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North Korean Leader Orders Rockets Set To Standby; Pervez Musharraf Granted Protective Bail Against Pending Charges; England Fans Accused Of Racist Chants Against Own Players

Aired March 29, 2013 - 17:00   ET


ATIKA SHUBERT, HOST: Step back from the brink. Russia and China called for calm from North Korea and the U.S. as tensions escalate even further.

These are new photos of Kim Jong un signing an order to aim rockets at the United States. Tonight on Connect the World, just what is he planning?

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

SHUBERT: Also ahead on the show, shocked and outraged, what this England footballer had to say about alleged racist chanting directed at him and his brother.

And, introducing the cat nap, the new device that keeps an eye on your kitty.

South Korea's defense ministry says all strategic sites in North Korea are under intense surveillance after Pyongyang put its military on war footing. Kim Jong un ordered rocket units to prepare to strike U.S. targets in response to U.S. stealth bomber practice runs, but as Jim Clancy reports, North Korea's main ally is now calling on all sides to step back.


JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: North Korea's young leader with his military men on Friday declaring it might be time to go to war with the United States, posing next to a map that drew lines to places like Hawaii and California.

"The time has come to settle accounts with the U.S. imperialists," the North Korean Kim Jong un was quoted as saying, listing U.S. bases in South Korea and Guam and declaring his military should mercilessly strike the U.S. mainland.

North Korean television broadcast Marshall music with dramatic scenes of its million man army, the fourth largest in the world in action. It was theatrical, staged, and to some just a little too scary.

China's foreign ministry suggested now might be a good time for everyone to turn down the temperature.

HONG LEI, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN (through translator): Maintaining peace and stability of the Korean peninsula as well as northeast Asia serves the common interest of all relevant parties. And it is also a joint responsibility. We hope relevant parties can work together to turn around the tense situation in the region.

CLANCY: Clearly, China considers the U.S. decision to send its nuclear capable B-52 and B-2 aircraft on practice bombing runs over South Korea as unhelpful. The U.S. insists it's just part of annual military exercises. But Beijing also seemed to send a message to Pyongyang that enough was enough. The message had little immediate effect.

Friday, North Korea staged a massive rally in Pyongyang, whipping up national fervor. Tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians marched, pledging their determination to fight for the regime and defend their national honor. Amid the blistering propaganda, Kim Jong un's Friday declaration had some fine print. All the talk about all out war with America was conditioned on what they called a reckless provocation on North Korea itself.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell was in Seoul this week and he pointed out that any North Korean attack on South Korea, much less the United States, would provoke what he termed a regime ending response. It's also worth noting that regime preservation has always been North Korea's, and the Kim Dynasty's, paramount goal.

Jim Clancy, CNN, Seoul.


SHUBERT: Now, of course, North Korea's threats and fiery rhetoric are nothing new, but one expert says these latest threats do stand out for their intensity and specificity. We have here Andrea Berger, she is recently returned from North Korea. She is part of the nuclear talks delegation there. Andrea is a nuclear expert at the British Royal United Services institute.

Why don't we just first start with this is a new and untested leader. It seems unlikely that we're going to go into a nuclear war, but what is the risk that we simply miscalculate what he's going to do next?

ANDREA BERGER, ROYAL UNITED SERVICES INSTITUTE: I think that's exactly the risk. There's a large reason to question whether or not Kim Jong un has the capability to carry out a lot of the threats that he's been issuing -- having a nuclear war with the United States, for instance. His missiles probably can't get there with a nuclear weapon on them.

The greater risk is really that in this great game of chicken that we're currently setting up where we continue to call North Korea's bluffs and hope that they're just that, really bluffs. And North Korea feels backed into a corner and compelled to issue new, more severe, and more specific threats, that someone miscalculates, someone wrongly assumes that the other side really is just still talking.

SHUBERT: Is this a message he's directing at international players, or is this really for his own people? I mean, he has to shore up support. He's a new leader. And so I guess in a way, is he talking to his own people on this?

BERGER: That's partly the case. Kim Jong un rose up quickly through the ranks of the military and that was a largely undeserved promotion for him. So really one thing that he still has to prove with talking tough is that he deserves his place as head of the military. So there's definitely a domestic audience, but that's not to say that he's not also trying to do things like test the new South Korean leader, for instance.

SHUBERT: Before we go on, I just want to take a quick look at the missile capabilities of North Korea. Here's a quick look.

