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CONNECT THE WORLD

Protests Continue to Spread Across Entire Muslim World; Ronaldo Talks of the Challenges For Hosting World Cup, Olympics

Aired September 14, 2012 - 16:00   ET

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


ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Tonight from Connect the World from Sudan to Lebanon, Gaza and India, violent demonstrations against a film mocking Islam rock countries around the world.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is connect the world.

VERJEE: As the anger spreads, tonight on Connect the World the Muslim Brotherhood leader in the UK tells me what he wants to see happen next.

Also tonight, Britain's royals launch legal action against a French magazine after it published topless photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge.

And they've sung their way into the music charts. Find out why the military wives are now marching into the record books.

The anger ignited in North Africa has spread across the Middle East and beyond. One crude, low budget film produced in the United States has triggered an international firestorm. The protests have now reached Tunisia birthplace of the Arab Spring. State TV says three people were killed when demonstrators stormed the U.S. embassy.

Also today, unrest in Pakistan. Protesters in Karachi chanted anti- American slogans and burned the U.S. flag.

We showed you this map of countries where protests are taking place. Today, you can see there are even more, including India, Jordan, Nigeria, even Indonesia. As the protests rage, some American casualties of the violence have finally returned home. The bodies of the U.S. ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three others arrived at an air base today near Washington.

Our reporters alive tonight in two flashpoints. Ben Wedeman is in Cairo following protests in Tahrir Square. Mohammed Jamjoom is in Beirut with the latest on the violence in northern Lebanon. But first to Sudan where deadly protests broke out today. And the U.S. embassy wasn't the only target of attack.

Angry crowds set fire to the German embassy in Khartoum. They also stormed the British embassy.

Journalist Isma'il Kamal Kushkush is following developments tonight from Khartoum. He joins us now on the line.

Describe to our audience what happened.

ISMA'IL KAMAL KUSHKUSH, JOURNALIST: Well, today after Friday prayers in the grand mosque of central Khartoum protesters in the thousands marched to the German embassy which is in downtown. And right next to it is the British embassy. They were met with riot police who fired tear gas, but the crowds got larger and larger until a few actually were able to get in, climb into the embassy, bring down the flag and put their own flag in the embassy. And that -- right after that a fire broke out right in front of the embassy and inside.

Protesters started throwing stones at the German embassy and also at the British embassy.

But today is Friday, so -- and it's a holiday, so there weren't many staff members inside. So as far as I know, and from what I've been told, no one was hurt in either embassy.

After that, the protest marched on to the U.S. embassy, which is in the outskirts of Khartoum, a little bit farther. And numbers were a little less, but nevertheless were also met with police. We understand three protesters were killed in the process while run over by a Sudanese police automobile.

Also no one in the embassy from what I understand was hurt.

VERJEE: Isma'il Kamal Kushkush reporting. Thank you.

Violence also erupted today in Lebanon. The protests come just as Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Beirut bringing a message of peace.

Let's get you the very latest now from Mohammed Jamjoom.

Mohammed, tell us what happened in Lebanon today?

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Zain, the protests that happened here happened in the northern city of Tripoli, not particularly surprising given all the anger in the region directed towards the U.S. because of this film. Tripoli is a city in which there is a large population of ultraconservative Sunni Muslims.

What we were told by internal security forces was that around 300 men started marching through the streets of Tripoli, that about 40 or so of them broke away from that large crowd, that they stormed a KFC restaurant, that many of them were armed, that they set fire to the place. There were very dramatic picture of this KFC burning down. Security forces showed up to the scene. They started shooting at those demonstrators who were armed. One demonstrator was killed in the shootout. The shootout lasted for quite some time.

Now we've been told by security forces here that ordered had been restored to Tripoli, but this was concerning. And quite a dramatic backdrop on a day when the pope arrived here with a message for peace for a region that is in turmoil, especially here in Lebanon where sectarian tensions have been on the increase and where it's been so volatile and there's been spillover from violence in Syria here these past few months as well -- Zain.

