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CONNECT THE WORLD

Mitt Romney Talks Tough About Iran, Syria At VMI

Aired October 8, 2012 - 16:00   ET

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


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BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Tonight on Connect the World, a new vision for America abroad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: It`s time to change course in the Middle East.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Mitt Romney says it`s time for the U.S. to lead from the front as the Republican challenger lays out his plan to restore American influence in the Middle East.

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

ANDERSON: Well, he certainly talked tough on Syria and Iran. Tonight, we find out whether undecided voters abroad liked what they heard.

Also this hour...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUGO CHAVEZ, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA (through translator): I reiterate that I will be a better president every day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: As Hugo Chavez promises to do better for Venezuela, we look at the challenges that lie ahead.

And out of this world and out of his mind, one man`s mission to jump from the edge of space.

A very warm welcome from London. I`m Becky Anderson.

First to breaking news here from CNN. And we are getting reports out of Syria this hour that an explosion has rocked the air force intelligence building in Damascus. Opposition groups say that a violent blast struck the building in between the suburbs of Rafta (ph) and Kaboun (ph). Let`s get more on this from CNN`s Nick Paton-Walsh monitoring developments from Beirut for you this evening. What do we know at this point, Nick?

NICK PATON-WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, one activist in the capital describing this as the loudest explosion that he had heard in the capital since this revolt began 19 months ago. We don`t know much more about the blast itself, as you say the air force intelligence headquarters targeted.

But this is the second night in a row that key security infrastructure in the capital has been hit by loud explosions. Last night other buildings targeted as well. Only one person reported killed by state media after those blasts, but tonight we are hearing from activists unconfirmed at this stage that the death toll could be significantly higher, very fuzzy information, though, at this particular point, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nick, stick with me. I want to get back to you in a couple of minutes. Nick reporting on the latest out of Damascus, these attacks, of course, come just after - hours after Republican U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticized Barack Obama`s leadership on Syria. This month, Romney made the statements on Monday as he delivered his first major foreign policy speech.

He told troops at the Virginia Military Institute that a clear change of course is needed throughout the Middle East. Have a listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: The president has also failed to lead in Syria where more than 30,000 men, women, and children have been massacred by the Assad regime over the past 20 months. In Syria, I`ll work with our partners to identify and organize those members of the opposition who share our values and then ensure that they obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad`s tanks and helicopters and fighter jets. Iran is sending arms to Assad, because they know his downfall would be a strategic defeat for them. We should be working no less vigorously through out international partners to support the many Syrians who would deliver that defeat to Iran rather than sitting on the sidelines.

I`ll put the leaders of Iran on notice that the United States and our friends and allies will prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons capability. I will not hesitate to impose new sanctions on Iran. And will tighten the sanctions we currently have. For the sake of peace, we must make clear to Iran through actions, not just words, that their nuclear pursuit will not be tolerated.

It`s time to change course in the Middle East. That course should be organized around these bedrock principles: America must have confidence in our cause, clarity in our purpose, and resolve in our might. No friend of America will question our commitment to support them. No enemy that attacks America will question our resolve to defeat them. And no one anywhere, friend or foe, will doubt America`s capability to back up our words.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Right, those words earlier today, Monday, that being one of the first major foreign police speeches that we`ve heard from the presidential contender Mitt Romney.

Let`s get some reaction to what we heard. In a moment we`re going to cross back live to CNN`s Nick Paton-Walsh for his reaction to the words on Syria. First, though, let`s hear from CNN`s Reza Sayah who has been analyzing Mr. Romney`s tough talk on Iran.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I`m Reza Sayah in Islamabad. One Iranian official responded to Mr. Romney`s speech by jokingly asking, what`s the difference between him and Mr. Obama? That question pretty much sums up Iran`s view on Mr. Romney, that his Iran policy is no different than Mr. Obama`s, and Mr. Romney didn`t do much to change that perception in Iran after a speech that lacked specifics, but was loaded with rhetoric and familiar tough talk.

Mr. Romney said he`ll put Iran`s leaders on notice, rhetoric Mr. Obama has used plenty of times. He also said he won`t hesitate to impose sanctions. And of course Mr. Obama has already done that. It`s been under his administration that western powers have delivered the toughest sanctions yet against Iran.