Now keep in mind that experts don't necessarily agree, but this graph, it gives you a general idea of the reach of various missiles.

In December, Pyongyang successfully launched a rocket with an estimated range of 10,000 kilometers, that's well within striking distance of the U.S. But, and this is a crucial part, that rocket has not been tested yet as a missile. So that does gives us some idea.

But I want to get some insight from you, because you were in North Korea just a few months ago. What is it like inside? And how is Kim Jong un viewed from the inside?

BERGER: It's very difficult to say. And unfortunately a week in the country really doesn't give you enough information to have any clear picture of what really might be going on in North Korea.

We have such a limited idea, really, of what the current situation involves in terms of risks.

But one thing is certain, Kim Jong un does seem to be consolidating his power both within the military, but also with the population in general.

SHUBERT: You were involved with some of the nuclear discussions. Do you feel that there is any possibility of a breakthrough, anything that might suggest that we can talk about this diplomatically rather than just issuing threats?

BERGER: Unfortunately, I think North Korea itself has closed the door to nuclear talks. It's stated several times in the last few months amidst these growing tensions that it has no desire, really to negotiate on its nuclear program. And that's a statement I think we can take them at their word on.

So unfortunately talks may not resolve the problem of North Korea having a nuclear program. What it may do is reduce that great risk of miscalculation that we seem to be currently facing.

SHUBERT: Yeah, and still a lot of risk.

Well, thank you very much, Andrea Berger from the Royal United Services Institute here in London.

Our top story tonight, South Korea's defense ministry says all strategic sites in North Korea are under surveillance after Kim Jong un ordered rocket units to prepare to strike U.S. targets.

You're watching Connect the World. Coming up next, prayers for Mandela. As the ailing Nobel Peace Prize winner remains in hospital, we hear from South Africans in Soweto.

And life threatening lessons: we talk exclusively to a teacher and friend of the woman murdered for teaching girls in Pakistan.

And in just about 20 minutes, we'll go live to Rome. There, the new pope is presiding over Good Friday ceremonies.

All that and much more when Connect the World continues.


SHUBERT: You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World with me, Atika Shubert. Welcome back.

Nelson Mandela is making steady progress in hospital. The South African presidential office said the former president was in good spirits and able to eat a full breakfast on Friday morning. He was admitted late Wednesday with a recurring lung infection. Mandela's health is being watched especially closely by the people of Soweto as Nkepile Mabuse reports.


NKEPILE MABUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In South Africa's divided past when the gathering of blacks was regulated, Regina Mundi (ph) became known as the people's cathedral. In this Roman Catholic Church embedded in the heart. Political activity veiling in religion shielded many from apartheid bullets and arrests. The release of Nelson Mandela from prison was always central to prayer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He fought the good fight.

MABUSE: Today, it is hopes of his release from hospital that consumed the congregation.

"We sent the holy spirit to him," this woman tells me, "wherever he is, he will feel it. And he will be better. He will live long for us."

A moment of silence for his recovery was held during Good Friday mass.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a man who sacrificed his life for us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the prayer today, I ask for (inaudible)...

MABUSE: Mandela is receiving treatment for a lung infection. He's been in and out of the hospital several times in recent months.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It really brings a bit of fear and a bit of sadness as well. But I know that he is a strong -- very strong man. And I hope that he comes out of the hospital better actually.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We need him and we want him around. South Africa is what it is today, because of him.

MABUSE: A nation on tender hook, hoping that its (inaudible) father will be around for just a little longer.

Nkepile Mabuse, CNN, Soweto.


SHUBERT: Now rescuers are searching for survivors after a 16 story building collapses in Tanzania's largest city. At least four people had been killed and around 60 people, including several children, are still missing. The building in Dar es Salaam was under construction and eyewitnesses report hearing a huge whoosh and then a thump as it fell.

There are reports that some survivors are calling for help via cell phones.

Now Cyprus has eased its restrictions on financial transactions. Domestic debit and credit card transactions as well as money transfers will no longer be limited. Cash withdrawals will still be capped at just under $400 a day and overseas transactions have a monthly limit of $6,500. The limits were put in place when banks reopened Thursday days after a $12 billion bailout deal was finally agreed with the EU and the IMF.

Also, French president Francois Hollande has called on the people to back his new plan to tax the rich. His election pledged to tax high earners was ruled unconstitutional, but his new proposal would seek companies that pay their employees over $1.3 million take the hit instead.


FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): And companies it's necessarily that the salaries are transparent in the biggest companies, I mean, because only big companies are concerned with these big salaries above 1 million euros. So in these big companies, transparency first the general shareholders meeting will be consulted on these salaries. And when the salary is over 1 million euros, the company will have to contribute financial, all incomes included, which will go up to 75 percent.


SHUBERT: Moving to Pakistan, a lawyer threw a shoe at Pervez Musharraf as Pakistan's former president appeared in court. It's not clear whether the shoe hit Musharraf. The court awarded him an extension of his protective bail that prevents him from being arrested. Three court cases are pending against Musharraf and the bail is believed to have paved the way for his return to Pakistan last weekend.

Now staying in that country, Pakistan was shocked earlier this week when a female teacher was killed by Taliban gunmen. Shanaz Nazil (ph) was on her way to school when the men killed her. The latest attack targeting girl's education in the country.

In this exclusive report, CNN's Nic Robertson talks to one of her colleagues about to live in fear.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pakistan is our country.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A girl's school teacher afraid to reveal her identity. Her profession and her pupils becoming targets for Taliban terror.

UNIDNETIFIED FEMALE (through translator): All the children are terrified. They're getting threats because there is terror spread all over. They threaten they will bomb. Fear has spread everywhere.

ROBERTSON: Her close friend and fellow teacher Shanaz Nasli (ph) was gunned down apparently by Taliban assassins not far away just a few days ago as she walked to school. No one claimed responsibility for Nasli's (ph) brutal murder, but no one has any doubt the Taliban will stop at nothing to shut down girl's education.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We leave our houses gripped with fear. Even when we go home we are terrified that there may be someone on the way home who might kill us like Nasli. We are scared at school, too. What if they come into the school and kill us?

ROBERTSON: When schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by Taliban last October, her attackers looked to silence her popular campaign for girl's education. And for awhile, it worked.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): All the parents were terrified. Thank god forbid if something like this happened to our daughter. All the girl's schools were also closed. They made their girls stay at home.

ROBERTSON: But as Malala's plight and life saving surgery in the UK galvanized global outrage, it helped this teacher realize just by coming to class she, too, could fight for girl's education.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Malala's mission, when we realized what it was, and that that was the reason she was targeted, made us very proud that she was a girl and that she is from our country.

ROBERTSON: In recent weeks, Pakistan's government facing growing pressure, passed a law requiring children ages five to 16 to attend school. Among other things, it also says local governments must ensure safety of students and teachers going too and from school. It is a start, but for this teacher the government must do more.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Security should be increased. We women are given no security. The female teachers should go from house to house explaining how important girl's education is. There are a lot of girls staying at home who would come out and fight for their rights.

ROBERTSON: Until then, brave teachers like this must remain anonymous.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Islamabad, Pakistan.


SHUBERT: More than 220 people have been rescued from two floating ice sheets in Latvia. The ice flows broke off from the coast earlier on Friday. Many of the people stranded were out fishing or just taking a walk near the beach. It's believed the ice cracked after temperatures rose above zero.

Jenny Harrison joins me now from the international weather center. Jenny, just how does something like this happen?

Well, you know, it's actually very common, Atika, but it's something we're just not used to. It depends, of course, what part of the world you're actually from, so of course the people of Latvia must be well used to this.

Now they got caught (inaudible) that is certainly the case, but this shows you exactly what actually happened. So this image taken, of course, courtesy of NASA. And this is Friday, so this is the whole area that we're actually referring to within the bay off the coast close to Riga. So this is the ice flow we're talking about. And the ice flow is actually a large piece of drift ice. When you get a very, very large expanse such as this, it's actually known as an ice field.

Now drift ice is actually seasonal. It forms offshore and its formed by the currents and also by the wind. So this is Friday. Now you can see in all of these cracks that have formed. And when you look just a couple of days before on Wednesday hardly anything to be seen and that is because the temperature has actually gone above freezing for the first time, literally, on this Friday

We've had temperatures for the last 23 days in Riga actually below the average. So just to zoom in again. And you can see very, very clearly now these massive cracks that have actually occurred very widespread. And of course this is what has caused this ice to actually break off. This is why these people got stranded.

Also, Friday, it was a lovely day. The sun was out. The temperature was, as I said, above freezing. The first time, by the way, for over three weeks the temperature was above freezing. And so people making use of that. Also it is the holiday weekend, the Easter weekend.