VERJEE: Mohammed Jamjoom reporting.

These anti-American protests first started in Egypt. Three days later, demonstrations are still underway in Tahrir Square. Our senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman joins us now from Cairo.

Ben, what's happening on in Tahrir Square?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Actually, Tahrir Square is relatively calm. Most of the action, which basically clashes between protesters and the Egyptian security forces are happening in the street right below me. And this is the street right around the corner from the American embassy.

This has been going on for much of the afternoon, really just a back and forth fight between those protesters and the security forces. But perhaps and equally disturbing event has gone on in the Sinai Peninsula where the multinational peace force that monitors the peace agreement between Israel and Egypt, one of their bases which houses about 1,500 troops and other staff members of that multinational force has come under attack according to Egyptian security sources by militant Bedouin Islamists who used automatic weapons and other weapons to attack this base.

Apparently at least two of the members of that multinational peacekeeping force have been wounded. One of the observation towers was burned. And we are told that assault is ongoing at the moment. Egyptian security forces have been sent to try to reinforce or protect that base, but it appears that as I said that assault is still going on -- Zain.

VERJEE: Ben, on the right-hand side of our screen our audience is looking at live pictures from Cairo as we see the continuing running battles between police and protesters. Ben, tell us who the protesters are?

WEDEMAN: Well, they're sort of two different groups. There are those who are in Tahrir Square itself. Those tend to be older people, many of them affiliated with the Salafi movement and it's Nour party. Down below, the kids who are fighting it out with the security forces I've spent a lot of time speaking to them. None of them seem to have any apparent political affiliation. Many of them are the same, young men we saw clashing over the last year and a half in various areas around Tahrir Square. They're angry over this very inflammatory and insulting anti-Islamic YouTube video, but they don't really know an awful lot about it. One of them saying that he thinks that the man who made it is a Jewish agent for Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, whereas CNN has learned he is in fact an American of Coptic Christian background.

So it doesn't appear that there's any real organization behind these clashes that have been going on since Tuesday night. What -- but obviously it's creating a very volatile situation.

This is an area of hotels, many of the guests are now essentially stuck in these hotels because they can't leave, because of the fighting in the streets -- Zain.

VERJEE: Can the government control this situation? Or is it likely to escalate?

WEDEMAN: Well, that's a question many people are asking, whether the government or for instance the Muslim Brotherhood can control it.

I have seen when the Muslim Brotherhood decides they want things to calm down, they can send their muscle into the street and stop exactly what's going on below us here, but they haven't. The government, the security forces, they seem to be doing the minimum to keep the protesters away from the American embassy, but it appears that they've been given orders to restraint, unlike previous times here in Cairo when there have been clashes between protesters and security forces. So far, nobody has been killed, which is quite unusual. You've had hundreds of wounded. But most of them are from this inhalation of tear gas.

So it appears that the government has yet to really pull out all stops and put an end to these protests. They're just trying to keep them under control -- Zain.

VERJEE: CNN Senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman reporting on the situation right now as it is unfolding. You're looking at live pictures on the right-hand side of your screen. We'll continue to check in with Ben and bring you the latest.

Egypt has been such an important ally of the United States for decades. Washington relies on it to keep the peace with Israel as well as help maintain regional stability. One reason it sends nearly $1.5 billion in aid every single year. So it was really interesting that President Barack Obama chose this language just yesterday. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you consider the current Egyptian regime an ally of the United States.

BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: I don't think that we would consider them an ally, but we don't consider them an enemy. They are a new government that is trying to find its way. They were democratically elected. I think that we are going to have to see how they respond to this incident.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VERJEE: Egypt's new Muslim Brotherhood president has a really delicate balancing act. Mohammed Morsi is trying to keep on good terms with the United States, but also trying to appease protesters who are outraged over the insult to Islam.

Let's talk about what's going on in Egypt right now with Mohammed Ghanem. He's the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK.