And here`s the most glaring problem, economic sanctions, according to many not working, Iran continues to enrich uranium, continues with what it calls its peaceful nuclear program, and neither candidate seems to have any fresh ideas how to stop it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: All right, that`s one perspective. CNN`s Nick Paton-Walsh has been in and out of Syria as you`ll know for months covering the civil war there. He`s live for us in Beirut once again this evening.

Nick, Romney said he would ensure opposition members who share the same values as the U.S. would get the arms they need to defeat Assad. What do you make of what the U.S. presidential candidate had to say?

PATON-WALSH: Well, it`s interesting, he was definitely trying to put some daylight between him and the Obama administration, the White House keen to keep a little distance from the Syrian rebels, keen to ensure they`re only seen to give them non-lethal assistance at this point and leaving the light weaponry that they`ve been receiving to be reportedly supplied by Gulf states. Romney wants to go a stage further, ensure they get pretty much the heavy weaponry, that`s the only thing you can interpret his comments as meaning to take out the tanks, jets, and helicopter gunships to prevent Syrian rebels from making advances.

But he pointed out one key problem that he`s going to face, he said earlier in the speech that violent extremists are flooding in to this conflict. He also pointed out the need to vet the people who would receive this aid. So in one speech alone he pointed out the contradiction that the Obama administration wrestle with at this particular point. You can supply these heavy weapons, or you can get Gulf states to supply them for you, so you have a military advantage handed to Syrian rebels against the Syrian regime. But then how do you regulate what happens to those weapons once they`re in Syrian rebel hands in an exceptionally volatile, complicated area?

So I think Mitt Romney trying to portray himself as commander-in-chief who would more forcefully insert America in this region, but coming a little bit unstuck on the details, Becky.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. All right, Nick, thank you for that. Nick Paton-Walsh for you out of Beirut this evening.

What do voters, then, think of Mitt Romney`s speech? Well, as part of our comprehensive coverage of the U.S. presidential elections we`ve been speaking to undecided American voters around the world to see what might sway them and why. Tonight, Tim Evans, studying in London, Dr. Laura Wharton in Jerusalem, and Father Doug May, an American who lives in Cairo, all of them tell me whether they are more or less likely to vote for Mitt Romney having heard his foreign policy speech today.

Have a listen to what they said.

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TIM EVANS, STUDENT, LONDON: I think he did a good job in both of these addresses, although perhaps as not as strongly as some of his supporters might have hoped. I consider myself quite in the middle. However, I would say that I think I am more likely to vote for him now. The reason being that I think he`s done a good job of sort of separating his views from those of President Obama`s, which I personally find over the past four years to not have been successful as I think we have all had hoped for.

ANDERSON: Laura, more or less likely to vote for either candidate at this stage?

DR. LAURA WHARTON, LECTURER, JERUSALEM: Well, I think I`d be much more likely to vote for Obama. I think that Romney`s kind of knee jerk reaction to I can improve everything that Israel does including the kind of simplistic approach of Bibi Netanyahu is not something that I would want to support. I think the situation is very complex and I respect Obama`s attempts to portray that complexity.

ANDERSON: Doug.

FATHER DOUG MAY, PRIEST, CAIRO: Yeah, for me it`s difficult in the sense that I`ve been somewhat disappointed with Obama`s actions, even though I`ve been quite happy with his words. Romney I think again is like so many other politicians, whether they be Democratic or Republican in the States, they really seem to be more or less (inaudible) agree with the previous speaker that they`ve got to look at the situation from a bipartisan, not only in terms of Republican and Democrat, but Israeli and Palestinian point of view.

Once (inaudible) all the time, but not too much the other side. Unfortunately, actions have not met up with words by any president in the last maybe 30 years.

ANDERSON: Tim, you`ve said that you`ve now heard more from Romney which convinces you, you would vote for him. You say he is differentiated his views on various issues from Obama. Give me some examples.