Again, in this region, the ice forecast is done on a daily basis. So all of these areas you're looking at in the Baltic sea, all of these colors are actually indicating the state of the ice. So they actually give these different areas of ice different category based on this day. So this orange is called a close drift. And as I say it is seasonal.

This time last year there was no ice at all, because spring had arrived good and proper. The temperatures were certainly much higher. And so the ice had actually thawed. So that really is why people got caught out. And then the temperature right now is back down to freezing. It feels colder with the wind chill, but for the next few days again temperatures just above freezing, feeling colder with the wind, but hopefully in this area maybe spring beginning to finally show itself -- Atika.

SHUBERT: Well, thank you very much, Jenny -- Jenny Harrison for that at the international weather center. I'm going to take that as a good sign that spring may be coming soon.

All right.

Well, live from London, this is Connect the World. Coming up, why England's footballers could be forced to play their next World Cup qualifier without their fans.


SHUBERT: You're watching Connect the World live from London. Welcome back. I'm Atika Shubert.

England's football association could face the embarrassment of its national team being forced to play behind closed doors if the country's fans are found guilty of racism. English supporters attending the side's World Cup qualifier in San Marino last Friday have been reported to the world governing body FIFA accused of racist chanting. Fans allegedly sang that brothers Rio and Anton Ferdinand should be burned on a bonfire.

Rio controversially pulled out of England's squad before the game. And earlier he tweeted, quote, you expect an accept the banter from fans on the terraces as it's part of what makes the game great, but racism is not banter. And from your own fans? Wow.

Now the football association says it has not found any recorded evidence from racist chanting, but will assist any FIFA investigation.

We have Keir Radnedge. He is from World Soccer Magazine. And he joins me now live via Skype from London.

So, in the starkest description this appears to be several white fans singing about burning two black men on a bonfire. That sounds pretty racist, you know, on the face of it, but there's more background to this, isn't there?

KEIR RADNEDGE, WORLD SOCCER MAGAZINE: Yes, it does sound racist on that basis. The problem that the FA have at the moment is two fold. Firstly, English organizations and the FA in particular have been extremely vehement in condemning racist chanting by opposing fans at matches they've played in Europe, so you know the FA in a sense has to try to be seen to be, you know, cleaner than clean.

The second problem the FA has at the moment is that they haven't been able to come up with any recordings of the evidence of this particular racist chanting that's been alleged. So they're in a slightly odd position at the moment.

SHUBERT: It seems pretty incredible that a football player would hear this kind of thing from his own fans. And it wasn't just Rio. I mean, whatever the fans had against Rio, why bring his brother Anton into it as well?

RADNEDGE: Well, this a long story that goes back two years when there was an incident between Anton Ferdinand, Rio's younger brother, and an England player, John Terry of Chelsea, who is alleged to have made racist remarks to Anton. Rio, of course, supported Anton. There was a long controversy about it. And therefore the two are linked together.

The really weird thing about this is that usually in incidents of racist chanting at players, it's usually the fans chanting at players of the opposing team. In this case, the allegation is England fans chanting about two of their own players and two of their own players who were not involved in the match, were not even in the San Marino, were not even in the country at that time.

SHUBERT: Sounds like the outcome of a long running feud essentially, but this could get very embarrassing, humiliating if in the end England is told, well, you have to play your match behind closed doors.

Is that going to be enough to stop this kind of behavior in the future?

RADNEDGE: Well, I mean, this business about racist chanting, discrimination and so on. I mean, obviously it's not solely a problem for football, it's a society problem. And football has to try to take action within its own parameters. Obviously, if England get banned for a match or whatever from -- closed door match, then that would be embarrassing.

But I think all in all it's best that the particular issue is out in front, that it's dealt with and that the authorities are seen to be tough, because then hopefully the message in the end will get over.

SHUBERT: Definitely. Well, thank you very much. That's Keir Radnedge for us at World Soccer Magazine. Thank you.

If England's fans are found guilty and the side is forced to play a World Cup Qualifier behind closed doors, well I wouldn't be the first time that football's governing body has come down hard on allegations of racism. Just last Friday, riot police squared off with Hungarian fans in Budapest after they were locked out of the national side's showdown against Romania. The lockout was punishment for racist abuse from supporters at a game last year.

On the same day, Bulgaria was also forced to play its qualifier against Malta in an empty stadium after their fans were found guilty of making monkey chants.

The latest world news headlines just ahead.

Plus, we'll go live to Rome for more on Pope Francis' first Good Friday ceremony as pontiff.

And troubles in Texas. Rory McIlroy struggles to reclaim his world number one ranking at the Houston Open.