Why is the Muslim Brotherhood not sending in all its muscle, as Ben Wedeman was reporting, to stop the demonstrations on the street?

MOHAMMED GHANEM, MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD: Well, we have to see the actual cause of the problem not to blame for somebody who is react to the action, we have to realize and love of the prophet is a part of our creed, a part of our belief.

VERJEE: Does it justify the violence we're seeing on the street?

GHANEM: It does not justify the violence at all, but as well we are as human have different reaction to our emotion. And this is very emotional.

VERJEE: It's one thing to protest peacefully, it's another thing to have the kind of violent scenes we're seeing on the streets of Egypt today. I mean, it's worrying that if it's true that the Muslim Brotherhood leadership is showing restraint and not sending in as much manpower as it can to stop the protests, does that not send a bad signal?

GHANEM: Well, it doesn't actually, because they don't -- they can to balance the situation...

VERJEE: Are they?

GHANEM: We don't want some people to be killed. And we don't -- Egypt, Egyptian people to kill each other. And that's how to balance the situation in every moment.

I'm not there to judge, this is the situation. Muslim Brotherhood has taken that up when yesterday were calling to shore the anger as reflect, but today according to the events went violent they drew back their calling for the protests, expression of anger in a controlling way.

VERJEE: How is the Muslim Brotherhood going to control the protesters and at the same time maintain a relationship with the United States and the west, because Egypt is an important strategic partner.

GHANEM: Yeah, we understand we can't blame the United States, nor we expect the United States government to blame Muslim Brotherhood...

VERJEE: But the Muslim Brotherhood is in charge.

GHANEM: We are both victims...

VERJEE: But you're in charge.

GHANEM: We're not fully in charge. We are part of the political process in Egypt. There is other political party. There is the police. There is the mosque leader. There is more than this event is not just a limited to Muslim Brotherhood, it's a bigger issue even than Egypt itself. It's the whole Muslim nation. We're not far from Salman Rushdie offense.

We can say we will do our best to protect it because the manner of Muslim not to be violent and that actually the manner of the Prophet (inaudible). And if we wanted to protect and sure our protest of what happened, we should be conducted in a prophesy manner and not to be violent to anyone.

VERJEE: But that's not what we're seeing on the streets.

GHANEM: Yeah, that's why this is...

VERJEE: That's why the Muslim Brotherhood is looking bad.

GHANEM: No, it's not looking bad. We're trying out best. But they - - the event itself was bad, that's why the reaction to the normal (inaudible) especially young people is uncontrollable. We try our best and we will try until the end.

VERJEE: Mohammed Ghanem, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK. Thank you for your perspective.

CNN is following every angle of this story, coming up in around 15 minutes, we're going to take you live to Benghazi on the latest on the investigation into the attack that killed a U.S. ambassador, and with dictators in Egypt and Libya long gone, we're going to take a look at why the attitudes of their citizens could be much harder to shift.

Lots more coming up on CNN. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VERJEE: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will sue the French magazine that published topless photos of the duchess on holiday. The pair were told of the photos over breakfast while they were on their tour of Southeast Asia. They said that they were really saddened by the invasion of privacy.

Earlier, the editor-in-chief of Closer in France said she thought the reaction to the pictures was disproportionate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAURENCE PIEAU, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, CLOSER FRANCE (through translator): No, there was no debate amongst us at the magazine. We need to de- dramatize these images, because they are a disproportioned reactions around these photos. It's just a young couple in love that are taking a break in the south of France. I think that what these photos really highlight is the issue of the royal couple's security.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VERJEE: More on this is just ahead. Our royals correspondent Max Foster will join us live from the Solomon Islands, that's the next stop on William and Kate's trip. We're also going to speak to a lawyer in France about any legal options the couple has.

Meanwhile, let's take a look at some of the other stories making headlines this hour.

The South Africa government says it's going to crack down on illegal gatherings outside mines. That as unrest grows with strikers at the Marikana Mine rejecting a contract offer, that's the mine where 34 striking miners were killed in a clash with police last month.