EVANS: So I think sort of the big, overall theme that comes to mind is sort of a commitment to upholding some of the values that America has always stood by and have always work well: personal liberty, democracy, free trade, and all sorts of things along those lines. And I think it`s sort of this reaffirmation of a commitment to taking a stand, really, on these things and sort of not standing idly by and sort of watching them unfold, but taking a position, taking a position that is sort of not only in the best interests of America, but in sort of advancing these ideas of liberty in places where they don`t exist.

ANDERSON: Laura, he certainly made a statement on Israel.

ROMNEY: The president explicitly stated that his goal was to put daylight between the United States and Israel. And he`s succeeded. This is a dangerous situation that has set back the hope of peace in the Middle East and emboldened our mutual adversaries, especially Iran.

ANDERSON: Listening to that from the region, your response is what?

WHARTON: I think Iran is a threat not only to Israel, Iran is a threat to the area. And I don`t think we should be taking the leading position on that. And I think Romney`s encouragement of this very sort of saber rattling is a bad thing for Israel. It`s turning the conflict into one between Israel and Iran rather than a regional problem.

ANDERSON: Interesting.

Doug, finally to you. What more do you want to hear from these presidential candidates and on which issues?

MAY: Well, especially when it comes to the Arab-Israeli issues, especially involving Palestine. Back in 2003, I was back in the States and the ambassadors to the United States from Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt all tried to tell Americans that unless you solve the Arab- Palestinian issue, you solve nothing, because even though it might sound simplistic I believe after 20 years in the Middle East it`s true.

And whether you`re a Republican or a Democrat in terms of the (inaudible) House or the Senate, you all march to the same tune when it comes to almost blind support of Israel. It doesn`t help Israel. What helps Israel is finally settling this issue. And that takes part of the air out of the arguments of other Arabs and Muslims like Iran who uses the whole Palestinian issue as a club over America`s head.

ANDERSON: Guys, we thank you very much indeed for joining us. Tim, Laura, and Doug, until the next time, thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, CNN, is your destination of course. You`ll appreciate this, full coverage of the 2012 U.S. election.

Up next, Joe Biden and Paul Ryan meet for their one and only vice presidential debate. We`re going to be live at Center College in the South State of Kentucky for a debate the focuses on foreign and domestic policy. Join us for that starting early Friday at 1:00 in the morning in London. If you miss that, you can see a full replay of the debate on Friday night at 9:00 in London this time, right here, on CNN.

You are watching Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Coming up, flying the flag for Venezuela. President Hugo Chavez keeps his job, so what`s next for the oil rich nation?

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ANDERSON: You`re watching CNN. This is Connect the World. I`m Becky Anderson. Seven minutes - 17 minutes past 9:00 in London now. You voted for the future, a declaration from the Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. He and his supporters were jubilant after he was reelected for another six year term at the helm of the oil rich South American country.

Mr. Chavez pledged to be, in his words, a better president every day.

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CHAVEZ (through translator): More than 8 million compatriots voted for the revolution. They voted for socialism. They voted for independence. They voted for the greatness of Venezuela.

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ANDERSON: Well, some critics charge that while the election may have been free, it wasn`t necessarily fair. I`m going to talk with an election law expert about that in about 15 minutes time.

Some of the other stories that are connecting our world tonight. And the EuroZone`s new rescue fund has been officially launched by finance ministers gathered in Luxembourg. Well, it`s known as the European Stability Mechanism, or the ESM, and is designed to help struggling countries. It should have a full lending capacity, about $650 billion, by 2014, that`s more than the GDP of Greece and Portugal combined. The German contributions will make ups 27 percent of that fund, by far the biggest share. The European Union monetary affairs commissioner said the ESM would provide a robust and permanent firewall for the EuroZone.

Well, two Chinese telecom firms pose a security threat to the United States, that`s at least according to a U.S. congressional panel. In a draft copy of a report, the House intelligence committee warned against doing business with telecommunications giants Huawei and ZTE. In a statement, both companies say their products are safe. And Huawei calls the findings baseless. Both countries want to expand their U.S. operations. A report said the companies did not provide enough evidence to counter concerns they were Chinese government involvement.

Well, violence has flared near the border between south and - South Sudan and Sudan. Rebels have shelled the city of...