And finally, introducing the cat nab. If you've ever wondered what your kitty has been up to while out and about, well this one is for you.


SHUBERT: This is CONNECT THE WORLD, the top stories this hour. The US and South Korea are watching for any unusual movements in North Korea after Kim Jong-un put the nation's military on war footing. He ordered rocket units to be prepared to strike, outraged that the US sent stealth bombers on practice runs over South Korea.

Pope Francis has been marking his first Good Friday at the Coliseum in Rome. He's been leading the Way of the Cross procession around the landmark. Good Friday is the day that Christian tradition says Jesus was crucified.

And a rescue operation is underway right now to free more than 80 miners believed to be trapped under a massive landslide in Tibet. It happened east of the capital, Lhasa. Chinese state media says the disaster struck early in the morning while the men were sleeping.

Cyprus has relaxed some of its restrictions on financial transaction following the reopening of the country's banks. Debit and credit cards as well as internal money transfers will return to normal. Restrictions on daily cash withdrawals and transactions abroad will remain for the time being.

Pope Francis has been presiding over Good Friday ceremonies today, part of his first Holy Week as pontiff. Jim Bittermann is in Rome as the ceremonies continued this evening. Jim, he's already set an astonishing example, yesterday washing the feet of 12 prisoners. What is he doing at this moment?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, at this moment, Atika, he's just wrapping up a ceremony across town over at the Coliseum. He's done the Way of the Cross, he assisted as the procession wound its way through the 14 Stations of the Cross, which symbolize the last few hours that Christians believe Christ spent on Earth, the various forms of suffering that he was subjected to after he was condemned to death, and then crucified on the cross.

The pope delivered a very brief message this evening, speaking in fact of ecumenism and talking about the relationship and the friendly relationship between Muslims and Christians, especially pointing to Benedict XVI's trip to the Middle East, something that was kind of controversial at the time and kind of got the papacy of Benedict XVI off to a shaky start.

Anyway, the pope brought it up this evening and pointed to it as an example of the kind of positive relationship that Christians and Muslims can have, Atika.

SHUBERT: Thank you very much. That's Jim Bittermann for us, live in Rome. Meanwhile this weekend, it is also a big event in Cuba. Cubans are still getting used to celebrating Good Friday and Easter after they were recognized last year for the first time since the Cuban revolution. Patrick Oppmann sent us this report from Cuba.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are in Havana's Cathedral Square, the site of one of Cuba's oldest and most impressive places of worship. All around me, the crowd here is getting ready for Good Friday services, and throughout the country, official government buildings and schools are closed down for the day.

Now, Easter hasn't been celebrated throughout much of the Cuban revolution, but last year, when Pope Benedict made his visit to Cuba, he personally asked Raul Castro to reinstate Easter as a holiday here. It's a change that many of the Cubans we've spoken with say they welcomed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This is the norm in other Western countries, and Cubans are regaining their Christian traditions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): If we have a holiday or we don't have a holiday, this is a way to feel good about yourself.

OPPMANN: Cubans were also excited about the election of Pope Francis and that they have a Latin American at the head of the Catholic Church. Pope Francis recently sent a message specifically to Cubans saying that the church here needs to evangelize more, and that's particularly important as the Catholic Church in Cuba is seeing the numbers steadily decline over the years.

And with the rise in popularity of other forms of Christianity here and other religions, the challenge for the Catholic Church here is going to be how do they reach that next generation of Cubans.

Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Havana.


SHUBERT: Now, the Shroud of Turin is one of the most famous religious relics in the world, and it is about to be shown on television for the first time in nearly 40 years. The shroud has only been filmed for television once before in 1976, but as his parting gift to the Catholic Church, the former pope, Benedict, gave permission to show it again. A video of the four-meter long linen cloth will be aired on Italian TV tomorrow.

Many Catholics believe Jesus was buried in the shroud, which shows the image of a man's body and face. Using negative black and white imagery, you can see injuries on the figure that may seem similar to those of someone who has been crucified.

Many scholars have dismissed the shroud as a piece of medieval forgery, but some scientists say a new study dates the shroud between 280 BC and 220 AD, and that could place it in within Jesus's lifetime.

Joining us from Colorado is Barrie Schwortz. He is the founder and editor of Barrie, you are also the -- one of the original team members that actually debunked the dating of this and said that it dated back to medieval times, so what do you think of these new findings?