Elsewhere, police in Africa used tear gas to disperse thousands protesting outside the world's number four platinum producer, Aquarius.

A court in Zimbabwe has put a stop to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai planned wedding this weekend by canceling his marriage license. The magistrate's ruling is in response to a fresh bid by Tsvangirai's ex- girlfriend Arcadia Tembo (ph) to prove that she is already his wife. The country's high court threw Temo's (ph) case on Wednesday due to lack of evidence.

Mr. Tsvangirai says he's going to appeal her latest attempt.

Global markets extended their gains after Thursday's announcement by the U.S. Federal Reserve to pump more money into the U.S. economy, but there are real fears that the market rally may be short lived. Uncertainty still remains over the future of the EuroZone amid rumors that Spain may need a bailout. Euro group ministers meeting in Cyprus today denied bailout talks with Spain were underway, but they did offer up some potential good news for Greece.

Christine LaGarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund hinted the country may be given more time to repay its loans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTINE LEGARDE, IMF CHIEF: It seems to us quite clear that Greece has already produced a huge effort. But will have to continue to do so. And the targets, when it comes to achieving that sustainability is very high.

So there are various ways to adjust. Time is one. That needs to be considered as an option.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VERJEE: 35,000 people have been evacuated due to ash and smoke erupting from the so-called Fire Volcano in Guatemala. The Volcan del Fuego began shooting ash into the sky early Thursday morning. Now activity looks like it's gone down, but a high alert is in place. It's the mountain's sixth and strongest eruption this year.

We're going to take a short break right now, but when we come back on CNN, wicked winds cause havoc at the European golfing major. Mark McKay is up with world sports.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VERJEE: Brazil is preparing for not one, but two major sporting endeavors. In 2014 the South American nation hosts the FIFA World Cup finals. Two years later in 2016, it's the Olympic summer games. One of then nations most recognizable sportsman is speaking to all the challenges involved. Mark McKay has more from CNN Center. Hi, Mark.

MARK MCKAY, CNN SPORTS CORREPSONDENT: Hey, Zain.

Yeah, fortunately this is a guy that knows all about challenges when it comes to sporting endeavors. He's a two-time World Cup winner with Brazil, a two time Spanish club winner with Real Madrid. He's also a three time FIFA world player of the year. He's Ronaldo. And he is the face of Brazil when it comes to ramping up for both of these events: the World Cup in 2014 and of course the Olympic summer games two years later.

And Ronaldo is the first to admit there are challenges.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RONALDO, SOCCER LEGEND (through translator): There are two big challenges that the Brazilian people are facing. First the organization of the World Cup, which is the biggest challenge in terms of countrywide organization. To receive a World Cup today is a very complex event to organize.

On the other hand, there are always expectation on the sport inside for the Brazilian team to win a World Cup in our own country. It's a big challenge for the Brazilian team. The Brazilian people have high expectations about winning the cup in our own country. And I'm certain that by the time we get to the cup our team is going to be competitive.

It was an incredible experience, especially because after 98 when we lost the final match to France, Brazilians and players were left with a bitter taste in our mouths. Then came the World Cup of 2002 with big expectations. And thank god we managed to make it to the final and beat Germany. I made two goals in the final. It was truly unforgettable.

I think Neymar still has a face to complete. Playing in Europe and triumph playing in Europe. Messi and Christiano Ronaldo without a doubt are the best players today with a preference for Messi, because he's a player who fascinates us more, who shows more creativity. Even though he's from Argentina which has a big rivalry with Brazil, but he's a player that I admired a lot. In fact, both of them. But I think Messi is a little above Christiano Ronaldo.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCKAY: We'll hear much more from Ronaldo coming up next hour on World Sport, Zain. He has great memories of his career. He left us with some great memories as well.

VERJEE: Mark, why did the second round of the women's British Open fail to finish Friday?