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BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Well, welcome to our viewers across Europe and around the world. I`m Becky Anderson and this (inaudible) in London. These are the latest world news headlines for you here on CNN.

(Headlines)

ANDERSON: Well, the race was tight. The challengers were daunting. Tonight, we watch (inaudible) remains president of Venezuela. He beat cancer as well as an energetic political opposite to keep his job.

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HUGO CHAVEZ, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA (through translator): I commit myself with you. I reiterate that, that I will be a better president every day and to be better than I have been until now.

HENRIQUE CAPRILES RADONSKI, VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION CANDIDATE (through translator): There is a country that has two visions and that he should be a good president means working for the union of these two visions to work for solving the problem of all Venezuelans.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, as the opposition leader, of course, Mr. Chavez won more than 54 percent of the vote. It was his slimmest victory since taking office in 1999.

CNN`s Paula Newton reports for you from Caracas.

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PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For those who say Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is a diminished figure, this was El Comandante`s comeback.

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NEWTON (voice-over): As he waved his country`s flag above adoring supporters, he relished a decisive victory.

Fireworks ushered in a whole new area for his socialist revolution. Thousands took to the streets, saying --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Spanish).

NEWTON (voice-over): For us, there is only Hugo Chavez.

For the opposition, there was crushing defeat.

As the (inaudible) family documented their utter shock and disappointment on home video, they watched the young challenger they had invested so much hope in concede defeat.

RADONSKI (through translator): I also want to tell other Venezuelans who voted for a different option that they can also count on me. I am convinced -- I am convinced that this country can do better and I am convinced that Venezuela will be better.

NEWTON (voice-over): Enrique Capriles looked to the future, trying still to appeal to Chavez loyalists -- and for good reason. The focus here now shifts squarely to the president`s health.

I asked this young supporter if she is worried.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It is very important. I know Chavez was sick, but he`s now fine and if he wants us to support him, we will support him as much as he wants.

NEWTON (voice-over): After his battle with cancer, Chavez also fought to convince Venezuelans that only he could ensure they share in the oil wealth of the country.

NEWTON: This is the mandate now that Chavez to continue with his socialist policies, policies that many say will leave this country much poorer in the long run.

DAVID LOPEZ, OPPOSITION SUPPORTER: (Inaudible) Chavez administration is so bad and so corrupt, and they go so many troubles that things cannot go better. And that`s the people that bought it for us and (inaudible) speech that`s our commitment and so our good faith and love for Venezuela.

NEWTON (voice-over): Yet Chavez, hardly conciliatory, took the opposition to task.

CHAVEZ (through translator): I called you again to the opposition sectors to have them come out of that mental state that they have, that has taken so many of them to ignore all the good things that exist in this Venezuelan land, that has taken them to ask or to express a catastrophic vision as if Venezuela were in a catastrophic situation. Venezuela`s not in any catastrophic condition.

NEWTON (voice-over): It will now be Chavez`s burden to prove it. In the face of lower oil revenue, biting inflation and rampant crime, Venezuelans can all agree on something: Chavez`s revolution isn`t over yet -- Paula Newton, CNN, Caracas.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: So it is a new term. Mr. Chavez has promised to deepen his Socialist program. That means keeping key industries in the hands of the state and using oil income to pay for extensive social programs.

(Inaudible) a closer look at what that actually means to Venezuela. First up, the country is a founding member of OPEC and oil accounts for almost a third of the country`s GDP. According to forecast, Venezuela`s economy will grow about 5 percent in 2012.

However, despite being one of the world`s top 10 oil producing countries, more than a third of Venezuelans still live in poverty. But that is a big drop from about 50 percent in 1999, when Hugo Chavez first came to power.

Venezuela now claims to have the fairest income distribution in Latin America. Well, there are some key questions hovering around Hugo Chavez, of course. I`m joined now by Stephen Johnson, director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He`s live for you tonight from our Washington bureau.

I wonder what you think, firstly, this selection tells us about Chavez`s grip on the country.

STEPHEN JOHNSON, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: Well, Becky, thank you for having me on your show. I think it was a free election, but not necessarily a fair one.

And what that says is that probably Venezuelans are in for a lot more political theater and we`ve got new elections coming up for governors in December. So the decisions aren`t necessarily over right away.

