL SAID, PRESIDENT, ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY OF OMAN: I love the sea, because I dive and all the creatures that live in it that I find fascinating, I always have. So, I guess maybe that's why I'm more comfortable out in the ocean.

ELWAZER: Protecting the sea may be an unlikely passion for an Omani princess. Her Highness Sayyida Tania Bin Shabib al Said is a member of the sultanate royal family. The country's ruler, Sultan Qaboos, is a champion for conservation and also happens to be Sayyida Tania's first cousin. Her love of the sea came at a young age.

AL SAID: They didn't want to leave early, for some reason.

I realized that if 90 percent of the world is covered with water, you've got to go and see it. And that's kind of how I started diving and wanting to know more about what there is around and really trying to protect it.

We're going to the Damaniyat Islands, the only marine nature reserve in Oman. The significance to Oman is that it has a very developed coral reef and the beaches are a nesting home to a very large population of Hawksbill turtles in Oman.

ELWAZER: Hawksbill turtles are a critically endangered species. Once a year, they return to the beach of their birth to lay their eggs in sand pits. When visitors build campfires, the turtle eggs can die.

Then, there's the Sayyida Tania's pet peeve: litter.

ELWAZER (on camera): It's just your instinct to pick stuff up, isn't it?

AL SAID: It is. It is my instinct to pick stuff up.

ELWAZER (voice-over): On the beaches and in the water, litter, especially plastic, is a perpetual problem.

AL SAID: Yes, litter is a problem here, because the islands are so much more accessible to people now than they were before.

ELWAZER: She may be a princess, but she's not afraid of getting her hands dirty.

AL SAID: We had a cleanup campaign in December last year, and we collected huge amounts of trash, over 200 kilos of plastic waste was collected, and that in itself is quite shocking.

ELWAZER: Her idea for an environmental NGO began 15 years ago, but it was only after a royal decree legalizing NGOs that she was able to officially register the Environment Society of Oman in 2004. ESO remains the only NGO in the sultanate dedicated to the environment.

For Sayyida Tania, the priority is getting the eco message across to children.

AL SAID: I think -- I guess my mission would be when it comes to children and educating children. I find sometimes you think that adults are a little bit of a lost cause, because they're already set in their ways, whereas with children, you really are able to make differences that hopefully become part of their lifestyles.

ELWAZER: Schams Elwazer, CNN, Muscat.


ANDERSON: And this month, CNN's taking a look at people around the world who put their passion into action to change the planet. These people we're calling our Green Pioneers, and they can be found profiled on a CNN Going Green special, Friday, 4:30 London time.

Before we go, three Olympics, once city. How different could they be? Well, vastly is the answer. It's been 104 years since London first staged its Games and, as a group of British researchers discovered, much has changed.


ANDERSON (voice-over): In 1908, a female athlete was a rare sight at the Olympics. Forty years later, women still only made up a fraction of competitors. But in 2012, they'll account for half of the athletes going for gold.

And consider this giant leap. Since the first London Games, marathon runners have shaved 52 minutes off the winning time.

ANDERSON (on camera): Back then, more than 50 percent of gold medals were won by British athletes, but given the plethora of competing nations these days, that is unlikely to happen. Many things have changed in Britain since then, not just in sport.

The library at the House of Commons has taken a look at the social and economic changes, and let me tell you, they're vast.

ANDERSON (voice-over): In 1908, life expectancy was around 52, and cremation was almost unheard of. Now, it's the preferred way to go for 73 percent of the British population.

ANDERSON (on camera): We are, though, a lot healthier these days. It seems we've gone right off our full English breakfast. Egg consumption is way down. These days, we are opting for the much healthier option of roast chicken.

Our taste buds have also changed when it comes to alcohol. Yes, Brits are still drinking as much as they did back in the 1900s, but it's wine these days, rather than beer, that's wetting our whistle.

Well, the researchers also looked at weather patterns, and if history is anything to go by, the weather for the opening week of the Olympics will be -- well, let's just describe it as unpredictable, shall we?

Conditions in 1908 were described as "atrocious," and in 1948, the UK went from record highs for the Opening Ceremony to a wash-out in the first week of the competition. At least some things in Britain never change.


ANDERSON: A look in time. Becky Anderson. That was CONNECT THE WORLD, thanks for watching. The world news headlines up after this. Don't go away.