MCKAY: Well, look at the conditions early Friday morning up in the northwest of England, Zain, and I think this answers the question. 7:00 am local time the round teed off. About less than 90 minutes later, they had to actually call all the players off. Why? Take a look at the wind. Some of the gusts up to 60 miles an hour. 18 golfers were able to get out on to the course, but their combined totals 52 over par.

So officials said, you know what, let's call it a day, let's hold the leaderboard where it is. All of the scores of the players that did get out in those wicked conditions were canceled. So they'll start again bright and early Saturday morning.

You talk about some wicked -- that is a bad hair day in the making isn't it Zain? Look at that.

VERJEE: I never have those. I have no idea what you're talking about.

MCKAY: Well, fortunately, you don't.

VERJEE: It's not that windy. Come on.

MCKAY: All right. That is something else.

So they're going to start again. Hopefully the conditions early Saturday morning will be a whole lot better in Liverpool.

I'll see you for World Sport in about an hour, Zain.

VERJEE: All right. Can't wait. Mark McKay, thank you.

Still to come here on Connect the World, their final journey home as the bodies of four Americans are brought back from Libya. We're going to head live to Benghazi to get you an update on the hunt for their attackers.

Plus the royals sue the magazine that published topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge while the magazine's editor calls the public reaction disproportionate.

And they're going Gaga over a black perfume as a controversial musician launches her first fragrance in New York. Ladies, would you wear this?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VERJEE: A warm welcome to our viewers across Europe as well as around the world. I'm Zain Verjee and these are the latest world headlines from CNN.

The bodies of four Americans killed in an attack on a US consulate in Libya have been flown home. US ambassador Chris Stevens was among those who died in Tuesday's assault on the mission in Benghazi.

Anti-American protests have now reached Tunisia, birthplace of the Arab Spring. State TV says three people were killed when demonstrators stormed the US embassy there. Protesters are furious over an amateur film that insults Islam.

In Sudan's capital, protesters managed to get inside the German embassy and pull down the flag before police forced the crowd to retreat. The German foreign minister confirms all the embassy staffers are safe. Angry crowds also gathered outside the US and British embassies.

And anger continues to boil over in Egypt, as well. Riot police clashed with protesters in Cairo as they tried to push toward the US embassy. Officials say more than 200 people have been injured in the past two days.

During a somber ceremony, US president Barack Obama paid tribute to the Americans who died in Benghazi and vowed to bring their killers to justice. His Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said it was really hard to make sense of a situation that she could only describe as senseless.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, US SECRETARY OF STATE: The people of Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Tunisia did not trade the tyranny of a dictator for the tyranny of a mob. Reasonable people and responsible leaders in these countries need to do everything they can to restore security and hold accountable those behind these violent acts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VERJEE: Arwa Damon is in Benghazi, where earlier she visited the scene of Tuesday's attack. Arwa, what's the latest that you're hearing there?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the government is reiterating that pledge by the United States to bring the perpetrators to justice, promising that it is going to do just that, and when it does detain them, that they will be held to account, brought to trial here in Benghazi in and of itself.

But at this point in time, as far as we are being told, they only have around four individuals in custody. This is according to the country's president, who we saw at the scene of the attack at the US consulate earlier today.

But he was also saying something that was quite disturbing, and that is that the current government security forces are not capable of reining in these various extremist armed militias.

They can only do their best, but to actually impose the type of rule of law that is necessary here, the type of rule of law that Libyans are telling us that they want to see take place, at this point in time, the government is not able to do just that.

And so, we're still trying to piece together exactly what transpired, who is responsible, the government at this point in time not disclosing any details as to which extremist group these four individuals may belong -- may have affiliations with.

But only saying that this was carried out by extremists, and that the government here, at least, believes that these were pre-planned, deliberate attacks intended to inflict maximum damage to drive a wedge between the Libyans and the Americans, Zain.

VERJEE: CNN Senior International Correspondent Arwa Damon reporting from Benghazi. Thanks, Arwa.