And then there`s question of Chavez`s health, which hangs over the future of this presidential term.

ANDERSON: Yes, it does, of course, because let`s just deal with that, because there is, of course, no appointed successor. He`s won this freely, if not fairly, as you point out.

On this most closely guarded of secrets, as it were, what do we know about his health at this point?

JOHNSON: Well, I don`t think anybody really knows what the future holds for him. His doctors are not talking and certainly those who are close to him are not revealing any information that would give away state secrets, which is what his health is right now.

But what we do know is that he seems to be very vigorous after the treatment that he has received and energized from this contest. But also energized, I think it`s fair to point out, is the opposition, even though it only came within 9 points of --

(CROSSTALK)

ANDERSON: Yes, it was a tie race, wasn`t it?

JOHNSON: -- the polls.

ANDERSON: Sure. It was -- it was a tie --

JOHNSON: It was --

ANDERSON: Yes. I want you to consider the speech that Chavez made, just after his opposition -- the opposition candidate conceded, compared with the rhetoric, certainly, of the campaign.

His speech, after the win, was certainly more measured, I`d suggest. This -- do you think that suggests some more conciliatory style going forward, a more inclusive style of government, perhaps, a less combative attitude on the international stage?

JOHNSON: You know, Becky, I was struck by that, too, because during the campaign, he was calling his challenger a mahunshe (ph). He was calling him a dullard and an ignoramus and launching all kinds of insults at him, and this tone is certainly much more moderate, talking about Venezuelans coming together.

But how are you going to be able to do that when you`ve pumped them up with divisive rhetoric? And then now you want them to come together to come together and you want the opposition to see it your way and to adopt some of the vision that you have for a more statused economy and a more top-down vision of how Venezuela should be run?

ANDERSON: Finally, would it be fair to say that this is a man who has won this election -- and like it or not, many parts of the world are going to have to put up with him for another six years, possibly, or and possibly more going forward.

This is an economy which needs some help. I`m wondering what a devaluation would mean going forward, for example. There`s a -- there`s a high possibility of that. But this is a man -- let`s be fair -- who has improved the lot of many Venezuelans. What do you think is in store for the country going forward?

JOHNSON: A lot of people think that he has, in fact, done that. But the statistical measuring system that was used before 2004 was changed in that year. And now it`s not at all certain that he`s actually improved a lot of that many people.

What we do know is that a lot more people are dependent on his social welfare problems that are called missiones. That said, a lot depends on people`s impressions. And if they think that they`re better off under him, I think that they`re -- that`s probably where his core of support was.

But it remains to be seen. Inflation is about 30 percent. The bolivar has gone from being about -- the official rate of about 4.3 to the dollar to about 12, unofficially, on the black market. And Venezuelan -- ordinary Venezuelans` buying power is beginning to dry up.

So whether he`s going to maintain that base of support going into the future, I think he may have to moderate his town and begin to listen to the opposition.

ANDERSON: Yes, I watched his face, maybe a different Chavez going forward.

Stephen Johnson, the director of the Americas program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, we thank you very much indeed for joining us.

You`re watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I`m Becky Anderson.

Still to come tonight, a leap of faith from the edge of space. The story behind one man`s record-breaking attempt. That`s up next.

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ANDERSON: Well, on Tuesday, an Austrian skydiver will attempt to freefall from the edge of space in a record skydive that could see him break the sound barrier, we`re told. Felix Baumgartner (inaudible) nearly 23 miles or 36.5 kilometers and jump back to Earth. Well, earlier this year, my colleague, Max, spoke to the daredevil about his record-breaking attempt.

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MAX FOSTER, CNN HOST (voice-over): Set to do what no man has ever done before, jump from a capsule attached to a giant balloon from 120,000 feet with a view that looks like this.

FELIX BAUMGARTNER, SKYDIVER: I`m going to slide the door open, bail out and I`m going to be the first human person in freefall who`s breaking the speed of sound.

FOSTER (voice-over): He makes it sound simple enough, but Felix Baumgartner`s attempt to jump from the edge of space comes after five years of exhaustive testing, development and even a legal hitch.