BARRIE SCHWORTZ, FOUNDER AND EDITOR, SHROUD.COM: Well, actually, I was on the scientific team that performed the first in-depth scientific examination of the shroud in 1978, and frankly, our data was the data that supports the authenticity of the shroud rather than disputes it.

The radio carbon date occurred ten years after our examination, and basically has been shown in more recent years by scientific analysis to not to have been accurate or valid based on the sample that they used.

SHUBERT: OK, well, thank you for clarifying that.


SHUBERT: So, what do you think it is, now that people keep wanting to sort of look at the shroud, find out the exact dates, why does it have this enduring appeal, both in terms of the mystery around it and its spirituality?

SCHWORTZ: Well, before I can give you an answer to that, I first have to tell you and the audience that I'm Jewish and came into this very -- with great resistance. I was a total skeptic. But I have come to understand -- first of all, the evidence has convinced me it's authentic.

And secondly, maybe more importantly, I've come to realize that it's really symbolic. It's an important, I think, attribute that people can look at, perhaps, if their faith is weak or perhaps if they haven't thought about it, it sort of points in that direction for people, and so I have great respect for it even if it doesn't represent my personal beliefs.

I think what makes the shroud so interesting, even on a broader basis, is the fact that it's a mystery, that modern science has examined it to try and determine how the imagery was formed and has gotten no closer to that answer than we did 35 years ago when we started our examination.

So, I think that the fact that it's a mystery, the fact that it's an object of faith to about a billion people, and I think the fact that science has been unable to answer the questions that we've asked makes it even that much more fascinating, even for the general public.

SHUBERT: Barrie, hold on for just a minute, because I want to tell viewers about this new app that's actually come out, and it's been created to allow users to look at the shroud in high-definition. Those keen for a closer look at the cloth will be able to zoom into any part of the shroud. They can also turn the picture negative so you can see the details that are normally invisible to the naked eye.

Now, that app is called Shroud 2.0, and it is sanctioned by the Catholic Church. So, Barrie, I'm wondering, we know this new video is coming out tomorrow. We also can see this app. What is it going to mean for researchers, but also for the general public?

SCHWORTZ: Well, I think first of all, giving access to the general public and their SmartPhones is a brilliant idea, I think it's long overdue, and I'm glad that the Turin authorities finally authorized a formal app to be released.

There are a few others that have been out there, but nothing with the authorization of the Turin authorities. The thing that's great about it is that -- I've already seen a video clip of it -- it allows for ultra- detailed images of the shroud to be zoomed in on.

And this app was made from 1600 or more still, high-resolution digital photographs that were seamed together to create a very ultra-high resolution, 12 gigapixel image, which will be available through the app. So, I think the app's a great idea and looking forward to getting it myself.

SHUBERT: Well, thank you very much for joining us. Barrie Schwortz, the founder and editor of

Live from London, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Find out why one man's blog, written from his kitchen in England, is making waves in Syria.


SHUBERT: Welcome back. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. Turning now to a remarkable story about a man who has exposed arms trafficking in Syria from the comfort of his sofa thousands of kilometers away. He's a blogger with no military background, only a keen knowledge of social media, plus a lot of extra time on his hands.


SHUBERT (voice-over): Three thousand miles away from the fighting in Syria, Elliot Higgins of Leicester, England is a stay-at-home dad with an interesting hobby. He tracks the weapons of the war from his suburban home, sifting through hundreds of battle videos posted online.

ELLIOT HIGGINS, BLOGGER: When the Syrian Air Force started using helicopters, I was keeping an eye on that, and then I saw my first partly- exploded bomb and identified that, and that was really the start of focusing on weapons identification.

SHUBERT: Elliot has never been to Syria. He has no military experience or any background in weapons. But when he lost his admin job, he used the extra hours to start a blog under the handle Brown Moses, after a Frank Zappa song.

HIGGINS: I have to look after my 18-month-old daughter all day, so I'm sort of checking my e-mails on and off every so often to see if anything's come through, just keeping an eye on Twitter.

And then, once my daughter's in bed in the evening, I'll sit down, I'll -- I've got a list of about 450 YouTube channels that are used by activists and armed groups in Syria, and I'll work my way through those channels and keep an eye out for what's interesting, and then see if I can work a blog post on what I've seen.

SHUBERT: From his living room with only online videos, Elliot has shown the Syrian army's use of cluster bombs, despite official denials. And he has shown a trail of Croatian weapons, supplied to Syrian rebels by Saudi Arabia, with the consent of Western allies, an investigative expose published in the "New York Times."