My next guest believes that the protests that we're seeing across the Arab world are part of the "legacy of tyranny." Ed Husain is a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. He also helped to create the counter-extremism organization, the Quilliam Foundation. He joins me now from New York.

VERJEE: Ed, what does this mean? Why do you believe that the protests are part of the "legacy of tyranny?"

ED HUSAIN, SENIOR FELLOW, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: I believe that, Zain, because many of these protesters -- almost all of these protesters -- were born and raised in dictatorial regimes, and in the tyranny of these dictators, when a citizen will want to produce, say, a film or a documentary or a drama of some sort, they will need to get permission from central government. So, the dictators would sign off on this.

What's happened is, they now think that this is how governments work in the West. In other words, an American citizen can't produce something without US government authorization.

And therefore, they're projecting or mirroring their experiences, their understanding of growing up and living in the Arab world to think somehow the US government is responsible for the actions of a right-wing Muslim-phobe.

VERJEE: As we look at these pictures of what's been happening in the Middle East today, I just want to point out, first of all, that the whole Middle East is not in flames. It's not all violence everywhere. There have been some peaceful protests.

When you see images of riot police engaging protesters and flames near buildings and flags burning, it does not capture the reality of the situation across the Middle East. But how worried are you that this could spread and escalate?

HUSAIN: Well, you're absolutely right that it does not relate to us, the reality of life on the ground in the Middle East. I'm in the Arab world often, every two months I'm there, and just to put a few facts out there, there are 90 million Egyptians. At most, we're seeing 2,000 to 3,000 outside the US embassy.

But the danger, of course, is this minority is powerful and it resonates, and some of its anger chimes with other sections of the population that may not be there in such numbers.

But it's worth reassuring Americans and the rest of the world that if you travel to the Arab world -- and these are just facts on the ground -- McDonald's is hugely popular, as is Starbucks, as are American movies --

VERJEE: Right.

HUSAIN: And the very same embassies that the extremists are attacking, those same embassies are overloaded with people in those countries wanting to enter the United States --

VERJEE: Right.

HUSAIN: -- either to visit, to study, to travel, or to work. So, those are the facts on the ground, and I think Hillary Clinton is right not to let this entire sort of bond between the US and the Arab world be derailed by the actions of these extremists.

VERJEE: The fact of the matter is, when we look at the situation on the ground and the minority extremists taking control of the agenda here and grabbing the headlines, how can they be controlled? How can they be contained? Is anything not being done or said that you think should be done and said?

HUSAIN: One of the key elements to this whole struggle for the Arab world at the moment is understanding the meaning of liberty and freedom as they see it practiced in the West. Millions of Arabs took to the streets because they wanted greater freedom and democracy.

There are no shortcuts to freedom and democracy. One of the prerequisites to that is, just as people are free to proselytize, others are free to apostatize. Just as people are free to pull people to religions, others may blaspheme and commit heresy.

In other words, these freedoms are interlinked. Religious freedom as well as the freedom of expression. And that has yet to be understood in the Arab street.

And as a result of the failure of understanding complete freedom in its entirety, what happens is, the majority wants freedom, but it's not open to be insulted on religious terms at least, by what it perceives to be either minorities within those countries or minorities or others, indeed, right-wing Islam -- Muslim folks from outside the country.

And that gap in knowledge is absolutely important to fill by groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood that claim to advance freedom. Well, here's your challenge: understand it and advocate it as it should be understood and advocated.

VERJEE: Ed Husain, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Thank you so much.

You can read more of Ed Husain's analysis in a special article that he's written for us at CNN. Just go to cnn.com and you're also going to find up-to-the-minute details on all of the latest protests that CNN's covering.

Coming up after the break, another royal photography scandal, or is it just a grotesque invasion of privacy? A French magazine publishes pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge topless.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VERJEE: William and Kate have spent a fourth successful day on their tour of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, but while the trip appears to be going well, talk at home has turned to the topless photos of Kate published in a French magazine.