FOSTER: What`s the biggest challenge here? Why has no one tried it before and what`s the challenge that you have managed to overcome, to make it possible?

BAUMGARTNER: It needs a lot of research. It`s not just you lock yourself in a pressure capsule and go up. You need a lot of research. You need to find the right people to work with.

COL. JOE KITTINGER, USAF (RET.): OK. Now we`re going to get serious. We`re going to depressurize the cabin pit at 120,000 feet. So, hit the dump (ph) valve and let`s have a ride.

FOSTER (voice-over): Among those on his Red Bull Stratos team, Colonel Joe Kittinger, who holds the 52-year-old record Baumgartner is attempting to break. The former U.S. Air Force test pilot helped develop the NASA astronaut program.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beautiful. Beautiful.

FOSTER (voice-over): Baumgartner is no stranger to death-defying stunts. He has base jumped from the world`s tallest buildings, set a record for the lowest such jump off Rio`s Christ the Redeemer statue, and completed the first crossing of the English Channel with a specially made fiber wing.

But freefalling from the edge of space is a whole new ball game.

FOSTER: I guess the people imagine someone diving off a diving board, you have to keep that position, don`t you, because it would be very easy to spin out of control.

BAUMGARTNER: So the first 30 seconds, you cannot use the air and that requires a really stable exit. That`s the reason why we practice a lot of bungee jumps.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Perfect.

BAUMGARTNER: Just to get the right motion into my mind.

FOSTER: Are you not scared in any way?

BAUMGARTNER: Well, I am scared because you`re going up to 120,000 feet, which is a really hostile environment, and no matter how much you have prepared yourself, you never know how it turns out until you do it for real.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, CNN`s Brian Todd is at the space dive`s mission control there (inaudible) the United States. He`s joining me now, live for more.

(Inaudible) already been delayed, we know, by bad weather. Presuming he does go ahead, just talk us through the logistics here. For example, how long is it going to get into -- take him to get up to, what is it, 120,000 feet?

Am I right in saying that?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That`s right, Becky, 120,000 feet. It`s going to take him about three hours to get up there. And this is where he`s going to launch from. Our photojournalist, Mike Love (ph), will pan over here.

This is the field where this is going to launch from. That balloon and capsule that will take him up to space launches from that field early Tuesday morning. The balloon is about 55 stories high; it`s a helium balloon, very high-tech. It`s incredibly thin. It`s about 10 times thinner than a plastic sandwich bag.

That`s the balloon that`s going to carry the capsule with Felix Baumgartner in it, up to the edge of space, 122,000 feet. It`ll take about three hours to get up there. The entire jump, then, is only going to take about 15 minutes.

But in that 15 minutes, as we`ve been reporting, he is going to break the longest-ever record for a freefall from 122,000 feet above the Earth. The freefall itself is going to be about 115,000 feet; then at about 5,000 feet above the Earth, his parachute will deploy. In the process, he`s also going to be breaking the speed of sound, 690 miles an hour.

ANDERSON: All right. What will his body go through during that time?

TODD: Well, the first 30 seconds, Becky, are going to be crucial, because that`s going to be the real test of what his body can endure. That`s when he`s going to hit the speed of sound; that`s when the environment at that altitude is going to be the most hostile.

If the -- if his suit is somehow breached by anything, his blood could boil; he could freeze because the temperatures get up there, up there, again, to about 70 degrees below zero. So that`s going to be key.

What they don`t know, they really don`t know what the body goes through traveling on its own without a vehicle through the speed of sound. And that`s really one of the goals of this -- of this mission, is to find out what happens to the human body in nothing but a pressure suit, a helmet and a parachute, going at the speed of sound.

ANDERSON: That is absolutely remarkable.

Brian, thank you for that. (Inaudible) a little bit scared. I think he`s quite scared.

But, anyway, not Brian. (Inaudible).

Let`s hope he`s all right and he gets back safely.

Thank you. You`re watching CONNECT THE WORLD. This is CONNECT THE WORLD out of London at 55 zero minutes past 9. When we come back (inaudible) some parts of Europe burn with wildfires while others experience the wettest summer on record. We debunk the facts after this.

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