HIGGINS: And it shows a Croatian RBG-6 grenade launcher, and one thing I was trying to figure out was the specific type.

SHUBERT (on camera): And it's -- it's really amazing, because a lot of this video that we're looking at and those -- for example, those bolts that you pointed out. They're on the screen for maybe a second.


SHUBERT: So, you really have to comb through these videos to get these details.

HIGGINS: I think once you've done it for as long as I have, stuff that stands out really, really stands out. What might look just like a flash of a green tube to someone, I think that's -- that's got a -- the end, the black end makes it look like an RPG-22.

SHUBERT (voice-over): An unerring eye for detail that has put this unemployed dad in very high demand with Syria watchers.


SHUBERT: Social media plays a critical role in the Syrian War, letting the outside know what's really happening inside the country. Countless posts document the brutal fighting, but we've come across one video that actually made us smile. Hala Gorani shows us how one man is using humor to survive the civil war.



HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We've seen the worst of the death and destruction in Syria, but this video posted on YouTube caught our eye.


GORANI: Because it gives us an idea of how ordinary Syrians are trying to get through the crisis with a bit of humor. This man shows us how he's turned survival into an art form, making crafts and useful items from the remains of unexploded weapons. Like a walking cane for an old man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We have an elderly man in our neighborhood. The idea came from him after he broke his stick to be used as firewood to warm children. So, I used the Russian Shilka empty shells to make a new stick for him.

GORANI: Or a very special sword.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It is known worldwide that the handle of the sword is made of wood. Because we had to cut it off and use it as firewood, I have replaced it with a mortar shell.

This missile -- we made a water tank inside it.

GORANI: And even a toilet, minus the plumbing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This is a toilet chair made of rockets. This one is made up of two rockets. As you can see, it is comfortable while sitting, though it still needs some accessories. For sure, we didn't paint it, so it stays as it arrived from Russia, especially for the Syrian people.

And here, my dear sister, is a firewood stove. Since we don't have any diesel or fuel or gas and electricity, we even had to cut off the trees of public parks to use the wood for heating.

Actually, there is a big demand for this item. Many orders are in the queue here in Douma City. I think I have 50 orders now, and I am lacking rockets. Hence, I have an urgent message, super urgent, to Bashar, the son of Anisa, the despicable: send us around 200 rockets as we have a huge demand of firewood stoves. It is a very practical heater.

GORANI: Or a very old-school telephone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Since we have all kinds of communication in Douma, including mobile internet, Facebook, and land line, this device will become a fashion in Europe. I will remind you one day. A phone made up of 60 or 40 caliber mortar shells. But unfortunately, there's no tone for us to make a call.

GORANI: At the end of the video, they go out into the streets, they drink from the water tank and ride off on that motorbike made from munitions, trying to find humor in a country shaken by the horrors of war.


GORANI: Hala Gorani, CNN.


SHUBERT: Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, we find out how to tell where your cat is going when it wanders off for a last-minute trip.


SHUBERT: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Atika Shubert. Former world number one Rory McIlroy is facing an unpleasant waiting game at the moment. Mark McKay joins us from CNN Center to explain what that means.

MARK MCKAY, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Atika. Yes, the wait is the hardest part. As you well know, Rory McIlroy was once the world's number one golfer. He would love to return to the summit.

And even though he does have a chance to overtake Tiger Woods, who's currently atop the world golf rankings this weekend, he's facing a bit of a tough road back, McIlroy is, at the USPGA tour stop in Houston, Texas.

McIlroy didn't get off to a good start. His opening round on Thursday much to be desired, one over par over the first 18 holes of this event. He improved just a bit on the second day of play, McIlroy going out and firing a second round of two under par 70.

But the projected cut line is one under par, and Rory is sitting right on that line, so Atika, it is a wait and see game for Rory McIlroy to see if he plays into the weekend. You have to have a chance if you go into the weekend -- you have a chance, but at the moment, McIlroy's wondering if he'll even make the cut to play into the weekend.

SHUBERT: Yes. I also hear there's a recently retired footballer who's speaking out after coming out. What does he have to say?

MCKAY: Yes, Atika. His name is Robbie Rogers, and in his first interview since coming out as gay, Rogers, US international who played in England for Leeds United, says that abuse from fans would've made it impossible for him to continue his playing career.