They were taken by paparazzi when she was on holiday with her husband at a private estate. In London, St. James's Palace gave this statement:

"Their Royal Highnesses have been hugely saddened to learn that a French publication and a photographer have invaded their privacy in such a grotesque and totally unjustifiable manner. The incident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales."

The palace has confirmed that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are now pursuing legal action against the magazine. Our royal correspondent, Max Foster, is following the couple's tour and joins me now from Solomon Islands. Max, what more can you add to this and how they've been reacting?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're now into day two of this with the palace, because I was just waking up in the morning here, and the latest information that we have is that they are taking legal action.

A very strong reaction from the palace. Normally, they wouldn't have issued a formal statement like the one you just read, and they've been very swift in making it clear that they're taking legal action against the publishers of this French magazine as a message to the rest of the media as much as it is to "Closer."

But what we've got is this much wider debate about where is the line? At some point yesterday, I was told that the magazine had crossed a red line, here. You've got the Prince Harry photos that we talked about previously. There was a reaction to that, but not a huge one, and when the pictures were published in a British magazine there wasn't any reaction from the palace.

In this case, you got an instant reaction, and it's very clear that the palace feels that the line has been crossed. They feel that everyone, even royals, has a right to a private life, and this is where they start taking legal action.

And the reference to Diana is quite significant, because there has been a good relationship, really, between the media and the palace since Diana died, and that's breaking down again. That's the indication from the palace, at least.

VERJEE: Our royal correspondent Max Foster reporting from the Solomon Islands. Thanks, Max.

Despite the popular appeal of the photos, the British papers just are not publishing them. In France, though, where the tabloid press is less common, reaction has been kind of mixed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The thing is that in France it's very usual to see people going topless on the beach, so I'm not shocked, but I haven't bought it yet, "Closer," and I think I'm going to buy it just to see how it looks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For me, it's your private life, so you don't have to be on the cover. It's her holiday. She'll do what she wants.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VERJEE: To talk about what action the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge can expect to take, I'm joined now by Philippe Rousseau, a lawyer and a partner in the law firm Wragge and Company in Paris. Thanks for joining us.

Just explain to our audience what exactly French privacy laws say and what the justification of "Closer," the publication that's put out these pictures, is.

PHILIPPE ROUSSEAU, PARTNER, WRAGGE AND COMPANY: Hi there. Well, French privacy law is extremely strict and restrictive and it states mainly on Article 9 of the French civil codes, which states that everybody has a right for the respect of his private life.

And so, private life is definitely not different, irrespective of your rank, fortune. So, definitely today, I do not see how "Closer" would be able to justify the fact of having taken pictures in a remote area in such a manner.

VERJEE: Well, it looks like --

(CROSSTALK)

ROUSSEAU: And that's the way it should be --

VERJEE: -- it's going to court and -- and --

ROUSSEAU: Yes?

VERJEE: -- Kate and William have decided that they're going to sue on breach of privacy. Are they going to win?

ROUSSEAU: Well, the prospects of success are extremely high to me. I don't see any safe harbor for "Closer." To me, really, "Closer" is testing the water just in order to see whether or not there is a kind of a red line likely to be crossed for publications of this kind.

VERJEE: Are the French paparazzi becoming more aggressive?

ROUSSEAU: Yes, apparently. Well, I don't know whether it's related to the DSK matter, but I think that's a sort of red line has been definitely crossed a few years ago.

VERJEE: And is this going to set a precedent, do you think, of future behavior by the paparazzi in France, depending on how this legal case will play out?

ROUSSEAU: Yes. I guess so, because given the usual amount of damages which are awarded to the victims of those paparazzi, they are still thinking it's worth taking the risk.

But of course, does the nature of this matter, it's definitely exceptional, so maybe there will be a kind of a Kate Middleton precedent likely to be referred to by the future victims. So, it might ultimately lead to a change in their habits.

VERJEE: Philippe Rousseau, a lawyer and a partner in the law firm Wragge and Company in Paris. Thank you so much for talking to us. Appreciate this.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. When we come back, their men are on the front lines, but the ladies taking center stage. The Military Wives' Choir has set a new world record. That story next on CNN.

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(WOMEN SINGING CHORAL MUSIC)

(CROWD CHEERING)

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VERJEE: We want to show you some pictures we're just receiving from NASA. You're looking at a naval honor guard holding a flag over the casket of Neil Armstrong, who died a few days ago. The first on the moon, he's being buried at sea. This is a picture that's been taken on the USS Philippine Sea, and Neil Armstrong being laid to rest.

This time last year, no one had even heard of them. Now, they've got two number one singles under their belt, and they're now believed to have set a new world record as they film the video clip for their latest album.

They are the Military Wives' Choir. Becky Anderson met this growing army of women who've raised almost a million dollars through singing.

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(CHEERING)

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Six hundred and fifty voices fill the Wellington Military Barracks in London.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The same again, please.

ANDERSON: What you're looking at is the biggest music video shoot in history, courtesy of the ever-expanding Military Wives' Choir on the title track of their new album, "Stronger Together."

It's the latest chapter in a musical journey that began late last year with a small group of women whose partners were deployed on a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Brought together by choirmaster Gareth Malone, they had the number one hit last Christmas, and now have expanded to more than 50 choirs across Europe.

(WOMEN SINGING CHORAL MUSIC)

ANDERSON (on camera): Gareth, this choir just grows.

GARETH MALONE, CHOIRMASTER: It's just growing and growing. It started with a couple of choirs on a couple of bases in Devon and one in North Yorkshire at the end of last year, and the Christmas number one happened, and that was a huge, huge national moment.

And then, since then, I've been getting messages constantly. "We're starting a choir here, we're starting a choir in Germany, we're starting a choir in Cypress." And it's been incredible.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Among their career highlights so far, they took center stage at the queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration, performing "Sing" in Her Majesty's honor.

(MUSIC - "SING" BY MILTARY WIVES' CHOIR)

ANDERSON: Today marks the biggest gathering of the wives, among them, this trio of sisters.

ANNA OLIVER, MILITARY WIVES' CHOIR: We all just really enjoy doing it, and in doing that, we're sharing something. And we understand each other, so if a ship deploys or a squadron deploys, we can share each other's sadness, and when they come home, we can share the elation, as well. We understand what the other's going through, and that's important.

ANDERSON: Do you think the boys are going to start wanting to put choirs together themselves?

BETHANY FANSHAWE, MILITARY WIVES' CHOIR: Absolutely. I think --

OLIVER: No! Don't let them! It's ours!

FANSHAWE: My husband's afraid that he's a "choirphan," he's a choir orphan. That's what he says because I think he's quite jealous that we're going to do something that's become so big.

OLIVER: I think that -- yes. There's a competitive edge there, isn't there?

FANSHAWE: Oh, yes, absolutely.

OLIVER: They think they can do it better.

(WOMEN SINGING CHORAL MUSIC)

ANDERSON (voice-over): Becky Anderson, CNN, London.

(CHEERING)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VERJEE: And in tonight's Parting Shots, we bring you Lady Gaga in a bottle. How about that? The pop icon has launched a new perfume called "Fame." It's black in the bottle, but it actually, when you spray it, goes onto your skin clear.

Now, Lady Gaga says, "Like fame, it smells good, but isn't." OK. And as for how she chose the smell, the pop star spoke to CNN's Maggie Lake and she explained her inspiration.

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LADY GAGA, CREATOR, "FAME" PERFUME: I wanted it to smell slutty.

(LAUGHTER)

LADY GAGA: To be totally honest. I don't think that women need to smell -- interesting. I'm -- I have an interesting mind, but I want to smell like a slut, to be totally honest.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

VERJEE: I think I'll try some. I'm Zain Verjee, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks so much for watching. The headlines are up next after this short break. This is CNN.

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