The 25-year-old quit after he announced he was gay. That announcement came last month. Speaking to the "Guardian" newspaper and the "New York Times," Rogers says that he has received a number of supportive messages, but no other players have told him that they are gay, although he hopes it becomes more acceptable in the future.


ROBBIE ROGERS, 18 CAPS FOR UNITED STATES: I know it will change. I know that -- that there'll be gay footballers. I have no doubt. I just don't know when, and I don't know how long it will take. That's the next step.

The next step is OK, how do you create an atmosphere where men and women feel that it's OK to come out and play. That it's -- sorry -- to come out and to continue to play and to be themselves.


MCKAY: We'll continue this conversation in about 40 minutes on "World Sport," Atika. I spoke with an NBA All Star and asked him point-blank, is American sport, is the NBA in particular, ready for an active player to come out gay? We will hear what he has to say coming up on the next "World Sport." You have a good weekend.

SHUBERT: Well, it's one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and these days, you can even explore it from your armchair with Google Maps. But to really understand the Great Barrier Reef, you've got to get wet, and CNN correspondent Philippe Cousteau has no problem with that. He scuba dives with scientists as we wrap up a special week of coverage exploring out world's oceans.


PHILIPPE COUSTEAU, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We're headed 15 kilometers north of the Heron Island Research Station to a section of the Great Barrier Reef known for its clear visibility. Ideal conditions for my first survey behind the SV2.

COUSTEAU (on camera): So, Christophe, the average dive, one probably covers about maybe 100 meters in terms of area. We're going to be traveling upwards of 2 kilometers.

CHRISTOPHE BAILHACHE, CATLIN SEAVIEW SURVEY: That's right. You're going to be driving this scooter.


BAILHACHE: Basically, as we talked about the other day, there's eight speeds on that scooter, and these scooters can go quite fast, but typically in a transit, we go at about at about 2 kilometers an hour.


BAILHACHE: And that is on about the third gear.

COUSTEAU (voice-over): Christophe wants me to experience a full survey. That means seeing more coral today than I ever have on any other single dive. From the 500-year-old giant Porites bommie four meters high and five meters wide, to seemingly endless beds of branching and plate corals, some two meters in size.

COUSTEAU (on camera): One hell of a dive.


COUSTEAU: Put everything into relevance in terms of being able to travel and see ecosystems change in a way. It's all one single coral ecosystem, but the different types of coral changed, the different types of topography changed. And it was -- it really gave a sense, a broader sense of what these systems look like, as opposed to getting it a snapshot of 100 square meters --

BAILHACHE: That's right.

COUSTEAU: -- on a typical dive. Being able to cover almost 2 kilometers gives an appreciation of just the scale and the magnitude of the diversity here.

BAILHACHE: What's really exciting about this project is the fact that we want to be able to roll this out globally. It's not only about the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, it's about all the other reefs around the planet, some of which are really, really destroyed. And we want to make sure that we cover these as well.


SHUBERT: If you've missed any of Philippe's reports this week, head to There, you can also find out about his inspiration, the famous French explorer and conservationist Jacques Cousteau, who is, of course, Philippe's grandfather.

Now in tonight's Parting Shots, have you ever wanted to know where your secretive cat wanders off to at night? Well, you can now find out with a GPS collar that tracks down your pet's every move. Though some pet owners will be happy, cats certainly will not be able to enjoy the private life they once had.


DAVE EVANS, INVENTOR: This is Yollo, and he started putting a lot of weight on, so we started feeding him a bit less, and he was getting fatter and fatter. So, we guessed someone else was feeding him.

I've got a bit of history with GPS before in previous roles, so me and a friend knocked together a prototype. It's a good way to keep tabs on him. At the whole, what we find out, I think that understanding with a lot of cat owners is that they're pretty secretive animals.

And you just -- once they go out of that cat flap, you don't really know what they get into. Do we know where they've gone? We haven't got a clue. But thanks to this GPS device, we can now download where they've been.

We've also been approached by people who raise pigeons, it weighs only 11 grams so you can actually put it on a pigeon, which is fine. And guys who hunt with hawks.

It's really cool. It is, to be fair. And everyone who owns a pet, whether it be a cat or a dog or pigeon or whatever has got a curiosity that when they're not around, what's that animal up to.

He hasn't changed his ways, so I don't think he minds, to be fair. If he's in any way self-conscious about it, he certainly hasn't changed his ways, so no, I don't think he minds.


SHUBERT: That is a very happy looking cat, but I think some cats should be allowed to keep their secrets.

I'm Atika Shubert and that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks for watching.